Sunday: Breaking News…Holy Sh!t Thank Goddess It’s #Hillary2016 {Finally and about damn time too, open thread.}

Hillary Rodham Clinton

hill

Hot Damn & Yes Yes Yes!!!!!!

And the Lady is about to make it official.

From the Guardian:

Clinton: ‘I’m running for president’

Clinton’s campaign website, the creatively named HillaryClinton.com, has just gone live with her first campaign ad placed at the top.

The ad pitches hard to the middle-class – the theme of choice among Republican and Democrat candidates – and meshes with Podesta’s call to “make the middle class mean something again.”

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.

“So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.

“So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey,” Clinton says.

I’ve got the https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton set on Twitter to notify, so when Hillary tweets, my cell phone will start screaming like a banshee!

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New York

The social links are as follows:

Her website:

 It just went live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hillaryclinton.com

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC:

Ready For Hillary Clinton for President 2016

Ready For Hillary | Facebook

President Bill Clinton Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/billclinton

Chelsea’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chelseaclinton

Live video feed of the announcement can be seen here:** I will put the link and/or feed here when it is available.

Live updates: Hillary Clinton to announce 2016 presidential campaign – live updates | US news | The Guardian

Hillary Rodham ClintonI thought we’d have a live blog of this tremendous occasion. My daughter is so proud that she is going to be able to cast her first vote evah for Hillary. I am fucking proud that I have raised a daughter who realizes the importance and significance that vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton really means.

Now for some links…

Updates can also be found here of course, Still4Hill | HILLARY CLINTON: MAKING FEMININITY PRESIDENTIAL!

Stories that hit the web last night and this morning:

President Obama: Hillary Clinton Would be an “Excellent President”

Hillary+Clinton+Hillary+Clinton+Addresses+bRhtRQ_q3wGl

President Barack Obama on Saturday said Hillary Clinton would be “an excellent president” who would “have some strong messages to deliver” if she decides to run for the White House.

Obama made the comments a day before Clinton is expected to announce a presidential bid.

“She was a formidable candidate in 2008, she was a great supporter of mine in the general election, she was an outstanding secretary of state, she is my friend,” Obama said. “I think she would be an excellent president.”

Clinton lost the Democratic nomination to Obama in 2008. Obama made the comments on Saturday after a summit in Panama.

“The one thing I can say is, she’s going to be able to handle herself very well in any conversation or debates around foreign policy,” Obama said. “And her track record with respect to domestic policies is I think one that cares about working families.”

“If she decides to run and she makes an announcement, she’s going to have some strong messages to deliver,” Obama said.

467347382A memo sent to Clinton’s staff by her soon-to-be campaign manager, Robby Mook, said her message will be “about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

Former Boss Gives Hillary Clinton a Good Reference – First Draft. Political News, Now. – NYTimes.com

Whether Mrs. Clinton would embrace Mr. Obama, whose approval rating is around 50 percent, or try to distance herself from him has been a persistent question as she been building her campaign apparatus. Republicans are hoping voters will choose a new direction.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers say that she intends to praise the Obama administration for its economic progress while also promising a “new chapter” with policies aimed at stagnant wages and a squeezed middle class.

2015-03-23t155744z65326264gf10000035835rtrmadp3usa-clinton-economy

Hillary Clinton to Announce 2016 Run for President on Sunday – NYTimes.com

The prolonged prologue to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second run for the White House will reach its suspenseless conclusion on Sunday: The former secretary of state, senator and first lady is to announce that she will indeed seek the Democratic nomination for president.

[…]

A fresh epilogue to Mrs. Clinton’s 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” posted on The Huffington Post Friday morning, signaled a number of elements of what is very likely to be a familiar feature of her campaign message: evoking her new status as a grandmother to talk about creating opportunities for all Americans.

“I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will,” Mrs. Clinton wrote, referring to her new granddaughter.

Mrs. Clinton will begin testing that and other themes in earnest beginning on Sunday and stretching through next week when she travels to Iowa and later this month to New Hampshire for a series of small-scale events where she can field questions and address the concerns of the voters her campaign calls “everyday Americans,” people made aware of her plans said.

You can read the whole epilogue here, but I’ve pick out a few paragraphs:

11HILLARY-master675A New Chapter | Hillary Clinton

I was delighted to find that Charlotte’s birth seemed to strike a chord with a lot of Americans. Chelsea and I received letters and gifts from moms and grandmothers across the country – stuffed animals, tiny sweaters, hand-knitted socks and hats, even some baby-sized sports jerseys from various teams. One gift we treasured was “Charlotte’s Web,” the classic children’s book by E.B. White. As I’ve recently rediscovered, it’s a wonderful read. At one point, when the wise family doctor is asked what he makes of the mysterious messages in the spider web, he observes, “When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.” That’s how I’ve come to think about Charlotte (our Charlotte, not the spider.) Every day with a new child is a miracle. Her smallest gestures sweep me off my feet. And while I am completely convinced that Charlotte is far and away the most beautiful, smart, and accomplished infant anywhere, I also understand that the true miracle here is universal. That’s why so many other grandmothers have reached out to me. They all feel the same way I do. They’re just as proud of their little ones and they have just as many dreams for their futures.

I have always believed that every child should have the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. That principle has animated my entire career, from my earliest days as a young attorney with the Children’s Defense Fund straight through to my service in the Senate and as Secretary of State. Now that I’m a grandmother, I believe it even more passionately. Unfortunately, too few of the children born in the United States and around the world today will grow up with the same opportunities as Charlotte. You shouldn’t have to be the granddaughter of a President or a Secretary of State to receive excellent health care, education, enrichment, and all the support and advantages that will one day lead to a good job and a successful life. That’s what we want for all our kids. And this isn’t just idealism. It’s a recipe for broadly-shared prosperity and a healthy democracy. The notion of equal opportunity has been at the heart of the American experiment since the very beginning. It’s part of what made the United States exceptional and it attracted generations of immigrants determined to work hard and provide their families with that same chance at success. I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will.

Becoming a grandmother has made me think deeply about the responsibility we all share as stewards of the world we inherit and will one day pass on. Rather than make me want to slow down, it has spurred me to speed up. As Margaret Mead said, children keep our imaginations fresh and our hearts young, and they drive us to work for a better future. I’ve also returned again and again to this question of universality – how much we all have in common even if the circumstances of our lives may be different. As you’ve seen throughout this book, one of the defining themes of my time as Secretary of State was our increasing global interdependence. Despite all the division and discord in the world, which sometimes can seem overwhelming, the basic fact of the 21st century is that we’re more connected than ever. If the United States continues to lead the world in the years ahead, as I believe it can and must, it will be because we have learned how to define the terms of our interdependence to promote more cooperation and shared prosperity and less conflict and inequality. As we’ve seen since the first edition of this book was published in June 2014, the negative side of interdependence remains potent — whether it was the spread of virulent new strands of extremism in the Middle East or old-style nationalism in Europe or a deadly epidemic in Africa. Our job is to build up the positive side. The United States and the other great democracies have to redouble our efforts to empower moderates and marginalize extremists everywhere, and to stand firmly and united in pursuit of a more just, free, and peaceful world. That’s the world I want for Charlotte and for all our kids.

