Search results for "Glenn Beck"

Sen. Mike Lee wages 'strange crusade' against Mormon-owned Utah media outlets for not being right-wing enough

It's always amusing when far-right Republicans slam conservative media outlets for not being right-wing enough. One such Republican is Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has been highly critical of two right-of-center media outlets in his state: the Deseret News and Salt Lake City's KSL Radio/KSL-TV — which is owned by Bonneville International, the broadcasting arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lee believes that the Deseret News (also owned by Mormons) and KSL are insufficiently right-wing, and talk radio right-winger Glenn Beck is joining him.

Beck tweeted, "Utahans: why would you ever read this paper? @SenMikeLee is right. How can you trust a thing @DeseretNews writes if they can get this simple principle so wrong? History TEACHES Pure Democracy leads to slavery and suffering."

McKay Coppins, a staff writer for The Atlantic, has devoted a Twitter thread to Lee and Beck's ludicrous claims that Mormon-owned media outlets in deeply Republican Utah are too liberal.

Coppins explains, "So, Mike Lee has been waging a FB/Twitter crusade lately against the Utah media outlets owned by his church (KSL, Deseret News). The individual critiques are nitpicky, but basically he seems frustrated that the outlets aren't right-wing enough. Now Glenn Beck has joined the cause."

Coppins goes on to say, "This crusade is strange, in part, because neither outlet is remotely liberal. But it's classic Trumpian ref-working. As I reported earlier this year, Trump and his allies planned to take the fight to local media in 2020…. That seems to be happening in Utah."

Coppins also notes that President Donald Trump "continues to underperform with" Mormon voters in Utah. Nonetheless, Utah is a deep red state that Trump is almost certain to win in the 2020 presidential election. While polls are showing former Vice President Joe Biden to be competitive in some light red states — including Texas and Georgia — a Y2 Analytics poll released on October 5 found Trump ahead by 10% in Utah. And on September 17, an RMG Research poll showed Trump with an 18% lead in that state.

Evangelical pastor explains why nobody understands Trump voters

By NATHANIEL MANDERSON

Based on the last two presidential elections, there is clearly a failure in reporting, polling and understanding of almost half of America. Perhaps liberals would simply like to govern and run for office by only mobilizing their half of the population and overlooking that other half, but I would imagine this country won't get closer to equal opportunity with that type of thinking. It's true that much of the divisive language comes from Trump supporters who seems to enjoy Trump's deplorable approach to life and politics. Does that embody every single person who voted for Donald Trump in the last two elections? If you think that, then you are as lost as the narrow reporting and polling I have witnessed during the last four years.

My life has brought me across the lives of many other people, which has allowed me to understand the viewpoints of both sides in a more personal and complicated way. I'm a former pastor, and my favorite family in one of my churches was one that actually attended a Glenn Beck rally. Do you realize how kooky you need to be to travel from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., to attend a Glenn Beck rally as a family? Yet I have nothing but warm feelings for them: Best family in the church by far. They were close to each other, kind and down to earth — and as far from me politically as anyone I have ever met. My least favorite family was full of hate, judgment and self-righteousness — yet I agreed with them on every single political issue. In fact, that liberal family is the sole reason I left formal ministry.

As a high school teacher in a predominantly first-generation and low-income Latino community, I noticed something very interesting. First, my fellow teachers, who were naturally very educated, very liberal and quite talented teachers, and usually came from serious financial privilege, barely survived the Trump presidency emotionally. In real life their lives didn't change a bit. They still went to Europe during the summer, went out to eat all weekend, shopped at Whole Foods and lived in the heart of expensive liberal-bastion neighborhoods like Cambridge and Somerville. In fact, I bet their financial lives improved during the Trump presidency, or at least their parents' lives did.

Meanwhile, the students whose lives were actually affected by Trump winning in 2016 acted like it was nothing. The reason for this reaction was not political ignorance but real-life understanding. Many liberals suffering from what they call "implicit bias" — or, as I call it, racism — claimed that these poor, uneducated immigrants simply didn't know what had just happened. The truth is that the community members knew exactly what had happened: Nothing. Their city has had a bad school system for the last 40 years and it will continue down that path no matter who is president. Their city has gangs, dilapidated housing and crime everywhere, just as it did over the last 40 years. Trump as president just affirmed what they always suspected about this country: It doesn't care about their community. Except when, over the next 20 years, the poor Latino community is forced out by gentrification, which has already started.

