“Respite” Open Thread: Tucker Carlson on Unplanned Vacation

IIRC, Bill O’Reilly went from ‘sudden vacation’ to ‘suspended’ to ‘Bill who?’ when he pushed the boundaries a little too far. One can hope that Carlson will also be forced into doing podcasts from his basement… assuming Tucker’s penthous *has* a basement…


Local Elections Open Thread: What of Iowa’s Staunch GOP?

The down-home, folksy variant I remember was “You’ve only got two hands”, but maybe Senator Ernst was thinking of “Four legs good, two legs better”?

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst returned Monday from a trip to the U.S-Mexico border with a message for her constituents: “The humanitarian crisis at our southern border is absolutely real.”…

“I saw firsthand what is going on there, and what I want to get out first and foremost is that our border patrol agents are doing a tremendous job,” said Ernst, describing the men and women as “good-hearted” and “extremely compassionate.”

“They were taking dollars out of their pockets — when Democrats refused to step up and help us fund the items necessary for these areas — to pay for diapers and formula and hygiene items for the men and women that are there,” she added…

Ernst said she was told the migrants were “receiving [medical] care,” but it was obvious the system was “overwhelmed.”

“It’s overwhelmed,” Ernst said, describing her observations as she walked through the facilities. “But I felt completely safe and at ease.

“Even walking in and around the migrants, I felt comfortable,” she said. “Not all of them were in restricted areas. Some of them were sitting, waiting to be processed and some were going through their health screenings — and they all are going through health screenings. They’re being provided medical care.”…

It’s hard for the old-school mom & pop white nationalist heartland populists to compete when the national megachain moves in on their markets. Look at what’s happening to Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King, who thought he had a sinecure for life! Ed Kilgore, in NYMag, “Is Steve King Finally Running Out of Money and Luck?”:

National Republicans would just as soon hand King an anvil and show him the nearest cliff. But he’s not going away quietly and is running for a tenth term in the House in his very conservative fourth district of Iowa. He is not, however, doing very well on the fundraising front, as the Des Moines Register noted after second-quarter reports came in:

King raised a total of almost $92,000 this period and ends the quarter with about $18,000 on hand.

In comparison, [primary opponent Randy] Feenstra raised $140,000 in the second quarter and ended it with almost $340,000 on hand.

Feenstra is a prominent state senator who is generally regarded as King’s toughest opponent among the three who are currently in the race. He is running not so much against King’s racism as against the loss of clout the state and district have suffered thanks to the incumbent’s disgrace, which is probably smart in a district where Donald Trump won 61 percent of the vote in 2016. But then again, even Trump is keeping his distance from King so far…

More likely, Trump’s handlers are doing their best to keep King well away from the Oval Office Occupant.

… In 2018, after a campaign dominated by discussion of his pithy views regarding the Lesser Breeds, King came within three points of losing to an actual Democrat, J.D. Scholten, who outspent the incumbent by nearly a four-to-one margin.

National Democrats would very much like Scholten for an encore in 2020, but he’s instead eyeing a Senate race against Joni Ernst (even as Chuck Schumer tries to clear the field for another candidate, Theresa Greenfield) — probably because the presidential race could make the fourth district a tougher climb than in 2018, and possibly because, if King loses his primary, the general election will be all but unwinnable for a Democrat (barring some third-party run by the incumbent on the White Supremacist ticket)…

More bad news for Pigmuck King: Talibangelical ‘Family Leader’ Bob Vander Plaats has endorsed King’s primary opponent Feenstra, supposedly on the grounds that King has been saying the quiet parts a little too loudly. (“In January, he tweeted that King’s comments were “a bridge too far.””) Since Vander Plaatz is supposed to have an unerring instinct for what will work for his flock, it seems like the remoras may be deserting their shark.

