Realizing Yourself, Leaving Others
It all started last Monday and I blame Charles Johnson. Who? Well, if you read me you probably don’t read him. He’s the guy who writes the incredibly successful right-wing political blog, Little Green Footballs. And he’s a parter.
What’s a “parter?” What? – You don’t know? A parter is someone so well-known for who they are that it seems incomprehensible that they would “part ways” with their current “affiliations.” Johnson did just that last Monday, in his post, “Why I Parted Ways With The Right.”
On his list of ten reasons why he parted ways with the Right, Johnson says, is their:
“2.Â SupportÂ for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)”
“5.Â SupportÂ for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)”
and, quite possibly my favorite:
“10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarreÂ conspiracy theoriesÂ (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)”
(Shameless plug: Check out all the writing I’ve done about Michelle Malkin.)
Now, I confess I don’t read Little Green Footballs. (It’s OK; I’m sure Charles doesn’t read me either.) So I can’t tell you that he’s become a huge Socialist, or that he now supports a single-payer option, or really, anything. But I can tell you that the news of “parting ways” made the major media. Most importantly, I can tell you that it’s not he who has changed, so much as it is those around him.
The next day, Tuesday, another conservative blogger, and a man for whom I have great respect, the incredibly intelligent Andrew Sullivan, became a parter. In “Leaving the Right,” he says,
“…there has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so – against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.”
Wow. Sullivan, who is gay and a strong supporter of marriage equality, has for a while now been embracing his inner Left. But this was a big, bold statement.
He goes on. In his own (unenumerated) list, Sullivan details his reasons, including,
“I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.”
“I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.
Bravo, Mr. Sullivan!
But wait – there’s more.
Just one day after Sullivan made his announcement came yet another parter: Meredith Baxter! She partered big time, by announcing on the Today Show, that she is a “lesbian.” (I’m putting it in quotes, out of respect – not like some conservatives put quotes around the term “gay marriage,” as if it weren’t “real marriage,” – but because it’s the word she used and a lot of lesbians were glad she used that word instead of “gay,” like Ellen did.)
Just one week after Johnson’s announcement, came news of another sort of partering. Yesterday, Al Diamon wrote about the partering of Larry Grard. Who is Larry Grard? Yeah, I didn’t know either. Turns out the Mr. Grard was, and I say was because he no longer is, a reporter for the Morning Sentinel, a Waterville, Maine newspaper. Grard was partered against his will, for emailing HRC and calling them “haters.” (I put “haters” in quotes, respectfully or not, because that’s the word he used. And it’s the word that got him partered.)
I’ll make no comment about Grard, except to say that if you’re going to say something, best be comfortable signing your name, or it’s probably not a good idea to say it. (Me, I sign everything I write.)
But, at least for (formerly Right-wing) bloggers, it’s not a one-way street. Sullivan calls attention to another parter.
In, “Leaving The Left,” SullivanÂ writes,
“A blogger explains why reading the liberal blogosphere’s routine attacks on Obama has led her to rethink where she stands.”
Here’s what said liberal blogger wrote, in “Why I’m Not a Liberal Anymore,”
‘”The stuff coming out of “progressive” mouths is all too often on a par with Glenn Beck’s abusive rants–both sides (right and left wingers) playing thousand-pound national football with the President as the ball…”
(And later, in, “Leaving The Left, ctd.,” Sullivan shares readers’ responses. I urge you spend the three minutes it will take you to read it.)
So, there’s been a lot of change, a lot of partering, if you will, over the past week or so. I’m not sure quite yet what to make of it all. My friend Cody Daigle might chalk it up to, “Saturn Returns.”
In truth, all of these folks haven’t changed, so much as remained true to who they are, while they saw the world, their world, change. And they responded. Some, like Johnson and Sullivan, taking positive, productive stances. Some, like Grard, taking a negative and unproductive stance. Some, like Baxter, allowing her true being to be seen, and thus, remaining true to herself as well.
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. And to chart your own course of action.
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‘Corruption of the Highest Order’: Experts ‘Sickened’ at ‘Definitely Bought’ Clarence Thomas and His ‘Pay to Play’ Lifestyle
Legal and political experts are expressing outrage and disgust after ProPublica’s latest investigation into the alleged unethical and unlawful actions of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, with some demanding his resignation and others calling it “corruption of the highest level,” “Pay. To. Play.,” and one simply saying, “This sickens me.”
“Is Clarence Thomas the most corrupt Supreme Court justice in our history? One of the most corrupt senior officials in our history? There is no doubt any more,” writes David Rothkopf, the foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator.
ProPublica is the nonprofit journalism organization that has exposed multiple instances of what experts have said is Justice Thomas’ corruption, abuse of ethics, contributions to the destruction of the high court’s reputation, and actual violations of federal law. Justice Thomas has either not commented or denied any wrongdoing.
“Clarence Thomas Secretly Participated in Koch Network Donor Events,” is the headline on Friday’s installment from ProPublica, which reveals: “Thomas has attended at least two Koch donor summits, putting him in the extraordinary position of having helped a political network that has brought multiple cases before the Supreme Court.”
The Koch network is a right-wing group of political organizations founded by “the Koch Brothers,” Charles and his late brother David.
“One of the Koch network’s most powerful allies,” is how ProPublica’s latest, lengthy investigation describes Justice Thomas The report begins with his arrival in Palm Springs International Airport to attend a “long weekend” that for Koch network members and supporters would include “strategizing, relaxation in the California sun and high-dollar fundraising.”
“The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving.”
“That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term.”
That case, ProPublica reports, is one that could greatly benefit Koch and America’s ultra-wealthy.
“The Koch network is among the largest and most influential political organizations of the last half century, and it’s underwritten a far-reaching campaign to influence the course of American law. In a case the Supreme Court will hear this coming term, the justices could give the network a historic victory: limiting federal agencies’ power to issue regulations in areas ranging from the environment to labor rights to consumer protection. After shepherding the case to the court, Koch network staff attorneys are now asking the justices to overturn a decades-old precedent. (Thomas used to support the precedent but flipped his position in recent years.)”
As with most of ProPublica’s investigations, this report includes both allegations of illegal actions and unethical behaviors.
Experts are voicing concern.
“Clarence Thomas might not be the finest Justice money can buy, but he’s definitely bought,” charges Moe Davis, the well-known retired U.S. Air Force colonel, attorney, educator, politician, and former administrative law judge.
Former federal prosecutor and legal commentator Mimi Rocah, who is now he elected District Attorney for Westchester County, New York expressed disgust.
“As a public servant who sacrifices donor $ (I don’t take donations from elected officials, PBAs, or attorneys with cases before my office), b/c I believe the justice system should be free from even the appearance of political influence, this sickens me.”
“Thomas and his billionaire pals have trashed the court’s reputation,” observed author Mark Jacob, a former Chicago Tribune editor.
“Corruption of the highest order,” is how Heather Cox Richardson, the well-known historian, author and professor of history described Justice Thomas’ alleged actions. “Personally, I’d go right to resign. It’s long overdue. And I’d revisit the cases he’s decided—including Citizens United and Shelby v Holder, which together handed our democracy to the rich—while we’re at it.”
“Does Justice go better with Koch?” mocked Jane Mayer, the award-winning author and investigative reporter at The New Yorker. “Clarence Thomas will judge a momentous case this term affecting all federal regulations after secretly partying for years with involved polluters.”
Journalist and conspiracy theory expert Mike Rothschild wrote: “Clarence Thomas hanging out with the Kochs and Harlan Crow at Bohemian Grove. No human sacrifice, no devil worship, just some old rich dudes scheming to take rights away from the rest of us. The conspiracy is in plain sight, and it doesn’t bother hiding.”
New York Times bestselling author, legal expert and senior editor at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick summed it up: “Pay. To. Play.”
‘Total Nonsense’: Joe Scarborough Pours Cold Water on Panic Over Kamala Harris in 2024
On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough rushed to Vice President Kamala Harris’ defense over hand-wringing in some Democratic quarters that Pressident Joe Biden should boot her as his running mate in On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough launched into a full-throated defense of Vice President Kamala Harris, stating that she should absolutely remain President Joe Biden’s running mate in 2024.
According Scarborough, a former Republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the panic in some Democratic quarters over Harris is “total nonsense.”
“Well, there is this undercurrent, like she’s black and a woman, and that’s why people don’t like her because she’s a vice president. ‘What are we going to do? We need to change her.!” the aggravated “Morning Joe” host began. “I just go, where were you when Dan Quayle was vice president? Where were you? Nobody remembers this.”
“Every vice president, we hear this all the time: ‘Change your vice presidents,'” he continued. “I’m here to say, it’s total nonsense. Nobody has ever voted against any presidential candidate because of who their vice president was.”
“If you look at Kamala’s numbers, they’re not that far off from where every other mocked and ridiculed and loathed vice president has been,” he concluded.
‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive
Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.
Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”
The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”
“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”
Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”
Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”
“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”
Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”
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