Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Iowa GOP Thinks Mocking Racism Isn't Serious

The Iowa Republican Party recently posted a flowchart defining racism on its Facebook page.  The post, which marked the one-year anniversary of the GOP's pledge to increase its appeal among minority voters, was accompanied by the message, "Because it's Friday night and we don't need serious political posts . . . Happy Friday and SHARE! Unless you think the chart is racist, then don't."

The Iowa GOP quickly removed the posting the same night, and in its place is an apology from Chairman A.J. Spiker (who blames the incident on a contractor) saying, “We apologize to those whom were offended, have removed the post and are ensuring it does not happen again.”

Good luck on expanding your base among minority voters!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Profiting Off The Death Of A Teenager

The Associated Press is demanding that George Zimmerman, who killed an unarmed black teenager in 2012, halt the sale of a painting it says he copied from one of its photos.

George Zimmerman is seeking buyers for his portrait of a Florida prosecutor that many believe is copied directly from a photograph shot by the Associated Press.  Last December, Zimmerman sold a painting on eBay for $100,000.  There have been accusations that Zimmerman's recent foray into "art" is nothing more than a scam to enable supporters to secretly funnel money to him without the complications involved by making direct donations.

The painting, advertised on Twitter by Zimmerman's brother Robert, depicts Florida prosecutor Angela Corey holding her fingers together, with an apparently fictitious quote reading, "I have this much respect for the American judicial system."  Many graphic software packages have "posterizing" features which-- when applied against a scanned photograph-- will produce a graphical image that looks very much like that purported to be the original work of Zimmerman.

The news agency sent a letter to Zimmerman's former lawyer, Jayne Weintraub, calling for the sale of the painting to be halted, or for damages to be paid in the event of a sale.  Zimmerman responded to the Associated Press, tweeting, "No worries AP, I'll just take whatever U sue me for off your tab when I'm done suing you :-) "

In November, Zimmerman was arrested after reportedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. Prosecutors later declined to file domestic violence charges against him in the incident after the girlfriend refused to cooperate.  He was also briefly detained following a domestic disturbance at the home of his estranged wife, Shellie, in September.

Friday, January 24, 2014

This Has To Be The Most Embarrassing Thing I've Seen On MSNBC

Have They Gone Insane In Virginia???

You can bring your loaded AR-15 to the Virginia capitol, but you can't bring a flag stapled to a 12-inch wooden dowel because that would be far, far too dangerous.  Incredibly, the Virginia Capitol Police is enforcing a restriction against sticks at official rallies because they can be used as weapons.  You want to know what other things can be used as weapons?  Actual weapons!

While patriotic visitors to the capitol grounds were stopped and forced to rip American flags off their wooden dowels, other visitors openly brandishing firearms were ushered through the entrance without delay.   At the “Guns Save Lives” rally at the Virginia capitol today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that about half of the crowd was armed, packing weapons that ranged from handguns to assault rifles.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GOP Working Hard To Close The Gender Gap

"The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice."
--- Republican Congressman Steve Pearce (NM)

“If the Democrats want women to believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it-- let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.”
-- Fox News host and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Olympic Representatives Now Participating In The Oppression Of Gay Russian Youth

Up to now, the IOC has largely attempted to stay out of the controversy of the "Bigot" Olympics.  After widespread international criticism of Russia erupted last year (when its anti-gay hysteria was enshrined by new laws persecuting homosexuals) the IOC did a white-wash by claiming that the new law did not breach the Olympic charter

Of course that claim is false on its face-- the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter call for "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles" and call for a "peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."  More damning, the charter calls for "every individual [having] the possibility of practicing sport without discrimination of any kind".  Of course all of these principles are completely subverted by Russian political leaders and skinhead-like vigilantes throughout Russia who have been emboldened by the new law to entrap, kidnap, torture and victimize gay youth with near-total impunity.

The IOC was poised to skate over that widely-panned response to the issue, keeping its head down and managing the slow-burn PR disaster as well as it could.   They liked to claim that they weren't a political organization and couldn't interfere with the laws and affairs of the host country.  That line seemed to be working . . .that is, until now.

