Archive for the ‘Alt-right’ Category

The Alt-Right Is Debating Whether Bannon Needs a Better Press Strategy – New York Magazine

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Now that Steve Bannon has been temporarily-or-permanently sidelined by President Donald Trump, his nationalist allies people who formerly identified as alt-right, but now reject that label as it has become synonymous with white supremacy are debating what their man in the White House did wrong and what he might do to salvage the situation. One of the key questions up for debate is whether Bannon should have made better use of ideologically sympathetic media outlets when he ran Breitbart News, he described it as the platform for the alt-right to get out his side of the story.

He really doesnt talk to all of us outside who would be inclined to help him, said Charles Johnson, who asked to be identified as a Bannon ally and entrepreneur. The editor in chief of GotNews.com, you may know the flame-haired media flame-thrower better for getting kicked off of Twitter and his lawsuit against the now-defunct Gawker.

The chief strategist to the president might have done better job of holding onto power, the thinking goes, if he were talking to those who want what he wants and have the benefit of seeing things the way they appear outside of the bubble of his war room, the name hes given his West Wing office.

He has a lot of friends out on the Internet who love him but we are all still waiting for him to unleash the beast, Johnson said. He added that Bannon had never been in touch with him and his cohorts, and that he should mobilize us but he is playing too nice.

A source close to the White House agreed with Johnson that Bannon needs to change if he wants to survive. Hes not achieving anything! Whats he achieving? Hes a zero. Hes incompetent! the source said. He doesnt get back to the people at the Daily Caller. He doesnt get back to the people at Infowars, the source said, I dont care what you think of their politics, they reach millions of people. Why would you not respond to them?

Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars editor-at-large, told me hed never been in touch with Bannon but disagreed that it was a problem, saying he should concentrate on running the country. Of course, the president himself has been in contact with Infowarss founder, Alex Jones, appearing on his radio program via Skype during the campaign and speaking to him privately thereafter. (Jones, who is in the midst of a theatrical custody battle in court, didnt respond to a text message seeking comment.)

Now, as with all matters that require talking to the people both populating the current administration and propping it up, there is the risk that this particular argument is more diversionary than literal that accusing Bannon of ignoring controversial, far-right nationalists is in fact a means of protecting him.

If we were lying, how would you know, right? Mike Cernovich said, addressing that question directly.

A social media agitator known for spreading conspiracy theories about Pizzagate and Hillary Clintons health during the election who now says hes new-right or American nationalist, Cernovich also claims that Bannon doesnt talk to anybody. He said proof of Bannons lack of communication with nationalists was Breitbarts coverage of the administration, which has been both sporadically critical and seemingly out of the loop Thats why Breitbart missed the Susan Rice thing, he said, that kind of says it all. But Cernovich didnt miss the Susan Rice thingin fact, he broke the story that during her stint as a national security adviser to Barack Obama, Rice had requested from classified intelligence reports the names of officials associated with the Trump campaign implying that he, at least, has some highly placed sources. (Asked to disclose where he obtained the scoop, he didnt respond.)

Still, Cernovich doesnt accept the prescription of his ideological confrere Johnson he sees too much downside for Bannon in talking to alt-right journalists. Its gonna create drama, he said. Bannon should definitely not talk to anybody.

Keep in mind though that Cernovich claims he didnt even know who Bannon was until, like, nine months ago. He says he learned of him through Joshua Greens Bloomberg profile which came out in October of 2015, or eighteen months ago. (Cernovich remembers his first impression: Wow, this guys a G.)

In some ways, the question of whether Bannon should be cultivating more allies in the press is part of a larger debate over his operating style in the White House which is to operate in isolation. Im not doing this to have friends, he told me. I dont socialize a lot, I dont bring people into my life. This is like being in the Navy, this is like a duty. I dont enjoy this every day. This is not living; this is a kind of existence.

Though he brought into the White House some of his own staff Julia Hahn from Breitbart; Andrew Surabian from the Tea Party Express and Alexandra Preate, his personal flack he has spent little political capital fighting for high-level strategists with whom he could align in ideological disputes.

He has also, according to a source close to the president, not weighed in on behalf of nationalist appointments or principals. The source added, I dont care what he says: he never objected to the bombing in Syria never. Tells people he did, but thats a fucking lie. My source is as high as you can go. Bannon did not respond to a text about Syria and when I ran into him in the West Wing on Friday afternoon, he darted off before I could ask a question.

Michael Moores Prediction for Trump Getting Impeached Will Depress a Lot of People

There is little good news for President Trump in two new polls measuring Americans opinions about his first 100 days.

He has a lot of friends out on the Internet who love him but we are all still waiting for him to unleash the beast.

Sources say that seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit against the company.

Large crowds championing reality and evidence took to the streets in hundreds of cities on Saturday and nerds definitely make the best signs.

The president will celebrate his first 100 days in office by toasting himself and his many accomplishments.

But when the Obama administration later wanted to confirm Russias efforts, Comey kept his distance.

Behold this unorthodox aerial-transport plan.

The presidents son usually prefers to kill much bigger animals.

First Trump tried to hold Obamacare hostage for Democratic cooperation with Trumpcare. Now its the border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

A quick primer on Frances tight four-way race between a neo-fascist, a socialist, a Catholic reactionary and a centrist outsider.

New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder due to its soft on crime stance. (NYC had a record-low crime rate in 2016).

The oil giant stood to make gobs of cash, so it requested a waiver on sanctions imposed after Russias annexation of Crimea.

The new Justice was the deciding vote that allowed Arkansass breakneck schedule of lethal injections to proceed.

Trumps new nationalist motto: Buy American, Hire American, But Feel Free to Relocate Overseas for Tax Purposes.

Expecting a drop in international tourists, city officials are trying to send a message that foreigners are still welcome.

After three months of vacation, he will start giving speeches next week but hes refusing to be a foil.

The president appeared to find his war games thrilling. But what comes next for Americas policy in Syria remains unclear.

No one has more to lose from a shutdown than Trump. And no one is demanding bigger concessions to prevent one.

I cant get concerned with that, he said of the N.J. governor baiting him on sports radio.

The reason I love being mayor is that the issues that I deal with arent Democratic or Republican. Theyre about common sense.

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The Alt-Right Is Debating Whether Bannon Needs a Better Press Strategy – New York Magazine

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April 23, 2017   Posted in: Alt-right  Comments Closed

Alt-right conflicts of interest: Breitbart’s managing editor used the site to promote PR clients – Salon

Breitbart.com managing editor Wynton Hall has frequently used the website to promote a nonprofit that employs him as a communications strategist, as well as at least one client for a separate communications firm he runs.

Hall, a conservative writer and activist, began writing for Breitbart in 2011. He became the right-wing websites managing editor in 2013 as part of an effort to help ensure a 24/7 editorial team focused on the site. He is second only to Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, according to a masthead provided last month to the congressional credentialing committee.

But while Halls title suggests that he plays a key role at Breitbart, that is not his only job. He also serves as thecommunications strategist for the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a conservative advocacy organization.

Breitbart and GAI are inextricably linked: Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as the nonprofits president, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon led both organizations from 2012 to 2016, and GAIs main funders, hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, are partial owners of the website.

Members of the Senate Press Gallerys Standing Committee of Correspondents have questioned whether Breitbart is editorially independent given these overlaps. The committee is currently reviewing Breitbarts bid for permanent congressional credentials, but has to this point denied its application.

At GAI, where Hall received a six-figure salary and worked 40 hours a week from 2012 to 2015, according to the groups publicly available IRS filings. He is responsible for engineering public relations strategies that ensure that the organizations dry research achieves maximum impact.

Hall has capitalized on his role at Breitbart to boost GAIs efforts. Hall wrote 151 Breitbart posts that promoted GAI or Schweizer, according to a Media Matters review of all 1,382 posts Hall authored between 2011 and 2015.

In addition to his work at GAI, Hall also has private communications clients. He owns his own self-named celebrity ghostwriting and branding agency; he claims its client list features major figures in politics, business, sports, and the arts, presumably creating a wealth of conflicts of interest with his work at Breitbart. Hall is also senior strategist at Oval Office Writers, the communications agency that Schweizer co-owns.

Hall has used his Breitbart platform to promote at least one of his clients: The website published several stories on one of the books he ghostwrote without mentioning his financial ties to the book. Because neither Hall or Oval Office Writers publishes a client list, it is impossible to tell how frequently this occurs.

Its unclear how Hall could work full time at a nonprofit while also serving in a senior editorial role at Breitbart, running a third business, and working for a fourth. Critics say this apparent inconsistency raises serious questions of private inurement and excessive compensation.

Indeed, Halls malfeasance is only a small part of a massive web of self-dealing and interconnected conflicts of interest linking Mercer, Bannon, GAI, Breitbart, and for-profit companies.

Hall Uses Breitbart To Weaponize Research For The Conservative Advocacy Organization That Employs Him

Halls work at GAI is both lucrative and extensive; according to the groups IRS filings, Hall worked 40 hours a week at GAI from 2012 to 2015 and received a total of $600,000.

At GAI, Hall is the creative mind through which all its research flows and is disseminated, with a mandate to transform dry think-tank research into vivid, viral-ready political dramas that can be unleashed on a set schedule, like summer blockbusters, according to an October 2015 Bloomberg Businessweek profile of Bannon.

His strategy, as he described it in an interview with the magazine, is to anchor left by placing the stories with reporters at mainstream publications, then pivot right by turning those stories into narratives at conservative outlets. We dont look at the mainstream media as enemies because we dont want our work to be trapped in the conservative ecosystem, Hall says.

Trying to get reports written up by major news outlets is a typical communications strategy for a nonprofit. Whats unusual is that Hall, Bannon, and Schweizer have been able to implement the plans Hall designs in his role with GAI through their leadership positions at Breitbart. Hall typically plays a key role in producing content at Breitbart that promotes GAIs research.

In August 2012, Schweizers book Throw Them All Out, which alleges widespread financial corruption by members of Congress, hit the stands. Hall, who has worked with Schweizer since at least 2007, when they co-authored a book as fellows at the Hoover Institution, joined Breitbart to promote the work.

In fact, Halls first 17 pieces at Breitbart, and 22 of his first 24, authored over the span of six weeks in late 2011, all promoted Schweizers book, a 60 Minutes segment on the book that anchored it in the traditional media, and the legislative fight its publication spurred, according to a Media Matters review.

Halls posts were clearly geared toward building support and readership for the book on the right. His work included a series of press-release-style summaries of the books bombshell revelation[s], sometimes branded as EXCLUSIVE; criticism of medias failure to report on the books claims; and reports on politicians and media outlets that praised the book or pushed for legislation in response to it. The constant stream of posts helped maintain a drumbeat on the right around its publication.

Hall has continued to promote GAIs work in his writing for Breitbart. He authored 1,382 posts between November 2011 and July 2015, at times writing three a day; a whopping 151 of them referenced Schweizer or a GAI product. In addition to 51 posts mentioning Throw Them All Out, Hall wrote 18 posts on Schweizers 2013 book, Extortion; 10 or more pieces on GAIs reports on presidential daily briefs, food stamps, and presidential meetings; and multiple articleson GAIs work on campaign finance violations, Justice Department decisions, and the growth of wealth in Washington, D.C.

Here is a sampling of headlines from Halls pieces about Schweizer and GAI:

Halls promotion of GAI reports typically followed the same pattern: a blitz of press-release-type pieces before or immediately after the reports release, highlighting its premise, exclusive tidbits, and any anchoring press; write-ups of Schweizer appearances on TV or radio shows talking about the work; and a long tail of follow-up posts that use news hooks to reiterate the premises of the GAI report and remind the audience about it.

After Hall became managing editor and gained additional responsibilities at Breitbart, other Breitbart writers who were not employed by GAI joined in his effort to promote the nonprofits work. In 2015, Schweizer authored Clinton Cash, a trainwreck of sloppy research alleging corruption by Bill and Hillary Clinton that received widespread media attention for its claims even though it contains numerousfalsehoods and fabrications. Breitbart played a key role by pushing the books claims in more than 400 posts, none of which were authored by Hall.

Hall Works At Private Communications Firms And Theres No Way To Know Who His Clients Are

When Martin Greenfield, a Holocaust survivor who had tailored mens clothing for more than 60 years out of a factory in Brooklyn, was looking for someone to help him tell his story, he turned to Hall. The result was Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor To Presidents Tailor, a memoir released November 10, 2014, with both of their names emblazoned on its cover.

Thank you, Wynton, for helping me gather my scattered thoughts and keeping me focused. This book could not have been assembled without your laser vision and talent, Greenfield writes in the books acknowledgments. He became me, reads Greenfields testimonial on the website of Wynton Hall & Co., the celebrity ghostwriting firm that Hall has owned and operated since 2008.

Halls client list consists of politicians, business leaders, and top figures in sports and the arts, according to his firms website. In addition to writing memoirs, Hall and his team of two offer comprehensive brand management, speechwriting, and media training services.

But when Greenfield hired Hall, he didnt just get someone who could help him organize his thoughts, or even just a talented ghostwriter who could also help him promote the book. Whether he knew it or not, Greenfield was also getting the full support of Halls other employer, Breitbart.

The conservative website published at least six stories on the book in the three days following its publication, running two of them on the top of its front page for a total of 18 hours. The front page posting claimed that Martin Greenfield has been hailed Americas greatest living tailor and the most interesting man in the world.’

Five of the stories were published without bylines, including two excerpts from the book, aggregated storiesfrom other outlets about it, and a post featuring audio of Mark Levin reading from the book during his radio show in what the piece claims was a rhapsodic radio performance that was at times operatic in its tone.

The sixth, bylined by Hall, purports to be a written Q&A with Greenfield described as Americas greatest living suit maker and a legend. Halls hard-hitting questions included, Why did you write Measure of a Man? and Talk about some of the other men youve made suits for.

Several of the pieces include Amazon links to Measure of a Man. None includes a disclosure that Breitbarts managing editor had helped write the book even the post authored by Hall. In fact, every piece lists only Greenfield as the memoirs author, even though Halls name appears on its cover. This practice has continuedin the months and years since the books publication

None of Breitbarts competitors in the conservative media have provided anything close to that level of coverage of Greenfields book. Then again, none of them employ Greenfields co-author.

Its unclear how often Hall has used his top editorial position at Breitbart to promote his clients. The firms website provides testimonials from some of the subjects of Wynton Halls books, but it does not provide a comprehensive list. And Halls brand management clients are completely opaque he appears to offer an exclusive list of 12 clients services that include biweekly marketing strategy calls, speechwriting, talking points for media appearances, and ghostwritten books and articles.

In addition to his personal communications firm, Hall is also a senior strategist at Oval Office Writers, the four-man group that was co-founded by Schweizer and former Bush White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen. Oval Office Writers does not list any of its clients, but its websites list of services suggests that they are corporate leaders and politicians.

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Alt-right conflicts of interest: Breitbart’s managing editor used the site to promote PR clients – Salon

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While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc – Townhall

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Posted: Apr 23, 2017 12:01 AM

As a regular reader, you would know that after the election I spent some time investigating the Alt-Right which was supposedly a major force in the Trump election. Mycolumnput a damper on the relevance of this group despite all the hoopla. Since the election, the Black Bloc has become a major disrupter in our country yet it is barely written or spoken about.

A friend asked me if I was aware of the group which in itself speaks volumes. The group traces its roots back to Europe during the 1980s. It had its most pronounced debut in the United States during the 1999 Seattle riots during the World Trade Organization meeting, but really traces back to 1991 protests at the World Bank building during the Persian War.

To be fair, while doing research I did find that the MSM has written about the Black Bloc. But in their inimitable style, the publications write one or two columns to cover their butts and say they have addressed the issue only to drop the subject. Reading accounts in the beacons of the MSM the New York Times and the Washington Post — did not really address the lawlessness of the group and tended to romanticize the group because of their anti-Trump strains.

It is fascinating how, when covering Republican activities, the MSM almost always injects colorful adjectives or adverbs to characterize the subject. When addressing the Black Bloc, they seem to revert to being reporters. A February 2nd NYT article gave the Black Bloc a platform to define and defend their actions. They quoted the following about their actions in Berkeley, CA, on February 1: Yes, what the black bloc did last night was destructive to property wrote Eric Laursen, a writer in Massachusetts who has helped publicize anarchist protests, using another name for the black-clad demonstrators. But do you just let someone like Milo go wherever he wants and spread his hate? That kind of argument can devolve into just sit on your hands and wait for it to pass. And it doesnt.

The group is characterized by showing up to events dressed head-to-toe in black. The only thing you might see are their eyes. The idea is that the players retain anonymity. They typically meet near a planned protest like the one that occurred in Berkeley to protest Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech. They were the ones responsible for the violence there and the violence at the Trump Inauguration. Though the police were near useless in stopping the violence in Berkeley, over 200 people were arrested in D.C.

A recurrent theme that the press repeats is that the group is not an organization, but kind of an ad hoc spontaneous activity. An article in The Nation by Natasha Lennard who participated in the January 20th violent protests amplifies this idea. She starts her column by heralding the beauty of actual Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer being sucker punched in the face. She goes on to state The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tacticmarching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary objecttheblack bloc. This theme was repeated throughout multiple articles in the MSM as if it were fact. Notice elements of the MSM who abhor violence throughout the pages of their publications accept violence against Trump supporters, Republicans and in general white men.

If we may, let us go over some concepts regarding the Black Bloc:

The police need to get serious about apprehending and imprisoning these criminals. If there is a protest planned, they can count on the fact that the Black Bloc will piggyback onto that protest and the police need to plan accordingly. The FBI should also be tracking the activities of the ring leaders. If some of these anonymous people are tried and imprisoned, it could deter the others from diverting their lives into this organized hooliganism. Also, the peaceful protesters have an obligation to either help the police or disband once these criminals show up.

The police and the MSM need to start some hysteria about these people before the violence escalates even further. That is what we do in a civilized society.

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While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc – Townhall

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In French Elections, None of Three Main Candidates Would Advance Real Climate Progress – Truth-Out

The birthplace of the Paris Climate Agreements, the first round of France’s presidential election on starts on Sunday, April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been sidelined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climateleadership.

The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news,” Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims andgrowing concerns of Russian interference.

Many in France are still deciding who to vote for in one of the most unpredictable elections yet. If no candidate wins a majority on April 23, a second election round featuring the top two candidates will take place on May7.

Far-right Marine Le Pen’s rise through the polls shows the populist pulse of Brexit and Trump’s election continues to resonate on thecontinent.

But Le Pen’s efforts to give the Front National (FN) a new, greener image is tainted by the party’s ongoing magnet effect with alt-right groups which reject climatescience.

Conservative Francois Fillon denies any wrongdoing in a never-ending corruption scandal. Meanwhile his friendship with the head of oil giant Total raises questions over who will really benefit from his environmentalpolicies.

The fragmentation of the political scene has left the door open for frontrunner Emmanuel Macron. Yet, his support for gold mines in French Guiana, in South America,has raised concerns over the protection of the territory’s uniquebiodiversity.

With seven days until the polls open, DeSmogUKlooks at how alternative facts and the three main candidates’ links with powerful groups and corporations may have shaped their environmentalpolicies.

DeSmogUK’s analysisshows:

Le Pen:Environment and FrenchIdentity

Over the last few years, theFNhas strived to green its party image to widen its appeal, making the environment an issue of nationalidentity.

But taking a closer look to her new green image, Le Pen’s skeptic views are not far behind her. In 2012, inan interview for Terraeco, Le Pen declared: “I am not sure human activities are the main source behind the [climate change] phenomenon The world has seen changes in the climate that had nothing to do with humanactivity.”

Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the Front National party, is himself a known climatedenier.

In 2010, he slammed the environment as the new religion of well-off urban classes and accused climate science of being “inaccurate and alarmist” during aconferencecalled “Global Warming: myth orreality.”

Le Pen has tried to move the party’s image away from her father’s denial of the Holocaust, anti-Semitic and climate skeptic views through a process known in France as “destabilisation,” which means “casting out thedevil.”

But in spite of the creation of a new far-right movement designed to reframe the party’s environmental policies, and Le Pen declaring during a 2012 interview that she is”greener than the Green Party,” theFNleader has never explicitly accepted the extent of human agency in climatechange.

In January, she said she”believed human activity does play a role, which extent I cannot measure, in climate change.” That is as much as she hassaid.

In recent campaigns, Le Pen dropped her surname on posters to be known only as Marine. And yet, the alt-right movements which gravitate around theFNare a stark reminder of the party’sroots.

“Destabilization” and Alt-RightMedia

Last summer, alt-right news platform Breitbart announcedits intention to launch in France in time for the presidential election. (So far, though, there are no signs of a FrenchBreitbart.)

Breitbart promotes climate skeptic views questioning the extent of human agency in climate change and opposing environmental regulations as a barrier to growth. In 2015, it ran a story saying abundantcarbon dioxide was good for the environment and beneficial for humanity. And just last week it ran anarticle arguing the Great Barrier Reef isn’t indanger from mass coralbleaching.

The website has shown plenty of support for Le Pen ahead of the election. A quick search on their website give 158,000 results for Le Pen compared with 442 for right-wing Fillon and 340 forMacron.

