Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) broke down in tears today on the floor of the Senate while discussing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Franken, who has been a staunch advocate for domestic violence victims, got emotional discussing women who face homelessness after being abused. "Once a woman becomes homeless, she becomes even more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse," he said. Watch it:
When the EEOC came down in favor of Title VII coverage for transpeople, I knew it was only a matter of time until the nasty people struck back. But I didn't expect the Associated Press to provide them with the platform. Or maybe...I'm not[...]
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Tom the Dancing Bug. Follow @DailyKosComics and find out the instant a comic is posted!
John McCain today:
But when it came for getting the guy who was behind the attacks, they failed. They said they had a secret plan, but if they did, they never did anything about it. And when Barack Obama proposed a plan for actually getting the job done, they said no. Now that it's worked, they don't think it's fair for him to ever talk about it again.
Seeing how well picking on Sandra Fluke has paid off for Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol's dumb son-in-law's make-work-job, The Free Bacon brings you this very important update (screenshot to the right) to remind you that Fluke is actually just some dumb[...]
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Several media outlets have distorted comments by an EPA official, falsely suggesting that he said "oil companies should be crucified." In fact, the official was using an analogy, which he has since apologized for, to describe a common approach to regulatory enforcement: making examples out of those who break the law.
Weigel: Official Referred To "Companies That Broke The Law," Not Oil And Gas Companies At Large. Slate's Dave Weigel noted that a reporter asked White House spokesman Jay Carney: "if somebody is saying we should crucify the industry, why is that person still working at the EPA?" Weigel responded:
One theory: He didn't say this was his philosophy toward oil companies. He said it was his philosophy toward companies that broke the law. Here's a fuller version of the quote, which was in the video Inhofe originally put up. (It's been taken down because of a claim by David McFatridge.)[Slate, 4/27/12]
It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don't want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it's time to clean up.
Fox's Van Susteren: Official Was Referring To Companies "That Were Basically Doing Things Illegally ... That's A Big Difference." On Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Greta Van Susteren clarified that regional EPA administrator Al Armendariz said he "was going after oil companies that were basically doing things illegally. He was not and -- not going after those that were doing things lawfully":
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: When I read that, I was likewise, I thought, why is the EPA administrator saying something like that? I went back to look at the video, and it was on a Forbes website. And what he said -- I'm assuming this is the same video, in the year 2010, is that he said the reason that he wanted to aggressively go after the oil companies, he said he wants to make examples out of people not complying with the law.
He was going after oil companies that were basically doing things illegally. He was not and -- not going after those that were doing things lawfully, and doing what prosecutors do every single day across the country, which is, you know, you go after the people who are not complying with the law and you hope others get the message.
So that's the way I -- when I studied the video, that's what I saw it as.
SEN. JAMES INHOFE: Yes, the problem with that is -- and I said on the Senate floor -- I used three examples. In all three examples, they were complying with the law. The problem was -- let's use Range Resources --
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's a big difference. I mean, if they're complying with the law and he's going after them, if they -- if it's ultimately found to be compliant, is different than if they're not complying, but he's --
VAN SUSTEREN: But his -- his aggression in the statement was that the non-compliant one -- at least that's what he said.
VAN SUSTEREN: Would you agree with me if the company is doing something unlawful, they should be aggressively gone after, if they're not doing something unlawful, they should be left alone?
INHOFE: Yeah, absolutely. [Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, 4/27/12]
CNN's Blitzer: Official "Impl[ied] He Wanted To, Quote, 'Crucify The Oil And Gas Industry.'" CNN's Wolf Blitzer incorrectly claimed that Armendariz implied he wanted to "quote, 'crucify the oil and gas industry'" rather than polluters:
WOLF BLITZER: An EPA official in trouble for implying he wanted to, quote, "crucify the oil and gas industry." Lisa Sylvester has that and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM. Lisa, what do you have?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. Well, the official is apologizing for what he's calling a poor choice of words when he said this back in 2010.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL ALMENDARIZ, EPA OFFICIAL: It's kind of like how the Romans used to conquer the villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they say. They crucified them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: The EPA issued a statement saying the following, it is deeply unfortunate that in the 2010 video, an EPA official inaccurately suggests we are seeking to make examples out of certain companies in the oil and gas industry. It does not reflect our record. The clip of the speech was posted online by a Republican senator critical of the EPA. [CNN, The Situation Room, 4/26/12, transcript via Nexis]
Politico Edits Official's Comments To Omit References To Companies In Violation Of The Law. A Politico article did not include Armendariz's references to companies in violation of the law, printing an ellipsis in place of the remarks in bold:
