https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/mlk-was-gravely-disappointed-with-white-moderates-whom-he-believed-were-responsible-for-impeding-civil-rights.jpg?id=27081378&width=980

On Monday, marking Martin Luther King Day, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire tweeted, and then later deleted, a remark that Black people are “in debt” to America for special race-based favors.

“Black people in America get special access to essential drugs, receive special federal funding due to race, and are first-in-line for every college and every job,” said the tweet. “America isn’t in debt to black people, if anything it’s the other way around.”

READ MORE: ‘We don’t want you here’: Australians are mocking MAGA fans threatening to boycott their country

The comment comes after former President Donald Trump made a similar incendiary claim about race preferences at his rally in Florence, Arizona: “The left is now rationing lifesaving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating … white people to determine who lives and who dies. If you’re white you don’t get the vaccine or if you’re white you don’t get therapeutics. … In New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical health.”

The Associated Press debunked this claim.

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/new-jersey-road-project-that-enraged-trump-supporters-has-been-completed-ahead-of-schedule.jpg?id=28189306&width=980

Australians are waking up Tuesday morning to see the hashtag #AustraliaHasFallen, which is being used by MAGA followers to denounce their country for deporting tennis player Novak Djokovic after he refused to get vaccinated.

Conservatives in the US are alleging that Australians are angry about Djokovic’s treatment.

In reality, however, Australians have had to abide by strict COVID rules for over a year and many of them were angry at the idea that Djokovic would be exempt from the rules everyone else also must follow. The rest of the tennis players participating in the Australian Open have been vaccinated.

READ MORE: MSNBC’s Ari Melber names and shames Republicans paying tribute to MLK while undermining his causes

That hasn’t stopped MAGA world from claiming that the end of Australia is forthcoming. Australians have their own thoughts.

See some Australians’ replies to MAGA fans below.

And Americans who joined in mocking the anti-Australian Americans:

IN OTHER NEWS: Anti-vaccine police sergeant flips out on ‘goose steppers’ after restaurant calls the cops on her




Police sergeant flips out on ‘goose steppers’ after restaurant calls the cops on her

www.youtube.com

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/what-to-do-with-confederate-statues-a-lesson-from-post-soviet-russia.jpg?id=24490129&width=980

Today we honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are many obvious reasons to raise up his name in tribute and praise. But there’s another less obvious reason – the civil rights leader understood southern politics.

Much of our discourse treats southern politics as if it were just another regional bloc. Or the region and its history are whitewashed in ways similar to slavery being whitewashed from US history. I think King knew better. If you don’t understand southern politics, you don’t understand politics, period.

I’m not a scholar, but I lived in the south for nearly a decade. I was a reporter and editor at small newspapers. I’m here to tell you, things are different.

Speaking truthfully is not a civic virtue. Free speech is not valued. The common good is not recognized. There is no such thing as “the public.” Equality is paid lip service. The rights of property are unquestioned.

Meanwhile, conformity is enforced, gender roles policed, the racial hierarchy maintained unto death. To call southern politics the politics of a rightwing authoritarian collective is not too much. Everything is us against them. We talk about fascism as if it’s modern. The American sort goes back to 1619.

In a very real sense, the white south is like a mini-Russia – one-party control, endemic corruption, no concern for governance and constant appeals to the very worst in humanity for the sake of restricting liberty to the master race. The line connecting Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump runs through Dixie.

If this sounds unkind, consider this. Southern politics, by which I mean white southern politics, is what gave motivation and rationale to the J6 insurgents. They were not betraying the country. They were not committing acts of treason. They were instead defending “real Americans” from “tyranny.”

Let’s turn now to an authority, Angie Maxwell. She’s a professor of political science at the University of Arkansas and director of its Center of Southern Politics and Society. Her latest book, with Todd Shields, is The Long Southern Strategy. She explained that entertainment, not governing, is the thing in the south.

What about southern politics is vital to understanding American democracy that most people don’t know about, including southerners?

Prior to the publication of VO Key, Jr’s landmark study, Southern Politics in State and Nation (1949), most research in American politics (not historians) focused primarily on the non-South. The very short introduction to Key’s enormous book still reveals some of the most shrewd insights about the region.

