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 plight of Sarah in East Texas, our Threatcon Color Code is AMBER ALERT

  • In a preview of how Donald Trump will not help the Republican Party down ballot, Rene Ellmers, the only member of Congress he has endorsed, was defeated by anti-abortion forces and the Koch brothers-backed Americans For Prosperity
  • Lost amid the historic election coverage this week, Trump’s plan to attack Hillary Clinton on Libya took a severe blow with the revelation that he tried to suckle that sweet dictator cash from Muammar al-Qaddafi. One underappreciated detail of Trump’s business dealings is that he isn’t able to approach the ‘big banks’ on Wall Street for loans thanks to his bankruptcies, leaving him to find alternate financing sources that may be controversial
  • Another underappreciated narrative: Trump’s failure to hire sufficient campaign staff is really hurting him — both in terms of the media war and the voter engagement war, setting up an Electoral College fiasco for November
  • One more stealth Trump story: bookings at all of his hotels are down as much as 75%, further evidence that he has permanently damaged his brand
  • It’s been fun watching Republicans react to Trump’s recent racist remarks. For one thing, I’m deeply amused by the delicate political correctness with which they avoid calling Trump “racist”

  • Did you notice that Trump appears nowhere on the official Republican Party website, gop.com? Weird how there’s not a single picture of their standard-bearer
  • Trump supporters are passing around fake photos purporting to show victims of rally violence by anti-Trump demonstrators
  • You may have noticed that Trump sometimes acts like a cranky baby. That might be a sign that he doesn’t sleep enough
  • Trump was actually a worse speaker for using a teleprompter on Tuesday night
  • While you were distracted by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to un-endorse Trump, he was quietly changing the rules to make it even harder for Democrats to accomplish anything

  • Peter Thiel’s vendetta against Gawker is a great argument for confiscatory taxation of billionaire incomes — almost as good as the Koch brothers
  • The Koch brothers are still consciously imitating their caricature of Marxism by infiltrating their idealogues into obscure, yet key positions of governmental influence
  • For turning an Obama appointee’s death from lukemia into a vindictive means of inflicting emotional pain on the president, Sen. Tom Cotton deserves to be run out of town on a rail. But it is much more likley that he will be rewarded by the voters of Arkansas
  • Bristol Palin has married Dakota Meyer, the Medal of Honor veteran that she spent $100,000 of her mother’s money to fight in court over custody of their out-of-wedlock child, her second. My guess: she’s already pregnant again with Sarah’s third grandchild
  • Brock Turner, the Stanford student athlete whose victim’s courtroom statement has electrified the nation, will not spend enough time in prison for his crime — but he will still serve a longer sentence than 97% of rapists
  • Campus rape culture defined: Worcester Polytechnic University is being sued by a student rape victim. Their defense is pretty much the same as Brock Turner’s
  • A Texas jury found Ezekiel Gilbert not guilty of murdering a Craigslist escort for refusing to have sex with him. Gilbert’s defense team claimed that shooting Lenora Ivie Frago in the neck was justified because he wanted to reclaim the $150 he had paid her in expectation of sexual intercourse
  • The Roosevelt Institute has released a report arguing that ‘race-neutral’ policy approaches make racial inequality worse
  • John Engler, the man who brought the charter school ripoff to Michigan in order to destroy the public school system, says that it’s “morally wrong” to limit their expansion
  • Bathroom cop: Iowa Rep. Steve King is trying to bar transgender Americans from using the restroom that accords with their gender identity in the US Capitol, Library of Congress, or House and Senate office buildings
  • Military sexual assault is not, repeat not just an issue for women in the ranks:

  • Lee Cromwell, the man who drove his car backwards at speed into a crowd of people after an Oak Ridge, Tennessee fireworks display, killing one and injuring 11, has delayed his trial by filing a false $8 million lien against the judge, forcing him to recuse himself. Cromwell has also used this ‘sovereign citizen’ tactic against several Anderson County officials
  • 25 year-old ‘sovereign citizen’ Wesley January of Greencastle, Indiana tried to dodge gun, drug, and domestic battery charges by refusing to acknowledge the authority of the court. It did not go well
  • Malheur militant leader Ammon Bundy has added an attorney specializing in white collar crime to his defense team; Clatsop County, Oregon district attorney Josh Marquis is drawing criticism for his efforts to sanction his lawyers; 12 of 19 co-defendants charged for conspiracy in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff are asking for separate trials
  • Utah friends of the Bundy cult are up in arms over Obama’s pending decision to protect sensitive Native American sites. Anti-Indian bigotry has always permeated the so-called ‘wise use’ movement
  • Hmong residents of Siskoyou County, California charge Sheriff Jon Lopey with voter intimidation
  • Lieutenant Bob Kroll, the leader of the Minneapolis Police Officer’s Federation who denounced Black Lives Matter as “a band of terrorists” last Wednesday, “has a history of discriminatory attitudes and conduct” — including membership in a motorcycle gang linked to white supremacists
  • An AP investigation has found that police departments consistently fail to report hate crimes to the FBI
  • Peter Schweizer, the hack who wrote Clinton Cash on behalf of the Citizens United organization, promoted a terrible documentary based on his awful book through an appearance on the Alex Jones show
  • Next time someone tries to elucidate a conspiracy theory about the Clinton Global Initiative, remind them that Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi asked for and received a $25,000 donation from Trump before declining to sue Trump University for fraud. Ken Paxton, the Texas AG who is himself charged with securities fraud, made the same decision after accepting $35,000 from Trump
  • Betsy McCaughey, the goofball who brought you the Obamacare ‘death panels’ chupacabra seven years ago, has a brilliant new fable about hordes of undocumented immigrants crossing the border already pregnant with Zika babies so they can buy health insurance policies in California

  • muselet

    • In 2011, the estimable Dan Savage issued The Choicer Challenge (thestranger [dot] com [slash] seattle [slash] SavageLove?oid=8308624 and scroll down to the last item): people who publicly proclaim that being gay is a choice should prove it by choosing (temporarily) to be gay. I think anyone who runs a conversion therapy program—or who sends a child to one—should be required to demonstrate that their sexuality is a choice. It’s only fair.

    • Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the Republican Party (remember, guys, you built that!) and to every sentient species on Earth. He must never be elected President of the United States.

    • It doesn’t surprise me that Paul Ryan is a partisan hack. I am mildly surprised that he wasn’t more subtle about it.

    • I’ve said before that I prefer not to pathologize stupidity, but I’ll make an exception: Tom Cotton is a sociopath.

    • It’s 2016 and some people and institutions still insist on blaming the victims of sexual assault. The sad part is that’s not suprising.

    • There’s a special level in Hell for people like Ezekial Gilbert. It’s one level up from the jurors who acquitted him of murder.

    • There’s a reason Charlie Pierce calls the “school reform” movement—charter schools are the crown jewel of “school reform”—a grift.

    • Seeing Betsy McCaughey in action reminds me of something else Charlie Pierce once said (quoted from hazy memory): How do these people remember to breathe? Do they have smart people remind them?

    –alopecia