“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement… ” – from a March 13 Sanford, Florida police report which also states the teen was not doing anything criminal at the time of their confrontation on Feb. 26
liberalsarecool: Using ‘self defense’ as you attack with a gun: the death of Trayvon was avoidable if Zimmerman asked “do you live around here?’ That’s how humans communicate.
Crump said it was not clear that Martin threw the first punch but, argued that even if he did, Zimmerman’s actions launched the entire sequence of events. “Trayvon Martin had every right to stand his ground,” Crump said. “We believe that Trayvon went to his grave not knowing who this strange man was that was approaching and confronting him.”
via: The Daily Beast
If 17-year-old Trayvon didn’t have the right to stand HIS ground, defend himself from an ADULT MALE STRANGER who was approaching HIM, who began menacing him, a stranger with a gun who actually shot HIM to death within a few minutes of their meeting, WHO DOES?
I have a feeling this guy would probably say he’s not a racist. Because it’s never ever that, is it? And he’d probably also claim to be a God-fearing family-man. Maybe he’d be surprised to learn that most of us are just disgusted by such fucking ignorance:
Miami-Dade fire captain Brian Beckmann made the following entry on his Facebook page last week on the same day that State Attorney Angela Corey announced she was charging neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman with the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin:
“Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”
Beckmann later deleted the post and defended himself, writing, “I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does. I choose not to embellish or alter the facts as your employer chose to do.”
And FOR THE RECORD:
Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, is employed as a program coordinator at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. His father, Tracey Martin, works as a truck driver. Neither of the parents is “dependant” on welfare.
The article reports that Miami-Dade fire rescue will investigate Beckmann’s comments. Hopefully they’re looking into whether this guy has the mental / emotional capacity to supervise anyone, but especially anyone who is even slightly different than him (not white, male, bald, and racist). In the meantime, no one should be surprised if Beckmann becomes both an instant celebrity with the local tea party “patriots” and a Fox “News” hero with appearances scheduled throughout the rest of the week.
The Martins lost their child because of a nut with a gun and all the rightwingnuts can do is find new and increasingly inhuman ways to blame the victim and his family.
————————————-WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
At a campaign town hall event on Tuesday West declared that he’s “heard” that up to 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party. However, he would not name any specific people. West also got in a verbal shot against President Obama, declaring that Obama is too scared to debate him: “I really wish that, standing here before you, was Allen West and President Obama,” West said. “We could have a simple discussion. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.” “Why not?” an audience member asked. “Cuz he was too scared!” West responded in a mocking voice. This is just the latest in a long line of provocative statements that West has made, which have helped to build up his notoriety — and his campaign coffers. In addition, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain have each suggested in recent days that West should be the Vice Presidential nominee on the 2012 Republican ticket. [TPM]
Mitt Romney stumbles over ‘war on women’ – Romney, this week, came up with a counterpoint: 92 percent of the jobs lost in the recession belonged to women. It’s Obama who has waged the true anti-women war, by taking away their livelihoods with his misguided economic policies. [...] Asked to expand on how the president’s policies hurt women in particular, his staff couldn’t answer. Asked if Romney supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which makes it easier for workers’ to sue over gender-based pay disparities, they again were unsure. Two hours later, a spokeswoman clarified that Romney “supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law” — after Ledbetter herself sent out a statement attacking the Republican candidate. Democrats, meanwhile, appear gleeful that Romney has not only engaged on the issue but adopted the “war on women” phrase. “So, can we keep this back and forth over whose policies are better for women going please,” tweeted Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse.
- Romney’s claim is so misleading, in fact, that even the rabidly conservative and factually-challenged Daily Caller debunked it.
- On Wednesday, the [Romney] campaign sent out statements from Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack of California and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, blaming women’s jobs losses on Obama’s policies. But both women voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act as well as the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. [HuffPo]
Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries? Because American workers have lost all their bargaining power… There have been two fundamental alterations in the U.S. economy since Ronald Reagan was president, however. First, American multinational corporations now locate much of their production abroad. Second, with the rate of private-sector unionization down to a microscopic 6.9 percent, workers have no power to bargain for higher pay. Employers can serenely blow them off — and judging by the data, that’s exactly what employers are doing. This recovery differs from its predecessors because it is concentrated among the affluent, and almost entirely among the very rich. Until we address the imbalance of power in the U.S. economy, and until Americans regain the clout that their parents and grandparents had to compel employers to share their revenue more equitably, the difference between our recoveries and our recessions will grow harder to discern. [Washington Post]
Bush: Don’t call them ‘rich’ – Bush spoke Tuesday at a tax-policy conference in New York hosted by his presidential institute. “If you raise taxes on the so-called rich you’re really raising taxes on the job creators,” he explained. So if you want “private-sector growth” then the best thing to do “is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators,” Bush said. We thought those folks were called “rich” because, well, they are. But that, apparently, is not the proper term. They are the “job creators.”So President Obama’s deplorable class warfare rhetoric pits the so-called poor and middle classes against the job creator class. And don’t try to sneak around that by calling them wealthy, big-wigs, plutocrats, oligarchs, fat-cats, tycoons or robber barons. They are the true working class, working 24-7 to create jobs for you and other ingrates.
