Month: June 2014

Wisconsin Attorney General Threatens People Who Obey Court Ruling

I just love how right wing Talibaptist types think that the law does not apply to them:

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Thursday that same-sex couples who have wed in recent days are not married in the eyes of the law and that county clerks issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples could be prosecuted.

Also Thursday, Republican Gov. Scott Walker backed Van Hollen’s work defending the gay marriage ban but sidestepped questions on whether clerks should be charged and what his personal views on gay marriage are now.

Three district attorneys running for attorney general — two Democrats and a Republican — said they would not issue charges against clerks and their area. A Democratic state representative running to succeed Van Hollen also criticized the idea of issuing charges.

“You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that,” Van Hollen said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “So, depending on who believes they’re married under the law and who doesn’t believe they’re married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out.”

The Republican attorney general said he did not believe same-sex couples could be prosecuted but that county clerks risked charges.


County clerks can be jailed for up to nine months and fined up to $10,000 for issuing marriage licenses that aren’t allowed under state law. The same section of the statutes also provides penalties for judges, ministers and others who officiate over a “fictitious marriage,” but Van Hollen did not address whether they could be charged.


United States District Judge Barbara Crabb last week declared that Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law. She has not yet entered an injunction instructing public officials what to do about her finding.

After all, who has to listen to some judge anyway?

Judge Crabb, could you please find this rat f%$# in contempt?

Another Reason to Shut Down the Fusion Centers

Because they treated a consumer boycott for “Black Friday” 2011 as a terrorist event:

The documents reveal that Fusion Centers and their personnel even conflate their anti-terrorism mission with a need for intelligence gathering on a possible consumer boycott during the holiday season. There are multiple documents from across the country referencing concerns about negative impacts on retail sales.

The Executive Director of the Intelligence Fusion Division, also the Joint Terrorism Task Force Director, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department circulated a 30-page report tracking the Occupy Movement in towns and cities across the country created by the trade association the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He directed that the recipients of the document, who included top staff at the Washington, D.C. Fusion Center, “develop a one page product that we can send to our District Commanders to make them aware of the potential threat.”

(emphasis original)

Can you say out of control totalitarian organization?

Good, I knew that you could.


Time to stare into the face of God.

It’s not a nova, it’s the light from some sort of stellar upheaval reflected off of interstellar gas.

H/t DC at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

Eric Arthur Blair is Spinning in His Grave, Again

Over at Emptywheel, Jim White shows us a bit of cognitive dissonance that will make your head spin on the “World” section of the New York Times:

Seriously, first, we, (and the House of Saud) arm rebels in Syria, then they move into, and take over ¼ of Iraq, and take more of our weapons, and the very serious people think that we need to send them more weapons.

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

(On Edit)

And Obama is looking at air strikes to support the government. Obama has gone the full Nixon/Vietnamization route.

Quote of the Day

If a thousand armed Blacks had gathered in one place, pointing rifles at federal officers, and two of them later cold-bloodedly assassinated policemen, the federal response would touch every Black neighborhood in America. But the armed white Right gets a pass. Racists are resources to those in power. “The national security state’s legitimacy is based on (white) mass fear and loathing of the Other.”

Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report

The World Cup Begins

It is unique among the mega-huge sporting events in that the quality of the sport is actually lower than the ordinary competitions.

At the World Series, or the Superbowl, or the Stanley Cup, or the FA cup, we have the best teams competing with each other, while in the world cup, you don’t have a team, you have a bunch of (supremely talented) individual players.

On the other hand, I really don’t see FIFA particularly corrupt as compared to, for example, the NCAA, which exists solely to create the myth of “student athletes” in order to codify slavery.

Some Thoughts on Eric Cantor

First, the very serious people inside the Beltway are freaking for a number of reasons:

  • The results sh%$ on their “tea party is dead, and the Republican adults are back” meme.
  • David Cantor was “people like them”, in that he was a soulless apparatchik climber.
  • Freaking out is what they do.

As to the significance, I think that this is all about, as TBogg so eloquently, “All things considered, Eric Cantor probably lost because he’s a dick.”

On a slightly more serious note, Cantor did not take his constituents seriously.

To paraphrase Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill story goes, Cantor never asked for their votes.

The Beltway consensus is that it was all about immigration, but as TBogg, and many others noted, immigration reform was supported by nearly 4 to 1 in the district, and that same night, Lindsay Graham not only won his primary, but did so in a large field with enough of a margin to avoid a runoff.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think that Cantor being Jewish had much to do with his loss, with a margin over 11% in a district that he had dominated before, but I do think that some of the advertising did seem to invoke this (though note that in the article, Salon solipsistically posits that it was anti-Silicon Valley sentiment).

Looking at the ad, where he’s hanging with Mark Zuckerberg, I feel compelled to invoke Mr. Subliminal.

You have an ad with the picture Cantor a guy with a Jewish name who looks stereotypically Jewish, and accuses him of giving their jobs to foreigners, and I wonder if this is not a sly reference to his religion.

Holy Crap!

Eric Cantor just lost his primary for reelection to a Teabagger:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, was badly beaten in a primary contest Tuesday by an obscure professor with tea party backing — a historic electoral surprise that left the GOP in chaos and the House without its heir apparent.

Cantor, who has represented the Richmond suburbs since 2001, lost by 11 percentage points to Dave Brat, an economist at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. It was an operatic fall from power, swift and deep and utterly surprising. As late as Tuesday morning, Cantor had felt so confident of victory that he spent the morning at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill, holding a fundraising meeting with lobbyists while his constituents went to the polls.

He did not just lose, he got shellacked.

With the possible exception of John Boehner, whose dislike of, and rivalry with, Cantor was very tangible, the Republican establishment must be profoundly unhappy now.

To paraphrase Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain), reports of the Tea Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Not sure where the Dems will go from here, but reaching across the aisle would not be my suggestion.

Because by Devaluing Workers and Listening Cockamamie Theories from Rich People Worked So Well for the Rest of Us

It is sure to be appealed, but a judge in LA has just ruled that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional:

Teachers union officials denounced a ruling Tuesday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge deeming job protections for teachers in California as unconstitutional as a misguided attack on teachers and students.

The ruling represents a major loss for the unions and a groundbreaking win by attorneys who argued that state laws governing teacher layoffs, tenure and dismissals harm students by making them more likely to suffer from grossly ineffective instruction.

If the preliminary ruling becomes final and is upheld, the effect will be sweeping across California and possibly the nation.

Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled, in effect, that it was too easy for teachers to gain strong job protections and too difficult to dismiss those who performed poorly in the classroom. If the ruling stands, California will have to craft new rules for hiring and firing teachers.

Rather unsurprisingly, privatizer in chief, Arne Duncan, loves this, because for Wall Street to make money off of our children, they first have to make sure that they have a cowed and cheap work force.

Interestingly enough I had occasion to look up the record of Geoffrey Canada, the hero of the anti-teacher agitprop Waiting for Superman, the former CEO of  the Harlem Children’s Zone charter schools in response to a sickeningly hagiographic article about him.

What did I discover?

  • He was paid $553,000 for a school system with just 1500 students, (link) more than twice the salary of the Chancellor of the New York City Schools (link) a system with 1.1 million students.
  • He lied about the graduation rates, basing his numbers on those the graduation rate for entering seniors, not the rate for people entering as freshmen as is the norm, which would yield a 36% drop out rate. (link)
  • He has “fired” (dumped) entire classes, including what would have been his first high school class to make his numbers look good. (link)

I have no doubt that there are good charter schools out there, but I’ve let to see one on the national stage.

You have looting behind a not-for-profit corporate façade (Rocketship), widespread forgery and fraud in testing (Michelle Rhee), sexual and financial irregularities (Kevin Johnson, Michelle Rhee’s husband), insane levels of teacher turnover (all of them), and aggressive policies to foist low performing students back on the public school district. (again, pretty much all of them)

Seriously, whenever you take a cursory look at the charter school movement, and the educational-industrial complex that supports them, there are layers of corruption and opacity that are at the core of their business models.

At the core of the issues with our educational system are societal problems of grinding poverty, a porous social safety net, and law enforcement that frequently acts more like an occupying force than peace officers in poor neighborhoods.

Until these are resolved, we will have problems educating poor children, no matter how well our schools are run.

But the current focus on fill in the box testing and privatizing education serves only to make money off the backs of our children’s future.

Another School Shooting

Click for full size pop up

Another day, another shooting

We just had spree killing at a school:

The first bell had just trilled at Troutdale’s Reynolds High School Tuesday morning when the sound of something like fireworks erupted in a locker room by the school gymnasium.

Moments later, a vice principal came over the loudspeaker –“This is not a drill” — and teachers ran through hallways, yelling at students to lock themselves in classrooms and hide.

A “lone gunman” shot and killed freshman Emilio Hoffman, then was found dead a few minutes later in a nearby bathroom. It is the 74th school shooting in the United States since the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

December 14, 2012 to today is 543 days, or 77½ weeks, or just under 18 months.

77½ weeks74 shootings. That’s about 1 shooting a week, just at public schools.

Think about it.  When you add in various spree killings and act of right wing terrorism that don’t involve school children, Vegas last week, Washington Naval Yard, Isla Vista, and that salon killing in upstate New York, and you end up with more than one shooting a week since Sandy Hook.

Note that this is without any incidents in the state of Texas.

And how many have there been in all of western Europe over that time?

We are insane as a society.

Thank You for Keeping Maryland Weird

I just heard about this on the radio, and confirmed this on the Prince George’s County Police Department Facebook page:

PGPD Issues BOLO for Bunny

The PGPD is asking for our community’s help in finding the burglar who snatched a bunny costume. Please keep your eyes peeled for a 6′ gray and white furry bunny with pink ears and a pink nose.

Unfortunately, we aren’t joking. On June 6, 2014, patrol officers were called to the 4600 block of Calvert Road in College Park for a burglary. Employees discovered a storage shed had been broken into overnight. The only item taken was the costume.

Last week, we told you about how our officers helped a tortoise ( ). Please help us rescue the hare now too.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Regional Investigation Division – Northern Region at (301) 699–2601. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1–866–411–TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your crime tip” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to and submit a tip online.

Posted via mobile.

Ummmm……… Isn’t This Straight Out Bribery?

The Republicans in the Virginia State Senate bought off state Senator Phillip Puckett with the offer of a 6-figure job and a permanent judgeship for his wife, which threw control of the chamber back to the Republicans:

Republicans appear to have outmaneuvered Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a state budget standoff by persuading a Democratic senator to resign his seat, at least temporarily giving the GOP control of the chamber and possibly dooming the governor’s push to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) will announce his resignation Monday, effective immediately, paving the way to appoint his daughter to a judgeship and Puckett to the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission, three people familiar with the plan said Sunday. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The news prompted outrage among Democrats — and accusations that Republicans were trying to buy the Senate with job offers in order to thwart McAuliffe’s proposal to expand health coverage to 400,000 low-income Virginians.

Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said Republicans were unable to win the policy argument about Medicaid expansion, so they have resorted to other means.

“It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting health care. . . . They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” Surovell said. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”

Puckett, a senator since 1998, did not respond to calls seeking comment. Other Republicans denied that Puckett was offered the jobs in exchange for his resignation.

Yeah, sure.

Here is a note to governor McAuliffe:  Now is a time to enforce party discipline:  If you can block Puckett’s getting a do-nothing job on the tobacco commission, do it.  If you can block the appointment of his daughter to a judgeship, do it.

Use the veto pen.  It is all fruit of a poisoned tree.

And Then There is George Will………

No link, because I do not want to give him page views, but George Will, the man who coached Ronald Reagan in his debates with Jimmy Carter, using Jimmy Carter’s own briefing books, which had been stolen, while commenting on Reagan’s debate performance on Nightline, has returned to classic form, arguing that women want to make rape allegations, because it is a “coveted status that confers privileges.”

No I won’t link to George Will, but I will link to The Onion article, “College Rape Victim Pretty Thrilled She Gets To Recount Assault To Faculty Committee:

Visibly excited for the thrilling hour ahead, college sophomore Megan Anderson enthusiastically made her way to a meeting with members of her university’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution to offer a detailed account of her recent sexual assault, the eager undergraduate told reporters Tuesday. “I get to go into a room filled with a committee of middle-aged men whose primary concern is upholding the college’s reputation and recount in explicit detail the circumstances of my rape at the hands of another student—I can’t wait,” said the pleased 19-year-old, who noted that she’s particularly looking forward to describing her choice of clothing the night of the assault, explaining the nature of her relationship with her rapist, and entertaining a variety of questions aimed at determining whether she herself invited the attack with her words and actions, all while offering a step-by-step account of the most horrific night of her life. “Don’t get me wrong, it was great being interrogated by the local and campus police, but this way I get to tell university officials who have a vested interest in minimizing campus rape statistics and ensuring the steady inflow of alumni donations what exactly I was drinking and why I could have misremembered events. And to think, once I finally give my entire story, I then get the pleasure of listening as they try to push the whole incident under the rug. Lucky me!”

Seriously, if I had a time machine, I’d go back in time to 1940, and give his mom a shot of Depo-Provera.

What a pathetic sorry excuse for a human being.