Patterico's Pontifications


NRA Ad: Fight This Violence Of Lies With The Clenched Fist Of Truth

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Hoo boy. A bit of hysteria today over the posting of an National Rifle Association (NRA) ad on the organization’s new Facebook page. The ad features conservative commentator Dana Loesch:

They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance.

All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America, and I’m freedom’s safest place.

Looking into what is upsetting people about the ad so much – so much that the Women’s March is demanding the NRA apologize – I found a few things: There is anger that the NRA remained silent about the shooting death of Philando Castile, who was legally carrying; that using the term “clenched fist of truth” is an “open call to violence”; that it is “barely a whisper shy of a call for full civil war,” as well as the ad being a call to Americans “to arm themselves to fight liberals. Violence is coming.” And there is even a question of whether the ad is anti-Semitic.

Loesch reminds critics of where that “clenched fist” originated:


It is entirely possible to heartily support the Second Amendment, condemn equally the violence coming from the far-left and the far-right, dislike guns, and have a queasy feeling about the NRA, this ad, and seeing term “incite” be indiscriminately used when someone on either side demands that their cause be seen as the righteous one.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


President Trump Tweets

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]



Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee defended the president:

“I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attack and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him, but to frankly everyone around him,” Sanders told host Bill Hemmer.

“This is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else,” she added.

Unsurprisingly, so did Melania Trump via her communications director:

“As the First Lady has stated publicly…when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”

Keep on telling me how great it is that our president tweets directly to the people because I just can’t even. How about using the medium to advance sound policies and solid principles, all in the name of conservatism (or whatever it is that the GOP now embodies) or just stop tweeting altogether…





Filipinos May Soon Be Legally Required To Sing National Anthem With Gusto When Played In Public

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Philipine officials not only want the citizenry to enthusiastically sing the National Anthem when it’s played in public, but they are also determined to see the practice become the law of the land:

Filipinos would be required to sing the national anthem when it is played in public — and to do so with enthusiasm — under a bill that the House of Representatives of the Philippines approved on Monday.

If the bill, which will be considered by the Senate, is approved and signed into law, a failure to sing the anthem, “Lupang Hinirang,” with sufficient energy would be punishable by up to year in prison and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 pesos, or about $1,000 to $2,000. A second offense would include both a fine and prison time, and violators would be penalized by “public censure” in a newspaper.

“The singing shall be mandatory and must be done with fervor,” the bill states.

The law would also mandate the tempo of any public performance of the anthem — it must fall between 100 and 120 beats per minute. Schools would be required to ensure all students have memorized the song.


Citizens must also adhere to official music for the song and are warned that ‘any act which casts contempt, dishonour or ridicule upon the national anthem shall be penalised.’

The Times then notes that while a number of countries, including the U.S., place a high value on their national anthems, few have actual laws on the books with severe penalties. India, China, and Thailand were cited. But they are not the only ones:

Russia fines citizens for the offense of mocking its national anthem, and its government is considering adding criminal charges of up to one year of imprisonment or hard labor for the “deliberate distortion of the musical arrangement or lyrics of the national anthem of the Russian Federation.”

In Japan, some public school teachers in recent years have refused to stand for that nation’s anthem, objecting to its connection to Japan’s former military regime. Japan’s Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that schools could force teachers to sing the anthem, but punishments for teachers refusing to sing can’t be excessive.

While the NYT’s report rightfully points to the public outcry over Colin Kaepernick’s habitual refusal to stand during the anthem before N.F.L. games as proof of how much we value our national anthem, I think a more important point to be made is, that unlike citizens in other nations, Kaepernick was able to freely exercise his First Amendment rights and remain parked on a bench or take a knee in protest when the anthem was played without fear of the government punishing him for it. A star spangled banner o’er the land of the free, indeed.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Sarah Palin Files Lawsuit Against The New York Times

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:48 am

[guest post by Dana]

Sarah Palin is suing the NYT for defamation over a recent editorial titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” which tied her to the Gabby Gifford shooting in 2011:

Sarah Palin, former vice-presidential candidate, filed a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times Company on Tuesday, saying the newspaper had published a statement about her in a recent editorial that it “knew to be false.”

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ms. Palin contends that The Times “violated the law and its own policies” when it linked her in an editorial to a mass shooting in January 2011.

