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Trump’s Useful Idiots

Republican politicians saw what happened at President Trump’s rally last night in Greenville, North Carolina, where a crowd chanted, “Send her back!” about Representative Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat and U.S. citizen born in Somalia.

They didn’t like it. And they know who to blame: anyone but Donald Trump.

“The chants were offensive and very unfortunate,” Senator Mitt Romney said. “It did not speak well of that crowd.”

“People chant what they want,” said Senator John Barrasso. “I’d rather attack ideas than people.”

Senator Jim Inhofe is “not really convinced that the president himself knew what the shouting was.”

[Conor Friedersdorf: ‘Send her back’: the bigoted rallying cry of Trump 2020]

“A group of people chanted, he didn’t ask them to chant it. You can’t control that any more than you can control the reaction at a rock concert,” said Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who was at the rally but has apparently never in his 58 years attended a rock concert.

By Thursday afternoon, even Trump had disavowed the chant, despite his campaign issuing a statement implicitly endorsing it. “I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” the president said.

If anyone believes Trump, I’ve got 500 miles of newly built wall along the Mexican border to sell them. Review the tape: The president tweeted about Omar and Democratic colleagues, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” At the rally, he slowly, methodically worked the crowd up to a lather about Omar. He told the crowd, “You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.” He stood and smirked faintly while the crowd chanted, passing up any opportunity to calm it. Trump doesn’t disagree with it, because disagreeing with it would mean disagreeing with himself. He’s made clear that he brooks no criticism from anyone else; there’s no indication he’s willing to listen to the objections of his own conscience, either.

It’s strange to see politicians criticizing their own voters, for obvious reasons. Tillis at least had a score to settle with the crowd, some of which had booed him. But if politicians had no control over the way audiences reacted to their speeches, they wouldn’t hold rallies. That’s the point of rallies.

The problem is that these Republican senators have no other viable option. Most of them can’t accept Trump’s comments or the chants he inspired, because those are straightforwardly racist. But they can’t repudiate them, either, because doing so would repudiate what has now become the central agenda of the Republican Party and of the Republican president running for reelection. Well, they could—like Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the GOP on July 4—but everyone who wants to remain a Republican officeholder has to make bizarre contortions like the ones on display Thursday morning.

The fact that Trump has been a racist, with a political career rooted in racism, should have been obvious all along, and to many people, it was. But to those who remained unconvinced, the last few days ought to have caused scales to fall from their eyes. I wrote on Monday that Trump had chosen to made a shift from the barely veiled racism of the 2016 campaign to open racism in 2020—a shift from openly demonizing migrants to openly demonizing American citizens of color.

You don’t have to believe me, or even adopt a plain reading of the tweets, because Trump and his aides have confirmed the strategic decision. Campaign aides told the Associated Press and CNN that the president is arranging his reelection campaign around the current fight, betting on racism as a winning play for reelection.

“I do think I am winning the political fight,” Trump said at the White House on Wednesday. “I think I am winning it by a lot.”

[Read: An oral history of Trump’s bigotry ]

Senators like Barrasso, Romney, Inhofe, and Tillis are not natural Trumpers. They belong to an earlier Republican Party, where racism was at least meant to be denied, obscured, hidden behind insistences of “colorblindness.” Trump’s language and politics do not come naturally to them. Romney has even staked out a claim to be the sitting Republican senator most willing to criticize Trump—though that’s not saying much—and he refuses to make attacking Trump his political identity.

But the party is Trump’s now, not theirs. If they haven’t embraced the GOP’s new, ethnonationalist project, they haven’t worked up the courage to either reject it, either. There may be a personal political expedience to this fence-sitting, since incurring the president’s wrath can be career suicide, and leaving the party equally risky, but the stance is logically and morally incoherent. It leads people to make self-evidently silly statements, as when Romney calls on Trump to use his “special responsibility to unite Americans,” as though Trump’s entire political career hasn’t been built around dividing people. He’ll get around to unifying us any day, surely!

This problem affects even Republicans who have been critical of Trump, like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, or Representative Tom Emmer, the chair of the House GOP’s campaign arm, who said, “There’s no place for that kind of talk. I don’t agree with it.” Senator Lindsey Graham at least offers a coherent stance, saying that any Somali refugee is welcome as long as they are not critical of Trump. (This is not only contrary to the American ideal of dissent, it’s also untrue: Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from Somalia.)

