CBS isn't much more than a Republican stenographer these days, but even they've had their fill of Congress's Benghazi circus. The network reported today that versions of Benghazi-themed e-mails leaked by the GOP last week had clear differences from the real versions that came out yesterday. It turns out Republicans altered the e-mails. We know this because an interim report about the events that Congress produced last month actually uses the correct versions.
So which Republicans are going to jail over this? This is a crime, you know.
We live in strange times indeed. Or maybe we don't. After all, the GOP has only been lying about government business like this for the past several decades.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Posted by Bandit at 10:54 PM
Monday's Roads Scholaring gives us enough photos and videos for a new set of local material.
This photo shoot also includes several items from last month. So say aloha to the latest set of Scholarin' photos...
Posted by Bandit at 3:51 PM
This is exhibit #44,462,194,392,072,324 in Republican rebranding fail.
Steve Roberts is a Republican member of the Kansas State Bored of Education. It turns out that he recently gave a bizarre talk at a school board meeting in which he defended a racial slur.
Roberts delivered this dumb monologue during a discussion of African-American history. "We have to push the frontiers of political correctness and do what's right," he declared. He defended using the pejorative as "a test to see what the effect on Twitter would be."
So he uses racial slurs just to watch everyone's reaction? Now that's professionalism!
No wonder the Republicans have to keep making up scandals to batter the opposition. Their post-election rebranding is collapsing. Roberts's statement is that of a cheap bully, and it also reflects the party's deep intolerance. In fact, just a few days ago - as The Media was trying to whip up Democratic scandals - Florida Republicans lost Latino outreach director Pablo Pantoja when he became a Democrat. Pantoja cited a "culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party."
Let's enjoy having the Democrats and the Greens as America's 2 major parties.
Posted by Bandit at 12:13 PM
From time to time, this blog brings you history lessons that aren't widely covered elsewhere. Here's a story that illustrates the rank mentality of the Far Right that's been allowed to fester for the past half-century.
John F. Kennedy is one of America's most admired Presidents. His presidency was infamously cut short by an assassin's bullet in Dallas in November 1963 - an event that launched nationwide mourning.
Except in the filthiest corners of the Far Right - whose members cheered JFK's assassination.
The right-wing derangement syndrome in the Kennedy years was not unlike that which they displayed following the election of more recent Democrats. Even 50 years ago, the spoiled Right thought they had a birthright to install candidates of their choosing in the White House. But back then, this brand of extremism hadn't infiltrated mainstream society yet. There was no Fox News, no Free Republic, no Tea Party. This extremism was regarded as the fringe movement that it was and is.
When JFK died, this extreme fringe erupted in delight. Children in Texas and South Carolina reported that their classrooms were led in applause by school officials. In Oklahoma City, a doctor told a patient, "Good. I hope they got Jackie." In Amarillo, Texas, a woman gloated, "Hey, great, JFK's croaked!" Men who heard this boasting celebrated by throwing their hats in the air.
But like I said, this fanaticism was still considered well beyond the pale. I've heard of only one person locally who reacted with glee over Kennedy's assassination. He is now a public official. Then again, when Reagan was shot, I don't remember anyone cheering at all.
Hate and violence waft large in the Far Right mind. Today, this fog of hate guides many politicians - who have been legitimized by the right-wing media. America has good politicians, bad politicians, and downright evil politicians. The last group has declared war against America.
Posted by Bandit at 1:42 AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This story should blast a bazooka hole through the notion that the IRS is singling out conservative groups.
Rev. Franklin Graham complains that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - a ministry named for his father - has been the target of extra IRS scrutiny. But he admitted in a letter to President Obama and Vice-President Biden that this "charity" purchased a full-page ad endorsing a referendum against marriage equality in North Carolina. Taking stances in an election is a big no-no if you want to keep your tax-exempt status.
But guess what? The ministry received an official notice saying it continued to qualify as tax-exempt anyway. Yet Graham still has the unmitigated nerve to complain that the IRS is being unfair to the organization.
What a big baby.
Meanwhile, more stories have emerged of the IRS's viewpoint discrimination - against liberal groups.
The conspiracy theory that the IRS discriminated against conservative groups would be gone from the minds of mainstream America by now if it wasn't for a tone-deaf, broken media deliberately propping up this paranoid silliness.
