Monday, September 14, 2015

HRC email Controversy Way Overblown Compared To bush Admin eMail Scandal (Imaginary Vs Actual Crimes)

You have Democrats beginning to panic about the one thing that a lot of them never worried about, which was Clinton's electability in the general election ...the challenge she faces in the general election is both the trust problem and the likability problem ~ Robert Shrum AKA "Dumb Shrum" (dob 1943) an American political consultant, who has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including the losing presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.

Regarding Robert Shrum's nickname of "Dumb Shrum", my memory tells me that I heard this on Al Franken's Air America radio program. I might be wrong, however, as I could not confirm this via a Google search. In any case, the nickname comes from the fact that "in eight elections (for either the presidential nomination or for the presidency itself), Shrum's candidates have never won". (Wikipedia reports).

Regarding the quote at the top of this post; it is via the far-Right website 9/9/2009 Newsmax story "Democrats Eyeing White Knight If Clinton Implodes"... which is complete nonsense, as there is almost nothing to this so-called scandal. Despite deluded Righty fantasies of Hillary (and perhaps Obama) ending up behind bars... for their fictional "lawlessness".

Hillary did SOMETHING wrong. As long as the Republicans keep looking, eventually they'll find a transgression with substance. Although they've been looking for the last 35 years and both Hillary and Bill are still free. Not imprisoned for their many imaginary crimes, much to the chagrin of the (real) vast Rightwing conspiracy.

The latest imaginary crime of Hillary Clinton involving her emails, being yet in another in a series of desperate attempts by the Right to derail her POTUS candidacy. Another attempt that will fail, despite what Dumb Shrum sez. Those who do not trust HRC or find her "likable" did not trust or find her likable to begin with. They would not be voting for her even if Congressional Republicans were not continuously investing fake/overblown Clinton misdeeds.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #1: Used Personal email & Server Which Was Either Illegal Or At Least Shady

This allegation concerns Hillary doing something wrong by using a private email and server. Perhaps even illegal! Except that... no. "Clinton and her staff have stated that her use of the private email account was above board and allowed under State Department rules" and this is indeed the case.

HRC, in using/maintaining a private server broke no laws that existed at the time.

...federal regulations went into effect in late November, 2014 when President Obama signed H.R. 1233, modernizing the Federal Records Act of 1950 to include electronic communications. It was signed two years after [Hillary] Clinton stepped down. (That Story About Hillary Clinton's Private Email Account Isn't as Awful as It Seems by Bob Cesca. The Daily Banter 3/3/2015).

Frankly I think it should have been law long ago that government employees were legally required to communicate using government (and not private) systems. However, until recently it has not been. Hillary Clinton followed the law and is guilty of nothing, nor has anything been uncovered (via the release of these emails) that show she was trying to hide something. At most she could be "convicted" of falling "short of the Obama administration's preferred best practices". (A Crystal-Clear Explanation of Hillary's Confusing Email Scandal).

Which differs significantly with what happened during the bush administration. In 2007 it was discovered that preznit bush (and underlings in the office of the preznit) corresponded "via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government... in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act". (Wikipedia/Bush White House email controversy).

What the bushies were attempting to hide was that their Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, fired US attorneys who wouldn't investigate fake/non-existent voter fraud cases.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast: David Iglesias of New Mexico was one of seven U.S. Attorneys fired by the White House for their refusal to bring voter fraud prosecutions. [According to Iglesias] "We took over 100 complaints... We investigated for almost 2 years [and] I didn't find one prosecutable voter fraud case in the entire state of New Mexico".

Specifically, Attorney General Gonzales... wanted him to bring what the prosecutor called "bogus voter fraud" cases. In effect, US Attorney Iglesias was under pressure from the boss to charge citizens with crimes they didn't commit.
(Gonzales "wrong and illegal and unethical" by Greg Palast. 8/28/2007).

The purpose of prosecuting phony-baloney "voter fraud" cases? According to Greg Palast, Karl Rove "convinced Bush to fire upright prosecutors and replace them with Rove-bots ready to strike out at fraudulent (i.e. Democratic) voters". This was another example of bushie election thievery antics, in other words... which is why this (genuine) controversy was viewed as a possible violation of the Hatch Act... which is a law that says the president or VP can't direct their underlings to engage "in some forms of political activity".

The firing of the US attorneys who wouldn't investigate bullpucky "voter fraud" cases to help Republicans win via cheating (preventing legitimate voters from casting ballots by scarring/harassing them away from the polls) was a purely political act... so here we have actual violations of the law, coordinated via email that the bushies tried to hide... and the only thing that happened was that Gonzales fell on his sword (took the blame and resigned).

With HRC, no wrongdoing of any kind has yet to be shown. Should she have used a private server? No, she absolutely should not have IMO. But did she break the law or do anything shady? There is no evidence she did.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #2: Classified Info Was Sent/Received Through Private Server

Here there appears to be a little more substance, in that Hillary may have actually sent or received classified information. Although, it should be noted that nothing HRC sent/received was marked classified at the time. "None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings..." according to Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III (Hillary's emails touch off debate about classified documents by Josh Gerstein. 07/24/2015).

It appears, however, that it is possible that some of these sent/received communications should have been treated as classified (even though not marked as such)

...foreign government information [is defined by] The US government... as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts. This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be "presumed" classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions...

"It's born classified", said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government's Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House's National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. (Dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest by Jonathan Allen. Reuters 8/21/2015).

If HRC is "guilty" of anything, it appears as though this may be the smoking gun. Although I would say this, if it occurred, is most likely an oversight and not due to any nefarious intentions on Clinton's part. Quite unlike bush's email scandal, where the intention was to hide illegal politicking (in the form of election thievery) using the office of the White House (in violation of the Hatch Act).

So we are clearly not dealing with anything of an illegal nature re the Hillary email non-scandal, although a Libertarian blog I read sez that if HRC asserts that she did not know the emails were supposed to be treated as classified "she looks like a total incompetent and a moron".

Personally I do not agree with this assessment. Smart competent people make mistakes all the time. In any case, HRC's team destroyed a large number of communications they deemed "personal", so if there is any incriminating evidence, it's likely gone. "Incriminating" her in regards to what, I do not know. Unlike with the bushies. With this genuinely lawless administration I know they covered up and escaped prosecution in regards to their election thievery.

This is why I predict the Republican investigations will go nowhere (the same direction they've been going thus far). Congressional Republicans know this, of course. They simply want to firmly plant the idea in the gullible base voter's noggin that HRC is getting away with unspecified illegalities. And spread that false meme into the general electorate as widely as they are able. There is no real "investigating" in other words. What is going on is all political in nature.

Hillary Clinton will likely be the nominee as well as our next president... in my estimation. This so-called scandal will not be "devastating" to campaign as the aforementioned Libertarian asserts.

The bottom line here, I'd say, is that I just do not f*cking give a shit. Barring me hearing (at the very least) some sane sounding conspiracy theory concerning ACTUAL wrongdoing by HRC. WHY did she (or her underlings) destroy thousands of emails they say were "personal"? What is she hiding/what is the REAL crime? I mean, the bushies got away with fricking election fraud shenanigans simply by having Alberto fall on his sword and resign.

Although preznit doofus defended him, saying that Gonzales' "good name [was] dragged through the mud", and that he stepped down only because he received "unfair treatment that has created harmful distraction at the Justice Department". Right.

Now we have Hillary-haters who are calling for her head on a pike for significantly lesser transgressions? I am NOT going along with it. She isn't an "incompetent moron" nor a brilliant criminal mastermind who has evaded successful prosecution for 30-plus years for her many (imaginary) crimes... committed as a part of her husband's administration, via the charitable Clinton Foundation, and as a member of the "lawless" Obama WH.

Congressional Repubs just can't seem to get anything to stick. Perhaps because there is (and have been) no wrongdoings by HRC? Call me a partisan, but I say f*ck these Rightwing idiots who think there is even the remotest chance that HRC will end up behind bars for this nothing-burger. Or the even bigger non-scandal of Benghazi.

Which, by the way, was one of the conspiracy theories floated back in March. That a Benghazi stand down order might be found among the HRC emails. A conspiracy that is leagues away from sane sounding, you poor deluded desperate Repub-identifying halfwits.

