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This Week In Crazy: Obama Tried To Nuke Charleston!

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. Sean Duffy and Andrea Tantaros
As all Americans on the East Coast know, this winter has been brutally cold and unusually snowy; in fact, schools in Easton, Massachusetts had so many snow days that the town moved to eliminate three religious holidays next year to avoid having to extend the school year well into the summer, as they’re doing in 2015.

Or at least that’s what they want you to think.

Fortunately for This Week In Crazy readers, the “one lucky guy” on the Monday edition of the Fox News trollfest Outnumbered — U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) — is here to expose the horrible truth about the liberal snow plot otherwise known as winter.

“That makes too much sense,” the Tea Party congressman and former Real World star said of the Easton school committee’s explanation for shortening the schedule. “Don’t let any good crisis go to waste, and if you want to take religion out of the public square, look at Boston and look at all the snow and say, ‘What a great reason now, we can take these religious holidays out of our school system.'”

Co-host Andrea Tantaros heartily agreed.

“I think the congressman hit the nail on the head,” she said. “This is what happens when liberal academic Boston meets ethnic Boston.”

Perhaps Duffy and Tantaros should look to the shining example of Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who recently demonstrated how snow can be turned against the liberal aggressors.

4. Bryan Fischer
When discredited right-wing author Ed Klein wrote an anonymously sourced column claiming that White House advisor Valerie Jarrett leaked Hillary Clinton’s email controversy to the press, it was only a matter of time until the fringe sank its teeth into the conspiracy theory.

As usual, Bryan Fischer led the charge. On the Tuesday edition of his show, Fischer took Klein’s “report” one step further, by explaining why President Obama would want to disqualify Clinton: To destroy America!

“I’ve got a theory about why President Obama is trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy,” Fischer said. “If his agenda is to weaken this country; if his agenda is to transform this country into something that you and I don’t recognize, I believe he thinks he can do that better if Hillary Clinton loses than if Hillary Clinton wins. I think this is all about President Obama wanting to preserve his ability to continue to be a community agitator.”

It’s slightly surprising to hear Fischer — who believes that the president was too lazy to even find out about the Osama bin Laden raid — suggest that Obama will continue the hard work of dismantling the Republic after he leaves office. But in any case, he makes a pretty good case for why Republicans should vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

3. Peter Kinder

Screenshot via Buzzfeed

Screenshot: BuzzFeed

The recent Justice Department report on the Ferguson criminal justice system has exposed the crooked practices and deep-seated racism of a rotten institution. Not the Ferguson police department and courts! No, you see, as Missouri lieutenant governor Peter Kinder explains, the Department of Justice has in fact revealed its own racism!

Per Kinder: “There is more racism in the Justice Department […] than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area. […] It is the left. It is the Eric Holder and Obama left, and their minions who are obsessed with race, while the rest of us are moving on beyond it.”

Now, despite the fact that the investigation revealed that for years, Ferguson officials abused their authority by turning the city’s black citizens into a revenue stream through a system of meritless citations, it appears that the actual injustice has been perpetrated on the good state of Missouri by the DoJ’s cadre of “radical, hard left radical leftist lawyers” (try saying that 10 times fast).

Bottom line: Leave Missouri alone, you racist radicals! They have the situation in hand.

You can view the video via BuzzFeed here.

2. Kevin Swanson

Kevin Swanson, the severely warped radio host, has slinked back on to the list! Swanson, you may recall, is the host of Generationsa Colorado Springs-based program whose goal is to “present life from the perspective of a Biblical worldview.” A worldview that apparently causes one to hear a hellish, corrupting influence in the anodyne lyrics of pop idols like Taylor Swift.

Swift’s single “Welcome to New York,” an ode to the city where, as the singer tells it, “you can want who you want / Boys and boys and girls and girls,” is an anthem of depravity, inducing us into national apostasy through our children’s precious, impressionable ears. Mothers, lock up your daughters’ iPods. Better yet, just lock up your daughters. Because to hear Swanson tell it, nowhere — not churches, not public school classrooms — is safe from the corrupting influence of pop culture and its “demon songs.”

Although when you listen to Swanson recite Swift’s lyrics, with a kind of slippery staccato rhythm and creepy sibilant hiss, not to mention the ghoulish, prurient way he elongates these pop singers’ names (“Miiiley Cyruuuus, Taaaaylor Swift taking their little fan club allllll the waaaay, allll the waaaay…”), um, yeah it kind of does sound demonic.

(Incidentally, the godless city that is the subject of the song was not fond of the tune either. Swift’s really getting it from all sides here.)

