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Alien Invasions: Orson Welles and Sean Hannity

Fake News in 1938 (https://www.goodreads.com/)

The aliens are coming. The aliens are coming. The aliens are here!

Perhaps the greatest alien invasion of the United States occurred on October 30, 1938. While December 7 and 9/11 still are remembered by Americans (aren’t they?), this earlier invasion is often overlooked or forgotten.

This invasion occurred before television, before cell phones, before the internet, at a time when radio was the one way to reach a national audience at once. It is easy to overlook the significance of this phenomenon in American history. Everyone in the country might watch the same movie but it took weeks for it travel from town to town. Its opening in each theater was a big event. Movies did not open nationwide, it was radio which provided the venue through which one voice could reach out to a nation.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had availed himself of this new technology to communicate with the American people. His fireside chats helped Americans to face the darkest days of the depression with the positive message that there was nothing to fear but fear itself. Normally, this powerful means of communication was used for entertainment, music, comedy, and stories of the Shadow with Orson Welles. They now could be experienced by millions simultaneously. There were other possibilities as well.

On Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. a voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.” As Ed Sullivan and the NFL later learned as well, Sunday night was a good time to reach out and touch the American public. And what followed was part entertainment and part an interplanetary Superbowl.

Following this introductory announcement, the show proceeded as a normal show. Suddenly there was “BREAKING NEWS.” The news in this case was the astronomical observation of explosions on Mars. The station then resumed its normal programming with dance music. Suddenly there was another “BREAKING NEWS.” This time it was the report of a meteorite striking in New Jersey. Shortly afterwards an on-the-scene reporter described a terrifying scene to the radio audience. The meteorite turned out to be a rocket ship and the invasion from Mars had begun.

As the radio show continued, reports of more and more landings occurred. Skillful radio announcers convincingly described the growing invasion. Truly it was a national emergency crisis. The announcers with great emotion reported on the terrified humans fleeing in panic from the alien invaders. There are debates over how many people heard the report of the invasion. People had alternative radio stations to which to listen. Nonetheless, it is evident that significant numbers of people did listen and did panic.  People did flee. People did clog some roads. One person apparently ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

It should be noted that there is a long tradition in America of people believing the world is coming to an end. Usually such predictions have to do with the return of Jesus. It was almost a century earlier when the first “Great Disappointment” occurred. Now it looked like the cosmic intervention had occurred and in a way that no one had anticipated – an alien invasion.

The idea that the program was intended as entertainment and not a hoax makes some sense. After all, the introduction announced that the show was a dramatization of War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. But even if not planned as a hoax and even if the listeners had been informed in advance about the nature of the show, it still demonstrated the power of the new mass communication technology to engender fear and panic among its listeners.

Consider these examples last June when the United States government began to separate children from parents at the southern border. Laura Ingram reported that the children were being held in what could best be defined as “essentially summer camps.” It should be noted that four year olds separated from mothers to go to summer camps (or school) have been known to cry and be distressed.  She went on to accuse liberals of weaponizing these supposed separated children, a tactic the Trump Propaganda Network (TPN) would never employ.

Ann Coulter, in her typically deft, delicate, and sensitive style, appearing on TPN, denied that children had even been separated from their parents. They were child actors who had been coached by liberals. The crying was part of the scripts they had been given and not genuine emotions. She looked “directly” at President Trump through the camera and implored him not to be deceived by this act. Six months later, she similarly implored President Trump to grow a pair and not succumb to the temptation to enter into a budget agreement with no funding for the wall. Apparently the children are now real and not actors.

If one were to watch the TPN, one would realistically conclude that indeed the United States is experiencing a real invasion. Even as I am writing this post, the United States is being overwhelmed with terrorists, criminals, and drug dealers at the southern border…and normal people too who will be enrolled as Democrats and taught how to vote multiple times in exchange for safe passage. Perhaps never in the history of the United States has it faced such a massive and sustained invasion as is occurring right now. The “day of infamy” and 9/11 were one-time actions against the country while the alien invasion on the southern border is ongoing.

Just as with Orson Welles’ invasion story so many people believe Sean Hannity’s invasion story. With Welles, one might say all a listener needed to do was to change the channel to learn that the alien invasion was not real. Theoretically, the same applies for listeners to TPN. That comparison is false. The listeners in 1938 did not tune in with any preconceived ideas about an alien invasion in the first place. It was not on their radar. By contrast, the viewers of TPN today already know that the invasion is occurring. What they are saying is that thank God, our Lord and Savior is finally doing something to stop the alien invasion.

Alternate facts now trump real facts. The alternate reality now prevails over the real world. To present the TPN audience with the facts about the alien invasion is a lost cause. The fact that illegal drugs arrive through legal ports of entry and not through the barren wasteland is meaningless. The fact that terrorists are stopped in airports usually overseas and never arrive in the United States and that none have been caught at the southern border is meaningless. The fact that students and tourists here legally then overstay their visa is meaningless. The fact that people seeking asylum then disappear while waiting for the court case to be decided is the one fact they might accept. In general, their minds are already made up.

The Democrats, especially the Politically Correct, deserve a great deal of credit for forcing the current shutdown. All their hard work to terrorize white Americans into thinking they are and deserve to lose their country are now paying off. For more than a decade, Democrats have been touting the demographic deluge. There will be an ever increasing number and percentage of brown people in the country who eventually will seize control from the sexist, racist, homophobic, imperialist, polluting heterosexual white people. Truly they may be said to have done a fabulous job of delivering the message that the days of white people running this country are over, that all their heroes are bogus, and that a new world order run by the Thought Police has arrived. In the 2008 presidential election, the Republican Vice President candidate exclaimed that we Republicans are taking back our country. In the 2016 presidential election, the Republican presidential candidate seemed like the last hope to stem the tide of brown people from overwhelming the country.  The 2018 congressional election may seem like that first meteorite that landed in New Jersey in the dramatization of War of the Worlds: the alien invasion is now. The wall then has become the proverbial line in the sand, all that prevents the United States from succumbing to the alien takeover.

Kudos to the Democrats and the Politically Correct. You have been far more successful than Orson Welles in convincing millions of Americans that the alien invasion is upon us.

National Emergency Crisis: The Howard Baker Moment Is Now

Canadian Terrorist Burning of the White House during the War of 1812 (Columbia Pictures)

During the course of American history, the country has faced many national emergency crises.

During the War of 1812, Canada burned the White House and the Pentagon in its terrorist assault on the country. To pour fuel on the fire, almost two centuries later Canada imposed on its weaker southern neighbor the worst economic treaty in American history. It is only when our Lord and Savior ascended to the Oval Office, that he rectified the wrong with the greatest economic treaty in American history….although he had to shut down the government to get Congress to pass NAFTA II.

Turning now from the alternate reality to the real world, there have been national emergency crises that tested the mettle of the Oval Office occupant.

The Day of Infamy.

The Cuban Missile Crisis.

9/11.

Each of one these events became a defining moment for the American President. They became the events through which the American people saw whether the President had the right stuff to rise to the occasion and safely steer the ship of state. They became the events historians would study and school kids would learn in districts where American history is still taught. What they all had in common was that the threat to the country came from outside, the crisis was foreign-generated.

Sometimes the crisis could be economic in nature:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Sometimes the crisis could be in nature:

“Heckuva job, Brownie.”

For better and for worse these events also became defining ones of the President. Who can forget the picture of the President of the United States having fun tossing rolls of paper towels in Puerto Rico?

“Wee. I’m having fun. It’s all about me. Wee!”

Through this photo-op, We the People had the opportunity to see for ourselves how the current occupant proved he was an A+ president with this heroic display of leadership.

Now we come to the current national emergency crisis. At this point, it is no secret that “Build a Wall!” was a great campaign gimmick to shout in professional wrestling arenas. The call and response of who was going to pay for the Great Wall of Trump was an added bonus. The audience really got into the show that was being presented just as it does at a real professional wrestling match only this time they apparently thought it was real.

One of in the indelible images of the campaign, at least for me although I have not seen it replayed on the cable talk shows, occurred after the Mexican President stated that Mexico would not, in fact, pay for the wall. At the professional wrestling arena campaign event, the immature child responded to Mexico in true hissy fit fashion:

Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
You are going to pay and the wall is going to be ten feet higher!

Many people have forgotten that campaign promise to build the wall ten feet higher. What made the moment indelible was the young white man sitting behind him and to his right. When Little Donnee Wannee declared that Mexico not only would pay for the wall but that it would be ten feet higher, this young white man leaped to his feet and thrust his arm to the heavens. It was a great display of the perfect con at work. One wonders how this individual feels now knowing that there never was any expectation that Mexico would pay for the wall and it would be the expense of the American taxpayer if built.

What began as a fraudulent con now has become real. Back in December, the wall looked like it would slide into the abyss never to be constructed. Nothing had happened in two years. The route had not been documented the way the Alaskan Pipeline was before it had been constructed. Eminent domain proceedings had not been initiated to seize the private property along the planned route. Environmental plans had not been filed. I don’t even know if a final design had been selected yet alone one that was ten feet higher. All in all, the world’s worst manager had demonstrated how he had been a serial failure in business by doing nothing to prepare for the construction of the wall in event Congress did approve it.

