CANTON — “We need you to have no more contact with the campaign,” John Mary, a.k.a. John Bert messaged Clayton Kelly one day last February. “What we are going to do will be EXPLOSIVE. The other side will be hunting for ANY connection to you.”
Kelly on Monday was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy to photograph the late wife of Sen. Thad Cochran as she lay in her nursing home bed suffering dementia. John Mary and Richard Sager had previously pleaded guilty and got no jail time in exchange for their cooperation. Another defendant, Richland attorney Mark Mayfield, committed suicide in June 2014, about a month after his arrest.
Kelly, an aspiring political blogger, was egged on by others to photograph Rose Cochran at St. Catherine’s Village nursing home. He used the image in a political hit piece video against Cochran, who was in the biggest political battle of his long career in his re-election battle against tea party challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Records released Monday show online correspondence between Kelly, other defendants and others about the scheme to create a video showing Cochran was having an affair with a longtime staffer while his wife languished in a nursing home.
From testimony from an investigator and records introduced Monday, it appears Mary, a former radio talk show host and tea party leader from Hattiesburg, was the ring leader in the plan to photograph Rose Cochran and make the hit piece video.
Kelly had faced charges of burglary, attempted burglary and conspiracy, carrying a maximum 55 years in prison. In a last minute plea deal as his trial was about to start last week, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and faced a maximum of five years.
In France, the projects don’t look like ghettoes, but they’re filled with a poisonous mix of conspiracy theories and a some support for murderous jihadis.
SEVRAN, France — As more than 1.5 million people, including 40 world leaders, converged on Paris on Sunday to rally for unity after terrorist attacks that left 17 innocent people dead, three young men in tracksuits and hoodies lounged outside a fast-food restaurant 10 miles north of the city in Sevran, one of France’s poorest suburbs.
Mehdi Boular, 24, who said he was married with two children, and two of his friends, did not attend Sunday’s rally.
“We’re Muslims,” Boular said. “They might have killed us if we’d gone.”
But even though the flags of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia were flying at the rally in Place de la République and Muslims were well represented among the marchers Sunday, Boular said the attacks in Paris were part of a plot masterminded by Jewish conspirators.
“The Kalashnikovs, the identity cards the [killers] supposedly left behind, it was all staged,” said Boular, as his friends nodded in agreement. “It was a conspiracy designed by the Jews to make Muslims look bad. We’d rather just stay where we are.”
No use arguing. No use pointing out that one of the terrorists murdered four Jews. Conspiracy theories have their own unassailable logic, and this is a world apart from the displays of unity in Paris after the carnage of last week. French newspapers reported that some students in these neighborhoods—as well as other heavily Muslim areas near cities like Lille—refused to participate in Thursday’s national moment of silence for the victims of the terror attacks. One teacher said up to 80 percent of his students didn’t want to observe the silence, and some said they supported the attackers. “You reap what you sow,” a student who refused the moment of silence told his teacher in reference to the terrorists’ victims, according to Le Figaro.
Sevran is one of the many notorious banlieues just outside Paris that are home largely to second- and third-generation immigrants from former French colonies in North and West Africa. The town is studded with cement and brick public housing, mostly built in the 1960s and ’70s. Unemployment rates are as high as 35 to 40 percent. Sevran often is lumped in with places like Saint-Denis and nearby Clichy-sous-Bois, the epicenter of weeks of rioting and car burning in 2005. Riots here back in the summer of 1981 led to some of the first mass demonstrations to illustrate the plight of immigrant Algerians, Tunisians, and Moroccans in France.
The 19th arrondissement in Paris has also become synonymous with immigrant frustration and despair after it became known that the Kouachi brothers, Chérif and Saïd, who died in a hail of gunfire last week after killing 12 people, including eight journalists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, moved there as teenagers and were recruited by a jihadi network. Born in France, the Kouachis were the orphaned sons of Algerian parents.
The popular narrative is that France’s minority populations, specifically those of North African descent, are marginalized and isolated in what are invariably called “gritty,” or “hardscrabble” areas. Shunned by the French majority, reports often say, the children of North African immigrants are frustrated and resentful because they are blocked from traditional routes of advancement.
But many of the Parisian banlieues appear to an outsider much tamer than gun-ridden American ghettoes and bear no resemblance to, say, a typical favela in Rio de Janeiro or the mafia-run Scampia ghetto in Naples. Much of the 19th arrondissement in Paris, where Cherif Kouachi joined the Buttes-Chaumont terror network 10 years ago, looks about as rundown and sketchy today as Brooklyn’s Park Slope.
