The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:03 am

Steve Bannon’s disappearing act

Once dubbed 'The Great Manipulator,' Trump’s senior adviser steps back in bid to save his job.

By ELIANA JOHNSON and ANNIE KARNI 07/21/2017 05:09 AM EDT

Steve Bannon was absent from President Donald Trump’s recent trips to Europe for the G-20 summit and from his visit French president
By POLITICO STAFF
Steve Bannon has largely disappeared from the White House’s most sensitive policy debates — a dramatic about-face for an operative once characterized as the most powerful man in Washington.

Bannon, chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile, having chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague.

He was absent from Trump’s recent trips to Europe for the G-20 summit and from his visit with French president Emmanuel Macron. Bannon’s non-attendance is all the more noteworthy given his interest in European history and politics, particularly his antipathy to the European Union.

And while Trump’s rousing call in Warsaw for the defense of Western civilization echoed the populist ideology Bannon promoted as chief of the right-wing website Breitbart News, two senior White House aides said that Bannon had no hand in crafting Trump’s populist address. He did not participate in administration conference calls planning the remarks, they say, which were largely written by chief speechwriter Stephen Miller, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and NSC communications aide Michael Anton.

“His name wasn’t even mentioned,” said a senior White House aide involved in the speechwriting process.

Whereas Bannon was, not long ago, a near-constant presence in the Oval Office — often seen standing over Trump’s shoulder or sitting in on calls with world leaders — he now spends hours camped out at the conference table in the office of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, reading the news or working on his phone, according to a senior White House aide.

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Senior administration officials say a lower profile might suit a man once derided by critics as “President Bannon,” whose growing fame, including an appearance on the cover of Time magazine as “The Great Manipulator” and a spoofing by Saturday Night Live as a Grim Reaper shadowing the president reportedly irritated Trump. The president resented Bannon’s mythical status as the Svengali behind his improbable election, and called several reporters and television personalities complaining that Bannon was stealing credit for his victory.

Bannon is more comfortable operating in the shadows between government, big money and right-wing media, according to senior administration officials, who describe Bannon in such terms as “invisible,” “AWOL,” and “missing in action.”

That said, he continues to play an important role as a foul-weather friend to Trump, coaching his boss through the nonstop crises buffeting the West Wing. When Bannon returned early from Trump’s first foreign trip in May, for example, it was to quarterback the White House's response to the metastasizing Russia scandal — which consumes his time and energy.

“He's falling under the weight of it," said a Washington-based insider who recently spoke to Bannon.

Neither Bannon nor a White House spokesman responded to a request for comment.

But he now plays a surprisingly minor role in key administration policy debates. White House aides speculate about whether Bannon is trying to protect his job amidst long-running talk of a White House staff purge. Several West Wing advisers said they expect Trump to decide once and for all on a White House shakeup during his planned vacation next month, when he is expected to consult with friends beyond the Beltway. “If there is a big staff shakeup, it will be in August,” said a senior White House aide. “My guess is that Bannon probably sees that and doesn’t want to be in the press.”

For Bannon, reduced visibility has brought reduced influence. On trade, his protectionist views are well known; though he initially joined a series of White House meetings begun in the spring to resolve disagreements between advisers with disparate views on the subject, from free traders like economic adviser Gary Cohn to protectionists like National Trade Council director Peter Navarro, he has not shown up at one in six weeks.

Nor did Bannon attend a major policy meeting on Tuesday on trade policy towards China, even though he is known to favor tough economic measures towards Beijing. He did, however, have time for a meeting with former Trump campaign aides David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski that focused on political issues, including how to woo back Republican senators who had abandoned Trump on health care.

Bannon has not been entirely absent from the West Wing’s heftiest policy discussions. On Monday, he attended a meeting of the NSC’s Principals Committee, which includes top officials from throughout the government, according to a senior White House aide. Though the president removed Bannon from the NSC in April, the aide estimated that Bannon has been at approximately 20 percent of the Principals Committee meetings since then. Bannon has reportedly dueled with McMaster over troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, in each case warning against deeper U.S. involvement.

“He follows everything closely. He knows what’s going on. I don’t know if he has a feeling that strategically it’s better if his hands aren’t directly on things, but he’s definitely in the fold on the legislative agenda,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump political adviser.

Bannon’s internal retreat has coincided with distance from other White House aides — most surprisingly Miller, a personal and ideological ally of many years. The two are “no longer working together in any substantive way,” according to a top White House aide.

Miller has followed a divergent path, integrating himself into the White House’s staff and building a strong relationship with less-ideological figures like McMaster and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with whom he has developed an increasingly close relationship as the two have collaborated on dozens of presidential speeches and policy initiatives.

Kushner and Bannon, by contrast, have a rocky relationship that bottomed in April when the Daily Beast reported that Bannon had described Kushner as a “globalist” and a “cuck” who was “trying to shiv him and push him out the door.”

One White House aide said Kushner’s embrace of Miller has been fueled in large part by Kushner’s desire to further isolate Bannon. A spokesman for Kushner declined to comment.

But no one threatens Bannon’s job security more than the man whose winning campaign he managed, particularly now that Bannon is back in the headlines thanks to the publication this week of Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s book, “The Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” which depicts Bannon as a driving force behind Trump’s campaign and the early stages of his administration.

The president is "livid" about the book, according to the Washington-based insider, who said that he is "back to giving Bannon the cold shoulder" as a result.

Bannon, said the same source, is simply exhausted: "He doesn't look well."
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/2 ... act-240778
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
on trump/russia
"Colluded" is only a word confused people use
The word and crime is conspiracy
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:43 pm

Steve Bannon has a shadow press office. It may violate federal law.
Private publicist, not White House spokespeople, flacking for top Trump aide
By Christina Wilkieemail 2:30 pm, July 27, 2017

In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free.

Alexandra Preate, a 46-year-old New Yorker and veteran Republican media strategist, describes herself as Bannon's "personal spokesperson." But she also collaborates with other White House officials on public messaging and responses to press inquiries. It was Preate who responded when the Center for Public Integrity recently asked the White House Press Office questions about Bannon.

Preate, however, is not employed by President Donald Trump’s administration or paid by the federal government.

The unorthodox setup means Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, is potentially violating the Antideficiency Act, which provides that federal employees "may not accept voluntary services for [the] government or employ personal services exceeding that authorized by law."

The revelations about Preate's work are the latest controversy to embroil the White House Communications Office, which is reeling from a series of high-profile resignations, firings and leadership changes in recent days.

To be sure, it's not uncommon for executive branch employees to hire personal lawyers who aren’t on the government's payroll, but who nonetheless advise their clients on government work-related matters. The difference is that personal lawyers don't step in to help the White House perform its official duties.

Preate, however, “appears to be organizing the administration's response to questions sent to the White House," said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in government ethics. "And the fact that other officials are responsive to her distinguishes this situation from the kind of activity a private lawyer would do."

Said Norm Eisen, ethics czar during the Obama administration: "She seems to be privy to government information, and she appears to be acting on behalf of a government entity, either Bannon or the White House Press Office. If she's doing it for free, then that is a potential violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act."

To date, no one has ever been convicted or indicted for violating the Anti-Deficiency Act, and most of the dozen or so violations reported each year result in little more than administrative penalties. Still, a "knowing and willful violation" of the Anti-Deficiency Act is a Class E felony, punishable by a "$5,000 fine, confinement for up to two years, or both."

As a private citizen, Preate is not subject to the restrictions imposed by the Anti-Deficiency Act, nor would she be liable for any potential violations. White House officials, on the other hand, are subject to the act.

Preate, the White House Press Office, Bannon aides, the White House Counsel’s Office and the Department of Justice all refused to answer repeated questions from the Center for Public Integrity about Preate’s arrangement with the White House, whether she is working for free, and whether her role has been approved by government lawyers or ethics officials.
"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 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:31 pm

AS TRUMP’S PROBLEMS MOUNT, BREITBART’S NUMBERS ARE CRATERING

A media business based on attack has been much less successful when forced to defend.

With its former chairman Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist and plans for an ambitious international expansion, Breitbart was supposed to be on its way to becoming a media behemoth in the Trump era, one with unparalleled access and a passionate audience. “While several publishers have enjoyed an uptick in traffic due to election coverage, we are proud to have built a massive and deeply-rooted community that will remain long after the election cycle fades,” Larry Solov, Breitbart’s C.E.O., predicted back in November.

Early on, Solov’s prediction seemed to be coming true. “Breitbart News is the #45th most trafficked website in the United States, according to rankings from Amazon’s analytics company, Alexa.com,” they wrote on January 9, 2017. “With over two billion pageviews generated in 2016 and 45 million unique monthly visitors, Breitbart News has now surpassed Fox News (#47), Huffington Post (#50), Washington Post (#53), and Buzzfeed (#64) in traffic.” A month later, the site had even greater cause to celebrate. “Breitbart News is now the 29th most trafficked site in the United States, surpassing PornHub and ESPN,” they crowed. In the article, its staffers bragged that their bonkers traffic reflected the site’s cementing a permanent place in American politics. “The numbers speak for themselves,” said Solov. (Many outlets, including The Hive, experienced traffic peaks around Trump’s inauguration.)

