I actually don't think the non-coverage of the Spokane incident is a response to the Giffords assassination attempt and the ensuing media frenzy. Rather, it's a reversion to the status quo, less than two weeks after that assassination attempt.[...]
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Another hat is officially in the ring:
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) formally announced on Thursday morning that he will be running for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)
"I only take this step because I believe I can be an even stronger voice for change in the United States Senate," Murphy said. "I'm thankful for all the encouragement I have received to take this step, from family, friends, and people across the state. What I've heard is that people feel that the Senate simply doesn't work anymore - it's become an unjustifiable barrier to positive change, and Connecticut needs a fresh, progressive voice there that will push for both policy and institutional reform. "
Former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz announced her candidacy on Tuesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Jared Lee Loughner on three counts late Wednesday. The two page indictment released by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona charges Loughner with attempting to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and two of her aides, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon.
U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke said the investigation was in its early stages, and this was just the initial indictment of Loughner, who is expected to be charged with two additional counts for the murder of federal judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman (in addition to state murder charges for the non-federal employees killed in the massacre).
"We have made considerable progress in a short period of time," Burke said. "This case also involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process. Today's charges are just the beginning of our legal action, and we are working diligently to ensure that our investigation is thorough and that justice is done for the victims and their families."
Because the office is pursuing the death penalty against Loughner for the murder of Roll and Zimmerman, their case must first go through a process with DOJ's Capital Review Committee.
The feds first filed a complaint against Loughner the day after the shootings.
A conviction for the attempted assassination of a Member of Congress carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both, DOJ said, while a conviction for attempted murder of a federal employee carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
Six people were killed and 13 others wounded in the Jan. 8 attack.
Just before he holds hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslims in America, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will appear on the new TV show for a group that believes Muslims are the enemies of America.
In early February, King, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, will appear on the debut episode of a TV show produced by the group Act! For America. The group's founder, Brigitte Gabriel, believes that Muslims can't be trusted to serve in the U.S. armed forces; that "tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America ... attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government;" and that Americans must unite to "defeat radical Islam."
Who counts as a radical Muslim to Gabriel?
"Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim," she says.
King will be the first guest on Gabriel's new cable show, according to a press release. Gabriel will be the host.
"We are especially grateful to Rep. King for appearing on our debut episode to discuss the kinds of issues Congress and America need to face if we are going to defeat the threat of radical Islam," Gabriel said in the release. "I commend Rep. King for his decision to convene hearings on the issue of Muslim radicalization and the rising threat of homegrown terrorism."
King's office did not respond to requests for comment.
More than 100 alleged mobsters are being arrested today, in what the FBI is calling the biggest New York mafia bust ever, NBC New York reports.
Later today, Attorney General Eric Holder and other law enforcement officials will hold a press conference in Brooklyn to discuss the round-up.
People briefed on the action told The New York Times that those arrested include people connected to seven crime families in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, and the charges include murder, racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking, gambling, and labor-racketeering. The defendants range from book makers to senior mob figures and union officials, and include two dozen "made members of New York's five crime families and the families in New Jersey and New England."
The New York Daily News reports that the defendants will be held in the brig at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn until they are arraigned later today.
Jarrod D. Massey, a former casino lobbyist who admitted he bought and sold votes in the Alabama state legislator on pro-gambling legislature, went to prison yesterday. And he doesn't even know how long he'll be there.
Massey, who pleaded guilty in December to multiple bribery charges after working out a deal with federal prosecutors, surrendered to U.S. Marshals at the federal courthouse in Montgomery on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
The length of his sentence will be determined by his testimony against two powerful developers who are among the 11 defendants in the the massive corruption investigation which unfolded in October.
Massey, 39, was hired by Ronald Gilley to lobby on behalf of Country Crossing, a resort development near the Alabama-Florida border. Gilley allegedly had Massey solicit support for electronic gambling legislation which would benefit the resort.
As TPM recounted in a previous story, the indictment alleged Massey told an unnamed state legislator that they "might miss an opportunity to really cut yourself a good deal" if that politician didn't support his cause. Massey said there was money "at play that could be had that, you know, could only be made available to certain candidates."
The former lobbyist also mentioned a plan to funnel $1 million per year through a public relations firm owned by "Legislator 2" if that politician agreed to vote for the pro-gambling legislation, according to the indictment.
