Tag: sarah huckabee sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Brain Drain: Why Smarter Workers Are Fleeing Red States For Blue

Many liberal and progressive pundits have been predicting a "brain drain" from red states — skillful, college-educated doctors, university professors and teachers leaving because of oppressive MAGA policies. OB-GYNs are worried about draconian anti-abortion laws; teachers and librarians are under attack from the far-right Moms for Liberty.

The New Republic's Timothy Noah, in an article published on November 22, emphasizes that the "brain drain" from red states isn't something that may or may not happen in the future — it's already underway.

"Republican-dominated states are pushing out young professionals by enacting extremist conservative policies," Noah reports. "Abortion restrictions are the most sweeping example, but state laws restricting everything from academic tenure to transgender health care to the teaching of 'divisive concepts' about race are making these states uncongenial to knowledge workers."

Noah continues, "The precise effect of all this on the brain drain is hard to tease out from migration statistics because the Dobbs decision is still fairly new, and because red states were bleeding college graduates even before the culture war heated up. The only red state that brings in more college graduates than it sends elsewhere is Texas, but the evidence is everywhere that hard-right social policies in red states are making this dynamic worse."

Noah cites specific examples, including doctors Kate Arnold and Caroline Flint — a same-sex married couple who left deep red Oklahoma and moved to Washington, D.C. to get away from Republican anti-abortion and anti-contraception activities as well as book bans in their former state

"Kate Arnold and Caroline Flint are two bright, energetic, professionally trained, and public-spirited women whom Washington is happy to welcome — they both quickly found jobs —even though it doesn't particularly need them," Noah explains. "The places that need Kate and Caroline are Oklahoma and Mississippi and Idaho and various other conservative states where similar stories are playing out daily. These two fortyish doctors have joined an out-migration of young professionals — accelerated by the culture wars of recent years and pushed to warp speed by Dobbs — that's known as the Red State Brain Drain."

School teacher Tyler Hallstedt, according to Noah, left Tennessee for Michigan because of GOP education policies. And teachers in Texas, Noah notes, have been "quitting at a rate that's 25 percent above the national average," while South Carolina has "teacher shortages in 17 subject areas this school year, more than any other state."

"With the sole exception of Texas," Noah explains, "red states are bleeding college graduates. It's happening even in relatively prosperous Florida. And much as Republicans may scorn Joe and Jane College, they need them to deliver their babies, to teach their children, to pay taxes — college grads pay more than twice as much in taxes — and to provide a host of other services that only people with undergraduate or graduate degrees are able to provide. Red states should be welcoming Kate and Caroline and Tyler and Delana. Instead, they're driving them away, and that's already costing them dearly."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Iowa's Little Tyrants Have Actually Banned Orwell's ​​​"1984," Because Sex​​​

Iowa's Little Tyrants Have Actually Banned Orwell's ​​​"1984," Because Sex​​​

Show me a book-banner, and I’ll show you a would-be tyrant. The same applies to individuals who seek to promote mandatory speech: What you’re forbidden to read; what you must say. Almost always, such efforts involve everybody’s favorite pastime: judging the intimate lives of others.

Here in Arkansas, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently went to war against what she described as “woke nonsense” supposedly belittling real women like herself, a mother of three. Arguing that “the left” has “decided ‘woman’ is a dirty word” she issued an executive order—in Iran they’d call it a fatwa—banishing from public documents a bunch of words nobody’s ever seen there.

Rather than “chestfeeding,” Sanders decreed, public documents must use “breastfeeding.” Instead of, “birthing person,” they should say “birth mom.” And so on. During her press conference, the governor became annoyed with a reporter who asked where she’d found the forbidden terms. She cited a Health Department statement warning “pregnant people” to avoid contaminated water.

Good advice, most would think.

Skeptics wondered if Sanders might be trying to distract voters from a ludicrous controversy involving the state’s purchase of a $19,000 lectern from her own PR consultants, not previously known to sell office furniture. Some have noticed that the cost—several times what a similar item sells for on Amazon—closely matches the round-trip, business class airfare from Little Rock to Paris, where the same consultants recently enjoyed the governor’s hospitality during a French air show.

But nobody knows, and the absurd controversy, also involving suspect emails and doctored invoices, goes on even as Gov. Sanders safeguards Arkansas women from “woke” jargon nobody’s ever heard.

