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Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:12 AM PDT

Mogadishu in Texas

by ravagerofworlds2

What happens when the ideology of "Government must be run as a business" actually is employed in a small town in Texas, by name of Alto?

Well, you end up laying off (furlough for 6 months) the entire police force because the police do not generate enough revenue. And well, you know, crime is on the rise in Alto, because there is no law enforcement. Residents of Alto, Texas, must now wait up to 15 minutesfor county sheriffs to respond to crimes (compared to 3 minutes when the police station had funding for 5 officers). And you know what? Someone has already tried to rob the town's bank since the police station was padlocked by the city council and the police cars impounded.

More after the fold.

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Guest Post from my life partner on the recent Supreme Court decision, Turner v. Rogers et al.

Have you noticed our constitutional rights are slowly coming to an end?  That may seem a melodramatic statement, but based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision that state’s rights supersede citizen rights (rawstory), it seems that our Constitution is continuing to slowly erode.

Specifically, the Court ruled that,

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause does not automatically require the State to provide counsel at civil contempt proceedings to an indigent noncustodial parent who is subject to a child support order, even if that individual faces incarceration.
(Turner v. Rogers et al)
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Via Rawstory, a Maine State Representative (R-Garland) waved a gun around when talking to a reporter claiming he was looking for the drug dealer of a woman whose baby died at a homeless shelter.

What exactly did this Republican lawmaker think he was doing? Was he planning on murdering the drug dealer? As retribution? Was this a case of almost vigilantism? What sort of mental health issues does this guy have? And are these characteristics something that helps a politician on that side of the aisle?

Edit/Update: Does anyone remember the calls for guns by Republicans following the Gabrielle Giffords shooting? Or the call for more guns in general by Republicans to solve almost every problem under the sun?

As commenters TheOrchid and Catte Nappe noted, the fellow in question has a history of bizarre behavior. Even his mugshot is creepy.

Discuss

While the man's wife watched from her wheelchair in their house.

Read the whole thing from Rawstory in the above link, but long story short-

Elderly couple witness a car accident, call the police, 84 year old Mr. Henderson investigates the car accident, finds the driver is drunk, does a citizens arrest, waits for the cop, is assaulted by cop with an arm bar takedown and smashed into gravel which includes broken nose, torn arm cuff and bone chips in his eye socket. The cop sent away the first ambulance, a superior officer finally arrived (Mrs. Henderson called 911 again when her husband was assaulted) and Mr. Henderson finally got an ambulance, hospital care and are suing for damages suffered. The police officer is still on the force. No word of an investigation.

More after the fold.

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The police officer acted...

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I generally do not like to give much attention to the worst of the worst, but at one point, Newt Gingrich was supposed to be a policy "wonk" in the 1980s-1990s (bad policy IMO) but in his quest for the presidency/pumping the newt money machine... he's gone back to his base for inflammatory rhetoric. This week is little different, except when I read what he said, for the first time in a long while, I got angry.

Gingrich's 30-minute speech painted America as a nation poised at a crossroads, “Down one road is a European centralized bureaucratic socialist welfare system in which politicians and bureaucrats define the future," he said, "Down the other road is a proud, solid, reaffirmation of American exceptionalism.”

He went on to attempt to lay the blame for the nation's economic woes at the feet of the current administration. “President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history. I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.”

Join me after the jump.

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The other day, a DKOSer wondered why I don't use names for staffers. This is one of the possibilities made real for why I don't do this sort of thing- because we often don't have the full story.

When the Ethics committee put out their 67 page report on John Ensign, it made its way to The Rachel Maddow Show, in which she reads the relevant parts.

Please watch the segment.

Then, if you have ever disparaged the woman whom John Ensign stalked, pursued and used his power to coerce her into a sexual relationship...

I'll leave that to your best conscious. I personally, am aggrieved that I ever placed any measure of blame on John Ensign's victim, which resulted in bankruptcy, divorce and a ruined life. She wants to start over in California.

I wish her well, and hope she finds happiness, free from sexual harassment and without jeers from those who do not understand her whole story.

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How I treated John Ensign's mistress/victim in the past...

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So... just about any time I hear/read Rand Paul on any subject, I do an internal sigh and ask God "Really? You had to have this much variety in the the spectrum of mental health?"

"With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies," the senator said. "It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me."

"It means you believe in slavery," Paul added. "It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses."

"Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery."

"I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care," Paul continued. "You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be."

Commentary after the fold.

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I have the following rights...

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What is the driving force to willfully commit this crime and when can we expect an investigation by the DoJ?.

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, is planning to resign and become a lobbyist for the cable giant Comcast-NBC Universal.

Just four months after voting to approve the the controversial merger of Comcast and NBC, Baker announced Wednesday she will become senior vice president of government affairs for NBC Universal. She had argued that the merger had "the potential to bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms."

"I’ve been privileged to serve in government for the past seven years under President Obama at the FCC and President Bush at NTIA, I’m excited to embark on a new phase of my career with Comcast and NBCUniversal,” Baker said in a statement.

"This is just the latest -- though perhaps most blatant -- example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating," Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said in a statement. "No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington -- where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows."

Baker is legally barred from lobbying the commission for two years.

She was nominated by President Barack Obama as a member of the Federal Communications Commission on June 25, 2009, and sworn in on July 31, 2009. Baker was also the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration under President George W. Bush.

Commentary after the fold.

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What will happen to this former FCC Commisioner who is hired by a corporation they voted in favor of just 4 months before?

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This is probably going to be an unpopular post, but most stands on ideals are when criticizing real world events.

President Obama recently said that anyone who did not support the decision to kill Osama "should have their head examined." (Fallacy- Ad Hominem; attacking the opposition instead of addressing the argument) This is similar to Bushites who declared anyone who did not support W (use of torture, gitmo, lying us all into a war in Iraq, criticism for fiscal insanity) was unpatriotic and a traitor.

On The Ed Show, this talk show host whom I often agree with, was way off base by attacking Michael Moore's pointed criticism that America's soul is missing pieces of itself when assassination is preferred over capture and a very public trial. What Ed uses is the very same tactics (ad hominem, straw man and false equivalency) that Liberals routinely face by our opponents (Corporate Right Wing Demogogues) intent on destroying America's ideals because it is politic to do so (in an attempt to puff out your chest and appear strong).

More after the fold.

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Should the Left use the same Bush Era tactics (ad hominem, straw man, and patriotism checks) to silence critics?

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Oh yes, not smart enough to figure out how hyperbole got Senator Jon Kyl in trouble with the likes of Colbert, Rick Santorum (of Google Infamy) has just attacked Planned Parenthood of being racist and part of the eugenics movement in the 1930s.
Talk about stupid.

Nevertheless, Santorum doesn't think the Planned Parenthood of today is much different from the age of Sanger's controversial views. He called on Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) to sign a bill in his state that would "defund" Planned Parenthood for Hoosiers, pointing to what he calls the group's shady past and sketchy present.

"I can't imagine any other organization with its roots as poisonous as the roots of Planned Parenthood getting federal funding of any kind," Santorum said. "This is an organization that was founded on the eugenics movement, founded on racism -- I mean, it's horrific. It's origins are horrific. And you can say, 'well it's not that anymore.' It's not far from where it was in my opinion."

As evidence of how "not far" Planned Parenthood is from his reading of its past, Santorum raised another standard of the anti-abortion movement, specifically an interview Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the New York Times Magazine in 2009.

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How do you feel about Planned Parenthood?

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Chalk another one up for the Corporate Supreme Court- who recently ruled that a corporation can BAN class action lawsuits through the fine print in their contract.

This is of course, after previous Supreme Courts ruled that a person's right to sue is never lost through contracts.

If there is one body of government that is destroying America right now, it is the Supreme Court.

Deepak Gupta, an attorney at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen who represented the couple, denounced the decision and said class actions had been an essential tool to achieve justice in U.S. society.

"The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crushing blow to American consumers and employees, ruling that companies can ban class actions in the fine print of contracts," he said.

AT&T had argued that a federal law that encourages the use of arbitration, the Federal Arbitration Act, trumped a California consumer protection law at issue in the case.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court's conservative majority agreed.

"The California law in question stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the purposes and the objectives of the FAA. It is accordingly preempted," Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority in reading his opinion from the bench.

Scalia cited a federal judge's conclusion in the case that the couple was better off under the AT&T arbitration agreement than under a class action, which could take months or years and could result in their winning just a small amount of money.

The ruling, which reversed a decision by a U.S. appeals court in California, was the latest in a series by the Supreme Court in recent years that generally favored arbitration.

The court's four liberal justices dissented. "The Court is wrong to hold that the federal act preempts the rule of state law," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in dissent.

The Supreme Court case is AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, No. 09-893.

Discuss

The news story is here, and the video is here.

It all started in an IHOP at 4 am, involved 4 girls going out for an early breakfast (or late dinner), two men dressed as Darth Vader and Boba Fett, and two portly police officers who slapped and then slugged a woman, pulling her dress up and flashing her panties to the entire restaurant while he's on top of her.

The woman? White, dark haired and probably a buck twenty. Definitely not a threat.

What started the melee is unclear. Freeman said she and her friends were seated at the first table near the front door of the IHOP. She was speaking to her friends about two nearby restaurant patrons who were dressed like characters -- Boba Fett and a Storm Trooper --  from the Star Wars films before the off-duty APD officer approached.

“He just attacked me,” Freeman said, “And I said, ‘What did I do? What did I do? I didn’t do anything.”

“I’m sitting with my friends, and I’m talking to the Darth Vadar guys, just on a casual conversation ... and then he just out of nowhere came to me, out of all of the people, came to me,” she said later.

“I didn’t touch this man, never, not once,” she said. “I didn’t pay him any attention what he had on. I was just looking at his face because he was yelling.”

According to several videos posted on YouTube.com, the officer, whose name police have not provided, shouted at a woman sitting in the corner of a booth near the door and then he lunged at her. A woman wearing a black dress appeared to be trying to separate the officer and her friend when the officer slapped her. The woman in the black dress hit him back, and he punched her in the face.

A second officer came up just as the struggle began. He got involved when it became physical between the first cop and the woman in the black dress, apparently trying to separate them. The first officer pulled the woman away from the table, threw her onto the floor and laid on top of her while trying to get handcuffs on one wrist. The second wrist was cuffed when she turned over on her stomach.

Within moments, a female officer appeared to hold back the crowd while the woman in the black dress, shoeless, was led out of the restaurant.

The officer involved in the incident has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation, an Atlanta police spokesman said.

For more on police brutality in America, please continue below the fold.

Poll

After watching the video and reading the news story, what do you think of the incident?

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