A day after the shooting at that Sikh Temple, America is learning more about Wade Michael Page. Most of us are not surprised to learn who he is or what he represented. When the DOJ spoke about the dangers of "lone wolf" -right wing- white supremacist taking such actions, their warning was met with derision and scorn from the right. And, as is always the case, they (the right) tried to play down the seriousness of the threat. In fact, they claimed that it was those evil Black Panthers we should fear, not right wing hate groups. (Why anyone would fear Malik Shabazz and the boys is beyond me. The only person who should fear Mr. Shabazz is the FOX NEWS makeup person who puts on the wrong shade of foundation before he goes on the air.)
Speaking of the DOJ, they were warned to look out for attacks on Sikhs as far back as April. (Memo to Michele Bachmann: Sikhs are not Muslims.) Because, thankfully, there are some folks in America who understand the seriousness of the threats from these hate groups. Unfortunately, you can't monitor every psycho in America; this is a big country with a lot of deranged people. Wade Michael Page was one of them. He was a gun toting Neo- Nazi with marginal musical skills, and he was demoted and kicked out of the military. He was a man who hated his miserable life so much; he did the unthinkable probably knowing that he would lose it.
Anyway, he was a coward. Shooting a peaceful group of people while they worship puts him in the same category with the animals that killed those four little girls in Birmingham back in the day, and the one who killed those little Amish girls right here in Pistolvania a few years ago.
Sadly, there are more like him out there. Many whose hatred for others is just as strong, and a few who will actually act on that hatred when the opportunity presents itself.
The good news is that he seemed to act alone. The bad news is that he had a lot of cheerleaders along the way.
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And the press is calling him out for it. But when will they start asking Romney about it personally? Asking him, to his face, why he keeps lying to the American people in his ads? From National Journal: While it's hard to remember who did what first, Romney took an early step down the low road when he quoted President Obama in a television ad late last year: "If we keep talking...
Now, it's unlikely that this story will get much play in the mainstream media, so I thought I should bring it to everyone's attention -- especially the media types who read C&L. Because American politics seems to be moving rapidly toward a two-class system (the wealthy, and everyone else) and the more the media does to make that sound like a rational evolution, the sooner they will be covering stories like this:
MANESAR, India (Reuters) - Hiding in his office near the Indian capital as workers armed with iron bars and car parts rampaged through the factory, Maruti Suzuki supervisor Raj Kumar spent two terrified hours trying to comprehend the warzone his workplace had become.
By the end of the day, one of his colleagues had been burnt to death and dozens wounded, many with broken bones, as a long-running struggle between the shop floor and management exploded at a factory racked by mistrust.
While police investigate and the carmaker counts its mounting losses, the July 18 clash has rattled corporate India and shone a light on outdated and rigid labor laws in a country where cheap labor drives manufacturing and draws foreign investment. High inflation, a shortage of skilled labor and rising aspirations have emboldened workers' demands.
"There was always a strong sense of unease," Kumar, 43, told Reuters as he stood outside the locked factory gates more than a week after the riot in the industrial town of Manesar.
"We are living in fear... The kind of violence these guys showed was unbelievable."
Other foreign carmakers, such as Hyundai and Honda, have seen labor unrest at their Indian plants in recent years, and industry groups have renewed calls for the government to overhaul laws they say tie their hands.
"This is definitely sending a wrong message. Investors will be reluctant," P. Balendran, vice-president at General Motors' Indian unit, said of the Manesar violence. "The need of the hour is flexible labor reforms. In 2012 you cannot afford to have a rule which is applicable ... from 1956."
India's labor laws, some dating to the 1920s, make it difficult for large companies to fire permanent workers, forcing companies to hire large numbers of contractors - a bone of contention with many unions.
"We knew that something of this sort might happen sooner or later," said Balendran. "It happened to Suzuki today, then tomorrow it could happen to us."
[...] "The workers have been provoked consciously by the management. Their plan is to provoke them so much that they commit mistakes and can be fired. Management does not want the union to run," said a worker at Suzuki Powertrain, a sister factory in the same compound.
