Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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Reducing rates of child abuse and neglect is a topic everyone can agree is important. Now, says Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman, let us consult the Ouija board to figure out which entire category of people make up the secret witches behind this evil and make a law telling everyone to hurl poop and screams at them! What is that look, this is how it’s always done, as a Republican. So which lucky group gets to be the demon this time? Gays? Mexicans? Blacks? Homeless polar bears? Public school teachers?
People who use the word “football” to refer to “soccer?” The abused children themselves? Let’s check the text of the bill: “In promoting those campaigns and materials, the [Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board] shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” Single parents! Let’s murder them all and end child abuse, forever. READ MORE »
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
National Review quotes Ann Romney during a Sunday Midland County GOP luncheon:
"All of us in this room know the media loves Barack Obama. They don’t want anyone who has a chance of defeating him."
"I am so mad at the press [that] I could just strangle them! And, you know, I think I’ve decided there are going to be some people invited on the bus and some people just aren’t going to be invited on the bus."
The seven-part study by psychologists at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Toronto analyzed people’s behavior through a series of experiments.
For instance, drivers of expensive vehicles such as Mercedes, BMW and Toyota’s Prius hybrid were seen breaking the rules more often at four-way intersections than people who drove a Camry or Corolla.
They were also more likely to cut off pedestrians trying to cross the street than drivers of cheaper cars.
In another test using a game of dice, given the opportunity to win a $50 prize, people who self-reported high socio-economic status were more likely to lie and say that they had rolled higher numbers than they actually had.
“Even in people for whom $50 is a relatively small amount of money, cheating was three times as high,” said lead author Paul Piff of UC Berkeley.
“It really shows the extreme lengths to which wealth and upper rank status in society can shape patterns of self-interest and unethicality,” he told AFP.
In other studies, people with higher status were less likely to tell the truth in a hypothetical job negotiation in which they were the employer trying to hire someone for a job they knew was soon to be eliminated.
And when given a jar of candy that they were told was for children in a nearby lab — though they could take some if they wanted — the richest people took more candy than anyone else.
Even Piff, who has studied the impact of wealth on people’s morality and charitable giving in the past — finding that rich people tend to give less to charity than poor people — was surprised to see them taking sweets from kids.
“I was astonished,” Piff said. “On average, people in the upper rank condition took two times as much (candy), so it was a pretty sizeable effect.”
Also, in that particular study, researchers conditioned some of the subjects first to think of themselves as of a higher social rank by asking them to compare themselves to others with less.
The exercise showed that people could be trained to think more highly of themselves, and that they would in turn act with more greed and less ethicality, demonstrating that status drives greed.
“We also got them to increase their likelihood of saying ‘I’d do all these unethical things,’” such as keeping the change without saying a word if a coffee shop cashier returned them too much money.
The study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, theorizes that a series of factors “may give rise to a set of culturally shared norms among upper class individuals.”
For instance, richer people are more independent from others, have more resources and are therefore less concerned with what others think of their actions than poorer people, the authors suggested.
According to Piff, people with more money tend to look more positively on greed and rely less on family and friend networks for support in times of need, and this elevated status tends to disconnect them from society.
“It is that very different level of privilege in your everyday life that gives rise to this independence from others, this reduced sensitivity to the impact of your behavior on others’ welfare, and the prioritization of your self-interest,” he said.
Certainly there are exceptions, said the study, pointing to famous upper-class whistleblowers at Worldcom and Enron; and wealthy philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Previous research linking poverty and violent crime also disproves the notion that all poor people are more ethical than the rich, it added.
However, self-interest is “a more fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” it said.
Although the study focused on US subjects, with each of the seven parts measuring between 100 and 200 participants, Piff said the findings are likely to be relevant to societies outside America, too.
“These patterns are going to be particularly salient in societies where wealth is as unequally distributed as it is here,” he said.
Newly Released E-Mails: Governor Sarah Palin Required Questions Before Softball Glenn Beck Interview
Therefore, it was actual news when it was announced that Governor Palin would be on the very first Glenn Beck Program on January 19, 2009 on Fox “News” Channel. Now, according to newly released (Freedom of Information Act) emails, Governor Palin required her questions from Beck in advance and the crack “journalist” readily complied.
Palin then asked a staffer to come up with answers to “these softball questions,” as described by karoli at Crooks and Liars, who delved into the latest avalanche of Palin emails for Fox “News” Channel connections, so I didn’t have to. karoli seems bemused: Read more
Monday, February 27, 2012
Newt, in an exciting move from merely hyperbolic language to incredibly boring invented words, told an audience in Tennessee (where, incidentally, Ron Paul is beating him in the polls) that Newt Gingrich could successfully make Afghanistan “unmiserable” if only he were the wicked king of Afghanistan. But instead, Afghanistan insists on sucking and not making him their ruler and “hating foreigners,” unlike everyone belonging to the party whose presidential nomination Newt Gingrich would still like to receive. READ MORE »
For several weeks now, the Mitt Romney campaign has crisscrossed Michigan in an attempt to salvage a badly-needed win in the state where Romney was born and his father served as governor. And in an attempt to overcome several embarrassing unforced errors in the last few days, Romney tried to connect with Michiganders at a tea party rally in Milford on Thursday by “remembering” an event from his childhood that took place nine months before he was born.
