Sharpiegate | The Facepalm Five: September 16, 2019

It’s September 16, 2019 and it’s time
to review five of the most outrageous, infuriating, or just plain baffling things that have happened
lately. It’s your Facepalm Five. Let’s count ‘em up! 1. Member of Congress stands up for right to
lend guns to friends who can’t pass background checks. Remember this asshole? This is Dan Crenshaw, Republican Member of
Congress representing Texas’s 2nd district. Pete Davidson made fun of him on Saturday
Night Live, then some of Crenshaw’s fellow Republicans complained and SNL invited Crenshaw
on the air so Davidson could apologize and do some half-assed feel-good desk piece, because
god forbid a racist right-winger – which, incidentally, is what Dan Crenshaw is – gets
his feelings hurt by some lukewarm political humor. Trans people get belittled by trolls and stand-up
comics endlessly making the same shitty joke – hey, they just need to toughen up! A former Navy SEAL who supports Trump, opposes
taking action to combat climate change, and was once an administrator in a Facebook group
filled with white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, takes a few admittedly tasteless
zingers for having an eye-patch? For shame! It’s the death of civility! What have we become?! Anyway. Went off on a tangent there. That all happened awhile ago. The reason I’m talking about Crenshaw now
is this tweet he sent out week before last. He retweeted the story of a woman who was
attacked by five men and was able to fight them off with help from the handgun she was
carrying. Crenshaw retweeted the story along with this
comment: “Situations like this story are why we protect the 2nd Amendment. Side note: With universal background checks,
I wouldn’t be able to let my friends borrow my handgun when they travel alone like this. We would make felons out of people just for
defending themselves.” No, we would make felons out of people just
for carrying firearms they aren’t allowed to have. There’s a lot more to unpack here, so let’s
go a step at a time. Crenshaw, a member of the United States Congress,
is apparently admitting 1) to letting his friends borrow his guns – and not just to
go hunting over the weekend or something, but to travel with; and 2) that these friends
he’s lending his guns to couldn’t pass background checks! Crenshaw’s fellow member of Congress, Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, pointed this out when she tweeted, “You are a member of Congress. Why are you ‘lending’ guns to people unsupervised
who can’t pass a basic background check? The people you’re giving a gun to have likely
abused their spouse or have a violent criminal record, & you may not know it. Why on earth would you do that?” To which Crenshaw responded, “Just so I’m
clear: you think my friends are domestic abusers/criminals? Seriously that’s your argument? That they can’t pass a background check?” That’s your argument, dipshit! You said that universal background checks
would prevent you from letting your friends borrow your guns. Why do people fail background checks, Dan?! Later, Crenshaw tweeted, “I’m just happy
I was able to tell the far-left bubble that normal law-abiding Americans in the middle
of the country sometimes lend their guns to friends. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell them that we also
(wait for it) read the Bible.” Ha ha ha, you silly east coast liberals getting
all bent outta shape because I, a member of Congress, regularly let my friends who can’t
pass background checks borrow my guns, when what you should really be upset about is that
we all do it all the time! I mean, this is like that time when Trump
was running for president and the Access Hollywood tape came out, and all his supporters rushed
to the front and were like “It’s okay! We all talk like that! It’s so routine that we aren’t remotely
shocked by it! So calm down!” Speaking of right-wing spaces where the outrageous
and the contemptible have been fully normalized: 2. In shocking twist, it turns out Jerry Falwell
Jr. is a crook. Last week Politico published an article based
on interviews and documentation provided by two dozen current and former officials at
Liberty University, describing how university president Jerry Falwell Jr. has been plundering
the school’s vast resources to benefit himself and his family and friends. One of the anonymous sources quoted in the
article, described as a senior university official with knowledge of the school’s
finances, describes it this way: “We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge
fund.” So it’s a school in the same way Trump University
was a school. Makes sense, given what an unapologetic Trump
supporter Falwell has been these last few years. The article details how tuition collected
from the school’s growing number of online students has been used to support real estate
projects from which Falwell and his children stand to personally benefit. Many of the school’s real estate properties
are managed by a private company owned by Falwell’s son. The article also makes it clear that it’s
difficult to determine exactly where Falwell’s personal assets end and those belonging to
the school begin. All of this is fascinating, and damning, and
not so very surprising, but to me the most interesting thing about this Politio article
is how many of the people quoted in it speak fondly of Falwell’s father, the late Jerry
Falwell Sr., one of the most loathsome and destructive human beings of the last half-century
of American history. Falwell Sr. founded the Moral Majority, which
