06 Apr

ThinkProgress – Bristol Palin’s Nonprofit Paid Her Seven Times What It Spent On Actual Teen Pregnancy Prevention

In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.

But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

via ThinkProgress – Bristol Palin’s Nonprofit Paid Her Seven Times What It Spent On Actual Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Apparently it’s totally justifiable to spend most of your money on advertising and salary (a salary which only 1.50% of all Americans make that or better) for a non-profit and basically nothing on your non-profits actual mission.

10 Jan

NYTimes.com – Climate of Hate

I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign. I remembered the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — an upsurge that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And you could see, just by watching the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies, that it was ready to happen again. The Department of Homeland Security reached the same conclusion: in April 2009 an internal report warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise, with a growing potential for violence.

Conservatives denounced that report. But there has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats and vandalism aimed at elected officials, including both Judge John Roll, who was killed Saturday, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords. One of these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And now someone has.

It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

via NYTimes.com – Climate of Hate. This is perhaps the larger point, there is a problem when violent rhetoric is used as a substitute for reasoned and rational debate.

10 Jan

The New Yorker – The battle over the Constitution

A great deal of what many Americans hold dear is nowhere written on those four pages of parchment, or in any of the amendments. What has made the Constitution durable is the same as what makes it demanding: the fact that so much was left out. Felix Frankfurter once wrote that the Constitution “is most significantly not a document but a stream of history.” The difference between forty-four hundred words and a stream of history goes a long way toward accounting for the panics, every few decades or so, that the Constitution is in crisis, and that America must return to constitutional principles through constitutional education. The two sides in this debate are always charging each other with not knowing the Constitution, but they are talking about different kinds of knowledge.

via The New Yorker – The battle over the Constitution. Covers the history of the ratification, the document itself and how it’s been used to argue all sides in a debate including gun control. Pretty interesting stuff.

08 Jan

NPR – Congresswoman, 6 Others, Killed By Gunman

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office confirms. The 40-year-old Democrat was outside a Tucson grocery store when a gunman ran up and began firing indiscriminately. The suspect was taken into police custody.

The 40-year-old Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

via NPR – Congresswoman, 6 Others, Killed By Gunman. I may be over-reacting but in this case it looks like the suspect was targeting the Congresswoman for a political assassination. If true, this is not a healthy attitude for anyone. Political disagreements should never be resolved through violence.

This was also one of the House Democrats that Sarah Palin through SarahPac “targeted” with croshairs over their district: http://twitpic.com/3o7cti. Also Sarah Palin is reportedly deleting posts that carried this rhetoric, which is a little silly the internet always remembers and deleting her copies doesn’t delete everyone else who reported on it, etc.

Update: Sharron Angle former Republican candidate who went up against Senator Harry Reid, who claimed that if things don’t work out at the “ballot box” Americans should turn to a “Second Ammedment remedy”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU9GXil9Vm8

Update 2: Rep. Giffords was not killed today, at least as of writing, she was however severely wounded and is in critical condition.

01 Dec

CNET News – Congressman wants WikiLeaks listed as terrorist org

The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says WikiLeaks should be officially designated as a terrorist organization.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the panel’s next head, asked the Obama administration today to "determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization," putting the group in the same company as Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway.

via CNET News – Congressman wants WikiLeaks listed as terrorist org. Perhaps more interesting is what Wikipedia’s Co-Founder had to say.

@wikileaks Speaking as Wikipedia’s co-founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S.–not just the government, but the people.

Sarah Palin of course also had to speak up, but proved she doesn’t have a clue about international law, copyright and secrecy laws.

Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked,but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?

In short everybody has a reaction, overall mine is Wikileaks is a valuable service, in no way is it a terrorist organization. It’s goal does not appear to be sheer destruction of governments or organizations or even chaos of those same instutions. It is an organization driven to do one thing publish information that otherwise might not be exposed to the public.