The Best Of TPM In 2015: What A Wild And Crazy Year!

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December 24, 2015 6:00 am
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As 2015 comes to a close, the crazy keeps on coming. From a Nevada politician’s gun-toting family Christmas card to a Chicago news channel wishing its Jewish viewers a Happy Yom Kippur with a Nazi emblem, this year featured no shortage of scandals, mishaps and conspiracy theories — like GOP presidential candidate’s Ben Carson’s notion that the Egyptian pyramids were actually built by the biblical hero Joseph to store grain.

Here are the most-read stories at TPM in 2015:

10. SHERIFF IN CHARGE OF OREGON MASSACRE PROBE POSTED SANDY HOOK TRUTHER VIDEO

By Catherine Thompson

“The sheriff investigating a mass shooting at an Oregon community college that left at least nine people dead posted a video to Facebook in 2013 that raised questions about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin posted a link to a YouTube video called ‘The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed,’ which summarized conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting and quickly racked up millions of views, about a month after the massacre took place. The post was deleted or made private sometime after 2:30 p.m. Friday.” Read more…

9. ROOMMATE SAYS CHARLESTON SUSPECT PLANNED SHOOTING FOR 6 MONTHS

By Catherine Thompson

“The roommate of the white, 21-year old man who allegedly massacred nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina said Thursday that he thought the suspect had been planning the attack for about six months.

Dalton Tyler told ABC News that he’d known Dylann Storm Roof for about seven months to a year. Tyler told the news outlet that he last saw Roof about a week ago and knew he’d been planning something like the Charleston church attack ‘for six months.'” Read more…

8. JON STEWART HAS A FIELD DAY WITH INCOMPREHENSIBLE PALIN SPEECH (VIDEO)

By Brendan James

“Reviewing potential GOP presidential contenders at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Monday, Jon Stewart would have had enough material from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Rick Perry—but as usual, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the star.

Viewing footage of what conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called a ‘tragedy’ of a speech, the host of ‘The Daily Show’ couldn’t tear his eyes away from Palin’s incoherent address to her audience of adoring fans.” Read more…

7. A FORMER COP ON WHAT WENT WRONG IN MCKINNEY

By Seth Stoughton

“Although the short video does not provide a complete picture of the scene, it appears likely that force in this case could have been avoided. Consider how Corporal Casebolt took issue with the way a group of girls standing on the sidewalk some distance away were ‘running their mouths,’ so he yelled at them: ‘Leave!’ and ‘Get your ass gone!’ As one bikini-clad girl, 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, did exactly that, Corporal Casebolt stopped her—possibly after some verbal exchange not captured by the camera—and wrestled her to the ground. When quickly approached by two young men who appear unhappy with his treatment of Becton, he unholstered his firearm almost two seconds after those two young men began backing away from him. About ten seconds later, as Becton continued to sit on the ground where he left her, Corporal Casebolt again grabbed her and forced her down, pushing her face into the ground and planting a knee in her back as she cried. The kids now have a story about an officer, and it may well be one that sours their faith in police for years to come.” Read more…

6. CHICAGO TV STATION WISHES JEWS A HAPPY YOM KIPPUR WITH NAZI EMBLEM

By Katherine Krueger

“A Chicago television news station made a truly unfortunate art choice to accompany a segment on the Jewish High Holidays on Wednesday: the yellow Star of David that Jews were legally required to wear during the Holocaust.” Read more…

5. NEVADA LAWMAKER SENDS CHRISTMAS CARD FEATURING FULLY ARMED FAMILY

By Caitlin Cruz

“For Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s (R) 2015 family Christmas card, which she posted on Facebook on Monday, her family was each outfitted with a gun. If it wasn’t immediately obvious, Fiore is a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights.

‘It’s up to Americans to protect America. We’re just your ordinary American family. -With love & liberty, Michele,’ her message read.” Read more…

4. BEN CARSON: ARCHAEOLOGISTS ARE WRONG, THE PYRAMIDS WERE BUILT TO STORE GRAIN

By Tierney Sneed

“‘My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,’ Carson said. ‘Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.'” Read more…

3. OKLAHOMA HOUSE PANEL VOTES TO ELIMINATE AP US HISTORY COURSE

By Caitlin MacNeal

“State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) introduced a bill at the beginning of the month that keeps the state from funding AP U.S. History unless the College Board changes the curriculum. The bill also orders the state Department of Education to establish a U.S. History program that would replace the AP course.” Read more…

2. ‘DUCK DYNASTY’ STAR IMAGINES VIVID RAPE AND MURDER SCENARIO FOR ATHEIST FAMILY

By Tracy Walsh

“‘Duck Dynasty’ star and conservative icon Phil Robertson told a gruesome, vivid story on Friday about the hypothetical rape and murder of a family to illustrate the perils of atheism.” Read more…

1. MLK’S MOTHER WAS ASSASSINATED, TOO: THE FORGOTTEN WOMEN OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH


By Aurin Squire

“Even now, as the nation’s attention focuses on the new generation of activists fighting against police brutality and hate crimes, it’s women who are often left out. The silence has subtle but lasting consequences. Historical omission points toward a culture’s subconscious beliefs that some people matter less than others. When female stories are muted, we are teaching our kids that their dignity is second class and the historical accounts of their lives are less relevant. This lowered value carries over when women face sexual objectification and systemic brutalization from inside and outside the community. When we can’t see ourselves in our history, we begin to think that we are disconnected and suffering alone. Historical ignorance always precedes cultural imbalances and individual despair. Too many lives are still lived in the blank space, too many march for racial equality while subjugating their gender and even sexual orientation.” Read more…

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