Evidently, the denizens of the right wing fever swamps have convinced themselves that Harry Reid's accident was actually a beat-down by the mafia. I'm not kidding. It seems to have started at Powerline:
A friend of mine was in Las Vegas a week or two ago. He talked to a number of people there about Reid's accident, and didn't find anyone who believed the elastic exercise band story. The common assumption was that the incident resulted, in some fashion, from Reid's relationship with organized crime. The principal rumor my friend heard was that Reid had promised to obtain some benefit for a group of mobsters. He met with them on New Year's Day, and broke the bad news that he hadn't been able to deliver what he promised. When the mobsters complained, Reid (according to the rumor) made a comment that they considered disrespectful, and one of them beat him up.
Everyone knows that the Reid family has gotten rich, even though Reid has spent his entire career as a public employee. It is known that a considerable part of his fortune came from being cut in on sweetheart Las Vegas land deals that included at least one person associated with organized crime as a principal. Was the Senate Majority Leader in the pocket of the Mafia? That seems like a question worth exploring, and yet, to my knowledge, not a single investigative reporter has chosen to look into the matter, even with the obvious clue of Reid's face in front of them.
Somebody needs to cancel his Netflix subscription and take a breather. Life isn't a movie.
Yglesias at Vox breaks all this down, explaining that Reid's fortune is easily explained and has been thoroughly investigated by numerous newspapers. (He's worth something like 6.8 million which is what the million dollars he had when he started his political career would have likely returned over three decades.) He also explains that "the mob" has not really been a factor in Las Vegas for a very long time.
And most importantly he explains how these exercise band accidents happen:
According to the Schmidt Firm PLLC, a personal injury litigation firm, "Resistance bands (or 'exercise bands') have become one of the most popular types of exercise equipment in the United States. Unfortunately, dozens of people have been severely injured when the bands unexpectedly broke or released, snapped backward at the user, and caused eye injuries, vision loss, hand injuries, and more."
A November 2014 New York Post article reported on a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims to have been partially blinded in a band-snapping incident at her gym.
Carolyn Williams at LiveStrong wrote in 2013 that "with proper care and attention, [resistance bands] are useful for a variety of upper and lower body exercises and can last for several months. However, if you don't care for or tether them properly, they can snap."
Now factor in the fact that Harry Reid is 75 years old. It's a wonder he didn't kill himself with one of those things.
It's typically stupid and sick for the right wing fever swamps to engage in something this absurd. But I thought this guy was a little bit less of a nut than this: