Wednesday Reads: Overpriced GOP-Head Pumps and When No Means Yes

052c36fbc9a1863be6e9eb834c46544eGood Morning

What a crappy few days it has been… such terrible stories in the news lately. Yeah…text messages, popcorn, penis pumps, poor dead children, (that should be dead poor children), rich GOP dead-beat dads, murdering cops, and judge’s decisions. Oh boy, and let me tell you, things are Fukushima’d up!

Let’s start with Fukushima:  The Nuclear Disaster That Won’t Go Away

On New Year’s Day (nearly three years after the initial incident) operators of the Fukushima plant reported that “plumes of most probably radioactive steam” had been seen rising from the reactor 3 building. According to RT.com, “the Reactor 3 fuel storage pond still houses an estimated 89 tons of the plutonium-based MOX nuclear fuel composed of 514 fuel rods.” Unfortunately, high levels of radiation inside the building make it nearly impossible to determine the source of the mystery steam. Although TEPCO, the plant’s operator, claims there’s no increased danger (small comfort from the people who admitted to the world that they have no control over the situation), most agree that the plant is just seconds away from another disaster.

4d45ce57c4dea24d3eef37127cf2d5e3Meanwhile, here in the US, another meltdown has been brewing. A fire arm meltdown.

The latest on the Shooting down in Tampa: Profiles Of Man Allegedly Shot For Texting And His Suspected Killer

They say the gun jammed when the killer tried to shoot a second time. Who the fuck was he going to shoot the wife of the man he just killed?

After officers read him his rights, Reeves told the detective that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that’s when he removed a .380 caliber gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he “was in fear of being attacked.”

The sheriff said at a news conference that Reeves’ son — who was off duty from his job as a Tampa officer — was walking into the theater when the shooting happened. Nocco said Reeves briefly struggled with an off-duty deputy but released the weapon. The gun was jammed and unable to fire again.

I want to know where Reeves went and who he talked to and what was said…what was the son doing there just as the shooting occurred? The management probably to Reeves to move to another seat, I mean how ridiculous was his complaint. It was the damn previews.

Devon Detrapani and her husband Joseph were friends with the Oulsons and that the men worked together at Sky Powersports, a motorcycle and off road vehicle dealer.

Chad Oulson was the company’s finance manager and a hard worker, Detrapani said. He rode dirt bikes on the weekend and “liked” several motocross stars on Facebook, but his true love was his baby daughter, Lexi.

“They are awesome parents,” said Devon Detrapani. “They love that little girl so much.”

Detrapani said that Oulson was texting with his daughter’s daycare on the afternoon he was shot. She said that Oulson was a kind man with no anger issues.

“He is a very nice guy,” she said. “He would give the shirt off his back to help someone.”

Oulson had Monday off and his wife, Nicole, worked at USAA Insurance and took the day off so they could go to the movies together.

Detrapani said she and her husband, who attended kids’ birthday parties with the Oulsons, are in shock.

“This does not make sense. I don’t understand,” she said. “It should have never happened. Now poor Lexi has to grow up without a daddy and Nicole doesn’t have a husband.”

And…on that shooting in New Mexico:

Officials: Boy opens fire in New Mexico middle school gym, wounding 2 – CNN.com

A 12-year-old boy entered his middle school gym, pulled a shotgun out of a bag and opened fire on students waiting for school to start Tuesday, wounding two, authorities in Roswell, New Mexico, said.

A girl, 13, was in stable condition Tuesday night following surgery, authorities said. A boy, 11, was in critical condition after surgery.

The bloodshed rattled students and other citizens of Roswell, a city of just under 50,000 people 200 miles southeast of Albuquerque. Monique Salcido, a Berrendo Middle School student who saw two of her friends get shot, admitted she is “in shock.”

“I don’t want to go to Berrendo again because of what happened,” she told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “Because I’m afraid it’s going to happen again.”