"The management thinks if they can accuse all workers of wrongdoing, they can easily fire everyone and dismantle the union, that's their politics," said the worker, who declined to be named as he feared he would lose his job.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThere are a lot of people who support health and safety regulations will be heartened by this man's departure from the Obama Administration:White House regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, an intellectual mentor to[...]
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All that money wasted on sending you to the Manchurian Illuminati Zombie Super Luciferian Soldier summer camps and this is the thanks we get?[...]
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He's going for that "sexy mortician" look.This ... this is just ... umm ...
Former Republican U.S. Sen. Larry Craig aims to fend off a federal election lawsuit against him by arguing his infamous July 11, 2007, Minneapolis airport bathroom visit that ended in his sex-sting arrest was part of his official Senate business.Here's what's going on. Sen. Larry Craig, you may recall, was busted in an airport bathroom for soliciting gay dirty airport bathroom sex from an undercover cop. All fine and normal, right? Then, however, Craig used $217,000 of his campaign money for his legal defense, which in turn led to the FEC telling him he couldn't bloody well do that. Craig's argument? That he was in that bathroom on official business. You know?Senate stuff. And the Senate says you can be "reimbursed" for any travel-related costs including, yes, costs incurred while pooping in airport bathrooms. Via some campaign law magic that I won't pretend to understand, this apparently therefore means you can get reimbursed from your campaign funds for your official Senate-related dirty airport bathroom sex, I guess. I don't know. But that's the argument.
What's almost as strange as Craig's argument that defending yourself from charges of illegally soliciting dirty airport bathroom sex is of course part of his official Senate duties is what Craig's pointing to as precedent for that argument:
In documents supporting his bid to have the complaint dismissed, Craig cites the case of former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who tapped campaign money in 2006 to defend himself after allegations of improper behavior emerged against him following a Grand Canyon rafting trip with two former male pages. [...]Ah! I remember that! Wow, needing to defend yourself against criminal charges seems to come up an awful lot during the course of official House and Senate work, if it's been reduced to the level of "ordinary expenses."
The FEC concluded that Kolbe's use of the campaign money to pay legal expenses associated with a Department of Justice inquiry regarding the trip were "ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with his duty as a House member."
"Simply put, no principled distinction can be drawn between the Kolbe matter and this case," [Craig's lawyer] contends. "Sen. Craig's legal expenses arose during official Senate travel, an activity that was part of his constitutionally enumerated duties as a holder of federal office."Now I'm no big-city law talking guy, but this seems a hell of broad thing. Does this mean that as long as you're traveling either to or from the Senate, you can do anything and claim the consequences as a Senate-related expense? Stealing a car, robbing a bank, going on a multistate kiling spree?it's all good, because hey, official Senate business? Not sure you could get away with that in any other line of work, but I guess that's what's in the Constitution. Yet another perk of the job.
Monday Evening News Roundup I wish I could tell you that I sat down watched hours and hours of the Olympics. I haven't. For some reason, life hasn't stopped. I was able to catch a little bit of the US women's soccer game. An amazing ending. From Steve Benen @ MaddowBlog: Truly extraordinary: "The [NASA]
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NYT caption: "A vigil in downtown Milwaukee for the dead and the wounded. 'Everyone here is thinking this is a hate crime for sure,' said Manjit Singh, who goes to a different temple in the region. 'People think we are Muslims.' "
"I think that he felt that he was misdirected and that the service helped him find a direction in life."
-- Laura Page (to the NYT), about her stepson
Alan M. Page's Army service
I wanted to write something about the Wisconsin shooting last night, in which six Sikh worshippers are now reported dead, with several other shooting victims of various descriptions reported in critical condition, but there was so little information that it was almost impossible to say anything, except . . . .
And maybe I should have said it. The one thing that was pretty clear was that some armed nutjob -- true to the NRA mantra that guns don't kill people, people kill people -- set out to kill as many Sikhs as he could. Beyond that we would have had to resort to supposition, to supposing for example that the Sikh temple in Oak Creek was targeted because its worshippers were "other," ethnically and religiously. That supposition would have led us to the assumption that we were dealing with a hate crime, perpetrated by a hate criminal who took advantage of the pathological American passion for guns.
