Saturday, January 28, 2023

Last Call For Hammer Heads

The security video of Paul Pelosi's attacker being released this weekend should end the ridiculous conspiracy theories, but as Vanity Fair's Bess Levin reminds us, we all know that the Right-Wing Noise Machine will just move the goalposts.
In the immediate wake of a man breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s San Fransisco home and viciously attacking her husband, the right-wing media, Republicans, and their conservative followers got into formation to do what they do best: spread baseless rumors about the assault and mock the victim.

Tucker Carlson fueled conspiracy theories that Paul Pelosi and his attacker, David DePape, were lovers. Elon Musk, who’d become the owner of Twitter just three days prior, shared a story with his 112 million followers from a website known to traffic in false information, that the man was a prostitute with whom Pelosi had gotten into a dispute. (He later deleted the tweet but not before writing, “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.”) Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a “Paul Pelosi” Halloween costume made up of simply underwear and hammer, writing: “The internet remains undefeated.” Representative Claudia Tenney commented “LOL” on a photo of a group of men holding hammers beside a gay pride flag, before deleting the tweet. Charlie Kirk, the conservative YouTube host, said on his podcast he hoped an “amazing patriot” would go bail out DePape, “ask him some questions,” and become a “midterm hero.”

On Thursday, Fox News host Sean Hannity had a guest on his show who speculated that set-to-be-released footage of the attack would “not help the prosecution” and raise “more questions than it answers.”

On Friday, footage of the attack was released. In addition to being deeply difficult to watch—viewers can see the moment when DePape beats the 82-year-old Pelosi with a hammer—it also makes the gang at Fox News and beyond not only look very stupid but like the depraved ghouls they are. Will they see it that way and apologize to the victim and his family? We’re going to go out on a limb and assume the answer starts with an “h” and ends with a “—ell f--king no.” Are you familiar at all with how these people operate? They’re about to double down, if they haven’t already.
Yep. This is going to be an enduring conspiracy theory, and your Fox-watching uncle will go to his grave believing it.



Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

The Memphis PD body cam footage of the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols at a traffic stop earlier this month was released to the public, and it is even worse than most experts feared. I won't post it here, but it is available at the NBC News story linked.
Video released by authorities in Memphis Friday shows police officers beating Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop that ended with his hospitalization and death.

The four videos released by the Memphis Police Department include video from surveillance and body worn cameras.

The city’s top police official, Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis, has previously described the conduct captured in the disturbing and graphic video as “heinous, reckless and inhumane.”

Nichols, 29, was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days after Memphis police officers stopped him Jan. 7. Details about what occurred between Nichols and the officers have been sparse; police initially said Nichols ran during the reckless driving stop and that a "confrontation" occurred in an effort to detain him.

However, Davis told MSNBC Friday that an investigation and review of available camera footage could not "substantiate" the reckless driving claim.

Nichols' family was offered a private viewing of the video Monday. His mother, RowVaughn Wells, made it only through the first minute, family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said.

While she hasn’t seen all the footage, Wells said “what I’ve heard is very horrific.”

“Any of you who have children, please don’t let them see it,” she added during a news conference Friday.
The utterly brutal thing about this particular murder by cop is that the officers were all Black, and they killed him anyway.  They were all part of the department's "Scorpion Squad", supposedly elite officers with the training to respond to the city's Black neighborhoods.

And they still butchered him.

The Justice Department and FBI chief Chris Wray are making a full investigation, so hopefully we'll see these assholes in a box somewhere. Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has fired the officers, and all have been charged with murder.

We'll see what happens, but I'm hoping very long prison sentences.

Black Lives Still Matter.

Ronna Rolls On

Ronna Romney McDaniel is rewarded again for her terrible RNC performance, because the party of losers rewards losing races abut getting money.

The Republican National Committee on Friday voted to reelect Ronna McDaniel to a fourth two-year term as party chair, opting not to punish her for the GOP’s recent string of electoral defeats.

McDaniel fended off a challenge from Harmeet Dhillon, a California lawyer who has represented former president Donald Trump and the unsuccessful Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, seizing on grass-roots furor demanding new leadership. McDaniel positioned herself as a steady hand and honest broker who can hold together the party’s factions and continue building out the RNC’s financial and field resources. She prevailed on the first ballot, 111-51.

McDaniel argued that the RNC did its job in the midterms by providing the infrastructure for turning out voters. She acknowledged that the party struggled with its nominees — a problem that many Republicans have attributed to influence of Trump, though McDaniel didn’t address the former president in her remarks on Friday morning.

“The RNC, we don’t get to pick the candidates, the voters do,” McDaniel said. “We don’t get to call the plays, we don’t get to say what the campaigns run on. But we do provide resoureces and we build a critical infrastructure to help candidates win.” McDaniel said Republicans won the popular vote by 4 million, equivalent to 297 Electoral College votes, and made inroads with minority voters.

Interviews with RNC members gathered at a luxury resort here suggested that Dhillon’s appearances on conservative media and her alliance with right-wing influencers failed to sway, and in some cases even backfired with, many of the 168 committee members whose votes will decide the outcome. Still, a nod of support Thursday morning from potential presidential candidate Ron DeSantis underscored the competitiveness of the challenge, with a person close to Dhillon’s campaign saying she picked up 11 votes after the Florida governor’s endorsement.

“Only 168 people can vote,” said Benjamin Proto, a committee member from Connecticut who is supporting McDaniel. “I don’t care what Tucker Carlson thinks the next chairman should do, or what Charlie Kirk does,” he said, referring to the Fox News host and Turning Point USA founder respectively. “So I think that was a mistake on Harmeet’s part, it was just a strategic error.”
Ronna McDaniel knows how to schmooze and how to stay in power, much like Democrats had with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Neither knew how to have their party win elections very well, and McDaniel in particular only was appointed *after* Trump won in 2016. In 2018, 2020, and 2022 Republicans won minimal gains in the House and lost the Senate, and oh yeah, lost the White House.

Why anyone thinks she'll make a difference in 2024? It's all about the fundraising.
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