The horror might have been much worse if not for one staff member. “(He) walked right up to him and asked him to put down the firearm,” said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

For some thoughts on this, Charlie Pierce: Gun Shootings January 14, 2014 – Two Days In Gun America

As it happens, I’m sitting in a hotel room a few exits east up I84 from the town of Newtown in Connecticut, where a crazy man named Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 26 people including 21 children. In the immediate aftermath, it was decided by elite opinion leaders that the country had reached a Teachable Moment in its insane attachment to its firearms. And this is what we’ve learned — people are coming to get our guns and we must buy more and better and bigger guns and carry them everywhere so that we can fight off the gun-grabbers and the insane people who we still must allow to have guns because the Second Amendment has no exception for insane people and therefore freedom.

That’s what we’ve learned.

And, in the past couple of days, we’ve had a school shooting in New Mexico, the killing of a man in a movie theater for the crime of texting his daughter, and a Republican group in Oregon which thought the best way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln was to raffle off a rifle. I mean, why not? Only one of those two guys was murdered with one.

It doesn’t end there. News of the acquittal of cops who beat Kelly Thomas to death is another nugget of shit from the past two days that has pissed me off and Digby has some good coverage of the story here: Hullabaloo

So they found the police not guilty of a crime in the torture and beating death of Kelly Thomas. I haven’t heard what the jury thought they were doing but the defense was based upon the idea that the officers were fighting for their lives.

Take a look at the victim after the beating he endured…

Go…go and look at it and read the rest. I could not bear to put the picture up on the post it is that graphic and disturbing.

204957f815870cda4a0013d51e8d4051I’ve got a few more stories on court rulings for you:

Federal court throws out net neutrality rules | Al Jazeera America

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out rules from the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, that required Internet service providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, a principle known as “net neutrality.”

The decision in the case, which pitted telecommunications giant Verizon against the FCC’s Open Internet rules, might open the door for ISPs to charge major companies like Google or Facebook for speedier access to content, edging out smaller content providers.

This next one really takes the fucking cake: Judge Rules That ‘No’ Means ‘Yes’

57ca7c68eb6ae6e0777e9a5aa906aabeLast week, a Swedish judge ruled that a man who proceeded to have sexual intercourse with a woman who was screaming “NO” so loudly that she went hoarse was not guilty of rape. People were understandably upset. And so, today, the judge wrote an op-ed clarifying that what he MEANT was that rape really depends on whether or not the rapist feels like they’re raping someone. Much better!

The case that’s causing forehead slaps across Sweden involves a 27-year-old woman who met a man at a restaurant and invited him back to her home accompanied him back to his home. After some consensual kissing, the man attempted to push for other sex acts, which the woman declined. The man proceeded to have sex with her, anyway, as she screamed “NO” loudly enough for the neighbors to hear. Which, you know, is rape. Pretty obviously rape.

Hmmm…..of course, you know…no means not no.

Lund district court judge Ralf G. Larsson, who listened sympathetically to the rapist’s claim that he didn’t think the woman actually meant that “NO” (which she was yelling); rather, she meant YES, which is a common synonym for NO. The woman countered that she most certainly did not mean YES, as she was screaming NO, but the judge ruled that because the rapist doesn’t know what NO means and thought that his victim was kind of into it, that thing he was doing to her as she was yelling NO, no rape was committed.

Today, he explained his big strong man judge logic with an op ed column that was both condescending and idiotic. Larsson wrote,

If the thought had not occurred to him, that she did not want to have sex with him, then he didn’t have any intention to do what he did.

He should have been acquitted. That’s how the rule of law works and that’s how the rule of law should work if I’m going to be a part of the justice system. […]

The woman had made very clear to the man at least six times that she did not want to do what he wanted to do. For example, oral and anal sex came up, and at each such incident the man did not proceed with what he wanted to do.

In other words, because he didn’t every kind of rape, he therefore could not have committed one form of rape. Rock solid logic.

939b54b3428aa558e12c4e80730acbfeYeah, he didn’t fuck her up the ass so he could not have “raped” her. Then this dickhead of a judge goes on to say:

If what is happening right now in mass and social media has the potential to scare less experienced judges, we’re on a dangerous path.

Raise your hand if you think Rolf Larsson has NO business being a judge. And by NO, I mean NO.

I will second that and add a NO and I mean FUCK NO!

In other ridiculous rape news: Anonymous Hacker Who Exposed the Steubenville Rapists May Get More Prison Time Than Rapists : Political Blind Spot

Deric Lostutter, the 26-year-old “hacktivist” who leaked the evidence that led to the conviction of two of the Steubenville, Ohio rapists is now facing more time behind bars than the rapists he exposed. The Steubenville Rape Case made national headlines when a video made by the rapists themselves, and their friends, proved that their victim was unconscious and unable to consent.

Instead of giving Lostutter thanks for exposing these criminals, however, the FBI raided his house last April. At first, Lostutter had denied that he was the man in the video, but he decided to come forward after the appalling reaction of the rapists after they were exposed.

Lostutter is now facing ten years behind bars if indicted for obtaining tweets and social media posts which revealed the details of the rape as well as for threatening action against the Steubenville rapists and school officials who helped to cover up the crime. Lostutter posted the video to the Steubenville High School football team website, bringing national attention to the case and the cover-up.

Word of Lostutter’s 10-years comes just as one of the rapists themselves, Ma’Lik Richomond, 16, was just released from prison for “good behavior.”

8ebc91cb27492af220d6e075ce8c4ed9More at the link…outrageous. The rapist gets less time than the dude who got the news of the rape and cover-up out to the public.

I think we need a new Superhero…make it a SuperShero. She is defender of rape victims everywhere, and she pulls a Bruce Wayne ala Peter Parker con Clark Kent on your ass if you rape or attempt to rape a person. Fuck yeah…this is gonna be good. Someone has to help me come up with a good name for her. And a good cover story and job and superpower.

She could be the Sky Dancer mascot…no that won’t do, it doesn’t go with the Buddhism thing.  The idea of kicking someone’s ass to a pulp is not very peaceful is it. (I guess that is why the 5th season of Dexter resonated so much for me…not to mention the film Thelma and Louise.)

And while we are on the topic of Women’s Issues and how bad the situation is in the United States: America Gets An Embarrassing C- In Women’s Reproductive Health

The Population Institute has released its annual State of Reproductive Health And Rights report card, and it seems that in the opinion of the massive educational nonprofit, America isn’t doing so hot. If America were a high schooler, America would be grounded until America gets its grades up, otherwise America won’t be getting into any colleges.

The report consolidates information most people who have been paying attention to the news probably suspected: as the federal government attempts to expand access to reproductive health care, right wing ideologues at the state level are working busily to ensure that women can’t physically access the care the federal government is trying to expand. It’s like the federal government built a dream house halfway up a mountain and handed women the keys, but states were like, let’s make it illegal to build a driveway and then put a fence around the house and remove all the doors. And the women of states run by conservatives are like, hey, why can’t I get into my house? And the state legislators are like, use your bootstraps to get in. Monday morning analogy!

Because of this, the United States still lags embarrassingly behind other developed countries in women’s reproductive health (half of pregnancies in the US are “unintended,” which is absurdly high) and, if social conservatives at the state level get their way, could slip even further.

055bd132a3f262985577fda60aa6a09aWell, nothing else would be more depressing then the attitude of those right-wing assholes once those pregnancies come to fruition. They just don’t give a damn. Like this next story out of Indiana, which is so upsetting, I can’t even tell you how it disturbed me to read about it. Three Children Died During The Polar Vortex After Their Heat Was Cut Off | ThinkProgress

Like the rest of the mid-west, the town of Hammond, Indiana, spent the first part of last week plunged below zero degrees. But while some families tried to shut out the cold by turning up their heat and staying under blankets, the bitter temperatures turned deadly for the family of a man named Andre Young.

The house that Young was renting for himself, his wife, and five children had its electricity cut off since March, gas since April, and water since October, according to records obtained by the Chicago Tribune. On that fateful night last week, the family was getting by on propane space heaters. Authorities suspect that’s what sparked a flame that engulfed the house around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8th.

