Anybody but Judge Roy Moore

Roy Moore

Indianapolis   I finally have something in common with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, representing the great state of Kentucky, and it’s not just the fact that I lived there for a couple of years as a boy. Stephen Bannon and his Brietbart News have put a big fat target on his back. Bannon says he’s coming after him. Been there, done that. McConnell said to the reporter when told, “you can quote me, Ha, Ha.” Well, played Senator.

I might have something else in common with McConnell as well, and that has to do with the upcoming election for US Senator from Alabama.

The Democratic candidate for the Alabama US Senate seat is a former prosecuting attorney named Doug Jones, who among other cases has successfully gone after the Klan. Despite having never heard of him before this election to my knowledge, the Brietbart folks tried to smear him, if that’s the right term for it, for his support of an increase in the federal minimum wage after all of these years that it’s been frozen, by claiming he was a fanboy of ACORN’s living wage campaigns. In these reports, I pointed out how far off the piece was from anything remotely resembling the facts. They then rejoined by writing another piece on my fact-checking that had me doubling down in support of Doug Jones. Ok, I guess that’s the way we’re going to play.

Judge Roy Moore has been nationally known as a right wing wig-out and zealot for years. Of course there was his religious farce when he erected a 5000 pound stone monument inscribed with the ten commandments on the statehouse grounds and resigned as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court rather than obey orders to remove the rock. That wasn’t his only outrage, but it does stick in your memory.

Now that image has been replaced, horror crowding out faces, as we hear from four or five women who have now come forward in the wake of #MeToo to tell their stories of Moore as a grown man in his 30s and a prosecutor abusing them as young girls in their teens as young as 14 years old after luring some of them to his remote cabin in the hills of Alabama. His denial was an admission when he said that was not his dating pattern, “generally,” meaning I suppose that sometimes he also tried to date grown women rather than little girls. At least he didn’t take a page from Harvey Weinstein’s book who said things were different in the “60s and 70s,” by saying things were different in the South, because no young man, literally none raised any time at all in the South, wasn’t schooled from puberty on about what statutory rape meant or “being legal,” and for sure a trained lawyer and prosecuting attorney in his 30s was fully aware. As Saturday Night Live joked he was just “kidding,” which they defined as going after kids.

So, I may still not know much about Doug Jones, but I know he’s not Roy Moore, and that’s enough for me. I’d probably support an old mangy dog running against Judge Moore in Alabama if that was my only choice, so I’m proud to support Doug Jones over Moore. And, I stand with Mitch McConnell in saying, Brietbart, you can quote me, ha, ha!

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How Breitbart and Bannon Work Their Politics Using Innuendo and Random Association

New Orleans   You know Google Alerts, right? If not, it’s worth a spin around their block. You put your email on a list to get a daily, weekly, or monthly email that gives you some of the hits on things within your wheelhouse. I have alerts for “community organization” of course. I have one for “boycotts,” thinking I’m going to do something with that one day, and of course companies we are targeting on campaigns and certainly for ACORN. We’re in the season I particularly enjoy as fall breaks and Thanksgiving looms ahead. You wouldn’t believe the number of recipes that focus on acorns or the meticulous way that that the season’s acorn crop, so to speak, informs deer hunters preparing for the bounty of their own hunting season.

While I was waiting for a meeting in Canada, I looked at the daily alerts for ACORN and saw a strange one tying Alabama Democratic US Senate hopeful Doug Jones who is running against the controversial former bible-thumping Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court Roy Moore in the general election to ACORN. Moore of course flipped the script on a semi-incumbent Republican Senator supported by Mitch McConnell and less enthusiastically by President Trump. The headline was “Roy Moore Challenger Doug Jones Pushing ACORN Pet Project Known for Devastating Small Businesses and Workers.” You, guessed it, the almost 2000-word piece by Aaron Klein had to be in Brietbart.com ‘s premiere site, Big Government. Stephen Bannon is now back at Brietbart and disruption of the establishment is his current “war,” and innuendo and guilt by association are his favorite weapons. The article is a case study for how this kind of modern right wing red-baiting works.

Doug Jones probably had to have some young staff member on his campaign go to Wikipedia to even get a grip on ACORN, and how he was now intimately involved with the organization. The ACORN “pet project” is fighting for living wages. So is Doug Jones now becoming a fierce advocate for living wages in Alabama and beyond? Well, I wish, but this whole screed is based on Jones saying on his website that he is in favor of increasing the federal minimum way, and, oh my god, raising it to $10.00 per hour from the presently frozen level of $7.25 that has been in effect since the Ice Age.

The factual thread that unleashes this flood of associational offense for Breitbart is this highly non-radical comment on Jones’ website, quoted by Klein:

The brief economic policy listing on Jones’s campaign website calls for the enactment of a “living wage,” which would hike the minimum wage above the federal minimum.

A short “living wage” section on his website reads:

People in Alabama should not have to work two or three jobs just to provide food, housing and other necessities for their families, often foregoing healthcare and other needs. I strongly support ensuring working Alabamians receive a living wage for their hard work. It is past time. They are then less reliant on the government and those dollars help lift the economy.

Oh, and Jones told USA Today, “I’m not one of these people who thinks that raising the minimum wage to a living wage is going to stifle competition, or going to lead to automation and cost jobs.”

Bannon and Brietbart then try to hang him from the nearest tree with that thin thread. The rest of the piece is a brief thumbnail sketch of the history of ACORN’s living wage campaigns, the horrors allegedly visited on workers from the victory for living wages in Santa Fe and Seattle, neither of which were ACORN wins.

The other alleged connection to ACORN is even more far-fetched, because no Brietbart piece can omit George Soros either, but here’s Klein on his witch hunt:

Contributing to the living wage campaign was the George Soros-funded Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school. The Center’s lawyer, Paul Sonn, took a leading role in helping to craft wage ordinances and ballot measures for numerous cities and states, the Times reported. Jones himself has close ties to the Brennan Center. In 2014, Jones served as co-chair of a panel of then current and former federal prosecutors that produced a white paper for the Center on criminal justice reform.

Surely you can follow this. Jones, a former federal prosecutor worked on a paper about criminal justice reform with the Brennan Center, a legacy project of the former US Supreme Court Justice, and another project of the same center had a lawyer who worked with ACORN, so therefore Jones is probably wearing an ACORN t-shirt around his house and sleeping with an old ACORN button under his pillow.

It’s clear how Brietbart wants to herd you to their conclusion, but come to your own, and keep your feet on the ground, rather than jumping down their wormhole to the beyond.

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