Just a few months later, the numbers have a different story to tell. As of May 26, 2017, according to Alexa.com—the same web-ranking analytics company that Breitbart drew its numbers from in January—Fox News is the 64th most-trafficked site in the country. Huffington Post is at 60. Buzzfeed is at 50. The Washington Post, on the strength of a series of eye-popping scoops, is at 41.

Breitbart is in 281st place.
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Measuring web traffic is an inexact art, but other web-analytics companies reflect a similar, unusually steep decline in Breitbart’s traffic. ComScore estimated that Breitbart had nearly 23 million unique visitors during the month of November 2016, but only drew 10.7 million in April 2017, a 53 percent drop. Last month, the site had fewer visitors than it did in April 2016, when 12.3 million people visited the site. In contrast, the four sites that Breitbart benchmarked itself against saw nowhere near that drop—and, in the case of both Fox News and Buzzfeed, saw small increases in traffic since the November election. (A few days after publication, the certification categorization for Breitbart on Alexa was reversed, returning their ranking to 59. This did not affect their ComScore ranking.)

The Breitbart traffic graph in Alexa, the service that Breitbart cites when they celebrate their traffic goals, is oddly shaped, rocketing up to a high plateau where it remained over a period of months, then dropping back precipitously around April 30, Trump’s 100-day mark. In an email to The Hive, an Alexa customer representative suggested that the traffic anomalies could have been caused by Breitbart enabling, then disabling, Alexa’s certified-results feature, which temporarily created an apples-to-oranges comparison with sites that don’t enable the feature, like The Washington Post. (The dates the representative provided coincide perfectly with the dates that Breitbert’s traffic spiked, and then plummeted.)

Other conservative media sites have also experienced declines in traffic in recent months, but none as pronounced as Breitbart’s. According to Alexa data, National Review Online, Infowars.com, The Daily Caller, and Drudge Report all saw slumps in their rankings. Over the last week, as Trump was engulfed in the Comey scandal, Fox News’s viewership dropped to third place behind CNN and MSNBC for the first time in 17 years.

At the most basic level, Trump’s struggles are producing a passion gap among news consumers. “If you’re anti-Trump, there’s never been a better time to read news. It’s like Christmas every morning,” an editor at another conservative media outlet told me. “So every time you open the newspaper or open Twitter or turn on Facebook, you get to enjoy the fact that there are a lot of other people who don’t like Trump and there’s a lot of news stories that show Trump in a negative light. Whereas if you’re Breitbart, you’re scrambling to explain or defend or continue to back the guy that you backed throughout the election. And eventually, if your posture continues to just simply be reactive and trying to explain away things that are happening to or by the president, I think people slowly become sort of disheartened by politics.”

At the most basic level, Trump’s struggles are producing a passion gap among news consumers. “If you’re anti-Trump, there’s never been a better time to read news. It’s like Christmas every morning,” an editor at another conservative media outlet told me. “So every time you open the newspaper or open Twitter or turn on Facebook, you get to enjoy the fact that there are a lot of other people who don’t like Trump and there’s a lot of news stories that show Trump in a negative light. Whereas if you’re Breitbart, you’re scrambling to explain or defend or continue to back the guy that you backed throughout the election. And eventually, if your posture continues to just simply be reactive and trying to explain away things that are happening to or by the president, I think people slowly become sort of disheartened by politics.”
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/ ... -cratering



Worst Day in Washington: Steve Bannon, who had to "decline to comment" on whether he’s "trying to suck his own cock."
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
on trump/russia
"Colluded" is only a word confused people use
The word and crime is conspiracy
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:08 pm

Dinesh D’Souza just deleted his tweets with photos from Steve Bannon’s office. Here are the screenshots:

Image
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https://twitter.com/christinawilkie/sta ... 9905880064


Christina Wilkie‏Verified account @christinawilkie 2h2 hours ago
More
Replying to @christinawilkie
Here’s the book's cover and its table of contents. “Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left” is the subhead.
Image
Image
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
on trump/russia
"Colluded" is only a word confused people use
The word and crime is conspiracy
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:01 pm

Isn't it funny how this...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej_5vyDkZgU

...dovetails with this...