Video: Alberto Gonzales said "I don't recall" 72 times during his January 2007 Senate hearing. Gonzales resigned on 9/17/2007 (0:52).

SWTD #313. See also OST #71.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Iraq War Based On gwb Lie Of "Disarming" Saddam When IAEA Officials Who Were There, On The Ground, Said Iraq Had No WMD

George W. Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda according to a 1/22/2008 study by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. In total the Bush Admin made 935 false statements in run-up to war.

According to the gwb administration, the purpose of the vote on the Iraq War Resolution was to pressure the UN and Iraq into getting inspectors back into the country. At least that's what Hillary Clinton has said when defending her vote on the matter.

Hillary, before voting, asked "If you are given this authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish their job". She was told that, YES, that was the goal. To show the UN and Iraq that the bush administration was serious, Congress needed to authorize war if the inspectors were not allowed back in.

Well, it worked. Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were allowed back into Iraq... and so bush, realizing that the threat worked, allowed the inspections to do their job and the UN to decide what to do if Iraq again balked and did not cooperate (as the UN charter stipulates).

No, wait... that isn't what happened at all. Saddam did drag his feet (as before) and not cooperate fully. Although the inspectors thought progress was still being made. None-the-less the bush administration (already having the Congressional authority it needed) launched an attack.

And the bush administration launched it's attack in spite of (1) telling members of Congress they were voting to get inspectors back in and that war would be a last resort, and (2) The UN charter saying "it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced".

bush, in deciding to go ahead with the invasion despite the UN not voting for war, violated articles 33 and 39 of the Charter (33 says disputes are to be resolved peacefully and 39 says that the UN "decides what measures shall be taken" when the resolutions it makes are violated).

Because UN charter does not allow individual countries to act unilaterally a number of UN and IAEA officials condemned the US invasion of Iraq. (Condemned it, or pointed out why it was unnecessary).

Six UN & IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary

1. Kofi Annan: The UN Secretary-general from 1/1/1997 to 12/31/2006 said (in regards to the bush invasion of Iraq) "I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal". This, according to a statement made to the BBC in September 2004. According to spokesman Fred Eckhard this "has been the Secretary-General's longstanding view [because the UN charter] does not allow pre-emptive attacks".

2. Mohamed ElBaradei: The IAEA director from 1997 to 2009, in regards to bush's claim that Iraq had WMD and the invasion was needed to "disarm" Saddam, said, "deliberate deception [isn't] limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators" (this is a quote from his book Age of Deception).

3. Hans Blix: The former head of the IAEA (1981–1997) who was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and was in charge of looking for WMD in Iraq said that his inspectors "found no stockpiles of WMD and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament". Iraq was not complying or having difficulty complying (because of misplaced stockpiles) but Mr. Blix was confident that everything would be resolved. The only thing that was needed was time ("a matter of months").

Furthermore Blix said that if "the inspections been allowed to continue, there would likely be a very different situation in Iraq today. As it was, America's preemptive, unilateral actions have bred more terrorism there and elsewhere". (For The Record, Yes, George W. Bush Did Help Create ISIS).

Although, according to Blix, US President george w. bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair did not act in bad faith, but only exhibited "a severe lack of critical thinking".

4. David Kay: The Chief weapons inspector said "I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them" when he resigned on 1/23/2004.

I should note, however that Kay defended the Bush administration, saying that even if Iraq did not have weapons stockpiles, this did not mean the it wasn't dangerous. Was Iraq dangerous? Perhaps, but there are many countries with "dangerous" regimes, and the US isn't invading them all. That Kay also blamed "faulty intelligence gathering" for the prewar WMD conclusions (even though this is pure bullplop) explains why he defended the lying bush administration.

Although the conclusion of the Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq (that the bush Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent) wasn't released until 5/25/2007, so perhaps Kay's idiotic partisan statement is understandable? The US government had not yet confirmed that the bush administration blatantly lied. Even though the IAEA had.

But, and this is the important point, Kay knew Iraq had no WDM because he was one of those on the ground in Iraq who was looking for it (and did not find it). Thus confirming that the war was (if not illegal/based on a lie) unnecessary as per the bush administration reasons for waging it (to "disarm" Iraq).

5. Charles Dulfer: Dulfer, who replaced David Kay as Chief weapons inspector, said "it turns out that we were all wrong [and] I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed, militarized chemical weapons there".

6. Scott Ritter: A United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, while not a participant in the 2002 inspections, has remarked that "since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capacity has been verifiably eliminated". The nuclear program was eliminated and there was no evidence Iraq had retained chemical or biological weapons according to Ritter.

The Republican-identifying Ritter who says he voted for gwb was later (in 2001 and 2010) accused of "soliciting minors for sex on the Internet" (the 2001 charges were dismissed and the 2010 charges resulted in a conviction). For this reason Ritter's critics discount his statements re Iraq having WMD. Obviously the two aren't connected, but still the crime he was convicted of calls his character into question. He desired sex with minors, so he obviously lied about finding no WMD (so say his critics... see SWTD #232 point "5A" for more info concerning what one specific critic said when I brought up Ritter's name in a discussion re the illegality of gwb's Iraq invasion).

**End list of 6 UN and IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary**

In regards to ex-preznit bush saying (on 3/19/20013, in an address to the American people notifying them of the beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq), "my fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger"... we knew/know bush was lying and he knows/knew he lied/was lying.

How do we know for certain that bush lied? Mohamed ElBaradei told the Security Council (on 3/7/2003) via written report that the "UN inspections in Iraq worked". Please note that this report was delivered on 3/7/2003 and bush ordered the invasion on 3/19/2003. So bush said "invade to disarm" AFTER the head of the IAEA told the world that the inspections worked and that Iraq was already disarmed!

A fact that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as well as everyone at the IAEA (listed above) confirms (despite Kay going along with the "faulty intel" BS). My conclusion is that bush CLEARLY lied. And it was a blatant bold-faced lie.

This is something our own government concluded with a bi-partisan majority report issued by the Senate (on 6/5/2008) that said "the [bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent".

Yet the bush apologists continue to lie... both about bush lying about Iraq having WMD (it was an "intelligence failure", they say), as well as Iraq having WMD. Iraq really did have WMD these liars/dumbshits say! Wikileaks documents prove Saddam had WMD!

Sorry, but no. bush claimed that we needed to invade to "disarm" Saddam, not that we needed to invade to clean up old, forgotten, buried and degraded chemical weapons. Which is what was actually claimed, and this was NOT what bush hyped (in order to scare the American people into accepting war). According to Wired's Noah Shachtman "Saddam's toxic arsenal [was] largely destroyed after the Gulf War". (WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: No Evidence of Massive WMD Caches).

What we found after the invasion was "remnants". Remnants are what the Wikileaks documents revealed were found in Iraq post invasion. Would the American people have agreed to war over "remnants"? We all know the answer to that question is NO. Which is why bush ignored what the IAEA was telling him about Iraq having no WMD and lied about "disarming" Saddam.

Wikipedia notes that "In a White House Iraq Group meeting, chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson proposes the use of a smoking gun/mushroom cloud metaphor to sell the American public on the supposed nuclear dangers posed by Saddam Hussein".

The "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" metaphor was just one of the 935 false statements, (including 232 lies that bush himself disassembled) the administration used to SELL us the Iraq war. "Intelligence failure" my ass!

Video: Terrorist leader bush scares the shit out of Americans with BS about Iraq possessing nuclear weapons and using them to attack us. Clip from a 10/7/2002 TV address broadcast from Cincinnati's Museum Center at Union Terminal (0:07).

See also: SWTD #154: Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-Preznit bush's WMD Lies (5/23/2013).

SWTD #312

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rasmussen Asks Leading Question To Discredit Black Lives Matter Movement

To say that Black lives matter is not to say that other lives do not; indeed, it is quite the reverse - it is to recognize that all lives do matter, and to acknowledge that African Americans are often targeted unfairly... ~ Rev. Dan Schatz, Minister of the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington PA(and White man), in his 12/15/2014 HuffPo article On Being Asked to Change 'Black Lives Matter' to 'All Lives Matter'.

The following poll results from an 8/20/2015 Rasmussen Reports survey.

Rasmussen: Yes, black lives matter, but don't all lives matter? That seems to be the subject of some political dispute.

When asked which statement is closest to their own views, 78% of Likely U.S. Voters say all lives matter. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% say black lives matter. Nine percent (9%) say neither statement reflects their point of view. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-one percent (31%) of black voters say black lives matter is closest to their own views, but just nine percent (9%) of whites and 10% of other minority voters agree. Eighty-one percent (81%) of whites and 76% of other minority voters opt instead for all lives matter, and 64% of blacks agree. (source).

The bias of Rasmussen is evident in the very fist sentence. Black Lives matter is NOT saying all lives don't matter... yet Rasmussen says it's "a subject of some political dispute" when IT IS NOT! The phrase "Black Lives Matter" is in reaction to a system that says Black lives don't matter. What they're really saying is Black lives matter just as much as White lives, although our system doesn't act as if they do.

So, because OF COURSE "all lives matter", Rasmussen get responses that indicate most people agree that "all lives matter" is the statement that is closest to their own views. 69% of Black respondents choose "all lives matter" because ALL LIVES DO MATTER!

But notice that Rasmussen did not also ask if the respondent supports the Black Lives Matter movement? Why didn't they? Because those responses would have revealed the boggussness of their poll. A poll CLEARLY intended to discredit the BLM movement. Had they asked people if they also support the BLM movement, I strongly suspect that there would have been a huge amount of overlap.

People would have said, YES "all lives matter" is the statement is closest to their own views, while at the same time supporting BLM. As for the 31% of African American respondents who chose "black lives matter" as their statement? I believe (most/a large percentage of) those people realized they were being asked a leading question designed to get the response Rasmussen wanted... and they refused to play Rasmussen's game.

Personally, I would have also asked if "do you support the BLM movement" was a followup question, and if I was told "no" I would have replied that "black lives matter" is closest to my view, whereas if they had said yes, I would have said "all lives matter" is closest to my view. I would have refused to play their game and give them the response they wanted in their leading poll, in other words.

BTW, for proof that this was a leading poll - just take a look at how the Rightwing-o-sphere has responded... they trumpeting this poll result. It's proof that the BLM movement has no support... even among the Black community. But note that "do you support the BLM movement" is NOT the question that was asked!

Is this proof that Rasmussen Reports is a tool of the Rightwing? Are they Conservatively biased? I'm not sure. I Googled for confirmation of this suspicion, and found some evidence that backs up this suspicion, but not a lot. Nothing that said, oh yes, that Rasmussen is Conservatively biased is well know. I do know that this specific poll was biased, however.

Here is another example (from the same page I pulled the above Rasmussen poll results from).

Rasmussen: ...82% of black voters think most black Americans receive unfair treatment from the police. White voters by a 56% to 30% margin don't believe that's true. Other minority voters are evenly divided. But 70% of all voters believe the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem in America today than police discrimination against minorities. (source).

OK, so Rasmussen is obviously trying to discredit the idea that black Americans receive unfair treatment from the police by following that question with another question that gets a response of "70% of all voters believe the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem in America today than police discrimination against minorities".

The two aren't mutually exclusive! Both are big problems, although I would say African Americans receiving unfair treatment from the police is the more serious problem... because the police are supposed to serve and protect all law abiding citizens regardless of race!

Sure, numbers-wise, the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem, but criminals commit crimes... that is what they do. The police treating people unfairly based on skin color is not supposed to be what they do! Yet, it seems that it is. Which is why the BLM movement exists... to draw attention to this problem.

It does not exist to say that ALL LIVES don't matter or that Black lives matter more... although this is EXACTLY how the Rasmussen poll question is phrased... and why they did not ask if respondents also supported the BLM movement.

Which is why my conclusion is that Rasmussen (at least with this poll) is obviously and transparently (IMO) shilling for the Rightwing... by asking a leading question to get the response they were looking for. A response that discredits the BLM movement and scrubs race from the conversation altogether.

In response [to "Black Lives Matter"], some white folks have countered with the phrase, "All Lives Matter". While this is seemingly a more empowering as well as a diversity affirming response, it is neither ..."All Lives Matter" is a form of willful colorblindness - the erasure of the issue of race. When people say "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter," they are not simply opening their arms to the greater diversity of humanity. Instead, they are taking race out of the conversation. While the statement masquerades as a bright and inclusive light, in the shadow of this statement hides a willful ignorance of America's racist past and present. (What's the Matter with "All Lives Matter" by David Bedrick. The Huffington Post 8/24/2015).

Erasing of the issue of race is the goal of the Whites pushing back against BLM in my opinion. There are some clueless people going along with this, but much of the pushback (replace "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter") is racist in nature. That's why it's mostly Rightwingers getting offended and claiming that BLM is "racist" and saying things like "All Lives Matter is beautiful" and "If your self-righteous, pompous, racist activism clouds the cognitive portion of your brain... Fuck You".

Speaking of FUs, Glenn Beck led a rally of 20k similarly clueless and/or racist individuals in an "All Lives Matter march" along the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall on 8/29/2015. Chuck Norris and Jon Voight were there, along with African American pastor Bishop Jim Lowe and Alveda King (a Conservative Fox Nooz contributing niece of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr).

Because Rightwingers love it when they can get Black dupes to tell them their racism is OK.

It is also "unfortunate" that Rasmussen Reports participated in the discrediting of the BLM movement (via replacement of "Black Lives Matter" with the color-blind history-ignoring "All Lives Matter"). Although I'm not at all convinced the Rasmussen poll was "unfortunate"... but rather it was calculated, in that Rasmussen asked the question that elicited the response they wanted. Too bad more respondents didn't realize they were being played.

Image: Protestors show the real message of the BLM movement, which is that Black lives matter as much (not more) than White lives. We need to laud this movement, not denounce it. We need to emulate it, not shut it down... which is what the Right wishes to do with their "all lives matter" counter-slogan... shut down BLM.

SWTD #311. See also TADM #80.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Additional Evidence Supporting The Hypothesis That Ayn Rand Hated Poor People

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which as beggar is a reminder of nothing ~ John Berger (dob 11/5/1926) English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. Berger's essay on art criticism, Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a university text.

In a prior commentary (SWTD #303), I hypothesized that because Ayn Rand killed large numbers of fictional moochers in her massive tome (Atlas Shrugged), she hated poor people. Bolstering this case, I believe, was the fact that her "hero", John Galt, called for other wealthy individuals such as himself to take actions that resulted in the deaths of millions of citizens of the oppressive Socialist dystopia that Atlas Shrugged took place in. And, in regards to these deaths, Rand pontificated on how the dead deserved to die due to their support for the Socialist state.

Of course Rand denied that she hated the poor, but I think her writings speak for themselves. A commenter on my blog, when I asserted that the evidence shows hate, asked if I could "point to any statement made by Ayn Rand that she hated the poor". Because Rand never SPECIFICALLY said "I hate poor people"... if I look at other things she said or wrote and conclude that these writings show she hated poor people... that's just my opinion.

Perhaps, but I still contend that the evidence is pretty solid. And I will continue to assert that Rand did indeed hate poor people. The facts I presented in my prior commentary back that up. But those writings I pointed to do not represent the totality of words from Rand that show (IMO) how much she hated poor people. Which is reason for this commentary... to present additional proof of Rand's hate for the less fortunate.

The following concerns Rand's take on money and those who don't have a lot of it.

Rand called the United States a "nation of money", and she meant it as a compliment. "The words to make money hold the essence of human morality", she wrote in a famous passage in her 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. In Rand's hierarchy of virtue the American industrialist is "the highest type of human being" and the needy are rabble. "Parasites, moochers, looters, brutes and thugs can be of no value to a human being", Rand wrote in 1963. "Nor can he gain any benefit from living in a society geared to their needs, demands and protection, a society that treats him as a sacrificial animal and penalizes him for his virtues in order to reward them for their vices, which means: a society based on the ethics of altruism". (Ayn Rand - Paul Ryan's Moral Heroine - Instructs Johnny Carson on the Virtue of Selfishness, 1967 by Mike Springer. Open Cluture 8/14/2012) .

Obviously, given that poor people have less money, they must be less moral (according to Rand). If an individual is less moral as well as a parasite, a moocher, a looter, a brute or a thug; and if they are of "no value"... well, it's clear that Rand's opinion of such people (the poor) was exceedingly low. Heck, sounds like she thought the poor aren't even human, as they are of "no value to a human being". My guess is that the "human being" she refers to would be a rich person.

