Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20

So you think Ray Kelly should head up the Department of Homeland Security?

Well, whether you do or don't, you should read Conor Friedersdorf's excellent piece at The Atlantic, "Prominent Democrats Are Now Comfortable With Racial and Ethnic Profiling," which includes:

Under Ray Kelly, the NYPD infiltrated Muslim communities and spied on hundreds or perhaps thousands of totally innocent Americans at mosques, colleges, and elsewhere. Officers "put American citizens under surveillance and scrutinized where they ate, prayed and worked, not because of charges of wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity," AP reported, citing NYPD documents. Informants were paid to bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements. The NYPD even conducted surveillance on Muslim Americans outside its jurisdiction, drawing a rebuke from an FBI field office, where a top official charged that "the department's surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created 'additional risks' in counterterrorism."

Moreover, "In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques," the Associated Pressreported, "the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation." The horrifying effects on innocent Americans are documented here. But despite the high costs and lack of counterterrorism benefits, Kelly stands behind the surveillance on Muslims.


On its own, Kelly's treatment of Muslims ought to disqualify him from the position, and even from being praised by the president of the United States. On its own, his treatment of blacks and Hispanics ought to disqualify him from being promoted, too. But his tenure has also been characterized by a dearth of transparency that has exacerbated his abuses. As Murray Weiss explains, "The lack of transparency during the Kelly administration played a pivotal role in keeping the public -- and by extension the NYPD -- from recognizing years earlier that the number of stop-and-frisks in New York was escalating to troubling levels. Kelly failed to disclose the stop-and-frisk numbers for seven years despite being required by law to do so. When he was finally forced to release them, the numbers were stunning, and caused critics to ask why stop-and-frisks escalated from 100,000 during Bloomberg's first year in office to 500,000 seven years later."

Yet New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is lobbying for him, and on Wednesday President Obama said Kelly's "obviously done an extraordinary job" and would be "very well qualified for the job" of Homeland Security secretary.

Sadly, this isn't at all surprising, though it is to the immense discredit of both men.


Apparently, Peter King -- the congressman from New York, not the SI/NBC football guy-- is thinking about running for president.

(I'll pause while you let out a hearty laugh.)

I look forward to hearing him explain his rabid anti-Muslim bigotry and his enthusiastic support for the terrorist Irish Republican Army on the campaign trail.

Doesn't stand a chance, you say? I thought so, too, at first.

But consider how well anti-Muslim bigotry and the right (i.e., right-wing, or at least white) sort of terrorism freedom fighting, not to mention the call for greater domestic surveillance particularly of Muslims, plays among Republicans.

They lap that shit up.

It's still a long shot, but stranger things have happened. 


If only they were a bank: Judge Rules Detroit's Bankruptcy Illegal, Leaving Process In Limbo


Top 12 Conservative Freakouts After Obama's Race Speech

Four Charts That Prove Obama's Right About Being Black In America


Two Ways North Carolina Republicans Plan To Keep College Students From Voting


A pro-gun group plans to hold a demonstration in favor of the 2nd Amendment in the same suburban Denver park where a remembrance will be held for victims of the Aurora theater shootings, which occurred one year ago today. Members of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners insist that they have no choice but to stand their ground in the park, since the remembrance is being sponsored by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which has threatened freedom by pressing state legislatures to pass slightly tougher restrictions on gun sales. Showing up to advocate gun rights at a memorial for shooting victims is simply RMGO's way of ensuring that survivors of the shootings not get away with politicizing the victims' deaths. READ MORE »


What is not to love about Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen? He's a fun guy! He hits on Cyndi Lauper, because YOLO. He dances to rap! He will sweat through that shirt and give exactly zero fucks! Steve Cohen is fuckin' feelin' it, y'all!

And then there was that time he was caught publicly twittersmooching some fresh young babe, and he was like OH. Think I'm a dirty old poonhound? Well guess what, she is my SECRET DAUGHTER BOOM!

So. About that. READ MORE »


Separation of Church and State - Xristian Xrazie bored housewife emporium Hobby Lobby has won an injunction that says that they do not have to offer lady parts medicine to their lady employees if it offends their religious beliefs, and so it looks like this one is going to go to The Supreme Court where the theocrats on the bench might have a rollicking-good time legally rolling back our freedom FROM religion. (Reuters)


Florida Governor Rick Scott surprises absolutely no one by refusing to make any changes at all to that state's "Stand Your Ground" law. Blast away, Yosemite Sam! 


The FAA released a statement today warning the residents of Deer Trail, Colorado not to try shooting down drones with their shotguns.


Hannity: Obama Was Trayvon 35 Years Ago Because He Did Drugs?


Listen not to just Pennsylvania Republican party Chairman Rob Gleason claim that voter ID lowered President Obama's margin of victory, listen to the way he says it, too.

Question: Do you think all the attention drawn to voter ID affected last year's election?

Gleason: Yeah, I think a little bit. We probably had a better election. Think about this, we cut Obama by five percent, which was big. A lot of people lost sight of that. He won. He beat McCain by 10 percent. He only beat Romney by five percent. I think that probably voter ID helped a bit in that.

The sanctification and glee in his voice is palpable.

"Think about this" he says "we cut Obama by five percent, which was big."

"We cut Obama."

He doesn't say 'we cut voter fraud' or 'we boosted turnout.' He says "we cut Obama." And with a wink and a nod, he's damn proud of it. So proud of it, in fact, that he openly laments that "people lost sight of that."

It's as plain as day but, don't worry, the Supreme Court says racism is over.


Rand Paul is pictured. | AP Photo

Rand Paul is putting his foot down — and hoping the Washington press corps is watching. As the above Politico headline demonstrates, they are. Here's the gist of things:

Politico: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Friday he will strongly oppose an attempt by President Obama to bailout the city of Detroit.

"I basically say he is bailing them out over my dead body because we don't have any money in Washington," Paul said in an interview with
Has the White House said they were going to bail out the City of Detroit? Not in so many word, but if you read between the lines, the oh-so subtle word from the White House is "NO!!"

Detroit News: The White House reiterated Friday that no federal bailout for Detroit is in the works, but said the adminstration wants to be helpful as the Motor City restructures in bankruptcy.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on the issue of Detroit's insolvency that is "something local leaders and creditors are going to have resolve, but we will be partners in an effort to assist the city and the state as they move forward." Asked for specifics on what type of assistance might be available, Carney declined to elaborate.

"The issue here of the insolvency and dealing with that is one that Detroit and Detroit's creditors will have to resolve. We will be of assistance in general, both in terms of policy as well as just being a partner with Detroit as Detroit finds its way and moves forward in the coming weeks, months and years," Carney said.
And this isn't the first time it's come up — Detroit's been inching toward bankruptcy since the Republican Governor took control of the city's finances away from city government and placed it in the hands of an "emergency manager," who applied the super-awesome Republican economic policies that totally failed to save the city. This guy and Detroit's mayor had already gone to the White House to discuss the city's problems and this was the result, according to the same Detroit News piece (emphasis mine):

White House officials including Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and National Economic Council director Gene Sperling have been in talks with city and state leaders. In April, Jarrett made it clear to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr at a White House meeting that no federal bailout was forthcoming.
So the White House keeps saying over and over — for months — that they aren't going to bail out Detroit, which Rand Paul takes as his cue to stand boldly and proudly against any bailout for Detroit.

And that's why I say I will oppose any attempt by Rand Paul to father a moose-baby. Rand Paul has never actually said he wouldn't father a moose-baby, which makes my opposition to the attempt more rational than his stand against a Detroit bailout.

No comments: