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“Feeling A Revolutionary Spirit”: Moved By Donald Trump, David Duke Plots A Comeback

I see that David Duke hasn’t moderated his views since he was an active politician in the early 1990’s. That’s unfortunate. Some people mature with time.

Instead, he’s feeling “a revolutionary spirit,” and is seriously considering making a challenge to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Duke has until June 22nd to qualify for the November ballot. Remember, Louisiana has those funky elections where the November election can serve as a primary of sorts if no one reaches 50% of the vote. In those cases, there is a subsequent runoff election.

I don’t remember if Duke is/was a Grand Wizard or an Exalted Cyclops or what exact honorific he used in the Ku Klux Klan.

“There are millions of people across the country who would like to have me in the Congress. I’d be the only person in Congress openly defending the rights and the heritage of European Americans,” he said. “We are on the offensive today. There’s no more defenses.”

He actually thinks he’d make a good running mate for Trump.

Duke compared himself to Donald Trump, who he endorsed for president.

“I’ve said everything that Donald Trump is saying and more,” he said. “I think Trump is riding a wave of anti-establishment feeling that I’ve been nurturing for 25 years.”

Yet, Duke is realistic enough to know that Trump is unlikely to put him on the ticket.

Trump won’t reach out to him because the candidate fears “offending the oligarchs,” a term Duke uses for the political establishment he said is controlled by Jewish, Hispanic and African American interests.

Aware of his checkered history, Duke said he welcomed the backlash that would come if he runs.

In most cases, it’s a cheap shot to highlight a candidate’s most unsavory supporters, particularly if that support is unsolicited and unrequited. But it’s noteworthy to see Duke feeling this energized by Trump’s success. He’s moved by the spirit to stop playing defense and run for office because he sees in Trump the fruition of a quarter century of race hatred that he’s been “nurturing.”

Maybe Duke is just misinterpreting Trump or the political moment or basic reality, but there’s little doubt about what Duke thinks he can accomplish under Trump’s leadership.

Should Duke make it to the House, he said one of his first goals would be to repeal the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which liberalized immigration laws by eliminating race-based quotas.

Obviously, Duke thinks Trump is a fellow traveler, and he might have been bolstered in that impression back in February when Trump had tremendous difficulty finding one bad thing to say about the KKK.

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday about David Duke and the KKK supporting his candidacy, Donald Trump passed on refuting them. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. I don’t know — did [David Duke] endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” When Tapper said he was specifically talking about the KKK, Trump continued saying, “I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about.” He then declared, “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. You may have groups in there that are totally fine — it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.”

But who, really, knows nothing about the Ku Klux Klan?

Trump did disavow the Klan’s support, but so tepidly that Duke was obviously encouraged.

So encouraged, in fact, that he’s ready to take on the House Majority Whip. And, in case you’d forgotten or just didn’t know, Steve Scalise has in the past spoken to one of David Duke’s little hate groups (the European-American Unity and Rights Organization) and once campaigned as “David Duke without the baggage.”

If Duke does run, the people of Louisiana’s First District will get to decide if they want their David Duke with or without the baggage.

In the meantime, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, is telling people that Donald Trump is a racial healer.

I’m just not seeing that.

 

By: Martin Longman, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, July 13, 2016

July 14, 2016 Posted by | David Duke, Donald Trump, Ku Klux Klan | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Protecting Conservative Principles”: Alabama Blocks Local Control On Minimum Wage

It’s been nearly two years since Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced that her state would not only ignore calls for a higher minimum wage, but also that the state law would block any effort by local Oklahoma communities to raise wages at the municipal level. In other words, if a city in Oklahoma wanted a higher minimum, the state would effectively declare, “Too bad.”

Last year, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) made the same move, prohibiting local control over minimum-wage increases. And last week, MSNBC’s Zack Roth reported on the identical circumstances playing out the same way in Alabama.

Birmingham, Alabama, raised the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on Tuesday. Two days later, the state took it away.

Alabama passed a bill Thursday, largely along party lines, that bars cities and counties from raising the minimum wage or requiring employers to provide leave or other benefits. Because the law applies retroactively, it wipes out Birmingham’s raise.

Republican legislative leaders fast-tracked the bill in order to pass it before Birmingham’s raise was set to take effect March 1. The GOP enjoys super-majorities in both houses. Within an hour or so of the bill’s passage, Gov. Robert Bentley (R) announced he had signed it.

It’s amazing how quickly Republican policymakers can move when they feel strongly about an issue. In this case, their zeal applied to blocking a city that wanted to raise its own minimum wage.

The L.A. Times reported that there are now 17 states that prohibit their own cities from raising a local minimum wage – because if there’s one thing the right believes in as a bedrock principle of their entire ideology, it’s the importance of local control, except when Republicans decide they actually believe the exact opposite.

As we discussed the last time this came up, contemporary conservatism generally celebrates the idea that the government that’s closest to the people – literally, geographically – is best able to respond to the public’s needs.

But when communities consider progressive measures Republicans don’t like, those principles are quickly thrown out the window.

So, let this be a lesson to everyone: when officials in Washington tell states what to do, it’s an outrageous abuse and clear evidence of government overreach. When states tell cities what to do, it’s protecting conservative principles.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 29, 2016

March 1, 2016 Posted by | Conservatism, Conservatives, Minimum Wage, State and Local Governments | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Please Do Not Feed The Animals”: State GOP Equates Food-Stamp Recipients, Wild Animals

On the right, it’s not unusual for conservatives to take great offense to accusations that they don’t like people in poverty. It’s not personal, Republicans argue; their opposition to social-insurance programs is about conservative economic theory and the scope of government. There’s no animosity or ill will.

But once in a while, evidence to the contrary rips off the mask. The NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City reported today:

The Oklahoma Republican Party is under fire after a controversial Facebook post.

In the post, the Oklahoma GOP compared providing food stamp benefits for Americans in need to feeding animals at national parks…. The post has received more than 1,400 comments and 1,600 shares.

The state Republican Party’s message is every bit as offensive as one might think. It began by saying the federal “food stamp program … is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever.”

It added, “Meanwhile, the National Park Service … asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will learn to take care of themselves.”

The Oklahoma GOP concludes, “Thus ends today’s lesson in irony.”

Let’s unwrap the argument, because it’s offensive on more levels than one.

First, the Oklahoma Republican Party believes food-stamp distribution has reached an all-time high. That’s factually incorrect. In fact, GOP lawmakers have already successfully cut food aid to the poor.

Second, comparing poverty-stricken families to wild animals suggests that for some Republicans, hostility towards the poor is personal. It is about animosity and ill will. Forget the high-minded explanations about economic theory – equating the poor and wild animals is evidence of contempt.

And third, that’s not what “irony” means.

ThinkProgress noted that the state GOP took down the post, posting a classic non-apology apology in which the Oklahoma Republican Party said it was sorry “to those who were offended” and “for any misconceptions that were created.”

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) published a Facebook message of her own, adding that she accepts the state party’s explanation “that he was not intentionally disparaging any group of people.”

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, July 14, 2015

July 15, 2015 Posted by | Food Stamps, Oklahoma Republican Party, Poor and Low Income | , , , , | 1 Comment

“If We All Lose Together, We Practically Win Together”: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Makes It Illegal To Establish A Minimum Wage

In a move that fits seamlessly into the GOP’s War on the War on Poverty, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin (R) has signed a bill into law that prohibits cities in the state from establishing mandatory minimum wages or vacation and sick-day requirements. The new law’s proponents claim that such a ban is necessary for economic homogeneity across the state, as allowing different municipalities to have different minimum wages could draw work disproportionately away from or towards certain cities. In essence, it seems that the logic goes something like this — if we all lose together, we practically win together.

According to Rep. Randy Grau (R-Edmond), the bill’s main supporter in the House, the ban provides ”safeguards that protect small businesses and consumers,” while raising the minimum wage “could derail local economies in a matter of months.” According to Grau, without a “level playing field” across the state, it seems that economic prosperity would all but perish. Currently, Oklahoma’s minimum wage stands at $7.25, equal to the federal level.

The bill was officially passed by Oklahoma’s House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Oklahoma’s new law comes only two months after Governor Fallin, the chair of the National Governors Association, led a national conference of governors that clashed over President Obama’s proposal to increase the national minimum wage to $10.10. In February, Obama signed an executive order that required federal contractors to pay their employees $10.10 an hour. But Gov. Fallin, along with many of her Republican colleagues, found the minimum-wage hike to be poor planning.

Claiming that the market would “take care of itself,” Governor Fallin insisted that a higher minimum wage was not only unnecessary, but actively harmful to the American economy.

“I’m not for increasing the minimum wage because I’m concerned it would destroy jobs, especially for small-business owners,” she said at the time. Her concerns were quickly echoed by GOP leaders, who latched onto a Congressional Budget Office report that said raising the minimum wage by nearly $3 could reduce jobs in 2016 by about 500,000. Of course, the CBO also found that approximately 45 million Americans would fall below the poverty line in 2016 if the minimum wage were to remain at its current level. That finding was handily ignored.

Many critics say that Fallin’s new measure unfairly targets Oklahoma City, where proponents of Obama’s $10.10 wage are collecting signatures to support the increase. The author of the initiative petition, lawyer David Slain, told the Associated Press that he was disappointed that state lawmakers “would vote in such a way to take the right of the people to decide minimum wage.”

In a press release on Monday, Governor Fallin insisted that increasing the minimum wage is not the path out of poverty that Democrats suggest it is, stating:

“Most minimum-wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry-level jobs. Many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families. Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers. It would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers, and it would do all of these things without even addressing the goal of reducing poverty.”

Governor Fallin, once again, seemed to ignore the CBO’s report that such an increase could boost collective earnings by $31 billion for 33 million low-wage workers and bring an estimated 900,000 people out of poverty. But who’s counting?

 

By: Lulu Chang, The National Memo, April 15, 2014

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Minimum Wage, Poverty | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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