Words Fail But One Must Still Speak Out

charlottesville torchlight parade 8 12 2017

White supremacists, neo-Nazis, Alt-right hate-mongers and their allies paraded in a torchlight march in Charlottesville, VA

As the U.S. strongman Donald Trump disgraced himself and the nation on Aug. 15, the challenge is how to comment on the situation ― particularly when so many others have done so eloquently about what is aptly described as the worst day of his presidency.

But this is a time to draw the lines about acceptable behavior and say something even if the words may not be unique about his remarks at Trump Tower in New York City, (where the New York Daily News front paged his remarks on Aug. 16 below right).

elle reeve cnn aug 17 17

Controversy escalated throughout the day, with the Wall Street Journal reporting Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect.

Powerful reactions continued in later days from both the fatal terror attack and a courageous video by Vice News correspondent Elle Reeve showing hundreds of marchers chanting bigoted slogans.

In an interview Aug. 16, Vice News’ Elle Reeve Confirms There Were No ‘Very Fine People’ Among White Supremacists, Reeve told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (shown at left) that her reporting showed that the marchers were organized and did not include the kind of "fine people" Trump had claimed.

On Aug. 15, Trump had wandered off topic from transportation infrastructure to defend the "good people" attending a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as widely reported (with excerpts below from news accounts of the past few days).

djt daily news devils aug 16 17

The tragedy resulted in the deaths of a counter-protester and two state police officers, and many non-fatal injuries among counter-demonstrators. In stark contrast to Trump's words casting in effect equal blame on white nationalists and counter-protesters, a video by Vice taken last Friday showed hundreds of ultra-right marchers chanting hate slogans in a torchlight march (as portrayed in a still photo above). 

Trump's actions revealed also much about him and America's other thought leaders familiar to news audiences. Several of them, including such experienced commentators as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and CNN pundit Van Jones, appeared to choke up with cracked voices and sorrow as they described the impact on the country of Trump's violation of decency norms.

Trumpenstein monster (Image by ABananaPeeled.com licensed under DMCA)

From the GOP, Weekly Standard Editor and Bush 41-Quayle advisor William Kristol, former Jeb Bush presidential advisor Ana Navarro and former Bush 43 White House deputy political director Scott Jennings were among those who drew a red line for fellow Republicans in arguing that they must declare that Trump's words are not acceptable in blaming "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville.

In that spirit, the day's video and print news coverage created a memorable record of who stands where. Excerpts are below.  

Images at top: Trumpenstein monster (Image by ABananaPeeled.com licensed under DMCA and Vice News video screenshot

Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Background

Smithsonian Magazine, Civil War Veterans Come Alive in Audio and Video Recordings Deep in the collections of the Library of Congress, Fergus M. Bordewich, Oct. 4, 2011 (video and audio). Ghostly images and voices of Union and Confederate soldiers. 

Smithsonian Institution via YouTube,

.be" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rare Footage of Civil War Veterans Doing the Rebel Yell, Staff report, Oct 28, 2011. In this exclusive clip from the 1930s, Confederate veterans step up to the mic and let out their version of the fearsome rallying cry.

Related News Coverage (Arranged in reverse chronological order)

More Reaction To White Nationalist Fatal Protest

Aug. 29

washington post logoWashington Post, Aftershocks and finger-pointing continue to roil Charlottesville, weeks after white supremacist rally, Joe Heim, Aug. 29, 2017. As charges have flown about whether the city was prepared for the violent clashes, the City Council will take the unusual step of holding a closed-door session to discuss “the performance and discipline of an elected official.”

Aug. 26

washington post logo

Washington Post, How Charlottesville lost control amid a deadly protest, Aaron C. Davis, Joe Heim and Laura Vozzella, Aug. 26, 2017. Confusion and conflicting information set the stage for what became one of the most violent white nationalist rallies in decades. The presence of the homegrown militia was just one in a series of unanticipated developments in Charlottesville for state and local law enforcement leaders who had planned for weeks for the Aug. 12 showdown between white nationalists and counterprotesters.

Despite warnings to the city manager and police chief that a more aggressive approach was needed, including an appeal from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the local police in charge temporarily lost control of the city as people brawled on the streets, leaving one dead.

Most dangerously, law enforcement experts say, officers initially deployed without adequate protective gear to break up fighting and were not well positioned to keep the peace. As fights erupted, police stayed back. They stood not between the two opposing groups but behind them and off to the sides. And when they cleared the park where rallygoers had gathered near a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, police flushed many of them directly onto the same street where counterprotesters were gathered, according to witnesses and video.

The area became a flashpoint, and video that surfaced Friday appears to show a white nationalist fire a handgun after leaving the park. By the end of the day, two police officers were killed in a helicopter crash. The police tactics on the ground and approach mystified some law enforcement veterans and experts, including former Charlottesville police chief Timothy J. Longo, now a lecturer at the University of Virginia who teaches about the use of force by police.

Washington Post, New video shows man firing into crowd at Charlottesville; and Neo-Nazis marched past their synagogue chanting ‘Sieg Heil.’

Aug. 25

ny times logoNew York Times, Police ‘Never Moved’ as White Nationalist Fired in Virginia, Frances Robles, Aug. 25, 2017. Pleas for help and a safety plan were ignored at a rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly on Aug. 12, participants said. Both sides feel betrayed by law enforcement. As demonstrators clashed near a downtown park here two weeks ago, a white nationalist protester in a bulletproof vest turned, pointed a pistol toward the crowd and fired a single shot at the ground, in the direction of a black man wielding an improvised torch.

To make his escape, a video recording shows, the armed protester strolled past a line of about a dozen state police troopers who were safely positioned about 10 feet away behind two metal barricades. None of them budged.

“We all heard it and ran — I know damn well they heard it,” said Rosia Parker, a community activist in Charlottesville. “They never moved.” The police have identified a suspect in the shooting and intend to arrest him, the city manager said. But residents are still demanding to know why officers did not act in real time as heavily armed people fought and a car sped toward a crowd, killing a woman. So stark was the police failure to intervene, many participants in the protest and counterprotests believe it was by design.

Now, as white-power organizations declare their intentions to rally in cities around the country, police departments are looking to Charlottesville for hints on how to keep the peace — and what mistakes to avoid. Charlottesville, too, is seeking answers.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump’s economic adviser says president ‘must do better’ to denounce white nationalism, Damian Paletta and Philip Rucker, Aug. 25, 2017. Gary Cohn (shown at right), the White House economic adviser who stood beside President Trump last week as he blamed “many sides” for violence during the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, said the Trump administration now “must do better” to condemn neo-Nazis and other hate groups.

Business Insider, Richard Spencer stayed at Trump's D.C. hotel while he planned the Charlottesville rally, Jeremy Berke, Aug. 25, 2017. Richard Spencer, a noted white nationalist and supporter of President Donald Trump, is one of many frequent guests at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., according to a New York Times report published Friday.

Spencer was spotted at the hotel in early August, the Times reported, along with Evan McLaren, who works at Spencer's white nationalist think tank, the National Policy Institute.McLaren declined to answer Times' reporter Katie Rogers' request for comment at the time about his visit to the hotel because he said he was "too busy planning a rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia. That rally, where white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters, left one dead at the hands of an apparent white supremacist.

joe arpaio flag

ny times logoNew York Times, Arpaio Trump Pardon, Editorial board, Aug. 25, 2017. The Constitution gives the president nearly unlimited power to grant clemency to people convicted of federal offenses, so Mr. Trump can pardon Mr. Arpaio. But Mr. Arpaio (shown at right) was an elected official who defied a federal court’s order that he stop violating people’s constitutional rights. He was found in contempt of that court. By pardoning him, Mr. Trump would show his contempt for the American court system and its only means of enforcing the law, since he would be sending a message to other officials that they may flout court orders also.

ny times logoNew York Times, A Pardon for Arpaio Puts Us in Uncharted Territory, Martin H. Redish, Aug. 25, 2017. If the president immunizes officials who violate constitutional rights, there will be no limit on his power.  

Aug. 24chris cantwell elle reeve aug 17 2017 vice screengrab

Elle Reeve, right, of Vice News interviews white nationalist Chris Cantwell in Charlottesville, VA for her documentary broadcast on HBO

washington post logo

Washington Post, White nationalist Christopher Cantwell in custody on Charlottesville charges, Dana Hedgpeth, Aug. 24, 2017. Authorities in Virginia said a self-professed white nationalist who gained notoriety after pepper-spraying a demonstrator in Charlottesville has turned himself in, days after arrest warrants were issued. The University of Virginia Police Department said the charges against Cantwell, 36, included one count of malicious bodily injury by means of a caustic substance and two felony counts of illegal use of tear gas.

chris cantwell mug

Cantwell — shown in a mug shot and who was featured in a widely viewed documentary by Vice News — was wanted for an incident during clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters earlier this month in Charlottesville. The events brought major political fallout after President Trump blamed “many sides” for violence, which included the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer when a driver with suspected Nazi sympathies rammed into a crowd of people.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Christopher Cantwell held without bond in connection with Charlottesville protest, Dana Hedgpeth, Aug. 24, 2017. A self-professed white nationalist featured in a widely watched documentary on the demonstrations in Charlottesville is being held without bond after Virginia authorities say he turned himself in following allegations that he pepper-sprayed a counterprotester.

 The University of Virginia Police Department said Christopher Cantwell, 36, is charged with one count of malicious bodily injury by means of a caustic substance and two felony counts of illegal use of tear gas. Cantwell had turned himself in late Wednesday to the Lynchburg Police Department. Cantwell — who was featured in a widely viewed documentary by Vice News — was wanted for an incident during clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters earlier this month in Charlottesville.  

washington post logo

Washington Post, The shadow of an assassinated American Nazi commander hangs over Charlottesville, Michael E. Miller, Aug. 24, 2017. George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, coined the phrase “white power” before he was shot by a disaffected follower 50 years ago in Arlington. He remains an influential figure to white supremacists.

