Republican congressman shoots selfie video in Auschwitz gas chamber

Louisiana Republican congressman Clay Higgins shot video of himself talking about the need for invincible U.S. power—while wandering the gas chamber at Auschwitz.

In his five-minute ramble, Higgins explains the horrors that took place at the camp, where some 1.1m people, mostly Jews, where murdered by the Nazis during World War II. And that "this is why Homeland Security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible."

People keep talking about President Trump's behavior eroding international respect and trust for America. But he does get a lot of help from his friends.

Officials at the museum and memorial denounced him for using it as a stage for his politics, pointing out that there are signs asking for silence throughout the former death camp.

Higgins' politics have two sides, and so does his message, here. On one side, he's posing America—and its military power—as the force that overcame Nazi atrocity.

On the other, here's what he wants done to radical Muslims.

“Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared US Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
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Texas Congresscritter wants to gag small investors who object to large CEO paychecks

Rep Jeb Hensarling [R-TX/+1 202 225-3484/@RepHensarling] is the sponsor of HR 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which will ban investors from putting petitions to the shareholders and board of publicly traded companies, except when investors own more than 1% of the company for at least three years. Read the rest

Canon Jesus was way better than fandom Jesus

Lauralot points out that the Jesus of the Bible doesn't have much in common with the right-wing, evangelical Christ -- canon Jesus was "a brown Jew in the Middle East, conceived out of wedlock in an arguably interracial if not interspecies (deity and human) relationship, raised by his mother and stepfather in place of his absent father. He may not have had a Y chromosome. He spent his early youth as a refugee in Egypt, where his family no doubt survived initially on handouts from the wealthy." Read the rest

Republican congressman-elect Greg Gianforte writes apology to reporter he punched and bodyslammed

After physically attacking a reporter and allowing his spokesman to lie about it in an official statement, Republican congressman-elect Greg Gianforte has formally apologized to his victim. He is also donating $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. As both a candidate for Office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard."

"I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness," the letter stated.

Jacobs accepted the apology.

Gianforte still faces assault charges over the attack. Read the rest

The new Republican health care bill classes rape, PTSD, and domestic abuse as excludable pre-existing conditions

Under The American Health Care Act -- presently the subject of a full-court press by House Republicans -- insurance companies will be allowed to discriminate against customers who have "pre-existing conditions," refusing to pay for problems stemming from them. Read the rest

Senate votes to allow ISPs to collect and sell personal data without permission

In a party-line split, the U.S. Senate today voted to allow internet service providers to retain personal data without permission and sell it to whomever might pay for it.

The Senate voted 50:48 in favor of S.J. 34, which would remove the rules and, under the authority of the Congressional Review Act, prevent similar rules from being enacted. It now heads to the House for approval.

“If signed by the President, this law would repeal the FCC’s widely-supported broadband privacy framework, and eliminate the requirement that cable and broadband providers offer customers a choice before selling their sensitive, personal information,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny in a joint statement.

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After Trump, boys at her daughter's school Nazi-salute in the hall. Here's how a mom responded.

Editor's note: Boing Boing publisher Jason Weisberger recently wrote of threats he and others have received online from literal Nazis, post-Trump. Jason's sister Tammy Weisberger shares a story below, at our request, about the normalization of Nazi iconography and yes, even the Hitler salute, at her child's middle school in the U.S. Has this really become normal? And if so, how should she, and other parents, and America, respond? Read on. — XJ.

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Republican State Senator's "business degree" turns out to be from Sizzler Steakhouse

Iowa State Sen. Mark Chelgren wants to limit the number of Democrats the state university may hire.

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Milo Yiannopoulos speech at UC Berkeley canceled after campus protests

Milo as “Ivana Wall,” speaking at Louisiana State University on Sep. 21, 2016. Say the name out loud and you'll get the joke. “Right about now your dick is probably confused,” read one of the slides on stage during the performance. Image: Reddit.

Pro-Trump and extremist right wing/white supremacist personality Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to deliver a speech at U.C. Berkeley, but his appearance was canceled by university officials tonight after big protests on campus that got out of hand with some people setting some objects on fire. No arrests or injuries reported.

Yiannopoulos is doing a speaking tour on college campuses to promote his male "Privilege" scholarship fund.

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Letter to my black daughter under a Trump presidency

Hi Kid,

On Election Night, you went to bed crying, and this time, I couldn't fix it. Like half the country, you thought you would be going to bed with your candidate as the president-elect. I wiped away a big, globby tear from the end of your nose, proud of you for caring so deeply about your country. I said it was going to be OK. I explained that, "politics goes back and forth, and this year it just wasn't our turn. Remember when I was for Obama and you were for Hillary, and she lost the primary, but you ended up liking Obama?" Your thirteen year-old defiance broke through your tears, as you declared, "No, this is different!"