11HILLARY-articleLarge

Geez, I love this woman.

Clinton campaign memo: No drama this time – Annie Karni – POLITICO

During an hour-long meeting where bagels were served, Robby Mook, who will serve as campaign manager, distributed a mission statement to all aides in which he detailed the core values the campaign organization will be based on: diversity, discipline and humbleness, according to a Democratic operative who attended the meeting.

The memo can be seen as an attempt by Mook and senior staffers to set the campaign off on the right collaborative note — last time, Clinton’s operation was crippled by infighting and disagreement among the top aides.

“We are a team: we are committed to helping each other succeed to deliver on our core purpose,” the memo states. “We are a diverse, talented family: we work together, empower and respect each other, and have each other’s backs, especially our volunteers.”

Mook encouraged the group, many of whom arrived dressed in jeans on the first real Spring day of the year, to keep a copy of the bullet-pointed sheet on their desks, and pin it to their walls. The memo also reveals what appears to be the name of Clinton’s official committee: the title of the document obtained by POLITICO is “We are Hillary for America.”

Give this Nate Silver article a read, Clinton Begins The 2016 Campaign, And It’s A Toss-up | FiveThirtyEight

There’s already plenty of bad punditry regarding the chances of Hillary Clinton, who is expected to officially announce her candidacy on Sunday, to become the 45th president. You can find Democrats boasting about their “blue wall” in the Electoral College and how hard this will make it for any Republican to win. Or Republicans warning that the Democratic Party rarely wins three elections in a row.

Most of this analysis is flimsy. So is the commentary about the ups-and-downs in early swing state polls. And when you see some pundit declaring a minor misstep to be a “game changer,” find someone else to follow on Twitter.

The truth is that a general election with Clinton on the ballot — she’s very likely to become the Democratic nominee — is roughly a 50/50 proposition. And we’re not likely to learn a lot over the rest of 2015 to change that. Here’s why:

Silver is not predicting doom and gloom…at least. Interesting.

Why does Hillary Rodham Clinton want to be president? – The Washington Post

When Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives in Iowa next week as a candidate for president in 2016, every statement, gesture, laugh, outfit, facial expression and interaction with voters will be put under a microscope the likes of which few, if any, previous candidates have experienced.

Her every step will be analyzed for signs of change or continuity. Has she learned from her loss to then-candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries? If so, what? Does she act entitled or hungry? Has she shifted on foreign policy issues since she was Obama’s secretary of state? Are her economic views the same as Obama’s or Bill Clinton’s or Elizabeth Warren’s? Does she appear to like campaigning or see it as a necessary duty to reach her ultimate goal? Is she rusty or sharp, chilly or warm? The list is endless.

[…]

Where Clinton’s candidacy is likely to rise or fall is on how the American people respond to her personally. She is a divisive and polarizing figure — not just because of her own history but because that is the nature of politics in this period of history. She can’t completely erase that, but her task will be to offer reassurances to voters who are at least open to her candidacy but who nonetheless have questions or reservations about who she really is.

This demands more than a biographical reintroduction for someone described as the least-known well-known woman in the world. She talked regularly in her first campaign about her own biography, her Midwestern roots, her mother and father and life in the Chicago suburbs and beyond.

She may do that again, but the questions voters have about her go beyond where she came from. Her initial trips will be watched for what she says and how she says it. Another measuring stick should be how well she listens and what she learns from the voters. Can she identify what people really want to know about her as a possible president and supply answers they find credible? That is the challenge as she starts the campaign.

The Twenty-Year Hillary Clinton Humanization Project – BuzzFeed News

….one summer morning in 1999, in upstate Elmira, N.Y., Carl and Cindy Hayden served their houseguest a light breakfast and a cup of Earl Grey tea — and asked if she’d mind participating in the family’s “little ritual,” marking her height on the kitchen wall, just as the Haydens’ children had done years ago.

Hillary Clinton, their overnight company, readily agreed.

When Cindy joked that Clinton was “cheating” by wearing heels, the couple couldn’t believe it as they watched the first lady, in their kitchen, laugh and kick off her shoes. And when Cindy went on, asking if her guest’s hair might also provide an extra inch or two, Clinton instantly patted it down flat.

“There were few of the trappings of royalty that one would assume would accompany a first lady,” said Carl Hayden, 74, who still remembers every detail from the night that Clinton stayed as their guest while campaigning for U.S. Senate.

The overnight stay was one of about an estimated 15 or 20 such visits with local Democrats, most of them in upstate New York, according to a former aide. The idea was straightforward: introduce those counties to Clinton, in a setting that best suited to her — with word spreading by mouth of the visit from neighbor to neighbor.

Hosts would typically receive a visit two days early from the Secret Service, who would vet the house — and on the afternoon of the overnight, Clinton would arrive, with just one or two aides who would stay over, too. (The Haydens put Clinton up in their bedroom, while they slept in his son’s twin bed.) Secret Service typically stayed in a hotel nearby, taking shifts outside the house and or in nearby parked cars.

When the campaign first pitched the idea of overnights, Clinton was resistant, two former staffers said. It sounded uncomfortable. Maybe awkward. She didn’t know if people would want her there. But she eventually relented. And after eight years in the White House, she got to be a normal guest: She cleared the table, stripped the bed. “We were all on pins and needles about how it would go,” said one of the aides.

“She loved it.”

[…]

Carl Hayden, Clinton’s host, had no doubt he saw the real Clinton that night in 1999.

“She was very down-home, very natural. You’d be surprised how comfortable the visit was — and how comfortable an individual she was,” said Hayden, who is active in local politics and served at the time as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents.

Clinton engaged him a lengthy conversation on his porch about policy. “She let me prattle on when it was obvious that she knew about five, or 50 times, more about educational policies than I did.” Later, they went to a neighborhood bar for dinner. (“Nothing shi-shi.”) And at the end of the night, Hayden recalled, an aide carried up some “zonky-looking” equipment to his and Cindy’s bedroom — where Clinton was staying the night — so that before bed, she “was able to have confidential and coded” conversation with her husband, who happened to be in Bosnia at the time.

“When folks connect with her and she with them, it really has an impact,” Begala said.

He recalled a line Clinton used to repeat during the 1992 race about the conversations she’d have with voters: “‘I hear these people and their stories… It’s like a movie that plays in my head.’”

You can read the analysis at the link, I just liked the story.

Robert Reich: To win, Hillary needs to be honest that Wall Street is ‘still out of control’

’s a paradox.

Almost all the economic gains are still going to the top, leaving America’s vast middle class with stagnant wages and little or no job security. Two-thirds of Americans are working paycheck to paycheck.

Meanwhile, big money is taking over our democracy.

If there were ever a time for a bold Democratic voice on behalf of hardworking Americans, it is now.

Yet I don’t recall a time when the Democratic Party’s most prominent office holders sounded as meek. With the exception of Elizabeth Warren, they’re pussycats. If Paul Wellstone, Teddy Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, or Ann Richards were still with us, they’d be hollering.

The fire now is on the right, stoked by the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and a pocketful of hedge-fund billionaires.

Today’s Republican firebrands, beginning with Ted Cruz, blame the poor, blacks, Latinos, and immigrants for what’s been happening. They avoid any mention of wealth and power.

Which brings me to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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

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

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

The more relevant concern is Hillary Clinton’s willingness to fight.

Read the rest at the link.

Hillary Clinton faces months of hits from GOP, liberals – NY Daily News

This time she really is the inevitable candidate.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton held big, carefully staged rallies designed to create the impression of a juggernaut to the nomination. It didn’t work out that way.

As she prepares to announce Sunday, Clinton is hitting the reset button on her image and gearing up for the onslaught of ferocious attacks from the GOP.

After a rough month during which she faced bad headlines over her private emails and Clinton Foundation donations from foreign powers, Clinton is planning a carefully controlled rollout with small-scale events in early primary states.

[…]

4UNT5rGShe has assembled a fresh-faces campaign team — mostly younger staffers without the baggage of her infighting ’08 team.

Democrats believe that bodes well.

“They are very focused on staying focused. She has a team who knows what it takes to win,” said Democratic strategist and Clinton ally Hilary Rosen. “She will make it clear that choosing her over any of the GOP challengers is the best way to keep the country moving forward. In other words, they are going to stay engaged on what matters.”

“We are Hillary for America.”

This is a hells fucking yeah open thread!


Saturday Morning Reads: Assorted Nuts

nutsGood Morning!

BB had to cover for me yesterday because my allergies were just going so crazy that I was dizzy most of the morning and afternoon.  The combination of four nights of cigarette smoke and Live Oak Pollen have me suffering like crazy.

I’ve been putting ice on my red, swollen, and sore eyes, taking benedryl so I can breathe, and coughing/sneezing like crazy.  The usual antihistamines have not been enough.  My voice is so husky you’d think I was on the make for some one.

The good news is that it stormed today and I think the trees are through that phase and all bars in New Orleans go smoke free on the 25th.  I only have a few weeks left and will I be celebrating like crazy.

Speaking of crazy, an Iowa Homeschooling event hosted a few of the nuttier Republican candidates and my governor proved he was right there riding the crazy train with Ted Cruz.   Ted Cruz called the boycotts of states passing bigot bills “waging jihad” against religious freedom.   I wonder if he realizes that majority of people in this country–including christians–support civil rights over bigotry dressed up as religion.

“We look at the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” Cruz said during a panel moderated by conservative radio host Steve Deace on Thursday. “We need to bring people together to the religious liberty values that built this country.”

The religious values that built this country are basically called “separation of church and state” not enshrinement of one cult’s pet peeves.

Yes, Jindal was there and was just as idiotic. Iowa is the state where he and his recently retired aides have Nuts01residency these days. BB rightly points out that Jindal now seems to have something against corporate America.  That ought to make the Republican Donor Class run away.

The main theme at an Iowa homeschooling event yesterday attended by four potential GOP presidential candidates was what Sen. Ted Cruz called the gay “jihad” against religious liberty in the form of nondiscrimination laws.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal attempted to add a populist bent to his remarks on the topic — an increasingly popular strategy among LGBT rights opponents — by declaring that “an alliance of Hollywood elites and corporate America” are “assaulting the rights of Christians” by opposing measures like those in Indiana and Arkansas that would have given broad leeway to business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers.

“We need to remind these elites, America did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America,” he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Remember, “elites” mean people educated in facts not fantasy.  Jindal use to fancy himself one of those up until he switched from running for governor of Louisiana to leader-in-chief of the stupid party.

Huckabee and Santorum were there too with their usual brands of hate and stupidity. 

All of the hopefuls stressed their respect for and connection to home schooling. Jindal and Huckabee touted their state legislation supporting home schooling. Santorum noted “it’s great to be here with fellow home school moms and dads.”

He implored the parents to trust their judgment in choosing a president just as they trust themselves to make the best decisions about educating their children.

“Do not defer to the experts,” he said.

Home schooling isn’t easy, Huckabee said. He hopes there are enough Americans “who have the same conviction to make the sacrifice for the country that you are willing to make for your children.”

However, he worried that too many people will not make that choice.

There are 80 million self-identified evangelicals, but only half are registered to vote and only half vote in a presidential election.

“I worry there’s not the passion, the interest, and the commitment that is needed to get our country back where it needs to be,” Huckabee said. “You represent that passion.”

Jindal warned that winning the 2016 presidential race is not optional — “not because we are Republicans, not because we are conservatives, but because it is the future of our country that is at stake.”

“I don’t think we are beyond the tipping point, but I think it’s only four more years of this president’s policies, whether it is Hillary Clinton or whoever, we will get to that point,” he said.

Cruz drew a parallel between President Jimmy Carter and President Barack Obama — “same failed economic policies, same misery, stagnation and malaise.” The solution is another “Reagan revolution” by Republicans, Christian conservatives .and conservative Democrats.

“That’s what it’s going to take to turn this country around,” he said.

We’ve had enough of that kind of crap since the first s0-called “Reagan revolution.”  I think most of us recognize that nearly everything walnut-300he did has made us less. The biggest roots of income inequality came from the changes made back then. We’re living the results of less upward mobility and less real incomes daily now.  We’ve also seen assaults on women’s health and rights as well as assaults on science, public education and unions.  None of the outcomes have been pretty.

Republicans are already planning to run ads to assault Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid announcement.  She has them running scared and ugly.  One of the ugliest comments this weekend came from the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre whooping it up with his gun fetishists in Tennessee.

At the NRA’s annual convention today, Wayne LaPierre spent quite a lot of time in his speech talking about Hillary Clinton and how much they cannot let her become the next president. He joked about her history with various scandals, called her secretive, and asked if anyone really thinks she deserves to be the first female president.

Clinton is expected to announce her campaign on Sunday, but to LaPierre, another Clinton term in office should just mean more “scandal and deceit and self-serving behavior.”

And then, he offered this over-the-top dire warning:

“She will not bring a dawn of new promise and opportunity. Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring a permanent darkness of deceit and despair forced upon the American people to endure.”

As for the ugly ads, you can read about it in here.

The ads, highlighting controversies while Clinton was secretary of state and questions about foreign donations to her foundation, will run in swing states: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa, according to Raffi Williams, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

“From the East Wing to the State Department, Hillary Clinton has left a trail of secrecy, scandal and failed liberal policies that no image consultant can erase,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “Voters want to elect someone they can trust and Hillary’s record proves that she cannot be trusted. We must ‘Stop Hillary.'”

That has been a Republican imperative for months. In Ohio, a state that Republicans historically have needed to win the White House, Clinton would beat any of the Republicans now considering a run, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. But Ohioans don’t many of those potential challengers, which will change in the coming months, and Clinton’s lead has slipped from a Quinnipiac poll two months ago.

I can only imagine they will be extremely misogynistic and hateful given that’s just about the Republican Playbook these days.

images (2)So, here’s something really nutty about Jeb Bush.  Why on earth has his voter registration listed him as Hispanic? 

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush updated his voter registration the day a New York Times story revealed he listed himself as Hispanic on the form in 2009.

A Bush spokesperson confirmed the change.

Bush, whose wife and three children are Hispanic, attempted to laugh off the mistake in a tweet.

If he can’t even check the right box on a simple question, would you trust this man with the button to our nuclear arsenal? Sheesh!

Okay, so this isn’t about a Republican nut, just a rapist nut.  Former Football player and rape drug using rapist Darren Sharper will be subject to a live time of penis monitoring.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing!

Convicted rapist Darren Sharper will serve nine years in prison for his crimes, but he won’t return to a regular life after he finishes his sentence. If two New Orleans judges approve the deal instead of issuing a 20-year sentence in Louisiana, Sharper will be treated as a sex offender, and closely monitored for the rest of his life.

The New Orleans Advocate has details of the pending agreement. After prison, Sharper would be on parole in California, registered as a sex offender and narcotics offender. He’d be tracked by GPS. After parole, he’d be moved to Arizona for probation for the rest of his life. Sharper would no longer be allowed to drink alcohol, go to a bar, use online dating, or travel more than 50 miles away from his home without permission from state officials. His penis would be also be monitored:

Sharper will be subject to lie detector tests and, while on lifetime probation in Arizona, to the “penile plethysmograph,” in which a sensor is attached to the penis while an array of sexual images flashes before his eyes, to gauge arousal.

(It’s unclear what exactly what the penile plethysmograph does or proves.)

Here’s an article from the NYD that explains just that.nuts-484262_640

Many convicted sex offenders are required to undergo this testing, which involves strapping a pressure-sensitive device to a man’s penis and gauging his reactions to stimulating pictures, video and audio, experts said.

Some experts said sex offenders’ responses — especially to “deviant” material — could determine their likelihood of reoffending.

Others contest the merits of penile plethysmography because it’s intrusive and not always accurate.

The test works by having sex offenders attach the device, which resembles an arm blood pressure cuff, to themselves in a separate room from a clinician at a doctor’s office or in prison.

The device measures blood flow to the penis, either through changes in the volume or circumference, as subjects view stimuli that are tailored to their problems or fetishes, according to guidelines by Oregon’s Department of Health.

Pictures and videos show people of different ages and genders partaking in various sexual scenarios and states of undress.

How often the test is conducted depends on the offender.

Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman told the Daily News he could not comment on how this testing would be conducted with Sharper because he could not discuss open cases.

Some experts claim penile plethysmography can help stop sex offenders from acting on their arousal by pinpointing what they’re subconsciously attracted to.

“Once an offender’s deviant sexual arousal patterns have been identified, treatment interventions can be introduced which are designed to reduce or eliminate these deviant response patterns,” the Council on Sex Offender Treatment wrote.

“Behavioral treatment teaches the offender the sequence of events leading to the commission of his deviant behavior and then provides the offender with specific methods to disrupt the offense cycle.”

It’s important to know what sex offenders’ deviant fantasies are, especially because self-reporting can be inaccurate, they said.

“Those sex offenders with the most deviant phallometry patterns have been found to have the highest recidivism,” the Council said, calling it “among the most successful” tactics.

But penile plethysmography can’t go as far as conclude whether someone will reoffend, David Samadi, the chairman of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital, told the Daily News.

I’m not sure if this actually works. I’m sure there are studies out there somewhere.

So, this is an open thread and please post whatever you want today!  Have a great Weekend!!


Friday Nite Lite: Hillary Girl…

bumperstickers_3up_V1

Yes!

Damn…can I just say that I have waited for what is supposedly to be announced on Sunday for the longest time. It is like the last 7 plus years have actually felt like centuries. Maybe one hellish GOP-PLUB year is equal to 7 dog years? Or something like that…

Anyway, the cartoons are late, surprisingly there was just not many to choose from:

04/10/2015 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

04/10/2015 Cartoon by John R. Rose

Cartoon by John R. Rose -

 

21st Century Policing: 04/10/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - 21st Century Policing

04/10/2015 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

04/08/2015 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

 

Officer Slager: 04/10/2015 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Officer Slager

04/09/2015 Cartoon by Scott Stantis

Cartoon by Scott Stantis -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Words to live by when you get stopped: 04/10/2015 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Words to live by when you get stopped

The Wrath of Cotton: 04/06/2015 Cartoon by Monte Wolverton

Cartoon by Monte Wolverton - The Wrath of Cotton

4/12 Luckovich cartoon: Rites of spring | Mike Luckovich

041215-toon-luckovich-ed

 

4/9 Luckovich cartoon: Armed and dangerous | Mike Luckovich

040915-toon-luckovich-ed

 

4/8 Luckovich: Time Lapse | Mike Luckovich

large lk040815_color

4/7 Luckovich: Asleep at the switch | Mike Luckovich

lk040715_color

 

Now the Cagle Cartoons:

TROY POLAMALU RETIRES by Political Cartoonist Randy Bish

Ring Toss by Political Cartoonist Mark Streeter

Evil bullet by Political Cartoonist Luojie

Art of the Deal by Political Cartoonist Steve Sack

Meet by Political Cartoonist Petar Pismestrovic

Crack by Political Cartoonist Petar Pismestrovic

And to close….

Vaccination Zombie Apocalypse – Truthdig

 

Hillary in Wonderland – Truthdig

This is an open thread…


Friday Afternoon Open Thread: Run Hillary Run!

 Hillary_Clinton_2016_president_bid_confirmed

Good Afternoon Politics Junkies!!

The big day is almost here. Yes, this weekend, Hillary Clinton will open her 2016 campaign for President.

The Guardian, Exclusive: Hillary Clinton to launch 2016 campaign on Sunday en route to Iowa.

The former secretary of state is scheduled to declare her second run for president on Twitter at noon eastern time on Sunday, the source told the Guardian, followed by a video and email announcement, then a series of conference calls mapping out a blitzkrieg tour beginning in Iowa and looking ahead to more early primary states.

Clinton’s Sunday schedule is booked beginning with takeoff from New York to Iowa, where speculation has centered for weeks that Clinton was focusing attention for an April campaign launch. Her scheduled calls are with advisers in other key battleground states.

Clinton’s spokesman, Nick Merrill, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the contours of Clinton’s campaign kickoff schedule. Another source close to the Clinton campaign confirmed Clinton would be in Iowa in the coming days….

Clinton has been quietly building a ground operation in Iowa, with a number of staff hires in Iowa including Matt Paul, a longtime aide to secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, to run Clinton’s operation, as well as veteran Iowa operative Brenda Kole as political director and DNC deputy communications director Lily Adams.

It’s the top story on Memeorandum and Google News this afternoon.  We’ll have to brace ourselves for the negativity coming from the media, but at least we know for sure now that she’s running. More links:

Lizza-Hillary-Clinton-1200

CNN: Hillary Clinton to announce 2016 bid Sunday with video.

Hillary Clinton is planning to launch her presidential candidacy on Sunday through a video message on social media, a person close to her campaign-in-waiting tells CNN, followed immediately by traveling to early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire to start making her case to voters….

Clinton has already filmed her campaign video, a person close to the campaign said, which outlines the central themes of her second bid for the White House. The message is intended to send a signal to Democrats that she intends to aggressively fight for the party’s presidential nomination.

A new epilogue of her book, “Hard Choices,” an excerpt of which was released Friday to the Huffington Post, offers a glimpse into why she is embarking on another presidential campaign. She writes about her new granddaughter, Charlotte, and calls for equal opportunity for her generation.

“Becoming a grandmother has made me think deeply about the responsibility we all share as stewards of the world we inherit and will one day pass on,” Clinton, 68, writes in the epilogue. “Rather than make me want to slow down, it has spurred me to speed up.”

The decision will sweep aside more than a year of speculation about her political aspirations and allow her to start making her case to voters. Advisers say she knows that Democratic activists are not interested in a coronation and she intends to campaign as though she has a tough primary challenge.

Central to Clinton’s second presidential run will be reintroducing the former first lady — on her own terms — to the American people. Democrats close to Clinton have started to call her the most unknown famous person in the world. Their argument is that people know of Clinton — she has near 100% name recognition in most polls — but they don’t know her story.

That sounds interesting.

rosie_hillary_500

Of course The New York Times is already ragging on Hillary.  You can go read it if you want, but I’m trying to stay positive just for today. Here’s Laura Clausen at DailyKos on the Times story.

New York Times worried that Marco Rubio called shotgun and Hillary Clinton ignored him

What is it about Hillary Clinton that makes political reporters show their stupid side? As Clinton prepares to announce a presidential run on Sunday, the New York Times‘ Amy Chozick and Maggie Haberman step up with the kind of coverage we can expect for the next 19 months:

Many factors played into the timing of Mrs. Clinton’s announcement. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, whom Mrs. Clinton’s advisers are watching closely as a potential opponent, staked a claim on Monday as his announcement date. Mrs. Clinton’s announcement on Sunday will certainly draw attention from Mr. Rubio’s entry into the race and could well eclipse it.And while the move could invite criticism as unsportsmanlike, her campaign is betting that Democrats will applaud the show of force against a Republican. (Others involved insisted the date was selected before Mr. Rubio scheduled his event, but said that the juxtaposition was an added bonus.)

Unsportsmanlike? Trust a woman—or a Clinton—to hit below the belt, I guess. Although let’s say Clinton did look at Rubio and think “Him. He, of all the Republicans, is the one whose announcement I need to bigfoot. I can let Rand Paul and Ted Cruz announce without interference, and I don’t need to wait for Scott Walker or Jeb Bush. No, Rubio is the guy I must mess with.” Even if she said that, we’re talking less about a dirty hit that could injure someone or at least leave him cupping his balls and gasping for the breath he needs to scream and more about, say, beating him to the car door after he called shotgun.

There could be a Republican presidential announcement a week for months, but Clinton is supposed to avoid all of them lest she appear unsportsmanlike?

WTF?!

Hillary-Clinton-Im-Ready-BlogOfProgress-400x262

The Washington Post: How Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign machine will kick into gear.

Clinton plans to launch her campaign via social media and with a video on Sunday articulating her rationale for seeking the White House. She’ll then travel to the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa early next week for campaign events, these people said. She is expected to hold mostly small discussion events with voters designed to help the former secretary of state connect with ordinary Americans and listen to their concerns, forgoing the large rallies and traditional announcement speeches of some of her Republican rivals.

Behind the scenes, meanwhile, Clinton’s fundraising machine is revving up. Her top bundlers are plotting aggressive outreach to thousands of Democratic donors over the weekend and into next week urging them to immediately send checks and make donations online as soon as the Clinton campaign’s Web site goes live.

Democratic strategists, advisers and fundraisers described Clinton’s plans only on the condition of anonymity because she and her team have not yet finalized all aspects of her campaign rollout. Her official spokespeople declined to comment.

One more from The Daily Beast: Hillary to Launch Campaign This Weekend With ‘Insane’ Fundraising Push.

After the announcement comes the deluge.

Hillary Clinton will announce her presidential campaign this Sunday, sources in the Clinton operation tell The Daily Beast.

After that, the nascent campaign will embark on a fundraising push that the Clinton camp says will dwarf anything seen in the history of presidential politics.

“They are going to raise in one week what some Republican presidential candidates are going to raise the entire cycle,” said one Clinton aide.

On Saturday afternoon, Ready for Hillary, the super PAC that has been a Clinton campaign-in-waiting in the years since Clinton left the State Department, will host what is likely a final fundraising push at SouthwestNY, a sleek Tex-Mex restaurant steps from the rebuilt World Trade Center.

From then on, Ready for Hillary will encourage its 3.6 million supporters to give to Clinton’s real campaign while the super PAC quietly dissolves.

Of course the “liberals” and very concerned about Hillary and her insistence on running for President. I’d guess these are the same people who were screaming “Why won’t the witch just quit” back in 2008.

Ready

Brian Beutler at The New Republic: Why Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Frightens Democrats.

Hillary Clinton, who reportedly will announce her candidacy this weekend, is such a prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination that she more or less cleared the field simply by behaving like someone who was going to run. That’s as much a testament to her political talent as it is to her nominal association with the boom times of the late 1990s. But it’s also the source of genuine anxiety among liberals, who worry she’ll enter the general election rusty and untested unless someone formidable dares to challenge her in the primary.

This sounds like a reasonable point, until you apply the logic to all other major political races, where favored candidates labor tirelessly to avoid primary campaigns, whenever possible. No losing Senate candidate has ever looked back and wished he’d endured a primary to loosen him up, and no winning Senate candidate ever has ever attributed his victory to the months he spent doing battle with members of his own party. Senate Republicans attribute the two recent election cycles they spent in the minority to undisciplined activists backing primary challengers, and attribute their recent victory to hobbling those activists.