Aug. 23

ny times logo

New York Times, Unbridled and Defensive, Trump Takes Aim at Press, Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman, Aug. 22, 2017. President Trump defended his earlier statement about the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va., and accused the “dishonest media” of distorting his words. Speaking against illegal immigration, the president suggested that Joe Arpaio, the hard-line former sheriff, would eventually be pardoned, but he said he was putting it off to avoid controversy. 

washington post logo

Washington Post, The strange story of that ‘Blacks for Trump’ guy standing behind POTUS at his Phoenix rally, Katie Mettler and Lindsey Bever, Aug. 23, 2017. At a number of political rallies over the past year, a character calling himself “Michael the Black Man” has appeared in the crowd directly behind Donald Trump, impossible to miss and prompting widespread fascination. He holds signs that scream “BLACKS FOR TRUMP” and wears a T-shirt proclaiming with equal conviction that “TRUMP & Republicans Are Not Racist.”

Almost always, he plugs his wild website, Gods2.com, across his chest. And so it was Tuesday night before a crowd of Trump supporters in Phoenix who had come to watch another show. There was the president, whipping up the wildly cheering crowd, and then there was Michael the Black Man, chanting just beyond Trump’s right shoulder in that trademark T-shirt.

The presence of Michael — variously known as Michael Symonette, Maurice Woodside and Mikael Israel — has inspired not only trending Twitter hashtags but a great deal of curiosity and Google searches. Internet sleuths find the man’s bizarre URL, an easily accessible gateway to his strange and checkered past. The radical fringe activist from Miami once belonged to a violent black supremacist religious cult, and he runs a handful of amateur, unintelligible conspiracy websites. He has called Barack Obama “The Beast” and Hillary Clinton a Ku Klux Klan member. Oprah Winfrey, he says, is the devil.

Most curiously, in the 1990s, he was charged, then acquitted, with conspiracy to commit two murders. In the early 1990s, the New Times reported, Woodside, Yahweh and 14 other members of the cult were arrested by federal agents and charged with racketeering and conspiracy in 14 murders and a firebombing, reported the New Times.

washington post logo

Washington Post, As Trump ranted and rambled in Phoenix, his crowd slowly thinned, Jenna Johnson, Aug. 23, 2017. Just before President Trump strolled onto the rally stage on Tuesday evening, four speakers took turns carefully denouncing hate, calling for unity and ever so subtly assuring the audience that the president is not racist.


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proclaimed that “our lives are too short to let our differences divide us.” Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., led everyone in singing a few lines of “How Great Thou Art.” Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed for the politically and racially divided nation and asked the Lord to shut the mouths of “those in this country who want to divide, who want to preach hate.” And Vice President Pence declared that “President Trump believes with all his heart…that love for America requires love for all its people.”

Trump spent the first three minutes of his speech — which would drag on for 75 minutes — marveling at his crowd size, claiming that “there aren't too many people outside protesting,” predicting that the media would not broadcast shots of his “rather incredible” crowd and reminiscing about how he was “center stage, almost from day one, in the debates.”

Three times, the crowd burst into chants of “USA! USA! USA!” And once, at the mention of Trump's former rival Hillary Clinton, they chanted: “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!”

Aug. 21

elle reeve cbs screen grab 8 20 17 small custom

Elle Reeve, the brave Vice News documentary film maker whose 22-minute video of white nationalists aired on HBO Aug. 14, reiterated on CBS "Face the Nation" on Aug. 20 her view that there were no "nice people" among the white nationalists chanting hate slogans at the rally in Charlottesville, VA

Huffpost, Vice News’ Elle Reeve Crushes Donald Trump’s Claims About Charlottesville, Rebecca Shapiro, Aug. 21, 2017. “They didn’t talk about Robert E. Lee being a brilliant military tactician.”  “Vice News Tonight” reporter Elle Reeve appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning to discuss her experience documenting white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month.

Reeve confirmed once again that the white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville were not rallying simply to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, as President Donald Trump argued last week. “They didn’t talk about Robert E. Lee being a brilliant military tactician,” Reeve said of the white supremacists gathered on the campus of the University of Virginia on Aug. 11 and 12. “They chanted about Jews. They wanted to be menacing. It’s not an accident.”

washington post logo

Washington Post, The elites strike back — getting under Trump’s skin, James Hohmann​, Aug. 21, 2017. From Wall Street to West Palm Beach and West Hollywood, the past week has been a turning point, perhaps even a tipping point. Since the president abdicated his moral leadership after Charlottesville, the well-connected have used their leverage — like checkbooks and celebrity — to send a message about what truly makes America great.

ny times logo

New York Times, Opinion: Failing All Tests of the Presidency, Charles M. Blow, Aug. 21, 2017. We are leaderless. America doesn’t have a president. America has a man in the White House holding the spot, and wreaking havoc as he waits for the day when a real president arrives to replace him. Donald Trump is many things — most of them despicable — but the leader of a nation he is not. He is not a great man. Hell, he isn’t even a good man.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Liberty University graduates return diplomas because of support for Trump by Jerry Falwell Jr., Samantha Schmidt, Aug. 21, 2017. Since the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. For some students and alumni of the evangelical Christian school in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty’s perceived alignment with the president has been a source of “shame and anger,” a group of graduates wrote last week.

Last week, many reached their breaking point. After Trump’s equivocation about neo-Nazi groups following the violence in Charlottesville, Falwell once again voiced his unwavering support for the president, tweeting that he was “so proud” of Trump for his “bold truthful” statement on the tragedy. In response, Liberty University graduates are calling on fellow alumni to take a stand against by returning their diplomas. They are also writing letters to Falwell’s office and to the Board of Trustees, calling for his removal. More than 260 people have joined a Facebook group titled “Return your diploma to LU.”

By publicly “revoking all ties, all support present and future,” the graduates hope to send a message to the school that “could jeopardize future enrollment, finances and funding,” according to the Facebook group. They are urging graduates to return their diplomas to Falwell’s office by Sept. 5.

washington post logo

Washington Post, The shadow of an assassinated American Nazi commander hangs over Charlottesville, Michael E. Miller, Aug. 21, 2017. George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, coined the phrase "white power" before he was shot by a disaffected follower 50 years ago in Arlington.

As the founder of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell had hung swastikas on the Mall and picketed the marches of Martin Luther King Jr. He had called for shipping blacks to Africa and sending millions of “Communist Jews” to the gas chambers — all at a time when memories of World War II were still fresh.

Rockwell died amid a flurry of Ivory Snow soap flakes. For years, he had claimed his enemies were stalking him. But when police arrested the gunman minutes later, they identified him as 29-year-old John Patler: Rockwell’s neo-Nazi protege. John Patsalos, as he is again called, served a decade in prison before being released in the early 1980s. He is now 79 and lives in New York City. The man who once illustrated hate magazines for Rockwell now ekes out a living as a freelance cartoonist.

WGBH-FM (Boston), Free Speech Banned On Boston Common: The City’s Ignominious Failure, Harvey Silverglate, Aug. 21, 2017.  Harvey Silverglate (shown below) writes the WGBH News “Freedom Watch” column. He is a Cambridge-based writer and criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer. The blessings of free speech were lost on Boston Common this past Saturday, and the question now is whether – and how – proponents of liberty will be able to come to terms with this shameful and distressing turn of events.

Harvey Silverglate

It won’t be easy. Boston is a bubble, a bastion of largely left-wing sentiment. Social discipline is maintained throughout the proper-thinking precincts of Boston and Cambridge by drawing room conventions that often confuse the intellectually inconvenient with rudeness. Saturday’s events, I fear, will become a case in point.

City Hall, police, and the media all proclaimed the exercise an overwhelming success. Why? Apparently because nobody was killed. So, the official test now for whether an expressive event succeeds in its purpose is not whether the speakers are able to say their piece, nor whether those who want to listen actually get to hear. The test is that nobody was killed during the course of an event where not a word was heard, where no political views were aired, where no debate took place.


The University of Virginia Police Department said Christopher Cantwell, 36, is charged with one count of malicious bodily injury by means of a caustic substance and two felony counts of illegal use of tear gas. Cantwell had turned himself in late Wednesday to the Lynchburg Police Department. Cantwell — who was featured in a widely viewed documentary by Vice News — was wanted for an incident during clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters earlier this month in Charlottesville. 

heather heyer charlottesville protest victim White rage violence victim Heather Heyer, 32, shown at right, in photo collage of her death scene in Charlottesville, VA

geoffrey stoneHuffPost, The Lessons Of Charlottesville: Speech And Guns, Geoffrey R. Stone (shown at left, a widely published constitutional scholar, professor and former dean of the University of Chicago School of Law), Aug. 21, 2017. The events in Charlottesville have given rise to a lot of discussion about speech and guns. That is, to what extent do protesters who are otherwise exercising their First Amendment rights also have a right to carry assault weapons and other guns as part of their demonstrations? It turns out that this is a complicated and interesting question, for which there is no simple answer.

First, does the Second Amendment give demonstrators a constitutional right to carry their weapons in public? Although the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment protects the right of private individuals to “keep and bear arms,” it has not gone much further in fleshing out the details of this right, and it has not yet considered whether the Second Amendment should be understood to guarantee individuals a right to “open carry.” If the Court were to hold that the Constitution guarantees individuals a right to walk down the street carrying assault weapons – an outcome I think unlikely – then that would go a long way to resolving the question. But that is not the law, and I rather doubt it will ever be the law, so we can move on to the next question.


