Trump Steamrolls Ron 'Tiny D' DeSantis at CPAC - The Monday AM Quickie 3/6/23

Every time I think I can wait to do the dishes, they multiply in the sink and threaten to take over the entire kitchen. How come Big Tech hasn't solved this problem yet, if they're all so smart? - Corey

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Big CPAC 2023 Takeaway: We Need to Protect Trans People

In addition to being marred by scandal, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference was a dud, as was obvious to anyone who saw the photos of row after row of empty chairs, for speaker after speaker. As New York magazine put it, the former marquee event this year "felt like a mall after all but one of its big department stores has shut down — an emptier, jankier, lower-rent version of conferences past." Rolling Stone likened CPAC 2023 to a ghost town, and quoted a sponsor who sells gold to retirees calling it "low energy." Here are some lowlights:

  • Trump's 2024 Message: "I am Your Retribution." Donald Trump's keynote speech went on for nearly two hours. He said President Joe Biden has turned America "a lawless open-borders crime and filthy communist nightmare;" whined that criminal prosecutors like Jack Smith and Fani Willis "all hate me;" and asserted that before he came along, the Republican Party was run by "freaks" and "fools."
  • Trump won 62 percent in the conference's presidential straw poll. Guantanamo Bay torture enabler-turned-dictatorial Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis -- whose next nickname from Trump could reportedly be "Ron DisHonest," "Ron DeEstablishment" or "Tiny D" (???) -- got only 20 percent. No other candidate polled above 5 percent. Nikki Haley got heckled after her speech with chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" and retreated into an elevator.
  • A Daily Wire host threatened to sue anyone who takes his words seriously. The extremely creepy Michael Knowles said at CPAC that "transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely," which many trans people and their allies rightly took as a genocidal threat -- and not the only one made at the conference. However, after Knowles threatened to sue for libel, Rolling Stone and the Daily Beast changed the headlines on their stories about his hateful rhetoric – but HuffPost held the line.
  • Former Brazilian fascist leader Jair Bolsonaro got multiple standing ovations. One came when he said, through an interpreter: "I did not force anyone to get vaccinated in Brazil. "They keep saying 'science, science, science.' But what I say is 'freedom, freedom, freedom.'" He later told NBC News he intends to return to Brazil this month and blamed the Jan. 8 coup attempt against President Lula da Silva on "bad actors from the left," sounding exactly like Republicans who blamed the Capitol insurrection on "ANTIFA."

It can be useful to see these monsters comparing notes, but overall the world would be a better place if CPAC just gave up the ghost.

Biden Commemorates Bloody Sunday in Selma

Prior to President Joe Biden's visit to Alabama yesterday, which he treated as a more or less a standard stump speech, a coalition of civil rights civil rights groups wrote to "express their frustration with the lack of progress on voting rights legislation" and to urge "politicians visiting Selma not to sully the memories of the late civil rights activists John Lewis, Hosea Williams and others with empty platitudes." Ah well. As the Associated Press reports, the city is still digging out from a destructive tornado in January that "laid bare issues of poverty that have persisted in Selma for decades." Getting voting rights legislation through Congress is not the only area where the Biden administration has come up short. As the Washington Post reports, a Supreme Court ruling against his student loan relief plan would be another blow to "Biden's racial equity push, an effort marked so far by modest successes and major setbacks."

Ukraine War Update: Both Sides Exhausted in Bakhmut

After months of grueling fighting, Ukrainian forces may or may not be preparing to withdraw from the eastern city of Bakhmut, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called "the fortress of our morale." As the Washington Post reports, there is not much city left. Russian forces, led by Wagner mercenaries, have slowly gained ground by sending tens of thousands of untrained and ill-equipped prison conscripts on what the Wall Street Journal calls "clearly suicidal missions" – although that the viability of that strategy may also be nearing its end. In related news, NBC News reports that Ukrainian pilots are currently in Tucson, Arizona to train on fighter jet flight simulators, which could be a sign that the U.S. plans to supply F-16s to Ukraine in the months ahead.


  • Yet Another Norfolk Southern Train Derails in Ohio The company claims there were no hazardous materials aboard the 20 cars that derailed near Springfield on Saturday, but local officials ordered people nearby to shelter in place. via the Columbus Dispatch.
  • Pakistani Police Serve Arrest Warrants on Imran Khan The former prime minister had failed to appear in court to answer charges that he abused his office by selling gifts from foreign dignitaries. via the Guardian.
  • Nevada Democrats Oust Socialist State Party Chair Judith Whitmer, who is being replaced by Daniele Munroe-Moreno, "lost the support of some of her progressive allies, including in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' camp and with local democratic socialists." via NBC News.
  • Environmental Groups Hail New UN High Seas Treaty More than 190 countries agreed on Saturday to a legal framework that will allow protected areas to be created in international waters. via the Washington Post.



That's how many Indigenous people's remains are stored at UC Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the most of any U.S. institution governed by the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The university admitted in response to a ProPublica and NBC News investigation that it had "mishandled its repatriation responsibilities" under the law.


3/6: Sam and Emma host author Steve Paxton to discuss his recent book How Capitalism Ends: History, Ideology and Progress.


Biden Changes Mind on 'Home Rule'

As the Washington, D.C. license plates say: No taxation without representation!

Israel's Dangerous Right-Wing Government Chooses Chaos

This year is really not off to a good start in the West Bank.


"I thought, 'Wow, the government is trying to kill us now.'' They are going to starve us out."

-- 63-year-old Kentucky resident Danny Blair, "who survives on his Social Security disability check and lives in a mobile home with his wife after their house burned down," speaking to the Washington Post about the state's budget cuts that reduced his monthly food stamps benefit from $200 to $30. Congress let a pandemic boost to food stamps expire nationwide this month.

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