George Zimmerman’s Mugshot — Zimmerman was taken into custody last night at the Seminole County jail in Sanford. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said his client will plead not guilty and asked that people not jump to conclusions about his guilt. [...] Rev Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader who appeared at several rallies around the country with Martin’s parents, said it was not a time to celebrate. “There’s no victory here, there’s no winners here, they’ve lost their son,” he said at a press conference in Washington after Corey had spoken. “This is not about gloating, it’s about pursuing justice. We have not won anything. All we’ve done is establish we must have the right to justice and redress in this country.” [The Guardian]
———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
Obama calls Ronald Reagan a ‘wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior’ – He described for the audience the actions of one of his predecessors in the Oval Office, a president who “gave a speech where he talked about a letter he had received from a wealthy executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary, and wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why that was wrong. So this president gave another speech where he said it was ‘crazy’—that’s a quote—that certain tax loopholes make it possible for multimillionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary.” “That wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior,” he said, “was Ronald Reagan.” Reagan, said the president, believed that everyone in the U.S. should pay their fair share, a position that would “disqualify him from the Republican primaries these days.” He even suggested changing the name from the “Buffet Rule” to the “Reagan Rule” if that would make it a little easier for Republicans to bear.
Memories from the GOP campaign trail: from BarackObama.com TV:
Top 50 Things Accomplished by President Barack Obama – 1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems. 2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs….
————————————-WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
Rick Santorum: thanks for the memories — “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better” with taxpayer money (which he of course qualified as “blah” people). - He said women aren’t capable of serving in combat because there would be “emotions that are involved.” - “I refer to global warming as not climate science, but political science.” - He told a mother her gay son is engaging in unhealthy activity that the government should not “promote.” - Santorum is pro-income inequality. -Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary. - He called contraception a “license to do things” - Santorum found “it almost remarkable for a black man” to be pro-choice. - He told a rape victim: “Make the best out of a bad situation” - In 1994, the candidate said single moms are just “breeding more criminals.” [ThinkProgress]
Idaho’s only black lawmaker gets KKK membership invite – On Saturday, Democratic state Rep. Cherie Buckner-Webb used her Facebook page to share photos of the KKK “application,” which asked for $35 and a proclamation that she was “a White Christian man or woman.”…“(It) was addressed by hand,” the lawmaker noted. “Something a little unsettling.” [...] “Initially, I wondered what was someone’s thought process in sending that to me. My first inclination was someone wants me to know the Klan is still around,” she explained. “I am really concerned about the climate of intolerance in a lot of different areas. I see a lot of intolerance toward gays, toward women,” the Boise Democrat said, recalling recent legislative battles over LGBT rights, abortion and contraception. “I would be a fool not to take note and govern myself accordingly,” she added. “It was a sign for me to remain vigilant, to remain careful and to remain thoughtful.”
George Zimmerman’s Attorneys Quit, Say Client ‘Disappeared’ – The attorneys claim that Zimmerman repeatedly rebuffed their legal advice, and that they have now lost contact with him. “On Monday we began fielding questions…’did we know anything about (this) website?’ And our initial response was, well that’s probably bogus, we don’t know anything about that. And we started making inquiries and frankly confirmed that he, through friends or family, had in fact set that site up and it was legitimate. We immediately began telling the media, disregard the earlier website we gave you that we had set up. Go for the one we now know that he set up.” “We were happy enough with that, but disturbed that he had not communicated with us,” Uhrig said. The attorneys said that Zimmerman repeatedly ignored their legal advice. “We learned that he had called Sean Hannity of Fox News directly — not through us,” Uhrig said. “We believe that he spoke directly with Sean off the record and [Hannity's] not even willing to tell us what our client told him.”