You then spouted off a litany of things I didn't know you thought much about:

"It's different because Donald Trump doesn't have the basic morals of everything our country stands for. He doesn't even have the morals of a normal Republican. It's not that the other side won. It's that the person who won is literally against half of the people in the country. He doesn't like Muslims, Mexicans, anyone who is LGBT, he definitely doesn't like women, or people of color. He doesn't like ME. It seems like he only likes people like himself -- white males. How can he be our president?"

He's our president because people voted for him and he won the election. I will be raising you under a Donald Trump presidency until you go to college in four years. Read the rest

Downticket Republican candidates threaten libel suits over TV spots tying them to Trump

Five Republican Congressional candidates -- Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) -- have threatened broadcasters with libel suits over Democratic campaign ads that tie the men to their own party's presidential candidate, millionaire Donald J Trump. Read the rest

"High agitated" Trump shouts at NYT reporter asking him about sex assault claims: “You are a disgusting human being”

The New York Times reports that two women have come forward to accuse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of inappropriately touching them. When asked about the claims, he became angry and insulting.

In a phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every one of the women’s claims.

“None of this ever took place,” said Mr. Trump, who began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him. He said that The Times was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.

“You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women’s claims.

Jessica Leeds, 74, a retired businesswoman, says Trump sexually assaulted her on a plane flight in the early 1980s, forcing her to change seats: “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

Rachel Crooks, then a 22-year-old receptionist working in Trump Tower, says he forced a kiss on her in 2005: “It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.” Read the rest

Republican senators supporting Trump again after denouncing him

Sens. Deb Fisher of Nebraska and John Thune of South Dakota both condemned Donald Trump's boasts of groping women and urged him to quit the race. Surprise! They've changed their minds.

"I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on Nov. 8," Fisher told Lincoln radio station KLIN. .... During a tour of a research facility in Lead, South Dakota, The Rapid City Journal reported, Thune said the 2005 recording was "more offensive than anything I’ve ever seen," but that won't stop him from voting for Trump.

There's a lot you could say about them, but what matters is what they're saying about you. Read the rest

The coming conservative "civil war" is going to be weird

Jeb Lund writes about Trump's Vile Game of Distraction, running the wargames for what happens to his party now that he has destroyed its "beautiful dream of a permanent Christian ethnocentric oligarchy."

The twitter-consensus is that there's some kind of divide between principled conservatives and the Trumpkins who want to pick up his supporters after he's gone. Ah, but:

Ordinarily, a rich and powerful man amplifying the anguish of powerless women who claimed to have been raped by another extremely powerful man would be a noble gesture. Out of context and devoid of sound, it would have been a silent, stunning reminder that Bill Clinton would be nearly unthinkable as a Democratic candidate today. ... except, this time, it was done to distract from the very real possibility that the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States is a sex offender. That, and only that, was enough to arrest the endless forward movement of a party happy to glide on racism, religious discrimination, misogyny and xenophobia – profitably and seemingly forever.

Here's Paul Krugman, writing that Trump and the GOP are Predators in Arms, that it's naive to think Republicans care about sexual assault on any level other than its consequences for the horse race.

As many people are pointing out, Republicans now trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump need to explain why The Tape was a breaking point, when so many previous incidents weren’t. ... Of course, we know the answer: The latest scandal upset Republicans, when previous scandals didn’t, because the candidate’s campaign was already in free fall.
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Republican leaders' support for Trump unwavering despite his boasts of groping women

Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell reaffirmed their support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday, offering only milquetoast rebukes to his boasts of groping women.

Ryan:

“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

McConnell:

“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”

Some Republicans have had enough: Carly Fiorina and Sen. Kelly Ayotte withdrew their endorsements today, as did Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Update:Sen. John McCain too.

Illo: Beschizza. Read the rest

Republican party more or less doomed to Trumpism, white supremacy, self-loathing

The Republican Party spent decades telling its base to hate and mistrust the mainstream media. But now conservative outlets are lurching to the far right, taking the base with it and leaving the party and its brand of conservatism stranded in political no-mans land.

As [former George W. Bush speechwriter David] Frum predicted and we’ve witnessed over the years, there is not much the Republican Congressional leadership can do to satisfy these folks in the right wing media because their ratings rely on fomenting anger and threats to “blow shit up!” I suspect this is precisely why Paul Ryan resisted taking on the role of House Speaker after John Boehner was ejected from his leadership position. He knows that he is now the target and this won’t end well.

Four years ago, I wrote "this is American conservatism's immune system going into anaphylactic shock. Fun to watch, while it lasts!"

It's not fun anymore. Read the rest

Funny GIF of Laura Ingraham realizing that she's Nazi saluting at the Republican National Convention

The classic Roman salute, complete with a stiff quarter turn, is an entirely natural thing to do after a stirring patriotic speech in the service of an anti-immigrant populist strongman. She makes a smooth recovery, if you ask me, once she realizes what she just did. But it's the suggestion of oops that makes it: it's easy to find photos of politicians and pundits appearing to salute like this, but video showing that crisp, heel-clicking snap are magic. Some believe it was intentional, a dogwhistle a la "Sheriff's Star".

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