Tag Archives: Thom Tillis

The margin of hope is wafer-thin

As someone who feared Biden would be centrist and too eager to cooperate with Republicans, I’ve been happily surprised that he’s pushing a relatively radical agenda for 21st century America. As John Scalzi says, it’s hard for Repubs to hammer him as the Evil Devil Socialist because he’s a blandly boring, decent white dude. While Republicans shriek about him betraying his talk of unity, Catherine Rampell says he’s delivering it a different way: by not treating the enemy the way Trump treated his.

The downside? Although Biden’s policies are popular and Republican policies are very much unpopular, our country has reached a point at which Republicans find minority rule easy. It’s not just that they won two of the last five elections despite losing the popular vote; the counter-majority elements in the U.S. system also give them disproportionate power in the House, the Senate and at state level. And they’re pushing to make it harder to vote while lying it’s because the election was stolen.  Or that their voters think it was stolen (“When half of the voters of this country don’t have faith in our electoral system, doing nothing is not an option,”) which is supposedly enough of a reason (I’m sure if Dems feel the same about 2024, they’ll be back to “fuck your feelings.”).

As we’ve seen the past month or so, given a choice between supporting corporate America and making it harder for people to vote, they prioritize disenfranchising people. This leads to bizarre twists such as Ted Cruz admitting he’s sold out America for corporate donations and pretending he won’t do it again.  Or Marco Rubio’s outrage that corporations won’t support the new version of Jim Crow. Or Glenn Beck being shocked and appalled that anyone would see this as a return to Jim Crow (whereas it’s perfectly acceptable for him to call liberals Nazis). Of course Ron DeSantis tops him by insisting systemic racism is a myth.

Hell, they’re still trying to “prove” Trump won in 2020.

Republican candidates have to worry about alienating their voters in primaries much more than winning over the majority. That gives them an incentive to let their inner, anti-American scumbag out. Especially with Trump still demanding revenge for Republicans not overthrowing the government for him. That involves giving them someone to hate; as gay-hating is losing its punch, we’ve seen the sudden concern about the trans menace. Sexism isn’t the only thing that spawns undead cliches.

And there’s no stopping the rejection of reality or the lies. Michelle Bachman lying about how Biden will impose the homosexual agenda. Tucker Carlson telling viewers to call the cops on parents with masked kids. Republicans supporting Carlson’s rants about replacement theory. A lying snake who claims the George Floyd murder was a hoax. Or the completely bullshit claims that Biden’s climate-change plan will restrict Americans to one burger a month.

Meanwhile, the capital rioters are still struggling to stay out of jail. And extremist groups are making it fun and entertaining to become a white supremacist and hang out with your buddies. Which is not surprising: it was part of the appeal of the 1920s KKK.

And when you get down to the state level, like Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel, they’re even creepier.

I keep trying to think of ways I can contribute besides writing a check, or writing to the lying liar Sen. Thom Tillis, but so far I haven’t much in the way of ideas.

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Sen. Thom Tillis: it’s partisan if I don’t vote for it!

Thom Tillis is once again whining to his constituents — I’m one of them — that Democrats have pushed through a “partisan” COVID-relief bill. Partisan because no Republicans supported it. And bad (according to Tillis) because it spends money on stuff other than just fighting the pandemic (seems these are currently standard talking points). Suffice to say, a lot of Republican bills in the Trump years passed with zero support. I didn’t hear Tillis expressing any problems about Republicans not being bipartisan. Go figure.

He’s also responding to Biden repealing the Global Gag Rule by pushing a bill that will enshrine the rule (which cuts off U.S. funding to organizations that do any sort of abortion-based counseling or referrals) so future Democrats can’t repeal it. Check through this list of blog posts for more on Tillis.

But apparently Dems are partisan enough that kissing Susan Collins’ butt no longer interests them. She’s upset about it. Sen. Ron Johnson is upset people don’t realize the white Sedition Day attackers were patriotic, law-abiding and non-violent — they shouldn’t be compared to the murderers in Black Lives Matter! The five dead and 140 injured might have a thing or two to say about that.

One seditionist from the 1/6 Vanilla Isis assault says he can’t consult freely with his lawyer behind bars. The judge ain’t buying it.

