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50 STATES AND DC, CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

WEIMAR AMERICA: DANIEL GREENFIELD

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to cheer on Communists and Nazis punching each other in major American cities while civil society disintegrates around them.

In Dallas, a black nationalist activist shot and killed 5 police officers at a Black Lives Matter anti-police rally. Instead of condemning BLM, Barack Obama defended a racist hate group whose role model is Assata Shakur, a wanted black nationalist cop killer, at the funerals of the murdered officers.

The left killed civil rights and replaced it with black nationalism. The racial supremacism of black nationalism that killed those officers is everywhere. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X. Kendi are lionized as brilliant thinkers instead of hateful racists, Amazon has ordered a black nationalist secessionist fantasy from Aaron McGruder and Showtime aired ‘Guerilla,’ a miniseries glamorizing Black Panther terrorism.

But racism is a two-way street. So is violence. Extremists feed into each other.

You can’t legitimize one form of racism without legitimizing all of them. The media may advance this hypocritical position. Obama used the shameful “reverse racism” euphemism that distinguishes between black and white racism. But propaganda and spin don’t change the physics of human nature.

Either all racism is bad. Or all racism is acceptable.

Charlottesville is what happens when you normalize racism and street violence. Every normalization of extremism equally normalizes the extremism of the opposite side.

A civil society depends on a consensus. ‘Racism is bad’ is an example of such a consensus. If you normalize black nationalism, you will get more white nationalism. If you normalize leftist street violence against Trump supporters, you will also get more street violence against leftists.

Extremists want to eliminate the consensus of civil society. They want to destroy the idea that there’s any solution except violence through confrontations that show the helplessness of civil society.

That’s true of black nationalists and white nationalists, of Communists and Nazis, of Antifa and Vanguard, of the tankies and hipster Nazis of the Alt-Left and the Alt-Right. They’re a set of evil twins and when you unleash one, you unleash the other. Their real enemies aren’t each other, but everyone in the middle. The bourgeois normies who don’t want to replace society with their totalitarian nightmare.

Street violence raises the bar so that only the violent will participate in protests. If you “no platform” campus speakers, then the only speakers you get will be those willing to face bomb threats, arson, and physical assaults. If you fire people for their views, political activism becomes the province of anonymous trolls and unemployed street thugs. Extremism limits political discourse to extremists.

If Democrats really want to stop the rise of Neo-Nazi violence, there’s a very easy way. Stop normalizing black nationalism and the Alt-Left. End the racist witch hunts for white privilege. Make it clear that street violence is unacceptable and that racism is bad no matter who it comes from. Allow people you disagree with to express their views without trying to destroy their lives.

But that’s the opposite of what the Dems will do. They don’t want fewer Neo-Nazis; they want more of them. They don’t want fewer attacks like Charlottesville and Charleston. They want more of them.

The Dems have become an extremist party run by the radical left. Obama, Holder, and Lynch made common cause with black nationalist hate groups against civil society. It began when Obama defended the vile racism of Jeremiah Wright and concluded with DOJ organized race riots. DNC boss Tom Perez addresses La Raza and his deputy Keith Ellison is a veteran of the Nation of Islam.

Destroying Symbols: Where Does It End? What about the Washington Monument or Monticello? And what about that Lenin statue in NYC? By Kyle Smith

The orgiastic glee with which protesters tore down, then beat up, a century-old monument to a generic Confederate soldier in Durham, N.C., this week was alarming. The mob seemed to have lost control of itself. Who wears out his foot kicking a lump of metal? The urge to destroy could get out of hand very quickly, especially given the mixed signals sent by authorities: Durham police stood by and did nothing. Only the following day, after an outcry, did the sheriff announce he intended to seek charges.

Where does this end?

Some wise conservative thinkers are calling to put the disputes over Civil War relics behind us. My esteemed former colleague Seth Mandel, op-ed editor of the New York Post and a man of deep probity, tweeted “Take down the monuments” on Sunday. My esteemed current colleague and boss Rich Lowry tweeted over the weekend, “If these monuments are going to become rallying points for neo-Nazis, maybe they do have to go.” Then he expanded on the thought in a column.

