As of this weekend, Chick-fil-A is no longer the latest commercial interest roiled by an attempt to disengage from the culture wars.
That honor has shifted to Lynyrd Skynyrd, now in its 42 year as the South’s premier rock band.
Earlier this month, in a CNN interview touting the band’s latest album, “Last of a Dyin’ Breed,” guitarist Gary Rossington – the group’s sole original member – explained why band members had distanced themselves from the Confederate battle emblem that had once been so identified with their performances. Said Rossington:
”It became such an issue, you know, about race and stuff, where – we just had it in the beginning as we were Southern, and that was our image back in the ‘70s, late ‘60s. They branded us as being from the South, so we showed that.
“But I think through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads and people have kind of kidnapped the Dixie or rebel flag from the Southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers, you know. That’s what it was about.
“They kind of made it look bad, in certain ways. We didn’t want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things.”
“We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights.
We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost. We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag as well, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans.
“I only stated my opinion that the [C]onfederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate…”
You think that Kasim Reed’s Sunday description of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a “bad NASCAR driver” was an impromptu product of the Atlanta mayor’s imagination? Consider this from Politicalusa.com:
According to a new Zogby Poll the wheels are close to coming off the Romney campaign. President Obama leads Mitt Romney among NASCAR fans, 48%-41%.
China appears to be then chosen topic of the day at the highest political levels. In a new TV ad, the GOP campaign of presidential nominee Mitt Romney claims:
“China is stealing American ideas and technology, everything from computers to fighter jets. Seven times Obama could have taken action. Seven times he said no. His policies cost us two million jobs. Obama had years to stand up to China. We can’t afford four more.”
No doubt attempting to pre-empt the attack, the Democratic re-election campaign of Barack Obama issued a memo on Romney’s 2011 tax returns, which includes this:
One of the many shocking revelations… was that he invested more than $75,000 in shares of Cnooc Limited, the Chinese state-owned oil company. It wasn’t until Romney decided that he was going to start talking tough on China in the context of his presidential campaign that he dumped the shares.
Kate McKinnon, a new cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” did a more than passable turn this weekend as Ann Romney, defending her husband against GOP back-biters:
In a surprising article marking the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the liberal website Daily Kos listed the movement’s “seven sins.” Among them was “wacko contamination:”
Well-meaning people from many backgrounds joined Occupy, hoping to lend their voices to a genuine people’s movement. Some of them suffer from psychiatric disorders that often lead to marginalization. Unfortunately, Occupy did not marginalize them as well. This means that folks obviously and transparently unable to behave appropriately in community were given the floor for misbehavior ranging from self-centered ramblings to physical violence. Repeatedly.
Speaking of life on the streets: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today is to unveil his own anti-panhandling ordinance – after vetoing one recently passed by the City Council.
While on his most recent “Meet the Press” visit to Washington, Reed was asked by Daniel Malloy, the AJC’s man in D.C., why he didn’t work with council members to help them avoid his rejection. Reed’s reply indicates that he wants to bring state Capitol sensibilities to City Hall:
”I respect legislators. I was one for 11 years. If I were moving a bill, I would go speak to the governor’s office, the Speaker and the lieutenant governor. It’s not the reverse. So I don’t know where other folks got their legislative training.
“The legislative training I received said that if you’re carrying an item that has to be implemented by the executive branch, you may be the one that has a conversation with the executive branch. I have never seen in my time the executive branch monitoring what legislators are doing. I respect the legislative process. I think that they bring tremendous wisdom and value, but I review their issues as they come to me.”
According to Georgia Tipsheet, 12th District congressional candidate Lee Anderson told supporters on Saturday that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will drop into Georgia on Oct. 15 to help him in his bid to oust Democratic incumbent John Barrow of Augusta.
Two other members of House GOP leadership, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, are also expected next month.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a claim by former secretary of state Karen Handel, made in her new book, that “Obamacare will provide coverage for abortions, despite the president’s commitment that it would not.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider