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Ice Cream Chain Accused of Racism Apologizes for Blackface Joke

Ice Cream Chain Accused of Racism Apologizes for Blackface Joke


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A small Australia-based gelato chain has been accused of racism after posting a blackface joke about charcoal ice cream

Charcoal ice cream may be delicious, but this joke was in poor taste.

These days, you can’t go a day without hearing about some trendy ice cream shop doling out scoops of goth ice cream blackened by activated charcoal. But while anti-unicorn ice cream may be trending, casual jokes about blackface never are.

N2 Extreme Gelato — a small ice cream chain based in Australia — got in trouble this week for publishing a social media post featuring a photo of someone’s arm covered in charcoal dust with the caption: “Is it still considered blackface if it's just on your hand? Anyway it’s just spilt carbon so calm yo t--- with our HONEY CHARCOAL VANILLA gelato!”

The crude joke immediately caused backlash on Instagram and Twitter, with users calling out the racist undertones of the caption, describing it as “gross” and “heinous” and threatening to boycott.

The ice cream chain has since apologized for the controversial Instagram post in a public apology on Facebook.

“We deeply apologize for the careless and insensitive caption that was posted before this,” the N2 Extreme Gelato post reads. “We have taken disciplinary action against the staff in question and the staff has been suspended as well as will no longer be any social media communications role. Deepest apologies that this was posted so thoughtlessly. We will ensure tight social media scrutiny controls are put in place.”


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


Bull Session: Pete Davidson Isn’t Sorry About Dan Crenshaw After All

Plus, the return of Robert Morrow, Bloomberg hires the “homeless Wi-Fi” guy, and Ronny Jackson reveals the secret to Trump’s excellent health.

Every Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.

Lincoln had Douglas. Kennedy had Nixon. Ann Richards had Clayton Williams. Every truly exceptional politician has had a foil, someone voters could contrast them with, their appeal sharpened against the whetstone of its opposite. And while Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw has attempted to position himself as nemesis to Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other high-profile Dems, there&rsquos really only one person who can lay claim to having honed Crenshaw&rsquos career: Pete Davidson.

As Crenshaw himself has acknowledged , Davidson&rsquos blithe joking about Crenshaw&rsquos eyepatch during a Saturday Night Live segment before the midterms &ldquoprobably helped&rdquo him win his seat in 2018&mdashalong with giving him free national exposure after the bit went viral. Crenshaw&rsquos subsequent appearance on the show, where he accepted Davidson&rsquos apology (and landed a few jabs of his own), boosted the soon-to-be-freshman congressman&rsquos national profile overnight, landing him a steady stream of TV gigs since. It&rsquos little wonder that, two years after they buried the hatchet, Crenshaw still wants to remind voters that he is the only candidate to have reached across the aisle to that dopey stoner kid on the comedy show. And now, just in time for Crenshaw&rsquos reelection bid, that rivalry may be reignited.

In Davidson&rsquos just-released Netflix special, Alive From New York , the comedian jokes about how he was &ldquoforced to apologize&rdquo to Crenshaw after receiving death threats, all but rescinding that apology while downplaying the idea that it might have helped Crenshaw out. &ldquoT he only thing I don&rsquot like is people are, like, &lsquoIt&rsquos your fault that guy won,&rsquo and that&rsquos not true,&rdquo Davidson jokes. &ldquoI think, like, most of the votes were in, and that guy is a Republican with an eyepatch in Texas. So it was a lock before it even started &hellip In Texas, I&rsquom pretty sure they only have pictures, that&rsquos how they vote.&rdquo (An unfair dig we also have NRA endorsements.)

&ldquoThe only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason,&rdquo Davidson adds.

Crenshaw has yet to comment on Davidson&rsquos reversal, even as the bit&rsquos begun making the national news rounds&mdashalthough to be fair, it must be difficult to craft an appropriately statesmanlike rejoinder to a Pete Davidson stand-up set. You gotta save those big, platform issues for the campaign trail.

The Miseducation of Robert Morrow

If politicians are defined by their opponents, then Robert Morrow stands out as the clear alternative to a pleasant afternoon. The mercurial former chairman of the Travis County GOP has been a familiar presence on the fringes of local politics, open-mic Q&As, and journalists&rsquo Twitter mentions for several years now, although it&rsquos been a while since he held an actual government role. That could all change, however, now that Morrow is on the ballot for the Texas State Board of Education.

Latest From Politics & Policy

Don Huffines Plotted Governor Run as the &ldquoTrump Guy.&rdquo Then Trump Endorsed Greg Abbott.

Texas Lawmakers Had Two Crises to Address. They Ignored Them in Favor of Sideshows.

Inside the Texas Democratic Walkout That Derailed Senate Bill 7

Inside the Greater Houston Partnership&rsquos Tense Fight Over Voting Rights

As the LBJ Library Turns 50, the Man Who Planned Its Dedication Recalls a Few Surprises

How Texas&rsquos New Abortion Restrictions Passed After Years of Being Considered a Third Rail

As the Texas Tribune reported this week, Morrow is running for one of eight vacant seats on the board tasked with deciding the curriculum for millions of students, challenging two other Republicans in District 5. Morrow says he wants to cut public education spending, while blocking state vouchers for private education and opposing privately managed charter schools. Still, it&rsquos not all about the kids. He tells the Tribune that one of his main objectives will be ensuring that his fervent belief that &ldquoLyndon Johnson murdered John F. Kennedy&rdquo (a theory he&rsquos shared repeatedly with anyone who&rsquos been dumb enough to write about the Kennedy assassination ) is listed as fact in every state-approved textbook. He is also running primarily &ldquo to impeach, convict, and remove Donald Trump, and throw his sorry ass in prison&rdquo&mdashan issue on which the Texas State Board of Education has remained largely neutral.

Morrow&rsquos anti-Trump agenda, which hinges on his oft-expressed conviction that the president is a &ldquochild rapist,&rdquo has long been one of his political passions, rivaled only by his virulent hatred of the Clintons, his tendency toward racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and just plain vulgar language, his love of wearing a jester&rsquos hat, and his oft-professed love of women&rsquos breasts . But will it be enough to sway voters? Currently no one&mdashnot even Morrow&mdashbelieves he has more than the slimmest chance at winning. Any votes he gets will, as in the Travis County GOP race he won, likely come down to the ill-informed just picking a name at random, possibly because they think it&rsquos the guy from Northern Exposure . &ldquoAnybody worried about me being in the SBOE, well it&rsquos less than 1 out of 1,000,&rdquo Morrow tells the Tribune , and even that sounds optimistic. Still, his campaign is briefly forcing everyone to pay attention to Robert Morrow, which has always been his platform.

Bloomberg Hires SXSW&rsquos &ldquoHomeless Hot Spots&rdquo Innovator

If only there were a similar sense of purpose to Michael Bloomberg&rsquos presidential bid, which more and more seems like some sort of Brewster&rsquos Millions -esque ruse to burn as much cash as fast as possible while wasting everyone&rsquos time. Bloomberg, with the money he&rsquos spent on Facebook ads alone, probably could have bought his own chain of islands and declared himself president of those . But instead he continues to limp along in the polls both here and nationwide, despite earning the coveted political endorsements of, uh, Tim Duncan . Still, he&rsquos soldiering on, determined to share his political message that Michael Bloomberg is disgustingly, almost nauseatingly rich.

To that end, he recently hired a guy who&rsquos well known for turning a little bit of innovation and a whole lot of unchecked hubris into full-blown dystopian visions: Tim Nolan, who transformed homeless people into Wi-Fi hot spots during SXSW 2012 by strapping them with routers, and who is currently a &ldquocreative lead&rdquo on Bloomberg&rsquos campaign . The Austin-based marketing stunt sparked an outpouring of horrified reactions from journalists who found it soulless and insulting, even by &ldquoSXSW activation&rdquo standards&mdashor, as Nolan put it on his website, it earned him &ldquo500 million media impressions.&rdquo It&rsquos a philosophy of &ldquothere&rsquos no such thing as bad publicity&rdquo that, frankly, may as well be Bloomberg&rsquos campaign slogan.

Public opinion toward the stunt has since softened slightly, abetted by reports that those homeless participants&mdashwho were at least paid for their services&mdashsaid they didn&rsquot feel exploited , and ameliorated by the slow degradation of the ability to feel things over these past eight years. Still, suffice it to say it&rsquos a rather dubious association for Bloomberg, whose treatment of the homeless while he was New York&rsquos mayor was spotty, to put it charitably. If Bloomberg really wanted to poach crass marketing ideas from SXSW, couldn&rsquot he have just campaigned inside that giant Doritos machine?

Dr. Ronny Jackson: The Hidden Cauliflower in the Political Mashed Potatoes

In times such as these, when we cannot trust that our politicians have interests beyond their own, at least there are still true public servants like Dr. Ronny Jackson. Sure, the former White House physician, who&rsquos currently running for Congress in Texas&rsquos thirteenth district, has been accused of making some questionable choices in the past. There were those allegations of him bullying his staff , doling out meds to political influencers, and drinking on the job&mdashclaims he calls &ldquocomplete garbage&rdquo&mdashthat forced the White House to withdraw Jackson from consideration for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There was also the time that Jackson once proclaimed Donald Trump to be in &ldquoexcellent&rdquo mental and physical health, stopping just short of commenting on his enviably lustrous hair.

But while these hint that Jackson may have taken oaths beyond the Hippocratic, a recent New York Times article chronicling Jackson&rsquos at-times tragicomic congressional campaign reveals some of the lengths he went to in service of his country. For instance, he says, he also spent time making Trump&rsquos ice cream &ldquoless accessible&rdquo and &ldquoputting cauliflower into mashed potatoes,&rdquo like one would for a chubby and obstinate child. It&rsquos an act of deception, yes, but one undertaken for the greater good, ensuring that a man incapable of making smart decisions about his own health could live on to make them for everybody else. Unfortunately, that ruse doesn&rsquot seem to have endeared him to Trump: the president and his consorts have so far declined to endorse Jackson&rsquos campaign or intervene in any way. If only Jackson&rsquos opponent were a plate of vegetables that would at least give Trump something to vote against.


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