Rich seems to think that this is a good time to issue group punishment to neo-Nazi white-supremacist scum. I share the urge. Also I have no fondness whatsoever for Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, the Confederacy, or any of its symbols, and I have no emotional or other connection to the South. I find it utterly baffling that there is a statue of Roger Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision, in Baltimore. Moreover, some Confederate statues were erected specifically to antagonize black citizens during the civil-rights era.

But it is a characteristic of leftists that they are always pushing the culture wars into new territory, even territory that the Left itself would have called absurd overreach a few years previously. On Monday, the mayor of Baltimore agreed to take down its Civil War statues. By later Monday, that wasn’t good enough: The city council unanimously voted not only to remove but also to destroy the statues. One resident, Keith Scott, was skeptical about what is being accomplished here: “If you were prejudiced when it was up, you’re going to be prejudiced when it goes down,” he told the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Prejudice hurts people. Statues just stand there, mostly unnoticed.

Seth says, “Take down the monuments.” Let’s consider what that might mean to the Left. At Pepperdine University, a Christopher Columbus statue was taken down after a protest. There are statues of Columbus all over the country, including one in Central Park. If an angry mob surrounds that one and starts pulling it down, how will police react? A statue of Teddy Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City drew an angry crowd demanding its removal (and for Columbus Day to be renamed) last October. If TR doesn’t belong on the Upper West Side, how does he belong on Mount Rushmore?

Up in Boston, a writer hints that the city should remove local statues of historian Samuel Eliot Morison (who “used language in his writings on slavery that chafed readers”), Henry Cabot Lodge (“a staunch believer in American imperialism”), and even, I kid you not, Abraham Lincoln. (Thomas Ball, who sculpted the latter, wouldn’t let a black man into the house to pose for the statue, which depicts a freed slave kneeling at the president’s feet.) This argument isn’t on the fringe: It was contained in a column written by Pulitzer-shortlisted critic Ty Burr and published in one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country, the Boston Globe. My longtime colleague at the New York Post, film critic Lou Lumenick, carried the logic of Confederate-flag removal through to Confederate-film removal and called for Gone with the Wind to be placed in a museum.

Trump Takes Aim at the “Alt-Left” The president won’t let the racist and violent Left off the hook for Charlottesville violence. Matthew Vadum

President Trump’s politically incorrect insistence on blaming radical leftists for their rightful share of the violence on Saturday in Charlottesville is being met with predictable howls of outrage by the Left and the media.

At the protest, alleged neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, used his car to plow into a crowd of counter-protesters not far from the scheduled rally at Emancipation Park. About 20 people were injured, one of them fatally. Paralegal Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed.

But left-wingers who descended in force on the rally site attacked people with bats and clubs, a fact President Trump stubbornly clings to despite intense pressure from the media and the rest of the Left to drop it. The people holding the “Unite the Right” rally may not all have been upstanding citizens, but holding and expressing views that are unpopular, even widely considered to be morally repugnant, is no reason to deprive those people of the right to express themselves in public.

President Trump has repeatedly denounced the right-wing extremists who organized the rally but at the same time he has stood up for their First Amendment rights. Trump stirred up a hornet’s nest during a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan yesterday when he was pushed by reporters to lay the blame for the violence in the Virginia college town exclusively on the “alt-right” and right-wing extremists such as neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and skinheads.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended the violent left-wing fascists he euphemistically describes as counter-protesters. “The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the ‘alt-left,’ (whatever that may be),” the failed 2016 Democratic president contender tweeted. “It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”

That neo-Nazis and white-supremacists were involved in the melees is true, but Sanders isn’t telling the whole story.

President Trump filled in the blanks.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right?” Trump said to journalists who sputtered with rage at his impudent refusal to toe the line. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

The president continued:

Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.

“Is it the same level as neo-Nazis?” a reporter asked.

