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Why don't we know much about rightwing terrorists? Because the Republicans fired the man who was studying them.

Why Don’t We Know Much About Right-Wing Terrorists? Conservatives Fired The Guy Studying Them

AddictingInfo, JUNE 18, 2015 4:41 PM

After a mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, left nine people dead and a right-wing white supremacist arrested, the country once again faces the uneasy question of just how many so-called “home-grown” terrorists are out there – heavily armed, ideologically driven, and violent.

It’s a good question, but it may be tough to answer because for reasons that are astoundingly dimwitted, the Department of Homeland Security pushed out the guy who was in charge of watching them, and dismantled his team all the way back in 2009.

The beleaguered hero of this story is Daryl Johnson, a top government counterterrorism analyst working at Homeland Security who spent six years with the agency amassing a wealth of data on far-right extremist groups that posed various degrees of threat to citizens in the United States. In 2009, in the months after President Obama assumed office, he watched as these groups veered even further right, and began to fear that America’s first African-American president could be the catalyst of a major uptick in hate crimes and anti-government attacks.

In a landmark report released just months into Obama’s term, and now looks downright clairvoyant, Johnson made the case that radical Islam is only a small piece of the terrorism pie:

“Do not overlook other types of terrorist groups,” the report warned, noting that five purely domestic groups had considered using weapons of mass destruction in that period. Similar warnings have been issued by the two principal non-government groups that track domestic terrorism: the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

An annual tally by the latter group of what it calls “Terror From the Right” listed 13 major incidents and arrests last year, nearly double the annual number in previous years; the group also reported the number of hate groups had topped 1,000 in 2010, for the first time in at least two decades.

In response to that report, Johnson was destroyed. It wasn’t his integrity or claims that got him in trouble, his facts were solid. Instead, it was the inconvenient truth that much of the threat comes from right-wing conservatives, and even more awkwardly, radical right-wing conservatives who say and think a lot of the same things mainstream right-wing conservatives say and think.

CONTINUED w/links...

The GOP decades-long strategy to destroy the USA is working. Proof? Look at their candidates.

The GOP is hell-bent on tearing us apart: 

A decades-long strategy to win by divisiveness now leads to President Donald Trump

Republican candidates for the presidential nomination claim that Democrats kill babies and harvest their organs to sell them, insist the U.S. is at war with an “evil state of consciousness,” compare Muslims to rabid dogs, and call for closing mosques and registering Muslims. These are not fringe candidates. They are the front-runners.

American politics has descended from principle into tribalism.

The descent began in 1968. That year’s presidential election looked to be a principled fight, with Democrats Hubert Humphrey and Robert F. Kennedy articulating a vision of an inclusive America in which the government expanded efforts to guarantee equality. For their part, Republican managers understood that they had a problem. The two sides of the Republican Party were too far apart to be cinched together by any national vision.

On the one hand, moderate Eisenhower voters believed in using the federal government to promote equality of opportunity, although they were nervous the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty had gone too far. On the other hand, Movement Conservatives who had backed Barry Goldwater in 1964 rejected the principles of the New Deal. They wanted the government to stop meddling with the social welfare legislation that they insisted was a redistribution of tax dollars from hardworking white people to lazy African-Americans.

To win the 1968 election, Richard Nixon’s team adopted the Southern Strategy, sacrificing black rights to cement Movement Conservative white voters to the Republican Party.

The racial dimension of this decision is well known. Less well known is that it also marked a seismic shift in the mechanics of American politics. The chaos of 1968 cemented the Republicans’ new electoral strategy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey got sent into obscurity, and former Vice President Richard M. Nixon won the White House without a popular majority.

The year after the election, an architect of the Southern Strategy named Kevin Phillips wrote a groundbreaking book. In “The Emerging Republican Majority,” he argued that voters aligned according to their ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. By playing to those different constituencies, he argued, the Republican Party could cobble together a coalition that would dominate American politics for at least a generation. Republican leaders began to slice and dice the American electorate rather than advancing a coherent vision of the nation’s future.

This electoral strategy played perfectly to the growing power of Movement Conservatives in the party. The majority of Americans strongly believed in government regulation of business and in social welfare legislation. In contrast, Movement Conservatives embraced a vision of an American government that backed Christianity and unfettered capitalism. Knowing that they could never attract supporters based on their principles, Movement Conservatives turned instead to an age-old technique: They whipped up fear of an enemy. To take the nation back from secular New Dealers, Movement Conservatives insisted they were the true Americans, standing alone against a dangerous cabal. The enemy was a group they dubbed “Liberals” with a capital L to suggest they were a party that mirrored the Communists. Liberals were attacking America by destroying religion and individualism.

 Movement Conservatives insisted that business regulation and social welfare legislation were not, as most Americans thought, a way to level the American playing field. Such laws were a redistribution of wealth, since government programs and bureaucrats and programs cost tax dollars.

Movement Conservatives’ first boogeymen were African-Americans. Since Reconstruction, reactionaries had insisted that government protection of black rights meant a redistribution of wealth. The federal muscle required to enforce the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision enabled Movement Conservatives to rehash this old argument. Linking black rights to taxation enlisted racism on the side of Movement Conservatism, a linkage illustrated when Barry Goldwater picked up the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in 1964.

