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What would Jesus do? Oppose background checks, naturally.

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Sarah Palin

Although it is my inclination not to feed the troglodytic troll that is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin by giving her a dram of attention, her latest post on Facebook — a cattle call to preorder her new e-book — is such a remarkably dense concentration of conservative crankery, it could not be ignored.

In what can only be described as bullion cube of vintage ‘Murican stupid, Palin, resembling a Marine Todd meme brought to life, argues (in all-caps) that Jesus Christ would fight for Americans’ right to buy and carry guns with impunity. She writes:


Taking concrete defense measures (ie. arming ourselves) away from the good guys? Yeah… that… we don’t want that. As this hilarious parody says, “…it will really suck when only the bad guys have guns.”

Shoot, even the Lord said to take up arms and defend yourself and protect the innocent! We’re expected to take responsibility to defend ourselves and to protect the innocent, certainly not relying on fallible leaders to do it for us.

Don’t believe me? Look it up! Luke 22:36. I wrote about it in #sweetfreedom.
Proof, Jesus is a proponent of carrying!

Luke 22:36 quotes Jesus as saying “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one,” however Jesus does a mere two verses later say that two swords is “enough.” That would indicate to me that Jesus advocates for caps on gun ownership, governor.

Then again this is all quite speculative since Jesus has as much to say about guns as he has to say about the U.S. Constitution, which is not a thing at all, having predated both of them by some several centuries.

Next: Donald Trump

4. Donald Trump

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump (those four words in a row still get me) has been characteristically vocal throughout his campaign about his willingness to curtail the civil liberties of American Muslims, suggesting in the past that he would “certainly look at” whether or not mosques should be shut down.

The attacks in Paris have given the Twinkie-toned mogul the occasion to double down on this, saying that he might have “absolutely no choice” but to close mosques, and that he would be in favor of tracking Muslims in a database, assigning them specialized identification, and subjecting them to warrantless searches and new levels of surveillance.

It’s not just American Muslims — Trump sees peril from within and without. In discussing the supposed dangers posed by the Syrian refugees, Trump has assiduously ignored mentioning the fact they are subjected to a rigorous screening process. In an Instagram video posted to his account Tuesday, The Donald exclaimed: “Refugees are pouring into our great country from Syria! We don’t even know who they are. They could be ISIS. They could be anybody. What is our president doing? Is he insane?”

What is our President doing?

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

And speaking to Yahoo News, The Donald made clear his eagerness to boot out any refugees that may have already settled in the U.S. by the time he enters the Oval Office:

“They’re going to be gone. They will go back. … I’ve said it before, in fact, and everyone hears what I say, including them, believe it or not,” Trump said of the refugees. “But if they’re here, they have to go back, because we cannot take a chance. You look at the migration, it’s young, strong men. We cannot take a chance that the people coming over here are going to be ISIS-affiliated.”

Trump wasn’t much more sympathetic to Muslims who are already American citizens, suggesting ominously that “security is going to rule” and that the country would “have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

“We’re going to have to do things we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it,” Trump said. “Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.”

This week witnessed the leading Republican candidate cross the line, unambiguously, loudly, and repeatedly, into full-blown fascism. In the same Yahoo News interview, Trump said he would have to look “very closely” at the possibility of tracking and registering Muslims in a special database.

On Morning Joe Monday Trump spoke to the possibility of shutting down mosques: “I would hate to do it, but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider because some of the ideas and some of the hatred, the absolute hatred, is coming from these areas.”

Speaking to Sean Hannity the following day, Trump went a step further, exclaiming: “There’s absolutely no choice. Some really bad things are happening and they’re happening fast. Certainly a lot faster than our president understands because he doesn’t understand anything.”

“Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it,” Trump said. “A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice.”

And on Thursday Trump dug himself in further, telling NBC News that “absolutely” he “would certainly implement” a database tracking Muslims in America, and that Muslims would legally “have to be” in the database. Asked how that was any different from Nazis registering Jews, Trump said: “You tell me.”

Next: Rick Wiles

3. Rick Wiles

In his latest dispatch from his rust-ridden raft anchored off the coast of reality, End Times radio host Rick Wiles warned Americans of President Obama’s imminent plans to lead an “Islamic invasion of America.”

Repeating a notion familiar to his listeners, that there are ISIS cells infiltrating American churches, Wiles warned that the current refugee crisis with Syria is a smokescreen for a far more insidious plot.

“This mass migration is not an accident,” Wiles said. “It’s not the fruit of bad policy. It’s the fruit of deliberate policy.”

“Jihad Barry,” as Wiles calls the president, “knows what he’s doing, and this is to create total confusion in the West.”

Audio courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

In recent months, Wiles has claimed that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy heralded the End of Days, he praised Russia for enacting a brutal anti-gay agenda, and even suggested — in one of those delightful historical ironies — that conservative Americans might one day find safe haven there after Obama’s mass slaughter begins.

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Steven Anderson and Theodore Shoebat

1. & 2. Steven Anderson and Theodore Shoebat

TWIC ends in a draw this week, because at some point vile is just vile, and I honestly don’t know which of these hateful, deplorable responses to the ISIS attacks in Paris last Friday is worse.

Two conservative Christians, apparently working independently, reasoned that the 129 people who were killed, and the hundreds more who were injured, got what they deserved — for the simple reason that they either attended a concert, were out eating at a restaurant, or maybe just because they were French.

Conservative Christian pastor Steven Anderson spent his Sunday sermon (called “The Sinful Nation of France”) admonishing his flock that if you happen to be a French person, and especially if you listen to a band called Eagles of Death Metal, you basically have invited your own just demise.

Anderson said:

When you go to a concert of death metal, somebody might get killed! You know, you’re worshiping death, and then, all of a sudden, people start dying!… Well, you love death so much, you bought the ticket, you love worshiping Satan! Well, let’s have some of Satan’s religion come in and shoot you!

I mean, that’s what these people should think about before they go into such a wicked concert…

As if it mattered, the band Eagles of Death Metal is not actually a death metal band. Their style is described as “feelgood, bluesy boogie-rock.”

Anderson also called the group’s leader a “drug-pushing hillbilly faggot,” and excoriated the culture of France for being, he said, pro-adultery, a moral failing that justified the attacks.

Anderson’s comments about the concert begin at the 5:45 mark:

Self-described “Christian militant” Theodore Shoebat said the attacks were “part of God’s Providence,” because “Suffering is needed, in order to bring people to the One Who suffered for them.”

Shoebat has poured his vile thesis into a rambling, raging screed on his website, subtly and succinctly titled “Don’t Pray For France, France Is A Godless Nation That Deserved To Be Attacked. France Supports Terrorists And Kills Christians, And Needs To Be Punished.”

Shoebat sprays his scattershot venom on “feminist garbage,” “the evil reprobates of Charlie Hebdo,” Planned Parenthood, which “slaughters more people in a day than what those terrorists ever did,” and the audience at the Bataclan Theater, which constituted the majority of those slain in the attacks.

The concertgoers were, in Shoebat’s words, “singing a song, ‘Kiss the devil’. They died, not as martyrs for Christ, but as worshippers of the devil.”

“They were worshipping Satan,” he continued, “and we are suppose to feel sorry for them? They kissed the devil, and the devil came to them and slaughtered them. I say, to hell with them. The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Via Right Wing Watch and Patheos

Photo: Alpine425 via Flickr

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

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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Kevin Bacon, right, in "The Following"

The aftermath of the August 8, 2022 search of the Mar-a-Lago club, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, isn’t the first showdown between the FBI and a cult leader.

The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

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