Katrina Pierson is the perfect spokesperson for Donald Trump. Here she is on CNN today with a CNN panel that was grilling her about how Trump would respond in the general election to a Hillary commercial that would be cut with his horrible answer on David Duke as the centerpiece. Pierson responded that Trump would cut a commercial back showing that Robert Byrd endorsed Obama, | Read More »
At The Nation, Dave Zirin writes—Thank You, Melissa Harris-Perry ( The most diverse, intellectually bracing show on network news was treated as expendable, and its host would not have it. She and her show will be sorely missed):
This weekend, a show that mattered to its audience as few programs on the vanilla ice-milk buffet that passes for news do, The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC, was canceled, and it’s a tragic as well as angering turn of events. “Ties were severed,” as an MSNBC executive put it, after Melissa, who I am proud to count as a colleague, sent an email to her staff explaining why she would not be hosting her show this past weekend after several weeks of having the program pre-empted for election coverage. The “scorching” email, now public, is being cherry-picked in articles, particularly the part where Melissa wrote, “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head.”
I want to encourage people to read it in its entirety, because that one section does not do justice to what she is trying to communicate. The part that stands out to me is when she writes,
MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive. While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return—not a moment earlier. I am deeply sorry for the ways that this decision makes life harder for all of you. You mean more to me than you can imagine.
Instead of responding to these concerns, network executives chose to simply kill the show, citing the email as “destructive to our relationship.” A nameless exec, speaking to The Washington Post, called her a “challenging and unpredictable personality.” [...]
It is certainly true that Melissa fought for her vision of what she wanted the show to be, but it is difficult to imagine that a white, male host would be attacked so personally and called “challenging and unpredictable” for exhibiting similar behavior. It also speaks volumes that such adjectives—“challenging,” “unpredictable”—would be seen as insults in the modern news media world, instead of high praise.
Once again showing that “supporting the troops” is just a slogan, Senate Republicans unexpectedly agreed to debate Senator Russ Feingold’s bill that would require troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq within 120 days and cut funding for further combat deployments. Is it because Republicans have finally decided to listen to more than 60% of the American people?
Or did they finally realize that the ever-increasing cost in blood and treasure is too high a price to pay? Of course not. It’s because Republicans:
…want to highlight the security achievements over the past year under President Bush’s troop buildup strategy.
That’s right; they want to do a little political grandstanding on the backs of the troops that they claim to support.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin parsed the SC results, told us what the polls say for Super Tuesday, and described the symptoms of the GOP’s Trumpmatic Stress Disorder. Will everyone knuckle under? And on just what planet were horrified GOP operatives up until now?
In many ways, my politics are a reflection of my mother’s. She grew up picking cotton on a farm in Mississippi, with her side of the family being the very definition of Yellow Dog Democrats. My mother is a bit more open-minded on social issues than most of her family, since she started traveling to different places when she came of age, met all kinds of people, saw the world, and built a life of her own. However, while the views on my mom’s side of the house might not always fit the definition of what many might think a Democrat is “supposed to be,” all of them, from my late grandfather to all my aunts and uncles, voted for the Democratic party out of a common belief in economic populism and fundamental fairness. They would give someone the shirt off their backs, because they believed we can’t just abandon people that need help. As my mother likes to say in her southern twang while listening to Republicans try to find different groups to scapegoat, when someone turns their back on someone in need, “you might be turning away God’s child.”
The culture wars of the past half-century are rooted in differing ideological world views of what the United States was, is, and should be. Similar to the conflicts between Protestants and Catholics or Sunni and Shia, where both sides believe in the same God but interpret what that God is differently, the ideological battles which have defined the conflicts of conservatives and liberals are between two sides that claim to believe in the same country, the same flag, and the same constitution—but have vastly different visions of what those things should mean when it comes to issues like civil rights, privacy, and fundamental societal fairness. So, if there is a culture war, it’s being fought over the nature and soul of the American Dream. As Democrats have lost the “Solid South,” conservatives made inroads by perverting the American Dream into something where freedom is defined as being free from any responsibility for the larger society, one claims to love their country but “hate” their government as an enemy of liberty, and justice became more a word to use in an anthem or pledge than an aspiration when making sure everyone can get a fair shake.
For the past two decades, my mother has lived outside Memphis, not far from a small town called Millington. Since I was there for the weekend and Donald Trump was having a rally just a few minutes away on Saturday, I went to see things firsthand and talk with some of the people there. In fact, more than a few of the faces I saw were of people whom I knew as neighbors, the guy who cut my hair, and even old family friends. So it was disconcerting to see many of them cheering an asshole with bad hair.
Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the biggest internet freedom victory, ever, when the Federal Communications Commission saved the internet by declaring it should remain free and open, and the internet service providers couldn’t become the gatekeepers of the information we all access every day.
That same day, the FCC made sure that the cities of Wilson, North Carolina, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, could move forward with creating municipal broadband, breaking the stranglehold of the cable companies, a handful of which have near-monopoly control in most cities and setting a precedent for municipal broadband efforts around the country.
Since those rulings, the FCC has helped kill the anti-consumer Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and has slowed down the Charter-Time Warner deal. It’s ruled that you can get your cable through a device other than the one that your cable company charges you way too much for every month.
Chairman Wheeler has created a plan to expand rural broadband access and exploring how to expand its “Lifeline” program that provides local phone service to low-income families to include broadband.
For the last year, the FCC has been a real champion of consumers and the public. We asked for this, collectively, in more than four million comments to the FCC on net neutrality. They stepped up, in a very big way and better than we could have imagined during those years we fought so hard for an open internet. For that, we need to thank them, and celebrate a year of victories.
Life is certainly a mystery. It’s almost impossible at times to understand phenomenons that occur whether in culture, politics or life in general. Surely there is no greater mystery that I can think of than the rise of Donald Trump in the Republican Party since last June. He has a good shot of winning the GOP nomination based on what we have seen thus far. | Read More »
Mitch McConnell has been a U.S. senator for 31 years. In those three decades, he’s waxed eloquent on the profound constitutional duty of the Senate to vote on presidents’ judicial nominees—at least two dozen times, according to this review of the record.
That includes at least 13 times in which he invoked the idea or the phrase “up or down vote,” as in:
“We need to recommit ourselves to the 200 year principle that in a
democracy an up-or-down vote should be given to a President’s judicial nominees. It is simple. It is fair. It has been that way for over 2 centuries. And it’s served us well.”
“The stakes are high. The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article 2, section 2 clearly provides the President and the President alone nominates judges. The Senate is merely empowered to give advice and consent, but our Democratic colleagues want to change the rules…. there would be the distinct possibility and in fact great likelihood, if this continues, that 41 Members of the Senate will dictate to the President of the United States who may be a member of the Supreme Court and other courts.We have made every effort to reach out and compromise, but our colleagues at least so far have refused. The only choice that remains is to hold a vote to reaffirm the traditions and precedents that have served this body so well for the last 214 years. Let us vote.”
That’s one of eight instances in which he invoked the constitutional duty of the Senate “set forth in Article II, Section 2, that the Senate as an institution as reflected by the will of the majority of its Members, render its advice and consent on the President’s nominees.” On that one he added this nice little bit: “We put propriety over partisanship.”