Amid Comey’s firing, a glimpse inside the Trump-Stone-Jones Zone.

Roger Stone, with Alex Jones, leads chant of “lock her up” outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. From Netflix doc, “Get Me Roger Stone.”

 

Good day Austin:

There is no more prized real estate on Twitter than @realDonaldTrump and yesterday morning, amid the enormous blowback from his firing late in the day Tuesday of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump devoted 140 characters at the  prime tweeting time of  7:57 a.m.  to instantly distance himself from a report that Comey’s firing came on the personal recommendation of Roger Stone.

Next thing, the president is going to be saying he doesn’t talk to Alex Jones either.

Which wouldn’t be true.

According to Alex Jones.

And Roger Stone.

From Media Matters for America, which describes itself as “comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media,” and closely tracks Austin’s Alex Jones and his Infowars broadcasts.

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, said that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks to the president “from time to time.”

Jones has claimed that the government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Sandy Hook, Columbine, Oklahoma City, and the Boston Marathon, among others.

Jones has repeatedly bragged about his access to Trump since the election. Jones said Trump called to “thank” his audience following his win; stated that Trump once called “like three times in a row”; said, “I talk to the president and I talk to people who talk to the president every day”; apologized to Trump for missing his phone calls; claimed Trump or his sons watch his videos and show “every night”; and said that the president calls him up to ask if he’s “happy” with his performance.

Stone is also a disreputable conspiracy theorist who is a regular contributor to Jones’ program and helped set up Trump’s December 2015 appearance on Jones’ show. Jones said today that his outlet Infowars has been given a weekly White House press pass and “we’re pending getting our regular passes.” 

Stone appeared on the April 30 edition of The Jamie Weinstein Show and said that Trump speaks to Jones “from time to time”:

Jones has been all over the Comey story.

From yesterday’s show: “But it’s also the fact that Comey is seen as weak and as very, very manipulative but in a candy ass way. “Lordy, lordy. Lordy, lordy. I didn’t know. Oh my goodness, I had two doors I could go down. I had one door that was coverup and another door that was get involved in the politics and lordy, lordy.’”

But it is no surprise that Jones is all over the Comey story, because Jones is all over every story, especially involving Trump, with whom, as Media Matters notes, he suggests he has regular contact, both direct and indirect.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/862177402956517376

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/862650744129892355

We may never know exactly how much one-on-one contact, or actual influence, Alex Jones has had with Donald Trump – unless and until those supposed (by Stone, Jones and Trump) wiretaps on Trump are released.

But in the meantime, it is clear that Jones and Stone are tight, and that for Jones, Stone was the crucial connection between him and Trump, and that Stone continues, in personal conversations with Jones and regular appearances on Infowars, to be the major source for Jones on what Trump is thinking and what is going on inside Trumpland.

And for Stone, who wrote in his book, The Making of the President 2016, that Alex Jones and his Infowars’ umbrella of radio shows, YouTube and Facebook broadcasts, Internet website and tweets turned out to be Trump’s secret weapon, Jones continues to be his go-to megaphone to Jones’ vast audience.

Indeed, of all the places Stone, who created Trump as a political persona many years ago, could have been Election Night 2016, he was side-by-side with Jones in his Austin studio, where they toasted their hero’s improbable victory.

 

If there were any doubt about the Stone-Jones bond, it was put to rest during Jones’ recent child custody trial in Austin when Stone spent most of the first week of the trial in Austin to do some filling in for the court-bound Jones hosting Infowars and building around that an itinerary of book events and speaking engagements in and around Austin, including this appearance before the Lake Travis Republican Club.

Stone talked a bit about Comey at that event. Here is a transcript thanks to the Statesman’s Rachel Rice, who was there.

June last year, my email and my phone conversations and text messages were being monitored because of my “collusion” with the Russians. I have never been to Russia, I have never spoken to anybody in the last 2 years from Russia, I have no contacts in Russia but I do understand why this phony argument is being used to try to delegitimize and destabilize our president.

See the Democrats can’t admit we nominated a lousy candidate who was out of energy, out of ideas and epically corrupt. Therefore there had to be some other factor. As we now know, the reason they are so desperate to find some link between the Russian state and the Trump campaign, which I believe does not exist, because that is the rationale, the legal justification to surveil Trump associates and aids at trump tower.

The FBI director and the former NSA director testified under oath in the House intelligence committee that there was no surveillance at Trump Tower. That is a lie, and they called that perjury. That’s why they’re so desperate to prove this – because if they don’t prove it then what will become clear Trump and his aides were under surveillance for political reasons. Folks, that’s Watergate – times 10 – because that’s the utilization of government assets to spy on your political opponents. Which is why they won’t drop this nonsensical charge that the Trump campaign was in touch with the Russians.

Stone also did a book signing and talk at a Speaking of Liberty Toastmasters gathering at Big Daddy’s Burgers & Bar in North Austin.

Stone also made time for a visit to the Capitol and a little time talking to legislators.

Here are some photos, courtesy Greg Lewis of Lubbock, Stone’s right-hand man, or one of them anyway.

Stone and Sen. Bryan Hughes. When I told Hughes I had a photo of Stone stifling a yawn talking to him, Hughes said that happens to him all the time.
Roger Stone and Sen. Dawn Buckingham
Roger Stone and Rep. Dustin Burrows

The Comey firing has sharpened attention on Stone’s zone of influence for reasons that are a little puzzling to me.

After all, Stone was very public for a very long time about the need to fire Comey. Stone’s longstanding relationship with Trump is hardly a secret. For all the suspicions Stone has aroused, I doubt that any of the Russia stuff is going to stick to Stone. And why does it matter so much if Stone personally entreated Trump to fire Comey?

And also, why, after decades together, wouldn’t we assume that Stone and Trump have achieved a kind of Vulcan Mind Meld.

https://twitter.com/StoneColdTruth/status/862068406245261313?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcmgstatesmanpolitics.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D7690%26action%3Dedit

Stone has played it typically cagey.

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/862294168915374080

But that laid nothing to rest. On the contrary. Which is all to the good for Stone.

While Mr. Trump publicly insisted that he had confidence in Mr. Comey, the hostility toward the F.B.I. director in the West Wing in recent weeks was palpable, aides said, with advisers describing an almost ritualistic need to criticize the Russia investigation to assuage an anxious and angry president.

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to Mr. Trump who has been under F.B.I. scrutiny as part of the Russia inquiry, was among those who urged the president to fire Mr. Comey, people briefed on the discussions said.

Mr. Trump denied on Twitter on Wednesday morning that he had spoken to Mr. Stone about the F.B.I. director, and Mr. Stone declined to describe his interactions with the president in an interview. But two longtime Trump associates with knowledge of the matter said the two had recently discussed their dissatisfaction with Mr. Comey and his inquiry.

Whatever the specifics, Mr. Stone ultimately reflected the president’s view of Mr. Comey. As Mr. Stone put it shortly after the dismissal became public on Tuesday, “There was a sense in the White House, I believe, that enough was enough when it came to this guy.”

And so, this morning Roger Stone was front and center – appearing on CNN’s New Day  with Chris Cuomo for more than 16 minutes (!) and on the Today Show for more than 6 minutes – all about whether or not he persuaded Donald Trump, president of the United Sates, to fire the director of the FBI, and whether or not President Trump was lying when he tweeted that he had “not spoken to Roger in a long time.”

Well, Roger replied on CNN, “I won’t characterize private conversations [w/ Trump]. I’m a memo writer, there are ways to communicate besides the telephone.”

As to “a long time,” that would depend on what the meaning of  long is  which, I think it is fair to say, for Trump, the way his life is these days, could be 24 hours, or less.

Oh, and by the way, on both shows, Stone promoted Get Me Roger Stone, the new documentary about him out on Netflix on Friday.

The documentary was not made by Stone and is not necessarily positive, but Stone is happy with it regardless, bringing one of the filmmakers onto the Today Show with him this morning, where, getting a rare word in edgewise, the filmmaker noted helpfully that Stone “sometimes takes credit for things he hasn’t done,” even if those are things that most people wouldn’t take credit for.

From yesterday’s review from Alissa Wilkinson at Vox:

Roger Stone shows up everywhere in American politics — as journalist Jeffrey Toobin puts it early on in the new Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, he’s the “sinister Forrest Gump of American politics,” popping up everywhere from Watergate to the Trump campaign.

If you think this is overblown lefty rhetoric, think again: Stone wears such monikers like a badge of honor. Get Me Roger Stone traces the history of American conservatism from Nixon’s downfall to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. And while it brings in talking heads to add background — New Yorker writers Toobin and Jane Mayer, who have intimate knowledge of the history, along with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson — its main narrator is Stone himself, who has no qualms about what he’ll say on camera.

Stone portrays himself as a dandy and a dirtbag, a sleazeball who embodies the rage and drive for fame that’s at the heart of the worst corners of American politics. He’s an Infowars regular and an object of some marvel and fear to everyone, even those on his political side. He has principles, but they’re entirely in service of staying in the public eye; he calls them “Stone’s rules,” and sprinkles them throughout the film. One such rule: “It is better to be infamous than to never be famous at all.” Another: “Hate is a more powerful motivator than love.”

The trailer begins with Trump, in an interview with the filmmakers, saying of Stone:

He loves the game. He has fund with it. And he’s very good at it

 

The trailer also includes Roger and Alex at a rally the threw outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and where Stone, wearing a Bill Clinton RAPE shirt, designed by Stone and marketed by Jones, led the crowd, through a bullhorn, in “Lock her up,” the chant popularized by Jones.

 

The trailer also, of course, includes some of Stone’s Rules.

“So you made the headlines again?” Matt Lauer said to Stone at the outset of their interview this morning.

Yeah.

Like clockwork.

Here are some highlights from each of the shows.

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/862181553190957056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcmgstatesmanpolitics.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D7690%26action%3Dedit

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/862182739071598592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcmgstatesmanpolitics.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D7690%26action%3Dedit

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/862240029313249280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcmgstatesmanpolitics.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D7690%26action%3Dedit

 

And here are some clips from Stone’s even more extensive interview with Chris Cuomo.

Meanwhile, here is Alex Jones on Stone and Comey on Wednesday’s Infowars, transcript courtesy Media Matters.

ALEX JONES (HOST): Obviously I hate to tell folks even the general area where we get our information from concerning the White House, because the media has a big field day with it and then tries to shut off those sources. But I was on the phone very, very late last night talking to multiple sources, and then I called Roger Stone about 11 Texas time, midnight his time, we talked for over an hour and he confirmed a lot of what I was learning from other sources. And of course Roger is one of the only people now that Trump still routinely talks to outside of the White House.

Now I don’t know how much Roger will get into today, but I from my other sources separately have exactly what happened with Comey. Comey was compromised and had been compromised for a long time. And was being clearly manipulated by deep state sources to try to exert pressure onto the White House to have the White House carry out the deep state’s political aims with this whole fake Russia narrative that if they didn’t basically do what John McCain and others wanted they would continue on with hearings and try to impeach the president. So they’re blackmailing the president with this fake Russia narrative. Senator Rand Paul obviously knows all about this, he has come out and said that’s basically what it is as well, said good riddance to Comey.

Comey ignored crimes that were ultramassive. And he followed the orders of the attorney general who was so corrupt she would sit there and meet on airplanes with Bill Clinton on the tarmac while he was under criminal investigation by her agency. Loretta Lynch. That’s one area.

But it’s also the fact that Comey is seen as weak and as very, very manipulative but in a candy ass way. “Lordy, lordy. Lordy, lordy. I didn’t know. Oh my goodness, I had two doors I could go down. I had one door that was coverup and another door that was get involved in the politics and lordy, lordy.”

Comey has the FBI standing in the way of prosecuting the Clintons for being on the Russian payroll, being on the Chinese payroll 50 times what the Russians were. I mean, it’sthe Chinese that are up our you know what. It’s the Chinese that are almost in control of this country in many respects. I mean we are in deep trouble as a sovereign nation.

[…]

JONES: We’re not looking for trouble. We’re not looking for revolution. We’re not looking for bloodbaths. The globalists and their leftist hordes and their “rapeugees” are here to destabilize the west and are trying to push a narrative of violence, and overthrow, and kill the police, and war in the streets, and all this garbage. And we are involved in dereliction of duty if we don’t do something about it. Now they’re saying Trump took a gamble by firing Comey. The Democrats wanted him fired three months ago, now they wake up on the other side of the bed and suddenly they love Comey. Trump has to drop the hammer on them. His attorney general has to start the moves for the indictments right now. So, that’s what needs to happen right now. And then Trump will be the superstar president we need, he restores the republic, which he is already doing economically and militarily. Obviously he’s an American president. We haven’t had that in awhile. Say what you want about him, but that’s why the elites are pissed because we actually got somebody in there that really does care about the interests of this country. All the special interests that have been raping us forever are now freaking out and realizing there’s a new sheriff in town.

ALEX JONES (HOST): Obviously I hate to tell folks even the general area where we get our information from concerning the White House, because the media has a big field day with it and then tries to shut off those sources. But I was on the phone very, very late last night talking to multiple sources, and then I called Roger Stone about 11 Texas time, midnight his time, we talked for over an hour and he confirmed a lot of what I was learning from other sources. And of course Roger is one of the only people now that Trump still routinely talks to outside of the White House.

Now I don’t know how much Roger will get into today, but I from my other sources separately have exactly what happened with Comey. Comey was compromised and had been compromised for a long time. And was being clearly manipulated by deep state sources to try to exert pressure onto the White House to have the White House carry out the deep state’s political aims with this whole fake Russia narrative that if they didn’t basically do what John McCain and others wanted they would continue on with hearings and try to impeach the president. So they’re blackmailing the president with this fake Russia narrative. Senator Rand Paul obviously knows all about this, he has come out and said that’s basically what it is as well, said good riddance to Comey.

Comey ignored crimes that were ultramassive. And he followed the orders of the attorney general who was so corrupt she would sit there and meet on airplanes with Bill Clinton on the tarmac while he was under criminal investigation by her agency. Loretta Lynch. That’s one area.

But it’s also the fact that Comey is seen as weak and as very, very manipulative but in a candy ass way. “Lordy, lordy. Lordy, lordy. I didn’t know. Oh my goodness, I had two doors I could go down. I had one door that was coverup and another door that was get involved in the politics and lordy, lordy.”

Comey has the FBI standing in the way of prosecuting the Clintons for being on the Russian payroll, being on the Chinese payroll 50 times what the Russians were. I mean, it’sthe Chinese that are up our you know what. It’s the Chinese that are almost in control of this country in many respects. I mean we are in deep trouble as a sovereign nation.

[…]

JONES: We’re not looking for trouble. We’re not looking for revolution. We’re not looking for bloodbaths. The globalists and their leftist hordes and their “rapeugees” are here to destabilize the west and are trying to push a narrative of violence, and overthrow, and kill the police, and war in the streets, and all this garbage. And we are involved in dereliction of duty if we don’t do something about it. Now they’re saying Trump took a gamble by firing Comey. The Democrats wanted him fired three months ago, now they wake up on the other side of the bed and suddenly they love Comey. Trump has to drop the hammer on them. His attorney general has to start the moves for the indictments right now. So, that’s what needs to happen right now. And then Trump will be the superstar president we need, he restores the republic, which he is already doing economically and militarily. Obviously he’s an American president. We haven’t had that in awhile. Say what you want about him, but that’s why the elites are pissed because we actually got somebody in there that really does care about the interests of this country. All the special interests that have been raping us forever are now freaking out and realizing there’s a new sheriff in town.

And here is Jones a little later in the day yesterday with Stone on the line from the airport on his way to New York for the Today Show, in which, aside from talking Comey, Stone says that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster  is on the skids and he is on his way out. He has not meshed with the president in terms of his operating style and I do not think he has the president’s confidence in this role. I think he will be appointed to a position for which he is better suited.”

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/862672755988340736

Huh. Kimberly Guilfoyle.

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/815665990411440130

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/862697561571852288

After Comey was sacked, there was this.

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/862179927059255298?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcmgstatesmanpolitics.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D7690%26action%3Dedit

Well, one place, always, is the tattoo on Stone’s back.

 

That’s it, but as a bonus for reading all the way through, here is Italian night with Roger Stone, in which Stone, assuming the mantle of populist chef and following on “the popularity of a recent video in which I put together my quick Friday night marinara sauce for the average American,” reveals the secrets of his seafood linguini, which include throwing the pasta against the wall to see if sticks.

Mangia.

Rashomon of the bathroom bill: Were Abbott’s calls to the pastors really the pastors’ calls to Abbott?

 

Good day Austin:

In journalism, objectivity is to be desired, subjectivity is inevitable, and the Rashomon effect is everywhere in evidence.

A definition:

Noun (plural Rashomon effects)

(psychology) The effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it.
OriginAfter Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon (1950), in which a crime witnessed by four individuals is described in four mutually contradictory ways.

I experienced the Rashomon effect yesterday as I tracked a story about Gov. Greg Abbott speaking Friday with ten pastors of Texas megachurches, with at least a couple of those pastors – two of the most influential charismatic preachers in America – passing on to their congregations this weekend that the governor wanted them to contact their state representatives in support of the latest permutation of what is commonly called the bathroom bill.

Here’s the story from AP on Monday afternoon:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A pastor at a Dallas-area megachurch says Texas Gov. Greg Abbott contacted him and leaders at nine other churches, urging them to drum up support for a hotly debated “bathroom bill” currently bottled up in the Legislature.

Robert Morris, of Gateway Church in Southlake, instructed his congregation over the weekend to pressure state lawmakers to advance a bill prohibiting schools and local communities from creating ordinances designed to protect transgender Texans using public bathrooms.

Morris said the measure is “being held up right now” by Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, who opposes it.

Senators passed a bill requiring transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to their birth-certificate sex. A separate House version hasn’t reached a floor vote.

Morris was part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign’s evangelical advisory board.

And, from Scott Braddock at Quorum Report:

Abbott asks megachurch pastors to pressure Texas House to pass bathroom bill, pastor says.

“It’s being held up right now by the leader of the House,” says megachurch pastor Robert Morris, who added “the governor said ‘please ask your people to call their state rep by Monday.’”

Apparently taking a page from the playbook of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott has called on the pastors of megachurches across the state asking for their help in passing the bathroom bill, according to the sermon of a pastor with nearly 40,000 people in his congregation in North Texas.

Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, said “Governor Abbott called me yesterday” asking for help.

“He’s calling 10 megachurches,” Pastor Morris said, then put the blame for the delay in passing the bathroom bill squarely at the feet of Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.

“There’s a house bill right now we need to let our representatives know about and bring it to the floor for a vote,” Morris said, adding “It’s being held up right now by the leader of the House.”

“It’s being held up right now by the Speaker of the House and I’m saying that, the leader of the house. That is in the state of Texas, not in Washington. This is in Austin,” Morris said.

There was no immediate comment from Abbott’s office about what appears to be an attempt to undermine the speaker by using faith leaders around the state to carry the message.  

This seemed a little odd to me.

Why would the governor, who had hesitated to weigh in on the legislation for so long, get so deeply involved so late in the game?

Sure, if the effort led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were to come up short, he might want to avoid blame for not doing more. But wouldn’t this late entry into an arena so well-tended by Patrick appear nakedly cynical, and, in any case, wouldn’t it seem untoward for the governor to be calling these pastors and calling out the Speaker of the House by name?

And why would these conservative church leaders require a call from the governor on the issue to begin with. Couldn’t they tell their parishioners what they ought to do with regard to this legislation on their own say-so?

Thanks to Warren Throckmorton, I have video of two of those pastors addressing their church on the matter this weekend.

Throckmorton blogs at Patheos, which describes itself as hosting the conversation on faith, and where he keeps a critical eye on the political machinations  of the Christian right.

Throckmorton teaches at Grove City College, an evangelical liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. From Throckmorton:

I am Professor of Psychology at Grove City College and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at the Center for Vision and Values which is a part of Grove City College. I have a BA in psychology from Cedarville University, a MA in clinical psychology from Central Michigan University, and a PhD from Ohio University in community counseling/counselor education.

My most recent project is Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President, which is a book with GCC colleague Michael Coulter.  In the book, we fact-check claims often made by Christian Nationalists about Thomas Jefferson. The book was triggered by the publication of David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies, a book which brings most of the faulty Jefferson claims together. Reviews and more information can be found at GettingJeffersonRight.com.

Here is Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Southlake – one of the most mega megachurches in the country – followed by a transcript.

Also I want to let you know something that um, I’m gonna ask you to do something. Governor Abbott called me yesterday, uh, he’s calling-he called ten churches, um, that are megachurches here in the, in Texas, the state of Texas. Uh, and there’s a House Bill right now, that we need to let our representatives know about, and bring it to the floor for a vote. It’s being held up right now by the Speaker of the House, and I’m saying that, uh, the leader of the House, um, I’m saying that– that is, in the state of Texas, okay, this isn’t Washington, this is Austin. Uh, but, it is 2899, HB2899.

You can go to our website, and find out how to contact your representative. Uh, it is being referred to as the bathroom bill, but please understand, this is to protect our children. We need to stand up, and as adults, that’s why we say no, you don’t drive a car when you’re 11, you don’t get to drive a car until you’re 16. Adults need to make laws and rules for children who don’t know how to make those decisions at that time.

And we don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone, but this is so that boys do not go into girls’ locker rooms, and girls do not go into boys locker rooms. And the governor said, “Please, ask your people to call their state representative by Monday. And so you can go on our website, and it says, find your representative, or whatever it is, locate, somethin’ like that, somethin’ like that.

There it is, find your local state representative click here. You just find out who your representative is, and call and say, we support, uh, and you can read about the bill, too, you can read the bill, but we want you to at least bring it to a vote. At least get it out of the committee. And this one representative, um, y’know, is holding it up. And so we-we really do need to protect our children. And I want to ask you to, so I’m asking every member of Gateway church to do that, all right.

And here is John Hagee, among the most politically powerful evangelical ministers in the country, who is pastor at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.

 

I have a very urgent announcement I want every person in this building to hear. And those of you who are watching on television, especially in the state of Texas. I received a personal call from the governor of Texas Friday night, asking for the help of the people of faith in protecting our children in the Texas public schools. The governor’s asking for people of faith to call the members of the House of Representatives to pass House Bill 2899. I want you to get a piece of paper, and write this down. Pass House Bill 2899. To insure the safety and security for our children in our public school bathrooms. I want you to call Joe Strauss, if you can’t write that, take a — take your cell phone out, I know you have it, take a photo of that [pointing to screen with contact information of House State Affairs Committee Chairs]

Call Joe Strauss, call Brian Cook, Helen Giddings, the co-chairs of the committee, that are not allowing this bill to be voted on. Many Texans assume that this is going to be accomplished, because we are a conservative state–but let me tell you very candidly, we are losing this effort right now, because your elected officials have not heard from people of faith.

They have certainly heard from the opponents, they need to hear from us. And if you really want to put feet to your faith, then I encourage you to start calling, and start calling today, uh, because it will go into a computer, call tomorrow, call every day until you feel like you’ve covered the waterfront, but I want you to call those three people, and then, uh, there, you can call your-your representative, if you know that person by name. It’s VERY VERY important. Uh, how many of you understand what I’m talking about here? Very good, thank you.

There are, of course, those who frown on this kind of politics from the pulpit.

 

But, there was a very different view from Charisma News, where the headline was, John Hagee, Robert Morris Part of Massive Effort to Stand Against Perversion

With an overwhelming majority of Texans—roughly 80 percent, according to one poll—determined to provide protections for women and children in public bathrooms, a group of pastors in that state has been trying to motivate a group of obstinate politicians to advance a bill that would do exactly that.

It’s not the Democrats they’re trying to convince, though, but rather the Republican leadership of the state House of Representatives.

In the 2016 election last November, Texans sent 96 Republicans to Austin to fill the 150-seat House. With that kind of supermajority, many assumed a bill like Senate Bill 6 or even House Bill 2899 would sail through the legislature like a breeze.

But it hasn’t.

Speaker of the House Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) refused to assign SB 6 to a committee, where it will die at the end of the current legislative session, despite passing overwhelmingly in the state Senate. HB 2899 is stuck in the committee to which it was assigned, as well, likely at Straus’ direction.

“Pastors around Texas are asking themselves how they sent 96 Republicans to the House and yet they can’t get a bill passed to keep men out of women’s bathrooms,” Texas Pastor Council President Dave Welch said in an exclusive interview with Charisma Caucus. “They now realize they can’t take for granted the letter behind someone’s name means they will reflect the values of that party. We need to know who we send. And does their record indicate they’re willing to stand and vote and advocate for our values?”

The Texas Pastor Council got a promise before Easter from Gov. Greg Abbott, who is also a Republican, that a bill would soon move out of the House to protect women and children. They patiently waited for two weeks beyond Easter, only to see no action whatsoever as the clock winds down on the legislative session.

Welch said he reached out to the governor’s office to arrange phone calls with nine of the state’s most influential pastors, hoping that by hearing from them, Abbott would be emboldened to push Straus to change his mind. The pastors are also trying to convince the governor to call a special session if the House continues to sit on SB 6 and HB 2899.

They’re not overly confident that he will.

“I would love to say I have confidence that he will,” Welch said. “But, we’re doing everything we can do, and trusting God will open their hearts to do the right thing. We serve a big God.”

Ah. This changed things more than a little bit.

I talked to Welch and he confirmed that this was not Abbott initiating the calls to press the pastors into action, but the pastors initiating the calls to press Abbott into action, something that was effectively accomplished, to at least some degree, with the headlines about Abbott urging the pastors to lobby Straus and the House.

Nicely done. These pastors aren’t leading megachurches for nothing.

Abbott has tread a careful path on the bathroom bill.

From Texas Monthly’s  R.G. Ratcliffe on a reporters’ roundtable the governor did in December:

On Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s demand for a bill to prohibit transgender men from using a women’s restroom, Abbott ducked and weaved. Before the 2015 voter on Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance, Abbott had said he wanted to keep men out of women’s rooms. But that was before Texas businesses said a statewide bill could cost up to $8.5 billion in lost revenue from sporting events moved elsewhere, corporations deciding not to relocate into Texas, and declining national employee recruitment. Today Abbott said his office is studying the issue to see what current laws say and if there are problems that need to be addressed. He said his top priority is the safety of all Texans, but declined to say whether a transgender person who undergoes a sex change is a man or a woman.

From an interview I had with the governor. Amid legislative discord, Abbott predicts success:

It is on the transgender bathroom bill that the daggers between Patrick and Straus are most fiercely drawn.

Patrick has cast Straus as “out of touch with the voters” for opposing the Senate bill that would prohibit transgender-friendly bathroom policies in public schools, universities and government buildings. Straus has characterized the legislation as a “contrived” answer to a “manufactured” problem that could, for no good purpose, undermine Texas’ extraordinary success as a magnet for job creators.

“I think I have been at least clear about the need for something to be done, the reality that there are valid concerns that need to be addressed,” Abbott said. “And I think it’s important that the governor not be a dictator saying, ‘it’s my way or the highway on this,’ that we give those who are elected the opportunity to come up with proposals that are honed by their fellow legislators and honed by their constituents.”

To some, those are weasel words. To others, Abbott’s approach is strategic.

“On the bathroom bill, he’s leaving it to its own devices, and if you leave it to its own devices, it’s going to die in the House,” Jones, the Rice University political scientist, said. “So why would it make sense for him to intervene on one side or the other?”

Straus has been steadfast in his opposition.

From my story in March on his interview with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas: Straus calls bathroom bill ‘contrived’ answer to ‘manufactured’ problem

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said that Senate Bill 6, the transgender bathroom bill, is a “contrived” answer to a “manufactured” problem that could, for no good purpose, undermine Texas’ extraordinary success as a magnet for job creators. The speaker said he sees “no fervor” in the House to bring the legislation to the floor.

“I‘m not saying that it wouldn’t pass if it were pushed on them, the members,” Straus, a Republican, said in a live-streamed interview Friday with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Henson noted that the bill, championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, isn’t a priority for Straus.

“I’ve gone further than saying it’s not a priority,” Straus said. “I oppose it.”

But then, from Chuck Lindell on April 18, Gov. Abbott says he wants to sign a transgender bathroom bill

No longer silent on an issue that has roiled the Legislature for months, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that he wants to work with the House and Senate to approve a transgender bathroom bill.

“I support the principles of both the Senate and House to protect privacy in bathrooms. We will work to get a bill to my desk,” Abbott said via Twitter.

Abbott’s statement of support came one day before a House committee was to begin debate on a new measure that would block cities, counties and school districts from enacting or enforcing transgender-friendly restroom policies.

House Bill 2899 by state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, would nullify local anti-discrimination protections that regulate access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms, showers and changing rooms.

“It’s really targeted at making sure that a city or a political subdivision doesn’t set up a new protected class,” Simmons told the American-Statesman. “My opinion is those issues should be handled at the state level so it’s the same everywhere across the state.”

Abbott called Simmons’ bill “a thoughtful proposal to make sure our children maintain privacy in our school bathrooms and locker rooms.”

“I applaud the House and Senate for tackling an issue that is of growing concern to parents and communities across Texas who are now looking to the Legislature for solutions,” Abbott said in the statement.

Senate Bill 6

By targeting local anti-discrimination policies, such as Austin’s protections based on gender identity, Simmons’ bill takes a different approach than Senate Bill 6, which would require government buildings and public schools and universities to limit bathroom use to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

SB 6, approved largely along party lines last month in the Senate, also would block cities and counties from requiring businesses to adopt transgender-friendly restrooms.

But while SB 6 has yet to be referred to a House committee — the first step in the process — HB 2899 will have a public hearing Wednesday before the House State Affairs Committee.

The committee chairman, Rep. Byron Cook, has expressed reservations about SB 6, saying he saw no compelling need for the bill and questioning its potential impact on the state’s economy. On Tuesday, he said he scheduled HB 2899 for a hearing so House members and the public can gain a better understanding of the bill.

“What I’m trying to do is take the issue through a thoughtful committee process,” he said.

House Speaker Joe Straus has also questioned the need for legislation aimed at bathroom use by transgender people.

Broad opposition

Opponents of SB 6 are lining up against Simmons’ bill, saying it also would discriminate against transgender Texans.

“I would suggest that it’s worse than SB 6, which was limited to government buildings and schools, while this applies to everywhere in the state, all restroom facilities anywhere in the state,” said Chuck Smith with Equality Texas.

Smith said HB 2899’s ban on bathroom-related protections for what the legislation broadly calls “a class of persons” was one-sided and unfair.

“It says you cannot protect a class of people, but it would allow any of those jurisdictions to pass ordinances that would specifically discriminate against those people,” Smith said.

“Keep in mind that a number of Texas cities, including Austin, have had these nondiscrimination protections on the books for years without any problem at all,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network. “Stripping away these protections and barring cities from enacting any others is just as reckless and offensive as the Senate’s bill.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Simmons’ bill, like SB 6, was a potential “self-inflicted” wound that would damage the state’s reputation as open and welcoming.

“Bottom line: It’s still a wrong solution to a nonexistent problem,” Adler said.

The Texas Association of Business, one of the most vocal opponents of SB 6, also opposes Simmons’ bill.

Simmons said HB 2899 was intended “to protect privacy like it’s been done for the last 100 and something years.”

“If this is the big issue that some people say it is, then it needs to be handled at the state level. It needs to be passed by this body and the (Senate) and signed by the governor,” Simmons said.

As originally filed, HB 2899 would have voided any local ordinance that extended protection to classes of people not already protected under state law — such as protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The original bill was a little broader than we were intending,” Simmons said, adding that a new version — focusing on the effect nondiscrimination policies have on restroom use — will be formally unveiled at Wednesday’s committee hearing.

Texas Values, a leading supporter of SB 6, has been pressing House leaders to take action on the bill and had little to say about Simmons’ measure beyond a Facebook post that said its leaders “look forward to a productive House.

Throckmorton was critical on his blog of the way Morris and Hagee described the legislation to their people.

Even though Morris and Hagee framed the bill as an effort to protect children, the bill actually would prevent Texas counties and cities from enacting ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, housing and other public services. Worse, the bill would render existing ordinances in place in cities like Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin “null and void.”

The bill is linked on the Gateway Church website and leads to this one page bill.

As you can see, the word bathroom isn’t in this bill. This bill is far more encompassing than a bill about who can use what public bathroom. Currently, Texas has no statewide protections against discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. According to this bill, if a class of people is not now protected by state law, then a city or county will not be able to enact protections for that class. Some cities do protect LGBT people, but these ordinances would be declared “null and void” by this bill.

While churches have always been able to opine on issues in the culture, I think this situation demonstrates one problem with churches becoming an arm of a political party. Morris and Hagee misled their congregations into thinking that a call to the legislature will keep boys out of girls’ showers. However, this bill has a much broader application. Some of the LGBT relatives of Gateway Church and Cornerstone members could lose their jobs or housing if this bill passes since the existing protections in large Texas cities will be invalidated.

The governor’s nod of approval for Simmons’ bill, helped it gain co-authors, even as its chances for approval slid.

Primary Author Date Filed
Simmons 03/06/2017
Coauthors (76) Date Signed On
Anderson, Charles “Doc” 04/21/2017
Anderson, Rodney 04/27/2017
Ashby 05/01/2017
Bailes 05/05/2017
Bell 04/27/2017
Biedermann 05/02/2017
Bohac 05/04/2017
Bonnen, Dennis 05/05/2017
Bonnen, Greg 04/21/2017
Burkett 04/25/2017
Burns 04/27/2017
Burrows 03/20/2017
Button 04/21/2017
Cain 04/27/2017
Capriglione 05/01/2017
Clardy 04/27/2017
Cosper 05/08/2017
Craddick 05/05/2017
Cyrier 05/05/2017
Dale 05/08/2017
Darby 05/08/2017
Dean 04/17/2017
Elkins 05/04/2017
Faircloth 04/27/2017
Fallon 04/21/2017
Flynn 05/05/2017
Frank 04/21/2017
Frullo 04/21/2017
Goldman 04/27/2017
Hefner 03/29/2017
Holland 04/27/2017
Huberty 05/09/2017
Kacal 05/05/2017
Keough 04/27/2017
King, Phil 04/27/2017
Klick 04/27/2017
Krause 04/21/2017
Landgraf 05/05/2017
Lang 04/27/2017
Larson 05/09/2017
Laubenberg 03/27/2017
Leach 04/21/2017
Lozano 05/05/2017
Metcalf 04/25/2017
Miller 04/21/2017
Murphy 04/21/2017
Murr 05/05/2017
Oliverson 04/12/2017
Parker 04/21/2017
Paul 05/02/2017
Phelan 04/21/2017
Phillips 04/21/2017
Price 05/08/2017
Raney 04/27/2017
Rinaldi 05/05/2017
Roberts 04/27/2017
Sanford 05/01/2017
Schaefer 04/21/2017
Schofield 05/04/2017
Shaheen 04/21/2017
Shine 05/08/2017
Smithee 05/05/2017
Springer 04/21/2017
Stephenson 04/21/2017
Stickland 05/08/2017
Stucky 04/27/2017
Swanson 03/23/2017
Thompson, Ed 05/04/2017
Tinderholt 05/04/2017
VanDeaver 05/05/2017
White 04/27/2017
Wilson 03/28/2017
Workman 05/04/2017
Wray 04/27/2017
Zedler 04/27/2017
Zerwas 05/08/2017

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Abbott, in a radio interview with Chris Salcedo, described his conversations with the pastors in a way that confirmed that he hadn’t necessarily initiated the calls and that, in all likelihood, he didn’t mention Straus by name, only by implication.

 

 

Salcedo: I am perfectly OK with this governor because I think it’s you reaching out to a constituency that you need to reach out to and individuals on the left have been utilizing the faith community to push their left-wing agenda without consequence, but the Democrat Morning News, that’s my not-so-affectionate name for the Dallas Morning News, the Democrat Morning News is  taking issue Governor with you reaching out to these megachurches and saying, `Hey folks, just want to make sure you tell your congregations what’s at stake with SB 6.’ I have no problems with it but would you explain to some of your critics who do have a problem with you doing it.

Abbott: Well I think as governor my job is to talk with my constituents. These pastors were concerned about the possibility of no law passing that would protect the safety of women and children in bathrooms, so they asked me if I would weigh in and make sure we got something passed and I said, “Well, of course,” and they said, “What is the best thing to do?” And I said, “If you really want to have something pass you need to make sure you make contact with the members of the House because this is where this is being held up. It’s being held up in the House of Representatives, and the people who are going to make the decision over here are the members. If you really want to know what needs to be done, you need to contact the members of the Texas House of Representatives.

Salcedo: Yeah, if I had a dollar for every single time I said to conservatives, if you want to see your conservative values advanced, you need to call the Texas House and prompt them to do something.

And then last night, the governor tweeted a very upbeat take on a story by Peggy Fikac in the San Antonio Express News, that the bathroom bill might be “gasping” its last breath this session.

From Fikac’s story:

Simmons said he is “very optimistic” that House members “will have some opportunity to have a floor discussion and vote on something in an amendment format.”

If that fails, he said, they might get another chance this summer.

“If something happens and the budget doesn’t go through and we have to have a special session for the budget, I’d be pretty confident that this issue in some form would be on that call,” he said, referring to the special session agenda, which would be set by the governor.

And there it is. A special session. Something that Welch said his group has pressed the governor to call for, as leverage on Straus to let a bill get to the floor for a vote during the regular session, lest it become the topic of a  special session to follow.

The governor, so far, has given no inkling that he would support a special session for this or any other reason. But that, said Welch, quoting Matthew 7:16-20 – you shall know them by their fruits – is how the governor will be judged on the matter.

“We’ll know when we see a call for a special session,” Welch said.

 

Kelly Jones offers to go on Infowars to talk with Alex Jones about their trial, or have him on her show.

Kelly Jones at the Driskill Hotel

 

Good day Austin:

At a press conference yesterday morning in the Chisholm Trail Room at the Driskill Hotel, Kelly Jones offered to go on her ex-husband, Alex Jones’ show Infowars, to talk about their child custody case. That trial recently ended with a jury verdict granting her the status of primary parent in the joint custody of their three children, meaning that for the first time since before their 2015 divorce, the children will live with her and visit their father, rather than the other way around.

Alternatively, she said, if he doesn’t want to have her on his show, he could come on her show.

“I’m available any time if Alex wants to have me on his show, or if he wants to come on my show that I’m going to launch, to talk about our case, and I reach out to him to do that and I hope we can join together for our children,” Kelly Jones said.

And what is her show?

“I’m going to be launching a podcast that I hope to broaden into radio,” she said. “It’s Split City Radio.”

Well, I suppose there would be some kind of odd justice if a court case that largely – although not entirely – kept the jury from hearing much from Alex Jones’ vast, varied and sometimes vitriolic body of work on Infowars – were somehow to find itself, post-trial, ultimately resolved, or at any rate replayed, on Infowars.

But, it seems highly unlikely to me that such an appearance – she on his show or he on her prospective show – could end happily.

And Alex Jones, conspiracy polemicist and sometime satirist (although it’s never entirely clear one ends and the other begins), seems far more interested not in some ex-spouse guest spot but in getting Stephen Colbert on his show or him getting on Colbert’s show, ever since Colbert, amid the publicity coming out of the custody trial, created a new Alex Jones character named Tuck Buckford.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/858429648442728450

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Kelly Jones press conference yesterday, which she held with attorney Robert Hoffman of Houston, was in response to Alex Jones’ April 28 press conference in front of the Travis County Courthouse where the custody trail was held, on the day after the trial ended.

Each press conference was revealing.

Alex Jones’ press conference, which I wrote about in a previous First Reading, was the work of the performance artist that he says he sometimes is but that he says he often is not, as when he is sincerely revealing to the world the perfidious hidden workings of the global elite and the bunkum of the mainstream media.

That press conference was dynamic, outrageous, veering between seriousness and ridiculousness.

And yes, he obsessed a bit about Stephen Colbert, who built a career on portraying a lovably loathsome version of Bill O’Reilly, who is – or was – a kind of Walter Mitty Alex Jones.

At Alex Jones’ press conference, there was a lot of press, a lot of cameras, including Infowars’ own, which advertised its full viewing as a climactic takedown of the Mainstream Media.

Kelly Jones’ press conference was relatively sedate. It stayed on topic. And there were very little coverage.

Fortunately, KXAN was there and taped the whole press conference and you can watch it here

Here are some highlights.

 

 

Kelly Jones had reason to be exultant.

According to the jury’s verdict. she and Alex will continue to have joint custody of the children, but Kelly Jones, who had only very minimal access to her children the last couple of years, will be the primary parent with whom the children will live.

“I am so grateful our three amazing children are coming home,” she said.

Jones and her lawyers built their case on what is known as parental alienation – that Alex Jones had effectively brainwashed their children into turning against their mother in a sudden and unnatural way.

“I was forced into 100 hours of therapy – the equivalent of about 40 years of therapy – while the experts ignored Alex and gave him a broad pass to do whatever he wanted, including severely alienating the children,” Kelly Jones said.

From Hoffman:

Parental alienation really is counter intuitive. People think that if children reject a parent they are doing so because that parent has engaged in some serious conduct that’s caused the children to drift away, and really parental alienation is the opposite in which a parent uses undue influence on the children to cause the children to reject a parent, such as Ms. Jones, where there’s no valid reason to do so.

This was an amazing victory for so many reasons.

Number one, to have this incredible mother with a heart of gold and steel, if you will, fighting for her children against incredible odds.

Number two, against a very powerful man such as Alex Jones who was able to fight us on every single front with motions filed and efforts to keep her from having the kind of relationship with her kids that she deserved.

Number three, with some evidentiary rulings that came in during the course of the trial where Mr. Jones, Infowars, who he really was, was not something that the jury got to see very much of, and I think it would have had a tremendous impact if they had gotten to see that.

Maybe number four on the list was there was maybe 20 to 30 mental health professionals in the community that just got it wrong.

 

At the trial, Hoffman lived up to his reputation as a great “closer,” but he also gave deserved credit to co-counsel, Bobby Newman, a hyper-aggressive Houston divorce attorney, for his success in his badgering cross-examination of Alex Jones, that Hoffman said reduced Jones to “just a ball of stress and anger, if you will, which was the real Alex Jones that we wanted to show.”

“We’re very much looking forward to getting the children out of this environment, getting them the help that they need and having Mr. Jones understand what needs to be done to stop alienating these children, and then to give these kids two parents, which is what they are entitled to, which is what this case is about,” Hoffman said.

The remedy for parental alienation, Hoffman said, is placing the children in Kelly Jones’ care and cutting them off from all contact with their father for 90 days while they undergo some intensive family therapy and deprogramming with a group like Family Bridges, which Newman said has a 95 percent success rate.

Kelly Jones unveiled a new website that, like her prospective podcast/radio show, would focus on using her case to bring a broader understanding of the phenomenon of parental alienation.

 

 

 

Kelly Jones:

The jury has spoken and I am confident that Judge (Orlinda) Naranjo will move immediately and proactively to move the children into my custody and to protect them from further abuse. In doing this, Judge Naranjo can right many wrongs and become a hero for alienated children and their parents across America.

Alex has been hostile to me as recently as yesterday and the children need to come home. His press conference,  along with being fake news and being conducted in violation of court orders (Alex Jones cited sealed documents and spoke before a gag order was subsequently, and retroactively, lifted as of the end of the trial), was a documentation of the alienation tactics that he uses, as well as  an illustration of how he lied in courts.

I didn’t start this fight. Alex is a victim, but not of my actions or of the press, but rather of the greed of his own lawyers and court-appointed experts who preyed off his rage and amplified the conflict in order to profit off distress.

But Kelly Jones’ press conference optimism was short-lived. Not long after the press conference,  the lawyers in the case had a conference call with Judge Naranjo at 1:30, and afterward, Kelly Jones texted:

I learned after today’s press conference that my ex-husband will file a Motion to Set Aside the Jury Verdict with Judge Naranjo.  This filing of my ex-husband’s is a further illustration of his ongoing hostility and that his news conference was fake news. 

He is upset about losing the Jury trial, and rather than do what is best for the children and facilitate a quick solution for them, he is fighting to keep me and the children in ongoing litigation and to undo in its entirety the jury verdict he acted as if was not significantly against him.

Clearly his strong effort to delay Judge Naranjo’s implementation of the jury verdict and to set it aside makes clear it was a very major jury decision against him and in the favor of our children living with me primarily.

Sadly, due to the alleged schedule of Alex’s attorneys, a hearing on the implementation of the jury verdict, including possession and access,won’t occur until until May 30, 2017. 

I’m concerned that the children will not have the swift resolution this kind of serious alienation situation, a situation of abuse, calls for.

I believe  that when Judge Naranjo rules, she will do so acknowledging the Jury’s mandate and according to the Texas Family Code and the best interests of my children including appropriate treatment for alienated children.

Kelly Jones worries that her ex-husband has the virtually limitless resources to press the case, to challenge the jury’s verdict, and she doesn’t.

(Note: I’d love to talk to any of the jurors in the case, individually or collectively, about how you came to your verdict. I’m at jtilove@statesman.com.)

Meanwhile, the Alex Jones of Infowars continues his breakneck pace reporting on everything from the terrible triumph of the globalists in France, to his crusade against vaccinations, to designing the equivalent of the Nike swoosh “to illustrate humankind transcending the synthetic VR being pulled over our collective souls!”

And, like that.
https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/861031435901206533

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But, not to be lost amid all the substance, there was this intriguing piece clearly labeled with a “satire alert” for the benefit of the mainstream media and the otherwise dull-witted.

By way of background, from Mack Lamoureux at Vice back in March, Digging Deep Into the Only Conspiracy Alex Jones Doesn’t Like:

Bill Hicks was the angry voice of reason for the disenfranchised and foul mouthed street criminals of his time—he was the man who smoked in the face of cancer. If you don’t know who Bill Hicks was, do yourself a favour, click into a new tab, Google the comedian, and watch everything he ever did as the man was a savant imo (then come back and read the rest of this article, please.)

Sadly though, the world only got to listen to his ramblings for a mere 16-years as he died from pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the young age of 32, however, in his short time above ground Hicks proved to be one of the most influential comics of all time. And as with any well known person who dies young—especially a controversial one—rumours have run rampant following his death.

In the case of Hicks’ death, none of those rumours are more prolific, and bizarre, than the notion that Hicks faked his death to become conspiracy monger Alex Jones. A quick Google search will bring you to hundreds of blog posts on the topic and self made videos crowd youtube as theorist attempt to further the conspiracy. While it’s truly an intense amount of crazy, the idea has lived on the internet so long that—apart from the true believers—it has become an in-joke for redditors, channers, and a rogue crew of Alex Jones fans (potato-men?).

Most importantly though, this conspiracy seems to really f****ing annoy Alex Jones—a 9/11 truther who has spread the notion that the kids killed in Sandy Hook were actors and the Quebec mosque shooting was a false flag attack.

“I’m sick of hearing about Bill Hicks,” lamented Jones on a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. “It hurts me that they’re so dumb, they don’t know I’m my own person, Alex Jones.”

Well, either Vice took Alex Jones seriously when it shouldn’t have, or he has gotten over his Bill Hicks pique, in this satire alert piece in which he acknowledges he really is Bill Hicks.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/861548307390320641

Yes I am Bill Hicks. But to be perfectly accurate, you didn’t get it all. You didn’t get the full conspiracy – I played the character Bill Hicks.

Then I decided to bring forward an even more incredible persona – that of Alex Jones.

Here’s where the rest of the story comes in. For 20 years I’ve been Alex Jones, since we staged my death in the early 1990s. 

The truth is that Bill Hicks himself never existed and now I am going to reveal my true identity.

After close to 35 years of fake persona of one type or another, I am going to revert to my true self, raised in London England, I am David Mentalson.

To be quite clear, David Mentalson III.

All that’s missing is for Alex Jones to rip off his face mask and reveal himself to be Andy Kaufman.

And why not?

But Jones’ take on an effete Brit as David Mentalson III, brought to mind his encounter with some real Britishers a few years back that was recently called to my attention by Jennifer Mercieca, a professor of communication at Texas A&M, who has been giving Jones a little scrutiny for her book on the demagoguery of Donald Trump.

Here’s the telling preface on the post from Stuart Wright, who posted the clip on his YouTube channel.

Published on Jun 9, 2013
He’s been invited on to talk about the Bilderberg Meetings ‘conspiracy’.
Andrew Neil hasn’t had anyone on the show quite as idiotic as Alex Jones, and Neil lets him know.
Both Neil and David Aaronovitch are laughing at Jones for the lune that he obviously makes himself out to be.
Even the ‘political guests’ are tweeting away like mad 🙂
But look at the little smirk he gives at 43 seconds in. I don’t think he’s interested in anything but promoting himself and his website and making money of this ranting, paranoid character he portrays.

Emoji that! Gov. Abbott signs ban on sanctuary cities in solitary Sunday evening Facebook Live ceremony.

 

 

Good morning Austin:

I was at Barton Springs Pool late yesterday afternoon, lying in the warm sun and making good progress on the Sunday Times crossword puzzle when, at 6:02 p.m., I received a text from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office advising me to tune into the governor’s Facebook page a little before 6:30.

Hmmm. OK.

I took a quick dip and then headed for my car and, sitting in my wet bathing suit, went on my laptop a minute or two before 6:30 to Gov. Abbott’s Facebook page. Nothing there yet.

I refreshed a couple of times on both my laptop and my iPhone until it popped up.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the Facebook Live to play on either of my devices. It just kept cycling – the same thing that happened to me when Beto O’Rourke announced for the U.S. Senate from El Paso, on Facebook Live – and I damned the fact that I lived in an age when there wasn’t a reliable way to communicate live.

What a pity.

Fortunately, Sean Collins Walsh, who is far younger than I am and apparently has a stronger Facebook Live vibe, was covering the story for the Statesman and got it done.

Why did the governor decide to make the announcement on a Sunday evening in his office with no one else present on Facebook Live with so little advance notice?

From Sean’s story:

Abbott’s office gave little advance warning of the highly anticipated signing, which ensured that protesters could not disrupt it.

The five-minute Facebook Live video had been viewed tens of thousands of times as of Sunday evening.

“We’re going to where most people are getting their news nowadays and talking directly to them instead of speaking through a filter,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said of the decision to use the social media live-streaming service.

But Jim Vertuno and Scott Braddock had a more Machiavellian explanation.

And yet, while the governor may have slipped the surly bonds of protesters and allies/rivals, he was unable to escape the relentless, in-his-face, on-his-face judgment of Facebook emojis.

 

Here is Governor’s Facebook Live of his solitary signing ceremony, followed by a blow-by-blow recitation including, in italics, the governor’s remarks, and  as-it-happened, emoji and commentary reaction from those Texans who somehow knew to check in on the governor’s Facebook page last night.

It got off to a slow start.

 

 

 

Hey Tony.

 

Hey Evan.

It was such a slow start that Juanita tried to conduct some personal business with the governor, and then the chatter turned to marijuana.

Oh wait, here we go.

Hi. I’m Gov. Greg Abbott and I’d like to welcome you to the Texas Governor’s office.

This is where I do things like meet with legislators.

 

 

 

 

It’s also where I host national and international leaders.

And also, where I either sign or veto laws.

 

 

 

 

Well, I want to thank you all this evening as I sign a law that will ban sanctuary cities in Texas.

Now, this law would not have made it to my desk without the leadership and help of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Joe Straus.

Thanks also to Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. Charlie Geren, who authored this in their chambers.

Now let’s be clear about this.

We all support legal immigration.

It helped to build America and Texas.

Texas continues to support the legal immigration that has been a part of our state from the very beginning.

But legal immigration is different than harboring people who have committed dangerous crimes.

 

 

Those policies are sanctuary city policies.

This law cracks down on policies like the Travis County sheriff who declared that she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes.

Those policies are sanctuary city policies and won’t be tolerated in Texas.

Elected officials and law enforcement agencies, they don’t get to pick and choose which laws they will obey.

There are consequences, deadly consequences to not enforcing the law.

Who can forget, Kate Steinle’s tragic murder two years ago, a murder that was blamed on sanctuary cities policies.

Kate’s killer was in the country illegally. He had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions and was on probation in Texas at the time he killed Kate Steinle.

He should never have been in this country.

If he hadn’t, Kate would still be alive today.

Kate’s death was more than a murder. It was gross negligence by government policy.

Texas will not be complicit in endangering our citizens the way Kate Steinle was endangered.

 

That’s because our priority is keeping our citizens safe.

 

The bill that I am about to sign, does just that.

 

It ensures that law enforcement officers in Texas can and will cooperate with ICE.

It also requires sheriffs to honor ICE detainer requests.

Now this law imposes penalties of up to $25,000 per day and it can lead to jail time and removal from office for any official who refuses to comply with the ban on sanctuary cities.

Now listen, the key policies in this bill have already been tested at the United States Supreme Court and approved there.

And it simply makes sense.

Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law.

And citizens expect law-breakers to face the consequences.

Texans expect us to keep them safe and that’s exactly what we are going to do by me signing this law.

Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State.

 

 

 

 

Now, let’s be clear. The reason why so many people come to America is because we are a nation of laws and Texas is doing its part to keep it that way.

May God bless you all, and may God forever bless the great state of Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. Abbott is getting his signing pen warmed to ban sanctuary cities, but what about his heart for its citizen children victims?

(Jalyn Catro testifying at the Texas Senate hearing on SB 4 in February)

 

Good Friday Austin:

On Wednesday afternoon, the Texas Senate sent the bill banning sanctuary cities, which Gov. Greg Abbott had made one of his four emergency items this session, on its way to Abbott’s desk.

From the Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh:

The bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

After the Texas House last week approved Senate Bill 4 after an emotional 16-hour debate, the Senate, which had already passed its own version, on Wednesday voted 20-11 along party lines to approve the House’s modifications, averting the need for a joint committee to hash out the differences between the two chambers’ versions.

At the beginning of the legislative session, Abbott said banning sanctuary cities, the common term for local jurisdictions that decline in some way to assist federal immigration enforcement, was one of his priorities for lawmakers.

SB 4 by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, imposes stiff penalties on local governments and officials who lead local police forces that restrict when officers can inquire about subjects’ immigration status and on county jails that don’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” requests, meant to facilitate deportation proceedings for inmates suspected of being unauthorized immigrants.

The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, attempted to soften the bill after it was passed by the Senate, but the lower chamber ended up making it tougher when it adopted amendments proposed by tea party-aligned legislators.

During Wednesday’s debate, Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, questioned Perry over one of those provisions — labeled by critics as the “show me your papers” amendment — that requires police departments to let their officers ask immigration-related questions of anyone who has been detained, a broad category that includes those involved in routine traffic stops.

Whitmire noted that he and Perry, both white men, were unlikely to face such questions, while many Latino Texans will have a new reason to fear interactions with police.

I don’t know what kind of pen the governor has that requires warming up, but the governor has made every effort to become the national face of the effort to ban sanctuary cities.

I don’t know when the governor tweeted the news that he would soon be able to sign SB 4, whether he was mindful of the image that would accompany his tweet.

It was a nicely composed image of a few student protesters gathered in the Capitol Rotunda encircled by 360 degrees of signs protesting SB 4 with these messages:

  • Students Against S.B. 4
  • Longhorns Against SB4
  • SB4 is Racist
  • Keep our families together
  • (A visual representation of eyes) of Texas are upon you Abbott
  • SB4 divides families
  • I was a stranger and you took me in
  • UT LULAC against SB4
  • SB4 not 4 the  people
  • SB4 in a circle with a line through it
  • Sin papeles, sin miedo (Without papers, without fears)
  • What would Jesus do? #stopSB4

From the accompanying Houston Chronicle story by Bobby Cervantes.

Calling it a “status quo bill,” GOP Sen. Charles Perry of Lubbock said his SB 4 does not change the way a Texas police officer can detain a person who they suspect could be involved in a crime. He defended the bill from critics who said it will lead to racial profiling and turn Texas police officers into federal immigration authorities.

“Nowhere in the bill as it came back from the House does it instruct officers to demand papers,” Perry said. “Nowhere in the bill does it allow an officer to enforce federal immigration law. Officers still do not have the authority to arrest someone merely for being unlawfully present (in the country), which is a federal power.”

Several Democratic senators challenged Perry’s assertions about how the bill would empower police and about the effects SB 4 would have on the immigrant communities in their districts.

“It’s gone from a bad bill to a really, really bad, horrible bill that will result in police officers investigating the immigration status of a person, including children, without probable cause,” said Sen. Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Houston. “I’m afraid this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos, and this is the last thing any of us would want. … This bill will go from a broken tail light to a broken family to broken faith in our system.”

Earlier in the day, the governor was on with Lou Dobbs, bragging on the legislation.

