Coming on the heels of his bizarre Trumpian assertion that environmentalists are flat-earthers, Ted Cruz released a video that seems to cement the already widespread impression of the American redneck as a borderline deranged nut case.
In the video (posted below) Cruz is seen at a firing range where he expresses his appreciation of cooking breakfast with his family on weekends. Then he adds “Of course, in Texas we cook bacon a little differently than most folks.” He then proceeds to wrap a few strips of bacon around the muzzle of an AR-15 and fire it at a target. After which he picks a piece of the bacon off the muzzle with a fork and eats it. Eww. It’s not exactly sanitary.
What exactly is the point of this video? Is it Cruz’s intention to reinforce the negative stereotype of Texans and southerners as corpulent, pork-encrusted, gluttons, and skeevy, gun fetishing hicks? Because that’s what he’s doing as he reinforces two of the most repugnant attributes commonly associated with the hillbilly culture to which he seems to be appealing.
Let’s face it, this is nothing more than a desperate cry for attention by a candidate who has rapidly sunk into near oblivion. His poll numbers have been cut in half in the last few months. But if he thinks that frying cured pig flesh on a rifle barrel is the way to attract more voters he is shooting blanks. He is only proving that he knows nothing about either food or guns.
Candidates like Cruz are adopting the scripts of reality television to ramp up their ratings …er… votes. It might be referred to as the Trump effect (although Sarah Palin was there first), and it is turning democracy into a pathetic season of Keeping Up With The Republicans.
The Republican presidential primary has utterly devolved into a festival of crotchety buffoons whose most steadfast goal is to attract more publicity than their current front-runner, Donald Trump. However, it says something rather pitiful about a collection of GOP candidates that are repeatedly upstaged by a boorish TV reality show host. That’s gotta hurt.
Consequently, every so often one of them will take a wild swing for fences to see if they can sponge up a little attention. Doing so almost never involves contributing something meaningful to the discourse on government, politics, or society. No, it usually means sinking to lower levels of dumbfuckery than Trump himself. And the latest contestant to step up to the plate is Sen. Ted Cruz, who in the pre-Trump era was the undisputed champion of the lunatic fringe.
Speaking at gathering of wealthy Republican donors sponsored by the wealthiest of them all, the Koch brothers, Cruz addressed the subject of Climate Change. He began by making the bizarre assertion that the vast majority of scientists whose studies prove that Climate Change is a real and imminent threat, are “Flat-Earthers.” That’s right, he used the phrase that ordinarily mocks those who reject science against actual scientists. And he used it to reject science.
You have to give Cruz some credit for managing to pull off this daring escape from reality with a straight face. And undoubtedly the imbeciles listening to this tripe will soak it up eagerly since they have already demonstrated that their capacity for rational comprehension is at or near zero. Cruz went on to dismiss Climate Change as a hoax saying that…
“If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming. The satellite says it ain’t happening … They’re cooking the books.” […and that…] “It is always disturbing to hear science use the language of theology. Deniers. Heretics. That’s not what science is supposed to be about. Science should follow the facts.”
Indeed. Science should follow the facts. And with 97% of scientists who have studied Climate Change agreeing that it is real and is caused by humans, the facts are not in doubt. What’s more, Cruz’s complaint about the “language of theology” comes entirely from his warped imagination. The term “deniers” was previously used mostly with reference to fake historians who claimed that the Holocaust never occurred. That is not a theological reference. And I would wager that Cruz could not cite a single instance of someone referring to Climate Change deniers as heretics.
As for Cruz’s claims about satellite data, cooked books, and the alleged absence of any recorded warming, he is obviously working from materials provided by the same Exxon lobbyists who previously worked for cigarette companies on the health benefits of tobacco. Because if he had asked the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration they would have told him that the planet has been steadily warming for decades and that 2014 was Earth’s warmest year on record. And that 2015 is on track to surpass 2014.
