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What We Know About Louisiana Shooter: Tea Party, Westboro, Hitler, White Supremacy, And More

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A clear image of the Lafayette, Louisiana shooter is emerging, and some of it is horrifically disturbing.

The man who Thursday night shot and killed two people and wounded nine others before killing himself after trying to avoid police was 59-year old John Russel “Rusty” Houser. He has been described as a “drifter,” but a far clearer picture is emerging, and some of it is frightening.

Let’s take a look.

Houser was a former political candidate and activist in Columbus, Georgia, a local newspaper, the Ledger-Enquirer, reports. He “ran as a Republican for tax commission, but was charged for stealing an opponent’s yard signs and withdrew.” He also “had been admitted to practice law in Alabama after attending an unaccredited night law school.”

“He was very outspoken, highly intelligent, really didn’t trust government and anything about government. He always thought something was going on behind the scenes. He came across with a very conservative agenda,” Superior Court Judge and former Columbus Mayor Bobby Peters told the Ledger-Enquirer. The paper adds that that court records showed he had “a history of mental health issues, i.e., manic depression and/or bi-polar disorder.”

Here are the only two tweets Houser ever posted:

On an online political discussion board, Houser wrote, “All sexual deviants are equal, that is true. Put them on a cold island or put decent people on a cold island. Either way, that will end the problem. Decent people can retake the entire world, as Hitler proved.” On that same site he also participated in threads titled “Gay marriage vs. pulygamy,” and “Marriage Equality; does the end game begin?”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks and researches about 900 hate groups, plus individuals associated with them and their ideologies, today examines Houser in an article titled, “Lafayette Theater Shooter Fan of David Duke, Neo-Nazis, and Antigovernment Conspiracies.”

Houser was, the SPLC reports, “a politically disaffected, angry man who viewed the United States as a ‘financially failing filth farm,’ expressed interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, as well as a number of conspiracy theories often espoused by the antigovernment right.”

A decade ago, Houser “registered to attend David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) Conference in New Orleans,” the SPLC notes. “He lauded Duke, one of the most recognizable figures of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Ku Klux Klan leader and now an international spokesman for Holocaust denial. On a PoliticalForum.com, Houser wrote in 2013, ‘David Duke has been unseen or hear of in years, but at one time appeared exactly what US needed.'”

He also “belonged to a forum associated with Tea Party Nation. He sang the praise of Adolf Hitler many times, saying ‘Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,’ last January on the website stateofmind13.com.”

Noting that Houser “expressed racists extremism,” the SPLC goes on to report that he “promoted the disproven racist theory that a connection exists between race and IQ, and promoted The Bell Curve, a book written by Charles Murray.”

NCRM has written about Murray several times. Murray is often quoted by current GOP presidential candidates and often lauded by conservatives.

Houser’s membership with Tea Party Nation is notable given the extremism of the group. It’s not just another Tea Party Group. The SPLC has reported on them, as has NCRM. Its head has claimed that socialism has killed a billion people, and strongly suggested that President Barack Obama is a gay, crack-cocaine-smoking, marijuana-using drug addict who did poorly in college.

Raw Story reports “Houser was evicted last year from a rental property on 32nd Street, where his estranged wife owns a home that can be seen flying a Confederate flag on a Google maps search. It’s not clear whether he lived at the home when the photo was taken.”

On Facebook, he liked only two groups, including, I hate liberals!, which hasn’t been active since 2013.

ThoughtCatalog adds that he “supported Islamic fanaticism and the terror that comes with it,” “was supportive of Hilter’s Nazi Germany,” “believed George Zimmerman was a national hero,” and concludes, “was absolutely, positively, a terrorist.”

Houser was also a fan of a Christian Tea Party blog, Fellowship of the Minds, according to research by IBTimes.

In a blog post titled, “Moral Sickness at Root of America’s Decay,” Houser commented several times, including making this chilling remark: “The end comes, and I love it.”

Bottom line: Houser, according to the trail he left on the Internet, was anti-gay, a white supremacist, anti-government, a racist, a supporter of the Tea Party, Hitler, Iran and Islamic extremism – but not a Muslim – and a supporter of neo-Nazism. 

 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Houser’s political activities as being in Columbus, Ohio. They took place in Columbus, Georgia.

Image by Carolyn Scofield via Twitter

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Catholic Archbishop Defies Vatican by Banning Speaker Nancy Pelosi From Holy Communion – via Twitter

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Calling her stance on abortion a “most serious scandal,” and a “grave evil” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone publicly announced Friday that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose district encompasses his diocese, is now banned from taking Holy Communion.

