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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bachmann's faux pas parade

Some political gaffes are more than casual mistakes
Published: 08/30/111


I’m naturally sympathetic to politicians who find themselves similarly embarrassed when they say something stupid. They’ve all done it. It’s the one thing that unites Republicans and Democrats.


The question is, when do the inevitable verbal miscues cross the line from harmless to something worthy of monitoring? Among the 2012 presidential field, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has distinguished herself. Among the notables thus far:

During a visit to New Hampshire, she mistakenly declared that the Revolutionary War had begun in the Granite State’s town of Concord (as opposed to Concord, Mass.).

In Iowa, she mixed up the birthplace of film legend John Wayne with that of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

In South Carolina, she exhorted a throng of supporters to celebrate Elvis’ birthday on the anniversary of the King’s death.

Last week, she lamented the rise of the Soviet Union, despite its collapse in 1991.

It’s true that Bachmann isn’t the only candidate capable of offering silly public statements that require embarrassing “clarifications” later. And frankly, the mere frequency or volume of misstatements shouldn’t call into serious question anybody’s fitness to serve as commander in chief. What should be concerning, however, is the nature of Bachmann’s blunders.

Unlike my Barney Frank gaffe, Biden’s “stand up” salute, or Bush’s love connection, Bachmann consistently errs in her presentation of simple facts. Hers are usually mistakes, not a function of misspeaking. And there is a difference.

Should the faux pas parade continue throughout the rest of the campaign, it would be fair for primary voters to wonder whether the risk of having an especially gaffe-prone president would outweigh the entertainment value of her “unique” recollection of history.

Or as George W. Bush would say, it would be understandable if these regular inaccuracies come to “resignate with the people” enough to affect their decisions in the voting booth.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I got a chuckle out of this

A story from the Huffington post about possible evacuation of the space station, due to the explosion of the Russian soyuz re-supply capsule...

The comment that made me chuckle....

eShirl 34 Fans
6 minutes ago (7:42 PM) (I stole this from another website)

"Hello, Russian Space Agency. My name Peggy. What problem?"

Can someone find a gag?

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign said Monday she was only joking when she described Hurricane Irene and last week's earthquake in the eastern United States as a warning from God.

The Minnesota congresswoman, who has gained media prominence for her fiery attacks on Democratic President Barack Obama, said in Florida that Irene was an act of God to get politicians' attention to the debt and deficit problem.

"Of course she was saying it in jest," Alice Stewart, spokeswoman for Bachmann's campaign, told Reuters.

Irene killed at least 21 people and cut power to 5 million homes and businesses along its path up the eastern seaboard from North Carolina. Vermont was battling the state's worst flooding since 1927 after Irene swept through as a tropical storm late on Sunday.

A rare earthquake also rocked the East Coast last week.

"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?"' Bachmann said at a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida on Sunday.

"Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending," she said.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Soak It Up While It Lasts

Veinticuatro -- no, not Jeff Gordon!

Cuban man '24' proud of his 4 extra fingers, toes

They call him "Twenty-Four." Yoandri Hernandez Garrido's nickname comes from the six perfectly formed fingers on each of his hands and the six impeccable toes on each foot.
Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in this eastern Cuban city popular with tourists. One traveler paid $10 for a picture with him, Hernandez said, a bonanza in a country with an average salary of just $20 a month.
"It's thanks to my 24 digits that I'm able to make a living, because I have no fixed job," Hernandez said.
Known as polydactyly, Hernandez's condition is relatively common, but it's rare for the extra digits to be so perfect. Anyone who glanced quickly at his hands would be hard-pressed to notice anything different unless they paused and started counting.
Hernandez said that as a boy he was visited by a prominent Cuban orthopedist who is also one of Fidel Castro's doctors, and he declared that in all his years of travel he had never seen such a case of well-formed polydactyly.
"He was very impressed when he saw my fingers," said Hernandez, who is the only one in his family to be born with extra digits.
In a part of the world where people's physical traits are often the basis for nicknames - even unflattering ones like "fatty" or "shorty" - "veinticuatro" ("twenty-four" in English) is not an insult but rather a term of endearment, and Hernandez, now 37, said his uniqueness has made him a popular guy. He has a 10-year-old son with a woman who now lives in Havana, and his current girlfriend is expecting his second child.
"Since I was young, I understood that it was a privilege to have 24 digits. Nobody has ever discriminated against me for that," he said. "On the contrary, people admire me and I am very proud. I have a million friends, I live well."
Nevertheless, it occasionally caused confusion growing up.
"One day when I was in primary school, a teacher asked me how much was five plus five?" Hernandez recalled. "I was very young, kind of shy, and I didn't say anything. She told me to count how many fingers I had, so I answered, "12!"
"The teacher was a little upset, but it was the truth," he said.
Hernandez said he hopes he can be an example to children with polydactyly that there's nothing wrong with them.
"I think it's what God commanded," he said. "They shouldn't feel bad about anything, because I think it's one of the greatest blessings and they'll be happy in life."
[There is a slideshow on the webpage.]

Friday, August 26, 2011

H.O.G.s in Olympia

Remember morans raving on abut how Olympia hates bikers because the Toy Run route changed?
Guess what, about 300 members of the Harley Owners Group of Washington are checked in at the Governor House in beautiful downtown Olympia and about a thousand more are expected to join them Saturday and Sunday. When I asked a couple bikers if Olympia has a bad reputation with Harley riders they laughed, said they loved Olympia because they could let it all hang out, then invited me to be their guest at the HOG BBQ.

Cat Vs. Dog: Epic Standoff

For the cat and music lovers among us

Can't really tell if he has his calluses built up yet.  LOLcat!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now if he could just get Bachmann's stare and Palin's wink....

Rick Perry compares Civil Rights Movement to Corporate Taxes:

QUESTION: And coming to the Old Town Bistro you're actually visiting a very important place in Rock Hill and the nation's civil rights history. This year we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Friendship Nine sit-in here. Care to comment on that?

PERRY: Listen, America's gone a long way, standpoint of civil rights and thank God we have. I mean we've gone from a country's that made great strides in issues of civil rights. I think we all can be proud of that. And as we go forward, America needs to be about freedom. It needs to be about freedom from overtaxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom from over-regulation. And Americans regardless of what their cultural or ethnic background is they need to know that they can come to America and you got a chance to have any dream come true because the economic climate is gonna be improved. God bless you and thank you all from coming and being with us.

That's called "staying on point" regardless of how stupid you sound

If elected, Perry would stupidly try to use an executive order to overturn Obamacare

Rick Perry Clueless On Use Of Executive Presidential Powers To Kill Obamacare
By Rick Ungar. 8/21/2011

Looking toward to a not-so-distant future where Rick Perry could occupy the Oval Office, candidate Perry had this to say when speaking last week
in South Carolina-
If I’m so fortunate to be elected the president of the United States, on Day One, when I walk into the Oval Office, there will be an executive order on that desk that eliminates as much of ObamaCare that I can have done with an executive order.
What should disturb you about this vision of the future is not so much that a President Perry would try to bring Obamacare to an end as that is to be expected from any GOP contender. What should give you pause is that, in a Perry White House, our 45th president would begin his term by signing an executive order that would be, for all real purposes, a blank page.

Talk about an inauspicious beginning as representative of what I fear we might continue to expect from a President Perry.

Like it or not, there is virtually nothing a president can do by executive order to overturn this legislation passed by the Congress and signed into law by the current President.

While a future Congress could, theoretically, bring the Accountable Care Act to an end, and while the Supreme Court may yet destroy part or all of the law before Perry needs to make good on a promise that he cannot possibly keep, the simple fact is that there is really no impact on the law that might result from such an executive order.

Perry is not the first GOP candidate to attempt to bamboozle his audience with such nonsense. Michele Bachmann has promised to single-handedly take down the law right after she gets gas prices down under $2.00 a gallon. Mitt Romney has also promised to devote his first day in office to giving every state in the nation a waiver designed to release them from the dictates of the ACA.

What would that accomplish?

Not much.

The waiver provision in the ACA has been often discussed, derided and, ultimately, either completely misunderstood or used by Obama opponents to once again twist the truth.

To qualify for a waiver from the requirements of the ACA, a state, employer or employee must show that compliance with the federal requirement would cause “a significant increase in premiums or a decrease in access to benefits.”

Further, the waivers are only good for the period of time that HHS permits, not to exceed the date of full implementation of the law in 2014.

We all recall the hubbub that arose when waivers were granted to some large employers- like McDonald’s- and a few unions. The Right went crazy, alleging that once Obama had passed his law, he proceeded to shield his friends from the provisions of the same.

This was simply never the case.

The waiver provisions were put into place in anticipation that it would take some employers longer to adjust their benefit programs to the new law. In the case of a company like McDonalds, which employs thousands of part-timers, immediate adjustment to certain provisions in the law would have been devastating. They simply needed more time to make changes in their plan in order to comply.

This does not mean that all companies required this extra time. Nor did it mean that only companies and states friendly to Obama suddenly required the waivers. In fact, the overwhelming majority of employers did not require any assistance and have moved forward with the changes currently required with minimal, if any, discomfort.

The same goes for a couple of states whose laws were at variance with the federal statute.

Take, for example, Florida – a state whose governor is about as hostile to the Obama agenda as one can imagine yet was still granted a waiver. And then there is Tennessee who achieved a waiver despite handing its 2008 electoral votes to John McCain.

Under Florida’s law, a health insurance company is only required to spend 65%-70% of premium income on actual health care. The ACA requires 80%-85% be spent on actual health care benefits and further states that the new formula take effect in 2011. Insurers failing to meet the requirement would be subject to huge penalties in the way of rebates to their customers.

Were Florida to have to implement this provision in 2011, there was a genuine concern that health insurance companies in the state would flee as they would be unable to make such a radical change in so short a time, leaving them exposed to huge penalties via the rebates.

To allow this would have placed millions of Floridians in danger of becoming uninsured should the insurance companies bail out.

Obviously, this was not the intent of the new law. Equally obvious, this was precisely the type of situation the ACA envisioned when creating the opportunity for temporary waivers.

And if you think this is an example of why it is just awful that the federal government is messing in health care insurance requirements rather than leave it to the states, might I respectfully suggest that the logic requires that you rethink this one.

Health insurance companies who only spend 65% of the premium money they collect on actual health care for their beneficiaries do so to benefit their own bank accounts. Because they use this low amount of receipts to pay for actual care, as health care costs go up, they have to charge you more because they are only spending 65 cents of every dollar you send them to pay for actual care. The rest of your money goes into their pocket to pay for inflated overhead -including the people they employ to try to deny you the coverage you paid for- and, of course, profit.

There is absolutely no argument one can make that this is, somehow, good for consumers.

Similarly, you cannot argue that requiring a private health insurance company to spend 85% of their premium revenues on health care instead of spending it on overhead (typically running around 14% for private insurers compared to Medicare which runs at about 3%) is a bad thing for consumers.

Thus, by 2014, every insurance company is going to have to meet this new requirement. A private insurer will not be able to flee Florida looking for greener pastures as it isn’t going to be any easier for them in any other state.

Until then, it was never Obama’s nor the Congress’ intent to upset the applecart so badly that people lost coverage instead of gaining coverage.

So, exactly what is Romney going to accomplish with his promise to give everyone a waiver were he to take office in January of 2013?

While he can waive the requirements of the ACA for every state in the nation, he would accomplish very little indeed, do nothing to end the law and, one year later, those waivers would expire.

As for Perry, I’d love to hear what he believes he is going to accomplish via his first day, executive order as the details have been conspicuously absent.

I suspect I’ll be waiting a long time for that answer.

Oh, that wacky Daily O...

This was a headline under the "Sports" section...

"10 arrests in morning melee"

And this shows up when you click on the link for one of the listed "Most Popular" articles..

"Olympia fighter arrested on suspicion of selling steroids"

Thank you for visiting The Olympian Online.
Unfortunately we are unable to locate the page you have requested. This could be due to content on our site having expired, a broken link, an outdated bookmark, or a mistyped address. Please use the navigation provided on this page, or click here to visit our home page.

Read more:

Sheesh, why do they even bother to show up for work in the morning if they're not even going to try??

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rick Perry has controversial ideas on health care overhaul

Perry wrestles with his own health care approach

Texas would be among the biggest beneficiaries of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, standing to gain coverage for nearly 4 million uninsured residents.