Now comes my own failure, and the failure of the people with labels just like me. I am a Bible-believing Christian minister, I am blue collar, and I have been a committed member of the working-class poor most of my life. Many of my people support Trump and will continue in four years to support the next Trump type if the Democratic Party doesn't start changing its approach. By the way, the Trump type is here to stay. Trump brought in more votes than any other Republican ever — the Republicans aren't just going to wash their hands of him now. That's just a pipe dream of the left. The true path to defeating Trumpism forever lies within the blue-collar, working-class poor of this country.

If I had any political network besides a bunch of package handlers at FedEx I would start a new political party called the Blue Collar Party, the leaders of which would only be front-line workers around this great country. The laborers, the line workers, the waitresses, the janitors, the shovel holders and anyone else suffering from holding up this country. These people understand this country more than any reporter, politician or entertainer with a voice and a big salary ever could. The best part of that blue-collar fight is that it empowers all races, since class doesn't have a color. Naturally enough, providing upward mobility to the working-class poor will predominantly bring hope to many people of color and will potentially show a new sense of unity that could break down some of the barriers between races.

I have worked side by side with the working-class poor who love Trump, and I promise you there is hope in reaching them. Hell, Obama reached them a little, and Bernie Sanders did more so. Even Bill Clinton did, but for the most part they feel forgotten by the Democratic Party. In spite of all this, the liberal media simply wants to explain away half the country as racist, sexist and ignorant voters. God forbid the vote they gave for Trump had a genuine purpose. I admit it may have been a flawed purpose but it's one that needs to be addressed before the country completely loses sight of itself.

On my own end, I would love to reach out to my fellow evangelical followers to re-educate them on the Bible and what it truly means to follow Christ. The evangelical leaders are lost and beyond my help, but the followers are not. The Bible commands its followers to champion liberal causes and certainly not the two non-biblical issues that have been forced onto the public over the last 40-plus years. The issues around welcoming the foreigner, healing the sick, equality for all and supporting the causes of the least of these needs to be the new foundation of the public voice of the church.

I feel there are a great number of people in the country that simply feel unseen, and in desperation they reach out to anyone who even appears to care about them. I know it is easier to put people we disagree with into various categories. I do it all the time. It saves a lot of time and energy. However, as a minister I know I need to hold myself to a higher standard. I also know what I have seen and the people I have met in my life. People are complicated. In fact I barely understand myself half the time. At age 43, I hiked across Spain hoping to "find myself" on my own Camino de Santiago. I didn't find myself in Spain but it was certainly enlightening. I know my own personal journey is complicated and the same can be said about the millions of people living their lives across this Country. People are looking for a sense of belonging, looking to be heard, looking for professional and educational opportunity, looking to feel valued and loved. I can only hope that in the next few years this country will start to understand itself just a little bit more than it does now.


Nathaniel Manderson

Nathaniel Manderson was educated at a conservative seminary, trained as a minister, ordained through the American Baptist Churches USA and guided by liberal ideals. Throughout his career he has been a pastor, a career counselor, an academic adviser, a high school teacher and an advocate for first-generation and low-income students, along with being a paper delivery man, a construction worker, a FedEx package handler and whatever else he could do to try to take care of his family.

'Racist' BlazeTV host slammed for attack on Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho

A host of Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV is under fire after posting what some are calling a racist attack on the director of the Oscar-winning film “Parasite.”

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Trump and the right share a Darwinist 'herd mentality' — and preference for sacrificing the weak to capitalism

Donald Trump's promise in an ABC News town hall last month that the United States would soon achieve herd immunity for the coronavirus, and conflating that with herd mentality, may be explained because Trump is counting on the latter to rescue his second term. It's otherwise impossible to imagine a campaign whose endgame is to recover the lost loyalty of voters over 65 selecting as its closing argument, "Not enough of you have died yet."

It's a safe bet that none of his 2016 Republican primary challengers would have embraced the idea that the solution to the pandemic was more American casualties than the Civil War and World War II combined. But many of Trump's Republican comrades-in-arms have embraced, often eagerly, a default preference for herd immunity — harkening back to the harsh social Darwinism that underlies much of modern conservatism. Early on in the pandemic there were Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana and radio host Glenn Beck, all of whom argued that the loss of more American lives was preferable to scaling back the economy. Then, when the issue became wearing masks, some opponents argued "if I'm going to get COVID and die from it, so be it …" Of course they really meant, "If you are going to get COVID ..." Wearing masks was a deprivation of freedom — although this argument seems never to have been extended by Republicans to the prohibition on public nudity.

As the pandemic surged again, by October Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was referring to "unjustified hysteria" about covid, and asked, after he became infected, ""Why do we think we actually can stop the progression of a contagious disease?" (The obvious answer is that we have been doing so, with increasing success, since the 1854 cholera pump moment. That is rejected by many on the right, because stopping a pandemic may require the government to prevent citizens from endangering others.)

Herd immunity can sometimes reduce mortality from a disease, but over the centuries has failed to end the curse of influenza, tuberculosis, smallpox, polio, rabies or dengue fever. It fits neatly, however, into a social Darwinist framework. Those who die are the "weak" — the poorest, the youngest and the oldest young — or can at any rate be classified as weak and deserving to die, because they died. Survival of the fittest requires discarding the weak. Remember the "let them die" hecklers who populated some of the 2011 Republican debates on health care.

This underlying value distortion — my personal freedom extends to my right to endanger you — spreads out across a range of other issues. Today's Republican reluctance to curb pollution even when it is demonstrably is killing a power plant's neighbors, to keep pesticides that kill farm workers out of the fields or to do anything at all about the climate crisis, which conservatives have privately conceded for years was real and caused by carbon pollution, are all illustrations of how the toxin of social Darwinism still contaminates much of the right's thinking about freedom.

So Trump's response to the COVID crisis — and the willingness of the Republican congressional establishment to enable it — illustrates a deep-rooted flaw in the American right. In a world in which we are, like it or not, all bound together, a tolerable conservatism is one that is willing to protect me from irresponsible neighbors, whether those are COVID-risking teenagers, irresponsible gun owners or multinational chemical companies.

Here's the real reason Trump allies are floating a Fox News competitor

The notion of Donald Trump "creating" a new "news network," as his allies keep vaguely threatening, is a pipe dream. It's not going to happen. It would require enormous amounts of money he doesn't have, and it would require work. If the so-called Trump administration has taught us anything, it is that Donald Trump cannot stand doing work. He likes people praising him, and he likes golf. Time spent reading, or planning, or attending meetings is time not being spent polishing his boots or his golf clubs, and does not happen. Trump has shown obsessive interest in exactly one subject outside of himself, and that is interior decorating. The man has opinions on drapes and what color they should be; if he were to head up a network on anything, it would be a network featuring Donald Trump's Home Decorating Tips.

And given that every episode of every show would consist solely of Donald telling someone to paint something gold, the viewership might be a bit ... limited.

That said, it does seem to be true that wealthy Trump-adjacent conservatives are scoping out the creation of a new conservative news network to challenge Fox. The stories are always the same: Donald Trump's enablers and supporters are outraged, positively outraged, by Fox News slip-ups in which cold, hard reality manages to make it to airwaves. They didn't become Donald Trump supporters to hear about the effectiveness of masks, or come face-to-face with Electoral College numbers that suggest Dear Leader is not, in fact, going to be able to continue Dear Leadering much longer.

The Wall Street Journal brings us the latest entry in the saga, a piece reporting that a Trump-supporting actual rich dude's private equity firm had been probing whether to acquire pro-Trump outfit "Newsmax TV," the video version of one of the more notorious conspiracy websites on the conservative internets. This comes after Rich Dude Company had previously set its sights on the absolutely batshit insane conspiracy network OANN, a QAnon-level den of crackpottism that has seen heavy promotion by Trump during the periods when Trump is angriest at Fox News for the aforementioned slip-ups.

This doesn't have anything in particular to do with Trump, mind you. This is a conservative project that just happens to be spearheaded by the sort of people that admire Donald Trump and Donald Trump's own devotion to propaganda, and they want themselves a taste.

Again: A Donald Trump news network? Not going to happen. An archconservative conspiracy network that Donald Trump licenses his name to, as if the news were a mail-order steak? Mayb—yeah, no. He would demand a fortune, and any new startup looking to compete with Fox News is not going to be so well-funded as to be able to afford Donald's special brand of cash-siphoning.

What the continued murmurs around a new "conservative" Fox competitor suggests, though, is that wealthy conservatives have learned at least one big lesson from the Trump era, and they are very eager to capitalize on it. Donald Trump's campaign, administration, reelection bid and subsequent whine-fest have proven, conclusively, that there is a massive American market for straight-up propaganda. Literal fake news.

Conservatives are now angry enough at the normal, everyday wounds inflicted by life and the news cycle that they are all but demanding to be given hoaxes instead. This isn't the bending of reality that Fox News hosts eased audiences into over two decades, with its inside language and large classroom-borrowed chalkboards describing tenuous-to-imaginary links between designated enemies; what Trump, his parade of press secretaries, spokescreatures, Cabinet members and hangers-on proved was that even government figures could lie, brazenly and outright, and allied conservatives would not just accept it but eagerly celebrate it. It is now something akin to a cult, in which all involved likely know the difference between truth and fiction, but insist on adhering to the fictional versions out of sheer spite.

To you and I, this sounds like a problem. To a wealthy media conservative, this is the stuff that makes eyeballs turn to dollar signs. The Americans who gathered themselves around Trump, as movement, are self-selected to be the most gullible—willingly gullible!—people in the nation. These are the people Breitbart, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and other conservative linchpins have turned into steady paychecks, and who still come back for more.

These people are not poor. These people are obsessively sectarian, and make decisions not just over products, but over which dimension they choose to inhabit, based on who waves the proper flag and how shamelessly they do it.

These conservatives are an advertiser's dream audience, and absolutely everybody in conservative media wants a piece of them.

One of the more defining features of conservative media is, ahem, the advertising that is invariably attached to it. Reading a far-conservative website or listening to a far-right host inevitably means being exposed to a barrage of specifically conspiracy-minded products sold with the language of a hundred doomsdays to come. Buy gold, yes, but also this survival food or this protein shake concoction. Purchase "tactical" flashlights, or an array of other products all themed around something-something-guns. It all inevitably decays into being added to mailing lists in which the names of top conservative hosts are attached to the seediest, scummiest-seeming products one can imagine.

Short version: Conservatism has carefully bred itself into a movement that will believe anything and everything, and while that may be a disaster for the country, to conservative advertisers this is truly a new golden age. You can do anything and these people will still latch on to you.

Forget the controversy about wearing masks or not wearing masks during a deadly nationwide pandemic. The reason wealthy conservatives are rushing to create a new, even farther-right version of Fox News is because Trump discovered an audience of Americans who would eagerly let you harvest their kidneys if you told them it was to defeat "antifa."

American flags? We've sold the hell out of American flags, everyone now has six of them. But now there's a new American flag, and it's blue, or it's yellow, or it has Trump's orange mug painted onto it. You're not a real conservative unless you buy twelve of those too.

For certain, there is an obsession in the far-right with creating the next Fox News. But it's not about patriotism. It's not even about conservatism. It's about good old-fashioned profit. It's about finding the motherlode of American gullibles, people who will buy anything, and selling it to them.

Bleeding. Them. Dry.

That's why Rich Guy Equity Group has been combing the land looking for entry points into the land of Conservative Conspiracy Television. It's not because the man or like-minded allies are just that devoted to Donald Trump. Donald could be eaten by a Florida gator on the back nine next week and the "movement" would no more tap the brakes than they did when famous Important Conservative Herman Cain died of the pandemic illness he and his band of merry grifters had insisted was little more than a conspiracy against them.

