Group News Blog

Did John McCain Curse on National Television Last Night?

Sen. McCain Swears During National Debate, Upset At Obama

Sen. John McCain was triggered back to his hot-headed out-of-control days tonight, cursing twice in front of tens of millions of America citizens whom he was trying to persuade to vote for him.

"HORSESHIT," McCain swore. Seconds later, "Horseshit."

McCain has a reputation for mood swings, for suddenly reverting from 72 years, all the way back fifty years ago to his 20s, when as a Navy pilot, he was wild and out of control.

McCain takes pride in being wild and out of control. Think Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun up against Val Kilmer as Lt. Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky.

(Pay attention now... here is the whole deal.)
  • Losing control IS BEING MAVERICK.
  • I AM A POW.
  • By definition, a Prisoner of War is NOT IN CONTROL of his own life.
  • If McCain ever gives up LOSING CONTROL, he gives up BEING A POW.
  • If McCain gives up his story of being a POW, he surrenders who he IS -- or at least who he considers himself to be.
  • Attack "Maverick", especially in a massively public setting, e.g.: "You're no 'Maverick' and you never truly have been' and you attack McCain at the very core of who he IS. You are likely to not only break him, but for him to lose it big-time -- anger, lashing out -- as he tries to defend who he considers himself to be. He is unlikely to be able to stop himself.
  • McCain will reflexively LIE in order to defend Maverick. He will do ANYTHING to defend Maverick. Maverick is essential to the survival of McCain (or so McCain 'knows', deep down in the part of him of which he is unaware and blind.)
  • Do not worry about breaking him or damaging McCain. Just attack him enough to provoke a heated response. The point is to demonstrate his unfitness for duty: temper, lies, and Noun, Verb, POW.

Is a Gutted FDA to Blame for Salmonella-Tainted Tomatoes?

In new big-bad-agri-business news, tomatoes are being recalled and chain restaurants are pulling menu items that use uncooked tomatoes.

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Texas Court Rules Against Seizures of FLDS Children

In a stunning reversal, the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals reversed the District Judge who ruled last month that the children sized in the April 3, 2008 raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, should not have been taken by the State, saying “The Department did not present any evidence of danger.”

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Pakistani Rice Exports Alleviate Food Crisis

Rice prices eased after a record high in April because Pakistan, confident of meeting local demand, will export 1 million tons and it looks like other countries will follow suit.

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The Real McCain on Race and Immigration

Our buddy Cliff Schecter has been hard to miss the past couple days. The buzz over his forthcoming book, The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't, has been heard even beyond the sheltered garden of liberal blogdom, and is now hitting the mainstream media with the thunder of an oncoming B-52.

And well it should. Cliff's got a hell of a tale to tell. Actually, perusing my advance copy, he's got several of them. His indelicacy in chewing out his wife -- you know, the one whose large personal fortune has made McCain's career possible -- and calling her the c-word in front of reporters is the story all over the front pages right now. But there's more. Much more.

The larger point that runs throughout Cliff's book is that Senator Straight Talk has a long record of being anything but. On any issue you can name, he's hemmed and hawed and twisted himself around to fit whatever group he was currying favor with (or taking funding from) on any given day. (That, in the end, is why conservatives don't trust him, and nobody else should, either.) And that habit absolutely extends to his record where issues like race and immigration are concerned.

John Murtha Endorses Hillary in Pennsylvania

Just over one month to go till the Pennsylvania primary, and Pennsylvania 12th District, veteran, and anti-Iraq war activist Congressman John Murtha (D) has endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton for President.

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Why Jamie Lynn Spears Is Knocked Up

Jamie Lynn Spears, sixteen, star of the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, has announced she is twelve weeks pregnant with the child of her boyfriend, student Casey Aldridge, nineteen.

Jamie's pregnancy should not impact production of Zoey 101 which already completed production of its fourth season.

Sister Britney tonight denied Wednesday night her baby sister is pregnant. TMZ has the video.

I can't count as a paramedic how many teenage mom's I've had in the back of my rig. Or how often I've referred someone to Planned Parenthood for birth control. In fact, I referred a teenager there last week.

What isn't surprising to me is this child getting pregnant. Her home life is well known to not be of especially high quality. Born in McComb, Mississippi, just on the borderline of Louisiana, she was raised Baptist. Her sister is an addict. Her family life has been white trash with money. None of this is the recipe for being taught to use birth control religiously.

If she weren't the sister of a train-wreck of a major star (once renowned for her claimed virginity) or staring in her own television show, this would mean precisely nothing. It isn't as if teens don't get knocked up daily.

