The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

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The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:00 pm

I realize his most newsworthy dark deeds will probably be noted in a Trump thread or elsewhere as events occur. But I thought it might be a good idea to have a separate thread just for Bannon. There has always been something disturbing about him and he certainly has done his best to facilitate that image:

Steve Bannon: ‘Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s Power’
Angela Bronner Helm
11/19/16 11:50am

Image
Donald Trump’s campaign CEO Steve Bannon holds a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Nov. 5, 2016, in Reno, Nev.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Steve Bannon has used his Harvard Business School-honed skills to promote a reality-show entertainer all the way to the presidency, using fear, half-truths, xenophobia and racism.

Now that the mask is off, Bannon gave his first official interview to the Hollywood Reporter after being named chief strategist in the Donald Trump administration, and he did not mince words. Perhaps this is why white supremacists rejoiced at his appointment.

Bannon actually said: “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they [liberals] get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing” (emphasis ours).

Bannon also denied being a white nationalist but said that he does, in fact, have a plan—one that will last at least 50 years in his mind.

“I’m not a white nationalist,” he said. “I’m a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist. The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get [f—ked] over. If [Trump is successful] we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote, and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.”

In the interview, Bannon also referenced notorious racist Andrew Jackson’s “populism” and said that Trump was one of America’s greatest orators. (Side note: Don’t great orators have to use more than seven keywords? In Trump’s case—“great,” “incredible,” “huge,” “amazing,” “America,” “wall,” “immigrant”?)

“You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience,” he continued. “But he speaks in a nonpolitical vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic Party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit, she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids.”

Bannon’s appointment to Trump’s incoming administration is opposed by a number of groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, People for the American Way and others.



But beyond this PR campaign to paint himself as the devil on Trump's shoulder, this weekend revealed a reality that might well prove to be even darker than the facade. First, there was Bannon's decision to override DHS to extend the Muslim travel ban to green card holders. Second, there is his ascent to the NSC:


With National Security Council Shakeup, Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The Table

January 29, 20171:40 PM ET

Image
White House senior advisers Jared Kushner (from left), Steve Bannon and national security adviser Michael Flynn are seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and demoting the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bannon will join the NSC's principals committee, the top interagency group for discussing national security. The National Security Council is the staff inside the White House that coordinates decision-making by the president on such matters, in coordination with outside departments including the State Department and the Pentagon.

It's an unusual decision, NPR's Mara Liasson reports. "David Axelrod, for instance, who had a similar job as Bannon in the Obama administration, never sat in on principals meetings," she added. When such figures seen as part of the political wing of the White House have participated in broader National Security Council meetings, it has sparked sharp criticism from the national security establishment.

Former White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said last year that President George W. Bush instructed his top political adviser, Karl Rove, never to appear at a National Security Council meeting.

It wasn't that Bush didn't value Rove's counsel, Bolten said — clearly he did.

"But the president also knew that the signal he wanted to send to the rest of his administration, the signal he wanted to send to the public, and the signal he especially wanted to send to the military, is that, 'The decisions I'm making that involve life and death for the people in uniform will not be tainted by any political decisions,' " Bolten remembered.

Before joining Trump's inner circle during the 2016 campaign, Bannon was the head of Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.

Bannon was extremely influential during the first week of the administration — he is said to be part of a small group inside the White House driving the flurry of executive actions this week, Mara has reported.

Some of those orders have provoked criticism that Bannon and other administration officials are not coordinating with other agencies on major policy changes, Mara says, such as the chaos and detentions at airports following Trump's executive order on immigration.

The NSC principals committee is defined as "the Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States." It's chaired either by national security adviser Michael Flynn or homeland security adviser Tom Bossert and now includes the secretaries of state, defense and the Treasury, plus the attorney general, White House chief of staff and the president's chief strategist, which is Bannon's position.

On the other hand, the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend Principals Committee meetings only when "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed," according to the presidential memorandum issued on Saturday.

As NPR national security editor Philip Ewing explains, Trump "is shaking up the wonky process by which the executive branch makes its toughest decisions on national security — the big question is how much that will matter." Here's more:

"On paper, these are big changes: Past administrations ran their National Security Councils with a Great Wall of China-separation between the political team at the White House and the nonpartisan specialists who help with decision-making. The explicit inclusion of Bannon means that Trump's top adviser on messaging, strategy and other partisan issues means he could also be part of decisions about policy toward adversaries, military actions and other such decisions.

"What does it all mean, in practical terms? It's too soon to say. Former national security council staffers say their day-to-day meetings and process were not governed by whatever formal instruction issued by their respective presidents. Political staffers from the White House have attended meetings in the past. The committees invite who they think they need to invite given the topics under discussion — something that will likely continue under [national security adviser Michael] Flynn."

Attorney John Bellinger, who served on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, told NPR's Weekend All Things Considered on Sunday that presidents structure the National Security Council in the ways they think work best for them.

"There's no law against the president taking advice from anyone he wants," Bellinger said.