FormerCEOof Breitbart and Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon toldRadio Londresthat France was “the place to be” and that Le Pen’s niece, Marion Marchal-Le Pen, was its “risingstar.”

In a tweet following Trump’s election, Marchal-Le Pen said she accepted Bannon’s invitation to work with him to set-up Breitbart inFrance.

At the end of February, Breitbart ran a story with the headline”Establishment admits Le Pen might just win presidential election.”

It read: “A Le Pen victory would continue the populist trend set by Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump asUSPresident last year, neither of which were forecast by insiders and industrypundits.”

Breitbart’s principal owner is the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who haspumped millions into organisations, which push climate science denial. The single biggest donor behind Donald Trump’s campaign, Mercer also hasa connection with data analytics company Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica, which has offered its services to Leave.Eu and backed the Trump campaign, carries out “election management strategies” for clients by profiling groups and individuals, including political beliefs and voting affiliations, and creating tailored content to boost the campaign’smessage.

There is no evidence the company has brought its support to theFN, which publicly said it was in need of financing, but it is clear that Breitbart has been in contact with the party. DeSmogUKhas received no answer from theFNto its questions on theissue.

France also has its own far-right platforms. Known as the “fachosphre” or literally the “sphere of fascists,” these are promoting theFN’s views of the environment as an emblem of Frenchidentity.

The anti-Semitic and homophobic websiteEgalit et Rconciliation, was founded by activists with connections to the far-right Groupe Union Defense (GUD), known for its violent actions in the1970s.

Although Le Pen is keen to disassociate theFNfrom extremist and violent movements such as theGUD, the party continues to draw in some of its members. As such, one of theFN’s main donors, who navigates in Le Pen’s close but unofficial circles, is Frederic Chatillon, a former member of theGUD.

The website re-posts articles from different sources. This includes one storyslamming climate change scientists as “the sect of the end of the world”and anotheraccusing climate change of being a pretext “to feed the globalization machine.”

But more recently, the website has also beenpromoting the work and lifestyle of Nicolas Fabre, a former Parisian graphic designer, who left his urban lifestyle to start growing food using permaculture techniques in the south ofFrance.

Fabre lives in complete autarky with the rest of the world and praises his lifestyle as anti-system andanti-globalisation.

In 2014, Le Pen launched a new movement within theFNcalled “New Ecology.” It promotes the idea of “environmental patriotism” and quickly became popular among some farmingcommunities.

Opposing international treaties and advocating “short circuits” between local production and distribution, Le Pen has made her protectionist policies the heart of her environmentalprogram.

She is not interested in solving the global climate crisis. Instead, she wants to be a strong voice for rural France with a motto of “think local and act local.” Her environmental concerns stop at the Frenchborder.

Le Pen’sPropositions

AmongLe Pen’s 144 campaign pledges, 12 points are dedicated to the environment under a section called “Sustainable France,” from which terms such as “biodiversity” and “air pollution” areabsent.

Le Pen defends an energy transition based on the French renewable sector excluding wind farms, she previouslydescribed as “hideous”and on which she would impose a blanketban.

She wants to “maintain, modernize and secure” France’s nuclear energy sector in opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan to reduce nuclear energy from 75 per cent to 50 per cent of the energy mix by2025.

Meanwhile, she wants to give a huge boost to the hydrogen industry — she specifically calls “clean energy” — through subsidies for research anddevelopment.

Four major French companies are currently leading research in hydrogen, including Air Liquide, Alstom, Engie and Total. It is also the case that anFNrepresentative for the Isre area, Bruno Desies, was a former employee of Air Liquide,and worked to expand the company’s activities in Asia.

Le Pen backs a ban on shale gas exploitation until “satisfactory environmental, safety and health conditions” are met. France currently has a moratorium on shale gas exploration and exploitation using hydraulic fracking techniques, which it considered highlypolluting.

She vows to make animal protection a national priority by forbidding animal killing without prior anesthesia, directly targeting halal and kosher slaughtertechniques.

Greenpeace France has accused theFNof having “restored the face of the project, but at its heart, it [FN] still relies on principles that have remained unchanged since the far-right party’s creation by Jean-Marie LePen.”

Fillon’s Friendship WithTotal

While Le Pen uses climate change to promote closed borders and protectionist measures, on the other side, the ultra-liberal and conservative candidate Fillon puts growth at home and abroad at the heart of his project for theenvironment.

Speaking during the firstTVdebate, Fillon said he wanted to “reconcile economic growth and environmentalprotection.”

A staunch advocate of nuclear energy, Fillon wants to alleviate environmental regulations and encourage companies to carry out “responsibleinvestments.”

Among those in Fillon’sclose circleis President of Airbus’ board of directors, Denis Ranque, and oil giant Total’s Managing Director Patrick Pouyann. It would seem the interests of France’s multinational corporations rank high on Fillon’sagenda.

A key element inhis programis the withdrawal of the “precautionary principle,” which favors public health and environmental protection over activities which could pose a risk to the environment. Such measure is likely to benefit people with vested interests in natural resources such asPouyann.

The head of Total since 2014, Pouyann first had a career as a politician. In 1995, he wasappointed technical advisor for the environment and industry and worked with Fillon, then Minister of Technology and Information, as his director ofcabinet.

Last month, French newspaperLe Canard Enchaine revealedFillon received $50,000 (40,000) for acting as the intermediary between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pouyann and Lebanese billionaire and Fouad Makhzoumi, the head of Future Pipe Industries, which provides infrastructure for the oil and gasindustry.

Fillon has denied having been involved in any deal either with Total or withRussia.

But Fillon’s links to the Kremlin have come under the spotlight afterFrance’s polling commission issued a warning over a news report published by Russian news agency Sputnik.

The story, published at the end of March, falsely claimed that Fillon was leading in the polls, contradicting all other mainstream pollsters, which were ranking Fillon in thirdplace.

The source for Sputnik’s story was a Moscow-based online audience research company, Brand Analytics, whose study was based on an analysis of French socialmedia.

The polling commission said the social media study could not be called “a poll” because it did not comply with the criteria defined under a 1977 Frenchlaw.

According to the law, a poll is a survey using data, which aims to give a quantitative indication of opinions or behaviors through the questioning of a representativesample.

In this case, the polling commission said Brand Analytics’ survey showed the political weight of each of the candidates as captured by social media but had been wrongly presented as apoll.

Both Le Pen and Fillon, who is known to havepersonal ties with Putin, have called for an improvement of bilateral relations with Russia and they have respectively been given spacious coverage bySputnik.

In addition to the cozy relationship with Total’s chief and some strong ties to Russia, Fillon is close to a host of people within his own party, Les Republicains, who do not hold environmental concerns as apriority.

Among them is Bruno Retailleau, the party’s group leader in the Senate, isa leading advocate of a controversial new airport in Notre Dame des Landes. There is also Laurent Wauquiez, who came under fire from environmental groups forslashing subsidies for environmental protection projectsin the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region.

Les Republicain’s delegate in charge of the seas and the environment, Maud Fontenoy, is a former sailor, who crossed the Atlantic and the Pacific and made a solo trip to the Antarctic before taking the wind intopolitics.

Her foundation, raises awareness about protecting the oceans through a range of education initiatives for young people and inschools.

Among the foundation’s30 sponsorsis billionaire and industrialist VincentBollor.

The Bollor Group has previously beencriticized by Greenpeace for refusing to push for the adoption of a no deforestation policyby Luxembourg-based firm Socfin, which it owns at 40 per cent and is taking part in palm oil production across eight Africancountries.

According to its website,the Maud Fontenoy Foundation “would like to suggest another view of ecology. Let’s be realistic and stop saying things that make people feel frightened or guilty. It’s time for action and sustainableinvestment!”

Joining the new Les Republicains party in 2015, Fontenoy saidshe wanted to promote “a moderate and realistic ecology.”

In an interview with Le Figaro, she revealed she supports research onshale gas exploitation andGMcrops and backs nuclear energy — a move which led to a wave of resignations from her foundation, according toFrench magazine L’Obs.

Some of France’s biggest multinationals have found a comfortable seat at Fillon’stable.

In his program, Fillon wants to simplify the decision-making process by devolving environmental matters to the regional level and repealing any additional regulations to Europeandirectives.

Fillon also opposes a shift away from nuclear energy, which he calls “a dogmatic choice,” “untenable and contrary to the general interest” but wants to boost the French renewables sector and supports research into energystorage.

He wants to set up a minimum carbon price in France and Europe, with a price of at least 30 (25) per ton and eventually bring fossil fuel use close tozero.

Although Fillon may be right to say there are economic opportunities in tackling climate change, this rhetoric should not be used as means to protect the carbon intensive activities of big multinationals at the expense of robust environmentalregulations.

Emmanuel Macron: For Gold in French Guiana

In contrast to Le Pen, Macron emphasizes France’s role within global climate action. He also goes beyond Fillon by pledging not to issue any more oil and gas exploration permits. Yet, his policies lack ambition for France to do its fair share to achieve the goals of the ParisAgreement.

Favorite to win the second round of the election, the former investment banker and former Minister of the Economy, Macron has come out in support of developing gold mines in FrenchGuiana.

Previously a member of the Socialist party who quit to launch his own movement En Marche!, Macron supports the development of a site known as the Montagne d’Or, where an estimated 150 tons of gold could beextracted.

Environmental groups have opposed the controversial project, which is located at the heart of the Amazon forest and on the edge ofFrance’s largest biological reservethe Lucifer Dkou-Dkou reserve.

Activists have repeatedly raised the alarm over mineral and chemical waste pollution of the soil and underground water, the risk of deforestation and the project’s impact onbiodiversity.

In an interview withWWF, Macron defended the development of “responsible mines,” which would “create employment and economic diversity without destroying biodiversity.” But he failed to specify what he meant by”responsible.”

Greenpeace France has described Macron’s plan for the environment as “bland,” accusing him of “surfing on the most consensual waves with a bit more organic, a bit more renewable without questioning the role of the economic model and of its impact on theenvironment.”

Macron says he “will make the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions the priority of [his] energypolicy.”

He pledged to double France’s wind and solar capacity by 2022 but favours more theoretical research on shale gas. He would carry through President Hollande’s plan to reduce the proportion of nuclear to 50 percent of the energy mix by2025.

Macron also said he will grant “no new hydrocarbon exploration permits” during his mandate. Although the announcement is welcomed by environmental organizations, this comes in stark opposition with his record as Minister of theEconomy.

Weeks away from theUNclimate talks in Paris in 2015, Macron issued three permits for hydrocarbon exploration, including oil and natural gas, and extended two. Environment Minister Sgolne Royal toldLe Mondeshe managed to block fourothers.

