“Radicals, Perverts and Liberals”

As a companion piece to Anne Laurie’s post last night about so-called Christians embracing Combover Caligula, here’s the brilliant Samantha Bee entertainingly and accurately describing how the religious right was welded to the Republican Party decades ago:

Shorter Bee: There’s nothing new about god-bothering conservative busy-bodies jettisoning the principles of their faith in the scramble for political power. It’s who they’ve been all along.



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



Late Night Weird Kinks Open Thread: But It Worked in St. Ronnie’s Day!

gop imaginary threats sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)

Back in the Morning of America, when the Moral Majority ruled the land (or at least the cable news networks), a Repub pol looking for cheap publicity could count on Newt Gingrich or Jerry Falwell to provide attention-catching scare topics for every election. Alas, the dogs bark but the caravan moves on. The situation has gotten so far out of GOP control that godless sophisticates like Ed Kilgore can ask, “Are Republicans Falling Into a Democratic Trap on Transgender Bathrooms?”:

I first began to suspect Democrats of throwing chum into troubled waters on transgender-bathroom labeling upon reading reports that conservatives were determined to launch a platform fight at the Republican convention to make sure “bathrooms” were an important part of the GOP agenda. Yeah, bathrooms. Ridiculous, right? Not if you are a conservative religious activist who believes LGBT rights opened the gates of hell and are ushering in the End Times. I’m sure more than a few Christian Right folk heard about criticisms of the North Carolina bathroom access law and thought: This is what we’ve been talking about all these years
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It Wasn’t Just the Butler Who Did It

The former butler of stately Trump Manor is a racist, sexist nutjob who issues lurid Facebook fatwas calling for the death of President Obama for being a foreign-born “muzzy,” refers to black people as “negroes” in the manner of Cliven Bundy, suggests that American cities should be obliterated for ethnic cleansing purposes and calls future president Hillary Clinton a “cunt” who should be summarily lynched.

The fact that the man who used to play Alfred to Trump’s Batman is the distilled essence of the white nationalist element of every Trump rally ever held isn’t important news, apparently. It was reported, but as a sideshow item, as if it revealed nothing more about Trump except how hard it is to get good help these days. The story doesn’t appear above the fold at the moment at CNN, The New York Times or other major media outlets. (Imagine the screaming headlines and calls for congressional hearings that would result if the woman who scrubs Hillary Clinton’s toilets were revealed as a moon landing doubter.)

clue weaponBut let’s not pretend this has nothing to do with Trump. The butler did it, but Colonel Marmalade was seen in the conservatory with the crack pipe. So maybe some enterprising Beltway journalist could get a fucking clue and use this unfortunate butler incident as an opening to revisit the GOP nominee’s birther activities. Heretofore, when asked about birtherism by reporters, Trump says, “I don’t talk about that anymore.” What kind of lame-ass reporter lets an interview subject get away with that? (Cooper, Tapper, Blitzer, et al.)

Imagine if Hillary Clinton tried to deflect a question by airily proclaiming that she doesn’t talk about it anymore. She wouldn’t get away with it. The complaint here isn’t that there’s a double standard; of course there’s a double standard, which is why Trump can babble about Bill Clinton’s 25-year-old horn-dog behavior without having his own piggish history, which includes rape allegations, put under the media microscope. The bygones — they are gone by!

But just five years ago, Trump, the GOP nominee, was a prominent national figure in the explicitly racist birther movement. He made bizarre allegations and outlandish promises about what his team of Hawaii investigators would reveal, then failed to deliver because there was nothing to find. And that shouldn’t be allowed to disappear down the memory hole, especially when a former Trump employee is revealed to be insanely animated by the very ideas Trump spent 2011 fomenting nationwide. Do your fucking jobs, DC press corps!



Deadbeat Donald’s Bernie Voter Outreach – Plus Another Way Walmart Shits on Taxpayers

Looks like Trump’s outreach to Bernie Sanders supporters will be as spectacularly successful as his appeals to the Hispanics, the blacks and the broads [Politico link]:

“I don’t want to hit Crazy Bernie Sanders too hard yet because I love watching what he is doing to Crooked Hillary,” Trump wrote [on Twitter]. “His time will come!”

“I think a lot of the young people that are with Bernie Sanders are going to come to my side because they want jobs. Bernie Sanders and I agree on one thing, trade, that we don’t know what we’re doing on trade,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “The difference is, I’ll make great deals out of it. He doesn’t know what to do. The people that are with Bernie Sanders, the young people, I really believe they’re going to come over and vote for me. I think we’re going to have a lot of crossover.”

Yeah, that’ll work.

Speaking of plutocratic deadbeats, the six Walmart heirs share a $145 billion fortune, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That is equal to the wealth of nearly 1.8 million median-income American households — the numerical equivalent of the population of Louisiana.

One way the Walmart heirs amassed such a gargantuan pile was by paying their employees so poorly that U.S. taxpayers must help feed, shelter and provide medical care to Walmart workers and their families. Public assistance for Walmart employees costs taxpayers about $6.2 billion each year.

But public assistance isn’t the only way Welfare Queen Walmart shifts its operating costs to taxpayers: According to a Tampa Bay Times report, the big-box deadbeat also saddles local police departments with store security:

Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

Local Walmarts, on average, generated four times as many calls as nearby Targets, the Times found. Many individual supercenters attracted more calls than the much larger WestShore Plaza mall.

When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. Several local law enforcement officers also emphasized that all the hours spent at Walmart cut into how often they can patrol other neighborhoods and prevent other crimes.

It’s not just the Tampa Bay area — communities nationwide are footing the bill for providing store security while Walmart rakes in revenues that surpass the GDP of most countries on this planet, all the while socializing the risks and privatizing the profits. “Save Money. Live Better” — if you’re a Walmart shareholder.



The Fevered Phantasies of A Redemptive Third Party

You get a party, and you get a party — everybody gets a party of their own! One should never dismiss any possible development in the multi-ring circus of American politics, especially in this particular cycle. And surely every American is entitled to his or her very own political Theory of Everything, whereby the sufficient application of correct thought to the perfect handcrafted artisan unicorn candidate will CHANGE THE CONVERSATION such that everyone lives happily ever after. But the latest media proposals by the usual batch of Media Village Idiots, reliably wrong ‘pundits’, and ambitious careerists gunning for earned media don’t even rise to the dignity of a couple of tinfoil-hatted cranks taking up floor time at local meetings and wall space on public buildings (or Facebook) to promote the Independent Union of Patriotic National Americans for Responsible Freedom…

There’s at least three strains of Third-Party Virus been rampant in the media since Trump clinched the Republican nomination. First, the evergreen Both Sides argument, where adult professionals revert to their Risk-and-fantasy-sports-playing adolescence. Jon Chait at NYMag explains to them that, “No, a Conservative Third-Party Candidate Can’t Steal the Electoral College“:

[T]he plan would run like this: A right-wing third-party candidate would split the Electoral College, so no candidate reaches the 270-vote threshold. In that case, the House of Representatives would decide the winner, with each state’s delegation (regardless of population) casting two votes. Since Republicans control most state delegations, they would pick the winner, who would presumably be their right-winger, rather than Trump or (obviously) Hillary Clinton.

What gives the scenario the veneer of plausibility is that the last part of the plan is completely true. If the Electoral College deadlocked, then the House would really decide, and it really would give the presidency to the right-winger. The actual problem with the scenario is that the first part, where the independent somehow prevents anybody from gaining 270 electoral votes, is completely nuts.

Right now Clinton has the inside track to a majority of the Electoral College. Polls are a little dodgy at this early stage of the race, but most forecasters assume Clinton would win something like the states President Obama won in 2012, and perhaps some more if Trump fails to consolidate his party. That assumption isn’t terribly important. What’s important is that adding a right-wing splinter candidate would not reduce Clinton’s share of the Electoral College at all. It would increase it. Every state gives its electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes. If Clinton wins 51 percent of the vote in Florida, she gets all 29 electoral votes from Florida. Crucially, states do not require a candidate to have a majority in order to win the state. And a right-wing independent candidate will draw overwhelmingly from Trump’s support. So an independent would not take any states away from Clinton. Instead, that candidate would make it possible for Clinton to win a bunch of states without a majority. States where Clinton might otherwise fall a bit short of Trump would become blue states…

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The Wages of Apathy

Absurd “potty prefect” laws, eroded reproductive rights, increased voter suppression, etc. — Samantha Bee explains yet again why it’s not enough to elect good presidents:

In last night’s show, Bee also did an exposé (emceed by Patton Oswalt as Alfred Hitchcock!) on crisis pregnancy centers, the anti-choice propaganda outlets that masquerade as abortion clinics, luring young women in so religious nutjob charlatans can dispense heaping helpings phony statistics and guilt — at taxpayer expense in Georgia.

If you’re dialed into politics enough to hang out at this blog, chances are you vote in every single election. But as you lean on your more loosely affiliated friends, relatives and neighbors to get their asses to the polls this year to prevent the Trumpocalypse, maybe spare a moment to emphasize the importance of state, local and midterm elections too?