Tuesday Reads

Henri Matisse, Woman Reading with Tea

Henri Matisse, Woman Reading with Tea

 Good Morning!!

 I need to begin with some local Massachusetts stories that may have national repercussions.

First there is an update to the story of Ibragim Todashev, who was allegedly a friend of accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Both men are deceased. As you may recall, Todashev was shot and killed in his home in Orlando by an agent from the Boston FBI office on May 22, 2013.

The agent, along with an agent from the Orlando FBI office and two Massachusetts state troopers, had been questioning Todashev about his possible involvement with Tamerlan in the murders of three men in Waltham, MA on September 11, 2011.

According to the agent and the trooper who was there with him, Todashev attacked the agent with a table and the agent had shot him in self defense. Todashev had supposedly been writing a confession to his involvement in the murders when he suddenly attacked. The agent who shot Todashev was later absolved of any wrongdoing by reports by the Florida State Attorney’s office, the DOJ, and the FBI. The FBI report has not been released; and in the other two reports, much information, include the names of the agents and troopers, some portions of photos of the crime scene were redacted.

Now to the latest news (which so far has gone unnoticed by the corporate media). A couple of days ago, a blogger named B. Blake revealed that he/she had succeeded in downloading a version of the Florida Attorney’s report that was not properly redacted. The unredacted photos and the names of the agent who shot Todashev along with the two Mass. state troopers have been published on B. Blake’s blog “The Boston Marathon Bombings:What Happened?” The post includes an explanation of how the unredacted materials were obtained and authenticated. I’m not going to post the photos or names of law enforcement personnel; but you can see them at the above link. In another blog post, B. Blake reports some background information on the FBI agent involved.

So far I’ve seen nothing reported about this in the mainstream press, but it is all over Twitter. I don’t know if this will get out into the mainstream, but the FBI must have noticed it by now. I don’t know what will happen next, but when Twitter gets hold of a story, it generally gets noticed by the media eventually. I hope no harm will come to the three men whose names have been kept quiet until now. Stay tuned . . .

The other Massachusetts story will probably be blown up way out of proportion by the GOP Obamacare haters. From The Boston Globe, Mass. scrapping flawed health insurance website: Next steps have uncertainties for users, insurers.

Massachusetts plans to scrap the state’s dysfunctional online health insurance website, after deciding it would be too expensive and time-consuming to fix, and replace it with a system used by several other states to enroll residents in plans.

Simultaneously, the state is preparing to temporarily join the federal HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace in case the replacement system is not ready by the fall.

As late as March, the state had considered rebuilding the balky Health Connector site, which has left thousands of consumers frustrated and many without coverage for months. But Sarah Iselin, the insurance executive whom Governor Deval Patrick tapped to oversee repairs to the site, said that approach turned out to be far too risky.

The state’s online insurance system must be ready by Nov. 15 for consumers to enroll in new health plans for 2015, and Massachusetts is one of several states under pressure from the Obama administration to make sure it meets the deadline.

The change mostly involves adopting a new software program and getting it up to speed by the deadline, which is set by law and has no flexibility.

Another unknown is whether the transition will create disruption for consumers. Eric Linzer, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, said some insurers may not be able to afford to remain in the program, meaning consumers could end up having to switch coverage.

“I can’t overstate the complexity and technical issues that come with not having to develop just one but two separate systems,’’ he said. “Given the time frame in which all this has to be implemented, this is going to be a significant undertaking for plans.’’

Massachusetts also provides more generous subsidies than the federal health insurance program for residents with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Iselin said whether the state can retain those unique aspects of its program if it connects to the federal site is still under discussion with the Obama administration. According to the state’s plan, use of the federal website, if necessary, would be for no more than a year…

On the other hand, there is positive news long-term for Obamacare from a study of the effects of Massachusetts’ adopting universal health care in 2006. From the NYT: Mortality Drop Seen to Follow ’06 Health Law.

BOSTON — The death rate in Massachusetts dropped significantly after it adopted mandatory health care coverage in 2006, a study released Monday found, offering evidence that the country’s first experiment with universal coverage — and the model for crucial parts of President Obama’s health care law — has saved lives, health economists say.

The study tallied deaths in Massachusetts from 2001 to 2010 and found that the mortality rate — the number of deaths per 100,000 people — fell by about 3 percent in the four years after the law went into effect. The decline was steepest in counties with the highest proportions of poor and previously uninsured people. In contrast, the mortality rate in a control group of counties similar to Massachusetts in other states was largely unchanged.

A national 3 percent decline in mortality among adults under 65 would mean about 17,000 fewer deaths a year.

“It’s big,” said Samuel Preston, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania and an authority on life expectancy. Professor Preston, who was not involved in the study, called the study “careful and thoughtful,” and said it added to a growing body of evidence that people with health insurance could reap the ultimate benefit — longer life.

Experts said the study, which was published online Monday in theAnnals of Internal Medicine, will not settle the long-debated question of whether being insured prolongs life, but it provides the most credible evidence yet that it might. Still, health improvements can take years to surface in mortality data, and some researchers were skeptical of the magnitude and suddenness of the decline.

Read more at the link.

In national news . . .


NYT writer Adam Liptak has an interesting analysis of Supreme Court “in-group bias” in decisions involving “free speech.”

Justice Antonin Scalia is known as a consistent and principled defender of free speech rights.

It pained him, he has said, when he voted to strike down a law making flag burning a crime. “If it was up to me, if I were king,” he said, “I would take scruffy, bearded, sandal-wearing idiots who burn the flag, and I would put them in jail.” But the First Amendment stopped him.

That is a powerful example of constitutional principles overcoming personal preferences. But it turns out to be an outlier. In cases raising First Amendment claims, a new study found, Justice Scalia voted to uphold the free speech rights of conservative speakers at more than triple the rate of liberal ones. In 161 cases from 1986, when he joined the court, to 2011, he voted in favor of conservative speakers 65 percent of the time and liberal ones 21 percent.

He is not alone. “While liberal justices are over all more supportive of free speech claims than conservative justices,” the study found, “the votes of both liberal and conservative justices tend to reflect their preferences toward the ideological groupings of the speaker.”

Social science calls this kind of thing “in-group bias.” The impact of such bias on judicial behavior has not been explored in much detail, though earlierstudies have found that female appeals court judges are more likely to vote for plaintiffs in sexual harassment and sex discrimination suits.

Lee Epstein, a political scientist and law professor who conducted the new study with two colleagues, said it showed the justices to be “opportunistic free speech advocates.”

Much more–with chart–at the link.

There’s quite a bit of discussion today of Lara Logan and whether or not she will ever return to CBS’ 60 Minutes. The uproar is in reaction to a lengthy article at New York Magazine by Joe Hagen, Benghazi and the Bombshell: Is Lara Logan too Toxic to Return to 60 Minutes? I haven’t had time to read the article yet, but Talking Points Memo summarizes the main points: Lara Logan’s Return To CBS Up In The Air.


A lengthy New York magazine report published Sunday suggests that Logan’s return is far from certain. In the piece contributing editor Joe Hagan explores the tensions that simmered within CBS News, where his sources in the network described the current atmosphere as “toxic,” since Logan was forced to apologize last November for a flawed report on the Benghazi attacks.

The report that led to Logan’s suspension centered around a British security contractor, Dylan Davies, who gave a heroic first-person account of the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi. The contractor’s credibility was called into question after the segment aired, when it was reported that Davies may not have been present on the night of the attacks at the compound.

TPM quotes some of Logan’s CBS co-workers:

“It’s not an accident that Lara Logan fucked up,” one of Logan’s colleagues told the magazine. “It was inevitable. Everybody saw this coming.”

During the fallout from the report, a founding member of “60 Minutes,” Morley Safer, reportedly marched into executive producer Jeff Fager’s office and demanded that Logan be fired, but to no avail. Another unnamed source suggested to the magazine that CBS President Les Moonves has since “soured” on Logan, whom he previously treated as a favorite.

Think Progress reports that CBS was so embarrassed by Logan’s reporting that they “asked Nexis-Lexis to delete [the] transcript.”

In international news . . .

There’s an extremely disturbing story from Nigeria. BBC News: Boko Haram ‘to sell’ Nigeria girls abducted from Chibok

Abubakar Shekau, leader  of Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram

Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has threatened to “sell” the hundreds of schoolgirls it abducted three weeks ago.

Militant leader Abubakar Shekau sent a video obtained by the AFP news agency, in which he said for the first time that his group had taken the girls.

About 230 girls are still believed to be missing, prompting widespread criticism of the Nigerian government.

The Boko Haram insurgency has left thousands dead since 2009.

The girls were taken from their boarding school in Chibok, in the northern state of Borno, on the night of 14 April.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, has attacked numerous educational institutions in northern Nigeria.

In the video, Abubakar Shekau said the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married.

“God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,” he said.

I wonder why it is that “God” give so many widely varying “instructions” to people of different “religions.”

More from CNN: ‘I will sell them,’ Boko Haram leader says of kidnapped Nigerian girls.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse.

“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language….”Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.

Not surprisingly, there has been much criticism of the government’s response to the kidnappings.

Weeks after the girls’ April 14 kidnapping, Africa’s most populous country seems to be no closer to finding them, triggering complaints of ineptitude — some of which are expressed on Twitter with the globally trending hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Nigeria’s finance minister said Monday that her country’s government remains committed to finding the girls, but should have done a better job explaining the situation to the public.

“Have we communicated what is being done properly? The answer is no, that people did not have enough information,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told CNN’s Richard Quest.

Revealing details about the investigation is tricky, she said, “because you are dealing with people that you don’t know, and you don’t know…what they might do to these girls.”

There is much more information about the Boko Haram group at the CNN link.

Those are my offerings for today. What stories are you following? Please share your links in the comment thread and have a lovely spring Tuesday!

48 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. NW Luna says:

    Oregon decided to drop its dysfunctional insurance website & software system, and join the national exchange a week ago. Washington state had some problems last year, but since then is doing well. Two to three new insurance companies have applied to offer plans for next year but no details yet.

    In Nigeria, as in so many other places, “get married” = “sold” for females. Atrocious.

  2. NW Luna says:

    The Mass health study & insurance coverage — Interesting but perhaps not that unlikely a drop in mortality would be seen so early. Wonder what the drop in morbidity was. I’ll access the full-text article from work & read the details.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That would be great. I haven’t had time to do that, because I have to go out for awhile this afternoon.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Joseph Cannon has a long piece on Lara Logan, in which he discusses the CBS story as well as the alleged sexual assault on her in Egypt. I’m pretty sure that the first report he quotes was a hoax that was debunked–a sexual fantasy from some very sick person. Other outlets like LA Weekly claimed that Logan was “repeatedly raped.” I’m not going to link to them.

    As far as I know Logan never claimed to have been raped, but that a large group men fondled her before she was rescued. This would make her experience similar to those reported by other women who have been attacked by mobs in the Middle East and North Africa. Here’s one report of what she claimed, from The Daily Mail.

    • RalphB says:

      From the Logan story, she does have a problem I imagine:

      So Lara Logan may, or may not, return in the fall season. Either way, the show must go on. Waiting in the wings is a new up-and-comer. Attractive, blonde, fluent in three foreign languages. Everybody is talking about 34-year-old Clarissa Ward. “Jeff’s very high on her,” says a 60 Minutes producer.

      It’s a great story. Sen Huckleberry Butchmeup pulled a Cheney with 60 Min. He was Logan’s source for Al Qaeda being involved in Benghazi. Then, after the report, he used it to push that Al Qaeda was in Benghazi. Judy Miller all over again.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m really looking forward to reading it when I get back from my appointment.

    • I may be wrong, but I just don’t think it’s that simple. Lara Logan’s story of what happened in Tahrir square does not include an actual rape, but it still conflicts in most particulars with the report of another journalist (for whom, frankly, I have greater respect) who was on the scene.

      It’s worth noting that Logan did not speak until forced to do so because the account told by Témoris Grecko had started to gain some traction. If Grecko had not written anything, would she have said anything? Frankly, I’m not sure. For a long time, she seemed quite willing to allow the world to believe the original story that she had been subjected to a truly ultra-violent three-hour gang rape.

      And the original story can’t be traced to a single fantasist. I’ve tried (and am still trying) to track how it all began. That story, in several variants, sprung up all over the place — at least, all over the anti-Islamic websites — overnight.

