Conspiracy Fantasists Open Thread: War to the Little Death

Hitting ’em where it hurts…


Notice the division here: On one side, those trying (at various degrees of earnestness) to use the Qanon flock to further promote their own celebrity; on the other, those — like Barr and Schilling — who just enjoy the warm bilious glee of being among Those Who Know.

It’s a war between the Profiteers and the Believers. And, IMO, it’s just one facet of the current war of all-against-all that’s currently roiling the whole real, serious Republican party.

The Buzzfeed post Betty linked earlier is actually a pretty good overall explainer, and Ryan Broderick ‘follows the breadcrumbs’:

While it’s almost impossible to prove who started QAnon, there is some evidence that it was meant to be a prank all along. And more importantly, it’s looking more and more likely that QAnon is actually a prank by leftists or anarchists to make the far-right look deranged.
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Late Night Open Thread: Nuisance Beavers

According to people who know these things, castor glands are not anal glands, and castoreum’s “fruity, vanilla scent” means it’s got a long history as a food additive. Right now, I’m just as happy I’m not a drinker.

Speaking of nuisance beavers…

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Let’s Just Turn It All Over to the Racoons

Because, well…

At around 5pm on Thursday, authorities say a man walked into the room while filming with a phone in his hand and “asked for everyone’s attention and a pre-recorded message emitted from a speaker on his jacket.” Video from the livestream (which has been taken down by YouTube), shows people running from the room after hearing the recording stating “C4 has been successfully activated, bomb detonation countdown successfully started,” followed by beeping and audio of screaming.

In a statement, University of Washington Police said, “The investigation revealed this was a prank and there was no device on him or left in the room.” Police confirmed the livestreamer was arrested on “charges of making a bomb threat,” but have not released his name.

Previous uploads show Andy regularly used his livestream to profit off such “pranks,” soliciting donations as low as $3 via paid commenting systems to play messages of a viewer’s choice in public places. For $20, he offered to “Scream Allahu Akbar.” Yesterday’s fake bomb threat appears to have cost a viewer just $4.20…

In footage from his arrest (which, again, he livestreamed) it’s unclear Andy understands the gravity of what he’s involved in, telling police at the time, “I didn’t do nothing. That was TTS. That was a donation,” and repeatedly referring to the arresting officer as “bro.”…

Cosplay Stuntin’ Open Thread: Wolverines!… SKONKS!

High-dollar chew toy has opinions…

Her ‘conservative’ playmates rush in to assist…

(Bruenig, incidentally, is a professional “Christian”.)

Schadenfreude Open Thread: On Below D-List!

*This* is the most significant BE BEST youth outreach the Oval Office Occupancy can come up with?

Kirk raises millions of dollars from Republican donors for his group Turning Point USA — an organization that fights liberalism (Kirk prefers the label “socialist”) on university campuses. Owens, 29, who works with Kirk at TPUSA and like him is a diehard Trumpist, caught the President’s eye recently when Kanye West tweeted “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”

Behind the scenes: Kirk told me he and Owens talked to Trump about “black America, Kanye West, and the intersection of culture and politics,” and the “incredible progress being made for black America by President Trump and also historic pardon yesterday.”…

Charlie Kirk, of course, is the Wile E. Coyote Supergeenius responsible for Talking Points USA. Candace Owens, well…

Ten months ago, the 26-year-old posted her first politically themed video to YouTube, a reenactment of “coming out” as conservative to her parents. In November, amid allegations of racial bias, the conservative campus advocacy group Turning Point USA hired Owens, who is black, as its director of urban engagement. Last month, Kanye West tweeted his approval of Owens’ thoughts. Last week, President Trump tweeted that Owens was part of a group of “very smart ‘thinkers’” and that she is “having a big impact on politics.” And this week, Owens mingled with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the dedication of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Yet Owens, suddenly a new face of the American right, was less than two years ago the CEO of an online publication that frequently mocked then-candidate Trump, including conducting a mock “investigation” into his penis size. (The story determined that it was likely very small.) And in a 2015 column for the site lambasting conservative Republicans, Owens wrote that it was “good news” that the “Republican Tea Party … will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope).”

Indeed, the speed with which Owens has gone from running a frequently anti-Trump, anti-conservative website to being one of the president’s most prominent new supporters illustrates the wild land grab still going on for influence in the pro-Trump ecosystem….

Hey, Repubs — You can have Charlie and Candace. We’ll keep standing with Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg.

The Boltoning Continues (Memo To Self: Start Digging That Shelter)

Not even through his second day on the job and John Bolton is making real progress in his effort to fully crazify the US  national security apparatus:

[Homeland Security advisor] Tom Bossert was an ideal Trump administration official – a man with the résumé of an Establishment Republican, and the capacity for sycophancy of a Trump crony.

…In a West Wing beset by chaos and dysfunction, Bossert was regarded as one of the few competent aides still standing.

And John Bolton just got him fired. As Homeland Security adviser, Bossert would have been a subordinate of the incoming, mustachioed White House national security adviser; and Bolton would prefer to assemble his own team. [links in the original]

Official portrait of that new band of all-stars:

This is really Adam and Cheryl’s turf, of course, so I won’t foist my amateur analysis on the jackals; I hope they’ll weigh in on Bolton early and often.  But I will go so far as to say that so far the new National Security Advisor is behaving exactly as advertised: he’s the boss from hell, and no independent minds or voices will be allowed anywhere near power.  It’s all mustache all the time.  Given his wretched record as anything but a bureaucratic infighter, the US — and the world — should be damn nervous.

Open thread.

Image: Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, Fools have the most fun1661

Russiagate Open Thread: None So Dumb As Those Who Will Not Learn

I hear that certain ‘True Progressives’ and Glenn Greenwald are performing Righteous Indignation about terrible terrible ambush journalists trying to make this poor addled woman look… like exactly what she is: a narrow-minded, self-deluding idiot. Such nice white Trump voters should only be fondled delicately, with all due respect for their gut instincts, lest they lose their precious bloom or melt like snowflakes!