KANAB, Utah — During my three decades as a travel writer, this was the first time I had found myself in the doghouse. Literally. I was in the Puppy Pre-school at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary’s Dogtown, cuddling an affectionate pit bull mix named Challah. She was the last of her litter, and if there is any justice in the world, this adorable mutt has already found or will soon find her forever home.In the meantime, she — and others like her — receive lots of TLC from the passionate staff at Best Friends. Let me amend that — Challah and others both like and unlike her. Here, in this sprawling 3...
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‘Bright-red, ear-splitting alarm bell’: Former top GOP congressman blasted for ‘normalization’ of fascism (video)
Trey Gowdy, the former top Republican U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, head of the powerful Oversight Committee who chaired the House Select Committee investigating Hillary Clinton and the attack in Benghazi, is under fire this week for what some see as normalizing fascism.
Gowdy appeared on a Fox News' "hard news" program Monday, hosted by anchor Bret Baier, and decried how some media outlets described Italy's election of Giorgia Meloni, a neo-fascist, who will be their new prime minister.
Meloni is also a Christian nationalist who has praised the founder of Italian fascism, dictator Benito Mussolini. She holds far right views, including opposition to abortion, any legal rights for LGBTQ people including marriage and adoption, and is seen as xenophobic and opposed to the European Union.
During the campaign Meloni at a rally “thundered,” as the AP reported, “Yes to the natural family. No to the LGBT lobby. Yes to sexual identity. No to gender ideology."
The Fox News panel denounced the U.S. media labeling Meloni as "far right."
"I guess what I'm wondering is," Gowdy, an attorney and former federal prosecutor said, "if you're winning elections, if you are what the people want, at what point does that become the center? Who gets to say what is far right, or what is hard right?"
What Gowdy neglected to note is Italy does not have a two-party system like the U.S., so Meloni won with just a quarter of the vote. And regardless of popularity, political positions are categorized by positions on a scale, including far and center.
On social media Gowdy was highly criticized.
"How could the Nazis do the things they did? How could rational decent Germans just stand by and watch as fascism rose to power to began to murder millions? How? This is how," retired U.S. military intelligence officer Jim Wright, who runs a popular Twitter account, wrote in response to the clip.
Quoting Gowdy questioning "who gets to say?" Wright added, "Who gets to say what's wrong? Who gets to condemn the rise of fascism?"
"Who gets to condemn hate and intolerance and the violence of these goddamn goons? I DO. YOU DO. WE ALL DO. That's who," he continued.
Yale University professor of philosophy Jason Stanley slammed the media's lackluster response to the election of a neo-fascist while the American right applauded the news.
"The burst of incredible enthusiasm for an Italian fascist leader on the American right is being ignored by the liberal media, which as usual is missing the forest and reporting on some trees," he tweeted, in response to the clip of Gowdy's remarks.
(NCRM did report on the right's response to the election of the neo-fascist prime minister on Monday, highlighting criticism of the praise of the neo-fascist by the head of The Heritage Foundation, which is ranked the third most influential think tank in America.)
Media Matters for America's Kat Abu, who posted the video, commented, "Think of any far-right or fascist regime. Now think of how many of its citizens justified these beliefs during the regime's rise to power. This tweet is a bright-red, ear-splitting alarm bell and I am begging everyone to listen to it."
Willamette University Professor of History Seth Cotlar observed: "This might be an appropriate time to recall that the 2nd KKK in the 1920s had around 4 million members nationwide. In some localities the majority of white men joined the organization. They described themselves as 'patriotic Christian Americans' who supported law and order."
Esquire' Jack Holmes, pointing to the clip said, "these are the same people who blast Joe Biden, who won 7 million more citizens' votes than his opponent, as an out-of-touch far-left extremist."
Reuters Global News Desk editor Gerry Doyle mocked Gowdy, asking, "truly, whomst among us can say whether fascism is bad or good."
Novelist Jason Miller, appearing to mock Gowdy's famous hairstyles, tweeted, "Fascist Supercuts here is really giving away the game."
Journalist Tim Mullaney corrected Gowdy: "Call me crazy, former Congressman. Six million Jews later, we can confidently say the German People got it wrong."
Lincoln Project senior advisor Jeff Timmer, paraphrasing Gowdy, tweeted: "'If the people want Nazis, we should give them Nazis. And be happy about it.' - Trey Gowdy, sort of."
Monique Camarra, a researcher/analyst on Russian capture, influence and information warfare in Italy and Europe, and co-host of the Kremlin File warned the clip is "Normalisation."
