Halloween Reads! Trick or Treat?

12195855_1153312621365508_2747854582366771102_nHappy Halloween from New Orleans!!!

BB’s on her way back to Boston so I have your tricks and treats today!!  We’ve got a foggy, drizzly day here.  Seems like a great day to do a cemetery walk!

First up, a skeleton treat!!!! A find in Northeast Ethiopia has yielded yet another possible human ancestor.  Scientists are trying to decide where on the hominid family tree this petite female will go.

Fifteen years ago, a group of fossil hunters, including a UC Berkeley graduate student named Yohannes Haile-Selassie, crawled on their hands and knees across a patch of 4.4-million-year-old sediment in northeastern Ethiopia’s Afar region. Moving shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the group, Haile-Selassie spotted a small, white fossil on the reddish clay. It turned out to be a hand bone, the first piece of a partial skeleton of a female Ardipithecus ramidus(nicknamed Ardi). She would have mainly eaten plant foods, and probably spent much of her time in the trees that covered the area when she was alive. She stood about four feet tall, weighed approximately 110 pounds, and had a brain the size of a chimpanzee.

Over the next three years, an international team of paleoanthropologists found about 130 pieces of the skeleton. Since then, researchers have studied and reassembled the bones in the hope of creating the most complete picture of someone who is becoming one of the most controversial figures in evolution. Their findings have major implications for understanding how the human race came to be: Why did our species evolve the ability to walk on two legs? What was our last common ancestor with chimpanzees? And, most critically, was Ardipithecusa direct ancestor of modern humans?

Ultimately, the team discovered pieces of 35 Ardipithecus individuals scattered across roughly four miles of ancient landscape near an Afar village named Aramis. The fossils include a nearly complete hand and ardipithecus1arm, as well as a lower jaw. But the partially complete Ardi skeleton has generated the most discussion, especially over a bone from the base of her big toe called the medial cuneiform. It shows that her toe would have stuck out from her foot like a thumb and that she would have been able to use it for grasping. “It really doesn’t differ from apes, and that’s the surprising thing,” says University of California, Berkeley, paleoanthropologist Tim White. “It is fully apelike.” White had been expecting a foot that looks more like one belonging toAustralopithecus afarensis, the species to which the famous Lucy skeleton belongs. Afarensis lived about 3.7 to 3.0 million years ago and had feet that were much like our own, with toes that point forward. Ardi’s apelike feet raise the question: Was she evolving toward walking on two legs? The team’s anatomist, Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University, believes she was. Lovejoy points to several bones in Ardi’s foot that he believes show it was becoming more like a modern foot, able to better withstand the pressures of bipedal movement. The shape of her pelvis also reveals she was becoming more effective at walking on two feet.

CSqc7dWWIAAqHJQHere’s a trick! (And no it’s not about infamous Louisiana Trick Senator David Vitter).  Blathering idiot Marco Rubio appears to be the most likely bet of the day for the Republicans’ Presidential nominee.  He’s continuing his legacy of attracting big money for big favors.  David Brooks–well known sycophant–is placing bets on him too.   Fortunately for us, the BBC isn’t the NYT and our neighbors up north have some good reasons why the boy wonder is really the boy unremarkable. 

On Wednesday night Mr Rubio shrugged off a question about his past personal and campaign finances dealings by turning it into a shot at media bias and then a rumination on his humble upbringing.

While it worked in the context of a debate where every panel question was viewed with scepticism or outright hostility from the audience, Mr Rubio may not always be so fortunate. And some of the issues aren’t just about poor personal financial planning but tilt toward allegations of corruption

As the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza points out, there’s a litany of questionable actions in Mr Rubio’s past – such as failing to report a home equity loan from a political supporter, double-billing the state and the Republican Party for travel expenses and using political funds to pay for seemingly personal expenses like car repairs and groceries.

Mr Rubio also was a friend and real-estate partner with David Rivera, a Florida politician and former congressman, who has been fined more than $16,000 [£10,500] for government ethics violations and is still under federal investigation for relating criminal acts.

“Rubio is about to go through a period of much more intensive media scrutiny,” Mr Lizza writes. “Complaining about media bias won’t be enough to get him through it.”

CSqZWmnXIAU68ukThat was so bad that I thought I add this treat!  Now that the Republicans are showing they won’t answer tough questions and will complain about liberal media bias if asked to defend their lies, Catherine Rampell of WAPO says the media is to blame because they’ve enabled them forever!

Look straight into the camera, and with complete conviction, say something that is not true. Maybe your lies will get fact-checked later, but if your certainty can sufficiently excite pundits in the interim, no one will care (or notice) that you lied.

We saw this strategy successfully executed in the second Republican debate, when Carly Fiorina confidently described a horrifying undercover Planned Parenthood video.

The footage in question turned out not to exist. (At best, she was describing areenactment.) But by the time her statements were checked, Fiorina had been anointed the winner of the debate, thanks largely to that riveting, shocking sound bite. Since then, any time someone has called her out on this missing footage, she has just claimed media bias (see Lesson No. 3).

No surprise, then, that on Wednesday the candidates lied boldly, and repeatedly, even when their statements were easily disprovable.

Donald Trump denied ever taking a dig at Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, even though the dig in question was on Trump’s Web site.

Ben Carson denied having any “involvement” with a sketchy maker of nutritional supplements, even though evidence of this involvement (including a video testimonial) is easily findable online.

Chris Christie claimed Social Security money was “stolen” and that the system will be “insolvent” in seven to eight years, even though both claims are wrong. Fiorina recycled a statistic about women’s job losses that Mitt Romney used in 2012 and subsequently abandoned when it, too, was proved wrong.

And so on.

Fact checkers had lots of material to mine, but the candidates’ dramatic delivery — and the immediate plaudits they earned from talking heads — made post-debate truth-squadding seem pedantic and tone-deaf.

Here’s a local treat!  There used to be sailboat races from Pensacola to Cuba but Cold War Politics put an end to it.  Some sailors are now Cuba bound in a reboot of the tradition.promoted-media_544e8eaae0444

A fleet of sleek racing sailboats and cruisers will line up in the waters just off Pensacola, Fla., early this Halloween morning, to launch the rebirth of a Gulf Coast tradition long stifled by international politics and diplomatic relations.

Twenty-two boats are participating in the first Pensacola to Cuba regatta, with nearly a quarter of those boats coming from New Orleans. After the start just off the Florida coast, they’ll travel more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico, skip past Rebecca Shoal and the Dry Tortugas to arrive next week at Hemingway Marina, about eight miles west of Havana.

The race is billed as one of the first legal regattas from the United States to Cuba since Fidel Castro seized power of the island nation in 1959. But the lure of Havana has long been an irresistible siren song for Gulf Coast sailors — even during the U.S. embargo when some American yacht clubs and organizations risked legal wrangling and angry protesters to continue hosting regattas to Cuba.

That all changed this year, when President Barack Obama eased restrictions and resumed diplomatic relations with the island. The water is now officially open, if boats are willing to apply for permits and deal with all the legal red tape.

New Orleans sailor Tim Cerniglia signed up as soon as the Pensacola Yacht Club posted notice of the race. For him, it’s a chance to satisfy a lifelong fascination with Cuba and reconnect with his family’s history.

His mother, Elise Cerniglia, was born in New Orleans but spent her childhood on the island. Her father was a chemical engineer at a sugar cane plantation there. After moving back to the Crescent City, she would eventually become an advocate for immigrants, helping to resettle thousands of Cubans who fled Castro’s communism.

“I can still remember people coming over to our house, and my mother rounding up clothes and furniture and other things they needed,” Cerniglia said. “And growing up, we had family talks about her time in Cuba. It’s always had a mystique for me.”

Cerniglia, an attorney who’s participated in ocean regattas to Mexico several times, will sail his red-hulled boat, Radio Flyer, a Valiant 40, with a crew of five. When he arrives in Cuba, he hopes to hire a driver and visit the sugar plantation where his now-deceased mother once lived.

bdf6df1a4fcdbbfcf60596be9371d666So, I’m thinking that’s enough today!  What’s on for Halloween by your mom and ’ems today?

We’re under a Tornado watch and will probably have some thunderstorms tonight so they sent the kids out trick or treating around here last night.  I’ve got some nasty end of the year on line training to take on the usual stuff so I’ll be home with a good set of horror movies running in the background.  Maybe I can get JJ to give me some advice on what to watch.  I really want to try the early zombie movies after getting a good education on them from last night’s episode of Z Nation.  Anyway, I certainly hope the weather is better where ever you’re skydancing tonight!

Take care and have a great Halloween!!!

 

 

Advertisements

Friday Nite Lite: Dark tails.

Well, it is lovely to watch Cat People on the old circle box. Love October on TCM…the rest of the night is devoted to Val Lewton. So if you get a chance to catch the rest of the shows:

10/30/2015 Cartoon by Steve Kelley

Cartoon by Steve Kelley -

I don’t know what all the Debate cartoons are about, I’ve been busy with hospitals and such.

10/30/2015 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

10/30/2015 Cartoon by John R. Rose

Cartoon by John R. Rose -

10/30/2015 Cartoon by Randy Bish

Cartoon by Randy Bish -

Trick or Trick: 10/30/2015 Cartoon by Tom Curry

Cartoon by Tom Curry - Trick or Trick

Scary Candidates: 10/30/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Scary Candidates

10/30/2015 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

RYAN is SPEAKER: 10/30/2015 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - RYAN is SPEAKER

Rent Too Damn High – Truthdig

 

Mike Luckovich: GOP Halloween – Mike Luckovich – Truthdig

This is an open thread.


Friday Reads

2b342e0bd68a6c6a3deec97ed6167366It’s the night before Halloween!!  

And there are real life monsters and they seem to be running for office as Republicans! I want to spend some time on Louisiana Senator David Vitter who is competing for the title of slimiest person on the planet.  His campaign is a case study in making an appeal to the worst in humanity.  Of course, he wants to keep the spolight off himself.  He is doing everything to make blue dog Democrat John Bel Edwards look like the President’s long lost twin brother and using the most hateful racist memes in a TV ad that appears to be on endless rotation.

David Vitter is running an ad straight out of the Willie Horton School of scare all the stupid white people. Yesterday, the NAACP called him on all his race baiting and he’s responded with a shrug.  Only a monster could use these kinds of racist dogwhistles to win.    He won’t be taking the ad down.  He obviously thinks the best strategy is to just pound away on the racists and hope there’s enough of them to vote him into office.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter said he is not taking down an ad that use the word “thugs” after the New Orleans NAACP demanded the gubernatorial candidate stop running the spot, which it called “demeaning and racial.”

The ad accuses his Democratic opponent, John Bel Edwards, of promising to release 5,500 “dangerous thugs” into communities across Louisiana. It also ties Edwards to President Barack Obama, who has pushed the federal government to reduce sentences for non-violent offenders, and commuted or pardoned some of those offenders.

Vitter’s campaign released the following statement:

Senator Vitter told the NAACP that he’s not about to take down his ad. As he explained: “Edwards’ and Obama’s almost identical proposals to release 5,500-6,000 criminals from prisons is dangerous and irresponsible. They’d release dangerous thugs as defined by Merriam-Webster who’d threaten ALL of our neighborhoods.”

Professionals like those at the Louisiana District Attorneys Association agree. As they explained clearly recently in writing: “The myth that a significant percentage of currently incarcerated inmates are harmless and unnecessarily confined is simply not accurate.” 
Morris Reed, the president of the NAACP, said he’s disappointed in Vitter’s decision.

“I have to believe that at least 5,000 (of the 50,000 people in prison) are nonviolent offenders,” Reed said. “A large percentage of our inmates are in need of mental health treatment they’re not receiving while incarcerated. So it would behoove Louisiana citizens to urge their leaders to be more innovative than locking people up and throwing away the key.”

The Edwards campaign has sought to clarify his remarks about removing offenders from prison, saying he would reduce the prison population using a variety of methods such as pre-trial diversionary programs that would keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.

Vitter is desperate. Polls in the state are showing him losing the race.  Louisiana moved from being a purple state to joining the solid red South after Katrina. As you know, I seriously believe that Rove purposefully kept  a good deal of Black New Orleans from returning to ensure the state would switch.  So, this definitely shows a crack in the plan.dancing-skeletons

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) trails Democratic gubernatorial rival John Bel Edwards by 12 points after edging out his Republican challengers in Saturday’s jungle primary, according to a Democratic poll made public Thursday.

The survey conducted by Democratic polling firm Anzalone Liszt Grove on behalf of the anti-Vitter Gumbo PAC found Edwards, a state representative, leading the senator 52 percent to 40 percent. The runoff is Nov. 21.

Notably, the poll found that voters who cast their ballots for losing Republican candidates Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne are now just as likely to choose Edwards as they are to choose Vitter. Forty-seven percent of those Republican voters said they’d be likely to move toward Edwards while 46 percent said they’d be likely to move toward Vitter.

Those Republican voters also have a more favorable view of Edwards than they do of Vitter. Forty-seven percent of Angelle and Dardenne supporters said they viewed Edwards favorably compared to forty percent who said they viewed Vitter favorably.

The poll surveyed 700 likely runoff voters by phone from Oct. 26-28. The survey had a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

16f74fe8a6de0bb198951d29e677ad1fI’m not one to quote a conservative pundit without just cause.  So many of them are not concerned with anything reasonable and just spout unsupportable memes. But,  I’m going to quote from the Lake Charles American Press and Jim Beam, its conservative op ed writer of many years. 

U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s misleading and malicious political ads targeting state Rep. John Bel Edwards, his Democratic opponent for governor, are reminiscent of another sad chapter in American history. A U.S. senator was involved in that one, too. More on that later.A Vitter television spot says electing Edwards would be like making President Obama Louisiana’s next governor, which is about as far-fetched as the devious mind can fathom. However, the worst part of the spot is the accusation that Edwards wants to release “5,500 dangerous thugs (and) drug dealers back into our neighborhoods,” which is also a figment of the Vitter campaign’s creative imagination.

Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, told The Times-Picayune the ad appears aimed at stoking fears among white voters that Edwards will unleash dangerous black criminals into safe neighborhoods.

Robert Mann, Manship chair of journalism at LSU, in a story for salon.com, said, “Vitter’s objective is, quite simply, to smear Edwards by reviving and exploiting Louisiana’s fearful, racist past.”

Edwards said, “I have never supported reducing our incarceration rate by releasing criminals from jail, as the smear ad suggests. Rather, my statement about inmates in the speech referenced was about reducing the prison population through long-term solutions without harming public safety.”

“… The (Louisiana) Sheriffs’ Association, which enthusiastically endorsed me yesterday, has no issue with this plan,” Edwards said.

Vitter has a consistent history of campaigning against other public figures rather than telling voters what he wants to do for them. The Advocate of Baton Rouge traced that trend back to another Edwards when Vitter ran for the state Legislature.

“If history is a guide, expect Vitter in particular to be a barroom brawler,” the newspaper said. “In each of his races, he has run against something — former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards and the state Democratic Party when he won elections to the state House in the 1990s; the past and the status quo when he defeated former Republican Gov. David Treen in a special congressional election in 1999; and Washington and national Democrats in his two Senate victories.”

The Treen attacks by Vitter were especially hurtful for one of the most respected and decent men ever to hold public office in Louisiana. John Treen, Dave Treen’s brother, never forgave Vitter, The Advocate said. John Treen said his brother never fully recovered emotionally from the defeat.

John Treen said, “To distort my brother’s record, I thought, was despicable. The idea that someone made a deal (not to attack one another) and broke his word got to him.”

Democrat Charlie Melancon, who lost the 2010 U.S. Senate race to Vitter, was also linked to Obama. He told the newspaper Vitter would “paint a less than truthful picture” of Rep. Edwards.

Most voters who say they can’t vote for Edwards say it’s because he’s too liberal. He is definitely not a hard-core conservative, but he lives by conservative values. Edwards’ most effective TV spot sums up the Vitter strategy well.

“… For the next few weeks, David Vitter will spend millions of dollars lying about my record, my values and my service to our country and our state,” Edwards says. “He’s desperate. All he offers is deception and hypocrisy. I won’t sell my soul to win an election. I live by the West Point honor code. I will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do. David Vitter wouldn’t last a day at West Point. It’s time Louisiana demands a little integrity.”

The most interesting thing is that this small crack in the solid South is also appearing in Kentucky where Republicans are trying to convince gadfly Senator Rand Paul to drop his presidential bid and concentrate e3b9635989e02ce379326fe18991841bon not losing his seat in the US Senate next year.  Republicans are worried they could lose control of the majority.

Rand Paul is under increasing pressure from Republicans here and in Washington to pull the plug on his stagnant presidential campaign and instead recommit his resources to keeping his Senate seat in GOP hands.

D.C. Republicans think Paul’s poll numbers have flat-lined — and operatives worried about retaining control of the Senate are ready for him to start spending a lot more time in Kentucky and a lot less time in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“This presidential dream needs to come to an end,” said a national Republican strategist, granted anonymity to discuss Paul’s situation candidly. “Senate Republicans can’t afford to have a competitive race in Kentucky.”

Paul, however, is showing little sign of giving up. Even with poll numbers so low that he might not appear on the main stage for the third GOP debate and his fundraising slowing to a crawl, Paul has a message for those who say it’s time to suspend his run for the White House and focus on his Senate reelection: I can handle both.

Is it possible that we’re beginning to see the infamous US political pendulum swing?  Are voters finally realizing what the Republicans are offering?  The party seems obsessed with defunding Planned Parenthood, continually attacking marriage equality, and attacking racial minorities.  Has it got to a critical mass yet?  There’s a movement to make Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio look like a younger, more diversified and tolerant face of the party.  If you want a sample of that, read David Brooks.   If you’d prefer not to do that, read the critique by Paul Krugman .There’s is nothing new under the sun with either of these two including their assaults on women’s rights and middle class prosperity. Their policy proposals send money to the one percent and defund the nation’s safety nets and benefits for the elderly.

Although the Tea Party may be winding down, it’s pretty clear from the Presidential debates and campaign’s like Vitter’s that the hatred of all things not connected to White, Straight, Rich, Christian Male privilege drives them.  Let’s hope the electorate is waking up.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Thursday Reads: The State of the 2016 Race According to the Pundits

campaign_2016

Good Morning!!

The media consensus so far is that Marco Rubio won last night’s Republican clown show. From MSNBC to the Weekly Standard, the pundits are saying Rubio has natural talent and charisma and that is supposed to be very bad news for Hillary Clinton.

I don’t get it. Rubio is at about 8% in the polls. He talks so fast that I can barely understand him. It’s as if he has memorized his talking points and has to get them out quickly so he doesn’t forget what he’s supposed to say. He comes across to me as childish, not charismatic. If that’s charisma, the meaning of the word has changed dramatically since it was applied to John F. Kennedy in 1960. Obviously, I’m not in sync with today’s political talking heads.

Even Charles Pierce says Rubio “won” the “debate” and vanquished his rival Jeb Bush at the same time. Still, Pierce thinks Rubio is a “hack” and the entire exercise was a joke.

If I had to guess, I’d say Rubio probably will be said to have had the best night. He really slapped around Jeb! Bush when the latter called him on Rubio’s confessed dislike of the job of United States Senator. He looked directly into the camera with his young man’s sincerity, and he parried questions about his personal profligacy in just the way guaranteed to appeal to the audience in the hall. He blamed the media for bringing it up.

Of course, when it comes to the actual things he would do as president, Rubio once again is a shoeless, blindfolded kid in a wilderness of rakes. John Harwood–for whom I am going to buy a beer the next time I see the guy–pinned Rubio on the fact that the Tax Foundation scored Rubio’s tax plan and found that it would send the deficit careering off into the Van Alen Belt, as well as shoving even more of the country’s wealth upward. In response, Rubio told Harwood he was wrong. (He wasn’t.) Then, Rubio started talking very fast, mentioned something about his dry cleaner and small business, and probably got more points for being tough with Harwood than he did for his tax plan, which is exactly as bad as the Tax Foundation said it was.

But, mainly, Rubio will be thought a winner because it’s plain now, if it wasn’t plain before Wednesday night, that Jeb! has had whatever little heart he had for this whole enterprise when it began cut out of him as the his campaign has stumbled along. 

151028213203-marco-rubio-jeb-bush-cnbc-gop-debate-confrontation-senate-voting-rate-vstan-orig-00003329-large-169
As for the “debate” itself, Pierce writes:

My lord, what a bunch of children.

Mike Huckabee made a point of the fact that he has been on the other side of Arkansas politics from the Clintons. “And,” Huckabee said, “I lived to tell about it.”

And got a big hand….