Republicans continue pushing to eliminate the estate tax, which now has an exemption up over $5 million — in other words, not a problem for most people.

An Uber passenger coughed on her driver after he pushed her to wear a mask, then ripped his mask off.

Immigration arrests are already dropping under Biden. Given Tillis’ opposition to sanctuary cities, I imagine he’s pissed about that too.

A nine-year-old, emotionally disturbed girl in Rochester NY refused to get in a police car so officers could take her home. They pepper sprayed her. The police spokesman insists this was completely by the book and the only option they had — which I find more of an indictment than she does.

The allegedly unspeakable agony of white kids in private schools that criticize racism.

Some right-wingers emphasize that many Trump Virus fatalities happen among the obese. But that’s a lot of Americans.

President Trump demands the Republican National Committee not use his name in fundraising letters. RNC says up yours. I do hope this ends in a cage fight.

Shocking! For all his warnings about mail-in fraud, Trump’s voting in a Palm Beach election by mail-in ballot.

No, Joe Biden is not making the military send up pregnant women as pilots.

Georgia’s current rules on absentee and weekend voting were the work of Republicans. Now that Democrats are benefiting, Republicans are rewriting them. And Repubs are more and more open about saying they don’t want “some” people voting. Not that this is surprising — they’ve been ranting about it for more than a decade now.

One of the alleged Sedition Day attackers wants her trial moved to West Texas, where she’s from, because it’s friendlier to Republicans. For bonus points, her attorney’s change-of-venue request includes “cancel culture” and “politically incorrect.”

The fantasy of Trump’s March 4 return to power didn’t happen, so QAnon is now obsessing over not getting the COVID vaccine.

Tucker Carlson whines a lot about the suffering of poor oppressed men. Harassed women? He doesn’t care. Carlson also freaked out about how China’s military is more manly than ours. Senator and veteran Tammy Duckworth, along with a lot of other military members slap Carlson silly online.

An ex-cop and Kentucky State Senator is pushing a bill making it a crime to accost, insult, taunt or challenge a cop.

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Thom Tillis and more!

It’s perfectly possible NC Sen. Thom “Trump Toady” Tillis will win re-election. But I loathe the man and his policies so much I donated to his opponent, and I never donate to politicians. While I realize this won’t be of interest to non-NCers, this is my blog, so I’m going to vent.

He’s backed accused rapist Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and the possibly more repellent Steven Minashi for a lower federal appointment.

He wants to punish local jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with ICE.

He complains that Obamacare is partisan because Republicans didn’t vote for it, but doesn’t apply that standard to, say, appointing Kavanaugh with no Democratic support. And while he talks about how he wants to offer better alternatives to Obamacare, he supports worse alternatives.

He talks tough sometimes, then folds and kisses Trump’s butt.

Tillis claimed the Republicans massive tax-reform bill was targeted to ordinary Americans when it really benefits rich guys like himself.

And he specifically distinguishes between black residents of this state and the traditional population of North Carolina.

Of course, Raleigh-Durham is a sea of blue in a very red state, so I won’t bet money on the outcome. But I would love to see Tillis go down hard. Or for that matter, soft.

Now, other news:

Monica Hesse at the Washington Post says (correctly) that feminists are not obligated to support anti-gay, anti-abortion Amy Coney Barrett. Republicans meanwhile pretend she can’t possibly believe those things or want to abolish the Affordable Care Act — she’s such a nice person! Jim Obergefell (yes of the Obergefell gay marriage decision) says yes she can.

Republicans are already having fits at the prospect of Democrats increasing the number of Supreme Court justices. But nine justices isn’t an absolute mandate, as witness when they thought Clinton would win, they intended to allow her zero nominations. At this point that would mean a six-member Supreme Court.

And Barrett refuses to commit herself and say whether Trump can postpone the election (answer: no, not legally). She’s also unclear whether voter intimidation is legal. Democrat Mark Udall saw Barrett (or an equivalent right-winger) coming several years ago, but he got mocked for it.

Corporations celebrating gay rights makes right-wing snowflake Rod Dreher cry.

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah thinks we should give up democracy for liberty, peace and prosperity. Vox looks at the history of Republican distaste for democracy and where “a republic, not a democracy” came from.

Trump whines that all his enemies should be locked up. And that Trump and Biden had Seal Team Six executed to hide that Bin laden lives!

