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American Politics


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On 29/01/2024 at 07:39, Mudface said:

 

He's right, we need more of this.

 

https://twitter.com/Kaylan_TX/status/1702787403881087087

 

image.png

 

Lauren Boebert’s 18-year-old son was arrested in Garfield County February 27, 2024, and faces 22 charges.

According to the Rifle Police Department’s Facebook page Tyler Boebert was arrested at around 2:30 in the afternoon. The arrest comes after a string of vehicle and property thefts in the area.

 

Stealing wallets and credit cards. In his hometown.

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Fascism with American characteristics is going global
 

https://newrepublic.com/article/179287/cpac-2024-trump-steve-bannon-fascism?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tnr_daily

 

 

CPAC 2024: This Year America, Tomorrow the World 

 

Sure, Donald Trump was the star. But the real story was the global coalition preparing to cast the world into darkness that is Steve Bannon’s brainchild.

 

KENT NISHIMURA/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

 

Steve Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday

 

Walking through this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, it was easy to be underwhelmed. Attendance appeared to be down from its heyday numbers, and the exhibit hall, dominated in years past by enormous displays by the now absent National Rifle Association, had a thin and vaguely pathetic feel, featuring tables full of bedazzled Trump hats, a stall selling hand-knotted hammocks emblazoned with the MAGA slogan, a Christian cell phone provider, and a pair of easels featuring depictions of Christ in his suffering painted by a woman as she performed a trance-like dance.

To be sure, personalities and politicians beloved by Donald J. Trump’s voter base—Representative Jim Jordan, Senate candidate Kari Lake, and former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, to name a few—were plentiful. Not to mention Trump himself, who appeared on Saturday. Although the roster of speakers on the main stage featured stars of the MAGA right, this conference was really not designed for the on-site audience, whose presence served as mere cover for a bonanza of right-wing media opportunities and a convening of thuggish leaders of authoritarian governments and movements throughout the world.

In CPAC’s post-Covid, post–January 6 diminishment, one figure is notably ascendant: Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former chief White House strategist. It has long been Bannon’s dream to smash up the European Union and most international institutions, dating back at least to his involvement, via the now-defunct data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, in the Brexit campaign that led to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. A tagline in illuminated red lettering above this year’s CPAC main stage read: “Where globalism goes to die.”


In a hotel ballroom on Wednesday, the night before the conference kicked off in earnest, Bannon presided over a gathering billed as CPAC’s International Summit. Seated at a rectangular arrangement of tables set end to end were former Trump foreign policy and national security officials, a former U.K. prime minister, Hungary’s ambassador to the United States, Argentina’s security minister, and the heads of CPAC organizations in Japan, Australia, and Hungary. At the head table, CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, a former Trump communications official, sat flanked by Bannon and Rick Grenell, the former acting national security adviser and disastrous ambassador to Germany. Later in the week, the CPAC main stage would host speeches by the son of Brazil’s defeated autocratic former president, the president of Spain’s far-right Vox party, and the authoritarian leaders of El Salvador and Argentina. (Earlier that day, the Daily Beast reported that subpoenas had been issued to a CPAC staff member as part of a lawsuit against Schlapp, alleging the sexual assault of a young man.)


Assuming his imagined mantle of Great Man of History, Bannon, clad in a rumpled olive-drab jacket and pants, made a bold declaration. “We’re the last thing from isolationists,” he said. “We believe in the Treaty of Westphalia and the Westphalian system. We will make sure we bequeath that system and our constitutional republic and your great countries to generations.”

Westphalia is a word that pops up with some frequency in Bannon’s lexicon, a favorite perhaps for its Game of Thrones sort of vibe. When he speaks of the Westphalian system, Bannon is talking about the inviolability of national sovereignty, a concept born of a 1648 peace agreement between the Holy Roman Empire and the states of Europe. In 1648, it was an innovation. Today, it’s basically a highfalutin’ rationale for the aggressive rejection of all international governance structures and policy-producing bodies.

Though Bannon’s gathering of global deplorables took place only days after the death of Alexei Navalny, a fierce opponent of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, in a Siberian prison, the dissident’s name never came up.

