Republicans’ Race to the Bottom

Max Boot:

In Virginia, Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman and counselor to “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush, is attacking his Democratic opponent for governor, Ralph Northam, for being too sympathetic to immigrants and too unsympathetic to Confederate monuments. One particularly incendiary commercial accuses Northam of “increasing the threat of MS-13,” a drug gang from El Salvador that is evoked with pictures of tattooed gang-bangers who actually belong to a rival outfit. Gillespie’s tendentious reasoning? As lieutenant governor, Northam voted against a bill in Virginia’s Senate that would have prohibited the establishment of any “sanctuary cities,” even though Virginia does not have any such cities. MS-13 has long been a favorite Trump target, symbolizing the supposed menace of Latino immigration.

The Koch Administration

In her profile of Mike Pence, Jane Mayer points out that the Moron in Chief filled his administration with Koch suckers:

Trump began to appoint an extraordinary number of officials with ties to the Kochs and to Pence, especially in positions that affected Koch Industries financially, such as those dealing with regulatory, environmental, and fiscal policy. Short, who a few months earlier had tried to enlist the Kochs to stop Trump, joined the White House as its director of legislative affairs. Scott Pruitt, the militantly anti-regulatory attorney general of Oklahoma, who had been heavily supported by the Kochs, was appointed director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt, in turn, placed Patrick Traylor, a lawyer for Koch Industries and other fossil-fuel companies, in charge of the E.P.A.’s enforcement of key anti-pollution laws. As the Times has reported, a document called “A Roadmap to Repeal,” written by Koch operatives, has guided the E.P.A.’s reversal of Obama Administration clean-air and climate regulations. Don McGahn, who had done legal work for Freedom Partners, became White House counsel. Betsy DeVos, a billionaire heiress, who had been a major member of the Kochs’ donor network and a supporter of Pence, was named Secretary of Education. The new director of the C.I.A. was Mike Pompeo, the congressman who represented Charles Koch’s district, in Wichita, Kansas; before Pompeo ran for office, the Kochs had invested in his aerospace business. Pompeo, the former transition-team member said, “wasn’t even on Trump’s radar, but he was brought in to meet him and got appointed, like, the next day.” A recent analysis by the Checks & Balances Project found that sixteen high-ranking officials in the Trump White House had ties to the Kochs. The pattern continued among lower-level political appointees, including in Pence’s office, which was stocked with Koch alumni. Pence reportedly consulted with Charles Koch before hiring his speechwriter, Stephen Ford, who previously worked at Freedom Partners.

Once Pence replaces Trump, this country will be ruled by the Koch brothers.

No Moron for Virginia

Trump endorsed Ed Gillespie. Pence rallied for Gillespie and compared him to Trump. Virginians, do we need another fucking moron fucking up our state? Fuck no. Virginia is for lovers. We have no place for fucking haters.

Gun Over People

Sadly, the Onion gets right to the core of the GOP:

Case in point, I’ve seen commentators cite the GOP bill to loosen restrictions on silencers that is currently making its way through Congress as contributing to an environment where these shootings will continue to occur, an erroneous line of reasoning that completely ignores how our party’s many active attempts to repeal Obamacare would make it significantly harder, if not impossible, for millions of unwell individuals to visit mental health specialists and receive the treatment necessary to keep their erratic behavior in check.

The new acronym for the GOP is Gun Over People.

Do Something About It

Jelani Cobb:

The attack in Las Vegas is the worst mass shooting right now, not because of the number of the dead but because it reveals, yet again, that our steadfast refusal to do anything different is enabling those who wish to give us more of the same.

The worst has yet to come if all we do is thinking and praying.

It Happened Again

I am deeply saddened by the mass shooting in Las Vegas and I am sick and tired of the same damn responses from Washington. Thoughts and prayers are not going to cut it. We can’t pray our way out of this. It will happen again and again unless we make a change in our gun policy. How many more dead bodies do we need in order to stop gun violence? Please take a moment to read James X. Van Meer’s Under the Gun and get involved.

She’s Back

David Remnick on Clinton’s new book:

Clinton’s memoir radiates with fury at the forces and the figures ranged against her, but it is also salted with self-searching, grief, bitterness, and fitful attempts to channel and contain that fury.

I’ll give it a read.

Most Mocked Man in the World

Rebecca Solnit:

He is, as of this writing, the most mocked man in the world. After the women’s march on January 21st, people joked that he had been rejected by more women in one day than any man in history; he was mocked in newspapers, on television, in cartoons, was the butt of a million jokes, and his every tweet was instantly met with an onslaught of attacks and insults by ordinary citizens gleeful to be able to speak sharp truth to bloated power.

The world are not laughing at us. They are laughing at him.

Eulogy for America

Megan Amram:

We will all miss America greatly. Every time I see an American flag or a gun, I’ll think of America. But we can all rest easy knowing America is in a better place now: Russia.

A humorous read.

Worse Than A Child

Alexandra Petri:

Sometimes children are not cruel on purpose. Children can sit still and are often unable to stick their feet into their mouths, and sometimes will let you get more ice cream than they get.

He is something more terrifying than a child. Children can learn.

Funny yet scary.