Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28

Leaving for a few days. Enjoy yourselves!




A new study in the journal Geology is the latest to tie a string of unusual earthquakes, in this case, in central Oklahoma, to the injection of wastewater deep underground. Researchers now say that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake near Prague, Okla., on Nov. 6, 2011, may also be the largest ever linked to wastewater injection. Felt as far away as Milwaukee, more than 800 miles away, the quake -- the biggest ever recorded in Oklahoma--destroyed 14 homes, buckled a federal highway and left two people injured. Small earthquakes continue to be recorded in the area.

The recent boom in U.S. energy production has produced massive amounts of wastewater. The water is used both in hydrofracking, which cracks open rocks to release natural gas, and in coaxing petroleum out of conventional oil wells. In both cases, the brine and chemical-laced water has to be disposed of, often by injecting it back underground elsewhere, where it has the potential to trigger earthquakes. The water linked to the Prague quakes was a byproduct of oil extraction at one set of oil wells, and was pumped into another set of depleted oil wells targeted for waste storage.


The Man Called Petraeus is very sorry for his adultery. No word yet on whether he regrets torturing Iraqis.

by digby

It was awfully heartwarming to see The Man Called Petraeusapologize for the sin of committing adultery, something which every person in American has a stake and an interest.  It's all good now. He's a fine upstanding citizen again. 

Luckily nobody will ever ask for an apology for this:

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war.

Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency, an investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic shows.

After the Pentagon lifted a ban on Shia militias joining the security forces, the special police commando (SPC) membership was increasingly drawn from violent Shia groups such as the Badr brigades.

A second special adviser, retired Colonel James H Coffman, worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding.

Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus, sent to Iraq in June 2004 to organise and train the new Iraqi security forces. Steele, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and returned to the country in 2006, reported directly to Rumsfeld.

The allegations, made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary, implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.

Coffman reported to Petraeus and described himself in an interview with the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes as Petraeus's "eyes and ears out on the ground" in Iraq.

"They worked hand in hand," said General Muntadher al-Samari, who worked with Steele and Coffman for a year while the commandos were being set up. "I never saw them apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them inside the detention centres. They knew everything that was going on there ... the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture."

You can see the documentary here. But don't watch it on a full stomach. It will make you sick.



Looks like you meat eaters are eating dog, horse, and humans. Yum!


Three same-sex couples yesterday filed lawsuits against Utah's ban on gay marriage. 
The complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Utah argues that the constitutional amendment passed in 2004 denies gay and lesbian citizens the basic right to marriage as affirmed in the interracial marriage case Loving vs. Virginia. Plaintiffs in the Utah case include gay and lesbian couples who want to get married, along with a lesbian couple whose Iowa marriage isn't recognized by Utah.

Utah Attorney General John Swallow said the U.S. Supreme Court will probably avoid making a broad ruling. Swallow said marriage is for states to define. "I believe that under our federal constitution the individual states retained the sole right to define the marriage relationship," Swallow said Tuesday in a statement. "As Attorney General, I swore an oath to defend the Utah Constitution and will do so by defending against this lawsuit with every resource at my disposal."
The suit names the state attorney general, the governor, and the Salt Lake county clerk as defendants.


The Kansas legislature is expected to pass a bill that provides for quarantining people living with HIV and AIDS. This story is NOT from thirty years ago. The bill is allegedly meant to help emergency response workers (firefighters, EMTs, etc) who presently must get a court order to test the blood of patients to whom they have been exposed. 
Kansas banned quarantining those with AIDS back in 1988, but if this law is passed, those in the LGBT community fear health officials — especially those in rural areas — will begin intimidating those with HIV by threatening to quarantine them. Lawmakers say that is not the intent of this law, that they want to give health officials the ability to quarantine those with infectious diseases if need be. But since the way people are infected with HIV is so different from many other infectious diseases like TB and Hepatitis, AIDS activists don't believe HIV patients should ever be threatened by health officials.
From the bill, which includes people infected with tuberculosis, hepatitis B & C, and HIV. 
The secretary of health and environment is authorized to issue such orders and adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary to prevent the spread and dissemination of diseases injurious to the public health, including, but not limited to, providing for the testing for such diseases and the isolation and quarantine of persons afflicted with or exposed to such diseases. No later than January 1, 2014, the secretary shall develop and adopt rules and regulations providing for the protection of individuals who provide medical or nursing services, clinical or forensic laboratory services, emergency medical services and firefighting, law enforcement and correctional services, or who provide any other service {or individuals who receive any such services} or are in any other employment where the individual may encounter occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27

