Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last Call For Grayed Out

Prosecutors in Maryland are dropping all charges against the officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Charges against the remaining three Baltimore Police Officers in the Freddie Gray case were dropped Wednesday morning. 
The decision was announced at the start of a pretrial motions hearing for Officer Garrett Miller, who was the next scheduled officer to stand trial. Officer William Porter was to be retried in September, and Sgt. Alicia White was scheduled for trial in October. 
Officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson Jr. and Lt. Brian Rice have previously been acquitted of all charges in the case, and the trial of Porter ended in a hung jury and mistrial last December. 
The six officers were charged in the arrest and death of Gray, a 25-year-old who suffered a severe spinal injury in the back of a police van on April 12, 2015, and died a week later. His death touched off citywide protests against police brutality, which were followed by rioting, arson and looting on the day of his funeral.

So that's it.  Nobody will go to jail for Gray's death.  Nobody.

Black lives barely matter in America.

Black deaths matter even less.

I am numb.

Assange Gives Away The Game

Whether or not you buy the overwhelming evidence that Russia and Vladimir Putin provided WikiLeaks with stolen DNC emails in order to help throw the election, can we at least all stop pretending that the DNC leaks weren't timed by Julian Assange to specifically hurt the Clinton campaign as much as possible, especially when Assange himself has admitted he would rather see Trump elected?

Six weeks before the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks published an archive of hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of the Democratic convention, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, foreshadowed the release — and made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency.

Mr. Assange’s remarks in a June 12 interview underscored that for all the drama of the discord that the disclosures have sown among supporters of Bernie Sanders — and of the unproven speculation that the Russian government provided the hacked data to WikiLeaks in order to help Donald J. Trump — the disclosures are also the latest chapter in the long-running tale of Mr. Assange’s battles with the Obama administration.

In the interview, Mr. Assange told a British television host, Robert Peston of the ITV network, that his organization had obtained “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” which he pronounced “great.” He also suggested that he not only opposed her candidacy on policy grounds, but also saw her as a personal foe.

At one point, Mr. Peston said: “Plainly, what you are saying, what you are publishing, hurts Hillary Clinton. Would you prefer Trump to be president?”

Mr. Assange replied that what Mr. Trump would do as president was “completely unpredictable.” By contrast, he thought it was predictable that Mrs. Clinton would wield power in two ways he found problematic.

First, citing his “personal perspective,” Mr. Assange accused Mrs. Clinton of having been among those pushing to indict him after WikiLeaks disseminated a quarter of a million diplomatic cables during her tenure as secretary of state.

“We do see her as a bit of a problem for freedom of the press more generally,” Mr. Assange said.

(The cables, along with archives of military documents, were leaked by Pvt. Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley Manning, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence. WikiLeaks also provided the documents to news outlets, including The New York Times. Despite a criminal investigation into Mr. Assange, he has not been charged; the status of that investigation is murky.)

In addition, Mr. Assange criticized Mrs. Clinton for pushing to intervene in Libya in 2011 when Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was cracking down on Arab Spring protesters; he said that the result of the NATO air war was Libya’s collapse into anarchy, enabling the Islamic State to flourish.

“She has a long history of being a liberal war hawk, and we presume she is going to proceed” with that approach if elected president, he said.

Guys, WikiLeaks has been part of Russia's counter-operations against Obama and the US for years now.  Assange went on TV six weeks ago to brag about how those emails were going to hurt Clinton and he made good on his boast.  All indications are that they were given this stuff by the Russians too.

Ask yourself why both Assange and Putin so badly want to see Trump elected.


Absolution Row, Or Roy's Lament

Our old friend Avik Roy, professional Forbes columnist, political operative and Obamacare liar, has finally come to terms with the demise of the GOP.  Now the Party of Trump, Roy admits to Vox's Zack Beauchamp that the Republican party is suffering through its McGovern moment.