“I will tell you something,” Trump said.

I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have – You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.

Trump Follows Obama’s Example of Moral Equivalence When five Dallas cops were murdered last year, the 44th president faulted police as well as the killer.By Jason L. Riley

President Trump sees himself as the antithesis of President Obama, and that’s true in ways large and small. Both men, however, share a fondness for the identity politics that continue to poison U.S. race relations.

If you were shocked that President Trump had to be pressured into condemning by name neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, then you probably haven’t been paying enough attention. His Saturday remarks on Charlottesville, Va., where protesters clashed violently over a statue in a park of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, showed again that Mr. Trump has little use for Oval Office norms. But his initial reaction also evinced an Obama-like reluctance to denounce despicable behavior forcefully and in no uncertain terms.

When five policemen were gunned down in Dallas last year, Mr. Obama said there was no justification for violence against law enforcement—but then he added a comment about racial inequity in the criminal-justice system. After violent demonstrators pillaged Baltimore in 2015 following the death of a black man in police custody, Mr. Obama dutifully condemned the rioters—but not without also noting that “we have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African-American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions.”

What we heard from Mr. Trump on Saturday, when he said “many sides” were to blame for what took place in Charlottesville, was more of the same equivocation. Both presidents were less interested in moral clarity than in placating fringe groups out of political expediency. The difference is that Mr. Obama’s caucus mostly indulged his racial innuendo, while Mr. Trump’s called him on it. That’s why the president reluctantly issued a more forceful second statement on Monday.

Calls are now multiplying for Mr. Trump to rid his White House of chief strategist Steve Bannon and other alt-right sympathizers, and you’d get no objections to doing so from this columnist. But who’s to say for certain that Mr. Bannon’s presence is the root problem? When Mr. Trump took his time last year disavowing David Duke after the former Klan leader endorsed him for president, Mr. Bannon had yet to join the campaign. Perhaps Mr. Trump’s problem is not his staff.

The president’s inability to denounce white nationalists properly on his first try is troubling, but more so is these groups’ growing prominence. Race relations declined sharply under Mr. Obama, according to polling in the final months of 2016; by the time Mr. Trump entered office, they were already at their tensest since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. The videos captured, and spread widely through social media, of police encounters with black suspects no doubt contributed to the problem. The data show a steep decline in police shootings in recent decades. But anecdotal evidence, no matter how unrepresentative of reality, packs a more powerful punch than the recitation of dry statistics.

Mr. Obama’s attempts to advance black interests through heightened group identity and us-against-them rhetoric didn’t help. He embraced openly antiwhite groups like Black Lives Matter and racially polarizing figures like Al Sharpton. The subsequent rise of the alt-right may be history repeating itself. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Rise of the Violent Left Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?Peter Beinart see note please

On occasion even a mountebank like Beinert is right. What makes this so pithy is that it was published before Charlottesville…..rsk

“Antifa’s violent tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.”” Antifa’s perceived legitimacy is inversely correlated with the government’s. Which is why, in the Trump era, the movement is growing like never before. As the president derides and subverts liberal-democratic norms, progressives face a choice. They can recommit to the rules of fair play, and try to limit the president’s corrosive effect, though they will often fail. Or they can, in revulsion or fear or righteous rage, try to deny racists and Trump supporters their political rights. From Middlebury to Berkeley to Portland, the latter approach is on the rise, especially among young people.Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.”

Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.

In the days leading up to the planned parade, a group called the Direct Action Alliance declared, “Fascists plan to march through the streets,” and warned, “Nazis will not march through Portland unopposed.” The alliance said it didn’t object to the Multnomah GOP itself, but to “fascists” who planned to infiltrate its ranks. Yet it also denounced marchers with “Trump flags” and “red maga hats” who could “normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice.” A second group, Oregon Students Empowered, created a Facebook page called “Shut down fascism! No nazis in Portland!”

Next, the parade’s organizers received an anonymous email warning that if “Trump supporters” and others who promote “hateful rhetoric” marched, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade … and drag and push those people out.” When Portland police said they lacked the resources to provide adequate security, the organizers canceled the parade. It was a sign of things to come.

For progressives, Donald Trump is not just another Republican president. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, according to a Suffolk poll from last September, consider him a racist. Last March, according to a YouGov survey, 71 percent of Democrats agreed that his campaign contained “fascist undertones.” All of which raises a question that is likely to bedevil progressives for years to come: If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?

In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart.com editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.

As far-flung as these incidents were, they have something crucial in common. Like the organizations that opposed the Multnomah County Republican Party’s participation in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, these activists appear to be linked to a movement called “antifa,” which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The movement’s secrecy makes definitively cataloging its activities difficult, but this much is certain: Antifa’s power is growing. And how the rest of the activist left responds will help define its moral character in the Trump age.

ntifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.

Trump Loses Corporate America There is no point in taking brickbats for a president who does not deliver. By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Companies get in bed with politicians when it serves their interests and are quick to run away when it doesn’t. Thus nobody is obliged to interpret the flutter of CEOs away from President Trump’s advisory council since the Charlottesville riot as occasions of courage.

Still, these are some of America’s most delicate PR canaries, surrounded by risk-averse advisers. Mr. Trump’s administration is turning out not to be the administration they were hoping for, though probably the one they realistically expected.

Especially he has not made headway on corporate taxes—the issue that bought him whatever benefit of the doubt America’s CEO class was willing to give him.

Now a handful are fleeing his advisory council because he didn’t say the right words over Charlottesville, or didn’t say them quickly enough. This is big news because the media can’t get enough Trump. He insists on making himself the lightning rod. That’s one problem.

If the president or a scraggly someone close to him in the West Wing is soft on white supremacists because he thinks these groups are a vital bloc, this would be the miscalculation of the century. Their adherents couldn’t swing a race for dogcatcher. It is precisely the left’s fantasy of the right that these people constitute a useful electoral base.

None of the departing CEOs likely believe Mr. Trump is a white supremacist or Nazi sympathizer. They just see no upside to being associated with him. Two of those who quit, Merck’s Kenneth Frazier and Intel ’s Brian Krzanich, implicitly cited an unnamed individual’s failure to speak out forcefully enough against racism.

Kevin Plank of Under Armour perhaps indulged a greater honesty when he suggested his company belatedly remembered that it “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

There may be a temptation to liken these men to Google’s Sundar Pichai, who overnight acquired a reputation as a moral coward for firing a diversity-policy dissenter. Other CEOs, like Jeff Immelt of GE, found voices to express opposition to white racism without trying to turn themselves into symbols of anti-Trump resistance.

But Mr. Trump hardly helped with his response, a series of tweets about Merck’s high drug prices. Mr. Trump is the one party to these exchanges who doesn’t have three layers of advisers to help him discover his deepest thoughts. If he did, he might not be frittering away his presidency.

But let’s also notice how little this has to do with Charlottesville. Mr. Trump was essentially correct when he warned in his initial, widely panned comments, about danger from “many sides.” In one of those quirks of old-style magazine publishing, the Atlantic dropped a story, dated September, that went to press before Charlottesville and yet details the “The Rise of the Violent Left,” especially the Antifa movement that was in the middle of the Charlottesville brawl.

Mr. Trump, who perhaps actually paid attention to his Charlottesville briefing, may just have responded the way 99% of Americans would have to the full story. Or the way European publics in the 1920s and ’30s did when they saw Hitlerites and Stalinists battling in the streets and wanted nothing to do with either.

Happily, the social and political condition of America today is nothing like Germany circa 1930, even as both extreme right and extreme left peddle exactly the same delusive line that Trumpism is the force somehow carrying them to the centers of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Anti-Semitic Jewish Media by Bruce Bawer

Almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse.

Needless to say, the immigrants Trump wants to keep out of the U.S. are precisely the type who, in Europe, are currently Jew-bashing people like Stephen Miller — and Rob Eshman. But Eshman doesn’t want to think about this ticklish fact, which challenges his own simplistic, self-righteous pontifications.

Linda Sarsour is the very personification of stealth Islamization and an obvious anti-Semite. But as Davidson himself noted, she’s acquired plenty of Jewish allies and defenders, “including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mark Hetfield, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Brad Lander.”

For years now, Jews across western Europe have been the targets of harassment by Muslims. Police officers stand guard outside of synagogues. Recently, when I stayed in the Jewish Quarter in Rome, I couldn’t help notice the presence of multiple police kiosks, each manned by an armed cop. Many Jews in European cities have long since ceased wearing yarmulkes or Stars of David. Jewish kids are instructed by their parents to avoid identifying themselves as Jews at school lest they be beaten up by their little Muslim friends.

Meanwhile, almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse. Police prefer not to prosecute Muslim perpetrators for fear of being called “Islamophobes.” Teachers don’t want to deal with Muslim bullies in their classes for the same reason.

Yet you would hardly know this to read much of America’s Jewish media. On August 2, the Jewish Journal ran a piece slamming Trump adviser Stephen Miller for dismissing (quite properly) the suggestion by CNN’s Jim Acosta that the new immigration bill favoring English-speakers violated the “spirit” of Emma Lazarus’s Statue of Liberty poem, “The New Colossus,” and emphasizing, as if it had anything to do with the issue, that Miller himself is the great-grandson of Jewish immigrants. This was not the first time the Jewish Journal had gone after Miller for being a Jew who supports immigration reform. In March, another piece in that publication, headlined (I kid you not) “From Hebrew School to Halls of Power,” noted that Miller was “a principal author of Trump’s draconian immigration measures, including the executive order the president signed in late January targeting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries,” even though “[t]hese politics are generally reviled in the liberal circles of his Jewish upbringing.”

The Latest Anti-Trump Weapon: Accusing Their Critics of “Racism” by Alan M. Dershowitz

I am an apologist only for civil liberties and racial equality, not for a candidate against whom I voted.

The civil liberties of all Americans are at stake. I will not be silenced by false and unethical charges of racism from people who are deliberately distorting my views for partisan political purposes. I will respond and expose their bias, bigotry and mendacity, because the issues are too important to be left in the hands of partisan extremists.

In addition to falsely accusing their political enemies of criminal conduct, some extremists, who are determined to see Donald Trump indicted, have come up with a new weapon: accusing those who disagree with them of “racism.”

It began when I said in public what every experienced criminal lawyer was thinking in private:

“The second one [grand jury] is important because of where it is. It gives the prosecutor the power to indict in the District of Columbia, which is a district that is heavily Democratic, and would have a jury pool very unfavorable to Trump and the Trump administration. So it gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage… The District of Columbia is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition which may be very unfavorable to the Trump administration…”

I did not say that the residents of the District of Columbia would be consciously unfair to indicted Trump associates, or that Black juries are more biased than white jurors. I merely observed — as the Supreme Court, the NAACP, the ACLU and all experienced lawyers have noted — that life experiences matter in jury selection and deliberation. It matters whether a jury pool is largely comprised of Democrats or Republicans, Blacks or whites, poor or wealthy. If it didn’t matter, our legal system would not go to such lengths to assure diversity in jury pools. This is an uncontroversial observation, but nothing is uncontroversial in the divisive political climate in which we live today.

So people who know better have deliberately distorted my point in order to argue that what I observed was racist. It began with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who dilutes the powerful term “racism” by tossing it around as promiscuously as rap singers toss around “motherf***er” Here is what she said:

“What he [Dershowitz] is saying is ‘all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.’ I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist.”

‘Professional Cuddling’ a Growing Industry Because…Trump! By Rick Moran

American liberals never cease to amaze. As juvenile as their behavior can be, they now appear to have regressed to the infantile.