"I would suggest that that look something like -- and, again, it is up to you for what you would want to use it for -- but basically there is a million dollars of business that is going to come through that PR entity, one way or the another, you know, annually," Massey said, the indictment alleged.
"I'm telling ya, it's a good deal... I mean, you in the catbird seat," Massey allegedly told the legislator.
Just about three years ago, Kmareka reported on a press conference organized by PRYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement). High school students invited state officials and the press to hear testimony about the work of three Southeast Asian interpreters and their vital role in the community. Governor Carcieri eliminated the interpreter positions as a cost-cutting measure, and declined to speak with the students.
Carcieri should have listened. Federal money comes with strings attached, and one requirement is that interpreters be available so that no qualified person will be denied service due to a language barrier. This was clear at the PRYSM meeting…
Steven Brown, Executive Director of the ACLU, spoke last. He said the cuts are a violation of Federal law. It seems likely that there will be expensive lawsuits, and much wasted time before the interpreter positions are finally reinstated. By then, the three experienced interpreters may have taken other jobs, and the costly process of training new ones will commence.
Interpreters do so much more than translate language. They are a bridge to the immigrant community, helping new Americans to integrate into our society. They get to know hospital staff, patients and clients, and all the complicated systems of each agency. Three respected and hardworking interpreters were laid off, and now we’re back to square one.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says an agreement the state struck with federal officials to improve language services to those who speak little English is thorough, and now the key is whether the state complies.
The agreement announced Tuesday requires the Department of Human Services within 30 days to either hire, contract with or find volunteer interpreters for people seeking help from the department.
I hope the DHS will first try to rehire the three experienced interpreters who were doing such good work before Governor Carcieri decided to impress the base with demolition politics. True to form, he left it to the next administration to clean up the mess.
Wow. Sounds like we're really making some inroads with the Fox propaganda machine:
A poll gauging public trust in TV news has found that PBS is the most trusted name in news, while trust in Fox News has dropped significantly. According to a survey from Public Policy Polling, "a year ago a plurality of Americans said they trusted Fox News. Now a plurality of them don't.
"In a survey taken a year ago, PPP found that Fox was the most trusted news network, with 49 percent saying they trusted the network, and 37 percent saying they did not. In the new poll, 42 percent said they trusted the network while 46 percent disagreed.The new reigning champion is PBS, which was not included in last year's inaugural poll. The public broadcaster was found to be trusted by 50 percent of respondents, and distrusted by 30 percent -- the closest any news network has come to gaining the trust of a majority of Americans.
Fox News has found itself in roughly the same place, trust-wise, as NBC and CNN, but still above ABC and CBS, who were trusted by 35 and 36 percent, respectively, in the latest poll.PPP notes that trust in the network declined only marginally among conservatives, from 75 percent to 72 percent. "But moderates and liberals have both had a strong increase in their level of distrust for the network -- a 12-point gain from 48 percent to 60 percent for moderates and a 16-point gain from 66 percent to 82 percent for liberals," the institute reported.
Dan Froomkin got a presentation from pollsters yesterday on Obama and Social Security. The President could be going down a dangerous path on this critical issue. If Obama thinks cutting Social Security benefits is a good idea, he's getting very, very bad advice:
President Barack Obama's apparent willingness to consider cuts in Social Security benefits may be winning him points with Washington elites, but it's killing him with voters, who see the program as inviolate and may start to wonder what the Democratic Party stands for, if not for Social Security.It's stunning that we're even having to worry about Obama and Social Security. But, the concerns are real. And, I don't know how Team Obama will sell this to the base.
That's the conclusion of three top progressive pollsters who spoke to reporters Wednesday at a briefing sponsored by the Economic Policy Institute, the Century Foundation and Demos.
"For the public, cutting benefits is the problem, not the solution," said Guy Molyneux, a partner at Hart Research Associates.
As a result, the pollsters said that any Democrat seeking elected office in 2012 should be begging Obama not to say anything about Social Security cuts in his State of the Union address later this month.
Pollsters on “Daily Rundown” today said that it will take another poll to know whether Pres. Obama’s 53% is going to stick. If you’re looking to 2012, I’d caution everyone to understand this poll means nothing. The[...]
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