Specifically, Key claims that because of one-party politics, the South has no real political system capable of solving its very real problems. In a one-party political system, politics becomes a “drole facade” – a politics of entertainment as opposed to a contest of ideas.

There is little oversight or restraint. Politicians who are cult of personalities are successful. Political rallies are tent revival-like sources of entertainment.

When the South was in the process of realigning from Democratic dominance to Republican dominance, observers and scholars thought the region was purple and competitive. The party labels were but the ideologies were not.

The one-party dominance still exists in most of the southern states. It’s just the GOP in control instead of the Democratic Party. So in many southern states there is no opposition party infrastructure.

There is scant participation in parties by the public. Little oversight is still the norm. Most of the substantive changes have been the result of federal laws and requirements or Supreme Court rulings.

This is important, because it shows why Georgia specifically has moved the needle and become so competitive.

Democratic workers there have invested in infrastructure and community organizing. It doesn’t matter how talented a Democratic candidate may be, without the grassroots network and public buy-in to the party, they will not be successful.

Another thing that many people may not realize is how important the South is for the national Democratic Party.

Most southern states go red, of course. Although Obama won three southern states, he could have lost them and still reached the magic number for an Electoral College victory. So many folks don’t see the importance of the South for the Democratic Party.

However, the South still has a significant number of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Since many southern states moved their primaries up in the calendar – remember the moniker “SEC primary” – and since they often vote similarly in those primaries, they have an enormous impact on momentum in a crowded Democratic Party field.

Candidates who know that and invest in the South are often successful there, though it can seem like a waste of resources for winning votes in the general.

In terms of the Republican primaries, we all know the South is crucial, but I don’t know if we realize the extent. Because most of the Republican primaries are winner-take-most if not winner-take-all, and because the RNC awards bonus delegates to states that went red in the general in the last election cycle, the South has a disproportionate effect on who gets the RNC nomination. I wrote a piece about it last January.

Something many people do not know is how limited our research on southern politics is – particularly over time research. The ANES (American National Election Surveys) at University of Michigan is the gold standard in our over time data on American politics. Their national surveys have been running consistently since 1952.

However, in most years, their southern samples in those surveys are very, very small. That isn’t their fault. They are taking a national snapshot.

However, since the region has been so dominated by one-party politics, political behavior and attitudes operate differently. And that is rarely captured.

That is why the center I run, and upon which my research is based, oversamples the South so that we can compare the region to the rest of the country and see where it is distinct and where it is not.

Are you able to generalize the political values of one-party southern politics?

For the dominant party, symbolic politics is key, as opposed to governing. There isn’t a real threat to losing power or control, so catering to the base is everything, as is party loyalty and party allegiance.

The fear is always being primaried in your own party, not losing in a general. Compromise isn’t necessary, so it’s about jockeying for recognition within the party.

For the party in opposition, where one party dominates, it has to be about compromise and political pragmatism.

For example, the reason Bernie Sanders did not fare well in the South in the 2020 Democratic primaries is not necessarily because southern Democrats think Medicare for all is a bad idea. It just seems like a pipe dream. It seems so far from their lived reality in a state dominated by a politics of privatization. Many southern states never expanded Medicaid, and in the ones that did, it was a huge battle.

Many people don’t realize what an uphill battle it is in most southern states to reach real two-party competition. That’s why it was amazing to see Georgia, North Carolina and Texas too close to call on election night 2020. Just being at that place represents decades of work.

This is also why the gutting of the Voting Rights Act (as a result of the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder) is so devastating in the South. Folks may look at a state like Arkansas, for example, and say well they have four GOP Congressman now, and they will likely have four after 2022. What’s the big impact of redistricting post-Shelby County?

What they don’t see is all the years of work that made an African-American woman and state Senator Joyce Elliot, a serious contender in 2020 in the 2nd district (Little Rock). But now Little Rock has been split into three separate congressional districts, undoing all of those decades of organizing.

The South is overly influential in selecting the GOP’s presidential nominee. The South is critical to any GOP victory in the general. The influence of the South in the selection of the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee is underestimated.