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 10:00 AM PST
Steve Bannon and the occult: The right wing’s long, strange love affair with New Age mysticism
If you think New Age alternative spirituality is solely the domain of lefty hippies, you don't know your history
Mitch Horowitz

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Ronald Reagan; Steve Bannon (Credit: AP/Getty/Saul Loeb/Shutterstock/Salon)

When my book “Occult America,” a history of supernatural religions in the U.S., appeared in 2009, I was surprised to receive an admiring phone call from a conservative documentarian and financier. He professed deep interest in the book’s themes, and encouraged me in my next work, “One Simple Idea,” an exploration of positive-mind metaphysics in American life. His name was Stephen K. Bannon.

Although the media have characterized Bannon as the Disraeli of the dark side following his rise to power in the Trump administration, I knew him, and still do, as a deeply read and erudite observer of the American religious scene, with a keen appetite for mystical thought.

Ronald Reagan, a hero of his, was not dissimilar. As I’ve written in the Washington Post and elsewhere, Reagan, from the start of his political career in the 1950s up through the first term of his presidency, adopted phrasing and ideas from the writings of a Los Angeles-based occult scholar named Manly P. Hall (1901-1990), whose 1928 encyclopedia arcana “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” is among the most influential underground books in American culture.

President Trump himself has admiringly recalled his lessons in the mystic art of “positive thinking” from the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, the Trump family’s longtime pastor, who popularized metaphysical mind-power themes in his 1952 mega-seller “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

What in the cosmos is going on? New Age and alternative spirituality are supposed to be the domain of patchouli-scented aisles of health food stores and bookshops that sell candles and pendulums, right? Well, not exactly.

There is a long-standing intersection between mysticism and conservatism in America. This marriage extends back to the late 19th century when globetrotting occultist and Russian noblewoman Madame H.P. Blavatsky depicted America as the catalyst for a revolution in human potential in her 1888 opus “The Secret Doctrine.” “It is in America that the transformation will take place,” Blavatsky wrote, “and has already silently commenced.”

Generations of occult writers echoed Blavatsky’s theme of America as a Holy Grail among nations, possessed of a “secret destiny,” as Manly P. Hall put it, and thus married esoteric spirituality to patriotic ideals. This partnership has flourished out of view of most mainstream observers—and significantly impacted American culture, including the look of our currency.

In 1935, then-Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, a former Republican and mystical seeker who went on to become Franklin Roosevelt’s second vice president, approached FDR with a novel idea: mint a coin with the mysterious reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States—the eye-and-pyramid surrounded by the Latin maxim “God Smiles on Our New Order of the Ages.” Both men were Freemasons with a taste for portentous imagery—and were on the lookout for epic, unifying symbols for the recovering nation. (Wallace had spoken of the need for a “New Deal of the Ages.”) Roosevelt was so taken with the 1782 image, with its Masonic undertones and message that worldly achievement is incomplete without higher ethics, that he personally supervised its installation on the back of the dollar bill, making a previously arcane insignia into an indelible symbol of the republic.

President George H.W. Bush brought new attention — and unintended infamy — to the concept of a “New World Order.” In his Sept. 11, 1990, speech to a joint session of Congress, Bush sought to celebrate the possibilities of international trade and cooperation that could follow a swift victory in the first Gulf War: “Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge … An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.” Little was he aware that his use of the term would inspire a generation of conspiracy theorists to notions of a hidden, sinister global plan.

Conservative metaphysics extend beyond geopolitics. One of Richard Nixon’s confidants — in addition to the Rev. Peale, whose church he also attended—was insurance magnate W. Clement Stone, a right-wing activist, benefactor of the famous ESP lab at Duke University, and collaborator to Napoleon Hill, author of the mind-metaphysics classic “Think and Grow Rich.”

Most liberals and centrists find these kinds of associations jarring and a bit creepy. Thoughtful people are suspicious of mixing Rasputin-like intrigue with American politics. And with good reason. As Vice President Dan Quayle once put it—and he was specifically referring to Rasputin — “people that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.” (It should be noted, however, that the “mad monk” soberly cautioned the tsar against getting entangled in World War I.)

Critics fear that a sense of spiritual preordainment can produce reckless or dangerous policy choices. Yet such episodes in American history have traditionally had less to do with religious impulses than the kinds of hubris that once drove “the best and the brightest” into Vietnam, or moved senators from both parties to support President George W. Bush’s tragic rush into Iraq, based on the cynical calculus that a quick and tidy war would net a political victory.

Rather than fomenting secrecy or subterfuge, America’s embrace of esotericism is often characterized by a chin-out earnestness, something that many observers and conspiracy-mongers miss. “You can call it mysticism if you want to,” Reagan told the Conservative Political Action Conference in 1974, “but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.” In announcing his candidacy in 1979, Reagan declared: “To me our country is a living, breathing presence, unimpressed by what others say is impossible . . . and that man is capable of improving his circumstances beyond what we are told is fact.” Reagan often returned to such themes, echoing Hall’s 1944 book “The Secret Destiny of America.”

