Sunday, May 03, 2015

A commentary from the Toronto Star gives reasons why Sarah Palin should run for President. Oh this ought to be good.

First off this Bob Hepburn points out that Palin still has some rabid supporters who are always begging her to run: 

Every day Bonny Gray prays she will soon turn on her TV and see that Sarah Palin has entered the U.S. presidential race. 

“I am a believer in prayers being answered and I pray every night for you to be our next president,” Gray wrote two weeks ago in a Facebook post. “You against Hillary would be a sure victory for you.

......

Take Kristine Weaver Bryant, who like Gray is pleading with Palin to jump into the race. “If you don’t run, our country is ruined,” Bryant wrote in another Facebook post. “Please Sarah, it is time for a female president. Don’t let it be Hillary. We beg you!”

Well you know Bob, crazy people want all kinds of things they will never get. 

I once heard a person with schizophrenia begging Jesus to take him to Disney World.

Guess who didn't get to go?

Hepburn then goes to the polls: 

A poll conducted for CBS News in January suggested 30 per cent of Republicans would like her to run, although 59 per cent disagreed. Only former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, who isn’t running, scored higher.

So almost 60% of Republicans don't want her to run, and this guy STILL thinks she should give it a shot?

But wait, he has more: 

Still, there are many reasons why Palin should enter the Republican race, starting with the fact that she would bring fun and excitement to what now is a dull contest filled by white males with no charisma. 

Palin, whose ego knows few bounds, could actually be a strong contender if she finally started to listen to her smart, well-paid political advisers, stuck to written texts and avoided those embarrassing off-hand remarks that have tripped her up in the past. 

She has a strong base, especially among religious Republicans, and that base still believes in her. She has 4.4 million “likes” on Facebook and more than 1 million Twitter followers. She can easily raise the millions of dollars needed to run a serious campaign.

Okay let's take these one at a time shall we?

First off I think Bob is mistaking barely contained lunacy for "charisma."

Second most of Palin's well paid advisers are actually shadowy organizations that help her to laundry money, and those that actually DO advise are terrible at their job.

And thirdly most of those Facebook and Twitter "likes" are bought and paid for with SarahPAC money, which by the way is drying up faster than water in California.

What else ya got Bob?

And while I disagree with almost everything Palin and the Tea Party stand for, their voices do deserve to be heard.

No Bob, no they don't. 

In fact allowing the rabid Right Wing fringe to have a voice is how we ended up with a Greg Abbott as governor of Texas, a Ted Cruz as a Senator from Texas, and let's face it, it's how we ended up with a Texas.

Do you want another Texas Bob?

No Sarah Palin is yesterday's news. In fact it's yesterday's news that the parakeet has already pooped on, and has been rolled up and used to beat the dog for humping our legs.

Having a handful of crazy people believe something, is no reason for rational people to think it's viable.

If that were true we too would start seeing Elvis at the local Quicky Mart and start telling tales of being anally probed by aliens.

Paranoia pimping politician Ted Cruz, questions Pentagon about military exercises in response to internet driven fears of martial law.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Saturday that he'd been hearing concerns about Jade Helm 15, a domestic military training exercise that has become a fount of conspiracy theories, and that he wanted questions about it to be answered. 

"My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise," Cruz, a Texas senator, told Bloomberg at the South Carolina Republican Party's annual convention. "We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don't trust what it is saying." 

The paranoia about Jade Helm, which started on websites like Alex Jones's InfoWars, had started with familiar fulmination about a mass seizure of firearms or a cover-up for American "death squads." This week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott channeled the concerns of voters in the Southwest, asking the Texas state guard to monitor the exercise for any violations of freedom. "It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed," said the governor.

We mocked Governor Abbott last week for his response to the conspiracy theory crowd, but who among us is really surprised that Cruz so readily boarded this bandwagon?

After all without unsubstantiated fear and paranoia Cruz would never have been elected in the first place.

Once again Texas is pulling ahead in the "we're the most batshit crazy state in the country" sweepstakes.

What the future could hold for America if the religious Right Wing get their way.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:

A 10-year-old pregnant with her stepfather’s child will not be allowed to get an abortion because the government of Paraguay doesn’t believe that her life in immediate danger. 

On April 23, the unnamed girl was reportedly checked into the hospital by her mother. She complained of stomach pains and tests showed she was already 21-weeks pregnant. Earlier this week, her mother apparently requested her daughter be given an abortion, and when it was revealed that her stepfather impregnated her, the mother was taken into custody. 

Doctors requested permission to perform the procedure. In Paraguay, abortions can’t be performed in the case of rape or incest, and only if the government decides that a life is in danger. In this case they decided it wasn’t.

So not only did this innocent child suffer the trauma of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, but now she is expected to carry his baby to term. Which for a ten year old child is a prospect fraught with danger. 

