Posted: January 28, 2016 Filed under: 2016 elections, Live Blog | Tags: Donald Trump, Fox, Iowa GOP Debate, Megyn Kelly, Roger Ailes
Can the 2016 primaries get any more odd? Tonight’s the final Republican debate prior to the Iowa Caucuses next Monday. Frontrunner Donald Trump will be holding an alternative event that will be attended by other candidates Mike “the Huckster” Huckabee and Rick “the frothy” Santorum. The event will benefit Veterans by sending money to a nonprofit that’s notorious for not spending its money on Veterans. It’s not sure who the Fox Debate will benefit although bets seem to be on Cruz or Rubio. Rand Paul figured out how to get on the main stage. Whine.
Republican presidential candidates will square off Thursday evening at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate is the final one before next Monday’s Iowa caucuses, and is especially notable for being the first one in which Donald Trump is not present.
Both the undercard and primetime debates will air on Fox News, with a different set of moderators for each. The earlier event, which begins at 7 p.m. ET, will be hosted by America’s Newsroom anchors Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer, and will feature four candidates: Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Jim Gilmore.
The primetime event will begin at 9 p.m. ET, and will be moderated by Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier. Participating in the big event are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul. Frontrunner Donald Trump qualified for the event but declined to participate because of his ongoing feud with Fox News.
Cruz is chomping at the bit to go one on one with the Strump and has even set up a venue. Trump’s campaign manager has said there’s no point to debating some one that may not even be eligible to be President. (Ouch)
Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said on Thursday that his candidate would be “happy” to debate Ted Cruz once the Texas senator gets a federal judge to rule him eligible to run for president.
“Once you’ve gotten that ruling from the federal judge and you’re the last man standing in this presidential contest next to Donald Trump, we’ll be happy to have a debate with you one-on-one, anywhere you want, because that’s the way the system works,” Lewandowski said. “But, as it stands right now, we don’t even know if Ted Cruz is legally eligible to run for president of the United States.”
Trump and his supporters have argued that Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen, is not natural born and therefore ineligible to run for president under the Constitution.
Cruz challenged Trump to debate him one-on-one after Trump announced that he would not be attending the Fox News Republican presidential debate Thursday night because of objections to the presence of anchor Megyn Kelly and a statement Fox issued in response to his complaints.
“What this is, is a publicity stunt by Senator Cruz who is continuing to fall in the polls in the state of Iowa,” Lewandowski told Boston radio host Jeff Kuhner, before unleashing a slew of attacks at Cruz, arguing that he had used “dark money donors” through his super PAC to offer a donation to charity if Trump agreed to the debate.
Pundits are discussing the internecine battles apparent in the Republican Party since Trump has obviously challenged Roger Ailes Kingmaker status and placed the party itself in a pretty weird place. Priebus was on MSNBC earlier on the weekday MTP explaining that the party really had nothing to do with the debates other than setting up the venues and times even though it had earlier removed media outlets for participating. This group is not Bob Dole’s Republicans, for sure.
Trump’s rivals view the debate as a chance to get their own messages across without having to compete with Trump’s bomb-throwing rhetoric.
“It gives us more time at the microphone and more time to talk about answers to substantive issues that Iowa voters are demanding right now,” said David Kochel, a senior adviser to Republican candidate Jeb Bush.
“It is undeniable that what he’s doing is denying his opponents a large audience as they make their final arguments to Iowa voters,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Republican strategist who advised the party’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney.
While it might be tempting for Trump’s rivals to use the debate to criticize him aggressively, some Republican analysts are cautioning against a scorched-earth approach.
“It’s delicate for the candidates because you have to pull back from attacking a man who is not there,” said Ari Fleischer, who was White House press secretary for President George W. Bush. “It will be OK to make a passing reference or two, the fact that he’s not there. But if you try to beat him up, it won’t play well because he’s not there to defend himself.”
Campaigning on Wednesday in West Des Moines, Cruz mocked Trump for skipping the debate, calling him a “fragile soul.” He renewed his offer to Trump to debate him one-on-one.
Interestingly enough, sending Money to Trump’s Veteran’s fundraiser means sending money to Trump’s personal Foundation.
After ducking the final Republican presidential debate heading into next week’s Iowa caucuses, GOP front-runner Donald Trump announced that he would hold his own pro-veterans event during the debate to raise money for veterans. Trump even set up a special website to solicit donations to help veterans.
“Honor their valor,” the website, donaldtrumpforvets.com, states. “Donate now to help our Veterans.”
The website, which is nothing more than a single page with stock photosand a credit card donation form, claims that “100% of your donations will go directly to Veterans needs.”
There’s only one problem: 100% of the money raised on the site goes directly to Donald Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, according to a disclosure listed at the bottom of the page.
“The Donald J Trump Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” the disclosure reads. “An email confirmation with a summary of your donation will be sent to the email address provided above.”
Well, alright then. Guess vets will have to kiss the ring to be considered for the money.
Josh Marshall–while regretting the gender bias in the term–is looking at this as the “bitch slap” theory of politics. He has a few interesting thoughts on the matter of Trump challenging Ailes.
But this driving force of Republican politics has only become more salient and central as the GOP has become increasingly dominated by core constituencies animated by anger and resentment that things to which they believe they are entitled are being taken away from them.
Trump doesn’t apologize. He hurts people and they go away. He says things that would kill a political mortal (ban members of an entire religion from entering the country) and yet he doesn’t get hurt. Virtually everything Trump has done over the last six months, whether it’s a policy proposal or personal attack, has driven home this basic point: Trump is strong. He does things other people can’t.
This is why Trump has so shaken up and so dominated the GOP primary cycle, at least thus far. As I’ve said, this kind of dominance symbolism is pervasive in GOP politics. It’s not new with Trump at all. Most successful Republican politicians speak this language. And yet somehow for most it is nonetheless a second language. But it’s Trump’s native language. I still believe it’s rooted in the mix of the hyper-aggressive New York real estate world, his decades of immersion in the city’s febrile tabloid culture and just being, at the most basic level, a bully. Wherever it comes from, he seems to intuitively get that for this constituency and at this moment just demonstrating that he gets his way, always, is all that really matters. Policy details, protecting the candidate through careful press releases and structured media opportunities … none of that matters. Trump doesn’t kiss babies. Babies kiss him. He doesn’t have a billionaire backer; he is a billionaire. Trump doesn’t ask for support. He just tells you that you need to stop being a loser and get on board.
So this debate power play is all of a piece. He can just take the table, flip it over and walk out of the room. It’s all about him.
There is no question that Trump will completely dominate tomorrow night’s debate by his absence. After all, he’s the one in the lead everywhere. If he’s not there, what is there to talk about? The Rubio v Christie stand off? Jeb? Who cares?
It may be two plus hours of people attacking him without him being there to respond – and the moderators themselves out to get him too. But again, it’s still all about him. He can make it all about him by not even being there. He doesn’t kowtow to Fox News or go on retainer with the network during the off-season. He calls the shots. And there is little question in my mind that in one fashion or another you will have two competing TV shows tomorrow night, Trump’s and everybody else’s. And Trump’s will almost certainly be better.
So, grab a beer or a cuppa, a nice comfy sitting situation, and a bag full of nerfballs to throw at the TV. It’s time to listen to Right Wing Anger and Paranoia.
Posted: August 27, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Josh Duggar, Megyn Kelly, Tom Harkin, Vester Flanagan
Good Morning (Barely)!!
I wish I could spend this morning looking at paintings on the internet and then take a long nap. I don’t want to know anymore about workplace shootings, theater shootings, “domestic abuse” killings, rapes, hate crimes, and clown car politicians who stoke the rage of crazy people. This country, this world cannot be as crazy as it seems, can it? Here’s some of crazy stuff I’ve been reading. The peaceful paintings are to distract us from the insanity of today’s current events.
On the latest nutcase shooting:
The Guardian: Vester Flanagan told by Virginia TV station to seek medical help, say memos.
Vester Flanagan, the gunman who killed two journalists in Virginia, was told by his bosses to seek medical help after colleagues at the television station where he worked with his victims repeatedly complained about him, according to memos obtained by the Guardian.
Several flare-ups were detailed in internal messages from Dan Dennison, then the news director of WDBJ7, that were sent to Flanagan and copied to senior colleagues. Flanagan on Wednesday morning shot deadreporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.
Flanagan, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound later on Wednesday, was reprimanded for “lashing out” at a colleague and for his “harsh language” and “aggressive body language” while working as a reporter.
He was told to contact employee assistance professionals at the company Health Advocate. “This is a mandatory referral requiring your compliance,” Dennison told Flanagan on 30 July 2012. “Failure to comply will result in termination of employment.”
On Christmas Eve that year, Dennison emailed colleagues to say he had just warned Flanagan that he had one final chance to save his job. “I’m not entirely sure where his head is at,” said Dennison. Flanagan was fired three months later.
A favorite author by Poul Friis Nybo
Flanigan apparently spent months preparing to go out with a bang with everything recorded on social media before he committed suicide. More links:
New York Times: Virginia Shooting Gone Viral, in a Well-Planned Rollout on Social Media.
The Guardian: Virginia shooting: how Vester Flanagan forced the world to be his audience.
The Daily Beast: TV Station Called 911 When They Fired Vester Flanagan.
The Daily Mail: ‘He was the human tape recorder’: How TV murderer was criticized by bosses for appalling journalistic standards and reprimanded for wearing an Obama badge to report on elections.
Fox News: Inside Vester Lee Flanagan’s life.
We old folks remember how shocked we were when Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV. Little did we know that a half century later such horrifying events would become almost ordinary–shocking at first but swiftly and easily absorbed into the flow of daily violence reported by the news media.
The latest from the crazy-ass Duggar family:
Daisy by the river, T.C. Steele
In Touch Weekly: “JOSH DUGGAR CHEATED WITH ME!”: WOMAN TELLS ALL ABOUT THEIR TWO SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS.
In a bombshell world-exclusive interview with In Touch magazine, stripper and porn star Danica Dillon, 28, reveals she had sex not once, but on two separate occasions, with Josh Duggar, both occurring when his wife, Anna, was pregnant with their fourth child!
Danica — who passed a polygraph test conducted for In Touch by a top certified polygrapher on Aug. 24 — details her two sexual encounters with Josh in the new issue of +In Touch+, on newsstands now. The first occurred after Josh approached her at the Gold Club in Philadelphia, where she was performing, in mid-March and the second only a month later when Danica was performing at Creekside Cabaret in Colmar, Pa.
Josh paid Dillon for “$600 in private dances,” and then asked her to spend the night with him. She agreed to do it for $1,500, but she soon learned that Josh was into violent sex.
Danica admits she “took the opportunity because Josh offered to gift [her] $1,500.” But soon after Josh arrived at her hotel m, things got rough.
“He was manhandling me, basically tossing me around like I was a rag doll,” Danica, whose real name is Ashley Lewis, and although the sex was consensual, “It was very traumatic. I’ve had rough sex before, but this was terrifying.”
Ugh. A few more Duggar links:
An old woman reading by Harry Clifford Pilbury
AP via ydr.com: Josh Duggar in rehab after admitting to pornography habit.
Amanda Marcotte at Slate: Josh Duggar’s Brother-in-Law Speaks Out Against Him.
People: All About Josh Duggar’s Wife Anna: Her Parents Are Even ‘More Extreme’ Than the Duggars, Says Source.
Zach J. Hoag at Huffington Post: Divorcing Josh Duggar’s Monster God.
I don’t believe for one minute that Josh Duggar got so warped without some serious abuse in early childhood. Mark my words, it will come out eventually.
The latest on creepy old Uncle Joe:
New York Times: Tom Harkin Cautions Joe Biden Against Running for President.
Former Senator Tom Harkin, a fixture in Iowa Democratic politics for over four decades, discouraged Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday from entering the presidential race, suggesting that Hillary Rodham Clinton, if elected, could name him to a top diplomatic post instead.
Mr. Harkin, who served with Mr. Biden in the Senate for nearly 25 years and is now supporting Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said the vice president should not risk ending his career with what would be a third bid for the presidency.
“He has served the country so well and been a good friend of mine — I love Joe,” Mr. Harkin said in a phone interview. “I just don’t think this would be a wise move.”
Without prompting, Mr. Harkin added that there were “other ways Joe can serve the country.”
“With Hillary as president, I can see him being secretary of state or ambassador to the United Nations,” he said. “There are a lot of things he can do down the road that would be of valuable service to the country or the world.”
Good advice. It sounds like Biden is having second thoughts anyway.
Someone is waiting, David Hettinger
MSNBC: Joe Biden weighs whether he has ‘emotional fuel’ to run.
ABC News: ‘Time is Running Out’ for Joe Biden 2016 Candidacy, State Party Chairs Say.
CBS News: Does Joe Biden have what it takes to compete in New Hampshire?
Christian Science Monitor: Poll: Joe Biden runs better than Hillary Clinton against Republicans.
Well, the grass is always greener . . . those poll numbers would collapse very quickly if Biden actually got into the race.
The latest on the elephant in the clown car:
Joe Conason at The National Memo: ‘Fascist’ Trump Isn’t First Demagogue Laughed Off As A Buffoon.
Although he is still a clown, nobody laughs at Donald Trump anymore — which may be the real purpose of his candidacy, at least as far as he is concerned. The casino mogul is pleased to instill fear among Republican elites, as he dominates their presidential nominating contest — and forces them to face a hard question about the man who is exciting such belligerent enthusiasm among Republican voters:
Is Trump a real live fire-breathing fascist?
From Newsweek to Salon to the Daily Caller, commentators of various colorations have found ample reason to apply that often-discredited label to him. While these observers hesitate to lump Trump in with totalitarian dictatorships and historic crimes against humanity, they are clearly worried by his strongman appeal, his populist rhetoric, and his rejection of GOP free-market orthodoxy. Matt Lewis complains that Trump is reviving Nietzschean notions that inspired fascist ideology; Jeffrey Tucker warns that Trump is hostile to individual freedom and sees himself as the embodiment of the state, like fascist leaders before him.
Such worried conservatives aren’t wrong, but they seem unwilling or unable to grasp the clearest evidence that Trump is channeling toxic currents from the past—namely, his appeals to racial bigotry, his xenophobic and truculent attitude toward other nations, and his extremist “solution” to the problem of illegal immigration. Others have observed that the Republicans have only themselves to blame for encouraging the crude prejudices that Trump now calls forth in his “un-P.C.” way, as Maureen Dowd so cutely phrased it.
Woman reading, Pablo Picasso
Read the rest at the link. I have to admit that Trump is starting to scare me. More links:
Nate Silver: Donald Trump Is Running A Perpetual Attention Machine.
Jennifer L. Pozner at Politico: Think Reality TV Is Sexist? Blame Donald Trump.
Amanda Marcotte at TPM Cafe: Why Fox News’ Defense Of Megyn Kelly Is Going To Backfire.
NY Daily News: Donald Trump ends feud with Megyn Kelly, says he has ‘much bigger things to think about.’
Greg Sargent: Megyn Kelly nails it on why Donald Trump matters.
Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump’s Insults Rattle Republican Rivals, Please Fans.
Fortune: Why Donald Trump’s antics pose a serious long-term threat to the GOP.
That’s about all the news I can stomach for this morning. Am I just focusing on the negative or are things really this bad?
As always, this is an open thread. Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread and enjoy your Thursday.
Posted: August 8, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: culture of misogyny, Donald Trump, Erick Erickson, Megyn Kelly, Paul Krugman, Red State, Republican Debate
I’d love to be able to transport myself to a beautiful, peaceful place and isolate myself from current events. The reality of what is happening to our politics as our country devolves into a place where mass shootings are common, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny run rampant, income inequality is destroying the economy, and and the environment is rapidly deteriorating is just too much. I feel emotionally overwhelmed by it all.
At times, it’s easy to laugh at the insanity of today’s Republican Party and the complete incompetence of the mainstream media, but today the ugliness of what’s happening makes me feel like crying. Is there anything that can be done to turn this devolution of our country around?