This rhetoric may sound flighty, but that, too, is part of our heritage. Historically, I prefer the cadences of offbeat idealism to the rampant ugliness of our current president’s Twitter insults, or the low-octane, visionless speechmaking that burdened Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Conservative presidencies have not cornered the market on the otherworldly. During the 2016 campaign, I was surprised that no one revisited an episode from Bill Clinton’s first term, when then first lady Hillary Clinton was accused of holding “séances” in the White House—a term misapplied to her visioning sessions with New Age teacher Jean Houston, a pioneer of the human-potential movement. Houston, whom I’ve published, didn’t quite know how to explain to reporters that when she guided the first lady in dialogues with her political hero Eleanor Roosevelt, they were not summoning spirits but rather conducting creativity and value-defining exercises. President Clinton was cool toward these tête-à-têtes. Houston told me that the president once sat in on one of their sessions. When the guru told him he was an “undeveloped shaman,” he stood up and left the room.

Bill Clinton took a similarly dim view of parapsychology. During a period of post-Cold War cost cutting in 1995, he eliminated the CIA’s budget for its psychic-spying program. Jimmy Carter, by contrast, admired the “remote viewing” operation. The year of Clinton’s cuts, Carter told a group of Emory University students that during his presidency, clairvoyant spies helped identify the coordinates of a crashed Soviet spy plane in Central Africa, netting a significant intelligence gain.

Off-the-grid practices should come as no surprise to students of politics. People in power always import values, customs and attitudes from their backgrounds—sometimes the religious conservatism of a Mike Pence and other times the Southern Californian vibes of a Ron and Nancy Reagan, with their enthusiasm for astrology, psychics and UFOs (Reagan reported sightings as both an actor and governor). Reagan alone was at ease swapping stories with New Age neighbors at Hollywood pool parties, while simultaneously maintaining a sincere, and mutual, affection for evangelicals. He was the model American religionist.

Even conservative evangelicals today borrow from American mysticism. When Pat Robertson speaks of the “Law of Reciprocity” (did you miss that in Scripture?) he is reprocessing the “Law of Attraction,” a concept popularized by the book and movie “The Secret,” but rooted in an American mystical tradition extending back to 1854, when a spirit medium named Andrew Jackson Davis coined the term.

Davis’ career illuminates how historically deep these entanglements go. Called the “Poughkeepsie Seer” for his Hudson Valley, New York, hometown, Davis was naturally controversial—with one prominent defender, who attested that his channeled trances were an authentic telegraph to the spirit world. The medium’s advocate was a Rev. George Bush, a first cousin, four times removed, to the Bush presidential family. The Rev. Bush caused a stir in 1845 by leaving the Presbyterian Church to become a minister in the Church of the New Jerusalem, an ecclesiastical body based on the ideas of Swedish mystic-scientist Emanuel Swedenborg. Bush wrote admiringly of Davis, and attended his séances (a term Davis also coined in its occult sense) along with a dubious journalist named Edgar Allan Poe.

Today, cable television producers and radio hosts often urge me to postulate some kind of occult “pact” between the Bushes and the dark side (cue up Skull and Bones). But such things are fantasy. The truth is, Americans have always been, well, a little strange. As a historian, I feel affection for that aspect of American life. Shadowy figures have long hung around the fringes of power in many nations; but rarely have they done so with the ingenuousness and transparency of those I’ve been considering.

If there is a central principle in American life, one valued across our political spectrum, it is a belief in the protection of the individual search for meaning. The presence and persistence of esoteric and unusual religious ideas in our political culture, including in its most conservative quarters, serves as evidence that that core principle is still working. In the U.S. military, religiously observant service members and veterans can now choose among more than 65 “emblems of belief,” including pentagrams, druidic symbols and every variety of mystical insignia. We are truly one nation under many gods — a fact that unites us across our fractured political divide.
"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 liminalOyster » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:21 pm

Steve Bannon, Unrepentant
ROBERT KUTTNER AUGUST 16, 2017

Trump’s embattled strategist phones me, unbidden, to opine on China, Korea, and his enemies in the administration.


You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss’s continuing indulgence of white supremacists. Allies of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hold Bannon responsible for a campaign by Breitbart News, which Bannon once led, to vilify the security chief. Trump’s defense of Bannon, at his Tuesday press conference, was tepid.

