38 Comments on “Thursday: A Mixed Bag of Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    The SC is expected to rule in June in the “buffer” case brought by anti abortion adherents which is expected to have and adverse impact on those seeking treatment for something that is nobody’s business but their own.

    This case was filed under the “freedom of speech” ruling and would allow opponents of pro choice to get right up into the faces of those women who are entering the facilities.

    Free speech? Two hundred feet away from the sorrowful person seeking treatment is not enough for those lunatics who believe they have a right to interfere with private decisions that have no effect on themselves?

    This nation is becoming less “free” and more bound by the efforts of a few who make it their business to get into yours.

    “Freedom of speech” my @ss!

    • RalphB says:

      A friend was visiting last week who has lived in the UK the past few years. She says that freedom in the US is all propaganda and that she has much more real freedom there than she ever did here.

      It seems to me that “Freedom of” in the US only run in the direction of the right wing. I doubt that protesters who gathered at church entrances to harass people going in every time there was a service would be shown much deference for their Freedom of Speech.

    • dakinikat says:

      I think we should start a movement to harass the the harassers.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I had the exact same thought when watching the story of the “buffer zone” and the reaction during arguments by some members of SCOTUS. I wonder how long a group of people picketing a church, or intimidating church members with shaming and signs of disapproval, would be tolerated? I don’t think I could get away with standing in front of a Southern Baptist church with a sign accusing them of twisting the Gospels to encourage homophobia, sexism or racism. I imagine I’d be in jail quicker than you could say Amen.

        The nearest PP office in my area has a group of protesters who are on the sidewalk every day that the clinic is open. They’ve picketed that clinic for as long as I can remember. Even if the protesters did nothing but just stand vigil, it’s still a form of intimidation and bullying and that’s exactly what it’s meant to be.

      • Yeah…and I still think we should also have that supershero chick saving women from the asshole GOPs!

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Twin baby polar bears at Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman and counselor to President George W. Bush, plans to announce Thursday that he’ll challenge Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in November, an adviser told POLITICO.

    Gillespie, a decided underdog, has concluded the race is “winnable,” the adviser said.

    Gillespie’s first task will be winning the Republican nomination at a convention in Roanoke in June. That’s an insider’s game where his longtime party involvement should pay off. After serving as national party chair, he led the Virginia GOP.

    Cognizant of the need to connect first with activists who’ll go to the convention, Gillespie plans a low-key announcement – an email to supporters, a web video, a press release and a website launch.

    For more information… http://www.politico.com

    • janicen says:

      That’s very interesting. I don’t agree with him that it’s winnable, because Mark Warner is quite popular, but anything can happen in politics. Warner will have to spend some cash to defend his seat.

    • RalphB says:

      Gillespie always seemed like a professional GOP weasel to me.

  4. Fannie says:

    I remember this movie (October Sky). It really exposes the cultural aspects of coal mining peoples and communities, along with the politics in the backwoods. There really is no excuse for not enforcing the environmental regulations that are in place. The last time an inspection took place was in 1991 or 92. Even though they might say this is a storage system vs. a manufacturing system, it cost near to nothing to monitor the system.

    When I looked up the long term chemical effects yesterday, not much was found, it reminded me of chemical DES. I believe somebody knows something, and they just aren’t saying. Somebody is covering it up, pretty much like the Erin Brockovich movie showed us 20 years ago.

    Cincinnati is taking samples every few hours, and they are right to take measures to close the values. At least they shouldn’t have to flush their entire system, just keep monitoring their storage treatment plants every few hours. And let officials know how best to protect people. This is common knowledge regarding procedures in following environmental protection regulations. The case with W. Virginia smacks of political GOP shut down of communities.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Republicans won’t allow enough staff and money to keep up with inspections, plus under Bush and Reagan they appointed people from the industries that were to be regulated.

      • Fannie says:

        That’s true. I think the EPA didn’t exist before Nixon created it. We have democrats and republicans living in these states, and it’s high time the people come together to stop the corporations from walking all over them without any accountability. There exist the state and the federal OSHA groups. The Feds come in only after an accident to see if there regulations are being followed. I don’t think they do the inspections.

        It looks like this company merged with three other companies, and buried somewhere in there are the Koch Brothers, who also own Georgia Pacific Chemicals, and Freedom Industries Mining Chemicals in several states. I don’t know what the hell the reason is, but MCHM is classified at hazardous materials, it is used every where in W. Virginia. One guy tried to get documentation, and could only go to Washington to see selected records, because no electronic files exist. He could only take hand written notes. Obviously there is a problem with the waste water disposal after chemical treatment of the coal………there is no oversight as to what happens to it after treatment. Why not? The State needs to step up, or see the 300,000 people at their door steps looking for answers. In 2008 there was an explosion, and in 2010 it killed one person. Why are they NOT involved in what the hell is going on with these kind of problems that they are face with? Why can’t they find documents related to the 2010 complaints? And why from the article “Freedom Industries slapped with violation after moving chemical”….what stands out is Number 4 – it is like an incoming bullet right for the head the “most damming which is failing to follow any ground protection plans”………….it’s an out right crime in other states, maybe not in W. Virginia, but in California it is. They would have been shut down and out of business. That trench around the facility wasn’t legal containment, it was just a run off ditch………….it a freaking ditch.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Freedom Industries slapped with violations after moving chemical

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Freedom Industries claims a building at a site it owns in Nitro will act as an emergency barrier should any of the chemicals it recently moved there spill.

