And my immediate thought was Louie Gohmert, then I second-guessed myself and said it was Steve Stockman. Shoulda trusted my instincts! Also acceptable guesses: Steve “Esteban” King, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul. (2 comments)
From GOP Montana Legislator Wants State To Spank Criminals on ThinkProgress (HT Xymomma):
Montana State Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R) is sponsoring a bill to allow defendants to “bargain with the court” to receive “corporal punishment in lieu of incarceration.” The bill would apply to not just misdemeanor crimes, but also felonies — though the bill requires that the “exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed” be “commensurate with the severity, nature, and degree of the harm caused by the offender.”
From Catholic bishop tries to explain how a priest ended up in’self-bondage’ on the WaPo (via):
[Bishop Thomas Paprocki] explained that St. Aloysius’ pastor, the Rev. Thomas Donovan, “is suffering from a psychological condition that manifests itself in self-bondage as a response to stress.”
The statement was a response to a 911 call in November by Donovan from the parish rectory. In it, the priest tells dispatchers he had placed himself in handcuffs and asks police to help free him.
Springfield police responding to Donovan’s 911 call on Nov. 28 said that as far as they could tell, there was no one else in the rectory when they arrived at 4:45 a.m.
Donovan’s hands were cuffed behind his back with the keyhole facing up, so he couldn’t unlock himself, according to the police report. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit and “a leather bondage-type mask with a bar in his mouth.”
The officers uncuffed Donovan, and asked if he needed medical attention. The priest said he was fine, he was alone, and that he “does this from time to time.”
Not much to say, except dibs on Godwin.
I haven’t written about the tragic shooting in Aurora, Co. I really can’t think of much to say about it, so I’ll go ahead and move on to the tangentially related story of reactions to it. This shooting has been especially bizarre in that the main media narrative hasn’t been whether or not we should have more gun control to avoid more things like this happening, but whether having a conversation about it should happen. I have to admit that the right-wing did some masterful work here in rapidly boxing Democrats in on this issue. Somewhat less effective, though, in convincing the public that the left is the side politicizing the issue when the right has rushed so rapidly to politicize it. I always try to imagine what a politically disengaged person will think about political controversies and current events, and if they were paying attention, I tend to think that a deadly shooting, followed immediately afterward by right-wingers blaming the victims or gun control regulations (thanks, Rep. Gohmert!), somehow, just isn’t going to sit well with them. It’s bizarre, it doesn’t make sense, and it’s evidence of a faction too used to being on the attack, relentlessly beating back threats, that it can’t hold back and take the prudent course. And then there’s this, via the Maddow Blog:
Apparently Warren has done some hedging since then–he’s a bit more image-conscious than a Pat Robertson–but no matter. What this is, basically, is an attempt to shut down public debate. There’s no way to respond to this logically, because it makes no sense. Europe has far less religious observance than America, for example, but not a higher level of indiscriminate violence (Anders Breivik notwithstanding, though that sort of proves the rule). The point isn’t to win an argument, it’s to ensure that no argument takes place. To turn this issue into another emotionally charged culture war skirmish, with the same old dynamics. That’s where they’re comfortable.
Thing is, though, that the right-wing response to Aurora hasn’t really depressed me. It’s actually reaffirmed my belief that the right-wing is in decline in America. Factions that are vibrant don’t try to shut down debates, they try to win them. But virtually every media institution on the right tries to keep debates from happening, and they’ve developed a number of sophisticated techniques to do it. Of course, the combination of opportunism, media manipulation, and a bad economy has given the right-wing a new chance to do the same old things, but the best you can hope for with this type of strategy is to bottle up these debates and the inevitable changes that come with them. Southern conservatives, after all, managed successfully for decades to avoid having a real debate about civil rights, but in retrospect their actions were clearly just delaying tactics (and, actually, were recognized as such by those doing them).
