Late Night Open Thread: The Revanchists’ (Temporary) Revenge

While the more-Leftist-than-thou “progressives” — including their latest high-profile figurehead — are high-fiving each other in happy anticipation of potential public-outrage gigs over the next four years, at least some people are beginning to push back on the BUT WHITE WORKING CLASS HAS ALL THE SADS!!! meme so beloved of Very Serious Pundits. From the NYTimes, Robert P. Jones on “The Rage of White, Christian America“:

Between Barack Obama’s 2008 election and 2016, America has transformed from being a majority white Christian nation (54 percent) to a minority white Christian nation (43 percent).

But on Election Day, paradoxically, this anxious minority swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to “make America great again” and warned that he was its “last chance” to turn back the tide of cultural and economic change…

The choice before the country was starkly clear. Donald J. Trump’s Republican Party looked back wistfully to a monochromatic vision of 1950s America, while the major party fronting the first female presidential candidate celebrated the pluralistic future of 2050, when the Census Bureau first projected the United States would become a majority nonwhite nation.

My organization’s American Values Survey, released a few weeks before the election, found deep divides in the country on this issue. Americans are nearly evenly divided on whether American culture and way of life have changed for worse (51 percent) or better (48 percent) since the 1950s. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of Democrats say American culture has generally changed for the better since the 1950s, while roughly two-thirds (68 percent) of Republicans say American society and way of life have changed for the worse…

Message to ‘Tha Heartland’ and all its defenders, honest or (mostly) otherwise: 1963 is over. It is never coming back.

Thoughtful article (which started as a tweetstorm) from Patrick Thornton — “I’m a Coastal Elite From the Midwest: The Real Bubble is Rural America“:

… My home county in Ohio is 97 percent white. It, like a lot of other very unrepresentative counties, went heavily for Donald Trump.

My high school had about 950 students. Two were Asian. One was Hispanic. Zero were Muslim. All the teachers were white. My high school had more convicted sexual predator teachers than minority teachers. That’s a rural American story.

In many of these areas, the only Muslims you see are in movies like “American Sniper.” (I knew zero Muslims before going to college in another state.) You never see gay couples or even interracial ones. Much of rural and exurban American is a time capsule to America’s past.

And on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, they dug it up…
Read more



Open Thread: Revanchist Hero of the Day, Alabama Sec. of State John Merrill

… doesn’t want to “cheapen the work of civil rights activists” by permitting automatic voting registration.

No, seriously:

Automatic voter registration has recently emerged a key tool in increasing the United States’ anemic voter turnout. The process is simple: Whenever an eligible citizen interacts with a government agency (typically the DMV), she is registered to vote unless she declines. Although automatic voter registration is a nonpartisan initiative, it tends to be favored by Democrats and opposed by Republicans, who believe they fare better in low-turnout races; two Republican governors have already vetoed Democrat-sponsored automatic voter registration bills in Illinois and New Jersey. Now Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, a Republican, has joined the opposition. Asked a question about automatic voter registration, Merrill declared that the practice “cheapen[s] the work” of civil rights heroes and that “just because you turned 18 doesn’t give you the right” to vote….

These people fought—some of them were beaten, some of them were killed—because of their desire to ensure that everybody that wanted to had the right to register to vote and participate in the process. I’m not going to cheapen the work that they did. I’m not going to embarrass them by allowing somebody that’s too sorry to get up off of their rear end to go register to vote … because they think they deserve the right because they’ve turned 18.

But they do have that right, Sec. Merrill — as enshrined in the Constitution, and further specified in its 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments. It’s not your “ball game,” not any more, and you don’t get to decree who’s entitled to “win a trophy”



Thursday Night Open Thread: Marching (One Hopes) Into Oblivion

gop-loyalty-program-non-seq

(Non Sequitur via GoComics.com)
.

I voted for Hillary Clinton to be the first woman President this afternoon, and therefore refuse to let the antics of the dying Repub party and its worst adherents harsh my considerable mellow.

First blowback from the big Bloomberg article. Rick Hasen, at his highly respected LawBlog:

Breaking: DNC Asks for RNC to Be Held in Contempt, Voter Intimidation Consent Decree Extended 8 More Years
Back in August, I blogged about how Donald Trump could be violating a longstanding consent decree against the RNC engaging in “ballot security” measures which have been found to intimidate minority voters. I explained how the consent decree began in the 1980s, was extended by the courts over RNC’s objection (which went all the way to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful effort to get them involved), and now expires in 2017 unless extended for up to another 8 years by order of the Court. I explained that there were two issues: first, was Trump engaging in voter intimidation activities (it looked like he had) and second, whether Trump could be seen as an “agent” of the RNC (because the decree applies only to the RNC, its employees, and agents)…

Well now it’s happened. The DNC filed papers saying that the RNC, through Trump’s actions has already violated the consent decree, and asks for another 8-year extension…

For full details and useful links — read the whole thing.
***********
Apart from that, what’s on the agenda tonight?



Open Thread: Return of the Cruz-ifiction Candidate

With the Democrats openly rebelling against the NRA (and the GOP candidate flailing on all fronts), a call went out in search of a New Hope. And guess who happened to be waiting by the phone…

From the Hill, yesterday:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended a confidential dinner with more than 20 top conservatives on Tuesday night to plan his comeback as a movement leader in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

The dinner was at the Virginia home of conservative activist Brent Bozell, and the agenda was to plot Cruz’s future and the future of the conservative movement.

The undertone of the dinner was about how to position Cruz for a future tilt at the presidency and to spearhead the conservative movement from his seat in the Senate, those in attendance said.

Dining with Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, were some of the most powerful figures in the conservative movement.

The spectrum of economic, national security and social conservatives seated at the table included Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, National Rifle Association board member and former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, sources confirmed…

Many of the leaders at the dinner want Cruz to run for president again, and they are viewing Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 run as similar to Reagan’s failed attempt in 1976 to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Gerald Ford…

Reagan gave the grifting bigots of the “Moral Majority” a comfy seat at the top table, back in the day when AIDS was still a mysterious new “gay plague”. And as far as these good Christianists are concerned, it’s not as though the Orlando massacre involved, you know, actual American people — just pawns of the devil
Read more



NC GOP “Bathroom Bill” Is A Steaming Load Of Crap

So North Carolina state Republican lawmakers called a special session of the General Assembly yesterday to stop Charlotte’s LGBTQ anti-discrimination law from going into effect on April 1, and it turns out it’s not just Charlotte’s ordinance they want to outlaw, but any real progressive change sought by cities and counties in the Tarheel State.

WBTV obtained a copy of the proposed bill, entitled “An Act to Provide for Single Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Create Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations,” Tuesday night.

The legislation requires that multi-occupancy bathrooms be limited to just one gender, using anatomy and birth certificates as a guide and applies to executive branch agencies controlled by the Governor as well as Council of State members and the UNC System.

A provision in the five-page bill allows school districts to use single occupancy bathrooms to make accommodations for students in special circumstances.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the full bill

In addition to the provisions of the bill seeking to repeal the bathroom-related portions of Charlotte’s non discrimination ordinance, the bill also addresses several workplace issues.

The second part of the bill is referred to as the Wage and Hour Act. Under the act, local governments would be prohibited from setting their own local minimum wage.

The next section of the bill seeks to declare that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is an issue of statewide concern and, as such, must be left to the General Assembly.

Finally, the last section of the bill is referred to as the Equal Access to Public Accommodations Act, which places issues of public accommodation in the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.

So in addition to killing Charlotte’s anti-discrimination law, with this stupid bigoted bathroom bill, the NC GOP is looking to undo all local anti-discrimination, minimum wage, labor protection and equal physical access laws. because smaller, more responsive government, right?

Which just proves again that Republicans don’t care about government that works, they care about government that punishes those people whenever possible so that they become somebody else’s problem.  The best part?  It’s a combination of “bathroom bill”, home rule elimination, and “workplace protection” bill all rolled into one steaming pile of toxic GOP diarrhea.

By the way, the bill passed the NC General Assembly overwhelmingly, 83-24, the NC Senate 32-0 (as all NC Senate Democrats walked out) and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory signed this travesty into law last night.  Total time on this legislation from start to finish: about 10 hours.

They had this ready to go, in order to steamroll any opposition to it and to prevent the kind of boycott backlash from building that Georgia is facing now over similar legislation.  Blindside the opposition and dare them to react.

It’ll be up to the courts now to get the ball rolling on this.

One big hurdle, which reportedly killed South Dakota’s bathroom bill: Banning trans students from using the school bathroom that comports to their gender identity could violate federal law, particularly Title IX. The Justice Department and Department of Education interpret the law not just to ban sex discrimination in federally funded schools, but also ban anti-trans discrimination. So by passing an anti-trans bathroom law, North Carolina could risk big federal funds for public schools.

And my home state is well on its way to a complete disaster.



Open Thread: Ted Cruz Is A Nasty Piece of Work

It’s written all over his face, according to a neurologist quoted in NYMag:

… Cytowic, who declares himself “not a Democrat,” argues that Cruz’s face sends subtle facial cues that go against what he’s saying, which complicates the very thing we are trained to do from birth: figure people out…

… [I]n Cruz’s case, Cytowic writes, his facial downfall comes in the form of his smile, or lack thereof. In a typical smile, the corners of the mouth turn up; this causes a chain reaction that makes the corners of the eyes contract, creating crow’s feet. But Cruz’s face doesn’t seem to do that, according to Cytowic: The smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes, which can be perceived as insincerity.

Another facial-oddity characteristic Cytowic points out is just north of the missing crow’s feet on Cruz’s face: the downward bend of the outside of his eyebrows… “Downturned expressions usually signal disagreeableness or disgust,” Cytowic writes. In other words, Cruz could accidentally be sending cues at rallies that he’s not a fan of his voters, which isn’t exactly the message he wants to convey…

One might suspect that Ted Cruz just isn’t a fan of humans, us stupid ill-educated beasts with our messy emotions and insufficient appreciation for God-King candidate Cruz…

Good to know, Mr. DoubtThat!



Little Marco, Sharing His Elders’ Behind-Closed-Doors Ugliness

rubio is gop trainable ohman

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
.

Marco Rubio is a young (-enough-for-Repub-purposes) man in a hurry. His youth was supposed to be his big selling point — a shiny new face, not like that old Hillary harridan! Only problem with fresh-faced youngsters, even the quick studies, is that sometimes they repeat nasty stuff the Wise Old Heads would’ve preferred to keep a little more private. His much-mocked talking point was not just the result of a callow lad missing his mark after cramming for the Big Test — it was a code phrase for the Far Right fringes. Mr. Charles P. Pierce, reporting for Esquire:

Now, it is a sad truth that, while traveling with a campaign, you will hear a candidate say the same thing three or four times a day in three or four different cornfields. But I have been to the rodeo more than once and I can tell you that I never have seen a candidate say the same thing three times within five minutes. The transcript doesn’t really do it justice, but it should be preserved for posterity nonetheless. The next time they put him up on the stage, Rubio’s handlers are going to have to nail his shoes to the floor lest he waft up into the rafters.

The general hilarity has tended to obscure what Rubio actually was saying. (And saying, and saying, and saying…) He was accusing the president of monumental and deliberate acts of subversion in office. This is a stunning charge, especially from a one-term pipsqueak whose memory banks jam whenever he steps an inch beyond his actual depth. There already was some evidence mounting here that Rubio’s momentum coming out of his glorious third-place finish in Iowa had dissipated somewhat. His numbers rose at first, but now they seem to have stalled out. And the way to regain that momentum is certainly not to embody perfectly the caricature that your rivals have created out of you. This should be his defining moment. If it isn’t, then the entire political world owes apologies to both Howard Dean and Edmund Muskie…

Today, Paul Waldman at the Washington Post:

… [T]o understand what Rubio was trying to communicate, you have to see it on two levels. On the surface, Rubio’s claim about Obama is a defense of his own youth and limited résumé. Some Republicans have said of Rubio that he’s too inexperienced to be president, just like Barack Obama was. So Rubio can counter that argument by saying that despite his short time in prior office Obama has actually been a brutally effective president, skillfully carrying out his nefarious schemes, and therefore experience isn’t all that important. But the real message goes deeper, into the dark heart of the conspiracy theories and twisted loathing of Obama that has persisted on the right for the last seven years…

Just to be clear, when a Republican talks about “the rest of the world,” he doesn’t mean it in a good way. So when Rubio says Obama “wants America to become more like the rest of the world,” he’s saying that Obama is trying to harm America, to bring it down, to weaken it, to punish it, to make it less than it has been and should be. Read more