“Alt-Right” Means White Supremacy

People using the term "alt-right" online are likely wearing these kind of pajamas in their mother's basement.

People using the term “alt-right” are likely wearing similar pajamas while they are online.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both elevated the “alt-right” term in recent speeches and media interviews. In the last 24 hours, the hashtag #AltRightMeans has been trending heavily on Twitter (and there was much glee in the “alt-right” community).

If you’re not familiar with the term “alt-right,” Issie Lapowski breaks it down in an excellent piece for Wired online:

This once-fringe movement is now standing center stage. In her speech [Thursday], Clinton called Trump’s decision to hire alt-right champion Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart News, a “landmark achievement for this group.”…

…To be clear, there is only one answer to the hashtag #AltRightMeans. It means white supremacy, researchers say, plain and simple.

“Race is at the foundation of everything to the alt-righters,” says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the alt-right movement as a hate group. “They have this idea that white people and white civilization is under assault by the forces of political correctness, by social justice and so on.”

The term “alt-right” is merely a rebranding of an ideology with deep, dark historic roots, says Jessie Daniels, a professor of sociology at Hunter College and author of the book Cyber Racism. In fact, you could say it’s a “dog whistle” for white supremacy. “People who are in the United States, mostly white people, are uncomfortable saying white supremacy,” Daniels says. “They’re more comfortable saying alt-right” [Pols emphasis]

If you are someone who is “uncomfortable saying white supremacy,” then you should get just as unaccustomed to using the term “alt-right.”

Mizel Bucks Trend of Jewish Republicans Avoiding Trump

trumpburnDenver businessman and influential political donor Larry Mizel hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump in Aspen on Thursday, at least the second major fundraiser organized by Mizel for Trump in the last two months.

We’ve wondered before in this space why Mizel is so supportive of Trump when many major Jewish philanthropists won’t go anywhere near the GOP nominee for President. We’re wondering some more after an interesting article published today in the Jerusalem Post:

While several Jewish hedge fund managers have donated significant sums – including investor Carl Icahn, Trump’s old friend, and Cerberus Capital Management CEO Stephen Feinberg – most major billionaire GOP donors have held out, including Elliott Management Corporation founder Paul Singer, Baupost Group founder and Times of Israel backer Seth Klarman, head of TRT Holdings Robert Rowling, mega Florida auto dealer and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Norman Braman and CAM Capital chairman Bruce Kovner.

Several of these men are instead focusing on competitive races that may tip the balance of power in the Senate…

…On the whole, Republican Jewish Coalition board members have given far less than the $12m. they offered Romney’s campaign in 2012. They reflect their skeptical membership, which has in turn been reflected in the RJC’s campaign strategy: Not once since May has the organization mentioned Trump’s name in its advertising material.

Perhaps the biggest question for Trump is whether Sheldon Adelson, the largest donor in the 2012 race, will follow through on his commitment to deliver major donations to his campaign. As of now, Adelson has not donated a dime, despite publicly endorsing the nominee in May and pledging financial support.

Even Sheldon Adelson has yet to give Trump any money, and Adelson hasn’t been shy about his interest in buying a Presidential candidate.

Look, Mizel is certainly free to support whomever he wants whenever he chooses — even when many friends and fellow donors won’t touch Trump. That doesn’t make it any less odd that a prominent Jewish philanthropist would be working so hard to help a candidate whose rhetoric seems to delight anti-Semitics, white supremacists, and other “alt right” conservatives.

Get More Smarter on Friday (August 26)

Get More SmarterWe’re still waiting for the day when pigs fly, but now we can all say we were alive for the moment when pizza took flightIt’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took the gloves off in a speech in Reno on Thursday. As CNN reports:

The speech that Hillary Clinton delivered on Thursday was the one that many Democrats had been waiting for.

It was a blistering attack on Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric that left no gaffe or alleged dog-whistle unmentioned, framing him as a vessel for hate speech, a champion of conspiracy theories, and a representative of the far-right fringe of the Republican Party…

…There was little subtlety in Clinton’s speech. In a moment that drew gasps and jeers from the Reno audience, she read a series of recent headlines from the Breitbart website. Among them: “‘Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”

► The campaign for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump announced a bunch of new made-up “coalitions” in Colorado. This isn’t particularly strange on its own, but it gets weird when you consider whose name is included as a co-chair of the Colorado Education coalition for Trump: Former Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.

