Donald Trump and United States media, animated cartoon

This satiric animated cartoon video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

21 September 2015

Now that the media sun revolves around the Trump, we all must become accustomed to seeing everything as it relates to The Donald. People, particularly cable news, just can’t avoid the delicious catnip that is Donald Trump. He’s a ratings bonanza in the form of a strange, entertaining billionaire demagogue. But, hey, he makes for good teevee— although he doesn’t make for good Democracy, but who cares, this is about ratings and fun!

Methinks this is what happens when the two predetermined “frontrunners” are from rehashed old political dynasties. People want new and different fun, entertainment, and off-the-cuff jokes and jabs. Now if only we could find someone who had all that AND good solid policy positions on foreign policy, the economy and global warming.

Mostly missed while we watch the Trump spectacle are things like Bernie Sanders‘ twenty-two (22!) points lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. (I guess the Trump distraction might come in handy for some people.) It used to be that the presidential campaign was covered like a horse race, now it seems to be covered like a wrestling match on the hood of a greased NASCAR covered in Trump and/or Koch logos. Enjoy the cartoon, pass it along to your favorite Trump fan and check out the news behind the ‘toon.

SCOTT WALKER DROPS OUT OF THE RACE The once-prominent GOP contender suspended his campaign indefinitely Monday amid polling and fundraising woes, and called for other candidates to do the same. Other campaigns were quick to court his donors, and a former top aide explained how his campaign went south so fast. [Marina Fang and Igor Bobic, HuffPost]

United States Republican Donald Trump and the media

This video says about itself:

Media Review – Donald Trump

17 September 2015

Richard Seymour [from Britain] reviews recent coverage of Donald Trump and his bid to run as presidential candidate for the Republican party.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, once considered a co-frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, announced Monday that he was quitting the contest. His withdrawal came only 70 days after he formally joined the campaign in early July. Walker’s three-minute statement mirrored his campaign—brief and lacking in substance. He gave little explanation for his pullout, which follows a plunge in national polls of likely Republican voters, from 13 percent to an asterisk (i.e., zero), a decline that coincided with his appearances in two televised debates, August 6 and September 16, to dismal reviews: here.

MCCARTHY’S WITHDRAWAL THROWS GOP INTO CHAOS “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sparked shock, tears and chaos in the GOP Thursday by declaring he was withdrawing his name from the election to replace House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), just moments before the party was supposed to vote.” McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal he had decided not to run because he wasn’t sure he’d have the votes he needed, but the last-minute change of heart still caused some conservative activists to speculate about controversial affair allegations. And here’s why Paul Ryan is adamant about not running for the job, despite building pressure. [Michael McAuliff, Sam Levine and Ryan Grim, HuffPost]

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the number two Republican in the US House of Representatives, said Thursday morning he was withdrawing as a candidate to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the house. The surprise announcement, made to a closed-door caucus of Republicans that was preparing to nominate McCarthy for the top job, came less than two weeks after Boehner announced his resignation, effective October 30. The decision leaves completely uncertain the race to replace Boehner as the third-highest official of the US government, second in the line of succession to the presidency. It lays bare a deepening political crisis of the Republican Party, not only in Congress, but also in the initial months of the 2016 presidential campaign: here.

United States Republican presidential candidates, poll, who will get nomination?

I tried to have polls at my blog before, but something went technically wrong with Polldaddy.

Now, I am trying again.

About United States Republican Party presidential candidates, who had their second TV debate some hours ago.

The question in the poll is not: Which candidate do you prefer? It is: Who do you expect to get the nomination?

Insulting, demeaning… Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley, California undoubtedly left many viewers struggling for the right term to describe a television spectacle of a frightfully degraded character: here.

US Republican Trump abuses R.E.M. song

This video from the USA says about itself:

Music video by R.E.M. performing It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

Donald Trump is one of many Republican candidates for the presidency of the USA (most of them with lots of money). Like many candidates, he chose a campaign song. And, like many politicians (especially Republicans, like Michelle Bachmann or John McCain) he chose a song which the musician who wrote it did not want him to use.

He chose a Neil Young song, angering Neil Young.

Trump continued the same way.

From daily The Guardian in Britain today:

The [United States Republican party presidential candidates‘ polls] front-runner [Donald Trump] also came under fire from REM lead singer Michael Stipe, who lambasted the Trump campaign for using one of the group’s songs at a rally on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets posted on the account of bandmate Mike Mills, Stipe said: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men.

“Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

Trump had arrived on stage to It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

According to that Guardian article, Donald Trump also attacked fellow Republican presidential candidate Carla Fiorina. Not, like a rational Fiorina critic might do, because she made a mess of being CEO of Hewlett-Packard, sacking 30,000 U.S. workers, and fleeing away from the mess by US$21 to 40 million golden parachute. No, Trump being Trump, he resorted to sexism. He attacked Ms Fiorina, the only woman among seventeen Republican candidates, for being a woman.

Carly Fiorina

CARLY FIORINA MAKES GOP DEBATE CUT Find out who snagged the 11 slots in the upcoming GOP debate Wednesday. [Mollie Reilly, HuffPost]

CNN WORKERS FED UP WITH COVERING TRUMP Tensions have risen to the surface at CNN, where staffers have complained about the constant focus on The Donald. [The Wrap]

YOU CAN NOW PAINT WITH DONALD TRUMP It’s strangely therapeutic. [Paint With Donald Trump]

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced Friday he is ending his presidential campaign. Perry announced the end of his campaign at the Eagle Forum — an event founded by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly — in St. Louis, Missouri: here.

5 Right-wing Doozies this Week: Carson and Huckabee Reach Nutty New Heights. Dr. Ben Carson, man of science, doesn’t see global warming, or racism: here.

One of the leading Republican presidential candidates declared Sunday that a Muslim should never be allowed to become president of the United States. Speaking in defiance of the US Constitution, which explicitly prohibits religious tests for holding political office, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” that being a Muslim should disqualify a candidate for the top position in the federal government: here.

United States Republican candidates support breaking equal marriage law

This 4 September 2015 video from the USA is called Meet Homophobic Christian “Hero” Kim Davis.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Six Republican presidential candidates back defiance of gay marriage ruling

7 September 2015

Six of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have come out publicly in support of Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who has been jailed for refusing a court order to begin issuing licenses for gay marriages.

The open defense of anti-gay bigotry is an indication of the drastic shift to the right in American capitalist politics, in which arguments based on religious doctrine are increasingly accepted by both parties as legitimiate in making policy decisions.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have taken the most strident public positions, joined by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Several more Republican hopefuls, like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have expressed sympathy for Davis’s actions and urged the Kentucky state legislature to find a way to accommodate anti-gay bigotry and the Supreme Court’s decision striking down legal barriers to marriage equality.

Davis remains in jail for defying the order of US District Judge David Bunning to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Five of her six deputies—the exception was Davis’s own son Nathan—began issuing licenses Friday in her absence.

The Rowan County clerk has drawn national attention and support from Christian fundamentalist groups. She is one of three Kentucky county clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples, along with a dozen or more from Alabama and a scattered few in other states.

A Democrat elected in 2014, Davis is a member of an Apostolic Church that adheres to a literal interpretation of the Bible. While presenting her actions as an assertion of her religious freedom, Davis is really trampling on the freedom of others, using her position as the issuer of marriage licenses in Rowan County to prevent gay couples from gaining the legal sanction for their relationships that they are entitled to receive under the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Walker discussed the case on a right-wing talk show Thursday, claiming that Davis was only exercising her freedom of religion. “I read that the Constitution is very clear that people have freedom of religion,” he said. “You have the freedom to practice religious beliefs out there, it’s a fundamental right.”

Santorum told CNN’s “New Day” program Friday, “What Kim Davis did, in my opinion, was heroic.” He claimed that the Supreme Court “acted unconstitutionally” when it ruled that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Jindal declared, “I don’t think anybody should have to choose between following their conscience — their religious beliefs — and giving up their job or facing financial sanction,” adding, “You should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience.”

Rand Paul, speaking on CNN, said, “It’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.” While Paul has in the past presented himself as “socially tolerant,” supposedly because of his libertarian views, he has pandered to the Christian fundamentalists in Kentucky, his home state, where he will be a candidate for re-election to the Senate next year.

The most strident defenses of Davis came from Cruz and Huckabee. Cruz issued a vitriolic attack on Judge David Bunning, a conservative Republican appointed by George W. Bush, for ordering Davis to comply with the Supreme Court decision, declaring, “Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.”

This assertion is preposterous. Davis is jailed not for “living according to her faith,” but for refusing, as an elected public official, to carry out her duties under the law. When Christian pacifists attempt to disrupt the functioning of US nuclear weapons facilities, they are invariably arrested, and reactionaries like Cruz do not shed any tears, let alone howl about the persecution of nuns.

“Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office,” Cruz said in a statement this week. “That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith — or be sent to jail.”

Here theocracy raises its ugly head. Cruz & Co. seek to impose the religious views of a specific Christian sect on the entire population of a vast and diverse country, in defiance of the constitutional separation of church and state laid down in the First Amendment.

Cruz cited the dissenting opinions in Obergefell v. Hodges, particularly that of Justice Antonin Scalia, who predicted that local and state officials might choose to defy it—demonstrating that the ultra-right faction on the Supreme Court was deliberately appealing to the most backward and reactionary forces in American society.

Even more vocal was Mike Huckabee, the former preacher who is basing his campaign on the mobilization of evangelicals, home schoolers and the like. He devoted his entire appearance on the ABC Sunday interview program “This Week” to the Davis case, and announcing a rally in Kentucky Tuesday against what he called “the criminalization of Christianity,” and plans to visit her in her prison cell.

Huckabee absurdly compared the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage to the Dred Scott decision before the American Civil War, grossly distorting both the historical context and consequences of that decision. His interviewer, the abysmally superficial George Stephanopoulos, entirely ignored this issue, if he even recognized it.

Stephanopoulos did press Huckabee on the separation of church and state, playing a recording of the famous declaration by John F. Kennedy reassuring an audience of Baptist ministers that his Roman Catholic faith would not determine government policy. Would a President Huckabee carry out the terms of the Supreme Court decision on recognition of gay couples, for example, on health benefits for spouses of gay federal employees? Huckabee simply avoided responding.

Only a handful of the Republican candidates have adhered to a traditional constitutional position, that the Supreme Court interpretation of the law was binding, and that Davis, as a public official, had to carry out the law and not her personal religious beliefs.

Others sought to square the circle, giving lip service to the separation of church and state while seeking to appease the Christian fundamentalist right.

Jeb Bush said, “It seems to me there ought to be common ground, there ought to be big enough space for her to act on her conscience and for, now that the law is the law of the land, for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is.”

Chris Christie said, “We have to protect religious liberty and people’s ability to be able to practice their religion freely and openly, and of course we have to enforce the law too.”

Marco Rubio issued a statement: “While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office.”

Billionaire Donald Trump, who leads in polls of Republican voters, said that Davis “can take a pass and let somebody else in the office do it.”

These statements ignore the fact that Davis has ordered her deputies to enforce the prohibition of gay marriage. In effect, she has made her own religious views the basis of official action by everyone in the clerk’s office, regardless of their individual beliefs.

What is involved here is an effort to legitimize government-imposed bigotry and overturn constitutional principles established more than 200 years ago in the Bill of Rights, which barred the government establishment of any particular religion, or of religion in general.

THE KNOW-NOTHING CANDIDATES “The 2016 campaign, especially on the GOP side, is setting a modern record for vacuity and even pride in ignorance about government. The widespread lack of civic education, the failure of media interest and growing public cynicism have made not knowing any details a perverse qualification for the highest office.” [Howard Fineman, HuffPost]

Oregon judge against same-sex marriage displayed Hitler photo in courthouse. Vance Day, who is under state ethics review for refusing to marry gay couples, said he put up picture of Nazi dictator to honor second world war veterans: here.

United States Republican Donald Trump’s foreign policy ignorance

The world according to Donald Trump

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Trump hits out at interviewer

UNITED STATES: Republican hopeful Donald Trump slammed interviewer Hugh Hewitt as a “third-rate radio announcer” yesterday for catching him out.

In an interview Mr Trump got confused between Iranian special ops force Quds and the Kurds and admitted he didn’t know the difference between [Palestinian Sunni Muslim] Hamas and [Lebanese Shiite Muslim] Hezbollah — but insisted he would know “when it’s appropriate.

I’ll be so good on the military, your head will spin,” he insisted, adding that he was a “delegator” who would “find great people” to tell him.

Here’s What Trump Would Look Like As Various Disney Villains: here.