A father/son duo in the Florida state legislature is working hard to bring gender politics into the debate about Stand Your Ground laws. In a letter to the editor that ran in the News Herald, Sen. Don Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) argued that calling for the repeal is anti-woman.
The letter was also distributed by the National Rifle Association, and specifically by Marion Hammer, former NRA president and current Florida NRA lobbyist, to push back on calls for repeal of Stand Your Ground.
The letter’s strange claim is rendered all the more unbelievable because Florida’s Stand Your Ground law actually exempts the overwhelming majority of female victims from its so-called protections — the law does not apply to domestic violence cases. Instead of acknowledging this fact, the two lay out an emotionally manipulative argument for why stand your ground helps women feel safe:
Consider an elderly woman in a dimly lit parking lot or a college girl walking to her dorm at night. If either was attacked, her duty was to turn her back and try to flee, probably be overcome and raped or killed. Prior to ?Stand Your Ground,? that victim didn?t have the choice to defend herself, to meet force with force.
Calls to repeal ?Stand Your Ground? are anti-woman. Imposing a duty-to-flee places the safety of the rapist above a woman?s own life. In fact, until ?Stand Your Ground? was passed, criminals were suing victims because victims, in protecting themselves, were allegedly using excessive force against the criminals.
?Stand Your Ground? simply says, if you have a right to be somewhere and if you?re not breaking the law, you may defend yourself to prevent imminent death or bodily harm. You don?t have an obligation to do so. You have the right.
Unfortunately for the Gaetzes, Stand Your Ground addresses very few of such cases. Domestic violence victims are exempt from using Stand Your Ground as protection– and in 76 percent of rape or assault cases, an intimate partner committed the crime. On top of that, nearly one out of every three women killed dies at the hands of an intimate partner. These women wouldn’t be saved by Stand Your Ground — even if Stand Your Ground were an effective way of protecting victims of crime — and they aren’t who the law was ever intended to protect.
Chesapeake Energy has been fined repeatedly for its sloppy safety record when it comes to "fracking" natural gas drilling, particularly in Pennsylvania. Now Aubrey McClendon, the same CEO who repeatedly professed Chesapeake's innocence on safety violations, is stepping down as chairman of the board after a Reuters report revealed he was playing Wall Street-style accounting games, using company resources to rake in extra cash for himself:
Aubrey McClendon, the embattled chief executive of natural gas company Chesapeake Energy, will relinquish his title as chairman of the board, the company said Tuesday.How the hell does this asshole not get fired outright? What does it say about the state of the energy industry & corporate America that this guy is revealed to be using Chesapeake Energy as his own personal piggybank and he still gets to stay on as chief executive officer?
The news follows last week's announcement by Chesapeake that McClendon agreed to negotiate an early termination of the controversial Founder Well Participation Program (FWPP), which allowed him to take personal stakes in wells drilled by the company.
The incentive program came under fire last month following news that McClendon took out loans worth over $1 billion against his personal stake in the company's wells, raising concerns about a conflict of interest.
From the White House Pool
May 1-2, 2012More Obama Afghanistan
One correction: speech to nation is at 730pm Tuesday eastern in the US, 4 AM Wednesday
here in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan under cover of darkness Tuesday night
for a whirlwind trip scheduled to culminate with a live, televised address to the American
people delivered from Bagram Air Base outside the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Strict security measures are in place, including a White House imposed embargo that
prevented journalists in the pool from reporting on Obama's travel until he arrived
at the Presidential Palace at about 11:30 PM local Tuesday night.
Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are expected to sign a ten page strategic
partnership agreement pledging US support for Afghanistan for a decade after 2014,
when Nato forces are planning to conclude their combat role. The signing ceremony with
the two presidents should paint a tableau of solidarity for an Afghan US relationship
that has been stormy and at time fractious during the three years of Obama's presidency.
Senior Administration officials said the unconventional timing of events on the trip, such as
the scheduled midnight local time signing ceremony, was aimed at allowing Obama to
address Americans on a schedule convenient for US television audiences. That speech,
expected to run about 10 minutes, is scheduled to take place just after 730 pm ET
Tuesday, which is 4 AM here in Afghanistan.
Of course, the middle of the night schedule also provides the added security of darkness
for the arrival and departure of AF1 and flights by helicopter from Bagram to and from a
landing zone near the presidential palace. While US officials insist security has improved
significantly since the US troop buildup Obama ordered at the end of 2009, there have
been a series of troubling incidents in recent months including riots relating to the Qu'ran
burning episode, Afghan on US troop violence, and a protracted gun and RPG battle in
Kabul's embassy district just over two weeks ago.
More to follow
A new Public Policy Polling survey for Virginia shows President Obama in good shape ahead of his visit on Saturday. He has an approval rating of 50 percent with 46 percent of voters disapproving of him, and in a head-to-head matchup with Mitt Romney, he leads 51 percent to Romney?s 43 percent. Unlike most other swing states, Obama has held a consistently strong position in the Old Dominion since he was elected:
Part of the issue for Romney is that he only takes 84 percent of the Republican vote, compared to 92 percent for Obama. But even if that changes, and Romney reaches parity with Obama, he?s still behind. In addition to losing young voters in Virginia, 33?57, Romney is also losing middle-aged voters, 37?56. When you combine that with Obama?s huge margins among African Americans in the state, you have the recipe for a steady lead.
