Cliff Schecter

The NRA Goes to Congress... Gun-nuttery Ensues

If the National Rifle Association (NRA) were not so dangerous to the physical health and general welfare of the people of the United States, they'd probably qualify as some of the most unintentionally hilarious people on the planet. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. 

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5 Issues That Divide Gun Owners and NRA Leadership

Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, is a con man. He has spent decades enriching himself, his fellow NRA executives and the organization’s board members by doing what he does best: shamelessly mainstreaming conspiracy theories that lead an increasingly paranoid subset of Americans (the percent of households owing guns has declined dramatically over the past generation) to arm themselves to the teeth, while ensuring any laws that might prevent the horrifying tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado Friday morning are unable to make it through Congress.

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How America Lost Its Collective Mind in the Drug War

Towards the beginning of the cult classic Dazed & Confused, a high school senior named Slater, inquires of baby-faced freshman Mitch, "are you cool?" What Slater was really asking--in this ode to 1970s youth and the counterculture--was do you smoke pot?

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Are Republicans Committing Treason?

Once upon a time, in a land that now seems to have been populated by tooth fairies and unicorns, there was a political party that had a set of core beliefs to which they actually adhered.

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Bush Flunks Reading First Program

They should have tried the program out on the Dunce in Chief first. If it could teach him to read, it could teach anyone:

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McCain Is Heckled During MLK Speech

What a surprise. Who knew that would happen?

And why would such hostility be foisted upon such a swell gent? Could it be his vote against making MLK Day a holiday in 1983? His dalliance with the Confederate Flag on the presidential trail in 2000? His friends in low places, such as racial progressives Trent Lott and Terry Nelson of those wonderful Harold Ford ads in 2006? His wish to send more Americans to Iraq who joined the National Guard to get an education and defend their country from REAL threats, not die to undermine our security (at no fault of their own, but due to leaders like McCain)? His willing ignorance on issues such as health care and mortgage foreclosures?

Really, what does that crowd in Memphis have to dislike about McCain.? I don’t get it.

Via Think Progress:

Today, John McCain spoke to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Memphis to commemorate the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As ThinkProgress has noted, as a congressman in 1983, McCain voted against legislation creating MLK Day.

Most Republicans (including then-Rep. Dick Cheney) supported the bill, later signed by President Reagan. McCain complained it "cost too much money, that other presidents were not recognized." He eventually came around to supporting the holiday in a 1990 Arizona referendum that failed.

In his speech today, McCain tried to explain his misguided vote by stating, “We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing”:

Six Years Since An American Gulag Was Created 90 miles Off Our Shore

Yesterday, we got to "celebrate" the ill-advised surge in Iraq, or as they called it back in the Vietnam days, escalation.

While a couple of pipe-heads like new NY Times golden boy Bill Kristol and his BFFs McCain and Lieberman prattle on about how this was a success--because now only fewer American troops are getting killed for there to be no political solution as opposed to say, NONE--the truth is that this war has been a disaster for U.S. foreign policy any way you slice it.

Which brings me to Guantanomo. Today marks the 6th Anniversary of when our democracy was officially put in shackles under cover of the night. Six years since an American gulag was created 90 miles off our shore. No, not hyperbole, or the plot to the next sci-fi thriller, but our present reality.

How ironic, don't you think, that our justification all those years for trying to take out Castro was that we were attempting to bring freedom to Cuba. Instead, we brought a "black site.":

Giuliani Abandons 9/11 Heroes

Sadly, you already know much of the real story about The Real Rudy. That he chose to put his anti-terrorist command center in the only spot in New York City that had been hit by terrorists before, against the advice of every professional and his own people, because The World Trade Center was more convenient for him.

Furthermore, you're aware that his inaction in updating the radios used by firefighters who perished that day borders on the criminal. He knew the radios didn't work at least 8 years before that day, and when he finally chose to replace them, did so in grand Bushian style with a no-bid contract for radios that didn't work.

