Thursday Reads: All The News I Can Stomach (With Pretty Pictures)Posted: August 27, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Josh Duggar, Megyn Kelly, Tom Harkin, Vester Flanagan 33 Comments
Good Morning (Barely)!!
I wish I could spend this morning looking at paintings on the internet and then take a long nap. I don’t want to know anymore about workplace shootings, theater shootings, “domestic abuse” killings, rapes, hate crimes, and clown car politicians who stoke the rage of crazy people. This country, this world cannot be as crazy as it seems, can it? Here’s some of crazy stuff I’ve been reading. The peaceful paintings are to distract us from the insanity of today’s current events.
On the latest nutcase shooting:
The Guardian: Vester Flanagan told by Virginia TV station to seek medical help, say memos.
Vester Flanagan, the gunman who killed two journalists in Virginia, was told by his bosses to seek medical help after colleagues at the television station where he worked with his victims repeatedly complained about him, according to memos obtained by the Guardian.
Several flare-ups were detailed in internal messages from Dan Dennison, then the news director of WDBJ7, that were sent to Flanagan and copied to senior colleagues. Flanagan on Wednesday morning shot deadreporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.
Flanagan, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound later on Wednesday, was reprimanded for “lashing out” at a colleague and for his “harsh language” and “aggressive body language” while working as a reporter.
He was told to contact employee assistance professionals at the company Health Advocate. “This is a mandatory referral requiring your compliance,” Dennison told Flanagan on 30 July 2012. “Failure to comply will result in termination of employment.”
On Christmas Eve that year, Dennison emailed colleagues to say he had just warned Flanagan that he had one final chance to save his job. “I’m not entirely sure where his head is at,” said Dennison. Flanagan was fired three months later.
Flanigan apparently spent months preparing to go out with a bang with everything recorded on social media before he committed suicide. More links:
New York Times: Virginia Shooting Gone Viral, in a Well-Planned Rollout on Social Media.
The Guardian: Virginia shooting: how Vester Flanagan forced the world to be his audience.
The Daily Beast: TV Station Called 911 When They Fired Vester Flanagan.
The Daily Mail: ‘He was the human tape recorder’: How TV murderer was criticized by bosses for appalling journalistic standards and reprimanded for wearing an Obama badge to report on elections.
Fox News: Inside Vester Lee Flanagan’s life.
We old folks remember how shocked we were when Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV. Little did we know that a half century later such horrifying events would become almost ordinary–shocking at first but swiftly and easily absorbed into the flow of daily violence reported by the news media.
The latest from the crazy-ass Duggar family:
In Touch Weekly: “JOSH DUGGAR CHEATED WITH ME!”: WOMAN TELLS ALL ABOUT THEIR TWO SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS.
In a bombshell world-exclusive interview with In Touch magazine, stripper and porn star Danica Dillon, 28, reveals she had sex not once, but on two separate occasions, with Josh Duggar, both occurring when his wife, Anna, was pregnant with their fourth child!
Danica — who passed a polygraph test conducted for In Touch by a top certified polygrapher on Aug. 24 — details her two sexual encounters with Josh in the new issue of +In Touch+, on newsstands now. The first occurred after Josh approached her at the Gold Club in Philadelphia, where she was performing, in mid-March and the second only a month later when Danica was performing at Creekside Cabaret in Colmar, Pa.
Josh paid Dillon for “$600 in private dances,” and then asked her to spend the night with him. She agreed to do it for $1,500, but she soon learned that Josh was into violent sex.
Danica admits she “took the opportunity because Josh offered to gift [her] $1,500.” But soon after Josh arrived at her hotel m, things got rough.
“He was manhandling me, basically tossing me around like I was a rag doll,” Danica, whose real name is Ashley Lewis, and although the sex was consensual, “It was very traumatic. I’ve had rough sex before, but this was terrifying.”
Ugh. A few more Duggar links:
AP via ydr.com: Josh Duggar in rehab after admitting to pornography habit.
Amanda Marcotte at Slate: Josh Duggar’s Brother-in-Law Speaks Out Against Him.
People: All About Josh Duggar’s Wife Anna: Her Parents Are Even ‘More Extreme’ Than the Duggars, Says Source.
Zach J. Hoag at Huffington Post: Divorcing Josh Duggar’s Monster God.
I don’t believe for one minute that Josh Duggar got so warped without some serious abuse in early childhood. Mark my words, it will come out eventually.
The latest on creepy old Uncle Joe:
New York Times: Tom Harkin Cautions Joe Biden Against Running for President.
Former Senator Tom Harkin, a fixture in Iowa Democratic politics for over four decades, discouraged Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday from entering the presidential race, suggesting that Hillary Rodham Clinton, if elected, could name him to a top diplomatic post instead.
Mr. Harkin, who served with Mr. Biden in the Senate for nearly 25 years and is now supporting Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said the vice president should not risk ending his career with what would be a third bid for the presidency.
“He has served the country so well and been a good friend of mine — I love Joe,” Mr. Harkin said in a phone interview. “I just don’t think this would be a wise move.”
Without prompting, Mr. Harkin added that there were “other ways Joe can serve the country.”
“With Hillary as president, I can see him being secretary of state or ambassador to the United Nations,” he said. “There are a lot of things he can do down the road that would be of valuable service to the country or the world.”
Good advice. It sounds like Biden is having second thoughts anyway.
MSNBC: Joe Biden weighs whether he has ‘emotional fuel’ to run.
ABC News: ‘Time is Running Out’ for Joe Biden 2016 Candidacy, State Party Chairs Say.
CBS News: Does Joe Biden have what it takes to compete in New Hampshire?
Christian Science Monitor: Poll: Joe Biden runs better than Hillary Clinton against Republicans.
Well, the grass is always greener . . . those poll numbers would collapse very quickly if Biden actually got into the race.
The latest on the elephant in the clown car:
Joe Conason at The National Memo: ‘Fascist’ Trump Isn’t First Demagogue Laughed Off As A Buffoon.
Although he is still a clown, nobody laughs at Donald Trump anymore — which may be the real purpose of his candidacy, at least as far as he is concerned. The casino mogul is pleased to instill fear among Republican elites, as he dominates their presidential nominating contest — and forces them to face a hard question about the man who is exciting such belligerent enthusiasm among Republican voters:
Is Trump a real live fire-breathing fascist?
From Newsweek to Salon to the Daily Caller, commentators of various colorations have found ample reason to apply that often-discredited label to him. While these observers hesitate to lump Trump in with totalitarian dictatorships and historic crimes against humanity, they are clearly worried by his strongman appeal, his populist rhetoric, and his rejection of GOP free-market orthodoxy. Matt Lewis complains that Trump is reviving Nietzschean notions that inspired fascist ideology; Jeffrey Tucker warns that Trump is hostile to individual freedom and sees himself as the embodiment of the state, like fascist leaders before him.
Such worried conservatives aren’t wrong, but they seem unwilling or unable to grasp the clearest evidence that Trump is channeling toxic currents from the past—namely, his appeals to racial bigotry, his xenophobic and truculent attitude toward other nations, and his extremist “solution” to the problem of illegal immigration. Others have observed that the Republicans have only themselves to blame for encouraging the crude prejudices that Trump now calls forth in his “un-P.C.” way, as Maureen Dowd so cutely phrased it.
Read the rest at the link. I have to admit that Trump is starting to scare me. More links:
Nate Silver: Donald Trump Is Running A Perpetual Attention Machine.
Jennifer L. Pozner at Politico: Think Reality TV Is Sexist? Blame Donald Trump.
Amanda Marcotte at TPM Cafe: Why Fox News’ Defense Of Megyn Kelly Is Going To Backfire.
NY Daily News: Donald Trump ends feud with Megyn Kelly, says he has ‘much bigger things to think about.’
Greg Sargent: Megyn Kelly nails it on why Donald Trump matters.
Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump’s Insults Rattle Republican Rivals, Please Fans.
Fortune: Why Donald Trump’s antics pose a serious long-term threat to the GOP.
That’s about all the news I can stomach for this morning. Am I just focusing on the negative or are things really this bad?
Sorry this is so late.
Not a problem. With the news being what it is: more gun violence, more racist sexist rich Republicans making scary comments, etc. Gah!
Hey! You’re doing better than me. I’m hunkered down in my blanket and pillow fort, deep behind enemy lines, trying to ignore Trump and all this fucking Katrina 10 stuff. If they set out to traumatize all of us that lived it, mission accomplished!!! How does one justify throwing a parade for an event that killed over 1300 people and left thousands homeless and stranded? Are we doing this for 9/11 now? A freaking parade?
Do they have floats of rooftops with people begging for help on them?
No bb, but this guy has a nifty little snowglobe of a damaged shotgun house with a blue tarp roof. When you shake the globe, instead of snow you get *debris* floating in there.
Aren’t you sick of it? “Resilience marches” ? C’mon man!! I’ve stopped looking at nola.com and the streaming news from the tv stations because I just don’t want to be reminded! Don’t need reminding at all.
I agree totally Luna.
Trump reminds me of Buzz Windrip in Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” I remember reading this when I was about 19 and was horrified by it – I could actually see it happening in the US and that hasn’t changed much.
Hope you’re feeling more uplifted soon – it’s a gorgeous day in NJ and, perhaps if it’s that way in Boston, you can go outside and let the breeze take away the heaviness of politics, gun and sex insanity… ❤
Thanks, Delphyne. I’ve always wanted to read that book, but I never have.
It’s not a book I would reread – it’s too realistic for my taste. Better to read something that gives you peace of mind and enjoyment!
That’s probably why I haven’t read it. But I do like Sinclair Lewis a lot.
WTF? This rapist gets off because the prosecution lawyers referred to Army policies on non-tolerance of sexual assault?
That makes no sense.
Thanks for the link to the story about Tom Harkin.
There’s a movement to persuade the media to stop publicizing the name and image of killers after the initial identification. I’ve seen a couple of those sites on Facebook and twitter. Here’s one:
Great post BB.
This is fucked up :
“South Dakota drops history as a high school requirement
Monday, the South Dakota Board of Education approved new guidelines that do no require high schools to teach U.S. history beginning next year.
Some college history professors are against the social studies requirement saying history has the chance to repeat itself if students are not taught early American history.
That is really an ill-thought-out change.
Clearly they just couldn’t understand it and decided that it was jibbearish. Perhaps they should take a remedial reading class and try again
I lived in Roanoke, VA for 9 years before I moved to DC. It’s a really great place nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city was built by the railroads in the mid 1800’s and the culture is a mixture of blue and white collar people who embrace the mountains and the outdoors where hikers can enjoy great trails, including the Appalachian Trail. It also has a surprisingly good blues music scene. It is so beautiful that I used to drive to work and make it a point to look around at the gorgeous mountains and appreciate the fact that I’d never seen such scenery. I really haven’t since. The story of the murders of the WDBJ reporter and camera person really hit close to home. My brother worked at that station when he was alive. He died in the same hospital the injured victim was taken. I still have family members who live there.
I really hope that some change in our gun laws will come of this. It won’t happen overnight, but as long as brave politicians like Hillary Clinton refuse to stand down under pressure from the gun lobbyists I believe change will happen. It has to happen. We are not safe anywhere.
Roanoke Times: Alison Parker’s father: I’m on a mission now
In Cherished American Tradition, Shooting Victim’s Devastated Father Pleads for Gun Control
The story gives multiple examples of relatives of victims who are crying out for gun control, while the politicians turn a deaf ear.
I can totally understand this. I’d do the same thing. He has to make something come of this or he will go insane.
Absolutely, and I wish the pols would listen. At least Hillary is talking about it. Obama has wimped out on the gun issue, IMO.
This is why we need a woman running for president:
ABC News: Hillary Clinton Compares GOP Stance on Women’s Health to Terrorists’ Views
She’s nailing them to their own cross. When she gets to the GE she will pound them into the ground with their own words. Bravo Hillary
Matt Yglesias: New poll showing Clinton beating everyone is reported as bad news for Hillary
That’s a riot.
Classic example of anti-Hillary bias in the media!
If you look inside that Q poll which shows Biden doing better against the GOP candidates, you’ll see it’s totally bogus. Their weighted sample has black turnout at the 2004 level and hispanic turnout lower than 2004.
If anyone buys those numbers, I’ve got a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale. They skewed their own poll to generate headlines and it worked. But, meh!
Matt is right on in his Vox piece.
“don’t believe for one minute that Josh Duggar got so warped without some serious abuse in early childhood. Mark my words, it will come out eventually”
Totally agree BB. I’m guessing this guy grew up seeing and experiencing sexual abuse. Too bad he’s been sent to a, “TREATMENT BY JESUS” center instead of real psychological and mental health counseling facility. The guy is messed up.