fused fundamentalist Christianity with the Republican Party; he was an outspoken racist
and homophobe who opposed integration, supported apartheid, and infamously claimed the 9/11
attacks were God’s judgment brought about in part by gays and lesbians advocating for
equal rights. In other words, Jerry Falwell Sr. was a piece
of shit and the world became a better place the instant he died. And yet, people who loved that horrible, hateful
old bastard, are turning on his son, because Falwell Jr. is just that much worse. Do you have any idea how much of an asshole
you have to be as a conservative for your fellow conservatives, who loved Jerry Goddamn
Falwell, to think you’re an asshole? It’s difficult to fathom, but the way I
figure it, you’d have to be at least as big of an asshole as the legislators in this
next story: 3. North Carolina Republicans hold vote while
Democrats attend 9/11 memorials. Speaking of 9/11, the anniversary of the attacks
was last week. People all over the United States marked the
occasion in various ways. There were ceremonies in New York, at the
Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and in the Pennsylvania field where United Flight 93
went down. There was even a 9/11 parade in the town of
Boonsboro a few miles from where I live, which makes no sense; Boonsboro has no direct connection
whatsoever to the 9/11 attacks. I mean, I know it was a tragedy and none of
us who were around when it happened will ever forget it, but . . . come on. It’s been 18 years. Why are random American towns still having
9/11 parades? Did Boonsboro hold a Pearl Harbor parade in
1959? Maybe they did, I don’t know, I didn’t
look it up. The point is, we all mark the day in our own
way. My personal act of remembrance is to listen
to Bruce Springsteen’s “My City of Ruins,” followed by the Lonely Island’s “Finest
Girl (Bin Laden Song)”. Republicans in the North Carolina House of
Representatives honored the lives lost on that tragic and fateful day in another way:
they waited until most of their Democratic colleagues were away attending 9/11 memorials,
then held a vote to override a gubernatorial veto. Everyone grieves in their own way. Who are we to judge? Democrats who were away attending the 9/11-related
events say that the Republican Speaker of the House lied to them, saying there would
be no votes on the morning of September the 11th. Republican Rep. Jason Saine, who called for
the vote while most of his Democratic colleagues were away, defended his actions, saying in
a statement, “As a former firefighter and an American, I am appalled that anyone in
our country would stop going about their normal business on this day. When we stop being a beacon of freedom, hope
and democracy, then the terrorists win.” So, wait, the terrorists win if public officials
attend 9/11 memorials because they think they’ve got the morning off, and also, it’s 9/11? Isn’t attending 9/11 memorials part of the
normal business of the day for a public official, when the day in question is 9/11? Also, can we please retire the “then the
terrorists win” argument? Look around. The current President of the United States
tried to ban Muslims from the country as one of his first acts in office, immigrants and
other minority groups are openly vilified and scapegoated, our political discourse is
dominated by religious extremists and fascists. The terrorists already won. We’re just too proud to admit defeat, so
we took credit for their accomplishments ourselves. 4. Republicans in three states cancel presidential
primaries. The Republican parties of the states of Kansas,
South Carolina, and Nevada have announced that they will not hold presidential primaries
for the 2020 election and will instead be committing all of their delegates to President
Donald Trump. Other states are considering following suit. As a CBS News article points out, this isn’t
the first time this has happened – in 2004 Republican parties in ten states canceled
primaries. But there are a few key differences between
the ‘04 race and now. One big difference is that in ‘04, President
Bush was running unopposed for re-election, so the primaries were really just a formality. Trump has so far attracted three challengers
for the 2020 election: former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld, former Congressman
Joe Walsh, and former Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford – South Carolina Republicans
have one of their own running against Trump and they still canceled their primary. I guess this is what people mean when they
say Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. Thinking abouot this story, I can’t help
but be reminded – yet again, for probably the ten thousandth time since Trump took office
– of all those moderate Republicans and centrists who assured us that there was nothing
to worry about, that even if the worst things that everyone thought about Trump were true,
he’d be surrounded by smarter, calmer, more sensible people who would put the good of
the country, or at least the good of their party, ahead of Trump’s interests, and reign
him in. In other words, calm down, Trump won’t be
running the show. Fast forward to now, where Trump is totally
running the show and the rest of the Republican party didn’t even put up a fight, because
all that shit about moderating influences and party loyalists standing up to him was
bullshit and everyone on both sides knew it all along. As soon as Trump won the election, the Republican
party did exactly what it was supposed to do and it fell in line. Because for all their high minded talk about
patriotism and conservative philosophy and upholding the principles of the Constitution,
the truth is the only principle the Republican party gives a shit about is victory. If they believe Trump can win and help them
extend their corrupt and corrosive domination of the White House, Congress, and the courts,
they’ll stand behind him all the way no matter what he says and no matter what he
does. They’ve proven it time and time again for
over two years now, and these states canceling their primaries to pledge their loyalty to
Trump is just the latest example of what a bunch of craven bootlickers they are. And speaking of the man the Republican party
was supposed to stand up to but instead immediately laid down for, Now it’s time for the segment devoted to
some of the other things Donald Trump has done recently to disgrace the presidency and
embarrass and/or endanger the United States and the rest of the world: 5. The Further Misadventures of Lord Dampnut. Please keep in mind as always: the following
is not a complete list. Actually, this time around it’s even less
complete than usual, because I’m focusing on just two things. Let’s start with Sharpiegate, I guess. Week before last, as Hurricane Dorian was
approaching the mainland, Trump tweeted, “In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North
Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” The problem is that wasn’t true – There
had been a forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that predicted
Dorian might hit a small part of Alabama, but it was two days out of date when Trump
posted his tweet. By the time Trump tweeted, the forecast had
been updated and Alabama was no longer considered in danger. Without mentioning Trump by name, the National
Weather Service’s Birmingham, Alabama office subsequently tweeted this correction: “Alabama
will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian
will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.” So instead of doing the responsible, adult
thing, admitting his tweet had been based on old information and using his platform
as President of the United States to make sure the latest, most accurate forecast was
shared to his social media followers and whoever else happened to see or hear him, Trump doubled
down on his original tweet and continued to insist that there was a chance Dorian would
hit Alabama. He repeatedly lied to the media and to employees
of FEMA, claiming that he had seen new information indicating Alabama would be affected by the
hurricane, when there was no such information and the updated forecasts continued to show
just the opposite of what Trump was saying. Three days after his original false tweet,
Trump presented a printout of an NOAA forecast map showing the likely path of Dorian and
the area that could be impacted by the storm. The potential track area, which predicted
where the storm was likely to go four to five days after the date the forecast was made,
had been crudely enlarged using a black marker to encompass the southeastern corner of Alabama. So, let’s pause and examine this a bit more
closely, because I feel this incident illustrates . . . wow, a lot of the things that are wrong
and bad and embarrassing and deeply, deeply troubling about President Trump. First, he shares a weather forecast that is
two days out of date and inaccurate. He digs in his heels and lies repeatedly to
insist he was right. Then, several days later, he shows an official
forecast map – that is now even more out of date than the one he shared initially – and
alters it to make his original wrong tweet look accurate and reasonable. But when he alters it, he doesn’t have someone
at the White House extend the hurricane’s path in Photoshop, or at least get a white
marker to draw his pathetic little half-circle of shame on the end of the real potential
track area. He alters the map in the most obvious, half-assed,
why-even-bother way possible, as though it doesn’t matter that it’s immediately apparent
he tampered with the map – the mere fact that he put Sharpie to posterboard and drew
on that extra loop into Alabama makes it true! He’s like an accountant who tried to doctor
the books of a failing business by just scratching out the total at the bottom of the ledger
and writing in a bigger number in a different color of ink. Who the hell does he think he’s kidding? And why are so many goddamn people still humoring
this clueless, bumbling egomaniac, and acting like it’s a totally normal and acceptable
state of affairs to have him in charge?! And finally, to pick up a thread from a bit
earlier, Trump had to cancel some of his 9/11-related plans, specifically the secret Camp David
meeting he’d planned with leaders of the Taliban! Apparently the secret meeting was scrapped
just as the Taliban leaders were about to leave for the U.S. when the Taliban took credit
for a terrorist attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier. When Trump tweeted the news of the cancellation
of the meeting, he wondered, “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly
strengthen their bargaining position?” I don’t know, maybe the kind of people who
would join the Taliban?! Rumor has it they’ve been involved in some
killings in the past. Also: us. We’re the kind of people who would kill
in order to strengthen our bargaining position. Just in case that’s unclear. We don’t call it jihad; we call it foreign
policy. But the results are pretty much the same. That’s five. Speak out, act out, resist, look after each

