By Jennifer Wenzel, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University. On August 12, Charlottesville Daily Progress photographer Ryan M. Kelly captured the exact moment when Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields, Jr. drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters, injuring 19 and killing one, Heather…
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Former Republican National Committee spokesperson, and current Bulwark columnist, Tim Miller burned down House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday following a Washington Post report detailing how the House Republican worked behind the scenes to rid the party of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
On Wednesday, the Post reported that allies of McCarthy, reportedly with his blessing, funneled contributions to dark money groups who in turn worked to make sure that the controversial lawmaker didn't survive North Carolina's GOP primary.
While no fan of Cawthorn, who Miller described as an "unimaginably immature, Führer-stanning college dropout," Miller maintained that McCarthy wants to be viewed as a GOP strongman who is primed and ready to take over Rep. Nancy Pelosi's job if the GOP reclaims the House after the November midterms.
As Miller sees it, based on the smarmy attacks on Cawthorn, who McCarthy saw as an "embarrassment," nothing could be farther form the truth with the former RNC official labeling the California Republican a "spineless suckup."
"The campaign to oust Cawthorn was successful, but it bears mentioning that it was also disgustingly homophobic boob bait. The Post story does not indicate if the reporters uncovered whether McCarthy operatives were the source behind the grainy video and other leaks that heavily implied Cawthorn might be gay, but that was the word on the street among former colleagues of mine last spring," Miller wrote before adding, "So I guess on this count, we should give Kevin credit where credit is due. He successfully deployed the oldest trick in Washington and got rid of one headache with a “wink, wink, Madison’s a fag” campaign," followed by a sarcastic "Bravo."
However, as Miller notes, McCarthy has turned a blind eye to equally, if not worse embarrassments to the GOP House caucus in the form of the soon-to-be-divorced Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), as well as Reps Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
"Where was Big Bad Kevin in the primaries against Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, and the rest? Not only are they still in Congress, but the Coup Squad was out there throughout campaign season this year, putting their stamp of approval on candidates nationwide—not through the furtive Super PAC money laundering that Kevin has to employ to avoid blowback, but right out in the open!," he wrote before staying McCarthy has been an "abysmal failure" for failing to stand up for conservative stalwarts like Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Peter Meijer (R-MI).
'Regardless of what McCarthy’s allies did in a handful of races, the big picture is unambiguous. The House Republican conference next year will be more Trumpy, more conspiracy addled, and have more avowed insurrectionists than the current Congress," Miller explained. "The looniest of the loonies in the party are not only sticking around, but their ranks are growing. “My Kevin” has shown absolutely zero willingness to confront any of them, with the sole exception being a hapless man-child who needed to be slapped down because he said GOP leaders were inviting him to cocaine orgies."
Miller also took exception with a Republican insider, anonymously quoted by the Post, who spoke glowingly of McCarthy as a man not to be "trifled with."
"That description doesn’t fit McCarthy at all. The truth about Kevin McCarthy is that he’s a toadying, spineless suckup. He’s a Scar who thinks he’s a Simba. A Saul Goodman who thinks he’s a Gus Fring. A gimp who thinks he’s a master," he accused. "He will be allowed to stay in his role by those who are actually in charge as long as he doesn’t do anything that would require exerting independent power: directing members to do something they don’t want to do."
"But let’s not kid ourselves, he’s not swaying anything. And nobody on God’s green earth is scared of him, least of all the most extreme voices in his caucus," he added.
You can read his whole piece here.
An "extraordinary and resilient" African elephant who defied all odds to give birth despite being shot five times by poachers has died in Kenya's drought-ravaged north, conservationists said on Thursday.
"Monsoon" was euthanised by veterinarians after collapsing several times in poor health in Samburu, an arid expanse that like most of northern Kenya is suffering the driest conditions in 40 years.
The great matriarch was believed to be in her mid-60s, at the upper reaches of life expectancy for an elephant in the wild.
"It's estimated her ill health was brought on by old age and exacerbated by the drought," read a statement from Save the Elephants, a Kenya-based wildlife conservation group.
A mother of seven calves, Monsoon survived being shot five times during a rampant poaching crisis about a decade ago that sent Africa's wild elephant populations into freefall.
During the wholesale massacre of elephants for ivory, Monsoon lost two of her own calves to poachers, and scientists believed she would never give birth again after the trauma of being shot.
But in 2018 she delivered a calf in Samburu, nine years after her ordeal.
It was not the first time she had defied the experts.
In 2006 she led her family to safety up one of the biggest hills in Samburu, shortly after Save the Elephants published a study asserting that elephants tended to avoid steep terrain.
Four consecutive rainy seasons have failed in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, an unprecedented climatic event that has pushed millions across the Horn of Africa into extreme hunger.
Older elephants and young calves are the first to succumb to prolonged drought, experts say.
"Sadly the outlook for rain later this year is grim and there are fears the drought may stretch well into 2023, which is a major worry," said Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
"We are working with our partners, local communities and government in Kenya to address the long-term problems the drought will bring to wildlife and communities alike and doing our best to prevent more elephants like Monsoon from dying."
© 2022 AFP
Republicans have largely abandoned Donald Trump's hand-picked choice for Michigan governor, but the former president continues to offer his support to the increasingly long-shot candidate.
The former president will headline a rally Saturday for gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and other Republicans in the state as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer piles up an enormous fundraising lead -- $16.5 million to $924,000 -- and the national GOP is leaving her to fend for herself, reported NBC News.
“Isn’t that sad that Democrats have to spend so much money?” Dixon said when asked whether she was disappointed by the lack of assistance.
Whitmer and the Democrats have set aside $24 million in ads for the gubernatorial race between now and Election Day, while Republicans have reserved only $4 million as the Republican Governors Association has decided to prioritize races in other states.
The former president has made Michigan a priority after narrowly losing the state to President Joe Biden, and he has endorsed Dixon and other Republicans who have backed his false election fraud claims, but GOP strategists say Trump's endorsement and financial backing from the DeVos family pushed a weak candidate across the finish line in a crowded gubernatorial primary.
“Tudor Dixon would be a much stronger nominee today if she won on the strength of her own candidacy,” said GOP strategist John Yob. “The famous lesson is that it’s better to teach them to fish than to buy them a fish. Now we’re at a place where she can’t raise enough money to run a real campaign and somebody has to decide whether they’re going to come up with the $10 million or so it would take to make her competitive.”