Monday, May 19, 2014
Welcome to the second week of our experiment with an evening open thread with four suggested topics in the news. This is your place to comment, a place where off topic is on topic.
Please let us know if you like the idea. We’ll incorporate it as a regular feature, if you do.
Or suggest something else.
(1) In the Republican looney-tune department, we have Gary Kiehne, an Arizona rancher running for Congress with hopes of defeating Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ). Think Progress reports what he said at a Republican primary debate on Saturday regarding mass shootings and gun rights.
“If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people,” Kiehne said. “So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”
Kiehne also boasted that he had “more guns and ammo than any one of my competitors.”
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Of course, one has to have a mind in order to waste it and I’m not certain Kiehne has evolved that far.
(2) In the yet-another-corrupt-bozo-Republican department, we have 3 GOP bozos who introduced a bill in the North Carolina legislature that would make it a felony to reveal any of the chemicals used in fracking. Mother Jones reports,
On Thursday, three Republican state senators introduced a bill that would slap a felony charge on individuals who disclosed confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill, whose sponsors include a member of Republican party leadership, establishes procedures for fire chiefs and health care providers to obtain chemical information during emergencies. But as the trade publication Energywire noted Friday, individuals who leak information outside of emergency settings could be penalized with fines and several months in prison.
“The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” says Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking regulations.
The bill also allows companies that own the chemical information to require emergency responders to sign a confidentiality agreement. And it’s not clear what the penalty would be for a health care worker or fire chief who spoke about their experiences with chemical accidents to colleagues.
“I think the only penalties to fire chiefs and doctors, if they talked about it at their annual conference, would be the penalties contained in the confidentiality agreement,” says Wiseman. “But [the bill] is so poorly worded, I cannot confirm that if an emergency responder or fire chief discloses that confidential information, they too would not be subject to a felony.” In some sections, she says, “That appears to be the case.”
These three creeps belong in prison.
(3) In the who-has-the-right-stuff department, we have Matt Taibbi and his relentless reporting about the criminal banksters on Wall Street. Salon interviews him about his new book.
His relentless coverage of Wall Street malfeasance turned him into one of the most influential journalists of his generation, but in his new book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” Matt Taibbi takes a close and dispiriting look at how inequality and government dysfunction have created a two-tiered justice system in which most Americans are guilty until proven innocent, while a select few operate with no accountability whatsoever.
Salon sat down last week with Taibbi for a wide-ranging chat that touched on his new book, the lingering effects of the financial crisis, how American elites operate with impunity and why, contrary to what many may think, he’s actually making a conservative argument for reform. The interview can be found below, and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
(4) In the this-is-bullshit department, we have Cecily McMillan, 25, who was sentenced today in NYC to serve 90 days in jail, to be followed by 5 years probation. Her “crime:” She elbowed a cop in the face after her breast was grabbed from behind during an Occupy protest. She was then thrown to the ground and handcuffed. She suffered a seizure and has since been treated for post-traumatic stress. The poor widdle cop suffered a black eye and spent two weeks off work with headaches and sensitivity to light. Imagine his terrible suffering!
The Guardian reports what she said to the judge before he pronounced the sentence.
Wearing a fuschia dress, the New School graduate student was on Monday led, handcuffed, into a courtroom lined by about 50 police officers. Reading a prepared speech, she told the judge that she lived by the “law of love”. She said: “Violence is not permitted. This being the law that I live by, I can say with certainty that I am innocent of the crime I have been convicted of”. She apologised for what she called “this accident”.
She will actually serve 60 days, minus the 14 days that she has already served awaiting sentencing.
Meanwhile, armed right-wing-domestic-terrorists like Cliven Bundy and his supporters break the law with impunity.
Not to mention the parasitic criminal banksters who just keep getting richer at our expense.
There will be an accounting one day and when it comes it will be bloody.
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