Republicans got some bad news today when hot political commodity, Willie Robertson, said he was too busy to run for the House seat that will be vacated when Louisiana Representative Rodney Alexander leaves to join Governor Bobby Jindal's cabinet. What's that? You have no idea who Willie Robertson is? Then you must be a liberal Northeastern elitist, because Willie Robertson is one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, the reality TV show/bestselling book generator/all-around cultural juggernaut that has stolen America's heart. Robertson, with his good humor, air of relative competence, and American flag bandana always firmly wrapped around his head, sounded like just the man to help Republicans … well, help them do whatever it is they do in Washington these days.
But alas, he had the sense to spurn their entreaties, so the search goes on. There's still hope though. You probably heard about the Missouri state fair rodeo that recently featured a clown in a Barack Obama mask, with the announcer encouraging the crowd to cheer his imminent goring by a bull. The reaction was overblown—it was in poor taste, to be sure, but making fun of the president is what happens in a country devoted to free speech, and there was no need to ban the clown from future state fairs. The entertainer's despair may be lessened by the fact that Texas Representative Steve Stockman, himself a ridiculous clown, invited the gentleman to come perform in the Lone Star State. Can a bid for Congress be far behind? After all, this is the party that turned Joe the Plumber into a hero and eventual House candidate.
And why the hell not? After all, it isn't as though Republicans in the House have important work to be done that requires experience and training in the art of lawmaking. If you've achieved some accidental celebrity and know how to raise your hand to vote to repeal Obamacare (40 votes and counting!), you're more than qualified to join their team.
SO THEY SAY
“Where will [Obama] get his 'national police'? The NaPo will be recruited from 'young out-of-work urban men' and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities ... Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people 'trying to escape'—people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.
DAILY MEME: ALL FALLS DOWN
- An estimated 525 people have died in Egypt, as the new government attempts tosquash the Muslim Brotherhood supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
- Around 3,717 people have been injured.
- Several journalists are among the dead and detained.
- And at least 43 police officers are reported dead.
- Seven churches were burned or attacked.
- President Obama has canceled planned military exercises with the Egyptian army,saying "The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government and security forces."
- One observer in Egypt says that sympathy won't sit with the dead. “The Brotherhood are losing every bit of popular support they once had. Nobody is happy with them. There isn’t the least bit of sympathy for them. It’s like dogs dying in the street. Nobody cares.”
- And a one-month state of emergency has been declared.
- How did we reach this place of monumental bloodshed? The Wall Street Journal tracks developments in the Middle East from the Arab Spring to now.
- As FT's Gideon Rachman put it, "There simply are no easy answers to these questions, which is why all that was heard from western capitals – as events unfolded in Cairo—was confused spluttering."
- And, as NPR's Cairo chief says, "It's difficult to see a path out of this crisis, at least not without more people dying."
WHAT WE'RE WRITING
- Abby Rapoport looks at a new early education program that could revolutionize pre-K in Houston.
- Sarah Laskow profiles Keystone XL protesters in Texas, who are trying to get the rest of the country angry about tar-sands oil.
WHAT WE'RE READING
- Whose campaign are these quotes describing: Christine Quinn 2013 or Hillary Clinton 2008?
- Garance Franke-Ruta asks, how do you solve a problem like Bob Filner?
- The Michigan GOP might be squandering its chance to pick up a U.S. Senate seat.
- Though Republicans are threatening to withhold debates from CNN and NBC, some are looking at potential future moderators in Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin.
- Here's your guide to all the ways the NSA is spying on you.
POLL OF THE DAY
Approval of President Barack Obama's managing of the economy has taken a dip. According to a new Gallup poll, Obama's overall approval rating has gone down three points from 47 percent in June of 2013 to 44 percent in August. In that same time, his rating on the handling of the economy has gone down from 42 percent to 35 percent.