Following the 2018 election, it looked like time was running out. December was the last opportunity to pass a spending bill with a Republican majority in the House. When the weeny President caved, Ann Coulter was there to provide him the “backbone” that he lacked. Now it was an issue. The line had been drawn in the sand and he would not back down.

There is a saying that when you are in a hole, stop digging. That adage does not apply to this President. After all, he is a winner, He never loses. He won the election in 2016 including the popular vote since all the illegal votes for Crooked Hillary should not have been counted. He won the election in 2018 since he added two seats in the Senate and loss fewer seats in the House than Obama had. That was true on Election night when the losses were only in the 20s and remained true as they creeped up and reached 40. Hannity told him so.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to show his Republican base that he is fighting for them. That misses the point.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to placate Fox, Ann, and Rush. That misses the point.

The reason why this truly is a national emergency crisis is because he has to show to himself that he is a winner and not a loser. Even though the wall started as a campaign gimmick it now has become the measure of whether he is a winner or not.  If the wall is not built then NanChuck won and he lost. That is unacceptable. Therefore the wall will be built no matter what, no matter what it takes for him to build it even if the government remains shut down months or years or he has the military build it. NanChuck have left him no other choice but to play the national emergency card.

On one level, the national emergency crisis provides an easy way to end the government shutdown. The Senate could immediate pass all the funding bills submitted by the House or the one it passed in December with no funding for the wall. After, the funding is being taken care of through the military due to the national emergency crisis. Therefore the spending bills to reopen the government could be passed and signed into law right away.

Lawsuits would gum up this process. We know that the military is not ready to build the wall. We know that despite all the fuss about their being a crisis RIGHT NOW, nothing would happen right now. We know that Captain Chaotica does not have the mental necessities to manage such a construction project. But at least if it appeared that the national emergency crisis was underway with the military charged with building it, the justification for shutting down the government would be over. A lawsuit stopping that process also would continue the shutdown of the government since no spending bill would be signed if no building was authorized.

Now we come to the Howard Baker moment. Mitch McConnell is no Howard Baker. Mitch McConnell will never be a profile in courage. Mitch McConnell will never rise to the occasion. But the Howard Baker moment is not about a Senator or Senators going to the President, it is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying enough is enough. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the needs of the country come first. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the Republican Party cannot afford another victory like the one in 2018. It is about the Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying we must pass veto-proof spending bills with no spending for the wall and PASS IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THERE IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY CRISIS AND IT IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.

Will the Republican Senators rise to the occasion and provide the leadership We the People need?

How Nancy Pelosi Helped Elect Donald Trump: A Tale of Two Women

Nancy Pelosi, August 18, 2011 (https://www.realclearpolitics.com)

Several years ago, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, devoted the opening segment of her show to government shutdowns. She was interested to know why the federal government always seemed to be shut down, on the verge of a shutdown, or threatened with a shutdown. She traced the cause to a group of RHINO Representatives then called “Tea Party” and now called “Freedom Caucus.”

Her examination led her to the conclusion that these representatives came from districts where they did not have to worry about Democratic candidates. I do not recall if she used the word “gerrymander” in her analysis, but what she did was to compare the state vote totals for Representatives with the actual allocation of Representatives for the state. As best I can recall she used the three states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania for her data set. What she found in each case was that the number of Republicans elected was disproportionately higher than the statewide Republican vote. The result was the proliferation of these RHINOs who were rambunctious, disruptive, and uppity leading to government shutdowns.

Her analysis stopped there. Let’s examine what she omitted.

WHY DOES THE MORE REPUBLICAN A DISTRICT IS MEAN THE LESS THE REPRESENTATIVE ADMIRES LINCOLN?

Just because a district is primarily Republican in its demographics should not necessarily mean its representatives are people of malice who despise or do not admire Abraham Lincoln. How come the first Republican President and Mount Rushmore President is not a hero to the RHINOs from Republican districts? What about Teddy Roosevelt? What about Dwight D. Eisenhower? What about Ronald Reagan? Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House recently quoted Reagan on immigration to deafening silence from Republicans. She demonstrated that Republicans have abandoned not just Lincoln but Reagan, too. After all, a Republican who could win in California is of no interest to Republicans today.

WHY ISN’T THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS UPPITY?

The Congressional Black Caucus is about equal in size to the RHINO Freedom Caucus. To the best of my knowledge, its members never worry about Republican Party opposition candidates. Their seats are as safe and secure as those of the RHINO Freedom Caucus. Members can hold them for decades and sometimes even bequeath them as a legacy. Maxine Waters may be colorful may she is not uppity like the RHINO Freedom Caucus. The Congressional Black Caucus is not in the business of shutting down the government even though it is just as well positioned numerically to do so as the RHINO Freedom Caucus.

WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE URBAN LIBERALS LIKE NANCY PELOSI?

