Oregon Gains Better Class Of Democrat With Jamie McLeod-Skinner

It’s official … kinda. Rep. Kurt Schrader from Oregon has lost his Democratic primary race against challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner. The votes still aren’t fully counted, but Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman finally saw enough Tuesday morning:


Schrader is the reduced-for-quick-donor-sale Joe Manchin who, along with the so-called “unbreakable nine,” actively sabotaged President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Biden still endorsed Schrader’s reelection in April, stating, "We don’t always agree, but when it has mattered most, Kurt has been there for me.” This was a weird way of suggesting that Build Back Better — the core of his domestic agenda — didn’t matter the most. But maybe Schrader was always good for giving Biden a ride to the airport.

PREVIOUSLY: Oregon Primary Recap: Discount Joe Manchin Rep. Kurt Schrader Might Just Lose His House Seat

You’ll recall that the Oregon primary elections were May 17, a week ago, but Clackamas County fucked up big time: Smudged, blurry bar codes left as many as 60,000 ballots unreadable by vote-counting machines. That’s more than half of the county’s total ballots. Each voter’s selections had to be hand-transferred to a new ballot, and this artisanal process moved slower than Uncle Joe at Petticoat Junction. By Friday, just 23,000 ballots had been tallied. At this rate, they risk missing the June 13 deadline.

However, the Associated Press reported that Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall knew about the issue at least two weeks before the election. Hall has overseen elections in the Portland suburb for 10 years, but practice apparently didn’t make perfect or even just minimal competence. She claimed it was too late by May 3 to print and mail new ballots. Fair enough, but Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s office reportedly offered Hall extra help but instead Hall said she had enough resources. Unfortunately, the magic elves never arrived on Election Day.

From OPB:

Commissioner Sonya Fischer said she’d asked Hall late last week to confirm misprinted ballots would be processed over the weekend but got no response. Hall told commissioners her team did not work over the weekend because not enough of them were willing to put in the extra time.

Wow, Hall really sucks at this. She didn’t try offering them pizza, maybe some beer? Hall herself is up for reelection in November and should probably not remain in office. Aside from this disaster, here’s a brief overview of her unprofessional behavior: When Oregon legalized same-sex marriage in Oregon, she refused to conduct any marriage ceremonies. She was once fined $100 because she asked one of her employees to help with her reelection campaign. She’s also been called out for putting her own name on the envelopes of the county's vote-by-mail ballots whenever she’s up for election. That is apparently “an unusual but not illegal practice.” It’s not just Portland that’s keeping Oregon weird.

McLeod-Skinner was gracious during the extended delay. She behaved like a sane elected official and didn’t promote conspiracy theories, like certain people in the GOP Senate primary. She even thanked the poor folks stuck with hand-counting ballots in a high-stakes primary.

She tweeted last week:

I really want to emphasize encouraging people to be patient ... And real gratitude to people doing the heavy lifting counting the ballots. We should be excited that this is a sample of success of democracy.

Democratic state Rep. Rep. Janelle Bynum called for a formal investigation into Hall's “ballot-printing fiasco.” We should definitely sort that out, but right now, let’s say good riddance to Schrader, who repeatedly sided with his donors over his constituents. This includes his opposition to COVID-19 stimulus checks and a $15 minimum wage. He also voted against prescription drug pricing reform. Unlike Manchin, Schrader couldn’t even claim to represent a more conservative electorate. Schrader underperformed Biden in 2020, even while outspending his opponent. Despite what the concern-trolling Never Trumpers might argue, McLeod-Skinner is a better candidate for holding this seat in a difficult election year for Democrats.

Hopefully, Schrader can find a nice farm upstate where he is free to roam around with other centrists.

[Central Oregon Daily]

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Georgia Primary: Trump-Backed David Perdue Waves White Hood In Flawless Defeat Against Brian Kemp

Donald Trump did not have a great night in Georgia.

His hand-picked instrument for petty revenge, David Perdue, was absolutely crushed in the GOP primary against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump loathes. The Democratic primary for governor was more competitive and Stacey Abrams ran unopposed. The polls had barely closed before Dave Wasserman at Cook Political Report had seen enough.


