We're not crying, YOU'RE crying. OK, us too.
Students perform haka to pay tribute to classmates killed in Christchurch www.youtube.com
It is late in the day on what looks like another week of hell, so here is a video of some New Zealand teenagers who burst into a spontaneous "haka" chant in remembrance of two of their friends who were murdered by a white supremacist who expected his terrorism would start a race war. He failed, and the kids -- from schools all over Christchurch -- are wonderful.
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What part of ILLEGAL doesn't he understand? Probably lots.
Another day, another dispatch from the New Cruelty: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been holding Noé de la Cruz, an old man who has Alzheimer's disease and diabetes (and is in remission from cancer) in a detention center in Texas, pending the outcome of his request for asylum. His family -- his wife and daughter are citizens -- has requested he be released to their care, but nothing doing! ICE doesn't let dangerous old men loose into the community, because what if he disappears and takes some American's job, or tapes a bunch of women's mouths shut and drives them across the border, or starts a caravan and murders all of us in our sleep? We need a wall -- An anti-ALZHEIMER'S wall!
His daughter, Sandra de la Cruz, says she's worried her father, 72, isn't getting any treatment where he's imprisoned, ICE's Port Isabel "Service Processing Center" in Los Fresnos, Texas.
"He's going to get lost, and we don't have family over there who can take care of him," Sandra said. Speaking through tears, Sandra recounted instances where her father called "three, five, ten times a day" from the Port Isabel detention facility near Los Fresnos, Texas, asking the same questions over and over.
"He also says that he's getting into fights, but when we go to see him, he doesn't have bruises," Sandra said. "We think that the fights are happening in his mind."
(Some idiot somewhere: "So he's also violent, you say? Good thing he's in jail!")
The rent is too damn high!
Hey, while every media outlet is doing exactly the same stupid horse-race political coverage they said nobody should be doing, the actual candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are busily putting forward policy proposals -- the things pundits and voters keep saying they want to know about, at least in between discussions of "likeability" and whether Chuck Todd thinks candidates are bipartisan enough. So hey, here is a cool housing policy idea from Elizabeth Warren, who's trying to out-nerd everyone else with a proposal to make housing more affordable and even redress some of the nation's terrible legacy of housing discrimination. What a weirdo!
Warren outlines her housing proposals here, and we like 'em. There are even linkies to studies supporting her proposals, yay for info geeks! She notes that, for grownup adults, where you live (more precisely, where you can afford to live) has enormous consequences.
Housing is not just the biggest expense for most American families — or the biggest purchase most Americans will make in their lifetimes. It also affects the jobs you can get, the schools your children can go to, and the kinds of communities you can live in. That's why it's so important that government gets housing policy right.
Problem is, the federal government has spent decades getting housing policy very very wrong, from building racial discrimination into housing policy for much of the 20th century, to letting the big banks screw over homeowners and taxpayers as well. And of course, not doing much of anything to address the crunch in affordable housing for low and middle-income people. How's this for some real class warfare, via the supposedly invisible hand of the market:
That's how much they fear The Beto.
In a possible new twist on outreach to black voters, the GOP seems to be trying to prove they treat everyone equally, by showing us they are not just racist against us and the Latinos, and the Asians, and the Middle Easterners, and the Native Americans, and they "Gypsies," and the Shithole Countries, and ... well, damn. I guess white people were all they had left to oppress. Why is the GOP suddenly remembering that it is perfectly fine to show ethnic bias against "some" white people? That damn Beto O'Rourke made them do it. They fear him, and they should; Beto is nice, fun, charismatic, was in a band, and he broke first day fundraising records LIKE A BOSS!
Beto O'Rourke is continuing to break records.
In the first day of his presidential campaign the former congressman from Texas raised over $6.1 million, according to NBC News. This is the largest first-day fundraising total of any 2020 Democratic contender to date, including Bernie Sanders.
Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day, Beto O'Rourke jumped into the race for the Democratic nomination. Saint Patrick's Day isn't one of the holidays where the GOP can offend dark people, so some genius Photoshop MacGyver decided it was "stereotype the Irish O'Clock," and went to work.
Every part of Rebecca Traister's Stacey Abrams profile is FUCKING DELIGHTFUL. What shall we excerpt? How about this?
It was, perhaps, particularly awful for a black girl in a predominantly white elementary school in Mississippi. "Stacey may have read on the same level as the teachers," her sister Leslie recalls. "And she wasn't shy about correcting you. She was never rude, but she'd say, 'This is silly.' It was: 'What is the purpose of this finger paint? When I go home I'm reading Nancy Drew. So why am I reading Dick and Jane at school?' " Leslie laughs. "But you couldn't punish her for being smart! And she wasn't a bad child. So the teachers were like: 'Will you go do something useful then? Go make copies!' Stacey made a lot of copies." That meant she spent a lot of time with adults, like her principal, and less time with her peers, whom she studied with a kind of distant curiosity.
"I was born trying to figure out why other kids were just playing in a circle," Abrams says. "What are you doing in the circle? Duck, Duck, Goose? What is the goose supposed to do? You could be organizing; you could be producing products that are for sale. You have a circle, but how are you utilizing it?"
As an adult, Abrams made a conscious decision not to hide her braininess, unlike so many extremely smart women who've been told that their intellectual prowess is off-putting and unattractive. She knows the perceived costs of this. In her book, she writes about how "older women of every racial category" blame the fact that she is single on her achievements, while men cite her "tendency toward strong opinions" as a romantic turnoff. (In our first conversation, back in 2015, she told me, "I like to be successful at things, and I was not good at dating and so I just stopped," one of the most deeply human observations I've ever heard come out of the mouth of a politician. Four years later, she says she is very open to the possibility of a relationship.)
Go on, now, CLICK!
Barack Obama find common ground with GOP, but then Beto IS white.
Presidential candidate and blogger Beto O'Rourke is currently selling "post-partisanship" as the answer to our dysfunctional politics. We hope he gets more takers than we did recently for our gently used Betamax. Look, there are a thousand Democrats running for the 2020 nomination and if O'Rourke thinks he can distinguish himself with a "hope and change" remix platform, who are we to remind him that Republicans exist? As Rodney King once asked, "Can't we all just get along?" Although, in fairness, King had recently suffered traumatic head injuries from a vicious police beating. It's uncertain why any politician fully in possession of their faculties would think they can find common cause with scumbags who pull shit like this:
Beto spoke with Chuck Todd while campaigning Sunday in Waterloo, Iowa. Todd couldn't zing him about being "over-prepared" like he did Hillary Clinton, so he instead asked how O'Rourke planned to make good on his promises of a big bipartisan orgy in DC and who'd have to oil down Mitch McConnell?
It's your Sunday Show Rundown!
New Zealand is still mourning after the horrific attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. As news and social media deal with their influence on the shooter, there were plenty of comments on CNN's "State of the Union." Let's begin with the US Ambassador to New Zealand, former Massachusetts senator and part-time male model Scott Brown. Jake Tapper pressed Ambassador Brown about New Zealand's prime minister's request that Trump show support for the Muslim community. After Brown affirmed HIS stance & support for the Muslim community, Tapper asked a very illuminating question:
TAPPER: Have you spoken with President Trump about this attack?
BROWN: I speak to the, obviously, the White House, the Situation Room and all parties to be on a very regular basis. There's no need for me to specifically speak to the president because I'm here as his representative and do what I have been doing, which is making sure that whatever the new Zealand government needs, including the prime minister or any of the other agencies, we make sure it's available.
So the answer is "NO," Ambassador Brown. Apparently while Trump hasn't had time to speak with his own ambassador to New Zealand, he's had time to feign ignorance that white supremacy is on the rise and trash the late Senator John McCain. Tapper continued:
A bad thing happened last night.