In 1968, the Southern Strategy brought the Movement Conservative narrative into the heart of the Republican Party. Nixon’s strategists deliberately pushed the idea of good Americans under siege by constructing a simple narrative designed to play on people’s emotions. “Voters are basically lazy,” one of Nixon’s advisors wrote. “Reason requires a high degree of discipline, of concentration; impression is easier. Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree; impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intellectual demand…. When we argue with him, we… seek to engage his intellect… The emotions are more easily roused, closer to the surface, more malleable.” Nixon cemented a constituency by dividing the world into the “Silent Majority,” and “they.” The Silent Majority was made up of hardworking men and women. “They” were minorities, women, and anti-war agitators who wanted government handouts even as they attacked the nation.

Ronald Reagan was more explicit about who the bad guys were in his division of the world into good and evil. In 1983, in a speech to the national Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, he told the audience that good Americans were in a titanic struggle with an “evil empire.” The struggle was between “right and wrong and good and evil” with God and individualism standing against secularism and communism. He explicitly identified those Americans who were on the side of the enemy. They were those godless people who promoted communism by redistributing the tax dollars of hardworking white individuals to feed the gaping maws of lazy minorities and women. He tied these themes together with his iconic invocation of the “Welfare Queen,” a black woman who lived like royalty by cheating the welfare system. And he used the power of this image to deregulate the economy and slash taxes.

By 1988, when George H. W. Bush was running for president, the personification of the enemy was clear. But strategist Lee Atwater extended that image to include the element of direct violence. The Willie Horton ads gave the faltering Bush campaign a winning injection of adrenaline by presenting voters with a large black criminal set free by the “liberal” Democratic nominee to rape white women and murder white men. Now the enemy was not just an ideological threat; its members were a very real physical threat. Ironically, Bush himself fell to the Movement Conservative division of the world in 1992, when Movement Conservatives read him out of the good side and into the evil after he raised taxes. His redefinition as a “RINO” killed his reelection campaign.

George W. Bush gave the Movement Conservative definition of an enemy a new international dimension. Voters backed the younger Bush on the promise that he would be a “uniter, not a divider” and would quiet the extremism of the Gingrich years. But his own Movement Conservative extremism quickly became clear as he gave federal funding to religious charities and welcomed even more business deregulation and further tax cuts. By summer 2001, people were souring on what had begun as a precarious presidency. The events of Sept. 11 enabled the president to redefine his actions. “In our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment,” Bush announced. Americans rallied behind the president after the attacks, and he used his sudden popularity as a mandate to change America and the world along ideological lines. Members of his administration, one complained, “consistently acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives of policy proposals as far right as possible.” Bush announced: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” He used that stark split to push the Movement Conservative program both at home and abroad: He continued to deregulate the economy and launched the Iraq War.

The election of Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008 sent Movement Conservatives into full-blown ideological war. A biracial man who believed that the government should play a role in the economy and in social welfare had taken over the government. They howled that he was a socialist and a communist; that he was a Muslim; that he wasn’t even an American. They dehumanized him, circulating images and jokes that represented the president as a monkey. The realities of the economy, society, foreign affairs, legislation—all fell by the wayside. In a world where a black-and-white narrative has replaced a national vision based on principles, one tribe is good and one is evil.

Today’s Republican contenders for the presidential nomination are taking this Manichean narrative to the next level. Their worldview is utterly divorced from reality, but it offers a clear vision: Embattled Christian Americans stand against a horde that is attacking God and free enterprise. There is no room here for nuance or facts. Democrats kill babies and support terrorists as they strive to destroy America. Movement Conservatives are on the side of the angels, determined to defend America.

They must no longer accept the legitimacy of their subhuman enemies; they must work to purge them from the nation.

Yet, within this very extremism is the seed for its own destruction. The popular realization that the leading Republican candidate for president is calling for a Muslim policy that looks much like the one practiced by the Nazis against the Jews has, at last, forced opponents to stop worrying about winning voting blocs and instead to articulate true national principles. Americans are not just constituencies to be sliced and diced to guarantee the triumph of Movement Conservatism. We stand for something.

It is high time we remember that.
Heather Cox Richardson is the author of "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party," amongst several other books, and a professor of history at Boston College.

Funny, he doesn't look like a Syrian refugee terrorist.

"If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive," neighbor says of Robert Lewis Dear 
as motive remains unclear in attack on clinic.

Robert Dear photo released by Colorado Springs police department

Officials were not immediately able to establish a motive for the deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday. But on Saturday, a picture of the suspected gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, began to emerge.

Dear is the top suspect in a shooting that left three people dead, including police officer Garrett Swasey, and injured nine others. Police said the gunman used a “long gun," according to witnesses and AK-47.

The city of Colorado Springs confirmed his identity on Saturday morning and released a booking photo of the bearded 57-year-old from North Carolina. He is suspected of opening fire at the women’s health clinic just before noon on Friday, the beginning of an hours-long standoff with police.

Colorado Springs police lieutenant Catherine Buckley said on Friday it was too early to determine the suspect’s motive.

James Russell, who lives down the mountain from Dear’s cabin in North Carolina, told the Associated Press that when Lewis spoke with him he would ramble, avoid eye contact and not make sense. Russell said he had not spoken to Lewis about issues such as abortion or religion.

Dear’s North Carolina cabin is outside Asheville, though he is also said to have lived in a house in nearby Swannanoa . His neighbor said the cabin had no running water or electricity.

