MUZZLED: House Republicans Kill Live Camera Feed Of Democratic Gun Reform Sit-In

Democratic congress members of the House of Representatives launched an unprecedented protest in the chamber by staging a sit-in. The purpose of the protest is to force Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership into scheduling a vote on gun safety reforms (video here).

CSPAN Blackout

Shortly after the protest began, the Republicans who control the House called a recess saying that the House is not in order, and then shut off the chamber’s cameras to prevent the American people from seeing their representatives actually doing something worthwhile and in agreement with the majority of the people. It is a brazen act of censorship intended to make the courageous demonstration disappear and to help the GOP in their efforts to kill reform at the behest of their NRA masters.

By taking the unprecedented step of shutting off the cameras, CSPAN went dark. They later had to resort to broadcasting video from mobile phones in the chamber, which continues as of the writing of this article. And as if that weren’t bad enough, Rep. John Yarmouth just tweeted that “The Sgt at Arms is asking us to stop taking photos and video from House floor. Republicans should turn the cameras back on.”

These GOP authoritarian tactics are nothing less than government suppression of free speech. This is the people’s house, not the private broadcast facility of the Republican Party. And despite the GOP’s tyrannical usurpation of power, Democrats are united in persisting with this protest. Participants include party leaders like John Lewis and Nancy Pelosi, and they have promised that everyone who wants to speak will be able to.

Republicans will have to shut down the building and evacuate everyone if they hope to end this. Which I wouldn’t put past them. Two years ago the GOP held a hearing on the alleged IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the committee, delivered a five minute opening statement, asked a few leading questions, then gaveled the hearing adjourned without allowing anyone else to speak. The ranking Democratic member, Elijah Cummings, objected to the adjournment, but Issa cut off his microphone and stomped out of the room. Cummings continued without the mic calling Issa’s conduct “absolutely un-American.”

This is pretty much what we can expect from the Republican Party if it is allowed to remain in control of Congress, or worse gain the White House with a victory by Donald Trump (who has revoked the press credentials of several media organizations and whose camp has advocated revoking the broadcast license of CNN). Democrats have to be united in voting out Republicans in every jurisdiction if the nation hopes to preserve its constitutional freedoms.

Donald Trump’s Plan To Arm Drunken Bar Patrons Is Even Too Sick for The NRA

Within hours of the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump was congratulating himself and seeking political advantage from the suffering of others. He spent the next few days lambasting President Obama for not saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism,” a right-wing mantra that is at best a trivial distraction that has no effect whatsoever on counter-terrorism activities. [See The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine]

Donald Trump

Yesterday Donald Trump escalated his grandstanding by repeating an ignorant trope about how different the outcome would have been if the patrons of the Pulse nightclub had themselves been armed. Every expert on public safety has repudiated that notion as being either ineffective or increasing the risk. But in this specific circumstance it would be so ridiculous that even the NRA distanced itself from Trump’s remarks. The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, told CBS’s Face the Nation that “I don’t think we should have firearms where people are drinking.” And Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, said that “no one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms.” Well, not on one. Some states are passing laws explicitly permitting it.

Still, for most sane folks the prospect of arming patrons of a crowded establishment where alcohol is being served is inviting tragedy even without any terrorists showing up. It would lead to common arguments having deadly results, as well as increasing the odds of lethal accidents. Trump’s phony machismo is just further evidence of how shallow he thinks through issues that can have profoundly disturbing consequences.

As a result of his quick-draw mouthing off, and the NRA’s equally quick disapproval, Trump tried to walk back his statement in a tweet (of course) falsely asserting that “When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees.” The dishonesty of that lame qualification is easily observed by revisiting his original comment:

“If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac — if some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in the room happened to have it, and goes boom — boom — you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks. That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight. So don’t let them take your guns away.”

What’s obvious about that statement is that Trump was referring to the bar’s patrons. The security guard in the club was, in fact, armed. Trump was talking specifically about “those wonderful people” and then he warned his rally audience, who were not security professionals, to resist letting anyone “take your guns away.” Never mind that no one is trying to take guns away from responsible, law-abiding citizens. Trump was clearly recommending that everyone, including bar patrons, strap on loaded weapons and prepare for a night out Wild West style. And it’s not the first time he has pitched this idiocy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This whole affair is textbook Trump: Exploit the fear and bigotry of your followers by saying something stupid and indefensible. Then refuse to apologize, or even acknowledge the asinine nature of your statement, and lie about what you allegedly meant. It’s the strategy of an egocentric authoritarian who knows he can get away with anything because his glassy-eyed disciples won’t hold him to account and the media is too obsessed with ratings to do its job. Hopefully that situation will correct itself as the election season proceeds.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Tells Real Doctors To ‘Shut Up’ About Gun Violence

The tragedy in Orlando last week has once again provoked the debate over access to assault weapons and the ease with which such destructive arms are attained by sick people with intent to do harm. It’s a fairly one-sided debate since the majority of Americans are in favor of common sense reforms such as universal background checks, prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns, and banning assault weapons.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to take the side of the NRA extremists who oppose any effort to make our country safer. With the exception of a couple of surprising and out of character commentaries by Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the consensus opinion of Fox News anchors and contributors is that guns should not even be included in the discussion about how to respond to mass murders by guns.

