YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Cantor can't, cognitive dissonance, bang and blame


via Washington Post
  • via Washington Post

via Washington Post

WAIT, DOES THIS MEAN WE SHOULD BE MORE FRIGHTENED OF THE RIGHT-WING FRINGES, OR MORE EXCITED ABOUT THE FRINGING OF THE RIGHT-WING FRINGES IN A PRIMARY? AH, WHO CARES! YAY!:  “Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, lost his primary on Tuesday night in one of the most stunning electoral upsets in recent memory. It is not easy to explain his defeat, or the extent to which his campaign apparently underestimated the severity of the threat posed by David Brat, a Tea Party-backed economics professor. Tea Party candidates have generally struggled this year, and Mr. Cantor outspent his underfunded opponent by a huge margin. Mr. Cantor easily defeated a primary challenge in 2012, generally a better year for the Tea Party, by nearly a 60-point margin. Turnout was not unusually low: More than 63,000 votes have been counted so far, up from around 47,037 in 2012. Much of the early news media coverage, especially on Twitter, focused on immigration overhaul as the likely cause of Mr. Cantor’s defeat. Mr. Cantor took a somewhat more moderate stance on the issue by supporting a pathway for young undocumented immigrants to gain legal status. But other and more aggressive supporters of immigration legislation, including Speaker John Boehner and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, easily won their primaries. Nonetheless, immigration may have played a more prominent role in Mr. Cantor’s race than in those races. Regardless of the exact reason for Mr. Cantor’s defeat, the news media’s focus on immigration is likely to deter Republicans from supporting comprehensive immigration reform. It could even discourage Republican presidential candidates in 2016, when the party will need to broaden its appeal to Hispanic voters in states like Florida.” (via New York Times)


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COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE: “Archbishop Robert J. Carlson claimed to be uncertain that he knew sexual abuse of a child by a priest constituted a crime when he was auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to a deposition released Monday. During the deposition taken last month, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child. “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson replied. “I understand today it’s a crime.” Anderson went on to ask Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that it was crime for a priest to engage in sex with a child. “I’m not sure if I did or didn’t,” Carlson said. Yet according to documents released Monday by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul, Carlson showed clear knowledge that sexual abuse was a crime when discussing incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota. In a 1984 document, for example, Carlson wrote to the then archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John R. Roach, about one victim of sexual abuse and mentioned that the statute of limitations for filing a claim would not expire for more than two years. He also wrote that the parents of the victim were considering reporting the incident to the police.” (via St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


BECAUSE WE’RE ONLY ADVERTISEMENTS FOR VERSIONS OF OURSELVES, THE CONVENTION CENTER WANTS TO SPEND MORE: “Here we go again. Sunday's newspaper revealed that Orlando's convention-center boosters are once again making plans to suck up tax dollars. Never mind that the county hasn't even finished paying off $2 billion worth of debt racked up on its last spending spree. Never mind that the center already has 7 million square feet — more space than the Pentagon. Never mind that the center is currently running a multimillion-dollar deficit and sits empty for much of the year. The convention guys want more. Maybe more meeting space. Maybe better technology. Perhaps more dining choices, transit options or parking spaces. Whatever it is, they'll also want more tax dollars. It is the never-ending game of "Never enough." Convention centers everywhere play this game to some extent. In two decades of newspapering, I have yet to see a convention consultant conclude anything other than: Spend more. But in Central Florida, leaders have spent like extra-drunken sailors for a unique reason — because of a state law that mandates hotel taxes be spent on things that promote more tourism ... rather than on other things the community actually needs. We're talking about an annual pot of nearly $200 million that can't be spent on cops, roads or bus routes, for instance. Only on sports stadiums, tourism marketing campaigns and attractions ... and bigger, fancier convention centers. It is time for that to change.” (via Orlando Sentinel)


HEY, MAYBE IF WE HAVE A TRAGIC SHOOTING EVERY DAY? MAYBE THEN?: “Yesterday, a man and a woman shot two police officers in a Las Vegas restaurant after saying, “this is a revolution.” Then they draped their bodies in a Gadsden flag. According to reports now coming in, the couple (who later killed themselves) appear to have been white supremacists and told neighbors they had gone to join the protests in support of anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy. It was one more incident of right-wing terrorism that, while not exactly an epidemic, has become enough of a trend to raise some troubling questions. What I’m about to say will raise some hackles, but we need to talk about it. It’s long past time for prominent conservatives and Republicans to do some introspection and ask whether they’re contributing to outbreaks of right-wing violence. Before I go on, let me be clear about what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that Republican members of Congress bear direct responsibility for everything some disturbed person from the same side of the political spectrum as them might do. I’m not saying that they are explicitly encouraging violence. Nor am I saying that you can’t find examples of liberals using hyperbolic, irresponsible words. But what I am saying is this: there are some particular features of conservative political rhetoric today that help create an atmosphere in which violence and terrorism can germinate.” (via Washington Post)


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