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I imagine you all have seen the current Recommended diary "In Defense of Shaun King", within which there is much spirited discussion regarding alleged repeated factual errors in a multitude of Shaun's diaries, and a lack of timely corrections to those errors.

Just to get this out of the way, I think it's clear where I stand on the issue of Shaun's tenure at Daily Kos - I value his discussion points and have recommended many of his diaries, but I also do believe that he does not do enough fact checking and has on multiple occasions had errors pointed out to him that were not corrected, IMO, in a timely fashion.

Regardless of where you stand on Shaun's presence at Daily Kos as a front page writer, I think something we can all agree on is that this community is totally in the dark regarding editorial protocol with front page authors.  I think this community deserves to know what editorial procedures take place with regard to front page writers.

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The folks over at Daily Kos Elections have been doing a great job giving the Philadelphia Mayoral primary race some attention over the past month.  Though campaigns have been active since the turn of the new year, the race only started to take shape over the past month.

As expected, Councilman Jim Kenney (who resigned his At-Large seat to run for Mayor) has overwhelmingly won the Democratic Mayoral primary election, with over 55% of the total vote among six candidates.  Kenney is the super-favorite to become the next Mayor of Philadelphia come November's election, as the city is overwhelmingly Democratic and has not elected a Republican mayor since 1951.

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I'm gonna keep this one short.  Because there really isn't much to say other than Michele Bachmann is insane.

Huff Post, baby.

Poll

Reasons President Obama is the worst

7%44 votes
39%234 votes
52%307 votes

| 586 votes | Vote | Results

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Have you ever heard of dihydrogen monoxide?  Perhaps not, but let me assure you that we're within its presence at all times.

Did you know that thousands of people die each year from accidental inhalation of dihydrogen monoxide?  Not only that, but it's an industrial solvent and coolant, used as a fire retardant, and over consumption can lead to death.

This compound is a danger to our environment and must be banned!

If you aren't familiar with chemistry nomenclature, it's entirely understandable why you would call for this dihydrogen monoxide to be banned.  But, would this video clip change your mind?



Yes, dihydrogen monoxide - H 2 O - is the chemistry name for water.  And yes, all of the above does accurately describe water.  If you inhale too much of it, you die (that's called drowning).  It dissolves many compounds (which is the definition of a solvent).  It can cool you off (most notably, all the cool city kids with the open fire hydrants in the summer, which speaks to water's use as a fire retardant).

What's the point of the above exercise?  It shows that an ignorant citizenry is susceptible to hysteria campaigns when uninformed, or perhaps more relevant to the discussion as I shift to GMOs, misinformed.  Sure, you can argue that the general public should not be familiar with chemistry nomenclature, and thus the above example is absurd.  But if you want to stay fair, you must concede that the general public knows what DNA is, even at a rudimentary level.

So when 80% of the general public supports "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA" - the same percentage of people who want mandatory labels on GMOs - I hope you start to see why mandatory labeling of GMOs would cause unnecessary panic among our scientifically ignorant society.

Let's discuss further.

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A brief update to the Philly hate crime situation that many of you have been following.  Today, Philadelphia Magazine released the mugshots of the three suspects arrested for their leading roles in the anti-gay assault that took place on the evening of September 11th.

Though the crowd numbered around 15 individuals, only three were charged.  They are two men and one woman:

26-year-old Kevin Harrigan of Warrington
24-year-old Kathryn Knott of Southampton
24-year-old Philip Williams of Warminster

News has come out that Kathryn's father is a Chief of Police of Chalfont, PA.  Our very own Scott Wooledge has uncovered damaging evidence against Kathryn.

This may be sensitive for some individuals, so be warned.

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A positive update to this horrific story.  User librarisingnsf posted a diary on Monday detailing the event:

From NBC 10 Philly:

A violent attack on two gay men in Center City Thursday night left one of those men in the hospital with multiple fractures, according to sources. Sources tell NBC10 the 27-year-old and 28-year-old victims were walking from a restaurant in the area of 16th and Chancellor around 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Suddenly they were approached by a visibly intoxicated group of two men and six women.

Witnesses say someone in the group asked, "Is this your fucking boyfriend?" When one of the victims told them yes, the group allegedly attacked them, punching and kicking them in the face, head and chest. Police say one of the suspects then snatched a victim's bag containing a cellphone, wallet and credit cards. The group then fled in an unknown direction. "It was a bunch of screams at first," said witness Geoff Nagle. "...a lot of punching and kicking." Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, says he heard the group screaming homophobic slurs.

Video from Fox 29 Philly:

The attack occurred on the evening of September 11th.  This attack is particularly shocking because the area of the attack - 16th and Chancellor St. - is in the heart of Center City and reasonably close to the Gayborhood.

Over the last day since the Philly PD released a surveillance video of the suspects, the public has been hard at work trying to identify the group of attackers.  Apparently, they have been successful.