Trump’s rare repudiation of the chant—which is to say of his own remarks—suggests that, however pitiful the public reaction from Republicans, there must have been greater blowback than he expected. But the specific dismissal of this chant is unlikely to be connected to a broader shift in his political approach. The truth is that the crowd in Greenville understood Trump and his platform far better than any of these Republicans are willing to admit.


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Popeyes' chicken sandwich has been linked to a deadly stabbing and reports of assault and physical violence. Here are the harrowing incidents related to the coveted menu item.
Irene Jiang / Business Insider Popeyes officially relaunched its wildly popular chicken sandwich on November 3 after selling out of the menu item in August. The second iteration of the sandwich has been linked to various reports of violence, many stemming from agitated customers who want to get their hands on the coveted menu item. Police confirmed that a deadly shooting in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on November 4 was linked to the return of the chicken sandwich. "There is no reason for someone to lose their life on a Monday night in a parking lot," Popeyes said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends and we are fully cooperating with local authorities." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Popeyes chicken sandwich is back, and the second iteration of the famed menu has been as wild — if not more — than its first go-around. Foot traffic to stores surpassed the peak traffic during the original launch of the sandwich, according to foot-traffic tracker Placer.ai. Since the sandwich relaunched on November 3, there have been various reports of customers resorting to extreme measures to get one of the sandwiches. "It is as crazy as last time if not more," said a shift leader in a Texas Popeyes who worked through the first iteration of the Chicken Sandwich Wars. He said his location sold over 2,000 sandwiches the first night of the relaunch. Popeyes said that some locations experienced drive-thru lines down the street and in-store lines that went out the front door. But in some cases, the hype has become dangerous. A Popeyes employee was arrested on Friday after a viral video showed an employee body-slamming a woman outside a Tennessee restaurant, Fox reported. A deadly shooting in Oxon Hill, Maryland the day after the sandwich's relaunch was linked to to the return of the menu item, police confirmed. One man fatally stabbed the other while waiting in line for a Popeyes chicken sandwich after an argument. Jennifer Donelan, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Police Department, said that the disagreement was apparently sparked when one person cut in front of the other in line. From a fatal stabbing to a report of a brawl between an employee and a customer, here are all the incidents connected to the Popeyes chicken sandwich so far.An altercation between two men in line at a Popeyes in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on November 4 ended in a fatal stabbing. Police confirmed that the incident was related to the the release of the sandwich at the restaurant. Eric Gay/AP Source: Business Insider "For you to get that angry over anything, for that type of anger to develop into this type of violence, is a very sad and tragic day," said Jennifer Donelan, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Police Department. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Source: Business Insider Another Maryland Popeyes was reportedly the site of a brawl. A spokesperson confirmed to The Baltimore Sun that there was an altercation between an employee and a customer that demanded a refund. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Source: The Baltimore Sun See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:I ate chicken nuggets from 6 fast-food chains, and the best were also the cheapestPrivate jets, parties with Khloe Kardashian, and $1 million weddings: Inside the lavish lives of a billionaire fast-fashion dynastyThe Popeyes chicken sandwich might be even more popular the second time around as restaurants report long lines and soaring salesSEE ALSO: 'I was working like a slave': Exhausted Popeyes employees describe a harrowing situation amid chicken-sandwich chaos, including working 60-hour weeks and shifts with no breaks
Business Insider
China has 500+ Uighur camps and prisons, holding far more than one million people as claimed, say activists
On Tuesday, advocates for human rights for China's Uighur minority said they have documented 500 camps and prisons in China run by the government to detain people identified as belonging to that targeted ethnic group. The activists say that when you add up the number of detention facilities they've identified, it means China must be holding a total number of Uighur people that far exceeds the commonly cited figure of one million people. From AFP via Yahoo News: The East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, a Washington-based group that seeks independence for the mostly Muslim region known to China as Xinjiang, said it assessed images from Google Earth and found 182 suspected "concentration camps" which it listed by coordinates. The group, which said it matched its findings with on-the-ground information, said it also spotted 209 suspected prisons and 74 suspected labor camps which it would share later. "In large part these have not been previously identified, so we could be talking about far greater numbers" of people detained, said Kyle Olbert, the director of operations for the movement. "If anything, we are concerned that there may be more facilities that we have not been able to identify," he told a news conference in suburban Washington. Anders Corr, an analyst who formerly worked in US intelligence and who advised the group, said that around 40 percent of the sites had not been previously reported. China uses torture and sexual abuse to “forcibly integrate Uighurs into the Han majority, including pressuring Muslims to give up tenets of their faith such as praying and abstaining from pork and alcohol,” the report continues. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Protesters block Lebanon roads after Aoun urges them to go home
Protesters in Lebanon blocked roads with burning tyres in several parts of the country including the capital Beirut on Tuesday following a broadcast interview with President Michel Aoun in which he urged them to go home, the National News Agency reported.
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A US federal court finds suspicionless searches of phones at the border is illegal
A federal court in Boston has ruled that the government is not allowed to search travelers’ phones or other electronic devices at the U.S. border without first having reasonable suspicion of a crime. That’s a significant victory for civil liberties advocates, who say the government’s own rules allowing its border agents to search electronic devices […]
Politica
'I'm just as American as they are': Activists, DACA recipients gather as Supreme Court hears case
The high court's ruling on the Obama -era program is expected next spring in the midst of the 2020 presidential race.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Microsoft workers say it's making progress on diversity
Microsoft's push for greater diversity in its workforce appears to be paying off, and it's not just the company's management saying so this time. The tech giant's 2019 Diversity and Inclusion report offers the first public glimpse at Microsoft's Incl...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
21 of the biggest differences between the 'Lady and the Tramp' remake and the animated movie
Disney Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" remake. Disney's remake of its 1955 animated classic about two dogs who fall in love is finally available to watch on its streaming site Disney Plus. Longer than the original, Insider rounded up some of the subtle and big changes the new film makes from the animated classic. For example, the remake gets rid of the problematic "Siamese Cat Song" and gives Tramp a sad backstory. Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories. 1. The Josh Billings' quote doesn't appear at the film's start. Disney While both films start with an illustrated background setting that turns to winter, the live-action remake doesn't show the Billings quote which kicks off the animated feature.  It reads: "In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money can not buy... to wit — the wag of a dog's tail. So it is to all dogs — be they Ladies or Tramps that this picture is respectfully dedicated."  2. Lady does not have her giant bow when she's gifted to Darling. Disney When Darling opens her Christmas present, Lady has a giant magenta-colored bow in the animated picture.  3. We see the faces of Jim Dear and Darling throughout the film. Disney Lady's owners are never front and center in the animated film. The remake doesn't act like Jim and Darling are two faceless adults. Kiersey Clemons and Thomas Mann get a lot of screen time with Lady in the new movie. See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best and worst original TV shows and movies you can watch on Disney Plus12 secrets behind Walt Disney World's magical holiday decorationsHow contact lenses are made for movies and TV shows
Business Insider
The former HBO CEO is in talks to join Apple TV Plus
AP Photo/ Matt Sayles   Richard Plepler, the former CEO of HBO, is in talks to join Apple's recently launched streaming service, Apple TV Plus, in a production deal to develop new original content, according to multiple outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Deadline, and The Hollywood Reporter.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Watch the 20 details you may have missed in the new trailer for 'Birds of Prey'See Also:These are the watches worn by some of the most powerful CEOs in the worldHere's how every character in the new Disney live-action movies compares to the original versionsApple's 'See' director on why the TV series cost less than 'Game of Thrones' and if he'd return for the next 'Hunger Games' movie
Business Insider
The best cooking oil
Cooking oils are important components of a heart-healthy diet, but it's important to choose the right ones for the dish you're preparing. We've rounded up the best olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, canola oil, and other healthy oils to help you diversify the cooking oils in your cupboard and add flavor to your meals. Even an occasional cook needs to have some type of cooking oil in the pantry. These plant-based oils are used for everything from frying to baking to making salad dressings. But there are so many different types of cooking oils on the supermarket shelves, you might be tempted to throw your hands up in confusion, and then go home with the familiar bottle of vegetable oil. But that's certainly not the healthiest choice, and there's no need to stick with only one type of oil. Each type of cooking oil has its own flavor, level of fats, and smoke point, which is the temperature at which the oil will begin to smoke, indicating it is overheated and may lose health benefits. But why limit yourself to just one? A well-stocked pantry has a selection of flavorful cooking oils to choose from. If you cook with any regularity, your pantry should contain at least a bottle of canola and a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. Add a small bottle of peanut or sesame oil if you love to stir-fry, and one or two others for variety in salad dressings. Moderate amounts of healthy cooking oil add beneficial fats to your diet, helping to keep your cholesterol balanced and your circulatory system healthy.   If you're wondering which cooking oils are worth adding to your pantry, we've done the hard work for you, and assembled this guide to 10 healthy cooking oils worth trying. Here are the best cooking oils you can buy:  Best olive oil: Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Best canola oil: 365 Everyday Value Organic Canola Oil Best peanut oil: La Tourangelle Roasted Peanut Oil Best sesame oil: Ottogi Dark Sesame Oil Best sunflower oil: Sunvella Unrefined High-Oleic Sunflower Oil Best coconut oil: Viva Naturals Organic, Cold-Pressed, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil Best avocado oil: Bella Vado Organic Extra-Virgin Avocado Oil Best walnut oil: La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil Best flaxseed oil: Puritan's Pride Organic Flaxseed Oil Updated on 11/7/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added related guides. The best olive oil Colavita/Filippo Berio Colavita and Filippo Berio make delicious olive oil that's healthy for use in food preparation. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with because it is very high in monounsaturated fat. It is lower in Omega-3 than some other oils, but it's still quite healthy.  Olive oil has a distinctive, strong flavor, and comes in several varieties. Extra-virgin, which is the highest quality type, is pressed from whole olives within a day of harvesting and has a low smoke point that makes it unsuitable for frying or sautéing at high heat. Pure olive oil has been refined to reduce the strong olive flavor and has a higher smoke point. Our favorite extra virgin olive oil is made by Colavita. The oil is imported from Italy and made from olives that originate in Italy, Greece, Spain, or Portugal. It has a delicious flavor that's excellent for salad dressings and pasta sauce, as well as sautéing and grilling over low-to-medium heat. Pure olive oil can be used for frying, sautéing, stir-frying, and oven cooking, especially in Italian or Mediterranean dishes. For that purpose, we recommend Filippo Berio Pure Olive Oil. Pros: Healthy, nice flavor, great for pasta, versatile Cons: Can be expensive, low smoke point The best canola oil 365 Everyday Value Some people mistakenly think canola oil is the same as low-quality vegetable oil, but the 365 Everyday Value Organic Canola Oil is very healthy and great for cooking. Made from hybridized rapeseed, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fat, and contains a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids. It has a very mild taste that works with any sort of recipe, and has a fairly high smoke point. Because just about all supermarket canola oil in the US is pressed from genetically modified rapeseed, however, it's best to choose an organic variety. Our favorite organic canola oil comes from 365 Everday Value, Whole Foods' in-house brand. You can trust that it's not genetically modified or altered in any way. Used at moderate temperatures, this canola oil is excellent for baking, sautéing, stir-frying and as a base for dressings. Its mild taste makes it a good match for any dish that has stronger spices or flavors. Pros: Versatile, lots of Omega-3, organic, works at moderate temperatures, affordable Cons: Mild flavor isn't for special dishes The best peanut oil La Tourangelle La Tourangelle's flavorful peanut oil adds character to any dish that could benefit from a touch of nutty goodness. With its peanutty flavor and high smoke point, La Tourangelle's peanut oil is excellent for deep-frying and stir-frying. It is lower in healthy fats than olive oil or canola oil, but does have a good level of Omega-6. La Tourangelle's expeller-pressed roasted peanut oil isn't refined chemically, either, so it's extra healthy. Although refined peanut oil has the peanut allergen removed, it is still safest to avoid using this oil if you are cooking for anyone who might be allergic to peanuts. Peanut oil is popular in Asian stir-fry recipes and is also a good choice for frying potatoes or even a whole turkey. La Tourangelle's peanut oil is absolutely delicious and quite healthy. Pros: Delicious flavor, not refined chemically, great in stir-fry Cons: Bad if you're allergic to peanuts, expensive See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best wine glassesThe best home security systemsThe best smart locksSEE ALSO: The best food storage container sets you can buy
Business Insider
Cheap safe looks like a book
If you have a lot of books at home, a cheap book safe like this is a good way to hide small things. The inside storage area is 2" x 5.625" x 9" and the book looks like a dictionary. (Crooks already know to scan bookshelves for The New English Dictionary, so you should put a jacket from another book on it.) It has a lock and two keys to discourage snooping if someone pulls the book off the shelf. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things