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

Ex-Porn Actor Led Young Marines To Create Secret Nazi ‘Death Squad’ In Idaho

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Three Marine Corps veterans and their porn-star neo-Nazi guru, arrested last month on charges that they engaged in an interstate gun-running scheme, comprised a band of violent fascists who had recently moved to Idaho with the intent of making it a base of operations for their plans to engage in acts of domestic terrorism, federal prosecutors revealed this week.

According to the grand-jury indictment filed this week by prosecutors in North Carolina, the men's schemes went well beyond those with which they have been charged—namely, buying semiautomatic rifles, altering them into automatics, then shipping them from Idaho to North Carolina. The foursome not only engaged in paramilitary training in the Idaho desert, they surveilled two separate Black Lives Matters marches in Boise this summer and discussed killing participants. They also plotted to assassinate BLM founder Alicia Garza.

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Michigan Militia Plot Involved Capitol Takeover, Televised ‘Executions’

The militiamen who plotted to kidnap and execute Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer saw their operation mainly as a backup plan for a much more ambitious "Plan A," prosecutors say. The plan was to assemble 200 armed "Patriots" who would take over the state Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, and then hold televised executions of the state officials they took hostage.

According to a document filed by the Michigan Attorney General's Office this week in response to an attempt by attorneys for one of the men to drastically reduce his bond, the militiamen devised the Capitol takeover plan alongside their schemes to abduct Whitmer from her summer home. At the end, they intended either to kill everyone inside the building or to simply set it aflame with everyone locked inside.

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As Hate Crimes Increase, Police Are Reporting Them Less

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The deluge of hate crimes unleashed by Donald Trump's presidency continued unabated during 2019, according to statistics just released by the FBI: The numbers of bias-motivated crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade, with some 7,314 incidents reported, and increase of about 3 percent in an already elevated plateau that began after Trump's election. It was also the deadliest year on record for hate crimes, part of a trend toward increasing attacks on persons and increasing lethality.

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‘Million MAGA March’ Draws Extremist Crowds To DC For Election Protest

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

As promised, thousands of hardcore Donald Trump supporters flooded downtown Washington, D.C., Saturday, for a "Million MAGA March," falsely claiming he and not Joe Biden had won the presidential vote and demanding election officials "Stop the Steal." Also as promised, Trump himself swung by to acknowledge what organizers had billed as "the largest Trump rally in U.S. history"—albeit briefly, from inside a slow-moving limousine.

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Proud Boys Crack-Up Reveals Their White Nationalist Essence

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Internecine warfare is a natural state for right-wing extremists; they are, after all, uniformly paranoid, suspicious, confrontational, and narcissistic (not to mention deeply unpleasant) people. The proto-fascist street-brawling Proud Boys have never been an exception, as observers in Portland well know from the days when they and members of their far-right colleagues in Patriot Prayer were threatening to kill each other.

Their latest internal dustup, however—in which an early cofounder of the group dubiously claims to have fired their current national leader while embracing an explicitly racist approach—is more revealing than most. Although the claims are mostly toothless grandstanding, the episode lays bare how the Proud Boys' disavowals of white nationalism are really just a risible burlesque.

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WATCH: ’Trump Train’ Vehicles Ambush Biden Bus On Texas Freeway

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

A caravan of Donald Trump supporters driving dozens of mostly banner-festooned pickup trucks and SUVs deliberately ambushed a Biden-Harris campaign bus traveling to Austin and other parts of Texas on Friday, harassing them constantly en route, forcing Democrats to cancel at least two campaign events out of concern for public safety. The participants, however, all proudly boasted about the harassment on social media, and police made no arrests.

Videos show the pro-Trump vehicles surrounded the bus on the freeway and slowed its progress, as passengers and drivers shouted obscenities and various epithets; one witness claimed many of them were armed. At one point, a pickup driver veered into a campaign staff vehicle following the bus and smashed its fender, forcing it into another lane.


'Trump Train' www.youtube.com

Neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris were aboard the bus, which was traveling from San Antonio to Austin on Interstate 35. Among the passengers on board were Wendy Davis, a Democrat running in the 21st Congressional District against incumbent Republican Chip Roy; Democratic Congressman Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who represents District 35; and Roland Gutierrez, a candidate for Texas senate District 19.

The bus was part of a late Texas push for the Biden campaign, which organized several events in the state as part of a "Battle for the Soul of the Nation" tour featuring various Democratic candidates appearing with Harris. The pro-Trump vehicles, dubbed the "Trump Train," surrounded it as it passed near New Braunfels en route to Austin, and remained with it until San Marcos, 20 miles down the road.

Videos showed the vehicles lined up along the freeway in wait for the bus, then speeding up and surrounding it as pro-Trump onlookers cheered and laughed. According to people on the bus, the vehicles slowed and appeared to attempt stopping the bus altogether.

One of the caravan's Facebook organizers, Randi Ceh, posted video on her Facebook page claiming the staff car following the bus closely was breaking the law—and when a large pickup veered and hit it on the side fender, claimed that it was the staff car driver attempting to cause an accident.

A campaign staffer told The Daily Beast that the Trump supporters appeared to be trying to force the bus off the road. Police were called from the bus, and they reportedly helped the driver reach Austin safely.

Once in Austin, however, a crowd of Trump supporters surrounded the bus and continued the harassment. Fearing the threats would escalate, Democrats canceled the event.

Nor was that the only canceled event. The Biden bus had also been scheduled to make a stop in Pflugerville to campaign with Texas House Representative Sheryl Cole, who was waiting there. Cole tweeted that the Biden bus also had to cancel due to security reasons.

"Pro-Trump Protesters have escalated well beyond safe limits," she posted.

The Trump truck caravans have increasingly proved to be not just a prime environment for violent rhetoric and threatening behavior organized on behalf of the Republican president, but as occurred in Oregon earlier this summer, a prime vector for blurring the lines between far-right extremists such as the Proud Boys and ostensibly mainstream Republicans.

Locals in New Braunfels voiced their anger with the Trump Train organizers, who have been creating the caravans as regular demonstrations since this summer. Gloria Meehan, Comal County Democratic Party chair, told MyCanyonLake.com that the activists were destroying the area's reputation.

"Frankly, I feel sorry for those involved with the Trump Train that they have nothing worthwhile to do, but drive around aimlessly, harassing and intimidating," Meehan said. "Why? Nothing good comes of idleness and bad intentions. They're rudderless, adrift, lost in a sea of discontent. It's unsustainable, and behavior like this strikes at the heart of our community and is driving our economy into the ground as folks no longer feel safe coming to New Braunfels and will take their tourist dollars elsewhere. The word is Comal County, for all its beauty, is dangerous and unwelcoming."

Ohio Rightist Plots ‘Citizen’s Arrest’ Of GOP Gov. DeWine

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Citizen's arrests are all the rage among right-wing extremists these days, it seems. Barely two weeks after 14 Michigan militiamen were arrested as part of a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer under the rubric of a "constitutionalist" fantasy, a similar plot to make a "citizen's arrest" of Ohio's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine—accused similarly of "tyranny" by imposing coronavirus-related health measures—bubbled to the surface this week.

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Bundy Gang Expanding Into Multi-State Extremist Threat

There's been a buffoonish quality to Ammon Bundy's brand of far-right "constitutionalist" politics over the past six months, primarily organized in a typically paranoid response to COVID-19-related public-health measures: Protesting at the home of a police officer who had arrested an anti-vaccination fanatic for violating the closure of a playground. Trying to bully his way inside a health-board meeting. Getting arrested twice in two days for ignoring his ban from the Idaho Statehouse. Going maskless at a Caldwell High School football game that forced the game to be called off, for which he was not only ejected but banned from future games by the local school district.

