Natalie Harp: Gatekeeper to the Reich

I want to unpack a Marc Caputo story about Natalie Harp, who he says is the person who posted the Reich meme video to Trump’s Truth Social account this week.

Trump’s account posted the Reich video on Monday.

On Tuesday, AP identified a troll (which it describes as a “meme creator”), Ramble_Rants, as the source of the video, and a Wikipedia entry on WWI as the source of the Reich image.

At least one of the headlines flashing in the video appears to be text copied verbatim from a Wikipedia entry on World War I: “German industrial strength and production had significantly increased after 1871, driven by the creation of a unified Reich.”

In one image, the headlines “Border Is Closed” and “15 Million Illegal Aliens Deported” appear above smaller text with the start and end dates of World War I.

The video appears to have been created by a meme creator who goes by the username Ramble_Rants.

The creator, who is part of a group of meme makers that The New York Times reported has previously collaborated with the Trump campaign, posted the video on the social platform X Monday morning.

In a post on X, Ramble_Rants defended the video, arguing it was about “American peace and prosperity.”

Then Media Matters described (as the earlier NYT story also had) that Ramble_Rants is part of a trolling group, led by a guy named Brenden Dilley, that the Trump team has closely integrated with the campaign.

Regardless of the intention behind the video Trump shared, Dilley and his team’s association with the Trump campaign is noteworthy.

Trump and his campaign have repeatedly shared the meme team’s material, and the campaign reportedly “privately communicated with members of the meme team, giving them access and making specific requests for content,” and “in at least one instance … shared behind-the-scenes footage to be used in videos, according to members of the team.” Trump has been photographed with Dilley and reportedly “sent personalized notes to several of the group’s members, thanking them for their work.”

Additionally, Dilley disclosed that the campaign gave him and another member of the meme team a “special” and “exclusive” press credential for the campaign’s Iowa caucuses night, where “you hang out with all these wonderful people, and Don Jr. comes through, and Eric Trump comes through, and pretty much the entire Team Trump comes through.” (Reporting has indicated that several journalists from mainstream publications, including The Washington Post, NBC News, Axios, and Vanity Fair, have been denied press access to Trump’s campaign events.)

What we’re seeing is the War Room in which Douglass Mackey, Microchip, and Don Jr collaborated to hijack mainstream news narratives together in 2016, integrated more closely with the campaign. It’s not surprising Trump did that. Even in 2016, Baked Alaska described a Trump HQ Slack that was “coordinat[ing] efforts.”

Remember: Andrew Auernheimer, better known as Weev, and then still posting under his handle rabite, was a key early player in professionalizing that effort, even as he was serving as Webmaster for the Daily Stormer.

Given that pure Nazi lineage, the Nazi allusions are surely not happenstance.

In a post called Elon Musk’s Machine for Fascism, I described how since 2016, trolls and their overlords have been working to perfect the conditions that allowed such trolls to have a significant influence in the 2016 election and an even bigger influence in Trump’s attempted coup. One of the only things that stopped the trolls, and Trump, from sustaining his coup attempt after January 6 was Twitter suspending Trump’s account. This time around, neither Elon Musk nor Trump’s own social media platform will do that. Nor will Telegram, where the organizing function for all this trolling has moved offshore, away from the easy reach of US legal process, shut anything down.

All of which is to say, the Reich meme is not some random mistake. Rather, it is the manifestation of a trolling effort with roots in overt Neo-Nazism that goes back to 2015.

Which brings us back to what Caputo did in a story identifying Natalie Harp as the person who posted the Reich meme to Trump’s account.

Caputo is a Florida-based journalist with very extensive sourcing to the far right. He was recently on Roger Stone’s show. His legal instincts — pretty clearly just parroting of what Trumpsters tell him to say — suck ass, but his political instincts are formidable.

About 16 paragraphs into his story, after he presented Harp’s role in printing out content from social media and right wing sources to placate the boss, and after he described Harp’s trajectory from Liberty University to being cured of cancer by a Trump initiative to working for the 2020 campaign to working for OANN to now driving his social media account, Caputo finally got around to identifying Harp as the culprit behind the Reich meme.

Harp also helps manage Trump’s Truth Social media account and has taken over some of the duties from Trump’s former caddy-turned-senior-adviser Dan Scavino.

This can be a taxing job. On Monday, while he was on trial in New York, Trump’s Truth Social media account reposted a video, published first on X by a supporter using the handle @ramble_rants, called “What happens after Trump wins?” The video featured mock old-fashioned newspaper headlines. One of the sepia-toned faux-newspaper stock images included the phrase “Unified Reich.” Maybe not the best look for a candidate who has dined with actual neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and “joked” that he would like to be a dictator for a day.

After the Associated Press reported about the video, the Trump campaign deleted the Truth Social post and said Trump wasn’t at fault.

“This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a junior staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the President was in court,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a written statement that accused Democrats of being more antisemitic than Trump. The campaign wouldn’t identify the name of that “junior staffer,” but sources tell The Bulwark it was Harp. Scavino, one of the few others who has access to Trump’s Truth Social account, isn’t a “junior staffer.” Harp couldn’t be reached for comment.

In most outlets, this would be the scoop, in paragraph one and two, rather than buried 16 paragraphs deep. But that’s not the premise of Caputo’s story. That’s not what a political reporter with very good sourcing in the Florida far right focuses on. Caputo is more interested in Harp’s role as a gatekeeper, which he puts in paragraphs four and five.

Perhaps more than anyone else, Harp gatekeeps much of what Trump sees on social media and reads in the news.

“IF YOU WANT THE PRESIDENT TO SEE SOMETHING, the best route is Natalie,” says a knowledgeable source who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the internal workings of Trump’s inner team and who has passed information to the candidate via Harp. “Don’t underestimate her importance.”

Caputo is not wrong to find this an important point of emphasis (though some people contest it). Dan Scavino has had a near monopoly on Trump’s social media accounts since 2016. Anyone joining him in that role does play an absolutely central role in his means to power. And to the extent that Trump has moved off reading things on his own phone and instead reading what Harp prints out (is Trump’s eyesight getting worse, or is he simply more paranoid?), she does play an absolutely central gatekeeping role.

