Once again, the people who watch Fox News are demonstrating their appalling lack of decency and, ironically in this case, respect for human life. News reports about an active shooter situation at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs are still somewhat vague as to the shooter’s motives and the status of victims. There are confirmed reports of police officers wounded by gunfire, and citizens are virtually trapped in nearby shops as they await a conclusion.
[UPDATE: The gunman was captured alive and taken into custody. The investigation is ongoing. But none of that alters the atrocious nature of the comments by the Fox News audience.]
In the heat of this live crisis the Fox News website is hosting some of the most nauseating responses imaginable. They run the gamut of hateful rhetoric from anti-choice extremism (“Too bad the abortion doctor and the nursing staff weren’t all killed.”) to overt racism (“I know this isn’t PC….but n***gers are just plain bad news.”). Never mind that there is little information about the shooter or his motives (he has been identified in one report as a white male), the Fox News audience is focused entirely on their inbred hostilities toward minorities, women, and President Obama, whom some are accusing of setting this up.
For these cretins to be celebrating this domestic terrorism and the potential loss of life being caused by another madman with a gun is particularly loathsome considering they regard themselves as pro-life. But it isn’t surprising as they have a long record of similarly disgusting responses to news events [See The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community] If you have the stomach for it, here are some of the responses captured from Fox’s website.
Always anxious to reflect the spirit of America on its revered holidays, a Fox News anchor took the time to produce a commentary that expresses his views on immigration. And what better occasion than Thanksgiving to contemplate the sacrifices of people from far off lands enduring long and perilous travels in the hopes of a better life in a new world?
In that spirit Todd Starnes, Fox’s Christian Taliban representative, sought to demonize immigrants as less than human with an obscure reference to a classic TV program. Starnes opened his commentary saying…
“Most Americans agree with Donald Trump — the illegal aliens have to go. Head ’em up, move ’em out.”
Fans of the old western show “Rawhide” will remember its theme song by Frankie Laine (video below) that went: “Move ’em on, head ’em up/Head ’em up, move ’em out/Move ’em on/head ’em out Rawhide!” It was a cowboy ode to wrangling livestock, often on long, arduous cattle drives. did he think that no one would notice the sly way he equated immigrants with cattle?
Apparently Starnes regards that as an appropriate way to address the issue of immigration, and particularly the plan by Donald Trump to round up some 11,000,000 undocumented residents and “herd ’em out” of the country. Starnes’ choice of that phrase proves that he regards immigrants as animals. But it is also typical of the racist rhetoric so prevalent on Fox News and among Republican bigots. In this context the lyric perfectly expresses the hatefulness of people who don’t see the irony of their own past as immigrants, especially in the part of the verse that says em>”Don’t try to understand ’em/Just rope and throw and grab ’em.”
Starnes continues his rant by citing the results of a Fox News poll that found that a slight majority of 52% of respondents favor deporting immigrants who are living in the United States illegally. He then characterizes that as proof that “Americans agree with Trump – Illegals Must go.” But in his own commentary he reveals that it isn’t Americans so much as it is Republicans. The breakdown of the poll shows that 70% of Republicans hold that view, but a majority (58%) of Democrats oppose the inhumane act of mass deportation.
Starnes also misrepresented another question in the poll that asked “Which of the following best describes how you feel about identifying and deporting millions of immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally?” The responses were that 41% considered it “a smart idea,” which Starnes included in his commentary. However, for some reason, he left out that 54% considered it “Silly because it would be impossible [or] Wrong even if it were possible.”
Taking the numbers in their totality, it is ridiculous to conclude that Americans agree with Trump on immigration. Only someone intent on deception would make such a case. But Starnes wasn’t finished with his offensive diatribe. He went on to enumerate a series of known falsehoods about immigrants:
“Americans are frustrated — they see illegals taking away our jobs. They see our tax money funding sanctuary cities and funding social programs that a good many legal citizens don’t have access to. They see a government that turns a blind eye to the illegals as they murder American citizens and pillage and plunder local economies. They see a White House that favors the illegals over immigrants who are trying to enter the United States legally.”