He also said the headlines about the "demotion" of the Joint Chiefs chairman and the director of national intelligence were overblown. Bellinger said time would tell how the council practically operates under Trump and Flynn, but that some of its dealings legitimately might not need to involve those leaders — when leaders meet to plot their strategy for responding to a hurricane, for example.

Top security officials from the Obama administration are blasting the decision.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under Obama and George W. Bush, called the demotions a "big mistake" in an interview with ABC News. "I think that they both bring a perspective and judgment and experience to bear that every president, whether they like it or not, finds useful," Gates said.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice called the move "stone cold crazy." In a sarcastic tweet, she said: "Who needs military advice or intel to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?"

White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded in an interview with ABC News. "That's clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador," Spicer said. "We are instilling reforms to make sure that we streamline the process for the president to make decisions on key, important intelligence matters. You've got a leader in Gen. Flynn who understands the intelligence process and the reforms that are needed probably better than anybody else."

Spicer also defended Bannon's qualifications. "Well, he is a former naval officer. He's got a tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now," Spicer said.

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told CBS News, "I am worried about the National Security Council. Who are the members of it and who are the permanent members? The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history."

McCain added that, "One person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view."


From my perspective, this will take the NSC back to Iran/contra level skullduggery. If Bannon is as buddy-buddy with Flynn as he looks in the photo above, perhaps the outlines of a new Secret Team are emerging. When I first wrote about Trumpstag, I certainly didn't envision it being something exclusively within Executive Branch control. Now I'm not so sure.
"Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
-Jim Garrison 1967
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:23 pm

seemslikeadream » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:18 am wrote:self-described Leninist at the NSC

“Lenin, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.

- Bannon


Steve Bannon, Bolshevik: Maybe Donald Trump’s alt-right Svengali really is a “Leninist”
Image
http://www.salon.com/2016/11/19/steve-b ... -leninist/


viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40310&p=629512&hilit=bannon+leninist#p629512

seemslikeadream » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:17 pm wrote:
‘MY GOAL’
Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was 'A Leninist' Who Wants To ‘Destroy the State’


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... inist.html


Bannon’s support for European far-right parties runs far deeper than his interest in Marion Maréchal-Le Pen or the National Front. He brags about his international Breitbart operation as “the platform” for the American alt-right, and has for years been thinking globally, with an affinity for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the Party for Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands, all of which have earned glowing coverage on the pages of Breitbart.


Breitbart, which currently has operations in London and Jerusalem, certainly has plans to expand in France and Germany with new bureaus to cultivate and promote the populist-nationalist lines there.
“He has long wanted to work with all of those parties, but that was only in promoting them with Breitbart,” a source close to Bannon told The Daily Beast. “Now he has the power of the White House to do it.”

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39115&p=619290&hilit=bannon+leninist#p619290


3) CNN has a detailed story (heavily sourced) about the process by which this ban was created and announced. Notable in this is that the DHS’ lawyers objected to the order, specifically its exclusion of green card holders, as illegal, and also pressed for there to be a grace period so that people currently out of the country wouldn’t be stranded — and they were personally overruled by Bannon and Stephen Miller. Also notable is that career DHS staff, up to and including the head of Customs & Border Patrol, were kept entirely out of the loop until the order was signed.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40306&p=629631&hilit=bannon#p629631


seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:05 pm wrote:#StopPresidentBannon

https://twitter.com/hashtag/StopPreside ... 12&lang=en

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Dr Kelly Sennholz ‏@MtnMD 19m19 minutes ago

RT @nadinevdVelde Bannon 7 yr membr of Vigilant Patriots White Supremacist anti Muslim FB group #StopPresidentBannon
Image



Benjamin F
‏@knucklepushup
Because this racist piece of filth is now the most powerful man in the world #ReasonsToProtest #StopPresidentBannon
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viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40306&p=629624&hilit=bannon#p629624


seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:20 am wrote:
MONDAY, JAN 30, 2017 07:05 AM CST
Trump’s Rasputin seizes the moment: A week of chaos may suit Steve Bannon’s master plan
Alt-right guru turned Trump adviser is using both the "Muslim ban" and bogus voter-fraud charges to spread disorder
http://www.salon.com/2017/01/30/trumps- ... ster-plan/


Questions multiply over Bannon’s role in Trump administration
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... 4cec5fd154

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40306&p=629619&hilit=bannon#p629619
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby The Consul » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:07 pm

So now it seems at least in the name of transparency we will know one of the key players in the new and improved shadow government. For some withered minds, this is a positive development!

As one avid Trumptown devotee proclaimed: "He says what he means even if he doesn't know what it means. His movement transcends meaning."

An openly racist, mysogenistic, jew hating bigot who has bragged about his intentions to destroy government (meaning all services save for transportation, military and law enforcement) has perhaps the biggest influence on the ear of President Incredible Guy (PIG). This explains why PIG has been so willing to drive all Thelma and Louisey right toward the cliff from day one.

