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Italy Crushes Steve Bannon's Dream Of A School For Alt-Right Cafones

Culture

Steve Bannon had a dream. No, not the one where he devotes his life to providing a platform for professional bigots, nor the one where he turns the United States into a total hell hole by helping to elect an actual monster as President, but the one where he goes to Italy, takes over an 800-year-old monastery outside of Rome, opens up a "gladiator school for culture warriors" called the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, and becomes the The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie remake we never asked for.

In case you were wondering, the Italian term for "eye roll" is "occhi al cielo."

Alas, this has not worked out, because dude is more than a little schifoso and, in the process of attempting to secure the property, committed fraud. Whoops!


Via Think Progress:

The government said it took seriously reports of fraud in the competitive tender process that led to Bannon securing the property to establish a self-described "gladiator school for cultural warriors," where students would learn right-wing, nationalistic philosophy, theology, history, and economics, and receive political instructions from Bannon.

But these plans went awry, potentially permanently, earlier this month after the Italian newspaper, Repubblica, reported that a letter used to guarantee the lease was forged. In its investigation, the newspaper discovered the letter displayed a signature purported to be of an employee at the Danish bank Jyske. Bank officials told the newspaper that the letter was fraudulent because the employee hadn't worked there for years.

The revelations prompted Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli to declare the contract with Bannon null and void, arguing the DHI school failed to meet the leasing conditions. Moreover, Bonisoli said the school had not paid the rent and had not carried out required maintenance work.

In a statement that I can't really do a full translation of right now, Gianluca Vacca, the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage explained that those associated with the DHI did not have any real knowledge of the cultural importance of the monastery and was not going to protect or promote it, that there was no one associated with the project that had the required five years experience in the field of cultural protection, and that they didn't pay the required fees.

Vacca further explained that the revocation had nothing to do with Bannon's gross political persuasions, but rather the fact that they did not trust the DHI with the important job of preserving a piece of Italy's cultural heritage. Given that Steve Bannon can barely preserve himself, this does not come as a shock.

Regardless of the reasoning, this comes as a relief to the many Italians in the area who were not looking forward to a second coming of Mussolini, and who were protesting Bannon's project. It also comes as a relief to me, because I am not particularly into the idea of Steve Bannon ruining both countries I have citizenship in. Italy does not need his shit right now, and neither does any other country on earth. Vaffanculo!

[ThinkProgress]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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Arkansas Republican Senator and evil Pinocchio turned into a real live boy Tom Cotton appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" to discuss the attacks on oil tankers on the Gulf of Oman. And while the world is still trying to confirm IF Iran perpetrated the attacks due to conflicting accounts (the US says it was Iran with mines; the Japanese shipping operator says it was a “flying object"), that hasn't stopped GOP politicians like Cotton from trying to turn this into the justification they've been looking for, for great good glorious WAR.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You have long been defined as a hawk on Iran. You see these recent attacks, these are commercial vessels not military installations. What kind of response is warranted?

COTTON
: Well Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attacks going back to the 1980s. In fact Ronald Reagan had to reflag a lot of vessels going through the Persian Gulf and ultimately take military action against Iran in 1988. These unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike.

BRENNAN
: Are you- you're comparing the tanker war in the '80s to now and saying that that's the kind of military response you want to see?

COTTON: We can make a military wreck- response in a time and in a manner of our choosing. But yes, unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The goddamn “Tanker Wars"?! Oh ... you mean when, during the Iraq-Iran War, we waited until Kuwait formally asked for our assistance to escort Saddam Hussein's oil? When Reagan, without approval from Congress, reflagged Kuwaiti vessels? When Reagan got us involved in the Iraq-Iran War leading to a daylong naval battle between Iran and the US, known as Operation Praying Mantis? The conflict we jumped into that led to our mistaking an Iran Air commercial jetliner for an Iranian F-14, shooting it down and killing all 290 people onboard, including 66 children? That's what you want to repeat, Tom Cotton?! Also, whatever happened to our ally, Saddam Hussein?

They say that those who don't learn from history repeat it. Tom Cotton is here to prove Republicans never learn. Watch the video below for yourself:

Cotton says "unprovoked attacks to oil profits" from Iran "warrant a retaliatory military strike" www.youtube.com

While Tom Cotton was justifying a war with Iran on CBS, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was having a surprisingly harder time on “Fox News Sunday" than he did on CBS when he transparently insinuated what the Trump administration really cares about with Iran ( "Texas Tea").

Pompeo: Trump doesn't war with Iran but will "defend American OIL interests" www.youtube.com

Seems Pompeo was upset that his “beating the drums of war" shtick was being interrupted to have to answer about Trump admitting (more like bragging) it was okay to take foreign assistance (and then walking it back when all the killjoys said it was illegal). After playing the ABC News clip, Chris Wallace asked a very pointed yet direct question. Pompeo's answer, however, was far from both:

WALLACE: Is accepting oppo research from a foreign government right or wrong?

POMPEO: Chris, you know you asked me not to call any of your questions today ridiculous ... You came really close right there. (awkward giggle) President Trump has been very clear. He ... he clarified his remarks later. He ... he made it very clear. Even in his first comment. He said "I'd do both." He said he'd call the FBI ...

WALLACE: He said "Maybe I'd do both."

POMPEO: President Trump has been very clear. That he will always make sure that he gets it right for the American people and I'm confident he'll do that here as well.

It was at this moment Pompeo thought he was golden because he's on Fox News and they never follow up! But clearly he forgot Chris Wallace doesn't play like that.

WALLACE: At the risk of getting your ire, the President told "Fox and Friends" on Friday, and I agree, he kind of walked it back...

POMPEO: He didn't walk it back.

WALLACE
: Yes, he did. Because he said "maybe" on Thursday. And then on Friday, on "Fox and Friends," he said "he'd listen first AND then if the information was bad that he would take it to the FBI or the Attorney General." But he also made it clear to George Stephanopolous that he did not see this as "foreign interference." And I want to play a clip of the President's own words ...

Then Wallace played ANOTHER clip of Trump's idiotic words back to Pompeo. Then he asks Pompeo one more time:

WALLACE: He says "it's not interference, it's information." The country, sir, and I don't need to tell you, has a long history dating back to George Washington in saying that foreign interference in our elections is unacceptable. POMPEO: Chris, President Trump believes that too. I have nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy and I think that's the third time you've asked me about a Washington ... piece of ... silliness. That's just, that's just a story that's inconsistent with what I've seen from President Trump do every single day.

After an awkward pause and visible anger in Pompeo's face (really, do watch), Chris Wallace calls it a day ... but remembers to remind Pompeo he's a thin-skinned baby:

WALLACE: I will leave it there. I think I only asked you twice but that's alright Mr. Secretary. Thank you. Thanks for your time and Happy Father's Day, sir.

Watch the video below for yourself.

And that's all for this week in Trump's collusion and "wag the dog"/Saudi oil interest war chants. So let's end with a couple of pictures of my new puppy, Harley Quinn!

Might as well have one last nice thing before our next war or stolen election. Have a week!


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