54 thoughts on “Sharpiegate | The Facepalm Five: September 16, 2019

  • Usually, I've at least heard of the incidents you talk about. Crenshaw's statement had completely passed me by. Good Grief!

  • "It's September 16" Why not say that its 16th of September 2019. This way your date is day>month>year which is a more logical order as its going from smallest to largest time division… if you wanted you could even say 16th September 2019, Quaternary Period, Late Cenozoic.

  • The best part of Sharpiegate was all the memes that came out of it. Oh, and did you see Melania's 9/11 dress? That needs to be the subject of next time's Facepalm Five.

  • The reply I got to the UBC post was that UBC bills prevent private sales, which would also prevent lending weapons.

    To which my counter is THAT IS A SEPARATE ISSUE TO BACKGROUND CHECKS. If a bill has that as part of its language, then that is an issue with the BILL, not the UBCs.

  • Republicans really do like to demonstrate what moral depravity and absolute corruption looks like. It'd be nice if they tried parables instead of demonstrating it directly.

  • 18:10 oh no you don't call it foreign policy. It has been correctly named gunboat policy by previous presidents. And when your army fails to impress foreign leaders, your president drops his penis on the table.

    I wish that was a joke. It's not. At least you can negotiate with the Taliban. They're not good people but at least they're not as crazy as american presidents.

  • 1. Ummm … suppose Crenshaw loaned out his weapon and got summarily shot with it. Think he's considered THAT possible scenario? Why do I think NOT?

    2. Regarding Jerry Falwell, Jr. … seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

    3. This one goes beyond the pale. Seriously, doesn't North Carolina have quorum rules? Also, my hat's off to the woman who fought the action in the NC House.

    4. Somebody in the GOP has to be pretty damned scared if they can't deal with the possibility of Trump being PRIMARIED by his own party. Can you imagine the chinks in the GOP armor that might show up? I CAN!

    5. As I have some place I have to be shortly, rather than comment on specifics, all I really need to say is SSDD, right? So long as it's still Trump / Dampnut, I think that holds.

  • I know why I like this series so much it reminds me a bit of "The Resistance with Keith Olbermann" which i thought rocked, but he suddenly had to close up shop out of no where back at the end of 2017 after 147 episodes. Steve Please don't suddenly have to close up shop on a series. I always wonder if someone kidnaps the family of "an enemy of the people" and forces them off the air when these kind of things happen. Anyway his work is still valid and might remind people of some of the earlier scandals.

  • They damn fucking don't read the Bible.
    Cause if they did, they wouldn't have their false, orange god. (2nd Thessalonians 2:3+4)

  • A more apt comparison would be to the deporting of brown children with cancer and degenerative diseases…. Or ending the Dreamers' protections…. Or putting asylum seekers and children in concentration camps….
    All to strengthen their bargaining ability.

