Trump assures supporters he won’t correct them

A big, pink, under-grilled slab of meat eats a pork chop at the fairgrounds.

A big, pink, under-grilled slab of meat eats a pork chop at the fairgrounds.

Donald Trump was in Iowa this weekend, enriching the soil of my ancestral homeland with speeches at Urbandale High School and the state fairgrounds. His remarks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum included a reference to a kerfuffle last Thursday, when one of his supporters declared President Obama a Muslim not born in America and Trump did not correct him. It eerily resembled one of the most dignified moments of John McCain’s career, except for the dignity part. “Remember the famous day when John McCain just ripped that microphone out of the woman’s hands?” Trump told the Faith and Freedom Forum, arguing he handled the scenario much better. “Does anybody really think that’s harsh?” The crowd applauded. Grim assessment after the jump.

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Cruz warns homeschoolers that gays are waging “jihad” against Christians

"I believe that."

“I believe that.”

In case you’re wondering what kind of campaign Ted Cruz plans to run, last week he told the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators that homosexuals are waging “jihad” against Bible-believing Christians. Quote:

Look at the jihad that is being waged right now, in Indiana and Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. We need to bring people together to the religious liberty values that built this country.

For reference, the timeline of this war or struggle against unbelievers begins with Bible-believing Christians advancing “religious liberty” laws that would exempt them from laws prohibiting discrimination against gay people. The amount of doublethink necessary to cast objections to those laws as a jihad against Christians is kind of breathtaking. Video after the jump.

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Sarah Palin delivers incoherent speech at Iowa Freedom Summit

At some point on Saturday, the snake that operates Sarah Palin fell in love with a licorice whip and ran away, leaving her host body to deliver a half-hour nonsense speech at the Iowa Freedom summit. Lest you think I am indulging a liberal trope, I want to make it clear that this was not the usual folksy assault on syntax. It was bona fide word salad. I quote from the 26-minute mark:

Things like that: it must change. Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed. It’s too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads, or nothing will change. With the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo—another that word, status quo, and it stands for man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really getting taken for a ride. That’s status quo. And GOP leaders, by the way—you know, the man can only ride you when your back is bent.

That’s 23 seconds of a speech that lasted a half hour. I urge you to watch as much of the video as you can tolerate, if only for the reaction shots. That is as publicly surly as Iowans get.

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Three hypotheticals in which what Terry Branstad did could be uncool

Every 68 year-old man in Iowa, including Terry Branstad

Every 68 year-old man in Iowa, including Governor Terry Branstad

I applaud Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s decision to proclaim July 14, 2014 a day of prayer and repentance, solidifying Iowa as a Christian state and renewing God’s protection for another year. To his critics, who argue it is unseemly for the governor to instruct his citizens to pray according to the Bible, I say the governor has to do it or it doesn’t work. You didn’t grow up there, but I remember when the Lieutenant Governor declared a day of fasting and repentance in 1988, and 100,000 schoolchildren died of the flu. Don’t second-guess Iowa. They didn’t become the tall corn state by not managing the guy with the locusts.

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Friday links! Geniuses v. idiots edition


Here’s how the scale of human intelligence works: anyone dumber than me is an idiot. From your/you’re to minor driving mistakes to this guy, I can’t believe how stupid people are. Conversely, everyone even a little bit smarter than me must be some kind of genius. Can you imagine the sort of mind that knows something you don’t? Of course not. That’s the whole problem. Today is Friday, and the scope of ingenuity is less a spectrum than a binary. Won’t you fill in the ones and zeros with me?

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