Saturday, August 29, 2015

Trump Is A Racist And His Supporters Are Nuts


So Chris Hayes invited Rep. Alan Grayson, who's running for the Florida senate seat left open by Marco Rubio's run for the Republican nomination, as someone "several people" have called "Trump of the Left."

Which is a pretty stupid premise, since Grayson actually gets things done and has a consistent political worldview, and Trump seems to be an utter anarchist, but hey. Whatever it takes to get the ratings up, right, Chris?

So it was fun watching Grayson grab the wheel and steer it where he wanted the conversation to go.



“People say about Trump that he’s saying what they’re thinking and nobody else is saying. They’re nuts," Grayson said.

"So that’s a pretty fundamental difference. Recognize how narrow his support base really is. Only 4 percent of the public votes in a Republican primary. He’s got 30 percent of 4 percent. We’re looking at the worst 1.2 percent in America.”

“He’s thrown away the dog whistle. It used to be you had to speak in metaphors, now you can just come right out and be racist. You know who likes that? The racists like that.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Behind the Trump-stone split

Tonight on The Big Picture, Thom talks with Mark Ames, Senior Editor at Pando Daily about the Donald Trump and Roger Stone split. Mark breaks down the relationship between the two and reveals interesting points about the Trump campaign. Then lawyer and host of Ring of Fire Radio, Mike Papantonio joins Thom to talk about former KKK leader David Duke’s support for Trump. Is Trump the candidate for white supremacists?

And state and county officials in Kansas are blocking the release of voting machine logs to Wichita State University. Mathematician Beth Clarkson, who has requested these records under the Kansas Open Records Act, talks to Thom about this case and what could be wrong with voting machines in Kansas. In tonight’s Green Report, Patty Lovera talks to Thom about the use of pesticides and filmmaker Monica Ord tells us about her new film, “Chloe & Theo,” which highlights the story of Theo Ikummaq, who travels from his home in the Arctic to speak to world leaders about the impact of climate change.


The Labor Ruling McDonald's Has Been Dreading Just Became A Reality

By



The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday that Browning Ferris Industries, a waste management company, qualifies as a "joint employer" alongside one of its subcontractors. The decision effectively loosens the standards for who can be considered a worker's boss under labor law, and its impact will be felt in any industry that relies on franchising or outsourcing work. McDonald's, for instance, could now find itself forced to sit at the bargaining table with workers employed by a franchisee managing one of its restaurants.  

That's a big deal. In the case of McDonald's, roughly 90 percent of its locations are actually run by franchisees, who are typically considered the workers' employers. One of the main reasons companies choose to franchise or to outsource work to staffing agencies is to shift workplace responsibilities onto someone else. But if a fast-food brand or a hotel chain can be deemed a "joint employer" along with the smaller company, it can be dragged into labor disputes and negotiations that it conveniently wouldn't have to worry about otherwise. In theory, such a precedent could even make it easier for workers to unionize as employees under the larger parent company.



A McDonald's Corp. sign is illuminated at a restaurant in Shelbyville, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, posted same-store sales that declined less than analysts expected as menu changes started to turn around results in the U.S. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg via Getty Images © Bloomberg via Getty Images A McDonald's Corp. sign is illuminated at a restaurant in Shelbyville, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. 

Labor unions and worker advocacy groups have been hoping for just such a decision. In their view, since companies like McDonald's influence the working conditions in their franchised stores, they should be legally accountable to the workers who wear their logos, even if it's a franchisee that's technically signing the paychecks. Bringing companies at the top of the contracting chain to the table will help restore corporate responsibility in a "fissured" economy, advocates say.

The franchise lobby, meanwhile, has been warning for months that a ruling like this one would doom the business model. Franchisers argue that naming parent companies as joint employers would force them to take more control from their franchisees to contend with new liabilities. The lobby has worked hard to paint the "joint employer" standard as something that will hurt small business owners, not fast-food giants and other name brands.

The Browning Ferris case grew out of an organizing effort by the Teamsters. The union sought to have the waste management company named as a joint employer for workers employed by the staffing firm Leadpoint Business Services, a subcontractor for Browning Ferris. If Browning Ferris were deemed a joint employer, it would have to join Leadpoint in bargaining with the Teamsters. Such a determination could also make it easier for the Teamsters to organize workers at other staffing agencies that do work for Browning Ferris.

A regional director for the NLRB ruled that Browning Ferris did not exert enough control over Leadpoint workers to be considered a joint employer under current standards, but the Teamsters appealed that ruling to the federal board. Thursday's ruling will change those standards for future cases.

The decision will no doubt agitate some powerful business lobbies and Republicans on Capitol Hill. The ruling will likely spur congressional Republicans to renew their calls to defund an independent agency they view as having been too friendly to labor unions in the Obama era.

McDonald's and other franchisers have been bracing for a ruling like this for years. The board's general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor, has already named McDonald's as a joint employer alongside some of its franchisees in several cases involving alleged unfair labor practices. Many observers took that move as a sign that the board would soon revise its standards for what makes a company a joint employer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Who Hacked Ashley Madison?

By  Brian Krebs

AshleyMadison.com, a site that helps married people cheat and whose slogan is “Life is Short, have an Affair,” recently put up a half million (Canadian) dollar bounty for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the Impact Team — the name chosen by the hacker(s) who recently leaked data on more than 30 million Ashley Madison users. Here is the first of likely several posts examining individuals who appear to be closely connected to this attack.

zu-launchpad-july-20

It was just past midnight on July 20, a few hours after I’d published an exclusive story about hackers breaking into AshleyMadison.com. I was getting ready to turn in for the evening when I spotted a re-tweet from a Twitter user named Thadeus Zu (@deuszu) who’d just posted a link to the same cache of data that had been confidentially shared with me by the Impact Team via the contact form on my site just hours earlier: It was a link to the proprietary source code for Ashley Madison’s service.
Initially, that tweet startled me because I couldn’t find any other sites online that were actually linking to that source code cache. I began looking through his past tweets and noticed some interesting messages, but soon enough other news events took precedence and I forgot about the tweet.

I revisited Zu’s tweet stream again this week after watching a press conference held by the Toronto Police (where Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison, is based). The Toronto cops mostly recapped the timeline of known events in the hack, but they did add one new wrinkle: They said Avid Life employees first learned about the breach on July 12 (seven days before my initial story) when they came into work, turned on their computers and saw a threatening message from the Impact Team accompanied by the anthem “Thunderstruck” by Australian rock band AC/DC playing in the background.

After writing up a piece on the bounty offer, I went back and downloaded all five years’ worth of tweets from Thadeus Zu, a massively prolific Twitter user who typically tweets hundreds if not thousands of messages per month. Zu’s early years on Twitter are a catalog of simple hacks — commandeering unsecured routers, wireless cameras and printers — as well as many, many Web site defacements.

On the defacement front, Zu focused heavily on government Web sites in Asia, Europe and the United States, and in several cases even taunted his targets. On Aug. 4, 2012, he tweeted to KPN-CERT, a computer security incident response team in the Netherlands, to alert the group that he’d hacked their site. “Next time, it will be Thunderstruck. #ACDC” Zu wrote.

The day before, he’d compromised the Web site for the Australian Parliament, taunting lawmakers there with the tweet: “Parliament of Australia bit.ly/NPQdsP Oi! Oi! Oi!….T.N.T. Dynamite! Listen to ACDC here.”

I began to get very curious about whether there were any signs on or before July 19, 2015 that Zu was tweeting about ACDC in relation to the Ashley Madison hack. Sure enough: At 9:40 a.m., July 19, 2015 — nearly 12 hours before I would first be contacted by the Impact Team — we can see Zu is feverishly tweeting to several people about setting up “replication servers” to “get the show started.” Can you spot what’s interesting in the tabs on his browser in the screenshot he tweeted that morning?

Twitter user ThadeusZu tweets about setting up replication servers. Note which Youtube video is playing on his screen.
Twitter user ThadeusZu tweets about setting up replication servers. Did you spot the Youtube video he’s playing when he took this screenshot?

