Wednesday Reads: How many generations will it take?

5ee1c69b27ec2235ceba446bdca722a3

Good Morning

Just a side note, most of the links today are items I had saved for Sunday. But with the earthquake in Nepal, and then the quick Goodfellas post, I just decided to share them with you today.

Now, on Monday….we had to go to our local Banjoville courthouse to visit the tax office and take care of the car tags. Well, what do you think happened? The damn place was closed.

Why?

Why was it closed?

Because we live in the fucking South were they don’t forget and they hold grudges forever. The kind of grudges that get laws passed so that they make it illegal NOT to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

Yup, it is against the law to work on Confederate Memorial Day.

Fiddle-dee-fuck-a-doodle-doo!

Check this out:

6aca4a9a974332a933740383566c75f7Did Confederate Memorial Day close government offices in your state today?

In Cullman County, Alabama, a local government vote stirred up 150 years of angst when Revenue Commissioner Barry Willingham wanted to keep the local courthouse open on Confederate Memorial Day.

For years, on the fourth Monday in April people showed up to the courthouse to buy car tags and fishing licenses, unaware that it was closed for the state holiday, which is officially observed in Alabama, Willingham explained. Businesses, schools and even offices in neighboring counties stay open, Willingham said, so people complained about the local government not doing the same. He understood their frustration.6dbc49700360cad13e24516eff49e985

“It’s not a prominent holiday,” said Willingham, who was born and raised in Cullman County, about 50 miles north of Birmingham. “I don’t think Microsoft adds Confederate Memorial Day to my Outlook.”

Usually, the holiday passes largely unnoticed, even by the local press.

But that didn’t happenthis year. County officials voted to stay open on Confederate Memorial Day and instead close Cullman County’s government doors on Good Friday, a day when there’s less demand for county services. After that vote, people told Willingham and his colleagues that they “ought to be ashamed of dishonoring our Confederate veterans,” he explained.

19b6769e1ada53fbc3880822c9c3e984“It’s still going to be a holiday, ain’t no way we can change that fact,” he said. “We’re just not closing the courthouse.”

Alabama closes its government offices today in observance of Confederate Memorial Day, along with Mississippi and Georgia. On May 10, South Carolina government offices will close in observance of the state holiday.

Of the 11 Southern states that made up the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, few agreed on what date was best for remembrance once the war officially ended in 1865. Shortly after the war was declared over, a group of women in Columbus, Georgia, gathered for the first Confederate Memorial Day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers and rededicate themselves to the memory of those men and the war they fought.4f05602a51012912dd93fc9df4afddc6

I mean, how many generations have to pass before the regular memorial day will do? You know the one that covers all the wars?

Today, dates of state observance are scattered from April to June and are loosely associated with the Confederacy’s surrender to Sherman on April 26, the death of Stonewall Jackson on May 10 or the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on June 3. This year, Texas celebrated Confederate Heroes Day on Jan. 19. That also happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In Mississippi, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann issued a proclamation to tell state employees and officers they had the day off, in accordance with a 1972 state statute.

cfad9d6ee0e1e3fc1440ced9f325e7d8“I believe observance of Confederate Memorial Day is set by statute,” said Nicole Webb, spokeswoman for Gov. Phil Bryant, referring to the 1972 measure. “Elected lawmakers at that time would have voted on the issue. I know other states also observe it.”

This year, Georgia’s government officials have prioritized Confederate Memorial Day as a state holiday, along with Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. However, there seems to be more reluctance to talk about why the Capitol and state agencies close in observance of the holiday 150 years after the end of the Civil War.

0894d4a52f2eb56654ec455d63ff375dWhen the NewsHour asked Brian Robinson, the communications director for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, via e-mail for comment about why it was important for Georgians to remember Confederate Memorial Day, Robinson simply wrote “no thanks.”

Can you believe this shit? Confederate Memorial day has the same fucking priority as Christmas and Thanksgiving?

I have no words, other than the flowery ones that have been spewed above.

In connection to this:1de77f229700dd8a578fb8f45ef5706c

John Wilkes Booth Loomis Has a Nice Ring to It – Lawyers, Guns & Money

Naming your kids after John Wilkes Booth. Now that takes some hate.

Dozens of Lincoln’s enemies honoured his assassin in the same manner as the Devrees family. A quick search via the Federal census records on the Ancestry website reveals roughly a hundred American families who appear to have named children after Booth in the post-war years. Unsurprisingly, about 90% heralded from the southern states, but a small handful, like the Illinoisans, were northerners – probably ‘Copperhead’ opponents of the 54061f4ea5b194a80da6af8d1e8462dfUnion cause seeking solace in small acts of defiance. Most of the northern Booths came from counties close to slaveholding areas – places where sympathies for the Confederate cause ran deep – and I haven’t found a single instance of a postwar New Englander (citizens of the old antislavery heartland) sharing a name with Lincoln’s killer. Notably, in borderlands like Missouri – where neighbour clashed with neighbour and the Federal government fought to contain dissent – the practice was particularly common. Some of the records leave little to the imagination when it comes to the parents’ political loyalties (John Wilkes Booth Sharp, born in Georgia, circa 1871), but others (Washington Booth Stamton, born in Baltimore, circa 1871) hint at an attempt to induct Booth into a pantheon of American heroes. The true heir to the father of the republic, the latter implied, was the actor-assassin, and not the martyred president.

0b8421a95c2ab20442844cf151ccb3a2These families, in preserving the memory of Lincoln’s killer, were writing a history of the Civil War in which liberty was the victim rather than the victor. As late as the 1890s the odd new-born in the South was given Booth’s name, though the practice seems to have become less common after the restoration of white supremacy in the 1870s. This may be a result of changing enumeration practices, but it might owe something also to the late nineteenth-century “reconciliationist” remembering of the Civil War as a noble struggle between two valiant adversaries, and not as an ideological conflict over slavery, race, and citizenship. The first professional historians writing around the turn of the century cast Lincoln as a magnanimous commander-in-chief whose slaying served as an excuse for the imposition of a supposedly Carthaginian peace on the Confederacy. 718d6f849970fa35e8349bfa3bdf90bbBooth here was no longer the defender of liberty but a man whose rash crime ushered in the phantom horrors of Reconstruction. It might have been unwise to use his name.

Addicting Info – He Shot Two Citizens In 10 Days, And Police Gave This Killer Cop His Own Billboard (IMAGE/VIDEO)

On Baltimore:

Baltimore police commissioner: ‘The city is stable’

But the baseball games are being played in an empty stadium…A Brief History of Pro Sports Played in Empty Stadiums | Mental Floss

On Monday and Tuesday, the Orioles canceled their scheduled games at Camden Yards against the White Sox due to safety concerns related to the protests in Baltimore. But making up games over the course of the long and crowded MLB season schedule is difficult, and so, yesterday, the team announced an unusual solution—one that has never been used in the history of the game. Wednesday’s game at Camden Yards will still be played, but no fans will be permitted to attend. That’s right, the teams will play today in front of an empty stadium—intentionally.

 

 

According to a tweet from MLB’s Official Historian John Thorn, this is the first time such a solution has been used to accommodate extenuating circumstances. But thanks to the wacky promotional tactics employed in the Minor Leagues, it’s not the first zero attendance game.

Overwhelmed by protesters in Baltimore, Maryland governor says it will not happen again – video | US news | The Guardian

edca685e5c2a237538dee580c9d148aeBaltimore vs. Ferguson: This Is What Happens When Police Show Restraint – The Daily Banter

Jon Stewart slams Wolf Blitzer’s ‘shock’ over Baltimore: ‘Ferguson was just a few months ago’

Hours after being called out by a Ferguson activist, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was the butt of the joke on the Daily Show on Tuesday night, as Jon Stewart hammered him for acting shocked about the unrest in Baltimore.

“Elvis leading a herd of orthodox Jewish unicorns through a city street — that would be hard to believe,” Stewart said. “This sh*t happens all the time. Ferguson was just a few months ago, and you were talking about it.”

212475ef8cb32c7e36728811baab84a6To prove his point, Stewart showed footage of Blitzer acting just as apoplectic over the protests in Ferguson last November.

“I am worried about you,” Stewart said. “Do I need to get [Adam] Sandler to go over to your house and just run sh*t by you every morning?”

Overall, Stewart said, reporters have failed to pick up on the recurring nature of urban protests in the US, with Baltimore and Ferguson taking their place among manifestations of turmoil like Watts, Los Angeles, and Miami, among others.

“These cyclical eruptions appear like tragedy cicadas,” he said. “Depressing in their similarity, predictability, and intractability.”

Which brings me to this image someone posted on Facebook:

11144086_660333364095642_7169293682761099664_n

Tacky yes, but it sure as hell makes a point.

a710050a29d2b36e8de09d162fa4a510Updates on the earthquake:

Kathmandu daily exodus may reach 300,000 as residents flee chaos | World news | The Guardian

Nepal earthquake: Relief starts reaching remote villages – BBC News

The post-earthquake tragedy in Nepal keeps getting worse – Business Insider

Death Toll From Nepal Earthquake Crosses 5,000 as Rescue Teams Begin to Arrive at Remote Villages | TIME

Nepal earthquake: death toll could reach 10,000, says PM | World news | The Guardian

 

All the talk of earthquakes, this article from a couple of weeks ago seemed to be foretelling, even if it was discussing our country. Half the US Faces Earthquake Risk

This hazard map by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals earthquake ground motions for various probability levels across the United States.
This hazard map by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals earthquake ground motions for various probability levels across the United States.
Credit: USGS

PASADENA, Calif. — Earthquakes threaten roughly half the U.S. population, a new study finds.

