Celsius 41.11: Citizens United Documentary

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times compared Celsius 41.11 unfavorably to FahrenHYPE 9/11, another documentary film aimed at rebutting the arguments made by Michael Moore. While Dargis felt that the purpose of FahrenHYPE 9/11 was the detailed rebutting of the arguments put forward by Moore’s film, she felt that the purpose of Celsius 41.11 was to “make you afraid — very, very afraid”. She stated that Celsius 41.11 “presents a vision of the world verging on the apocalyptic“. Dargis concluded “finally [the film is] interesting only because it represents another unconvincing effort on the part of conservatives to mount a viable critique of Mr. Moore.”[6]

Criticisms of the production[edit]

The Boston Globe and the New York Times both questioned the reliability of some of the individuals interviewed. The Globe called the experts “occasionally dubious” saying that they “offer[ed] drive-by disses and plain untruths“.[21] Manohla Dargis of the New York Timeswas particularly critical of the film for not detailing the extent of Mansoor Ijaz‘s investments in the Middle East or “just how intimately familiar he was with the nonsense of the Clinton White House”.[6] Both publications, however, spoke well of the contributions of Fred Thompson with the New York Times calling him “thoughtful”[6] and the Globe adding that “with his level head and reflective words, [he] makes partisanship seem dignified.”[21]

Several critics felt that insufficient time had been spent on the film. Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide said that it “bears all the hallmarks of having been thrown together in a heated rush”,[22] a criticism echoed by Robert Koehler of Variety who called the editing “choppy”.[7]Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe described the film as “a seemingly last-minute series of talking heads and montages”.[21] A number of critics compared the style of the film to that of a PowerPoint presentation.[6][8][21][23]

.[6][8][21][23]

David Bossie: Wikipedia

David Norman Bossie (born November 1, 1965)[1][2] is an American political activist. Since 2000, he has been president and chairman of conservative advocacy group Citizens United and in 2016, Bossie was the deputy campaign manager to the Donald Trump presidential campaign.[3]

In May 2019, Bossie was accused by the Internal Revenue Service of defrauding political donors by funneling their donations to himself through consultants and book sales. President Trump has distanced himself from Bossie and demanded a thorough investigation.[4]

 

.. By May 1998, Burton came under intense partisan pressure; even fellow Republicans complained that committee staff had published redacted tapes and transcripts of former United States Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell‘s prison telephone calls omitting some exculpatory passages. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pressed Burton to seek Bossie’s resignation.[8] Shortly thereafter, Burton accepted Bossie’s resignation.[9]

.. In June 2018, Bossie, a regular guest on Fox News programs, said that African-American co-guest Joel Payne was “out of his cotton-picking mind.” He later apologized.[15] Fox News suspended him for two weeks, calling the remarks “deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate.”[16]

 

.. At the Tea Party Convention, Bossie debuted the documentary Generation Zero, focusing on the 2008 financial crisis and its basis in the selfishness of the Baby Boomer generation. Said documentary, produced by Bossie for Citizens United Productions, had been written and directed by Steve Bannon.

 

.. He also was ranked number two in Politico‘s top 50 most influential people in American politics in 2015, tied with Charlie Spies.[18]

Q&A: David Bossie

David Bossie, President of Citizens United, speaks about “Hillary: The Movie,” a documentary he produced that was the subject of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Program from Sunday, February 14, 2010.
31 min: Didn’t do Willie Horton ad
40 min: $2.5 million on production and legal fees
41:20: The White House Spin Cycle that would attack anyone
42:35: George Bush condemned Bosse’s gutter politics
57:54: Would you change any of your tactics that you used in the past?   No, politics is a tough business.  .. I call this a full contact sport.  It’s the Old Godfather.. It’s not personal. It’s business.

‘Tired of the wait game’: White House stabilizers gone, Trump calling his own shots

Other than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the lone remaining enforcer is Kelly. But his power as chief of staff has been diminished. Officials said the days of Kelly hovering in the Oval Office morning to night and screening the president’s calls are over. Trump is largely circumventing Kelly’s strict protocols.

