Thursday Reads: Right Wing Blowhards Edition

Good Morning!!

In case you missed it, Louisiana Sen. John N. Kennedy made a fool of himself again yesterday when he made the mistake of trying to put one over on Stacey Abrams. He asked her to explain what is so racist about the Georgia voter suppression law.

HuffPost: Stacey Abrams Goes Viral With 2-Minute Takedown of Georgia Voting Law.

Stacey Abrams continued her crusade against Georgia’s new voting law this week by supplying lawmakers with a laundry list of reasons why she finds the changes both restrictive and racist.

The Democratic voting rights activist has been an outspoken critic of the law, arguing it will have a disproportionate effect on voters of color. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, she came prepared to make her case. 

When Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked Abrams to clarify which provisions of Georgia’s new voting law she opposed, she didn’t hold back. 

Another lesser blowhard, John Cornyn of Texas, also tried it.

At another point during the four-hour meeting, Abrams got into a tense exchange with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who suggested states controlled by Democrats with similar voting laws hadn’t been subjected to the same criticism as Georgia.

Cornyn pointed to New York and Connecticut, which require that voters provide an accepted excuse ― such as being away from home or having a disability ― to be able to vote by mail, whereas Georgia has no such provision. Noting that laws in many states “need to be improved,” Abrams stated that she believed it was how laws target certain communities that make them racist.“The intent always matters, sir, and that is the point of this conversation,” she said. “That is the point of the Jim Crow narrative. That Jim Crow did not simply look at the activities, it looked at the intent. It looked at the behaviors and it targeted behaviors that were disproportionately used by people of color.”

5d14d21b7fc33.imageBut getting back to fake good ol’ boy John N. Kennedy, I came across this great 2019 piece at NOLA.com: Who said it: Sen. John Kennedy or Foghorn Leghorn?  It’s includes a quiz where you have to guess which blowhard uttered a colorful descriptive phrase.

John Neely Kennedy is the junior U.S. senator from Louisiana who was a key member of Gov. Buddy Roemer’s staff before being elected to five terms as the state treasurer.

Foghorn J. Leghorn is an animated chicken who appeared as a featured character in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Kennedy graduated magna cum laude in political science, philosophy, and economics from Vanderbilt, where he was president of his senior class and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his Bachelor of Civil Law degree from Oxford University in England where he was a First Class Honors graduate.

Leghorn starred in 29 cartoons from 1946 to 1964 in what is considered the Golden Age of American Animation, usually tormenting a dog named Dawg while fending off attacks from a feisty young chicken hawk named Henery Hawk.

There is practically no way to get the two confused … unless you are just reading what they have said. Then, it gets a little tricky.

Some sample questions:

“He’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.”

“That’s as subtle as a hand grenade in a bowl of oatmeal.”

“She has a billygoat brain and a mocking bird mouth.”

I urge you to take the quiz and see how you do.

While we’re talking about blowhards making fools of themselves, have you seen any of the tweets about Tucker Carlson’s show lately? The guy seems to have gone off the deep end.

The New York Daily News: Tucker Carlson cackles at, then cuts off an NYC law enforcement expert who breaks with the host’s Derek Chauvin narrative.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson cackled at, then dismissed the opinions of a New York City law enforcement veteran who strayed from the far right-wing pundit’s narrative on Tuesday’s murder conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Carlson’s interview with Former New York City Deputy Sheriff Ed Gavin began with the host leading Gavin with the question “Who’s going to become a cop going forward, do you think?”\Gavin didn’t appear to see police officers as the victims in the killing of George Floyd, where video showed Chauvin kneeling on the victim’s neck for nearly 9½ minutes.

“Well, I think people will still become police officers,” Gavin said. “This really is a learning experience for everyone. Let’s face it, what we saw in that video was pure savagery.”

Carlson crunched his eyebrows as Gavin said that based on his experiences, the “emotionally disturbed” Floyd had been successfully contained — and more — during the “excessive” May 2020 traffic stop that cost him his life. Gavin also said he’d like to see more training for police.

“I’ve used force on literally over 500 people in my 21-year career in the New York City Department of Corrections, and in the New York City Sheriff’s Department,” Gavin said. “I’ve never had anybody go unconscious. That was truly an excessive, unjustified use of force.”

After a bit more of this, Carlson flipped out and claimed that American cities are locked down and boarded up because of nonviolent Black Lives Matter protests.

“Well, yeah, but the guy that did it looks like he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison so I’m kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which thanks to police inaction, in case you haven’t noticed, is, like, boarded up,” Carlson complained before letting loose a shrill, maniacal laugh.

“So that’s more my concern. But I appreciate it, Gavin, thank you,” Carlson quickly added.

The flummoxed officer tried to further illustrate his point, but Carlson ended the segment.

“Nope, done!” the host exclaimed before moving on to his next guest — an author who’d penned a book called “The War on Cops.”

c34555_90ef902587304ebd991b5a287d731071_mv2Greg Sargent wrote about Carlson’s weird fantasy about America being shut down by the protests: Opinion: The disturbing link between Tucker Carlson and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It was hard not to notice that Tucker Carlson and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) had an oddly similar reaction to the conviction of Derek Chauvin. Both responded with extraordinarily unhinged hyperbole about the violence they imagine is gripping urban America right now — or pretend to imagine, anyway.

