Wingnut Week In Review: Gay Gremlins

Calling gay people names is nothing new. We’ve been called many things throughout the ages. But “gremlins”? That’s a new one.

The first — and perhaps only — Wingnut WTF prize goes this week to South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Anthony Culler. His accomplishment: potentially minting a brand new anti-gay slur when we were positive we’d heard them all by now.

Culler, who is challenging Democrat James Clyburn — the only Democrat in South Carolina’s congressional delegation — didn’t settle for the usual schoolyard taunts when he posted an anti-gay tirade on Facebook. Culler reached all the way back to 1984 and called us “Gremlins.”

Yes, gremlins.

For those who don’t know the films of the 1980s very well, Culler was referencing the 1984 flick, Gremlins, which starred 80s screen icons Zach Galligan, Corey Feldman and Phoebe Cates — and featured some creatures called gremlins.

They were pretty adorable, at first.

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But without strict attention to their care and feeding, they turned in to this:

alt gremlin

Then they get up to all kinds of mischief.

But Culler’s all wrong about gays. If you expose us to light, let us get wet, feed us after midnight, and don’t let us marry each other the worst we’ll do is marry your girlfriends.

Or your boyfriends.

Scared yet?

Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:

Wingnut Week In Review: If Ebola Doesn’t Kill You, Wingnuttery Will

Republicans finally have something to run on: fear. This week, it’s fear of Ebola. Of course, right-wing fear-mongers always leave out how conservatism made the Ebola crisis worse.

Fox News contributor Stacey Dash called for the federal government to establish “special centers for Ebola in each state.” Dash must have forgotten that the government could just use those empty “FEMA camps.”

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Dash criticized the Obama administration, saying “We need a surgeon general. We need a pinpoint person.” She’s right. We could use a Surgeon General right now. America could benefit from an “explainer in chief” to educate people, and cut though some of the hysteria, as Dr. C. Everett Coop did in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, Dash left out that Republicans are the reason America doesn’t have a surgeon general.

President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy nearly a year ago. But Dr. Murthy’s nomination has been held up by right-wingers, the NRA, and red-state Democrats, because of his support for an assault weapons ban, and for this 2012 tweet:

Dr. Murthy may have a point. According to the National Safety Council, you’ve got about a 1 in 356 chance of dying as a result of gun violence. Those odds are likely to get worse, because gun deaths are set to exceed traffic fatalities as one of America’s leading causes of non-medical deaths by 2015.

Your chances of dying from Ebola are roughly … zero.

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But we don’t have a surgeon general to tell us that, thanks to the gun-loving wingnut brigade. Meanwhile, wingnuts are squawking for an “Ebola Czar,” — after suggesting that the use of “czars” was turning us into Russia — and then attack the president for appointing one.

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Something else we don’t have are national public health institutions sufficiently funded to handle crises like Ebola. Right-wing budget slashing cut the Center for Disease Control’s emergency preparedness budget nearly in half. The CDC’s discretionary funding was cut by $585 million between 2010 and 2014. Funding for public health preparedness and response efforts were cut by $1 billion between 2002 and 2013, resulting in about 45,700 job losses at the state and local level — at a time when vaccine-preventable diseases like Ebola are a growing threat.

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Conservatives like Erick Erickson can claim that “fat lesbians got all the Ebola dollars,”, but it was wingnuttery that got us into this mess. More the same wingnuttery isn’t going to get us out of it:

Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttia this week:

Wingnut Week In Review: Rand On The Run

Sen. Rand Paul turned tail and ran away when confronted by undocumented DREAMers. But the GOP has a “Latino problem” it can’t run from, and right-wingers seem determined to make it worse.

Sen. Paul was with fellow-Republican Rep. Steve King in Iowa when undocumented DREAMers Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas confronted King on his immigration stance. King stood his ground, but Paul dropped his burger and scampered away. Sen. Paul later explained to Fox News that he wasn’t running away. He just suddenlyhad somewhere else to be. Right away, obviously.

It’s fair to say that Republicans have given up on the Latino vote, whether they realize it or not. Latinos were perhaps the GOP’s best chance at siphoning a few votes from Obama’s winning coalition. Instead, Republicans are working overtime to alienate Latinos with immigration policies ranging from incoherent to downright offensive, and good old fashioned paranoid xenophobia.

You can run, but you can’t hide from the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week.

Wingnut Week in Review: Nutso?

Image via DonkeyHotey @ Flickr.

Image via DonkeyHotey @ Flickr.

House Speaker John Boehner called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s idea for passing immigration reform “Nutso.” Maybe Boehner hasn’t taken a good look at his own party. Then again, who can blame him?

No doubt Boehner was stinging from his latest humiliating defeat. House GOP leadership had to pull their border crisis bill, after conservative media came out against it, and kowtowing to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and the tea party failed to win enough votes to pass it. Reid tweaked Republicans earlier this week, when he suggested that the Senate could pass immigration reform by tacking it on to whatever the House passed on the border crisis. So it had to hurt when Reid rubbed salt in the wound by teasing the GOP for urging the president to act on his own on the border crisis.

