In 2005, in response to a guy claiming to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, who had not – the Rethugs passed a “feel good” law banning all such future false claims. This was a perfect exercise in making a lot of noise for the plastic patriot set, making a law to punish a minuscule population instead of Minorities. Of course – folks who have never read the Constitution don’t know how it works – so as usual, the Retugs overstepped their bounds.
The court found that the statute violates the First Amendment.
The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, says the law, as written, “seeks to control and suppress all false statements on this one subject in almost limitless times and settings without regard to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain.”
Kennedy writes that permitting the government to decree this kind of speech as a criminal offense “would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable.”
He notes, however, that Congress might be able to rewrite the law “to achieve the government’s objective in less burdensome ways.”
In a huge win for the American People the Supreme Court today decided that the ACA, called Obamacare by Republicans is Constitutional. This decision puts a major torpedo in the Conservative right wing scow, and has major implications in the Presidential race.
Sunrise over the Supreme Court. I doubt it is the dawn of a new era – but it is a small ray of hope.
The Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law today in a splintered, complex opinion that gives Obama a major election-year victory.
Basically, the justices said that the individual mandate — the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine — is constitutional as a tax.
Chief Justice John Roberts — a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush — provided the key vote to preserve the landmark health care law, which figures to be a major issue in Obama’s re-election bid against Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Obama is expected to comment on the decision within the next two hours.
The government had argued that Congress had the authority to pass the individual mandate as part of its power to regulate interstate commerce; the court disagreed with that analysis, but preserved the mandate because the fine amounts to a tax that is within Congress’ constitutional taxing powers.
The announcement will have a major impact on the nation’s health care system, the actions of both federal and state governments, and the course of the November presidential and congressional elections.
As lawyers examined the details of the various opinions, political analysts quickly predicted at least a short-term political boost for Obama.
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said “you can hear the sigh of relief at the White House” over a big plus for Obama.
“It allows the president’s signature achievement to stand,” Brown said. “Since politics is the ultimate zero-sum game, what’s good for Obama is bad for Gov. Mitt Romney.”
Brown also noted that the ruling allows the Republican “to continue campaigning against the law and promising to repeal it.”
A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.
In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth’s ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico’s vicious drug war.
Some call it the “parade of ants”; others the “river of iron.” The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF’s congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one. Read the rest of this entry »
Snoop Dogg has a pretty good reason to raise a glass of gin and juice.
That’s because the rapper’s son, Cordell Broadus, has been offered a football scholarship by the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Sophomore Cordell Broadus Offered UCLA Football Scholarship,” read a tweet on Diamond Bar High School’s Twitter page.
Broadus played both wide receiver and defensive back for Diamond Bar’s freshman team last season.
Of course, if the 6-foot-2 185-pounder accepts the offer by the Bruins, he could one day be hitting the gridiron alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ 18-year-old son Justin, who is expected to play for UCLA next season after accepting a full scholarship last November.
This intrepid team of crooks swiped several truckloads of …Garlic! Now, I have to believe short of a Vampire infestation in the local town – stealing a truckload of freshly harvested Garlic is about as stupid as it gets…
These guys get BTx3’s – “Orange Jumpsuit of the Week Award”!
It’s a heist that didn’t exactly require sniffing dogs: Austrian police stopped three overloaded and sagging vans about to cross into Hungary from Austria today and found them packed to the roof with allegedly stolen garlic—about 9.5 tons of the pungent cargo. After questioning the five men—all Romanian nationals—in the vehicles they charged them on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.
Police say the garlic apparently came from Spain and estimate its value at $37,500. The Austrian Press Agency cites one officer as saying it was clear what the vans were carrying even before their doors were opened. “All three vehicles really stunk like garlic,” he says.
I’m sure my kitties are happy to know that the first thing Googles new Artificial Intelligence Computer picked out was cat pictures. After all, every cat knows it is the most superior, gorgeous creature in the world!
Which is why there are literally tens of thousands of “Cat Videos” on YouTube, which get millions of viewers.
Apparently it is not just humans who waste their time away checking out the feline antics…
Google has created an ‘artificial brain’ from 16,000 computer processors, and sat it down with an internet connection.
There’s a certain grim inevitability to the fact that the YouTube company’s creation began watching stills from cat videos.
The team, led by Google’s Dr Jeff Dean, used the 16,000 processor array to create a brain-style ‘neural network’ with more than a billion connections.
The team then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos – and let it ‘learn’ by itself.
Unsurprisingly, the machine focused in on cats.
‘We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,” said Dr. Dean. ‘It basically invented the concept of a cat.’
‘Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,’ says the team in a paper published this week.
‘We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies. Starting with these learned features, we trained our network to obtain 15.8% accuracy in recognizing 20,000 object categories from ImageNet, a leap of 70% relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art.
The ‘brain’ was a creation of the company’s ‘blue sky ideas’ lab, Google X
I would hope former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has woken up to the fact of Republicans using her race as cover. The old – they (the Democrats) have a black candidate running we need one too to deflect from the issue that Minorities hate us almost as much as we hate them routine.
Think Condo is making a wise decision here. She really doesn’t need to add another failure to her list of failures under the Bushit Administration.
Turkey said on Monday Syrian forces had fired towards a Turkish military transport plane involved in a search for an F-4 reconnaissance jet shot down by Syria last week, but the second aircraft was not brought down.
The disclosure of the second incident came on the eve of a NATO crisis meeting that Turkey summoned to address the shooting down of its F-4 jet, which Ankara has described as an unprovoked attack in international airspace.
Despite deep frustration among many NATO countries over the conflict in Syria, where the opposition says President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on an increasingly armed popular uprising has killed 14,000 people, it’s highly unlikely the military alliance will take armed action against the Arab state.
The unarmed RF-4E reconnaissance jet was shot down a mile (1.6 kilometres) inside international airspace on Friday, and two Turkish pilots are still missing, the Turkish government says.
Syria has officially acknowledged shooting down the F-4 phantom jet after it violated its airspace, but insists it only identified it as a Turkish fighter after the fact.
“What happened was an accident and not an assault as some like to say,” Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told the Al-Watan pro-government daily on Sunday.
“Turkish Jet, which was downed by Syrian forces, had violated Syrian airspace.” the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Maqdissi said Monday.
He added that Syria “could take positive steps if the Turkish government takes similar steps.”
Syrian FM spokesman also indicated “The rescue efforts are underway with the coordination of all sides. We found the wreckage of the jet and Turkey was informed about it.”
But Turkey said that the incident would “not go unpunished” but it did not intend to go to war over it.
White reporter interrupts the Pressident of the United State in the middle of a speech shouting absurd questions… And his publication nearly breaks a leg in the rush to defend the poor “put upon” reporter.
Black reporter tells the truth about Romney…And they fire him.
Politico has suspended White House correspondent Joe Williams following his implication that Mitt Romney is only at ease among “white folks.” Williams told Martin Bashir on MSNBC yesterday that Romney is “very, very comfortable … with people who are like him,” Thus he can be “awkward” in town hall meetings, but “when he comes on Fox and Friends, they’re like him, they’re white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company.” Daily Intel points out that a Romney penis joke Williams made on Twitter only added fuel to the fire. And so Politico responded. Williams’ comments “fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way,” Politico bosses wrote in a staff memo. “An unacceptable number of Joe Williams’ public statements on cable and Twitter have called into question his commitment to this responsibility,” they noted. “Following discussion of this matter with editors, Joe has been suspended while we review the matter.”
Now – couple of things here. What’s the deal with folks saying stupid things on Twitter? Are people actually stupid enough to believe you can’t make a complete jackass of yourself in only 148 characters?
Second – What Joe said is that Romney is only comfortable around folks like himself – Not that he is a racist like most conservatives.
Not sure how that is grounds for “suspension”. Is Politico trying to say it is superior to the Daily Caller because it polices its journalists? I think a 20 second read would obviate the need for that excuse.
Not to be outdone by their fellow fundamentalists on the other side of the “God Chasm” – some fundamentalist Christians jumped in with some designs of their own.
Turns out the new swimwear is attractive to “godless” non-believers – not the least reason of which is protection from the Sun’s harmful rays. No woman worth her hair spray wants to look 65 when she is 35. And fair skinned ladies especially need to be concerned about the long term effects – including skin cancer – which puts “dying to look good” in a whole new category.
OK Guys – definitely not as much viewing fun as you itsy-bitsy yellow polka-dot Bikini… Or as cool as a Burkini…A swimsuit from Simply Modest
Crystal Huyben, 27, a born-again Christian from Ontario, likes to cover everything from her knees to her collarbone when she gets in the water.
“Modesty has always been important to me, believing that our sexuality is an amazing gift from God,” she said. “[It’s] something to be protected, not put on display for all eyes to see.”
Huyben, who sewed her first modest swimsuit when she was a teenager, now runs a company, Simply Modest, selling the garments. Her website Simply Modest is one of about a dozen, all launched over the past decade, marketing suits that protect their wearers from sun, chlorine and lustful stares.
Now, Huyben and other modest swimwear entrepreneurs are finding that their suits are catching on with a secular audience. Tulin Reid, 38, a former plus size model, is a fan of HydroChic, a line of modest- and activewear founded six years ago by two modern Orthodox Jewish women, Sara Wolf and Daniella Teutsch, in New York’s Westchester county.
OK – So most of you old timers, and young Television junkies probably remember that. It was a fun, groundbreaking show.
But scientists have – in the real world, come up with something startling – it is called “Selective Attention”. This is why two people watching the same event can “see” two totally different things. Watch the video below then follow the break under the video for an explanation ….
Folks can complain all the want about “absentee dads” etc – but in the last few weeks some Dads have shown how far they are willing to go to protect their daughters.
A father in Lavaca Country Texas found his 5 year old daughter being raped by a scumbag, and delivered some “Texas Justice” with his fists. He is not being charged with the killing of the scumbag. This was not a case of vengeance, as the Dad caught the man in the act. No charges are being filed by Police for the beatdown and subsequent death of the perv.
Then there was the case in San Francisco, where Dad – with a little help from Mom, delivered some “.40 Caliber Justice” to a Pimp who was pimping their teenage Daughter. Both parents have been charged and bail has been set at $2 million. Seems to me that if the National Rifle Association (NRA) was really about self protection, instead of providing cover for racist whack-jobs they’d have paid the bail and given Mom and Dad a “Marksmanship Award”.
And then there is this case – caught on YouTube –
Now – I’d hardly call this “brutal” as the Video does. After all, as the father points out – it is a lot better than a full-on ass whipping!
Proving that in at least a few small corners of America, not yet polluted by right-wing sissified posturing, don’t mess with Dad’s Baby Girl.
Hospitalized at age 21 with compound fractures and serious head injuries after a motorcycle accident, Fred Luter Jr. decided to give his life to God and enter the ministry.
A native of New Orleans’ impoverished lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Luter was the third of five children raised by a divorced mother who worked as a seamstress and a surgical scrub assistant, according to Thom Rainier, president and CEO of the Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources and a friend of Luter’s.
Although he had been active in the church as a child, Luter “began to do some serious reflecting on his life” after the 1977 crash, according to a Web posting on Rainier’s website. “God used that incident to bring him back to serving him,” Rainier wrote.
And what a long way he’s come since. On Tuesday, Luter, now the pastor of the 8,000-plus-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organization that began as a pro-slavery church more than 160 years ago. His term officially begins Wednesday night. Read the rest of this entry »
Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths.
Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.
The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably — a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch.
Look like Republican Congressman Darrel Issa’s Kangaroo trial of Attorney General Eric Holder just got derailed.
In a move that hopefully signals the development of a backbone in the Obama Administration, President Obama has exerted “Executive Privilege” for the first time in his Presidency. The fact that he had to do so to derail Issa’s Kangaroo “trial” of AG Eric Holder says more about Republican racism and political vendettas than legality. Post the 2008 Election with a Democrat Majority in Congress, Democrats cut a deal with the Devil not to pursue the illicit, illegal, and treasonous crimes of Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices – including Mr Issa, in an attempt to tone down the political acrimony which had brought the country to its knees during the Clinton investigations, and enabled 911. The deal further saved the country from the embarrassment of having a former President, Vice President, and senior Cabinet Ministers placed in Orange Jumpsuits to spend long terms in prison.
Like the parable about the Scorpion and the Frog, the only thing you can expect from a starving rabid dog when you try and feed him is to get bit.
I hope this is a sign that President Obama is willing to wield that proverbial 2 x 4 in his second term.
President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege in response to requests made by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has embarked on a controversial investigation into the Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.
The invocation of executive privilege allows the president to defy requests and subpoenas by members of the legislative and judicial branches for information the White House deems sensitive. Obama’s decision will allow him to refuse to provide certain documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious program.
The Oversight Committee has threatened to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and Issa had scheduled a vote on the matter for Wednesday morning. A committee aide told Reuters that Issa would proceed with the contempt vote even after Obama’s action. Issa later declared that the decision to assert executive privilege “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole addressed Issa in a letter on Wednesday morning.
“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the Committee’s concerns and to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” he wrote. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”
Holder, who met with Issa Tuesday in an attempt to reach an agreement on how many and which documents related to Fast and Furious he would turn over, had formally written Obama requesting that he exercise executive privilege…(A copy of that letter is here)
In an email to The Huffington Post, an administration official noted that former President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege six times, while former President Bill Clinton did it 14 times. This is the first time Obama has exercised this authority. The Republican National Committee was quick to point out Wednesday that then-candidate Obama criticized Bush for using the practice in 2007…