For those who do not think this can happen in America, you are right.

For now.

But if the religious conservatives get what they ultimately want, incidents like this will start to take place right here in the US of A.

As a matter of fact if Mike Huckabee were to be elected, we could be dealing with this as early as 2017.

This courtesy of a New York Times article from 1996: 

Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas today refused to authorize a Medicaid payment for an abortion for a 15-year-old girl whose stepfather has been charged with incest, despite a Federal judge's order that such payments were required by Federal law.

Frightening isn't it?

And it is not only abortion that the Religious Right wants to do away with. It's also access to birth control.

From a book by Robert Boston called "Taking Liberties": 

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church lobbied to restrict access to all contraceptive devices and medications. Many Protestant leaders did as well. Most Protestant denominations would later drop their opposition to birth control. The Catholic hierarchy never did. 

It’s important to understand that church officials sought to ban birth control even for married couples and non-Catholics and that this continued until the 1960s. In addition, the laws that church officials pushed to pass didn’t just outlaw birth control, they also forbade information about birth control. Well into the twentieth century, in some states, a married couple could ask a doctor for advice about how best to limit the size of their family and be told that he could not legally distribute such information. Laws like this were common throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century in New England states, which had a strong Catholic tradition.

Today these anti-contraception ideas have spread from the Catholic church and metastasized within the Evangelical community as well. 

They don't often publicize with the same ferocity with which they oppose abortion, but the Hobby Lobby case opened a preview into what they are ultimately fighting to attain.

Total control over a woman's reproductive system, which they see as a birthing center for God with which no man, or woman, has the right to interfere.

So do I need to remind you again why it is of the utmost importance to make sure to elect a President who will choose Supreme Court Justices that are pro-choice?

I didn't think so.

Perfect description.

And it still works the same today.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Sarah Palin angry with President Obama for not starting war with Iran over seizure of ship due to outstanding debt.

So Palin, who has been conspicuously quiet lately, has recently posted this to her Facebook page: 

Friends, please take time to read this article as it rips the veil exposing Obama's priorities in dealing with a nation known for consistent terrorist intentions. Our president and his anti-peace foreign policy supporters have not acted in the interest of our ally, Israel, resulting in dangerously compromised American interests. 

The only thing standing between a president who'd jeopardize our country by ignoring our Constitution, and foes capitalizing on lopsided international treaties that weaken our allies, is Congress. The GOP majority must stop giving lip service to halting liberals' fundamental transformation of our relationships with friendly nations and finally take a stand by exercising its constitutional right and responsibility to approve international treaties. Certainly they must with such grave consequences involved. We must realize Iranian leadership refuses to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and, in fact is hell-bent on Israel's, and ultimately our, annihilation. Congress must not sit back and watch our own president flirting with the devil. 

- Sarah Palin

This is the picture that she posted with it, why I'm not sure.

Now what seems to have Palin's granny panties all in a crusty knot is a story about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commandeered the Maersk Tigris as it navigated its way through the Straits of Hormuz. A waterway that is controlled by Iran.

Apparently the conservatives are calling this an act of war against the United States, even though the ship is owned by a Danish shipping company.

However the actual facts of the incident make it seem far less dramatic.

Courtesy of NBC News:

Iran said on Thursday that its seizure of a cargo ship owned by the Danish shipping company Maersk was related to a years-old debt. The company insisted that Iran let the ship go. 

In a statement, the Iranian foreign ministry said that Iran was following international law, and hoped the ship would be released "once debts have been settled, and hopefully the ship can carry on its course." 

The statement said that the 24 crew members aboard the ship, the Maersk Tigris, were in good health and had access to diplomatic channels.

The US has sent military vessels to monitor the situation which seems to be the result of an ongoing court case.

However Palin links to an article from conservative news outlet Townhall which ties this incident together with Obama's ongong negotiations with Iran and his open frustration with the fact that Netanyahu seems to be stepping back from a two state solution with Palestine.

The underlying premise being that President Obama is now siding with Muslims over our friends in Israel, and brokering a deal that makes the Middle East far more dangerous. (You know because up til now the place has been oh so very safe.)

Just another helpful reminder of the bullet (or perhaps more accurately, the barrage of bullets.) we dodged by not electing John McCain and his un-housebroken ankle biting critter from the wilds of Alaska.

Visiting Washington DC. Come for the political gridlock, stay for the free guns left in the Capitol bathrooms.

They found a gun where?
Courtesy of the Hill Blotter:  

When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places. 

A 7- or 8-year-old child visiting the Capitol with his parents found the next loaded Glock lost by a dignitary protection officer, according to the source. A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite on March 24. 

