Shorter Question Everything
How many people have to die before enough is enough? The NRA isn’t defending the second amendment, they are defending the ability of mass murderers to shoot as many people as possible. They are defending the bottom line of the gun manufacturers. At some point, there has to come a point where it is enough, where enough people get sick and tired of reading this evil crap that keeps pouring out and a stop gets put to it.
• You still think the NRA is fine?: Georgia mom shot in leg and baby killed in stroller by kids with gun. A woman in coastal Brunswick, Georgia was shot in the leg and her 13-month-old son murdered in his stroller, allegedly by a pair of boys with a handgun. According to CNN, Sherry West was out walking her son Thursday morning when a pair of juveniles, one around 13 or 14 years of age and the other possibly as young as 10, approached her with a weapon and demanded her money. “He said, ‘I am going to kill you if you don’t give me your money,’” said West. When she replied that she wasn’t carrying any money, the older boy reportedly said, “Well, I am going to kill your baby.” West tried to shield her child with her own body and was shot in the leg. The boy with the gun shot the infant in the head, then he and the other suspect fled on foot. West’s son died at the scene. No witnesses have come forward and no weapon has been recovered. The boys are still at large. Update: Two teens arrested in child’s shooting death.
• President accepts with ‘deep disappointment’ Caitlin Halligan’s decision to withdraw as nominee for US court of appeals in DC. Her nomination was repeatedly blocked by Republican filibusters. Some Republicans were opposed to her involvement in an legal action to make gun manufacturers legally responsible for criminal acts in which their products were used. “Today, I accepted Caitlin Halligan’s request to withdraw as a nominee for the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit,” Obama said in a statement. ” I am deeply disappointed that even after nearly two and a half years, a minority of senators continued to block a simple up-or-down vote on her nomination. “This unjustified filibuster obstructed the majority of senators from expressing their support. I am confident that with Caitlin’s impressive qualifications and reputation, she would have served with distinction.”
• President Barack Obama is ready to hit the road on a new campaign-style public relations trip, hoping to breathe new life into the push for stronger gun control laws.
• Shame on Harry Reid for killing any prospect of an assault weapons ban. I understand why he did it, but that doesn’t make it right.
• Evan Spencer Ebel: A Department of Corrections employee, also speaking to the Post on condition of anonymity, said officials are investigating the possibility that the killing was a “hit” ordered by the gang. A gang leader in prison, known as a “shot caller,” could order a member to kill someone, the source said. “What’s not known is whether this was ordered or a crime of opportunity,” the employee told the newspaper. Officials have apparently identified Ebel as a member of a white supremacist prison gang called the 211s.
• Colo. Governor A Friend Of Prison Chief Slaying Suspect’s Father. Hickenlooper confirmed his relationship with Jack Ebel to The Denver Post and KUSA-TV Friday evening and then in a written statement Friday night. State records show Ebel donated $1,050 to the governor’s 2010 campaign. But there’s no indication that Hickenlooper’s relationship with the Ebels played a role in the shooting. Hickenlooper denied having any role in Evan Ebel’s parole.
• White supremacist suspected of killing Colorado official brain dead after Texas shootout. A white supremacist ex-convict suspected of killing Colorado’s top prison official is brain dead and on life support after being shot in the head during a rampage in Texas that left one officer seriously injured, according to CBS News. Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was spotted in Montague County, Texas driving a Cadillac matching a description of one spotted near the home of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements on the night he was murdered. When Deputy James Boyd tried to pull him over, the Ebel allegedly opened fire, shooting Boyd three times. The high-speed chase that ensued ended with Ebel wrecking his Cadillac and exchanging more gunfire with police at a busy intersection in Decatur, Texas, less than an hour north of Fort Worth. He was shot in the head during the exchange and remains on life support. The Denver Post reported that Ebel is a member of a Colorado white supremacist prison gang called the 211s, named after a Colorado police criminal code for theft. Police are investigating whether the gang ordered him to murder Clements, noting Ebel’s criminal record includes a charge of assaulting a corrections officer. A Domino’s Pizza uniform and empty pizza box in the vehicle also led authorities to suspect that Ebel may have been involved in the murder of Nathan Leon, a delivery driver who was found dead recently in Golden, Colorado. Police sources told Fox31 Denver that the disguise may have been used to trick Clements into opening his front door.
• According to law enforcement officials in the Dominican Republic, a local lawyer alleges that he was approached by someone claiming to work for the Daily Caller about finding prostitutes who would say they were solicited by Sen. Bob Menendez, the Washington Post reports. From the Post: “The local lawyer told Dominican investigators that a foreign man, who identified himself as “Carlos,” had offered him $5,000 to find and pay women in the Caribbean nation willing to make the claims about Menendez, according to Jose Antonio Polanco, district attorney for the La Romana region, where the investigation is being conducted.” The details are sketchy and the lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, is unreliable, himself accused of paying the prostitutes to lie about Menendez. He also recently accused four news outlets, including the Caller, CNN, Telemundo and Univision, of pushing him to make up the allegations. The Caller denied the allegations in a statement.
