U.S. Politics

Tea party and Trump supporters can’t accept people like Jorge Ramos and Barack Obama as Americans

attribution: JorgeRamos.com    |     American


Let’s start with the obvious. Given that the candidate himself has characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, we can’t be surprised that one of his partisans told Jorge Ramos, the most influential Latino journalist there is, to “get out of my country.” Ramos responded: “This is my country. I’m a U.S. citizen too.”  Clearly thrown by the idea that this man with a Spanish accent might actually be an American, the Trump supporter spluttered: “Well, whatever. No. Univision. No. It’s not about you.”  Ramos, able to form actual sentences in English, calmly replied, “It’s not about you.  It’s about the United States.” It’s not clear whether Trump’s rhetoric exacerbates this kind of bigotry, or simply attracts those who already possess it. Either way, he and his supporters are a perfect match.

At a press conference only a few minutes earlier, Trump himself had dismissed Ramos—and, by extension, his large Latino audience—with the insult: “Go back to Univision.” This was after the journalist asked a question about the candidate’s immigration plan without waiting to be called on. Trump’s insult sounded to many Latinos a lot like: “Go back to Mexico.” Ramos discussed the interaction here.

Beyond this incident, in just the past week or so we saw two brothers—one of whom stated that he was inspired by Mr. Trump—ambush a man they targeted as Latino, leaving him with a broken nose, “battered” arms and chest, and, just for kicks, a face full of urine. Trump, in response, offered that “it would be a shame….I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” Indeed.

Keep reading, and we’ll take a closer look.

An array of hate was on display in the crowd at a recent Trump rally in Alabama, where neo-Confederate activists passed out flyers, a reporter heard a number of “off-color remarks about minorities,” and one especially enthusiastic gentleman couldn’t stop chanting “white power.” Speaking of white power, you remember former KKK grand wizard David Duke, right? He endorsed Trump, declaring that the Donald “understands the real sentiment of America.” By the way, Duke isn’t the only white supremacist, white nationalist, or Neo-Nazi jumping on Trump’s bandwagon. What does Trump say about all these cheeky rapscallions who think he’s the Great White Hope? When asked about Duke’s endorsement, Trump claimed he hadn’t heard of him. He then added, “people like me across the board. Everybody likes me.” Well, not quite everybody.

The hate we’ve been discussing here largely stems from white racial anxiety about our country’s demographic future, an anxiety that, as I’ve written elsewhere, we ignore at our own peril. In terms of electoral politics, these sentiments strongly resemble those that motivate the tea party.

In their extensively researched book, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Vanessa Williamson and Theda Skocpol found that tea party members expressed a significant degree of racial animus, and that their positions on various policies followed. Tea party rhetoric defines Latinos and African-Americans as being outside the national community. Supporters expressed profound resentment over what they saw as government redistributing the wealth of “hard-working” (read: white) Americans to “undeserving” (read: black and brown people) takers. In another article, Skocpol summarized:

[Tea Party members] are overwhelmingly older, white, conservative-minded men and women who fear that “their country” is about to be lost to mass immigration and new extensions of taxpayer-funded social programs (like the Affordable Care Act) for low- and moderate-income working-aged people, many of whom are black or brown. Fiscal conservatism is often said to be the top grassroots Tea Party priority, but Williamson and I did not find this to be true.

Similarly, a study published by Florida State University sociologists in the journal Social Science Research found race-based anger to be a “distinct factor” pushing people to embrace the tea party, a factor that operated “largely independent” from actual ideology. Here’s more from this study:

The Tea Party movement is an outlet for mobilizing and expressing racialized grievances which have been symbolically magnified by the election of the nation’s first black president….The findings suggest that, among conservatives, racial resentment may be a more important determinate of membership in the Tea Party movement than hard-right political values….Conservatives who were more racially resentful were substantially more likely to claim Tea Party movement membership.

Certainly it is possible to say that one wants to “take our country back” without being motivated by racism. As conservative pundit Byron York rightly pointed out, Democrats from Al Gore to John Kerry to Howard Dean all used a version of that phrase during the George W. Bush administration. However, the tea partiers who talk incessantly about taking their country back aren’t just talking about ideology, as the research cited above makes clear. It’s not just the use of those words—it is what’s behind them, the hate we saw expressed in countless other ways by members of the tea party.

Racist anti-Obama signs.
attribution: The Colbert Report screenshot

The above is a compilation of signs from tea party rallies put together by the staff of The Colbert Report. Host Stephen Colbert noted that it took them “almost 15 seconds to put that together.” What they show is much more than a rejection of Barack Obama’s policies. They show both a profound degree of racism, as well as a rejection of Obama as an American. That’s why the tea party embraced birtherism for so long and so loudly. And which prominent individual has clung longest and most loudly to birtherism, right up to the present in fact? Donald Trump.

We didn’t constantly see signs expressing bigotry at Gore, Kerry, or Dean rallies. And that’s the difference. When the tea party talks about taking their country back, it’s about more than politics alone. Likewise, when Donald Trump talks about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals in order to gin up anger over undocumented immigrants, it’s about more than just concern regarding the rule of law. That anger—fueled by racial anxiety—is what we saw in the video where a “passionate,” “inspired” Trump supporter clearly saw Jorge Ramos as not American.

This isn’t just one guy, one video, and one insult. It provides another window into the soul of right-wing America, an entity so full of hate that almost any little scratch brings the bile right up and out of its mouth. You can see the hate on that Trump supporter’s face, and you can hear it in his voice. That hate fuels the tea party, and it fuels support for Donald Trump. It is, in fact, the very same hate. That hate may not motivate every single participant in those two movements, but their successes would be impossible without it.

Daily Kos Staff

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Obama’s 2008 Backers: We’re Ready for Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren | Chip Somodevilla/Getty

I am so on board with the idea of Elizabeth Warren as the Progressive/Democratic candidate for 2016…

The Daily Beast

The Massachusetts Senator says she’ll sit out 2016. But some Democratic diehards won’t take no for an answer, and are already building a campaign for her.

She is, she insists, not interested, telling The Boston Globe, “There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no.”

But for the organizers behind Ready for Warren, the SuperPAC trying to draft the Massachusetts senator into the 2016 presidential race, the door remains open for a potential run. So the group is staffing up in key early primary states and raising money in what they say will be an all-out blitz after the midterm elections designed to show Warren that there is a groundswell of support behind her.

And if many of the organizers and early supporters of the Warren for President seemed unfazed by the notion that Hillary Clinton is an all-but inevitable Democratic nominee, perhaps that is because many of them have seen this process play out before—when they backed a previously unknown freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama who went on to topple the Clinton machine.

“I was in the Obama world,” said Erica Sagrans, who is helping lead the draft Warren effort and who served as northeast digital director of the Obama re-election campaign in 2012 after working for the pro-Obama outfit Organizing for America in 2009. “There are a lot of people in that world who are Warren fans, who really like Warren. But this is still a moment when people aren’t entirely comfortable coming forward.”

A number of veterans of Obama-world, however, are now out and proud Warren-ites. There is Kate Albright-Hanna, most recently a spokesperson for Zephyr Teachout’s upstart New York gubernatorial primary against Andrew Cuomo, and who joined the Obama effort way back in 2007 as the director of online video. Now she is preparing to take an as of yet undefined role with Ready for Warren.

“I am interested in building the progressive movement,” she said, citing a campaign continuum that stretched from Howard Dean in 2004, through Obama in 2008 and Teachout in 2014. “Getting involved in Elizabeth Warren is just continuing along that same branch. “

She said that the excitement around Warren now was similar to that around Obama in 2007.