“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive – topics all over place,” said Russell.
Colorado’s Park County sheriff’s office said the shooting suspect also had a residence in Hartsel, Colorado. It was closed to public access on Saturday morning.

According to public records, Dear has lived in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and has a record of brushes with the law . In South Carolina in January 2003, he was arrested on two counts of animal cruelty. He was found not guilty by Colleton County court.

In the same county in 2002, Dear faced a misdemeanor charge for “peeping tom, eavesdropping or peeping”. The charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing.

So -- when you talk to this wackjob, he doesn't make eye contact, doesn't make any sense.  BUT THE MUTHAHFUKAH WAS ABLE TO BUY AN AK-47 AND AMMO.


Neighbor says this wackadoodle handed out anti-Obama literature.  Why am I not surprised?

Details about Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the suspect in yesterday’s shootings at the Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, are beginning to emerge, and it’s already pretty clear where this is headed.

Buzzfeed News spoke to one of Dear’s neighbors and learned that Dear gave the neighbor anti-Obama pamphlets and said Obama was “ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”
Zigmond Post, who told BuzzFeed News he was a neighbor of Dear’s in Hartsel, said the man once gave him anti-Obama pamphlets.
Post said he once went to Dear’s home to retrieve two dogs that had gotten loose. “We were there for a minute and the guy was already handing us anti-Obama pamphlets,” he said. According to Post, Dear said “Obama was ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away . . .

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away there was a nation that at one time had a proud and brave people…

“I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
​FDR-1st Inaugural Adress 1932

​To this:

“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.”
​Donald Trump-GOP Front Runner 2015


"The fact is that we need appropriate vetting and I don't think orphans under five are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point. But you know, they have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks?"
Chris Christie-GOP also ran 2015

​From a party that claims the current administration is “weak” ( or schwach in the original German)​ and not projecting “strength” (​Kraft) or “leadership” (F├╝hrung)  but ​​regardless of what word you want to use the GOP (and unfortunately a sizeable portion of the population) has turned into a bunch of pant wetting cowards.

For the life of me I cannot understand how the nation that defeated the Nazi’s, Imperial Japan and out lasted the Soviet Union has managed to quake in horror about some propaganda internet posts from a nihilistic death cult like ISIS.​  The level of fear and paranoia that has swept the GOP and large swathes of America about Muslims (Syrian refugees in particular), is breath taking.

I remember taking a history class about the origins of WWII and one of the most common questions in the class was how could the German people follow the Nazi’s?  As recent events have shown it doesn't take much to fan the flames of paranoia and fear!  People are prone to a herd mentality, if the herd goes in a certain direction your first instinct is to follow it, its almost an unconscious natural reaction to do so.  The irony is there is no such reaction to the daily slaughter caused by firearms in this country, how many mass shootings (that by any definition is terroristic in nature) have we endured over the last 20 years?  Yet collectively the nation just shrugged because freedom.

 I guess it depends on who does the killing...if your named Mike or Joe...”Freedom” but if its Mohammed or Achmed...”OMG we are all going to die! Do something!” simply astonishing!

Scientists predict the end of salt water fish by 2048 -- rightwing ignores warning, after all, that's not what the Bible says, so, what do a bunch of scientists know?

The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.

That's when the world's oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, -- with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama -- was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world.

The researchers analyzed several different kinds of data. Even to these ecology-minded scientists, the results were an unpleasant surprise.

"I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected," Worm says in a news release.

"This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now," study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

"If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all," Beaumont adds.

Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries.

But the issue isn't just having seafood on our plates. Ocean species filter toxins from the water. They protect shorelines. And they reduce the risks of algae blooms such as the red tide.

"A large and increasing proportion of our population lives close to the coast; thus the loss of services such as flood control and waste detoxification can have disastrous consequences," Worm and colleagues say.

The researchers analyzed data from 32 experiments on different marine environments.

They then analyzed the 1,000-year history of 12 coastal regions around the world, including San Francisco and Chesapeake bays in the U.S., and the Adriatic, Baltic, and North seas in Europe.

Next, they analyzed fishery data from 64 large marine ecosystems.

And finally, they looked at the recovery of 48 protected ocean areas.

Their bottom line: Everything that lives in the ocean is important. The diversity of ocean life is the key to its survival. The areas of the ocean with the most different kinds of life are the healthiest.

But the loss of species isn't gradual. It's happening fast -- and getting faster, the researchers say.

Worm and colleagues call for sustainable fisheries management, pollution control, habitat maintenance, and the creation of more ocean reserves.

This, they say, isn't a cost; it's an investment that will pay off in lower insurance costs, a sustainable fish industry, fewer natural disasters, human health, and more.

"It's not too late. We can turn this around," Worm says. "But less than 1% of the global ocean is effectively protected right now."

Worm and colleagues report their findings in the Nov. 3 issue of Science.

Less than two weeks ago, the FBI broke up a terrorist plot in Virginia

Two men in Virginia, Robert C. Doyle and Ronald Beasley Chaney have both been charged with conspiracy to possess firearms in an attempt to incite a race war by bombing black churches and synagogues, as reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. 

Whoa… how did this slip under the radar? Well, maybe it had something to do with recent history and media reaction for warning about right-wing terror threats. As you may recall, in February of this year, the Department of Homeland Security released an intelligence assessment warning that extreme right-wing groups and lone actors with extreme right-wing ideological leanings may be as great if not a greater threat to commit acts of terrorism in the U.S. than Islamic extremists. While that report focused more on the “Sovereign Citizen” movement, other similar intelligence reports over the past decade have warned of the dangers of these right-wing groups, or acts of violence perpetrated by lone-wolf actors with similar views. The proof of these dangers is well-documented by various sources. 

