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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Trump’s Economic Policy Team Is Filled With His Capitalist Friends

Donald Trump revealed his team of economic advisers on Friday, and the list is missing the names of those who usually serve as advisers to Republican presidential candidates.

As has been the case with the GOP’s nominee’s campaign, Trump’s rich friends are filling the spaces that would normally be occupied by Republican bigwigs who refuse to support his candidacy.

Peter Navarro is the only actual economist on the list, with a PhD from Harvard University. He currently teaches economics and public policy at the University of California, Irvine. Although relatively unknown, he is a big critic of US-China trade.

Instead of economic policy experts, Trump’s list of economic advisers is composed of finance and real estate industry executives.

“I am pleased that we have such a formidable group of experienced and talented individuals that will work with me to implement real solutions for the economic issues facing our country,” the GOP nominee said in a statement on Friday.

With a team of text-book capitalists guiding his economic plans, its hard to see how Trump would transform his populist economic message into policy.

Hedge fund investor John Paulson has made a name for himself as a cutthroat moneymaker. He is best known for making billions in profit from betting against the housing market before its crash in 2007. According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson was making $10 million a day at one point, and made $4 billion total from the housing market collapse.

Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, who is a longtime friend of Trump’s and spoke at the Republican National Convention on his behalf, is also part of the team, as is Howard Lorber, the CEO of a tobacco and real estate company.

Besides of a deficit in professional economists, the list also lacks diversity – something exemplified by the fact that it includes five white men named Steve.

Steve Roth, head of the giant Vornado Realty group, is one of them. Steven Mnuchin is another. He the chairman and CEO of hedge fund Dune Capital Management, and used to be an executive at Goldman Sachs. He also serves as Trump’s national finance chairman, and made headlines when he was chosen for the position because of his record of contributing to Hillary Clinton when she was a senator.

David Malpass, Dan DiMicco, Stephen M. Calk, Tom Barrack, Steve Feinberg, Andy Beal, and Stephen Moore will also be advising Trump on economic policy.

 

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump gives two thumbs up as he stands in the Trump family box with his daughter Ivanka (R) awaiting the arrival onstage of his son Eric at the conclusion of former rival candidate Senator Ted Cruz’s address during the third night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WATCH: Obama Calls Trump’s Claims Of A Rigged Election ‘Ridiculous’

President Obama held a news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday to discuss the war on ISIS, but as its been the case every time he answers reporters’ questions lately, he ended up responding to the latest ridiculous Trump controversy.

This time, it was about the GOP’s nominee’s claims that the November presidential election could be rigged.

“Of course the election won’t be rigged. What does that mean?” Obama said. “If Mr. Trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is propagated across the country, including in places like Texas where typically it is not Democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that’s ridiculous. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Obama also used the opportunity to once again raise concerns about Trump’s ability to serve as commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful nation.

“Just listen to what Mr. Trump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad,” Obama warned. “This is serious business.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J_UrnORt_8

 

Photo and video: Fox News

Donald Trump Admits He Lied About ‘Secret’ Iran Video

In an unprecedented move for the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump has admitted that he lied.

After repeatedly stating that he had watched ‘secret’ footage of a U.S. plane unloading money in Iran the same day four American detainees were released, Trump took to Twitter to acknowledge that he never watched such a video, because, of course, it does not exist.

“The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!” Trump clarified on Friday.

Trump made this false claim twice this week. On Thursday, in Maine, he said the nonexistent video was provided by Iran “to embarrass our president because we have a president who’s incompetent.” But now, Trump admits he confused footage of the released American hostages arriving in Geneva, Switzerland, with a plane carrying ‘bribe’ money to Iran.

In true Trump etiquette, he offered no apologies.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

WATCH: This Is What Goes On At Trump Rallies

New York Times reporters have been gathering footage of Donald Trump rallies across the nation for more than a year, and what they have found is shocking and terrifying. According to this footage released earlier this week, Trump rallies are a space where his supporters feel comfortable expressing extreme, offensive behavior and racism.

“Fuck that nigger!” a supporter is seen saying as Trump mentions president Obama.

Another is kicked from the rally for wearing a shirt that says, “Fuck Islam.” Although his shirt may have gotten him officially banned, other Trump supporters seemed to agree with both his message and his manner of expression. When he gets outside, he is met with encouraging chants and praise for refusing to take the shirt off.

You can find the Times’ video below. But please watch with discretion, as it contains racial slurs and vulgarity.

 

 

 

Photo and video: New York Times

#EndorseThis: Former Nuclear Missile-Launch Officer: ‘The Prospect Of A Donald Trump Presidency Keeps Me Up At Night’

If someone who’s been near the nukes is afraid of a presidential candidate, something ain’t right.

Former Nuclear Missile-Launch officer John Noonan appeared on MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes on Wednesday to elaborate on his now-viral tweets about the danger of a Donald Trump presidency.

Noonan’s tweet storm came after reports that Trump repeatedly asked an advisor why the United States could not use nuclear weapons.

“Buckle the hell up,” the former Jeb Bush adviser tweeted. “Nuclear deterrence is about balance. Trump is an elephant jumping up and down on one side of the scale. So damn dangerous.”

Noonan, who served as a Minuteman III nuclear launch officer in the U.S. Air Force, and is now a national security expert, told Hayes that the thought of a Trump presidency keeps him up at night.

“I have several friends in the military still that are like family to me, and the thought of him as Commander-In-Chief is disconcerting. They’re going to be looking to him for leadership,” Noonan said. “They deserve the best leadership in the world, and I don’t think they’re going to get it with Donald Trump. You add nuclear forces, strategic forces to that equation and it gets ugly very fast.”

Photo and video: MSNBC

 

WATCH: Trump Bully Kid Tells Colbert He’s Voting For Hillary Because Trump Is ‘Too Childish’

It’s been a bad week for Donald Trump — even by Donald Trump standards, and his Senior Junior Campaign Strategist agrees.

Timmy Jenkins, the “Trump Bully Kid,” returned to the Late Show to help Stephen Colbert decode the latest wave of Trump controversies.

Jenkins takes credit for the nicknames “Lyin’ Ted,” “Lil’ Marco,” and “Booby Jindal.” But even the mastermind behind Trump’s campaign strategy can’t stick with him after the GOP nominee’s disastrous last few days. Like many in the GOP, Jenkins has finally had enough of Trump, and will vote for Clinton despite her “cooties.”

“I thought this would be fun, you know… share some laughs, destroy the GOP, maybe even ban an entire religion from the country,” Jenkins told Colbert.

“But Trump’s out of control. That guy’s way too childish to be president. I’m voting for Hillary. Cooties be damned!”

Watch Jenkins’ discussion with Colbert:

Photo and video: CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert via YouTube

Report: George W. Bush Criticizes Trump’s Policies Of ‘Isolationism, Nativism And Protectionism’

According to the Wall Street Journal, former president George W. Bush slammed the views of republican nominee Donald Trump in front of a crowd of about 400 donors at a Cincinnati fundraiser held on Tuesday.

Bush did not name Trump at the fundraiser for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), but his comments against policies of “isolationism, nativism and protectionism” were a clear jab at the GOP’s nominee platform.

Like many GOP leaders have done as a non-response to Trump, Bush has stated that he will focus his campaigning efforts on down-ballot races. Bush, as well as his father George H. W. Bush, decided to stay on the side lines this year, even though they both endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008. A spokesmen for the former presidents said back on May 4 that they would not participate in or comment on Trump’s presidential efforts.

The other famous Bush, former presidential candidate and FL Gov. Jeb Bush, has more solidly denounced Trump’s candidacy, and has stated that he will not voting be for him, or for Clinton, next November.

In a Facebook post, Bush accused Trump of not being a true conservative and of having no respect for the Constitution. “In November, I will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but I will support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life,” his statement read.

Photo: Former U.S. President George W. Bush visits Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Watch Hillary Clinton Answer Nearly 40 Years Of Sexism

Whether you’re a fan of her politics or not, you have to admire Hillary Clinton’s career: The Democratic nominee for president and former secretary of state, senator, and First Lady has slogged through sexist questions for decades, and yet, they keep coming — year after year, election after election. We may have made progress on “gender issues” as a nation since the seventies, but our most prominent female politician has been forced to answer the same questions despite it all; about “trustworthiness,” “likability,” pant suits, hairstyles, and even comparisons to Lady Macbeth.

Think Clinton’s “trust issue” started this election cycle? Think again. She’s been forced to talk about it for nearly four decades.

WATCH: Corey Lewandowski Brings Back Trump’s Birther Conspiracy Theory

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reignited the birther conspiracy theory last night — in his new job as a full-time political commentator on CNN.

While trying to defend his former boss from President Obama’s strong criticism earlier the same day, Lewandowski suggested Obama was hiding his birth place because he never released his Harvard transcripts, as Trump had once demanded of him.

When Angela Rye reminded him that Trump began attacking the president the president long before he became a presidential hopeful, most notoriously as a leader of the birther movement, Lewadownski tried turning the tables once again, digging up a years-old conspiracy.

“Did he ever release his transcripts from Harvard?” Lewandowski asked.

“You raised the issue. Did he, did he ever release his transcripts or his admission to Harvard University. You raised the issue, so just yes or no? The answer is no.”

Of course, any Trump surrogate should avoid talk of transcripts. Trump has refused to release his tax returns, breaking a traditional practice by presidential candidates since Watergate.

Rye had just two words to respond to Lewandowski: “Tax returns.”

But Lewandowski went on like a broken record. “Have those ever been released, and the question was did he get in as a U.S. citizen or was he brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?” he once again asked, as other members of the panels cringed, calling his accusations “blatantly disrespectful.”

“You think he’s Kenyan. You think he’s not from here!” Bakari Sellers responded.

Photo and video: CNN

Warren Buffett — ‘Under Audit, Too’– Challenges Trump To Release His Taxes

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Monday campaigned with Hillary Clinton in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett gave a powerful rebuttal of Trump’s success as a businessman, and challenged him to release his taxes.

The Republican candidate has used his experience as a successful business man as evidence that he has what it takes to run the most powerful country on earth, but Warren, the fourth richest man in the world, isn’t buying it.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, using the excuse that he’s being audited, and decades-long tradition by presidential candidates.

“I’m under audit, too, and I would be delighted to meet him anyplace, anytime, before the election,” Warren told the audience.

“I’ll bring my tax return, he can bring his tax return … and let people ask us questions about the items that are on there,” he continued, before arguing that Trump must be “afraid” of what voters would see in his taxes.

Buffett pledged to work towards the highest voter turnout ever in Omaha’s congressional district, and even promised to personally take at least 10 people to vote who would have had difficulty getting to the polls. He said he would do “whatever it takes,” even “selfies.”

 

Photo and Video: CNNMoney

The Koch Brothers Won’t Support Trump, But The Republican Party Is Still Theirs

The Koch brothers held their bi-annual donor network gathering this past weekend in Colorado Springs and, although the infamous pair will not be supporting the Republican nominee for the presidency, they and their rich friends will invest heavily in Republican candidates down the ballot.

Charles Koch told an audience of about 400 conservative donors that at this point he cannot support Donald Trump, but he is “certainly not going to support Hillary” either. The 80-year old dismissed rumors that he would support Clinton as equivalent to “blood libel.”

Although donor gatherings like this one are a feature of the Koch influence in American politics, they are usually kept private. This year, a few reporters were invited on the condition that they would not identify donors without their permission.

The duo’s primary objective, according to Charles, are now “to preserve the country’s financial future, and to eliminate corporate welfare.” Those present at the meeting have promised to donate at least $100,000 each to the groups supported by the billionaire brothers’ Freedom Partners network, which lobbies for a “smaller, less intrusive government.”

“Since it appears that neither presidential candidate is likely to support us in these efforts,” Charles Koch told donors on Sunday, “we’re focused on maximizing the number of principled leaders in the House and Senate who will.”

So, make no mistake: While the Koch brothers have an ideological difference with Trump which they cannot overlook – on free trade — the Republican Party is still theirs.

The Koch’s Freedom Partners network has a budget of about $750 million, and they will spend it supporting Republican candidates, particularly those facing touch races across the nation.  Nearly $4 million of this money will be spent on three campaigns against Democrats in Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press reports:

Freedom Partners is spending $1.2 million in Nevada airwaves claiming Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto “drove Uber out of Nevada” while serving as state attorney general. In Ohio, another $1.4 million is going to attack former Gov. Ted Strickland’s economic record while he led the state. And in Pennsylvania, Freedom Partners is spending $1.3 million charging that Democrat Katie McGinty will look out for “the favored few” if elected.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, and Rep. Todd Young of Indiana will also get some help from the Koch’s.

The Kochs also funded an ad advocating against the candidacy of Wisconsin Senate hopeful Russ Feingold, a Democrat, which essentially accused him of murder for the bogus claim that he refused to respond to a whistleblower report about opioid abuse at a VA clinic. Many Wisconsin television stations refused to air the ad.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Republican House and Senate candidates have spent nearly $337 million this cycle not including outside money.

Photo: David and Charles Koch.    REUTERS/Courtesy Koch Industries

Who Could Defend Trump’s Comments About The Khan Family? Well…

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spent all weekend licking his wounds after the father of a fallen Muslim American soldier, Khizr Khan, gave a powerful rebuttal to his candidacy during a speech at the Democratic National Convention last week.

Trump fought back by attacking Mr. Khan’s wife for not speaking during her husband’s remarks and claiming that the sacrifices he made as a businessman were similar to the Khans’. The attacks against a grieving military family were so out of line that Republican big wigs who support Trump, like Paul Ryan and John McCain, were forced to denounce them, though they continue to support Trump’s candidacy.

Naturally, with a lack of Republican leadership coming out to defend Trump, a handful of bottom-feeder Trumplicans stepped up to, once again, defend the indefensible.

 

Longtime Trump adviser and “dirty trickster” Roger Stone, as usual, had the lowest response to Mr. Khan’s speech. Stone took to Twitter to share his newest conspiracy theory — that Mr. Khan is a double agent working with the Muslim Brotherhood.

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/759941783098761216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Roger Stone’s tweet links to an article on a low-budget conspiracy site that accuses Mr. Khan of having links to groups planning a “military conquest” of the U.S., and shamelessly suggests that Mr. Khan’s son, Humayun Khan, may have been planning a suicide attack on his fellow soldiers.

Stone, like Trump, has made a career of accusing Liberals of being “anti-American” and not respecting the troops and military. Stone has spent the Obama years accusing the president of not being a “loyal American” because of his non-existent “Muslim ties.”

This unfounded theory about Mr. Khan is a continuation of a another ridiculous accusation Stone made, against Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

After the Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub, Stone stated that Trump would “benefit” from the tragedy and that there was now going to be a  “new focus” on what he claimed are disloyal Americans like Abedin. Stone then encouraged everyone to ask themselves about Abedin’s “troubling past.”

“Do we have a Saudi spy in our midst? Do we have a terrorist agent?”

Stone told Breitbart that “There’s going to be a new focus on whether this administration, the administration of Hillary Clinton at the State Department was permeated at the highest levels by Saudi intelligence and others who are not loyal Americans.”

 

Jeffrey Lord, CNN’s favorite pro-Trump talking head, defended Trump’s attacks on Mr. Khan by saying it was all “politics” and that the family was “opening themselves up to disagreement” when they agreed to go on stage at the DNC.

He also tweeted what seemed like an attack on Hillary Clinton for not enlisting in the military herself.

Former Trump campaign manager and current CNN commentator Corey Lewandowski defended Trump’s attacks on the Khans by alleging that “If Donald Trump were the president, Captain Khan would still be alive today because we would have never entered the Iraq War.”

Like Stone, Lewandowski has previously accused Obama of being anti-American. Back in May, he linked aggressive behavior towards police officers to the president, and slammed what he said was Obama “apologizing for America to foreign countries.”

“That’s not what the American people want.” Lewandowski said to Breitbart. “They want you to focus here. For us to go and apologize for something…that’s a blight on the administration,”  he added, before emphasizing how important it is to be proud to be American.

 

Fox News anchors Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade tried to belittle the overwhelming response to Mr. Khan’s speech by erroneously claiming that “no networks covered” Patricia Smith’s speech blaming her son’s death at Benghazi on Clinton at the Republican National Convention. They argued that “There is a double standard,” because  “the mainstream media is paying all the attention to the Khan family.”

Actually, their own network, Fox News, was the only news network to not cover Smith’s full speech. They aired a phone interview with Donald Trump instead.

 

Photo: Khizr Khan speaks during the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

WATCH: Trump, One Of The Great Dictators?

Donald Trump has expressed admiration for many of the world’s greatest dictators. From Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, he loves them all, and now we know why: they remind him of himself.

Like Trump, dictators throughout history have often been charismatic demagogues who love matching their bombastic rhetoric with equally eye-grabbing movement.

Watch how Trump’s speaking style mimics that of some of humanity’s biggest mistakes.

In order of appearance: Donald Trump, Benito Mussolini, Hugo Chavez, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.

Rev. William Barber II Brought Down The House At The DNC

Reverend Dr. William Barber II mesmerized the crowd during the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Using the fiery preaching style that has made him known across North Carolina, the state’s NAACP president delivered an electrifying speech in which he encouraged the nation to fight back against hate with love, and “be the moral defibrillators of our time.”

Although the civil rights leader usually does not endorse candidates or organizations, something he told the convention, his speech was a clear endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

“Some issues are not left versus right or liberal versus conservative, they are right versus wrong,” said the voting rights advocate. “We need to embrace our deepest moral values and push for a revival of the heart of our democracy.”

Photo and Video: PBS

#EndorseThis: John Oliver Approves Of Tim Kaine, ‘America’s Cool Step-Dad’

John Oliver stopped by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday to say he’s all in for Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, Tim Kaine.

The Democratic National Convention had an all-star list of speakers on its third night — President Obama, Joe Biden and even Michael Bloomberg brought down the house with their takedowns of Donald Trump and fiery endorsements of Clinton.

Kaine, who was relatively unknown nationally until he was chosen as Clinton’s running mate last week, introduced himself to much of the nation Wednesday, and Oliver approved of the Virginia senator’s “cool step-dad” approach.

To Oliver, Kaine won the night. “Forget the President,” he said. “Tim Kaine is where it’s at.”

After this election cycle — “18 months of hell” — Kaine’s dad jokes, “soft” face, and successfully-awful attempts at a Trump impression were exactly the “tall glass of Lactose” America needed.

Photo and Video: CBS/ Late Night with Stephen Colbert

Inside Dr. Jill Stein’s Philadelphia Headquarters

Dr. Jill Stein’s campaign headquarters in south Philadelphia looked exactly as you would expect – megaphones lined one wall. There was an improvised recycling station. Everyone looked like a hipster stereotype, but older.

Around ten members of the campaign were trying to figure out Stein’s schedule for Wednesday – is it a live stream or a TV interview that they’re doing? They weren’t sure. But they were excited about the options.

The Green Party’s candidate for president had been receiving an unusual amount of media attention thanks to protests at the Democratic National Convention from the “Bernie or Bust” movement.

Her campaign agreed to an interview with me — before the “big” media outlets began calling. Now, she didn’t have much time. Stein was going on Fox News soon.

She spent the day before speaking to former Sanders supporters who are now refusing to support Hillary Clinton, even after Sanders has repeatedly endorsed her. Stein assured them that there’s a third choice in November and that with her, their revolution can continue.

When she joined protesters outside the DNC on Tuesday night, the rowdy crowd surrounded her so closely that she began to feel sick. Stein’s campaign has been fairly small until now, and she doesn’t have the security infrastructure that major presidential candidates usually enjoy.

Gloria Mattera, the campaign’s co-chair, was the one in charge at the scene. While she agreed that the influx of Sanders supporters to the Stein campaign has been significant, she wanted to make sure I knew there were people who supported Stein all along, “even while Sanders was in the race.”

I told her that many “Bernie or Bust” protesters had said that, ideally, they would want Sanders to run with the Green Party, and that I saw reports of Stein being open to this scenario. Mattera conceded that their campaign has made several attempts at reaching out to Sanders, not just now but throughout the years, but “he’s never responded.”

When I asked her the question of the week — “What about those who think a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump?” — she said, “A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Jill Stein. Nobody owes anybody votes, in terms of any political party.”

I asked why Stein seemed to be taking closer aim at Clinton than at Donald Trump, who Sanders and many progressives consider to be an “imminent threat.” Mattera answered that she believes most people see Trump, and “see what they see,” but Clinton is “an insidious evil.”

And what about Meleiza Figueroa, the campaign’s press director, a prototypical Sanders supporter that Stein is hoping will typify other converts to her camp? The young Californian has been a Sanders supporter for a long time. She registered with the Green Party when she was 18-years-old, but became a registered Democrat this year so she could vote for the Vermont senator.

“I knew that Bernie was going to get crushed,” she said about her decision to move on to Stein’s movement. “I saw this as the next battlefield.”

Stein’s campaign staff seemed only slightly unrealistic at first — Mattera believes that Stein could just use executive orders to cut defense spending in half and move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 — but then I spoke to one of Stein’s “advisors.”

Adrian Boutureira’s card said he was a “field director/foreign policy advisor,” but he clarified that he was actually foreign policy advisor for Latin America and Palestine, or at least “one of them.” Wearing combat boots and a fedora, the Uruguay native looked more like a Brooklyn artist to me.

I asked what his policy qualifications were. He said he had been working on “Latin American solidarity issues for 25 years,” serving as co-founder of the “No War On Cuba” movement and doing other community work.

