Thursday, April 30, 2015

What You Think You Know

What you really need to know about Baltimore, from a reporter who’s lived there for over 30 years - The Washington Post:

...Baltimore is not Ferguson and its primary problems are not racial. The mayor, city council president, police chief, top prosecutor, and many other city leaders are black, as is half of Baltimore’s 3,000-person police force. The city has many prominent black churches and a line of black civic leadership extending back to Frederick Douglass.

Yet, the gaping disparities separating the haves and the have nots in Baltimore are as large as they are anywhere. And, as the boys on the street will tell you, black cops can be hell on them, too...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Clinton Stakes A Position

Hillary Clinton Calls For Criminal Justice Reforms, End to 'Mass Incarceration' - NBC

Vowing to "end the era of mass incarceration," presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for sweeping changes to the country's criminal justice system on Wednesday as well as a recognition of "hard truths" about race and law enforcement tactics nationwide.

"Everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law and when everyone in every community is respected by the law," she said in remarks at Columbia University on Wednesday.

Listing the series of unarmed black men who have recently died after altercations with law enforcement -- including Freddie Gray, whose death while in police custody sparked riots in Baltimore this week -- Clinton said that the deaths should "galvanize" Americans to fight for change.

"My heart breaks for these young men and their families," she said. "We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America..."

Howling At Wolf

Blitzer gets schooled by a Baltimore protester.From "Wolf Blitzer disinterested condescension is palpable"

...Deray McKesson said he wants peaceful protest. He then put Wolf Blitzer in his place. “You are making a comparison. You are suggesting this idea that broken windows are worse than broken spines,” Deray McKesson said. “What we know to be true is that the police are killing people everywhere. They are killing people here. Six police officers were involved in killing Freddie Gray. And we are looking for justice there and that’s real. The violence that the police have been inflicting on communities of color has been sustained and deep.”

I wish Deray McKesson had added that the media had been derelict in their duties as police violence and killings have gone virtually unreported. That said, each time he spoke he made sure to be the one driving the narrative. That is how one must use the traditional mainstream media when the opportunity arises

Monday, April 27, 2015

Comment Of The Day: Advice For Dems Edition Edition

The Hysteria Caucus

Andy Koenigsberg · Top Commenter · Cornell University

Governor Jindal demonstrated in last week's NYT op ed that he could fight straw men with the best of them. It takes great courage to do that.
 At this point, all the Dems, and HRC in particular, need to do is just keep their collective mouths shut and watch the clown car go sailing over the cliff like Thelma and Louise. Why give the GOP something to shoot at when they are so effective at shooting themselves?

A Modest Riot Comment

Maybe Sharpton had a point. Baltimore is not in South Carolina.

Baltimore police, protesters clash; 7 officers hurt:

Protesters in Baltimore hurled rocks at police, destroyed patrol cars and looted stores as demonstrations over the death of a black man in police custody turned violent Monday...

Friday, April 24, 2015

The GOPer Rats Are Breeding

Cannonfire--"Why is the media screwing the Clintons (AGAIN)?"

They are at it again. Even though Hillary Clinton has given every indicator that she plans to veer right -- her very logo contains a bright red "right-turn" signal -- the Powers-That-Be are making a concerted effort to make sure that the Clintons never again get near the White House...

The Lies That Won't Die

Looks like Bill Maher started a thing.

Zombies of 2016 -

Last week, a zombie went to New Hampshire and staked its claim to the Republican presidential nomination. Well, O.K., it was actually Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. But it’s pretty much the same thing.

You see, Mr. Christie gave a speech in which he tried to position himself as a tough-minded fiscal realist. In fact, however, his supposedly tough-minded policy idea was a classic zombie — an idea that should have died long ago in the face of evidence that undermines its basic premise, but somehow just keeps shambling along...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Daily Flashback:Skippy Shrub Edition

A Reminder to Republicans of Just How Bad Things Were Under George W. Bush:

...Was his election not a foreshadowing of how terrible things would be in the next 4 years? For the first time since 1888 we “elected” a president who lost the popular vote. Could you imagine the conservative outrage if President Obama was elected president, yet lost the popular vote? That might have been the catalyst that finally triggered a second Civil War.