“Before ‘change’ became such a cliché and everybody became disillusioned, there was a moment where people got excited and thought that we can actually change the way politics is conducted. We don’t have to be beholden to entrenched interests. All of that was epitomized in the early days of the Obama campaign, and there is the same sense now, that we don’t have to settle for what we have been given.”

As for Clinton, Albright-Hanna said, “We can’t go back to the 1990’s.”

Deborah Sagner raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama’s campaign. Now, she calls herself one of the “first funders” of the Warren effort, having donated $20,000 to Ready for Warren already.

“I have a history of not supporting Hillary Clinton that goes back to 2007,” Sagner said. “I have never been particularly inspired by her. And I was very inspired by Barack Obama.”

Sagner said that she was concerned that Clinton was too hawkish and close to Wall Street, but added a point repeated by many Warren supporters: that robust debate, and a spirited primary, is good for the Democratic Party.

“I think it is good for the Democratic Party to have a progressive wing that challenges business as usual.”

And if Warren seems like an unlikely upstart now, so did Obama at this time eight years ago.

“[That campaign] made me think that it’s possible that this could happen. There are some parallels. And these things can just catch on and get going.”

There are also, of course, several non-parallels. Clinton, for one thing, is in a far stronger position than she was in 2000, back when voters still remembered her husband’s administration for its scandals rather than for its economic record, and back when Hillary was still paying for her Iraq War vote. Early polling shows her with a commanding—if not outright prohibitive—lead among Democratic voters. Additionally, Ready for Hillary, the SuperPAC supporting her effort, has already raised $8 million, and the bulk of the Democratic establishment has signed on, including some of the party’s most well-known political operatives.

Ready for Warren, meanwhile, has raised between $50,-100,000 according to organizers, and although it’s still preparing to open offices in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, it has so far signed up a few hundred volunteers. But there are as of yet no prominent political supporters, and perhaps its most well-known advisor is Billy Wimsatt, a longtime progressive political activist and the author of the cult classic Bomb The Suburbs.

“This is an inside/outside effort,” said Sagrans “There are people that have connections and roots in the DC political world, and there are people that are grassroots activists around the country.”

The group, however, recently bombarded the Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa, where Hillary made what many observers saw as her triumphant return to the national political stage. They are in discussions with several polling firms, and are planning a nationwide night of phone-banking later this month on behalf of Senate candidates that Warren has endorsed. They know that 2016 activity is on hold until November, but are aware that once the midterms are over, the presidential primary process begins in earnest. And if Warren is to feel that there is support out there for her, than the Ready for Warren team has a very short window to show it.

This means kicking up their fundraising in a major way. The group has already hired Bulldog Finance Group, a fundraising outfit founded by Scott Dworkin, who served on Obama’s inaugural committee in 2009, and which is staffed by another vet of the Obama 2008 campaign.

“We are helping Ready for Warren with two main goals,” said Jerald Lentini, vice-president of the firm and a former staffer with the AFL-CIO. “The first is encouraging Elizabeth Warren to run for president, because she is absolutely the best progressive out there. And the second is to build an organization that can help Senator Warren win when she decides to run.”

But the early Warren supporters are not just pulled from the ranks of people who helped derail Clinton’s ambitions in 2008. Audrey Blondin served on Hillary’s campaign in Connecticut in 2008, and as the elected state Democratic committeewoman, also worked on the campaigns of such establishment figures as Al Gore and John Kerry.

“That was then. This is now,” she said. Blondin is a bankruptcy lawyer, like Warren, and has known her for decades. She held a house party for Ready for Warren over the summer, and said she was unswayed by the senator’s denials.

“I understand that she says she is not interested in running. I have been in politics 35 years. I know what happens. You think she is not watching what we are doing? Of course she is. And that is going to make a difference. It’s all about timing and she is in the right place at the right time with the right message. In a few months it is going to take off. She won’t be willing to buck the tide that is carrying her forward.”

And if she does buck that tide, it does not necessarily mean that it is end of the Warren for President boomlet. According to Daniel Buk, a political consultant who raised $40,000 for Obama in 2012 but has given $20,000 to Ready for Warren this year, there is already talk of keeping the group together through the 2020 election cycle.

“There is real excitement here,” Buk said. “And there is a real potential, should Senator Warren reveal her plans.”

CNN · Fox News

CNN Anchor Lashes Out At Fox: ‘You Willfully Ignorant F**ksticks’

CNN anchor Bill Weir | Sipa USA / Patrick McMullan Co

From what I hear CNN has been emulating Fox News on much of their programming.  CNN used to be my go to network for news.  That stopped about eight years ago…

TPM Livewire

The blog Fox Nation tweeted out an article on Wednesday night with the headline “Climate Doesn’t Cooperate With Al Gore’s Group’s Visit to Denver EPA Hearings.” The article, which was aggregated from The Washington Times, detailed Climate Reality Project’s recent trip to Denver.

The climate group, which was founded by former Vice President Al Gore, recently launched an “I’m Too Hot” campaign and was seen passing out free ice cream at the Environmental Protection Agency’s hearings in Denver this week, according to the article.

“The plan was to tout the EPA’s emissions proposal as a solution for hot weather brought on by global warming, but when the hearings began at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Denver, the temperature was a chilly 58 degrees. Plus, it was raining,” Washington Times’ staff writer Valerie Richardson wrote.

Apparently bothered by the Fox Nation tweet, Weir responded minutes later, tweeting “weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant f**ksticks.”

Here was the original Fox Nation tweet:

On Thursday afternoon, Weir apologized on Twitter for his “dumb move.”

Elections · U.S. Politics

The 9 best sore-loser moments in politics

A fan wears a paper bag on his head during the Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. New Orleans won 42-7 to drop Detroit to 0-15. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
A fan wears a paper bag on his head during the Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. New Orleans won 42-7 to drop Detroit to 0-15. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

Ken Cuccinelli is declining to call and congratulate Terry McAuliffe on his win in Tuesday’s Virginia governor’s race.

Meanwhile, in the other governor’s race held that day, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) blamed her loss on an “onlslaught of betrayal” from her own political party.

But these two are hardly the first to take losing so hard. Here’s a look at some other notable sore-loser moments in recent political history.

Did we miss any? The comments section awaits, and we may re-visit this if Fix readers come up with a bunch of good ideas.

Steve Lonegan

As the GOP New Jersey Senate candidate conceded to Cory Booker in last month’s special election, his wife lovingly rubbed his back to comfort him. After she did it for a while, he decided that was enough, and promptly brushed her hand aside. No word on whether he slept on the couch that night.

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman, in his 2006 reelection campaign, lost the Democratic primary but, through a quirk in election law, was allowed to file as a third-party candidate under the newly created “Connecticut for Lieberman” party. Other states have laws that prevent such maneuvering, not coincidentally called “sore loser” laws.

Lieberman, of course, went on to retain his seat, so it’s hard to call him a “loser” at all.

Al Gore

Gore’s decision to press on with challenging the results of the 2000 presidential race eventually earned some detractors among his fellow Democrats and led Republicans to label the Gore-Lieberman ticket,  Sore-Loserman.

Of course, many Democrats still think they were robbed and that Gore was right to pursue the matter to the full extent of the law.

Bill Bolling

The Virginia lieutenant governor was none-too-happy that Cuccinelli decided to run for governor this year, believing it was his turn to grab the Republican nomination (after being leapfrogged by Bob McDonnell in 2009). And given the state party chose to nominate via convention rather than primary, the more moderate Bolling saw the writing on the wall.

Bolling said Cuccinelli had promised him he wouldn’t run and had manipulated the state party’s decision to use a convention. He also questioned Cuccinelli’s electability, praised McAuliffe’s work on a bipartisan transportation bill and publicly weighed an independent campaign that Republicans feared would torpedo Cuccinelli’s changes in the general election. He eventually opted against it.

Bill Clinton

After Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary in 2008, former president Bill Clinton appeared to try and downplay the victory by noting that Jesse Jackson had carried the state twice in the 1980s. The comment was roundly criticized as racially insensitive and for being dismissive of Jackson.

Anthony Weiner

After his embarrassing loss in this year’s New York mayoral primary, the former congressman exited with a one-finger salute to photographers snapping pictures of him in his car exiting his election night party.

We’re a family newspaper, so we won’t post the photo here, but feel free to click through and have a look.

Maotan Dalimbang Kasim

Behold, from just this week:

A candidate for chairman of a remote village in Maguindanao (Philippines) who was defeated in the barangay (village) elections last October 28 and his followers burned down a daycare center in their community on Monday night, the military said.

Captain Antonio Bulao, spokesperson of 602nd Brigade, said Maotan Dalimbang Kasim, who lost in his bid for the chairmanship of Barangay Nabundas in the Municipality of Datu Montawal, and his brother Tatoh led an undetermined number of followers in setting the center on fire.

Gary Smith

This 2012 New Mexico congressional candidate was arrested after allegedly slashing the tires of his primary opponent — and got caught doing it on video! The worst part: He wasn’t even close to defeating her, taking just 3 percent of the vote.

Richard Lugar

After losing to Richard Mourdock in his 2010 primary, the longtime senator pointedly refused to campaign for Mourdock and took issue with a mailer that said he supported the GOP nominee.

Of course, Lugar wound up being on the right side of history on this, as Mourdock wound up bungling the race.

Richard Nixon

Update 11:54 a.m.: As longtime political reporter Walter Shapiro notes, this list somehow excluded Richard Nixon’s “You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more.”

This egregious oversight needed to be corrected immediately, so we’re appending video of it here.

Climate Change · Climate Change Denial · Right Wing Myths and Falsehoods

House Republican ready to ‘defund the EPA’

H/t: Maddow commenter #1:

When House Republicans gather …Remind you of anything?

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

The Maddow Blog


And when it comes to “calling out” climate deniers, congressional Republicans are certainly giving progressives plenty to work with lately. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the vice chair of the House Science Committee, argued last week that “global warming is a total fraud” created by those who want “global government to control all of our lives.” A few days prior, Rep.Steve King (R-Iowa) described the entirety of climate science as “more of a religion than a science.”

And then there’s Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), who made these startling comments at a forum in his local district this week. (Thanks to James Carter for the heads-up.)


In this unnerving clip, Miller argues in a room full of people, “This whole Al Gore thing of climate change unfortunately is not doing this nation any good.”

And while you might be thing, “Well, no, of course climate change isn’t doing the nation any good,” in context, Miller meant worrying about climate change is a bad idea.

Wait, it gets worse.

The right-wing congressman went on to say, “I will defund the EPA.” When Miller was asked about warnings from the Navy about the national security threat posed by the climate crisis, one of his constituents shouted, “The admirals are idiots!” The congressman proceeded to explain why he has no use for the Navy’s judgment, and says he has his own scientists who tell him what he wants to hear, and just “a few years ago,” some wacky scientists warned we’d “all be ice cubes.”

Miller concluded, “Our climate will continue to change because of the way God formed the earth.”

Miller is a 10-year veteran of Congress who currently serves as the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Fox News Distortions

Fox News: Al Jazeera America Is A Plot To Activate Muslim Sleeper Cells In Detroit

Fox News must seriously consider getting out of that perpetual bubble they’re in…

Think Progress

In a typical fair and balanced panel, Fox News warned on Wednesday that Al Jazeera is set to “infiltrate” the United States amid dire warnings about “sleeper cells” in the Muslim suburbs of Detroit.

