It’s Really Most Galling Now That the Thug Who Assaulted a Journalist May Well Win and be in the House

And let’s not be cute anymore with the “body slam” thing, ha ha wrestling.  Thuggish, stupid GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte physically ASSAULTED journalist Ben Jacobs for asking him a perfectly legitimate question.  Witnesses have corroborated Jacobs’ version, which the audio also really does.  Gianforte’s bullshit campaign issued a statement blaming the “liberal journalist” which is all you need to know about what a turd with no sense of right and wrong or honor Gianforte is.

But because (1) asinine blind partisanship, and (2) a large proportion (not sure how much I have heard differing numbers) of the vote was already cast by mail, Gianforte could win a close race and now the story won’t be “look at the close race in a red state, there’s a movement out there towards the Democrats that anti-Trump sentiment is generating” instead it’ll be, “holy shit, a really horrible person just won a seat in the House, who should not have a seat in the House, but Paul Ryan sure won’t do anything about it, how depressing is this?”

Just add this asshole to the mix in Washington with Trump and the rest of the people who are ruining this country.

Even Republicans should be rooting for Quist to win today, out of some sense of honor. Or at least to not have to deal with one more handsy asshole with impulse control problems.

 

Just in Time for Montana Special Election CBO Delivers Disastrous Score for Trumpcare

The Republican in that race is already treading water because of Trumpcare, the CBO just threw him an anvil. 23 Million fewer Americans would have healthcare coverage.

On the plus side Trump recorded a robocall for him.   Might not help all that much.

“Hi, this is President Donald Trump, and I know what the people of Montana really want and really care about: lower taxes, good paying jobs, secure borders — and we’ve done a great job on those borders — and protecting your God-given right to bear arms, your Second Amendment,” he says in a recording of the robocall obtained by CNN. “If you don’t vote tomorrow, the liberal Democrats running for Congress will decimate and dismantle all that we’ve done.”

Gianforte-Quist

This Commie will take your guns, son!

 

Supreme Court Smacks Racial Gerrymandering Around But What About the Partisan Type?

It’s a really big deal that Clarence Thomas joined the majority in the ruling against the North Carolina Republican’s toxic gerrymandering that took a very close state and created this lopsided map.

North_Carolina_-_2014_Result

In short, the majority said that you can’t pack all of the minorities into small misshapen districts even if they are predictably of one party.  (The NC GOP losing argument was that they weren’t discriminating on the basis of race, just of party).  This is going to have great resonance throughout the South where Republican state houses have gerrymandered their states to death to push their advantage.  In NC the result was a state that Trump won by 3 points, that elected a Democratic governor, returned 10 members to Congress while the Dems. could only get 3.  Those red districts are separated so each one has a reliably winnable GOP advantage with 55 to 60% GOP registrations, while the 3  blue districts are chosen with “surgical precision” to have 80-90% Democrats.  Ultimately it’s a huge toxic assault on democracy itself.  As the Greensboro News & Record noted:

In 2014, Democrats won 44 percent of the congressional vote but only 23 percent of the seats, pushing the Republican advantage to 10 of 13 seats, where it remains.

Many of these districts are so dominated by Republicans that Democratic candidates don’t even run. Thirty percent of North Carolina’s state Senate districts and 48 percent of its state House districts had only one candidate on the ballot in 2016.

With only an interparty rivalry to worry about, Republican candidates differentiate themselves by moving further to the conservative right. In these safe districts, it becomes easier for elected officials to ignore the wishes of their constituents, Republican as well as Democratic.

But what of Wisconsin, another state where Republicans have taken partisanship to a new level and gerrymandered their state on partisan, but not racial, lines?  Mother Jones addresses the difference and how upcoming cases might shake out.

This is just as important as race.  Districts should be as neutral as possible, in fact, our entire democracy is put in danger when districts are made so reliably partisan that they become noncompetitive and predictably safe.

In the case of Wisconsin, the argument against such partisan division will be based on the first amendment and the minimization of the voices of the state’s Democrats.

If there is a ray of hope for voting rights advocates, it’s that while most gerrymandering cases are premised on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, the Wisconsin case was decided largely on First Amendment grounds. Specifically, the court found that the Republican Legislature had minimized the impact of Democratic voters in the state, a form of retaliation against their 1stAmendment right to freedom of association. Put another way, the district court found that the Legislature had minimized the voting rights of citizens based on their party affiliation or voting history, a form of discrimination based on their expression and association.