Then just a few months later we saw the worst terrorist attack in United States history...

GOPer Grumpies

McCain is no fan of Rand Paul for this 2016 election | National Monitor:

There is some tension building between Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Rand Paul, and it may have exploded on Wednesday when McCain referred to the 2016 presidential candidate as “the worst possible candidate” on the issue of national security.

McCain’s statements, which were made on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” were in response to Paul himself calling McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, “lapdogs for President Obama” on foreign policy...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Doing v. Talking

Addicting Info – CEO Slashes Own Pay To Raise All Wages To $70,000, And Business Is Booming (VIDEO):

...Unlike the many CEOs raking in over 331 times the average pay of their workers, Price believes in setting a good example.

“So my message is, think about what’s the right thing for you to do. Because, with leadership, there’s a moral imperative to lead and to do the right thing for those that you’re leading.”

When Lake asked about how other CEOs — who may feel pressured to start paying more — have responded, Price replied that most feedback has been positive. Most of the business leaders he’s heard from either say they’ll do it or that they want to be in a position to do so in the future.

As for those who don’t, yes, Price would like to reverse the current trend towards income inequality...

Clinton Book Bursts Into Flames In Daylight

ThinkProgress Report: Schweizer Admits He Cannot Prove Allegations In Clinton Cash | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash reportedly does not prove its speculative attacks on the Clintons and even relies on a hoax press release to support a claim, according to ThinkProgress...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The End Of Reefer Madness At DEA?

Marijuana Activists Cheer�Michele Leonhart's Exit from the DEA - Bloomberg Politics:

Drug Enforcement Agency chair Michele Leonhart was done in by her agents’ unsanctioned, cartel-funded sex parties in Colombia, but it’s marijuana legalization advocates who are excited to see her go.

“Hopefully this is a sign that the Reefer Madness era is coming to an

end at the DEA,” said Mason Tvert, the director on communications at the Marijuana Policy Project. “Michelle Leonhart has maintained an opinion about marijuana akin to the opinion people had back in the 30s...”

Comment Of The Day: MLK In Chicago Edition

Man Dies After Spine 'Virtually Severed' In Police Custody | Crooks and Liars

jupiter2 Alan Porcella

"It is not confined to the southern states"

MLK on going to Chicago: "I’ve been in many demonstrations all across the south, but I can say that I have never seen – even in Mississippi and Alabama – mobs as hostile and as hate-filled as I’ve seen here in Chicago."

Huckabee HalfTruth Hits A Homer


...So what to make of Mike Huckabee coming out swinging on this issue on Friday and taking Christie and the others to task in no uncertain terms?

“I don’t know why Republicans want to insult Americans by pretending they don’t understand what their Social Security program and Medicare program is,” Huckabee said in response to a question about Christie’s proposal to gradually raise the retirement age and implement a means test.

Huckabee said his response to such proposals is “not just no, it’s you-know-what no.”

“I’m not being just specifically critical of Christie but that’s not a reform,” he said. “That’s not some kind of proposal that Republicans need to embrace because what we are really embracing at that point is we are embracing a government that lied to its people–that took money from its people under one pretense and then took it away at the time when they started wanting to actually get what they have paid for all these years...”

Monday, April 20, 2015

Foot Shooting Voters

Why do blue-collar workers vote against their economic interests? | TheHill:

...There is however, no question in the minds of critics as to what is going on. More ominously, for those who seek to preserve democratic traditions, this latest move is one more indicator of the invidious impact that money on the political process.

It seems evident to the outsider that Republicans feel completely comfortable in voting against the interests of their constituents because they know they have either short memories or no memory at all...

The Empire Struck Back

George Lucas Is Building Affordable Housing For The Poor:

After his wealthy neighbors opposed his effort to build another studio, George Lucas decided to build affordable housing for the poor instead with his own money. Now they’re enraged....

Actual Welfare Spending

How welfare recipients spend their money: It's not steak and seafood.:

Red-state lawmakers have been on a rather unnecessary crusade lately to stop welfare and food stamp recipients from spending their government aid on luxuries like cruises and supermarket king crab legs. This has, thankfully, led to some discussion about how low-income families actually use their money—which is to say, not all that differently than the rest of us. (More of their budgets generally go to food, because people have to eat...)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Beginning Of The End...