There are so many outright lies in that paragraph it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the observation that Starnes, a self-appointed martinet of allegedly Christian values, repeatedly uses the racist slur “illegals” to refer to undocumented residents.
As for the immigration myths he is perpetuating, the facts are not with him. No one is stealing “their” jobs. The jobs are being offered to immigrants by American employers, yet nobody talks about punishing them for violating the law, and no one calls them “illegals.” What’s more, immigrants are actually responsible for expanding the job market and growing the economy. And they do this without tax money or burdening the welfare system because they are not entitled to most benefits.
The contention that immigrants are “pillaging and plundering” is both repugnant and entirely without basis. In fact, the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. has a lower rate of criminal activity than native-born citizens. And Starnes’ assertions that the government is “turning a blind eye” to murders, and that the White House favors “the illegals” over other immigrants is downright delusional. He doesn’t bother to cite any examples because there weren’t any up his ass with the rest of what he pulled out for this commentary.
So what we have here is a Fox News anchor fabricating blatant lies in order to foment hatred toward a vulnerable population. He couches the whole tirade in a racist theme that casts his targets as sub-human cattle. And he chooses Thanksgiving Day, a day meant to celebrate brotherhood and the welcoming of strangers, to insult and smear people who want nothing more than to provide for their families and enjoy the blessings of liberty. Nice work Your Assholiness.
Yesterday President Obama and French President Francois Hollande held a joint news conference at the White House to address the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. They presented a united front against terrorism and each delivered opening statements that virtually mirrored one another. The gist was that, as Obama said…
“This barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us. It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed.”
It was a forthright statement of unequivocal determination to prevail over evil and nothing Hollande said surpassed it in tone or substance. Nevertheless, Obama’s critics in the American media snarled predictably about what they viewed as the weakness of his remarks, as compared to Hollande, without citing a single instance of how they differed. For example, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post (and Fox Nation website) disparaged Obama in a headline article as being “dangerously nonchalant about ISIS threats.”
However, where they went cascading overboard was with their wildly absurd misinterpretation of comments both leaders made about the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. For the record, here are the excerpts from each opening statement that addresses the conference:
Obama: Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.
Hollande: There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris with some 150 heads of state and government. Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They’re coming to sort out the climate challenge, and again, to work and to find the right agreement so that we can limit greenhouse gases emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live.
What is plainly obvious is that both men were declaring their resolve to forge ahead with the conference despite the attempt by terrorists to stir panic and to disrupt the lives of free people in Paris and everywhere else. It was a proclamation of their commitment to proceed with life’s affairs without being hobbled by fear. But the Fox News crowd is either to stupid to recognize that, or they are deliberately twisting it to arrive at a ludicrous conclusion that fits their anti-Obama narrative. Here is a sampling of their mindless exercises in disinformation:
Rudy Guiliani: You know, you know, I really feel very stupid. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on law enforcement, terrorism, cybersecurity, security, and I never thought of the fact that if we just waged war on global warming we could defeat ISIS, and that’s really going to shake them up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more absurd from a president.
K.T. McFarland: President Obama thinks that climate change is the greatest strategic and geological and existential threat to our future. You know, here we are — and the irony, if it were not so tragic it would be funny — here we have ISIS, which is attacking with suicide vests and Kalashnikovs and potentially chemical weapons in the French water supply. What are we doing? We’re going to fight ISIS. We’re going to have windmills. We’re going to have solar panels. We’re going to show them. It’s just really — all it does is it gives encouragement to the terrorists who feel that they have been selected and chosen by Allah to establish the caliphate and kill everybody who disagrees with them.
Eric Bolling: At the White House news conference alongside the leader of France today, President Obama really stuck it to the terrorists by reminding them he’ll be attending a weather summit soon.
Kimberly Guilfoyle: Wow, we’re going to stick it to the terrorists when we start talking about climate change.
Jesse Watters: He’s saying we need to fight terror by using a poem on the Statue of Liberty. OK, I don’t even know what that means. And then he’s going on and saying the biggest rebuke to terrorism is to talk about the weather. […] I don’t think Americans care if we rebuke the terrorists. I think we should be nuking the terrorists.