This was Perdue's second-annual election loss. The former senator lost the 2021 Georgia runoff to Jon Ossoff but could’ve kept his dignity. Instead, he agreed to help Trump unseat Kemp and GOP voters soundly rejected him. Kemp swept every county and took 73.7 percent of the vote. Perdue limped home with a pathetic 21.8 percent, worse than anyone predicted.

Last week, Perdue “guaran-damn-teed” he wasn’t losing by 30 points, as final polls indicated, and he was right. He lost by 50. Perdue closed out his offensive, racist campaign with a racist attack against Stacey Abrams, who he claimed “demeaned her own race.” His public humiliation was a joy to witness.

PREVIOUSLY: Loser Ex-Senator David Perdue Set To Lose Another Rigged Election In Georgia

The obituaries for Perdue’s political career all focus on his foolish choice to challenge a sitting governor with deep connections in the state. According to Politico’s recap of the bloodletting, Kemp’s campaign went “fucking scorched earth” and "methodically dismantled” Perdue’s political operation. He had no money, no hope, just Trump’s lies and his putrid bigotry. Not a single Georgia Republican wants to admit having mildly encouraged Perdue’s folly.

“I personally have not talked to anybody in this state who encouraged him to [run]. Everybody I know tried to stop him when the rumors started circulating. I do not think anybody thought it was a good idea for him to run against the governor,” said Savannah-based GOP donor Kevin “Catfish” Jackson, a past Perdue Senate campaign donor who backed Kemp.

He should’ve listened to “Catfish."

That racist bastard Perdue isn’t even the star of his own massacre. Politico’s headline read: "How Brian Kemp Crushed Trump In Georgia.” If you count all the 2020 recounts, this makes the fourth time Trump has lost Georgia.

The "DJT Vendetta Tour,” as Chris Christie calls it, flamed out spectacularly. Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger, who also foiled Trump’s election theft schemes, soundly defeated Trump-endorsed Big Lie enthusiast Jody Hice, passing the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.

PREVIOUSLY: GOP Rep. Jody Hice Just The Guy To Keep Georgia Elections Safe From Democratic Voters

Kemp and Raffensperger are Republicans, so they’re terrible, but if they win their elections this year, Biden still has a chance to win his in 2024 without the results being overturned.

A minor bright spot for Trump is that Herschel Walker easily won his Senate primary. However, that race wasn’t a stop on the Vendetta Tour, and it’s obvious Walker’s victory had more to do with his own celebrity than Trump’s influence over Georgia voters.

PREVIOUSLY: Occasional Georgia Resident Herschel Walker Coasting To Insulting Victory In GOP Senate Primary

Walker defeated five other candidates who now must go through life having lost an election to Herschel Walker. Gary Black, Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, came in a distant second with 13.4 percent of the vote to Walker’s 68.2 percent. Black ran an ad where he clumsily put on a football uniform and tossed a football to himself. Reminding voters you’re a geek just doesn’t win elections down South.

Walker poses a serious threat to incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. It’s a tough election year for Democrats, and Warnock previously defeated Kelly Loeffler, who has the personal appeal of ringworm. We can’t underestimate whatever it is that passes for Walker’s charm.

Yes, Walker’s a fucking moron, but this isn’t the "West Wing" where that might factor negatively in a Republican’s campaign. At his victory party, Walker was asked about new gun laws after the Texas school massacre. The Russian roulette expert responded: “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff.”

We can’t let Raphael Warnock lose to this fool. He’s a man of God.


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Low-Energy Jeb! Bush Pens High-Energy Love Letter To Trump Clone Ron DeSantis

Jeb Bush was the first public casualty in Donald Trump’s march to the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Trump humiliated Bush personally — famously dubbing him “low energy” — before pantsing him in the early primary contests. Bush dropped out of the race after a devastating fourth-place finish in South Carolina.

Bush frequently called out Trump as a blowhard and a bully, more interested in dividing than uniting the nation. After Trump clinched the nomination, Bush wrote in July 2016:

While he has no doubt tapped into the anxiety so prevalent in the United States today, I do not believe Donald Trump reflects the principles or inclusive legacy of the Republican Party. And I sincerely hope he doesn’t represent its future.

PREVIOUSLY: Donald Trump Finds New Creative Way To Pick On Poor Stupid Jeb Bush

Jeb! was wrong. Trumpism became the GOP’s future, present, and frankly its past if you’re honest with yourself. If Trump himself isn’t the 2024 GOP nominee, it’ll be one of his disciples, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for whom Bush has written a glowing testament in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2022.


