ChrisWeigant.com

It Is Time For The Government To Take The Threat Of Right-Wing Extremism Seriously

[ Posted Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 – 17:32 UTC ]

This really shouldn't be all that extraordinary, but sadly it is. The Department of Homeland Security just issued a warning about the possibility of right-wing violence and/or terrorism. Here are the pertinent facts:

The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning Wednesday to alert the public about a growing risk of attacks by "ideologically-motivated violent extremists" agitated about President Biden's inauguration and "perceived grievances fueled by false narratives."

DHS periodically issues such advisories through its National Terrorism Advisory System, but the warnings have typically been generated by elevated concerns about attacks by foreign governments or radical groups, not domestic extremists.

In a statement, the department said the purpose of the new bulletin was to warn the public about a "heightened threat environment" across the United States "that is likely to persist over the coming weeks."

. . .

"DHS does not have any information to indicate a specific, credible plot; however, violent riots have continued in recent days and we remain concerned that individuals frustrated with the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances and ideological causes fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors to incite or commit violence," the statement read.

The most recent bulletins DHS has issued -- both this month -- warned the public about an elevated threat from Iran. No other bulletin in recent years has been issued to alert Americans about violence by domestic extremists.

"Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, nonviolent protest activity," the bulletin states.... "DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities."

Please note that one crucial sentence: "No other bulletin in recent years has been issued to alert Americans about violence by domestic extremists." This was not by chance -- it was by design. Because the sad truth is that right-wing extremist groups in this country -- even violent ones -- have actually been protected and defended by Republicans. In fact, the government has largely ignored right-wing violence for pretty much for the last century or so.

But before we get into the dim and distant past, though, let's first examine the most recent history. Time magazine ran an article in August of 2019 titled "'We Are Being Eaten From Within.' Why America Is Losing the Battle Against White Nationalist Terrorism." A year and a half ago -- while the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race was heating up -- they accurately identified the growing problem:

When you think of a terrorist, what do you see? For more than a generation, the image lurking in Americans' nightmares has resembled the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks: an Islamic jihadist. Not a 21-year-old white supremacist from a prosperous Dallas suburb.

But long before that young man drove to El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3 and allegedly murdered at least 22 people at a Walmart crammed with back-to-school shoppers, it was clear that white nationalists have become the face of terrorism in America. Since 9/11, white supremacists and other far-right extremists have been responsible for almost three times as many attacks on U.S. soil as Islamic terrorists, the government reported. From 2009 through 2018, the far right has been responsible for 73% of domestic extremist-related fatalities, according to a 2019 study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). And the toll is growing. More people -- 49 -- were murdered by far-right extremists in the U.S. last year than in any other year since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in July that a majority of the bureau's domestic-terrorism investigations since October were linked to white supremacy.

Yet the nation's leaders have failed to meet this menace. In more than a dozen interviews with Time, current and former federal law-enforcement and national-security officials described a sense of bewilderment and frustration as they watched warnings go ignored and the white-supremacist terror threat grow. Over the past decade, multiple attempts to refocus federal resources on the issue have been thwarted. Entire offices meant to coordinate an interagency response to right-wing extremism were funded, staffed and then defunded in the face of legal, constitutional and political concerns.

After a decade where three-fourths of all domestic terrorism fatalities were perpetrated by the far right, the government continued to bury its collective head in the sand:

Today, FBI officials say just 20% of the bureau's counterterrorism field agents are focused on domestic probes. This year alone, those agents' caseload has included an investigation into an Ohio militia allegedly stockpiling explosives to build pipe bombs; a self-professed white-supremacist Coast Guard officer who amassed an arsenal in his apartment in the greater Washington, D.C., area; an attack in April at a synagogue outside San Diego that killed one; and the July 28 assault at a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., that killed three. Cesar Sayoc, a 57-year-old man from Florida, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Aug. 5 after pleading guilty to mailing 16 pipe bombs to Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump.

