Saturday, June 20, 2015

What are they up to now? Gateway Pundit Edition

Remember Jim Hoft, aka Gateway Pundit, who has repeatedly promoted white supremacist websites including the Council of Conservative Citizens, especially for their "black on white" crime stories (even long after being called out by mainstream media outlets), who deletes comments from liberals at his website but leaves up comments calling black people the n-wordanimals, and crackheads, and who claims that the NAACP are "the real racists."  What has he been up to?

Sadly, even in the wake of the horrific Charleston shootings perpetuated by a deranged racist, Hoft continues to allow his website to be a hub for internet racists.  Here is a sample of blatantly racist comments on The Gateway Pundit Facebook page *after* the shooting (there are plenty more from the week before as well):

WARNING: Offensive content below

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You'd like to think that there are life events that are so tragic, so momentous that they can get even people like Jim Hoft to stop for a moment and reconsider whether they really should be using their websites to flame white racal resentment.  Unfortunately, there's not much evidence to support that hope. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What are they up to now? John Burns Edition

Remember John Burns, the guy who teamed up with James O'Keefe to falsely accuse Washington University of oppressing free speech, then tried to sabotage a marriage equality rally, then heroically lost a public transportation ballot initiative in humiliating fashion by claiming the Republican Mayor of Chesterfield personally ordered police to shut down a tea party protest, oh, and who helped O'Keefe come up with a plan to sexually humiliate a CNN reporter?

What's he been up to?

He's been lawyerin for Chuck C. Johnson, that's what!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The John Diehl Fiasco Was Not An Isolated Incident

Missouri House Speaker John Diehl resigned today after getting caught sexting with a 19-year old intern.  However, I think it's important to note that, at least according to quite a few people who have worked in Jefferson City, this is not an outlier in the Missouri Legislature.  Since I haven't seen this anywhere else, I thought it might be helpful to collect some examples of public comments made about this.

First, just to show this isn't a recent development, here's what Senator McCaskill wrote about her time as an intern back in 1974:
“It was the first time I experienced moments of being very uncomfortable as a young woman surrounded by lots of men,” McCaskill writes. “There were inappropriate things said to me and inappropriate behaviors that made me very uneasy.”
Part of her gopher activities included running errands to the upper floors of the Capitol:
“One day I ended up in the elevator with two older male legislators and one of their assistants. They began asking if I liked ‘to party’ and then tried to get me to come to one of their offices for some drinks. I felt trapped. For the rest of the internship, I took the stairs.”
In 2009, State Senator Joan Bray gave an impassioned speech during a fillibuster that pissed off many of her Republican colleagues.  Here's an excerpt:
I am sick of the disrespect for women who come to the Capitol defending a woman's legal right to choose an abortion.
I am sick that they're being treated dismissively and rudely.
I'm sick of the ethic around here that men are pro-life for their wives and pro-choice for their girlfriends.
In response to the Diehl story, one woman I know who was previously an intern in Jefferson City wrote on Facebook that "today's news does not surprise me at all."  Another woman with first hand experience wrote that Missouri Republicans have, "zero respect shown for young women," and added that she heard a male Missouri legislator call Bray a "c#nt" during her filibuster, causing two other male legislators to laugh.

Another commenter on Facebook mentioned that Rich Chrismer, when he was a Missouri Representative, commented to her that he had a "very good sex life" (without specifying with whom).  Chrismer recently settled a sexual harrasment lawsuit filed by three former workers in his capacity as the elections director of St. Charles County.

Of course there's the sordid tale of Rod Jetton who plead guilty of assault after "he struck a woman in the face and choked her before and during sex at her Sikeston, Mo., home in November 2009." 


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article20842023.html#storylink=cpy
Tony Messenger, in an excellent editorial about the Diehl episode and the broader disaster of the Missouri Legislature, mentioned an incident in which Diehl's predecessor Scott Muschany was busted having an affair with a Mid-Missouri woman and accused of forcing her 14 year old daughter to inappropriately touch him (he was found not guilty of the crime). 