 

But that doesn’t mean the participants weren’t aware of the optics of looking too cozy with Putin at just such a moment—especially following Trump’s February 11 hanky-drop for the Russian leader with an invitation to invade NATOcountries that haven’t met their defense-spending commitments. After all, Putin himself, with a figurative wink and nod, created a permission structure for his American and European fans to play-smack him when he told Russian television on February 15 that he would prefer Biden over Trump as the next U.S. president.

C’mon, like who believes that? Probably not the people in this room. But they know that most American people really dislike Putin: Of the 15 “newsmakers” that Gallup asked survey respondents to rank in an August study, 90 percent viewed Putin unfavorably. So the Russia fans at the Trumpist summit now devised a way to distance themselves from that contemptible leader while working feverishly to elect his vengeful acolyte, Donald Trump—a pathway Putin likely opened for them deliberately.

“Let’s remember,” Grenell told the group, “we should start every conversation and finish every conversation by saying, ‘Vladimir Putin wants Joe Biden to be reelected.’” His eyes shined with glee. Given this, it wasn’t really surprising that a resolution drafted by the CPAC board condemning “the police-state tactics of Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Lula de Silva, and Joe Biden” was agreed to by voice vote. About an hour into the proceedings, Senator Tommy Tuberville sauntered in and was invited to offer a few words. “Our country’s in trouble,” he said. “You think you’re in trouble? We’re in trouble. There’s not one thing that we’re doing right since President Biden took office.... We’re broke. We have no borders. Our military is woke.” This was the man who single-handedly held up the promotions of hundreds of career military personnel for months because of his disagreement with the Department of Defense policy on abortion.


Taking place at a momentous time in global election cycles, this year’s CPAC was closely tied not only to the U.S. presidential contest (Trump being the conference keynote speaker) but also to the June elections for members of the European Parliament, or MEPs. Hungary is currently locked in dispute with EU leaders in Brussels over Hungary’s draconian laws against queer people, which are justified by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán under the guise of preserving the nation’s great culture.

“And the [EU] countries, although they are coming with this democracy and rule of law bullshit, sorry for using this word … their core problem is that there is a country, there is a government, there is a right-wing force in the heart of Europe, in the center, standing up firmly for those values,” said Miklos Szantho of CPAC Hungary. “So … the ultimate goal that we do have in this election—for the MEP elections and for the American elections—is to build a global coalition against the globalists.”

Democracy did not have a good week at CPAC. It wasn’t just Szantho. On Thursday, video emerged of podcaster Jack Posobiec with Steve Bannon at a side event, announcing the end of democracy, adding, “We’re here to overthrow it completely. We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this right here.” Posobiec fishes something small out of his pocket, perhaps a religious medal, and holds it up. “Because all glory is not to the government; all glory is to God.” Bannon chimes in with, “Amen.”


On Friday evening, a group of Nazis and other white supremacists gathered at a CPAC party, according to Ben Goggin of NBC News:


At the Young Republican mixer Friday evening, a group of Nazis who openly identified as national socialists mingled with mainstream conservative personalities, including some from Turning Point USA, and discussed so-called “race science” and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Turning Point USA is a national group with chapters on college campuses that is aligned with the Republican Party and led by right-wing influencer Charlie Kirk.

At Bannon’s Wednesday night anti-globalist globalist confab, former U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss (who lasted six weeks in office in a contest with a head of lettuce, sort of) called for coming down hard on protesters against Israel’s actions in Gaza. “The problem is we are not cracking down on people who are openly supporting terrorism,” she said. “… So often, it’s the extreme anti-capitalists, the extreme so-called environmentalists who are also peddling antisemitism. And what we need to do is, we need to make sure that they are just not allowed to have these massive protests.”


From the main stage on Saturday, Javier Milei, the newly elected neolibertarian president of Argentina, ranted against “unlimited democracy” and accused pro-choice organizations of having “a murderous agenda.” Milei ran for office on a campaign modeled on Trump’s—complete with “Make Argentina Great Again” caps—and has echoed Trump’s false claim of a stolen 2020 U.S. presidential election. On stage, the two enjoyed a close hug after Trump name-checked Milei from the podium.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, used his speaking slot to decry the treatment of his father during an ongoing investigation into the storming of Brazil’s federal government buildings by a mob after the elder Bolsonaro lost his bid for reelection in 2022. He asked the U.S. Congress to conduct a hearing into the matter.