Aug. 20

washington post logo

Washington Post, Republican committees have paid nearly $1.3 million to Trump-owned entities this year, Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy, Aug. 20, 2017. The money has helped boost Trump’s company at a time when business is falling off at some core properties. The Republican National Committee paid the Trump International Hotel in Washington $122,000 last month after the party held a lavish fundraiser at the venue in June, the latest example of how GOP political committees are generating a steady income stream for President Trump’s private business, new Federal Election Commission records show.

At least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties and the Republican Governors Association have together spent more than $473,000 at Trump hotels or golf resorts this year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance filings. Trump’s companies collected an additional $793,000 from the RNC and the president’s campaign committee, some of which included payments for rent and legal consulting.

Aug. 19

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump, first lady to skip Kennedy Center Honors over concerns of ‘political distraction,’ David Nakamura, Aug. 19, 2017. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have elected not to attend the annual Kennedy Center Honors in December amid a political backlash among those who will be feted at the event.

Melania Trump Twitter photo

The first family will not participate “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Saturday morning.

The announcement comes as three of the five honorees — television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade — said they would boycott the traditional White House reception related to the celebration. As for the other two, rapper LL Cool J has not said whether he would attend, and Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan said she would go to try to influence the president on immigration issues. The White House occupants have traditionally attended the Kennedy Center program each year.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Why those Confederate soldier statues look a lot like their Union counterparts, Marc Fisher, Aug. 19, 2017 (print edition). President Trump’s supportive comments about Confederate monuments have focused new attention on long-ignored Civil War statues of a mustachioed infantryman standing at rest, wearing a greatcoat and holding a rifle barrel. The nameless figure, known to many as the Silent Sentinel, gazes over town squares and courthouse steps in dozens of Southern towns — but not just there. 

Many of the South’s Silent Sentinels turn out to be identical to the statues of Union soldiers that decorate hundreds of public spaces across the North. Identical, but for one detail: On the soldier’s belt buckle, the “U.S.” is replaced by a “C.S.” for “Confederate States.” 

washington post logo

Washington Post, The rise and humiliating fall of Chris Cantwell, Charlottesville’s starring ‘fascist,’ Avi Selk, Aug. 19, 2017 (print edition). The white supremacists, nationalists and far-right trolls who starred in last weekend’s violent Charlottesville rallies have suffered no lack of humiliation in the days since.

Millions watched Cantwell swagger at a white nationalist rally. Then came footage of him at the point of tears and a leaked OkCupid profile. See also TPM, Report: Warrants Issued For White Supremacist Featured In Vice Film, Nicole Lafond, Aug. 18, 2017.

Aug. 18

The Weekly Standard, Bannon: 'The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over,' Peter J. Boyer, Aug. 18, 2017. Departed White House strategist speaks to The Weekly Standard. With the departure from the White House of strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who helped shape the so-called nationalist-populist program embraced by Donald Trump in his unlikely path to election, a new phase of the Trump presidency begins. Given Trump’s nature, what comes next will hardly be conventional, but it may well be less willfully disruptive – which, to Bannon, had been the point of winning the White House.

“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”

Bannon says that he will return to the helm of Breitbart, the rambunctious right-wing media enterprise he ran until joining the Trump campaign as chief executive last August. At the time, the campaign was at its nadir, and Trump was trailing Hillary Clinton in the polls by double digits.

ny times logo

New York Times, Bannon’s White House Run Comes to End, Maggie Haberman, Aug. 18, 2017. Embattled Chief Strategist Clashed With Other Advisers Stephen K. Bannon’s exit was described in a White House statement as a mutual decision between Mr. Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly. Critics of Mr. Bannon, a right-wing nationalist, bore down after the violence in Charlottesville.

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

steve bannon screen shot jan 28 2017

Earlier on Friday, the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion. But a person close to Mr. Bannon insisted that the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week. But the move was delayed after the  violence in Charlottesville, Va.

The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon’s job security but defended him as “not a racist” and “a friend.” “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Bannon’s dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. \

In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” 

Donald Trump Lord of the Pigs cover

A New York Daily News cover reflects how reporters, researchers debunked and mocked Trump's 'pig blood' story last February

ny times logo

New York Times, Defiant, Trump Laments Assault on Culture and Revives a Bogus Pershing Story, Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, Aug. 18, 2017 (print edition). Despite ongoing rebukes over his defense of white supremacists, President Trump defiantly returned to his campaign’s nativist themes on Thursday. He lamented an assault on American “culture,” revived a bogus, century-old story about killing Muslim extremists and attacked Republicans with a renewed vigor.

Donald TrumpHours after a terrorist attack in Spain, Mr. Trump recalled a debunked event in which Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing supposedly killed Muslim rebels in the Philippines by shooting them with bullets dipped in the blood of pigs, which Muslims are forbidden to eat. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Barcelona, where the driver of a van crashed into a busy tourist boulevard, killing 13.

As when he trafficked in the same unproven legend during the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump ignored the conclusions of historians, who repeatedly have said it did not happen. Additionally, his claim that Pershing ended terrorism in the Philippines for 35 years is refuted by the violence that continued for decades after the rebellion that ended in 1913.

Mr. Trump also appeared in peril of losing support from key Republicans he will need to advance his agenda in Congress. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, questioned the president’s “stability,” and Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, declared Mr. Trump’s moral authority is “compromised."

The president accused Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, of “publicity seeking” and said that Mr. Graham had uttered a “disgusting lie” when he said — accurately — that the president had equated the white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville with the counterprotesters who were there to oppose them.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump’s use of Confederate statues as a wedge issue underscores Bannon’s influence, James Hohmann​, Aug. 18, 2017. Trump has held the opposite position, endorsing South Carolina’s decision in 2015 to remove the Confederate flag from its statehouse after a mass shooting in Charleston.

HuffPost, Mitt Romney Pens Powerful Message Calling On Trump To Apologize For Charlottesville Remarks, Paige Lavender, Aug. 18, 2017. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called on President Donald Trump to “acknowledge that he was wrong” and apologize for his remarks about the violent Charlottesville rally.

ny times logo

New York Times, ‘Antifa’ Movement Grows, Swinging Fists at Far Right, Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer and Serge F. Kovaleski, Aug. 18, 2017. The clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters has highlighted radicals ready to scuffle with right-wing extremists.

charlottesville white protest car screenshot

ny times logo

New York Times, Mother of Charlottesville Victim Says She Won’t Speak to Trump, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Aug. 18, 2017. The mother of the woman who was run down by a car during violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., said Friday that after seeing President Trump’s comments equating white supremacist protesters with those demonstrating against them, she does not wish to speak with him. “I’m not talking to the president now; I’m sorry,” Susan Bro said. “After what he said about my child.”

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Ms. Bro said that she had initially missed several calls from the White House, the first of which came during the funeral of her daughter, Heather D. Heyer, who was killed when a man drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters on Saturday.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Arlington Cemetery’s Confederate Memorial could find itself in the spotlight, T. Rees Shapiro, Aug. 18, 2017. As monuments to the Confederacy come under fresh scrutiny following the violence in Charlottesville, the 32-foot-tall testament to Southern pride stands out for its location on hallowed ground. But there is little evidence of any public campaign to remove it. Even if there were, it’s unclear what legal path exists for its removal.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Gary Cohn stays put — for now — following Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, Damian Paletta and Renae Merle, Aug. 18, 2017. The White House took the unusual step of saying the president’s chief economic adviser would not resign after people close to him said he was mortified by Trump’s remarks and that he has been bombarded with calls from friends asking him if he will leave.

ny times logo

New York Times, Opinion: Trump Makes Caligula Look Pretty Good, Paul Krugman, Aug. 18, 2017. Unlike the senators of ancient Rome, the Republican Congress won’t deal with a rogue leader.Even before the media obsession with Hillary Clinton’s email server put The Worst President Ever™ in the White House, historians were comparing Donald Trump to Caligula, the cruel, depraved Roman emperor who delighted in humiliating others, especially members of the empire’s elite. But seven months into the Trump administration, we can see that this comparison was unfair.

For one thing, Caligula did not, as far as we know, foment ethnic violence within the empire. For another, again as far as we know, Rome’s government continued to function reasonably well despite his antics: Provincial governors continued to maintain order, the army continued to defend the borders, there were no economic crises. Finally, when his behavior became truly intolerable, Rome’s elite did what the party now controlling Congress seems unable even to contemplate: It found a way to get rid of him.

For here’s the situation: Everyone in Washington now knows that we have a president who never meant it when he swore to defend the Constitution. He violates that oath just about every day and is never going to get any better.

Palmer Report, Liberal Opinion: Donald Trump is going to hate what comes next, Bill Palmer, Aug. 18, 2017. During and after the TrumpCare debacle, there were some open skirmishes between Trump and the Republican Party, but that was manageable for both entities. But now he’s gone to a place, defending white supremacists, where the Republicans in Congress feel like they have to publicly push back to protect themselves. Now that they’ve started to do so, Trump has responded by declaring war on his own party. And he’s going to hate how this plays out.

Yesterday Trump called for Republican Senator Jeff Flake to lose his seat to an extremist primary challenger. In so doing, Trump just pissed off Mitch McConnell, who quickly and publicly took Flake’s side.

Palmer Report, Seventeen people just resigned from Melania Trump’s committee in protest, Bill Palmer, Aug. 18, 2017. Today a committee chaired by Melania Trump saw all seventeen members resign en masse, including a famous face. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities lists First Lady Melania Trump (shown below) as its “Honorary Chairman” but as of today she might have to change her title to “The Only One Still Here.”