A reporter from the Toronto Star, which covers nearby Michigan, caught the blunder:
Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.
“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.
The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.
The National Automobile Golden Jubilee was held in June of 1946. Romney was born on March 12, 1947. Governor George Romney did in fact oversee the day’s festivities, but his son’s retelling is, at best, a patchwork tale stitched together from pieces of his father’s stories.
On Monday, the Romney campaign told the Huffington Post that Romney never explicitly said he was in attendance at the event. “He was simply telling the story about his dad,” an aide told the site.
This isn’t the first time Romney has run into trouble when trying to recall a childhood memory from Michigan. Two weeks ago his campaign ran an ad with a photograph purportedly showing Romney with his father at the Detroit auto show. As ThinkProgress noted, the photo was actually taken from a helipad at the World’s Fair in New York.
University of Virginia Football Player Goes On Hunger Strike To Get Living Wage For University Employees
Joseph Williams moved more than 30 times as a child, living in homeless shelters, church basements, and the homes of family friends. Now Williams, a junior safety on the University of Virginia football team, is taking up a cause supporting university workers who are barely making enough to get by.
Williams is one of 18 Virginia students participating in a hunger strike — now more than a week long — to protest the poor wages paid to many of the university’s service employees. The strike, organized by the school’s Living Wage Campaign, began on February 17 with the goal of getting a living wage for underpaid employees. “I know first-hand what the economic struggle is like for many of these underpaid workers,” Williams wrote in an essay explaining his participation:
In failing to implement a living wage for its lowest paid employees, the University of Virginia has also failed to uphold the moral standards to which it holds its students. We are engaging in this hunger strike to call attention to the administration’s moral hypocrisy and to finally produce results in the form of a Living Wage. Although I am exhausted, hungry, dry-mouthed, and emotionally taxed, I believe it is my responsibility as a member of the University community, and even more as a member of the human race, to stand up and speak for those whose voices have been silenced and whose livelihoods are marginalized by the policies of the current University administration.
Williams decried the pay disparity between “hundreds of contract workers who may make as little as $7.25/hour” and the university’s top administrators. According to the essay, six of the state’s 10 highest-paid employees are administrators at Virginia. Williams also told the story of one employee who, despite working 40 hours a week, couldn’t afford to pay rent or utility bills.
“We have taken every conventional route towards this goal, garnered wide student, faculty and community support – yet our pleas have been consistently ignored and workers are still paid unjust wages,” Williams wrote. Perhaps the hunger strike and the national notoriety it has received is changing that, though. According to local news reports, University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan plans to meet with the strikers today.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - The lonesome and long-traveling celebrity wolf made famous for a trek of hundreds of miles is back within ten miles of the Oregon border.
The wolf called OR-7 remains in California's Siskiyou County.
California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Mark Stopher said there's no way to tell where the wolf will go next. The department is tracking signals from his GPS collar.
He spent about one month in California's eastern Lassen County near the Nevada border after zig-zagging across Southern Oregon's Cascade crest.
The wolf was born in northeastern Oregon but left his pack to seek out a mate and a new territory in September. He crossed into California at the end of December, becoming the first wolf in that state in more than 80 years.
Friday, February 24, 2012
1. COMB YOUR HAIR
Head lice are very common among Christian men, especially Pentecostals. Although it is a normal and natural blessing from God to have head lice, you should certainly wash your hair before your date if only for the reason to avoid the temptation of putting your arm around the young lady while lifting to scratch your head.
Spend the day before your date with at least 6-hours of solitary prayer in a prayer-closet or a confined area. Ask the Lord to guide your words and actions. Ask Jesus to help you control your lust and pray that you will have a nightly emission before the date, thus making it easier for your carnal mind to operate on a level that is strictly spiritual. Do not masturbate in your prayer-closet unless you are thinking about Jesus. Click here for more detailed spiritual guidance on masturbation.
3. PURCHASE A RING
Visit a jewelry store and purchase a diamond ring. For the Christian man, every date is a potential mate. If she is the right gal, you will want to pop the question as soon as possible. It is always handy to have the engagement ring available.
4. RECITE VERSES
When you are on the date, use awkward moments of silence to quote scripture, or sing a favorite hymn. All women are impressed with such things. If she is not woo'd by this, it is a sign that she might be possessed by a demon. Take her to your church and drop her off by the back gate with a note to the pastor taped to her forehead. Be sure to secure her to a tree or post using chains or rope so that she won't get away during the night.
5. SPRUCE UP!
Wear Christian cologne. The only Christian cologne available is "Betty Bowers' The Essence Of Christian Men." If you do not have any Christian cologne, rub your face in a Bible until you smell like the pages.
6. TAKE HER TO VISIT GOD
The best place for a first date is church. Oh, how impressed your sweetheart will be when she finds out you are taking her to Sunday evening services! Then, a romantic dinner at Denny's!