Three-fourths of the deaths equates to only one-fifth of the counterterrorism response from the F.B.I. Allow that to sink in for a moment. Here's more evidence of the government's myopia, from the next paragraph:

The FBI has warned about the rising domestic threat for years, but has not had a receptive audience in the White House. As a result, agency leadership hasn't historically prioritized white-supremacist violence even among homegrown threats, for years listing "eco-terrorism" as the top risk, former special agent Michael German told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in May.

Eco-terrorism. A leftist threat, and one which really hasn't even existed for past two decades in America (the 1990s were when groups like "Earth First!" were actually active).

A decade ago, the experts were ringing the alarm bells:

"Even if there was a crackdown right now, it's going to take years for the momentum of these [right-wing] groups to fade," says Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose 2009 report on right-wing extremism was lambasted by conservatives even before its release. "I'm afraid we've reached a tipping point where we're in for this kind of violence for a long time."

Another decried the fact that "domestic terrorism" isn't even technically a federal crime:

"White supremacy is a greater threat than international terrorism right now," says David Hickton, a former U.S. Attorney who directs the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security. "We are being eaten from within." Yet Hickton says federal prosecutors are limited in how they try domestic cases. "I'd have to pursue a white supremacist with hate crimes, unless he interfaced with al-Qaeda. Does that make any sense?"

Let's move the timeline back a little further, to see how complicit the Republican Party has been with this woeful lack of federal concern over "a greater threat than international terrorism." In 1998, the deadliest domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil happened in Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh -- a Gulf War vet -- bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building to exact revenge against the government for the sieges in Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. This was really the culmination of a decade where right-wing militias had been growing in strength (at the time, their biggest conspiracy theory revolved around "black helicopters" from the government, which is now almost a cliché). The Oklahoma City bombing did focus America's attention on the problem, but when the 9/11 attacks happened, all counterterrorism efforts immediately shifted to fighting Muslim extremists instead.

At the very end of George W. Bush's presidency, some people in government were realizing that right-wing homegrown violence was a growing problem, once again. The Department of Homeland Security prepared a report on the threat, mentioned in that passage above. Here's what happened to that report:

Johnson, who led a six-person group at DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis, began working on a report about the rise of right-wing extremism. It warned that white nationalists, antigovernment extremists and members of other far-right groups were seizing on the economic crisis and Obama's ascension to recruit new members. Johnson was preparing to release his report when a similar study by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, meant for law-enforcement officers, was leaked to the public in February 2009. The paper, titled "The Modern Militia Movement," linked members of these militias to fundamentalist Christian, anti-abortion or anti-immigration movements.

The report was pilloried by GOP groups and politicians for singling out conservatives as possible criminals. Missouri officials warned Johnson about the blowback he could expect for publishing a similar analysis. But Johnson, who describes himself as a conservative Republican, says he thought the DHS lawyers and editors who worked on the report would provide a layer of protection from GOP criticism. "I didn't think the whole Republican Party would basically throw a hissy fit," he recalls.

But when the DHS report was leaked to conservative bloggers in April 2009, it provoked an outcry from Republicans and conservative media, who painted it as a political hit job by the Obama Administration. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who originally issued a broad defense of the report, apologized to the American Legion for one of its most controversial components -- a section that raised concerns about military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and subsequently being susceptible targets for recruitment by right-wing groups. Johnson's team was slowly disbanded; the number of analysts devoted to non-Islamic domestic terrorism dwindled from six to zero in 2010, he said.

The Missouri and DHS reports were early examples of how the fight against right-wing terrorism would be hamstrung by politics. For years, "there's been a visceral response from politicians that if these groups are being labeled as 'right wing,' then it's Republicans who are responsible for those groups' activities," says Jason Blazakis, former director of the Counterterrorism Finance and Designations Office at the U.S. State Department, who is now a professor at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey, Calif. "It's unfortunate, but I think in many ways this has resulted and served this reluctance in the Republican side to take as strong of action as they could."

The report was buried, and never officially released. The group within D.H.S. dedicated to fighting such domestic terrorism was disbanded. And this all happened during the Obama administration. The first Black president caved to the outcry from Republicans. The Republicans' complaint, essentially, was: "You can't say bad things about people who support our party, no matter what they do!" Obama later did try to very quietly put some sort of team to counter the threat together again, but this was also disbanded once Donald Trump took office.

