Broadly speaking, Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s troubled career on Capitol Hill has been defined by two serious problems. The first, of course, has been the Alabama Republican’s willingness to undermine his own country’s military by imposing a blockade on efficient confirmation of military nominees.
Once in a while, however, the far-right senator’s problems intersect. Bloomberg reported:
No, really, that’s what he said.
As part of the same interview, Tuberville said he opposed Air Force Gen. Charles Brown Jr.’s nomination to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because, as the senator put it, the general has “some woke policies.” Asked for an example, the Alabaman said he’d heard Brown say “some things” about “race and things that he wanted to mix into the military.”
This was in apparent reference to the general noting that only 2% of Air Force pilots are Black, and recommending that the Air Force explore ways to add more diversity to the ranks.
This, evidently, led the senator to reject Brown’s nomination, though he was confirmed anyway.
But it was Tuberville’s latest comments about the military that seemed hard to believe. The Republican not only said the United States military “is not an equal opportunity employer,” as part of the same interview, he added, “Don’t give me this stuff about equal opportunity, because that’s not what this military is about.”
It’s entirely possible that Tuberville has no idea what “equal opportunity” means — the coach-turned-politician is still rather new to public service and federal policymaking, and he’s been confused about the details of his own tactics — but Bloomberg’s report added:
It’s worth noting from time to time that Senate Republicans thought it’d be a good idea to let Tuberville serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee. It’s hardly outlandish to think members should have a new conversation about whether it’s time to revisit this committee assignment.
For his part, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina told Bloomberg Television that Tuberville is “the worst of the worst.”
He's a racist and he's an idiot. You think he'd hang his head in shame but he lacks the depth to feel shame. Caleb Ecarma (Vanity Fair) notes:
Senator Tommy Tuberville, it seems, is addicted to controversy. On Tuesday, about two months after he insisted that white nationalists were not inherently racist, the Alabama Republican attacked efforts by the US military to recruit and promote racial minorities within its ranks. “Let me tell you something,” Tuberville said on Bloomberg TV. “Our military is not an equal opportunity employer.”“We’re looking for the best of the best to do whatever. We’re not looking for different groups, social justice groups. We don’t want to single-handedly destroy our military from within,” he continued. “We all need to be one. It’s like a football team I coached. You can’t have different groups. Everybody’s got to be together to win. There’s no second place in war.”
A first-term senator and former college football coach, Tuberville has often courted backlash over racist remarks. In May, he defended white nationalist service members—a position he doubled down on before finally coming to the conclusion that “white nationalists are racists.” Meanwhile, Tuberville has claimed, without evidence, that teachers in urban school districts are lazy, greedy, and potentially incapable of reading or writing. “Most of them in the inner city, I don’t know how they got degrees, to be honest with you,” he said in May.
And then there’s his stonewalling: For the past several months, Tuberville, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has also single-handedly held up hundreds of military promotions in protest of a Biden administration policy that grants service members paid leave and reimbursement for out-of-state travel to receive abortion-related care. (The policy was put in place last year following the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.) On Tuesday, asked why he voted against confirming the nomination of Charles Q. Brown—an Air Force general set to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—Tuberville pointed to Brown’s “woke policies.”
“I heard some things that he talked about, about race and things that he wanted to mix into the military,” Tuberville said of Brown, who, as chief of staff of the Air Force, became the first Black man to lead a service branch of the military. “Listen, I want it to be on merit,” he added of the general’s push for more diversity among military pilots. “Don’t give me this stuff about equal opportunity, because that’s not what this military is about.”
In fact, the US military has been an equal opportunity institution since
it was desegregated in 1948 with the guarantee that it would enforce
“equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed
services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
President Joe Biden walked the picket line with the United Auto Workers outside Detroit, telling them to "stick with it," in a historic visit Tuesday 12 days into the union's strike against the nation's three largest automakers.
Biden, visiting a General Motor redistribution center, said workers deserve more of a share of the profits from Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis. It marked the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line of workers on strike in the middle of a labor dispute.
All those pretty lies, pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies?
Only pretty lies, just pretty lies"
A Holocaust denier is running for a school board election in Minnesota.
Vaughn Klingenberg, who is a candidate for Roseville Area Schools board, has made several comments discussing his beliefs that the Nazis did not want the Holocaust and that they were actually trying to "save" Jewish people.
In a July appearance on VT Radio's "Uncensored Alternative Foreign Policy Talk" podcast, Klingenberg described the Holocaust being orchestrated by "big Zionist Jews" to persecute "little Jews" and claimed that "the Jewish religion is an ideology based on victimization."
The Holocaust has been recognized as the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany and described by the National WWII Museum as the "deliberate, organized, state-sponsored persecution and machinelike murder of approximately six million European Jews and at least five million Soviet prisoners of war, Romany, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and other victims."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to ban school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of people from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.
Newsom called the measure “long overdue.”
“From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to whitewash history and ban books from schools,” Newsom said in a statement. “With this new law, we’re cementing California’s role as the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics -- have the freedom to decide what’s right for them.”
The bill takes effect immediately.
They don’t just air grievances. Their website offers free trainings for parents to help them testify to school boards—or even get elected to them. They advocate for bathroom bills and teacher restrictions and laws requiring school staff to out queer students to their parents. And of course, they’re pushing for book bans—though the organization’s executive director would have you believe these aren’t real bans, because you can still purchase the books in question “via booksellers or the Internet.”
Citizens Defending Freedom is even less subtle—their site boasts endorsements from disgraced former Trump adviser Mike Flynn and disgraced current MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. They successfully campaigned for the Texas State Board of Education to dissociate from the American Library Association (which they call a “woke organization”), and want other states to do the same. One chapter recently challenged over 100 books as “age-inappropriate” for Fort Worth’s school libraries, including The Handmaid’s Tale—even though banning The Handmaid’s Tale sounds like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Then there’s Moms for Liberty. When it launched in 2021, the organization was originally focused on fighting against Covid-19 protections—like mask and vaccine mandates—in schools. Now they spend their time electing school board members who share their concerns, and flooding board meetings with parents who are outraged that their kids are reading books about interracial relationships, hurricanes, and male seahorses carrying eggs.
When Moms for Liberty gets a book banned, not only does it deprive one district of that specific text; it can set a dangerous standard. Earlier this year, the group successfully banned a graphic-novel version of The Diary of Anne Frank from a Florida high school—which included passages about puberty that other adaptations omitted. Flash-forward to last week in Texas: a teacher was fired for assigning the same book to her eighth grade reading class.
Never mind that those eighth graders are the same age Frank was when she wrote her diary, experiencing puberty themselves and asking similar questions about their bodies—including, as Frank wrote, curiosities about “the little hole underneath.” Parents are supposed to pretend that exposure to that level of graphic detail will permanently warp the minds of their 14-year-olds.
Meanwhile, in February, a South Carolina high school teacher assigned her AP English students Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. Two students objected to the book’s discussion of Blackness in America, and reported their teacher to a school board member who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty. Because a state proviso explicitly prohibits lessons that make students “feel discomfort” about their race, the curriculum was immediately abandoned, and the books taken away.