Friday Night Blue-Eyed Soul: St. Paul & the Broken Bones, “Half the City”

The singer is a former bank teller
Music • Views: 1,454

YouTube presents St. Paul & the Broken Bones performing “Half The City live at the Triple Door as part of KEXP’s VIP Club Concert series. Recorded February 18, 2015.

Host: Michele Myers
Audio Engineer: Craig Montgomery
Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Shelly Corbett, Scott Holpainen, Luke Knecht & Justin Wilmore
Editor: Scott Holpainen

Photo thumbnail by Amber Knecht

DOJ Preparing Corruption Charges Against Sen. Bob Menendez, Chuck C. Johnson Starts Boasting

Smear merchant claims “vindication,” but it’s not
Politics • Views: 6,172

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez will be facing criminal corruption charges, according to CNN:

Washington (CNN)The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.

The case could pose a high-profile test of the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute sitting lawmakers, having already spawned a legal battle over whether key evidence the government has gathered is protected by the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause.

This news prompted a deluge of crowing and boasting from our stalker pal Chuck C. Johnson, claiming that he’s “vindicated.”

There’s more in this vein, but here’s the thing — Chuck’s “reporting” on Menendez had absolutely nothing to do with these charges. Chuck and Matt Boyle published an article at the Daily Caller alleging that Menendez had paid under-age prostitutes in the Dominican Republic for “sex parties” — an allegation that was subsequently completely debunked. Again from CNN:

Other lines of inquiry against Menendez had included allegations he solicited prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, and that he violated the law helping win permanent U.S. residency for two Ecuadorian banking magnates, the Isaias brothers. The prostitution allegations collapsed after the purported prostitutes recanted their story, and the FBI didn’t find evidence of wrongdoing in the Isaias matter, according to people briefed on the probe.

So uh, Chuck? You’re not “vindicated” at all! In fact, these charges actually point out once again what a massive fail your smear piece was.

UPDATE at 3/6/15 1:01:40 pm by Charles Johnson

Thursday Night Jam: Phox

A beautifully subtle NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Music • Views: 9,422


I first saw Phox in an impromptu concert at a restaurant in Philadelphia. I thought the band was talented and charming, and I still do. Phox is six friends from Baraboo, Wis., who make pretty, catchy music. The group’s not-so-secret weapon is Monica Martin, who sings with a smoky lilt in front of spare, tasteful instrumentation.

You can hear that warm, accessible sound on Phox’s 2014 debut, which was recorded at Wisconsin’s April Base studio, built by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and his brother. Touring has tightened this band since that off-the-cuff restaurant performance last year, as this marvelous performance at the Tiny Desk suggests. — BOB BOILEN

Set List
“Kingfisher” 0:00
“1936” 3:47
“Slow Motion” 7:55

Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Nick Michael, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Morgan McCloy; Photo by Morgan McCloy/NPR

Arkansas State GOP Lawmaker Gives Adopted Daughter to Pedophile

Invokes the Bible when confronted with the facts
US News • Views: 12,887

Possibly the most horrifying story you’ll read this week:

The Harrises had adopted the girl and her 3-year-old sister through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The couple also has three biological sons who are older than the girls. Pictures of the girls appeared on Justin Harris’ social media accounts in early 2013 (the images have since been deleted), and Harris announced on Twitter and Facebook on March 6, 2013, that the couple had officially adopted the girls. Because DHS adoptions require an in-home trial period of at least six months prior to papers being signed, the girls likely entered the home no later than September 2012.

And then, something evidently went amiss in the household. For unknown reasons, about six months after the adoption was finalized, the Harrises sent the two girls to live with Eric Francis and his family in Bella Vista.

According to an Arkansas State Police investigative report prepared by Sgt. Kimberly A. Warren dated April 3, 2014, she contacted Crimes Against Children Division Supervisor Terri Ward who advised that “Mr. and Mrs. Harris placed the girls into the care of Eric Francis and his wife Stacy [sic] Francis in October 2013.” The report further states that “It was later reported to the Department of Human Services that Mr. and Mrs. Harris had left the children with another family and had basically abandoned them. This incident was reported to the child abuse hotline and the children were interviewed.”

