Archive for WTF moment

VIDEO: Idaho law allows attempted "forcible rapist" to get a gun. "How can this possibly be who we are right now?"


maddow gun permit to rapist

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Rachel Maddow does her usually excellent job of sharing staggeringly jaw-dropping news that make us want to scream, "WTF?!" This time its about "constitutional Republican" and State Representative Mark Patterson, an admitted "attempted rapist." And hey! Conservative Congressman Raul Labrador vouches for this guy!

Did I mention he's part of the Ron Paul wing of the party?

To add fuel to this political grease fire, his website lies about his "accomplishments."

Please watch the entire video, because the excerpts don't include everything Maddow covered.

Take it away, Rachel:

His website described him as having been a student at the University of Southern California, having gone to USC. Turns out he never went to USC.

His website also described him as a petroleum engineer. Turns out he is not a petroleum engineer, he's not an engineer at all.

His website also described him as a professional bicyclist. He was not a professional bicyclist ...he had no professional license, even though he did ride a bike...

Now, though, comes the dark part of this story, which is that Republican State Representative Mark Patterson, it turns out, has twice been arrested and charged with forcible rape.

One of those times in Ohio, he was acquitted. He was found not guilty of those charges. But the other time he was arrested and charged with rape he plead guilty. He plead guilty specifically to assault with intent to commit rape.

He did some time in jail and did some probation, and because of the probation sentence and the plea bargain that went along with it, under Florida law, this all happened in Tampa, Florida, this went down on Mark Patterson's record as a withheld judgment on the assault to intent rape charge.

So fast forward to 2007 and across the country to Idaho. And in 2007, soon-to-be State Representative Mark Patterson applies for a license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Idaho.

He presumably does not mention on his application the rape issue in his past, since Idaho law says you can't get a concealed weapons permit if you have committed a, say, assault with intent to commit a serious felony, like for example, rape. So apparently he didn't mention that on his application in 2007 or presumably again on his application in 2012.

His past rape charge, his guilty plea means, he should have been turned down when he applied for a concealed weapons permit. And so now, the Idaho sheriff to whom he has applied for the gun permit has revoked the permit, saying basically having a violent felony on your record means you can't have a weapons permit. And you certainly can't lie about your violent felony record in order to get a weapons permit.

This is not a hard call, right? ...That one time you plead guilty to assault with forcible rape, that means you can't have concealed weapons anywhere. Even if you are a newly elected state representative. Who knows why he was able to get away with lying on that application once, and at least for awhile on his second try, too. But eventually the sheriff in Ada County, Idaho, found him out...

In any normal world, this is the part where the guy  steps down to spend more time with his family. But because this is not a normal world... because this is our world now, the rape charges Republican lawmaker caught lying about it on his gun application has launched a counter attack, saying this is all just a  trumped up bit of police retaliation for some legislation he sponsored, because he is the guy responsible for the legislation that would have put the cops in jail if Idaho law enforcement officers attempted to enforce federal gun laws in the state of Idaho.

He says because he sponsored that legislation, this whole ruckus now is just The Man coming for him and his guns in retaliation. That sheriff that discovered my rape conviction was, he says, "angry about being exposed as an opponent of the Second Amendment"...

...Do you want to know what the resolution is to the story of the Republican state representative who it turns out was charged with forcible rape twice, and who plead guilty to assault with intent to rape, and then lied about it on his gun permit  application twice, and then got caught lying about it by the local sheriff, do you want to know how this story ends?

The guy gets to keeps his guns.

He gets to keep his concealed carry permit.

After all, even though, you know, right! And lying about it. Even though guilty plea to a violent felony, he gets to to keep the guns and keep the concealed weapons permit, because, turns out there is a state law that says if you're an elected official in Idaho, one of 3,000 elected officials in Idaho, at every level down to dog catcher, if you're an elected official in Idaho, there is a state law that says the legal requirements for getting a gun permit in that state don't apply to you....

...This country became the place where the response by law to the violence attempted rapist elected official who lied about it and who got caught lying about it, the only legal response to that man is, "Sorry, sir. Here is your gun, here is your gun, sir, here is your concealed weapons permit. Really sorry for the inconvenience."

That is the only possible legal response to the guy who plead guilty to assault with attempt to rape: "Sorry, sir, here is your gun."

How can this possibly be who we are right now?

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AIG CEO compares public anger over Wall St. bonuses to Deep South lynching African-Americans


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Just when you thought you couldn't resent greedy, ultra-wealthy Wall Street executives more, along comes AIG CEO Bob Benmosche making jaw-droppingly tasteless analogies.

True to form, the recipients of gigantic bonuses just can't get enough, despite the fact that they nearly destroyed our financial system trying. Of course, they didn't mind accepting bailout money either. *Yawn, stretch*... millions and billions in bailouts and bonuses, it's all in an hour's work.

All this while the rest of us have been struggling to make ends meet. It may be time for Occupy Wall Street to re-occupy.

Benmosche was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and popped out with this gem, via Think Progress:

“Now you have these bright young people [in the financial-products unit] who had nothing to do with [the bad bets that hurt the company.] … They understand the derivatives very well; they understand the complexity. … They’re all scared. They [had made] good livings. They probably lived beyond their means. …They aren’t going to stay there for nothing.

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

He then sworetogod that he really didn't intend to offend anyone. Honest!

Why, who would possibly be offended by the suggestion that lynching African-Americans in the Deep South and being criticized for maintaining the lifestyle of the rich and infamous are analogous?  I mean besides anyone with an ounce of self-awareness and decency.

That concludes today's WTF Moment, and thank you for playing "Really Bad Analogies."


Poll-itics-- Dep't. of Oy Vey: WI Gov. Scott Walker an early favorite for re-election (but not a lock)


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Seriously, Wisconsin, at this point, you get what you deserve if you don't get out the vote and defeat your should-have-been-recalled voter suppressing, privatizing, union busting governor.

This typifies the frustration so many of us are feeling from afar, watching this slo-mo train wreck happen before our own very eyes. Get your act together, Wisconsin Dems, or you have nobody to blame but yourselves if you don't get out the vote in a huge way and finally show Scotty the door.

Via WisPolitics:

Two prominent Wisconsin pollsters say Gov. Scott Walker, on the verge of his re-election bid, appears to have relatively stable poll numbers and the advantages of incumbency.

But Paul Maslin of FM3 and Charles Franklin of the Marquette Law School also told the audience at a luncheon this week that his advantage could change -- and not simply because Dems have yet to fully get behind a single candidate.

Maslin, a Madison-based Dem pollster, conceded Walker is the favorite with nearly 14 months before the 2014 election, noting he's already won his office twice.

But he also argued the guv is "absolutely" vulnerable on economic issues, saying he hasn't delivered on his 250,000 jobs pledge and that the state is largely underperforming in the Midwest.

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Dear TV "news": If you hype Bill Clinton's "important" speech on Obamacare, then air it


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For days, MSNBC hyped today's speech on the Affordable Care Act by former President Bill Clinton, AKA the "Explainer in Chief," as the chuckling news dee jays repeatedly refer to him. They reminded us repeatedly how finally-- finally!-- we would be hearing all about the health care reform program in plain, easy-to-understand language.

Finally, they said, it would be "dumbed down" (one host's words) so that even Americans who have been misled, misinformed, or uninformed would understand the benefits of President Obama's plan. We'd hear all about the improved coverage we'll be getting, the options, the online marketplace, the lower premiums, the elimination of denial for pre-existing conditions, the inclusion of preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, the allowance for coverage of children up to age 26, and on and on.

And finally, the moment was close. MSNBC hyped and frothed and counted down the minutes until the Big Speech. They aired live images of the audience humming in anticipation. They warned their guests that they "could be interrupted at any minute once the president starts speaking."

Wow! This sounds like a Big Build-Up to a Big Speech about Big Important Life-Changing Matters!

And finally, finally, the Big Moment came! The Big Dog started his Big Speech! And just as he was hitting his stride... just as he started explaining "Obamacare" in earnest and in detail...

bamMSNBC cut away.

I scrambled to switch to CNN. No speech. I scrambled again, this time trying to find CSPAN among all the millions of channels on our fancy schmancy Fios cable system. The TV froze. I couldn't switch, I couldn't turn the set off, I couldn't do anything but scream.

When I regained control of my Tee Vee Machine, I flipped back to MSNBC making the faulty assumption that they only cut away for a minute. Wrong. They moved right along to "Now with Alex Wagner" where yet another panel was yet again discussing our impending "surgical attack" on Syria.

So now voters will have received a glut of commentary on another Mideast crisis, but will have not learned anything new about the Affordable Care Act upon which our lives will likely depend.

But thanks for the hype. Now we know what we missed.

And to those of you who are asking why I didn't watch our live stream here at TPC, the answer is simple: I was nowhere near a computer, my hair was dripping wet about to be blown dry, and I was forced to depend on (what is no longer) television "news" [sic] coverage of a major event.


George Zimmerman's dad thinks NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, NBA Players Assoc. (among others) are racists


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According to Think Progress, George Zimmerman's dad, Robert Zimmerman Sr., wrote an e-book, “Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of my Son, George.” And in that e-book, Mr. Sr. wrote a chapter, “Who Are The True Racists.” And in that chapter he tries to convince his readers that Son George's killing of Trayvon Martin wasn't racially motivated.

[A]fter his son shot and killed Trayvon Martin, however, Zimmerman learned that racism is “flourishing at the insistence of some in the African American Community.” He then goes on to list various black leaders and organizations that he believes are racist.

Here is the list of "racists," but please go to TP for elaboration and more insight into Zimmerman, Sr.'s thinking:

  • Congressional Black Caucus
  • The NAACP
  • NAACP President Benjamin Jealous
  • Trayvon Martin’s funeral director
  • Benjamin Crump, Natialie Jackson and Darrly Parks, attorneys for Travyon Martin’s family
  • The National Basketball Players Association
  • Black Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers
  • National Black United Fund
  • United Negro College Fund

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What I will not write about today



Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

See if you sense a theme (I couldn't even bring myself to add commentary this time):


See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

not drunk honest


"New definition of a consensus nominee is someone who Republicans like, Dems can stomach..."


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Judicial nominations have been moving at a snail’s pace, and of course, Republicans have blocked the president every step of the way. The courts have been overloaded, backed up, cannot function properly, and so they are unable to handle cases as judges are unavailable to preside over court proceedings. Trying to get your day in court has become as challenging as passing Democratic legislation in our current Congress.


To make matters worse, many Bush judges are already in place, which explains so many decisions that make Progressive heads explode.


Which brings us to the good news and bad news.


The good news: President Obama has found himself a judicial nominee that appeals to Republicans.


The bad news: President Obama has found himself a judicial nominee that appeals to Republicans.


Via the Los Angeles Times:


President Obama, who has seen court nominees run into Republican roadblocks, may have found a winning strategy for putting a judge on the powerful U.S. appeals court here: He chose a highly regarded corporate lawyer whose resume suggests he could have been a Republican nominee.

Sri Srinivasan, 46, was a law clerk for two Republican-appointed judges after graduating from Stanford University, and he worked in the George W. Bush Justice Department for five years before joining the Obama team as deputy U.S. solicitor general.


This man, per the Times, is likely to be confirmed. Bush's guy. From the Bush Justice Department, which, by the way, is an oxymoron.


More bad news: Senator Ted Cruz likes him. He and Srinivasan were law clerks in Virginia and at the Supreme Court together.


More good news: He would be the first South Asian native to serve on a U.S. appeals court.


More bad news:  He could be a leading candidate for the Supreme Court if and when a vacancy opens up.


More good news: He's a good listener and open-minded, per a colleague.


More bad news:


Liberal activists, unions and human rights groups refused to support him. Most of them say they decided to remain silent, not wanting to upset the White House or stand in the way of an Obama nominee.... The strongest opposition to Srinivasan has come from human rights advocates who have sued multinational corporations.


Are you getting nervous yet? No? Let me nudge you along:


Marco Simons, legal director for Earth Rights International, wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee complaining of Srinivasan's "propensity for pro-corporate, anti-human rights judicial activism." As a lawyer in Washington, Srinivasan has "built a practice around defending powerful multinational companies against allegations of human rights abuses such as war crimes, torture and summary execution," Simons wrote... "The new definition of a consensus nominee is someone who the Republicans like and the Democrats can stomach because they don't want to defy the president," he said.


There's your "liberal" president, GOP.