There are now reports that Olympic representatives have now become complicit in the Russian effort to suppress protests and the voices of the gay movement within Russia-- all in the effort to ensure a smooth games.  We all need to keep in mind that the IOC does not collect dues and is not supported in any way by government funding.   The IOC survives solely on the television revenues it charges to broadcast the games in countries across the globe.  And if violence or unseemly protests interfere with the staging of the games, the IOC's vital revenue stream (and thus its very existence) is threatened.

The Associated Press has confirmed that official Olympics representatives tackled a gay protester in Voronezh, Russia yesterday for the “crime” of simply holding a rainbow flag as the Olympic flame went by.  The photos clearly show that he was in no way a physical threat to bystanders nor attempting to interfere with the torchbearers themselves.

Photos uploaded by his friends show protester Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being wrestled to the ground as they wait for police to arrive. Lebedev told the Associated Press via the phone that he was still in custody and being subjected to continued questioning.

This incident comes on the heels of Putin's shocking public statements last week, in which he ignorantly conflated pedophilia and homosexuality.  Insulting all tourists to the Sochi Olympics, Putin lectured gay visitors that they are welcome in Russia, but must "leave the children in peace."  Yeah, right-- as if gay people are going to spend thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels and event tickets just to corrupt Russian youth.  Seems like Russian politicians and homophobes are doing a pretty good job of screwing up the minds of Russian kids already.

In the meantime, the Olympic torch continues on its journey-- serving as a shining beacon of bigotry and intolerance to all Russians.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bigot "Bachelor"

"But I've got gay friends!"
Single dad and former Venezuelan soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis was asked this week whether it would be a good idea to have a gay "Bachelor".   He was firmly against it, saying, “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV.  I don’t know if I’m mistaken or not, I have a lot of friends like that, but [gays] are more pervert in a sense, and to me the show will be too strong, too hard to watch on TV.”

So a deadbeat dad pimping himself out on a sexist and degrading show by simultaneously dating twenty desperate over-drinking women is a good show for families and children to watch? 

This guy has had one too many headers during his brief soccer career . . . or yet again, maybe not enough to knock the bigotry out of his thick skull.  

ABC, Warner Horizon and The Bachelor executive producers issued a statement slamming Galavis’ statements.  “Juan Pablo’s comments were careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show’s producers or studio,” the statement read. 

New Allegations Of Christie's Abuse Of Office

Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration warned a New Jersey mayor that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor, according to the mayor and emails and personal notes she shared with MSNBC.

The mayor, Dawn Zimmer, requested $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken – 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012.  What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.  Out of another pool of money for recovery grants – $1.8 billion in all – Hoboken received $200,000.   Zimmer has not yet approved the Rockefeller Group redevelopment plan supported by Christie. 

The mayor's claims are supported by email, public records and Zimmer’s own diary entries – Christie’s inner circle was willing to cut off devastated constituents, muscle a friendly mayor and arrange public funds to finance a study for a project the governor supported.

Zimmer wrote in her diary about a press event she attended with Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno on May 13, 2013 at a ShopRite store in Hoboken:

"At the end of a big tour of ShopRite and meeting, [Lieutenant Governor Guadagno] pulls me aside with no one else around and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It is very important to the governor. The word is that you are against it and you need to move forward or we are not going to be able to help you. I know it’s not right – these things should not be connected – but they are, she says, and if you tell anyone, I will deny it."

Another warning came four days later. Zimmer and Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, were seated together on stage for a public television special on Sandy recovery.  Zimmer's diary entry from May 17, captured the incident.

“We are mic’ed up with other panelists all around us and probably the sound team is listening. And [Constable] says “I hear you are against the Rockefeller project”. I reply “I am not against the Rockefeller project; in fact I want more commercial development in Hoboken.” “Oh really? Everyone in the State House believes you are against it – the buzz is that you are against it. If you move that forward, the money would start flowing to you” he tells me."

Zimmer broke her silence about the warnings from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable on Steve Kornacki's show on MSNBC.  “It’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the city of Hoboken” because he wants support for one private developer, she told Kornacki.  Constable and Christie – through spokespersons – deny Zimmer’s claims.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Delhi's War On Women

Police in the Indian capital Delhi are investigating the alleged gang rape of a Danish woman who lost her way near her city center hotel.  The 51-year-old tourist was attacked by a group of men in the Paharganj area. Police say she was robbed and raped at knife point.  The woman had approached the group of men after losing her way back to her hotel near New Delhi Railway Station.  The men robbed her of her belongings and raped her, police told reporters.