Most famously, back in 2009 DHS secretary Janet Napolitano warned of the growing threat of right-wing extremism in the wake of the election of Barack Obama. The backlash from right-wing punditry was swift and severe, as they interpreted this report as being baseless, and a mere political ploy to denigrate the burgeoning Tea Party movement. It was effective enough that Napolitano actually semi-apologized for such a “slight.”

Now I always found it fascinating that it was characters like Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Laura Ingraham who made the leap to associate right-wing terrorists like the would-be church bombers pictured above with seemingly “mainstream” right-wing agitators such as themselves or groups like the Tea Party movement. I didn’t do that. Janet Napolitano didn’t. They did. Chew on that, if you will.

The point being, in the current world of hyperventilating over the dangers of “political correctness” ..ahem.. paging Dr. Carson... it is seemingly quite PC, even for the “mainstream media” to see the inherent dangers of Islamic terrorism in anyone and everyone who merely speaks Arabic, be they women, children, or even anyone who has already passed through the rigorous refugee vetting process. Meanwhile, as we learned in 2009, and evidently by the radio silence of what the FBI thankfully thwarted in Virginia, calling right-wing terrorism what it is, is not at all “PC” today.

GOP, Tea Party won't like this: Job market in US is "on fire" - - - near full employment

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its monthly estimates of unemployment rates in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, and things are looking pretty good.

The bureau noted that unemployment rates fell in 32 states and Washington, DC, went up in just three states, and stayed the same as September in 15 states. Unemployment in every state and DC was below 7%, indicating increasingly healthy labor markets across the nation.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's chief financial economist, Chris Rupkey, circulated an email after the report with the title "Jobs market is literally on fire in most states in the union." The email maintains that optimistic tone and suggests that the geographically broad strength of the labor market could spur the Fed to tighten monetary policy at its December meeting:

This regional breakdown is just the latest evidence that the economy has reached full employment. Coast to coast from sea to shining sea, the labor market has fully healed. At full employment the Fed can be confident that inflation will eventually move up to their 2% target ... Once again, another day, another report from Washington showing us the economy is better than many think. The state-by-state employment trend is just the evidence the Fed needs to assure them that it is time to lift rates.

Here's the map showing the unemployment rates in each state and DC:

Read more:

Senate Republicans fight terrorism by blocking anti-terror-related Presidential appointments

Senate Republicans are all about national security these days—when it comes to the families fleeing Syria and Iraq, refugees who might come to the United States. When it comes to actually fighting ISIS with tools at our disposal—like blocking international funding to them—they'd rather play partisan politics at home. Case in point, this nomination:
Adam Szubin, who has bipartisan support, has been waiting more than 200 days to be confirmed as the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial crimes. The job involves tracking terrorists to prevent them from raising money on the black market and elsewhere. 
Szubin's nomination got a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 17, and Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) praised his past work in countering terrorist financing during his time with both Republican and Democratic administrations.
"He is eminently qualified for this," Shelby said at the time.
But Szubin's nomination hasn't moved since. There's no clear reason why, beyond trying to make it difficult for President Barack Obama to fill administration posts.
How do you stop terrorists? One way is to bankrupt them. How do you do that? By finding out where the money is coming from and stopping it. Which is what Szubin would be doing, if he had the job permanently. He's not the only national security nominee being blocked. There's also Eric Fanning's nomination to be Army secretary.

Meanwhile, Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has let his hold go on a number of nominees to the State Department. But he continues to obstruct some higher-level ones, including a block on David Malcolm Robinson, nominated to be assistant secretary for conflict and stabilization operations and coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization. This hold is a result of Grassley's prolonged temper tantrum over Hillary Clinton's emails, which clearly are more critical to him than a functioning State Department.

Just as scoring political points against President Obama and fomenting fear and bigotry for a possible electoral advantage is a higher priority than effectively fighting terrorism.

Paranoia in American politics . . . here they come again (Hint: They never left.)

Originally published on the blog Wickersham's Conscience.

Back in 1964, Dr. Richard Hofstadter, then a professor of American History at Columbia University, wrote a seminal essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” In that essay, which is a pretty amazing read more than half a century later, he traced the recurring tendency of American voters to see enemies and conspiracies everywhere. He traced examples back to the 1830s, and forward to the the early 1960s, ranging from the anti-Masons and the Know Nothing Party to the John Birch Society and Senator Barry Goldwater’s capture of the Republican Party nomination in 1964.

Richard Hofstadter died in 1970, but his ideas, and particularly his idea of a consensus approach to understanding history, remains powerful and influential today. And WC can only wonder what Prof. Hofstadter would make of the ongoing manifestations of the paranoid style in American political culture today. The Tea Party nonsense, the right wing’s loathing of President Obama and, most recently, the xenophobia regarding the Syrian exodus are all largely consistent with the framework Hofstadter described back in 1964.

Hofstadter was careful to explain that by “paranoid style” he didn’t mean clinical paranoia, the mental illness. He chose the term for his connotative meaning, popular meaning, definitely including the perjorative aspects. After areview of the long history of the paranoid style in our political culture, he drew two distinctions between that history and then current events. First, the focus of the paranoia had shifted:

If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.

