They Are Who We Thought They Were

Exhibit A, from Trump’s “butler”*

Anthony Senecal told West Virginia newspaper The Martinsburg Journal on Friday—one day after a Secret Service agent called Senecal regarding online comments he made calling for Obama’s death—that he believes the President is a “traitor” who deserves to be killed.

…“I think they (Secret Service) wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go there with a rifle,” Senecal told the newspaper. “I told them it was too far to drive…

The 84-year-old…told the newspaper that he stands by the comments he made in his Facebook posts.

And then, there’s this guy, who is actually (attempting) to stake a claim on Washington:

“Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call President, because he’s an animal, OK — seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country…

Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_The_Shipwreck_-_Google_Art_Project

It’s hard to pick where to start.  Should it be with the backwards-jacket level delusions concerning Obama-the-Destroyer? (Damn that doubling of the stock market; damn that cut in unemployment by half; how will we survive millions of our fellow Americans gaining access to health care; how wretched it is for our troops not to be on their fourth or fifth deployment and so on).

No: it is with the raw racism — enabled since 2009 (and really, since 1968) by the more “genteel” members of the Republican Party, who have made the fact of a black President such a horror to those who know in their bones that such a event cannot be permitted to happen in any well-behaved universe.

So yeah, while it’s easy to point and laugh at an aging crazy who perhaps sipped too much of whatever it was he brought The Donald, or to slap down Beruff’s vile manners, never forget the story behind the story:  these folks feel empowered to speak of the best president of a generation (or more) as if he were disqualified from the human race by those who trained ’em up.

There are lots of reasons the Republican Party must not merely be defeated this fall, but wrecked, utterly.

This is one.

*I swear that has to be code for some other function. Pharmaceutical grade toad purveyor, perhaps?

 

Image:  J. W. M. Turner, The Shipwreck1805



He’s Got the Electrolytes We Need

With little commentary, I present this, Del. Azinger (R-Wood County), explaining why he voted for the WV RFRA pro-bigotry bill:

I got nothing. Well, this:



So Near And Yet Shofar

Because I could(n’t resist):

 

SHARE UPDATE BURNS OREGON! CHRISTIANS THE BATTLE TRUMPET HAS BEEN SOUNDED TIME TO RISE! CALL TO ACTION SEND IN THE TROOPS TO STAND WITH US IN BURNS OREGON!

Posted by Blaine Cooper on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Just to ram the point home: if I were those guys I’d think long and hard about the story of Nadab and Abihu. False prophets do not usually achieve happy endings. A sheepish withdrawal is by far their best outcome…which would let them get back (continue) to fleece their flock.

But I’ll say this: those big horns are not that easy to blow. Kudos for that at least.



Y’all Qaeda Pissing You Off? Fire A Phone Call, Not A Glock

I’m enraged by the news in Zander’s post below.  Happy to let any of seditionists out of the Malheur HQ — but only into the welcoming arms of federal custody.

That’s a legitimate political view — and you know what sane and patriotic people do with such views?  They call their representatives in Washington to let them know how they feel.

'Telephone_Operator'_by_Gerrit_A._Beneker (1)

I just left a message at Senator Warren’s office and spoke to a nice young (I’m guessing) staffer in Rep. Joe Kennedy’s.  Markey is next on my list.  I told them how disgusted I was at the action of the Malheur thugs — stealing our property, yours, mine, and the whole damn American people’s while, many of them, stealing from the public till for years and years.

The key though is that I also made a request:  I want my Congressional representatives to put the question to federal law enforcement as to why they are not enforcing the law, either by denying the radical right wing intimidators their freedom of movement as long as they remain on the people’s property, or by arresting them when they do choose to wander.

It’s not much, but it’s not nothing either.  These folks only succeed because their supporters are vocal and active, while the hundreds of millions whom they rip off, disrespect and aim to intimidate and coerce just want to go about their business.  A little volume on our side of the playground is actually significant.

So call your official peeps!  Takes a minute or two, and it’s worth the effort.  This is also one where the partisan identification of your representatives matters a little less than on some of the calls to action this blog has made.  Armed take-overs of public buildings strikes a little close to home for a lot of Congressfolk.

So call! Be polite; know the message you want to send; thank the kids on the other end of the line for their help; and lets start making the country marginally more sane, one firmly worded dispatch at a time.

The phone numbers:

House and Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121.  Individual senator phone numbers.  Individual representative phone numbers. (Both lists by state.  You can sort by last name as well.)

Have at it, friends.

ETA:  In case you want to call the Executive Branch directly (as some in the comment thread would seem to do), here’s the White House comment line: 202-456-1111.  Feel like give Justice a ring? 202-353-1555.

Image: Gerrit A. Beneker, Telephone Operator (A Weaver of Public Thought) 1921.



Ballon Juice Bunker Standoff Update: Day 2

Not much is happening. OregonLive is reporting that the local sheriff has stated that the couple of dozen extremists hold up at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge came to the area to overthrow both the local government and the national one. They’ve also reported that law enforcement is taking a very low key and quiet approach to resolving this. Though a command post will be set up by Monday. And local schools have been cancelled for the week as a precaution.

Jim Foolish Literalist provided us with this link to a local reporter’s twitter feed in comments to John’s earlier post.

Keep all your Internets tuned to Balloon Juice’s coverage of this very, slowly developing story…



Split the party in two and win with the bigger half

Just a quick  comment on a recent Vox article:

But in a head-to-head matchup among Republican voters, Trump beats Rubio 57-43. That suggests that Trump’s ceiling, at least among Republicans, is far above his current 25 to 30 percent, and he may well benefit as weaker candidates drop out.

This actually makes sense given the current polling that we have seen in the Republican race.  For most of the year, if you add up the combined polled support of Trump, Carson and Fiorina plus attribute some proportion of Ted Cruz’s vote as extraordinarily anti-Republican establishment vote, this faction is the dominant faction within the Republican primary electorate.  The sum of Trump, Carson, Fiorina often is over 50% and usually closer to 60%.  The favored Establishment candidates (Bush, Walker, Kasich, Christie, Rubio) have either dropped out, or combined can poll less then a quarter of the Republican primary electorate.

Primaries often see large swings as the differences between candidates are not stark.  However it is easier for a person to switch support to a candidate who is running in the same cluster as the candidate that the person is switching support from, than for support to go to a candidate in a distant cluster.  The anti-establishment lane in the GOP primary is bigger than the establishment, and one of the candidates can’t be pushed aside due to a lack of funds.

So when the question and answer space collapses to only a single establishment and a single non-establishment choice, people gravitate towards their closest option from their current preferred option. That means Trump is picking up all of his current support and the vast majority of the supporters of the other anti-establishment candidates while Rubio consolidates everyone else.  And one faction right now is much bigger than the other.



Nutpicking Can Be Fun…

…until you realize that these guys, were they to be nominated, would get 45% of the vote just for showing up.

But still, some mid – day recreation, first from the kiddie table:

In a fundraising email flagged by The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel on Thursday, the Republican candidate bragged about his ability to take on “radical world leaders.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 1.33.20 PM

Damn, women can be pretty terrifying, eh, Ricky my boy?

Alright.  I admit that the closest Santorum is going to get to anything oval will be if he sits on a hula hoop, but still, that’s a Republican former senator who made an actual impact, for a time, on the presidential race as recently as four years ago.  That he’s not been gently, kindly escorted off stage in a nicely padded and very secure topcoat is a measure of how batshit insane half of the American body political has become.

Antônio_Parreiras_-_O_louco_de_Chevillat

But not as terrifying a measure as the current status of our next contributor:

Carson also defended the idea Wednesday evening when asked by reporters about it.

“The pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. You wouldn’t need hermetically sealed compartments for a sepulcher. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time,” he said, according to MSNBC.

The only consolation I can take from the fact that the current GOP frontrunner doesn’t want you to pay any attention to that stupid archaeology stuff is that it isn’t just climate expertise he disdains. He’s an equal opportunity science denialist.

OK.  That’s no consolation at all.

I’d point and laugh — but then you’d see my own terror in the trembling of my finger tip.

Seriously:  that people like Santorum and Carson matter even momentarily in a presidential race is more than just a measure of GOP pathology.  It’s a sign of its own version of endtimes.  I think I want to save the full thumbsucker for another post, but the derangement of so much of the electorate (Houston voters freak out over even the remote possibility of a penis in a women’s bathroom?!) is not just-a-once-every-four-years freak show.  It’s not even on some level political, or not entirely so.  The world is apocaplyptically misbehaving for a lot of folks, and Carson and Santorum are as much as anything the straws in the wind of that much greater dislocation.

And with that, I’m galumphing into dread pundit territory.  Run away! (and talk amongst yourselves).

Image:  Antonio Parreiras, The crazy man from Chevillat, 1920.

ETA: Perhaps I went a little overboard on the categories. Ah well….

ETA 2:  OK, for readability porpoises, just removed some categories.  Killjoys.