Friday Reads: Orbiting Planet Hillary

12107760964_50082cb882_zGood Morning!

I thought I’d start very local with an interesting read by David Byrne who spent his New Year in  my neighborhood.

Our neighbor here has a chicken coop in their backyard. The birds wander into our yard from time to time. A rooster crows every morning. There is a satsuma orange tree in the yard. As the man who told us about St. Roch related, his family observed Lent very strictly when he was young. No mid-day meals and no meat the whole time. He imagined that for some that would seem a privation, but for New Orlineans, they’d happily subsist on fish, shrimp, crabs, crawfish and oysters.

What is nice here is that a food place can be considered great and be either a funky joint or a fancy place that demands that men wear suits. Fancy places have no perogative on quality and reputation. The humblest joint can have a citywide reputation for its specialty dish. The restaurant scene has, I read, rebounded and is growing since Katrina. Maybe the gentrification and white-ification of parts of NOLA account for that trend, as many of the new places seem to be along the Magazine Street strip, and they’re more uptown. There are some great Vietnamese places around as well, and folks seems to be developing a taste for pho.

Our group stayed local—we mainly hit the local spots here in Bywater

Meanwhile, on the Texas side of Louisiana, you’re not going to believe this story that’s caused the ACLU to file suit on behalf of a young 22-hillary-cover-blog480buddhist child.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against Negreet High School in Sabine Parish on behalf of two parents, Scott and Sharon Lane, and their son, “C.C.” The lawsuit claims the school has “a longstanding custom, policy, and practice of promoting and inculcating Christian beliefs,” including the teaching of creationism.

Sixth-grade teacher Rita Roark has told her students that the universe was created by God about 6,000 years ago, and taught that both the Big Bang theory and evolution are false, according to the lawsuit. She told her students that “if evolution was real, it would still be happening: Apes would be turning into humans today.”

One test she gave to students asked: “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The correct answer was “Lord,” but C.C. wrote in something else. Roark responded by scolding the boy in front of the entire class.

When informed that C.C. was a Buddhist and therefore didn’t believe in God, Roark allegedly responded, “you’re stupid if you don’t believe in God.”

On another accusation, she allegedly described both Buddhism and Hinduism as “stupid.”

When the outraged parents confronted Sabine Parish Superintendent Sara Ebarb about the incidents, she allegedly told them “this is the Bible belt” and that they “shouldn’t be offended” to “see God here.” Ebarb advised that C.C. should either change his faith or be transferred to another District school where “there are more Asians.”

The parents, “hoping to save him from suffering additional psychological harm,” decided to transfer their son to another school, according to the lawsuit. The school is 25 miles away from their home.

BesDZ7cCYAA8buBHere’s a story from the Independent that sounds almost like an internet hoax.  I’ll just post the title for full effect:  Mystery of the Lyubov Orlova: Ghost ship full of cannibal rats ‘could be heading for Britain’.  Should rats in the UK be very afraid?

The Lyubov Orlova cruise liner has been drifting across the north Atlantic for the better part of a year, and salvage hunters say there is a strong chance it is heading this way.

Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the unlucky vessel was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.

The authorities in Newfoundland tried to sell the hull for scrap – valued at £600,000 – to the Dominican Republic, but cut their losses when it came loose in a storm on the way.

Sending the ship off into international waters, Transport Canada said it was satisfied the Lyubov Orlova “no longer poses a threat to the safety of [Canadian] offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment”.

Experts say the ship, which is likely to still contain hundreds of rats that have been eating each other to survive, must still be out there somewhere because not all of its lifeboat emergency beacons have been set off.

So, The New York Times’ cover of Planet Hillary is the basis of the art work in the post this morning. Here’s the background of that cover. 

When we created the cover of this Sunday’s magazine to accompany Amy Chozick’s article — to be published online tomorrow — about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s influence on the various people within her political universe, the immediate idea that came to mind was Clinton’s face embedded on a planet. .

