“Dukes of Hazzard” star and former Rep. Ben Jones (D-GA) said on Monday during an appearance on MSNBC that Confederate flag license plates are part of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for America.
Appearing on “Live with Thomas Roberts,” Jones discussed a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the constitutionality of a Texas ban on the use of Confederate flag license plates was being argued.
Jones, who played the role of Cooter on “Dukes of Hazzard,” serves as the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the group that brought the case and which has argued the Texas ban violates the First Amendment.
Jones said the choice to use the license plate was a “personal decision” and he emphasized his belief that the Supreme Court would uphold a lower court’s ruling in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Jones pointed out that “slavery was the national sin not the Southern sin” and noted that the Confederate flag “represents to us a very positive thing.”
The show’s host, Thomas Roberts, raised the argument that if the Confederate flag was a symbol of the national sin of slavery, people should unify in our condemnation of it.
“I think the more important unification would come to bury the past, to forgive each other and to do what Dr. King suggested,” Jones said. “His dream was that someday on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves, the sons of former slave owners would be able to dine together at the table of brotherhood. He did not put any asterisk on that. I was in the civil rights movement, that was not an issue.”
Roberts countered by asking Jones how it was possible to “bury the past” if you see a car “flaunting” this symbol of slavery.
“It was the flag of the soldiers not the government anyway,” Jones said. “The guys who were out there fighting and they were of all kinds. There were a lot of different races. There were Jewish confederates and Hispanic confederates and American Indian confederates. And there were black confederates. So it’s a complex issue. We’re talking about our ancestors. All of them — for us Southerners. And, and, Dr. King wanted to bring people together. To forgive all those things and to build a future together. And we’ve done that in the South.”
“These attacks are divisive,” Jones said. “The very thing that we were fighting against. We want to build bridges — with everybody. We love black folks. We want to sit down and eat with them, talk about these issues. But the confederacy is under attack and I think that’s unfair and it’s insulting.”
Jones also stressed that context must be considered and that when the Confederate flag is seen “on a license plates (sic), it is people honoring their ancestors.”
Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper is stirring passions and debate on both sides of the aisle. Not one to shy away from interjecting herself into controversial topics, half-term Governor Sarah Palin propelled herself right in the middle of it today.
While attending the SHOT firearm trade show on Friday Palin posed with two men and held a sign that read “Fuc_ You Michael Moore.” If you’re not able to make out what else is contained, there are two crosshairs in the “O’s.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore ignited controversy with a series of tweets sent last weekend which some considered to be about the film and its subject, sniper Chris Kyle. Moore referred to snipers as “cowards” and relayed that’s how his uncle lost his life while serving in World War II. Never mentioning the film-or Kyle-by name, the tweets kicked up an amazing dust storm on the right. Moore attempted to clarify, claiming he was thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr.-whose birthday was about to be marked, and whose life was ended at the hands of a sniper.
As you may have guessed, that didn’t temper the hate, as we can see in the sign held by the failed vice presidential candidate.
This isn’t the first time Palin has used murderous imagery to target people. SarahPac released an image featuring crosshairs on a map of legislators who voted for the Affordable Care Act that she was “targeting.” One of those targets was then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head a few months later at an event in Tucson.
Apparently Palin hasn’t learned her lesson, and continues to revel in violent imagery and language hurled against those she disagrees with politically.
Posing with a sign featuring crosshairs, at a gun show no less, makes you no better than those who celebrated the deaths of the twelve individuals at Charlie Hebdo, Governor Palin.
The two uniformed patrol officers who were ambushed were later identified as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31 – both family men. One of shooters yelled, “This is a revolution.’
The Las Vegas Review reports,, “The shooters then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. They then covered the officers with something that featured the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t tread on Me.””
According to the Daily News, witnesses could hear the suspects coming as they shouted “bad words” walking up to Walmart and yelled at everyone to get out of the store.
The shooters were identified as a married couple thought to be in their late 20s who were new to the Las Vegas Valley, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation. During their initial investigations, swastika symbols were found and authorities are looking into white supremacist ties.
According to the Review, Several neighbors identified the man as Jared, while one called the woman Amanda.
One of the neighbors described them as “militant.” They reportedly talked about planning to kill police officers, “going underground” and not coming out until the time was right to kill.
Brandon Monroe, 22, has lived in the complex for about two weeks. He said the man who lived in the apartment that was being searched often rambled about conspiracy theories. He often wore camouflage or dressed as Peter Pan to work as a Fremont Street Experience street performer. A woman lived with him, Monroe said, but he didn’t see her as often.
They were weird people, Monroe said, adding that he thought the couple used methamphetamine.
“The man told Monroe he had been kicked off Cliven Bundy’s ranch 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas while people from throughout the U.S. gathered there in protest of a Bureau of Land Management roundup of Bundy’s cattle.” Jessica Anderson, 27, said. She lived next door.
Carol Bundy, the rancher’s wife said the shooting and the April standoff against the federal government were not linked.
She said, “I have not seen or heard anything from the militia and others who have came to our ranch that would, in any way, make me think they had an intent to kill or harm anyone.”
Whatever happened to political correctness and decor? The Tea Party, in my opinion has destroyed any semblance of comity(courtesy and considerate behavior toward others) in politics. The GOP as a whole has sanctioned this sort of thing and can’t speak out due to censure and blacklisting. Not to mention the rich donors who would cut them off in a heartbeat.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered some red meat to the Texas GOP convention on Friday, suggesting that, instead of Guantanamo Bay detainees, President Barack Obama should use Democrats such as Hillary Clinton as a bargaining chip in any future dealings with the Taliban.
“Mr. President, you love to trade people,” he told a supportive crowd in Fort Worth, according to Politico.
“Why don’t we set up a trade? But this time, instead of five Taliban, how about five Democrats?” he joked. “I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi …”
The Kentucky Republican, who is making moves toward a presidential run in 2016, also criticized the administration for failing to properly notify Congress before the trade for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Saturday.
“I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been a little bit annoyed with the president,” he added. “Releasing five Taliban senior officials is not only against the law, it’s illegal and wrong and he should never have done it.”
Paul skipped a classified briefing held by administration officials this week detailing the exchange and the reasons for the secrecy.
What’s the matter with some conservatives on and off Twitter with their jingoistic attitudes about “the other” performing in a standard commercial or singing the national anthem? It seems they believe that the concept of freedom of speech should apply to them alone…
I had the good luck of debating former Newt Gingrich flack Rick Tyler on MSNBC Sunday. It was good luck, because it forced me to encounter one of the ways Republicans are lying to the country about their defund/delay/repeal Obamacare hostage-taking. Tyler insisted shutting down the government was reasonable recourse for his party because the Affordable Care Act was “rammed through in the middle of the night without a single Republican vote.”
I Googled “Obamacare” and “rammed through” to find that’s a regular GOP talking point, of course. I also found the single worst piece of punditry on our current political crisis, by Michael Barone on Real Clear Politics, using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to indict President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. I’ll get to that in a minute.
First, let me demolish Tyler’s claim that the ACA was “rammed through” Congress without deliberation or debate, part of a pattern of Obama failing to negotiate with Congress. Well, I knew that was a lie, and I said so to Tyler and host Karen Finney. In fact, the ACA was the result of more than a year of Congressional committee hearings in which progressive ideas like single payer or a public option were jettisoned, and hundreds of GOP amendments to the law were accepted, in exchange for zero Republican votes. Sen. Max Baucus, in particular, drove an eight-month bipartisan process via the Senate Finance Committee in which he and ranking Republican Chuck Grassley held dozens of hearings, released joint “policy option” papers and finally presided over 31 meetings lasting 60 hours with the so-called “Gang of Six” – Baucus and Grassley plus Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) — to try to hammer out a compromise that would attract GOP support. (A Twitter friend shared this helpful history of the Finance Committee’s tortuous process.)
But it wasn’t until I read the Finance Committee summary of its work on the ACA that I fully experienced the inanity of Tyler’s argument. It’s actually painful to read. In fact, it was the administration’s determination to compromise, and to let the centrist Baucus drive the process, that led Democrats to head into the disastrous August 2009 recess without an actual bill they could tout, let alone defend – and that vacuum was filled by Tea Party hatred at town halls that Rep. Todd Akin (remember him?) appreciatively labelled “town hells” for Democrats.
And of course it was August when Grassley echoed Sarah Palin’s death panels lie and claimed Obama wanted “to pull the plug on Grandma.” Still, Baucus worked to reach a deal with him, accepting his amendments to the final bill passed by the Finance Committee, along with amendments by Enzi, Snowe and other GOP members. But he never won a single vote from them. Despite that history of desperate efforts to find common ground and win over Republicans, Republicans lie and say it didn’t happen.
The main reason for GOP intransigence, of course, especially in the Senate, was Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s widely publicized determination to hold his caucus together to deny the new president any victories on his agenda. On health care in particular, McConnell himself told the New York Times, “It was absolutely critical that everybody be together because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is O.K., they must have figured it out. It’s either bipartisan or it isn’t.”
Former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett admiringly compared the minority leader to a healthcare reform saboteur in an interview with Josh Green. “McConnell knew the places to go, around the tank, and loosen a lug bolt here, pour sand in a hydraulic receptacle there, and slow the whole thing down,” Bennett told Green.
Against this backdrop, Tyler’s claim that the Affordable Care Act was passed without negotiation is farcical. But if he hadn’t made that silly claim, I never would have Googled “Obamacare” and “rammed through” to find the worst piece of mainstream punditry on our disastrous political dysfunction. On Real Clear Politics last week, Michael Barone had the gall to use the bipartisan coalition that came together behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to indict the president for, that’s right, “ramming through” Obamacare.
Because Lyndon Johnson worked to get Republican votes for the bill, Barone argued, once it became law, “white Southerners largely acquiesced. Traditional Southern courtesy replaced mob violence. Minds and hearts had been changed.” And that’s what would have happened with the ACA if only Obama were LBJ. Or something.
If Barone really believes “traditional Southern courtesy replaced mob violence” after the Civil Rights Act passed, he needs to get out more. He ought to talk to the siblings of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, as I did last week, who were murdered in August 1964 after the bill passed; or the survivors of ugly violence at the March 1965 Selma marches, from John Lewis, who had his skull fractured, to the families of Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, who were killed for taking part; or the families of Jonathan Daniels or Samuel Younge, or any of the many civil rights martyrs killed after the Civil Rights Act passed.
Sadly, Barone has become a joke. But is it any accident that he casts Obamcare opponents in the role of (vanquished) Jim Crow defenders? Just this weekend an unnamed Republican congressman compared his side to the Confederates who blundered their way into the Battle of Gettysburg. He told the Washington Examiner’s Byron York: “I would liken this a little bit to Gettysburg, where a Confederate unit went looking for shoes and stumbled into Union cavalry, and all of a sudden found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn’t intend to be on, and everybody just kept feeding troops into it,” the congressman said. “That’s basically what’s happening now in a political sense.
Um, OK. I’ve gotten in trouble for pointing to the role of race and racism in driving the GOP’s anti-Obamcare crusade. But I’m not the one comparing them to Confederates or the Jim Crow South.
Whether or not it’s racism, the disrespect for this president continues to amaze me. Tyler himself derisively told me and Finney that “the president doesn’t understand his job, or isn’t very good at it.” That’s pretty rich, coming from Newt Gingrich’s former flack. Neoconfederates or nihilists, take your pick. They intend to destroy this president, and if they have to take down the economy too, so be it.
It took me a while to decide whether I’d post this or not.
There was a lot of vitriol aimed at George W. Bush during his tenure from the far-left fringe, but nothing I’ve seen can compare to the absolute insanity over Barack Obama’s presidency from the far-right.
At its convention in Houston, over the weekend, the National Rifle Association asked a vendor to take down a mannequin target that looked like President Barack Obama, Buzzfeed reported on Sunday.
The vendor, Zombie Industries, produces “life-sized tactical mannequin” targets that “bleed” when shot. Photographs of the company’s booth at the convention taken by Buzzfeed show that the company had several sample mannequins displayed for sale, including a clown, a “terrorist,” and a Nazi.
“Someone from the NRA came by and asked us to remove it” a Zombie Industries booth worker told BuzzFeed, referring to the company’s “Bleeding Rocky Zombie” target. “They thought it looked too much like President Obama.”
Buzzfeed asked the worker if the resemblance was intentional.
“Let’s just say I gave my Republican father one for Christmas,” the worker replied.
The Rocky mannequins are being sold at Zombie Industries’ website for $89.95 each. The product description states that “Rocky is HIGHLY dangerous due to his quick wit and strength… he was last seen screaming something like, ‘Zombie Industries believes in America!’ And that we do.”
“What makes our Zombie’s so special?” the product description page asks. “They’re filled with biodegradable matter, which makes clean up a wee-bit easier…(are you happy, mom?) …and oh yah, let’s not forget, they bleed and burst into little pieces of blood soaked, Zombie matter when you shoot them!”
Paul Ryan’s supporters punish a soup kitchen. Wow!
What is it about the far right-wing fringe that actually makes them outraged at Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society speaking out about Paul Ryan’s photo op at the soup kitchen recently?
In what alternative universe do these people live?
In the wake of Rep. Paul Ryan’s embarrassing soup kitchen photo-op last week, the organization that runs the facility tells The Huffington Post that donors have begun pulling their money out of the Youngstown, Ohio charity.
Ryan may have suffered a few late-night jokes, but the fallout for the soup kitchen appears to be far more bruising. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, confirmed that donors have begun an exodus in protest over Ryan’s embarrassment. The monetary losses have been big. “It appears to be a substantial amount,” Antal said. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash.”
Antal says he can’t give an actual dollar amount. “I can’t say how much [in] donations we lost,” he said. “Donations are a private matter with our organization.”
Antal’s charity represents the kind of organization that conservative Republicans might champion. But that was before the Ryan incident went viral a few days ago. According to The Washington Post, Antal said that the moment should never have happened. He told the newspaper that the photo-op was not authorized and that the campaign had “ramrodded their way” inside.
Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal’s volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. “The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity,” he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call. In addition to phone calls, people have posted a few choice words on the charity’s Facebook wall, including statements like “I hope you lose your tax [sic] emempt status,” Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice” and “Shame on you Brian Antal!”
On the phone with HuffPost, Antal seemed worn out by all the vitriol. “Honesty, I really don’t need any more attention,” he said. “I really just want this to go away.”