But Gov. Rick Perry blocked moves to lay the groundwork for that expansion of coverage, and among the alternatives he's supported is an untested regional solution that could prove as controversial as Obama's remake.

With Perry running for the Republican presidential nomination, health care in Texas and his own ideas as governor will get fly-speck scrutiny on the national stage. His state is a study in contrasts, boasting world-renowned facilities like the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, along with the highest proportion of uninsured residents of any state — 26 percent.

As a national candidate Perry has made total repeal of "Obamacare" central to his fledgling campaign. But it's unclear what he would put in its place. And if the Supreme Court ultimately upholds all or parts of the law, Perry has signaled that he would help carry out key provisions to avoid defaulting to the federal bureaucracy.


... Perry has advocated a range of health care fixes, including national caps on malpractice lawsuits, conversion to electronic medical records and efforts to keep patients healthy and out of hospitals. He also signed legislation this year that would clear the way for Texas to explore a health care overhaul in conjunction with other states.

That may sound like an innocuous proposal, but it could turn out to be more controversial than Obama's overhaul.

The idea behind so-called state compacts is for the federal government to turn over Medicare and Medicaid funds to a group of states to use as they deem best for their citizens' needs. It would be the biggest re-engineering since the giant health care programs were created in the 1960s — assuming that groups of states could actually agree on what to do and Congress would give its consent.

"How could any one state control its costs?" asked Bob Laszewski, a health policy consultant to industry. It's like the Euro zone, he added, referring to Europe's troubled economies. "It's not states' rights anymore. These states would have to cede a lot of authority to a new entity."

Constitution would see a major overhaul if Rick Perry had his druthers

Seven ways Rick Perry wants to change the Constitution
By Chris Moody | The Ticket – Fri, Aug 19, 2011

Rick Perry has many ideas about how to change the American government's founding document. From ending lifetime tenure for federal judges to completely scrapping two whole amendments, the Constitution would see a major overhaul if the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate had his druthers.

Perry laid out these proposed innovations to the founding document in his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. He has occasionally mentioned them on the campaign trail. Several of his ideas fall within the realm of mainstream conservative thinking today, but, as you will see, there are also a few surprises.

1. Abolish lifetime tenure for federal judges by amending Article III, Section I of the Constitution.

2. Congress should have the power to override Supreme Court decisions with a two-thirds vote.

3. Scrap the federal income tax by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment.

4. End the direct election of senators by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.

5. Require the federal government to balance its budget every year.

6. The federal Constitution should define marriage as between one man and one woman in all 50 states.

7. Abortion should be made illegal throughout the country.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Olympian/Disqus FAILS again

Disqus is up and down-- sometimes comments display, sometimes they don't. Oddly, it seems to occur mostly on the controversial articles! Or.... maybe it isn't so odd?

Can't "like" anything either!

Also, nobody answers any of the phone numbers so we can't even report it!!


Discovered that Disqus will sometimes display newest comments first but not the oldest first. How ridiculous.... it makes much more sense to read the oldest ones first and then the newer ones that comment on the older ones!

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Morgan-O'Donnell

Veteran GOP political op says Christine O'Donnell's CNN walk-off showcases bad trend in politics

Veteran GOP communications operative Jarrod Agen, who's worked for Nevada Tea Party darling candidate Sharon Angle, says Christine O'Donnell's now-famous walk-off with CNN host Piers Morgan dramatizes a disturbing trend in politics -- even as he dismisses her charges of sexism as ludicrous.

Inexperienced politicians and campaign staffers take note: "If you're going to do interviews, you have to be prepared to talk about all kinds of subjects. And if it's a relevent topic that is in the news, you have to be prepared to answer," said Agen, who also worked the campaigns of former presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani and former California gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner.

O'Donnell's meltdown came after she was being interviewed on the Morgan show this week. The clips show the host "brought up gay marriage and asked for her response -- and she didn't give it," Agen noted. The question had nothing to do with sexism on Morgan's part: it was simply about a guy doing his job, he said.

The CNN clip underscored Rule One of political communication, he said: "It always makes it worse when you walk out of an interview or you make a scene."

But Agen notes the O'Donnell incident comes in the same week when another media-hostility story broke in national politics:'s examination of incidents in which Rep. Michele Bachmann's team has manhandled reporters, including pushing them around and covering their lenses.

Reasons for this insanity?

"It's a different atmosphere out there now," Agen said. "Because of the way soundbites move, people are ultra-nervous about saying anything." And it's clear "some of these people aren't prepared" for the rough and tumble of a national campaign, he said.

Agen says it appears O'Donnell was ill-served by her own staff, who are seen in the clip interfering in the interview and even advising her to walk off the set.

Guiliani, an experienced big city pol, he said, exemplified the right response to tough media: "You handle it and you show poise and resolve. That's what people want. Good leaders show they can handle these situations."

In Bachmann's case, she has "been in debates and performed. So there isn't really a need to be overprotective. She can handle herself and she's proven it," he said. "You don't have to make the issue worse by pushing reporters out of the way....sometimes, these commmunications professionals are a little overprotective. And they do a disservice to the people they're working for."
Who had the Worst Week in Washington? Christine O’Donnell.
By Chris Cillizza, Published: August 18

Christine O’Donnell is really testing the limits of Andy Warhol’s 15-minutes-of-fame maxim.

O’Donnell burst onto the political scene in 2010 when she beat longtime Rep. Mike Castle in a Delaware Senate primary, securing the Republican nomination and ensuring her party’s defeat in November.

Not content to simply step out of the political limelight — she had lost two previous Senate races in the First State — O’Donnell has written a book documenting her experiences on the campaign trail in 2010.

But her book tour is off to a rough start. And that’s being generous.

O’Donnell’s baffling interview this week with CNN’s Piers Morgan is the stuff of which legends — in a bad way — are made.

After Morgan asked her several times to discuss gay marriage, O’Donnell shut the interview down — while the cameras were still rolling — but not before she uttered this instant classic: “Don’t you think as a host, if I say this is what I want to talk about, that’s what we should address?” (Uh, no.)

O’Donnell also hung up in the middle of an interview with a Utah radio station after the hosts questioned how significant her primary victory over Castle actually was.

Interviews aside, the book itself (“Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again”) hasn’t fared all that well, either. Several of the incidents she recounts in the book — a fundraiser in which Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour allegedly praised her (an audio recording of the event doesn’t feature said praise), whether or not her campaign approved the “I am not a witch” ad — may not be totally, well, true.

O’Donnell may have the last laugh, though. Her book is currently ranked 3,819 on Amazon. Wait. . .

Christine O’Donnell, for not leaving the stage after the spotlight moved on, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

The News Tribune readers say....

Do you agree with Warren Buffett that the uber-rich should pay more taxes?
Total Votes:  860

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I just had to keep this one...

Join me in a boycott of Home Depot. They haven't broken any laws either, but I am a bigot and I disagree with their support of certain lifestyles.

Read more:

...As if we needed him to actually TELL us he was a bigot...

Only in The Olympian...

I hope the view from Martha's Vinyard is pleasing to Obama!

Most folks have to cancel vacations if an emergency occurs at work.  I guess he doesn't consider this an emergency.

Remember the fuss the D's made about GW not jumping up and running out of the kindegarten classroom when informed of 9/11.  The same could be said about Obama.

Read more:

Self imposed financial problems - terrorist attack on domestic and the same, huh??
I'm sure that President Obama can fix the financial issues with Congress on vacation

Oh, my, shame on Piers Morgan for being "rude" to Christine O'Donnell..... [snicker]

Christine O'Donnell Walks Out During 'Piers Morgan Tonight' Interview

Piers Morgan is already making light of former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell walking out on a "Piers Morgan Tonight" interview after the host asked her for her views on gay marriage on Wednesday.

"Do you think Christine O'Donnell is going to put a witch's curse on me now?" Morgan Tweeted on Wednesday night after O'Donnell walked out of a satellite, pre-recorded interview for his CNN talk show, his Tweet a reference to her 2010 admission she "dabbled" in witchcraft.

In a clip, posted on ahead of "Piers Morgan Tonight," O'Donnell and Morgan seemed to spar over what was appropriate to ask an interview guest after Morgan brought up gay marriage.

"Right now I'm curious about whether you support gay marriage," he said.

"You're borderline being a little bit rude," O'Donnell responded. "I obviously want to talk about the issues that I choose to talk about in the book."

Morgan went on to ask if she addressed gay marriage in her new book, "Troublemaker," something O'Donnell said she did, but refused to address in the CNN interview.

"Do you answer that question in the book?" he asked.

"I talk about my religious beliefs, yeah," O'Donnell said, nodding in the affirmative.

"Do you talk about gay marriage in the book?" he probed further.

"What relevance is that right now?" O'Donnell replied. "Is there a piece of legislation?"

O'Donnell went on to tell Morgan he was being "a little rude."

"I think I'm being rather charming and respectful," the "America's Got Talent" judge chimed in. "I'm just asking you questions based on your own public statements and now, what you've written in your own book. It's hardly rude to ask you that, surely?"

"Well, don't you think, as a host, if I say, 'This is what I want to talk about,' that's what we should address," she asked.

"Not really, no," he said.

At that point, O'Donnell looked off camera and said, "OK, I'm being pulled away," adding that she "turned down another interview for this."

"I was supposed to be speaking at the Republican Women's Club at 6 o'clock and I chose to be a little late for that, not to be... not to endure rude talk show hosts, but to talk to you about my book and the issues I address in my book," she said. "Have you read the book?"

Morgan claimed he had gotten through the book's pages and said she did bring up gay marriage in her book, questioning again why O'Donnell wouldn't address the subject on air.

"It would appear that the interview has just been ended, because I had the audacity to ask questions based on stuff that's in this book," Morgan said as O'Donnell left the studio. "It's a good book, it's called 'Troublemaker.' I think we now know why it's called 'Troublemaker.'... Christine O'Donnell, making America great again."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BART joined by the Olympian

Evergreen on Sierra Magazine's green-university list

Guess what-- the Zero isn't allowing comments on this article about TESC. Looks like it apparently has joined California's BART in preemptively preventing possibly negative public actions.

Does this mean that Fermat is also the patron saint for politicians?

Why Pierre de Fermat is the patron saint of unfinished business
By Eoin O'Carroll, Staff / August 17, 2011

Most of history's great thinkers are remembered for their completed works. Think of Newton's Principia, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, or Darwin's Origin of Species. These are people who slaved away for decades, each producing works that are today widely regarded as masterpieces.

But Fermat is best remembered not for what he did, but for what he left undone. One day in 1637, while perusing his copy of an ancient Greek text by the 3rd century mathematician Diophantus, Fermat jotted a note in the margins that would drive mathematicians crazy for the next four centuries.

For many years, Fermat's conjecture held a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Most Difficult Math Problem.

It was finally solved in 1994 by British mathematician Andrew Wiles, whose proof took seven years to complete and ran over 100 pages. Wiles, who was knighted for his efforts, deployed advanced algebraic geometry that was not available to anyone in the 17th century, suggesting that Fermat took a different approach in his unpublished proof. That or he was completely full of it.

Still, if Fermat had somehow managed to publish his proof during his lifetime, he would probably not be nearly as famous as he is today. So the next time someone asks you about the dishes in the sink, the half-written novel in the desk drawer, or that '67 Camaro sitting on blocks on your lawn, simply think of Fermat, and respond that you have a truly marvelous plan to finish your project, but that the day is too narrow to contain it.

HAHAHAHAHA! Tea party less popular than atheists and Muslims

Survey’s surprising finding: tea party less popular than atheists and Muslims
By Rachel Rose Hartman

In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, say they have collected data indicating that the tea party is "less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists' and 'Muslims.'"

But Campbell says the tea party was really an afterthought in their research.

"We didn't go into this study to look at the tea party," Campbell said in an interview with The Ticket.

The professors were following up on research they conducted in 2006 and 2007 for their book "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" and decided to add the tea party and atheists to their list of survey queries. By going back to many of the same respondents, the professors gleaned several interesting facts about the tea party.

One of their more surprising findings, Campbell concedes, (and one drawing national attention) is that the tea party drew a lower approval rating than Muslims and atheists. That put the tea party below 23 other entries--including Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Republicans and Democrats--that the professors included on their survey of "a representative sample of 3,000 Americans."

By examining which respondents became supporters of the tea party, Campbell and Putnam's survey "casts doubt on the tea party's 'origin story,' " they write in the Times.

Early tea partiers were described as "nonpartisan political neophytes," Campbell and Putnam write, but their findings showed that tea partiers were "highly partisan Republicans" who were more likely than others to have contacted government officials.

"They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do," they went on.

In addition to being socially conservative, the study found a close tie between religion and the tea party, whose supporters seek out "deeply religious" elected officials.

"This helps to explain why candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are just as much about the public presentation of themselves as religious people as fiscal conservatives," Campbell told The Ticket.

Campbell said Tuesday that he does not regard his research as politically motivated. "I don't have a particular dog in this or any other political fight," he said.

"We actually didn't go into this study primarily to look at the tea party," he told the Ticket. "The primary purpose of the study is to update what we learned about religion in America."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Here we go again....

Rep. Michele Bachmann wished "The King" a "Happy Birthday" today, August 16, as she rallied a crowd in Spartanburg, S.C. One problem: Elvis Presley was born in January and today marks the 34th anniversary of his death. 
"Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today," Bachmann told gathered supporters.
"We played you a little bit of Promise Land when we pulled up. You can't do better than Elvis Presley and we thought we would celebrate his birthday as we get started celebrating taking our country back to work."

Monday, August 15, 2011

From the Tacoma News Tribune

Who's your favorite among leading GOP presidential candidates?
Michele Bachmann
Ron Paul
Rick Perry
Mitt Romney
None of them

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Pardon me while I try to keep from puking!

A supporter of Bachmann's was interviewed at the Iowa State Fair, and she said that Bachmann "knows that the foundation of the Constitution is Biblical principle".....

Apparently the supporter's schooling didn't include any study of U.S. history!

Friday, August 12, 2011

To pee or not to pee (or "URINE OR YOU'RE OUT")

A sample of the right-wing messages that make the e-mail rounds:
I have a job. I work, they pay me.

I pay my taxes, and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.

In order to get that paycheck, in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem).

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check since I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet.

I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their butt doing drugs while I work.

Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

I guess we could call the program "URINE OR YOU'RE OUT"!

Something has to change in this country - AND SOON!

P.S. Just a thought-- all politicians should have to pass a urine test too!

NOW will you believe us??

The right-wingers' precious book has changed over the centuries and has lots of inaccuracies! In fact the scholars have found that some of the changes and additions were deliberately made.

In Jerusalem, scholars trace Bible's evolution

By Matti Friedman, AP

A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: the sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.

Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies — publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.

And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.

For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable. [snipped]

But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine.

The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions — differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed on, orally and in writing.

A Microsoft Excel chart projected on one wall on a recent Sunday showed variations in a single phrase from the Book of Malachi, a prophet.

The verse in question, from the text we know today, makes reference to "those who swear falsely." The scholars have found that in quotes from rabbinic writings around the 5th century A.D., the phrase was longer: "those who swear falsely in my name."

In another example, this one from the Book of Deuteronomy, a passage referring to commandments given by God "to you" once read "to us," a significant change in meaning.

Other differences are more striking.

The Book of Jeremiah is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after the events happened.


It's not really about the debt....

The Nation --  “Who wouldn’t take that deal, 10 dollars in spending cuts for every one in tax increases?” Asked Fox News moderator Bret Baier, at the Republican presidential primary debate Thursday night in Ames, Iowa. Every single one of the candidates raised their hands, to loud applause.

It was, as Jonathan Alter later noted on MSNBC, an “iconic” moment. The GOP field is in total agreement that compromise with Democrats and the majority of Americans who agree with them that deficit reduction must happen and must be done fairly is unacceptable.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Skydivin' granny

Lost? Conservatives better work on their math skills

Remember Dale Schultz? He was the one Republican senator in Wisconsin to vote against Gov. Scott Walker's anti-worker Budget Repair Bill.

Well, with his Republican Party now clinging to a 17-16 majority in the state Senate, Schultz is now going to be the most popular man in Madison, and de facto majority leader of the Wisconsin Senate, simply by virtue of not being a Scott Walker Republican.

Consider this: If Walker tried to pass something like his last budget again, Democrats would have enough votes in the state Senate to kill the bill outright.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Festival for non-believers at Fort Bragg not equally supported as last year's religious festival!

Army Will Host Festival for Atheists at Fort Bragg
By Amelia T. August 9, 2011

After some wrangling, a group of military atheists gained permission to host a “Rock Beyond Belief” concert at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg. Sgt. Justin Griffith, the event’s organizer, tried to arrange for the festival to be held earlier this year, but canceled it because he said that the army was not treating the event like last September’s “Rock the Fort” concert, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“This just might be the turning point in the foxhole atheist community’s struggle for acceptance, tolerance and respect,” said Griffith, who is currently deployed in Kuwait. “It’s an amazing time to be a nonbeliever in the U.S. military on the cusp of a major breakthrough.”

The concert will be held on March 31, 2012, and will feature famous non-believers like Richard Dawkins as well as musical groups. It will be open to the public. The fort has agreed to provide electricity, water and security for the event, but no direct financial assistance. Last fall’s Billy Graham concert received over $50,000 in financial support from the base, in addition to the centrally located parade ground space.

Ultimately, Griffith’s goal is for atheists to become more accepted in the Christian-dominated world of the U.S. military. And you do have to wonder how it feels to all non-Christians, not just non-believers, that Fort Bragg was willing to contribute such a significant sum of money to an evangelical Christian event, but not to an alternative concert.

This isn’t a complete victory for Griffith and other atheists in the military, since the fort isn’t assisting financially, but at least they are being given some kind of support. Perhaps a more important step would be getting more atheist and secular humanist chaplains into the armed forces.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In a post related to what Anon just published...

Most Americans don't believe their own member of Congress deserves re-election

CNN Poll: Time to clean house in Congress?

Need more evidence that Americans are extremely angry at Congress?

Well, here you go: According to a new national survey, for the first time ever most Americans don't believe their own member of Congress deserves re-election.

Read full results CNN/ORC poll.

And the CNN/ORC International Poll released Tuesday also indicates that while Republicans may have had the upper hand in the recent battle over raising the debt ceiling, they appear to have lost a lot of ground with the public and the party's unfavorable rating is now at an all time high.

Only 41 percent of people questioned say the lawmaker in their district in the U.S. House of Representatives deserves to be re-elected - the first time ever in CNN polling that that figure has dropped below 50 percent. Forty-nine percent say their representative doesn't deserve to be re-elected in 2012. And with ten percent unsure, it's the first time that a majority has indicated that they would boot their representative out of office if they had the chance today.

"That 41 percent, in the polling world, is an amazing figure. Throughout the past two decades, in good times and bad, Americans have always liked their own member of Congress despite abysmal ratings for Congress in general," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Now anti-incumbent sentiment is so strong that most Americans are no longer willing to give their own representative the benefit of the doubt. If that holds up, it could be an early warning of an electorate that is angrier than any time in living memory."

As for all members of Congress, the poll indicates only a quarter of the public says most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected.

A lot of that anger seems directed toward the GOP. According to the survey, favorable views of the Republican party dropped eight points over the past month, to 33 percent. Fifty-nine percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party, an all-time high dating back to 1992 when the question was first asked.

The poll indicates that views of the Democratic party, by contrast, have remained fairly steady, with 47 percent saying they have a favorable view of the Democrats and an equal amount saying they hold an unfavorable view.

"The Democratic party, which had a favorable rating just a couple of points higher than the GOP in July, now has a 14-point advantage over the Republican party," adds Holland.

The same pattern holds for the parties' leaders in Congress. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the chamber, have never had great numbers, but the public's view of them have remained essentially unchanged in the wake of the debt ceiling debate. But House Speaker John Boehner's favorable rating has dropped 10 points, and his unfavorable rating is up to 40 percent, a new high for him. On the Senate side, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell isn't faring much better - his unfavorable rating is 39 percent, a seven-point increase since July.

The poll indicates that Americans' views of the tea party movement have also turned more negative, with 51 percent saying they have a negative view of the two-year-old limited government and anti-tax grassroots movement, with favorable ratings dropping from 37 percent down to 31 percent. Freshman House Republicans elected with major support from tea party activists were instrumental in keeping any tax increases out of the agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International on August 5-7, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey was conducted both before and after Friday night's downgrading of the country's credit rating by Standard and Poor's. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Thought for the Day

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
Adlai Stevenson

I just don't think she can help it

Monday, August 8, 2011


Yeah, expect riots and cities burning...

...if Barry is defeated in the next prez election.

Not sure who is crazier.....the Cover Girl the Newsbusters readers are protecting....
or the readers themselves

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stupidity is Power

From the BlogThatICanOnlyLookAtOnceInABlueMoon.....

"I have to think this was inside information getting out via a “trusted” insider. Who knew the people, the route, etc.? Knowing this administration, moving un-trustworthy people like Panetta from CIA to DOD, I wonder if it was a local treachery or if it was treason."

(A comment about the Chinook shot down in Afghanistan)

You have to be an absolute fucking paranoid asshole to come up with this shit.

The Blogstress agreed with the comment

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Political $$ -- how to donate big $$ without running afoul of laws!

Mysterious donor to pro-Romney PAC identified

WASHINGTON (AP) — A once-mysterious donor who gave $1 million to a pro-Mitt Romney political action committee in April contributed the maximum amount to Romney's presidential campaign three weeks later, an Associated Press review found.

Edward Conard came forward this weekend as the man behind the donation from New York firm W Spann LLC, founded shortly before giving the $1 million check to Romney-leaning Restore Our Future PAC. W Spann dissolved three months later, business records show, prompting outrage from campaign-finance watchdogs who said the secret contribution violated the law.

Conard is a former executive at Boston-based Bain Capital, which was co-founded by Romney in 1984. Conard could not be immediately reached for comment Saturday.

Federal Election Commission records show that in May, Conard and his wife, Jill, gave $2,500 each to Romney's presidential committee — the maximum allowed under federal regulations by individuals to presidential candidates. Edward Conard also gave $2,300 toward Romney's 2008 White House run, records show.

The new developments surrounding Restore Our Future's contributions show how political donors — bound by dollar limits during each election cycle — can now give much more cash to outside groups that favor certain candidates.

Created by former aides to Romney, Restore Our Future raised $12.2 million during the first six months of 2011. The outside group is not officially connected to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and can receive endless funds from individuals and corporations, thanks in part to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as "Citizens United."

"They're raising unlimited money from donors who can only give limited contributions to the candidate himself, and then are spending money directly to support the candidate," said Fred Wertheimer, president of watchdog Democracy 21, which called on the Justice Department and FEC this week to investigate the contribution.

"The whole operation is a sham," he said, "and the sooner we figure out how to do something about this, the better."

In a prepared statement, Restore Our Future spokeswoman Brittany Gross said: "We're glad Mr. Conard has chosen to come forward, putting an end to this supposed controversy. Restore Our Future will amend our report per Mr. Conard's request to reflect him as the donor."

Anyone Know This Person?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Christie -- voice of reason?

Chris Christie slams fearmongering over Sharia law
By Chris Moody | The Ticket – Thu, Aug 4, 2011

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie defended his decision to nominate a Muslim judge to the state Superior Court against conservative critics who warned that the new judge will implement Sharia law. The notoriously blunt-spoken Christie calling their fears "crap" and "crazy."

The appointee, Sohail Mohammed, is an American attorney who offered legal aid to New Jersey residents who were suspected after the 9/11 terrorist attacks but were later found innocent of any crimes.

Opponents of Mohammed's nomination have issued warnings, with no evidence, that Christie's nominee, if approved, would base his rulings on Islamic law. Christie was having none of it.

"Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It's crazy. It's crazy," Christie said at a press conference Wednesday. "The guy's an American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the constitution of the state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America . . . .This Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies."

You can watch the exchange after the jump:

Several Republican presidential candidates have warned of a Muslim plot to force American courts to rule by the religious code. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum recently called it "an existential threat" to the United States; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty shut down a program in his state that would allow practicing Muslims to pay for mortgages without violating their religious teachings against borrowing with interest; businessman Herman Cain said he would require Muslims to take an extra loyalty oath to serve in his administration; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for a federal law to ban Sharia from U.S. courts.
Some of the comments posted to this:
*  It's gotten pretty bad when Chris Christie has become the voice of reason.
*  Santorum, Pawlenty, Cain, Gingrich, etc. should be embarresed.... to quote Edith Sitwell: " I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it."
*  America is a constitutional republic, not a theocracy, so when people worry about instituting sharia law, it shows an appalling level of ignorance and stupidity. Don't they still teach civics in our public schools?
*  Oh, for the love of Pete. The level of ignorance and racism in this country right now has nearly reached critical mass. People are actually stupid enough to think we'll have Sharia Law in the United States of America because we have one judge who's Muslim? Listen, folks, it ain't the Muslims I'm afraid of. It's you hate-mongers and this climate of fear you're creating that's going to doom us all.