He moved to his foreign policy advice for Stein — a mix of convictions about America’s covert anti-progressive actions abroad, including against Venezuela and Cuba, two of the most, apparently, “progressive governments” the U.S. has tried to destroy. Then he called President Obama “the fascist with a heart of gold — there is no such thing.”

Finally, the woman of the hour arrived at her campaign headquarters. An ABC local reporter was finishing setting up her equipment for an interview. Sporting the highest credentials in the room, she was first on the list to interview Stein. A group of filmmakers trying to document the “revolution,” and I sat back and watched the scene.

I met Stein for a brief moment — she has the charisma of a politician, up close. But the scale of her previous campaigns was evident in Philadelphia.

I was taken aback when Stein arrived because she was carrying her own bags and wearing a tank top. I had seen her the previous two days at rallies wearing a similar outfit, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the huge differences between her and the other woman in the race. There’s no way Hillary Clinton has ever finished getting ready for a TV appearance in front of a camera crew — at least, not in decades.

It gave me pause — this was the operation to carry Bernie’s torch? I thought of my best friend, who came to this country when he was 7-years-old and has never known another life. As a “DREAMer,” his future would be in jeopardy if Donald Trump becomes president. So are reproductive rights, equality for minorities and women, gun control, college affordability… these are Sanders’ issues, and Clinton’s issues, and Democratic issues. Philadelphia served it’s purpose, for me: The choice is clear.

 

Photo: Fabian Ortiz

Black Lives Matter and ‘Bernie or Bust’ Clash Outside The DNC

The chaos outside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday night could be felt from miles away. Trains going to the Wells Fargo Center were not running all the way there to the venue, and police were present in every cart of every train heading that direction.

On the 25-minute walk from the train station to the convention, a swarm of incredulous Sanders delegates could be seen walking back the other way from the Wells Fargo Center, after the Vermont senator decided to end the roll call vote and nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

“Have you ever been surrounded by Hillary people all day long? It sucks,” one of them said to a protestor.

The first thing I saw at the convention’s outer gate was a Sanders supporter who now supports Clinton arguing with a Sanders supporter who now supports Trump. “Don’t call me a fucking fascist!” the man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat said to the Clinton supporter.

Riled up “Bernie or Bust” supporters waited for the Sanders delegates who decided to walk out of the convention as a show of protest. Once the delegates came out, the protester’s next move was unclear, even to their leaders — those who seemed to have some sway with the crowd chanted “slow down, tighten it up.” No one knew where we were headed, but a stampede of police officers followed, awaiting their own orders. Protesters first followed the delegates, and then turned around and came back to the gate.

One of them, Jill Orchin, from North Carolina, was visibly upset at what she claimed were efforts by the Democratic Party to silence Sanders’ delegates during speeches. She called Sanders part in the roll call vote for Clinton “hurtful.”

“I look up to Bernie, I thank him and he’s a beautiful human being, but it sucks that he had to do what he had to do because of his job and I don’t agree with it” Orchin said.

An older woman with a Sanders shirt was handing out roses in an attempt to “keep the peace.” But it wasn’t long before peace was threatened outside the DNC.

When a Black Lives Matter march arrived, tensions rose as they refused to unite the two protests. “This message is not gonna get drowned out. I will not allow it” one BLM protestor said, as he argued that the Bernie or Bust crowd only wanted to protest together to make their own movement look larger than it was, not to address racial injustice.

A group of Sanders supporters attempted to ease tensions with “we are in this together” chants that clashed with “hell no DNC we won’t vote for Hillary” screams.

“This is why we can’t do anything” a Sanders supporter said of BLM’s attempts to keep the two protests separate.

A BLM activist replied that he had joined the Bernie or Bust movement before, but that their “this is what democracy looks like” motto did not represent his demands as a black man. “I’ve been shot in the street. You wanna talk about that?” he asked the Berner.

Green party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein showed up shortly after, but, even after a megaphone was handed to her by protesters, her words were nearly inaudible to anyone more than 10 feet away from her. Most of the people there did not even know who the woman swarmed by a crowd of cameras was.

The protest rapidly deescalated once the BLM and Bernie or Bust crowds separated for good. Those angry at the DNC were loud, but even at the protest’s peak, the chaos spoke louder than their message itself.

The relative inconsequence of the protests became even clearer as I left the area in an Uber: I was greeted by the driver’s shushing — “I gotta listen to Bill Clinton’s speech!”

 

Photo: Fabian Ortiz