Archbishop Cordileone, a far right activist who repeatedly has challenged Pope Francis, is now in violation of directions from the Vatican to not politicize the Sacraments. Cordileone’s very public decree – made via Twitter – comes just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, an the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Cordileone tweeted, an apparent attempt to embarrass to the greatest degree possible the Democrat who is second in line to the Presidency,

“I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically [sic] repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote in that letter to the Speaker.

Fox News calls it “an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion,” but in fact other extremist archbishops have taken the same stance against other notable Democrats.

Catholics believe the Pope is God’s infallible representative on earth. Last fall Pope Francis chastised far right Catholic bishops in America who were gearing up to ban President Joe Biden from receiving Holy Communion. In June the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) overwhelmingly voted to move toward chastising Biden for his abortion stance, despite the Vatican issuing a clear warning they were not to do so.

President Biden is a devout Catholic who personally opposes abortion but knows as President it is his role to uphold a woman’s right to choose, something has has worked strongly to support and strongly believes in.

“What must the pastor do?” Pope Francis said, The New York Times reported last September when a reporter asked him about President Biden and abortion. “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.”

“I have never refused the eucharist to anyone,” Pope Francis told reporters. The Times aded Francis said bishops should be pastors not politicians.

The Pope also told reporters, “communion is not a prize for the perfect,” and “the eucharist is not the reward of saints but the bread of sinners.”

The San Francisco Chronicle adds that Pope Francis “welcomed Biden for a private meeting at the Vatican last fall and Biden said the Pope told him he was a ‘good Catholic.’ Biden received Communion at St. Peter’s during that trip.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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COMMENTARY

‘Sordid, Corrupt, Lawless’: Experts Call New Ginni Thomas Revelations ‘Breathtaking’ and Ask ‘What Did Her Husband Know?’

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The latest revelations about the actions of Ginni Thomas, the far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice who had unprecedented access to the Trump White House are leading experts to demand Clarence Thomas’ recusal while calling the combination of their actions “breathtaking corruption,” and noting the Justice’s extraordinary hypocrisy.

Later Friday morning The Washington Post reported that Ginni Thomas pressed two Arizona lawmakers to overturn the will of Arizona’s voters in the 2020 presidential election by choosing a “clean” slate of electors, representing Donald Trump and not Joe Biden. The Post notes Thomas did not mention any candidate by name but reports “the context was clear.”

“Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” an email bearing Ginni Thomas’ name, sent to the Arizona lawmakers, reads.

It included a link to a video of a man delivering a message meant for swing-state lawmakers, urging them to “put things right” and “not give in to cowardice.”

“You have only hours to act,” said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.

Thomas also pressed Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work to overturn the election, as has been widely reported.

Her efforts, combined with Justice Thomas’ actions on the Supreme Court, amount to “breathtaking corruption,” writes Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern.

“The conflict of interest between Ginni and Clarence Thomas has never been greater. While Clarence was applying the ‘independent state legislature doctrine’ from the bench, Ginni was using the exact same theory to try to overturn the 2020 election. Just breathtaking corruption,” Stern says.

He adds:

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor, issued a strong warning:

“Either Justice Thomas recuses in every case that comes to the Court where his wife is heavily involved in the action or the public’s confidence in the Court will be damaged beyond repair.”

Reuters reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court, Lawrence Hurley:

Former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder, who is president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says it is “outrageous” Justice Thomas has refused to recuse:

“New evidence that Ginni Thomas’s participation in efforts to overturn the 2020 election was even greater than we knew; in this case pressure on AZ legislators to overturn that state’s vote. Makes it even more outrageous that Justice Thomas did not recuse.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona legislators to overturn Biden’s win and choose a ‘clean slate of electors.’ In other words, she supported a coup to overthrow an elected president. What did her husband know?”

Economist and frequent political commentator David Rothschild observes, “Ginni Thomas was conspiring with high ranking Republicans to overturn [the] republic, and her husband was either privy to or actively involved in this conspiracy before using his position to coverup his wife’s role.”

Former SDNY Asst. U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli sums up:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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BREAKING NEWS

Ginni Thomas Also Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Overturn 2020 Election: ‘Stand Strong’

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Far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Ginni Thomas pressed lawmakers in Arizona to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In emails she urged them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,” and send a “clean slate” of electors, falsely claiming the choice is “yours and yours alone.”

“The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear,” reports The Washington Post, which broke the news Friday. “In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.”

Thomas also pressed then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election in an exchange of text messages that spanned several months.

Justice Clarence Thomas has also come under fire for not recusing himself in matters related to his wife’s actions.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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