Now that we begin to find out a little about the perp, Wade M. Page, what would have been a mere supposition last night is running pretty much according to script, and then some. As the NYT's Steven Yaccino, Jennifer Preston, and Serge F. Kovalevski are reporting:
Mr. Page, 40, a United States Army veteran who served from 1992 until 1998, was shot and killed by the police in the parking lot of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee.In other reports (like this one from CLG) we're told that according to the Pentagon, while in the Army Page was a "psychological operations specialist."
Officials at the Southern Poverty Law Center said they had been tracking Mr. Page for about a decade because of his ties to the white supremacist movement and they described him as "a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band."
They said he played guitar and sang vocals for a band started in 2005 called End Apathy.
"This guy was in the thick of the white supremacist music scene and, in fact, played with some of the best known racist bands in the country," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center. "The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent and it talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies. It is music that could not be sold over the counter around the country."
expressed shock at the news that the boy she had known since he was 10 years old could be behind such a crime. "I can't imagine, I can't imagine what made him do this," she said.
She said that he grew up with his mother, a dog groomer, in the Denver area until she died when he was 12 or 13. Then he went to live with an aunt and a grandmother in Colorado.
After high school, he enlisted in the Army. "I think that he felt that he was misdirected and that the service helped him find a direction in life," she said, saying that after he joined the Army he did not keep in regular contact.
President Barack Obama said on Monday that mass killings like the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin were occurring with "too much regularity" and should prompt soul searching by all Americans....Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will:
"All of us are heart-broken by what happened," Obama told reporters at the White House a day after a gunman opened fire on Sikh worshippers preparing for religious services, killing six before he was shot dead by a police officer. ...
"All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence," Obama said...
It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals: Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government?s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects? biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.
This secret ?nominations? process is an invention of the Obama administration, a grim debating society that vets the PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda?s branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia?s Shabab militia.
The video conferences are run by the Pentagon, which oversees strikes in those countries, and participants do not hesitate to call out a challenge, pressing for the evidence behind accusations of ties to Al Qaeda.
?What?s a Qaeda facilitator?? asked one participant, illustrating the spirit of the exchanges. ?If I open a gate and you drive through it, am I a facilitator?? Given the contentious discussions, it can take five or six sessions for a name to be approved, and names go off the list if a suspect no longer appears to pose an imminent threat, the official said. A parallel, more cloistered selection process at the C.I.A. focuses largely on Pakistan, where that agency conducts strikes.
The nominations go to the White House, where by his own insistence and guided by Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama must approve any name. He signs off on every strike in Yemen and Somalia and also on the more complex and risky strikes in Pakistan ? about a third of the total.
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.
In Pakistan, Mr. Obama had approved not only ?personality? strikes aimed at named, high-value terrorists, but ?signature? strikes that targeted training camps and suspicious compounds in areas controlled by militants.
But some State Department officials have complained to the White House that the criteria used by the C.I.A. for identifying a terrorist ?signature? were too lax. The joke was that when the C.I.A. sees ?three guys doing jumping jacks,? the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official. Men loading a truck with fertilizer could be bombmakers ? but they might also be farmers, skeptics argued.
That record, and Mr. Awlaki?s calls for more attacks, presented Mr. Obama with an urgent question: Could he order the targeted killing of an American citizen, in a country with which the United States was not at war, in secret and without the benefit of a trial?And see: Reflections on a Bestial Culture
The Justice Department?s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment?s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.
Mr. Obama gave his approval, and Mr. Awlaki was killed in September 2011, along with a fellow propagandist, Samir Khan, an American citizen who was not on the target list but was traveling with him.
If the president had qualms about this momentous step, aides said he did not share them. Mr. Obama focused instead on the weight of the evidence showing that the cleric had joined the enemy and was plotting more terrorist attacks.
?This is an easy one,? Mr. Daley recalled him saying...
A small group of Occupiers stopped by the Bank of America on Liberty Street and Broadway near Wall Street in New York on Friday, August 3rd for a quick stunt, not anticipating much of a reaction. As soon as bank security escorted them out of the building, they locked up the bank and shut down the escalator at least an hour before normal closing time. It appears there were only three members of Occupy present, but they were needless to say quite surprised at the reaction.