Strap on your hip waders, we’re going in:

During the pandemic, most people stayed home, and those who didn’t probably moved to Florida. Despite relentless criticism, Governor Ron DeSantis kept schools open, ensured Florida’s economy remained open for business, and allowed individuals to determine their own risk tolerance. His approach works.

There have been a reported 6,081,013 COVID-19 cases in Florida, and a reported 74,374 have died. This is not a success story, but Bush has apparently embraced the GOP’s gaslighting approach to COVID-19.

[DeSantis’s leadership] has allowed Florida to emerge from the pandemic as a national model of personal freedom, economic growth, environmental protection, and education excellence. Florida continues to see record population growth, unemployment remains below the national average, the private sector is growing, and Florida remains a national leader in school choice. [ ... ]

While the Beltway crowd may not like his style, it’s his record that will become his legacy.

This is how Trumpists defended his gross behavior: "The elite might not like his style, but he gets results!” In 2016, Bush lamented that the Republican party was at risk of appearing "anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker and anti-common-sense.” DeSantis is defiantly and proudly all of these things. His pugilistic persona is exactly what Bush claimed to resent about Trump. The 2016 Jeb! cried out for “compromise (and) bipartisanship in our nation’s capital.” Now, he celebrates a Florida governor who picks fights with Mickey Mouse.

PREVIOUSLY: FL Gov Ron DeSantis Threatens To Break Mickey Mouse's Legs Over Criticism Of 'Don't Say Gay' Law

Bush accused the mad MAGA king of “grotesquely (manipulating) the deeply felt anger of many Americans. Trump’s abrasive, Know Nothing-like nativist rhetoric has blocked out sober discourse about how to tackle America’s big challenges.” DeSantis meanwhile caters to Trump supporters’ worst, most divisive instincts when he calls the Joe Biden administration the “Brandon administration” with a smug smile. During his February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, DeSantis demonized half the country as a diabolical existential threat: "We're going to lead the charge here in Florida, but we need people all over the country to be willing to put on that full armor of God, to stand firm against the Left schemes.”

Laughably, Bush had blamed Barack Obama for Trump’s GOP takeover: "The president has wielded his power — while often exceeding his authority — to punish his opponents, legislate from the White House and turn agency rule making into a weapon for liberal dogma.”

Bush is apparently blind to DeSantis’s retaliatory, partisan attacks against Disney, his crack down on free thought at Florida universities, and his usurpation of the state legislature’s congressional mapmaking authority. Or maybe Bush is just a big hypocrite who thinks it’s all right if a Republican behaves like the despot Fox News insisted Obama was.

Ron DeSantis isn’t even a more polite version of Donald Trump. He’s just younger and, if you can believe it, less charismatic. Jeb! has gone full MAGA. We’re not at all surprised.

[Time / Washington Post}

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Racist A-Hole David Perdue Pretty Sure Stacey Abrams ‘Demeaning’ Her Race

Donald Trump’s sock puppet David Perdue has ended his racist campaign for Georgia governor with a racist attack against Stacey Abrams. This is hardly a surprise, but it’s still repulsive. Here’s what the white former senator told a crowd of white people about the Black Democratic candidate:

“Did you all see what Stacey said this weekend?” Mr. Perdue said from the stage. “She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain’t from here. Let her go back to where she came from. She doesn’t like it here.”

Last week, Ms. Abrams — not “Stacey,” you racist prick — said she was tired of Republicans boasting about Georgia "being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live.” CNN called this an “eyebrow-raising comment,” which is only true if you didn’t listen to her full remarks:

“Now, somebody’s going to try to Politifact me on this — let me contextualize,” Abrams [said]. “When you’re No. 48 for mental health, when you’re No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that’s on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live in the United States. But we can get there. You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor’s office.”

This is objectively true, and it’s not as if Republicans only ever run campaigns rooted in rah-rah patriotism. During his 2016 campaign, Trump often derided America, saying things like “The world is laughing at us. We don’t win at the borders. We don’t win with taking care of our vets. We don’t win with anything. We don’t win anymore. We will start winning again like you’ve never seen before."