This whole debate, which was supposed to be about the economy, and which touched on the actual economy only briefly, when it touched on it at all, took place in the strange wonderland of conservative politics that coalesced when Bill Clinton interrupted what was supposed to be 16 consecutive years of Republican presidents in 1992. That shock to the conservative system was so profound that the Republican party’s immune system, which already was being compromised by the prion disease it picked up when it first ate all the monkey brains at the end of the 1970s, broke down entirely, and disease caused it to construct within the party’s mind an entire geography of illusion and dark, nameless terrors. Huckabee’s cheapest of cheap shots found its mark because the audience in Boulder was made up quite clearly of the people who live in that unreal political consciousness that has been created within the conservative fearscape – which, to them, is a very real place haunted by very real villains.

That says it all for me; I don’t feel the need to quote any other assessments. To be honest, I may just skip the next GOP debate. Watching that horror show last night was a complete waste of time. Not one of the people on that stage is qualified to be President of the US. Thank goodness Hillary Clinton is capable of beating all of them put together.

GOP 2016 Debate

Many other pundits are writing the Bush campaign’s epitaph today. Here’s Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight: Yeah, Jeb Bush Is Probably Toast. The post-debate spin could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yes, we pride ourselves on being skeptical of the conventional wisdom here at FiveThirtyEight. You don’t have to look very far back for examples of it being wrong, such as how it badly overestimated the degree of danger that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was in until a week or two ago. But being skeptical is not the same thing as being a contrarian. There are plenty of times when the conventional wisdom is right. This is probably one of those times.

Bush received poor reviews for his debate performance from political commentators of all stripes (Republican, Democratic, partisan, nonpartisan, reporters, “data journalists”), many of whom also suggested that his campaign might soon be over. The straw poll1 we conducted among FiveThirtyEight writers and editors agreed; Bush’s average grade was a C-, putting him at the bottom of the 10-candidate group….

I agree with the group (I gave Bush a C-). Bush lost a probably ill-advised confrontation with Marco Rubio over Rubio’s absences from the Senate. Bush’s closing statement seemed stilted. He was the setup for a Chris Christie applause line about fantasy football. And for much of the debate, he was an afterthought, receiving the second-lowest amount of talk time among the candidates.

None of these things, taken alone or even together, would ordinarily be all that damaging. Bush didn’t make a catastrophic mistake — an “oops” moment. But the media consensus seemed to be that the debate was a potential make-or-break moment for Bush. Even if you were to charitably round up Bush’s performance to a C+ or B-, it probably wasn’t good enough.

Read more of Silver’s analysis at the link.

Bernie Sanders

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is turning mean now that he’s losing ground in the polls. John Heilemann has the scoop at Bloomberg Politics.

Sanders’ attack on Hillary Clinton’s record is all about how she has shifted on policy issues, while he has remained completely consistent for decades. But is that really going to be good enough to catch and beat a candidate who has gathered hundreds of endorsements and leads Sanders in the polls by 20+ points? Will he be able to compete with Hillary’s foreign policy creds and her debating skills? I don’t think so.

Here are the high points of the Sanders strategy, according to Heilemann.

…three members of the Sanders high command—campaign manager Jeff Weaver, communications director Michael Briggs, and field director Phil Fiermonte—were reflecting on what Clinton’s record might say about her character. All agreed that Sanders and his staff believed that Clinton had moved to the left on numerous issues, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Keystone pipeline, for purely political reasons: to foreclose daylight between her and Sanders. I asked Weaver if he thought that made her, as some longtime Clinton critics argue, a craven hypocrite and opportunist?

“A craven hypocrite?” Weaver replied, grinning slyly. “That’s a little bit harsh, don’t you think?” Then he added, with a chuckle, “Look, she’d make a great vice president. We’re willing to give her more credit than Obama did. We’re willing to consider her for vice president. We’ll give her serious consideration. We’ll even interview her.”

Hahahahaha! So clever. Heilemann:

Sanders’s lieutenants provided me with a wide-ranging and at times detailed account of their strategy for the three-month sprint to the first two must-win contests. That strategy is premised on the notion that their campaign has shifted into a new gear, moving from what Weaver calls “the introductory phase” into “the persuasion phase.” This new phase will be more aggressive, hard-edged, and focused on driving home contrasts between Sanders and Clinton. In other words, it will be more negative. Just how nasty things will get remains one of two central questions that will define the battle ahead. The other is whether Sanders, with his deep aversion to negative campaigning, is willing and able to do what is required to take down Clinton without tarnishing his brand as a different kind of politician.

Social Security
Sorry guys, Sanders has already “tarnished” his so-called “brand.” Deep down, he’s a sexist who dismisses women. If he weren’t, he would have simply apologized for his “stop shouting” comment at the first Democratic debate and moved on. Instead, he and his supporter claim that he’s as much of a feminist than Hillary is.

Amanda Marcotte at Salon:

Last week, Hillary Clinton started trotting out a line implying that Bernie Sanders has got a bit of sexism lurking in his subconscious. During the first Democratic debate, Sanders responded to Clinton’s impassioned anti-gun argument by telling her that “all the shouting in the world” won’t fix the issue. Now Clinton, to huge amounts of applause from the women in her audiences, has taken to saying, “Sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting.”

It’s a funny line, more of a nose-tweak than some kind of heavy accusation of misogyny. Sanders does, after all, shout all the time. Women like the joke because we’ve all dealt with men who, however well-meaning they are, still end up pushing double standards where they’re allowed to raise their voices or be rude, but blanch if women do it. Most of us know that they don’t mean it, but it’s still offensive.

But even though it’s really not a big deal, a lot of folks are acting like Clinton is accusing Sanders of wife-beating.

2014-06-11t155415z1813105711gm1ea6b1uc101rtrmadp3usa-politics-clinton

William Saletan of Slate in a piece that JJ linked to yesterday really went over the top. He claimed that because Sanders has used this “shouting” line for years with many other people, there was really nothing wrong with using it to condescend to Hillary during the debate. Marcotte:

Okay, so Sanders doesn’t have a sexist double standard, just a Bernie-specific double standard, where he gets to shout but the rest of you should lower your damn voices.

Still, I would ask the people who are getting all bent out of shape over this to put yourself in the shoes of the many women who found the exchange between Sanders and Clinton to be annoying. When a man is condescending to you, it’s often hard to tell if that’s just how he is to everyone or if it’s just women he talks down to. It gets even more complicated when you realize that a lot of men who are condescending toeveryone still turn the volume up even more when they’re talking to women.

And that is exactly how the “shouting” exchange felt during the debate. Yes, Sanders used the same general talking point in response to both Clinton and O’Malley. But he was more aggressive about it with Clinton, saying, “All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want,” whereas he merely told O’Malley, “Here is the point, governor. We can raise our voices.” His tone and the amount of force he put behind this openly condescending talking point was very different. Telling women they’re just imagining things reads, in and of itself, like it’s sexist condescension.

hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-debate

I apologize for the long digression, but I just had to get that off my chest. Returning to John Heilemann’s reporting on Bernie’s plan to take down Hillary:

Devine and Weaver are well aware that they may—indeed, given the Clintonian precedents, are likely to—have no choice but go full frontal. “On policy, we’re driving the agenda, and we’re happy to be in that position,” Weaver says. “But I think they will to a large extent drive the tone. She’s the quote-unquote front-runner, and really started going after Bernie of late. They obviously are not as confident about this race as apparently the punditry is.”

Devine agrees. “How hard we fight back and how far we push it is very much dependent on them,” he says.

“So if they go hard negative,” I ask, “you guys will…?”

“Let them get run over by a Mack truck,” he says.

Um . . . what? The next Democratic debate on November 14 could get interesting. I don’t think that “Mack truck” remark is going to play very well between now and then. Bernie is going to have to grow a thicker skin or he’s the one who’ll get run over.

What are you reading and hearing today? Let us know in the comment thread below.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Live Blog: Third Republican Debate

On the left: Donald Trump’s greenroom; on the right: Rand Paul’s. | Chris LaCivita via @LaCivitaC

On the left: Donald Trump’s greenroom; on the right: Rand Paul’s. | Chris LaCivita via @LaCivitaC

 

Get the popcorn ready folks. There’s another Republican horror show tonight.

I got the photo above at Politico. What a riot! Even before the debate gets going, there’s a fight over the size of the candidates’ green rooms.

DENVER, Colo. — Just hours before GOP candidates take the stage here Wednesday night, tensions over the Republican National Committee’s handling of the debates are flaring anew.
At issue this time: greenrooms.

During a tense 30-minute meeting at the Coors Event Center, which was described by three sources present, several lower-polling campaigns lashed out at the RNC. They accused the committee of allotting them less-than-hospitable greenroom spaces while unfairly giving lavish ones to higher-polling candidates, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

The drama began Tuesday afternoon as RNC officials led campaigns on a walk-through of the debate site. After touring the stage, candidates got a peek at what their greenrooms looked like.

Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theater-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi along with the best bathroom heater I ever played with, it had settings I didn’t know existed.

Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s.

Bwaaaahahahahahaha!!

Here are some links for you to peruse before the debate begins at 8PM or if you just can’t stand to watch.

Politico: Donald Trump: CNBC debate will be ‘unfair.’

CNN: Lindsey Graham says why the kid’s table “sucks.”

Mother Jones: This Commercial Might Be One of the Only Factual Things to Air During Tonight’s GOP Debate.

The Daily Beast: Ben Carson’s Money Men Co-Sponsored Anti-Gay Conference.

The Daily Beast: Lindsey Graham Steals the Show at CNBC’s Undercard Debate.

Politico: Billionaire to Rubio: Time to step it up.

If you are listening and/or watching, please document the atrocities in the comment thread below.


Wednesday Reads: It is good cape weather.

bc11b47e8b2200ba279ed5f1976e1d45

 

Good Early Afternoon

I found that image on Facebook. I got the idea for the capes from a friend of mine who is doing a pimp thing for Halloween…at least I think that was the look he was going for. Anyway, he said he thought capes were cool and that they should come back into style. Which made me think of the Seinfeld episode…about the man in the cape.

3529961534_3d95176a1b

 

 

Yeah it is good cape weather, don’t ya think?

c086c928d81a54062ed749fe9abf06ce

 

Anyway, here are the other quick scenes that go with this episode:

 

 

frank-costanza-3

 

 

 

Then of course I got sucked into the youtube vortex and found this nugget of clips. The best of Frank:

 

54854d75216976847002b772851fded2

Tell that to Bobby Colby….all that kid wanted to do was go home…well he went home alright….with a crater in his colon the size of a cutlet.

Alright then, enough of the fun stuff. Let’s get down to the shitty gritty.

c7ff49fe7fe434bfc6a2453ba9b2ecd8As you read these articles remember this:

The numbers are staggering: US is ‘world leader’ in child poverty

That is from back in April of this year…Don’t forget the mortality rate in newborns either:

U.S. infant mortality rate worse than other countries – CBS News

That link is from a year ago…

The point I am trying to make is, there is a GOP debate tonight…cough, cough…

What’s at stake for tonight’s GOP debate?

I doubt very seriously the candidates will be asked pointed questions about their party’s compliance and cause of the figures above. But what the fuck right? As long as this shit continues:

dab7e0891b3ce4f6fb310b55a509dee9How the f*** did we get here?! Why Trump & Carson have demolished all comers—and why you should keep an eye on Rubio & Cruz – Salon.com

That is Digby at Salon.

Not sure you saw this…but I think it may have been posted earlier in the week here on the blog…anyway, back to the shit talking from Slate, Monday this week:

Joe Cannon: Cannonfire

I have to quote the whole post, sorry Joseph…but if I were to write my own response to that shit said, it would sound like a Samuel L Jackson monologue. (Which is not to say I haven’t done anything like that before on the blog, but with my dysfunctional brain at the moment…I don’t think I can give my rant the kind of linguistic attention it deserves…)

63f8b0ea02f1b2c5a3e0383b01a39f19The turning of the worm, the eating of the crow (redux)

Attention, irony fans! Dig:

Clinton is framing Sanders as a sexist who accuses women of shouting when they try to speak up. It’s a lie. She’s manipulating women and abusing feminist anger for her own advantage.

It’s great that we’re more aware of bigotry than we used to be. But we should also beware false claims of bigotry: the race card, the sex card, the homophobia card. In 1991, Clarence Thomas, a well-connected federal judge, evaded sexual harassment allegations and won confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court by accusing his interrogators of a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, says anyone who advocates a boycott of his country “should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot.” Sexism, racism, and anti-Semitism are real. But sometimes they’re fabricated.

606a8f815bf99c35aafd931873e39a33For more from that Slate shit, we go back to the William Saletan article:

That’s what Clinton is doing. She’s misrepresenting an exchange that took place at the Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate. During the exchange, Clinton accused Sanders of voting with the gun lobby. Sanders replied: “All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence.” Sanders argued that people on both sides of the gun debate should agree to “strengthen and expand instant background checks, do away with this gun show loophole,” “deal with the straw-man purchasing issue,” and “address the issue of mental health.”

b271a48fb9fe1521ea6063076bec7735The man standing to Clinton’s left during this exchange, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, joined in the attack on Sanders. To this, the Vermont senator answered with the same message: “Here is the point, governor. We can raise our voices. But I come from a rural state, and the views on gun control in rural states are different than in urban states, whether we like it or not. Our job is to bring people together around strong, common-sense gun legislation.”

Two days after the debate, Clinton brought up the exchange during a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio. She promised to stand up to the gun lobby and, dropping her G’s, added: “I’ve been told by some to quit talkin’ about this, to quit shoutin’ about this. Well, I’ll tell you right now, I will not be silenced, and we will not be silenced.” The crowd loved it. The next day in New Hampshire, Clinton tried the same line in a Yankee-friendly accent: “Some people say that we shouldn’t talk about it. Some say we shouldn’t shout about it, that I shouldn’t shout about it. Well, I think we have to keep talking. But more importantly, we have to act.”

014ca0c1a6507444546648b899843859A week went by. Clinton prepared for her Oct. 22 testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. When she returned to the campaign trail on Oct. 23, in a speech to the Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum, her account of the exchange with Sanders was no longer just about guns. It was about sexism. “You know,” she began—clearing her throat to signal the sound bite ahead—“I’ve been told to stop, and I quote, ‘shouting’ about gun violence. Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just [that] when women talk, some people think we’re shouting.” The audience hooted, screamed, and cheered. Clinton grinned. “I will not be silenced, because we will not be silenced,” she declared.

dfc024ea42346fe1d37e2d23c8c144d5It goes on that the Clinton campaign then proceeded to adopt a new catch-phrase/slogan: “When women talk, some people think we’re shouting”…Maybe the “shouting should be changed to “shrill?”
Again from the Slate piece,

On social media, Clinton’s campaign made the new line—“When women talk, some people think we’re shouting”— her message of the day. Her team posted it on her Twitter feed at 8:30 Friday morning, two hours before her speech to the DNC forum, as a rebuke to “those who tell her to ‘stop shouting’ on issues that matter.” Superheroes who are window washers at a children's hospital in Pittsburgh.The quote also went up on her Facebook page and her campaign website, under the headline, “Hillary Clinton Just Said Something Women Have Been Thinking for Years.” The next day, at a Democratic dinner in Iowa, Clinton repeated the applause line: “I’ve been told to stop shouting about ending gun violence. Well, I haven’t been shouting. But sometimes, when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting. But I won’t be silenced, and I hope you won’t be either.”

Clinton doesn’t use Sanders’ name when she tells this story. She doesn’t have to: Everyone who saw the debate or heard about it knows she’s talking about him. She’s using the story to bond with women, to paint Sanders as a patronizing old fart, and to portray herself as a victim.

7b93313acd70651890f18f7e1844f7e5Let’s be clear: This isn’t what happened. During the debate exchange, Sanders answered O’Malley with the same point about “raising our voices.” Sanders has been giving this answer for years. He did it in July, after an O’Malley super PAC ad attacked him (“We have been yelling and screaming at each other about guns for decades,” said Sanders). He did it again in August, after a male surrogate for Clinton attacked him (“I can get beyond the noise and all of these arguments and people shouting at each other”). He did it again in October, after the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon (“People on both sides of this issue cannot simply continue shouting at each other”). Sanders gives this answer to everyone.

e451c87c71dd3eff2124d312d8345b2aThe charitable explanation of Clinton’s behavior is that she sincerely perceived Sanders’ rebuke during the debate as sexist. But if that were true, you’d expect her to have said so in her first accounts of the exchange. She didn’t. She waited more than a week before embellishing the story. She prepared it as a sound bite for social media, and she unveiled it at a women’s forum. And it worked, so she’s still using it.

Enough. Sanders’ record as a feminist is as good as Clinton’s. No honest reading of his career or his comments about guns can construe him as a sexist. Clinton is trying to connect with women who have felt bullied by men, and to turn them against Sanders, by smearing him. And what’s true of racism and anti-Semitism is just as true of sexism: The more seriously you take the real thing, the more you should revile people who use it as a fraud.

Uh, Fuck You William Saletan.

dea95ff9bec0d9ad92f1256fc9ff7452Okay, back now to Joseph. Like I said above, my response would not be so coherent.

My (sic Cannon’s) response: 2008.

Remember?

Remember when anyone who called Obama a progressive poseur was considered an unhooded Klansman?

Remember when I was called a “racist” every minute of every hour of every day for weeks simply because I pointed out that Obama had lied about his opposition to NAFTA?

8da9e32d15b429480830e29b33b89c31Remember when I was considered kin to George Wallace simply because I dared to mention the easily-proved fact that Obama did not denounce the Iraq invasion during his 2004 convention speech (or at any other time during his senate campaign)?

Remember the death threats against Hillary published on Democratic web sites like Daily Kos?

5dec80adb212cb2edc44e83eb07cc5b9Remember how every sentence, word and phoneme uttered by the Clintons was hyper-parsed and subjected to bizarre interpretations in order to prove that they hated all black people? (As if anyone could withstand that kind of attack. Using the same smarmy tactic, I could prove that you are a racist, whoever you might be.)

Remember that shit?

I’ll never forget.

I’ll never forget either…those smarmy muthafuckaz. On that note. Something funny, because some of the other links are really depressing.

 

Oh my gawd…Dubya is Ricky Bobby!

af360befa72972ef674d75483af9bc0eChristian marriage adviser: Use ‘fear and dread’ to control your wife — as God intended

Responding to comments from a men’s rights activist on a posting about finding enjoyment in sex with a wife who grudgingly agrees, the host of a website providing tips on proper Biblical “gender roles” agreed that keeping a woman in a constant state of fear is an appropriate way to control her actions.

Pointing to a column he wrote on “Female dread,” Rollo Tomassi explained that Christian men go about seeking sex with women all wrong by trying to “diffuse sexual anxiety and tension.” Instead, Tomassi said husbands should make their wives “unintentionally uncomfortable” in order to achieve “the rough, hard-core, make-up sex you never thought you’d have.”

Larry Solomon of Biblical Gender Roles agreed enthusiastically — albeit from a biblical perspective —  writing: “So should a wife Biblically speaking have a little healthy fear or dread of her husband? Absolutely!”93ce6e2944cfcf98ebb8db9ea556e0f2

According to Solomon — who agreed with Tomassi’s distaste for feminism — the Bible says that women should submit to their husbands “’as unto the Lord’ (Ephesians 5:22)”

Solomon lamented the fact that he believes that most Christian husbands fear their wives.

“Men show their wives they are either afraid to lose them (be alone) or afraid of the prospect of divorce and the financial or child custody repercussions that it may bring, ” he wrote.

edb882611e39ad24d1b2b918add92712Solomon suggested that Christian husbands should use what he calls the “there’s the door” method.

“So when a woman acts out in rebellion toward her husband and tries to act as if she does not need her husband or that other men would treat her better the Christian husband should tell his wife “there’s the door”.  Will some women be foolish enough to walk out that door? Yes, ” he wrote. ” But the moment a man allows his wife to put him in a position of fearing her, rather than her fearing him the relationship has just changed from the design God intended it to be.”

Solomon added that there is a limit to what a husband needs to provide for his wife and that the minimums  should be withdrawn if she gets out of line.

49420e1b5590397d5f9090c7b8bd03b6“While we are required to know our wives and talk to them, that does not mean we need to spend every bit of our free time in conversation with them. We do not need to hang on every word our wife says. While we are required to give them food, clothing and shelter – that food does not have be the fancy food she wants, that clothing does not have to be the fancy clothing she wants and that house does not have to be the fancy house she wants,” he wrote, before adding that one night of wild sex is insufficient.