The issue is coming out on Sunday and will be online shortly.  However, this article from the NYT on the Obama campaign finance machine 8932e1433and team towards Clinton’s potential campaign is quite interesting.

On Thursday, Priorities USA Action, a “super PAC” that played an important role in helping re-elect President Obama, announced that it was formally aligning itself with Mrs. Clinton and would begin raising money to fend off potential opponents for 2016. The group — the largest Democratic super PAC in the country — also named new directors to steer the organization, appointments that will both cement the group’s pro-Clinton tilt and also thrust veterans of Mr. Obama’s political and fund-raising operation into the center of the post-Obama Democratic Party.

The move marks perhaps the earliest start to big-dollar fund-raising in support of a nonincumbent presidential candidate, providing a fund-raising portal for wealthy Clinton supporters eager to help her White House prospects — and to the legions of others eager to ingratiate themselves with Mrs. Clinton and her inner circle.

Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager in 2012, who has forged close ties with many Democratic donors, will serve as co-chairman of the revamped super PAC and an affiliated nonprofit, along with Jennifer M. Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, who is among the most persistent voices calling for Mrs. Clinton to enter the 2016 race.

Mr. Messina joins a growing list of Obama veterans aligning themselves with Mrs. Clinton: Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart, for example, who led Mr. Obama’s field efforts in 2012, are working closely with Ready for Hillary, a pro-Clinton super PAC that is focused on recruiting small donors and building lists of grass-roots supporters.

Here’s a fun and righteous grand jur outcome.  Creepy Dinesh D’Souza has been indicted on federal campaign fraud charges.

Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza was indicted in federal court on Thursday for allegedly arranging for $20,000 worth of campaign contributions — far above legal limits, Reuters reported.

The indictment did not name the candidate benefitting from the donations, but the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) accused D’Souza of reimbursing others in August 2012 for making the donations in his name, enabling for them to be falsely reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Taken together, the charges carry possible penalties of up to seven years in prison.

In 2012, D’Souza campaigned on behalf of Republican Wendy Long in her unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D). Federal law prohibits individuals from donating more than $2,500 to a candidate in either a primary or general election campaign.

“Trying to influence elections through bogus campaign contributions is a serious crime,” Assistant Director-In-Charge George Venizelossaid in a statement. “Today, Mr. D’Souza finds himself on the wrong side of the law. The Federal Election Campaign Act was written to limit the influence of money in elections; the FBI is fiercely committed to enforcing those laws to maintain the integrity of our democratic process.”

And, for my Republican Asshat of the day … I chose Scott Walker who lauded a sex offender in his State of the State address on Wednesday as a sign of a great economy.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) blamed a lack of background research after it was revealed that one of the people he lauded as a symbol of his administration’s success is a registered sex offender with three drunk-driving convictions, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

“They did not do a full scale background check, which is why (he) slipped through,” Walker said of 32-year-old Christopher Barber, who was photographed being applauded by Walker during his State of the State address on Wednesday. “Obviously, we would never had this person up if that was the case.”

Barber, who currently has a seasonal welding job for the snowblower and mower manufacturer Ariens, has had his probation revoked for two separate convictions, including a 2005 conviction on third-degree sexual assault charges. He has also been convicted of forgery, battery and drunk driving. His last drunk-driving conviction was in 2011. On Wednesday he joined a group of people standing onstage near Walker as the governor praised them for being able to find work during his tenure as governor.

“Each of these people were looking for a job, or a better opportunity, over the past three years,” Walker said. “They represent the people and the families behind the numbers. These are the faces of an improving economy in our state. Wisconsin is going back to work.”

Yup, sex offenders for Walker.  You heard it here first.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

52 Comments on “Friday Reads: Orbiting Planet Hillary”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    The GOP has such an array of morons that it is difficult to pick just one “asshat of the day”.

