Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Nightmares on Trump street

To me, the worst case scenario of the Trump regime involves a smoking pile of radioactive rubble, but at Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley makes a persuasive case that we are heading toward his idea of the worst case scenario:
1. An Indian engineer in Kansas was shot and killed by a white man who reportedly shouted "get out of my country!" and may have believed he was shooting at a Middle Eastern immigrant.
2. Hundreds of headstones have been desecrated at Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia while a wave of bomb threats triggered evacuations of Jewish community centers, schools, and day cares across the country. It's the fourth national outbreak of anti-Jewish bomb threats that's taken place this year.
3. Old recordings of a prominent, Nazi-fetishizing "alt-right" figure named Milo Yiannopoulos—whose career has long been supported by Trump's top adviser, Steve Bannon, and whom Trump has tweeted about approvingly—resurfaced in which Yiannopoulos defends the right of adults to sexually abuse 13-year-olds. Breitbart.com—the publication for which Yiannopoulos worked, and on which he published an infamous column praising several white supremacists—was today given an exclusive interview in the Oval Office.
4. Customs agents met a domestic flight from San Francisco to New York at an airport gate and demanded identification from every passenger in what was allegedly a search for an undocumented individual (who was not located).
5. Individuals including a children's book author who writes about tolerance, a historian who has written about Nazi collaborators in France, and Muhammad Ali's son Muhammad Ali Jr. have given public accounts of being detained and aggressively questioned by border agents despite (in Ali's case) being a native-born citizen and (in the other two cases) traveling on valid visas.
6. The Trump administration apparently distributed a press release to the conspiracy site InfoWars, which has asserted that the Sandy Hook massacre never took place and Israel helped plan 9/11. The administration also seemingly confirmed that Trump and InfoWars proprietor Alex Jones occasionally speak on the phone.
Pick your favorite portent of doom. I am inclining toward #6---the Trump-Alex Jones bromance, but then Trump and his crowd always inclined toward groundless conspiracy theories. Funny that the only conspiracy theory that Trumpers reject involves the fairly well evidenced collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin crew. 

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