7. GRILL HER FAITH
Use the time at the restaurant to find out if your sweetheart is really saved. Question her salvation at least 15 times. Make sure she knows the exact day and hour (and preferably the exact minute) she met Jesus.
8. SQUELCH YOUR PASSION
If you have not had a nightly emission before your date, make certain that you take extra precaution. Use an ace bandage or knitting yarn to tie your penis back against your stomach or underneath your hiney. If you tuck instead of tie, make sure that the tip of your penis does not curl back far enough to enter the hole in your hiney where you go poopy out of - otherwise you might accidentally sodomize yourself and inadvertently become a homosexual.
9. PRACTICE YOUR LINES
Some Christian phrases that will help you "woo" the lesser sex are, "I'm almost as crazy about you as I am about Jesus," "Your long hair is the glory of your humility (I Corinthians 11: 11-15)," and "God broke the mold when he made your sweet face."
10. KEEP THE PASSION SUPPRESSED
If the bandage work on your penis fails in the slightest bit, excuse yourself for the men's room and re-adjust the harnessing.
11. AVOID TOUCHING!
Make certain that there is no personal contact (PC) on this first date. Even if she has said "yes" to marriage, it is highly recommended that you refrain from even holding hands for at least two years until the courtship is over and you are whisked away on your honeymoon!
Follow these dating tips for Christian men and you are sure to find a life partner that is suitable, submissive, and steadfast.
Emails finally released on Thursday show Sarah was scheming even then, and wondering if her divorce from Todd — a laborer on the North Slope oil fields — would somehow lead to charges of conflict of interest because of Governor Sarah’s “drill baby drill” policies. None of this makes any sense, because Sarah Palin is a lifelong idiot. But she is consistently phony and amoral, when it comes to “family values,” at least! READ MORE »
Thursday, February 23, 2012
According to recent shrieking noises from the right-wing blog section of the Internet, a government agent stormed into a North Carolina school cafeteria, stole a preschooler’s turkey sandwich and her apple and then forced the preschooler to go stand in the Soviet cafeteria line and cry high-sodium tears while she was given a new tray piled with deep-fried chicken toenails.
Thus a group of confused wingnuts gathered for a “lunch-in” today in D.C.’s Freedom Plaza to eat low-calorie sandwiches and fruit, to protest the government. Has Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity been going about it the wrong way this whole time? READ MORE »
CHARLOTTE, NC—A federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte returned an indictment against Jonathan D. Davey, 47, of Newark, Ohio, Jeffrey M. Toft, 49, of Oviedo, Fla., Chad A. Sloat, 33, of Kansas City, Mo., and Michael J. Murphy, 51, of Deep Haven, Minn., on February 22, 2012, on four criminal charges relating to an investment fraud conspiracy, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).
According to the criminal indictment, the defendants operated “hedge funds” as part of a conspiracy that took in $40 million from victims for a Ponzi scheme operating under the name Black Diamond Capital Solutions (Black Diamond). The indictment alleges that the conspiracy lasted from about October 2007 through about April 2010. The indictment alleges that the defendants lied to get money from their victims by claiming, among other things, that they had done due diligence on Black Diamond and were operating legitimate hedge funds with significant safeguards, when in reality, neither claim was true. The indictment also alleges that, as Black Diamond began collapsing, the defendants and others created a new Ponzi scheme and with a separate Ponzi account that Davey administered. Thereafter, new victim money was deposited into the Ponzi account and used to make Ponzi payments to other victims and to fund the defendants’ lifestyles.
The indictment also charges Davey with tax evasion for claiming to the IRS on his 2008 tax return that $810,000 that Davey stole from victims was a “loan.” In reality, the indictment charges, Davey stole that $810,000, plus approximately $500,000 in 2009, from victims to build Davey’s personal mansion. Davey attempted to evade the taxes due and owing in 2008 by calling the money a “loan” from his investors to “Sovereign Grace, Inc.,” a Belizian corporation that Davey created as a diversion for his victims and the IRS.
The first charge against all four defendants, alleging conspiracy to commit securities fraud, carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The second charge against all four defendants, alleging conspiracy to commit wire fraud, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The third charge against all four defendants, alleging a money laundering conspiracy, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of criminally derived proceeds. The final charge against Davey only, alleging tax evasion, carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
The defendants will be making their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in the coming weeks.
This indictment follows a series of convictions and other charges in this matter. On December 16, 2010, Keith Simmons was convicted following a jury trial of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Simmons is in custody awaiting sentencing.
On April 27, 2011, a criminal bill of information and a Deferred Prosecution Agreement were filed against CommunityONE Bank, N.A., for its failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. As alleged in that bill of information, Simmons was a customer of CommunityONE, and used various accounts with the Bank in furtherance of the Ponzi scheme. However, as alleged in that bill of information, the Bank did not file any suspicious activity reports on Simmons, despite the hundreds of suspicious transactions that took place in his accounts.
Other defendants convicted in this case are set forth below. It should be noted that those defendants already sentenced had their sentences reduced by the Court to reflect their cooperation with the United States in its investigation and prosecution of others.