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It's been about a month since L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist views about black people were broadcast to the world.  Though to people that pay attention to the NBA, Sterling's views were not surprising at all, given his greasy, disgusting reputation and his discriminatory actions against women and minorities.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer on Sterling, banning him from the NBA for life and publicly announcing his intentions to have Sterling removed from ownership.  Many NBA owners publicly supported Silver's efforts, though one NBA owner was quick to bring up the old "slippery slope" argument.

That person is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Within a few days, Cuban backtracked and said he supported Silver.  Fast-forward to this morning, where The Tennessean reports on some eye-popping quotes from the billionaire.  Backtrack no more.

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Just saw this article shared on Facebook by some fellow NJ Democrats.  According to a very comprehensive article by journalist Olivia Nuzzi, Governor Christie went easy on a human trafficker in order to go after the Democratic mayor (and his wife) of Union City, a town of roughly 66,000 people.

Forget Bridgegate, this is a story that will make your blood boil.

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*If you share this story on Twitter, please use the hashtag #ChristieCoverUp - hopefully we can get that widely used to build a large national following of this story*


News broke this morning (BlueJersey.com via the Wall Street Journal) reporting that Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, both implicated in the growing George Washington Bridge scandal, have retained lawyers as investigations continue regarding their involvement with the lane closure scandal.

Bill Baroni served as the Deputy Executive Director at Port Authority, though he has now resigned.  Previously, he was a NJ State Senator.

David Wildstein is a personal friend of Gov. Christie's and was the person who ordered the GW Bridge general manager to close the lanes.  Wildstein told the bridge manager to not inform anyone in Fort Lee, NJ about the lane closures.

If you are new to this story, follow below the fold for a quick recap (plus all the new updates):

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In a dramatic update of the ongoing GW Bridge lane closure scandal, NJ Gov. Chris Christie apparently had direct contact with NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding the closure of two lanes, a move that caused major traffic jams throughout the town of Fort Lee, NJ and on the bridge itself.  The topic of discussion

Mr. Christie, a Republican, complained in a private phone call to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, that Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was pressing too hard to get to the bottom of why the number of toll lanes onto the bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., was cut from three to one in early September, according to this person. The lane closures occurred without notice to local authorities, officials have said, and snarled traffic for a week in the small borough on the Hudson River bluffs.
In the words of Scooby Doo - Ruh Roh.
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Last month the Daily Kos community was galvanized behind ex-Marine and waitress Dayna Morales, as she claimed a couple refused to tip her based on her being gay.  According to Morales, a couple that she served left no tip on a $93 bill, instead writing a note stating that they didn't "agree with her lifestyle".

Such stories are sadly common, so the story generated considerable and fair outrage within this community.  A post by Jen Hayden made it all the way to the front page, and was further "liked" on Facebook over 6,500 times.  Morales, an ex-Marine, had set up a PayPal account and as Jen's article detailed, had promised to donate a portion of those proceeds to the Wounded Warrior project, a worthy recipient.

However, as time passed, we learned that Morales' story started to unravel.  One week after Jen's post, a post by member Heavy Mettle reported that the family in question indeed did tip Morales, and produced their own copy of the receipt in addition to a credit card statement that showed a tip of $18 (a solid amount for a $93 dining bill).

According to the family:

The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.

"We've never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that," the wife said.

The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn't vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn't support gay marriage.

Another short diary posted by member ffour included links to stories that claimed the ex-Marine has a reputation for being a "habitual liar".

It seems that those reports are indeed correct, as a story posted by ABC News states that Ms. Morales has been fired from the restaurant after conducting its own investigation.

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Many of you know me well here at Daily Kos.  I exist here and throughout the Internet in plain sight.  I do this to provide a foundation behind my words, to show that I am not afraid of them being in the public.  Perhaps surprisingly, I have never been a victim of right wing shenanigans throughout my seven year membership of this community.

That is, until today.  Yes, today begins my entrance into the world of being dragged through the mud by a Fox News lacky and self-described "journalist".

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from someone named Katherine Timpf asking for an interview regarding some comments I made about how the Affordable Care Act is impacting college students.

I had never heard of this individual, and I'm not stupid, so obviously my plan of action was to search her on Google and see what came up.  Within seconds of searching Ms. Timpf on Google I found out that she is a "journalist" for CampusReform.org, a thinly veiled conservative organization dedicated to "expos[ing] bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses".  Ms. Timpf also lists appearances on "Fox and Friends", "Blaze TV", and Glenn Beck's "Real News" on her resume, just to give you a picture of the individual that I'm dealing with here.

(Separately, as a direct statement to Katherine, who obviously lurks around Daily Kos and now probably my comments - did you really think I would just blindly agree to an interview with a "journalist" - using a Gmail address, by the way - without doing some research on you?  Ha!)

Follow below the fold to see what transpired next and how I am setting the record straight.

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