Archive for Connecticut

Republicans Eating Their Own: Episode Eleventy-Thousand

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Foley clip edited

Republicans eating their own smaller

The Hartford Courant has a fascinating-- not to mention entertaining-- report about how a Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate (John McKinney) manipulated an audio clip of a fellow Republican, his rival (Tom Foley). By editing the audio in one of his political ads, McKinney managed to turn Foley's message into something evil and sinister and icky. Welcome to another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own. Enjoy!

Below is McKinney's ad. The wording in question is at about :07, where Foley supposedly said, "I'm not going to cut spending." Twice! What a terrible person that Tom Foley is! What self-respecting Republican would ever vote a big spender like that?! Presenting Candidate Foley the Double-Crosser in his own words... at least according to McKinney:

however...

Foley's actual words were, "I'm not saying I'm going to cut spending; I'm saying I'm going to hold spending flat" They were completely distorted and taken out of context. As Scott McLean, professor of political science at Quinnipiac University points out in the Courant piece, messing with context is one thing, but this kind of editing is quite another.

Below is a clip in which WNPR experimented with the audio, "editing to see if we could replicate the McKinney campaign's edit":

Well done, WNPR.

Negative advertising strikes again. It's the American way!

And this concludes another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own.

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Afternoon-Evening Links

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Sign Stolen from Playground Honoring Sandy Hook Victim, Thief Claims Shooting Was a Hoax: Official

KXL Activists Blast Pro-Keystone Dems In Senate

The Revenge of the Poor, Betrayal of the Elite Now Leads to The Rise of Super Bugs

Hans Zimmer Live: Composer Breaks Out With Performing Career

How to Make an Edible Water Bottle

Elizabeth Warren Laughs At Bob Schieffer After Being Called 'A Socialist'

Detect edited photos with image analyzer Izitru

After carving up Ukraine, where will Putin turn next?

California Democrat Highlights Unfair And Indecent Pay Cuts To Soldiers Stationed Overseas

Nigeria kidnapped girls 'shown in Boko Haram video'

An Open Source Robot Could Be Tending Your Backyard Garden Very Soon

Your Weekly Political Carnival Upchucks: Shocking Religion News (via KC Boyd)

Ronald Reagan's Benghazi

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Overnight: Mystic Seaport Museum

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Nystic

Image: Mystic Seaport

Just a beautiful place to enjoy in you're in New England: The Mystic Seaport Museum

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Cartoons of the Day- One Year After Newtown

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newtown

John Branch

newtown1

Chan Lowe

newtown2

J.D. Crowe

newtown3

Bill Day

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Marking the One-Year Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

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Campus Safety A Lie. Campus Justice Non-Existent. Schools Protect The Attacker

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Amhurst College

It used to be that going to college was not an issue of safety, but one of getting a higher education, transitioning from teen to adult and gaining a foot up on the future. Now it's become one of concern for personal safety.

These are but a few examples of what can only be called a spate of harmful incidents reported by HuffPo:

Alyssa Palazzo woke up just after midnight on Oct. 5, 2012, as someone screamed outside her residence hall at the University of Connecticut.

It was UConn running back Lyle McCombs, who Palazzo said was yelling, spitting and hitting his girlfriend. A few young men she believed to be his roommates stood by and watched, she said. Palazzo called police, and McCombs was arrested and charged that night with a misdemeanor, second-degree breach of peace.

Uconn campus

After reading that, I then read this in a separate HuffPo article:

Two former Amherst College students who said they had been raped at the school in Massachusetts filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education, accusing the school of improper responses that one woman said included sending her to a psychiatric ward. Six current and former students at Vanderbilt University also filed Education Department complaints, saying the school in Nashville, Tenn., failed to properly respond to their reports of sex crimes or harassment. One said the university pressured her to allow the school to handle a stalking complaint, but failed to take action against the accused stalker.

Campus violence against women and men happens. It shouldn't, but it does. So it's the school's response to these attacks that is very important. Forcing a victim into a psych ward because she was attacked while letting the assailant go free doesn't seem to be sending the right message? Something's wrong here.

In the UConn case, the accused, McCombs, was given a warning by the school and placed on probation. But it didn't end there. He was a member of the school's football team, so his coach on the Huskies team was assigned the task of further discipline.

UConn football head coach Paul Pasqualoni decided the next day that McCombs' punishment for violating team rules would be sitting on the bench for 15 minutes.

Hardly even a hand slap for the attacker.

But what about the young woman who was attacked? She left school. And what about the girl who witnessed and reported the attack? She appealed to UConn for help.

Palazzo complained that she had to live in the same building as McCombs (the attacker) for the rest of the school year. "What about my safety?" she asked.

