The information-rich environment.

Earlier this year, when the GOP gubernatorial field was taking shape here in Michigan, four or five of them met for an event at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the thing up north where the legislature and the big swingin’ dicks of the business and nonprofit world meet to drink and jaw and plan the future.

(I attended once. Those plans? They never work out.)

Anyway, one of them, Kevin Rinke, who inherited his family’s vast auto-dealership empire, responded to an abortion question by claiming that “some states” were considering bills that would “legalize abortion up to 28 days after birth. Twenty-eight days!”

Later in the summer-long campaign, Rinke would emerge as the “reasonable one” on abortion, advocating for rape and incest exceptions. No one else did. Shows you where we are right now.

Of course, that is bullshit. But I was interested in where a seemingly sane, functional adult might have gotten that idea. Google a little, and you find it was all around the crazier corners of the right-wing internet. The AP explains, if that’s the right word, the confusion:

“To everyone saying it’s fake because it was posted on 4/1 just do some research. 99% of y’all don’t stay in Cali. It’s called The infanticide bill,” claimed a Facebook post sharing a screenshot of the headline on April 1 with over 11,000 reshares.

But the posts misrepresent the purpose of the bill and its potential impact. The bill eliminates a requirement that a coroner must investigate deaths related to suspected self-induced or criminal abortion. Coroner statements on certificates for a fetal death could not be used to pursue a criminal case against the mother.

The aim of the bill, introduced Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat representing the East Bay, is to protect women who end a pregnancy or have a miscarriage from being investigated, persecuted or incarcerated. Erin Ivie, a spokesperson for Wicks told The Associated Press in an email. “The bill is specific to pregnancy and pregnancy-related outcomes, and does not decriminalize the ‘murder of babies’ in the weeks after birth,” Ivie said.

So what that tells me is…well, there are several conclusions I can think of. One, that Rinke gets his news from the Gateway Pundit, et al. Two, that whoever prepped Rinke for the debate gets their news from those places. Or, far more likely, both the candidate and his aides know it’s bullshit, but figure hey, red meat for the base, who gives a shit.

Rinke didn’t get the nomination. This woman did:

The Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan invoked a conspiracy that the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a decades-long plan by the Democratic Party to “topple” the United States as retaliation for losing the US Civil War, adding that the party wanted to enslave people “again.”

Tudor Dixon, a former TV news anchor, made the remarks on the far-right streaming news network Real America’s Voice, which hosts former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s show, in late June 2020.

In a six-minute monologue at the beginning of the show, Dixon said that after the “attempted creation of the Black House Autonomous Zone outside of the White House,” referring to a cordoned off area near the White House erected by activists, that Democrats were using this moment to “topple” the US.

“The country today is divided, and this was the plan. It’s been in the works for years. The idea that you can topple the greatest country in the world. But to topple a country like the United States of America, you must be planning this for decades,” said Dixon. “Why wouldn’t that come from the party that lost the Civil War? The party that wanted to own people because they viewed them as less than human? Do you think that the Democrats are over losing to the north?”

Most polls have shown the incumbent governor with a Secretariat-size lead, but the race is tightening, as they usually do as the election draws closer. When the gap was 17 points, many Republicans grumbled that they missed their chance when they failed to nominate Rinke. He could have faced Gretchen Whitmer and backed her down, they say, because He Is A Business Success. (JFC, am I tired of that argument. The last business success we had as governor bean-counted an entire city into lead poisoning.) Dixon claims to be a business success too, if you count working for her daddy’s steel firm (which failed) and being a commentator on a right-wing network so obscure I have to look it up, every time. She was also an actor in some B vampire pictures and…I forget. Also, a mom. (She says it that way, in italics.) I call her Brunette Ivanka for a reason.

So that was our choice in 2022, or at least, Republicans’ choice. Don’t get me started on the AG and SOS candidates, who make Tudor Dixon look like Winston Churchill.

Ah, well. My vote is cast. Let’s change the subject. I was going to talk about Kanye West, but realized I don’t care. Seldom has a celebrity interested me less. So I’ll just recommend this interesting essay on “The Raft of the Medusa,” art and politics, in New York magazine.

Here’s a Van Gogh from the DIA show, from an angle, and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Posted at 3:40 pm in Current events |

18 responses to “The information-rich environment.”

  1. Charlie said on October 29, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Saltz article. Great Saturday afternoon read.

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  2. LAMary said on October 29, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    Kari Lake, Arizona’s version of Tudor Dixon, says that the Democrats planned and staged the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

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  3. FDChief said on October 29, 2022 at 6:06 pm


    Here’s the thing.

    The U.S. right has largely been captured by ideological nutbars. QANuts, anti-vaxxers, gunhumpers, OathKeeperProundBoyThreepers. Trump-fellators. Lunatics whose purpose is to undo the 20th Century.

    The problems are that 1) the mainstream news won’t even hint at that, and 2) even if they did…what can sane people do about that?

    Ever tried to “debate” a conspiracy theorist or garden-variety nutter? It’s impossible. They’re not going to concede, and if you “beat” them they’ll just lose their shit and start biting.

