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Who would imagine a king?

Every time I watch “The Preacher’s Wife,” I become a tear-stained mess when Whitney Houston sings this song:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Diana Krall:


Tuesday, Dec 13 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Susie | Susie Madrak and Marcy Wheeler talk about current events and the realities of ordinary life in America. | Listen live and later on BTR

Supreme court watcher Dahlia Lithwick talks with Culture of Truth about the Roberts’ Court systematic limitation on the rights of ordinary citizens to use the courts to redress wrongs done by large corporations and how we are ‘losing the long war’ on a host of important fronts. This is an excerpt from the final minutes of their discussion at Virtually Speaking on December 11, 2011, which can be heard in its entirety here.


From disposing of fracking liquids?

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And nothing says “good manners” quite like pulling out a Beretta and plugging your son-in-law, does it? Fortunately, the perpetrator (a 66-year-old grandmother) lives in Florida, a modified open-carry state. Whew! So as long as she was carrying it in her grandson’s backpack, she only has to worry about the attempted murder charge:

A 66-year-old grandmother is under arrest after police say she shot her estranged son-in-law because of an ongoing custody battle he and her daughter were having over the pair’s young son.

The victim, Salvatore Miglino of Boca Raton, had his cell phone recording the entire time, and the audio was key to the investigation of the Wednesday shooting in Broward County, Fla.

The incident unfolded when Miglino, 39, went to pick up his 3-year-old son for a scheduled visit. His mother-in-law, Cheryl Hepner, stood outside the home with the toddler’s pillow and bag.

“According to him, when he asked for the things, she instead pulled out a handgun and starts firing shots,” according to Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Miglino was shot twice with a .22 caliber Beretta handgun. The bullets hit him in the shoulder and rib cage. Even though he was injured, he pounced and wrestled the gun away from Hepner, then drove away while calling for help, police said.

She also lied to the cops, claiming her son-in-law shot her. See, that’s just rude. Shame on her for telling a lie!

I have to confess, I’ve noticed a lot of rude behavior involving guns, frequently when people are drinking. But I want to point out it’s not the guns’ fault, after all — guns don’t shoot people! Drunken, careless, angry or psychotic people shoot people. They just happen to be using guns, which happen to be deadly. Nothing makes other people behave quite like brandishing a gun at them, and don’t you forget it.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.

Tempting fate

Had some lettuce and tomato on my turkey sandwich. Awaiting gastrointestinal consequences, wish me luck!

I’m sure it will all be fine

What could possibly go wrong with this approach? By the way, I look forward to the day when we’re trained to do our own tax audits. Freedom!

For years, biotech agriculture opponents have accused regulators of working too closely with big biotech firms when deregulating genetically engineered (GE) crops. Now, their worst fears could be coming true: under a new two-year pilot program at the USDA, regulators are training the world’s biggest biotech firms, including Monsanto, BASF and Syngenta, to conduct environmental reviews of their own transgenic seed products as part of the government’s deregulation process.

This would eliminate a critical level of oversight for the production of GE crops. Regulators are also testing new cost-sharing agreements that allow biotech firms to help pay private contractors to prepare mandatory environmental statements on GE plants the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering deregulating.

Yep, and I’m sure they’ll be just as stringent as Enron’s accounting firms!

The USDA launched the pilot project in April and, in November, the USDA announced vague plans to “streamline” the deregulation petition process for GE organisms. A USDA spokesperson said the streamlining effort is not part of the pilot project, but both efforts appear to address a backlog of pending GE crop deregulation petitions that has angered big biotech firms seeking to rollout new products.

Documents obtained by Truthout under a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that biotech companies, lawmakers and industry groups have put mounting pressure on the USDA in recent years to speed up the petition process, limit environmental impact assessments and approve more GE crops. One group went as far as sending USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack a timeline of GE soybean development that reads like a deregulation wish list. [Click here and here to download and read some of the documents released to Truthout.]

As policy expert Bill Freese said, “It’s the equivalent of letting BP do their own Environmental Assessment of a new rig.”


Hah hah, Pennsylvanians, we don’t even need your votes anymore! From the Brad Blog:

According to the Initial Report from a landmark independent forensic audit of the Venango County, PA, touch-screen voting system — the same system used in dozens of counties across the state and country — someone used a computer that was not a part of county’s election network to remotely access the central election tabulator computer, illegally, “on multiple occasions.” Despite the disturbing report, we may never get to learn who did it or why, if Venango’s County Commissioners, a local judge, and the nation’s largest e-voting company have their way. And that’s not all we won’t get to find out about.

The battle for election integrity continues in Venango, with the County Commissioners teaming up with e-voting vendor Election Systems & Software, Inc. on one side, and the county’s renegade interim Republican-majority Board of Elections on the other. The Commissioners and ES&S have been working to spike the independent scientific forensic audit of the county’s failed electronic voting machines that was commissioned by the interim Board of Elections. Making matters worse, the Board has now been removed from power by a county judge, a decision they are attempting to appeal as the three-person board and their supporters continue to fight the entrenched establishment for transparency and accountability in the rural Western Pennsylvania county.

No waiting here

Just got a call from the GI clinic – they have to cancel my appointment this Friday and move it to January. Aren’t you glad we live in America, where people don’t have to wait for medical treatment?

Catch 22

So they can’t find the money that’s missing, they just know it isn’t mixed in with the money that’s left and the clients are shit out of luck. Freedom!

I told you Louis Freeh isn’t worth the space he takes up.

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