    Mike Huckabee just referred to women who cannot control their libidos while insisting that the government pay for their birth control methods. You can’t make this stuff up as he then refers to the “war on women” as a “war for women”. We just aren’t listening properly.

    Apparently living in the “bible belt” includes putting commonsense aside and buy into the fantasies of “creationism” as the rest of the world goes about its progressive business. One can only imagine some idiot raised on these pretenses rising to power and meeting other heads of state who can only look on with amazement. Oh wait, we did have one named George W. Bush already so scratch that analogy.

    Separating religious beliefs from the public sector has been upended. And we will suffer from this as a nation. The harm this will engender has already taken root when opposing sides are shut up and shut down as was shown in LA.

    The crazies are at the gate!

  2. RalphB says:

    Sweet post Dak. Woke up this morning to a winter wonderland of ice and snow, almost all ice. Cold as Huckabee’s heart out there but the precip has stopped now. The freezing rain is now moving over Houston, so Mona may get cold today. Hope it doesn’t reach NOLA. Temps are supposed to be 60/70s this weekend and I’m ready for sun.

    Nice to know Hillary is picking up so much support but I wish we would get 2014 behind us before 2016 overruns the coverage. We have a lot of asshats to replace in Congress and Dem seats to defend.

    • janicen says:

      I’ve learned from working campaigns here in VA that the early bird gets the worm. Hillary’s machine is moving already and establishing a ground game, and I’m convinced that’s what wins elections. Money, of course, but both sides have that. Boots on the ground is what makes the difference. I’m glad she’s starting early.

      • Fannie says:

        I wish Obama would have Elizabeth Warren speak after his Union Address………….she will be a big help as a progressive.

    • Fannie says:

      I hoped women turnout by the millions to VOTE against the GOP.

  3. janicen says:

    Hah! I love when Scot Walker ends up with egg on his face! I know everyone makes mistakes, but this one seems pretty egregious. Wouldn’t you thoroughly vet someone before you drag him into the public eye?

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Hey Dak,

    LGF posted on that crazy LA school you’ve been talking about.

    Louisiana School Advises Family to Give Up Buddhism to Avoid Harrassment From Christians

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    Great post Dak, thank you

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Oh no!!!!! The GOP just can’t control themselves when it come to deciding what’s best for the little wimmin!!!

    Congressman: ‘The Wife Is To Voluntarily Submit’ To Her Husband

  7. NW Luna says:

    Loved the piece on the NOLA food scene. Unpretentious places are my kind of restaurant.

  8. RalphB says:

    Using the state asset recovery provision of Medicaid in dishonest ways to scare the poor is despicable. Typical right-wing tactic.

    How Obamacare Critics Are Scaring The Poor Out Of Signing Up For Health Insurance

  9. RalphB says:

    Paul Waldman answers a question…

    American Prospect: Why Republicans Keep Calling Women Sluts

    As you’ve heard, yesterday Mike Huckabee stepped up to the plate and smacked a stand-up double in the GOP’s ongoing effort to alienate every woman in America,

    As expected, Huckabee quickly explained to his supporters who the real victim is here, but the question is, why do they keep doing this?

    The simple answer is that they can’t help themselves, but more specifically, it’s a combination of ignorance, contempt, and Puritan morality that inevitably leads to these eruptions. And it’s going to keep happening. Let’s look at the particulars: …

    • dakinikat says:

      Great take … Huckabee thought he was being chivalrous … so stupid!

      • RalphB says:

        That’s his story anyway and he’s sticking to it. Frankly I think Waldman has a really good take on it but I also believe that Huckabee knew his audience and was playing to them. I’ll bet that audience ate that shit up.

      • RalphB says:

        Dak, Is the snow/ice coming at you?

        • dakinikat says:

          Yes. We have a wintry mix here. lots of snow on the north side of the lake. The parlors are only 65 right now and the furnace is on full blast.