1. Rick Santorum & Friends
At far-right campaign events, there’s often a crazy person in a crowd who creates an awkward moment for the politicians in attendance. But few have ever delivered like the InfoWars-style paranoiac who took over last week’s South Carolina National Security Action Summit.

During the event, this week’s “winner,” former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, took a question from the audience — and it was a real doozy.

“Why is the Congress rolling over and letting this communist dictator destroy my country?” a woman shouted at Santorum. “Y’all know what he is and I know what he is. I want him out of the White House! He’s not a citizen. He could’ve been removed a long time ago.”

After name dropping This Week In Crazy favorite Larry Klayman, the woman got to her main point — and her rant completely skipped the rails.

“Where do we go from here? Ted [Cruz] told me I’ve got to wait now ’til the next election. I don’t think the country will be around for the next election,” she lamented. “Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago…he has fired all the generals and all the admirals who said they wouldn’t fire on the American people if you asked them to do so if he wanted to take the guns away from them!”

Santorum, who looked deeply uncomfortable throughout the entire diatribe, finally got an opportunity to answer.

“First off, I take somewhat offense,” Santorum began. Well, that sounds promising!

“Because I’m not a sitting member of the Senate, so I’m not taking blame for any of that stuff.” Oh.

Good luck with that plan to avoid another circus primary in 2016.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

This Week In Crazy: Generalissimo Graham Prepares To Seize Congress

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. Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has long complained about President Obama trampling the Constitution, and over the weekend, we may have learned the reason why: Envy.

Speaking at a “Politics and Pies” forum in Concord, New Hampshire, Graham — who is preparing a longshot presidential bid — said that his first order of business in the White House would be deploying the military against Congress.

Seriously.

“And here’s the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this,” Graham said, according audio posted by libertarian pundit Ben Swann. “I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”

So is Senator Graham actually plotting a coup against Congress? Apparently not. In a statement to Bloomberg’s David Weigel, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop clarified that the line was “not to be taken literally” (despite the senator’s literal use of the word “literally”).

In other words: Graham/Kyl 2016!

4. Menendez Truthers
When news broke that the Justice Department is preparing to file federal corruption charges against Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), it wasn’t hard to predict the Republican reaction. And the right wing did not disappoint.

As it turns out, Menendez’s legal troubles, like most things in life, are President Obama and Eric Holder’s fault.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) explains:

“The timing is curious,” Cruz said. Menendez is reportedly set to be charged with corruption for accepting gifts and vacations from a longtime donor after a years-long investigation.

“It raises a suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon as well,” Cruz said. “That’s a serious concern.”

The always paranoid Cruz is not alone; his always hysterical colleague Lindsey Graham also smells a rat:

“All I can say is, they were leaked,” Graham said. “He wasn’t actually charged officially. They leaked the fact that he may be charged, is gonna be charged. I hate it when that happens for anybody. I like Bob. Like everybody else, he’s innocent until proven guilty. He’s been a champion on the Iranian nuclear issue. It just doesn’t smell right.”

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) also got in on the action:

“Bob Menendez has been an excellent partner for me on the Iran stuff, and I’m worried now by leaking stuff (from) Justice it’s politically motivated to silence Bob for his work on Iran, which he should be praised for,” said Kirk.

Of course, back in reality, the Justice Department investigation into Menendez began well before the Iran debate heated up — and while Menendez opposes President Obama’s attempts to reach a nuclear deal, he’s actually been rather accommodating of the White House. Plus, it’s hard to imagine the president flagrantly abusing his power to replace a senator who votes with the Democrats 96.9 percent of the time with Republican governor Chris Christie’s hand-picked appointment.

But if nothing else, the Republican Menendez truthers have guaranteed the senator a lifetime full of appearances on right-wing radio if things turn south.

3. Glenn Beck
American Prophet Glenn Beck took a quick break from predicting the Apocalypse on Wednesday, to issue an even scarier warning: The Muslim Brotherhood is making him quit the National Rifle Association!

Well, sort of. By “Muslim Brotherhood,” Beck actually means conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. You see, his guest on the show — Islamophobic extremist Frank Gaffney — believes that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the American conservative movement, Norquist included.

So as long as Norquist serves on the NRA board, Beck has a problem.

“I am not an expert on Grover Norquist by any stretch of the imagination,” Beck began his presentation reasonably, “but I’ve heard enough that makes me concerned enough that — and I hope that the leadership of the NRA hears this and every member of the NRA hears this — that if this man is elected, or re-elected, and confirmed on the board of the NRA, I may drop my membership in the NRA. I am that concerned that he is a very bad influence and a very bad man that if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don’t think I can be associated with them.”

