Posts Tagged ‘politics’

School Book Bans Are Rising

September 28, 2022

School Book Bans Are Rising

“From July 2021 to June 2022, PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 unique book titles.

The 1,648 titles are by 1,261 different authors, 290 illustrators, and 18 translators, impacting the literary, scholarly, and creative work of 1,553 people altogether.”

— “Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools,” Jonathan Friedman and Nadine Farid Johnson, PEN America

“While book bans have long been a part of America’s education fabric, the Pen report suggests they are now driven less by the complaints of individual parents and more by organized, ideological groups and overt pressure from politicians.

About 40% of the book bans in the past year have been connected to political pressure or legislation designed to restrict and reshape teaching, the report estimates.”

— “‘Rapid acceleration’ in US school book censorship leads to 2,500 bans in a year.” Oliver Milman, The Guardian

More:

“Who’s Behind the Escalating Push to Ban Books? A New Report Has Answers,” Eesha Pendharkar, Education Week

“Over 1,600 Books Were Banned During the Past School Year,” Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine

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Photo: Fairy Godmother-Childrens Books & Toys, 319 7th Street SE, Washington DC. Get a copy here. Credit; Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The White Evangelicals Rethinking Their Politics

September 7, 2022

In the 2020 election, 84 percent of White Evangelicals voted for habitual liar, golf cheat, and serial adulterer Donald Trump because he was the GOP candidate. Astoundingly, according to a survey, many Trump supporters began identifying as evangelical during his presidency — he brought them to Jesus. At least superficially.

But some devout evangelicals, raised in conservative GOP households, say that their political views became more liberal as they immersed themselves deeper into their faith. A FiveThirtyEight video by Tony Chow.

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Trump’s Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

August 25, 2022

Trump's Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

Georgia’ GOP candidate for the US Senate is Hershel Walker, a former University of Georgia Heisman winner, All-American, and  NFL veteran. He was endorsed by Donald Trump, who was his pre-NFL employer as the owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. In just a few short years, as Mr. Walker raced down the field, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Hershel Walker and Donald Trump have something else in common: they are both phenomenal liars. Mr. Trump told over 30,000 lies while he was in the White House, and continues to lie about losing the 2020 election. Mr. Walker lied about graduating from college, then lied about lying that he graduated from college. He lied about being a policeman and an FBI agent. He lied about his business ventures, including his “mini-Tyson’s chicken empire“. And while Dr. Oz can’t remember all the houses he owns, Walker can’t recall all the children he’s sired.

Despite his sports celebrity and Trump endorsement, the drip of revelations has raised been understandable questions about Herschel Walker’s electability. All that lying doesn’t help when you’re running against an incumbent who’s a Baptist minister. Weird statements blaming China for US air pollution, evolution denial, claims the US has 52 states, and accusations of spousal abuse should raise even more concern that the ex-Georgia Bulldog is a dog of a candidate.

Herschel Walker was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice TV show in 2009. Donald Trump fired him. He might want to fire him as a Trump-branded political endorsee, too.

More:

“Herschel Walker declines invitation to debate Senator Warnock in Macon,” Justin Baxley, WMAZ-TV

“Herschel Walker’s ex-wife recalls him threatening to ‘blow my brains out’ in campaign ad released by opponents in Georgia Senate race,” Dave Goldiner, NY Daily News

Related:

“Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggle,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

“Donald Trump’s Less-Than-Artful Failure in Pro Football,” Joe Nocera, New York Times

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Carpetbagger Dr. Oz Seeks Pennsylvania Senate Seat

August 22, 2022

Carpetbagger Dr. Oz Seeks Pennsylvania Senate Seat

Noted celebrity quack, TV’s Mehmet C. Öz, is a longtime resident of New Jersey, but he recently registered to vote at his inlaws’ house in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania so he could run for that state’s U.S. Senate seat, soon to be vacated by Pat Toomey (R-PA). It seems Doc Mehmet is running in Pennsylvania while living in New Jersey, but he’s also a dual citizen of the US and Turkey, so what the hell. And the “OZ for PA” operation is strong. The campaign treasurer is the guy who helped Stephen Colbert make a Super PAC for a TV stunt.

While he’s known as a wealthy surgeon and TV green-coffeebean-extract pusher, Dr. Oz in not without Senate experience. He appeared before members of that body’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee in 2014, when Senator Claire McCaskill tore him a new one for promoting quack weight-loss nostrums. More recently, Mehmet Oz has promoted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, and apparently convinced the former president, if not medical science. Lately, though, after proving he can’t relate to real people, even fellow TV celebrity Trump has realized the Doctor is a loser.

More:

“Fetterman Ridicules ‘Out of Touch’ Dr. Oz Claim About Happiness and the Super Rich,” Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“First Snooki, now Little Steven: Fetterman trolls Oz with N.J. celebrities,” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

“A Guide to the Many Houses Mehmet Oz Forgot He Owns,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Running Gag

July 25, 2022

Running Gag

James Dator of sports website SB Nation calculated that Sedition Caucus Senator Josh Hawley ran a 7.2 second 40-yard dash on January 6, 2021 while fleeing for his life from the MAGA mob he saluted earlier.

