Things That Matter

The Fourth Of July Parade Was Drenched In Rain And Everyone Was Worried About Trump’s Hair

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Donald Trump came under fire for politicizing the US Independence Day celebrations, after ordering a large military parade through the nation’s capital city and delivering a speech of his own at the Lincoln Memorial. The US president has toyed with the idea of a grand show of arms since observing the 2017 Bastille Day celebration in Paris.

Trump’s demand to include tanks and military jets in the July 4 festivities this year breaks with tradition in Washington, where hundreds of thousands of people typically gather for a night of patriotic songs and fireworks broadcast on national television.

Despite the controversy, Trump went forward with his military-style 4th of July celebration.

Credit: @newsweek / Twitter

On a rainy Independence Day at the Lincoln Memorial, Donald Trump emceed his “Salute to America.” As promised, his speech largely eschewed politics, and instead found the president, positioned behind rain-streaked panels of bulletproof glass, sharing tales from the nation’s military history, highlighting accomplished Americans, and presiding over a display of weapons of war.

“We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag—the brave men and women of the United States Military,” said the president near the opening of his remarks. He thanked the leaders of the “Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines—and very soon the Space Force.”

And although he stayed out of politics, Trump still managed to make the event one we won’t soon forget.

During his remarks, Trump also told the stories of notable Americans in attendance, including a man who participated in civil rights sit-ins during the 1960s, and an Army veteran Catholic nun who served as a first responder at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

Though supporters packed the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial, early reports of a scramble to secure VIP attendees were further confirmed by The New York Times. The paper reported that though Trump requested the attendance of all of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, most were “on leave or travel” and did not make an appearance.

His administration has also kept secret the costs of this giant military 4th of July Celebration.

The Trump administration has been silent on the question of how much the display cost taxpayers, but The Washington Post reported that to fund the event, the National Park Service redirected close to $2.5 million for the ceremony. During the event, 24 military aircraft performed flyovers, at a cost the Post calculated to be at least $560,000 per hour. And according to The New York Times, the ceremony cost the Pentagon more than $1 million.

I mean it was so controversial that even the Russian news media came for Trump and his parade.

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You know things are bad for Trump when his biggest foreign fans are knocking his performance.

But perhaps the biggest news from the event was that we found out that there were airports during the Revolutionary War.

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Trump also made a major historical blunder. In a portion of his speech that addressed the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Trump said that “our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

Trump’s gaffe made for some pretty great memes across social media.

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But during those wars, of course, the invention of air travel was still decades away—and Trump’s gaffe spawned delighted mockery on social media.

Other’s imagined the possibility of what Trump’s hair might actually look like if it were to get wet…

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I don’t think Trump has that much hair but still..you get the point.

Trump also drew fire for a comment he made urging young Americans to join the military.

It seems pretty ironic for a man who complained about ‘bone spurs’ in his feet to skip military service during the Vietnam War to be asking young men and women to risk their lives.

READ: For This Year’s July 4th Consider Volunteering Your Time With Organizations Meant To Help Migrants And Dreamers

Puerto Rico, Still Recovering From Hurricane Maria, Is Losing Recovery Dollars To Fund Part Of The Border Wall

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Puerto Rico, Still Recovering From Hurricane Maria, Is Losing Recovery Dollars To Fund Part Of The Border Wall

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When Donald Trump began his campaign for president, one — if not the most important — promise he made was that Mexico would pay for the border wall. Trump’s border wall, which would extend throughout the south as a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, has been his No. 1 mission as president of the United States. Now, four years after making this promise, Mexico has still not paid a single cent for the construction of any such barrier that has been built or will be built. 

In order for Trump’s border wall to get constructed, he’s still very short on funds, and since Mexico is obviously not going to pay, the president is taking money away from Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery budget. 

Credit: @Nicolemarie_A / Twitter

Trump has allocated $400 million to go toward building the wall and will take it directly from funds that were intended to help Puerto Rico and their hurricane recovery. The Department of Defense announced that several hurricane-related projects in Puerto Rico would be halted because their funding would be diverted to building the border wall. Some of those projects include a National Guard Readiness Center, a Power Substation/Switching Station Building, and an Aircraft Maintenance Hangar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

According to NBC News, a senior Defense official said that people shouldn’t worry because these projects in Puerto Rico will get done, eventually. “We don’t see ourselves delaying those projects. We’re fully committed to that recovery,” the official said since many of them wouldn’t begin until 2020.

The president still needs billions more for the wall, at least $25 billion more, so he’s taking money from various military sources in the U.S. and its territories. The total amount he’s diverting is $3.6 billion.

Credit: @ChrisLu44 / Twitter

Aside from Puerto Rico, 117 other military construction projects will be halted and/or delayed now because of funds. People might assume diverting funds away from Puerto Rico’s recovery or other sources isn’t a big deal because it doesn’t seem like tangible needs. However, people familiar with the military centers and operations know that it is a huge deal and almost appears like robbery by the highest level office. 

“I visited the current RPA training facility at Holloman earlier this year. The building is falling apart, with some equipment being held together with duct tape. To say this facility, which supports training for 100 percent of the Air Force’s MQ-9 crews, urgently needs to be replaced would be an understatement,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said in a statement, according to NBC News. 