Host Megyn Kelly began a segment about Al Jazeera’s expansion into the American television market by raising questions about the network’s “real anti-American bias.” Contributor Lisa Daftari agreed, veering into blatant Islamophobic fear-mongering in the process:

DAFTARI: The point is they want to differentiate themselves from their sister network, but at the same time, it’s the same thing. They’re having the same type of coverage. They’re apparently expanding to eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, Michigan is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans and sleeper cells have been detected. You can Google this, you can find out all this information. So if you’re trying to set yourself apart the Qatari petro-dollars are backing this, you’re still developing in this area where the sleeper cells have been detected. They’re going to have do do much more to prove to me that they’re different from their sister network.

Watch it:

Daftari was referring to the suburbs of Detroit — like Dearborn, MI and others — which have high populations of refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority nations like Lebanon. Dearborn has been the target of hate speech and protests against Muslims for years now. As for the specific “sleeper cells” she was referring to, in 2008 a former Dearborn resident was convicted of “providing material support” to Hezbollah — hardly the makings of a widespread support for terrorism.

Conservatives have been concerned about the purchase of former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV by Qatar-based Al Jazeera since the deal was announced in January. Fox’s points about the difference in coverage between Al Jazeera English — which currently airs in millions of homes in the United States — and Al Jazeera Arabic — the original channel, which was the chosen distributor of Osama bin Laden’s video messages — would be accurate if they weren’t so hyperbolic and fearful of the encroaching Muslim threat. Also, Fox News’ concern about the presence of Middle Eastern oil money in U.S. media does not extend to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s deals with Saudi Arabia.


U.S. Politics

Obama’s Margin of Victory is Now Bigger than Both of George W. Bush’s Wins

Good news for the POTUS historically and contextually…


As of now, President Obama’s popular margin of victory is bigger than both of George W. Bush’s election wins in 2000 and 2004.

According to the numbers compiled by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report,President Obama now leads Mitt Romney 50.81%-47.48% in the popular vote. President Obama’s popular vote margin is now bigger than both of the last two successful Republican presidential elections. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore, 48.38%-47.87%. In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in the popular vote, 50.73%-48.27%. Obama is currently posting the biggest margin of victory since Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole, 49.24%-40.71% in 1996.

What was supposed to be a nail biter of an election turned out to be only the 13th closest election in US history. Obama’s margin of victory was bigger than four other modern era (since 1952) winning candidates. George W. Bush (2000 & 2004), Jimmy Carter (1976), and Richard Nixon (1968) all had smaller margins of victory than Obama did.

This means that the bluster coming from the right about President Obama not having a mandate is nothing more than political hot air. Due to the fact that many of the yet to be counted ballots are in New York and California, President Obama’s margin of victory is expected to grow.

While Mitt Romney’s 47% popular vote percentage is a juicy bit of political karma, the real story here is the political staying power and popularity of Barack Obama.

This president won reelection by a sizable margin despite a still recovering economy and an opposition party that was determined to obstruct his agenda. One can only imagine the size and scope of Obama’s reelection victory if the economy had been a bit better, or Republicans had put “country first.”

If you really want an answer to the question of President Obama’s potential mandate, pay attention to the deeds — not the words — of his political opponents. Judging from their post-election behavior, Congressional Republicans have been knocked back on their heels by Obama’s victory. They now find themselves trapped between two very different and opposing strategies. Republicans are trying to sound a moderate tone by backing away from the Norquist tax pledge, while at the same time opposing raising any new taxes.

As the nation draws closer to the fiscal cliff, this will be an impossible position to maintain. Republicans are posturing on no new tax hikes because they have to, or their base will go into full rebellion. The reality is that taxes will go up whether Republicans agree to it or not. Either they will send a deal to the president that includes a tax hike on the wealthy, or taxes will go up when the nation tumbles off the fiscal cliff.

Obama not only achieved a larger political victory than expected, but he is parlaying that momentum into a potential series of victories that could define the course of the country and his presidential legacy.