There is a booming business in (naturally) California that has taken anti-Trump hysteria to heights never seen. Indeed, Donald Trump has so incapacitated some people that only the “healing touch” of a good cuddle can help them deal with their angst.

Yeah, you read that right — “a good cuddle.” Now don’t get me wrong. Cuddling with a loved one can be comforting, emotionally satisfying, even arousing if you’re doing it right.

But how about with a total stranger? I guess as long as you both have had your life ruined by Trump’s election, a good cuddle will temporarily blot out your hysteria and give you peace.

Rolling Stone:

The reasons one seeks out a professional cuddling experience range from average adults seeking connection, those on the autistic spectrum, those healing from sexual trauma, adults dealing with sexual dysfunction or for older virgins to practice touch in a safe environment. The elephant in the room during some of these sessions, though, is the current state of the country’s affairs. Since November – and the election of Donald Trump – professional cuddling services have seen a spike in client interest.

“The holiday season was the first time that since Trump won the election that a lot of people were seeing their family,” says Adam Lippin, co-founder and CEO of Cuddlist, which provides training services to professional cuddlers and allows clients to search listings of “Cuddlists” nearby. “People with different political views were going to be in the same place with relatives. That was the first hit of people having to confront it in a significant way. We saw an uptick around that.”

But what makes the organized effort of being held, a service that comes with a cost (Cuddlist sessions go for $80 an hour), something that aids in relieving the fear and discomfort that has come with Trump’s presidency?

[…]

As executive orders, cabinet appointments, abuse of power, protests and other signs of political unrest sweep the nation, there’s a sense of unease brewing in many. They are turning to alternative forms of care to alleviate these fears.

Marcia Baczynski, co-founder of Cuddle Party, has seen her already established clientele base reacting to the election. Many of them, she says, feel triggered by Trump’s actions, history of sexual abuse allegations and manipulative behaviors.

“The work is actually political now,” Baczynski says. “It used to be the case that you talked about cuddle parties because these are important skills for life – everyone’s navigating boundaries. And now we need to have boundaries with our government. How the fuck do you do that? How do you conceptualize having a leader who is essentially an abusive asshole?”

A significant number of those seeking professional cuddling services have experienced abuse, and some see in Trump qualities that remind them of past trauma. Three days after the election, Anastasia Allington, a professional cuddler in Austin, Texas, had a session with a client who was bereft and frequently broke into tears. Another scheduled a cuddle session on Election Day in order to alleviate the anxiety he was already experiencing around the campaign. CONTINUE AT SITE

Mueller Probe of Trump Only Exists Because of Comey’s Illegal Leak to New York Times By Patrick Poole

One of the negative features of our daily double/triple/quadruple media outrage cycle is that many people lose the context and history in which these events occur.

There was a lot of heavy breathing from the media this week after it was leaked that a grand jury had been impaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller — just one of many illegal hostile leaks that have emerged from inside the administration targeting President Trump.

The person tasked with investigating those leaks — until he was fired — was FBI Director James Comey.

But it bears reminding that the only reason why a special counsel was appointed was that Comey himself illegally leaked memos of his conversations with the president to the media for the purpose of having a special counsel appointed days after he was fired.

Don’t take my word for it. Here is Comey testifying on June 8 in response to questioning by Sen. Susan Collins that he leaked the memo of his conversations with the president specifically to provoke the appointment of a special counsel (beginning ~1:48):

Collins: Did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the Department of Justice?

Comey: Yes.

Collins: And to whom did you show copies?

Comey: The president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might be a tape. And my judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. So I asked a close friend of mine to do it.

Collins: And was that Mr. [Benjamin] Wittes?

Comey: No. No.

Collins: Who was that?

Comey: A good friend of mine who’s a professor at Columbia law school.

Comey’s friend, Columbia law professor Daniel Richman, later admitted that he was the conduit for Comey’s leak.

Comey’s defenders claim that there was nothing improper or illegal because the memos were his private property and he was free to leak them. That explanation doesn’t quite fly. CONTINUE AT SITE