It’s Thursday Threatcon, your intelligence briefing on right wing activity. Below are the best reports, investigations, exposées, and debunkery of the wingnutosphere this week. Due to the nation’s birthday festivities, our Threatcon Color Code is SPARKLER GREEN
- Reminiscing on outed gay Republicans past, Raw Story’s Michael Rogers reminds me why I became a blogger
- The House Ethics Committee has quietly removed the requirement for representatives to disclose privately-sponsored travel. If this happened under a Democratic majority, the right wing echo chamber would be blasting the news 24/7
- At Mother Jones, Chris Mooney explains that conservative political identity, not scientific skepticism, drives climate change denial
- White power with hip-hop and bandannas? Thomas Rogers writes about the burgeoning “nipster” movement (Nazi+hipster) in the last issue of Rolling Stone
- Next Tuesday, PBS will present a documentary about two tea party activists. America ReFramed: Town Hall “paints a portrait of the fears of those who believe they will be left behind by a changing America”
- As the Roberts Court proves to be just as radical as liberals feared, public confidence in all three branches of government is hitting all-time lows. Extremists thrive in an environment of prolonged political and economic crisis like this
- Fired Pennsylvania police chief Mark Kessler, who continues to call himself Chief Mark Kessler, will be at the Laredo Texas border on July 19th to lead the III Percenters movement against a wave of undocumented immigrants from Central America. Of course, he needs your money to make it
- A ‘sovereign citizen’ attempted to claim diplomatic immunity when she was pulled over and arrested in Illinois last month for driving without a license. Janine McCune is a member of the Moorish Science Temple of America, where quack legal theories created by white supremacists have been adopted by blacks
- A Canadian man associated with the Freemen movement of sovereign citizens tried to walk out of court during his trial, declaring that he was immune because the name on his license had been issued by the government
- An Illinois ‘Constitutional sheriff’ has been charged with jury tampering for encouraging a juror to nullify a trial
- New Gloucester, Maine government employees won a restraining order against a sovereign citizen after enduring his threats, abuse, and harassment. Frank Staton, Jr. had bragged about having a “kill list” of people who offended him
- As we told you earlier this week, the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is NOT NARROW. It is in fact turning into a broad opening for anti-gay discrimination and anti-contraception Luddites. Here is Rachel Maddow talking about it last night:
- Dark money is expected to play a huge role in elections this year, so naturally the IRS is under attack for trying to regulate it. Politicians are arguing that it’s no big deal, but according to the Sunlight Foundation, “outside groups bought virtually all the ads that one Charlotte TV station has aired in North Carolina’s hotly contested Senate race, and nearly half of the dollars they spent haven’t been reported to the Federal Election Commission”
- The Department of Homeland Security is beefing up security at foreign airports with direct flights to the United States
- Media Matters reports that at least 15 Fox News hosts and contributors have campaigned with political organizations funded by the Koch brothers
- Washington Monthly has a must-read article about how Republicans have lobotomized Congress by cutting staffers and outsourcing their work to right wing ‘think tanks’
- GQ Magazine sent Zach Baron to visit Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where the latrines were full and everyone expected to die:
Saturday, April 12: The government huddled in a nearby corral with a few hundred captive Bundy cattle. The sheriff of Clark County, Douglas Gillespie, arrived at the ranch to negotiate a peace—the government, he announced from a protest site the people had set up above the Virgin River, would suspend its operation.
But Cliven Bundy was not satisfied with a suspension. After the sheriff departed, he mounted the stage there at the protest site and pointed out that the government still had a bunch of his cows. “We got a job that needs to be done,” he said to the assembled masses, as he recalled to me later. “Go get it done.”
Range war. The people—more than 300 strong now—left to get it done. Most got in their cars; some mounted horses and took off, heading three miles across the desert and up the wash, just north of the Virgin River, where the government had set up its camp. Some took up sniper positions on the bridge above the government’s corral; others grabbed their rifles and brought them down to where some one hundred government agents wearing the uniform of the Bureau of Land Management were scrambling for cover.
The people knelt before the government’s corral and paused to pray. Many had seen this exact moment in their dreams. They prayed for their own safety, but they also prayed in thanks: Finally.
Men and women, side by side, began to move forward. BLM rangers, over a bullhorn, were saying: Stop. Or we’ll shoot. Disperse. Or we’ll definitely shoot. But the people did not stop or disperse.
A thing was happening on American soil that hadn’t happened in so long. The people were no longer obeying the commands. Cliven Bundy had made an abstract thing real; he had given them a place to stand with a gun and say: No more.
The two sides, weapons in hand, readied themselves for death. It is not an exaggeration to say that if a car had backfired, most of the people there would’ve died. “We was praying that nobody on either side would shoot a shot, because that would have been the death of all of us,” Bevalyn Marshall, a Bundy supporter who was there, told me. But the people did not cease to advance.
The sheriff and his deputies took in the situation, and they said to the government: It will be catastrophic if you don’t give back these cattle.
And so the government, after some deliberation, decided to abandon the cattle in the corral.
- We keep seeing reports of KKK leaflets showing up in various places