Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sweet Home, Alabama, the whole world's watching you

Three blue-ribbon fake liberal news morsels, anchored by George Will, paint my home state's religico-politico psyche pretty darn well, after Alabama's three largest newspapers tell nearer to God than them damn liberals U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore to go fuck himself. My "pigskin" prediction at the very end.

The publisher of blasts back at legal threats from Roy Moore


After The Post published an investigative article documenting Roy Moore’s pursuit of a 14-year-old girl in 1979, the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama pledged to sue the newspaper. “The Washington Post published another attack on my character and reputation because they are desperate to stop my political campaign. These attacks said I was with a minor child and are false and untrue — and for which they will be sued,” Moore said a week ago during a campaign stop in Huntsville, Ala.

Turns out Moore was also concerned about a media outlet closer to home. Moore’s camp has twice threatened the Alabama Media Group, home to, according to a letter from a lawyer for the company. “You have accused of making ‘false reports and/or careless reporting’ about multiple subjects related to your clients,” reads the letter from John Thompson of Lightfoot Franklin White LLC. “Your letter demands that retract and recant its prior stories and that it ‘cease and desist’ from any further reporting about your clients,” reads the letter.

Michelle Holmes, vice president of content for Alabama Media Group (AMG), tells the Erik Wemple Blog that the company lacks specificity on just what stories have offended Roy Moore, Kayla Moore and their Foundation for Moral Law. “As the letter outlines, these demands appear to be a show more than they are a serious attempt to question what we believe to be fully legitimate, serious reporting,” says Holmes. The letter states, “You have not explained how anything that has reported is untrue, inaccurate or erroneous, nor do you provide any support for your position.”
Nov. 14 letter from Trenton Garmon of Garmon & Liddon LLC broadly cites “false reports” and mentions reporting about a “fifth woman” who alleged misconduct by Moore; Moore’s signing of a yearbook even though “experts” have confirmed the signature is “not consistent with his handwriting”; and the contention that Moore was “banned” from the Gadsden Mall.

As a target of authoritarian-style intimidation, AMG makes some sense for Moore & Co. In addition to, the company runs the state’s three largest newspapers — the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and Press-Register of Mobile — and is part of Advance Local, a network that stitches together sites across the country. “I think they recognize that the viewpoint of Alabamians is what matters most, and if they can silence us, they would love to do it. They’re not going to be able to do it,” says Holmes.

Not content to merely play defense against the threats from Moore, the AMG letter notes that litigation from the Senate candidate would “also reveal other important information about your clients.” In that spirit, it gives notice to Moore & Co. that they are to preserve all “materials, documents, writings, recordings, statements, notes, letters, journals, diaries, calendars, emails, videos, computers, cell phones, electronic data, and other information” related to these matters. Which is to say: Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Moore.

Kathleen Parker: What to my wondering ears did he say? (carried in today's Key West Citizen,


WASHINGTON — Without nearly enough fanfare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made history last week with a scant four words: "I believe the women."
All across America, forks dropped, glasses shattered and knees wobbled as women turned to each other in astonishment. Wait. What? Did he say what I think he said?

Suddenly, McConnell, whose characteristic solemnity inspires envy in statues, suddenly became irresistibly magnetic. Admit it: You wanted to hug him.
The Senate leader was responding to a reporter's question about the alleged sexual misconduct of Roy Moore, the erstwhile "Ten Commandments" judge and aspiring U.S. senator from Alabama. Moore, as you surely know, has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women who claim that he groped, attempted to rape or otherwise made overtures when they were teens and he was in his 30s in the 1970s.
McConnell, who fought Moore's candidacy even before the accusations, joined several other Republicans in urging Moore to step aside before Alabama's Dec. 12 special election, saying he is unfit to serve. Anyone who knows Moore will tell you that he won't quit, while skeptics and loyalists shrug at the charges, saying they're "politically motivated." Shocking. As Bill Clinton can attest, ugly things tend to surface when people aspire to high places. Sadly, they're often also true things, though it seems these days that one's moral compass follows the needle of political affiliation.
This is why McConnell's words were so stunning. Rather than try to ensure that Republicans keep the seat, he opted to do the right thing. It's a shame we have to be surprised when this happens, but rare is the politician who is also a statesman.
In fairness, one observes that the man Moore allegedly was in those days may not be the same man today. As a society, we tend to believe that people can change and be forgiven for past transgressions, especially if they've led exemplary lives in the interim. But forgiveness first requires that one confess and repent — and Moore has done neither.
His denial and steadfast refusal to step aside may be viewed in one of two ways. Either he's innocent, or he's confident that his supporters don't care if he is guilty. As in: That was a long time ago and that's not the Roy Moore we know. Both scenarios could be true, though having lived in Alabama, I lean toward the latter scenario. In a state where Moore achieved hero status in some quarters for refusing a federal judge's order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from his court building — and where good ol' boys look out for each other — it's much easier to blame the media's "fake news" for Moore's troubles than to be bedeviled by women with their cursed agendas.