Everyone agrees it’s all going to be in Anthony Kennedy’s court and Kennedy whisperers are going through all of his decisions to figure out where he’ll go.

Is it too much to ask that courts (if not legislatures) see that democracy and justice are only served by neutral districts that allow ideas and policy to be the main factors that politicians compete on rather than just flying the gang colors red or blue?

Fingers crossed for democracy.

 

Adventures in Embarrassment

We had the spectacle of the sword dance, Trump curtsying (less masculine than a bow, but gutsy) and fondling a glowing orb (after which a sinkhole opened in front of Mar-a-Lago – coincidence?).

Then he goes to Israel and we get the first Melania hand swipe, Trump hoping for a “lasting peach” and this wowzer!

They get to Rome and the second Melania hand fake (really, she could be an NBA point guard), and the spectacle of Melania and Ivanka greeting the Pontiff in Italian widows’ garb.  So no head covering for the Saudis, but yes head covering for the Pope?  This is The Gang that Couldn’t Greet Straight.

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Once again Trump celebrates the mischief only he can achieve, turning awkwardness up to 11. Nothing is awkward for Mr. Oblivious.

Okay, to be fair how the ladies dressed was perfectly appropriate, just not very imaginative for people known more for their fashion sense than their propriety.  A beautiful head scarf from the Ivanka Trump Women Who Work but Aren’t Allowed to Drive Collection would have been very nice in Saudi.  While in Rome they could have pivoted to, well, anything that didn’t look like they were going to jump into their late husband’s grave while rending their garments in misery.

Lord knows, Melania will not be wearing that outfit at Trump’s funeral or jumping into his grave out of grief.  Something floral and lively, spring-like, celebrating her freedom, with a very short skirt is more likely.  After all, your husband’s funeral is a great opportunity to meet Sugar Daddy No. II.

New Orleans Mayor’s Extraordinary Speech on Confederate Monuments, Race, etc.

I wanted to post this yesterday, should have.  The speech is great and should be read.  My question for anybody fighting for the monuments to the Confederacy is whether they believe Germany’s laws against Nazi memorabilia are a good idea or not.  There is no difference, not a bit, jot or iota of difference between Confederate memorabilia and Nazi memorabilia.  It was one of the too numerous failures of post-Civil War government and our half-hearted, aborted period of Reconstruction that the relics of the Confederacy weren’t deemed illegal representations of treason, first amendment be damned.

Of course, right after the war there was little taste for celebrating the Confederacy.  All of the energies of the defeated went into making sure their world changed as little as possible and terrorizing the “winners” of the war.  It wasn’t until decades later that the monuments went up and the battle flag was flown as a salute to history and “culture.”

Thank you for coming.

The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way — for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans — the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Colorix, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more.

You see — New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling caldron of many cultures. There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum — out of many we are one. But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were bought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture. America was the place where nearly 4000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp. So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions, why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame… all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.

The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.

After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy. He said in his now famous ‘cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears… I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us. And make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago — we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and a more perfect union.

Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it. President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history… on a stone where day after day for years, men and women… bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”

A piece of stone — one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored. As clear as it is for me today… for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights… I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought. So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race.

I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes. Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too? We all know the answer to these very simple questions. When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth.

And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, this is not about blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once.

This is however about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong. Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division and yes with violence.

To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. It is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future. History cannot be changed. It cannot be moved like a statue. What is done is done. The Civil War is over, and the Confederacy lost and we are better for it. Surely we are far enough removed from this dark time to acknowledge that the cause of the Confederacy was wrong.

And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans — or anyone else — to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person’s humanity seems perverse and absurd. Centuries old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place. Here is the essential truth. We are better together than we are apart.

Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world? We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz, the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures. Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think.

All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity. We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it! Out of many we are one — and we really do love it! And yet, we still seem to find so many excuses for not doing the right thing. Again, remember President Bush’s words, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

We forget, we deny how much we really depend on each other, how much we need each other. We justify our silence and inaction by manufacturing noble causes that marinate in historical denial. We still find a way to say ‘wait’/not so fast, but like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “wait has almost always meant never.” We can’t wait any longer. We need to change. And we need to change now.

No more waiting. This is not just about statues, this is about our attitudes and behavior as well. If we take these statues down and don’t change to become a more open and inclusive society this would have all been in vain. While some have driven by these monuments every day and either revered their beauty or failed to see them at all, many of our neighbors and fellow Americans see them very clearly. Many are painfully aware of the long shadows their presence casts; not only literally but figuratively. And they clearly receive the message that the Confederacy and the cult of the lost cause intended to deliver.

