According to stories bursting across the right-wing mediasphere today, a key reason for the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was its focus on spreading “woke culture” rather than efficiently managing risk and profits. Ground zero for this is the allegation that SVB had donated over $73 million to the “BLM Movement & Related Causes.” That struck me as quite a lot of money for a single company, even a large and profitable one, to give to any cause or even all causes. So I tried to find out where this factoid came from and rapidly found my way to a Trumpist think tank. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s a complete lie. I want to show you the receipts, but first some key details.
The claims come from a database posted earlier this week by the Center for the American Way of Life, a project of the Claremont Institute. As Claremont put it in a Newsweek article introducing the database, “Americans deserve to know who funded the BLM riots.”Read More
A bubbling conventional wisdom has been taking shape in the recent weeks that might best be stated as a question: what happened to all the Republican investigations? From one perspective it’s early: the new Congress has only been seated for a bit over two months. There have been hearings. There was one just last week into the so-called “Twitter Files.” But they’ve been low energy and mostly a bust. Outside of the right-wing media bubble they’ve been met more with derision than headlines and follow ups. A March 6 Axios headline read: “Jim Jordan scrambles amid claims ‘weaponization’ probe is a dud.” But the reaction inside the bubble hasn’t been any different. As far back as a month ago, Fox News’ host Jesse Watters angrily denounced the underwhelming show.
Some point to Jim Jordan not having the organizational abilities or chops to run impactful hearings. Others point to Jordan getting crosswise with the other top GOP investigator, Jim Comer. The most obvious explanation is that they’re just lame and underwhelming because they don’t have the goods. But even that doesn’t work as an explanation because the same could be said about the previous times we did this under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Something’s different.Read More
TPM Reader EG notes a post from our friend Barry Ritholtz in which he notes ten questions or current unknowns about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. You can find them here. As Barry points out, if past financial crises are any guide, we currently — that is to say, in real time — have only a very limited understanding of just what happened here and why. Presumably decision-makers at the Fed and FDIC had substantially more information that was the basis of the decisions they made on Sunday. But their understanding is almost certainly limited too. Check his post out. Often a knowledgable set of questions is far more illuminating than opinion and assertion in advance of any real understanding and context.
A few general observations.Read More
One of the most apt critiques I read of my post on the deep archeology of Fox News focused on what we might call the counter-revolution of capital, and whether I’d ignored it in telling this thumbnail history of the Movement Conservative counter-establishment. I didn’t ignore it. It’s closely related to, but distinct from, the history I described. They’re like two separate rivers which flow together in the 1970s to create the rightward turn of American politics usually identified with the Reagan revolution. Many of you also referenced a now almost legendary document called the Powell Memo, a genteel call to arms which many now point to as the founding document of the business counter-revolution which began in the 1970s, a kind of Rosetta Stone for unlocking the origins of the modern American right.Read More
The evidence emerging from the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News has the quality of liberal fever dreams. What’s the worst you can possibly imagine about Fox? What’s the most cartoonish caricature, the worst it could possibly be? Well, in these emails and texts you basically have that. Only it’s real. It’s not anyone believing the worst and giving no benefit of the doubt. This is what Fox is.Read More
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers has a study out today providing data on women in state legislatures in 2023. There are a number of interesting data sets and charts. But the one that got my attention is the list of top ten and bottom ten states by female representation in state legislatures. The states on the lists are about what you would expect. The top ten states are blue states and the bottom ten are thoroughly red. The only real exception is Arizona — number three on the top ten — which may be trending blue but can’t really be called a blue state yet. The bottom ten aren’t just red. They’re overwhelmingly in the South and Deep South — Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana. The spread is also eye-popping. The most female representation was 60.3%. The lowest was West Virginia at 11.9%.
But what jumped out at me was the number one state in the top ten: Nevada.Read More
Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority expressed great skepticism at the Biden White House’s debt-relief plan yesterday. What we should note, however, is how the press and opinion-setting conventional wisdom has reacted to that fact. Every reaction I’ve seen sees it as the White House failing, the White House getting its collective knuckles rapped, basically an attempt and a failure. The White House is in a lot of ways complicit in this state of affairs and that traces back to an abiding set of assumptions, ingrained almost beneath the level of conscious thought, that the Court is a legitimate rule-enforcing body which is owed respect and deference and shouldn’t be pulled into the political fray.
That’s a mistake.Read More