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Right-Wing Media Figures Promote ‘Antifa Arsonist’ Hoax

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The latest right-wing "antifa" hoax—namely, the claim that leftist arsonists have been secretly behind the wildfires that have swept the West Coast this month—is now being broadcast to millions of people. It bubbled up from the fever swamps of the far right, broadcast widely by key figures atop the media food chain: Donald Trump, Joe Rogan, Fox News, and leading Republican political candidates.

Trump retweeted an alt-right-flavored anti-Biden video suggesting he was ignoring antifa arsonists threatening the suburbs. Rogan, a wildly popular podcast host, told his audience that "left-wing people" were responsible for the fires (and apologized for it the next day). Fox News appeared especially eager to blame antifa for the wildfires as a way of denying the role of climate change. And in Washington state, where the fires have hit hard, the Republican nominee in the governor's race joined in spreading the claims through a campaign video.

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QAnon Cultist Tied To White Nationalists Wins GOP Senate Nod In Delaware

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The Republican Party's descent into the quagmire of far-right conspiracism deepened Tuesday night in Delaware when Lauren Witzke, a onetime QAnon cult promoter with ties to white nationalists, notably through her former campaign manager, won the Delaware GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat.

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Whistleblower Reveals How Trump Unleashed Plague Of White Nationalist Terror

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

While much of the media this week has been focused (appropriately) on the revelations in Bob Woodward's interviews with Donald Trump that deliberately downplayed the virulence and lethality of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second damning disclosure this week—a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower's complaint that intelligence assessments had been altered or shelved in order to protect Trump politically—is horrifying for much of the same reason: It revealed that Trump will manipulate information to the public allowing a plague to be unleashed on the public for his own political gain.

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Washington GOP Nominates Extremist Sheriff For Governor

It's not the first time that Republicans in Washington state have chosen a far-right gadfly as their nominee for the governorship, but Tuesday's primary in which Loren Culp—a small-town cop who has never previously run for elective office—handily outpaced a large field to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee marks the first time the party has selected a bona fide extremist from a faction mostly connected to militias, armed takeovers, and terrorism.

After all, Culp—who first gained notoriety for refusing to enforce a gun-control initiative approved by 60 percent of voters—not only is a hero to the far-right gun-rights and property-rights crowds, he is a leading figure in an extremist organization which claims, among other things, that county sheriffs, not the Supreme Court, are the arbiters of what's constitutional, and which has been associated with armed standoffs and defiance of legal authorities, usually under the guise of the "Patriot"/militia movement.

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Far-Right Gunmen Accused Of Shooting Near Seattle ‘CHOP’ Zone

The largely peaceful and cooperative sense of community that had been building around Seattle's Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone was largely shattered over the weekend by a shooting incident early Saturday morning in which two young black men were shot, one of them fatally. The source of the violence was ascribed to an alcohol-fueled late-night dispute among a group of people who were not directly affiliated with the CHOP project.

However, there was another shooting that night: Two hours later, only a block away, an African-American man claimed that a group of white men who used racial epithets shot him five times. He told KIRO-7 TV that he believed the men were some of the "Proud Boys" who have been prowling the fringes of CHOP and assaulting people.

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‘Boogaloo Boi’ Seeking Civil War Is Arrested For Deadly Attack On Deputies

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

It's becoming clear that the "Boogaloo Bois" who have been filling Facebook and other social media platforms with their increasingly violent scenarios about engaging in a civil war—beginning with civil authorities as the chief targets, expanding to include racial and ethnic minorities, and finally including their ordinary neighbors—are not content to merely keep fantasies online.

A 32-year-old Air Force sergeant with special combat training tried to make the "Boogaloo" a reality this week in Santa Cruz, California, when he embarked on a killing rampage targeting law enforcement officers, ambushing two sheriff's deputies, killing one, and severely wounding another. He then was stopped by a determined neighbor before he could get any farther. On the hood of his car, he had scrawled in blood: "I became unreasonable" and "Boog."

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Oregon GOP Senate Nominee Pushes QAnon Hoax, Demands Martial Law

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Oregon GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, Jo Rae Perkins, decided to let her "Q light" shine on a Facebook livestream earlier this week—and it was a doozy.