According to witness accounts, Young ran in to the house to try to rescue his five children inside. He successfully saved two — a two-year-old and a six-year-old — before the flames caused serious injury and he collapsed into the snow. Another man tried to kick in the door and save the three children who remained inside, ages four, three, and seven months. But the attempts were unsuccessful; when first responders arrived, they found the three and the four-year-old holding on to one another, just feet from the door. The seven-month-old was nearby. All three children died.

Young, who remains hospitalized in critical condition, works in lawn care, according to the Tribune. His wife worked at Walmart, but most recently was a stay-at-home mom. As is the case with so many low-income families across the U.S., neighbors say the money was not enough to make the utility payments. 1f7bdb424636fcc5aaa8c0abda64a005On two occasions, he had tried to take electricity from meters hooked up to other houses.

Turns out the house had not been inspected and the landlord was ignoring officials and refusing to pay fines, in fact the landlord was supposed to be in court this past Thursday, but did not show. The mother worked at Walmart, the father was in lawn care.

“We inspect every rental property and this one was not inspected,” City Attorney Kristina Kantar told ThinkProgress. “No water, no power, no electricity, that’s bad. But we can’t tell that from the outside of the property.”

Kantar said that she sees cases like this “every day.” Sometimes people are squatters, or sometimes, like Young, they’re just behind on utilities, and no city officials realize there is a family inside. “It’s only because there’s a fire that you even know about this,” Kantar said.

There are some programs meant to assist families like Young’s. In Hammond, Indiana, the North Township Trustee administers the federal money provided by the federal low-income energy assistance program (LIHEAP). The office can give amounts between $100 and $500 starting in October to individuals and families within 125 percent of the poverty line. Indiana’s utility, NIPSCO, also offers a hardship program and a discount program. NIPSCO spokesperson Kathleen Szot confirmed to ThinkProgress that Young was on some form of assistance, though she did not specify which kind.

Read the rest of this story. It is heartbreaking. These fucking Republicans have so much blood on their hands. Real human being blood, and not a zygote clump of cells. PLUB assholes.

73fd00d5b52a80c0759d6b04b83efa83 Robert SchulzCheck this out, Rich GOP Donor Gets Lawmaker to Draft a Bill to Lower His Child Support Payments | Mother Jones

After Michael Eisenga, a wealthy GOP donor and Wisconsin business owner, failed to convince several courts to lower his child support payments, he came up with an inventive plan B—he recruited a Republican state legislator to rewrite Wisconsin law in his favor.

A set of documents unearthed Saturday by the Wisconsin State Journal shows Eisenga and his lawyer, William Smiley, supplying detailed instructions to Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch on how to word legislation capping child support payments from the wealthy. Kleefisch began work on the legislation last fall, weeks after an appeals court rejected Eisenga’s attempts to lower his child support payments.

For example, in a September 13 letter, a drafting lawyer with Wisconsin’s legislative services bureau complained to a Kleefisch aide, “It’s hard to fashion a general principle that will apply to only one situation.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Eisenga’s current child support payments for the three children he has with his ex-wife are set at $216,000 a year. (Per the couple’s prenuptial agreement, the divorce settlement left his $30 million in assets untouched.)

The balls on these guys!

In 2010, Eisenga donated $10,000 to Kleefisch and his wife, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, according to the Journal Sentinel. Eisenga also donated $15,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The drafting documents, available on the Wisconsin legislature’s website, leave little not doubt that the bill was written to Eisenga’s specifications. According to the documents, on September 5, Eisenga’s lawyer briefed him on changes he was suggesting to a draft of Kleefisch’s bill. “We focused only on the portion that would require the court to modify your child support order based solely on the passage of the bill,” Smiley wrote. Eisenga then forwarded that letter to Kleefisch and one of his aides, saying, “Please have the drafter make these SPECIFIC changes to the bill.” The next day, Kleefisch’s aide forwarded the letter to the legislative lawyer drafting the bill.

A hearing for the bill is scheduled Wednesday before the Assembly Family Law Committee.

Eisenga and Smiley declined to speak to local news outlets about their emails with Kleefisch. On Saturday, Kleefisch told the Journal, “I do a gamut of legislation with the help and assistance of many, many constituents, and whether they gave a contribution or not has not made a difference.”

Oh…I think Kleefisch is full of Bullshit!

1340a3e360de713968f28bbd404135aeWhile on the subject of inflated dickheads: Medicare Is Grievously Overpaying for Penis Pumps – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic

Perhaps you had assumed that penis pumps were merely novelty items, sold mostly by email spammers and in a few musty sex shops. If so, you might be interested to learn that they’re actually considered a medical fallbackoption for men whose erectile dysfunction cannot be cured by drugs like Viagra—and that Medicare has been vastly overpaying for them for years.

So says a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, descriptively titled: “Medicare Payments for Vacuum Erection Systems Are More Than Twice As Much As the Amounts Paid For the Same or Similar Devices By Non-Medicare Payers.”

A “vacuum erection system,” in case anybody’s unclear, is just a penis pump. Between 2006 and 2011, Medicare spent a total of $172 million to purchase 473,620 such devices, at an average cost to the government of $360 each. The Veterans Administration, by comparison, pays just $185 per pump. With a little Google searching, the OIG found options available for an average of $164.

Had Medicare paid those sorts of prices, it could have saved $14 million during each of the five years the report examined.

Ugh…go and read the rest of that shit too.

This next link is full of information, and it is just neat. 40 more maps that explain the world

Maps seemed to be everywhere in 2013, a trend I like to think we encouraged along with August’s 40 maps that explain the world. Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. You might consider this, then, a collection of maps meant to inspire your inner map nerd. I’ve searched far and wide for maps that can reveal and surprise and inform in ways that the daily headlines might not, with a careful eye for sourcing and detail. I’ve included a link for more information on just about every one. Enjoy.

And I will end with this wonderful tweet from NYC:

Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander Seen Outside Tom’s Restaurant In NYC (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Innit it great to see the two of them outside that familiar diner once again?

Have a great day and stop by for a comment or two.


56 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Overpriced GOP-Head Pumps and When No Means Yes”

  1. Good morning…

    Latest on the shooting victims in New Mexico: N.M. teacher’s actions saved lives in school shooting

    I hope BB comes and puts up the link and commentary on WBUR second article…its good.

    • Latest on the water situation in West Virginia:

      W.Va. congressional delegation calls for action  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports -

      As hundreds of thousands of West Virginians enter their seventh day without usable water, the state’s congressional delegation is calling for action, but generally not abandoning the pro-industry tone that often dominates Mountain State politics.

      Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he would move to reintroduce a stalled bill that would reform the way the nation regulates hazardous chemicals, such as the 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol that leaked into the Elk River last week.

      One-third of customers have water  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports -

      About one-third of the West Virginia American Water customers affected by a do-not-use water advisory had been told they can use their tap water as of Tuesday evening, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Tuesday night.

      Officials said there is still no timeline to completely restore water to everyone in the nine counties affected by the leak of a coal-processing chemical into the Elk River last week. About 300,000 residents were under the advisory at its peak.

      • RalphB says:

        Scotland plans to be 100% renewable energy by 2020 and are at 40% now. We might give that a try, do ya’ think?

      • bostonboomer says:

        No way would I trust the authorities assessment of the water safety if I lived in WV!

      • Fannie says:

        This pisses me off too. Why on earth did the women, men, parents, families, the communities allow this plant to be put in their back yard? Maybe they didn’t know what questions to ask, but they should have known about Erin Brockovich (she fought PG&E), and won. She put up a hell of a good fight, and fights to this very day.

        The ban has been lifted, and I’ve seen photos today that show the ugly water that they say is okay to drink. Not to mention the animals, birds, etc. that have used this water. Nothing knows nothing about the long term effects of 4 methylcyclohexanemethanol. They don’t know about the teratogenic (birth defects) that come from such exposure.