On Fox & Friends, for instance, the Curvy Couch Potatoes called in a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team to offer his “professional” opinion on the matter. Psychologist Keith Ablow is a blatantly political mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda and a confirmed Obama hater who long ago abandoned any credibility as a medical advisor. At the outset of the interview he was asked by co-host Brain Kilmeade whether gun violence is a disease or advancing a political agenda by the government. Ablow responded saying that…

“Of course gun violence isn’t a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association.”

Ablow went on to accuse the AMA of having a desire to “look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.” Presumably, therefore, he is in favor of uncontrolled gun ownership, a position he shares with the world’s terrorists. In support of his argument he rattled off a stream of unrelated statistics about various causes of death in Argentina and Sweden that in no way addressed the very real and continuing problem in the United States. Then he lectured the AMA and the American Psychiatric Association on the need to “rebuild our mental healthcare system,” as if that was a novel idea that they hadn’t though of, or been working on for decades in spite of the opposition from conservatives like Ablow.

Ablow and Kilmeade also felt that it was important to note that homicides by guns were not among the top twenty causes of death in the U.S. That’s correct because health issues like heart attacks and cancer dominate the top ranks of fatalities. But their argument appears to suggest that the thousands of preventable deaths by gun violence are therefore irrelevant and unworthy of discussion. It’s a position that callously dishonors the victims and their families.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ablow’s remarks is that he touches on a cogent thought momentarily, but lets it fade off into his knee-jerk gun fetishism without acknowledging it’s importance. He said that…

“There are reasons for homicide and nobody knows how many of those acts would have taken place without guns.”

Exactly. The fact that nobody knows the answers to many of the questions surrounding the epidemic of gun violence in America is precisely the reason that organizations like the AMA and Centers for Disease Control should be studying the subject. However, Republicans in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that prohibits such studies. Ablow called the attempt to link guns to violence “foolishness,” but what’s more foolish than literally legislating away the quest for knowledge?

As usual, Ablow squeezed in a slap at President Obama by complaining that the AMA “are the people who championed Obamacare” (which, of course, has resulted in more Americans having access to affordable health care than ever before). He ranted that liberals have an agenda “to eat away at gun rights with medical research.” And after this brazenly political screed, Ablow had the audacity to demean those who advocate for more knowledge and greater safety by saying “that’s being political. So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”

Shut up? That’s the advice of the “doctor” on whom Fox News relies for their “fair and balanced” discourse on matters of national importance? That’s how a “news” network approaches a debate on how to deal with serious and deadly issues? Fox News is doing what they always do with controversial issues. They consult a hardcore partisan to push their right-wing message without regard for the truth or the welfare of the nation.

Here’s a Primer on Keith Ablow:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

NRA Flack Wayne LaPierre Boasts About How Smart Gun Owners Are

When I saw this article at Right Wing Watch I could hardly believe the audacity of it. Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association and it’s chief propaganda spewer. He has a long history of ludicrous pronouncements and conspiracy theories, mostly warning of imaginary armies of firearm confiscators invading the bunkers of America’s gun fetishists.

The subject of this self-glorifying harangue (video below) was a tribute to the historically unparalleled genius of gun owners. LaPierre was not shy about heralding the brilliance of his troopers during a speech at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. He said…

“So many of those elites, they think they’re better than us. They somehow think they’re more sophisticated. They think they’re more intellectually evolved somehow than we are. Or they think they’re just somehow plain smarter than we are. Well, I’ve got news for the elites who look down their noses at all of us and our rights: We gun owners are a heck of a lot smarter than you’ll ever be. It’s true.”

Well that just about settles then. Who can argue with that? Just be careful not to pay any attention to the abundance of news stories that present a somewhat different picture. All you have to do is venture over to Twitter and check out the hashtag #GunFAIL. What you will find is an endless array of incidents that expose the geniuses that LaPierre is exalting as idiots. Some of the reports are comical or ironic. But others are tragic despite their foolishness.

