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Lindsey Graham: ‘God Bless’ Sinema and Manchin for Standing in Way of Voting Rights

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On the day President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Georgia advocating for amend Senate filibuster rules in order to pass voting rights legislation, Republicans argued against ensuring every American is able to participate in free and fair elections, preferring to keep laws that suppress the vote on the books.

“When it comes to protecting majority rule in America, a majority should rule in the United States Senate,” Biden said in a speech delivered in Atlanta on Tuesday. “To protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights.”

The GOP was ready to object. Sen. Lindsay Graham called Biden’s arguments “manufactured B.S.” and praised Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) who have so far opposed ending the filibuster. “God bless Sinema, God bless Senator Manchin. I hope they hold. I believe they will,” Graham said during an interview with far-right outlet Newsmax. The senator then said that voting rights shouldn’t be an issue because states like South Carolina “make it easy to vote.”

“We had the largest turnout in the history of the state” in 2020, Graham said.

Lindsey Graham: “God bless Sinema, God bless Senator Manchin. I hope they hold. I believe they will.” pic.twitter.com/NUh8r0QzkK

— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) January 11, 2022

Graham and his fellow Republicans neglect two important facts in arguing that it was easy to vote in 2020.

First, it was not easy to vote in 2020. While some states made it easier to vote by mail due to the pandemic, other places, like Georgia districts with high numbers of voters of color, were plagued by long lines and extended waits. Some lines for early voting in the state required voters to wait six or more hours. Even in Graham’s home state, voters in the capital waited in line for hours to vote early on the Saturday before the election. Long lines also appeared at early voting in the South Carolina towns of Mount Pleasant and Moncks Corner, where voters had to wait several hours to cast their ballots.

The other issue is that 19 mostly GOP-controlled state legislatures have made significant changes to laws with the goal of suppressing the vote since the 2020 election took place, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

During Senate floor debate on Tuesday, other Republicans, including Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) spouted similar talking points, touting that 94 percent of American voters said that voting in 2020 was easy or somewhat easy, which they argued is proof the U.S. doesn’t need legislation to protect the vote.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) trolled Cornyn when he asked to borrow a poster Cornyn brought to the House floor proudly proclaiming the statistic. “My good colleague from Texas says 94 percent of voters said voting was easy in 2020. So why don’t we keep it that way? Isn’t it true that all of the changes that we are arguing about are post 2020?” Schumer said. “And isn’t it the overwhelming likelihood that this number, if these changes go into effect, will go way down?” he added. “So we agree! 2020 worked out OK. I guess we agree, The Big Lie is false.”

Schumer to Cornyn: Mind if I borrow your chart?

Schumer: My good colleague from Texas says 94% of voters said voting was easy in 2020. So why don’t we keep it that way? Isn’t it true that all of the changes that we are arguing about are post 2020? https://t.co/HLuVWkWBWS pic.twitter.com/Hi55n8LD1i

— Acyn (@Acyn) January 11, 2022

Republicans aren’t joking, however, when they bash Biden’s drive to amend the filibuster rules. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that if Democrats move to “break” the Senate, Republicans will make the Senate “more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory.”

Lindsey Graham’s favorite Democrat Joe Manchin, meanwhile, spent the day defending the filibuster. “The tradition of the Senate here in 232 years now,” he said, according to Chad Pergram of Fox News. “We need to be very cautious what we do. That’s what we’ve always had for 232 years. That’s what makes us different than any place else in the world.”

Adam Jentleson, a former Harry Reid staffer who wrote a book on the filibuster, pointed out that this is not true. “This is false,” he tweeted. “The filibuster as we know it did not exist in the early Senate. The Framers favored majority rule and created rules to allow senators to cut off debate when it became obstructionist. The Senate was majority-rule well into the latter half of the 20th century.”

Manchin told Scott MacFarlane of CBS earlier on Tuesday that he would “try” to watch Biden’s address.

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Happy 52nd Birthday DJ Quik!

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David Marvin Blake a.k.a. DJ Quik was born in Pomona, California and shortly after relocated to Compton, California. His love for music began at a very young age, and by age 12 he could already play a number of instruments. Quik jumpstarted his path to fame by selling mixtapes he made with the turntable he received while still in school. Through self-promotion, his fame began to rise and he started to DJ and host events in Southern California.