Because this wouldn’t be at all weird or basically insane –
Glenn Beck, once a shining star in the conservative universe, has seen his influence fade a bit since leaving Fox News to set out on his own. Now he’s built a replica of the oval office to give “Reagan-esque” speeches, so says the Glenn Beck TV Team. [tpmmedia]
———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
President Obama Makes the Case for the Buffett Rule – Instead of giving more than a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the very wealthiest Americans—those who make more than $250,000 a year—we need to be investing in the things like education and research and health care. These are the same investments we’ve been making for generations because they lead to strong, broad based economic growth that helps everyone, as the President explained: “What drags our entire economy down is when the benefits of economic growth and productivity go only to the few, which is what’s been happening for over a decade now, and gap between those at the very, very top and everybody else keeps growing wider and wider and wider and wider.” The fact is, the share of our national income going to the top 1 percent of earners is as high as it’s been since the 1920s. And those same people are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years. To address this imbalance in our tax system, President Obama has proposed the Buffett Rule, based on the simple idea that people who make more than $1 million each year pay at least the same share of their income in taxes as middle-class families do…
Beyond a Buffett Rule, the Obama We’ve Been Waiting For – Later, in the speech, he sharpened his criticism of the Republican embrace of zombie-eyed granny-starving to a sharper point, daring the GOP to produce a list of things they would actually cut to make the pixie-dust math of the Ryan budget actually work. “They won’t do it,” he told the crowd, “because they know, if they do, they’ll lose.” This appeal to honesty and political courage likely will fall on deaf ears, alas. (How do I know this? Because of an interview that zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan gave to the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he spectacularly attempted to wedge zombie-eyed granny-starving into the Gospels: “A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private,” Ryan said in an interview released on Tuesday by the Christian Broadcasting Network. “So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person.” First of all, he doesn’t know what in the hell he’s talking about. The social magisterium of the Church is a lot of things, but consonant with supply-side trickle-down economics is definitely not one of them, no matter how hard the crowd at First Things tries to make it so.
Elizabeth Warren Nabs Planned Parenthood Endorsement In Massachusetts Senate Race – The Planned Parenthood Action Fund said their decision to endorse Warren was partly due to Brown’s support of the Blunt Amendment, of which he was a co-sponsor. The amendment would have allowed employers and insurers the right to deny coverage for any procedure that contradicts their moral or religious beliefs. Warren opposed the failed amendment to the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. “Now more than ever, Massachusetts voters want and deserve to be represented in Congress by someone who puts smart policies ahead of political ideologies,” said Dianne Luby, president of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund in Massachusetts, in a statement.
Food Stamp Program Helping Reduce Poverty – A new study by the Agriculture Department has found that food stamps, one of the country’s largest social safety net programs, reduced the poverty rate substantially during the recent recession. The food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, reduced the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent in 2009, the most recent year included in the study, a significant impact for a social program whose effects often go unnoticed by policy makers. The food stamp program is one of the largest antipoverty efforts in the country, serving more than 46 million people.
1) “MR ONE PERCENT”: YOUR 2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Mitt Romney is a Scumbag — This is inexcusable: The Romney campaign suggested Friday that President Obama should release notes and transcripts from his meetings with world leaders to prove that he is not promising world leaders to change his position after November, in a statement to National Journal. […] You do not get to demand transcripts of the president’s conversations with the leaders of other nations. You do not get to decide the merits of their conversations. You cannot demand to know what the leaders of other nations are saying to the president. This is disgraceful, and if a Democratic candidate were demanding a Republican president share transcripts of his conversations with other world leaders, the resulting media shitfest would be unparalleled.
Greg Sargent wonders how Mitt Romney (and the Republican Party) can see the Paul Ryan Jump Off The Cliff economic plan as some kind of political prize: Nonpartisan observers say Ryan’s plans amount to a huge giveaway to the rich at the expense of exploding the deficit. Polls suggest that huge majorities favor preserving Medicare’s traditional function, and reject Ryan’s reforms. And yet the amount of influence Republicans have accorded to Ryan over the GOP’s fiscal policies, worldview, ideology, vision, priorities and direction is really kind of extraordinary. They’re going for it.
Dazed And Confused – They’re going for it Greg because they’re counting on your employers at Kaplan, Inc. and the other Village media outlets to sell the Ryan Plan as not only morally desirable but absolutely necessary economically over the next several months and well beyond. It worked for the Bush tax cuts and Medicare drug benefit giveaway. It worked for Afghanistan and especially Iraq. Those cost us trillions but were sold as the right thing to do. The Ryan/Romney Austerity Plan will be no different. It will be the reason why, should the GOP gain control of the Senate, that the filibuster will be done away with and the President will get a nice shiny austerity budget. Selling that Romney will sign such a budget into law will be the big talking point. Meanwhile, austerity is destroying the EU and UK right now. All indications are they are back into a recession with no real hope of getting out. These guys want to make sure we’re next.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney: The Committee to End Medicare – These guys really believe that campaigning on a platform of turning Medicare into a voucher system is a stroke of political genius. Despite all evidence that it’s actually a political death wish, they are plowing forward undeterred. Purely on substantive grounds, it’s a terrible idea—but as they will learn in November, it’s also a political miscalculation of epic proportions. No wonder Democrats are so happy he endorsed Mitt Romney.
