Tag: Under the Radar

Under the Radar: The Stupid Burns

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Just few laws and proposals that really are so incredibly bad that they deserve to be buried at sea with concrete boots, except, we’d be polluting the ocean.

  • TN Bill Calls Two Or More Observant Muslims A ‘Sharia Organization’

    After initial objections, lawmakers in Tennessee are moving a new version (pdf) of the most expansive anti-Sharia bill yet. The legislation has already been passed by committees in each chamber. The bill’s house sponsor has even cited defense against possible retaliation terror attacks for Osama bin Laden’s death to justify its breadth.

    Tennessee is one of more than fifteen states trying to push laws banning Sharia – referring to the legal code of Islam. The bill says Sharia is “inextricably linked” to its “war doctrine known as jihad.”

  • Florida Bill Will Come ‘Between Doctors And Patients’ By Prohibiting Pediatricians From Asking About Guns

    Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) has been one of the country’s fiercest critics of health care reform, frequently deriding the Affordable Care Act for supposedly coming “between doctors and patients.”

    But now Scott is expected to soon sign a first-of-its-kind bill that does just that by forbidding doctors from asking their patients if they own guns. To prevent accidental injuries, pediatricians routinely ask new parents if they have guns at home and if they are stored safely. But the NRA and its allies in the Florida legislature see something more sinister at work – a radical agenda to curb the rights of gun owners.

  • Florida City Paying $2,500 A Day To Radical Union-Busting Firm To Stop Workers From Organizing

    All over the country, right-wing lawmakers are waging a war on Main Street America’s labor rights, purporting to do so out of a desire for fiscal restraint (while also backing budget-busting tax breaks for the wealthiest among us).

    Now, the city of Winter Park, Florida, is going to new lengths to stop nearly 150 city workers from joining a union. Apparently more concerned with stopping the union than saving money, Winter Park hired consultants at Kulture LLC, “a firm specializing in labor relations” at the rate of $2,500 a day to persuade workers to vote against organizing this summer. . .

  • FSU Accepts Funds From Charles Koch In Return For Control Over Its Academic Freedom

    Charles Koch, the billionaire libertarian who has funded front-groups and lobbying efforts to expand his anti-tax, anti-regulatory agenda under the guise of “free enterprise,” has now widened his reach into another key public policy area: academics. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation entered into an agreement with Florida State University in 2008 in which the foundation would provide millions of dollars in funds for the school’s economics department.

  • And two quickies:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) will soon sign a bill to cut unemployment benefits to a maximum of 23 weeks. The bill is the first in the nation to tie number of weeks to the state’s unemployment rate, a move Florida lawmakers are making to “blunt the massive increase in unemployment taxes that’s looming for businesses.”

    State legislators in Maine spent more time debating whoopie pies than health reform this year. A GOP plan to overhaul the state’s health system went from public hearing to first vote in just eight days. It took 51 days for a bill to make the whoopie pie the official state treat. Alas, Gov. Paul LePage (R) never signed the whoopie pie bill.

Blessing on the writers at Think Progress for reading through this idiocy and keeping us up to speed on the stupid.

Under The Radar: More Outrageous and Insulting

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Some folks are determined to not only demonstrate that they are hypocrites but are hell bent to take this country back to the 1800’s. From abortion to GLBT to guns, the backward spiral continues

TAKE ACTION: Another DADT discharge? Sailor needs your help asap

Robin McGehee of GetEQUAL and I just sent out the following joint action alert to our email lists. This servicemember, Derek Morado, is having his DADT discharge hearing tomorrow, Thursday March 31. It’s absurd that the Pentagon is proceeding with DADT discharges even after the President signed the repeal legislation. But here we are.

GetEqual and AMERICAblog will be providing Derek a list of everyone who signs our petition on his behalf, he’ll then take those names into the hearing with him.

Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions

   TURNER: With all do respect to Rep. Riecken, I understand what she’s trying to do. But as you know that when the federal health care bill was going through Congress there was a lot of discussion whether this would allow for abortion coverage and of course we were all told it would not. And the bill, my house bill 1210, would prevent that for any insurance company to provide abortion coverage under federal health care bill. This [amendment] would open that window and I would ask you to oppose this amendment.