Don't think however it will force any Wing Nuts to deal honestly with pregnancy or birth control. As Sara has pointed out repeatedly at Orcinus -- read her Cracks in the Wall and Tunnels and Bridges series, and search for her articles on Mark Foley -- the fundies are quick to forgive their leaders human failings, knowing as they do that we are all born sinners.

Fundamentalist Father Allegedly Kills Own Teenage Daughter for Being Too Independent

Aqsa Parvez, sixteen, of Mississauga, Canada, (just to the west of Toronto) died Tuesday after her father, Muhammad Parvez, a 57 year-old taxi driver, allegedly strangled her on Monday when she returned to her parent's home to pick up some of her belongings. He has been charged with murder. Her 26-year-old brother, Waqas Parvez, has been charged with obstructing police.

The Globe and Mail

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Army Still Discharging Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Without Benefits

This post, written by Jesse Wendel, orignally appeared on Group News Blog

Sgt. Darren Mischke got hurt bad in Iraq.

A two-tour vet, he was in a wreck tour one, and knocked out. In his second tour, his vehicle was mortared. He has Traumatic Brain Injury.

Like many chronic pain, PTSD, and depression patients, he became a different person, a different "I" from the person his family had always known.

Happens. But the Army, consistently has been taking the easy way out, and shoving soldiers out any way they can, rather than rate them properly.
Colorado Confidential
"I told him to get help," Teresa Mischke said. "He told me he'd get in trouble with his unit. He said one of his superiors had told him he'd make his life a living hell."
Shortly thereafter, Darren Mischke, pain-riddled and confused, turned abusive, then suicidal. His wife, trying to save him, called 911.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Department "arrested him for domestic violence and the District Attorney's office fast-tracked him to plead guilty," Teresa Mischke said.
The third-degree assault plea became the basis for an attempt by the Army to give Mischke a general discharge.
"He would have nothing, no insurance and limits on his VA coverage," his wife said.
Working with the advocacy group Veterans for America, Teresa Mischke pushed the military to send her husband to a medical review board.
The medical board talked about depression and post traumatic stress, but not brain injury. The diagnosis didn't help. Eventually, a military doctor decided Sgt. Mischke suffered from "post concussive syndrome," but offered no regimen of treatment, his wife said.
"He's actually worse now than when he came home from Iraq," she added.
In addition to the already noted 30,000 injured veterans from Iraq, a full 20,000 more at least likely have TBI. But not on the official casualty rolls of the Iraq war. (It's the fucking Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium fights all over again.)

MoveOn Sets Its Sights on Facebook Privacy Violations

This post, written by Sara Robinson, originally appeared on Group News Blog

Bill O'Reilly can howl all he wants about the "war on Christmas." But Facebook has leaped several parsecs ahead of him, making itself into a Grinch so big that the good Dr. Seuss himself would have been gobstopped by the sheer evil magnitude of it all.

How did Facebook manage this? Simply by spoiling the surprise for everybody.

In recent weeks, Facebook has implemented this new "feature" called Beacon. Beacon keeps track of purchases made through businesses that have contracted with Facebook for this service. If you buy a movie ticket through Fandango, or a rental from Blockbuster, Beacon sends around a note to your friends, so everybody will know you went to see American Gangster, or rented Sicko.

This is pernicious enough -- does my conservative boss really need to know I spent Saturday night watching No End In Sight? -- but from a privacy standpoint, it wouldn't be quite so much so if you were given the chance to opt in or out of using Beacon. But, of course, you're not. What you get is a very tiny Javascript link with every purchase -- and a short window of time to click it if you don't want this transaction broadcast to your entire Facebook network. If you don't click that link, your business becomes everybody's business.

And worse: there is no global opt-out on this. You can't just go somewhere that will allow you to bow out of this intrusive feature once and for all. You've got to catch that tiny link and remember to click it -- every single time.

The privacy nightmares are endless -- and already happening. One man quoted in a MoveOn press release said:
"It's easy to picture serious consequences: A college student buying a ticket to Brokeback Mountain and his homophobic football teammates finding out on Facebook. Or a battered woman buying a ticket to see Violence Behind Closed Doors when she told her husband she's working an extra shift. Or a not-so-friendly employer learning a staffer has bought a ticket to a screening of Living With AIDS."
But the real brunt of this is a far more common experience that's not nearly so frightening, though far more universal: Facebook is telling people what you bought them for Christmas.

Say you go, unawares, to some business that's made this deal with Facebook, and buy your honey that gorgeous jacket he's been eyeing. Or that expensive Beatles boxed set for your nephew. Or or or. And your Facebook account dutifully puts out the notice to everyone in your network -- including said nephew (and yes, I have a nephew on my Facebook account) -- that "Sara bought a Beatles boxed set from Amazon."

Well, now, that sort of spoils the surprise, doesn't it? But it's already happened. And is happening. Don't let it happen to you.