Posted by Bandit at 10:23 PM
When a conspiracy theorist doubles down on their theory after being proven wrong, that's when you know they're delusional. ABC's Jonathan Karl is like that.
After ABC was busted using a fabricated e-mail to bolster the Republicans' already-discredited Benghazi conspiracy theory, they're doubling down instead of admitting they were wrong.
Karl says the correct version of the e-mail shows the faked version was actually right in its substance - though in fact it does not. He goes on and on trying to justify using an unverified e-mail that turned out to be fabricated.
Remember when CBS forced Dan Rather into retirement for using the Killian memos, which to this day have yet to be debunked? The state of The Media in modern times is that reporters are forced out if they report authentic items, but are allowed to stay on if they report made-up crap like Karl did.
On the other hand, does any average person outside the right-wing iron bubble even take the Benghazi hearings seriously?
Posted by Bandit at 11:43 AM
The labor strike by fast food restaurant workers has now spread to a fifth city: Milwaukee!
Scott Walker must be soiling his pantaloons right now.
This strike - which has also graced New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit - is part of a campaign called Fast Food Forward. This follows a strike 2 months ago by guest workers who staffed McDonald's restaurants in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area. (Franchisees forced workers to work 25 hours straight with no overtime, and as many as 7 workers had to live in one room in a basement.)
The Milwaukee strike has spread beyond the fast food industry and into the retail biz - which is also predominantly nonunion.
I take labor issues very seriously, as I have ever since my youth when a few mansion dwellers at school boasted about how they didn't have to work like we did. I had to get my first job at 17, while these privileged bullies were out getting plastered. They're the 1% who now exploits the 99%. Young people who are reading this may find that the adult world is a macrocosm of the youth world, and today's frustrations will prove themselves to be real concerns.
Posted by Bandit at 10:59 AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
New details have just emerged about the IRS story that suggest a whole new question that hasn't been asked yet: Did high-ranking IRS officials actually collude with the Tea Party to whip up a scandal?
It now turns out that Emerge America wasn't the only Democratic-leaning group subjected to IRS scrutiny. A group called Progress Texas was raked through the coals as well, as was Clean Elections Texas, a group that backs public campaign financing. These aren't far-left groups, but they do sport Democratic leanings. It appears as if similar groups were also investigated.
Meanwhile, no Republican groups had their IRS applications denied during that timeframe.
If Emerge America was the only Democratic group scrutinized, we could accept that the IRS was being evenhanded. But now it's also been revealed that only one-third of the groups probed by the IRS were part of the Tea Party.
What does that tell us?
I'm now virtually certain that powerful IRS officials connived with the Tea Party to create this muddle. I think somebody at the IRS got together with somebody at the Tea Party to make it look like the Tea Party was being singled out - just so they could make hay over the resulting controversy. I truly believe this. From the new details, it's a fact that the IRS was actually targeting what it viewed as liberal-leaning groups - not the Tea Party.
In light of this story, we need lawmakers who are patriotic and brave enough to haul Tea Party big shots before them to answer some tough questions. Legislators need to launch an investigation and hearings against the Tea Party and government officials who may have conspired with them. As a blogger, I hope I can acquire the tools that will allow me to investigate as a journalist should, because the dinosaur media damn sure won't do it.
Posted by Bandit at 11:47 PM
Another right-wing talking point dead: IRS also investigated Democratic group during Tea Party probe
Well, it looks like the booger-eaters are gonna have to go back to the clip of Dukakis in the tank for talking points.
Emerge America is a Democratic group that - according to a Daily Kos user - saw its tax-exempt status denied by the IRS in the Bush years because of its views. But it turns out that just within the past 2 years - when the IRS was supposedly singling out only Tea Party groups for heightened scrutiny - the IRS investigated several Emerge America branches and denied their tax-exempt status.
This confirms that the IRS wasn't probing Tea Party groups because they were Tea Party groups. They were targeting groups that simply didn't qualify for a tax exemption - regardless of what the group's views were. That's the only conclusion one can come to. While the IRS under Bush reportedly targeted Emerge America because of its views, the IRS more recently targeted both Emerge America and the Tea Party because they didn't qualify as tax-exempt. In neither scenario was the Tea Party or any other explicitly conservative movement being singled out for their views.
That the IRS simultaneously targeted both the Tea Party and the Democrats is confirmed by a soon-to-be-released report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration - a report Reuters has obtained part of. The report also says the Obama administration exerted no influence on this process.
So how many major "scandals" ginned up by Congress have crashed and burned just this week? And it's only Tuesday!
Posted by Bandit at 8:48 PM
I'm not a strong Obama partisan, but it's great seeing the right-wing media get caught with its Underoos down around its ankles like this.
ABC - not unlike CBS - has become little more than a stenographer for the lunatic Right lately. A few days ago, an "investigation" by ABC's Jon Karl revealed what was supposedly a BLOCKBUSTER, BOMBSHELL, SMOKING GUN that proved congressional Republicans' case in the Benghazi hearings. ABC's report was based on an e-mail supposedly sent by government security adviser Ben Rhodes. Websites that seriously analyzed ABC's report could see the network was distorting the story, but that was lost on the rest of the press.
Now it turns out ABC was even more full of bunk gas than it appeared: CNN's Jake Tapper now reports that the e-mail was fabricated. ABC reported that Rhodes's e-mail said:
"We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting."
But that's not what it said. Here's what the e-mail actually said:
"Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.
"There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don't compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.
"We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies."
ABC didn't just report the wrong words. The words they did report actually have an entirely different meaning than the real e-mail. How did ABC make such a stupid mistake? It's because they were relying on some corrupt right-wing insider who "leaked" a fabricated e-mail to them.
If ABC was as professional as they claim to be, they wouldn't have just accepted the faked e-mail without questioning it. They would have dug deeper. But I don't think they wanted to. They wanted to report the first thing they could find that seemed to bolster Republican claims. In other words, ABC intentionally distorted the Benghazi story to benefit the GOP.
We have a press corpse that thinks a school district's 34-year-long pattern of violating IDEA isn't newsworthy, but a made-up e-mail designed to bring down the President and gut the aspirations of a possible future presidential candidate is. This is the state of the modern American media. Journalists should uncover real scandals - not amplify fake scandals that were ginned up by politicians. At least CNN still has enough integrity to bust ABC on this.
Posted by Bandit at 2:28 PM
With the revelation that the IRS flagged Tea Party groups for abusing their tax-exempt status by calling themselves "charities", we seem to forget that recent Republican administrations had the IRS audit at least 7 different groups solely because they opposed GOP policies. Here's a list of these 7...
1) The Reagan regime got the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of Mother Jones magazine because of its views. Then the IRS tried to collect almost $400,000 from the magazine, which would have forced it to shut down. The IRS later reversed this decision, but not without Mother Jones having to spend thousands in legal fees.
2) The George W. Bush thugocracy got the IRS to investigate Greenpeace because a group financed primarily by ExxonMobil told it to.
3) All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, came under fire by the Bush dictatorship because its rector delivered an antiwar sermon.
4) Bush's IRS threatened the NAACP because its then-chairman Julian Bond dared to criticize the Iraq War and other Bush policies.
5) The Bush regime investigated the National Education Association because it opposed the failed No Child Left Behind law.
6) Bush's IRS probed the United Church of Christ in 2008 because then-Sen. Obama gave a speech to church leaders.
7) Emerge America's tax-exempt status was denied because of its stances.
There may be others besides these 7.
Why were those 7 groups audited, while the IRS hasn't audited any dominionist megachurches that endorse Republican candidates from the pulpit? You can endorse anyone you want, but you're not supposed to get a tax-exempt status for it.
The 7 politically motivated probes enumerated above were almost completely ignored by the right-wing media, but when the Tea Party faces scrutiny because of its own abuses, The Media screams bloody murder. It's the type of yellow journalism the right-wing press loves because it's a story simple enough for their prehistoric base to understand. The funny thing is that the recent hyping of nonexistent "scandals" has hurt the Republicans' approval numbers even more than they already were - and it better continue to. Anyone who'd be more likely to support the GOP because of recent days' events doesn't have the intellectual capacity to even function in society.
Posted by Bandit at 12:53 PM
Monday, May 13, 2013
Since this blog picks up where my old personal blog left off, I shall regale you with the fact I went Roads Scholaring today!