Scholar of fascism, authoritarians, and propaganda, NYU professor of history Ruth Ben-Ghiat, possibly stunned, responded with merely one word: "what."
Watch Trey Gowdy below or at this link.
Pro-Trump operative Roger Stone is set to take center stage at this week's House Select Committee hearing on the January 6 Capitol riots -- and he is not happy about newly released documentary footage showing him calling for violence the day before the 2020 election.
As The Daily Beast reports, Stone is lashing out at CNN for airing footage that shows him telling allies, "F*ck the voting, let’s get right to the violence" on November 2nd, 2020.
"CNN airs fraudulent deep fake videos and expects anyone to believe them based on their long history of lies," Stone raged on his Telegram channel, according to The Daily Beast. "Let CNN or anyone else produce any proof that I knew in advance about, participated in or condoned any illegal act on January 6 or any other day."
Stone has not been charged with any crime related to the January 6 riots, although he was in direct and frequent contact with members of both the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers militia who have been hit with seditious conspiracy charges.
Stone received a pardon from Trump at the end of his only term in office after he was convicted of engaging in witness tampering and obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The co-hosts of "The View" all agreed that bipartisanship is a positive thing in government, but it isn't the kind that Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) were talking about at the McConnell Center on Monday.
"You know, she's not popular in her own state, 55 percent of women find her unfavorable," said Joy Behar said citing the lack of popularity of Sinema in her own state. Behar is correct about the polling in Arizona, which shows voters have come together — they're just against Sinema. "Men don't like her. Hispanic voters don't like her. Voters 50 and over don't like her. The only person who seems to like her is Mitch McConnell and Mitch McConnell likes her because she works with him to obstruct the Democrats. That's how I see it. She's not going to be popular with the Republicans either. She doesn't have a religion as far as I could tell and she says that she's bisexual, they don't like that. So, I think she's a problem, she doesn't help the Democrats. We need a strong Democrat in Arizona like Mark Kelly."
The audience responded with applause, which Behar said she doesn't usually get.
Republican commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin said that the country is too divided and that she respects Sinema's bipartisanship, the problem, however, is that Sinema actually votes 94.4 percent of the time with Biden. The only bipartisanship shown is from Sinema is obstructing the Democratic agenda.
"I think we talked about this table about how we're frustrated that is the Supreme Court, some of you are frustrated that it's too partisan, too Republican, she's the biggest voice on the left saying, life long judicial appointments need to be agreed to at 60-vote threshold," Griffin also said.
Behar asked if it was naïve to think Republicans won't kill the filibuster when they next take over the Senate. Griffin said that Trump pushed McConnell to get rid of the filibuster and McConnell refused to do it.
But Sunny Hostin cut in to say that McConnell did it for Merrick Garland's Supreme Court seat in the final year of Barack Obama's administration. When Republicans took the White House, McConnell made sure that Neil Gorsuch was swiftly shoved through.
"That was the turning point there, Mitch McConnell had no problem getting rid of the 60-vote threshold for the Supreme Court nominees when the Senate considered President Trump's nominee of Neil Gorsuch," Hostin continued. "He had no problem preventing Merrick Garland from sitting on the Supreme Court, blocking voters' rights legislation, climate change, and abortion. Yet all of a sudden he's saying it's a really good thing that Kirsten Sinema, my buddy, she agrees with me on that 60-vote threshold."
Sara Haines noted that it was because of Kyrsten Sinema that gun legislation happened, but it actually wasn't Sinema. In fact, it was Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who had been working on the legislation since the Sandy Hook shooting. Only after he'd done all the work did Sinema poke her head in and tell him she wanted to be a part of the negotiations. After getting a text message from her, Murphy was actually forced to check with her office to verify it because he didn't believe the text was really from her.
But it was Whoopi Goldberg who closed the segment calling Sinema an outright fraud.
"I think that when people are full of it, they're full of it and what those two were talking about — because if this were true, we would be working together, but we're not," said Goldberg about the state of the Senate. "And so both -- that's all well and good, but we all know they're full of it until something comes up they don't want to do. There's no discussion here. There's no real connection between Democrats and Republicans. And it doesn't make any sense to me because it's about us [Americans] and nobody seems to give a rat's behind about the fact that it's about us."
The moment comes after an epic takedown of Sinema on Monday evening by MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, who cited her "relentless ignorance" and shamed her attempts at "constitutional vandalism."