Non-tribal. The lede was buried, but Bird Dog is not a Republican anymore. As an independent moderate conservative, don't expect any easing up on the Left, and don't expect any spirited defenses of conservatives who say and do stupid things. It's a target-rich environment, with cluelessness on the left and right. Bachmann is one less target after she leaves Congress (but I suspect she'll still be in headlines), but Ted Cruz is ably picking up her slack.
Racial/ethnic. Judicial Watch raises the specter of the Department of Justice pursuing those who would say mean things about Muslims. Quote:
In its latest effort to protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.
Sounds bad, but its fails to flesh out the context that sparked the DOJ announcement.
Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”
To provide a little more context, here is the actual picture.
So, uh, yeah, if I were in a minority group--Muslim, Mexican, Jew, gay, black--I might find the image a bit threatening. However, after the Justice Department pissed on the First Amendment in the AP/Rosen scandal, they should be careful about wading into more free speech infringement, especially if such pursuit is legally dubious (more here from Volokh). The DOJ would be much more successful in Turkey. Glenn Beck provides even a little more context.
“I thought it was humorous,” West told The Tullahoma News, adding that he is “prejudiced against anyone who’s trying to tear down this country.”
That could include “Muslims, Mexicans, anybody,” West explained. “If you come into this country illegally or harm us or take away benefits, I’m against it.”
So, in other words, good ole boy Barry West was just having a little racist fun. What's the big deal. To add even more context, Councilman West is a Democrat.
Also a Democrat is Dick Harpootlian, who chairs his party in South Carolina.
South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, imploring party activists Friday night to defeat this state’s Indian-American governor, predicted next year’s Democratic standard-bearer would “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.”
Haley was raised in South Carolina and attended college here, but her parents were Sikh immigrants.
So far, Dick has only dug his hole deeper. I bring this up to make the point that racism is not the sole province of the GOP. If anything, it's more a problem with southern white culture in general, IMO. Unfortunately, a majority of those southern white boys have migrated to the GOP, which is a problem for that party.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee blasted White House press secretary Jay Carney on Sunday, calling him a “paid liar” who is not being truthful about the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.
Well, I don't know about the IRS, but I assume Carney is paid for his work, and he did lie about Benghazi. Still, Issa is guilty of overreach.
Best title of the day. Far-Right Extremists Chased Through London by Women Dressed as Badgers. With a title like that, why even read the story, but the picture helps.
Boy, does it help. Actually, I did read the story and I still don't know what to think about it. I guess democracy can be messy at times.
Second best title of the day. Amanda Bynes suing police, said cop 'slapped my vagina'. Owee.
Turkey. Major protests underway, in part because the government approved the removal of a city park to make way for a real estate development, but it's also a protest of the ever more authoritarian and Islamist Erdogan regime. Erdogan's party is the AKP:
Mahmut Macit, an AKP official in Ankara, raised hackles last week when he tweeted: “My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These people, who have been raped, should be annihilated.” He continued to declare, “Insulting Islam could not be considered freedom of expression.”
This, of course, comes against the backdrop of a tweet by Ahmet Kavas, Turkey’s ambassador to Chad (and a product of one of Turkey’s religious high schools) who declared, “al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization.” On February 6, 2012, Erdoğan unleashed a furor when he declared, “We want to raise religious generations,” and, indeed, he has also counseled Turkish women about how many children to have and when. A number of earlier statements by Erdoğan from his tenure as Istanbul mayor should have raised eyebrows, for seldom do intolerant men suddenly find tolerance overnight.
Pakistan. Dr. Afridi helped the Americans by extracting DNA from bin Laden and others at the Abbottabad compound. Nine days after the raid, Dr. Afridi was jailed. In January 2012, Leon Panetta affirmed Afridi's role, stating that the man is not a traitor. The ISI interpreted Panetta's admission a little differently, and the good doctor is serving a 33-year sentence.
Iran. In 2012, there was "marked resurgence of Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism, through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and Tehran's ally Hezballah," according to the State Department.
The WAMI. Thomas Jocelyn takes issue with Obama's "path to defeat" rhetoric, and with good reason.
American culture. Meathead's mother-in-law dead. RIP, Jean Stapleton. All in the Family was one of those iconic series that reflected our tranisitioning culture. She played her role brilliantly.
