Friday, February 27, 2015

The Further Fictional Adventures of Bill O'Reilly

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Previous Related Posts:
Falklands Drama: Cornered Narcissist Bill O'Reilly Lashes Out


As the media casts a spotlight on his fake journalistic endeavors, Bill O'Reilly is becoming more and more unhinged. Last week he threatened to send David Corn of Mother Jones to a "Kill Zone," and this week he made threats against a writer for the New York Times.

He's a classic loud-mouth bully who can dish it out but can't take it, thin-skinned and violent. And why is he so defensive? Because he has been caught lying over and over again and there's no way out.

From New York Times
Mr. O’Reilly’s efforts to refute the claims by Mother Jones and some former CBS News colleagues occurred both on the air and off on Monday. During a phone conversation, he told a reporter for The New York Times that there would be repercussions if he felt any of the reporter’s coverage was inappropriate. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.”

"(O'Reilly is) the biggest Kahuna in all of cable news - a man who at any other news network would be in a fight for his professional life right now, but so far for him apparently no consequences."
~ Rachel Maddow

Statement from Fox News:

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But reporters are not backing down. If anything, they are digging deeper into O'Reilly's mountain of lies.

The Guardian is investigating O'Reilly's coverage of the Los Angeles Riots in the 1990s when he worked for Inside Edition.

From Talking Points Memo
Six former co-workers disputed O'Reilly's tale of being bombarded with concrete and bricks by rioters while covering the 1992 unrest in Los Angeles, according to the Guardian.

“They were throwing bricks and stones at us,” O’Reilly told an online interviewer in 2006, according to the Guardian.
“Concrete was raining down on us. The cops saved our butts that time," O'Reilly added.
O'Reilly repeated the story to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this month.
“We were attacked, we were attacked by protesters, where bricks were thrown at us,” he told Hewitt, the Guardian reported.

“It didn’t happen,” one colleague from "Inside Edition" told the paper. “If it did, how come none of the rest of us remember it?”

. . .

Hunter Walker of Business Insider points out that O'Reilly's "heroic" version of himself in Buenos Aires saving a cameraman in a combat zone during the Falklands War was included in a novel written by O'Reilly called "Those Who Trespass." When Art Imitates Ego! However, it is mostly fiction:

From Business Insider
In O'Reilly's novel the protest was broken up by soldiers, or as the author put it, "combat-ready shock troops dressed in full battle gear and armed with machine guns." At this point, Michaels, one of the characters described as O'Reilly's fictional "alter ego" realized he "had to get away" with his cameraman and soundman. As Michaels and his crew escaped, the soldiers let loose on the crowd.
"Without warning, they began firing directly into the crowd," O'Reilly wrote, adding, "Hundreds of people immediately fell onto the cement."
O'Reilly wrote that Michaels "saw one man take a bullet squarely in the right eye" and he "was killed instantly." He described "ten thousand tightly packed demonstrators ... desperately trying to get away from the gunfire any way they could."
These scenes written by O'Reilly contradict contemporaneous reports of the real-life protest, which do not describe widespread gunfire or any deaths.

In another book, O'Reilly claimed that he saw some war action in Northern Ireland and El Salvador in addition to Buenos Aires, but under scrutiny he is backing off.

From Washington Post
In his 2013 book, “Keep It Pithy,” the Fox News host recounted,“I’ve seen soldiers gun down unarmed civilians in Latin America, Irish terrorists kill and maim their fellow citizens in Belfast with bombs.”

On another occasion, he said, “I’ve covered four wars,” and ticked off El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s, the 1982 Falklands conflict, Northern Ireland and an unspecified conflict in Israel. “I’ve seen the best and the worst.”
. . . O’Reilly traveled to Northern Ireland in 1984 to research a book about the Troubles, according to Fox News. The book was never finished, and it’s not clear whether he covered the conflict for any news organization. At the time, he was working for a Boston TV station, WCVB, but his then-boss, Philip S. Balboni, said that O’Reilly covered only local news and did commentary for the station.
O’Reilly didn’t mention seeing any terrorist bombings in Northern Ireland during a radio interview with syndicated host Hugh Hewitt last week. Instead, he told a milder story: “We went on a raid in Divis Flats with the police. And it was a pretty intense situation. There was stuff being thrown, arrests being made, all of that.”
“Were you in fear of physical harm?” Hewitt asked.
No, O’Reilly replied.

O'Reilly also tried to use photographic evidence to "prove" that he saw nuns being shot in El Salvador. He doesn't seem to understand the difference between "seeing" a picture of something and "seeing" something in person, yet he always uses first person when he talks.

From Talking Points Memo
“While in El Salvador, reporters were shown horrendous images of violence that were never broadcast, including depictions of nuns who were murdered," he told Mediaite.

During a Dec. 14, 2012 episode of "The O'Reilly Factor," O'Reilly talked about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He compared it to something he said he'd seen earlier in his career.

"I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head," O'Reilly said, according to Media Matters.

He explained to Mediaite on Wednesday that he brought up El Salvador while discussing the Sandy Hook shooting to talk about "evil."

"I used the murdered nuns as an example of that evil," O'Reilly told the website. "That’s what I am referring to when I say ‘I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head.’ No one could possibly take that segment as reporting on El Salvador.”

Media Matters also pointed to a Sept. 27, 2005 episode of O'Reilly's radio show in which he said, "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador."

Media Matters also found a good example of O'Reilly claiming that he covered a dramatic story in person when actually he was several states away at a TV station.

George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.
O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death.

. . . In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."

. . . "Bill O'Reilly's a phony, there's no other way to put it," said Tracy Rowlett, a former WFAA reporter and anchor who worked at the station with O'Reilly. "He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn't traveling at that time."
Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, agreed that O'Reilly had not traveled to Florida for the story and accused him of stealing his reporting on de Mohrenschildt's suicide from a newspaper.
According to Harris, O'Reilly "was in Dallas. He stole that article out of the newspaper. I guarantee Channel 8 didn't send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News."

CPAC 2015

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Time for the annual GOP Clown Circus called CPAC!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Falklands Drama ~ Cornered Narcissist Bill O'Reilly Lashes Out

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Bill O'Reilly on 50s America: "Unified" and "Innocent" like Mickey Mouse Club
Bill O'Reilly White-Old-Man-Splains Asians


Recently, talking-head Brian Williams of NBC News was suspended for six months after embellishing past journalistic experiences.

After it happened, Fox News and Bill O'Reilly were quick to gloat about how Williams was a symptom of the Left-Wing Liberal Media they love to hate.

From Mediaite
O’Reilly spoke of how the Founders believed in a free and honest press and bemoaned how the current American press isn’t “half as responsible as the men who forged the nation.”
But O’Reilly didn’t just go after Williams, he said this is about a culture of deception in the liberal media. They need to, he said, “stop the corruption and begin telling the truth without an agenda,” otherwise the public’s trust in them will continue to plummet.
. . . he ended by telling his viewers, “Think about other news agencies that are distorting the facts.”

But it turns out, Bill O has been spinning lies for some time about his reporting in Argentina during the War in the Falklands, making it sound as if he was in the midst of combat when he never even set foot on the islands. At the time, he was covering the remote war for CBS News, a fact he has written about in his best-selling books and discussed on his show many times, saying he was in "fire fights" and "war zones" in Argentina.

But neither he nor any of his CBS colleagues were in the Falklands because the Argentine government wouldn't allow them there.

An article in Mother Jones magazine is calling out O'Reilly for his lies.

Read the Original Article:
Mother Jones: Bill O'Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem with the Falklands War

Here's just one quote from O'Reilly about the Falklands Via Media Matters

O'REILLY: I -- I was in a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War, OK?

KEVIN: Mm-hmm.

O'REILLY: And I can tell you when the Kool-Aid hits the fan, OK, nobody is locking in on anybody else. Nobody.

KEVIN: And you're right.

O'REILLY: OK, ad --

KEVIN: I know (inaudible; overlapping dialogue)

O'REILLY: -- adrenaline -- adrenaline surges and you veterans out there listening right now, you know exactly what I'm talking about here. Adrenaline surges, your senses become very attune, much sharper than they are ordinarily, and you are locked in, focused in, on your survival and achieving the means of staying alive.

From Mother Jones, the Day After
O'Reilly responded to the story by launching a slew of personal invective. He did not respond to the details of the story. Instead, he called me a "liar," a "left-wing assassin," and a "despicable guttersnipe." He said that I deserve "to be in the kill zone." (You can read one of my responses here.) And in his show-opening "Talking Points memo" monologue on Friday evening, he continued the name-calling.
In a way, it's impossible to win a debate with O'Reilly because he is not bound by reality. In response to the article, he told Fox News' media reporter, Howard Kurtz, "Nobody was on the Falklands and I never said I was on the island, ever." Yet our article included video of O'Reilly saying in 2013, "I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us." Note the words "war zone" and "in the Falklands."

UPDATE: CBS News has released their Falklands Coverage:

As Mother Jones points out, this video doesn't support O'Reilly's claims:

. . . rather than bolstering O'Reilly's description of the anti-government protest he says he covered as a "combat situation," the tape corroborates the accounts of other journalists who were there and who have described it as simply a chaotic, violent protest.


Other correspondents with CBS who were in Buenos Aires with O'Reilly refuted his claims, only to be slammed by Bill-O.

From CNN
Eric Engberg, a CBS correspondent who was also in Buenos Aires at the time, defended Corn in a Facebook post on Friday and said, "It was not a war zone or even close. It was an 'expense account zone.'"
Longtime NBC News correspondent George Lewis, who was also there at the time, agreed with Engberg, writing on Facebook, "Cushiest war I ever covered."
Did O'Reilly's photographer get "run down" and bloodied?
CNN has interviewed seven people who were there for CBS, and none of them recall anyone from the network being injured.
"If somebody got hurt, we all would have known," Alvarez said.
. . . O'Reilly has repeatedly defended his claims, including on Fox News on Sunday morning. "I don't know if he was there," O'Reilly said, implying that Engberg may not have witnessed the riot. He called Engberg "Room Service Eric," alleging he often stayed in his hotel during unfolding news events.

Eric Engberg pushed back in an interview with Huff Post

(My transcript)

Eric Engberg: He's completely nutty. There were five correspondents working that story for CBS. Four of them had been on that remote site for weeks because the Argentine government would not allow us to go to the Falkland Islands. We were hoping we could get in, but when we couldn't we had to stay in Buenos Aires and file stories... When the riot happened, and actually it was a slow-developing riot - O'Reilly has said in one of his books that the "crowd stormed the Presidential Palace." That is not what happened. What happened was the stupid government of Argentina, which was run by a collection - a junta - of murderous generals - they announced that they were going to hold a speech that evening at the Presidential Palace and that the public should come and watch the speech.

In the meantime, the British released the information about how the Argentines surrendered. And as people learned of the fact that the war was over, and that they had lost, they became increasingly angry and more and more of them started coming to the palace. So you had a large assembly of people, 4 or 5 thousand, who were angry at the government. I was one of those who was there. The other three correspondents were there. I frankly don't know where O'Reilly was. But the people who were there for our company will assert that 'yes, Engberg was there with his camera crew.' Does anybody believe that a reporter who is covering a war from 1200 miles away, hearing that there was a riot at the National Palace, would sit in his hotel room?

Engberg: It's ludicrous. It's nutty - He's Nutty! ... Nutty about me - he says I was hiding in my hotel room, which is another one of those classic O'Reilly responses to any kind of criticism of him. It's always to fire back some personal slur at whoever made the criticism, instead of to respond to the criticism.

Next, Bill O'Reilly attacked Bob Schieffer, veteran journalist and moderator of the Sunday news show, Face the Nation, accusing him of stealing and plagiarizing his stories in Argentina. Yeah, that's really going to turn out well . . .

From a Fox interview with Howard Kurtz, Via Crooks and Liars
BillO then blasted CBS's Bob Schieffer for "big footing" his story which happens all the time in the news business.

O'Reilly: If you write an article and send it in and another reporter put there name on the article, what's that called? it begins with a "p."

Kurtz: I've always called it "big footing" and you're not happy if that happens.

O'Reilly: What is it called in print? it begins with a "p."

Kurtz: I'll let you tell me.

O'Reilly: Plagiarism.

Kurtz: Oh, if it's your colleague and you're working together
O'Reilly:I wasn't working together with these guys.

Hmmm, but he WAS working with both Engberg and Schieffer, because they all worked for CBS News.His lying knows no bounds.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rudy Giuliani Goes After President Obama

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Previous Related Post:
Rudy Giuliani Blames Black People for #Ferguson


Ex-Mayor of NYC, Rudy Giuliani, had a few things to say about President Obama while campaigning for GOP candidate Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin.

From Politico
“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

With Walker sitting just a few seats away, Giuliani continued by saying that “with all our flaws we’re the most exceptional country in the world. I’m looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out.”

On Thursday, Giuliani gave an interview to the New York Times, bringing up the President's racial background, with a white mother and white grandparents...

New York Times
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani dismissed the criticism and said he was describing the worldview that had shaped Mr. Obama’s upbringing.
“Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

That night, Giuliani doubled down on Fox News:

But Thursday night on "The Kelly File," when host Megyn Kelly asked Giuliani if he wished to apologize, the 2008 presidential candidate doubled down on his criticism.

"Not at all. I want to repeat it," Giuliani said. "The reality is, from all that I can see of this president, all that I’ve heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. ... This is an American president I’ve never seen before."

Giuliani said he doesn't think Obama believes in American exceptionalism, citing the president's remarks on police tactics in the wake of the Ferguson shooting, western atrocities in the name of religion and Obama's longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a controversial Chicago pastor.

But, Kelly countered, "a lot of liberals don't believe in American exceptionalism, but that doesn't mean they don't love America."

"I don't feel it," Giuliani said. "I don't feel this love of America (from Obama). I believe his initial approach is to criticize this country, and then afterwards to say a few nice things about it."

Today the Obama White House team invented a new hashtag:

From USA Today
A White House tweet Thursday about the designation of three new national monuments carried the hashtag "#ObamaLovesAmerica."
. . . White House spokesman Eric Schultz, noting that Giuliani himself has been doing "damage control" since the comments surfaced, said that "I will say I agree with him on one thing he said ... which is that it was a horrible thing to say."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jane Curtin Slams Fox News on SNL Anniversary Show

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On the 40th Anniversary of NBC's Saturday Night Live, famed comedian Jane Curtin, one of the original "Not Ready for Prime-Time Players," joined Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for "Weekend Update." And she used a one-liner to completely capture what is wrong with Fox News Network.

“Times have changed since I first sat at this desk. For example, I used to be the only pretty blonde woman to read the fake news. Now there’s an entire network devoted to that. And somehow, I showed less cleavage.”

Fox News is famous for (among other things) hiring blonde women who look and dress more like porn stars than journalists.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bigoted Fossil Judge Roy Moore Doubles Down on Gay Marriage

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Cartoon: J.D. Crowe on

Previous Related Posts:
Gay Marriage Comes to Alabama
"Godless Perverts" - Religious Right Upset by Supreme Court DOMA Ruling
Stacey "Don't Say Gay" Campfield Voted Out in Tennessee


Judge Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of Alabama, has taken a stand on Gay Marriage in his state that is in opposition to the Federal Supreme Court, which is leaning towards striking down all state bans on same sex marriage in our country.

Moore is such an ancient bigoted fossil that he (A) Keeps doubling down on his untenable position and (B) doesn't realize what a fool he is making of himself. However, it's quite a satisfying spectacle to watch unfold. :)

Even in Alabama, Moore is considered an extremist. In 2003, he was removed from the same Chief Justice post for putting up a copy of the Ten Commandments in his office.

From CNN

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) -- Alabama's judicial ethics panel removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office Thursday for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.
The nine-member Court of the Judiciary issued its unanimous decision after a one-day trial Wednesday.
The panel, which includes judges, lawyers and non-lawyers, could have reprimanded Moore, continued his suspension or cleared him.
The ethics panel said Moore put himself above the law by "willfully and publicly" flouting the order to remove the 2.6-ton monument from the state judicial building's rotunda in August.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the granite carving was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Moore refused to obey the order but was overruled by his eight colleagues on the state Supreme Court. (Full story)
On November 3, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Moore's appeal of Thompson's ruling. (Full story)
Moore "showed no signs of contrition for his actions," the Court of the Judiciary found.

Unfortunately, the Tea Party voters of Alabama returned him to his post:

From New York Times
He ran for governor twice, and failed, but in 2012, he shocked the political establishment with his re-election to the state’s high court, cashing in on name recognition and Alabama’s widespread Christian sentiment and skeptical stance toward federal government power.

“If you look at the professional class in Alabama, most of them would say they’d wish he’d just quit this foolishness and let Alabama move along with the rest of the country,” said Glen Browder, professor emeritus in American democracy at Jacksonville State University and a former Democratic congressman from Alabama. “But he’s popular in the church crowd.”

Chief Justice Moore’s office is decorated with a wooden plaque of the commandments, along with a portrait of George Washington and a photograph of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. (Chief Justice Moore said that he has never been a segregationist, but that has no qualms about making arguments in favor of states’ rights when they are warranted.)

Yesterday he pointed out that he has Gay Friends. Yes, he really said that, with no apparent irony. So yeah, if he has homosexual friends, then there's no problem that he tried to halt gay marriage in Alabama, right?

Via Talking Points Memo
"I've had many friends who are homosexual," Moore said during an interview with John Heilemann and Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics. "I've treated people just like other people. This is not about how I treat people, or how I go to a wedding or a marriage or anything. It's about the constitution of Alabama and the Constitution of the United States."

"You wouldn't be reluctant, personally, to go to a same-sex wedding, then?" Halperin prodded.

"I would not go to a same-sex wedding," Moore responded. "No."

Amazing showdown on CNN with Chris Cuomo today:

CNN Transcript 2-12-2015, Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore
CUOMO: . . . I understand what you're trying to do here, you're trying to defeat the federal law. The question is, why?

MOORE: No, I'm not trying to defeat the federal law. There is no federal law and that's the point. No judge in the United States or federal district court has the right to invent the definition of marriage, which is not even contained in the United States Constitution. And that's the problem. We have people going in trying to mandate to the state of Alabama that the sanctity of marriage amendment in our Constitution is wrong, and that's simply not right to do.

CUOMO: Well -- well, it certainly is right. That's how this works, right, is that the federal law says that a state law is discriminatory and they change it. And certainly the distinction you're trying to draw with the district court, you don't have an independent case in front of you, your honor, about your own marriage law. This is about gay marriage in general and the equality in general and that's why the district court's able to say it. But again, you're right, we shouldn't get into the thickets.

I would suggest something else looking at your letter that you wrote to the governor of Alabama. For you, marriage is about the divine institution. It's as true as your words and as the pin on your lapel. You want to say that God says marriage is a certain thing and you don't want to hear anything else about what a definition of marriage could be. Is that a fair suggestion?

MOORE: No, that's not a fair suggestion. I go by the law. Of course I believe marriage was defined by God, but so does the United States Supreme Court. In the case of Murphy versus Ramsey, they said that marriage and family are the basis from the holy union of one man and one woman in the state of matrimony. That was clearly the United States Supreme Court opinion. It's been the court of opinions in state courts across this country. And especially in Alabama, we've recognized it as a divine institution in our law. Naturally it existed hundreds and even thousands of years before the United States even came into existence.

CUOMO: Right, but we are a nation of laws and not just God's law. And what your state did in 2006 was what many did, which was, you tried to define marriage to exclude. And what happened in U.S. v. Windsor, the case that is on everybody's lips now because it changed it, is that those laws that define marriage as only between a man and a woman are unfair and fail the test of equal protection. You know that. You know that when they meet this spring many people believe the Supreme Court will affirm this and say that state laws and constitutional provisions like your own are unfair. The question is, why won't you accept that definition of marriage?

MOORE: First, when the Supreme Court meets, I believe state's rights is going to be a big part of this. And I don't believe they have the right to push upon the state a definition which this state does not recognize, indeed, which the United States Constitution does not recognize. In fact, in Loving versus Virginia in 1967, when they declared that interracial marriages could not be prohibited, correctly so, they referenced marriage as the right of free men and women to enter into pursuit of happiness. They quoted basically out of the Declaration of Independence which said that God gave us these rights. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They're unalienable because they can't be taken away and they can't be mandated on the state in this instance.

CUOMO: Of course they can, though, your honor. That's what happens. It used to be legal to have slaves. Your state had a lot of laws on the books, like other states, where times changed and those laws had to change. And this is another example of that.

MOORE: You know slavery -- slavery was wrong and in 1857, when the Supreme Court of the United States declared in Dred Scott that black people could be property, one justice dissented. He said that when a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws is abandoned, the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution. We're under a government of individual men who, for the time being, have the power to declare what the Constitution is according to their own views of what they think it ought to mean. Those words by Benjamin Curtis are exactly what's going on in the United States Supreme Court and the federal courts of this state -- of this nation today.

CUOMO: And just as they were --

MOORE: And the United States Supreme Court hadn't ruled on this issue.

CUOMO: And they will. But they have ruled on what the substance of it is. And you've had a federal court tell you to marry people and you're not. And I would suggest that, based on what we're hearing right now, your refusal goes to what you believe marriage is about and not just to the law.



. . . MOORE: Nobody's arguing about racial discrimination in this case. This is not about racial discrimination.

CUOMO: It's about discrimination.

MOORE: It's about sexual -- it's about sexual preference.

CUOMO: It's about discrimination.

MOORE: Being -- overcoming an institution which has existed in our state, in our United States, for centuries. And I think it's wrong.

CUOMO: But it's about discrimination. In 2006, you created a constitutional amendment that, by design, discriminated against gay people. And now you are being told by the federal law that is wrong.

MOORE: Again -- again -- again, that is a constitutional amendment to the Alabama constitution, and it's clearly within the bounds of state law and federal law. Again, there is nothing in the constitution about marriage. How can judges go in and define a word? They're doing exactly what they did in 1857 in Dred Scott.-

CUOMO: They just did it in U.S. v. Windsor. They just looked at the Defense of Marriage Act and said you cannot define marriage as just between a man and woman.

MOORE: That was between Congress. It did not affect the state, according to the ruling in Windsor.

CUOMO: But you can't say that the Court hasn't spoken about it. It was the exact same issue. It just wasn't a state law and that's why we're having the next case in June --

MOORE: I can say the Court -- I can say the Court spoke about it, because they said this does not apply to the state. It applies to the federal law passed by Congress.

CUOMO: That's right, because of the specific issue before them. And now they're meeting again in June. And if June comes and they hold the same way, then what will you do?

MOORE: Then I will do what the Court should -- or what the Court should have done under Dred Scott. If it's an unlawful mandate, you don't have to recognize it. You can recuse from the case.

CUOMO: So you still --

MOORE: You can dissent. You can dissent to the United States Supreme Court, just like you can dissent to anything else.


. . . CUOMO: State by state, the rulings all going the same way. State by state, they're all going the same way

MOORE: You can't say the law -- you can't say what the law is with the United States Courts of Appeals differ on this very issue.

CUOMO: And you can't say that even if the Supreme Court rules against your personal position, you won't follow it because it offends your faith. You can't do that as Chief Justice.

MOORE: I said I would not -- I would not oppose the law except with an opinion or a dissent. That's what I said.

CUOMO; No, I asked you would you follow it.

MOORE: I did not say I would not recognize the law.

CUOMO: I asked you if you would follow it and you went into a word salad about whether I would follow it.

MOORE: And I asked you if you would follow Plessy versus Ferguson.

CUOMO: I am not the Chief Justice.

MOORE: Well, you can't answer the question either.

CUOMO: You answer it first. Will you follow it if they decide in June that gay marriage is equal protection.

MOORE: I will recognize -- I will recognize the United States Supreme Court opinion is binding over the state courts. Me, personally, I will make that decision when it comes, sir.

Gay Marriage Comes to Alabama ~ Updated

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The Supreme Court allowed Gay Marriage to go forward in the state of Alabama this week, and the results were both exhilarating and at the same time a throwback to the equal-rights battles of the 60s. Some judges apparently forgot their learnin' and decided to forget that Federal Law trumps State Law.

Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore, tried to stop the whole process last week when he ordered Judges not to obey.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore late Sunday ordered all probate judges and employees in Alabama to follow existing state law and not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognize same-sex marriages.
. . . Moore wrote that if any probate judge defies the order, Governor Robert Bentley would have the responsibility of ensuring that state law is "faithfully executed."
He has also said that the judges are not bound by the orders issued in that case, Searcy v. Strange. Instead, he said, probate judges fall under the direct supervision and authority of the chief justice.

Well, let's just say he was wrong, and most Judges chose not to follow the order. Some stalled and hid in their offices or decided not to perform any marriages at all, like the Probate Judge of Mobile. Some just delayed a few hours, probably hoping the TV cameras would go away, or maybe to talk down some of the employees screaming that it was against their religion, etc.

But in most places on Monday morning, February 9, 2015, same-sex weddings began to occur all over the state of Alabama - a historic sight.

UPDATE: "Redneck Reporter" Jeremy Todd Addaway posted a hilarious spoof of the fear-mongering going on in Alabama (and other states) over Gay Marriage and how it effects everyone else.

“I read on the news today some information, that homosexuals will be getting married in Alabama today, so I wanted to give you a live report from Blount County,” he began.