In this new version, conservative media is not about ideology. It can't be—not when the ideology shifts from week to week in accordance with whatever new thing must now be held up as enemy. What Newsmax TV or OANN offers is a news "casino" promising mega-jackpots that never appear to audiences primed to empty their pockets.

The new conservative media is about selling a screaming adrenaline rush so cathartic that you need a special pillow afterward to sleep right. It's an expensive pillow, by God, but it's the only one left not infested with "antifa."

You can't put a price on that.

The 'Q' movement is a pro-terrorist Trumpian cult

Well, we seem to be getting closer to the national realization that this thing that calls itself "QAnon" is, at heart, just another partisan iteration of the same far-right conspiracy theories that have plagued conservatives since forever ago. The New York Times has another look at the growth of "Q" nonsense in the Republican mainstream, and while it doesn't contain anything new, it does more forcibly connect the batshit conspiracy theorizing of gullible, gullible supporters to the cowardice—and complicity—of Republican leaders.

The most plausible explanation for the Q hokum, in which an anonymous supposed member of the Deep State drools out accusations against anyone deemed to be enemies of Donald Trump in comically performed pseudo-riddles, remains the obvious one: It is the work of chan-style trolls, part of that internet corner's grand tradition of crafting gaudily improbable hoaxes to distribute for no other purpose than to see who they can draw in. It may turn out to be the first domestic terrorism group founded for funsies—though at this point, those connected to the movement have focused their claims and targets enough to make it clear that stoking incidents of real-world terrorism is, in fact, the current goal.

Like the 2016 proliferation of European "fake news" sites aiming to generate advertising traffic by inventing hoax political stories, Q conspiracies have been tailored to American conservative tastes because American conservatives are the richest (read: most gullible) targets. Fox News conservatives have been fed decades of tawdry but false information, all packaged with advertising pitches to buy gold, or "survival" equipment, or hyper-expensive pills sold through conservative mailing lists and on conservative programs relentlessly. It is an audience of laboratory-grown suckers, people who have been whittled down over the years to a base of the most credulous, and therefore profitable, marks.

But—and this is a big but—there's an undercurrent here that's getting more and more ... let's say blatant, as actual news events slap Q claims back and forth and sideways month after month after month.

The QAnon claim is that most or all of the world's most famous powerbrokers, including politicians, actors, nonpartisan government figures and so on, are secret ultra-pedophiles and child traffickers. But the revelation of Trump ally Jeffrey Epstein as precisely that did not make a ripple. Instead, the "real" traffickers are unanimously people who oppose Donald Trump, and most especially those who report what looks to be criminal behavior by Trump.

The QAnon claims burst into Republican popularity after Donald J. Trump was accused of sexual assault by two dozen women, after his taped bragging about committing sexual assaults, and after a long public history of being an eager pervert—whether it be the purchase of a top beauty pageant as apparent ticket to ogle nude teenagers or the mysterious and Epsteinesque "Trump modeling company." Instead, the movement holds Trump up as the mockingly dubious "hero" fighting against society's sex predators. He is alleged to be doing this secretly, with Good Genes and near-godlike powers, and the movement remains absolutely immune to news cycle after news cycle in which their own predictions prove to be fan-fiction bunk.

This week, Trump ally Rudy Giuliani was revealed to have been secretly filmed (as part of a new Borat movie, of all things) fondling himself in front of a youthful female "interviewer." Without getting too far into a description of that particular chunk of nightmare fuel, it continues the pattern of 1) Republican 2) conservative 3) Trump-allied 4) powerbrokers revealed as tawdry often-sexual-assaulting ultrapervs. From Wynn to Epstein to Broidy to Falwell to Rudy, there is a very robust claim to be made that the QAnon suspicions of an enormously powerful cabal of sex freaks are indeed well-founded—and that they radiate from the Republican National Committee's finance offices, from Mar-a-Lago, or both.