Avik Roy is a Republican’s Republican. A health care wonk and editor at Forbes, he has worked for three Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. Much of his adult life has been dedicated to advancing the Republican Party and conservative ideals. 
But when I caught up with Roy at a bar just outside the Republican convention, he said something I’ve never heard from an establishment conservative before: The Grand Old Party is going to die. 
“I don’t think the Republican Party and the conservative movement are capable of reforming themselves in an incremental and gradual way,” he said. “There’s going to be a disruption.” 
Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans. 
“Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by that principle, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country,” he told me. 
This is a standard assessment among liberals, but it is frankly shocking to hear from a prominent conservative thinker. Our conversation had the air of a confessional: of Roy admitting that he and his intellectual comrades had gone wrong, had failed, had sinned.

There's a lot of that going around these days, and I'll say what I always say to Republicans looking for absolution: you will never find it from me.  You created this monster and did everything you could to empower it with the ability to destroy this country and 99% of the people in it, including yourselves.

You lost control of the Rough Beast and once again you are looking to the rest of us to clean up the mess it made. I'm wholly uninterested in your confessions, Mr. Roy, or your apologies.  What I want you to do is to have the good grace to shut the hell up and sit the hell down while the rest of us fix this country, and then the wisdom to stay silent while we make your miserable failures into a country worth being proud of.

Most of all, you preyed on this country and gave voice to the hatred, the bigotry, the divisive rancor and the outright racism that fed and watered an electorate that gave rise to Trump.  You made them powerful.  We have to deal with that now because of people like you.

Please take your analysis and your lament, cover them with broken glass and lemon juice, and shove them up your ass sideways.

Thanks for that ahead of time.

StupidiNews!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Last Call For Operating In A Grayson Area

The Democratic primary in Florida next month (I know, why can't Florida just have one primary) to decide who will take on GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is between Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Patrick Murphy.

Or that was until today, when Politico dropped this dynamite all over the race and blew up what final shreds of respect I had for the man I once tagged as being one of the few Dems left with a spine.

Rep. Alan Grayson's ex-wife repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period, according to documents she has provided to POLITICO, revelations that come as the Florida congressman enters the final weeks of his Democratic primary campaign for Senate
Lolita Grayson called police on her husband at least two times in Virginia and two more times in Florida, sought medical attention on at least two occasions and said that, in one instance, he had threatened to kill her, according to a police report.

The congressman, who also asserted Lolita Grayson battered him in 2014, vehemently denies he engaged in any abuse during their 25-year marriage, which ended last year in a bitter annulment that she is now appealing. 
The first reported incident described by the documents was in 1994, the final one was in 2014. She also called Orange County sheriff’s deputies in 2005 to lodge another abuse complaint, but prosecutors filed no charges in that incident or any of the others. Only the 2014 incident has been previously reported. 
“I want the people to know my story so they know what kind of man Alan Grayson really is,” Lolita Grayson, 56, said in an email to POLITICO, her first public comments on the issue. She provided police and medical records related to 1994 and 1999 incidents in Fairfax County in Virginia, and sheriff’s reports concerning 2005 and 2014 incidents in Orange County, Florida. 
“I requested the medical records and police records so people could read what doctors and police officers wrote,” she stated. “I read many of these records for the first time. These are very painful memories and horrible experiences.” 
Through his lawyer, Mark NeJame, Grayson denied ever striking or abusing Lolita Grayson. 
"Lolita is a disturbed woman. She has made one false allegation after another. Her own daughter refutes her," said NeJame, referring to a statement from the couple’s oldest child.

This story of domestic abuse in the Graysons' marriage is horrible, but if Lolita Grayson went to police multiple times over two decades in order to do something about her husband abusing her, then I have to say that not only does Lolita Grayson need to be believed and her charges examined, but that Grayson sure as hell needs to drop out of this Senate race and find a replacement for his current House seat as well.

I want Grayson gone from Congress at the very least.

Trump Cards, Con't

Remember, there's no reason to believe Donald Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin is anything but on the level, and that there would be no quid pro quo if he were elected president. Certainly there's no evidence that his nationalism is really indicative of a pattern of willingness to walk away from NATO responsibilities and to cede territory to a hungry Moscow or anything nefarious like that.