  • You are SO right about sharpie-gate and it's hardly the most flabbergasting thing he's done. But even more frightening, everyone who was following him and supporting him did not waver one bit. I had my last straw with Trump long, long ago, but the party loyalty over over these last few insane months of his insane behavior is just the most amazing and incredible thing I've ever seen. I'm truly scared that there's little hope left for intelligence and reason to take hold of our political nightmare of a country.

  • I'd have also mentioned that Trump refused to accept refugees from the Bahamas, which got pounded by Dorian, because "they might have snuck in bad people".

    FFS, that's the one case when having a limited mobility camp makes sense, AND you could rightly ask for some compensation from the Bahamas to help (although I consider that a bit low, it would be reasonable).

    These are people who DEMONSTRABLY had their homes destroyed but WANT to return. There is ZERO valid reason to not help.

    Unless you're as heartless as this administration.

    /I consider that far worse than the sharpie

  • Maybe he means that if universal background checks become a thing, he won't be able to lend his guns to his friends because he won't have any? Maybe the person denied the right to own a gun by these background checks is actually Crenshaw in his own story? PS- I'll believe Christians actually read the bible when I see it. I've lived in the Midwest for twenty-five years, among uber Christian Trumpsters, and I know them to be hard drinking, bigoted, violent either physically or in their rhetoric, and angry casual law breakers who love to bring up the bible but have no idea what it actually says. I'm not sure how that has anything to do with background checks, though, or why he felt the need to bring it up.

  • I FIGURED IT OUT. Trump was relying on the Colonial Legacy Air-force from 1776 for forecasts. Due to budget cuts we had to get the planes out of moth balls and back into the sky. George Washington used to love doing hurricane recon in his plane. See Trump Stable genius!

  • Do people like Jerry Falwell not realize or do they just not care about the fact that crediting their god for terrorist attacks makes them collaborators and terrorists?

  • Capital D democrats and liberals are Ned Stark, Republicans and right-wingers are the Lannisters. Try to do the right thing, gets used against you, you end up with a chopped off head.

  • The "loan a gun" meme is bait laid by trolls. Of course it's stupid but, it's really good at changing the focus of the gun reform debate.

  • I still think he used a Crayola crayon or marker.
    It's just completely unbelievable that anyone would trust Mr. Trump with something that can be as potentially incriminating as a Permanent Marker.
    Then again, they probably keep one on hand to illegally redact non-classified documents.

  • as long as he accepts full responsibility for anything bad that might happen then im all for it. toss that mf in prison for any deaths related to his gun

  • 1. To Republicans: We know you scumbags borrow each other's fucking weapons. Why else are these crimes dismissed? Because it always ends up being your fault. Also? Reading your Bible only makes you more likely to use that fucking gun. Stop making eyepatches look bad, or I will somehow summon Undyne to kill you.
    2. In lieu of Prager U, I wish I could be surprised, but I'm not. Soon, we'll see "diploma – Prager University" and we can't do a damn thing, thanks to the assnuts in power. Gotta love how they always deepthroat each other and continue to breed the same – even dead.
    3. I again wish I could be surprised, but of course they're going to get away with this duplicity. These are the same assholes that claim the Democrats don't give a shit about 9/11. Republicans continue to pass the laws they cannot pass with the Democrats, so of course they would do this sniper shit. And Trump doesn't care, because he helps cover it up. His building stayed up, remember? -_- the terrorists have won. We've lost. Of course the Republicans shit on the memories of the dead – they are also terrorists.
    4. How else can they fucking win? Trump will let them stay no matter what they did – even the crooks. Because I'm sorry, your country is being run by crooks right now, and I hate that.
    5. There isn't enough room to fit my rage for this segment, so I'll leave it here.

  • Regarding Point #4. I'll admit to being continually astonished by the lack of spine in the Republican structure.

    I knew things were awful post Tea Party. But I really thought if there were clear and obvious issues they'd stop up and at least check him a little bit. Not a lot, but a little bit.

    I was wrong. And it makes me sad.