All these real-world crimes and bizarre improprieties, however, are dismissed by the QAnon faithful. Nope: They are convinced that the True Pedophiles are "Democrats" and "globalists," and that four years of the nation's top Republican figures getting caught with their pants around their ankles are the fictional part.

It should be obvious from that history, then, that isn't a conspiracy base that gives a damn about pedophilia and child sex trafficking, and if anything the "movement" has sabotaged law enforcement's attempts to pursue sex traffickers by flooding lines with false claims pointing to everyone but the true culprits.

This is a group born to defend criminal acts by the powerful, not combat them. It does so using the precise playbook Trump himself uses when caught committing apparent tax fraud, foreign extortion, or embezzlement: The projection defense. It's not me, it was that other guy. It has always been that other guy. No matter how much the evidence proves it was me, the evidence is mere conspiracy and the truth is its opposite.

As Trump's charity foundation was revealed to be little more than a passthrough for the Trump family's personal spending—resulting in the family being barred from future charity boards—an organized effort to portray the Clinton's own family foundation as corrupt erupted from longtime conservative hoax-peddlers. As Trump personally profited off the presidency with the aid of his sons and favorite daughter, a new hoax emerged claiming that Actually it was the Biden family that was doing that thing. It is the far-right response to revealed Republican wrongdoing. Even Benghazi!, a far-right led claim that four American deaths in a terrorist attack were the result of something-something Hillary Clinton (it was never, even at the end, consistent in what the something-something was supposed to be) was a cheap version of the inquiries held after 9/11, probing what the Republican-led government knew in advance and why that information was not processed into action.

In that context, QAnon's relentlessly partisan far-right claim that a Republican Party visibly awash in corruption—with a series of Trump lieutenants and allies being led off in handcuffs for everything from sex trafficking to foreign influence-peddling to election crimes—is "actually" a group of heroes working to expose the corruption of their enemies looks less like a coincidence than a pattern.

Isn't this just a more spittle-flecked version of what Fox News personalities have been peddling for years? That the news as it is reported by your eyes and ears is false, promoted by "elites" in order to deceive you, and that the real news is how ingenious conservative figures are despite policies that have caused clear ruin, and how malevolent non-conservative figures are for opposing them? Is that not the very definition of Sean Hannity's evening broadcast? The theme of every conservative book?

There's not a lot of daylight between the QAnon version of reality and that promoted by Glenn Beck's now-famous chalkboards, or Tucker Carlson's parade of "alt-right" fascist-adjacent guests. The online versions of each conspiracy are always more vigorous than the versions the Fox hosts themselves provide, but they each grow from similar stock. They intertwine more often than not.

Then there is the other, deeper origin of QAnon claims. The movement's guides insist not only that there is a secret global cabal of child sex traffickers, but that the ultimate purpose of the plot, run by "globalist" figures, is to harvest those children's fluids for consumption.

There's not an educated person alive who doesn't recognize that theory. It is the blood libel conspiracy theory that has been promulgated by anti-Semites for literally hundreds of years, but made most famous in Nazi Germany for a variation very close to the Q version.

The QAnon claim does not bother to go too far afield from the versions peddled in the 1920s and 30s. "Globalists" is used to mean "Jewish," as it is by most modern neo-Nazi adherents; rather than "blood" of children, a specific compound is named this time around in near-comical pseudoscientific gibberish. The premise of a secret group of global "elites" running the world from the shadows is the claim from the Henry Ford-peddled hoax Protocols of the Elders of Zion; the omnipresent inclusions of George Soros and "Hollywood" as alleged conspirators are lifted directly from neo-Nazi fever dreams, anti-Semitic tropes that were willingly taken in as staples of Republican Party rhetoric long before Q-anything arrived on scene.

So it's clear that the originators of QAnon are well-versed in neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic propaganda, and are particularly interested in repopularizing it for a modern audience. Why those messages reverberate so very strongly among the Fox News-watching Republican base, and the merging of these conspiracies to become inextricably linked to Trumpism, is not hard to imagine. That it would achieve true cult status, with some adherents willing to commit terrorist acts in deluded efforts to prove conspiracies invented in someone else's head, may only be evidence of the omnipresent undercurrent of good violence that has burrowed itself into the American psyche in a hundred other forms.

If anything, the rise of Q belief as increasingly mainstream Republican phenomenon, complete with its own candidates and in-movement codes, appears to be the natural culmination of multiple conservative trends, all balled together in one malevolent, hyper-cynical lump:

Fox News and conservative talk radio provided a large Republican base already trained to disbelieve news uncomfortable to the party, a base literally willing to deny reality in favor of pleasing fictions. A set of gullibles that could easily be transformed into deplorables.

The white supremacist and white nationalist movement provided the conspiracy itself, a bog-standard edition of "evil global cabal that has secretly undermined world governments" that has been a staple of neo-Nazi movements in this country and in others.

American militia movements are providing, in a literal sense, the ammunition: A far-right collection of malcontents who insist that violence against nonright citizens is essential, glorious, and nigh.

The Republican Party's own widespread embrace of corruption, nearly all of it centered around Trump, has all but required more and more outrageous conspiracy theories as official party defense.

That all of this would combine into kleptocratic fascism is not surprising. That its enablers did not, at any point along the way, reflect on the likely outcome of the combination is damning.

It remains vitally important to see QAnon for what it is, and no more. It is an amateur-led trolling effort based primarily on the same ambiguous nonsense-spewing used by fortune-telling hucksters, but one led by amateurs steeped in anti-Semitic claims and rhetoric popular among neo-Nazi and "alt-right" subcommunities. It is Alex Jones by way of fortune cookie, or Jim Jones by way of sudoku. It is a scam intended for the most gullible. Its adherents should be pitied. It is the fascist version of the hula hoop or the pet rock, a hip new trend that will someday be confined to your parents' attic, mysterious artifacts of pop culture tremors since vanished.

And mocked. As racism-embracing nitwits incapable of discerning truth from fiction despite having access to nearly all of human history tucked in the space before a single wandering thumb, its adherents should be mocked. There is not enough mocking of willful, self-absorbed, self-interested gullibility these days, which is why it spreads so prolifically. If you willingly listen to Fox News hosts lie to you night after night and become irate at contrary information, you are a self-built fool and should be treated as such. If you believe that Donald Trump, serial sex abuser, pedophile-adjacent thug is the good Christian hero who will secretly reveal that everyone aside from him is the dribbling pervert he appears to be, however, you are something closer to a half-sentient wart. You should be pilloried as one of the true suckers of the planet.

Congratulations, all those willing to fall for transparent anti-Semitic gobbledegook rather than admit you got played by a skeevy lifelong con man. You certainly have revealed yourselves.

Yale economists warn there's only one way the US truly 'restore' its battered economy

Many far-right allies of President Donald Trump, from Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to radio host Glenn Beck, have railed against Democratic stay-at-home orders and argued that too much social distancing is strangling the U.S. economy. But economists Steven Berry and Zack Cooper, in a Politico op-ed published on July 10, argue that the only way to “restore” the U.S. economy is to seriously slow down the spread of coronavirus — and doing so is going to require aggressively funding anti-coronavirus measures.

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Trump is making a huge mistake in his push to reopen schools

Like a landlord trying to get potential renters to sign the lease before they notice the spreading mildew stain in the ceiling, Donald Trump is hoping to bamboozle Americans into reopening the schools, likely hoping that the coronavirus incubation period will delay a drastic explosion in cases until after Election Day. Despite fawning headlines late last month congratulating Trump for his supposedly "somber" tone and an alleged "shift" to taking the pandemic seriously, our president has returned to his standard operating procedure, which is trying to sell the public on flat-out lies about the coronavirus in much the same way he bamboozled investors into backing his craptastic real estate properties.

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Ben Carson belittles George Floyd protests: 'I grew up at a time when there was real systemic racism'

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson once again showed the public he is really drinking the president’s Kool-Aid on racism in America. The respected neurosurgeon turned laughable President Donald Trump apologist piled comparison on top of comparison Sunday on CNN in order to paint George Floyd’s death as an exception and not the rule on police brutality. Video shows a white cop kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes before he later died in Minneapolis police custody.

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