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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


When Trump Throws Post-Election Dung, How Will His Fans Respond?

So now the big crybaby says he’s losing because his opponent is crooked and the referees are blind. It’s straight out of the WWE “Wrestlemania” playbook. It’s not for nothing that Donald J. Trump was inducted into the professional wrestling Hall of Fame, as I’ve noted before.

It’s all there: the boasting, the strutting, the racialized taunts, and the simulated mayhem naïve observers sometimes mistake for real. But it’s all make-believe, and deep down nearly all WWE fans know it. I expect most Trump supporters do too. Having failed miserably in his televised debates with Hillary Clinton—if he hadn’t been so outclassed, it’d be tempting to say he choked—Trump now claims that the entire U.S. political system is corrupt.

“The election is being rigged by corrupt people pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president,” the GOP candidate whined. “We can’t let them get away with this, folks….Remember this, it’s a rigged election….It’s a rigged election…It’s a rigged election.”

No, Donald, you’re just a big loser. Possibly one of the biggest losers in the history of American politics. “A third-rate con man who wilted under pressure and was finally incinerated in a fireball of his own stupidity” is how Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi puts it.

From a purely psychological perspective, it’ll be interesting to watch how Trump copes with his seemingly inevitable defeat. Beaten by a woman, no less, which to a man with the psychological makeup of an adolescent chimpanzee—all chest-beating and ritualized threat displays—is doubly worse.  

Among the great apes, it’s common for a humiliated combatant to defecate in his hand and fling it at his rival.

But I digress. The big question is how Trump’s impassioned supporters will respond to his dung throwing. “Election officials brace for fallout from Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ vote,” the Washington Post warns. The Boston Globe cautions that “Warnings of conspiracy stoke anger among Trump faithful.”

Globe reporters definitely found a few real humdingers among the crowd at a Trump rally in Cincinnati. There was Joe, a 39 year old first-time voter who fears Sharia law but apparently dozed through eighth-grade civics. “This is my prediction,” Joe said. “Trump is going to win the popular vote by a landslide, and the Electoral College will elect Hillary, because of all the corruption.”

Then there was Steve, a 61 year-old carpenter planning to heed Trump’s call to monitor suspect precincts. “I’ll look for …well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American,” he said. “I’m going to go right up behind them…I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”

Also Dan, a 50 year-old contractor who anticipates the worst:

“If [Hillary Clinton’s] in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot….We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take.  I would do whatever I can for my country.”

As I say, this is your basic pro-wrestling crowd. They’re mostly there for the spectacle–blowing off steam.

So my predictions are as follows: Joe won’t vote this time either. Why bother if it’s fixed?

Steve’s enthusiasm for racial profiling will fade after election officials inform him that harassing voters is a federal crime.

As for Dan, I’m guessing that the 50 year-old revolutionary’s zeal for a “Second Amendment solution” will vanish after the Secret Service knocks on his door. He’d probably been drinking.

Multiply those three by millions. Look, we’ve been hearing semi-hysterical rhetoric from Cow State white folks for many years. If it’s not the Tea Party, it’s the End Times delusions of the Left Behind novels. Only last year, a substantial proportion of Texans persuaded themselves that U.S. Army maneuvers code named “Jade Helm” constituted the opening wedge of an Obama-sponsored invasion.

Empty Walmart stores would serve as barracks for foreign soldiers; hundreds of miles of secret tunnels were being dug to help ISIS fighters infiltrate. Christian patriots would be imprisoned in FEMA re-education camps. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot promised vigilance. Sen. Ted Cruz made sympathetic noises.

And then? Nothing happened.

So this year’s mass hallucination is Donald J. Trump. Well, it says here that none of these dread outcomes are likely to happen. In Arkansas, where I live, Trump will probably win by twenty points. Obama Derangement Syndrome has turned the state deep red. So what happens after Hillary Clinton’s declared the winner come November 9?

Well, the Arkansas-LSU game in Fayetteville three days later. Don’t bother us, we’re busy.

Sometimes I think the only thing in American life as predictable as Cow State paranoia is Blue State intellectuals taking it far too seriously.

This Week In Crazy: Everyone’s Got Secession Fever

Donald Trump is railing against immigrants trying to get into the country, meanwhile we’ve got conservative activists and officers of the court angling to get out. Misogyny, paranoia, xenophobia, oh my! 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. Lee Bright

LeeBrightThe bill to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina state grounds made its way relatively briskly through the state legislature and on to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk — where she signed it Thursday afternoon.

That’s not to say there weren’t some snags. In the House, Representative Michael A. Pitts (R) introduced several amendments in an effort to protract the debates and stall the bill’s passage. Not a single amendment passed, and the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday.

A few days prior to Pitts’ filibuster, Republican South Carolina state senator Lee Bright took to the floor to go on an extended rant — that had very little to do with the Confederate flag. He enjoined his fellow senators to “take a stand” against the “tyranny of five judges,” and the godless agenda of a president who dares to sing “Amazing Grace” one moment and then light up the White House with “abomination colors” the next.

Bright choked back a sob as he said: “We can rally together and talk about a flag all we want but the Devil is taking control of this land and we’re not stopping him!”

Raw Story has the video:

Unmoved by Bright’s free association, the state Senate passed the bill 37-3. And the flag’s set to come down Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Via Raw Story

Next: Jade Helm Reactionaries 

4. Jade Helm Reactionaries

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

It’s been a while since we checked in on the federal government’s plot to conquer Texas.

With all the hullabaloo over marriage equality, South Carolina conceding the Civil War after a century-and-a-half delay, and Donald Trump’s endless supply of hot air, I guess it just fell through the cracks. I’m happy to report that Jade Helm 15 — either a series of war games or an Obama-masterminded plot to take over the Lone Star State, depending on which side of the sanity fulcrum you fall on — is coming along nicely.

And so Texas is taking steps to make sure it remains sovereign, self-sufficient, and backed by shiny, shiny gold.

Texas is the only state that still maintains a stockpile of gold — “approximately 5,600 gold bars worth around $650 million,” according to the AP — and now they’ve decided they want it all back within their borders. (The bullion is currently in a Manhattan bank.)

According to the Inquistr, “Texas politicians who support the decision to move the gold to Texas have tried to downplay allegations that they are anticipating the possibility that developments could lead to a secession bid.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris has put Obama on notice not to “infringe” on Texas with his military exercise thingy.

And Alex Jones — the talk-radio host who got the ball rolling on much of the conspiracy theorizing when this started — has said: “This is going to be hellish. … Now this is just a cover for deploying the military on the streets. … This is an invasion.”

Long before Texas secedes from the Union, it appears to have seceded from reality.

Next: Roy Moore and Randall Terry

3. Roy Moore and Randall Terry

RoyMooreAndRandallTerrySpeaking of secession, we’ve got a whole bunch of people so worked up over the Obergefell ruling that they’re ready to pack their bags rather than follow the law of the land.

The problem is some of these people are tasked with enforcing said law. That includes the county clerk in Kentucky recently caught on camera refusing to grant any marriage licenses rather than grant them to gay couples; the Texas attorney general who said he would support clerks who took such action; the Texas clerk who posted her own July 4 Declaration, this one in “Defense of Natural Marriage,” in which she asserted her moral and lawful right to be immoral and unlawful.

Conservative activist Randall Terry wants to go a step further: Just secede. Just say “we’ve had enough of this.”

At least Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, with whom Terry sat down for a conversation Monday, appears to be the relatively cooler head here. Moore said it’s “not time to secede” just yet — but officers of the court do have to “take a stand” and not “obey an unlawful order” — invoking the Nuremberg logic that Nazi soldiers had the duty to honor a “higher law.” Yes, really.

Moore asserted that marriage equality is “going to destroy the nation.”

“Then why not get out of the nation?” Terry asks.

Right Wing Watch has the video:

Via Right Wing Watch and The New Civil Rights Movement.

Next: Peter Nolan

2. Peter Nolan

nolan (1)Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) are an especially odious species of twit that has crawled out from the slime. Given an occasional brush with legitimacy — as when MRAs under the gentler title “suffragent” get wheeled onto Fox News, most of them exist in dark, rat-trap corners of the internet to sling their venom at anyone in sight.

Peter Andrew Nolan is one such MRA. According to We Hunted The Mammoth, a blog that “tracks and mocks the New Misogyny online,” Nolan has been celebrating a little prematurely the legitimization of the murder of women, claiming that Australian law has made it so.