103dfd95571fc56531829c96d8e68875More than 143 million Americans live in earthquake-prone regions in the Lower 48 states, according to research presented here Wednesday (April 22) at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America. If you include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, that number rises to about 150 million U.S. citizens, said lead researcher Kishor Jaiswal, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contractor.

In a previous estimate prepared in 1991, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said 75 million people in 35 states were at risk of earthquakes.

Now, more people are living in quake-prone areas than a quarter-century ago, Jaiswal said. The USGS has also learned more about earthquake hazards. The nation’s most recent national seismic hazard maps are much more detailed than the 1996 version, Jaiswal said. [Image Gallery: This Millennium’s Destructive Earthquakes]

a0a021930ff1ee47ee5ce47d049fde99You can read more about the risk and see a larger map at the link.

Some information on the horrible situation in the Mediterranean:

No military solution to boat migrant crisis: U.N. chief to paper | Reuters

Captain used gun, stick to keep African migrants in line, authorities say – LA Times

A look at same sex marriage vs. women’s reproductive rights: Why the U.S. Is Going Forward on SSM and Backwards On Reproductive Rights – Lawyers, Guns & Money

Many great points from Pollitt here. Two points are particularly worthy of emphasis. First, the extent to which SSM meshes better with traditionalist conceptions of the family:

8c647155383cafb9c48e1bbc9be82958Marriage equality is about love, romance, commitment, settling down, starting a family. People love love! But marriage equality is also about tying love to family values, expanding a conservative institution that has already lost most of its coercive social power and become optional for millions. (Marriage equality thus follows Pollitt’s law: Outsiders get access when something becomes less valued, which is why women can be art historians and African-Americans win poetry prizes.) Far from posing a threat to marriage, as religious opponents claim, permitting gays to marry gives the institution a much-needed update, even as it presents LGBT people as no threat to the status quo: Instead of promiscuous child molesters and lonely gym teachers, gays and lesbians are your neighbors who buy Pottery Barn furniture and like to barbecue.

c9c5293a2fe2a0024c1a75d9ecdbf0d7Reproductive rights, by contrast, is about sex—sexual freedom, the opposite of marriage—in all its messy, feckless glory. It replaces the image of women as chaste, self-sacrificing mothers dependent on men with that of women as independent, sexual, and maybe not so self-sacrificing. It doesn’t matter that contraception is indispensable to modern life, that abortion antedates the sexual revolution by thousands of years, that plenty of women who have abortions are married, or that most (60 percent) who have abortions are already mothers. Birth control and abortion allow women—and, to a lesser extent, men—to have sex without punishment, a.k.a. responsibility. And our puritanical culture replies: You should pay for that pleasure, you slut.

29bbd4a08f8c3684e1fd28dfef30caaaLemieux quotes other points at the link, so go and take a look.

More on Women’s abortion rights: I am pro-abortion, not just pro-choice: 10 reasons why we must support the procedure and the choice – Salon.com

On the 2016 Election front:

Carlson: Leave The Modern Tribalism Of The Left And You’re Stoned To Death | Crooks and Liars

When a black female decides to “support the candidate who supports the Constitution,” it’s pretty obvious where she’s getting her ideas, especially when that candidate supports the right to discriminate against her. The camaradarie of other young Rand Paul supporters who like the idea of the Libertarian “hero,” must be pretty awesome.

ce28708ce834738babcc270906580e8aI don’t understand it….

Somehow, 19 year old Zuri Davis, has been brainwashed to believe that her constitutional rights are being “taken away.” Fox and Friends has to show their diversity, and Zuri, as an African-American Rand Paul supporter, fills that niche. This girl, who doesn’t want to be put in a box, said,

“It’s sad that we’re still getting caught up on subjectivity.”

The subjective nature of a candidate with a well-known history of White Supremacy is of no concern to Davis. She wants to defend the Constitution, while ignoring those trivial matters of equality for both women and minorities.

Encouraging her to agree with his insane rhetoric, Carlson throws out this zinger:

6fde3e51c3a4e4c13a51d226594110ba“Well, the modern tribalism of the Left demands that each person choose a group and then agree with everything that group agrees with. Then, anyone who leaves that group, is STONED to death. (Do) You reject that?”

Gee, Tucker, does she reject the notion of punishing someone to death by biblical savagery? Since when has the Democratic Party employed such tactics? Zuri says that she just wants diversity of thought. You know, that G.O.P. diversity? It’s the collective idea of denying that there’s ever been an issue of White Supremacy. Apparently, she also wants someone who’s not afraid to deny science and who has no problem shushing a woman who is getting out of line. Should a woman be raped, probably because she was asking for it, she should be have no rights if she wants an abortion. Mr. Small Government wants to control all the uteri, Zuri Davis’ body included.

18a5d66df542b3e41a27ddd962f4b13aMore at the link.

 

Did you see Hillary’s speech this past week? Addicting Info – Hillary’s Fiery Speech: Religious Beliefs Must Change For Social Justice (VIDEO)

And I guess there was some squawk about The most troubling thing about Russian hackers reading Obama’s unclassified emails – Business Insider

And while at BI: What it’s like to live on food stamps – Business Insider  I will give you a hint, Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t know how to do it….big surprise there.

This next link is interesting, an essay on putting an innocent man in jail. Alabama man convicted of wife kill with bogus evidence – NY Daily News

8c3cfbaa0b995d6a3b58af1e1c01e5d7The film Goodfellas is not the only thing celebrating its 25th anniversary this year: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 25th anniversary | Uncover California

Someone asked me what my thoughts were on the Atlanta teaching scandal. I have to say I think it was a shitty thing, and wrong on so many levels, but I also feel that Jon Stewart hit it just right. You can see his segment here:

Jon Stewart takes on Atlanta’s teaching scandal | Political Insider blog

Video clip direct link here: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/x4vg3f/fraud-city

Let’s end this with pictures of rainbows, but no Elvis or Jewish unicorns: Manhattan rainbow | Today’s Image | EarthSky

…and how about a video of a Monkey dropkicks young man after the guy flashes the finger – NY Daily News

8ccfe33ba4a96df641fac979f8ac7065Looks like he picked the wrong monkey to mess with.

Newly posted security camera footage, purportedly from the monkey-laden city of Shimla in Northern India, shows a primate teaching a young man a lesson: Animals don’t like being flicked off, either.

A couple of guys walk past the monkey in a market area of the capital city of the Himachal Pradesh state and the former British Raj summer capital in the video.

1bb68f3bd19c63041804ca1eac92d0d1But, rather than passing by the animal like other pedestrians in the video, one of them motions at the monkey, causing it to jump up on a crate for a better view.

The simian bears its teeth at the young man, who, undeterred, appears to raise his middle finger at the animal. That’s when the monkey leaps toward the human and lays him out with a swift push and two-legged primate kick to the torso — an attack the video shows once in real time and again in slow motion for good measure.

Now that is one smart ass monkey!

What are you all reading about today?

 

Here are more images of relief posters…

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Wednesday Reads: TR-6? I prefer to think of her as… Elaine.

5116b9018bff112970689c3d9157ac0b Good Morning

Well, they sure are creepy, yes?

——————>

Sort of like a Twilight Zone nightmare.

I don’t know why I decided to adorn today’s thread with images of mannequins but so it goes. There has to be some hidden meaning behind it, if I was feeling better I probably could figure what that was…

Hey, if corporations are people…and a clump of cells are an unborn child (which would of course bring with it murder for miscarriage) then this latest ruling should come as no surprise: Addicting Info – Two Chimpanzees Given Legal ‘Personhood’ Rights In Landmark Court Decision

eb42cf59f07170d4e53aa1c89c77699cManhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe made a historical court decision on Monday. Judge Jaffe ordered that two chimpanzees have the legal writ of Habeas Corpus. The two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, were undergoing biomedical experiments at the Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York.

The Non-Human Rights project is the group responsible for the lawsuit. It is just the latest in a serious of legal attempts to grant personhood rights to non-human animals. Stony Brook University is now required to go into court and argue that they have a legally valid reason for keeping Hercules and Leo in captivity.

41e4887c28994eea0a4697fbea97f10cThe Non-Human Rights Project is requesting that the chimpanzees be released to a sanctuary for chimps.  In a previous lawsuit by the Non-Human Rights Project, a writ of Habeas Corpus was denied for the chimpanzee, Kiko, under the grounds that the chimpanzee would have been released to a sanctuary, rather than be freed. Under Habeas Corpus, prisoners can challenge their imprisonment, though they cannot use it to challenge the conditions of their imprisonment. That decision is being appealed by the group, and is to be brought before the New York State Supreme Court.

a239d514e8f09ede6512dce7fe89c37aNatalie Prosin, the Executive Director of the Non-Human Rights Project, said:

“This is a big step forward to getting what we are ultimately seeking: the right to bodily liberty for chimpanzees and other cognitively complex animals. We got our foot in the door. And no matter what happens that door can never be completely shut again.”

Okay, I have a problem with this. With women’s rights being fucked left and right all over the US, don’t tell me that one day an ape will have more rights than a human female.

10a4adc80ef337d918ac4f5944bb55a1But the article continues:

However not everyone feels that non-human animals have a right to laws traditionally reserved for humans. Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California told Science:

“The judge may merely want more information to make a decision on the legal personhood claim, and may have ordered a hearing simply as a vehicle for hearing out both parties in more depth. It would be quite surprising if the judge intended to make a momentous substantive finding that chimpanzees are legal persons if the judge has not yet 744dbc79bcab8e357be134b6bfb79b49heard the other side’s arguments.”

According to Science, Pristine plans to use this win for future lawsuits. She says:

“We have the scientific evidence to prove in a court of law that elephants, great apes, and whales and dolphins are autonomous beings and deserve the right to bodily liberty.”

