Tag Archives: Missouri

Peggy Noonan: Obama Should Endorse Rodeo Clowns, Because Obamacare

The madness continues…


Peggy Noonan’s latest column is a peanut butter cup of concern-trolling. Noonan layers a critique of Obamacare—fair!—within a strange call for President Barack Obama to defend those involved in the Missouri State Fair rodeo clown snafu, to demonstrate his tolerance for taking criticism on things like health care. Unlike a peanut butter cup, this does not work.

Suggesting that Obamacare was “part of why people wind up making fun of the president at state fairs,” Noonan counseled:

“Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, ‘So what?’ Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it?”

“Unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly” doth protest too much. Two politicians have condemned the rodeo clown, Claire McCaskill, and a state GOP official who said “We’re better than this.” Both of them did it in under 140 characters, or less than the length it took Noonan to melodramatically deride them.

“[Obama] would never do it,” Noonan bemoaned. “He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?”

Yes, why else would you mock him? Noonan was on the Sunday talky shows last weekend, so she may have missed Donald Trump digging up birtherism’s corpse and swinging it at a hapless Jon Karl, suggesting that five years into Obama’s presidency his nationality should still be suspect because…well, Trump doesn’t feel the need to state the reason. Who’s filling in the blanks here?

At least one fellow scribe saw a problem with Noonan’s advice:

Marbles, indeed. We actually got a press conference from the president last week*, and its main takeaway, since nobody really gives a Clapper about surveillance, is that the president is quite confident in Obamacare the Affordable Care Act, to the point of daring the GOP to run against it. Obama has no problem with taking criticism; he’s inviting it. The rodeo’s happening around him.

* More of those, please.

Real the full article HERE.

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Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair draws protest – UPDATE: Video Added

Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair, photo by Perry Beam.

Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair, photo by Perry Beam.

The Raw Story

“I felt like I was at a Klan rally,” Missouri State Fair goer Perry Beam told Raw Story, his outrage stoked by watching a rodeo crowd whoop and holler at a clown wearing an Obama mask while an announcer asked “Who wants to see Obama get trampled?” this weekend.

The fair – which is established by the Missouri Legislature – is formally a nonpartisan event. “This isn’t a Republican state fair,” Beam said. “I want to write the governor and the fair board, because I want my money back. This was shameful.”

A call to a spokesman for the fair has yet to be returned. The rodeo at the fair is produced by the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, which also has not yet returned a call seeking comment.

Beam said they brought out the clown like a statue, “and the announcer said, ‘Look at our Obama dummy.’” As the announcer called for the “dummy” to get gored, the crowd began to cheer. Eventually, a bull approached the supposed statue, which jumped up and ran away to cheers, Beam said.

The problem with the performance comes from the partisan assumptions made about the audience, and the racial subtext about calling for violence against the president, Beam said.

“Is this what we want people to see of us?” asked Beam. “I’m a native of Missouri, I play country music for a living. Knuckleheads. They should know better.”


Filed under Obama Derangement Syndrome

Ku Klux Klan: Our neighborhood watch program is “not racist”

Credit: Screenshot, KY3 News

This was inevitable given the current racial climate in America…


The racist organization has been recruiting Missouri residents by leaving fliers in their yards

Aside from a jury duty notice, a bag of burning feces or maybe an Amway salesman, the last thing anyone wants to find on their doorstep is an invitation from the Ku Klux Klan. So imagine the horror of Springfield, Missouri, residents last week who discovered a recruitment flier from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan while reaching for their morning papers.

The flier, which features an array of bold text in different fonts and sizes, attempts to convince intrepid young Springfielders (Springfieldites? Springfieldians?) to join their neighborhood watch program. “You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!” it promises.

Naturally, many Springfield residents did not sleep better knowing that wild-eyed, hooded bigots were trolling the neighborhood at all hours, and immediately contacted local news station KY3 News, who called the number listed on the flier. While Klan representative Frank Ancona said he didn’t know whether the fliers were distributed as part of an organized effort by the group (as opposed to, y’know, invisible, magical racist elves), he did say that the neighborhood watch program was not racist, and that if a Springfield resident reported seeing a white guy “up to no good” the Klan would also intervene.

So rest easy, Springfielders: If there’s something strange in the neighborhood, no need to call the Ghostbusters. Call the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. They don’t have proton packs, but they do have pointy hats. And rudimentary Microsoft Office skills.

(Via KY3 News)


Filed under Racial Polarization

An Emotional Call to Action on Gun Violence (TFC Evening Wrap-up)

What Gabby Said

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head two years ago this month in a shooting that also left six of her constituents dead, including a nine year-old girl. In the wake of the Newtown gun massacre, Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group that “will encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.”

Today the Senate Senate Judiciary Committee, which is expected to begin formal work on a gun violence prevention bill in the next month, held a hearing that opened with a statement from Giffords. Giffords told the senators that “the time is now,” they “must act,” and must “be bold.”

Watch Giffords challenge senators to deal with America’s gun violence epidemic:

Giffords’ handwritten testimony:

BOTTOM LINE: Gabby Giffords is right. Americans are counting on our political leaders to summon the courage to take commonsense steps to address the gun violence epidemic that results in 33 Americans being murdered each and every day.

The Progress Report

The study the NRA’s top Washington lobbyist hopes you won’t actually look up.

Teenager who performed at the Inauguration last week was gunned down yesterday in Chicago.

Senator catches the NRA’s top Washington lobbyist in an epic flip-flop on background checks.

GOP senator: people need to arm themselves because GOP-forced budget cuts will mean fewer cops.

Missouri bill would force all first-graders to take NRA-sponsored gun class.

Communism, polygamy, and human cloning are more popular than NRA lobbyists’ position on gun violence.

Republican witness claims mothers need an AR-15 assault rifle to defend their children.

Meet the nine year-old girl who would likely still be alive today if high-capacity magazines were illegal.

Another shooting happened as the Senate held its hearing on gun violence.


Filed under Evening News Wrap-up

Todd Akin in a ditch, still digging

Rachel Maddow Blog

Rep. Todd Akin, the right-wing U.S. Senate candidate in Missouri, made matters worse for himself last week when he complained about Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D) capacity to be “ladylike.” It led the usually understated Chris Cillizza to marvel at Akin’s “devastatingly bad candidacy.”

It can, however, get worse.

In this undated clip, we see Akin fielding a question from a voter who asked about the congressman’s vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?” the audience member asked.

Ordinarily, the standard line from far-right officials is that women aren’t paid less than men, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Akin, however, seemed to suggest wage discrimination simply isn’t a problem for government to address.

“I believe in free enterprise,” Akin said. “I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom. If someone wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”

In other words, we don’t need anti-discrimination laws at all. As far as this U.S. Senate candidate is concerned, if a woman takes a job and gets paid less than men doing the same work, it’s her fault — laws just aren’t necessary.

Unless Missouri Republicans have a plan to disenfranchise women between now and Election Day, I suspect there will be quite a gender gap in this race.

Incidentally, an Akin campaign consultant last week also compared Akin to cult leader David Koresh. It was apparently intended to be complimentary.

Update: How tarnished is Akin’s reputation at this point? Democrats have begun using him against other Republicans as far away from Missouri as New York.


Filed under Todd Akin

Todd Akin: The man who said too much

Todd Akin: The man who said too much

I think David Axelrod was spot when he said that the Republican Establishment is not really upset with what Todd Akin said.  They are upset with Todd Akin for letting the proverbial “cat out of the bag”.

The GOP did not want to “broadcast” their true views during election season for fear of backlash from women and independents.


The Republican Party turned on Todd Akin because he made plain their creeping extremism and political strategy

When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that  “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more.  In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration.  He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.

Along with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Akin was an original co-sponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — which, originally, narrowed the federal definition of rape to restrict the ability of women and girls to use Medicaid dollars and tax-exempt health spending accounts to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape. Akin has since said he “misspoke” in his “legitimate rape” remarks, but the legislation he and Paul Ryan sponsored similarly re-labeled rape as “forcible rape” — creepily suggesting there are other, more acceptable versions. What’s more creepy? These are not fringe opinions expressed by powerless lunatics at teeny right-wing organizations. These are the opinions of over 200 Republican members of Congress, one of whom is the party’s candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri and one of whom is the party’s candidate for Vice President.

Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of.   Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and  Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Todd Akin, Right-wing disinformation campaign

GOP Senate Candidate Suggests The Voting Rights Act Of 1965 Should Be Overturned

Think Progress

Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, suggested in an interview that it was time to “look at or overturn” the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Asked directly if seminal federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discriminatory voting procedures needed to be modified or scrapped, Akin said that states — not the federal government — should set voting rules. According to Akin, elections “have historically always been a state thing” and that’s a “good principle.”

Fired Up Missouri has the video from St. Louis Fox 2

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits the states from implementing voting procedures that “discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group.” The law built on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

Akin has a reputation for extreme views on a variety of topics.

Fox 2 is scheduled to release more of their interview with Akin on Sunday.


Filed under Rep. Todd Akin

KKK seeks to ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ in Georgia

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members at 2009 rally (Flickr/Arete13)

I would say “only in Georgia”, but it happened in another state as well…

The Raw Story

The state of Georgia is in a bind after a local Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group filed a request to join the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program.

Records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that the International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County has applied to “adopt” one mile of Route 515, located in the Appalachian Mountains near North Carolina. The state would be forced to give the group official recognition in the form of road signs bearing their name and other benefits in return for cleaning up litter on the stretch of highway.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation told Raw Story that he was aware of the request but could not say more.

The state of Missouri in 1999 argued that they could bar a KKK group from participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program without violating their First Amendment rights. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the group eventually won after the state’s case was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation were meeting with lawyers in the state attorney general’s office on Monday to decide how to proceed. In the end, the state could be forced to include the white supremacist group or end the program altogether.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Georgia Politics

West Wing Week: 5/25/2012 or “We Are Not Meant to Walk This Road Alone”

The White House

This week, the President announced a major new initiative on food security, hosted the G8 and NATO summits, gave the commencement addresses in Joplin, Missouri and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and traveled to Iowa to urge Congress to act on the “To Do List,” invest in clean energy, and extend the Production Tax Credit that has bipartisan support.

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Romney’s CPAC Speech Has An Epic Stagecraft Fail


The awkward elements of Mitt Romney’s speech at CPAC Friday began even before the GOP frontrunner opened his mouth.

Like all the high-profile speakers before him, Romney delivered his address from the CPAC main stage at a Marriot hotel in Washington, DC. That means he stood behind a pair of teleprompters and in front of a pair of fake Grecian columns.

Just the other night, when he was giving his address amid the defeats in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, Romney took a shot at the man he’s trying to oust from the White House for – well – using teleprompters and standing in front of fake columns. Here’s part of the transcript from Romney’s Colorado speech on February 7):

Three years ago, Barack Obama came to Colorado to accept his Party’s nomination. He rented out a huge stadium. He hauled in some Styrofoam Greek columns and two giant screens to set the mood. On that big stage in Denver, he made some even bigger promises.

At either side of Romney while he spoke at CPAC?   Two giant screens. Of course, all the other speakers had appeared with the same stagecraft, but they hadn’t just recently attacked President Obama for using that exact set-up.

Continue reading…

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