Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


TomCADem's Journal
TomCADem's Journal
November 29, 2017

Trump spokeswoman celebrates CNN boycotting White House Christmas party

Source: MSN/The Hill

President Trump's top spokeswoman celebrated news Tuesday that CNN would be boycotting the White House Christmas Party this year.

"Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted.

The White House had invited CNN, among other media outlets, to attend the annual event.

"In light of the President's continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as invited guests," a CNN spokesperson told The Hill.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-spokeswoman-celebrates-cnn-boycotting-white-house-christmas-party/ar-BBFTuqQ?li=BBnbcA1

November 26, 2017

WaPo - 'Elitists, crybabies and junk degrees' - RW Response To College Accessibility Efforts

You know how Democrats and Bernie Sanders have offered numerous proposals to increase access to higher education? Well, the right wing response it to paint college as elitist, thus the efforts of Democrats and progressives to provide lower cost or free college is seen as elitist and out of touch.

Next up, health care, clean air and food will be portrayed as elitist claptrap with the right wing media portraying such goals as part of a liberal elite conspiracy. Polluting is populist!

Think I am kidding? Look at the increasing incidents of "rolling coal" as a type of working class RW protest where drivers disable pollution control on their diesel trucks:


Frank Antenori shot the head off a rattlesnake at his back door last summer — a deadeye pistol blast from 20 feet. No college professor taught him that. The U.S. Army trained him, as a marksman and a medic, on the "two-way rifle range" of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Useful skills. Smart return on taxpayers' investment. Not like the waste he sees at too many colleges and universities, where he says liberal professors teach "ridiculous" classes and indoctrinate students "who hang out and protest all day long and cry on our dime."

"Why does a kid go to a major university these days?" said Antenori, 51, a former Green Beret who served in the Arizona state legislature. "A lot of Republicans would say they go there to get brainwashed and learn how to become activists and basically go out in the world and cause trouble."

Antenori is part of an increasingly vocal campaign to transform American higher education. Although U.S. universities are envied around the world, he and other conservatives want to reduce the flow of government money to what they see as elitist, politically correct institutions that often fail to provide practical skills for the job market.
November 18, 2017

Watch John Oliver Break Down Trump's Three Dangerous Manipulation Tactics


One year after Election Day, the season finale of Last Week Tonight's John Oliver outlined the three main manipulation tactics President Trump uses when engaging with the public and the press: delegitimizing media, "whataboutism" and trolling. The techniques, Oliver says, are "depressively effective." Many of these persuasive tools were even employed in Soviet-era propaganda. Even more depressingly, the negative impact is already spreading beyond Trump's presidency.

Oliver begins with Trump's most apparent defense mechanism: crying "fake news." Trump popularized the term during the presidential campaign, which hedged on attacking the mainstream media for having inherent liberal biases. As president, Trump continues to alienate reporters, which, paradoxically, perpetuates the misinformation he claims to abhor.

Trump's slightly subtler tactic is a term Oliver called "whataboutism," a fallacy with roots in old Soviet propaganda that shifts any given topic to another, potentially irrelevant one. "It implies that all actions regardless of context share a moral equivalency," says Oliver. "And since nobody is perfect, all criticism is hypocritical and everyone should do whatever they want ... It doesn't solve a problem or win an argument. The point is just to muddy the waters, which just makes the other side mad."

The most famous recent example was Trump's reaction to the alt-right rally in Charlottesville. When a neo-Nazi intentionally drove a car into a mass of people and killed protestor Heather Heyer, Trump responded by looking for equal fault on the other side. "A defense attorney could not stand up in court and say 'maybe my client did murder those people, but what about Jeffrey Dahmer? What about Al Capone? What about the guy from Silence of the Lambs? I rest my case.'"
November 18, 2017

Whataboutism: The Cold War tactic, thawed by Putin, is brandished by Donald Trump

Remember Trump won his campaign by avoiding issues and lying. His tactic of choice is what-about-ism, responding to issues by throwing up other unrelated issues to suggest a moral equivalency. What-about-ism does not solve problems. To the contrary, it simply muddies the water to avoid solutions.


What about antifa? What about free speech? What about the guy who shot Steve Scalise? What about the mosque in Minnesota that got bombed? What about North Korea? What about murders in Chicago? What about Ivanka at the G-20? What about Vince Foster? If white pride is bad, then what about gay pride? What about the stock market? What about those 33,000 deleted emails? What about Hitler? What about the Crusades? What about the asteroid that may one day kill us all? What about Benghazi?