          • Wow…that is something Dak. I can only imagine how Ignatius would have reacted to it…and the stuff he would have written about it in his Big Chief Tablets.

          • RalphB says:

            Traffic accidents here were epic. People who own body shops should be celebrating. Since I’ve lived here, I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had snow and ice so people drive insane.

  10. RalphB says:

    Ha, I knew Chuck Hagel wasn’t stupid.

    tpm: Hagel: ‘Something Is Wrong’ With US Nuke Force

    • Fannie says:

      That’s been on going problem for 20 years now. Those ICBM (Minute Missiles) in N. Dakota, and Montana need to the “sacked” as one blogger said, well at least 90% of them. It used to be alright job back in the day when we had near misses with Russia. Now they do nothing 24 hours a day, actually do nothing to protect the site. It’s long shifts and that is why the drugs are used. My guess anyways.

  11. RalphB says:

    Matt Taibbi has a really good story up today!

    Rolling Stone: Bailout Architect Runs For California Governor; World Laughs

    So thank God for Neel Kashkari, and the news that this goofball footnote caricature of the bailout era has decided to run for Governor of California. Never in history has there been an easier subject for a blog post.

    If you don’t remember Kashkari’s name, you might be excused – he was actually better known, in his 15 minutes of fame five years ago, as “The 35 year-old dingbat from Goldman someone put in charge of handing out $700 billion bailout dollars.”

  12. Good news, it was a benign cyst.(the “other son”) What a relief…

  13. RalphB says:

    Finally something on the cannibal rats…

    TBogg ‏@tbogg 2h
    Sea World should make a bid and get that ghost ship full of diseased cannibal rats as an attraction to distract people from Blackfish

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Excuse me if someone already posted this.

    From NPR:

    Judge Tells Hospital To Take Pregnant Woman Off Life Support

    A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz, 33, is brain-dead. She has reportedly not been awake since November, when she was discovered unconscious in her home. Doctors say she had suffered a pulmonary embolism.

    At that time, Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, a debate has raged about whether she should be kept alive. Many of the questions center on the details of Munoz’s condition, and on state laws about terminating the life of a pregnant woman.

    State District Judge R.H. Wallace ordered county-owned John Peter Smith Hospital to stop providing Munoz with life-sustaining treatments and to remove her from life support by 5 p.m. Monday, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    The judge’s decision grants a request that came from Munoz’s husband, who filed papers with the court saying she met the criteria for being declared brain-dead on Nov. 28, according to the Dallas Morning News.

    Erick Munoz is a paramedic. And as the newspaper reports, “His wife was also a paramedic and he said she made her wishes clear to him and her parents that she never wished to be kept on life support.”

  15. RalphB says:

    Good news but it’s a real shame this case had to be decided in court!

    Judge orders brain-dead pregnant Texas woman be taken off life support

    A judge ordered on Friday that Marlise Muñoz, who has been kept on life support despite her family’s wishes, be formally declared dead, the Dallas Morning News reported.

    Muñoz had already been declared brain dead after falling unconscious in November 2013 as a result of a pulmonary embolism, but because she was pregnant at the time, officials at John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) argued that she be kept on life support for the sake of her pregnancy, citing a state law, the Advance Directive Act.

    However, Judge R.H. Wallace noted that, were she capable, Muñoz might have chosen to have an abortion. Her family’s attorneys reported on Wednesday that the fetus had suffered oxygen deprivation, fluid buildup in its skull and deterioration of its lower extremities.

    “I respect JPS’ arguments in trying to follow the law,” Wallace was quoted as saying. “But every section doesn’t apply to someone who is dead.”

    • NW Luna says:

      Way past time for medical and judicial reasoning to take over in this issue. Incredible that it took so long. Such a relief for the family. Blessings to them.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    SCOTUS (Sotomayer) has given nuns another extension. Obama cannot force nuns to provide birth control coverage for employees at this time. (PDF)