Monday, April 29, 2013

According To Anti-American Fox News You're Death Is Less Important If You're Murdered By A Conservative Republican Terrorist

According To Anti-American Fox News You're Death Is Less Important If You're Murdered By A Conservative Republican Terrorist

On August 5, 2012, just before 10:30 in the morning, Wade Michael Page pulled up outside the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., took out his semi-automatic handgun and started killing worshipers. An Army veteran and an avid bass player in a neo-Nazi rock band, Page killed two Sikhs outside the house of worship and then made his way inside. There, he reloaded and killed four more, including the president [2] of the temple who was shot while trying to tackle Page. Three more were critically wounded in the massacre.

When local police descended, Page opened fire and shot one officer nearly ten times. When the authorities returned fire and shot Page in the stomach, he took his 9mm pistol, pointed it at his own head, and pulled the trigger.

According [3] to acquaintances, the 40-year-old killer hated blacks, Indians, Native Americans and Hispanics (he called non-whites "dirt people"), and was interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan. Immersed in the world of white power music, Page's band rehearsed in front of a Nazi flag.

Note that back in August 2012, Fox News didn't care very much about Wade Page and the wild gun shootout he unleashed in an act of domestic terror in the Milwaukee suburb, nor did Fox suggest the event was connected to a larger, more sinister terror trend. In fact, in the days that followed the gun massacre, there were just two passing references to Page during Fox's primetime, one from Bill O'Reilly and one from Greta Van Susteren. No guests were asked to discuss the temple shooting, and after one day the story was completely forgotten.

In one rare occasion when the conversation did turn to Page's motivations, Fox's opinion hosts were quick to criticize the notion that he was a far-right extremist. (He clearly was.) On The Five, after co-host Bob Beckel referred to Page as "right-wing skinhead," he was quickly shouted down by his colleagues. Co-host Andrea Tantaros stressed that the killing was an isolated event that didn't have any larger implications. "How do you stop a lunatic?" she asked. "This is not a political issue."

Fox's guarded response to an extremist's killing spree was striking, considering that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bomb attack Fox News has gone all in (again) with its war on Islam as the channel fights its latest bigoted chapter in the War on Terror. It's striking as Fox tries to blame a larger community for the act of two madmen because it's the same Fox News that often can't find time to even comment, let alone report, on what's become regular, and often deadly, right-wing extremist attacks in America.

From neo-Nazi killers like Page, to a string of abortion clinic bombings, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists, acts of right-wing extreme violence continue to terrorize [4] victims in the U.S. ("Fifty-six percent [4] of domestic terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. since 1995 have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists.") But Fox News is not concerned. And Fox News does not try to affix collective blame.

It's clear that Fox is only interested in covering and hyping a single part of the War on Terror; the part that targets Muslims and lets Fox wallow in stereotypes.


There are more examples of Conservative terrorism at the link. It is obvious enough that there are some radicalized Muslims in the world. there are also radicalized violent conservatives, white males, black males, females, Christians, Hindus, Catholics and so on. Yet Fox and conservatives only see Muslims as a grave existential threat. According to the FBI there were 414 homicides in NY in 2012. Almost all of those were what Fox would consider the boring murders of Americans by other Americans.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013, Congress is More Conservative Than Ever, But They Are The Best Congress Money Can Buy

2013, Congress is More Conservative Than Ever, But They Are The Best Congress Money Can Buy
This piece originally appeared on

If you want to see why the public approval rating of Congress is down in the sub-arctic range — an icy 15 percent by last count — all you have to do is take a quick look at how the House and Senate pay worship at the altar of corporations, banks and other special interests at the expense of public aspirations and need.

Traditionally, political scientists have taught their students that there are two schools of thought about how a legislator should get the job done. One is to vote yay or nay on a bill by following the will of his or her constituency, doing what they say they want. The other is to represent them as that legislator sees fit, acting in the best interest of the voters — whether they like it or not.

But our current Congress — as cranky and inert as an obnoxious old uncle who refuses to move from his easy chair — never went to either of those schools. Its members rarely have the voter in mind at all, unless, of course, that voter’s a cash-laden heavy hitter with the clout to keep an incumbent on the leash and comfortably in office.

How else to explain a Congress that still adamantly refuses to do anything, despite some 90 percent of the American public being in favor of background checks for gun purchases and a healthy majority favoring other gun control measures? Last week, they ignored the pleas of Newtown families and the siege of violence in Boston and yielded once again to the fanatical rants of Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association. In just the first three months of this year, as it shoved back against the renewed push for controls, the NRA spent a record $800,000 keeping congressional members in line.

And how else to explain why corporate tax breaks have more than doubled in the last 25 years? Or why the Senate and House recently gutted the STOCK Act requiring disclosure of financial transactions by White House staff and members of Congress and their staffs and prohibiting them from insider trading? It was passed into law and signed by President Obama last year – an election year – with great self-congratulation from all involved. But fears allegedly arose that there might be security risks for some in the executive branch if their financial business was known. That concern was examined by the Columbia Journalism Review, which “consulted four cybersecurity experts from leading think tanks and private security consultancies. Each came to the same conclusion: that Congress’s rationale for scrapping the financial disclosure rules was bogus.” Nonetheless, the House and Senate leapt at the opportunity to eviscerate key sections of the STOCK Act when almost no one was watching. And the president signed it.

Then there’s the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, where last week, fire and explosion killed at least 15 — 11 of them first responders — and injured more than 200. The Reuters news service reported that the factory “had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Why wasn’t Homeland Security on top of this? For one thing, the company was required to tell the department — and didn’t. For another, budget cuts demanded by Congress mean there aren’t enough personnel available for spot inspections.

Same goes for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA. The plant hadn’t been inspected in nearly thirty years, and there are so few OSHA inspectors in Texas that it would take 98 years for them to take a look at each workplace in the state once. According to the non-partisan reform group Public Campaign, “Already only able to conduct 40,000 workplace inspections a year in a country with seven million worksites, OSHA will see its budget cut by an additional 8.2 percent this year on account of the sequester.”

Congress quietly acquiesces as the regulations meant for our safety are whittled away.

Twelve members of Congress want to make a bad situation even worse, sponsoring the industry-backed General Duty Clarification Act; its banal title hiding that, as reported by Tim Murphy at Mother Jones magazine, “The bill is designed to sap the Environmental Protection Agency of its powers to regulate safety and security at major chemical sites, as prescribed by the Clean Air Act.”

“‘We call that the Koch brothers bill,’ Greenpeace legislative director Rick Hind says, because the bill’s sponsor, GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo, represents the conservative megadonors’ home city of Wichita, Kansas. (The sponsor of the sister legislation in the senate, GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, represents the Kochs’ home state of Kansas.) The brothers have huge investments in fertilizer production, and Hind thinks they’ll ultimately get what they want, whether or not the bill becomes law.”

No coincidence, perhaps, that the sponsors of the House bill and Senator Roberts, Public Campaign reports, “have collectively taken over $670,000 from the chemical manufacturing industry over their careers.” Since 2011, the industry has spent $85.1 million lobbying.

Congress quietly acquiesces as the regulations meant for our safety are whittled away. The progressive website ThinkProgress notes that even though food related infections — which kill 3,000 and sicken 48 million Americans each year — rose last year, congressional and White House budget cuts may mean up to 600 fewer food inspectors at meat and poultry plants, leaving it up to the industry to police itself. That rot you’re smelling isn’t just some bad hamburger.