What shared instinct would cause them both to gravitate to precisely this same imaginary place?

Carlson’s reaction came amid a spectacular meltdown in response to a former law enforcement official who argued that Chauvin’s use of force was excessive. Carlson dismissed the point, saying: “I’m kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which, thanks to police inaction, in case you hadn’t noticed, is, like, boarded up.”

The implication was that, because of protests against police brutality, police are too closely scrutinized to sufficiently keep order, tipping the country into civil collapse.

Of course, you probably haven’t noticed that the “rest of the country” is “boarded up,” because, well, it isn’t.

Carlson hammered away at the wildly exaggerated idea that police under scrutiny were allowing the country to succumb to chaos throughout the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. His new innovation is that a jury holding a police officer accountable for the brutal murder of someone already in his captivity is what’s causing this.

Greene and Carlson agree that Armageddon is gripping U.S. cities and that protests against police brutality are causing it.

Yet Greene’s depiction, too, is false. As Philip Bump demonstrates, Tuesday in D.C. was generally normal despite people feeling tense over the coming verdict, and any police presence in D.C. is a holdover from the threat of right-wing violence after Jan. 6.

Read the rest at The Washington Post.

Alan Dershowitz is also upset about the treatment Derek Chauvin is getting. The Daily Beast: Dershowitz Wants Derek Chauvin Free on Bail: ‘He’s Not Going to Endanger Anybody.’

Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle on Wednesday night, Dershowitz—who is currently advising pro-Trump pillow magnate Mike Lindell as he faces a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems—first took issue with the White House saying that the “bar for convicting officers is far too high” and reform is still needed.

7_britt_0“We need to apply the same standard to police and ordinary citizens except we have to understand that ordinary citizens have no obligation to risk their lives to prevent an ongoing crime,” he said, adding: “So the rules have to defer and understand and recognize the risks that police take. When it comes to the elements of actual crimes, you can’t bury them. You can’t raise the bar for certain groups of people over other groups of people.”

Host Laura Ingraham then turned to Chauvin, expressing concern that it’s been reported that he’s currently in solitary confinement while also wondering aloud why he’s even in prison.

“Do you think that given what the judge said about an appeal that he probably shouldn’t have even been remanded back into custody?” Ingraham asked, referencing Judge Peter Cahill’s criticism of Rep. Maxine Waters’ protest remarks as potential grounds for appeal.

Acknowledging that “different states have different rules” when it comes to bail for convicted murderers, Dershowitz said that the judge provided “good appellate issues” to the defense.

“He should be released on bail,” Dershowitz declared. “There is no reason why he should be remanded. He’s not going to flee. He wants to have an appeal. He’s not going to endanger anybody. His face is well known.”

How many people who have been convicted of murder get out on bail pending appeals? Is that a regular practice?

People who actually had to deal with Chauvin in the past feel differently, according to this piece from Reuters, via Yahoo News: ‘No sympathy’ for Chauvin, say those who had run-ins before Floyd.

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – For some of those who encountered Derek Chauvin’s policing or witnessed his use of force as an officer there is no sympathy for the man convicted of killing George Floyd. 

Chauvin was the subject of at least 17 complaints during his career, according to police records, but only one led to discipline. Prosecutors sought permission to introduce eight prior use-of-force incidents, but the judge would only allow two. In the end the jury heard none. 

3_luckovich_5Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lawyer, has defended his client’s use of force as appropriate in potentially dangerous situations. 

 “I don’t have no sympathy for him. I think he got what he deserved,” Julian Hernandez, 38, a carpenter now working in Pennsylvania, told Reuters. 

Hernandez said he never heard anything from the Minneapolis police after submitting a complaint about Chauvin, who he said “choked him out” during an encounter in a Minneapolis night club in 2015. A spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department declined to comment. 

According to Chauvin’s police report, Hernandez failed to follow orders and resisted arrest when Chauvin, who was working as an off-duty security guard, tried to escort him out of a night club. Chauvin’s report said this prompted him to apply “pressure toward his Lingual Artery” to subdue Hernandez. 

 Hernandez said Chauvin picked him out of the crowd for no reason and quickly escalated to violence. He said Chauvin should have been removed from the police force. 

Read more examples at the link.

Sorry this is such an unserious post. That’s just the mood I’m in today, I guess. As always, this is an open thread.


11 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Right Wing Blowhards Edition”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice Thursday everyone!!

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. Enheduanna says:

    I did not find your post unserious at all BB.

    Although I didn’t watch every minute of the Chauvin trial, I found him oddly inscrutable, even when the guilty verdict was announced. He reminded me a little of Timothy McVeigh. I doubt he will ever be able to see himself as others do.

  4. NW Luna says:

    I couldn’t tell Sen Kennedy apart from the Leghorn though I think the chicken would make a better Senator.

  5. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      Justice Brett Kavanaugh pens the majority opinion in Jones v. Mississippi, ruling against the legal precedent that required a separate finding of ‘permanent incorrigibility’ before minors could be sentenced to life without parole

      • dakinikat says: