Hirsutes with your Parachute Flutes

There’s a great long read in the NY Times by Caitlyn Dickerson today about how fake news rocked and roiled a small Idaho town, with Jihadwatch, Fox, Drudge, and the rest of the usual suspects whipping the town in to a damned frenzy about Syrian refugees and rape mobs (Brown is the local reporter):

“We have been made aware of a situation,” said the first speaker, an older man with a scraggly white beard who had hobbled up to the lectern. “An alleged assault of a minor child and we can’t get any information on it. Apparently, it’s been indicated that the perpetrators were foreign Muslim youth that conducted this — I guess it was a rape.” Brown recognized the man as Terry Edwards. About a year earlier, after The Times-News reported that Syrian refugees would very likely be resettled in Twin Falls, Edwards joined a movement to shut the resettlement program down. The group circulated a petition to put the proposal before voters. They failed to get enough signatures to force a referendum, but Brown was struck by how much support around town the movement attracted. In bars after work, he began to overhear conversations about the dangers of Islam. One night, he heard a man joke about dousing the entrance to the local mosque with pig’s blood.

After he finished watching the video, Brown called the police chief, Craig Kingsbury, to get more information about the case. Kingsbury said that he couldn’t discuss it and that the police reports were sealed because minors were involved. Brown made a couple phone calls: to the mayor and to his colleague at the paper who covers crime. He pieced together that 12 days earlier, three children had been discovered partly clothed inside a shared laundry room at the apartment complex where they lived. There were two boys, a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, and a 5-year-old girl. The 7-year-old boy was accused of attempting some kind of sex act with the 5-year-old, and the 10-year-old had used a cellphone borrowed from his older brother to record it. The girl was American and, like most people in Twin Falls, white. The boys were refugees; Brown wasn’t sure from where. In his article about the meeting, Brown seems to anticipate that the police chief’s inability to elaborate was not going to sit well with the people whose testimony he had just watched.

There’s just way too much to the story to quote, so you really need to read it all, but this part stuck out:

That weekend, Brown was on his way to see a movie when he received a Facebook message from Jim Dalos Jr., a 52-year-old known to Twin Falls journalists and police as Scanner Man. Dalos is disabled; he works six hours a week as a dishwasher at a pizzeria but spends most of his time in his apartment, sitting in a reclining chair and drinking Diet Pepsi out of a 52-ounce plastic mug, voraciously consuming news. He reads the local paper, old issues of which litter his living-room floor, and keeps the television blaring — usually Fox News. He got his nickname because he constantly monitors an old police scanner, a gift he received as a teenager from his father, and often calls in tips to the media based on what he hears. He also happens to live at the apartment complex, Fawnbrook, where the laundry-room incident occurred.
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Dalos told Brown that he had seen the police around Fawnbrook and that the victim’s mother told him that the boys had been arrested. He also pointed Brown to a couple of Facebook groups that were created in response to the crime. Brown scrolled through them on his cellphone and saw links flying back and forth with articles that said that the little girl had been gang raped at knife point, that the perpetrators were Syrian refugees and that their fathers had celebrated with them afterward by giving them high fives. The stories also claimed that the City Council and the police department were conspiring to bury the crime.

There is your GOP base, and there is where the wingnut puke funnel starts- in a barcalounger by some soda guzzling moron who listens to nothing but Fox News and the scanner. Someone like him burps up some sort of racist conspiracy bullshit, and before you know it, like in this case, it’s a fucking headline at Drudge and the top story on Hannity.

America, fuck yeah.

Sunday Evening Open Thread: Nice Weekend for Some Protesting

Since some of y’all were confused by yesterday’s post:

Even Insane Clown Posse couldn’t quite believe it.

“We’re the good guys here today,” Violent J, one half of the widely loathed face-painting “horrorcore” rap duo, told the fans, known as “Juggalos,” who had gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. “We’re actually in the right this time!”

The Juggalos, so easy to make fun of, had a case: the feds were the real clowns. And for a surreal Washington afternoon, the colourful people of one of America’s most-mocked subcultures were being seen by powerful people as freedom fighters, weird makeup and all.

Profane freedom fighters, yes. Two of the Juggalos’ Saturday refrains of choice: “You f—ed up” and “F— that s—,” which they occasionally chanted in the direction of police helicopters, fingers extended skyward.

But this was the exception. They were so cheerful that some of them insisted on hugging journalists. And their favourite chant was a single upbeat word: “family.”

It was their response to the term the FBI insists describes them: gang…

Hundreds of Juggalos had assembled for the demonstration and march in protest of a curious six-year-old FBI decision to include the Juggalos in their official national gang list, alongside such indisputably dangerous entities as MS-13.

The gang classification, Juggalos said, had led employers to force them out of jobs, convinced judges to deny them custody of their kids, and subjected them to police harassment for their Insane Clown Posse tattoos. One Virginia woman, Jessica Bonometti, said she had been fired as a probation officer because of Facebook posts about the band…

Violent J and partner Shaggy 2 Dope cast the Juggalos as the defenders of Americans of all kinds, warning that the persecution of America’s “most hated people” would inevitably lead to the persecution of others. As usual, they railed against racism, homophobia and economic segregation…

Okay, the music (and the Faygo) aren’t to my taste, either. But neither is the Grateful Dead, and I wouldn’t want Deadheads classified as “gang members”, if only for Cole’s sake. And ICP’s heart is in the right place:

Meanwhile, same time same city…

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Oh, Cool, The Debt Ceiling Debacle and Now the Lunatics are Really in Charge

Having spent the first 200 days of his Presidency ruining the good name of the United States and fucking all of our allies, it looks like the goal of the third 100 days is to ruin the full faith and credit of the United States:

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that he is unlikely to support a “clean” measure to increase the nation’s debt limit.

Cole, like many other House Republicans, wants to include spending cuts or other language that would reduce government spending in any measure raising the government’s borrowing limit.

“Most Republicans want to do something to lower the trajectory of the debt,” Cole said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I mean, a clean debt ceiling hike is like having a credit card and saying ‘I’ve reached my limit, I’m just going to change the limit higher without changing any of my spending habits.'”

“That’s a tough sell to Republicans,” he added. “Democrats seem to be fine with that, but I think most of my colleagues aren’t.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called for Congress to approve a clean hike to the debt ceiling, a position somewhat reluctantly joined by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former House Republican who initially suggested it should be paired with spending cuts.

Democrats have warned that they will not accept spending cuts tied to the debt ceiling bill.

Since Democrats could filibuster a bill in the Senate, this gives the minority plenty of leverage in the upcoming fight.

Congress faces a Sept. 29 deadline for lifting the ceiling. If it does not, markets are likely to suffer and the government could shut down and risk defaulting on its debt.

This is going to require the Republicans to work with the Democrats because of wingnuts who are ready to blow shit up, but here is the catch. Even if they manage to pass a clean debt ceiling bill, what’s to say Trump doesn’t say “fuck it, let it burn?” He doesn’t care about governing, just keeping his tiny lunatic base happy. And he might just do it.

Actions Have Consequences: Lysistrata Edition

I’ll just leave this here for your schadenfreude and viewing pleasure. Albo is quitting the Virginia House of Delegates.

Hey If You Like That Wall, I Got a Bridge For Sale Over Here

Trump’s chumps fell for it hook, line, and sinker:

In a much-anticipated move, President Donald Trump on Wednesday will sign a directive ordering federal funds to be diverted to begin building a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

While Trump long promised during the presidential campaign to build a wall, he insisted Mexico would pay for it, and the decision to use taxpayer funds and later seek reimbursement from Mexico is a hugely contentious move.

During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, Trump signed two immigration-themed executive orders on Wednesday. One covers starting his promised border wall project, as well as expanding resources for the Homeland Security Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The second seeks to strip federal funding for “sanctuary cities.”

The move comes one day before the new president will fly to Philadelphia to address House and Senate Republicans at their annual retreat, and it means they will face votes in the coming months on how to fund Trump’s top campaign pledge.

Every fucking Democrat needs to vote against this.

“Building this barrier is more than just a campaign promise. It’s a common-sense first step to really securing our porous border,” White House Press Secretary Spicer told reporters. “This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States. And, yes, one way or another, as the president has said, Mexico will pay for it.”

Crime is down and doesn’t “flow” across the borders, immigration is way down, and the only thing that will stop drugs coming across American borders (WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE!) is lowering demand. But, whatever.

I just hope the people who own property that will be seized to construct this wall make a god damned fortune so we can hang the price tag of this debacle around their heads for the next five decades.

Let’s Just Pretend We’re Not Bigots

So since a ban on Muslims is too unpalatable politically, unadulterated and uncondensed shitweasel Ted Cruz has come up with a new idea:

Two Republican lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a measure that would let governors bar refugees from their states.

The State Refugee Security Act requires the federal government to notify a state at least 21 days before resettling a refugee there. Under the law, governors could block refugees from being resettled in their states unless federal officials can provide “adequate assurance” that the individual doesn’t pose a security threat.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) reintroduced the bill this week, after initially pushing it late last year in the previous Congress. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is co-sponsoring the measure.

“The first obligation of the president is to keep this country safe as commander in chief,” Cruz said in a statement. “I am encouraged that, unlike the previous administration, one of President Trump’s top priorities is to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”

Cruz has long criticized U.S. efforts to resettle Muslims fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, arguing that terrorists could use the resettlement program as a sort of Trojan horse to enter the U.S. He has suggested resettling only Christian refugees from the region, arguing that members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would not try to hide among Christians.

This way, they can wrap up rejecting scary Muslims under the auspices of “safety and security” rather than them being icky heathens. Unfortunately, this bill will not address the movement of members of the Christianist intifada that is actually terrorizing America.

Bonus fact- this bill still does nothing but make bigots feel good. First, even if the governors of heavily gomerized states like Alabama and Texas ban the resettling of immigrants for whatever reason they come up with on the spot, these are people, not fucking objects. They aren’t inert objects like the Statue of Liberty or Ted Cruz’s conscience. So once an immigrant is welcomed into a state with actual human beings like New York or California, guess what? THEY CAN CROSS FUCKING STATE LINES, just like guns. And why the fuck would they want to go to Texas anyway? They can livestream SXSW, which is the only reason I can think of for wanting to go there.

Bonus fact #2: The President’s first duty isn’t to protect Americans. It’s to uphold the Constitution. You know, that old piece of paper they routinely wipe their ass with when they introduce bills like this,


Full time douche canoe and State Senator Chris McDaniel took to facebook with this bit of idiocy:

He’s proud of that, too! A couple of quick things:

1.) The protests were not about free birth control.

2.) This is when you can tell they are spooked- when all they have is dumbassery to puke up. You’ve no doubt seen some of the other crap the wingnuts have tried- pictures of trash left behind after the march gasping about dirty liberals, idiots wondering “what did it accomplish,” or others barfing up stuff like “what if they had not spent money on tickets and donated it to women’s shelters” and on and on. When you see that, what you should recognize is that the protests worked and it unnerved them. They have no response, so rather than confront the issue head on, they’ll bicker around the edges.


So when women mention that birth control should be covered by insurance, it’s not because they want free shit, it’s because they want their health needs treated equally to men’s health needs. Additionally, while called “birth control,” birth control isn’t just for stopping unwanted pregnancies.

So a hearty middle finger to the full time penis impersonator from Mississippi, who not only is an asshole, but a stupid asshole who doesn’t even know what health insurance is and how it works.