Racist terrorists killed 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand, targeting worshippers during Friday prayers. The attack appears to have been carried out by a single shooter, a 28-year-old Australian man, who has been charged with murder. New Zealand authorities have arrested four people, although they said one was not involved in the violence. The shooter wrote a manifesto claiming he was acting to save white people from immigration of nonwhites, and that he considered himself "a lawful, uniformed combatant." Authorities said none of the four arrested had been on terror watch lists.
The number of injured is also high; Christchurch health authorities stated 48 patients, "ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds," are being treated at Christchurch Hospital alone, and that additional patients with gunshot wounds had been taken to "other health facilities in the community." Injuries ranged from critical to minor. Remember; "wounded" by an assault rifle does not necessarily mean "lucky."
She doesn't even bother to say his name.
There's been a lot of fuss over Monday's Washington Post interview with Nancy Pelosi. Although a metric ton of Democrats want to impeach Donald Trump, the House Speaker officially declared it a waste of time.
PELOSI: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it.
"He's just not worth it" is such delicious shade it should appear on a t-shirt or a mug. People are misinterpreting this as Pelosi going soft and promoting foolish bipartisan harmony. No, she just has a brain in her head. The eyes in her head have also witnessed Republicans shamelessly cover for Trump and protect him even when his former personal lawyer testified to what a sleaze he is. Robert Mueller's final report probably won't change the world. It's not a new Harry Potter novel.
It's The Sunday Show Rundown!!
Let's begin our Sunday show rundown this week with Republican "strategist" and Mr. "
Kamala Harris/Cory Booker/Obama black primary" himself, Alex Castellanos. On ABC's "This Week" with
George Stephanopoulos Martha Raddatz, the panel began with a discussion about Ilhan Omar's unfortunately worded comments about Israel, and Nancy Pelosi's decision to focus a House resolution on denouncing hate and bigotry in all its forms. The vote itself received bipartisan support in condemnation of hate ... except for 24 Republicans.
While many sensible people would see this as a larger victory in condemning hate, Alex Castellanos is NOT one of these people:
Pirro accuses Rep. Ilhan Omar of dual loyalty.
Saturday, during the opening monologue of her Fox News show, "Judge" Jeanine Pirro took aim at the Right's current favorite target, the "very scary" Rep. Ilhan Omar. She wondered what set the congresswoman apart from others in the "Democrat Party," who she believed aren't collectively "anti-Israel" like she claims Omar is. Pirro suggested the answer rested on top of Omar's pretty Muslim head.
PIRRO: Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won't get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?
Pirro is presumably a judge of more than just beauty pageants and hot-dog eating contests. She should understand that the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the right of a Muslim politician or even a random American citizen to wear a hijab, a yarmulke, or even a nun's wimple. Pirro basically accused Omar of having a "dual loyalty," which is the exact same anti-Semitic trope everyone has denounced Omar herself for invoking.
Megs still supports President Trump though, because why wouldn't she?
We didn't want to write about Meghan McCain twice this week or really at all, but she went and cried on "The View" yesterday, so what choice do we have, really? McCain tearfully warned the world about the threat of global anti-Semitism, as apparently represented by a freshman House member whose every dumb statement is immediately and publicly derided.
(We're going to just refer to McCain as "Megs McCabe" for the rest of this post, so you're not inclined to treat her opinions with more respect than they deserve because her father was someone important. You're probably already thinking, "Why the hell should I care what Megs McCabe thinks?" Exactly!)
Megs McCabe starts her audition for Meritocracy in the Age of Nepotism with a passive-aggressive warning to her co-hosts, who've already had too much of her shit: She's about to discuss an "issue that's very intense" for her and she asks her co-hosts to "bear with" her, as if that's not what've they've done every damn day for the past 17 months.