A third Glock was found the night of April 16 by a janitor cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters building on D Street NE. The weapon was left in plain sight, sparking additional concern about the department charged with protecting one of the world’s most important and frequently visited complexes.

The Hill Blotter also explains that the Glock does not have a "traditional safety" which means that lucky seven or eight year old could have been happily exercising his 2nd Amendment rights all over the halls of Congress. Boy I bet THAT would have made the NRA proud.

And remember folks, more guns means a safer America.

Bernie Sanders may be the dream candidate for liberals.

Courtesy of CNN:  

Bernie Sanders says he won't launch a Super PAC and doesn't want billionaires to bankroll his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

The Vermont senator who entered the 2016 race for the White House on Thursday told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in his first interview as a candidate that he'll instead look to small-dollar individual donors. 

And he lambasted the growing influence that major donors like Charles and David Koch on the right and Tom Steyer on the left now have on the political process. 

"Frankly, it is vulgar to me that we're having a war of billionaires," Sanders said. 

Asked whether he would bless a wealthy donor's support for a pro-Sanders Super PAC, he said: "No."

"Frankly it is vulgar to me that we're having a war of billionaires." 

Call me crazy but I think Bernie Sanders is trying to seduce me.

I mean he keeps whispering these sweet honeyed words into my ear, and acting all righteous and as if he were an actual honest to goodness trustworthy politician.

I swear it's enough to make me want to toss away all logic and run off with him to eventual electoral defeat.

I feel a little like those crazy college kids who threw their damp boxer shorts at Ron Paul, except for the fact that Bernie's not a crazy person.

And by the way I am far from alone.

Sander's campaign managed to raise 1.5 million in just 24 hours.

I might need to have somebody talk me down, before I end up voting for this guy in the primary.

And by the way, it might be too late for that talk.

Alaska Dispatch tackles the Amy Demboski divorce story, but now I am left with more questions than answers.

As I begin this post I first must confess that I personally never went through the Dempsey/Hyatt divorce file myself down at the courthouse.

Instead, as I reported, I received a call from Bill Fulton about this case, who then sent me the documents that I shared on IM.

It was he and others who did the actual legwork (Except for some internet sleuthing that I did on my own later.), and it was they who decided that I should be the person to take point on the story.

Bill has been a very reliable and honest source of information for me going back a few years now, and I have come to trust him.

We of course realized that once the story was posted that other news sources would do more digging, and invariably come up with information that we did not know. And that's indeed what has happened.

Yesterday the Alaska Dispatch followed up on the story and found some interesting facts.

For instance they learned that Demboski, then Amy Lynn Hyatt, was also in the Air Force when she got married.

Now that is interesting because Demboski was described by her father as "The most military kid that he knew." However she never mentions her service to her country in the biography at her own website:

I graduated from Chugiak High School in 1994 and went on to attend UAA. While working full time, and raising a family, I earned Bachelor’s degrees in Justice and History. I subsequently obtained an MBA, with an emphasis in Finance, from Columbia Southern University. I have spent the majority of the past 20 years employed in the private sector right here in Alaska. My responsibilities included building and managing multi-million dollar businesses. Currently, In addition to representing the Eagle River area on the Anchorage Assembly, I am responsible for the overall management, business development and operations of a business with multiple locations in Alaska.

See? No mention of serving in the military. How odd.

She also of course fails to mention her previous marriage and subsequent dissolution.

The Dispatch also claims that in the beginning of the proceedings that Hyatt and Dempsey claimed there was no child:

Among the statements in the petition the couple swore was true was this: “There are no minor or dependent children born of or during this marriage or adopted during this marriage, and the wife is not now pregnant.”

And that later there was a forged document which admitted to a child, but claimed that Dempsey was not the father: 

A document purportedly signed by Dempsey that sought to amend the initial filing with a reference to the pregnancy and an assertion it was not his child was a “forgery by someone else,” Shortell declared.

Dispatch has a statement from Dembosky insisting that it was not a forgery but in fact a notarized document from Dempsey. Which, as previously stated, declared that he was not the father. 

That must refer to this document:

Which read in full:

"I, Christian M. Dempsey, being duly sworn do hereby depose and say: (And this next part is hand written.) that I am not the father of the child to be born to Ms. Amy L. Hyatt in July 1996."

Dembosky also told the Dispatch this: 

Demboski said she joined the military when she was 18, and married Dempsey while she was in technical training. She said she and Dempsey were deployed to England, and she became pregnant with her daughter. She said she moved back to Alaska for health reasons. She said she received an honorable discharge from the military.

But see now all of that is confusing because the first of the documents I received was this one from April 2, 1996:

Which clearly states:

(resident 10/95 married, no child, 7/96 due) (resident never lived w/Mr., Mr. not the father.)

So they were both stationed in England after being married, and they did not live together?

And as you will notice there is already a statement that Mr. Dempsey is not the father.