You know what, I think Women deserve the right to fucking “bodily liberty.”

fe5fd28d7ef893f84d9e7cca3db12948Tennessee lawmaker tables abortion bill exceptions because rape and incest are ‘not verifiable’

Uh, I think I made my point. Sorry, it just pisses me off.

A few more angry stories coming up, so be prepared.

10662aed6fad94fe454f0f8ef36f807eYou all must have seen this: Missouri police officers resign after black mayor elected – NY Daily News

Five of the six cops in a tiny Missouri city quit after voters elected their first black female mayor.

Two full-time and three part-time officers in Parma resigned shortly before Tyus Byrd was sworn in on Tuesday, KFVS reported.

Outgoing Mayor Randall Ramsey told the station the cops gave no notice and were joined by the city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor.

b5de8f12a2f1482f903a60b294a3335eThey cited “safety concerns” in their resignation letters, according to Ramsey.

Byrd, who had previously worked as the city’s clerk, has declined to comment about the rash of walk outs but said she wasn’t able to find the letters.

Since that story was written more city employees have quit.

Missouri Town Elects Black Female Mayor, Police and Gov’t Officials Resign | Mediaite

According to KFVS, three city officials — “the city attorney, the city clerk, 43a1774dc64b96dd671664a59d7ae16cand the waste water treatment plant supervisor” — turned in their resignations as well. In their letters to the outgoing mayor, Randall Ramsey, they cited “safety concerns”.

Tyrus Bird, the black woman in question and the former city clerk, narrowly beat Ramsay, who held the mayorship for nearly 37 years, and said in a speech that she had no idea what these “safety concerns” were.

It is just ridiculous. Video at the link. And if you really want to get ill, read the comments on that Mediaite thread.

More Police Brutality in the news:

31d7804c15b2c2a54b7e67335ebe028eCourtroom erupts after judge finds Chicago cop not guilty in Rekia Boyd fatal shooting trial

Freddie Gray in Baltimore: Another City, Another Death in the Public Eye – NYTimes.com

Hundreds of protesters march in Baltimore as Justice Dept. announces probe of Freddy Gray’s death

Freddie Gray Is Only the Latest Apparent Victim of Baltimore Police Violence – The Atlantic

Oklahoma reserve deputy pleads not guilty to manslaughter in shooting black man | Reuters

Officials Investigating After U.S. Marshal Rips Phone From Hands Of Recording Bystander

e988fccc180db10709b964c4e15d376fCalifornia county to pay suspect $650K over deputies’ beating

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, stories to get you angry.

Michael Brown: Tree planted in Ferguson park in memory of slain black teenager vandalised within 24 hours – Americas – World – The Independent

A tree that was planted in Ferguson in memory of slain black teenager Michael Brown has been vandalised – one day after it was placed in the ground.7941a8a80ef96d2be7db8fd3804cce8e

Reports said the tree planted in the city’s January-Wabash Park was chopped off at the trunk and the concrete and metal plaque at the base of the sapling was stolen.

“If it was intentional then they know they were wrong for doing it,” local resident Raynetta Godfrey told the KTVI television channel.

 

 

“At the end of the day someone lost their life.  It could have been them. It could have been one of their family members. I just think it wasn’t right. People feel with freedom of speech they get to do whatever they want to do. I think they abuse it.”

e8503d54db8958b3ccfad569955b476bAfter reading about that town in Missouri, something like this is exactly what I would expect from those racist assholes.

The next story is truly Horrifying, as Josh Marshall explains:

One of the couple dozen survivors of that migrant ship that sunk on the way from Libya to Italysays the smugglers locked hundreds of people in the hold before it went under. Estimates of the dead, all based on survivor accounts, range from 700 to 950 people aboard, with only 28 survivors found so far. As this article notes, the lack of bodies – only 24 have been found so far – makes more sense if they’re all contained locked inside the ship.

46a158e48701762d259dd55f2734c3f1So here are some updated links on that.

U.N.: As many as 850 migrants killed in shipwreck | Tampa Bay Times

2 arrested after migrant boat capsizes off Italy – CNN.com

At least there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Senate, Clearing Hurdle, Sets a Thursday Vote on Loretta Lynch – NYTimes.com

After weeks of difficult negotiations, the Senate on Tuesday reached an agreement to clear the way for a long-delayed confirmation vote on Loretta E. Lynch to replace Eric H. Holder Jr. as the attorney general.

The vote was scheduled for Thursday morning after senators announced a compromise on the main debate in legislation to help victims of sex trafficking, an unrelated bill that entangled Ms. Lynch’s nomination after Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he would not schedule a confirmation vote until the Senate passed it. Ms. Lynch has f2c8072b58ff8312f88a4b66c21d03f3been waiting more than five months for the Senate to vote.

“I’m thrilled we were finally able to come together to break the impasse over this vital legislation,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, the main sponsor of the bill. “I look forward to swift passage in the Senate so we can ensure victims of human trafficking receive the resources they need to restore their lives.”

acc1b42c45fb4c1516d055b2c3f21172Perhaps I spoke too soon.

Y’all been following the Blue Bell roulette? I call it that because we still have been buying the stuff in our house and eating the little tubs of Homestyle Vanilla…in a sort of Russian Roulette, ice cream style. Now they are recalling the entire lot.

More listeria illnesses linked to Blue Bell products after recall – LA Times

Federal officials have linked two more listeria illnesses to Blue Bell Creameries products, a day after the Brenham, Texas-based company issued a nationwide recall of all of its products due to an ongoing outbreak of the potentially fatal foodborne illness.

Holy Rocky Road! That is something else!

Blue Bell’s Hometown Showing Support During Massive Recall « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

For the first time in its 108 year history, the company has issued a total recall.

e8309514511b7042b7fe900ed7b12af8Blue Bell is voluntarily pulling all products from store shelves worldwide after more tests came back that more ice cream tested positive for the listeria bacteria — which can make children, the elderly, and pregnant women sick.

Joe Robinson, a company spokesman says, “We’re serious about this and we will find this.”

The company has a team from the FDA, state and local health inspectors, and a microbiologist helping figure out why some of their products contained the listeria bacteria.

5d4aa97ae792b3593254bc2a1921ded0The company is still making a limited amount of ice cream in Brenham, and is having the products tested, before they can be sold.

Robertson says, “We want to come back and at some point, go from crawling to walking and then hopefully earn the people’s trust back.”

Joanne Kasten agrees, “Blue Bell has been a pristine company for a long time.  I think this is a bump in the road, I really do.”

The company hopes to have some of its products back in stores by early next week, and if all goes well, have store shelves re-stocked within two to three weeks.ec6fe752fe9fe4fe69f95fb58bc7f4e6

Blue Bell won’t say how much this is costing, other than to say the recall involves eight million gallons of ice cream.

I love Blue Bell, I could probably eat all that eight million gallons myself.

The post is getting long so lets do the rest of the links in dump fashion.

Money spent cleaning up BP’s mess skipped those who needed it most | Grist

DEA chief to step down, Congress probes sex party leaks | Reuters

a6a32e8ee7920f3e9e3287bb967c5358Hyper-precise atomic clock detects tiny changes in the fabric of time – LA Times

History News Network | Capturing History as it Really Happened in October 1962

Winning SCRABBLE and the Nature of Expertise – Scientific American

Mindfulness therapy as good as medication for chronic depression

10 Adult Coloring Books To Help You De-Stress And Self-Express

And to end the post, a little explanation on the title from daily seinfeld :

 

RICKY’S BOSS: Ricky, we’ve been getting a tremendous response to your          TR-6 mannequin.RICKY: TR-6? I prefer to think of her as… Elaine. (via The Pie)

RICKY’S BOSS: Ricky, we’ve been getting a tremendous response to your TR-6 mannequin.
RICKY: TR-6? I prefer to think of her as… Elaine.

(via The Pie)

Have a wonderful day and please post links to things you find interesting…yeah, I guess you could say it is an open thread.


Sunday Reads: Everything Looks Better in Autochrome

19e09874dfe2caad2cf6e85dd11f34cbGood Afternoon

Still moving sick and slow,  and so this morning’s post is barely going to seem coherent.

While you read the links enjoy the images, which are actual color photographs from the beginning of the medium.

Particularly photos by Gustave Gain. I’ve got a bit of information on him below…

vintage everyday: 23 Rare and Stunning Color Portraits of French Women from the 1920s

French photographer Gustave Gain (1876-1945) was born in Cherbourg, France on June 27, 1876. As a chemist he keens on photography and related technical achievements. After the invention of the Autochrome by the Lumière brothers, Gustave is actively engaged in color photograph.

Gustave Gain loves beach. In the summer, he spent much time with his family on the coast of the English Channel in Brittany and Normandy, where he took a lot of stunning shots of his wife, Adeline and other women.

80f3fe5a288ebe215f777d4459375a81More links on Gain:

Gustave Gain (1876-1945) – Author – Resources from the BnF

Fonds Gustave Gain (FR-FRAD050 – FRAD050_00225)

And here is a Pinterest section on Autochromes – People on Pinterest | 558 Pins

So, on with the links for the post:

Now this is one image that I am sure you will agree, should look a lot better in autochrome, because the present day image is just too much. Beware, once you see it you can’t unsee it.  18th century sex toy found in ‘toilet of sword fighting school’ in Poland – Europe – World – The Independent

An old leather sex toy dating back to the 18th century was found by surprised archaeologists during a dig in Poland.

18th century sex toy found in  toilet of sword fighting school  in Poland   Europe   World   The Independent

The eight-inch dildo filled with rough bristles was discovered during an excavation that could have been the site of an old school of swordsmanship in the northern coastal city of Gdansk.

c1be0b3f3b02b9937a8a7137bfe47606A spokesman for the Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments in Gdansk, which found the penis-shaped object in the Podwalu district, said: “It was found in the latrine and dates back to the second half of the 18th century.”

