SWEET DEMON ALABAMA: “Inconvenient facts are ignored!”


Part 2—Alabama’s 28 counties:
In this morning’s New York Times, David Brooks bashes the pseudo-conservative world’s revolution of the saints.

This ongoing, sputtering revolution features “elected leaders of jaw-dropping incompetence,” Brooks incomparably says. He lists the values and practices which took hold when these saints came to power:

“Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity,” Brooks writes. Also this: “Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored.”

Inconvenient facts are ignored! We thought of our own tribe’s most recent jihad, the one involving driver’s licenses in darkest Alabam’.

Our own saints have been pushing this jihad for about two weeks now. As our most saintly have told the tale, quite a few elementary facts have been ignored, disappeared.

You may know the outline of the claim. Late last month, as part of a budget cutback, Alabama announced it was closing 31 locations which conducted driver’s license tests, sometimes on a one day per week schedule.

These 31 locations were found in thirty of Alabama’s 67 counties. As a result of these closings, 28 counties lost their only site where a driver’s license could be obtained.

(Renewals can still be done in all counties. These closing only involve the initial acquisition of a license.)

Our saints understood what this meant. Alabama now requires photo ID to vote. Therefore, these closings must be an attempt to keep black Alabamians from being able to vote.

Our saints proceeded to cherry-pick certain counties to tell us about. This is part of what Rachel told us:
MADDOW (10/2/15): But here’s where it gets amazing. Here’s where the stories come together, because at the top of the short official state IDs Alabama will accept at the polls, top of the list is a driver’s license. And, of course, the state just made it harder to get a driver’s license. But they didn’t make it equally harder to get for everyone.

Of the 28 counties losing the place in that county where you get a driver’s license, half of them are in the Alabama Black Belt. Half!

Look at this. Of the counties in that state where three-quarters of the registered voters are black, every single one of those counties—every single one of them—is losing the place where you can get a driver’s license that would let you vote in Alabama!

Every one of the counties which is more than 75 percent black!
On a technical basis, Rachel was flirting with plagiarism as she presented that work. Beyond that, her full presentation was grossly misleading, in various ways, as we’ll detail tomorrow.

For today, let’s just say this: In the 2010 census, there were only two counties in Alabama which were more than three-quarters black by population. And it's true:

Every one of those (two) counties had its location closed!

In fairness, there may be three such counties, depending on how Rachel’s source was counting. Meanwhile:

“Of the 28 counties losing the place in that county where you get a driver’s license, half of them are in the Alabama Black Belt?” Tomorrow, we’ll show you how badly Rachel had to stretch to make that fervent statement.

(Hint: Most of the Black Belt counties to which she refers are not majority black. We’ll guess her staff didn’t know that.)

Rachel was picking and choosing her facts to create a preferred impression. Rather, her source had picked and chosen his facts. Her staff had then cut and pasted.

Having said that, how about the overall population of those 28 counties—the 28 counties which are losing their driver’s license locations?

Over the weekend, we made our analysts do the work which Rachel’s staff skipped or ignored. And uh-oh! Here’s what they learned about those 28 counties:

In the 2010 census, Alabama’s statewide population was 67.0% white, 26.2% black. And uh-oh! In that same census, the population of those 28 inconvenienced counties was, according to our best arithmetic, 28.2% black!

Given those numbers, does it still look like black Alabamians were targeted in these closings? Should Rachel have mentioned those numbers as she stirred our souls?

Should Rachel have given us those ignored facts? Below, you see the eight biggest counties which lost their only driver’s license location last month. Remember—as a whole, Alabama is 67.0% white:
The eight biggest counties which lost their locations
Lauderdale County: 86.4% white
Lawrence County: 77.6% white
Chambers County: 58.8% white
Franklin County: 83.0% white
Geneva County: 86.3% white
Cherokee County: 92.7% white
Winston County: 97.3% white
Bibb County: 75.8% white
For the record, those eight counties contain almost exactly half the population of the 28 affected counties. Does it still look like this was a plot to target the state’s black voters?

Please note: We’re not saying it was a good idea to close those 31 locations. Unfamiliar as we are with Alabama’s budget, we have no particular view about that.

Also note: As far as we know, there was no good reason for Alabama to require photo ID for voters in the first place. That said, the current jihad doesn’t concern that decision, which was made in 2013. The current jihad concerns the claim that last month’s closings were an attempt to target black Alabamians, to make it harder for black Alabamians to vote.

That claim becomes much harder to sustain when you allow yourself a full range of facts. Perhaps for that reason, “inconvenient facts were ignored” to an embarrassing extent when our tribe’s most fervent saints gave us our latest story.

In her full presentation, Maddow cherry-picked certain facts. She “ignored” quite a few others.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll look at her full presentation. For today, consider something the New York Times did.