    You can’t run a republic like that. Period.

    What DO we do?

    I don’t know. Or, rather, I do…but it presents the issue of what you do with the corpses.

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  4. Jeff Gill said on October 29, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    [Humming to myself…”Starry starry night”]

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  5. Dexter Friend said on October 30, 2022 at 1:38 am

    In 2004 the Democrats abandoned John Kerry’s campaign in Ohio, a state he led all summer, and didn’t challenge Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s disgraceful shutting down voting machines early in Cleveland, effectively closing the polls early and turning away all those working class people who had Kerry for their choice. Yeah, W won the nation.
    2022 rolls around and a critical race between carpetbagger JD Vance and Tim Ryan is coming to a climax. Trump is coming. Many others are coming to boost up Vance. Earlier, President Biden came to Lordstown but that was to promote EVs. Saturday saw Obama hopscotching around the Midwest but missing Ohio. Biden isn’t coming, Harris neither. Nobody is coming to rally for Ryan. The Republicans have unleashed a huge money dump into Ohio to virtually ensure a Vance victory. The Democrats seemingly have given up, just like they did with the presidential race 18 years ago. It is sickening.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on October 30, 2022 at 2:08 am

    This caught my eye. I used to drink Altes by the case. I won’t be starting over, but maybe you that love a great lager might give it a go.

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  7. ROGirl said on October 30, 2022 at 5:00 am

    Great art history lesson from Jerry Saltz.

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  8. Alan Stamm said on October 30, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Truth is stranger, and sadder, than hyperbole.

    the AG and SOS candidates … make Tudor Dixon look like Winston Churchill.

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  9. Mark P said on October 30, 2022 at 9:23 am

    People thought ‘Idiocracy’ was a comedy when it came out in 2006. Turns out it was a documentary transported back in time from today.

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  10. Mark P said on October 30, 2022 at 9:56 am

    I just saw a TV ad from Citizens for Sanity (sic) warning that supporting Ukraine will lead to World War III. So, Biden > Abrams/Warnock > the apocalypse. At first I thought it was just a Russian troll operation, but then I learned that the organization is the bastard offspring of Stephen Miller and a prion. Just about half of the people in this country are truly f’ing insane.

    Oh, well. Whom the gods would destroy …

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  11. LAMary said on October 30, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Those citizens for sanity ads have been running during all the postseason MLB games. The one mentioned here is the third version I’ve seen. The first two were equally crazy.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on October 30, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    As a former Ohioan –gone since March 1985– I’ve watched in horror as the state turned redder and redder, meaner and meaner, dumber and dumber. It’s almost a “red state” by now, not the “swing state” it used to be. That said, everything I’ve read about Tim Ryan suggests he’s running a great campaign that could serve as a template for many other Dems in divided states, so it’s plain stupid to kiss the entire state off.

    The disaster of 2016 can be traced to something like 80,000 ballots spread primarily between Wisconsin and Pennsylvania which threw them to the orange cancer. Dems should be contesting every election. Christ, Kansas –Kansas!!!– voted overwhelmingly to keep abortion legal. If Democrats ever learned how to campaign, how to frame issues and how to tout their accomplishments, who knows how well they might do? Instead, the party’s ineptitude keeps delivering us Jockstrap Gym Jordan, Christian nationalist and anti-semite Marjorie Taylor Green, drooling ignoramuses like Tommy Tuberville, the college football coach who couldn’t name the three branches of government but now sits in the fucking Senate. These people and others like them are killing our country.

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  13. annie said on October 30, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    I hate to sound like a disgusting GOP conspiracy theorist, but you would think that the Pelosi home would have some kind of security? How could a lunatic from off the street just walk into the house?

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  14. Brandon said on October 30, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    I was going to talk about Kanye West, but realized I don’t care. Seldom has a celebrity interested me less.

    The Guardian: “Kanye West: No American Icon Has Ever Self-Destructed So Spectacularly.”

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  15. Mark P said on October 30, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    I have seen some conservatives ask why Pelosi did not hire some minimum-wage armed guards. Of course legitimate armed guards are not minimum wage, and you would probably need something like 25 individuals for 24/7 coverage. I have seen estimates of up to $1 million a year for that. Given the state of politics today, I think maybe the federal government should provide protection, at least for Democrats.

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  16. ROGirl said on October 31, 2022 at 4:46 am

    Too bad the Demon Cat didn’t show up on Jan. 6th.

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  17. Gretchen said on October 31, 2022 at 4:54 am

    Dexter: I’m sure Biden, Harris, and Obama would come to Ohio if Ryan thought it would help him. He’s been deliberately keeping Democrats at arm’s length and touting how he challenged Pelosi because, I’m guessing, putting his arms around Biden and Obama would hurt him with the former Trump voters he needs to win. Let’s trust him.

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  18. alex said on October 31, 2022 at 7:34 am

    The things that come back to bite Tudor Dixon… and what a bad taste it leaves…

    Meanwhile, in Indiana, the GOP SOS candidate may be getting the kind of press he deserves but it won’t stop a win that he doesn’t:

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