Cartoon by Matt Bors - Iraq War ten years later





Fox News Contributors Say Marriage Equality Would Criminalize Christianity


"Gay people who want to marry have no desire to redefine marriage in any way. When women got the vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter, alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table." -Cynthia Nixon


Matthew Boyle's Latest Crusade For Breitbart's Corpse: Let's Put Those Awful Obama Daughters In Their Place


ohforfuckssake we cannot believe we are going to have to write about Obamaphones again. Everybody – and we mean EVERYBODY – has debunked the myth that these phones are just a giveaway to lazy shiftless welfare peoples AND explained that the program started with Saint Reagan. Apparently David Vitter didn't get the memo, though, because diaper baby cosplay takes up a lot of time, so he's still beating this dead horse to deadness:



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26

Racist Hate Group To Conduct Nighttime Patrols On College Campus



Am I the only one who thinks all the blue dogs and Republicans are coming out in favor of gay marriage because they know Fat Tony and the rest of Opus Dei on the Supreme Court are going to uphold DOMA, so all these guys can claim they supported gay marriage but that SCOTUS just got in the way?


John Boehner.  Orange Julius.  He's the russet-colored boil on the ass of the body politic, if there ever was one.  Finally it looks like somebody on the D side across the Ohio river is going to take a shot at lancing him.

Middletown resident and Army veteran Andrew Hounshell said he will announce his candidacy April 5 to challenge Speaker of the House John Boehner for his congressional seat.

Hounshell stepped into the limelight this past September when he introduced President Barack Obama at a campaign stop in Cincinnati.

The vice president of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1943 at AK Steel's Middletown Works plant will hold a fundraiser at the Forest Hills Country Club, 791 Fourth Ave. in Middletown, where he will announce his run for the U.S. House of Representatives Ohio 8th District in 2014.

Howie Klein over at DWT has more, including Andrew's essay on why this one-time Republican walked away from the party of cray-cray and joined the good guys.

Memories like mine can mold and shape a person's voting patterns for a lifetime. Luckily for me, my thirties brought on a time of clarity. There wasn't one particular event that turned on a light bulb, but rather a combination of many: college, union work, community work, my father relying on the VA for health care, my mother relying on her Social Security to survive, in-laws going without health insurance because they can't afford it after my father in-law was laid-off from Delphi, having 3 children at one time (the list goes on and on). I realized that through policy, our elected officials do have a huge impact on our livelihood. Through cuts in Social Security, appointments to the NLRB, cuts to the VA, immigration reform (or lack thereof), tax loopholes for corporations, subsidies to oil companies, etc., our middle class has been eroded and we are not taking care of those who can no longer take care of themselves.

The Republicans I loved as a child, and I thought loved me back, were the very ones who were supporting this erosion. How could this be?

Andrew's my age.  I too remember sending Reagan a get well card when I was 5 after he was shot.  It was a crappy drawing of the space shuttle Columbia, which being drawn by a 5-year old, looked more like a tube of toothpaste with two smaller booster rocket tubes attached to it.  I got a nifty thank you note from the White House.  ZandarMom voted for the guy, after all.

And like Reagan (not that he was super awesome or anything) those Republicans are long gone, replaced by their current insane iteration.  Like me, Hounshell figured out a long time ago that Republicans don't give a damn about working class anyone and never will.  In Ohio, that still matters to an extent.

Does Hounshell have a shot against the Big Orange Machine?  Considering Boehner ran unopposed in 2012, I'm going to say Democrats have a better chance than they did last year, right?


Dueling headlines.


Zimmerman's lawyer works to dispel racial overtones in Trayvon Martin case

TP (via Mediaite):

George Zimmerman's Brother: 'Black Teens' Are Killers

And you wondered why lawyers drink.