The editorial was published online on June 14, the day a gunman opened fire at a baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for an annual charity game. The editorial said there was a link between political incitement and the mass shooting in Arizona that severely wounded Representative Gabby Giffords and said that Ms. Palin’s “political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”

The Times later issued a correction, saying that there was no established link between political statements and the shooting and that the map circulated by Ms. Palin’s PAC had depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath the stylized cross hairs. The NYT Opinion Twitter account also sent out the correction about the lack of a link, apologizing and saying that it appreciated that readers had pointed out the mistake.

You can read the complaint here. (Scroll down to bottom). In part:

Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011. Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the “voice” of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.

The Times conduct was committed knowingly, intentionally, willfully, wantonly and maliciously, with the intent to harm Mrs. Palin, or in blatant disregard of the substantial likelihood of causing her harm, thereby entitling Mrs. Palin to an award of punitive damages.

As has been documented, The Times has been pushing this debunked smear for several years.

Here is the correction The Times posted the day after running the June 14 editorial:


important fact


The Washington Post notes that the claim addresses that no retraction of the article was made, as well as no apology was made directly to Palin:

“Given that the entire premise of the Palin Article was the ‘disturbing pattern’ of politically incited violence emanating from a non-existent link between Mrs. Palin and Loughner’s 2011 crime, which The Times conceded did not exist, the entire Palin Article should have been retracted — not minimally and inadequately corrected — and The Times should have apologized to Mrs. Palin.”

Erik Wemple writes that The Times tried again, publishing yet another unsatisfactory “correction”:

Correction: June 16, 2017
An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.

Again, what’s up with the failure to cite Palin in the corrective language? “The Times did not issue a full and fair retraction of its defamatory Palin Article, nor did it issue a public apology to Mrs. Palin for stating that she incited murder and was the centerpiece of a ‘sickening’ pattern of politically motivated shootings,” says the complaint.

There’s an interesting thread here discussing the merits of Palin’s lawuit, which Popehat’s Ken White says he believes it to be “non-frivolous” (meaning: “not obviously wrong, possibly has merit”).

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Delays Vote Until After July 4 Recess

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Apparently not enough votes to push forward the Senate health-care bill in its current form:

Facing intransigent Republican opposition, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told senators he will delay a vote on his legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, dealing President Trump an embarrassing setback on a key part of his agenda.

Republican leaders had hoped to take a page from the playbook used to get a bill over the line in the House, appeasing the most conservative members of their conference while pressuring moderates to fall in line with fewer concessions.

But as opposition mounted in both camps, even against a vote just to take up the bill, Mr. McConnell decided he would delay consideration until after the Senate’s weeklong July 4 recess.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) believes that there are more than just five Republican senators opposed to the current legislation. [The five being Dean Heller, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, Susan Collins.]

Surprisingly, Sen. Ted Cruz has not revealed his hand:

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was among those Republicans who shared concerns in weekend calls with Trump.

“We continue to make progress,” Cruz told reporters Monday, as Democrats, who oppose the bill, planned an almost-all-night protest session.

Cruz is part of the gang of four conservatives — including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — who have said they cannot vote for the bill as is. Among the changes being pursued is one provision that would allow insurers to offer cheaper policies that do not meet ACA’s requirements and another to let consumers sock more money into health savings accounts

“We can get there and I’m hopeful we will get there,” Cruz said. However, he declined to say whether he would agree to Wednesday’s procedural vote.


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


CNN Is Having A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week… And It’s Only Tuesday

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

CNN supervising producer John Bonifield is caught in an undercover video by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas admitting there is a lack of proof regarding possible involvement between President Trump’s campaign and Russia:

“I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now,” Bonifield says. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof.”

He confirms that the driving factor at CNN is ratings:

“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

According to the CNN Producer, business is booming. “Trump is good for business right now,” he concluded.

Bonifield further goes on to explain that the instructions come straight from the top, citing the CEO, Jeff Zucker:

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”

Bonifield also acknowledged: “I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.” He continues:

“I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

Also, yesterday it was reported that 3 CNN journalists resigned after being involved in a bit of messy report that ended with an apology and retraction of their story:

Three prominent journalists at CNN resigned on Monday after the cable news network was forced to retract and apologize for a story on its website involving a close ally of President Trump.