Melania Trump Twitter photo

Earlier today actor Kal Penn tweeted a joint resignation letter signed by sixteen of the committee members (link). Later in the day he posted an updated version which was signed by all seventeen members. That means, apart from Melania and her honorary position, there is now literally no one left on the committee. So how did Donald react? In response, the White House put out a statement insisting that Donald Trump was planning to disband the committee anyway (link). That prompted Kal Penn to react sarcastically, tweeting “Lol Donald Trump you can’t break up with us after we broke up with you LMFAO.”

Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues.

Andy Thibault

The Cool Justice Report, Special Greeting for Ku Klux Klan in Connecticut, September 1980, Andy Thibault (shown in file photo), Aug. 18, 2017. Sometimes injustice and racism hit a roadblock that can't be moved. It's worth celebrating these moments, especially today as we realize forces engendering and supporting racism and fascism have a comfy home in the White House.

As Americans, most of us at least theoretically support the notion that all citizens have equal rights and standing — even though we know it's not true in real life. My friend Andrew Kreig, a Washington, D.C.-based essayist and lawyer, has done a bit to stem the tide in a recent post entitled, Words Fail But One Must Speak Out.

Speaking out is important. It makes a difference. Putting your body where the story is and choosing a side in history also makes a difference. Seemingly small acts — for example, confronting a friend or relative over racist statements — make a difference. “We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change,” said the late historian Howard Zinn. “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

In that spirit, a certain incident that took place in a private room at Bradley International Airport in 1980 seems especially relevant now. Here's how a part of that story played out:

From 1980 to 1984, the Ku Klux Klan conducted 16 rallies and demonstrations in Connecticut. During that time state police seized a large variety of guns, knives, swords, machetes, baseball bats, pipes and chains, as well as slingshots, weighted knuckles, a detonator and clubs. Progressive forces for civil rights and equal treatment began to arise — in of all places — the Connecticut State Police.

Legal Schnauzer, With left-leaning activists outing white supremacists from Charlottesville rally — costing some their jobs — Americans are learning First Amendment has limits, Roger Shuler, Aug. 18, 2017. A social-media campaign to identify and shame participants in a bloody right-wing rally at Charlottesville, VA, has caused at least three individuals to lose their jobs. That raises these questions: Is it legal to "out" protesters at a public gathering, and is it OK for employers to fire those who appear to support white-supremacist views in their free time?

The answer to both questions is "yes." And it's a sign that the First Amendment does not provide the kind of expansive free-speech coverage that many Americans think it does.

Gillian B. White of The Atlantic, addressed the issue in an article titled "Is Being a White Supremacist Grounds for Firing?" White explains how activists on the left got the outing movement rolling. After white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, a Twitter account with the handle @YesYoureRacist began soliciting the identities of rally goers based on photographs. “If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in #Charlottesville, send me their names/profiles and I'll make them famous,” the account tweeted. And by famous, the user of course meant infamous.

The strategy of exposing the faces of rally attendees to hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter worked, and many were identified. By Sunday, one of those whose name and place of residence had been revealed had reportedly been fired from his job at Top Dog, a hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, California, according to Berkleyside. 

That’s certainly not a brand new tactic, but it’s a variety of vigilantism to which social media is particularly well suited, finding and disseminating information and amplifying calls to action far beyond what would be possible within a single geographic community. After the news broke that White had been fired, many who had participated tweeted delighted responses. ”Awesome! We must shame them into oblivion,” wrote one user.

The left-leaning folks might not find it so awesome if such tactics are used against them someday. For example, what if a pro choice counter-protester at an abortion clinic were photographed, and the picture made its way to his boss, who happens to be pro life? It might not end well for the pro-choicer.

Reflections On Statues, Heritage

robert e lee richmond monument jack boucher credit library of congress

View looking northwest to the Lee Monument on Monument Avenue, Richmond. Photo Credit: Jack E. Boucher / Library of Congress

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, An Evening in the Old South, Milicent Cranor, Aug. 18, 2017. I’m having an attack of nostalgia. I feel a deep pang of loss as I think about the Confederate statues that line Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Are their days numbered? They stand only a few blocks from where my maternal grandparents lived in the 1950s, and where I spent many summers.

I loved staring at those doomed soldiers because I felt like I was getting a good look at my ancestors. That street, and much of Richmond, was kind of like a theme park, only it was authentic. To think this was real! As a little Yankee kid, I felt a certain thrill walking around enemy territory. Was I in danger? I hoped so!

Aug. 17

charlottesville torchlight parade 8 12 2017

elle reeve cnn aug 17 17

HuffPost, Vice News’ Elle Reeve Confirms There Were No ‘Very Fine People’ Among White Supremacists, Rebecca Shapiro, Aug. 17, 2017. “There’s no innocent person wandering up and accidentally getting involved in this.” 

“Vice News Tonight” correspondent Elle Reeve spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night about her headline-making reporting from the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. Reeve’s coverage quickly went viral after it aired Sunday night, following a weekend of violence in which one person was killed, at least 19 others were injured, and two state troopers died in a crash of their helicopter.

Cooper asked Reeve if President Donald Trump’s characterization of the protesters was accurate. On Tuesday, the president said that there were “very fine people, on both sides” demonstrating in Charlottesville, and that some people were there to protest the removal of a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“No,” Reeve answered. “Everyone who was there knew what they were doing. They were shouting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ It was very well coordinated. They had an order to the chants. There was no mistaking. There’s no innocent person wandering up and accidentally getting involved in this.”

Reeve’s 22-minute documentary was heralded as required watching for Americans in 2017 by multiple news organizations, including HuffPost. Reeve focused her coverage on white nationalist leader Christopher Cantwell, and followed events from Friday night’s march to Sunday’s vigils.

Reeve also said she felt in danger while in Charlottesville. “They called me ‘lügenpresse’ ― that’s a Nazi term for ‘lying press.’ They said really misogynistic things to me,” Reeve said. “Additionally, it was just a thousand angry, foolish men with many, many guns.”

usa today logo 5

usa today logo

USA Today, After Charlottesville, time to censure President Trump, Editorial Board, Aug. 17, 2017 (print edition). When these things happen in the United States, and the president blames "both sides," more formal condemnation is necessary. This is a moment of reckoning for members of the Party of Lincoln: Do they want to stand up for American values, or do they want to keep enabling a president whose understanding of right and wrong has slipped dangerously off the rails?

If congressional Republicans choose the former — and history will be watching — they should join together with Democrats to censure Trump.

usa today logo

USA Today, America's 'Confederate infrastructure:' Too big to hide, move or raze, Rick Hampson, Aug. 17, 2017. Although a few communities are removing a few statues, the nation’s Confederate memorial infrastructure — estates, plantations, battlefields, graveyards, birthplaces, shrines and at least two huge obelisks — is too vast and diverse to be moved, hidden or destroyed.

The sites range from small, privately owned house museums honoring obscure soldiers to the massive bas-reliefs carved in the side of Stone Mountain, Ga., that historian Fitzhugh Brundage calls “a billboard to white nationalism.’’ These places are an almost inexhaustible source of potential flash points for battles between those who want to preserve or to remove Confederate symbols.

They're an issue that President Trump raised Thursday on Twitter: "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson?''

Erasing Confederate sites from the American landscape would be difficult or impossible.

There are a lot of them — more than 700 statues and monuments in 31 states. That does not include things like homesteads and museums, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center. There are more than 40 in Kentucky, even though two-thirds of Kentuckians who fought in the Civil War did so for the Union. And many of these sites not especially portable.

Beauvoir, the Mississippi homestead of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, is controlled by the state chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a neo-Confederate group. The only thing that’s going to move the 1852 mansion, one of only 2,600 National Historic Landmarks and a top Gulf Coast tourist attraction, is a hurricane.

But Beauvoir is a mere paperweight compared to the 35-story concrete obelisk (one of the nation's largest) in a state park in Fairview, Ky., to mark Davis's birthplace. Similarly, in Asheville, N.C., the most notable downtown landmark is a 75-foot high granite obelisk that sits in a public square. it honors a Reconstruction-era governor who’d owned slaves and opposed the freed slaves' right to vote.

ny times logo

New York Times, Trump Opens Breach With Party, Military and Industry, Michael D. Shear, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, Aug. 17, 2017. In the wake of his defense of white supremacists, President Trump was abandoned by executives, contradicted by military leaders and shunned by Republicans. According to close aides, the president said he felt liberated by his news conference and viewed it as his latest retort to a political establishment trying to tame his impulses. The breach with the business community was the most striking.

Titans of American industry and finance revolted against a man they had seen as one of their own, concluding Wednesday morning they could no longer serve on two of Mr. Trump’s advisory panels.

But before Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group and one of Mr. Trump’s closest business confidants, could announce a decision to disband Mr. Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum — in a prepared statement calling “intolerance, racism and violence” an “affront to core American values” — the president undercut him and did it himself, in a tweet.

Politico, James Murdoch rebukes Trump over Charlottesville response, Cristiano Lima, Aug. 17, 2017. James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox (a parent company of Fox News), slammed President Donald Trump on Thursday for his response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., joining an increasingly long list of business leaders who have publicly condemned the president’s words.

fox-news-logo Small.png“I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists,” Murdoch wrote in a memo to staff obtained by Yahoo that addresses the violence in Virginia and Trump’s reaction to it. “Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”

Murdoch added that “what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.” He also unveiled to his staff that, in light of the weekend events, he and his wife, Kathryn, were donating $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, an international nongovernmental organization that combats anti-Semitism.