I hope the !@#$%^&*()! Repugs are happy!!!

S&P downgrades U.S. debt
August 5, 2011 8:37 PM

WASHINGTON - Credit rating agency S&P downgrades US debt from AAA, making it the first debt downgrade in U.S. history.

Ratings agencies Moody's and Fitch both maintained the U.S.'s AAA credit rating following the debt deal.
CNN and ABC News reported Friday evening that S&P alerted the White House to a possible downgrade. CNNreported that its source said S&P was reconsidering its downgrade position after the administration challenged S&P's analysis of the government's finances, citing mathematical errors found by the Treasury Department.
Moody's, Fitch and S&P are the three main ratings agencies that rate debt that is issued by governments and corporations. The triple-A rating is the highest available and signifies an extremely low likelihood of default. All three agencies had issued warnings in recent weeks that the U.S. credit rating was in danger of a downgrade.
Critics say the agencies have an outsized impact on U.S. economic policy and point to the firms' failure to correctly assess risk before and during the 2008 financial crisis.
The U.S. is downgraded. Now what?
By Dyan Matthews

Math Error Fuels Fight Over Rating
AUGUST 5, 2011, 8:50 P.M. ET

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another thin-skinned police dept.

Cartoonist Targeted With Criminal Probe For Mocking Police
Posted: 4:46 pm PDT August 3, 2011
Updated: 1:08 pm PDT August 4, 2011

The Renton City Prosecutor wants to send a cartoonist to jail for mocking the police department in a series of animated Internet videos.

The "South-Park"-style animations parody everything from officers having sex on duty to certain personnel getting promoted without necessary qualifications. While the city wants to criminalize the cartoons, First Amendment rights advocates say the move is an "extreme abuse of power."

We asked attorney Venkat Balasubramani to review several parody videos and the court documents. He's an expert in cyber-law and constitutional issues.

“The cyberstalking angle doesn't pass the laugh test," Balasubramani told KIRO-TV. "It's a serious stretch and I'd be surprised if somebody looked at it and realistically thought these acts actually fit the statute and we could make somebody criminally liable."

When we asked about the more likely scenario, Balasubramani said, "I think they were trying to get at the speaker and they looked around for a statute that shoehorned their conduct into and sent that to Google and said ‘turn over the information.”
Renton Police Respond To Parody Videos Investigation
Posted: 5:22 pm PDT August 4, 2011
Updated: 5:31 pm PDT August 4, 2011

RENTON, Washington -- On Wednesday, KIRO 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne broke the story of a cartoonist who is apparently being targeted by the Renton City Prosecutor for producing a series of videos mocking the Renton Police Department.

The city is attempting to jail the cartoonist on charges of cyberstalking. First Amendment advocates have called the move an "extreme abuse of power."

The mystery cartoonist hasn't been revealed yet, but the Renton police and the local prosecutor got a judge to approve a request sent to Google -- the videos were posted to YouTube, which is owned by Google -- to discover the cartoonist's identity.

Renton police responded to the fallout from KIRO 7's investigation Thursday by holding a news conference and issuing a statement [snipped]

Renton, Washington: Where Cartoons Are a Bigger Offense Than Gross Abuses of Police Power
Jacob Sullum | August 5, 2011
The police did not claim that the first set of cartoons constituted a crime. But in their July 28 application for a search warrant demanding information about Mr. Fuddlesticks from Google, they say a second set, uploaded in April, amounts to "cyberstalking" because the cartoons include "embarrassing and emotionally tormenting comments about past sexual relationships or dating relationships" involving three city employees. That definition of cyberstalking is broad enough to encompass, say, criticism of Deputy Chief Troxel for using official police resources to spy on his girlfriend (who was also a city employee).

Washington state's definition of the crime is indeed broad, so broad that it is hard to reconcile with the First Amendment. The part on which the Renton investigation hinges makes it a gross misdemeanor to transmit "an electronic communication" with "intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person" when the communication includes "any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act." KIRO has added to its collection of Mr. Fuddlesticks cartoons since yesterday, so you can judge for yourself whether any of the six available here qualify as a crime under this definition. If they do, it's the law that needs to go, not the cartoons.

The cartoons do repeatedly refer to sexual relationships, but their main target is waste, incompetence, misconduct, and a culture that tolerates them. [snipped]
Is It a Crime to Publish Parody Videos That Use “Lewd ... Language” Meant to “Embarrass and Emotionally Torment” Police Officers?
 • August 4, 2011 5:55 pm