      It’s odd that both version 1 and version 2 speak of “cell phone photos” documenting her assault, yet those photos have never shown up. We do, however, have an artist’s depiction of the rape floating around the net. That painting is a professional job. Who paid the artist?

      I do think it is important to note that Lara’s husband has claimed to be a “super-spook” specializing in manipulating public opinion. Maybe some people consider that fact unworthy of mention, but others will consider it noteworthy.

      Frankly, I do think that Logan’s later broadcast of a right-wing smear job on Benghazi gives us reason to question the bona fides of her earlier claim. “Falsus in unus, falsus ominbus,” as they used to say.

      • RalphB says:

        Anti-Islamic, and right-wing sites in general, are often so coordinated this is no shocker.

        That story, in several variants, sprung up all over the place — at least, all over the anti-Islamic websites — overnight.

        You could say the same thing about any number of “stories”.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I guess I don’t really understand why anyone–male or female–should be forced to discuss being raped and in particular go into detail about exactly what happened.

        • RalphB says:

          That’s a good point. No matter which story, she was still assaulted.

          • bostonboomer says:

            It’s really a side issue, isn’t it? The main point is her dishonesty or poor judgment. But 60 Minutes has become a joke anyway.

            Joseph C. made interesting points about her husband influencing her reporting. I’m not sure why the CIA would want Benghazi to keep raising its ugly head, though. They were the ones who had the secret base there and apparently screwed up badly.

          • RalphB says:

            If the CIA wants that mentioned ever again, it’s mystifying why. Basically it was a CIA Op from the get go, with State Dept cover.

      • bostonboomer says:


        I had never read that account from Témoris Grecko before. It certainly is troubling in light of Logan’s past irresponsible reporting from Iraq and her shameful Benghazi story on 60 minutes. Now you’ve piqued my interest.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Thousands dead in Afghanistan landslide, and no hope of finding surviviors.

    A week of heavy rain and snowmelt triggered landslides in a remote mountain village in Afghanistan Friday, leaving at least 2,100 people presumed dead, buried under a mass of rocks and dirt.

    According to a Boston.com report, the site of the slides has become a mass grave. After the first landslide, residents of a nearby village rushed in to help look for survivors, but a second landslide occurred, burying the rescuers.

    With the search for survivors ending, officials have a new challenge: providing relief for the hundreds displaced by the slide. Some 700 families have left their homes in the village of Abi Barik after the hill collapsed twice on the village in northeastern Badakhshan province near the borders with China and Tajikistan. Nearly 300 homes were buried – about a third of all houses there, Badakhshan province Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said.

    Families abandoned their homes over renewed fears that rains could trigger yet another landslide. Worse yet, the mounds of muck from Friday’s slides blocked drainage routes for water in the valley, increasing the chance for major flooding.

    The government and aid groups flocked to the area to provide basic relief such as food, water and shelter, but as of Sunday, many people had not received the most basic of supplies.

    “My family, my wife and eight children are alive, but have nothing to use as shelter. We have nothing to eat,” Barat Bay, a 50-year-old farmer and father of eight, told the Associated Press. “We have passed the last two nights with our children at the top of this hill with no tent, no blanket.”

  5. Fannie says:

    Thanks for your post, and all the follow-up from the Boston Bombers. For the past couple weeks the news media has been calling the Bundy militia “separatist”……..I don’t know what the hell they are thinking, but they are “terrorist”, period.

    I wondered to myself, suppose we took the money that has been spent looking for flight 370, and put it towards the 210 plus girls who were kidnapped, wouldn’t that be worth our dollars?

    Here we go with Benhazi, they don’t have solutions, and they want the senate, its the only way they can pull a fast one over the voters. It would be so much better to put that money on the kidnapped girls! It’s the same old sixes and sevens with the wingnuts, and we are all sick of it.

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    bostonboomer, That Nigeria story makes me sick to my stomach.
    Maybe, I’m wrong, but I think if Hillary were president, the SEAL team would already be on the ground.
    Be on the lookout for more of the same since so many geniuses in China and India, et al, decided they only wanted boys and aborted the female fetuses.
    One day they’ll want brides for their boys and grandchildren—oops.

  7. dakinikat says:



    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — In what legal experts are calling a landmark decision, on Monday the United States Supreme Court struck down what many believe to be the main reason the country was started.

