Race

Tax Bill Could Make ‘Dark Money’ Tax Deductible

“For the first time in American politics, anonymous ‘dark money’ political donations could become tax-deductible. That’s if a provision currently being debated between House and Senate negotiators makes it into the final tax bill,” CNN reports.

“The issue at hand started with the ‘Johnson Amendment,’ named after then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson’s 1954 measure that prohibits nonprofit groups who maintain tax-exempt status, including churches and charities, from directly participating in politics.”

“But efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment have resulted in language that would ease political speech rules for all nonprofits. The results, critics say, could effectively let people deduct de-facto political donations and further hide those donations and spending from the public.”

Half of White Southerners Say They’re Under Attack

A new Winthrop University poll finds that nearly half of white Americans living in the South feel like they’re under attack.

“Forty-six percent of white Southerners said they agree or strongly agree that white people are under attack in the U.S. More than three-fourths of black respondents said they believe racial minorities are under attack. And 30 percent of all respondents in the poll agreed when asked if America needs to protect and preserve its white European heritage.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’ve known Ed Gillespie for a long time. I’ve liked Ed Gillespie for a very long time… Smart guy, has always been an honorable guy. I’ll speak for myself, I’m embarrassed for him, and I’m ashamed for the Republican Party that he’s turned to Confederate monuments to try to win this thing in the end. I don’t know if it works for him or not.”

— Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe, about the Virginia governor’s race.

Guardians of the Confederacy

David Drucker: “The current debate over Confederate symbols cuts to the central, existential question hanging over the G.O.P. The Republican Party today is an amalgam of upscale white suburbanites who are moderate on social issues but conservative on fiscal and national-security issues, and exurban and rural populist working-class whites, who are quasi-liberal on economic matters and foreign policy, but conservative on politically charged social issues.”

“But the key demographic in this coalition is ‘white.'”

“The Republicans becoming the guardians of the Confederacy is a function of the G.O.P. becoming so predominantly white, and yes, the predominant party in the South. The Republican project to take over the South was completed in 2010, when the red wave that swept Republicans into power in Congress and state capitals across the country ejected the last remnants of white Democratic authority. So by the time Trump responded to Charlottesville with vows to protect ‘our culture’ and ‘our history,’ and protect Confederate monuments from being relegated to some museum’s dusty storeroom, there were few sympathetic voters left in the Democratic Party to cheer him on. But there were plenty of Republicans.”

Vast Majority of Trump Appointees Are White Men

Reuters: “Recently available government data on the ethnic and gender make-up of the broader Trump administration shows that with over 1,000 mid-level political jobs filled by mid-year the appointees look much like the top leadership: mostly white and male. OPM numbers analyzed by Reuters show that 88% of such appointees were non-Hispanic white and 62% were men.”

“By comparison, in the final year of Barack Obama’s Democratic administration, non-Hispanic whites made up 67% of that group and men accounted for 47% – closer to what the U.S. population looks like.”

Trump Mocks Puerto Rican Accent

President Trump used an exaggerated Spanish accent during a speech marking Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House, the HuffPost reports.

“We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico,” he said, emphasizing the first two syllables of the word “Puerto.”

“We love Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico,” he added, before reverting to his normal accent to say, “We also love Puerto Rico.”

Gosar Says Charlottesville Was a Soros-Funded Conspiracy

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told Vice that the participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August may have been organized by an “Obama sympathizer” and funded by George Soros.

Said Gosar: “You know, you know George Soros is one of those people that actually helps back these individuals. Who is he? I think he’s from Hungary. I think he was Jewish. And I think he turned in his own people to the Nazis. Better be careful where we go with those.”

Head of Air Force Academy Tells Racists to ‘Get Out’

“The head of the Air Force Academy stood all his 4,000 cadets at attention Thursday to deliver a message on racial slurs found written on message boards at the academy’s preparatory school,” the Colorado Gazette reports.

“Chins in and chests out, the cadets were flanked by 1,500 officers, sergeants, athletic coaches and civilian professors inside cavernous Mitchell Hall. Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria told them to take out their smartphones and record his words.”

Said Silveria: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

Russian Facebook Ads Sought to Exploit Racial Divisions

“The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups.”

More Racial Demagoguery from Trump

David Remnick: “In these performances, Trump is making clear his moral priorities. He is infinitely more offended by the sight of a black ballplayer quietly, peacefully protesting racism in the United States than he is by racism itself. Which, at this point, should come as no surprise to any but the willfully obtuse…”

“What Trump is up to with this assault on athletes, particularly prominent black ones, is obvious; it is part of his larger culture war. Divide. Inflame. Confuse. Divert. And rule. He doesn’t care to grapple with complexity of any kind, whether it’s about the environment, or foreign affairs, or race, or the fact that a great American sport may, by its very nature, be irredeemable. Rather than embody any degree of dignity, knowledge, or unifying embrace, Trump is a man of ugliness, and the damage he does, speech after speech, tweet after tweet, deepens like a coastal shelf. Every day, his Presidency takes a toll on our national fabric. How is it possible to argue with the sentiment behind LeBron James’s concise tweet at Trump: “U Bum”? It isn’t.”