Yet, these were not even the worst aspects of Giuliani's 9/11 record. He completed this triumvirate of tragically inept behavior by ignoring the health of the very heroes who toiled day and night at Ground Zero after the attack. Nothing I could tell you here could prepare you for what you're about to watch--once healthy human beings now suffering from a range of illnesses that are a direct result of a toxic brew they inhaled in downtown Manhattan, while Rudy was telling them everything was safe and sound from his perch at Yankee Stadium and they were spending sleepless nights trying to save lives (often not wearing respirators because The Giuliani Adminstration ignored that federal requirement).

Blackwater and Child Porn

This post, written by Cliff Schecter, originally appeared on Cliff Schecter's Brave New Films Blog

Oh well, they are Republican after all. Which means a financial scandal just couldn't be enough. There had to be some illicit sex. And like clockwork...:
Harry "Doc" Kinard, 54, was arrested Nov. 2 on a charge of sexual exploitation of children after authorities said child pornography was discovered on a computer at the animal shelter. Kinard spent a week in the detention center before posting bond.
According to Capt. Ronald King of the Sheriff's Department, Kinard faces five to 20 years in prison if he's convicted of the felony charge.
Kinard could not be reached for comment. His phone number is not listed, and County Manager Luther Smart said he had been advised by the Sheriff's Department not to release it.
The animal shelter computer was seized by sheriff's deputies in October and sent to the GBI's forensics laboratory for examination. The GBI found that the computer contained child pornography, King said, and an arrest warrant was issued for Kinard.
On the same day that Kinard was arrested, his home computer was taken and sent to the GBI. The GBI has yet to return the computer or the results of the forensics examination, King said.

Hostage Situation in Clinton Campaign Office

This post, written by Cliff Schecter, originally appeared on Brave New Films

UPDATE: 4 PM EST The two people taken hostage have reportedly now been released and the situation has evolved into a standoff between police and the man inside the campaign office who allegedly claims to have a bomb.

Hillary Clinton has released this statement on her website: "There is an ongoing situation in our Rochester, NH office. We are in close contact with state and local authorities and are acting at their direction. We will release additional details as appropriate."

UPDATE: 6:30 PM EST The suspect in this incident, Leeland Eisenberg, was finally arrested. After the hostage situation, Clinton, who was in Washington, said "I am very grateful that this difficult day has ended so well."


I'm not going to speculate until we hear more. My prayers are with those inside.
ROCHESTER, N.H. -- An armed man has taken people hostage at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, police said.
It was not clear how many hostages there were or what weapons the man has. Police have set up a command post near the office on 28 North Main St.
Witness Lettie Tzizik said that she spoke to a woman shortly after she was released from the office by the hostage-taker.
"A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, 'You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape."
UPDATE via CNN:Two people are being held hostage by an armed man at Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign office in Rochester, New Hampshire, police said Friday.

Emergency crews arrive at the office building in Rochester, New Hampshire, Friday.

The man walked into the office at about 1 p.m., Maj. Michael Hambrook of the New Hampshire State Police told CNN affiliate WMUR-TV.

Hambrook and Clinton campaign officials said two people were believed to be inside.

Shortly before 2 p.m., police officers had taken positions across the street from the office, some kneeling behind police cruisers with guns drawn.

Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, is in the Washington area.

She was scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. at a Democratic National Committee event, but canceled the talk because of the situation, DNC Chairman Howard Dean said.

"Unfortunately as some of you know, there is a hostage situation in New Hampshire involving a Clinton campaign staff person," Dean told those who had gathered for the event.

"The details are sketchy at this time, but understandably Senator Clinton is now dealing with this very difficult problem and she is not going to be able to join us today. And we will keep them in our prayers and hope for a resolution to this situation in New Hampshire."

The nearby campaign office for Sen. Barack Obama, also a Democratic candidate for president, was shut down as a precaution, WMUR said. The offices of former senator and Democratic candidate John Edwards were also closed.

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