The article — linking Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge-fund manager and Trump confidant, to a Russian investment fund supposedly being investigated by the Senate — was removed from late last week after the network decided it could not fully stand by its reporting.

The resignations are a black eye at a sensitive moment for the news organization, which has emerged as a regular target of Mr. Trump and his supporters. The president relishes dismissing the network’s coverage as “fake news,” and his closest advisers have accused the channel of harboring a bias against Mr. Trump.

CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker, has invested enormous resources into political and investigative coverage of the Trump White House, and he was deeply upset by last week’s reporting errors, according to two people briefed on the network’s discussions over the weekend who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Zucker helped lead an internal inquiry that found the story was published despite concerns expressed by CNN’s standards team, the people said. Thomas Frank, a veteran reporter who wrote the story; Lex Haris, executive editor of investigations; and Eric Lichtblau, an investigative editor and reporter hired from The New York Times in April, submitted resignations on Monday morning.

Also noted in the NYT, this comes on the heels of CNN firing Kathy Griffin for her tasteless photo of her holding a facsimile of Trump’s severed head, ties cut with CNN special host Reza Aslan after he tweeted some vulgar stuff toward President Trump, and being compelled to publish a correction on another story that “inaccurately predicted the congressional testimony of James B. Comey”. The report adds: “CNN’s investigative work has won plaudits this year, and the network had highlighted the hiring of marquee journalists as a sign of its commitment to reporting.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Supreme Court: Masterpiece Cakeshop Appeal Will Be Heard

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Not on today’s order list, but a case that has drawn a lot of attention from all sides is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case involves a Colorado bakery owner and cake artist whose religious beliefs precluded him from providing a custom wedding cake for the same-sex marriage of David Mullins and Charlie Craig. Today the court agreed to hear an appeal from the baker:

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal from a Colorado baker with religious objections to same-sex marriage who had lost a discrimination case for refusing to create a cake to celebrate such a union.

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111, started in 2012, when the baker, Jack Phillips, an owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., refused to create a cake for the wedding reception of David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who were planning to marry in Massachusetts. The couple filed discrimination charges, and they won before a civil rights commission and in the courts.

Mr. Phillips, who calls himself a cake artist, argued that two parts of the First Amendment — its protections for free expression and religious freedom — overrode a Colorado anti-discrimination law and allowed him to refuse to create a custom wedding cake.

In 2015, a Colorado appeals court ruled against Mr. Phillips. “Masterpiece does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law and serving its customers equally,” the court said.

In a Supreme Court brief, Mr. Phillips’s lawyers said “ He is happy to create other items for gay and lesbian clients.” But his faith requires him, they said, “to use his artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs.”

“Thus,” the brief said, “he declines lucrative business by not creating goods that contain alcohol or cakes celebrating Halloween and other messages his faith prohibits, such as racism, atheism, and any marriage not between one man and one woman.”

The brief said Mr. Mullins and Mr. Craig could have bought a cake from another baker and in fact “easily obtained a free wedding cake with a rainbow design from another bakery.”

Jack Phillips commented on today’s news:

“Regardless of your viewpoint about same-sex marriage, shouldn’t we all agree that the government shouldn’t force us to speak or act in a way that violates our deepest convictions?” Phillips queried in his prepared statement. “Like the one in Colorado will result in kind-hearted Americans being dragged before state commissions and courts, and punished by the government for peacefully seeking to live and work consistent with their beliefs about marriage? The couple who came to my shop that day 5 years ago are free to hold their beliefs about marriage, and all I ask is that I be allowed the equal opportunity to keep mine.”

Lawyers Kristen Waggoner and Michael Farris also commented:

“It’s never been about Jack’s willingness to sell products or services to people based on who they are,” he said. “If an LGBT person came to his cake shop wanting to buy a pre-existing cake, he’d be happy to for any purpose.”

But both Farris and Waggoner said that requiring him to write messages that go against his religious beliefs, including one promoting same-sex marriage, is where he draws the line.

The lawyers for the couple involved, responded:

“[I]t is no answer to say that Mullins and Craig could shop somewhere else for their wedding cake, just as it was no answer in 1966 to say that African-American customers could eat at another restaurant.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Supreme Court Allows Most Of Trump Administration Travel Ban

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:22 am

[guest post by Dana]

Giving the Trump administration some victory after the administration’s temporary travel ban was held up by lower courts, the Supreme Court announced today that the majority of the administration’s temporary travel ban can go into effect:

The Supreme Court is allowing to go into effect the executive order’s temporary ban on entry into the U.S. of citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, but with an exception for people with bona fide connections to the United States. That includes foreign nationals with familial connections in the U.S., students who have been already admitted into an American university, or workers with existing job offers in the U.S.

For people with these bona fide connections, the injunctions put in place by the lower courts are upheld and these individuals will not be banned under the executive order from coming into the U.S.

But anyone else from the six listed countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and refugees who do not have bona fide connections to the U.S. will be subject to the temporary ban on entry into the United States.

The newly revised travel ban can go partly into effect this week. Arguments are set to be heard in October, which will be past the 90-day review period.

This is interesting:

Notably absent from the court’s decision is any analysis of Trump’s campaign statements. Moreover, the only dissenters from the opinion (justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas) wanted the injunctions vacated in their entirety. They are correct that the court’s ruling will invite further litigation as litigants test the boundaries of the “bona fide relationships,” but the difference between the dissenters and the six remaining justices was only over the proper extent of Trump’s legal victory. For now, the constitutional and statutory primacy of the executive and legislative branches over national security and immigration has been restored.

The judges in the courts below have been celebrated as heroic resistance figures. Yet now even the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices have rejected the lower courts’ overreach.

President Trump released a statement regarding the court’s decision:

“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security,” he said in a statement.

“Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation’s homeland,” he added. “I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Two Noted Feminists And Scholars Ignored By Female Democrats Respond To Reader Questions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week I posted about a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing in which two of the four witnesses invited to testify about political Islam were female scholars with unique insights and real-life experiences to offer: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani. This in spite of New Republic’s Sarah Jones notifying readers from her perch that they were unreliable witnesses and should be disqualified from giving testimony. When the hearing was held, it was clear that the two women of color, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani, in a “strategy of deflection and demonization,” were pointedly ignored by the four female Democratic senators, and instead chose to turn their attention to the two white males on the panel.

Given that the report in the New York Times about this generated an unbelievable amount of comments, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani have responded to a few of the many questions posed by readers. Both women noted, after not being asked relevant questions about political Islam, that it was “an experience…emblematic of a troubling trend among progressives to overlook the brutal reality of Islamist extremism”.

Perhaps Kamala Harris, one of the four Democratic women who ignored Ali and Nomani, and who has fundraised off her belief that women, herself included, are unable to be simultaneously courteous and courageous, might want to take note of the elegant display of both courtesy and steely resolve in Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s and Asra Nomani’s interaction with readers.

FDR ASKS: Fellow progressives, hear me out …

These ladies have a point. The left in general has given a pass to Islamism. We need to be able to criticize Islam’s worst without fear from political correctness. We need to demand from Muslim friends and colleagues the same, as well as verbal acceptance of basic Western and Enlightenment values such as women’s equality. Let’s recapture the discourse and this banner from the right.

I think this is a good way to approach the subject of Shariah and in particular the attitudes of many Muslims to the rights of women, the L.G.B.T. community, blasphemy laws, apostasy and dissent.

First, what is needed is critical self-reflection on the morals and agenda to which people on the left say they are committed. Look squarely at the real consequences of that agenda, both good and bad. Second, apply the idea of equality to all individuals regardless of their identity. Human rights are universal. And human rights are held by individuals, not by groups. The left today has a growing tendency to prioritize group rights over individual rights, partly driven by “intersectionality.” This is often what gets them in a moral bind. The rights of individual human beings should always come before those of the tribe or the collective.

If one finds white male sexism intolerable, then one should by definition find all male sexism just as intolerable. Excusing men of color, Muslims, immigrants or men living in non-Western societies for bad behavior toward women is an expression of the bigotry of low expectations.

The result of this mindset is that Christianity — still “the white man’s religion” in the eyes of many — is criticized for every misstep against women but Islam is protected from the glare of scrutiny. In its extreme form, relativism excuses Muslim men from universal standards because they are said to be victims of colonialism and of recent military invasions; because they are new immigrants who face cultural alienation; and because they cannot be deprived of their last source of pride: their domination over their women in their communities. I reject this line of reasoning. Anyone who believes in human rights should too.