PREVIOUSLY: Georgia Senator David Perdue Too Dumb, Racist To Say ‘Kamala’ Without Tongue Falling Out

But Trump is a white man who criticized the country when a Black man was president. That’s his constitutional right. Minorities, especially women of color, enjoy conditional citizenship at best. If they call out America’s failings under white male leadership, that’s tantamount to treason. They should “go back” where they came from. Abrams was born in Wisconsin and spent most of her childhood in Mississippi. However, her family moved to Atlanta in 1989. Of course, this isn’t about actual Georgia residency. Perdue is just invoking segregation-era “outside agitator” rhetoric.

The Times reports:

On Monday, Mr. Perdue said: “When she told Black farmers, ‘You don’t need to be on the farm,’ and she told Black workers in hospitality and all this, ‘You don’t need to be,’ she is demeaning her own race when it comes to that. I am really over this. She should never be considered material for governor of any state, much less our state where she hates to live.”

Perdue’s comments were so gross that even the New York Times called them “racist” — not racially charged, racially tinged, racially inflected, but straight-up racist. This crawling piece of slime dared suggest Stacey Abrams is “demeaning her own race”? No, Perdue’s the one doing that — and not just white people. The entire human race should feel shame for sharing ancestral DNA with David Perdue.

PREVIOUSLY: Heeeeyyyy Georgia, Sen. David Perdue Would Like To Remind You Jon Ossoff’s A Jew!

Racists aren’t known for their intellectual honesty, so it’s hardly a surprise Perdue has misrepresented Abrams’s past remarks. She never singled out Black farmers and hospitality workers. During her 2018 campaign, she pledged to create well-paying clean energy jobs for all Georgians.

Last night on MSNBC, Abrams didn’t bother responding directly to Perdue. She said simply, "Regardless of which Republican it is, I have yet to hear them articulate a plan for the future of Georgia.”

Abrams won’t need to waste her time thinking about Perdue after his eagerly anticipated ass-beating in tonight’s primary. Of course, Perdue probably won’t go away quietly. When asked if he’d accept the inevitable results, he said that depends on if there’s “fraud in the election.” It’s true, though, that there’s a fraud in this election, and it’s David Perdue.

[New York Times]

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Occasional Georgia Resident Herschel Walker Coasting To Insulting Victory In GOP Senate Primary

Today’s the GOP Senate primary in Georgia and Herschel Walker is expected to win decisively, crushing his opponents who all possess more political experience then he does, but unfortunately have never played college football. Recent polling averages show Walker with 63.6 percent of the Republican primary vote. That’s more than enough to avoid a runoff or, worse, someone on Walker’s staff having to explain to him what a “runoff” is.

Maybe the polls are all wrong, though? That’s the last refuge of the truly desperate. Andra Gillespie, political science professor at Emory University, doesn’t think Walker’s opponents should expect any miracles.

"The fact that it’s different kinds of polls, public polls and partisan polls, polls with sampling methodologies I trust and ones whose sampling methodologies I don’t trust, they all come up with the same numbers,” she said. “I don’t see how someone could think they could get Walker below 50 percent."

It’s not just that Republican primary candidates can’t beat a woefully unfit candidate who’s admitted to playing the home version of Russian roulette. They can’t even prevent a majority of voters from casting a ballot for him.

PREVIOUSLY: Proud Russian Roulette Survivor Herschel Walker Thinks You’re Just Jealous Of How Awesome He Is

Walker’s strongest competitors are Gary Black, Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, and Latham Saddler, a former intelligence official. Black’s averaging 7.7 percent of the vote and Saddler 3.1 percent. The remaining candidates are under three percent.

These guys are actually campaigning, we guess. They must have posters and yard signs with their names on them. Yet they're still losing to this guy.


Saddler's called out Walker for skipping debates. He claims voters “don’t respect that,” although there’s no evidence of this in the polls. We guess Black and Saddler assume Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock is more formidable than the two of them combined, because they keep saying Walker’s current strategy of coasting on name recognition won’t work in the general election.

PREVIOUSLY: Strap Yourselves In, Folks: Herschel Walker’s Gonna Explain Evolution To You

Walker is not without scandal. He reportedly once threatened to blow his ex-wife’s brains out, and his current wife Julie Blanchard might’ve voted illegally in 2020. He’s also made repeated false claims about his business dealings and academic credentials. No wonder Donald Trump likes this guy. Get the two of them together and maybe 10 percent of what they say is actually true.