The stories include people who shoot themselves while demonstrating their firearm safety expertise. Others report on people who shoot their friends while pretending to aim “unloaded” weapons at them. The most heartbreaking are the stories of children who shoot other children, sometimes their siblings, after finding an unsecured weapon in the home.

And let’s not forget that some of the most infamous and celebrated NRA members include Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent. Those two alone bring down the average IQ level of the organization to single digits. And then there’s this brainiac:

Ted Cruz

I don’t mean to portray all gun owners as ignorant dopes. Certainly many of them are intelligent and responsible. But any community of people wherein these types of tragedies are so painfully common cannot possibly pass themselves off as, in the words of LaPierre, “in all of the world, some of the smartest citizens.”

But what makes LaPierre and the hardcore NRA-theist crowd really stupid is their opposition to common sense reforms that would prevent much of the suffering caused by irresponsible gun use, whether accidental or intentional. Universal background checks, hi-tech trigger locks, limiting magazine capacity, mental health screening, etc., are just a few of the measures that could save lives but are opposed by the NRA. If they really wanted to demonstrate some intelligence they would start backing these proposals like the majority of Americans do.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The NRA Has Been Financing Their Death Cult By Cheating On Their Taxes

This weekend there has been rampant speculation about whether President Obama will advance a gun safety agenda via executive orders. Most of the talk suggests that he will expand background checks to include gun shows where weapons are often sold without any inquiry into the legal status of the buyer. They could be felons, or mentally ill, or under a restraining order, or linked to terrorism, or Ted Nugent. But under the current laws regarding gun shows, they could all acquire deadly armories.

NRA Problem Solver

The National Rifle Association is firmly in favor of the status quo. They have been working hard to prevent any reform that might make a dent in the 30,000+ gun deaths every year. And their efforts are in direct contradiction to the will of the American people who broadly favor common sense reforms like closing the gun show loophole (89%) and banning assault weapons (58%). These numbers include many gun owners.

Now, in addition to supporting gun rights for people on the Terrorist Watch List, news reports have revealed that the NRA has been lying on their tax returns for years. Their filings have asserted ridiculously false claims such as that they do not receive membership dues or engage in political activity. And that’s not all:

“For seven years, the NRA also skipped a key question on its tax form — whether or not it engaged in lobbying. Asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it simply left the space blank. […] Asked to detail expenses on its tax form, the NRA told the IRS it spent nothing on lobbying each year from 2008 to 2013.

“In 2014, it finally recorded $1 million in lobbying expenses. But even that figure is at odds with the amount reported to Congress of $3.4 million, according to data on the OpenSecrets Web site. It also recorded spending $23 million on unspecified ‘legislative programs.'”

Those are some pretty significant discrepancies that cannot plausibly be explained away as inadvertent. The NRA is, at its core, a political lobbying organization that receives millions of dollars in membership dues. It would be like Pepsi accidentally failing to report any income from selling beverages. Most of the NRA’s funding comes from firearms manufacturers and dealers seeking to expand their businesses. Lobbying on their behalf is why the NRA exists.

Before all the right-wing ammosexuals out there start whining that this must be a liberal conspiracy by the lamestream media attacking the NRA and its holy crusade to defend the Second Amendment, it was the conservative New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, that published the results of their investigation of the NRA-theists and their apparent tax filing perjury.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In a just world the NRA and its executives should be indicted for tax fraud and punished accordingly if found guilty. However, according to the NYPost, the New York Attorney General’s office would not comment on whether there is an investigation in progress. That often means that there isn’t, but they are rushing to put one together to avoid being embarrassed by the disclosures in the press. Time will tell. In the meantime the NRA has been exposed as a dishonest enterprise that is not only making the nation a more dangerous place to live, but rips off the American people while doing it.

Fox News Refuses To Accept That “God Isn’t Fixing This” Epidemic Of Gun Violence

It seems inconceivable that yet another mass shooting has occurred in a public space filled with innocent people. The frequency and fatality of these events appear to be increasing. And, sadly, the efforts by partisans on both sides to find a political advantage is troubling, but unavoidable.

While the human tragedy is of paramount concern, particularly in the first few hours after the assault is over, there are real issues that have to be addresses in any discussion of the most important subject: How to prevent these tragedies from happening again. In that regard, the only thing that makes sense is to pursue real policies to mitigate the risks and intercept the perpetrators before they can cause harm.

Unfortunately, the political divisions in this country make that nearly impossible, even though there are some solutions that both sides agree on. A majority of Americans favor universal background checks, limiting magazine size, enhancing mental health screening, prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, and several other measures that, while not a panacea, are an improvement over what we have now. Even majorities of conservatives and NRA members favor most of these ideas.

