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 revelations that the Baylor University athletics department covered up sexual assault allegations, discouraged reporting, and even intimidated victims, our Threatcon Color Code is RED STARR

  • Ironically, before he was demoted, former prosecutor Ken Starr had started praising Bill Clinton as “the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation”
  • Now that the House Speaker who presided over Bill Clinton’s impeachment admits being a serial child molester beforehand — and now that the prosecutor who single-handedly created that fiasco has been demoted from his position as president of Baylor University for ignoring federal laws and fostering a rapist-friendly environment — let’s admit that what made Republicans so angry about the Lewinski scandal wasn’t the sex, but its consensual nature. At the time, there were countless attempts to frame Monica Lewinski as some sort of naif who was incompetent to say ‘yes,’ feeding smears of President Clinton as a sexual predator. We’re seeing that ugliness resurrected now in Donald Trump’s attacks
  • Timely memories: Chip Berlet, one of the most important observers of right wing politics in America, has resurrected a fantastic 1999 paper about conservative media mainstreaming of lunatic fringe conspiracy theories during the Clinton administration. Many of the names, publications, and organizations are still relevant 17 years later
  • Forget Donald Trump’s plan to make libel lawsuits easier in American courts. Billionaire Peter Thiel has invented a whole new way for billionaires to shut down press freedom
  • Frank Amedia, Trump’s ‘Christian policy liaison,’ claims that he can stop tidal waves with prayer
  • Remember when Trump was supposedly self-funding his campaign? So much for that marketing gimmick. He’s now taking on established GOP hands and fundraising the old fashioned way, after all. Remember when he wanted to ban all Muslims? Now he’s quietly trying to win their votes
  • Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson has gamely tried to defend so many of his insane conspiracy ramblings that we should start referring to her as ‘Baghdad Betty’
  • Gawker’s Ashley Feinberg has written what is, to date, the single best piece of investigative journalism on Trump’s bizarre hair-helmet. Her conclusion: it’s probably a very, very expensive weave by a somewhat mysterious man that Trump gave an office in his Manhattan tower
  • Bullet dodged: Mary Lou Bruner, the deranged Texas culture warrior who seemed to be on the cusp of winning a State Board of Education seat, unexpectedly lost her race to someone who doesn’t post paranoid, bigoted rants on their Facebook page every day
  • Phillip Bump of the Washington Post earns a special mention this week for trolling the Daily Caller
  • Actual journalism on CNN? Really? Yes! In a refreshing sign of life, Jake Tapper takes Donald Trump to the woodshed for spouting hackneyed and long-discredited conspiracy theories about Vince Foster:

  • New Orleans ‘sovereign citizen’ couple Larell Sonnier and Rana Badie failed to show up for their hearing this Monday on drug and weapons charges, so they will likely end up spending a long time in prison; Badie’s attorney thinks she would have won an acquittal if she had showed up and let him do his job
  • Merrimac, Massachusetts ‘sovereign citizen’ Vital S. Rosa was briefly jailed for contempt as he refused to recognize a court’s authority to enforce the town’s ordinance against the growing collection of unregistered vehicles in his yard
  • Almost one-third of mass shootings last year were related to domestic violence
  • Conservatives are still whining about supposed oppression by Facebook’s trending topics team, but just look at the excuses the Facebook ad team gave when they banned a ‘body positivity’ photo of plus size model Tess Holliday in a bikini
  • Incompetent hack and fraudulent filmmaker James O’Keefe is still sometimes referred to as a “prankster,” but most recently he has pranked himself
  • Personally, I would love to see Gillian Anderson as the new James Bond even though I like Idris Elba too. The world is ready for a martini-swilling spy who kicks ass and isn’t a cisgendered white male
  • Militia hero and Malheur occupier Ryan Bundy is very, very mad that being in jail is so much like…well, like being in jail; the lawyer for his father Cliven Bundy has tried to lobby for the Koch brothers to fund his defense; his brother Ammon Bundy’s lawyer has lost a small lawsuit over an unpaid campaign bus rental; prosecutors scored their first guilty plea in the Oregon standoff from Corey Lequieu; continued death threats are enabling their efforts to force defense lawyers to keep information and witness names confidential
  • Alison Dreith of St. Louis is running for a seat on the Democratic Party’s Central Committee. When her opponent’s husband arranged a meeting to convince her against the decision, it was fair enough, if sleazy…except that he only met with her husband and her boss instead of Dreith herself
  • I approve of everyone that Bernie Sanders has appointed to the platform committee except Cornel West. There are already enough gigantic egos in the DNC as things stand now
  • While taking on the partisans who can’t accept that Sanders is losing the race fair and square, Samantha Bee pops the Democratic Party’s “tension pimple” in hilarious form:

  • muselet

    • Ken Starr praising Bill Clinton’s political skills is jarring, like Inspector Javert suddenly admitting he admires Jean Valjean.

    • I know he’s the R nominee, I know there’s a non-zero chance he could be elected President *shudder*, but I simply cannot take anything Donald Trump says or does seriously. He is a reflexive liar and a malignant narcissist with a tendency to hold grudges, and he surrounds himself with odd people (eg, Katrina Pierson).

    • The unexpected loss by Mary Lou Bruner brought a smile to my face.

    • I’m tired of Righties’ obsession with other people’s genitalia and how those other people use them.

    • The State Department’s email system barely qualifies as a system, which is why nobody uses it. The archive system is a bad joke, which is why nobody bothers with it. And yet from now until ten minutes after the heat death of the Universe we will hear how Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for not using the State Department’s barely-functional systems. Oy.

    • Domestic violence is closely associated with mass shootings, but Chris Christie this week vetoed a bill to keep firearms out of the hands of people under restraining orders for domestic violence, arguing—among other nonsensical things—that most domestic violence doesn’t involve guns, so therefore the legislation was unnecessary. Again, oy.

    • Gillian Anderson as Jamie Bond is an intriguing notion, for many reasons. I believe that’s what’s called in the business a “hard reboot.”

    • The Bundys really aren’t very bright, are they?

    –alopecia