  • 20 minutes of ‘slit my wrists’ fun! 😣
    Thanks for the well composed and thougthout content, Steve! All i need now is a way to free base my Prozac and I’m golden

  • Talking to trumpist zealots they well tell you that the entire Alabama thing was code for the military using weather manipulation technology to force hurricanes to destroy some Chinese base in the middle of the Atlantic. I mean these people will jump through hoops the size of the eye of a needle to believe their President is a super human conspiracy crushing monitor appointed by god. Republicans have quite literally allowed a Cheeto to turn them into brainwashed fools.

  • i saw the Joe Rogan podcast with Dan Crenshaw, within the first few minutes i knew he was full of shit and just wanted the republican status quo to continue.

    What shut down all interest in listening to him was when he (a former navy seal) boldly states that you can EASILY disarm a shooter with an assault weapon. Joe rightfully casted his doubt, and Crenshaw doubled down on his statement.

    he's a professional soldier, how could he feel comfortable saying that is beyond me ($$$?)

  • My biggest concern about the Sharpie incident is the pressure the White House placed on scientists at NOAA, threatening to fire individuals who tell the objective truth in a non-political agency.

  • i try not to fall into the us vs them mentality thats quickly growing in US politics, i dont think either side is evil, and that in many cases both parties have good ideas and bad idea, and ideally by working together the country will become better, as it always has been.

    so for the republican lawmakers to wait for the majority of the democrats to leave before casting the vote is just a shameful practice. absolutely shameful.

    the republicans present should either take the time to apologize for their part in it, or have their names published nationally…

    … honestly it seems like they are unable to fulfill their civil duties are sworn to uphold and they should be ineligible to retain their jobs.

  • You ever want more information on Liberty University, let me know. I used to work there, and the list of illegal things that goes on is mind blowing.

  • Wait, right wing nutjobs actually READ the Bible? Must be the version with 99% of the pages torn out, because they've clearly either not read or chose to ignore the following COMMANDMENTS from THEIR GOD: Love Thy Neighbour, Thou Shalt Not Kill, Create No False Icons…

    Fuck it. They don't care. They are all either insane or purposely acting as if they are insane to avoid criticism. Because if they were actually following their own fucking rulebook then maybe they'd be worthwhile human beings (well… most of the time, since the Bible itself is an incoherent mess full of mixed messages about universal love and fanatic violence against people who are different… cough).

  • Jerry Falwell was the person who first started to break me free of some terrible beliefs. I grew up in an extremely conservative area, in private schools and rarely hearing and never meeting people who disagreed with what I had been taught. Some of the things people said seemed off to me, but I could ignore them. They're going a little to far, but they mean well. Then there was Jerry Falwell. I remember specifically hearing him call Ellen Ellen Degenerate and that along with a lot of other mean and childish things made me angry enough to start questioning things. It was years before I stopped calling myself a republican and I still have work to do, but I disagree with a large majority of the things I believed then and looking at the republican party now makes my childhood worse because I know that a lot of the "Moral Majority" who are supporting a racist, sexist, abusive criminal are the same people who wanted the president impeached for having an affair. I was there for their arguments about how the president needs to set the moral tone for the country, how they need to be better than other people. I guess none of that matters if you say you're pro life.

  • that underhanded vote in North Carolina is the worst on this list. When policy makers thwart democracy , and face no consequences … fascism is not far behind.

  • Crenshaw is a hypocrite, first amendment rights are overlooked when he's on the end of a joke, but he fully "enforces" the 2nd amendment to pander to his platform. I've met my fair share of awful servicmen while in the service. Going to war does not make you a saint, getting injured does not make you untouchable.

  • That shit that happened in North Carolina… Not even our conservative party would do that, not even CDU/CSU members would hold a vote while the socialist party is attending any kind of memorial. I'm not even sure if something like this would be legal.

  • My 9/11 remembrance consisted of walking to the end of a catwalk so I could see the sunset and singing the first verse of "The Minstrel Boy."

    Not pertinent to anything, just felt like sharing.

    Have a great day, everyone.

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