Following President Obama's big speech this Thursday on national security and counterterrorism, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart took the opportunity to go after the Obama administration and the DOJ for their willingness to go after whistleblowers, journalists, potheads, hackers and even people who just lied on their mortgage applications, while refusing to prosecute a single Wall Street banker.
While I agree with Stewart on majority of his criticisms here, I'd use the term "journalist" lightly when it comes to anyone from Fox and as Tommy Christopher over at Mediaite pointed out, James Rosen was not just simply reporting that North Korea wanted to do more nuclear tests to draw the government scrutiny he did, as Stewart asserted here.
I'd also like to hear more about that AP story and what was going on there before rushing to judgement as well, although I think the bigger argument ought to be over all of our privacy rights and just how much of that has been thrown out the window.
In an age following the hysteria right after 9-11 and the Patriot Act and with the NSA pretty well out of control along with most corporations who aren't kept in check with protecting our private information, I'm glad to see there is at long at last some attention being drawn to the subject.
It's pitiful that it took some members of our corporate media finally being subjected to what sadly is potentially perfectly legal overreach for them to care at all about what's been happening to a whole bunch of our citizens for years on end now, and well before Barack Obama was elected president. Maybe they could do something constructive like calling for members of Congress and President Obama to roll back some of the horrid legislation that was passed during the Bush administration. But then, who am I kidding... right? They'd rather just use this as an excuse to pile on with the scandal-mongering we've seen over the last half a year or so.
But back to The Daily Show segment above, when it comes to criticism about these Wall Street bankers run amok and the fact that not a one of them has ever gone to jail, while they're aggressively going after things like medical marijuana dispensaries, or someone who lied about their income on their mortgage papers, or whistleblowers who are actually trying to uncover government malfeasance, and not the Benghazi/IRS Tourette syndrome scandal-mongering we've been subjected to -- by all means, have at them Jon Stewart.
Luckily for Erick (who seems to believe people "become" gay, the doughy rube), there are still a few societies left on the planet that he might feel more comfortable raising his son in -- like Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Uganda.
Should we buy him a ticket?
This reminds us that the big "GOP Rebranding" project I keep reading about -- which is supposed to usher in a more libertarian, less hateful Republicanism -- won't amount to much until the party can purge the Teamams like Erickson. Good luck with that, guys.
Barry Goldwater weeps.
It's like they say: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Especially when it comes to right-wing extremists.
As Karoli reported yesterday, now the conspiracy theorists are claiming that President Obama deliberately created the killer tornadoes that swept Oklahoma last week, with Alex Jones (of course) leading the way.
It's not just Jones. Some Oklahoma versions of Truther nutcases, as Alexander Abad-Santos reports at The Atlantic, are also jumping aboard with a variation on Jones' theory:
So, yes, the Oklahoma tornado truthers claim the administration whipped up a storm that killed 24 people through HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, in Alaska. Here's a screen grab of a contributor post on Before It's News, a citizen journalist website that's home to many of these conspiracy theories, from a contributor who says this is "compelling evidence" that HAARP is at work:
As Gawker's Ken Layne writes, the "stated goal of HAARP is to study the ionosphere and how the spectrum of radio waves works within these upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere." Essentially, HAARP researches communications. But there are budding conspiracy theories that HAARP could be ultimately used to disrupt the ionosphere, and manipulate weather patterns. As one Redditor pointed out, one of the permutations of the conspiracy theory in Moore is that the left-wing financier George "the Sorcerer" Soros is behind all of this.
Actually, the HAARP theory has been around since about 1994, when it was being avidly promoted by Militia of Montana founder John Trochmann. Here's how he explained it to his audience at a militia meeting in western Washington in 1995, as I reported it in my first book, In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest:
Trochmann then turns on the overhead projector and puts on the cover page. It reads: ``Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: Part I -- The Problem.’’ A few words: ``You’ll have to excuse me, I’m going to fly right through this, because it takes about an hour and a half.’’ He flips to the next sheet. It’s the cover of a military journal with a story about international armed forces cooperating under United Nations auspices, and the cover illustration shows a number of nations’ flags, including the Stars and Stripes, all subordinately positioned beneath a U.N. flag.
You have to see this. Bob Fitzsimmonds is the treasurer of the Republican Party of Virginia who served as Ken Cuccinelli's legislative aide in the Senate, and is a close adviser to the man who very well may be Virginia's next governor:
1. Starting at 7:45, Fitzsimmonds starts ranting about sex education and "the spread of STDs." He claims that "HIV's kind of hard to catch, abortion happens if you get pregnant, but we're on the trajectory for 50% of the American people to have herpes... and that is a profound not only health but sociological crisis that's facing this country, and it's not even as prevalent as HPV." Fitzsimmonds adds, "we have a disease [HPV] out there that's killing women more than HIV is, and we don't even talk about it."
Hmmm...actually we do talk about vaccinating young people against HPV (see this video of Del. Patrick Hope, for instance) but isn't Cuccinelli against that?
2. Starting at 9:10, Fitzsimmonds claims, "We have an entire generation of children who are in their teens, 50% of the ones that are sexually active have an STD...we never lived with this kind of crisis; so I think we absolutely have to address that, and I think Ken will do it." Alrighty then.
If I had kids in high school right now, I'd make them think long and hard before taking out school loans. There's still a theoretical edge in getting hired, but enough to justify being in debt servitude for the rest of your life?