Another group of elected representatives who never have to worry about opposition candidates are the urban white liberals like Nancy Pelosi herself. I am not familiar enough with Congressional politics to know how such representatives there are. Regardless of the exact number, one presumes there are enough of them from the major cities of the country to be a formidable presence. For example, my own suburban New York district is represented by Nita Lowey who has been in Congress forever, had no opponent in the 2018 election, and now through seniority and the Democratic takeover holds a powerful committee position in the new Congress. She is not uppity nor are her fellow white urban liberals.

2010 Elections

Maddow’s analysis was incomplete. It failed to show why this particular group of Representatives who do not have to worry about opposition candidates acts in a way entirely inconsistent with the way other similar groups of Representatives behave. Nor did it address the diminished status of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan in the Republican Party. Nor did address how it came to be that Republicans were in position after the 2010 census to draw such gerrymandered districts so that they could elect Congressional (and state) representatives far in excess of popular vote count.

The missing piece from her analysis was the impact of the 2010 elections, a wave election that substantially benefited the Republican Party. This redistricting did not happen in a vacuum. It occurred in response to other events. Yes, there had been problems with the economy. Yes, America had elected its first bi-racial President. And then there was healthcare.

Remember Nancy Pelosi and the passage of a healthcare? Now that she has returned for second stint as Speaker of House, her accomplishments the first time around are being touted. Foremost among her achievements as a great Speaker is the passage of healthcare legislation. When confronted with Republican obstacles to its passage, she adamantly declared almost eight years ago:

We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in but we’re going to get health care reform passed for the America people.

Like Churchill voicing the indomitable British will to never surrender, Pelosi exclaimed the Democrats would triumph no matter what wall the Republicans built to prevent them from reaching their goal.

It was at the moment when Pelosi became the poster-person for the condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists, a position she holds to this very day. There is in America a significant portion of the population that adheres to the motto “Don’t tread on me.” These people do not like being told what to do. It is relevant whether or not what they are being told to do is in their own interest. The guiding principle is that they are being told what to do and have no choice but to comply, to obey, to be treated as slaves.  Since colonial times, this segment of the American population has expressed its antipathy to condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists. They hate having no choice and that is what Pelosi told they had: no choice. Then came the elections. Payback.

I get home delivery of the New York Times. I read the paper with two hands, the way people are supposed to get the news.  That means about once every other month, there will be an op-ed piece by Paul Krugman on healthcare. He will praise what it has accomplished, note there is room for improvement, and mock the Republicans for being unable to even develop an alternative of their own despite all their whining and shouting. But what economist Krugman never does is to consider the political costs of healthcare.  He never considers what subsequently happened to the Democratic Party beginning in the 2010 election. While it is easy to blame deplorable white racists who fear losing white privilege, that also is an explanation that makes condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists feel good about themselves. Perhaps instead of telling Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans what was going to be done to them, they might have started by asking the people what they wanted. Instead, like the Very Stable Genius, they already knew the answer and were ready to force it on people if necessary.

While there may not be a direct connection between Pelosi going over, under, around, and through the wall to prevent healthcare to the 2016 election, it is a major part of the story that helped worsen the divide among Americans that a skilled con artist could exploit. Somehow this spoiled billionaire with no sense of empathy or sympathy has convinced Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans that he cares about them. Keep in mind though that the Queens boy from the wrong side of the river has his own genuine issues with the elitists from the right side of the river in Manhattan.

Ann Coulter

At the same time that Maddow was omitting all this from her analysis of the government shut down, Ann Coulter, the second woman, offered an alternative view. She expressed how proud she was of her “boys,” apparently not a racially offensive term when used by white people about white people. She exulted in their courage. As a result of their heroic actions, spending was cut and the budget was balanced. At least it was in that timeline. In our timeline, the practical results were non-existent. However, it did enable uppity, rambunctious RHINOs to feel empowered.

So here were are years later with yet another shutdown. In this instance, the shutdown was snatched from the jaws of cooperation. When Fox, Ann, Rush, and the leaders of the RHINO Freedom Caucus read the weeny President the riot act he quickly folded. What had been a professional wrestling arena campaign gimmick suddenly became a hole he was digging himself deeper into. The talking heads are right: whatever compromise should emerge to resolve the situation, the Republican base can be conned into thinking it is a victory. However that may not work with Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus. They will be harder to con hence the hardening of the lines.

Now the shutdown ratchets up in intensity threatening to become a national emergency. It may come down to first there being enough Republican Senators to pass the budget legislation and second there being enough the override a veto as well. Come to think of it, that would require the same number of Republican Senators as to remove a President should he be impeached. There is a lot a stake here.

Maybe in the end, Pelosi will not only have helped to elect Trump, she and Ann will have helped to remove him.