What We’ve Read this Week – Donald Trump and The Chinese Trademark

As always Donald Trump has dominated political news this week, so he’s dominated our political reading.
Scott Pruitt: Poacher turned inside man?

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George Soros’ Professional Protestors

A common claim of the alt-right is that anti-Trump protests are fake movements, financed by the Democrat-supporting Jewish billionaire George Soros. This claim solidified in November 2016 with the claim that protestors were being hired via CraigsList. Politifact define the trustworthiness of the story as ‘pants-on-fire’; Snopes as ‘false’ and Media Bias Fact Check define it as a ‘blatant lie’.

One of the most prominent articles supporting this claim is a focus on social media posts showing that a woman who is part of a campaign group also attended a protest in her free time.

The woman in question is an employee of the ‘New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice’. The group’s Facebook page (which has just over 1500 fans) describes them as being “dedicated to organizing workers across race and industry to build the power and participation of workers and communities”. Three of the eleven reviews are 1-star, one of them because “this is the group who attempted to disrupt democracy”.

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Things You Should Realise about Trump #3: Crowd Claims Reveal a Loose Relationship with Reality

Donald Trump has spent a large portion of his first week in office obsessed by the size of his crowd.

250 thousand isn’t anything to be ashamed of – it’s a large number. Given that Trump’s shtick is that he is supposedly one of the few people willing to tackle difficult issues, he’s not going to be as popular as a unity candidate like Obama. Add in that Obama’s 2009 inauguration was on a Monday and Trump’s on a Friday, meaning that supporters could take the time off work more easily, and it’s not hugely embarrassing that Trump failed to hit the historic highs for inauguration attendances.

A wide variety of news sources shared a side-by-side comparison of photos from the 2009 Obama and 2017 Trump inaugurations. This includes those who lean right ideologically – the images are a dramatic way to put the news into context. For Trump opponents like ourselves, it’s a fun way to get at Trump’s thin skin. But it’s actually quite scary how thin his skin is.

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Things You Should Realise About Donald Trump #2: He’s a Political Insider

Of all the ridiculous lies spread during the 2016 presidential campaign, probably the most ridiculous is the idea that Donald Trump is a ‘political outsider’.

In the late 1980s when under investigation, mortgage broker Frank LaMagra claimed that Donald Trump was a participant in mob money laundering and offered to wear a wire to expose him. The federal agent in charge of the case, Tony Lombardi, discussed the case with his boss – Rudy Giulani – before going to talk with Trump, who became the co-chair of Giuliani’s 1989 mayoral fundraiser. LaMagra’s offer was never taken up. In 2009 Donald Trump gave $170,000 to the Republican Governors’ Association; in 2010 Chris Christie agreed to write off a $30 million Trump Casino tax bill for $5 million; in 2011 Trump donated another $450,000 to the group. Trump has repeatedly contributed to groups working for the re-election of attorneys general who were considering investigating his businesses, including Pam Bondi in 2014, and Kamala Harris between 2011 and 2013.

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Things You Should Realise About Donald Trump #1 He’s a Very Unsubtle Thinker

Donald Trump is a man who incites strong, contradictory opinions. One thing we should be able to agree on – he is not subtle.

This is evident in his Twitter feuds. After her measured criticism of him, he announced that Meryl Streep is “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood”. Streep is an actress who pretty much everyone seems to rate – Kramer vs Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and so on. Even 2015 Trump admired her, choosing her second after Julia Roberts when asked to name the actresses he admired. The smart line of attack would be to admit she’s a good actress, but undermine her political expertise, maybe paint her as a ‘Hollywood liberal’. This is what pretty much every Trump supporter who we’ve seen react to Streep has done – none of his supporters are as unsubtle as the man himself. In Trump’s mind, it appears, a person being bad means that they are bad at everything.

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Eight Immediate Thoughts on President Donald Trump

This was first posted on our Facebook page on November 10th, two days after the election.

Putting the blame solely at the feet of third party candidates would be inaccurate.
Neither Johnson nor Stein were particularly good candidates. Johnson argued ideologically that the free market can somehow fix climate change, and seemed to argue that the Sun’s inevitable expansion meant dealing with the issue pointless. While not as overtly bad, Stein’s campaign misused basic terminology like ‘free trade’, and failed to work out a fixed policy on Brexit.
Although votes are still being counted, it appears that Trump will pick up fewer votes than Romney in 22 states; Clinton will pick up fewer votes than Obama 2012 in 46 states. Obama 2012 in turn picked up more than 3.5 million votes fewer than Obama 2008 – perhaps voters were disillusioned with a candidate and party whose message relied on ‘hope’ and ‘change’?
For all the criticism that should be made of Trump, there was a positive (if vague) message mixed make-america-great-again-hat-by-gage-skidmore-2016-06-18 in among the negativity – he claims that he will ‘make America great again’. Other than the opportunity to elect the first female president (which doesn’t seem to have been a high factor for most voters), what was Clinton’s equivalent? It’s easy to be critical of Trump’s substance, but his message was a somewhat positive one. Positive messages enthuse people. That’s probably how Obama 2008 and Trump were able to motivate relatively high turnouts, whereas Clinton (and Obama 2012) could not.

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The Centre Ground Cannot Hold

In this essay we will explore the notion of ‘centre-ground’ politics, why this ideology is coming to an end, and the part it plays in the 2016 American presidential election. We’ll do so by looking at the reasons for Bill Clinton’s successes; take an unsentimental look at which of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would be less terrible; try to explain why so many people are attracted to Donald Trump; and we’ll look at the performances of America’s ‘third party’ candidates in this election cycle. We’ll then make the case that electing Hillary Clinton would not be a pragmatic necessity, but the start of a bright dawn for the American left.

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