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Right-wing billionaires are funding Facebook meme factories to get you to vote Republican

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The image shows Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) cooly adjusting his tie, as a hysterical looking woman in the background screams while being restrained by an officer. It was posted online following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court despite allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in high school.

“I hate to brag. I just took the most thug life @LindseyGrahamSC photos of the entire Kavanaugh saga. [Story soon]” tweeted right-wing provocateur Benny Johnson. The pic took on a life of its own, as other online users superimposed more messaging on it, like a picture of Joe Biden inappropriately touching the woman.

Welcome to the meme wars. An investigation by Mother Jones has found that conservatives have learned to weaponize memes — images occasionally superimposed with text that are designed to go viral — while liberals have largely ignored them. And they’re planning to use them to sway the outcome of the 2020 election, likely in favor of Donald Trump.

Although memes typically emerge organically, Mother Jones discovered that well-funded conservative activists and organizations have started training tech-savvy young conservatives on how to use memes to influence real world electoral and policy outcomes.

Turning Point USA, which is partly funded by right-wing philanthropist Foster Freiss, is prioritizing meme-training.

“Memes are tools for information warfare,” Boston University professor Gianluca Stringhini, who studies memes, told Mother Jones. “Probably this is a new way of doing politics. A new weapon that campaigns can use.”

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Media Matters’ President Angelo Carusone explained why conservatives are more adept at memes.

On the left “every meme has to have a million qualifiers, so that it’s no longer a meme. It’s a Medium post,” he told Mother Jones. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to communicate their ideas “in ways that are very reductionist. They’re also much more comfortable lying, and their audiences are much more likely to accept it.”

Memes have been behind promoting conspiracy theories as varied as Pizzagate and the idea that Hillary Clinton was deathly ill during the campaign.

TPUSA had a budget of $8 million last year and helped promote “Big Government Sucks” memes on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Benny Johnson hosts tutorials on successful right-wing meme creation. He concluded a recent presentation with a hopeful message for right-wingers.

“Smile. You’re on the winning side,” he said.

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Trump biographer mocks president for humiliating foreign policy ‘triple fail’

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Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien on Monday published a column for Bloomberg in which he mocked the president for suffering a humiliating foreign policy "triple fail" that exposed his presidency's biggest weaknesses.

In his column, O'Brien pointed out that Trump's threats of major actions against Mexico and Iran never amounted to anything, while also noting that the president backed off his plans to begin the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

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How the New York Times creates credibility for Trump

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There’s a good reason why the Times decided against running on its front page news of the latest woman to accuse the president of rape. The Times still does journalism the way it always has. It gives people in power the never-ending benefit of the doubt.

When you are willing to give people in power the benefit of the doubt no matter how many times they have proven they are unworthy of that benefit, it’s not all that important when the 16th person comes forward credibly to accuse Donald Trump of anything, even if, in the case of columnist E. Jean Carroll, the allegation is rape.

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Ex-Trump aide Jason Miller forced out of posh legal job after profane rant against House Judiciary chair

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Another former advisor to President Donald Trump is being "retired" from their position after a social media rant about House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Daily Beast reported.

Miller was working as a managing director at a prominent Washington, D.C. consulting firm before the rant, but after it is "parting ways."

“I have parted ways with Teneo by mutual consent and look forward to formally announcing my next move in the coming weeks,” Miller said in a statement. “Teneo is an incredible firm and without a doubt the premier CEO consultancy on the planet. They have always been great to me and I’m proud to have called them teammates for the past two and a half years.”

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