Shorter Question Everything
In the right wing media, facts are not the same as facts in the reality based world. They don’t need to be checked, for one thing. Anything goes and, if any proof is ever needed (and it rarely is), the one doing the stating need only check with another member locked into that same right wing bubble. It’s an echo chamber where they all back each other up, but where none of it means anything outside of that bubble. Where it gets dangerous is where it leaks out.
• It’s puzzling that Brooks based his entire column today on an easily-checked error. The conservative pundit insists President Obama “declines to come up with a proposal to address” next week’s sequester mess, adding, “The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration.” I’ll never understand how conservative media personalities get factual claims like this so very wrong. If Brooks doesn’t like Obama’s sequester alternative, fine; he can write a column explaining his concerns. But why pretend the president’s detailed, already published plan, built on mutual concessions from both sides, doesn’t exist?
• Ted Cruz Claims He Has A List Of Communists Who Have Infiltrated Harvard Law: During the confirmation hearing for Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Sen. Ted Cruz engaged in guilt-by-association tactics that reminded several observers (including this author) of former Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI)’s baseless claim to have “a list” of Communists who had infiltrated the U.S. State Department. It turns out Cruz was even more like McCarthy than previously thought. He believes that “Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government” have infiltrated the Harvard Law School faculty, outgunning the embattled campus conservatives. Cruz’s Communist comments came in a speech to the Koch-supported group Americans for Prosperity unearthed by The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer. Mayer attended the speech, and wrote down the text of Cruz’ McCarthyite allegations, which also linked President Obama to the so-called revolutionary Marxists at Harvard.
• Man with high-powered rifles and ‘tank buster’ bullets arrested for posting liberal ‘hit list’. Police in Clarkstown, New York have confiscated a cache of high-powered weapons and body armor from a man who was arrested for posting death threats against against many Democratic politicians and every liberal supporter of President Barack Obama. According to WCBS, 49-year-old Larry Mulqueen was arraigned on Thursday on charges of “making terroristic threats, illegally possessing weapons and harassment.” Mulqueen’s landlady had tipped off police after she found a “hit list” posted on Facebook that threatened Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and all members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
• Sandy Hook Fallout: Proposal to Restrict Death Certificates –Requests for kids’ records dismay lawmakers –GOP Rep refers to reporters who seek info as ‘jackals’ 21 Feb 2013 [Note: This is a summary of an article, written by Christopher Keating and William Weir, that appeared in Thursday's Hartford Courant (hard copy), but for some reason did not 'make it' to the Courant's website.] A Newtown official’s distress over reporters’ requests for death certificates after the Dec. 14 schoolhouse shootings has led to a bill that would restrict public access to the records for any children younger than age 18. State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, a freshman Republican lawmaker from Newtown, testified to a committee Wednesday that legislators “need to do something.” “I was shocked, dismayed and deeply disturbed when, on Dec. 17, I got a call from the town clerk about the prospect of having a reporter standing beside her during one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States in Newtown looking for death certificates of children,” Bolinsky said. Bolinsky said he felt “the outrage, the pain of observing the jackals descend upon my town clerk’s office at a time of great, great community loss.” Bolinksy introduced the one-paragraph bill, which states that the copy of the public record could be restricted “when the disclosure of the death certificate is likely to cause undue hardship for the family of the child.” [via Legitgov]
• The international community must increase its efforts to prevent the conflict in Mali from escalating, Russian Foreign Ministry officials said Friday.
• President Obama announced Friday that about 100 U.S. troops have been deployed to the West African country of Niger, where defense officials said they are setting up a drone base to spy on al-Qaeda fighters in the Sahara.
• Cuban President Raul Castro has unexpectedly raised the possibility of leaving his post, saying Friday that he is old and has a right to retire. But he did not say when he might do so or if such a move was imminent. The Cuban leader is scheduled to be sworn in to a new five-year term on Sunday. Castro urged reporters to listen to his speech that day. “I am going to be 82 years old,” Castro said at a joint appearance with visiting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “I have the right to retire, don’t you think?”
• Russia and Cuba will sign an agreement to settle a $30 billion Cuban debt by the end of 2013, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Friday.
• First Dedicated Asteroid-Tracking Satellite Will Be Canadian. The Canadian Space Agency will next week launch NEOSSat (Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite), the world’s first space telescope for detecting and tracking asteroids, satellites and space debris.
• Hasty closure of Kitsilano Coast Guard station may relate to sale of site: The three properties are referenced in the email as “the Jericho Beach, DFO, and RCMP site,” the first of which some believe could be a nod to the Kitsilano Coast Guard base. B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair said details revealed in the email may explain why the base was closed so suddenly and with such short notice. “This is a knee-jerk reaction to concerns about the budget and as we see today, it could be a part of a plan for a significant block of real estate sales,” Sinclair told The Province. “What this memo seems to suggest is that this speedy closure is linked to the sale of three tracts of land in that area. It goes a long way to explaining why we have this reckless decision (to close the base).”
• Thousands May Have Been Exposed To Deadly TB Epidemic Downtown: With nearly 80 cases of tuberculosis being identified in LA County since 2007 — thirty of which have been on Skid Row — tuberculosis screenings are more important than ever for some. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a coordinated effort to contain the area’s largest outbreak in a decade.
• Six tanks now said to be leaking at contaminated Hanford nuclear site. The leaking of radioactive liquids at the Hanford, Wash., Nuclear Reservation is more extensive than previously reported, with six storage tanks affected, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday.
In other news
• Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was influenced by a gay ‘network’ inside the Vatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by outsiders, it has been claimed in an explosive report carried by Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.