Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Last Call For The GOP's Race to The Bottom, Con't

Once again, sitting Republican members of Congress are openly appearing with and siding with known white supremacists in order to earn white supremacist votes, because for all the screaming about how the word "racism" is "meaningless" in 2021 from the right, what it means is "We, the Republican party, want to exclude people from power because they are not white."

For years, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was a thorn in the side of the GOP, lodging extreme remarks on race and immigration that often flew beneath the radar because of his status as a backbencher, but put his party in an uncomfortable spot. Then he crossed the line with his party when he was quoted by the New York Times saying, “White nationalist, White supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Republican leaders who had glossed over King’s past controversies stripped him of his committee assignments, and he soon lost a primary.

Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) apparently didn’t get the memo that this was a red line. And just as with King, Gosar suddenly appears to be a problem his party can no longer ignore.

The question increasingly for Republicans is how much its tolerance for this kind of thing has changed in the past two years.

Images cropped up on social media Monday night advertising a Gosar fundraiser with America First PAC, a group run by young far-right operative Nick Fuentes, who has promoted white-nationalist ideas and whom the Justice Department has labeled a “white supremacist.” Below is a tweet from former GOP congressman Denver Riggleman (Va.).

Fuentes has defended segregation and bemoaned the United States losing its “White demographic core.” He has cast doubt on the millions of deaths in the Holocaust and engaged in a lengthy metaphor likening the deaths to cookies baking in an oven. He labeled the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol “awesome” and the racist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester “incredible.”

There was some question Monday night as to whether the joint event between Gosar and Fuentes was legitimate, and Gosar’s office and campaign haven’t responded to requests for comment. But the congressman appeared to defend it late Monday night.

“Not sure why anyone is freaking out. I’ll say this: there are millions of Gen Z, Y and X conservatives. They believe in America First,” Gosar said in an apparent reference to the America First PAC, which caters to young members of the far right. “They will not agree 100% on every issue. No group does. We will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and efforts. Ignore the left.”

Crucially, the fundraiser would represent a doubling down for Gosar. Back in February, Gosar was criticized for serving as a keynote speaker at an America First PAC event in Orlando in which Fuentes delivered a white-nationalist speech.

A day later, Gosar defended reaching out to new audiences but said in a speech to another conservative audience, “I want to tell you, I denounce … white racism. That’s not appropriate.” He later told The Washington Post’s David Weigel that the comment specifically referenced Fuentes’s speech. In the speech, Fuentes made the remarks about the Capitol riot being “awesome” and the country losing its “White demographic core.” Fuentes also claimed Black Lives Matter wanted to create “a new racial caste system in this country, with Whites at the bottom.”

Gosar’s extremism, of course, is hardly limited to his ties to the America First PAC. He has lodged conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and claimed protester Ashli Babbitt was “executed” by police. He has done the same with Charlottesville, suggesting it was a false flag by the left. Gosar’s office even confirmed this week that the congressman was in regular contact with “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander ahead of the Jan. 6 riot.

If it was legal to put a bullet in the heads of anyone in America who wasn't a white "Christian" these would be the assholes who would be pulling the trigger on a daily basis. Don't tell me to remain calm or to stop sounding the alarm over people who want people like me dead in the street.

And at this point, we have one of the two major political parties and multiple media outlets dedicated to white supremacy. They don't even bother trying to hide it anymore.

Well, It's Certainly *A* Cosby Show

CNN Reporting this afternoon that Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court has overturned and vacated the sexual assault conviction of Bill Cosby, ordering his immediate release from state prison and barring the case from being prosecuted any further thanks to a previous 2005 plea deal with another prosecutor.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction, setting the stage for the release of the 83-year-old comedian later in the day.

The state’s highest court tossed Cosby’s conviction as a result of an agreement he had with a prior prosecutor that would have prevented Cosby from being criminally charged in the case. This new ruling bars any retrial in the case, court documents say.

Cosby is two years into a three-to-10-year prison term.

Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee whose allegation was the basis of the criminal case, at his estate in 2004. He was charged in 2015 for the alleged attack and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He was sentenced in 2018.

A written agreement from the previous Montgomery County prosecutor, Bruce Castor, stated that he would not criminally prosecute Cosby in the Constand case. Castor testified that while he was district attorney, he promised not to file criminal charges against the comedian if Cosby would testify in a civil lawsuit that was filed by Constand in 2005.

