A distressing story on rape in the United States military featured stories of women who had been diagnosed with personality disorders for reporting they were sexually assaulted. The story published by CNN found all branches of the armed forces tend to[...]
Read The Full Article:
Mitt Romney is the first major party presidential nominee ever
to have an official Ambassador to Womanlandistan (Jeff Haynes/Reuters)Mitt Romney, speaking behind closed-doors to high-dollar campaign donors on Sunday in Florida:
The candidate said he didn't expect a fair fight in the media, saying he believed many commentators on television were liberals. He also said CNN reporter and host Wolf Blitzer was a good interviewer, and said Fox News had been good to him. Fox News is owned by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal.Poor Mitt. He doesn't understand his problem with the ladies has nothing to do with how he's communicating with them. It's what he's communicating. He just doesn't understand women?that's why he talks about them as if they were foreign creatures who need to be reported on by his wife. He probably thinks that if only he had a friend who owned a network designed for women that he could do well with them. But really what he should be doing is stop trying to pretend that waging war on birth control coverage has anything to do with religious liberty.
"Fox is watched by the true believers," Mr. Romney said. "We need to get the independents and the women."
Mitt Romney has a secret plan to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Mitt Romney is filing for an extension on his taxes, a move that, not coincidentally, prevents him from having to release them. This all makes sense from a guy who thinks that the inequality from which he benefits so enormously should only be discussed in quiet rooms. But it's not exactly the stuff with which he's likely to convince a majority of voters that he can be trusted with the governance of their country. After all, Romney doesn't even want to tell us what policies he's running on, let alone how his personal conduct has measured up.
Romney's making himself an easy target with all this secrecy, and he's taking shots for it. For instance,
A spokesman for the Obama re-election effort, Ben LaBolt, sent news clips of the fundraiser [at which Romney talked about his secret plans for tax cuts] around with the message: "Apparently Gov. Romney believes only high dollar donors have a right to know what programs he will cut."Then there's the video above, from a Release Your Returns site put together by two Democratic Super PACs. Romney's reluctance to release those returns was a subject of questions and late-night comedy even before he filed for an extension on his 2011 taxes. This isn't incidental—here's a guy who's been being asked for his returns for months, who absolutely knows people are going to want to see them and that President Obama will be making his own taxes public, and we're supposed to believe he just happens not to be ready yet?
This is how open and transparent Romney is when he's running for president. When he wants something from us. Let that one fester for a while.
At their state convention the Democratic Party of Colorado included marijuana legalization as part of their new party platform. The platform supports Amendment 64, an initiative already on the ballot that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for[...]
Read The Full Article:
The new Public Policy Polling survey of Wisconsin shows that Scott Walker has regained leads in his recall election against all challengers, pinning right at the magic 50% mark. He leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50-45, and former Dane County executive[...]
Read The Full Article:
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA -- Pentagon officials preparing for next month's arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused terrorists charged with plotting the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are expecting about 600 journalists to apply for the 60 spaces available for members of the media at Guantanamo Bay's Camp Justice.
The military has not yet begun accepting credentials requests for the KSM arraignment, which is scheduled to begin on May 5, but one Pentagon public affairs official already received 100 inquires from press.
Last week's pre-trial hearings for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Saudi Arabian man accused of plotting the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, served as a sort of dry run for Guantanamo's media operation, though the five reporters who attended represented just 1/12th of the 60-person capacity.
This wouldn't be the first time that KSM and his alleged co-conspirators were arraigned at Guantanamo Bay. Back in the summer of 2008, KSM appeared in court for an initial hearing alongside Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi. Later Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the KSM case would be transferred to federal court before reversing his decision last year following intense opposition from the public and members of Congress. The Pentagon announced the May 5 arraignment as reporters headed to Guantanamo for the al-Nashiri trial were on the tarmac last Tuesday morning.
Having so many reporters at Camp Justice for the KSM trial gives the public affairs staff less flexibility and will likely limit the time reporters get to spend away from their desks at at Camp Justice's tent camp. Officials say they're limited by the number of vans and personnel available to escort media around the rest of the base, as media can't leave Camp Justice on their own. It could mean fewer trips to O'Kelly's, the naval base's Irish pub frequented by defense lawyers and military prosecutors, and more ordering in from Guantanamo's Subway sandwich shop. It might make spur-of-the-moment trips to NEX Navy Exchange -- the closest thing Guantanamo has to a WalMart -- a bit less likely.
Military officials say they're doing all they can to prepare. An eight-person public affairs detachment from Washington state arrived at Guantanamo a week before reporters so they had some experience handling media before the KSM trial gets underway. They and another public affairs unit are supplementing Guantanamo's regular 16-person public affairs staff.
"We had specifically asked for these guys to arrive before this hearing so that they had some experience before we went into KSM," Navy Commander Tamsen A. Reese, director of public affairs for Joint Task Force Guantanamo told TPM in an interview at a picnic table in the former airplane hanger that serves as GTMO's media operations center.
Reese has been in the position for 18 months (a 12-month deployment is typical) and will soon hand over operations to Navy Captain Robert T. Durand. He held the same position from 2006 to 2007 and had to handle a variety of events that brought harsher scrutiny on Guantanamo Bay including prisoner hunger strikes and suicides. He said he jumped at the chance to return.
Members of the media who make the trek down to Guantanamo for the KSM trial will also have to figure out who gets one of 10 available seats in courtroom's small viewing area.