    But there’s a problem with that claim: The state Department of Environmental Protection says there are holes at floor level in the building’s walls, and the chemical involved in the spill isn’t stored in the building anyway.

    This detail is included in an inspection report that accompanied five notices of violation the DEP made public Wednesday.

    DEP inspectors visited the location, known as Poca Blending LLC, Monday after Freedom moved the remaining crude MCHM there from the site of the Elk River spill.

    “Secondary containment within the facility was deteriorated or non-existent,” the report states. “The plan indicates that the building itself acts as secondary containment, but holes exist at floor level in the building’s walls,” the report states.

  6. RalphB says:

    Even Worse Than We Thought

    Fascinating email from TPM Reader DW about the sheer level of attempted sabotage down at the ground level in GOP-run Obamacare rejectionist states.

    I am a healthcare attorney for an insurance company and I wanted to share our experience with the implementation of the ACA. I know the idea is that state legislators have been working to subvert the ACA, but it actually goes deeper.

    The red states even screwed over the insurance companies trying to do business under the ACA.

  7. dakinikat says:


    A House Judiciary Committee hearing last week spoke volumes about what Americans have come to expect out of Congress. While Senate Democrats worked on extending unemployment benefits, 12 Republican men championed a bill called the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion,” which seeks to prevent middle-class consumers from receiving health care subsidies if their plans include abortion coverage.

    It seemed like another pointless culture-war fight on a proposal that won’t become law anytime soon. After all, shouldn’t GOP lawmakers at least pretend to be focused on jobs instead of one more anti-abortion push that will inevitably fail?

    By Republicans’ reasoning, they are. Yesterday, the men on the House Judiciary Committee readied the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion” for floor action, and Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said this is a jobs bill.

    It is “very, very true,” the congressman said, “that having a growing population and having new children brought into the world is not harmful to job creation. It very much promotes job creation for all the care and services and so on that need to be provided by a lot of people to raise children.”

    • NW Luna says:

      Let’s see those Congressmen live off what the average daycare worker gets. And if they can’t get pregnant, they should STFU about what’s none of their business.

  8. dakinikat says:

    #Texas public charter schools are teaching creationism http://goo.gl/tw5FYT

    When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth. These are all lies.
    The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were “pagans in various levels of civilization.” They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a “surrogate husband.”

    Your tax dollars at work Ralph!!!

    • RalphB says:

      What’s new? I’ve hated this shit for years. Some day I hope people, particularly GOP women, will get enough and vote the bastards out of power.

    • NW Luna says:

      Another entry for the “You Can’t Make This Shit Up” book, chapter “Wingnut Loonies.”

    • This is the thing I fear the most! Our Banjoville schools were voted to go “charter” this past election. I know that creationism shit is going to happen.

      In other news: The Celebrity Rule of Threes Is Real

      Deny it all you want, but the Celebrity Rule of Threes is real, and it’s happening again.

      Today we lost three actors known for their iconic characters: Russell Johnson, the Professor on Gilligan’s Island; Dave Madden, the Partridge Family’s manager; and one of the last living Munchkins, Ruth Robinson Duccini.

  9. dakinikat says:


    Tennessee lawmakers who are doing their best to stop President Barack Obama’s health care law have introduced a bill that could have the unintended consequence of forcing hospitals to verify and ban patients if they purchased insurance through the Healthcare.gov website.

    At a press conference on Wednesday, state Sen. Mae Beavers (R) and state Rep. Mark Pody (R) announced legislation that would prevent any state agency from cooperating in any way with the Affordable Care Act.

    “The federal government does not have constitutional authority to commandeer state and local governments to enforce or implement these federal health care mandates,” Beavers explained. “This legislation takes a very strong stand to resist this federal overreach of power.”

    Bet they are “pro life” too. Guess real people should just die.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Good News Every one!!


    The episode’s audience was down more than 30 percent year-to-year in the 18-49 demographic preferred by advertisers.

  11. RalphB says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      I saw that. What an asshole. I guess I’m like Joe McCarthy too, because I wrote basically the same thing in this post.

  12. RalphB says:

    Fact about Florida from Ann Marie Cox…

    Curtis Reeves was a retired police officer, the very definition of a good guy. He may also prove to be unbalanced in a legally-applicable way, but that wouldn’t have prevented him from getting a concealed carry permit in Florida. Since Florida grants concealed carry permits via its Department of Agriculture, rather than, say a criminal justice agency, the state cannot use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to screen applicants. To put that another way, Florida simply doesn’t have the federal background check required in every other state that grants concealed carry permits.