you know what day it is…
I am not in the mood to say much tonight, my thoughts are with my friend JD and her family in OKC…there was a time when I was sending text messages to her letting her know where the storm was located because her power was out…
I will end with this cartoon, the eyes on the little porcupine are very cute.
This is an open thread.
I’m going to try to try not to let the rant out quite yet. But, wow, these two guys really piss me off and I cannot figure for the life of me why ANYONE takes them seriously. They belong in museums with the other prehistoric cave dwellers. I hate to ruin your day by quoting Erick Erickson and Ross Douthat in one post. But, sometimes you just have take them out and on. I have never had a single nice word to say about either of them. You’ll notice that nothing will stop that trend today. So, let’s start with the fat boy at FOX instead of the fat boy at NYT. I can’t even imagine what kind of hell realm their wives must experience daily.
Appearing on a Fox Business panel Wednesday evening, Fox contributor Erick Erickson suggested it is “anti-science” to reject the biological claim that men should be in the “dominant” role in the nuclear family.
This particular panel segment of Lou Dobbs Tonight took on a recent Pew study claiming that mothers are now the primary source of income in 40 percent of American households. Dobbs characterized the findings as “troubling” while panelist Juan Williams asserted that it indicates “something going terribly wrong in American society.”
Erickson added to that by suggesting female breadwinners are antithetical to biology:
“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”
He continued on to lament that “We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complementary relationships in nuclear families, and it is tearing us apart.”
He concluded: “Having mom as primary bread winner is bad for kids and bad for marriage.”
Have you ever read anything so far removed from history, biology, or life as that? Amanda Marcotte dissects his tiny little brain that seems incapable of any thought that isn’t straight out of 1950s black and white family life that was shown in home ec classes to keep women thinking one man and one kitchen was the be-all and end-all of her life. The reality today is that 4 out of 10 households have female breadwinners. Penguins must be spawn of the devil in Erickson’s world.
Erickson must have this nifty scientific “fact” by studying the animals in the well-known academic text, The Berenstain Bears, which clearly shows Papa Bear going out and earning the money while Mama Bear stays at home and cooks the food for the cubs. Of course, in the actual natural world, bears don’t make money—plus there’s a lot of diversity in how animals raise their young. (In case you’re wondering, outside of the two weeks of maternity leave mothers take to nurse their babies, foxes embrace a fairly egalitarian approach to child rearing where both parents go out and get food for their young.) One thing, however, is certain: Other primates besides humans mostly shun the male-dominated monogamy that Erickson prefers, with most species living in large bands with lots of kinky partner swapping.
Needless to say, the utter destruction of social stability that these men predict from the growth of female independence is not borne out by the facts. The divorce rate is actually declining. The abortion rate is roughly what it was pre-Roe and is mostly in decline, in part because of all those women opting into the sole breadwinner lifestyle. The only man on this panel who got close to the facts in midst of the full-blown panic was Williams, who hinted at how this is more about men’s declining fortunes than women’s growing ones. It’s true that these new breadwinner stats are not all good news, but the real problem is that men earning less means less money overall for the average American home. What’s really hurting Americans isn’t female equality, but growing income inequality between the rich and everyone else. Pitting men against women is simply a distraction from the real economic issues facing us all.
Douthat’s pudgy little fingers typed out some earlier diatribe in the NYT. Douthat belongs in the religious propaganda pages of The Catholic Voice. I’ve said this time and time again. But, his insistence that “conservativism” is aligned with his religious dogma really gets old. It shows there is something seriously wrong with the people that run the NYT that they continue to give him space for this kind of drivel. Yes, folks. The decline of Western civilization is because women just won’t get back in the home and do their thing and stop complaining about spitting out babies. Barry Goldwater–and probably even Ronald Reagan–would take issue with every word here.
1) The core economic challenge facing the American experiment is not income inequality per se, but rather stratification and stagnation — weak mobility from the bottom of the income ladder and wage stagnation for the middle class. These challenges are bound up in a growing social crisis — a retreat from marriage, a weakening of religious and communal ties, a decline in workforce participation — that cannot be solved in Washington D.C. But economic and social policy can make a difference nonetheless, making family life more affordable, upward mobility more likely, and employment easier to find.
2) The existing welfare-state institutions we’ve inherited from the New Deal and the Great Society, however, often make these tasks harder rather than easier: Their exploding costs crowd out every other form of spending, require middle class tax increases and threaten to drag on economic growth; their tangled web of subsidies and credits and tax breaks often benefit the already-affluent and create perverse incentives for the poor, and the distortions created by the way they pay for health care, in particular, contribute mightily to the rising cost of health insurance and thus the stagnation of middle class incomes. So we don’t face a choice between streamlining the welfare state and making it more supportive of work and family; we should be doing both at once.
You just can read the implied disdain of thing not being like they are on Leave it to Beaver. So Ericson, after probably being reminded of penguins and all the huge number of animals where the male is never even around except for breeding, insisted he was right. He says it’s the truth on his own stinker of a blog Red State, and that it’s not only a conspiracy by women but by GLBT who want to get married and raise children.
Feminists and politicians on both sides of the aisle view these statements as insulting to single moms and antithetical to their support for gay marriage. What should be insulting to single moms is for society to tell them they can do it all and, in fact, will subsidize their doing it all. I know a number of wonderful, nurturing single mothers. They do as best they can. Most of them have wonderful children. But not one of them prefers to be a single mother.
His small little world has produced its truth. He ignores that fact that most violence, child abuse and child sexual assault occurs in the sole family situations he worshipfully desires. To put it in terms of no one wants to be a single mother when they are one is enough to make me want to hit him and puke at the same time. He needs to be reminded that the traditional way of raising children is really extended families, children working instead of going to school or playing, both parents work with children left to older children or the elderly. I have never in my life read so much that just is so microscopically focused on a small period of time in human history that it is just freaking laughable. However, it is hard to laugh because both of these asses wind up with audiences and they really don’t do deserve it.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Good Evening Folks
Storms clouds over the Oklahoma today, I need to update this post, there have been injuries….Tornadoes in Oklahoma, Arkansas injure at least five | Reuters
Severe storms spawned a dozen reported tornadoes in Oklahoma and Arkansas on Thursday, injuring at least five people and sending residents scrambling for cover 10 days after a powerful twister killed 24 people in Oklahoma.
One tornado warning included Cushing, Oklahoma, a critical hub for the U.S. oil markets northeast of Oklahoma City, but the storm passed through without damaging tanks that store more than 50 million barrels of oil, said Bob Noltensmeyer, Cushing’s emergency management director.
The storms were not expected to taper off until later on Thursday night and more storms are expected on Friday, said Greg Dial, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
More storms tomorrow so keep an eye on it if you live out there in Tornado Alley.
I have just a few links for you tonight. Nothing in the way of “hard news” so relax and enjoy…
There has been speculation about the latest mammoth find in Siberia, I mentioned this spectacular find earlier in the week remember? There was actual flowing blood and the muscle tissue still looked red and fresh. From Nature at Scientific American here is an article written by Kate Wong.
Yesterday brought a flurry of news stories trumpeting a mind-blowing discovery from the lost world of the last ice age: a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth carcass that preserves muscle tissue the color of fresh meat and blood in liquid form, despite the –10 degrees Celsius temperatures in the Novosibirsk Islands, where Russian researchers discovered the beast.
The Siberian Times obtained striking photos of the specimen showing the reddish tissues and a vial of the dark brown liquid said to be blood that was found in ice cavities under the animal’s belly, as well as additional details of the discovery. The story quotes mammoth researcher Semyon Grigoriev of the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, who led the recovery of th
e mammoth, as speculating that the blood contains “a kind of natural anti-freeze” and declaring the specimen — a female that was between 50 and 60 years old when she died — to be “the best preserved mammoth in the history of paleontology.”
I have tried to load that Siberian Times website, but the page is taking too long to load. Anyway, check out what the rest of this article has to say:
Yet with only the news reports to go on (the find was announced in the popular press rather than in a peer-reviewed scientific journal), I wondered if it might be too good to be true. So I contacted a couple of experts not involved in the discovery to get their read on the development. The upshot: it really does appear to be an incredible find, but some of the claims about it are incorrect as reported or have yet to be established as fact.
Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan, a leading authority on mammoths who has worked with Grigoriev in the past and considers him a close colleague, comments that the news reports appear to be mostly legit. But he noted via email:
“…a few points have gone astray in the story, perhaps just the usual result of language differences and reporters and scientists getting a little out of sync.” For instance, this is not the first old female mammoth found, just the first time we have found this much of the carcass (i.e., soft tissues) of an old female. Likewise, they have not found any “living cell” — at most they could hope to find what the cloning enthusiasts might call a cell with “viable” DNA, meaning that it would be intact enough to use in the context of a cloning effort. In fact, although there is much talk of “viability” of this sort, I think it remains to be demonstrated that any DNA from a mammoth meets this criterion. In general, ancient DNA is highly fragmented and by no means “ready to go” into the next mammoth embryo.
“As for the blood, I have no doubt that they have something interesting, but what exactly it is … is hard to say at this moment. Whether it is exactly blood, and only blood, will of course require a little more analysis, including some microscopic examination. I have previously seen coagulated blood in mammoth blood vessels, which is very close to what has been reported here, so that much is entirely reasonable. At the moment, I must reserve judgment on the specific nature of this new sample, but I am sure it will be of interest.”
I also reached out to physiologist Kevin Campbell of the University of Manitoba, who, working with colleagues, has used ancient DNA to recreate the red blood cell protein hemoglobin from a woolly mammoth and then observed how that protein functioned. Their efforts, which he and molecular biologist Michael Hofreiter of the University of York, UK, described last year in an article for Scientific American, revealed that the temperature-sensitive protein evolved adaptations that enabled it to perform its job of delivering oxygen to body tissues in the frigid conditions mammoths faced.
Campbell noted via email that “If the fluid (‘blood’) sample is as well preserved as the muscle (which, judging from the pictures seems to be amazingly well), there is the possibility that red blood cells are still intact.” He told me he is interested in studying the substance to evaluate its oxygen-binding properties.
“The first step — from an oxygen-binding study perspective — is to look for red blood cells and then isolate hemoglobin from all the other proteins/cell debris in the sample. Since the sample was collected from outside the body, it is likely that there is also ‘contamination’ from myoglobin and possibly bacteria (for example). Based on the color alone, I think it is pretty safe to say that there is indeed a fair amount of hemoglobin (and possibly myoglobin) in the vials.”
This is very exciting, because as you read on with Wong’s article, it looks like most of what is being reported is true.
Campbell says Grigoriev told him by email that the “blood” did not even freeze when placed in a museum freezer kept at –17 degrees C. Campbell would like to examine why the substance is not frozen solid at –17 degrees C, noting that he was initially very skeptical about the claim that the supposed blood contains so-called cryoprotectants that have maintained it in a fluid state. He writes:
“Given that the sample is still fluid at –17C indicates that it is in a ‘supercooled’ state, as we expect blood and other body fluids to freeze at about –0.6C. Many insects (and some vertebrates) are able to avoid freezing at far colder temperatures via the expression of antifreeze peptides/glycoproteins and (largely carbohydrate based) cryoprotectants, which can dramatically lower the supercooling point (roughly equivalent with the freezing point).
“If mammoth blood had this trait, they would be the only known mammalian example of this to my knowledge (however, the abdomens of arctic ground squirrels have been shown to supercool down to –2.9C, though the mechanism allowing this ability is still unknown [I think]). At any rate, I highly (very highly) doubt that circulating mammoth blood was able to supercool to –17C — though it is worth testing the samples to see why they are still ‘fluid’.
“For instance, maybe they did have some sort of cryoprotectant (arctic ground squirrels certainly seem to), and this became concentrated during the long period of preservation. Conversely, maybe they had absolutely no ‘antifreezes’ and instead most of the water in the sample was taken up by the surrounding ice, such that the remaining ‘blood’ became extremely concentrated — which would lower its freezing point. Alternatively, perhaps the sample was contaminated by ice-living bacteria which secreted cryoprotectants, or maybe there is some other explanation?
“Another question is, how were these samples preserved in this state for so long? Also, why, given the many recent mammoth finds, is this the only one (that I know of) with ‘fluid’ blood? Regardless, this — on balance — appears to be a remarkable finding [if of course it is true — and I have no way to assess that at this point] and something worth pursuing.”
This is fantastic…and really something wonderful for these scientist to work with.
Meanwhile another “discovery” of sorts is making news: Amelia Earhart’s Plane Wreckage May Be Visible in Newly-Released Images
Grainy sonar images depicting a narrow, 22-ft. long object found some 600 feet below sea level in the Pacific Ocean may show the remains of the Lockheed Electra plane flown by famed aviator Amelia Earhart. The world-famous airwoman and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared on July 2, 1937, somewhere near Nikumaroro Island in the western Pacific Ocean. Five years after successfully crossing the Atlantic on a solo flight at age 34, the world-famous airwoman was attempting to circumnavigate the globe along the equator.
First reported by Discovery News on Wednesday, the images were released by the organization best known for hunting down the truth behind Amelia Earhart’s last flight, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). Although they were taken on June 15, 2012 in the waters off Nikumaroro Island (then known as Gardner Island), it was not until the group posted them to an online forum in March that someone noticed what could be the remains of the two-engine plane, according to ABC News. TIGHAR cannot definitively confirm that the wreckage is part of Earhart’s plane, although their shape and location suggest that they may well be.
Imagine…someone on an online forum discovered the anomaly.
Reviews of underwater footage captured last year “revealed a scattering of man-made objects on the reef slope off the west end of Nikumaroro” lying near the island, Richard Gillespie, the executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News. “What initially got our attention is that there is no other sonar return like it in the entire body of data collected.” He added, “it is truly an anomaly, and when you’re looking for man-made objects against a natural background, anomalies are good.” On the same trip, the search team found remnants of a possible anti-freckle cream jar popular in the early 20th century on the remote island. Earhart was known for disliking freckles.“She landed the plane safely on a reef off Nikumaroro Island,” Gillespie told ABC News. “The wreckage washed into the ocean with the high tide and broke up in the surf. There is archaeological evidence on that island that we believe indicates that Earhart was marooned there until her death several days later.”
The continent of Westeros is home to ‘Game of Thrones’ and now exists in the virtual world of Minecraft. Meet Jacob Granberry, the artist behind the epic build.
And finally, there was this funny story over at Mediaite, PBS in New York has a sense of humor when it comes to fund raising. PBS Hilariously Lampoons The Sad ‘State Of TV’ With Fake Ads To Inspire Donations According to Andrew Kirell,
As I entered my local subway station this morning, one particular ad stood out: The Culture Network’s (hmm, is that a real channel?) new reality show The Dillionaire, presumably inspired by other niche entrepreneur-oriented reality shows like Duck Dynasty and Pawn Stars.
The “Life’s a pickle” tagline caught my eye as particularly corny.
But then I looked to the right of the poster and all was made clear:
“The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV,” the adjacent ad read with an arrow pointing to Dillionaire. Guilty as charged.
It turns out this poster is part of a series of ads New York City’s PBS station, Thirteen, has rolled out this week in an effort to inspire donor support for “quality programming.”
The other posters in the series are equally hilarious and pitch-perfect in their mockery of today’s “reality”-crazy TV world. Unrealistic-yet-somehow-realistic shows like Knitting Wars and Bayou Eskimos get their place alongside the critical tagline.
Go to the link and see the others… they are a riot. My favorite has to be the Bad Bad Bag Boys…
Anyway, y’all have a good evening. This is an open thread.
We’re heading into a heat wave here in the Boston area. It’s supposed to be hot and humid for the next few days with temps in the high 80s or low 90s. It will be a shock to my system, since it has been rather chilly here recently.
I’m going to focus on the ongoing Boston bombing story again, but you can treat this as a regular morning reads post/open thread. Don’t feel you have to comment on this topic. I haven’t paid much attention to other news for a few days, so I hope you’ll update me on the latest news in the comment thread!
A week ago, I wrote a post about the death of Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed in an apartment in Orlando, FL by an FBI agent from Boston in the early hours of Wednesday May 22. Todashev was being questioned by representatives of the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police, and “other law enforcement personnel” about his relationship with deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and possible connections to an unsolved 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts. Todashev had reportedly been questioned for hours on Tuesday and was shot shortly after midnight. The FBI had been following him for about a month, calling him daily and questioning him on several different occasions.
At the time I wrote that post, there was a great deal of confusion about the circumstances of the shooting and that confusion has only increased during the past week. At first, anonymous law enforcement sources claimed Todashev had been killed after he attacked the agent with a knife. By he next day sources were walking back that claim, some saying Todashev had something in his hand but it wasn’t a knife, others suggesting it was a pipe or something similar.
I’ve been following this story closely, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Presumably, the events in question were fairly straightforward. A man was shot dead with at least four–perhaps more–law enforcement officers present. How hard would it be to figure out if the dead man had a knife in his hand or not? Something was obviously not right.
During the past week, the reported details of the Todashev shooting have continued to change. On May 25, the Boston Globe offered a new version of events, again based on anonymous sources.
An FBI agent from the bureau’s Boston office fired the shot, or shots, that killed a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev early Wednesday morning during an interview about an unsolved Waltham homicide, say officials briefed on the investigation.
Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter formerly from Allston and Cambridge, was shot in the kitchen of his apartment after overturning a table and attacking the agent with a blade, the officials said. The Globe has reported that the shooting came after Todashev had implicated himself in a grisly 2011 triple homicide in Waltham. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was friendly with one of the Waltham victims, and authorities suspect he may also have taken part in the slayings.
Two law enforcement officials said that the Boston FBI agent felt he was in grave danger when Todashev attacked him and that he fired in self-defense.
“This was a tough guy; he was a dangerous individual,” one law enforcement official said, speaking of Todashev. The official asked not to be named because the official was not authorized to discuss the case.
Okay, but with at least four trained law enforcement officers present, why was it necessary to kill a potentially valuable witness? Is it really credible that they couldn’t control one not very large (about 5’8″) man?
Yesterday morning there was another version. In this one, first reported by Fox Boston, Todashev not only knocked over a table, but also slammed the FBI agent’s head into a wall and attacked him with a sword. Yes, a sword. As in previous stories, the claim was that Todashev had been about to sign a confession about his involvement in the Waltham murders when things got out of control.
During the interview, investigators took notes and everything appeared to be going well. Eventually, Todashev was asked to write down, in his own handwriting and in his own words, what he had been telling authorities about his role in the murders when in the words of one source – all hell broke loose.
Todashev allegedly began writing, but then flipped a table over, knocking the Boston FBI agent into the wall hitting his head.
FOX 25’s Bob Ward was told the agent looked up to see Todashev waving in his direction what was described as a Banzai ceremonial sword.
Fearing for his life, the FBI agent drew his weapon and fatally shot Todashev. The entire incident taking only seconds.
During the course of the day, the story continued to change as more anonymous “sources” weighed in. WESH Orlando’s “sources” told a slight different tale than Fox Boston’s.
Sources said Todashev might have been lunging toward a sword, but he was not in possession of it.
Law enforcement officials said Todashev was in the process of confessing to a 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Mass., and was working on writing out the details of the crime when he snapped and turned violent.
Officials said Todashev pushed a table and possibly threw a chair.
Sources said a sword was inside the apartment, but the weapon was moved to the corner of the room before questioning began. Law enforcement said when Todashev lunged, the FBI agent believed he could have possibly been going for his gun or the sword in the room, and that’s when the agent opened fire.
Because of course the best law enforcement technique is to move any sharp objects to the corner of the room before questioning a suspect? WTF?!
Finally, last night several news outlets–among them The Washington Post–reported that Todashev had been unarmed when he was shot.
One law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Wednesday that Todashev lunged at the agent and overturned a table. But the official said Todashev did not have a gun or a knife. A second official also said Todashev was unarmed.
An official said that according to one account of the shooting, the other law enforcement officials had just stepped out of the room, leaving the FBI agent alone with Todashev, when the confrontation occurred.
The shooting followed hours of questioning by the law enforcement officials that had begun the night before.
And exactly why did the other officers “step out of the room?” The source doesn’t say.
This story is becoming just plain ridiculous, and as Emptywheel wrote yesterday, it makes the FBI look just plain stupid. Last night on twitter, someone compared it to the old “Get Smart” recurring bit, “Would you believe…”
— streetwiseprof (@streetwiseprof) May 30, 2013
But as ridiculous as this story seems, we need to understand that something like this could happen to any one of us. A man was killed in an apartment with multiple law enforcement officers present, and after more than a week, we still don’t know for sure what happened.
At 7PM yesterday, the Florida chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) held a press conference with Todashev’s wife, her mother, and a close friend of Todashev’s in attendance and called for the Department of Justice to initiate a civil rights investigation of the shooting.
[T]he Tampa director of that group said not only was 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev unarmed when he was shot by the agent May 22, he was hit seven times, including once in the head….the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter on Wednesday cited unnamed sources within the FBI as saying Todashev was not armed at the time of the shooting.
“We did confirm today with sources within the FBI that he was unarmed,” CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday afternoon. Later, Shibly told reporters that CAIR has an “intermediary” who said the FBI told him Todashev was unarmed. Shibly did not identify the intermediary.
At a news conference Wednesday evening, Shibly showed what he said were photos of Todashev’s body after the shooting. The photos were taken at an Orlando funeral home after the Orange-Osceola County Medical Examiner’s office released the body to Todashev’s next of kin, he said.
The photographer was Khusen Taramov — a friend of Todashev’s who lives in Kissimmee — and photos show at least a dozen wounds, although some may have been exit wounds, Shibly said.
In addition, Todashev’s widow Reniya Manukyan claimed that she has evidence to show that her husband could not have committed the murders in Waltham in September 2011.
Todashev’s widow said Wednesday that she has records proving her husband was with her in Atlanta on Sept. 11, 2011, so he could not have been in Massachusetts on the day of the triple killing. Manukyan was married to Todashev for about three years, she said.
In another interaction on Twitter last night Boston Globe reporter Wesley Lowery told me he wasn’t ready to accept the latest version of events until he can independently confirm it from official sources. His reporting on the Boston bombing generally and the Todashev story specifically has been very good, and I’ll be watching to see what he finds out.
Once again, I’ve used up most of my space on a Boston bombing story, but I still have room for a few more quick links, with an emphasis on law enforcement and civil liberties.
Cory Doctorow: Kafka, meet Orwell: peek behind the scenes of the modern surveillance state. At the link you can watch a short, powerful documentary about public surveillance in the UK.
Rob Fischer at The New Yorker: Watching the Detectives–a piece about “Floyd v. Floyd v. City of New York, a landmark challenge to the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies.”
NYT: Former Bush Official Said to Be Obama Pick to Lead F.B.I. Obama is about to nominate James Comey as FBI Director–a man who was in the Bush DOJ during the torture deliberations.
Emptywheel: When NYT Accused Jim Comey of Approving Torture
And another Boston link: Dirty Old Boston Facebook page shows the city as it really was
Now it’s your turn. What are you reading and blogging about today?
Ricin is in the news again, this time two letters sent threatening Mayor Bloomberg last week have been found to to contain the poison.
Two letters that contained threats to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — one addressed to him, the other to a lobbyist who works on his gun control campaign — have tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, the authorities said on Wednesday.
The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”
The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. No injuries were reported as a result of that letter, Mr. Browne said.
A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Peter Donald, confirmed that the bureau was investigating the letters, but declined to comment further. Both letters were identical in content, bore references to the debate over gun regulation and contained written threats to Mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Browne said.
Both letters have the same postmark and and sent around the same time and place. Investigation is continuing.
Meanwhile, the American company that makes Smithfield ham has been bought by a Chinese firm: Smithfield Foods sale to Chinese firm gives US pork giant entry to China
A takeover would give Smithfield entry into China, one of the biggest and fastest growing markets for pork. Photograph: Tony Talbot/AP
China‘s Shuanghui International has made a $4.7bn bid to takeover Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, in what would be the biggest takeover of a US company by a Chinese firm to date – if it passes regulatory hurdles.
The deal is likely to run into heavy opposition in Washington, where a series of Chinese takeovers have been blocked by politicians and regulators. Shuanghui, also known as Shineway, is China’s largest pork producer and is part owned by an investment firm run by Goldman Sachs.
A takeover would give Smithfield entry into China, the biggest and fastest growing market for pork.
Take a look at the comment section and you will get a laugh or two.
And lastly, this past Sunday I mentioned the legislation passed in Oklahoma to defund Planned Parenthood. Well, take a look at the one GOP rep who spoke out against his fellow Republicans: Oklahoma Lawmaker Blasts GOP’s War On Women: ‘What Happened To The Republican Party That I Joined?’ | ThinkProgress
In an op-ed published on Wednesday, an Oklahoma Republican sharply criticizes his fellow party members for focusing on enacting unnecessary legislation to limit women’s access to abortion and contraception. “What happened to the Republican Party that I joined?” state Rep. Doug Cox (R) wonders, pointing out that the mounting pile of reproductive restrictions represents a government intrusion into women’s personal lives.
Cox, who is a practicing physician, writes that the GOP-led pushes to eliminate women’s health resources don’t work in the “real world,” as the U.S. continues to face high rates of unintended teen pregnancy. Instead of expanding access to contraception to help address that reality, his fellow Republicans are working to do the opposite — pushing to eliminate Medicaid coverage for Plan B and allow pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for any reason.
This is what Cox had to say: State Rep. Doug Cox: The GOP and abortion legislation | News OK
All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.
As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.
Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.
But wait, some lawmakers want to go even further and limit everyone’s access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception.
Yes….please go on…
What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) “you have walked a mile in their moccasins”?
Watch him call out the hypocrisy…
Is my thinking too clouded by my experiences in the real world? Experiences like having a preacher, in the privacy of an exam room say, “Doc, you have heard me preach against abortion but now my 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, where can I send her?” Or maybe it was that 17-year-old foreign exchange student who said, “I really made a mistake last night. Can you prescribe a morning-after pill for me? If I return to my home country pregnant, life as I know it will be over.”
What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?
Just 15 plus comments on that op/ed, mostly positive, but then it hasn’t been linked on Drudge yet. Sure wish more GOP folks talked like Cox did.
Have a good night…
This is an open thread.