Earlier this week, as the cult of the lost cause statue of P.G.T Beauregard came down, world renowned musician Terence Blanchard stood watch, his wife Robin and their two beautiful daughters at their side. Terence went to a high school on the edge of City Park named after one of America’s greatest heroes and patriots, John F. Kennedy. But to get there he had to pass by this monument to a man who fought to deny him his humanity.

He said, “I’ve never looked at them as a source of pride… it’s always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don’t respect us. This is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s a sign that the world is changing.” Yes, Terence, it is and it is long overdue. Now is the time to send a new message to the next generation of New Orleanians who can follow in Terence and Robin’s remarkable footsteps.

A message about the future, about the next 300 years and beyond; let us not miss this opportunity New Orleans and let us help the rest of the country do the same. Because now is the time for choosing. Now is the time to actually make this the City we always should have been, had we gotten it right in the first place.

We should stop for a moment and ask ourselves — at this point in our history — after Katrina, after Rita, after Ike, after Gustav, after the national recession, after the BP oil catastrophe and after the tornado — if presented with the opportunity to build monuments that told our story or to curate these particular spaces… would these monuments be what we want the world to see? Is this really our story?

We have not erased history; we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations. And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people. In our blessed land we all come to the table of democracy as equals. We have to reaffirm our commitment to a future where each citizen is guaranteed the uniquely American gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That is what really makes America great and today it is more important than ever to hold fast to these values and together say a self-evident truth that out of many we are one. That is why today we reclaim these spaces for the United States of America. Because we are one nation, not two; indivisible with liberty and justice for all… not some. We all are part of one nation, all pledging allegiance to one flag, the flag of the United States of America. And New Orleanians are in… all of the way. It is in this union and in this truth that real patriotism is rooted and flourishes. Instead of revering a 4-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans and set the tone for the next 300 years.

After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6-1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments in accordance with the law have been removed. So now is the time to come together and heal and focus on our larger task. Not only building new symbols, but making this city a beautiful manifestation of what is possible and what we as a people can become.

Let us remember what the once exiled, imprisoned and now universally loved Nelson Mandela and what he said after the fall of apartheid. “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.” So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.

The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered. As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history.

Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause. Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…to do all which may achieve and cherish — a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Thank you.

 

Well it Certainly Wasn’t Because the Healthcare Bill Was Good – 40 Trumpcare Voters own $23M in Healthcare Stock

The Daily Beast looked into it and, along with ethics experts raises the question why are Congressmen allowed to hold individual stocks?

The Tom Price conflict issues should have put this front and center, but I’m afraid the kind of self-reflective aversion to even the appearance of impropriety isn’t a thing anymore, certainly not among today’s Christianist Republicans who are more likely to be following Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel (“Jesus wants you to be rich”!).

Forty Republican representatives who voted for the American Health Care Act held shares in health care companies valued at $23 million and earned more than $2 million off those investments, a Daily Beast review of the most-recent financial records found….

Several Republicans with key roles in passing the bill held more than $500,000 in medical stock.

This is not proof that these GOP Congressmen voted for it because of their holdings, they are actually for the most part morons, who may well have thought that a healthcare bill that denies healthcare to more people is a great healthcare bill.  Lord knows Republicans is weird! But…

“As an objective matter, it seems like an awful lot of money in one industry that has a lot of regulation and that these members are directly dealing with legislation on,” said Larry Noble, a former Federal Elections Commission lawyer who now works for the Campaign Legal Center.

Like many other norms, we kind of assumed, it’s a little shocking to see that while there are many rules on what Congressmen can directly receive in the form of gifts and contributions, there are very few actual rules about what assets they can hold that could be under their regulatory purview.

Members of Congress aren’t expressly prohibited from owning stocks in individual companies, (Bush ethics lawyer Richard) Painter said, unlike employees of federal agencies and members of the executive branch. As a White House ethics lawyer, Painter said he routinely advised aides and other employees of the executive branch to either completely divest from investments in individual companies or shift their assets to diversified mutual funds in order to comply with ethics rules.

Is it so hard to divest and put the money in managed mutual funds while you are representing the public?  Is that really too much to ask?

Trying to Stay Grounded but the Signs Point to Big Dem Gains

The Montana special election is Thursday May 25 and looks really close.  Far too close for GOP comfort.

One senior Republican strategist warned that, based on the party’s performance in special elections so far, if Republicans “cannot come up with better candidates and better campaigns, this cycle is going to be even worse than anybody ever thought it could be.”