 

Hoover's ugly legacy

The federal government -- for over 100 years -- has taken left-wing violence and organizations very seriously indeed, while largely turning a blind eye and giving a complete free pass to violence and similar groups on the other end of the political spectrum. We all learned the name for this as schoolchildren, in fact. The first "Red Scare" happened as a response to the Russian Revolution in 1917. There had already been a long history of government-sanctioned violence against Unions and Labor groups, but this was much more acute (for younger readers: "red" back then meant "communist" -- it is only recently that "red" and "blue" have been applied to America's two major political parties).

In the 1920s, a very young J. Edgar Hoover became the head of the Bureau of Investigation -- which would later become the F.B.I. Hoover had risen through the ranks of the "Radical Division," which focused on domestic radicals. He earned his laurels by essentially being the point man for the first Red Scare.

For a half-century afterwards, Hoover ran the F.B.I. as his own personal fiefdom. He decided which political groups were "dangerous" and he decided which were not. Those on the left and those who championed minority rights were almost without exception deemed dangerous and attacked relentlessly by Hoover. Those on the right were essentially ignored (Hoover long denied the Mafia even existed, for example, and he either ignored or outright protected the Ku Klux Klan). Hoover set U.S. government policy on this front for the entire middle of the 20th century -- all the way through the second Red Scare, during the Cold War. Hoover then ended his career by attacking both the Civil Rights movement (he was relentless against Martin Luther King Jr.) and both student and anti-war groups in the 1960s.

Hoover also shared a lot of personality traits with Donald Trump. He began his leadership of the Bureau by firing all female agents. He fired anyone whose looks he didn't like, which was a lot of them. He got jealous of agents who were successful when they got more positive media attention than Hoover did. And these are just a few examples, out of many. When the television show The F.B.I. aired in the 1960s, Hoover was a consultant and reportedly had editorial control over every script. Does any of this sound familiar?

This is the historical backdrop against which we must consider the past two or three decades. Now the problem isn't an all-powerful F.B.I. director who can only see violence on one end of the political spectrum, it is in fact an entire political party who does so -- and, up until now, does so very effectively. And the F.B.I. isn't totally blameless, either. Please remember all the infiltration of anti-war groups like Code Pink in the post-9/11 decade, just because they were against the two wars George W. Bush started in retaliation. The federal government has always used every tool at its disposal -- even illegal ones -- to monitor and disrupt political organizations on the left.

 

Republicans carry much of the blame for where we are now

USA Today just published an extensive look at what has gone wrong over the past decade, and it starts off by correctly identifying who is really to blame (the first paragraph quotes that 2009 D.H.S. assessment previously mentioned):

"Right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat," experts in the Department of Homeland Security wrote. "These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists -- including lone wolves or small terrorist cells -- to carry out violence."

It was one of DHS' most explicit mentions of homegrown terrorists since 9/11, one with a direct connection to the military.

But the call to action was effectively buried after powerful Republican politicians and their allies in the right-wing media launched broadsides against President Barack Obama's administration and Democrats, alleging that they had disrespected the men and women in the U.S. military while attempting to surveil and silence conservatives. The blowback shifted the debate away from how to actually address the threat and into another partisan public spectacle.

While the federal government, including the FBI, continued gathering intelligence, the episode turned the topic of right-wing extremism into political poison, according to former senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security, hobbling any serious public discussion about how to deal with this emerging threat. The officials said the agency disbanded the unit that wrote the report and failed to adequately focus on white supremacy and domestic terrorism for years afterwards.

In other words, the rise of right-wing and white-supremacy violence has not only been protected but actually aided and abetted by the Republican Party. And as for "disrespecting" members of the military, here's what all that Republican "respect" has allowed to happen:

Nearly 20 percent of the 140 people arrested so far for participating in the Capitol riot have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, according to NPR. Several have been accused of being part of extremist groups, including a Navy veteran and supposed leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right, anti-government paramilitary organization, who prosecutors say coordinated a group that attacked the Capitol.

USA Today interviewed both the author of the report and some of those who denounced it at the time. Here's what the report's author has to say now:

Daryl Johnson, the former DHS analyst who wrote the report, condemned the GOP's rhetoric and Napolitano's response, calling the affair a missed opportunity to raise awareness about radical white supremacist groups looking to recruit military veterans.

"For one of the few times in recent American history, we had accurately predicted a threat, given ample warning and people just ended up bickering and fighting about it and the message got lost," Johnson, who said he is a lifelong registered Republican, told USA Today. "We've suffered the consequences of that."

By the time Trump took office in 2016, far-right extremists were committing more violent attacks and killing more people every year than any other terror groups in the U.S. High-profile attacks -- including at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a Black church in South Carolina, a synagogue in Pennsylvania -- resulted in the murders of dozens of people in the last decade.

Despite the trend of surging right-wing violence, Elizabeth Neumann, a former DHS deputy chief of staff during the Trump administration, told USA Today that the dispute over the 2009 intelligence report produced a "chilling effect" that hindered Homeland Security's ability to share information about domestic terrorism with local law enforcement -- one of the agency's most important jobs.

"You would assume that we had that kind of analytical knowledge in the federal government," Neumann said. "But I discovered very quickly that we just didn't, and one of the reasons we didn't was what happened in 2009."

The Republican outrage worked, in other words, and that gave the right-wing extremists an absolutely clear field, because nobody in the federal government was even daring to pay any attention to them, for fear of political blowback. From Republicans. While some of the people involved back in 2009 actually still defend their words and actions, most just refused to respond:

Then-House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, had publicly called for Napolitano to explain "why she has abandoned using the term 'terrorist' to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation."

In a recent phone call, Boehner told USA Today that he did not recall the controversy or his comments 12 years ago. "Nope," he said, "I think I'll pass."

The rhetoric, coming from the conservatives back in 2009, should sound familiar, because now -- a mere three weeks after the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol took place -- we are again hearing almost identical statement from Republicans who are still too cowed (terrified, one might even say) by Donald Trump. Here's what they said back then:

Rush Limbaugh told his listeners, "This Department of Homeland Security report is nothing more than a partisan hit job filled with lies and innuendo that portrays any conservatism as right-wing extremism."

On Fox and Friends, a retired Army colonel said that Napolitano should be fired "for her bigoted attitudes toward our military veterans."

Kristofer Goldsmith, a former soldier and the founder of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, said it was another example of right-wing media being used to weaponize patriotism and launder partisan talking points.

"What Republicans wanted to do was paint Democrats as unpatriotic, and they succeeded," he told USA Today. "They suppressed the report. They convinced people through their propaganda outlets like Fox News that Democrats are unpatriotic."

"That's why it's so easy for these right wing people to recruit today," Goldsmith added. "They've been inundated with this idea."

The message is crystal-clear, from conservative commentators and Republican politicians. And it is the same message they've been using for decades -- any badmouthing of anything far-right on the political spectrum is really just an attack on the entire Republican Party, and thus needs to be condemned. This gives cover to all the extremists, even after they violently tried to overthrow the workings of Congress and murder prominent politicians up to and including Donald Trump's own vice president.

And what has the reaction from conservative media and politicians been? The same as it always has been -- total deflection. Here's Tucker Carlson: "They're using what happened last week to justify the most sweeping crackdown on civil liberties and free speech in the history of this country."

The governor of Texas, as usual, was quick to stick his own foot in his mouth:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he found it offensive that the Defense Department felt the need to conduct extra background checks for National Guardsmen deployed to Biden's inauguration. "No one should ever question the loyalty of the Texas National Guard," he tweeted. The next day, Pentagon officials announced the review found 12 people who needed to be removed from the detail, including two who allegedly had made extremist statements.

And when President Joe Biden, in his inaugural address, denounced "thugs, insurrectionists, political extremists, and white supremacists," Senator Rand Paul trotted out the same fake indignation Republicans have been using for years: "If you read [Biden's] speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly-veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book."

I have no idea who this "us" he speaks of is -- perhaps Paul is talking about some group or groups which he belongs to? It's clear what he really is saying, though, that to criticize the white supremacists within the Republican Party is unacceptable because somehow that would criticize the party as a whole.

