teddyrooseveltprogressive's blog

Dear Burr and Tillis: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Dear Senators Burr and Tillis:

We get it.

You’re really wishing this whole impeachment thing would disappear. You just want to get on with your life, running for office or slapping new GOP bumperstickers on your Volkswagon Thing as you go about … well … whatever it is you’ve been doing on Capitol Hill these past few years.

But, the impeachment hearings - and the revelations surrounding it - aren’t going away. Not now and not for several months and perhaps past 2020.

Flood of Fake Conservative News Sites Targets NC

The Columbia Journalism School has been investigating the proliferation of “local news” sites that are mostly machine generated, authored by free-lancers in Africa or the Philippines, and generously sprinkled with hard-fine far-right extremist talking points on nixing public education or supporting Trump policies.

The researchers, outline their findings and methodology in a new article.

On the surface, the sites seem to have no apparent connection to each other, but the researchers found links between them with IP address registrations and shared analytics IDs. Altogether, there are at least 450 of these sites targeted at local communities around the country or specialized interests, such as farmers or attorneys.

Who’s behind these sites? What are they?

Interstate Crosscheck Dismantled, But Questions Remain

Here’s a story you might have missed with all the hubbub around impeachment, Silent Sham, and redistricting.

Some of you might recall Interstate Crosscheck, the program touted by then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to ferret out so-called voter fraud. The basic idea was that Kobach convinced several states to send him voter data, which his crack Kansas team would comb through for duplicates, showing people voting more than once in different states.

In 2014, then Speaker of the NC House Thom Tillis raised all kinds of alarms about voter fraud and pushed the state to send it’s voter data to Kansas for Kobach’s effort.

Turns out Interstate Crosscheck has been shut down, settling a lawsuit by the ACLU of Kansas. Besides using completely inept and bogus methodology, the voter data was stored on insecure servers and had other security vulnerabilities.

Franklin Graham, Impeachment, and the Ukraine Connection

On Facebook, Franklin Graham is standing by his guy Trump, promoting the hell out of Donnie's appearance at the "religious freedom" conference earlier in the week and only barely mentioning "his enemies calling for impeachment".

One Little Thing

You're likely as livid about the NC GOP's 9/11 stunt as I am.

There's only so much that you, as an individual can do. If you have one of the NC GOP's hand-picked cronies representing you in the legislature, it won't do you any good to write to them. You might write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to show your disgust. You might even go to a protest.

Here's one simple thing you can do to deal with some of your anger about this that I heard about from a friend.

Rockingham county sheriff's border wall funding scam

With Hurricane Flo, you might have missed this recent news story, which you can file under "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute".

Rockingham Sheriff Sam Page is promoting a scheme to - get this - raise money for Trump's border wall through a crowdfunding page.

Page recently returned for a trip to the nation’s capital for a meeting with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and 43 sheriffs from 35 states.

‘Silent Sam’ and the ACTBAC NC Bait and Switch

This morning, after the protest by Burlington, NC-based hate group ACTBAC NC, I’ve seen some of my liberal friends on social media wringing their hands and wondering if there’s a way to diffuse all of the tension around the Confederate statues by keeping them in place with historical markers or other solutions that keep them in place while acknowledging the history.

What many liberals and moderates fail to understand is that they’re being played by white supremacist groups on this.

The Chapel Hill Police Chief has been gaslighted: We shouldn’t

The Durham Herald Sun is featuring a story today about an uproar over a photo that emerged of a Chapel Hill police officer at the “Silent Sam” rally displaying tattoos associated with known violent white supremacist groups that took part in the massacre at Charlottesville.

You can read the Chief’s statement in the Herald Sun piece, but there’s an important point to make here: the police officer, not identified by the article or the department, was not dismissed, but told to “cover up” the tattoos.

Virginia Foxx, Matthew Shepard, and "fake news"

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the brutal kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard's father wrote a piece for CNN, reflecting on his son's death and the demonizing of LGBTs and the left and how it turns into violence.

We must not forget that, in 2009, Virginia Foxx called Shepard's kidnapping and murder a "hoax".

Civility and the evil that men do

Recently, we’ve seen the President of the United States call the press our "biggest enemy”. We’ve seen right-wing extremists call for the assassination of journalists and liberals. A Black Democratic woman who is a member of Congress has had to call off public appearances because of death threats after she called for non-violent protest against the members of our hideously corrupt and immoral administration that is kidnapping children and holding them in concentration camps.

Welcome to the world I lived in during the 1980s and 1990s.

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