"Look at all the people in the streets, Steve, why are they there?" asked PIG.
"Because of what you've done the first few days, sir."
"It doesn't look like they like me. Do they like me?"
"No, sir. They hate your fucking guts. Which is what we want."
"Why?"
"Just like your show, sir. Most people who watched it didn't like you."
"True, true. But they thought I was smart. Powerful rich and smart. And, you know, big, bigly endowed.?
"Yes sir."
"And many women who watched wanted me."
"Without a doubt, sir."
"Wouldn't it be better if all those people out there liked me?"
"No, sir. It would be very bad."
"Why? Wouldn't it be better for ratings?" Asked PIG.
"We are beyond ratings now, sir. We have the power and we are going to use it."
"Yes. Yes, power I like almost as much as money, revenge and rape."
"That's just between you and me, sir."
"Oh, of course. How old is your daughter again?"
"Sir, we need to focus. At some point."
"Oh, okay. I want to watch television."
"Do you remember the plan, sir?"
"The what?"
"You know, sir, the plan."
PIG looked at Bannon with his puffy sleep deprived eyes, his face turning red, his jowls quivering with the tremble of rage until Bannon handed him a handful of pills.
"Make. America Great ..."
"No! That was the campaign. Try harder."
"Make America.......FIRST!"
"There you go, sir. Good job!"
"But, Steve, if everything is a mess, how we going to do that?" asked PIG.
"Operation FUBAR, sir. Remember?"
"Oh yeah," said PIG, his attention wavering as he reached for the remote.
"We're going to fuck everything up so bad no one will know what to do."
"As long as my hotels and golf courses are okay."
"Don't worry, sir. When we're done they'll be all that is left."
As PIG turned on the television he glanced at Bannon and gave him his trademark grin of sublime self satisfaction.
"That sounds wonderful, Steve."
"Is there anything else you need, sir?"
"Yes, send in a couple of girls to the Lincoln bedroom."
"Plastic sheets tonight?"
"Yes, I'll need extra, plus Tonight I'll be using the surgical instruments."
"Body bags?"
PIG nodded and waved him off, tiring of having to have all of his unquestioned desires confirmed.
"I'm on it, Mr. President!"
" Morals is the butter for those who have no bread."
— B. Traven
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby dada » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:24 pm

Great stuff, Consul!

---

“Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing”

He's got a point. If power is what you want, darkness is good. Soulless evil, hypocrisy, lies. Opposite of that isn't a 'light power,' it's love. Not a warm, fuzzy-feeling love. Not personalized, not Gandhi and Jesus love. Merlin and the Knights of Camelot are not going to ride in and 'save us.'

The Love I'm talking about is cruelly dispassionate. Belly-laughing coldly, serious as a heart-attack. That's real love. I know, I'm made of it.

I'm trying to help, here. Tune things up. It's all I can do. I don't have a fancy college pedigree, or rich friends to suck up to that would allow me to walk the halls of power. All I can do for now is inspire and suggest.

I'm going to stay out of the higher intellectualizing, the historical contextualizing, the geopolitical discussion. I think this is my role here. I'm reading and enjoying it all, though.

They're trolls, and what they're doing is trolling. When we're blind to that, it helps them. I've been fighting stupid trolls for years, when no one gave two shits. Now you have trolls in the white house. Sucks, doesn't it? Now you know what it's like.
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:08 pm

Worth watching. 'AMAZING' overstates it... more like 'common sense.'

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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:10 pm

bannon is a fucking Leninist PIG

he can take that puke coming out of his mouth catch it in a mug then put it up to his lips and swallow it...when it comes out the other end it will be exactly what it is pork fecal matter littered with trichinosis
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40 red, white & blue shoestrings

Postby IanEye » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:27 pm



Bannon has always seemed like a third rate Albert Grossman to me.
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:29 pm

Is Steve Bannon Trying to Instigate a Constitutional Crisis?
by David Atkins January 29, 2017 8:42 PM POLITICAL ANIMAL BLOG

In 1832, Justice John Marshall ruled that the state of Georgia could not grant licenses for non-Native Americans to settle on federally created Native American land. President Andrew Jackson, a populist white supremacist who despised and murdered Native Americans in the thousands, is reported to have said in response, “”John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

Donald Trump’s closest adviser Steve Bannon has reportedly been the lead actor responsible for many of Trump’s recent executive orders, including the illegal ban on immigration from large parts of the Muslim world. Bannon is a white nationalist, the ideological architect of Trump’s xenophobic populism, and a big fan of Andrew Jackson. Bannon sees in Trump another Jackson, and even hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office. Some historians are pushing back on the comparison, but clearly the current White House is trying to create a 21st century version of what they perceive to be Jacksonian populism.

Andrew Jackson’s confrontational attitude toward the courts, particularly on matters of race, war, and human decency, bears particular scrutiny. Jackson hated the courts, making every attempt to limit their power and even instigate clashes with the judiciary. Jackson felt that judges had no authority to place any limits on majoritarian rule. Both states and the federal government attempted to nullify or simply refuse to enforce judicial rulings, and various crises were only resolved when majorities who favored court decisions protecting minority interests once again won elected office and created a government culture in which the judiciary was better respected.

Fast forward to the recent Muslim ban. Bannon had to know that the courts would immediately step in to halt the deportations on multiple legal grounds. But not only did Bannon seek that confrontation, he did so in the most provocative way possible: it was Bannon’s idea to overrule the Department of Homeland Security and include green card holders in the immigration ban.

And, in fact, a Constitutional crisis has already arisen: some border patrol have been defying court orders by detaining legal residents without access to attorneys, in spite of direct personal pressure from United States senators and armies of lawyers.

It’s possible that this chaos is simply a result of overzealousness and incompetence on the part of the Administration. But Bannon is known to be a cunning a strategist who doesn’t show his hand and doesn’t like to openly talk about his tactics. His actions are seldom random and always deliberate.

We do know that Bannon implemented a highly controversial, high-profile order that he knew to be illegal and particularly cruel, but of great importance to his white nationalist base. We know that on the same day he placed himself on the national security council, removing the joint chiefs from the room. We know that Bannon idolizes Andrew Jackson and sees himself as above the courts.

We don’t yet know the Trump Administration’s response to the court rulings. But it’s worth considering the possibility that Trump’s closest adviser is actively seeking a Constitutional crisis that tests the power of the judiciary to stop any potential actions by the Executive Branch.

This is a very dangerous time for the country.

Update: Donald Trump’s team has removed The Judicial Branch from the White House website. This is not a joke.
Update 2: Looks like they put the Judicial Branch back on the website after the uproar.
http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/01/29 ... c.facebook



looks like one of Piggy Bannon's fans just shot up a Quebec Mosque

The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist. A leader of a local immigration rights groups, François Deschamps, told a local paper he recognized his photo as an anti-immigrant far-right “troll” who has been hostile to the group online. And Bisonnette’s Facebook page – now taken down but still archived – lists among its “likes” the far right French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Islam critics Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Donald J. Trump (he also “likes” the liberal Canadian Party NDP along with more neutral “likes” such as Tom Hanks, the Sopranos and Katy Perry).

more...

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/sus ... tionalist/
[/quote]


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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:52 am

If Bannon has a seat at the table he has to be OKed by the Senate


Charlene Eldon ‏@charleneeldon 6h6 hours ago

I knew I recognized Bannon! @TrueDetective #StopPresidentBannon
Image



President Bannon?

Image
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDJAN. 30, 2017

Credit Illustration by Selman Design; Photos by Damon Winter/The New York Times
Plenty of presidents have had prominent political advisers, and some of those advisers have been suspected of quietly setting policy behind the scenes (recall Karl Rove or, if your memory stretches back far enough, Dick Morris). But we’ve never witnessed a political aide move as brazenly to consolidate power as Stephen Bannon — nor have we seen one do quite so much damage so quickly to his putative boss’s popular standing or pretenses of competence.

Mr. Bannon supercharged Breitbart News as a platform for inciting the alt-right, did the same with the Trump campaign and is now repeating the act with the Trump White House itself. That was perhaps to be expected, though the speed with which President Trump has moved to alienate Mexicans (by declaring they would pay for a border wall), Jews (by disregarding their unique experience of the Holocaust) and Muslims (the ban) has been impressive. Mr. Trump never showed much inclination to reach beyond the minority base of voters that delivered his Electoral College victory, and Mr. Bannon, whose fingerprints were on each of those initiatives, is helping make sure he doesn’t.

But a new executive order, politicizing the process for national security decisions, suggests Mr. Bannon is positioning himself not merely as a Svengali but as the de facto president.

In that new order, issued on Saturday, Mr. Trump took the unprecedented step of naming Mr. Bannon to the National Security Council, along with the secretaries of state and defense and certain other top officials. President George W. Bush’s last chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, was so concerned about separating politics from national security that he barred Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush’s political adviser, from N.S.C. meetings. To the annoyance of experienced foreign policy aides, David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s political adviser, sat in on some N.S.C. meetings, but he was not a permanent member of the council.

More telling still, Mr. Trump appointed Mr. Bannon to the N.S.C. “principals’ committee,” which includes most of those same top officials and meets far more frequently. At the same time, President Trump downgraded two senior national security officials — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a role now held by Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., and the director of national intelligence, the job that Dan Coats, a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and former ambassador to Germany, has been nominated to fill.

All this may seem like boring bureaucratic chart-making, but who sits at the National Security Council table when the administration debates issues of war and peace can make a real difference in decisions. In giving Mr. Bannon an official role in national security policy making, Mr. Trump has not simply broken with tradition but has embraced the risk of politicizing national security, or giving the impression of doing so.

Mr. Trump’s order says that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence will attend the principals’ committee meetings only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.” Could there be any national security discussions when input from the intelligence agencies and the military will not be required? People in those jobs are often the ones to tell presidents hard truths, even when they are unwelcome.

As his first week in office amply demonstrated, Mr. Trump has no grounding in national security decision making, no sophistication in governance and little apparent grasp of what it takes to lead a great diverse nation. He needs to hear from experienced officials, like General Dunford. But Mr. Bannon has positioned himself, along with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as the president’s most trusted aide, shutting out other voices that might offer alternative views. He is now reportedly eclipsing the national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

While Mr. Trump long ago embraced Mr. Bannon’s politics, he would be wise to reconsider allowing him to run his White House, particularly after the fiasco over the weekend of the risible Muslim ban. Mr. Bannon helped push that order through without consulting Mr. Trump’s own experts at the Department of Homeland Security or even seeking deliberation by the N.S.C. itself. The administration’s subsequent modifications, the courtroom reversals and the international furor have made the president look not bold and decisive but simply incompetent.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump was immensely gratified by the applause at his rallies for Mr. Bannon’s jingoism. Yet now casually weaponized in executive orders, those same ideas are alienating American allies and damaging the presidency.

Presidents are entitled to pick their advisers. But Mr. Trump’s first spasms of policy making have supplied ample evidence that he needs advisers who can think strategically and weigh second- and third-order consequences beyond the immediate domestic political effects. Imagine tomorrow if Mr. Trump is faced with a crisis involving China in the South China Sea or Russia in Ukraine. Will he look to his chief political provocateur, Mr. Bannon, with his penchant for blowing things up, or will he turn at last for counsel to the few more thoughtful experienced hands in his administration, like Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and General Dunford?
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:57 am

Bedtime for Bannon
Steve Bannon was supposed to mobilize Trump’s adoring masses, and so far he’s failed.
by Peter Frase

What the Trump administration has done, over the past few days, is horrific. And it has terrible human consequences for the migrants and other people caught up in it. I don’t want to minimize that.

If there’s a silver lining here, though, it’s that I have a feeling Steve Bannon is going to end up getting hellaciously dumpstered behind this shit.

Sure, he seems to be riding high now. Writing inauguration speeches and executive orders; even getting himself stuck on the National Security Council!

But things are already spinning out of control and falling apart, in the face of resistance from both mass street protest and the judiciary.

And Donald Trump is known to be a person whose primary loyalty is to Donald J. Trump. To stay in his inner circle, you need to have a “value proposition,” as the sleazy businessmen like to say. That is, something you have to offer, that can increase the revenue of the business.

And what, exactly, is Bannon’s value proposition?

It isn’t any special connection with the conventional Republican political elite. Paul Ryan and the like have always regarded him with something between indifference and contempt. And they’re probably starting to wonder if his agenda is crowding out more traditional conservative priorities, such as starving out grannies, enabling financial fraud, lowering taxes on billionaires, and ensuring that sick people die in the gutter if they aren’t rich.

Bannon also isn’t a gateway to the super-rich donor class. From the perspective of the billionaires, his pipsqueak Seinfeld-residuals-cashing ass barely registers.

What Steve Bannon provides — or was supposed to provide — is the mass base, the hordes of frothing Trump supporters, who would pour forth from 4chan and Breitbart.com to give aid and cover to the schemes of the Ayn-Rand-worshiping ideologues and the cynical rich.

The problem is that he isn’t actually delivering this. Hence the half-empty inauguration, followed up with packed Women’s March protests. The definitive image from Trump’s coronation wasn’t hordes of his adoring fans; it was Richard Spencer getting punched in the face. This was an embarrassment so severe, Trump was reduced to harassing the Park Service for more flattering photos. And then we got the executive orders on migrants that presumably were supposed to bring out the grateful masses, but which only succeeded in bringing on a whirlwind of mobilization against Trump.

Trump’s vanity and idiocy are sufficient that it may take him some time to realize this. But once he does, it’s bedtime for Bannon, who will be defenestrated without ceremony. That leaves the rest of the ghouls in this administration and in Congress, who are no less terrifying in their own way. But we’ll have gotten our first win, and hopefully far from the last.
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/stev ... uguration/



Trump's Immigration Order Is Just the Opening Salvo in Steve Bannon's War Against Islam
KEVIN DRUM
JAN. 31, 2017 1:32 AM

I mentioned this in the previous post, but it probably deserves a post all its own. Here are Brian Bennett and Noah Bierman of the LA Times, reporting on how Trump's top advisors believe his immigration order is just the beginning of a much larger crackdown:

Trump’s top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.

....The chief architects of Trump’s order, Bannon, Miller and National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn, forged strong bonds during the presidential campaign. The trio, who make up part of Trump’s inner circle, have a dark view of refugee and immigration flows from majority-Muslim countries.

....“We don’t want a situation where, 20 to 30 years from now, it’s just like a given thing that on a fairly regular basis there is domestic terror strikes, stores are shut up or that airports have explosive devices planted, or people are mowed down in the street by cars and automobiles and things of that nature,” the official said.

Steve Bannon, of course, has made it very clear on previous occasions what he thinks of Islam. In a presentation to a Vatican conference a couple of years ago, he attributed the growing power of the populist right to two things. First, there was the Great Recession, which showed ordinary people that capitalism was rigged against them. And second, there is Islam:

I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis.

....We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it....It’s going global in scale, and today’s technology, today’s media, today’s access to weapons of mass destruction, it’s going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today. Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.

....If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam, I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing. I think they kept [Islam] out of the world, whether it was at Vienna, or Tours, or other places....And they were able to stave this off, and they were able to defeat it, and they were able to bequeath to us a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind, so I think it’s incumbent on all of us to do what I call a gut check, to really think about what our role is in this battle that’s before us.

Bannon acknowledges that the populist right includes "some aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial," but that doesn't bother him much. They provide useful shock troops, and eventually "it all gets kind of washed out" anyway.

So: do you think Bannon's intent when he orchestrated Trump's immigration order was anti-Muslim? Hell, he's all but admitted it. Bannon believes we're in the middle of a global war, and when push comes to shove, he's on the side of the white, Christian West, and against the brown, Muslim East. And he believes there's little time to waste.

FDR felt the same way about the Axis in 1940, but he knew the country wasn't ready to go to war. He needed a provocation, and it needed to be something big enough to rally the country behind. He passed up several opportunities because they were too small to accomplish what he wanted, but eventually the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and that was all he needed. The country united behind him and we spent the next four years dedicated to the unconditional surrender of fascism.

Friday's immigration order is merely the opening salvo in Bannon's war, designed to stir up the troops and begin the process of targeting Muslims as the enemy. Think of it as Lend-Lease. To truly get the United States—and the West—dedicated to the unconditional surrender of Islam, he needs a mammoth provocation. Even 9/11 wasn't enough. He's going to need something bigger.

Would he be willing to engineer such a provocation? Probably. Could he actually do it? That's a lot harder to answer. But I don't doubt that, one way or another, this is his ultimate goal. That's why he's now a principal on the National Security Council. That's why he's an illegal immigration hawk: not because he cares much about Mexico, but because it gains him the right kind of allies for a war he does care about. And it's why he appeals to white nationalists and far-right European parties: not because he believes their racial nonsense (probably), but because they're exactly the kind of people who are most likely to support a war against Islam. Bannon is a smart guy, and it's the logical place to start.

As Josh Harkinson has reported, Bannon is deadly serious about this war, and there's no way he'll get it just by jawboning. It will only happen if there are a lot of dead bodies somewhere in America, and that means we have to do something to provoke a massive response from Osama bin Laden 2.0, whoever that turns out to be. The immigration order is a pinprick, just something to test the waters. Think of it as market research. More will be coming.
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2 ... inst-islam
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:06 am

Two theories about why Steve Bannon midwifed such a bad executive order
The immigration executive order has been an unmitigated disaster. So why would Bannon have pushed it?


By Daniel W. Drezner January 30 at 5:01 PM
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a regular contributor to PostEverything.

President Trump, seated at his desk with, from left, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, speaks by phone with Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbul. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
It’s been a few days since the White House issued an executive order regarding refugees and visa holders that generated just a wee bit of legal and political blowback. There seems to be a whole lot of confusion about how things went down and why. So let’s stipulate a few facts before speculating on some possible explanations.

FACT #1: This was Steve Bannon’s baby. We know from the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush that Bannon has gained greater influence over Trump at the expense of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and everyone else in the West Wing not related to Trump. Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council has raised more than a few eyebrows, and it’s indicative of his influence.

According to multiple news reports, Bannon was the architect of much of the first week of the Trump administration. Regarding this order in particular, my Post colleague Karen DeYong reports that, Bannon “was directly involved in shaping the controversial immigration mandate.” CNN’s reporting offers some details backing this up:

Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green cardholders.

The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case-by-case basis, DHS could allow green cardholders to enter the U.S.

FACT #2: This executive order was a bad idea that was incompetently drafted and executed. Sometimes in American foreign policy, the U.S. government takes actions that advance short-term interests at the expense of long-standing American values. Sometimes the reverse is true, and the president takes actions that might harm short-term interests because it accords with what Americans think is the right thing to do. Fortunately, America’s enlightened self-interest means that foreign policy actions can often advance both U.S. interests and values.

Trump’s executive order managed the rare feat of harming both American values and American interests at the same time. The setback to American values is so obvious and manifest that no further explanation is needed. But this stupid, panicky order also harms American interests. If the United States wants to prosecute a successful campaign against the Islamic State, it needs the cooperation of locals in Syria and Iraq, not to mention the Iraqi government. By insulting local allies, this order does the exact opposite of that. The propaganda that the Islamic State or al-Qaeda will be able to create because of this idiocy is another windfall for anti-American terrorists.

Don’t take my word for it, take the word of counterterrorism experts. Or U.S. military commanders in the field. Or GOP members of Congress. Or other Republicans sympathetic to Trump’s populist message. Or even the U.S. attorneys tasked to defend the executive order in court.

Take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking own-goal that this order accomplished, in no small part because it appears that it was drafted without any executive branch review at all. Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes is a pretty levelheaded guy when it comes to national security issues. In his analysis of this executive order, however, he doesn’t pull his punches:

NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders — including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)

This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.

Which bring us to …

FACT #3: Bannon is not a stupid guy. I have talked to a number of people who have known Bannon through the years, and they all say the same thing: Regardless of what you think of his ideology, he is an extremely intelligent individual.

So those are the facts, and yet it seems difficult to reconcile all three of them.

So what explains this? I can think of a couple of possibilities. Let’s go from the least to most far-fetched.

The most plausible story to assume in this instance is incompetence. Ordinarily, when the federal government does something stupid, it’s best to assume incompetence rather than malevolence. This is Bannon’s first week in a White House job and, like most other really smart people who lack high-level government experience, there will be a lot of rookie mistakes at the outset. The Trump administration will be different from past administrations on a lot of dimensions, but screwing up in the first few months is not one of them. This is particularly true given the abject lack of government experience among Trump’s White House staff. Maybe this is just a case of smart people doing stupid things because they are inexperienced.

The trouble with this explanation is that some very smart people don’t think that this was an accident. Indeed, folks not prone to conspiracy theories see something amiss. Here’s Wittes again:

Put simply, I don’t believe that the stated purpose is the real purpose. This is the first policy the United States has adopted in the post-9/11 era about which I have ever said this. It’s a grave charge, I know, and I’m not making it lightly. But in the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives.

When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do.

And here’s Kevin Drum:

In cases like this, the smart money is usually on incompetence, not malice. But this looks more like deliberate malice to me. Bannon wanted turmoil and condemnation. He wanted this executive order to get as much publicity as possible. He wanted the ACLU involved. He thinks this will be a PR win….

[B]oth sides think that maximum exposure is good for them. Liberals think middle America will be appalled at Trump’s callousness. Bannon thinks middle America will be appalled that lefties and the elite media are taking the side of terrorists. After a week of skirmishes, this is finally a hill that both sides are willing to die for. Who’s going to win?

Drum thinks this was done for domestic politics reasons, which leads to the second explanation: This is security theater. Trump spent his entire campaign whipping up hysteria about the terrorist threat. As previously noted, this executive order does not accomplish that, but it does make a big splash. It’s a highly visible action that might make Americans somehow feel more secure. That it hurts foreigners is just a bonus for Bannon.

This is possible, but it is worth noting that this action, as well as the counterproductive rhetoric toward Mexico, has harmed rather than helped Trump’s approval ratings.


It is possible that we will never know the precise mix of malevolence and incompetence that led to this outcome. What we do know, however, is that the outcome has significantly harmed America’s standing in the world and its national security interests.

As time passes, the foreign policy bureaucracy will push back on these kind of counterproductive actions. As Cabinet secretaries staff up, they’ll soon act as constraints on the Trump White House.

The thing is, the president of the United States is clearly much more simpatico with his staff than his Cabinet. He never admits error. And he’s the most powerful man in the federal government. Right now, Trump is listening to Bannon. And whether due to incompetence or malfeasance, Bannon is making America less safe again.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/postever ... df11e25720
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby Searcher08 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:20 am

The trope of Bannon being a "jew hater" was called nonsense by Ben Shapiro, who actually worked for him. He said he is an asshole but not an anti-Semite and that there were so many yamulkas worn at Breitbart, he thought he was in Tel Aviv. As Shapiro has more anti-Semitic abuse on Twitter than any other human, according to the ADL, he knows of what he speaks on this occasion.

I had seen that video before and considered it economic nationalism and boring out of date old Republican policies with a modern twist.

The neoLiberal approach to this has been to turn the media and conversational screech-o-meter up to 11.

Black Block Anarcho-Communicsts setting fire to an immigrants limousine hire car doesn't constitute an opposition, rather the after college activities of middle class whites, often doing research for their college assignment in the Critical Theory of direct action.

Agent Orange Cooper » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:08 am wrote:Worth watching. 'AMAZING' overstates it... more like 'common sense.'

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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:59 am

ARMCHAIR GENERAL
Steve Bannon’s Long Love Affair With War
Steve Bannon, the National Security Council’s newest member, has long been obsessed with waging wars.
Asawin Suebsaeng