Dick Cheney’s memoir included a single solitary hint about the lessons he learned, not least as a very young White House Chief of Staff, that allowed him to become the most formidable DC bureaucrat for almost 50 years: to park someone outside the President’s office. Effectively, Harp is the person parked outside Trump’s digital office.

Caputo’s story, then, is that the woman who posted a meme that was interpreted — with good reason — as an intentional allusion to Nazism happens to be the person parked outside Trump’s digital office.

Harp’s key role may be why Caputo described posting that Reich meme as nothing more than, “Maybe not the best look.” Because she’s not going to get fired for doing so.

All the more so for another reason. Around about paragraph 21, Caputo describes that Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita “don’t directly oversee Harp and … essentially leave her alone.”

“No one spends as much time on this campaign around him as Natalie,” said one insider. “If people think she’s an airhead because of her looks, they don’t understand how smart she is and how much the president relies on her.”

The campaign’s co-managers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, don’t directly oversee Harp and, the source said, and essentially leave her alone.

“Natalie fills a role and Chris and Susie know that’s what he wants,” the source said, “so they focus on other things.”

Again, if true (it appears to be single sourced), it is a really important insight: Trump’s digital gatekeeper doesn’t work for the ostensible campaign managers. The campaign — which serially offers statements in response to reporting on Project 2025 claiming that unless something comes from the campaign then it is not official policy — does not control Harp.

Caputo’s source claims that the campaign doesn’t control what comes in and out of Trump’s digital persona. Harp does.

And people amenable to fascism know that, and know how to exploit it.

120 replies
  1. coalesced says:

    If the exploitation is bidirectional and sought by both sides, it starts to look more like business as usual. Natalie knows exactly what she’s doing. Brenden Dilley, circus master of the “Dilley Meme Team” and employer of Ramble_Rants (who created the video), has been given the full VIP treatment at more than one Trump Campaign event so far. She is Trump’s brain-jack directly into the alt-right matrix.

    • Upisdown says:

      Dems should run with this and do the “guilt by association” attack on Trump’s main Congressional suck-ups, such as Johnson, MTG, Daniels, Stefanik, Gaetz, Graham, Rick Scott, Tuberville, etc.

      • ButteredToast says:

        The problem is that these particular congressional suck-ups, other than perhaps Scott, are in safe Republican districts or states. As Trump’s enduring popularity in the Republican party indicates, most of their voters don’t care about the associations or even approve of them. I agree that Trump suck-ups in competitive districts/states should be attacked for them, though.

  2. Playdohglobe says:

    The intense amount of coordination between Trump and the fascist descendants of the 1920 and 30s is frightening. Natalie Harp is described as “Trump’s Human Printer.”

    As gatekeeper to information, she is shown to be and is the bi-directional valve to connect Trump propaganda to the American public. The part of the American public who are filled with grievances, is the exact point being used to again access the levers of power in the USA.

    Marcy clearly understands this has been a co-ordinated effort. An effort where they can barely keep this fascist link below the surface. I am not sure Fascists even want it below the surface anymore. IE: Harlan Crowe and his Nazi memorabilia room and his “friendship” with Clarence Thomas. Crow’s seat on the board of the American Enterprise Institute, a rightwing think tank is significant.

    In 1931, a young female German photographer paired up with Heinrich Hoffmann. Hoffman’s photographs were a significant part of Hitler’s campaign to present the Nazi Party as a significant mass phenomenon. He owned the royalties on all those photographs which made him a multimillion. Post War, he served 4 years in prison. All his loot was returned to him by the courts 1956. Crime pays for these propagandists and they use the money in continuance of the Fascist goals.

    The young female photographer, she didn’t make it to the end. She died by suicide, 30 April 1945 – with her husband. Her name was Eva Braun, and was Adolph Hitler’s wife. Like Trump told Cohen, “do you think I will be alone long if Melania left him?”

    These people like Natalie Harp are similar fanatics.

    Thank You Marcy for highlighting this despicable extension of the “Thousand Year Reich.” November’s election is very important to get right. I am going to donate more money after this article to the D’s efforts.

    • CovariantTensor says:

      ‘ Like Trump told Cohen, “do you think I will be alone long if Melania left him?” ‘

      I believe the phrase he allegedly used was “on the market long…”, just to make it even more appalling.

      • wa_rickf says:

        Gold diggers, are gonna dig.

        [Moderator’s note: Hey. Slow down. This comment and your previous attempt at 7:11 pm (now binned) were auto-moderated because of typos in your email address — and you made different typos in each one. I’ve fixed them but please check your typing so I don’t have to intervene. /~Rayne]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The important part of that line – I won’t be on the market long – is Trump’s assumption that he did something bad enough that Melania might divorce him over it – notwithstanding any penalty she might face owing to the terms of the pre-nup – and Trump didn’t care whether she did or not.

        He was obsessed with his election, not his wife’s feelings. Which means the hush money was an illegal campaign contribution.

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      ‘Fanatic’ who went to Liberty University. So in large part an ultra hard right religious fanatic. I did wonder what Trump’s headline making comments about letting states ban birth control were in payment for. I’m educated-assuming the comments were to secure the next round of effort the ultra hard religious right will put in for Trump. A little OT, sorry. But anyway, is any of this campaign donation via trolling disclosed? There is a team devoted to this trolling for Trump and in some kind of coordination with Trump’s campaign so is this undisclosed campaign donations?

      • P J Evans says:

        It sounds a lot like the “contributions in kind” that he’s gotten in previous campaigns. Like the media coverage.

  3. Peterr says:

    “I didn’t put that flag on the flagpole upside down – it was my wife!”

    “I didn’t put that meme out there – it was a junior staffer!”


    I cannot confirm the existence of signs in Trump’s office, Alito’s chambers, and the offices of other GOP leaders that reads “The Buck Stops Over There,” but I refuse to rule out the possibility that signs like these are handed out like candy. Also signs that say “Responsibility is for Suckers.”

    This isn’t even plausible deniability.

      • strawberybanke says:

        Durbin has lost all enthusiasm for doing his job. Unfortunately, even a mass appeal for action will meet with complacency.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Your established username here doesn’t contain a blank space; I’ve edited it this one time. Please make a note of it. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Clare Kelly says:

          “ Dick Durbin, the Senate judiciary chair, urged the US supreme court justice to step back from certain major cases and demanded John Roberts, the chief justice, implement an enforceable code of conduct on his bench, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded that the US Senate investigate.”

          Michael Sainato
          Chris Stein
          The Guardian
          May 23, 2024

          I don’t see “Durbin has lost all enthusiasm for doing his job” [strawberrybanke].

          What could he do that would represent “enthusiasm” to you?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          What could Dick Durbin do to express more enthusiasm, really, effectiveness, in his job? My laundry list ran out of paper some time ago.

        • bmaz says:

          Durbin could kill the blue slips rule and get more judges in. The Republicans will do it immediately if Trump gets elected and they take the Senate, even if only by one seat. Why not do it now and get more judges in?

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Hold a long, demanding set of hearings? Be loud and confrontational about it? Publicly demand that Alito and Thomas resign? Have a real hearing on what happened to Kavanaugh’s gambling debts or call in the women who say he sexually harassed/raped/assaulted them?

        • Bob Roundhead says:

          Hold non stop senate investigations into Leonard Leo, the federalist society and extremist influence on the SCOTUS

        • WhisperRD says:


          Have you not noticed Joe Manchin saying that he will vote with Republicans? His language is “unless they have bipartisan support,” but what he’s signaling is that the GOP can essentially block any judicial nominee they want. He’s unwilling to be the 51st vote.

          And that would leave…Sinema? She isn’t even a Democrat any longer. She lost the Dem primary already. Do you think she’d be the 51st vote?

    • Clare Kelly says:

      Replying to:
      May 23, 2024 at 12:07 pm
      “What could Dick Durbin do to express more enthusiasm, really, effectiveness, in his job? My laundry list ran out of paper some time ago”

      I’m interested in your “laundry list”.

    • Clare Kelly says:

      Replying to bmaz
      May 23, 2024 at 1:31 pm
      “Durbin could kill the blue slips rule and get more judges in. The Republicans will do it immediately if Trump gets elected and they take the Senate, even if only by one seat. Why not do it now and get more judges in?”

      Indeed. An excellent suggestion. Thanks.

  4. harpie says:

    This was o/t on the last post, but I think, not so o/t here.

    Another Provocative Flag Was Flown at Another Alito Home The justice’s beach house displayed an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, a symbol carried on Jan. 6 and associated with a push for a more Christian-minded government. [< euphemism] May 22, 2024 Updated 8:02 p.m. ET

    From the #J6TL
    12/29/20 Christian Nationalist leader [Dutch] Sheets and 14 other New Apostolic Reformation [NAR] “apostles and prophets” attend a multi-hour meeting AT the WH with TRUMP Administration officials. They stay at the WILLARD while in DC

    That information is from:
    The Key to Mike Johnson’s Christian Extremism Hangs Outside His Office The newly elected House speaker has ties to the far-right New Apostolic Reformation — which is hell-bent on turning America into a religious state 11/10/23

    From that Rolling Stone article, by Bradley Onishi and Matthew D. Taylor:

    […] The flag — which Rolling Stone has confirmed hangs outside his district office in the Cannon House Office Building — is white with a simple evergreen tree in the center and the phrase “An Appeal to Heaven” at the top. Historically, this flag was a Revolutionary War banner, commissioned by George Washington as a naval flag for the colony turned state of Massachusetts. The quote “An Appeal to Heaven” was a slogan from that war, taken from a treatise by the philosopher John Locke. But in the past decade it has come to symbolize a die-hard vision of a hegemonically Christian America. […]

    NYT interviewed Taylor for their article.

    And here’s Heather Cox Richardson with an historian’s perspective:

    • harpie says:

      Pro Publica reporter Andy Kroll:

      10:36 AM · May 23, 2024

      It’s not just Justice Alito.

      Here’s the “Appeal to Heaven” flag flying outside of conservative powerbroker Leonard Leo’s home in Maine.

      Photo taken by a nearby resident who shared it with @ProPublica and gave us permission to publish it. 1/x [PHOTO] [THREAD]

  5. Fraud Guy says:

    The detail that had been bugging me, and that further catches my eye, is that Trump doesn’t get his info directly from devices, but is handed paper copies. It’s almost as if he thinks that someone could tell what he’s reading on his phone, so by getting paper copies, he’s avoiding people seeing exactly what he is reading.

    • emptywheel says:

      They can and did with his Twitter account, which is why I wondered whether he is doing this out of paranoia.

      • Rayne says:

        I suspect a contributing factor is aging eyes — his printer minion can manipulate print font/color/contrast on white background so he can read more easily. Surprising media hasn’t snagged a photo of the printouts for this reason.

        And given the likelihood he’s got ADD, his printer minion can also strip out adverts to keep his focus where they want it.

        • Stacy (Male) says:

          He also likes to wave paper around after a day in court, trying to create the impression that there is voluminous support for his “witch hunt” assertions. He did the same thing with Wikileaks printouts in the last weeks of his 2016 campaign. He’d carry around a fat stack of paper yelling, “This is it This is where all the crimes of the Clintons over the years are finally exposed.”

        • P J Evans says:

          We’ve seen some photos of him with reading glasses, but his ego won’t let him use those in public. (He seem to hate the idea that he isn’t 20-something and fit.)

    • Shadowalker says:

      His reluctance to use anything other than paper goes way back. I suspect it is due to the fact it is much easier to completely destroy any incriminating evidence should that become necessary. Remember, every email sent/received has at a minimum of two copies, with no guarantee of retaining control of all copies. His use of Twitter was because he received instant gratification for whatever he was bloviating about.

