Tuesday Reads

Morning Muffin with Coffee Cup, by Delilah Smith

Good Morning!!

Today is the big day for Mitt Romney. Will he win the primary in Michigan, where he was born and raised? Or will Rick Santorum beat him with a little help from Democrats? Daily Kos has been advocating for Democrats to cross over and vote for Santorum in order to extend the Republican primary race, and today it was revealed that a Michigan man had engineered and e-mail and robocall campaign to push the idea. From CNN:

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker.

DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney.

“Democrats can get in there and cause havoc for Romney all the way to the Republican convention,” DiSano told CNN.

“If we can help set that fire in Michigan, we have a responsibility to do so,” he said.

The Santorum camapaign apparently picked up on the idea too, according Talking Points Memo:

Rick Santorum’s campaign is locked in a tight battle with Mitt Romney ahead of Tuesday’s Michigan primary. On Monday his camp started openly courting a demographic that’s not often reached out to in GOP primaries: Democrats.

Michigan’s primary rules allow Dems to vote in the state’s GOP primaries. The liberal site DailyKos and other progressive partners have been trying to drum up enthusiasm for “Operation Hilarity” – an effort to get Democrats to vote in the GOP primary and tilt the vote against Mitt Romney. The Santorum campaign evidently decided they’d take votes from any legitimate source.

Following some speculation that the robocall may have been a “false flag” effort designed to harm Santorum, a spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed to TPM that they were indeed footing the bill, and reaching beyond party lines. “If we can get the Reagan Democrats in the primary, we can get them in the general,” he told TPM.

Nate Silver’s forecast for the Michigan primary: Romney’s Lead Looks More Tenuous.

Since we ran the Michigan numbers early Monday morning, three new polls are out that make the state look more like a true toss-up and less like one that favors Mr. Romney.

Two of the surveys, from Mitchell Research and American Research Group, in fact give Rick Santorum a nominal lead in Michigan, by 2 and 1 percentage points respectively. The third, from Rasmussen Reports, gives Mr. Romney a 2-point advantage.

We also added a hard-to-track down survey from Baydoun Consulting, which gave Mr. Romney an 8-point advantage. However, it is less recent than the others, having been conducted on Thursday night rather than over the weekend.

Among the five polls that were conducted over the weekend — including those that had been included with the previous update — three give Mr. Romney a small lead while two show an edge for Mr. Santorum.

Late last night, another poll came out from PPP Polling that suggests the momentum in Michigan has switched back to Santorum.

PPP’s final poll in Michigan finds Rick Santorum holding on to the smallest of leads with 38% to 37% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Ron Paul, and 9% for Newt Gingrich.

It’s always good to be cautious with one night poll numbers, but momentum seems to be swinging in Santorum’s direction. Romney led with those interviewed on Sunday, but Santorum has a 39-34 advantage with folks polled on Monday. The best sign that things have gone back toward Santorum might be that with those polled today who hadn’t already voted, Santorum’s advantage was 41-31.

Much has been made of Democratic efforts to turn out the vote for Santorum and we see evidence that’s actually happening. Romney leads with actual Republican voters, 43-38. But Santorum’s up 47-10 with Democratic voters, and even though they’re only 8% of the likely electorate that’s enough to put him over the top. The big question now is whether those folks will actually bother to show up and vote tomorrow.

They do note that Romney already has a big lead with the people who voted early (18% of the electorate). We’ll be live blogging the results of the primaries in Michigan and Arizona later tonight. Romney is expected to win easily in Arizona.

The forgotten candidate Newt Gingrich made some news today with a mean-spirited statement about Afghanistan.

”We’re not going to fix Afghanistan,” the former House speaker said. “It’s not possible.”

His prescription:”What you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life… Because you clearly don’t want to learn from me how to be unmiserable.’”

Gee, I wonder if all those bombs killing civilians–including children–might have something to do with Afghans being unhappy? That’s in addition to U.S. soldiers burning Korans–whether inadvertent or not–and urinating on bodies of insurgents.
Think Progress reports that Darrell Issa has finally admitted that his no-women-allowed contraception hearing wasn’t “my greatest success.”

Eight days after getting roundly-chastised for holding an all-male anti-contraception, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) admitted on Friday that the episode did not go as well as he expected.

“I won’t call it my greatest success to get a point across on behalf of the American people,” said the six-term congressman.

He still doesn’t concede that he’s incorrect about the Obama administration’s conception rule violating the First Amendment.

The White House is supporting a Canadian company’s decision to begin building part of the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada announced Monday that it plans to begin building the southern part of the pipeline, which would ship crude oil from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf of Mexico.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama “welcomes” the news that the Canadian pipeline company is moving ahead with its plans, despite the fact that the administration halted work on the cross-border portion of Keystone through 2013 — a move that sparked outcry among congressional Republicans — until TransCanada works out a new route through Nebraska that avoids ecologically sensitive areas.

“As the President made clear in January, we support the company’s interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high. Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production,” Carney said in a statement.

We haven’t talked about this much lately, but the trial of Tyler Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi has begun in New Jersey. Clementi was the Rutgers freshman who committed suicide after his roommate filmed him with a gay lover and streamed the video on the internet. Ravi is charged with invasion of privacy and a hate crime, “bias intimidation.” From the New York Times:

The trial of Dharun Ravi promises to turn less on what happened between him and Tyler Clementi in September 2010 — there is general agreement about most of the events — than on why. The most serious charge against Mr. Ravi is bias intimidation, carrying a potential 10-year prison sentence, which raises crucial questions about whether he had been motivated by antigay bias and whether Mr. Clementi had felt intimidated or had believed that his roommate was mistreating him because of his sexual orientation.

Seventeen months after Mr. Clementi, an 18-year-old from Ridgewood, jumped from the George Washington Bridge, the case still commands national interest, attested to by a crowd of journalists who were packed into a courtroom here or were watching on monitors in adjoining rooms. The case has been used by the news media, politicians and interest groups to illustrate themes that include the abuse of gay youths, teenage suicide, cyberbullying and the loss of privacy in the Internet age, and it prompted New Jersey lawmakers to adopt one of the nation’s toughest civil antibullying laws.

Mr. Ravi, who was also 18 at the time, knew that his roommate was gay and had another man with him in their dorm room, and used the webcam in his computer to watch the encounter from a friend’s room. He posted on Twitter about seeing Mr. Clementi “making out with a dude,” and two days later posted that it would be happening again and invited others to see. But Mr. Clementi, knowing that he had been spied on, turned off the computer to block another spying episode.

“It was not an accident, not a mistake,” Julia McClure, the first assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County, told the jury in her opening statement. “Those acts were meant to cross one of the most sacred boundaries of human privacy — engaging in private sexual human activity.” She said Mr. Ravi’s actions “were planned to expose Tyler Clementi’s sexual orientation, and they were planned to expose Tyler Clementi’s private sexual activity.”

Yesterday Molly Wei, the friend from whose room Ravi spied on Clementi, testified for the prosecution.

“First of all, it was shocking. It felt wrong. We didn’t expect to see that. And now that what we did, it was like we shouldn’t have seen it,” Molly Wei said told jurors. “We didn’t want people to know what had happened.”

But within minutes, she testified, she and defendant Dharun Ravi were online chatting with friends about seeing two men kissing. And within the hour, Wei said, she agreed to show a few seconds of the video stream to four other women who visited her dorm room.

Still, she said, Ravi did not intend to humiliate his roommate.

Yeah, right.

She said that she invited Ravi, whom she had known since middle school, to her dorm room for a snack a few minutes after 9 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2010. When Ravi tried to go back, she said, Clementi told him that he wanted the cramped dorm room to himself for a few hours. So Ravi returned.

Within a few minutes, she said, he used her computer to view live images from his webcam. It was then, she said, that she saw about two seconds of Clementi and an older man kissing.

Even though she said they initially agreed not to talk about what they had seen, she asked Ravi to tell a friend about it during an online chat that began at 9:20 p.m. And within minutes, word got around the dorm.

She said she agreed to turn the webcam back on at the request of a woman who was among a group dropped by her room.

“It was the exact same image, except that they had taken their tops off,” she said. “As soon as they saw it, I turned it off.”

Wei was allowed to make a deal in which she agreed to perform community service and see a psychologist.

That’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?

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51 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Today’s primary from MI will show just how badly the GOP is in need of a complete facelift.

    Even if Mittens “wins” it will merely underscore the discontent the party feels regarding their nominees. Even at this point in the game, Newt has a 13% lead in his home state of GA though it is evident he will not get much further down the nominating process.

    The Tea Party morons, going state by state with their war on women, has managed within less than 2 years to tarnish whatever “luster” was left over from George W. Bush. Running on that platform is not going to go down well in the general election whether it be Mitt or Rick who carries the banner.

    Mitt is such a prolific liar and Rick is a zealot. I frankly am unable to see the majority of voters flocking to either one regardless of how much dislike Obama incurs.

    After 5 years of campaigning and millions spent in the process it is truly amazing that Mittens has not wrapped up this thing by now. But nobody actually likes or trusts him which is not going to play well should he become the nominee.

    As for Rick, he is just plain batshit crazy if he thinks his positions will be embraced outside of the radicalism he proposes.

    But then again, I seem to fluctuate between watching the GOP go down in flames, or distrusting the intelligence of the American public when it comes to elections.

    The Tea Party, if for no other reason, has left its mark.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    I hope the plan to get Dems out and vote for Frothy Dick doesn’t backfire. I know these asses are completely out in radical right wing la la land, but there are a lot of people out there who want the ten commandments depicted in stone at their local courthouse…maybe it is because I live in a red…redneck town, but never underestimate the power of the Jesus freaks.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I know, which is exactly why I fluctuate.

      The hatred toward Obama may seen unreasonable by comparison, but there are many out there who regard him as secret usurper, Muslim raised, with an ideology threatening the US. Insane? Yes, but many buy into it.

      Their hatred toward Obama is shown in a willinglness to believe whatever commonsense and critical thinking would require when they embrace whatever crackpot theory is offered to hide their bias.

      The “war on religion”, which is no such thing, is an example of the insanity they are willing to accept simply because it gives them cover to protest against a president they never respected in the first place.

      And race plays a huge roll in why.

    • quixote says:

      That was my first thought, too, Minx. “Way to get the support out for Romney.” From a purely strategic standpoint, if you want to diddle with someone’s mind, you can’t let them know. Observer Effect, and all that.

      From a principled standpoint, it’s also not so good, really. But I can’t bring myself to care. It’s like worrying about losing an eye in a patient who’s been hit by a train.

    • peggysue22 says:

      I just find it hard to believe that Santorum could ever attract enough Indies, even establishment conservatives [real conservatives] to win a GE. Santorum with his bizarro religious attitudes, could be truly dangerous in the WH. You take a small man with an over-inflated ego, a tendency for demagoguery and a wheeler-dealer background and we’d have a nightmare on our hands.

      If the Republicans are foolish enough to go that route, they will ignite the Democrats [even the lapsed kind like me] and the majority of the moderate Independents. Neither party can win without the Indies.

      We shall see.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    The news is reporting one of the journalist is out of Syria: BBC News – Syria unrest: UK photographer Paul Conroy out of Homs

    However, the other journalist, Edith Bouvier, whereabouts are unknown. You may remember that she is in desperate need of surgery on her leg, and her injuries were worse than Conroy.

    Syria: conflicting reports of journalists’ rescue from Homs – live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

    Take a look at the tweets from Miles Amoore: Miles Amoore (milesamoore) on Twitter

    The bloodshed is only getting worse.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    There is a new post at Mcclatchy

    Questions remain about contraceptive services under 2010 health care law | McClatchy

    Take a look at it…that is all I can say.

    • peggysue22 says:

      What this says to me is in 2000 pages and 18 months of haggling, this was a very badly written law.

      Oy!

      • northwestrain says:

        I read the whole damn thing — the first Senate version as well. The first version had the finger prints of the Insurance company lobbyists all over it. The document was a mishmash of fonts and formatting — and Stupack’s handiwork could be seen. It sure looked to me like the bill was written as a male’s health bill and anything about female’s health requirements was merely an after thought. The loop holes were written into the law — it was all about generating income for “health” insurance companies.

        The bill shouldn’t have been passed — it shows the lack of vision of the whole 0bama team.

    • Woman Voter says:

      Don’t expect NARAL or NOW or anyone to examine this though…still doing cheerleader PR.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      It is going to be a nightmare getting it all sorted out. My concern is the Ins co. will find loopholes to get out of paying for it, even though they will pad the premiums people pay. If there is a way to make money off this thing, they will find it.

      I hate this obamacare/ romneycare way of dealing with healthcare reform. It should have been single payer.

  5. peggysue22 says:

    Bw, I read the new ‘news’ on the Keystone pipeline and just shook my head–the man is caving again. If I were of a conspiracy bent, I could believe that someone has something on this Administration. It’s hard to accept that any POTUS could be this gutless, particularly when he’s taken so many appalling stands in the human rights department.

    Whatever the corporations want, the corporations get. What a deal!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Obama always supported the pipeline. I never expected him to block it. It’s just disgusting that none of the oil will even go to the U.S.–but we’ll get the bill when the inevitable accidents happen.

      • Woman Voter says:

        The Stratfor emails said he was going to do that! :shock: Apparently, the emails say that he just says pretty words and then does what his big donors wants, it said he wasn’t going to risk his re-election.

        I guess the meme of him being for women’s rights is just that too, after all he signed President Obama Stupak Executive Order and Nancy Pelosi must be in on it too. :-(

        We must elect more women period!

    • Pat Johnson says:

      He can’t be trusted.

      President Limp Noodle is like the threatening Mom who yells “one more time!” when the kid has repeatedly broken the rules.

      He’s just lucky so far that the opposition is so unpalatable.

    • quixote says:

      “Gutless” is the kind interpretation. Like assuming Reagan had been hoodwinked about Iran-Contra. The alternative to gutless / incompetent is, of course, that they do know what they’re doing.

      With old Ronzo, I could believe he was just a figurehead. With O, it doesn’t seem plausible. He’s not dumb enough.

      Which means that whether we get him or the Romneybot, we’ll have a Social Security-trashing Republican either way.

      I need a drink. It’s 6:15 AM here.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yup, we’re screwed either way.

      • peggysue22 says:

        You’re probably right, quixote. I just hate to think any Administration is that corrupt and two-faced. Even though I know we have plenty of examples from the past.

        Think I’ll join you in that drink :0).

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Let’s see…

        he has paid back his big money supporters:

        oil pipeline
        wall st
        insurance companies that were too big to fail
        banks
        Catholic Bishops
        mortgage companies
        insurance companies that will make out big with the healthcare act
        oil companies
        defense corp

        by screwing:

        Women
        The Gulf of Mexico
        immigrants
        environment
        long term unemployed
        people whose homes are foreclosed
        Native Indians
        wildlife

        I know I am missing a few…

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Oh yeah, whistle blowers…add them to the list.

    • ralphb says:

      The part of the pipeline which is being built will transport domestic oil produced in fields in the Midwest from that storage facility in OK to Gulf Coast refineries in TX. Since I live in TX, I can say without doubt there are pipelines all over the place now and this one will not make any difference environmentally, provided it’s built to good specifications. That’s always a question and depends on inspectors doing their job though.

      Luckily tar sands oil won’t be transported via this pipeline since there is no source for them.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That’s good to know.

      • peggysue22 says:

        Oh, that portion of the agreement I wasn’t aware of. The idea of transporting that toxic brew through fertile farm land was a nightmare, particularly when they planned to export 80% of it. Oil spills in general are not a good thing though and from what I read TransCanada does not have a great record.

        The other thing is the way TransCanada has treated property owners. I hate the revised Eminent Domain law, that your land and/or property can be requisitioned for economic reasons rather than the public good clause of the past. Land developers abused the law in boom times, pushing low-to-moderate income property owners to sell, often on the cheap, so they could build strip malls, high-priced condos, etc. I didn’t like the law before [I’ve always thought it was a legal way of stealing]. But it like even less now.

        I’m aware of the pipelines, btw. There’s one running right through my subdivision.

      • ralphb says:

        The problems with imminent domain are too many to talk about here and there is still a fight going on in North Texas with some farmers over “taking” of land for the pipeline. Though I fully expect them to lose, it’s got people of all political persuasions together in opposition.

      • ralphb says:

        My own least favorite use of eminent domain was taking land to build the stadium for the Texas Rangers that made Dubya a ton of money when he sold. Talk about an abomination.

    • Woman Voter says:

      PeggySue22,

      Have you seen the Stratfor leaked emails on this? It said it Obama would… We are trapped by two parties, the GOP VIAGRA Choir and the Stupak Democrats.

      • peggysue22 says:

        I’ve read bits and pieces, WV. There seems to be a debate going on in some quarters about the legitimacy of the emails–lots of dismissals and disinformation going on. Which is where we all seem to live anymore when it comes to actual reporting on anything.

        I don’t remember reading about the pipeline specifically but I checked over at Cannonfire and the most damning of what I’d read dealt with Israeli and Kurdish agents taking out the Iranian nuclear program at the end of last year. Apparently, that particular email has been ‘disappeared.’ Can’t have ‘that’ news out while the war-mongers are beating the drum for armed conflict with Iran, justified because of their nuclear program. Which according to the leaked messages no longer exists.

        Yikes! We’ve really walked through the looking glass!

      • Woman Voter says:

        I expect that we will be another war, the neocons will continue to control us via the old ‘patriotism’ while they reap the spoils and our military families continue to live without health care…we don’t have a Public Option like every other Western Country.

        BREAKING: Israel says they won’t notify US of an attack on IRAN.

        WAR DRUMMING IS GROWING FASTER! What happened to diplomacy????

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Psych study finds the wealthy are more likely to lie, cheat, and break the law.

    The pursuit of self-interest is a “fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” Piff and his colleagues wrote yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The “upper class,” as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, the research found. The solution, Piff said, is to find a way to increase empathy among wealthier people.

    “It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks — whether as a person or a nonhuman primate — you become more self-focused,” Piff said. “You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others. That may not be their default, but have them do it is sufficient to increase their patterns of altruistic behavior.”

    • janicen says:

      This does not surprise me, but I would add conservatives who are not among the wealthy. Now that I’m back living among them I’m reminded how these hypocrites roll their eyes at any attempt to get them to comply to a law or regulation but demand that laws be strictly enforced on “those” people over there. Whether rich, middle class, or poor, the conservatives think laws are for other people, certainly not themselves.

      • ralphb says:

        I think that’s just general selfishness and seems to be a characteristic I see myself all the time.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        With a society that refuses to accept accountability for its actions, the envelope gets pushed to the limit.

        The courst system goes heavily agains the low income law breakers and trials like OJ’s and Casey Anthony show just how the “celebrity factor” works in their favor. The facts can be big enough to be seen by a blindman yet these juries are quite capable of putting it aside and raising “reasonable doubt” out of lies.

        The Obama administration failed to put actual criminals to the test. The Bush administration when unscathed along with the pirates of Wall Street. Had we seen some movement to at least hod those accountable to the same standard as some low level marijuana dealer, chances are there would be some measure of illegal activity punished.

        As the nation watches and listens to excuses being applied to rampant greed, the idea of getting away with it rises in appeal.

        If we can bomb a country into submission with lies instead of facts our empathy for the truth begins to be wear away.

        If they can get away with it why not I? A total breakdown of law that leads to an “I don’t much care about the other guy”.

    • Well, it doesn’t surprise me. The rich & powerful (or the powerful only – like cops or judges for example) feel they are above the law. They are used to getting stuff for free unlike the average person.

    • northwestrain says:

      I figured you’s see this article and post!!

      We’ve had discussions about the empathy gene — and have noted that the ultra rich don’t seem to have that gene. Also empathy can be learned — and some rich folk really work hard to teach their children empathy. I know some examples — teaching empathy has to be a conscious effort by the parents. Otherwise the kids turn into a Romney or 0bama.

  7. dakinikat says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/dispute-over-german-funded-solar-energy-for-palestinians-highlights-israels-west-bank-grip/2012/02/25/gIQAWWJCZR_story.html

    Electricity from solar panels and wind turbines has revolutionized life in rural Palestinian herding communities: Machines, instead of hands, churn goat milk into butter, refrigerators store food that used to spoil and children no longer have to hurry to get their homework done before dark.

    But the German-funded project, initiated by Israeli volunteers, is now in danger. Israeli authorities are threatening to demolish the installations in six of the 16 remote West Bank communities being illuminated by alternative energy, arguing the panels and turbines were installed without permits.

    The German government has expressed concern and asked for clarifications — a rare show of displeasure from Israel’s staunchest defender in Europe.

    The dispute is more than just a diplomatic row. It goes to the core of mounting international criticism of Israel’s policies in the 62 percent of the West Bank that remain under full Israeli control two decades after Palestinians were granted self-rule in a patchwork of territorial islands in the rest of the land.

    The division of jurisdictions was meant to be temporary, but has been frozen in place as repeated peace talks deadlocked. The Palestinians claim all the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, for a state.

    International monitors have warned that Israel is suppressing Palestinian development in the West Bank sector under its full control, known as “Area C,” while giving preferential treatment to Israeli settlements. Most of the international community considers Israel’s settlements in the West Bank illegal.

    Israel’s more than 300,000 settlers are already double the number of Palestinians in Area C, which would form the heart of any Palestinian state.

    If Israel’s policies are not stopped, “the establishment of a viable Palestinian state … seems more remote than ever,” European Union diplomats warned in an internal report last year.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Sorry, the Israeli government is out of control. Providing basic electricity to Palestinian communities should not provoke this sort of brute reaction. They’re making themselves look like unreasonable bullies.

    • northwestrain says:

      The Israeli Conservatives just want the Palestinians to go away and anything they can do towards that goal — is done. Both sides seem to be dominated by the radical conservatives. Too little land and too little water — which has been the history of the Middle East.

  8. dakinikat says:

    Newt’s Last Prayer: Christian Dominionists Go Gingrich

    http://www.thenation.com/article/166481/newts-last-prayer-christian-dominionists-go-gingrich

    Four days after Newt Gingrich scrambled the Republican primary race with his surprise South Carolina win, a man named Dutch Sheets came forward to endorse the former House speaker, saying he was the only candidate with the “heart, experience, backbone, Constitutional brilliance and intellectual strength to defeat Obama and lead America back to greatness.” It was the kind of embrace that tends to make politicians skittish. After all, Sheets is a self-proclaimed apostle and a leading figure in a radical Christian movement, known as the New Apostolic Reformation, which teaches that Christians must infiltrate and take control of government and other worldly institutions to pave the way for Jesus’ return. And that’s just the beginning. Sheets also believes, among other things, that his prayers led directly to Saddam Hussein’s capture and that Washington is controlled by “antichrist” forces. As for Barack Obama, Sheets insists that he is Muslim and that his presence in the Oval Office is a sign that God has “turned us over to our enemies” as part of his “judgment on America.” His ultimate goal is to “raise up” an army of “kingdom warriors that are ready to do whatever it takes to bring forth [God’s] kingdom rule in the earth.”

  9. ralphb says:

    The Possum Republicans

    I’ll be darned. David Brooks column today is almost worth reading.

  10. Minkoff Minx says:

    Third student dies:

    This is horrible.

  11. ralphb says:

    Romney isn’t willing to light his hair on fire, but apparently he’s OK with his pants being on fire. h/t maddowblog

  12. Minkoff Minx says:

    I can’t read this crap anymore:

    Kathleen Sebelius: Contraception coverage rule coming soon – POLITICO.com

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the Obama administration plans to issue a rule “in the near future” on its compromise plan on contraception coverage and is meeting with insurers, clergy and health leaders to get feedback on how to make it work.

    “We’ve begun outreach. I have talked to Catholic health leaders, I’m reaching out to priests. We’re also talking to union leaders, we’re talking to our partners at labor who run the self-insured plans to figure out a strategy,” Sebelius told reporters at a conference in D.C. on Tuesday.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73372.html#ixzz1nhfVyEuj

    Reaching out to priest, give me a fucking break.

    “Discomfort” is The Point of Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill, Sponsor Said | Care2 Causes

    As the debate over the transvaginal ultrasound proposal continues, Scofield says it’s good for women to feel some discomfort if they are trying to terminate a pregnancy. WAAYTV reporter Rebecca Shlien writes, “[Bill opponent on Scofield constituent Tristin] Basinger says this invasive ultrasound would be a physical and emotional discomfort: ‘I think they should see what they’re getting rid of, but I don’t think they should go through the whole humiliation. Because I feel like they’re already humiliated enough as it is.’ But Scofield, the bill’s sponsor, feels that discomfort is the point, and this clearer sonogram would help women second guess the decision to end their pregnancy.”

    She should be required to “second guess” herself, and be forced to feel discomfort? How can these bills be seen as anything but a state sanctioned rite to punish women for not carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term? No wonder Scofield, no doubt feeling backlash over his comments, has now said the type of ultrasound should be a woman’s choice. “I want to offer legislation that will simultaneously protect life and show respect and compassion towards women,” Scofield now says.

    How nice. He respects a woman’s right to chose — her mandatory ultrasound type.

    I think this is the guy who owns one of those transvag wand companies.
    Asshole.

    BBC News – BP ‘close to deal’ on Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill

  13. ralphb says:

    Army Corps of Engineers Seeks $7 Billion in Renewable Energy Projects

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been involved in some massive projects over the years, and it is poised to outdo itself, this time when it comes to renewable energy construction.

    On February 24, the agency announced a draft request for proposals (RFPs) for “potentially the largest contract ever awarded” by the Corps’s Huntsville Center in Alabama. The draft calls for $7 billion in energy projects that produce power not from oil or gas but from solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass.

    The projects the USACE envisions would ideally be “large scale” power generation projects that could appear on any federal property throughout the country. The agency will award up to $7 billion over 10 years, according to the draft, soliciting bids from all types of businesses, large and small.

    This should send the tea partiers into spasms.

  14. ralphb says:

    7 accused of bilking $375M from Medicare, Medicaid

    DALLAS (AP) — The owner of a Dallas-area medical service provider and six others were indicted in a massive health care fraud scheme that allegedly bilked Medicare and Medicaid of nearly $375 million, authorities announced Tuesday.

    The federal indictment accused Jacques Roy, a doctor who owned Medistat Group Associates in DeSoto, Texas, of leading a scheme that billed Medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary or were not done. Also indicted were Roy’s office manager as well as five owners of home health agencies.

    The indictment alleged that from January 2006 through November 2011, Roy or others certified more Medicare beneficiaries for home health services and had more patients than any other medical practice in the U.S.

    Yea Texas, we’re number 1 for fraud. At least until the next indictment is handed down.