What about what about what about.

We’ve gotten very good at what-abouting.

The president has led the way.

His campaign may or may not have conspired with Moscow, but President Trump has routinely employed a durable old Soviet propaganda tactic. Tuesday’s bonkers news conference in New York was Trump’s latest act of “whataboutism,” the practice of short-circuiting an argument by asserting moral equivalency between two things that aren’t necessarily comparable. In this case, the president wondered whether the removal of a statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville — where white supremacists clashed this weekend with counterprotesters — would lead to the teardown of others.
November 18, 2017

Donald Trump's Sexual Assault Accusers Demand Justice in the #MeToo Era: 'We Were Forgotten'

While Republicans and even Democrats are happy to debate whether Bill Clinton should have resigned 20 years ago, everyone is ignoring Trump's accusers.


The recent accusations of sexual misconduct against a long list of powerful men in Hollywood and other industries have been widely believed — and led to resignations, loss of careers and other fallout.

Meanwhile, some of the women who accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment or assault during the presidential campaign wonder when the president might finally pay a price for what he allegedly did to them.

“Things just seem to fall off of Trump, I’m extremely disappointed,” says Jessica Leeds, 75, who alleges Trump tried to kiss her, fondle her breasts and put his hand up her skirt while on a flight to New York in the early 1980s.

Their stories — like the harrowing one PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff shared of Trump allegedly attacking her in 2005 by pushing her up against a wall at Mar-a- Lago and shoving his tongue down her throat — are backed up in most cases by co-workers, friends or family members.
November 14, 2017

Salon - Dont expect Alabama Republicans to turn against Roy Moore

At the end of the day, what is motivating Evangelicals is not morality, but the subjugation of women. This is why there is so much sympathy toward Roy Moore. At the heart of it, many evangelicals are not only seeking dominance over religious and racial minorities, but over women.


Here's the thing to remember here: Alabamians already knew that Moore was a far-right evangelical who is deeply enmeshed in an extremist form of patriarchal Christianity. Republicans in that state are likely familiar with the fetish that far-right evangelicals have for young teenagers. They aren't going to be all that surprised by any of this, let alone interested in holding Moore accountable.

Take, for instance, evangelical hero and "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson. In 2009, he gave a speech advising men to prioritize servility and obedience in women, noting that submissive women are "getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting ‘til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em."

* * *
Moore's baffling popularity in Alabama is an example of what Ingersoll is talking about. To be clear, most conservatives, even those who identify with the religious right, don't live the comically exaggerated patriarchal values that Moore preaches. But many are forgiving of it, and may admire someone like Moore for his willingness to push for complete male dominance over women.
And make no mistake: It's patriarchy, not morality, that is the animating force behind the Christian right that has elevated Moore.

Evangelicals may talk a big game about chastity, but their overwhelming support for Donald Trump is a reminder that "chastity" is just the cover story for the true agenda, which is bringing women firmly under the control of men. Men's unchaste behavior isn't really considered a problem, even when it's criminal. It's female bodies and female sexuality the Christian right is interested in controlling — and dating young girls in no way conflicts with that goal. If anything, as the above examples show, locking them down young is considered a handy way to achieve these patriarchal objectives.
November 1, 2017

Vox - A former right-wing radio host explains how conservative media became a safe space.

Interesting article about how the conservative media has gone beyond bias and now just creates a parallel universe where facts are really besides the point.


The conspiracy is false, but that’s not really the point. The point is to muddy the waters, to divert attention from actual scandals. This is something conservative media is uniquely good at. The question is, why? Why is conservative media so much better than liberal media when it comes to making its preferred narratives stick?

To answer this question, I reached out Charlie Sykes, a leading conservative radio host in Wisconsin for nearly three decades. A vocal critic of Trump, Sykes eventually walked away from his show after alienating some of his pro-Trump listeners.

I asked Sykes, the author of the 2017 book How the Right Lost Its Mind, how right-leaning media is able to construct alternate realities for its base, and why it succeeds in ways liberal media does not.

“The conservative media has done a really great job of convincing conservatives that they're under siege,” he told me. As a result, “the conservative media has become a safe space for people who want to be told that they don't have to believe anything that's uncomfortable or negative.”

Profile Information

Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 17,391
Latest Discussions»TomCADem's Journal