On Saturday morning, the Times did its first news report about this exciting new jihad. Just a guess:

The Times understood the relative weakness of our tribe’s latest claim—it just didn’t want to say so! We got that impression as we observed the murky way reporter Campbell Robertson conveyed, or possibly failed to convey, another basic fact:

Alas! In every county in Alabama, a citizen can still obtain a free voter ID card. There is no charge for that photo ID. You can get one in every county.

As far as we know, there’s no good reason why Alabama chose to require a photo ID in the first place. But an Alabamian doesn’t need a driver’s license in order to vote. He or she can obtain a free voter ID right there in his or her home county.

That fact is part of this story too. Rachel never mentioned that fact as she stirred the souls of our own tribe’s saints.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at Rachel's fuller presentation—at the many facts she chose to ignore, at the cherry-picked and misleading facts she chose to convey. Eventually, we'll consider the way the New York Times conveyed, or failed to convey, that additional fact about free voter ID.

As our saints have told and retold this story, the misrepresentations have only gotten worse. This morning, Brooks correctly trashes this sort of behavior when done by the other tribe.

Tomorrow: Horrible all the way down

Adding to our facts: Today, we’ve added to our collection of basic facts. We’ve cited a few “inconvenient facts” which have largely been “ignored.”

Let’s review, working from the 2010 census:

As a state, Alabama was 67.0% white, 26.2 percent black. According to our best arithmetic, the population of the 28 counties which just lost their driver’s license location was 28.2% black.

You can learn to love Alabama’s counties too! To find all the data we are using, start here, scroll down, click on.

Which 28 counties lost their locations? To review Kyle Whitmire's map,
you can just click here.


  1. Closing driver license offices in the Black Belt is not the same as closing offices somewhere in the suburbs. It is not.

    The Black Belt is a place where life is hard, where every measurable statistic – health care and life expectancy, education, income and opportunity – is more similar to a developing nation than the United States as a whole. It is a place too often forgotten by its own state and its own people, where a simple trip to the store can last hours. It is a place where transportation is hard to come by, where every aspect of life is touched by poverty, and isolation, and the past.

    For Alabama to ignore that is to ignore its own history, and its own mistakes.

    Yes, state officials can rightly say free voter IDs are available – as long as voters show up at the registrar's office, jump through the hoops and swear under penalty of law that they have no other forms of ID. And that might make them feel better.

    And yes, state officials can rightly say offices are closing across Alabama, in predominately white areas as well as predominately black ones. And that might make them feel better too.

    But it's not the same. To pretend closing a driver license office in Bay Minette is the same as closing one in Marion is to demonstrate ignorance of Alabama history and geography, and indifference to the different challenges and circumstances of its people.

    One can certainly make an economic argument to close offices in this area.

    It is simply not enough. Not here, where people died at the hands of those wearing the uniform of this state. For nothing but the right to vote.

    This is not the place that should be punished simply because the Legislature does not care if state services are funded or not.

    1. How does any if this justify omission of relevant facts by those reporting on this situation?

      If you condone manipulation of facts to obtain a particular reader conclusion, you turn reporting into propaganda.

    2. Would not the appropriate progressive response be to deplore the state making it hard for everyone (white and black) to get a driver's license when it is the preferred method to prove citizenship to vote, and then point out that this burden (difficulty in obtaining a drivers license) falls disproportionately on the poor (of all colors) and will likely affect their ability to vote, due to the unnecessary changes in the voting rules. This type of criticism (in my opinion) would be much more effective than accusing the Alabama government of being racist.

    3. @2:43

      Your analysis is utter woo.

    4. The comment @ 10:33 is a portion of a column written by the "local source" of Maddow's who Bob has yet to name. He loves to demonize Alabama so much he went to college there and has spent his entire professional life covering the state.

      Bob has also yet to name the pol who invoked the ghost of Jim Crow.

      So @ 12:03 go dry your ears when your head pops out of Bob's keister. And if you read more about this than Bob has had to say, you will find out Somerby left out a lot more
      relevant facts and picked more cherries than those he accuses others of ignoring or picking.

      Your Saint is, as his fans often point out, not a journalist. He's a wannabe who acts just like the worst of them.

    5. @ 3:37

      Manila (AFP) - The Philippines' leading fast-food giant Jollibee Foods announced on Tuesday it had acquired 40 percent of an upmarket US hamburger chain for $99 million.

      Jollibee said in a statement it was acquiring part of Denver-based Smashburger, which has 339 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and South America.

  2. An intelligent man first regards anything coming from the prog left these days as a lie, until proven otherwise.

    1. See, this is why Bob keeps complaining about progressive journalists, instead of just bashing at the conservatives. When progressives play the same bend-the-truth games that Fox News champions, it just gets harder to make factual points. The general public has no idea who is telling the truth if both sides feel free to lie to their faces.

    2. I just want my kids back.

    3. @ 12:09

      This may be an epiphany for you, but liberal media has been playing Gumby with the truth for over 50 years.

      BTW: Journalists are not supposed to have a political ideology. That you believe they not only should report through a political prism, but that prism better be a liberal one, is why you wouldn't know the truth if it barfed over your head.

    4. The media, the only industry where the owners let the workers make all the decisions. The one corporations could use as an awesome propaganda tool, if only they knew how to marginalize the workers. Poor, stupid corporations. They'll never win.
      That's cicero's story and he's sticking with it no matter how insanely stupid it is.

    5. @ 3:54

      Manila (AFP) - The Philippines' leading fast-food giant Jollibee Foods announced on Tuesday it had acquired 40 percent of an upmarket US hamburger chain for $99 million.

      Jollibee said in a statement it was acquiring part of Denver-based Smashburger, which has 339 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and South America.

  3. CNN's Anderson Cooper not interested in setting Dems against each other the way Jake Tapper did with GOP debate. Andy just wants the candidates to state their talking points without challenge or srutiny.

    "Look, these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that." A.C.

    Apparently Andy doesn't comprehend the difference between an actual debate between candidates who have to defend their positions and CNN hosting a Dem Party infomerical. But Andy is a very serious person .........except when he laughs.


    1. Manila (AFP) - The Philippines' leading fast-food giant Jollibee Foods announced on Tuesday it had acquired 40 percent of an upmarket US hamburger chain for $99 million.

      Jollibee said in a statement it was acquiring part of Denver-based Smashburger, which has 339 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and South America.

  4. When it comes to investigative committees, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi is a fraud, fraud, fraud.

    1. @1:35

      The fraud being perpetrated by HRC.

      The Committee turned up HRC's private server. While POTUS Obama and his minions knew all about this, even though Obama denies it, it was news to the rest of America.

      HRC's latest email discovery regarding Benghazi reveals her extensive communications with Sydney Blumenthal and included classified info, the name of a CIA agent. Blumenthal pushed for action in Libya that would benefit his clients.


      Associated Press has confirmed that her main server was the target of repeated cyberattacks from China, South Korea and Germany

    2. Ha ha ha .

      Let me guess, you're against big government tyranny and financially wasteful government.

      "$1.8 Million: Approximate cost of the Benghazi Select Committee in 2014. $2.5 Million: Approximate cost of the Benghazi Select Committee in its first 10 months. $6 Million: Estimated minimum cost of the Benghazi Select Committee investigation at its current rate."

    3. @ 3:36

      Manila (AFP) - The Philippines' leading fast-food giant Jollibee Foods announced on Tuesday it had acquired 40 percent of an upmarket US hamburger chain for $99 million.

      Jollibee said in a statement it was acquiring part of Denver-based Smashburger, which has 339 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and South America.

  5. Here's the real inconvenient fact about Alabama's voter ID law: It's unnecessary.

  6. My ex husband and I have been divorced now for two years. He remarried one year ago. Last year him and I were still talking, he was engaged at the time and I didn't know. We were meeting each other at the park, talking, emailing, and went out to dinner one time. The entire time he told me I was the love of his life and that he didn't love this woman he is now married to. Of course my response to him was that he was also the love of my life as well. I was the one that asked for the divorce, and it was the biggest mistake of my life. This man is the only man I've ever truly loved and I am unable to love another man. When his fiance found out we were talking she broke all communication..Changed his phone number, deleted his email account etc. I've had no way of contacting him and I also have changed my number so he doesn't have anyway of contacting me either. I feel desperate, I feel like a crazy person because I can't stop these racing thoughts that control my life every single day. I just need to know how he feels. The very last time we talked he told me he could never love another woman again, and now he's married. What do I do? I cry myself to sleep every night. I can't listen to music, I'm afraid to go places for fear I'll see him with her. And when I do go to various places I think of him...Everything reminds me of us. I just want him back, he's my everything!! I love him so much!!!, i never wanted to check the internet for spell casters because i believed that they are all scam, but a child hood friend of mine told me to give it a try and contact a spell caster which i did, i contacted Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack and was doubting his powers, because he assured me not to worry about anything that all will be well, he did the spell for me and now my ex husband is back in my life and our marriage is saved with the help of chief nwaluta, here is his email if you are going through cases like this { Nwalutaspelltemple@gmail.com }. Thank you chief i really appreciate.

  7. 5 years ago I had warts, I was treated with some liquid applied to the warts they continued to grow and spread... The next 2 doctors did laser surgery to remove them. 1 year after the surgery, they grew back close to where the 1st ones were' so I was finally told it was hpv. I have had it for very long time, I contract it from my cheated boyfriend and I found out he was also infected and I end up the relationship between us. the warts was so embarrasses because it started spreading all over I have be dealing with this things for very long time the last treatment I take was About 2 years ago I applied natural treatment from Dr onokun herbal cure, a week after applying the treatment all the warts was gone. it's now 2 years and some months I don't have single wart or any symptoms of hpv. wow"" it's great, Dr onokun has finally cured me. Anyone living with hpv contact Dr onokun for natural treatment.
    His email address: dronokunherbalcure@gmail.com