We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump!
Raising Donald Trump’s shock-based presidential campaign to a new shock level was the recent endorsement bestowed by shock-jock Dennis Rodman. In a July 24 tweet, the former NBA star known as “The Worm” said:
If you thought Rand Paul’s latest campaign video was chock full of testosterone, then you need to see the one released today from Lindsey Graham. Sure, the Kentucky senator uses power tools and fire to destroy the U.S. tax code, but that’s girly-boy compared to Graham’s Turbo Viagra.
In this one released on July 22, you see DESTRUCTION! CRUSHING DAMAGE! Blood and guts and gore - but in the format of circuit boards and electrical wires and disc batteries, all from the cellphone he throws and beats and slams! Yes, this is how Graham responded after Donald Trump gave out the senator’s personal cellphone number the day before.
August 27th will be the 10th anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina struck my hometown of New Orleans.
It wasn't Katrina that made me leave town, though, and it's not what caused the major damages to the city, either. The fatal blow was the levee system, much of which had been recently "renovated" by the Army Corps of Engineers.
But that didn't make the news, which only seemed interested in tabloid-style stories, except as some small, back page story or two. And for many, the only way we learned so much about the Corps' mess was this documentary, The Big Uneasy.
Below is a write-up I did back in 2011, when I first saw the film at a theater in my new home of Charleston. Harry Shearer, the comic actor who made this serious documentary, was there, too. And below my write-up on what the film did for me is that actual film in its entirety.
Get out the popcorn.
Can a college dropout, governing a state rising in both unemployment and debt, really be a viable candidate for the Oval Office? Absolutely! If you have the Koch Brothers on your side, that is.
Just ask Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. David Koch already let it be known that he’ll see to Walker getting the GOP nomination, and he and brother Charles promised to spend $1 billion in the 2016 race, too.
And when you add in how much influence the Kochs have already had on him, it’s quite apparent they have their hands so far up his ass that Walker has to clear his throat before he can fart.
He's their puppet.
If you’re a voter living in Maine, you’ve got it sweet. You can register the same day as an election, don’t need to show an ID, and can vote absentee for any reason. There’s no gerrymandering in your state’s districts, and there’s even public financing available to prevent “rich-only” campaigns.
If you live in Alabama, though? Good luck in the upcoming election cycle. Voter registration is hard, and there’s no early or absentee voting. The districts were drawn to favor one party, and you’ll even have a hard time finding out who paid for all those ads trying to influence your vote.
And it was these categories – ballot accessibility, representation in state government, and influence on elections and elected officials – that the Center for American Progress Action Fund used in its new analysis just released this month.
Using those three general topics, which are broken down into a total of 22 relevant sub-categories, CAP Action Fund was able to rank each of the 50 states and District of Columbia in its “Health of State Democracies” report.
Republican loyalists have a bad habit. To support their causes, they adopt heroes … but who we later learn to be villains.
And those Bat-Man-turns-into-The-Joker folks seem to have similar traits. They usually enter the public eye on a non-political basis, then become identified and associated with a conservative cause or belief. That improves their image to Republican voters, who then adopt them to be their spokesperson.
But then the public learns something new about those persons – usually about their personal lives before they first entered the public eye – that sharply contrasts with the conservative beliefs that the public identifies with them. And which only defeats their causes even more.
Those who think the Confederate flag isn’t a symbol of racism and hate need to think again. And all they’ll need to change their minds are the crude, vile letters recently received by South Carolina state legislators.
The rebel flag has waved from the State House since 1961, when its placement seemed to coincide with a wave in the civil rights movement. Thirty years later, it was moved from the top of the capitol dome to a stationary pole in front of the building, and has remained there since then despite periodic bills from time to time calling for its complete removal.
The tragic Charleston massacre brought the issue to new light, though, after photos were found of admitted murderer Dylann Roof posing with the Confederate flag. And if Roof’s blatant racism wasn’t bad enough, it certainly got extra weight from a few die-hard neo-Confederates.
Voter ID. Changes to the Voting Rights Act. A purging of voter registration lists. Restrictions on early voting and absentee voting. False claims of “dead voters” and “voter fraud” and “illegal immigrants at the polls.”
These actions and claims aren’t new. They’ve been brewing up for 35 years now under the heading of a so-called “Christian” movement, surging in the past two presidential election cycles and threatening to come to a head in future ballots.
In fact, these efforts go back to 1980 when Paul Weyrich – a religious political activist who founded many right-wing groups, including the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – told a religious convention in Dallas that “I don’t want everybody to vote.”
We all wave the flag on the 4th of July. This year, though, let's spend Independence Day thinking about taking down another flag. Specifically the Confederate Flag, which still waves from the state capitol in Columbia.
That's the theme of the July 4th event this year in Columbia, hosted by the state NAACP, in the wake of the Charleston Nine massacre.
It's a shame that it took such a tragedy to bring this long-standing issue to light once again (it's been argued in state legislature since 1990, after all). It also provides opportunity for establishment of an appropriate and well-deserved historic status to those we lost, however.
At the memorial service for state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney, President Obama summed it up best. And this video, produced by Brian Harmon, captures the apex of that address in its promotion of the July 4th event.
South Carolina’s Gov. Nikki Haley was actively promoting a June 13 prayer rally in her state, at which she was also a featured speaker - and now has to answer legal questions about it.
Coordinated by the American Renewal Project, an organization that promotes Christian faith in government, this “The Response” event calls on attendees to fast before the rally on Saturday, when they will ask Jesus (and not elected officials) to correct problems in the country.
Her active role in the event might be illegal, though, the ACLU of South Carolina says, if Haley’s office has made any financial contribution to, or incurred expense from, the rally.
As a result, on June 11, ACLU-South Carolina formally requested that Haley release all records of any funding or resources her office may have used to promote and/or attend the event.
Robservations by Rob Groce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.