Ten points if you noticed the Youtube.com tab showing that he’s listening to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”

A week ago, the news media pounced on the Ashley Madison story once again, roughly 24 hours after the hackers made good on their threat to release the Ashley Madison user database. I went back and examined Zu’s tweet stream around that time and found he beat Wired.com, ArsTechnica.com and every other news media outlet by more than 24 hours with the Aug. 17 tweet, “Times up,” which linked to the Impact Team’s now infamous post listing the sites where anyone could download the stolen Ashley Madison user database.

ThadeusZu tweeted about the downloadable AshleyMadison data more than 24 hours before news outlets picked up on the cache.
ThadeusZu tweeted about the downloadable Ashley Madison data more than 24 hours before news outlets picked up on the cache.


WHO IS THADEUS ZU?

As with the social networking profiles of others who’ve been tied to high-profile cybercrimes, Zu’s online utterings appear to be filled with kernels of truth surrounded by complete malarkey– thus making it challenging to separate fact from fiction. Hence, all of this could be just one big joke by Zu and his buddies. In any case, here are a few key observations about the who, what and where of Thadeus Zu based on information he’s provided (again, take that for what it’s worth).

Zu’s Facebook profile wants visitors to think he lives in Hawaii; indeed, the time zone set on several of his social media counts is the same as Hawaii. There are a few third-party Facebook accounts of people demonstrably living in Hawaii who tag him in their personal photos of events on Hawaii (see this cached photo, for example), but for the most part Zu’s Facebook account consists of pictures taken from stock image collections and do not appear to be personal photos of any kind.

A few tweets from Zu — if truthful and not simply premeditated misdirection — indicate that he lived in Canada for at least a year, although it’s unclear when this visit occurred.
thad-canada
Zu’s various Twitter and Facebook pictures all feature hulking, athletic, and apparently black male models (e.g. he’s appropriated two profile photos of male model Rob Evans). But Zu’s real-life identity remains murky at best. The lone exception I found was an image that appears to be a genuine group photo taken of a Facebook user tagged as Thadeus Zu, along with an unnamed man posing in front of a tattoo store with popular Australian (and very inked) model/nightclub DJ Ruby Rose.

That photo is no longer listed in Rose’s Facebook profile, but a cached version of it is available here.

Rose’s tour schedule indicates that she was in New York City when that photo was taken, or at least posted, on Feb. 6, 2014. Zu is tagged in another Ruby Rose Facebook post five days later on Valentine’s Day. Update, 2:56 p.m.: As several readers have pointed out, the two people beside Rose  in that cached photo appear to be Franz Dremah and Kick Gurry, co-stars in the movie Edge of Tomorrow).

Other clues in his tweet stream and social media accounts put Zu in Australia. Zu has a Twitter account under the Twitter nick @ThadeusZu, which has a whopping 11 tweets, but seems rather to have been used as a news feed. In that account Zu is following some 35 Twitter accounts, and the majority of them are various Australian news organizations. That account also is following several Australian lawmakers that govern states in south Australia.

Then again, Twitter auto-suggests popular accounts for new users to follow, and usually does so in part based on the Internet address of the user. As such, @ThadeusZu may have only been using an Australian Web proxy or a Tor node in Australia when he set up that account (several of his self-published screen shots indicate that he regularly uses Tor to obfuscate his Internet address).

Even so, many of Zu’s tweets going back several years place him in Australia as well, although this may also be intentional misdirection. He continuously references his “Oz girl,” (“Oz” is another word for Australia) uses the greeting “cheers” quite a bit, and even talks about people visiting him in Oz.
Interestingly, for someone apparently so caught up in exposing hypocrisy and so close to the Ashley Madison hack, Zu appears to have himself courted a married woman — at least according to his own tweets. On January 5, 2014, Zu ‏tweeted:

“Everything is cool. Getting married this year. I am just waiting for my girl to divorce her husband. #seachange
MARRIEDzu
A month later, on Feb. 7, 2014, Zu offered this tidbit of info:

“My ex. We were supposed to get married 8 years ago but she was taken away from me. Cancer. Hence, my downward spiral into mayhem.”
DOWNwardspiral
To say that Zu tweets to others is a bit of a misstatement. I have never seen anyone tweet the way Zu does; He sends hundreds of tweets each day, and while most of them appear to be directed at nobody, it does seem that they are in response to (if not in “reply” to) tweets that others have sent him or made about his work. Consequently, his tweet stream appears to the casual observer to be nothing more than an endless soliloquy.

