June 18, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy 132

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: Charleston Shooting; Women’s World Cup. People: Bill, De Ana, and Nate. Produced: June 22nd and 23rd, 2015.

Discussion Points:

– Charleston: Media narratives, campaign contributions, Confederate Flag
– Women’s World Cup: How U.S. women’s soccer became a major force and how the rest of the world caught up.

Episode 132 (51 min):
AFD 132

Related Links

AFD by Greg: “How we talk about the racists among us”
The Guardian: “Scott Walker to forfeit donations from group cited in Dylann Roof ‘manifesto'”
NBC Sports: “For Colombia, Women’s World Cup performance a chance to advance role of females in sports back home | ProSoccerTalk”

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Charleston: I’m out of new things to say

Today I felt, for one of the few times in my life, like I finally had nothing left to say on a huge story in the news. The Charleston AME church shooting in this case.

I’ve written post after post after post on White America’s violence against Black America. I’ve written post after post on violent ideologies versus mental illness. I’ve written post after post on gun control and mass shootings. I’ve written post after post on Confederate apologism. I literally don’t know what else to say at this point. This happens so often — even just in the last couple years — and the facts are so similar that there’s no new ground to cover. Whatever I’d write on it would be hollow and a waste of space.

This isn’t a mysterious and inexplicable tragedy. It’s just the latest act of terrorism in a vast pattern that seems like it won’t end.

At this point I’ll direct everyone to Black authors and social media commentators. Anything they have to say is almost certainly going to be more worth hearing than anything new I could come up with. If you don’t know where to start, I’ll point you toward our columnist De Ana. Beyond her own tweets, her Twitter stream will give you a jumping off point to other voices you should hear.

Carolina guvs, past and present, aim for McDonnell-level corruption

They should ironically name Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina the “Ethics Coast” — like the Space Coast but for launching massive corruption into the highest levels of state government:

In the months after receiving his $171,071 payout of stock from Tree.com, [N.C. Gov. Pat] McCrory appointed the state’s banking director and a majority of the banking commissioners who regulate mortgage brokers.
[…]
That Jan. 30, the board voted to accelerate the vesting of McCrory’s 10,063 restricted shares of Tree.com stock, valued on that date at $171,071, even though thousands of the shares were not due to vest for another 16 months.

Without the board’s action, the shares would have expired, making them worthless. Tree.com founder and Chief Executive Officer Doug Lebda told the AP in an interview that the decision to accelerate the vesting of the shares for retiring board members is standard practice at the company.
McCrory’s total take of $185,509 from Tree.com in 2013 far exceeded the $139,590 salary he earned as governor that year.

 
(Which is why Pat McCrory is a compassionate governor with a true sense of the plight of the non-plutocrat and the poor. Ok, now back to Tree.com…)

[U.S. Rep. from South Carolina Mark] Sanford joined the Tree.com board in April 2012 after finishing his term as South Carolina governor in a cloud of ethics questions. He had been forced to pay $74,000 to settle 37 state ethics charges, including using taxpayer funds to pay for flights to Argentina to visit his mistress.
[…]
All told, Sanford cleared $239,159 in stock, director’s fees and special dividends in his 13 months with Tree.com, records show. Since then, Sanford has voted on financial regulations in Congress, where rank-and-file members are paid an annual salary of $174,000.

 
And I didn’t even bring up S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who has her own special brand of ethics too.

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