“Whether that was by accident or on purpose is anyone’s guess though,” they added.

Wooden swords found on the site by the archaeologists led them to conclude that the place was once a school of swordsmanship.

Wow, that leaves me almost speechless…

 

Lili Von Shtupp: Would you like another schnitzengruben?

Bart: No, thank you. Fifteen is my limit on schnitzengruben.

 

Dr. Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.

Inga: His veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.

Dr. Frankenstein: Precisely.

Inga: [her eyes get wide] He vould have an enormous schwanzschtücker.

Dr. Frankenstein: [ponders this a moment] That goes without saying.

Inga: Voof.

Igor: He’s going to be very popular.

 

That’ll do nicely.

Since you have seen something as horrid as that…how about this:

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A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook, oof, talk about polar opposites.

51aca41dd9fa7b92ab2f0737adb4ba69I guess I have given you some images to disgust your eyes for the day, how about some links to give your brain a going over:

Rand Paul smacks around Hilary Clinton at New Hampshire summit | Daily Mail Online

‘When Hillary Clinton travels there’s going to need to be two planes, one for her and her entourage, one for her baggage,’ Rand Paul smacks around Democratic rival at New Hampshire summit

59a4c48be796c8e7880afe5174e548f9At Republican Gathering, All Talk Is of Hillary Clinton (None of It Is Good) – NYTimes.com

GOP Presidential Contenders Go After Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire

Those Hillary links are especially vile.

Next up, immigrants. Only this time in the Mediterranean.

Up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes in Mediterranean – The Globe and Mail

The extreme danger faced by migrants crossing the Mediterranean in small, rickety vessels was highlighted earlier today when a boat carry as many as 700 capsized, resulting in possibly the largest mass drowning since the migrant crisis began several years ago.9ab4264e47cee5abd9501847e9617e3a

Initial reports said that only 28 of the 700 migrants had been rescued, though one report put the figure at 50. The disaster happened about 60 kilometres off the Libyan coast and about 200 kilometres south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies roughly half way between Sicily and northwest Libya.

The emergency was declared at about midnight, local time, with more than a dozen Italian and Maltese ships taking part in the rescue, plus three helicopters. At midday Sunday, the UNHCR, 80c0ebdba658e1cfbc87ccfce438093cthe United Nations’ refugee agency, said the rescue was ongoing. The vessel is believed to have capsized when the migrants shifted to one side of the vessel when a merchant ship approached. “At the moment, we fear that this is a tragedy of really vast proportions, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told SkyTG24 television.

In connection with this latest sinking:

59e5890dbc856d55a32b961856ec629aPope Francis asks world to help Italy with migrants – Al Jazeera English

Pope Francis has called on the European Union and the international community to do more to help Italy cope with unprecedented numbers of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean during journeys on smugglers’ boats to flee war, persecution or poverty.

With his popularity and deep concern for social issues, the pope gave Italy a boost in its lobbying for Brussels and northern EU countries to provide more assistance.

fa90e3caac3debc99d3779593a44e5eb“I express my gratitude for the commitment that Italy is making to welcome the many migrants who, risking their life, ask to be taken in,” said Francis, flanked by Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president. “It’s evident that the proportions of the phenomenon require much broader involvement.”

44a777124ac84e08710fc542c5cf6051“We must never tire of appealing for a more extensive commitment on the European and international level,” the pope said.

On Saturday, towns in the southern island of Sicily were running out of places to shelter the migrants, including 11,000 arrivals in the past eight days. At least another 400 people are known to have drowned.

From to Pope to crazy ass Plubs, and their attacks on…everything.

This, read it in full: Why Gay Rights Trumps Women’s Rights – In These Times

Yet it’s not simply the fringe that’s the problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that while as a society we may use women’s sexuality to sell everything from cars to buffalo wings and beer, we really don’t like women actually engaging in sex on their own terms and having the ability to make certain to solely determine the results of those encounters.

ce1c947d5aa05c43e130b6ed281da4abFor me, having spent 40 or more years fighting along my brothers and sisters for full equality for the LGBT community, I’m ready for a bit more two-way solidarity.

I’m ready to have the NCAA, with their supposed commitment to Title IX, refuse to play in Indiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota and Arizona because these states are openly hostile to women and our constitutional rights.

c464f21863bf030f695c472480417f8bI’m ready to have gay rights organizations, the media and corporations, such as Walmart, Google, NASCAR and Angie’s List, be as moved to action by Purvi Patel’s 20-year incarceration as they—and I—are about the refusal of a baker to make a wedding cake for same-sex celebrations.

And most of all I’m waiting for the kind of Act Up outrage that the abuse of women surely deserves.

And yes, I do feel the writer has a HUGE point. Read the entire thing. That of course does not mean the fight for LGBT is over, not by  a long shot:

ff9831de626ede0ce935a364d5c697a4Addicting Info – Pennsylvania High School Students Organize ‘Anti-Gay Day,’ Complete With ‘Lynch List’ (VIDEO)

That is so unacceptable, it is beyond comprehension, at least to me.

Jeffco board member apologizes for sharing link to “hate group” on Facebook | Chalkbeat

fbb78843378e73fbd97fe958e36b8c4dJefferson County school board member Julie Williams said late Friday that she was “sincerely sorry” and that she would remove a link on her personal Facebook page that she shared that encouraged families to keep their students home Friday and “away from perverse indoctrination” of the“homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”

“To be honest with you, I didn’t read the article,” Williams said.  “I just saw it and thought I was sharing information with parents.

12c3334cbd496f8d1247cd3ca05e8c87More Women in the news:

Indiana taxpayers ripped off in horrifying scheme that targeted poor pregnant women

Courts should strike down bans on abortion method in Kansas, Oklahoma – LA Times

Meanwhile in Europe:

8320026490bbc378a6f888e589d33ef3Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands – NYTimes.com

An ugly vein of soccer fan excess — the chanting of anti-Semitic slurs — recently disgraced a Dutch soccer game, prompting officials of the home team, Utrecht, to apologize for shocking outcries from the stands like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” and “Jews burn the best!”

It is scary.

Brunch dine and bash at Bocca: witnesses – NY Daily News

An angry diner viciously grabbed an Upper East Side restaurant manager by the neck and hurled him into an elderly woman after waiting an hour and a half for his omelette during a case of brunch rage Saturday afternoon.

5df910fa21b8ab993c81c21cfd738775Dammit, what the hell is wrong with people?

Can you believe it has been 20 years since the Bombing of Oaklahoma?

US Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing 20 Years Later

About 1,000 gathered at the former site of the Oklahoma City federal building to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist bombing there that killed 168 people and injured many others.

Former President Bill Clinton and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin were among those who spoke at Sunday’s service at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood.

783238f1b3d490ebc3fcc50f5bdc032bThe service started with a 168-second moment of silence and concluded with survivors and tearful relatives of the dead reading the names of those killed in the April 19, 1995, attack, which remains the worst U.S. act of domestic terrorism.

A surprise admission out of Washington.Dc: FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000 – The Washington Post

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

7d58d3d17683cb7646f6607516eea021Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’slargest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

8975cabf6403f912418fdf2a22de6406The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

 

And in Africa: ‘Mysterious’ disease kills 18 in Nigeria | World news | The Guardian

A “mysterious” disease that kills patients within 24 hours has claimed at least 18 lives in a south-eastern Nigerian town, the government said.

“Twenty-three people were affected and 18 deaths were recorded,” the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, said on Saturday.

11d21bfbdbe6dd2fba94358a63012eb2The government spokesman for the state, Kayode Akinmade, earlier gave a toll of 17 dead.

“Seventeen people have died of the mysterious disease since it broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town,” Akinmade told AFP by telephone.

The disease, whose symptoms include headache, weight loss, blurred vision and loss of consciousness, killed the victims within a day of falling ill, he said.

Laboratory tests have so far ruled out Ebola or any other virus, Akinmade said.

The World Health Organisation meanwhile said it had information on 14 cases with at least 12 dead.

ea64bf91e64cdfea6f698c0ad2057a1a“Common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within 24 hours,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP by email, adding that an investigation was ongoing.

How horrible.

I will end this with a tweet from Stephen King that I think sums just about the entire 2016 GOP primary list so far:

 

Oh yeah, that man just said a fucking mouthful!!!!!!!!!

6088d09416fb487a43afd1e70aa74442

66736de94181363695cbff6d034caba4

 

 

This is an open thread, I am falling asleep while trying to write it. lol


Tuesday Reads: The Latest Passenger in the GOP Clown Car

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Good Morning!!

The 2016 primaries are nearly a year away, and yet it’s beginning to feel as if the campaign has already begun. As Pat J said yesterday, following Bette Davis, “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!” At least we finally have something to be excited about.

Today big media has slowed down its attacks on Hillary in order to drool over newly announced candidate Marco Rubio.

Here’s the Washington Post’s adoring introduction to the new media darling, written by Mary Jordan.

A man in a hurry.’Wait your turn’ is not in Marco Rubio’s DNA.The 43-year-old GOP candidate is used to moving up fast.

You can see it in his bouncing leg, his restless energy, his rapid-fire answers. Marco Rubio wants things now, now, now.

He has just left the Senate floor, where he ripped President Obama’s Israel policy, and now, seated in his grand Capitol Hill office, he dives headlong into explaining why, at just 43, he is ready to run for president.

“I have never understood that ‘wait your turn,’ ” logic, the Florida Republican says. “The presidency is not like a bakery, where you take a number and wait for it to be called. You’re either compelled to run for it because you believe it’s the best place to serve your country” or you stay out of the race.

