The east coast is getting hit by another big snowstorm. It was snowing in New Jersey all day yesterday, according to Joanelle; and the storm had moved up to Connecticut by early evening, according to Zaladonis. It started outside my house around 8:30PM and it’s supposed to keep coming down until mid-morning. Thank goodness I don’t have to go anywhere till tomorrow.
So what’s happening in the news this morning?
The ACLU didn’t care for the joke President Obama made about TSA patdowns in his SOTU speech.
“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car,” Obama said. “For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down.”
Awkward laughter and a scattered applause followed as Obama smiled and chuckled.
Moments after the president made the remark, the American Civil Liberties Union fired out a Tweet that read: “President Obama makes funny about TSA pat-downs, but the violations of the Constitution are NO JOKE!”
It was accompanied by a link to a scathing report on the ACLU’s Web site, which noted complaints “from men, women and children who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by these searches, and, in some cases, comparing their psychological impact to sexual assaults.”
I love the ACLU.
There may have been poison in the bomb that was planted along an MLK birthday parade route in Spokane, WA last week.
A bomb maker mixed chemicals with shrapnel in what law enforcement officials say was a weapon designed to inflict maximum injuries during last week’s Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Spokane.
Tests are being conducted to determine the type of chemical and whether it made the bomb potentially more deadly, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Tuesday.
“I know the bomb had some kind of chemical material inside, but we are still trying to figure out what kind. All we know there is a substance,” Knezovich said. “If there was an added dimension, it added to the lethality of it.”
Knezovich said early talks indicated the chemical could have been a compound used in common rat poison. Rat poison has been added to bombs in the Middle East for the stated purpose of acting as an anti-coagulant – which inhibits the ability of bleeding wounds to clot.
A new Gallup poll shows that most Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security, Medicare, education, anti-poverty programs, or defense, but they still want Congress to deal with the deficit before raising the debt limit.
Hmmm….what do they want to cut then? When Gallup looked at the results based on political persuasion, they found that Democrats were more willing to cut defense while Republicans wanted cuts in funding for the arts. Figures….
Glenn Greenwald has a nice post on the bipartisan lack of empathy for whistleblower Bradley Manning. It’s a quiz based on this discussion from the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC.
Go take the quiz. It seems Glenn has the flu. I feel for him, since I had a really bad case recently. Feel better soon, Glenn.
In what is perhaps one of the most craven actions of a deeply craven movement, anti-choice scam artists apparently affiliated with Live Action Films and Lila Rose of undercover “gotcha film-fame” appear to have attempted an “ACORN-like” hoax on Planned Parenthood Federation of America by sending people into Planned Parenthood health centers in six states posing as sex traffickers seeking health care for young girls who were “part” of their supposed sex trafficking rings.
In response, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder describing the visits and asking for an investigation.
In a statement, PPFA said:
Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring. Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.
PPFA reports that men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, “visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame.” The visits were made between January 11th and January 15th to health centers in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. “Among them was a clinic in Tucson, Ariz., which Planned Parenthood said was visited on the 15th, a week after [emphasis added] the shooting rampage in that city that critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Soooooo…. What are you reading this morning?