In his program, Macron sets out a vision for new consumptions habits regarding agriculture and food, but also energy andtransport.

Yet again, Macron’s flagship pro-business law during his time as minister did little to change consumption habits. Instead, he proposed the creation of touristic shopping hubs, which could open until midnight and planned to allowlarge advertising board being set-up in towns of less than 10,000 residents, a proposal later blocked byRoyal.

He also pledged to increase the carbon tax to 100 (85) per ton ofCO2in2030.

The last part of his program includes a commitment to pursue trade sanctions at the European level against countries that do not respect the environmental clauses of trade agreements with the European Union (EU). This includes a direct warning to President Trump saying that “France will have to weigh in so that Europe ensures theUSfaces itsresponsibilities.”

Where the CandidatesStand

The countdown is underway for French voters to make up their minds ahead of the vote. Yet, none of the three main candidates leading the campaign so far have proved to be climateleaders.

There area total of 11 candidatesrunning in the election but no Green Party candidate after Yannick Jadot decided to rally Socialist Benoit Hamon’scampaign.

Director of Greenpeace France, Jean-Francois Julliard, said that for the first time, all candidates felt compelled to include an environmental element in their program, an improvement from 2012 although he claimed that for some this was justlip-service.

“We have to differentiate between real propositions and wishful thinking. We can see that this is a topic that some candidates do not master very well and that others don’t care about at all,” he said inan interview for Actu Environnement.

Shortly before publication, a fourth candidate managed to find a place in the battle for the second round after steadily rising through thepolls.

Radical far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mlenchon is now neck-and-neck with Fillon according to the polls while Le Pen and Macronare tiedas they lead the polls. Pollsters anticipate Le Pen and Macron to battle it out in the second round on May7.

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In French Elections, None of Three Main Candidates Would Advance Real Climate Progress – Truth-Out

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Alt-right leader visit results in largely peaceful protests – The Auburn Plainsman

By Chip Brownlee | Community Editor | 04/18/17 9:46pm

Auburn braced for the worst and hoped for the best ahead of a planned speech by alt-right leader Richard Spencer. In the end, Spencer encountered a mixed crowd at his speech, a few hundred largely peaceful protestors outside and a quiet end to the night.

Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said the protests and counter protests Tuesday night resulted in three arrests.

“I’m pretty happy with the way things have gone,” Register said. “It could have been a lot worse. I attribute the peaceful nature to the students.”

The arrests were made at approximately 6 p.m. after a fight broke out between two middle-aged protestors. The pair only got in about two punches before police took them to the ground and restrained them using plastic restraints.

Continue reading below…

Supporters and counter protestors clash at Auburn University ahead of a planned speech by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.

The pair were not students, according to police. Register said police had no other major problems Tuesday night. Law enforcement was out in force, though, after receiving credible threats of violence ahead of the event and fearing the possibility of “civil unrest.”

Inside of Foy Hall, where Spencer spoke to a crowd of about 300, reaction was mixed to his controversial comments. About half of the crowd, largely middle-aged white men who didn’t appear to be students, rose often and clapped for Spencer. While the other half of the crowd, largely students seated toward the back of the auditorium, heckled and booed.

In response to questions from students, Spencer bashed facts, calling them boring. He said he would “own slavery” because he understands the power of the white race, and he wants the white race to regain their identity.

More than half of the questions Spencer fielded in his Q&A session were from students who didn’t appear supportive of his rhetoric most of them made it obvious but asked substantive questions regardless.

The alt-right speaker, who rose to national prominence after being punched at an anti-Trump rally in January, also criticized Auburn Athletics for “bringing in people they have nothing in common with” and said the SEC was “sick” because “black athletes are not part of the white identity.”

Spencer said college football had become a “billion-dollar circus” and said he would ban college football if he had the choice. He spent much of the night attempting to clarify the “alt-right movement” a term he coined himself.

Continue reading below…

Alt-right leader Richard Spencer speaks at Foy Hall on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Auburn, Ala.

The prominent white nationalist advocated creating a new collective nation-state of all white people, which he said would help lift the “black cloud of pain, sin and weakness that is weighing us down.”

“Diversity makes the world ugly,” Spencer said. “It makes the world lose all meaning. It’s a way of bringing to an end a nation and a culture that was defined by white people. I could go on for hours, but what is good about diversity?”

Before the event began Tuesday evening, a federal judge ruled in favor of Richard Spencer’s right to speak on Auburn’s campus. Last week, the University canceled Spencer’s reservation for the Foy Auditorium.

Continue reading below…

The Georgia college student who booked the Foy Hall reservation, Cameron Padgett, filed a motion in court Tuesday morning seeking an injunction to force the University to allow Spencer to speak.

The court on Tuesday granted that motion, attorneys for the plaintiff and the University told The Plainsman. Padgett is not from Auburn and is not an Auburn student. Spencer and his supporters paid $700 to rent Foy Auditorium and extra fees to pay for police security.

The judge said the University did not provide any supporting evidence that Spencer advocated violence.

The controversial white nationalist promised a showdown with University officials over freedom of speech on public college campuses after officials canceled his planned speech at Foy Hall. That showdown took place more in the courtroom than on the concourses of Auburn’s campus.

They think they have shut this down but they havent, Spencer said last week. I will give a speech on their campus. It is a public place. I think Auburn University is naive and has totally misunderstood who I am if they think that I am going to politely back out of this. I will be there 100 percent.

Spencer promised Tuesday night was “going to be wild.” That wasn’t the case, though, according to police.

“I think it means a lot that the arrests weren’t students,” the police chief said. “It really speaks to how well behaved our students are.”

Citing security and safety concerns and the possibility of “civil unrest” the University tried to cancel his visit late last week.

“In consultation with law enforcement, Auburn canceled the Richard Spencer event scheduled for Tuesday evening based on legitimate concerns and credible evidence that it will jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors,” a University spokesperson said in a statement.

On Twitter, Spencer said he would be “flying people to Auburn and purchasing safety gear.” Spencer told The Plainsman they would be “people to protect me and the activists.” There were dozens of “Antifa” antifascist protestorspresent along with dozens of alt-right Spencersupporters who claimed to be part of the “Traditional Workers Party,” a far-right white nationalist group that supports ethnically pure nations.

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Alt-right targeting colleges, experts say. Is Georgia prepared? – Atlanta Journal Constitution

In March the Georgia Board of Regents adopted a system-wide freedom of expression policy limiting outside speakers and large demonstrations to specifically designated campus areas as a way of handling protests.

But its unclear if that policy would provide any protection against the type of speech that roiled the Auburn University campus Tuesdaywhen white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke in a rented campus auditorium.

Spencer, who became known nationally for coining the term alt-right to describe his mix of racial and populist conservatism, spoke before a crowd of at least 430 in Auburns Foy Hall, which included supporters, critics and reporters.Outside hundreds of counter-protesters demonstrated against him.

Late last week, Auburn administrators sought to block Spencer from speaking, claiming the event presented a danger to the campus. But a federal judge overruled the university on free speech grounds, allowing the event to go forward.

Experts who monitor racists and other extremist groups saythe alt-right is targeting universities. Lecia Brooks, outreach director for the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, said Auburn officials erred by trying to cancel the event. First, it flies in opposition to established First Amendment rights. Second, it handed Spencer a talking point.

Richard Spencer will use this event at Auburn to catapult himself to events at other universities, she said.

Is Georgia prepared for the campus recruiting efforts of white supremacists?Read more in this weeks AJC Watchdog column here.

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Networks Sack Trump, Pass on Super Bowl-level Support from ‘Alt-Right’ Patriots Owner, Coach – Fox News

By Dan Gainor

Published April 20, 2017 | FoxNews.com

Its no secret that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick are friends of President Donald Trump. Unless you rely on the broadcast network evening news.

Thirty-four Patriots players joined their coach and team owner in the visit to the White House to honor them on their victory. That visit was overshadowed by the apparent suicide of former teammate Aaron Hernandez, in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd. All three networks used Hernandezs death to downgrade the press event into B-roll. Then they skipped the positive things Kraft had to say about Trump or a key, pro-Trump anecdote the president mentioned involving Belichick.

The rest of the media did everything they could to prevent Trump from scoring points, just like normal. Politico described the visit as, The Alt-Rights Favorite Team Visits the White House. Several outlets hyped the number of players who had skipped, like Time and lefty Think Progress.

Some sites promoted an anti-Trump Patriots video. GQ claimed Trump Seems Pretty Hurt by quarterback Tom Bradys skipping the event. Even though Brady had to be broken up over the death of a former member of his offense. ESPNs Bob Ley said he was stunned the Patriots for having anyone go in light of Hernandezs death.

The Times Sports staff (Who reads the Times for sports?) tweeted out comparison photos from the Patriots 2015 visit claiming to show a major disparity in player and staff attendance.

The Patriots immediately debunked that by posting a different photo and then adding a comment saying: These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. Perhaps, this is why people shouldnt read the Times for sports.

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Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of ‘Terror Campaign’ Against a Jewish Woman – New York Times


New York Times
Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of 'Terror Campaign' Against a Jewish Woman
New York Times
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the publisher of a popular alt-right website, claiming that he orchestrated a terror campaign against a Jewish woman in Montana. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the woman, Tanya Gersh
An alt-right publisher is being sued over allegations he helped create a 'troll storm' that targeted a Jewish womanBusiness Insider
Punching back at neo-Nazis: Jewish woman targeted by alt-right Trump troll suesSalon
I was the target of a neo-Nazi 'troll storm'The Guardian
Ynetnews –Ars Technica –Vocativ –Southern Poverty Law Center
all 79 news articles »

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Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of ‘Terror Campaign’ Against a Jewish Woman – New York Times

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Zara pulls denim skirt over likeness to ‘alt-right’ mascot Pepe the Frog – The Guardian

Zara has withdrawn the skirt from its website after complaints on social media. Photograph: Zara

Zara has withdrawn a skirt with a frog design from its website after social media users noted its resemblance to Pepe, a cartoon popular with the so-called alt-right.

The denim skirt, embroidered with cartoon frogs wearing sunglasses, was being sold as part of the brands festival edition. But Twitter users were quick to point out its similarities to the Pepe cartoon:

Writer Meagan Fredette spotted the skirt and told Dazed: My immediate thought was holy shit, they have no idea what they are doing here, do they?

The original link to the skirt on Zaras website now redirects to its front page.

A spokesperson for the company said the skirt has absolutely no link to Pepe or the alt-right.

The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets, the spokesperson said.

The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.

There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme.

Pepe the Frog was created by cartoonist Matt Furie, who originally envisaged him as a chill and good-natured frog. However, over the course of the American electoral campaign, Pepe transformed from an amusing star of weird memes to a white supremacist symbol denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.

Furie has since teamed up with the ADL in an attempt to reclaim Pepe. He said: Its the worst-case scenario for any artist to lose control of their work and eventually have it labelled like a swastika or a burning cross.

This is not the first time Zara has got into trouble with an ill-judged clothing design. In 2014, they pulled a childrens striped shirt with a yellow star after complaints that it looked like the clothing worn by Holocaust victims.

In 2007, an embroidered handbag was withdrawn from sale after customers noticed it was decorated with green swastikas.

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The Alt-Right Is Debating Whether Bannon Needs a Better Press Strategy – New York Magazine

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images Now that Steve Bannon has been temporarily-or-permanently sidelined by President Donald Trump, his nationalist allies people who formerly identified as alt-right, but now reject that label as it has become synonymous with white supremacy are debating what their man in the White House did wrong and what he might do to salvage the situation. One of the key questions up for debate is whether Bannon should have made better use of ideologically sympathetic media outlets when he ran Breitbart News, he described it as the platform for the alt-right to get out his side of the story. He really doesnt talk to all of us outside who would be inclined to help him, said Charles Johnson, who asked to be identified as a Bannon ally and entrepreneur. The editor in chief of GotNews.com, you may know the flame-haired media flame-thrower better for getting kicked off of Twitter and his lawsuit against the now-defunct Gawker. The chief strategist to the president might have done better job of holding onto power, the thinking goes, if he were talking to those who want what he wants and have the benefit of seeing things the way they appear outside of the bubble of his war room, the name hes given his West Wing office. He has a lot of friends out on the Internet who love him but we are all still waiting for him to unleash the beast, Johnson said. He added that Bannon had never been in touch with him and his cohorts, and that he should mobilize us but he is playing too nice. A source close to the White House agreed with Johnson that Bannon needs to change if he wants to survive. Hes not achieving anything! Whats he achieving? Hes a zero. Hes incompetent! the source said. He doesnt get back to the people at the Daily Caller. He doesnt get back to the people at Infowars, the source said, I dont care what you think of their politics, they reach millions of people. Why would you not respond to them? Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars editor-at-large, told me hed never been in touch with Bannon but disagreed that it was a problem, saying he should concentrate on running the country. Of course, the president himself has been in contact with Infowarss founder, Alex Jones, appearing on his radio program via Skype during the campaign and speaking to him privately thereafter. (Jones, who is in the midst of a theatrical custody battle in court, didnt respond to a text message seeking comment.) Now, as with all matters that require talking to the people both populating the current administration and propping it up, there is the risk that this particular argument is more diversionary than literal that accusing Bannon of ignoring controversial, far-right nationalists is in fact a means of protecting him. If we were lying, how would you know, right? Mike Cernovich said, addressing that question directly. A social media agitator known for spreading conspiracy theories about Pizzagate and Hillary Clintons health during the election who now says hes new-right or American nationalist, Cernovich also claims that Bannon doesnt talk to anybody. He said proof of Bannons lack of communication with nationalists was Breitbarts coverage of the administration, which has been both sporadically critical and seemingly out of the loop Thats why Breitbart missed the Susan Rice thing, he said, that kind of says it all. But Cernovich didnt miss the Susan Rice thingin fact, he broke the story that during her stint as a national security adviser to Barack Obama, Rice had requested from classified intelligence reports the names of officials associated with the Trump campaign implying that he, at least, has some highly placed sources. (Asked to disclose where he obtained the scoop, he didnt respond.) Still, Cernovich doesnt accept the prescription of his ideological confrere Johnson he sees too much downside for Bannon in talking to alt-right journalists. Its gonna create drama, he said. Bannon should definitely not talk to anybody. Keep in mind though that Cernovich claims he didnt even know who Bannon was until, like, nine months ago. He says he learned of him through Joshua Greens Bloomberg profile which came out in October of 2015, or eighteen months ago. (Cernovich remembers his first impression: Wow, this guys a G.) In some ways, the question of whether Bannon should be cultivating more allies in the press is part of a larger debate over his operating style in the White House which is to operate in isolation. Im not doing this to have friends, he told me. I dont socialize a lot, I dont bring people into my life. This is like being in the Navy, this is like a duty. I dont enjoy this every day. This is not living; this is a kind of existence. Though he brought into the White House some of his own staff Julia Hahn from Breitbart; Andrew Surabian from the Tea Party Express and Alexandra Preate, his personal flack he has spent little political capital fighting for high-level strategists with whom he could align in ideological disputes. He has also, according to a source close to the president, not weighed in on behalf of nationalist appointments or principals. The source added, I dont care what he says: he never objected to the bombing in Syria never. Tells people he did, but thats a fucking lie. My source is as high as you can go. Bannon did not respond to a text about Syria and when I ran into him in the West Wing on Friday afternoon, he darted off before I could ask a question. Michael Moores Prediction for Trump Getting Impeached Will Depress a Lot of People There is little good news for President Trump in two new polls measuring Americans opinions about his first 100 days. He has a lot of friends out on the Internet who love him but we are all still waiting for him to unleash the beast. Sources say that seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit against the company. Large crowds championing reality and evidence took to the streets in hundreds of cities on Saturday and nerds definitely make the best signs. The president will celebrate his first 100 days in office by toasting himself and his many accomplishments. But when the Obama administration later wanted to confirm Russias efforts, Comey kept his distance. Behold this unorthodox aerial-transport plan. The presidents son usually prefers to kill much bigger animals. First Trump tried to hold Obamacare hostage for Democratic cooperation with Trumpcare. Now its the border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. A quick primer on Frances tight four-way race between a neo-fascist, a socialist, a Catholic reactionary and a centrist outsider. New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder due to its soft on crime stance. (NYC had a record-low crime rate in 2016). The oil giant stood to make gobs of cash, so it requested a waiver on sanctions imposed after Russias annexation of Crimea. The new Justice was the deciding vote that allowed Arkansass breakneck schedule of lethal injections to proceed. Trumps new nationalist motto: Buy American, Hire American, But Feel Free to Relocate Overseas for Tax Purposes. Expecting a drop in international tourists, city officials are trying to send a message that foreigners are still welcome. After three months of vacation, he will start giving speeches next week but hes refusing to be a foil. The president appeared to find his war games thrilling. But what comes next for Americas policy in Syria remains unclear. No one has more to lose from a shutdown than Trump. And no one is demanding bigger concessions to prevent one. I cant get concerned with that, he said of the N.J. governor baiting him on sports radio. The reason I love being mayor is that the issues that I deal with arent Democratic or Republican. Theyre about common sense.

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Alt-right conflicts of interest: Breitbart’s managing editor used the site to promote PR clients – Salon