Never mind that his mentor, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, 62, is gearing up to run, too. Or that he has not even finished his first term as senator. Or that the GOP has a long tradition of picking older presidential nominees who have paid their dues.

Rubio is a man in a hurry, whose dizzying political ascent — he has never lost a race — is a testament to his quickness to spot openings and go for them. “If you told me seven or eight years ago I would be in the Senate, I wouldn’t believe it,” Rubio says. “Sometimes opportunities come up that you could never have anticipated.”

More Rubio love at the link. Be sure to have your barf bag close at hand.

Should Rubio actually get the GOP nod, voters will likely see a lot of this embarrassing video of the young “man in a hurry” giving the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address in 2013.

And here’s The New York Times’ glowing profile of the first term Senator, written by Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin.

Stressing Youth, Marco Rubio Joins 2016 Field.

MIAMI — Senator Marco Rubio, the 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, on Monday declared that it was time for his generation to lead the country, portraying himself as the youthful future of a Republican Party that has struggled to connect with an increasingly diverse electorate.

Formally declaring his candidacy for president, Mr. Rubio entered a contest so far dominated by two aging American political dynasties — the Bushes and the Clintons — and warned Republicans and Democrats alike that it was time to start fresh.

“The time has come for our generation to lead the way towards a new American century,” he said.

“Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America,” Mr. Rubio told hundreds of supporters who crowded the lobby of the Freedom Tower, a historic building where many Cuban émigrés were processed on their arrival in the United States. “But we can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past.”

Ironically, Rubio and his party actually do want to go back to the past–way back to the 19th Century. A Rubio presidency would mean rolling back women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigration reform, and handing Wall Street the keys to the White House. But never mind that. He’s a fresh face with surface charm.

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It certainly sounds like Rubio has been studying then Senator Obama’s campaign for the presidency in 2008. But Rubio says he’s way more experienced than Obama was then.

Kasie Hunt writes at MSNBC:

MIAMI –Presidential candidate Marco Rubio says that he has more experience than President Barack Obama did when he won the White House in 2008, even though both launched presidential campaigns as first term senators.

“There are some significant differences between his biography and mine,” Rubio told msnbc in an interview early Tuesday morning before flying to Washington to attend a congressional hearing on Iran. “We both served in the state legislatures, he as a back-bencher in the minority, me as the Speaker of House in the third-largest state in the country.”

He pointed out he will have served six full years in the Senate if he’s elected in 2016; President Obama had served four years when he was elected in 2008.

Okay . . . . Not all that impressive though; and Obama was a hell of a lot more well known around the country in 2008 than Rubio is now. As Matthew Yglesias wrote at Vox yesterday, that’s really the problem with the entire GOP field–most normal Americans don’t know who they are. On the other hand it would be difficult to find an average vote who doesn’t know quite a bit about Hillary Clinton.

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There were a few dissenting voices on Rubio at smaller media outlets. At The New Republic, Brian Beutler has a devastating piece on Rubio.

Marco Rubio Is the Most Disingenuous Republican Running for President. He’s not a reformer. He’s a fraud.

Senator Marco Rubio…was supposed to lead a GOP breakaway faction in support of comprehensive immigration reform, but was unable to persuade House Republicans to ignore the nativist right, and the whole thing blew up in his face. In regrouping, he’s determined that the key to restoring Republican viability in presidential elections is to woo middle class voters with fiscal policies that challenge conservative orthodoxy.

His new basic insight is correct. The GOP’s obsession with distributing resources up the income scale is the single biggest factor impeding it from reaching new constituencies, both because it reflects unpopular values and because it makes them unable to address emerging national needs that require spending money.

Well, we all know that isn’t going to become Republican policy, and Rubio has already demonstrated that he won’t stand up for policies the party leaders dislike.

If Rubio were both serious and talented enough to move his party away from its most inhibiting orthodoxy, in defiance of those donors, his candidacy would represent a watershed. His appeal to constituencies outside of the GOP base would be both sincere and persuasive.

But Rubio is not that politician. He is no likelier to succeed at persuading Republican supply-siders to reimagine their fiscal priorities than he was at persuading nativists to support a citizenship guarantee for unauthorized immigrants. In fact, nobody understands the obstacles facing Marco Rubio better than Marco Rubio. But rather than abandon his reformist pretensions, or advance them knowing he will ultimately lose, Rubio has chosen to claim the mantle of reform and surrender to the right simultaneously—to make promises to nontraditional voters he knows he can’t keep. My colleague Danny Vinik proposes that Rubio wants to “improve the lives of poor Americans” but he must “tailor [his] solutions to gain substantial support in the GOP, and those compromises would cause more harm to the poor.” I think this makes Rubio the most disingenuous candidate in the field.

More good insights at the link.

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Here’s Jonathan Chait on Rubio:

The presidential election is still a year and a half away, but Rubio’s campaign has already gone through three distinct stages. In the immediate wake of their 2012 debacle, Republican elites glommed onto Rubio as the cure for their demographic disease. Days after the election, Republican Über-pundit Charles Krauthammerostentantiously laid his hands upon the young, telegenic senator as the party’s new avatar. “Marco Rubio. So hot right now,” tweeted John Boehner’s press secretary. By the end of 2013, Rubio had crashed and burned. A conservative revolt forced him to repudiate the immigration reform plan he had carefully built. He desperately glommed on to the anti-Obamacare shutdown, alienating party elites without winning over the activists. But now Rubio has rebuilt his campaign and is showing signs of life, by repositioning himself to the right and eliminating his vulnerabilities.

The first and most dramatic such move was Rubio’s renunciation of immigration reform. Having championed a bipartisan plan for comprehensive reform, Rubio now insists that border security must come first. Fervent restrictionists may not fully trust his sincerity, but Rubio’s maneuver follows almost exactly the same script of apostasy and penance than John McCain used in 2008 to neutralize the issue.

The bigger shift has come on economic policy. Last year, Rubio positioned himself as a “reform conservative” who aspired to aim tax cuts at middle-class families rather than the rich. Instead, when he unveiled the plan, it consisted of a massive, debt-financed tax cut that would give its greatest benefit to the rich, not just in absolute terms, but also as a percentage of their income. Even that plan proved to be too stingy for Republican plutocrats, so Rubio revised his plan to make it far friendlier to the rich. The newest version took his old plan and added complete elimination of all taxes on inherited estates, capital gains, and interest income. Grover Norquist, guardian of the party’s anti-tax absolutism, cooed his approval.

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Rubio might be a bigger flip-flopper than Mitt Romney. But of course the corporate media fails to notice anything except the surface.

Fortunately for Rubio, much of the political media has covered his ideas as though they represent an important break from his party’s past. “Rubio appears to be hoping his plan will appeal to Republican voters concerned about rising economic inequality and tired of getting beaten up in the general election over plans that Democrats say would hand massive tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the middle class,” reports Politico.

This is not remotely accurate. Rubio’s original plan would have cut taxes by $2.4 trillion over a decade, making it quite similar to George W. Bush’s regressive, debt-financed tax-cut plan. It is true that Rubio would only cut the top tax rate to 35 percent, not as low as the fondest supply-side dreams would have it. But 35 percent would restore the Bush-era tax rate for the highest income earners. What’s more, Rubio’s elimination of the estate, interest, dividends, and capital gains taxes would go far beyond the Bush administration’s most plutocratic dreams. It is also true that Rubio plans to cut taxes for some middle-class families. But obviously that lost revenue has trade-offs, which he has failed to specify. The massive revenue hit would require very large cuts to existing programs. Given his party’s propensity to aim the bulk of its tax-cutting at the programs that direct their biggest benefits to Americans of modest incomes, there is no plausible way to imagine Rubio’s plan would do anything but engineer a massive upward redistribution of resources.

Read the rest at New York Magazine.

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Here’s Chait on Hillary Clinton:  Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election.

Unless the economy goes into a recession over the next year and a half, Hillary Clinton is probably going to win the presidential election. The United States has polarized into stable voting blocs, and the Democratic bloc is a bit larger and growing at a faster rate.

Of course, not everybody who follows politics professionally believes this. Many pundits feel the Democrats’ advantage in presidential elections has disappeared, or never existed. “The 2016 campaign is starting on level ground,” argues David Brooks, echoing a similar analysis by John Judis. But the evidence for this is quite slim, and a closer look suggests instead that something serious would have to change in order to prevent a Clinton victory. Here are the basic reasons why Clinton should be considered a presumptive favorite…

Check out Chait’s reasoning at the link.

So . . . What else is happening? Please posts your thoughts on this post and your links to recommended reads in the comment thread.

 


Wednesday Reads: Listen to me

(listen to me)  helena almeida, 1979

(listen to me) helena almeida, 1979

Morning All

This post is going to have a theme focused on women in photos with their mouths being silenced in some way.  Whether it is tape, a hand, skin, whatever…the point of the images is that the women are not being listened to.

It all started with a little make-up project my daughter and her two best buddies were working on the other day.

From left to right: Jehma, Bebe and Tori

From left to right: Jehma, Bebe and Tori

She sent me the images below and said it represented something specific to them. She said they wanted me to use it for the blog…for a post about how women are not being listened to, even when they actually do speak out about things.

How they are being systematically silenced…

I get the feeling that the girls have talked out loud in their classes the past week and were frustrated that they were not being heard.

If you look at the way the skin is formed over the mouth it is not completely covering it…you can still see openings where the flesh is being stretched apart…

 

Well, Bebe is the model, Tori is the make-up artist and Jehma is the photographer. I think they did a great job on this…Tori is gifted with special effect make-up. The whole group is very creative, they are always out doing something like this.

Anyway, as you read the links I have for you this morning, you can look at the other images and know where the thought process came from.