In Europe, and in the United States, we need to defend universal women’s rights. Thorny religious and cultural problems need to be addressed, and discussed openly. There is no reason why this should be, or be viewed as, a partisan issue.

I have taught English in Brooklyn for a number of years to immigrant women from all over the Muslim world, and I have ties to the community. So I was bothered by your article. Progressives abhor those abuses of women — F.G.M. (female genital mutilation), honor killings, etc. — that you mention. However, what Americans are fighting against here is the blanket vilification of Islam by everyone from the president to Republican congresspeople. None of us progressives favor extremes of Islam, or of any other religion for that matter. In this country (and in Congress) we have extreme right-wing Christians who want nothing more than to take away the rights of women. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have allies in Republican men (or women). You don’t.

Thank you for your service helping immigrant women build their bridges to the United States. Just as you speak so passionately about the threat of “extreme right-wing Christians,” we argue that progressives would be well-served to be equally passionate about “extreme right-wing Muslims.” As long as progressives refuse to isolate “extreme right-wing Muslims,” as readily as we do “extreme right-wing Christians,” we will continue to face a situation in which the ill-informed will conflate “extreme right-wing” Muslims with those who are not. In the same way that we should not judge all Muslims by the actions of extremist Muslims, it’s not appropriate to judge Republicans by the actions of the far right. If progressives truly want to challenge the “blanket vilification” of Muslims, it would be helpful to rip off that blanket and differentiate “extreme right-wing Muslims” from those who are not. Just as we oppose white supremacists, we should oppose Muslim supremacists.

Please take the time to read the rest of the Q&A’s. They are insightful and provocative.

Perusing Twitter responses to Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani’s writing in the NYT, I thought this, albeit sadly, and yet amusingly sums up the idiocy. And this coming from a woman who describes herself as a filmmaker for a “more just society for women”:


Thankfully, there are those willing to gently correct such ignorance:


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Surprising Number Of Threats And Attacks Against GOP Congressmen

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A report notes that 30 GOP congressmen have been attacked or been the victims of a death threat since May. Here are a few examples:

May 8: Wendi Wright, 35, was arrested after stalking Rep. David Kustoff (Tenn.) and trying to run him off the road. After pulling over, Wright “began to scream and strike the windows on Kustoff’s car and even reached inside the vehicle.”

June 14: Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and Reps. Steve Scalise (La.), Kevin Brady (Texas), Jack Bergman (Mich.), Mike Bishop (Mich.), Mike Conaway (Texas), Roger Williams (Texas), John Moolenaar (Mich.), Gary Palmer (Ala.), Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Mark Walker (N.C.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Trent Kelly (Miss.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), and Joe Barton (Texas) were attacked by a gunman during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.

Scalise, the House majority whip, was shot in the hip, and remains in the hospital. Four others were injured, including a staffer for Williams and two Capitol Police officers assigned to Scalise.

The same day, New York Rep. Claudia Tenney received an email reading, “One down, 216 to go.”

June 17: Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner revealed that she had gotten five death threats in the weeks leading up to the Scalise shooting. Wagner said that protesters had been “vandalizing my home, showing up with masks and gravestones, and laying down on my driveway and drawing chalk outlines of dead bodies. Picketing my church at 8 and 10 o’clock Mass.”

June 22: An Ohio man was arrested for leaving a voicemail threatening the life and family of Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio).

“We’re coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you,” the man said.

The same day, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz played a threatening voicemail he had received on “Fox & Friends.”

“I suggest you prepare for the battle motherf**ker, and the apocalypse,” the caller yelled. “Because we are going to hunt your ass down, wrap a rope around your neck, and hang you from a lamppost.”

Aside from the law, death threats and attacks are reprehensible, and can never, ever be justified. No matter how much an individual detests Trump or how angry one might be about Hillary’s loss, nothing makes these okay. Even when it’s a GOP congressman-elect who has done the attacking, there is no justification. At the very least, let’s don’t drag Jesus into this unholy mess in an attempt to justify such behaviors – either threats of death or physical attacks:

Jesus assaulted and bodily threw the money changers out of the temple who were trespassing in Gods’ house.

Greg Gianforte emulated Jesus by assaulting Ben Jacobs, who was trespassing and invading his privacy. He also proved to be a real Montanan to his supporters who are not self-proclaimed Christians but abide by the teachings and actions of Jesus.

God help us all.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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