Breitbart.com managing editor Wynton Hall has frequently used the website to promote a nonprofit that employs him as a communications strategist, as well as at least one client for a separate communications firm he runs. Hall, a conservative writer and activist, began writing for Breitbart in 2011. He became the right-wing websites managing editor in 2013 as part of an effort to help ensure a 24/7 editorial team focused on the site. He is second only to Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, according to a masthead provided last month to the congressional credentialing committee. But while Halls title suggests that he plays a key role at Breitbart, that is not his only job. He also serves as thecommunications strategist for the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a conservative advocacy organization. Breitbart and GAI are inextricably linked: Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as the nonprofits president, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon led both organizations from 2012 to 2016, and GAIs main funders, hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, are partial owners of the website. Members of the Senate Press Gallerys Standing Committee of Correspondents have questioned whether Breitbart is editorially independent given these overlaps. The committee is currently reviewing Breitbarts bid for permanent congressional credentials, but has to this point denied its application. At GAI, where Hall received a six-figure salary and worked 40 hours a week from 2012 to 2015, according to the groups publicly available IRS filings. He is responsible for engineering public relations strategies that ensure that the organizations dry research achieves maximum impact. Hall has capitalized on his role at Breitbart to boost GAIs efforts. Hall wrote 151 Breitbart posts that promoted GAI or Schweizer, according to a Media Matters review of all 1,382 posts Hall authored between 2011 and 2015. In addition to his work at GAI, Hall also has private communications clients. He owns his own self-named celebrity ghostwriting and branding agency; he claims its client list features major figures in politics, business, sports, and the arts, presumably creating a wealth of conflicts of interest with his work at Breitbart. Hall is also senior strategist at Oval Office Writers, the communications agency that Schweizer co-owns. Hall has used his Breitbart platform to promote at least one of his clients: The website published several stories on one of the books he ghostwrote without mentioning his financial ties to the book. Because neither Hall or Oval Office Writers publishes a client list, it is impossible to tell how frequently this occurs. Its unclear how Hall could work full time at a nonprofit while also serving in a senior editorial role at Breitbart, running a third business, and working for a fourth. Critics say this apparent inconsistency raises serious questions of private inurement and excessive compensation. Indeed, Halls malfeasance is only a small part of a massive web of self-dealing and interconnected conflicts of interest linking Mercer, Bannon, GAI, Breitbart, and for-profit companies. Hall Uses Breitbart To Weaponize Research For The Conservative Advocacy Organization That Employs Him Halls work at GAI is both lucrative and extensive; according to the groups IRS filings, Hall worked 40 hours a week at GAI from 2012 to 2015 and received a total of $600,000. At GAI, Hall is the creative mind through which all its research flows and is disseminated, with a mandate to transform dry think-tank research into vivid, viral-ready political dramas that can be unleashed on a set schedule, like summer blockbusters, according to an October 2015 Bloomberg Businessweek profile of Bannon. His strategy, as he described it in an interview with the magazine, is to anchor left by placing the stories with reporters at mainstream publications, then pivot right by turning those stories into narratives at conservative outlets. We dont look at the mainstream media as enemies because we dont want our work to be trapped in the conservative ecosystem, Hall says. Trying to get reports written up by major news outlets is a typical communications strategy for a nonprofit. Whats unusual is that Hall, Bannon, and Schweizer have been able to implement the plans Hall designs in his role with GAI through their leadership positions at Breitbart. Hall typically plays a key role in producing content at Breitbart that promotes GAIs research. In August 2012, Schweizers book Throw Them All Out, which alleges widespread financial corruption by members of Congress, hit the stands. Hall, who has worked with Schweizer since at least 2007, when they co-authored a book as fellows at the Hoover Institution, joined Breitbart to promote the work. In fact, Halls first 17 pieces at Breitbart, and 22 of his first 24, authored over the span of six weeks in late 2011, all promoted Schweizers book, a 60 Minutes segment on the book that anchored it in the traditional media, and the legislative fight its publication spurred, according to a Media Matters review. Halls posts were clearly geared toward building support and readership for the book on the right. His work included a series of press-release-style summaries of the books bombshell revelation[s], sometimes branded as EXCLUSIVE; criticism of medias failure to report on the books claims; and reports on politicians and media outlets that praised the book or pushed for legislation in response to it. The constant stream of posts helped maintain a drumbeat on the right around its publication. Hall has continued to promote GAIs work in his writing for Breitbart. He authored 1,382 posts between November 2011 and July 2015, at times writing three a day; a whopping 151 of them referenced Schweizer or a GAI product. In addition to 51 posts mentioning Throw Them All Out, Hall wrote 18 posts on Schweizers 2013 book, Extortion; 10 or more pieces on GAIs reports on presidential daily briefs, food stamps, and presidential meetings; and multiple articleson GAIs work on campaign finance violations, Justice Department decisions, and the growth of wealth in Washington, D.C. Here is a sampling of headlines from Halls pieces about Schweizer and GAI: Halls promotion of GAI reports typically followed the same pattern: a blitz of press-release-type pieces before or immediately after the reports release, highlighting its premise, exclusive tidbits, and any anchoring press; write-ups of Schweizer appearances on TV or radio shows talking about the work; and a long tail of follow-up posts that use news hooks to reiterate the premises of the GAI report and remind the audience about it. After Hall became managing editor and gained additional responsibilities at Breitbart, other Breitbart writers who were not employed by GAI joined in his effort to promote the nonprofits work. In 2015, Schweizer authored Clinton Cash, a trainwreck of sloppy research alleging corruption by Bill and Hillary Clinton that received widespread media attention for its claims even though it contains numerousfalsehoods and fabrications. Breitbart played a key role by pushing the books claims in more than 400 posts, none of which were authored by Hall. Hall Works At Private Communications Firms And Theres No Way To Know Who His Clients Are When Martin Greenfield, a Holocaust survivor who had tailored mens clothing for more than 60 years out of a factory in Brooklyn, was looking for someone to help him tell his story, he turned to Hall. The result was Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor To Presidents Tailor, a memoir released November 10, 2014, with both of their names emblazoned on its cover. Thank you, Wynton, for helping me gather my scattered thoughts and keeping me focused. This book could not have been assembled without your laser vision and talent, Greenfield writes in the books acknowledgments. He became me, reads Greenfields testimonial on the website of Wynton Hall & Co., the celebrity ghostwriting firm that Hall has owned and operated since 2008. Halls client list consists of politicians, business leaders, and top figures in sports and the arts, according to his firms website. In addition to writing memoirs, Hall and his team of two offer comprehensive brand management, speechwriting, and media training services. But when Greenfield hired Hall, he didnt just get someone who could help him organize his thoughts, or even just a talented ghostwriter who could also help him promote the book. Whether he knew it or not, Greenfield was also getting the full support of Halls other employer, Breitbart. The conservative website published at least six stories on the book in the three days following its publication, running two of them on the top of its front page for a total of 18 hours. The front page posting claimed that Martin Greenfield has been hailed Americas greatest living tailor and the most interesting man in the world.’ Five of the stories were published without bylines, including two excerpts from the book, aggregated storiesfrom other outlets about it, and a post featuring audio of Mark Levin reading from the book during his radio show in what the piece claims was a rhapsodic radio performance that was at times operatic in its tone. The sixth, bylined by Hall, purports to be a written Q&A with Greenfield described as Americas greatest living suit maker and a legend. Halls hard-hitting questions included, Why did you write Measure of a Man? and Talk about some of the other men youve made suits for. Several of the pieces include Amazon links to Measure of a Man. None includes a disclosure that Breitbarts managing editor had helped write the book even the post authored by Hall. In fact, every piece lists only Greenfield as the memoirs author, even though Halls name appears on its cover. This practice has continuedin the months and years since the books publication None of Breitbarts competitors in the conservative media have provided anything close to that level of coverage of Greenfields book. Then again, none of them employ Greenfields co-author. Its unclear how often Hall has used his top editorial position at Breitbart to promote his clients. The firms website provides testimonials from some of the subjects of Wynton Halls books, but it does not provide a comprehensive list. And Halls brand management clients are completely opaque he appears to offer an exclusive list of 12 clients services that include biweekly marketing strategy calls, speechwriting, talking points for media appearances, and ghostwritten books and articles. In addition to his personal communications firm, Hall is also a senior strategist at Oval Office Writers, the four-man group that was co-founded by Schweizer and former Bush White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen. Oval Office Writers does not list any of its clients, but its websites list of services suggests that they are corporate leaders and politicians.

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While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc – Townhall

| Posted: Apr 23, 2017 12:01 AM As a regular reader, you would know that after the election I spent some time investigating the Alt-Right which was supposedly a major force in the Trump election. Mycolumnput a damper on the relevance of this group despite all the hoopla. Since the election, the Black Bloc has become a major disrupter in our country yet it is barely written or spoken about. A friend asked me if I was aware of the group which in itself speaks volumes. The group traces its roots back to Europe during the 1980s. It had its most pronounced debut in the United States during the 1999 Seattle riots during the World Trade Organization meeting, but really traces back to 1991 protests at the World Bank building during the Persian War. To be fair, while doing research I did find that the MSM has written about the Black Bloc. But in their inimitable style, the publications write one or two columns to cover their butts and say they have addressed the issue only to drop the subject. Reading accounts in the beacons of the MSM the New York Times and the Washington Post — did not really address the lawlessness of the group and tended to romanticize the group because of their anti-Trump strains. It is fascinating how, when covering Republican activities, the MSM almost always injects colorful adjectives or adverbs to characterize the subject. When addressing the Black Bloc, they seem to revert to being reporters. A February 2nd NYT article gave the Black Bloc a platform to define and defend their actions. They quoted the following about their actions in Berkeley, CA, on February 1: Yes, what the black bloc did last night was destructive to property wrote Eric Laursen, a writer in Massachusetts who has helped publicize anarchist protests, using another name for the black-clad demonstrators. But do you just let someone like Milo go wherever he wants and spread his hate? That kind of argument can devolve into just sit on your hands and wait for it to pass. And it doesnt. The group is characterized by showing up to events dressed head-to-toe in black. The only thing you might see are their eyes. The idea is that the players retain anonymity. They typically meet near a planned protest like the one that occurred in Berkeley to protest Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech. They were the ones responsible for the violence there and the violence at the Trump Inauguration. Though the police were near useless in stopping the violence in Berkeley, over 200 people were arrested in D.C. A recurrent theme that the press repeats is that the group is not an organization, but kind of an ad hoc spontaneous activity. An article in The Nation by Natasha Lennard who participated in the January 20th violent protests amplifies this idea. She starts her column by heralding the beauty of actual Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer being sucker punched in the face. She goes on to state The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tacticmarching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary objecttheblack bloc. This theme was repeated throughout multiple articles in the MSM as if it were fact. Notice elements of the MSM who abhor violence throughout the pages of their publications accept violence against Trump supporters, Republicans and in general white men. If we may, let us go over some concepts regarding the Black Bloc: The police need to get serious about apprehending and imprisoning these criminals. If there is a protest planned, they can count on the fact that the Black Bloc will piggyback onto that protest and the police need to plan accordingly. The FBI should also be tracking the activities of the ring leaders. If some of these anonymous people are tried and imprisoned, it could deter the others from diverting their lives into this organized hooliganism. Also, the peaceful protesters have an obligation to either help the police or disband once these criminals show up. The police and the MSM need to start some hysteria about these people before the violence escalates even further. That is what we do in a civilized society.

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In French Elections, None of Three Main Candidates Would Advance Real Climate Progress – Truth-Out

The birthplace of the Paris Climate Agreements, the first round of France’s presidential election on starts on Sunday, April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been sidelined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climateleadership. The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news,” Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims andgrowing concerns of Russian interference. Many in France are still deciding who to vote for in one of the most unpredictable elections yet. If no candidate wins a majority on April 23, a second election round featuring the top two candidates will take place on May7. Far-right Marine Le Pen’s rise through the polls shows the populist pulse of Brexit and Trump’s election continues to resonate on thecontinent. But Le Pen’s efforts to give the Front National (FN) a new, greener image is tainted by the party’s ongoing magnet effect with alt-right groups which reject climatescience. Conservative Francois Fillon denies any wrongdoing in a never-ending corruption scandal. Meanwhile his friendship with the head of oil giant Total raises questions over who will really benefit from his environmentalpolicies. The fragmentation of the political scene has left the door open for frontrunner Emmanuel Macron. Yet, his support for gold mines in French Guiana, in South America,has raised concerns over the protection of the territory’s uniquebiodiversity. With seven days until the polls open, DeSmogUKlooks at how alternative facts and the three main candidates’ links with powerful groups and corporations may have shaped their environmentalpolicies. DeSmogUK’s analysisshows: Le Pen:Environment and FrenchIdentity Over the last few years, theFNhas strived to green its party image to widen its appeal, making the environment an issue of nationalidentity. But taking a closer look to her new green image, Le Pen’s skeptic views are not far behind her. In 2012, inan interview for Terraeco, Le Pen declared: “I am not sure human activities are the main source behind the [climate change] phenomenon The world has seen changes in the climate that had nothing to do with humanactivity.” Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the Front National party, is himself a known climatedenier. In 2010, he slammed the environment as the new religion of well-off urban classes and accused climate science of being “inaccurate and alarmist” during aconferencecalled “Global Warming: myth orreality.” Le Pen has tried to move the party’s image away from her father’s denial of the Holocaust, anti-Semitic and climate skeptic views through a process known in France as “destabilisation,” which means “casting out thedevil.” But in spite of the creation of a new far-right movement designed to reframe the party’s environmental policies, and Le Pen declaring during a 2012 interview that she is”greener than the Green Party,” theFNleader has never explicitly accepted the extent of human agency in climatechange. In January, she said she”believed human activity does play a role, which extent I cannot measure, in climate change.” That is as much as she hassaid. In recent campaigns, Le Pen dropped her surname on posters to be known only as Marine. And yet, the alt-right movements which gravitate around theFNare a stark reminder of the party’sroots. “Destabilization” and Alt-RightMedia Last summer, alt-right news platform Breitbart announcedits intention to launch in France in time for the presidential election. (So far, though, there are no signs of a FrenchBreitbart.) Breitbart promotes climate skeptic views questioning the extent of human agency in climate change and opposing environmental regulations as a barrier to growth. In 2015, it ran a story saying abundantcarbon dioxide was good for the environment and beneficial for humanity. And just last week it ran anarticle arguing the Great Barrier Reef isn’t indanger from mass coralbleaching. The website has shown plenty of support for Le Pen ahead of the election. A quick search on their website give 158,000 results for Le Pen compared with 442 for right-wing Fillon and 340 forMacron. FormerCEOof Breitbart and Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon toldRadio Londresthat France was “the place to be” and that Le Pen’s niece, Marion Marchal-Le Pen, was its “risingstar.” In a tweet following Trump’s election, Marchal-Le Pen said she accepted Bannon’s invitation to work with him to set-up Breitbart inFrance. At the end of February, Breitbart ran a story with the headline”Establishment admits Le Pen might just win presidential election.” It read: “A Le Pen victory would continue the populist trend set by Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump asUSPresident last year, neither of which were forecast by insiders and industrypundits.” Breitbart’s principal owner is the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who haspumped millions into organisations, which push climate science denial. The single biggest donor behind Donald Trump’s campaign, Mercer also hasa connection with data analytics company Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica, which has offered its services to Leave.Eu and backed the Trump campaign, carries out “election management strategies” for clients by profiling groups and individuals, including political beliefs and voting affiliations, and creating tailored content to boost the campaign’smessage. There is no evidence the company has brought its support to theFN, which publicly said it was in need of financing, but it is clear that Breitbart has been in contact with the party. DeSmogUKhas received no answer from theFNto its questions on theissue. France also has its own far-right platforms. Known as the “fachosphre” or literally the “sphere of fascists,” these are promoting theFN’s views of the environment as an emblem of Frenchidentity. The anti-Semitic and homophobic websiteEgalit et Rconciliation, was founded by activists with connections to the far-right Groupe Union Defense (GUD), known for its violent actions in the1970s. Although Le Pen is keen to disassociate theFNfrom extremist and violent movements such as theGUD, the party continues to draw in some of its members. As such, one of theFN’s main donors, who navigates in Le Pen’s close but unofficial circles, is Frederic Chatillon, a former member of theGUD. The website re-posts articles from different sources. This includes one storyslamming climate change scientists as “the sect of the end of the world”and anotheraccusing climate change of being a pretext “to feed the globalization machine.” But more recently, the website has also beenpromoting the work and lifestyle of Nicolas Fabre, a former Parisian graphic designer, who left his urban lifestyle to start growing food using permaculture techniques in the south ofFrance. Fabre lives in complete autarky with the rest of the world and praises his lifestyle as anti-system andanti-globalisation. In 2014, Le Pen launched a new movement within theFNcalled “New Ecology.” It promotes the idea of “environmental patriotism” and quickly became popular among some farmingcommunities. Opposing international treaties and advocating “short circuits” between local production and distribution, Le Pen has made her protectionist policies the heart of her environmentalprogram. She is not interested in solving the global climate crisis. Instead, she wants to be a strong voice for rural France with a motto of “think local and act local.” Her environmental concerns stop at the Frenchborder. Le Pen’sPropositions AmongLe Pen’s 144 campaign pledges, 12 points are dedicated to the environment under a section called “Sustainable France,” from which terms such as “biodiversity” and “air pollution” areabsent. Le Pen defends an energy transition based on the French renewable sector excluding wind farms, she previouslydescribed as “hideous”and on which she would impose a blanketban. She wants to “maintain, modernize and secure” France’s nuclear energy sector in opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan to reduce nuclear energy from 75 per cent to 50 per cent of the energy mix by2025. Meanwhile, she wants to give a huge boost to the hydrogen industry — she specifically calls “clean energy” — through subsidies for research anddevelopment. Four major French companies are currently leading research in hydrogen, including Air Liquide, Alstom, Engie and Total. It is also the case that anFNrepresentative for the Isre area, Bruno Desies, was a former employee of Air Liquide,and worked to expand the company’s activities in Asia. Le Pen backs a ban on shale gas exploitation until “satisfactory environmental, safety and health conditions” are met. France currently has a moratorium on shale gas exploration and exploitation using hydraulic fracking techniques, which it considered highlypolluting. She vows to make animal protection a national priority by forbidding animal killing without prior anesthesia, directly targeting halal and kosher slaughtertechniques. Greenpeace France has accused theFNof having “restored the face of the project, but at its heart, it [FN] still relies on principles that have remained unchanged since the far-right party’s creation by Jean-Marie LePen.” Fillon’s Friendship WithTotal While Le Pen uses climate change to promote closed borders and protectionist measures, on the other side, the ultra-liberal and conservative candidate Fillon puts growth at home and abroad at the heart of his project for theenvironment. Speaking during the firstTVdebate, Fillon said he wanted to “reconcile economic growth and environmentalprotection.” A staunch advocate of nuclear energy, Fillon wants to alleviate environmental regulations and encourage companies to carry out “responsibleinvestments.” Among those in Fillon’sclose circleis President of Airbus’ board of directors, Denis Ranque, and oil giant Total’s Managing Director Patrick Pouyann. It would seem the interests of France’s multinational corporations rank high on Fillon’sagenda. A key element inhis programis the withdrawal of the “precautionary principle,” which favors public health and environmental protection over activities which could pose a risk to the environment. Such measure is likely to benefit people with vested interests in natural resources such asPouyann. The head of Total since 2014, Pouyann first had a career as a politician. In 1995, he wasappointed technical advisor for the environment and industry and worked with Fillon, then Minister of Technology and Information, as his director ofcabinet. Last month, French newspaperLe Canard Enchaine revealedFillon received $50,000 (40,000) for acting as the intermediary between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pouyann and Lebanese billionaire and Fouad Makhzoumi, the head of Future Pipe Industries, which provides infrastructure for the oil and gasindustry. Fillon has denied having been involved in any deal either with Total or withRussia. But Fillon’s links to the Kremlin have come under the spotlight afterFrance’s polling commission issued a warning over a news report published by Russian news agency Sputnik. The story, published at the end of March, falsely claimed that Fillon was leading in the polls, contradicting all other mainstream pollsters, which were ranking Fillon in thirdplace. The source for Sputnik’s story was a Moscow-based online audience research company, Brand Analytics, whose study was based on an analysis of French socialmedia. The polling commission said the social media study could not be called “a poll” because it did not comply with the criteria defined under a 1977 Frenchlaw. According to the law, a poll is a survey using data, which aims to give a quantitative indication of opinions or behaviors through the questioning of a representativesample. In this case, the polling commission said Brand Analytics’ survey showed the political weight of each of the candidates as captured by social media but had been wrongly presented as apoll. Both Le Pen and Fillon, who is known to havepersonal ties with Putin, have called for an improvement of bilateral relations with Russia and they have respectively been given spacious coverage bySputnik. In addition to the cozy relationship with Total’s chief and some strong ties to Russia, Fillon is close to a host of people within his own party, Les Republicains, who do not hold environmental concerns as apriority. Among them is Bruno Retailleau, the party’s group leader in the Senate, isa leading advocate of a controversial new airport in Notre Dame des Landes. There is also Laurent Wauquiez, who came under fire from environmental groups forslashing subsidies for environmental protection projectsin the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. Les Republicain’s delegate in charge of the seas and the environment, Maud Fontenoy, is a former sailor, who crossed the Atlantic and the Pacific and made a solo trip to the Antarctic before taking the wind intopolitics. Her foundation, raises awareness about protecting the oceans through a range of education initiatives for young people and inschools. Among the foundation’s30 sponsorsis billionaire and industrialist VincentBollor. The Bollor Group has previously beencriticized by Greenpeace for refusing to push for the adoption of a no deforestation policyby Luxembourg-based firm Socfin, which it owns at 40 per cent and is taking part in palm oil production across eight Africancountries. According to its website,the Maud Fontenoy Foundation “would like to suggest another view of ecology. Let’s be realistic and stop saying things that make people feel frightened or guilty. It’s time for action and sustainableinvestment!” Joining the new Les Republicains party in 2015, Fontenoy saidshe wanted to promote “a moderate and realistic ecology.” In an interview with Le Figaro, she revealed she supports research onshale gas exploitation andGMcrops and backs nuclear energy — a move which led to a wave of resignations from her foundation, according toFrench magazine L’Obs. Some of France’s biggest multinationals have found a comfortable seat at Fillon’stable. In his program, Fillon wants to simplify the decision-making process by devolving environmental matters to the regional level and repealing any additional regulations to Europeandirectives. Fillon also opposes a shift away from nuclear energy, which he calls “a dogmatic choice,” “untenable and contrary to the general interest” but wants to boost the French renewables sector and supports research into energystorage. He wants to set up a minimum carbon price in France and Europe, with a price of at least 30 (25) per ton and eventually bring fossil fuel use close tozero. Although Fillon may be right to say there are economic opportunities in tackling climate change, this rhetoric should not be used as means to protect the carbon intensive activities of big multinationals at the expense of robust environmentalregulations. Emmanuel Macron: For Gold in French Guiana In contrast to Le Pen, Macron emphasizes France’s role within global climate action. He also goes beyond Fillon by pledging not to issue any more oil and gas exploration permits. Yet, his policies lack ambition for France to do its fair share to achieve the goals of the ParisAgreement. Favorite to win the second round of the election, the former investment banker and former Minister of the Economy, Macron has come out in support of developing gold mines in FrenchGuiana. Previously a member of the Socialist party who quit to launch his own movement En Marche!, Macron supports the development of a site known as the Montagne d’Or, where an estimated 150 tons of gold could beextracted. Environmental groups have opposed the controversial project, which is located at the heart of the Amazon forest and on the edge ofFrance’s largest biological reservethe Lucifer Dkou-Dkou reserve. Activists have repeatedly raised the alarm over mineral and chemical waste pollution of the soil and underground water, the risk of deforestation and the project’s impact onbiodiversity. In an interview withWWF, Macron defended the development of “responsible mines,” which would “create employment and economic diversity without destroying biodiversity.” But he failed to specify what he meant by”responsible.” Greenpeace France has described Macron’s plan for the environment as “bland,” accusing him of “surfing on the most consensual waves with a bit more organic, a bit more renewable without questioning the role of the economic model and of its impact on theenvironment.” Macron says he “will make the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions the priority of [his] energypolicy.” He pledged to double France’s wind and solar capacity by 2022 but favours more theoretical research on shale gas. He would carry through President Hollande’s plan to reduce the proportion of nuclear to 50 percent of the energy mix by2025. Macron also said he will grant “no new hydrocarbon exploration permits” during his mandate. Although the announcement is welcomed by environmental organizations, this comes in stark opposition with his record as Minister of theEconomy. Weeks away from theUNclimate talks in Paris in 2015, Macron issued three permits for hydrocarbon exploration, including oil and natural gas, and extended two. Environment Minister Sgolne Royal toldLe Mondeshe managed to block fourothers. In his program, Macron sets out a vision for new consumptions habits regarding agriculture and food, but also energy andtransport. Yet again, Macron’s flagship pro-business law during his time as minister did little to change consumption habits. Instead, he proposed the creation of touristic shopping hubs, which could open until midnight and planned to allowlarge advertising board being set-up in towns of less than 10,000 residents, a proposal later blocked byRoyal. He also pledged to increase the carbon tax to 100 (85) per ton ofCO2in2030. The last part of his program includes a commitment to pursue trade sanctions at the European level against countries that do not respect the environmental clauses of trade agreements with the European Union (EU). This includes a direct warning to President Trump saying that “France will have to weigh in so that Europe ensures theUSfaces itsresponsibilities.” Where the CandidatesStand The countdown is underway for French voters to make up their minds ahead of the vote. Yet, none of the three main candidates leading the campaign so far have proved to be climateleaders. There area total of 11 candidatesrunning in the election but no Green Party candidate after Yannick Jadot decided to rally Socialist Benoit Hamon’scampaign. Director of Greenpeace France, Jean-Francois Julliard, said that for the first time, all candidates felt compelled to include an environmental element in their program, an improvement from 2012 although he claimed that for some this was justlip-service. “We have to differentiate between real propositions and wishful thinking. We can see that this is a topic that some candidates do not master very well and that others don’t care about at all,” he said inan interview for Actu Environnement. Shortly before publication, a fourth candidate managed to find a place in the battle for the second round after steadily rising through thepolls. Radical far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mlenchon is now neck-and-neck with Fillon according to the polls while Le Pen and Macronare tiedas they lead the polls. Pollsters anticipate Le Pen and Macron to battle it out in the second round on May7.