 

For his part, El Salvador’s

President Nayib Bukele, a cryptocurrency enthusiast known for his brutal, often indiscriminate round-ups of citizens and mass incarceration, sought to make a distinction, based on a falsehood, between himself and, presumably, Biden, when he laughably claimed, “In El Salvador, we don’t weaponize our judicial system to persecute our political enemies. And now, who’s the dictator?”

Throughout the conference, two main themes were hammered for the benefit of the Trump base: demonization of trans people (or denial of their very existence) and straight-up anti-immigrant xenophobia. In other words, attacks on people whose voices are rarely given a platform anywhere; people who are among society’s most vulnerable.


Nigel Farage, the happy Brexiteer, told the International Summit, “Religious sectarianism now beginning to dominate British politics. Parliament Square as we speak is full of thousands of people waving Palestinian flags.” The problem, he contended, lay in Britain’s immigration policies, which had simply allowed in too many Muslims, threatening British culture. 

“If we lose our borders, we lose a significant part of our culture,” he said. 

 

Truss laid the issue at the feet of her political opponents, implying that current immigration policies thrive to feed the electoral needs of the Labour Party. “The British Labour Party needs Muslim votes,” she said.” It relies on Muslim votes. It had 86 percent of the Muslim vote at the last general election. It needs to keep those Muslim votes.”

In the summit room, Bannon explained how the Trump people are already recruiting replacements to take over some 3,000 civil service jobs a Trump administration would empty in order to place its own people.

“So on the afternoon of the 20th, in the transition, we’ll have beachhead teams and landing teams that will be able to go get that second and third level where the work really gets done and where the administrative state actually makes a difference,” Bannon said. “If we want to save our country, we have to take down the administrative state.… So I think this fight, that internal fight, is going to be absolutely vicious, and we have to win it.”

And one more thing, he added: “We’ve learned collectively that we don’t need the legacy media.”

 

He has a point.

 

Along the hall opposite the main hall, podcast, video, and radio sets line the wall for the length of the space. None are from mainstream media outlets; rather, they’re from the panoply of right-wing and far-right platforms from which Republican activists get their news: The Epoch Times, NewsMax, RightSide Broadcasting, The John Fredericks Show, and the like.

During the final session of CPAC 2024, after Trump had left the main stage following a nearly two-hour rant, Bannon returned to the podium to declare Trump “the greatest president of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries,” and to repeat the lie of a stolen election.

 

“Lock ’em up!” he said. “All of ’em: Garland, Wray, Biden, Mayorkas!”

The crowd obliged with the requisite chant.

Although the room wasn’t terribly full, it all looked great on the livestream and in the videos taken from it that will live in perpetuity, be sliced and diced and repackaged for messaging, and generally serve as a well of material shot with high production values—lighting, sound, set.

Fascism does not require a majority of support in order to win. Its willingness to trample norms allows for massive cheating and manipulation of the public. CPAC is a neofascist enterprise, and the fascists are getting organized. They’re telling you what they want to do—and they want to do it all over the world. Scoff if you care to, but keep a close eye.

 

 

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On 22/09/2023 at 19:48, polymerpunkah said:

Democratic US senator and now former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez charged with accepting bribes (again).

 

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senator-menendez-charged-with-corruption-prosecutors-2023-09-22/#:~:text=MENENDEZ HAS FACED OTHER PROBES,he has never been convicted.

 

This is one of the most powerful people in the US, and he's crookeder than a dog's hind leg. Allegedly.

 

 

 

 

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez was indicted Tuesday on a dozen new criminal charges related to a years-long bribery scheme involving the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

The new charges come days after Jose Uribe, one of the New Jersey businessmen who was previously indicted alongside Menendez, his wife Nadine Menendez, and two others, agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the investigation.

Among the new charges are conspiracy, obstruction of justice, public official acting as a foreign agent, bribery, extortion and honest services wire fraud.

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I think liberals are too tolerant by nature. Trump is a crook, bannon is a crook, their followers ransacked Congress and killed coppers, and here we are again. 

