Prosecutors in Contra Costa County, directly across the bay from San Francisco, have filed criminal felony charges against a former California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, Sean Harrington, who is accused of seizing and distributing racy photos copied from arrestees’ phones.
Harrington’s attorney, Michael Rains, told a local NBC affiliate that his client has resigned from the CHP and was sorry for what he has done. Rains, who has a longstanding history of representing Bay Area law enforcement, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
“This behavior is really not defensible,” Rains told NBC Bay Area. “It is impulsive, immature and inappropriate in every sense of the word.”
Rains sent an e-mailed statement to Ars confirming that his client had resigned from the CHP but did not respond to direct questions.
It’s their subtle way of disagreeing with the science of climate change without actually disagreeing. In the Hardened mythos of the GOP there’s a lot of projection going on - the rank and file Republicans think that most of the country is like their political environs and neighbors, and thus only scientists, and not any ‘real people” believe that climate change is real and man made. So when a GOP pol says “I’m not a scientist” the shorthand is “I’m not a scientist, I’m a real person — so I don’t believe in man made global warming.” It’s a way of sneering at science and scientists to the party zealots and billionaire financiers without appearing to do so in front of the general public.
“It’s got to be the dumbest answer I’ve ever heard,” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who has advised House Republicans and conservative political advocacy groups on energy and climate change messaging. “Using that logic would disqualify politicians from voting on anything. Most politicians aren’t scientists, but they vote on science policy. They have opinions on Ebola, but they’re not epidemiologists. They shape highway and infrastructure laws, but they’re not engineers.”
Jon A. Krosnick, who conducts polls on public attitudes on climate change at Stanford, finds the phrase perplexing. “What’s odd about this ‘I’m not a scientist’ line is that there’s nothing in the data we’ve seen to suggest that this helps a candidate,” Mr. Krosnick said. “We can’t find a single state where the majority of voters are skeptical. To say, ‘I’m not a scientist’ is like saying, ‘I’m not a parakeet.’ Everyone knows that it just means, ‘I’m not going to talk about this.’ “
But Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, said that while debate moderators and editorial boards may continue to press the climate change question, the issue does not resonate with voters. He pointed to a Pew Research Center poll showing that Americans rank climate change near the bottom of policy concerns.
The story is well-known: After making some of the most distinctive music in pop history, the artist once known as Cat Stevens became Muslim, changed his name and gave up performing to concentrate on faith and philanthropy. Now, as Yusuf Islam, he’s back with a new album called Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, and is making his first US tour since 1978.
Yusuf Islam spoke with NPR’s Scott Simon about returning to the stage and what he gained from being away so long. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read and edited version of their conversation below.
Recently, a 2-year-old girl with ebola traveled from Guinea to her home in Mali. The girl sadly died, but doctors in Bamoko, Mali, knew within hours of testing her that she was carrying the virus, enabling quick treatment of the girl’s relatives and safe handling of her body. This lab is why.
Level-3 biosafety facilities have negative air pressure. They have backup systems and alarms should a ventilator malfunction. Their humidity and temperature are controlled. Air goes in but it does not go out. There is an autoclave, work hoods, boxes of gloves, paper towels, and bottles of disinfectant. Sound doesn’t move between the interior and the exterior. Ebola is designated a level-4 biosafety virus in Europe, America, Singapore and Australia: handling it requires showers, dressing procedures and total isolation from the rest of the building. But no level-4 facilities exist in West Africa—the nearest is in Gabon. So in April, when the disease was proving its tenacity in neighboring Guinea, American doctors saw the threat and nominated Bamako’s level-3 lab capable of diagnosing Ebola. That is how a room designed to protect researchers from TB and HIV became a room where they could also defuse the world’s scariest bug.
Mali’s officials are not panicking, unlike American politicians. They have not sealed the borders. They are letting science dictate their response to the ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
For Sarro and Kone, diagnosing Ebola is no more frightening than diagnosing anything else. They joked in the BSL2 room that Ebola is a delicate bug, easy to break. Tuberculosis, which is airborne, is far scarier. For a molecular biologist, “at our level, the virus is always dead,” said Kone. Are they surprised to have identified Ebola in Mali? “No, it was a matter of time” said Dr. Koita. They are confident that if the government and health ministries track contacts and push public hygiene, Ebola will not last. Some responders are less sure. We eat bananas and soda in the break room after pumping hand sanitizer.