Think of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his list of “140 known communists in the State Department,” of the fulminations of Joseph Welch, founder of the John Birch Society. Or perhaps Donald Trump, and his claim of a conspiracy to conceal President Obama’s true place of birth. Actually, listen to the Republican presidential debates and you’ll hear the constant claims of a conspiracy “to tear down our great nation.” So that difference is still with us, even in our nightly news.

The second difference identified by Hofstadter between the old and new paranoid styles was the mass media:

Important changes may also be traced to the effects of the mass media. The villains of the modern right are much more vivid than those of their paranoid predecessors, much better known to the public; the literature of the paranoid style is by the same token richer and more circumstantial in personal description and personal invective. For the vaguely delineated villains of the anti-Masons, for the obscure and disguised Jesuit agents, the little-known papal delegates of the anti-Catholics, for the shadowy international bankers of the monetary conspiracies, we may now substitute eminent public figures like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, secretaries of State like Marshall, Acheson, and Dulles, Justices of the Supreme Court like Frankfurter and Warren, and the whole battery of lesser but still famous and vivid alleged conspirators headed by Alger Hiss.

Of course, the mass media effect Hofstadter noted has been multiplied by the arrival of the internet and social media. Now the true believers huddle together in their digital bunkers to reinforce and mutually support their paranoia. When the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, WC noted at least three theories appeared as to how the Obama Administration had “gotten” to Chief Justice John Roberts.

Which takes us to the paranoid style of the hour, the political paranoia de jour, the wave of Syrian xenophobia. Apparently, one of the terrorists in the Parisian attacks claimed to be a Syrian refugee. It may or may not be true. That alleged claim has spawned a classic paranoid reaction, with some 30 state governors seeking to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States. Those governors apparently worry that there will be sleeper agents who will commit the same heinous crimes here that they did in Paris.

Anyone capable of rationally assessing risks might recognize that Syrian refugees who are permitted to emigrate to the united States are thoroughly, systematically checked by zealous Homeland Security before being permitted to re-settle here. Compare those persons with a Syrian refugee settled in, say, Germany, who can board a jet and be in the United States with absolutely no screening at all. Which might present the greater risk? Of the population of Syrian refugees seeking admission to the United States, only two percent are of combat age; the majority are children.

By count of instances of terrorism, it’s our homegrown folks who have committed the most terrorism. Think of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who committed the Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168 people – more than were killed in Paris. Think of Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski the “Unabomber,” who between 1978 and 1995, engaged in a nationwide bombing campaign against people involved with modern technology, planting or mailing numerous homemade bombs, ultimately killing a total of three people and injuring 23 others. The left wing anarchists of the late 1960s – the S.D.S., the Black Panthers, the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army – were all home-grown American terrorists. The disaffected lunatic fringe may present a far greater threat to American safety than sleeper agents of ISIS.

But, as Hofstadter would say, facts don’t matter. It’s paranoia. In this case, classic xenophobia. It’s irrational fear of folks who are different. It’s the utter inaability to perform a sensible risk assessment. And it is all magnified by unscrupulous politicians in an election year. It’s not new; it’s nearly as old as our country. But it is utterly disheartening behavior in a nation of immigrants.

Syrian refugee commits 42 drive-by shottings in Enid, Oklahoma . . . oh, wait . . . not a Syrian refugee . . . just another Oklahoma good-old-boy with a gun!!!

Just before 5PM on Wednesday, police in Enid, Oklahoma started getting reports of drive-by shootings. By 10PM, that number had grown to more than 40 reports of shootings in the community north of Oklahoma City. Although calls about damage from the spree are still coming in, police have verified 42 separate shootings by one man:
Enid Police Department began, at 4:56 p.m., receiving multiple calls of vehicles damaged by a person shooting windows and other parts of the vehicles with what appeared to be a handgun. There were no injuries reported but a dog was shot in the 1600 block of South Madison. The dog underwent surgery Wednesday night and was expected to recover from its injuries.
A witness was able to get his license plate number and his violent spree came to an end late last night:
Police officers and the department's SWAT team served a search warrant at 11:31 p.m. at the residence.
Anthony "Tony" Jackson, 29, was taken into custody from the residence and transported to Garfield County Detention Center.
Other than traffic citations, Jackson had no prior record:
Jackson was arrested on complaints of animal cruelty, use of a vehicle to facilitate intentional discharge of a firearm, and reckless conduct with a firearm. 
Fortunately, no people were injured or killed.

Funny -- he doesn't look like a Syrian refugee.

Congratulations GOP, Tea Party: You are doing EXACTLY what ISIS wants you to do!!!

Good job, GOP, you are doing ISIS’s bidding!
“The reality is, [Isis] loathes that individuals are fleeing Syria for Europe. It undermines [Isis’s] message that its self-styled caliphate is a refuge.”
Remember, the whole ISIS conceit is that they’re building an Islamic paradise that transcends national borders. So how does it look for them when hundreds of thousands of Muslims are fleeing their advances?

It looks like shit, that’s how it looks. Why do you think the Soviets and eastern Europe built walls and guarded their borders against defections? Same reason.

If ISIS could, they’d build their own walls, but that’s difficult given the tenuous grasp on their territories and the need to funnel all their cash into funding and feeding their army. So what’s the next best thing? To dry up places for their people to flee to.

So congrats, GOP! Not only are you supporting their biggest source of funding, but you are helping them limit their defections. In return, ISIS gets to scare Republicans, since they are addicted to being scared.

It’s quite the symbiotic relationship, actually.

Bill O'Lielly opens mouth, confirms he's a braying jackass

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that if the United States were to be attacked by ISIS while President Obama was still in office, he would go "down as the worst president in U.S. history." But in 2004, O'Reilly argued that if al Qaeda struck America during President George W. Bush's watch, he would be "reelected in a heartbeat."

On the November 18 edition of his show, O'Reilly criticized Obama for not attacking ISIS calling him "arrogant" and "passive." O'Reilly claimed that Obama's lack of action will go down as an "unbelievable disaster," and added that if America were to be attacked on his watch "he goes down as the worst president in U.S. history":
BILL O'REILLY: He's arrogant. He doesn't think this is - this rises to any kind of a crisis. It's the way he believes. You know what's interesting about President Obama -- and Henry did cover the president for a few years for us -- he's not leaving any CYA room Henry. We get hit, he goes down as the worst president in U.S. history. No doubt
O'REILLY: If we get hit, we have a passive president who believes progress is being made and no one else believes that that I can see.
But in 2004, O'Reilly asserted that another terrorist attack on American soil by al Qaeda would all but ensure a re-election for George W. Bush during an interview with historian Andrew Apostolou:
O'REILLY: If al-Qaeda attacks here, President Bush is re-elected in a heartbeat, because Americans aren't...
APOSTOLOU: I agree, but they...
O'REILLY: ...won't surrender, they'll get angry.
APOSTOLOU: Yes, yes.
O'REILLLY: Unlike the Spanish. It's a different population.
APOSTOLOU: Exactly. Exactly.
O'REILLY: Yes. So if they're counting on that, Americans will come together...
APOSTOLOU: Absolutely.
O'REILLY: any kind of attack on us. And we saw that after 9- 11. And I think they saw it, too, because now we're going to go to Pakistan right after Mr. Apostolou.
Of course, we shouldn't expect anything like logic or consistency from rightwingers.

Democratic governors exhibit LEADERSHIP while Republican governors stick their heads up their asses

While GOP "Christian" governors like Indiana's Mike Pence are busy turning away Syrian refugees who had been approved for relocation to their state, people like Connecticut's Gov. Dannel Malloy are trying to make up for it.

Malloy explained to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Tuesday night why most GOP governors are shooting off at the mouth about Syrian refugees not being welcome in their states.
“The reality is is what they’re trying to do is say, this is a very small segment of people, we can pick on them relatively easily and we can make our political point. And by the way, that’s what terrorists want. They want us to stop being Americans. They want us to stop believing in liberty and freedom. They want to be able to go back to wherever they’re from and say, ‘See, Americans didn’t really mean that they were an open society. They really don’t mean that they’re going to treat out people the same way as they treat everybody else. They’re gonna single us out one way or the other.’”
Malloy is a Democrat, as is Washington's governor, Jay Inslee, who was interviewed on NPR about his open-door policy toward the refugees.
INSKEEP: Have you thought about the possibility that, having taken such a forward stance on this issue, there is that possible moment in the future when one person who's admitted as a refugee does something terrible a year from now or three years from now?
INSLEE: You bet, and that's the price of leadership. Maybe Franklin Roosevelt was thinking about that when he locked up the Japanese-American citizens who were good neighbors and put them in camps. But it was a bad decision, and it wasn't consistent with who we are as a country. And we look back at that now and say, you know, we lost our way. And it's really easy to lose your way in moments like this, when we are so fearful. [...] But we also have to win the moral battle. And that's a battle of hope and a vision for the future where we can live together. And I think this is part of that.
Ahh... leadership—a lofty concept that's apparently been lost on most GOP "executives" in their present-day modus operandi of finger-pointing and victim-blaming. Leadership is about making tough choices, not scoring cowardly political points. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said it best in this eloquent opinion piece for CNN:
The refugees that President Obama and supporters of his approach are talking about are families in desperate straits. According to the United Nations, about half of these individuals are children -- a group particularly at risk of falling ill, being malnourished, or suffering from abuse or exploitation. They continue to run toward the harsh weather of a European winter and take other tremendous risks, because anything is better than the chaos that has engulfed their homeland. [...]
Instead of using the mourning in France to deny opportunity to thousands of innocent people, we should recall the most famous gift we received from the French -- the Statue of Liberty, with the famous inscription recognizing America as a place that welcomes "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Five facts that prove George Bush created ISIS

As the world again looks in horror at the carnage left by yet another apparent ISIS attack, it’s worth retracing how ISIS came to power in Iraq and the Middle East, thanks to several decisions made by George W. Bush’s administration.
  1. The decision to invade Iraq, which had been contained by the no-fly zone created by the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations and unable to threaten its neighbors or the West, created a power vacuum in the Middle East which had been filled by Saddam Hussein until the invasion in March 2003.
  2. The Bush administration believed it could install Ahmed Chalabi – part of the public relations campaign to sell the Iraq War to America – as leader of the new government, but he had been outside of the country so long they never accepted him. He was viewed as a “western stooge.”
  3. Almost all of the leaders of ISIS have connections to the former Iraqi government, mostly coming from the military of the Saddam Hussein regime:
Abu Hamza, who became the group’s ruler in a small community in Syria, never discovered the Iraqis’ real identities, which were cloaked by code names or simply not revealed. All of the men, however, were former Iraqi officers who had served under Saddam Hussein, including the masked man, who had once worked for an Iraqi intelligence agency and now belonged to the Islamic State’s own shadowy security service, he said.
  1. Paul Bremer, who was the appointed head of Iraq by the Bush administration, passed the de-Baathification law which sent Iraqi army members into the populace, eventually becoming insurgents and terrorists:
The de-Baathification law promulgated by L.­ Paul Bremer, Iraq’s American ruler in 2003, has long been identified as one of the contributors to the original insurgency. At a stroke, 400,000 members of the defeated Iraqi army were barred from government employment, denied pensions — and also allowed to keep their guns.
The U.S. military failed in the early years to recognize the role the disbanded Baathist officers would eventually come to play in the extremist group, eclipsing the foreign fighters whom American officials preferred to blame, said Col. Joel Rayburn, a senior fellow at the National Defense University who served as an adviser to top generals in Iraq and describes the links between Baathists and the Islamic State in his book, “Iraq After America.”
  1. ISIS leaders’ training as part of Hussein’s regime gave them the knowledge they’ve needed to be deadly:
Even with the influx of thousands of foreign fighters, almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes, according to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group.
They have brought to the organization the military expertise and some of the agendas of the former Baathists, as well as the smuggling networks developed to avoid sanctions in the 1990s and which now facilitate the Islamic State’s illicit oil trading.
The Bush administration created a power vacuum in the Middle East, then made it worse with wrongheaded decision making while occupying Iraq. Those dispersed fighters formed the insurgency which killed thousands of Americans until 2009, and then the backbone of ISIS, which now has killed thousands.

". . . the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming." And the Bush-Cheney cabal ignored the warnings.


‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’

An exclusive look at how the Bush administration ignored this warning from the CIA months before 9/11, along with others that were far more detailed than previously revealed.

By CHRIS WHIPPLE November 12, 2015

“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The CIA’s famous Presidential Daily Brief, presented to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001, has always been Exhibit A in the case that his administration shrugged off warnings of an Al Qaeda attack. But months earlier, starting in the spring of 2001, the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming.

By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years. “The world felt like it was on the edge of eruption. In this time period of June and July, the threat continues to rise. Terrorists were disappearing (as if in hiding, in preparation for an attack). Camps were closing. Threat reportings on the rise.” The crisis came to a head on July 10. The critical meeting that took place that day was first reported by Bob Woodward in 2006. Tenet also wrote about it in general terms in his 2007 memoir At the Center of the Storm.

But neither he nor Black has spoken about it publicly in such detail until now—or been so emphatic about how specific and pressing their warnings really were. Over the past eight months, in more than a hundred hours of interviews, my partners Jules and Gedeon Naudet and I talked with Tenet and the 11 other living former CIA directors for The Spymasters, a documentary set to air this month on Showtime.

The drama of failed warnings began when Tenet and Black pitched a plan, in the spring of 2001, called “the Blue Sky paper” to Bush’s new national security team. It called for a covert CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat—“getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.” “And the word back,” says Tenet, “‘was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.’” (Translation: they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.) Black, a charismatic ex-operative who had helped the French arrest the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, says the Bush team just didn’t get the new threat: “I think they were mentally stuck back eight years (before). They were used to terrorists being Euro-lefties—they drink champagne by night, blow things up during the day, how bad can this be? And it was a very difficult sell to communicate the urgency to this.”


Reality begins to sink into Mitch McConnell: Repeal Obamacare is not a good idea

Total dysfunction isn't just for House Republicans, anymore. Mitch McConnell's promise to have a vote to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood is turning out to be really not all that popular in his Senate Republican conference. It turns out, plenty of Republican senators actually care about their constituents, or at least their eventual reelection campaigns. The idea of Obamacare repeal—including Medicaid expansion—is a big problem for some.
"I am very concerned about the 160,000 people who had Medicaid expansion in my state. I have difficulty with that being included," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia. […] 
Sen. John Hoeven (R), who represents North Dakota, where an estimated 19,000 people gained access to Medicaid after Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple decided to broaden the program, said he was unsure about repealing the expansion.
"We've started to talk about it but we haven't gotten into it in depth," he said. "I'm going to reserve judgment until I see exactly what we're going to do."
"I respect the decision of our Legislature and our governor on Medicaid expansion," said Sen. Steve Daines (R) of Montana, which has a Democratic governor. "I'm one who respects their rights and voices."
In less than a month's time, more than 5,000 people have signed up for the newly expanded program in Montana. So, yeah, voting to yank it way just weeks after it was granted, kind of a problem. It's a bigger problem for Republican incumbents running in Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, because all of those states took the expansion. So Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, and Pat Toomey have some thinking to do over this one.

This isn't just McConnell's immediate headache—it's a larger problem for the GOP. You see newly-elected Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky already backing away from an early campaign pledge to do away with the expansion. Just as remarkable, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is considering reversing course and accepting the expansion. This has all the potential to be a big flashpoint in the brewing GOP civil war, just what they need in an election year.

I grew up in a Southern, biblethumping evangelical family. They are loony and cannot be trusted.

I grew up in Southwest Mississippi in the Southern Baptist church, in a home of biblethumpers who believed that the "Bible is without error."  My family believed the Earth was formed in six literal days about 6,000 years ago . . . and all the rest of the loony shit the evangelicals and biblethumpers believe.  They were concerned that, if I went to college, I would "lose my faith."  I did.  And have never looked back.