Overdue student loans reached an all-time high as students struggle to find work after college, according to a government report renewing alarms about the rising burden of higher-education debt.
Eleven percent of student loans were seriously delinquent -- at least 90 days past due -- in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to the report by the U.S. Education Department. Almost 30 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds aren’t employed or in school, the study found.
The research is being released amid concern in Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration about rising college costs and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, the largest category of consumer debt besides mortgages. Borrowers say the burden is affecting their choice of jobs and their ability to buy homes and get married.
“Today’s economy puts young graduates in a difficult position,” Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which published the report, said in a statement. “A college diploma no longer guarantees a direct pathway to the middle class, making it harder to justify the expense of a degree.”
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (R) on Thursday told a woman that she wrong to have an abortion after it was discovered late during her pregnancy that her fetus had no brain function.
At a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice hearing to push for a 20-week abortion ban, Christy Zink testified that the bill would have required her "to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain."
"Being there in a neonatal ICU, I did see that there was one child there that was missing parts including a spine," Gohmert said, recalling the birth of his daughter. "And the parents ended up, when it was clear that there was no brain activity whatsoever, there was decisions that they had to make at that point."
"Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both, I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart?" he asked. "So, these are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted."
"But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions."
Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a similar 20-week abortion ban in Arizona was unconstitutional.
(h/t: Think Progress)
Y’all, it’s not natural for a girl to get this lucky.
First, Ole Louie Gohmert, God Bless His Heart, got to speaking in tongues again. This time about owls mating. I know. And K-Mart. I know, I know, it’s crazy.
Gohmert recalled that once during a discussion about endangered species, he had heard that “a pair of spotted owls that we were told for years couldn’t mate anywhere but virgin woods, untouched by human hands, they may have been seen mating in [a] Kmart sign.”
“And sheer sarcasm and out of irony I said, you know, there are a lot of Kmarts that have been out of business,” he continued. “Maybe we need to see if that’s really true and if so, maybe get Kmart signs, see if they ought to be declared endangered and maybe have a Kmart sign forest, where these little owls could mate like crazy out there on the Kmart signs.”
That is neither irony or sarcasm. That’s talking without saying nothing. Louie, normal people do not spend a lot of time thinking about KMart being the NoTell Hotel for owls.
Then, as if to put a crown on my damn perfect day, I pick up the local rightwing newspaper, who like Fox News, ironically names themselves The Independent. Mostly, I think, because the only writer for the newspaper is owned lock, stock, and barrel, by some rightwing good ole boys who want their own newspaper and independent is the last damn thing they are.
Okay, so they did a front page story about Louie Gohmert coming to speak to the local Belles of Heaven Republican Women’s Club. They call themselves the Spirit of Freedom but everybody else calls them the Belles of Heaven. I told you all about it.
What we did not know is that Tom DeLay was coming out of his delusional closet where he has been hiding to try to rewrite history.
Seriously. You have to see this front page to believe it.
OH HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE.
Louie Gohmert and Tom DeLay – THE Titans of Congress.
NO GOD, DON’T LOOK.
We don’t need any more tornadoes and this many lies and frightening thoughts in one place could only mean that even Pat Robertson can’t piss You off this much.
Pardon my French (and the really bad pun), but what a nasty, vindictive piece of shit David "Huggies" Vitter is. Imagine the mind of the person who came up with this punitive way to punish poor people for their past sins, and to further marginalize and isolate them. (I guess he wants to be remembered for something even more memorably egregious than this.) I feel my blood pressure rising as I write this. Via Colorlines:
Yesterday, Sen. Vitter of Louisiana offered up an amendment to permanently drop anyone ever convicted of a violent crime from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
According to Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Democrats in the Senate obliged him. The amendment is for a farm bill, which is currently being debated in the Senate.Says Greenstein:
The amendment would bar from SNAP (food stamps), for life, anyone who was ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time — even if they committed the crime decades ago in their youth and have served their sentence, paid their debt to society, and been a good citizen ever since. In addition, the amendment would mean lower SNAP benefits for their children and other family members.
So, a young man who was convicted of a single crime at age 19 who then reforms and is now elderly, poor, and raising grandchildren would be thrown off SNAP, and his grandchildren’s benefits would be cut.
[…] Democrats accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered aspects.
A host of the Fox News show The Five was so angry that the Justice Department had investigated one of the network's reporters that she told her viewers on Thursday to find anyone who voted for President Barack Obama and "punch them in the face."
"Fox said, we're targets, clearly Media Matters and others have put us on a target list," Fox News host Andrea Tantaros explained on the Thursday edition of her radio show. "And they said, 'Oh, Fox is just crazy! They're just paranoid!' Really? Are we?"
"This is what is happening to our press! This is Obama's America! It's like the Soviet Union," she continued. "He said he would change the country. He said it. And a lot of people voted for him."
"And if you see any of those people today, do me a favor, punch them in the face."
After a commercial break, a caller from South Carolina told Tantaros that he hated Obama, but worried that telling people to punch Obama voters in the face was sending the wrong message.
"To be clear, I didn't say punch Obama in the face," the Fox News host pointed out. "You're going to get me arrested with this type of government."
"If someone voted for him!" she insisted to the caller. "If anyone that you know who voted for President Obama, smack 'em down."
(h/t: Media Matters)