Huffington Post, Donald Trump ‘Sad To See’ Confederate Monuments Being Taken Down, Paige Lavender, Aug. 17, 2017. “Who’s next, Washington, Jefferson?” President Donald Trump said he’s “sad to see” Confederate statues and monuments being taken down around the United States. Confederate memorials are being removed around the U.S. after a white supremacist protest to protect a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned into a weekend of racist violence in which one woman was killed.

According to USA Today, there are more than 700 Confederate monuments installed in public areas across 31 states. Washington, D.C.; Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and other places are taking steps to remove their monuments. Baltimore quietly removed its remaining Confederate monuments Tuesday night in the wake of the Charlottesville incident.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Mayors move quickly to avoid becoming the next Charlottesville, Janell Ross, Mark Berman and Joel Achenbach, Aug. 17, 2017. Boston laid down strict conditions for an upcoming rally and counterprotest. California lawmakers called for the revocation of a permit for an upcoming rally on federal park land. And other cities are grappling with what to do about their Confederate monuments.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Bannon says rivals are ‘wetting themselves,’ mocks white supremacists and contradicts Trump on N. Korea, Derek Hawkins​, Aug. 17, 2017. In an unusual interview with progressive magazine The American Prospect, the White House chief strategist seemed to take issue with Trump on North Korea, attacked white supremacists as “clowns” and detailed how he would oust some of his opponents at the State and Defense departments.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Conservative Opinion: There is a shriveled emptiness where Trump’s soul once resided, Michael Gerson, Aug, 17, 2017. Why should anyone not named Bannon stay at the White House?

washington post logo

Washington Post, Liberal Opinion: The Republicans who want to legalize running over protesters, Catherine Rampell, Aug, 17, 2017. Last weekend in Charlottesville, a driver mowed down peaceful protesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The act was reminiscent of recent terrorist attacks across Europe committed in the name of the Islamic State, which has urged followers to use vehicles to kill enemies. This year, Republican lawmakers in at least six states have proposed bills designed to protect drivers who strike protesters. The first bill was introduced in North Dakota in January, and similar bills have since come under consideration in North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Texas and Rhode Island.

washington post logo

Washington Post, In conservative media, an amen chorus defends Trump’s comments on Charlottesville violence, David Weigel, Aug. 17, 2017. President Trump’s three-part reaction to the weekend’s violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has inspired a few head-turning Fox News segments, with hosts and guests typically friendly toward the president scrambling off the Trump Train. But under less scrutiny, conservative hosts who have been generally supportive of Trump have spent the week endorsing his evolving message.

On Wednesday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” there was a second consecutive night of questions about why Trump, not left-wing protesters, was the focus of criticism. An opening segment questioned whether the First Amendment was shredded by companies denying Web services and hotel rooms to white nationalists; a second segment raised awareness of a pro-Trump protest in San Diego that had been threatened by protesters.

And on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh argued that criticism was being lobbed at Trump to “nullify the election,” referring obliquely to columnists who’ve urged the president to step aside.

Fox News, Missouri Democratic state senator says she hopes Trump is assassinated, Alex Pappas, Aug. 17, 2017. A Democratic state senator in Missouri is facing resignation calls for posting on Facebook Thursday that she hopes President Trump is assassinated. “I hope Trump is assassinated!” state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal wrote. Chappelle-Nadal eventually deleted the post, but a screenshot was saved and shared on Twitter.

HuffPost, Missouri State Senator Urged To Resign Over Her ‘Hope’ For Trump’s Assassination, Ryan Grenoble, Aug. 17, 2017.  “There is no way in hell that I’m resigning,” the legislator responds.

Aug. 16

djt economist cover aug 19 2017

Wall Street Journal, Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect, Emily Glazer and Sarah Krouse, Aug. 16, 2017 (subscription required). Move follows Donald Trump’s controversial response to the recent violence in Charlottesville. Two of President Donald Trump’s councils of top business leaders are disbanding, following controversial remarks made by Mr. Trump on Tuesday. (Trump is shown on the cover of the current issue of The Economist.)

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump ends advisory councils as CEOs quit over his remarks on Charlottesville, Damian Paletta and Jena McGregor, Aug. 16, 2017. Several corporate leaders had announced they were resigning from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum as well as a separate manufacturing council in recent days after Trump was slow to condemn white supremacy groups. But on Twitter, Trump said it was his decision to disband both councils. 

ny times logo

New York Times, Richard Trumka: Why I Quit Trump’s Business Council, Richard Trumpka (president of the AFL-CIO), Aug. 16, 2017. He has no intention of following through on his promises to workers. And he may leave the country worse off.

On Tuesday, President Trump stood in the lobby of his tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and again made excuses for bigotry and terrorism, effectively repudiating the remarks his staff wrote a day earlier in response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. I stood in that same lobby in January, fresh off a meeting with the new president-elect. Although I had endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, I was hopeful we could work together to bring some of his pro-worker campaign promises to fruition.

Unfortunately, with each passing day, it has become clear that President Trump has no intention of following through on his commitments to working people. More worrisome, his actions and rhetoric threaten to leave America worse off and more divided. It is for these reasons that I resigned yesterday from the president’s manufacturing council, which the president disbanded today after a string of resignations.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump’s generals condemn Charlottesville racism — while trying not to offend the president, Andrew deGrandpre, Aug. 16, 2017. One by one, the U.S. military’s most senior leaders have publicly — and bluntly — repudiated the racist violence that plunged Charlottesville into chaos Saturday, declaring the nation’s armed forces as being unequivocally against hatred.

By midmorning Wednesday, the military’s four service chiefs had issued firm, forceful statements that stand apart from remarks made by President Trump, who faces deepening criticism for his repeated attempts to evenly distribute blame for clashes between white nationalists and the anti-fascist protesters who showed up to oppose them.

washington post logo

Washington Post, They tried to kill my child to shut her up,’ Heather Heyer’s mother mourns at funeral for woman killed during Nazi protest in Charlottesville, Ellie Silverman, Arelis R. Hernández and Steve Hendrix, Aug. 16, 2017. Those who loved Heather Heyer, along with strangers who have already elevated her into a symbol of defiance in the face of hate, gathered Wednesday at her memorial service to remember her as a born defender of justice who died for showing up when her beliefs demanded it.

“They tried to kill my child to shut her up, but guess what, you just magnified her,” said Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, sparking an ovation from a packed theater in downtown Charlottesville that lasted nearly a minute and a half. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) were among those in the crowd. Two Virginia gubernatorial candidates also attended: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.

Heyer, 32, was killed when a car allegedly driven by a reported white nationalist plowed into a crowd. The ramming followed hours of unrest Saturday between white supremacists and counterprotesters. Heyer was there to oppose the white nationalist rally.

ny times logo

fox-news-logo Small.pngNew York Times, Stunned TV Hosts Reacted in Real Time to Trump, Michael M. Grynbaum, Aug. 16, 2017 (printed edition). Mr. Trump’s fiery news conference left many on cable news networks searching for ways to describe what they had just seen. “What I just saw gave me the wrong kind of chills,” a visibly stunned Chuck Todd said on MSNBC. “Honestly, I’m a bit shaken by what I just heard.” Unable to disguise her disgust, the Fox News host Kat Timpf said: “I’m still in the phase where I’m wondering if it was actually real life. I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now.”

ny times logo

hope hicks strategic communications director

New York Times, Hope Hicks Will Be Trump’s Interim Communications Director, Eileen Sullivan and Maggie Haberman, Aug. 16, 2017. President Trump’s longtime aide Hope Hicks (shown in a file photo) will serve as the interim White House director of communications and will help the president find a permanent person for the job, according to a senior administration official.

However temporary it is, it was the latest reshuffling in the White House and comes at a time when the president’s remarks on white supremacists were drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans. The role of communications director is to set a clear and direct message coming from the White House each day.

Ms. Hicks, 28, already is considered one of the most important people in the president’s communications orbit and has the most sway over who in the news media gets interviews with the president. Her current title is director of strategic communications. Ms. Hicks was a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump during his presidential campaign and at the Trump Organization.

The Hill, Georgia judge suspended for comparing anti-Confederate protesters to ISIS: report, Max Greenwood, Aug. 16, 2017. Georgia judge suspended for comparing anti-Confederate protesters to ISIS. A judge in Georgia has been suspended for Facebook posts in which he compared protesters of Confederate statues to members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Gwinnett County Judge Jim Hinkle called protesters opposing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Va., “snowflakes.” He said they had "no concept of history" and should “leave history alone.” In a follow-up post, he likened taking down Confederate statues to ISIS’s destruction of historic sites and artifacts in the Middle East. Hinkle was suspended by Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum. Blum is considering further action against the judge.

washington post logo

Washington Post, This week should put the nail in the coffin for ‘both sides’ journalism, Margaret Sullivan, Aug. 16, 2017. He’s the false-equivalency president. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the national news media’s misguided sense of fairness helped equate the serious flaws of Hillary Clinton with the disqualifying evils of Donald Trump.

In a devastating post-election report, Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center concluded that media treatment was rife with false equivalency: “On topics relating to the candidates’ fitness for office, Clinton and Trump’s coverage was virtually identical in terms of its negative tone.” That was a factor — one of many — that helped to put Trump in the Oval Office.

“The whole doctrine of objectivity in journalism has become part of the [media’s] problem,” Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, said this week in a talk at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. He believes that journalists must state their biases up front and not pretend to be magically free of the beliefs or assumptions that everyone has.

NBC News, Right-Winger Jack Posobiec, Retweeted by Trump, Is Navy Intel Officer, Courtney Kube, Aug. 16, 2017. A right-wing activist who brought attention to debunked conspiracy theories — and who gained new prominence when he was retweeted by President Donald Trump this week — is a U.S. naval intelligence officer detailed to a reserve unit, Navy service records show. John Michael Posobiec III's security clearance is currently suspended, according to a U.S. official, who did not disclose the reason for the suspension.