The authors of Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law say George Zimmerman should probably be arrested for shooting Trayvon Martin, reports the Miami Herald. “He has no protection under my law,” former Sen. Durell Peaden told the newspaper. [...] It is the fact that Zimmerman ignored the 911 operator’s advice not to follow Martin that former Sen. Peaden says disqualifies him from claiming self-defense under the law. “The guy lost his defense right then,” Peaden told the Miami Herald. “When he said ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his defense.” Rep. Dennis Baxley, Peaden’s co-sponsor in the Florida House, agrees with his former colleague, telling the newspaper that the law does not license neighborhood watch or others who feel “like they have the authority to pursue and confront people. That is aggravating an incident right there.”It’s pretty simple. You can stand your ground and have the defense apply to you, or you can take it upon yourself to chase after the perpetrator (i.e., you are no longer STANDING your ground) and lose the defense. The cops involved in this should be ashamed of themselves.
So I got one of those research question calls the other day. It was all pretty typical stuff about the media, consumerism, etc. But then it got into criminal justice and the nice research lady told me roughly the following scenario:
A 14-year-old girl runs away from home. She meets up with an older, middle-aged man who starts to pimp her out. At some point he takes her to a hotel room where a number of his friends have sex with the girl. They got caught by the police.
With that in mind, the question was basically what punishment should the man and the 14-year-old receive. Yes, the 14-year-old! Of course my answer was none as to the girl — but I’d really like to know which sick motherfuckers out there are answering the question differently. Probably tough-love, family-values Christian types who want to punish prostitution no matter what. The mind reels…
A redditor comments:
I’m in Law School and this illustrates how bad the system is rigged to favor the wealthy, and literally nothing can be done to change it.
Just as an example: The Plea Bargain – which the homeless guy most likely took.
The plea bargain is supposed to keep the court free and moving along, but what it does to the poor who can’t afford a lawyer, is forcing them to plea to charges they are likely not even guilty of simply because their lawyer doesn’t have the time or money to fight them (PubDef)
The AIG guy has a lawyer who will bury the ADA in paperwork. The ADA knows this, but has to get this guy in jail, but the AIG guy lawyer is good, and knows that he can drag out a trial over the next 2-4 years… the ADA doesn’t want to do this… he’s got fucking murders to try, so he offers the AIG [just] 4 years for a far more heinous crime… and he takes it, because no matter how well his lawyer fought, 2-4 years later, he’d be doing 20… the state just doesn’t have the resources to take rich people to jail for 20 years.
Another adds the sort of explanation I was more familiar with:
I think it is more of how the laws are written, the poor guys was probably charged a federal crime for stealing from a bank. That is usually a violent crime, and as such carries a minimum amount of prison time much higher than fraud that isn’t a violent crime.
So now we’re burning mosques:Federal officials are investigating a fire that started overnight at the site of a new Islamic center in a Nashville suburb.We’re getting to the point that I just don’t want to even talk about politics any more. It is just too depressing, and even smart people I know are spouting nonsense. I had a discussion with someone I’ve known a long time about the Glenn Beck nonsense yesterday, and all that person could say was “If the Democrats want my vote, they need to distance themselves from Al Sharpton.” Because you know how much power Al Sharpton has in the Democratic party, as opposed to the lunatics in the driver’s seat of the GOP. I swear to God every white person over the age of fifty has just completely lost their shit.
Ben Goodwin of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to CBS Affiliate WTVF that the fire, which burned construction equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, is being ruled as arson. . . .
I just changed the topic. FOX news and the race-baiters have us all by the balls.
I just got done watching the HBO documentary Gasland. I had to turn it off because I was crying too much and my head started to hurt really bad. Here’s a summary of what the movie explores:
It is happening all across America—rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called “fracking”—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.Even as I’m typing up this blog post, I am still crying. I want to lock every last one of the government-hating teabagger crowd into a room with this movie and scream at them, “What the fuck is wrong with you!?”.
But what comes out of the ground with that “natural” gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.
I want to lock Dick Cheney in a house right next to a natural gas drilling operation and force him to drink the water that has made all of the people in this movie sick and not let him out until the poisons have fully leeched into his system, given him seventeen different types of cancer and caused his brain tissues to melt away.
If anyone can watch this movie and not come away with the profound sense that we, as a country, are permanently and irredeemably fucked, I really don’t know what to say.
We really are permanently and irredeemably fucked. I don’t even know why I bother to fight it anymore.
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