The Jolt: Why Killer Mike is fascinated with an ‘X-Men’ villain

Killer Mike at The Swag Shop in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

A fascinating New York Times podcast interview with Michael “Killer Mike” Render, the rapper and political activist from metro Atlanta’s south side, begins with a discussion of comic books. “The X-Men” in particular.

The “X-Men” populates the world with mutant humans, who are often discriminated against but have super powers that can be used for good – or not. Professor X is the hero. But as he grew up, Killer Mike considered that Magneto, the villain with a Holocaust background, had a worthwhile point of view:

“As I got older, I began to understand and sympathize and empathize with Magneto’s side more -- even though as a kid, I was very enthralled by Professor X and his ambitions. I had to understand that in the real world, the brutal reality is that oftentimes the people who have been victimized have to be more aggressive in not being victimized.”

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The best line from Kara Swisher, his interviewer:

Borrowing from Walt Whitman, he is large, he contains multitudes, and he happily contradicts himself. Killer Mike is a capitalist who backed Bernie Sanders' socialist campaign. And after he endorsed Stacey Abrams in her run for Georgia Governor, Killer Mike welcomed the Republican Brian Kemp, who many say stole her seat, to get a haircut and a photo op at his barber shop.

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Another day, another poll: This one from the University of Georgia shows U.S. Sen. David Perdue, a Republican, with an eight-point advantage over Democrat Jon Ossoff -- a larger gap than we’ve seen in recent polls.

They’ve also got a statistical tie between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and the Rev. Raphael Warnock at 27%, ahead of Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins. The two Republicans are locked up with 22% a piece.

The important piece here is the weighting -- factoring for more GOP voters than the last UGA poll accounted for. The survey assumes a voting pool that is 49% GOP, 41% Democratic, and 9% independent.

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Your must-read of the day, from our AJC colleagues Chris Joyner and Nick Thieme, on the use of surplus military weaponry by Georgia law enforcement agencies, financed by a 30-year-old federal initiative:

A new AJC analysis of a decade of records across 651 Georgia police departments and sheriff’s offices found departments that took more than $1,000 in 1033 money, on average, fatally shot about four times as many people as those that didn’t. The newspaper’s analysis used the military’s database and paired it with a database of fatal police shootings from across the state, controlling for statistical variables like community income, rural-urban differences, racial makeup, and violent crime rates.

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You’re going to hear much more about this as we get closer to Nov. 3, but his morning, Politico has a look at the poll-monitoring operation that President Donald Trump’s re-election is putting together:

[T]he campaign has established what it says is a 50,000-plus army of volunteer observers across an array of battleground states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where operations are already underway.

Poll watchers monitor everything from voting machines to the processing of ballots to checking voter identification. They are not permitted to interact directly with voters but, depending on local regulations, they can relay problems to local election officials or campaign higher-ups.

The Trump deployment is the culmination of months of detailed planning, aggressive volunteer recruitment, and reconnaissance trips to key states. President Donald Trump has been personally briefed on the program, which is overseen by nearly two dozen full time staffers.

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And yes, this Trump effort is already underway in Georgia.

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who’s in charge of Georgia’s election operation, has apparently already begun his 2022 re-election campaign. A tipster sent us a copy of a text seeking donations, sent out on Raffensperger’s behalf last night. The message:

"Our liberties are now at risk. ANTIFA is rioting in American streets and Stacey Abrams is actively trying to influence our elections. Will you join Brad in his fight to protect Georgia’s election security and STOP Abrams and her extremist allies?

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Give credit where credit’s due, said state GOP chair David Shafer in a Tweet yesterday, after law enforcement busted a right-wing militia plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Grethchen Whitmer.

Whitmer, who has criticized President Trump over his handling of the coronavirus, on Thursday publicly blamed Trump’s rhetoric for inspiring the attempted coup. But Shaefer said she “should be grateful to the @realDonaldTrump Administration for foiling the plot to kidnap her,” tagging POTUS on Twitter for good measure.

Whitmer did thank local FBI agents and U.S. attorneys for busting up the plot.

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Two left-leaning organizations are airing ads targeting invasive gynecological procedures at an ICE-contracted facility in Georgia they later learned might have been unnecessary.

A five figure-ad campaign by the Higher Heights Political Fund and NARAL Freedom Fund airs on Christian radio starting Friday featuring a speaker who identifies herself as Kendra. The script:

“I’m a Georgian and a Christian, and I know that some things are fundamental: Politicians should never take away our ability to have children, without our consent. Ever. So recent news is disturbing – and all too familiar.”

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Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is under pressure from Republicans to distance himself from Cal Cunningham, the North Carolina Senate candidate who has apologized for carrying on an affair with a campaign consultant after saucy texts between the two emerged.

Ossoff’s campaign apparently participated in a Thursday evening fundraiser hosted by Give Green that benefited several Senate contenders, including Cunningham.

Georgia GOP executive director Stewart Bragg said ties to Cunningham raise “serious questions” about Ossoff, who is challenging U.S. Sen. David Perdue, and called on him to cancel a separate fundraiser planned for Saturday.

Ossoff’s campaign declined to comment.

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An Atlanta-based mortgage provider has amended its lawsuit to hold Marjorie Taylor Greene personally liable in a defamation lawsuit filed in August for claims she made in the wake of the Rayshard Brooks’s death.

The lawsuit filed in Fulton County also names Melissa Rolfe, an ex-employee of Equity Prime Mortgage, as a defendant. Her stepson, Garrett Rolfe, was charged in the officer-involved shooting of Brooks in June.

Both Greene, the Republican favorite in the 14th congressional district, and Rolfe claimed that Melissa Rolfe was fired from Equity after the stepson was charged, which Equity denies. Greene has the company’s request to apologize for comments about the matter.

Greene’s campaign committee had previously been named as a defendant, but now Equity has named Greene individually. That move puts her personal wealth into play if the court awards damages. Greene’s family owns a construction company and is worth millions.

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The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to reimburse the federal government for an August trip to North Carolina after determining that remarks during his official speech endorsing President Trump, who was in the audience, were a Hatch Act violation.

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