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Alt-right leader visit results in largely peaceful protests – The Auburn Plainsman

By Chip Brownlee | Community Editor | 04/18/17 9:46pm Auburn braced for the worst and hoped for the best ahead of a planned speech by alt-right leader Richard Spencer. In the end, Spencer encountered a mixed crowd at his speech, a few hundred largely peaceful protestors outside and a quiet end to the night. Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said the protests and counter protests Tuesday night resulted in three arrests. “I’m pretty happy with the way things have gone,” Register said. “It could have been a lot worse. I attribute the peaceful nature to the students.” The arrests were made at approximately 6 p.m. after a fight broke out between two middle-aged protestors. The pair only got in about two punches before police took them to the ground and restrained them using plastic restraints. Continue reading below… Supporters and counter protestors clash at Auburn University ahead of a planned speech by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. The pair were not students, according to police. Register said police had no other major problems Tuesday night. Law enforcement was out in force, though, after receiving credible threats of violence ahead of the event and fearing the possibility of “civil unrest.” Inside of Foy Hall, where Spencer spoke to a crowd of about 300, reaction was mixed to his controversial comments. About half of the crowd, largely middle-aged white men who didn’t appear to be students, rose often and clapped for Spencer. While the other half of the crowd, largely students seated toward the back of the auditorium, heckled and booed. In response to questions from students, Spencer bashed facts, calling them boring. He said he would “own slavery” because he understands the power of the white race, and he wants the white race to regain their identity. More than half of the questions Spencer fielded in his Q&A session were from students who didn’t appear supportive of his rhetoric most of them made it obvious but asked substantive questions regardless. The alt-right speaker, who rose to national prominence after being punched at an anti-Trump rally in January, also criticized Auburn Athletics for “bringing in people they have nothing in common with” and said the SEC was “sick” because “black athletes are not part of the white identity.” Spencer said college football had become a “billion-dollar circus” and said he would ban college football if he had the choice. He spent much of the night attempting to clarify the “alt-right movement” a term he coined himself. Continue reading below… Alt-right leader Richard Spencer speaks at Foy Hall on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. The prominent white nationalist advocated creating a new collective nation-state of all white people, which he said would help lift the “black cloud of pain, sin and weakness that is weighing us down.” “Diversity makes the world ugly,” Spencer said. “It makes the world lose all meaning. It’s a way of bringing to an end a nation and a culture that was defined by white people. I could go on for hours, but what is good about diversity?” Before the event began Tuesday evening, a federal judge ruled in favor of Richard Spencer’s right to speak on Auburn’s campus. Last week, the University canceled Spencer’s reservation for the Foy Auditorium. Continue reading below… The Georgia college student who booked the Foy Hall reservation, Cameron Padgett, filed a motion in court Tuesday morning seeking an injunction to force the University to allow Spencer to speak. The court on Tuesday granted that motion, attorneys for the plaintiff and the University told The Plainsman. Padgett is not from Auburn and is not an Auburn student. Spencer and his supporters paid $700 to rent Foy Auditorium and extra fees to pay for police security. The judge said the University did not provide any supporting evidence that Spencer advocated violence. The controversial white nationalist promised a showdown with University officials over freedom of speech on public college campuses after officials canceled his planned speech at Foy Hall. That showdown took place more in the courtroom than on the concourses of Auburn’s campus. They think they have shut this down but they havent, Spencer said last week. I will give a speech on their campus. It is a public place. I think Auburn University is naive and has totally misunderstood who I am if they think that I am going to politely back out of this. I will be there 100 percent. Spencer promised Tuesday night was “going to be wild.” That wasn’t the case, though, according to police. “I think it means a lot that the arrests weren’t students,” the police chief said. “It really speaks to how well behaved our students are.” Citing security and safety concerns and the possibility of “civil unrest” the University tried to cancel his visit late last week. “In consultation with law enforcement, Auburn canceled the Richard Spencer event scheduled for Tuesday evening based on legitimate concerns and credible evidence that it will jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors,” a University spokesperson said in a statement. On Twitter, Spencer said he would be “flying people to Auburn and purchasing safety gear.” Spencer told The Plainsman they would be “people to protect me and the activists.” There were dozens of “Antifa” antifascist protestorspresent along with dozens of alt-right Spencersupporters who claimed to be part of the “Traditional Workers Party,” a far-right white nationalist group that supports ethnically pure nations.

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Alt-right targeting colleges, experts say. Is Georgia prepared? – Atlanta Journal Constitution

In March the Georgia Board of Regents adopted a system-wide freedom of expression policy limiting outside speakers and large demonstrations to specifically designated campus areas as a way of handling protests. But its unclear if that policy would provide any protection against the type of speech that roiled the Auburn University campus Tuesdaywhen white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke in a rented campus auditorium. Spencer, who became known nationally for coining the term alt-right to describe his mix of racial and populist conservatism, spoke before a crowd of at least 430 in Auburns Foy Hall, which included supporters, critics and reporters.Outside hundreds of counter-protesters demonstrated against him. Late last week, Auburn administrators sought to block Spencer from speaking, claiming the event presented a danger to the campus. But a federal judge overruled the university on free speech grounds, allowing the event to go forward. Experts who monitor racists and other extremist groups saythe alt-right is targeting universities. Lecia Brooks, outreach director for the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, said Auburn officials erred by trying to cancel the event. First, it flies in opposition to established First Amendment rights. Second, it handed Spencer a talking point. Richard Spencer will use this event at Auburn to catapult himself to events at other universities, she said. Is Georgia prepared for the campus recruiting efforts of white supremacists?Read more in this weeks AJC Watchdog column here.

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Networks Sack Trump, Pass on Super Bowl-level Support from ‘Alt-Right’ Patriots Owner, Coach – Fox News

By Dan Gainor Published April 20, 2017 | FoxNews.com Its no secret that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick are friends of President Donald Trump. Unless you rely on the broadcast network evening news. Thirty-four Patriots players joined their coach and team owner in the visit to the White House to honor them on their victory. That visit was overshadowed by the apparent suicide of former teammate Aaron Hernandez, in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd. All three networks used Hernandezs death to downgrade the press event into B-roll. Then they skipped the positive things Kraft had to say about Trump or a key, pro-Trump anecdote the president mentioned involving Belichick. The rest of the media did everything they could to prevent Trump from scoring points, just like normal. Politico described the visit as, The Alt-Rights Favorite Team Visits the White House. Several outlets hyped the number of players who had skipped, like Time and lefty Think Progress. Some sites promoted an anti-Trump Patriots video. GQ claimed Trump Seems Pretty Hurt by quarterback Tom Bradys skipping the event. Even though Brady had to be broken up over the death of a former member of his offense. ESPNs Bob Ley said he was stunned the Patriots for having anyone go in light of Hernandezs death. The Times Sports staff (Who reads the Times for sports?) tweeted out comparison photos from the Patriots 2015 visit claiming to show a major disparity in player and staff attendance. The Patriots immediately debunked that by posting a different photo and then adding a comment saying: These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. Perhaps, this is why people shouldnt read the Times for sports.

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Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of ‘Terror Campaign’ Against a Jewish Woman – New York Times

New York Times Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of 'Terror Campaign' Against a Jewish Woman New York Times The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the publisher of a popular alt-right website, claiming that he orchestrated a terror campaign against a Jewish woman in Montana. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the woman, Tanya Gersh … An alt-right publisher is being sued over allegations he helped create a 'troll storm' that targeted a Jewish woman Business Insider Punching back at neo-Nazis: Jewish woman targeted by alt-right Trump troll sues Salon I was the target of a neo-Nazi 'troll storm' The Guardian Ynetnews  – Ars Technica  – Vocativ  – Southern Poverty Law Center all 79 news articles »

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Alt-right  Comments Closed

Zara pulls denim skirt over likeness to ‘alt-right’ mascot Pepe the Frog – The Guardian

Zara has withdrawn the skirt from its website after complaints on social media. Photograph: Zara Zara has withdrawn a skirt with a frog design from its website after social media users noted its resemblance to Pepe, a cartoon popular with the so-called alt-right. The denim skirt, embroidered with cartoon frogs wearing sunglasses, was being sold as part of the brands festival edition. But Twitter users were quick to point out its similarities to the Pepe cartoon: Writer Meagan Fredette spotted the skirt and told Dazed: My immediate thought was holy shit, they have no idea what they are doing here, do they? The original link to the skirt on Zaras website now redirects to its front page. A spokesperson for the company said the skirt has absolutely no link to Pepe or the alt-right. The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets, the spokesperson said. The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago. There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme. Pepe the Frog was created by cartoonist Matt Furie, who originally envisaged him as a chill and good-natured frog. However, over the course of the American electoral campaign, Pepe transformed from an amusing star of weird memes to a white supremacist symbol denounced by the Anti-Defamation League. Furie has since teamed up with the ADL in an attempt to reclaim Pepe. He said: Its the worst-case scenario for any artist to lose control of their work and eventually have it labelled like a swastika or a burning cross. This is not the first time Zara has got into trouble with an ill-judged clothing design. In 2014, they pulled a childrens striped shirt with a yellow star after complaints that it looked like the clothing worn by Holocaust victims. In 2007, an embroidered handbag was withdrawn from sale after customers noticed it was decorated with green swastikas.

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Alt-right  Comments Closed


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