Right-wing radicals plotted to kidnap the Democratic Governor of Michigan.

QAnon is destroying families.

Trump’s trashing the economy now, so how bad will it get if he loses? Of course it’ll still be better than what he’d do with a second term. But as Paul Campos says, the fact even Bill Barr is backing away from the crazy man is a hopeful sign. Plenty of Republicans are still hoping to cheat, though (“We need to stop those [mail-in] ballots from going out, and I want the lawyers here to tell us what to do.”). Others insist that liberals are unfairly demonizing a great man! Or imagining an alternate timeline in which Trump is competent. Or that God wants us to shut up and obey his chosen leader (pay no attention to those prophets who confronted Saul, David and other Chosen Ones and told them when they were screwing up).

538 looks at why the political divides have become so vast.

To end on an upbeat note, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn political party/fascist organization has been outlawed with 18 former lawmakers convicted for the organization’s crimes.


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Links for the ongoing storm

Sen. Mitt Romney has unsurprisingly come around to backing a pre-election replacement for RBG. And of course Thom “Trump Toady” Tillis, who supported denying Obama a seat in 2016 now explains everything is different so he’ll vote yes on the nominee. One of our local papers vents about it.

As Scott Lemieux points out, even without a ninth justice, RBG’s death means the lawsuit to destroy the ACA will probably succeed. Which would be a disastrous move if the Republicans had to actually win the election, but they’re betting with a solidly right-wing Supreme Court they can steal it.

Danielle Pletka, an Iraq war supporter who by her own admission never once questioned Iraqis might not immediately build a Democratic society, recently published a WaPo op-ed explaining how she doesn’t like a lot of what Trump does, but gosh darn it, a Biden presidency might do something unspecified that’s much worse. Interviewer Isaac Chotiner nails her to the wall. She repeats the standard right-wing talking point (Senator Thom Tillis has made it several times) that Congress voting to pass the Affordable Care Act just like any other bill was undemocratic because … reasons? Scott Lemieux points out this is bullshit.

Of course Republicans have the advantage of branding. As Josh Marshall says, “the most flagrant GOP lawlessness and rules breaking is **expected**. Democrats even suggesting responding something like in kind is ‘total war.‘”

And some Democrats still want to play nice and pretend we can be civilized. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has declared she won’t support killing the filibuster.

Wanting to prevent panic is a standard rationale for cover-ups and lies — but this article argues most people don’t panic outside of movies.

I doubt William Barr’s in a panic, he just thinks calling New York, Chicago and Portland anarchist cities will justify cutting off federal funds to them.

Trump’s probably wetting his pants about his chances, which is why he’s joking/not joking about stopping Biden from being elected with an executive order. At the link, Ted Cruz dog-whistles they need a conservative judge who’ll vote for Trump if whatever ginnied up lawsuit they file makes it to the Supreme Court. Trump’s saying it too.

Scientific American doesn’t endorse presidents. This year, they’re endorsing Biden.

QAnon is coming for your yoga class. Sometimes believers just try to run people over. Fred Clark points out this kind of paranoia is not a new thing: the 1790s were obsessed with the Illuminati subverting America and a few decades later it was the Catholic Church (” global organization kidnaps children and teens (especially young girls) to have sex with power-hungry men in secret locations, men who are also involved in a traitorous plot to undermine democracy.”).

Speaking of conspiracy theories, one of my high school friends is cheerfully spreading George Soros conspiracy bullshit, then jumped on to insisting the Rothschilds were just as bad and just as much a threat. But she’s totally not an anti-semite!

The Pentagon took money intended for the fight against the Trump Virus and spent it on jet engines.

I don’t know how good any of the proposals are but it’s a good sign Democrats in the House are thinking about restrictions on the Executive Branch.

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Thom Tillis, Trump and other political links

To his credit, NC Sen. Thom Tillis has joined in the criticism of Trump for proposing we postpone the election (not to mention threatening to sue Nevada for having universal mail-in voting). I’ve written to him saying I hope he sticks by that as the election approaches. Particularly given that Republicans are reluctant to vote by mail thanks to Trump, and that could hurt their voters turning out (ah, irony!). Though if you live in Florida, Trump’s decided mail-in voting is fine. Perhaps it’s no surprise right-winger Josh Bernstein literally says seniors should be willing to die to re-elect Trump.

