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Archive for February 14th, 2012

A spear through the Heartland

Posted by Charles II on February 14, 2012

Thanks to Quentin Compson on Eschaton, in comments.

Documents from the Heartland Institute reveal its donors. Its “policy positions, strategies and budget distinguish it clear[ly] as a lobby firm that is misrepresenting itself as a ‘think tank’

Based on these documents, Joe Romm names names of paid denialists, including David Wojick of Carnegie Mellon/US Office of Naval Research/Naval Research Lab and currently a consultant with DoE.

And who else is on the gravy train? “At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals

Not to mention useful tools, like Andrew Revkin, who used the NY Times to spread confusion and doubt.

This is a very big deal. The denialist network and who pays for it is now public knowledge. And nothing is more lethal to professional liars than the truth.

Posted in climate change, evil, global warming | 5 Comments »

Virginia passes medical rape bill

Posted by Charles II on February 14, 2012

You want an abortion? You have to consent to a vaginal ultrasound first.

Heard on TRMS. Outsourced to SouthernVADem.

This is rape, using unwilling medical staff to perform the humiliation on behalf of the legislature, at the cost of the medical insurance system/taxpayer/patient.

Update/Correction: An earlier version of this post conflated two separate bills discussed by Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times, in Virginia Pilot. There are two bills, the medical rape bill and the Personhood bill. Regarding the Personhood bill,

Democratic opponents argued that the bill’s broad language could affect access to certain types of birth control and have other unintended consequences that were not contemplated when the bill was pushed through committee late last week.

Apologies for having conflated the two bills.

Unfortunately, these yahoos are probably on safe legal ground on the medical rape bill because, supposedly, other states have similar laws.

Update 2: And it turns out that this procedure fits the definition of rape arrived at the the International Tribunal on Yugoslavia in its Kunarac decision:

The Chamber must define rape, as there is no commonly accepted
definition of this term in international law. While rape has been
defined in certain national jurisdictions as non-consensual intercourse,
variations on the act of rape may include acts which involve the
insertion of objects and/or the use of bodily orifices not considered to be
intrinsically sexual. The Chamber considers that rape is a form of
aggression and that the central elements of the crime of rape cannot be
captured in a mechanical description of objects and body parts. . . . The
Chamber defines rape as a physical invasion of a sexual nature,
committed on a person under circumstances, which are coercive.
Sexual violence which includes rape, is considered to be any act of a
sexual nature which is committed on a person under circumstances
which are coercive. (Kunarac, Judgment, § V, paras. 596-98.

Posted in abortion | 6 Comments »

Recall first, prosecute second? Or prosecute first, recall second?

Posted by Charles II on February 14, 2012

Ernest Canning, Bradblog (via t/o)

A recall from his position as Wisconsin’s governor could ultimately be the least of Gov. Scott Walker’s worries, if a criminal complaint quietly moving forward in the Badger State court system continues on its current trajectory. At the moment, Walker seems to be at the bottom of a mountain where an avalanche is just beginning to roll.

A 51-page criminal complaint [PDF] (the “Rindfleisch complaint”), which formally charges Kelly M. Rindfleisch with four felony counts of misconduct in public office, contains factual allegations which implicate a number of individuals, listed as “interested parties,” including WI’s controversial Republican Governor, in a wide-reaching criminal conspiracy to misuse public employees and resources for partisan political gain.

The factual body of the Rindfleisch complaint suggests that prosecutors are painstakingly examining evidence that may well place Walker at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally utilize employees within the Milwaukee County Executive Office to engage in fundraising and campaign activities on behalf of the Friends of Scott Walker and others during office hours at the expense of Milwaukee taxpayers.

Each violation of the relevant WI criminal statutes at issue in the matter carries with it a potential imprisonment of up to 3.5 years.

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, Republicans acting badly | 1 Comment »

Red State Moochers

Posted by Charles II on February 14, 2012

Paul Krugman has reproduced an excellent chart from Aaron Carroll of the Incidental Economist (new, improved chart here), which shows how much more conservative states get from the federal government than they give in taxes (transfers/taxes). If you want it in bar chart form, Krugman has the inverse (taxes/transfers). But Carroll graphed it two dimensionally, with the x-axis being how conservative a state is, based on Gallup polling.

So no wonder conservatives think that “welfare” is a problem: they’re all a bunch of moochers!

Posted in poverty | Comments Off on Red State Moochers

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by Charles II on February 14, 2012

I like to rag on Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its stepchildren, PBS and NPR. Occasionally they do something that justifies their existence. The following are some excerpts, via DemocracyNow, of American stories of the kind we used to hear on The American Experience. There are a number of stories of love and one remarkable one of forgiveness.

Kudos to Dave Isay of StoryCorps. If only PBS would record the stories of miners and farmers and small businesspeople and the idle rich and waitresses and the homeless and corporate executives and public defenders and people in prison and orphans and high-powered corporate lawyers and truck drivers, our nation might not be in such deep darkness, so badly divided, so reliant on force and violence.

So, America, Happy Valentine’s Day, from all of us at U.S.A.

Posted in Good Things, media | Comments Off on Happy Valentine’s Day

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