Emerging as perhaps the biggest obstacle to progress is, not surprisingly, Fox News. Fox has long been a factor in exacerbating political division in America. And today they made a concerted effort to drive Americans farther apart. Throughout the day they fanned the flames of outrage over a headline from the New York Daily News that said “God Isn’t Fixing This.”

Fox News

To most rational people that is a fairly obvious truth. After every one of these shootings, politicians and pundits climb all over themselves to offer their “thoughts and prayers.” If praying were going to have any effect on this, ISIS would already be a deranged and distant memory. By focusing on the ludicrous notion that prayer represents a reasonable response to terrorism, Fox is transforming itself into a televangelist operation. Program after program, hour after hour, Fox repeated this story, holding up the Daily News front page to drive home their sanctimonious fury.

What could Fox News possibly hope to gain by making this a staple of the news reporting for the whole day. It does nothing but take time from more practical analyses of the array of potential solutions. And that is, in fact, what Fox News hopes to gain. They are deliberately evading thoughtful dialog on the causes and cures for the rampant gun violence our nation is enduring. It is blatant pandering to the most fringe elements of the right-wing and the NRA nutcases who are opposed to solutions.

Whenever you hear an NRA-theist claim that the best way to deal with mass shootings is make sure more people are armed, remember that the NRA is a manufacturer’s representative whose mission is to promote the sales of more guns. They benefit handsomely from events like these. There are always stories following a mass shooting about how gun sales skyrocketed to record levels in the aftermath. And since there are already more guns in America than people, if the abundance of guns were going to reduce the incidence of gun violence, there would already have been some evidence of it.

Gun advocates argue that if more people were armed they would be engaging in shootouts with criminals. The truth is that, in the country with the most heavily armed populace, there has never been an incident where an armed civilian stopped a mass shooting. The argument doesn’t even make much sense because an armed civilian would be no match for a mass murderer who shows up with body armor and semi-automatic assault weapons. In such a situation, the civilian’s bullets would bounce off of the perpetrator, but would gain his attention, making the civilian shooter the next victim.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Police protection is the second best way to avoid being a casualty. The first best is to prevent the mass shooting before it begins. That’s something that can be done if people in positions of authority would get off their asses and work together on practical solutions. It will not get done with prayer, no matter how many times Fox News runs the same story insisting that God will rescue us from this epidemic of gun violence.

Sarah Palin And GOP Favor Gun Rights For Terrorists To Open Carry, Just Like Jesus Said

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.”

Sarah Palin

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 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.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Ted Cruz Super PAC Brags That He ‘Makes Things Happen,’ Like 1,000 Mass Murders Since Sandy Hook

Texas Senator Ted Cruz sure loves him some guns. His affection for assault weapons is so fierce that he brags about using them to cook bacon. He portrays himself as a defender of the Constitution whose Second Amendment he distorts by ignoring the “well regulated militia” clause.

Ted Cruz Sandy Hook

Now a Super PAC working on his behalf has produced an ad (video below) aimed at taking down fellow Republican Marco Rubio. In the course of the attack on Rubio it veers to the right to direct some fire at President Obama. Unfortunately, it misses the target and results in severe harm to some truly innocent bystanders. The ad says that…

“Ted Cruz makes things happen. After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws.”

Indeed, Cruz was one of the leading opponents of measures to protect children and others from the horrific tragedy that befell the residents of Newtown, Connecticut. The fact that twenty children can be slaughtered by gunfire from a military-style assault weapon in their elementary school classroom, and nothing is done about it, is due in part to the determination and indifference of Ted Cruz to “make things happen,” or more precisely, to make things NOT happen, because that’s the only skill he’s demonstrated in his single senate term.

So thank you, Sen. Cruz, for ensuring that future citizens will be just as vulnerable as those kids. Thank you for standing up for the gun manufacturing lobbyists at the NRA instead of the victims and their families. You’ll be glad to know that your efforts have already resulted in nearly 1,000 more mass shootings in the United States just since the December 2012 massacre in Newtown. The shooters in those incidents killed at least 1,251 people and wounded 3,602 more. You must be so proud. Your senate colleague, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, responded to the ad with an impassioned righteousness.

“Showing off how callous he was in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting may win him some right-wing votes that get swept up from Donald Trump or Ben Carson, but it disqualifies him in a general election.” [… Cruz is…] “the one senator who took on the parents of Sandy Hook in the wake of the most horrific mass shooting in our lifetime.”