- Bryan Keith Coats, 51, of Clayton, N.C., pled guilty on October 24, 2011, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Coats is awaiting sentencing.
- Deanna Ray Salazar, 54, of Yucca Valley, Calif., pled guilty on December 7, 2010, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tax evasion. Salazar is awaiting sentencing.
- Jeffrey M. Muyres, 36, of Matthews, N.C., pled guilty on May 17, 2011, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Muyres was sentenced to 23 months’ imprisonment by Chief Judge Robert Conrad, Jr., on January 18, 2012.
- Roy E. Scarboro, 47, of Archdale, N.C., pled guilty on December 3, 2010, to securities fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to the FBI. Scarboro was sentenced to 26 months’ imprisonment by Chief Judge Robert Conrad, Jr., on May 4, 2011.
- James D. Jordan, 49, of El Paso, Texas, pled guilty on September 14, 2010, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Jordan was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by Chief Judge Robert Conrad, Jr., on June 29, 2011.
- Stephen D. Lacy, 52, of Pawleys Island, S.C., pled guilty on December 9, 2010, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Lacy was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment by Chief Judge Robert Conrad, Jr., on May 4, 2011.
The details contained in this indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The conviction or guilty plea of any other person is not evidence of the guilt of any of the defendants.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kurt W. Meyers and Mark T. Odulio of the Western District of North Carolina, and the case against Jeffrey Muyres was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark T. Odulio. The investigation is being handled by the FBI and the IRS.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Interior Department is “reviewing” whether a government climate change expert held over from the Bush administration received improper payments from an institution known for its opposition to environmental regulation, a spokesman tells TPM.
Indur M. Goklany, a senior advisor in the program coordination section of the Interior Department’s Office of Policy, was supposed to receive a payment of $1,000 per month according to a budget for the Heartland Institute that leaked online. The budget was obtained by climate scientist Peter Gleick, who apologized for using a false name to obtain the documents from the Heartland Institute and anonymously emailing the documents to writers who cover environmental policy.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) called for Congress to investigate the apparent payments to Goklany in a letter to Republican Rep. Doc Hastings (R-VA), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee and Democrat Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the ranking member of the committee. Grijalva said that federal employees aren’t supposed to accept payments from outside groups for “teaching, speaking and writing that relates to [their] official duties” (5 C.F.R. § Part 2635 is the regulation which speaks to this issue).
“We do not know whether Dr. Gokl any received the money he was apparently promised by the Heartland Institute,” Grijalva wrote in the letter. “Nor do we know whether other Interior Department employees have been offered, or accepted, similar arrangements with other organizations that seek to influence federal policy.”......................
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We would’ve had a delightful race on ours hands, especially — as angry commenters on all these Minnesota newspaper sites we’ve been reading keep howling — after Bachmann spent a full year calling herself a proud Iowan who loves Iowa more than ever her Dominionist Ultra-Jesus. But no, Bachmann will instead run in her old 6th District, even though she no longer lives there. What a wuss! Why does Michele Bachmann hate her house so much? READ MORE »
To be a true conservative American Jesus warrior these days, you must move past these obvious entrapments and master the skill of identifying the hidden agents of Lucifer that lurk among us. Take, for instance, that group of sixth-grade girls over there in the Girl Scout club. What are they doing over there, standing around with their vaginas attached to them and not yet pregnant? Well that should be obvious enough, but just in case, Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris will spell it out for you: they are communist lesbian witch-abortionists.
Rep. Bob Morris is therefore unable to support his legislature’s resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, so that he can still go to Heaven and stand next to Jesus and they can laugh together at all the little Girl Scouts burning in hell. READ MORE »
Rev. Franklin Graham — son of Billy Graham — would not say if President Obama is a Christian during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday, insisting that “I cannot answer that question for anybody.” Franklin claimed that the President began attending Church to bolster his political career and is a Muslim under Islamic law. “Islam sees him as a son of Islam because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim, great grandfather was a Mulsim and so under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim,” Graham said, before explaining that he could not rule out the possibility that Obama may secretly be Muslim. “I can’t say categorically [that Obama is not a Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama,” he said.
The visibly shocked Morning Joe crew pressed Graham further and discovered that he was far more willing to accept the other presidential candidates’ personal testaments. Graham agreed that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were both Christians, while raising some concerns about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith:
WILLIE GEIST (co-host, Morning Joe): Do you believe that Rick Santorum is Christian?
GRAHAM: I think so.
GEIST: Why is it different for Rick Santorum?
GRAHAM: Well, because his values are so clear on moral issues….
JOHN HEILEMANN (New York Magazine): That’s an amazing double standard. Your reaction to the difference. The question about Rick Santorum and President Obama, I think, just exposes an incredible double standard you’re applying to the two people. They’re exactly the same situation.
ALEX WAGNER (host, NOW): Reverend, what about Mitt Romney…is he a Christian?
GRAHAM: He’s a Mormon… most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith. [...]
GRAHAM: Any one of these candidates. Newt Gingrich. Now, Newt has been married several times, so he’s had those issues — but he can make a good candidate. And I think that Newt is a Christian, at least he told me he is......................
