This Week In Crazy: Meet The Hillary Shoe Truthers, And The Rest Of The Worst Of The Right
Welcome to â€œThis Week In Crazy,â€ The National Memoâ€™s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:
5. Bryan Fischer
And Jesus said to His disciples, â€œTruly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.â€ â€œAgain I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.â€Â â€”Matthew 19
As a self-styled leader of the religious right, American Family Association mouthpiece Bryan Fischer is certainly familiar with that passage from the Bible. But during the Tuesdayâ€™s tax-day edition of his radio show, Fischer proposed an addendum: What if the rich man enters with a ticker-tape parade?
â€œThe top 1 percent are funding 30 percent of the government!â€ Fischer raged. â€œSo, rather than the poor, the low income and the middle class being resentful of these people, they should be kissing the ground on which they walk!â€
â€œWhoâ€™s paying for the EBT cards? Whoâ€™s paying for food stamps? Whoâ€™s paying for the women and infant children program? Whoâ€™s paying for subsidized housing? Whoâ€™s paying for Medicaid? It is the top 1 percent,â€ he added. â€œSo, they ought to be given ticker-tape parades once a week in all of our major cities to thank them for funding welfare for everybody.â€
IfÂ Ken LangoneÂ ever abandons Chris Christie, maybe he should try to draft Fischer into the 2016 presidential race. After all, they share an obsession with the 1 percent â€”Â and the Nazis.
4. Phyllis Schlafly
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
After theirÂ high-profile struggleÂ to reconcile Equal Pay Day with opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act, Republicans beganÂ redoublingÂ their efforts to sell women on the GOP.
And as usual when Republicans are trying to attract new voters, Phyllis Schlafly is here to screw things up.
In a TuesdayÂ op-ed for theÂ Christian Post, Schlafly took it upon herself to lay out the anti-feminist caseÂ forÂ the gender pay gap. In short: Women should be happy to make less money, because it will help them find a husband.
While women prefer to HAVE a higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.
Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated. If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.
Obviously, Iâ€™m not saying women wonâ€™t date or marry a lower-earning men, only that they probably prefer not to. If a higher-earning man is not available, many women are more likely not to marry at all.
Schlafly later added that â€œThe best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.â€
Meanwhile, somewhere in Washington D.C., Reince Priebus is presumably sobbing into a copy of his â€œGrowth and Opportunity Project.â€œ
3. â€œBlood Moonâ€ Watchers
Â Photo via Wikimedia Commons
To say that Tuesdayâ€™s lunar eclipse upset some members of the far right would be a dramatic understatement.
Many people refer to the eclipse as a â€œblood moon,â€ because sunlight filtering through the Earthâ€™s atmosphere gives the moon a red hue during the event. Pastor John Hageeâ€™s reasoning isÂ a bit different, however; he thinks that the blood moon represents the beginning of the End Times.
â€œI believe that the heavens are Godâ€™s billboard, that he has been sending signals to planet Earth, and we just havenâ€™t been picking them up.â€ Hagee says. â€œGod is literally screaming at the world, â€˜Iâ€™m coming soon.â€™â€
Hagee has dabbled in apocalyptic rhetoric before; he onceÂ claimedÂ that God sent Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans because the city was planning a sinful â€œhomosexual rally.â€As for the latest sign of a vengeful God, you can conveniently learn more about the coming apocalypse by buying Hageeâ€™s book!
While Pastor Hagee believes that the blood moon signals the end of days, Pastor Mark Blitz has an even crazier theory: The eclipse is just God giving the finger to Barack Obama.