And, of the criticism that it is anti-immigrant, Abbott said:

As everyone knows Texas is a very welcoming state. Texas is made up of immigrants. And Texas is very pro immigration. The issue is illegal immigration and people need to distinguish the distinct difference between the two.

Texas has been long connected to the Hispanic community, even before Texas was a state, and we remain that way, and by and large the Hispanic community agrees that the rule of law is to be applied and enforced and that’s all we are seeking to do. Texas will be a very safe state for everybody, one that follows the rule of law and will lead he way in a way that’s fair to everybody.

But the line between legal and illegal is not that neat, even in many families.

As the sanctuary cities legislation cleared its final hurdles, I thought of the young girl who I wrote about a previous First Reading back in early February after the wrenching all-day and all-night Senate hearing on SB 4.

Here is Jalyn Castro, an 11-year-old, fifth grader from Arlington. (Jalyn is the name she is identified by on the witness list, but I think she calls herself Janet when she introduces herself.)

I am here to tell you, the people that make the laws, that SB 4 will hurt my family and I personally. I am really scared that one day I will get home and my parents may not be there. I fear that I will have no one to take care of me or my puppy.

I personally will be very depressed if SB 4 passes and separates me from my family.

My parents work hard all day to get me whatever I need in life. For example, my dad has a job from 8 to 5 and he always finds extra jobs, coming home late at night. I’ve seen him come home dusty, dirty and tired and I never hear him complain. He does all this to make sure that everyone in our family gets what we need.

Without my family, I would have nobody to care for me. No one to help me with anything. And no one to love me.

Please do not separate my, nor anybody’s family, because we will all be depressed and sad if you take away our families. Thank you for listening.

I spoke earlier this year, and again this week, with Luis Zayas, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas, where he is also the Robert lee Sutherland chair in mental health  and social policy.

Zayas is the author of the 2015 book, Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, And the Making of American Exiles and Orphans.

 

From the preface:

 


Zayas cites the work of demographer Randy Capps and his colleagues who have estimated that “for every two undocumented immigrants deported, one citizen-child is directly affected. In this case, affected means the citizen child is separated from one or both parents suddenly for what could be several days to several months. If the parent or parents are deported, the citizen-child has to stay in the United States in the care of someone other than parents, enter the child-welfare system, or reside with the un-deported parent if that option exists. Alternatively, that child might eventually travel to another country and resettle there with his or her parents.”

Between 2005 and 2013, Zayas told me, more than 3 million people have been deported from the United States affecting more than 1.5 million citizen children.

This has lots of implications.

Obviously, there are those who are effectively orphaned when their parents are deported, only they often don’t know if and when they will see their parents again.

“They suffer ambiguous loss,” Zayas said. “They’ve lost a parent but they don’t know when they will be reunited.”

There is no finality, he said, “and that’s the hardest grief of all.”

For those who return with their deported parent or parents to a land they’ve never lived in, he said, “they are exiled because that is not their country, this is their country.”

They almost certainly won’t have the same education, health care and standard of living they had in the United States, but they will still be American citizens who can return to the United States when they want to, and if and when they do return to the United States, Zayas said, they will in many cases return, despite their citizenship, with lower education and skill levels.

“They will look much more like their undocumented parents,” Zayas said.

In the meantime, he said, those citizen children growing up in the United States with parents who are not here legally, with President Trump in the White House and the high-profile debate and now the enactment of SB 4, live lives of ceaseless anxiety.

“They walk around vigilant as to what could happen next,” Zayas said. “Every day they worry, ‘my daddy or mommy won’t come home, they will be arrested, detained, sent to Mexico or another country.’ There’s never a moment’s rest except when the whole family is home and they are alone and they let those worries wash away, but always, in the back of their minds, is the knock on the door and what that knock could mean.”

They grow up, Zayas said, with two rules – “be quiet and sit still.”

They don’t want to draw attention to themselves or their families – no tantrums at the department store, no telling anyone at school about their parent’s status.

Beyond that, he said, “kids begin to question their belonging. Territorial belonging is part of what citizenship means. The sense that this is my country, this is my land.”

But, exiled or orphaned, “they begin to wonder what country am I of, where do I belong, if my parents don’t belong, does that mean I don’t belong either?”

And yet, these are American citizens, and it seems impossible to argue that these American citizens won’t be adversely affected by the enactment of SB 4.

“They are the forgotten citizens,” said Zayas. “We need to protect our citizens from harm. That’s the role of government. We have to find ways to keep families together, preferably in this country,”

So, to be quite trite about it, it seems to me that as Gov. Abbott is warming up his signing pen, he might also want to warm up his heart, and say something as he affixes his signature on SB 4, to and about Jalyn Castro and her puppy, and how this 11-year-old citizen is supposed to cope and think about herself in a Texas where the Legislature and the governor seem almost gleeful about expunging any trace of the sanctuary her family may have found here, and in its place create an even more fearsome place where a traffic stop could destroy her whole world.

Beyond that, I also wonder whether Texas Republicans may be overplaying their hand, with perhaps some long-term consequences.

Just as the governor described it on Fox, Texas thinks of itself as a place in which Mexican identity is ingrained in its historical and cultural DNA, a state that has dealt with immigration and immigrants better and more successfully than other states. In turn, Hispanics are generally more conservative in Texas than elsewhere in the United States, and Republicans do better with Hispanic voters in Texas than Republicans do elsewhere.

Texas Republicans clearly believe that this is a winning issue for them, and it is with their voters.

From the recent Texas Lyceum poll of Texas adults (not just registered voters).

But, then look at this.

Under the law that Abbott is going to sign, a police officer can check someone’s legal status during a routine traffic stop, and that, the Lyceum Poll finds, is not so popular.

Now again, this does no harm to Republican officeholders with their base.

But I talked about this last night with Joshua Blank, the polling manager for the Texas Lyceum, and he pointed out a couple of very interesting crosstabs.

First this.

Q37B. Should immigration status be checked: when a person is reporting a crime

Look at that. Hispanics are decidedly more likely than Anglos to think that immigration status ought to be checked when a person reports a crime.

So Gov. Abbott is right in his assessment of Hispanic attitudes toward enforcing timmigration law. Right?

But then look at this.

 

Q37A. Should immigration status be checked: during a routine traffic stop

 

 

The numbers are flipped, with Hispanics a lot less likely than Anglos to think that a traffic stop should be a pretext for checking immigration status.

Why the difference?

Blank speculates it is because reporting a crime is an act of volition – an individual steps forward and initiates the encounter with police.

But the traffic stop is something that could happen to anyone – could happen to Mexican-American (or other Hispanic) Texan whose family has been in Texas for generations – since, as Abbott said, before Texas became a state. And yet, because of their color and ancestry they are, more likely, under this law, to be asked to, in effect, show the police their papers. Suddenly, some Hispanic Texans who bought into every bit of their being part of the essence of what it is to be Texan may have occasion to wonder whether something has changed.

And, while Texas Republicans may not suffer any consequences in the near term, there is the risk that they are tempting fate and putting their brand, and what made Texas different on immigration, at risk.

Said Blank, who is also the manager of polling and research at the Texas Politics Project at UT:

People used to regularly say, as the national GOP was moving rightward on immigration policy, that Texas Republicans were different, that they understood the demographics of their state. No one will say that anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Some like it hot: How Amy Hedtke went from Scout mom to anarchist Republican and James O’Keefe heroine

Good morning Austin:

When I called Amy Hedtke last evening she was outside the Red Oak ISD Education Service Center, where folks were early voting in a school bond election and Hedtke was electioneering for a “no” vote.

I was calling Hedtke to talk to her about a James O’Keefe Project Veritas video, being released this morning, about the now-famous moment when she was arrested in a sequence of events that followed her refusal to stop Facebook Living an abortion hearing that state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, was presiding over.

(I have made a correction here. I originally wrote that she was arrested “on the orders of state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana.” That was not correct. Below is the police report explaining that Hedtke was arrested when she refused to stop recording when told to do so, and refused to leave the hearing.)

 

 

Here is the Project Veritas videotape.

But first a little background on Amy Hedtke.

For example, here is a recent slightly off-kilter Facebook Live of a recent bit of electioneering on the bond issue at the same location I reached her at last night, a little something she calls: Parking lot exchange w/ a vitriolic “YES” voter at the ROISD Education Service Center

I like this video a lot because it is a nice introduction to Hedtke, a suburban mother of five, anarchist/Republican activist, explaining to a YES” voter, who I would describe as more exasperated than vitriolic, that taxation is theft.

Vitriolic “Yes” voter especially doesn’t like that Hedtke doesn’t live in Red Oak ISD, but, as she explains to me, “I was living in Red Oak until my divorce” and still has kids in the Red Oak schools and is still very involved in the community.

After all,  a year ago she played a leading role in defeating a $17 million park bond in Red Oak.

Here is a pre-election report in the Ellis County Citizen: Tempers flare as Red Oak goes to polls on Bond Election Saturday posted on May 06, 2016 by none other than  Amy Hedtke, Guest Writer

RED OAK — Amidst allegations of lies and ugliness, this Saturday’s Bond election is unfolding to be the largest voter turnout in Red Oak’s history.

On February 18, 2016, the Red Oak City Council approved bringing a $17.255 million bond proposition to the voters of the city. If approved by the voters, this proposition would fund, through bonding, the creation of a new community park. In addition to trails, playgrounds, an amphitheater and park amenities, this park would include athletic facilities for soccer and baseball fields. The proposed park would be built next to the Cowboy Church on Ovilla Rd, along Bear Creek. The Bond would be funded by an increase in city property taxes.

That increase is one of the many contested allegations broiling on social media.

Hedtke is, as an anarchist, opposed to bonds in principle, but, she said, she also has a talent for finding reasons for voters who are not anarchists to vote against bond proposals.

Here is a report in the Ellis County Citizen $74M bond proposal hinges on public’s perception of a school building Posted in Red Oak on April 27, 2017, also by Amy Hedtke

RED OAK — At the middle of the social media discussion over the $74 million Red Oak School Bond is a 1,000 student school building. Tucked away at the end of Live Oak Road, it is being used for special events, training, and storage but not currently housing any students in its classrooms.

The Red Oak Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to approve a $74,085,000 bond referendum to be included in the May 2017 election. The proposition’s leading expense is a second Red Oak Middle School and expanded Red Oak High School.

“Our district is growing. We are expecting our enrollment to grow to more than 8,700 students in the next 10 years, so we are trying to plan for that growth,” Board President Henry Lozano said.

The 1000 student “Building on Live Oak” was utilized for students when the December 2015 tornado damaged Shields Elementary. Since the building is not up to code, the District was granted an emergency waiver to temporarily accommodate student instruction. District assessments point to a $32 million pricetag to renovate the building, which includes $8 million in code compliance projects and meeting additional TEA standards for classrooms.

Opponents of the bond want to see the District put the empty school to work for students before building a new one. Proponents point to issues like traffic flow concerns and age of the building, as well as technology upgrades. At 30 years old, the school building has an expected lifespan of 50 years, although many school buildings in Texas are approaching 75-100 years of service (nearby Waxahachie Global High was built in 1918 and currently serves students as a STEM charter school). For some, spending $44 million for a new school on the West side of I-35 is more appealing than spending $32 million for the “Building on Live Oak.”

The bond is funded by a 13 cent tax increase on the debt service rate up to 40 years, raising it from 37 cents to the state mandated tax cap of 50 cents [per $100 of valuation]. Residents who receive the 65 and older tax freeze won’t experience the tax increase.

ROISD presentations assert that the District has plans to use the building as a 6th elementary school, but Red Oak resident Penny Story is very frustrated with the building sitting empty for almost a decade. “The District has been spending a ton of taxpayer money in maintenance and utility costs all these years. This building was designed to instruct students and is being underutilized.

Meanwhile, since her divorce, Hedtke is now living in Waxahachie, where she is running for the Waxahachie ISD board of trustees.

Hedtke, who I suspect is the only anarchist  in the six-person field, is not running to win. She is running so she is eligible to seek a recount, which she plans to do after the results of Saturday’s election are certified on Sunday.

She did the same thing last year.

From Mary 26, 2016 in  the Waxahachie Daily Light: WISD election: Hedtke seeks vote recount, by

A school board candidate from the May 7 WISD school board election has filed for a vote recount.

Candidate Amy Hedtke, who came out of the election with only 32 votes, filed a request for a recount Monday afternoon at the WISD Administration Building as a way to address residents’ concerns about the three-vote difference between candidates Floyd Bates and Joe Langley. Langley won the election with 681 votes, including 87 absentee votes, to Bates’ 678, with one provisional vote and 57 absentee votes. The school board officially canvassed votes Thursday.

Hedtke said she is running, and filing a recount this time to get a better look at the practice of strategic “undervoting,” in the election, in which each voter can vote for two candidates, with the two top candidates winning spots on the board. Last year’s top vote getter, she said, advised supporters to bullet vote for him, which she said was a smart strategy. But, she said, it would be more democratic if the election were broken down into two places, with voters casting one vote for each place.

As the person filing for the recount, Hedtke said she will have to pay for it – about $200 – but that cost is actually being bankrolled by another local citizen who is especially interested in changing he way the school board members are elected.

So, to recap, on Saturday, Hedtke hopes to claim victory in defeating a school bond in Red Oak and concede defeat in a Waxahachie school board race.

On Sunday, she plans to filed for a recount in the school board race.

On Monday, she has to appear in court in Austin on her arrest emanating from Cook’s hearing – for which she is the heroine of the Project Veritas video – and then from Austin she will be joined by some friends and political comrades and they will drive off together to San Diego for the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee at the Hotel del Coronado (technically in Coronado, Calif.)

As I mentioned earlier, Hedtke is an anarchist/Republican.

I really wish I were going to be there.

Many years ago I stayed at the Hotel del Coronado. It is a magnificent hotel. It is the hotel – posing as a Florida hotel – where Some Like it Hot, perhaps my favorite movie of all time, was filmed.

Think of Amy Hedtke as the Marilyn Monroe character – Sugar Kane Kowalczyk – and the Republican Party Under Donald Trump as embodied by the randy billionaire, Osgood Fielding III, played by Joe E. Brown, who ends up not with Marilyn Monroe but Jack Lemon in an ending as timely as Senate Bill 6.