        • dozer2222 says:

          I think the ring binder is multi-purpose, one of which is to provide Stuart Smalley affirmations. Trump’s dad made him do pew time at Norman Vincent Peale’s church. When Trump noted the rapt attention of the parishioners he say “hmmm, I want me some of that”. I remember seeing “Toxic Positivity” articles holding that The Power Of Positive Thinking, when over-applied, can do long term damage. A steady stream of affirmational puff piece printouts could help take his mind out of an environment he doesn’t control. When that’s not enough, nap time.

  6. bawiggans says:

    When your path to power is exploiting chaos and confusion, signals like this one, even when quickly withdrawn in some ostensible act of discretion, incrementally contribute to the dis-integration of any sense of stability and order in the zeitgeist. Bleeding the energy from efforts to maintain, much less build, societal cohesion and integrity is the entropic strategy of the manipulators behind MAGA. Any and every kind of dystopian trope is thrown up knowing it will be consumed or reacted to by someone, eroding their sense of well-being and increasing their anxiety however they take it. This is what flooding the zone with shit looks like.

  7. klynn says:

    Add an “e” on the end of her name and she could be a descendant of Hilter’s Gen. Harpe.

    Regarding Nazi descendants. Between Rat Lines and long time practices of building the Nazi community post WWII, Trumps efforts will attract both fanatics and individuals indoctrinated since childhood. Ms. Harp’s work does not surprise me. Using her as “plausible deniability” in sending “rallying the troops” social media calls through TS, no surprise.

    My Dad was of German decent and had platinum blonde hair and piercing blue eyes in his youth. He shared stories with me about Nazi groups trying to recruit him as a face of new Nazi youth here in the US. He was sickened by their efforts.

    As you noted about Harp being a gatekeeper but technically not controlled by the campaign:
    “And people amenable to fascism know that, and know how to exploit it.”

    Marcy, thank you for shining light on Trump’s Nazi intentions.

    • grizebard says:

      I doubt it’s Trump’s Nazi intentions, even given his particular upbringing. He’s just a convenient populist shill for the real deal lurking in the semi-shadows (though getting ever bolder, it would seem). The US might yet find itself fortunate that these enemies of democracy have a very flawed individual as their patsy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump is plenty racist, misogynist, and Fascist. He’s just not effective at a most things, most ironically including making money. But he did manage to get into the White House once. If he didn’t, his patrons learned a lot about how to do it again.

        The litigation and other resistance to a second loss will be much broader and deeper, and potentially violent, than it was the first time. The advantage democracy will have is that he won’t be president while those things are sorted out this time.

      • klynn says:

        I understand your shilling perspective. However, a dear relative was a member of the Red Orchestra. Consequently, I see more in Trump’s actions, and those that surround him, than just shilling. My bias is pretty strong due to my personal history granted, but so is my knowledge of Nazi efforts.

      • gruntfuttock says:

        I don’t think Trump’s an actual nazi inasmuch as I don’t think he has an actual political philosophy other than making himself as rich and publicy adored as is possible. He wants everybody to love him and give him all their money. I think that’s pretty much it.

        He behaves like a nazi because that’s what his adoring crowds want him to be. A Thousand Year Reich would be much too much like hard work and he wouldn’t be there to enjoy it.

        The scary part is his minions; they do want the nazi thing and will work as hard as they can to get there.

  8. Rayne says:

    Meanwhile, another outlet becomes vulnerable to manipulation by Trump’s minions:

    BuzzFeed Shares Soar as Ramaswamy Takes Stake, Seeks Talks

    Molly Schuetz and Cameron Baker
    Thu, May 23, 2024, 7:39 AM CDT 2 min read

    (Bloomberg) — BuzzFeed Inc. shares soared Wednesday after the entrepreneur and former US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy reported a stake in the online media company and asked for talks with the board.


    Ramaswamy, a Republican who ended his candidacy in January and threw his support behind Donald Trump, has taken a 7.7% stake in BuzzFeed, worth about $6.81 million based on Tuesday’s closing share price. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ramaswamy said he seeks to “engage in a dialogue with board or management about numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the company’s strategy.” …


    Yet another right-wing amplification vector to come, same play as Musk with Twitter. It won’t matter if BuzzFeed claims it has structured itself to maintain editorial freedom — if it’s losing money and it’s publicly held, it’s vulnerable and likely to change direction on a dime.

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m trying to think if BuzzFeed DOES anything anymore, or if it is a shell of its former self?

        • Rayne says:

          A-yup. BuzzFeed moved news into HuffPo to reduce redundancy (and staff), but HuffPo isn’t immune to what’s coming.

          One of my concerns is that Ramaswamy is not only a Trumpist but possibly vulnerable to Hindutva politics. Americans are grossly uninformed about this form of fundamentalism in spite of its reach inside the US.

    • Bugboy321 says:

      Huh, Buzzfeed? The original “for the lulz” website? I suppose cracked dot com will be next…

      • Rayne says:

        Pooh-pooh this but BuzzFeed readers are still an audience vulnerable to manipulation just like those on Twitter, and many of them vote.

        If the POTUS race is narrowed to a couple percentage points in key states, every little bit of media audience matters.

        • Bugboy321 says:

          Yeah, like EW says they are a shell of its former self, but before that former self, they were simply a comic listicle website. I remember being amazed they actually developed an audience beyond the lulz. That’s why I say cracked dot com is next.

        • Rayne says:

          A listicle site which ran entertainment surveys which could be used to microtarget voters via ad buyers interested in the results.

          Pooh-pooh, as I said, but you’re ignoring the real risks BuzzFeed presented.

        • Bugboy321 says:

          Rayne: I’m responding to your post below, which doesn’t have a reply button.
          “Pooh-pooh, as I said, but you’re ignoring the real risks BuzzFeed presented.”
          I am doing no such thing. In fact, suggesting cracked dot com is next definitively supports your premise that this is not good news.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to Bugboy321 – May 23, 2024 at 2:00 pm

          First, you’ll note the ziggurat effect of comment replies has been reduced to (4) wide. The fifth comment will not have a reply button. If commenters still wish to reply, they need to preface the comment with the name of the commenter to whom they wish to reply and the date/time of the comment. Details at #CommOpsNote.