Andrea Tantaros: Obama: wait til they get a load of us at the Climate Summit in a few wks….”a rebuke.” Because nothing scares jihadists like the weather.
Peter Johnson: I think the people join me at home today on this in being confounded and astounded … by that statement that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the most potent weapon in his arsenal against ISIS, against al-Qaeda, against all of these terrorists, is somehow convening a conference on global warming, on climate change.
These maroons actually believe that Obama was arguing that Climate Change reform was his response to terrorism. They are so intellectually feeble that they could not grasp that he was talking about proceeding with the conference, rather than canceling or rescheduling it, as the “rebuke” in that it demonstrated that the terrorists could not upset our lives with their barbarous tactics. We will persevere no matter what they do, they cannot force us to retreat into bunkers. It is a message of strength. And even though the Fox dimwits directed their insults at our president, while praising Hollande, they completely ignored the fact that Hollande said exactly the same thing.
This is what happens when people allow themselves to become so consumed with hate that they can’t hold a coherent thought in their diseased brains. It exposes them as frauds who have only their own narrow interests at what remains of their heart. But most of all it signals an innate idiocy and inability to engage in critical thinking. Which may be a good thing for Fox News pundits. Because their audience is even less able to understand simple concepts or process information in any logical manner. Fox knows who they’re playing to, and their audience appreciates being talked down to – and even lied to.
The media is pouncing on Donald Trump today for his blatantly false claims to have seen “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. What he says he personally witnessed never actually happened and PolitiFact, among other fact checkers, rated it a “Pants on Fire“ lie. He is also taking heat for re-tweeting a racist graphic of homicide statistics that were completely made up (probably by a neo-Nazi). And then there’s the episode at his rally where he encouraged his supporters to beat up a protester, later saying that he deserved it.
However, there was another newsmaking event that took place that isn’t getting much play from the media. Trump’s bullying of the press has devolved into severely oppressive tactics that reflect his tyrannical tendencies. He and his campaign aides have taken steps to punish, muzzle, and otherwise suppress the First Amendment rights of the reporters covering his campaign. It has gotten so bad that media organizations that normally compete with one another are meeting to discuss the matter and to formulate a response. The Washington Post reports that…
“According to people at multiple networks, senior managers from the five leading TV news networks — ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox and NBC News — will discuss their response in an effort to push back against what they deem harsh and restrictive behavior by Trump’s managers, including his top aide, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.”
The abuses being suffered by the press include the Trump campaign threatening to pull the press credentials of reporters who dare to leave the “pen” provided for them by Trump’s handlers. His people even explicitly threaten to “blacklist” disobedient reporters. By disobedient they mean those who seek to interview people attending Trump’s events or to cover protests. In other words, those who are doing their jobs as reporters. In one case Lewandowski told another campaign staffer “Hey: Tell Noah [Gray of CNN], get back in the pen or he’s f—ing blacklisted.” WaPo further reported that…
“The campaign has also declined to give credentials to reporters from news organizations it has deemed unfriendly. The list includes BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision and the Des Moines Register.”
This is unprecedented in a democracy that reveres freedom of the press. But worse, it is a preview of the sort of ham-handed censorship that a wannabe dictator like Trump would employ were he to hold any position of power. It has to have gotten pretty bad for competing media enterprises to come together in search of a solution. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the press to challenge Trump. They are more interested in the potential ratings they think he will draw than in their journalistic integrity.
It’s fascinating that his supporters, ostensibly conservatives who claim to favor small government and personal freedom, are still drawn to this budding despot who seeks absolute power and is proposing growing government in the most intrusive way: more federal agents to monitor churches, more security forces on the border, more surveillance of citizens and registries to track them. And his supporters are the same people who were so rapt with an irrational fear of President Obama’s imaginary “czars.”
In a separate example of the intransigent totalitarianism of Donald Trump, he is holding the Republican Party hostage with threats to bolt and run as an independent if they don’t squelch a growing contingent of critics who are uniting to produce and distribute anti-Trump ads. [This isn’t the first time he has threatened to break his pledge of party loyalty]. It’s called politics and every politician is aware of how it works. But for Trump, the notion that His Majesty would be the target of an attack is unthinkable. Reuters reports that…
“Donald Trump’s presidential campaign warned the Republican Party on Tuesday about donors pooling funds for attack ads, saying Republicans must treat him fairly if they want to keep him from launching an independent bid.
“Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told CNN that if Republican donors backing different presidential candidates come together for an anti-Trump advertising campaign, it would be a ‘bad, bad decision.’ […] ‘If they treat him fairly, he will honor the pledge because he’s an honorable guy. If they break that agreement with him, as they say ‘woe be on them,’ Cohen told CNN.”
“Woe be on them?” Trump is literally going Medieval on the RNC. Of course, the Republican Party has no control over Super PACs that are independent and free to pursue their own political missions. In Trump’s mind there is an overarching authority on whom he can force his will under threat of annihilation to any peasant who dares to defy his omnipotence.
The question is, will the RNC capitulate to Trump and forever be his bitch? Will the media surrender and allow Trump to dictate the terms of their coverage? Trump is an aspiring tyrant and the time to squash his power-mad dreams is now. Unfortunately, his party and the press may be too impotent to stand up for their own interests, and for those of democracy and America. If they had any integrity or guts the RNC would tell him to stop whining, honor his pledge, or take a flying leap, and the press would tell him go to hell and then cover him the way they would any other candidate. As it looks now, they are just preparing to embarrass themselves and let an ignorant, loudmouth, with delusions of grandeur run all over them.
In the world of right wing media, there is an enduring contest to see who can construct the most asinine analyses of current events. It’s a fierce competition that is characterized by truly gifted producers of utter bullcrap. However, one name that is consistently in contention for the gold is Breitbart News, the journalistic equivalent of virtual fish wrapping.
In another masterpiece of moronic reporting, Breitbart posted an article that sought to reveal the underhanded inner workings of the Obama administration. They sensed a deep-seated deception that upon discovery would unmask the secret intentions of the gay, Kenyan, Muslim, usurper occupying the White House. And with a bold stroke of unashamed stupidity they declared that: “White House Shifts To Gun Control To Distract From Refugee Backlash.” The first paragraph began…
“On November 23 the White House focused on gun control as a means of shifting attention away from President Obama’s contentious push for Syrian refugees.”
Well of course they did! It is just the sort of thing that this administration would do. When they are confronted with a controversial issue that is consuming massive amounts of energy, they deftly deflect by injecting an alternative issue into the debate that is broadly agreeable and not the least bit contentious. Like gun control. That’s right, the Breitbrats think that Obama is avoiding controversy by suddenly raising the feel-good issue of gun control.
But that’s not the only high grade crackpottery in their article. They go on to criticize White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for “jabbing at Republicans” who just blocked legislation to prohibit people on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns. The Breitbrats complain that…
“Lost on Earnest is the fact that gun control in France is far more restrictive than in the US, yet it proved impotent to halt the slaughter of 130 people and the wounding of hundreds more.”
Lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that the less restrictive gun laws in the U.S. proved impotent to halt the slaughter of more than 33,000 Americans by guns every year and the wounding of tens of thousands more. [For comparison, France has about 35 gun homicides a year. On a homicides per 100,000 people, the U.S. rate is sixteen times higher than France] Also lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that civilians with guns have never once prevented an act of terrorism or mass shooting in the U.S.
The article went on to assert that “Earnest was on a mission to distract,” which they believed was why he brought up the matter of suspected terrorists having access to guns, rather than because the fact that suspected terrorists having access to guns is freaking insane. But this tactic of accusing Obama of employing distractions when he wants to change the subject is nothing new. Wingnuts have been using it for years. For example, they were sure they’d uncovered a whole slew of alleged distractions from ObamaCare.
Pretty much any time Obama brings up any subject, the paranoids on the right are certain that it’s an attempt to distract from something else. Never mind that it is always something that has been a core part of his agenda. That is certainly the case for gun safety reforms. He didn’t just latch onto this issue in a fit of desperation to misdirect America’s attention from Syrian refugees. They are both critical matters and, unlike his critics, this president is capable of managing more than one crisis at a time.
Observers of Donald Trump’s bizarre campaign for the Republican nomination for president have seen in just a few months the ugliness that he can present as he seeks to attract voters by appealing to their fear, hatred, and ignorance. And now they can also see how worthless his word is as he throws a temper tantrum over being attacked by his political rivals.
When Trump announced his candidacy in June, there was speculation that he would not remain a Republican candidate if he faltered in the campaign or failed to get the nomination. That controversy caused the GOP to insist that all candidates sign a “loyalty pledge” if they wanted to participate in party sanctioned debates or even get on the primary ballot in some states. The pledge required the candidate’s to…
“…affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for President of the United States I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, regardless of who it is. I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination of any other party.”
It’s difficult understand how Trump could endorse other Republicans that he has already disparaged as weak, incompetent, corrupt, ugly losers, but under pressure from the party, Trump signed the pledge and tweeted how proud he was of the commitment. He further stated that “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands,” and that “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.”
That was on September 3, just two and a half months ago. Today, however, Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on This Week and was asked whether a new ad by his opponents, characterizing him as dangerously inexperienced, might cause him to change his mind. Stephanopoulos also quoted from a Wall Street Journal article that described the Republican establishment as “increasingly alarmed by the enduring strength of Donald Trump’s presidential bid,” and said that they were “ratcheting up efforts to knock him out of the race.” So when Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he still intended to honor his pledge, he responded:
“I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly. When I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is a level playing field.”
Trump’s idea of fair treatment is when everybody stoops to kiss his wrinkled butt. Consequently, any pledges he makes are subject to cancellation at will. His stance now is to wait and see. That flip-flop demonstrates that he is someone who is not to be trusted, even after he has signed a written commitment. He played Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, for access to the debates that have raised his profile, and now he is threatening to ditch the party to boost his own super-sized ego.
The prospect of Trump mounting a third-party run would be great news for Democrats. But the really interesting part of this is how the GOP will react to Trump’s deceit. Will they bend over with lips puckered and beg him not to torpedo their 2016 presidential hopes? If so, that would make them look pretty impotent going into the general election. But do they have the guts to stand up to him and refuse to be bullied by a painfully stupid trust fund baby whose sense of entitlement could blot out the sun?
Trump has already cowed two titans of the media. He made bitches of both Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes of Fox News, who scampered away in fear of offending The Donald. They let him make asses of them in order to preserve what they believed to be a ratings bonanza, but will prove to be a short-term blip. Will the Republican Party now follow in their baby steps and allow Trump to stomp all over them?
If the GOP/RNC has any guts they will demand that Trump reiterate his promise to endorse the Republican nominee and forswear a third-party run. They should force him to make a public proclamation of loyalty or face being booted from any future debates or, where allowed, access to state ballots as a Republican candidate.
The likelihood of that, however, is low. Republicans have not been known for their commitment to principle. And they have already demonstrated that they fear Trump more than they love their party or their country. Why else would they stand with him when he has insulted millions of minority voters, women, and seniors? And his recent fear mongering over refugees literally devolved into fascistic ranting that has no place in a free America. So It’s your move Republicans. What will you do with your treacherous Trump now that he is wiping your face in it?
Today on CNN, Michael Smerconish hosted former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who is more often seen pitching his doomsday fetishes on Fox News. The discussion (video below) centered around how best to respond to the threat posed by ISIS and other terrorist entities. Suffice to say that Scheuer’s methods took inhumanity to new lows.
While professing to be a non-interventionist, Scheuer complained that Americans don’t have the stomach to do what he thinks is necessary to defeat ISIS. His prescription for victory requires going “all in,” which means tolerating vast numbers of civilian casualties. He laments that American politicians are not comfortable with that saying “There’s not one person out there who’s willing to kill a civilian.” Of course, he’s wrong about that because several Republicans have publicly supported massive military campaigns that would decimate much of Syria. But that may not be enough for Scheuer who, when asked what he meant by “all in” said…
“All in to me would be to take out every piece of infrastructure: hospitals, universities, irrigation systems, that make it impossible for the Islamic State to raise money, to provide electricity, sanitation, potable water. Do exactly what we did to the Germans.”