Massad isn’t a Queer Theorist; his focus at Columbia is modern Arab politics, and in his book the rich history of Arab culture around sex and desire is drowned in a lot of nonsense about a “Gay International,” which he seems to think is a reactionary imperialist idea. Massad understands that visibility attracts the bullet; he just thinks that those who come out have brought it on themselves and, worse, are pawns of Western neocolonialists bent on “destroying social and sexual configurations of desire in the interest of reproducing a world in [their] own image” in the name of liberation.
“By inciting discourse about homosexuals where none existed before,” he writes, “the Gay International is in fact heterosexualizing a world that is being forced to be fixed by a Western binary.”
In other words, sex was all cool and fluid in the ancient East, and guys used to be able to “penetrate” other guys and not have to worry about being called anything. Those were the good old days, when sex didn’t have to have horrible Western identities. Everyone was straight, so life was easy and gay. Then along came the “Gay International” and ruined it all, compelling poor straight people or bisexuals in those countries who are practicing their same-sex expressions into a gay (or straight) identity, and bringing out the worst in governments that previously paid no attention but now are forced to call in the hangman for the lovers who choose the wrong side.
Of course, Massad says this all very academically, with tons of footnotes, so you automatically think he must know what he is talking about. But when all is said and done, it reminds me of arguments we’ve all heard about gay people ruining the American male bonding party of old days because they insist on being gay.
Sounds like a familiar pattern.
More eliminationist rhetoric. Some professors should not write angry.
To turn the song lyric they so love to quote back on them, “We’ll put a boot in your —, it’s the American way.”
Except it won’t be a boot. It’ll be an M1A Abrams tank, supported by an F22 Raptor squadron with Hellfire missiles. Try treason on for size. See how that suits. And their assault arsenal and RPGs won’t do them any good.
A rejoinder here.
Eliminationist bomb-making materials. The story here.
A Ridgewood physician has been indicted on charges that he caused the risk of widespread damage by stashing large amounts of bomb-making materials at his home.
Roberto Rivera, 60, also is charged with the criminal possession of two Cobray M11 9mm assault rifles, a stun gun and a large-capacity ammunition magazine that authorities said were found at his home.
The 11-count indictment returned Wednesday by a grand jury in Bergen County also charges Rivera with possessing two other rifles and a .40-caliber handgun despite having been prohibited from possessing firearms because he had previously been committed to an institution for a mental disorder. Prosecutors declined comment on Friday about his commitment to a hospital.
Police said they responded to Rivera’s home on Nov. 16, 2012, on a hazardous-material report and found chemicals in his basement, prompting a Bergen County bomb squad and an FBI terrorism task force to join the search.
They said that as the search continued, they found large amounts of nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, sulfuric acid, calcium hypochlorite and potassium perchlorate — all chemicals that can be used in making explosives. They also said they found 10 pounds of thermite and 10 thermite lighters, which can be used to detonate bombs.
Prosecutors have not commented on Rivera’s motive in collecting the material, whether he had a specific plan or whether he acted alone or with a group. They did, however, say they found folders marked “revolution” and “anarchism” in his home, along with documents on how to make explosives.
Rivera was "deeply involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement."
No evidence of vote fraud. Except when there is.
Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Jeffrey Garcia, 40, declined to comment. He also worked last year on the campaign of Democrat Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who unseated tea-party Republican congressman Allen West. Murphy has not been implicated in the phantom-requests operation.
The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, seeking electronic equipment such as computers, served search warrants Friday at the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, 30, Joe Garcia’s communications director; and John Estes, 26, his 2012 campaign manager. Neither Estes nor Sopo responded to requests for comment.
A third search warrant was also executed, though it wasn’t clear where.
Joe Garcia said he would likely put Sopo on administrative leave for the time being.
The raids marked a sign of significant progress in the probe that prosecutors reopened in February, after a Herald investigation found that hundreds of 2,552 fraudulent requests for the Aug. 14 primaries originated from Internet Protocol addresses in Miami. The bulk of the requests were masked by foreign IP addresses.
It is unclear if the requests from domestic and foreign IP addresses are related to the same operatives.
Patrick Murphy beat Allen West by a little over 2,000 votes. He questioned the accuracy at the time, but did not have any evidence.