        I have had friends who took the chemical, DES (Diethylstilbestrol) to help prevent miscarriages, etc. Many of their children had various forms of birth defects and cancer.
        Some of those babies were called flipper babies. Most of these women are firm believers in abortions, they know what happened to their bodies (hysterectomies), and their babies, and their miscarriages. And the cervix cancers that was passed on to these daughters. Women should be angry, because they failed to ask the important questions, how will this effect me and my family. I am frightened for this community, knowing that they are shutting down funds and clinics that help women deal with their reproductive rights. While we sit by and let this kind of thing happen. We need to stand up and fight for a safe and healthy environment.

        Women shouldn’t let men make decisions about their bodies, they should not take their bodies for granted. Now thousands of our sisters are faced, are once again faced with dangerous chemicals in their water, and food system. It pisses me off, cause it can happen in my back yard too.

  2. Holy shit!

    This wasn’t the first blow-up for Florida theater shooter – CNN.com

    A few weeks before a texting dispute turned deadly inside a Florida theater, the suspect Curtis Reeves had another run-in with a moviegoer, prosecutors said.

    During Reeves’ first court appearance on Tuesday, prosecutors said they have heard from another theater patron who said the 71-year-old former Tampa cop saw her texting and “glared at her the entire time throughout the movie” during a screening about three weeks ago.

    When the woman got up to use the restroom, Reeves followed her and “made her very uncomfortable,” prosecutors said.

    CNN affiliate WTSP later identified the woman as Jamira Dixon of Wesley Chapel, the Tampa suburb where Monday’s shooting took place.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    It crossed my mind – once again – that so much of the sh*t we wake up to each day is a direct assault of the GOP.

    Starting with the war on women, the lack of any reasonable gun control, the “Stand Your Ground Law” that allows anyone to shoot anyone else over nothing, the lack of regulations that permits industries to pollute to the point of death, the redefinition of “rape”, the withholding of food and medicine from the poor, a disbelief in science which could lead us into a world wide disaster, religion being crammed down our throats or else, and the denial of voting rights which is the one thing we all share.

    How anyone with one working brain cell can find themselves listening to or voting for the same people who foist this crap on us is beyond comprehension.

    But in all fairness let’s all agree that these travesties are the result of the GOP itself since I have yet to hear one fair minded liberal ever introduce this junk and salute it with a straight face.

    The only way to make progress is to rid ourselves of the nutjobs that support and defend this stupidity.

    • RalphB says:

      I keep wondering when people, particularly women, are going to get their fill of this horror show and vote these assholes out of office! Why they haven’t already done it is simply beyond me.

      • Fannie says:

        I think that what is hurting Chris Christie……….the women weren’t voting for his bullshitt.

  4. Alright, another dick for you: GOP Congressional Candidate: Spousal Rape Shouldn’t Be a Crime | Mother Jones

    After taking a drubbing in last year’s state elections, Virginia Republicans are debating whether their party has come to be defined by its extremists. But in a congressional district in Northern Virginia, one of the state’s main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf. And he’s guaranteed to ignite wedge-issue passion. Exhibit A: As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”

    Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as “baby pesticide.” Black also fought to block a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a former Confederate site in Richmond. He wasn’t sure, he explained at the time, that statues of Lincoln belonged in Virginia. He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery. And once, to demonstrate why libraries should block pornography on their computers, Black invited a TV reporter to film him using a library terminal to watch violent rape porn.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Hi JJ,

    I can’t believe I slept till almost noon today.

    I admit there’s a lot of depressing news, but you make it more palatable with your illustrations. They are wonderful.

    I put a link in yesterday’s post that the FBI is looking into the police beating the homeless man to death in CA. Maybe they will be able to try the cops for some kind of civil rights violation.

    I didn’t know Jerry and “George” were still friends. That was a fun pic to see.

    • Hey I just saw this comment, yeah…aren’t those images great!

      Look at this shit btw: Dan Henninger: Chris Christie Is an Amateur – WSJ.com

      There haven’t been so many reporters chasing a story in Trenton, N.J., since Washington crossed the Delaware. But compared with the methods the Democratic Party is using now to take down its opponents, Chris Christie looks like Little Bo Peep.

      Gov. Christie’s hyper-political aides ordered traffic jams in neighborhoods near the perpetually backed-up George Washington Bridge to annoy the mayor of Fort Lee. And they may have canceled meetings with the mayor of Jersey City because he wouldn’t endorse Mr. Christie. Oh my.

      The Christie bonfire has burned for a week. In that same week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI found nothing in the IRS’s targeting of conservative political groups that warrants criminal charges.

      This conclusion struck lawyers Jay Sekulow and Cleta Mitchell as fairly amazing. Both represent conservative groups targeted by the IRS, and they say the FBI only recently got in touch with a few of their clients.

      then he goes on to spout shit about Obama getting away with it but check this out

      An event like Chris Christie’s traffic jam is the Internet’s version of bread and circuses. What the Democrats’ left-wing activists have learned is that most of the time the Web’s political media beasts are sleeping. It’s most opportune during those periods of non-attention to use modern media technology not just to hit one’s opponents, but to drive them from politics.

      Ask ALEC.

      ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-of-center group of state legislators who gather to compare notes on public-policy issues. The group’s ultimate goal is to create templates for bills to enact their policy ideas, such as reforming state public-pension obligations.

      Because this process gets laws passed, the left has created organizations whose job is to take down ALEC by frightening its financial supporters.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Here is part two of WBUR’s story on the Todashev case.

    Questions Rankle Amid Long FBI Silence On Fatal Shooting

    http://www.wbur.org/2014/01/15/todashev-force-weapons-questions

    • RalphB says:

      It’s pretty apparent by now that the FBI just murdered that man and they’re stonewalling now hoping to wait it out and cover it all up. Hope to hell they don’t get away with it.

    • BB, has the FBI released the condo from being a crime scene yet? What is the usual time frame for that sort of thing?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yes, a friend of Todashev was living there. The NPR article says the unit is now vacant. The family took photos of the blood and mess.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    The WV spill isn’t just affecting people in WV.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    There is no way I’d go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi!

    Seven die in shootout during pre-Olympic Russia militant sweep

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/15/.UtbcKJfLmFU.twitter

  9. dakinikat says:

    I would really like each of the supremes to do escort services at women’s clinics because they would realize how frightening it is to have religious freaks screaming at you directly in your face! It’s a form of assault.

    http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/01/experts_supremes_will_end_buffer_zone

    • dakinikat says:

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/01/15/supreme_court_hears_abortion_clinic_buffer_zone_case_the_judges_should_uphold.html

      Michelle Kinsey Bruns, a Virginia-based activist who has volunteered in clinic defense in eight states, told me that she’s seen plenty of patients who come to clinics “in fight mode,” worried about being bullied by protesters. “That’s what clinic harassment and violence have done for the experience of going to a gynecologist’s office: Patients know it’s going to be a gauntlet, and they approach it like a combat zone.” And Lori Gregory-Garrott, an escort at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, wrote on Slate about the daily battle that is just trying to get patients past a wall of hostile protesters, even if the patients are just picking up their birth control prescriptions.

      These cases indeed pose a grave threat to religious liberty, but not to the owners of these businesses. Exempting ordinary, nonreligious, profit-seeking businesses from a general law because of the religious beliefs of their owners would be extraordinary, especially when doing so would shift the costs of observing those beliefs to those of other faiths or no faith. The threat to religious liberty, then, comes from the prospect that the court might permit a for-profit business to impose the costs of its owners’ anti-contraception beliefs on employees who do not share them by forcing employees to pay hundreds of dollars or more out-of-pocket each year for contraception and related services that should be covered under the law.

      • NW Luna says:

        Double standard here:

        the Supreme Court found that the “God hates fags” protesters that picket military funerals have a right to free speech, the government still has laws requiring protesters to keep their distance—300 feet and not the paltry 35 the Supreme Court is considering today.

        And here — SCOTUS has different ideas about what’s protest, depending on whether it applies to them or not.

        The court — which bars protests on the plaza outside its own building , but allows them on the public sidewalks — last considered abortion clinic protest zones in 2000, when it upheld a Colorado law.

        • bostonboomer says:

          If crowds of people stood outside emergency rooms screaming, holding disgusting signs, and accosting sick people, I’m pretty sure the police would be called and arrests would ensue.

    • RalphB says:

      TBogg ‏@tbogg 11m

      Is it okay to hang out in front of Sunday schools and tell the kids that religion is bullshit? I’m asking for the Supreme Court.

  10. dakinikat says:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/01/christie-an-angry-dictator-toward-the-press.html

    The Time Chris Christie Shut Down a Public Television Station That Did a Tough Story on Him

    • bostonboomer says:

      Christie is going to wish he hadn’t called the press “morons” now. The’ll rip him every chance they get.

  11. dakinikat says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/exemptions-from-the-contraception-mandate-threaten-religious-liberty/2014/01/15/f5cb9bd0-7d79-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html

    Exemptions from the ‘contraception mandate’ threaten religious liberty

    Frederick Mark Gedicks holds the Guy Anderson Chair at Brigham Young University Law School and is co-author of “RFRA Exemptions from the Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation of Religion,” forthcoming in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

  12. NW Luna says:

    I’m getting very pissed-off at our allegedly Democratic governor, who has turned into an abject suck-up to corporate thugs:

    Even after giving Boeing Co. one of the largest packages of tax breaks in U.S. history, state leaders in Washington told the aerospace giant in a proposal released Wednesday that they are ready to do even more.

    In the 164-page proposal obtained under public disclosure laws, Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration vowed to work with Boeing on water quality issues, workers’ compensation costs and improved transportation infrastructure.

    State officials identified more than $4 billion in possible transportation projects that they deemed “key to Boeing’s success in Washington state.” Lawmakers have yet to approve a transportation package proposed last year that would include those projects. ….

    Washington leaders approved nearly $9 billion in tax breaks in November to aid Boeing, and the additional written proposal was designed to woo Boeing as the company considered competing bids from other states interested in attracting work.

    This, in a state and region where the middle and lower class are badly in need of solutions to stagnant transportation, health, education, and environmental problems.

    • RalphB says:

      I really hate to say it but that sounds a lot like they want to be Texas. It would be better to spend that money trying to diversify the economy so Boeing wouldn’t hold leverage.

      • NW Luna says:

        “better to spend that money trying to diversify the economy so Boeing wouldn’t hold leverage.”

        ITA. Exactly what many are saying here. You give a bully what it wants and it’s just going to demand more.

  13. NW Luna says:

    The city of Lynnwood will pay a woman $150,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed after police charged her with filing a false report because they didn’t believe she had been raped.

    It turned out the woman, identified in court documents by the initials D.M., was one of several victims of serial rapist Marc O’Leary, a former Washington man who admitted the 2008 crime and is serving a 327-year prison sentence in Colorado for raping three women there. O’Leary, in addition to assaulting D.M., also admitted he raped a 63-year-old Kirkland woman.

    When the woman reported the attack to Lynnwood police, she says detectives Jerry Rittgarn and Sgt. Jeff Mason didn’t believe her. After claiming police coerced her into recanting her story, the woman was charged with false reporting and fined $500 when she later tried to insist the rape did happen.

    ID.M. also reached a settlement with Cocoon House, a private, nonprofit at-risk-youth program where she was living when the assault occurred. Records show the woman — who was 18 at the time of the attack — was threatened with eviction unless she underwent counseling and stood in front of other program participants to say she had lied about being raped, according to court documents.

    It wasn’t until 2½ years later, when O’Leary was arrested in Colorado, that Lynnwood police reopened their investigation. Among the items Colorado detectives found in O’Leary’s possession were photographs of D.M. and her ID card.

    Well, imagine that! The woman was telling the truth. And then they give her a pittance for all the humiliation and psychological torture she went through with the cops and the youth program — both of which are supposed to help people. I hope those sick cops get fired, fined, and driven out of town.

  14. RalphB says:

    Finally …

  15. RalphB says:

    WTF took him so long?