The Daily Show's Jon Stewart opened up his show this Tuesday by taking his audience through the latest round of insanity from the "crack-smoking" mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. Stewart wondered who in the hell the people are that make up the 25 percent still supporting this guy, so they sent their "correspondent" Jessica Williams up to Toronto to find out.
At a bond hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors in Seminole County alleged that former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman had choked his girlfriend just days before she called 911 to say he was threatening her with a shotgun.
Zimmerman had been arrested on felony domestic violence and misdemeanor battery charges on Monday after Samantha Scheibe told authorities that he pointed a shotgun at her and pushed her out of the house.
The judge ordered on Tuesday that Zimmerman could be released on $9,000 bond. He was also barred from possessing guns or from coming within 1,500 feet of Scheibe. Zimmerman will have to wear a GPS tracking device until his next court date on Jan. 7.
At the hearing, the prosecution told the judge that the victim was "in fear for her safety."
"The victim had indicated that there was a prior domestic violence incident that had occurred approximately a week and half ago that involved a choking that she did not report to the police," the prosecutor said. "He has also has mentioned suicide in the recent past."
At least two other women, a former wife and a former girlfriend, have also accused Zimmerman of domestic violence in the past. He was acquitted of murder earlier this year after he admitted to killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Update (3:45 p.m. ET): Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, reportedly served him divorce papers while he was in jail waiting for Tuesday's bond hearing. She had been unable to find him to serve the papers prior to the arrest.
Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Texas governor, has responded to the news that a former staffer had organized a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game at the University of Texas at Austin by linking his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Wendy Davis, to Satanism.
Former Abbott staffer and chairman of the UT chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) Lorenzo Garcia had claimed that the game was "intended “to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration," but the event was canceled on Monday after it received national attention.
In a statement, Garcia said that he was concerned that "the university will retaliate against them and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers."
University President Bill Powers also released a statement saying that the "proposed YCT event is completely out of line with the values we espouse at The University of Texas at Austin."
A statement from UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa and Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster said that it was "both disappointing and dishonorable for any UT student to treat another with disrespect, and we hope that the Young Conservatives of Texas explore more constructive and mature ways to promote a dialogue about issues of concern to them."
But Abbott's campaign found a way to turn the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game around as an attack on Davis, even linking her to "Satan."
"Our campaign has no affiliation with this repugnant effort. Illegal immigration and the failed policies of the Obama Administration are not a joking matter," a statement from Abbott spokesperson Avdiel Huerta said. "Conservatives should not stoop to the level of liberals, whose shenanigans at the Texas Capitol this summer, including chants of 'hail Satan' during Senator Davis' filibuster to allow abortions after five months, did nothing but sidetrack the Texas Legislature."
(h/t: Burnt Orange Report)
After the last week or two of being ready to break my television set after hearing one too many of these talking heads on the television compare the botched rollout of the healthcare.gov web site to Hurricane Katrian, it was nice to see them get the treatment they deserved during the opening to this Monday's The Daily Show.
While Jon Stewart went to town on Monday on media outlets for parroting Republicans and comparing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) troubled implementation to Hurricane Katrina, he stopped for a second to address Fox News Chris Wallace for saying Katrina “ended within a week,” while the new law could affect people “for years to come.”
“Are you out of your –” Stewart began to say, before stopping once he heard his audience’s collected grown. “Do you know you’ve disappointed our audience? They think you might be out of your f*cking mind.” [...]
While he had no intentions of polishing the “.turd” that was the government health care exchange website healthcare.gov, Stewart said, he also mocked Republicans for being offended by the comparison, and pointed out that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refused to allow his state to take part in one of the new health care exchanges offered as part of the ACA while accusing the White House of “bullying” Louisiana.
“Bullying?” Stewart asked incredulously. “The feds were gonna pay for the Medicaid expansion. How was that bullying? ‘Hey, four-eyes, you need to see an opthamologist, we can cover that. How is that bullying?’”
Stewart wrapped things up with a panel of Daily Show correspondents, who went through the list of other George W. Bush screw ups and national embarrassments they could have compared the Obamacare rollout to instead. I was glad to see David Gregory's ridiculous Iraq analogy get the treatment it deserved.
While news such as Walmart doing canned food drives for their own employees and the NLRB deciding to pursue charges against Walmart for violating labor laws are making their way into the headlines this week, what are the talking heads over at Fox doing? You guessed it... damage control.
Fox's Neil Cavuto started off the segment above by trashing the unions and workers making demands for a living wage for Walmart's workers -- followed by a nice softball interview with Walmart CEO Bill Simon, praising the company for their decision to promote 25K of their 2.2 million or so employees by the end of January.
They followed that with a panel segment which included Fox Business Channel regular Charles Payne and union organizer Stewart Acuff, where of course, Cavuto and Payne proceeded to talk over Acuff every time he managed to make a good point about Walmart not paying a living wage, or the fact that they destroy all of the other small businesses when they move into an area.
Apparently to be considered an "expert" on the rape culture in our military by ABC's Martha Raddatz, you have to be someone with former military experience, like our good buddy Sen. John McCrashy, or so it seems after watching her interview with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on This Week.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is taking aim at the rape culture and that means taking aim at the status quo. What better way to do that than by reminding her colleagues that it is actually their job to oversee the Department of Defense instead of enabling rape by playing the Phony Patriot Deference Game. Naturally, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) dismissed her because she doesn’t have experience commanding the military.
While defending her legislative proposal from detractors like McCain, Senator Gillibrand declared on “This Week” that it’s actually their job as Senators and Congressional members to oversee the Department of Defense.
This is their job even if they are not experts who once commanded the military, which is not a qualification for being a Senator. [...]
Of course Gillibrand pointing out that it’s their job to oversee the DOD won’t go over well with the patriarchal status quo, and that is precisely one reason why the rape culture is so out of control in the military. No oversight for them because they are SPECIAL and only other people in command understand how special they are. Read on...
Martha Raddatz has her moments where she's not as bad as a lot of the other hosts on the Sunday talk shows. This past weekend's show was not one of them. Transcript of their exchange below the fold.
Fox News guest Lars Larson on Monday blasted Mary Cheney after she and her same sex partner posted on Facebook that they had been insulted when sister, Liz Cheney, told Fox News that they didn't deserve marriage rights.
“I love Mary very much, I love our family very much,” Liz Cheney insisted to Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “This is just an issue on which we disagree.”
Within hours, Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, had taken to Facebook to explain their side.
“Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history,” Mary Cheney wrote, according to The New York Times.
“Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 – she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us,” Poe added. “To have her say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.”
“I can’t help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other.”
On Monday, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson noted that former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, had released a statement saying they had dealt with the situation "privately for many years" and called for compassion.
"That's exactly where it should stay, it should stay private," conservative radio host Lars Larson agreed. "And what I find disturbing about this, I have friends of 40 years who are gay. I don't care. What they do in their own bedroom is their business. When you bring something to the public sphere and demand that government acknowledge, sanction and endorse gay marriage then there are going to differences."
"I think it's sad that Liz Cheney's sister has chosen to make this a public fight to damage her sister's political ambitions," he continued. "And to do it in a way that doesn't respect Liz Cheney's personal beliefs or personal values."
"We hear a lot about personal values from the left. And yet it sounds like as far as the gay agenda goes, it's take no prisoners and yes is the only answer. And if you don't agree, we'll do everything we can to hurt you."
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested on Monday that pregnant women 65-years-old and older were losing their doctors because of President Barack Obama health care reform law.
In a segment titled "Who's Ruining the Economy Now?" Fox Business host Stuart Varney announced that the president was not going to be able to keep the promise that people could keep their doctors because "United Healthcare has just dropped -- we don't know exactly how many -- but thousands of doctors have been dropped from United Heathcare's Medicare Advantage program."
Conservative media outlets like The Washington Times have blamed United Healthcare's decision on the Affordable Care Act.
"That leaves hundreds of thousands of patients without the doctor that they've had for many many years," Varney added. "We don't know how many thousands have been dropped, but thousands have been dropped. What about their patients? What about the people who used to have this doctor who now no longer have this doctor? Broken promise."
"And many of those people are women who are expecting babies and who may just have a real relationship with their physician and want to see the same doctor deliver possibly their second child," Hasselbeck opined. "And they are now left in the dark in a time that they feeling quite vulnerable."
"Most of them are elderly," Varney pointed out.
Medicare Advantage is a type of Medicare offered by private companies to people over 65 years of age. Medicare Advantage covers traditional Medicare plus additional services, but customers must pay a premium.
It's not clear how many women over the age of 65 are pregnant, but United Healthcare does offer maternity coverage to Medicare Advantage customers.
An alternate ending to the series was leaked to the internet on the weekend, only to be yanked by YouTube and Sony Entertainment for copyright infringement.
via The Guardian
A leaked clip from the complete Breaking Bad box set shows Bryan Cranston as Malcolm in the Middle's Hal, discussing the very strange dream he's just had.
I've heard a lot of concern trolling by the pundits in the media over whether insurance rates are going to rise if not if enough young and healthy people sign up for the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act over the last few months, but this is the first time I've heard anyone explain that there are some protections for the insurance companies written into the law to prevent that from happening -- or why it might be in the best interest of the insurance companies themselves to keep rates down.
I'm no expert on health care policy, but I'm a lot more inclined to listen to the likes of Ezra Klein who discussed just that during this Sunday's Meet the Press than either host David Gregory -- who spent most of the segment either admitting that he literally knows nothing about the details of the law himself, or repeating Republican talking points about the evils of "big government" and how it's harming everyone by being too "coercive" -- or his guest, the Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger -- who makes his living lying to the viewers on Fox every Saturday afternoon on top of cranking out op-eds for good old uncle Rupert.
I hope Klein is right about the premiums since we're stuck with this mess instead of single-payer with no fixes in sight for any problems as long as Republicans are controlling the House.
Transcript via NBC below the fold.