They're strawberry flavored. Sorry about the damage to your world.
It's the most American of horrors, again. 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday. The children were in the second, third, and fourth grades. By the end of the evening, some parents still didn't know whether their kids were alive or not.
The shooter was an 18-year-old high school dropout who killed his grandmother before heading to the school. He had purchased the two assault-style semiautomatic rifles used in the shootings earlier this month, on his 18th birthday. The shooter was shot and killed by one of several Border Patrol agents who responded to assist local law enforcement; the Border Patrol agent was wounded by the shooter but able to walk out of the school.
The National Rifle Association is scheduled to hold its annual convention in Houston this week, and isn't it something how that happened right after Columbine too? [AP]
President Biden addressed the nation Tuesday night, calling for sensible gun laws and asking "When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?" [White House]
Honestly, I don't expect it to change in my lifetime, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Here's the video of Biden's brief remarks:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-NRA) tweeted that he and his wife Heidi "are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde," a sentiment very similar to that he's tweeted following other massacres.
We're with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), who tweeted, succinctly,
Just to be clear fuck you @tedcruz you fucking baby killer.
Cruz is slated to speak Friday at the NRA convention in Houston; we assume he'll show up and make everyone despise him harder somehow.
David Frum had some good thoughts on thoughts and prayers:
Thoughts and prayers. It began as a cliché. It became a joke. It has putrefied into a national shame.
If tonight, Americans do turn heavenward in pain and grief for the lost children of Uvalde, Texas, they may hear the answer delivered in the Bible through the words of Isaiah:
“And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”
It's right up there with "Just to be clear, fuck you @tedcruz you fucking baby killer." [Atlantic]
In non-shooting news, several states held primary elections Tuesday and we'll be updating you on the results this morning. It was a rough day for Donald Trump, who endorsed a bunch of losers.
Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination, handily beating former Sen. David Perdue, who has now lost two elections after fluffing Trump. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who sucks deeply, beat Trump endorsee Rep Jody Hice, who in addition to sucking was an election denier. In the GOP primary for US Senate, former football person Herschel Walker did manage a win, largely because no one else had much name recognition. He was endorsed by Trump, so great job, big win, and good lord this guy does not belong in the Senate. Asked whether he thought new gun laws should be passed after the school shooting in Texas, he replied only "What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff." No, he did not elaborate. [AP / Manu Raju on Twitter]
Alabama: In the GOP race for US Senate, former Rep Mo Brooks came in 16 points behind Katie Britt; Britt fell just short of a majority so they'll go to a runoff. It won't count as a loss for Trump — or a win — because he unendorsed Brooks in March. [WTVM]
Texas Runoffs: In the GOP primary for attorney general, Ken Paxton survived a challenge by George P Bush. And the closely watched Democratic primary for US House between incumbent Henry Cuellar, the last officially anti-abortion Democrat, and challenger Jessica Cisneros, was too close to call when we called it quits. [Texas Tribune]
For some reason I took a picture of Thornton's shadow on the wall when he was sitting in the front window. The snack signal!
Margaret Atwood and her publisher, Penguin Random House, will be auctioning off a one-of-a-kind book: A specially made copy of The Handmaid's Tale that is quite literally fireproof. The auction, through Sotheby's, will raise money for PEN America, the nonprofit that supports freedom of expression in literature. The project arose out of the last year's wave of book bannings (and calls for book burnings, even) by rightwing Republicans around the country. The AP explains,
The fireproof narrative is a joint project among PEN, Atwood, Penguin Random House and two companies based in Toronto, where Atwood is a longtime resident: the Rethink creative agency and The Gas Company Inc., a graphic arts and bookbinding specialty studio.
Rethink’s Robbie Percy said that he and fellow creative director Caroline Friesen came up with the idea. Late last year, they had heard about a Texas legislator who listed hundreds of works for potential banning from school libraries: Percy and Friesen wondered if it were possible to make a book protected from the most harrowing censorship. [...]
“We thought an unburnable copy of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ could serve as a symbol,” he said.
It took two months to create the book out of "Cinefoil," a flame resistant aluminum product that was so thin that printing the pages was a challenge, since pages would slip out of place and get et by the printer. The pages had to be hand sewn with nickel copper wire.
To promote the auction, Atwood went all Fahrenheit 451 in a video, turning a flamethrower on her unburnable novel. She looks pretty into it, frankly.
Yr Wonkette is funded entirely by reader donations. If you can, please give $5 or $10 a month to help us keep this mommyblog out of the ashes and under your eye.
Chuck Grassley Pretty Sure He Heard Black Guy On TV Repeat Same NRA Talking Points He’s Made Himself
Can we please do something about the guns?