This isn’t the first time that Cruz has wondered from the realm of reality by flipping the concept of flat-Earthers. Back in May he said much the same thing while adding that he and other science-deniers were modern-day Galileos. The only problem with that is that it is bass-ackwards. Galileo was persecuted for advocating theories derived from scientific method (like the 97%). His critics, mainly the Catholic Church, rejected his work because they were committed to preserving long-held myths that benefited the status quo (like Koch brothers). So Cruz assuming the mantle of Galileo is a complete reversal of logic. He’s the one using an unsupported belief system to supplant today’s Galileos who rely on actual science.
Perhaps the funniest diversion from sanity in Cruz’s speech was his ludicrous reasoning for why Democrats are pursuing Climate Change as an issue. First, he says that they plan to use it as a means to assert total control over … EVERYTHING! It’s all part of a grand conspiracy that concludes with universal slavery to environmental dictators forcing people to live with clean air and water in a habitable climate. The fiends! And even worse, Democrats only pretend to care about the issue in order to please the army of environmentalist billionaires (we all know how numerous and bloodthirsty they are) and to gain access to their campaign donations. Keep in mind that Cruz was offering this ominous conspiracy theory to a room full of some 450 wealthy campaign donors assembled by the Koch brothers from whom he is seeking donations.
The only question for Cruz is, is this blockheaded stunt crazy enough to steal back some of Trump’s thunder? In ordinary times it would have more than sufficed. But these are not ordinary times. Trump has advanced the idiocracy to new, unforeseen heights. If Cruz really wanted to clinch the deal he should have accused the scientists of aiding and abetting ISIS, or thrown in a reference to environmentalist Nazis like Mike Huckabee did with Planned Parenthood. Now that’s how you out-Trump Trump.
The Daily Beast published an article today that recounted events leading up to the 1990 divorce of Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana. All of the material was taken from public records as revealed in a contemporaneous book: Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, by Harry Hurt III.
Some of the more salacious chapters included an allegation by Ivana that Trump had raped her. While her current account of the situation has been softened to characterize it as something that made her feel “violated,” the description still sounds very much like rape. However, the details of that sordid affair are not what this article is about.
When contacted by the Daily Beast, Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, went into full meltdown mode. He made some rather remarkably repulsive comments in defense of his client. For starters, he attempted to dismiss the allegations outright because, in his words, “You cannot rape your spouse. There’s very clear case law.” For an attorney to make such a statement is not only an egregious misstatement of fact, it is downright dangerous as it could lead to others committing heinous crimes believing that they are immune from prosecution based on Cohen’s false assertion. There is no exemption from laws prohibiting rape if the rapist is married to the victim.
But Cohen wasn’t finished. Hoping to intimidate the reporters he leveled an unbelievably harsh verbal assault that sounded more like a Mafioso delivering a mortal threat. Here is how he hoped to gently persuade the reporters from publishing their story:
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very f*cking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f*cking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
The only thing Cohen left out was the severed horse’s head in the reporter’s bed. Cohen later issued an apology for the comment about rape law, acknowledging that his prior interpretation was false and blamed it on his “shock and anger” at the charges in the Daily Beast’s article. Of course none of those charges were made by the reporters who were simply recounting events that had already been published years ago. Cohen did not, however, apologize for his overt threats to “mess up” the lives of the reporters in a “f*cking disgusting” way.
What is most disturbing about this is that it aligns very closely to the sort of rancid rhetoric that is the hallmark of Cohen’s client, Donald Trump. He has only been a candidate for a few weeks and he has already called immigrants criminals and rapists; he has disparaged a veteran and prisoner of war saying that he is not a hero; he has given out the private phone number of a political rival; and he repeatedly insults his critics as stupid, ugly, losers, and worse. And when confronted with his petulant boorishness, he will not only refuse to apologize, he will reiterate his vulgarities with even greater emphasis.