The president recently reached out to some people Kelly had sought to excommunicate, calling former communications director Anthony Scaramucci to banter about politics and inviting Lewandowski and Bossie to dinner in the residence.

“He’s rotating back to the people who actually like him and is more willing to take advice from those people,” Scaramucci said. “They’re more honest with him, and he’s more comfortable with them.”

Allies said Trump is reverting to the way he led the Trump Organization from his 26th-floor office suite at Trump Tower in Manhattan. There, staffers were functionaries or lawyers, and many of his advisers were outside the company — rival business leaders, media figures and bankers. Back then, Trump controlled his orbit himself from behind his cluttered desk, relying on assistant Rhona Graff to field calls.

.. Ascendant in the West Wing are advisers who play to Trump’s gut: Kudlow on tax cuts and deregulation, Bolton on a muscular approach to foreign affairs, Peter Navarro on protectionist trade policies, Stephen Miller on crackdowns on undocumented immigrants and Kellyanne Conway on an open press strategy and tangling with reporters.

.. Like Conway, Bolton and Kudlow are seasoned cable news commentators who share Trump’s hard-charging instincts and have no illusions about his governing style. Officials said they are expected to cater to the president’s wishes and seek to avoid the internal knife fights that have befallen many a Trump aide.

.. “Gary was really good, but I don’t know if Gary ever embraced the Trump economic ideas. He was more of a traditional Democrat or moderate Republican. Kudlow is a real cheerleader for the tax cuts in a way Gary never was, although he helped get them passed.”

.. Trump has been frustrated by news stories of White House tumult and has ordered aides to contest the notion that there is chaos.

.. “The top story, number one, is Stormy Daniels,” King said he told Trump. “I told him it’s utterly ridiculous. I just came back from Hamburg, Germany, and they were just laughing at us.

Trump Pushing Big White House Changes as Russia Crisis Grows

Meetings are set for next week as the president returns from his overseas trip

the president slept only two hours in Saudi Arabia the night before his widely anticipated speech on Islam that he spent little time rehearsing.

.. One major change under consideration would see the president’s social media posts vetted by a team of lawyers, who would decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed. The idea, said one of Mr. Trump’s advisers, is to create a system so that tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.”

Some of Mr. Trump’s tweets—from hinting that he may have taped conversations with Mr. Comey to suggesting without any evidence that former President Barack Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower—have opened him to criticism and at times confounded his communications team.

Trump aides have long attempted to rein in his tweeting, and some saw any type of legal vetting as difficult to implement. “I would be shocked if he would agree to that,” said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign aide.

 .. Some senior administration officials said they are considering hiring their own private attorneys.
.. the president may also bring back a trio of former campaign officials: Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, to handle communications and political duties related to the investigation, and David Urban, for a senior White House job.
  • .. Mr. Bossie, the deputy campaign manager, is a long-time political operative who worked for the House oversight committee in the 1990s.
  • Mr. Urban worked as a top Republican Senate aide in the late 1990s during the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings.

.. “The most important thing is Trump listens to them,” one senior administration official said. “And it will free up the rest of the White House to focus on health care, taxes and the things we should be worrying about.”

.. Mr. Lewandowski’s return may prove awkward internally. He was accused of assaulting a reporter at a campaign event—charges were eventually dropped—and Trump family members believed he was peddling negative stories about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, campaign officials said at the time. He was pushed out at the behest of Mr. Trump’s children.

.. One White House official said that Mr. Spicer, parodied by comedian Melissa McCarthy on “Saturday Night Live,” has taken on an unwanted celebrity status that threatens to undercut his effectiveness as a spokesman. “I wouldn’t wish being parodied on Saturday Night Live on anybody,” the official said.

.. Mr. Bannon’s critics say they suspect him of leaking to the press and regard him as too much of a firebrand to massage the president’s agenda through Washington’s traditional processes. Mr. Kushner’s detractors in the West Wing refer to him as the “young princeling.”