The latest polling in the GA-07 special election has Ossoff 7 points up, which is almost too good to be true (knock wood, cross fingers, spit!).

But last night in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Democrat Edie DesMarais was elected to a state house seat – a seat that had never, ever been held by a Democrat, EVER.  1800s?  No. Not when FDR was dominating politics, not after the 1964 Democratic wave, not 2006. EVER!!!

Trump won the district 51-44.  It’s the first actual seat flip since 2016.  First of many (knock wood, cross fingers, spit!)

Update:  A Bernie delegate won a seat in NY State (Long Island) that went for Trump by 23 points!

 

History Reminder – Clinton Investigations and Impeachment

The Republican House under Newt Gingrich investigated Bill Clinton for a failed land deal in which the Clintons lost money.  That investigation was expanded to include all sorts of supposed potential wrong doing (including murdering their friend Vince Foster), none of which actually turned out to be anything.  They impeached him for lying about sex.

If Bill Clinton had colluded with another country, hired a national security adviser paid by that country, divulged classified information (from Israel!), fired the FBI Director investigating him and asked other intelligence officials to clear him, Gingrich and Dan (Mr. Watermelon) Burton would have gone to the WH and shot Clinton themselves.

But as they’ve long, long, looooooong proven It’s OK If You’re A Republican.  Even if you were never a Republican before running for president and evince no understanding of Republican principles.*

*(principles? the only Republican principle is winning, son).

50 Years Later – Rev. William Barber Will Take Up MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign

The good Reverend is one of the best speakers on the firmament and a worthy torch bearer for MLK’s great unfulfilled movement on behalf of human rights for the poor. He’s announced that he’s leaving his post as head of the NC NAACP to take up the mantle of MLK’s challenge to capitalist economics and lead a national moral revival.

In this time, it’s all the more important to agitate on state levels – grass roots movements.

“Extremism is at work in other states and has gained power in all three branches of our federal government, much as it did here four years ago,” Barber said Monday in North Carolina. “We know that the way to change the nation is to nationalize state movements. We have to do it with a state-up model.”

I think it’s worth noting the reaction of the head of the NC GOP (effectively the NAACP’s opposition in the state):

At hearing news that Barber will leave the NAACP to advance the Poor People’s Campaign, the chair of the state GOP told The News & Observer, “I think it would have helped him and his causes had he been more of a negotiator than an agitator.” Responding to this characterization Monday, the Rev. Nancy Petty, a colleague and supporter of Barber argued that his approach had worked in the state and said, “Reverend Barber, we’re sending you into the world to be an agitator.”

The difference between negotiating and agitating is a fundamental one and often the rhetorical/philosophical conflict between Democrats as well as Republicans.  Rev. Barber (like MLK before him and Gandhi before him) knows that there is no negotiating for human rights, equality and the moral treatment of people – you agitate until they grant you in human law what natural law demands.  Anything less, any compromise in this regard is a collaboration with immorality.  This is fundamentally not a political issue where compromise is mother’s milk, it’s just fought over in the political arena due to the massive ongoing failure of our humanity.

We’re Living in Peak Bullshit and I Can Fix It!!

Actually the first part of the title feels true, while the second clause was just a little bullshit flourish.  And that’s worse than a simple lie – the Guardian reviews books by smart people that make the case.

Each author suggests Trump is worse than a liar. In this, they follow Harry G Frankfurt’s distinction in his prescient 2005 philosophical study On Bullshit: “[The bullshitter] does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.” Viewed thus, Trump is the personification of bullshit.

A story related by d’Ancona clinches the point. One day, Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal read his boss’s book The Art of the Deal. It detailed how the tiles in the nursery at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s West Palm Beach club, had been personally made by Walt Disney. Is that really true, the butler asked the billionaire. “Who cares?” replied Trump.

Bullshit is lying creatively, which aims to attract the listener by stroking their atavistic need for a good story.  To tell people their jobs have been taken by Mexicans, who are also raping people, is extremely counterfactual, but when you say the solution is a wall that will be paid for by Mexico you elevate mere lies to the art form of bullshit! People hate lies, but they are suckers for bullshit.  Compare:  Hey, I can solve your problem at no cost to you! or “Your call is important to us.”  The former is bullshit that is attractive to everyone (although rational people do want the details though before we hand over our credit card), while the latter is just a damned lie that insults our intelligence – even Trump voters know their call is meaningless to the company that created that phone message.