It’s a good thing that his aspirations to be president are a deranged fantasy with zero hopes of being realized. Because the thought of having someone like that representing the American people seems like a bad plot from a 1950’s horror movie. But the horror is not alleviated just because he is certain to flame out. There is still the painful reality that an astonishing number of misguided Americans regard him as presidential. That is going to be hard to live down.
If there is one thing that Donald Trump can be credited with, it’s sucking all the air out of the media and preventing every other right-wing lunatic from advancing their ultra-conservative agenda. In order to get any attention from the tabloid-obsessed press, it’s necessary to be even more bizarro than The Donald himself. The Republican candidates for president are finding this out in a big a way, and now so is has-been, half-governor, VP-flop, reality show loser, Sarah Palin.
Palin’s entry in the 2015 Trumplympics is a Facebook posting that features images of a Confederate flag and the Planned Parenthood logo. Her caption reads: “Which symbol killed 90,000 black babies last year?”
Of course, it’s a trick question because everyone knows that symbols don’t kill people, people do. And the people behind the Confederate flag were responsible for killing millions of African-Americans before, during, and after the Civil War. In fact, as we saw last month in Charleston, South Carolina, they are still doing it.
On the other hand, Planned Parenthood cannot be shown to have killed anyone. The premise of the anti-choice activists that life begins at conception, has never been proven scientifically. And abortion is still a legal means of terminating a pregnancy that has resulted in saving untold numbers of lives of women who would otherwise have been relegated to back alleys and medical charlatans.
Palin’s desperation for attention has compelled her to make one of the most nauseating ideological comparisons imaginable. The pro-choice movement is not unaccustomed to vile attacks including associations with historic evils like the Holocaust. It would be bad enough if Palin were trying to smear Planned Parenthood by asserting that it was somehow like the loathsome racists of the Confederacy. But she isn’t. She’s actually arguing that slaveholders and their descendants are praiseworthy next to an organization that provides health care, cancer screenings, birth control, and even prenatal services for women.
Planned Parenthood not only doesn’t kill people, it saves lives every day. What Palin is engaged in now is a coordinated right-wing attack on Planned Parenthood to destroy it by cutting off federal funding. In reality, this effort is another front in the Republican War On Women. Yet defunding Planned Parenthood would have almost no effect on abortion in America. That’s because only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortion related. It is the other vital health care services that women rely on that will be constrained if Palin and her GOP pals in Congress get their way. And, ironically, the result would be not only more women suffering with undiagnosed or untreated illnesses, but more unwanted or unplanned pregnancies.
In addition to the Confederate worship, Palin posted another graphic that reads: “80% of Planned Parenthood clinics located in minority neighborhoods.” What this tells us is that, not only is Palin an abhorrent racist, she is also an ignorant purveyor of virulent myths. The message she is passing along here is a favorite of organized bigots. It has also been proven to be untrue by many independent sources. One of them, Factcheck.org, researched similar claims and wrote that “There’s no evidence that was true then. And today, only 9 percent of U.S. abortion clinics are in neighborhoods where half or more of residents are black.” But Palin couldn’t be bothered with doing her own research and presenting the facts.
It’s not a coincidence that Palin’s flurry of Facebook posts were joined together by their connection to racist propagandists. But even for her it is somewhat surprising that she would so openly embrace such bigotry. And the explanation has to be that she has been despondent since being jettisoned by Fox News and getting upstaged by Trump. So she’s doing what she has to do get her dimwitted minions to notice her again. Buckle up, kids. This could get ugly….er….uglier.
It is getting more difficult every day to dismiss the epidemic of gun violence that has gripped our nation. The past few weeks has seen a racist in South Carolina massacre nine churchgoers, a young Muslim in Chattanooga mow down five American soldiers, an undocumented immigrant shoot a woman strolling on a pier, and a crazed “drifter” go on a rampage in a Louisiana movie theater.
While each of these incidents were unarguably tragic, only one of them produced a fervent call to action by knee-jerk conservatives. After Kate Steinle was killed in San Francisco, the right-wing outrage machine cranked up to eleven. There were immediate allegations that the crime was wholly attributable to the city’s so-called “sanctuary city” laws and the fact that the perpetrator was an undocumented immigrant.
Pundits primed with prejudice whipped up xenophobic fury despite the fact that the crime could just as well have been committed by a native-born citizen without changing a single one of the circumstances. Politicians wasted no time in drafting bills to punish cities with progressive laws (that are favored by law enforcement), and mandating harsh sentences for repeat immigration violations.
For some reason, none of the panic stricken conservatives bellowing about the awful fate of Ms. Steinle were able to recognize the one thing that all of these incidents had in common: Someone who ought not to have had access to a gun was able to acquire one of more of them and forever destroy the lives of some innocent people.
Chief among these carping cretins was, as usual, Bill O’Reilly. In a matter of hours he was pontificating on the horrors of alien invaders pillaging our defenseless womenfolk. He started an online petition to gather support for something he called “Kate’s Law” to increase the penalties for immigration violations. His entire spiel was based on the assertion that the only reason Steinle was killed was because of lax border security.
The sad truth is that people like Steinle are killed every day under similar circumstances by American citizens. But this fact is an inconvenient distraction for O’Reilly who is intent on blaming a population of immigrants, most of whom are peaceful people who are merely trying to find ways to care for their families.
However, when the perpetrator turns out to be a white, Tea Party wingnut, O’Reilly can’t seem to muster up a public response to address the situation. There are no petitions or hastily drawn up bills, or wild accusations or vein-bursting rants. In fact, Reilly doesn’t even bother to acknowledge that the Lafayette suspect, John Russel Houser, is an Obama-hating supporter of the Westboro Baptist nut cases and a card-carrying member of the Tea Party Nation. And despite his long history of offensive postings on Internet discussion sites, O’Reilly never connects the dots to associate him with the network of violent domestic terrorists.
Houser was previously denied a permit to purchase a gun and he has a history of mental illness. His ex-wife had secured a restraining order to protect her from his “extreme erratic behavior.” Nevertheless, he managed to acquire an arsenal and shoot up a theater, killing two innocent women and injuring several others. But as far as O’Reilly is concerned, it’s just too bad that he wasn’t an illegal alien from Mexico so there could be a lynching party formed to march up to the castle with torches and pitchforks.
All of the evidence shows that right-wing domestic terrorists pose a far greater threat to Americans than the much-hyped ISIS brand. Sovereign citizens, Klan groups, militias, and extremist Christianists have been responsible for many more deaths and injuries than the fabled Islamic sleeper cells. But even after Tea Party disciples of Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch gang murdered two Las Vegas police officers, there was no call to action by O’Reilly or his conservative colleagues.
President Obama lamented today that he was “distressed” about not having been able to do something about gun safety during his term in office. He told the BBC that…
“If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands,”
And throughout the last seven years, as throughout the last seventy, it is the right-wing, NRA fearing, Republican Party that has stood in the way common sense solutions. As noted above, the one thing that all of the tragedies that are occurring in ever more rapid succession have in common is the use of deadly weapons that have no practical purpose other than killing human beings.
Until we solve the problem of these weapons being so easily accessible to people with hostile intentions, there will be more tragedies and more grieving survivors. And, no doubt, more pathetic excuses from grand-standers like O’Reilly who search desperately for vulnerable victims unto whom he can shift the blame.
The world-class ego, narcissism, and arrogance of Donald Trump have been on public display for decades. He can hardly complete a sentence without exalting himself as the richest, smartest, biggest, and bestest at whatever he attempts or proposes. There is absolutely no trace of humility in the non-stop parade of vainglorious self-promotion that he exudes.
