File this under “NRA No Longer Relevant”, the gun sports organization turned political fringe group just released a new web ad that calls President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” because  his two daughters have Secret Service protection at school.  The NRA, ignoring the continuing threats against the President and his family, makes the extraordinary claim in the ad that, since the president’s family has Secret Service protection, that he is somehow a hypocrite for not calling for guns in all schools.  Read the rest of this entry

Robert L. Cavnar: Gun Violence is Not Normal. Or Patriotic..

The recent boom in domestic oil and gas development, spurred by new  technologies in geologic interpretation, horizontal drilling, completion techniques, and hydraulic fracturing, has exposed a huge gap between our knowledge of getting oil and gas out of the ground and our knowledge of the  long-term damage to the environment these activities could be causing. When Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing activity from The Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, the exemption, lobbied for strongly by the industry, came before the proliferation of new drilling brought on by new technologies. Read the rest of this entry

Huffington Post is reporting the arrest yesterday morning of Josh Fox, who produced Gasland, a documentary about the environmental risks of oil and gas operations, who was attempting to film at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.  Republicans objected to him being in the hearing room, which is open to the public; the chairman of the subcommittee, Republican Andy Harris of Maryland, ordered the arrest.  Democrats moved to allow Fox to stay, but Republicans voted him down.  Fox, who is well regarded in the environmental and media communities, was led away in handcuffs by Capitol Hill police.  Here’s the video:

 

Now, I have to say that I disagreed with much of Gasland, and believe some of his conclusions were not supported by the facts.  However, I NEVER agree that politicians who disagree with a person trample his constitutional rights.  He caused no disturbance, broke no laws.  The Constitution was dealt as severe blow today, led by Republicans and aided by armed Capitol Hill police officers.

This is shameful, and I challenge anyone to argue that this action was acceptable.

Kindness is Society

As I watched news coverage last night of the vote to repeal Ohio’s union busting law that newly elected Republican governor, John Kasich, rammed through the state legislature earlier this year, I was struck about the massive margin the vote garnered.  Issue 2, written so that a “no” vote was “for” repeal, went down by a wide margin, with over 60 percent voting against stripping union rights.  Kasich, publicly rebuked for this blatant over-reach, was appropriately humble in a post-election statement.  Read the rest of this entry

Robert Scheer: Murder Is Good Politics, Bad Justice – Robert Scheer’s Columns – Truthdig.