The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What If Bill Clinton...

...was found to have been holding fundraisers at a strip club in Vegas? Why, that would be perfectly okay because it was really just "burlesque" and there was "no nudity."


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Freedmen Decision

The DC Court of Appeals has ruled that the Cherokee Nation cannot be sued without its consent. However, the decision leaves open the possibility that individual tribal officials can be sued for violating the 1866 Treaty. Discussion of the issue at John Cornsilk's Place. Links to the briefs at Turtle Talk.
Based on a very limited analysis of the decision, it seems to me that if the trial court (which, remember, ruled that CN had waived sovereign immunity) allows suit against the Principal Chief and the Tribal Council individually, then not much will have changed, though I'm curious as to what the Freedmen's remedy would be if they prevail under those conditions.

UPDATE: More on the story from Indian Country Today.

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News Round-Up

Stupidity on Parade

  1. Republicans call for appointing Fox to guard Henhouse;
  2. Toby Keith has his pudgy finger on the pulse of "the Black Society";
  3. That little popping sound you heard? That was the last little bit of John McCain's soul dying;
  4. Turns out I was right. Who'da thunkit?
  5. Something else we're importing from China.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today in History...

..the "forgotten war" in Korea ends with an armistice that remains in effect 55 years later (1953)


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Column for 27 July, 2008

“Be strong and be courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.”
--Joshua 1:6

It is rapidly becoming evident that John McCain is the albatross leading the GOP to what may well be a historic electoral whooping, in spite of the obsequious fawning of the Mainstream Media, which grants him a pass on every misstatement or flat-out lie. When McCain confused Sunnis and Shiites (several times), when he falsely stated that Hurricane Katrina spilled “not one drop” of oil, when he claimed the so-called “Anbar Awakening” was the result of the Surge (it actually began half a year before the Surge), when he forgot that the “Iraq-Pakistan border” is called Iran; in every instance, the supposedly liberal media scurried to cover McCain’s back. CBS even edited its own footage of McCain to cover his Anbar gaffe. To some extent, this media boot-licking is a function of the “man bites dog” meme; to the media, an election isn’t newsworthy unless it’s a horse race. Recent state-by-state polls have given Obama 300+ electoral votes, but the coverage is all about “voter doubts” over Obama. Additionally, the Mainstream Media remains cowed by a systematic and highly successful twenty-five year long conservative campaign to vilify them as “biased liberal elitists.” McCain has tried recently to plug into that tired trope, grousing that the media is spending too much time covering Obama’s triumphal tour through Europe and the Middle East, even though the only reason Obama went in the first place was because McCain taunted him for not going to Iraq. In fact, the Obama World Tour couldn’t have been worse for McCain; first President Bush endorses a “time horizon” for withdrawing troops, thereby undercutting McCain’s position of slavish devotion to a never-ending war, then the wily Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki publicly supports Obama’s plan for a 16 month withdrawal. Obama looked like a world leader and his erstwhile opponent was left to grumble, “It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.” Clearly, the Straight Talk Express is running on flat tires; while the Obama campaign is confidently opening twenty campaign offices in Virginia, Republican congressional candidates like Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) are reduced to lamely claiming that they are Obama’s pals. And, sadly, Republicans are now adopting what may be the most annoying tendency of liberals: thin-skinned whining. Republicans in 2004 openly derided John Kerry’s war record, even mocking the Purple Heart on the floor of their National Convention. Just the other day, I saw one of those “Hanoi John Kerry” bumper stickers on the car of someone who clearly hasn’t read the news in the last eight years. Yet when Wesley Clark, after fulsomely praising McCain as a war hero, made the rather obvious remark that being a war hero doesn’t automatically qualify someone to be president, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Right Wing Howler Monkey Media Chorus that he had smeared all veterans and denigrated McCain. Of course, Obama is susceptible too; the better response to that tacky New Yorker cartoon would’ve been silence or better yet humor. And moving some Muslim women out of the background for a campaign photo was clumsy and stupid; at least he had the good taste to apologize for that one. You cannot help but wonder what’s going on with McCain; he nearly unseated the clear establishment candidate, George W. Bush, in 2000, and he brought his 2008 campaign literally back from the brink of catastrophe. Having secured the nomination, however, it’s been nothing but gaffes, missteps and flailing ever since. Part of it, of course, is beyond McCain’s control. The Republican brand is hopelessly tarnished after years of corruption and incompetence. It is worth noting that despite Congress’ overall single-digit approval ratings, Democrats lead the generic ballot by a staggering 15 percentage points, with the possibility of 239 House members and just shy of 60 Senators. In order to secure the nomination, McCain had to graft himself to a President only slightly more popular than Bird Flu and a war the public has long since wearied of. Still, McCain is also suffering from several self-inflicted wounds. He surrounded himself with troglodytes like Phil Gramm, only to be embarrassed when the Mouth That Roared acted like, well, like Phil Gramm. As the suburban middle class (who will decide this election) grows more and more anxious, calling them “whiners” and having your nominee admit that he doesn’t know much about economics is probably not a very effective strategy. McCain likewise eagerly sought the endorsement of loathsome tele-Pharisees like John Hagee and Rod Paisley, only to backtrack when some of their more repulsive utterances surfaced (finally) in the wake of Obama’s Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle. The ever-shrinking Republican base seems singularly unexcited; on an anecdotal level, I have to meet a Republican who even likes John McCain, much less is committed to his victory. I’m not yet prepared to make hotel reservations for the Obama Inauguration (assuming, of course, I even get invited), but more and more, slowly but surely, the question of this campaign is becoming not whether Obama will win but by how much.


