Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Criminalizing The Poor

Cannonfire "The Cops Are Robbers":

Do the cops profit personally from these seizures? Oh yes:

As outlandish as these facts seem, this happens every day across the country to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Under federal law and the laws of 42 states, law enforcement officials are entitled to keep most (and sometimes all) of the money and property they seize. The money goes to pay for salaries, advanced equipment and, in one Texas county, travel to Hawaii for "training."

No wonder our cops are increasingly despised by the communities they are supposed to serve.
The cops have become robbers.

Pot Firing In CO

Court mulls legality of firing for pot use off job - Houston Chronicle:

Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Koch Bought

Conflict Of Interest: George Will Again Uses His Column To Prop Up A Koch-Backed Candidate | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Weeks after appearing at a VIP dinner for the Koch brothers-backed political group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), George Will devoted his Washington Post column to promoting one of the Kochs' favored political candidates without disclosing the conflict of interest.

Last month, Politico reported on Will's attendance at a private dinner featuring an "exclusive group of major donors and VIPs" as part of AFP's Defending the American Dream summit. Despite repeated attempts by Media Matters, neither Will nor AFP would answer whether he had been paid for the appearance or compensated for his travel expenses. Will has repeatedly devoted column space in the past to promoting Koch-backed candidates and policy issues.

When the journalism group Society of Professional Journalists released its new Code of Ethics in September, the group's ethics chair cited Will's relationship with AFP -- and his refusal to disclose whether he had been paid by the group -- as the type of conflict journalists should try to avoid...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Crooked Fed

Elizabeth Warren calls for investigation of Federal Reserve - UPI.com:

"This American Life" did a program on Friday on the information obtained by Carmen Segarra from her time as a New York Fed bank examiner in 2012, where she investigated Goldman Sachs and began to notice the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was unwilling to support her allegation that the bank was missing policies regarding conflicts of interest. Now, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling for a congressional hearing to discuss corruption in the Federal Reserve Bank. She has already received support from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio."These allegations deserve a full and thorough investigation, and American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf," Brown said in a statement...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tasering Kids

10-Year Old Tasered By Police On Career Day As A Lesson | Crooks and Liars:

...The lawsuit claims police officers drove their patrol cars onto the intermediate school campus, where Webb asked a group of boys which one would like to clean his patrol unit.

R.D. raised his hand to say he did not want to clean the police officer’s car.

Webb then said, according to the lawsuit, “Let me show what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” He then “shot his Taser gun at the boy’s chest,” said the family’s attorney Shannon Kennedy of the Kennedy Law Firm of Albuquerque.

I hope the judge or jury awards the kid millions and this cop goes to jail for a very, very long time. There is no excuse -- zero -- for that kind of sadistic behavior toward a kid, or anyone else for that matter.

Religion And Climate Change

Religious faith and the science of climate change united | News:

A union that may seem strange to some has been becoming increasingly common as of late: the idea that you can hold religious faith and also acknowledge the evidence that climate change due to human intervention is occurring...

Friday, September 26, 2014

American Made

Made in America: why American Giant didn't want to build factories in China | Business | theguardian.com:

...It’s a fallacy, Winthrop says, that in order to purchase an American-made product consumers either have to sacrifice quality or put up with high prices. When he considered factories in China, “I realized I was chasing the cheapest material, the cheapest labor,” he explains to the Guardian.

With main offices in San Francisco and staff of about 23, Winthrop works with five US-based factories to make basic wear like sweatshirts, shirts and now even sweatpants. Two of the factories are based in California, three in North Carolina.

“People want to buy American made products,” says Winthrop. “Sweatshirts, particularly, are an iconic American wear and no brand had owned or done a particularly good job with it”.

North Carolina “is still a million times easier than Shenzen,” he has told reporters...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Evil Coke

Hokay, I’m done with Coke | The Confluence:

...So, you might be wondering who is in this shadowy group that is supporting the attack on women’s reproductive rights and cutting social safety net programs to the bone. The usual suspects are here. But there are also a couple of surprises:

The most elite group, known as the Statesmen, whose members donated $250,000, included Aetna; Coca-Cola; Exxon Mobil; Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying arm of the highly political Koch Industries; Microsoft; Pfizer; UnitedHealth Group; and Walmart. The $100,000 Cabinet level included Aflac, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, Shell Oil, Verizon Communications and Walgreen.

Exxon, the Koch brothers and Pfizer don’t surprise me. But Coca-Cola and Microsoft? Really??

You mean every time I drink a diet Coke or buy another annoying Word license, I am contributing the the erosion of women’s rights or depriving some kid of food stamps?

Um, that’s disgusting.

I might not be able to get around Microsoft but I can definitely cut Coke out of my life. Boycotts might be ineffective but this is a personal choice and I’m not consciously contributing to my own demise.

Thieving Bosses

Employers Steal Three Times More From Workers Than All Robberies Combined:

The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

EPI gathered figures of money recovered for victims of wage theft — which occurs when an employer has workers perform tasks off the clock or pay for their own uniforms, violating labor laws — from the Department of Labor, state labor departments, state attorneys general, and research firms. In 2012, $933 million was paid in back wages for wage theft violations, although that figure is an under-count because there were six state departments of labor and five attorneys general the organization couldn’t contact...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HS Students vs. The Idiots

This Gives Me Hope - Esquire:

...Which is why what high school students and their teachers in Colorado are doing fills me with some small degree of hope for the future. In the middle of a brawl over wages, the new conservative majority on the local school board, and Colorado conservatives who often bury the needle on wingnuttery, is trying to bring something like the philosophy behind the concept Intelligent Design to the AP American History classes there.

The school board on Thursday tabled a proposal to form a controversial new curriculum review panel. The proposed criteria call for teaching materials promoting patriotism, respect for authority and the free-market system while avoiding material that would encourage or condone "civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." "It's chilling," said school board member Lesley Dahlkemper, who typically clashes with the conservative majority. "Does it mean Jeffco will no longer study the civil rights movement, the Boston Tea Party or women's suffrage?"...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NRA Has Killed Hunting

TBogg: I was the NRA:

...I used to hunt and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the hell out of it. But I wouldn’t consider attempting it now, in an age where gun-owners lump AR-15′s in with sporting guns. Where a lousy shooter can disguise his inability to shoot with an extended clip that allows him to keep shooting until he finally hits something, anything. Where hunters feel the need for silencers for God knows what reason.

The NRA has killed off the sportsman with their neglect and replaced him with the gun nut who spends more money on more guns, not out of a desire to feed his family, but to stave off a mythical jack-booted government bogeyman coming to take away those guns. This paranoid vision of America that the NRA sells is why we have the gun violence that we have today, because no sensible gun legislation can be passed because of what the father of one of Elliott Rodger’s victims described as “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA...”

A Minor Rape Problem

GOP strategist gets scolded on Texas TV for calling rape, incest victims ‘minor issues’:

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis said this week that comments made by one of her opponent’s surrogates calling rape and incest “minor issues” prove that the Republican Party does not value women.

During a debate on Lone Star Politics, which is produced by The Dallas Morning News and KXAS, Democratic strategist Matt Angle reminded viewers that Republican candidate Greg Abbott even opposed abortion in cases of rape and incest...

ACA Getting Stronger

Obamacare Critics Just Lost Another Talking Point:

Obamacare's so-called government takeover of health care was supposed to destroy the private insurance market. Somebody forgot to tell the health insurance companies.

More health insurers are signing on to participate in Obamacare, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said during a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington...

Comment Of The Day: Climate Change Edition

The Face Of Disgrace - Esquire

Matthew Pensinger · Top Commenter

Not a story, because hippies. Also not enough 'splosions.

Now, if we could BOMB climate change somehow, or dress it up like Hitler, or figure out how to get the Clinton Guy Shocked By Blowjobs to "report" that climate change would have killed us in our beds tomorrow if we hadn't blown it up it today, anonymous national security experts tell him... well then, that'd be differ'nt.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Threatening Democrats

'Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia' plans to confront Scott Walker recall petition signers at polls : Ct:

A self-described militia group claims to be checking names on the 2012 Scott Walker recall petition and plans to confront those found to have outstanding warrants or tax defaults at the polls on Nov. 4.