Perkins, an unrepentant "QAnon" conspiracy cultist, told her audience that the state needs to be placed under martial law, with the National Guard being sent not just to Portland—where there have been violent protests over police brutality—but to rural places like Klamath Falls and Bend. Her reasoning: Busloads of nefarious antifa activists, financed by the evil George Soros, are fanning out to these towns to wreak destruction.

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Far-Right Wants To Act Out Its Civil War Fantasies Now

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Age of Conspiracy Theories in which we are now immured has produced a kind of bastard offspring: the Shared Violent Fantasy. Exhibit A is the "Boogaloo," the far-right's ironic name for the long-sought "second civil war" they believe is on the verge of erupting in the United States—and in which the ongoing novel-coronavirus pandemic has become a virtual petri dish for cultivating the fear of societal collapse essential to their worldview.

Like many conspiracy theories, and all such fantasies, the "Boogaloo" has a powerful tendency to produce real-life violence from people who absorb the underlying paranoid values and believe in them fervently. A recent incident in Texas in which a self-proclaimed "Boogaloo Boi" set out to murder a police officer in order to help spark the civil war underscores the extent to which the believers are likely eventually to attempt manifesting their fantasies—which can entail violence not just against authorities, but sometimes even their unsuspecting neighbors.

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QAnon Conspiracists Smear Oprah Winfrey In Campaign Against “Pandemic Hoax”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Now that Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are out of the hospital but still self-quarantining after their coronavirus diagnosis, the QAnon conspiracy crowd—which had descended on Hanks on social media, claiming the diagnosis was a cover story for Hanks’ arrest for his role in a global pedophilia ring—has moved on to a fresh new target amid the pandemic: Oprah Winfrey.

According to the QAnon-generated—and entirely, risibly false—rumors, Winfrey also was diagnosed with COVID-19, similarly signaling her imminent arrest as part of the first wave of “The Storm,” the imagined flood of arrests being secretly arranged by Donald Trump. The rumors became so widespread on Twitter that Winfrey herself took to the medium to thoroughly debunk them.

“Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody,” Winfrey wrote. Neither has Winfrey been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

That did not prevent a wide swath of QAnon enthusiasts from spreading the falsehoods far and wide. One avid QAnon figure—a Florida man named “Tank”—posted a video that was seen widely on YouTube in which he rambled for about seven minutes while standing in front of a random vacant parking lot in Long Island, claiming that Winfrey’s residence “in Boca Raton, Florida,” was being raided by law enforcement officers. The raid was in the process of uncovering, with excavation equipment, the pedophilia ring’s secret “tunnels” in which the children were kept, he claimed.

The only problem with this claim: Winfrey doesn’t own a home in Boca Raton, or anywhere else in Florida, for that matter.

Another QAnon fan posted a video of a police raid at a modest home in suburban Detroit and claimed that it was actually Winfrey’s secret pedophilia den. (In reality, the footage came from a 2012 Detroit SWAT team raid; the account describes itself as “satirical” in its “About” section.) Other QAnon fans with YouTube accounts chimed in with their own far-flung speculations on the “#PandemicHoax.”

Winfrey has been among the many celebrities identified previously as a likely participant in the ostensible global pedophilia ring overseen by liberal political and media figures, in QAnoners’ bizarre alternative universe. She is believed to be connected to the pedophilia ring primarily through her long friendship with disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who they connect to the late Jeffrey Epstein, whose sex-trafficking operations are central to the QAnon theories.

One prominent QAnon account described Winfrey once, during speculation she might run for the presidency, as “Procurer of the United States,” and Weinstein as her “No. 1 customer.”

Some QAnon fans even openly acknowledge that the Winfrey rumors are utterly bogus, but eagerly promote them on social media anyway because they help propel the Q theories into mainstream media. As journalist Travis View, who tracks the QAnon phenomenon closely, observes: “Extremists don’t care if their propaganda is true. They just want it to spread.”