   I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could – now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest – but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.

Chris Smith’s African Abortion Adventure

Most members of Congress spent last week’s recess back in their districts, talking to their constituents and getting a sense of what Americans want their elected officials to be doing back in Washington. But Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, had other plans: He spent part of the break on a taxpayer-funded trip to Kenya, where he slammed the country’s new constitution for allowing abortions in cases when the health of the mother is at risk.


Smith wasn’t just meeting with Kenyan politicians and activists during his time in East Africa-he was actively politicking. On March 21, Smith spoke at an event on the new constitution sponsored by the Kenya Christian Professional Forum in Limuru, a town about 35 miles outside Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. A staffer for the US-based group Center for Reproductive Rights, which recently opened an office in Nairobi, took notes during the speech. In it, the congressman reportedly called for “a world free of abortion.” Smith also accused “pro-abortion NGOs” of having “hijacked” the maternal mortality issue in order to legalize the killing of the unborn, CRR says.

Jan Brewer Signs Controversial Abortion Bill Into Law

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into law a controversial bill that makes the state the first in the nation to outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus.

Under the Radar: Too Busy For Words

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The news is just flying off the “wires” and through the “tubes”. So, in an Attempt to keep up with some really important developing events, a quick summery of the big stuff and some of the related details.

    This is obviously not the optimum solution but Qaddafi is a lunatic. Both MSF and the ICRC have pulled out of Behghazi yesterday and most of the news media is gone.
  • UN Security Council Approves No-Fly Zone Over Libya

    Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi have driven back rebels to the eastern city of Benghazi this week. And after weeks of ambiguity about an official position on Libya, the Obama administration yesterday said the U.S. would support military action beyond a no-fly zone to prevent a humanitarian disaster. “We need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include, but perhaps go beyond, a no-fly zone at this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved, and as a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk,” U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said.

    With a UN Security Council resolution authorizing military action in Libya looming, Qaddafi today warned rebels in Benghazi, “We are coming tonight.” He promised amnesty for those who surrender, but added that his forces will show “no mercy or compassion” to those who resist.

    But just minutes ago, the UN Security Council voted 10-0 to authorize the no-fly zone and any measures necessary to protect civilians from attacks by Qaddafi’s forces. Five countries abstained from the vote, including Russia and China. A UN source tells ThinkProgress that the resolution also demands an immediate cease fire and rules out any foreign occupation of any part of Libyan territory.

  • Britain, France and US prepare for air strikes against Gaddafi

    British, French and US military aircraft are preparing to defend the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi after Washington said it was ready to support a no-fly zone and air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

    Jets could take off from French military bases if a no-fly zone is approved in a fresh United Nations security council resolution authorising “all necessary measures short of an occupation force” to protect civilians.

    France, which has led the calls for a no-fly zone along with Britain, has offered the use of military bases on its Mediterranean coast about 750 miles from the Libyan coast. Several Arab countries would join the operation.

    I doubt that the UN or the US will do much about this, other than a “tsk, tsk” from Hillary:
  • America rebukes Bahrain after violent crackdown on demonstrators

    Hillary Clinton condemns the rulers in Manama for not showing restraint as Shia-Sunni tensions mount around the Middle East

    The capital, Manama, was under curfew from 4pm to 4am, and the government was using emergency laws to ban public gatherings. The central square known as Pearl Roundabout, which had been a base for the protest movement, was violently cleared by riot police.

    Troops and riot police then moved on to locations across the city, including the Salmaniya medical clinic , which had become a second focal point of demonstrations. Doctors reported being attacked in wards and claimed power to part of the hospital had been turned off. The government said it was pursuing “thugs and outlaws”.

    “We have been chased, attacked and locked inside the grounds,” one doctor told the Guardian. “But the worst thing is … that we have been stopped from reaching patients.”

    Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis is just getting worse by the hour. The weather has been cold and it has snowed to add insult to injury
  • Japan holds the line in nuclear plant crisis

    # NEW: An emergency generator running at one unit is sending power to two others

    # Cooling efforts are “somewhat effective,” TEPCO says

    # Helicopters and trucks spray water onto No. 3 reactor housing

  • Japan disaster: U.S. starts to evacuate Americans using charter flights

    The U.S. government is arranging charter flights to evacuate Americans from Japan, according to a message issued Thursday by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The action came after the State Department upgraded its advisory on Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis from an alert to a warning that said Americans in Japan “should consider departing.”

Under the Radar: Besides an Imminent Nuclear Disaster

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

With the evolving nuclear disaster in Japan taking much of the front page attention, there are still some other news events that are noteworthy.

The Human-Hydrid Turtle is holding the government hostage

  • Republicans Escalate Debt Ceiling Fight

    Senate Republican leaders in recent days have escalated a showdown that has been lurking in the background of the more immediate fight over funding the federal government through September. While the funding issue remains unresolved, Congress will soon have to turn its attention to the need to raise the national debt limit, or the country will default in just a few weeks.

    “There are 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. My prediction is not a single one of the 47 Republicans will vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it includes with it some credible effort to do something about our debt,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday. “I think to get any of the 47 Republicans, you’ve got to do something credible, that the markets believe is credible, that the American people believe is credible, that foreign countries believe is credible . . .  in addition to raising the debt ceiling.”

  • GOP Senators Blocking New Commerce Secretary Until Trade Deals Go Through

    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took a break from budget negotiations this week to get back to one of the Senate GOP’s most popular pastimes: blocking presidential nominees. McConnell, along with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), pledged in a letter on Monday to hold up any White House nominee to replace departing Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as well as nominees for any other trade-related posts until trade agreements with Colombia and Panama clear the Senate.

    “My fear is in trying to appease their union allies the administration is willing to let these two agreements wither on the vine,” Hatch said at a press conference Monday announcing the move. “We are here today to make clear that we will not allow that to happen.”

You cannot make this up, ever. ROTFLMAO

  • WI Repub lives outside district with mistress, says wife

    Protesters who marched at the home of Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) were met with something of a surprise on Saturday. Mrs. Hopper appeared at the door and informed them that Sen. Hopper was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, WI with his 25-year-old mistress.


    Blogging Blue also reports that Mrs. Hopper intends to sign the recall petition against her husband. The petition has already been signed by the family’s maid.

    Just how constitutional is this?

    • Wis. GOPer Scott Fitzgerald: Dems In Contempt, Not Allowed To Vote In Committees

      The saga of the “Wisconsin 14” — the state Senate Democrats who fled the state in an attempt to block the three-fifths budget quorum on Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union proposals — isn’t over just because Republicans used a parliamentary end run to pass the bill with a simple majority quorum last week, and the Dems have since come home.

      As WisPolitics reports, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) sent a letter to his fellow Republicans, reminding them that they had previously found the Democrats to be in contempt of the chamber — and as such, they are not to be allowed to vote on committees.

Under The Radar: WTF

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Some of this is just really depressing. Where is this country headed?

  • From Michael Moore: The Forbes 400 vs. Everybody Else

    According to the most recent information, the Forbes 400 now have a greater net worth than the bottom 50% of U.S. households combined.

    In 2009, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 was $1.27 trillion.

    The best information now available shows that in 2009 the bottom 60% (yes, now it’s 60%, not 50%) of U.S. households owned only 2.3% of total U.S. wealth.

    Total U.S. household net worth — rich, middle class and poor combined — at the time the Forbes list came out was $53.15 trillion. So the bottom 60% of households possessed just $1.22 trillion of that $53.15 trillion, less than the Forbes 400.

    Thus the Forbes 400 unquestionably have more wealth than the bottom 50%.

    By contrast, in 2007 the bottom 50% of U.S. households owned slightly more wealth than the Forbes 400; the economic meltdown has hurt the bottom more than the top. (And in fact, in 2010 the net worth of the Forbes 400 jumped to $1.37 trillion.)

  • From TPM: Republicans Move To Strip Detainee Authority From Holder And Future Attorneys General

    Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are teaming up with Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to write legislation that would take decisions about trying detainees out of the attorney general’s hands and hand that power to the secretary of defense.

    In the wake of the White House’s new executive order allowing Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) unveiled legislation that would, among other things, affirm the military’s right to detain, hold and interrogate detainees at its discretion without Department of Justice or Attorney General Eric Holder involvement.

    What digby said about the above:

    Are these guys under the misapprehension that the Secretary of Defense doesn’t serve at the pleasure of the president, exactly as the Attorney General does? What’s the point of this?

  • From the New York Times: AARP Sues U.S. Over Effects of Reverse Mortgages

    Reverse mortgages, which pay older homeowners a regular sum against the equity in their house, are supposed to shield borrowers from economic upheaval. But the popular loans have become tangled up in the real estate collapse.

    AARP, the seniors’ organization, filed suit Tuesday against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which regulates reverse mortgages. The suit asserts that policy changes by HUD are pushing older homeowners into foreclosure.

    The case was filed in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia by the AARP Foundation, the organization’s charitable arm, and the law firm of Mehri & Skalet on behalf of the surviving spouses of three homeowners who had bought reverse mortgages. All three are facing eviction, the suit says.

    “HUD has illegally and without notice changed the rules in the middle of the game at the expense of vulnerable older people,” said Jean Constantine-Davis, a senior lawyer at the AARP Foundation.

    This is happening with a Democrat in the White House?

  • Under the Radar: Look Over Here

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    Here’s some of the other news that gets missed or relegated to the inner pages by our ratings fixated media and what some of the loonies have been “plotting”.

  • Apparently somebody at the Justice Department told the White House that defending war criminals, even in a civil law suit, just might be problematic.

    The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials – including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aide Paul Wolfowitz – in a lawsuit by Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla, who spent years behind bars without charges in conditions his lawyers compare to torture.

    Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that the government has agreed to retain private lawyers for the officials, at a cost of up to $200 per hour. Miller said “conflicts concerns” prompted the decision. He did not elaborate.

    (emphasis mine)

  • Is New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller on the White House payroll? Sure sounds like it. Again Keller, at the request of the White House withheld information from a news story. On January 27, Raymond Davis, who works at the US Embassy, killed two Pakistani men alleging they were threatening him. The White House has claimed that Davis is a diplomat and Pakistan cannot hold him. What was known but not released by the NYT, at the Obama administrations request, was that Davis, a former special forces soldier, was actually working for the CIA and, in fact, worked for Xe, aka Blackwater.

    This is not the first time that the NYT has done the bidding of the administration in power. Keller even boasted in a BBC interview that the NYT had earned the praise of the U.S. Government for withholding materials which the Obama administration wanted withheld.

    The NYT is now Pravda and Izvestia all in one.

  • Arizona may be overboard on a few issues like guns, immigration and denial of transplants under Medicare but the criminal justice system got it right in two cases.

    Jury Convicts Iraqi Immigrant in ‘Honor Killing’ of Daughter

    Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 50, also was convicted of aggravated assault for injuries suffered by the mother of his daughter’s boyfriend during the October 2009 incident in a suburban Phoenix parking lot, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

    Prosecutors told jurors during the trial that he mowed down 20-year-old Noor Almaleki with his Jeep Cherokee because she had brought the family dishonor by becoming too Westernized. He wanted Noor Almaleki to act like a traditional Iraq woman, but she refused an arranged marriage, went to college and had a boyfriend.

    Border Activist Sentenced to Death for Fatal Home Invasion

    Forde was convicted Feb. 14 of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009, deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores, 29, and his daughter, Brisenia Flores, 9. She was also found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting of Gina Gonzalez, Flores’ wife and Brisenia’s mother.

    Prosecutors said Forde decided to target the house in Arivaca, Ariz., because she believed Flores was a drug smuggler and would have cash in the house. She wanted money to fund her border protection group, Minutemen American Defense, prosecutors said.