1:05 PM, Feb 11, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The tragic slaying of three Muslim college students in North Carolina is dominating the headlines today. According to his Facebook page, the killer was a committed atheist and a political liberal. I think it's very rarely helpful or fair to connect political beliefs to the acts of possibly deranged or mentally ill individuals, and thankfully some of the smarter liberal commentators such as Steve Benen agree with me on this point. And Benen was also correct to point out that some on the right have been too quick to point to politics as a motive for individual killings, such as when some conservatives engaged in overheated finger-pointing at New York's liberal mayor Bill de Blasio after two NYPD officers were killed in December.
However, I do think it's fair to say that attributing political motives to individual killings is much more of a phenomenon on the left than on the right. In recent years, liberal organizations and commentators have gone out of their way to connect mainstream conservative political beliefs to violence, and more often than not, such connections are dubious or nonexistent. Back in 2011, I addressed this unseemly tendency in the wake of the Anders Brevik killings with "Debunking the Left-Wing Myths About 'Right-Wing, Extremist Christians.”
One of the prime perpetrators of these political smears is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has devolved from an organization that once combatted real hate groups such as the KKK to a racket that trades on its former reputation to smear people such as Ben Carson as "extremists." The SPLC has, among other things, blamed Sarah Palin's political rhetoric for providing a "a facilitating context” for the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by a man who is quite clearly mentally ill and barely registers discernible political opinions. Of course, when another man shot a security guard and was intent of starting a killing spree at the mainstream Christian organization the Family Research Council, he told the FBI that he found the organization listed on a "hate map" on the SPLC's website. What was SPLC's response to the awkward revelation that they were associated with this terrible crime?
“Well, first of all, having a group on our hate map doesn’t cause anybody to attack them any more than they attacked us for one thing or another,” Dees told CNSNews.com on August 6. It takes quite a bit of hubris for Dees to defensively equate rhetorical attacks on his own organization with actual gun violence against an organization whose politics he dislikes. It also seems more than a little convenient that Dees now denies a connection between rhetoric and violence. In 2011, an SPLC blog post, “Expert: Political Rhetoric Likely a Factor in Arizona Shooting,” concluded that Sarah Palin’s rhetoric “could have provided a facilitating context” for the Giffords shooting, though, again, there is no evidence Loughner was exposed to it.
By the loose standard of “facilitating context,” the unjust inclusion of the Family Research Council headquarters on a “hate map” otherwise filled with violent white nationalist organizations is a much more serious transgression—particularly when Corkins admits he used the map to learn about his target. And while Leo Johnson’s defining characteristics are his courage and character, as long as we’re talking about context, it’s worth pondering why the founder of a celebrated civil rights organization is obdurately unreflective about the role his SPLC played in the shooting of a black man.
Which brings us to the Facebook page of the North Carolina killer, which suggests he wasn't remotely neutral when it comes to his atheist and liberal political opinions:
His Facebook Likes included the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye "The Science Guy," Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups and similar progressive pages.
11:28 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Thom Tillis is projected to win his close race for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, beating incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. The Associated Press reports:
10:52 AM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
North Carolina senator Kay Hagan has a minute-long radio ad running Tuesday featuring her fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama.
"North Carolina, we need to send a message this election," Obama says. "If you want to make a difference, here is your chance: Vote for Democrats and Kay Hagan on November 4." The president adds that Republicans are standing in the way of various aspects of his and Hagan's agenda, including raising the minimum wage.
7:28 PM, Nov 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The state of North Carolina is investigating a potential conflict of interest involving Democratic senator Kay Hagan. Fox 46 in Charlotte reports:
5:35 PM, Nov 3, 2014 • By JAY COST
Early voting in North Carolina is now over, and the results are interesting. One might be tempted to compare early voting in 2014 to 2010, as both were midterms. But the latter was an easy win for Richard Burr, and this year’s battle in the Senate is shaping up to be a close race, much like 2012.
9:15 AM, Oct 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis was called "Uncle Tom" at a recent Senator Kay Hagan rally in North Carolina. Hillary Clinton was also on hand to help rally Democrats in support of Hagan--and the possible presidential candidate specifically praised the speaker who made the questionable comments.
The remarks were from Alma Adams, who is running for Congress from North Carolina's 12th Congressional District. Here's audio:
9:22 AM, Oct 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Kay Hagan was interrupted by immigration activists during a recent campaign speech who said the North Carolina Democrat was "anti-immigrant."
8:08 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan skipped tonight's debate in North Carolina. Here's video of the debate opening:
As the Republican research firm America Rising points out, Hagan's chair was left empty:
3:16 PM, Oct 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was emphatic earlier this week that instituting a travel ban on those attempting to enter the United States from West African nations ravaged by the Ebola virus was "not going to help solve the problem." Hagan's Republican opponent, Thom Tillis, had been one of the first candidates for office to suggest the ban.
8:43 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad from Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis of North Carolina targets his Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, for voting for the federal stimulus bill that awarded a grant to a company owned by Hagan's husband. Watch the video below:
"Days after Kay Hagan took office, she pushed Obama's stimulus bill," says the ad's voiceover. "Grants tucked away in Obama's stimulus paid the Hagans. She's 96 percent for Obama, 100 percent for herself."
Says travel ban "won't contain the epidemic."7:01 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
North Carolina senator Kay Hagan said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "giving us great guidance" on how to deal with Ebola virus infections here in the United States. The Democrat, who is up for reelection, praised the CDC and the World Health Organization in a Wednesday press conference in Charlotte.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:25 PM, Oct 15, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on the competitive purple state senate races in Iowa and Colorado, and the competitive races in traditionally red states like Georgia and North Carolina.
1:01 PM, Oct 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A company owned by the husband of Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina received taxpayer money for a green energy project through the federal stimulus of 2009, later revising down the project's estimated cost and keeping the difference.
3:29 PM, Oct 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new set of polls from High Point University and SurveyUSA have good news Republican candidates for Senate in Colorado, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. The polls of likely voters in all three swing states found Republicans in good positions against incumbent Democrats with just weeks to go before the election.
12:07 PM, Oct 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is putting between $6 and 6.5 million into TV ads in North Carolina, Politico reports. The close race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and GOP challenger Thom Tillis has come down to an air duel between the campaigns and their allied independent expenditure groups—with Democrats so far having the advantage.