The long history of one-party politics in the South has created real structural barriers to progress and change. For he party in opposition, it takes decades of work to become competitive again, and a great deal of that could be wiped away without a restoration of the protections of the Voting Rights Act.

For Republicans, politics is symbolic. For Democratic, it’s about pragmatism. That sounds a lot like our national politics. Has American politics been “southernized”?

Yes. American politics has become southernized in that the majority of states are under one party rule, as opposed to divided government.

The longer that persists and the more extreme the gap in partisan power, the more likely non-southern states will encounter the same structural problems that have plagued the South.

In terms of parties, the Republicans nationalized southern white identity in an effort to turn the South red — The Long Southern Strategy — and that rebranded conservatism in a southern white image.

Scoring high on scales that measure racial resentment, modern sexism or Christian nationals accounted for 95 percent of Trump’s white vote.

In terms of Democrats, Democrats outside of the South tend to resemble Democrats in southern states where Republicans dominate, leaving Democrats little recourse but to be pragmatic and compromising – because they have no other choice.

Democrats in strong blue states operate in a very different environment.

IN OTHER NEWS: Anti-vaccine police sergeant flips out on ‘goose steppers’ after restaurant calls the cops on her




Police sergeant flips out on ‘goose steppers’ after restaurant calls the cops on her

www.youtube.com

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/ted-cruz.jpg?id=27716344&width=980

If there’s one thing that is consistent on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it’s people claiming to admire him even as they spend the overwhelming majority of their time actively working against causes he stood for.

Such was the case Monday when Republicans, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), took to Twitter to celebrate the man who called for an end to the filibuster and demanded equal voting rights for all people. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) didn’t even make a comment about MLK Day on his Twitter or Facebook pages as of 7 p.m. EST.

MSNBC host Ari Melber listed some of the statements from the officials but played a video of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claiming that he was inspired by MLK to help all people of Kentucky.

READ MORE: Former FBI agent says more sedition charges are likely coming for Jan. 6 attackers

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, called King “a man who dreamed and paved a way for many.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “we remember the sacrifices he made,” when talking about Dr. King.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) called King “a man who transformed our nation.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), said that today, “we… remember what he courageously stood for.”

As Melber noted, most whites at the time of King’s death regarded him as a criminal or agitator.

“He had the extremely high disapproval rate of about 75 percent at his death,” said the host. “And the calls to create today’s holiday remained controversial into the ’70s. It took a campaign and national effort, among many other pushes to get today to become a holiday, which didn’t happen until 1983.”

Speaking Monday, King’s 13-year-old granddaughter said, “My family and I have been working on getting two major bills passed that can make it easier for people to vote, because one of the fundamental rights is the right to vote. Everybody needs to have access to voting.”

Footage of King’s comments about the filibuster made the rounds on Monday as well. When asked about the Civil Rights Act, King said that both he and Americans support it, but because of a small minority of racist members, it was being blocked.

“Well, this would certainly be all right with me, because I think the vast majority of people in the United States would vote favorably for such a bill,” he said. “I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting. They won’t let the majority senators vote. And certainly they wouldn’t want the majority of people to vote, because they know they do not represent the majority of the American people. In fact, they represent, in their own states, a very small minority.”




Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s comments to Kyrsten Sinema on the Filibuster

www.youtube.com

“Manchin has touted MLK as a revolutionary leader, given that he is siding with the establishment to even minor tweaks to Senate rules or take the Democrats of the month, Senator Sinema who has touted King’s ally in marching on those very issues, Rep. John Lewis, calling him a hero, ‘rest in power, my friend,'” Melber quoted. “But she is using her power right now to block King’s call to end the filibuster against voting rights.”

Martin Luther King III took the war to Sinema on Monday.

“We believe as it relates to getting these bills passed that Sen. Sinema has been one of the challenges,” he said.

Melber then turned to those in the GOP who were promoting MLK’s message of peace.

See Melber’s full commentary and conversation with his panelists below:




Kyrsten Sinema claims to love MLK but she’s working against everything he stands for

www.youtube.com

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/mike-lindell.jpg?id=26384334&width=980

On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that MyPillow CEO and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell has hired Emerald Robinson, a fired host with the far-right cable network Newsmax, to produce content for him on his streaming platform.