This annoying character flaw would be bad enough if it was constrained to his business exploits and personal self-appraisal. However, Trump has recently enlarged his bubble of pride to encompass his faith as it relates to his presidential candidacy. When asked by Republican “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, Trump said “I am not sure that I have […] I don’t think in terms of that.” While that answer fits perfectly with Trump’s signature pompousness, it also reveals why he is so reluctant to apologize for anything, including his blatantly offensive remarks about immigrants and Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. If he won’t ask God for forgiveness, why the hell would he ask anyone else?
Yesterday Trump expanded on his spiritual principles during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. He was asked to revisit his previous comments and given an opportunity to refine them. He rejected that opportunity and, as usual, he doubled down on his immunity from needing to seek God’s grace.
Trump: Well, I like to work where I don’t really have to ask for it. I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?
Talk about your Original Spin. Trump is effectively saying that a good Christian can avoid having to seek forgiveness from God by simply never making any mistakes. Who knew it was that easy? Of course, to do that would require a level of perfection not seen in about two thousand years from the perspective of believers. And yet he argues that he has achieved this pinnacle of purity. But if you ask the Presbyterian Church, of which Trump claims to be a member, they have a completely different interpretation:
“Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God.” […]
“Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God’s loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being ‘good enough.’ No one of us is good enough on our own — we are all dependent upon God’s goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.” […]
“Presbyterians believe it is through the action of God working in us that we become aware of our sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Just as a parent is quick to welcome a wayward child who has repented of rebellion, God is willing to forgive our sins if we but confess them and ask for forgiveness in the name of Christ.”
Trump seems to think that forgiveness is something that you request when you have told a lie, cut someone off in traffic, or cheated in golf. His understanding of religion is on the level of a four year old (no offense to four year olds). He has no concept of the tenets of his faith that regards all men and women as sinners. And setting aside the scriptural rendering, Trump doesn’t seem to think that his own mistakes (of which he has none) rise to the level of sins. That means his three marriages are wholly virtuous in God’s eyes. His four bankruptcies that left thousands of creditors in the lurch were just divine accounting. His fraudulent Trump University that ripped off hundreds of “students” actually taught them a valuable lesson in dealing with charlatans. And these say nothing of his sins of greed, lust, and pride.
To make matters worse, Trump has assumed the posture of a beleaguered victim of the dark forces of Hell (aka the media). He believes he is being crucified by his enemies in the press and the Republican Party. This persecution may lead to his self-excommunication and a holy war via a third party candidacy for the White House. Oh God please, we pray.
If there’s one thing that has been made clear, it’s that The Donald doesn’t need the forgiveness of God or anyone else. That’s because he is his own deity with omnipotent powers to solve every problem bigger and better than any mere mortals. And just as he remains certain that he will win the votes of the Latinos he has insulted, and the veterans he has demeaned, he is equally certain that evangelicals and other faith-based voters will flock to his holiness despite his heresy, profanity, and obvious Messiah complex. By the way, these are the same people who have been calling President Obama the Anti-Christ for seven years.
Andy Hallinan is the owner of a gun store in Florida who has had enough of the senseless violence that his products cause. Well, that is if said violence is committed by a devotee of a specific religion – in this case Islam – to which he is virulently opposed. His solution to the problem is to deny service to all Muslims.
Announcing the implementation of this flagrantly biased policy, Hallinan posted a video on YouTube (see below) that reeks of both bigotry and ignorance in painfully huge doses. Not surprisingly, Fox News promoted this revolting diatribe on their Fox Nation website. Hallinan begins by warning his fellow fear-infected viewers that…
“We’re in a battle, patriots. The leaders of the country want you to believe that this [Confederate] flag represents white supremacy, hatred, and intolerance. That’s not true.”
