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Archive for January 12th, 2011

Early Morning Swim: Mayor Cory Booker of Newark Discusses Gun Control with Rachel Maddow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:51 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Mayor Cory Booker of Newark Discusses Gun Control with Rachel Maddow
Meanwhile, you can get your own “You Lie!” assault rifle.

Meanwhile, you can get your own “You Lie!” assault rifle.

Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new “You Lie” AR-15 lower receiver. These lowers are the same great quality you have come to expect from Palmetto State Armory and feature “You Lie” as the first six digits of the serial number. Only 999 of these will be produced, get yours before they are gone!

These forged lowers are made using high quality 7075-T6 aluminum and are marked “MULTI” to accommodate most builds.  Finish is Black Hardcoat Anodize.

The morans have since taken the page down, perhaps because it’s illegal to display the seal of the US Congress in an ad.

Stupid rednecks.

The summing up, sums it up
This democracy isn’t broken at all, nosiree.

photo by amishsteve at flickr.com

Two different posts or comments from sources I don’t always rely upon for “trenchant” analysis (not everyone can be as intellectually sound as a Fark photoshop thread).

First someone at Gawker depressingly points out that FoxNews runs the world:

Those same people, who moved like buttered lightning to yank ACORN funding, won’t even entertain the briefest possibility of thinking about maybe eventually, after consideration, applying the slightest restriction to the availability of guns.

But it will probably be even worse, per Dave Weigel:

Arizona’s response—the most likely legislative response—is going to be expanded gun rights.

So remember ladies and gentlemen, enrolling voters bad, the occasional empowered spree killer “meh”.

And hey, this classy item really does sum up all the summoning quite succinctly.

Late Late Night FDL: The Sky Is Crying
Gregg Allman and Warren HaynesThe Sky Is Crying.

Gregg Allman and Warren HaynesThe Sky Is Crying.

What’s on your mind?


China’s Growing Military Might and American Rashness

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:50 am by HL

China’s Growing Military Might and American Rashness
The U.S. can pursue one of two courses in East Asia: Either negotiate an understanding with regional powers and redeploy American troops, or continue the dangerous drift that provokes China’s insecurities. By William Pfaff

The U.S. can pursue one of two courses in East Asia: Either negotiate an understanding with regional powers and redeploy American troops, or continue the dangerous drift that provokes China’s insecurities.


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How Many Bullets Do You Need?
“High Capacity Magazines … When ten rounds isn’t enough,” the Internet site offers. When, exactly, would that be? Enough for what? By Ruth Marcus

“High Capacity Magazines … When ten rounds isn’t enough,” the Internet site offers. When, exactly, would that be? Enough for what?


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Vice President Biden Tells Afghans: U.S. Willing To Stay Beyond 2014

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:49 am by HL

Vice President Biden Tells Afghans: U.S. Willing To Stay Beyond 2014
WASHINGTON — Vice President Biden told reporters at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday that the United States is willing to stay in Afghanistan…

SF’s New Mayor Makes History
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco welcomed its first Asian-American leader Tuesday, as City Administrator Edwin Lee was sworn in as interim mayor before a crowd…

Tavis Smiley: My Conversation With Debbie Wasserman Schultz
In advance of Obama’s appearance in Tucson, I asked the congresswoman about the president’s opportunity to talk about the lack of civility in our public discourse.

Report Challenges Purported Guantanamo ‘Recidivism’ Figures
WASHINGTON — On the ninth anniversary of the first detainee’s arrival at the infamous prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Washington think tank challenged intelligence…

Sanders Office Defends Reference To Giffords Shooting In Fundraising Newsletter
WASHINGTON — A spokesman for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is defending the Senator’s decision to reference the shootings in Arizona as part of a newsletter…


REPORT: Media Ignore Rep. Issa’s Alleged Criminal Past

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

REPORT: Media Ignore Rep. Issa’s Alleged Criminal Past

Rep. Darrell Issa’s past includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you’d hardly know it from the media’s recent coverage of the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation’s largest newspapers since the last election — including several major profiles — only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period.