At a Monday rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Donald Trump doubled down on his previous controversial remarks regarding American support for NATO allies.

In an interview with The New York Times last week, Trump hesitated to commit to a defense of Baltic states in the case of Russian aggression, saying that it would depend on whether or not those NATO allies had "fulfilled their obligations" to the United States. 
On Monday night, however, Trump offered an even more explicit ultimatum to NATO allies. 
"I want them to pay," he said. "They don’t pay us what they should be paying! We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything." 
He went on to criticize former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record: "She makes it impossible to negotiate. She’s not a negotiator. She’s a fool.” 
"We have to walk," Trump added. "Within two days they're calling back! Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want.
"They will pay us if the right person asks," he said. "That’s the way it works, folks. That’s the way it works."

This of course is the not the first time Trump has been trying to sell NATO as a rip-off of American taxpayer dollars that's somehow a one-sided arrangement where all these puny, weak Baltic states are sponging off Joe Six Pack in Muncie.

It's pretty dangerous stuff, and despite all the evidence that Russia is actively helping to sabotage the Democrats, here's Trump saying America doesn't need to meet its military contributions to protect NATO allies.

You know, from Russia. "We have to walk" instead.

I'm sure it's nothing.

Revolutions Keep Coming Around

If it seems like history is repeating itself in the way Donald Trump is running against Black Lives Matter, that's because as Victoria Massie at Vox points out, Goldwater ran against the civil rights movement in 1964 as the "law and order" candidate.

Three years after the Black Lives Matter movement began, not everyone understands the movement’s mission. And as evidenced during the Republican National Convention, some people like Donald Trump are invested in exploiting those misunderstandings for political points.

But the fire Trump’s igniting is fueled by a country that has historically resisted black social justice movements.

According to American National Election Studies, 57 percent of Americans in 1964 said most of black people’s actions during the Civil Rights Movement in the most recent year were violent. Sixty-three percent of Americans believed that the Civil Rights Movement was moving “too fast.” And a majority of Americans (58 percent) believed that black people’s actions for the movement hurt their own cause.

Sound familiar?

And just a reminder: Two of the key actions by civil rights activists in 1963 were the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech; and “Bloody Sunday,” where Alabama state troopers brutally beat peaceful protestors attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery for their right to vote.

But Americans today share similar attitudes toward the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Thirty-six percent of Americans of who have heard about Black Lives Matter don’t really understand its goals.

And Americans are split on the effectiveness of the movement in achieving racial equality in the long run: while 8 percent say Black Lives Matter will be very effective, 30 percent say Black Lives Matter will be somewhat effective, compared to 33 percent who doubt the movement’s effectiveness. The remaining 29 percent either weren’t familiar with the movement or did not provide an opinion.

The practical upshot is that while Barry Goldwater got smoked in 1964 by Johnson, Nixon won in 1968 running against the civil right movement too when Americans had an even dimmer view of both Johnson and the civil rights movement he helped to propel.

That Pew Research poll also finds that a plurality of white Americans believe Black Lives Matter isn't helping achieve racial equality with only 14% strongly supporting it.

We still have a long way to go.

StupidiNews!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last Call For An Old Friend

It was good seeing Jon Stewart back at the desk last week as Stephen Colbert pulled his friend out of retirement Thursday night on the Late Show to sum up the Republican National Dumpster Fire and the departure of FOX News head vampire Roger Ailes.






At that point, a bearded, T-shirt-wearing Stewart appeared beside Colbert. “I was wondering if I could just maybe talk about the election for a little bit,” he said, asking the Late Show host to step aside so he could take over. After strapping on a jacket and clip-on tie, he seemed to finally feel back at home delivering the type of scathing political commentary we haven’t heard from Trevor Noah or Colbert since Stewart entered retirement last year.

Starting with the RNC, Stewart said, “The Republicans appear to have a very clear plan for America. One, jail your political opponent. Two, inject Rudy Giuliani with a speedball-and-Red Bull enema, and, three, spend the rest of the time scaring the holy bejesus out of everybody.”

But instead of that, Stewart said he wanted to focus on the “contortions many conservatives will have to do to embrace Donald J. Trump, a man who clearly embodies all the things that they have said for years that they have hated about Barack Obama.” After playing a series of Fox News pundits ripping the Democratic president, he said, “A ‘thin-skinned narcissist’ with ‘no government experience?’ Yes, that sounds exactly like Barack Obama.”

To trace the journey of how the conservative media have been and will continue to “justify” the choice that Republicans have made, Stewart homed in on a single target: Fox News host Sean Hannity, whom he referred to as “Lumpy.”

Watch the clip, and remind yourself just how much we miss the guy.

The Roads Past Obama

Jonathan Martin of the NY Times asks where do the Democrats go should they win in 2017, and the best he can come up with is "maybe we'll have roads."

It is hardly the stuff of the Great Society, a moonshot or even “a chicken in every pot.” But there is a view among Democrats that rebuilding the country’s roads, bridges, airports and railways represents an opportunity to use government in a way that can create jobs, appeal to both wings of their own party and win over some Republicans, who may have a difficult time saying no to an infusion of money for their states and districts.

“Who’s against infrastructure?” Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia said.

Mr. McAuliffe, a close friend and ally of the Clintons, said that in his new capacity as chairman of the National Governors Association he would convene an infrastructure summit meeting with the nation’s governors immediately after the election to build momentum for a bill and exert pressure on congressional Republicans.

Yet beyond this short-term objective, there are clashing views about how to further the cause of economic equality at a moment of technological transformation. Centrist Democrats are focused largely on changes to the tax code, work-force development and other incremental steps to help people adjust to a shifting workplace.

“We all believe in economic opportunity for everybody,” Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware said. “The difference between myself and Senator Sanders and Senator Warren,” he added, referring to Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, “is they think that’s not happening because the system is rigged, and I think it’s not happening because the system is changing.”

The strength of Mr. Sanders’s campaign, however, has emboldened liberals and made them unwilling to settle for small-bore changes to the political system.

“Many working people were inspired by his message of aiming higher, not for continuity,” said Larry Cohen, the former president of the communications workers’ union and a prominent backer of Mr. Sanders. Echoing the former candidate, Mr. Cohen said major changes were needed to the country’s campaign finance laws, banks and trade laws.

“The way we put food on the table and higher education within reach is to create a democracy where working people count as much as wealthy people,” he said.

Mary Kay Henry, the president of the service workers’ union, said the party’s liberal platform reflected Democrats’ “choice to meet the moment” and the pressure that progressive activists have applied to the party elite.

“We think that government now has to play a role in backing the collective action happening all across the progressive movement,” Ms. Henry said, pointing to efforts to organize fast-food workers as one example.

Ilya Sheyman, the executive director of the progressive MoveOn.org, said it would be incumbent on Mrs. Clinton to fight for the parts of Mr. Sanders’s populist agenda she has embraced. “If she runs on those ideas, forces Republicans to take tough votes, then ultimately the voters will reward the party that speaks to their economic concerns,” he said.

But for Democrats facing re-election in two years, especially in more competitive parts of the country, there is more of an appetite for conciliation than for confrontation.

“It’s important to show the American people that Washington can work,” said Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “I personally feel urgency about getting some things done.”

The problem is as long as Republicans control either or both chambers in Congress, or God help us the White House, government will not work.  Really, all the heavy lifting President Obama did came in 2009 and 2010, when the Democrats were in charge.

I'm much more worried about a post-meltdown GOP than I am a post-Obama Democratic Party. As i keep saying, the 60 million or so people who will vote for Trump aren't magically going to vanish on November 9th.

Keeping bridges from collapsing may be too much to hope for.

Bouncy House Of Cards

It looks like Donald Trump's message of fear and loathing in America at last week's convention has given him the campaign boost he was looking for, particularly among white voters, according to CNN's latest polling.

