It’s not a joke anymore.

In the bowels of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, three blocks from the White House, members of the so-called alt-right movement gathered for what they had supposed would be an autopsy to plot their grim future under a Clinton administration. Instead, they celebrated the unexpected march of their white nationalist ideas toward the mainstream, portraying Mr. Trump’s win as validation that the tide had turned in their fight to preserve white culture.

“It’s been an awakening,” Richard B. Spencer, who is credited with coining the term alt-right, said at the gathering on Saturday. “This is what a successful movement looks like.”

The movement has been critical of politicians of all stripes for promoting diversity, immigration and perceived political correctness. Its critics call it a rebranded version of the Ku Klux Klan, promoting anti-Semitism, violence and suppression of minorities.

Intellectual leaders of the movement argue that they are merely trying to realize their desire for a white “ethno-state” where they can be left alone. Mr. Trump, with his divisive language about immigrants and Muslims, has given them hope that these dreams can come true.

White Nationalists Celebrate ‘an Awakening’ After Donald Trump’s Victory, The New York Times, 19 Nov 2016

First off, “white culture” is mentioned in the quote above. What the fuck is that? It sounds like an oxymoron to me.

In the 10+ years I’ve been running this site, I’ve posted very few entries on politics. I’d rather post on graphic design, web design, art, culture, cars, and technology, but I’m both scared and fascinated by Donald Trump, especially now that he is our president-elect.

Sure, it might be fun for some people to see Alec Baldwin portray him on Saturday Night Live, but I don’t find myself laughing that much. It’s not a joke for me anymore.

I’m concerned both with what Trump is capable of doing with his power as president, and with what white nationalists — a euphemism for racists, in my opinion — are capable of doing.

Feeding the Phenomenon

There’s an exploitation going on here that the media justifies for self-interested reasons. They recognize that most of the people in the debates are not serious candidates — they’re running to be talk show hosts, or something like that. In any case, the belief is that this stuff is not actually deciding the election.

But this stuff gets talked about, and that’s why they do it. Trump understood that and he’s exploited it masterfully. He recognized the rules of the game and took advantage of it in a way we haven’t seen.

The press is often blamed for the politics we get; what usually happens is the press exaggerates and reinforces the phenomenon that it observes. It doesn’t create the phenomenon – it makes it bigger; it feeds it. And then the phenomenon wouldn’t be able to contain itself without the press being a willing enabler.

How Trump masterfully exploited the structural weaknesses of the press, Vox, 8 Nov 2016


Trump Says Transition’s Going ‘Smoothly,’ Disputing Disarray Reports:

The president-elect criticized a report in The New York Times about his early telephone contacts with foreign leaders. In a post on Twitter, he said he had made and received “calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing @nytimes said. Russia, U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Japan.”

In fact, The Times reported that Mr. Trump had taken calls from the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Russia and Britain, but said they had been conducted haphazardly and without State Department briefings that traditionally guide conversations with foreign leaders.

Of the transition effort, Mr. Trump wrote: “It is going so smoothly.”

According to Trump, the United States is a mess, but his shitshow isn’t a shitshow. If you’re stupid enough to believe him, everything always goes smoothly for him, all the time.

I still can’t believe this is happening.

Trump: “I was just fucking with you. I love lobbyists!”

NYTimes: Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They’re on His Transition Team:

President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.

Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.

If this news comes as a surprise to you, you’re an idiot.

It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

NYTimes: Donald Trump’s Victory Is Met With Shock Across a Wide Political Divide:

Among the candidates for cabinet secretaries and advisers are members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, aides said, including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a crucial adviser on policy issues; Steven Mnuchin, a businessman who was Mr. Trump’s national finance chairman; Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; and Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House.

Christie. Giuliani. Gingrich.

That’s one of the most sickening sentences I’ve ever read.

The High Maintenance Man-Baby with Tiny Hands

Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance:

Mr. Trump’s campaign is no longer making headlines with embarrassing staff shake-ups. But that has left him with a band of squabbling and unfireable advisers, with confusing roles and an inability to sign off on basic tasks. A plan to encourage early voting in Florida went unapproved for weeks.