Unfortunately both Tillis and Sen. Richard “Trump Virus Insider Trading” Barr are in favor of equipping police with military weapons. And Tillis blames Hispanics for their high rate of Trump Virus infection.

“Previous Trump chiefs of staff Reince Priebus, John Kelly and (to a lesser extent) Mick Mulvaney tried to temper the president’s wildest instincts. Under Meadows, Trump seems to have no guardrails

“What’s more, with polls showing Trump’s popularity on the decline and widespread disapproval of his management of the viral outbreak, staffers have concocted a positive feedback loop for the boss. They present him with fawning media commentary and craft charts with statistics that back up the president’s claim that the administration has done a great — even historically excellent — job fighting the virus.” — because what do the deaths matter compared to salving President Man-Baby’s fragile fee-fees?

Let’s give some credit to Joe Biden who predicted Trump’s proposal and got wrapped by some reporters for being alarmist. And I’m already seeing speculation how despite a lack of legal authority Trump could do it, or at least use a shift to discredit the probable Biden victory. Meanwhile Trump pouts that it’s so unfair he’s so unpopular. And when Dr. Fauci threw out the New York Yankees’ opening pitch, Trump lied they invited him first.

Vanity Fair does a great job looking at how Jared Kushner’s task-force plans for massive testing failed miserably. LGM points out one aspect that should have been the headline: Kushner gave up on testing partly because he anticipated blue states getting hit worse which would work out well for Republicans.

Monica Hesse says Trump’s “understanding of women voters is based on six reruns of Happy Days plus a vacuum cleaner ad from 1957,” but it’s behind his warning to suburban women that Joe Biden will ruin the suburbs.

Homeland Security used a terrorist-watch system to monitor journalists who published critical leaks. And judges are releasing Portland protesters on the condition they give up their right to peaceful assembly and protest.

Eric Metaxas thinks he has a crushing comeback to Black Lives Matter: Jesus was white so are you saying he had white privilege? Jesus was not white.

Just how messed up is America?

Schools can specify how long a student’s dress must be, but they can’t make you wear a mask?

“In a country that has the virus under control, fewer than 5 percent of tests come back positive, according to World Health Organization guidelines. Many countries have reached that benchmark. The United States, even with the large recent volume of tests, has not.” — the NYT looks at how massively we’ve failed.

Here’s some good news: the Democratic Party mainstream says if Republicans fill a vacant Supreme Court seat this year, they’ll consider adding seats to the court under a Biden administration. If Republicans want to play hardball, this is a fair tactic to play back at them. Malevolent Sheriff Joe Arpaio failed his political comeback. And New York’s attorney general wants to dissolve the NRA, leading to Alexandra Petri’s funny column.

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Thom Tillis is running scared. Good.

(I don’t normally post politics on Wednesday so if you were hoping for lighter fare, sorry! I wanted to vent).

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis is up for re-election this year and he’s worried — if not for himself, for the prospect of facing a Democratic majority. So he’s taken to Fox News to warn that a Democratic-controlled Senate might kill the filibuster.

Both the Senate and the House originally allowed unlimited debate on any topic (the House dropped this in the 19th century as it grew). The filibuster took advantage of this rule by having senators talk for hours, thereby preventing voting. In 1917, the Senate went so far as to allow cloture: if two-thirds of the members voted to end the filibuster (later cut to 3/5) then it ended. Southern Senators filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 60 days before cloture brought it to a vote. In the 21st century, long-winded speechifying isn’t necessary: in a virtual filibuster a senator simply threatens to use the tactic and, if the majority doesn’t have enough votes for cloture, they concede and drop the bill or negotiate concessions. That means the threshold to pass a bill is effectively 60 votes, giving the minority much greater power.

Tillis rants that without the filibuster, corrupt, racist Trump toadies — er, patriotic conservatives like himself — won’t be able to block the Democratic “extremist, far-left agenda.” which “would dictate the kind of house you live in, the kind of car you drive, the type of job you have, and the way you live your life” because they’re all Commie authoritarian types. By contrast “the filibuster forces the party in power to seek consensus and bipartisan compromise to turn legislation into law” and we need more consensus, right?