    By a five-to-four vote, the Court eliminated what grade-school children have traditionally been taught was one of the key rationales for founding the United States in the first place.

    “The separation of church and state has been a cornerstone of American democracy for over two hundred years,” said Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority. “Getting rid of it was long overdue.”

    Calling the decision “historic,” Justice Antonin Scalia was guarded in predicting what the Court might accomplish next.

    “Last year, we gutted the Voting Rights Act, and today we did the First Amendment,” he said. “We’ll just have to see what’s left.”

  8. dakinikat says:


    FDL Book Salon: Capital in the Twenty-First Century
    Author: Thomas Piketty
    Sunday, May 11, 2014 2:00 pm Pacific time

    You can chat with the author and ask questions.

      • janicen says:

        Granted, I’m only as far as Part I, and I’m certainly not educated enough in advanced Econ to present a cogent rebuttal, but from what I have gleaned from the Piketty book so far this criticism seems…I can’t come up with the word I need…maybe immature? As I read Piketty’s book I keep getting the feeling that I’m reading a significant and groundbreaking piece of work. Piketty does not claim that his work is better or smarter than past economists but he does point out that thanks to decades and in some cases even centuries of accumulated records along with technological advances that allow him access to those records, he is able for the first time to map out historical patterns of what actually happened during specific periods of industrialization and economic development. To my mind, a vast improvement over politicians making policy decisions based on what they think will happen. I’m reminded of Newt Gingrich blubbering about the economy several years back and stating that his economic theory was “just intuitive”.

        I can’t wait for you to read it, dak and post some summaries. I did question Piketty’s idea of a global tax which seems entirely theoretical in that I can’t imagine who would enforce this tax, who would collect it, and what would be done with the revenues, but again I’m not yet finished with Part I. 🙂

  9. joanelle says:

    Great post BB! Dollars to doughnuts that B. Blake will find the FBI at his/her front door

    • RalphB says:

      OMFG! That was simply hilarious all around. Best thing I’ve ever seen on Buzzfeed!

  10. dakinikat says:


    the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a return to pre-revolutionary America. That the Court even agreed to take the case is a sign of the end of times.

    The Supreme Court agreed with arguments that undermine our most cherished founding principle, the separation of church and state. As you absorb the folly to come, forget not that early settlers made the arduous journey to our shores in part to escape the stifling oppression of a dominant religion. The urgent need to rid the government from the influence of a single religion was Thomas Jefferson’s unifying and guiding light. But Jeffersonian principles have been set aside for the convenience of promoting Christianity over all other religions. Welcome to the United States of Saudi Arabia.

    The epicenter of our shift to a theocracy can be found in Greece, New York, where something seemingly innocent enough in fact threatens to undermine the foundational ideals of our country. In Greece, New York, the town supervisor each month invites a local Christian minister to open the council’s meeting with a Christian prayer. Here is an example from the Reverend Lou Sirianni began with this:

    “Be thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly.” He ended with, “All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.”

  11. RalphB says:

    TBogg: Monica Lewinsky returns to say she is sorry about doing that ‘thing’ men like with that guy

    Smell that?

    That is the smell of Campaign 2016 in the air.

    Republicans — at this very moment — are trying to figure out who is the least objectionable boy to take them to the Presidential Prom where he will then proceed to lose both his car keys and his Red Lobster Fisherman’s Fryfest prom-night dinner in the parking lot… to say nothing of losing the electorally important states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.

    Democrats are pretty much betting that Hillary Clinton will help them continue their domination over White Penis-American Rich Guys Who Pick Terrible Running Mates, so that means the Clinton Years are coming back and you might as well get out your Chumbawumba records because the media is going to tubthump the shit out of them. …


  12. RalphB says:

    U.S. to deploy security forces to Nigeria to help find 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

    The United States offered Tuesday to send a team of experts to Nigeria to help find more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls amid a wave of outrage over their abduction.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry made the offer in a phone call to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, who welcomed it, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

    Washington has also offered to set up a coordination cell at its embassy in Abuja with US military personnel, law enforcement officials as well as experts in hostage situations, she said.

    The issue was also set to dominate talks between Kerry and President Barack Obama later Tuesday.

    Psaki said Obama “has directed that we and the secretary… do everything we can to help the Nigerian government find and free these young women.” …

    Hope this helps them out and they find the girls!

  13. Fannie says:

    I just got off the phone with Mark Bevin, of Kentucky. I was wondering just how big was his yardstick. Here he is being a sexist pig, and attacking Alison Lundergan Grimes because she is a young woman. Nothing speaks louder when this tea party candidate thinks that he can get away using blatant sexism when it comes to the female contender. He says she is not worthy of support, and not from women. This is the man who thinks when he attacks her for being female that women should not support her. Be aware this will make you gag, it’s a major alert as to sexism in the republican party. Alison has been an attorney, she served as Sect. of State in Kentucky, and more important to me, she has worked in the court house and help women with domestic abuse cases. As many of you know my husband has end stage renal disease, and she served as a policy researcher for the National Kidney Foundation. Nothing speaks louder to me than helping people who need kidney organs and transplants. I will defend Alison Lundergan Grimes, she is my SHERO.

    • bostonboomer says:


      I love you for making all those phone calls. I could never get up the guts to do what you do!

      • Fannie says:

        One call always leads to another. I am asking the KDP to take a stand, and say something to stop the sexism. Tomorrow I plan on following up with DNC – Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

        You would be proud too, I kept my cool. What got things fired up was when I quoted his statement “she’s a nice enough person, that he had met her before, and she seems nice enough”…………he said that wasn’t gender bias, and he wasn’t sexist.

        Alison Lundergan Grimes is gonna kick his ass.

        • NW Luna says:

          “nice enough” Ah. We know what that’s a code phrase for. Nice little woman there, pat, pat, get back in the kitchen.

          Fannie, I’m delighted to hear of your actions!

  14. RalphB says:

    GOPer: We Must ‘Divide And Conquer’ People On Public Assistance (VIDEO)

    North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC), the frontrunner in the North Carolina GOP Senate primary, told a crowd two and half years ago that we must “divide and conquer” people on government assistance. Tillis proposed pitting those who are legitimately in need against those who made bad choices.

    “What we have to do is find a way to divide and conquer the people who are on assistance,” Tillis said. “We have to show respect for that woman who has cerebral palsy and had no choice, in her condition, that needs help and that we should help. And we need to get those folks to look down at these people who choose to get into a condition that makes them dependent on the government and say at some point, ‘You’re on your own. We may end up taking care of those babies, but we’re not going to take care of you.’ And we’ve got to start having that serious discussion.” …

    Looks like a “47%” speech to me.

    • NW Luna says:

      Yeah. It’s all their fault for getting laid off, for bankruptcy related to medical costs, for contraception that’s hard to get, for expensive or no day care.

      Callous rich idiot.

  15. RalphB says:

    Charlie Crist Says He Became A Democrat Because Of GOP Racism

    Charlie Crist said once again Tuesday that racism motivates many of President Obama’s most hostile GOP adversaries.

    It was partly for that reason that Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who’s now trying to reclaim his old job as a Democrat, broke with his former party.

    “I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs, and stay with a party that was so unfriendly toward the African-American president, I’ll just go there,” Crist told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me.” …

    Tell them what you really think.

  16. RalphB says:

    Forbes: Putin’s ‘Human Rights Council’ Accidentally Posts Real Crimean Election Results

    For you, BB. Looks as though as few as 15% of Crimeans actually voted for annexation.

    • RalphB says:

      Official Kremlin results: 97 percent of polled voters for annexation, turnout 83 percent, and 82 percent of total Crimean population voting in favor.

      President’s Human Rights Council mid-point estimate: 55 percent of polled voters for annexation, turnout 40 percent, 22.5 percent of total Crimean population voting in favor.

      A member of the Human Rights Council, Svetlana Gannushkina, talked about election fraud on Kanal 24 (as replayed on Ukrainian television), declaring that the Crimean vote “discredited Russia more than could be dreamed up by a foreign agent.”

  17. dakinikat says:

    As CJ Werleman points out over at Alternet, while America is the wealthiest nation in the world, and has the most billionaires in the world, not a single U.S. city ranks among the world’s most livable cities.
    Meanwhile, despite our nation’s vast wealth, 14.5 percent of U.S. households were “food insecure” as of 2010, and as of 2011, 1.5 million American household were struggling with “extreme poverty.”