.. questioned the judgment of communications officials, citing as an example the rollout of a tax-plan outline in April that featured Goldman Sachs alumni Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Gary Cohn

.. “The left is automatically going to say the tax plan is tailored to the rich and to Wall Street. And we just gave them an image of the rich and of Wall Street,” one Trump former campaign official said.

Fired FBI Director James Comey to Testify in Public

Aides to President Donald Trump brace for new environment after the appointment of a special counsel

 .. some of the president’s senior advisers have recently begun a study of the Democratic administration of former President Bill Clinton, examining how it managed to push through major, bipartisan budgets and reform bills, despite being the subject of an independent counsel’s probe for five of its eight years.
.. Mr. Trump’s aides have also been pressing for more restraint by the president on Twitter ,and some weeks ago they organized what one official called an “intervention.”
.. In that meeting, aides warned Mr. Trump that certain kinds of comments made on Twitter would “paint him into a corner,” both in terms of political messaging and legally
.. A coterie of former campaign associates, including David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci, Jason Miller and Corey Lewandowski, were spotted
.. described the White House currently as a “toxic work environment.”
.. “The president goes through moods where sometimes he wants to blow everything up,”
.. the administration hasn’t lined up successors for the people Mr. Trump has considered firing
.. The aides’ recommendation to Mr. Trump: cite the continuing investigation, then pivot to the economy, health care and taxes.
.. Ken Duberstein, a former chief of staff to former President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview that he used to urge the GOP president not to respond to questions that reporters might throw his way involving the Iran-Contra scandal.
“You can’t go off on a tangent. You can’t answer the sound bite gotcha questions,” Mr. Duberstein said.

He said Mr. Trump should not “take the bait of a shouted question or the shiny silver dollar of being able to tweet. Because then the rest of the agenda gets left on the cutting room floor.”

Inside The Wealthy Family That Has Been Funding Steve Bannon’s Plan For Years

Jane Mayer writes in the New Yorker about Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, who have poured millions of dollars into Breitbart News, and who pushed to have Bannon run Trump’s campaign.

.. MAYER: Among the theories that Robinson has propounded and that Bob Mercer has accepted is that climate change is not happening. It’s not for real, and if it is happening, it’s going to be good for the planet. That’s one of his theories, and the other theory that I found particularly worrisome was they believe that nuclear war is really not such a big deal. It’s survivable, and – they think.

And they’ve actually argued that outside of the immediate blast zone in Japan during World War II – outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – that the radiation was actually good for the Japanese. So they see a kind of a silver lining in nuclear war and nuclear accidents. And he co-authored a book in 1986 that I took a look at that describes ways that Americans can survive nuclear war by basically digging fallout shelters all across the country. And he believes that radiation is potentially good for people’s health.

DAVIES: And do the Mercer’s seem to have embraced Robinson’s views about nuclear war and climate change?

MAYER: Well, Bob Mercer has certainly embraced the view that radiation could be good for human health – low level radiation. And he’s been in arguments with people that I interviewed about it, so, yes, very much. He seems extremely influenced by Arthur Robinson’s scientific findings.

.. they have very extreme views, and they’re impatient – both of them. They want action fast. And what was a question for me as I was reporting this was, so how did they get what they wanted? What did they do? And they couldn’t really do it on their own because, like many wealthy people who have strong political ideas, they have no idea how to sort of manipulate politics. They need some kind of professional help. And the person they turned to for that was Steve Bannon.

.. Yet, when Trump’s campaign started to really fall apart last August, it was Mercer’s daughter who met with Trump’s people and with Trump and said, I’ll put money in, but you’re going to have to basically put my people in charge of your campaign.

.. MAYER: Well, now, Trump and Steve Bannon go way back. And that’s a different story. Steve Bannon saw Trump speak at CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Conference – years ago, maybe 2013 or 2014, and was blown away by Trump. And so he’s been actually quite helpful to Trump for years. He – when he was running Breitbart, Bannon gave Trump tons of great coverage and really boosted his visibility. So yeah – so Bannon and Trump have been in touch for quite some time.

