CofCC Is Upset That Talented Black Actor Chosen for Role in Thor & Hailey Steps in It Again

Because, you know, only white people can play Norse God Roles:

Part of this that is underlying the anger is that there is a significant Norse pagan(is that correct?) religious movement in the White Supremacist movement.

Kyle Rogers sent a message to the members of Council of Conservative Citizens.
Kyle Rogers
Kyle RogersDecember 15, 2010 at 10:45am
Subject: Boycott Thor by Marvel Studios
Marvel Comics has a long history of promoting the extreme left-wing that goes all the way back to the 60’s. Just last year, the comic book company declare war on the TEA Party movement.

Now Marvel has taken their anti-white, radical campaign even further. They cast a black man as a Norse Deity in their new movie Thor, coming out May 6th, 2011. Even though Marvel co-produces an explicitly pro-black (and anti-white) cartoon for BET, they don’t think white people should have anything that is uniquely their own. Not even their own mythology and folk tales!

CofCC webmaster Kyle Rogers has launched a new website called and a facebook page:

Visit these sites and click the “like” button on the facebook page.



The actor in question is Idris Elba, Stringer Bell on The Wire.  He’s an incredibly talented actor who has played Achilles and has had several recent roles in comedies that were hysterical (Office and The C Word).  Never mind that Shakespeare is often cross culturally cast, it’s a black guy!

It’s only morons like Rogers above that don’t understand that the amount of melanin in one’s skin does not make those with other levels of melanin them.  But no one accused the Council of Conservative Citizens of being smart.

Brett Schenker at Graphic Policy, a great comics blog for those interested in such things, posted on this last week and I haven’t had time to follow up.

Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes also addresses it with this:

Though many politicians previously connected to the Council have disavowed its racist agenda — that list includes high profile leaders like Mike Huckabee, Bob Barr and Haley Barbour — the group has been defended by equally powerful leaders, like Ann Coulter, and this year collaborated with Tea Party groups in Florida and Mississippi to help elect our new conservative Congress. Their racism is real, and definitely worth keeping tabs on. That doesn’t mean, of course, the Council and its followers aren’t still totally ridiculous.

While we all know it’s great fun to hypothesize on the economics of superheroism, the majority of people know that Thor, Captain America and all those other costumed wonders aren’t a depiction of real life. Sure, the Council needs to work out its racist tendencies — America as a “European nation,” c’mon — but would also do well to suspend disbelief for a second and enjoy the show, because they’re doing nothing more than making themselves look like complete idiots.


A bit of irony with Barbour today, but you get the gist. Andrew indicates Barbour denounced them, I’m not sure that’s entirely correct, but his brother has also met with the Mississippi Chapter and attended their events–as has Hailey in the past.

Barbour today defended the Citizen’s Councils as not racist, but all evidence is to the contrary. For a really offensive rant from one of their Board Members Earl Holt, go here—he sent that to me several years ago. And Holt was a Board Member well after he sent me that e-mail.

The Council of Conservative Citizens was recreated from the Citizen’s Council years ago by Gordon Baum who was an organizer for the Citizen’s Council.  Baum was the CEO for years and is still involved in governing the organization.  It has long fancied itself as a reputable group, but that’s just bullshit. They are racist assholes who happen not wear hoods.  While they have become increasingly irrelevant to the mainstream, many have been active in the Tea Party. Now, some in the Tea Party have shunned them (good for them), but they still attend and brag about how great the movement is when you read their blogs and newspapers.


“You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”


The entire existence of the Citizen’s Council was to fight for segregation–Barbour is trying to rewrite history.  To the extent they deterred the Klan it was only to put a better face on white supremacy and segregation.  They were town leaders, but let’s be clear what that meant–they were leading the town to continue segregation and white supremacy.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

A couple folks I know are helping out with a IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge and asked me to take a look at it–I approve wholeheartedly as it brings out my tech geek and marries it to my city redevelopment ideas.  Here’s a bit from IBM:

Could your city use an infusion of IBM talent and technology? The computing giant is offering its help with the Smarter Cities Challenge, a grant program that will dole out $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 cities around the world.