The victim reported the incident to the hotel manager who called  the police. The woman flew out of India the next day.

A German woman has also been raped in south India, Der Spiegel reports.  The government tightened laws on sexual violence last year after widespread protests following the gang rape of a student on a Delhii bus.  But violence and discrimination against women remain deeply entrenched in India's staunchly patriarchal society.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

GOP: The Flat Earth Society

James L. Powell (Ph.D. in Geochemistry from MIT who was appointed to the National Science Board by Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush)  cataloged peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals between November 12, 2012 and December 31, 2013.  He found 2,258 articles, written by a total of 9,136 authors. Only one article, by a single author in the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming.

Powell previously examined 21 years of peer-reviewed literature and found that only 24 out of 13,950 articles — or two-tenths of a percent — came out and rejected human-caused climate change.

The Daily Dish correctly calls out the GOP for its obscene denial of the overwhelming amounts of evidence of global warming-- labeling it as a "transparent lie in defense of short-term material interest against the long-term interests of everyone [else] . . . and [outright] affront to reason.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Not Guilty By No Good Reason

Two former California police officers from Fullerton were found not guilty on all charges in the death of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic man they beat into unconsciousness as he cried out for help on a summer night more than two years ago.

The Orange County jury's verdict came after just two days of deliberations, ending a case that generated nationwide debate after video of the clash at a busy bus depot ignited public outrage.

Thomas' family quietly sobbed as the verdict was read. His mother emerged from the courtroom with red-rimmed eyes. "They murdered my son and they got away with it," she said.

The case was the first in the county's history in which an officer faced murder charges for actions taken on duty. But jurors agreed with defense attorneys that the officers were trying to subdue an unruly suspect, not beat him to death.

Ron Thomas, the victim's father and a former deputy himself, said he hoped that the U.S. Justice Department would file federal charges against the officers.   "I've never seen something so bad happen to a human being, and have it done by on-duty police officers," Thomas said. "And they can walk away scot-free."

Eyewitness accounts of the incident and family photos of Thomas' pummeled face created an immediate public furor at the time of the incident.  Orange County citizens crammed public meetings to reprimand or shout at city leaders. Eventually, officials' response to the incident led to the ouster of three City Council members and the retirement of Fullerton's chief of police.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An End To Viriginia Tax Dollars Wasted On Religious Idealogy

"I'm a bigot--bye, bye!"
Just hours before leaving office,  outgoing Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion intended to desperately entrench his own anti-gay policy preferences while he could still speak as the state’s top legal official.

Cuccinelli’s non-binding opinion concluded that “a Governor may not direct or require any agency of state government to allow same-sex couples to receive joint marital status for Virginia income tax returns.”  Like most of Cuccinelli's other high-profile legal efforts, this opinion seems to be more rooted in religious and political ideology than in sound legal reasoning.  The opinion is in direct violation of Virginia state tax law that requires conformity with federal tax regulations-- and will likely be reversed as soon as the new Attorney General is done sharpening his pencils.

In 2010, Cuccinelli (in)famously initiated a prolonged campaign against Obamacare-- wasting considerable state resources on lawsuits and appeals against the federal law.  In the end, the Supreme Court refused to hear his case outright and he lost at the appeals court level after much additional legal maneuvering.

Cuccinelli also led a failed joint effort of nine states to bolster Arizona's controversial immigration law.   The majority of the law's provisions were eventually overturned as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cuccinelli once issued an opinion that  the "law of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibit[s] a university from including sexual orientation as a protected class within its nondiscrimination policy."   Governor McDonnell eventually ignored that decision, issuing an Executive order that prohibited state agencies from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

Cuccinelli also filed a legal challenge against EPA's standards for motor vehicle fuel efficiency, as specified in the Clean Air Act.  Why such an effort was in the best interests of the Commonwealth was never made clear.  Despite two years of effort arguing against the fuel standard, Cuccinelli's arguments were rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia,  who unanimously ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

In a widely-reported attack on academic freedom, Cuccinelli attempted to discredit leading climate change scientist Michael Mann who worked at the University of Virginia from 1999-2005.  A judge eventually dismissed Cuccinelli's wide-ranging subpoena for university records on the grounds that no justification had been shown for the investigation (a basic legal requirement for a subpoena).  Cuccinelli tried to re-open his case by issuing a revised subpoena and appealed the case to the Virginia Supreme Court, who also denied the Republican attorney general. 

