Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’

From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/us/politics/white-house-sean-spicer-briefing.html

By and

WASHINGTON — President Trump turned the power of the White House against the news media on Friday, escalating his attacks on journalists as “the enemy of the people” and berating members of his own F.B.I. as “leakers” who he said were putting the nation at risk.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump criticized as “fake news” organizations that publish anonymously sourced reports that reflect poorly on him. And in a series of Twitter posts, he assailed the F.B.I. as a dangerously porous agency, condemning unauthorized revelations of classified information from within its ranks and calling for an immediate hunt for leakers.

Hours after the speech, as if to demonstrate Mr. Trump’s determination to punish reporters whose coverage he dislikes, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, barred journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations from attending his daily briefing, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

The moves underscored the degree to which Mr. Trump and members of his inner circle are eager to use the prerogatives of the presidency to undercut those who scrutinize him, dismissing negative stories as lies and confining press access at the White House to a few chosen news organizations considered friendly. The Trump White House has also vowed new efforts to punish leakers.

Mr. Trump’s attacks on the press came as the White House pushed back on a report by CNN on Thursday night that a White House official had asked the F.B.I. to rebut a New York Times article last week detailing contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence officials. The report asserted that a senior White House official had called top leaders at the F.B.I. to request that they contact reporters to dispute the Times’s account.

“The fake news doesn’t tell the truth,” Mr. Trump said to the delight of the conservatives packed into the main ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington. “It doesn’t represent the people, it doesn’t and never will represent the people, and we’re going to do something about it.”

In the West Wing less than three hours later, the consequences were becoming clear. Mr. Spicer told a handpicked group of reporters in a briefing in his spacious office that the White House would relentlessly counter coverage it considered inaccurate.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/us/politics/white-house-sean-spicer-briefing.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’

Bannon makes stunning threat to media: We’re going to make it worse for you every day

From Daily Kos:  http://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/23/1637159/-President-Bannon-threatens-media-We-re-going-to-make-it-worse-every-day-for-you

by Leslie Salzillo
Feb 23, 2017

On Thursday, during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon admitted Donald Trump’s goal (Bannon’s goal) in appointing new precarious cabinet members to head protective government agencies like the EPA — is to dismantle and “deconstruct” those organizations altogether. You can read that Daily Kos story by Dartagnan here.

On the same day, during a joint CPAC press conference with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon threatened the media with a quote that is undeniably one of the most odious and perilous public statements made against the free press by a White House official, on record. Chris Cillizza with The Washington Post cites Bannon.

“It’s going to get worse every day for the media,” Bannon said, insisting that the “corporatist” media would continue to see Trump pursue exactly the sort of economic nationalism that journalism allegedly despises. Then he added this call to arms: “If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”

Cillizza says the message from Bannon was unmistakable: The enemy of Donald Trump and his team, is not really the Democratic Party, it’s the media. He adds that presidential administrations and the press have often experienced adversarial positions.

But what Bannon and, by extension, Trump are up to is something very different than simply an adversarial working relationship with the media. Bannon doesn’t want to change the media. He wants to totally dismantle the media. He wants to break its back and leave it for dead by the side of the road.

What is somewhat ironic, more than disturbing, and almost comical, is that Bannon is telling reputable reporters, including those at the Washington Post, that the White House plans to destroy them. And rather than stand up to him, reporters rush back to their laptops to write up the story, staying respectfully neutral, while indirectly serving as a right wing echo chamber.

Bannon and Trump are using the press to threaten and berate — the press. When will the press, in unity, tell Bannon and Trump, to respectfully go fuck themselves? It’s obvious Bannon and Trump desperately need the press to survive. The mobster-like headman incessantly use the press every day, and seem to forget that it was the media that held their hands throughout the 2016 campaign and essentially walked them into the Oval Office.

So why does most of the media accept the degradation, which has become constant? And why do they keep going back for more? Something has to give, because Trump and his cast of hate-filled, lying fear mongers, should not be allowed to use American media as a beacon for tyranny. What’s that thing Dr. Phil likes to say?

“We teach people how to treat us.”

Steve Bannon, the man who Time Magazine has labeled the “The Great Manipulator,” lives up to the title as he continues to feed, build, and control the growing far right extreme news rags like Breitbart. Most everything that goes out to Donald Trump’s base of fanatics is calculated, mostly false, insidious and dangerously hate-provoking.

Continue reading at:  http://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/23/1637159/-President-Bannon-threatens-media-We-re-going-to-make-it-worse-every-day-for-you

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Bannon makes stunning threat to media: We’re going to make it worse for you every day

Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary

From The Forward:  http://forward.com/news/national/364085/sebastian-gorka-trump-aide-forged-key-ties-to-anti-semitic-groups-in-hunga/

When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic.

“I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again,” Gorka told Breitbart News. Gorka, 46, who was born in Britain to Hungarian parents and is now an American citizen, asked rhetorically, “Why? To remind myself of where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and to help me in my work today.”

But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures.

Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.

When Gorka was asked — in an email exchange with the Forward — about the anti-Semitic records of some of the groups and individuals he has worked with, he instead pivoted to talk about his family’s history.

“My parents, as children, lived through the nightmare of WWII and the horrors of the Nyilas puppet fascist regime,” he said, referring to the Arrow Cross regime that took over Hungary near the very end of World War II and murdered thousands of Jews.

 In the United States, Gorka, who was appointed deputy assistant to the president on January 20, is known as a television commentator, a professor and an “alt-right” writer who describes himself as a counterterrorism expert. A close associate of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Gorka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strategic Initiatives Group.
The newly formed group consists of figures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the National Security Council in formulating policies for the president.
Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary

President Trump Breaks a Promise on Transgender Rights

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/president-trump-breaks-a-promise-on-transgender-rights.html?ref=opinion

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump broke with Republican Party orthodoxy by vowing to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from violence and oppression. Soon after taking office, President Trump announced that he intended to continue enforcing an executive order his predecessor issued to protect L.G.B.T. people from workplace discrimination.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” the White House said in a statement on Jan. 31. Then along came Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

During his first week in office, Mr. Sessions halted the Justice Department’s efforts to defend in court the legality of the Obama administration’s guidance to school districts on how to provide a safe and inclusive environment for transgender students. A key part of that guidance advised school officials to allow transgender students to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

This week, Mr. Sessions and the Department of Education rescinded the guidance entirely. His baffling rationale was that it added to the confusion around an issue that has prompted spirited debates and legal fights around the country.

In fact, it did the opposite. Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who has been fighting his Virginia school district for the right to use the boys’ restroom on campus. Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice took the position that existing federal law already confers that right. Mr. Sessions has reversed the government’s course.

Of all the matters of consequence before the new attorney general, it is curious that Mr. Sessions made repealing this guidance, and abandoning its defense, priorities. He clashed earlier in the week with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who reportedly felt uneasy about rescinding the guidelines, a move that will make students vulnerable. After the two made their case to the president, Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general.

This is unsurprising. Mr. Trump has demonstrated time and again that his stated personal convictions are malleable. A genuine champion of gay and transgender rights would have steered clear of politicians like Mr. Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence, who have gone to great lengths to vilify and oppress gay and transgender Americans.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/president-trump-breaks-a-promise-on-transgender-rights.html?ref=opinion

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on President Trump Breaks a Promise on Transgender Rights

Hey! Transgender Kids

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Hey! Transgender Kids

Liberal Redneck – Trump and Trans

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Liberal Redneck – Trump and Trans

Yes, liberals are planning town hall protests. It’s called democracy

From  The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/23/town-hall-protests-donald-trump-angry-crowds

Donald Trump sneered at ‘angry crowds’ holding politicians to account. That’s exactly what we’re doing – and we’re only just getting started


Feb. 23, 2017

Americans are flooding into town halls across the country. Fearful that their country is being torn apart, they are turning out to protest their representatives in record numbers. Clearly, the furious crowds have gotten under Donald Trump’s skin. In a sneering tweet, the president dismissed the “so-called angry crowds” at town hall events as “planned by liberal activists.” We’ll take that as a compliment.

More than two dozen progressive activist groups are using ResistanceRecess.com, a site posted just last week by MoveOn.org, to search among more than 500 local congressional events around the country. Anyone can RSVP for an event and get a reminder email. So yes, that’s evidence of planning – apparently more planning than goes into a typical executive order issued by this White House.

But here’s the thing: the crowds are unmistakably real, and the anger runs deep.

Many of those showing up at town hall events have never done anything like that in their lives. Just like the participants in the millions-strong Women’s March and the spontaneous airport protests, the people filling these town hall events are acting with moral urgency – and with a deeply responsible sense of civic duty. Now it’s up to members of Congress to decide how to respond.

They can listen to their constituents, do their jobs and pull the country back from the precipice that Trump seems so determined to drive it off of. Or they can fail to heed the voices of their own voters – and face the consequences at the ballot box.

But one thing’s for sure: even after Congress returns from recess, the resistance isn’t going anywhere. We voters are watching.

The intensity at the town halls is so high that more than 200 elected officials have reportedly abandoned public forums in February entirely. But they’re in for the worst of it. Where politicians are cowering in fear of their constituents, citizens are forging ahead with town hall events of their own – with an empty seat at the front reserved for their member of Congress.

If their invited representatives don’t show up, the absence will speak volumes to the local news cameras and Facebook Live feeds streaming from their constituents’ mobile phones. And to make sure nobody forgets that their officials have gone AWOL, they’re buying local newspaper ads calling them out and plastering milk cartons with “MISSING” stickers in their local supermarkets.

Resistance Recess is blowing the Republicans’ momentum out to sea. But it’s not just Republicans facing energized crowds. In blue states and congressional districts, citizens are thronging to public events as well, demanding full-throated, no-fear resistance from Democratic lawmakers.

Their message: when fundamental principles, and our very constitution, is at stake, there is no room for compromise. Democrats who get the message and pledge to fight are greeted by cheers. Those who still haven’t realized that these aren’t normal times – and that their role now is to resist, not appease – are engulfed by fierce chanting: “Do your job!”

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/23/town-hall-protests-donald-trump-angry-crowds

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Yes, liberals are planning town hall protests. It’s called democracy