They’re Defending Lawlessnes​s Now?

MediaMattersweekly_email_header_logo_altSome other things I’ve read this week: Grace Wyler’s reporting on how right-wing militias are mobilizing, an examination of David Foster Wallace’s warnings about irony, Sarah Kliff’s explanation of the recent Census changes, and Simon Maloy’s advice for reporters covering Paul Ryan.

John Whitehouse
Twitter: @existentialfish

Pure Hypocrisy

BundyConservative media have spent years accusing the Obama administration of lawlessness. But now they’re lining up to defend a rancher who refuses to even acknowledge the existence of the federal government: Related: Media Matters Investigative Reporter Joe Strupp spoke to Nevada journalists, who told him that the rancher is clearly breaking the law:

From The Fringe To The Mainstream

IngrahamABC News announced that it has hired right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham as a contributor. She regularly uses inflammatory rhetoric to be a voice for the fringe: Related: Laura Ingraham is one of the right-wing radio hosts whose shows have deep financial ties to the tea party:




BoehlertEric Boehlert and Chris Hayes discussed why the conservative outrage machine embraced the lawless rancher in Nevada:


Lily LedbetterMedia Matters Radio spoke with Lilly Ledbetter about conservatives like Fox News who pretend the gender pay gap does not exist:


Race In America
Five White People On Fox News Discuss “Race In America”

This is what segregation looks like

Right-wing attacks on voting and equal representation are pushing Black Alabamians out of the picture.

Gov. Bentley bill signing

Now the state’s unaccountable government is taking it to the next level. Help stop extreme legislation that mocks and vilifies our history:

Take Action

Aggressive gerrymandering efforts designed to dilute Black Alabamians’ votes have delivered supermajority control of the state’s legislature — and Alabama’s entire executive branch — to the extreme right wing. With Black voters largely blocked from electing their candidates of choice, Alabama’s unaccountable politicians are hard at work shredding the social safety net and attacking federal laws that protect our health.

Demonstrating just how reckless Alabama’s political leadership has become, the GOP is actually invoking Brown v. Board of Education in its latest campaign to harass and vilify Black women and families. Comparing herself to civil rights champions fighting to end school segregation, Rep. Mary McClurkin (R-Indian Springs) just pushed a package of bills through the House that would force women to carry pregnancies to term even where pregnancy results from rape.1

The GOP is appropriating the civil rights struggle to ram through its extreme, unconstitutional policy agenda,2 while depending on massive civil rights violations to win and hold office. And with November’s election already heating up, we can expect the hypocrisy will only get worse — unless national attention makes Alabama’s government’s predatory behavior toward its own Black constituents too difficult to publicly justify.

It’s time to take a stand: Demand Alabama’s Senate leadership and Gov. Robert Bentley recognize the House is committing a repugnant, costly overreach and reject HB 489, HB 490, HB 493, HB 494, and HB 31 now.

While Alabama’s white political bosses mock both the civil rights movement and Deep South’s continuing legacy of chattel slavery to the faces of their few remaining Black colleagues in Montgomery,3 everyday Alabamians are struggling to survive. Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars are consistently diverted to projects that have nothing to do with fighting Alabama’s staggering poverty rates, and the state has flirted with becoming the first to end TANF entirely.4,5

Alabama insists single adults making just $1,332 a year are too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid,6 blocking access to basic medical care for hundreds of thousands of residents. Gov. Bentley could easily expand Medicaid coverage with funding from President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — creating 30,000 much-needed jobs, growing wages, and generating nearly $1 billion in new revenue — but he’s refused.7,8 Alabama’s already low abortion rate could be further reduced under the ACA’s expanded access to contraception, but Attorney General Luther Strange is suing to keep that from happening.9,10

It’s clear the right wing’s retrograde agenda has nothing to do with standing up for families or protecting the vulnerable — it’s about foreclosing opportunity for Black communities and suppressing Black political power. Despite our growing numbers — over 26% of Alabamians identify as Black — and record levels of voter registration, Black voters and elected officials now have less influence than at any time since the civil rights era.

The GOP strategy is to “pack” Black constituents into fewer districts, “crack” up influential communities in non-majority Black districts, and otherwise “bleach” formerly diverse districts prone to cross-racial coalition building. The resulting, unearned Republican wins have stripped formerly influential Black legislators of leadership positions and the ability to move policy or conduct oversight,11 making Alabama’s government increasingly indifferent to Black constituents’ interests. Even before last year’s Shelby County Supreme Court ruling validated Alabama’s “unbroken chain of repetitive discrimination” dating to the early days of the Voting Rights Act,12 this ruthless redistricting push has sought to reinstate the bad old days of political apartheid, when representing Black folks was simply not required of white officials.13

What’s happening in Alabama should be a national scandal. Tell the state Senate and governor to do their jobs representing all Alabamians — and ensuring the state doesn’t fall farther behind — instead of finding new ways to victimize Black families and communities.

Thanks and Peace,

–Arisha, Rashad, Matt, Kim, Johnny, Hannah and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
April 1st, 2014

Help support our work. is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

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1. “Alabama House Passes Extreme ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban, Three Other Anti-Choice Bills,” RH Reality Check, 03-05-2014

2. “Alabama Lawmakers Propose Near-Total Abortion Ban, Other Severe Restrictions,” RH Reality Check, 02-20-2014

3. “Equating Slavery and Abortion: Where are the Women in this story?” Feministing, 01-24-2011

4. “Alabama Voters to Decide Whether to Save Poor Kids,” Mother Jones, 09-18-2012

5. “Alabama: The sixth poorest state in America,”, 01-16-2014

6. “As Alabama Cuts Benefits, Desperate Man ‘Robs’ Bank To Get Food, Shelter In Jail,” ThinkProgress, 07-11-2013

7. “Study: Expanding Medicaid would create 30,700 jobs,”, 10-09-2013

8. “Senate Democrats Remind Governor Bentley that Alabama Must Expand Medicaid,” Alabama Political Reporter, 10-12-2013

9. “Alabama joins EWTN in new lawsuit against Obamacare contraception mandate,”, 10-28-2013

10. “Study: Abortion rate at lowest point since 1973,” Washington Post, 02-02-2014

11. “The Decline of Black Power in the South,” New York Times, 07-10-2013

12. “What Is Alabama’s Problem With the Voting Rights Act?” The Nation, 02-26-2013

13. “Keeping Black Voters in Their Place,” New York Times, 11-05-2013


Round 2

The gun lobby won this round.

The gun lobby killed a bill in the legislature ensuring that all gun sales go through the same criminal background check system — so we’re going to take this simple, commonsense reform that will save lives directly to the voters of Washington in November.

What the gun lobby did in the legislature is nothing compared to the millions of dollars they’re poised to spend to stop us at the ballot box in November. We’re going to need to really push hard to make sure that we organize a movement so large that it simply can’t be ignored — and we’re going to have to do it fast.

By the end of August, we’re going to organize 126,380 Washingtonians to pledge their votes to make Washington safer — that’s 10 percent of the votes we need to win — and I’d like you to be one of the first.

Thank you for your endorsement of 594 — click here to make it official, and pledge to vote to save lives in November!

Pledge Your Vote

The next round of this fight started today, at 11:00 a.m., when I stood alongside survivors of gun violence, prosecutors, moms, and clergy members — all of whom had one thing to say: 594 will save lives in Washington.

It won’t eliminate gun violence — but it’s a simple, effective step that we can take this year to make our communities safer.

I’m not kidding when I say it’s simple. You have to pass a similar background check when you apply to many jobs, volunteer at a school, or coach little league — yet anyone can buy a gun online or at a gun show without any checks whatsoever.

I’m ready to fight back against the gun lobby’s millions of dollars: Are you?

Pledge your vote to save lives in November!

The gun lobby may have stopped us from extending background checks to all firearm purchases in Olympia — but your emails, calls, and support made a huge difference. We succeeded in increasing protections for victims of domestic violence, and made history in the process.

Without your support, and the support of thousands of Washingtonians, that never would have happened.

We have a lot to be proud of — but a lot more work to do to organize 126,380 voters by the end of August.

Are you with me?

Pledge your vote to save lives in November!

Thanks for all of your support. With your help, we’re going to make history again.

Zach Silk Campaign Manager Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Is it Spring …

The Calendar says its spring, though we all know, it really is not yet because it’s still hella cold on the east coast. We lefties on the West Coast are cold but no artic vortex is going on and more snow is either falling on the east coast or on the way.  There has been a few days that were spring like, my spring magazines coming in the mail are bursting with Spring Colours short sleeves or less, but I’m guessing most of us are trying to layer or wear thermal. We used to hear ” fashion industry experts” talk about not wearing leggings for pants, but ladies still say sorry I’m wearing my leggings because they’re comfy and it’s cold though “the media” says we look frumpy! Some are all cotton maybe all poly or a blend but the ones that are thermal with a bagging look are here to stay, at least until spring actually gets here. Well, I believe in layering and out here, jeans/leggings are definitely a staple but … but sometimes they just do not look right or fit the situation. Therefore, I am suggesting medium to heavy weight, sleeveless jumpers and sheaths; like the picture above. Why? Because you can wear them with a multitude of tops ,turtlenecks, long sleeves , short sleeves, and on top of that a great cardigan or chunky sweater … white black blues reds … and if needed top it off with a blazer … shoot, throw a black chunky beach sweater on with some boots ! I know you can dress it up wearing some boots too! … I chose the picture above because of the options. I can imagine so many diff looks and if the material is sustainable, it stands to live a long life looking great but different depending on what you do it can also be worn with sandals, pumps and stilettos too. I love the next generation of leggings and jeans because they have gone high tech and with the right shoe… fantabulous… and If you’ve been watching there has been an attitude adjustment on leggings since the east coast has had to battle extreme cold weather …

So, go to the next legging level

photo: Daily Candy