More recently, Cuccinelli filed a brief supporting seven conservative Anglican parishes who wanted to keep Episcopal property and donations after leaving the Episcopal Diocese over disagreements regarding same-sex unions and female priests.  The Fairfax County circuit  court sided with the diocese, ruling that the properties must be handed over by the parishes.

Last year, after the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down Virginia's anti-sodomy law, Cuccinelli invested considerable state resources in appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court (despite a nearly identical Texas case being denied ten years earlier).  Before they even opened their 2013 term, the nine justice of the high court dismissed Cuccinelli's appeal without comment.

In such tough economic times, it's shameful that Virginia was forced to endure four long years of wasteful rantings and ravings of a bigot like Cuccinelli-- good riddance.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Talk Is Cheap

Over 300,000 residents of West Virginia are without safe drinking water this weekend after 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked into the Elk River.  It's a news story of great importance to ordinary Americans, as access to clean water is a basic necessity for human existence.  There is still much unknown and under-reported about Freedom Industries, Inc. (who stored/leaked the chemical) and how American Water Company responded to the emergency.  American Water also serves customers in 18 other states-- AZ, CA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KY, NY, MD, MI, MO, NJ, NM, OH, PA, TN, TX, and VA.   You would think that the reliability and competence of a company that provides water to states making up 60% of the country's population would merit coverage by the major media.  So let's look at the coverage the Sunday talk shows gave to one of the most significant environmental disasters in America since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill . . . . 


. . . . that's right.  There was none.   Meet The Press covered the Chris Christie story.   CBS' Face The Nation covered the upcoming five-year anniversary of the Hudson River landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549.  Martha Raddatz on ABC was compelled to cover a story that most definitely trumped the West Virginia chemical spill-- the new panda cub at the Washington zoo!

But maybe these shows are scheduled far in advance, and don't have the ability to react to last-minute developments.  What were their top stories two weekends ago?

Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation, Jan. 5, 2014:
"And good morning again, and before we get to Senator Reid, a quick update on this bitter cold that has two-thirds of the country in its grip from the Midwest to the Northeast and a good part of the South."

David Gregory on Meet The Press, Jan. 5, 2014:
"Good Sunday morning. Happy New Year. It is a bitterly cold morning as an arctic blast of freezing air is roaring through much of the U.S. Temperatures are gonna plunge well below zero from the Midwest, where they're playing some football today, to the East Coast with historic lows predicted."

George Stephanopoulos, on This Week, Jan. 5, 2014
"Happy new year, everyone. And for so many of you this morning, it is a frigid one. Half of the country from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, from the Rockies to the east coast, under cold weather warnings right now. The National Weather Service calls the temperatures life-threatening."

There was nothing more important going on in the world last weekend other than a fast-moving cold front?!  No wonder these shows are suffering their lowest ratings in a generation-- they've become irrelevant and a laughingstock. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cruel To Be Kind

A hunter paid $350,000 at a Dallas auction last night to hunt a black rhino, one of the most endangered animals on the planet.

The Dallas Safari Club sale, which has been condemned by environmental groups, was offering the chance to shoot the rare beast as a way to raise funds for the species' conservation.  The identity and nationality of the top bidder at the closed-door event have not been revealed, but club spokesman Steve Wagner confirmed the sale of the Namibia hunting permit.   About 40 protesters held signs and chanted outside the convention center where the auction and dinner took place.

The club claims that the rhino that the winner will hunt is old, male and non breeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.  But critics have questioned that logic. Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have said that while culling can be appropriate in abundant animal populations, all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status.

An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, down from 70,000 in the 1960s. Nearly 1,800 are in Namibia, according to the safari club.  Critics have also said any hunting of a rhino sends a bad message to the public.  "This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species," Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW, said earlier this week. "This is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Surviving A Two-Hour Press Conference

Nobody was buying the bullshit on display at Governor Christie's marathon press conference yesterday-- but thankfully, reporters (hilariously) passed the time on Twitter.  A small selection:

Mike Murphy: (@murphymike): I am chuckling at CC's implication that he may now lose his great faith in delegating and be cruelly forced to micromanage a bit...

Molly Ball (@mollyesque): As a reporter, I love Chris Christie. Unlike every other politician, he keeps saying different things the longer he talks.

Just Karl (@justkarl): If only Christie had actually driven a woman off the bridge, he'd be a hero to Democrats.

Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty): Let me be clear: I hired a bunch of callous vindictive psychopaths who never tell me anything.

Charles CW Cooke (@charlescwcooke) At least Christie hasn't ended his political career by doing something as inordinately stupid as drinking water during a televised speech.

Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias): Time for someone at the NSA to leak all their info on this and unify our scandals.

Will Bunch (@will_bunch): "I am sad because I was betrayed" #RejectedGodfatherLines

Ann Coulter (@anncoulter): This is the longest press conference since Mark Sanford announced he was in love!

Erick Erickson (@ewerickson): How long until someone puts up one of those Hitler parodies of Christie finding out about the bridge?

David Corn (@davidcorndc): Christie releases statement: "The highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive."

Roger Simon (@politicoroger): The Christie press conference may be the first one where they call a commercial time out.

David Weigel (@daveweigel): Did Christie accidentally fire the staffer who tells him when to end a press conference?

Josh Barro (@jbarro): Wait this press conference is ending? I had so many more questions.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Daily News telling it like it is
In a marathon press conference today, the Governor of New Jersey threw his deputy chief of staff under the bus, saying that she was fired for ordering the closure of traffic lanes on the GW bridge to New York city to punish the local democratic mayor for not endorsing the governor in his reelection bid.

Christie claims he only learned about the incriminating emails/texts yesterday. That would mean that not only did his Deputy Chief of Staff and Port Authority appointee lie to him repeatedly since September, they didn't even tell him after the emails/texts were turned over to investigators two weeks ago.  Does he really expect any rational person to believe that?

Two other appointees were forced to resign over this incident weeks ago, and daily press stories were claiming that emails/documents turned over to investigators were incriminating for his administration.  But he says he didn't know those documents even existed until yesterday??? Has he been living in a cave for the past two weeks?

At that time (two weeks ago) Christie said his staff had given him a "full briefing" on the investigation.  Want to know how the governor of New Jersey conducted that briefing?   He gathered everyone at an "all hands" meeting just one hour before a press conference and announced the following:

 If there is any information that you know about the decision to close these lanes in Fort Lee, you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff, Kevin O'Dowd, or my chief counsel, Charlie McKenna.

 And I told them that in an hour I was going to go out in a press conference. And if no one gave me other information to the contrary that I was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter.

This does not even come close to being a serious investigation!  What sane person would think any staffer would come forward just minutes before a press conference and contradict the storyline that your boss clearly wants to convey?  I'll tell you what this flimsy-ass "briefing" was-- a classic bullying session.  And one that's cleverly designed  to give Christie plausible deniability with no paper trail attached. 

Although Christie once denied being a bully, it's now obvious that the culture of the governor's office is nothing but outright intimidation and bullying.  Why else would his top aides feel comfortable fucking over some small-town mayor (and thousand of commuters to boot) over a meaningless irrelevant endorsement?

Remember that bullying incident where he screamed at the school teacher during his campaign? The video of that incident wasn't caught by someone working for his rival--  it was taken by a Christie staffer, and posted online by his own campaign. They were actually proud of the fact that their candidate bullied a civil servant.   Given that Christie once boasted that "for better or for worse, this staff will reflect my personal style of leadership and decision-making," we now know that to be absolutely true-- petty, vindictive and bullying.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gates On The Defense

I've read a lot of reviews, commentary and released excerpts from Robert Gates' new memoir.  I can tell you right up front not to waste your time.  When I read that Gates describes President Bush as a "mature leader" who was intellectually strong and confident in his abilities, any credibility he might have had vanished completely.

Gates also clearly admired Bush for never looking back on it or having second thoughts.  Disgusting.  Tell that to the families of dead, wounded and displaced Iraqis, the thousands of dead and wounded American soldiers.  Yes-- we elected a President who never had the intellectual curiosity or humility to think back on his actions or reexamine his moral compass.

According to his own words, Gates himself was a moral coward who didn't have the balls to come out against DADT on the merits.  He freely admitted what prompted him to lift the ban on gays in the CIA was the feeling that if he didn’t, the courts would do so-- which in his own mind was the worst result possible (Oh, the horrors of judges enforcing constitutional and human rights!)