"We prefer our people be armed," reads a Facebook post by Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, screen captured on a blog at Politicususa.com. "Some will be heading to some of Milwaukee, Racine, and Beloit's worst areas. We will be armed with a list of people to look for at each location."

The exchange posted on Politicususa continues:

Patrick Murray: "Just so you are aware, I will not report Republicans. Only Democrats."

Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia: "We will be targeting heavy democrat districts, so it is doubtful this will even be an issue..."

War Protests In Russia

Thousands March In Moscow Against Ukraine Fighting:

Tens of thousands of people marched through central Moscow on Sunday to demonstrate against the fighting in Ukraine and Russia's alleged complicity in the conflict...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Safety Net In Higher Ed

Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014 - Salon.com:

You’ve probably heard the old stereotypes about professors in their ivory tower lecturing about Kafka while clad in a tweed jacket. But for many professors today, the reality is quite different: being so poorly paid and treated, that they’re more likely to be found bargain-hunting at day-old bread stores. This is academia in 2014.

“The most shocking thing is that many of us don’t even earn the federal minimum wage,” said Miranda Merklein, an adjunct professor from Santa Fe who started teaching in 2008. “Our students didn’t know that professors with PhDs aren’t even earning as much as an entry-level fast food worker. We’re not calling for the $15 minimum wage. We don’t even make minimum wage. And we have no benefits and no job security...”

Maddow Irked

Rachel Maddow Is Repulsed At Congress For Taking A Bajillion Days Off While New War Is Launched:

...“Sixteen-hundred US military families have gotten the call that they've had their loved ones deployed to Iraq, they’re flying those missions right now,” Maddow said. “But Congress? Heading home for another seven week break, because they can’t be bothered to think about that right now. They’ve got more important business to tend to they’ve gotta get re-elected. Because that's the most important thing they do, right?"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Crazy In NC: We Were Sane Edition

North Carolina Exceptionalism | PoliticsNC:

...While our GDP might not have been significantly better than our neighbors, our quality of life was. Until 2012, our median income was significantly higher than all of our southern neighbors. Our poverty rate is lower and our high school graduation rate is higher. We have lower infant mortality and we live longer. From 1979 to 2007, North Carolina’s average income grew by a far greater rate than other Southern states and the income was distributed more equitably. And between 2000 and 2010 we grew significantly faster than any other Southern state besides Georgia. People were coming here because North Carolina was an attractive place to work and live, not because of low wages and low taxes, though neither were too high.
Under Republican rule, we’re starting to lose some of those advantages. Our median income is down, our poverty rate is rising and, for two years in a row, our infant mortality is up...

Friday, September 19, 2014

On The Scottish Vote

Scotland could have been like Denmark, but decides to stay with UK - Opinion - The Boston Globe:

...If the vote had gone against England, the English would have had only themselves to blame. The “Better Together” relied too much on threat, and didn’t come to grips with the emotional pull of Scottish independence, concentrating only on economic matters and the punishment they would exact...
...Over the years I saw a class element sneak into the debate. The educated and middle-class Scots trended toward keeping the union, while the poorer, working-class Scots, who saw heavy industry collapse take their jobs away, tended to prefer a role of the dice to see if their condition might not be made better by going it alone. Indeed Scotland would like a Scandinavian-style socialism, while London and the southern counties are Tory and can’t do enough for the one percent, at least in Scottish eyes... 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dems Looking Up

Dems Now Have 51% Chance Of Holding Senate Control. What Changed? | Crooks and Liars:

What you want to watch is the momentum as we draw closer to the election, because the candidates who are gaining almost invariably win. Me, I lean heavily on one other historical electoral indicator: When ordinary people bring up politics, it's gonna be a change year -- and last week, my haircutter was talking about getting her entire family out to vote:...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No Debt Relief For Students

Sentenced to Debt: Republicans Block Student Loan Refinance Bill - MainStreet:

Yesterday the Senate blocked a vote on the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinance Act, which would have let people with lingering student loans refinance them at the same rates offered to new borrowers in the past year—rates lower than on loans going back to the last decade.

“Life is about choices,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “Each of us have made a choice on education, like where we’re going to go to school and what we’re going to study. There was a choice made on the Senate Floor today, and it was a choice by Senate Republicans to ignore students across America who are struggling to make ends meet because of overwhelming amounts of student loan debt...”