In effect, Scheuer is advocating that the United States commit war crimes. He thinks that hospitals and universities, which are places notable for the absence of combatants, should be explicitly targeted for destruction. He’s not merely suggesting that civilian casualties should be tolerated, but that they should be deliberate and aimed at the most vulnerable people. And the other targets he proposed are also notable for having expressly civilian purposes. Irrigation systems serve farmers, not soldiers. Electricity, sanitation, and potable water are likewise services that are used mostly by peaceful families.
Scheuer could have proposed targets like command centers, training facilities, munitions storage, transportation assets, or black market oil operations, but all of his suggestions were predominantly civilian in nature. What’s more, his reference to “what we did to the Germans” ignores major differences between World War II and today. We were actually at war with Germany. We are not at war with Syria, and their civilian population is not responsible for terrorism. In fact, they are the victims of it, which accounts for the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. His plan would be more analogous to one that sought to bomb all the Jews in Germany and hope some Nazis were among the dead. And his callous disregard for human life was expressed further in this exchange:
Smerconish: Do you think that the Western world, Americans in particular, would stand by for the film footage that would be shown, on CNN and elsewhere, of the so-called innocent civilian death count? Scheuer: I don’t know if they would. They should. What’s the difference? They’re not Americans.
Well, that makes everything OK then, doesn’t it? The only deaths that matter are those of Americans. Maybe Scheuer would have approved of bombing the Bataclan concert Hall in Paris when the terrorists had taken control of it. We would have killed a few terrorists and a few hundred Parisians, but why would that matter? They’re not Americans.
Something obvious missing from Scheuer’s analysis is that what he is suggesting is not only barbarous and against international law, it is the best recruiting tool for terrorists imaginable. The more innocent civilians who die at the hands of Western infidels, the more survivors that will become radicalized and hunger for vengeance. Smerconish actually pointed out to Scheuer (with video evidence) that terrorists were already using him in their propaganda. Scheuer responded saying that they were just using his message of American military incompetence because it was “the reality.” How patriotic.
This is not the first time that Scheuer has articulated his repulsive philosophy. A few years ago he was on Glenn Beck’s Fox News program and outlined his concern that the American people were not sufficiently afraid of future terrorist attacks. He regarded that absence of fear as dangerous complacency. But he had a solution (video): “The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” That’s right – Scheuer came out in favor of Al Qaeda nuking America.
Just last year Scheuer wrote an article endorsing the assassination of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. After alluding to them as tyrannical, he quoted an historical figure who said that “every man might kill a tyrant; and no names are recorded in history with more honor, than of those who did it.” Wink, wink.
That is the magnitude of derangement that we’re dealing with here. Scheuer is a madman bordering on treason. And it is unconscionable that CNN would provide him a platform for his noxious views. It’s bad enough that Fox News does, but at least it’s consistent with the rest of their toxic propaganda.
If the Republican Party is ever going to wake up and shut down this misanthropic racist it had better be now. Donald Trump’s latest hateful howling has crossed a line of indecency that is impossible to ignore. And Godwin be damned, he is articulating Nazi rhetoric on a scale not seen since the originals.
Just yesterday Trump told Yahoo News that he would support the development of databases and other systems to track and monitor people in the United States on the basis of their religion. He did not rule out forcing Muslims to have identifying papers or badges. Perhaps he would make them wear a star and crescent in the manner that Hitler’s Nazis made Jews wear the Star of David. From Yahoo…
Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.
“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
This grotesque policy position fits nicely with his prior statement that he believes it may be necessary to close mosques in America. He said that “there’s absolutely no choice” because “some really bad things are happening.” Apparently one of the “really bad things” isn’t the assault on our Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion. But that’s not all, Trump also told Yahoo News that…
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
So “security is going to rule.” And I’ll bet the trains will run on time. And speaking of trains, this is the same man who wants to round up 11,000,000 Latinos for mass deportation. How he proposes to do that is a mystery, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it involved boxcars and concentration camps. He approvingly cited the 1950’s “Operation Wetback“ as a model for his plan. That operation resulted in dozens of deaths and was abandoned as a failure that violated humane standards.
In the short history of Trump’s campaign he has gotten away with saying repulsive things and demonstrating overtly bigoted behavior. Even when he disparaged solidly conservative principles like the military sacrifices of John McCain, or making a mockery of the practice of Christianity, his supporters remained faithful. And despite all of that, he still clings to the top of the polls in the Republican presidential primary. There has been an astonishing and troubling loyalty by Republicans who seem unfazed no matter how disgusting or ignorant he gets. And it isn’t just his supporters. Other GOP voters, pundits, and candidates, are reluctant to take him on.
If that continues it will be impossible for the GOP to separate themselves from his repugnant views. And the same goes for Fox News, who flagrantly promote Trump’s campaign. They are already tied to him on most other issues with which they agree completely. But if they don’t want to forever be associated with the outright appeal to the policies of the Nazis, they need to renounce him and cease supporting him. If his polling isn’t hurt by this we’ll know for sure that a significant chunk of the Republican Party is cool with fascism.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time when the War on Christmas warms the cockles (whatever they are) of American patriots as they prepare to celebrate the release of another Sarah Palin book: Sweet Freedom: A Devotional. Palin’s latest butchering of the English language “invites you to draw strength and inspiration from 260 meditations based on guiding Biblical verses.”
One of the inspirational verses in the book is Luke 22:36, which says “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” And from that Palin has constructed an interpretation that strains the bounds of reason. She spoke with Tom Sullivan of Fox News Radio and delivered her warped analysis of the scripture:
“In the New Testament, Luke:22. We’re talking about gun control. Jesus, I swear he was a proponent of open carry. Because he told his disciples, he said ‘You better arm yourselves. You better protect the innocent. You don’t rely on the authorities. You don’t rely on others peoples.’ He said ‘You carry your sword.’ He told his disciples ‘Before we go on our journey, if you have a cloak, if you have your purse, OK, go get ’em. But if you don’t have a sword with you…’ – which was their arms back then – ‘…then you sell your cloak and you go buy a sword. And you get out there and you defend the innocent and yourself. Let’s go.’ He was all for self-defense and the Second Amendment.”
Really? Then why on the next morning did he tell his disciples to cease any defense of him, saying that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Biblical scholars read this verse as Jesus merely advising the disciples to be prepared with necessary tools for the tasks of survival (i.e. hunting, and cutting cloth or building materials). That explains why after he told them to buy swords he replied that “It’s enough,” when they responded saying that they had two already. Certainly two swords would not have been enough to fight the officers who would come to arrest Jesus. But they would be plenty as parts of a tool collection.
What’s more, nowhere in the verse does it say that Jesus advocated using swords, or any weaponry, to “defend the innocent and yourself.” To the contrary, he preached against violence and favored passive resistance as in “turn the other cheek.” Palin’s interpretation sounds like Jesus was assembling an early incarnation of The Avengers to suit up and take on the evildoers of Jerusalem.
In an oddly significant juxtaposition to Palin’s mangling of the Bible, Fox News reported yesterday that terrorists have had nearly unfettered access to guns in America. Gretchen Carlson’s story (video below) quoted a study by the Government Accountability Office on the ability of people on the Terrorist Watch List to legally purchase guns:
“People on the Terrorist Watch List here in the U.S. – Who knew they were still legally able to buy guns? Look at this data from the Government Accountability Office going back to 2004. Suspected terrorists made more than 2,200 attempts to buy guns from U.S. dealers. More than 2,000 of them, or 91% were successful.”
Who knew? Well, actually many people knew. Even Fox News knew and reported on it many times. This has been an issue for gun safety advocates for years. There have been several attempts, going back to at least 2007, during the Bush administration, to pass legislation to close what has been called “The Terror Gap,” but they have always been met with fierce opposition from the NRA and Republicans in Congress.
