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Dingus of the Week: George Santos
It's giving Ocean's -11
If to err is human, to scam is divine.
Right now, George Santos is walking around the halls of Congress in his J. Crew Factory outlet sweaters and blazers looking like he just ate a boat shoe. Santos was elected to Congress after lying about 9/11 claiming his mother’s life, having two knee replacements, and being the star of the Baruch College volleyball team. He allegedly did some check forging in Brazil, put up a fake GoFundMe for a veteran’s dog then took all the money and let the dog die, and has even allegedly stolen scarves.1 And despite calls for him to resign, House GOP Speaker and Man Most Likely to Be Dingus of the Year for 2023, Kevin McCarthy put Santos on two House committees.
This untalented Mr. Ripley2 has all the social grace of a ‘Bama frat boy at Mardi Gras and a Burberry scarf-eating grin. Yet, it’s precisely that baptized-in-Polo-by-Ralph-Lauren confidence that allows Santos to keep up the grift. I mean look at this guy. He’s all dock no yacht. And also no dock. He’s giving Ocean’s -11.
CNN reported, “Senior House Republicans have privately acknowledged there’s no easy way to handle the controversy surrounding Santos as they faced the decision of which committee assignments to give him. Their concern: If they were to deny him a spot now, it would set a precedent for other members who are facing intense scrutiny from the press, but have not been charged with a crime, two GOP sources said.”
Santos has done something remarkable, he’s outconned the neocons. He’s made a fork move. In chess, a fork is a move that puts your opponent in a bind by placing multiple pieces under threat. No matter where your opponent moves, one of their pieces is going to get captured. Basically, if Santos is punished or his grift is acknowledged in any way, then that might legitimize concerns about other House Republicans who are doing a similar grift. Space lasers and overthrowing democracy, ring any bells? In a room of partially clothed Emperors, Santos is the most naked. But no one can say anything because then they’d have to acknowledge their own bare butts in the breeze. You almost have to admire the audacity of it.
Speaking of audacity. On Thursday morning, Santos’ office forwarded constituent calls to the office of Rep. Nick LaLota, a fellow Republican and one of the first to call for Santos to resign. Talking Points Memo reports that the “glitch” has since been fixed.
If there is one rule of America in 2023 that is to scam but scam boldly and with no remorse. Never back down. Never apologize. Never let them see the whites of your sweaty armpits. Caught in a lie? Just deny. Say the liberal media is after you. It works every single time.
It’s con or be conned. Scam or be scammed. It’s only January, my babies.
Some Good Things:
Culver’s is ditching Pepsi and moving to Coke. Yes, they will still have their root beer. Are you sad about this move because you like Mt Dew? I DON’T CARE.
Taking the issue of abortion to the voters actually preserves abortion access.
Speaking of which, applications are open for Planned Parenthood’s leadership program.
For once, a very dumb bill in North Dakota was defeated.
A local hero paddleboards in Lake Chipotle, the flooded parking lot adjacent to a Minneapolis Chipotle, and a Midwestern icon.
Co-host of “Maintenance Phase” Aubrey Gordon is on the New York Times best sellers list with her book You Just Need to Lose Weight.
And the band boygenius is back!
Next week! January 26, 7 pm Prairie Lights. Be there! I’ll be chatting with Jeanna Kadlec about her book Heretic, growing up in Iowa, and what tattoo I should get next.
What I Am Reading:
This week, I gobbled up The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff. Dark, funny, empathetic, heartbreaking. This book is a wonder. I loved it.
Sarah Weinman has a new article up about that lying liar Truman Capote.
Tressie McMillan Cottom is at it again with this smart analysis of blond hair as a cultural signifier for whiteness. And also, she apparently got kicked off TikTok for calling that out.
This advice column on Autostraddle about weight and relationships is so beautiful and life affirming and worth the read.
I absolutely loved this honest-as-all-heck interview with Marie Glusenkamp Perez in POLITICO.
ICYMI: I wrote about my grandma who died this December. The newsletter prompted many of you to share stories of your own grandparents in the comments and it’s cathartic, heartbreaking, and so human.
MYAM is expanding! Two years ago, when I made this newsletter my full-time job, Substack gave me support in the form of an editor, Getty image access, and a one-year stipend. The stipend ended last year. And at the end of this year, I lost my editor, Kim, who was magnificent. I am still hanging onto Getty image access for now. But at this point, this newsletter is very much on its own as a media company. This month, I made my first hire! Serena Golden will be editing the mid-week newsletters. I’ve worked with Serena for years at multiple outlets. And I’ve always loved how she instinctively understands my voice and writing but is rigorous in her edits. Serena is one of the best in the business. Also, in March (after I get through this last round of book edits), I will be looking to hire additional help in order to free up my time to report more stories. (Anyone who has reached out with a story tip in the last 6 months can tell you how overwhelmed I am at the moment.)
MYAM is now read across all 50 US states and 142 countries. And we (because it is we now) are continuing to grow. Your paid subscriptions make all of this possible! Thank you!
What I Am Drinking:
January remains dry for now. But the other day, my daughter, who is 11, came home from school furious. She is a smart girl with an inborn sense of justice and a hound’s nose for hypocrisy, also, she is 11. So, coming home from school in a rage is nothing new for her. But yesterday, when she came home she said she wanted to invent a drink called, “Rage Punch.” Her idea was to make this drink the thing you drink when you want to punch everybody. As of now, that exact recipe remains elusive. I tried to help her develop a recipe, but I was told all my ideas are bad. So, in the meantime, I have been drinking Ghia and loving it.
Tell me, what are you drinking this January?
I am well aware of news reports that Santos may have also been a drag queen. But one thing we are not gonna do in this newsletter is turn drag queens into a punch line.