Whether due to knowledge of his coming success or lack of interest, Quik dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. Shortly after, he suffered homelessness when his family home was taken away in foreclosure. There’s little information about what happened over that period of DJ Quik’s life but in 1990, everything changed.

DJ Quik had created so much of a buzz on the streets selling tapes and making appearances at parties and events he gained the attention of local record labels Ruthless Records and Profile Records. Despite a one million dollar offer from Eazy E, Quik went ahead and signed with Profile.

On February 12, 1991, DJ Quik released his debut album, Quik Is the Name, which debuted at #29 on the Billboard 200 chart, where it would peak, and sold 50,000 copies in its first week. After about four years, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA and has to date sold 1,068,203 copies. The album hosted hit singles, “Born and Raised in Compton” and “Tonite.” After his debut success, Quik went on to produce eight more solo studio albums and a collaborative album with rapper Kurupt called Blaqkout in 2009.

Outside of music, DJ Quik has made appearances as an actor on popular TV shows: Method and Red, Entourage, and Everybody Hates Chris. His career is one of the more influential ones on the West Coast. Quik was an instrumental part of the G-Funk sound and helped it to gain popularity early in the rap world. Countless rappers, producers, and DJs alike have noted their influence by DJ Quik and if you ride around SoCal today, there’s no doubt you can hear one of his hits playing on someone’s stereo. If you don’t already listen on the daily, take some time today to appreciated the career of one of the West Coast’s OGs.

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2000s Emo and Pop-Punk Blowout When We Were Young: 5 Questions We Have

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On Tuesday afternoon, an emo festival designed to bait millennials around the world materialized of thin air. Headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore, When We Were Young is set to take place in Las Vegas on Oct. 22. The poster is full of band names you either haven’t thought about in years or have thought about every single day since you hit puberty: AFI, the Used, 3OH!3, Hawthorne Heights, the Ready Set, Anberlin. Alongside the emo and pop-punk heavyweights like Bring Me the Horizon, Bright Eyes, and Avril Lavigne are some newer names, like viral punks the Linda Lindas and TikTok stars Jxdn and Lil Huddy.

The festival almost feels like a desert mirage: Is this too good to be true? Are we in for the emo revival’s own Fyre Festival? Here are five questions we have about the year’s hottest 2000s-nostalgia ticket.

Where the hell did this festival come from?

Believe it or not, this is actually the second When We Were Young festival. The first one took place in Santa Ana, California, in 2017, a week before Coachella. Across two days, a similar but less flashy set of punk, emo, and indie-rock nostalgia acts shared a bill, with Morrissey, AFI, Descendents, Cage the Elephant, and Taking Back Sunday among them.

Is this seriously all happening on only one day?

The poster for the fest is wildly crowded, and it’s quite ridiculous to expect that this many bands can appear in just 12 hours, unless all their sets are whittled down to 20 minutes of pure hits. According to ticketing information, there will be three stages across the festival grounds, which means a ton of horrible choices about which bands to prioritize throughout day-long fest, which is due to begin at 11 a.m. and end at 11 p.m. Which brings us to one big question about the co-headliners …

Will we have to choose between My Chemical Romance and Paramore?

We feel for any emo kid who has to make this heartbreaker of a call. Both bands are listed at the top of the bill, right next to each other. Both also remain wildly popular. Paramore have returned from a hiatus to record a new album while My Chemical Romance reunited in 2019, only for their tour to be pushed back twice now due to Covid. Given the single day of performances spread across three stages, it seems likely (though not confirmed) that the two headliners could be performing at the same time. So many great things come with difficult choices.

Were Fall Out Boy unavailable?

Excited tweets about the festival have opened the floodgates for questions about who was left out. The lineup is, in many ways, a snapshot of a time and place in early-2000s alternative-rock music. Of course, it is simply one day in Vegas and many bands have their own tours and schedules to adhere to. But the absence of Fall Out Boy (playing only their first three albums, for the sake of the vibe) is a personal vendetta I will carry against this lineup.

Are the folks behind Warped Tour fuming?

Credit where credit is due: Warped Tour was a major launchpad for the majority of artists on this bill. It ended officially in 2019 with a mini 25th-anniversary tour, but the true final trek was back in 2018. The Warped Tour sound is having a huge revival right now, not just for the kids who grew up on it but also for Gen Z artists, many of whom have landed on the WWWY lineup.

Warped founder Kevin Lyman teased that a Warped-adjacent festival would arrive under a different name in 2021, though that didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Attila’s Chris Fronzak has been looking into buying the rights to Warped, though he legally couldn’t put on the festival until 2023. If When We Were Young goes off without a hitch, we could very well see even more fest lineups scratching that Hot Topic nostalgia itch.

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Dan Crenshaw Withers Under Questioning From Young Woman, Gets Booed at Conservative Event

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Dan Crenshaw, the acerbic congressman from Texas desperately trying to brand himself as an unnatural chimera of Donald Trump and John McCain, is in hot water today for a video recorded at a Montgomery County Tea Party fundraiser in which he snaps at a young woman for asking him a pointed question about Jesus.

The entire setting and context for the exchange is like a Mad Libs of terms to bubble out of the right-wing fever swamp. Crenshaw was confronted at a Tea Party fundraiser by a young woman questioner, who challenged him to defend statements that he made likening Jesus to a fictional superhero while on former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s podcast. The video of the confrontation was shared by Scott T. Parkinson, the VP of Government Affairs for Club4Growth, a conservative PAC that recently endorsed Illinois Rep. Mary Miller, who achieved brief online prominence after she said “Hitler was right about one thing” during a speech the day before the Jan. 6 insurrection. Parkinson’s reasoning for committing GOP-on-GOP violence on Crenshaw probably stems from the Texas lawmaker’s recent online flame-war with Marjorie Taylor Greene, though it’s tough to say why any of these people do what they do. 

Anyway, the woman asked Crenshaw to defend a quote he gave to The Jocko podcast: “The important thing is that we have societal hero archetypes that we look up to,” Crenshaw said. “Jesus is a hero archetype. Superman is a hero archetype. Real characters too, you know, I could name a thousand,” which the questioner (again, a young woman) interpreted as Crenshaw saying Jesus was not a “real character” (The Week points out that this argument appears to be drawn from right-wing pop psychologist Jordan Peterson’s work, adding to the game of Mad Libs). 

The first part of the question is inaudible, but Newsweek reports that Parkinson’s video picks up right after the woman claims Crenshaw “lied about being Christian.”

“I can’t wrap my head around this,” the woman says after reading Crenshaw’s quote about Jesus and hero archetypes back to him.

“I’ll help you,” Crenshaw snaps. “Put a period after ‘Jesus,’ and don’t question my faith.”

The crowd then erupts in a chorus of “wows” and boos. “Don’t question my faith, don’t question my faith,” Crenshaw says again, to more boos, and, at the end, a confusing chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” just to round out the fever swamp bingo card. 

I don’t think Dan Crenshaw is gonna raise a lot of money off *this* video. pic.twitter.com/YJyLdUhTke

— Scott T. Parkinson (@ScottTParkinson) January 18, 2022

The identity of the young woman is unclear, but Jameson Ellis, a Republican attempting to primary Crenshaw, tweeted that she is 18 years old.

Regardless, we have a young woman asking a gotcha question based on a dumb podcast quote, a member of Congress angrily defending himself instead of patiently and easily explaining the context of his words, the member of Congress getting booed by an audience of Tea Party Republicans, and a hard-right conservative PAC operative sharing a video of the encounter in order to shame Crenshaw for not being sufficiently right wing. 

Taken together, the episode is a perfect look at how the far right eats its own, chewing up candidates for perceived slights and spitting them out further right — which will surely happen with Crenshaw — or out of the party’s graces altogether, like it did with Liz Cheney. If the modern GOP is a place too hostile even for the daughter of Dick Cheney, it’s pretty clear it’s going to hammer any dreams of John McCain-centrist-maverick behavior out of Crenshaw as soon as possible. It’s a pity that won’t make him any less annoying.

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