And, so you don't think this is only Democrats claiming that there's a problem, former Republican State Senator John Lamping had the following comments about the Diehl story in the Kansas City Star:
Former Missouri state Sen. John Lamping, a Republican from suburban St. Louis, said the texts suggest an unacceptable political environment in the state Capitol.
“This epitomizes the culture in Jeff City,” he said. “This is what happens. … This is a high-profile, apparently well-documented circumstance, but it is not an isolated incident. It is standard procedure. It’s remarkable.”
And Lamping later said the following on Mark Reardon's radio show:
This epitomizes the behavior down there [in the capitol] and it's a bipartison set of behavior...A lot of people get into office and are very comfortable with what their status will be, and then...there's too many people who don't just go back to their homes at the end of the session and they're out and about and circumstances like this happen and they happen far too frequently, certainly, more than they ever should.
A coalition of Missouri legislators also circulated a petition today stating the following:
Dozens of talented and hard-working young people serve as interns in the Missouri Capitol each year, and they play an important role in legislative operations.  We must ensure them a safe environment to work and learn free from the inappropriate attentions of elected officials.
With all of that smoke, I think we can be pretty sure there's a fire.  Hopefully, the Diehl incident provides the necessary spark to reform the frat culture of the Missouri Legislature.  People, even hypocritical Bible-thumpers, should be allowed to do whatever they want in their free time as long as they're not hurting anyone else.  But when they create an atmosphere that systematically demeans and devalues women, the situation needs to change.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

James O'Keefe Caught in the Act

Good segment on Chris Hayes exposing James O'Keefe's dishonest editing:



This isn't a surprise for those of us who paid attention, but it is a particularly nice example.

And why is this relevant for St. Louis?  The local tea party fever that came and went (but which still has a pernicious influence on politics) was based in large part on emulation of the dishonest tactics employed by Breitbart and O'Keefe.  Any immoral action was justified as long as it was in service of their "WAR".

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MIssouri DESE Posts Story Suggesting Nicastro Unilaterally Made Decision On Contoversial Consultant

@MOEducation, the Twitter feed for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) posted a link today to a story by a Kansas City group called "Do The Right Thing For Kids:"

The post was full of the usual, "if caring about children is wrong, I don't wanna be right" fluff of Nicastro defenders that steadfastly avoids the actual issues at the heart of the controversy, but what was especially strange is that it included the following passage:
So according to this account, Nicastro "hire[d], in her judgment, the best consultant." That's funny, because I thought that the consultant was supposed to be determined by the scores of four separate evaluators who graded the different proposals according to different criteria like "cost" and "personnel".  The State Board President Peter Herschend said the process was "open and competitive." Of course, there are many reasons for questioning whether that evaluation process was rigged from the start, but I'm a little surprised that DESE would tweet out a story that openly states Nicastro made the decision herself given that they were claiming it was a fair process determined by a scoring system.  You would think they would at least offer some correction or note stating that the story incorrectly described the process.

Unless, of course, Nicastro really did unilaterally make the decision.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tea Party's Star Gladney Witness Found Guilty of Fraud, Blames Gay And Pro-Abortion Activists

Remember when tea partiers were completely humiliated during their fabricated story about evil "union thugs" brutally beating a guy selling tea party merchandise?  One of the tea party's alleged "witnesses" of the "brutal beating" was Harris Himes, a Montana pastor oddly attending a St. Louis political event who told conflicting stories about what he saw.  After a jury took less than an hour to reach a not guilty verdict for the "union thugs," Himes sent a letter to Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, one of the primary pushers of the fabricated story, declaring that the trial was a "miscarriage of justice."

So yeah, about that guy:
A Ravalli County jury found Hamilton pastor Harris Himes guilty on three felony counts of securities fraud Friday...

The charges followed a yearlong investigation by the state Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance on accusations that Himes and another pastor, James “Jeb” Bryant, promised a Hamilton man a large return on $150,000 of his inheritance for his investment in the Mexican-based building materials company Duratherm Building Systems.

The man told the jury this week that he was surprised when he traveled to Mexico to find the factory was nothing more than an empty agricultural shed.
Oh, and guess who he previously blamed the charges on:
Himes went on to claim that gay and pro-abortion activists may be behind the charges against him and co-defendant James "Jeb" Bryant, another self-proclaimed pastor.
Himes seems like quite a guy.  He's the perfect spokesperson for Jim Hoft's right-wing victimization fantasies.