It’s true that ninety-two percent of Americans say, yes, reducing the deficit and spending cuts are important, but all on their own the people have figured out cuts that make more sense than anything Congress and its corporate puppeteers want to hear about. Mattea Kramer, research director at the National Priorities Project, says “a strong majority” — 73 percent of us — want a reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and fifty percent want something done about climate change. A carbon tax would help with both, and raise an estimated $125 billion every year. Response from Congress: crickets.

Fifty eight percent of the U.S., according to Gallup, wants “major cuts in military and defense spending,” the average American favoring a reduction of 18 percent. Good luck — the Pentagon and defense contractors already are bellowing about the puny 1.6 percent reduction called for in the new White House budget.

The amazing thing is that one person is responsible for stopping legislation the American people want, Mad Dog Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his henchmen simply threaten to filibuster any legislation that the American people want. That means such legislation would require 60 vote super majority. Since you can't find four conservative Republicans with a backbone or any sense of real patriotism, all bills go to die in the conservative senate.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bush's Library Dedication Remind American Patriots Of 50 Reasons George W. Bush Should Have Been Tried For Sedition

Bush's Library Dedication Remind American Patriots Of 50 Reasons George W. Bush Should Have Been Tried For Sedition 

Let’s look at 50 reasons, some large and some small, why W. inspired so much anger.

1. He stole the presidency in 2000. People may forget that Republicans in Florida purged more than 50,000 African-American voters before Election Day, and then went to the Supreme Court where the GOP-appointed majority stopped a recount that would have awarded the presidency to Vice-President Al Gore if all votes were counted. National news organizations verified [7] that outcome long after Bush had been sworn in.

2. Bush’s lies started in that race. Bush ran for office claiming he was a “uniter, not a divider [8].” Even though he received fewer popular votes than Gore, he quickly claimed he had the mandate from the American public to push his right-wing agenda. 

3. He covered up his past. He was a party boy, the scion of a powerful political family who got away [9] with being a deserter during the Vietnam War. He was reportedly AWOL for over a year from his assigned unit, the Texas Air National Guard, which other military outfits called [10] the "Champagne Division.”

4. He loved the death penalty. As Texas governor from 1995-2000, he signed [11] the most execution orders of any governor in U.S. history—152 people, including the mentally ill and women who were domestic abuse victims. He spared one man’s life, a serial killer.

5. He was a corporate shill from Day 1. Bush locked up the GOP nomination by raising more campaign money from corporate boardrooms than anyone at that time. He lunched with CEOs who would jet into Austin to "educate" him about their political wish lists.

6. He gutted global political progress.He pulled out [12] of the Kyoto Protocol which set requirements for 38 nations to lower greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, saying [13] that abiding by the agreement would “harm our economy and hurt our workers.”

7. He embraced global isolationism. He withdrew [14] from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, over Russia’s protest, taking the U.S. in a direction not seen since World War I.

8. He ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden. He ignored the Aug. 6, 2001 White House intelligence briefing titled [15], “Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S.” Meanwhile, his chief anti-terrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, and first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, testified [16] in Congress that he was intent on invading Iraq within days of becoming president.

9. Ramped up war on drugs, not terrorists. The Bush administration had twice as many FBI agents assigned to the war on drugs [17] than fighting terrorism before 9/11, and kept thousands in that role after the terror attacks.

10. “My Pet Goat.” He kept reading a picture book to grade-schoolers for seven minutes [18] after his top aides told him that the World Trade Centers had been attacked in 9/11. Then Air Force One flew away from Washington, D.C., vanishing for hours after the attack.

11. Squandered global goodwill after 9/11. Bush thumbed his nose at world sympathy for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, by declaring a global war on terrorism and declaring [19] “you are either with us or against us.”

12. Bush turned to Iraq not Afghanistan. The Bush administration soon started beating war drums for an attack on Iraq, where there was no proven Al Qaeda link, instead of Afghanistan, where the 9/11 bombers had trained and Osama bin Laden was based. His 2002 State of the Union speech declared [20] that Iraq was part of an “Axis of Evil.”

13. Attacked United Nation weapons inspectors. The march to war in Iraq started [20] with White House attacks on the credibility of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq, whose claims that Saddam Hussein did not have nuclear weapons proved to be true.

14. He flat-out lied about Iraq’s weapons. In a major speech [21] in October 2002, he said that Saddam Hussein had the capacity to send unmanned aircraft to the U.S. with bombs that could range from chemical weapons to nuclear devices. “We cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” he said.

15. He ignored the U.N. and launched a war. The Bush administration tried to get the U.N. Security Council to authorize an attack on Iraq, which it refused to do. Bush then decided to lead a "preemptive" attack [22] regardless of international consequences. He did not wait [23] for any congressional authorization to launch a war.

16. Abandoned international Criminal Court. Before invading Iraq, Bush told the U.N. that the U.S. was withdrawing [24] from ratifying the International Criminal Court Treaty to protect American troops from persecution and to allow it to pursue preemptive war.

17. Colin Powell’s false evidence at U.N. The highly decorated soldier turned Secretary of State presented false evidence [25] at the U.N. as the American mainstream media began its jingoistic drumbeat to launch a war of choice on Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

18. He launched a war on CIA whistleblowers. When a former ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson, wrote a New York Times op-ed saying there was no nuclear threat from Iraq, the White House retaliated by leaking [26] the name and destroying the career of his wife, Valerie Plame, one of the CIA’s top national security experts.

19. Bush pardoned the Plame affair leaker. Before leaving office, Bush pardoned [26] the vice president’s top staffer, Scooter Libby, for leaking Plame’s name to the press.  

20. Bush launched the second Iraq War. In April 2003, the U.S. military invaded Iraq for the second time in two decades, leading [27] to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and more than a million refugees as a years of sectarian violence took hold on Iraq. Nearly 6,700 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

21. Baghdad looted except for oil ministry. The Pentagon failure to plan for a military occupation and transition to civilian rule was seen as Baghdad was looted while troops guarded [28] the oil ministry, suggesting this war was fought for oil riches, not terrorism. 

22. The war did not make the U.S. safer. In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate [29] (a consensus report of the heads of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies) asserted [20] that the Iraq war had increased Islamic radicalism and had worsened the terror threat.

23. U.S. troops were given unsafe gear. From inadequate vests [30] from protection against snipers to Humvees [31] that could not protect soldiers from roadside bombs, the military did not sufficiently equip its soldiers in Iraq, leading to an epidemic of brain injuries.

24. Meanwhile, the war propaganda continued. From landing on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit to declare [32] “mission accomplished” to surprising troops in Baghdad with a Thanksgiving turkey that was a table decoration [33] used as a prop, Bush defended his war of choice by using soldiers as PR props.

25. He never attended soldiers' funerals. For years after the war started, Bush never attended [34] a funeral even though as of June 2005, 144 soldiers (of the 1,700 killed thus far) were laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary, about two miles from the White House.

26. Meanwhile, war profiteering surged.The list of top Bush administration officials whose former corporate employers made billions in Pentagon contracts starts with Vice-President Dick Cheney and Halliburton, which made [35] $39.5 billion, and included his daughter, Liz Cheney, who ran [36] a $300 million Middle East partnership program.

The other 24 are at the link. Only in the USA can politicians such as Bush and Cheney do so much harm to the nation, up to and including lying citizens to their death and tanking the economy, and get away with it by saying that those who disagree are just being political. That is simply a way of saying there is no moral line that cannot be crossed, because for conservatives morality is just a matter of which way the wind is blowing on any particular day. They have been wrapping their anti-Americanism in the flag for over half a century and getting away with it. Now they're rewriting the seditious and morally bankrupt Bush presidency. If there is a place below the gutter, that is how far conservatism has sunk.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Sleazebag Conservative Movement Complains About The Recovery as Corporations Make Record Profits

The Sleazebag Conservative Movement Complains About The Recovery as Corporations Make Record Profits

Too many Americans are unaware of the extreme disparities that have been caused by the unregulated profit incentive of capitalism. Our winner-take-all system is flailing away at once-healthy parts of society, leaving them like withered limbs on a trembling body, even as the relative few who benefit promote the illusion of opportunity and prosperity for all. Concerned citizens armed with facts are not fooled. Instead, the more they learn the angrier they get. And as in revolutions of the past, discontent leads to change.

Hacking Off the Poor Half of Society

Some wealthy and uninformed individuals have referred to the lowest-income 47% of Americans as the "takers," who enjoy government benefits at the expense of the high-earning one percent. But their claim is meaningless. The total amount paid out in 'welfare' (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is less than the investment income of just three men in a single year.

The monthly TANF income for a family of four is less than what the average member of the Forbes Top 20 made in one second at the office.

The 47% don't own stocks. They don't own anything. The so-called 'takers' have ZERO wealth. The value of any assets owned by nearly half of the country is surpassed by their debt.

Slashing the Security of the Elderly

Recipients of 'entitlements' are accused by the uninformed of getting something for nothing. The opposite is true. According to the Urban Institute, the typical two-earner couple making average wages throughout their lifetimes will receive less in Social Security benefits than they paid in. Same for single males. Almost the same for single females.

Getting something for nothing? Yes, the rich are. Tax expenditures, which are deductions and exemptions that primarily benefit the highest-earning individuals, cost about 8% of the GDP, the same percentage that goes to Social Security and Medicare.

If just one of the tax breaks for the rich, the $113,700 cap on Payroll Tax, were eliminated, Social Security would be almost entirely funded for the next 75 years.

Slicing Up Justice

In the last few months American citizens, some of them children, have been arrested for:

    Looking for Indian arrowheads on federal land.
    Throwing peanuts on the school bus.
    Lying about a home address to get the kids into a better school.
    Sitting on a milk crate.

Meanwhile, not a single banker was arrested for these actions:

    HSBC Bank laundered money for Mexican drug cartels.
    Goldman Sachs designed and sold mortgage packages that were meant to fail.
    Bank of America and Lehman Brothers hid billions of dollars of bonuses and loans from investors.

Severing the Head from the Global Body

If you could gather together the world's 200 richest individuals, ask each one his or her net worth, get the actual numbers from Forbes, and then add it all up, the total would be more than the total wealth of half the population of the world, 3.5 billion people.

The U.S. is one of the greatest contributors to this shameful disparity. It's no coincidence that we're both the third least taxed developed country and the fourth highest in wealth inequality among all nations. It's also no surprise, with so little revenue going to the general public, that our country is the fourth worst in the overall well-being of its children.

Castrating the Taxman

Corporations have doubled their profits and cut their taxes in half in ten years. The burden of taxes, which Oliver Wendell Holmes called the price of a "civilized society," has been shifted to workers. For every dollar of employee payroll tax paid in the 1950s corporations paid three dollars. Now it's 22 cents.

Globalization has allowed U.S. corporations to stop paying for national defense and infrastructure and all the benefits of the U.S. legal and educational systems. All of the following companies had sizable U.S. revenues, but they claimed losses here while declaring billions of dollars of profits overseas.

    -- Bank of America, with 82% of its revenue in the U.S., declared $7 billion in U.S. losses and $10 billion in foreign profits.
    -- Citigroup, with 42% of its revenue in North America (almost all U.S.), declared a $5 billion U.S. loss and a $28 billion foreign profit.
    -- Pfizer, with 40% of its revenues in the U.S., declared almost $7 billion in U.S. losses to go along with $31 billion in foreign profits.
    -- Abbott Labs, with 42% of its sales in the U.S., declared a $256 million U.S. loss and $12 billion in foreign profits.
    -- Dow Chemical, with 32% of its sales in the U.S., declared a $15 million U.S. loss against foreign profits of over $5 billion.


If there's any way capitalism can work, it has to be regulated. Otherwise greed takes over. Blind greed. The sneering head at the top of the body watches limbs being chopped off, but it doesn't seem to recognize that we're all bleeding to death.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (,,, and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press).

How can this be. Conservatives keep saying that if we would only lower taxes yet again for these wealthy corporations and millionaires, and cut regulations that protect our air and drinking water, corporate America might make enough money to hire people. When is America going to tell conservatives they're fed up with the anti-American policies wrapped in the flag.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rabid Anti-America Charles and David Koch Plan To Buy Up Eight Major Newspapers

Rabid Anti-America Conservatives Charles and David Koch Plan To Buy Up Eight Major Newspapers

The millionaire oil moguls Charles and David Koch are pushing ahead with their plans to purchase several news outlets across the United States, according to a detailed report in the New York Times on Sunday.

At a recent seminar in Aspen, one attendee reported that the brothers — infamous for bankrolling conservative candidates and causes — put forth the question of, “How do we make sure our voice is being heard?” Their answer, it seems, will be to purchase the entire Tribune company, which constitutes a huge swath of American print media:

    The papers, valued at roughly $623 million, would be a financially diminutive deal for Koch Industries, the energy and manufacturing conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., with annual revenue of about $115 billion.

    Politically, however, the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas. The Los Angeles Times is the fourth-largest paper in the country, and The Tribune is No. 9, and others are in several battleground states, including two of the largest newspapers in Florida, The Orlando Sentinel and The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. A deal could include Hoy, the second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper, which speaks to the pivotal Hispanic demographic.

In total, the Tribune company is responsible for eight print publications.

Charles and David Koch’s money has been instrumental in getting anti-climate politicians into office, and in funding anti-climate science studies. The brothers have also funded with the secretive conservative network ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), which has crafted “model legislation” for voter ID laws that limit voting rights, particularly for low-income people of color. The group was also responsible for the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law that temporarily allowed Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, to walk free.

The brothers also tried to influence the latest election by warning some 45,000 employees that there would be “consequences” if they didn’t vote for Republicans.

The Kochs are actually billionaires, not millionaires. The Kochs believe that working class Americans should have no legal rights in their work places. They believe that only the wealthy should determine public policy. They believe that corporations are people and should have the same rights as people, but none of the responsibility. They believe in wage slavery. If you work forty hours a week and do not make enough to pay rent, utilities and groceries, tough luck - in other words they believe in the plantation model for the USA. They believe that the wealthy should have more rights than a nurse or the assistant manger at the tire store. The Kochs believe their freedom is violated if not given free reign to take away the rights of average Americans. Their newspapers will be like Fox News, discriminating proto-facist propaganda. Patriots can write the FCC E-mail: and tell them you do not want radical anti-American zealots like the Kochs owning newspapers.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Anti-American Pundit Glenn Beck Acts Like He is On Drugs, Babbles On About Saudi Nationals And The Boston Bombings

Anti-American Pundit Glenn Beck Acts Like He is On Drugs, Babbles On About Saudi Nationals And The Boston Bombings

Hours after it was debunked, Glenn Beck continued to beat the drum of a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is deporting a Saudi national who was behind the tragic bombings at the Boston marathon.

The conspiracy theory arose when Steve Emerson, a guest on Fox News' Hannity, accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of preparing to deport a Saudi national "person of interest" in the bombings at the Boston marathon. Right-wing blogs like Glenn Beck's The Blaze,, WND, and Infowars quickly latched on to the story, alleging President Obama wishes to cover up Saudi Arabian and Al Qaeda ties to the attack.

The myth pretends that a Saudi national who was hospitalized after sustaining injuries in the bombing -- initially reported to be a "person of interest," though he never was -- is the same man DHS is allegedly in the process of deporting for visa violations. 

DHS soundly discredited the conspiracy theory this afternoon, explaining to CNN's Jake Tapper that the rumors are confusing two very different men.

Still, hours later, Beck continued to run with the debunked conspiracy on his television program, claiming his "sources" knew better (emphasis added):

    We at the Blaze know that this Saudi national is a bad, bad, bad man ... This administration is playing an extraordinarily dangerous game. They have very little regard for what it takes to be a citizen. Before the sequester cuts happened, they opened the prison and let illegals out. Who does that? Remember also, the Saudi national that was -- is about to get on a plane -- involved in blowing the legs off of American citizens, being held in protective custody or being protected, at least, by our administration. He will be put in protective custody and the plans are to deport him. 

Beck's claims, of course, are far from true.

One Saudi national is in a Boston hospital and "is not a suspect, nor is he a person of interest. He was an individual at the marathon, and therefore, like so many individuals, has been questioned," DHS clarified today, according to Tapper. He went on:

    There is a second Saudi national from the Boston area who is in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for being in violation of his visa. This case has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon.


    The FBI was contacted regarding the Saudi national who was taken into ICE custody, but DHS tells CNN that individual is in no way connected to the Boston Marathon bombing.

A DHS official concluded to, "The rumor is one hundred percent false ... One hundred percent false."

The aftermath of the Boston bombing has been marked with inaccurate reporting from right-wing media.

A patriot would get his facts straight and stay away from drug induced conspiracy theories. The person referred to as a Saudi national was never a suspect. Patriotic American tradition is one of fairness and decency, qualities sorely lacking in the radical conservative movement.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Conservative pervert Mark Sanford (R-SC) due in court over allegation he trespassed at ex-wife’s house

Conservative pervert Mark Sanford (R-SC) due in court over allegation he trespassed at ex-wife’s house

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) will be in court two days after his bid to return to public office concludes for allegedly trespassing on his ex-wife’s property.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Mark Sanford is accused of repeatedly going into Jenny Sanford’s home without her permission, which would be a violation of their 2010 divorce agreement.

“Plaintiff has informed defendant on a number of occasions that this behavior is in violation of the court’s order and has demanded that it not occur again,” her lawyer, Deena Smith McRackan, said in the complaint.

Jenny Sanford told Politico via email on Tuesday that while she confirmed the lawsuit to the AP, “it was my understanding that these documents, which deal with a number of private domestic matters, were to have remained sealed along with the divorce documents. I did not choose to make this public, nor did I choose the timing of his trespassing.”

According to the suit, Jenny Sanford allegedly caught the former governor and current congressional candidate on Feb. 3 using his cell phone for a flashlight as he left the house through a rear door. Court records also said McRackan enclosed a February 2011 letter sent to both Mark Sanford and local police warning him not to trespass on the property.

Mark Sanford won a runoff election on April 2 and is now facing a May 7 election against Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the congressional seat representing the state’s 1st district.

S.C. conservatives will vote for Sanford anyway because it is a member of the radical conservative movement. That is all that matters to these freaks and perverts, that they drink the Republican kool-aid. Once you're a member you can trespass, lie the country into a war or crash the economy, and conservatives will find some bizarre way to blame Democrats.

In Fact, the U.S. Has Been Winning the War on Terror. Terrorism soared when conservatives controlled all three branches of government from 2000 to 2006. Maybe these are not the people to trust with national security.

Making balancing the budget a priority over job creation still does not work: Researchers Finally Replicated Reinhart-Rogoff, and There Are Serious Problems.

Monday, April 15, 2013

American Patriots Should Know About 7 Gun Myths and The Gun Background Check System

American Patriots Should Know About 7 Gun Myths and The Gun Background Check System

With the U.S. Senate having voted to take up legislation to strengthen gun laws, which will likely include a bipartisan proposal to expand federal firearms background checks, Media Matters reviews myths the media has promoted about the background check system.

How do federal background checks work?

Would proposals to strengthen background checks force family members to run checks on each other?

Are sellers at gun shows required to perform a background check on buyers?

Is supporting background checks politically risky?

Could expanding the background check system lead to a national gun registry?

Do background checks violate the Second Amendment?

Do background checks actually stop criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns?

MYTH: The Federal Government Doesn't Currently Perform Background Checks On Gun Purchasers

Mamet In Newsweek On Background Checks: "How Are They Checked? Are They Checked? By What Agency, With What Monies?" In his January Newsweek cover story, playwright David Mamet was seemingly ignorant of the fact that federal law requires individuals who purchase firearms from licensed dealers to undergo a criminal background check:

    Yes, but we should check all applicants for firearms for a criminal record?

    Anyone applying to purchase a handgun has, since 1968, filled out a form certifying he is not a fugitive from justice, a convicted criminal, or mentally deficient. These forms, tens and tens of millions of them, rest, conceivably, somewhere in the vast repository. How are they checked? Are they checked? By what agency, with what monies? The country is broke. Do we actually want another agency staffed by bureaucrats for whom there is no funding? [Newsweek, 1/28/13]

FACT: While There Is No Federal Background Check Requirement For Private Transactions, Sales Through A Licensed Dealer Are Checked

FBI Has Run Instant Background Checks On Purchases From Licensed Dealers For More Than A Decade. From the FBI's website:

    The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm -- by not letting guns and explosives fall into the wrong hands. It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers.

    Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn't otherwise ineligible to make a purchase. More than 100 million such checks have been made in the last decade, leading to more than 700,000 denials. [FBI, accessed 4/11/13]

MYTH: Proposals To Expand Background Checks Would Place Onerous Burdens On The Transfer Of Firearms Between Family Members

NRA Past President Marion Hammer: Expanded Background Checks Would Mean "Having To Do A Background Check On Your Own Mom Before You Could Give Her One Of Your Guns For Protection." In a January 23 op-ed published at gun news website AmmoLand, Hammer claimed that expanding background checks would interfere with transfers of firearms between family members and hunting partners:

    Imagine a grandfather who wants to give a family shotgun to his 12-year-old grandson having to do a background check on his grandson before giving him the shotgun.

    Or a friend having to do a background check on his lifetime best buddy before lending him a hunting rifle.

    Or, if your mother had a prowler at her home, having to do a background check on your own Mom before you could give her one of your guns for protection.