 

► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) referred to Trump as a “fraud” not long ago; now, Buck is endorsing Trump for President!

 

► Make sure to check out the newest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an interview with Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish).

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

At Least He’s Not Your Governor

Maine Gov. Paul LePage may have a bit of an anger management problem.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage may have a bit of an anger management problem.

It’s time to return, once again, to one of our longest-running features on this site: At Least They’re Not Your Legislator.

Today, we visit Maine, where Republican Gov. Paul LePage left a profanity-laced voicemail for a Democratic state senator and later challenged the man to a duel.

Yes, a duel. With pistols and stuff.

As CNN reports:

According to the Press Herald, Democratic State Rep. Drew Gattine was identified by local media as having called LePage racist, though Gattine denies doing so.

“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” the audio recording says. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (obscene term). I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little (obscene term), socialist (obscene term). You — I need you to — just friggin’. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”

The governor took credit for leaving the voicemail in a later interview at his home with local media, and said he would like to challenge Gattine to a duel.

“When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825,” LePage said, according to the Press Herald. “And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”

Well, then. The moral of this story is obvious: The best way to prove that you are not a racist is to threaten to shoot another man in the head in a public duel.

GOP Candidate’s Facebook Meme: “Hillary Meal Deal” (3 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts, and a Bunch of Left Wings)

Garcia Hillary Meal Deal 2(Very classy — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I called Raymond Garcia, a Republican candidate for Colorado state house, after I saw a couple memes he posted for his Facebook friends.

One depicts an image of Hillary Clinton on a bucket of “HRC” Kentucky Fried Chicken with the text, “Hillary Meal Deal, 3 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, and a bunch of left wings.” (“Crispy Commie Recipe.”)

The other was a anti-Hillary version of an anti-Trump statue.

Asked if he’s worried that these posts, which were obtained from a source, might offend people, the House District 1 candidate said:

Garcia: “I can’t help it if somebody gets offended. If they get offended, that’s their deal.”

Delta County Colorado GOP chair Linda Sorenson offered a similar response when asked if her Facebook post, comparing Obama to a Chimp, was a joke. A subsequent outrcry led to her resignation.

Garcia, who hopes to unseat Democrat Susan Lontine in the Southwest Denver district, said he posted the memes “in response to a post that somebody else has put up against Trump.”

“So it’s the exact same thing, but it’s been converted over so it criticizes Hillary instead of criticizing Trump,” Garcia said. “It’s just in response to the posts that I’ve been seeing criticizing Trump.”

I saw the Trump statue he’s referring to, but I can’t find a similar meme about a Trump meal deal. The “Meal Deal” meme has been around since at least 2008, when it was labeled “truly horrible” by a New York Magazine writer.

In any case, whether similar memes exist, I can’t find either Hillary meme posted on Facebook by a candidate seeking a state office.

I  asked if Garcia’s intent was to joke.

“Yeah, just like they did,” he replied.

After I spoke with Garcia Wednesday, he added another post on Facebook, with the text, “I Gave Her 32 Million Dollars Because She Reminds Me of My Favorite Goat.” (See below.)

Garcia Hillary Goat Meme

 

 

Garcia Trump Hillary

The Get More Smarter Show: August 25, 2016

This week on Get More Smarter: Jason Bane and Alan Franklin give a pre-election update on the state of play in Colorado.

Then, stay tuned for a great interview with Congressman Jared Polis! Jason talks to Rep. Polis about his election, life in Congress, video games, fracking, and Jared’s GQ makeover.

To skip directly to Rep. Polis’ interview, jump to 9:40 in the video.

If you’ve missed an episode of the Get More Smarter Show, click here to catch up! Thanks for watching.

Friday Open Thread

“Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”

–Earl Wilson

Trump Campaign’s Colorado Education Co-Chair…Wait, What?!

Recalled Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.

Recalled Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.

Denver7’s Deb Stanley reports, get ready for a spit take:

The Trump-Pence Colorado campaign is creating numerous coalitions in Colorado to target various group of voters.

The coalitions include African Americans for Trump, Women for Trump, the Education/School choice coalition, the Sportsmen coalition, the Agricultural coalition and the Faith coalition…

“These leaders are contributing valuable time and energy in order to advance Mr. Trump’s conservative message to a range of important groups and organizations throughout the state,” said Colorado State Director Patrick Davis. “With their help, Coloradans will reject the third Obama term that Hillary Clinton represents and will vote for change in November.”

Plenty of B-List names you’ll nonetheless recognize if you’re familiar with Republican politics on this list, including Jerry Natividad and and Derrick Wilburn representing Hispanics for Trump and African-Americans for Trump respectively. Former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel is heading up Women for Trump along with RNC member Lilly Nunez.

But the aforementioned spit take will come when you get to the choice of Trump’s education co-chair:

The Education/School choice coalition will be led by Dr. Jim Geddes, Colorado’s 6th Congressional District on the CU Board of Regents and businessman and consultant Ken Witt. [Pols emphasis]

Note how Ken Witt’s biggest qualification to serve as the campaign’s education “expert,” being elected to the Jefferson County, Colorado Board of Education, isn’t listed? That’s probably because Ken Witt, along with his fellow right-wing board members Julie Williams and John Newkirk, were recalled last year by a lopsided 65% of the vote. “WNW” were recalled after spending two years outraging Jeffco students and parents with their open hostility to teachers and bizarre ideological flights of fancy–such as the proposal to “review” the district’s AP history course for politically objectionable content, and Williams calling on Jeffco parents to keep their kids out of school on a day when bullying against LGBT students was being protested.

[NOTE: As Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Independent points out in the comments below, Jim Geddes hasn’t been a CU Regent since 2004 and is currently a member of the Douglas County School Board.]

We can’t claim to be shocked by much that comes out of the Trump campaign at this point, but the selection of Witt as Trump’s education co-chair in Colorado is really shockingly tone-deaf. To the extent that voters in Jefferson County ever learn that Witt is affiliated with Trump’s campaign, it’s going to motivate them even more to turn out against Trump on Election Day. Jefferson County is widely considered a bellwether for the entire state, and we would be hard pressed to imagine a more self-injurious pick for winning over Jeffco voters.

If anything, this baffling choice might keep alive the persistent rumors that Trump is trying to lose.

Buck Called Trump a “Fraud” But Now Says He’ll Vote for Him

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

After once calling Donald Trump a “fraud,” and then remaining silent on the GOP presidential nominee for months, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck has now thrown his endorsment to the celebrity mogul.

“What we have to do as Republicans, in my view, is we got to get Donald Trump elected, and then we got to hold him accountable,” Buck told Randy Corporon and Steve Kelly on KNUS yesterday afternoon. “We got to surround him with good, sensible people who will give him the best advice on how to move this country forward.”

Earlier this year, however, Buck slammed Trump, after Trump proposed a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to visit the United States. Buck told CBS 4:

“Trump’s proposal violates the Constitution, the values of our nation, the Republican Party platform, and my conscience. He should withdraw from the Presidential race. He is a fraud,” said Buck.

Yesterday, Buck sang a different tune, pointing out that “we have a system of checks and balances in this country which allows Congress and the Supreme Court to rein in the power of the president,” and that’s what Congress may have to do with “either president.”

If Trump doesn’t behave, “there are remedies,” said Buck, calling Buck a “strong person” who has “never been tested in office.”

“We have an unknown entity that we are going to be taking a risk on,” Buck said, adding that Hillary is “known entity” that he wants to reject. “I don’t think anybody can argue that Donald Trump isn’t an unknown quantity, to a cerntain extent.”

“There is one thing I know for sure,” Buck said on KNUS, in what appears to be Buck’s first public endorsement of Trump.  “If I call the White House, and President Clinton is in the oval office, no one is going to take my call. If I call the White House with a President Trump, I have a chance of influencing policy in the executive branch.”

(more…)

Rep. Clarice Navarro Celebrates Her Love For Donald Trump

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has nosedived in popularity since claiming the party’s nomination last month, the vocal and very public support Trump has received from a particular Republican state legislator in Colorado, Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo, has struck us as a potential major liability in her own re-election campaign. House District 47’s population is about 35% Hispanic, after all, and Trump has worked so hard to aggrieve Hispanic voters–and most everybody else, but especially Hispanic voters–that it’s almost like it was a deliberate goal.

