marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

By how firmly he's standing on his hair helmet while federal-diaster-declared Hurricane Harvey blows through Texas to perform the care and feeding of his fringe, he shows that if this is the output Cambridge Analytica gives him, the inputs must be nothing short of well nigh primordial: today and tonight the same sprayed-on tan who believes "nice Nazis" exist pulled a hate-group-approved triple play: pardoning Arpaio, considering the cancellation of DACA (apparently he just likes to play with his food - this would hardly be the first time), and signing* a directive on the transgender military ban.


ETA, 9-4-17: When I said "likes to play with his food" I had no clue I was being that literal. But yes, I was! Jesus Christ.


Looks like he's picking up where Bannon left off on the weekend-ruining - because obviously Texas blowing apart - possibly twice - wasn't bad enough.

And ETA, next morning: The Orangado regime really does get a kick out of fucking up your Fridays (not news when Bannon admitted as much after, if I recall correctly, three weekends in a row earlier this year of sowing absolute chaos with everything from the Muslim ban to deportations).

*Fixed/updated link after posting; hat tip to [personal profile] darkoshi for finding the error.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

...small to begin with? How big was Pumpkinado's base at its height (and let's judge a true "base" by "strongly favorable" reviews, since "base" sort of equates to "cult")? And what's it at now?

And if it was always a minority of USians (Hillary won the popular vote, so yeah, "minority"), and if it's a minority of Trump voters - to judge by today's "strongly favorable" reviews - than is it any less of a fringe than the KKK or the Black Panthers or whomever (for purposes of this discussion, I'm limiting my definition of "fringe" not to which ideology's supported, but to how many people it can boast. By this standard, if dog lovers become few and far between enough, dog lovers become "fringe").

Asking because: Gah, why we are twisting ourselves into pretzels over what the media calls a "base" that I can only think of as a "fringe"?

Say, by the numbers, which are dismal, there were 10 people - these crazy, hotwired fiends that always seemed to want more and more of my style of...trashtalking, let's say? - and I always kowtowed, content-wise, to whatever they wanted...would that be "playing to my base" or would it be "the care and feeding of my fringe" (and possibly a sign that I've sort of lost my marbles)? I'd say the latter! Though that might actually be fun...but with just a blog to run, and not the whole country, I can kind of afford to think that way.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Someone who routinely lies, stretches the truth, exaggerates, is too vague or inserts people, places, and conversations that were never there, or not in the context he claims is wrong about something? No way. While we're at it, let's just fact-check Tuesday. Back to alternative-alternative reality in 3,2, 1...2018!

marahmarie: So you said you wanted a cookie... (dark side)

Darkness Is Good is gone, though no one seems able to figure how that came to be: 1,040,000 Google results pronounce HE'S FIRED while 1,360,000 Google results suggest he resigned - twice (the first time effective Aug. 14th, but in the uproar over Charlottesville I guess he forgot to take himself out the door, though it sounds like once things calmed down Kelly reminded him to pack his bags).

Though my title invites him to switch sides and come swing from the branches with us, we're more likely to collectively win Powerball tomorrow night - without buying tickets - than for him to switch sides, so yeah, surely I jest. Anyhow, he claims he's not racist and Orangado likes to echo him on that for whatever reason (they'd poll better as avowed and even belligerent "racists" with their be-all, end-all base, don'tcha think?) but with the mouth on him he's got, he can go pound sand.

He who indirectly brought an entire right-wing, white nationalist so-called "news" agency into the Oval Office - along with the first program to ever essentially automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes - surely won't be too sorely missed, and while I'll let bygones be bygones, I won't forget his every-weekend mayhem-wrecking of earlier this year, and neither will the liquor store where I get the vodka I started drinking because of it.

On "the first program to ever automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes", thank Bannon for working with - and for Trump being funded by - billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Cambridge Analytica does more damage to the Republican electorate - as low-information, conspiracy-embracing, false-danger-sensing and Faux Noize-prone as it is - than they could do to themselves.

