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The short term anti-immigrant freakout will equal long-term problems

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Part of me almost flinched to imagine the lip-smacking glee that reporters got out of pushing Marco Rubio—the son of Cuban immigrants—on the issue of whether or not he supports the 14th amendment. The problem here is that there’s no way to ask the question that doesn’t carry the implication, “How much of your basic dignity are you willing to peddle out to get votes?” Because there’s exactly no chance that there’s enough political momentum going to repeal the 14th amendment, which means the entire issue is one of racist grand-standing. Rachel Maddow explained the issue on her show:

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In sum, asking the question, “Do you wish to repeal the 14th amendment?” is a way of saying, “Is your campaign angling to get the racist vote by taking potshots at the children of immigrants?” And lest any motherfuckers whine that this is just about the children of illegal immigrants, let me point out that without birthright citizenship, there’s a strong possibility that the children of legal immigrants would lose a whole shitload of rights as well. One thing the birthright citizenship does is expedite the process of integrating an immigrant family into the U.S. If that was replaced with a system where the baby also had to go through an onerous citizenship process, then that would not only be an unnecessary headache, but would likely create a bunch of stateless people. I don’t imagine Rubio enjoys having to answer a question that is functionally, “Would you prefer to rewrite the laws of the country so someone like yourself is a second class citizen?”

The terse response from one of Rubio’s campaign aides only reinforces my sense that this whole exercise is basically insulting. By the way, I found this part of the Orlando Sentinel coverage amusing:

The crusade against illegal immigration is interpreted by many Hispanics as a crusade against Hispanics.

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Which is a way of saying, “Many Hispanics perceive reality accurately and adjust their votes accordingly.”

That this election cycle is being dominated by racist resentment is a matter of fact, not opinion. This is all very simple. A lot of loud-mouthed Tea Crackers are spreading racist myths like it’s gonna get them laid, Republican politicians feel this is an issue to demagogue about, and this increases the presence of these myths and stereotypes in the mainstream media. The end result is, I suspect, that none of the racist legislation the Tea Crackers want gets passed, but the Republicans do a bang-up job of establishing themselves as the Party of Racists right when the country as a whole is becoming more racially diverse and less racist.


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Paul Krugman: GOP would ‘cheer on’ Trump if he launched ‘a military coup’

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday warned that it's wrong to compare President Donald Trump to President Richard Nixon, on the grounds that Trump is far worse and more dangerous.

Krugman acknowledges that there are some similarities between Trump and Nixon, such as their willingness to use racial grievance to gain power and their cavalier attitude toward obeying the law.

But Krugman thinks that the biggest difference between Trump and Nixon is that the Republican Party of 2020 is not the same as the Republican Party that pushed Nixon out in 1974.

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Last redoubt: Pygmies return to forest to isolate against coronavirus

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Dzanga-Sangha, a wildlife sanctuary in southwest Central African Republic, is a remote place, linked to the rest of the world by a narrow trail that becomes impassable in heavy rain.

But for the region's Pygmies -- outcasts in a country already ranked among the poorest in the world -- Dzanga-Sangha's isolation could be a blessing.

As coronavirus spreads in the CAR, with more than 1,000 cases officially recorded and four deaths, a campaign has been launched to encourage the Bayaka people, who divide their time between the village and the forest, to hole up in the reserve.

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Disturbing video exposes the dangerous message a State Patrol officer told team: ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’

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Krystal Marx, the executive director of Seattle Pride, shared a disturbing video this week revealing the violent message an officer in the Washington State Patrol gave to his team as it prepared to confront protesters.

“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” he said as he walked through a group of his colleagues.

“I remember shaking,” Marx told the Seattle Times of the experience filming the patrol from her office window. “Why not say, ‘Restrain them, calmly’?”

Chris Loftis, a spokesperson for the patrol, gave the Times a statement trying to explain away the comment as poor “word choice,” but it was not reassuring:

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