...of the Drug War?

Obama Signals Support For Changing Course In Federal War On Medical Marijuana:

In an interview that will air for the first time this weekend as part of CNN's latest installment of its medical marijuana documentary series "WEED 3," President Barack Obama signals support for medical marijuana and for rolling back the federal government's war on drugs...

Rovian Lynch Error

Rove Admits Holding Up Lynch Nomination Was A Mistake, But Defends It Anyway | Crooks and Liars:

Karl Rove did his best to try to have his cake and eat it too when it comes to the Republicans holding up the confirmation of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General on this weekend's Fox News Sunday. Rove knows full well the optics are awful and damaging to his party, but he couldn't help himself with wanting to take the opportunity to attack the Democrats on the issue of abortion...

Clinton Supporter Tells Why

We're for Hillary and Here's Why�|�Joseph C. Wilson:

...After President Obama's election in 2008, there was a widespread feeling that it would mark an end to unseemly partisan nastiness. We were subjected to its rancor, and we hoped, too. Unfortunately, it soon became obvious that the wish for a post-partisan presidency will always be fanciful so long as the radical right-wing, backed with the immense financial resources of special interests, will target and demonize anyone who disagrees with it. They tried to do it to President Clinton, and they have tried to do the same thing to President Obama in the most vulgar and bigoted ways. They will do it again to whoever is the Democratic candidate. Hillary knows that. But she also knows that if we are ever to make this a better nation and society, we must stand up for true American values for progress against these destructive forces. She is strong enough to do so. And as president she will provide the seasoned, smart and tough leadership the United States will need to face the challenges of this rapidly changing world. She is by far the most qualified and trustworthy person to protect our national security interests and to create a better American future. Hillary stood with us, as she has stood with so many over the years, and we are proud to stand with her for our country now.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LEO Extrordinaire

Ohio Cop Refuses to Resort to Deadly Force: 'I Wanted to Be Absolutely Sure' - NBC

A rookie Ohio cop is being praised for "great restraint and maturity" after he held off using deadly force against a double murder suspect who charged at him, his police chief said.

In a confrontation Thursday with a man accused of killing his fiancee and his best friend, New Richmond Police Officer Jesse Kidder is heard on his body-camera video yelling, "No man, I'm not going to do it!" and ordering the suspect to get down on the ground.

The suspect rushes toward him shouting, "Shoot me, shoot me!"

"Back up!" screams Kidder, holding his gun out. The man finally crumples to the ground just feet away from the officer in the video taken in the Cincinnati suburb of Elsmere, Kentucky...

Obama The Brawler

With 2 years left, Obama getting tough on critics | News24:

Just as Congress is hitting something of a bipartisan stride on such issues as Medicare, Iran and trade, President Barack Obama and his White House team have decided to go after their Republican critics, picking fights and scornfully calling them out by name...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Defining Warren

Elizabeth Warren's Comprehensive Wall Street Reform Agenda | Crooks and Liars:

...The people who refer to Elizabeth Warren as anti-business just don’t get it. What she is in reality is anti-predator, anti-cheater, anti-monopolist, and anti-cronyism. If you have a fair system that regulates those market and competition-stifling things, then it helps the vast majority of businesses to fairly compete. What this speech reminds us is that Elizabeth Warren is a pro-business, pro-market progressive...

No GOPer Critique Allowed

Lawmaker expelled from GOP caucus for post about budgets - Houston Chronicle:

A Michigan lawmaker says she's no longer welcome at House Republicans' closed-door caucus meetings after criticizing legislation on Facebook...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mechanical Martyrs

Michigan Mechanic Won’t Serve The Queers, Time To Crank Up The Old GoFundMe | Wonkette:

...Anyway, guess it’s time to set up his GoFundMe, so he can become a martyrdom whore and get rich off the sweet, luscious bigot cash that is now apparently the prize you get for bitching and moaning about how much you hate queers. America!...

Comment Of The Day: Issa Edition

The Ghost Of Undead Darrell Issa: Today In Imaginary HRC Scandals

Kent Anderson · Top Commenter · Wayne State University

Did you really think we'd go long without hearing from Congressman Grand Theft Auto? "If we can't impeach Obama, we can impede Hilary." Give itup, Darrel.