It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law, find people who are not complying with the law and you hit them as hard as you can and make examples out of them. It's a deterrent effect there. And companies are smart, they see that, they don't want to play that and they decide at that point that it's time to clean up. And that won't happen unless you have someone out there making examples out of people. So you go out, you look at an industry, you find people who are violating the law, you go aggressively after them. And we do have some pretty effective enforcement techniques, the fines can get very high very, very quickly. So what these companies respond to is both their public image but also financial pressure, so you put some financial pressure on a company, you get other people in that industry to clean up very quickly. So, that's our general philosophy. [Politico, 4/26/12]
Limbaugh: Official Wanted To Crucify "Legitimate American And International Corporations." After playing Armendariz's full comments, Rush Limbaugh said:
"That's how this guy wanted to deal and was dealing with oil and gas companies, legitimate American and international corporations. He hates them, he wants to subjugate 'em, he wants to crucify 'em, just because he can. And he's bragging about how to do it. That's who they are, my friends. This is who the American left is, the worldwide left. That is their plan and their philosophy and their approach for everybody and everything they disagree with." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/26/12]
Fox's Baier: Official Said "Oil Companies Should Be Crucified." On Special Report, Bret Baier twice played a selection of Armendariz's remarks that did not make clear that he was referring to companies in violation of the law, not all oil companies. Baier later said "An EPA official appointed by President Obama said that his philosophy, talking to other EPA folks was that enforcement is like the Romans conquering villages, saying that oil companies should be crucified." During the subsequent panel discussion, no one made clear that Armendariz was specifically referring to companies in violation of the law. [Fox News, Special Report, 4/26/12 and 4/26/12]
Fox's Henry: Official "Is Saying We Should Crucify The Industry." A reporter asked Jay Carney "if that is your policy, and if the president's approach going back to the '08 campaign was about hope and change and setting a new tone -- setting a new tone, and if somebody is saying we should crucify the industry, why is that person still working at the EPA?" According to Energy in Depth, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, that reporter was Fox News correspondent Ed Henry. [White House Press Briefing, 4/26/12, transcript via Nexis]
Fox's Bolling: "Obama Has Been Crucifying Oil Companies For Three Years." On Fox News' The Five, Eric Bolling played a portion of Armendariz's comments that didn't make clear that he was referring to companies in violation of the law, before adding "Well, that comment set off a fire storm from Americans who suspected all along that the EPA has had an agenda to crucify oil companies." Bolling then played a clip of Jay Carney explaining that this is not representative of the administration's policies before saying "Hold on there, Jay-bo. President Obama has been crucifying oil companies for three years," following that with video of President Obama calling for an end to oil subsidies. At no point did anyone on the show make clear that Armendariz was referring specifically to companies in violation of the law. [Fox News, The Five, 4/26/12]
Liz Cheney: We Need Policies That "Support Business, Not Crucify It." From Fox News' Hannity:
SEAN HANNITY: I think that Carter's right. I think Carter just about -- well, all right. Let me -- you know, Liz, to me, this election is probably most like Reagan/Carter, and as much as you know, liberalism on display, class warfare, the rhetoric is the same. And the results of the Carter administration, very similar to what we see with Obama.
LIZ CHENEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Well, and you know, "The Wall Street Journal" reported this morning Sean that the American people are more deeply concerned about the long-term prospects of our nation than they have been at any time since the 70s. But I actually think Barack Obama is even worse. You know? I think you've got now, you've seen an unprecedented assault on American freedom and liberties from the oval office whether it's what we saw today with let's crucify business, to these restrictions on how our families can operate on family farms, to attempts to limit our freedom of religion. You know, I would post it here that this President that we have in the oval office now is much more radical, even than Jimmy Carter and in that sense, more dangerous to the nation.
CHENEY: Imagine what that recovery would look like if we had actually had in place policies that understood you need to support business, not crucify it. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/26/12]
Drudge: "EPA Official: 'Crucify' Oil & Gas Companies." From the Drudge Report:
[Drudge Report, accessed 4/26/12]
Fox Nation: "EPA Official On American Energy Companies: 'Crucify Them!'" Fox Nation linked to a Washington Free Beacon article, but has since taken the post down:
Wash. Times: "Obama Crucifies Business: EPA Official Reveals Administration Strategy On Oil And Gas." A Washington Times editorial titled "Obama crucifies business: EPA official reveals administration strategy on oil and gas" reported that Armendariz was talking about his "rather brutal 'general philosophy' when dealing with the fossil-fuels industry." [The Washington Times, 4/25/12]
Michelle Malkin Edits Official's Comments To Omit References To Companies Violating The Law. In a post at the National Review Online, Michelle Malkin omitted Armendariz's references to companies in violation of the law. Malkin declared that interpreted Armendariz's remarks to mean: "In other words: Suck up, fly left, or face prosecution. The goal isn't a cleaner environment. The goal is political incitement of fear." [National Review Online, 4/27/12]
FoxNews.com Op-Ed Suggests Official Was "Launching A Crusade Against Oil And Gas Companies." In a FoxNews.com op-ed, Phil Kerpen of American Commitment said that "The EPA is supposed to protect the environment, not crucify industries that which it dislikes. But as the sensational video that recently surfaced shows, all too often the agency does the latter." At no point did Kerpen make clear that Armendariz was referring to companies that violated the law. Indeed, Kerpen said "Armendariz seems unconcerned about the economic impact of launching a crusade against oil and gas companies. [...] The Armendariz approach is the opposite of how regulators should behave. They should try to protect our health and safety while allowing businesses to succeed and expand. They shouldn't crucify." [FoxNews.com, 4/27/12]
Who will speak for the poor, downtrodden and powerless oil companies?
Here's what National Review's Geraghty's whining about. Wingnuts are all atwitter that about something EPA Administrator Al Aremndariz said two years ago.
?It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean,? Armendariz said on the video. ?They?d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they?d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.?
Armendariz said he tried to use the same approach to get companies to obey environmental laws: ?You make examples out of people who are not complying with the law,? he said.
Now let's be clear: if Aremndariz were a Bush administration official talking about any other class of potential law breakers -- drug dealers, terrorists, brown people -- he would be an instant right-wing hero. And that's what Armendariz is talking about -- punishing companies that break the law.
Breaking the law is still bad, right?
Meanwhile, Big Oil is raking in record profits under Obama -- and bin Laden is still dead.
The stupid is powerful in Geraghty.
Flip Romney. From Buzzfeed:
Mitt Romney's big speech here Tuesday night is billed and staged to mark his pivot to the general election, intended to set the tone for the Republican's campaign, and to lay out his overarching message. The title of the speech: "A Better America Begins Tonight."
But this isn't the first time the Romney campaign has tried to "pivot" to his upcoming contest with Obama ? particularly according to the press. He tried it last January after winning the New Hampshire primary. He tried it in his Florida victory speech. He tried it throughout his cakewalk campaign in Nevada, then in Michigan, then, again, after Super Tuesday, when aides declared that it would "take an act of God" for Romney to lose the primary ? and it was now time to focus on beating Obama.
A quick LexisNexis search returned 96 articles written since the first vote was cast in Iowa discussing a "pivot" to the general election on Romney's part.
Will the 97th time be the charm?
Raul & Wenona, 2 champions of working families
Breaking yet another promise to stay neutral in active primaries, the DCCC came lumbering into AZ-1 this week, in favor of conservative loser Ann Kirkpatrick who lost her seat in 2010 because Democrats stayed away from the polls, sickened by her tendency to vote with the GOP on crucial roll calls. This time the district is much more Democratic-leaning... so much so that incumbent Paul Gosar, the teabagger who beat Kirkpatrick fled west to a friendlier, redder district. The reason the district is friendlier territory for Democrats now is because blood red-- and all white-- Yavapai County has been separated from it. The first congressional district is now 40% Democrat, 30%, Republican, and 30% Independent. Demographically, it is 22% Native American, and 19% Latino. AZ-1 has
the highest percentage of Native Americans of district in the country, by a wide margin. Funny how some DCCC hack called a white progressive the other day and whined that he shouldn't run because there are so many Latinos in his district but in this case, when Native Americans have their own candidate in the most Native America district in he country, the DCCC is sabotaging her race.
Wenona Baldenegro has galvanized the Native American and Latino communities of the district, as well as the all-important progressive bastion of Flagstaff, who are rallying around her strong environmental positions and her message of standing up for the middle-class and the 99%. In 2010, as we've been trying to explain for two years, the people of AZ-1 DID NOT come out to vote for Ann Kirkpatrick. From the biggest newspaper in the district:
Don't credit a tea party-driven Republican surge for electing Paul Gosar in the First Congressional District.
Instead, blame Democrats and independents for staying home in record numbers, costing U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, her seat... Kirkpatrick's tally in 2010 fell off by a whopping 68,000 votes, or 44 percent.
...Informal surveys late in the campaign confirmed an indifference by Democrats to Kirkpatrick, in part because she had broken with the Obama White House on key issues such as carbon cap and trade and Wall Street regulation.
United Steelworkers of America
IAMAW (Machinists Union)
AFSCME #449 (Pima County)
Raul Grijalva - U.S. Congressman (AZ-7)
Linda Sanchez - U.S. Congresswoman (CA-39)
Keith Ellison - U.S. Congressman (MN-5)
Joe Baca - U.S. Congressman (CA-43)
Johnny Naize - Speaker of the Council, Navajo Nation
Dennis Welsh - Councilmember and Treasurer, Colorado River Indian Tribes
Ben Nuvamsa - Former Chairman, Hopi Tribe
Dr. Octaviana Trujillo - Former Chairwoman, Pascua Yaqui Tribe; first woman to serve as Chairperson of Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Herminia Frias - Former Chairwoman, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
San Carlos Apache Tribe
Colorado River Indian Tribes
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Tohono O'odham Nation
Tulalip Tribes of Washington
San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
Sierra Club Arizona
Progressive Democrats of America
Steve Gallardo - AZ State Senator (LD13)
Bruce Wheeler - AZ State Representative (LD28)
Catherine Miranda - AZ State Representative (LD16)
Sally Ann Gonzales - AZ State Representative (LD27); first American Indian woman to serve in the Arizona State Legislature
Dr. Macario Saldate - AZ State Representative (LD27)
Martin Quezada - AZ State Representative (LD13)
Jonathan Nez - Navajo County Board of Supervisors (District 1)
Andy Bessler - Sierra Club
Cecilia Cruz - Co-founder, Pima County/Tucson Women's Commission
Shonto Begay - Navajo artist/civil rights leader
Randy Parraz - Former AFL-CIO Director for Arizona
Dr. Frances Riemer - Professor, NAU Women's and Gender Studies
Alfredo Gutierrez - Former Arizona Senate Democratic Leader
Daniel R. Ortega - Civil rights leader; National Board Chairman of the NCLR
John Loredo - Former Arizona House of Representatives Democratic Leader
Ken Smith - Former Senior Vice-Chair, Arizona Democratic Party
Howard Shanker - Former Arizona CD-1 candidate, environmental attorney
Barbara Smith - Former Chairwoman, White Mountain Democrats
Salomon R. Baldenegro - Former Dean/Professor, University of Arizona; Southwest U.S. civil rights icon
After Terra Nova‘s cancellation, I wrote a post bemoaning the idea that science fiction always has to be effects-heavy but suspiciously light on the world building and the consideration of what question said fiction is supposed to pose. A partial answer to my complaints is the new movie Sound of My Voice, which stars Brit Marling as a cult leader who claims to have arrived in Los Angeles from the year 2054, and to be preparing her initiates for a journey back into the future with her. In part, it’s a movie about whether or not we think Maggie is really from the future or not. But in a greater sense, it’s about whether or not we’ll be able to recognize the harbingers of the future when they present themselves to us, or whether we’ll marginalize them as insane, deluded, or pathetic. In neither case does Sound of My Voice have an answer?it’s far too canny for that.
The movie follows Lorna and Peter, a young couple who are making a documentary about Maggie’s cult?though Maggie and her acolytes don’t know it. Ally is a former Hollywood party girl who’s emerged from rehab with a desire for a purpose, if not exactly much sense of what it might look like. Isaac is a long-term substitute teacher whose mother lost her battle with cancer after refusing to be treated with traditional medicine. And while they’re initially suspicious of Maggie?who they meet only after months of preparation and vetting, and after submitting to cleansing, giving up their clothes, and being driven blindfolded to a house somewhere in greater Los Angeles?and they initially find her self-helpy lessons grating (she makes them dance and says things like “I have to exhaust you people to get you to stop thinking and start breathing.”), both of them find themselves profoundly moved and unnerved by her.
Maggie’s power, it seems, lies in making the mundane seem profoundly moving. When she holds a (hard to watch) purging ritual, she encourages her followers to vomit up the food they’ve eaten as a way of cleansing themselves of bad thoughts and memories, Isaac resists for a practical reason: he’s swallowed a transmitter so he can record the events of the meeting through a camera embedded in his glasses, and he doesn’t want to resist being discovered. But when Maggie susses out, at least in generalities, the kind of pain he’s feeling over his mother’s loss, he vomits, too, picking the transmitter out of his vomitus while everyone else is distracted praising him for overcoming such a major psychological obstacle. In another conversation with her followers, Maggie explains that in a war she says is coming “Things come together and they fall apart. It’s a really dark time. My generation’s really comfortable with death…Not everyone has that kind of technology, so there are a lot fewer recorded albums. But every now and then, a song comes along that touches everyone, and it manages to get around.” When her followers beg her for a song, she sings them “Dreams” by the Cranberries, explaining that “It’s made famous by a singer called Bennetton.” Is she just an incompetent fraud, as Lorna suggests? Or truly from a time when our past survives only as Canticle for Leibowitz-like fragments?
Those questions end up dividing Lorna and Peter, especially when Maggie asks Peter to bring a girl from his class, who rarely speaks, constantly wears a red cap, and is building a rather unsettling black Lego city in her bedroom to meet him?and when Lorna is approached by a woman who claims to be investigating Maggie for a variety of crimes. The movie isn’t conclusive as to who’s right, and Marling and director Zal Batmanglij, who wrote the script together, have said they’d like to do a sequel if Sound of My Voice does well. But they’ve laid out their questions clearly, and created powerful senses of menace, hope, and strangeness. And all this without a shot that required special effects, or anything they couldn’t pick up in an afternoon shopping trip.