Thursday, February 16, 2012

Headlines - Thursday February 16

Republicans Play Politics On Domestic Violence – Women, LGBT Community, Immigrants And Native Americans May Lose
".... In this Presidential election year, the right-wing of the Republican party (and every GOP Presidential candidate) have offered nothing but dangerous pandering to the most hate-filled members of society."
The world's largest Christian television network, Trinity Broadcasting, has been accused of funneling $50 million in viewer donations to the company's directors. Freak show televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch (above) are the global faces of the network.
The charges are leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper last week against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for TBN. "Observers have often wondered how the Crouches can afford multiple mansions on both coasts, a $50 million jet and chauffeurs," said Tymothy MacLeod, Koper's attorney. "And finally, with the CFO coming forward, we have answers to those questions." Koper had served as chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources for Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, which does business as Trinity Broadcasting Network, according to the suit. Koper's complaint is not directed against her grandparents or TBN – but against the two attorneys who handle some TBN legal work, and who once worked for Koper herself. She accuses them of professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and other transgressions in the suit.
RELATED: In 2010 Paul Crouch Jr., the son of the network's founder, was forced to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by a gay male employee who claimed that Crouch had taunted him with female pornography and had told co-workers that he has a "mangina." The details of that settlement were not made public. In 1994 the network paid a settlement of $425,000 to a man who claimed that he was forced have sex with Paul Crouch, Sr. in order to keep his job.

President Obama is visiting Scottwalkerstan today, which may be considered ground zero in the war against unions and, not surprisingly, Governor Walker has decided not to accompany the president on his tour of a union-backed factory he name dropped in the State of the Union.

There has been a change of plans in today's meeting between President Obama, who is visiting Wisconsin to promote his economic policies, and the state's conservative star Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker's office has confirmed that due to a stomach flu, Walker will no longer accompany Obama on a tour of the local Master Lock factory, at which Obama is scheduled to speak in the afternoon. [...]

Obama name-dropped Master Lock in his State of the Union address in January, as an example of jobs coming back to America — and unionized jobs, at that.

Walker may or may not be sick, but if you truly believe that is the reason for his absence, I have some doomsday insurance to sell you.

Ironically, going on a tour with the president would probably increase Walker's overall approval rating, but he can't because he knows he will be the most hated person in the room and will be protested and booed.


Well, more like poll results in chart form. More verification that Americans would rather cut defense spending than Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps.

Click to enlarge.

Not sure why food stamps are less popular — oh wait. Southern Strategy race-baiting demagoguery, etc, etc. Yes, that, even though more whites are on food stamps, but whatever.


Chez wrote a fantastic item for the Huffington Post yesterday calling upon CNN to fire Nancy Grace. In case you're not aware, Grace suggested on her show that Whitney Houston might have been murdered. Yes, murdered. Drowned.

Here's what she said:

"I'd like to know who was around her, who, if anyone gave her drugs…and who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water?" she said. "Apparently, no signs of force or trauma to the body. Who let Whitney Houston go under her water?"

"Might it have been one person, might it have been multiple people, all excellent questions," Baldwin said. "Again, we don't know the cause of her death."


CNN absolutely must fire this irresponsible tabloid nitwit.


Raise your hand if you think Romney now regrets his bashing of the auto bailout. The Wall Street bailout was all about continuing the lifestyle of the 1% but the Big Auto bailout was about rescuing a state and the 99%. It may have been expensive, but people have jobs, which means tax dollars. Why are the GOP presidential candidates so offended by the middle class having jobs? ABC News
Mark Thompson uncovers the truth behind the story about the little girl "forced" by "state agents" to eat chicken nuggets instead of her packed lunch
So before we all go crazy talking about how awful the nanny state is to make this poor little girl eat chicken nuggets instead of her sack lunch, let's all take a deep breath and, I dunno, spend some time researching the facts. I love a good knee-jerk reaction as much as the next guy, but when something sounds too awful to be true, chances are it is. With the very real problems in, say, our criminal justice system – no-knock raids, innocent people on death row, overfilled prisons, and so on and so forth, spending any time at all on this non-troversy is a waste of precious digital ink.

Good ol' West Texas Intermediate has been hanging around the $100 a barrel mark for quite some time now, but the real issue is gasoline prices have hit the $3.50 average well before the summer driving season.  What's driving the price up?  It sure as hell isn't demand.

Strangely, the current run-up in prices comes despite sinking demand in the U.S. "Petrol demand is as low as it's been since April 1997," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. "People are properly puzzled by the fact that we're using less gas than we have in years, yet we're paying more."

Kloza believes much of the increase is due to speculative money that's flowed into gasoline futures contracts since the beginning of the year, mostly from hedge funds and large money managers. "We've seen about $11 billion of speculative money come in on the long side of gas futures," he says. "Each of the last three weeks we've seen a record net long position being taken."

Somebody's making huge bets that gas prices are going to be through the roof, so much so that hey, gas prices are going through the roof.  Record  long futures this early in the year when demand is at a 15-year low seems like a lousy bet on paper, but a lot of people are betting a lot of money that the country will have to deal with $4.50 a gallon soon.  And lo and behold, up goes both crude and gas as the long money becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  All canoodling aside in the Straits of Hormuz, this is very much looking like what happened in 2008.