Respite for the Rest of Us Open Thread: Drew Magary Is An Excellent Read

If you are a devout member of the Church of the Bleeding-Heart Liberal, it can sometimes be hard to stay single-minded in your choice of target. Maybe they had a difficult childhood! Maybe they’re just too dumb to understand what they’re saying! But then there are people like NYTimes opinionator Bret Stephens, who are richly compensated to say unforgivable things — and, bless him, people like Drew Magary who are (much less richly) compensated to respond:

Bret Stephens went ahead and ruined everyone else’s by scribbling out a bunch of racist bumper sticker slogans in the New York Times. And this time, ol’ Bret did so without the veneer of preciousness that he usually grants to everything he touches…

Nothing bad is gonna happen to Bret Stephens for this, of course. He lives in the same magical fairy-tale land other conservative dudes live in where they receive the largest bullhorn and grandest sum of money possible to cry out to the world that they’ve been sent to the guillotine for daring to speak their precious truths… The Times isn’t gonna fire Bret Stephens. That joint employs some genuinely excellent take havers, such as Charles Blow. But the people in charge over there know that what REALLY drives engagement is letting smug pricks like Stephens and Bari Weiss and four-eyed penis David Brooks scream DEMOCRATS DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO PLEASE ME from inside the battlements of a supposed fortress of impregnable liberalism…

Stephens should apologize for being who he is every fucking day of the week. He’s a repulsive slug of a man. That the Times would let Stephens indulge in the cycle of saying nasty shit and then arrogantly proclaiming that he expects people like Soledad O’Brien—who has had herself quite a week interacting with enormous alt-right shitbags—to apologize to him for daring to question him, is emblematic of the way the paper of record allows itself to get worked over by our least oppressed members of society positing that they are actually history’s greatest victims. Employing Bret Stephens means the Times gets to dodge criticism for being too liberal by going, “Look guys, we even let a shithead like Bret Stephens onto our pages!” Therefore, Stephens gets ample inches of column space to sort out who counts as a real American and who does not, and even makes sure to take an indirect jab at people who seek refuge here and end up dying because of the right wing’s institutional hatred and indifference toward them. And then… THEN… he gets to performatively wallow in the misery he’s sown…

And Stephens, of all people, has the predictable gall to say that everyone ELSE is the reason Trump is gonna win in 2020. It couldn’t possibly be because supposed guardians of democracy have foolishly offered STEPHENS asylum, helping disseminate his garbage into the mainstream and to act as sentry for the entrenched powers that be, and then paying him handsomely for the privilege. Nooooo… couldn’t be. I’d tell this pile of shit to take a look in the mirror. But I already know he’d gladly take me up on the offer, just for all the wrong reasons.


You Say You Want a Resolution

The text of the resolution that the House is voting on today is out [pdf]. It’s a broad condemnation of anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and racism, carefully crafted to make no Democrat especially happy and no Democrat especially angry (maybe, we’ll see).

My prediction is that a fair number of Republicans will vote against it because it doesn’t defend the real victims: white Evangelical Christians.

What’s the Right Word?

Ilhan Omar is taking some heat from Josh Marshall, Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, among others, for using the term “allegiance” to characterize what’s expected of American politicians towards Israel. And she’s not backing down:

“Allegiance” is, apparently, a loaded term, per Josh:

“Allegiance” has a specific and almost always exclusive meaning. If you look up the biography of a military leader you’ll see the country they serve is referred to as their “allegiance.” It doesn’t means “support” or “consistent support” or even “lockstep support.”

And there’s this:

Part of Josh’s concern is that Omar appears to be saying that it’s American Jews who expect allegiance to Israel, when in fact their attitudes towards Israel are mixed. It’s Evangelical Christians who have been expecting allegiance to Israel.

I think Omar definitely has a point that she’s expected to just put up with attacks that question her allegiance to America without anything like the backlash she’s experienced. She also has a point that Netanyahu (who is going on trial for corruption) is awful. He also tried to influence our election, and arrogantly expects US support no matter what his government does. I don’t know about the rest, but I do know she isn’t backing down, and her long threads on Twitter are much more reasonable that most of the criticism sent her way. What say you?