Posobiec, who goes by "Jack," is a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy Reserves, assigned to Joint Reserve Intelligence Support Element Dekalb. From March 2014 through March 2017 he was assigned to a Reserve Intelligence Unit at Office of Naval Intelligence's Naval Maritime Intelligence Center in Washington. During that time frame, Posobiec used his social media accounts to draw attention to false theories, including the rumor that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered for leaking emails to Wikileaks.

He also delved into the so-called Pizzagate theory, which posited that Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of a pizzeria. Shortly after the election, Posobiec visited Comet Pizza and posted a video in which he talked in a seemingly joking way about trying to find out what's happening in the bathroom.

He also promoted, through Twitter, leaked emails from the campaign of French President Emmanuel Macron. In June, he was in the audience when a fellow pro-Trump protester rushed the stage at a New York production of "Julius Caesar" that drew controversy because the title character resembled the president. "You are all Goebbels, you are all Nazis like Joseph Goebbels," Posobiec shouted into the audience in video posted on his Twitter feed.

While Posobiec, 32, is frequently referred to as a member of the alt-right, he describes himself as a "conservative Republican" and member of the "New Right" — and an ardent Trump supporter.

Moon of Alabama, Smashing Statues, Seeding Strife, Admin, Aug. 16, 2017. In the aftermath of competing protests in Charlottesville a wave of dismantling of Confederate statues is on the rise. Overnight Baltimore took down four Confederate statues. One of these honored Confederate soldiers and sailors, another one Confederate women. Elsewhere statues were toppled or defiled.

The Charlottesville conflict itself was about the intent to dismantle a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The activist part of the political right protested against the take down, the activist part of the political left protested against those protests.

Statues standing in cities and places are much more than veneration of one person or group. They are symbols, landmarks and fragments of personal memories. As time passes the meaning of a monument changes. While it may have been erected with a certain ideology or concept in mind, the view on it will change over time.

Aug. 15

washington post logo

 Washington Post, Trump doubles down, says ‘both sides’ to blame for Va. violence, David Nakamura​, Aug. 15, 2017. President Trump declared Tuesday that counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville acted violently and should share the blame for the mayhem that left a woman dead and many injured.

Speaking at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president called the events of Saturday at the “Unite the Right” rally a “horrible thing to watch,” but he emphasized that both sides acted irresponsibly. "I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it," Trump said. “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent," he added. "No one wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now: You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

Trump's remarks came a day after he belatedly condemned the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups that organized and participated in the rally. He had faced mounting pressure from lawmakers and civil rights groups over his failure to do so during his initial reaction to the violence, when he denounced violence “on many sides.”

ny times logo

New York Times, Trump Gives White Supremacists An Unequivocal Boost, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, Aug. 15, 2017. When Mr. Trump equated anti-racism protesters with neo-Nazis, he legitimized white supremacists like no modern president. President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations — equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Never has he gone as far in defending their actions as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and “Trump/Pence” signs.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth,” David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, wrote in a Twitter post shortly after Mr. Trump spoke.

Richard B. Spencer, a white nationalist leader who participated in the weekend’s demonstrations and vowed to flood Charlottesville with similar protests in the coming weeks, was equally encouraged. “Trump’s statement was fair and down to earth,” Mr. Spencer tweeted.

ny times logo

New York Times, Trump Makes a Spectacle of Himself, Editorial Board, Aug. 15, 2017. Given another chance to condemn white supremacists, the president takes up their talking points.

djt cnn runover by train tweet custom

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump retweets — then deletes — image of train running over CNN reporter, David Nakamura and Brian Murphy, Aug. 15, 2017. The president was in the midst of a tweetstorm when he sent the image, posted by a supporter who added “Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain!!" He also appeared to accidentally retweet another post from a man calling him a "fascist."

HuffPost, Donald Trump Just Retweeted A Notorious Right-Wing ‘Pizzagate’ Troll, Ed Mazza, Aug.15, 2017. One critic called it “sickening.” Hours after denouncing far-right extremists on Monday, President Donald Trump retweeted a far-right “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist known for disrupting a performance of “Julius Caesar” over the summer. Critics saw the retweet on Monday evening as an attempt to deflect attention from his belated response to white supremacist violence, but also as an implicit effort to draw attention to crime within the African-American community.

djt g 20 sitting alone july 20 2017

President Trump in a file photo of a meeting with European leaders this summer

ny times logo

New York Times, The C.E.O.s on Trump Councils: Five Executives Have Resigned From the American Manufacturing Council, Staff report, Aug. 15, 2017. The Trump administration has created advisory groups of high-profile executives in an effort to forge alliances with big business. Recently, some of them have opposed President Trump’s stances on civil rights and climate change, and have distanced themselves from these groups in very public ways. The departures this week have been met with ire by the president.

ny times logo

New York Times, Trump Fires Back as More C.E.O.s Quit Advisory Panel, David Gelles, Kate Kelly, Rachel Abrams and Michael Corkery, Aug. 15, 2017. After six business leaders stepped down, Mr. Trump criticized their work and said they were “leaving out of embarrassment.” The C.E.O.s on (and Off) Trump’s Councils.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Obama’s response to Charlottesville violence is the most liked tweet in Twitter’s history, Kristine Phillips, Aug. 15, 2017. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” Obama said, quoting Nelson Mandela. The first tweet, which shows a picture of Obama smiling at four children, has been retweeted more than 1.1 million times and liked 2.723 million times as of Tuesday evening.

The message became the most liked tweet of all time, surpassing Ariana Grande's response to the deadly terrorist attack after her concert in Manchester. It also ranks No. 7 among the most retweeted tweets according to Favstar, a tweet tracking site.

ny times logoNew York Times, Energized Far Right Plots Its Next Moves, Alan Feuer, Aug. 15, 2017 (print edition). Some white supremacists and right-wing extremists were planning to attend future marches, and others were planning to run for office.

ny times logo

New York Times, Bombing Plot in Oklahoma City Is Thwarted With Arrest, F.B.I. Says, Manny Fernandez, Aug. 15, 2017 (print edition). A 23-year-old Oklahoma man has been arrested after he tried to blow up a bank in downtown Oklahoma City using a vehicle bomb similar to the one that destroyed the federal building there in 1995, federal officials said Monday.

FBI logo

The man, Jerry Drake Varnell, had been plotting the attack for months, the authorities said, but was thwarted by a long-running undercover investigation led by an F.B.I. joint terrorism task force.  During a meeting in June with an undercover F.B.I. agent posing as someone who could help him, Mr. Varnell said that he wanted to start the next revolution and that he identified with what is known as 3 percenter ideology, according to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint against him. Mr. Varnell sought to form and arm a small militia group, inspired in part by the movie “Fight Club,” the authorities said.

“I’m out for blood,” Mr. Varnell wrote in one text message to a confidential informant who cooperated with the authorities, according to the affidavit, which was written by an F.B.I. special agent. “When militias start getting formed I’m going after government officials when I have a team,” he wrote. The complaint did not name the informant.

djt daily news devils aug 16 17

New York Daily News, Opinion: Trump's comments on James Fields may have created a legal headache for prosecutors, Mitchell Epner, Aug. 15, 2017. At his Tuesday press conference, President Trump was asked whether the attack on Heather Heyer was "terrorism." His response may make it more difficult for Virginia to prosecute James Fields for murder (already charged) or the United States to prosecute him for federal crimes.

President Trump said: "I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. And that is — you can call it terrorism, you can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. That's what I'd call it. And there is a question. Is it murder? Is it terrorism? Then you get into legal semantics. The driver of the car is a murderer, and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing."

I know that I have said similar things about James Fields on social media. But, I'm just some guy who used to be a federal prosecutor who rants to his friends. Because President Trump is not just some guy popping off on social media to his buddies, his statements may create problems for bringing the cases against Fields to trial.

Under our Constitution, every person charged with a crime has a presumption of innocence. A defendant can only be convicted after being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of the evidence presented at trial. The Supreme Court has held that if adverse pre-trial publicity makes it impossible for an accused to be judged on the basis of the evidence, then the accused cannot be found guilty, no matter his actual guilt.

To avoid interfering with successful prosecution, previous Presidents from both parties has made it a practice to respond to questions about a pending criminal case by saying, "That is the subject of a pending criminal matter and I cannot comment further."

New York Daily News, Giant inflatable rat bearing resemblance to Trump appears on Fifth Ave., Kerry Burke and Christopher Brennan, Aug. 15, 2016. A giant inflatable of President Trump, in the style of labor unions’ blow up rodents, is greeting Midtown residents and tourists Monday afternoon at Fifth Ave. and 59th St. The grotesque model of Trump was claimed by gallery Bravin Lee, who said that the inflatable rat is “an enduring sign of resistance and ridicule.”

From the archives: Independent, Donald Trump 'kept book of Adolf Hitler's speeches in his bedside cabinet,' Ben Kentish, March 20, 2017. In a 1990 interview, the billionaire businessman admitted to owning Nazi leader's 'Mein Kampf,' but said he would never read speeches.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump acts like the president of the Red States of America, James Hohmann, Aug. 15, 2017. That’s at odds with the American tradition, and it’s problematic as a governing philosophy — especially in a moment of crisis. Trump’s initially tone-deaf response to Charlottesville underscores why.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), America is at the tipping point between fascism and democracy, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 15, 2017 (subscription required for details of his five-day-per-week investigative commentaries). The mass media is being used by the neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate movements to give greater exposure to far-right leaders like Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, Jack Posobiec, Preston Wiginton, and the most recent self-outed Nazi, broadcaster Alex Jones, to mainstream them and their dangerous ideology. This is similar to the methods used by Adolf Hitler to increase his exposure from a few beer- and urine-reeking halls in Munich to all of Germany.

Wayne Madsen is a former Navy intelligence officer and NSA analyst who edits the Wayne Madsen Report. He has authored 15 books and is a widely published syndicated op-ed columnist with columns appearing hundreds of times in American newspapers. He wrote as an editor's note to the column above: "Although this editor was a non-paid contributor to Infowars on stories of my own choosing, I thoroughly reject and find personally repugnant the Nazi, Klan, and other extremist views of Alex Jones and his provocateurs and guests. There are absolutely no current links between WMR and Infowars, Prison Planet, or any other Jones enterprises, even though his websites continue to carry WMR stories dating back as early as 12 years ago."

stephen bannon 2013 tea party rally c span

Palmer Report, Opinion: Mr. Toad’s wild ride crashes and burns, Bill Palmer, Aug. 15, 2017. It shouldn’t have lasted this long, nor did he likely ever expect it to. Steve Bannon took over Donald Trump’s dying campaign fairly late in the game, with the seeming intent of simply using the losing effort to promote his own white supremacist site Breitbart. But after Russia and the FBI stunningly put Trump over the top, he and Bannon each found themselves stuck working in a White House they loathe. And now Mr. Toad’s wild ride is coming to an end.

It’s telling that Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are both such grotesque creatures that either of them could safely be referred to as “Mr. Toad” in a manner which would only serve to insult toads. But while Trump’s premature exit from the White House is now inevitable eventually, Bannon’s exit is imminent.

For reasons known only to him, Trump has spent the past few weeks weakening Bannon by firing all of his loyalists and leaking trash talk about him to the media. This is how Trump erodes his own top people in the hope they’ll quit so he doesn’t have to fire them. But a development that neither of them saw coming, the Charlottesville white supremacist terror attack has complicated Bannon’s exit while also cementing it.

Trump's DOJ Seeks 1.3 Million Addresses From Critics' Website

WhoWhatWhy, Trump DOJ Wants 1.3M IP Addresses, Personal Info from Anti-Trump Website, Celia Wexler, Aug. 15, 2017. The Trump White House, which had such a hard time castigating Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan protesters in Charlottesville, VA, seems to be moving swiftly to identify — and perhaps harass — the more than one million visitors to a website that coordinated demonstrations during the Trump inauguration.

djt newsweek lazy boy cover custom

The Department of Justice last month issued a sweeping demand for information from the website Disruptj20.org. The DOJ is seeking this data to assist its investigation of what it termed a “violent riot” on January 20. The “riot” resulted in some property damage and injuries during mostly peaceful protests that involved hundreds of thousands of participants. The website’s host, DreamHost, is resisting the demand for the information. A hearing on the case is set for this Friday in DC Superior Court.

In its brief opposing the warrant, Dreamhost charges: “In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website.”

Aug. 14

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump denounces KKK, neo-Nazis two days after Charlottesville unrest, David Nakamura, Aug. 14, 2017. The president spoke from the White House in an effort to tamp down criticism from Democrats and some Republicans that he had not been forceful enough in his comments Saturday. He also announced a Justice Department civil rights probe into the killing of a counterprotester.

Trump denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis by name Monday, declaring racist hate groups as "repugnant to all that we hold dear as Americans," as he sought to tamp down mounting criticism of his response to the killing of a counterprotester at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

The statement came two days after the president failed to specifically condemn the white supremacist rally after a woman was killed and as many as 19 wounded by a driver who reportedly espoused racist and pro-Nazi sentiments and had taken part in the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville.

HuffPost, CEO Quits White House Council Over Trump’s Charlottesville Response — And Trump Attacks Him, Marina Fang, Aug. 14, 2017. Instead of denouncing neo-Nazis, Trump denounces a CEO criticizing him for not personally denouncing neo-Nazis. A CEO serving on President Donald Trump’s council on manufacturing announced his resignation early Monday from the White House panel, in protest of Trump’s continued silence on the white nationalist groups who incited Saturday’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ken Frazier, the head of Merck pharmaceuticals, said in a statement he was stepping down “as a matter of personal conscience” and “to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” In response, Trump ― who has yet to personally denounce the far-right groups who sparked Saturday’s deadly carnage in Charlottesville ― directly attacked Frazier on Twitter. "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

See also: Washington Post, Merck CEO quits council over Trump’s initial response to rally, draws president’s ire, Carolyn Y. Johnson and Jena McGregor, Aug. 14, 2017. Kenneth Frazier’s decision shows how executives have struggled to balance their desire to engage the White House with growing expectations that they exercise a voice on social issues. Later, the CEOs of Under Armour and Intel said they, too, were resigning from the manufacturing council.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Sessions defends Trump’s response to Charlottesville, says violence meets standard for domestic terrorism, Sari Horwitz​, Aug. 14, 2017. “His initial statement on this roundly and unequivocally condemned hatred and violence and bigotry,” the attorney general said. The Justice Department is probing the clashes and will “advance the investigation toward the most serious charges that can be brought,” he said.

Palmer Report, Opinion: CNN reporter Jim Acosta calls Donald Trump “fake news” to his face, Bill Palmer, Aug. 14, 2017. The tables have finally turned. Donald Trump has spent the entirety of his time in office falsely accusing various major news outlets of being “fake news” simply because he didn’t like the real stories they were reporting. But when a weakened and tailspinning Trump tried to invoke the phrase today to fend off a question about his own white supremacist supporters, a CNN reporter threw the term right back in his face.

And so now we’ve reached the point where the mainstream media is actively fighting back against Trump’s lying and bullying tactics by throwing his favorite term “fake news” back into his face. All Trump could do was walk away without answering the question, which has become his go-to move since the Charlottesville terrorist attack sent him into a defensive political tailspin.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer banned by Go Daddy for disparaging woman who died, Katie Mettler, Aug. 14, 2017. The site hosting service said Daily Stormer had 24 hours to move its website domain to another provider because it had “violated” terms of service with a negative post about Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Cuccinelli catches flak for telling Symone Sanders to ‘shut up’ on CNN, Laura Vozzella​, Aug. 14, 2017. Virginia's former attorney general and one-time candidate for governor took part in a heated discussion about President Trump’s response to deadly violence in Charlottesville.

GOP Internal Turmoil

ny times logo

New York Times, Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Calls for Strategist’s Ouster, Maggie Haerman and Glenn Thrush, Aug. 14, 2017. President Trump has been urged by Rupert Murdoch and others to fire Stephen K. Bannon, his top strategist, who already has been relegated to an internal exile, according to aides.

washington post logo

jeff flake o

Washington Post, Can Jeff Flake survive the role of chief Republican antagonist to Trump? Ed O'Keefe, Aug. 14, 2017 (print edition). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz., shown at right) recently released a book, "Conscience of a Conservative," criticizing the Trump administration and the Republican Party’s embrace of the president. Over two months, Flake has dodged bullets on a baseball field, buried his elderly father and watched one of his political mentors, Sen. John McCain, battle terminal brain cancer. And that was all before he published a book that doubles down on his criticisms of President Trump, which in less than two weeks since its release has once again put him at odds with members of his own party.

The best-selling book may make Flake the most high-profile Republican casualty of the Trump era. Or, he may prove that embracing one’s core principles can still be appealing to voters.  He was already facing a primary challenge from a nationalist who campaigns with sharp-edged, Trump-style bombast when his party launched a revolt against his 160-page critique on the president. On Friday, a Democratic congresswoman who has a sizable campaign war chest also signaled that she is likely to run against Flake. For now, he is laughing off his newfound challenges.

Alt Right videos via YouTube,

, The Leftovers, Aug. 13, 2017. (9:01 min.).

Eugene (OR) Register-Guard, Opinion: Be careful what you believe in age of Trump, R.A. Kris Millegan, Aug. 14, 2017. “You’re a conspiracy theorist,” my friend said disparagingly to me. I had told him about some of my research findings based upon information from my father, a former intelligence officer. Now, with the rise of conspiracy-­theorist-in-chief Donald Trump and his apprentice Stephen Bannon (or is it the other way around?), there is plenty to talk about — a golden-age of conspiracy theories.

Many years of study of conspiracy theory lore leads me to suggest that Donald Trump is a co-opted sycophantic con man chucklehead, put in place to further an agenda. The “conspiracy’s” end game: rule the world through China. To do that, America, its institutions and its standing in the world must be destroyed.

Psychological warfare comes from the German term “weltanschauungskrieg,” meaning worldview warfare. So, in this age of Trump, be aware of what your read and hear. And be very, very careful about what you believe.

R.A. Kris Millegan of Springfield is the publisher of TrineDay, whose catalogue includes dozens of books about national and international conspiracies.

Aug. 13

charlottesville white protest rt screenshot

New York Daily News, Charlottesville crash suspect James Fields brandished shield for Vanguard America hate group before attack, Nicole Hensley, Aug. 13, 2017. James Fields Jr., the maniac driver who police say steered his beloved Dodge Challenger into a crowd of peaceful protesters, had been brandishing a shield emblazoned with a white supremacist emblem just hours before the deadly rampage. The Daily News photographed Fields on the front lines of a volatile rally about 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Charlottesville — flanked by other white men in polo shirts and tan slacks clutching the racially charged black-and-white insignia of the Vanguard America hate group.

james-fields-dodge-challenger custom.jpg

Southern Poverty Law Center spokeswoman Rebecca Sturtevant told The News the logo — two white axes — is a variation of imagery used by the white supremacists and Fields’ outfit is standard among the hate group’s ranks. The Anti-Defamation League depicted Vanguard American as one focused on white identity, but noted that its members have “increasingly demonstrated a neo-Nazi ideology.” 