“The Fox Effect,” a new book co-authored by Media Matters’ founder David Brock, executive vice president Ari Rabin-Havt, and other researchers at the organization, takes an in-depth look at the corrupting influence of Fox News. Its president Roger Ailes has forced the network to advance a deeply-partisan political agenda that regularly contravenes traditional journalistic standards. The book also shares details about the qualities and characteristics of Ailes as a person. Here are the top five most telling quotes about Ailes found in “The Fox Effect”:
Ailes used homophobic slurs to describe George H.W. Bush’s clothing: “‘You can’t wear a short-sleeve shirt—you’ll look like a fucking faggot.” [The Fox Effect, p. 32]
Ailes explaining race before the Federal Election Commission: “When Republicans see Willie Horton they see a criminal, and when Democrats see Willie Horton they see a black.” [The Fox Effect, p. 34]
As Richard Nixon campaign consultant, Ailes advised that a racist should be given a question at a town hall: “As long as we’ve got this extra spot open. A good, mean, Wallaceite cab driver. Wouldn’t that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, ‘Alwright mac, what about these niggers?’” [The Fox Effect, p.24]
Roger Ailes explaining his concerns about social justice to rabbis: “Of course social justice means different things to different audiences, however it has been used in situations leading to fascism, socialism, and communism as well.” [The Fox Effect, p. 147]
Ailes to The Washington Post in 1972: “If you come out and say that a guy’s a commie, fag bastard, the public turns you off, not him.” [The Fox Effect, p. 144]
There have been rumors that Ailes is perhaps contemplating a “course correction” at Fox News, a purported attempt to regain credibility by moving away from the right-wing base. But as one right-wing media analyst noted, “Do people really think that anyone at Fox is going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg? I don’t think so.” Indeed, it seems quite unlikely given Ailes’ predilection for hateful and divisive rhetoric.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Westboro Baptist Church did not picket singer Whitney Houston’s funeral on Saturday, but they did upload a fake photo to Twitter in hopes of convincing others that they did.Read More
Saturday, February 18, 2012
While saying for the first time publicly that he is gay, rising Republican star Sheriff Paul Babeu used a dramatic news conference on Saturday in Arizona to angrily deny allegations that had been leveled against him by an ex-boyfriend in a newspaper report a day earlier.
“I’m here to say that all these allegations that were in one of these newspapers are absolutely, completely false,” the sheriff said while while surrounded by a number of his deputies and fellow elected officials. “Except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. Because that’s the truth. I am gay.”
The well-known border hawk and Congressional candidate was hit late Friday with accusations from a Mexican immigrant who said he dated the sheriff for years and was threatened with deportation if he ever told anyone about their romance.
The accusations were first reported by the Phoenix New Times newspaper and came complete with text messages reported to be from the sheriff and compromising photos of him.
At the news conference, Babeu, who is single with no children, confirmed he had a romantic relationship with the man, who has so far only been identified as “Jose.” However he denied Jose’s claims that threats had followed their breakup.
“At no time did I or anyone who represents me ever threaten deportation. Ever,” Babeu said, adding that he had no reason to believe Jose was in the country illegally. “Everything that I understand is that he’s in legal status here.”
The sheriff emphasized that he doesn’t have the authority to deport anyone and that he would never use the power of his office to intervene in a personal matter.
However, Babeu also accused his former lover of hacking into his campaign website and social media accounts and posting messages without his consent, actions that Babeu referred to as criminal. Beyond just a romantic relationship, the man had been a volunteer on the sheriff’s campaign, maintaining its website and social media accounts. That was also supposed to end when the relationship went sour, but Babeu said Jose kept accessing the accounts.
“There were legitimate crimes that were committed,” Babeu said. However, he added he had no plans to take legal actions against Jose.....................................
Rising Republican star and well-known border hawk Sheriff Paul Babeu, who’s now running for Congress in Arizona, was hit Friday night with bombshell accusations from a Mexican immigrant who said he dated the sheriff for years and was threatened with deportation if he ever told anyone about their romance.
The Phoenix New Times newspaper broke the story on its website in a piece written by veteran journalist Monica Alonzo. The accusations came complete with text messages said to be between the two men as well as compromising photos purportedly of Babeu that are reminiscent of recent sex scandals that ended the careers of Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Chris Lee.
In one photo, Babeu is seen posing in front of a mirror in nothing but his underwear. In another, he has his hand inside the man’s partially unbuttoned shirt.
The newspaper identified the accuser only by his first name, Jose, citing his fear that the sheriff would try to challenge his immigration status.
Jose said he met Babeu through the dating website gay.com in 2006, before he became sheriff, according to the newspaper. Babeu was a police officer in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler at the time and was elected as sheriff of Pinal County in late 2008.
Beyond the romance, the newspaper also said Jose volunteered for Babeu’s campaign, maintaining his websites and social media accounts....................................
