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Pennsylvania town embarrassed by racist Trump fans — and point out Clinton won there

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Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Residents of one Pennsylvania city are embarrassed by their racist neighbors — and wonder why reporters don’t interview voters in richer towns nearby that more strongly backed President Donald Trump.

A Politico Magazine reporter profiled Trump voters in Johnstown who say they back the president, despite his failures, because he had attacked “N*ggers For Life” football players who protested police brutality.

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The profile was actually a follow-up to previous reporting, and journalists frequently visit the western Pennsylvania city to take the temperature of Trump supporters — but their progressive neighbors wish they’d go elsewhere, reported the Pittsburgh City Paper.

Johnstown fits into the media narrative about Trump supporters in Rust Belt towns, but Democrat Hillary Clinton actually eked out a narrow, 1 percent win there.

Cambria County, where Johnstown is the largest city, backed the Republican on the strength of his support in nine well-to-do suburbs north of Pittsburgh.

“When you look at our wealthier suburbs, they overwhelmingly went for Trump — and they are making Trump,” said Mary Lou Davis, of the progressive group Indivisible Johnstown.

Davis told the newspaper she’s frustrated by the media portrayal of her town as a depressingly bleak haven for racists.

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“There is such a media slant, and I am getting tired that Johnstown is getting portrayed that way,” Davis said, noting the city just elected two black, Democratic city council members.

“We have a symphony, we have an art community, we host a national triple-A baseball tournament every year,” she told the paper. “They painted with such a broad brush. The Politico piece just made us very very angry.”


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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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