Still, if Boehner really wants to see “nutso,” he only need look at his own party — and its base — for the best of the worst in wingnuttery this week.

 

 

Wingnut Week In Review: Hey, You Got Your Plane Crash In My Benghazi!

Right-wing reaction to issues in the news this week brought to mind a classic 1980s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial, but with a wingnut spin on the famous line: “Hey, you got your Malaysian airliner in my Benghazi!”

Across the wingnut-o-sphere, right-wingers tried desperately to link the Malaysian airliner shot down over the Ukraine to… Well, you name it:

Here’s the best of worst in wingnuttia this week:

 

Wingnut Week In Review: Plane Paranoid

Thank heaven for American wingnuts’ short attention span. The apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine gave us a respite from the usual sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic rantings. A brief one, but a respite nonetheless.

Not to worry, they’ll soon get back to screaming and spitting at busloads of frightened children. In the meantime, here’s the best of the rest in wingnuttia this week.

 

 

Wingnut Week in Review: The GOP’s Borderline Personality Disorder

Remember Elian Gonzales? He was the little Cuban boy found clinging to an inner tube of the coast of Florida, on Thanksgiving Day in 1999. He’d been rescued by fishermen after his mother and 11 others drowned in an attempt to reach the U.S. from Cuba. His fate sparked a seven-month long national debate, and caused Peggy Noonan to have a dissociative episode on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, before he was returned to his father in Cuba.

Bak then a child trying to enter the U.S. illegally was celebrated by conservatives, rather than vilified. Perhaps young Gonzales’ was simply fleeing the “right “ country, thus giving conservatives an opportunity to burnish their patriotic, anti-communist credentials, and another way to attack President Bill Clinton, all wrapped up in one telegenic child. What could evoke more sympathy than a helpless child, far from home, and without his parents?

That was then. This year, over 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have been caught trying cross the U.S. Mexico border — twice as many as last year, and more than 150,000 are expected next year. The vast majority come from four countries — El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Many risk their lives to reach the U.S.borderas they flee violence and grinding poverty that have roots in U.S. policies. They wait in cramped, unsanitary conditions, as they await official verdicts on their fates. There are reports that some minors have been mistreated in detention centers.

But this is not 1999. Now “Ugly Americans” run amok as right-wingers show off their patriotism by screaming at helpless children, and Republicans promised to block the president’s efforts to stem a border crisis that fires up the basest elements of the GOP’s wing nut base.

The president has asked congress for $3.7 billion dollars to deal with the border crisis, but Republicans aren’t likely to help solve a problem that keeps their base foaming at the mouth between now and November.

Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in Wingnuttia this week.

Wingnut Week In Review: Hobby Lobby and “Beyoncé Voters”

Just in time for mid-term election campaigning, the Supreme Court handed conservatives the perfect opportunity to remind Americans that their number one obsession is policing women’s sex lives by any means necessary. Wingnuts rejoiced.

If anyone has forgotten how conservatives declared war on contraception in 2012, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in Burrell v. Hobby Lobby, and the right-wing response to it, should jog a few memories. The court basically ruled that corporations are people who get to take away other people’s health care — if those people are women, and the health care is contraception.

What this means for any hope of conservative outreach to women is summed up by an image of the majority in the Hobby Lobby ruling that’s been making the rounds on Facebook since Monday.

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But in case anyone missed the point, right-wingers rejoicing over the ruling helped drive it home.

In the twittersphere, RedState founder Erick Erickson praised the ruling as a victory over “employer subsidized consequence free sex.”

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 30, 2014Fox’s Eric Bolling took a swipe at Sandra Fluke, tweeting that she “might do something stupid now that she has to pay for own birth control.”

— ericbolling (@ericbolling) June 30, 2014

Todd Starnes had some eye-opening tweets for anyone fooled by claims that this “narrow ruling” was just about four forms of birth control that Hobby Lobby owners deem icky.

Right-wingers may be taking victory laps through a political minefield. The GOP was already losing with women, and the return of the contraception debate isn’t going to help them much. The Centers for Disease Control report on the use of contraception in the U.S from 1982 to 2008 says, “99 percent of women 15-44 years of age who have ever had sexual intercourse with a male (referred to as “sexually experienced”) have used at least one contraceptive method. That means virtually all women have used some form of contraception — probably including a whole lot of conservative women.

Republicans’ friends on the Court and the religious right aren’t wasting any time greasing that “slippery slope,” and  confirming Americans’ worst fears about the consequences of the Hobby Lobby ruling. On Tuesday, the Court put all contraception on the table, by ordering lower courts to rehear case where employers sought to deny the coverage of any type of contraception — not just the four in the Hobby Lobby case. In an obvious attempt to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby ruling, 14 different faith organizations have sent a letter to the President demanding exemptions from a pending executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons.

While wingnuts celebrate, Senate Democrats are strategizing a legislative response. That’s sure to keep the issue alive between now and November.  And that’s bad news for the GOP, because only one side can run on this ruling and win — and it’s not Republicans. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken on the eve of the Court’s ruling showed that a majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage. And they ain’t all “Beyoncé voters.”

Wingnut Week In Review: Mississippi, Goddam!

Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran defeated primary challenger Chris McDaniel with the help of black Democrats, and the tea party exploded with rage. Now, to quote Nina Simone, “Everybody Knows About Mississippi, Goddam!”

It all started strangely enough. The Republican primary for Mississippi’s senate seat became a blip on the national radar screen when conservative blogger Clayton Kelley was arrested for breaking into a nursing home and photographing the wife Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran. Kelley was a supporter of Cochran’s tea party challenger Chris McDaniel, and his arrest caused McDaniel to face some uncomfortable questions. At least three more people, included a board member of the local tea party were arrested.  

All that was nothing compared to what was to come. Pushed into a run-off with McDaniel, Cochran beat back McDaniel with help from the last people anyone would have expected — black Democrats.

Cochran figured out that Mississippi’s open primary voting would allow black Democratic voters to participate in the GOP’s primary runoff with McDaniel. And, as Jamelle Bouie wrote, black Mississippi voters had already figured out McDaniel for the reactionary throwback that he is, and opted for the “devil they know” over the one they didn’t need to know any more about. 

 Conservative heads exploded:

In light of the above, the following is dedicated to Mississippi’s tea party.

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 Nina Simone always described the song as, “a show tune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet.” Maybe this is the show the tune’s been waiting for.

Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttia this week.

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Meet The Genocidal Dead Colonialist The GOP Wants to Make A Citizen

Republicans can’t pass immigration reform, but they can take time out from obstructing anything that might remotely do the economy some good, to confer citizenship on a genocidal colonialist who’s been dead for over two hundred years.

Bernardo de Galvez.jpgBernardo de Galvez“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Meet Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid. Never heard of him? He’s a Spanish military leader who was — among other things — the colonial governor of Louisiana and Cuba. He is credited with helping the original thirteen American colonies gain independence from the British. The city of Galveston, Texas, is named for him, and there are statues of him in Washington, DC, Florida, and Texas. A famous “haunted portrait” of de Galvez hangs in the Hotel Galvez, in Galveston.

He’s been dead for more than 200 years, but he’s back in the news thanks to Republican efforts to make Galvez — who’s been resting in peace in San Fernando, Mexico — an honorary citizen. Late Friday evening, Sen. Marco Rubio (R, Texas) introduced S.J. 38, a joint resolution conferring honorary citizenship upon Galvez. Rep. Jeff Miller (R, Florida) introduced the House version in January.

Whether its fair to measure historical figures by modern standards is debatable, but it’s hard to overlook Galvez’s part in the genocide of Native American’s who happened to live on land that Europeans — convinced of their cultural and racial superiority — claimed as theirs by “divine right.” (Yes, genocide. Try visiting the National Museum of the American Indian, and reading about the countless numbers who died during massacres and forced migrations, without feeling like you’re visiting a holocaust museum.)

Galvez was famous for his departure from conventional “Indian policy” of the time. Prior to Galvez, Spanish policy had always been to deny arms to Native Americans in the New World. With relatively few troops under his command, and outnumbered by the Apaches and Comanches who historically warred with each other, Galvez reversed the old Spanish policy, and actively provided arms to the Native American tribes.

Before anyone takes him for an early gun-rights advocate, or the NRA bestows honorary membership upon him, there was a method to Galvez’s madness. Then Viceroy of New Spain Bernardo de Galvez spelled it out when he advised Spain to ally with the Comanches against the Apaches. It was not because he had any great love of the Comanches. “The vanquishment of the heathen consists in obliging them to destroy one another,” Galvez cynically wrote in his 1786 “Instructions.”

Even then, it was nothing new. Galvez’s cold-blooded strategizing was right out of the “Divide and Conquer” chapter the old imperialist handbook. The Romans used it when they took over Britain, and the British applied it in India. It worked like a charm in Africa, where Germany placed the already dominant Tutsi minority in positions of power. Belgium finished the job by rearranging the Tutsi and Hutu groups according to artificial “racial” categories instead of occupation, and setting up the socioeconomic conflict that played a major role in the Rwandan genocide,

So, why are Republicans trying to make a dead guy who’s been buried in Mexico for 200 years an honorary citizen, while blocking immigration reforms that might offer a path to actual citizenship for undocumented immigrants? Well, Bernardo de Galvez does occasionally turn up on list of “Latino Contributions to American History,” despite being from Spain, and therefore Hispanic and not Latino.

Maybe Republicans are too afraid of the right-wing of their party to stand up for immigration reform. Maybe Republicans are betting that Latinos are idiots, and can be mollified by moves like this. Most likely, Republicans are so deluded that they don’t understand that Latinos will blame the GOP for failing to pass immigration reform. Conferring honorary citizenship on one guy who’s been dead for more than 200 years won’t make anyone forget millions of living breathing human beings waiting for a path to real citizenship, or forgive Republicans for blocking that path.

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