Writing inÂ WorldNetDailyÂ (of course), BlitzÂ explains:
Barack Obama quite recently, expressing his frustration that Republican members of Congress wonâ€™t give him what he wants, threatened arbitrary executive action, promising that he has a â€œpen and phone.â€
But there are â€œflashing red warning lightsâ€ in the heavens that should command peoplesâ€™ attention right now, because the one behind those warnings, God, had â€œmore than a pen and a phone in his hand,â€ according to the author of â€œBlood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.â€
â€œI believe the moons are like flashing red warning lights at a heavenly intersection saying to Israel as well as the nations they will be crossing heavenly red lines and if they do, they will understand as Pharaoh did on Passover night 3,500 years ago that the Creator backs up what He says.
â€œLike Pharaoh the leaders and pundits of today will realize when it comes to crossing the red lines of the Creator of the universe he has more than a pen and a phone in his hand.â€
Look on the bright side: At least the religious right is (kind of) talking about science!
2. Ted Yoho
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) earnedÂ plenty of attentionÂ this week for telling a black voter that the Civil Rights Act may be unconstitutional, but that may not have even been his craziest statement of the day.
After the controversial town hall meeting on Monday,Â ThinkProgressâ€™Â Scott KeyesÂ interviewedÂ Yoho about climate change:
KEYES: Droughts and extreme weather have been on the rise here in Florida. Do you think thatâ€™s something thatâ€™s attributable to manmade climate change?
YOHO:Â No. I think itâ€™s a natural occurrence.Â I think we need to be good stewards of the resources we have and we need to get better, which we have, through technology and innovation.
KEYES: Do you think scientists are right on climate change or are they off-base on it?
YOHO:Â I think thereâ€™s an agenda-driven science. I can read stuff that says that the information was skewed. Itâ€™s not right.Â Iâ€™m a guy thatâ€™s worked out in the weather since I was 16. I can tell thereâ€™s climate change. The cause? Iâ€™m not smart enough for that.
So Floridians can go ahead and forget about theÂ extreme dangersÂ that climate change poses to their state. Ted Yoho may not be smart enough to know why heâ€™s been getting sweatier while he works out in the weather, but heâ€™s certain that he knows more thanÂ 97 percentÂ of climate scientists.
And after all, unskewing numbersÂ never goes wrongÂ for Republicans.
1. Shoe Truthers
Â Image by Mike Licht viaÂ Flickr
Â When a woman threw her shoe at former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during a speech last week, regularÂ This Week In CrazyÂ readers knew what would happen next: The Shoe Truthers are here.
First, there was Arthur Louis. Writing on theÂ websiteÂ of Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg, Louis began by parroting Brian Kilmeadeâ€™sÂ assertionÂ that George W. Bush is a much better shoe-dodger than Clinton, who â€œducks flying shoes like a girl.â€ He then gets to the meat of his point:
â€œThere is a political axiom, I believe first posed by Euclid or Archimedes, that when Hillary does something, or when something happens to her, she has carefully calculated it beforehand,â€ he writes. â€œSo it would not be stretching logic to suppose that Hillary arranged to have the shoe thrown at her. Remembering the Bush incident, she may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential.â€
The stupidity didnâ€™t stop there. Disgraced former presidential candidate and pizza magnate Herman Cain weighed in via Twitter:
Hmm…Fakery from the Clintons? RT @BestofCain: VIDEO: That Hillary shoe-throwing thing does look kind of fake, huh? http://t.co/7JF6JllqJG
â€” Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) April 15, 2014
And when thereâ€™s a stupid conspiracy theory about the Clintons, Rush Limbaugh is always on the case.
â€œI just do not attach much genuineness to them at all and I donâ€™t know why anybody would be throwing a shoe at Hillary,â€ Limbaugh said. â€œUnless, maybe itâ€™s an attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and lunatics and wackos.â€
Thatâ€™s right: Hillary Clinton arranged to have a shoe thrown at her head to distract America from #Benghazi.
We have a long way to go until 2016.
Check out previous editions of This Week In CrazyÂ here.Â Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!
Image, top: Red shoe by Mike Licht via Flickr
A version of this article originally appeared inÂ The National MemoÂ and is republished here by permission.
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
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One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
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This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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