.. MAYER: Well, according to people I interviewed such as Sam Nunberg, who was an early, early member of the Trump campaign, Breitbart was enormously helpful in providing a platform for Trump, a national platform. And it gave Trump space to sort of test out his narrative and see which storylines worked best and promoted him so much so that Steve Bannon wrote an email to a friend that eventually leaked out – and this was way back in – in 2015 – saying that he was secretly Trump’s campaign manager.

.. DAVIES: You actually spoke to Steve Bannon for this piece.

MAYER: I did speak to Steve Bannon.

DAVIES: What did he tell you?

MAYER: And he was fascinating. He’s very articulate, and he said – he minced no words about the Mercers. He said they laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution. He said irrefutably that when you look at the donors in the past four years, he said they’ve had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs.

.. Rebekah Mercer who met with Trump and said – your campaign’s a mess. I would like to support you, but you’re going to have to straighten out the way you’re running it. And she suggested that he put Steve Bannon in charge of the campaign as campaign chairman, Kellyanne Conway in charge as campaign manager and that they also put in David Bossie, who runs the group Citizens United, as deputy campaign manager. And Bossie is someone else who the Mercers have supported financially through his group for quite some time. In essence, they were circling Trump with their own people.

.. She had mixed success, but she had some serious successes with Mike Flynn who she wanted to have become national security adviser. And of course, Trump did choose him. He didn’t last very long, but he was in there. And she pushed very hard for Jeff Sessions to be the attorney general, and she got success with that. And she pushed very hard to have Bannon play a major role in the White House. And of course, he is now Trump’s strategic adviser. And at first, she was hoping that Kellyanne Conway would not go into the White House but would stay outside and help Rebekah Mercer run an outside group that would support Trump, but that didn’t happen. Kellyanne Conway went into the White House.

So her people did quite well. I mean, there’s some people that she wanted that didn’t get jobs. She wanted John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to be the secretary of state, and she was very disappointed when he didn’t get that. And she has touted this very odd scientist that her family has supported, Arthur Robinson, to be the national science adviser. And so far, that hasn’t happened.

.. And I think if you sort of step back, one of the things that interests me about what Trump is doing is I think you can see that he is – on questions having to do with the health care fight and the budget, he’s taking positions that are very much aligned with the super-rich donors, particularly things that the Mercers would have liked and in some ways, taking policy positions that hurt many of the middle-class and lower middle-class voters who supported him.

.. Rebekah Mercer’s got a game plan in mind. What she’s hoping to do is start an outside group that’s outside of the White House that’s going to be a powerful voice pushing Trump to take her point of view. And so when – it will trumpet his moves when they – when she thinks they’re good and attack him when she thinks that he’s, you know, not following a tough enough line. And I – you know, so we will start probably seeing commercials and a lot of social media coming from this group.

.. He said that Mercer wanted to shrink the government to the size of a pinhead and that he doesn’t think that – he basically has a philosophy, according to Magerman, that values people on the basis of what they earn. He doesn’t think human beings have intrinsic value. He thinks that if you are a schoolteacher and you earn 2 million times less than Mercer earns, then you’re 2 million times less valuable than Mercer is. And he believes that if you are on welfare, you have negative value. And what Magerman said was, and he’s not talking about economically. He means as a human being.

So he has this kind of very mechanistic, almost kind of Ayn Rand-like, objectivist philosophy.

.. since the Citizens United decision and the others that were part of that was – is that you can now have people – a few people with an incredible amount of money who the rest of the country doesn’t even know their names, let alone who they are or what they want. And they can have this outsized impact. And I think that that’s what’s different.

You know, before Citizens United, there was still a lot of money in politics, but because there were limits on how much any single person could give at any time to PACs, there were bundlers, and they were known to people. And they were – kind of the parties had much more influence which had much more consensus.