    That's what "universal background checks" do. They turn traditional innocent conduct into a criminal offense. They target you, law-abiding gun owners. [, 1/23/13]

FACT: Every Major Legislative Proposal To Strengthen Background Checks Has Exempted These Transfers

Manchin-Toomey Proposal Exempts Firearms Transfers to Family, Friends, Neighbors. According to the press release detailing their amendment to expand the background check system, under the legislation developed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), "Family transfers and some private sales (friends, neighbors, other individuals) are exempt from background checks." [Manchin/Toomey press release, 4/10/13]

Obama Administration Proposal Included "Common-Sense" Exemptions For Family Members, Temporary Transfers. The White House fact sheet on Obama's proposals to strengthen gun laws states:

    Congress should pass legislation that goes beyond just closing the "gun show loophole" to require background checks for all firearm sales, with limited, common-sense exceptions for cases like certain transfers between family members and temporary transfers for hunting and sporting purposes. [The White House, accessed 4/11/13]

The Fix Gun Checks Act Of 2013 (HR 137) Contains Exemptions For Family Gifts And Other Circumstances. The proposed legislation, which was largely included in the latest effort to strengthen the background check system but will likely be replaced by Manchin-Toomey's proposal, would also exempt temporary transfers of weapons for hunters and transfers of weapons to individuals in imminent danger:

    ''(f) EXCEPTIONS.--Unless prohibited by any other provision of law, subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to any transfer of a firearm between an unlicensed transferor and unlicensed transferee, if--

    (1) the transfer is a bona fide gift between immediate family members, including spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren;

    (2) the transfer occurs by operation of law, or because of the death of another person for whom the unlicensed transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustee of a trust created in a will;

    (3) the transfer is temporary and occurs while in the home of the unlicensed transferee, if--

    (A) the unlicensed transferee is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms; and

    (B) the unlicensed transferee believes that possession of the firearm is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the unlicensed transferee; [H.R. 137, accessed 4/11/13]

MYTH: There Is No Such Thing As The Private Sales Loophole

NRA News Host Cam Edwards: People Prohibited From Owning Firearms Cannot Exploit The Private Sales Loophole. During the January 3 edition of Cam & Company on NRA News, host Cam Edwards first told guest Jim Geraghty, who writes for the National Review Online, that Geragthy was "incorrect" in his assumption that background checks are not required at gun shows. Edwards would later acknowledge that private sellers at gun shows conduct sales without running a background check on customers, but he also claimed that it was impossible for individuals prohibited from owning firearms under federal law from obtaining weapons through this process. [Cam & Company, 1/3/13]
FACT: Private Sales Without A Background Check Are Extremely Common, Including At Gun Shows And Online

Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence: Private Sales Loophole Has Been Exploited By Gun Traffickers And Used To Supply Firearms To Criminals. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence explained how a deficiency in federal law concerning how firearms sellers are licensed allows dangerous individuals to obtain firearms without a background check:

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 provides that persons "engaged in the business" of dealing in firearms must be licensed. Although Congress did not originally define the term "engaged in the business," it did so in 1986 as part of the McClure-Volkmer Act (also known as the "Firearms Owners' Protection Act"). That Act defined the term "engaged in the business," as applied to a firearms dealer, as "a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms."

    Significantly, however, the term was defined to exclude a person who "makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms."

    Consequently, unlicensed sellers may sell firearms without conducting background checks or documenting the transaction in any way. In addition, because federal law does not require private sellers to inspect a buyer's driver's license or any other identification, there is no obligation for such sellers to confirm that a buyer is of legal age to purchase a firearm. As a result, convicted felons, minors and other prohibited purchasers can easily buy guns from unlicensed sellers.

    According to a 1999 report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the current definition of "engaged in the business" often frustrates the prosecution of "unlicensed dealers masquerading as collectors or hobbyists but who are really trafficking firearms to felons or other prohibited persons." A June 2000 ATF report found that unlicensed sellers were involved in about a fifth of the trafficking investigations and associated with nearly 23,000 diverted guns.  A national survey of firearm ownership conducted in 1994 determined that 60 percent of all firearm sales in the U.S. involved federally licensed dealers, while the remaining 40 percent of firearms were acquired from unlicensed sellers. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, accessed 4/11/13]

New York City Undercover Investigation: Most Private Sellers Agreed To Sell Firearm To Someone Who Said They Couldn't Pass A Background Check. In an investigation of 10 websites in 14 states that allow unlicensed sellers to list firearms for sale, undercover investigators working for the City of New York found that 77 out of 125 sellers agreed to go forward with a firearm sale after the purchaser said that he could not pass a background check. [City of New York, December 2011]
MYTH: Supporting Background Check Expansion Is A "Risky" Move For Senators

Fox News: Amendment Is A "Risky Balancing Act" For Manchin, Toomey. Reporting on their compromise amendment to expand the background check system, Fox News correspondent Doug McKelway said that Manchin and Toomey are engaged in a "risky balancing act" because they represent states where "the Second Amendment is considered sacrosanct," suggesting that their legislation is controversial. [Fox News, Special Report, 4/10/13, via Nexis]
FACT: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Expanding The Background Check System

National Polls Show Massive Public Support For Expanding Background Checks. According to an April 10 Huffington Post article:

    Eighty-six percent of Americans support strengthening background checks for guns in some way, according to an ORC/CNN poll released Wednesday.

    Requiring background checks at gun shows was the most popular proposal, with 83 percent of those polled favoring the idea. Seventy percent want checks when gun owners who aren't dealers sell their weapons, and 54 percent support checks when guns are sold or gifted between family members.

    The current laws, which require gun stores and businesses to run background checks, were favored by 89 percent of Americans.

    Most polls since the shooting in Newtown, Conn., have shown upwards of 80 percent support for some form of enhanced background checks. A HuffPost/YouGov poll found that nearly three quarters of the public supported universal background checks. [Huffington Post, 4/10/13]

Poll: 88 Percent In Toomey's Home State Of Pennsylvania Support Background Checks On Every Gun Purchase. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]

Recent Polling Demonstrates Strong State-Level Support For Expanded Background Checks, Even In Red States. According to a series of polls for Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), which supports expanding the background check system, a proposal to expand the system to include all gun buyers is supported by:

    83 Percent Of Utahns. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]
    94 Percent Of Floridians. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]
    94 Percent Of North Dakotans. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]
    87 Percent Of Oklahomans. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]
    90 Percent Of Arizonans. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]
    85 Percent Of Louisianans. [MAIG release, 3/5/13]

MYTH: Background Check Expansion Could Lead To A National Gun Registry

Fox Host Bolling: Proposal Is "Knocking On The Door To A National Registry." On Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling said of the Manchin-Toomey proposal: "We're so close to this background check in this form being a national registry. It is knocking on the door to a national registry." [Fox News, The Five, 4/10/13, via Nexis]
FACT: Proposal Reaffirms That A Federal Registry Is Illegal

Manchin-Toomey Legislation Includes 15-Year Prison Term For Attempting To Create A Federal Registry. The Huffington Post reported:

    The background check compromise set to be introduced on Thursday will explicitly bar public officials from creating a national gun registry, penalizing those who do with a felony charge carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

    That language of the bill is still being crafted. But multiple Senate aides briefed The Huffington Post on that specific provision, which was included to alleviate the concerns of pro-gun advocates who have warned that any expansion of background checks would pave the way for a registry.

    In actuality, a federal registry of gun ownership is already prohibited under law. But the lawmakers crafting a compromise -- Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) -- wanted to ensure a smoother passage for their bill, so they made the punishment more severe. In addition to a potential jail sentence of 15 years, officials who create a gun registry or misuse federal records on gun sales or ownership would face a monetary fine. [Huffington Post, 4/10/13]

MYTH: Expanding Background Checks Violates The Second Amendment

Fox News: Legislation Could Constitute An "Infringement Of The Second Amendment." McKelway reported that Republicans may oppose the Manchin-Toomey proposal because they "are under tremendous pressure not to cave on any infringement of the Second Amendment." [Fox News, Special Report, 4/10/13, via Nexis]
FACT: Supreme Court Has Stated That Background Checks Do Not Violate The Second Amendment

Highest Court Reaffirmed That Efforts To Prevent Felons And The Mentally Ill From Obtaining Firearms Is Permissible Under The Second Amendment. In the 2008 Supreme Court case, District Of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority that the Second Amendment is "not unlimited" as "commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Justice Scalia continued:

    [N]othing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. [United States v.] Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." [District of Columbia v. Heller, 6/26/08, via Google Scholar, emphasis added]

MYTH: The Background Check System Doesn't Prevent Criminals From Obtaining Weapons

WaPo's Parker: Criminals Won't Submit To Background Checks, So System Has "No Real Practical Purpose." In her Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker wrote that while she supports expanding the background check system, she thought the system had little impact:

    Universal background checks are a perfectly good idea, except that they won't stop the burglar who recently cleaned out our house of all our legally purchased rifles and shotguns, including an antique that had belonged to my great-grandfather, who, as sheriff of Barnwell County, S.C., confiscated the gun from the triple murderer he tracked for three days and finally killed. (I want that gun back, please.)

    Those guns are now in circulation among an element of society that has no intention of submitting to a background check or any other well-intentioned effort to ensure that only good guys have guns. [The Washington Post, 4/9/13]

FACT: Background Checks Prevented The Sale Almost 2 Million Firearms In System's First 15 Years, Largely To Criminals And The Mentally Ill

Between 1994 And 2009, Nearly 1.8 Million Applications For Firearms Transfers Were Denied. NBC News reported:

    The numbers show that background checks do keep guns out of the hands of at least some people who are not supposed to have them. Nearly 1.8 million applications for firearm transfers or permits were denied between the passage of the law in March 1994 and December 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The FBI and state law enforcement denied firearm purchases to 153,000 people in 2010 alone, the most recent year for which data is available. [, 4/10/13]

Not a single Democrat has proposed banning the ownership of guns. The expanded background check and going back to the assault weapons ban are simply two common sense gun safety measures - like requiring people to use seat-belts. Why are the anti-American zealots at the NRA - The National Right to Kill Children Association,  lying and exaggerating about these modest changes in the laws already regulating guns? That is just what lunatics do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How America's Sleazy Fast Food Industry Screws Over Workers and Capitalism

How America's Fast Food Industry Screws Over Workers and Capitalism

The gulf between CEO pay and staff McWages is shockingly wide: a strike serves this system of super-exploitation right.

Last week, approximately 400 workers in the fast food industry went on a one-day strike protesting the "McWages" that keep them them living at or even below the poverty line. Despite their modest demands – the workers want to be able to exercise their right to form a union without intimidation or harassment and they want to be paid a living wage of $15 per hour – they face an uphill battle to achieve them.Fast food workers take part in a protest at a McDonald's restaurant in Harlem, New York for better wages, 4 April 2013. (Photograph: VIEWpress Corp/Corbis)

One of the catch phrases used by striking workers was "we cannot survive on seven twenty-five," a reference to the insulting $7.25 average hourly wage most fast food workers in New York get paid. This paltry sum, which adds up to less than $300 pre tax for a 40-hour week, would not amount to a living wage anywhere in the country, and doesn't even come close in New York, one of the most expensive of cities in the US to live in. That is the federal minimum wage, however – and it's not hard to imagine that employees would be paid even less than $7.25 an hour if their bosses could get away with it.

One striking worker, Joseph Barrera, who works for TacoBell, told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that when he started working at the chain, at the age of 15, he was paid $7.15 an hour. Six years later, as a supervisor, his pay has increased to $7.25 an hour, a ten cents raise. If you're finding it hard to imagine how Barrera makes it through the month on such meager wages, that's because he can't. He says he often has to skip meals or walk to work because he can't afford the subway fare and he hasn't bought clothes in years. He'd like to be able to get married and start a family, but doing so on his full-time supervisor's salary is impossible.

Treating an employee this badly might be excusable if the company that hired him was struggling for survival, but this is far from the case. Yum Brands Inc, which owns Taco Bell, as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, proudly boasts on its website an EPS growth of 13% in 2012, an increased dividend for shareholders of 18%, and a net income of $1.6bn. Rival fast food companies like McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's are all doing similarly well: according to Business Wire, fast food is one of the fastest growing industries, thanks to a competitive cost advantage.

Yet, the fast food companies are not only unembarrassed about how they exploit their workers, but they actually seem to think they are doing employees like Barrera a favor in providing him with a job that is a step above indentured servitude. This attitude is evident in the various statements made by the companies to the media following the strike. Burger King issued a communique saying that the company has provided "an entry point into the workforce for millions of Americans" and that they "offer compensation and benefits that are consistent with the QSR [quick service restaurant] industry".

McDonald's also waxed lyrical about their commitment to their workers, and said that "employees are paid competitive wages and have access to flexible schedules and quality, affordable benefits." The National Restaurant Association went a step further and seemed to be almost looking for sympathy with their statement that "the industry provides more than 13m jobs, that could be jeopardized if the minimum wage goes up." My personal favorite was this nugget, also from the National Restaurant Association:

    "The industry is one of the best paths to achieving the American Dream."

If the American Dream circa 2013 has morphed into a nightmare of inescapable poverty and struggle, then I guess they have a point. I think, however, most hardworking Americans – and surely, anyone who puts in a grueling 40-plus-hour week at a fast food restaurant counts as a hardworking American? – have higher expectations of the American Dream than the fast food industry has in mind for them. But perhaps the National Restaurant Association was referring to senior executives and those lucky few who end up as CEOs, because for them, the fast food industry is dreamy indeed.

In general, CEOs in the US earn 380 times what their average employee earns. That rather shocking disparity starts to look almost modest, however, when compared with the fast food world. In 2011, the CEO of McDonalds earned over $20m, which means he was paid nearly 1,333 times more than the average crew member or cashier, who earns around $8 an hour or less. Even if those employees were to get their wish of earning $15 an hour, the CEO would still be earning 640 times more than them.

But don't expect McDonald's CEO, or any of the fast food restaurant CEOs, to accept this outrageous pay disparity as a reason to raise their employees wages. The only way workers will ever change their situation is to mobilize and strike. But going on strike when you are not in a union, and are easy to fire and replace, is incredibly risky. Last week, 400 workers took that risk regardless – and as long as the media and the public keep paying attention, it will be difficult for their companies to make them suffer for it.

So far, it's one-nil for the brave 400. Imagine what could happen if all 13 million of their colleagues followed their lead.

Sadhbh Walshe is a film-maker and former staff writer for the CBS drama series The District.

 One can also imagine that Social Security and Medicare funding would be in better shape if more workers earned a living wage. Is this the America we want to live, are these the ideals we want to live up to- creating millions of wage slaves.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wacko Rand Paul (R-KY) Must Think Blacks Have Amnesia

Wacko Rand Paul (R-KY) Must Think Blacks Have Amnesia

So now we know the basis of Kentucky's libertarian Sen. Rand Paul's strategy for expanding the Republican Party's appeal to African Americans: amnesia.

That's the only conclusion I can reach after watching the C-SPAN broadcast of Paul's 52-minute appearance today at Howard University. He deserves credit for appearing before a potentially hostile audience to make the case for conservative policies with which most black voters utterly disagree. But he also deserves strong criticism -- even derision -- for pretending that there's any mystery about why most black folks are so skeptical about the GOP. He wants us to forget the party's recent history -- and his own.

So in his speech today, he asked, "How did the party that elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American congressmen, become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote? How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race?"

He went on to argue that blacks began to switch their long-standing allegiance from Republicans to Democrats during the Great Depression. "The Democrats promised equalizing outcomes through unlimited federal assistance, while Republicans offered something that seemed less tangible: the promise of equalizing opportunity through free markets," Paul argued.

"Now, Republicans face a daunting task," he continued. "Several generations of black voters have never voted Republican and are not very open to even considering the option. Democrats still promise unlimited federal assistance, and Republicans promise free markets, low taxes and less regulations that we believe will create more jobs."

He left out the part that Republicans almost always leave out when they lament their lack of support from African Americans: the racial realignment that occurred during the 1960s, when Democratic politicians like President Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy became champions for equal rights, and Republicans reinvented their party as a harbor for segregationists.

The simple truth is that the present-day Republican Party has virtually no resemblance to the Republican Party of, say, 1960, when Richard Nixon got 32 percent of the black vote in his race against John F. Kennedy. Four years later, the Republicans nominated right-wing Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who based his campaign on opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By 1968, Nixon had wholeheartedly accepted Goldwater's advice to "go hunting where the ducks are" by adopting a so-called Southern strategy dedicated to wooing segregationists like Strom Thurmond.

They consolidated their approach in 1980 when Ronald Reagan delivered the first major speech of his campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered in one of the 1960s' ugliest cases of racist violence. Reagan gave a ringing declaration of his support for "states' rights" -- code words for resistance to black advances clearly understood by white Southerners. Ever since then, the GOP has been the party of white privilege.

Paul seems to think that black voters are supposed to forget all that very recent history. He didn't mention any of it in his speech today, or in answers to two pointed questions posed by Howard students.

On top of that, he doesn't want us to remember that in a 2010 interview with the Courier-Journal, he took issue with parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants. He says he has never been against the Civil Rights Act, but his opposition is on tape. Who are we supposed to believe -- him or our lying eyes?
 The scary part is that Rand probably did not feel like he was lying, he has come to believe the crazy version of history put out by anti-American zealots like Glenn beck and the pundits at Fox News.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Coke Buy Latino Friends in Congress

How Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Coke Buy Latino Friends in Congress
Lobbyists and corporations that employ them can't give gifts to lawmakers—unless they funnel the money through a nonprofit.

 6 states that might criminalize taping animal cruelty
Several statehouses are pushing bills that could severely hinder food industry whistleblowers

Sunday, April 7, 2013

UnAmerican Crackpot Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) Threaten to Filibuster Gun Safety Bill They Have Not Even Seen

UnAmerican Crackpot Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) Threaten to Filibuster Gun Safety Bill They Have Not Even Seen

Thirteen Republican senators have pledged to filibuster a senate debate about new gun safety measures, insisting in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that they will “oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance.” The threat, which Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) first made last week without seeing the bill, comes just days before the body prepares to consider the first comprehensive gun legislation in the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The package will expand restrictions against gun trafficking, invest in school safety and provide for universal background checks of all gun purchases.

But one top Republican, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), is speaking out publicly against the group, questioning the wisdom of promising to filibuster legislation that lawmakers have yet to finalize:

    After Mr. Coburn was asked multiple times an identically worded question about whether he would join Mr. Paul’s effort to block gun legislation as he traveled around Oklahoma in recent days, Mr. Coburn bristled at the idea that Mr. Paul would threaten to filibuster a bill before its contents were made final.

    “Is that about filibustering a bill to protect the Second Amendment, or is that about Rand Paul?” Mr. Coburn said at a town-hall meeting at the Oklahoma Sports Museum in Guthrie, Okla., on Wednesday. “I’ve done more filibusters than Rand Paul is old,” Mr. Coburn said, but he added that he doesn’t announce such moves before he understands the bill.

Coburn is working on compromise legislation that would expand background checks to all gun purchases, but would not require private sellers to keep a record of the transaction, which gun safety advocates say would ensure that checks are being properly conducted and allow the entire chain of custody to be reconstructed in the event the gun is later recovered in a crime.

Should the Republicans proceed to filibuster on the motion to proceed to the gun package, Reid could take advantage of a new Senate rule “by promising each party two amendments on the legislation.” “Under that scenario, Paul and his allies would still get a chance to raise their objections on the floor for hours on end, but they couldn’t stop the Senate from starting debate on the bill,” Politico reports.

Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are planing to keep a bill from even being voted on that 92% of the public supports. These same freaks don't seem to mind that it is harder to get on a plane then it is to buy an assault weapon with a large magazine. The average American's driving privileges are more regulated than guns. None of these radical zealots have said anything about that part of the 2nd amendment that says militias should be "regulated".

Friday, April 5, 2013

The NRA or National Right to Kill Children Association Proposals That Will Turn Our Schools into Gun-Crazy Nightmares

The NRA or National Right to Kill Children Association Proposals That Will Turn Our Schools into Gun-Crazy Nightmares

The NRA doesn’t just want to put armed teachers, armed guards and volunteer vigilantes in schools to prevent more school shootings. It wants to turn schools into veritable prisons, where security staff patrol and lockdown schools, and indentify and spy on problem students and employees, according to an NRA-sponsored report [3] that included model legislation to allow such measures.

The National Federation of Teachers [4] and well-known civil rights advocates [5] slammed the report [6], issued by former GOP congressman and Department of Homeland Security official Asa Hutchinson [7]. They said militarizing schools with more guns was not the answer to gun violence. Nor was putting more police into schools, particularly in communities of color. That only increases hostilities for students, not safe learning environments.

What follows below are 16 excerpts from the 225-page report [3] showing how the NRA would choose to deal with the potential for gun violence—primarily by locking down schools, making every student and school employee a suspect, and arming a cadre of security officers with legal authority to shoot back.

Notably, the report does mention that anti-bullying programs have an important role to play in lowering hateful acts. It also says that all school employees, contractors or community volunteers carrying guns should have extensive background checks, which pro-gun lawmakers in Congress are saying would be unacceptable in new federal gun controls.
But the bottom line is that the report [3] by Hutchinson’s security-oriented consulting firm for the NRA would militarize schools and turn them into lightweight versions of modern prisons. Nowhere does it suggest the obvious—that taking guns out of circulation will lessen their use. Instead, it seeks to make guns in schools the new normal.

1. Only more guns will stop violence. “It is the belief of the National School Shield Task Force that many schools across the country stand to benefit from the presence of armed security and, in the quest to make our schools safer, should leave no option off the table.”

2. Unarmed officers can’t do the job. “The presence of a security guard or off-duty policeman when there is an active shooter is mostly ineffective unless the security officer is armed. Without a weapon to defend them, even the most heroic individuals are unprepared to defend against violent attackers armed with guns.”

3. The NRA should train armed school staff.“The NRA has the nationally recognized expertise to develop and implement the stringent training courses required by this model program. It is recommended that the professional training programs that are approved by the states for armed school personnel use private sector approved and certified trainers as well as traditional state law enforcement trainers.”

4. This training should be privatized or donated.“Because of the limitations of federal, state and local funding for school safety, there is an important role that can be filled by a private non-profit advocacy and education organization. The National School Shield is in a position with adequate funding and support from the NRA to fulfill this important national mission.”

5. Four options for an armed presence.“A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a uniformed, armed and sworn law enforcement officer, usually drawn from local police or sheriff’s departments... The second possibility is introducing privately contracted security personnel… The third possibility is introducing armed citizen volunteers.... The fourth option involves arming personnel already at the school for whom security is not their primary duty – for example, teachers, principals, or custodial staff.”