          Second, is an entertainment site, always has been. BuzzFeed has been a news and entertainment company, until it spun news off to its subsidiary HuffPo.

        • Greg Hunter says:

          I could not reply to your link concerning the VOX story about India as they have been on my radar since Wright Patterson Air Force Base helped Raj Soin become a multi-millionaire through the 8a minority set aside program. He also bought himself a Congressman who is now part of the Gang of 8.

          In the life of this country, I have watched African Americans pay the price while other minorities received the prize. I have never understood why there is no voice from the African American community to point these obvious facts out?

          The elevation of the Indians began in 1985 and I saw it by 1993 when the word was not to compete against the Indian Mafia at WPAFB. Flash forward and we end up with Vivek and great white whiner JD Vance. IMHO the 8a program was corrupted and is just another fact to put on the systemic racism pile.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to Greg Hunter
          May 24, 2024 at 9:46 am

          This problem isn’t new as you’ve observed — there’s a caste system in the US whether we want to acknowledge it or not, with Black and Native Americans at the bottom. Don’t think for a moment there isn’t racism against Southeast or East Asians; there have been plenty of murders documenting its severity, and some Asian ethnic groups are discriminated against by not only whites but Asians. But there are pockets in which certain persons and groups are able to insert a foothold and defend it, and the US is too racist to deal with it any more effectively than it deals with the Russian bratva.

          That same racism will ensure Ramaswamy won’t stand a realistic chance of being elected POTUS, but his money can get him elected in the right district to Congress. This is one of the concerns I have with Ramaswamy buying media. Is he building a machine to ensure he can get elected to Congress? Or get a candidate who mirrors his fascist politics elected to Congress and/or the White House? Let’s focus on the media purchase here.

    • Fraud Guy says:

      The underlying problem is that the wealthy, whether techbro/inherited/stolen/funneled from overseas, are able to fund media, despite profitability, until their message is overwhelming and/or they no longer need it, at which time they can let it wither away. Even if they are nominally favorable to democracy, the few billionaires who are not for Trump still prefer to keep themselves profitable.

      I wonder if someone can get Mackenzie Scott to buy a stake in a major media outlet and change its course?

      • Rayne says:

        Better proposition for a mega donor like Mackenzie Scott:

        — establish an endowment which permanently supports nonpartisan nonprofit news outlets which have local reporting capabilities, from state public radio and TV to Associated Press (yes, AP is a nonprofit and it’s at great risk);

        — fund a consortium which develops a nonprofit platform for distribution of same nonpartisan nonprofit news online and as streamed content in multiple languages. We need to get past the gatekeeping effect of Big Tech like Google News, Apple News, whatever bullshit Microsoft pushes on Win11, etc.

  9. dopefish says:

    Greg Sargent has a piece in The New Republic about how Trump and his allies are moving the Overton window with stunts like posting this “unified Reich” video.

    Trump and his highest-profile allies have plainly embarked on a broader related project—one that seeks to acclimatize the American electorate to fascistic language and far-reaching authoritarian policy “solutions.” They are slowly edging the discourse deeper into that fraught territory, as if painstakingly testing how far they can take this without provoking too much public discomfort over it.

  10. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    A very informative piece!

    The Confederacy never ended in 1865. It simply morphed into different looks.

    Trump and his MAGA cult, including but not limited to, Elon Musk, do not want a mixed race, mixed religion participatory republic democracy in America.

    Trump reminds me of Reverend Moon and Charlie Manson, both cult leaders who attracted gullible young people.

  11. ggons_17OCT2018_1701h says:

    It’s refreshing to see something important on this blog again. I don’t care much for the dick picks story (agree that it’s a travesty, but also the play by play of the case isn’t important)… Just feels like it’s keeping the right wing talking points on the air for free. I’ll readily admit I’m not your target audience, I can follow some of the legal minutia, but I’m not and will never be exhilarated by it. Cannon also feels so much more important, though that’s more of a what can you even do situation.

    The point is, we’ve got Nazis that want to be in the Whitehouse (again) that want to institute purges and that’s more important to me than Hunter’s dick. Any chance you’ll move on entirely? (Crossing fingers)

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. It has been nearly six years since you first commented; since then we have adopted a username minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too short it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Oh, virtually all of the posts on this site are important, possibly barring trash talk. :-). You might consider distinguishing between topics you like or are familiar with and what’s important.

      • Rayne says:

        I hate to think some readers may need a readability score — “This post written for college graduates with advanced degrees,” or “This post written for 6th grade reading level.”

        *eye roll*

        Ridiculous we need to spell out THE HUNTER BIDEN STORY IS ABOUT FOREIGN INTERFERENCE TRYING TO GET A NAZI ELECTED AS POTUS. That’s still too many words according to Robert Horn and his work on information mapping.

        • Christopher Blanchard says:

          I can half sympathise, but only half. Dr Empty Wheel has spelled out why she thinks the Hunter story is critically important – because it is about a murky mixture of foreign interference and local (probable) corruption, but reading the detail does get tiresome. Part of that is the good doctor struggling with partial information and incompletely formed thoughts, but that is what you do: understanding stuff properly takes work, and we are seeing some of the intermediary stages. The points when she is clear and unequivocal are brilliant, but there is other stuff before we get there, so I stay with it.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to Christopher Blanchard
          May 24, 2024 at 5:16 pm

          A key problem in American society is that with slow death of old-school newspaper journalism’s investigative reporting, Americans have lost the ability to follow investigative stories as they unfold.

          Think about all of the work Bernstein and Woodward put into the Watergate scandal, which at first was a mere police blotter bit about a break-in at a DC-area hotel and eventually took down Nixon’s presidency. Who’d give a rat’s ass today about the progress of that story? Would it even make print? Look at what happened with George Santos, the lack of interest in reporting which eventually disclosed what a crook Santos has been and his expulsion from Congress. Santos should have been caught before he was elected but readers don’t support the journalism necessary to do adequate preemptive reporting*.

          What seems like grindingly trivial minutiae is the Hunter Biden case itself: the dickish prosecution counts on a general lack of oversight because of the snowstorm of details, while the foreign influence element and Team Trump count on the public’s inability to stay with anything which isn’t spectacle.