“Ted Cruz makes things happen,” should become the new slogan of his campaign. And so long as voters know that the things that he makes happen are threats to the welfare of all Americans, the nation will renounce his dangerous agenda. What’s more, his policies that include the repeal of ObamaCare, the destruction of Social Security, tax cuts for the wealthy, the crippling of the middle-class, never-ending war, and demolishing the wall between church and state, will hurt every other American. And that agenda is shared by all of his Republican pals running for the presidency. Yes, Republicans make things happen. Very, very bad things.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Cartoon Coward/Cowboy: Donald Trump Thinks He’s A Macho Gunslinger

American’s comedians are in the midst of a hilarity Renaissance thanks mainly to the dementia that caused Donald Trump to think he could be President of the United States. No one has provided more raw material for political humor since the thawing of Sarah Palin. And now that Caribou Barbie has returned to hibernation in the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Trump train could not have chugged along at a better time.

The latest treasure trove of Trumpian farce gushed from The Donald this weekend during a speech in Franklin, Tennessee. He was responding to the tragic shootings at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, that left nine dead and nine others wounded. In the course of his remarks he thought that it would be appropriate, and in keeping with the solemness of the occasion, to impersonate the vigilante character played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Unfortunately for Trump, he came off looking more like cartoon tough guy, Yosemite Sam.

Donald Trump

Setting the scene for this theater of the Absurd is Tucker Carlson, host of Fox & Friends, who along with his co-hosts drooled lovingly over Trump’s pathetic rendering of machismo. Carlson prefaced a video (posted below) of Trump with this introduction:

“So every politician in America is talking about gun control this week after those horrifying shootings in Oregon. But no one has really talked about it the way Donald Trump talked about it the other day. Watch this.”

Whereupon they played Trump reciting his policy on guns (reading from a printout of his website) that focused solely on his perverse interpretation and idolatry of the Second Amendment. However, Trump had to interject some personal and dubious boasting to say that…

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Somebody attacks me, oh they’re gonna be shocked. Can you imagine? Somebody says ‘Oh, there’s Trump. He’s gonna be easy pickens.’ [Holding his finger like a gun] Whad’ya say? […] Can you imagine with Trump, somebody says ‘Oh, all these big monsters running around. He’s easy pickins.’ [pulls the finger again] And then p’ching.”

First of all, Trump’s swaggering BS is just plain delusional. Does he really believe that if approached on the street he could outdraw a would-be assassin who already has his weapon drawn? Does he think he’s better prepared than the highly trained police officers who have been ambushed and murdered while on duty? What a maroon. This pitiful attempt at bravado is not only stupid, it’s dangerous. He is practically daring some psycho to make a name for himself by offing the Dingbat Don.

More importantly, what he offered as substance for his gun policy was rooted in falsehoods and nonsense that make you wonder whether he already took a slug to the cranium. He made ludicrous claims that his opponents want “a gun that fires one bullet.” Like much of what he says, he simply made that up.

Trump also said the Oregon college was a gun-free zone and that if more people had guns they “would be a hell of a lot better off.” However, not only was he wrong about the campus being a gun free zone, there was an armed veteran there who decided not to intervene because of the risk that police officers would arrive shortly and, seeing him with a gun, might mistake him for the shooter. So the “good guy” with a gun made a rational decision not to use it. As for society being safer if more people have guns, a carjacking victim in Houston might not agree. A witness to the carjacking took out his weapon and fired at the suspects, but hit the victim in the head. Then he picked up his shell casings and took off.

Following the video of Trump, the Fox News “Curvy Couch Potatoes” returned and Carlson continued his fact-free reporting and Trump-fluffing.

“He makes an important point. Why is disarming normal people good for the country. I mean maybe it’s good for politicians who want a compliant population, but it doesn’t make us safer.”

Of course, no one is talking about “disarming normal people” except for Carlson, Fox News, and the rest of the NRA-theists. What’s more, his contention that politicians want to disarm everybody in order to have a “compliant population” implies that he wants an armed populace so that they can shoot politicians. And these people call themselves patriots.

It is the proliferation of guns, and the ease with which they can be acquired by people who ought not to have them, that makes our nation less safe. And that state of affairs is being reinforced by the gun lobbyists at the NRA, right-wing Dirty Harry wannabes, cowardly representatives, and buffoons like Donald Trump.

These people all comprise a special interest group that regards the loss of nearly 30,000 people – men, women, and children – every year to be an acceptable price to pay for unfettered access to firearms. And while people like Trump spew ridiculous comments and half-baked proposals that make great fodder for mockery, when you consider all the pain and suffering for which they are responsible, it isn’t really all that funny.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Bill O’Reilly Must Be Terribly Disappointed The Lafayette Theater Shooter Isn’t Mexican

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.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

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.