More:

“Run Hawley Run’: Video of Josh Hawley fleeing Jan. 6 rioters sparks memes,” Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post

“Republican Josh Hawley fled January 6 rioters – and Twitter ran with it,” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“Josh Hawley Fleeing Capitol Rioters Gets a Britney Spears, Kate Bush & Monty Python Soundtrack,” Joe Lynch, Billboard

Update:

“Hawley Concerned That Being a Coward Is Overshadowing His Work as a Fascist,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

 

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Bye Bye Boris

July 18, 2022

UK commentator Jonathan Pie gives a proper “Ta ta!” to Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Jonathan Pie website

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Boris Quit, But Won’t Leave. Here’s Why.

July 8, 2022

Boris Quit, But Won't Leave. Here's Why.

Tory buffoon and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson quit, but he’s staying on as a “caretaker”until his Conservative Party chooses a new PM in September or October. When a PM quits, he or she may choose a senior party member to act as interim PM so the stench of a rotting administration doesn’t waft out of Number 10 and pervade Downing Street.

And many Tories have been proposed as caretaker Prime Ministers, and the list ranges from Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to Theresa May to Peppa Pig, but Mr. Johnson insists on extending his odious administration into autumn. The reason? He’s scheduled a lavish wedding reception for himself and Carrie, the mother of his last two children, on July 30th at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country estate. And we all know Boris loves a good party.

More:

“Boris Johnson plans July wedding party with Carrie at Chequers,” Jessica Elgot, The Guardian

“UK Conservatives say ‘toxic’ Boris Johnson should be replaced now,” Andrew Macaskill, Reuters

“Boris Johnson’s plans to remain as PM are ‘unwise’ and ‘unsustainable’, warns Sir John Major,” Sky News

“Boris Johnson will cause ‘carnage’ if allowed to stay on as caretaker prime minister, Dominic Cummings says,” Mary Bulman, The Independent

“Boris staying on until October would be like PM ‘working with own firing squad,’” Josh Layton, The Scotsman

Related:

“Who wants to be UK prime minister? Just about everyone.” Cristina Gallardo, Politico

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UPDATED: Monty Python Clown PM Boris Johnson Scrambling

July 7, 2022

Monty Python Clown PM Boris Johnson Scrambling
After his boozy parties at 10 Downing Street during COVID lockdown, turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct allegations against one of his top Tory officials, and the mass resignations of his administration’s cabinet ministers and officials, Boris Johhnson refuses to resign. If you’re asking why, you’ve mistaken Mr. Johnson with someone with an ounce of shame.

More:

“Boris Johnson’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Here are some of the biggest ones,” Ivana Kottasová and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

“Boris Johnson Freaks Out After Giuliani Arrives in London to Help Him,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Boris Johnson and wife Carrie to host lavish Chequers wedding party while he clings on,” Pippa Crerar, Daily Mirror

UPDATE:

Saying “Them’s the breaks,” Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson joined the ranks of unemployed New-York-born television novelty performers. Maybe he’ll move to Mar-a-Lago.

“Boris Johnson resigns as UK prime minister,” Jen Kirby, Vox

“Boris Johnson resigns: Five things that led to the PM’s downfall,” Owen Amos, BBC News

“British Lawmaker’s Live Analysis of Boris Johnson’s Resignation Drowned Out by ‘Benny Hill’ Theme Music,” Dan Ladden-Hall, Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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‘We will not let hate win’

April 29, 2022

Earlier this month, self-described “straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom” Mallory McMorrow, a Democratic Michigan state senator representing suburban District 13, learned she had been targeted as a pedophile “groomer” by a Republican legislator in a fundraising email. She responded from the Michigan State Senate floor (above).

More:

“State Sen. McMorrow on reclaiming faith from being used as ‘a weapon to hate people,'” Jack Jenkins, RNS, via National Catholic Reporter

“Michigan state senator blasts colleague who accused her of grooming in fundraising email,” Kelsey Carolan, The Hill

“Smeared as a Groomer, a Michigan Democrat Goes on Offense,” Blake Hounshell, New York Times

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GOP: It’s Official, They’re Fascists.

February 7, 2022

GOP: It's Official, They're Fascists.

Meeting in Salt Lake City on Friday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution declaring that the actions of the Insurrection of January 6, 2021, including the violent attempt to overthrow the elected government of the United States and the defilement of the Capitol building, were “legitimate political discourse.” The resolution (co-authored by Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel) was passed by voice vote, without debate, so individual Republican leaders could avoid personal (and legal) responsibility for this outrage against two centuries of American democratic values. They’re not just fascists, they’re weasels.

More:

“Republican party calls January 6 attack ‘legitimate political discourse,’” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“GOP leaders approve resolution that says Jan. 6 was ‘legitimate political discourse,’” Bryan Schott, Salt Lake City Tribune

“G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse,’” Jonathan Weisman and Reid J. Epstein, New York Times

Updates:

“Murkowski criticizes RNC calling Jan. 6 attack ‘legitimate political discourse,'” Caroline Vakil,The Hill

“‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ Is Now an Official Republican Party Description of the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“McConnell rebukes RNC, calls Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection,'” Mary Clare Jalonick,  Associated Press

“‘Legitimate political discourse’: Three words about Jan. 6 spark rift among Republicans,” Josh Dawsey and Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post

“McConnell breaks with RNC: Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection,'” Jordain Carney, The Hill

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