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John Ashcroft was among the worst U.S. attorneys general ever—and was succeeded by another one of those in Alberto Gonzales—and the only one who lost an election to a dead man before his appointment to head the justice department. He is also proof in the negative that there is no god, as he has failed to get struck down by lightning or drowned in his own personal Flood.
And as if that were not enough, he left the justice department and got rich.
And as if that were not enough, he is indirectly responsible for Obama’s appointment of preening, self-righteous, duplicitous and authoritarian asshole James Comey (I told you so; you know who you are) to head the FBI.
And if that were not enough, rather than god—some god, any god, step right up—having salted that particular patch of the earth, he spawned a son as oppressive, mean-spirited, repressed and ignorant as himself.
Which brings us to Jay Ashcroft, current Missouri secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate. Son Ashcroft just got a judicial smackdown for using the most anti-abortion language this side of the Westboro Baptist church to summarize a referendum aimed at restoring abortion rights in the state.
“The Court saw Ashcroft’s proposed summary statements for what they were — the language of a biased politician seeking the support of special interest groups,” said Anthony Rothert, director of integrated advocacy at the ACLU of Missouri, in a press release. “The new summaries go a long way toward fairly describing the right to make reproductive health care decisions without government interference. Missourians believe in limited government and should have the chance to vote for reproductive rights.”
It’s a pleasure to see the “limited government” trope thrown back in a bastard’s face.1 Let’s hope Missourans vote to release Missouri women from their status as chattel, and to keep this motherfucker out of the governor’s suite, ‘cause if he wins he’ll be running for president in a few years.
On the subject of right-wing assholes, Washington Post columnists and cable TV fuckwits Hugh Hewitt and Megan McCardle allow as how Fox News and other cable properties played no role in promoting Trump’s attempted coup or indeed, in any of his bullshit ever, with McCardle and Hewitt telling Post press critic Eric Wemple that they individually and the cable networks employing them as pundits are simply “background noise.”
Noise, yes; background, not so much.2
On the subject of right-wing assholes, in this instance a genocidal Nazi one, Canada’s parliament speaker has resigned after celebrating the Nazi in question as a freedom fighter for Ukraine, a sentiment with which Ukraine’s current head of state and Canadian PM appeared to agree in the moment, although evidently from a state of bliss.3
Ukraine still has a Nazi problem, politically and militarily.4
And speaking of Nazis or the local equivalent, demented Arizona congressman Paul Gosar is using his government-funded congressional website to launch a deeply homophobic and homicidal attack on retiring joint chiefs honcho Mark Milley, a Trump appointee lionized by yr liberal media for boldly refusing to launch World War III (or WWII, as Trump would have it5).6
On the subject of fabulously rich right-wing assholes, Elon Musk’s social media company is the only one operating in Europe which has yet to engage with the new EU rules on hosting mis- and disinformation.
The EU has issued a warning to Elon Musk to comply with sweeping new laws on fake news and Russian propaganda, after X – formerly known as Twitter – was found to have the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all large social media platforms.
The EU is not shy about imposing significant fines for breaches of law committed by social media and other tech companies. Yr editor isn’t wild about the sorts of laws at issue here, but. 7
On the disinformation front, the GOP debates are running online exclusively on video purveyor Rumble, the first choice of knuckleheads, Nazis, fascists, Q-Anon adherents (an inclusive category), and anti-vaxxers such as the extant Robert Kennedy and ilk.
The Associated Press notes that while pretty much anything goes on Rumble, other social media companies have relaxed their standards on the conveyance of horrible shit.
[Rumble’s] response pointed out that even YouTube has announced it will no longer take action against claims of fraud in the 2020 election. However, YouTube, unlike Rumble, has said it will continue to remove content that tries to deceive voters in the 2024 elections.
Meta, which runs Facebook and Instagram, also has quietly rolled back some of its safeguards against election misinformation in recent years.
What’s a little fascism among friends? Yr editor is not a fan of the institutional press’s record on enabling authoritarian and anti-labor propaganda, but they’ve only dipped a toe into the kind of bullshit Rumble was built for.8
And that, Comrades, is all I got. Please share it around if you like it, and consider subscribing if you’ve not—it’s free unless you want to pay.
Take care, be well.