Hallinan then delivers an abbreviated remedial history of the flag that ignores the contemporary embrace of it by openly racist people and organizations, including the KKK and white supremacists. He entirely leaves out the fact that the flag had virtually disappeared from public display for nearly a century after the Civil War until it was removed from mothballs as the banner of southern segregationists in the 1950’s and 1960’s. [Side note: Hallinan also seems not to have noticed that, in his hasty patriotic zeal, he hung his flag upside-down (notice the stars)]
He goes on to whitewash the flag’s symbolism as representing “nothing but the rich heritage of the South and the willingness of patriots to stand up against tyranny of all sorts.” By that he must mean the rich heritage of slavery and standing up against the tyrants who fought against it under the flag of the United States of America.
After insisting that he is not a racist, Hallinan asserted that “Racism was on the decline in America until Obama took office.” Perhaps he missed the obvious subtext of his own statement, which is that the emergence of the country’s first African-American president brought out the racist cockroaches who had slithered under the floorboards as advancements in civil rights made it more difficult for them to showcase their hatred in public.
Then this “not-racist patriot” inserted video clips of civil disturbances in Baltimore to shore up his claim that he isn’t racist by presenting images of African-Americans engaged in riots following the tragic and unexplained death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Hallinan never brought up the reasons for the protests, nor did he show the vast majority of protesters who were peaceful. Clearly his intent was to leave a decidedly negative impression of the protesters. And he wasn’t through yet.
“Our leaders are telling you that the cross is a symbol of intolerance and hatred, bigotry, anti-homosexuality. Don’t believe their lies. Our leaders are telling you that Islam is a peaceful religion, full of tolerance and love and hope. Don’t believe their lies.”
I wonder which leaders he is referring to that are making those charges against the cross. He doesn’t say. But he does reveal more of his rancid prejudice with his ridiculous and contemptuous perception of Islam. Hallinan then warned his viewers that they are in “a battle with extreme political correctness that threatens our lives.” Who knew that political correctness could be a mortal foe?
This is when Hallinan got to the meat of his presentation. Saying that he “will not train and arm those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots,” he declared his store a “Muslim-Free” zone. That course of action is so patently idiotic that it is hard to know where to begin. So let’s start with the fact that he is violating the Constitution by discriminating against people on the basis of their religion. Apparently the patriotism that he espouses so freely is conditional when it comes to equal protection of the law.
What’s more, this moron doesn’t explain how he is going to determine the religion of his customers in order to discriminate against them. Maybe he only intends to discriminate against Muslims who look Middle-Eastern. But then he will likely also be denying service to brown-skinned folks who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, and even other Christians. Maybe he could use beards as an indicator. But then he would have to send away ZZ Top and the Duck Dynasty family. And of course, any European Muslims like the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston marathon would escape detection entirely.
Perhaps even more absurd is the fact that Hallinan is violating the favorite Amendment in the Bill of Rights for right-wing nut cases like himself. The Second Amendment says nothing about permitting the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms from people associated with a particular religion. Although it does include a qualification for “well regulated Militias,” which they generally like to ignore. In Hallinan’s perverted view, law abiding and patriotic American Muslims have no right to protect themselves or their families with firearms. Apparently Hallinan is unaware that the most frequent target of Islamic extremists like ISIS is other Muslims. And never mind the fact that many Muslims are currently serving with distinction in the U.S. military. Many have even given their lives defending this country.
Just for the record, Hallinan doesn’t seem to have any problem with selling guns to domestic abusers, rapists, drug traffickers, car-jackers, bank robbers, serial killers, suicides, or right-wing domestic terrorists. At least he doesn’t have a policy addressing any of those. And they occur with a far greater frequency than any Muslim violence. In fact, the sort of guns that he sells are responsible for about 30,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
It is always somewhat depressing to stumble upon the sort of deranged idiocy that people like Hallinan represent. And unfortunately, there are way too many like him. They are the core audience of Fox News. They are the listeners of Glenn Beck. They are the disciples of evangelical hucksters like Pat Robertson. And they are the voters who are currently swarming around their Meathead Messiah, Donald Trump.