Republicans hate HR 1 even more than condemning racism.
The House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1, the Democrats' big package of voting-reform measures, aka the "For the People Act." The measure passed on a party-line vote, because Republicans just can't stand the bill. Letting more Americans vote more easily is obviously a "power grab." Also, some no doubt grumbled that phrases like "for the people" are Republican Worship Words and shall not be used by dirty evil Democrats who all hate America. Let's take a look at the excellent democracy-restoring ideas in this bill, after a brief pause for some asshole to sneer, "it's not a democracy, it's a Republic!!!!"
HR 1 is a great big grab bag of terrific ideas to restore and protect the right to vote for millions of Americans after years of Republican efforts -- at both the federal and state levels -- to rig the system in Republicans' favor. So in a sense, Mitch McConnell was right when he condemned it as a "power grab"; he just failed to mention it's grabbing power back from the rightwing minority that's been imposing its will on most Americans. HR 1 includes a whole bunch of neat features to fix our broken voting system and expand access to the ballot:
Ilhan Omar, you get back here right now!
The House voted yesterday on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds, like anti-Muslim hatred and white supremacy. The measure passed overwhelmingly, but was opposed by 23 Republicans because of their very deep principles, most of which amounted to the principle that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) needed to be the sole focus of condemnation because she's the only source of hatred in America today. Oh, yes, and one brave R, white nationalist Steve King of Iowa, bravely voted "present," because darned if you're going to trap him into supporting a condemnation of hatred. Let's take a tour of the very good reasons some Republicans gave for opposing a resolution opposing hatred, shall we?
Several of those who opposed the resolution were quite clear about their reason: This was supposed to be a chance to accuse Ilhan Omar of hating all Jews because she said some really clumsy stupid things about how she was being required to vow "allegiance to a foreign country" -- which is true, in that we are literally outlawing a boycott of Israel, Texas is literally requiring anyone who contracts with it to vow allegiance to Israel, etc. -- but with words that evoke a stereotype (that Jews have a "dual allegiance") that was directly addressed in the text of the resolution. But that doesn't count because the resolution didn't specifically condemn Omar. Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney called the resolution a "sham" for not censuring Omar by name, and claimed it proves the entire party is now "controlled by far-left extremists who can't even muster the courage to stand up to blatant anti-Semitism." You know, as long as you ignore the multiple parts of the resolution condemning anti-Semitism in very specific terms.
We are telling you to CLICK on a David Brooks article? We just don't know anymore.
David Brooks is for reparations now? He IS? We ... go ahead and CLICK.
Nearly five years ago I read Ta-Nehisi Coates's Atlantic article "The Case for Reparations," with mild disagreement. All sorts of practical objections leapt to mind. What about the recent African immigrants? What about the poor whites who have nothing of what you would call privilege? Do we pay Oprah and LeBron?
But I have had so many experiences over the past year — sitting, for example, with an elderly black woman in South Carolina shaking in rage because the kids in her neighborhood face greater challenges than she did growing up in 1953 — that suggest we are at another moment of make-or-break racial reckoning.
Back never, our eyeballs clearly need fixing.
Wingnuts: Condemning all bigots 'watered down' the resolution.
You probably heard the calls for the ritual disembowelment of Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has an unfortunate habit of criticizing Israel in language that reeks of anti-Semitic tropes. The House is now scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, but that sneaky Nancy Pelosi went and turned the resolution into a condemnation of all the many hatreds that have recently infected American politics. How is that even fair? This was supposed to reflect Democrats' DEEP RIFTS over how to deal with the only bigot in America, a single freshman Democrat from Minnesota, not an opportunity to reaffirm so-called American values! Guess maybe Pelosi isn't about to be overthrown after all; sorry, Fox News.
The resolution is a serious, detailed criticism of the rise of hatred in recent American politics, affirming the value of the First Amendment and freedom of religion, then drilling down into the wheareases:
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