Everything You Need To Know About The Marriage Equality Cases At The Supreme Court

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25

More from The Atlantic, this time on why the rich don't give to charity:
But why? Lower-income Americans are presumably no more intrinsically generous (or "prosocial," as the sociologists say) than anyone else. However, some experts have speculated that the wealthy may be less generous—that the personal drive to accumulate wealth may be inconsistent with the idea of communal support. Last year, Paul Piff, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, published research that correlated wealth with an increase in unethical behavior: "While having money doesn't necessarily make anybody anything," Piff later told New York magazine, "the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people." They are, he continued, "more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes."
Sounds roughly right.

Continuing on a theme, because, well, why not: Salon, on how rich moochers are ruining America:
That's the Rentier Agenda, then — low tax rates on unearned income flowing to passive investors, replacing public utilities with private toll-charging monopolies, and pursuing policies that deter inflation, even at the risk of prolonged, mass unemployment and idle factories. It is no exaggeration to say that the private sector rentiers are not only the real "moochers" and the real "takers" but also are the greatest threat to productive industrial capitalism, in the United States and the world.

What we need is an Anti-Rentier alliance. Such a coalition would scramble the usual patterns of politics. Progressives and conservatives alike would have to distinguish between productive businesses, which we should encourage, and rent-extracting parasites that need to be dealt with. Pro-manufacturing liberals and Main Street conservative populists should unite against what the progressive economist Michael Hudson calls "the tollbooth economy" in alliance with what James K. Galbraith calls "the predator state."


Congratulations on your new gun laws

Despite worries that it would take many months and much acrimonious debate to pass new gun laws, they slipped out of the Senate and House with bipartisan support and barely a mention. It seems only right that with the horror of Newtown merely the latest in a line of terrorist atrocities to beset the nation, our government should act swiftly.

So let's see what we got.  That new legislation...

  • Forbids anyone from asking gun dealers to keep an inventory of their goods, making it impossible to know if any weapons are missing or stolen
  • Instructs the ATF to be very sure that no one can use their information on the use of guns in crimes, to draw any conclusions about... the use of guns in crimes
  • Locks down a broad definition of the types of weapons that are considered antiques and collectables, making it easier to buy, sell, and import these weapons and their ammunition
  • Forbids the ATF from pulling a gun license from a dealer just because they don't see any legitimate business activity and suspect that the dealer is engaged in a criminal enterprise

Criminals? Protected! Ingnorance? Upheld! Congratulations, America. Done and done.


Earlier this year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker cut $1 million from Planned Parenthood , forcing the closure of four Planned Parenthood facilities in the state as a result,  and forcing women in those areas to have to travel greater distances for services placing an unnecessary burden on their personal economies and general welfare.

On their website, the 40 Days For Life people state their mission:

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city — and throughout America.

I wonder if God knows that cutting family planning services actually increases the chances for unwanted and unplanned pregnancies? Or that cutting funding for any sort of healthcare safety net in their respective Wingnut-controlled states, like denying Medicaid funds while seeking to repeal The Affordable Care Act for the 4oth time to fund some national abstinence-only program, is really just a sadistic means to a circular-attack on women and their right to privacy that includes no exceptions for rape and incest?

So much for freewill, Sister.

Next time the religious right wackaloons tell you that you can't abort their precious immaculate Jesus babies, just tell them that "the Devil is inside you" and there's no way in hell you're giving birth to the next anti-Christ!

Can't argue with that logic.



George Zimmerman's Brother: 'Black Teens' Are Killers


NBC is hyping an "interview," to be aired Monday, with convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky. But what they don't tell you is the interview wasn't conducted by NBC. Rather, NBC is airing excerpts of an interview by John Ziegler, right-wing documentarian and propagandist. Ziegler has been publicly skeptical of the charges against Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, writing that at the time the grand jury was convened "the legal case against Jerry Sandusky was actually remarkably weak." Keep reading here.


My god, how I loathe Peggy Noonan.


Rand Paul Is Right On Marijuana, And That Should Scare Democrats Into Action


Richard Dawkins: Creationists know nothing

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24

**** Today Congress succeeded in passing Section 735, aka the Monsanto Protection Act, in the Continuing Resolution spending bill. Once again, Monsanto and the biotech industry have used their lobbying power to undermine your basic rights.

We need you to call President Obama and tell him to veto HR 933 and the Monsanto Protection Act. Then contact Congress and tell them you are outraged. With the Senate passage of the Monsanto Protection Act, biotech lobbyists are one step closer to making sure that their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review.



Get the popcorn!