. . . “This pile of brush is still here, and there are no homosexuals layin’ on top of it, doin’ homosexual things,” Addaway said.

“None in the shed either, but we need to check into this further,” he continued, delving ever deeper into his backyard.

“We’re back here by a pile of junk — and it’s still here — and there’s no homosexuals doin’ homosexual things here either, so it looks like we’re pretty safe here in Blount County, don’t think we’re gonna be subject to plagues of homosexuals fallin’ from the sky.”

And the Supreme Court gave a strong signal that Alabama is a bellwether state for the rest of the country, as well as Federal Law:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Haslam Medicaid Plan Halted in Tennessee by Koch Brothers

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam stalled and waffled for two years while trying to come up with a way to expand Medicaid in Tennessee without starting a Tea Party frenzy. Last year it was obvious that the ill-fated TennCare wasn't working, but he waited until after the November elections to bring up his new plan "Insure Tenn." There was even a hint of optimism in the air last week, as hospital officials, doctors, nurses, the the disabled came to Nashville to testify before the Legislature that insuring the poorest of the poor would be good for everyone.

Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee has a great webpage on Who Falls Into the Tennessee Medicaid Gap

But they were outnumbered by loonies, including a crazy lay-preacher from Dayton, Tennessee - of Scopes Monkey Trial fame - to pray against Medicaid because it's just big government trying to oppress sick people. Just embarrassing and sad.

And another group showed up - Americans For Prosperity - goons backed by the Koch Brothers, sent to remind the Tennessee GOP where it's money comes from. Thus the Insure TN plan was doomed, and never got out of committee for a vote.

From NBC News
NASHVILLE-In December, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, got the deal he wanted from the Obama administration: Tennessee would accept more than $1 billion in federal funding to expand Medicaid, as allowed for in the Affordable Care Act, but Obama aides would allow Haslam to essentially write staunchly conservative ideas into the program's rules for the state. He dubbed the reformed Medicaid program "Insure Tennessee."

But the state's chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative group whose foundation is chaired by controversial billionaire David Koch, argued Haslam was just trying to trick conservatives into implementing Obamacare in their state by giving it a new name. AFP campaigned aggressively Haslam's plans for the next six weeks, even running radio ads blasting GOP state legislators who said they might vote for it.

. . . When the legislators walked into a hearing Tuesday morning to debate the measure, they looked out from the dais to a room packed with more than 100 people wearing red "Americans for Prosperity" t-shirts. Some of the activists had traveled on an AFP-chartered bus from Knoxville, more than two hours away, to pack the hearing well in advance of its 9:00 AM start time. . . . The sea of red crowded out representatives of the Tennessee Hospital Association, one of the big advocates of the Medicaid expansion, who were left to stand in the back or unable to get into the room at all.

And what did the AFP activists have to say for themselves?
“I’m skeptical of government-run programs,” said Louis Stans, a retired engineer who was part of the AFP group. Medicare, Stans said, was “better” and he had “paid into it my whole life.”
Those two sentences tell us a great deal about the state of the debate. Here’s a retiree who doesn’t like government-run programs, instead preferring a government-run program. In other words, an AFP activist traveled to the state capitol to condemn a conservative version of Medicaid expansion, because what he really wants is a socialized system like Medicare.
Levi Russell, a national spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity, told NBC News, “I would hope other governors look at Tennessee as an example.”

And just like the government-paid goons in our national Congress who keep trying to "Repeal Obamacare," the Republicans in Tennessee have no other plan for the poor except to bill the hospitals. They got nothing.

However, Gov. Haslam, to his credit, isn't dropping the subject. He mentioned coverage for the poorest citizens in his State of the State Address. This may seem like lip service, but I actually think he means it. Whether he can persuade the Tea Party to actually vote for something that will help the state is debatable. They'd rather talk about Guns and the Bible.

From the Nashville Banner
“Last week, the decision was made not to move forward with Insure Tennessee. However, that does not mean the issues around health care go away. Too many Tennesseans are still not getting health coverage they need in the right way, in the right place, at the right time,” Haslam said in his address to top lawmakers.
“Last week, I talked about coming here not just to make a point but to make a difference. It’s about looking for answers, not just having an agenda. With great power comes great responsibility. So, though the special session has ended, I hope we can find a way to work together to address those problems,” he said.