Clinton Calling For Reform

Brent Budowsky: Hillary lifts populist spirits | TheHill:

In Iowa on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton lifted the spirits of progressive populists and appealed to a majority of voters by vowing to lead a battle against the corrupting influence of big money in government and politics, and speaking with faith and conviction about how this influence causes profound unfairness in the American economy.

Clinton is making political reform one of the cornerstone issues in her campaign for the White House. She has begun a frontal assault against the widely unpopular Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which would allow the wealthiest Americans to buy elections and dominate policymaking in Washington by spending unlimited money, often in secret, on political campaigns...

Some Honesty From A Former Cop

When Cops Cry Wolf - Frank Serpico - POLITICO Magazine:

...If you think that what happened in North Charleston is a unique case, it is not. Only recently, in another case, a policewoman in Pennsylvania first Tasered a black man, then shot him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow. She was chasing him for an expired parking sticker. There were five seconds between shots. She said she feared for her life. It was captured on her own Taser camera.

I’ve been saying this for a long time, ever since I spoke before the Knapp Commission investigating corruption in the NYPD more than 40 years ago: Unless we create an atmosphere where the crooked cop fears the honest cop, and not the other way around, the system will never change. Unless honesty is rewarded more often than corruption, the police will lose credibility altogether. I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1994 addressing this very issue, saying that honest cops have never been rewarded, and maybe there ought to be a medal for them. He wrote back, but nothing changed.

Now, in the era of citizen videotaping, police credibility is at stake as never before. If enough testi-lying is uncovered, then who is going to believe the police even when they are telling the truth? They will be seen as crying wolf...

Clinton Hearts Warren

Clinton Touts Warren: ‘A Special Kind Of Leader’ � CBS DC:

...Writing in tribute to Warren’s placement on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, Clinton touted the Massachusetts Democrat for never hesitating “to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire...”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Uh Oh, They're Catching On

Watch As This 'Tea Party Patriot' Realizes That Voting GOP In 2016 Could Cost Him His Obamacare | Crooks and Liars:

..."But you know, the Republican Party, they haven't done nothing for me, man. Nothing," he remarked. "So, I'm leaning toward voting for Hillary unless something major comes up. I don't trust the Republicans anymore because they're wanting to repeal the Obamacare. And I don't want them to do that, man, because then I'll have to go to work again. My life's already planned out..."

The Red Ink Menace

Whatever happened to the big, bad federal deficit? ( video) -

Whatever happened to the big, bad federal deficit? You know, the red ink menace that was supposed to devour America’s fiscal future?...

Injustice In Atlanta

The Atlanta Schools Verdict: Sometimes The Judge Loses It Entirely:

...As always, Diane Ravitch is the go-to source for all things standardized and corporatized in public education policy. And she makes a further relevant point, as well.

In addition, all of the convicted educators lost their license, their pensions, and five years of compensation. If only all those bankers who nearly destroyed the economy in 2008 had been dealt with as harshly. But they were "too big to fail..."

Nonsense From The Rich

5 libertarian oligarchs who made fortunes off the government they want to destroy -

...Perkins’ defense of his initial comments on Bloomberg betray the shallowness of his libertarian thought. He insisted that his fellow tycoons are “job creators,” despite the fact that they’ve been paying very low taxes for more than a decade – and there are no jobs!

Perkins also insisted that society should “let the rich do what the rich do” and enjoy the expanded job opportunities that will flow from that. But on Wall Street the rich were allowed to do what the rich do and it robbed the economy of millions of jobs and trillions in wealth. Apple and other big tech manufacturers were allowed to “do what they do” and hundreds of thousands of jobs were shipped overseas...

Fox Jers Have Flog Off

“You’re a 10-foot-tall crybaby”: Bill O’Reilly destroyed by another Fox host over “War on Christianity” claims -

On “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, Bill O’Reilly tried to browbeat Fox Business host John Stossel for claiming that Christianity is not under attack in America today — needless to say, it did not go as O’Reilly planned.

Stossel came out swinging, acknowledging that while there are some issues that Christians can legitimately complain about, when it comes to O’Reilly’s “War on Christianity,” the Fox host is “just a 10-foot-tall crybaby.” After noting that Christians are not being killed on the streets of America for professing their faith, O’Reilly could only reply, “No, not yet...”

Brooks Has A Thought

The Moral Bucket List -

...It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the r�sum�virtues and the eulogy virtues. The r�sum�virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the r�sum�ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let's Hope This Isn't Political

Gravestone of Hillary Clinton's dad toppled in Pennsylvania | The Kansas City Star The Kansas City Star

The Chrisitie Platform

Chris Christie’s screw-the-seniors platform: I will slash Medicare and Social Security the best! -

...The specific proposals themselves aren’t anything new. He will gradually raise the retirement ages on Social Security and Medicare by two years each, to 69 and 67, respectively. He would also enhance means-testing for each program. The disability insurance component of Social Security will also be on the chopping block, because it’s very stylish in conservative circles nowadays to argue that most people who receive disability payments are just lazy bums who have plenty of years of hard work left in their backs...

Cons Should Not

102 Things Conservatives Should NOT Do If They Hate Taxes:

Tax day is upon us. And our tax dollars pay for all the benefits of modern society that we enjoy. That being said, there are those among us who hate paying taxes and would rather see the IRS shut down for good, thus eliminating public funding for all the things that we take for granted every day.

So, if you’re a conservative who hates taxes and government, please kindly stop doing the following.

1. Do not use Medicare...

Reich On SOS Clinton

Robert Reich: Hillary’s values aren’t the problem -

...Some wonder about the strength of her values and ideals. I don’t. I’ve known her since she was 19 years old, and have no doubt where her heart is. For her entire career she’s been deeply committed to equal opportunity and upward mobility.

Some worry she’s been too compromised by big money – that the circle of wealthy donors she and her husband have cultivated over the years has dulled her sensitivity to the struggling middle class and poor.

But it’s wrong to assume great wealth, or even a social circle of the wealthy, is incompatible with a deep commitment to reform – as Teddy Roosevelt and his fifth-cousin Franklin clearly demonstrated.

The more relevant concern is her willingness to fight...

Poor Shaming Bills

The double-standard of making the poor prove they’re worthy of government benefits - The 

When you rule by rumor instead of fact...

Washington Post:

Poverty looks pretty great if you're not living in it. The government gives you free money to spend on steak and lobster, on tattoos and spa days, on — why not? — cruise vacations and psychic visits.

Enough serious-minded people seem to think this is what the poor actually buy with their meager aid that we've now seen a raft of bills and proposed state laws to nudge them away from so much excess. Missouri wants to curtail what the poor eat with their food stamps (evidence of the problem from one state legislator: "I have seen people purchasing filet mignons"). Kansas wants to block welfare recipients from spending government money at strip clubs (in legalese: any "sexually oriented business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment")...

A Small (Pizza) Victory

Domino’s Pizza franchise owners busted for labor violations - NY Daily News:

Some Domino’s Pizza workers will soon be rolling in dough.

Four franchise owners who controlled 29 Domino’s Pizza stores across the state had to cut Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a $1.5 million slice of their pie.

The owners copped to a slew of labor violations, including breaking minimum wage, overtime and other basic labor laws, Schneiderman’s office said...

Monday, April 13, 2015

What The Media Will Say

Paul Krugman: Whether Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren, the difference between Democrats and GOP is stark -

...But this conclusion is a spot-on piece of media analysis:

On one side, suppose that Ms. Clinton is indeed the Democratic nominee. If so, you can be sure that she’ll be accused, early and often, of insincerity, of not being the populist progressive she claims to be.

On the other side, suppose that the Republican nominee is a supposed moderate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. In either case we’d be sure to hear many assertions from political pundits that the candidate doesn’t believe a lot of what he says. But in their cases this alleged insincerity would be presented as a virtue, not a vice — sure, Mr. Bush is saying crazy things about health care and climate change, but he doesn’t really mean it, and he’d be reasonable once in office. Just like his brother.

One can only hope the Times beat reporters are paying attention this time around.

UnAbortion And Walmart

Walmart Religious Zealot Denies Woman Medication After Her Tragic Miscarriage:

...Now keep in mind, Cortrett was NOT trying to have an abortion. She was trying to handle a medically necessary procedure after having one of the most tragic outcomes possible after becoming pregnant. This pharmacist at Wal-Mart, however, had it so ingrained in her head that the medication was only for abortion that she decided to make this horrific time in Cortrett’s life just a little bit worse.

A couple things can be gathered from this. The pharmacist has either decided that she won’t give out the medication under any circumstances regardless of the fact that it’s not solely for abortions, or she’s so devoid of knowledge in her field that she doesn’t realize the prescription has more than one use. So she’s either inept at her job, which is to dispense life-saving medication to people, or she has decided that HER religious and moral beliefs should dictate the lives of others...

Southern Justice

Will the South Teach the North About Police Reform?�|�Rev. Al Sharpton:

...Fifty years later, as I sat waiting to preach on Sunday, I began thinking that maybe Southerners have to come North now to teach liberals how not to excuse police in prima facie case arrests. In 2015, the North may have to take notes from the South on what true police reform looks like.

MoDo Recycles Oldies

Maureen Dowd's Latest Clinton Attack Is Infused With RNC Talking Points | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Maureen Dowd's latest column attacking Hillary Clinton with comparisons to former President Richard Nixon echoes attacks from the Republican National Committee (RNC).

In a New York Times op-ed on April 11, Dowd predicted that Clinton's presidential campaign will "take the Nixon approach" by "trying to charm people one by one in the early states for 2016, an acknowledgement that she cannot emulate the wholesale allure of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama..."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Denial Is A River In Turkey

Turkey angry at pope after 'genocide' remarks:

Pope Francis on Sunday called the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians the "first genocide of the 20th century," prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.

Turkey, which denies a genocide took place, swiftly challenged the pope's comments marking 100 years since the start of the killings. Francis made the remarks during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica attended by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian...

A Point About Atheists

Bill Maher terrifies Bill O’Reilly: An atheist has the Fox News host running scared -

...It hardly takes a journalistic sleuth to ferret out the simultaneously ludicrous and lamentable false equivalency that O’Reilly has drawn here between the horrific, all-too-real massacres of Christians underway in countries afflicted with terrorism abroad, and the barbs, criticisms, and, yes, insults about religion coming from some vocal atheists, including Maher, in the United States. The death toll from the former stands in the hundreds; from the latter: zero. I’m unaware of a single atheist who, motivated by his or her nonbelief, has called for or committed acts of violence against Christians anywhere, at any time. Obviously, nonbelievers possess no “sacred text” with which they could justify harming anyone, let alone people of faith. (NB to those who will take to the comments section and rant about Stalin and Mao. Murderous dictators both, they ordered their atrocities not on account of their atheism, but to “defend the revolution” and secure their power...)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cruzin' On

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul In Self-Defeat Before Hillary Clinton's Big Weekend | Crooks and Liars

...Yes, folks, Cruz really did accuse gay people of fighting a holy war against the right wing conservatives who've spent decades trying to maintain anti-gay sodomy laws legalize discrimination against LGBTs, and make life miserable for anyone who isn't ‘straight' under the rubric of their narrow religious convictions. The word for this kind of rhetoric is "projection bias."
The son of a radical preacher and birther conspiracy theorist, Cruz actually seems to believe that he can personally reverse the trend-lines of opinion on marriage equality and win as an anti-gay candidate - a kind of political-climate denialism to match his views on global warming...

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Badger's On His Head

Right-Wing Media Jumped To Rand Paul's Defense After His Tirade Against Savannah Guthrie | Research | Media Matters for America:

...Fox's Varney Does Not See Anything Wrong In "Paul Going After These Young Women Who Were Really Badgering Him." On the April 9 edition of Fox Business Network's Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney favorably compared Paul's tirade of Guthrie to how George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan would stand up journalists. [Fox Business Network, Varney & Co., 4/9/15]...

Attitudes Must Change

Nearly getting away with murder: How the Walter Scott video exposed a corrupt system:

He probably would have gotten away with it.

