ESPN: “We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Thank ESPN on Twitter – Monday Night Football’s PR guy here
USA Today: ESPN has dropped Hank Williams Jr. from opening Monday Night Football tonight after Williams controversial comments today about President Obama.
….. Williams, perhaps best known for his “are you ready for some football?” lead-in to ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Monday compared this summer’s so-called golf summit between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”
As Williams put it on Fox News’ Fox & Friends: “It would be like Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu.”
When asked on Fox to explain his analogy, Williams said Obama and Vice-President Biden are “the enemy.”
It still isn’t clear if ESPN have just dropped the creep from tonight’s show – or completely. Keep tweeting, let them know what you think ;-)
All Huntsman needs to finish him off is the support of Jeb Jr’s dad and uncle:
Miami Herald: With cellar-dwelling poll numbers and a campaign shake-up to boot, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman plans a “major announcement” on Wednesday morning in South Florida: The endorsement of Jeb Bush Jr.
His campaign said Bush Jr. will serve as national co-chair of GenH, with the mission to reach out to young people. Also joining the campaign is Republican political strategist Ana Navarro, of Miami. Her title: National Hispanic Chairperson….
Many people (primarily Republican politicians) objected to the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act last November, for a variety of reasons. The principle opposition to the bill didn’t want sexual orientation added as a protected class.
However the law that Congress passed and President Obama signed did much more than extend federal protection to the victims of crimes committed because of their sexual orientation. It also expanded the scope of the prior 1969 federal hate crimes law, which previously was restricted only to hate crimes committed against victims “engaging in a federally-protected activity, like voting or going to school.”
The Matthew Shepard Act as it has been come to be known also gives the Department of Justice and the FBI “greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue.”
That last point is critical, and we are starting to see the results of increasing federal protections for the victims of these acts of terror.
For one example, consider the case of Ronald Pudder. Pudder committed arson against a small African American church. When confronted by videotape evidence of his actions Pudder confessed his guilt. Evidence that his crime was racially motivated was not hard to find:
The two-count indictment against Pudder was detailed at a news conference Friday with the nation’s top civil rights attorney, Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. He said the government was determined to deter a rash of copycat crimes.
“Hate crimes reflect a cancer of the soul,” Perez said. “They are designed not only to injure the particular victim or victims, but to send a message to the community: a message of fear, an effort to divide communities along racial or religious lines.”
On Monday, Pudder pled guilty as part of a plea bargain in which Federal authorities will seek a sentence of 41-51 months.
Hate crimes do indeed leave scars, whether the crime is the directed against Christians, Jews or Muslims, members of the LGBT community or members of racial or ethnic minorities like this disabled Navaho man who had a swastika burned into his arm with a coat hanger, among other things done to him in Farmington New Mexico.
Federal prosecutors say they were able to bring the case because the 2009 law eliminated a requirement that a victim must be engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or attending school, for hate crime charges to be levelled.
In the past many local authorities simply refused to prosecute such violent acts as hate crimes even if their state had an adequate hate crimes law on the books.
Now we don’t have to rely upon local authorities to bring these charges when they are appropriate.
And that, my friends, is progress, small though it may seem to some.
President Obama with Louvon Harris, her sister Betty Byrd Boatner (both sisters of James Byrd, Jr) and Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, after he spoke in honor of the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr, Hate Crimes Prevention Act during a reception at the White House, October 28, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Harry Connick, Jr. to the White House to speak before a group of music students at a press preview for the Governors Ball. The First Lady and Connick talk about the work being done to rebuild New Orleans and the New Orleans Musicians Village in particular. He and his band close out playing “When the Saints Go Marching In”
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama applaud the performance by Harry Connick Jr. during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)