And there’s more! The Grio reports that last December, Walker filed paperwork that listed his and his wife’s joint earnings as $927,886, but we guess it must’ve just slipped his mind that he’d also earned $3.2 million from H. Walker Enterprises, bringing his total earnings from late 2020 to the end of 2021 to $4.1 million. He tweaked his candidate report last week, days before the primary.

It was also recently revealed that Walker heavily embellished his involvement in a veterans program. He’s at different times claimed he’s founded, co-founded, and even directly operated a program called Patriot Support, which he says has taken him to military bases around the globe.

“About 15 years ago, I started a program called Patriot Support,” Walker said in an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt last October. “People need to know I started a military program, a military program that treats (thousands) of soldiers a year,” he told Savannah TV station WTGS in February.

According to the Associated Press, Walker was little more than a glorified celebrity spokesman for Patriot Support, a "for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government."

Nonetheless, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock predicts, "I think this is going to get called really early on election night. It may be the first thing statewide that does get called."

Black, Saddler, and the rest will be the first to lose tonight. That’s something to tell the grandkids: “No one lost quicker than we did.”

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean Warnock has an easy race ahead of him. No matter how ridiculous Walker’s candidacy seems, he still poses a serious threat. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Walker with 47.3 percent of the vote to Warnock’s 46.8 percent. The world is absurd.

[Georgia Recorder / AP]

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Elizabeth Olsen, Cooking Onscreen And Off! Tues., May 24, 2022

Donald Trump reportedly suggested that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson be tried and executed for treason bc she wouldn’t let him overturn election results in a state he lost by three points. (NBC News)

Climate change could make us all sleepless in Seattle but not in that adorable 1990s Meg Ryan way. (The Daily Beast)

Clackamas County, Oregon, knew there were issues with their ballots weeks before the primary. (Central Oregon Daily)

This shocking expose reveals that Rep. Lauren Boebert is as lousy at running a business as she is representing her constituents in Congress. (Mother Jones)

Oliver Willis makes a convincing argument about why Democrats shouldn’t waste their time on Fox News.

I can see the other side of this where people say, "Go on Fox News, and go toe to toe with them and make your case in the arena." I get that impulse. I used to believe that. But the problem with that is what Fox does with an appearance. Even if you sort of, quote unquote, "win" your hit on Fox News, that fills three minutes out of 24 hours in a day. And that hit is often used to undermine people on the left. (Substack)

Ibram X. Kendi — a popular scapegoat among those who think antiracist work is itself racist — offers his compelling perspective on the Great Replacement Theory. (The Atlantic)

Pennsylvania Democrat Summer Lee prevailed in a hotly contested House where even a kitchen sink filled with corporate cash was hurled at her. (The Nation)

I remember joking in high school about President Joe Biden’s plagiarism “scandal” during his first presidential run in 1988. We are both older than we ever intended to be. (Newsweek)

Widdle baby cops won’t march in San Francisco pride parade unless they can wear their uniforms. They declared that they won’t be “pushed back into the closet,” which is something asshole says. (SF Chronicle)

He hasn’t yet seen enough, but Dave Wasserman suggests Democrats might wind up playing defense even in California. (Cook Political Report)

Are we headed toward another recession? Kevin T. Dugan thinks so. (New York Magazine)

Democrats should definitely commit fully to Cheri Beasley’s Senate campaign in North Carolina. (Politico)

Here’s a nice salmon recipe in case you’re able to find decent salmon for less than the cost of a new kitchen remodel. (Bon Appetit)

The Tab hed references an actual Elizabeth Olsen article about cooking. I’m not that dirty an old man. (New York Times)

My favorite legal YouTuber walks us through some popular misconceptions about the Constitution.


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Pence, Cruz Boldly Defying Trump, Supporting Different Terrible GOP Candidates

Prominent Republicans have started openly defying Donald Trump’s kill orders against the careers of anyone in the party he believes betrayed him. Trump generally defines this betrayal as not doing enough to help him steal the 2020 presidential election.

We’ve noted that Trump’s attempt to unseat incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia has failed miserably. The Republican Governors Association spent $5 million helping Kemp survive Trump’s vendetta tour. Trump’s hand-picked candidate David Perdue is expected to exit stage right in total humiliation.

Trump’s former vice president and current archnemesis Mike Pence will campaign in Georgia tonight on Kemp’s behalf. Meanwhile, Trump will hold a “tele-rally” for Perdue. The guy lives in Florida, so it’s a short trip to appear in person, but he’s already distancing himself from the stench of failure.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie have also thumbed their noses at Trump and campaigned for Kemp. Pence especially poured it on:

"Brian Kemp is one of the most successful conservative governors in America," Pence said when he announced on May 13 the plan to campaign for Kemp. "Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia!"

We obviously don’t support four more years of Gov. Kemp. Georgia deserves an awesome governor like Stacey Abrams, who’ll even let everyone vote.

Pence has deluded himself into thinking he could become president, and he’s positioned himself on the Fascism Lite side of the GOP. Trump mocked his former righthand man through his spokesperson Taylor Budowich:

“Mike Pence was set to lose a governor’s race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged,” said Taylor Budowich, the spokesman. “Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention. The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there’s nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond.”

It does warm your heart to see those two fight amongst themselves.

Trump seemingly admits that Perdue’s toast and that Pence is “parachuting” into the race at the last minute for the attention. Ever the master of projection, Trump's words are a good description of his opportunistic endorsement of Pennsylvania GOP governor nominee Doug Mastriano.

PREVIOUSLY: Mo Brooks Is Telling You He Is Not Leaving (And That Trump Asked Him To 'Remove Biden From White House')

Trump defriended GOP Rep. Mo Brooks in March because Brooks suggested Republicans stop wallowing in 2020 and focus on advancing their current evil schemes. Trump accused Brooks of going “woke,” because why should English words actually mean something? He withdrew his endorsement of Brooks’s Senate campaign in Alabama, abandoning him like a common Jeff Sessions.

However, a poll released last week shows Brooks surging to a strong second place behind frontrunner Katie Britt, the millennial candidate who's shamelessly embraced Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. She’s possibly worse than Brooks, who's down just two points, well within the margin of error.

Now GOP Senator Ted Cruz is parachuting into Alabama to campaign for Brooks. We guess his ego is large enough to imagine he could make a difference. Cruz will hold a town hall with Brooks where they'll take questions from the audience. That’s probably someone’s idea of a good time, at least, if not ours.

The Hill notes that this is a “rare break" by Cruz against Trump. Well, Cruz finally took a stand, and it’s not for his wife but for Mo Brooks. As Cruz’s former Senate opponent Beto O’Rourke might say, that’s “true to form.”

[Washington Post]

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AZ GOP Gov Candidate Kari Lake Takes Bold Stance Against Curvy Women On ‘Sports Illustrated’ Covers

The Arizona primaries are August 2, and it’s gonna be a long hot summer of crazy for the GOP candidates. FiveThirtyEight rates this year's election for governor as a toss-up. Perhaps that’s because the potential nominee is MAGA kook and Big Lie promoter Kari Lake, who doesn’t shy away from publicly revealing how terrible she is.

Lake was incensed that Sports Illustrated put a model on its cover who is larger than a size zero. She ranted, “To try to act like that’s the epitome of health is just crazy. To tell our boys in school that they can be girls and vice versa ... "

So, last week, Yumi Nu was revealed as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model. Nu is Asian American and curvy. This apparently drove some fools crazy, specifically Jordan Peterson, who tweeted, "Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.” He’d responded to a photo of Nu looking beautiful, which visibly undercut his point. However, no one’s forcing Peterson to find Nu attractive. All so-called “authoritarian tolerance” demands is that people like Peterson recognize that they aren’t the sole arbiters of taste.

It’s not clear why Lake combined her fatphobia with transphobia in some twisted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of bigotry. However, she’s not about to sit back and let curvy women exist in peace.

LAKE: It’s insane and we’re not going to play into it anymore. We’re not going to sit idly by and be quiet, and put our hands on our lap, and follow Miss Manners rules anymore. We’re gonna get out there and do some guerrilla warfare.

This is what Lake seems to think we must stand up against.