Comment Of The Day: Iran Raygun Edition

Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire

Andy Koenigsberg · Top Commenter · Westborough, Massachusetts

Your assessment is spot on CP, but no one seems to remember that, or that Reagan's henchmen negotiated with the Iranians to not let the hostages go until Carter was actually out of office.

I am sure you are as flumoxed as I am that no one seems to remember that it was St. Ronnie who made the deal with the Ayatollahs and their minions. Why none of this is in the current narrative about Reagan presidency says a lot about us as a country and it's not flattering.

Crazy In NC:Tillis Riot Edition

This Republican Tried To Stop North Carolina From Apologizing For A Racist Massacre. He’d Like Your Vote, Please. | Mother Jones:

...But at the time, Tillis—who showed up in Wilmington on Tuesday with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in tow—offered another explanation for opposing the measure: Not all whites had participated in the riots. So Tillis pushed for an amendment introduced by a fellow state representative that would have added language to the bill commemorating the heroic white Republican lawmakers who had opposed the violence. "The proposed amendment would have acknowledged the historical fact that the white Republican government joined with black citizens to oppose the rioters," he argued. The amendment failed, and Tillis ended up voting no on the final version...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Palin Pugilistics, Part 3

Stretch Hummers. A bloody brawl. And Sarah Palin? - The Washington Post:

...Meanwhile, because the drama never ceases, the next night, Bristol Palin returned to her home in Wasilla to find a stalker in her driveway, who was arrested and charged with felony stalking...

Crazy In NC: Fracking Dirty Tricks Edition

Asheville Citizen-Times-"Group Challenges Pro-Fracking Support"

Homeless men unfamiliar with fracking were bused from Winston-Salem to a state hearing Friday on the controversial technique for extracting natural gas, an effort to bolster a pro-fracking turnout, according to an environmental group and a published report.

“They were clueless,” said Bettie “Betsy” Ashby, a member of the Jackson County Coalition Against Fracking. “At least two of them I met definitely came from a homeless shelter. One of them even apologized to me and said, ‘I didn’t know they were trying to
do this to me.’ One said, ‘I did it for the ...’ and then he rubbed his fingers together like ‘for the money.’”

Several of the men were wearing turquoise shirts or hats that said “Shale Yes” on the front and “Energy Creates Jobs” and “N.C. Energy Coalition.com” on the back.

The hearing about hydraulic fracturing took place at Western Carolina University and attracted about 600 people. Opposition to fracking was overwhelming in comments made during the fourhour hearing, hosted by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ripping Fox

From Bernie Sanders To Miss Piggie - Top 20 Insults Directed At Fox News | Liberals Unite

Winning The War On Poverty

The Way to Beat Poverty - NYTimes.com:

...Jessica reminded us that the greatest inequality in America is not in wealth but the even greater gap of opportunity. We had been trying to help people in Zimbabwe and Cambodia, and now we found ourselves helpless to assist one of our daughter’s best friends.

One reason the United States has not made more progress against poverty is that our interventions come too late. If there’s one overarching lesson from the past few decades of research about how to break the cycles of poverty in the United States, it’s the power of parenting — and of intervening early, ideally in the first year or two of life or even before a child is born...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Bought And Paid For: George Will Edition

George Will Promoted "Key Issue" Of Lobbying Group Two Weeks After Keynoting Its Conference | Blog | Media Matters for America:

George Will promoted a "key issue" of a lobbying group in his Washington Post column just two weeks after giving the keynote address at its conference.

Journalism ethicists have recently raised concerns about Will's ethical practices, and have urged greater transparency and disclosure in his Post columns. Will has been criticized for failing to reveal his connections to Wisconsin's conservative Bradley Foundation, and Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a massive political group backed by the industrialist Koch brothers...

Benghazi Recap Redux

Facts Media Haven't Covered From The New 13 Hours Benghazi Book | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...This disagreement was eventually politicized and inflated by media and political figures, who insisted that members of the Obama administration, or then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had ordered rescue efforts to "stand down" permanently and leave Americans to die. But as the contractors explained to Tapper, though they believe they could have done more to save American lives that night had they been allowed to leave immediately, they did not view the decision as one of "malice" towards Americans, nor did they place the blame for the decision on anyone higher up than the base chief...

Palin Pugilistics, Part 2

'Money Boo Boo' - The Most Hilarious Responses To Palin Family Drunken Brawl Found On Twitter | Firebrand Progressives:

When the news broke that the Palin family was involved in a drunken street brawl, it was met by a lot of skepticism that it really happened. Some things, after all, just seem too good to be true. But it really did happen. There are at least two witnesses who have given their accounts, one of which went on Good Morning America and subsequently got fired for doing so...

Terror Advice

Common sense please, ISIS more hype than threat (VIDEO):

...If America continues to react to every group that scares us by arbitrarily killing Americans and making threats on social media they likely cannot honor, it will actually make us less secure. America should invest in making America safer at home and letting those most affected by regional threats keep their own houses in order. Sadly Americans die every day in the streets of America and abroad. It is simply not sensationalized in a manner that affects good policy.

We must use common sense. Terrorists are not only in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. They are all over. Many are already here in the US, both Muslims and Christians (Islamist terrorists and Right Wing militia terrorists in waiting). Dropping bombs in Iraq and Syria does nothing to prevent them from acting. Terrorists DO NOT need a base of operation.

We must not allow the neocons and the military industrial complex to profit once again at the expense of investing our taxes in middle-class programs, middle-class projects, and security at home.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Comment Of The Day: Flogging Darth Edition

MSNBC's Ed Schultz Calls Out Wall Street Journal Editorial Board For "Hiding" The Facts About Dick Cheney | Video | Media Matters for America

Obama and the United States owe Cheney a huge apology.
I'm sorry. We were wrong. We should have never allowed you to become
VP so you could push this country into the worst and most criminal war
in American history. We should have called you out on your delusions
that this war was going to be a quick little walk in the park.
we allowed you and your fall guy to be in the WH...We actually ensured
that the terrorist organizations would get in and create the problems
they are creating now. When you said that they had WMD's...We should
have laughed you out of the WH. When you said that Iraq had something
to do with 9/11 and was trying to build nukes, we should have called you
out on your Bullshyt.
I'm sorry Cheney. We should have seen you
for the evil, sadistic, greedy, lying, backstabbing, unAmerican, bitter,
hateful and pompous piece of dried up, run over and fly ridden shyt
that you truly are.
I'm sorry you will burn in hell. Actually. No I'm not. Not even a little.

Palin Pugilistics, Part 1

Sarah Palin's Family Allegedly in Alaska House Party Brawl - ABC News:

Sarah Palin and her family were at the center of a lively party last weekend that erupted into a fight, with daughter Bristol Palin allegedly throwing a right hook, a man who says he was a guest at the party told ABC News.

“She was punching him [another man] in the face like six times; it was an assault if I’ve ever seen one,” Eric Thompson said, adding that he was among 70 guests at the birthday party in Anchorage Saturday...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Brown Witnesses

“He had his hands in the air!”: New witnesses of Michael Brown’s killing come forward - Salon.com
  and here's another take on the same story.

Another No-Empathy GOPer

What Kind Of Man Writes A Letter Like This? Doctor Lays Off Long-Time Employee After Cancer Diagnosis | Firebrand Progressives:

... I hate the thought of bringing politics into a personal tragedy like Jumper’s. But I am fed up with pretending that the personal is not political. This tragic story is perhaps the most graphic illustration I’ve seen of how the personal and political in this country have intersected at the gateway to Hell.

It’s bad enough that I’m forced to end this by paraphrasing Newt Gingrich in 1994: there’s a sickness in this country today, and the only cure for that sickness is to vote progressive. This year, and every year after that. Until the Carol Jumpers of the world never have to fear receiving such a despicable letter.

The State vs. Church Argument In ME

Islamists Are Not Our Friends - NYTimes.com:

...President Obama is right to note the old order’s disappearance in the region and the time it’s taking for a new one to emerge. The administration is struggling to define an effective strategy — but the Islamist vs. non-Islamist divide creates an opening...