After her husband’s arrest, Stacey Francis told a state police investigator that she and Eric “met [the girls] through friends of theirs, Justin and Marsha Harris, who were looking for a new adoption plan for themselves … Stacey Francis reported that she and Eric Francis brought [the girls] into their home with the hopes of being able to adopt them.” The Francises already had three older children — two girls and a boy — who were adopted internationally. Stacey Francis said the Harris girls stayed with her and Eric “until February or March of 2014.” That means the Harrises left the girls with Eric Francis and his wife even after firing him.

The sexual abuse of the 6-year-old girl came to light only because of a call placed to the state’s child maltreatment hotline on Friday, March 28, from an unidentified caller who said the Harrises “gave their adoptive children to a family” and “that family in turn gave the children to another family” and that they had “continued to accept adoption subsidy money even after giving the children away.” Investigators evidently determined that this third home was a safe place for the girls because they remain there today.

And after all that, Harris thinks he’s the victim.

When asked whether he rehomed his adoptive children with another family, he replied, “I’m not confirming that.” When asked about the statements made in the State Police report in the Francis case, Harris said he hadn’t read the file because of the disturbing descriptions of sexual abuse that they contain.

Harris then quoted Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.”

“You don’t know what we’ve been through this past year. You have no idea what my family has been through,” he said emphatically. “I don’t care what the people of Arkansas think about me. I don’t care if I lose my position. I care what my wife thinks about me, and I care what my three sons think about me.”

More: A Child Left Unprotected

Harris himself already has a bit of a history

Hypocrite watch: Rep. Justin Harris

Harris makes a living running what he calls a “church preschool,” Growing God’s Kingdom. In addition to preaching the Gospel, he preaches the word of reduced government spending and lower taxes. He reportedly once remarked government spending never created a job. Funny thing, though. Harris’ business depends almost entirely on taxpayers for its existence and the money he and other family members make from it. The Blue Hog Report did some digging into the small business and found this:

Harris’ business operates on almost $900,000 a year and serves about 150 kids. Of that, all but about 6 percent comes in the form of state and federal dollars in a program aimed at developmentally disabled and poor children. The money provides Harris and his wife almost $60,000 a year in salary and benefits. It also covers the mortgage on his privately owned building and rent payments to the Harrises.

So the government spending hawk lives on government spending, a double dip of payroll, perks and rent payments.

Thanks to conservative blogger Jason Tolbert, we know of another bit of Harris hypocrisy. Tolbert reported — in defense of Harris — that a University of Arkansas lobbyist had been putting out the word that somebody might make hay of the fact that Harris has perhaps a dozen undocumented students among his 150 pre-schoolers. Maybe they’re legal, maybe not. He is not required to prove citizenship to provide taxpayer-funded services to these kids and thank goodness for that. Blogger Tolbert seemed perturbed at the UA’s tough lobbying against Harris’ legislation to provide a little kindness to older Arkansas children on college costs.

No defense of Harris was possible. An anti-tax, anti-government-spending, anti-illegal-alien legislator is living off a government program that includes payments for kids who haven’t produced proof of citizenship.

Also see

Did Hillary Clinton Really Use a “Homebrew Email Server?” (A: Very Probably Not)

Associated Press may have really messed this one up
Media • Views: 20,226

The AP story that Hillary Clinton used a “homebrew email server” for State Department emails is coming apart at the seams. @BobCesca_go, @Shoq and I went back and forth on Twitter, digging into this story for most of the afternoon because it just didn’t seem plausible that HRC had her email server in her house as the AP article claimed, and it now looks very likely that we’re seeing another case of journalists who have just enough technical knowledge to get it drastically wrong.

Here’s Bob’s write-up, with the details of what we discovered: The AP’s Bombshell Hillary Clinton Email Story Fails to Prove Existence of “Homebrew” Server.

To sum it up: the Associated Press story assumed that because these emails were sent from clintonemail•com, they had to be coming from that domain. What they apparently didn’t realize (but any competent web developer could have told them) is that the ISP that hosts these emails, Cablevision, lets business customers configure their accounts to route email through Cablevision’s email server, but still use the customer’s domain name.

Also see
UPDATE at 3/5/15 2:15:16 pm by Charles Johnson

The Washington Post now reports that an anonymous “Clinton ally” has confirmed the email server was located in Clinton’s home: As House Panel Issues Subpoenas, Questions Mount Over Clinton E-Mails.

Instead of using State Department servers to send and receive those e-mails, she used a server housed at her private home in Chappaqua, N.Y., a Clinton ally familiar with her e-mail practices confirmed Wednesday. The server’s existence was first reported by the Associated Press.

The Clinton ally said the server and e-mail addresses were established after the conclusion of Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for president in 2008, as she was transitioning away from using an account held by her defunct campaign.

Watch Live: Eric Holder Speaks About the DOJ Report on Ferguson

US News • Views: 20,060

[Live event concluded]

The Seven Racist E-Mails the Justice Department Highlighted in Its Report on Ferguson Police

Although the Justice Department did not identify the people who sent or received these e-mails, it said that the officials involved are all still employed and that several police officers, court supervisors and commanders were involved.

Here is a rundown of these e-mails, with all descriptions taken directly from the Justice Department’s report:

November 2008: An e-mail said President Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

March 2010: An e-mail mocked African Americans through a story involving child support. One line from the e-mail read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”

April 2011: An e-mail depicted Obama as a chimpanzee.

May 2011: An e-mail said: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”

June 2011: An e-mail described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

October 2011: An e-mail included a photo of a group of bare-chested women dancing, seemingly in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

December 2011: An e-mail included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

Creationist Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Says Prison Turns People Gay

This loon is running for president, folks
Wingnuts • Views: 19,535


The Republican presidential race is off to a smashing start, as one of the current frontrunners, creationist neurosurgeon Ben Carson, goes on CNN and says homosexuality is a choice. How does he know this? Because look at all those people who go into prison, and come out gay.

Oh brother.

“A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson said. “Did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

Video: Mark Mothersbaugh on the Early Days of Devo

“We were just reporting the good news of de-evolution”
Arts • Views: 23,985


Directed by Manson
Music by Shannon Ferguson
Sound Production by Brandon McFarland
Special Thanks to Kevin Ferguson

California Inspires Me is a collaboration between Google Play and California Sunday

Ben Carson Announces Exploratory Commi… zzzZZZzzz

Politics • Views: 24,375


In case any of our readers need a sleep aid tonight, I dare you to make it through Ben Carson’s dour announcement of his “presidential exploratory committee” without dozing off.

DOJ Investigation Finds Pattern of Racial Bias Among Ferguson Police

Ferguson official’s email: Obama won’t be President long, because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?”
US News • Views: 27,759

The Washington Post has details on the Justice Department’s investigation into racial bias among Ferguson police and other municipal officials, and the bottom line is exactly what most of us suspected: Justice Dept. Review Finds Pattern of Racial Bias Among Ferguson Police.

As part of its findings, the Justice Department concluded that African Americans accounted for 85 percent of all people stopped by Ferguson police officers and 90 percent of all citations issued.

The Justice Department plans to release evidence this week of racial bias found in e-mails written by Ferguson police and municipal court officials. A November 2008 e-mail, for instance, stated that President Obama could not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

The Justice Department did not identify who wrote this and other racist e-mails and whom they were sent to. Officials at the department spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the review and its findings before a planned release this week.

The review concludes that racial bias and a focus on generating revenue over public safety have a profound effect on Ferguson police and court practices and routinely violate the Constitution and federal law.

UPDATE at 3/3/15 1:29:45 pm by Charles Johnson

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Information doesn't kill you... -- Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985 during an exchange with a Born Again Christian.