Wow, there's a loaded question that Melissa Harris-Perry took head on the other night. She was reporting on the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston. That led to reporting on Whitey's involvement with the FBI and their corruption. This brought her to the shocking and thought-provoking diatribe on Ibraham Todashev.
You don't know who Todashev is? Well, thanks the the FBI, his status is now, "was." No one will get to know him anymore. Todashev was a voluntary witness cooperating with the investigation of a triple homicide that took place in Waltham, Mass. This triple murder was tangentially being looked into as a bi-product of the investigation into the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers.
The FBI in Boston contacted Todashev and requested he make himself available for an interview about these three murders and the Tsarnaev brothers possible connection to it. Their request was granted and the FBI flew to Florida where Todashev lived with his family. The agents were granted not one, but four interviews, each lasting for hours. Then, suddenly came the news report that the FBI had shot and killed the cooperating witness in his house. They ripped his body apart with seven bullets -- six to the torso and one to the back of his head, execution style.
In the hours immediately following this brutal killing of this unarmed and seemingly cooperative victim, the FBI manufactured and concocted a series of contradictory excuses for their justified use of a hail of gunfire. Try as they might, they still haven't settled on one story yet in the weeks that have followed. Considering the victim was unarmed at the time, you have to give the FBI a chance to manufacture a credible excuse. Their first four attempts failed the sniff test, miserably.
Now comes the reassuring news that in answer to the victim's parents pleas, with an assist from the ACLU, the FBI WILL investigate itself. Yup, they will look into this incident (their word, not mine) without any outside police or other justice department oversight or cooperation. The FBI assures us they can be trusted to do this because they've had to do this before. Over the past 20 years, there have been over 150 cases where the FBI has investigated itself. And fortunately for us, they've found that they never made a mistake or used undo force. Their record is unblemished. A perfect 150-0. You could almost be suspicious of this if it were not the FBI.
I don't know about you, but I'm sure feeling confident that this newest investigation is going to produce an honest result. But if you have any doubts, please watch Melissa Harris-Perry below. She'll help you put your mind at ease.
So much has been made of Reza Aslan's book Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth, especially from Fox News.
Now before I go any farther, I'll start out with a confession. I haven't read his book and don't even know if I will. But that's the easy part. Confession.
The hard part is the understanding of the Fox News mentality. They may like or not like a book. They may agree or disagree with it's point of view. Frankly, it was their choice to even do an interview with Aslan. They don't interview every writer, even every one who has a controversial take on real events.
Hell, they haven't called me and asked me to do an interview about my book, HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER, and I promise you there's more controversy and revelations in there than the entire old testament. What rankles me is that they're attacking the author, not for his content, but for his current religious beliefs. He's a Muslim who was raised as a Christian, and in his adult years rediscovered his Muslim faith. Does that mean he's not competent to write about Jesus?
Yes, according the the book of Fox. If you have a differing view from their homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-Black slant then you are -- well, one of the others.
What Fox elected to do was attack the author's tome by attacking the academic background of the writer. Bad move. The other night, on All In with Chris Hayes, Aslan gave his credentials. And here they are:
Judge for yourself. Pretty impressive, no? If this man isn't qualified to be writing on this topic, I'm not sure who is. The only thing he hasn't done is walk in the shoes of the Fisherman himself... or maybe he has.
What Fox has essentially done is celebrified a writer and his book, but for all the wrong reasons. They made a personal attack on the messenger. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. As Laffy and Paddy have oftentimes referred to that outfit as "Fox Noise" or "Faux News" I have to echo their sentiments and say that the way they are creating their own monsters. Let's see, theirs, Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, Fox and Friends, et. al.
No, this isn't a story about a zombie attack. It's a bit warmer than that.
Just ask Charles Lutzow. Forty-five years ago he became estranged from his wife, Stella. When they later reunited, she told him that the child they conceived together died during childbirth.
When Stella died ten years back she took a secret to her grave -- their daughter hadn't died, but had actually been given up for adoption. And if it weren't for the internet and an adoption registry, the truth might not ever have been known.
But, as secrets are wont to do, they sometimes resurface when you least expect them. In this case, the surprise was a good one and happened just this week.
Here's the story in a nutshell, and a lot of folks in Rockford Illinois are beaming today:
Glenn Beck took on Michelle Bachmann. How interesting. When you see two fools fighting each other, is it a race to the top or the bottom? Hard to tell. Truth is, I think Beck gets the better of this particular argument, but that's like asking which is better, dying by firing squad or cyanide.
Sadly, they're fighting over something that is tearing up both liberal and conservative America -- spying. How much is okay and when do you step over the line? Is secretive FISA doing it's job? Is the NSA? Are we being told the truth about the collection of our personal information? Do we have a right to know if materials on us have been collected?
The topic is ripe. The combatants aren't necessarily up to the task, but I find myself in a Sophie's Choice frame of mind. But a happy one as both come out as idiots. Judge for yourselves. Courtesy of Beck's owned, conservative libertarian TV network, BlazeTV:
How carefully did you watch this? Did you catch the big gaff:
Beck then turned to his favorite presentation tool -- the chalkboard -- to illustrate his point, writing: “Michelle B- is not dead to me but she is in very very very ILL HEALTH.”
Not surprisingly, Beck misspelled the congresswoman's first name.
I am the worst at catching my grammatical mistakes. I'm going to blame it on needing new glasses, but the truth is, my eyes and my mind aren't always working in sync. I'm oftentimes using it's when it should be an its and a they're instead of a their. You all know what I mean. And we've all come across that Grammar Nazi whose, or is it who's mission it is to point out the error of our ways.
Thanks to a very clever and entertaining video by my new buddy, Matthew Clark, our mistakes are going to be limited. I hope you'll give it a view. In advance, I will caution those who are easily offended by language that you will find a bit of salty blue lingo but nothing you haven't heard before in parochial school -- by the nuns. If though, you find an image of a Nazi is offensive, (it didn't stop the Soup Nazi from being one of the highest rated Seinfeld's ever), then maybe you should pass on this. It's done for humorous effect, and shouldn't bother anyone, but I feel you should be forewarned.
Please give it a try. You won't be sorry. Not only will you be amused, but next time you're unsure of which/witch one/won you're/your supposed to/too/two use, there/their/they're won't be any more/anymore confusion.
Candidates can say anything they want when soliciting your vote but what will they do when in office?
The best you can hope for is that candidates will stick to their word, assuming they're consistent. There's no guarantee. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said when running for office he would sign no bills changing women's accessibility to abortion. Then he got elected and changed his mind.
Candidate Mitt Romney protected against such contradictions by taking all sides of every issue, depending on his audience -- giving him the moniker of Mitt Etch-A-Sketch. Truth is, there's no guarantees to know how someone will vote once they get in. But if we give the benefit of doubt to the candidates in Virginia that they will stick to their word, there's a simple choice between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McCauliff.
Cuccinelli: anti-abortion, pro-forced transvaginal ultrasound, anti-women's reproductive rights, anti-gay, anti-oral sex, anti-sodomy (even between husband and wife). In Virginia under the current statue, it's even illegal to have sex in a car (maybe when the car's in motion, I can understand it, but parked?) The Cooch says, in his recently launched campaign ad that says Virginia's anti-sodomy law is a valuable tool to protect children. I believe in protecting children. What do I know? I'm only a parent of two. I had no idea sodomy was such a problem for kids. To the best of my knowledge,it's certainly not leading to any unwanted pregnancies. I'd say it beats a kick in the butt.
McCauliff: pro-choice, would repeal forced transvaginal ultrasound, is staunch supporter of Roe v. Wade and loosen restrictions on abortion clinics, favors increased educational funding, supports abolishing Virginia's crimes against nature" statute -- Section 18.2-361. Basically it's everything the opposite of what the Cooch wants to enforce.
McCauliff represents less restriction. Kenny C believes Virginia should keep in effect the following, existing laws, according to Dumb Laws in Virginia:
It is illegal to have sex with the lights on.
You cannot engage in having sex in any position other than missionary.
You may not engage in business on Sundays, with the exception of almost every industry.
There is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.
If one is not married, it is illegal for him to have sexual relations.
Police radar detectors are illegal.
Citizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.
Children are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
It is illegal to tickle women.
No animal may be hunted for on Sunday with the exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 AM.
Oh, while you're considering the differences between these two candidates, McCauliff differs from his opponent in the state's wildly Victorian interpretation of the first amendment rights, with their obscenity laws. In a February article in the Richmond Times Dispatch about the states Blue Laws (yes, that's that they're called,):
Obscenity is technically illegal in Virginia, too. That means no dirty movies, dramas, plays or photographs. Or at least it might mean that, depending on what the meaning of "dirty" is. The law prohibits material whose "dominant" theme appeals to a "shameful or morbid" interest in sex and does so in a manner "substantially" exceeding "customary limits of candor." The modifiers leave a lot of wiggle room -- though maybe that depends on what kind of wiggling we're talking about.
Advertising or promoting obscene works or performances is against the law, too. As are dirty books: In Virginia, "any citizen ... may institute" judicial review of any book. If a court thinks the book is obscene, then "the court may issue a temporary restraining order against the sale or distribution" of the book. So anyone who wants to ban "Fifty Shades of Grey" has legal recourse to try.
Those are just a few of the choices the commonwealth of Virginia has facing them in this election.
On top of that, there's an honesty issue. You know what your're buying with Ken C. Did I say buying? He's been accused of having received goods and services of value (bribes in English) and not reporting them -- until he got caught. He did get nailed with his hands in the cookie jar, but he had a good reason. It was just an honest mistake. He reported the
bribes, gifts and the state's prosecutors who reports to Cuccinelli, Virginia's current attorney general, decided not to press charges. Hey, who hasn't forgotten thousands of dollars of "gifts?" Just as the current governor, Bob McDonnell; he'll gladly serve as a character witness for the Cooch.
So then you take his opponent. Terry McCauliff. He's a Clinton stooge. Not that it's a crime, but he has few thoughts of his own. He lied and cheated his way to get Hillary Clinton the nomination over Obama, but failed miserably. So what do you do when you have nowhere to go? Virginia.
With such divergent thinking, why is the contest in that state so close? Or even close at all? Are Virginians really living in the dark ages? Has time skipped over them? Has anyone told them stop leaving a light on for Thomas Jefferson? He isn't late, he's dead.
From the outside, it's easy to look in. That doesn't mean the outside view is the right view, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. So the will of the people is really all that matters. But when you have a choice so clear cut and yet so tightly contested, it means the people are a bit confused. Uncertain.
Either you want personal freedom or you want government to intercede and make choices for you. Put the Cooch (read that as you may) in your bedroom by voting for him,or keep strangers out by voting for Terry M. So why is that so tough?
This past week's Quinnipiac Poll has McCauliff up by only four points. That's within a margin of error. How can it be so close when the candidates are so different? It's the voters. And I find it hard to believe that man who wants to give you freedom of choice and not interfere with your human rights would be a runaway leader over a thief who believes you're not capable of making decisions for yourself. Trust him.
Ringgggggg. Wake up Virginia. You blew it with McDonnell. Don't repeat the mistake with the Cooch.
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