Last Saturday, a racist murdered 10 Black people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. He was able to kill so quickly and efficiently because he had a gun. A sane society might address the obvious problem, but the gun lobby’s pet Republicans refuse to do anything except shift the blame.
After every regularly scheduled massacre, Democrats call for sensible gun control laws. This time was no exception. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Tuesday that the Buffalo shooting shows that "we need a national gun policy that is common sense like we have here in New York. We need this everywhere. And we'll all remember that it started here in Buffalo, New York.” (That last sentence was admittedly weird.)
During his speech in Buffalo yesterday, President Joe Biden said, "We can keep assault weapons off our streets, we’ve done it before.” He’s most likely referring to the the Assault Weapons Ban that Congress passed in September 1994 and President George W. Bush let expire in 2004. This was obviously a while ago and the political landscape was different: conservative Southern Democrats were a major obstacle to passage, and the Clinton administration worked with moderate Republicans from the suburbs. Those “moderates” are all gone now, but we’re still stuck with conservative Democrat Joe Manchin who opposes an assault weapons ban.
The Republicans who exist in reality and not Biden’s old photo albums have solidified their opposition to gun safety measures. The Hill gives Republicans credit for quickly denouncing racist mass murder — hooray? — but Republicans just as quickly offered up the same stale excuses for their almost sociopathic inaction.
Senator John Barrasso, a member of GOP leadership, said Tuesday, "It just doesn’t seem to be helpful to me to go after law-abiding citizens and our Second Amendment rights, so I’m going to continue to hold that position.” When former Republican House Rep. Peter King from New York voted for the assault weapons ban, he bluntly stated, “I know people on the Second Amendment side go nuts when you say this, but what is the purpose of an assault weapon?”
The 18-year-old racist killer bought his death machine at a vintage gun shop in Endicott, New York. The owner confirms that he ran a background check but nothing came up. However, last June, state police investigated the shooter and ordered a psychiatric evaluation. The NRA and Republicans have pushed back against Democratic efforts to keep guns away from mentally ill people. They claim this violates the mentally ill’s constitutional gun rights without “due process.” So, presumably, now that the Buffalo shooter has murdered all those people, a future background check might flag him as a problem.
Iowa GOP Senator Chuck Grassley insulted America’s collective intelligence Monday with this bullshit:
“I think I heard a Black person from Buffalo on television say that guns don’t kill, people kill. So what are you going to accomplish by gun control?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Monday. “Particularly, if it’s a violation of the Second Amendment?”
I love my Black people, but any Black person who claims after a mass shooting that “guns don’t kill, people kill” is a moron. If that racist asshole didn’t have a gun, any number of Black ladies on the scene could’ve put him in check with their handbags.
A 2021 Pew Research study showed that 75 percent of Black Americans support stricter gun control laws, compared to just 45 percent of white people, who are mentally living in the Wild West. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “each day on average, 30 Black Americans are killed by guns and more than 110 experience non-fatal injuries.” Guns aren’t making us safer.
But I guess these studies aren’t as rigorously peer reviewed as whatever an old white guy happens to catch on TV.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad-free and entirely supported by reader donations. That's you! Please click the clickie, if you are able.
Tucker's 'Great Replacement' Either Totally Fine Or Doesn't Exist Or HEY WHAT ABOUT RACHEL MADDOW, LIBS?
The explanations keep coming.
As we've noted, right-wing proponents of the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory have been trying awfully hard to explain that they have no moral culpability for Saturday's racist mass shooting of 13 people in Buffalo, New York. It's a problem for for them, since the shooter's manifesto obsesses at length about "replacement," an international Jewish conspiracy seeking to genocide white people through immigration and through relatively lower white birth rates. (I can remember my mother fretting about the birth rate thing way back in the 1970s, too). The argument goes that complex demographic changes are actually being engineered to end white people's majority status in the population, which of course would be the end of America.
Wingnuts who've pushed the "Great Replacement" lie have tried to distance themselves from the shooter, claiming that something else caused the massacre (furries, or maybe the COVID lockdowns), or more typically, doubling down on the paranoia about immigration while still insisting it's true. But they're going to great lengths to insist they've never advocated violence, they've merely warned of a literal invasion by foreign hordes making war against America, lawlessly destroying our way of life, and turning the country into "a third-world hellhole" (literally part of the title of a book by Ann Coulter).
So yeah, a bit more on that, because while this "Great Replacement" stuff is bullshit, it's bullshit that's driving much of what passes for the Republican Party's agenda. Ever since that Kenyan guy became president, they want "their" country back.
Wait! Tucker's 'Great Replacement' Isn't The Killer's 'Great Replacement'!
In an elegant variation on the theme denying any similarities between rightwing immigration panic and the shooter's ideology, Daily Wire columnist Hank Berrien explained that you just have to understand they're totally different things!
