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demmiblue's Journal
demmiblue's Journal
February 25, 2012

Santorum Says He'll Reach Out To Minority Communities By Talking About Something Other Than Food...

Source: TPM

TROY, MICHIGAN -- At a speech before a tea party crowd brought here by Americans For Prosperity Saturday, Rick Santorum promised to attract votes in minority communities by promising them something other than food stamps.

"[I'll] talk to minority communities not about giving them more food stamps and government dependency, but about creating jobs so that they can participate in the rise of this country," Santorum told the crowd. The line drew big applause from the overwhelmingly white audience.

Connecting minorities too food stamps -- or at least appearing to do so -- has landed Santorum in hot water before. Back in Iowa, he was caught on tape saying what appeared to be "I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families."

He later explained he was saying "blah people".

February 25, 2012

Move Your Money: San Francisco Churches Move $10 Million From Wells Fargo

Source: Think Progress

Angry at the Wall Street banks that were at the center of the financial meltdown, Americans have spent the last six months moving their money to credit unions and community banks in unprecedented numbers. More than 650,000 people moved to credit unions in one month last year, and 5.6 million Americans switched banks in the last three months.

Religious organizations have been at the forefront of movements to get consumers to move their money. The New Bottom Line, a coalition of faith groups, pledged to move $1 billion this year, and before Thanksgiving, churches moved $55 million away from Wall Street banks with pledges to remove as much as $100 million more. This week, churches in San Francisco announced they were moving another $10 million, Faith in Public Life reports:

This week, a group of clergy in San Francisco added another $10 million to that total with an Ash Wednesday press conference calling on Wells Fargo to put an immediate freeze on its foreclosures and repent for their misconduct.

<snip (video at link)>

Wells Fargo issued a statement on the protest, saying, “We make every effort to avoid foreclosure.” The bank’s practices, however, tell a different story. Last July, it foreclosed on a family after telling it to skip payments in order to get a loan modification. It was found to have engaged in discriminatory lending practices, investigated for illegal foreclosures on military veterans, and fined for its subprime lending practices.

February 23, 2012

Lawsuit filed over UC-Davis pepper-spraying incident

Source: McClatchy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The inevitable civil rights lawsuit over campus police pepper-spraying student demonstrators squarely in the face while they sat in a line on the University of California, Davis quad was filed Wednesday in Sacramento federal court.

Targeting Chancellor Linda Katehi, a number of her top staff and campus police, 19 students or former students claim excessive force was used to break up a peaceful assembly on Nov. 18 "because of the demonstration's message and who was delivering it."

A group had set up tents on the quad the day before and were engaged in a discussion and study of "university privatization, tuition hikes, and their relation to other issues ... and to consider what they could do to change conditions which had brought people together in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement," the complaint states.

Plaintiff David Buscho, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering major from San Rafael, was among those sprayed. He said Wednesday he was protesting tuition hikes and cuts in state funding for higher education.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/22/139694/lawsuit-filed-over-pepper-spraying.html#storylink=cpy
February 23, 2012

Cop Identified in Scott Olsen Incident?

Source: East Bay Express


One of the most indelible images of the Occupy movement to date is that of Marine veteran Scott Olsen being carried away from a skirmish line of riot police at 14th Street and Broadway on October 25 in Oakland. Stunned and bleeding from an ugly gash on his forehead, the 24-year-old Wisconsin native had been struck in the head by an unknown projectile during the first salvo of tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and less-than-lethal munitions fired at hundreds of Occupy Oakland supporters facing off against Oakland police and several other Bay Area law enforcement agencies called in on mutual aid.


But an extensive review of video footage and Oakland Police Department records by this reporter indicates that Robert Roche, an acting sergeant in the Oakland Police Department and member of OPD's "Tango Teams," threw the flash-bang at Olsen and his rescuers. It's also not the first time that Roche's actions have come under scrutiny. Police records show that Roche had previously killed three people in the line of duty.

In one clip of footage shot on October 25 by KTVU, the camera zooms in on a helmeted, gas-mask wearing officer in OPD insignia pointing a shotgun at the crowd. Olsen's inert body is also visible in front of the barriers. Another video clip shows the same officer training his shotgun on the crowd, lowering the firearm as a crowd gathers around Olsen, and stepping back behind a line of San Francisco sheriff's deputies on the barricade line. A grenade is then tossed at Olsen's body as rescuers arrive.


OPD's "Tango teams," or tactical teams, have been at the heart of some of the most intense clashes of the Occupy Oakland movement (see "Oakland Used Violent Cops Against Occupy," 12/21/2012). Aside from the Olsen incident, video from the evening of the November 2 General Strike shows an unidentified OPD officer wearing a rucksack emblazoned with "Tango Team" striking US Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi with a baton. Sabeghi was later hospitalized for a ruptured spleen.


February 21, 2012

Mitt Romney: "The Trees Are the Right Height"

YouTube description (afscme): Mitt Romney's recent pandering speech in Michigan sounded awfully familiar. Just as Will Ferrell's character Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman might have asked, "Mitt, are you just naming things you see in the state and saying you love them?"

February 21, 2012

Virginia House puts off ultrasound bill again

Source: The Maddow Blog

The Virginia House of Delegates again today decided to put off voting on the Senate's version of a bill to require women seeking an abortion to first undergo medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds. They also let the vote "pass by" yesterday, with a more than a thousand demonstrators lined up in a silent protest outside.

Democratic Delegate David Englin writes:

Quick update on Va. GOP's vaginal penetration ultrasound mandate: The Senate version of the bill (Senate Bill 484) was scheduled for debate and final vote today, but House Republicans again made a motion to push off the debate and vote by another day. The same happened for Senate Bill 349, the so-called "conscience clause" bill that allows state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against GLBT families and youth.

House Democrats then attempted a parliamentary maneuver that would have killed the ultrasound bill forever, but that failed on a party-line vote. Therefore, both bills are now scheduled for debate and vote tomorrow.

Virginia Republicans are suddenly running scared of their own social agenda!


February 21, 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Why We Should Be Glad We Didn’t ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’

Source: Think Progress

“If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye,” said Mitt Romney in his 2008 op-ed for the New York Times that was entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” Of course, General Motors and Chrysler were rescued by the federal government, and as a result, the US auto industry is surging just a few years later.

General Motors recorded its highest ever profit in 2011 and regained the title of world’s largest automaker from Toyota, while Chrysler returned to profitability for the first time in more than a decade.

Amazingly, just last week Romney defended his demonstrably false statements about the auto rescue, and claimed that it was “crony capitalism on a grand scale.” “The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better,” Romney said.

But take a look at how the government’s intervention in the auto industry has saved Detroit from the brink of collapse:


You can view a bigger version of the graph at the link.
February 20, 2012

Turning children's art into stuffed animals.

What a great small business!

Link: http://childsown.wordpress.com/
February 16, 2012

Women (still) are not livestock

Source: ACLU of Illinois

Chicago – In an effort to deny women in Illinois access to safe and effective medical care, leaders of the movement to bar access to reproductive health care, including contraceptives, are introducing a bill on women’s health care through the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. The measure, House Bill 4117 sponsored by Representative Thomas Morrison, may be heard by that Committee as early as Tuesday afternoon, February 21st. The bill, drafted by a group of well-known, anti-abortion activists committed to shutting down all facilities providing safe and effective reproductive health care to women, creates excessive and unnecessary regulations on health care facilities that do not increase health and safety for women.


The Illinois House rejected a measure similar to House Bill 4117 last year after a lengthy debate on the floor of the House. During the course of that debate, opponents of the legislation made clear that Illinois already enforces vigorous regulations on all health care facilities in the State – including women’s health care clinics. Given the State’s current economic challenges, legislators also were unwilling to adopt this medically unnecessary regulatory scheme drafted by politicians, not physicians, that would cost the State more money to oversee.

Again this year, the proponents of this legislation have chosen to hold the hearing for the bill in the Agricultural and Conservation Committee, a body without any expertise in public health care. Indeed, last year the Committee heard debates over muskrats and hunting before considering this measure.

“We heard the debate in the Agricultural Committee last year,” added Connell. “Those legislators know a lot about livestock, crops and salt licks. They do not know women’s health.”


And then there is this:

The second bill — House Bill 4085 – would force all Illinois women seeking abortion, regardless of individual health circumstances, to view an ultrasound of the fetus or sign a statement documenting the reasons for her refusal. Imagine how traumatic viewing this ultrasound could be for some women, particularly those terminating for health reasons or because of rape or incest, and if they refuse to view the ultrasound, having to justify their decision in a written statement! The bill also increases costs for women seeking essential health care and increases the cost of regulation for a state agency already financially strapped.


*emphasis is mine.

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