Remembering The Dr. King Conservatives Find So Damn Inconvenient

If Republicans were capable of shame and intellectual consistency, Martin Luther King Day would prove uncomfortable for them. After all, they insist America’s founding was not rooted in white supremacy, and that the nation itself was never actively, aggressively racist. If that’s true, why do we need to celebrate Dr. King as a transformative figure?

Conservatives' favorite MLK quote — possibly the only one they know — is “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” The key words here that conservatives ignore is one day, meaning it hadn’t happened yet. If America was already a post-racial utopia, Dr. King would've just been a guy who gave speeches. We might as well have a national holiday for the Four Tops.

Happy MLK Day! Prager U Sings The Praises Of Great Conservative Thinker, Dr. King

But let’s not waste time today dragging hypocritical statements from Republicans who’ll take a break from suppressing the Black vote to claim that if Dr. King were alive today, he’d resent almost everyone who’s Black and presumably host one of the Fox News prime time hours.

Instead, let’s appreciate Dr. King’s own words, which are more prescient than ever.

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OAN Gets Cancel Cultured. Dang.

Pour one out for the One America Network! OAN is getting dropped by DirecTV, its most important carrier, responsible for a reported 90 percent of the network's revenue.

Bloomberg was first to report that the wingnut news outlet was getting cancel cultured, depriving your granny of her nightly fix of 4chan in news format, minus all the fancy production values.

DirecTV's decision comes on the heels of a blockbuster Reuters story in October highlighting the role DirecTV's parent company AT&T played in funding OAN and making it a thing.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” OAN's owner Robert Herring Sr. said during a 2019 deposition, describing being approached in 2013 by AT&T executives. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [left-wing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

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Wow, This Crazy Violent Portland Police Training Slide Is ... Pretty Much What You’d Expect

Well before George Floyd’s murder and the "Defund the Police” movement, Portland, Oregon, police were fed up with people exercising their First Amendment Rights. A slide show from apparently 2018, designed to train officers on policing protests, concluded with a fun bonus message celebrating violence against US citizens.

According to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office, the offensive slide surfaced during discovery for a lawsuit the nonprofit group Don’t Shoot Portland filed against the city over use of force during the 2020 racial justice protests. Presumably, the plaintiff’s counsel immediately placed the slide in a file marked “pay dirt.”

The Oregonian reports:

The last of the 110 slides in the presentation showed the “Prayer of the Alt Knight | Based Stickman” meme. “Based Stickman” refers to Kyle Chapman, the founder of a group called the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights that formed as the “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He’s a far-right Trump supporter and street brawler who earned the nickname “Based Stickman” after a video showed him hitting an antifascist activist with a wooden sign post in Berkeley in 2017.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the Proud Boys as a hate group, which is the sort of thing the police should know.

Here’s the meme that appeared in the training slideshow. It’s as gross as you might expect.

The Oregonian

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Trump Celebrates MLK Day By Declaring Race War

In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, the former president is honoring the real victims of racism: white people.

"The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies," Donald Trump said at his pitchfork rally in Arizona on Saturday.

"It's unbelievable to think this," he continued. Truthfully for once, because literally no one should believe this nonsense.

As Insider notes, this appears to be an extended riff on a Wall Street Journal opinion piece decrying New York State guidelines for dispensing antivirals, which are in very short supply during the omicron surge. Among many other health factors, "Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19."

And this, unlike the former president's freeform arglebargle, is actually true. Black and Hispanic people are roughly twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white people. So if care has to be rationed, it is entirely logical to give it to a patient with double the risk of dying from a disease Trump and his followers insist is just like the flu anyway.

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SCOTUS

Justice Gorsuch Even More Of A Dick Than You Thought

Wow, didn't think that was possible, did you?

In case you didn't already hate Justice Neil Gorsuch like poison — and if you don't, what are you doing at Wonkette? — NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg has reminded us all once again what an unmitigated shit that guy is.

Last week, Supreme Court observers noted that Gorsuch was the only justice who refused to wear a mask last at last Tuesday's oral argument. Also that Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor attended the hearing remotely. Turns out those two things were not unrelated.

Justice Breyer took some flack for remaining at the Court after he had a positive rapid COVID test, followed by a negative one. (He later received a negative PCR test.) But it was Gorsuch who went beyond bad judgment to an active display of disregard for his colleagues' health and comfort.

As a diabetic, Justice Sotomayor is particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and has been scrupulous about masking from early on in the pandemic. Mindful of her feelings, Justice John Roberts requested all the justices wear masks during the hearing out of respect for Justice Sotomayor's needs. Three guesses who couldn't be fucking bothered to put a piece of cloth over his face to protect his colleague.

Tell us, Nina Totenberg:

[T]he situation had changed with the omicron surge, and according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up.

They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices' weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.

Totenberg adds that Gorsuch "has proved a prickly justice, not exactly beloved even by his conservative soulmates on the court." That's public radio-speak for "he's a raging dickhole."

Honestly, what better metaphor for America today than a small minority of selfish jerks, so fixated on their own individual rights that they treat a requests to display a minimum courtesy and care for anyone else as a gross infringement on their liberties?

Even Justice Samuel Alito had the basic decency to respect his colleague. And when you're being compared unfavorably to Sam Alito, you're not a rugged libertarian. You're just an asshole.

OPEN THREAD.

[NPR]

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Mommyblogging

They Tried To Kill Us, We Survived, Let's Vote

You know what time it is.

This weekend, my husband and I are flying to Michigan, where we will not be seeing ANY of you because I don't know if you heard but there is a global pandemic! We are taking a week off work and just hanging out to see if we would like to live in Detroit, or in Ann Arbor, or neither and we have to start looking at Milwaukee and shit.

Because we can't stay in Montana any longer.

"Oh waah! The country is getting more polarized because the people are sorting themselves politically and somehow that is bad!" say idiots who have not had to live in Montana. It's the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Sometimes I want to weep just looking out my window at the mountains past the lake.

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Elections

Ron DeSantis Wants Special Police Force For Elections, Which Sounds Perfectly Fine, Sure

Probably won't arrest anyone for Gerrymandering With Malice Aforethought.

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis said in his "state of the state" speech last week that Florida needs an entirely new police agency to combat election crimes, even though Florida doesn't have any election fraud to speak of. Nonetheless, DeSantis requested that the state legislature spend roughly $6 million to set up a brand new "Office of Election Crimes and Security" and hire 52 people to staff it, so they can “investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation” of Florida election laws. The Vote Cops would be stationed at as-yet unspecified "field offices throughout the state," so they could roll into action when they get tips from "government officials or any other person.”

As of yet, no word on whether the Electoral SWAT Team will be equipped for high-speed pursuit or allowed to shoot to kill. (Haha, we are joking. It's Florida, so who knows!)

The Washington Post reports that so far at least, Florida Republicans have "reacted tepidly" to the proposal, so that's nice. Then again, all it would take for the idea to really have massive popular support would be for Donald Trump to mention it on Fox News.

Again, Florida doesn't have any serious issues with voter fraud, except perhaps for those three retired folks from the Villages, all Republicans, who were charged in December with voting in both Florida and by absentee ballot in other states in 2020. If the state had dedicated $2 million and 17 election cops to each of those miscreants, they might have been caught earlier.

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