Well, you know what. Senator Paul? At this point, that's a fair criticism. Because while not all Republicans (by a long shot) are racists or white supremacists or political extremists or insurrectionist thugs, it really doesn't matter because the rest of the Republican Party always seems to leap to their defense, no matter what heinous crimes they have committed against American society and our way of government.

So, yeah, Senator Paul, if the shoe fits, then you're going to have to wear it -- right up to the point where people like you stop giving a massive amount of political cover for the real racists and insurrectionists. Until that point -- until the Republican Party as a whole rejects such views as politically abhorrent -- Republicans bear an significant portion of the blame for why the federal government has never -- not once in the past 100 years -- taken the threat of right-wing violence as seriously as it demands.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

38 Comments on “It Is Time For The Government To Take The Threat Of Right-Wing Extremism Seriously”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Good piece of background work. I wonder if the Biden administration, with the 'cover' of the Capitol putsch, will do better than the Obama administration at mobilizing public opinion and federal law-enforcement resources against right-wing terrorism.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i think there has to be a better frame for it than right wing nationalism. that just sounds clunky as a bogeyman. maybe call it white supremacist, or "jim crow" nationalism.

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "If the shoe fits you have to wear it."

    "..not all Republicans are racists or white supremacists or political extremists or insurrectionist
    thugs, it really doesn't matter because the rest of the Republican Party always seems to leap to their defense.."

    Just like you, CW, always leap to defend the big money Deathocrats. Or at least attempt to by pointing out how terrible it is that the Republikillers do the same thing for Republikillers that Deathoctrats do for Deathocrats while you provide cover for the big money Deathocrats.

    If the shoe fits, CW.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.
    Get real.
    Get Credible.

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Don't be surprised if the Deathocrats use this as an excuse to crack down on the left and other opposition to the Deathocrat/Republikiller partnership as well as the right, whether they are extremists or not.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    while not all Republicans (by a long shot) are racists or white supremacists or political extremists or insurrectionist thugs, it really doesn't matter because the rest of the Republican Party always seems to leap to their defense, no matter what heinous crimes they have committed against American society and our way of government.

    Let's start calling the Republican party the 'proto-Fascist party. Because, that is what it really has become under the leadership of the Dear Leader, "Il duce Donald".

    Maybe if they start being referred to as what they are then something can be done to stop their advancement to a flat out Fascist party ...

  6. [6] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Part of the process of "taking things seriously" appears to be the effort to render assholeman ineligible to ever again hold public office (meaning, of course, run in 2024).

    That represents a sorry (but perhaps not unjustified) evaluation of the intelligence and the sanity level of the American electorate. However, if it represents a realistic assessment, perhaps it doesn't really matter, meaning we as a nation are doomed, and it's only a question of time.

    Wow!!, that thought goes a long way to take the sting out of approaching the end of life. Happiest thought I've had all week!

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That about sums it up, CRS. :)

    But, there is always ... MUSIC!

    Why don't you join us Sunday nights? There aren't many left, after all ... Sunday nights, I mean. Heh.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (5)-
    I still prefer Republikillers.

    But it is good that you approve of using such names to describe politicians that deserve it.

    The question is whether it is only good for you and for politicians that you think deserve it, or is it okay for other people to do it when they think a politician deserves it?

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Republikillers is juvenile. I suggest that start using Proto-Fascist party as the apt descriptive.

    I mean, we're all adults here, right?

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    You be sure to tell me when Biden does something in an effort to help the big money interests, okay?

    It's Biden's Democratic party, now.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @crs,

    you know the saying, nobody ever went broke underestimating most people's intelligence. if trump were to run again in the 2024 republican primary, who would beat him?

    JL

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One of the many things I learned the hard way from senator and now president Biden ... the American people have usually come through with flying colours when the chips were down to do the right thing.

    I used to use that phrase about underestimating intelligence but, no more! :)

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the american people got very lucky.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, that is one way of looking at it. Like Biden, I think the American people are often very lucky, to the point where luck may not have as much to do with it as we may consider.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "we americans, we're a simple people, but if you piss us off we'll bomb your cities."
    ~robin williams

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My all-time favourite Biden quote, which I first heard circa 1987 ...