If you don’t think Amy Hedtke has the stage presence or presence of mind to pull off the Marilyn Monroe character consider that photo of her, mid arrest – blowing a perfect bubble from a three-pack of Bubblicoius Bubble Gum she got at the Dollar Tree.

Hedtke got into Republican Party politics, and anarchism, via Ron Paul. She was a Rick Santorum alternate – but really a Ron Paul supporter – to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, and a Donald Trump alternate – but “I’ve been pretty much never anybody for a while”-  at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Like me, she was in Cleveland for two weeks.

The group of Paulistas she fell in with continue to be a loyal and politically savvy cadre  – especially savvy if you are getting arrested doing something political – so, as she was being arrested, she knew they were all about doing social media promoting her arrest, arranging for an attorney and bail, etc.

Did blowing the bubble come from the Ron Paul playbook?

No, that was really kind of an impromptu thing.

Sure I like my gum but never actually made it into a thing before.

The whole arrest, to that point, in my head it was going really well. I wasn’t screaming, I wasn’t yelling, I wasn’t being tazed. There were several people around me seeing and following and documenting everything.

Then I saw Johan ( fellow abortion abolitionist and photographer Johan Gervais) kind of circling me taking pictures and I watched him and noticed that, by golly, he was setting up his shot. He was trying to get a good background and frame the picture, and then I caught his eye and I blew this bubble and I held it and he was able to catch what I meant and he went and took a picture of the bubble.

It was the perfect image of the devil-may-care, mother-of-five, anarchist-under-arrest, and she said it became the source of countless memes along the lines of “Zero F—s Given.”

I guess we should back up again.

Here is the text that goes with the Project Veritas video.

In this Project Veritas video, James O’Keefe teams up with Texas mother and citizen journalist Amy Hedtke who was unlawfully removed from a State Affairs Committee meeting for attempting to film it in accordance with Texas state law.

The Chair of the Committee, Republican Byron Cook, made the decision to have Hedtke removed from the meeting, according to the DPS Officer and David Sauceda, the Sergeant of Arms for the Texas House of Representatives:

Amy Hedtke:             This state law says that I have the right to record. So you’re going to break state law and remove me?

DPS Officer:              The chairman has the right to make that decision.

Amy Hedtke:            Where does the chairman have the right to break state law?

David Sauceda:            You’re going to have to leave, there is no discussion. I’m sorry.

DPS Officers took Amy’s camera and moved her outside of the meeting room, where she was arrested.

Amy Hedtke:             I have the right to stay and record with video camera. If you remove me…If you remove me… I am not going to leave. Cause I am exercising my rights. I have the right to be here. And I have the right to record.

David Sauceda:           I’m sorry you don’t.

According to the Texas Government Code Sec. 551.023, Recording of Meeting by Person in Attendance:

  1. A person in attendance may record all or any part of an open meeting of a governmental body by means of a recorder, video camera, or other means of aural or visual reproduction.

It appears that Representative Cook has a track record of limiting the transparency of government–other organizations have also accused him of prohibiting citizens from filming public meetings.

Following Hedtke’s arrest, Project Veritas decided to visit Representative Byron Cook’s office. O’Keefe was quickly escorted from the office before he could meet with the Representative. Shortly thereafter, O’Keefe was contacted by Cook’s Chief of Staff Toni Barcellona, who evaded commenting on the law which allows citizens to record meetings, instead only citing the Committee rules.

“Amy Hedtke should have been allowed to film that hearing,” said James O’Keefe in a video. “Amy should not have been arrested, but she was willing to be arrested. She was standing up for her rights, she was standing up for the people in the state of Texas and she was standing up for all of us.”

Last week, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas waded into the Cook-Hedtke imbroglio to see who actually had the law on their side, and it turns out that it a is a “murky” issue that has yet to be settled in court.

“We are going to file a lawsuit,” Hedtke said.

From Gardner’s report:

Hedtke’s video plus video shot by another person show her refusing requests that she stop taping and being carried by troopers to a DPS sedan. By phone, Hedtke later told us that she was then taken to the Travis County Jail where she was charged with criminal trespass for failing to depart when asked; a court hearing, she said, is scheduled for May 2017.

Hedtke’s video from the hearing shows Hedtke telling an unidentified House aide: “State law says that open meetings, you cannot prohibit attendees from recording.” The aide replies: “The rules of the House have precedence over that — the Constitution, as well.”

Geren, chairman of the powerful House Administration Committee, said the same in his April 11, 2017, letter to the TV station, which we fielded by email after asking Jason Embry, a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus, why Hedtke was stopped from recording and carried out.

Geren’s letter  says the station’s news account mistakenly indicated the law allowing individuals to record government meetings prevails over House rules giving members control of its proceedings.

Constitutional provision and House rules

Article III, section 11 of the Texas Constitution, Geren wrote, “authorizes each house of the legislature to determine the rules of its own proceedings.”

In its entirety, the section says: “Each House may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense.”

Geren, chairman of the House Administration Committee, further wrote that the House’s 2017 rules deem those rules to be “the only requirements binding” on the 150-member body.

Correct: House rules adopted by members at the start of the 2017 legislative session open:

“Pursuant to and under the authority of Section 11, Article III, Texas Constitution, and notwithstanding any provision of statute, the House of Representatives adopts the following rules to govern its operations and procedures. The provisions of these rules shall be deemed the only requirements binding on the House of Representatives under Section 11, Article III, Texas Constitution, notwithstanding any other requirements expressed in statute.”

We asked Geren if he wished to elaborate on his letter, which WFAA-TV subsequently excerpted in a note preceding a web version of its story; he did not.

In the latest House rules themselves, meantime, we didn’t spot any provision that a House member can obviate the open-meetings law including its provision that people can record meetings. Otherwise, the rules require the House to post video of public meetings and specify that permission to make live or recorded television, radio, or Internet broadcasts in or from the House chamber when the House is in session may be granted only by the administration committee.

Murky?

Section 551.023 of Texas’s government code, part of the open-meetings law that came to be in 1973, says: “A person in attendance may record all or any part of an open meeting of a governmental body by means of a recorder, video camera or other means of aural or visual reproduction.” But, the law says, a governmental body “may adopt reasonable rules to maintain order at a meeting, including” rules relating to the location of recording equipment and how the recording is made. The law also says those rules “may not prevent or unreasonably impair a person from” recording during a meeting.

So, what gives?

Angling to sort this out, and with help from Kelley Shannon of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, we queried Austin attorneys steeped in Texas open government laws.

Each one agreed that no court has ruled on the ability of the House or Senate to invoke the constitutional provision about the bodies setting internal rules to bypass the permission spelled out in the Texas Open Meetings Act for people to record meetings. Likewise, we found no sign of any such court interpretation when we reviewed materials available at the Texas State Law Library.

The lawyers diverged, though, on whether Geren’s explanation holds up.

“It gets murky,” said David Donaldson of Austin, a retired lawyer whose past clients include the Austin American-Statesman, one of the newspapers that sponsors PolitiFact Texas. By phone, Donaldson added: “The answer may be that we don’t know the answer yet.” Over the course of a couple days, Donaldson told us, he was swayed by conflicting arguments both for and against a person being able to record a legislative meeting.

Bob Heath, who has advised lawmakers in the past, and Buck Wood, who helped write the open-meetings law, each said the constitution’s language supports what Geren told the station. To his chagrin, Wood said by phone, House members reinforced such a stance by adopting the provision leading its rules stating the body’s rules shall be deemed the “only” requirements binding on the House, regardless of state laws.

In contrast, attorneys Bill Aleshire and Jennifer Riggs each suggested a portion of the open-meetings law signals an overarching legislative commitment to complying with the open-meetings law. Section 551.003 of the state’s Government Code states: “In this chapter, the legislature is exercising its powers to adopt rules to prohibit secret meetings of the legislature, committees of the legislature, and other bodies associated with the legislature, except as specifically permitted in the constitution.”

By email, Aleshire maintained that the section protects the open-meetings law from being preempted by lawmakers any which way. He noted also that the Constitution doesn’t say the Legislature has the power to outlaw recordings.

Another hearing, another approach

While checking this claim, we noticed that days after troopers carried Hedtke out, a different House chairman, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, let people at a hearing, including Hedtke, take pictures and shoot video.

According to House-posted video, just after the start of the March 28, 2017, meeting of the Homeland Security & Public Safety panel, King said: “We want to talk a little bit about cameras and things like that. I’m going to be a little flexible there.” King directed anyone taking photos to do so from the back of the Capitol hearing room. “The rule of the day,” he said, “is don’t disturb other people when you do it.”

Hedtke told us, and King confirmed, that she later got King’s permission to move her camera closer to the front of the room; intermittent noise from the hallway was marring her recording from the back.

King, asked why he laid out guidelines for people to record the meeting, told us he recognized before the hearing that people following issues before the panel wanted to record or livestream.

By phone, King said he’s aware of the law that says anyone can record a government meeting. Yet, he said, his decision to let people take photos or video was based on his discretion under House rules to run the hearing as the committee’s chairman. King said it’s the duty of any chair “to make sure the meeting is smooth, efficient and not disrupted.”

How did the permission to record affect the hearing? “It was fine,” King told us. “Everybody behaved themselves.”

Our ruling

Geren wrote that House rules authorized by the Texas Constitution supersede the state law permitting anyone to record an open government meeting.

We find that a constitutional provision plus sweeping House-adopted language that arguably lets the body operate without regard to any law support the chairman’s statement. But it’s also worth clarifying that the rub with the 1973 law allowing anyone to record a government meeting has yet to be dissected by a court.

We rate the claim Mostly True.


Now, the arrest and booking, thanks to Hedtke’s resistance, was a bit gnarlier than simply blowing a bubble.

From Gardner’s notes of his interview with Hedtke.

Took me down to the Travis County jail. I wouldn’t get out of the car. They rolled out the prisoner transport chair. Hooded me. Removed hood indoors. Left me shackled in chair for 2 hours. Declined to put on jail garb. Took to room, dress removed, buck naked. I sat there in all my Lady Godiva glory for another 20 minutes… Now they had to figure out how to block the picture window…  At this point, they had to get me dressed… Finally got clothes kinda sorta on me. Took mug shot, strapped into the chair …  Stripped again, in padded cell, 4 pm to 9 pm. PR bond. I got dressed after assured was walking out.

(Amy Hedtke’s mug shot.)

“That was a new experience,” Hedtke said of the hood and the nakedness and all.

It was not Amy Hedtke’s first arrest.

But it was only her second.

Fortunately, this being Amy Hedtke, we have video of her first arrest.

And, by way of introduction, here is the really classic top of the April 15, 2015 story on her arrest from the CBS station in DFW.

RHOME (CBSDFW.COM) – Amy Hedtke is facing charges for failure to report a change of address on her driver’s license, failure to register a vehicle and “obedience required to police officers and to school crossing guards,” but she says that’s not why she went to jail on Tuesday.

“In the activist world, we call it pissing off a police officer,” she says.

Hedtke, who spent the night in jail, says she was stopped while on the way to drop off her son at a Boy Scout meeting

And what do her five sons – four of them Boy Scouts – think of her fussing with authority.

“It depends on which fuss,” she said.

The Rhome arrest had pretty heavy consequences.

“My ex used that to take the kids away from me,” she said.

But, of her Cook arrest, she said, her kids are,”You go mom, hope you sue them.”

As for her political education:

In 2006, 2007, I dipped my toe into local politics, I was showing up at City Council meetings, and I was on teh Parks Board and I was on the Library Board.

I was a home school mom so I was teaching in the home school coop. I was a 4-H Club manager. Meals on wheels, and stuff like that.

Then in 2011 there was a chemical plant explosion in Waxahachie.

That kind of got me into county-level politics. Then I learned about the LEPC and what a freakin- county commissioner was.

xxxxxxx

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens.Oct 5, 2016

That same year, 2011, she saw an ad on Facebook – Ron Paul needs your help. Be a delegate for Ron Paul.

She remembered Ron Paul from homeschooling her kids about politics in the 2008 election. He sounded good to her, and she ended up in Tampa for the convention.

When we got back to Texas the guys who were kind of training us and advising us – most of us were ready to just dump our GOP costumes at the thrift store on the way out of Tampa – but they were like, “No, no, no, hang onto that. We’ve got other stuff we’ve got to do.” And we’re like, “What?”

So they get us involved in the Texas Legislature. So we come back from Tampa and we’re watchdogging the Texas Legislature and we’re down there and we’re testifying and following bills and that’s where it happened, sitting through 10-hour committee hearings, listening to these douchebags – “we’ve got to close that loophole, we’ve got to this, we’ve got to do that” – if I hear the phrase “close  the loophole” – that’s where i sat there listening to these thinking, this is not going to go anywhere, this is bull…., and that’s when I slid all the way off the right end of the spectrum.

Then it was just a matter of what do I do now, how do I reconcile the things I do believe with the atmosphere we have now.

I wasn’t an anarchist at first. I was your nice conservative home school mom.

What she was seeing at every level of government did not connect with what she and her kids dug up studying history and rhetoric and the founding of the country and the Constitution – “and we’re really getting into this because we’re serious infojunkies” –  and “that’s when I bascially said, “Screw that, I’m done sanctioning this kind of crap.'”

But her Ron Paul training kept her involved – for “even the anarchists that think taxation is theft, there are bond elections out there that need to be fought and we can show you how to do that.”

That’s why my arrest went so well. Because I had that group acting before I was even dragged out of that room. They were prepared, already on-line, they were watching this, they understood what might happen politically and legally. I had already dealt with a lot of our activist friends being arrested during the open carry stuff from last session. We deal with activists getting arrested all the time so I already knew going in because I’ve been on the other side of the wall, outside, at the jail, waiting for them to release my friends.

Any time you start challenging the status quo on anything you better have getting arrested as a possibility to plan for.

I’ve got five kids. I’ve four boys who were Scouts. “Be prepared” is a very serious phrase.

Did Cook see her coming on the fateful day?

Well, I was wearing the boots.

The boots have become well enough known.

I wore them a little in 2013. I wore them a lot 2015.

And by the time I got to 2017, the reps and the staff in the Capitol recognized the boots are that weird chick that’s always bitching about something.

What else is on Hedtke’s legislative agenda:

Home school bills – there’s a Tebow bill that we’ve been opposing, and these Educational Savings Accounts that we are opposing …’ make socialism great again.’ Second Amendment stuff. Constitutional carry. Parental rights. Decrim bills for marijuana. Death penalty bills (she wants it abolished). Jury nullification.

She is an abortion abolitionist, which, she said, is the appropriate anarchist position on abortion.

The crime of abortion of literally messing with people. So, from the non-aggression principle, abortion violates he non-aggression principle. It does not reconcile the rights of both individuals with the proportionate amount of force.

Meanwhile, she said, “The same guys telling us we need to do Texas Legislature stuff were also telling us we need to start going to the Republican National Committee meetings. Those happen three times a year in different part of the country.

So Saturday we have the election. Sunday (after filing for a recount) we drive to Austin. Monday morning I do my Austin court appearance, and then I get in the car and pack up with a couple of other people and drive out to San Diego for the RNC meeting. We watchdog the meetings, we attend the committee meetings, we schmooze and talk and listen and try to document what’s going on.

At the Hotel del Coronado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones ungagged: Post-trial, the Infowarrior tells the `little vampires’ of the MSM how much they suck.

 

Good Monday Austin:

My last two weeks were consumed with the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial.

On Thursday, the last day of the trial, I took my seat in the front row in the small, third-floor Travis County Courthouse courtroom so as to have a good view of Alex Jones, who would be seated a few feet in front of me, for the closing arguments. I figured it was the best seat in the house and my judgment was confirmed when, a few minutes after I sat down and a few minutes before the trial was to resume, Alex Jones sat down right next to me.

I nodded hello and Jones explained that he was sitting there to hold some seats open for family members.
Fair enough.

I asked – though I knew he probably couldn’t answer me because of a gag order in effect – whether he planned any kind of press conference after the verdict.

“Can’t talk about it,” Jones replied.

And then, a confidential aside: “Funny how the media always misses the big story.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“You’ll find out,” he said.

Jones was breathing audibly.

“These Austin allergies,” he said.

I agreed they were terrible.

They are so bad, he said, “I might have to leave Austin in a few years.”

Wow. That was evidently not the big story that he was referring to.

But that would be a big story, right?

Allergens chase Alex Jones from Austin.

If so, it would be too bad.

When the Big Book of Austin Characters  is written, Alex Jones will have a pride of place.

And Alex Jones being in Austin gave me some local purchase on one of the most interesting political stories of the Trump Era.

Jones’ parents arrived, sat down next to me and Jones took his place alongside his lawyers a few feet away.

The jury didn’t deliver its verdict until about 10 p.m. – granting  his ex-wife primary joint custody of their three children, meaning their primary residence will now be with her instead of him –  Jones and his lawyers rushed out of the Courthouse when it was over. I chased after him, but to no avail.

But, no worry. The next day, on Friday, Jones tweeted that he would be having a press conference in front of the Courthouse.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/858029678925414400

What follows is a video of that half-hour press conference, as posed by Infowars, and a transcript I made of it. Also, Charlie Warzel, who covered the trial for Buzzfeed, Periscoped the event and I include some screen shots that include comments people made on his Periscoping of the event, as it happened. That audience is not particularly sympathetic to Jones.

Also, before I turn the show over to Alex Jones, I need to make a couple of points.

The reason the trial drew so much attention was because the original frame of the story was that Alex Jones’ attorneys would argue in court that his on-air persona is just that, a persona.

From my original story that appeared in the Statesman the day the trail opened.

At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

Jones complained bitterly that that frame was a media smear – that while he sometimes plays characters in satiric bits on the show, that the Alex Jones character and the politics he espouses are authentically him.

But, to be clear, as much as he may not like the way he was depicted as “playing a character” on Infowars, like Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in Batman,  he paid his lawyers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to come up with that legal strategy.

Now, it could be he was a distracted listener when his lawyers outlined that strategy for him.

Or it could be that he and his lawyers figured that the case – which was and remains under seal – would be tried without any press coverage, so no one outside the courtroom would be any wiser about the strategy.

But, the point is, the viral theme that Alex Jones is playing a character on Infowars originated with his legal team.

But, in fairness to them, they needed to come up with an argument, in advance of the trial, that would enable them to argue persuasively in front of state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo, that Kelly Jones’ lawyers should not be able to use the things Jones says on Infowars, and the way how he says it, in the trial – that they should not be able to play Infowars tapes to the jury, and the only way to do that was to persuade her that the Alex Jones on Infowars is not the Alex Jones who is a father to his children.

Because, if Kelly Jones’ lawyers were able to mine the truly vast Infowars archivs for tapes to play before a jury made up of anything but devoted Infowarriors, it would be child’s play to portray Alex Jones as a maniac, not to mention a paranoid conspiracy theorist who believes that 9/11 was an inside job and the Sandy Hook massacre was hoax.

Instead, his lawyers were mostly able to put Infowars off limits.

But, as the outcome of the trial attests, not entirely.

And that is because, as his long and winding and ultimately truly bizarre Friday afternoon press conference demonstrates, his legal team’s argument notwithstanding, there really is no clear delineation between Alex Jones the father – who is ostensibly who is conducting this press conference and is well in evidence early on – and Alex Jones the host of Infowars, who is increasingly in evidence as the event unfolds.

Here goes.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/858717103112826881

The establishing shot of the Infowars video is my bushy pony tail and thinning hair on the back of my head as Alex Jones arrives from his attorenys’ law office across the street from the courthouse.

Enter Alex Jones.

AJ:

OK, everybody’s got their feeding frenzy going on here.

All the fake news media can edit in all their fake clips in this but the folks watching on-line will see the truth.

I have a little statement I’m going to make and later I’m going to put on-line some of these documents.

We’re going back three years ago. I didn’t file for divorce. I never tried to take my kids away from my ex-wife. Four separate times she filed to take them away.

The courts, the guardian ad litems, the system, thought it was horrible. I gotta say the system actually here in liberal Austin said, “This is horrible, this is child abuse, we’re taking the kids away and giving them to you,” and I said, “I want them to be with their mom too.” She said, no, they’re with me, not with you, in five separate filings, four in the first three years of it, but we’re now over three years into this. So that’s the reality. I know the media won’t get that right.

In fact the case wasn’t even about that with the media. Our closing arguments weren’t even covered by the media. Everything was cherry-picked. Just like we’re showing on this live feed right here.

We will show what we actually said versus what MSM said and how it’s taken out of context. And that’s why mainstream media is collapsing, that’s why it’s dying. That’s why you guys sit there and desperately say that I’m fake news or I’m an actor.

When somebody asks if I’m in a movie , am I an actor, am I fake? No, when I’m playing a role in a movie, I’m playing that part, but when I’m politically speaking for something, I totally believe it. I’m not bought and paid for by the big corporations. I’m not funded by people like George Soros. I’m funded by my listeners and my viewers, over 45 million conservatively a week.

So here’s my basic statement that I wrote on this whole situation.

I want to respond t- o the grossly inaccurate media reports that I lost custody of my children. My wife and I decided two years ago at the time of our divorce to be joint managing conservators for our three wonderful children. My ex-wife went to court to ask to become the sole managing conservator and limit me to supervised access and gave no reasons.

What she said the trial I wanted – to take the kids away – is what she put in her filing.

Pretty interesting.

The jury resoundingly rejected her request for sole custody and left us at the same place where we began this horrible journey over three years ago.

This jury agreed we should remain as joint managing conservators with the only change being who could name the primary residence, effectively a change of ten miles. As only the judge in the case can decide what amount of time each parent will have with their children, I am confident the judge will carefully consider the schedules that have been put in place the last two years and give each of us the time that is appropriate.

I have throughout this ordeal deferred to the experts and the court to determine the children’s schedule with due regard to their own wishes, something that was ignored – their own wishes to reside with me. I have and will continue to place my trust in the court to continue to do what is in the best interests of my children.

And I say that, quite frankly, because I was just blown away by the fact that I had a divorce filed on me, and then I agreed to have guardian ad litems and social workers investigate me and have all this alcohol and drug testing done, and never been in trouble in my life, and they said, “You’re a wonderful dad, here’s your kids.”

And then I come back four or five times in court, trying to work toward my wife being 50-50, or my ex-wife, and then the media won’t even touch on that and it becomes some story that I had my kids and  I had taken them and I was this alienator when the literal definition of alienation was engaged in.

You dehumanize me and my children, you dehumanize yourselves. That’s what this comes down to.

So all I want is the truth to come out on all of this because I didn’t file for divorce. I didn’t trigger this. The courts – three separate judges and an arbitrator – took my children away from my ex-wife and gave them exclusively to me. I never asked for that. I want to be with them, I love them. But the incredible lies that were put out in the trial, with never any evidence, was absolutely amazing and mind-boggling.

So understand that, ladies and gentlemen, this was one of the first modern trials where you have corporate, establishment, mercenary media perched in the courtroom literally cherry-picking, twisting and distorting everything.

That’s why it’s accelerated the demise of the corporate media.

You guys wonder why you have dwindling audiences, why you don’t have support. It’s because you deceive people, you lie to people, and I know you have corporate masters, who order you do that, I know you’ve got editors who add disinformation to your stories. But again, that’s the bottom line.

Nothing the media got about this was right except one thing. The media was sitting there watching the case saying this is going absolutely terribly bad for his ex-wife, but that’s because you were not using emotion, you were looking at the facts.

And all the experts who were triggered and called in via the state by my ex-wife, all of it, I and my children were the victims of alienation. We were the victims of a certified program to pull them away from me forever, where I would never see them again or only see them on supervised visits, for no reason. And that’s why the liberal counties of Hays and Austin and Travis County said, that’s why the super-liberal counties of Hays and Travis County said, “Alex Jones, we may not agree with your politics, but you’re a great dad. Here’s your kids.’

And then the media got in there and perched and put out their propaganda and put it on the front page of the paper as if you had some victory against me.

My listeners and my audience see through all of this garbage and are fully aware of what happened. So again, much of the court record is public now, if any of you want to claim you’re mainstream media, you will discover the fact that it was the court-appointed Ph.D. who said I engaged in no alienation. it was the guardian ad litem, Ph.D., highly respected, that said there was a campaign of alienation against me and my children, and took them away to stop it.

So you have bought into the inverse of reality, and it all turns into a big comedy spectacle, and then you guys spin it and say, “Oh, that’s what you do sometimes,” so it’s supposedly OK for you to do it, when in truth I didn’t do it and what you covered was something out of context and another deception.

(Note: The trial records, and all previous records in the case, are under seal. The litigants were – and may still be – under a gag order. So, all that reporters had to go on was what was said in the courtroom during the trial. Kelly Jones had moved to unseal the file before the trial and Alex Jones moved, successfully, to keep the file sealed. When I asked Jones at the press conference if he had released sealed court documents he said “some,” but that was all he said.)

AJ:

That’s why Infowars is blowing up. That’s why our support is exploding. That’s why we have more visitors and more supporters and more financial support than I have even had on Election Day with 80-million plus viewers and listeners in one week.

So thank you all, in the last two weeks your mainstream media deception has only intensified the power of Infowars as people across the world see that I am under attack, and the attempts to take my children from me, with lawsuits, attempts to put me in jail, attempts to destroy me. Google admits there basically setting up systems to banning us off the internet.

All of it’s coming out because I’m not a coward and I’m not bought and paid for by multi-national corporations. I’m standing up for the people and I’m telling the truth and serious men and women of every race, creed and color, know the truth and nationalism and freedom and renaissance and true liberalism is awakening again and all the old whore corporate media are going to be swept away like a big rain coming in and flooding into the gutters.

So that’s the bottom line ladies and gentlemen. A lot more coming in the near future as we move forward in defense of this Republic and in defense of freedom and in defense  of truth. Infowars.com. I want to thank all the viewers and listeners out there.

We’ve got all the media here. All here to pretend like they’re media – some of them might be real – to pretend like they’re media and then say, here’s Alex Jones the prop, here, let our editors put the normal little comments in and disinformation and lies about him and let’s pretend that we’re reporters. Let’s pretend that we actually went out and did something, let’s pretend we actually went out and interviewed somebody and actually found the truth. Let’s pretend that we’re really the press. That’s what all of this is about. So  our listeners watching right now can see who is pretending.

A reporter asks why, with such disdain for the media, he is holding the press conference.

AJ:

I’ve sit and watched as the media twisted and lied about my family for weeks, so what I’m doing is trolling the media like I always do, calling you out here, so the real people out there can see the truth and understand it and have a record of what happened to then compare it to what I said and what you twisted and what you did.

So you’re not real media even. It’s the process of groveling to the corporate systems to sit there and try to get them to give you some funding, that if you  are somehow a good little deceptive person they will give you some jobs or some money, so that’s all this really is.

Are there any real questions?

He is asked what he has told his children.

That’s a great question. What do I say to my children, who I never in three years brought into this, who I never made public.

I never asked the media to come into this. I was never a part of any of that. It was other people who brought the little vampires in to be all part of this to come in and sit there and point their finger and go, “There’s the bad man, let’s shut him down, let’s put words in his mouth.”

I mean my children know that the corporate media lie, and they go to school and they hear about this and they know the truth and they go, “Why does the media say that and why does the media say this,” and I explain they are not the media, they’re the people who with the corporatists and the globalists helped to hijack this nation and they’re being torn out of control now, they’re being removed like a tick off a dog’s rear end and torn off this country and they realize it as little parasites, as followers, as conformists posing as trendies as their time is short.

He was asked about being sued by Chobani yogurt, for allegedly filing false reports about the company and its owner.

I’ve talked to four lawyers about the Chobani lawsuit and they all say it is completely frivolous, an absolute and complete PR stunt, and I was on the phone with my DC lawyers and my Idaho lawyers today and we are thinking about an aggressive corporate strategy to actually go after the New York Federal Reserve, which he is board member of, and the school lunch program he is part of and these other loans and deals he’s got going that are monopolistic.

My lawyer has also dealt with some of the suits that were part of the Boston Herald with, and they found the Saudi money going to the local group and they got shot down everything got paid back. so I’ve got my lawyers, they’re all handling that and we’re looking at counter lawsuits because we were reporting on news about the reported sexual assaults that the media said didn’t happen that they’ve now plead guilty for and they’re, “let’s not connect it with the yogurt maker.” No, just the owner who pushes for refugees to be brought in with George Soros and George Soros’s founded law firm that’s suing me.

So technically I’m not saying the owner himself imported these people. The point is they are being brought in unvetted. so we covered other people’s reports and they played little games, little factoid parts of it, so we’re very very confident of that.

Note: I have no idea what he’s talking about and my guess is that it is all conspiracy theory gobbledygook in which a bunch of key words are strung together to suggest something nefarious without foundation.

AJ:

What happens is, when we get attacked, the listenership and support just goes up exponentially.

So what happens is attacks go up to here, support goes up to there, and attacks go up to here and support goes up to those trees. It just goes up and up and up. It’s like an absolute elevator.

What’s happening is people get it. They understand it’s a war. They understand it’s a fight. They understand what’s going on with the corporate media and they absolutely love it.

So we understand the Democratic strategy. We were already aware of it months ago, but there’s all sort of slap statutes in Texas and a lot of serious issues. So we’re looking forward to discovery on Chobani and we’re looking  really, really forward to looking into Turkey and the Kurds and the funding of the operation. We’ve also got our intel sources on that.

Back to the custody case:

Technically we already had joint custody. That’s all I ever sought. My ex-wife had sought sole, and supervised visits, OK, so that was in the original filing, and so, because that happened, I was always trying to get joint. So the courts in 2005 (think he means 2015), when we had a divorce settlement, but then the courts came in and said because we had some issues and because she went off to a treatment center in Arizona, which came into the trial, didn’t seem to matter, the news never reported it and other stuff, that I won’t get into it, had nothing to do with it. She was just gone for five weeks and then it turns into this whole fantasy land with mainstream media. And so the courts and the judges and the social workers and the guardian ad litems that she triggered that she brought in on me.

I was, “Sure, I have nothing to hide.”

 

“Test my blood.”

“Wow, you’re great.”

“Wow, you’re a really great guy. We don’t like how you are on the air. But you’re a really cool guy.”

Fourteen different Ph.D”s, psychiatrists, experts all said, doing home studies, “Man, you’re a really great guy. Here’s your kids.” Without me even asking. And then I’m in court trying to get a relationship back, saying, “Here, let’s be 50-50, kids need their mother.” And then there’s the news stories that I am alienating children. Total, complete lie, none of it true.

Another question about custody.

AJ:

No I had total custody. I’m not a lawyer. We had joint but I was the main conservator, now she has joint with where the main house is listed, but it’s all up to the judge, who, by the way, is one of the most thorough judges I’ve seen. Amazing how she keeps everything, I’m not saying she’s perfect, but I was amazed at how she had a lot of fair rulings and stayed on top of things.

Basically until she rules in the next few months on what this jury did she is – exactly – like the custodial parent. The jury told folks that they wished they had a third or fourth choice, they just wanted to give mom some more time and I totally get that, that seems reasonable, it’s just that she never put in the steps that were put in by the social workers and the Ph.D’s that she called in.

She wanted us assessed. She called them in. And the reason there were 34 of them is that she would get rid of each group of them because they wouldn’t say what she wanted and then she would get a new group. OK, here’s a new group.

Or she’d say, “I don’t like this judge,” so that judge would step aside and there would be a new judge. New judge would look at the information and do the exact same thing. And so it was the same story over and over, and look, I care about my ex-wife. You know, mental illness is a serious thing when it’s the kind of situation she’s been diagnosed with.

And look, none of us are perfect, and I’m sure we all have issues, but the bottom line is it’s about my children, it’s not about what I say or what I do or how the media edits what I say or they edit what I stand for.

It’s like I saw Stephen Colbert like two months ago play this clip off YouTube, it was a tiny little clip, they had it shrunk down, and they had me saying “I’m anti-gay.”

They’ll probably take that and say I said that. That’s not me discredited, that’s the media.

I said, “I’m anti-gay,” but the real clip said, “I’m not anti-gay.” So they take that and put that on TV. That doesn’t discredit me, that the editors on his show did that. That’s their problem.

Another question about where the children are now and when they might change residences.

They’re with me. That’s up to the judge.

Timeline?

I don’t know, probably months.

She sees them a couple of times a week, overnights and all that.

The stuff that was testified to was fiction.

It’s just divorce stuff.

And people make fun of what I cover and what I do and say, “Oh Alex Jones doesn’t have any listeners or any viewers, he’s this outlier.” But everything I do gets covered because they know the truth. We get up to 80 million viewers a week, always about 45 million. That’s big. That’s double the size of Rush Limbaugh. That’s bigger than most Fox News shows throughout a whole week. So that’s why there’s so much demonization, that’s why there are so many attacks. That’s why there are so many misrepresentations because that’s where the media is.

But it’s a complex issue and I would just ask folks to wait and see what the ruling of the judge is and I have faith in that and I just want whatever is right for the kids. I hope the kids are with their mother more as long as she’s doing well and as long as she’s not dysregulating, and stuff like that.

And I get people are scared of Donald Trump. And I get that it’s fun to pick some low-hanging fruit like myself and make that kind of like the piñata and say that’s the devil and stuff, but I’m very critical of Trump, very critical of the Democrats. I’m critical of both political parties. That’s another manufactured mainstream media thing.

I mean I’m very happy with Trump on some issues, like trying to get our jobs back to America. But I think it’s terrible that Trump is talking about indicting Assange, who he said, “If you got more stuff, give it to me.” Trump said, “If you’ve got more WikiLeaks, give it to me Wikileaks.

And that’s totally wrong and I’ve been talking about that for weeks. The media won’t pick up on that, because it’s all just this distortion of where I stand and what I do. I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. I’m a libertarian.

Take human-animal chimeras.

Uh oh. Here we go.

They have jokes all over TV, Jones thinks they’re crossing humans with pigs and cows. Well 20 years ago they were crossing humans and animals and growing them in utero for body parts. That’s mainstream scientific journals, but this cameraman is laughing right here. This guy right here.

I mean you could type in human-animal chimeras and get 100,000 mainstream articles, but still, people are preconditioned to make a joke like it doesn’t exist.

From Antonio Regaldao, Jan. 6, 2016, in Technology Review: Human-Animal Chimeras Are Gestating on U.S. Research Farms A radical new approach to generating human organs is to grow them inside pigs or sheep.

Like Harvard saying fluoride lowers your IQ in two years on just 1.6 parts per million, by at least 10 points, 12 points, 15 points. People just make jokes, they don’t look up the Harvard studies.

From Harvard.edu: Impact of fluoride on neurological development in children

It’s all just funny because people are followers and it makes them feel powerful to just laugh at stuff.

Let’s talk to this cameraman, because when I was talking about human-animal chimeras he was laughing.

Jones approaches the cameraman who says he “couldn’t say one way or another” about human-animal chimeras.

A voice calls out “spider goats.”

AJ:

Spider goats, all of it.

AJ:

They’ll probably play that, and Colbert will go, “Oh look, spider goats.”

Do you have any idea how dangerous all these human-animal chimeras are?

Do you have any idea the super viruses and mutations it’s creating?

Cancers are way up. Allergies are way up. This will affect your kids. This isn’t funny. I’ve had top scientists on about this. I mean 20 years ago they had rhesus monkeys that you could buy in Hong Kong in bazaars that glow in the dark, that are part jellyfish.

Think that’s funny. They have horrible lives. It’s incredibly painful fort them. Colbert will probably play that because monkeys in medical experiments is funny. It’s funny that I’m upset about that. It’s funny. It’s fun to laugh at because it’s fun to be ignorant and just be a trendy. It’s fun to laugh at Alex Jones. It’s fun.

Jones spots  “my great attorney” Randall Wilhite and calls him over, says that Wilhite had never see any case like it in 30-some  years in law.

Randy, get over here and talk to the folks about the whole state of the union.

Wilhite:

Well I don’t know about the whole state of the union but I have had the opportunity to represent this man for the last three years, we’ve been through a lot of battles together, we’ve been through a lot of wars.

We’re fighting for his children, we’re still going to be fighting for his children. We’ve got a little more to do in court and looking forward to the opportunity to present the case and Mr. Jones has said it all so far and I think that’s all I want to say at this point, just keep it kind of broad and general.

AJ:

Absolutely, and when you look at this case, a lot of stuff going on. They keep asking me, “Who has the kids?  Where are we going, when are we going to find out, what’s happening?”

That’s up to the judge right now.

Wilhite:

We have a hearing. I think it’s going to be scheduled in about a month before our judge in the court, and at that time the judge may hear more evidence, may not, but at that time the judge is going to make an apportionment of time between Alex Jones and Kelly Jones and we’re going to have to wait for that.

That’s something that the jury doesn’t do, that’s something the judge does. That’s just the way our law breaks down the two different elements. We’re waiting for that. That’s in approximately a month. I don’t have a specific date or I would give it to you, but sometime around the end of May.

AJ:

And Texas is the only state that has juries for family law.

Wilhite:

Texas is the only state as far as I know, and I think I’ve got it, that allows juries to decide issues of child custody. We’ve had that trial, we’ve had that split verdict from yesterday. We’re going to take that and go forward and see what Judge Naranjo will do with how she apportions the time between Alex and between Kelly.

AJ:

And I gotta tell you, I’m impressed not just with this judge individually but with the whole court system how professional it is and how you keep track of everything. I gotta say, it’s been a real eye-opener for me, how complex this stuff is.

Wilhite:

It is complex, lot of moving parts and we are in the good, capable hands of Judge Naranjo, still are, and I can’t comment on that, not allowed to by the rules that govern lawyers, so I am going to keep at 40,000 feet, but there’s more to this that’s coming up and we’re going to do our best to fight for the Jones’ children.

AJ:

All right. I’ll see you over there. Did you come over to grab me?

Wilhite:

No I didn’t.

AJ:

You came over here to see the spectacle.

Wilhite:

Yes.

Next question, How are your kids doing?

AJ:

You know they’re doing all right. My children are doing all right. They’re just reading the newspaper and they’re saying, “That’s not true dad,” or “You didn’t do that dad.'”

And there was so much going on in this trial that the media would get wrong, or it would be an evidentiary meeting, or something would get thrown out. There was a lot of stuff where there wasn’t supposed to be evidence that got in, and then magically it got played and it was edited, just, you know, but that’s what happens when you’re changing the world.

That’s what happens when the old decaying system is upset by people who don’t have all the answers but are just not going to go along with it anymore. And so you know that happened when our country was founded.

In places like North Korea and Venezuela, they don’t have change. They live in stagnant control, everybody follows orders. And then those people flee those countries and come here and bitch and complain about the little bit of freedom that is left and complain about the American system of free market. And that of course is until that system collapses, and then we realize, we wish we hadn’t killed America.

But the globalists want to kill competition, they want to consolidate control, so I’m just here to tell everyone that Infowars is growing, it’s expanding, and I want to thank all the listeners and viewers for their prayers, but I just wanted to come over here and have a little press conference with you guys and clarify where everything is, where every things stands, and much of what they keep saying in the trial – the lawyers would say, “He throws away the toys.” He does this, but there would never be a witness on the stand saying it.

I was ready to hear, “And he crucified Christ, and he sank the Lusitania and he Titanic, and he shot Lincoln at Ford Theater, and Alex Jones robbed Fort Knox, and Alex Jones poisoned George Washington, and Alex Jones did this and Alex Jones did that.” But the great news is that that mainstream media is so discredited that the more they attack me, the more listeners and support we get. It’s quite a paradigm.

But in little nested areas of followers like Austin, Texas, it’s pretty clear that the government-loving, corporate worship system, fake liberal system, still has its tentacles growing and doing well, so we hope to revive some of the people, just like North Koreans are in a cult or people in Venezuela are in a cult, or people in Cuba are in a cult. We’re just here talking to a bunch of pseudo intellectuals and fops and hoping that some day they will break out of the control paradigm they’re in.

But regardless, it doesnt’ matter. We’re just glad to be trailblazers and be free and we’re just really, really glad that the American people are continuing to wake up. Thanks for coming out tonight, have fun with however you guys distort this.

He was asked about the Infowars broadcast in the middle of the trial in which he said that by the age of 16 he had been with more than 150 women, a comment that ultimately made it before the jury.

That was all out of context. I was saying that wasn’t a good thing, so they turned it into I said that and I said it was a good thing.

It’s all deception, and I get it.

You guys should try your hands at being fiction writers and write pure fiction, because the BS you’re writing in the newspaper, you’d make a lot more money in fiction, writing fiction stories, that’s what I’m trying to tell you.

That’s why the corporate media brands me as fake or as an actor when I never said that or never did that, and play semantical games. If I do 90 percent serious news and 10 percent satire and comedy and punditry, and if I’m sitting around on the show playing the part of a British aristocrat saying, “I love the New World Order,” that doesn’t mean I’m a British aristocrat and love the New World Order, and it doesn’t mean I’ve sold out and I’m an actor.

And that’s just playing semantical games with your audience, and it’s got to be sad to only have an audience who are in sleep, trance-like states. I mean mainstream TV viewers are admittedly lower IQ, lower-income, near trance state, and so I’m not talking to people in a trance state. I’m talking to people that are awake.

OK, guys, thank you for coming out. I want to see the fiction, the fiction you guys come up with, how you twist this. It’s very entertaining. All the big shows, all the big comedy shows, all the big nightly shows, love the comedy, love the deception. Let’s keep it going.

Just keep reporting on how we’re changing the world.

You’ve got to report on us and distort the truth, turn it upside down, and even though you turn it upside down, people know it’s powerful, because there’s still the image of truth there, even though it’s upside down. We’ll continue to be the people changing history, we’ll be the people who actually force the serious issues on to the table, and we’ll continue to get ridiculed as all trailblazers are, so we love ya and someday you will be out of your comas mainstream media.

God bless you and thank you very much.

But that wasn’t quite the end of it.

As Jones exited to return to his lawyers’ office, some reporters engaged in further conversation, including Charlie Warzel who asks why he risks making his serious points with misunderstood satire.

The transcription service ends here, but do watch these several moments, in which he says that when he said the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, he was only playing devil’s advocate, that he was kidding when he said on Infowars on the Friday before the trial began, that President Obama’s daughters were not his own, and that when he said that Michelle Obama was a “tranny,” he wasn’t saying that he believed that, he was simply repeating what Joan Rivers said and, “Everybody knows that she’s not a tranny, everybody knows she’s the Loch Ness monster …. and that’s a joke too.”

The video ends with this shot.

Charlie Warzel: Boy was that interesting.

Me: What’s your problem?

CW: What’s my problem?

Me: Pestering the man when he’s trying to make a point.

Also on Friday, Jones issued another video with Wilhite and his wife and co-counsel, Alison, that was way more normal.