Kellyanne Conway’s Weird Defense of Todd Akin

Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Conway, the latest campaign manager for Donald Trump, has worked in Republican campaigns as a pollster and consultant for a while now.

In 2012, Conway worked for Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin. During that time she compared attacks on Akin to the FBI siege on David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.

Akin, a Republican congressman, infamously answered a question about rape exceptions for abortion by saying, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin later said he misspoke and clarified his remarks but many Republican politicians rushed to condemn his remarks. Many of them later returned to supporting him in an effort to save the Senate that year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on what Conway had to say about the whole thing:

A consultant for embattled Senate candidate Todd Akin today compared Republican attacks on Akin to the 1993 federal siege of cult leader David Koresh.

“I’ve expressed this to Todd as my client for a while now, I’ve expressed it to him directly,” Akin consultant Kellyanne Conway said in interview released today by the conservative Family Research Council. “The first day or two where it was like the Waco with the David Koresh situation where they’re trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams and the helicopters and the bad Nancy Sinatra records. Then here comes day two and you realize the guy’s not coming out of the bunker. Listen, Todd has shown his principle to the voters.”

An Akin spokesman responded to her comments by saying, “It was a stupid comment to make.”

Conway then tried to walk her remarks back:

Conway said today that she was not comparing Akin to Koresh, but rather was comparing the GOP leaders who were trying to dislodge Akin to the federal agents in the standoff with Koresh.

“It was about how overbearing the Republicans had been. It was about the tactics being used to force (Akin) out,” Conway said. “I wasn’t comparing the (two) men. . . . I don’t consider David Koresh a man of fortitude. Todd Akin is a man of fortitude.”

More on Kellyanne Conway

Conway’s husband, attorney George Conway III, advised Clinton sexual harassment accuser Paula Jones when she sued President Bill Clinton. Trump supporter Ann Coulter, a friend of George Conway, also served as an unpaid legal advisor to Jones.

 

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Flashback: Kathy Szeliga in 2013

szeligaIn 2013, I blogged about reports that Delegate Kathy Szeliga called for a “legislative investigation into the failures of the state health insurance exchange” to Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Speaker Mike Busch, and Leader Mike Miller.

She also told Bryan Sears of The Daily Record that she wanted a “forensic audit” to “look at the costs, the contracts and how they were awarded.”

The most memorable quote from that story:

Szeliga said Brown, former health care exchange director Rebecca Pearce and others “are just polishing a turd” when it comes to the information being released about the website and its unsuccessful rollout.

More on Kathy Szeliga

Szeliga is a solidly pro-life member of the Maryland House of Delegates. She faces hard left Democrat Chris Van Hollen in the U.S. Senate race.

She was dead-on with her comments about Anthony Brown and the Maryland Obamacare Exchange’s woes.

Ellison Baxter Quinton, 1838-1899

Baxter QuintonI originally posted this about Baxter Quinton on Facebook on September 30, 2016.

Ellison Baxter Quinton, my great-great-grandfather was born on September 30, 1838 in Chester County, SC.

He enlisted in Company F of the 23rd SC Volunteers (Hatch’s Coast Rangers) in 1861.

Via SCIWAY:

After being stationed in South Carolina, the regiment moved to Virginia and during the war served in General Evans’, Elliot’s, and Wallace’s Brigade. It participated in the conflicts at Second Bull Run (Second Manassas), South Mountain, and Sharpsburg, then was ordered to North Carolina and later to Mississippi. The unit skirmished at Jackson, was sent to Charleston, and in the spring of 1864 returned to Virginia. It continued the fight in the trenches of Petersburg and around Appomattox. During the Second Manassas operations, August 6-20, 1862, this regiment lost sixty-eight percent of the 225 engaged, and all its field officers were wounded. It reported 10 killed, 22 wounded, and 5 missing in the Maryland Campaign, totalled 297 men in October, 1863, and had 49 killed or wounded at the Petersburg mine explosion. The 23rd had many disabled at Sayler’s Creek and surrendered 5 officers and 103 men.

The unit surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse along with the Army of Northern Virginia. He received his parole there.

A full list of battles the regiment fought in include:

  • 1862: Malvern Hill, Rappahannock Station, 2nd Manassas (Bull Run), South Mountain, Sharpsburg (Antietam)
  • 1863: Siege of Jackson, Charleston Harbor
  • 1864: Bermuda Hundred, Siege of Petersburg, The Crater
  • 1865: Fort Stedman, Five Forks, Appomattox Court House

More on Baxter Quinton

He married Elizabeth Hudson, a direct descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. They had several children including William Baxter Quinton, my great-grandfather.

E. Baxter Quinton died on August 21 in 1899 in Chester County.

Maryland’s Crossland Banner

Crossland bannerThe Maryland state flag‘s alternating quadrants consist of imagery from the Coats of Arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. William Cooke has blogged extensively about Maryland flags and banners, including the Crossland banner.

The Maryland state flag is one of only four state flags that doesn’t contain the color blue. It’s also the only one based on English heraldry.

At left is the Crossland Banner. You can purchase your own Crossland banner here.

The two symbols were first put together in 1648 by the second Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert.

Here’s what Wikipedia notes about historical usage of the Crossland banner:

The red and white colored arms of the Crossland family, which belonged to the family of Calvert’s (Lord Baltimore’s) paternal grandmother, gained popularity during the American Civil War, during which Maryland remained with the Union despite a large proportion of the citizenry’s support for the Confederacy, especially in the central City of Baltimore and the counties of the southern part of the state and the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Those Marylanders who supported the Confederacy, many of whom fought in the Army of Northern Virginia of General Robert E. Lee, adopted the Crossland banner, which was red and white with the bottony (trefoil) cross (seen as “secession colors”) and often used a metal bottony cross pinned to their gray uniforms or caps (kepis). The black and gold (yellow) colors with the chevron design of the Calvert familywere used in the flags and devices and uniform pins of the Union Army regiments in the northern Army of the Potomac.

After the war, Marylanders who had fought on either side of the conflict returned to their state in need of reconciliation. The present design, which incorporates both of the coats of arms used by George Calvert, began appearing.

The current state flag with both the Crossland and Calvert heraldry include was first flown publicly in 1880 at a parade honoring the sesquicentennial of Baltimore. It was also flown in 1888 at ceremonies marking the erection of monuments at Gettysburg honoring the Union regiments from Maryland who fought there. The new state flag was officially adopted in 1904.

More on the Crossland banner

More from Cooke:

It is interesting to point out that the Crossland Banner has not attracted the negative attention that other Confederate flags have. I believe that this is because the design was created centuries before the Civil War and should not even be considered a Confederate flag, on its own. Rather it was just one symbol that Confederates in Maryland adopted. Hate groups have not used the Crossland Banner, thankfully. Flying the Crossland is not seen as controversial as it has such a rich history and has a prominent place on our State flag. Indeed, ultra-liberal Howard County, uses the Crossland Banner on their county flag.

Don’t forget to purchase your own banner here.

MD students miss school for union convention

unionThanks to a teachers’ union convention at the beach in Ocean City, students in 19 of Maryland’s 24 school districts will get a day off from school on October 21, 2016.

The only 5 districts whose students will attend school that day are Allegany, Charles, Garrett, Howard, and Montgomery counties.

Allegany lists the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) convention on their online calendar but it doesn’t appear to be a day off based on the rest of the days off on their calendar. Montgomery County students are attending school that day for the first time in recent history. Until this year, it was always a day off for both teachers and students.

Of the 19 school districts where students won’t attend that day, only 8 of them will have professional development days while 11 are closed completely. 7 of the 19 didn’t even disclose that the day off or the professional development day was related to the MSEA convention.

School board members, administrators, and even the MSEA have also opposed a recent policy enacted by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and long championed by State Comptroller Peter Franchot, which would mandate that public schools being their academic calendar after Labor Day every year. A recent Goucher College poll showed that 67% of Marylanders support this policy.

One of the arguments against the Hogan plan was that there wouldn’t be enough time after Labor Day to fit all 180 days in the classroom in before the June 15 end date included in the new policy.

Districts also want the power to set their own schedules and the teachers’ union and other unions are involved in that process as well. The school board members all want the MSEA endorsement so they can add the Teacher Approved line to campaign literature and signs.

In other words, the union and school districts are complicit in taking children out of the classroom so MSEA members can head to the beach for their convention.

More on the Maryland teachers’ union convention

I took a look at the convention website with the agenda and the schedule of workshops.

One workshop of note:

Social Justice Teaching: Weaving Social Justice Themes into Curriculum and Empowering Students

This interactive workshop will show how one world language teacher weaves issues of social justice, human and civil rights, race relations, inequality, and social consciousness into traditional units of language study. The presenter will also discuss how she integrates language acquisition skills in authentic ways into social justice lessons and units while still addressing the demands of the obligatory curriculum. Participants will explore opportunities to weave social justice themes/lessons into their own content areas. They will also examine how to develop students’ social justice consciousness and empower them to take social action.  Room 203

Presenter: Erika Strauss Chavarria is a high school Spanish teacher and member of the NEA Discipline and School-to-Prison Pipeline and MSEA Human and Civil Rights committees. She is a board member of the Howard County Education Association (HCEA), chair of the HCEA Organizing Committee, and member of the  Minority Affairs, and Government Relations committees.

In 2014, Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland wrote about teachers receiving paid professional development days to attend the MSEA convention. He noted that year there was a workshop on union organizing ahead of that year’s election:

How Do We Get What We Want? Organize!

Join us for this special session on organizing successfully in your building and local, whether the issue is professional, political, or your principal. This highly interactive session will be led by NEA organizing guru Floyd Cox, and will begin Friday at 1 p.m. in the Bayfront Ballroom. You won’t want to miss it!

It’s a concern that students are missing classroom time so teachers, in some cases who are paid for the day, can attend a union convention.