On February 7, I wrote about the connection between Donald Trump and Roy Cohn, the evil and ultimately disbarred lawyer behind Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting, and later, a councilor to New York’s crime families. See The Trump – Cohn Connection.
On February 13, I provided a link to Sidney Blumenthal’s Short History of the Trump Family . Blumenthal provides an excellent primer on the sordid New York milieu in which Trump and his family is grounded.
On March 10, I linked to Adam Davidson’s New Yorker article setting out the case that Trump partnered with corrupt politicians in Azerbaijan in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
On March 12, I linked to additional articles detailing Trump’s ongoing associations with organized crime. See Donald Trump and Organized Crime.
On February 11, in Darth Bannon, I wrote about Bannon’s self-declared fascination with the dark side.
On March 5, in McCarthy, Evola, and The Camp of the Saints, I link to a Huffington Post article discussing Bannon’s evoking of the racist 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints.
Increasingly, it appears that the well of Trump/Bannon sleaze is inexhaustible. Just today, I encountered this excellent linked article – maybe the best yet, “THE DARK, ORWELLIAN POWER OF STEVE BANNON, ON DISPLAY AT CPAC” by Timothy Denevi. Denevi does an excellent job detailing the visceral level at which both Trump and Bannon work. Read it for his description of attending Trump’s speech at the CPAC meeting – the way in which Trump mesmerizes his crowd feels very much like a description I once heard of Hitler’s rallies. I like the part where Denevi at one point shouts out “War is Peace”, evoking Orwell’s “1984”, and the audience turns to him in apparent approval, assuming that he was shouting something pro-Trump. And follow through to Denevi’s interview with three conservative women who had worked for Bannon, and for the later part where they contemplate “What kind of devil best describes the person Steve Bannon really is?”
Here’s another Denevi quote I liked:
“Don’t get me wrong: I firmly believe that the new administration’s penchant for lying is a threat to American democracy; that its rhetoric has violent real-world consequences; and that its bigoted policies—against basically anyone who’s not considered white, straight, cisgendered, and male—represent a direct attack on the pluralism we’ve been working toward, in fits and starts, for centuries.
But I also think that any coalition looking to combat the forces behind Donald Trump’s startling rise will need to avoid tactics that, while effective, run the risk of sacrificing the very ideals we’re hoping to defend.
In other words: how can we respond, personally and as a group, to the very real and horrible manner in which the current administration delegitimizes all other points of view—from the press to the judiciary to the citizenry to lawmakers in both parties—without falling into the trap of dismissing, out of hand, any and all criticism of the values on which our perspectives depend?”
See also this Mother Jones article by Pema Levy:
Levy writes, “In an article on Bannon’s interactions with European right-wing nationalists who want to break apart the European Union, Politico reported last week that Bannon has “expressed admiration for the reactionary French philosopher Charles Maurras, according to French media reports confirmed by Politico.” Recent articles in French media claim Bannon favorably cited Maurras to a French diplomat. Politicodescribes Maurras as a Catholic nationalist—like Bannon—and notes that Bannon has parroted several of Maurras’ ideas. A hero to members of Europe’s far right, Maurras is a natural fit for Bannon, who has expressed support for Brexit and France’s National Front movement and is known to hate the European Union.”
And more on Maurras: “Maurras blamed World War II on the Jews, faulting them for the German occupation of France. ‘The barbarous occupation of 1940 would not have taken place without the Jews of 1939, without their filthy war, the war they undertook and they declared: our occupiers were introduced by them, it was the Jews who launched us into catastrophe,’ he wrote, according to 2001 article by Callil in the New Statesman. Callil also noted that Maurras’ newspaper supported the Nazis and “named names, hunted down enemies, and called for hostages, resistants, Jews and Gaullists to be shot.” In his political column during the war, Maurras wrote that “\’if the death penalty is not sufficient to put a stop to the Gaullists, members of their families should be seized as hostages and executed.'”
Further on Levy notes: “Maurras is not the only racist or anti-democratic intellectual Bannon has gravitated toward. According to Politico, he has been in contact with Curtis Yarvin, a blogger who believes democracy is a failed form of government and whose ideas are influential to the white nationalist “alt-right” movement. The Huffington Postrecently reported that Bannon is a big fan of a racist French novel, The Camp of the Saints, about immigrants invading Europe. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.”
While I’m at it, here are two more articles I found enlightening. This is by Chanta Da Silva in The Independent: “Canada’s highest court upholds ruling that Donald Trump did mislead investors“.
Here’s Da Silva’s lead:
“A lawsuit alleging that Donald Trump and a real estatedevelopment firm misled investors, has been upheld by Canada’s highest court.
Sarbjit Singh and Se Na Lee alleged they were sold units in Toronto’s, Trump International Hotel, under false pretences.
The pair claimed they were misled to believe their investments would see returns ranging from 7.7 per cent to 20.9 per cent. Instead, they said they lost a combined C$1.2m (£732,810). “
And here is an article by Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg, “During his political rise, Stephen K. Bannon was a man with no fixed address“.
What it suggests is that Bannon may have claimed one of his ex-wives residences in Florida as his legal residence to avoid paying state income taxes. Bannon obviously marches to a different drummer, but don’t the same rules apply to Bannon as apply to us? Here’s the core of O’Harrow Jr., and Boburg’s findings:
“[Stephen K. Bannon] owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife. At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart’s townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln….
The issue of Bannon’s legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump’s campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state’s lack of state income taxes.
In California, where Bannon had lived and owned property for more than two decades, income tax can exceed 12 percent…
The Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.”
The article notes that “Under Florida law, it is a third-degree felony to provide false information on a voter registration application. It is punishable by up to five years in prison. First-time offenders are rarely given more than probation, something that could also lead to the loss of a security clearance.”
Well, if Bannon is the devil, you wouldn’t expect him to have a fixed address. Would you?