Funny how that works.

More red states than blue.
The sonic dildo of shame
Charles Pierce

By now, we've all heard of the lovely bit of law passed by Virginia's House Of Delegates, and soon to be signed by Governor Bob McDonnell, who thinks Rick Santorum has screwy ideas about women, whereby any woman seeking to exercise her constitutional right to choose within the borders of the Commonwealth will be forced to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound probe before doing so, and then be forced wo wait 10 days, possibly using the time to figure out why anyone would live in a state that would mandate a mechanical violation this horrific. The probe has no medical value whatsoever. The procedure has been made mandatory for the express purpose of embarrassing women in the most intimate kind of way so that they will be shamed out of exercising a right that is theirs by law. Period.

This is no time for jokes about the Republicans wanting to shrink government and to precisely what size to fit precisely where they want to shrink it. I have a more fundamental question.

Where in the hell are the doctors? Where in hell is the AMA?

Women are being required to undergo a medically unnecessary, personally violative procedure without their consent. (An amendment to require consent unsurprisingly failed in the legislature.) Doctors simply should refuse to conduct this procedure as a violation of their duties as physicians. The AMA should back them legally all the way up to the five wise souls in the big marble building. It should also sue the Commonwealth of Virginia, and McDonnell, until their eyeballs bleed. Doctors should speak out boldly, and without fear, about being used as middlemen in the relentless war on women being waged on several fronts by the anti-choice communities. It's time for being a physician to mean more than the fact that you get a new Lexus every year. Any doctors in the peanut gallery who think I'm wrong about this should chime in down in the comments.

Hey, I have a notion. Demand a "conscience exemption" from the requirements of this act of medical barbarism. Those seem to be all the rage these days.


Yes, it is of critical importance to the country that an aging Australian tits-and-bum merchant hungers for truth more than anything else in a world gone utterly mad. And, as we know, the Truth is Out There. That's why we need, you know, to hack the phones of celebrities and teenaged murder victims.


Asian woman from Hoekstra ad

Hey guys, remember that really racist ad that Rep. Pete Hoekstra ran during the Superbowl, you know, the one with the Asian lady speaking in broken English? Me Neither!, but anyway, the actress who played her has apologized and vowed to set things right. (TPM)


The tax free Westboro Baptist Church said Wednesday that it would picket the funeral of Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston because she engaged "in sorceries."


Last week, Rick Santorum had to walk back his comment that he opposes women serving in combat because "of emotions that are involved" by saying it's not that he's against women serving in combat, he's just concerned that men are emotionally unfit to serve alongside women.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association — an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group — picked up the ball for Santorum, saying outright that women aren't capable of serving in combat:

Right Wing Watch adds that Fischer said in a column today that "the average female soldier does not even have the arm strength to throw a grenade far enough to keep herself from getting blown up."


The panel on Fox News' "The Five" agreed this afternoon that contraception is really scheme of the left to eliminate poor people. Often-sarcastic co-host Greg Gutfeld first floated the idea, saying, "it's more about getting rid of the poor." "The right want the poor to get rich, the left want the poor not to exist," he added. "It's not a bad point," former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino chimed in. Co-host Andrea Tantaros added, "Yeah, population control." "Did you really just say that?" liberal co-host Bob Beckel responded flabbergasted.


Republicans in the Utah State Senate want to move "the clock back 99 years to the era before the 17th Amendment was ratified," the Salt Lake Tribune notes, with a bill that would let state lawmakers exert greater influence in the election of U.S. senators. Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment, state legislatures — not the people — elected senators. But a state Senate committee approved a bill to poll state senators on their preference for federal representation, a move that even Republican critics say undermines the popular election of U.S. senators and may be more about cronyism than good policy.



Let's go through the last 15-20 years of perfect, brilliant top economist Larry Summers' career: He joined Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan in their successful attempt to tear down long-standing financial regulations and keep derivatives totally unmonitored as a Treasury official and then secretary during the Clinton administration, directly leading to the 2008 financial collapse; he became President of Harvard, where he was a total failure who was eventually kicked out; he made $20+ million giving bad advice and speeches to gullible financial firms; he returned to government to head President Obama's economic team, where he was overbearing, crude to his colleagues, and incorrect about the depth and severity of the Great Recession; and then he went back to his plum sinecure at Harvard, where everyone hopes he will stay, quietly, forever. But oh, what's that, the World Bank is in need of a new president? And who is at the top of the list? READ MORE »


Baked potato-wielding beacon of strength and apparent modern-day Sisyphus Glenn Beck has gone symbolically Catholic, despite being a Mormon, in order to stand with freedom-loving Catholics over the contraception mandate that Obama is trying to affix to the health plans of companies affiliated with the Catholic Church. Amusingly, it looks like a great number of Actual Catholics actually support contraception mandates and/or the President, but nonetheless, the crazies are trying to get a freedom amendment attached to a bill that has to do with CARS! — what? This government is stupid — because it is the only way to get Obama to blindly sign on to freedom without realizing what he's doing despite the fact that the entire media is now spilling the details of this brilliant top-secret strategy. Beck also stole his new mantra — "We are all Catholics now" — from another utterer of words, Mike Huckabee. READ MORE »


 Anti-Science Blogger Admits Heartland Institute's 'Special Project' To Distort Temperature Data


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