It takes a special brand of craziness to get banned from CPAC — and naturally, it has a home behind Glenn Beck’s microphone.

2. Bryan Fischer
Bad news, gay people: You’re going to go blind!

That’s the diagnosis from Dr. Bryan Fischer, who has gone from warning that “I don’t think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda” to trying to save gay people’s demonic vision.

As Fischer explained on Wednesday, just as undocumented immigrants brought measles and polio back from the brink of eradication (just go with it), so are gay people bringing back ocular syphilis.

Fischer is especially concerned about black men, who are at greater risk for contracting the disease.

“All we’ve heard over the last number of months is ‘black lives matter,’ ‘black lives matter,’ ‘black lives matter.’ I agree, black lives matter,” he explained. “If you’ve got a behavior, you’ve got a conduct, you’ve got a lifestyle that is resulting in potentially blinding health risks for black males and their​ risk is five times higher than white males, I would say if black lives matter, it is time we started doing something about that.”

Never doubt Bryan Fischer’s love for black males.

1. Dave Agema
There was no shortage of stupid responses to President Obama’s speech marking the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but no one even approached this week’s “winner,” Republican National Committee member Dave Agema.

Agema, an unrepentant bigot and constant source of embarrassment for the RNC, took to Facebook on Monday to share his thoughts on the president’s big speech.

It did not go well.

When one commenter on the post asked Agema how he knows that the president is just 6.25 percent black, the RNC member replied, “snopes and yahoo- google ‘what percentage of white, black and Arab is Obama.'”

Meanwhile, it’s still not safe for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to Google “Republican outreach.”
republican outreach search

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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Photo: Department of Defense via Flickr

Don’t Sleep On Mike Huckabee In 2016

The 2016 presidential election is still almost 700 days away, but the campaign is already getting underway. Over the weekend, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee became the latest candidate to explore a run for the White House.

Huckabee, who unsuccessfully pursued the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, announced on Saturday that he is ending his eponymous Fox News show to consider joining the race.

“As much as I have loved doing the show, I cannot bring myself to rule out another presidential run,” Huckabee said. “As we say in television, stay tuned!”

Huckabee would be a long shot to actually win the Republican nomination, much less the presidency. While his unflinching social conservatism has made him popular with the religious right, his far-right views would leave him incredibly vulnerable in a national campaign. Huckabee’s opponents could make a strong case that his history of inflammatory comments — such as his lecture on “Uncle Sugar” and women’s libidos, or his insistence that Roe v. Wade makes America worse than Nazi Germany, or his full-throated defense of Todd Akin — would make him completely unelectable in a general election. In contrast to his extreme social conservatism, Huckabee’s economic record as governor — which includes raising taxes, increasing government spending, and trying to protect some undocumented immigrants from deportation — leaves many Republicans suspicious. And perhaps most importantly, it remains unclear whether Huckabee can raise the roughly $150 million needed to survive the primary season.

Still, Republicans must take his candidacy very seriously. Because even if Huckabee doesn’t win the nomination, he could play a huge role in determining who ultimately does.

Huckabee is arguably the most popular politician in the country among conservative Christians. In 2008, he won eight states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia — all of which rank among the most evangelical in the nation. As Aaron Blake recently illustrated in the Washington Post, Huckabee’s vote totals nearly equaled the evangelical population in most of the 31 states in which he appeared on the ballot.

There’s reason to believe that he could repeat or even improve upon those results if he runs again 2016. Huckabee has spent the past six years regularly appearing on Fox News, raising his name recognition to the top tier of prospective GOP candidates. He is better liked than any of his competitors. And as a result, he currently leads most of his likely opponents in early polling of the 2016 race.

That said, it seems likely that the competition for evangelical voters will be much tougher in 2016 than it was when Huckabee last ran; candidates such as Texas senator Ted Cruz, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and former Texas governor Rick Perry will surely compete for Huckabee’s base, and cut into it to at least some degree. That could be bad news for evangelicals’ hopes of nominating a culture warrior. If, for example, Cruz were to split the evangelical vote with Huckabee, it could doom both of them in the Iowa caucus and in a potential “SEC Super Tuesday,” featuring March 1 primaries in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi Tennessee.

So ironically, Huckabee’s candidacy may be the best thing that could happen for perceived moderates like Jeb Bush or Rand Paul. But if he can unify the religious right behind him — and he seems to have a better chance of doing so than any other Republican — then Mike Huckabee could be a very formidable challenger in his own right.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

This Year In Crazy: The Looniest Wingnuts And Conspiracy Theories Of 2014

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

2014 was a year of big events, which means that it was also a year of big conspiracy theories. Did you enjoy the World Cup? You’re a victim of President Obama’s plan to distract you from his “scandals.” Are you a basketball fan? Then you should know that Donald Sterling was framed by Obama, for some reason. Wonder what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370? Obama blew it up. The Ebola virus? That was Obama, too.

No matter who you are, this year the extreme right had a paranoid tale for you. But some fringe figures stood out for their persistent dedication to utter insanity. Here are the top five wingnut all-stars of 2014:

5. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson, who became a right-wing celebrity in 2013 after insulting President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, spent most of the year preparing for a widely expected 2016 presidential run. On paper, it seems like a great idea: Beloved by conservatives and favored by God’s fingers, Carson’s inspiring life story and highly decorated medical career would seem to make him the perfect “outsider” candidate.

There’s only one problem: He’s completely off his rocker.

Craziest moment: Carson spent most of the year warning America that President Obama is simultaneously a Nazi, a communist, and a socialist who plans to cancel the 2016 election, so there are plenty of rants from which to choose. But they all pale in comparison to Carson’s revelation that Pharrell’s chart-topping hit “Happy” was actually a distraction from Benghazi.

Prediction for 2015: It’s all fun and games until Carson wins the Ames straw poll.

4. Gordon Klingenschmitt

Nothing exemplifies the year in politics better than the fact that in November, demon-hunting, militant gay-fearing talk show host Gordon Klingenschmitt won election to Colorado’s House of Representatives as a Republican.

Abraham Lincoln would be proud.

Craziest moment: Between warning Americans that demons lurk in their marijuana, attacking Al Franken’s pedophile bill and Nancy Pelosi’s bathroom bill, and promising that Jesus would overrule the Supreme Court and outlaw same-sex marriage by sending gay men to hell, it’s been a pretty busy year. But nothing is topping Klingenschmitt’s spin on the ice-bucket challenge:

Prediction for 2015: Upon joining a Republican caucus that recently included a man who was thankful that the Aurora shooter had so many bullets, Klingenschmitt will try to exorcise Governor John Hickenlooper. After all, he wouldn’t want anyone think that he’s a RINO.

3. Louie Gohmert

Michele Bachmann may be leaving Congress, but thankfully we still have Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to stand guard against President Obama’s Muslim brothers, war on women nurses, and attempt to steal Santa’s job.

Craziest moment: In October, Gohmert — a member of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security — explained how gay massages would cause America to lose the War on Terror:

Prediction for 2015: Gohmert will continue his uphill battle to win Latino votes for the GOP (if America still exists by the next election).

2. Rick Wiles

Screenshot/Youtube

Screenshot: YouTube

Of all of the wild conspiracy theories to surface throughout the year, none were more creative than those of right-wing radio host Rick Wiles. His paranoid fears that President Obama is trying to trick Americans into growing jihad beards, or that the government will give citizens Ebola to herd them into FEMA camps, or that “super gay male soldiers” are coming to wipe out Christianity are so outrageous that it’s a wonder his frequent guest Allen West hasn’t plagiarized them yet.

Craziest moment: Ebola isn’t even the disease that Wiles feared the most in 2014; it was nothing compared to the Obama administration’s genetically engineered zombie virus.

“The Walking Dead? It’s coming,” Wiles warned. He went on to describe a “virus” which the government “spliced with another virus,” causing people to “literally go insane.”

“Remember several years ago, we had here in Florida, the face eater?” he continued. “The man who literally ate the face off of a man on the streets of Miami?”

“They’re testing something,” he concluded darkly. “This is far worse than anything we could ever imagine that can happen. We’re going right into the last days, folks.”

Prediction for 2015: Fearing that Tea Partiers will distrust his extensive medical background, Ben Carson will promise to make Wiles his running mate in hopes of balancing the ticket.

1. Glenn Beck

When it comes to craziness, no one can top American prophet Glenn Beck. He may not be the most paranoid or the most unhinged, but his sermons on race, immigration, politics, and whatever other shiny objects distract him on any given day cannot be topped for entertainment value.

Craziest moment: Beck doesn’t seem to fully understand what net neutrality is, but he is pretty sure that it will literally kill us all:

Prediction for 2015: Nothing — the demons will finally succeed at silencing Beck, and you won’t hear from him again for about 40 years.