This delightful quote is included:
The comments section on Senator Ted Cruz’s Facebook page is truly a goldmine of racism, homophobia and utter batshit crazy remarks by what can only be assumed to be the people that get the corner booth, in the far back hall, by the janitor’s closet at GOP conventions. On a normal day, you can find the standard rants about the New World Order, auditing the Federal Reserve and indiscernible gibberish about extraterrestrials running the government, etc.
A lot of these people absolutely worship Ted Cruz as well as his House colleagues from Texas, Louie Gohmert, Steve Stockman, and Ted Barton. Yes, that Ted Barton, the one who thinks wind energy would cause global warming by slowing the rotation of the planet. Needless to say, you can imagine what the comments section looks like on any given day.
It really got interesting though when Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck made a trip to the border with Mexico to hand out teddy bears and soccer balls to the refugee children. Remember, anything short of setting attack dogs loose on these kids or even shooting them is tantamount to betraying conservative principles in the minds of some of these people.
Time to meet Evelyn. Evelyn gets a double feature for your facepalm pleasure. She believes in just about every wacky conspiracy story out there and also thinks that somehow God is punishing us for allowing refugee children to come across the border, by sending refugee kids across the border with diseases. You really can’t make this stuff up.
MUCH MUCH More: Angry Conservatives Turn on Ted Cruz for Giving Toys to Kids
A guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, Iraq war veteran Earl Catagnus Jr., seems to believe that the number of military advisors President Obama is sending into Iraq (300) is extremely significant. He said:
“I have to just mention this about the 300, and what the significance of that number is, it’s symbolic. The movie now, 300 with the 300 Spartans, is an East versus West fight. I don’t know if this is where the sophistication - why the President chose 300, and I don’t know but it signals maybe to Iran, because we see that because the movie was a big downer, and Iran it wasn’t allowed to be played because it shows the Persians in this negative, barbarous state. Again, it’s an example of something, if it isn’t intended, and it’s an unintended consequence, you’re thumbing your nose at another part of the region just because of your ignorance of what that means, that 300 military advisers, American Spartan warriors that are the special forces and, again, I don’t know if that was intended or unintended, but it will signal a message to Iran.”
Yes, that’s someone trying to claim that President Obama’s decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq is somehow tied with the movie 300 starring Gerard Butler.
I’m sure in the midst of an extremely tense situation developing in Iraq, President Obama sat there thinking to himself, “You know, let’s send 300 troops over to Iraq in a symbolic gesture like the Spartans used against the Persians in that movie 300. That way, we’ll not only be advising Iraq on how to handle these Islamic insurgents, but we’ll be sticking it to Iran at the same time.”
The thing about conspiracy theories is - they are almost never correct. Never underestimate the ability of humans to succumb to human error. It is named after us for a reason.
This will be big in the coming months I suppose, their affliction - that they so despise this president to the point of forgoing good sense, runs deep.
The last time the right tried one of their gunrunning conspiracies - it blew up in their face. And as that good old adage goes ‘why not try, try, try again?’
Hmm why not? Human error?
This indicates radical liberals must believe there is a serious crime, for why else would they go to such extremes to silence the process? Surely it’s not simply because President Obama and his administration lied about the nature of the Benghazi protests. It’s likely because his supporters have read the domestic and foreign press reports about the true nature of the “facility” in Benghazi, Libya.
The New York Times has already reported weapons being shipped through Benghazi to the Syrian rebels under U.S. auspices. Seymour Hersh, the famous investigative reporter who exposed the My Lai massacre, reported extensively on the arms being shipped by the U.S. to Syrian rebels through Turkey.
This is the real fear: Hillary Clinton and perhaps President Obama will be exposed without credible deniability to have been shipping weapons to the Syrian rebels, who are mostly Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates.
A vinyl peace sign installed at a playground in Mystic, Connecticut, dedicated to a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting was stolen last week by a man claiming that the Newtown massacre never happened.
After stealing the 50-pound sign from the Grace McDonnell playground, the man called McDonnell’s mother saying he did it because he believes the shooting at the school was a hoax, according to CBS2.
According to the mother, Lynn McDonnell, the man told her that her daughter “never existed.”
Grace McDonnell was one of twenty children killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza when he went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. Lanza also shot and killed six adult staff members and his mother.