According to a series of tweets directed at various handles, including that of actress Denise Richards, Nolan believes that the “time for talk is over. The time for men killing women to get your attention has arrived.”

This goes on at some length, and you can view screenshots of the various horrifying tweets here. (Nolan’s Twitter account has been suspended.)

Nolan is also an acolyte of the Sovereign Citizen movement, and so uses unconventional spelling and strange symbols in his name because he believes it undercuts the government’s jurisdiction over him. (He currently goes by the name Joschua-Boehm©.)

Lest anyone is encouraged to dismiss him outright as a troll, We Hunted The Mammoth warns that Nolan

does indeed believe that he is at war with Ireland and Australia, that murdering women is legal in both countries, and that he has the right to enforce these claims of his as best he can.

This isn’t the first time Nolan has justified or indeed celebrated violence against women. His declarations of “war” are not new. He’s offered some (barely) qualified praise for far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik, and at one point he warned any women thinking of commenting on his laughable Facebook ripoff MAN-BOOK that he just might just kill them for it.

But these recent Tweets are pretty brazen, even by his standards. He is clearly a threat to women, as well as to politicians and government employees regardless of gender.

Via We Hunted The Mammoth

(Please note: This page is called “This Week In Crazy,” but WHTM correctly notes that “mental illness does not cause hate.” Nolan’s vile ideology and threats perhaps warrant more sober consideration than the light touch I’ve given them here.)

Next: Michael Savage

1. Michael Savage

Screenshot: YouTube

Garrulous gasbag and radio host Michael Savage is the patron saint of trolls, reliably churning out the crazy for this page like a well-oiled machine of madness. If he did not exist, I would have to invent him, but I’m not disturbed enough to recreate his mental aerobics, in which everything can be connected to everything else and it all ends with the same solemn condemnations: Grr, Obama. Grr, liberals. 

His unhinged arias are paeans to paranoia. One of his latest — from his show Tuesday night — follows a chain of association from welfare programs to — you guessed it — Holocaust-level injustice occurring on our own soil.

“It’s all well and good, the welfare state,” he says. “Until you can’t afford it anymore. And guess what happens then. The country collapses!”

Then you get what the government has always wanted: civil war, insurrection, martial law — “And guess what happens then.”

Yep, “internment camps.”

And guess what happens then.” And here Savage takes aim at liberals who are content to let this all transpire because, after all, liberals assume that they won’t be the ones locked up in camps. Because liberals think they’re “all powerful” and “above the law.”

Liberals won’t be subjected to the New Obama Order — only Christians and veterans, Savage insists, will be gathered up and locked away. Liberals have what Savage calls the “Army of the Night” behind them, which consists of “illegal alien gangs.”

“We understand your entire plan!” Savage puts liberals on notice. Especially you, Obama, “the insane-est person on the planet.”

“This is what liberalism brings you,” Savage concludes. “Insanity and murder — and death and disease. It’s the opposite of what they sold you!”

I listened to your show, Mike. I tried — I really tried — to connect the dots, but all I got was a page of scribbles and a ringing in my ears.

Via Right Wing Watch

Image above: Jesse 1974 via Flickr

Texans Don’t Like Federal Aid. Until They Need It.

Texans don’t trust the federal government, and Texas politicians don’t like federal disaster relief. Until they do.

As floodwaters ravaged Central Texas, President Obama reached out to the state Tuesday afternoon to pledge the full cooperation and support of the federal government, exactly the kind of aid Texas has desperately needed and vocally rejected for so long.

Kriston Capps at Citylab has a comprehensive account of the Lone Star State’s tangled and troubled relationship with FEMA. As Capps notes, “Texas suffers more natural disasters than any state in the nation” and it “absorbs more federal disaster assistance funds than any other state.”

The state’s antipathy toward any kind of federal involvement reached comical heights in recent weeks, when residents of Bastrop County, Texas became convinced that a training exercise taking place near them was part of a federal plot to invade the state. Texas governor Greg Abbott caved in to the insanity when he ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the wargames, and Ted Cruz (R-TX), senator from Texas and GOP presidential candidate, supported the move.

Unfortunately, this mentality has destructive consequences. As Capps writes:

FEMA plays a prominent role in this fever dream: Conspiracists fear that the agency means to erect prison camps. In fact, FEMA stands to play a prominent role in places like Bastrop, where county emergency officials performed multiple water rescues after the Bastrop State Park dam failed.

The tragedy unfolding in Texas highlights why it was so dangerous for Governor Abbott to flirt with extreme paranoia in the first place. By endorsing extremist skepticism of the federal government, even tacitly, the governor exacerbates unfounded fears of FEMA and other federal assistance providers. And at a time when the state cannot provide for adequate flood-control infrastructure—and cannot pass legislation to let cities lead the emergency housing response—the state of Texas cannot afford to promulgate widespread fears about FEMA.

Looking forward, it doesn’t seem like Texas’s knotty relationship with FEMA will get any better.

Under new FEMA rules, states seeking federal money for disaster preparedness will be required to summarize the future hazards facing them, and that includes acknowledging the “changes in weather patterns and climate” that pose a threat. For governors who, like Abbott, deny the science on climate change, this makes it difficult to adequately protect against natural disasters.

Other governors in a similar fix include Florida’s Rick Scott, who has banned all mention of climate change, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who called FEMA’s new policy an act of “coercion” that was forcing states to “submit to [Washington’s] liberal ideology.”

Via Citylab

Photo: Volunteers Steven Moon, from left, Joseph Buswell and Garett Roy help remove a flattened house on the banks of the Blanco River after the flood in Wimberley, Texas, on Tuesday May 26, 2015. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

This Week In Crazy: Let Biker Gangs Fight ISIS!

ISIS is on the rise in American schools! The only ones who can stop them are Texas biker gangs! But then who will defend the Lone Star State when the feds invade? Only God can say. 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. Rick Perry

Rick PerryAh, Jade Helm 15. Depending on your point of view (and level of sanity), it’s either a military training exercise or the first shot in the federal government’s cunning plan to surreptitiously invade Texas and declare martial law. Among the people in the latter camp: radio shock jocks, gun-clutching paranoids, presidential candidates, the current Texas governor, and now the former Texas governor, Rick Perry.

Perry spoke on Glenn Beck’s radio show Tuesday, and neither man would exactly confirm or deny whether he thought the feds were invading Texas — Beck, for his part, acknowledged that the idea was more than a little nuts — but considering the current administration, they agreed that it sure was easy to understand why people feel this way. (This is more or less the same line Ted Cruz toed when he was asked about Jade Helm; it’s a tricky balancing act to appease paranoiacs afraid of the White House, while asking them to vote you into it.)

Although he has not yet announced a run for the Oval Office, Perry stated, “If I were to become President of the U.S., I think there would be a clearly changed attitude towards that office. […] I hope people always question government. They should.”

Take note, voters. When Perry is president, nobody need be afraid of him.

Via Raw Story and Right Wing Watch

Next: Pat Robertson

4. Pat Robertson

MadPatPat Robertson, noted crackpot for Christ, sees demons everywhere. Including, apparently, in eating disorders.

On Tuesday’s edition of The 700 Club, Robertson got to discussing those who have struggled with anorexia and other eating disorders (including Karen Carpenter, who Roberston said “had a marvelous sound”).

Mad Pat has a reputation for applying his unique perspective to a variety of topics: He has warned us in the past that God is planning to unfriend America and that marriage equality would force everyone into having gay sex. But as near as I can tell, nobody ever turned to him for advice about anorexia. Which is probably good, because his tack is to treat it like a case of demonic possession and dispel the insidious disorder as one would exorcise a malevolent spirit.

“This can be treated as a demonic possession thing,” Robertson said. “It is like a demon and it needs to be rebuked and cast out.”

He continued: “It’s not something you can just pat ’em on the back and say ‘well, hey hey, why don’t you eat? I’ve got you a nice steak.'”

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Matthew Hagee

3. Matthew Hagee

HageeIt must be nice to have all the answers to everything. Especially when the answer is always: “God.”

It gives you such a leg up when trying to understand senseless acts of violence — such as the recent gun battle in a Waco, Texas, parking lot, which cost nine people their lives, and apparently was the result of longstanding conflicts between rival biker gangs.

Now, you could try to unpack the tangle of issues at play here, maybe open up another conversation about violence and American culture, or discuss the underlying social factors that drive men to shoot each other over a parking space.

Or you could just… you know…say “God.” As Texas-based pastor Matthew Hagee did Tuesday on his “Hagee Hotline” program, an evangelical web series that offers “unedited commentary on the state of our nation and current geopolitical events from a Scriptural perspective.”

“I believe it’s important to consider these facts,” Hagee said after noting that the parking lot bloodbath was very likely a sign of the End Times. “The Bible tells us we are to fear God.”

He continued: “One of the things I’ve noticed in the world is that the less we fear God in heaven, the more we fear each other. […] Right now, law enforcement is fearful of what a rival gang might do […] Right now, citizens are fearful about what’s going to happen in their city next […] When a simple fear of God and a reverence for his Word could cure a lot of problems.”

Glad we solved that one.

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Rachel Campos-Duffy

2. Rachel Campos-Duffy 

Fox News’ Outnumbered sunk to a new, hitherto unsunk-to low Thursday morning when co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy blamed American schools’ embrace of diversity and multiculturalism for ISIS’s success at recruitment.

How do you square that with the ethos of the decidedly un-inclusive, affirmatively unicultural Islamic State?

Campos-Duffy’s comments came on the heels of a story about FBI agents and local police warning U.S. high schoolers against joining ISIS. According to the report, ISIS recruitment videos have become increasingly sophisticated at manipulating young minds.

And how did the youth of America become so vulnerable?

It seems that by recognizing other cultures, conceding that the U.S. is not perfect, and downplaying American exceptionalism, what we have actually done is not broaden children’s perspectives, but instilled in them an “anti-American, anti-Western ideology” that has poisoned them against their own homeland and made them easy pickings for ISIS.

Campos-Duffy laid it out thus:

What’s happening in the culture that would actually make this seem attractive? […] And I’ve thought about it a lot. And I think that what’s happening is that, you know, think about, there’s not very much assimilation, and then once kids go to school, we have removed any kind of positive celebration of our culture, of our founders. And so there’s this vacuum. […] These kids from elementary to secondary to college… they’re buying into this multicultural “we’re the imperialists, we’re the bad guys,” and so we have created a system that doesn’t reinforce and make people feel like they belong to this country.

Via Media Matters

Next: Sandy Rios

1. Sandy Rios


Both the police handling of the Waco shootout and the subsequent media coverage have drawn criticism for demonstrating some glaring double standards.

When rival gangs turned a public parking lot into a scene from a John Woo film, it seems that very few in the press thought to call it an “act of terror,” or the people spraying bullets at each other “thugs.”

Sandy Rios, Director of Governmental Affairs for the anti-gay outfit American Family Association (AFA), has an answer for why that is.

It turns out that the Bandidos and Cossacks — two of the rival gangs involved in the fight — are not who we need to be afraid of. Because these roaming gangs of heavily armed men who run drugs, and engage in organized crime, are not the “real” enemies.

Rios clarified her position on her radio show Monday: “Police have their hands full fighting our real enemies,” she said. “The cartels, the Islamists. And now they’re fighting motorcycle gangs?”

This senseless violence, Rios said, could be avoided if only these “motorcycle gangs” could refocus their energies more constructively. She continued: “Let’s have a little retraining… for motorcycle gangs and put them on our side, fighting our enemies.”

Rios distorts the very real threats posed by these biker gangs by likening them to unruly children that can be turned around.

(Remember last August, when she called a reporter who got arrested covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri a “punk”?)

In fact, as NBC News notes, the Bandidos are “one of the most dangerous gangs there, on par with the Bloods, Crips and the Aryan Brotherhood,” and have been responsible for a significant amount of crime in Texas.

Recall that just last week Rios criticized the media for failing to mention that the engineer on the Amtrak train that derailed outside Philadelphia, was gay, saying it was an interesting factor in the story and deserved attention.

Well Sandy, most of these biker boys are career criminals who went on a violent rampage in a public place with little regard for bystanders — I think that is an interesting factor too. You might even call them… “punks.”

Right Wing Watch has the audio:

Via Crooks and Liars and Right Wing Watch

Photo above: Tom Small via Flickr