Tillis apparently foresees Dems taking enough Senate seats that they have a majority, which would make the filibuster an advantage for Republicans. Or maybe he’s just hoping people terrified of that socialist nightmare will vote for him. But as usual, he’s full of shit. In responses to my letters to his office (lately he hasn’t responded, a sign, I suspect, that he’s hunkering down) he used to cite the partisan vote on the Affordable Care Act — no Senate Republicans supported it — as proof it was a bad “partisan” bill. Tillis had no qualms about voting to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, even though only one Democrat voted for the man. Where was Tillis’ concern for bipartisanship? Why not “seek consensus and bipartisan compromise” by pushing for a more acceptable judge — Gorsuch went through much more smoothly — instead of backing an alleged teenage rapist? Hell, why wasn’t he complaining when Moscow Mitch killed the filibuster for judicial appointments in 2017?

Simple. Bipartisanship and consensus don’t matter when Tillis wants something, like punishing local governments that don’t cooperate with ICE or big tax cuts that benefit people in his income brackets. It’s only when Democrats advocate for something decent that he suddenly discovers the need for a bipartisan approach. Which in practice means Republicans blocking everything Dems do as too extreme (in his Fox editorial Tillis is shocked and appalled that Democrats might actually do something about climate change).

I will be donating to Tillis’ opponent, in case you were wondering.

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The Republican response to the Trump Virus is sub-optimal

The Trump Virus situation looks worse and worse as the virus looks deadlier and deadlier. For one example, it may be causing increasing numbers of strokes in younger people. This is the time for smart people to look for solutions and a smart government to implement them. Instead we have Jared Kushner running the White House show, and Kushner’s as convinced as his father-in-law that he understands things perfectly (spoiler: he doesn’t). And a president who suggests internal use of disinfectant could cure COVID-19 — and it may be taht some people are listening. And President Tinybrain himself is mostly sulking about being criticized when he’s the most awesome president ever (I take a petty satisfaction in his myster).

Moscow Mitch’s big requirement for supporting more federal aid is immunizing businesses against COVID-related legal liability if they put workers at risk. And as Scott Lemieux says, gives the lie to the crisis being over: “That McConnell thinks that companies that ‘help’ to open up the economy face a high risk of being sued shows that he is aware of what a huge gamble is being made with the lives of working Americans” — who right-wingers denounce lazy bums living high on unemployment (and make it absurdly hard to obtain). Given his way, though, McConnell would sooner have states declare bankruptcy (which NC Senator Thom Tillis is cool with). If he thinks that would only hurt blue states, he’s, as LGM says, “high on his own supply” — Republicans can’t accept that we need massive state intervention to keep the economy going.

Although federal guidelines call for a decline in COVID cases over two weeks, the Trump administration is pushing harder to get everything reopened without waiting. And when things go wrong, it’ll all be other people’s fault. Though the speed with which several states are moving guarantees it’s not being done well. And the impact will hit employees and small businesses. (“If we tried to open on Monday, we’d be closed in two weeks, probably for good and with more debt on our hands.”).The Michigan GOP is trying to strip the governor of lockdown authority.  Medical personnel are confronting end-the-lockdown protesters, but Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward says even if they’re real doctors and nurses, they’re just actors.

And while Trump has refused to use his authority to force the mass-production of safety equipment, he’s using it to force the meat-processing industry to get back to work (poor widdle man-baby can’t do wivout his nummy burgers!). So a low-paid, immigrant force will have to choose between supporting themselves or risking death (hmm, could this be why Moscow Mitch is so big on immunity?). And if workers don’t go back to work, oops, they no longer qualify for unemployment.

As for the Supreme Court, the Republican members are not on our side, as witness their view of voting by mail.

Meanwhile, right-wing theocrat lawyer Matt Staver claims Christians facing social distancing are being oppressed like Jews under Hitler. Anti-semitic whackaloon Rick Wiles claims the Trump Virus is a deliberate attack on America and never affected China.

How much did Senator Richard Burr make by selling off stocks after being warned about the Trump Virus? If you look at the number of lives that might have been saved with more preparation, it works out to between $5 and $14 a head.

A high schooler posted online that she thought her illness was COVID-19. The county sheriff forced her to take it down. Florida likewise told some medical examiners to stop posting Trump Virus statistics online (they were higher than the state has claimed).