Sandy Hook ‘truthers’ believe that the Newtown shooting never occurred or was part of a ‘false flag’ operation designed to open the door to the confiscation of all guns by the government.
I get that conservatives hate President Obama. Heck, I live in Texas — he’s despised by nearly every conservative I encounter here. It’s caused me to avoid political discussions in public. You’d think that doing what I do for a living I’d talk politics all the time, but that’s not the case in my private life. Whenever a conservative I meet finds out what I do, I usually avoid discussing politics if possible. I’ve been down that road before and it’s just not worth the headache.
The asinine “facts” I’ve seen these people spew are often so ridiculous I can’t even properly respond to them because I’m trying not to laugh. “Did you know Obamacare requires microchips in every American?” Who honestly would believe such nonsense?
Well, while checking out Politifact, I ran across what might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen them fact-check. Now I’m not exactly sure what their process is for investigating something, but I’m guessing it requires quite a few inquiries about a particular situation before they take the time to investigate the claim and write their article displaying their results.
So when I saw that they fact-checked a claim that “Obamacare” coding would lead to executions by beheading in the United States - I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Oh, I don’t know. I’ve invoked Bastille Day and the French Revolution as a metaphorical reaction to wingnut cruelty and hubris. Maybe at some level they fear this might be an appropriate response. More: Forward Progressives — How Gullible Are Conservatives? You Won’t Believe What Had to Be Fact-Checked
Long article, see link. It will not come as any surprise that Glenn Greenwald and the Koch brothers have been eyeball deep in the campaign to incite anti-TSA fanatics.
While details about the LAX shooter continue to emerge, it has become clear that Paul Ciancia is a mentally unstable individual who had come under the sway of some very toxic anti-government conspiracy theories. But one question remains: Why did he focus his hatred on the TSA? Out of all the possible federal agencies to choose from, what convinced him that airport screeners - who don’t have arrest powers and aren’t allowed to carry weapons - are the root of all government evil, and deserve to be hunted down and killed like animals?
In a way, it was just a matter of time before something like this happened. For the past three years, a vicious PR campaign has demonized and dehumanized TSA screeners. Launched by the libertarian-right, this smear offensive sought to equate the TSA in the public mind with the worst people imaginable: Nazis, rapists, gropers, child molesters and sadistic enforcers of a police state.
The right-wing echo chamber would routinely trot out violent tropes and racist and homophobic language describing the TSA as Obama’s “private army” and calling on liberty-loving Americans “to do something” to stop this “bureaucratic monster.”
But while this anti-TSA campaign was created by the libertarian-right, it was enabled and strengthened by the left. Some of the most prominent progressive and leftie bloggers and journalists took an active part in the TSA media witch-hunt. They joined the right in labeling the TSA as America’s enemy within, unaware that underneath the big-brother rhetoric and feigned right-wing concern about civil liberties, the anti-TSA campaign was really a union-busting operation with a specific set of political goals: to prevent the TSA from unionizing, to privatize airport security and to introduce Israeli-style racial profiling into the airport-screening process.(emphasis added)
Progressives like to smugly ridicule dumb red-state voters who go against their own interests by joining political movements and by voting in politicians who end up screwing them. But as smug as they are, progressives have shown themselves no better. By joining the anti-TSA hysteria, they became unwitting tools in a campaign that promoted everything progressives are supposed to be against: demonizing workers, busting unions, privatizing government services, replacing unionized government employees with exploited minimum-wage-slaves and enriching corporate security contractors.
How did this happen? How did the left get duped into joining an anti-labor and pro-privatization campaign? To understand that, you have to go back to 2010.
That year, on November 12, the Federal Labor Relations Board issued a surprise ruling granting TSA’s 50,000 employees the right to unionize. The decision was a major victory — the culmination of a brutal decade-long struggle for collective bargaining — and paved the way for the largest unionization in decades.
But rank-and-file TSA employees didn’t get much of a chance to celebrate. The very next day, an anti-TSA campaign exploded on a national level and proceeded to monopolize the news cycle for weeks on end.
In its opening stages, the PR campaign was driven by a grand alliance of right-wing media outlets, Koch-funded advocacy groups, libertarian operatives, warmongering neocons, neo-Confederates and Christian homophobes.
More: ‘TSA and Pigs’
Today is AIDs Walk day in LA - time to get your walk on for a good cause while thumbing your nose at anti-science zealots and conspiracy theorists like Pat Roberts.
Pat Robertson cites a discredited conspiracy theory about AIDS and the polio vaccine