Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Last Call For Dominion Takes The Win-ion

Dominion Voting Services has settled its defamation suit against Fox News for just short of half what the company was asking for, minutes before the trial was scheduled to begin today.
Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems reached a $787.5 million settlement agreement Tuesday afternoon, the parties announced, narrowly heading off a trial shortly after the jury was sworn in.

“Fox has admitted to telling lies,” John Poulos, Dominion CEO, said at a news conference after the trial ended.

"Money is accountability," said Stephen Shackelford Jr., the attorney scheduled to give opening statements for Dominion on Tuesday.

Fox News, in a statement, said it acknowledged "the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false."

"This settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards,” the network said. “We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
Some observations:
One, it's not over yetFox News still faces a similar defamation case from voting machine manufacturer Smartmatic over the same Big Lie claims for an even larger sum, $2.7 billion.

Two, we don't know the full terms of the settlement. It's entirely possible that Fox News personalities may have to say, publicly apologize. We'll see about that. You can bet Fox will drag their feet on that as long as they can and issue an apology at 4:30 AM on a Sunday.

Three, you can bet Fox will quietly raise cable TV fees on providers as it remains the second-most watched cable network behind only ESPN. Your cable bill is going to go up even if you never watch the network. Financially, this isn't going to hurt Rupert Murdoch one bit. Fox News is still a $16 billion company, and it'll make the settlement and more back off of American cable customers in the years ahead.

Four, Fox News will continue to lie about, gaslight and attack Democrats, liberals, Black, Latino and Asian folk, LGBTQ+ folk, Muslims, Jews, and pretty much everything else in the future. That won't change one bit.

So, we'll how how this shakes out, but yeah, both sides are going to claim victory here, and both sides are correct to do so.

Shutdown Countdown, Armageddon Edition, Con't

Ringmaster Kevin McCarthy and the Shutdown Clowns are once again announcing their plans to cut trillions in social spending and crash the economy with the debt ceiling, not caring that the demand is supposed to be "or" not "and".

In his speech Monday, McCarthy sought to lay the blame for any potential market fears of a default at Biden’s feet.

“The longer President Biden waits to be sensible to find an agreement, the more likely it becomes that this administration will bumble into the first default in our nation’s history,” he said.

Biden, meanwhile, has demanded that House Republicans produce their own budget as a starting point to negotiations. But getting his entire caucus — whose members disagree on what to cut and by how much — to sign on to one budget blueprint would be a herculean task for the Republican speaker.

“Let me be clear, defaulting on our debt is not an option. But neither is a future of higher taxes, higher interest rates, more dependency on China and an economy that doesn’t work for working Americans,” said McCarthy. “Addressing the debt requires us to come together, find common ground and reduce spending.”

The fact that McCarthy was roping two unrelated legislative tasks – passing a debt ceiling hike and approving a federal budget – together as one deal remained a nonstarter for the White House.

In statement Monday morning, White House spokesman Andrew Bates accused the California Republican of “holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, threatening our economy and hardworking Americans’ retirement.”

Despite McCarthy’s attempt to portray the White House as lagging behind or late to the table, the current state of affairs lines up with what a White House official told CNBC earlier this spring.

The Biden administration planned to pursue negotiations in earnest with Congress only after Tuesday’s tax deadline.

At that point, the official said, the federal government would have a better idea of how much revenue was coming in from taxes, and how far it would go toward paying the country’s bills. This would influence how urgently the White House would need to reach a deal with congressional Republicans.
Biden has a budget proposal and a debt ceiling proposal, McCarthy doesn't have the votes for either. That's the difference...and oh yes, the spending cuts the House GOP want would smash a hole in the economy, and the House also wants the ability to take the economy hostage again a year from now so they can do even more damage and blame Biden for it.

It's a pretty horrific situation, but the worst part is, again, McCarthy doesn't have the votes to pass anything without Democratic help. Maybe that forces him to the table, but maybe that leads to default and economic depression.

We'll see. The clock is running out and all sides know it.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Black lives still matter, even in small town Oklahoma.
GOP officials from McCurtain County, Okla. are being investigated by the FBI after they were caught on tape expressing their frustration about it not being socially acceptable beat up and hang Black people, as well as their desires to hire hitmen to kill newspaper reporters.

The audio was published by print-only newspaper McCurtain Gazette-News, and it released transcript of a recording from a county commissioners meeting last month to the public that allegedly incriminates several public officials after disturbing comments were made. The full audio recording from Gazette-News reporter Bruce Willingham will be released by the newspaper at a later date.

After hundreds came out in protest, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has called for the resignation of McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy (R), District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings (R), Investigator Alicia Manning and Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix for their comments in the meeting. District 3 Commissioner Robert Beck (R) is also cited in the audio.

The transcript suggests that the group first started discussing a recent fire which killed a woman and her two dogs. The group joked about the woman’s body parts falling off her body, and that it is similar to eating barbecue.

“So we get her in the body bag and Kyler goes, ‘You do know what we gotta do right?’ Faith goes, ‘No, what?’ He goes, ‘You gotta pre-heat the oven 350 degrees, leave her in there for 15 minutes,’” said Clardy.

Later in the transcript, Jennings and Clardy had a racist exchange and went back and forth about society making it unacceptable to lynch Black people.

“I’m gonna tell you something. If it was back in the day, when that when Alan Marshton would take a damn Black guy and whoop their ass and throw him in the cell? I’d run for f—ing sheriff,” Jennings said.

After Clardy said things aren’t like that anymore, Jennings continued.

“I know. Take them down to Mud Creek and hang them up with a damn rope. But you can’t do that anymore. They got more rights than we got.”

Jennings supposedly went on to say that he knows of two large pre-dug holes “if you ever need them,” referring to disposing the remains of Bruce Willingham and his son, Chris, also a Gazette-News reporter. Jennings also said that he knows of “two or three hit men, they’re very quiet guys.”

Manning chimed in and claimed nobody would care if two of the Gazette-News’ reporters were harmed. “Yeah, but here’s the reality,” Manning allegedly said. “If a hair on his wife’s head, Chris Willingham’s head, or any of those people that really were behind that, if any hair on their head got touched by anybody, who would be the bad guy?”
Gov. Stitt has to at least pretend he wants them gone, but let's face it: It's 2023, and what white supremacist Republicans really want is an America where you can go around and shoot, kill, and/or lynch Black folk just like granpappy used to do back in the Good Ol' Days, cause even if you were an Okie from Muskogee shit-kicker dirt poor asshole, at least you could still take a pipe wrench to one of them ni-CLANGs like God intended and then put a couple of them civil rights reporters in the goddamn ground

The problem isn't what these dirtbags said on tape, it's what millions of white folk say when there's nobody around to record it.

And you know what?  The casual way these assholes talked about lynching and putting reporters in the ground, with total indifference to human life?

That sounds like a confession to me.  It sounds like something they've seen or done before, and more than once. I'm glad the feds are involved, because it sounds like there have been decades of "bad guys" over the years here and no effort to investigate the victims.

But the worst part is that we should realize that in 2023, even discussing this case in a school or college classroom would be illegal in several states, because it would be banned under anti "Critical Race Theory" laws. This is exactly the subject my high school in NC discussed more than 30 years ago during the reaction in LA to the Rodney King verdict, and talking about this story would be illegal in a NC classroom or public university course if NC Republicans have their way.

Black Lives Matter.
Do better.
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