          I’m not going to be particularly sympathetic because democracy hangs on this nation’s society-wide ADD when it comes to investigative reporting.

          (* yes, a small local paper reported on Santos, but the NYT had the clout to affect voters’ opinions and they didn’t cover Santos until far too late.)

        • Rayne says:

          First, popular is not the same as important to political discourse. There are myriad other sites with sports news and forums for discussion.

          Second, you’ve apparently forgotten your fits of pique railing at me about Trash Talk posts published after your tenure as moderator and contributor ended. That’s why I no longer bother with Trash Talk. If Marcy or Peterr or Ed want to post Trash Talk they will do so.

          And if you throw up yet another peevish comment about this site’s operations and moderation it will be binned, just as you’ve been warned repeatedly.

        • bmaz says:

          So Rayne, I see you instantly censored my last comment because you are, apparently, too insecure to discuss anything whatsoever. Sad.

          [Moderator’s note: you have been warned repeatedly about attacks on site operations and moderation. Attacks on me and attacks on what and how content is published are going to be binned. Further more, you actually wrote, “Go ahead and ‘bin’ this response” — and now you’re complaining about having been binned. Give it a rest. /~Rayne]

    • ExRacerX says:

      I think you may be too focused on Hunter’s dick to grok the overarching story here.

    • Fancy Chicken says:

      As much as I get angry and frustrated with how the prosecution is behaving in going after Hunter, I firmly believe that the in-depth coverage it gets on Emptywheel is CRITICAL.

      It’s not only important for the skulduggery of the prosecution be exposed and contrasted against the deference Trump is being given by Cannon and the Supreme Court, but it is a critical spoke in understanding how Bill Barr turned the DOJ into a machine to persecute and discredit the Biden family while using Russian disinformation without a care.

      I’m so convinced that exposing Barr is some of Dr. Wheeler’s most important work that I even cheerlead her work on Barr’s nefariousness in the memo line when I make my small monthly contribution.

      So while you may not care for the minutiae of Hunter’s prosecution, at least try to understand how it connects to a larger story of Barr’s corruption, and MAGAt members of Congress influenced by Russian disinformation and not giving a flying fig.

      • ggonsbutlongenough says:

        It’s easy to lose sight of the through line between giant chunks of quoted material. I’m actually on board with all of the criticisms leveled at the prosecution and Barr. And I do have a degree…

        So maybe the problem is the package and but the contents. I’m a very online over consumer of all things political, but I do keep bouncing off the hunter stuff. And I think maybe it’s because the lead is buried?

        Whatever. This post was refreshing, easier to follow, and neatly packaged as a whole argument that didn’t require reading the back issues.

        [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          This article’s content is straightforward and could be a stand alone. But the HB story is deep, deep, multi, multi layers of intrigue, purpose, players, foreign, American, etc, many year coordinated plot to take down Joe Biden. HB’s dick has just a teeny tiny role to play in it all. But an effective one it seems for some.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Closely integrating a “trolling group” into Trump’s campaign? Donald Trump knows a losingt about using cutouts, and those he hires probably know more. Using a trolling group this way allows you to post anything, and then deny whatever drives more criticism than support. It’s also a way to drum up false hits and levels of support. In a world of low-information voters, it’s an effective strategy to sell lies.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      And it’s not necessarily about the specific lie being told… it’s also about sowing doubt among the polity that truth exists or is knowable. Some of the names I recognize as more recent visitors don’t seem to see the multiple deeper levels of the game being played.

  13. Magbeth4 says:

    All of Trump’s statements and then denials are designed to keep all of us off-balance: to increase anxiety, with the calculated notion that weaker-minded and emotional voters will choose him as powerful enough to shape reality to whatever way they hope he will achieve.

    He is driving all of us mad. Mad with frustration. Mad with anger. Mad, with hopelessness.
    Twisting law, never-ending Court decisions, constant legal challenges, wringing out the Law in Law, leaving nothing but husks of confusion for non-lawyers: Lawyers know what he is doing. Picky,picky,picky: peck away at the outer shell of what the Law is, until even the husk of it is buried in endless arguments.

    Americans (the sane ones) crave clarity of thinking: genuinely realistic goals of governance which benefit the greatest number of people, as well as neglected minority numbers, and Representatives/Senators in Congress who have integrity and intelligence. Not to mention,
    the Supreme Court Justices who are responsible for keeping the Nation on an even keel by upholding the rights and obligations of the U.S.Constitution. The Legal Profession, The Supreme Court, and Congress have a lot to answer for in having allowed our System to rot to the extent that Trump has NEVER been held accountable.

    If we don’t vote in the next election, it’s our own fault for perpetuating this complacency.

  14. klynn says:

    With it being an anniversary year of the starting of WWII, there is plenty of documented history out there to counter with a campaign that makes an effort to grow that discomfort and reduce public tolerance.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump is the strongman, and only a strongman can lead his country out of chaos and into the rigid, white male, christianist world that Samuel Alito hopes will come to pass. “Just don’t look too carefully at where the chaos originates.”

    The MSM is covering Trump’s intentional use of Nazi themes, like the unmistakable “Reich,” as if it were normal political campaigning. Normal for 1930s Germany or Spain, maybe, but not for 2024 America. It refuses to believe or accept that Donald Trump means what he says and is openly running as a Fascist dictator. The MSM’s acceptance of Trump’s themes as normal go a long way toward making them our reality.

    With the “unified reich” video, as with all the earlier outrages, you’ll hear no apology, no disavowal, no expression of regret [from Trump]. And certainly no promise that this will never happen again….It will happen again. After all, it’s working.

  16. rosalind says:

    i got a shock when one of my best friends came to help me with a huge project this past weekend. she and her late hubby were always quick to lecture me when i expressed any dissatisfaction with Clinton or Obama as they headed into their re-election campaigns with “vote blue no matter who” and “don’t let the perfect be the enemy…”. she went OFF on Biden and how there were sooo many other better candidates that should have taken his place and ZOMG he’s soo old and oh god the economy!!!

    i didn’t have time to sit down with her to find out wtf is going on with her – i will do that when i next see her in person in a few weeks. but the one thing i did suss out is she prides herself on her daily NYTimes reading, and watching the Bill Mahrer show each week which she and her elderly mother apparently love and discuss over the phone afterwards.