The MAGA life is so empty that even this inoffensive cover fuels their grievance fires. Miss Manners hasn’t really commented on swimsuit magazine etiquette, but even if she did, Lake won’t listen. She’s going full-out guerrilla warfare against human decency and basic respect for others.

LAKE: We’re gonna come out and vote. We’re coming out swinging. And we’re gonna save this country. We’re starting here in Arizona because Joe Biden is a nightmare. I’m glad to hear that Elon [Musk]'s not voting for him.

President Joe Biden has nothing to do with Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers. That’s not within his scope of work. Elon Musk is MAGA’s new “it” boy, but his mother, Maye, is actually one of the four cover models. (The others are Kim Kardashian and Ciara.)

PREVIOUSLY: Is Trump-Endorsed Kari Lake Too Coup-Coup For Arizona Gov?

We get it, though: A curvy woman of color doesn’t meet the fascist aesthetic. True art bears the graven image of the mad MAGA king, Donald Trump. Lake announced this weekend on social media that “when” she wins the governor’s race, she’ll hang this ugly-ass portrait of Trump in the executive’s office. She shouldn’t have a problem cramming most items on her domestic agenda into the first 100 days if they are all this pathetic.

Lake is still the frontrunner for the GOP nomination because the party is a fascist dumpster fire. She has vowed to ban critical race theory and the teaching of sex education before fifth grade. If elected governor, she wouldn’t have much sway over who Sports Illustrated puts on its swimsuit covers, but she would take charge of the state’s elections. She might declare Trump the winner of Arizona’s electoral votes in 2024 before the polls even close.

Her campaign is an existential threat to democracy. We miss when we could just dunk on her for being an asshole.

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Sentient Mayo Candidate Challenging Marjorie Taylor Greene Spreading Little Excitement In GOP Primary

Jennifer Strahan is the dull, safe Republican running against incumbent GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia’s 14th district. A poll from January showed Greene with 60 percent support to Strahan's 30. However, Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s defeat last week in his primary sparked hope in many that Greene could have an equally brief “grand opening/grand closing” congressional career.

Political consultant Fred Wellman tweeted, "Cawthorn lost for a lot of reasons but the lesson is they are not invincible. Stop telling me a one-term Congress member who has done nothing for their district can't be beaten. Marjorie Taylor Greene needs to be next. We can beat her. Support @Marcus4Georgia and send her home.”

Marcus Flowers is the Democrat challenging Greene in November. He’s raised a lot of money from decent people who hate Greene, but the district is solidly Republican. The best chance to beat her is during the primary.

PREVIOUSLY: Here’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Very Serious, Very Dull GOP Primary Opponent

Although Strahan has the backing of several GOP PACs, the state’s Republicans have not mobilized against Greene the way the North Carolina GOP did against the (alleged) orgy tattler. Some House Republicans have reportedly been helpful to Strahan, but won’t go public either because they're cowards or they're just acting out of basic self-preservation. Greene is bonkers, and it sounds like her constituents think so too, according to this CNN profile on Strahan:

One business owner, who had trepidatiously put a Strahan sign in her shop window, said Strahan would be more effective in Washington but requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation -- specifically the fear of receiving a threatening voicemail from the congresswoman.

"My stomach is churning just talking to you," the shop owner said.

We'd sure like to know more about why that business owner is scared of threatening voicemails from Greene!

CNN quotes supporters of Greene who say they love that she’s “bold” and “states her opinion." Steve Walker, age 66, said, “They hate her so I like [her.]” Who’s “they”? The “people in charge up there,” he says, even though Greene is one of them. Greene represents an authoritarian movement within the GOP that the party leadership is apparenlty powerless to resist, but her supporters appreciate that she “tells it like it is."

CNN did find some voters in the 14th who claimed they liked Greene’s politics "but not her demeanor.” This is bullshit, because there’s no hidden depth beneath her gross demeanor. Her racist, transphobic, cruel, hateful rhetoric is all there is. That’s her politics. They don’t really want a more polite, PG-rated Greene. Anyone who tries will simply read as a weak RINO who’s not fully committed to hurting the right people.

"As long as there's a Republican in that spot, I'm OK," said Lorrie Heiken, a 54-year-old self-described "MAGA" supporter who does not believe President Joe Biden won the 2020 election but also thinks the QAnon conspiracy theory -- and Greene's promotion of it -- goes too far.