But there may something else going on here. It is possible that Zu’s approach to tweeting — that is, responding to or addressing other Twitter users without invoking the intended recipient’s Twitter handle — is something of a security precaution. After all, he had to know and even expect that security researchers would try to reconstruct his conversations after the fact. But this is far more difficult to do when the Twitter user in question never actually participates in threaded conversations.

People who engage in this way of tweeting also do not readily reveal the Twitter identities of the people with whom they chat most.

Thadeus Zu — whoever and wherever he is in real life — may not have been directly involved in the Ashley Madison hack; he claims in several tweets that he was not part of the hack, but then in countless tweets he uses the royal “We” when discussing the actions and motivations of the Impact Team. I attempted to engage Zu in private conversations without success; he has yet to respond to my invitations.

It is possible that Zu is instead a white hat security researcher or confidential informant who has infiltrated the Impact Team and is merely riding on their coattails or acting as their mouthpiece. But one thing is clear: If Zu wasn’t involved in the hack, he almost certainly knows who was.

KrebsOnSecurity is grateful to several researchers, including Nick Weaver, for their assistance and time spent indexing, mining and making sense of tweets and social media accounts mentioned in this post. Others who helped have asked to remain anonymous. Weaver has published some additional thoughts on this post over at Medium.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

PS4 Code Execution: Some Details

Hacker CTurt announced a few days ago that he has “code execution on the PS4“. Many asked for clarifications on this statement, others told me this wasn’t CTurt’s exploit to release… details were obviously needed.
CTurt has contacted me lately to share a few details

PS4 Code Execution: Firmware 1.76 only

I had the hope this would mean some cool stuff down the road for users on current PS4 firmware. CTurt confirmed the exploit is 1.76 only. Now, this could lead to additional information being found in the system for owners of more “up to date” firmwares, but for now don’t expect anything from this if you’re not on PS4 1.76

PS4 Code execution: for devs only

CTurt mentions he was given information by flat_z for this. It was strongly hinted to me that they are not the two only ones who know about the trick used to get code execution on PS4 1.76. What CTurt told me is that this is useful for devs only at this point. I assumed the trick is shared between hackers (although I’m not sure it’s that much of a secret at this point, people who’ve been following up on twitter can easily find leads on the technique used – and yes, this goes through the webkit exploit -) who are helping with the PS4 SDK.
CTurt mentioned however, that if they reach a point where a homebrew launcher can be made, he’ll consider doing a public release.

Black pitmasters left out of US barbecue boom


Barbecue is an American tradition – of enslaved Africans and Native Americans



The traditional holiday cookout has its roots in the cooperation between black and indigenous peoples struggling to get or keep their freedom from colonialists

Barbecue is a form of cultural power and is intensely political, with a culture of rules like no other American culinary tradition: sauce or no sauce; which kind of sauce; chopped or not chopped; whole animal or just ribs or shoulders. And, if America is about people creating new worlds based on rebellion against oppression and slavery, then barbecue is the ideal dish: it was made by enslaved Africans with inspiration and contributions from Native Americans struggling to maintain their independence.

The common cultural narrative of barbecue, however, exclusively assigns its origins to Native Americans and Europeans; the very etymology of the word is said to derive from both Carib through Spanish (barbacoa – to roast over hot coals on a wooden framework) or from western European sources (barbe-a-queue in French – “head to tail” – which fits nicely with contemporary ideas of no-waste eating and consuming offal). Some American barbecue masters have taken to attributing the innovation of barbecue to their German and Czech ancestors.

If anything, both in etymology and culinary technique, barbecue is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased from the modern story of American barbecue.

At best, our ancestors are seen as mindless cooking machines who prepared the meat under strict white supervision, if at all; at worst, barbecue was something done “for” the enslaved, as if they were being introduced to a novel treat.

In reality, they shaped the culture of New World barbecuing traditions, from jerking in Jamaica to anticuchos in Peru to cooking traditions in the colonial Pampas. And the word barbecue also has roots in West Africa among the Hausa, who used the term “babbake” to describe a complex of words referring to grilling, toasting, building a large fire, singeing hair or feathers and cooking food over a long period of time over an extravagant fire.