And Bannon used it - this is my personal belief - to shape and script Trump's every public engagement, no matter how big or small. The general gist of his words was given to him daily by Bannon, after he distilled CA's results down into bullet points which he fed to Trump along with his well-done steaks and McDonald's.

That's my theory. But I have a strong hunch - beyond a hunch, I'd say I'm almost certain - that it's so, after Bannon's last words on that (and trust me, they were on that): "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over". Does he say why? No. Does he drop hints? Sure. Try this (emphasis mine): "[...] 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" and: ""There's about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill" — a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood."

When "asked what the turning point was" he blamed moderate Republicans, but the truth is without the messaging Cambridge Analytica gave him to advise Trump with, to keep the dude "on point" with his base, Trump will be like a little boy who can't find his way back home for the lost puppy he keeps chasing after in the woods.

To see why, you need only know how Cambridge Analytica works*: it uses deep data mining and polls social media for "likes" (the ubiquitous "thumbs-up"), then matches those data points against a "predictive personality model" to find its preferred targets. Right now it prefers right-leaning targets, but it could just as easily be programmed to prefer leftists or florists or Jehovah's Witnesses. As it finds new targets, it learns what each of them wants to see, watch, read and think about, then carefully spoons them more of the same, after tailoring it to their specific interests down to the most granular level. Think a bespoke Facebook or bespoke Twitter.

Which is how just one right-winger browsing Facebook might see video of a man arrested for flying a kite over, say, his state's (Democratic) governor's mansion last week that none of his Facebook friends will ever see because he in particular has shown a strong passion for kites, a strong dislike of Democrats, and happens to live in the same state where the criminal kite-flying occurred.

What CA does is reinforce each target's existing beliefs with more of the same until their thought processes are impossible to budge...almost like learning by rote. The end result is you take the base you want, shape it into the one you find the easiest to handle with the least amount of massaging, then use what you receive from the echo chamber you've created to target it even more repeatedly from within the Oval Office, on Twitter and Facebook, at rallies and pressers, or wherever. It's a brilliant, though insidiously awful, product.

And I'm making it sort of easy to grasp (I've read between 5-10 hours worth of articles over the last year in order to distill it down this much) but the sausage-making that goes into Cambridge Analytica is actually crazy-complicated, though suffice it to say, it works. It works almost too well. It's a form of AI which Mercer money - basically endless - has built into one of the best content and message-tailoring platforms on Earth.

Without it - assuming Bannon used it to influence Trump as much as I suspect he did, and that he pulled it for use in the Oval Office shortly before he was canned or resigned - Orangado will indeed soon be up the proverbial creek without his most precise, content-targeting paddle. But just as he said of Bannon: "We'll see what happens!"

*: Updated this paragraph shortly after posting to describe a bit better how Cambridge Analytica works.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Poor conservatives, they've got it so tough: they just want to finish ruining life for Poors and the already-gutted middle class but the chief citrus fruit juggler just keeps getting in the way.

Hell they care about some neo-Nazi/KKK fluff, they've got healthcare to eviscerate, taxes to delete for the rich, a minimum wage to abolish, and an environment to finish fucking up, and you wanna talk to them about white nationalism when the hell they care. They are white nationalism. Enough said.

Stepping back into my usual form (I'm about to lose it again, so no worries) you all know how I've hammered on and on and on and on and and on in post after post how Trump voters are just one big, closeted pile of slithering, slimy, silent majority racists? And how at least a few of you, how many times now, inwardly clucked to yourselves that I'm wrong and this could not possibly be the case because like, white people want low taxes, too, so how exactly does that make somebody a fucking racist again?

Fine. Like the head orange peeler, I'm feeling a bit on edge tonight myself, so let's go:

A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after the Charlottesville unrest (but before Mr Trump's Tuesday press conference) could also give clues as to why conservatives are taking pause. Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough" to condemn white nationalist violence in Charlottesville. Two-thirds of them had no problem with the president's delay in mentioning neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name.

