KKK Plans Rally At South Carolina Capitol Building

KKK Hoods (Associated Press)

The Ku Klux Klan plans to rally in July in response to calls to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina statehouse grounds, writes USA Today.

“We will be at the statehouse in Columbia, S.C., standing up for our Confederate history and all the southerners who fought and died against federal tyranny,” said an automated message on the Loyal White Knights’s voicemail.

The white supremacist group, which claims to be affiliated with the KKK, is based out of Pelham, N.C., according to the group’s website.

Shark Attacks In The Carolinas

At least five shark attacks have been reported at North and South Carolina beaches this month, writes CNN. The Washington Post puts the number at 7 attacks.

On Saturday afternoon, a beach outing in North Carolina took a harrowing turn when a 17-year-old boy was attacked by a shark.

The teenager was swimming with several other people near Waves, North Carolina, when the shark attacked, writes CNN.

The teen received various injuries to his right calf, buttocks and both hands, according to a news release posted to the facebook page of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  No other swimmers were injured, writes CNN.

Ocean Rescue Squad paramedics and National Park Service Rangers rushed to the scene in response to a 911 call about an injured person on the beach, writes CNN.  The teen was then transported to Norfolk, Virginia, for further medical treatment.

How Do GOP Candidates Feel About The Confederate Battle Flag?

The website Vox created a graphic to describe how the Republican presidential candidates feel about the Confederate battle flag.  The graphic shows the choices “remove the flag now” vs. “states rights.”

http://www.vox.com/2015/6/23/8828215/Confederate-flag-states-rights

Senator Lindsey Graham Would ‘Drone Americans For Thinking About Joining ISIL’

Secular Talk

Does South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham go over-the-top in regards to stopping Americans from joining ISIS?

The Republican Graham “quasi-announced” that he is running for president on Monday, writes Slate Magazine.

On Saturday, he gave a foreign policy-oriented speech at a dinner event hosted by Iowa Republicans. During that speech he made either a very bad joke or an extremely aggressive remark about drone warfare, according to Slate.

(Updated title to reflect the Senator’s use of ISIL instead of ISIS)

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/18/lindsey_graham_drone_attacks_threatens_jokingly_to_kill_americans.html

Stephen Colbert To Give $800,000 To South Carolina Schools

According to The Associated Press, Stephen Colbert surprised teachers in his native South Carolina recently by announcing that he would fund every single classroom project listed by teachers from the state on the crowdfunding website DonorsChoose.org.

It is a gift valued in excess of $800,000.

According to avclub.com, funds for the donation will come from the sale of The Colbert Report’s desk and fireplace, which were raffled off online late last year. Matching funds will come from ScanSource and The Morgridge Family Foundation’s Share Fair Nation.

Colbert, who is a member of the DonorsChoose.org board, made the announcement on a live video feed to the students of Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina on May 7th.

http://www.avclub.com/article/stephen-colbert-offers-fund-800000-worth-projects–219105

Man Dressed As Darth Vader Robs N.C. Bank

The 'Star Wars' thief pointed a long gun at a teller and demanded cash.

North Carolina police are hunting for a robber who held up a bank in Pineville, North Carolina, while wearing a Darth Vader costume. The incident happened on Monday, March 16th, states cbsnews.com.

The “Star Wars” character came into the Pineville State Employees Credit Union that Monday, WSOC reported.  Police say he demanded cash while he pointed a long gun at a bank teller, according to nydailynews.com.

He left in a gray Chevy Suburban with an undisclosed amount of cash, states cbsnews.com.  No one inside the bank was injured.

(Updated article)

Slager Not Eligible For The Death Penalty

Michael Slager

North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager will not face the possibility of the death penalty in connection with the shooting of Walter Scott, states the Charleston newspaper Post and Courier.

The circumstances don’t meet the criteria necessary under S.C. law, Charleston County’s chief prosecutor said Monday.

Some news outlets claimed that Slager would be eligible for the death penalty due to his crime.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she carefully reviewed the state’s death penalty statute, which lists 22 aggravating circumstances that can trigger the state to seek lethal punishment.  None applied in this case, she said.

Those offenses include murders committed during kidnapping, robbery, drug trafficking and a host of other circumstances.

“Under South Carolina law, this case is not death penalty-eligible,” said Wilson.  Wilson’s office will be in charge of prosecuting Slager.

“There are aggravating circumstances which can take a murder case from being a maximum of life to death being the maximum sentence. None of those factors are present in this case,” said Wilson.

MSNBC Interviews Person Who Recorded South Carolina Police Shooting


MSNBC

A white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man (Walter Scott) while the man ran away, according to The New York Times.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday.

An eyewitness to the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott spoke out about what he saw and what he recorded on his cell phone after that video was made public.

Lindsey Graham: I Would Deploy The Military Against Congress As President

According to Vox.com, Republican senator and presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham went to the “politics and pies” forum in Concord, New Hampshire recently, where he announced that if he is elected president in 2016, his first act would be to deploy the military in Washington to force Congress to reverse cuts to the defense and intelligence budgets.

That may go over well with the “folksy” crowd, but according to Vox.com, it doesn’t sound legal.

Here are Graham’s words:

“And here’s the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”

Graham would use the military to force members of Congress to not just vote on the bill, but to pass it – in other words, until the defense and intel cuts are restored.

Graham didn’t say “until I get an up-or-down vote on restoring defense cuts.” He said “until we restore these defense cuts.”

So Graham is proposing that his first act as president would be to use the military to force the legislative branch to pass his agenda.

If taken literally, Graham is basically announcing his plan to stage some sort of coup.  He is saying that if he gains control of the executive branch, he will use his authority as commander in chief to overcome the separation of powers and force the legislative branch to do his bidding, instead of allowing it to act as an independent branch of the government.

Vox.com states that political scientists often refer to that type of action as a “self-coup,” a situation in which a legitimate leader uses the military or other armed force to unlawfully sieze more power than is permitted under the constitution of the country in question.

Usually that’s a seizure of power and a shutdown of the legislature, according to Vox.com.  What Graham is proposing is a milder version.

Vox states that he may have been joking, but the recording sounded serious.

If he was being serious, the proposal is different than what is actually legal — such as, say, the Senate leadership using the Capitol police or sergeant-at-arms to ensure that the Senate has a quorum.

That happened in 1988, when Democratic leadership had the Capitol police carry Republican Senator from Oregon Bob Packwood into the Senate chamber to ensure a quorum.

Harry Reid threatened to use similar methods more recently when he was Senate majority leader.

But what the Senate did in 1988 was compel senators’ presence, not compel them to vote a certain way.  Graham is talking about forcing legislators to vote a certain way.

What happened to Packwood was permitted by the Senate rules, which say that “a majority of the Senators present may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators” to reach a quorum.

And it was the Senate policing itself, and thus did not violate the separation of powers.

What Lindsey Graham is proposing is to physically force members of Congress to vote how he commands.

His plan violates constitutional separation of powers in just about the most extreme way imaginable, according to Vox.com.  He would be forcing the executive branch’s will on the legislature.

“And it is a pretty safe bet that Senate rules do not grant the president authority to have the 101st Airborne Division occupy the Capitol until Congress votes the way he wants,” states Vox.com.

Graham’s proposal is so astonishing that it’s pretty much impossible to believe that’s what he really meant. It is hard to believe he is a mainstream politician and an attorney who once served as an Air Force JAG.

You can listen to the recording here:

http://benswann.com/graham-military-force-congress/

More:

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/16012590-95/at-first-politics-and-pies-south-carolina-sen-graham-stresses-national-security

‘Folksy’ Lindsey Graham Pledges To Kill American Citizens Who ‘Help ISIS’

According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Senator Lindsey Graham got a lot of focus at Saturday’s Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, drawing laughter, applause, and knowing glances from the crowd of farmers and farm families.

Nine potential GOP White House candidates were at The Iowa Ag Summit, which was a first-of-its-kind event organized by a pork and ethanol entrepreneur, states the Des Moines Register.  The summit focuses on agriculture policy, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

But Graham’s comments on helping ISIS took the cake.  “If I were king, I’d be benevolent,” he said, “with a streak of cruelty every now and then, just to keep people on their toes!”

Graham’s 20 minutes on stage racked up more laugh lines than the other eight speakers – enough to elevate the audience’s comfort level with his views on immigration.  

Graham has favored letting some immigrants living in the country illegally stay in the country, if they met certain conditions, like learning English and paying taxes.

Graham gave Daily Mail Online a fiery defense of his foreign policy at a press meeting immediately after his speech.

If he were president, Graham said, and an American citizen attempted to help “al Qaeda, ISIL, or any other terrorist organization, you can be killed or captured, and I will make sure that one of the two would happen to you.”

“Everybody who helps these guys is an enemy of mankind,” he said, and “the enemy of the American people.”

More:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2984410/Lindsey-Graham-notches-breakout-performance-upends-Republican-presidential-field.html#ixzz3To8dVDpH