Archive for consequences

2011 VIDEO- Rachel Maddow documents heartbreaking consequences of NRA influence

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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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Burgess:

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

Rachel:

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

Burgess:

"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:

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When the Financially Corrupt Were Tortured, Hanged and Beheaded

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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."

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Florida pediatricians will be prevented from asking kids about gun access

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A few days ago I posted two videos from The Rachel Maddow Show that I wish would go viral. Please watch them if you haven't already. If you ever had any doubts about the enormous influence of the NRA, they will be laid to rest, just as the lives of many Pittsburgh area shooting victims were.

And just as mind-boggling are the attempts of several states to do away with legal abortion rights. Again, Rachel nails it. What is striking is how many GOP-run state governments are intruding into our personal lives, especially regarding our private relationships with our doctors. Big Brother comes to mind.

Think Progress augments these two reports with more very unpleasant news, starring who else? Florida's nightmare governor, Rick Scott.

[Now] Scott is expected to soon sign a first-of-its-kind bill that does just that by forbidding doctors from asking their patients if they own guns. To prevent accidental injuries, pediatricians routinely ask new parents if they have guns at home and if they are stored safely. But the NRA and its allies in the Florida legislature see something more sinister at work — a radical agenda to curb the rights of gun owners.

This combines the invasiveness of anti-choice laws with the all too familiar NRA power grabs, the worst of both worlds.

Yes, those pesky pediatricians are looking out for the safety and well being of their young patients, and somehow this becomes a "morality" issue and the very kind of intrusion that Republicans hypocritically condemn. As usual, it comes down to a phony argument about Second Amendment rights. Welcome to Opposite World:

“We take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions,” [Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist in Tallahassee, FL] says. [...]

“This bill is about helping families who are complaining about being questioned about gun ownership, and the growing anti-gun political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs...”

Oh it gets worse:

Florida has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the nation with 12.5 gun deaths for every 100,000 people.

Added: As Rachel points out in her video, in South Dakota doctors are given actual scripts to read to their patients, scripts designed to discourage women from going through with an abortion. Now simple questions to keep living children safe, to keep them alive, are censored. "Pro-life" my ass. I repeat: Love the fetus, ignore the child.

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Fuel me once: BP wants feds to calculate Gulf spill by day, not barrel

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As BP is doing everything it can to get themselves a few more drilling contracts, they're also writhing around, trying to figure out how to squirm out of paying the price for all the damage, devastation, heartache, death, and ruin they caused.

Via FuelFix:

BP said the U.S. should calculate its pollution fine for last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill based on how long the damaged well gushed, not on how many barrels of crude it discharged. [...]

BP said in a filing yesterday in federal court in New Orleans that the government should assess a fine based on the days the well was in violation of the Clean Water Act, an alternative method to the way the U.S. said it plans to calculate the penalty. The difference amounts to billions of dollars.

Don't listen to them, judge. Bill, baby, bill.

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Rep. Steve King’s ‘favors the black person’ backlash: fundraiser canceled

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Here is what Rep. Steve King said on G. Gordon Liddy's radio show:

When you look at this administration, I’m offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture. It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race,” said King. “And I don’t know what the basis of that is but I’m not a coward when it comes to that and I’m happy to talk about these things and I think we should. But the president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race – on the side that favors the black person.”

Of course, King was wrong on all counts. So wrong, in fact, that he's noticing a few repercussions:

Republican congressional candidate Cory Gardner has canceled a $100-per-plate fundraiser where King was to speak that was set for Saturday, according to the Coloradoan.com. [...]

King’s appearance was also canceled at a Colorado tea party gathering where he was scheduled to appear, according to the Associated Press.

If only others with big mouths like King were forced to pay the same kind of consequences... and then some.

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