I made a fruitless foray into Dayton, Kentucky, but the event hit paydirt way up in North Fairmount, where a surprise abandoned road was found. About 15 photos lurk in the offing.
Scholaring season coincides with bubbling season. I stopped at Piatt Park on the way back, and some guy bubbled. Also when I was at Piatt, I saw a Dolph Sweet look-alike. (He was the dad in Gimme A Break!)
Posted by Bandit at 3:32 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
One of the surest ways to lose an election is to run against Occupy. Remember what happened to those 4 Cincinnati City Council members? And what about that right-wing idiot in North Carolina who attacked his opponent for speaking to Occupy Raleigh?
The L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce apparently didn't learn shit from these experiences. They're running an ad assailing Los Angeles City Council member and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti for his apparent support of Occupy.
I have no idea whether Garcetti actually supported Occupy or not, and Los Angeles City Council isn't exactly the most liberal bunch around. I do know this: The Chamber of Commerce's commercial lies about Occupy by accusing them of "leaving behind 30 tons of trash." This is a claim that was discredited.
Whoever the liars at the Chamber of Commerce support for mayor probably just lost the election because of this ad. In fact, folks have commented that now they're voting for Garcetti because of his supposed Occupy support.
For not being an electoral organization, Occupy has a damn good record at defeating opponents at the polls.
Posted by Bandit at 2:10 AM
Lest you think the Tea Party might actually be right for once in its miserable existence, we can lay this belief to rest today.
Much noise has been generated about the IRS allegedly singling out the Tea Party for stricter scrutiny, and now a new official report is shedding light on this notion. The Media of course has been happy to help the Tea Party's claims in recent days, but these claims can be debunked.
First of all, when the IRS came up with its rules for enhanced scrutiny in 2011, it was under the auspices of Douglas Shulman - a Bush appointee. This shoots down the Tea Party's claim that President Obama sicced the IRS on them. Furthermore, these guidelines say that organizations received greater scrutiny if there were any statements in their case file critical of how the country is being run. So the rules could apply not only to the Tea Party but also Occupy. If it applied only to right-wing groups like the Tea Party, it's because progressive groups weren't applying to the IRS under the same guidelines as right-wing groups.
There's reasons for that. Although progressive groups have more popular support than the Tea Party, they have far less money to finance organizations that might apply to the IRS. When the guidelines were written, folks on the left didn't have their own named movement like the Tea Party. There was no significant progressive counterpart to the Tea Party at the time - and there still isn't, because Occupy wasn't intended to be one. Plus, the Tea Party was applying under a provision called 501(c)(4) - which covers tax-exempt charities. In other words, the Tea Party was trying to abuse a tax-exempt status by calling themselves a charity instead of the Republican superPAC that they are.
The IRS's basic charge is to make sure people pay taxes. If someone calls themselves a charity when really they're just a political group, why shouldn't the IRS subject them to extra scrutiny?
In 2012 - only months after those guidelines - the IRS issued new guidelines that gave more scrutiny to groups advocating "social economic reform/movement." Gee, I wonder what that was in response to? Ponder, ponder.
The long and short of it is, there is absolutely no scandal here. None. The press shows its Tea Party bias by calling it a "scandal."
Remember when the thug Bush misused the IRS to try to shut down a church in California because the rector delivered a sermon against the Iraq War? That should be the real story here. Not some persecution fantasy held by the 3 remaining Tea Party members.
Posted by Bandit at 12:24 AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
This entry kicks off a new feature for this blog. I call it a LOLapaloozer. A LOLapaloozer is a right-wing crackpot who posts laughably bad postings on Internet comment forums that display their warped logic or other heehaw inducers. Of course, most of these folks are paid trolls who are bankrolled by the Republican National Committee and right-wing think tanks.
For the first installment, here's a comment that some right-winger posted regarding the fast food strikes...
"These fast food workers r demanding $15 hour.THEY DON'T DESERVE IT. ... Gimme Gimme Gimme is the only narrative they know!"
Hahaha. What a beezweezer. If someone who works at a restaurant doesn't deserve $15/hour, then why do CEO's of big corporations deserve hundreds of times that much? The AFL-CIO recently reported that a CEO makes 354 times as much money as the average worker.
People who worked in the factory jobs that are being replaced by fast food jobs made more than $15/hour. So fast food workers may be selling themselves short if they demand only $15/hour - unless anyone seriously thinks they already live a life of yachts and bon-bons like the captains of industry do.
What's next? You almost expect some conservative to grumble, "These fast food workers r demanding to be paid in something other than scrip.THEY DON'T DESERVE IT." It's the same complaint that slave drivers all over the globe have issued.
That ain't all. On another website with an article about the fast food strike, some right-wing kook-a-loon whined...
"You can thank Obama for this new age of entitlement"
So it's Obama's fault people want to be paid for their work?
Twenty years ago, the right-wing narrative was against people who they believed didn't work. Actually, most did work, but the narrative was set. The Tea Party narrative extended this wrath to public workers. Now, the narrative also assails private sector employees who have the worst and lowest-paying jobs. Low-paid workers now occupy the same position in the right-wing conscience as those who were attacked as "welfare queens" 20 years ago. If this keeps up, the people laughing in the end will be these low-paid workers who find their conditions improved because everybody else gets tired of hearing the logic-free vitriol that they face.
Posted by Bandit at 7:34 PM
The city of Cincinnati reveals that in a recent survey, 266 bicyclists reported being a victim of a physical attack over a 12-month period. Assaults included throwing glass bottles at cyclists and attempting to run bikes off the road.
To the lunatic Right, vehicular assault of cyclists is a sport. Blind hatred energizes and motivates them.
But now Cincinnati fights back! The city has a new mobile app and website that helps track these hate crimes against bike commuters. Victims can just visit the website and fill out an incident form. Go to this site and click on "Bicyclist Incidents" at right...
Data from this form will be used to allocate efforts to enforce the rules of the road.
Other cities and counties need to follow suit. They also need to publish the names, license plate numbers, and street addresses of assailants - or better yet, impose tough prison terms. Instead of putting somebody like Bradley Manning in prison, we should instead go after real criminals like people who attack cyclists. For those who commit vehicular assault against cyclists, each community should erect its own old-fashioned jail cells that no sunlight shall penetrate. Do the crime, do the time. I realize some lawbreakers can be rehabilitated, and we should have a civilized penal system that recognizes this - but I have zero hope for any adult who throws bottles at bicyclists. It's not barbaric to demand imprisonment for thugs like this.
The right of cyclists to defend themselves from violent crime is also a key reason I support concealed carry. The Evil Empire doesn't fight with their hands behind their backs, so why should we? (A milquetoast blog this is not.)
For now, the more progressive central city has the tougher approach against vehicular assault, while the more conservative suburbs are the places that expect us to "understand" criminals. Kind of rips a gaping hole in the idea that our side isn't as tough on crime, huh?
Posted by Bandit at 7:26 PM
Friday, May 10, 2013
Three years after the bogus Citizens United ruling, efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood continue, and numerous states (including West Virginia) have now passed a resolution endorsing this amendment.
Today I braved the pouring rain for a rally on Central Parkway in Cincinnati against corporate personhood. Occupy Cincinnati regulars were face-deep in this event, of course. This follows last week's May Day march - which drew about 2,000 people (as opposed to approximately 80 last year).
On a lighter note, library hilarity has loomed large lately. Last week, before I went to the May Day event, I stopped by the Cincinnati Public Library and noticed that someone had put a bus pass in the toilet. Today, I stopped by the libe again, and while I was in the aisle burying my nose in the books about music, somebody was making music of their own: I counted 5 - count 'em, 5 - loud and proud bunker blasts emanating from the distance.
Posted by Bandit at 10:39 PM
Millions of Americans of all economic classes fear working in the fast food industry. Let me be frank: Working in fast food is one of the most hated jobs out there - if not the most hated. It's hard work for low pay, and there's almost no opportunity for advancement.
But the fact is, it doesn't have to be this way. Fast food companies can improve job conditions if they want to, but they've chosen not to.
Now fast food workers have decided not to sell themselves short. Good for them! Recently, fast food employees went on strike in New York City. Now the strike has spread to Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit. This is particularly remarkable because hardly any fast food workers in America today are unionized.
So how's that "right-to-work" law working out for the Michigan GOP now? Few things render "right-to-work" a toothless pod faster than strikes like this.
I've learned in life not to sell myself short. So this strike has my backing. If the strike comes to Cincinnati, and I see a picket line, I will not cross it.
The strike has had an effect. Some fast food restaurants have been forced to shut down because the workers walked out. But others have illegally called in scabs.
Manufacturing jobs were horrendous a century ago. But workers fought hard for better pay and safer jobs. Before long, the dangers of old became a distant memory for most American factory workers. If the fast food strike continues, the same can happen in the fast food biz. Also, if fast food jobs keep replacing manufacturing jobs (a trend that the right-wing media gloats about), it's only fair that fast food jobs should pay as well as the jobs they replace.
I hope this strike goes nationwide. Unfortunately, The Media won't cover it. The right-wing hacks at ABC, for example, are too busy kowtowing to congressional Republicans by "investigating" the Benghazi "cover-up" - even though absolutely zero mainstream voters give a shit about the nakedly partisan Benghazi hearings. So we must work harder to cover the strike. If this potential labor revolution expands further, I plan to keep you posted.
Posted by Bandit at 1:20 PM
The spirit of Hitler lurks large in one Alabama high school.
Recently, a high school student in Hoover, Alabama, was brutalized by a police officer who roams the school and by school officials. The student suffers from diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea, and she was sent to in-school suspension for missing school. While she was there, she fell asleep (probably due to her health issues).
A school supervisor promptly whacked her cubicle, hitting her head. Later, when she fell asleep again, the supervisor slammed a book on her desk, causing the book to hit her. Then the school cop slammed the student's face into a file cabinet and arrested her. She had to be hospitalized because of her injuries.
How very Nazi.
Now the student is suing school officials, the city, and the police department.
Does anyone actually support the school on this? The school's only supporters are probably the same meth-heads who have been complaining for the past 50 years about how "the liberals" are taking away their "right" to beat their kids.
Posted by Bandit at 10:28 AM
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Buford Rogers is a man from Montevideo, Minnesota, who was arrested on Friday for a weapons charge. Now he's been linked to a right-wing domestic terrorist plot.
Authorities say Rogers was planning a terrorist attack - right there in Minnesota, no less. A search of his home turned up firearms, Molotov cocktails, and pipe bombs.
Hear anything about this story from The Media? Not much, I bet. If Rogers was a foreign subject, you can bet your bizcream you'd hear about it 24/7. But he's a homegrown right-winger, so hardly a peep has been heard.
It's not like The Media has been too busy covering May Day events to cover anything else.
Posted by Bandit at 11:46 PM
Well, folks, the Republican Party has just proven they're completely beyond all hope.
Enjoy your new adulterer congressman, GOP. Don't cry to me when he ends up embarrassing himself in Congress and winds up digging the Republicans in even further.
You own this fool, Repubs.
Posted by Bandit at 8:44 PM
A poll by Farleigh Dickinson University reveals that 44% of Republicans support an "armed revolution" to protect what they see as their "liberties." The problem with this is that the Republican Right has a strange view of "liberties" - and there's already an example out there of how an "armed revolution" by right-wingers would turn out.
There's been only one physical coup d'etat in America's recorded history. By that, I don't mean a rigged election - for the modern Republicans rig elections in every cycle. This also does not include invasions against native lands. America's lone coup occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. The event is known as the Wilmington Insurrection.
Granted, the Wilmington Insurrection wasn't carried out by the Republicans; it was carried out by right-wing Dixiecrats against a coalition of Republicans and Populists. But the point still stands: The insurrectionists were the 1898 version of the Tea Party - both in ideology and tactics.
The Wilmington Insurrection was a race riot that toppled the city's duly elected government. The 1898 election swept into office a city council made up of blacks and whites. Two days after the election, a white supremacist mob went on a rampage.
The crowd of about 1,500 burned down the office of an African-American newspaper. They chased public officials out of the city and killed countless people. The racist mob even photographed each other during the rioting. When it was over, thousands of residents had left town permanently.
The state of North Carolina didn't help matters, as the governor authorized one of the leaders of the coup to command the troops who were supposed to be putting down the riot. After rioters installed a new mayor and city council, the state and federal governments refused to restore the city's legitimate leaders.
The Wilmington Insurrection was like a Tea Party mutiny with a strong racist tinge. But that's redundant, as racism guides much of what the Tea Party does. They're much more open though about their classism than they are about their racism.
Will the Tea Party try to pull off a repeat of this illegal coup? Let's think of it this way: 44% of Republicans support an "armed revolution." Even with the GOP a dwindling party, that numbers millions of people. And it's safe to say that a significant percentage of this number own guns. Would the coup stick? I am certain that some state governments would do everything they can to make sure it does. But I have enough faith in the Obama administration that I think the coup leaders would be apprehended soon enough.
A fascist coup - coming to a city near you?
Posted by Bandit at 6:09 PM
Saturday, May 4, 2013
This is uproarious!
Because it's a weekend, you'd rather reminisce about hilarious old TV stuff than read about the latest right-wing blandishments of today's political antiheroes.
So here it comes. This is a 1975 opening to Monday Night Football that I found on YouTube...
The music makes you wanna get up and get down, doesn't it? But what makes this clip amusing is the cartoon man who appears 18 seconds into the clip. The Fred Flintstone-like man is shown watching TV, and when he sees that it's Monday Night Football, he starts goin' to town!
That's right, folks. He starts beatin' his meat. Pulling his joystick. Polishing his trophy. Basting his turkey. Tossing his salad. Walking in Memphis. Pullin' out the fiddle and rosinin' up the bow.
He appears to be fantasizing about football players darting around in his living room. Then he dons a football helmet and shoves his now-tired hand towards the viewer.
He changes into football gear when he watches Monday Night Football? That's like if he puts on a Big Bird suit when he watches Sesame Street.
That guy loves his football.
Posted by Bandit at 12:05 AM
Friday, May 3, 2013
Right-wing violence and insanity have long loomed large across America, as if the Tea Party was swinging its balls across a map of the country.
Fact is, the initiation of violence is a right-wing hallmark - exclusively. I can't name a single instance offhand where anyone on the left used initial force. Occupy participants have been plowed down by cars. Is there any parallel instance in which the Tea Party was attacked like this?
In addition to their propensity for physical force, the conservative intelligentsia (or stupidsia, as I call it) has a near-monopoly on sheer batshittery. That's because they can't handle that they're losing the opinion wars. On just about every issue, polls show their position being defeated in the court of public opinion. Truth be told, America in 2013 is a leftist country, if you go by what the people actually think. In fact, it hasn't been much short of it in the history of modern polling. Americans oppose the Tea Party's politics of austerity and white supremacy by significant margins. Americans support single payer health care, personal freedom, and Occupy's campaign against Wall Street.
When the Far Right sees themselves losing the opinion war, they lash out. Every time they blame the "liberal" media for some policy position, it's actually a cover for blaming the people - who they hold in contempt. They can't stand that the people disagree with them, so they couch their attacks as criticisms of the media, who supposedly "caused" the public to think what they think. The lunatic right can't argue policy, so they find it easier to just blame the media.
I believe in not just a 50-state strategy but a 3,000-county strategy to fight the Far Right. I was born and raised in this area, and the Tea Party doesn't get to come into my county and tell me I have to pay taxes to support their pet causes - while the library goes unfunded. You don't get to be an authoritarian bigot in this town as long as I'm living here. If the Tea Party doesn't like that, tough shit. They can wail about it all they want. I have the spine to stand up to them.
I've been forced to listen to these spoiled brats for 40 years. The idea that I'd stop fighting them now is simply laughable.
Posted by Bandit at 11:18 PM
Tim describes the hilarity of noticing that somebody (whether by accident or by design) dropped their bus pass in the toilet at the library...
Posted by Bandit at 5:01 PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
For weeks, I had a poll on this page asking whether it's morally proper to condone violence against child abusers.
I expected this survey to be controversial, and I actually thought most folks would vote no. I thought there'd be a large contingent of readers who think we should try to "understand" child beaters. Personally, I think those who abuse children have forfeited the privilege of being "understood", but I know there's people out there who think I'm supposed to be mellow and forgiving 100% of the time.
Now the results of the poll are in. Readers of this blog voted 9 to 1 in support of endorsing violence against child abusers. Actually, I saw at various times that there were much more than 9 yes votes, but those votes mysteriously disappeared. I suspect it was actually closer to 15 to 1, but the poll applet is apparently full of bugs, so we'll never know.
Most of the time, I wouldn't harm a gnat. I'm not inclined to violence unless it's self-defense. But I hate people who abuse kids. Think of my stance as the law of the street. I grew up in Highland Heights, and I know official agencies don't always protect the most vulnerable. Children need a voice.
You can disagree, but I do not follow anyone to save me. I know there's not always a knight in shining armor to rescue the defenseless. Plus, I've seen what happens when people are taught to ignore problems instead of fighting back.
Posted by Bandit at 1:14 PM
Monday, April 29, 2013
Here's another reason why you should disown all right-wing acquaintances with all haste (and marry a leftist just to piss them off).
Greg Abbott (not to be confused with the "Shake You Down" guy) is the Attorney General of Texas. A few months ago, a far-right hate group called Texas Values submitted a brief demanding that Abbott nullify laws in some cities and counties that provide benefits for domestic partnerships. And guess what? Now - because Abbott hates gays - Abbott has complied, by declaring that it violates the Texas Constitution for local governments to provide these benefits.
Mind your own fucking business, Greg.
I just hope the cities and counties have the guts to ignore what Greg Abbott says by continuing to provide domestic partner benefits. Talibanists like Abbott like to talk about "states' rights", so why not cities' rights? Quite frankly, I'm tired of cities that want to do the right thing ducking and running when some eliminationist dickhead like Abbott comes along and tries enforcing their will on them.
Greg Abbott is not a good man.
Posted by Bandit at 11:42 PM
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Have you noticed something sneaky lately about the Tea Party - at least locally?
Notice that just about everything they've done this year is through the court system. They realize it's tough for them to win at the polls, so they go judge shopping to try to win favorable rulings.
You don't see elected officials such as Arnold Simpson or Dennis Keene stomping around and trying to close down the library. Who's going to elect candidates who run against the library? The Tea Party is political poison. Even followers of Jeff Kidwell - who regularly speaks to Tea Party gatherings - go to great lengths to deny that Kidwell has anything to do with the Tea Party.
The Tea Party couldn't elect anyone who'd shut down the library. So they sued.
The Tea Party can't get a redistricting map that pleases them passed by elected officials. So they sued.
The Tea Party can't get Kentucky's elected governor (who won by 20 percentage points) to scuttle health care reform. So they sued.
Reminds me of the political ad in the last decade where actors portraying slick lawyers kept saying, "You can sue!" With the Tea Party, it's always sue, sue, sue!
The Tea Party relies on an undemocratic model to get its way. Whenever their candidates are rejected at the polls, they march into court in the hopes they can find a friendly judge who'll set the big, mean libs straight. Local teabaggers file so many of these preposterous lawsuits that you know they're being bankrolled by some larger organization.
Maddeningly, if the Tea Party wins in its absurd bid to redraw the state legislative boundaries themselves, it wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened. A user of another website says that in Illinois in the '90s, the Democrats and the Republicans each submitted their own redistricting map to a court. Instead of finding a compromise, the judge was a partisan hack who ruled that the state had to adopt the Republican map without changing a damn thing.
All of this highlights the idea that the Tea Party usually can't win in a free and fair election, so they have to rig things in their favor. That's why you see not only extreme gerrymandering but also efforts to split states' electoral votes to favor the Republicans, while there's no parallel instance that would favor the Democrats, let alone the Greens. It's why you also see unconstitutional new voter ID laws popping up. If you can't win fair and square, just rig the election in plain sight or find a judge who'll order things done the way you want. That's the Tea Party way.
Posted by Bandit at 4:51 PM
A couple weeks ago, somebody mailed ricin - a deadly poison - to President Obama and other public officials.
This morning, authorities arrested James Everett Dutschke, 41, of Tupelo, Mississippi, in connection with the case. Dutschke has sought office in that area as a Republican. Dutschke is also under investigation in a child molestation case.
Authorities believe Dutschke tried to pin the ricin mailings on local eccentric Paul Curtis, a longtime Dutschke foe. Curtis was initially charged, but the charges were dropped.
Dutschke's arrest is yet another plume in the criminal cap of the modern GOP.
Posted by Bandit at 12:28 PM