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The Office of Kirsten Gilibrand/ Wikimedia Commons and Dr. Phil/Wikimedia Commons

Jon Stewart talks about the border crisis; Dr. Phil.

Jon Stewart is known for using humor to skewer politicians on both sides of the aisle, cleverly exposing their more ridiculous claims and inconsistencies with deft satire and mock incredulity. To the delight of The Daily Show viewers, he’s returned to the program after nine long years where he’ll sit in the hosting chair on Mondays throughout this year’s presidential election cycle.

This week, he fixed his gimlet eye on the migrant crisis at the border. He had plenty of criticism to go around and he even managed to zing Dr. Phil.

In a clip that’s now gone viral, titled, “Stewart Unpacks the GOP's ‘Migrant Crime’ Narrative,” the host makes the case that Republicans are using the crisis for political gain while Democrats are turning their backs on their core values.


After showing a series of alarmist clips (“Illegal invaders invading America!” warns one Fox News host), Stewart says, “Every two to four years, we are reminded we have a Southern border. And it is porous.”

More clips play, ratcheting up the levels of fear over the types of people who might be flowing through the border.

“Criminals, rapists, murderers, predators and God knows who else,” we see Marjorie Taylor Greene proclaim. “God knows who else? Statistically, a couple of them at least have to be podcasters,” Stewart quips.

Stewart goes on to show commentators and politicians discussing the countries where the people crossing the border are coming from, including Dr. Phil on "The Joe Rogan Experience," talking about all the fit, military-age men from China coming through the border.

“While it’s clear hyperbole,” says Stewart, after showing a clip where Donald Trump says Hannibal Lecter is one of the people crossing the border, “there does seem to be bipartisan agreement now that the border is a problem. There were 300,000 crossings in December alone. That’s an all-time high, and that is not sustainable.

“But Republicans turned down the chance to pass a strong border bill because of how confident they are that fearmongering will be an effective election-year strategy. It’s really all about branding,” Stewart said.

Trump again: “I call it Biden migrant crime, but it’s too long… Let’s call it Bigrant… Oh that’s good. That’s smart, Bigrant crime.”

“I’m not completely sold on Bigrant,” Stewart joked, stifling a laugh. It really just sounds like a migrant who’s open to crossing either border." Stewart then turned his attention to what he calls “a good old-fashioned border off,” where Trump and Biden both went to the Texas-Mexico border last week. Trump went to Eagle Pass, and Biden to Brownsville.

Biden suggests he and Trump should get together to pass a bipartisan border bill which Trump declines.

“When it comes to immigration, the Democrats hold to our country's cherished ideals, the eternal promise etched at the feet of lady liberty that speaks to our better angels," Stewart said. This is followed by a montage of clips showing politicians, including New York Mayor Eric Adams, speaking warmly about how our country is stronger because of immigrants.

“Unshakable bedrock American values of compassion and empathy and there is not a damn thing you can do to change that,” said Stewart. "And then busloads of migrants from Texas, seeking asylum in New York.“

Nice try, Texas, but you heard the mayor," Stewart continued. "We’re New York [bleeping] City!… You are never going to change our values because you’re afraid. So keep sending those busloads because we got plenty of room in our hearts and in this city.”

Adams again: “We have no more room in the city.”

Stewart stared at the camera in disbelief. “What about the yearnings and the tiredness and the tiredness of those who are doing the yearnings?”

Stewart then shows clips of Adams talking about the effect of 110,000 migrants coming to New York City. “This issue will destroy New York City,” he says.

“Yes, it turns out in the age old battle between values and fear, values never had a [bleeping] chance.


“So this is the terrible cycle America is caught in. Democrats whose high-minded values and principles did not survive a contact high with reality and Republicans whose desire to solve the problem isn’t nearly as strong as their desire to exploit it," Stewart concluded.

M.J. Hegar has thrived in the face of adversity her entire life.

The 42-year-old Air Force veteran is also an author, wife, and mother. And now she's trying to win in a Texas congressional district that to date has never elected a Democrat.

In late June, Hegar released a campaign video entitled "Doors," which highlighted her life story and her fight against sexism in the military. She won a historic legal fight that overturned the Direct Combat Definition and Assignment Rule that prevented military women from serving in a number of roles.


The video quickly went viral and has been viewed more than 5 million times across Hegar's YouTube and Facebook channels. That's quite impressive for a political ad in a small Texas congressional district, but it wasn’t expected to affect the actual campaign.

And then the donations started pouring in.

Hegar has outraised her Republican opponent by a wide margin, which shows how much her message is resonating.

On July 16, new fundraising numbers were released by the Federal Elections Commission, and the results were stunning: Hegar outraised her opponent, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) by more than 4 to 1, with $1,171,373 compared to his $266,889.

"The thousands of people who are supporting our campaign show that it is time to show the door to politicians who care more about campaign donors and political parties than protecting our country," she said.

Hegar says that when she tried to meet with Carter to discuss her military reform initiative, his office refused, saying she wasn't a priority because she wasn't a campaign contributor.

Carter's team has denied the claim, but it clearly resonated with donors, who gave her campaign more than $750,000 in just the first 10 days after her video was released.

She still faces an uphill battle — but that's never stopped her before.

Carter is still considered a 10-point favorite according to election forecasters, but that's a big change from 2016 when he won his election by nearly 22 points. And as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others have proven, 2018 is a year primed for historic upsets.

"A lot of people across the country feel like they have absent representation and that their voices are not being heard," Hegar said in a recent interview.

It's a message that's resonating with people, even deep in the heart of red-state Texas.

Deedra Abboud is running for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Jeff Flake.

Photo via Deedra for U.S. Senate 2018.

On July 18, Abboud, a Muslim and an attorney and a Democrat, posted a tribute to the First Amendment on her Facebook page.


"In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions," she wrote. "Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference."

Many of the replies, as first reported in AZ Central, targeted Abboud on the basis of her faith.

"F*** you Muslim b*tch," wrote one commenter.

"Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your "people" come from," wrote another.

"Sorry no room for Muslims in our government. Nice try though you are quoting the Muslim brotherhood," another responded.

While many of her supporters replied with words of encouragement, one voice was unexpected: Abboud's political opponent.

Flake reached out to Abboud on Twitter to express his sympathy and urge her to ignore the bigots.

Abboud thanked Flake for rapidly and unequivocally denouncing those harassing her.

Many others on Twitter — supporters of both candidates — applauded Flake for putting politics aside to stand up for civility.

Others encouraged the Republican senator to spread the word to others in his own party — including its leader, whose campaign and administration frequently employed incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Abboud's campaign manager Joseph Harris says in an email that his candidate hopes to "focus on this being an opportunity to change the landscape."

"Our elected leaders should be leading in the civil discourse, of calling out behavior that does not reflect our American values, of being competitive without character attacks," he says.

Flake and Abboud don't agree on much, but they don't have to in order to model respectful disagreement.

Abboud supports preserving the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act while Flake supported Ted Cruz' measure allowing insurers to resurrect "bare bones" health plans. Abboud supports net neutrality while Flake recently introduced a bill that would allow internet service providers to collect more personal information from customers.

Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images.

One thing they seem to agree on — attacks on an opponents faith are out of bounds and disputes are better approached from a place of mutual respect.

Props to Abboud for using the harsh words directed at her as a teachable moment.

And props to Flake for demonstrating that even in an age of heightened partisan rancor, politics doesn't have to be personal.

Upworthy reached out to Flake's office for comment, and this story may be updated.

Over the weekend, signals that President Donald Trump intends to abandon the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change began blaring.  

Photo by Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images.

A group of 22 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell along with White House aide Steve Bannon, White House counsel Don McGahn, and EPA chief Scott Pruitt, have reportedly urged Trump to exit the agreement, which requires signatory nations to take whatever steps they deem necessary to limit worldwide temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.


While Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that he would make a final decision in the coming days, several people close to Trump have said that he is "[planning] to leave" the deal, according to an Axios report.

The reports appear to have unnerved even some Republicans, specifically those whose districts stand to take on a fair amount of water should the agreement fall apart and sea levels continue to rise — which could occur at a terrifyingly rapid rate without a serious global effort to curb carbon emissions.

On Tuesday, Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan tweeted a picture of his coastal district, along with a message for the president.

Buchanan's district includes the city of Sarasota and a group of barrier islands, all of which are threatened by rising sea levels.

A 2013 study found that if the rise in carbon emissions continues at the current rate, parts of Florida's 16th congressional district could see half or more of its population displaced by 2100.

Buchanan is not the only Republican asking Trump to reconsider withdrawing from the agreement either.

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, who represents South Carolina, home to a number of coastal cities and low-lying islands, added his voice to the chorus on Sunday, telling CNN's Jake Tapper that leaving the agreement would be "bad for the [GOP], bad for the country."

It might be relatively easy to ignore the problem of rising sea levels from landlocked states like Kansas or Montana or Tennessee.

Or from Air Force One, for that matter.

But it's not so easy when, like Buchanan, Graham, and others, you wake up staring at the potential consequences each morning.

It's been a good run. Photo by Roger W/Flickr.

Buchanan's record on climate change is certainly mixed — at best. Last year, the congressman earned a 29% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and just a 21% rating overall. But even if he's late to the party, voices like his are unfortunately rare enough to be essential.

The more pro-climate GOP voices join the debate, the easier it will be for more Republicans from coastal areas who want their beautiful views to continue on undisturbed to face reality and stand up against climate change.

It's in everyone's best interest. Reality, after all, has a way of biting back before too long.