Day: July 13, 2010

Megyn Kelly Flips Out At Fox Contributor In Effort To Push Faux Scandal About New Black Panther Party

Today on Fox News’ America Live, host Megyn Kelly discussed the manufactured right-wing “scandal” surrounding the New Black Panther Party, and whether the Department of Justice is being insufficiently tough against black defendants. As Media Matters has documented, the “scandal” surfaced on Fox News and has slowly migrated to more mainstream networks. (Read background on the issue here.)

This afternoon, Kelly invited New York Post columnist — and regular Fox contributor — Kirsten Powers to debate the importance of this story. Kelly bemoaned that “no one seems to give a darn” about the allegations promulgated by former Bush DoJ lawyer J. Christian Adams. The conservative activist claims that the Obama Justice Department dropped voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party due to racial considerations. Contrary to the claims, the Obama DoJ has issued an injunction against the member of the NBPP who was seen engaging in voter intimidation tactics, prohibiting him “from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any Philadelphia polling place through 2012.”

Powers effectively dismantled the faux scandal for what it is, telling Kelly, “You can put me in the same category of people who don’t really give a darn.” “You don’t seem to know what you’re talking about,” Kelly immediately responded, growing more enraged as the two wrestled, jabbed, and bickered over the facts:

POWERS: The minute I challenge you, you tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about?

KELLY: Because you don’t.

POWERS: You just want people to come on and just agree with you

KELLY: No, I want informed people.

POWERS: — that what you’ve been doing and the way you’ve been completely doing the “scary black man thing.”

Powers told Kelly, “I don’t remember people screaming” about the Bush administration’s miscarriages of justice in the Civil Rights Division. “Don’t make me cut your mic,” Kelly threatened at one point. Watch the showdown.

In the segment, Powers correctly noted that the allegations about the DoJ’s wrongdoing stem from a “conservative activist posing as a whistleblower” and are being peddled with conservative “hysteria.”

Abigail Thernstrom, the Vice Chair of the Civil Rights Commission, implored conservatives to “forget about the New Black Panther Party case; it is very small potatoes,” adding that “evidence has yet to be offered” to justify the right wing fearmongering.

Rush Limbaugh’s Steinbrenner Eulogy: ‘That Cracker Made A Lot Of African-Americans Millionaires’

 

 

Rush Limbaugh is a sick son-of-a-bitch! 

Huffington Post – Jason Linkins 

I find it particularly difficult to parse what Rush Limbaugh is saying about the late George Steinbrenner in the clip above. 

On the one hand, it makes sense that Limbaugh would praise Steinbrenner as the “classic capitalist” — after all, Steinbrenner was a big success at erecting a cult of personality, which he used to maintain the structural inequities of his particular marketplace, which he harnessed to great success. 

But then you have comments like “that cracker made a lot of African-Americans millionaires,” and, “at the same time, he fired a lot of white guys.” Obviously, that doesn’t exactly jibe with Limbaugh’s theories of how wealth distribution in society should work. (Maybe if the New Black Panther Party wins the American League pennant this year, all will be forgiven?) 

Per Media Matters, Limbaugh also said “that Steinbrenner ‘knew when to die,’ because there is currently no estate tax.”

Six New Orleans Police Officers Indicted in Danziger Bridge Case

This is pretty huge.  This occurred in 2004 and finally, justice might be served.

United States Department of Justice – Press Release

WASHINGTON –Six officers with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) were charged today in connection with the federal investigation of a police-involved shooting on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department announced today.   The incident resulted in the death of two civilians and the wounding of four others.  

 The indictment charges four officers – Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso – in connection with the shootings, and charges those four officers and two supervisors – Arthur “Archie” Kaufman and Gerard Dugue – with helping to obstruct justice during the subsequent investigations.

 The indictment alleges that officers Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso open fired on an unarmed family on the east side of the bridge, killing 17-year- old James Brissette, and wounding Susan Bartholomew, 38; Leonard Bartholomew III, 44; the Bartholomew’s daughter, Lesha, 17; and the Bartholomew’s nephew, Jose Holmes, 19. The Bartholomews’ 14-year-old son ran away from the shooting and was fired at, but was not injured.  

 The second shooting occurred minutes later on the west side of the bridge, where officers shot at brothers Lance and Ronald Madison,   killing Ronald, a 40-year-old man with severe mental disabilities. The indictment alleges Faulcon shot Ronald Madison in the back as Ronald ran away.   Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Ronald Madison while Ronald was wounded, but not yet dead.   Ronald later died at the scene.   

“As our investigation of the Danziger Bridge incident shows, the Justice Department will vigorously pursue anyone who allegedly violated the law,” said Attorney General Holder. “Put simply, we will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who have sworn to protect the public.” 

“In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans were relying upon law enforcement to protect publ ic safety. The officers indicted today are accused of abusing their power and violating their public trust. Today’s indictment exemplifies the department’s commitment to aggressively prosecute any officer who violates the law either by engaging in misconduct or a conspiracy to deny justice,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.   Continue reading…

Right-wing media manufacture outrage over Michelle Obama’s noncontroversial NAACP remarks

This is getting tiresome.  Michelle Obama is being ostracized for telling the truth!

The right-wing media is all but accusing First Lady, Michelle Obama of “race-baiting”.  In my opinion, the right-wing media needs to “grow up”.   This is pure bull!  They merely want to rile up their uninformed base with innuendos that are clearly made up lies.

The more I see the right-wing in general, politicians, pundits, media types all scrambling to make up lies about the Obamas  and former White house “green czar”, Van Jones, ACORN and now Attorney General Eric Holder, the more I see a bunch of punks who are relying on their base to get angry and blame everything on the White House’s alleged “incompetence”.   Never mind the accomplishments made by this sitting president in the past eighteen months.  They’d rather paint a picture that’s much more ominous.

The problem is, their projection is way too obvious.  There are documented facts that show the right-wing media has been race-baiting since Barack Obama started campaigning for the presidency. 

Media Matters

Following Michelle Obama’s address to the NAACP, right-wing media have selectively quoted or distorted her comments, used race-baiting headlines to cover her remarks, and manufactured outrage over her statement that “stubborn inequalities still exist” in America. In fact, Michelle Obama was correct that persistent inequality exists “in education and health, income and wealth,” and her speech focused on improving the future for children, largely through her childhood obesity initiative.

Michelle Obama points out racial “inequalities still persist” and urged increased “intensity” in “fighting for a better future for our children” Michelle Obama:

“Stubborn inequalities still persist — in education and health, in income and wealth.”

In a speech to the NAACP’s annual convention, Michelle Obama stated that “stubborn inequalities still exist” in America, and that the NAACP’s founders “would urge us to increase our intensity, and to increase our discipline and our focus and keep fighting for a better future for our children and our grandchildren.” From Michelle Obama’s July 12 remarks to the NAACP National Convention:

So I know that I stand here today, and I know that my husband stands where he is today, because of this organization — (applause) — and because of the struggles and the sacrifices of all those who came before us.

But I also know that their legacy isn’t an entitlement to be taken for granted. And I know it is not simply a gift to be enjoyed. Instead, it is an obligation to be fulfilled.

And when so many of our children still attend crumbling schools, and a black child is still far more likely to go to prison than a white child, I think the founders of this organization would agree that our work is not yet done. (Applause.)

When African American communities are still hit harder than just about anywhere by this economic downturn, and so many families are just barely scraping by, I think the founders would tell us that now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

When stubborn inequalities still persist — in education and health, in income and wealth — I think those founders would urge us to increase our intensity, and to increase our discipline and our focus and keep fighting for a better future for our children and our grandchildren.

Right-wing media react to speech with outrage and race-baiting headlines

Hoft: Michelle Obama “told the racist leftists” at the NAACP “that ‘America is still unequal.'” In a July 12 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote “The first black First Lady of the United States told the racist leftists at the 101st NAACP Convention today that- ‘America is still unequal.'” Hoft posted part of Michelle Obama’s speech to the NAACP, and wrote “Of course, the fact that Michelle Obama criticized America at the NAACP Convention surprises no one.”

Fox Nation: “First Lady Tells NAACP: America Still Unequal.” The Fox Nation posted video of Michelle Obama’s speech to the NAACP under the headline “First Lady Tells NAACP: America Still Unequal.”

Drudge: “Michelle tells blacks to ‘increase intensity.” The Drudge Report linked to an ABC news story about Michelle Obama’s speech with the headline “Michelle tells blacks to ‘increase intensity.’

Costner’s Machine Heads To Gulf

Actor Kevin Costner, co-founder of Ocean Therapy, speaks during the announcement that the Ella G. vessel to will be deployed carrying Ocean Therapy’s centrifuge system to separate oil and water, Port Fourchon, La., Thursday July 8, 2010. | Photo by APClose

 

Most actors don’t get immediate results after testifying on Capitol Hill. Not so for Kevin Costner. Just about a month after his visit to Washington, the AP reports, Costner will see the oil-cleaning centrifuge machine that he and his company, Costner Industries Nevada Corp, developed over fifteen years ago be used in the Gulf.

 Last week, Costner met with BP operating officer Doug Suttles; shortly after, the oil company announced that its Ella G. vessel has been retrofitted with one of Costner’s cleaning machines. The ship will deploy off the Louisiana coast Thursday to skim the surface of the Gulf.

 In early June, when Costner testified in Washington before the House Science and Technology Committee, he said that his company “has conducted two successful tests with BP” and the company “acknowledged that [the machines] do work.” Costner stated that the company had purchased 32 of the machines.

Rick Sanchez Moving To CNN Primetime — Temporarily

Move over Bill-O and KO, there’s a new kid in the 8:00 pm primetime slot on CNN.

Huffington Post

Rick Sanchez announced on air Monday that his show, “Rick’s List,” will be moving to 8PM from its current 3PM slot until Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker’s new show is ready in the fall.

Sanchez’s announcement had two parts:

“Pretty soon we’re going to have two things going on. A: We’re going to be doing this newscast at 8:00 at night. We’re excited about that, and my book is going to be coming out.”

TVNewser reported that Sanchez will start July 22.

“Rick’s List,” which saw its own premiere in January, will presumably be acting as a placeholder, filling the gap between Campbell Brown’s departure near the end of July and the recently announced Spitzer/Parker panel show. There has been no word yet about when, exactly, that show will debut, though it is expected to premiere in the fall.

This is not Sanchez’s first time filling the 8 PM slot in between permanent hosts. In 2007, he anchored “Out In The Open” for eight months following the departure of Brown’s forerunner, Paula Zahn.

David Vitter: I Support Birther Lawsuits (VIDEO)

TPMDC

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has made his views known on the Birther controversy: He supports lawsuits to force President Obama to produce his birth certificate.

“I personally don’t have standing to bring litigation in court,” Vitter said. “But I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it.”

But on the other hand, Vitter takes a relatively enlightened approach to the issue, telling conservative activists that they shouldn’t let the Birther issue distract them from the important work of this November’s elections.

Vitter appeared yesterday at an event yesterday in Metairie, Louisiana, hosted by the Greater New Orleans Tea Party. According to tracker video provided to us by the Louisiana Democrats, a man got up during a Q&A and asked Vitter what he would do about what the man described as Obama’s failure to produce a valid birth certificate. Here is Vitter’s answer:

“I know all the information I’ve been able to get my hands on through the media. But obviously with the mainstream media as a filter, that’s not a whole lot. I personally don’t have standing to bring litigation in court. But I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it. Let me also say this. I think quite frankly, and I’ll be blunt, I think if we focus on that issue and let our eye off the ball in terms of this fall’s election, in terms of ongoing policy votes, week in, week out in the Congress, I think that’s a big mistake. I think we need (applause) — I think first and foremost, I’m not dismissing any of this. I think first and foremost, we need to fight the Obama agenda at the ballot box, starting this fall, we can (inaudible, due to applause) a new and very different Congress.”

The Vitter campaign has not returned our request for comment.

Fox News’ Lies – Bush’s Department Of Justice Dropped Panther Case…Not The Obama DOJ!

Here is a mash-up of Fox News’ constant attack on the New Black Panther Party.

Fox News’ latest celebrity, J. Christian Adams an alleged whistle blower who worked at the Department of Justice under Eric Holder, claims that the Obama justice department dropped the Black Panther case and refuse to re-open the case.  There’s one problem:

Atlanta Journal Constitution – Cynthia Tucker

Several of you have clamored for me to say something about the alleged voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, which involves a thuggish group who call themselves the “New Black Panthers.” (While I was no fan of the original Black Panthers, they don’t deserve to have their reputation further befouled by this group. The two groups are in no way related.)

I was loathe to comment since I know that no rational discussion will follow. How could it? It was clear from the beginning that this was not a case of voter intimidation against anyone who might vote for John McCain. As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT. As blogger Ben Smith noted way back then, “You don’t typically intimidate your own voters.”

But solid reporting from Media Matters and Adam Serwer of The American Prospect ought to put this nonsense to rest (it won’t, but it should). The charges against the New Black Panthers were downgraded by the Bush Department of Justice:

The decision not to file a criminal case occurred before Obama was even in office.

This means that the case was downgraded to a civil case 11 days before Obama was inaugurated, 26 days before Eric Holder became attorney general, and about nine months before Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of the Civil Rights Division.

From Media Matters:

# Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;
# The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
# The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;
# The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;
# No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;

So, no matter how many times J. Christian Adams declares that the Obama administration refuses to protect the rights of white people — and no matter how many times Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh repeat it — it’s not true.

Eric Cantor Says Republicans Could Take Back The House In November: Will They Really?

 

Huffington Post 

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hopped on the GOP-could-take-control-of-the-House bandwagon on Monday — a prediction offered by none other than White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over the weekend. 

“I think we’re going to retake the House, as Mr. Gibbs suggested yesterday,” Cantor said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “That’s going to change the dynamic for sure.” 

“When we regain the House — because I do think that we’ll retake the majority — the president will have to deal with us,” Cantor said, speaking more optimistically about the GOP’s political fortunes than his colleagues have in the past

(On NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday Gibbs speculated that there are enough closely contested House seats in play in November that the Republicans could potentially win the necessary 39 races and take control of the chamber.) 

The political team at MSNBC, including Chuck Todd, are quick to admit that Democrats stand to lose a lot in November’s elections, but they predict that outright control of the House won’t be one of the casualties. Here are four reasons why they say Democrats will keep the House in their hands: 

1) Unlike in ’94, the Republican Party has a [favorable/unfavorable] score that’s no better (and sometimes even worse) than the Dem Party’s. 

2) Unlike in ’94, the GOP isn’t necessarily running on new ideas or even with many new faces. 

 3) The National Republican Congressional Committee has a HUGE financial disadvantage compared with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the RNC’s political/fundraising troubles won’t be able to make up the difference 

4) Winning 39 seats is a tall order. After all, when Democrats won back the House in 2006 — during the height of violence in Iraq and after Hurricane Katrina — they picked up 30 House seats. The GOP will need almost 10 more than that. 

 One thing that’s truly amazing about this cycle, historically: The fact we’re headed for a third-straight cycle where more than 20 seats change hands.