01.30.17 11:00 PM ET
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s White House chief strategist, was already set to become one of the most powerful people on the planet—even before Trump appointed him to the National Security Council last weekend.
Those who have known Bannon for years, and before he ascended to executive power, describe a man almost obsessed with military history, guerilla warfare, and the general art of war and nationalist foreign policy.
In his Hollywood days, Bannon could easily play war, writing vast landscapes of warfare and conflict into his scripts, sometimes set in outer space.
Thanks to Donald J. Trump, Bannon now could get to do it for real.
That’s because in a presidential memorandum this past weekend, Trump gave his chief strategist a permanent seat at the National Security Council table, while military and intelligence leaders were effectively downgraded. The move to elevate Bannon, a purely political adviser, was unusual to provoke outcry from even fellow Republicans.
For instance, Bannon has very limited experience in U.S. government, and has little relevant experience for the position. Bannon did serve seven years in the Navy several decades ago, before making his name in the private sector, conservative Hollywood, and then politics.
“This is literally the most terrifying thing that’s ever happened,” a former Hollywood associate of Bannon’s (who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, describing Bannon as “vindictive”) told The Daily Beast when discussing the new national-security position.
“He constantly used military terms, used military terms to describe people who worked for him… like, ‘grunts,’” one former Breitbart staffer recalled. “He always spoke in terms of aggression. It was always on-the-attack, double down... macho stuff. Steve has an obsession with testosterone.”
It’s a habit that will likely continue into his time in the executive branch. The New York Times reported that last week’s avalanche of Trump of executive orders was primarily hatched by Bannon and his team, and doubled as an effort “at disorienting the ‘enemy.’”
“If there’s one sort of movie theme that encapsulates Steve Bannon’s philosophy on this, it’s that line from Team America: World Police: ‘You have balls—I like balls,’” Ben Shapiro, former Breitbart editor-at-large, said.
Bannon and a spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on this story. He has, however (as The Daily Beast previously reported), described himself as a “Leninist,” with regard to his goals of political insurrection.
“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too,” Bannon said at a book party in Washington, D.C., in November 2013. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
Lenin isn’t the only communist military or political victor who Bannon seemed to admire, for tactics and ruthlessness, if not leftist ideology. Bannon did not write very many articles at Breitbart, but one of the pieces that bears his byline is an October 2013 obituary for the “‘Red’ Napoleon” of the Vietnam War: Gen. Võ Nguyên Giáp, a famous commander of the Vietnam People’s Army who (like Bannon) once worked in journalism before defeating entrenched establishment powers.
“Giap’s tenacity and ruthlessness became his trademarks as he fought two of the world’s most technologically advanced militaries,” Bannon wrote.
You can also find Bannon’s affection for military and strategic ruthlessness in what he reads. According to two of Bannon’s former friends from his West Coast days, two of his favorite books are Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the hugely influential ancient Chinese text on military strategy, and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. The latter tells the story of a holy war to establish dharma.

Julia Jones, Bannon’s longtime Hollywood writing partner and former close friend, recalls seeing him excitedly flipping through both books, and talking about them lovingly and often. She would frequently see various “books all over [Steve’s place] about battles and things,” among his clutter of possessions and interests. (Late last year, Jones—who identifies as a “Bernie Sanders liberal”—had a falling out with Bannon due to his work on the Trump presidential campaign, a role that she said absolutely “disgusted” her.)
“Steve is a strong militarist, he’s in love with war—it’s almost poetry to him,” Jones told The Daily Beast in an interview last year, well before Trump won the election and Bannon landed his new job. “He’s studied it down through the ages, from Greece, through Rome... every battle, every war… Never back down, never apologize, never show weakness… He lives in a world where it’s always high noon at the O.K. Corral.”
Jones said that Bannon “used to talk a lot dharma—he felt very strongly about dharma... one of the strongest principles throughout the Bhagavad Gita.”
She also noted his “obsession” with the military victories and epic battles of the Roman Empire’s Marcus Aurelius and Julius Caesar. But a personal favorite of Bannon’s was the subject of the Peloponnesian War fought between Athens and Sparta.
“He talked a lot about Sparta—how Sparta defeated Athens, he loved the story,” Jones said. “The password on his [desktop] computer at his office at American Vantage Media in Santa Monica was ‘Sparta,’ in fact.”
This is the mindset of Trump’s top White House aide who just earned himself a seat at the table on the National Security Council. Regarding foreign policy and national security, Bannon has a few top priorities: He favors “aggressive military action” to defeat Islamist terror networks (action he thought was lacking during the Obama administration), and wants to build strong ties with far-right, nationalist political parties across Europe.
“He has long wanted to work with all of those parties, but that was only in promoting them with Breitbart,” a source close to Bannon told The Daily Beast in November. “Now he has the power of the White House to do it.”
Those who remain and become Bannon’s closest allies on issues of national security and foreign policy will most likely end up being whoever Bannon sees as tough and ruthless—much in the same way he sees himself and his preferred military leaders of history.
“‘Hammer’ was one of his favorite words,” a former Bannon associate (another person requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals) told The Daily Beast. “‘You’re a hammer,’ he’d say if he really liked you… if you’re ruthless.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... h-war.html
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby 8bitagent » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:00 am

He's certainly made a transformation physically and otherwise since his early 90's days of producing Seinfeld, movies and being in charge of the Biodome project

Image

he now kind of reminds me of that character from the Japanese anime film Akira
Image

http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/bannon-master-plan
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:31 am

Dana Gould
‏@danagould
I'd like to introduce you to the actual President Of The United States, an unmarried, angry, whiskey-soaked pig fucker named Steve Bannon.

Image


is this Steve the pig Bannon? Looks like him

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