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It has been a long time I have posted a diary here, but after watching the following video of a policeman questioning the girlfriend of John Crawford - the gentleman killed in a Walmart for holding a BB gun - I had to make sure more people viewed this video and shared it with others. Here is the gist of what the video shows:

Police aggressively questioned the tearful girlfriend of a young black man they had just shot dead as he held a BB gun in an Ohio supermarket – accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail, and suggesting that she was high on drugs.

Tasha Thomas was reduced to swearing on the lives of her relatives that John Crawford III had not been carrying a firearm when they entered the Walmart in Beavercreek, near Dayton, to buy crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars on the evening of 5 August.

Understand that John Crawford was already killed by the time this interview was conducted. The police had not told Crawford's girlfriend that her boyfriend was dead. Rather they used the interview as a fishing expedition to find any information they could to paint John Crawford as deserving of his execution. In fact, by the time the detective, Rodney Curd, tells Tasha Thomas her boyfriend is dead, the douchebag says “As a result of his actions, he is gone.”

I could not figure out how to insert the video into the diary so go to this article and watch the video.

If anyone knows how I can embed the video, let me know and I will put it into the body of the diary.

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File this under "Change We Can Believe In": it seems after just three years in office, the Obama administration has been able to improve the fuel efficiency of the auto industry by a not insignificant amount:

In the past four years, the fuel economy of new vehicles has improved by an average of 14 percent, according to a new study by the University of Michigan. This increase comes on the heels of big hikes in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, which Congress raised in 2007 for the first time in decades. Since then, CAFE has been set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, and a new proposal that's pending would raise the fuel economy standard to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The Michigan study showed that the average fuel efficiency of 2012 light-duty vehicles on the market was 21.5 mpg, up from 18.9 in 2008. Adjusted for the vehicles that are actually purchased, the number is even higher, with 2011 coming in at 22.5 mpg. Researchers say that shows that consumers are buying models with better fuel economy.

The biggest efficiency improvements over the past four years came from diesels, which jumped 9.8 mpg, likely as a result of more diesel passenger cars being offered

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Yes, we have brought you Ellen Degeneres, Elton John, Neil Patrick Harris, and some other fabulous homos. Unfortunately, it seems we have yet another of the less desirable of our breed -- the closeted Republican: Rick Perry. If you ever had any doubts just watch these snippets from a speech he gave on Friday:

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This is not going to be a long diary. I just need to put my two cents in here and express my disgust with the gutless lemmings of the D.C. Media Village, who need to follow the same formula when it comes to any good that this President and his Administration does: fleeting initial acknowledgement of a great achievement followed by the tearing down of this achievement because they buy into some shallow spin shit out of the hole of some conservative Republican spinmeister or blogger.

This happened with the Recovery Act.

This happened with saving the American auto industry.

This happened with Healthcare Reform.

This happened with the Repeal of DADT.

We can can on and on.

You would think that, after something as momentous and so expertly carried out as the taking out of Osama Bin Laden, this Pavlovian response may JUST ONCE be resisted.

Well, you would be wrong.

This morning, here is Villager Asshat Extraordinaire's lead blog title:

HALPERIN’S TAKE: Mistakes were made

All I can say: douchebag.

Discuss

Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM PST

Bravo to these Youth at CPAC

by John Campanelli

I realize that what we collectively know best about the CPAC is the parade of politicians who know better trying their best to pander to the lowest elements in the Republican Party. However, when something happens there that should give hope to not just us liberals and Democrats but Americans in general, I think we would all agree that these conservatives deserve credit and recognition. As such I would recommend your watching this video of young conservatives beating back the racist arguments of white supremacist Jamie Kelso, a White Nationalist recruiter. As Kelso tries to persuade these people, who he assumes would buy into his beliefs, that white Europeans own American culture and must fight integration with those of darker races, these young conservatives make arguments many would assume would more likely come from a conference of liberals rather than conservatives (it's a somewhat long video but worth watching):

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I heard Dylan Ratigan earlier tonight hit back at the New York Times' shoddy job concerning Richard Blumenthal and his military record. Ratigan cited NPR and the Columbia Review of Journalism, which both criticized the Times' coverage. So, I looked up what was written in both and this is what I found.

First, NPR's David Folkenflik wrote an article titled "Media Also 'Misspoke' On Blumenthal's War Record" in which he states that NPR did "[a]n extensive search of the news database Nexis" to investigate journalistic coverage of Blumenthal's career. How novel - a news source doing research. So, what did Folkenflik find?

There are not many serious treatments of Blumenthal's early life by the press. But in interviews for those that were written — with, for example, The Washington Post and The Hartford Courant — Blumenthal appears to have invariably spoken precisely and accurately about the nature of his military service. He has done the same in official resumes. In a debate during the Senate primary earlier this year, Blumenthal explicitly specified he had not served in Vietnam when referring to his stint in the Marine Reserve.

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This is encapsulates the state of the U.S. political climate:

Details: Liz Cheney at SRLC (Southern Republican Leadership Conference) 2010:

--Crowd cheers news of Netanyahu pull out of nuke summit.

Absorbed that for a minute.

The leaders - and these are the leaders, since they are the most dedicated and influential members of the Republican Party - of one of America's two political parties take pleasure in the fact that a country other than their own has decided not to participate in a conference hosted by their own country.

Why do we think these people are cheering? Let's think this out.

Either they are cheering because they believe more nukes are good nukes.

Or because they support the actions of a foreign government over their own.

Or they reflexively will be against anything that Barack Obama is for.

Or all of the above.

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Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:12 PM PST

Obama is like Jon Gosselin

by John Campanelli

Frank Rich and others are way off base. President Obama is not like Tiger Woods. He's just like Jon Gosselin. He's on the TV all the time and, when I voted for him, I thought I was marrying a faithful hot dude. Instead, all I'm left with are horrendous stretch marks.

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No, no, wait, Obama is like Heidi and Spencer Pratt and we're everyone on The Hills. He used us for his own 15 minutes of fame and our national reality TV show got canceled.

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For me, health care reform is about achieving:

  1. universality
  1. affordability
  1. quality care

I don't care how we get there. I just care about getting there.

Unfortunately, I feel like the debate about health care reform has lost sight of achieving these ends and has become a battle about the means by which we get there.

For many fellow progressives, it's: SINGLE-PAYER or FAIL
! Only the government can be trusted to provide cheap, quality health care insurance.

For conservatives, it's: ALL GOVERNMENT = FAIL! In the Magic Hand of the Marketplace We Believe!

I do not believe that this comes down to an either/or situation. I may lose some progressive cred when I say that - although I very much support a public option and would be happy with a single payer system -  I am not hostile to the private sector and believe that private insurance companies can make profits and still deliver quality, affordable health care. Therefore, if the private sector maintains a large portion of the U.S. health insurance market, I will not be despondent.

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I saw this at Huffington Post and was surprised there wasn't more coverage of this: in the book Sarah from Alaska, the two reporters who wrote the book report that Sarah Palin's father, Chuck Heath, claims Sarah left college in Hawaii after one semester because teh Asians freaked her out:

Palin, though notoriously ill-traveled outside the United States, did journey far to the first of the four colleges she attended, in Hawaii. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. "Hawaii was a little too perfect," Palin writes. "Perpetual sunshine isn't necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls." Perhaps not. But Palin's father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: "They were a minority type thing and it wasn't glamorous, so she came home." In any case, Palin reports that she much preferred her last stop, the University of Idaho, "because it was much like Alaska yet still 'Outside.' "

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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

                 from Ron Suskind's NY Times article "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush"

As W's administration spokesperson, Dana Perino was well trained in creating alternate realities. Having shifted over to the Right Wing Welfare Unit Fox News, Perino seems quite comfortable continuing to believe that perception equals reality.

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Good news- the President has changed when he will attend the Copenhagen climate conference from the beginning of the conference to the end. This development seems to signal that the White House is optimistic gthat the conference will result in concrete results:

The White House released a statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Friday announcing that President Obama will travel to Copenhagen for the tail end of the climate conference, on Dec. 18, rather than at the beginning of the summit.

Citing China and India's announcements on emissions this week as indications of the potential for a real breakthrough in Denmark, Gibbs explained: "There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the President’s commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome."

"The United States will have representation in Copenhagen throughout the negotiating process by State Department negotiators and Cabinet officials who will highlight the great strides we have made this year towards a clean energy economy," he continued.

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