Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

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. Steve Hurst

Alabama state representative Steve Hurst has a problem. Despite his strongly pro-gun record, Hurst is facing a primary challenge from the Tea Party-backed Steve Dean, who is trying to outflank him on “gun rights.”

But Hurst has a solution: Go big. Literally.

 

“Many voters appear to be wary of restrictions on gun rights, especially by the federal government. In the 2014 midterm elections, candidates are eager to get out in front of the issue,” Alabama reporter Jim Stinson writes, in what may be the understatement of the century.

Stinson goes on to explain that Hurst’s giant gun serves two purposes: First, it reminds voters that he led the fight to make it legal for Alabamans to shoot home invaders on sight. Second, it’s a working barbecue!

How, exactly, a state representative from Talladega will defeat federal gun regulations remains unclear. But maybe if Hurst and fellow Alabama Republican Will Brooke combine campaign promotions, they can finally get rid of the evil, job-killing Obamacare once and for all.

4. Gordon Klingenschmitt

Colorado state House candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt is still not a fan of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act — and he’s still the worst possible public face for the opposition.

On the Friday edition of his Pray in Jesus Name show, Klingenschmitt continued his campaign against what he calls “Pelosi’s Nation-wide bathroom bill” — not to be confused with Al Franken’s pedophilia bill — by warning that it will actually discriminate against Christians. But the horror doesn’t stop there.

According to Klingenschmitt, the bill will also force women to use the bathroom next to all manner of cross-dressing men.

“Ladies, you’ll have to share your bathroom with a man who may or may be sitting down when he goes pee,” he darkly warns.

Considering that a few months ago Klingenschmitt told us that ENDA would allow militant gays to kick you out of your house and have sex in it, sharing the bathroom doesn’t really sound so terrible.
3. Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

When a New York State Supreme Court judge overturned the convictions of the “Central Park Five” — a group of young black and Hispanic men who were convicted of raping a white woman, and were incarcerated for years before a confession and DNA evidence revealed that another man was responsible for the crime — most Americans lamented the obvious miscarriage of justice that had occurred.

Ann Coulter is not most Americans.

In her latest op-ed for conspiracy repository WorldNetDaily, Coulter explains that the Central Park Five were guilty after all — you’ll just have to trust her on that — and their sentence being vacated is proof that liberals love rape.

“In 2002, the ancient Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan district attorney, issued a report recommending that the convictions in the Central Park rape case be vacated. Justice Charles Tejada (Fordham Law 2009 Hispanic Heritage Award winner!) granted his request,” Coulter writes. “Liberals are opposed to rape in the abstract, but when it comes to actual rapists, they’re all for them.”

Unsurprisingly, Coulter is not a fan of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to settle the wrongly convicted men’s lawsuit against the city.

“But now,” she writes, “de Blasio wants to hold down our legs while the ‘Central Park Five’ rape us, again.”

Sadly, this is not even the most offensive thing Ann Coulter has said about rape this yer.

2. Operation American Spring

Eagle-redwhite-and-blue

Image via SaveAmericaFoundation.com

It’s a day that ends in a “y,” which means that another right-wing extremist is trying to launch a coup d’état to overthrow the federal government.

This week’s revolutionary is Fred Brownbill, who is “in the process of notifying and contacting all legal and constitutionally created militia groups across the United States to mobilize on Washington DC for ‘Operation American Spring.”’

Brownbill and his fellow freedom fighters, you see, are furious that “the Senate and the Congress feel it is in the best interest of this nation to fund illegal immigrants and keep them sustained with free health care, tax breaks, free education in our schools, EBT cards, public housing and the like.”

Even worse, “Mr. Barry Soetoro, the illegal immigrant from Kenya,” and “Marxist Senator (comrade) Harry Reid” have apparently declared a war against 25 million veterans. Oh, and Speaker Boehner will be overthrown as well, because “We will NEVER forget Benghazi.”

So the American Spring gang plans to do what Christopher Stevens would surely have wanted: organize 10 million Americans to go to Washington and shout at the Whtie House.

“We are not leaving the grounds surrounding our White House or the Congress until Mr. Barry Soetoro, the Muslim imposter, has been removed from office for treason and/or impeached for crimes against the constitution,” the group’s manifesto reads.

If this plan sounds familiar, it’s because conspiracy theorist Larry Klayman tried pretty much the exact same thing back in November. In fact, he’s still trying to overthrow the government. And while Klayman may not be able to help Operation American Spring attract 10 million footsoldiers — his own coup turned out barely 100 people — perhaps he can at least lend Brownbill one of his signs reminding the world that he and his supporters are “not racists.”

Unfortunately, Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips — a supporter of Operation American Spring — will not qualify for one.

1. Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy

This week’s “winner,” Nevada rancher and obvious con man Cliven Bundy, became a genuine right-wing superstar in the wake of his armed standoff with federal agents who sought to force him to pay more than $1 million in fees that he owes for grazing his cattle on public land. As militia groups descended on Nevada to back Bundy in the dispute, Republicans ranging from fawning Fox News hosts to high-ranking elected officials heaped praise on the “patriots,” as Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) called them.

In the least-surprising news story of the year, that turned out to be a mistake.

On Tuesday, Las Vegas television station KLAS revealed that Bundy was a fraud, who had falsified his “ancestral rights” to the disputed land.

On Thursday, the New York Times revealed that he is much, much worse. As the Times’ Adam Nagourney reported, while meeting with supporters on Saturday, Bundy took it upon himself to teach them what he knows about “the Negro”:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

After his outrageous racism was revealed, Bundy did what any rational person would do: He went on conspiracy king Alex Jones’ show to claim that he had been misquoted. But as the video of his comments makes clear, he wasn’t.

He then held a press conference insisting that he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about, as he was just “wondering” if black people were “better off as slaves,” “with their gardens and their chickens.” (Note to Cliven: They were not.)

Meanwhile, Bundy’s Republican supporters spent the day fleeing from him at top speed. So sadly, as Media Matters’ Matt Gertz put it, Cliven Bundy night at the 2016 Republican National Convention is probably canceled. But Bundy’s speech at next year’s CPAC should be even better than we could have imagined.

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

Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.