The program, launched this week, will give $250,000 to $400,000 worth of services to each city selected through the competitive grant process. Those services may include access to City Forward (an IBM tool which allows cities to analyze and and visualize data across systems), workshops on social networking tools, time with top IBM talent, and assistance with strategic planning. IBM explains:

A consistent theme will be collecting, sharing, analyzing and acting on data. For instance, IBM experts might suggest ways to link the processes and objectives of multiple departments to reduce cost and improve productivity. A city’s education program could be more effective if it was closely coordinated with social services, transportation, parks and recreation, public health, and safety. Police officers might be more effective if timely, customized information were electronically “pushed” to them while walking the beat or in transit.  Citizen engagement could be improved if computer access were more widespread.  Snow removal teams might be more efficiently deployed if ultra-precise weather data were obtained and analyzed.

Anyone who deals with city governments, and Chicago as well as many other cities in Illinois included, know that often one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing and citizens often have a hard time figuring out who to talk to where.  While efforts are made to make it better, seldom can cities coping with a recession and any number of other problems take a larger strategic view of it’s systems and plan how to integrate them.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, the applications are due by the end of the year.  That’s the bad news, the good news:  the application is awesomely simple compared to most grant applications.

1. Fill out the application here:

2. The proposal has to include the following criteria in order to be successful:

– Describe 1-3 potential problems or opportunities to address with the grant

– Provide clear, compelling evidence that the city is well positioned to utilize the resources offered in the Smarter Cities Challenge

– Outline how a grant of IBM talent and technology has the potential to substantially enhance the city’s capacity to act on key issues

– Highlight recent efforts to develop innovative solutions to public problems, including any initiatives to implement new technologies or open data policies

– Demonstrate the city is ready to match IBM’s investment with its own commitment of time and talent, including access to the city agencies and personnel relevant to the project

If you’d like to know more, you can watch a short video here:

You don’t have to be an avid Governing reader to figure  this out, just make sure your city knows about it and can take advantage of it.

Read the Below Post and Then Explain Plan B

Steve Benen points out the problem with stopping the compromise on taxes:

But let’s say they’re all wrong. Let’s assume, for the sake of conversation, that the liberal economists don’t fully appreciate the larger principles at stake here; their stimulus projections are overly optimistic; and their entire perspective is skewed by weakness, a poor understanding of political tactics, and a Neville Chamberlain-like worldview.

Indeed, let’s also say, just for the sake of conversation, that the liberal policy experts lose the argument and Congress rejects the agreement. Dems decide it’s a bridge too far, so they scuttle the deal and take their chances.

What’s Plan B?

I don’t mean this to sound snarky and this isn’t a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely interested in understanding the back-up strategy. When I posed this question yesterday to some Capitol Hill aides I know, they said they’d recommit to fighting even harder for the original Obama tax plan — permanent breaks for those under $250k, Clinton-era top rates for those above $250k. If/when this week’s compromise goes down, Republicans, they said, would likely cave and accept the Democratic approach. They’d be out of options — it’d be a choice between the Dem plan and higher taxes for everyone. Dems would regain the leverage they lost before the midterms.


But they wouldn’t be out of options.  One can pass a bill retroactively affecting the tax rate from January 1st fairly easily and beginning in January, Republicans will control the House and have a Senate much closer.  At that point they can likely extract more for compromise and the incoming class of GOPers are likely to demand just that.  Now add this to Susan Collins behavior below and tell me how this gets any better?

Example 2,042,337 of Republican Irresponsibility

Susan Collins blocking DADT legislation.

In a nutshell, Collins is asking Democratic leaders for unlimited debate on the defense bill. Reid, in turn, is offering Collins a compromise: votes on 10 separate amendments, seven of which would come from Republicans, three of which would come from Democrats.

Collins has responded that this isn’t good enough, and she’ll refuse to let the Senate vote up or down on the legislation.

It’s worth emphasizing that Collins just isn’t being reasonable. Looking back over the last couple of decades, a total of 10 amendments is entirely routine for this defense authorization bill, and is actually far more than the number of amendments considered most of the time.

Why not just give in and tell Collins she can have unlimited debate? Because Republicans really are desperate to kill the legislation, and the most far-right members will keep offering unrelated amendments indefinitely, running out the clock on the lame-duck session, and derailing the bill.

The aide told me, Collins is “basically asking for a unicorn for Christmas. We can’t give her a unicorn.”


