Repub Values Open Thread: Corey “Leeeeroy!” Stewart

With such a Boss Hogg meat-mugg, I guess ol’ Corey figured he’d be wasting an asset in his hometown Duluth…

Stewart is not a “Confederate Symbols Defender.” Neither is he a “bombastic conservative.” He is an unapologetic public racist, and damned proud of it, who goes out of his way to associate with other unapologetic public racists, who are damned proud of it, too. Here’s a little flashback from The Washington Post at the time of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville:

“All the weak Republicans, they couldn’t apologize fast enough,” Stewart said in an interview with The Washington Post. “They played right into the hands of the left wing. Those [Nazi] people have nothing to do with the Republican Party. There was no reason to apologize.” However, Stewart has made several joint appearances with ­Jason Kessler, organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally that sparked the unrest in Charlottesville. Stewart met Kessler at an event earlier this year to protest the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. And at one point during the primary race, Stewart attended a Charlottesville news conference with Kessler and Isaac Smith, founders of Unity and Security for America (USA), a fledgling group that calls for “defending Western Civilization.”

… There simply is not a Democratic equivalent to an outright neo-Confederate’s getting a nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Stewart shows, once again, that the prion disease remains active throughout the Republican Party at every level, and this at a time in which the people who could do the most to recreate the party’s immune system are too timid or too nuts to do it. Doug Jones’ surprise win in Alabama wasn’t enough to keep Republican voters in Virginia from nominating Zombie Jeff Davis, despite the fact that doing so might turn out to be a termination notice for a Republican majority in Congress…

Stewart’s got his defenders, of course…

So, there’s at least one non-political-junkie who remembers the name of HRC’s 2016 running mate.

The other Republicans are somewhat less enthused about Mr. Stewart, per Politico:

The Senate GOP’s campaign arm hasn’t endorsed Stewart, who has made defending Confederate monuments a central plank of his political career. And its chairman said that the committee has “no plans” to spend any money on Stewart in his race against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

“At the senatorial committee we’re focusing on Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Florida. There are great races around the country. [Virginia] is not the map,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). “We have a big map this year, and what I’ve laid out in races that I’ve talked about, Virginia’s not on it.”
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Open Thread: What We Choose to Remember

(Jim Morin via GoComics.com)
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E.J. Dionne, at the Washington Post:

[P]hony claims and nasty innuendo built around imagined sins against patriotism and our veterans predate President Trump. But Trump’s attacks on NFL players who have knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice represent a particularly vile effort to mobilize political support by implying that the dissenting athletes, most of them black, lack a devotion to country.

The privileged NFL owners chose to capitulate to this divisive propaganda. The anthem at the heart of this discussion celebrates our country as “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Yet the owners’ action is the opposite of bravery and a blow to freedom. Many on the right have spoken out forcefully for free speech on college campuses. But do they now propose to turn stadiums into “safe spaces” where conservatives deny others the liberties they claim for themselves?…

Democrats fret that even engaging with Trump on all of this risks placing progressives on the wrong side of patriotism. But the history of Memorial Day should teach us that the meaning of our patriotism has long been a matter of necessary struggle.

We should not let the divider in the Oval Office keep us from joining together in profound appreciation of our fallen. They perished under a flag that represents “liberty and justice for all.” The living cannot surrender either of these commitments.



Cosplay Stuntin’ Open Thread: Wolverines!… SKONKS!

High-dollar chew toy has opinions…

Her ‘conservative’ playmates rush in to assist…


(Bruenig, incidentally, is a professional “Christian”.)



Deplorables Open Thread: Mike Pence Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

Whited sepulchre embraces self-propelled MRSA sore. Per Eric Levitz, at NYMag:

Progressives have long argued that Republicans use “law and order” as a racial dog whistle. A reverence for the letter of the law — and its impartial enforcement — was never actually a cornerstone of conservative politics, the left alleges. Rather, what truly matters to the right is the maintenance of “order”; which is to say, of social and racial hierarchies…

But the indifference of (many) conservative proponents of “the rule of law” to the conventional definition of the phrase has never been more naked than during the Trump era. And last night in Arizona, Mike Pence gave his movement’s contempt for equality before the law some especially indecent exposure…

To say that Joe Arpaio is a “tireless champion” of “the rule of law” is to concede the left’s darkest interpretation of what conservatives mean by that term.

Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in 2016 for refusing to honor a court order. His office had made a regular practice of detaining its Latino constituents solely because they looked, to Arpaio’s (overwhelmingly white) deputies, like they weren’t legal U.S. residents. The judiciary said this was unconstitutional. Arpaio said (essentially) that he couldn’t care less — and then, so did the president of the United States, who directly undermined the rule of law (at least, under that term’s conventional definition) by handing Arpaio a pardon last August.

But criminally racist profiling was among the lesser offenses on Joe’s (figurative) rap sheet. During his decades-long tenure as sheriff, Arpaio presided over (what he himself called) a “concentration camp,” where low-level offenders and undocumented immigrants were subjected to daily cruel and unusual punishments. In Tent City, men and women who’d been convicted of — or, in most cases, merely charged with — crimes like drug use, shoplifting, and working with false documents were forced to live outdoors, year-round… At least 157 of all Arpaio’s prisoners died before they got out. At least a quarter of those deaths were the result of suicide — for nearly half of them, authorities provided no official cause of death whatsoever.

And the sheriff’s reign of terror extended well beyond his prison’s gates. His officers subjected Latino Arizonans — citizens and noncitizens alike — to routine harassment and abuse… When journalists or local politicians criticized these practices, Arpaio used the law as a weapon against them, raiding the homes of newspaper publishers and indicting office-holders on bogus felony charges…
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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: The Proper Commemoration of “Confederate Memorial Day”

One of those “just in the family” things they don’t talk about in front of the Yankees, apparently, because I don’t remember hearing about it before. This year’s commemoration gets a more fitting memorial. Angela Helm, at The Root:

On Monday, Alabama is set to observe Confederate Memorial Day, commemorating the sons of the South killed in the U.S. Civil War. No surprise there. Alabama loves fighting with Mississippi for the title of “most racist state” (though they actually may be running neck and neck with “everything south of the Canadian border” if we’re keeping it real).

I find this amusing, not just because of the abiding ridiculousness of the holiday itself—which for me and most black people is a dressed-up way of reveling in institutional racism and anti-blackness (contrary to claims of “love of heritage”)—but because I just so happen to be in Alabama today, Monday, for a press preview of a memorial and museum dedicated to those both forgotten and annihilated through acts of racial terror across the country, and I will touch this holiest site on … Confederate Memorial Day…

… [H]ere in America, the God some trust is not on the dollar bill, it is the dollar bill. Here, as we all were whispered songs of “sweet lands of liberty,” black Americans perished in a nightmare of running blood and burning flesh and mass rape for pleasure and profit; that story all but erased from history and replaced with men playing war games, re-enacting so-called acts of valor for an indefensible premise…

The national lynching memorial, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, will stand atop a hill, in remembrance of the more than 4,000 victims of racial terror on U.S. soil, which the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Institute has meticulously tracked for six years.

The accompanying Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, located in a former slave warehouse, will also tell the tale of our sojourn here: from enslavement to widespread public executions, to Jim Crow, to the continued violence against black bodies through mass incarceration and police violence.

The museum and memorial are but two drops in a bucket recognizing the true “legacy” of this nation; it’s a befitting tribute to those who weren’t able to throw up statues and establish holidays, their bodies sometimes snatched and ripped apart for keepsakes. It finally acknowledges, in a lasting way, what this country wrought upon its literal children, drafted into another war they never signed up for, but one in which they certainly perished, strange fruit hanging from poplar trees…

 
Fred Hiatt, in the Washington Post:

In the Riverfront Park of this state capital, you will find a series of panels depicting the city’s history. They will tell you when the first white settler arrived, how riverboats transformed Montgomery into a trading hub for cotton “and many other important commodities,” and how the city became the cradle of the Confederacy.