Okay, on with the post.

bb4708931abb218219a6af0166036c82If the man isn’t shutting up women, or not listening to them, he is lying to them:

Arizona Senate Passes Bill To Allow Doctors Lie To Women Without Consequence If It Prevents Abortion

Imagine finally getting pregnant, showing up for your N/T or anatomy scan, and learning that there is a terrible genetic issue with your baby.  You have two choices: terminate the pregnancy, or continue it, aware of the issues you will be dealing with after birth and arranging the sort of medical assistance you will need for your new situation.

Now, imagine having no idea that your baby has any issues until you give birth, because your doctor lied to you.

Arizona thinks that is just fine, as long as it prevents an abortion.

fd528d6328ec7efc0c24b92640241bb0Via Addicting Info:

It’s called a “wrongful birth” bill and it’s all about preventing women from having an abortion, even if it kills them. The Arizona Senate passed a bill this week that gives doctors a free pass to not inform pregnant women of prenatal problems because such information could lead to an abortion.

In other words, doctors can intentionally keep critical health information from pregnant women and can’t be sued for it. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, “the bill’s sponsor is Republican Nancy Barto of Phoenix. She says allowing the medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that if a child is born with a disability, someone is to blame.” So Republicans are banning lawsuits against doctors who keep information from pregnant women so as to prevent them from choosing to have an abortion.

Canada’s Next Top Model (Cycle 3), sent along by Julie C., included a photoshoot in which the models’ mouths were covered with duct tape

Canada’s Next Top Model (Cycle 3), sent along by Julie C., included a photoshoot in which the models’ mouths were covered with duct tape

How is a woman supposed to feel comfortable trusting her doctor with this sort of bill on the books?

What I don’t understand is how they can pass this kind of shitty law, I mean…lawsuits? Insurance companies? Liability Claims? WTF? And that does not even take into account the fact that this is just batshit fucked up in the first place. Ugh.

Hey, but why even bother lying, just don’t tell em anything: N. Carolina Legislators Decide Teens Don’t Need To Know About Sex | Crooks and Liars

Go to the link to read about that.

More stories on keeping a woman down:

e32a72c3e2fa109936d641209523d9b9Florida pastor rants: God wants men to rule women — but men can’t rejoice without being sued

ere is no leadership except for male leadership, according to a Florida pastor.

During a March 29 sermon about leadership, which was recently highlighted by the Friendly Atheist blog and the Bad Preachers YouTube account, Pastor Bill Lytell of the Gospel Baptist Church told his congregation he was proud to have a “male leadership” sign outside the church because “this is a man’s world.”

Lytell said that after a 9-year-old boy found a gun in the church’s bathroom last month, he was happy that a local media outlet filmed the “male leadership” sign during its coverage of the incident.

“And that’s going to go out throughout the whole country. Do you know what we’d have had to pay to do something like that?” he remarked. “That was probably a hundred thousand dollar gift. I’m not going to thank the person that left the weapon, however.”

PAINTED SHUT

PAINTED SHUT

“Don’t you be ashamed you go to a church with male leadership,” Lytell said. “Every church that’s right with God oughta have a sign: ‘Male Leadership.’ Because that’s the only kind of leadership, both from Adam all the way to the last part of the Bible. It’s all been male. This is a man’s world!”

“And all the men said, ‘Amen!’” he continued. “There aren’t many places were men can ever rejoice anymore without feeling about half-ashamed because they try to put you down or sue you or something, but brother this is a man’s world. You can say what you want, you can do what you want, but God made Adam in leadership and it’s going to end with a man in leadership. It doesn’t make men better, it is just God’s way.”

Pleeeeeaaaazzzzzzz!

National Review Likens Concern Over Campus Sexual Assault To “Mass Hysteria” Of Salem Witch Trials | Blog | Media Matters for America

fb11b9614681696abf9df4dd73703695National Review‘s Kevin Williamson declared that the epidemic of campus sexual assault “is a fiction” and compared efforts to curb the crime to “mass hysteria” during the Salem Witch Trials.

Rolling Stone recently retracted its controversial article on sexual assault at the University of Virginia, following a review by the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) which determined the report to be a “journalistic failure.”

National Review correspondent Kevin Williamson responded by issuing a blanket denial of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses across the country. “There is no epidemic of rapes on American college campuses,” Williamson wrote. “The campus-rape epidemic is a fiction.” He likened outrage over campus sexual assaults to “mass hysteria” during the Salem Witch Trials and “the Satanic-cult hysteria of the 1980s and 1990s.”

a0ff11bcada7b2d5470986a2e2e417d9But sexual assault on college campuses is a serious issue — and one that experts say is vastly underreported.Experts have estimated that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while at college, and the problem may be even more serious than statistics on the crime reveal. According to the Rape, Abuse, And Incest National Network, sexual assault is “one of the most under reported crimes,” with nearly 70 percent of crimes going unreported to police.

National Review‘s response to the CJR report on Rolling Stone takes the very position CJR explicitly warned against. In its review, CJR cautioned that the Rolling Stone case should not be used to discredit the larger movement to address campus sexual assault, writing, “It would be unfortunate if Rolling Stone‘s failure were to deter journalists from taking on high-risk investigations of rape in which powerful individuals or institutions may wish to avoid scrutiny but where the facts may be underdeveloped.”

822f11e50e338ce59f623c12afc9a976And then you have the Judges who won’t listen either: Judge tosses ‘sex slave’ claims involving Prince Andrew – NY Daily News

A Florida judge has tossed out explosive claims from a woman who said she was forced into having sex with England’s Prince Andrew when she was a teenager.

In a ruling Tuesday, Judge Kenneth Marra denied a bid by “Jane Doe No. 3 and Jane Doe No. 4” to intervene in a long-running court case alleging the feds gave preferential treatment to billionaire perv Jeffrey Epstein.

More at the link.

You can’t just deny their testimony? Then beat them: ‘Family Values’ Lunatic Todd Kincannon Arrested Just For Showing Wife Who’s Boss | Wonkette

Now there’s a mugshot that ought to gladden the hearts of many. Rightwing bile duct and former chairman of the South Carolina GOP Todd Kincannon was arrested Monday evening and is facing a charge of criminal domestic violence charge in court Tuesday. His arrest follows a March 26 incident in which Kincannon’s wife, Ashely Griffith, said that he had threatened to kill her, her family, and himself during a terror-filled drive home from a work event; she also told a Lexington County, South Carolina, sheriff’s deputy that they had a “history of unreported domestic violence” and that she feared Kincannon.

After news of the incident broke, Kincannon swore up and down that he was simply having a bad reaction to some prescription medication that had caused him to hallucinate, which didn’t quite explain why Griffith seems to have hallucinated that history of abuse, or the recordings of previous threats of suicide and murder that she told the deputy she’d made. Lesson: the Party of Personal Responsibility really needs to stay away from drugs, which turn loving family men into monsters.

af58d8e5b01e500b6b792a55a518d2a3And in our last link of silencing a woman, in anyway or anyhow: 100-year-old killed his sleeping wife with an ax in a gruesome murder-suicide | Tampa Bay Times

You can read that one if you want…I won’t quote from it at all. The fact is he was 100, she was 88.

Links now on that South Carolina murder by cop:

The murder of Walter Scott-Will Bunch via AttyTood

Here are some things that we know about Walter Scott.

Scott was a 50-year-old black man, pulled over on Saturday in North Charleston, S.C., by a white member of that city’s predominantly white police force, for driving with a broken tail light.

He was not armed.

3aa640b981e29027bc4aff6a735a6c02He was wanted on a Family Court warrant, presumably for past non-payment of child support — and family members say he desperately did not want to be arrested.

We know that after a brief encounter with Officer Michael Slager, he turned and tried to run away from the lawman at top speed.

And here’s one other thing we can say about Walter Scott with an unwavering sense of certainty: He absolutely did not deserve to die.

Yet the South Carolina man might have been just another statistic — just another one of the 100 or so Americans killed now every month in a police-involved shooting — were it not for one thing. This time, the final critical moments of  Walter Scott’s life — including the eight shots that Slager fired at Scott’s back as he fled — were captured clearly on a cell phone video.

And so this case is going down very differently from the deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner,Michael Brown, and other unarmed black suspects — deadly force that has caused a national uproar about policing in 21st Century America.

This time, Officer Slager has been arrested and charged with murder.

The Execution of Walter Scott (VIDEO) – The Daily Banter

White police officer charged with murder for fatally shooting black man in the back | theGrio

White South Carolina Police Officer Charged in Black Man’s Death

White SC officer charged with murder in black man’s shooting – WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Last Call For Eight Is Enough

In relation to this murder in SC: Connecticut study finds black drivers stopped more than whites | Reuters

And meanwhile in Georgia: Georgia prison guards resign after viral beating photo posted to Facebook | theGrio

But let’s not leave Texas out of the fun: Confederate group will fly 32 battle flags over MLK Drive at Civil War memorial in Texas town

Speaking of Texas: Federal judge refuses to lift injunction on Obama’s immigration order – LA Times

Judge Slams Justice Department For “Misconduct” In Immigration Case – BuzzFeed News

84ae6ef27bb9b820e0a43fc76c514cd4Those two links are interesting, so read them in full.

A little more crazy: President Rand Paul’s Middle East Policy | Informed Comment

And just a few more links:

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel wins second term | US news | The Guardian

Balloon activist sends ‘thousands of copies’ of The Interview to North Korea | Film | The Guardian

Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, and Helen Mirren To Team Up for Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit | Still4Hill

James Best, Bumbling Sheriff of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’ Dies at 88 – NYTimes.com

James Best, who played the oafish sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on the hit television comedy “The Dukes of Hazzard,” died on Monday near his home in Hickory, N.C. He was 88.

The cause was pneumonia, his friend Steve Latshaw said.

Mr. Best was in demand as a character actor from the 1950s through the ’80s; by his count he appeared in more than 600 television show episodes and 85 films.

His Southern twang and rugged good looks made him a natural on westerns like “Wagon Train” and “Gunsmoke” and rural series like “The Andy Griffith Show.” Among the films in which he appeared were “The Caine Mutiny” (1954), with Humphrey Bogart; “The Left-Handed Gun” (1958), with Paul Newman; “Shenandoah” (1965), with James Stewart; and “Three on a Couch” (1966), with Jerry Lewis.

His best-known role by far was Rosco on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” a countrified car-chase comedy seen on CBS from 1979 to 1985. The producers originally envisioned him as a hard-nosed sheriff, but Mr. Best saw him differently. “I said, ‘I’m going to play Rosco like a 12-year-old who likes hot pursuit,’ ” he told NPR in an interview in 2013.

He was also in Ode to Billy Joe, that was a serious role too…and he was also in this weird film called Shock Corridor (1963)  if you ever get a chance to see it. He was one of those actors who was in so many films, you would be amazed…take a look here: James Best – IMDb

Supposedly there is a story about Best, told by Catherine Bach…see the little clip below…it should start at the 6:15 minute:

https://youtu.be/E5USwfDUUSE?t=6m15s

Well, Bach remained close friends with Best throughout the rest of his life.

Anyway, my brother still loves the Duke Boys…and they are a huge part of my childhood, even if the idiot Cooter was talking shit just a few weeks ago. Still, if you ever spot James Best in one of his many roles just try to remember that image of him as Roscoe P. Coltrane, Playgirl Centerfold Extraordinaire.

This is an open thread, have a good day.


Friday Reads: The Theocratic Tango

Good Morning!

bigotsRight wing religious extremists in the US continue their incredible movement to ignore our Constitution’s separation of church and state to push hate agendas throughout various states in the country.  The hate was front and center in Indiana as Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that basically labels bigotry as “religious freedom.”  We continue to see Jim Crow type laws established so bigot business owners can openly refuse service to GLBT Americans.

The Indiana bill is part of a wave of recent legislation seeking to guarantee “religious freedom” on the part of organizations or businesses who want to retain the right to discriminate against gay people. While the advocates usually posit a baker who doesn’t want to have to take business from a gay couple seeking a wedding cake as the person the law would protect, the laws are often written so vaguely that they would allow almost any kind of discrimination, so long as the discriminator justifies it on the basis of their religious beliefs.

The bill in Indiana doesn’t mention words like “gay” at all. It merely says that the government can’t “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.” And a key element of the conservative Christian argument about religious freedom is that “exercise” of religion isn’t just about rituals and prayer and worship; it extends to everything, including commerce.

The implications are therefore enormous. Forget about the baker — what if you own a restaurant and think homosexuality is an abomination, and therefore you want to hang a “No gays allowed” sign in your window? Under this law, you’d be able to. Or what if you’re a Muslim who owns an auto repair shop, and you want to refuse to serve women, because you say your religion tells you that women shouldn’t drive?

Those kinds of concerns are what led former governor Jan Brewer to veto a similar bill in Arizona, after she got all kinds of pressure from the state’s business community, which feared boycotts of the state. That same pressure has been building in Indiana, though it doesn’t seem to have moved Governor Pence.

The more news this Indiana law gets, the more likely it is that it will become an issue in the presidential primaries. And it fits neatly within the key divide among Republicans: on one side you could have business groups that are nervous about negative economic impacts and strategists who don’t want the GOP to be known as the party of discrimination, while on the other side you have candidates eager for the votes of religious right primary voters.

Pence signed the bill in private and against the outcry of many in the business community who are now pulling business from the state.  This is from the lunch counterIndianapolis Star. This includes a video of his statement and a presser with Q&A.

The nation’s latest legislative battle over religious freedom and gay rights came to a close Thursday when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a controversial “religious freedom” bill into law.

His action followed two days of intense pressure from opponents — including technology company executives and convention organizers — who fear the measure could allow discrimination, particularly against gays and lesbians.

Pence and leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly called those concerns a “misunderstanding.”

“This bill is not about discrimination,” Pence said, “and if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it.”

Senate Bill 101 prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person’s ability to exercise their religion — unless the government can show that it has a compelling interest and that the action is the least-restrictive means of achieving it. It takes effect July 1.

Although the bill does not mention sexual orientation, opponents fear it could allow business owners to deny services to gays and lesbians for religious reasons.

Pence signed the bill during a private ceremony in his Statehouse office just before 10 a.m. Thursday. He was joined by supportive lawmakers, Franciscan monks and nuns, orthodox Jews, and some of the state’s most powerful lobbyists on conservative social issues.

The event was closed to the public and the press.

bigots2As I said, the response from businesses was swift and drastic.

The CEO of major U.S. corporation is following through on his warning to the State of Indiana to not pass a discriminatory “religious freedom” bill. 

Salesforce, founded in 1999, has grown into a $4 billion software corporation. It is a component of the prestigious S&P 500, and boasts 12,000 employees.

50-year old CEO, founder, and chairman Marc Benioff (photo), who started the company in San Francisco, and his wife Lynne Krilich, have given millions to children’s hospitals.

Recently, Salesforce came out strongly against Indiana’s discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We have been an active member of the Indiana business community and a key job creator for more than a decade,” Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud division, wrote in a letter to Indiana lawmakers. “Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

“Without an open business environment that welcomes all residents and visitors,” he warned, “Salesforce will be unable to continue building on its tradition of marketing innovation in Indianapolis.”

Benioff has cancelled all business travel to Indiana. tumblr_m264nhl6rD1qguulqo1_500

Already, the gamer convention Gen Con and the Disciples of Christ church group had threatened to pull their conventions out of Indianapolis. Tech giant Salesforce said it would halt its plans to expand in the state, too.

The NCAA had hinted for days that the bill — which has the effect of allowing businesses to challenge local laws that forbid discriminating against customers based on sexual orientation in court — could damage the city’s reputation as a host of major sporting events.

Jason Collins, who last year became the first openly gay active NBA player, asked Pence in a tweet whether it is “going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come” to the Final Four.

Still, Pence signed the bill in his office Thursday. In a statement explaining his decision, he pointed to President Barack Obama’s health care law — which triggered a lawsuit by Hobby Lobby to ensure the company wasn’t required to cover birth control through its employees’ health insurance plans.

Of course, the War on Women continues too with the Republican’s whackadoodle religious right taking the lead.  Arizona proves its once again the place where medical science can be damned when it gets in the way of fetus fever.

Doctors in Arizona might soon be required to tell women that abortions can be “reversed.” As the Washington Post reports, the Arizona legislature just passed a bill that is the latest in state-based attempts to ban women from using their own health insurance to pay for abortion. What makes this bill especially Orwellian is this attempt to force doctors to put the stamp of medical authority on the fantastical belief that women en masse are regretting their abortions hours after getting them and are miraculously getting them reversed through heroic interventions by Christian doctors.

I reported on this fantasy back in December, but to recap: Anti-choicers, backed by one particularly vocal doctor named George Delgado, are claiming that you can “reverse” medication abortions. A woman having a medication abortion takes two pill doses, one of mifepristone and then another of misoprostol. Proponents of “abortion reversal” would like you to believe it’s common for women to take the first dose and become wracked with guilt, desperate to save her pregnancy. To help these women, Delgado gives the woman progesterone shots, supposedly in an effort to reverse the effects of the mifepristone.

The problem is it’s almost certainly quackery. Mifepristone is not enough on its own to terminate a pregnancy some of the time, so you’re not “reversing” the abortion so much as interrupting the process before it’s complete. The progesterone shots reverse nothing—they are medically unnecessary theater, designed to portray anti-choicers as conquering heroes rescuing pregnant maidens from the clutches of abortionists. There’s no evidence of much demand from women to interrupt their abortions, and in the rare circumstances that someone is seized by regret, all she needs to do is contact her regular doctor about stopping the pills.

Forcing doctors to “inform” patients about an intervention that isn’t medically useful and isn’t really in demand serves no other purpose but to inject anti-choice histrionics into what is already a stressful situation for many patients. You should be able to get through an abortion without having to indulge a right-wing delusion.

I’ve had several friends travelling to Mississippi to defend the last standing abortion clinic there.  The Fetus Fanatics have physically attacked the building and are doing all kinds of crazy things there in the name of Operation “Rescue”.   So, here’s a little of that homegrown terrorism for you.

A couple nights ago, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last standing abortion clinic in all of Mississippi, was attacked and vandalized by a masked intruder who destroyed security cameras and attempted to cut the power lines.

So I’ll just ice the cake with a little gratuitous Pat Robertson.  You remember him, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination and did pretty well back in the 1980s?  Ongoing investigations show that the co-pilot most likely downed that German Airliner in a murder/suicide action related to ongoing issues with depression. So, with that in mind … Here’s Patty!!!

Christian televangelist Pat Robertson suggested on Thursday that the co-pilot’s decision to crash Germanwings Flight 9525 could be explained if he was a Muslim.

French prosecutors concluded on Thursday that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had locked the pilot out of the cockpit, and then deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps, killing 150 people.

“What happened to that plane that crashed into the French Alps?” Robertson asked on Thursday’s edition of The 700 Club. “Well, they’ve begun to find out. The pilot went to the lavatory and was soon locked out of the cockpit. He pounded on the door, begging to come in. But the door was not opened.”

“The co-pilot then takes the plane, pushes it into a dive and crashes it. The passengers are screaming as the plane went down. The pilot is yelling.”

“What a terrible tragedy,” the TV preacher continued. “Was that co-pilot a Muslim? Was he suicidal? What was it about him?”

