STL County Police Academy’s New Course: How to Handle the Media After You Gun Down an Unarmed Teenager

US News • Views: 4,739

Sometimes you get a glimpse into a separate subculture that shows you how incredibly removed from the ordinary person’s experience its members are; for example, this new course being offered by the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, which promises to teach officers how to handle the media in situations like that, with topics like “Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla,” and “Feeding the Animals.”

This is not a parody, folks. Here’s the PDF: Mediashoot.pdf.


The shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri and the events that followed were tragic. In addition to the Ferguson case study, this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA! It is practical training, not theoretical: Take what you learn and put it to work for you on the street right away! The training is also highly entertaining: numerous video clips illustrate key points, and there is NO PowerPoint! You will learn a lot, and you’ll have fun doing it! In addition to the detailed case study of Ferguson (including numerous practical tips for handling the media in an officer-involved shooting) topics will include:

  • Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla
  • DWI and the Media
  • Feeding the Animals
  • "No comment" is a comment
  • Don't Get Stuck on Stupid!
  • Managing Media Assault and Battery
  • Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (think Ferguson)
  • Managing the Media in a Crisis (including lessons learned from the Newtown, CT school shooting.)
UPDATE at 9/20/14 4:58:13 pm by Charles Johnson

In case the document suddenly disappears, here’s a screenshot:

John Boehner Is Sick of Unemployed People Who Would ‘Rather Just Sit Around’

The GOP still has nothing but contempt for people struggling to make it
LGF • Views: 4,583

Richard Cowen, Reuters: John Boehner Is Sick of Unemployed People That Would ‘Rather Just Sit Around’

Boehner then lamented “this idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country.”

The evidence is clear that once someone has been unemployed for six months, as happened to millions of Americans as jobs disappeared during the Recession, virtually no employer is willing to give them a chance. But we can always count on the GOP to kick people when they are down.

Drudge Report is Pushing Yet Another Crackpot AAPS Doctor Making Claims About Ebola

Misinformation campaign courtesy of AAPS
Health • Views: 5,380

Yesterday, I posted about how Drudge was spreading all kinds of misinformation about the current outbreak of enterovirus D68. That misinformation was courtesy of the AAPS, which is a crank organization with ties to both Rand and Ron Paul, filled with racists and xenophobes.

Well, the AAPS is back in the Drudge headlines courtesy of WND.

Today, Drudge is linking to WND and an article where a different AAPS doctor is being cited in claiming that it’s irresponsible to send US soldiers to West Africa to support the efforts to stop the Ebola pandemic.

According to WND (link donotlink’d), Lee Hieb, it’s now apparently irresponsible for President Obama to send troops to provide logistics to help stop the Ebola epidemic across West Africa.

“You can see that these doctors, who are highly trained people, got themselves infected,” said Dr. Lee Hieb, former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “So sending troops into an area, if they’re dealing one-on-one with a patient, they’re not going to be able to protect themselves very well. It’s not easy to [prevent transmission], because you get tired and you get careless and you make some simple mistakes. All it takes is one virus particle.”

Dr. Hieb said quarantine measures should be taken to control the outbreak and prevent Ebola from coming to America.

“You don’t get Ebola from Europe,” she told WND. “You get Ebola from Africa. And it’s a really simple formula: Don’t let people fly to America if they’ve been to areas where there’s an outbreak. When there’s an outbreak, stop air [traffic] flow.”

It’s still more purposeful misinformation since the US mission will not put the troops in direct contact with those with the virus. It’s a logistics, training, and support mission for those who are providing direct medical assistance.

It’s not without risk, but the troops going in are there supporting CDC, USAID, and other agencies providing assistance.

One of the reasons that doctors, nurses, and other caregivers are getting infected in Africa is because they are running into a shortage of proper facilities and isolation equipment to protect themselves and others from the disease. US troops have MOPP gear, which is designed to protect from a wide range of chemical, nuclear, and biological contaminants. They’re bringing those with them.

And who exactly is this Doctor Lee Hieb? She’s running for Governor in Iowa, wants to repeal common core (among many other government programs), and adheres to the same wingnutty principles that the AAPS spreads.

I’ve fixed a couple of spelling errors, but also ran a Google search for the AAPS, and among their latest exploits are suing to get Obamacare repealed, which have failed. The 7th Circuit is the latest to toss one of their suits. In fact, it was Judge Richard Posner who unleashed a can of whoop-ass on the AAPS astroturfing group, as Charles Pierce notes.

Today, Judge Richard Posner drove this logic home. “You’re suggesting a breathtaking expansion of jurisdiction, aren’t you?” he asked. “You’re suggesting that anyone with a potential economic injury from a law can bring a suit. Where would you stop?”

“The stopping point is if someone is not being regulated by a particular statute,” plaintiff’s attorney Andrew Schlafly replied. “This is a regulation of the medical field, not some remote tax.” He then argued that people forced to buy insurance will never seek out cash practices in order to avoid paying for healthcare twice. This did not satisfy Posner. “That’s like saying people who get food stamps don’t pay as much for groceries.

They also think that the so-called war on coal won’t save lives, even though the science proves that reducing emissions will improve public health downwind (to say nothing of reducing incidence of black lung for those who are mining it (reduce the reliance, you reduce the need to mine it).

You’ll notice that the same names keep cropping up in relation to AAPS, whether it’s the Pauls (Ron or Rand), Schlafly, and assorted right wing outlets that use the AAPS to make it think that their positions hold merit when they’re logic- and fact-challenged.

NBC Was Wrong: Federal Charges Have Not Been “Ruled Out” for Gov. Christie

US News • Views: 12,726

You may have seen right wing sites trumpeting a report on last night’s NBC Nightly News in which Brian Williams said that federal charges against New Jersey governor Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate” scandal had been ruled out. This report led to an orgy of football-spiking, all over the right wing blogs.

But, uh, Brian Williams was wrong.

NEWARK - NBC says a report by Brian Williams on the network’s Nightly News that federal charges have been ruled out for Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal was incorrect.

Federal prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and haven’t made any announcement on Christie’s status.

“The investigation is continuing,” said Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.

NBC outlets had several reports Thursday and Friday citing anonymous sources saying no Christie connection had been uncovered while noting the investigation is continuing. However, Williams on NBC Nightly News Thursday night reported that “federal charges are now ruled out for Chris Christie in the affair that came to be known as Bridgegate.”

NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said that was wrong.

Ridiculous Breitbart “News” Post of the Day: Demons Are Real!

They’re getting even loonier
Wingnuts • Views: 11,857

Yes, folks, we have our inadvertently hilarious right wing post of the day, courtesy of Breitbart “News,” where ace journalist Kate O’Hare is sounding the alert about… demons. Yes, I said demons. Watch out, the threat from them is real. This is nothing to play around with.


A quick Google search shows that the image O’Hare lifted from the Associated Press without attribution was taken in 1967, and it probably came from this Russian website.

Yep, they really are getting this crazed over there. Demons, for Pete’s sake. I think it’s a law of the universe that all right wing “news” sites eventually devolve into clones of World Net Daily.

Blogger Chuck C. Johnson Hypes White Nationalist Website - Again

Crowing about being defended by racists
Wingnuts • Views: 12,901

You may recall this LGF post from a couple of weeks ago, in which we called out right wing smear artist Chuck C. Johnson (most recently infamous for alleging — with no evidence — that Ferguson teenager Michael Brown had been involved in a second degree murder while a juvenile) for linking to a really nasty homophobic article at racist website Takimag: Blogger Chuck C. Johnson Hypes Ugly Anti-Gay Article at White Nationalist Website.

When it was pointed out to him that Takimag is an overtly racist site, with a list of absolutely horrible white nationalist and antisemitic contributors, he responded by saying he was just “exploring different ideas.”

Well, he seems to have decided now that he likes those “different ideas,” because today he’s crowing about an article at Takimag that defends him against people who criticized him for his disgusting comments about beheaded journalist James Foley:

Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem very smart to boast that white nationalists and far right racists think you’re groovy.

Creepy Thursday Night Jam: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Red Right Hand”

One microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan
Music • Views: 17,763


This is a classic from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, a disturbing little ditty about a tall handsome man with a red right hand. I didn’t even know there was a video for this one until today, but it’s as unsettling as the song.

Take a little walk to the edge of town
Go across the tracks where the viaduct looms
Like a bird of doom as it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires, in the humming wires
Hey man, you know you’re never coming back
Past the square, past the bridge, past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm, comes a tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with a red right hand

He’ll wrap you in his arms
Tell you that you’ve been a good boy
He’ll rekindle all the dreams it took you a lifetime to destroy
He’ll reach deep into the hole heal your shrinking soul
Hey buddy, you know you’re never ever coming back
He’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru
They’re whispering his name through this disappearing land
But hidden in his coat is a red right hand

You don’t own no money? He’ll get you some
You don’t have no car? He’ll get you one
You don’t have no self-respect
You feel like an insect
Well don’t you worry buddy ‘cause here he comes
Through the ghettos and the barrio and the bowery and the slum
A shadow is cast wherever he stands
Stacks of green paper in his red right hand

You’ll see him in your nightmares
You’ll see him in your dreams
He’ll appear out of nowhere but he ain’t what he seems
You’ll see him in your head, on a TV screen
And hey buddy, I’m warning you to turn it off
He’s a ghost, he’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a guru
You’re one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan
Designed and directed by his red right hand

Drudge Touts Claims That Illegal Aliens Are Source of Enterovirus Outbreak

Relying on shady racist sources; blaming CDC for coverup
Health • Views: 21,890

Matt Drudge’s website is nothing if not consistent; they tweet an endless stream of inflammatory and eye-catching claims/statements. A couple of these tweets caught my eye:

I’ve quoted the relevant items from the Drudge page:

Mystery illness spreads to Virginia

Now 16 states...

Doctor: Feds ‘Tight-Lipped,’ May be From Illegals

I’ve donotlinked the Breitbart story.

Let’s start from the top.

What’s going on is not a mystery illness. It’s been defined and identified for quite some time. It’s enterovirus 68 (EV-D68). In fact, a quick google search reveals that it’s been identified as a specific strain since 1962.

Further searches find that there was another outbreak in the US in 2009.

This is a disease that has been around for some time, but has been uncommon. Now it’s spreading, with infections in at least 16 states.

The problem is that it can cause severe symptoms leading to hospitalizations, especially for kids with asthma. Doctors are suggesting if your kids get sick and they begin showing signs of respiratory distress (20 or more breaths per minute), get to a hospital ASAP.

That dispenses with the mystery part.

Now, let’s tackle the next claim. Drudge touts a Breitbart report that cites a doctor who says the CDC is hiding the source of the disease, and that it may be illegal aliens or foreigners who have brought the disease to the US.

First problem with this claim? The disease was first identified here in the US in 1962. And there have been outbreaks in the US before; they’ve come in September of those years, which seems to correlate with the return of kids to school:

Georgia and Pennsylvania reported clusters of enterovirus 68 almost exactly five years ago in September 2009, according to a 2011 CDC report. Arizona had a small cluster of cases in August and September 2010, according to the same report.

Second problem? The doctor who was cited, Dr. Jane Orient, belongs to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The AAPS is a right wing nutter organization, which has been well documented peddling nonsense. Here’s what she actually said, based on the Breitbart quotes:

Orient added “we don’t know where it’s coming from…are there immigrants from Central America, where this disease has allegedly been prevalent before? Should we be [looking at] the virus to see whether it’s like what’s been found in some of these countries that are just sending waves of children across our border and they haven’t been quarantined long enough to make sure they’re not sick?”

She also spoke about the risks posed by drug resistant tuberculosis, saying “virtually all of the cases of drug resistant TB that have been discovered in the United States are in foreign born individuals, and the vast majority of any type of TB is in a person who was born in a foreign country. It is a public health nightmare to just have one of these cases in your community because the person needs to be quarantined…and you could catch TB on a bus, there is no question about that.”

Once again, this doctor clearly isn’t familiar with the disease, let alone a basic Google search because 1) the disease was first identified in the US in 1962; 2) outbreaks have occurred in the US in the past, including in September 2009 and August and September of 2010; and 3) the states where the outbreaks occurred thus far aren’t exactly border states with Mexico. The states that have seen cases aren’t exactly border states with high percentages of illegal aliens.