Gates attacked Reid and Pelosi for saying the Iraq war was un-winnable while at the same time agreeing with Ambassador Crocker that it probably WAS un-winnable.  

Gates also criticized Obama and Biden for not trusting the military leaders--  writing “I was offended by [Obama's] suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.”  Incredibly, he also admits that he felt General Petreaus  might not have been completely trustworthy and may have been politically manipulative at times-- even once being threatened by him during a visit to Iraq.  On top of that, we have a former Pentagon chief writing a book criticizing a sitting President . . . personally, I think all civilian leaders should harbor a natural distrust of the military.  Most recently, the military aided and abetted Cheney and Bush in their misguided war efforts and use of torture.

And Gates himself  in many ways is a re-tread of Robert McNamara-- both long-time Secretaries of Defense who helped further U.S. involvement in unpopular wars.  And after leaving the administration, both put out books blaming the Presidents they were supposedly advising, and absolving themselves of any blame.  Anyone with an ounce of  integrity would have resigned if they found themselves in an untenable situation. Instead, Gates kept "advising" the President and squirreling away little tidbits for a book he hoped would make him rich.

Gates also didn't have nice things to say about Harry Reid.  When he heard the Senate Majority Leader famously declared “This war is lost,” and that “the surge is not accomplishing anything,”  Gates was reminded of a Lincoln quote (which he shared with his staff): “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.”   Of course, Gates fails to acknowledge any irony in the fact that he himself is criticizing a sitting President during a war (on "terror"), which also undermines military leaders and damages moral.

Gates can't resist wading into the purely political waters either, criticizing the Obama administration for their belief (at the beginning of his term) that "Everything was awful, and Obama and his team had arrived just in time to save the day.”  So where was Gates then, when the Bush administration squandered a surplus, started two wars, invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, left behind a real estate market in meltdown, with an economy on the verge of the worst recession since the Great Depression?

People like Gates, who write books to make money and to defend their own actions (or inaction) and try to defend an inept administration (in which they themselves took part) are nothing more than cowards who deserve little respect.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Splendor In The Grass

According to a report by the ACLU, blacks are almost four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite the fact that marijuana use among blacks and whites is about the same.

This is especially harrowing, given the consequences of being convicted of felony marijuana possession can be far more dire than the sentence itself (as Michelle Alexander notes in her book, The New Jim Crow). Former offenders can find themselves deprived of professional or driver’s licenses, educational aid, food stamps, public housing, their right to vote, and they may find themselves fired and unable to find new employment, having been marked by society as little more than a criminal. For blacks caught up in the system it can compound the already considerable effects of ongoing racial discrimination.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vaccine Demomizer Delivers A New Shot

UPDATE:  McCarthy is now denying all claims that her son was "cured" of autism or has been diagnosed with  Landau-Kleffner syndrome.  It turns out press reports of her recantations were based on a report from Time magazine's website that was little more than a repackaging of a 2010 interview with McCarthy.  Within an hour of McCarthy's public statement, Time pulled the article from its site without comment.    In her statement, McCarthy said the 2010 interview "never contained any such statements by me.  Continued misrepresentations, such as these, only serve to open wounds of the many families who are courageously dealing with this disorder.  The implication that I have changed my position [and] that my child was not initially diagnosed with autism is both irresponsible and inaccurate."

I still stand by my original position that McCarthy is an under-informed demagogue who is victimizing hundreds (possibly thousands) of non-vaccinated children due to her rantings/ravings.

My original post is below:

After years of advocating against childhood immunizations, saying they cause autism — former Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy is now reversing her position.  McCarthy's 7-year-old son Evan no longer shows any signs of autism and is now being diagnosed with completely different illness.  Dr. McCarthy had also previously claimed that chelation therapy had "cured" her son of autism.

It's now looking like her son never had autism to begin with (ooops!).  In a new interview with Time magazine, McCarthy suggests her son suffers from Landau-Kleffner syndrome, “a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage.”

As expected McCarthy takes no notice of the years of fear mongering over child immunizations.   The Center of Disease Control has said her previous claims about immunizations made her “a menace to public health.”

Of course, McCarthy won't apologize.  Instead of admitting she was wrong she now says she wants vaccinations better researched — rather than getting rid of them altogether, as she previously advocated. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Ukrainians light screens and mobile phones as they sing the National anthem during the 2014 New Year celebrations at the pro-European supporters' tent camp at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine


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