Paul Ryan Endorses Romney – Ryan and Romney: A Marriage Made of Our Insane Times – Nevertheless, and god knoweth how, Ryan remains such a sufficient force in our politics that his endorsement of the Romneybot 2.0 on Friday is considered to be a big deal, even though — and, Lord knows, we realize we are repeating ourselves here — if the Romneybot had endorsed anything like zombie-eyed granny-starving early in his career, he wouldn’t have received 11 votes in Massachusetts and we might never have heard of him again…. [...] There was a time in his life, and I’m old enough to remember it, when Willard Romney wouldn’t have given 15 minutes consideration to this kind of supply-side fever-dreaming. The “Ryan budget” shoves the country’s wealth upwards, decimates the social safety net, relies on a new form of mathematics that seems to have been developed by Bighorn sheep, and doesn’t do any more toward reducing the deficit than it does toward re-aligning the teams in the American Football Conference. The Romney who produced the Massachusetts health-care reform — Thanks, Mitt! — wouldn’t recognize the Romney that is such a fan these days of zombie-eyed granny-starving. Paul Ryan’s career as a “budget guru” is as much a miracle of media smoke-and-mirrors as was Newt Gingrich’s long career as a Man Of Ideas, both of them pure products of a culture of media timidity that is unable to confront the fact that one of our two major political parties has gone barking mad. That is the party that is about to nominate Willard Romney. A man is known by the company he keeps.
2) THE 21st CENTURY REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEA
Urban Outfitters President has donated $13,150 to Rick Santorum over the years – Still doesn’t sell sweater-vests. || Good reason to never shop Urban Outfitters again? Definitely.
Fox News host urges viewers to ‘vote Republican’ – It’s no secret that Fox News leans to the right, but one host may have crossed the line on Friday when he actively encouraged viewers to “vote Republican” if they didn’t like big government. During an interview with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy seemed to endorse the congressman’s “Path to Prosperity” budget. “This really is kind of a campaign document because it draws a bright line between what the Republicans stand for and what the Democrats stand for,” he explained. “If you want big government, then the Democrats are your party.” Doocy added: “Whereas, if you want a party that’s making some hard choices, vote Republican.”
Oinkbama — I try not to nutpick too much, but this is just too fucking funny: The game is to see how many comments in a foxnews.com article that has nothing to do with President Obama do you need to read before somebody says something bad about President Obama. I call it “how many comments in a foxnews.com article that has nothing to do with President Obama do you need to read before somebody says something bad about President Obama”. Not one article goes past 22 comments before they start bashing Obama. The best part is the names they make for Obama, such as “Oinkbama”.
Hewitt Award Nominee — “In other words, [Obama]’s a racist hatemonger. Just to be clear. So much for hope and change. Hope is what he promised. Hate is what he’s delivering,” – Glenn Reynolds. The post is given extra nutball juice from having been written at 3.18 am.
Michele Bachmann Thinks People ‘Choose’ To Not Have Health Insurance – “[Health insurance is] still an opportunity that some people choose to engage in, but 40 million people do not. And the premise was made that people don’t buy insurance because they can’t afford it. That’s not true. There are people who just decide they want to roll the dice and take their chances that they won’t need insurance.“ Bachmann’s assumption that 40 million people “choose” to not have health insurance downplays the plight that people can face trying to find affordable health insurance in the face of rising costs. For the past decade, the number of people uninsured has risen each year, and working families make up 80 percent of those who have no health insurance. And young adults make up the largest share of those who are uninsured. Instead of acknowledging this growing problem, Bachmann has attacked the Affordable Care Act, the very thing that could help slow these costs and expand access to health care.
3) SUNDAY REVIEW OF THE RIGHTWING BIBLE-THUMPERS AND THEIR IDEAS OF ‘CHRISTIANITY’
Pat Robertson says homosexuality is a result of “demonic possession” — On “The 700 Club” this week, viewers were shown a segment about a man who tried to “change” his sexuality by marrying a woman, but nevertheless kept having gay affairs. TV preacher Pat Robertson said of the story, “I think it is somehow related to demonic possession.” He wasn’t kidding. It’s the 21st century; I just thought I’d mention that. [re: quote in image: see video]
Suit alleges financial fraud at TBN ministry – The Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest Christian network, is embroiled in a legal battle involving allegations of massive financial fraud and lavish spending, including the purchase of a $100,000 motor home for family dogs. Brittany Koper, a former high-ranking TBN official and the granddaughter of its co-founder, Paul Crouch Sr., was fired by the network in September after discovering “illegal financial schemes” amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court. [...] The lawsuit alleges that Paul Crouch Sr. obtained a $50-million Global Express luxury jet for his personal use through a “sham loan,” and that TBN funds paid for a $100,000 motor home for dogs owned by his wife, Janice Crouch, a network director. [...] TBN directors received about $300,000 to $500,000 in meal expenses and the use of chauffeurs, and oversaw “fraudulent donation and kickback schemes involving third party ‘ministries’” the network controlled, the suit claims. The directors also misused funds to cover up sexual scandals, the suit claims. [image: wonkette]
4) ZIMMERMAN KILLING OF TRAYVON MARTIN
Bill Maher calls Zimmerman a big, fat fucking liar (VIDEO) – On Friday night’s “Real Time,” Bill Maher asked a pointed question based on the tape of Zimmerman at the police station after his alleged “fight” with Martin: “Aren’t we all convinced from that tape that this guy is a big, fat, fucking liar?” But Maher’s criticism wasn’t limited to Zimmerman and the people who have failed to bring him to justice. On the heels of his hilarious “new rules” segment, Maher went on to implicate liberal politicians in shooting deaths like Martin’s: We can go on and on about hoodies and the neighborhood watch guy who looks like Chaz Bono, but it’s not really a discussion until you save some blame for the liberal politicians who unconditionally surrendered in the fight for sensible gun laws. When are they going to stand their ground?
Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman 911 call analysis: Two forensic experts say it’s not George Zimmerman crying out for help – ”I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,” Owen says. The software compared that audio to Zimmerman’s voice. It returned a 48 percent match. Owen said to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he’d expect higher than 90 percent. “As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen says, stressing that he cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon’s, because he didn’t have a sample of the teen’s voice to compare. [...] He relies instead on audio enhancement and human analysis based on forensic experience. After listening closely to the 911 tape on which the screams are heard, Primeau also has a strong opinion. ”I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau says, stressing that the tone of the voice is a giveaway. “That’s a young man screaming.”
1) RICK ‘I SAID BLAH PEOPLE’ SANTORUM
Santorum denies calling Obama the n-word — Speaking to a group of voters in Janesville, Wisconsin on Wednesday, the candidate seemed to catch himself before using a word that sounds like “n*gger” to describe the president. (The original video of the speech is available here. The remarks in question take place at about 34:50.) “We know the candidate Barack Obama, what he was like – the anti-war government nig… America was a source for division around the world, that what we were doing was wrong,” Santorum said. “Oh, come on!” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley told Raw Story when asked for comment. “Give me a break. That’s unbelievable. What does it say about those that are running with this story that that’s where their mind goes. You know, I’m not going to dignify that with [a response].” “That is absolutely ridiculous.”
2) THE FACSIST PARTY OF TEA & THEOCRACY
Arizona law would criminalize being lewd or annoying on the Internet — As summarized by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, “The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.” The bill is currently awaiting Governor Jan Brewer’s signature, and the Media Coalition, which defends first amendment rights in the media, has sent her a letter outlining some of the problems with the legislation.
Arizona again. NATURALLY. And the Arizona GOP is now taking panty-snifffing to an entirely new level, demanding that “the gestational age of the fetus should be ‘calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.’” So in order to get an abortion, you now have to provide a bunch of old perverts a calendar with your menstrual cycle highlighted. These people are sick and evil. We’re seriously one or two bills away before women will be required to go to the well of the Arizona Senate and tell these old white perverts their favorite sexual position and how old they were when they lost their virginity.
3) THE GOP’S ONGOING INCOME REDISTRIBUTION SCHEME
Reality Check: Effective U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Much Lower Than Most Other Developed Nations — “The United States is a world leader in countless ways. ‘World’s Highest Taxes’ is a title we should give up as soon as possible,” wrote Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in a Fox News op-ed. “This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke; as of April 1, the United States of America will have reached the inauspicious position of having the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in a statement “I want America to be number one in many things, but having the highest corporate tax rate is definitely not one of them.” This is constant refrain from Republicans, who then blame the supposedly high U.S. corporate tax rate for discouraging job creation. But as we’ve noted time and time again, while the U.S. has a high statutory corporate tax rate (meaning the rate on paper), U.S. corporations actually pay incredibly low taxes due to the ever-proliferating loopholes, credits, and deductions in the tax code and the use of overseas tax havens.