The result is chaotic. Advisers cut loose from the campaign months ago, like Corey Lewandowski, still talk to the candidate frequently, offering advice that sometimes clashes with that of the current leadership team. Mr. Trump, who does not use a computer, rails against the campaign’s expenditure of tens of millions on digital ads, skeptical that spots he never sees could have any effect.

Trump doesn’t use a computer and his campaign staff took control of his Twitter account. It seems like he spends half his time on Twitter. Where is he channeling all his angst?

His head might explode in the next 48 hours.

Trump and Russian Banks, Sitting In a DNS Tree…

Over at Slate, Franklin Foer reports on a weird log of communications between Donald Trump’s servers and a bank in Russia:

In late July, one of these scientists—who asked to be referred to as Tea Leaves, a pseudonym that would protect his relationship with the networks and banks that employ him to sift their data—found what looked like malware emanating from Russia. The destination domain had Trump in its name, which of course attracted Tea Leaves’ attention. But his discovery of the data was pure happenstance—a surprising needle in a large haystack of DNS lookups on his screen. “I have an outlier here that connects to Russia in a strange way,” he wrote in his notes. He couldn’t quite figure it out at first. But what he saw was a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server registered to the Trump Organization on Fifth Avenue.


The researchers quickly dismissed their initial fear that the logs represented a malware attack. The communication wasn’t the work of bots. The irregular pattern of server lookups actually resembled the pattern of human conversation—conversations that began during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow. It dawned on the researchers that this wasn’t an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.


Tea Leaves and his colleagues plotted the data from the logs on a timeline. What it illustrated was suggestive: The conversation between the Trump and Alfa servers appeared to follow the contours of political happenings in the United States. “At election-related moments, the traffic peaked,” according to Camp. There were considerably more DNS lookups, for instance, during the two conventions.

Could there be a bigger black-kettle-calling pot in the world than Donald Trump?

For every inaction, there is a reaction.

Putting aside their policy differences and the fact that Mr. Trump disparaged Mr. Cruz’s wife and father during their primary battle, Mr. Cruz said that after considerable thought and prayer he had concluded that Mr. Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton.

The cowardice within the Republican party is astonishing. To not have the balls to renounce Trump and all he’s said (in general, and against his own party members) is going to have massive repercussions on the GOP.

Millions of us scratch our heads and wonder, “How did we get here?”

The lack of action to throw Trump out with the garbage many months ago explains some, but not all of that question.

I firmly believe Trump could have called Cruz’s mom a whore and he’d still endorse him.

First-Debate Loser

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten says First-Debate Losers Aren’t More Likely To Rebound In The Second Debate:

Seven out of nine times, the polls moved by less than about 2 percentage points. Trump is currently behind by 5.6 percentage points in the FiveThirtyEight polls-only popular vote forecast. So Hillary Clinton would still be up by a wider margin than she was heading into the first debate, if Trump got an average second-debate bounce. Still, the polls moved by 5 to 6 points twice, in 1988 and 1992, so such a shift isn’t out of the question.

Unlike first debates, there’s no pattern in which party tends to benefit, the party that holds the White House or the challenging party. Five times the incumbent party gained ground; four times the challenger did. The larger bounces fit this pattern as well. One (1988 for Republican George H.W. Bush) was for the incumbent party, and one (1992 for Democrat Bill Clinton) was for the challenging party.

There’s also no sign that candidates who lose the first debate are therefore more likely to rebound in the second debate.

You can argue about who you think will win tomorrow night’s debate, but you can’t argue that it won’t be interesting. If it’s true Hillary is waiting for the debate to unleash on Trump regarding his hot mic comments about his lewd comments about women including, and I quote, “grab them by the pussy”, then the debate could unravel quickly for Mister Orange Face.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

The New York Times: Inside the Failing Mission to Save Donald Trump From Himself:

And Mr. Trump has begun to acknowledge to associates and even in public that he might lose. In an interview on CNBC on Thursday, he said he was prepared to face defeat.

“I’ll just keep doing the same thing I’m doing right now,” he said. “And at the end, it’s either going to work, or I’m going to, you know, I’m going to have a very, very nice, long vacation.”

Sounds like insanity to me.

Enjoy your very, very nice, long vacation, Trump.

Narcissistic Injury

Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, posted a great series of tweets delving into the mind of Donald Trump and what he could be expected to do if he faces defeat this fall.

What a crazy year 2016 is turning out to be.