Up in Iowa, meanwhile, that state’s aggressively “Christian” governor has signed a bill requiring public schools to remove books depicting a “sex act”—vague language that, as reported by Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, has sent librarians around the state into a fear-based frenzy of book banning.

A short list of classic novels removed from school libraries around Iowa includes Ulysses by James Joyce, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Brave New Worldby Aldous Huxley, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Forrest Gump by Winston Groom.

But the one that really caught my eye was George Orwell’s 1984, the anti-totalitarian classic and the most politically influential novel of the 20th century—unless it was Orwell’s Animal Farm—and one that until quite recently was required reading on high school curricula. I’d go so far as to say that an enemy of that book is an enemy of democracy.

But yes, Orwell believed that the thing that would most horrify readers about Big Brother’s tyrannical government was its intrusion into peoples’ intimate relations. So 1984 tells the story of a doomed love affair between the protagonist, Winston Smith, a re-write man in the Ministry of Truth who alters historical documents to agree with party dogma, and Julia, a co-worker who wears the sash of the “Junior Anti-Sex League” to disguise her secret life.

Their clandestine meeting in the woods outside London is described in terms suitable for a family newspaper: “Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory,” Orwell wrote. “It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.”

Alas, there’s a video screen in their slum hideaway so the lovers get arrested and tortured for their sins. 1984 is anything but an endorsement of eroticism.

No matter, the book is banned from Iowa schools, about as sinister and farcical a literary event as one can imagine.

Do the pious religious exhibitionists of Iowa imagine that adolescents are being corrupted by reading novels in the library? Do they not understand that most are carrying internet-capable cell phones in their pockets? If they want to read Orwell or watch pornography during study hall, that will be no problem.

Not that pious conservatives are the only literary scolds on the scene. I have recently spent the better part of two weeks enthralled by Robert Galbraith’s 941-page epic The Running Grave: A Cormoran Strike Novel, and regret only that it’s over. Show me a man who hasn’t got a crush on the British detective’s resourceful partner, Robin Ellacott, and I’ll show you a man who has never loved an imaginary woman.

Galbraith, of course, is the pseudonym of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, probably the best-selling English novelist in history. But you won’t find The Running Grave reviewed in any of the usual places, because the author has sinned against left-wing dogma on “transgender” issues and been relegated to “un-person” status among the bookish.

It all started in a dispute over whether a transgendered woman who’d committed rapes as a man should be incarcerated among biological women in a Scottish prison. Rowling thought not, and as she appears to rather enjoy public controversy, has made herself a pariah on the gender-obsessed left.

It’s always people’s sex lives, isn’t it?

Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner, a former columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and co-author of The Hunting of the President.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Sanders Snaps At Reporter Over 'Lecterngate' Scandal

Arkansas Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is continuing to be haunted by questions concerning a $19,000 lectern purchased by her office using taxpayer dollars. At a Tuesday press conference, Gov. Sanders snapped at a local reporter for asking why she wasn't using the expensive lectern despite the purchase.

"I figure if I do [use the lectern] then you would talk about nothing else instead of the important actions that we're taking today, which unfortunately is not surprising," Sanders quipped. "While we are focused on things that actually impact our state and impact Arkansas, the media wants to spend all of their time focused on things that frankly don't."

The purchase of the lectern wasn't initially known to the public until September, when Arkansas attorney and blogger Matt Campbell discovered it after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Following Campbell's FOIA that disclosed the purchase, Sanders convened a special legislative session to curtail Arkansas' FOIA guidelines. After blowback from both Democrats and Republicans, the FOIA legislation was ultimately pared back, with only security and travel records restricted under the new FOIA law.

Aside from the lectern itself, Sanders has also been dogged by a whistleblower's allegations of altering documents relating to the purchase of the lectern. Earlier this month, Arkansas attorney Tom Mars told CBS affiliate THV 11 that he was representing an anonymous client who "can provide clear and convincing evidence" that the governor's office "altered" and "withheld" documents pertaining to the lectern.

At the request of Republican State Senator Jimmy Hickey Jr., the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee is now conducting an official audit relating to the purchase. Gov. Sanders has welcomed the audit, saying to "Let [the committee] do the audit and get it done as quickly as possible."