4) MAYBE THERE’S STILL HOPE
Joe Scarborough Discovers ‘Disgusting’ Daily Caller Racism (VIDEO) — We wonder who Joe Scarborough is talking about here, when he calls out rightwing websites for being “beneath contempt” in their treatment of Trayvon Martin! (No we don’t. He is talking about Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller.) Noting that the Daily Caller had breathlessly presented Trayvon Martin’s Twitter feed as fodder for the poor oppressed whites of the world to note what a bad bad boy Trayvon Martin was, Scarborough practically throws up at the disingenuousness of presenting something so “innocuous … I can show you a lot of white kids, from suburban neighborhoods … come on.” Here, Tucker, here is just a tiny bit of what Joe Scarborough thinks of you now. “Some out there are marginalizing themselves, making fools of themselves. I guess it’s because the President actually said something to comfort the parents, and I guess they just can’t handle that. I guess in their warped, twisted, distorted, political worldview, that makes this dead 17-year-old boy [...] I guess that makes it okay?”
GM pulls funding from climate-denying Heartland Institute — In a statement, GM said that it now runs its business “as if climate change is real and believe we have a role to play in developing new cars, trucks and technologies that can make a difference”. The funding cut – just $15,000 a year – is small beer for the institute, which has a multi-million dollar turnover, largely from a single anonymous donor. But it is a blow to the standing of the thinktank and to the leading role it plays as an advocate of climate change scepticism. The thinktank has long been an incubator of ideas casting doubt that the world is warming as a result of man-made pollution. In 2009 it held a conference in New York under the title “Global warming: was it ever really a crisis?” Kert Davies, head of research for Greenpeace US that tracks the Heartland Institute, lauded the GM move. “It is a further indication that the Heartland Institute’s misinformation about climate change is not something that corporations want to have anything to do with. It has become toxic.”
Obama urges Congress to pass ‘Buffett Rule’ for rich — Named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett — who pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — Obama said a minimum tax rate for the wealthy would insure that more Americans pay their “fair share” for the nation’s needs. “We don’t envy success in this country, we aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead — not just a few.” Obama said every member of Congress should “go on record” when it comes to the Buffett rule. “And if they vote to keep giving tax breaks to people like me — tax breaks our country can’t afford — then they’re going to have to explain to you where that money comes from. Either it’s going to add to our deficit, or it’s going to come out of your pocket.”
1) FOOT IN MOUTH ROMNEY
Romney Laughingly Recalls Father’s Layoffs — From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: At the outset of the call, Romney said he has some connections to Wisconsin. “One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors … They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” said Romney. “And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.” Romney said he recalled a parade in which the school band marching with his father’s campaign only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan song. “So every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.
White House to Romney: Cold War over — White House spokesman Josh Earnest rejected accusations by Romney, the Republican Party frontrunnner to challenge the Democratic president, that Obama had nothing to show for his overtures to repair relations with Russia. “You don’t have to be a foreign policy expert to know that the Cold War ended 20 years ago and that the greatest threat that the president has been fighting on behalf of the American people is the threat posed by al-Qaeda. The irony is that Russia, particularly in the cases of North Korea and Iran, (has) worked very well with the international community to isolate those two regimes and to seek a diplomatic solution to hold those two regimes accountable for living up to their international obligations,” Earnest said.
2) HEAD UP ASS SANTORUM
Santorum tells young man not to use pink bowling ball ‘on camera’ – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Wednesday told a young man not to use a pink ball at a bowling alley in Wisconsin. “You’re not gonna use the pink ball. We’re not gonna let you do that. Not on camera,” he said, according to Reuters reporter Sam Youngman. “Friends don’t let friends use pink balls,” he added. Santorum was bowling with the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse College Republicans. Wisconsin holds its presidential primary next Tuesday.
3) THE GOP’S NEW CLASS WARFARE SCHEME (SAME AS THE OLD SCHEME)
Cantor Proposal for 20 Percent Business Tax Deduction Would Provide Windfall for Wealthy, Not Create Jobs — Though billed as a measure to create jobs by aiding small businesses, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) proposal for a 20 percent tax deduction in 2012 for businesses with fewer than 500 employees would benefit many high-income taxpayers — including many affluent doctors, lawyers, and stockbrokers — while failing to generate the promised economic benefits. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that nearly half — 49 percent — of the $46 billion tax cut that the measure would provide would go to people with incomes over $1 million a year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) rated this general approach as one of the least cost-effective ways that policymakers were considering to encourage growth or create jobs in a weak economy. For one thing, the tax benefits would flow disproportionately to high-income people who would spend a relatively small share of their additional income; thus, CBO estimated that the deduction would generate just 0 to 20 cents in economic growth for every dollar in budgetary cost. For another, firms would receive this tax break whether they hired new workers or not; thus, CBO estimated that in 2012 it would create one job or fewer per $1 million of budgetary cost.