“She has been hired as a host of a new show,” Lindell told the publication. “We are building a great TV network and she is a great host!”

Daily Beast reporter Zachary Petrizzo notes that Robinson was benched by the network last year after she tweeted what he described as a “bonkers” conspiracy theory “that the COVID-19 vaccines consist of a ‘bioluminescent marker’ that has satanic properties.”

READ MORE: Alaska GOP lawmaker who is a member of the Oath Keepers rails against ‘politically-driven indictments’ of his allies

Robinson, after having been suspended from Twitter for posting COVID-19 disinformation, has unapologetically continued pushing her conspiracy theories on any platform she can, including Substack.

Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, has been using Frank Speech to push his ongoing baseless allegations that the election was tampered with in several key states. He has claimed that the Supreme Court would “reinstate” Trump as president once they received his complaint, which hasn’t gone according to his plans.

In one of his most outlandish recent claims, Lindell said he has enough evidence to put “300 million” people in jail for election fraud, which would be about 91 percent of the U.S. population.

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/clint-watts.png?id=27415408&width=980

Former FBI special agent Clint Watts told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace Monday that he thinks more people will be charged with sedition as the cases move forward.

Last week, 11 Oath Keepers were indicted for their participation in planning the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Among the charges were seditious conspiracy, which marked the first time federal prosecutors had leveled that specific charge.

“Between the one year of what we’ve learned and what people have watched, what they’ve seen repeatedly, anyone that doesn’t believe Jan. 6 was an absolute disaster and that the White House was ultimately responsible has just buried their head in the sand and doesn’t want to hear what’s really going on in the world,” Watts began.

READ MORE: ‘Alternate’ Michigan elector claims he got marching orders from a Trump lawyer: report

He noted that many Republicans on Capitol Hill are just pretending that Jan. 6 even happened.

“Or try and change the story, but what they keep forgetting is the number of indictments that will continue to land, probably, in the coming months that are similar to the indictment, the seditious indictment that came out last week about the Oath Keepers, which is an awful document,” Watts continued. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen in terms of a domestic extremism case that was literally there to try and overthrow the country. So, that’s going to be hard to just sit and ignore and not speak about. As those roll out, those are hard facts, and it reminds me of other times where we have seen government investigations unfold.”

See the panel discussion below:




Former special agent says more sedition charges are likely coming

www.youtube.com

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/image.jpg?id=28842735&width=980

A state representative in Alaska outed in September as a member of the Oath Keepers has doubled down on his loyalty to the group by blasting the Department of Justice for indicting its leader, Stewart Rhodes, and 10 others.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, issued the following statement Friday in response to an interview request from the Anchorage Daily News in the wake of the indictments:

“Politically-driven indictments out of D.C. during an election year are nothing new to Alaskans. The indictment against Ted Stevens disappeared once Mark Begich was elected. The January 6th commission’s narrative is falling apart, and with it the Democrats’ last hope of keeping their majority in Congress,” Eastman said. “I predict that narrative will continue to fall apart, regardless of how many indictments they put forward, and that Republicans win back Congress in November.”

READ MORE: Oklahoma’s GOP governor says MLK would have backed his opposition to giving land to Native Americans

Suffice it to say Eastman wasn’t chastened by having been revealed as a life member of the Oath Keepers through a leak shared with ProPublica by the whistleblower group Distributed Denial of Secrets.

He was one of 10 sitting state lawmakers outed, but among the only ones to confirm his Oath Keepers status.

“Eastman has publicly acknowledged his presence at the Jan. 6 ‘March to Save America,’ and posted a photo of himself standing with a group of Alaskans near the Capitol that day,” The Anchorage Daily News reported. “No evidence has been released that links him to the violence that erupted, in which police officers were injured and Capitol offices ransacked.”

This week, however, “Eastman did not directly respond to several questions about his connection to Oath Keepers, including whether his membership is still active, whether he had any contact with Rhodes during or before the attack, or whether he brought any firearms with him to Washington,” the newspaper reported.

Also declining to comment about their Oath Keeper colleague were Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young — the three Republicans who comprise Alaska’s congressional delegation. That was consistent with the state party’s unwillingness to call out Eastman, as reported by the newspaper:

“Alaska House leaders, in interviews, said they’re aware of the Oath Keepers indictments and Eastman’s ties to the group. But even though the news has prompted some discussions, there are no plans for immediate action against Eastman, said House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak.

“I’m not aware of any conversations in the Capitol that pertain to removing him or any kind of disciplinary action,” Stutes said in a phone interview. “He’s an elected official, and I would think it would be left up to his constituency, unless I or we as a Legislature see or have actual proof of his involvement in the incitement of what went on.”

On the other hand, according to the report, “Dozens of graduates of the U.S. Military Academy have called on Eastman, a fellow West Point alumnus, to resign.”

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/donald-trump-pushing-election-claims-says-michigan-needs-a-new-legislature.jpg?id=27974878&width=980

Speaking to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel cited a Detroit News report that said a fake elector admitted that he got his marching orders from former President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Republicans in Michigan, as well as other states, attempted to install an alternate slate of electors to replace the ones who would have followed the will of the public vote in the state. Nessel hasn’t yet investigated or spoken to the fake elector, but she did turn over all of the evidence and information that her office found relating to the fake electors to the Justice Department.

“It’s an open and shut case,” said Nessel, saying that they committed the crime in full view of the public.

Wallace, along with commentator Charlie Sykes, noted that the documents were signed by the false electors and given to the government as official documents, which is fraud for all who signed the documents.

READ MORE: ‘Fat, slow and dumb’: Trump ally Roger Stone ramps up attacks on Ron DeSantis as feud escalates

The host also said that she couldn’t help but notice that the forms, the fonts, each detail in the documents all looked exactly the same from each of the states where Trump electors attempted to overthrow the valid electors.

Nessel said that it appears the principal actors transmitted the form to every state that they took issue with. Because of the multi-state nature of the crime, it was necessary to take everything to the DOJ.

The Detroit News detailed how the fake electors were working with a Republican lawmaker with a Capitol office who could figure out a way to get them inside the elector room where the official count was taking place. The building was sealed off, however, after electors tried to barge in.

“…(W)e convened and organized in the state Capitol, in the city of Lansing, Michigan, and at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the 14th day of December 2020,” said a false certificate signed and submitted to the National Archives that MSNBC Rachel Maddow pointed to last week.

Nessel said Monday that those fake electors should be prosecuted.

Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot told the Detroit News that he was asked to show up in Lansing to sign the document. He said he didn’t know who called him and told him to do it, and claims it was merely “a call from an attorney working on behalf of Trump in Washington, D.C.”

See the full conversation below:




False Michigan elector confessed he got marching orders from the Trump campaign: report

www.youtube.com

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/oklahoma-gov-kevin-stitt-twitter.png?id=28842528&width=980

On Monday, at a Martin Luther King Day event, Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) invoked the name of Dr. King to trash the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, a 2019 ruling that held Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting large swathes of Eastern Oklahoma to Native American tribes with respect to law enforcement jurisdiction.

“I believe that freedom fighters like Dr. King would be astounded, maybe even disgusted, by the McGirt ruling,” said Stitt. “The ruling created two sets of rules for Oklahomans based on their race. In Eastern Oklahoma right now there is not equal protection under the law.”

READ MORE: ‘Fat, slow and dumb’: Trump ally Roger Stone ramps up attacks on Ron DeSantis as feud escalates

Stitt’s comments drew immediate outrage, with House Minority Leader Emily Virgin and Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. weighing in.

Dr. King, ironically, was a supporter of Native American rights and spoke forcefully against the U.S. atrocities against them.

Stitt, who is himself a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, has made his opposition to McGirt a pet issue, although often his attacks on the ruling have fallen on critical ears; one forum last year saw his attacks on the ruling shouted down by Native Americans in the audience.

https://www.rawstory.com/media-library/glenn-youngkin-photo-world-economic-forum-flickr.jpg?id=27692023&width=980

For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.

“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.

Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”

Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”

Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.

In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.

Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:

Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:

Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.

Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.

In poll after poll after poll after poll Virginia parents make clear they support mask mandates in schools, and Virginians overall support mask mandates, period.