Sanders claims the use of taxpayer funds was an "accounting error," and that the purchase has since been reimbursed by the Arkansas Republican Party. However, that reimbursement only came three months after the initial purchase.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Mike Huckabee

Why Violent Threats Are Driving Our Politics Now

Maybe I’m losing my mojo. For all the chatter about political violence out there, this column hasn’t drawn a death threat in months. Maybe not even this calendar year.

They used to come in fairly regularly. One time, a junior high gym teacher in Pennsylvania said he was coming to get me over a smart-aleck joke about the baleful effects of civics education by football coaches. Another guy used to send handwritten letters threatening to rape and mutilate my wife.

Then there was the Special Forces veteran who imagined I’d written something disrespectful about Irish Catholics. (There are a lot more war heroes among angry emailers than the public at large, I’ve noticed.) Perhaps intemperately, I advised him to get lost.

“Your basically a coward,” he responded.

What is it about right-wing soreheads and apostrophes, I wonder? MANY ALSO PREFER TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES IN ALL CAPS. Another mystery. I see something written that way, I press delete. Doesn’t everybody?

But let’s get serious. Out in the real world, there’s growing evidence that threats of violence are playing an increasing role in political decision-making. No less an eminence than Mike Huckabee — onetime Baptist preacher, former Arkansas governor, current TV quack-remedy peddler — has warned that unless Donald Trump is declared the winner of the 2024 presidential contest, the nation will turn from “ballots to bullets” to settle the issue.

TV preachers just love alliterative wordplay, which rarely fails to arouse the influential Moron-American community.

In Little Rock, the Huckster’s daughter, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, recently failed to overhaul the state’s Freedom of Information Act, which was supposedly necessary to protect her family from threats from “the radical left.” (In Arkansas, the radical left is anybody that believes in speed limits and stop signs.) Cynics thought Sanders was more aggravated by the Blue Hog Report, a blog that used the law to show that she’d commandeered a state police airplane to travel from Fayetteville to Rogers — adjoining cities. Documented flight time: 11 minutes. Queen Sarah, some call her.

Anyway, the GOP-dominated state legislature denied Sanders her FOIA overhaul, passing a significantly scaled-down version instead.

More seriously, though, Sen. Mitt Romney says that his recently announced retirement from politics results, in part, from an increasing barrage of death threats. Romney told biographer McKay Coppins that he’d recently been forced to spend $5,000 a day on private security for his family.

According to Coppins, as quoted in The Atlantic: “One Republican congressman confided to Romney that he wanted to vote for Trump’s second impeachment, but chose not to out of fear for his family’s safety. The congressman reasoned that Trump would be impeached by House Democrats with or without him — why put his wife and children at risk if it wouldn’t change the outcome?”

Put that way, it’s hard not to sympathize. It’s one thing to be an obscure newspaper columnist who goes unrecognized at the dog park, and another to be a Washington politician whose face appears on national TV.

Almost needless to say, these threats emanate almost entirely from the spiritual descendants of Oklahoma City truck bomber Timothy McVeigh: racially obsessed white nationalists. Former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney has spoken of similar fears, as has former Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer. Both aroused right-wing ire by speaking out against the Trump-inspired MAGA rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

No need to kid ourselves about where it’s coming from. Pretty much all mass shooters turn out to be infected with right-wing dogma. According to Philip Bump in the Washington Post, “Analysis from the Anti-Defamation League published this year found that, in the past five years, there have been more than 170 deaths linked to right-wing extremism. Three have been linked to extremism on the left.”

Last year, Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted that there would be “riots in the streets” if Trump was indicted for willfully and deliberately storing top-secret nuclear weapons documents in a publicly accessible country club bathroom. Trump himself, of course, was only too happy to amplify the remark. He continues to hint that outrage about his upcoming criminal trials will spark violence.

And yet nothing has happened. Why? Well, at the expense of sounding like a pre-Trump conservative, because the authorities have been ready. In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, two things have become clear: First, you’ll lose the battle; second, you’ll end up doing serious time in a federal prison.

All the plotting and posing by Proud Boys chieftain Enrique Tarrio got him 22 years in the slammer.


Look, this is America. Of course, there will be violence. Shocking, sickening violence. But the Trump/McVeigh faction is still going to lose.

Reprinted with permission from Sun Times.