Lots of people I follow on Twitter have been tweeting about this horrifying video. Why is this still happening in America?
The latest effort in GOP rebranding:
In a recent interview for a profile by The New Yorker titled “Drop Dead, Detroit!” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson admitted, “Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough sh*t.”
Patterson recalled telling his children to “get in and get out” if they needed to go to Detroit.
“And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking,” he said.
Patterson also proposed a fix to Detroit’s financial problems: Turn the city into a reservation for Native Americans.
“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”
After Detroit officials and activists reacted with outrage, Patterson’s office released a statement accusing The New Yorker of having an “agenda.”
Remember when right wing pseudo-comedian Steven Crowder provoked and insulted and shoved union demonstrators at the Michigan Capitol until someone took a swing at him? Remember how he used a blatantly edited video to try to push this phony story of “union thuggery,” and Sean Hannity and Fox News and breitbart.com and the whole right wing blogosphere hyped it like crazy?
Well, after reviewing unedited video of the incident, the prosecutor has decided there’s no case.
The prosecutor in this case has determined that there’ll be no charges against anyone who popped Crowder on that December day. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III “will not be authorizing criminal charges in this case,” Shanon Banner, a spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police, wrote in an e-mail to the Erik Wemple Blog this morning.
Dunnings said in an interview that the video his office originally reviewed on the matter “appeared to have been edited.” A subsequent review of what the prosecutor termed “unedited” video helped the office reach its decision not to proceed with a case.
“A look at the unedited video, taken in conjunction with the statements of the alleged victim and the alleged assailant, led me to the conclusion that I would not authorize issuance of the warrant,” Dunnings said.
Today in the fake right wing scandal we’ll call UnionThug-Gate, we learn that provocateur Steven Crowder was not just standing there minding his own business when he was punched in the face outside the Michigan Capitol — he was shoving union members.
And how do we know this? From Crowder’s own words, in this smug, self-aggrandizing interview with Canada’s Fox News imitation, Sun News. The thing about dimwits like Crowder is that if you let them keep talking long enough, they’ll eventually out themselves. They can’t help it.
The pertinent section begins at about 4 minutes in, as the interviewer rants about thugs and asks why the police didn’t arrest them (maybe because Crowder never filed a police report?):
“I’ve been very honest about this, the fact that as they started ransacking the tent, yeah, me and some men went out there … and we didn’t get violent with them but we did try to push them off the tent. That is true. We tried to push them off the tent.”
That’s right, he’s admitting on television that he was the original aggressor in this incident, but edited his video to remove the part where he was pushing union members. Idiot. Another Breitbart invented outrage bites the dust.
According to a witness to Steven Crowder’s nasty little stunt at the Michigan protest yesterday, he was provoking and insulting demonstrators, deliberately trying to goad them into violence.
Knowing how the Fox News/Breitbart gang love to stage these kinds of fake incidents to picture their targets as violent thugs, it was already pretty obvious. But now a witness has confirmed it.
Ken Spitzley, a state agriculture department employee, told HuffPost that he walked to the protest at the state Capitol during a break from work and that he witnessed Crowder getting in protesters’ faces and goading them.
“He was just after everybody,” said the 56-year-old Spitzley, a procurement technician whose workplace is represented by the United Auto Workers. “There was no question he was there just to start a fight, to start some kind of trouble.”
According to Spitzley, Crowder had an exchange with two pro-union men wearing blue jeans, hard hats and Carhartt clothing. One of them asked Crowder what he did for a living, according to Spitzley.
“He said, ‘I sell soap. I should sell you some,’” Spitzley said, quoting Crowder.
Spitzley said he did not witness the punching incident or the exchange leading up to it. But in Spitzley’s estimation, Crowder “wasn’t going to go home until he got punched.”
Crowder has staged similar stunts before, as Adam Shriver points out here: Fox News Steven Crowder & Americans for Prosperity Use Breitbart-Style Film Editing to Show “Union Thug Brutality”.
When BlogCon (a conservative blogging conference) was held in Denver, Crowder and a group of angry right-wingers surrounded Occupy Denver protesters and screamed at them. Crowder later claimed he was “assaulted” while part of a large, screaming mob surrounding five people. Here are the relevant videos:
Crowder getting in someone’s face:
Crowder apparently pushing a lady from behind, then acting like she attacked him (see especially after the 3 minute mark):
He then claimed she “assaulted” him:
Crowder going on Fox News to whine about how “violent” occupy Denver was:
It’s almost as if they do the same thing every time. Huh.
There are signs that the Romney campaign and associated Super PACs have given up on winning the important swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The Romney campaign and conservative groups like Crossroads GPS have pulled TV ads in Michigan, Romney’s home state, according to the Detroit News.
Nor are the campaign and super PACs running advertising in Pennsylvania, after unleashing a barrage there over the past five months.
Here’s an open thread to keep up on news from the Republican primaries taking place in Michigan and Arizona.
Arizona’s probably going to go for Mitt Romney; he’s way ahead of Rick “Torquemada Jr.” Santorum there. But Michigan’s going down to the wire…
Meanwhile, here’s a video clip of President Obama’s rousing speech to the UAW:Youtube Video
The polling in Michigan is too close to call; Nate Silver says Romney and Santorum are essentially tied.
People sometimes apply the term “tossup” a bit too broadly, using it to refer to anything close enough that they don’t want to render a prediction about it.
In Michigan, however, the term is appropriate. Rick Santorum, who once trailed Mitt Romney badly in the state, then surged to a clear lead there, then saw Mr. Romney regain his footing and pull back ahead, appears to have some late momentum in the race — perhaps just enough to win, and perhaps not.
It’s kind of amazing that Santorum’s statement that JFK made him “want to throw up” hasn’t damaged his popularity; in the past, statements like that would have pretty much ended a campaign. But Santorum spouts one crazy line after another, and his popularity just keeps growing. It’s an indicator of how far to the right the base has swung — and it’s why I say the Republican base has gone wacky.
Michigan’s Republican State Sen. Bruce Caswell has an idea that I’m sure will be a big hit in today’s GOP. Caswell has proposed that children in the state’s foster care system should only be allowed to buy clothes in second hand stores.
Caswell wants to give foster children and children of the working poor “gift cards” that can only be used at stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. His idea wouldn’t save Michigan any money; the clothing allowance would be the same.
Apparently, the only reason for this is sheer mean-spiritedness, and a desire to make sure that poor children know they belong to the underclass.
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Caswell’s experiment in social engineering was dropped from the budget at the last minute.
A last-minute amendment would eliminate the subcommittee’s previous plan to make poor children spend their $79 clothing allowance at the Salvation Army or other thrift stores.
“The state will work with those other retailers to get a discount on clothing that is bought,” said Sen. Bruce Caswell, chairman of the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee.
So the kids will still be getting “special” clothes, which was the point in the first place.