Tuesday Reads

Coffee and Morning News, by Tim Nyberg

Good Morning!! I am sooooo exhausted. Last Wednesday, I got back home after two months in Indiana. Normally, I would crash for a couple of days and be on the way to recovery from the long drive. But this time my Mom came back with me. She has been staying at my brother’s house, and I’ve had to drive over there nearly every day since I got home.

Yesterday I spent the day with my Mom and my nearly-9-year-old nephew, who was home sick and hung around for the trick-or-treating. My Mom is flying back home this morning at 8:30, and I was dreading having to get up at 5:30 in the morning to take her to the airport. But my brother volunteered to take her–halleluja! Finally I can spend a couple of days vegetating at home! I just hope I don’t get my nephew’s cold!

Anyway, here are some news links I found for you. I’ve been a bit out of touch, so I hope I won’t duplicate anything that has already been posted.

The freaky early snowstorm has left millions of people without power, which also means no heat. Even if you have gas or oil heat, the on-off mechanism still relies on electricity. So there are lots of people living in houses with temperatures around 50 degrees. I was really fortunate that my electricity was only off for several hours, mostly while I was sleeping.

Joanelle mentioned in comments last night that in her part of NJ, there is so much damage that trick or treating has been put off until Friday. The Christian Science Monitor had a story about this happening up and down the East coast.

Until hard-pressed utility crews get the lines restrung, many residents from North Carolina to Maine are living in homes that are barely 50 degrees, and in some cases, they’re unable to heat food. School systems are closed because, among other reasons, it’s not safe for children to walk on sidewalks that may still have live power lines on them. And many businesses aren’t open because they’re still in the midst of power outages.

“Electricity is the most fundamental of utilities. Most everything depends on electric power,” says Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “This has many of the earmarks of a disaster.”

In some states, governors are warning residents they may have to grin and bear it for days or even another week since the heavy snow did extensive damage to the electric grid. For example, in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the snow knocked out some of the lines that get power from the generating plants to substations, where it then goes into a local distribution network. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has asked President Obama to declare the state a federal disaster area, which would help with cleanup and recovery costs.

Herman Cain is still trying to explain away the story about his sexually harassing women in the 1990s. Now he’s calling it a witch hunt. But Rush Limbaugh, of all people, claims it’s racism.

RUSH: You know, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, folks. After all of these years, none of us should be surprised, but I still am. Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative. You know who’s laughing himself silly today is Bill Clinton. (imitating Clinton) “Yeah, I really did it. Ha-ha. They praised me and they went as far out of their way as they could. Even my old buddy Carville is out there and he’s saying, ‘Look what happens when you drag a dollar bill through a trailer park, you get Paula Jones.’ I have everybody defending me and they’re going after this black guy, and they’re going after him with some of the ugliest racial stereotypes I have ever seen. That’s how our side does it; we get away with it. I just love it. I love watching it.”

What’s next, folks? A cartoon on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are they gonna do next? No, Snerdley, I’m not kidding. The racial stereotypes that these people are using to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells us who the real racists are, yeah, but it tells us that Herman Cain is somebody. Something’s going on out there. Herman Cain obviously is making some people nervous for this kind of thing to happen.

When did sexual harassment become a racial stereotype? WTF is he talking about?

But at the National Review, Kevin D. Williamson says this may signal the end of Herman Cain’s campaign.

Here is what troubles me. Mr. Cain says: “If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it, and I hope it wasn’t for much, because nothing happened. So if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other offices that worked for me at the association, so the answer is absolutely not.”

Okay, so if I’m reading that quote right, then:

1. Herman Cain, in his role as head of a major trade association, did not bother to learn how a complaint or complaints of sexual harassment against him was resolved.

2. Herman Cain, not bothering to have learned how a complaint or complaints of sexual harassment against him was resolved, decided to run for president without bothering to learn.

I got a lot of grief for writing that, based on my interaction with Mr. Cain, I would have hesitated to hire him to run a pizza company. I am feeling more comfortable in that judgment.

I wonder if Rush will condemn this: some Republicans in Virginia sent out a Halloween e-mail containing an image of President Obama shot through the head.

The Republican Party of Virginia on Monday strongly condemned an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head.

The e-mail, first reported on the blog Too Conservative, has “Halloween 2011” in the subject line and has several other images, including one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose face has been made to look deformed with one eye bulging from its socket….

The e-mail, sent a week before local and state elections, invites supporters to a Halloween parade. “LCRC members and Republican candidates: We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy. . . . It’s fun and a great way to represent our candidates to a ton of voters (and their kids) just before the election.”

Talk about ugly and wildly inappropriate! If anyone listens to Rush, let me know if he condemns this. I won’t be holding my breath though….

We’ve been talking about the irresponsible “journalism” of WaPo “reporter” Lori Montgomery, so I was interested to learn from Raw Story that a new website debuted yesterday with the goal of holding mainstream journalists accountable for what they write and don’t write. From Raw Story:

A Wikipedia-style website launched on Monday which provides information about the journalists behind the bylines.

News Transparency is a creation of Ira Stoll, the founder of another website called FutureOfCapitalism.com and the former managing editor of the now defunct New York Sun.

In a statement on its home page, newstransparency.com, the website said its goal is to help users “find out more about the people who produce the news” and “hold them accountable, the same way that journalists hold other powerful institutions accountable, by posting reviews and sharing information.”

News Transparency features an alphabetical list of hundreds of journalists and invites users to edit their profiles, which include basic biographical information such as age, education, current employer and work history.

Lori Montgomery is listed on the site, but so far there’s no information on her background. Does this woman even have a college degree? I’m waiting with bated breath to find out.

On my way home last night, I listened to the NPR program “On Point.” They were debating the Mississippi “personhood” for zygotes initiative, the goal of which seems to be to turn women into breeders with no freedom of choice and no rights over their own bodies. I highly recommend listening to the program. Hearing what the insane theocratic sponsors of this constitutional amendment have to say is truly frightening, but at the same time very important.

The New York Times has an op-ed about the proposed amendent: Mississippi’s Ambiguous ‘Personhood’ Amendment. The authors identify two main ambiguities in the amendment as written:

First, what does “fertilization” mean? As embryologists recognize, fertilization is a process, a continuum, rather than a fixed point. The term “fertilization” — which is sometimes considered synonymous with “conception” — could mean at least four different things: penetration of the egg by a sperm, assembly of the new embryonic genome, successful activation of that genome, and implantation of the embryo in the uterus. The first occurs immediately; the last occurs approximately two weeks after insemination (or, in the case of embryos created through in vitro fertilization that do not get implanted, never). Thus, on some reasonable readings of the amendment, certain forms of birth control, stem cell derivation and the destruction of embryos created through in vitro fertilization would seem impermissible, while on other equally reasonable readings they are not.

Second, the proposed amendment does not clearly indicate what the immediate legal impact would be. Would the amendment be “self-executing” — that is, effectuate a change to Mississippi law on its own — or would it require enabling legislation to set that change in motion?

Under existing doctrine, constitutional provisions or amendments that only set forth “first principles” or “policies” are not treated as self-executing, because they need laws enacted to further the stated principles or policies. In this case it’s not clear whether the amendment would, for example, immediately redefine thousands of references to “human beings” or “persons,” including those in provisions governing criminal homicide, or whether additional legislation would be necessary. Because of this uncertainty, voters considering this amendment cannot tell what actions would and would not immediately be subject to prosecutorial investigation were the amendment to pass.

I just hope this abomination doesn’t get enough votes!

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

30 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Greece will hold referendum on whether to accept EU deal. Will Greece follow Iceland’s example?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Herman Cain has bigger problems than past sexual harrassment accusations. Turns out he used illegal money to fund his campaign.

    In the months before the former pizza chain executive declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination, Cain racked up thousands in debt to Prosperity USA, a Wisconsin charity that was formed by two of his highest ranking staff members, which paid for iPads and plane travel for the Cain campaign, according to the Journal Sentinel.

    Asked about the report Monday morning during an interview with Fox News, Cain at first suggested that he had no knowledge of the report, but then said his staff was reviewing it.

    “I’m not aware of this report,” he said. “So, my staff has not had time to go through it. And so I’m not aware of it. They’re not aware of it. We are going to look at the report and see if there is any validity. So at this point, I can’t say that there would be a modification because we don’t know at this point whether or not it’s true or not. So we’ll have to wait until we look at it. But we will take a look at it. But at this point, I didn’t even know about the report until you brought it up on the show.”

    According to corporate filings obtained by the Journal Sentinel, Prosperity USA was operating as a 501(c)3 organization, which is barred from participating in partisan politics. The filing, submitted in April 2010, lists Mark J. Block as the group’s registered agent. Block is now Cain’s chief of staff.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Hmmm….always the same answer from Cain though…reminds me of the Simpsons when Homer tells Bart:

      “I want to share something with you, the three little sentences that will get you through life. Number one: ‘Cover for me.’ Number two: ‘Oh, good idea, boss.’ Number three, ‘It was like that when I got here.'”

      Just add two more to that…”I don’t recall.” and “I am not aware of it.”

    • dakinikat says:

      Is his knee jerk response to everything I don’t know?

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hope your mom enjoyed the visit…sounds like you could use a few days off…to recover.

    Great post btw…

    Speaking of moms…Clinton cancels trip to Britain, Turkey-US official | Reuters

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cancelled a trip to Britain and Turkey on Monday because of her mother’s ill health, a State Department official said.

    “Due to illness with her mother, Secretary Clinton has cancelled her scheduled travel tonight to London and Istanbul and will instead remain in Washington,” a senior State Department official said.

    Clinton was scheduled to attend a conference on cyber-security in London on Tuesday and a regional conference on Afghan security in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    This is sad news, I hope it is not anything serious…

  4. Peggy Sue says:

    Just heard that Hillary’s mom died last night at the age of 92. That’s a hard blow for anyone who has been there.

    Rush Limbaugh sounds totally off his rocker. Last night, I heard Ann Coulter say something to the effect: our blacks [Republicans] are better than their blacks [Democrats]. That about says it all: for these cretins AA’s are token pieces you get points for. Can imagine if someone said that about the Irish or the Polish or whatever????

    What Herman Cain is proving has nothing to do with his race. He has been touted as a terrific businessman, an executive. How can you not know what your own campaign people are doing? Pilfering from a charity? Come on. And last night I read that Cain had a 10-day heads up on the Politico story. Ten days to prepare a response. And what did we see and hear? Someone twist in the wind, change the story this way to Sunday on what he knew, when he knew, how much the payout was, yada, yada, yada.

    This is clown college. And even singing off-key won’t change that.

    Hope you get some rest, BB.

    • Fannie says:

      Thanks Peggy Sue……. Where was she, in hosptial or at home?

      • Peggy Sue says:

        Not sure, Fannie. I just heard a quick announcement. It’s a blow. My mother died 5 years ago and even when you know it’s coming, it ends up being a shock [if that makes any sense]. My mother and I had a lot of problems over the years but her death put me into a funk for months. Hillary and her mother seemed to have a tight relationship. That sort of loss is very hard for anyone. Mother and daughter relationships are hard to explain but that connection is fierce and can be really heartbreaking.

        My best to the family.

      • Thursday's Child says:

        That is very sad news indeed. She was apparently receiving treatment at George Washington University Hospital. She was born June 4, 1919, the same day my mother was born.


    • quixote says:

      Yes, I just saw in the LATimes that Hillary’s mother passed away. When Hillary canceled a trip to be with her, I knew it was going to be bad. How sad.

      Like Fannie says downthread, I’ll never forget the joy and pride on Hill’s mother’s and daughter’s faces during the campaign.

      • The Rock says:

        A sad sad day. But also a day to rejoice. She was 92 and she saw her daughter almost conquer the world. May she rest in perfect peace.

        Hillary (whenever she wants)

  5. Linda says:

    Hey peeps, I want to tell you that though I’ve been too busy to post or write or do anything active related to an online endeavor, I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your email posts. Why I find myself compelled to respond to anything regarding what Limbaugh says makes me shudder. However, not knowing anything about the Cain issue, I didn’t like it when the first comparison of his alleged activities, I saw, was to a black Supreme Court Justice. Why not a white New York Governor? Is the allegation content so similar? Or do they just have similar head shapes? Or? So, I have to shudder gawk, arrggh acknowledge Limbaugh’s observation, and wonder at the racist part of it.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Linda, if you don’t know anything about the Cain affair then I’m at a loss why you would concern yourself with Limbaugh’s ravings. I mean we’re talking Rush Limbaugh here who favors the Army of God because they call themselves Christians.

      I sense your ‘concern’ but I think it’s misplaced. I also think it’s . . . shallow.

      Btw, I am not a peep.

      • Linda says:

        Ok, Peggy, you are not a peep.

        Having read a little of Cain’s activities in the Arizona Immigration Law debacle, the groups involved, and the flavor of that episode, I had no doubt that the flag of racism would be raised by LImbaugh at some point, should Cain decide to run. I just see it as a political attack point and useful tool for elements of the repugs with Limbaugh as spear point. After all, isn’t that how it played last time?

        Limbaugh is a tiny sad boxed in man who’s life walls are defined by Clinton. He springs to this sort of usefulness so he can prove he matters.

        I don’t think my concern misplaced, however, it should be addressed. Who set that black to black relationship up in the papers? Why was it published that way? Who will be caught in this spin? I won’t link it to this website, but take a look at this lead: “How Cain’s Sex Scandal Will Help His Candidacy” in the New Republic Daily Report.

        Not everyone, like me, has time to get the whole story, and that is a problem. They get what is flashed to them on the gas pump screens. I may be old school but I don’t think the Pavlovian response was ever disproved.

      • Linda says:

        btw- I can see if you thought I meant baby chick, how you might have been offended.

        In my sphere of colloquialism “peeps” is short for people. However, perhaps that use is too familiar.

        You are actually the second person this month to query my use of it. She was a Chinese-Filipino green card architect. So, I can see miscommunication can occur from it’s use outside it’s sphere..

        Thank you, I won’t use it again.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Linda,

      I didn’t make that comparison, but what those two men share in common is getting away with sexually harrassing female subordinates. The color of their skin is immaterial–it’s the content of the character that counts.

      If Andrew Cuomo did that too, I’m not aware of it. Do you have a link? If you’re referring to Spitzer, he wasn’t accused of sexual harrassment. He was accused of hypocrisy because he paid for sex from prostitutes at the same time he was prosecuting prostitution rings.

      • Linda says:

        You are right BB. But, there must be thousands of folks to whom he could be compared. Of course I agree with you, sexual harassment is the issue, not the genetic traits of color. However, it’s also, who gets caught in the spin? Just repugs? Are they the only ones with deep resentments?

        This is a clip from the new Republic:

        [Likewise, Cain’s pose as a victim of a politically, and perhaps racially, motivated smear was also predictable, but could prove remarkably effective. The deep resentments raised by the Clarence Thomas precedent, which Cain and his defenders are already invoking, are a powerful and living memory for the conservative rank-and-file. While the impact of the current allegations…]

      • bostonboomer says:

        Whom do you think would be more appropriate to compare him with? And yes, I do think it’s more appropriate to compare him to other Republicans.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      I,m a proud peep. 😆

  6. Pilgrim says:

    Huffington has a note about death of Hillary’s mother.

    • Fannie says:

      I loved seeing her mother, and her daughter together with her on the stage during her campaign……….

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh no. I’m glad Hillary cancelled her trip so she could be with her mom. That’s so sad.

    • paper doll says:

      So sorry to hear about Hillary’s Mom. She was a wonderful woman. I loved seeing the three generations at Chelsea’s wedding . RIP 😦

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes, sad news, but at least she was able to see her daughter become the most influential woman in the country. RIP…

        Has Obama even issued a statement on Hillary’s loss?

  7. Peggy Sue says:

    Linda, I was unable to nest under your last response. I’m not getting your point. Is it the whole idea of racism rearing its ugly head in the Cain story, something that Limbaugh is running with that concerns you? Or the fact that Herman Cain has handled this story very badly but shouldn’t be criticized because he happens to be AA? Or what? The comparison to Clarence Thomas is a natural one because of the Anita Hill debacle. There the root of that controversey was not race [though Thomas and his supporters twisted the issue in that regard] but sexual harrassment in the workplace.

    The allegations against Cain are similar. Were the original allegations true? We don’t know. But I have been paying attention and I can tell you the man has shifted all over the place in: it’s not true to I was falsely accused to I don’t know of any settlement to I met with my lawyer and we decided to settle. And this with a 10-day heads up before the Politco story was released.

    Herman Cain is presumably running for the office of the President of the United States. Surely, he knew these questions might arise. Not to be prepared for a reasonable and consistent answer does not say much for his readiness for the job or the executive experience that he and his supporters tout.

    As for Rush Limbaugh? He and his right-wing mouthpieces will blow the dogwhistle of racism. They will use anything if they think it will push their own agenda. But in truth? We saw this same thing on the Democratic side in 2008.

    Bill Clinton used an old quote years ago: Politics is a blood sport. And I’m afraid that 2012 is going to be very, very ugly.

  8. Linda says:

    Peggy, hopefully you read my answer to BB above and realize we mostly agree. You have obviously spent some energy evaluating the Cain position and have an opinion. Though I am like to agree with your assessment, for various reasons, I haven’t spent the time on this particular issue, to comment. I had dismissed him from my mind as a contrarian wingnut during the Arizona thing.

    It the repugs are invoking the 20 year old Thomas hearings, who else does it affect?


    You can’t have one without the other’s name being raised and drawn in.

    The way this incident is being spun, we get to relive 20 year old history and pass it on to the next generation as lore, without picking it apart.

    There should be a response that dismisses the analogy, even if there are similarities.

    Otherwise, we are talking about picking on two repug tokens who tried to lift themselves up and got smacked. That is how it plays in the gas station screens and the Fox run elevator TVs.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Then we’re not that far apart, Linda. I apologize for coming down hard. To be honest I did not recognize your name and thought initially you were a concern troll, trying to mix it up. My error.

      Hopefully, we can kiss and make up.

      As long as you don’t call me a peep :0)