But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. “They’re wetting themselves,” he said, proceeding to detail how he would oust some of his opponents at State and Defense.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me.
Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me. I’d just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon’s boss.

“In Kim, Trump has met his match,” I wrote. “The risk of two arrogant fools blundering into a nuclear exchange is more serious than at any time since October 1962.” Maybe Bannon wanted to scream at me?

I told the assistant that I was on vacation, but I would be happy to speak by phone. Bannon promptly called.

Far from dressing me down for comparing Trump to Kim, he began, “It’s a great honor to finally track you down. I’ve followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it.”

“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.

Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” Bannon went on to describe his battle inside the administration to take a harder line on China trade, and not to fall into a trap of wishful thinking in which complaints against China’s trade practices now had to take a backseat to the hope that China, as honest broker, would help restrain Kim.

“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover.”

Bannon’s plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. “We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us.”

But what about his internal adversaries, at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing’s aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don’t want to mess with the trading system?

“Oh, they’re wetting themselves,” he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

“I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State.”

But can Bannon really win that fight internally?

“That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. “We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying.”

“We gotta do this. The president’s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s like, every day.”

Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me.

There are a couple of things that are startling about this premise. First, to the extent that most of the opponents of Bannon’s China trade strategy are other Trump administration officials, it’s not clear how reaching out to the left helps him. If anything, it gives his adversaries ammunition to characterize Bannon as unreliable or disloyal.

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump’s election were “Resisting Trump” and “Containing Trump”) and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He’s probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

From his lips to Trump’s ear.

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

I had never before spoken with Bannon. I came away from the conversation with a sense both of his savvy and his recklessness. The waters around him are rising, but he is going about his business of infighting, and attempting to cultivate improbable outside allies, to promote his China strategy. His enemies will do what they do.

Either the reports of the threats to Bannon’s job are grossly exaggerated and leaked by his rivals, or he has decided not to change his routine and to go down fighting. Given Trump’s impulsivity, neither Bannon nor Trump really has any idea from day to day whether Bannon is staying or going. He has survived earlier threats. So what the hell, damn the torpedoes.

The conversation ended with Bannon inviting me to the White House after Labor Day to continue the discussion of China and trade. We’ll see if he’s still there.

http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby SonicG » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:22 am

This really shows his amazing level of stupidity.
“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover.”

What point? Where the Chinese economy takes over the US? Putting aside the fact that so many US companies manufacture in China and if somehow forced out, they would just go to Vietnam or wherever, but if we are only five years away from it, how much leverage could the US possibly have? More importantly, just what the fuck would "economic war" look like? Tariffs can be challenged and even if implemented immediately, they would not serve to rapidly turn around the trade "imbalance" or strike some great blow to China creating a giant reverse sucking sound...
I imagine secretly Bannon is quite pleased with the clowns in Charlottesville. It's his only victory...
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:45 pm

Steve Bannon’s porn and meth house: “You have no idea what kind of evil stuff went on”
By Jason Brad Berry |
AUGUST 17, 2017
In an exclusive and extensive interview for Shareblue Media, investigative journalist Jason Berry spoke to Lawrence Curtis, who lived in the Florida "party house" — a house with an infamous reputation for drugs and porn — previously occupied by Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
When award-winning underwater cinematographer Lawrence Curtis moved into the lush Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, he had no idea the house he was renting would become a national story.
But that’s because he didn’t know the prior tenant was Steve Bannon, adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and now the chief strategist in the White House.
In March 2017, the Washington Post published a profile on Bannon that included some shocking details, including the bizarre case of 1794 Opechee Drive, the house in Miami that Bannon claimed as his residence, along with his third ex-wife.
The Miami-Dade Police Department’s public corruption unit launched an investigation into whether Bannon had fraudulently registered to vote in that county. Bannon had signed the lease, listed himself as an occupant, and paid the rent every month.

Lawrence Curtis
1794 Opechee Drive: the house Steve Bannon rented in Florida.
One of Bannon’s colleagues, Arlene Delgado, testified that she had met with Bannon at the house on Opechee Drive, which he described as “my house,” where she saw “boxes, papers, and effects” that indicated he lived there. They met, according to Delgado, because Bannon had moved to Florida and wanted to increase the presence of the far-right Breitbart News, of which he was executive chair.
The meeting was corroborated by an email exchange between Bannon and Delgado.
Bannon’s ex-wife testified that he did indeed stay at the house with her, though she did not feel “comfortable” answering any further questions.
In the final report dismissing the investigation, law enforcement found “evidence that tends to indicate that [Bannon] did not intend to or actually did reside” in that county, but there was not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bannon had knowingly committed voter registration fraud.
The Washington Post focused primarily on the bizarre fact that Bannon listed the Opechee Drive house as his place of residence, despite living in California. The article lightly touched on the state of disrepair in which Bannon left the house — including a bathtub apparently destroyed by acid.
But the truth turns out to have been much worse than that.
When Curtis first saw the house, the real estate agent, Beatriz Portela, told him the previous tenants “were not very upstanding people” and had “severely damaged” the property.
They had “put padlocks on all the doors, installed video cameras, and had ruined the bathtub, kitchen counter, and floor.”
Worse, though, was that it had been a “party house,” she said, known for frequent drug use.
Carlos Herrera, who owned the house with with his wife, Andreina Morales, painted a picture of what initially seemed to be a normal tenancy but soon evolved into an almost daily parade of debauchery and drug use, including run-ins with the police.
“The conclusion is she was probably cooking meth in here,” Herrera said of Bannon’s ex-wife. That would have explained the damage done to the bathtub and kitchen sink.

Lawrence Curtis
The surface of the bathtub in the master bathroom was partially melted from what appeared to be some form of chemical exposure.
Curtis heard the same stories of porn, drugs, and debauchery over and over again.
“Each person gave accounts that the house was used to film pornography, had a constant flow of men, women — and even children — at the house and that blatant drug use was occurring at all hours of the night and day,” Curtis said.
At least five people told him tales of drug use and porn at the house.
Felix, a handyman who frequently worked on the property, told Curtis he had personally “witnessed women and men being filmed in the act.” He described the buckets of chemicals and bags of trash and rags he had to remove. He spent hours scrubbing the master bathtub, “which appeared melted by some form of acid.” Felix suspected the bathtub had been used for “making drugs.”
Curtis heard similar stories from the pest control service man.
“In fact,” Curtis said, “he did so in an almost gleeful and boastful manner.”
The pest control worker described witnessing drug use each time he came to the house, “even at early day hours.” He told Curtis it would blow his mind to know what “what went on in the house.”
An unnamed male tenant, he said, who was “a heavy set man,” offered him “girls for sex and/or drugs in lieu of payment,” but he never accepted because he could lose his job.
When the oven range needed repair, the repairman refused to come to the house. Despite the service warranty, Curtis said, he was told no one would come “if the same people were living in the house because ‘that house is evil and the people are evil.’”
The company ultimately agreed to send someone after being assured the prior tenants were gone.
When Curtis opened the gate, the repairman said with seeming relief, “You aren’t him.”
He proceeded to work on the range and also share his own horror stories about the previous tenants.
He told Curtis that on several occasions, when he would arrive to service the house, “the tenants would scream at him to leave and threatened him with violence.” At other times, when he was allowed into the house to perform work, he observed topless and naked men and women and the constant presence of drugs, which they would sometimes offer to him.
He told Curtis it was “the worst experience of his life” and that he “did not want anything to do with those ‘evil people.’”
“You have no idea what kind of evil stuff went on in the house,” he said.
One day, Curtis said, a woman came to the house asking for “Steve or [his ex-wife].” She appeared distraught when he told her they no longer lived there. She stood outside the gate for several minutes in a daze.

Lawrence Curtis
The lighter the bar, the more evidence of the existence of methamphetamine. The Accumeth drug testing kit confirmed the substance in six different tests throughout the house.
“I assumed she was probably a regular visitor to the house looking for drugs from the previous tenants,” Curtis said, “but I didn’t realize just how bad the drug use in the house had been at the time. I firmly told her to leave and to not come back.”
Meanwhile, according to the realtor, the neighbors had formed a committee “in an effort to get the owners to evict” the tenants before they ultimately left.
In September 2016, upon returning from a filming in the South Pacific, Curtis came home to a pile of mail addressed to Steve Bannon and his ex-wife. Curtis would write “return to sender” on the mail, but “the flow of bills, notices from the city of Miami, and letters from the Bank of Ireland started piling up.”
That’s when the landlord finally told Curtis about the identity of the former tenants.
“He told me that [Bannon] was indeed the previous tenant who caused such drama,” Curtis said. And now that Bannon had joined Trump’s presidential campaign, everyone was looking into Bannon and his history.
“He told me the FBI had contacted them, as well as several reporters and journalists,” Curtis said, “and that I should expect to be contacted as well.”
“It was an unusual situation, to say the least,” he added.
But it was more than unusual. It was also a health hazard.
Shortly after Curtis moved into the house, he started to experience a variety of symptoms: fatigue, inability to sleep, eye and skin irritation, chronic chest pain, and dizziness.
The symptoms would subside when he was away from the house for weeks at a time and they would resume when he returned.
In March, Herrera finally admitted to Curtis that the prior tenants had manufactured meth there. That’s when Curtis went to stay in a hotel. Again, his symptoms subsided.
He also purchased kits to test for methamphetamine in the house. At first, he focused on the kitchen, master bathroom, and guest room. The tests showed a high level of contamination, so Curtis ordered six more tests and had them shipped overnight.
The contamination was through the roof. So Curtis hired a company to test the house at well. The test confirmed “levels of meth and very high levels of cocaine.”
In May, Curtis moved out of the house.
He still suffers from health problems related to living in the house once occupied by Steve Bannon.
http://shareblue.com/steve-bannons-porn ... f-went-on/
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:49 pm

BANNON OUT!!

after chaotic WH tenure :bigsmile
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon/

Postby hanshan » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:54 pm

...


edited for superfluity


...
Last edited by hanshan on Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:55 pm

yes sir ....can't wait for the headline at Breitbart

The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon is no longer in the White House

What will the tiki boys do now?
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby liminalOyster » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Still shocked he made it more than six months. His retaliation promises to fascinate.
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:11 pm

Image



Trump Tells Aides He Has Decided to Remove Stephen Bannon
By MAGGIE HABERMANAUG. 18, 2017

Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, on Aug. 2 at the White House. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.

As of Friday morning, the two men were still discussing Mr. Bannon’s future, the officials said. A person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but it was delayed in the wake of the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president’s family.

But the loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon’s job security but defended him as “not a racist” and “a friend.”

“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Bannon’s dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a female diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as “wetting themselves” over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, “These guys are a collection of clowns,” and he called it a “fringe element” of “losers.”

“We gotta help crush it,” he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Mr. Bannon’s departure was long rumored in Washington. The president’s new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general who was brought on for his ability to organize a chaotic staff, was said to have grown weary of the chief strategist’s long-running feud with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser.

Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly’s predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring.

Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against “globalists” was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration.

But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street.

Mr. Cohn is a registered Democrat, and both he and Ms. Powell have been denounced by conservative media outlets as being antithetical to Mr. Trump’s populist message.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/us/p ... house.html
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby 82_28 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:13 pm

A quick sample of some early breitbart comments:

Johnny Miles Wert • a few seconds ago

time to dump trump ,, throwing the baby out with the bath water,, this isn't who i elected


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RobL_v2 Miles Wert • a minute ago

This sucks.

Not wise, not smart, not good!
Why?
They will bring the long knives to Miller and Gorka’s back next.
The three most loyal, outspoken, and effective of his staff. The Left has been gunning for them because the are so effective at not only fighting the Left, but speaking truth about the Left. And Mr. President has acquiesced.

Why??

Unfortunately this is the beginning of the end for the administration.

With them gone, the Presidency is done for.
Capitulating to Liberals and delivering to RINOs will not pacify, mollify nor endear any on the Left, but it most certainly will hurt the country and damage his Presidency and reelection. Never Trumpers and Liberals will never support him, say a good word about him, never vote for him, never do anything but continue to lie, libel, smear, slander and slime to bring him down. Appeasing such is beyond futile, its suicide.

Not only do you damage yourself Mr. President, you damage us. We who loyally support you, this is a slap in our face. And look at the posts by the likes of that idiot ‘Johnsmart’ above? You have weakened us and emboldened the lunatics. There will be no end to their perfidy because like their terrorists, when you give in to it… you have just bought more of it.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: The Festering Darkness That is Steve Bannon

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:18 pm

Schrödinger’s Bannon


Evan Vucci/AP
By JOSH MARSHALL Published AUGUST 18, 2017 12:55 PM

If you don’t have the twitter or breaking news wires spiked directly into your veins, for the last 10 or 20 minutes there have been a series of reports that Steve Bannon is out at the White House. First the news came from Drudge (who, whatever you think about him, is well-sourced on this front). The Times has now confirmed the story – but with a major caveat.It appears that Bannon is “out” but not really gone. Like the decision has been made but it’s not clear when he’ll actually leave. Or, a bit differently, it seems that the news reports may be President Trump’s and the White House’s effort to humiliate Bannon into resigning even though the President hasn’t actually gotten up the nerve to fire him.

Remember, there’s been a history of people who have been “fired” from the White House and are yet still there days, weeks or even months later. Clearly something is happening. But it looks to be messy and almost certainly involves the President’s chronic inability to actually fire people to their faces as opposed to relying on public humiliations to do the job.
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