Tag Archives: Neo-Confederate Kleptocracy

Ohio: South of the Manson-Nixon Line?

When you try to be better about racism but decide you’re not really about that life: an American story.

In today’s chapter, we go to Franklin Township in Ohio. Now, if you consult your history books, you’ll find that Ohio was a Union state during the Civil War. Which makes the fact that the township installed a marker in 1927 honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee all the more peculiar…

…Because fools and their Confederate monuments are not soon parted, the Lee monument will be returned to be reinstalled and rededicated. The city of Franklin will also throw in $2,000 to pay for damages sustained during the removal of the marker’s plaque.

“In loving memory of Robert E. Lee,” the plaque reads. “And to mark the route of the Dixie Highway.”

Ah, the Dixie Highway. It’s never really far, is it?

South of the Manson-Nixon Line

In the Age of Trump

Gail: It’s certainly a different gig than commenting on presidencies past. With Obama it was one heck of a lot of policy. With George W. Bush you had this perfectly normal guy whose tenure got devoured by a war. I’m not usually accused of rooting for Donald Trump but I am truly praying he doesn’t go down that route. Prospects, however, looked a little dim this week.

Michelle: Yeah, I think we’re learning that the Constitution may, in fact, be a suicide pact. It’s a source of constant astonishment to me that the country has handed over the means to destroy civilization on this planet to an unhinged lunatic who lost the popular vote and was installed with the aid of a hostile foreign power. It’s such an epic institutional failure that it calls everything we thought we knew about this country’s stability into question.

In the Age of Trump

Sinclair Broadcast Group

The company that is soon to own WDAF 4 has instituted a lot of changes at it’s stations; take WJAR-TV, which is mandated to broadcast of multiple programs favorable to Generalissimo Donaldo Juan Trumpo on that state’s most-watched television station.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, a rapidly growing media company that bought Channel 10 in 2014, produces “must-run” segments and distributes them to its local stations nationwide. They must air during daily news programming, Sinclair executives said.

Sinclair is poised to become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations and, with its recent hire of former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn, viewers can expect to see more of the chain’s political programming.

The practice, which has infused a political flavor into the 68-year-old WJAR’s broadcasts, started quietly there at least a year ago.

Three of the segments have rattled viewers and WJAR’s own news reporters, according to Fletcher Fischer, the business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228, the union that represents broadcast workers there:

  • The Terrorism Alert Desk, advertised as a daily news update about terrorist activity.
  • News pieces from Epshteyn, Sinclair’s chief political analyst.
  • A clearly labeled opinion show featuring Mark Hyman, a former vice president of the company.

These pieces are fed to Sinclair’s 174 stations in the United States every day.

Sinclair’s insertion of the segments into news programming has been harshly critiqued by Rhode Islanders and national commentators.

Gloria Crist, a 54-year-old actress from Tiverton, says she’s stopped watching the station.

Rep. David N. Cicilline condemned the practice, saying: “Rhode Islanders rely on our local news being produced in Rhode Island, not directed by a national conglomerate for local broadcasters to deliver.”

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote, “What Fox News is for cable, Sinclair could become for broadcast: programming with a soupçon — or more — of conservative spin.”

And HBO’s John Oliver dedicated a show to what he calls Sinclair’s corporate propaganda.

But Sinclair says it’s providing national commentary to “free up” reporters “to create more local news, which we considered to be squarely in the public interest.”

So much for the “liberal” mainstream media, n’est-ce pas?

WDAF is already a FOX sock puppet, so perhaps there won’t be too significant a change locally. And hey! our own Terrorism Alert Desk! Hoo boy – bring on the popcorn!

Better yet, Sinclair is launching a “national investigative news team“, which we would assume, would –at least locally– delve into the Kansas City Water Department incompetency, the downtown hotel cash give-away, as well as the illegalities surrounding the street car.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Circumvention


Though the memo issuance is routine, it could appear that Trump — via Mnuchen & Tillerson — might try to circumvent the Russia sanctions.

Of course that would be morally wrong and legally questionable, but when has that ever bothered this White House.

Stay tuned…

Circumvention

The Sheriff of Nuttingham

After the Sheriff of Nuttingham’s abrupt resignation last week, he issued the following statement:

“I have chosen to retire to pursue other opportunities,” the statement said. “I will have news about my next steps in the very near future.”

If we had to guess, we’d anticipate early next week Generalissimo Donaldo Juan Trumpo will announce the White House –now a full-fledged employment agency for sociopaths, christian crazies and bottom-of-the-barrel grifters– has employed Clarke in a supernumerary capacity 1 whose main function is to drive “libtards” mad.

This announcement might come sooner should the Generalissimo deem the media’s coverage of his Texas Empathy Tour less that sufficiently laudatory.

Au Courant

Show 1 footnote

  1. But one that allows Clarke to sport a new uniform, replete with new & improved imaginary medals.

Generalissimo Trumpo Under the Gun

Here’s the first public notice that The Orange ¡Pendejo! himself is now in Mueller’s crosshairs:

Federal investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are keenly focused on President Donald Trump’s role in crafting a response to a published article about a meeting between Russians and his son Donald Jr., three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The sources told NBC News that prosecutors want to know what Trump knew about the meeting and whether he sought to conceal its purpose.

The meeting occurred at Trump Tower in June 2016 and was attended by Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The meeting, which was first reported by The New York Times, also involved Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and former Soviet intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.

At the time, the White House confirmed that Trump had “weighed in” as the response to the Times report was drafted aboard Air Force One on July 8 as the president returned to the U.S. from the G20 meeting in Germany. The Washington Post reported that Trump had “dictated” the response.

Not good for Generalissimo Trumpo. So imagine his displeasure with the following revelation:

A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.

But, of course, what Sater told Cohen probably never made it to his client, Trump. Right?

In another email, Mr. Sater envisioned a ribbon-cutting in Moscow. “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Mr. Sater wrote.

Mr. Cohen suggested that Mr. Sater’s comments were puffery. “He has sometimes used colorful language and has been prone to “salesmanship,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement. “I ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.”

I don’t know about you, but I believe him!

The Times reported earlier this year on the plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow, which never materialized. On Sunday, The Washington Post reported the existence of the correspondence between Mr. Sater and Mr. Cohen but not its content.

The Trump Organization on Monday turned over emails to the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election and whether anyone in Mr. Trump’s campaign was involved. Some of the emails were obtained by The Times.

The Trump Organization issued a statement Monday saying: “To be clear, the Trump Organization has never had any real estate holdings or interests in Russia.”

Really? Show us Generalissimo Trumpo’s tax returns to prove it. Because we already know the above is a lie: We KNOW Generalissimo Trumpo had Russian interests.

So…are the ReThugs coming to their senses and talking –finally!– impeachment? Fuck, no; quite the opposite:

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is pushing an amendment to severely curtail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

DeSantis has put forward a provision that would halt funding for Mueller’s probe six months after the amendment’s passage. It also would prohibit Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump launched his presidential campaign.

The amendment is one of hundreds filed to a government spending package the House is expected to consider when it returns next week from the August recess. The provision is not guaranteed a vote on the House floor; the House Rules Committee has wide leeway to discard amendments it considers out of order.

In a statement, DeSantis said the order appointing Mueller as special counsel “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”

“Congress should use its spending power to clarify the scope and limit the duration of this investigation,” he explained. Deputy Attorney General Rod “Rosenstein has said that the DOJ doesn’t conduct fishing expeditions; the corollary to this admonition should be that Congress will not fund a fishing expedition.”

Given the obvious treasonous aiding and abetting Congressional ReThugs insist on providing for Generalissimo Trumpo, as well as the rest of the GOP turning their collective blind eye toward The Orange Pendejo’s machinations, combined with the increasing number of violent alt-right groups in the country, is it any wonder that people are seriously worried about another civil war?

America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.

“We keep saying, ‘It can’t happen here,’ but then, holy smokes, it can,” Mines told me after we talked, on Sunday, about Charlottesville. The pattern of civil strife has evolved worldwide over the past sixty years. Today, few civil wars involve pitched battles from trenches along neat geographic front lines. Many are low-intensity conflicts with episodic violence in constantly moving locales. Mines’s definition of a civil war is large-scale violence that includes a rejection of traditional political authority and requires the National Guard to deal with it. On Saturday, McAuliffe and declared a state of emergency

…President Trump “modeled violence as a way to advance politically and validated bullying during and after the campaign,” Mines wrote in Foreign Policy. “Judging from recent events the left is now fully on board with this,” he continued, citing anarchists in anti-globalization riots as one of several flashpoints. “It is like 1859, everyone is mad about something and everyone has a gun.”

You, to summarize:

We’ve sitting president who (putatively) colluded with q foreign government to undermine the 2016 elections; who is at the heart of a vast investigation into those elections; who not only approved violence against his political opponents but actually approved of it; who thinks nothing of pitting American against American and appears ready to leave the White House only when it is pried from his dead, short-fingered hands.

Wake up, people.
Generalissimo Trumpo Under the Gun

Neo-Nazi Internet Options

Yet the decision of web providers yanking services and ejecting Nazi scumbags is apparently a controversial and unprecedented issue. It would appear that until now, like Trump, internet companies like Facebook and Cloudflare have not shared the instinctive moral revulsion most Americans, Europeans, and British feel toward white supremacists and neo-Nazis…

It should be noted that press has simultaneously noted that hate groups and white supremacist memes “thrive, even in wide open, public communities” on Facebook. Don’t worry, it’s still a clean, well-lit place for fascism: Facebook still defends Holocaust denial as free speech as its policy, despite the fact that it is illegal in 16 countries because it is linked to violence against Jews…

The problem is that the same companies we’re cheering at to take a bite out of Nazi privilege and access are the same companies whose takedown and censorship processes are muddy — which is what gives them play to censor people they simply don’t want on their services. Like people who work in the sex industry, and LGBT people, who are most often silenced at the censorship end of these policies. One need only read the news over the past several years to see that legitimate voices get silenced online far more than those of aging skinheads and young Nazis.

Neo-Nazi Internet Options

Confederate

So, once again: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.1

HBO’s motives aside, the plea to wait supposes that a problem of conception can be fixed in execution. We do not need to wait to observe that this supposition is, at best, dicey. For over a century, Hollywood has churned out well-executed, slickly produced epics which advanced the Lost Cause myth of the Civil War. These are true “alternative histories,” built on “alternative facts,” assembled to depict the Confederacy as a wonderland of virtuous damsels and gallant knights, instead of the sprawling kleptocratic police state it actually was. From last century’s The Birth of a Nation to this century’s Gods and Generals, Hollywood has likely done more than any other American institution to obstruct a truthful apprehension of the Civil War, and thus modern America’s very origins. So one need not wait to observe that any foray by HBO into the Civil War must be met with a spirit of pointed inquiry and a withholding of all benefit of the doubt.”

Confederate

“After all, this show’s premise proposes to create a “fictionalized” plot about the continuation of slavery, as if thousands of American farmers and corporations didn’t continue to practice slavery well into the 1940s. The show acts as if the latter half of the twentieth century didn’t see America’s prison population swell with millions of Black bodies. It pretends that today’s prisons and venerable corporations don’t exploit the 13th amendment to profit from forced prison labor. HBO’s Confederate imagines that there aren’t more people under state control today than there were in chains at the peak of American slavery.”

Confederate

Confederate, the sci-fi, alt-history drama of what the United States would look like if the North had lost the Civil War, had been announced by HBO in late July. The brainchild of Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the series is a four-part collaboration between Weiss and Benioff, who are white, and Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, a married writer and producer couple, who are black. The Spellmans are behind hit television shows The Good Wife and Empire.

The show, in early stages of development, has received major backlash. April Reign, creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, mobilized the Twittersphere on Sunday night with #NoConfederate, a joint effort between Reign and activists Rebecca Theodore, Jamie Broadnax, Shanelle Little, and Lauren Warren. And they were not alone in their concerns — earlier, critic Roxane Gay had condemned the series in the New York Times, calling it “slavery fan fiction.”

The message? Do not run this show.

Reign posits that the subject alone is reason enough to cancel the show, pointing out that the effects of slavery are still felt today. Responding to someone suggesting that the show might illustrate what living with racism is like, Reign tweeted: “You mean white people. People of color are well aware of this. We don’t need a TV show. We have, you know, our daily existence and stuff.”

Confederate

Show 1 footnote

  1. Or, if one is cynical enough, perhaps HBO knows exactly what its doing: broadening the blood thirsty audience brought in by GoT to include the drooling knuckle-dragging, paste-eating tRump supporters who would normally eschew HBO as being too “cosmopolitan.”