The House Republican Budget Would Eliminate Pell Grants For More Than One Million Students — More than 1 million students would lose Pell grants entirely over the next 10 years under Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, according to an analysis that the national reform organization Education Trust provided to The Huffington Post. And by the looks of it, the Ryan budget, which is slated to hit the House floor this week, would hit the poorest kids hardest. [...] The budget would cut Pell grant eligibility for students who attend classes on a less-than-halftime schedule — which usually means low-income students who need to work their way through college. And it gets worse. Sixty percent of students who receive Pell grants also take out loans — twice the rate for college students overall — so they might be doubly hit by the Ryan cuts: In addition to receiving less Pell money, they would have to start paying interest on their loans while still in school.
4) TRAYVON MARTIN MURDER
Funeral director saw no signs of fight on Trayvon’s hands – “As for his hands and knuckles, I didn’t see any evidence he had been fighting anybody,” Kurtz said. Citing police sources, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Zimmerman told investigators Martin punched him and slammed his head into the ground repeatedly before he fired the shot that killed the unarmed 17-year-old. He claimed he shot Martin in self-defense, and he has not been charged in the case at this point. While Kurtz is not a forensics expert, the funeral director said he has handled the bodies of many homicide victims in his career. This case in particular affected him as he learned more about what happened to Trayvon Martin and how the case was handled. “I think the police investigation was the most unprofessional one I’ve ever seen in my lifetime,” Kurtz said.
Surveillance video shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman – The video shows Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police Department in a police cruiser. […] The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was covered in grass, and was bleeding from the back of the head and nose. Zimmerman’s lawyer has also said that his nose was broken in the incident. But the surveillance video shows no blood or bruises on him. It is unclear whether the medical attention Zimmerman reportedly received would have stopped him from bleeding. The lead homicide investigator on the Trayvon Martin case recommended George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter, but was denied. Chris Serino, the Sanford investigator, filed an affidavit on the night of crime saying he was unconvinced of Zimmerman’s account. However, the state attorney’s office told Serino not to press charges against Zimmerman because there wasn’t enough evidence against him. WATCH VIDEO:
Trayvon Martin: The 5 Key Unanswered Questions — While media coverage of the case has been intense, there are several key questions that have yet to be answered about the case. Here are five of the most important: 1. What was the purported “conflict” that required the initial prosecutor to step down? 2. Why did the prosecutor ignore the recommendations of the lead homicide investigator? 3. Why did then-Police Chief Bill Lee make public statements directly contradicting the official recommendations of the police department? 4. Who leaked Trayvon Martin’s school records? 5. Why was Trayvon Martin’s body tagged as a John Doe? Special prosecutor Angela Corey has promised to release additional information about the case once she makes a decision about whether to charge Zimmerman, something that could happen at any time.
- Zimmerman’s dad a retired judge: is that why the state attorney’s office decided not to press charges?
Trayvon Martin Case: Department of Justice to investigate entire Sanford police – He said that so many people complained at Monday night’s city commission meeting about Sanford officers, the city asked the Department of Justice to step in. “I am now in the process of talking with the Department of Justice and instituting a mechanism whereby citizens that have concerns or complaints about the Sanford Police Department can have their concerns heard and investigated by an independent agency,” Bonaparte said. WFTV found the investigations could pave the way for a long relationship with federal officials. After complaints surfaced in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, the Department of Justice found a pattern of civil rights abuse. Then, it completely took over the departments and entered into “consent decrees” to improve them. The Department of Justice took over the department in LA for eight years and in Pittsburgh for four.
Here’s an interesting twist:
The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of Trayvon Martin recommended that George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources have leaked to ABC News.
But Sanford, Fla., investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, ABC News reports.
[...] “According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison,” Danielle Canada, who looked at Zimmerman’s record, writes on RollingOut.com.
“All three of those arrests, however, were mysteriously closed with no semblance of charges for the Florida resident.”
Zimmerman’s mother, Gladys who is Peruvian, used to be an interpreter at the county courthouse. While his father, Robert Zimmerman, who is white, is a former Orange County magistrate judge.
“Did George Zimmerman have help from his father, a retired judge, in clearing his name in three separate arrests?”, asks RollingOut.com’s Danielle Canada.
This could explain EVERYTHING.
- Lead investigator wanted to arrest and charge Zimmerman – ABC News reports that the lead investigator in Trayvon Martin shooting wanted a manslaughter charge against the shooter George Zimmerman. The lead investigator, Chris Serino, stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events according to an affidavit he filed the night of Feb. 26. His recommendation for a manslaughter charge was overruled by state attorney Norman Wolfinger, who subsequently removed himself from the case. Read everything you should know about the case here.
An excerpt from a former Miami police chief’s NYT op-ed, calling for the repeal of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law:
Police officers are trained to de-escalate highly charged encounters with aggressive people, using deadly force as a last resort. Citizens, on the other hand, may act from emotion and perceived threats. But “stand your ground” gives citizens the right to use force in public if they feel threatened. As the law emphatically states, a citizen has “no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground.”
During one debate, one of the law’s proponents suggested that if a citizen felt threatened in a public space, he should not have to retreat and should be able to meet force with force. I pointed out that citizens feel threatened all the time, whether it’s from the approach of an aggressive panhandler or squeegee pest or even just walking down a poorly lighted street at night. In tightly congested urban areas, public encounters can be threatening; a look, a physical bump, a leer, someone you think may be following you. This is part of urban life. You learn to navigate threatening settings without resorting to force. Retreating is always the best option.
George Zimmerman, wannabe cop, neighborhood crank, 911 nuisance:
For more than a decade, George Zimmerman dreamed of a life in law enforcement — but instead of becoming a real cop, he lived out his big blue fantasy by tracking down stray dogs, “suspicious” children and other intruders in his gated Florida community.
Before he gunned down unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin — an incident President Obama confronted Friday, calling it a tragedy — Zimmerman had been a nuisance to 911 operators. He would carry around with him a pistol and the hope that he would one day wear a badge.
… He had a license to carry a concealed weapon, and he started a neighborhood watch last September in his gated community in Sanford, Fla.
Well before that, he was calling cops for just the slightest, racially tinged suspicions.
As the watch volunteer at the 260-unit Retreat at Twin Lakes, he became a paranoid pest — peppering 911 with at least 46 calls. They varied in urgency, but in the last year focused mostly on black men or boys.
That included a “suspicious” 7- to 9-year-old boy with a “skinny build” and short black hair.
Do you realize how many disgruntled, angry wannabes are out there, just waiting for their big fantasy moment to stand their ground against the various and sundry threats that play on a constant loop in their own minds? The NRA would like to see Stand Your Ground laws spread throughout the nation.
Just shot a white guy outside of Walgreens cause he was wearing a Members Only jacket and sort of looked like Timothy McVeigh.—
Alex Blagg (@alexblagg) March 23, 2012
“Because if we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don’t deserve to survive, and probably won’t.” – William Faulkner on the lynching of Emmett Till, 60 years ago
His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman.—
Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 23, 2012
Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin’s ‘Hoodie Is As Much Responsible For [His] Death As George Zimmerman’ (VIDEO) - Geraldo Rivera provoked outrage on Friday when he said that slain teenager Trayvon Martin was partially responsible for his death because he was wearing a hoodie. The Fox News host later revealed that even his own son was dismayed by the comments. Speaking on Friday’s “Fox and Friends,” Rivera said, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” Martin was unarmed when he was shot dead by a self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman in late February. His death has become a national tragedy, fueled by the police’s controversial handling of the case.
misterdelfuego: Suspicious brown person in a hoodie…
reagan-was-a-horrible-president: asking for it
Just days after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, the NRA was working on Capitol Hill to nationalize Florida’s vigilante mentality. The gun lobby has gotten U.S. senators to introduce a bill that will force states like New York with strong gun laws to follow Florida’s model of arming criminals and killers. Led by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), they call S.B. 2188, the National Reciprocity Act.
We call it the George Zimmerman Armed Vigilante Act.
S.B. 2188, which is a companion to H.B. 822, would allow the tens of thousands of concealed carry permit holders, such as those with violent backgrounds similar to Zimmerman’s, to take their guns and their “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality into Times Square, downtown Los Angeles, Main Street in Des Moines, Iowa, or to your community.
If your state has tougher, more sensible laws, that might prevent someone like George Zimmerman — who had an arrest record – from getting a concealed carry permit, tough luck. This new bill would force your state to honor concealed carry permits of other states, even states like Florida, with abhorrently low standards.
In fact, you can get a Florida permit to carry loaded, hidden guns in public through the mail or online. This means, if the NRA has its way in Congress, a George Zimmerman in your state can get a Florida permit without leaving his couch and walk your streets, armed and dangerous, and there is nothing you or your local law enforcement can do about it. Continue…
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.…I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. Every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.” – President BARACK OBAMA, in his first remarks on the murder of Trayvon Martin.