Berrien notes a New York Times story that
cited the gunman’s alleged support for so-called “replacement theory,” an anti-semitic conspiracy theory that claims Jews are importing minorities to change the country’s racial makeup.
And while the gunman may have written about the "Great Replacement," it has absolutely nothing to do with perfectly valid patriotic "claims that Democrats favor amnesty for illegal immigrants in order to change the voting demographics of the country, which [Tucker] Carlson has asserted." That's different, so libs shouldn't "conflate" the two. One is about evil Jews trying to change America's racial makeup, while Tucker is only talking about voting blocs, and that has nothing to do with race.
We suppose that might win some awards for hair-splitting, were it not for the tiny detail that Carlson goes far beyond just talking about voting, and explicitly discusses the supposed plot in racial terms. As the Times recently detailed, Carlson has referenced the idea some 400 times, and while he does sometimes frame it as a scheme to change the voting population, he constantly uses scary language about ruling elites who want to replace real Americans — that's "YOU," the Fox News viewer — with "third-world immigrants." And he's constantly emphasizing that those nasty Democrats are stealing the USA by "trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World." Here, a short, partial compilation, which is only one minute long and feels like forever. (Caution: includes Tucker's hysterical laughter):
Tucker Carlson pushing Great Replacement Theory, all in one place, courtesy of the @MehdiHasanShow on @MSNBC. \n\nWatch/share/be disgusted:pic.twitter.com/uwOeYkWHSW— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1652663302
Again and again, we're told one of the biggest threats about these "third world" immigrants is that they're "more compliant" than red-blooded American voters. We guess they think those voters are simpletons who will dance for their puppetmaster (probably George Soros). Gosh, no racism in that characterization.
And again, there's no plot here. Democrats are sympathetic to migrants and refugees because we're liberal saps who still believe America is best when it provides refuge to those huddled masses yearning to breathe free and all that, not because we expect a political payoff. But it's awfully hard for right-wingers to see anything as not motivated by seeking a partisan edge, or even a nefarious plot to steal elections -- cough, cough, projection! -- so when we talk about asylum and social justice and all that, they just know in they hearts we have to be lying, because humans never help others without expecting something in return.
Didn't Rachel Maddow Also Inspire A Shooting? (No, She Did Not)
In one of the weirder sideshows to the shooting, a whole bunch of wingnuts on Twitter wondered why leftists are so insistent on smearing Tucker just because his racist rhetoric sounds a lot like the shooter's racist rhetoric, even though the shooter didn't watch Tucker. After all, the lefty who shot up that baseball practice in 2017, nearly killing GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, was a big fan of Rachel Maddow. But those hypocritical leftists never accused Maddow of inciting that shooting! Sean Hannity said blaming Carlson was just "intellectually lazy and intellectually dishonest”:
“What you’re looking at here, is the face of evil. That’s what this is. This isn’t about politics, it is about evil,” Hannity said, going on to point out that members of the GOP didn’t blame Rachel Maddow or the Democrats for the shooting that injured House Minority Whip Steve Scalise in 2017 —even though the shooter was a Sanders supporter and a Maddow watcher.
Couple things here.
1) The fuck they didn't. Newt Gingrich blamed a "pattern" of "increasing hostility on the left" for telling people "It’s OK to consider assassinating Trump," and Don Junior tweeted that the shooting was clearly inspired by that production of Julius Caesar in which Caesar looked like Trump. Others said Sanders was at fault, because hadn't he talked about a political revolution? That monster.
2) Neither Sanders nor Maddow ever advanced anything remotely parallel to the toxic "Great Replacement" crap that both the shooter and Carlson pushed, although we suppose their excuse might be that the baseball practice gunman didn't write a manifesto.
Tucker Explains Shooter Wasn't 'Political' Somehow
On his own show Monday night (we didn't watch and you can't make us), Carlson dismissed the shooter's long written rant as not really a manifesto, and not even "political," apparently because it lacked the intellectual heft of good political writing like Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France or Donald Trump's Disquisition on What You Can Get Away With When You're a Celebrity.
The Washington Post explains:
“What he wrote does not add up to a manifesto,” Carlson said, noting that what [Payton] Gendron allegedly wrote was racist. “It is not a blueprint for a new extremist political movement, much less the inspiration for racist revolution. Anyone who claims that it is lying or hasn’t read it.” [...]
Carlson did not directly mention the racist theory during the monologue at the top of his show. The host, who denounced racism and described the alleged document from Gendron, 18, as “a rambling pastiche of slogans and Internet memes, some of which flatly contradict one another,” said: “The document is not recognizably left-wing or right-wing; it’s not really political at all. The document is crazy.”
Egad! A mishmash of incoherent crap? Sounds like a Trump interview, honestly. But Carlson knew who the real victims were: Right-wing pundits, and also YOU, the Fox Viewer: "So what is hate speech? Well, it’s speech that our leaders hate." See what he did there?
“So because a mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud. That’s what they’re telling you. That’s what they’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but Saturday’s massacre gives them a pretext, a justification.”
In other words, we're right back to the standard Tucker Carlson victimhood narrative, because the powerful elites are still coming for you, and you need to stay angry forever. The real threat isn't armed racists, or racist propaganda stirring up resentment. No, it's those elites trying to silence the racists who are telling you to arm yourself against the dusky hordes who are trying to steal your nation.
Last night, Tucker explained, in typical Tucker fashion, that he isn't even sure what this "Great Replacement" thingie is, but he's definitely sure the Democratic Party formulates immigration policy in order to help it win elections, and that this is just true because Democrats are just constantly saying this out loud. At this point Tucker played clips of Democrats saying out loud that demographic change exists, which only proves Tucker's point if you think demographic change is a reason to shit your white man pants.
At the end of the package, he exclaimed, "So you play clips of them saying it and you're the deranged conspiracy nut!"
Also racist, Tucker. Don't forget "racist."
Yr Wonkette is funded entirely by reader donations. If you can, please help out with a monthly $5 or $10 donation so we can keep trying to make sense of all this madness with you.
That train’s never late.
Americans are addicted to guns, and like most junkies, they’ll blame anything but guns for the damage caused by their beloved death machines. This explains the sadly predictable response from gun lovers after a white supremacist gunman murdered 10 people in Buffalo. (The shooter is 18, so he was legally able to buy a gun but not a beer.)
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene bemoaned the “severe mental health crisis” in America that presumably led to the shooting. She tweeted, "Instead of investing billions in foreign countries, we should only be investing in our own people and our own problems.” So, she responds to a racist murder spree with more of her racist xenophobia. I’m too old and depressed for this level of irony.
This morning, Greene replied to a tweet where the killer said he chose Buffalo because of its relatively large Black population. She ignored his stated racial animus, and instead focused on his claim that he chose New York because of its gun control laws. She wrote, "When people can’t carry, they are defenseless.” This is dumb and offensive even for Greene. Retired police officer Aaron Salter, who worked security, was armed, but firing at the shooter didn’t work because he was wearing body armor. The shooter then killed Salter. The average person isn’t going to the grocery store dressed for combat. You’re better off using Instacart and rolling the dice on bad produce picks.
Deranged people have absurdly easy access to guns. That’s the problem, but we still get the most ridiculous deflections. Right-wing media quickly dusted off its favorite gun violence scapegoat, video games.
Fox host: It seems like these [shootings] have gotten so much worse since video games became so realistic and so violentpic.twitter.com/wil6FRPoir— nikki mccann ram\u00edrez (@nikki mccann ram\u00edrez) 1652655640
Sunday, Fox News anchor Jon Scott wondered what went through the mind of the 18-year-old shooter, who had “his whole life in front of him, but now his life is essentially over” because of how he murdered all those Black people, whose lives are literally over. It’s kinda early to start centering the white supremacist but this is Fox News.
SCOTT: It seems like these things have gotten so much worse since video games became so realistic and violent.
Correlation is not causation, asshole.
Scott further pondered if video games “desensitized” people to the impact of violence. His guest blamed the decline of the family unit. Meanwhile, both these fools were on a network that has arguably desensitized viewers to overtly racist rhetoric.
This wasn’t Scott’s first bullshit rodeo. He also linked video games, without a shred of evidence, to the racially motivated mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart in 2019.
Scott wonders if these guys "raised on a diet of violent video games—if they actually start pulling the trigger of a real weapon and they see real death and they find it's not as satisfying as it was when they're playing on a television screen." He wonders out loud if this is why the alleged shooter, Patrick Crusius, stopped shooting.
The National Rifle Association has also grossly tried to blame fake violence for causing the real violence it enables. Look, I’d probably suggested pulling from shelves any KKK-approved Great Replacement Theory video games where white-only avatars murder 72-year-old Black grandmothers. However, studies consistently show that playing violent video games doesn’t lead to violent behavior. It’s the prevalence of guns that leads to gun violence. In Japan, people play more video games than their American counterparts, but the nation has 96 times fewer gun homicides. However, Japan has stricter gun control laws and doesn’t waste time chasing down strawmen.
I admit I prefer the First Amendment to the Second, but it’s not like we'll ever make racists go away. We can make it harder for them to kill us.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad-free and entirely supported by reader donations. That's you! Please click the clickie, if you are able.