In the earliest colonial days, the West Indies served as a seed colonies for the presence of enslaved Africans in the New World especially because, within 10 years of European arrival, indigenous Americans endured mass, genocidal losses due to the introduction of diseases common in Europe. With only a few remaining Carib and Arawak indigenes, Africans quickly became the majority on the islands and, eventually, the Southeastern coast (where many island colonists resettled in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, often with their enslaved people in tow).

In Jamaica, maroon rebels who resisted slavery and formed their own settlements forged ties with rebellious indigenous islanders in the West Indies and Latin America (leading, eventually, to the modern form of barbecue known as jerking). Similar ties were established in the first areas of the United States to see the arrival of enslaved Africans, which occurred in 1526, after Spaniard Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon died in an effort to establish a colony in what we know now as South Carolina. Ayllon’s political successors abandoned the area, leaving behind the enslaved Africans and the Native Americans who had guided them there. With the Spanish had come pigs, which became feral and to this day infest Southern woodlands. It was in that context that barbecue made its debut on what is now American soil.

Enslaved Africans and Native Americans had a lot in common, culinarily-speaking: they had been cooking and eating in similar ways. despite an ocean between their civilizations. It only makes sense that, when their food ways, crops, cooking methods and systems of preservation, hunting, fishing and food storage collided, that there would be deep similarities and convergences of technique, method and skill. And West and Central Africans had always had their own versions of the barbacoa and spit roasting of meat. While living in a tropical climate, salting, spicing and half-smoking meat upon butchering was key to ensuring game would make it back to the village with minimal spoilage. Festivals were marked by the salting, spicing and roasting of whole animals or large cuts of meat.

Thus, in colonial and antebellum North America, enslaved men became barbecue’s master chefs: woodcuts, cartoons, postcards and portraits from the period document the role that black chefs played in shaping this very American, and especially Southern staple. Working over pits in the ground covered in green wood – much as in West Africa or Jamaica – it was enslaved men and their descendants, not the Bubbas of today’s Barbecue Pitmasters, that innovated and refined regional barbecue traditions. If anything, German, Czech, Mexican and other traditions in South Carolina, Missouri and Texas were added to a base created by black hands forged in the crucible of slavery.

In some ways barbecue is true Independence Day food. As European Americans acclimated themselves to the custom of forsaking utensils and even plates to eat more like enslaved Africans and Native Americans – from spareribs to corn on the cob – they used their hands in an unprecedented break with Old World formalities. It is not without some irony that enslaved people, the earliest barbecue pitmasters, were called upon to avail slaveholders and politicians with Fourth of July barbecues meant to win over neighbors and constituents. When they obtained their own freedom, the formerly enslaved celebrated Juneteenth with none other than their favorite freedom food – barbecue.

Barbecue is now widely recognized as a staple of the American culinary canon – so much so that at least three national holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day) are associated with it. Barbecue is laced with the aspiration of freedom, but it was seasoned and flavored by the people who could not enjoy any freedom on Independence Day for almost a century.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders may be more of a Democrat than the Democrats

By PatrickforO

He is talking about issues that at one time formed the core of the Democratic ideal. If you read some old speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt and other New Deal Democrats, you'll see that Bernie has come back to that core message; it is a message that saved America from going Communist in 1933, and created a powerful middle class that helped this nation become great. It created a 'great prosperity' from about 1950 to 1980 when the deterioration began.

So, you see, if you take a little longer view of history, you will see that beginning in the 1980s, the Democratic Party began its evolution toward the right as the Republicans 'evolved' even further right.

In the context of history, Obama and Clinton are what used to be called 'Eisenhower Republicans.' In fact, if you read Ike's brilliant 1963 essay, "Why I'm a Republican," and compare what he says in it, you'll see that Obama and Clinton are a little to the right of the ideas espoused therein, particularly on so-called 'free trade.'

So, what I'd say to you is that in Bernie, we have a reversal of the destructive neoliberal/neoconservative 'evolution' of Dems throughout the 80's, 90's, and 00's. Bernie is taking us back to the New Deal, which is basically a set of policies to strengthen the American middle class. Bernie does one better, though. He's got a good platform on racism and reform of the correctional system.

This is why so many of us are responding to Bernie. The American people are angry at how the game has been rigged against us, at how hard it is to get ahead now, at how dim the futures of our children are compared to ours. We are ripe for another New Deal - a Real Deal where our interests are once again put front and center. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Trump, Alabama and the ghost of George Wallace

The South rises for Trump, but only 20,000 of them.

By Ben Schreckinger


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Mobile, Ala., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo
MOBILE, Ala. — It was immigration, not segregation, that brought some 20,000 southerners — far fewer than predicted — out for Donald Trump on Friday night, but the ghost of George Wallace loomed large.

Wallace, an avowed segregationist, was the last presidential candidate to win electoral votes as a third-party candidate. The threat of Trump doing so, propelled by a hardline immigration stance that many have condemned as racist, looms over the Republican Party now as it did over the Democratic Party then, even as the enthusiasm of his following, for once, fell far short of expectations.

Wallace carried five Southern states, and Trump, who is leading early national polls in the race for the Republican nomination, touted his leads in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Texas.

Trump also panned birthright citizenship as a bad deal for the U.S., saying, “We’re the only place just about that’s stupid enough to do it.” Trump’s recently released immigration plan calls for ending birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, according to the legal consensus, though Trump disputes that point.

Trump invited Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of Congress’s most ardent immigration hardliners who helped the businessman craft his immigration plan, to the podium, where the two embraced.

He also attacked his favorite punching bag, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, on the issue. “ Jeb Bush, ugh,” said Trump, pausing for dramatic effect, before calling the former governor “totally in favor of Common Core, weak on immigration.”

Praising a woman who had brought Trump’s book “Art of the Deal” to the rally, he said, “I’ve got to get her the hell out of here, she’s so beautiful.”

He went on to say, “I will protect women. It’s so important to me”

There were also vestiges of Wallace’s Alabama, including on the sample editions of “The First Freedom” newspaper one man handed out to drivers as they entered the parking lot. The paper’s front page included a story about “black-on-white crime in South Carolina” and an editor’s note about German media’s silence about “the actual programs these peaceful ‘neo-nazis’ stand for.”

The vast majority of supporters where white: of over 1,000 people waiting to enter on the east of the Ladd Peebles Stadium at 5 p.m., eight were black.

A black pastor opened the rally with an invocation, asking, “What if we could replace hate with love?” He was followed by an all-black middle school student council that led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Marty Hughes, 47, wore a camouflage hat with Confederate flag detailing and said he liked Trump’s stances on immigration and taxes. He called the removal this year of Confederate flags from government property across much of the South “stupidity” and said he didn’t think a President Trump would stand for it. He named Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and neurosurgeon Ben Carson as other candidates who appealed to him.

Trump’s appeal to Leo Renaldo, is, “That he’s going to send them packing,” explained the 65-year-old, who drove four hours from Mississippi for the event, before his wife interjected, telling him, “Don’t say that.”

“Legal immigration is fine,” added Renaldo.

“He tells it like it is,” said Bob House, 57, a maintenance manager, of Trump’s appeal. “None of this political correct stuff.”

Earlier, the city said it expected 40,000 supporters at the rally, but various media outlets estimated that the total was in the ballpark of 15-20,000, leaving the stadium looking less than half full. Police officers at the rally said they would not be providing a crowd estimate.

The Trump campaign, which had said it expected 36,000 attendees, referred POLITICO to Colby Cooper, chief of staff to the mayor of Mobile, who said the city’s estimate was 30,000 attendees. “It’s an approximate number,” he said.

“This is one of the largest events Mobile has successfully pulled off, next to our Mardi Gras,” Cooper added. “We’re grateful to the Trump campaign.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed that 15,000 people attended a rally he held at a convention center in Phoenix, Arizona, in July, but the room’s capacity was just over 2,000 people. A convention center staffer at that event told POLITICO that the fire marshal had permitted just over 4,000 people to enter the room for the rally.

Trump continued to show a flare for showmanship, as he has at previous rallies. “If it rains I’ll take off my hat and prove once and for all that it’s real,” he said toward the outset of the rally, before following through and showing the crowd his hair, to loud cheers.

Before the event, his plane circled the stadium, eliciting a standing ovation.