Archive for consequences

2011 VIDEO- Rachel Maddow documents heartbreaking consequences of NRA influence



In light of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, I'm bumping this up. It was originally posted on May 7, 2011. I've included another video of Rachel Maddow and Meghan McCain at the NRA convention from the same time period.

Original post with quotes added in:

Please watch the videos all the way through.

This is the single most effective, touching, infuriating documentation of the NRA's negative influence on this country that I've ever seen, and of course, it took Rachel Maddow to expose these gun zealots in the most gut-wrenching and understandable way-- by putting a human face on it.

And  that human face belongs to Pittsburgh councilman Ricky Burgess, who suffered personal loss after personal loss with family members shot, neighborhood kids shot, businesses in his district closing, beautiful homes abandoned, all a result of violence decimating the Homewood area. Just watch:

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"If you have guns on the street, then a fist fight turns into a shooting."


"What would it take to get business back to Homewood?"


"You gotta stop the shootings. You have to stop shootings."

"If you see it once or twice, it'll change your life forever."

At about 12:12, Rachel asks the councilman:

"If you could talk to the bigwigs at the NRA to explain to them the connection between what they're doing downtown at the convention center right now [see last video of Rachel at the NRA convention below] and what has happened here in your community, how would you put it to them?"

Long thoughtful silence. Then Burgess responds:

"I have watched people who I love-- my own family, my immediate family...-- I've watched them walk out the door and not come home. I've seen kids that grew up in my church who I baptized, who I taught, who I tutored, who ate candy and pizza with with me in my youth group, I've had to do their funerals, watched them shot... We're not hunting rabbits... These guns- are - killing - people... people who I love.... Tell me how many people in your family have been shot and killed by guns, and maybe if you lost 4-5 family members through gun violence, maybe you'd see it from my position."

"But for them it's fun. But for me it's life and death."

"Tell me where it says we have a right to pack an AK-47."

"Certain guns should not be on the street, period."

"There should be ... responsible laws so that a handgun owner has a gun, maintains a gun, and is qualified to have the gun..."

"I believe their interest is more political... well, their interest is not the lives of these people."

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The NRA "absolutely control our state. And so any responsible gun law hasn't been passed..."

"I challenge them to come here... I will show you the victims of gun violence... and you tell me what good your lobbying has done for my community."

VIDEO ADDED, Rachel and Meghan McCain in a segment called "Two tickets to the gun show" in which Rachel pointed out that two of the NRA's members actually manufacture high-capacity magazines:


When the Financially Corrupt Were Tortured, Hanged and Beheaded


Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

But we are a civilized society for those of the top 1% who defraud customers, the nation, and engage in risk taking for profit that undermines the world economy. Perish the thought of capital punishment, we don't even put those who oversee Wall Street financial malfeasance in jail; heck, we don't even charge them.

Yes, a few underlings, "guppies," are arrested now and then, but that is because their fraud was not large enough and was strictly personal (such as embezzlement). But if it is illegal activity on a massive firm-wide scale, then no one is held accountable. The financial giants just get a fine (if that even happens) that is less than the amount that they profited from their violation of regulations and the law, so they end up with a net revenue gain as a reward for their felonious behavior.

Zweig concludes, "Wall Street offers its risk-takers the potential to earn tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars, when bets pay off, with no real penalties when bets go bad. Until – or unless – that culture changes, nothing fundamental will change." But he remains skeptical that holding individuals responsible for "too big to fail" illegal behavior will work.

That's his opinion.

In our book, it's still worth a try. Enabling the current double standard of putting a person in jail for kiting a few checks, but not even charging anybody for pre-meditated actions that lead to billions of dollars in fraudulent activity, well that's not only unfair; it results in a nation committing financial suicide.

Please read the rest here. I left out a lot.


Bill Clinton warns about backlash if Supreme Court rules against "Obamacare"


If the Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate (you know, the one that Willard Romney included in his own health care law), former President Bill Clinton says it will mean a backlash against the GOP when voters realize what they once had.

He also pointed out the parts of the law that benefit Americans, and that would be missed if repealed. Hence, there would be consequences for Republicans should that happen.

The Daily Beast:

• Changing the health-care delivery system has already produced two years in a row of 4 percent inflation in health-care costs. This is the first time in 50 years that health-care costs have gone up so little. Killing the Affordable Care Act would let inflation loose again.

Some 2.6 million people ages 21 to 26, who now have insurance coverage for the first time because they can be carried under their parents’ policy, would lose it.

$1.3 billion dollars in insurance refunds have already been paid to businesses and individuals because now the law says 85 percent of your premium has to go to health care and not to profits and promotion. ... Refunds would shrink.

If Republicans succeed in persuading the Supreme Court to repeal the individual mandate, somewhere between 12 million and 16 million Americans will be unable to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions.


Before the Affordable Care Act passed, two thirds of all the applications for bankruptcy were because of health-care emergencies, a consequence likely to return if health care inflation again rises precipitously.

What do the Republicans have to offer to compensate for any of these losses? *crickets*

You know what they say:

And remember, the other benefits of the ACA don't fully kick in until 2014.


"Green Card" chanters from University of Southern Mississippi band punished


As you may recall, the band from University of Southern Mississippi chanted “Where’s your green card?” at a player from Kansas State during that NCAA Tournament game. The player is from Puerto Rico, meaning, of course, that he’s an American citizen.

Now disciplinary action has been taken against five of the band members, NPR is reporting. They've been removed from the band, will lose scholarships, and they will be taking a cultural sensitivity training class:

"The students have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful. They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul said in statement. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."

File under "Doing the right thing."