06-24-2018  1:41 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Trump officials pledge to reunite families amid border chaos

Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after...

Trump tweets, hard-right voters hamper GOP immigration push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling...

Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser said in an interview published...

US Defense chief to visit China amid S. China Sea tensions

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

Libyan coast guard intercepts 450 migrants bound for Europe

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard intercepted Sunday some 460 African migrants, including dozens of children...

James Inhofe
Lee A. Daniels NNPA Columnist

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., left, talks with Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb. as they head to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Among the formal definitions for “acting the fool” are: one who is deficient in judgment, sense or understanding.

Perhaps the dictionaries should add a new one: today’s Republican Party

February was a great month for those who think the GOP has become a dustbin of ideological extremists with no commitment to actually getting things done in Washington, elected officials easily led into ethically questionable dealings, and office-holding crackpots with bizarre beliefs about some of the most important issues of the day.

For example, in the Congress the GOP leadership has been frantically trying to tamp down House conservatives’ threat to force a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security over President Obama’s executive order on immigration. At the 11th hour, they kicked the can down the road by providing only a week of additional funding.

On the crime front, Maureen McDonnell, Virginia’s former First Lady, drew a lenient sentence of a year and a day in prison for her participation in the tawdry petty corruption scheme that also led to the conviction last year of her husband, former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell. Once considered a prime contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, McDonnell himself had been sentenced in January to two years in prison.

For comic relief, there was the Idaho Republican state representative who, seemingly confused about the female anatomy, asked a doctor during a legislative hearing whether women could swallow small cameras to help doctors do remote gynecological exams. Even more hilarious was Nevada Republican legislator Michele Fiore expressing her belief that cancer is “a fungus” that can be cured by “flushing, let’s say, saltwater, sodium carbonate” through the body.

While that comment immediately raced around the Internet, too, many news media felt compelled to note, as the Washington Post did: “Cancer is not a fungus. It is the uncontrolled division of abnormal human cells within the body. Saltwater cannot cure cancer.”

Not to be outdone back in Washington, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, jumped aboard the party comedy train when he brought a snowball into the Senate chamber from the minuscule dusting of snow Washington got that day and said it proved there was no such thing as global warming.

But a lion’s share of media attention on the GOP for much of the month was, rightly, devoted to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s claiming that President Obama “doesn’t love America” because he “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Amid the immediate blowback, Giuliani then made the cable news show rounds the following days to double down that his comments couldn’t be called racist “since [Obama] was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.” The “this,” he implied, was Obama’s “socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

By February’s last week, however, Giuliani had penned an oily op-ed in the Wall Street Journal meekly stating he “didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart. My intended focus was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country and how that effect may damage his performance.”

Of course, the article was a sure sign that conservative movement chieftains had warned him of the damage he was doing to Republican efforts to get its 2016 presidential primary sweepstakes off to a good start and deal with its intra-party rebellion in Congress.

New York Daily News columnist Linda Stasi had the best succinct take on Giuliani’s actions in suggesting “Perhaps it’s megalomania-infused narcissism with an overlay of overt racism?”

She’s right that Giuliani was reflexively following the standard GOP script of the last seven years: When you want to grab public attention and the plaudits of the conservative base, say something vile about the president.

One of the most obvious insights that offers is that because racism is impervious to logic, the achievements of individuals and even a large cohort of those the bigots hate doesn’t just expand the space for tolerance in the larger society. It also actually intensifies the fury of those who need to cling to their bigotry. As an old friend once put it: the bigots say they hate you because you’re inferior. But when you prove you’re more than equal, they hate you even more.

That’s why, during the Obama presidency, acting the fool has become the Republican Party’s chief operating principle.

 

Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His essay, “Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Great Provocateur,” appears in Africa’s Peacemakers: Nobel Peace Laureates of African Descent (2014), published by Zed Books. His new collection of columns, Race Forward: Facing America’s Racial Divide in 2014, is available at www.amazon.com

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