Hallinan closes his video screed by proclaiming definitively that Islam is evil and that our government is not to be believed. So apparently he has hostility for both in equal measures. Yet he still considers himself a patriot. The final frame of the video tells his frightened viewers to “Get armed. Get trained. Carry daily.” But of course he only means that if you are recognizably not Muslim, because Hallinan will not do business with you if you are.
There is no one currently in the Republican Party who is more rapidly assuming the role of the new Sarah Palin than Donald Trump. It seems with every utterance from his spittle-inflected mouth he demonstrates an ever more ignorant and repulsive caricature of a throwback Jim Crow era bigot. This is, after all, a candidate running on the theme that “America Is A Hell Hole.”
The beating that Trump is taking for his recent remarks belittling John McCain’s war record may actually be a welcome respite from the beating he was previously taking for his slander of immigrants as criminals and rapists. However, he is still not letting go of the immigration issue that has won him so much adoration from the hate-mongers of the GOP. Late yesterday Trump retweeted a link to an article by Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News that supposedly supported his argument against undocumented immigrants. The article was headlined: “TX Taxpayers Pay for Illegal Aliens to Use State Services.” But there are a couple of problems with this article.
First of all, it is over two years old and it uses as its source a report from an organization called the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR is a notoriously dishonest group whose mission is to end all immigration by anyone who is not a white European. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR a hate group and noted that “Although FAIR maintains a veneer of legitimacy that has allowed its principals to testify in Congress and lobby the federal government, this veneer hides much ugliness. FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements.”
It is not surprising that Trump would affiliate himself with a known purveyor of rancid bigotry. That is pretty much the hallmark of his public profile. However, the report referenced by Trump via Breitbart is riddled with inaccuracies. An analysis by the American Immigration Council provided a detailed account of the fallacies in the report and the deliberately dishonest conclusions. For instance…
“According to FAIR’s calculations, unauthorized immigrants are costing Texas taxpayers $12.1 billion dollars every year. However, $7.4 billion of this estimate, or 61%, consists of K-12 education for the children of unauthorized immigrants — of whom 71% are native-born U.S. citizens.”
The entire project is a fraud intended to smear both immigrants and citizens of Latino heritage. It appears that Trump had to dig back two and a half years to find a flawed article, published by a disreputable “news” site, and based on the allegations of a horde of avowed racists, in order to buttress his ignorant biases. At least this provides more evidence of his ingrained prejudices and the lengths he will go to promote them.
The conservative media in America has been frantically trying to deny that racism exists anymore. Over at Fox News they harbor the delusional notion that America’s legacy of bigotry was vanquished when President Obama was elected. Never mind that the nearly half of the nation that voted against him included members of virulently hostile Klan groups that have continued to spew their hate for the last seven years. And set aside that just a few weeks ago nine African-Americans were slaughtered in a church by a Confederate flag waving bigot. And let’s not even get into the fact that Donald Trump can make overtly racist comments and have his popularity within the Republican Party soar.
Now Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post has published an article that is dripping with fear over what it calls “a secret race database.” The article alleges that the Obama administration is engaged in an “unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race.” It goes on to say with a sense of foreboding doom that…
“Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document ‘inequalities’ between minorities and whites.”
Heavens to Murgatroyd! What a dastardly plot. The President is scheming to learn about how many of our society’s institutions are discriminating against the citizens they are supposed to be serving. Why ever would he do such a thing? The Post describes the project as an “Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics” that Obama wants to use…
“…against banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.”
Apparently the Post is in favor of banks and schools and employers discriminating against minorities and women. That’s why they are so outraged that the administration would dare to do something about it. And they are particularly disturbed that the whole project is a deep dark secret that is being kept from the American people. At least that’s what they claim in the headline that reads: “Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database.”
Curiously, a mere five paragraphs into the article, the allegation of a covert conspiracy is contradicted when the author discloses that “Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.” Posting the product of your supposedly secret operation online pretty much refutes the allegation that it is secret. And the Post is apparently to dim to notice that they destroyed the whole basis of their own article.
The rest of the article describes some of the areas that will be studied to ascertain whether any discrimination is occurring intentionally or otherwise. Some of the practices include housing, mortgages, credit, employment, and education. While the article portrays these studies as nefarious, it is clear that they are intended to bring about more fairness and eliminate racial biases. All of the information collected will be from public sources and will be evaluated without breaching anyone’s privacy. Nevertheless, the Post closes with this ominous sounding warning:
“[Obama] is creating a diversity police state where government race cops and civil-rights lawyers will micromanage demographic outcomes in virtually every aspect of society.
“The first black president, quite brilliantly, has built a quasi-reparations infrastructure perpetually fed by racial data that will outlast his administration.”
In other more sane words, he is using publicly available data to shed light on areas within the government that can be improved with regard to racial fairness and non-discrimination as the Constitution demands. And that this initiative to eliminate discrimination will endure over time. What a despicable tyrant. If the Post had its way these institutions would be left alone to continue to grant special privileges to the privileged class, like those who run the Post, and to hell with everyone else. At least the Post is doing everyone a favor by exposing themselves as pro-racism.
If there was ever any doubt in the past, the Republican Party is affirming its commitment to a full-blown War on Women, and they don’t seem the least bit concerned about the negative consequences of their deceitful and destructive actions.
Last week a video was released by a group of anti-abortion activists seeking to malign Planned Parenthood. The video purported to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue. However, it didn’t take long for the video to be repudiated as a fraud that was heavily edited to distort the context. The organization that made the video was also shown to be associated with prior attempts to falsely malign women’s health care groups.
Notwithstanding the now obvious misrepresentations in the video, Republican members of Congress are already drafting legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. They have zero evidence that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal or unethical, but that is not stopping them from grabbing their pitchforks and igniting their torches.
This is reminiscent of the shameful conduct of the GOP Congress a few years ago when a similar video smear job by convicted criminal James O’Keefe resulted in the demise of ACORN, an organization that provided much needed assistance to low income Americans. O’Keefe was later proven to have deceitfully edited his videos and he lost a $100,000 lawsuit for defamation against a former ACORN official. But the damage had already been done and ACORN was gone before the truth was fully revealed.
Should the lying propagandists get their way in this attack on Planned Parenthood the results could be even more destructive. For one thing, defunding Planned Parenthood would have almost no effect on the abortion rate at all. That’s because abortion services amount to a mere 3% of Planned Parenthood’s work. So the services that would suffer from the denial of funds would primarily be those related to cancer screening and prevention, contraception, and STD testing and treatment. Those services comprise up to 85% of Planned Parenthood’s work.
Therefore, the consequences of denying funding would be an increase in unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, something that the anti-abortion activists profess to be against. What’s more, there would be more women suffering from undiagnosed or untreated illnesses.
There can be no other conclusion then that the Republicans in Congress are deliberating trying to advance legislation that will do demonstrable harm to the women in America. Yet the GOP complains when they are portrayed as engaging in a War On Women. But what else can you call it? Women are well aware of the antagonistic behavior of Republican lawmakers, which is why they generally favor Democrats at the polls. And things like this renewed effort to financially strangle a charitable enterprise upon which they rely is not likely to put the GOP in a better light with America’s women voters or the men in their lives.
The GOP seems to be committing electoral suicide with their racist agenda aimed at African-Americans and Latinos. Likewise they are not making friends in the senior community by threatening Social Security and Medicare. And young people are decidedly turned off by their opposition to marriage equality, education funding, and student debt relief. Add to that the country’s female voters and there is little left of the electorate to support the Republicans but their base of Teabaggers, evangelicals, and wealthy corporations and individuals. Good luck with that, Republicans.