That's the sobering reality of the video of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager shooting Walter L. Scott as he ran away, not posing the slightest threat to the officer. The utter indifference to human life evident in the video, shot by Feidin Santana, is horrifying. As Scott's father put it, "The way he was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer." After Scott was felled by at least one of eight shots, Slager occupied himself with handcuffing Scott and possibly trying to plant evidence rather than making any immediate attempt to save his life. The phrase "cold-blooded killing" could have been invented for this shooting...
'The worst thing you can do in any encounter with a police officer is challenge his authority' -- I've read and heard this multiple times lately. Really? Isn't it on government to thoroughly indoctrinate officers on the boundaries of their authority? Getting a badge is does not mean carte blanche to say or do anything you want. If a cop cannot abide having his authority challenged verbally is his only recourse violence?  I'm sure there are many teachers, and other public servants, who are routinely abused by the public yet we don't start shooting. I expect the same behavior from cops-- remember: heat and kitchens.

The Book Of Lies: O'Reilly's Legacy

Media Matters Presents Killing Truth, An eBook Of O'Reilly's Legends | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Media Matters for America is proud to present Killing Truth, senior fellow Eric Boehlert's eBook chronicling the many fabrications Bill O'Reilly has told about his life and reporting background...

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Daily Flashback: Iraq Screwups Edition

Listen, it’s still their f**king fault: Bush, Cheney, neo-con drivel, and the truth about Iraq and ISIS -

...First, though, an observation about framing arguments. Republicans, naturally, want to blame the rise of ISIS on Obama, which is absurd. Three extremely foolish actions undertaken by Bush were absolutely crucial for the emergence of ISIS: First, by responding to 9/11 as an act of war, rather than a crime, Bush gave al Qaeda and its future ISIS off-shoots the holy war and the status of holy warriors they so desperately craved, but could never attain on their own. Second, by invading Iraq—which had nothing to do with 9/11, and was actually a counter-weight both to al Qaeda (ideologically) and to Iran (both theologically and geo-strategically)—Bush destabilized the entire region, creating a tinder-box of multifaceted incentives for sectarian violence. Third, by disbanding Iraq’s Sunni- and Bath-Party-dominated army, Bush both ensured an intense power struggle and civil war in Iraq (with vastly more power in Iran-friendly Shiite hands) and provided Sunni terrorist ideologues with hardened, experienced military command personnel. (The government Iraq ended up with, and the subsequent U.S. withdrawal, were also results of Bush policy which Republicans have tried to blame on Obama, but they were relatively late-stage decisions, severely constrained by these earlier disastrous decisions...)

Cause & Effect In Higher Ed

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much -

ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after...
Sir Machi at Daily Puma has been crusading on this issue (and other debt related matters such as mortgages and credit cards) for quite a while. Please have a look at his debt neutrality petition here.

I do believe that debt and its attendant stresses plays a role in many irrational events in today's United States.

The article does go on to stress that the real cost of college, which is something I've been harping on since at least 1980, is the explosion of managers and managerial salaries in higher ed. The rise of another pampered class has occurred along with a rise in titles. Department heads became assistant deans, deans became vice presidents until you finally arrive at such ludicrous titles as Executive Vice President for (insert job title that used to be done by a secretary [not administrative assistant] in her spare time.) All the titles "upgrades" were accompanied by increases in salaries for "increased duties and responsibilities." Most of the times the new titles meant a new administrative assistant or an upgrade in salary and title for the current helper, who was actually most often The Doer. The articles notes that the people who do the real work in education, the teachers, have had their salaries stagnant near 1970 levels.

The only solution to this problem is a change from the plantation/industrial model back to the Medieval (or hospital) model, wherein the managers and their salaries and perks are controlled by the teachers (Medieval) or are very, very heavily influenced by the teachers (medical/hospital) model.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

His Baylor Days Differ...

...when his main pursuit was Aqua Buddah. “No no no no no no no no: Listen!” He-man Rand Paul lectures a lady — again -

...After a few pleasantries – Paul claimed he was too interested in sports, “academics and reading” to ponder a career in politics when he was younger – Guthrie asked him his position on the “framework” of an Iran nuclear deal announced last week by President Obama. Paul said he thought only Congress can lift the sanctions it imposed. That’s a controversial view, but widely shared. Fair enough...
What would be happening right now if SOS Clinton had given this interview?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Stinky Pant Load Goes Stupid Again

Military Suicide Experts: Ted Nugent Veteran Claims Are "Distorted" And "Ridiculous" | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Experts in military and veteran suicide issues are criticizing National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent for claiming that veterans are committing suicide because they believe President Obama "is the enemy."