"We look to the media to decide amongst themselves who's going in. Our hope is that the media can sort of figure it out on their own," says Reese. "It's interesting, because in my experience, media who haven't been here before will want to go into the courtroom at least one time, but the ability to watch on closed circuit television and be able to have their computer and write their stories or communicate via email with their editors or producers gives the journalists more flexibility than if they are sitting in the courtroom alone. But different folks look at it differently."
Janet Hamlin, a courtroom sketch artist who covered the previous KSM court appearance, is hoping for a few changes this time around. Since the view from the small viewing room for the press only allows observers a distant profile view of the defendants, she's requested to either be placed in the courtroom or have access to all of the video feeds so she can get a good view of all the defendants.
"I'm not going to hold my breath," Hamlin told TPM. "The most likely scenario is that I'll have access to the monitors," adding that the edited stream only offered "glancing views" of the suspects. But she's not entirely sure if KSM will get to request modifications to his court sketch this time around (he said his nose was too big in Hamlin's original drawing).
"I'm assuming [the lawyers] still have the power to ask me to modify," Hamlin said.
Another major change since the last time KSM was arraigned is the addition of a remote location within the U.S. where press can observe the closed circuit feed. The Pentagon expects the ability for the press to watch the feed from Fort Meade in Maryland might accomodate some reporters who would otherwise want to fly to Guantanamo in person. Victims of the attacks and their families will also be able to watch remotely from Fort Meade and from a location in New York.
"The ability to have the remote sites in Fort Meade and elsewhere is really going to help allow the media to cover it, allow victim family members to watch," Durand told TPM. "It will enhance the transparency of the operation, but it will take some of the logistics pressure off the people here, but still available to those who want to make the trip."
Still, reporters who regularly cover Guantanamo think the increased media interest might be overwhelming.
"It's going to be very hard," Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg told TPM on the flight back from the base.
"People who usually come to Guantanamo are foreign reporters who have no idea what it's like or a small band of reporters who've been pretty much -- I don't want to say broken down, what's the word I'm looking for -- pretty much exhausted by the experience," said Rosenberg, a seasoned Guantanamo Bay reporter.
"What the 9/11 thing will do is bring a lot of fresh faces and big egos and I don't know how the military is going to be able to manage it," Rosenberg said.
Pentagon officials insist everyone will be treated the same way.
"I don't care if you write for Highlights magazine, Cat Fancy or the National Journal. Once you're approved for travel, everyone gets treated equally," Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a public affairs officer, told TPM. "There will be no special players."
Click here to view this media
A Miami-Dade fire captain is under investigation after he asserted that the death of an unarmed Florida teen was the fault of "failed, sh*tbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents."
According to the Grio, Miami-Dade fire captain Brian Beckmann made the following entry on his Facebook page last week on the same day that State Attorney Angela Corey announced she was charging neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman with the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin:
"Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They're just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn't have anything to do with why people wonder if they're about to get jacked by a thug."
Beckmann later deleted the post and defended himself, writing, "I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does. I choose not to embellish or alter the facts as your employer chose to do."
"Wrong, cap'n," South Florida journalist Bob Norman wrote for WPLG. "You're in a high-ranking position in taxpayer-financed fire department that serves all people in life and death situations, including those people in the inner city that you apparently despise. He's proven himself unfit for public service."
"The definition of racism begins: 'The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race ...'. Key word: all," Norman added. "There's no denying that there are deep problems in the black community that shouldn't be ignored. But the real ignorance is to lump everyone together into one narrowly defined and incredibly negative and hateful ball. It's not just stupid to do that, it's dangerously stupid."
A spokesman for the Miami-Dade Fire Department released a statement that promised the comments would be investigated.
"Captain Brian Beckmann has been with Miami-Dade county since 1997," the statement confirmed. "The post on his personal Facebook page is being investigated by Miami-Dade fire rescue. The department's only official Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/MiamiDadeFireRescue."
Martin's mother, Sabrina Fulton, is employed as a program coordinator at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. His father, Tracey Martin, works as a truck driver. Neither of the parents is "dependant" on welfare.
(h/t: Think Progress)
The presidential horse race polls have bounced around a decent amount this cycle. And the current numbers rely particularly on two generally right-leaning pollsters, Fox and Rasmussen. But Gallup's numbers out this morning make it look like Mitt Romney[...]
Read The Full Article:
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
With generalizations acknowledged, along with my own frequently expressed liberally independent position, a few serious, non-snarky question:
Why do We the People routinely accept predictable politics for months, years, decades on end, one more political campaign season after another, but demand social / political movements produce near instant results and solutions?
Why do we so often accept the options presented to us, as if we not only have ?nowhere else to go,? but also have no way of doing anything about it?
How is it that Right / Wrong, Either / Or framing is allowed to dominate, and delay if not destroy the possibilities of different people working to address actual, real life issues?
What?s going on when We the People are so protective of our party that we won?t even attempt to talk with someone who doesn?t share our position? Or seriously challenge our Party and Electeds to do better?
What?s going on when We the People are so protective of our Movement that we won?t even attempt to talk with someone who doesn?t share our position? Or seriously challenge our Movement to do better?
Why do we so often talk about ?change,? but then resist it, in particular, as related to the Two Party Front for the Oligarchy?
Who is that wins, when We the People accept Predictable Politics over People Power?
?Power to the People? can be a simplistic ?feel good? refrain. But what it represents has been seen in strong grassroots movements which have resulted in real changes, even as the movement and the people were dismissed and derided. It?s still happening, both the power of the people, and the opposition to it.
(Power to the People via YouTube)