Nine Eleven Syndrome

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cont'd - Esquire:

...What happened in New York 13 years ago deranged a nation that was almost begging to be deranged. The Soviet Union was gone. Grenada, Panama, the First Gulf War, the Balkans, in all these places where we made war, we had what were essentially walkover victories. We had no geopolitical enemies, no country strangling our trade, or impressing our seamen, or bombing our Pacific fleet, or pointing nuclear missiles at our cities any more. Then the planes hit the towers, and the towers came down, and we had an enemy again. We declared war on a tactic. We declared war on "terror." The concept was so patently absurd that dozens of other absurdities naturally flowed from it, the most glaring of which was the preposterous and mendacious case made for our invasion and occupation of Iraq. We jumped at shadows, heard voices in our heads, ducked and covered and lost our minds, and there were people in positions of power who were happy to oblige us for their own political and economic benefit. Then, we elected a new president, and the new president extricated us from the occupation of Iraq, and from whatever the hell we were doing in Afghanistan, which primarily seemed to be keeping the people who live there from slaughtering each other. But the war on the tactic never ended because it cannot end. You cannot defeat "terror," because it has too many allies, some of them in your own government. It is embedded in the political culture now as deeply as the Cold War ever was -- and that is not an accident, either. War against someone, war against something, somewhere, anywhere, is one of the last unifying elements in a country that was encouraged by both its declared antagonists, and by far too many people within its own government, to become deranged...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GOPer Foreign Policy

No More Mister Nice Blog:

...I think this quote is being interpreted, in part, as "We Republicans don't want to be saddled with any of the blame if the military action runs into problems." But why would that happen? When there are foreign policy problems, presidents get blamed. The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Many Democrats signed on to the Iraq War and denounced it later. The Bush administration got the lion's share of the blame.

No, I think this is about Republicans wanting to run as the We Hate Obama With The Fury Of A Thousand Suns And Would Denounce Him If He Cured Cancer And Simultaneously Saved A Thousand Newborns From A Burning Building Party. This is about not even wanting to hint at the possibility that Obama has any appropriate policies or redeeming features whatsoever -- certainly not with an election coming up!...

Lying Liars: WaPo Edition

Our Incredibly Dishonest Media Does It Again | Crooks and Liars

Loser Dems

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House - NYTimes.com:

...How is it possible that the Democrats, who have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, are at such a disadvantage in the House, theoretically the most representative body of government? It is the biggest paradox in American electoral politics.

Democrats often blame gerrymandering, but that’s not the whole story. More than ever, the kind of place where Americans live — metropolitan or rural — dictates their political views. The country is increasingly divided between liberal cities and close-in suburbs, on one hand, and conservative exurbs and rural areas, on the other. Even in red states, the counties containing the large cities — like Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis and Birmingham — lean Democratic...

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Wrong On DA

Opinion: Wife-beating is not a private matter - CNN.com:

...It's not up to victims to decide whether their husbands should be prosecuted. Abusers damage the community, not just the women they assault. Whether the Rices and Fullers stay married is their business; but whether Ray Rice and Judge Mark Fuller committed crimes should be a question for prosecutors, and ultimately, juries to decide.

Unfortunately, it looks like the prosecutors failed in Atlantic City and Atlanta. The sweet deals for these two prominent defendants cannot be undone; the double jeopardy clause of the Constitution forbids it. All the rest of us can do is hope that the next prominent man who beats up his wife doesn't get off as easy.
It's not your business or mine until it spills into pattern behavior. This is similar to labeling a mooning teenager a sexual pervert for life.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Putting Them Away In NOLA

Former New Orleans mayor starts 10-year sentence for graft | Reuters:

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reported to federal prison on Monday to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption committed during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina...

The Immoral Scalia

Scalia’s utter moral failure: How he destroys any claim to a superior system of justice - Salon.com:

...This man claims that he could not be a judge if he thought his participation in the death penalty was immoral and yet he does not believe it matters under the Constitution if the state executes innocent people. How on earth can such a depraved person be on the Supreme Court of the United States? On what basis can our country lay claim to a superior system of justice and a civilized moral order when such people hold power?

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Liars' Loans And Econ Collapse

Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy - Salon.com:

... This is a difficult thing to understand—indeed, not understanding it is the stated reason Obama Administration officials have made no effort to send financiers to jail—so let us take this slowly. Executives at the mortgage origination companies got huge bonuses in those days for writing lots of loans. OK? They wanted to write more of them, and the only way to really crank out mortgages on a vast scale was by giving one to anyone who wanted one, regardless of their ability to pay, a feat that is only possible by means of the “liar’s loan.” So: Liar’s loans = rich bankers.

Now, it just so happens that liar’s loans are a lousy product, something that is virtually guaranteed to fail when prices stop rising, something that everyone knew at the time would fail when the bubble burst. That’s why you don’t see liar’s loans when banks are honest and regulators are on the job. Because the bank that makes liar’s loans—and the investor who buys a security based on liar’s loans—will eventually lose their money. That’s why they are banned today. So: Liar’s loans = dead banks. Liar’s loans = slow-acting arsenic. But on the other hand, the immediate bonuses that mortgage execs were collecting for making these poisonous loans were so sweet that they didn’t really care about the long-term effects. So while those awful loans they wrote eventually sank all the big subprime houses—and wrecked the global economy to boot, with Europe still in ruins, etc.—the bankers themselves lived to sail away into the sunset, their yachts laden with bullion...
 So if you understand how this works, you're smarter than Obama.

Deep Racism

The new racism, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin: Deny it exists and smear the victim.:

...In other words, to dismiss racism as a general concern is to also stand against the claim that in the deaths of Martin and Brown, race matters. Indeed, you have to deny that discrimination mattered for either victim. And to do that, you have to challenge their victimhood. If Michael Brown was a thug, if he was violent and aggressive, then Officer Wilson was justified. Suddenly, it’s a “good kill,” not a deadly case of profiling.

Put another way, if countless people believe in the myth of the thuggish Trayvon and the dangerous Mike, it’s because they have to—without the monsters, their worldview couldn’t stand.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Daily Flashback: Latin America Edition

Noam Chomsky exclusive: Pope Francis, Oscar Romero and the horror of Reagan foreign policy - Salon.com:

...Daniel Kovalik, a human rights lawyer and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, is among a small group of academics that have dedicated their time to write about the bitter legacy of these crimes. When I contacted him for comment, he told me that the U.S.’ “war on Latin America” really began in 1962 in response to the emergence of Liberation Theology, a Marxist-influenced school of thought within Catholicism which emphasized social justice and advocated peaceful activism designed to improve the lives of the poor.

American assaults on multiple societies below its southern border were “designed, in large part, to wipe out that movement” Kovalik suggested, recalling that “we know from its training manuals and training exercises as well, the [U.S.-run] School of the Americas trained Latin American military personnel to view community priests as suspect and to attack them accordingly.”

“The result was the murder of scores of Catholic priests, nuns and a number of Bishops from 1962 and continuing indeed to the present time,” he added...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Piggery In LA

Baton Rouge cop resigns after he’s caught texting desire to ‘pull a Ferguson’ on ‘n*ggers’:

A police officer in Baton Rouge resigned Thursday after a local news channel revealed that he sent text messages in which he wished that fellow officers “would pull a Ferguson” on a “bunch of monkeys,” The Advocate reports...

The Daily Flashback: Savages Edition

When Fox News Didn't Blame The (GOP) President For Beheadings | Blog | Media Matters for America:

... That last part is telling because in the spring of 2004, when Cheney was vice president and the misbegotten war he championed was raging in Iraq, two American citizens, Nick Berg and Paul Johnson, were also kidnapped by Islamic terrorists and were also beheaded for the world to see. But of course, Cheney didn't see that as a sign of President Bush's weakness and ineffectiveness, and neither did the White House's loyal band of professional defenders at Fox News.

Even six years into Obama's presidency, it's still stunning to see how radically different Fox presents the news and frames its commentary based entirely on which party controls the White House. When Bush was president, Fox talkers urged that Americans come together and support the administration as it battled lawless killers ("murders," "sadists," "savages") who decapitated Americans...

Thursday, September 04, 2014

All Those Losers!

Limbaugh Guest Host Erick Erickson: Minimum Wage Workers Are "Mostly People Who Failed At Life" | Video | Media Matters for America

...especially the ones living off Wingnut Welfare.

