Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Suppressing the Black Vote. And Bragging About It.
SECRET POD: Docu Drama 🔐
SONNY BUNCH: ‘A Man Called Otto’ Review and In Praise of the Dumb, Blunt Movie Name.
BGTH: Hooray for Hollywood! 🔐
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KIMBERLY WEHLE: Stuck With Santos.
The George Santos scandal is so absurd that the late-night hosts are struggling to mock it, the Saturday Night Live team is probably wishing it was back on the air already, and somewhere, a Netflix executive is looking for a screenwriter who can do the story justice. The freshman Republican House member unabashedly admits that he lied to voters and his own party about where he went to school (not Baruch College), where he worked (not Goldman Sachs), his ownership of a number of rental properties (not thirteen), being robbed of his rent money in Queens (not according to NYPD), being Jewish (his “Jew-ish” claim is not a thing), his clean criminal status in Brazil (pelo contrário, say Brazilian authorities), his athletic accomplishments (not a star volleyball player), and the timing of his mother’s death (not on 9/11).
Although party officials in New York’s Nassau County, as well as six newly elected House members from that state, have called for Santos to resign, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy doesn’t plan on helping Santos out the door. “The voters of his district have elected him. He is seated. He is part of the Republican Conference,” McCarthy said yesterday.
SAM B. GIRGUS: How American Jews Helped Shape the American Idea.
Since the founding of the United States, American Jews have developed an influential movement that I call the “New Covenant”: a responsibility for working to renew the American story as part of a continuous project to deepen and expand democracy for ever-growing numbers of people from everywhere. As in the Hebrew song L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation, these Jews committed to propagating an American narrative that expresses the ideals and values of a vital liberal democracy. From early writers of the immigrant experience to current political leaders and advocates in the battle against authoritarianism, Jews in the New Covenant have persisted in proclaiming the ethical and moral basis of the American story. With the fervor of modern American Jeremiahs, they have instituted a rhetoric of liberal democracy that compels defending, maintaining, and advancing the very ethical and moral demands of the narrative itself. Today in the New Covenant movement, writers, artists, public intellectuals, civic leaders, political figures, film and media personalities, and ordinary citizens take up the challenge of articulating the spirit and meaning of American democracy in the face of illiberal forces at home and abroad.
Former RNC Chair Michael Steele had a front-row seat for the start of the ugly transformation at CPAC. Racist rhetoric has now been normalized, and they’re not even pretending anymore. Steele joins Charlie Sykes for the weekend pod.
Arc Digital’s Nick Grossman joins the group to discuss Biden’s classified documents mess, the GOP majority’s foreign policy confusion, free speech on campuses (and in Florida) — and more.
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ADDISON DEL MASTRO: The Economic Secret Hidden in a Tiny, Discontinued Pasta.
Recently, pasta maker Ronzoni announced that they will be discontinuing their iconic pastina—a tiny star-shaped macaroni, and the smallest-sized pasta in their lineup. Pastina is made by other companies, notably Barilla, but based on the public reaction to the news, Ronzoni’s appears particularly beloved. Its shape is also unique; it has slightly rounded edges, resembling a miniature flower.
The announcement spawned a raft of articles, including many noting the particular loss felt by Italian Americans. (Not me—Barilla beats Ronzoni by a country mile traveled on a Roman road.) Many of the articles emphasized pastina’s status as a classic comfort or sick food. “Italian penicillin,” some call it. It’s true: When I was sick as a kid, my mother made it for me. When my wife was sick once, I went out and found some. (It isn’t as common down in Maryland and Virginia as it is where I grew up in New Jersey.)
Happy Friday the 13th! Growing up with a black cat named Midnight (whom we kept inside on such days), I don’t really believe in bad luck but some people do! Though, a week into the job, Kevin McCarthy faces his first challenge: the debt ceiling, which we’re going to run into next week. Will he outlast a head of lettuce?
A new corporate strategy… The sincere apology. Indeed: “The robots have already mastered the language of crisis PR.”
You can take the girl out of Boston… But not the opposite.
NFL censorship… Phoenix gave them the power to censor ads for the Super Bowl and now people are (rightly) suing.
Sign me up! Mel Brooks is back with the History of the World… Part Two!
In regional news… The Virginia school where a 6 year old shot his teacher got a tip that the kid had a gun before it happened.
Cracking down… On secret Chinese police outposts on foreign soil.
"[W]e see no evidence… that former Hamline University Adjunct Professor Erika López Prater acted with Islamophobic intent." Give her back her job.
The Devolder-Santos family tradition… Seems weirdly like his former opponent’s!
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