Related articles

Voter Disenfranchisement · Voter Supression

Virtual Blackout From National Media On Voter Suppression In Florida

In 2000, Florida was the deciding factor in the Presidential race.  Both candidates were neck and neck with the vote tallies.  Complaints of voter intimidation by then Secretary of State, Katherine Harris who purged over 170,000 people as “convicted felons”.  The actual number of felons on the list was less than 60,0000.  This means that 110,000 innocent people (registered Democrats) lost their vote that day.  A number that would have pushed Al Gore over the top.

The same thing is being done in Florida today.  However, this time it’s not about felons, it’s about  citizenship “eligibility”.

George W. Bush (W)  2,912,790  –  Republican 

Al Gore                       2,912,253       Stats: Wikipedia

Think Progress

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has directed his administration to purge the state’s voting rolls of thousands of registered voters prior to the November election. But his list, which purports to include only “non-citizens,” targets mostly Democrats and Hispanics and, as ThinkProgress hasdocumented, may disenfranchise hundreds of citizens who are eligible to vote.

The story of a sitting governor of a state with a history of presidential election shenanigansknowingly purging his own, eligible constituents from the voter rolls is the definition of major news, and yet remarkably, in the first five months of the year, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have published a total of zero articles about Scott’s actions. The New York Times did slightly better, printing one story on page 16 of the Friday, May 18th edition. The article ran under the credulous headline: “Florida Steps Up Effort Against Illegal Voters.”

Florida’s local newspapers, led by The Miami Herald, have been far more diligent in reporting the governor’s effort to disenfranchise eligible voters. While it may be easy to dismiss this as local fare, the implications of Scott’s purge could potentially swing the presidential election come November. Remember, months before anyone had ever heard of hanging chads, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (R) conducted a similar cleansing of the voter rolls in 2000, which resulted in thousands of eligible voters being knocked off the rolls in time for the infamous Gore v. Bush election.


Current TV Files a Blistering Countersuit Against Fired Anchor Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann Poor Keith Olbermann, he even admitted that he “screwed up” just taking the job over at Current TV.  The saga continues…

The Daily Beast

The network excoriates its fired anchor by painting him as an arrogant and uncooperative slacker. Howard Kurtz on the latest round in the legal war.

Moving a day after Olbermann sued the network for up to $70 million, the suit says that he “completely shut himself off from the rest of the network”—and backed it up with a series of intemperate-sounding emails from its former star.

For instance, after a problem with an unspecified employee during an appearance by Michael Moore on his show, Olbermann wrote Joel Hyatt, Al Gore’s cofounder at Current: “Give me a name so I know which of them to kill with my bare hands.”

After learning that a photo of the Countdown set had been given to the press, Olbermann wrote Hyatt about the leaker: “Can you assassinate him please?”

Even allowing for comedic overstatement, Olbermann’s tone is often harsh. When Current president David Bohrman asked about the unauthorized purchase of a $5,300 desk for the program, Olbermann responded: “When you are prepared to act like an adult you are welcome to contact us again.”

In response, Olbermann said in a statement: “The Mets put Andres Torres on the DL today. That seems to have as much relevance to my lawsuit as the Current counterclaim I just read.”

Continue reading here…

Keith Olbermann

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann, Replaces Him With Eliot Spitzer

I really like Keith Olbermann as a news person.  I hope he will be back on air soon…

TV Newser

It was just over a year ago that former MSNBC host Keith Olbermannannounced he was joining Current TV, and today, that relationship officially came to an end. According to the New York TimesBrian Stelter, Olbermann is out at Current, and will be replaced by former CNN host and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer will take over the 8 PM slot starting  tonight.

Update: Current CEO Joel Hyatt and co-founder Al Gore released a statement about the move.

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

The full letter is after the jump.

Update 2: Olbermann has released his own statement via Twitter, saying that he plans to file suit against the network.

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.  Editorially, Countdown had never been better.  But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff.  Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.

Olbermann’s full statement is after the jump.

Continue reading here…

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