But it get's better:

Anyway, short-fingered vulgarian Donal Trump and anchor-baby Michelle Malkkkin seem to be having some sort of slap-fight, so my day is already made. 


Daily Caller accused of bribing Menendez prostitutes 

Did Daily Caller pay to frame Menendez?

The shit is really hitting the fan for Tucker Carlson's wingnutDaily Caller and its months-long campaign to bring down Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).  The Daily Caller writer who launched the story and followed up with daily outragedupdates is Matthew Boyle, who recently jumped ship forBreitbart.   Boyle and I have occasionally exchanged tweets on various subjects, but after the Menendez story began to fall apart a few weeks ago, he stopped responding to my questions about it.  Since then Boyle, usually a many-times-per-day tweeter, has gone almost silent.  Hit any of the above headlines for the stories.



Here's a Great Idea

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says his choice as a model for the GOP on marriage and abortion would be He of Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Fame, Mike Huckabee.

Priebus cited former governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as an example of someone who could be "a model for a lot of people in our party" in terms of discussing issues like marriage and abortion. "I always tell people: Listen to Governor Mike Huckabee," he said. "I don't know anyone that talks about them any better."

Reince Priebus doesn't 'know anyone who talks about The Gays or The Womens better than Mike Huckabee' and, evidently, isn't aware that behind the veneer of aw-shucks smirking and good ole boy hucksterism is a pit of fire and brimstone.

Huckabee has said that homosexuality is a public health risk, that changing the definition of marriage may lead to polygamy, and he even drew a direct line between gay families and a culture of godlessness to the Newtown school shooting. He also backs passing a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and believes allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the boy scouts will lead to pedophilia.

And that's not all. He also believes AIDS was god's punishment for homosexuality, wants to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell, and has compared same-sex marriage to bestiality and alcoholism.

On the subject of abortion, Huckabee threw his support behind Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin, believes we should ban all abortions even in cases of rape and incest, and has compared it to slavery. He also said "tax-funded abortion pills" may have also had a role in the Newtown school shooting.

And that's just the tip of the cuckoo's nest.

By all means — promote Mike Huckabee, a man who is more or less a less-creepy Pat Robertson, as your "model" for the party and listen to him.

Reince Priebus stays losing.


Senate Republicans Unanimously Support Repeal of Student Loan Reform Law

Fox: Americans Need Assault Weapons To Protect Themselves From An Iranian Invasion, Al Qaeda

New Hampshire House Votes To Prohibit Private Prisons

This news is not new-it's based on a survey done more than year ago -- but it's news worth repeating anyway. Here are Larry Bartels and Benjamin Page in the LA Times today on the political priorities of the very rich:

Our research found that the biggest concern of this top 1% of wealth-holders was curbing budget deficits and government spending. When surveyed, they ranked those things as priorities three times as often as they did unemployment - and far more often than any other issue.

....They were also much less likely to favor raising taxes on high-income people, instead advocating that entitlement programs like Social Security and healthcare be cut to balance the budget.

....While the wealthy favored more government spending on infrastructure, scientific research and aid to education, they leaned toward cutting nearly everything else. Even with education, they opposed things that most Americans favor.

....The wealthy opposed - while most Americans favor - instituting a system of national health insurance, raising the minimum wage to above poverty levels, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and providing a "decent standard of living" for the unemployed. They were also against the federal government helping with or providing jobs for those who cannot find private employment.

....Unlike most Americans, wealthy respondents opposed increased regulation of large corporations and raising the "cap" that exempts income above $113,700 from the FICA payroll tax. And unlike most Americans, they oppose relying heavily on corporate taxes to raise revenue and oppose taxing the rich to redistribute wealth. 

A large body of research, from Bartels and others, demonstrates that lawmakers respond to the desires of the upper middle class and the wealthy, but not much to anyone else. So if you're wondering why official Washington is all atwitter over budget deficits, but doesn't seem to care much about unemployment, this is why. It's because that's what rich people care about. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23

This is the list of Senators, Republican and Democratic who voted to endorse Keystone. No photos, no satirical meme. Just the names. Time to call them out....again.
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121. 24 hours 7 days per week

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

'Senate's Big Oil Benefactors' Slammed for Keystone XL Vote - 10 KXL amendment co-sponsors took $8 million from fossil fuel industry



Am I the only one who's enjoying Bibi Netanyahu's obvious discomfort during Obama's visit? The latest is what I'm sure was an ugly call with Turkey's PM, where Netanyahu apologized for the 2010 flotilla raid that killed some Turks. But, overall, the news I've seen has been a mash note to Obama.Here's an example from Haartez:

Obama's visit is a royal visit of love, says Ari Shavit, referencing the poem by Israel Pincas. Here the president displayed in his actions a heart yearning for peace, with perhaps a touch of naivete, while his speech in Jerusalem served as a softly admonishing wake-up call for Israelis to enact a promising future.

Sometimes it takes someone from the outside, says Yossi Verter, to tell it like it is. [...]

After Obama's visit, it will be more difficult for his rivals to claim that he has Israel's worst interests at heart, says Chemi Shalev. [...]

Haaretz is not Bibi's paper, but it's pretty clear that Bibi is the guy who came at the king and missed, and there's some making up to do. Realistically, Obama is highly constrained by the pro-Israel lobby, but there's a hint of truth in this Onion piece: Netanyahu, the leader of a state that is completely dependent on our money, was a fool to gamble on Romney, and the Israeli reaction to Obama's visit makes him look even more foolish.


Would someone please ask Bill O'Reilly about the connection between duckies, bunnies, eggs, and Jesus on the cross?

Bill O'Reilly has an angry about the "War on Easter":

After declaring victory in the War on Christmas, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly had another budding battle to discuss: the War on Easter.

O'Reilly takes wars on various holidays quite seriously. Before Christmas last year, O'Reilly invited an atheist leader onto his program, called him a fascist, and argued that Christianity is not a religion but a philosophy.

Like he described during his segments about the War on Christmas, O'Reilly said that "secular progressives" were "running wild" with Obama as president, and were trying to "diminish any kind of religion."

O'Reilly listed five public schools he said are replacing the word "Easter" with the word "Spring." The school are reportedly hosting "Spring Egg Hunts."

"I know it's stupid, you know it's stupid," O'Reilly said. He added that secular progressives were trying to marginalize Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as an attempt to "set the stage for an entirely secular society, like they have in Scandinavia."

Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham joined O'Reilly on the segment. "I think you're onto something," she said.

Later, O'Reilly laid out his course of action if he were president and dealing with a War on Easter. "You know what I would do if I were president? I'd name the [school] districts we just named here and say 'Knock it off.' Respect Easter. Easter's a good thing. You don't have to believe in Jesus. The kids like it. It's not a spring egg. It's an Easter egg," he said.

I wonder if anyone told Bill O'Reilly that what he's doing is defending pagan symbols? Has anyone ever asked him what duckies and bunnies and eggs have to do with the crucifixion and resurrection? Does he think the risen Jesus was eating Cadbury Cream Eggs while waiting to emerge from the tomb? Or biting the ears off of hollow chocolate bunnies? Does he really want to defend a holiday the name of which is derived from that of aGermanic pagan goddess? Is he aware that the bunnies he's defending from those evil secular humanists were symbols of the pagan spring festival because they, well, fuck like bunnies and reproduce like rabbits? And that eggs are a symbol of fertility? And that what he's really defending is a pagan fertility rite? Yes, the Christians, just as they did with Christmas, decided when they ripped off the pagan Equinox festival, that the eggs and related fertility symbols really represented the resurrection of Christ. But that didn't happen until much, much later.

So what I say is Let the Pagan Symbols fly! Decorate the schools eith eggs and duckies and bunnies! Celebrate the equinox far and wide! Just don't tell Bill O'Reilly that what he's defending is a bunch of Wiccans and Druids.


New York City Cop Testifies That He Was Told To Target Young Black Men

Health Insurers Threaten To Increase Premiums, Even As Profits Soar

Yesterday we brought you the fun news of a state of Utah elementary school art contest with the awesome theme Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas and Mining, in honor of — wait for it — Earth Day!

(In case you were wondering, no: the state of Utah was not going for a Nothing But Flowers utopia horrifying dystopia, but rather wanted its schoolchildren to focus on the benefits to humanity — AND THE ENVIRONMENT — wrought by the oil, gas and mining companies. We will repeat: IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY.)

Since we are not Utah elementary school students, and none of you Utahnkers made your grade-school children available as an art-laundering front, we decided to hold our branch of the contest here. Did you deliver? What do you think?

Keep reading:

So, yes, a lawyer in the Dominican Republic says that a mystery man named Carlos who purported to rep The Daily Caller offered him $5,000 to help to find women who would say that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) paid them for sex. But … he also claims three other media outlets —Telemundo, Univision, CNN Espanol — also enlisted him to help find such women. And he tells Univision, on camera, that he can't remember who from that network contacted him. Straining credulity much?

Alas, this still doesn't augur very well for The Daily Caller. The same lawyer figured prominently in its original story on Menendez's purported sexual escapades, as a lawyer for the women who was present for their interviews with The Daily Caller.


North Dakota Passes Unconstitutional Ban On All Abortions

North Dakota Republicans widened the War on Women today by passing a ban on all abortions, among other things, by declaring that fertilized eggs are people too.

North Dakota lawmakers voted on Friday afternoon to pass a "personhood" abortion ban, which would endow fertilized eggs with all the rights of U.S. citizens and effectively outlaw abortion. The measure, which passed the Senate last month, passed the House by a 57-35 vote and will now head to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple's desk.

The personhood ban will have far-reaching consequences even beyond abortion care, since it will charge doctors who damage embryos with criminal negligence. Doctors in the state say it will also prevent them from performingin vitro fertilization, and some medical professionals have vowed to leave the state if it is signed into law.

As others have pointed out, this will also ban the Plan B "morning after" pill and other forms of birth control.

No word on whether or not the state lawmakers who voted for the bill put on a smile while casting their votes.


Suspect in Colorado Official Shooting Was White Supremacist

On the day the state of Colorado was poised to enact new gun control laws, the head of the state Department of Corrections, Tom Clements, was shot dead in his home from an unknown assailant.

A man driving a vehicle that matched witness descriptions of the vehicle driven by the man who shot Clements lead police on a high-speed chase yesterday which resulted in his death. Police are now investigating the man as a suspect in the murder.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a detailed profile of the suspect who, evidently, has ties to white supremacists.

The apparent suspect was identified in several reports as Evan Spencer Ebel, a 28-year-old Denver parolee who was shot to death Thursday after first wounding a North Texas sheriff's deputy and then crashing his car during a chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph. Officials told the Post and other Colorado news outlets that the Cadillac Ebel was driving is similar to a car that was described by witnesses as waiting outside Clements home for about a half hour before the official was murdered.

Ebel was identified as a member of the 211 Crew, also known as the Aryan Alliance, a particularly vicious regional white supremacist prison gang whose size has been estimated at somewhere between several hundred and a thousand members, all in Colorado. [...]

The 211 Crew may be most infamous for two of its members, Jeremiah Barnum and Nathan Thill, two men who were convicted of charges related to the 1997 bus-stop murder of Senegalese immigrant Oumar Dia. Dia was murdered, Thill once said, because he was "wearing the enemy's uniform" — his black skin. [...]

The 211 Crew is known for its paramilitary structure, with members using titles like major, captain and lieutenant, and for elaborate verbal and written codes that all members are required to learn.

The reason we need gun control in America is because of men like this. Because the very real threat of being shot by a white madman on a personal crusade is much greater than the imagined threat of being lorded over by the U.N. or some other unspecified oppressor. And a proper, universal background check system would prevent convicted barbarians from picking up a gun on a whim.

No, such a system would not prevent all crimes or all shootings, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can to stop some of them. And the good news is some states are adopting universal background checks on their own while similar legislation remains alive and breathing in the Senate.

Considering that it's been 14 years since Columbine and that Colorado just enacted new gun control laws, it's quite obvious that any meaningful change is going to take a great deal of time. And a few more massacres like the Aurora theater shooting.


This is disgusting:

The National Rifle Association came under fire late Thursday from members of a gun-control advocacy group in Newtown, Conn., after reports surfaced of Newtown residents receiving robocalls and pro-gun postcards from the NRA.

The advocacy group, the Newtown Action Alliance, posted a Facebook message Thursday about the calls, prompting responses from people who said they'd received communications from the NRA and were upset by them.

"I received one of these," Newtown resident Christopher Wenis wrote on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "I was insulted and offended." Wenis told The Huffington Post in an interview Friday night that in the 36 hours since he first posted his response, he received two more robocalls from the NRA, one later on Thursday night and one Friday evening.