    "America leads best when it leads not only by the example of its power but by the power of its example."

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (9)-
    Why is Republikillers juvenile?

    Over 400,000 dead from covid, hundreds of thousands dead every year from lack of health care, income inequality and the War on Habitat and those Americans killed and people they killed in our endless wars.

    Fascism is an important distinction. But it leads to all the stuff I just mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    Republikillers is accurate, as is Deathocrats.

    It is more accurate than the namby-pamby fascist label in describing what they are. Wasn't your purpose of calling them what they are to expose them and stop them from becoming more fascist?

    Shouldn't we also be working to stop the Deathocrats form becoming more fascist?

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (10)-
    No to medicare for all. No to public option. No to BMI.
    No to banning fracking. No to fundamentally changing things for the big money interests- no matter what context he said or meant it because if nothing is going to fundamentally change for the big money interests then the fundamental changes that need to happen for ordinary citizens will also not happen because they are the same changes.

    Yes to endless wars and military spending.

    It is Joe Biden's Deathocratic Party.

    And that is why it is not mine because I do not support fascists of any party even if one fascist is a little less fascist than the other fascist.

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it would probably help to know what a fascist is.

    read a book!
    ~handy, the tick

    https://youtu.be/kZhJlGV2s_k?t=30

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Biden quote:
    We are the United States of America, And there's nothing we can't do- if we do it together.

    So according to Joe Biden we can have candidates that run small donor campaigns.

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Here's one from Nina Turner answering a question from Jordan Chariton.

    Jordan:
    "Do you think it is a radical concept that they say no we're not giving you our votes for X,Y and Z unless you give us A,B and C?"

    Nina:
    "That's how business, political business is done. No it's not radical- it's right on time."

    So not giving our votes to candidates unless they do something such as running small donor campaigns is not a radical concept- it is how political business is done.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    it would probably help to know what a fascist is.

    Indeed.

    And, note that I suggested the title of PROTO-fascist party as an accurate label for the former Republican party.

  23. [23] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Why is Republikillers juvenile?

    It's dehumanizing and makes you look like a crank...

    "Wow, I'm a republickiller, I better change my ways and join One Demand" said no one, ever.

  24. [24] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Anyone following the Gamestop/AMC stock drama?

    Sounds like some hedge funds were trying to short some zombie companies close to insolvency due to COVID. Amateur investors on reddit noticed and started buying those stocks with the intention getting the price up when the hedge funds have to do the margin call (or whatever it's called in this specific transaction when they need those shares on the books.) Now the reddit group has been switched private and robinhood and possibly other market places that cater to the amateur investor are halting buys for those stocks for amateurs but not institutional investors. The internet is freaking out, AOC is calling foul and calling for possible investigations.

    A down right interesting soap opera...

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Why do we need to know what a word means to use it?

    People use words without knowing what it means all the time- like Socialism and Capitalism.

    Or from a movie:
    Katie:Do you believe in fate?
    Anderson: No.
    Katie: Neither do I. You see, this was meant to be.

  26. [26] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    ****NOW I REALLY FEEL OLD*****

    Was standing in at store behind a 20-something year old buying alcohol when the cashier carded him. The guy whipped out his drivers license and the cashier just barely glanced at it before saying, “Thanks.”

    The customer asked, “Don’t you need to verify my age?”

    The cashier responded,”Anyone whose birth year starts in a “1” is legal.”

    I fell back against the candy rack clutching my pearls to my chest, gasping, “I am OLD!”

    The other events that made me feel ancient....friend’s kid asking her Mom what “hang up the phone” means and a different friend saying her son asked how he was supposed to tweet using grandma’s landline... why else would there be a “hashtag” button on a touchstone phone if not for Tweeting?

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    It is meant to separate the Republikillers from decent humans.

    It makes me look like a crank to you because you need me to be a crank so that you can use that to attempt to discredit anything I say because you think I'm a crank. Then you don't have to actually refute my arguments.

    You are right that no one ever said they were a Republikiller (or Deathocrat) and they had better change their ways and join One Demand- yet.