In Hillary Clinton’s case, though, there’s still a good argument that the Democratic Party could use a contested primary this cycle: not to toughen Clinton’s calluses, but to build some redundancy into the presidential campaign. It may even be the case that some of these Democrats with rattled nerves are less anxious about Clinton’s prowess against Republicans than about the fact that all of the party’s hopes now rest on her shoulders. Her campaign has become a single point of failure for Democratic politics. If she wins in 2016, she won’t ride into office with big congressional supermajorities poised to pass progressive legislation. But if she loses, it will be absolutely devastating for liberalism.

If you’re faithful to the odds, then most of this anxiety is misplaced. Clinton may have slipped in the polls by virtue of an email scandal and her return to the partisan trenches more generally. But she’s still more popular and better known than all of the Republicans she might face in the general, her name evokes economic prosperity, rather than global financial calamity, the economy is growing right now, and Democrats enjoy structural advantages in presidential elections, generally.

Maybe these unnamed very concerned Democrats should just get over it and try to get a fellow Democrat elected. Or maybe they should run themselves. But that would take courage and commitment. Why they’d probably have to use let reporters print their names!

Finally, the Wall Street Journal, that liberal stronghold /s, tells us that “some Democrats” think Hillary is too conservative. Do any of these people listen to what she says?

Liberal Democrats Try to Push Hillary Clinton Left. This one is behind a paywall, so I can only give you the first few lines; but we can all guess what these fake liberals had to say to the WSJ.

WASHINGTON—Hillary Clinton was once seen as a liberal voice pulling her husband and party to the left. Today, on the brink of her announcement that she is running for president, some Democrats think she isn’t liberal enough.

What troubles them are her ties to Wall Street and Bill Clinton’s centrist economic record. They don’t like that she appears more comfortable with bipartisan compromise than populist calls to fight banks and…

My guess is this whining is coming from Move On and the rest of the morons who want to see Elizabeth Warren run, even though she has no chance.

What do you think? What have you heard and read about Hillary’s plans?


Thursday Reads: A Mixed Bag of News and Views

Tea in the garden darker

Good Morning!!

I’m not seeing any particular theme in today’s news, but there is quite a bit of good stuff to read; so I’ll just toss out a few items that interested me.

Poor Benjamin Netanyahu. It seems all his efforts to use the Republican Congress to squash President Obama’s negotiations is one big giant fail. He managed to get reelected with the help of John Boehner et al., but that’s about it. First Obama said that Iran recognizing Israel wouldn’t be part of any deal, and then yesterday the White House mocked Bibi on Twitter.

The Washington Post: Why Obama says Iran does not have to recognize Israel as part of a nuclear deal.

President Obama, who doesn’t get along with Netanyahu, seemed to dismiss the Israeli premier’s latest demand in an interview this week. When asked by NPR’s Steve Inskeep whether Iranian recognition of the state of Israel would be included in any final deal, Obama deemed such a move a “fundamental misjudgment.” Here’s an excerpt of his remarks:

Well, let me say this — it’s not that the idea of Iran recognizing Israel is unreasonable. It’s completely reasonable and that’s U.S. policy….

There’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran, and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime. But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.

The point here is one that diplomats would take for granted. When attempting to make a deal with your interlocutor, particularly one where there’s a considerable history of grievance and animosity, you can’t expect to win a total capitulation.

Duh. Poor Bibi, like today’s Republicans doesn’t comprehend the notion of compromise.

David Knowles at Bloomberg Politics on the Twitter gag: White House Trolls Netanyahu on Iran with Bomb Graphic.

The White House has employed a graphic first used by Benjamin Netanyahu to push its case for a nuclear deal with Iran that the Israeli Prime Minister opposes. On Wednesday, the president’s office posted a tweet that borrowed the graphic representation of a bomb that Netanyahu had held up during a speech to the United Nation’s General Assembly in which he warned of Iran’s growing nuclear capability.

The fuse on the original image was intact, and there was no sign of the metaphorical scissors or accompanying text that the White House saw fit to add.

Bibi bomb

Pretty funny.

And how about this op-ed from the Jerusalem Post: How Netanyahu is single-handedly hurting the US-Israel relationship.

Benjamin Netanyahu is singlehandedly hurting a relationship that has resulted in over $100 billion in military aid to Israel since 1962.  The Prime Minister is hurting a relationship with a country that constantly defends Israel at the UN; resulting in over 30 U.S. vetoes of resolutions critical to Israel. Because of Netanyahu, some are wondering if the U.S. should continually give $3.1 billion in annual aid and professors like Harvard’s Steven Strauss have written about ending this perpetual assistance. Sadly, the Prime Minister’s supporters in Israel and abroad don’t seem moved by the magnitude of what could be lost if Netanyahu’s feud with Obama “gets even worse.”  [….] 

even those whose job it was to protect Israel from the threats trumpeted by Netanyahu feel that the Prime Minister has overstepped the boundaries of rationality.

According to The Jerusalem Post recently, “Former Mossad chief slams Netanyahu for insistence that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Efraim Halevy also predicted a“dramatic” improvement in Israeli relations with the U.S. if Netanyahu were to be defeated in the latest elections.  Another former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, called Netanyahu’s speech to Congress “bull—t” and views the Prime Minister’s policies as dangerous to Israel’s future. A third former Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, stated that a nuclear Iran did notpost an existential threat to Israel; a viewpoint directly at odds with the hysteria (fueled by Netanyahu’s political ideology) surrounding Obama’s nuclear deal.

When three former Mossad chiefs are forced to speak out, an Israeli Prime Minister should tone down his paranoid rhetoric, not increase the tempo of his political exploits. Say what you will about Bibi’s critics, but former Mossad chiefs aren’t “leftist” and they know quite a bit about Israeli security threats. Their sober assessment of Netanyahu’s P. T. Barnum inspired diplomacy (regarding Israel’s U.S. relationship) is just cause to reassess the Prime Minister’s behavior; not champion his constant criticism of Obama’s nuclear deal.

The Economist writes that “RARELY have relations between an American president and an Israeli prime minister sunk so low.” The New Yorker published an article titled A Bad Day In American-Israeli Relations. Senator Dianne Feinstein recently stated she wished that Netanyahu “would contain himself” and I echoed the California Senator’s sentiment in a recent Congress Blog piece. Tzipi Livni has warned that Netanyahu is leading Israel into “crisis and diplomatic isolation.” Like Livni, Yair Lapid has lamented over the state of relations between the White House and Israel, stating, “This damage will take a long time to mend.” Everyone from former Mossad chiefs, U.S. Senators, Israeli politicians, and journalist have expressed dismay about the decline in a relationship that is essential to Israel’s future.

Valerie_Jarrett_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key

From The Washington Post, here’s more interesting news from the White House: White House condemns therapy to ‘cure’ gay youth.

The statement was issued in response to a White House petition signed by more than 120,000 people after the suicide of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen from Ohio whose suicide note condemning the society’s treatment of transgender people went viral after her death. In the note, she indicated she had been subjected to such therapies.

“The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights,” Alcorn wrote in her note.

The White House statement, issued by President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, condemned “conversion” therapy, also known as “reparative” therapy, which she defined as any treatment aimed at changing a person’s sexual identity.

“The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm,” she wrote. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

Shortly before releasing the White House response to the petition on conversion therapy, according to a White House official, Jarrett spoke with organizers of the petition. “She listened to their personal stories about why this was important to them and thanked them for their efforts,” said the official, who asked for anonymity in order to describe a private conversation.

Transgender Bathroom

And from The Advocate: The White House’s Executive Office Now Has Gender-Neutral Bathroom.

An all-gender restroom is for the first time available in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, confirms a White House spokesman. Alternatively, guests are invited to use whichever bathroom fits with their gender identity.

“The White House allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity,” said White House spokesman Jeff Tiller, “which is in keeping with the administration’s existing legal guidance on this issue and consistent with what is required by the executive order that took effect today for federal contractors.”

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, had mentioned the policy change in an op-ed today for The Advocate, saying the adminstration had “closely examined” its policies on “restroom access” to help “ensure that everyone who enters this building feels safe and fully respected.”

Gender neutral bathrooms, if single-stall, also often offer a safe space to differently abled users, parents with their children, and anyone else seeking privacy.

The push for gender-neutral restrooms in public buildings and workplaces has been one cause taken up by transgender rights activists — and one that’s found the most visible sucecss on university campuses — making Jarrett’s anouncement feel to many like a win for trans Americans.

“It is heartening to see that, even if legislators in some states are attacking the dignity and humanity of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, at least the White House is still moving in the direction of dignity and common sense,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Advocate.

Within the past several years, the Obama administration has been increasingly affirming of trans citizens, with Vice President Joe Biden referring in 2012 to transgender discrimination as the “civil rights issue of our time” and President Obama using the word “transgender” (in addition to “lesbian” and “bisexual”) in this year’s State of the Union Address for the first time ever for any president. Federal employees have had the right to use the bathroom that accords with their gender identiy since 2011.

Around the country, heads of Republican homophobes must be exploding. Read the whole article for more on LGBT-positive actions the Obama administration has taken.

Xavier Morales

Xavier Morales

Some not so good news: the Secret Service’s credibility continues to slide downhill rapidly.

WaPo: Secret Service manager put on leave during probe of alleged assault.

The D.C. police’s sex-crimes unit and a government inspector general are investigating the female agent’s allegation that Xavier Morales, a manager in the security clearance division, made unwanted sexual advances and grabbed her on the night of March 31 after they returned to the office from a party at a downtown restaurant, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the probe.

The woman told police and agency investigators that Morales, her boss, told her during the party at Capitol City Brewing Company that he was in love with her and would like to have sex with her, according to two people briefed on her statements. In the office later, she alleged, Morales tried to kiss her and grabbed her arms when she resisted, according to the two people briefed on her complaint. The woman alleged that the two scuffled until Morales relented.

Through an agency spokesman, Morales declined to comment, and he did not respond to requests for comment left on his personal phone.

Late last week, the Secret Service took the unusual step of placing Morales on indefinite administrative leave and adding his name to an internal “do not admit” list prohibiting entry to the office, a Secret Service official said. The Secret Service also took away his gun and badge after agency investigators launched a preliminary review of the complaint and conducted “subsequent corroborative interviews” Thursday afternoon, said agency spokesman Brian Leary.

More details at Heavy.com: Xavier Morales: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.

Ugh. Maybe we need more female Secret Service agents to quell the “boys will be boys” atmosphere in the agency.

Christ-Christie-Bridgegate-Press-Conf-3-620x430

More trouble may be coming for NJ governor and possible GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie.

NJ.com reports:  Indictments may come very soon in Bridgegate, report says.

Indictments may be coming very soon in Bridgegate, the investigation into improper lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in late 2013 that has also led to questions about bribery and conflicts of interest possibly involving Gov. Christie and the Port Authority, sources told The New York Times.

New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman launched the probe a few months after three lanes were closed to the bridge in September 2013, causing gridlock in Fort Lee. The closures were initially attributed to a traffic study by a Port Authority executive, Bill Baroni, but emails unearthed during an investigation revealed that the lanes were shut down on the orders of a Christie aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, to a Port Authority official appointed by Christie, David Wildstein. Some believe the lane closures were retribution for the failure of Fort Lee’s mayor, Mark Sokolich, to endorse Christie’s bid for re-election at a time when the governor and likely Republican presidential candidate was trying to build bipartisan support.

The Times previously reported that Fishman’s office may bring indictments to the operators of the bridge under a little-used statute that makes it a crime to use the bridge for something other than its intended purpose. Fishman’s office declined to say what course the investigation is taking.

This could be very interesting.

I have more news links, but I’m running out of space and time. I’ll add them to the comments.

What stories are you following? I’d love to read your comments on this post and click on your links to your recommended reads for today.

 


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.


Tuesday Reads

Laurette with a coffee cup, Henri Matisse

Laurette with a coffee cup, Henri Matisse

Good Morning!!

I’m getting a late start today, because I was trying to find out what’s going on with my broken computer. I learned that it was shipped yesterday and supposedly will get to me on Thursday. It’s still in Oakland, so I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway, it’s a relief that I will get it back sometime soon. I have really missed it. At the same time, I’m very anxious about it. I’ve only had this computer since September and already the motherboard failed. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.

Anyway, enough about my problems. Let’s get to the news of the day.

The Boston Marathon bombing seems to have been mostly forgotten, but as this year’s marathon approaches, the trial of accused bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev is almost complete. Yesterday the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments and today the jury begins deliberations.

Tsarnaev Jury Selection, Day 1

From The New York Times: Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Wraps Up With Clashing Portraits of Naïveté and Extremism.

BOSTON — The courtroom filled with a swelling chorus of Islamic chants as television screens showed the battlefield carnage on Boylston Street, with severed limbs, an 11-year-old boy with bone fragments from someone else lodged in his body, and bright red blood splashed on the pavement like so many buckets of paint.

Once more, the people of Boston on Monday were plunged back into that moment on April 15, 2013, when Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a pair of immigrant brothers, terrorized the city and the nation by setting off deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

“That day, they felt they were soldiers,” the prosecutor said of the brothers. “They were the mujahedeen, and they were bringing their battle to Boston.”

The scene set the stage for closing arguments in this trial, in which testimony began a month ago, against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, whose brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with police. In an emotional 80-minute multimedia finale delivered to a courtroom packed with survivors and victims’ families, the government cast Mr. Tsarnaev as an equal partner with his brother, equally determined to extract “an eye for an eye” against the United States for killing Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Read all about the closing arguments at the NYT link. The prosecution’s argument was very graphic and highly emotional. The case goes to the jury this morning. The defense already admitted that Tsarnaev is guilty, so the only real question will be whether he gets the death penalty or life in prison without parole. I certainly hope not, and most Greater Boston residents feel the same way, according to a poll by NPR station WBUR.