Like I said confusing.

Also according to the Dispatch the first attempt at a dissolution did not take, so there was another more successful attempt filed on April 24, 1997, AFTER the child was born.

In this case apparently Dempsey did accept that the child was his, despite working so hard to disprove it in the initial case.

However he also stated that he was unaware of the child's birth until four months after the fact and, though he agreed to pay support, he did not ask for any visitation rights.

That seems more than a little odd. Almost as if in the end he gave in to pressure, but still knew the child was not really his.

Demboski also told the Dispatch that she did not lie under oath, did not remember anything about forged documents, and that she did not remember it took two tries to finally end her first marriage.

Uh huh.

Like I said this article raises more questions than it answers in my opinion, but the one thing that is made crystal clear is that we do NOT want to elect this person to be the mayor of my city.

No way, no how!

Which, if you take a moment to scroll through the comments under this Dispatch article, seems less and less likely.

Some more troubling information about Dakota Meyer.

The other day somebody sent me a link to a story about a lawsuit that Meyer filed against his former employer BAE Systems OASYS Inc. in 2011 for defamation.

Here is the story: 

A San Antonio-based supervisor for a military contracting firm facing a defamation suit by Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer has fired back, stating in court filings that allegations he ridiculed Meyer's service are “absurd.” 

Meyer, who as a Marine serving in Afghanistan was credited with battlefield heroism that saved 36 lives, drew national media attention again after he accused former employer BAE Systems OASYS Inc. and boss Bobby McCreight of thwarting his ability to get a new job.  

McCreight told a government program manager, who controls eligibility for hiring for military contracting projects, that Meyer had a drinking problem and was “mentally unstable,” the suit alleges. McCreight acknowledged in court documents filed Thursday that he spoke with the program manager about Meyer's integration back into civilian life. 

But McCreight, who described himself as a mentor to Meyer, had no idea at the time that Meyer was applying for a job with fellow contractor Ausgar Technologies, documents state. 

Meyer said in his lawsuit he believes McCreight's accusations ruined his chances for a job with Ausgar and other government contractors. 

“All of Mr. McCreight's statements to the (program manager) were true and based on Mr. McCreight's direct interactions with Mr. Meyer,” San Antonio-based attorney Ricardo Cedillo wrote in the filing on behalf of McCreight. “The purpose of these discussions was solely two old vets looking after a young vet.” 

Meyer, who was described as having suffered traumatic brain injury, reneged on his requirement at BAE to attend school and “consistently attend physical therapy,” the latest filing states. 

McCreight also advised him to “exercise judgment when drinking while at business and social settings,” according to the suit.

So to be clear this former soldier, Mr. McCreight, was simply talking to another former soldier about  the problems that a younger former soldier was having becoming acclimated to civilian life. You know the kind of conversation that probably happens all of the time.

What I find interesting is the contention that Meyer did not attend his physical therapy, and that his drinking was a problem in "business settings."

That is troubling. As well as the fact that he is so litigious.

Yes I realize that was several years ago, but there is no indication that Meyer received any kind of counseling or therapy.

This along, with the story about Meyer drunkenly pulling a gun on a woman after she knocked him on his ass, does little to allay my concerns over Tripp's well being.

Don't think racism is real? Watch this.

Courtesy of Vox:

If systemic racism isn't real, why are black people nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use than their white counterparts despite using drugs at similar rates, about twice as likely to be pulled over while driving, or half as likely to get a call back after they mail their resume to an employer? 

The video above, by Brave New Films, breaks down these stats and more in a takedown of the idea that systemic racism isn't a real problem in America.

In my opinion if you are still denying racism exists  after what happened to Eric Garner and Freddie Gray then you are a bigot through and through and NOTHING will ever change your mind.

Two young elementary school children bring handguns to Kentucky school thinking them toys.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:

A first-grader and his brother in kindergarten took two handguns, one of them loaded, on a bus to a Kentucky elementary school Thursday morning after apparently thinking they were toys, authorities said. They said no one was hurt and the firearms were seized when the boys reached school. 

The boys, ages 6 and 7, had a gun each in their school backpacks and showed them to some other pupils on a bus headed to Dewitt Elementary School in Flat Lick, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs. He said one student alerted a teacher and the eastern Kentucky school was briefly locked down and the guns were confiscated. 

"We never felt that the kids' intent was to hurt anyone at the school," Jacobs said by phone. "We feel the kids didn't know that they were actually a firearm. They thought they were toy guns."

Even though the children did not seem to know better each was charged with possession of a firearm on school property.

The parents have also been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, and even the school bus driver was charged, because he knew about the weapons and did not contact the school.

Obviously this could have been so much worse.

But it also goes to show that when you make your toys look like real guns, and real guns look like toys, you are asking for trouble.