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 Donald Trump doubling-down on his immigration rape fantasies, our Threatcon Color Code is HIGHLIGHTED CREEP
- Winning the nativist vote: not only is Trump now running ahead of Republican candidates who boast actual governing experience, proving that the modern conservative movement has a deeply-racist streak running through it, but he also has some new fans in the white supremacist movement. Which is all very strange, because Trump won’t release his birth certificate and passport. What is he hiding?
- The Cartman Effect: Maine Governor Paul LePage’s presidential endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, made the same day that a Legislative Government Oversight Committee decided to investigate LePage for threatening to withhold funding for a school for at-risk children in order to hurt a Democratic rival, underlines the fact that both Republicans are gigantic bullies
- The White House has called out a provision Israel-chauvinists tucked in the trade bill that would have American trade negotiators discourage boycott efforts against illegal West Bank settlements
- Idiocracy defined: the woman Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed to head the Texas Board of Education is a rabid homeschooler. By the way, one in ten American children lives in Texas
- In the short term, Republicans may indeed pay an electoral price for opposing marriage equality. But it’s a mistake to think that culture warriors care very much about the electoral well-being of a political party
- The Supreme Court’s approval of nonpartisan redistricting commissions has just opened up a huge opportunity for voting rights activists, progressive organizations, and liberal groups to overturn the current, gerrymandered, Republican-favoring status quo
- A well-timed litmus test? The Securities Exchange Commission, which is normally like a blind and deaf dog trying to guard a henhouse from the foxes of Wall Street, has just proposed new rules that would require corporations to clawback those huge bonuses if company profits turn out to be overstated. Every single candidate for president in either party should be asked to comment on this eminently-sensible rule proposal as soon as possible
- Dropping all pretense that he’s not a confederate, libertarian ophthalmologist and US Senator Rand Paul met with welfare rancher and slavery apologist Cliven Bundy this week to shore up his support among the ‘patriot’ militia/III-Percenter demographic
- Sorry, all you Obama-haters out there: he’s widely respected by world leaders
- The forced-birth movement is now harassing women who’ve had abortions
- Transforming white privilege back into white supremacy: the conservatives on the Supreme Court are probably going to destroy Affirmative Action because this white girl’s grades weren’t good enough to get into the school she liked
- Here’s what’s the matter with Louisiana: one-third of Republicans think President Obama is responsible for Hurricane Katrina, which happened four years before he was president
- Pursuant to the previous point: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal held an #AskJindal session on Twitter. It did not go well; in fact, it turned out to be a truly awful idea that has taken on a life of its own. Now that he’s been un-asked to address the Sioux City, Iowa Mardi Gras festival, we can truly say that Jindal’s career has ebbed
- Contrary to the whingeing of culture warriors, “biblical marriage” had nothing to do with “one man, one woman” at all
- Speaking of polygamy: there are those who think it’s the next frontier after marriage equality, and at least one person is trying to start a revolution, but here’s why I seriously doubt polygamy is making a comeback
- Branson, Missouri confederate flag store owners Anna and Nathan Robb like to argue that the confederate flag isn’t racist. Which is funny, since their “heritage” consists of being former members of the Ku Klux Klan
- Someone tell Mike Huckabee that we found the Christians being oppressed. Here’s a professor at Northwest Nazarene University who’s been fired for reconciling with evolution; here’s a minister who was arrested for disorderly conduct because she refused to stop performing a gay wedding in Alabama; and just for good measure, here are some black female AME pastors who’ve received threatening letters. The Episcopal Church just voted to host gay weddings. Are these the Christians you were trying to defend, Mr. Huckabee? …Hello? Mr. Huckabee?
- In 1992, Sweden embarked on a “school reform” privatization program that the enemies of public education in America could only dream of imitating. The results, of course, are a complete disaster
- Thought of the day: what if a school named for a confederate officer got renamed every time a black church burns?
- Morrow County, Ohio ‘sovereign citizen’ Jeffrey Miller has been arrested again after a grand jury issued charges against him for theft and illegal possession of a firearm
- It’s nice that everyone suddenly recognizes the threat of right wing and white supremacist violence is empirically larger than the threat of Islamic terrorism…everyone except Rep. Peter King (R-Kookville), that is
- Violence against LGBTQs is on the rise after the Supreme Court decision last week established marriage equality as the law of the land
- According to a new report from Chicago-based Center for New Community, immigration enforcement agents have been colluding with anti-immigrant nativist groups. This is exactly like finding KKK members in a police department, and if substantiated, by right ought to be an enormous scandal. To make matters worse, a Department of Homeland Security report finds that Customs and Border Patrol is also riddled with corruption
- On the other hand, fears of white supremacists in the US military are certainly not unfounded, but also easily overstated. Without a wartime demand for fresh bodies, military recruiting standards — and background checks by recruiters — rise again. The question is whether anyone will ever take public leadership on the issue and hold the military accountable as happened in the 1990s, before the Bush wars dropped the tight requirements of the Clinton era to gather bodies for the invasion of Iraq
- The Council of Conservative Citizens has been suspended by PayPal. If only it was so easy to take away their nonprofit status so taxpayers aren’t supporting a hate group
- Even before CNN anchors made asses of themselves over a dildo flag, they were already running a clinic on how not to cover hate groups
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has tried to throw a monkey wrench into the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, could face felony securities fraud charges soon after an investigation by the Texas Rangers
- Questionable organizations are making big money off the shame-and-pseudoscience of abstinence-only ‘education’
- No longer silent: Josh Duggar’s nonfamily victim is preparing to sue him
- Remember the “New Jersey 4”? Nine years after these African American lesbians were arrested and smeared in the media for daring to defend themselves from a man, they’re finally getting to tell their story on film
- In the wake of the marriage equality decision, photographer Ed Freeman has received death threats for his ten year-old ‘gay pride Iwo Jima’ photograph
- The Birmingham, Alabama Park and Recreation Board has voted to remove a confederate monument that was erected by Daughters of the Confederacy, one of the primary booster organizations behind the popularization of ‘Lost Cause’ mythology, in 1905. More of this, please
What people like Abigail Fisher—and, it must be said, the Asian-American parents here in California who decry affirmative action because their children aren’t automatically accepted to state universities—forget is that public universities do not exist solely for the benefit of the individual.
Even if Fisher is correct (“There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin.”), that doesn’t mean she should have been admitted to the University of Texas at Austin, nor that those other students should have been rejected. Public universities exist in part for the benefit of society as a whole.
But Fisher isn’t correct. Some of those other students expressed an interest in courses of study that are important but unpopular. Some of those other students have skills or talents or abilities Fisher does not. Some of those other students earned those “lower grades” while also juggling adult responsibilities in single-parent households.
Sometimes we don’t get what we want. Sometimes we don’t get what we deserve. What’s important is how we react to those disappointments and what we learn from them.
Abigail Fisher has reacted badly and will learn nothing.
Good lord, you should write for BU.
The arguments against affirmative action have irritated me for a very long time—which is ironic, since if I were any paler I’d be transparent—and the whingeing only seems to be getting louder.
That was a rant that had been building up for a few decades.
I know the feeling.