    • bmaz says:

      Bill Maher??? That jerk???? I hope the new project involves either Graham or Steve Miller.

    • Matt___B says:

      Bill Maher has changed since the pandemic hit. He blamed folks who were not physically fit (read “obese”) and who therefore had a weakened immune system for getting covid. While not anti-vax, he was early to promote masks-off and to start touring on the comedy-concert circuit again. He gave Jenna Ellis a platform right after 1/6 and was totally unprepared to counter her BS – she snowjobbed him. Same with Jordan Peterson. And now he’s joined forces with the “anti-woke” crowd, who happen to be MAGA types for the most part, so…horseshoe anyone? He’s changed his booking policy to reflect his semi-libertarian, semi non-Trump agenda. He identifies all progressives as crazy woke people far as I can tell. A “radical centrist” if you’re looking for labels.

      Can’t stand him anymore. Stopped watching him 2 years ago. So maybe your friends have changed in a similiar direction as ol’ Bill, if they still think he’s great.

      • rosalind says:

        that’s what really shook me. we went to see a taping of “Politically Incorrect” many years ago and enjoyed it for what it was. i’m well aware the direction Mahrer has moved since, which is why i couldn’t believe when she started asking if i still watch the show and urging me to do so.

        re. doing the work to counter all this, i say: do not make ANY assumptions about who is or isn’t susceptible to NYTimes brainrot, and work on your friends and fam now.

        • Matt___B says:

          Not noticing that public celebrities who you follow over the years can and do change their ideology is to me an indication of valuing personality over ideas.

          I mean, Glenn Greenwald used to make sense once upon a time. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. used to be a crusading environmental lawyer once upon a time. Donald Trump used to be a Democrat once upon a time.

          Nikki Haley…oh never mind.

    • Magbeth4 says:

      Regarding Biden: a conversation I shared with someone today who is as liberal as they come, expressed fears about Biden and his age. His affect is sometimes that of a feeble old man who is distracted and overly medicated.
      Never mind that he accomplished a great deal during his term with a terrible Congress to work against. But reality intrudes. Three Republicans of my acquaintance say they will not vote for Trump. But, one of them, a doctor, who certainly is capable of ascertaining a person’s health, is concerned that his physical appearance, speech, are very problematic and concerning.

      There are energetic, younger Democrats who could certainly energize people who are disgusted with Trump. Why does Biden’s ego compel him to run when he gives the appearance of not being able to last out a day, much less, 4 more years? I will vote for him if the Democratic Party offers no one else, but I am not happy about having to do so under such circumstances.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You might want to reconsider how liberal your friends are, and whether they’ve become horseshoe leftists.

        How does anyone know what medications, if any, Joe Biden is taking, let alone know enough to say he’s “overmedicated.” Trump is the avatar when it comes to exhibiting abnormal behavior, speech, and “thought” patterns. I’ll take Biden’s energy level over Trump’s bizarre diurnal rhythm any day of the week.

        Trump is only four years younger than Biden, but in more questionable health – and apparently unwilling to take care of himself, unlike Biden. The arguments your friends are giving you don’t hold up, which suggests they are not based on facts.

        • bmaz says:

          I have been around Dem politics forever (literally used to work for Mo Udall). Biden has always had that speech affect, anybody that thinks it is a sign of unfitness for office is a dope. There isn’t going to be anybody else, Biden is already the nominee and will stay that way. People carping about Biden need take a look at Trump and then take a chill pill.

        • Peterr says:

          What bmaz said above.

          I am always amused when churches looking for a new pastor tell me that they want a young pastor who can relate to the youth who also has 35 years of experience.

        • gruntfuttock says:

          Trump is the king of projection so when he accuses Biden of being on drugs I can’t help wondering what the very stable genius is popping before his rallies. covfefe tablets? ;-)

        • ButteredToast says:

          Not only that, but have the people making these claims even listened to Trump speak lately? On one level I don’t really blame them if they haven’t, because it’s a chore and can be rage-inducing. But he has declined rapidly; the Trump of 2024 is so unfocused, nonsensical, and repetitive that he almost makes the Trump of 2020 sound lucid. And even in 2015, this guy talked like he had a middle-school education and the degree of wisdom to match.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        I’ll echo EOH’s opinion and add this.

        The proof is in the pudding. Trump in his much younger years (69-73) was totally incapable of doing anything constructive – and we all know how intentionally destructive he was.

        Biden in his golden years has done some great feats even against the chest-thumping of every (R) and some (D)s.

        Sure, we all want a 35yo Jack Kennedy (or do we really?) But why don’t you suggest a few good (D) candidates who have the experience and aptitude?

      • Rayne says:

        Oh Christ almighty, really? You’re going to drop that demoralizatsiya here, a commenter with only 13 comments under your belt to date? You’re willing to discourage Democrats from voting just to vent your personal doubts — which don’t appear personal if you’re making a point to share unnamed someone else’s, too.

        I’m fairly certain the opinion you’re sharing about Biden is mostly based on the kind of bullshit presented in edited snippets by the usual culprits. Likely not based on watching multiple videos of Biden over his term so far. He’s perfectly capable of interjecting cogent ad libs into speeches as well, most notably his last SOTU speech. I’m willing to bet his lifelong speech impediment is not taken into consideration, either; he still manages to make articulate remarks contemporaneously without prompts.

        OMG he’s stiff — because he’s got arthritis! And a foot injury which has likely also been affected by arthritis! Never mind the fact the guy has no problem biking. Feeble, my ass.

        Your biggest single obstacle to getting a viable younger Democrat running for POTUS is Democrats who won’t vote for non-white and women candidates. Start there. Why do you think Harris didn’t get the nod in 2016? LGBTQ+ candidates, too, because Buttigieg wouldn’t get it then and likely not now. You’re so sure that younger Dems in the pipeline are ready should Biden have stepped aside, but really, can you be absolutely certain Democratic voters would get behind “that woman in Michigan” Gretchen Whitmer? Or California’s Gavin Newsom?