As reported by Right Wing Watch, during a speech at a Lincoln Day Dinner in Arizona last week, Nugent said, "20 - 25 of those guys kill themselves every day, and they haven't told you why, and they haven't told anybody else why, but they told me why: because the Commander-in-Chief is the enemy..."

The Daily Flashback: Rumsfeld Memo Edition

12 years ago today, Donald Rumsfeld sent the greatest memo of all time - Vox:

Today is Vox's first anniversary, but it is also the 12th anniversary of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sending what was perhaps the greatest memo ever written. Titled "issues with various countries," it noted in passing that basically none of the Bush administration's foreign policy initiatives were working well, and asked Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith to solve all the problems:...

Medical Conflict Of Interest

Alabama Senator-Doctor Will Finally Get Revenge On New Mom Who Died Under His ‘Care’ | Wonkette:

Here’s a shining example of how the noble institutions of democracy can address injustice: Alabama state Sen. Larry Stutts, MD, an OB/GYN who just took office in January, has introduced a bill to repeal a law inspired by the death of one of his patients. Needless to say, Stutts insists that he just wants to keep the state from interfering with the precious doctor-patient relationship, for freedom; just please don’t anybody look too hard at how that doctor-patient relationship worked out 17 years ago for one of his patients who died, we think we mentioned that, didn’t we?...

Monday, April 06, 2015

Marriage Wars Continue

The Fight Rages On... In the GOP�|�Bill Schneider:

It's not over. True, Indiana and Arkansas have backed down from "religious freedom'' laws that legitimize anti-gay discrimination. And the U.S. Supreme Court may rule this year that same-sex marriages are legal in the entire country.

But even then it won't be over. One sentence in the 2012 Republican Party platform is likely to stir up the controversy all over again: "We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.'' That Constitutional amendment would nullify any Supreme Court decision...

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Czech Banned

Czech president bans U.S. ambassador from Prague Castle: media | Reuters:

President Milos Zeman has "closed the door" of Prague Castle to the U.S. ambassador following comments perceived as critical of the Czech's decision to attend a World War Two commemoration in Moscow, according to local media reports on Sunday.

European Union leaders are boycotting the ceremony in May over Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict but Zeman -- who has frequently departed from the EU line -- has said he would attend...

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Rove Still An Agent Of Evil

Karl Rove: I won’t apologize for the Iraq War -

During a speech at the University of Connecticut in Storrson Tuesday, former Bush White House staffer Karl Rove – known as “Bush’s Brain” for his closeness to the former president – was asked by an Iraq war veteran whether he would apologize for his role in the Iraq war.

“I have taken responsibility for my actions and dealt with my demons while advocating for a peaceful resolution of a war that was an act of aggression with no clear goal,” explained the former veteran, Ryan Henowitz. “Can you take responsibility and apologize for your decision in sending a generation to lose their humanity and deal with the horrors of war, which you have never had the courage to face? Will you apologize to the millions of fathers and mothers who lost their children on both sides of this useless war?”...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Comment Of The Day: ISIS GOPer Edition

Unfriending ISIS: Monsters In The Age Of Social Media

Barry Friedman · · Top Commenter · University of Tulsa · 194 followers

The GOP, generally, and Rick Santorum, specifically, never met a war they didn't want someone else's children to fight.

Fathers & Sons

Arkansas Governor’s Son Thrust Into Spotlight Over Religious Freedom Bill -

...The younger Mr. Hutchinson surged into the spotlight on Wednesday when Governor Hutchinson said during a nationally televised news conference that his son had signed a petition urging him to veto a measure that proponents have labeled a religious freedom bill. Critics say the measure could allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.

Mr. Hutchinson, 31, a union organizer in Austin, Tex., has long differed with his father, a onetime Republican congressman who was elected governor last fall. Among Governor Hutchinson’s four children, Seth is a self-described political outcast...