By Eugene Robinson
Washington Post Writers Group
No matter how well Republicans do at the polls Tuesday — and my hunch is they won’t do as well as they hope — the GOP won’t be able to claim any kind of mandate. That’s because they have refused to articulate any vision for governing.
I do not celebrate this failure. I’ve always believed the nation’s interest is best served by competition in the marketplace of ideas. An innovative, forward-looking conservative platform would force those of us who call ourselves progressives to update and sharpen our own thinking.
Sadly, this year’s campaign has been dull and disheartening. It is a testament to the cynicism of our times that the failure of most candidates to say anything meaningful is intentional. The near-universal message isn’t “vote for me.” It’s “vote against my opponent.”
Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The dominant Republican message is an exhortation to vote against someone who’s not on any ballot: President Obama.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome area students and the children of military families to the White House for trick-or-treating on Halloween. October 31, 2014.
Chevron money rains down on Richmond election
RICHMOND — With its mighty East Bay refinery under attack from environmentally minded politicians here, Chevron is pouring staggering sums of money into this blue-collar town’s local election — raising eyebrows across the nation and questions about the role global corporations should play in local politics.
Council candidates who accept matching funds in this city of 107,000 people are limited to raising $65,000 for their election campaigns. Chevron has contributed $3 million to three local political action committees, roughly $72 per registered voter. That is about seven times the amount tech billionaire Meg Whitman spent per voter on a losing 2010 governor’s race that was the most expensive nonpresidential race in U.S. history.
Corporations are people, my friend. And money is speech. So if a corporate people decides to buy City Hall and their speech is run through a mile-high stack of Marshall amps well, that’s just the way it goes.
I recall the first time I saw this over 40 years ago on the Carol Burnett show. I was working out of town and alone watching on a black and white tv.
I was blown away. I got up and paced wondering if any of my friends had seen it. I saw this wonderful thing and no one to share it with.
Nowadays you can just email a link but I got a buzz when a friend raved to me about the same performance a few months later.
Michael Beckel at the Center for Public Integrity is on the trail of mystery men and their mystery cash. It has led him to a strip mall outside Louisville.
Hunt for the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, and one finds no grassroots army, no canvassing operation, no office or headquarters at all - just a scuffed U.S. Postal Service box nestled inside a suburban shopping plaza about 10 miles from downtown Louisville…About one in every seven of TV ads in Kentucky’s Senate race - about 12,000 of the more than 79,000 ads that have aired through Monday - has been sponsored by Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which operates as a “social welfare” nonprofit organization that, by law, is prohibited from making the influencing of elections its primary purpose.
Pardon me while I pause here for a moment because I have just laughed so hard my spleen came out my nose.
Despite having effectively no physical presence, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition now ranks among the largest social welfare nonprofits in Kentucky - bringing in more money, according to Internal Revenue Service records, than some of Kentucky’s more high-profile nonprofits, such as the Kentucky School Boards Association and the Kentucky Derby Festival, the group behind two weeks’ worth of events surrounding the Kentucky Derby.
And, by all the available evidence, it doesn’t exist outside of a post office box.
The only remaining difference between how drug dealers do business and how we run political campaigns is that the former drive better cars. And they operate with marginally more transparency. I mean, we knew who Pablo Escobar was. But we don’t know who the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is. Our elections are now more than yet another game rigged by big money. They have been rendered a farce. Because it is a “social welfare non-profit,” the KOC is not allowed to influence elections, except that it has run 12,000 television ads attacking Alison Lundergan Grimes, the social-welfare benefits of which remain rather vague to the untrained observer. And its front man is a guy who learned his “social-welfare” chops in Karl Rove’s ratfking operations and, later, in both of Mitch McConnell’s last two political campaigns.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge seems to think Native Americans offended by the Washington Redskins team name are properly being sued by the NFL franchise.
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Virginia said Friday that it would be unprecedented if he agrees to dismiss the team’s lawsuit against a group of Native Americans who filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The office decided to cancel some of the Redskins’ brand protections, citing federal regulations against protecting trademarks that are disparaging or offensive.
Now the team is suing the Native Americans in Virginia as part of its legal efforts to overturn the ruling.