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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Welcome to This Week In Crazy, The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Cliff Kincaid

Cliff Kincaid, via Accuracy In Media
Cliff Kincaid (Accuracy In Media)

Everyone does stupid things at some point in life. But while many of us move on and grow, it turns out that President Obama’s well-documented and fully copped-to dalliance with marijuana as a young man was not the sort of indiscretion one can simply sleep off. According to Cliff Kincaid, Obama is still under the spell of that reefer madness, and the whole country is paying the price. When young Barack’s guard was down, smothered in a cannabinoid haze, apparently he was brainwashed into communism.

Kincaid is the director of the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism, the same conservative media watchdog that thought Fox News was too liberal, so his relationship with reality might be best described as “complicated.” Still, the baroque paranoia at work during his Tuesday appearance on Rick Wiles’ TruNews radio show is something:

He was a heavy marijuana user. That had to have an effect on him. Maybe it’s clouded him some way, it enabled [activist and poet Frank Marshall] Davis to brainwash him. Of course we know he was raised partly as a Muslim. These are the ingredients that went into the combustible material that we see in the White House today, and the whole thing is threatening to explode.

Right Wing Watch has the audio.


4. Mike Bocchino

Oh, boy. After a long day of legislating, nothing takes the edge off like a good rape joke, huh? A Connecticut state senator, and presumably failed comedian, made an off-color remark about sexual assault while discussing a bill meant to prevent that very thing. (It was a timely joke, you see.)

Republican lawmaker Mike Bocchino made his comment during a Tuesday committee meeting for a bill that would require “affirmative consent” from both partners (similar to the “yes means yes” legislation that passed in California last year). Speaking to the sometimes ambiguous nature of college sexual encounters, Bocchino raised his concerns thusly: “Because at the end of the day there are no witnesses. At least if there are, it’s a really great party.”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Via WFSB


3. Bobby Jindal & Doug McKelway

Want to protect your state against climate change? It might help to admit that such a thing exists. Then again, according to a Wednesday Fox News report, that might just be the feds forcing you to “get in line ideologically by the power of the purse.”

New FEMA rules will ask states seeking federal money for disaster preparation to summarize the future hazards facing them, and that includes mentioning the “changes in weather patterns and climate” that pose a threat.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal sees this as an example of “inmates running the asylum” and “coercion.” You see, FEMA isn’t asking states to be responsible and gather the most reliable scientific evidence — it’s trying to force climate skeptics to “submit to [Washington’s] liberal ideology.” Never mind that this “ideology” is mainly based on sensible risk assessment, and helping states “adapt to changing conditions and prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disruptions caused by a hazard.” The fact that the new guidelines take the dreaded phrase “climate change” as a given is enough for Jindal.

Thankfully, Fox News producer Doug McKelway has Jindal’s back. Appearing on Special Report with Bret Baier, McKelway lamented that Jindal — whose state could lose up to $2 billion over 5 years — is being “held hostage to what many consider to be the deeply politicized science of climate change.”

Maybe he should just take Florida governor Rick Scott’s approach and ban the mention of “climate change” altogether.

It’s a tough call: Embrace reality, or potentially let a lot of people die. Hmm…


Via Media Matters


2. Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who turned into an ultra-conservative nut garden and Tea Party patron saint, was the subject of a long, unsettling profile by Jason Zengerle in the April 2015 edition of GQ. The piece shadows Carson as he tours Israel, watches the State of the Union address, and gears up for a possible (and alarmingly plausible) run for the presidency despite having no experience in government and a history of kooky, ill-considered outbursts.

There are so many gems from the article that one could credibly fill this whole list with Carson, but where would be the fun in that? The good doctor visits Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, which inspires him to double down on his likening of Obama’s America to the Third Reich. An explanation of the parliamentary democracy at work in the Knesset baffles him, and he earnestly inquires as to why they don’t simply drop everything and adopt our two-party system. He confuses the roles of Fed chairman and treasury secretary. His handlers have to dissuade him from calling the president a psychopath on CNN. It’s just a treasure trove of Carson.

All in all, the article paints a portrait of a man who is just unhinged, uninformed, incurious, and foolhardy enough to win his party’s nomination.

Read the full article at GQ.


1. Gordon Klingenschmitt

Ah, Gordon Klingenschmitt, welcome back. The Colorado state representative who heads up the overtly theocratic Pray In Jesus Name project never stays off the list for long.

This crank for Christ has said many, many stupid things over the years: He likened gay marriage to slavery, warned us there were demons in marijuana, and promised that Jesus would personally nullify same-sex marriage by sending gay men to hell. And then this week, he took the shameful tack of blaming a sickening act of violence on God’s wrath against legal abortion.

On Wednesday, in a response to a horrific attack against a pregnant woman, Klingenschmitt invoked the Book of Hosea, which foretold of such violence occurring to the people of Samaria because they had rebelled against God. “I wonder if there’s prophetic significance to America in that scripture,” Klingenschmitt pondered. “This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb. And part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”

Lest we forget, Klingenschmitt is no ordinary raving loon — he’s an elected representative who carried nearly 70 percent of the vote in his district in 2014.

We may need to give him his own feature: This Week In Repulsive.

Video and image above via Right Wing Watch.

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