6. Assume no school is safe.“Finally, a school must take steps to prevent and mitigate those events that are entirely unpredictable and even unfathomable. Using a phrase from the security field, this area of consideration can be summed up as follows: ‘Just because there is the absence of a threat does not mean there is no risk.’”

7. Track and spy on ‘problem kids.’“Each school should develop a threat assessment team, which will work in coordination with mental health professionals… The team will be responsible for evaluating all threats, including the surrounding circumstances, and conducting an investigation to determine whether the threat is serious. After all appropriate assessments have been made, the team should create a written safety plan by integrating all relevant findings, and should determine whether to refer the student to a school psychologist for a mental health assessment and, if necessary, to the school resource officer for a law-enforcement investigation.

8. Overview: spy on kids, lock campuses, position guards.“This includes developing a knowledge of commonly identified ‘pre-incident indicators’ that historical inquiry of such events suggests may be helpful in identifying and interdicting potential assailants before they engage in violence. Another part is physical, involving the construction, installation, and maintenance of appropriate physical security barriers beginning with the outermost perimeter of school grounds, extending to the exterior of the school building, and continuing through the interior of the school itself. Finally, a third part is comprised of establishing appropriate daily procedures that complement various components of a school’s physical infrastructure or, where that physical infrastructure is lacking, compensate for that potential gap in security.”

9. Identify ‘troubled’ kids and track them.“Schools should have a dedicated Threat Assessment Group or Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) that meets at a minimum once every two weeks and preferably weekly. These teams should employ a multi-disciplinary approach to not only assess existing threats but also focus on preventing the threat or crisis from occurring.

“The team tracks 'red flags' over time, detecting patterns, trends, and disturbances in individual or group behavior. The team receives reports of disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior or misconduct (from co-workers, community members, friends, colleagues, etc.), conducts an investigation, performs a threat assessment, and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response.”

10. Spy on schoolwork for violent fantasies.“A student intentionally or unintentionally reveals clues to feelings, thoughts, fantasies, attitudes, or intentions that may signal an impending violent act. These clues can take the form of subtle threats, boasts, innuendos, predictions, or ultimatums. They may be spoken or conveyed in stories, diary entries, essays, poems, letters, songs, drawings, doodles, tattoos, or videos.”

11. Monitor social media use and posts.“The rise of social media has expanded the arena in which students express themselves and communicate with one another. For many adolescents, these new platforms do not merely supplement traditional mediums of communication, but are often the primary means through which they communicate. Therefore, it is important that adults with a stake in school security adapt to this changing landscape.”

12. Watch school employees.“History has unfortunately shown that adults are also capable of posing threats to the occupants of a school. To the victims of an attack and those surrounding them, it hardly matters whether a fellow student or an adult committed the act; the more important thing is that a potential offender – regardless of age – is identified and stopped before they commit the act.

“While the conditions and motives that lead an adult to commit a violent act at a school typically may differ from those of a student, it is also believed that an adult, such as an employee, that commits a violent act does not ‘snap’ but rather displays behavioral indicators over time that lead up to the event.”

13. Background checks for employees (but not gun buyers).“It is also recommended that schools perform a pre-employment background check and periodic rechecks on all employees.”

“If a school decides to employ the services of one or multiple forms of security personnel, it is recommended that schools perform a pre-employment background check on all of these individuals, whether armed and unarmed. The following list includes the types of information the school should consult as part of a pre-employment background check within the laws governing access and use for making informed hiring decisions: Former employment data; DMV records; Residential address history verification; Credit check; Criminal records check; Education verification; Civil history; National wants and warrants; Social security verification; Drug testing; Finger print screening."

14. Limited access to buildings.“In high-risk schools, an entry control point or a manned guard building with corresponding levels of screening and a sturdy gate may be ideal; in others, active monitoring at exterior entry points may be deemed unnecessary, impractical, or counterproductive. A third option is to allow free entry and exit during designated arrival and departure times, while enacting more stringent perimeter screening and access control during daytime school hours and after school hours.”

15. Remove unnecessary plants and trees.“School officials should be cognizant that, if misused, misplaced, or neglected, landscaping can conversely be detrimental to school security, providing hiding places for people, weapons, and explosive devices, blocking lighting, inadvertently providing routes of unauthorized access, blocking lines of sight necessary for natural surveillance, or damaging other security devices.”

16. Surveillance cameras in schools and buses. “Surveillance equipment installed on the outdoor grounds of a school or on the exterior of the building itself can serve several purposes. For one, cameras help distinguish between outsiders who do not belong on campus and students and employees who do. This ability can be helpful, especially to administrative or security staff who may gain from extra time in identifying a threatening individual approaching the school and taking appropriate preventive measures.”

The Security State vs. Common Sense

These measures and others in the NRA-sponsored report would require state legislatures to pass new laws granting legal immunity to people carrying guns inside schools. The appendix of the 225-page report suggests legal language for that legislation, which is typical of rightwing lobbying efforts—and undoubtedly would be a boon for privatized criminal justice services.

This is not shocking to the average conservative gun fetishists who worships their gun like a magical god that can solve any problem.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sinister Anti-American Conservative Ben Carson Goes On Crazed Rant Against Critics

Sinister Anti-American Conservative Ben Carson Goes On Crazed Rant Against Critics

Dr. Ben Carson has pivoted from apologizing "if anybody was offended" by his anti-gay comments to attacking his critics, some of whom he says are "racist[s]" who are trying to smear him as a bigot in order to silence him.

Carson, who has been lauded by the conservative media and treated to dozens of Fox News appearances over the past few months, lashed out at his critics during an April 1 interview on The Mark Levin Show.

The noted surgeon and Johns Hopkins University neurosurgery professor has been subject to harsh criticism, including from students and staff at Johns Hopkins Medical School, since he compared gays who support marriage equality to pedophiles and practitioners of bestiality during a March 27 interview on Fox News' Hannity.

During that appearance, Carson said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition. So, it's not something against gays. It's against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications."

Carson had previously written in his 2012 book that marriage equality could destroy America like the "fall of the Roman Empire."

After LGBT medical students called for Carson's replacement as the commencement speaker for the class of 2013, he attempted to claim that he hadn't been "equating" gays with pedophiles or those who engage in bestiality, while apologizing "if anybody was offended." He also said he would be willing to step down as commencement speaker.

But on Levin's show, Carson went on the offensive, saying that the criticism he has received proves that he's right that "political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation." He added that "the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent an existential threat" to his critics, who he says "take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I'm a bigot."

After Levin claimed that Carson has been "attacked also, in many respects, because of your race" because "a lot of white liberals" don't like black conservatives, Carson replied, "Well, they're the most racist people there are. Because you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, 'you have to think this way, how could you dare come off the plantation?'"

Carson's accusation echoes Rush Limbaugh, who said that Carson's experience shows that if minorities "dare stray from the Democrat Party plantation," they will "pay the price for that." Fox News' Megyn Kelly has also rallied to Carson's defense. Meanwhile, right-wing media figures like Fox's Eric Bolling and the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis have criticized conservatives for pushing Carson as the savior of the GOP so quickly.

Carson voices the same cultural values as 15th century inquisitors who call anyone who disagrees with them, evil. he has a skill set and good for him. Thank goodness he does not determine public policy. He sees anyone who is a patriotic American ( non-conservatives) the same way tyrants throughout history has seen those who fight for freedom, economic and social justice.