Donald Trump comes out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%. That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups. 
There hasn't been a significant post-convention bounce in CNN's polling since 2000. That year Al Gore and George W. Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical 8 points post-convention before ultimately battling all the way to the Supreme Court.

The new findings mark Trump's best showing in a CNN/ORC Poll against Clinton since September 2015. Trump's new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump's convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%). Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.  
Trump's newfound lead is also boosted by a sharp increase in support from whites without college degrees. In the new poll they break 62% for Trump to 23% for Clinton, while whites who hold at least a bachelor's degree have actually tilted more pro-Clinton since the convention (from a 40% to 40% split pre-convention to a 44% Clinton to 39% Trump divide now). 
The poll also reflects a sharpening of the education divide among whites that has been prevalent throughout the campaign. Among white voters with college degrees, Clinton actually gained ground compared with pre-convention results, going from an even 40% to 40% split to a 44% to 39% edge over Trump. That while Trump expanded his lead with white voters who do not hold a college degree from a 51% to 31% lead before the convention to a 62% to 23% lead now.
Beyond boosting his overall support, Trump's favorability rating is also on the rise (46% of registered voters say they have a positive view, up from 39% pre-convention), while his advantage over Clinton on handling top issues climbs. He now holds double-digit margins over Clinton as more trusted on the economy and terrorism. Trump also cut into Clinton's edge on managing foreign policy (50% said they trusted her more, down from 57% pre-convention). 

So yes, Trump actually scared off white voters with college degrees and gave Clinton a five-point edge from a tie, but he effectively doubled his 20-point lead among white voters without a college degree to nearly 40 points.

That's what he was shooting for, and that's what he got.  Despite the notion that the GOP convention was a dumpster fire, it was actually extremely successful in solidifying the working-class white vote behind Trump.  The 50-state Southern Strategy is starting to pay off.

Fear.  It works, at least in the short term. Morning Consult's polling finds a similar bounce for Trump as a result.

Now we'll see what Clinton can do to in order to swing things the other way as we head into the final three months of the campaign.  I have some issues with CNN's sampling that raises a few questions too,

Finally, after saying all that some perspective here: if this is the best Trump can do after his convention bounce, then he's still in trouble come November.

You're up, Madam Secretary.

StupidiNews!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Last Call For Debbie, Done

For better or for worse, I've been calling for the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair since leading the Dems' disastrous midterm efforts in 2014 resulting in the lowest election turnout in modern history and the loss of the Senate to Mitch McConnell and the GOP, and this week's events finally proved too much to save her position.

The controversial chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced she would resign at the end of her party’s convention this week, a victim of her toxic relationship with peers and a trove of embarrassing internal emails.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals [of winning the presidency for Hillary Clinton] is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention,” Wasserman Schultz said in a written statement. “As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”

Donna Brazile, a Democratic Party stalwart, is expected to run the DNC through the election, according to multiple sources briefed on the plan. Brazile, who briefly served as chair in 2011, is a CNN contributor, and must forgo that contract to take the reins of the DNC. And she's still subject to a party vote this week in Philadelphia.

President Barack Obama paid tribute to her in a statement: For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful."

And that she was fired, of course.

The WikiLeaks story was the last straw in a string of screw-ups.  It's easy to blame the Russians or Assange over this, and yes, it was the mother of all dirty tricks, but Schultz botched the handling of the leak from hour one, and let's not forget that she sandbagged President Obama on the Iran nuclear deal last year, which was when I started calling for her resignation.

Again Donna Brazile will be taking over, and I believe she's infinitely more competent than Schultz at this point (and I think she should stay on.)

This is something that should have happened early last year after the midterms, and now the Dems can correct it and move on.  Not thrilled about Schultz joining the Clinton campaign as an adviser, but I guess that was the price of her stepping down.

We'll see how this goes.

Comic Relief

Marvel rolled out the big guns Saturday at San Diego Comic Con for their Cinematic Universe presentation, focusing on their upcoming 2016, 2017 and 2018 films, including Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and more.

Amid fog and lasers on Saturday, Marvel gave frenzied fans at Comic-Con their first look at a new Black Panther movie cast, the mysterious Doctor Strange, a Spider-Man teen movie and an Oscar-winning actress as the new Captain Marvel.

The 6,500-plus audience, many of whom had queued overnight at San Diego's annual film and pop culture event, were introduced to the lead cast of the "Black Panther" movie, directed by "Creed" filmmaker Ryan Coogler.

Chadwick Boseman plays the titular hero while Michael B. Jordan is his arch nemesis, Erik Killmonger, and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o plays the warrior Nakia.

"I'm looking forward to kicking some ass," Nyong'o said.

Walt Disney Co-owned Marvel showcased diverse casts for its upcoming films after facing criticism over recent years for a superhero franchise dominated by white male actors.

Oscar-winning "Room" actress Brie Larson was revealed as "Captain Marvel," but no details were given on the 2018 movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch entered amid a cloud of fog to show a scene from "Doctor Strange," out in November, in which neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who lost the use of his hands in an accident, meets the Ancient One to harness the mysterious world of magic and alternate dimensions.

Director Scott Derrickson said "Doctor Strange" comics brought "a whole new voice" to the Marvel universe.

"It's very, very different and the scale is something else," Cumberbatch said.

All of this plus Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, along with Thor: Ragnarok, all will be leading up to the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies in a few years.  I really can't wait.

Sunday Long Read: Attention To Derail

This week on Sunday Long Reads we have author Laurie Penny's piece in Medium about the "attention economy", the world of professional right-wing social media trolls who only exist to self-aggrandize and cause as much chaos as possible to their own benefit.  Donald Trump has lead the way on monetizing this mindset, and if Trump is king, the Crown Prince is right-wing bomb-juggler Milo Yiannopolous.

This is a story about how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics. It’s a story about the insider traders of the attention economy. It’s a story about fear and loathing and Donald Trump and you and me. It’s not a story about Milo Yiannopoulos, the professional alt-right provocateur who was just banned from Twitter permanently for sending racist abuse to actor Leslie Jones.

But it does start with Milo. So I should probably explain how we know each other and how, on a hot, weird night in Cleveland, I came to be riding in the backseat of his swank black trollmobile to the gayest neo-fascist rally at the RNC.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a charming devil and one of the worst people I know. I have seen the death of political discourse reflected in his designer sunglasses. It chills me. We met four years ago, before he was the self-styled “most fabulous supervillain on the internet,” when he was just another floppy-haired right-wing pundit and we were guests on opposing sides of a panel show whose topic I don’t remember and can’t be bothered to look up. Afterwards we got hammered in the green room and ran around the BBC talking about boys. It was fun.

Since that day, there is absolutely nothing I have been able to say to Milo to persuade him that we are not friends. The more famous he gets off the back of extravagantly abusing women and minorities, the more I tell him I hate him and everything he stands for, the more he laughs and asks when we’re drinking. I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles. He thinks that’s funny and invites me to his parties.

“Feminism is cancer” is one of Milo’s signature slogans, and yet it took him only seconds after learning we’d both be at the Republican Convention in Cleveland to offer me a lift to his ‘Wake Up!’ rally, billed as the most fabulous shindig at the end of America. This time—god help me and the things I do for journalism—I said yes.

So here we are at the Convention, where howling psychopath Donald Trump has just been confirmed as the presidential nominee, to the horror of half of the party and every remaining moderate conservative in America as well as the 15,000 members of the international press who flocked to see the circus in realtime. Milo is loving every second of it. He lost no time climbing on the back of the clown car of the billionaire demagogue who, with ghoulishly oedipal glee, he calls ‘Daddy.’

These are the nihilists and nutjobs riding the Trump Train, and they're surfing the wave after destroying the dam and flooding the country with chaos and hatred.  Some of Milo's fellow travelers are convinced he'll help them build a new twisted version of America, but Penny is right about Milo himself.

Some people just want to see the world burn.
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