Friday Reads: Orbiting Planet HillaryPosted: January 24, 2014
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 buddhist 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.
Here’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 and 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?