Thursday, July 24, 2008


First al-Maliki now McCain? How desperate is your campaign when your friends are trying to claim your Iraq policy is almost kinda like your opponent's?

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A Little Good News

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) has introduced a bill to address the epidemic of white-on-Indian crime in Indian Country. While far short of a full restoration of sovereignty, it does strengthen the power of tribal courts and tribal police and force some measure of accountability on the Department of Justice. It's a good start, but Congress needs to go further and repeal the odious Major Crimes Act outright and explicate overturn the Oliphant decision (which they can do since the case was based on a transparently false reading of Congressional intent or rather the lack thereof).

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Because You're Paranoid...

That whole domestic spying thing? The one where Congress just totally abjectly caved to the White House? Yeah, turns out it's worse than we thought. Way worse. Senator Obama, is this "egregious" enough for you?

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Monday, July 21, 2008

John McCain's Latest Super-power?

Telepathy. Or arrogant neo-colonialist condescension. Whichever.
Though not, evidently, precognition. Or memory. Or consistency. Or whatever.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Winning" the War

How to keep the disaster in Iraq from destroying the GOP? Can't let Obama in the White House; Lord knows what he might find if he goes snooping around. I have it!

  1. Announce a "time horizon" for pulling out troops. That's vague enough it sounds like something Steven Hawking would come up with. Plus, when you think about it, you can never really reach the horizon, now can you?
  2. Next, trot out a general to dutifully claim with a straight face that "time horizons" = democracy, sunshine, ponies & gumdrops whereas "time lines" = surrender;
  3. Wait, crap! That nitwit al-Maliki told some German magazine he wants us out in 16 months!
  4. Okay, plan B: bomb Iran.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

News Round-Up

  1. MSM still pimping for McCain, or at least the "OMFG!1! Teh race is close!!" meme;
  2. Bush decides to totally bend the knee to the Mooslum hordes;
  3. Attorney-client privilege, schmivilege! Welcome to Texas!
  4. Start countdown for Tele-Pharisees to shift argument from "evil unelected librul judges" to "Californication will fall off into the ocean!"
  5. "America has the greatest health care delivery system in teh world!"


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why This Election Matters...

...George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain all believe that the President of the United States can arrest US Citizens on US soil and lock them up forever without charges, a trial or a lawyer, solely on the President's say-so and that this decision can never be limited by Congress or reviewed by the Courts.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today in History...

  1. The Prophet Muhammad begins his Hijra from Mecca to Medina (622);
  2. First Franciscan Mission established in what is now California (1769);
  3. Duwali (Chief Bowles), the eighty-year-old leader of a band of Cherokee and other affiliated tribes, is run down and killed by Texas Militia acting on orders of President Mirabeau Lamar, who despises the Cherokee as Sam Houston's "pet Indians" (1839);
  4. Trinity, the first successful detonation of an atomic bomb, occurs at Alamogordo, New Mexico (1945);
  5. Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq (1979)


Monday, July 14, 2008

MSM Coddles McCain!

Film at eleven! Also, gravity still makes things fall when you drop them!

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I'll be out of town next week (and off the grid), so talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: Barack Obama is neither as liberal nor John McCain as moderate as the MSM would have you believe. Discuss!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Conservative Hypocrisy Watch

Attacking decorated, wounded Vietnam War hero John Kerry and mocking the Order of the Purple Heart on the floor of the Republican National Convention?

Hey, them's just politics.

Mildly suggesting that being a decorated, wounded Vietnam War hero does not automatically qualify John McCain to be President?

It's. A. Moral. Outrage! Wailing! Gnashing of teeth!