    But once enough citizens stop voting for them they might. And if they don't then they will be replaced by politicians that are not Republikillers or Deathocrats.

    This part may be too complicated for you to understand, but I not only refer to Deathocrats and Republikillers I also refer to Deathocrat and Republikiller supporters.

    Those supporters can be Democrats, Republicans or independents.

    The Deathocrats and Republikillers are only the politicians- not the people that vote for them.

    Those are the people that could say I have been supporting Deathocrats or Republikillers? I had better change my ways and find something better to support.

  28. [28] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Auto correct no longer recognizes “touchtone” as being a word, apparently.

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    The first time I got that feeling was when was running an ice cream truck and one of the "kids" that had been a customer for years brought their kid up to the truck.

  30. [30] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    This part may be too complicated for you to understand, but I not only refer to Deathocrats and Republikillers I also refer to Deathocrat and Republikiller supporters.

    Ye, who can not even change the link on their user name should not be tossing around words like "complicated" when wordsmithing their ad hominems...

    I would also think alienating almost the entire politically active population of this county by calling them names would be detrimental to a want-to-be political cause. How has it worked so far?

  31. [31] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LizM [10],

    You be sure to tell me when Biden does something in an effort to help the big money interests, okay?

    It turns out that Orange Death doesn't think that Big Money Joe is King King after all. He thinks Biden is more like Rick Sanchez. He could, if he wanted to, open a portal to an alternate reality where all the stuff is free and life is fun.

    So, to recap, until he does that he's helping Big Money. BM hates free and fun*

    * that last part is an unsubstantiated assertion, but people are saying . . .

  32. [32] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    McConnell said: As recently as October, now-President Biden said you can't legislate by executive action unless you are a dictator. Well, in one week, he signed more than 30 unilateral actions.

    If Biden never said that, why would McConnell lie and insinuate that Joe is a dictator? Why would he try to prevent Biden from helping the people? He must be trying to help Big Money.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, to recap,

    I resemble that remark.

  34. [34] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi (30)-
    Your comment proves that you do not comprehend.

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    I don't need to discredit everything you say. You are perfectly good at doing so yourself.

    And your user name link does still go to vouchervendetta...

  36. [36] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    And yet the examples here of people discrediting themselves are not me but are you, Kick, Mtn Caddy, Listen (though a noticeable improvement of not as much lately from Listen).

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Very nice writeup, CW.

    How many years did Ted Cruz and various assorted right-wing nuts and so-called "conservatives" spend whining incessantly about President Obama refusing to refer to Muslims as "radical Islamic terrorists"? Rhetorical question.

    Why aren't Democrats hounding the GOP enablers to refer to their gullible Trump cult minions and QAnon nuts as "radical Republican terrorists"?

    It matters because if you don’t identify the problem, you don’t devote — you don’t direct law enforcement and national security resources to stopping it.

    ~ Rafael Edward Cruz, March 29, 2016

    *
    So, to recap:

    * Call them by their name.
    * Stop enabling and radicalizing them by lying, Ted.

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    36

    And yet the examples here of people discrediting themselves are not me but are you, Kick, Mtn Caddy, Listen (though a noticeable improvement of not as much lately from Listen).

    Keep my pseudo name out your mouth, you inveterate liar.

    Speaking of discrediting themselves, as I've explained to you on multiple occasions, your bullshit is a multi-year voter disinformation campaign. Did you perchance realize that the FBI/DOJ is now indicting people for running voter disinformation campaigns that deprive citizens of their fundamental right to cast a legitimate vote?

    You and your bullshit fits that description since you encourage citizens to vote in a manner that isn't a legitimately cast valid vote in 42 states in America. Clue in.

    “According to the allegations in the complaint, the defendant exploited a social media platform to infringe one the of most basic and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote,” said Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This complaint underscores the department’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who would undermine citizens’ voting rights.”

    “There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,” said Seth D. DuCharme, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes. They will be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/social-media-influencer-charged-election-interference-stemming-voter-disinformation-campaign

    *
    So, to recap: Your website meets the definition of a voter disinformation campaign since you misinform voters regarding write-in voting and encourage them to vote in a way that isn't available to them in 42 states in America.

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