Friday, February 17, 2012
Which is why a crusty gym sock like Rick Santorum is somehow now completely tied with a rectangular dildo like Mitt Romney in the Mitt-bot’s home state of Michigan, and why Republican leaders are secretly plotting some kind of mass suicide ritual known as “choosing any random other candidate less insane than the idiots already in the race to go and join the race at this late date” if Mitt can’t seal up the nomination post haste. One anonymous panicky U.S. Senator confirms this, according to ABC News! READ MORE »
Here's CNN contributor and Andrew Breitbart editor Dana Loesch, saying that a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound procedure (vis a vis the new legislation in Virginia) is no more intrusive than regular intercourse.
That's the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it's rape and so on and so forth. And in fact, this big battle that I've, uh, totally won with Keith Olbermann by the way, like, not only won once but twice and three times... uh, there were individuals saying, [high voice] Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?" What!?
Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” was sentenced to life in prison Thursday following his trial in federal court. Two years ago, Republicans insisted trying Abdulmutallab in federal court was a terrible idea.
There was a time when the circumstances surrounding Abdulmutallab’s arrest were part of a lengthy national debate about the best way to handle terrorism cases. There were letters, television appearances and press releases calling on the Obama administration to reverse its position and send Abdulmutallab into the military tribunal system due to perceived weaknesses in the civilian court system.
Now that he’s locked up for life, it’s pretty much radio silence. A search for press releases mentioning Abdulmutallab from members of Congress this week turns up just one, from Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who said the sentence ‘demonstrations that our federal court system is fully capable of bringing terrorist to justice.”
Still it’s worth revisiting just what critics of the civilian court system predicted. Some examples:
- Sen. Mitch McConnell said in early 2010 that the Obama administration treated Abdulmutallab “as if he had robbed a convenience store” and joked that CNN’s Larry King “has interrogated people longer and better” than the FBI. TPM asked his spokesman if the successful prosecution of Abdulmatallab had changed his views, but his office did not respond.
- Here’s Sen. Kit Bond from January 2010: “We have learned the hard way that trying terrorists in federal court comes at a high price, from losing out on potentially life-saving intelligence to compromising our sources and methods. We must treat these terrorists as what they are—not common criminals, but enemy combatants in a war.”
- Reps. Peter King, Buck McKeon, Jerry Lewis, Peter Hoekstra and Lamar Smith “sent a letter to Obama shortly after the attempted attack… demanding that Abdulmutallab be tried in a military court instead.”
- Michele Bachmann late last year: “He was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights. They don’t have any.”
- Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins also in January, 2010: “We write to urge the administration to immediately transfer Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a foreign terrorist, to the Department of Defense to be held as an unprivileged enemy belligerent (UEB) and questioned and charged accordingly.” Lieberman’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network's Paul and Jan Crouch has accused the world's largest Christian broadcaster of unlawfully distributing charitable assets worth more than $50 million to the company's directors.
The charges are leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper last week against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for TBN.
“Observers have often wondered how the Crouches can afford multiple mansions on both coasts, a $50 million jet and chauffeurs,” said Tymothy MacLeod, Koper's attorney. “And finally, with the CFO coming forward, we have answers to those questions.”
Koper had served as chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources for Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, which does business as Trinity Broadcasting Network, according to the suit.
Koper's complaint is not directed against her grandparents or TBN – but against the two attorneys who handle some TBN legal work, and who once worked for Koper herself. She accuses them of professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and other transgressions in the suit.
Koper was using these attorneys for her personal affairs, and she went to them with her suspicions over the legality of the payments to TBN's directors, only to be told to shut up, return everything she had earned through TBN to the company and be gone, according to the suit.
Douglass S. Davert of Davert & Loe in Long Beach is one of the attorneys targeted in Koper's suit.
“Her assertions are outright fiction and wholly without merit,” he said. “The allegations are defamatory and to the extent they get printed we are going to defend ourselves vigorously.”
Davert said he couldn't comment fully on pending litigation, but that there's a great deal more going on here. To wit:
Koper and her husband were actually the ones doing the misdeeds, according to a suit filed by Davert & Loe in Orange County Superior Court in October and dismissed without settlement in January.
Though apparently crafted to avoid mentioning TBN, that suit accused Koper and her husband – both of whom worked for TBN and were on its board of directors – of forging documents and misappropriating funds to the tune of some $400,000.
Koper's lawyer says that suit was a preemptive strike, an attempt to discredit Koper, because Koper was going to blow the whistle.
Redemption Strategies Inc. – a corporation formed by Loe on Oct. 17 – sued the Kopers on Oct. 18, charging embezzlement, fraud, intentional misrepresentation and other misdeeds. At the time, Davert & Loe were still representing Koper, MacLeod said.
“It's kind of a sordid affair,” said MacLeod, Koper's attorney. “Many layers. But at the heart is the wrongful termination. She was terminated for insider whistle-blowing.”
MacLeod is getting to be something of an old hand at suing TBN: He represented Brian Dugger, a gay broadcast engineer who sued Trinity in 2009, claiming he was harassed and discriminated against by employees of the world's largest Christian broadcasting empire.
Paul Crouch Jr. was accused of taunting Dugger with pornography, saying TBN was no place for “fairies” and declaring that “Brian has a man-gina!”
In court paperwork, Crouch said those things never happened. The case was settled in 2010, but its terms were confidential.
Trinity Christian Center, a nonprofit in the eyes of Uncle Sam, does not have to pay taxes on its income. It reported revenues of $175.6 million, expenses of $193.7 million, and net assets of $827.6 million at the end of 2010, according to its tax returns.
Its highest-paid officer was Paul Crouch, with compensation of $400,000.
Its officers, directors and key employees included Paul and Jan Crouch, Paul Crouch Jr., Matthew Crouch, Koper and her husband, among others, according to Trinity's most recent tax returns. It has offices in Tustin and a studio in Costa Mesa.
MacLeod said that Koper is readying documentation regarding her charges and will submit a package to the Internal Revenue Service for its review.
We'll keep you posted on how all this shakes out.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Why is she so intent on seeing the primary process dragged out like this? We’d figured it was just to annoy people for the hell of it, à la her Christine O’Donnell endorsement. But no. (Sigh). So dumb of us! The long-grift at work is right there, in the open, for all to see: She wants to bring the nomination fight to a brokered convention in which party officials eventually ask her to jump in the race.
Lazy ol’ Sarah Palin would get to be the nominee, and she wouldn’t have to do more than a day or two’s worth of campaigning to snag it. Of course this is her plan. Ha ha ha ha! It would be the Snowbilly Grift of the Century. READ MORE »
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
“The Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur asked conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart on Tuesday if it would be fair to say to all conservatives: “Stop having gay sex in bathrooms!”Read More
Sarah Palin visited On The Record last night to discuss what FoxNews.com called “Obama’s contraception controversy.” While it’s true top church leaders continue to oppose President Obama’s mandate that Catholic-affiliated institutions offer contraception as part of health insurance coverage, most Americans and most Catholic Americans support it. However, Palin claimed otherwise and Van Susteren did not correct the record. In fact, she did her own part in promoting the misapprehension that the measure is unpopular.Read more
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Women Vets Criticize Fox Pundit’s ‘Breathtakingly Offensive’ Claim That Women Should ‘Expect’ Sexual Assault
Responding to news that the Pentagon will formally relax rules forbidding women from serving in combat, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta said on the cable network last Sunday that the real issue is about women serving in the military more broadly. Referring to a recent report that violent sex crimes within the military have increased over the last 6 years, Trotta said women service members should “expect” sexual assault and complained about levels of bureaucracy that support women who have been “raped too much.”
Now, Trotta is facing some backlash. Kayla Williams, a former sergeant and Arabic linguist in the 101st Airborne Division who also served in Iraq, told ThinkProgress that the “level of ignorance” in Trotta’s comments is “astounding”:
Trotta’s implication that women “in close contact” with men should “expect” to be sexually assaulted is breathtakingly offensive, as is her baffling reference to women “who are now being raped too much.” Frankly, I don’t even know how to respond to someone who holds such a low opinion of those who risk their lives in defense of our country every day.
And Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director of the Service Women’s Action Network, also issued this statement, noting that Trotta’s disturbing comments are based on a series of myths about men and women serving together in the military:
It has become a desperate but popular myth among commentators recently that women’s presence in the military necessarily means they will get raped. First, the mere presence of women in the workplace does not turn men into rapists. Second, the majority of victims of military rape over time have been men. In fact, half of the Military Sexual Trauma patients being treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals today are men.
Bhagwati adds that the issue isn’t men and women serving together, it’s the “broken” U.S. military justice system which currently offers “few deterrents to rapists or the commanders who protect them. Serial predators can largely expect to enjoy full military careers without ever being punished for the violent crimes they commit.”
Media Matters reports that Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) called Trotta’s comments “shameful” and “abhorrent.” “Contrary to Trotta’s comments, being a victim of rape or sexual assault is not in the job description of a US Service Member,” Speier said.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Not satisfied with President Obama’s new religious accommodation, Republicans will move forward with legislation by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that permits any employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday.
“If we end up having to try to overcome the President’s opposition by legislation, of course I’d be happy to support it, and intend to support it,” McConnell said. “We’ll be voting on that in the Senate and you can anticipate that that would happen as soon as possible.”
The Blunt amendment he was specifically referring to would “ensure that health care stakeholders retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions” under the Affordable Care Act. Similar legislation was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) before the White House announced Friday that it would allow religious nonprofits such as charities, hospitals and universities to opt out of paying for contraception coverage and force the insurance company to do so instead.
White House chief of staff Jack Lew, asked about the Blunt amendment after McConnell’s remarks, declined to delve into the issue but predicted that “it’s not going to come to pass.”
A debate over access to contraception could be politically problematic for Republicans as polls show Americans overwhelmingly support the use of birth control and want insurance plans to cover the service for free. Tellingly, McConnell was eager to keep the focus on religious freedom as opposed to contraception itself.
“The fact that the White House thinks this is about contraception is the whole problem. This is about freedom of religion, it’s right there in the First Amendment. You can’t miss it — right there in the very first amendment to our Constitution,” McConnell said. “What the overall view on the issue of contraception is has nothing to do with an issue about religious freedom.”
McConnell went on to embellish the argument, claiming Obama is being “rigid in his view that he gets to decide what somebody else’s religion is.” He said that “this issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down.”
House GOP leaders also said Friday they will move forward with legislation to repeal the birth control rule in its entirety. Republicans from both chambers are aligning themselves with the Catholic Bishops who say the new policy remains unacceptable.
The push indicates either that Republicans believe there’s still an opportunity to score political points against Obama, or that they’ve simply calculated they cannot back down now. Regardless, the success of the strategy now rests on the gamble that Republicans will be able to continue framing the issue as one over religious liberty and not contraception, despite the new accommodation Obama carved out.
EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Board Unanimously Condemned Gaffney’s ‘Reprehensible’ And ‘Unfounded’ Attacks
This is the first in a two-part series about the Islamaphobia network and CPAC.
A year ago, anti-Sharia conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney leaned against a column in the basement of CPAC as he warned ThinkProgress about how Muslim extremists had infiltrated the annual gathering of conservative activists in Washington. It was that kind of conspiracy theorizing that made Gaffney unwelcome upstairs where the official panels and keynote speeches were held, as ThinkProgress first reported.
Gaffney’s attacks on conservative stalwarts like Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, and Suhail Khan, a Bush administration offical, as agents of the Muslim Brotherhood has made him a bit of a pariah among conservatives. David Keene, the then-chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which puts on CPAC, and the current head of the NRA, told ThinkProgress last year that Gaffney “has become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with him…[must be] dupes of the nation’s enemies.”
This year, the ban on Gaffney’s official participation remained in effect, but he was able to purchase a side room at the conference through TeaParty.net, giving him unofficial but proximate access to the conference. Conservatives are hesitant to speak ill about each other in public, but a source close to CPAC told ThinkProgress that Gaffney, already on thin ice, made CPAC leadership “livid” by attacking Norquist during his panel Saturday.
The degree to which conservative leaders have tried to distance themselves from Gaffney and his Sharia conspiracy theories is especially apparent given two documents obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress.
Last September, the board of the ACU unanimously passed a resolution (read it here) condemning the “false and unfounded” attacks Gaffney had made against Norquist and Khan, both board members, after having another board member, Cleta Mitchell, look into Gaffney’s serious charges of sedition and abetting an enemy.
In a letter to the ACU board (read it here), Mitchell, a prominent and very conservative attorney, said she reviewed the “evidence” Gaffney presented (including a lengthy PowerPoiint presentation and DVDs smearing Norquist and Khan), and found Gaffney’s “ceaseless war” to be “reprehensible.” She wrote in the conclusion:
I have tried to talk Mr.Gaffney into ceasing these attacks – but to no avail. I have done everything I know to do to try and bring this to a halt, including private conversations and public appearances saying essentially what I have said in this letter. I have taken whatever official actions in my capacity as a board member of various organizations to vote against any motion that would support Mr. Gaffney’s allegations and will continue to do so.
Further, I will work to ensure that any organization with which I am involved will not b eallowed to be used as a platform to spread Mr. Gaffney’s baseless attacks.
The unanimous ACU board — which includes neoconservatives like U.N. ambassador John Bolton — endorsed the letter and resolved that Gaffney’s claims against Kahn and Norquist were “false and unfounded,” writing that the board “profoundly regrets and rejects as unwarranted the past and on-going attacks upon their patriotism and character.”
The board includes some of the most prominent conservative operatives and activists in the country (view a full list here, though Asa Hutchison and Carly Fiorina were not members at the time of the letter).
Gaffney is increasingly isolated by his fellow conservatives, yet his organization continues to receive funding from major mainstream conservative donors like the Bradley Foundation.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Because this monstrosity of a “conference,” in all of its full unrealistic, surreal, dishonest, slanted and bizarro glory, has ended with what else but a horrifying, terrifying, completely lie-filled distortion of time, space and reality in the form of a “speech” by one of the more grotesque symbols of CPAC terror, Alaska’s own mamma grizzly, Sarah Palin. READ MORE »
Sexual Abuse of Minors in Protestant Churches
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said the five employees from The Sun tabloid had been detained and that police had searched their homes and the group's London offices, potentially deepening the scandal over British tabloid wrongdoing.
A 39-year-old female employee at Britain's defense ministry, a 36-year-old male member of the armed forces and a 39-year-old serving police officer with Surrey Police, were also arrested, police said.
The development follows the arrest of four current and former journalists at the newspaper last month in connection with the same bribery inquiry.
Sun editor Dominic Mohan expressed his alarm at Saturday's arrests, but insisted the six-day-a-week newspaper would continue its work.
"I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests, but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times," Mohan said in a statement. "I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday's newspaper."
Two people familiar with the matter, both of whom requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the issue, said Murdoch was scheduled to head to London in the near future to spend time with the company's journalists. One person explained that the trip had been planned for some time and wasn't in reaction to the latest arrests.
News Corp. declined to comment on Murdoch's travel plans, or on whether he planned to address staff at The Sun................