“I don’t just mean she just rocks his world one night, and then he lavishes her with all these things.  No – she sees that in order to get ‘some’ of her wants met she must FIRST reverence her husband outside the bedroom and she must ravish him inside the bedroom and this becomes the pattern of her behavior toward her husband, He explained. ” If either the reverence or ravishing goes down, he pulls back on these other things so she understands the correlation.”

7a5fef36edeb98080c53039f2649c85eUgh…fuck you Solomon and Tomassi and the rest of these assholes.

Patriarch of Duggar-like family with 19 kids and reality show accused of sexual misconduct cover-up – No surprise there.

No More Mister Nice Blog: KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THAT GOP CRAZIES WILL CALM DOWN ANY DAY NOW

Hobby Lobby investigated for trying to import ancient artifacts from Iraq | US news | The Guardian

Customs agents seized thousands of years-old tablets imported by owners of the Christian chain of craft stores and intended for the $800m Museum of the Bible

d838490526f858ec1e2b760a239087bcFox News Turns To A Panel Of Men To Debate Whether Women Should Be Allowed To Wear Leggings | Video | Media Matters for America

Fox & Friends continued their history of on-air sexism when they turned to a panel of men to literally judge whether three women were appropriately wearing leggings. Fox News’ flagship morning show has a long history of promoting sexism on-air, whether it’s co-host Brian Kilmeade introducing his female colleagues by stating, “Let’s see if the girls have clothes on,” or spending 13 minutes questioning women’s driving abilities. To be fair, the network’s programming overall isn’t much betterFox & Friends‘ overt sexism reached a new level during its October 27 edition in which a panel of three men were asked to judge the appropriateness of three women’s appearances. Co-host Steve Doocy started things off by asking panelist Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty, “Are you comfortable with the women in your life parading in public in leggings?” Throughout the segment the panelists weighed in on each outfit, with Robertson quipping, 3abf4570fac084261f713e5ac6385851“I’d like a photo” of one of the models, and Fox’s Arthur Aidala saying of another model’s “physique,” “God bless you, you’ve worked out, you’ve earned that.” Aidala then joked, “We all took nitroglycerin pills before she came on, just to make sure.” To conclude the panel discussion, Doocy speculated that, “I don’t think anybody is in too much trouble,” with Aidala agreeing, “No, I think we made it.” From the October 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

Fox’s Kilmeade Blames Student Thrown To The Ground By Officer: “Have Some Respect For Your Teachers” | Video | Media Matters for America

In related news: Sheriff to Decide Fate of Deputy in Classroom Arrest

7f37f4082f13dbc793bc3a4420b5b331This…Blackmail is one way to get on base – The Washington Post

Disgraced former baseball player Lenny Dykstra, who played center field for the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, apparently developed an innovative way to get on base: Blackmail umpires. From Philly.com:

Dykstra admitted while being interviewed, with no provocation, that he used half a million dollars to hire a private investigation team to get dirt on umpires, including extramarital affairs and gambling, that he would then use to shrink his personal strike zone.

“It wasn’t a coincidence I led the league in walks the next few years, was it?”

ae75cb4e128a046aaca173803d8921d0WTF?

Former NYC jailhouse will be turned into a women’s center – NY Daily News

A former women’s prison located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is being converted into a women’s center, Gov. Cuomo said Monday.

The former medium-security Bayview Correctional Facility will be redeveloped by the NoVo Foundation, a not-for-profit group funded by Warren Buffett, and the Goren Group.

6978649930f2d30f6306cdc8d2c833e8The 100,000-square-foot “Women’s Building” will include office space for activists and groups that focus on women’s issues, community space for a female adolescent wellness clinic, a women’s art gallery and a restaurant.

“We are continuing our efforts to shatter the glass ceiling by taking down an institution of defeat and turning it into opportunity and social reform for women,” Cuomo said.

Good.

That is all I have today, and get one last laugh, from this little pug video.

 

 

 

What are you all looking at today?

 

 


Tuesday Reads

T75460-2

Good Morning!!

You’ve probably seen the latest police violence story out of South Carolina. From Mother Jones: Disturbing Video Shows School Cop Body Slam and Drag a Black Female Student.

Authorities in Richland County, South Carolina, are investigating a video that surfaced Monday showing a uniformed officer aggressively confronting a high school student. Local station WIS-TV reports that county sheriff’s deputies are investigating the incident, which took place on Monday at Spring Valley High School, according to school officials. The video, which appears to have been recorded on a cellphone by a classmate, shows a white male officer standing over a black female student sitting at her desk; moments later he grabs the student and flips her on her back. After dragging her across the floor, the officer says, “Hands behind your back—give me your hands.” The video has no additional context as to what led to or followed the altercation.

“Parents are heartbroken as this is just another example of the intolerance that continues to be of issue in Richland County School District Two, particularly with families and children of color,” a local black parents group wrote in a statement responding to the video.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told WIS-TV that the school resource officer (SRO) was responding to a student who was refusing to leave class. “The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions, which she again refused,” Lott said. “The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO.”

Here’s the video.

 

Why on earth was that level of violence necessary? It’s not even clear what this young girl did to cause the teach to order her to leave class. From WISTV10: Sheriff contacts FBI, DOJ to investigate violent incident involving deputy at Spring Valley.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he’s asked the FBI to investigate an incident involving a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School.

Monday night Lott called the Special Agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations for South Carolina, Dave Thomas to request an independent investigation of the incident. Tuesday morning the Sheriff followed up with a formal written request to U.S. Attorney William Nettles and Thomas for the US Justice Department asking for a formal investigation.

Richland School District 2 school officials have banned the officer from the district in response to a video supposedly taken at Spring Valley High School showing the officer slamming and dragging a student from her desk.

School officials confirmed the incident happened on Monday between a female student and school resource officer Ben Fields.

You can watch other angles of the violent attack at the link.

Deputy Ben Fields

Deputy Ben Fields

Sheriff Lott says he wants to know what happened beyond the video. He said his department will cooperate with the federal investigation.

“The public wants answers. I want answers too and we’re going to get them very quickly, and we’re going to make sure the public knows what we’re going to do and why we’re going to do it. There’s nothing that we’re going to hide at the Sheriff’s Department,” Lott said. “His actions reflect on all of us and I’m about as upset as anybody can be right now.”

Fields will not be back at any school pending the results of an investigation, Lt. Wilson said. Fields is currently on unpaid leave.

According to Heavy.com, the girl was using her cell phone in class and refused to get off it. Then a teacher and administrator told her to leave class. I have to believe there was more going on between this girl and the teacher/administration. We’ll probably learn more in the days to come. Also from Heavy, a student named Aaron Johnson who was in class when the incident happened said the girl was new to the school and was “sitting quietly.”

Johnson said, “When I asked (their teacher) Mr. Long if he felt bad for what happened to her … his reply was ‘she should have cooperated.’”

He added, “I think we were all in shock and afraid they would say something to us, he put another girl in handcuffs for standing up, like standing up for the girl.”

Apparently a boy in the class was also arrested and was still being held yesterday. Read more about Ben Fields past history and more videos at the Heavy link.

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green holding a bible.

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green holding a bible.

The family that owns Hobby Lobby created some bad Karma for itself with its lawsuit over having to provide access to birth control in its health insurance plans, and no it’s coming back to bite them. Exclusive from The Daily Beast: Feds Investigate Hobby Lobby Boss for Illicit Artifacts.

In 2011, a shipment of somewhere between 200 to 300 small clay tablets on their way to Oklahoma City from Israel was seized by U.S. Customs agents in Memphis. The tablets were inscribed in cuneiform—the script of ancient Assyria and Babylonia, present-day Iraq—and were thousands of years old. Their destination was the compound of the Hobby Lobby corporation, which became famous last year for winning a landmark Supreme Court case on religious freedom and government mandates. A senior law enforcement source with extensive knowledge of antiquities smuggling confirmed that these ancient artifacts had been purchased and were being imported by the deeply-religious owners of the crafting giant, the Green family of Oklahoma City. For the last four years, law enforcement sources tell The Daily Beast, the Greens have been under federal investigation for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq.

These tablets, like the other 40,000 or so ancient artifacts owned by the Green family, were destined for the Museum of the Bible, the giant new museum funded by the Greens, slated to open in Washington, D.C., in 2017. Both the seizure of the cuneiform tablets and the subsequent federal investigation were confirmed to us by Cary Summers, the president of the Museum of the Bible.

If the investigation ends with a decision to prosecute, on either criminal or civil charges, the Greens may be forced to forfeit the tablets to the government. There may also be a fine involved. The Green family, who successfully forced the federal government to legally recognize their personal moral standards, now find themselves on the other side of the docket, under suspicion of having attempted to contravene U.S. laws.

It’s not yet clear if a crime has been committed, but the fact that the investigation has gone on so long suggests that some of the antiquities may have been illegally purchased and imported. Read the rest at the link.

Ben_Carson_SaysA new CBS/NYT poll has Ben Carson leading Donald Trump nationally. CBS reports:

Ben Carson has surpassed Donald Trump and now narrowly leads the Republican field in the race for the nomination in the latest national CBS News/New York Times Poll.

Twenty-six percent of Republican primary voters back Carson, giving him a four-point edge over Trump (22 percent). Support for Carson has quadrupled since August.

The rest of the Republican presidential candidates lag far behind in single digits. Marco Rubio is now in third place (eight percent), followed by Jeb Bush (seven percent) and Carly Fiorina (seven percent). All other candidates are at four percent or lower.

Carson has made gains across many key Republican groups. In a reversal from earlier this month, he is now ahead of Trump among women and is running neck and neck with him among men. Carson’s support among evangelicals has risen and he now leads Trump by more than 20 points with this group.

Carson performs well among conservative Republicans and those who identify as Tea partiers. Trump does well with moderates and leads Carson among those without a college degree – although Trump had a larger advantage with non-college graduates earlier this month.

Ben Carson2

Perhaps we’re going to go through a cycle that resembles what happened in the Republican race in 2012–except that the cycles are longer. Could it be that Donald Trump is on his way out? Of course Trump is claiming the polls are mistaken. From Mediaite:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump explained on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the reason rival Ben Carson had surpassed him in recent polls was because they weren’t “scientific.” ….

“I think you have to understand polls…” Trump said. “I believe in polls. I generally believe in polls. The thing with these polls, they are all so different. They are coming from all over the lot where one guy is up here, somebody else is up there, you see swings of ten and twelve points immediately, even the same day.”

Trump actually may have a good point. Anyway, the problem with Ben Carson taking over the lead is that he is even scarier than Trump. Paul Waldman at The Week: How Ben Carson’s snoozy demeanor masks his bonkers views.

Ben Carson is calm — calm like a cool spring breeze, or a long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Republican presidential hopeful speaks softly and slowly. He doesn’t wave his arms about. He shows barely any emotion at all. But Ben Carson is also the possessor of ideas that are positively bonkers, not just about policy questions, but about the world and how it works.

This odd combination of a gentle manner and extremist ideas seems to be just what a healthy chunk of the Republican electorate is looking for. Carson is running a close second to Donald Trump nationally, and leading in Iowa. As The New York Times recently reported, Iowa voters in particular are enraptured with Carson’s manner. “That smile and his soft voice makes people very comforted,” said one farmer. “I believe someone as mild-mannered and gentlemanly as Ben Carson is just about the only kind of person that could” get things done in Washington, said another Iowan.

You’d think they were talking about someone with moderate views who’d be able to get along and work with anyone, not someone who wants to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape and incest, thinks we should ditch Medicare, and holds to all manner of weird conspiracy theories. And that’s not to mention all the stuff the retired neurosurgeon says about slavery and Nazis, his belief that Muslims should be barred from the presidency unless they offer a public disavowal of their religion, or his latest proposal to turn the Department of Education into something that sounds like it comes out of China’s Cultural Revolution, in which he would have students report professors who displayed political bias to the government so universities’ funding could be cut.

Read the rest at The Week.

Carson

More interesting Ben Carson links:

Inside Higher Ed: Ben Carson explains how he would have education department identify and end “extreme views” on campus.

News Mic: Ben Carson Just Said Women Seeking Abortions are Tantamount to Slave Owners.

Mother Jones: Does Ben Carson Believe Most Evangelical Voters Are Going to Hell?

Dakinikat told me about this amazing and fascinating story about a historical find related to Thomas Jefferson. From NPR: Historic Chemistry Lab With Links To Thomas Jefferson Discovered Behind Wall.

A hidden chemistry lab was unearthed by a worker doing renovations to the iconic Rotunda at the University of Virginia, and school officials say the room is directly linked to the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, who helped design the building.

The “chemical hearth,” which dates back to the 1820s, is thought to be one of the few remaining in the world. It featured two sources of heat for conducting experiments and a system for pulling out fumes.

According to the University of Virginia press release, the room, described as “a semi-circular niche in the north end of the Lower East Oval Room,” was preserved because the walls of the hearth were sealed shut in the mid-1800s:

This photo from the University of Virginia shows a chemical hearth discovered in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia during renovations at the school in Charlottesville, Va. Dan Addison /University of Virginia Communications

This photo from the University of Virginia shows a chemical hearth discovered in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia during renovations at the school in Charlottesville, Va.
Dan Addison /University of Virginia Communications

“The University of Virginia’s Rotunda still has its secrets, as conservators are discovering amid the building’s ongoing two-year renovation.

“One of them is a chemical hearth, part of an early science classroom. It had been sealed in one of the lower-floor walls of the Rotunda since the 1850s, and thus was protected from the 1895 fire that destroyed much of the building’s interior.
“Two small fireboxes of the hearth were uncovered in a 1970s renovation, but the hearth itself remained hidden until the current round of renovations. When preparing for the current renovations, workers examined some of the cavities in the walls and found the rest of the chemistry hearth.”

The discovery was made by Matt Scheidt, who is a project manager for the company overseeing the renovations to the rotunda, according to the Charlottesville Newsplex. Scheidt told the publication he wanted to know how thick the walls were.

 

What else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and enjoy the rest of your Tuesday.