I guess I reached the breaking point when I came home last night to the news that Republican presidential candidate(!) Donald Trump had attacked Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly by suggesting her questions to him during the debate on Thursday night were “mean” because she was menstruating. Can this really be happening?
Philip Rucker at The Washington Post: Trump says Fox’s Megyn Kelly had ‘blood coming out of her wherever.’
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday night that Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes” when she aggressively questioned him during Thursday’s presidential debate.
“She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions,” Trump said in a CNN interview. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.” ….
In Thursday’s debate, Kelly questioned Trump over his history of offensive statements about women.
Calling in to CNN for a 30-minute interview on Friday night with Don Lemon, Trump hurled insults at Kelly, calling her a “lightweight,” and bashed her co-moderators, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, as well as other Fox talent.
“I just don’t respect her as a journalist,” Trump said of Kelly. “I have no respect for her. I don’t think she’s very good. I think she’s highly overrated.”
Trump said he is considering skipping the next debate hosted by Fox News Channel, scheduled for January in Iowa, because he believes he was treated unfairly by the network’s moderators.
This pathetic excuse for a human being has been leading the national polls in the race for the GOP nomination for more than a month!
Oliver Willis writes: Trump: Megyn Kelly Asked Tough Questions Because She Was On Her Period.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front runner, suggested that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked him tough questions because she was on her period.
Appearing on CNN, captured by Think Progress, Trump said that Kelly, who questioned Trump about past misogynistic statements where he called women pigs and cows was asking “ridiculous questions” because she had “blood coming out of her eyes” and “blood coming out of her whatever.”
Trump’s fellow Republican candidates did not issue statements or condemnations of him when he promoted a tweet earlier in the day that called Kelly a “bimbo.”
Those candidates did however, issue various policy statements insensitive to women’s issues during the debate, as Republican insiders feared that this presidential campaign would once again bring the Republican Party’s “War on Women” to the forefront.
It looks like Trump is doing just that.
Most Americans–even Republicans–probably understand that Trump is a clown who simply blurts out whatever comes into his sick mind without any concern for the consequences. But what about 16 other Republican candidates? Are most of them really any better?
Paul Krugman has a brilliant column today in which he points out that to be a Republican candidate today means that you must spout complete nonsense.
From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious.
…while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party.
For example, Mr. Trump’s economic views, a sort of mishmash of standard conservative talking points and protectionism, are definitely confused. But is that any worse than Jeb Bush’s deep voodoo, his claim that he could double the underlying growth rate of the American economy? And Mr. Bush’s credibility isn’t helped by his evidence for that claim: the relatively rapid growth Florida experienced during the immense housing bubble that coincided with his time as governor.
Mr. Trump, famously, is a “birther” — someone who has questioned whether President Obama was born in the United States. But is that any worse than Scott Walker’s declaration that he isn’t sure whether the president is a Christian?
Mr. Trump’s declared intention to deport all illegal immigrants is definitely extreme, and would require deep violations of civil liberties. But are there any defenders of civil liberties in the modern G.O.P.? Notice how eagerly Rand Paul, self-described libertarian, has joined in the witch hunt against Planned Parenthood.
And while Mr. Trump is definitely appealing to know-nothingism, Marco Rubio, climate change denier, has made “I’m not a scientist” his signature line. (Memo to Mr. Rubio: Presidents don’t have to be experts on everything, but they do need to listen to experts, and decide which ones to believe.)
The point is that while media puff pieces have portrayed Mr. Trump’s rivals as serious men — Jeb the moderate, Rand the original thinker, Marco the face of a new generation — their supposed seriousness is all surface. Judge them by positions as opposed to image, and what you have is a lineup of cranks. And as I said, this is no accident.
Please go read the whole thing.
And what about the views on reproductive health that were expressed during the debate? Here Iris Carmon at MSNBC, GOP candidates: Ban abortion, no exceptions
At the first debate among candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination, the question was not whether or not to ban abortion or to defund Planned Parenthood. It was about whether exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or a woman’s life endangerment are legitimate. Their answer: No.
Moderator Megyn Kelly asked Scott Walker how he could justify opposing an exception to an abortion ban in cases where a woman’s life was in danger, though he did sign a bill with such an exception. Then she turned around and asked Marco Rubio how he could support exceptions in the case of rape and incest if he believed abortion was murder….
Walker, who asked the Wisconsin legislature for a 20-week abortion ban that had no exceptions for rape and incest but ultimately decided not to heed the anti-abortion activists who begged for a no-exceptions bill, replied, “I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of that mother. That’s been consistently proven.” The claim that an abortion is never needed to save a woman’s life is a common one in anti-abortion circles. Medical experts disagree.
As for Rubio, he denied he had ever advocated for such exceptions. “What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection,” he said. “In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.” In fact, Rubio was a cosponsor on a 20-week abortion ban that contained rape, incest and life endangerment exceptions.
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee did him one better and actually named which amendments of the constitution he believes already ban abortion. Specifically, the fifth and fourteenth.
These kinds of attitudes toward women and their rights to control their own bodies are now in the mainstream of Republican ideology. The New York Times suggests that while some argue that Republican candidates will hurt themselves with women voters by expressing these misogynistic views, this may not be true, at least for now.
In the short term, however, the political peril for the Republican candidates may not be so grave. They are largely focused now on winning over likely Republican voters who will decide the party’s nomination — an electorate that tends to skew male and older in many key states.
Recent polls of Republican voters indicate that Mr. Trump is performing strongly among men and to a slightly lesser extent among women, though sizable numbers of women also say they would not support him. It remains an open question whether Mr. Trump offended his supporters, or many other likely primary voters, by refusing to renounce his past descriptions of women as “fat pigs” during the debate; indeed, pollsters say he may have struck a chord with some voters by saying he doesn’t “have time for political correctness” when he was asked about his remarks.
The 2012 election was a case in point: Even though Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, won white women with 56 percent of their votes, he lost over all with female voters. A Republican nominee would be hard-pressed to improve that if the 2016 Democratic nominee is a woman, many Republican pollsters believe.
So they’re going to try to win the presidency by appealing to white male woman haters? Okay. Read about what Republican women think and much more at the link.
Trump’s attack on Megyn Kelley was too much even for ultra right wing nut EReaderrick Erickson. From The Washington Post: Donald Trump disinvited to speak at RedState event; Megyn Kelly invited.
ATLANTA — Conservative commentator Erick Erickson on Friday night disinvited GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump from speaking at an activist conference he is hosting here this weekend, citing disparaging remarks Trump made hours earlier on CNN about Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Erickson said Trump had been scheduled to speak at his RedState gathering on Saturday at the College Football Hall of Fame, but he told Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, about an hour before midnight that Trump was no longer welcome.
Trump’s campaign said in a statement that Erickson’s decision was “another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader. We’ll now be doing another campaign stop at another location.”
Trump’s CNN interview Friday evening instantly drew controversy and criticism after he said Kelly, one of the moderators of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that he was referring to Kelly’s nose. His campaign also issued a statement, claiming Trump said “whatever” instead of “wherever,” again repeating that the reference was to her nose.
Erickson, a Fox News regular and face of the popular RedState blog, has long been a foe of congressional GOP leaders and an ally of conservative grass-roots organizers. He has also drawn criticism for saying impolitic things, once calling retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter an “[expletive] child molester” and First Lady Michelle Obama a “Marxist harpy.” He has since apologized for both comments.
Trump’s words about Kelly simply went too far, Erickson said Friday, making him, someone who enjoys and appreciates barbed political rhetoric, uncomfortable and queasy. And with his invited guest dominating the 2016 race, and few if any conservatives reining him in, Erickson thought he’d try.
We’ll have to wait and see if that has any effect on Trump. But Republicans will still be stuck with several other candidates whose attitudes toward women aren’t really any better than Trump’s and whose ideas, as Paul Krugman points out, are completely incoherent and nonsensical.
Now I’m going to a peaceful place in my mind and try to pretend none of this is happening for today.
Remember, this is an open thread. Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread, and have a nice weekend.
Posted: December 20, 2013 Filed under: just because, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons | Tags: Duck Dynasty, Megyn Kelly
I think this editorial cartoon by Paul Berge below about sums up the whole Megyn Kelly thing perfectly:
Now that is hilarious!
For another example of the perfect execution of the art-form that is political editorial cartoons, h/t Kathy for this link:
Our Problems and Flaws Turned Into Cartoons by Angel Boligan | Bored Panda
Art can be used to express powerful ideas and messages, and Cuban cartoonist Angel Boligan’s political and social cartoons are a perfect example of just how expressive and critical art can be. His extensive collection of comics provide a scathing commentary on contemporary politics and society.
Each comic bears a deep and powerful meaning. Don’t just take our word for it – Boligan has received more than 130 international awards for his work. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his comics is that, no matter how diverse the subject matter, they always seem to hit hard. Although he often takes on on topics like consumerism, corruption and hypocrisy, he has no problem transcending the public political topics traditionally handled by artists and take on social and emotional issues like loneliness, vanity and despair, which are more often handled by the fine arts and literature.
Take a look at those cartoons, but this one is wonderful:
The rest of tonight’s funnies in no particular order.
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Matt Wuerker, Politico.com – 12/17/2013
(and that was from Politico!)
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – 12/16/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News – 12/16/2013
That reminds me…Good Grief and Great Tits by Dan Savage – Seattle Features – The Stranger, Seattle’s Only Newspaper
There’s something I should probably come clean about at the start of this piece. I didn’t read the whole thing—but why should I have to read the whole thing? Lord knows Sarah Palin didn’t write the whole thing.
Another confession: I haven’t even started to read the thing.
I’ve been carting Sarah Palin’s new book around with me for weeks. My copy of Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas has accompanied me to work and to the gym and back home again. This book has been to bars in four states, it’s been stuffed in the lockers of three gyms, it’s been stowed under the seat in front of me on six flights—it’s even been to a kink-world-famous dungeon in San Francisco that I recently toured for professional reasons. (You know how Jen Graves visits artists’ studios and Bethany Jean Clement eats in nice restaurants? It was like that, just with hooks in the ceiling.)
About the only place this book hasn’t been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that’s about to change. Because I’m going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that’s how long it takes for a batch of my mother’s Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I’m going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more.
And I think it’s fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.
Here’s a picture of Sarah Palin’s grandson—who for a time was the most famous fetus on the planet (2008, Republican National Convention)—and a quote:
“‘All this for me? And I wasn’t even very good!’
—My grandson, Tripp Easton Mitchell [Johnston], upon seeing the presents beneath the Christmas tree, 2012″
All this for me—and I wasn’t even that good. Translate that into Latin and it could be on the Palin family’s coat of arms.