I expect to get my copy of a new book released today called The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, by Masha Gessen. I’m really looking forward to reading it, because Gessen is knowledgeable about both Russia and the U.S. She is also the author of a biography of Vladimir Putin and a book about Pussy Riot. According to the reviews, Gessen focuses on the reasons behind the Tsarnaev brothers’ actions rather than on the crime itself, beginning with the history of Chechnya’s battle to stay separate from Russia.

From Wikipedia: Gessen was born in Moscow, lived for ten years in the U.S. before moving back home to Moscow. She moved back to New York  in 2013 after Russian authorities suggested they might take children away from gay parents. She is a lesbian and a well known activist for LGBT rights and against Putin. I’d love to read her book about Putin too.

From the LA Times review of the book (the NYT review is linked above):

Masha Gessen does something unexpected with “The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy.” In a book about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and their role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, she barely describes the crime. Here it is, her account, which comes almost exactly at the halfway point: “Patriots’ Day 2013 fell on April 15, tax day — an ironic coincidence for a big American holiday. At 2:49 p.m. that day, a couple of hours after the winner completed the Boston Marathon, when runners were crossing the finish line in a steady stream, two bombs went off near the end of the route, killing three people and injuring at least 264 others, including sixteen who lost limbs.”

Still, if such an approach seems counterintuitive, that’s the power of this remarkable book. For Gessen, the details of the catastrophe — the backpacks, the surveillance footage, the suspension of civil liberties throughout Greater Boston for several days — are so well known as to be, in some sense, moot. More essential is the background, both historical and personal. In that sense, “The Brothers” is reminiscent of Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” which won a 2007 Pulitzer Prize.

Wright, of course, published his book several years after the fact, while Gessen’s story is unfolding in the Massachusetts courtroom of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial. “The Brothers,” however, is less interested in the case per se than in its context, going back to the 1940s and the relocation by Soviet authorities of ethnic Chechens to the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

What does this have to do with the bombing? Nothing and everything. The Tsarnaev brothers were the children, or grandchildren, of this relocation, which uprooted their father’s family. Nearly 60 years later, when they, with their sisters and parents, came to Boston not long after the Sept. 11 attacks, it was just one more place that did not want them, that regarded them as alien or worse.

I can’t wait to read Gessen’s book. I’ll let you know if I learn anything new and useful from it.

John Oliver interviews Edward Snowden

John Oliver interviews Edward Snowden

Another topic I haven’t written much about recently–the Edward Snowden saga–is back in the headlines after an interview he gave to HBO’s John Oliver. From Fortune: Edward Snowden’s most outlandish interview yet.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower and former National Security Agency contractor, has conducted lots of interviews since he shocked the world with revelations about top secret government surveillance programs and fled to Russia. He’s video-streamed his visage onto a big screen at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas (as well as a smaller one). He’s appeared on panels, including what became the final public appearance of the celebrated New York Times media columnist David Carr. He’s wandered the halls of the TED conference on the screen of a telepresence robot.

But this weekend on John Oliver’s hit HBO series Last Week Tonight, Snowden participated in what is likely his kookiest interview to date. The show took a deep dive into government surveillance, a subject nearly two years in the public spotlight thanks to Snowden’s leaks, and encompassed subjects ranging from the Patriot Act and espionage to, er, “truck nuts” and “dick pics.”

I didn’t see the interview and I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it; but the video is at the Fortune link if you’re interested.

Apparently the big revelation in the interview was that Snowden never read the documents he stole before releasing them. From Billboard:

If we learned anything from John Oliver‘s super-secret one-on-one interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which aired Sunday on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, it’s that A) Few Americans probably know who is, and B) The spy agency does not have a department solely dedicated to collecting photos of your junk.

Oliver traveled to Russia to secure the interview with Snowden, who is sought by U.S. authorities for leaking thousands of NSA documents, and though there were plenty of laughs (truck nuts!) the host made sure to grill the asylum-seeker about the seriousness of his situation.

For one thing, Oliver asked Snowden if he had read all the classified docs that he leaked to the media. He said he had “evaluated” all of them — to which Oliver brought up the release of information that revealed the names of U.S. spies. “That’s a fu–up,” Oliver concluded. “You have to own that… You’re giving documents which you know could be harmful, and you know could get out there.”

Snowden responded, “You will never be completely free from risk if you’re free… The only time you can be free from risk is when you’re in prison.”

Snowden just isn’t a serious person. The Daily Mail has an in-depth report with plenty of quotes and videos. Here’s the headline: The damning truth about Snowden: Traitor who put Western lives at risk from terrorists reveals he didn’t even read all the top-secret files he leaked.

rand paul1

This morning Rand Paul revealed (to no one’s surprise) that he’s running for president of the U.S. CBS News reports:

Rand Paul announced his bid for president Tuesday morning on his campaign website, randpaul.com.

On the web page, Paul wrote, “I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government.” The Kentucky senator has already begun asking his supporters for donations to help his cause, too.

His political action committee sent a long email imploring supporters to contribute anywhere from $10 to $500 for a “Stand With Rand Money Bomb.” Paul has used this fundraising technique in the past to collect small-dollar donations online from grassroots supporters.

“The media tells us — if our Republican Party has any hope of defeating Hillary Clinton — you and I should choose a nominee with a track record full of sellouts, compromises and Big Government betrayals. So even though I’m at or near the top of every state poll for the nomination, they continue to try and dismiss my message of liberty and limited government!” the appeal reads.

Paul is expected to formally launch his White House bid at an event in Louisville, Kentucky Tuesday afternoon. The announcement has been expected for weeks, and Paul spent the early part of the week converting his campaign-in-waiting to an actual campaign.

So now the Republicans have two clowns in the clown car: Rand Paul and Ted Cruz–not a particularly auspicious start if you ask me.

rape

One more big story came out late yesterday–a report organized by the Columbia Journalism Review on the Rolling Stone article on the rape problem at the University of Virginia in which the central character apparently fabricated her story. There were many other women in the story who had been raped on the UVA campus, but they were overshadowed by “Jackie’s” apparently false accusations of a man who seems not to exist at all.

Here’s the report at Rolling stone: Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Report

and the CJR story: Rolling Stone’s investigation: ‘A failure that was avoidable.’

Amanda Marcotte had two good articles on the report yesterday.

Talking Points Memo: Sorry, Rape Deniers: The Rolling Stone Report isn’t What You Hoped.

Raw Story: The big reveal in the report on Rolling Stone’s rape story fiasco that no one is talking about.

I hope you’ll check out those stories. They’re both well worth reading.

Just one more link from The Daily Beast: Rolling Stone Reporter ‘Nearly Broke Down.’

That’s all I have for you today. What stories are you following?