Network and Cable Interviewers Won’t Ask Issa About Criminal Allegations

In 11 Interviews Since Election Day, No Network Or Cable Anchor Has Asked Issa About The Allegations Against Him. Media Matters reviewed the Nexis database for cable and network interviews of Issa from November 3, 2010 through January 10, 2011. In 11 interviews on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, and CNN, no host or anchor asked Issa about the criminal allegations that have been made against him.

Print Media Largely Overlooks Issa’s Alleged Criminal Past

Only One Of 15 Articles Substantially Mentioning Issa Referenced Any Of The Allegations. Media Matters examined coverage of Issa in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times from November 3, 2010, through January 10, 2011. Of the 15 articles in that period that included substantial coverage of Issa, only one referenced any of the allegations against him.

  • Wash. Post Article Mentions In Passing Issa’s Arrest For Car Theft. A 1300-word Washington Post profile of Issa published December 19, 2010, stated, “After Issa (pronounced EYE-suh) and his brother ran into trouble with the law for car theft (Issa’s brother, William, claimed responsibility), Darrell Issa invested all of his savings, about $7,000, in starting a car-alarm business that he grew into a behemoth.” The article did not mention Issa was also suspected of arson, accused of intimidation with a weapon, and repeatedly arrested on weapons charges. [Washington Post, 12/19/10]

The Real Issa: Suspected Arson

1982: Issa Suspected, But Never Charged, In Arson Incident At Manufacturing Plant. According to the Los Angeles Times: “A suspected arson fire ripped through [Issa’s Ohio] manufacturing plant in 1982. No one was ever charged in the fire, but authorities were troubled by a dramatic escalation in the facility’s fire insurance just weeks earlier. Even before the blaze was put out, investigators began peppering Issa and his partner with ‘crazy questions’ regarding their whereabouts before the fire, Issa recalled.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

  • Prior To Fire, Issa “Boosted” Fire Insurance And Removed A Computer From The Premises. According to the Los Angeles Times: “Weeks before the fire, Issa and [business partner Miles] Hunsinger boosted their fire insurance from $ 100,000 to $ 462,000 on property stored for other companies…At the same time, a separate company that contracted with Quantum to outfit bug zappers increased its insurance to $ 400,000, and, according to an insurance report, one investigator was ‘concerned about the coincidence.’ Fire investigators also noted that a computer was taken off the site eight days before the fire, ‘allegedly to be reprogrammed’ by Issa’s lawyer, and that business blueprints were put away in a safe — which was ‘not previously done before.'” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

“Suspicious Burn Patterns” And “Out Of Normal Practice” Behavior Alerted Investigators.  The Washington Post reported: “Investigators reported ‘suspicious burn patterns’ and said the fire may have been set. A company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, also told them that computers and records had been removed from the site days before the fire for no clear reason. ‘It was totally out of normal practice,’ she said in a telephone interview last week.” [Washington Post via FTLComm.com, 7/8/03]

AC Custom Fire: Flammable Liquid Had “Been Poured On The Only Area Not Covered By Fire Sprinklers.”  The Los Angeles Times reported that “seven months after Issa took control,” a fire broke out at the “Quantum manufacturing plant.”  “Case files from Maple Heights, the Ohio fire marshal and insurers pointed repeatedly to the likelihood of arson in the blaze, which officials estimated caused $ 800,000 in damage. Although an accident could not be ruled out, the uneven and unnatural burn patterns made the blaze ‘suspicious in nature,’ the state concluded two months later. Flammable liquid appeared to have been poured on the only area not covered by fire sprinklers, investigators found.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

The Real Issa: Intimidation With A Weapon

Former AC Custom Executive Claimed Issa Intimidated Him With A Gun. According to the Los Angeles Times: “One of Issa’s first tasks as the new boss [of AC Custom] was to remove an executive named Jack Frantz. According to Frantz, Issa came into his office, placed a small box on the desk and opened it. Inside, he said, was a gun.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

  • Issa Allegedly Used Intimidation To Fire Executive Frantz. According to the Los Angeles Times, Frantz claimed, “‘He just showed [the gun] to me and said ‘You know what this is?’ Issa invited Frantz to hold the gun at one point and told him he had learned about guns and explosives during his military days, Frantz said. Because he was about to be fired, Frantz said he saw it as ‘pure intimidation.'” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]
  • Former AC Custom Bookkeeper: “It Was Pretty Terrifying.” According to the Los Angeles Times: “The bookkeeper, [Karen] Brasdovich, also recalled Issa having a gun at the company that day. ‘It was pretty terrifying,’ she said.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

Issa On The Incident: “Shots Were Never Fired.” The Los Angeles Times reported: “Issa said, ‘Shots were never fired. If I asked Jack to leave, then I think I had every right to ask Jack to leave…I don’t recall having a gun. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.'” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

The Real Issa: Auto Theft & Weapons Charges

Issa “Twice Arrested In 1972 On Weapons Charges.” According to the San Francisco Chronicle: “Issa was twice arrested in 1972 on weapons charges — once in Ohio, once in Michigan.” [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]

Issa Was Convicted Of “Possession Of An Unregistered Handgun,” Paid Fine, And Served Probation. According to the San Francisco Chronicle: “[W]hen Issa was attending college in Michigan, was fined $100 and put on three months’ probation after being arrested for possession of an unregistered handgun, Michigan court records show.” [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]

1972: Issa Was Arrested For Auto Theft. According to the New York Times: “In 1972, [Darrell Issa] and his brother William were arrested in the theft of a Maserati from a Cleveland car dealership.” [New York Times7/23/03]

1972: Issa Also Charged With “Carrying A Concealed Weapon.” According to the San Francisco Chronicle: “Court records…show that in March 1972, one month after getting out of the Army, Issa was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and auto theft. The court file doesn’t indicate the type of weapon involved.” [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03] 

Auto Theft, Concealed Weapons Charges Were Ultimately Dropped. According to the San Francisco Chronicle: “In May 1972, a grand jury indicted Issa on a larceny charge in connection with the car theft but dropped the weapons charge. Two weeks later, a prosecutor dropped the car theft charge as well.” [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]

  • Charges Were Dropped Despite Witness Reports. According to the Los Angeles Times, “a witness reported seeing [Darrell and William Issa] pushing the sports car down the street just before midnight, records and interviews show. But the charges were dismissed — months before the older brother, [William], was convicted of stealing another car amid a string of offenses.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

Methodology

Media Matters for America searched the Factiva database for news articles from The Wall Street Journal and the Nexis database for news articles from the Los Angeles Times, The New York TimesUSA Today, and The Washington Post and all network and cable news programming* from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC between November 2, 2010 and January 10, 2011 for mentions of Darrell Issa. From cable, only interviews were included — news packages and short clips were excluded. From print, any article substantially mentioning Issa — beyond merely reporting his new position in Congress or other brief mentions — was included.

The original data is located here.

*ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox Broadcasting, and NBC transcripts include all news programming; Fox News and MSNBC transcripts include prime-time and select daytime interviews.


Alleged Giffords Shooter Jared Lee Loughner Held By Federal Judge

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Alleged Giffords Shooter Jared Lee Loughner Held By Federal Judge
Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged gunman behind the mass shooting on Saturday that killed six people including a federal judge and gravely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), appeared in federal court on Monday with his head shaved and wearing an inmates outfit. He was held without bail as a judge called him “danger to society.”

Presented By:

Presented By:


Fox, Beck and Palin – Grim Reaping What They Sow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Fox, Beck and Palin – Grim Reaping What They Sow


Vicki Kennedy Will Not Run for Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Vicki Kennedy Will Not Run for Senate
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Vicki Kennedy says she will not run for the office of her late husband, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). She says that “though she’s flattered by the sentiments, there’s no chance she’ll change her mind.”

Said Kennedy: “There will not be a yes. The Senate is not where I see my future.”

Why not? “I can’t imagine running for elective office without Teddy at my side, and that really is what it all comes down to,” she said. “I hope people respect that.”

Palin Breaks Her Silence
Sarah Palin posted a statement in response to the intense criticism she’s faced in the days since the Arizona shootings.

Writes Palin: “Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event…”

“There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those ‘calm days’ when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.”

Palin also released a video version of the same statement.


Hate and Violence Are Encoded in the DNA of the American Right

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Hate and Violence Are Encoded in the DNA of the American Right
The Right foments group resentment in increasingly apocalyptic terms, to people in need of easy answers in an era of widespread joblessness and uncertainty.

Vision: Why the Fall of American Empire Can Be a Good (and Peaceful) Thing
The future belongs to the simple-living closer-to-the-land folk who can utilize what is known as Appropriate Tech.

Prophets of War: How Defense Contractor Lockheed Martin Dominates the Military Establishment
William Hartung reveals how Lockheed Martin’s presence in the U.S. military goes far deeper than mere weapon supplying.


Darrell Issa’s Ominous Past & Twitter Avatar: Top 10 reasons Issa is the perfect Obama watchdog

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Darrell Issa’s Ominous Past & Twitter Avatar: Top 10 reasons Issa is the perfect Obama watchdog
Darrell Issa’s Ominous Past & Twitter Avatar: Top 10 reasons Issa is the perfect Obama watchdogDon’t let Darrell Issa’s verbal ineptitude or crime-ridden past fool you: The last person Obama wants investigating him is the cunning California?Don’t let Darrell Issa’s…


Top Jewish Historian: Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, Anti-Semitic
On Saturday night, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked someone on the scene in Tucson if anti-Semitism played any role in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting. His response was “no.” It is well known that Giffords is Jewish, but anti-Semitism per se did…


Ken Blackwell Whitewashes Slavery Out Of Original Constitution

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 12th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Ken Blackwell Whitewashes Slavery Out Of Original Constitution

Last week, when the House of Representatives read the Constitution on the House floor, the body’s new GOP leadership elected to replace the actual Constitution with a censored document that erased many of America’s original sins. Yesterday, in response to widespread and bipartisan criticism of this censorship, GOP voter suppression guru Ken Blackwell doubles down:

The idea that our Constitution “condoned” slavery and was therefore an immoral document unworthy of being viewed with reverence is a stock liberal claim. It is false.

Most of the Founders wanted to abolish the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Jefferson had denounced that “execrable traffic” in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence.

But South Carolina and Georgia delegates would not go along and, significantly, some in New England recognized the powerful influence of merchants whose ships included slavers.

But they were able to get into the original Constitution a provision which allowed Congress to ban the Slave Trade in twenty years. How odd for all those Washington liberals who today tout compromise to attack as immoral and vile this most important of compromises. Would most of the Founders have so desperately wanted to ban the Slave Trade if they thought it a good thing? If they condoned it?

Blackwell’s claim that the framers “allowed Congress to ban the Slave Trade in twenty years” is, to say the least, a creative interpretation of the document. The provision Blackwell refers to provides that “[t]he migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight.” Far from empowering Congress to ban the slave trade, this provision stripped Congress of its power to do so for 20 years.

Moreover, although President Thomas Jefferson did sign a bill which banned the importation of slaves in 1808, Blackwell wrongly presents this action as if it were a constitutional repudiation of slavery. Although this law prevented slaves from being brought into the United States from abroad, existing slaves and their children remained in bondage until the Thirteenth Amendment was finally ratified in 1865. That was the moment when the Constitution finally stopped condoning slavery, not, as Blackwell suggests, when the document was originally ratified.

None of this is to say, of course, that the entire document is fundamentally flawed simply because of its initial failure to end one of America’s great moral failures. Rather, the genius of the Constitution is the fact that it has empowered America to learn from its mistakes, to enshrine our most fundamental values into amendments, and to function largely as a democracy. The GOP’s attempt to gloss over this history not only whitewashes American history, it ignores the very thing that makes the Constitution a great document.