Perhaps most remarkably, 48% of Trump voters think the Charlottesville white nationalists either "have a point" (37%) or were "mostly right" (11%). And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US.

Let's look at this again: "Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough"" to condemn white nationalist violence. So almost 80% of the citrus-eating electorate thinks saying both sides are to blame was like him getting on his knees in contrition for what haters of all stripes think they should do in his name. In other words, they just don't care.

And two-thirds (66%) thought it was fine he waited two days to get tired of Ivanka berating him over the nasty thing he said over the weekend, so to appease her, since they can't (but he definitely wishes they could) do the nasty, he read from a dry and meaningless statement that he didn't write, didn't think over beforehand, and didn't give one flying leap about - not to judge by his brain-dead delivery of it on Monday that - while condemning neo-Nazis and KKK because Ivanka and Jared are probably about ready to flee the country, still failed to condemn the very hate rally ringleaders responsible for what happened.

There was just enough to make Ivanka smile again. No more, no less. Just enough.

But that's cool: 66% of those low-information and truth-aversive enough to vote for him thought waiting two days to make an appease-the-left fake offering was great, because why should he have to pander to fuckin' libruls anyhow? How's Murca gonna be great again if we gotta kiss the asses of every fucking ___ and ___ and _____ and ___ in this country every time we just wanna exercise our free rights to speech? See, Bessy, that's why we gotta keep our guns at hand, you know Bummer almost took 'em away before those FEMA camps he was runnin' got shut down...yeah, woman, that's right - coulda been us, that's what I'm sayin'... *swigs beer*

He also quite glaringly failed to condemn himself for making such a brooding atmosphere of hate possible, an atmosphere that would've receded back into the shadows where it fucking belongs had he simply not had a victory which the entire intelligence community blames on Russian interference - not sufficient votes necessary to win - Russian interference, making him the first and only illegitimate orange drink this country's ever had.

And 48% of our Google manifesto-supporting friends think "white nationalists" - rabid non-white haters, to use the normal English term here - "have a point" or "are mostly right". About what? A monument? Violence against non-white/non-Nazi/non-KKK/non-male demonstrators? Shouting Jewish, racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs? Did shouting slurs at people who don't look like, or have the same parts or tendencies as them prove their "point"? If so, what was it? "We hate anyone who isn't a white man", was that it? Whatever it might be, 48% of people think they agree with it. Presumably they're not all white or men, so go orange eaters, upholding the palest of patriarchies nor for any good reason, but simply because they can.

"And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US." And I'll bet about 70% of them voted for Trump! So tell me again why these motherfuckers aren't racists, and didn't vote for him simply because they are, while I stop my ears up with my fingers and sing "La la la la I'm not listening" like a two year old, because fuck you, that's why.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

As a straight, cis, white girl I'm indebted to the LGBTQIA community for my ability to continue Anti-AOL when it was just starting out, when I didn't always know what to do with it or myself, because some members would drop in during my lowest moments and bolster my strength and my belief in it and make me think that I could do it. For that, I never thanked them properly or enough.

I don't know why they came to my blog: I had no visible political or other affiliations that would attract them to my cause, discussed nothing related to theirs, and on my personal blog was quite open and public about being a girly girl (I have quirks - like how I write, not to mention how I think and see the world - that make me believe I'm more androgyne than traditionally femme, but that's another story, and doesn't really matter, as I don't know if it attracted the LGBTQIA crowd to my blog or not).

But because they came to me in numbers here and there over the years and lent me their support (emails, comments, linkbacks, information, online friendships) and were there for me in a way that, to this day, most straight people are not, my gratitude was total. I don't forget kindness, and they took the time to show it to me even at my lowest points, often when absolutely no one else would.