After a reporter tweeted that Mike Pence was told in advance to wear a mask while visiting a hospital, the Pence team threatened to ban the reporter from Air Force Two.

To end with some upbeat news, Rep. Ihlan Omar wants SNAP recipients to be able to use their benefits to buy food online. That’s a great idea. And here’s a local business in Durham, finding ways to stay open and keep their employees on staff (I’d support them, but I’d have to buy coffee. Ugh).

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Darkly brood the links

“If Trump wins (or “wins”) in November, there won’t be anything left four years from now. It won’t matter whether he gets the SCOTUS to declare the 22nd Amendment unconstitutional and goes on to a third term, or installs one of his imbecile children in the office, or simply refuses to hold an election at all. America as we knew it will be over.” — Paul Campos

The author of an upcoming book about tomboys wonders where the tomboys of popular culture disappeared to (“living examples of the feminist zeitgeist that told me I did not have to be feminine to be female”). I think her discussion of gender stereotypes and nonconformity on TV is much sharper than the Brit Marling piece I linked to last week.

Oh good grief. Proposals to include tampons and other feminine hygiene products in Tennessee’s sales tax holiday have one legislator worried women would buy their whole year’s supply at once and cheat the state of sales tax. Of course, this is true of other stuff they could buy, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.

A conservative evangelical pastor opposes Trump getting re-elected. The reaction from other evangelicals was, shall we say, unChristian.

I’ve discussed before how the majority of people take their cues to what’s acceptable from the committed few. Case in point, a lot of kids, just like adults, think Trump’s bigotry gives them a green light to express their own.

Trump still insists troops suffering brain injuries from Iran’s attack aren’t seriously hurt. Of course, it’s hard to comprehend brain damage when you don’t have one.

The University of North Carolina recently paid the Sons of Confederate Veterans $2.5 million to take over the care of “Silent Sam,” a Confederate statue torn down on the university grounds. A judge just threw the deal out.

“The pursuit of global social justice neither demands nor benefits from the idea that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and my enemy is American foreign policy.'”

“Since the 1970s it’s almost become a taboo to talk of conflict – we’ve become a society geared around consensus, and co-existence – and this has domesticated politics in a dangerous way. ”

“Human suffering is not primarily a metaphysical problem. It is also that, and such metaphysical conundrums are immensely important in many ways. But these philosophical and theological dilemmas are always secondary. The meaning of human suffering is never primarily The Meaning of Human Suffering. The meaning of human suffering is to be relieved.”

It’s total bullshit but belief in the QAnon conspiracy keeps spreading.

Why this is the golden age of white-collar crime.

A Catholic priest has banned 44 lawmakers from receiving communion because they’re pro-choice and that’s much worse than priestly pedophilia. One lawmaker suggests the logical response is posting “a list of pedophile priests not welcome at the State House. That is a much longer list.”

Right-wing supposed thinker David Barton doesn’t grasp you can be a nonprofit without being tax-exempt.

Franklin Graham lied and claimed whatever happened between Brett Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford was completely consensual. When it comes to sexy dancing at the Superbowl, he’s very, very concerned about women.

A new anti-abortion trend: counties and cities declaring they can ban it within their jurisdiction

Republicans are running campaign ads for Erica Smith, a state senator running for the Dem national Senate nomination. Presumably they think she’ll be easier for Trump toady Thom Tillis to beat.

“In California, a teenager who had been detained for 11 months confided to shelter staff that he wanted to die; in an asylum hearing, the confession was read aloud as evidence he was a danger to himself and should be deported.” — from an article about how therapy sessions for refugees and immigrants are used against them unethically.

How Mike Bloomberg’s money shapes the race.

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Trump toady Thom Tillis is proud he put an accused rapist on the Supreme Court

Tillis, in email: “I am proud to be on the frontlines in the successful effort to guide President Trump’s judicial nominees through the confirmation process, including putting Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.” Senator, that is not something to be proud of, though I don’t doubt the many red parts of our state will see it as a plus.

And this week both Tillis and co-toady Richard Burr voted to put the dubiously qualified but apparently quite misogynist Steven Menashi on the federal bench. Long after both senators are retired and living comfortably on their wealth, their work will continue to damage this country. Perhaps these protesters should have a word with them.

