Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, May 25, 2017


From weird and alarming to dangerous

by Tom Sullivan

Photo by Sebastian Bergmann via Wikimedia Commons.

The Republican candidate in today's special election for Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives was charged last night in the misdemeanor assault of a Guardian newspaper reporter. Just after 7 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday, reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted:

Jacobs was attempting to get Gianforte to comment on the just-released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring of the Republicans' America Health Care Act (AHCA).

By the time All in with Chris Hayes reached Jacobs at the hospital, audio of the encounter had already been posted by the Guardian:

"The fish rots from the head," said a visibly shaken Jennifer Rubin after hearing the tape on All In. A conservative columnist for the Washington Post, Rubin explained that with Donald Trump's behavior towards the press — threatening to jail reporters; calling them the enemies of the people; inviting rally-goers to heckle and verbally abuse them, and offering to pay their post-assault legal fees — this is a natural outcome.

Gianforte's campaign released this statement on the incident:

The New York Times' Nick Confessore adds that Jacobs is all of "100 pounds soaking wet. Just for context when a candidate suggests Ben was 'aggressive.'"

A Fox News crew already in the room witnessed the encounter. Alicia Acuna writes that Jacobs walked into the room and approached Gianforte about the CBO score. Gianforte told him to speak with his press spokesperson, Shane Scanlon:

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.
The Guardian describes Gianforte as "a tech mogul who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2016." BuzzFeed News reporter Alexis Levinson told the Guardian she overheard Gianforte's staff telling Jacobs the campaign was upset with the Guardian’s previous reporting and would have no time to talk with him:
On 28 April, Jacobs reported on Gianforte’s financial ties to Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US. Gianforte’s wealth is estimated at between $65m and $315m.
But the CBO scoring released yesterday showed the revamped AHCA would leave 23 million more people uninsured by 2026 than if Obamacare was left in place. The night before the special election, Gianforte was not eager to go on record with a statement.

Perhaps Gianforte is that rare conservative with anger-management issues. Or perhaps Gianforte's internal polling is not as favorable as he'd like. Wednesday morning brought news of upsets for Republican candidates in state legislative races in New York and New Hampshire. In the Georgia 6th District special election for congress next month, polling shows Democrat Jon Ossoff leading his Republican opponent by seven points, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday that 5,500 new voters have registered ahead of the June 20 election, rarely good news for Republicans.

Then again, half the ballots have already cast for the election in Montana. If Gianforte has a lead going into the election today, many voters won't be able to change their minds as three of the state's newspapers did last night in rescinding their Gianforte endorsements.

Jeet Heer at the New Republic writes that Gianforte has joked to a Christian group about beating up reporters (something Gianforte apologized for). But Heer observes:
What’s more worrisome than Gianforte is that the Republican Party has created an entire partisan infrastructure that is so heavily indoctrinated, they will defend a candidate no matter what. We’ve already seen the GOP base turn a blind eye to, or even applaud, Donald Trump’s hostility toward the press. But such nasty, unacceptable behavior goes well beyond Trump and his supporters, and will play a role in American politics for years to come.
We have seen some strange day in the last couple of weeks. When do days like this go from registering as weird and alarming to dangerous?
The New York Times reports that if convicted, Gianforte "faces up to a $500 fine, or six months in jail, or both." Don't expect a censure from a Republican House.