Friday Reads: meh.Posted: January 2, 2015
There’s a lot of panem et circenses around this time of year. There are all those bowl games which really do serve as a form of superficial appeasement for having to spend your days slaving for one of America’s many unpleasant employers doing things that are unfulfilling at best and reprehensible in all likelihood. Afterall, there’s been all this credit card debt ran up over the last few months so the indentured will have to continue at it regardless. Then, we all need to be appeased for having to put up with the ongoing insults piled on us by the Republican Congress and most urban police departments. There sure is a lot of news that should make folks want to lie around in a stupor.
For example, Steve Scalise thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us and that his dalliance with hate groups will eventually be forgotten. More information has come out from that shows the Duke henchmen who set up his speech before a group of White Nationalists has been telling tales.
Two days ago, Slate ran a piece quoting Kenny Knight, a close associate of David Duke, who booked the room for the white supremacist group, known as EURO. Knight claimed that he invited Scalise to speak to the “Jefferson Heights Civic Association, which was largely comprised of elderly people who lived in his and Scalise’s neighborhood.” The meeting of the civic association, Knight said, just happened to be held in the same room as the EURO conference held later that day. Knight told The Times-Picayune that he “was not a member of EURO and did not arrange for any speakers at the 2002 conference.”
The right-wing ran was the story, billing the entire controversy as little more than a hoax.
But, as it turns out, Knight was lying. Not only was Knight a member of the EURO group but “documents filed with the Louisiana secretary of state’s office list him as treasurer…” He is also listed as a member of the group in a 2002 news release for the conference in question, where he was scheduled as a speaker.
Asked about the discrepancy and the state document listing him as treasurer of the group, Knight hung up twice on a reporter for The Times-Picayune. Eventually, Knight said “Is that 15 years ago? I don’t even remember that. I’m not communicating any more with the news media. I’m finished with y’all.”
If you have any further questions, ask David Duke. In an interview with the Washington Post, Duke said he “recalled Knight reaching out to Scalise in the weeks before the conference to come and update attendees on state affairs, and that Scalise accepted without reservation.”
Duke’s group isn’t the only certified hate group that Scalise has been known to pander around. Of course, this guy thinks that the League of Women Voter’s is a “liberal” group and akin to EURO as BB pointed out yesterday. His barometer of political extremists seems way off. But, Congressman Sleaze also loves him some Tony Perkins who is another certifiable hater. Perkins’ record of extremism and hate politics is legendary. Scalise has no problem with him and his group either.
But that is not Scalise’s only affiliation with a noted hate group. He is also aregular on Tony Perkins’ radio show, Washington Watch With Tony Perkins.Perkins heads the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center condemns as virulently anti-LGBT. According to the SPLC, the Council “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”
Perkins, also from Louisiana, has connections to Duke as well. In the mid-’90s, while acting as a campaign manager for Woody Jenkins, then a candidate for the U.S. Senate, he paid $82,500 for Duke’s mailing list. Like Scalise, he improbably claimed he didn’t know the list was attached to Duke, but happened to file a false campaign disclosure form to hide the payment, and was subsequently fined $3,000. Three years later, while serving as a state representative, he gave a speech to the Council of Conservative Citizens, another white supremacist group.
While plenty of Republicans are against same-sex marriage, most don’t go so far as to ally themselves with Perkins. For the House majority whip to have that kind of allegiance may turn some heads.
Democrats are taking a strikingly cautious approach to the controversy surrounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and his speech to a white supremacist group in 2002.
The vast majority of Democrats are not calling for Scalise to resign, or for leadership to drop him. But they are tying Scalise to other Republicans and arguing the issue is emblematic of a party Democrats argue is at odds with minority groups on a range of policies.
Strategists say the approach reflects a few factors.
Democrats don’t want to get too far in front of the story, particularly since it is unclear whether Scalise’s 2002 address to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization is an isolated incident.
It’s also possible that Democrats are quite happy to see Scalise continue to be a part of the GOP leadership, since it will allow them to return to the story about his address to a group founded by David Duke repeatedly between now and Election Day 2016, when Democrats hope a broader electorate will help them win the White House and take back House and Senate seats. Only Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) has called for his resignation as majority whip.
There’s more news about Cops Go Wild in the news. A NYPD cop has turned himself in for attacking a female MTA employee.
An NYPD cop has surrendered in an attack on an MTA worker, officials said Thursday.
Police Officer Mirjan Lolja, 37, was suspended after the assault in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker — who was on-duty and in her uniform — was allegedly put into a bear hug, thrown to the floor and choked, cops said.
“I’m totally outraged,” Joe Costales, chairman of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said of the allegations. “We’re not safe with members of the public, and now we’re not safe from the police.”
The 28-year-old conductor was on the southbound D train platform at the Tremont Ave. station when Lolja confronted her about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 23, officials said. She was hospitalized with minor back and neck injuries.
The wife of Peachtree City Police Chief William E. McCollom is in critical condition after being shot by her husband Thursday morning.
Police responded to the couple’s home in the 100 block of Autumn Leaf shortly after 4:15 a.m., where they found the victim, 58-year-old Margaret McCollom. She was taken by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center.
The GBI will handle the shooting investigation. GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang originally said Chief McCollom called 911 to say he accidentally shot his wife twice with his service weapon. After further investigation, Lang said it was determined that only one bullet had been discharged.
Investigators won’t say where McCollom was injured, or what led up to the shooting, only that it occured in the couple’s bedroom.
Peachtree City Manager Jim Pennington says as standard procedure, the chief was put on administrative leave and the GBI asked to spear head the investigation.
Ever-eloquent Mario Cuomo, a son of Queens who rode his rhetorical gifts to three terms as New York governor and tantalized Democrats by flirting with a run for President, died Thursday. He was 82.
Cuomo passed away five hours after his oldest son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, wasformally sworn-in to a second term in Manhattan. The elder Cuomo was too ill to attend. He died of “natural causes due to heart failure” at his Manhattan apartment surrounded by his family, Andrew Cuomo’s office said.
“He couldn’t be here physically today … but my father is in this room,” Andrew Cuomo said in his inaugural address.
“He’s in the heart and mind of every person who is here. His inspiration and his legacy and his spirit is what has brought this day to this point.”
As governor, Mario Cuomo wrestled with two recessions and presided over a massive expansion of the state prison system. A liberal, he bucked the political winds by wielding his veto pen year after year to block the restoration of the state death penalty.
So also coming up on the bread and circuses radar is the Super Bowl and the State of the Union Address. Which one will titillate the American Public more? Yes, the one with endless commercials that last longer than the actual play itself. Well, I could be talking about the opening of Congress, but you know it’s the football game. La Sigh. La Sigh. La Meh.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?