Stories to Watch: 4/14/14.
From Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast, where the headlines says it all: “The GOP Just Screwed Ukraine Out of Billions to Hurt Obama.” Republicans can stop pretending they’re foreign policy geniuses now. They can also stop pretending that they give a damn about Ukraine. Like BENGHAZI!!, Republicans only care about Ukraine to the extent that they can use it to bludgeon the president. This would make Putin their ally, while they insist he’s America’s foe. If politicizing the conflict means actually making the situation worse, then they’ll go ahead and sabotage it — despite the fact that such an action could come with a death toll. Republicans are not good people.
Mike Huckabee says that sometimes he thinks people in North Korea are freer than Americans. This is the most hyperbolic thing anyone on Earth will ever hear in any one’s entire life, by a factor of about a jillion. it says a lot about the GOP base that the way to win their hearts is to say things that are unbelievably dumb. Needless to say, the Huckster also dives into the stupid end of the pool on the subject of marriage equality as well.
Apparently, Pinterest is for godless, hellbound heathens. Conservative Christians often create “Christian alternatives” to mainstream sites, warning that using the original version will somehow harm your family. It strikes me that this is less of real concern and more of a way to rationalize stealing an already successful idea. It’s a con. I’m waiting for the Christian alternative to Resume.com, where you can safely peruse people’s work histories without being subjected to all that graphic porn people put in heathen resumes.
A conservative “rising star” compares Stephen Colbert’s satire of rightwing blowhards to racist blackface acts — because that’s not unbelievably offensive and insensitive at all. It takes a conservative to make an offensive argument while playing a phony victim card. Again, these are not good people. And they wonder why people keep saying they’re racists.
An incident where a nutjob threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton inspires a new conspiracy theory that’s taking the right by storm — “shoe trutherism.”
A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professor reminds everyone that when it comes to jobs, Scott Walker has turned Wisconsin into a smoking crater.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office revised it’s estimates and projected that the Affordable Care Act will cost even less than previously forecast — by a significant amount. Like $100 billion less. This is bad news for Republicans, because good news for America is always bad news for Republicans.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s got himself some very serious legal trouble.
Finally, marriage equality gets a foot in the door in Ohio. A federal judge rules that the state has to recognize marriages performed in other states. It’s not the full recognition of the right that comes with performing ceremonies in Ohio, but if past cases are any indication, it’s the beginning of the end for inequality there.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Today’s tale of Second Amendment Heroism.
Associated Press: Police say a man has died after being struck by a bullet that passed through the wall of a neighbor’s apartment in Columbus.
Officers responding to a reported shooting found Jonathan Gardner suffering from a single gunshot wound around 12:50 p.m. Sunday. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injury.
Police say a person in a nearby apartment accidentally fired a round from a handgun which went through a wall, striking 28-year-old Gardner.
A lot of Second Amendment Heroism comes from Ohio, for some reason. Maybe reading a little bit farther down will give us a clue as to why…
The person who fired the gun has been identified but has not been charged by police.
"Yeah, your clumsy mishandling of your weapon resulted in the death of one of your neighbors, but hey, accidents will happen, right?" one of Columbus’ finest apparently told our Second Amendment Hero. "Welp, guess we’ll be on our way. You have fun with your handgun, OK?"
I think we can say that little mystery has been solved.
In a post-Citizens United world, Boehner still manages to find campaign finance laws to break.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: The Federal Election Commission is examining whether dozens of political action committees and individuals contributed more than the legally allowed amount to House Speaker John Boehner during last year’s election cycle.
Letters the Federal Election Committee sent Monday to Friends of John Boehner indicated that donors including coal, energy, and gambling interests, exceeded contribution limits to Boehner’s committee by more than $150,000.
Among the groups that were allegedly overgenerous to Boehner were Coalpac and Minepac, which represent the mining industry, as well as political committees representing the Exelon, Constellation and Luminant power companies, and the Ceasars and Penn National gambling enterprises.
Needless to say, the FEC expects FoJB to send some checks back. Of course, this isn’t the first time Boehner’s been caught playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws. In 1995, Boehner was caught on the House floor, handing out checks from Big Tobacco prior to a vote. Most people would call that bribery and most people would be right.
After the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, the world of campaign finance is damned near anarchy — there aren’t a lot of laws left governing it. That Boehner still managed to find one to break shows skill and a real commitment to corruption.
Columbus Dispatch: A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class on Saturday in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons.
Terry J. Dunlap Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Rd. near Lancaster, was demonstrating a handgun when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte’s right arm.
Dunlap, 73, also is a long-time Violet Township trustee who is running for re-election in November.
Yesterday, Piemonte said he feels lucky, and it could have been worse.
"My wife was sitting just inches away from me," Piemonte said. "It could have easily hit her."
According to the report, Piemonte told the Dispatch that the couple had decided to get concealed-carry permits “for their own general safety.” That sure worked out great, huh? Carrying a gun for safety is like carrying a magnet to ward off iron — it’s doing things exactly the wrong way.
Carrying a gun actually makes it more likely that you’ll be shot. There are a lot of reasons for that increased risk, one of which is demonstrated by this story — people are imperfect. Here we have a guy who runs a gun range and trains people to use firearms; he’s no stranger to these weapons. But even he isn’t immune to a careless moment when he’s not paying attention. Guns are extremely dangerous and the more often you’re exposed to firearms, the more likely it is that something like this will happen. The odds rise every time. As personal safety strategies go, carrying a loaded weapon is one of the worst. It’s like taking up smoking to avoid cancer.
Ohio Honors Student attempts suicide by handgun in high school classroom.
“According to a 911 call, students were running through the halls screaming after the shooting,” Fox 19 reports.
How the student smuggled the gun into class remains unknown… But yay for guns, huh? Out there, keeping everybody safe. Yup. Yay for America’s piles and piles of fucking guns.