Indeed, Fields’ Facebook page was peppered with similar alt-right and Nazi imagery — such as Hitler’s baby photo; a tourist shot of the Reichstag in Berlin; and cartoon of Pepe the Frog, the anthropomorphic frog hijacked by right-wing groups — before it was deactivated around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Fields, 20, is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. 

Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, titled the page “Conscious Ovis Aries,” using the Latin word for sheep. There was also a picture of him posing with the car that authorities say caused so much mayhem in downtown Charlottesville. Fields' mother, Samantha Bloom, said she did not know of her son’s apparent involvement in the deadly wreck until late in the day.

washington post logoWashington Post, Charlottesville victim ‘was there standing up for what was right,’ Ellie Silverman and Michael Laris, Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed when a vehicle plowed into a group of counterprotesters. Authorities said 19 other pedestrians suffered injuries and the driver was charged with second-degree murder.  ​

Palmer Report, In wake of Charlottesville attack, conservative Drudge Report turns against Donald Trump, Bill Palmer, Aug. 13, 2017. Drudge Report has spent the past twenty-plus years prominently pushing the conservative political agenda, and the site has been a major supporter of Donald Trump along the way. As Trump has unraveled in office and his popularity has sunk, there have been a few recent instances of Drudge’s support for Trump seeming to soften. But in the wake of the Charlottesville attack and Trump’s weak response to it, Drudge Report now appears to have turned against Trump entirely.

Here’s what the front-and-center of the Drudge Report home page looks like as of right now. This is the precise opposite of the kind of headline you might expect from the site: 

djt drudge make america hate again custom

Drudge Report is mocking Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan by invoking the “Make America Hate Again” version of it that Trump’s detractors have long been using. This is a remarkable development, in that Drudge is essentially acknowledging the hateful and racist and divisive rhetoric from Trump which led to the deadly Charlottesville terrorist attack. This comes far too late for Drudge to score any points with the anti-Trump crowd, but he’s not worried about them one way or the other. The point is that Drudge is now clearly hedging its bets when it comes to its own conservative audience.

Matt DrudgeMatt Drudge (shown at right) knows his audience. He previously bet that he could score big with them by getting on the Donald Trump train. Now he seems to be betting that an already unraveling Trump will be hurt badly by this latest incident, and that he can score with his own audience by going against Trump. Considering that Drudge’s audience is made up entirely of Republicans and conservatives, this can be interpreted as a sign that there’s now more to be gained on that side of the fence by kicking Trump than by continuing to prop him up.

RT, Kentucky to speed up relocation of Confederate monuments after Charlottesville violence, Staff report, Aug. 13, 2017. The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, is speeding up the relocation of Confederate statues in the wake of Saturday’s violent clashes and a car-ramming incident in Charlottesville, in neighboring Virginia. On Saturday, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said that Confederate-era symbols – statues of Generals Breckinridge and Hunt Morgan – will be taken down from the historic courthouse in Lexington.

Palmer Report, Tom Arnold says, “the right people” now have Donald Trump’s racist Apprentice tapes, Bill Palmer, Aug. 13, 2017. During the 2016 election, actor Tom Arnold and others asserted that they’d seen video of Donald Trump saying grotesquely racist things while on the set of The Apprentice. But no one could access the video because it was locked down by a time-limited password, and the matter ended up being largely forgotten. Now, however, Arnold is speaking up about the video and he seems to be offering hope that it’ll surface.

Aug. 12

charlottesville white protest car screenshot

washington post logo

Washington Post, 1 dead after car hits crowd during protests amid white nationalist gathering in Va., Joe Heim, Ellie Silverman, T. Rees Shapiro and Emma Brown​, Aug. 12, 2017. A chaotic and violent day turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” — clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, killing one person and injuring 19 others.


One woman died and others were hurt when a car hit a crowd in Charlottesville, where white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klansmen clashed with counterprotesters. The car’s driver, James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder and other crimes. Later, two state troopers assisting with the unrest died in a helicopter crash. The FBI field office in Richmond and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Virginia said late Saturday that they have opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash.

“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

In brief remarks at a late-afternoon news conference in New Jersey to discuss veterans’ health care, Trump said he was following the events in Charlottesville closely. “The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now,” Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville on Saturday, quickly replied. “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists,” he wrote. Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, dozens of whom wore red Make America Great Again hats during the Charlottesville riots, Trump did not respond.

terry mcauliffe charlottesville cnn screenshot

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., saying he was “disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence” and blaming “mostly out-of-state protesters.”

charlottesville white protest car screenshot

washington post logo

Washington Post, Opinion: Trump babbles in the face of tragedy, Michael Gerson, Aug. 12, 2017. Michael Gerson (shown at right) is a nationally syndicated columnist who was a speechwriter for GOP President George W. Bush. One of the difficult but primary duties of the modern presidency is to speak for the nation in times of tragedy. A space shuttle explodes. An elementary school is attacked. The twin towers come down in a heap of ash and twisted steel. It falls to the president to express something of the nation’s soul — grief for the lost, sympathy for the suffering, moral clarity in the midst of confusion, confidence in the unknowable purposes of God.

Not every president does this equally well. But none have been incapable. Until Donald Trump. Trump’s reaction to events in Charlottesville was alternately trite (“come together as one”), infantile (“very, very sad”) and meaningless (“we want to study it”). “There are so many great things happening in our country,” he said, on a day when racial violence took a life.

washington post logo

Washington Post, Trump condemns ‘egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,’ John Wagner and Jenna Johnson​, Aug. 12, 2017. The president ignored shouted questions from reporters about what he thought of the white nationalists at the event who said they supported him and were inspired by his campaign.

fox-news-logo Small.png

Raw Story, ‘The f*cking Jew-lovers are gassing us!’: Nazi Charlottesville marcher drops F-bomb live on Fox News, David Ferguson, Aug. 12, 2017. Fox News reporter Doug McKelway got more than he bargained for on Saturday when he attempted to interview a group of pro-Nazi marchers at the “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville, VA. McKelway seemed shocked that the right-wing marchers who showed up in vintage Nazi helmets, armed with brass knuckles and carrying shields weren’t interested in having an intellectual conversation about the role of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in U.S. history.

“Nobody’s having any sort of political discussions here,” McKelway said. “No one’s having any intellectual discussions or historical discussions about the significance of Robert E. Lee or the Confederate flag or anything.” “They’re just angry,” he said, “and demonstrating it here. Let’s see if we can talk to some of these guys.” He approached a group of helmeted, shield-carrying men and asked where they were headed.

“We’re trying to survive,” one said melodramatically. “They’re gassing us!” said another in reference to police tear gas being used to disperse the protesters. “The f*cking Jew-lovers are gassing us!”

charlottesville torchlight parade 8 12 2017

White Nationalists March In Charlottesville Torchlight Parade (Vice News)

Inside Trump White House

Axios, Trump suspects Bannon of leaking, putting job in jeopardy, Jonathan Swan, Aug. 12, 2017. President Trump has told close associates that he believes Steve Bannon is behind damaging leaks about White House colleagues, putting the chief strategist's job in fresh jeopardy, sources close to the president tell me.

Trump has told associates he's fed up with what he sees as self-promotion by Bannon, who did not join the core team this week at the president's golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Bannon's time with Trump has diminished since the new chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, took over and imposed discipline on the circus around the Oval Office. Bannon declined to comment.

Why it matters: POTUS has been frustrated with Bannon in the past, but he never had as easy a vehicle for getting rid of him. Kelly is expected to make West Wing changes, anyway. As one top aide said: "Kelly can do the dirty work."

Aug. 11

Trump White House & The Media

omarosa manigault newman gage skidmore custom 2

ny times logoNew York Times, White House Aide Causes Uproar at Journalism Event, Yamiche Alcindor, Aug. 11, 2017. Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s appearance at a gathering of black journalists devolved into a shouting match after she refused to discuss President Trump’s remarks endorsing harsh police tactics. The appearance of Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a White House aide shown at right in a portrait by Gage Skidmore, caused an uproar at a National Association of Black Journalists convention on Friday after she refused to answer some questions about President Trump’s recent remarks encouraging the police to be rougher while arresting criminal suspects.

Ms. Manigault-Newman, whose role in the Trump administration as an advocate on issues concerning African-Americans was also scrutinized, appeared at the annual gathering for a panel that was called “Black and Blue: Raising Our Sons, Protecting Our Communities.” It was moderated by a longtime journalist, Ed Gordon, a host at Bounce TV. The event began cordially, but within minutes, it devolved into a shouting match between Ms. Manigault-Newman and Mr. Gordon. She interrupted him, accusing him several times of attacking her as Mr. Gordon pressed for answers about her role in the Trump administration and changes to criminal justice policies under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In one of the tensest exchanges, Ms. Manigault-Newman said, “Shame on you,” to Mr. Gordon. He replied, in part, “So here’s what you’re not gonna do,” before explaining that he would not let her “railroad” the event. The panel started with Ms. Manigault-Newman answering a question about the deaths of her father and brother to violence in Ohio. She said she understood the pain of losing a family member and that she was dismayed by accusations that she does not sympathize with families whose loved ones have been killed by the police.

Ms. Manigault-Newman is the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison. She also noted that in her role, she is often the “only African-American representative” in the White House and frequently tries to be an advocate on behalf of black people. But the discussion quickly worsened from there. It became a 25-minute argument during which Ms. Manigault-Newman called Mr. Gordon “aggressive,” with Mr. Gordon pointedly asking what effect Ms. Manigault-Newman had made on the president.