 

There are far more liberals than there are these shitstains, and as Truss and her ilk proved over here, they're thick as fuck to boot.

 

Can't believe ordinary folk let these skidmarks push everyone around to the extent that they do.

 

But then I suppose that's how a barely literate chicken farmer becomes head of the SS.

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Many Republicans plan to skip the House GOP retreat as they grumble about both the location and the idea of spending time with one another, with tensions still running high inside the party in the wake of their unprecedented speakership drama.

Fewer than 100 Republicans have RSVP’d to attend the retreat, which is less than half of the entire conference, according to a GOP source familiar with the attendance sheet.

The retreat is scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday in West Virginia.

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5 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

Many Republicans plan to skip the House GOP retreat as they grumble about both the location and the idea of spending time with one another, with tensions still running high inside the party in the wake of their unprecedented speakership drama.

Fewer than 100 Republicans have RSVP’d to attend the retreat, which is less than half of the entire conference, according to a GOP source familiar with the attendance sheet.

The retreat is scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday in West Virginia.


West Virginia? Most of them probably can’t even spell RSVP 

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So the Yanks are going to ban an app with over 100 million US users. Creates billions in revenue and will probably lead to business closures and job losses because theyre too scared to stand up to Israel?  If true Israel will end up destroying America,. Just looking at the state of the two running for President, it won't take much. 

 

Of course many in Congress give a different reason for the ban. Take your pick. 

 

 

 

 

 

To say one of the creators is not happy with the ban is an understatement. Good rant this and I don't even like tiktok. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can hear the echoes of Crosby, Stills and Nash through the hallways-- "teach your parents well, their childrens hell will slowly..."

 

 

The Republican nominee for superintendent overseeing North Carolina’s public schools and its $11 billion budget has a history marked by extreme and controversial comments, including sharing baseless conspiracy theories and frequent calls for the execution of prominent Democrats.

Michele Morrow, a conservative activist who last week upset the incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction in North Carolina’s Republican primary, expressed support in 2020 for the televised execution of former President Barack Obama and suggested killing then-President-elect Joe Biden.

In other comments on social media between 2019 and 2021 reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Morrow made disturbing suggestions about executing prominent Democrats for treason, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer and other prominent people such as Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates.

 
 

“I prefer a Pay Per View of him in front of the firing squad,” she wrote in a tweet from May 2020, responding to a user sharing a conspiracy theory who suggested sending Obama to prison at Guantanamo Bay. “I do not want to waste another dime on supporting his life. We could make some money back from televising his death.”

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On 15/03/2024 at 00:07, Gnasher said:

 

So the Yanks are going to ban an app with over 100 million US users. Creates billions in revenue and will probably lead to business closures and job losses because theyre too scared to stand up to Israel?  If true Israel will end up destroying America,. Just looking at the state of the two running for President, it won't take much. 

 

Of course many in Congress give a different reason for the ban. Take your pick. 

 

 

 

 

 

To say one of the creators is not happy with the ban is an understatement. Good rant this and I don't even like tiktok. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If it stops all those little cunts dancing in the middle of the road and filming themselves 24/7 being little twats, I’m all for banning it.

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From The New Republic magazine. 
 

The Billionaire Mattress Salesman Funding the Far Right in Texas


Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale likes making viral videos and huge bets on Houston sports teams. He’s also spending big to push the state even further right.

 

By Sam Russek

 

In late December, I drove to Club Westside, a 17-odd-acre athletic facility in west Houston, to see the giraffes. I grew up coming here with family friends who were members back when it was mostly just tennis courts. Today, the club has expanded its offerings, including a lazy river and water park, a gym, an indoor driving range, a solid maple basketball court, saunas, steam rooms, something called “HydroMassage beds,” pickleball, a tiki bar, and—the main attraction—a collection of more than 40 exotic animals.

 

This club is a lesser-known endeavor of one prominent local family, the McIngvales, founding owners of the regional retail chain Gallery Furniture. The family’s 73-year-old patriarch, James McIngvale, is better known as “Mattress Mack,” the Crazy Eddie–style persona he’s donned for local TV ads since 1983. His wife, Linda, is the animal lover: In 2021, when a Bengal tiger escaped from a residential property, prompting a weeklong neighborhood search mission, she helped facilitate its safe transfer to authorities. (She had also previously given the rogue tiger owner a couple of her Capuchin monkeys.)

 

Together, the McIngvales leaped into the national spotlight in 2022, when Mack won what is believed to be the largest sports bet in history—an estimated $75 million—after the Astros won the World Series.

 

Many were taken with this eccentric multimillionaire, slight yet boisterous, a seeming everyman whose existence recalled the ’80s-era Sun Belt boom. Few outlets reported that he was one of the region’s most influential right-wing figureheads. Indeed, for nearly 40 years now, Mack and Linda have been Houston royalty, less endowed than some of the oil-rich financiers who prefer to burnish their names on Houston’s museums and think tanks, but far more prominent in the public imagination.

 

One recent mural depictsMack next to Beyoncé, another Houston native. He claims to be one of few men to have fought both Muhammad Ali (at a promotional event) and the WWE’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (for charity). After 9/11, he gifted George W. Bush an American flag–themed couch; more recently, he stockedMar-a-Lago with mattresses at Trump’s request.

 

He’s today’s front man for the city’s right-wing—more immediately palatable than, say, his longtime friend Senator Ted Cruz—but equally haunted by “the radical left.”

Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to the city of Houston, is newly solid blue, and, as such, a major battleground in the state. Leading up to the 2022 midterms, Mack appeared on local TV to talk up rising crime. He threw nearly $900,000—his largest ever local political contribution—into an upstart campaign to unseat Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a young Democrat who had ridden the blue wave in 2018, eking her way into the county’s most powerful office. Rather than go quietly when his chosen candidate lost in 2022, Mack bankrolled a quixotic legal battlequestioning the validity of the election before backing John Whitmire, a conservative Democrat and his longtime ally, who ran a “smart on crime” campaign for mayor and won by a landslide. “My generation, the ’60s hippies, Lyndon Johnson, the Great Society, and all that, has been an abysmal failure,” Mack said on the right-wing education nonprofit PragerU’s YouTube channel last year. “So before I go out, we’re going to change it.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a

 

Houstonian who won’t whisper rumors about Mack, but more publicly the ugly bits of his story are often obfuscated—or rather, drowned. The secret to Mack’s success has been his incessant barrage of advertising. “I like television to establish presence and I like radio as a device to close the sale,” he once wrote in a business memoir. (As for newsprint, he uses it to “make a lasting impression.”) “And I don’t like media where I can’t dominate.” In recent years, he’s taken the lessons he’s learned and applied them to right-wing politics.

 

With all the attention the Koch brothers, Harlan Crow, and oil magnates like Tim Dunn receive for their political spending, families like the McIngvales tend to slip through the cracks, but local fiefs like theirs have a long history of tipping the scales in the South. While not as large as their nationally focused counterparts’, the firewall that they preserve comes down hard on workers’ rights and other local reforms, maintaining the unequal system they’ve benefited from the most. Mattress Mack once compared his political work to that of our country’s Founding Fathers: “Those were not just citizens, those were people who were landholders, who were all very prominent and had so much to lose,” he said. He’s fighting to keep it that way.

 

Mack was never the everyman he claims to be. His father was, Mack says, an “entrepreneur/finance wizard” and philanthropist who owned and managed an insurance company. His mother came from the Alabama Shoals, where her father ran a cotton ginning company. He was born in Starkville, Mississippi, but raised in a wealthy suburb of Dallas. Shortly after Mack abandoned his studies at the University of North Texas, he expressed interest in starting a health club. In 1974, his father then purchased the rights to market Nautilus exercise machines in the Southwest for around $210,000 (more than $1 million today) and gave him and his five siblings a stake. With the help of his father’s contacts, Mack quickly accumulated 100,000 members in Dallas by promising steep group discounts. The only problem: Many of the discounts never materialized. Texas sued Mack for deceptive trade practices in 1978. As part of the settlement, he had to post $40,000 in escrow to pay off former members. He declared bankruptcy and left Dallas with his wife, Linda, a former health club employee.

 

Deception, bankruptcy, a lawsuit—none of it mattered. During Houston’s oil boom in the 1980s, he sold “aspirational furniture,” to borrow from Texas Monthly’s Mimi Swartz, “furniture for all the blue-collar workers who made Houston what it was.” Mack regularly inflated his sales figures by 10 percent or so to the trade press; he insists he took $5,000 and produced $1 million in the first year. In less than a decade, he created and ran two large companies with his family’s help, bouncing from bankruptcy to unimaginable wealth in a matter of years. But it’s exceedingly unremarkable for a child of a wealthy magnate to become one. Mack’s story was hardly inspirational on its own, so he started spending big to gain the public’s attention—and sympathy.

 

Mack first learned this lesson thanks to a court order. In 1988, after a 300-pound (but still malnourished) lion on one of Mack’s subsidiary properties mauled an eight-year-old girl, fracturing her skull, a judge ordered a series of public service ads. If this was meant to draw penance, it backfired. Through these ads, Mack was able to cultivate a “good-guy image,” per Forbes, and his annual sales rose nearly 70 percent in two and a half years. There were obvious benefits to maintaining this new persona. “Once you start spending advertising money, you can never spend enough,” he once wrote. “There is no reservoir of public goodwill that maintains itself when you are not there in front of them.”

Over and over, Mack spent big in charity auctions, gave away furniture and food, and rushed with supplies into communities ravaged by hurricanes. These charitable gestures created their own local news cycles, what Mack has termed “accidental marketing.”

For decades, Mack has been one step ahead of bad press, using his vast wealth to his own benefit and occasionally helping others along the way. But these efforts ring hollow when their ancillary benefits are taken into account. They’re part of Mack’s larger marketing apparatus and feel especially hypocritical, given his political spending on politicians hell-bent on punishing the poor.

 

Nor does this charity extend to his employees, whom he once compared to “starving refugees” because they hid food in little corners of the store to eat in rare free moments. He once fired 20 percent of his workforce just before Christmas for flunking drug tests, and in 1990 he was sued for overseeing a hostile work environment, where at least one woman claimed she faced sexual harassment. In another lawsuit, one former employee alleged he was fired for testifying on behalf of his wife, who faced sexual harassment. The lawyer who represented Gallery Furniture is today’s mayor of Houston, John Whitmire.

As Mack’s profile within Houston grew, so did his political ambitions. He began calling himself a “capitalist with a minor in social work.” In the 2010s, Mack fell in with the Tea Party movement, appearing to speakalongside Andrew Breitbart and Laura Ingraham to decry “handouts” from the Obama administration. A flashing marquee in his flagship channels Ayn Rand, reading: WE NEED FREEDOM TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE.… WE NEED PROFIT TO REMAIN FREE! More recently, in a belligerent ad targeting his current foe, Judge Hidalgo, Mack declared he had a “humanitarian legacy rivaled by none,” which “won the hearts and minds of millions.” He called Hidalgo “Biden-esque” (derogatory) and lambasted her “penchant for social justice and equity”—all because she referred to him as a “furniture salesman” in her victory speech.

Mack’s political spending is part of an effort to prove he’s more than that. In 2019, on a local right-wing radio station, Mack said he was “more interested in legacy now than” he was at age 20, which might explain his increased interest in local politics, where he can have the greatest impact. People will remember his unconventional ads, at least for a time. The politicians he bankrolled would sing his praises, too, until they’ve found a new financial backer. Mack’s growing political influence is a tale as old as time: a rich man trying to shape a world that will live on without him.


But morbidly, as I strolled through Club Westside, I wondered who would inherit the giraffes when he’s gone—his wife? One of his children? And those people who relied on his flashy charitable gifts—who would help them then? When the next hurricane inevitably hits, whose store will people sleep in? Why does it have to be a store, anyway? (I didn’t, at this moment, remember that a Texas Republican had run the state agency that denied $1 billion in flood relief to the city.) Houston was built on a swamp; it wouldn’t be the first time that someone’s little fiefdom sank, disappeared, became the stuff of memory. As Mack well knows, without constant preening, a popular image can only last so long.

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Mack wants to be careful. Lindell’s story is a cautionary tale. One day your Trump’s mate, the next he’s made you spend your fortune and your scrabbling for pennies.

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