The following article from Politico describes my family exactly.

While Cruz, Jindal and Huckabee did not themselves say they approved of murdering gay people for the “sin of homosexuality”, they did nothing to distance themselves from Swanson’s inflammatory comments. All three of them are battling for the support of white evangelical Christian voters in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Their support for Swanson demonstrates that Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee are three of the weakest, most spineless candidates to ever run for the presidency. They are too timid to say killing gay people is not acceptable, because, by God, they want hateful white evangelical Christian bigots to vote for them in Iowa, South Carolina and a bunch of other states that vote early on the Republican calendar.

The three men are clear profiles in cowardice. However, from a strictly Machiavellian point of view, they may be doing exactly what they need to do, in order to perform well in the early contests. An analysis by Geoffrey Skelley, at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball site, explains why pandering to White fundamentalists might be smart politics. White evangelicals dominate the early Republican calendar.
In fact, just under 64 percent of the Republican delegates chosen on or before March 8th, will come from states where the majority of GOP voters identify as white evangelical Christians. Because of their disproportionate influence in early states like Iowa, South Carolina, and seven Southern states that vote on March 1st in the “SEC primary”, white born-again Christians could have a tremendous say in which candidates remain viable by mid-March.

This dynamic means that candidates like Huckabee, Jindal and Cruz, who attended Swanson’s gay bashing event, will have every incentive to push a theocratic agenda, in the hopes of harvesting votes. Although retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, did not attend the National Religious Liberties Conference, they too will try to pander to right-wing fundamentalists by highlighting their socially regressive policies. Even Donald Trump is determined to pander to the religious right, as evidenced by him asserting that when he becomes president everybody will be saying “Merry Christmas”.

Not all white evangelicals are homophobic bigots or cultural reactionaries. However, enough of them are, so that Republican politicians have no reason to fear they will be punished at the polls for catering to religious extremists on the fundamentalist fringe. The GOP base in many of the early contests is overrun with white Christian fundamentalists, and Republicans trying to scratch and claw their way into the White House seem to think challenging religious bigots over their self-righteous hatred towards others is not smart politics. So rather than standing on principle for loving one’s neighbors and not judging others, the GOP politicians will take photo-ops with pastors who support executing homosexuals, because it just might earn them some votes.

When do we start calling these sonsabitches what they are: TERRORISTS!!!!

Three Virginia white supremacists have been taken into custody for allegedly plotting to shoot up black churches and Jewish synagogues in anticipation of the what they believe is the “coming race war,” WTVR reports.

According to court documents, the FBI claims that Robert Doyle, Ronald Beasley Chaney and Charles Halderman were planning the shooting sprees in addition to plotting to kill a local jewelry dealer, rob an armored car, and kill and rob an Oklahoma gun dealer.

Agents say the trio were going to use the proceeds from their robberies to purchase property and weapons so they could begin training for the race war.

The three men were taken into custody late Sunday night when agents and police swarmed a home in Chesterfield County.

“I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac, and saw 15 police cars, marked and unmarked, and K-9’s searching,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. “There were people wearing camo and carrying big weapons.”

According to authorities, they received a tip that the men had begun plotting their wave of terror back in September. The FBI then  assigned an undercover agent to meet with the men multiple times to discuss purchasing weapons and explosives.

The head of a Baptist church located near where the men were taken into custody said his church had increased security even before hearing about the plot.

“It’s a shame you can’t worship your god in peace,” said Rodney Clarke. “You try to have your focus on him, but you have to worry about what’s coming through the door.”

 More from the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch.

Doyle (left); Chaney, III (right)

 Chaney's father and his wife (?) arrested later in the day.

All of these assholes have extensive felony records.

George H. W. Bush, in forthcoming biography, slams Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for destroying his son's Presidency

Former President George H.W. Bush takes some unexpected swipes at Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, key members of his son’s administration, over their reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, in a new biography of the 41st president, Fox News reported on Wednesday.

In “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush,” author Jon Meacham quotes Bush as saying that Cheney and Rumsfeld were too hawkish and that their harsh stance damaged the reputation of the United States, the cable news network said.

Speaking of Cheney, who was vice president under President George W. Bush, the senior Bush said: “I don’t know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with,” according to the report.

Cheney served as defense secretary during George H.W. Bush’s 1989-1993 presidency.

“The reaction (to Sept. 11), what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East,” Bush told Meacham in the book to be published next Tuesday.

Bush believes Cheney acted too independently of his son by creating a national security team in his own office, and may have been influenced to become more conservative by his wife and daughter, Lynne and Liz Cheney, the report cites the biography as saying.

On Rumsfeld, secretary of defense for most of the two terms served by his son, Bush is even more critical. He is quoted as saying: “I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the President,” referring to his son.

“I’ve never been that close to him anyway. There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that. Rumsfeld was an arrogant fellow,” he was quoted as saying in the biography.

Fox News quoted Cheney as denying his family had influenced his views, saying: “It’s his view, perhaps, of what happened, but my family was not conspiring to somehow turn me into a tougher, more hardnosed individual. I got there all by myself.”

Bush’s spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rumsfeld declined to comment on the book, Fox News said.

This is what passes for political dialogue when Republicans are involved.

Virginia Republicans in action.  Hate-filled and ignorant.  Guns are the answer to every question.