Other projects losing funds include $160 million of construction projects at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; $85 million operations facility at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico;  $40 million for an information systems facility at White Sands Missile Facility, and much more. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is planning to file a lawsuit to prohibit Trump from taking $3.6 billion away from Puerto Rico and the rest of the country and territories. 

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“The fact that the government sat on these so-called ’emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab,” ACLU attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement, according to The Hill. “We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall,” he added.

Despite claiming that Mexico would pay for the wall for years, Trump already said that he didn’t mean that literally. 

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

In January, the president tried to backtrack four years of declarations that Mexico would pay for the wall by insisting that he wasn’t speaking in direct terms but indirectly. We know, it makes no sense.

“When — during the campaign, I would say, ‘Mexico is going to pay for it.’ Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they’re going to write out a check. I said, ‘They’re going to pay for it.’ They are. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, called the United States, Mexico, and Canada USMCA deal.”

Yes, the president said he never said what he said. We feel a headache coming on. To illustrate how many times Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall, Factbase Inc. listed each of them. He has referenced the border wall at least 456 times

READ: New Border Wall Is Being Constructed In California But It Is Not The Same Border Wall Trump Promised His Voters

President Trump Furthers Speculation Of Ties To White Supremacy After Sharing Video With White Supremacist Symbol

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President Trump Furthers Speculation Of Ties To White Supremacy After Sharing Video With White Supremacist Symbol

Once again, Americans are left questioning whether Trump’s campaign simply needs more competent researchers and video editors or if its legitimately using imagery that invokes an adoration for white supremacy. President Donald Trump posted a new campaign video to his Twitter account on August 28 that included the regular content we’ve come to expect: his high approval rating among Republicans, low unemployment rates and stock market growth. Sure. Then, it ended with a symbol of lion’s head, wearing a star-spangled collar and red stripes for a mane. 

Various white supremacist groups have clung to the exact same symbol as a “Lion Guard” for Trump supporters.

“Thank you for the support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump tweeted alongside the video.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“Record low employment” the video claims, with the words “Blacks, Latinos, Veterans” fading into view. It boasts that zero federal dollars have gone to Planned Parenthood in a claim to protect life and liberty. Then, an “I stand with Trump in 2020. DO YOU?” scene fades in, followed by the sound of a lion’s roar and the above image.

White supremacist outlet, VDARE, self-describes as “America’s Immigration Voice,” and has been using this exact symbol since before Trump’s election.

Credit: @vdare / Twitter

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated VDARE as a white nationalist hate group, calling it an “anti-immigrant hate website,” which describes its mission as “dedicated to preserving our historical unity as Americans into the 21st Century.” White nationalist Peter Brimelow founded VDARE and has given a platform to white supremacists around the country, including Jason Kessler, the organizer of 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

VDARE’s own founder, Peter Brimelow, has posited that Latinos “specialize in rape, particularly of children.”

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Not only has he suggested this, but he’s lauded Trump for reflecting that sentiment in his immigration policies. In a 2017 American Renaissance conference, he said, “But there’s no doubt that something in that book got to [President Donald Trump] because the way his speech was set up. His announcement speech went to the question of Hispanic crime, specifically rape. And [Ann Coulter]’s book is a very powerful statement of the fact that crime in this country is ethnically variegated. There’s ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They’re very prone to it, compared to other groups.”

Then, there’s the dedicated Fascist militia, called the “Lion Guard.”

Credit: @DustinGiebel / Twitter

The “Lion Guard” was born on March 15, 2016, and describes itself as an “informal civilian group dedicated to the safety and security of #Trump supports by exposing Far-Left infiltrators and saboteurs.” Its website homepage commemorates the controversial moment that Trump retweeted a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “Better to be a lion for a day, than a lamb for eternity.” The “Lion Guard” is essentially a right-leaning Internet troll group, which aims to monitor Trump protesters by posting images of citizens who plan to protest Trump rallies. The “Lion Guard” has also idolized Communist Mao Zedong, tweeting “Mao had the Red guard, Bernie has the #BernOut Guard.”

That said, those white nationalist groups didn’t design the symbol, but have taken it to new depths of meaning.

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“For normies, like a kids soccer jersey logo etc, nah, probably not,” writer Dustin Giebel replied. “Politics? Duh! Especially if it connects to extremists groups. This is elementary stuff. They—being the campaign—should understand all the logos and emblems they’re sharing. Only took you two mins, right?” So, again, we ask the question. Is the Trump campaign that deft or do they know they’re dog-whistling the “Lion Guard,” and the white nationalists to come out to the polls?

One lawyer did some digging and found that the symbol was first used by a Dutch white supremacist that Trump retweeted in 2015.

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Trump retweeted Twitter user @keksec_org’s message, “I truly believe you are the best #MakeAmericaGreatAgain” with a “Thank you so much!” Meanwhile, @keksec_org’s own Twitter bio read “#KekSec/Stop #WhiteGenocide/White Preservist/Programmer/Dutch Patriot/Race War when?” Talking Points Memo also noted that the user defended slavery and colonialism, and fears for white genocide. When Black folks called out his racism, he called them “melanin enhanced” or condescended to the “feeble mind of the African American negro.”

The account has since been suspended. According to the Daily Beast, Trump has retweeted 178 unverified users, 10 percent of whom have been suspended.

You can watch the full video below.

READ: Trump Campaign Posts ‘Summer Of Winning’ Video In Response To Criticism