Instead, what we have is just more typical fear mongering from the right, using the veneer of legitimacy by getting a doctor with questionable “credentials” to make statements unsupported by actual facts.

It’s not known how prevalent the disease has been in the US since the CDC doesn’t require reporting - the information so far has been reported voluntarily. What we might find out if testing and reporting were made mandatory is that the disease is a whole lot more common than we thought because its symptoms mirror those of many other similar diseases.

A: EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. However, CDC does not know how many infections and deaths from EV-D68 occur each year in the United States. Healthcare professionals are not required to report this information to health departments. Also, CDC does not have a surveillance system that specifically collects information on EV-D68 infections. Any data that CDC receives about EV-D68 infections or outbreaks are voluntarily provided by labs to CDC’s National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS). This system collects limited data, focusing on circulating types of enteroviruses and parechoviruses.

There’s a natural presence of this disease in the US, which flares up from time to time. This year’s outbreak is more widespread than in prior events so it generates more news, but Breitbart and Drudge are quick to blame the foreigners for this.

On no actual evidence.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the claims about drug resistant TB. For starters, drug resistant TB is rare in the US. The rate of multidrug resistant TB cases reported in the US appears to be pretty constant, undermining the claims that there’s cases swarming the borders too.

UPDATE at 9/18/14 10:15:39 am by lawhawk

As Gus and I have posted down in the comments, the AAPS, and their publication, The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, is a collection of libertarian and right wing extremist belief that trumps science. Moreover, they both regularly peddle racist and xenophobic statements.

And Breitbart picked up on this and Drudge approvingly touted.

It speaks volumes.

Racist Doctor Connected to Ron Paul
Group Promoting Angle Event: AIDS Deniers, Birthers, Conspiracy Theorists
Rand Paul a Member of AIDS-Denying Conspiracy Theory Group
Right Wing Media and Blogs Hype Ridiculous Phony Survey: 83% of Doctors Want to Quit Over Obamacare

Hannity Removes Belt and Smacks It on Desk During Segment on Peterson

Hannity defends child abuse on Fox News
Media • Views: 25,165


In this clip, Sean Hannity says his father beat him with a belt and even punched him in the face, but he’s “never been to a shrink” and he’s just fine. And he demonstrates by taking off his belt and slamming it on the desk.

No. This is not a person who is fine. But it goes a long way toward explaining why his world view is so warped.

Live Music: The 2014 Americana Music Honors & Awards

The best
Music • Views: 24,967


The 13th annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Show takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. ET, live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. You can watch the entire event, including more than 20 performances by some of Americana’s biggest acts, live on and participating public radio websites.

Americana figurehead Jim Lauderdale will host the evening, backed by a house band featuring Buddy Miller, Don Was, Joachim Cooder, Tim Lauer, The McCrary Sisters, Brady Blade, and Ry Cooder.

Below is a list of artists scheduled to perform, as well as a list of the 2014 nominees.

• Loretta Lynn
• Jason Isbell
• Jackson Browne
• Emmylou Harris
• JD Souther
• Rosanne Cash
• Patty Griffin
• Hurray For The Riff Raff
• Sturgill Simpson
• St. Paul & The Broken Bones
• Parker Millsap
• Robert Ellis
• Valerie June
• Flaco Jimenez
• Taj Mahal
• Rodney Crowell
• Sarah Jarosz
• Cassandra Wilson
• The Milk Carton Kids
• The Devil Makes Three


• Build Me Up From Bones by Sarah Jarosz
• The Lights From The Chemical Plant by Robert Ellis
• The River And The Thread by Rosanne Cash
• Southeastern by Jason Isbell

• Rosanne Cash
• Rodney Crowell
• Robert Ellis
• Jason Isbell

• The Avett Brothers
• The Devil Makes Three
• Hard Working Americans
• Lake Street Dive
• The Milk Carton Kids

• “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell
• “A Feather’s Not A Bird” by Rosanne Cash
• “Ohio” by Patty Griffin
• “Only Lies” by Robert Ellis

• Hurray For The Riff Raff

^ back to top ^


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 Frank says:

Seeing a psychotherapist is not a crazy idea, it's just wanting a second opinion of one's life.