Moore is threatening to sue The Washington Post, which broke the story after a month-long investigation that included corroborating interviews with at least 30 people. On Monday, a fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, came forward with a detailed accusation of how Moore attempted to rape her in his car when she was 16. She claims Moore choked her and dumped her, crying, onto the pavement. He allegedly ordered her to keep quiet since no one would believe "just a child."
Moore rebuts ever knowing Nelson, though this seems demonstrably false. Nelson produced her 1977 high school yearbook featuring an inscription by Moore. Apparently smitten by his inner muse, he wrote: "To a sweeter, more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas." Could you maybe have said, "Congratulations and best of luck in the future"?
Moore's pearls seem rather personal for someone unremembered. Then again, would-be poets in the South, especially those who favor themselves "ladies' men," have been known to indulge in inflated flattery. Had Moore been elderly at the time, one might have thought him merely dotty — a harmless hybrid of Don Juan and Don Quixote, tilting at maidens in a trance of romantic chivalry.
But Moore wasn't elderly or dotty. And five women who didn't know each other have shared similarly sickening memories. The Post stands by its exhaustively researched story. And anyone with common sense stands next to McConnell, whose words must have fallen like musical notes on the ears of the silenced.
We'll never know with certainty what happened some 40 years ago. But in the future, McConnell's stand surely will make a difference for other women who fear they will not be believed in similar circumstances. In the meantime, here's an inscription for Moore's yearbook: I have two words for you, and they're not Merry Christmas.
Kathleen Parker's email address is

George F. Will: Alabama rolls toward a high-stakes skirmish (carried in today's Key West Citizen,

November 13, 2017
Evangelical Christians who embrace Moore are serving the public good by making ridiculous their pose as uniquely moral Americans.

Birmingham, Ala. • But for the bomb, the four would be in their 60s, probably grandmothers. Three were 14 and one was 11 in 1963 when the blast killed them in the 16th Street Baptist Church, which is four blocks from the law office of Doug Jones, who then was 9.
He was born in May 1954, 13 days before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. He was 16 when he attended, at this city’s Legion Field, the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. University of Southern California Trojans football game, in which USC’s Sam Cunningham, an African-American all-American, led a 42-21 thumping of the home team, thereby (so goes the much-embellished but true-enough story) advancing the integration of the region through its cultural pulse, college football. Roll Tide.

As a second-year law student Jones cut classes to attend the 1977 trial of one of the church bombers, “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss. In 2001 and 2002, as U.S. attorney, Jones successfully prosecuted two other bombers. Was there resentment about this protracted pursuit of justice? No, he says as he nurses with tea a voice raspy from campaigning, because after 9/11 intervened, punishing domestic terrorism was not controversial. Today, this son of a steelworker stands between Roy Moore — an Elmer Gantry mixing piety and cupidity: he and his family have done well financially running a foundation — and the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.

Moore campaigns almost entirely about social issues — NFL protests, the transgender menace — and the wild liberalism of Jones, a law-and-order prosecutor and deer and turkey hunter who says he has “a safe full of guns.” Jones’ grandfathers were members of the mineworkers and steelworkers unions: Birmingham, surrounded by coal and iron ore, was Pittsburgh — a steel city — almost before Pittsburgh was. He hopes economic and health care issues matter more.

Evangelical Christians who embrace Moore are serving the public good by making ridiculous their pose as uniquely moral Americans, and by revealing their leaders to be especially grotesque specimens of the vanity — vanity about virtue — that is curdling politics. Another public benefit from the Moore spectacle is the embarrassment of national Republicans. Their party having made the star of the “Access Hollywood” tape president, they now are horrified that Moore might become 1 percent of the Senate. Actually, this scofflaw, twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court, once for disobeying a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, is a suitable sidekick for the president who pardoned Joe Arpaio, Arizona’s criminal former sheriff. Even after Donald Trump conceded that Barack Obama was born in America, Moore continued rejecting such squishiness.

Absentee ballots are already being cast. Assuming that the Republican governor does not shred state law by preventing the election from occurring Dec. 12, Republicans’ Senate majority might soon be gone. It has been 21 years since a Democratic Senate candidate won even 40 percent of Alabama’s vote. It has, however, been even longer — not since the George Wallace era — that the state’s identity has been hostage to a politician who assumes that Alabamans are eager to live down to hostile caricatures of them.

Nothing about Moore’s political, financial or glandular history will shake his base, unless the credible accusations of serial pursuit of underage girls are suddenly overshadowed by something his voters consider serious, such as taking sides in the Alabama-Auburn game. Jones’ hopes rest with traditional white Democrats (scarce), Republicans capable of chagrin (scarcer), and African-Americans. They are 27 percent of this state in which “civil rights tourism” (the 16th Street church, Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, Martin Luther King’s Montgomery church, and more) is economically important.

This month, Virginia’s African-Americans turned out for Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, a Democrat who, like Jones, invited voters to take a walk on the mild side. Approximately a quarter of Alabamans live in the metropolitan area of Birmingham, which has had an African-American mayor since 1979. National Democrats are helping Jones, but delicately. They rashly treated a Georgia special congressional election as a referendum on the president, and want to avoid that mistake in a state Donald Trump carried by 28 points.

Turnout to the August Republican primary and the September runoff was about 18 and 14 percent, respectively. Next month’s election will occur during many distractions, midway between Thanksgiving and Christmas and, more important, ten days after Armageddon — the SEC championship game. Perhaps an Alabama victory would make the state hanker for a senator worthy of its football team. If so: Roll Tide.
Alas, George, it won't surprise me if more Crimson Tide (and Auburn) fans vote for Roy Moore, than not. Just like more of them voted for Donald Trump and George Wallace, than not. However, there are sleeper agents, who infiltrated Alabama from Key West, who might have different ideas.

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