• It has not been clear who, exactly, paid the escorts for the falsehoods, but according to Dominican lawyer Melanio Figueroa, it was the Daily Caller itself financing — and then publishing — the deliberate falsehoods. If true, it would be a genuine media scandal from which there is no recovery. It’s difficult to even imagine a more serious breach of journalistic ethics and standards than a news outlet publishing a bogus smear that the outlet itself paid prostitutes to manufacture. Menendez would probably even have a credible libel case to pursue. But I’d recommend some caution here.
• Did Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller Pay Dominican Hookers?: My first inclination would be to say there are too many liars on all sides to believe any of it. However, I point you to the video at the top, where David Martosko, then managing editor of The Daily Caller was spinning the story after one of the prostitutes said she was paid. Subsequent to that video, news broke that Martosko was impersonating liberals to dig up dirt for Rick Berman, head hack for the conservative noise machine. There were always clear ties back to The Daily Caller with this story. Despite the fact that it was shopped to mainstream outlets, the DC was the only “media outlet” to actually run it. It ran just days before the election and was such an obvious smear tactic that it backfired.
• Two Alabama high school students and an unlikely team of state legislators want to repeal a 1992 law requiring educators to teach that being gay is a crime and “not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” While there is no evidence to suggest that the sex education law is currently being enforced, the students still want to see the misleading (and hateful) language removed.
• Republicans Senators filed five anti-abortion amendments on Thursday night and Friday morning to the budget resolution as part of the marathon voting session known as “vote-a-rama.”
• North Dakota lawmakers passed a “personhood” abortion ban Friday afternoon, bestowing human rights to fertilized eggs with all the rights of U.S. citizens and effectively outlawing abortion and some forms of birth control, according to ThinkProgress.org. It’s so extreme that some North Dakota Republican pro-lifers are against it and are planning to join a pro-choice rally in the state capital on Monday to oppose the far-right abortion restriction. “We have stepped over the line,” Republican state Rep. Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) said of the recent push to pass personhood. “North Dakota hasn’t even passed a primary seatbelt law, but we have the most invasive attack on women’s health anywhere.”
• A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) clarified Thursday that Christie opposes gay conversion therapy, a day after the governor declined to take a position on a bill that would ban the practice in his state, The Star-Ledger reports. “Gov. Christie does not believe in conversion therapy,” spokesman Kevin Roberts said Thursday afternoon. “There is no mistaking his point of view on this when you look at his own prior statements where he makes clear that people’s sexual orientation is determined at birth.”
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Friday for the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010 that killed eight Turkish citizens and one American national. This is the first time Netanyahu and Erdogan have spoken since the incident.
• President Obama’s trip to the Middle East appears to have already produced a significant diplomatic breakthrough that few saw coming. As a result of the phone conversation, which President Obama reportedly participated in, diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey have been fully restored and that ambassadors would be reinstated. As fascinating as this is, there’s plenty we do not yet know, including what, if anything, Obama did to cajole Netanyahu. But the fact that Obama’s leadership helped broker this diplomacy is encouraging.
• Is Egypt Being Primed for a Coup?. When an important leader of the political opposition hints that a military coup might be preferable to the current chaos, and when a major financial organization proposes an economic program certain to spark a social explosion, something is afoot. Is Egypt being primed for a coup?
In other news
• The Senate voted 40-59 to reject the Paul Ryan budget on Thursday night. Republican Sens. Mike Lee (UT), Ted Cruz (TX), Dean Heller (NV), Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY) joined a unified Democratic caucus in voting against it. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) missed the vote. Republicans did not offer the Ryan budget; Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) forced the vote by bringing up the plan as a substitute to her own Democratic budget.
• The Secret Gingrich-Santorum ‘Unity Ticket’ That Nearly Toppled Romney: The negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president. “In the end,” Gingrich says, “it was just too hard to negotiate.”
• Texas Takes Step Toward Secession With Rick Perry’s Plan to Hoard $1 Billion in Gold. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione have a plan to create a “Fort Knox of Texas” so that the state can start hoarding gold. Giovanni has filed a bill to establish a Texas Bullion Depository to store the $1 billion worth of gold bars that are owned by University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which are currently being housed by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Perry said that lawmakers were in the process of “bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state.”
• Rachel Maddow highlighted, in real time, what CNN and MSNBC were showing versus what Fox News decided was relevant (repealing the health care law) when President Obama makes his first trip to Israel. The results were eye-opening, surreal even. At the very moment Obama was receiving the highest honor Israel can bestow, Fox News was quite literally declaring him an enemy of the state.