It?s worth noting that Romney doesn?t gain a boost if he chooses Governor Bob McDonnell for the vice presidential spot. With or without McDonnell on the ticket, Romney trails Obama by seven points. Indeed, since the abortion-related antics of six months ago, McDonnell has lost a good deal of his popularity.
Last fall, before reproductive rights entered the national picture, McDonnell held a 62 percent approval rating with Virginians. According to Public Policy Polling, that has declined to 46 percent, with 36 percent disapproval. These are solid numbers, but they represent a big shift, and show the extent to which the Virginia GOP has harmed itself by embracing the most radical measures from abortion foes. Unfortunately for Romney, as the standard-bearer for Republicans nationwide, he can?t escape this association.
Mitt Romney's and Sen. John McCain's and other Republicans' efforts to paint the demise of Osama bin Laden as something any president would have done is calculated to maintain the GOP fiction that Barack Obama?and, of course, Democrats in general?are wimps on national security. On this first anniversary of the special operation that took out Osama, that anybody-would-have-done-it theme no doubt has another purpose as well: keeping people's attention off the ninth anniversary of George W. Bush's propaganda gala aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln behind a Mission Accomplished banner.
Enough has been said over the years about Commander Codpiece's imitation-gloriooooous hero role that day. But what of the role of the press? How much did it swallow on mission accomplished day? Media Matters cranked up its time machine to find out. Here, on May 1, 2003, is Chris Matthews, a fellow who still has a big-time gig supposedly telling it like it is to viewers:
Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically [...], the president deserves everything he's doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basically that of commander in chief? That [...] if you're going to run against him, you'd better be ready to take [that] away from him.Ready for a shower? As a guest, Matthews had Ann Coulter on. What she said could, of course, have been anticipated:
COULTER: It's stunning. It's amazing. I think it's huge. I mean, he's landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It's tremendous. It's hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesn't matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. It's stunning, and it speaks for itself.Did Matthews interrupt the way he usually does and call anything she said into question? Not a whisper of objection.
But it wasn't just Matthews polishing the president's ... uh ... whatever that day.
Wolf Blitzer at CNN praised Bush's experience as a jet fighter pilot. Non-existent experience, since to be a fighter pilot, one must have actually fought and Bush ...uh ... opted out of that opportunity. Brian Williams, then of CNBC, also called Bush a former fighter pilot who looked "full of energy in a flight suit." Fox News's Greta van Susteren sang the fighter pilot's praises as well.
On the "Face the Nation," Joe Klein said:
Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me. And it just shows you how high a mountain these Democrats are going to have to climb.And the print media did their part. David Sanger at The New York Times wrote:
Mr. Bush was clearly reliving his days as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, more than three decades ago. "I miss flying, I can tell you that," he told reporters who bumped into him as he moved around the ship.Two stunning performances that day, nine years ago. George W. Bush pretending to be something he was not. And the media, supposedly the nation's watchdog, doing the same.
In Washington and on cable news, Tuesday is the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden. But elsewhere around the country, protests are raging over issues closer to home.
International Workers Day or May Day generally draws protests from workers rights activists, immigration reform activists and other progressive groups. This year, the Occupy movement has also joined the fray, calling for a "general strike," which a Facebook page describes as "NO WORK - NO SCHOOL - NO SHOPPING - NO BANKING - NO TRADING." Across the country, cities have braced for disruptions as labor, immigration and Occupy activists stage protests in major cities.
In New York, the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street, protests are planned throughout the city. There are calls to abandon work and head for the streets, including occupying Union Square and a march through Manhattan. In Washington, D.C. protestors have organized a march to the White House.
West Coast cities, which have been the scene of massive May Day protests in years past, are bracing for large demonstrations.
Occupy organizers in Los Angeles, where immigration-focused May Day rallies in past years have drawn tens of thousands, have promised to shut down the city. Occupy is planning bike caravans that will begin from four corners of the city and will converge on downtown Los Angeles around 4 p.m. PT. According to the city blog LAist, organizers describe the caravan as a "slow, city-paralyzing, carnival-esque descent into the center of the city." There is also an immigration march and various other labor protests throughout the city.
The Los Angeles Police Department declined to give deployment numbers when asked by TPM, but a spokesman for the department said the force is on "maximum deployment" for the day, meaning "pretty much anyone who can be is on duty today."
Seattle is prepping for traffic disruptions and officials are concerned about protests dissolving into violence. Law enforcement is taking extra precautions and Occupy Seattle will put "peacekeepers" in the crowds to work with police and try to stop any outbreaks that may occur, according to King 5.
In San Francisco, ferry workers have pledged to strike, which will prevent commuters from Marin County from entering the city for work. Occupy protesters intend to join the strikers, who have been working without a contract for almost a year over a health care coverage dispute.
In Cleveland, five alleged anarchists were arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge to commemorate the Occupy May Day protests. They were arrested Monday night after being identified by the FBI.
Looks like Scott Walker's jetting around the country may prove as much about keeping him out of prison as keeping him in the Wisconsin governor's mansion.
Wispolitics' JR Ross reports, "Gov. Scott Walker transferred $60,000 to his legal defense fund during the pre-primary period, according to his campaign finance report."
The question facing Walker is: Will Wisconsin elect a crook, and a govenor who condones his top aides' unethical and illegal behavior?
The full News Corp. statement on today's report from Parliament.[...]
Read The Full Article:
As David Taintor reports, those following the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal closely don't think today's report from Parliament gets us even to the halfway point of the still-unfolding saga.[...]
Read The Full Article: