Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tennessee Turkey Girl ~ GOP Operative for Stephen Fincher Insults the Obama Family

 photo ObamaGirls-Lauten2.png

Previous Related Posts:
GOP Rebranding Shambles: Rep. Fincher R-TN Hates Feeding the Poor

The so-called "Communications Director" for Tennessee GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, a woman named Elizabeth Lauten or @DCGOPGIRL, decided to give the daughters of President Obama a talking-to about their attitudes, demeanor, and even their clothing choices. The impetus for this came after the girls appeared with their Dad to pardon the White House turkey, during which they looked both bored and embarrassed, as any teenagers would be in such a situation. Maybe these girls are just getting too old to take such a silly tradition seriously. Ya think?

While "outraged" right-wingers decried the girls giving the turkey and Pres. Obama the "side-eye," Ms. Lauten spilled her own thoughts onto her public Facebook. And she didn't just keep it light-hearted, she blamed Michelle and Barack Obama for their appearance, saying the parents of Sasha and Malia "don't respect their positions very much." In effect, she politicized a very non-political situation and used children to make the point that she hates the Obama family. Keep it classy!

 photo B3lSafpIUAAiXja.jpg

Hmm, Ms. Lauten - what do you mean by "respect their positions very much?" As much as you respect the President and First Lady of the United States? Or as much as you respect the children of the President and their right to grow up off-limits to criticism from stupid political hacks like yourself? While I'm sure the racist followers of your boss, Rep. Fincher, are cheering you on, most people with any sense at all would know you are committing career suicide by attacking the President's family on Thanksgiving. But please, proceed. Happy communications to you.

We'll never know what possessed this person to target the Obama girls as opposed to, say, the rather wild daughters of George Bush, known for getting drunk at frat parties. One thing's for sure, Twitter will NEVER let her forget it. For me, Elizabeth Lauten will forever be "Tennessee Turkey Girl."

Of course a few on Twitter came to her defense, because she is a DC insider.

Never mind that her employer is a public servant paid with our tax money. And therefore we have a right to hold his staff accountable, especially those of us from Tennessee.

But . . .

After the outcry: the Inevitable Apology

 photo ObamaGirls-Lauten.png

My personal tweets:

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part Three: The Grand Jury Misled by Prosecutors

 photo 4ce8aa42-4cc4-42b3-885b-be2b3fd575e2.jpg

Previous Related Posts:
Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part Two: Darren Wilson's Weird Testimony
Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part One - No Indictment, but Blame the Victim and Social Media

The Grand Jury in Ferguson was not only misled by strange testimony from Officer Darren Wilson about the "demon" Mike Brown, but was also misled several ways by Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. While at first we thought McCulloch's main sin was his hands-off approach to steering the Grand Jury one way or another, he may have actually broken the law by giving the jury illegal instructions. And I'm sure there is more to come about how corrupt this process was, not only for Missouri, but for the country as a whole.

Full (and bizarre) Statement from Prosecutor Bob McCulloch in Ferguson, MO.

Ferguson reminds us that we still have a race problem in America. But the face of this problem is not Darren Wilson’s. It’s Bob McCulloch’s.
. . . McCulloch short-circuited the process — reinforcing a sense among African Americans, and many others, that the justice system is rigged. He almost certainly could have secured an indictment on a lesser charge simply by requesting it, yet he acted as if he were a spectator, saying that jurors decided not to return a “true bill” on each possible charge — as if this were a typical outcome.~
~ Dana Milbank on Washington Post

The St. Louis County prosecutors were trying to be clever, repurposing an ancient institution for the contemporary political situation. They seemed to think that, because the grand jury members are drawn from the public, they would create public validation for whatever outcome the grand jury reached.
Yet public validation of ordinary jury trials depends on the public having heard the evidence. The Constitution provides that criminal trials be held publicly, precisely so that the citizenry knows what's going on. Grand jury proceedings are held in secret. That must've appealed to St. Louis County prosecutors, who sought to avoid a media circus. But releasing a summary of the grand jury transcripts afterward is a far cry from a public trial. Secret evidence was unlikely to produce public validation -- as, in fact, it did not.
~ Noah Feldman on Bloomberg

From Think Progress:
Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.
It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.
This passage was first highlighted by attorney Ian Samuel, a former clerk to Justice Scalia.
In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available.

Bob McCulloch had no answers - the "Fix was In."

According to Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC, Jurors were given copies of a 1979 Statute concerning when it is lawful for a cop to shoot a fleeing suspect. The problem is that the law was ruled unconstitutional in the 1980s, so . . . that's a huge problem. How could Bob McCulloch NOT know that the law was unconstitutional?

Via RawStory
O’Donnell said that early on in the jurors’ deliberations, Alizadeh handed them a copy of a 1979 Missouri statute saying police were “justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or prevent the escape from custody.” However, he explained, the Supreme Court found those kinds of statutes to be unconstitutional six years later.
As the Daily Kos reported, the high court found in Tennessee v. Garner that “where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.”
. . . handing the jurors the original statute, O’Donnell said, ...conveyed the message that Wilson did not feel his life needed to be in danger for him to be legally justified in shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part Two: Darren Wilson's Weird Testimony

 photo c3b463e7-c0f1-46b0-9a99-4fe895af13c6.jpg

Previous Related Post:
Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part One - No Indictment, but Blame the Victim and Social Media


I'm no legal scholar, but there is something seriously wrong with Officer Darren Wilson's testimony in the Ferguson case. He actually sounds deranged and not fit for street duty, describing Mike Brown as a "demon" and "Hulk Hogan." Clearly the police lawyer who coached him felt that if the victim card worked for George Zimmerman with Trayvon Martin, then it would work for Darren Wilson with Mike Brown.

Nancy Grace : "It doesn't add up."

Monday, November 24, 2014

#Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Part One ~ No Indictment, but Blame the Witnesses and Social Media

 photo 940c0b0e-2ee3-4dae-986d-501c4ec30607.jpg

Counting down to the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision at 9 p.m. - and now we have it. At 9:24 the Prosecutor said the Grand Jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Unfortunately, this guy is a total idiot, and his "speech" is a joke, so this is not going to end well. I will have Part Two with video up later.

Blame the Victim, Blame the Witnesses, Blame Social Media









Earlier Tweets:

Rudy Guiliani Blames Black People for #Ferguson

 photo rudolph_giuliani_ap.jpg

In a game of "change the subject," Ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuiliani appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and stated vehemently that the REAL problem these days is "black on black violence," which has nothing to do with the topic he was discussion, which was Ferguson, Missouri, in which a WHITE cop shot down a black unarmed kid, which has led to white police harrassing black protestors.

The conversation erupted when “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd began discussing the disproportion of white police forces to the communities they serve in areas across the U.S. aside from Ferguson, including Newark, New Jersey and El Paso, Texas. ”All of those places could become future Fergusons,” Todd said.

Giuliani quickly pivoted the conversation, arguing “the fact is, I find it very disappointing that you’re not discussing the fact that 93% of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here.”

Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson chimed in, saying “First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions deeply embedded in American culture.”

...“What about the poor black child that is killed by another black child? Why aren’t you protesting that?” Giuliani asked.
“Those people go to jail!” Dyson fired back.

“White police officers won’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70% of the time,” Giuliani added, as Todd attempted to ease the heated volley.

“This is a defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind, sir,” Dyson replied.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Is #Benghazi Mania Over? Report Closes Door on Scandal

 photo LindseyGraham-Benghazi.png

Cartoon by Matt Bors

Previous Related Posts:
Issa Wrong-Splains the Difference Between "Act of Terror" and "Terrorist Attack"
Lara Logan and the Fake Benghazi Report on 60 Minutes
Jon Karl Gets Juiced by Fake Benghazi Emails
Lindsey Graham Says Russian Aggression Caused by Benghazi
The Benghazi Political Circus
Benghazi Been-There-Done-That
The Benghazi Witch Hunt

Amazingly the report from Congress on Benghazi finally puts to rest the idea that there was a "government conspiracy" to withhold armed forces from protecting the consulate there. Basically, there was no there there, as they say.

CNN Reports
The final report, from Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland, concludes there was no intelligence failure prior to the attack, no stand-down order to CIA operatives trying to go assist at the besieged consular building and found conflicting intelligence in the wake of the attack about the motive and cause, which were reflected in early public comments by the administration.
. . . he declassified version of the report attempts to knock down other accusations about the Benghazi incident and aftermath, finding no evidence of CIA employees being intimidated from testifying and also no indication the CIA presence in Benghazi was partially to secretly ship arms from Libya to Syria.
The September 11, 2012, attack left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods dead, and immediately sparked controversy, with Republicans accusing the Obama administration of mishandling the attack and manipulating the talking points used to discuss it for political reasons.

Of course, the far right can't let go of their favorite rallying cry without a few more whimpers of poutrage.

Take Lindsey Graham, for instance. Please. He's been the King of Benghazi!!!!!!!!!!!! Madness for years now, and got reelected by stirring up his constituents with it. So where does he go from here? Well, that report just has to be wrong!

From Talking Points Memo
"I think the report is full of crap," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union."
The senator insisted that members of the administration altered the Benghazi talking points after the attack.
"I'm saying that anybody who has followed Benghazi at all knows that the CIA deputy director did not come forward to tell Congress what role he played in changing the talking points," he said. "And the only way we knew he was involved is when he told a representative at the White House, I'm going to do a hard review of this, a hard rewrite."