One of those Republicans who has opposed the legislation is Texas representative Tony Dale. Ironically, Dale is now citing the ease with which guns are available as a reason to deny entry into the U.S., and Texas, by Syrian refugees. Dale is worried that among them will be terrorists who will be able to purchase guns thanks to the legislation that he voted for. And another opponent of closing the Terror Gap was the late Adam Gadahn (aka Azzam the American), an Al Qaeda operative who issued a directive to his comrades saying that…
“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
It’s rather strange that Carlson would be so surprised that this is occurring when it is something that has received so much attention in the past. And her editorial take on the subject seems to be aligned with the gun safety advocates who are pushing for restrictions on gun purchases by those on the watch list. That would put her at odds with the rest of the Fox News team, the GOP, the NRA, and Sarah Palin. Which means, of course, that she is at odds with Jesus the Avenger. Uh oh.
The Republican Party’s front-runner for their presidential nomination, Donald Trump, continues to peel off nonsense of the most extreme variety. Just when you think he’s topped out at proposing to reprise the repugnant “Operation Wetback,” he reaches down deep to deliver something that far surpasses the idiocy of any ordinary mortal.
Yesterday Trump was on Laura Ingraham’s radio show and had something to say about the Syrian refugee crisis that most of the civilized world is struggling to address. But his remarks were not about the human suffering or the logistical challenges or potential solutions. What Trump sought to add to the debate was a ludicrous and wholly unfounded conspiracy theory accusing President Obama of another dastardly deed.
Trump: They send [the refugees] to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know, because they know the problems. In California you have a Democrat as a governor. In Florida you have Rick Scott. So, you know, they send them to the Republicans because, you know, why would we want to bother the Democrats? It’s just insane. Taking these people is absolutely insanity. I don’t know if you know. They’re talking about hundreds of thousands potentially. Hundreds of thousands.
Where to begin. How about with the fact that Trump’s assertion is a bald-faced lie. His projection of the distribution of refugees based on the party affiliation of a state’s governor makes no sense whatsoever, and he doesn’t bother to provide any support for the wild claim. Even using the example that he provided, the facts show that California has already taken in 218 Syrian refugees this year (more than any other state), while Florida has taken only 104 (placing them down at seventh). What’s more, states with Republican governors can be expected to receive more refugees simply because there are more of them. Currently there are 31 states led by Republicans and 18 by Democrats.
Furthermore, Trump’s assertion that there are plans to resettle “hundreds of thousands” of refugees must have been pulled straight out of his ass, because there is no such estimate in reality. The federal government has committed to receiving about 10,000 refugees. So Trump is only off by at least ninety percent.
Now if you’re wondering how Trump can get away with making such blatantly false comments and still retain his position at the top of the GOP primary contest, the answer is in the the type of voter to whom Trump is appealing. A new survey (pdf) by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveals that Trump’s supporters are fervently opposed to immigrants with 69% saying that “immigration is a critical issue to them personally.” That compares to only 50% of supporters of other Republican candidates. In addition, the survey found that…
Trump supporters are much more likely to express negative views of immigrants than the supporters of other candidates. Eight in ten (80%) Trump supporters say that immigrants today are a burden to the U.S. because they take American jobs, housing, and health care. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Trump supporters say that it bothers them when they come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English.
Never mind that it is completely untrue that immigrants are taking jobs from Americans or are consuming financial benefits. What’s most disturbing about these findings is the overt bigotry of the Trump contingent. But it gets even worse:
Trump supporters also express greater concern about discrimination against white Americans and white men in particular. Roughly three-quarters (74%) of Trump supporters — compared to 57% of supporters of all other Republican candidates — agree that, today, discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.
That must be why it’s so hard for white men to get jobs, or find housing. And it explains why so many of them are being killed while unarmed by police officers. [/snark] It would be bad enough if there were a significant portion of Trump’s supporters who held these absurd opinions, but these numbers are frighteningly high. It means that 75% of Trump’s followers are seriously deranged in a way that exposes the rancid biases of the Republican Party. Because in the end, Trump’s followers are GOP voters, and when he eventually flames out, the Party is still going to have to appeal to these same cretins to support their nominee.