Yes, the Renton (Wash.) city prosecutor’s office concludes, applying the Washington “cyberstalking” statute — an excellent example of the dangers of the broad “cyberbullying” and “harassment” statutes that I have often condemnedKIRO-TV reports: 
The Renton City Prosecutor wants to send a cartoonist to jail for mocking the police department in a series of animated Internet videos.
The “South-Park”-style animations parody everything from officers having sex on duty to certain personnel getting promoted without necessary qualifications.... [Last week, the prosecutor filed] a search warrant accusing an anonymous cartoon creator, going by the name of Mr. Fiddlesticks, of cyberstalking (RCW 9.61.260). The Renton Police Department and the local prosecutor got a judge to sign off as a way to uncover the name of whoever is behind the parodies....
The series of web-based short cartoons feature a mustachioed street cop and a short-haired female bureaucrat. The dry, at times, witty banter between the two touches on some embarrassing insider secrets, some of which seem to match up with internal affairs investigations on file within Renton PD.
Cartoon Character of Officer: “Is there any reason why an anonymous video, with no identifying information that ties it to the department or city is being taken more seriously than officers having sex on duty, arguing with outside agencies while in a drunken stupor off duty, sleeping while on duty, throwing someone off a bridge, and having inappropriate relationships with coworkers and committing adultery?”
Cartoon Character of Bureaucrat: “The reason is that internal dirt is internal. The department will crucify certain people and take care of others.”
A criminal court document, uncovered by Team 7 Investigators, not only shows how badly the city of Renton wants to “out” the cartoonist (who goes by the name MrFiddlesticks), but states some of the fake character’s lines discuss real life incidents....
Here’s the potentially relevant text from Rev. Code Wash. 9.61.260:
A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication [defined as transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means ... includ[ing] ... internet-based communications] to such other person or a third party: (a) Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act ....
Under the prosecutor’s view, any statement — including on a blog, in a YouTube video, in a newspaper article, on television, or whatever else — is a crime if it is made “with intent to harass, ... torment, or embarrass” the subject of the person “[u]sing any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language.” A comedian’s joke that “lewd[ly]” or “lascivious[ly]” described President Clinton’s behavior with Monica Lewinsky, or for that matter Congressman Weiner’s behavior, would be a crime if it was made “with intent to ... embarrass” the President or the Congressman. The Hustler parody attacking Jerry Falwell, which the Supreme Court held to be protected against civil liability under the “intentional infliction of emotional distress tort,” would be a crime. Indeed, in this very case, the theory is that the videos are criminal because they described alleged police sexual misconduct using “lewd” or “indecent” words with the intent to torment or embarrass particular officers. (The theory expressed in the document — a search warrant application — is that the videos sufficiently identify the particular police officers who were involved in the incidents to which the video alludes.)

If the prosecutor is right that the statute should be interpreted this broadly, then it’s clearly unconstitutionally overbroad. Speech to the public doesn’t lose its constitutional protection because it’s intended to torment or embarrass. (It may lose such protection when it’s intended to be perceived as a true threat of criminal attack, but that’s not the issue here.) Nor does lose its constitutional protection because it uses “lewd” or “indecent” terms. And while one-to-one speech said to an unwilling listener may in some circumstances be restricted — which is the reason traditional telephone harassment laws, if properly crafted, may be constitutional — this rationale can’t be used to suppress speech said to the public, even if the people discussed in the speech are tormented or embarrassed by it.

Moreover, the statute would be clearly unconstitutional as applied to this video, and the prosecutor and the judge ought to know this. (The prosecutor is Renton Chief Prosecutor Shawn Arthur; the judge is James Cayce.) A search warrant can only be issued if there is probable cause to believe that it will uncover evidence of a crime; since the material described in the affidavit can’t be made criminal under the cited statute, given the First Amendment, the warrant ought not have been issued. The government is not permitted to use its coercive power to identify the author of this constitutionally protected video.

Thanks to Cory Andrews for the pointer. UPDATE: I originally said I didn’t know which judge signed this warrant, but that was a mistake on my part — Judge Cayce’s signature is right there on the last page.


YOUR WHAT???????

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Censorship by The Olympian?

So, Dear Moderator. Is it the policy of this newspaper to delete comments simply because of who makes the comment? Clearly, the answer is yes as you are now deleting comments by some writers while leaving virtually identical comments by others on the page.
Is it against the policy of this newspaper to accept criticism by bloggers? Only certain bloggers? LOL! It would be fun to see this paper apply the same "principles" it expects from government to itself.... The paper would be getting an F at this point... No communication of reasons for its actions.... Arbitrary and capricious decision-making.... No transparency.... Discrimination.... Monopolistic control over information with the best Orwellian spin you can come with.... Kind of reminds me of the parent who says do what I say, not what I do....

You are somehow under the impression that you have a right to be here and be heard. You don't. We are ALL guests here and our posts get posted at the discression of the management. My posts get pulled sometimes too. Big deal. Get over your entitlement issues.

in reply to T1958

It's not unreasonable to expect fairness, or at least some kind of consistent rationale for pulling posts. What's the policy? And is it consistently enforced? Those are questions that people who use this website have the right to ask.

LOL! Of course not... but the "freedom" of press people exercising censorship and controlling the "message" is pretty sad/funny/pathetic all at the same time.... Where you get the "entitlement" thing is pretty funny though... interesting interpretation.

Cronus , liberal redneck in Olympia since 1980.
My posts get pulled sometimes as well, don’t take it personally. Some go to the moderator and appear later, some never appear. Obviously, it isn’t a perfect system (I mean, they even mess with the great Cronus! Lol). Apparently the Olympian and Disqus each have their own separate protocol on banned words, for example. I found the best way to communicate an issue is not to post a comment and go off (which I’ve done before too), but to call Tammy McGee at the Olympian’s newsroom 360-754-5420 during business hours. Hope that helps ya, brother.

in reply to T1958

Read more:

Politics overtaken by morality

America the stony-hearted

It's a moral revolution. Conservatives are pushing aside compassion and transforming the nation's values, ideals and aspirations.

May 22, 2011|By Neal Gabler

This was hardly the first time politics was overtaken by morality. One has only to think of abolition and Prohibition. The difference this time was that as politics were being moralized and polarized, our morals were also being politicized and polarized. The two moral systems that had so long coexisted suddenly became mutually exclusive, oppositional and finally inseparable from the two regnant political ideologies.

One can see this division in something as simple as the denigration of the term "liberal," the "L" word, with its attendant idea that to be compassionate, caring and tolerant — virtues that had been celebrated, if only via lip service, by most Americans — is really to be mush-minded, weak and, more concretely, willing to give taxpayer largesse to the undeserving and lazy. (This was essentially the argument that some Republicans, such as former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), used when they sought to deny an extension of unemployment benefits.

It is easy to miss how significant a change this is. It transforms compassion, a bulwark in practically any moral system, into a negative force that undermines the good of individual initiative. Indeed, conservative ideologue Marvin Olasky wrote a book to this effect, pungently titled "The Tragedy of American Compassion," in which he called for the privatization of all charitable efforts. It rapidly became a conservative touchstone.

By the same token, liberals have come to see the emphasis on the individual and self-reliance as a form of civic irresponsibility and selfishness — a way to justify rogue economic behavior and enrichment at the expense of the community. It was, incidentally, a charge adherents of the novelist Ayn Rand gladly invited because they believe selfishness is a tough, exalted form of morality. Thus were the moral sides drawn: soft-headed versus tough-minded, big-hearted versus stony-hearted.

So far, tough-mindedness, and its patron conservatism — which drew these battle lines — are easily winning the day.