So, rich people are the only real humans beings, while the poor are nothing but parasites. Of course parasites are creatures that, if they afflict humans, are exterminated. Rand's idea for how the extermination should be accomplished? Eliminate all socialist safety net type programs. Society should not be "geared to their needs", after all. Obviously such a policy would obviously result in some, if not many deaths. Or, as Rand said (in regards to a hypothetical poor man) "if he does not choose to live [by having enough money to do so], nature will take its course [and he will die]".

In other words, "die you evil parasitical scum!". Or, I will sit by and watch you die. And call it "immoral" if anyone suggests help should be provided. Is this hate? You can judge for yourself, but I think more people will say YES than NO. In my opinion. Although it is possible that Rand simply wrote the poor off as trash and did not give them any further thought. However, given how many moochers she killed off in Atlas Shrugged, I doubt it. I mean, she was pretty clear (in AS) that she thought the world would be better off with significantly fewer looters. And fantasized about how to off large numbers of the hated parasitical moochers.

Video: Ayn Rand appears on the Tonight Show, 10/22/1967. According to Rand, a mixed economy (such as we have here in the US) leads to war. Social safety net programs designed to help the less fortunate are "immoral", as are the moochers who utilize them. Given these facts I ask... how could Rand NOT hate the poor, given the evil they represent? (26:37).

SWTD #310

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jared Fogel Pleading Guilty Will Get Him 5 Or More Years. He Will Also Be Raped In Prison Says Expert

We get caught laundering money, we're not going to a white-collar resort prison. No, no, no, we're going to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison! ~ Michael Bolton (character played by David Herman) in the 1999 film, Office Space.

15-year Subway Spokesman Jared Fogle has agreed to plead guilty to "distribution and receipt of child pornography and unlawful sex acts with minors" according to TheWrap. Not only will he serve at least 5 years in prison, be out 1.4 million dollars, get divorced by his wife and be branded a sex offender for life, but, apparently the consensus is that another punishment awaits him once he finds himself behind bars.

"Everybody is gonna know that Jared the chomo is here and he's gonna get his footlong every day", Levine explained in raw prison parlance. (Jared Fogle Will Be Marked Man in Prison, Expert Says by Anita Bennett and Tim Kenneally. The Wrap 8/20/2015).

"Chomo" is prison slang for a child molester. So the word is that Jared will be raped in prison. An expert says so. And there are "jokes" about it all over the internet. Seems even one prominent newspaper got in on the yuk yuks.

Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle should "enjoy a foot long in jail", according to the New York Post's Thursday cover, which features a photograph of Fogle leaving the courthouse... The controversial cover comes a day after Fogle said he will plead guilty... but it did not sit well with all of the paper's readers. Joking about the sex scandal turned the Post into a top Twitter trend, sparking outrage from some users of the social media platform who thought it was insensitive to joke about the sensitive subject. (NY Post Sparks Outrage With Jared Fogle 'Enjoy a Foot Long' Prison Rape Cover by dude. pub date).

So, rape "jokes" are "insensitive"? Yeah, the dude (statutorily) raped a 16 year old girl (by paying her $100 for sex), but it will not be a part of his sentence to be raped in prison. The judge won't be telling him that, because he raped, he's going to get raped. That's not going to happen. Still, it seems he will be raped.

So, while I have no sympathy for Jared in regards to all the other negative consequences he will suffer, I am disgusted that people are (apparently) accepting of prison rape. Even though (I would say) it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. There is a law on the books called the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 - which was signed by preznit George W bush in 2003. However, according to Mike Farrell, "the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission meets periodically to study the impact of prisoner rape. While they study, rape continues".

Not good enough. Not by a long shot, IMO. Jared's life is going to be destroyed, but YES, he did it to himself and he has earned his punishment. But that punishment should not include a violation of his 8th amendment rights. Prison rape, is cruel and unusual and I don't think enough is being done about it. Perhaps you disagree, but the Constitution applies to everyone. There are no exemptions for people who commit crimes who we might think deserve to be raped in prison.

Shame on the NY Post for their prison rape cover. That a prominent national newspaper thinks this is OK is part of the reason why this problem still exists. By the way, if Jared were a woman, would people still be anyone would be making such jokes? Maybe. BTW, according to a date Daily Mail article more men are are raped in the US than women - when the figures include prison assaults.

In 2008, it was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time, according to the Department of Justice figures. That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison. (More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal by Daily Mail Reporter. The Daily Mail 10/16/2013).

I'm assuming, that since the title of the article is "more men are raped in the US than women", that the 216k figure is men raped? Although, later on the article says "according to official statistics on rape conviction rates... 91 per cent of the victims were women and 99 per cent of the perpetrators were men". Maybe I'm missing something, but that doesn't seem to compute.

Regardless, whether the victim is a male or female inmate, I believe prison rape is totally unacceptable and we should be doing more to stop it from happening. According to Human Rights Watch 2001 report "No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons" the blame for widespread existence of male inmate on inmate sexual violence in American prison lies with indifference and feigned ignorance by prison officials.

As for Jared Fogle... what an idiot! He had a fantastic life, what with his 15 million dollars in net worth for doing a fairly easy job... which enabled him to buy a lot of good will via the charitable organizations he set up. Public opinion of him before this revelation was probably quite good. Now, even after he gets out of prison... he may have a sizeable chunk of his wealth left, but the dude is going to be a pariah.

He not only destroyed his marriage, but his relationship with his two children! With whom he will only be allowed (after getting out of prison) "supervised visits... only with pre-approval of their mother". Yet (at least until he gets out of prison) I think that the "foot longs" will be what he "enjoys" least of all.

Image: Thursday August 20 2015 cover of the New York Post.

SWTD #309

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar Christian Hypocrite Subscribed To Ashley Madison, Cheated On Mother Of His 4 Kids (I Presume) While Lecturing On Morality as Executive Director Of The Family Research Council

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge ~ Christian Bible, King James Version. The Duggars primarily use the KJV, according to the Duggar Family Blog FAQ.

According to a 18/19/2015 The Wrap story by Tony Maglio "disgraced 19 Kids star Josh Duggar named in Ashley Madison leak".

In July 2015, a group hacked the user data of Ashley Madison, a commercial website for people looking to have extramarital affairs. The hackers, calling themselves "The Impact Team", claimed to have stolen personal information about the site's user base, and threatened to release users' names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down. Because of the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information including real names, addresses, search history and credit card details, many users feared being publicly shamed. (Wikipedia/Ashley Madison data breach).

The article goes on to note that Josh, the LGBT bigot who admitted to duggaring several of his sisters, "paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015" and that he paid an extra $250 for an "affair guarantee", which promises the customer's money back "if they don't have an affair within three months". Perhaps Josh was not attracted to his continually pregnant wife and that explains why he sinned?

The wife broodmare that got cheated on is 27 year old Anna Renee Duggar (nee Keller), mother of Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus and Meredith. Anna has 7 siblings herself and was obviously aware that Josh has 18, so clearly serving as a Duggar broodmare is something she must be OK with.

Heck, I would not be surprised that she was aware of her husband's Ashley Madison account, given the fact that she has continued to stand by him and knew when she married him what he'd done. Although OK! says Anna was "completely and utterly devastated". Devastated not in regards to the molesting, "but she never thought any of this stuff would come out". Now MORE "stuff" has come out. It's not stuff that has him molesting his own kids... so that's a plus.

Will Anna be further devastated due to the fact that she and Josh did not even kiss until their wedding day, while her husband's Ashley Madison account info reveals that he was looking for "someone I can teach", "likes to give oral sex" and "likes to receive oral sex"?

The sect the Duggars belong to, the Quiverfull movement, eschews all forms of birth control" and Josh's parents "say they have decided to allow God to determine the number of children they have" because God said to "be fruitful and multiply". But Josh might have thought God should butt out and not decide that he should father a child with a woman he was cheating on his wife with. Evidently he wasn't concerned enough to not cheat re the Bible's preaching against infidelity.

Josh was a subscriber for over 2 years, so I'm assuming that he did find someone willing to cheat with him. Some (married?) woman actually thought that an affair with a religious fundamentalist with a growing brood of rugrats was a good idea? Even though this was before the duggaring scandal broke, I'm thinking... why?

Although I do not know why any woman would chose to be continuously pregnant either... so I did a Google search and found that psychiatrists say "the constant need to get pregnant is a mental disorder" and such women "are oftentimes extremely lonely and believe that being perpetually pregnant fills this loneliness and void in their lives".

A likely explanation as to why a woman would have an affair as well. Still, who would want an affair with Josh Duggar? Some women find men with a lot of money attractive, I've heard. Josh was (at the time) the "executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit political action and lobbying arm of the Family Research Council". Advocating Right-wing bigotry probably pays quite well (I'm confidently guessing). And his parents pulled in 25 million large a year (according to the 19 kids Wikipedia page).

May of 2015 is when Josh both stepped down from his FRC position and discontinued his Ashley Madison account, BTW. Priorities change when you find yourself unemployed. But I doubt any woman would be interested in cheating with an unemployed man who duggared 4 of his sisters. I suppose I could be wrong and he only discontinued his account for financial reasons. Or perhaps his wife (if she didn't already know) found out. Now the world knows. Will Anna be MORE completely and MORE utterly devastated? Probably.

Still I predict no divorce, given the fact that "the Quiverfull movement preaches that women must be subservient to all of men's needs". One of Anna's husband's needs being the need to cheat on his wife. Which is why I said I wouldn't be surprised if she knew about the Ashely Madison account... and "submitted" to Josh's need to teach other women how to play hoop snake.

Image: Josh Duggar's wife expecting fourth child, 12/3/2014.

SWTD #308

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Is There Evidence Supporting The Allegation That Ed Schultz Is A Wife Beater?

Upon my tongues continual slanders ride; The which in every language I pronounce; Stuffing the ears of men with false reports ~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2 (aprox 1599).

This is an allegation that came up in the comment thread attached to a recent commentary (SWTD #305) in which I wrote about msnbc canceling the Ed Show.

The allegation was made by a miscreant who calls himself Rusty Shackelford. This Conservative blogger has made the allegation many times before and will likely make it many times in the future [1]. The fact is, whenever the name "Ed Schultz" comes up in a discussion on a blog he comments on, he throws the allegation out. Although he doesn't frame it as an allegation. Instead he states it as if it is a proven fact. Even though there is zero evidence that Ed Schultz ever beat his first wife, Maureen Zimmerman, whom he divorced in 1993. The truth is that Ed Schultz is a happily married man who has been with his current wife Wendy for 17 years.

These spurious allegations stem from a temporary order of protection or restraining order that was granted because the situation "involved alleged domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual assault". Apparently Schultz's ex-wife requested one - and it was granted temporarily, pending a hearing.

The following hitpiece from The Daily Caller, a politically conservative news and opinion website based in Washington DC, discusses it.

Daily Caller: In 2004, Schultz got all the records from his divorce [from his first wife, Maureen Zimmerman] sealed - which [Schultz's lawyer] claims was for "financial reasons". The only documents that remain accessible to the public are the dates and subject of motions and hearings.

Nearly three years after filing for divorce, Zimmerman obtained an "ex-parte temporary protection order", prohibiting Schultz from contacting her. North Dakota family law attorney Mike Gjesdahl cautions that ex-parte orders are not findings of fact. "It is just a way to say freeze", he explained.

Temporary protection orders in North Dakota expire after 14 days, when the accused is entitled to a hearing. On Nov. 16, 1995, a hearing was held at Zimmerman's request for a regular domestic violence protection order, which a judge can issue for one month, one year or indefinitely.

There is no indication on the public docket on how the judge ruled. The tape of the hearing was sealed on Dec. 13, 1995. Zimmerman could not be reached for comment. Her divorce lawyer is deceased. (That Time A Woman Obtained A Protection Order From Ed Schultz by Betsy Rothstein. 2/20/2015).

All that is known is that a temporary restraining order was requested, it was granted temporarily until a hearing could be held, and (thirdly) a hearing was held. Was a regular domestic violence protection order granted as a result of that hearing? The article says "there is no indication on the public docket on how the judge ruled" [2].

Nobody (except those directly involved) knows why the temporary order was requested (and Maureen Zimmerman has not commented). Or if the judge determined during the hearing whether or not the temporary order should be extended, Or for what reason the order was granted or denied.

Another pertinent fact would be if the police were ever called to investigate any "wife beating". Surely the Daily Caller would have dug that up if they had been, right? But they did not, so this likely never happened. I therefore conclude that anyone saying Ed Schultz is a "wife beater" is engaging in some heavy-duty speculating. There is no proof that Ed Schultz ever laid a hand on his ex-wife, let alone "beat" her.

That Ed Schultz's ex-wife got a temporary restraining order against him might simply indicate there was an angry exchange and his ex-wife FELT threatened (and there was no physical altercation at all).

Or she could have filed for it for another reason, as this excerpt from Wikipedia notes.

Misuse of restraining orders is claimed to be widespread. Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, has remarked, "Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply... In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage".

A 1995 study conducted by the Massachusetts Trial Court that reviewed domestic restraining orders issued in the state found that less than half of the orders involved even an allegation of violence. Similarly a West Virginia study found eight out of 10 orders were unnecessary or false. The low burden of proof for restraining orders has led to some high-profile cases involving stalkers of celebrities obtaining restraining orders against their targets.

My suspicion is that the Maureen Zimmerman restraining order falls into the "8 out of 10 orders were unnecessary or false" category. Most likely (I think) she FELT threatened but wasn't really in any danger of Ed Schultz laying a hand on her *at all* (the order was unnecessary).

I will, however, concede that I too am speculating. The fact is nobody knows what happened. We do know, however, that 8 out of 10 orders are unnecessary or false. Which means that it is 80 percent likely the order Maureen Zimmerman requested was unnecessary or false.

And there is the fact that Ed Schultz has been happily married to his current wife for 17 years with zero evidence that he has ever "beat" her. Which there likely would be, if he were a "wife beater". Someone with an "anger problem" who "needs anger management" (another spurious allegation) who "beat" his wife wouldn't do it just once.

I therefore declare that the allegation is almost certainly false. In any case, the evidence supporting it is worse than flimsy. Anyone determined to continue referring to Mr. Schultz as a "wife beater" should at least add a qualifier to their allegation. I suggest "suspected", in that the person making them suspects Ed Schultz "beat" his wife... despite the available evidence not coming close to proving anything of the sort ever happened.

My suspicion is that anyone sticking to this virtually unfounded suspicion is doing so because they are a Conservative who hates Ed Schultz (for being a strong Progressive), and not due to the facts.

In regards to "wife beating", however, there is another individual who has had the same charge levied against him. This person is a pundit on a channel that Rusty Shackelford frequently touts the ratings of. And the evidence against this person is significantly stronger. According to a 5/18/2015 Gawker story "a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that Bill O'Reilly's daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging [his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy] down a staircase by her neck".

The case against O'Reilly isn't solely based on a restraining order being issued (which does not necessarily mean domestic abuse occurred). With O'Reilly we have court transcripts that support an allegation that a "beating" occurred. Allegations that say "Bill O'Reilly's [16yo] daughter saw him choking her mom".

Does this mean that Rusty Shackelford will henceforth refer to O'Reilly as a "wife choker"? Will he bring up these allegations (which are VERY likely true) whenever he is involved in a conversation and the name O'Reilly comes up? I doubt it.

Footnotes & See Also
[1] In a 6/23/2012 Rusty Shackelford comment from the blog of Willis Hart the idiot says, "Please prove to us that Ed Shultz's exwife did'nt accuse him of domestic violence. Prove that she did'nt have a restraining order issued against him because of his liquor filled rages. I'm here saying Ed Shultz was charged with domestic violence by his ex-wife... I'm here saying his ex-wife went to court and had a restraining order issued against him because she feared his alcohol fueled rages". Obviously Rusty lies, as he has ZERO personal knowledge of what happened (he wasn't there), nor could he have any 2nd hand knowledge of what happened, given the FACT that the court records are sealed.
[2] In regards to the temporary restraining order that Maureen Zimmerman requested, a 2/26/2015 Daily Caller article says "Schultz filed a sworn statement that the 1995 restraining order was issued without any allegations of domestic violence...". (Ed Schultz Convinces Judge To Hold Emergency Hearing Because MSNBC Host Thinks He Needs To Protect His Career by Betsy Rothstein).
[3] See also "WD An Apologist And Supporter of Domestic Violence" for many lies from the moron dmarks concerning the proprietor of this blog "lying about and defending Schultz' domestic violence". dmarks also, in regards to me saying "you have no idea if Ed Schultz beat his wife or not", replied "I know he did". This despite the court record being sealed.