Castor had determined that the prosecution would have trouble corroborating forensic evidence without Cosby confessing to the alleged charges.

“Seeking ‘some measure of justice’ for Constand, D.A. Castor decided that the Commonwealth would decline to prosecute Cosby for the incident involving Constand, thereby allowing Cosby to be forced to testify in a subsequent civil action, under penalty of perjury, without the benefit of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination,” the court document said.

Cosby testified during four days of depositions by Constand’s attorneys and the civil suit was settled for more than $3 million in 2006.

Criminal charges that resulted in Cosby’s incarceration were brought in 2015 by Prosecutor Kevin Steele, who succeeded Castor as the county’s district attorney.

The supreme court’s opinion also disagreed with the trial court judge’s decision to let prosecutors call five other accusers in addition to Constand.

Originally, the trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial. However, after the jury deadlocked, the judge then allowed five other accusers to testify at Cosby’s retrial.

This testimony tainted the trial, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said, even though the lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a pattern of behavior


Well, I mean again, I'm not a lawyer, and while I know plenty of them, I have to say "a 2005 plea deal by the same county that precluded future prosecution where Cosby was prosecuted and convicted" is...yeah, that's going to result in overturning on appeal, and like it or not, that's exactly what happened.

PS, the Montgomery County PA who cut the deal with Cosby? Bruce Castor? Went on to become PA AG?

He also went on to become Trump's impeachment lawyer during his second impeachment. You know, this chucklehead


Makes sense now, this does. Good job, Bruce!

School Of Hard Right Knocks, Con't

The parade of county school board meetings here in Kentucky being taken over by angry white parents protesting "critical race theory" (when what they are really against is any effort to improve the situation for Kentucky's Black kids) continues, this time in Oldham County near Louisville.

A week after protesters derailed a school board meeting in Kentucky's largest district, discord around "critical race theory" dominated another school board meeting Monday.

Most of the 25 people who spoke during the public comment portion of an Oldham County school board meeting Monday evening opposed the majority-white, affluent district's diversity efforts, falsely believing them to be "critical race theory."

"What is equity?" one woman asked. "It is to take something where someone earned it and go on and give it to someone else."

She, along a handful of other parents, said she will keep her son home and teach him herself.

"And I will encourage other parents to do it," she said. "Because this does not need to happen in our great county and our great schools."

Critical race theory is an academic framework that examines how racism is baked into and perpetuated by systems and policies, rather than individual actions. It is typically not taught in K-12 schools, and Oldham County officials said it is not taught in the district.

But the phrase has come to be used as an umbrella term for any kind of equity work in schools, as well as ideologies that see students solely based on race.

A conservative-led push against CRT, and often racial equity work, has caused a wave of legislation that would stifle conversations about race in classrooms and a flood of opponents to school board meetings, demanding that the theory be eradicated from classrooms it is not in.

Outgoing Superintendent Greg Schultz began his final school board meeting with a brief update on the district’s Inclusion Coalition but did not provide details or draw a reaction from the crowd.

Started in March 2019, the group of district and school officials, teachers and staff reviewed disparities in discipline and achievement, and the effects of "racism and social marginalization" on students.

More than four-fifths of Oldham County students are white; around one-fifth live at or near the poverty line.

Black students make up about 2% of Oldham County's more than 12,000 kids. Like in other districts, they receive a disproportionate amount of suspensions and face double-digit achievement gaps in test scores compared to their white peers.

Several speakers appeared to misunderstand what the coalition's job is, falsely saying white students are told they are inherently racist or should feel bad due to their skin color. Such beliefs are not taught in school and are not part of critical race theory’s teachings.
So two things, first of all Louisville Courier-Journal education reporter Olivia Trauth is 100% correct in this story. "Critical Race Theory" is absolutely being used as a catch-all bogeyman for efforts of racial inclusion in a district where only 2% of kids are Black, and it's being used around the country right now to apply to any efforts in any field of anything socially related.

Secondly, if this is happening in small-town Kentucky, it's happening where you live too. I stress once again that people need to get involved in local politics, and especially in school board meetings if you have kids in public school.

This is going to be the battle cry of 2022 and 2024 and we're not going to win if we ignore this nonsense.
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