        • bmaz says:

          No. Newsome and Whitmer would be great, but it is not happening this year, and it was never going to.

        • P J Evans says:

          Newsom is a lot less liberal that the media present him. He’s very friendly with Big Oil and Big Ag, and unwilling to protect the environment when it will affect *them*.

        • Rayne says:

          He’s not my cuppa, but he’s cis-het white male self-identifying as Democrat. The current environment wouldn’t support him in spite of being everything Dems wanted in a candidate in 2016.

        • Ithaqua0 says:

          One thing Newsom does have going for him is impeccable credentials with the LGTBQ community: And a large part of California (Democratic) politics is focused on maintaining the Democratic supermajority in the legislature, not just keeping a majority, which of necessity means doing stuff that will keep people who are around 30 on the 0 to 100 conservative-liberal scale from voting for Republicans. The supermajority is really important, as it means a lot of stuff can get passed without much fanfare because the Republicans can be ignored.

          I think Harris didn’t get the nod in 2016 because Clinton had built a huge machine over the previous six or seven years that there was no way she could compete with, and, after all, she’d been a state attorney general for all of five years when 2016 began – before that being DA of a city of about 800,000 people for about five years. That’s an extremely thin resume to jump directly to President on, especially when going up against someone with Clinton’s resume. It’s not even close, really.

  17. Obansgirl says:

    The NYT buries what little positive coverage of the Biden administration’s many successes in its many newsletters instead of daily front pages. Today’s climate change newsletter: The Biden clean energy boom.
    “The boom in clean energy projects is astounding. Since the passage of the I.R.A. in 2022, incentives provided by the law helped drive roughly $332 billion in new investments in clean energy and transportation technologies. Almost all of that was private investments, as opposed to government spending, spurred on by an estimated $48 billion in federal tax credits.”

  18. Brad Cole says:

    Iirc Caputo was a Russian disinfo/Wikileaks conduit in 2016. For which he has never atoned.

  19. Kim Kaufman says:

    Maybe I’m missing something very basic but if Natalie Harp is outside the campaign then… who is paying her?

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Money seems quite fluid and ephemeral in those organizations. Maybe it’s based on the daily USD vs. RUB rate?

    • NerdyCanuck says:

      The Trump Organization? that would be my first guess….

      My second guess would be that it’s some kind of unpaid internship, where she volunteers/works for free, knowing she’ll have a cushy spot either in his 2nd administration, or one of the many right-wing trumpist think tanks, PACs, lobby groups, media networks etc. waiting for her on the other side.

      • NerdyCanuck says:

        Besides, the article said she wasn’t overseen directly by the campaign managers, but that doesn’t mean she still isn’t an employee of the campaign. Both can be true, as one is a matter of where her chq comes from, while the other is just how she is managed/overseen (or the lack thereof) as an employee….

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Directly” is doing a lot of work there. There are a quite a few ways in which she could work exclusively for the campaign without personally being directly overseen by “campaign managers.”

          Trump is a master in using cutouts; those he hires are probably better at it. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t exercise control. In fact, using cutouts is now a fundamental part of American business. From chicken farming to athletic shoe making, the top corporate entity controls through contractual relations rather than ownership or more traditional overt control, but avoids direct liability for it, notwithstanding de facto control, by outsourcing that, too.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          You’ll also see Susie Wiles’ daughter, Caroline on the list of disbursements. She is paid substantially more than Dan Scavino, as far as I can tell. Caroline is the daughter who could not get security clearance in the WH when she tried to get a job there.

  20. David F. Snyder says:

    I shed no tears for the shedded tiers in the comments section (thank you site admins!). But I am willing to harp on Harp. How does one anticipate and nullify these nudges of public perception into policy spaces that should be verboten? (Countering after the fact doesn’t remove the shock that provides the nudge).

    In any event, I’ll pay more attention to Caputo’s reports. Marcy has used him as source at least once before.

  21. Matt Foley says:

    I received replies to some of my comments on Fox News from an account named “Jewless America”. He even had a swastika in the name.

    There’s no hate like MAGA Christian love.

    • dopefish says:

      David Walsh, an antisemitism researcher at Yale, wrote this NYT letter to the editor highlighting connections between MAGA Republicans and neo-Nazism.

      Not every young Republican campaign staff member is a fascist. But the far right is a significant part of the Republican Party’s political coalition. Mr. Trump sailed through the G.O.P. primary and has probably secured the nomination. The presence of so many extremist elements in positions of power and influence is the price to be paid in the party’s bargain with MAGAism…

  22. klynn says:

    Thank you Savage!
    I’m reminded of the Firedoglake days when a ton of crowd sourced research fueled legislative letter campaigns and held MSM to the fire. Prior to that, The Next Hurrah readers had a natural crowd sourcing vibe. Love that the sourcing lives on. Marcy and crew here are a force pretty much carrying that force forward!

  23. synergies says:

    It’d be nice if an artist did a “cartoon” of a tornado/hurricane with trumpsters big face in the swirl, one could change the face to his many mood acts to the possible many tornadoes predicted for this year or a video. The top of the swirl could have a swastika.

    Maybe the dialogue could encourage along with what’s also real important, climate change to encourage people to vote. The videos sound could be set to match trumpsters squirmy “voice.”

  24. JanAnderson says:

    OT maybe, maybe not.
    Finished reading Prophet Song yesterday (Paul Lynch).
    Some plug or other by someone or other described it as ‘soul shattering’. Have to agree. Let’s please not allow anyone here, or anyone anywhere to go there. Anymore.

  25. Spooky Mulder says:

    When I read her name, I knew I had heard it before… (washpost gift link)

    Trump brags that he’s helping patients access medical ‘miracles.’ He isn’t.

    Evidence that ‘Right to Try’ has improved patients’ lives is basically non-existent.
    Perspective by Jeremy Snyder

Comments are closed.