Meanwhile, Strahan has “bravely” stated the obvious — "Joe Biden is our president.” — but she consistently avoids directly answering the looming question about whether she would’ve voted to certify the 2020 results. “To coup or not to coup” is not even an easy, reflexive “no” among the supposed adults in the room. This is typical for Strahan’s rhythmless tap dance routine.

Strahan says she disagrees with the Democratic House majority’s decision to remove Greene from her committees because of past statements supporting political violence. However, she also claims Greene’s absence on committees makes her ineffective, so that’s why voters should pick her instead. She’s Schrödinger's spineless candidate. Besides, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly said that he’ll reinstate Greene on committees if Republicans regain control, which renders moot a key argument for Strahan’s campaign.

Strahan can’t even pass the Liz Cheney/Adam Kinzinger test. She’s twice stated she’d support Donald Trump if “he’s our nominee.” Sure, he’s undermined faith in our elections and incited a violent assault on the Capitol, but hey, she really enjoyed those 2017 tax cuts.

If Republicans deserve a better class of candidate than Greene, Strahan hasn’t shown she’s much of an upgrade.


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GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy Pretty Sure LA Maternal Mortality Rate Not So Bad If You Ignore Dead Black Folks

Early this month, in anticipation of Roe v. Wade’s demise, Louisiana Republicans advanced one of the nation’s most restrictive forced birth bills. The new law wouldn’t simply target abortion providers or anyone who helps facilitate the procedure; prosecutors could also criminally charge patients with homicide.

PREVIOUSLY: Louisiana Fixin' To Redefine Abortion As Murder, Because That's What The Bumper Sticker Says

Louisiana was hardly the safest place for pregnant people prior to this bill passing. The state has the worst maternal mortality rate in the country. Roughly 58 mothers die for every 100,000 births. Louisiana released a report blaming high incidence of obesity and smoking among the dead mothers, but also conceded that maybe the state could improve its medical care.

Last week, GOP Senator Bill Cassidy massaged these alarming figures in the most repulsive way imaginable. He told Politico:

About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear.

We need to correct the racism in Cassidy’s statement, which is dehumanizing garbage. Black mothers aren’t three-fifths Louisiana residents. The state has a horrible record of maternal mortality, period.

Cassidy, who’s a medical doctor, continued digging: “Now, I say that not to minimize the issue but to focus the issue as to where it would be. For whatever reason, people of color have a higher incidence of maternal mortality.”

Black Louisianans die at four times the rate of their white counterparts. This is not some random, fluke occurrence or implied racial inferiority. Dr. Veronica Gillispie, an OB-GYN and medical director of Louisiana’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative, directly links the disparity to “implicit bias and structural racism.”

Nikki Hunter Greenaway, a nurse who specializes in making home visits, says she's seen Black patients sent home with high blood pressure or preeclampsia, but with no blood pressure cuff.

When she convinced one patient, who had a blood pressure reading of 183, to go to the hospital, she was sent home with medication, but no follow-up plan, no referral to a cardiologist, Greenaway said.

“And I'm like, do they want her to die?”

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey is herself a Black mother, and called out Cassidy’s callous remarks in a scorching Twitter thread:

COLEMAN: Due to structural inequities built into our health care system, Black mothers are 3 times as likely to die due to complications from pregnancy than white mothers. In Louisiana, that number jumps to 4.

GOP elected officials like Sen. Cassidy have no desire to dismantle these inequities — it’s easier for them to ignore them. Because dismantling health inequities means acknowledging systemic racism, and it’s against his best interests to do that.

Despite his dismissive remarks, Cassidy did co-sponsor legislation this year that would study racial health disparities. However, Cassidy still insists that Louisiana defines maternal deaths too broadly, which he thinks explains the appallingly high death rates for Black mothers.

“Sometimes maternal mortality includes up to a year after birth and would include someone being killed by her boyfriend,” Cassidy said. “In my mind, it’s better to restrict your definition to that which is the perinatal, if you will — the time just before and in the subsequent period after she has delivered.”

Someone isn’t a mother for only a “subsequent period” after they’ve delivered. It’s a lifetime gig. Louisiana should focus instead on improving outcomes for willing mothers of all races before forcing more vulnerable people to give birth against their will.

[Mediaite / Politico / USA Today]

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