Launching The Propaganda FL Style

Florida Lawmaker: Make Students Watch Dinesh D'Souza's Movie Because America Owes It To Those Who Died Protecting Freedom | Right Wing Watch:

Florida state Senator Alan Hays was the guest on "WallBuilders Lives" today, explaining the need for his legislation that would require every eighth grade student in the state to watch Dinesh D'Souza's ridiculous film "America: Imagine The World Without Her..."

A Warning For Cons

Clickety-Clack Go The Tumbrels - Esquire:

...But the jury understood the facts and they understood the law. (And their relatively short deliberation indicates that they got the point fairly quickly, and that they were not distracted by the baroque details of how the McDonnell marriage came apart.) This should come as something of a cautionary tale for people like Scott Walker, and Rick Perry, and Chris Christie, to say nothing of the political reporters who too easily dismiss the trouble they could be in back home. People, especially people on juries, understand more than you think they do.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Biden Gets Tough

Biden Warns: We Will Chase ISIS 'to the Gates of Hell' - NBC News.com:

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the United States will follow militant group ISIS "to the gates of Hell."

"The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand," Biden said in the wake of the killing of a second American journalist by the extremist group. "As a nation we are united and when people harm Americans we don’t retreat, we don’t forget..."

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tea Leaves Wrong On Health Spending

The Medicare Miracle - NYTimes.com:

...The story so far: We’ve all seen projections of giant federal deficits over the next few decades, and there’s a whole industry devoted to issuing dire warnings about the budget and demanding cuts in Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid. Policy wonks have long known, however, that there’s no such program, and that health care, rather than retirement, was driving those scary projections. Why? Because, historically, health spending has grown much faster than G.D.P., and it was assumed that this trend would continue.

But a funny thing has happened: Health spending has slowed sharply, and it’s already well below projections made just a few years ago. The falloff has been especially pronounced in Medicare, which is spending $1,000 less per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office projected just four years ago...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Terra! Terra! Terra!

Terraists are everywhere!

What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? - Esquire:

...Look, I have no illusions about the barbarians over there. But this is starting to sound like Saddam's balsa-wood escadrille that was going to come over and drop anthrax bombs on the Little League World Series. You close your eyes and listen and, very soon, you get the image of people running around in circles, looking for a goat to sacrifice, reading the signs left by flocks of birds, and pleading with the sun god to enfold us in his arms. Rap music? Honky, please. Can everyone just settle the fk down?...

The South, Unions, And Nonsense

Why white men hate unions: The South, the new workforce and the GOP war on your self-interest - Salon.com

Don't look for an intelligent answer to the question posed in the above link. The union-hating is supposedly because of the word "union" and the perceived notion that people living below the Mason-Dixon get up every morning and refight the Uncivil War. Talk about a shallow dive into the shallow end of the analytical pool. 

The Daily Flashback: Thieving Liars Edition

The 1 percent’s long con: Jim Cramer, the Tea Party’s roots, and Wall Street’s demented, decades-long scheme - Salon.com:

...And there were incredible prizes to be won as long as the bubble continued to swell, as long as the fiction of Wall Street as an alternative to democratic government became more and more plausible. Maybe the Glass-Steagall act could finally be repealed; maybe the SEC could finally be grounded; maybe antitrust could finally be halted. And, most enticingly of all, maybe Social Security could finally be “privatized” in accordance with the right-wing fantasy of long standing. True, it would be a staggering historical reversal for Democrats to consider such a scheme, but actually seeing it through would require an even more substantial change of image on Wall Street’s part. The financiers would have to convince the nation that they were worthy of the charge, that they were as public-minded and as considerate of the little fellow as Franklin Roosevelt himself had been. Although one mutual fund company actually attempted this directly—showing footage of FDR signing the Social Security Act in 1935 and proclaiming, “Today, we’re picking up where he left off”—most chose a warmer, vaguer route, showing us heroic tableaux of hardy midwesterners buying and holding amidst the Nebraska corn, of World War II vets day-trading from their suburban rec-rooms, of athletes talking like insiders, of church ladies phoning in their questions for the commentator on CNBC; of mom and pop posting their very own fire-breathing defenses of Microsoft on the boards at Raging Bull. This was a boom driven by democracy itself, a boom of infinite possibilities, a boom that could never end.