Post Election Funk

I haven’t been terribly motivated to blog since the election largely because elections take it out of me.  All of the energy expended and afterward I can’t read one more press release and so this year, I took some time off somewhat unplanned. It’s always only a matter of time until politics draws me back, but the current anger at Obama has been keeping me more annoyed than usual.

The reality most liberals cannot deal with is that the US Senate is broken and until that is fixed, the government is going to be more dysfunctional than normal.

I like to point out the amazing thing about the US government is not how little gets done, but how much.  That’s in a normal time.  While I typically shy away from saying the Founders thought this because given they were individuals often times they disagreed and had quite divergent views on government. However, one thing they all agreed upon was that government shouldn’t work too well and they designed just such a government that didn’t.  They were successful and in fact, their first attempt in the Articles of Confederation was too successful and they had to try again with the Constitution.

Over time the Senate ‘improved’ on the not working Constitution by developing an arcane set of anti-democratic rules including holds and the filibuster.  The Senate being anti-democratic isn’t too surprising given it was originally an appointed body.  The filibuster was long used to stop change–the status quo is inherently a conservative position, but the filibuster was used lightly. Until the 1970s when it grew in usage and then exploded in the 1990s and now is being utilized for nearly everything of any substance.

From Talking Points Memo

Any legislation now requires essentially 60 votes to proceed which is absurd.  Absurd reality is still reality though.

You can criticize Obama for some decisions reasonably, but for compromising to get things through the US Senate isn’t one of them.  That’s the reality he and we all face.

Apparently many think a magic unicorn out there could overcome this problem. How?  That’s not entirely clear, but debating and yelling a lot is supposed to work to change Republican minds. If Obama just went up to Maine and campaigned for this  or that he could pressure the two Senators to vote his way… The problem with this assumes that Republicans are playing to a general election audience. After the fights this past cycle, any Republican not worried about conservative challengers is delusional and say what you will about US Senators, they are seldom delusional about reelection matters.  This is especially true for the few moderates left in the party.

Until the US Senate is fixed, legislation is going to be hard to pass that is about anything other than kittens and apple pie.  Instead of whining (and it is whining given there aren’t plausible alternatives) or plotting a primary challenge like  a caller on sports talk radio pretending to be a big league manager, it is most productive to work to solve the problem which is the rules of the US Senate.

The Census Redistricting Data Are Available Within 24 Hours of Receipt by State Governments

Repeat after me–Census redistricting data are publicly available within 24 hours of confirmed receipt by state governments.  Apparently this small fact is not clear to reformers and editorial boards pushing for changes to redistricting.

Before people start spouting off on redistricting reform, they should read how the US Census handles the data. What all of this tells me is that a bunch of people think they are going to hold state legislators accountable without any idea of what that means.

The AFF currently ofers data from the 2000 decennial census, the  American Community Survey, the Population  Estimates Program, and the 2002 and 2007  economic censuses, and annual economic  surveys. It also will provide data from the  2010 Census. The 2010 Census Redistricting  Data    [P.L.    94-171]    Summary    File    will    be    available, by state, through the AFF within 24  hours after the bipartisan acknowledgement  of its receipt by each state’s designated officials.

From the News-Gazette:

There’s nothing wrong with pre-map hearings. But what about holding public hearings on the map Democratic leaders ultimately propose? How about releasing the census information and allowing various interest groups to draft and propose their own maps? Democrats rejected amendments to do that.


From the Springfield Journal Register::

The bill before the House next month calls for four public hearings, but there’s no guarantee that we’ll get hearings during the drafting process and after the map is drawn. We would much prefer mandated hearings on the proposed map in draft form and on the final version, allowing for changes based on testimony at the hearings. We also believe the public should have access to the same census data and software that the legislature will use to redraw the map.


The software needed is any GIS software that deals with Tiger files and can import data.  That’s not something to be provided by state government–it’s freely available in the marketplace.  Some web sites offer it as well, though this isn’t something most people can do without GIS experience.

The data are available within 24 hours period.   Editorial boards should check their facts especially when it takes about 5 minutes to track them down.  The reform groups pushing this to editorial boards should know better, but clearly don’t understand the process.   It’s the same file the legislators will be getting and you can even get a head start by downloading the shape files now and importing those into your GIS program.