Ha, okay, but this is the part that connects to the cartoon above:
Page 5: Here I learn something I didn’t know and, if I were Sarah Palin, something I wouldn’t want anyone to know. But Sarah hustles this fact to the front of the book because she sure as hell wants us to know it: Sarah surprised Todd with a “nice, needed, powerful gun” for Christmas in 2012. It was a “small act of civil disobedience,” Palin writes, prompted by “the anti-gun chatter coming from Washington.”
What was inspiring that anti-gun chatter in Washington in December of 2012? Oh, right: Twenty children and six teachers were shot dead in their classrooms by a deranged asshole with a “powerful gun.” And before the grieving mothers and fathers of Newtown, Connecticut, could put their dead children in the ground, Sarah Palin ran out gun shopping. Buying Todd a gun in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was “fun,” Palin writes—and, again, an act of “civil disobedience.” Because gun nuts are a persecuted minority.
This paragraph about gun shopping in December of 2012—one first grader at Sandy Hook was shot 11 times—ends with Palin bragging about her tits. I’m not kidding.
Okay, I have to put the book down. I’m five pages into Good Tidings and Great Joy and… Jesus Fucking Christ… I have got to put down this toxic little shitstain of a book. I’m going to go wash my eyes out with hydrogen peroxide. Be right back.
And what was the brag about her tits? Something about Todd may have the gun, but Sarah has the rack. (Per one of the comments in that link.)
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer – 12/16/2013
A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 12/17/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 12/17/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Paul Fell, Artizans Syndicate – 12/17/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 12/17/2013
Blowhard – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 12/17/2013
Shooting Backwards – Political Cartoon by Jen Sorensen, Self-syndicated – 12/17/2013
Black Santa – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 12/19/2013
12/20 Luckovich cartoon: Just ducky | Mike Luckovich
Pope Frank – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/20/2013
Ghost of Boehner Past – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/19/2013
Solid Rock Congress – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/13/2013
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun – 12/20/2013
Duck Doctrine by Political Cartoonist Pat Bagley
Political Supplements by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis
White Santa by Political Cartoonist Joe Heller
Ian Bayne, GOP Congressional Candidate: ‘Duck Dynasty Star Is Rosa Parks Of Our Generation’
Embattled “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson has been suspended from his show by A&E for his remarks about gays and African-Americans, and now some high-profile conservatives are rallying to his side and defending him. On Friday, GOP congressional candidate Ian Bayne went all in, comparing Robertson to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians,” Bayne said in an email to supporters.
“What Parks did was courageous,” he added. “What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”
Robertson’s anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ comparing homosexuality to bestiality have received quite a bit of attention. But he also commented on the state of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era, claiming that they were all carefree and totally happy with their (unequal) status:
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.
These people are real assholes!
Duck Nasty by Political Cartoonist Nate Beeler
Duck Nasty is right!
This is an open thread…
Posted: February 14, 2013 Filed under: Media, morning reads | Tags: cosmo centerfold, Fox News, Massachusetts Republicans, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Scott Brown
I have exciting news this morning! Former great Republican hope Scott Brown has been hired as a Fox News contributor! You just knew Fox had to find another pretty face to replace Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods (h/t Charles Pierce). Brian Stelter wrote about it in yesterday’s NYT Media Decoder:
Fox News on Wednesday added the former Republican Senator Scott Brown to its contributor ranks, two weeks after Mr. Brown decided against another run for a Senate seat in Massachusetts.
Mr. Brown will make his debut as a paid pundit on Wednesday night’s edition of “Hannity,” the channel’s 9 p.m. program. “I am looking forward to commenting on the issues of the day and challenging our elected officials to put our country’s needs first instead of their own partisan interests,” Mr. Brown said in a statement.
Politico reported last week that Mr. Brown was in talks with the network. His hiring is the latest in a series of contributor changes Fox has made this winter; last month the network renewed Karl Rove’s contract and parted ways with Sarah Palin and earlier this month it declined to renew Dick Morris’s contract.
Mr. Brown became something of a hero to Republicans in 2010 when he won a special election for the seat formerly held by Edward M. Kennedy, thereby becoming the first Republican senator to represent Massachusetts since 1972. But his time in the Senate was brief: he lost to a Democrat, Elizabeth Warren, last November.
Hey, two years in the Senate, two years as Governor of Alaska–just auditions for Republican politicians who want to sell out to the right wing noise machine.
Brown made his Fox News debut last night on Sean Hannity’s show. The Boston Globe reports:
Former senator Scott Brown made a transition from potential comeback politician to pundit in just two weeks, making his debut as a contributor to Fox News on Wednesday night in an appearance also billed as an “exclusive” by host Sean Hannity.
Fans and skeptics alike saw the move as a plush landing pad for Brown, a telegenic former model who used his regular-guy appeal to great effect in his campaign for US Senate and whose upset win in 2010 was championed and chronicled on Fox….
Wearing a suit with an American flag on his lapel, Brown started off his appearance on the “Hannity” show smiling uncertainly, but he soon hit his stride with campaign-style talking points.
Asked by Hannity why he did not run again for “Kerry’s seat,” Brown said, “Well, it is the people’s seat, as you remember,” echoing the phrase he coined in the 2010 election to replace the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Ooooooh, isn’t he brilliant? Politico has more of Brown’s clever remarks for those of you who–like me–who missed the scintillating interview last night. Brown shared with Hannity the reasons for his decision not to run for another of “the people’s seats” as well as his evaluation of President Obama’s SOTU:
“To do five races in six years and raise another $30-$50 million and then and participate in a Congress that’s really dysfunctional and extremely partisan — I felt I could make a difference being on this show and doing other things,” Brown said. “I plan to stay involved certainly, but, you know, I’m going to continue to work and be part of the election process back home and other elections around the country.”
“We welcome you to the program and the network,” Hannity said. “Thanks so much for being here.”
Brown and Hannity then discussed the State of the Union, with the former senator saying he felt Obama proposed “things that we can work on, but the key is to do it together.”
“There weren’t too many olive branches being passed out to the members of Congress, especially the GOP, but there certainly were things that I felt have some promise, for example the trade with Europe and trying to develop jobs, but the problem is, everything he’s laid out — and he certainly laid out his priorities very clearly — how are you going to pay for them?” Brown said.
According to Politico, Hannity ended the interview by telling Brown, “Welcome to the family.”
Brown modelling a sweater back in the day
The NYT’s Brian Stelter (linked above) says that Brown might still run for Governor of Massachusetts; but I think he’s dreaming, and so does Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan, who knows a thing or two about Massachusetts politics: Scott Brown can’t lose as top Fox hunk.
Scott Brown isn’t running for governor next year. That’s my bet.
Fox News, where he debuted last night, is a terrific paycheck. Good for him.
But you just don’t help your political career in the bluest of blue states by working for Fox, which spent the past election cycle bashing immigrants, Obamacare, higher taxes for billionaires, the Rev. Wright, our “socialist” president — and any tighter gun control laws because they would be an outrageous, unpatriotic, unconstitutional assault on Second Amendment rights.
Poor Massachusetts Republicans. They’re still pining for their main squeeze, the guy they hoped would run for U.S. Senate. And now Brown could become a regular on “Geraldo at Large.”
You have to go read Eagan’s piece–it’s priceless. Here’s just a tiny bit more:
I for one expect that Brown will do for the men of America what he did for the boyos of Massachusetts: He’ll make them swoon.
That alone could prove a ratings bonanza. Fox News may have thought they could never, ever find a contributor better looking than Sarah Palin. Now they have.
Brown looked a little like Rick Nelson in those days.
After I heard the news yesterday, I decided to do a little research on Scott Brown’s past, and I came across this October 2012 Boston Globe article by Sally Jacobs: Modeling years gave Scott Brown an early boost
It was approaching midnight inside a throbbing Studio 54, New York City’s nightclub extraordinaire and nocturnal epicenter of excess in the 1980s. As bartenders naked to the waist filled goblets of champagne, club cofounder Steve Rubell, famous for plucking favored guests from the surging crowd outside, was showing off his latest “pick.”
His name was Scott Brown. But Rubell, who recognized the 22-year-old Massachusetts man, who had recently won Cosmopolitan magazine’s 1982 “America’s Sexiest Man” contest and posed nude for its centerfold, promptly dubbed him “the Cosmo boy.” When Rubell spotted R. Couri Hay, The National Enquirer celebrity columnist and stringer for People magazine, he led Brown toward him, hoping his guest’s sudden renown might garner the club a mention.
“Rubell introduced me to Brown,” recalled Hay. “He said, ‘Here’s the Cosmo boy . . . How cute is he!’
Ah… the ’70s. Hays wasn’t all that impressed, but Brown managed to turn his Cosmo spread into a 7-year modeling career.
Julieanne and Scott
Brown was awarded a $20,000 contract by Jordache jeans, and his muscled body was splayed on a billboard overlooking Times Square in New York. For one of many sweater shoots, he stared moodily at the breaking surf on a Fire Island beach curled up in the lap of model Julianne Phillips, later the wife of Bruce Springsteen….
And when Boston columnist Norma Nathan dubbed him one of “Boston’s Most Eligible Bachelors” in 1982, Brown did not hold back. “ ‘I’ve always felt that I’ve done well with older women,” says Scott, who scores sex as ‘very important,’ ” according to the accompanying write-up. “ ‘I have the appetites of a 22-year-old man. It’s very important to me to satisfy a woman I am with.’ ”
Finally, Brown’s hard work has been rewarded with an opportunity appropriate to this “talents.” Maybe he’ll even get his own show! Margery Eagan suggests that our former two-year Senator would look good on a morning program next to “drop-dead stunning and really smart” Megyn Kelly.
I ask you, Fox fans, who’d you like to wake up to every morning: Gretchen Carlson or Megyn Kelly? Steve Doocy or Scott Brown? So what if Brown lacks edge. Leave that to Megyn. Just sit back and stare.
I’m not sure who those people are, but as long as Brown is out of the running for Massachusetts Governor I’ll be happy, so I hope his Fox Noise career will be a long and successful one.
Posted: August 24, 2012 Filed under: The Media SUCKS, the villagers, War on Women | Tags: Fox News Barbies, Megyn Kelly
I really try not to pick on women for their choices in hair, clothing, and careers. However, there is one group of women that is hard to ignore. That’s the number of look-alike, sound-alike bleach blonde barbies on the Fox propaganda network. Women captured by fundamentalist sects frequently wear empire waist, home spun, calico-looking dresses and long hair. Women captured by Rupert Murdoch dress like Journalista Barbie. They look like they just stepped off the I won “Miss Texas” circuit and sound like they memorized the top 20 conservative canards to use as directed. “Well, Bob, I just wish the government would stay out of all businesses but make sure women die having babies like in the bible. Oh, and I believe in World Peace through US dominion of the world.”
Of course, TV news shows have always put a premium on appearance, more so for women than for men. And it’s hardly a revelation that some networks place more pressure on women than do others: C-SPAN has no makeup room at all, just a collection of powder compacts that guests can use if they are so inclined. At MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is known to prefer minimal makeup, while other anchors want more, and the artists oblige with a range of choices, from neutral tones to berry hues. Bloomberg TV tends toward the corporate aesthetic; CNN favors a professional style that makes women and men look crisp, as if they have been ironed. As for Fox, suffice it to say that there is a YouTube montage devoted to leg shots of Fox anchors, who are often outfitted in body-hugging dresses of vibrant red and turquoise, their eyes enhanced by not only liner and shadow but also false lashes. A Fox regular once commented to me that she gets more calls from network management about her hair, clothes, and makeup than about what she says. “I just think of it as a uniform,” she said of her getup.
But here’s the newer development: It’s not just anchors who are pressured to look good while talking, it’s relatively ordinary women, too. For a contingent of female bloggers, ideologues, advocates, pundits, and writers, a Fox gig brings with it an unexpected dilemma. There you are, a renowned expert on nuclear proliferation/immigration policy/the Middle East, obliged to regard yourself in the mirror and ask: Will I really go on national television looking like a cross between Captain Jack Sparrow and a waitress from Hooters?
So, there’s even a name for what Fox makes their women do to be on camera. It’s called “Fox Glam”.
But the best explanation for Fox glam may be the channel’s largely conservative audience. An argument can be made that conservative women are typically less squeamish than progressive ones about embracing what the sociologist Catherine Hakim calls “erotic capital,” otherwise known as using your looks to get ahead. See the gleeful Laura Ingraham/Ann Coulter school of beautyology, which holds that the angrier and better-coiffed you are, the more attention you will receive. The Republican Party welcomes looks in a woman—Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley—and so does Fox.
“They’re definitely pandering to a male audience,” says Meli Pennington, a makeup artist who runs a blog called Wild Beauty. Also, cable-news viewers tend to be older, so Fox may be specifically catering to the sensibilities of older men, she posits, by making women a little “brighter.” She means this literally. “You think of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends,” she says: “As he got older, they all get brighter and blonder. Look at Anna Nicole Smith. It’s like the large-print edition of women.”
The media critic Jack Shafer adds that the women you see on Fox are not just winsome, lavishly cosmeticized women, but winsome women paired with older men. He says the network almost appears to be taking a page from the theory of evolutionary psychology, which argues that women are attracted to prosperous (often older) men, and these men are attracted to women whose youth and curves signal fertility. “
The men are kind of frumpy older men,” Sherman agrees, “paired with hyper-feminine women. That kind of kinetic energy between the sexes is one of the reasons Fox is successful. Oftentimes the older male hosts—Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity—in the prime time, at night, are paired with women, debating politics, and the women are generally much younger … It almost goes back to 1940s Hollywood.” For guests, the Hollywood screwball routine can be unnerving. It was for Nell Minow, a critic of inflated CEO pay, who was taken aback when a producer urged her to “attack the masculinity” of her debate partner.
So, who more represents the Faux Hooter Girl look than Megyn Kelly pictured over there in a come hither pose and look. Kelly is one of those women that make me wonder if we’ll ever get past women that do more damage to other women. She’s a lawyer and the daughter of a professor. What happened to turn her into Rupert Murdoch’s pin-up girl?
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
I don’t really love that word. That connotes a harshness and almost a shrillness that I find unattractive.
What is it about that word?
Hmm, I respect women like Gloria Steinem who paved the way. But when you say “feminist” now, there is a message that if you are sexy and you acknowledge that part of your personality publicly, then it’s somehow an affront to women. And I reject that.
You caught a lot of flak this summer for covering the New Black Panther Party case so aggressively. Kirsten Powers, a correspondent on your network, said you were doing “the scary-black-man thing.”
This is a story in which not one but two civil rights attorneys within the Department of Justice had come forward to say that the DOJ essentially has a racist policy when it comes to enforcing the laws. If that is true, then the department itself is breaking the law. That is a story. Period.
Fox makes a big deal about how its daytime shows aren’t political at all, how they’re just news shows. But do you think the act of deciding what to cover and what not to is in itself a political act?
It’s not political. Television is a service, but it’s also a business. And in choosing what you’re going to put on your program, you have to figure out what’s going to appeal to your audience and what’s going to rate. When I came to Fox, I noticed that we wouldn’t ignore stories having to do with home-schooled children being discriminated against. Will you see those kinds of stories on our competitors? I don’t think so.
Yes, who will stand up for the poor discriminated against home-schooled children if Megyn Kelly (Did her parents really put GYN in her name?) were not showing all those legs and glossy lips on TV? Is this really the future I envisioned when I worked tirelessly to change rape laws so that women wouldn’t have to submit themselves to endless questions about asking for it or slutiness by virtue of not being virginal? Is this what moving towards the glass ceiling is supposed to be? I dunno. Like I said, I hate to slut slam or judge women by their appearances but what is it about the Fox Propaganda Network that just seems to make me want to face palm and switch channels? Maybe it’s just because I recognize the new breed of Tokyo Rose. Also, how come Greta gets away with a natural look? Some one, explain all this too me, please.