Palazzo said that the administrator replied, "If you feel unsafe, then you shouldn’t say anything at all."

What? She shouldn't have reported the attack? If I'm being assaulted I hope someone will call 911. What is this, the Kitty Genovese tragedy all over again?

As for the UConn football coach with the 15 minute timeout punishment, he went merrily along for another two years, despite another sexual assault charge against one of his players the following year. The kid got no punishment, not even the timeout.

So sexual crimes have no bearing on the university's disciplinary actions, especially when it's committed by a football star. Maybe sports put you outside the reach of justice. Ah, but then karma rears it's fateful head. This season, when the UConn football team started this season 0-4, the coach was fired.

What's the message here--everything's okay when you're winning? Allowing players to get away with these attacks is deemed appropriate? But lose the first four games of the season and the school will have you sh**-canned.

Now quickly back to the Amherst and Vanderbilt attacks. Perhaps justice was done there. Sorry, no dice. No charges were made against the assailants. One of the female victims did receive the school's full attention. She was forced against her will into the psych ward at the school's hospital while her attackers went free.

There is a campus sexual violence epidemic. And sadly the message UConn, Amherst and Vandy are sending is clear -- If you can't do the time, don't report the crime.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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Do You Know What Women Want And Deserve?

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What women want

Picking up where Laffy left off yesterday in her great post Fed Up Dems...

If I knew what women want, I'd be a kazillionaire because I'd write a book about it and rake in the dough. The truth is I have no idea what women want. I know this because I'm married to a wonderful woman. And just when I think I've got it figured out, I'm told I'm wrong, asked what was I possibly thinking and then met with a silent shake of the head. My male, married buddies tell me I'm lucky that it's just a silent shake of the head.

So building on a platform of I'm no expert, I do know some things. I know that women want and deserve the right to self-determination, just like the guys. They don't want to be treated differently -- just fairly. And I don't have any argument against that.

But the Republicans do. Their mostly white, older men composite seems to feel that women are inferior mentally and emotionally, that they're not capable of rational decisions -- even with it comes to their own bodies and health issues. More of them think along the legitimate rape lines than in rational scientific reasoning. And those genteel, Southern Gentlemen who demurely dismiss women with their cloak of protecting them from themselves, "those sweet little souls. They are so lovely, aren't they -- like a field of violets or Lady Slippers, swaying in a warm, summer's night." And all the while the Lindsay Grahams spew their charming tripe, their mind is busy with the melodic refrains of "Dixie."

In the wake of Roe v Wade, individual states, feeling the decision of the SCOTUS was wrong, have set out to correct this injustice. They've taken a clearly decided issue and are chipping away at the rights determined by the highest court in our land. That's the conservative, right-wing way.

Finally, after assault on assault at the state's level, accelerated in every red state with a Republican-led legislation, women's rights and protections are being circumvented or even stricken. This has got to stop.

How?

Kraken

Well, the slow moving but well-intentioned Democrats in Congress have finally had enough. They've gone from being a sleeping giant to a forceful vociferous champion of women.  Release the Kraken-- Sen. Richard Blumenthal.  HuffPo reports:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will introduce the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013, joined by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.). The bill would prohibit states from passing so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which impose strict and cost-prohibitive building standards on abortion clinics, require women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds, and create other barriers to abortion access.

Looks like good ol' Connecticut Senator Blumenthal's gonna be gettin' sometin' sometin'  from Mrs. Senator B when he goes home on his next break. And you know what, he deserves it. My only criticism is why this took so long. The last pro-active abortion legislation to pass through the Senate was in 1994, with the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. That made it a federal crime to block or harass patients or doctors who entered or exited abortion clinics.

When Republicans don't like something, they propose a bill and there's immediate discussion, press coverage and oftentimes votes. In the case of Obamacare, 42 votes. Of course that's the House and they're led by government shutdown fever and Republican leader, Speaker John Blunder.

Blumenthal's bill wouldn't automatically overturn states' existing anti-abortion laws, but because federal law trumps state law, it would provide a means to challenge them in court. The bill would direct judges to consider certain factors in determining whether a restriction is legal, such as whether it interferes with a doctor's good-faith medical judgment, or whether it's likely to interfere with or delay women's access to abortion.

This bill will surely pass the Senate. In the House, it'll probably never even come to a vote. But when the 2014 elections come around, you can add that to the Democrats long list of things the Republicans did -- stopping immigration reform, shutting down the government, restricting women's rights, repressing voters rights, obstructing qualified presidential appointees to the bench, pushing for war with Iran, and so many others. I'll need another blog just to continue the list. And like my wife, I make lists.

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