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After learning that Donald Trump tried to throw him under a coal train this morning, murdery former coal company CEO and candidate for the US Senate Don Blankenship explained today that while Donald Trump is really quite a nice fellow, Donald Trump is not enough of a pure Trump believer for Don Blankenship's tastes. In a statement responding to Trump's tweet, Blankenship explained, "As some have said I am Trumpier than Trump, and this morning proves it."

Oh, yes, there was more:

The President is a very busy man and he doesn’t know me, and he doesn’t know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary. The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President’s agenda [...]

West Virginia voters should remember that my enemies are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and my opponents would not even be running as Republicans had I not resurrected the Republican Party in West Virginia.

Single-handedly brought the GOP back to West Virginia, he did -- probably a slight exaggeration, although Blankenship does deserve credit for his spending $3 million in 2004 to elect a state supreme court justice who would overturn a $50 million judgment against Massey Energy, the safety-ignoring coal company Blankenship headed. It was a pretty good return on investment.

And now, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his two real opponents in tomorrow's GOP primary for the Senate, have somehow convinced poor Donald Trump that Blankenship is somehow not a good guy. Well by golly, Don Blankenship loves Donald Trump too much to let Donald Trump get in the way of Blankenship's mission to Make Trump Trump Again.

Which is why Blankenship also went on a TV town hall this morning to explain that Trump is both the best leader ever and a guy whose political instincts can't be trusted:

Again, we all really like President Trump's policies but we know that he doesn't get things right. I mean he recommended that people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia in Alabama.

Beyond that, Blankenship added that despite what his enemies (who are all of them Clinton and Obama, in one guise or another, possibly through witchcraft) might say, "I'm neither despicable, mentally ill, a moron or a bigot." He explained yet again that "Chinaperson" cannot possibly be a racist term, since China is a country, not a race, as any fool knows -- although he didn't repeat his assertion from last week that "negro" is a race, from a science point of view. And while he was at it, he explained that after the Upper Big Branch Mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 miners, multiple federal and state investigations lied about the cause. Just because investigators found the blast was due to a buildup of coal dust resulting from Massey Energy's lax safety standards, that doesn't mean that's what really happened, heavens no:

Blankenship is of course lying -- even about his own crackpot theory of what really happened. For a full excavation of what actually happened at Upper Big Branch and a debunking of Blankenship's self-serving alternate version, see this excellent Mother Jones article.

Republicans are, of course, freaking out at the chance that after tomorrow's primary they'll have another Roy Moore on their hands, and that sane people will decide they'd rather reelect Joe Manchin than vote for a Republican who forgets he's not supposed to say some key rightwing points out loud. The Weekly Standard reports today that internal polls by both of Blankenship's more mainstream (but still rightwing) rivals have Blankenship up by just a point or two over the conventionally terrible US Rep. Evan Jenkins or state Attorney General Patrick Morrissey. It's unclear whether all this last-minute ballyhoo is likely to change any Republican votes, except possibly to draw in more people who think Blankenship is running against some Chinaperson.

And even if he loses tomorrow, Blankenship is already talking about running as an independent, he told CBS News yesterday. As CBS points out, however, that may not work out so well for him -- or for Democrats who'd love nothing more than having Blankenship siphoning votes away in a general election that will be vital to retaking the Senate. Turns out West Virginia has one of those "sore loser laws" that prohibit candidates who lose in a party primary from running as an independent in the general election. That would seem like it might get in Blankenship's way, but these days, we wouldn't rule anything out -- after all, Blankenship might have time to buy some new members of the state Supreme Court.

Or maybe Blankenship will just win tomorrow with a plurality -- West Virginia doesn't have runoffs -- which would simply demonstrate once more what Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie said about Republican voters in primaries that chose him, Rand and Ron Paul, and eventually Donald Trump. It wasn't that they wanted libertarian-leaning candidates, said Massie:

they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.

We'd like to say that Don Blankenship has a lock on being the craziest son of a bitch in any race this year. But please, it's still only May.

And now it is your open thread!

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[Daily Beast / The Hill / Weekly Standard / CBS News]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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