The courts have reaffirmed that North Dakota can stop Native Americans from voting (not technically doing so, but like many voter-restriction tactics, having that effect).

Impeaching Trump for violating the Constitution is not just partisan politics. But Republicans and right-wing media are working very hard to distort the facts.

The Ohio house passed a law that says students get credit for wrong answers (e.g., creationism over evolution) if the error is based on their religion. But it’s socialism that warps your brain and makes you a pervert!

Yes, Stephen Miller’s a racist and fascist. More here.

Trump put his weight behind Matt Bevin, who lost the Kentucky governor’s race (and gave up trying to contest it). Trump’s support didn’t help the Republican candidate in Louisiana either. I suppose it’s not surprising that in both races President Narcissus thought “If this candidate loses, it’ll make me look bad” was a compelling argument.

Rep. Katie Hill is bisexual and polyamorous. Is that why the headlines about her were more lurid than when the media covered Al Franken?

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Right-wing defense: telling women of color to go “back where they came from” isn’t at all racist

Yeah right. Even if some in the media don’t want to say so.

As you’ve doubtless heard, Trump blasted four women of color in Congress, including Ihlan Omar, and said they should go back where they came from (and that they call Jews evil, which is a lie). Never mind that they’re all US citizens and three of them are born here. As Adam Serwer says, Trump’s harking back to the old days when it was accepted by white America that nonwhites couldn’t be real Americans: “Trump’s demand is less a factual assertion than a moral one, an affirmation of the president’s belief that American citizenship is conditional for people of color, who should be grateful we are even allowed to be here.”

This is far from the only horrible thing Trump is doing. For example, the Justice Department has redefined spousal abuse and sexual assault and not for the better (though this doesn’t actually change state laws). Abuse is only abuse if it involves physical harm rather than mental abuse or coercive control. Assault is now non-consensual acts banned by law (including assault of unconscious victims) whereas the previous definition was broader (““Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”).

But as Serwer says, the president’s attack on “the Squad” is still horrific. And unsurprisingly his worshippers have picked up on it, chanting “send her back” at an NC rally, the way they chanted “lock her up” about Clinton.

But not to worry! Trump bootlicker and NC Senator Thom Tillis assures us the chants weren’t Trump’s fault, telling reporters “any one of y’all that have been to a rock concert or other venues, somebody starts up, somebody else thinks . . . I mean, to be fair to the audience, they’re in a mode where they’re energized.” Right, senator. Trump says we banish a US citizen, the crowd takes his side, total coincidence. Tillis, I should add, is all-in on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda despite occasional hand-wringing. To his credit, he did co-sponsor a bill to end family separation at the border but his latest newsletter announced his current goal is a bill to ban sanctuary cities from not cooperating with ICE. Because you know, he’s totally concerned with breaking the law ! Our other senator, Richard Burr, is even worse.

No surprise Tillis considers North Carolina’s traditional population to exclude blacks and Hispanics.

And then we have Rush Limbaugh, who bigotsplains that this totally isn’t about race, it isn’t even about Omar: “Our founding is being stolen. Our way of life is being stolen. Our resources, our middle-class status, middle-class incomes — our goodness, our morality — is being stolen, and it’s being stolen by people like those four women in ‘the squad’ and the Democrat Party at large. So these reactions are totally understandable to me.”

No, Limbaugh, it’s not the Squad or Democrats that are causing the erosion of the middle class. If that was the issue, they’d be targeting Trump and the Republicans, not singling out a Somali Muslim immigrant who’s just one member of Congress. And Trump voters are motivated much more by status anxiety than economic hardship — as many pundits have pointed out, black and Latino working class Americans are just as economically stressed as whites, but they’re not swinging to Trump the same way. Limbaugh, as usual, preaches bullshit.

And if they’re that miserable, why aren’t they going back to the countries their ancestors came from? It’s the same logic Trump’s using on the squad, after all but no — it’s almost like his supporters feel they have more right to be here than Omar or A-OC do. Or that white immigrants have more right than non-whites. Even though, as someone said on FB last week, we probably have at least as much in common with Mexican culture than, say, France.

And we’ve still got a year before Trump’s campaign gets really cutthroat.


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