And what about Darrell Issa, who led the Benghazi investigation in the House, and wasted millions in taxpayer money? Oh, well . . . he's lost his committee chairmanship and doesn't have much to say.

Will Fox News and the rest of the Far Right ever take back all the accusations on Benghazi? Don't hold your breath!

Epic Fail ~ Smithsonian Honors Sarah Palin as "Significant American" - Omits Barack Obama

 photo SIcastle.jpg

Will the Sarah Palin Derp Train every grind to a halt? Now the revered Smithsonian Institution, the premier archive of American History, is honoring her as a "Significant American," even though she mangles her history as well as the English language every time she opens her mouth. Why exactly is she significant, beyond the creation of the shameful and racist Tea Party movement and hours of bad reality TV? Remember #Palin Brawl?

And to add insult to injury, Smithsonian left another "Significant American" off the list - President Barack Obama, the first African American President, and one of the most revered men in the world. What? Woodrow Wilson and George Bush are more "significant" than Barack Obama? Hells Bells and Cottontails!

A sad day for our country. Smithsonian deserves ALL the mockery that the Left can throw at them!

Smithsonian List of 100 Most Significant Americans

Their editorial explanation of how they chose the names:

In a culture so saturated with information and so fragmented by the search possibilities of the Internet, how do we measure historical significance?
Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward have come up with a novel answer. Skiena is the Distinguished Teaching Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook University and a co-founder of the social-analytics company General Sentiment. Ward is an engineer at Google, specializing in ranking methodologies. Their answer involves high-level math. They subject the historical zeitgeist to the brute rigors of quantitative analysis in a recent book, Who’s Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
. . . we asked Skiena and Ward to separate figures significant to American history from the world population. Then, rather than simply taking their top 100, we developed categories that we believe are significant, and populated our categories with people in Skiena and Ward’s order (even if they ranked below 100). This system helped mitigate the biases of Wikipedia.
We have highlighted what we decided was the most interesting choice within each category with a slightly fuller biographical sketch. And finally, we made an Editors’ Choice in each category, an 11th American whose significance we’re willing to argue for.

Or maybe it was just a money-makin' deal? Seems that the Koch Brothers gave them a hefty donation, which might explain why they left the Foreign-Born Kenyan Imperial Emperor off their list.

From Daily Mail
The Smithsonian's Board of Regents announced the goal Monday and revealed more than $1 billion already has been raised in a quiet phase since October 2011. This is the first institution-wide fundraising effort and the largest campaign in history for any cultural institution, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said. The campaign will continue through 2017.
Several large gifts were previously announced for large projects.
David H. Koch donated $35 million for a major renovation of the Smithsonian's dinosaur hall.

According to Mother Jones, this has been ongoing since at least 2010
..The museum has defended Koch, the ninth richest man in the United States, as a "philanthropist who is deeply interested in science." Moreover, Smithsonian Human Origins Program director Rick Potts said, "our donors have no control over the content of our science or scholarship of our exhibits." Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm, however, argues that the new exhibit "whitewashes the danger of human caused climate change." See his post for more on the subject.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The GOP Reacts to Obama's Immigration Order

 photo Your_a6918b_57964.jpg

Previous Related Posts:
President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration


One day after President Obama made an Executive Order on Immigration to help those caught in a tangle with deportation, the GOP has decided to "sue" him over it. Yes, sue him. Good luck with that. Every President in the past 50 years has used Executive action, and several have used it to deal with Immigration. So the law is clearly on the side of the President, who has the power to do good with his office, even when Congress decides to go to sleep, take a vacay, and ignore the will of the people.

From Washington Post
The lawsuit, filed Friday against the Health & Human Services (HHS) and Treasury secretaries, challenges two of Obama’s executive actions: that his adminstration “unlawfuly waived the employer mandate” and illegally transferred funds to insurance companies.

Boehner declined to spell out how Republicans would counter the immigration executive actions, which extend protections to roughly 4 million undocumented parents of legal U.S. citizens and young immigrants brought here illegally when they were children.

“We’re working with our members and looking at the options available to us, but I will say to you the House will, in fact, act,” Boehner told reporters Friday morning, in the first televised Republican rebuttal to Obama’s prime-time address Thursday night.

Steve Schmidt of MSNBC went a little nuts over President Obama's Immigration Order, saying that now "We'll never know" if or when the GOP would have come up with a bill on their own. But ya know . . . they sort of had YEARS to come up with a bill, a plan, a man, a canal, Panama, whatever, and they never did. Now would they ever. So what Schmidt is really upset about is that the GOP can't take credit for immigration reform during the 2016 Presidential Election.

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, mocked "King" Obama

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said it was Obama against Congress
At least he's got that one thing right!


Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota
Was Crazy as Usual

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas

Donald Trump

Michelle Malkin, Head of Twitchy

Ben Shapiro of Breitbart

Rush Limbaugh