We took note last weekend of a photo that Rep. Navarro in fact sent to us of herself with Trump, the second such picture she has distributed publicly, with a note reaffirming how she is proud to support Trump so there. Today, Rep. Navarro tripled down with a guest op-ed in USA TODAY:

Latino voters are American voters. They want the laws followed, a safe America and a future of hope. While we may not have loved the delivery of some of Mr. Trump’s comments, his vision for “making America great again” is what matters.

We have over 70 days before the election, and there is so much more to come. I don’t believe that this election has even started until the debates begin…

Again, after a recent meeting with Mr. Trump, I found him to be consultative, compassionate, and a man who understands the challenges we face, not just as Latinos, but as Americans. We are desperate for a new direction, and a Clinton presidency will only offer a four-year extension of the Obama administration. We deserve better now, and our children deserve better for their futures. That’s not solely a Hispanic or Latino vision; that is an American vision and hope.

And there you have it, folks! Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo is now one of Donald Trump’s biggest apologists. Also, “consultative” is a stupid word.

In terms of Navarro’s political career, this either ends miraculously well…or very, very badly.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (August 25)

Get More SmarterIt was darn near…chilly this morning. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence is apparently a big supporter of “Official English.” When he was a Member of Congress, Pence was a frequent co-sponsor of legislation designed to make English the “official” language of the federal government. Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has also regularly co-sponsored “Official English” legislation.

 

► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump will stop in Aspen today for a fundraiser hosted by prominent Colorado Republican Larry Mizel. Meanwhile, new polling from Pew Research suggests that the majority of Americans are not big fans of Trump’s immigration policies. From the Washington Post:

Large majorities of those surveyed said they believe that undocumented immigrants fill jobs U.S. citizens don’t want, are as honest and hardworking as U.S. citizens and are no more likely than U.S. citizens to commit serious crimes — sound rebukes of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration.

Even some of Trump’s own supporters reported positive views of undocumented immigrants on some issues. They expressed negative views of undocumented immigrants on other issues, including whether undocumented immigrants commit more violent crimes than U.S. citizens.

A majority of those surveyed also rejected one of Trump’s signature policies: building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has vowed to get Mexico to pay for the wall, and the proposal has become such a big part of Trump’s presidential campaign that supporters chant “build the wall” at his rallies.

It’s no wonder that Trump is sorta kinda walking back some of his rhetoric on immigration reform.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Thursday Open Thread

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

–H. L. Mencken

Mike Pence Supports “Official English,” Just Like Mike Coffman

Mike Pence, Mike Coffman

Mike Pence, Mike Coffman

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence recently reaffirmed his support of efforts to make the English language the official language of the federal government. According to a press release issued this week by “ProEnglish”:

ProEnglish Executive Director Sam Pimm recently attended an exclusive meeting with Vice-Presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Pence is a longtime advocate of official English; as a former Congressman, he cosponsored H.R. 997 (a bill to make English the official language of the federal government) five times. [Pols emphasis]  English is also the official language of Indiana, where Pence is Governor. Hot off the campaign trail, Governor Pence met with Pimm and others in a closed door meeting to discuss policy positions.

ProEnglish Executive Director Sam Pimm took the opportunity to ask Governor Pence, if elected Vice-President, if he would continue to “advocate for English as our official language,” noting that “54 other countries have English as their official language.”

Governor Pence not only reiterated his support for official English, but clarified why he supports official English. “When my ancestors came here they already spoke English. Speaking English is the key to assimilation and achieving the American dream.”

The “Official English” movement, which has long been supported by former CD-6 Rep. Tom Tancredo, has also been a favorite cause of Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) over the years.

Although Coffman would have you believe that he is “One of Us,” he is also a repeat co-sponsor of “Official English” legislation. Like Pence, Coffman has regularly co-sponsored H.R. 997 during his time in Congress (here, and here). Coffman has not offered his name as a co-sponsor in the most recent iteration of the “Official English” legislation, however.

Does Coffman no longer believe in the “Official English” movement? Or is he just no longer willing to attach his name as a co-sponsor?

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