They will not tell you that the most important of those other commodities was human beings.

It is the sort of lacuna, says Bryan Stevenson, that allows people to “achieve political victories by celebrating the greatness of America.”

“The question is, which decade are black Americans supposed to want to relive?”
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Happy News: Trump’s Voter Suppression Czar Loses Another One

Per the hometown Topeka Capital-Journal:

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law.

Robinson ordered Kobach to pay for attorney fees for litigating the contempt motion, with additional remedies to be determined later.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys complained Kobach routinely defied a temporary injunction issued by Robinson in 2016 to block enforcement of the state’s proof of citizenship law.

Kobach’s office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote after November 2016 elections. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections, even if they failed to show a birth certificate or other documents when they registered.

“The judge found that Kris Kobach disobeyed the court’s orders by failing to provide registered voters with consistent information, that he willfully failed to ensure that county elections officials were properly trained, and that he has a ‘history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court’s decisions,’ ” said ACLU attorney Dale Ho. “Secretary Kobach likes to talk about the rule of law. Talk is cheap, and his actions speak louder than his words.”

Kobach for years has championed the need for strict voter registration laws as a way of keeping noncitizens from voting. At a trial last month, he struggled to provide evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud.

Kobach’s chief legal counsel, Sue Becker, continued to argue in the weeks leading up to the trial that it wasn’t necessary to send postcards. It wasn’t until the contempt hearing that Kobach “changed course,” Robinson wrote, and “claimed he had personally directed his staff to ensure that postcards be sent.”…

She also said Kobach was disingenuous in arguing her orders were ambiguous. Kobach admitted during the contempt hearing that he understood individuals covered by the preliminary injunction should be treated no differently than other registered voters.

She pointed to an ACLU witness who testified that when he called the Sedgwick County elections office, he was told it wasn’t clear whether he was registered.

Kobach’s “confusing notices, and his patent failure to fully inform and monitor compliance with the preliminary injunction order, caused confusion and misinformation,” Robinson said.

A day after the contempt hearing, Kobach said it was clear his office had bent over backward to comply with the judge’s orders. As a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, Kobach rallies supporters by telling them he likes makes the ACLU unhappy.

“As soon as the ACLU sues, I know we have made the right decision,” Kobach said during a debate last week…

Preliminary twitter reports seem to indicate that “the office” — in other words, Kansas taxpayers — will be on the hook for whatever Kobach ends up paying in fines. Perhaps this may change a few Kansas voters’ minds about the ‘massive threat’ of (nonexistent) ‘voter fraud’?

 
Related reading:



We Can Always Use Some Bitter, Cynical, Gallows Humor, So Here’s A Kudlow Post

Larry Kudlow is the pure distilled essence of a Trump appointment, the type specimen of the breed, and the perfect expression of the state of Republican “thinking” on not just economics, but any matter in which actual knowledge and a respect for empiricism might help.

Via Wikipedia, we find he is barely educated, at best, in the fields in which he now works:

Kudlow graduated from University of Rochester in Rochester, New York with a degree in history in 1969. Known as “Kuddles” to friends, he was a star on the tennis team and a member of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society at Rochester.

In 1971, Kudlow attended Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he studied politics and economics. He left before completing his master’s degree.

I’ll admit that Kuddles is kinda cute, but an unfinished masters degree in a policy school is not one you’d usually associate with economics acumen.

He went on to a stellar business career, managing to get fired repeatedly for substance abuse on the job, including a claimed $10,000/month cocaine habit that got him canned from Bear Stearns in 1994. (It’s interesting to note that a frantic effort is underway today to diminish such inconvenient truths on Kudlow’s Wikipedia page.)

Fortunately for Kuddles, he cleans up well, dresses nicely, and can tok gud. So he was able to revive his career as a TV gasbag, with a series of appearances and then shows on CNBC, the network that figured out the markets could be covered like sports teams.

Unfortunately — for the rest of us, if not for the ever-failing-up Kudlow — he’s been wrong about almost every key economic call since Methuselah was in diapers.  He is a Laffer disciple, a supply-sider whose faith that there is no tax that is too low, no plutocrat whose needs must not be served, is impervious to any test of reality.

Consider this:

In 1993, when Bill Clinton proposed an increase in the top tax rate from 31 percent to 39.6 percent, Kudlow wrote, “There is no question that President Clinton’s across-the-board tax increases … will throw a wet blanket over the recovery and depress the economy’s long-run potential to grow.” This was wrong. Instead, a boom ensued. Rather than question his analysis, Kudlow switched to crediting the results to the great tax-cutter, Ronald Reagan. “The politician most responsible for laying the groundwork for this prosperous era is not Bill Clinton, but Ronald Reagan,” he argued in February, 2000.

And this:

Kudlow firmly denied that the United States would enter a recession in 2007, or that it was in the midst of a recession in early to mid-2008. In December 2007, he wrote: “The recession debate is over. It’s not gonna happen. Time to move on. At a bare minimum, we are looking at Goldilocks 2.0. (And that’s a minimum). The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come”. In May 2008 he wrote: “President George W. Bush may turn out to be the top economic forecaster in the country” in his “‘R’ is for ‘Right'”.

And this:

When Obama took office, Kudlow was detecting an “inflationary bubble.” That was wrong. He warned in 2009 that the administration “is waging war on investors. He’s waging war against businesses. He’s waging war against bondholders. These are very bad things.” That was also wrong, and when the recovery proceeded, by 2011, he credited the Bush tax cuts for the recovery. (Kudlow, April 2011: “March unemployment rate drop proof lower taxes work.”) By 2012, Kudlow found new grounds to test out his theories: Kansas, where he advisedRepublican governor Sam Brownback to implement a sweeping tax-cut plan that would produce faster growth. This was wrong. Alas, Brownback’s program has proven a comprehensive failure, falling short of all its promises and leaving the state in fiscal turmoil.

The reviews are coming in. Via the BBC:

David Stockman, Mr Kudlow’s former boss during the Reagan administration, told the Washington Post in 2016 that Mr Kudlow’s prediction that tax cuts would lead to growth was “dead wrong”. Instead, he said the cuts led to budget deficits.

More recently, he has warned that Mr Kudlow would not be able to rein in the president.

“As much as I love him … Larry’s voice is exactly the wrong voice that Donald Trump ought to be hearing as we go forward,” he told CNBC.

Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been sharply critical, noting that Mr Kudlow missed signs of the housing bubble and recession.

“At least he’s reliable — that is, he’s reliably wrong about everything,” Mr Krugman tweeted.

Indeed in December 2007 – just as the recession was beginning – Mr Kudlow wrote in the National Review: “There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen.”

It is interesting that Kudlow himself doesn’t seem to disagree with his predecessor on the issue that got Cohn out. From a quick take bylined by him, Laffer and Stephen Moore (another stellar, always-wrong econ public intellectual) here he is on Trump’s tariff announcement:

Tariffs are really tax hikes. Since so many of the things American consumers buy today are made of steel or aluminum, a 25 percent tariff on these commodities may get passed on to consumers at the cash register. This is a regressive tax on low-income families.

I wonder how that squares with the new job. ETA: I know how it squares. It’s already been forgotten. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

But that’s just SOP in the circles in which Kudlow travels:  intellectual rigor doesn’t actually matter.  He’s under no obligation to be consistent in any of his pronouncements, and he certainly doesn’t have to be right about anything as long as he provides cover for the true Republican (n.b.: not just Trumpian) policy goal: the transfer of more and more of our society’s wealth to those who are already wealthy — and hence, in the GOP/Rand/Sociopath view of the world, those who are virtuous enough to deserve such riches.

For all of you who’ve wondered why the US can’t be more like Kansas — we may now we get to find out.

Image: Thomas Shields Clarke, A Fool’s Fool,  c. 1887.