Robertson later allowed for the possibility that Lubitz could have been “just psychotic.”

“What was it?” he wondered. “Why would he want to kill all those people?”

French prosecutor Brice Robin on Thursday described Lubitz as a 28-year-old German who was “not listed as a terrorist.”

Robin told reporters that he did not know Lubitz’s religion or ethnicity, but said, “I don’t think that’s where the answer to this lies.”

144769_600I’m still stunned by the murder fantasies of hyper-Christian and Duck seducer/murderer Daddy FuckBucks Robertson who seems to have replaced a smack addiction for talking religious smack.

Phil Robertson, the paterfamilias on A&E’sDuck Dynasty who also frequents the Christian speaking circuit, has stirred up controversy yet again by inventing a bizarre parable in which an atheist family is raped and murdered.

The conservative reality television star has a reputation for sounding off about controversial issues. In 2013, he came under fire for making homophobic remarks in an interview with GQ.This time, his focal point was atheists, whom—he asserted—have no moral compass because they do not believe in God. Here is the graphic story he told, per the audio from Right Wing Watch:

I’ll make a bet with you. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’

Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’

The moral of the tale? “If it happens to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right,’” Robertson said.

Some fundamental Christians, like Robertson, believe that morality is dependent on the existence of God and by rejecting God, atheists also reject morals.

WTF is wrong with these people?!?!?!   Dude, nonsociopaths do not have to have imaginary beings threaten them with hell to do the right thing.  Doing the right thing is its own reward.  We can ask BB, but I’d say the guy has a serious case of projectionitis.

But, here’s a better question … why are we enacting their hateful, bigoted crap into our laws? And, why do these people get a public platform?

There’s way too many of them and way too few lions for my taste.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Tuesday Reads: Zimmerman Speaks, Cruz Announces, and Hillary Clinton Prepares to Run

the-piano-lesson

Good Morning!!

Get your barf bags ready before you read the new “interview” with George Zimmerman. I put that word in quotes, because the so-called “interview” was with Zimmerman’s divorce lawyer Howard Iken, not an objective journalist who might have asked uncomfortable questions. I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing, but you can do so at the Ayo and Iken website. You can also watch the video if you can stomach it. I did read a couple of press reports:

The Orlando Sentinel reported, George Zimmerman: President Obama amped up racial tension against me.

In his first public comments since the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not prosecute him for violating Trayvon Martin‘s civil rights, George Zimmerman says he was victimized by President Obama….

In it, he faulted the media for portraying him as a racist and the criminal justice system for bringing him to trial but saved his harshest criticism for Obama, whom he accused of trying to prosecute “an innocent American.”

“For him to make incendiary comments as he did and direct the Department of Justice to pursue a baseless prosecution, he by far over-stretched, over-reached,” Zimmerman said.

The president, whom he referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama,” should have told the public, ” ‘Let’s not rush to judgment,’ ” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman told his attorney that he doesn’t feel guilty about killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed and walking to his father’s home after buying skittles and iced tea at a local convenience store.

He said he’s convinced there’s nothing he could have done differently that would have allowed both him and Trayvon to survive their confrontation that night.

“In all fairness, you cannot as a human feel guilty for living, for surviving,” he said.

Talking Points Memo: George Zimmerman Compares Himself To Anne Frank, Says Obama Victimized Him.

“I believe that God does everything for a purpose, and he had his plans and for me to second guess them would be hypocritical and almost blasphemous,” Zimmerman said. “Had I have had a fraction of a thought that I could have done something differently, acted differently so that both of us would’ve survived then I would have heavier weight on my shoulders.”

His lawyer, Howard Iken, asked him whether he was the same man he was five years ago.

“Absolutely not,” Zimmerman said. “I have to have my guard up significantly. … I still believe that people are truly good at heart, as Anne Frank has said, and I will put myself in any position to help another human in any way I can.”

189l

Apparently “God” actually wanted Trayvon dead and Zimmerman just happened to be the medium for “God’s” handiwork. Because, you know, “God” is a racist who hates black teenagers….

Don’t put away that barf bag just yet. The next topic is Ted Cruz’ announcement yesterday that he’s running for president. Cruz made the big announcement at Liberty University in Virginia, which was founded by Jerry Falwell. You can read the full transcript at Time Magazine. Cruze praised the “christian” college profusely, but please note that Cruz himself chose to get his education at Princeton and Harvard.

Cruz led off the speech with a lengthy and sentimental description of his and his wife’s family history. Then he launched into his dream for the future of America.

I want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of America: 240 years ago on this very day, a 38-year-old lawyer named Patrick Henry stood up just a hundred miles from here in Richmond, Virginia, and said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

I want to ask each of you to imagine, imagine millions of courageous conservatives, all across America, rising up together to say in unison “we demand our liberty.”

Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across America coming out to the polls and voting our values.

Today millions of young people are scared, worried about the future, worried about what the future will hold. Imagine millions of young people coming together and standing together, saying “we will stand for liberty.”

Piano player and still life

That’s not too specific, but I’m pretty sure that by “liberty” Cruz means taking away freedom of choice from women, taking away health care from millions of Americans, blocking immigration reform, and increasing income inequality through tax cuts and removal of government regulations that protect the environment and the health and safety of workers.

Cruz went on to provide some specifics:

Five years ago today, the president signed Obamacare into law. Within hours, Liberty University went to court filing a lawsuit to stop that failed law. Instead of the joblessness, instead of the millions forced into part-time work, instead of the millions who’ve lost their health insurance, lost their doctors, have faced skyrocketing health insurance premiums, imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.

Imagine health care reform that keeps government out of the way between you and your doctor and that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable.

Yes, you’ll just have to imagine that, because you won’t get it with a Republican president.

Instead of a tax code that crushes innovation, that imposes burdens on families struggling to make ends met, imagine a simple flat tax that lets every American fill out his or her taxes on a postcard.

Imagine abolishing the IRS.

So taxes would get paid on the honor system? And with a flat tax, the burden would fall mostly on lower wage earners. Again, it’s about “freedom” for the rich and the rest of us can pay for it.

Woman at the piano matisse

Women  and LGBT people can forget about their freedom under a Ted Cruz presidency.

Instead of a federal government that wages an assault on our religious liberty, that goes after Hobby Lobby, that goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor, that goes after Liberty University, imagine a federal government that stands for the First Amendment rights of every American.

Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.

There’s much more of Cruz’s “freedom” talk at the link.

Some reactions to the speech:

Think Progress: Ted Cruz Just Laid Out The Most Anti-Woman Agenda Yet.

FactCheck.org: FactChecking Ted Cruz

The Week: The Obama-like rhetoric, record, and divisiveness of Ted Cruz.

Mediaite: Jon Stewart Mocks Ted Cruz’s Televangelist-Like Big Speech.

SFGate: The Ten Best Things About Ted Cruz Running for President.

woman-at-tbe-piano

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton seems to be getting close to announcing her own run for president. Yesterday she had a private meeting with President Obama.

From Politico: Hillary Clinton meets Barack Obama at the White House.

Clinton was in Washington for an event about the future of urban policy hosted by the Center for American Progress in the morning and the presentation of the Toner Award at a dinner in the evening.

In between, the all-but-declared Democratic presidential candidate swung by to see her old boss in the building she’s hoping to move into.

The White House wouldn’t comment about whether a meeting was going to happen earlier in the day, but White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed afterward that it had happened — though he provided few details.

“President Obama and Secretary Clinton enjoy catching up in person when their schedules permit,” Earnest said. “This afternoon they met privately for about an hour at the White House and discussed a range of topics.”

I wonder if they talked about Clinton’s announcement and what Obama would do to back her up?

Music lesson

Also at Politico, Gabriel DeBenedetti wrote that Clinton and other Democrats are thrilled that Ted Cruz will be running for the GOP nomination.

Ted Cruz: Hillary Clinton’s wrecking ball.

Democrats from both inside and outside the Clinton camp have groused for months that the all-but-certain candidate was moving too slowly in formulating and projecting a rationale for running for the White House outside of her gender and the dreaded “it’s my time” argument. She was relying too much on a platform of inevitability, they said — the same platform that doomed her bid in 2008. But those closest to the former secretary of state have counseled patience, arguing that a core element of Clinton’s plan was to get out of the way and let the dueling wings of the Republican Party savage each other while she floats above it all.

Cruz, they say, is Hillary’s wrecking ball.

People close to Clinton smiled at the sight of the first-term senator wandering alone on stage at Liberty University, implicitly threatening a civil war with the “mushy” establishment of his party that he loves to decry — while at the exact same time Clinton sat comfortably alongside heavyweights from her own party’s progressive and labor elements, who have thus far entirely declined to challenge her.

Meanwhile the clamoring of some liberal groups to recruit Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive darling, was entirely unheard in downtown Washington as Clinton spent her morning discussing domestic policy at the headquarters of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank run by her allies. The presumptive Democratic front-runner sat near a pair of union bosses and current and former urban mayors, making sure to throw in some love for liberal hero Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor, as she previewed pieces of her likely domestic policy platform.

She touched all corners of the Democratic Party in the morning performance before meeting with President Barack Obama in the White House and speaking at an award ceremony for political reporters in the evening, dogged only by barbs from her Republican critics.

So for Clinton, Monday was smooth sailing. For Republicans, her camp figures, it signaled the beginning of a wild and messy primary contest that will let Clinton appear to be the adult in the room before she takes on a bloodied GOP nominee.

Could the GOP clown car be even more packed with loonies in 2016 than it was in 2012?

What are you hearing? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a great day.

NOTE: The paintings of piano players by Matisse are meant as a tribute to our fearless leader Dakinikat and her new moneymaking enterprise.