So, though I have no offline LGBTQIA friendships, (thanks to a mostly sheltered life) and though I'm not one to bring up LGBTQIA issues too often, I have no reason not to, and often feel like I can and should do more. In the meantime, I'd like everyone to know that I will stand by the LGBTQIA community, that I consider all of you my friends and compatriots in every battle for justice and equality, and that because I believe women's rights are human rights, I don't think of what I go through as a woman without thinking of every one of you and how you often go through so much more.

In that spirit, I'd like to present a few things that are bothering me - and am hoping I'll stay more up to date in the future on sharing what's going on in the fight for LGBTQIA and women's rights.

Firstly, in the spirit of putting someone in charge of an agency who is known to hate it, who wants to dismantle it - like DeathStar Bannon (administrative state deconstructionist), Suer Polluter Pruitt (EPA disassembler) and Gun For Grizzly DeVos (public education destroyer) - now we have Bethany Kozma, an "anti-transgender activist" (gender equality gutter). I know nothing about her except her official title: "senior adviser for women's empowerment". My ass.

Anyone not empowering LGBTQIA is not empowering women. Period. I could go on about how fluid gender and sexual orientation are, not just for some but many of us, how dumb it is to make assumptions based on birth gender, current or desired appearance, admonitions in the Bible or from parents, teachers or communities, and the state-directed propaganda that is the purulence of Trump and his base, but I get why not being a scaredycat phobic bigot is in humanity's best interest, and I'm just preaching to the choir.

This regime does all it can to feed its ignorant base, as they have no quarter anywhere else, while the majority of us watch horrified as they undo the very tenets of treating each other with respect and kindness.

In the run-up to Trump's latest base-baiting, a GOP Congresswoman named Vicky Hartzler, "[f]resh off a committee hearing where she introduced (and withdrew) an amendment banning transgender people from serving in the military", was quoted as saying: "At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service [...]".

As though filing and withdrawing her hate bill and spouting this horseshit was not enough, a month later Trump picked up where she left off by barring transgender from the military. Though he phrased his twit (yes, he actually tweeted an order) as though the ban went into effect immediately just because he'd twitted it, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (after Trump claimed he'd already consulted them) denied having any knowledge of it. Then the military announced transgender individuals can still serve - at least for now - as they refuse to discharge anyone without an actual policy in place.

On the same day Trump issued his ban, the Justice Department, without invitation, jumped in on a private lawsuit to argue employers are allowed to fire people for being gay - threatening rights assumed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act - and the regime appointed infamous anti-gay rights activist Sam Brownback as "international religious freedom" propagandist.

Today we have news (that I didn't know of until I searched Google for the links above) that The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are representing five active duty transgender service members in the lawsuit Doe vs. Trump, aimed at ending Trump's ban because it's unconstitutional. I hope they prevail. If the ban is indeed unconstitutional, then there's no reason why they shouldn't.

In the meantime there are lessons here, going back to what kind of person Trump apparently became in 2015 to play to his intolerant base. Because I'm a New Yorker and grew up hearing about Trump's antics, it irritates me when people say: "Oh, you should've known you can't trust Trump" on LGBTQIA issues. To us - to typical city and outer borough New Yorkers - it sounds kind of nuts, because we had him pegged as the typical showy, pro-abortion liberal who hung out with gays and celebrities, as one does, so we might have thought he was merely putting on the "conservative" act. To fit in. To win.

While one can rest assured he's not pretending - because if it ever was an act, it's become all too real, be it to play to his rotten base, for his own financial gain, to prevail in the 2020 race, to impress his beloved Putin with shows of similar "values", or whatever - after observing him in New York, many of us assumed he'd be just a little more bendy around the edges in respect to LGBTQIA issues than he's actually turned out to be.

Instead he's taken such a harsh stance against LGBTQIA that I have no doubt that without Ivanka around for him to impress, things might be worse - LGBTQIA might be more routinely persecuted; the office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment might not exist; civil rights might be completely off the table by now, so...it's not going to be easy out there, and anyone with a more upbeat prediction than that is likely just kidding themselves.