Bannon grabs more power in the Trump White House

I have no idea what it all means, but, while we were all donating to the ACLU and mobilizing to fight Trump’s Muslim ban, news came out that our President, by executive order, had removed the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council, replacing them with his chief White House strategist, the controversial head of Breitbart News Network, Steve Bannon, the man who has taken credit for bringing the alt-right (read “white nationalism”) into the mainstream.


So, just a few days after several high ranking State Department officials were encouraged to resign, we now have news that the National Security Council has been reconfigured to remove those individuals with the most national security experience, replacing them with a propagandist who made news this past week for telling the American press, which he referred to as “the opposition party,” that it should “keep its mouth shut.”

Interesting, as MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber points out, this change happened at the same time President Trump signed the ban barring people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States… a decision which, according to Melber, was made without any “formal review by NSC lawyers, or by any agency, including DoD.” That’s right. This decision to block people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, even if they held valid green cards, was not even passed by the National Security Council.

Something very seriously bad is happening, my friends.

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  1. worldview
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    We’re all dead.

  2. Citywatch
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Show of hands: who is surprised by these things. Very bad.

  3. Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Bannon is likely writing all of these executive orders as well.

  4. Cassandra
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    In a classic coup (a new leader appears in a special television broadcast while tanks are rolling through the streets, etc.) people are immediately alarmed, and there is likely to be a broad public backlash/resistance.

    Instead, what is going on now is much more insidious. Because our new leader “won” an election, and because he (so far) continues to engage in the trappings of traditional government, most people seem to think (and behave) as if the new administration – while extreme – still belongs within our traditional political framework.

    But people need to read between the lines: Those who are now in power (and their supporters) have already telegraphed their disdain for the foundations of our democratic society – the rule of law, a free press, voting rights, the right to dissent and protest, etc.

    I don’t think these things will disappear all at once – but as the new administration continues elevating extremists like Bannon to ever-higher positions, engaging in purges of experienced professionals throughout the civil service, censoring government agencies, and issuing extreme and ill-considered executive orders – the direction in which we are headed is fairly clear.

    The biggest problem I see right now is that too many people – especially those in leadership positions, such as business leaders, union leaders, journalists, and politicians in *both* parties (but especially Democrats) – continue engaging with the new president as if he is a “normal” leader.

    I think everyone needs to begin acting as if this situation is as extreme and dangerous as it really is … as if our democracy is actually at stake… and immediately begin to isolate him and administration by refusing to engage. No “deals,” no interviews, no press conferences, no hearings, no confirmations, etc.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    In case you haven’t seen it, this is going around the internet.

    Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.

    This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.

    Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military advisor in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.

    What You Can Do:

    – Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.

    – Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now.

  6. Facts?
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Bannon was in the military for 7 years.

  7. Abby Adams
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink


  8. Peter Bask
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Goebbels dressed better.

  9. Scott Trudeau
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Fat alcoholic Goebbels. This is America after all.

  10. iRobert
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    It is a strange and unnerving development, and it has gotten very little attention.

  11. Cassandra
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    At this point, is there anybody left who doesn’t believe there is a covert battle taking place for control of the U.S. government?

  12. jean henry
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Facts? — he was in the military for 7 years… 30 years ago. A military official and Bush supporter said he would not be considered competent to lead a troop by the military much less plot military strategy and protect our security interests.

  13. Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm | Permalink


  14. Demetrius
    Posted January 31, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    NYT: President Bannon?

  15. XXX
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    The Senate Committee on Homeland Security is taking calls about Bannon’s appointment to the NSC Principle’s Committee. You can call: 202-224-4751

  16. Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    A friend just shared this tidbit from the New York Times. [The same article apparently also included a note about how White House staff meet in the dark because they’ve yet to figure out how the lights in the Cabinet room work.]


  17. Jean Henry
    Posted February 6, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Link to full article:

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