Video: Evidence of Bill O'Reilly's anger problem for which he needs anger management. O'Reilly's profanity-laced outburst occurred at the conclusion of an episode of Inside Edition when O'Reilly gets confused by the phrase "to play us out". According to Wikiquote this meltdown was an "offhand remark to cameraman... late 1980s - early 1990s" (1:32).

SWTD #307

Sunday, August 16, 2015

You Can't Appeal To A Republican Using Either A Religious Or Economic Argument (Re States Accepting The Medicaid Expansion) Because These "Christians" Hate The Poors So Much

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ...These are people who pay no income tax. ...and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives ~ Willard Mittens Romney (dob 3/12/1947) The failed Repub 2012 potus nominee. Remarks at private fundraiser (re why he would not get the vote of the takers) in Boca Raton FL 5/17/2012.

Remember when Rep Alan Grayson said "if you get sick, America, the Republican healthcare plan is this: Die quickly". He was only referring to people who can't afford health insurance, of course. Rich people do not have this problem. Only the Poors should "die quickly" because people complaining about Poors suffering in order for Health Care Insurance companies to continue making tremendous profits are annoying. Better they die quickly so nobody has to be confronted with that unpleasantness and whining about it.

Republicans feigned outrage and demanded an apology. But Alan Grayson was correct. Proof of this is the Republican desire to repeal the ACA. Failing that, they believe Republican governors should reject the Medicaid expansion. Even though they are losing billions in federal funds by doing so. Even though the ACA gives tens of thousands of new customers to the for-profit health insurers. Punishing poor "takers" takes a higher priority.

Although some Republican governors accepted the money. Jan Brewer is one example. John Kasich of Ohio is another. Although in both cases their respective state legislatures are fighting back [1+2].

Because he is running for preznit, Kasich was confronted on this issue during the recent Fox Nooz potus interview. Megyn Kelly (basically) expressed the Republican outrage re Kasich attempting to help the Poors. How DARE he! Surely this is proof he is unfit to be preznit. Which is why Kelly brought it up. Voters needed to know of this and reject him for his un-Republican actions. This specific un-Republican action (he does pass the anti-choice litmus test). But even passing this very important litmus test is not good enough.

Megyn Kelly: Governor Kasich, you chose to expand Medicaid in your state, unlike several other governors on this stage tonight, and it is already over budget by some estimates costing taxpayers an additional $1.4 billion in just the first 18 months.

You defended your Medicaid expansion by invoking God, saying to skeptics that when they arrive in heaven, Saint Peter isn't going to ask them how small they've kept government, but what they have done for the poor. Why should Republican voters, who generally want to shrink government, believe that you won't use your Saint Peter rationale to expand every government program?

*Audience applauds*

Gov. John Kasich: Well, first of all, Megyn, you should know that President Reagan expanded Medicaid three or four times.
Secondly, I had an opportunity to bring resources back to Ohio to do what? To treat the mentally ill. Ten thousand of them sit in our prisons. It costs $22,500 a year to keep them in prison. I'd rather get them their medication so they could lead a decent life.

Secondly, we are rehabbing the drug-addicted. Eighty percent of the people in our prisons have addictions or problems. We now treat them in the prisons, release them in the community and the recidivism rate is 10 percent and everybody across this country knows that the tsunami of drugs is threatening their very families. So we're treating them and getting them on their feet.

And finally, the working poor, instead of them having come into the emergency rooms where it costs more, where they're sicker and we end up paying, we brought a program in here to make sure that people could get on their feet. And do you know what? Everybody has a right to their God-given purpose.

...our Medicaid is growing at one of the lowest rates in the country. ...we went from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black. We've cut $5 billion in taxes and we've grown 350,000 jobs.

*Audience applauds* (Excerpt from the 8/6/2016 Fox Nooz potus interview).

Getting mentally ill people in prison the treatment they need and getting them out of prison sooner saves money. And, a 10% recidivism is a lot lower than the average, which, according to Wikipedia, is 43.3%.

Treating people in emergency rooms, where they can't be turned away (due to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA) is significantly more expensive than scheduling appointments and getting treatment before a medical condition becomes an emergency. People with chronic diseases can't show up in emergency rooms and ask for ongoing treatment (which is needed to combat chronic conditions). These people can only show up and ask for help after their disease has progressed to the point where their lives are in immediate danger. Obviously treating these people earlier would be a lot cheaper.

Lastly, poor people who can't afford to see a doctor missing days of work (due to them being sidelined by treatable ailments) costs the economy money. So the Medicaid expansion in Ohio is "over budget", but it does not factor in these savings. At all. It simply ignores them, in addition to ignoring the inhumanity of locking up treatable mentally ill people. As well as the inhumanity of allowing poor people with treatable diseases to progress to a point where their lives are in danger (and at which point it is sometimes too late... meaning they die).

But Republicans revel in inhumanity toward those they deem lesser because their Christianity is fake. I mean, because in addition to ignoring the religious argument (Kelly mocked him?) they only look at the raw numbers. And totally ignore the (somewhat hard to quantify?) savings of accepting the Medicaid expansion and going "over budget". Frankly, it sickens me.

For many Republicans, that their Christianity is not sincere is proven by Kasich's attempt to appeal to it and failing. Proof, in my mind, of how much these fake Christian Republican hypocrites hate poor people. They refuse to do the right thing (those other governors on the stage that rejected the expansion) when you make an argument that appeals to their supposed religious sensibilities. Obviously these sensibilities are non-existent except when it comes to controlling women's bodies.

And they also refuse to do the right thing when an economic argument is presented (money is saved by accepting the Medicaid expansion). Un-believable callousness and indifference that (for some) crosses the line into outright hate, IMO. Think I'm being hyperbolic? Ayn Rand hated the poor, and Mitten's VP choice Paul Ryan talked her up a lot (until it was pointed out to him that she was an atheist) [3].

Which explains why Mittens wanted Ryan (they had a shared hatred). Ryan's budget, the path to (increased) prosperity (for the rich on the backs of the poor), being proof of his hate for the less fortunate [4].

[1] Court Okays Republican Challenge To Arizona Medicaid Expansion (excerpt from a 12/31/2014 Daily Caller article by Sarah Hurtubise) 36 Republican state lawmakers are suing outgoing Republican Gov. Brewer over the legality of a hospital assessment which will fund Brewer's plan to expand Medicaid.
[2] Republican Lawmakers File Lawsuit Against Ohio Medicaid Expansion (excerpt from a HuffPo 10/23/2013 article by Mollie Reilly) The suit, filed with the Ohio Supreme Court... claims the Controlling Board acted in violation of the state legislature by approving the $2.56 billion appropriation of federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state. Governor John Kasich... turned to the board for approval after the GOP-controlled state legislature balked on the issue.
[3] See SWTD #303 (8/10/2015) Ayn Rand Took Great Delight In Killing Large Numbers of Fictional Moochers In Atlas Shrugged.
[4] Regarding my correct usage of the word hate in this commentary... many Republican politicians, if they are not simply indifferent to the plight of the poor, actively despise them and want to punish them for being poor. Republican voters, a not insignificant number of them being poor Southern Whites, are oblivious to this hate, instead voting R because the GOP panders to their hate for minorities and their misguided belief that the Bible says abortion is murder, which it does not. Although Repub politicos and their pluto masters have other reasons for wanting to control women.

Video: Kasich defends his Medicaid expansion and gets some applause, but the very fact that Megyn Kelly demanded an explanation from him in the first place? Helping poor people while citing God? No, many "Christian" Republicans don't find that acceptable.

SWTD #306

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Firing Of Ed Schultz Signals The End Of msnbc That Started With The Exit Of Keith Olbermann

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives. He has talked about income and wealth inequality, high unemployment, low wages, our disastrous trade policies and racism in America. I am very disappointed that Comcast chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup ~ Bernie Sanders (dob 9/8/1941) the longest-serving independent in US congressional history and a self-described democratic socialist. Sanders is currently running for the 2016 POTUS nomination as a Democrat [1].

What follows is an excerpt from the 7/24/2015 airing of the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses the idiotic decision by MSNBC to cancel Ed Schultz and give his job to that tool Chuck Todd.

Thom: Bernie Sanders has blasted MSNBC and Comcast for cancelling Ed Schult's show. I wanted to talk a little bit about that. In my opinion, Ed is the last true voice for American working people on MSNBC. He is the only guy on MSNBC willing to talk about our trade policies and how stupid they are. He's literally the only guy. He's the only one who is willing to bring labor on regularly and talk about labor issues. He's the only one who's willing to talk about net neutrality.

These are subjects that, just from watching a lot of MSNBC, I have to conclude that the other hosts are not allowed to talk about these issues, and now they're going to fire Ed. Or lay him off, or he's leaving... whatever. I don't want to represent this. I haven't have any conversation with Ed about this.

I think Roger Ailes is a programming genius and the people at MSNBC are programming idiots. In Washington DC it doesn't matter if you're Left or Right, it doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat. The thing that matters, THE thing that is consequential, the thing that determines whether or not you get invited to the White House, whether you get invited to THE cocktail parties, whether you get covered in the press, whether your name shows up, whether you appear on television regularly is... are you an Insider, or are you an Outsider?

Bernie Sanders is an Outsider. Ed Schultz is an Outsider. Schultz wasn't towing the line regarding the Insider's conventional wisdom. The Insider's wisdom is that trade deals are wonderful, corporations should run the world, net neutrality is a silly idea... and I think he's getting bumped for that.

The Insider media, the New York Times - there's a great piece over at Alternet about why is the New York Times ignoring the Sanders surge - it's because the New York Times is the ultimate Insider publication. Sanders is the Outsider.

Roger Ailes made this brilliant programming decision to program as an Outsider to Outsiders. MSNBC is moving in the direction of programming more and more with Insiders (Chuck Todd, Brian Williams) to insiders.

Andy Lack [the new Chairman of NBC News Group] used to be a vice president with NBC and now he's coming in [and trying to fix the problem of] their ratings [being] in the toilet.

I think their rating are in the toilet because they are basically an Insider network. The Progressive base is not interested in the Insider prospective. The Progressive base would like the Outsider perspective... which I think is Ed Schultz.

So they got to get rid of him. What they're going to do is go up against the other Insider network, CNN. They going to go more, quote, "hard news" [Andy Lack sez the new strategy is to focus on breaking news and de-emphasize left-leaning opinion programming].

[End 7/24/2015 Thom Hartmann Rant]

Thom adds that he the thinks "the net neutrality riffs by Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes were by way of noting the news, not by way of generating activist behavior. At least in my opinion. Ed Schultz has never backed away from encouraging people to be activists".

IMO Thom is absolutely right. Concerning why Ed is getting the boot, as well as msnbc being an Insider media outlet. Regarding Maddow and Hayes not covering net neutrality, I'll take Thom's word for it. I have basically stopped watching msnbc and switched over to Free Speech TV - which Thom's radio program airs on (as a TV program).

As a member of "the Progressive base" I am not interested in the Insider perspective and want the Outsider perspective, which Free Speech TV offers (The network, which operates as a 501c3 non-profit tax-exempt organization, brands itself as "the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments and corporations").

msnbc's ratings ARE in the toilet because of their drift away from Progressivism and toward what Thom calls the "Insider perspective". The beginning of the end for msnbc (IMO) was the exit of Keith Olbermann on 1/21/2011.

When Keith left msnbc Countdown was the network's top-rated program with 1.1 million viewers. In regards to a (pre departure) suspension of Keith, Russell Simmons said "without Olbermann, msnbc can't survive – and the voice of progress will fall to the dark ages, when one unholy church dictated a fictional version of the truth" [2].

And that is exactly what is happening. Although I don't think Simmons was any kind of oracle, he was simply stating the obvious. Keith Olbermann MADE msnbc and the death of the network started the day he left.

Today msnbc, with the firing of Mr. Schultz, is announcing that they have failed as a Leftwing alternative to Fox Nooz.

MSNBC had decided months ago that they would be dumping their liberal hosts in favor of people like Chuck Todd. MSNBC leadership completely mistreated their liberal audience, and when the audience walked away, the network used the declining ratings as an excuse to blame liberals. ... Ed Schultz was a much needed liberal voice in a sea of cable news conservatives. ... MSNBC is making an ideological statement that liberals are out, and pandering to Republicans with Beltway conventional wisdom is in. (MSNBC Is Canceling Ed Schultz And Giving His Show To Chuck Todd by Jason Easley. Politicus USA 7/23/2015).

In total msnbc is cancelling 3 of it's programs.

Hour-long programs hosted by Ed Schultz at 5 pm Eastern and Alex Wagner at 4pm were both axed, as was The Cycle, a roundtable that aired at 3pm with hosts Ari Melber, Toure, Abby Huntsman and Krystal Ball. (Struggling MSNBC cancels 3 daytime shows with liberal slant. AP Story from 7/30/2015).

Other changes announced...

Andrew Lack told staffers of both NBC News and MSNBC that he plans to rebuild MSNBC to focus on breaking news coverage and to be less of a left-leaning talk outlet. Lack also plans a name change for the network since Microsoft hasn't been involved with the cable channel in years. (Talker's Magazine Odds & Sods, 7/27/2015).

I say screw msnbc, or whatever the hell they end up calling themselves. They will limp along for awhile longer, but they're done. Or not. Whatever happens they are never going to be more than a MINOR network. As they move away from catering to their liberal audience their liberal audience will depart. And there is no need for yet another "Insider" network.

As for Keith Olbermann being "fired" from his latest gig as ESPN2, the sports talk show Olbermann, says they "declined to renew his expiring contract [and that] the move was to cut costs related to Olbermann's salary and the use of the space at Times Square Studios". (excerpted from Wikipedia).

Not being a fan of any televised sport, and having never once watched Keith's sports talk show, I would be completely unaware that "Olbermann" was ending... if not for the Conservative blogger Rusty Shackelford who came to my blog to gloat.

According to the comment Rusty left, Olbermann was "fired" and "his next show could be a podcast from his basement". In response I told Rusty "if Olbermann does a podcast from his basement I will seek it out and subscribe". I forgot to add that I'd only do this if the podcast were political in nature. If he were to do a podcast that was sport-centered I would not be interested.

I am not upset about Olbermann's contract not being extended. Which is what happened. He wasn't fired. Anyway, I watched him on msnbc and Current, but never on ESPN. I don't like sports and I don't care about him getting "fired" or deciding not to move his ESPN program knowing his contract not being extended could be a result.

People like Rusty might call Olbermann a "loser" (or other names), but Keith got 14 Million to leave msnbc and 5 Million to leave the no-longer-existing Current TV. This is money Keith got which he did no work to receive... doesn't sound like a loser to me [3].

As for Ed Schultz, I have to admit I did not watch his program. Mostly because it was on too early. When I watched I tuned in for Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. Although I switched to Current TV (and watching their primetime lineup when Keith Olbermann was associated with the now defunct network).

I did switch back when (the global climate change awareness champion) Al Gore sold out and cashed out in exchange for in 70 million (his share of the 500 million price) in House of Thani oil money. Which might have been either hypocritical or wise... given the fact that "Current failed to make much of an impact at all".

Maybe Current failed (was failing) because they fired Keith? Or it might just have been because people were simply unaware that it existed. While msnbc's market share is much less than that of Fox, they still are viable. Although (to me) it looks like this Andy Lack fellow is working hard to deep six the network.

Not that the ratings were great, but that was because they were a Democrat Insider network (Keith and Ed being their most Progressive voices). The Insider perspective/sucking up to and carrying water for Insider Dems isn't what most Democratic voters are interested in. Now they're going to go even more Insider. I do not predict success.

[1] The quote from the top of this blog post is from the article Bernie Sanders Blasts MSNBC and Comcast For Canceling Ed Schultz by Jason Easley. Politicus USA 7/23/2015.
[2] Keith Olbermann out at MSNBC (excerpt from a 1/21/2011 story from RawStory) Countdown, the network's top-rated program, attracted 1.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen. (end excerpt). The Russell Simmons quote is from this article.
[3] According to a 4/20/2012 Dennis Marks comment (this is before Keith was awarded $5 million in binding arbitration re his lawsuit against Al Gore's Current) "Keith's frivolous lawsuit [will get] laughed out of court". Oops, looks like Dennis was wrong... as usual.

Video1: Ed Schultz blasts Clinton for refusing to take a position on Keystone and the TPP (Published on 7/29/2015). According to some website called Canonclast "town crier Ed Schultz receiving the ax with many speculating that it is because he turned on Hillary Clinton. You can watch video of that memorable moment below". Well, of course msnbc is in the bag for Clinton. Is this is what got him fired? Could be (3:04).

Video2: Ed addresses being fired. 7/31/2015 (3:03).

SWTD #305, KO #5.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Adventuring Companions Formulate An Alternate Escape

But meanwhile time flies; it flies never to be regained ~ Virgil (10/15, 70 BC to 9/21, 19 BC), an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period.

"I cast a minor glamer to cover my scars - there was zero accentuating of my looks beyond that" an upset Suri declared, poking Steve in the chest with her finger. "And Ceraifiot is absolutely right concerning the murder you just committed. The policeman you killed was not a threat" Suri added, glaring at Steve. Now there were three murders that could be attributed to their group by the authorities. Provided that the man William sucker punched in the market had died. He certainly appeared to be dead, Suri recalled as she fled the scene, leaving William behind.

Now the remaining six companions were apparently trapped within the walls of the city! "There is another way out" Paulina the gnomish rouge informed the group as Steve and Barry deposited the body of the dead police officer in a nearby trash receptacle. But not before Steve riffled thru the dead man's pockets, removing some coins and placing them in his own pocket. Steve, Suri had expected for some time, was a man of low morals.

But a murderer? She was somewhat shocked. The magic user decided she would have to speak with Ceraifiot about booting Steve out of the group. Later, once they were out of immediate danger. She certainly did not want to attract attention by arguing about it now.

"What about the horses?" Barry inquired as they guided their steeds down the sidestreets of the city, avoiding the main thoroughfare. Barry's concern was due to the riding of horses not being permitted within the city walls. Any non-resident entering the city was required to stable their horses as soon as they were able. Although exceptions were made for residents with special permits. But, with the exception of Paulina, none of the adventurers were residents, and therefore none had a permit.

"The stablemaster at the Northgate Inn happens to be a member of the city of Wallis thieves guild" Paulina informed the others. "We can leave our horses with him and escape via the sewers" Paulina added, referring to the extensive network of pipes running beneath the ancient city. "It just so happens that the guild controls a large portion of the sewer system, which is used for smuggling stolen goods and wanted individuals in and out of the city. There will, however, be a price, and it will likely be steep".

"Isn't there are member's discount" Barry asked, concerned about fees when all of the companions were low on funds. "I'm a member, you lot are not" the gnomish woman answered. "Hopefully the horses will be enough". "Now look what that arsehole William has caused" Ceraifiot lamented. His horse and he had a special bond, and he of course did not want to part with her. But it appeared as though he had no choice.

Suri, who had inherited the steed of the group's former mage Morton upon his death, did not have that problem. Suri recited the word of power and her steed Prisilla shrunk down to the size of a chess piece. In fact it looked exactly like a chess piece, the horsey one.

After shrinking Prisilla, Suri picked up the marble chess piece and slipped it into her pocket. "Prisilla shall not be a part of the price, whatever it may be" Suri declared, referring to the steep price Paulina had indicated would be charged by the thieves guild to smuggle them out of the city. "Let us find out how much first" Ceraifiot remarked before any of the others (Steve or Barry) had a chance to object.

Fortunately they made it back to the Northgate Inn stable without being spotted. Now the sun was just about descended and night upon them. "What brings you back" the stablemaster inquired as the group entered the stable, the seven foot tall fighter Olaf leading their five horse inside. Rufus the stablemaster, while fat and balding, was a man of incredible strength, which all could see due to his broad chest and bulging biceps.

"I am a member of the thieves guild" an unnoticed (due to her short stature) Paulina interjected. "I didn't notice you there, shorty" the stablemaster said, glancing down. Then he frowned and asked gruffly, "what's your membership in this criminal organization to me?".

"Here, take my hand" Paulina implored the suddenly gruff man. The stablemaster, knowing why the request was made, went down to one knee and took the gnomish female's small hand in his much larger one. "This might be problem, given the size difference, but I think this should satisfy you" Paulina explained as she went though the motions. "OK, you know the secret handshake" the stablemaster affirmed. "What do you want from me?"

"We need to depart Wallis without passing though any of the city gates" Paulina disclosed. "And why might that be something you're wanting to be doing?" the stablemaster inquired, rising from his one-knee position. "The reason can't be good, that's for certain". "The authorities are currently searching for one of our companions" Suri replied, addressing the stablemaster. "He punched a cleric at the Temple of the Oracles, killing him".

The stablemaster frowned harder, not looking inclined at to help the companions. "He's not here now. I was the only one with him at the time, and he ran off" Suri concluded (without mentioning how Steve had murdered an officer of the Lord Mayor's police force).

"If see" the stablemaster said, stroking his stubbly chin thoughtfully. "Well, I think I can help, for a price. But it's not going to be cheap, given the power of the oracles in this city" he concluded after a few moments of thought. "Now look here" Steve countered, his voice rising in anger. "You should help us because this gnome chick is a guild member. We already heard from her that the cost from the guild itself will be high to smuggle us out. Now you want us to pay you additionally?".

"You got that right" the stablemaster affirmed. "I can send a stableboy to notify someone at the guild headquarters while you lay low here. But, I'm going to need some something to compensate me for my troubles. If you're low on funds I'm sure an alternate payment method could be worked out" he added, lustfully eyeing Suri Cruz (whose facial disfigurement-hiding magics had yet to wear off).

"Ugg. I'm not interested" Suri responded, picking up on the vibe the stablemaster was sending out. "What, is Rufus not good enough looking for you" the seemingly offended stablemaster countered. "This", Rufus said pointing to his belly "is the fuel tank for a sex machine. If you've only been getting busy with pretty boy here", he continued, glancing at Ceraifiot the Bonny bard, "you're in for a treat. By which I mean the size of my equipment will rock your world. That's a guarantee you can take to the bank, girl".

"Sounds like a plan to me" Barry said, noting his agreement with the payment proposal. "Given the fact that Suri was with William when the murdering took place, I say she should do her duty for the group in acquiescing to this gentleman's request to get busy. You send the boy" Barry said, looking the stablemaster Rufus in the eye, "we'll wait here while you take Suri in the back. I'm sure you can locate a suitable pile of hay. It's too bad she's so ugly. Perhaps you can put a bag over her head" Barry concluded, forgetting that Suri's glamer was still concealing her facial disfigurement.

"What are you talking about, this chick is a knockout" Rufus incredulously countered. "Now, how about it babe?" the horsekeeper asked, turning his attention back to the group's magic user. Olaf The Angry looked angry, and was about to take umbrage to the rude suggestion when Paulina spoke. "We were hoping that our horses would cover the price". Rufus considered the offer, then responded, "400 gold pieces, take it or leave it. But you're still going to owe the guild for their services".

"Wait a minute" Ceraifiot objected. "These horses are worth more than a measly 400 gp". "You misunderstand me", the stablemaster interrupted gruffly. "The price for my assistance is 500 gold pieces. I will pay 50gp for a roll in the hay with this fine looking lass, but that leaves you 50 short. And I'm doing you a favor with the 50gp by the way, given the fact that I usually only pay a few silvers at the local brothel".

"It's a deal. Now send that stableboy and we'll wait here while you take Suri in the back", Barry agreed, shoving Suri toward the fat, sweaty stablemaster. Nearly tripping, Suri collided with Rufus, who immediately took her into his steely embrace, wrapping his large arms around her. "Don't struggle girly" Rufus laughed. "Trust me. As I said, a poking by ol Rufus is something you'll remember with fondness for a long time to come".

SWTD #304, WTM #13.