It’s been burbling up from the conservative media for nearly six months, starting with Fox News. Last year, the network’s reporter Catherine Herridge reported on a ship that had arrived to Turkey from Libya laden with weapons. Ordnance left unsecured after the fall of Gaddafi was being taken to Syria to overthrow another dictator.
This isn’t in much dispute. The dispute, and the theory, is that the weapons used to kill Americans in Benghazi were made available by bungling American gun-runners. That’s the theory floated by Roger Simon, who talks to two “Benghazi whistleblowers” (multiplying like rabbits now).
[Chris] Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.
It’s a nearly perfect scandal—Fast and Furious plus Benghazi, a sort of Neapolitan sundae of outrage and disgrace. If the anonymous accusers are wrong, we have plenty of other ways to explain the loose weapons in Benghazi and the transfer to Syria. And making it possible for the stray weapons to get to Syria is the sort of thing both parties in Congress largely favor. But the darkest version of the theory is gaining ground on the right.
Mississippi’s state Supreme Court is currently considering a case that could lead to women being prosecuted for manslaughter if they miscarry or otherwise experience unintentional pregnancy loss, according to a report from Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones.
In 2009, two months after Nina Buckhalter’s pregnancy ended in stillbirth, a Mississippi grand jury indicted her for manslaughter, citing her use of methamphetamine while pregnant as “culpable negligence.” Buckhalter’s attorneys challenged the charge; the Supreme Court hearing began in April and a ruling is expected soon.
Buckhalter’s lawyers, as well as reproductive health advocates in Mississippi and across the country, contend that the charges, in addition to criminalizing countless women, could deter women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction during pregnancy from seeking prenatal care or treatment for substance abuse for fear of being prosecuted and create barriers to safe abortion care.
Slippery slope alert - If not taking care of yourself when you are pregnant because of the negative effects on the developing fetus be legislated then why can’t sending your kids to a school that teaches creationism so that when they grow-up, they can’t work any other place but Walmart be?
In case you were worried you’d ever get a good night’s sleep again, here are some stuffed animals that go way beyond wrong.
Just noticed this but if you click the link, then click of the first photo (the bear) and hover over the photo with your cursor you get “annotations” (comments) left by others. Not only are they funny but an interesting technology. Anyone know what it is and how it works?
The big news today is that a bridge in Washington collapsed, throwing cars into the water. Amazingly, nobody died.
This may revive debate about the need to spend more on infrastructure, which would have multiple positive effects.
Nothing is likely to happen, however.
That being said, here’s a chart of public construction spending (TLPBLCONS) as percentage of GDP.
You can see, public construction spending is lower than its been in over 20 years.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) feuded this week. Then they feuded some more. It wasn’t the first time tensions between the longtime senator and the freshman tea party favorite flared up. And it’s a pretty safe bet that it won’t be the last.
The dispute between McCain and his allies and Cruz and his cohort lays bare a new fault line in the Senate GOP Conference — one that threatens to further stall movement in a legislative chamber already seized by partisan gridlock.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), pictured in center. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
At issue this week: the budget. The setting: the Senate floor. Cruz, along with Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Mike Lee of Utah have called for Senate Republicans to block efforts to move the budget debate to a conference committee (both the House and Senate have separately passed budgets) without a guarantee Democrats won’t surreptitiously try to insert an automatic increase to the nation’s debt limit through a procedural tactic.
n the wake of President Obama’s big speech about restraining the war on terrorism, a member of the House intelligence committee is working on a bill to undo the basic authorities to wage it.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is preparing a piece of legislation that would “sunset” the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), a foundational law passed in the days after the 9/11. “The current AUMF is outdated and straining at the edges to justify the use of force outside the war theater,” Schiff tells Danger Room.
Repealing the AUMF would be the boldest restriction of presidential war powers since 9/11. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have relied on the document to authorize everything from the warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens to drone strikes against al-Qaida offshoots that did not exist on 9/11. Getting rid of it is certain to invite fierce opposition from more bellicose members of Congress, who have repeatedly demagogued efforts to roll back any post-9/11 wartime authority, let alone the most important one.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the only legislator to vote against the authorization in 2001, has long fought unsuccessfully to repeal the AUMF. But Schiff is a moderate, not a firebreathing liberal, and while sunsetting the AUMF is sure to be a big legislative challenge, even conservative legislators like Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are raising fundamental questions about the merits of a never-ending war.
Should your boss be able to determine which prescription medications you take at home? Should your boss have a say in how many children you have?
Most Americans would answer a resounding “No!” to these questions. Yet if current political and legal trends continue, more and more Americans may find that their health care hinges not on what their doctors think is best for them but what their bosses believe about religion.
This curious state of affairs stems from a deliberate attempt to redefine religious freedom in America. You read that right – religious liberty. A freedom that has historically been interpreted as an individual right of self-determination is being twisted into a means of controlling others and meddling in their most personal affairs. For the sake of true freedom, this must be stopped.
The Affordable Care Act mandates that certain basic services and features must be offered in employee health-care plans. Birth control is among these. Houses of worship and similar ministries are exempt from the mandate, and religiously affiliated entities (hospitals, colleges and social service groups) have been accommodated in other ways.
This is not enough for some ultra-conservative religious leaders who oppose birth control. They are insisting that any business owner should be able to deny his or her employees access to birth control no matter what the nature of the business.
The death of an 8-month-old child whose parents believe in healing by prayer has been ruled a homicide by the Philadelphia medical examiner, according to CBS Philly.
Brandon Schaible, infant son of Herbert and Catherine Schaible, reportedly died on April 18th from dehydration and bacterial pneumonia stemming from a streptococcus infection.
The Schaibles have worked as teachers at their fundamentalist church, the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia. They don’t believe in medical help and pray for healing instead, according to CBS Philly.
The station reported the couple was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2009 for the death of their 2-year-old. That child also died of pneumonia and the parents were sentenced to 10 years probation.
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a “big puff of dust.”
“I hit the brakes and we went off,” Sligh told reporters from a hospital, adding he “saw the water approaching … you hold on as tight as you can.”
Slight, his wife and another man in a different vehicle were dumped into the chilly waters of the Skagit River when the span collapsed Thursday evening. They were injured, but miraculously, authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada.
“We don’t think anyone else went into the water,” said Marcus Deyerin, a spokesman for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team. “At this point we’re optimistic.”
Sligh and his wife were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other man was reported in stable condition at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, hospital CEO Greg Reed said.
Fighting between M23 rebels and government forces has intensified near Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, since 20 May. As well as causing new civilian casualties, the clashes and the actions of some rebels are endangering many journalists and the availability of diverse, freely-reported news and information.
Reporters Without Borders has conducted a series of interviews with Nord-Kivu journalists and has spoken by phone with two M23 officials, Bertrand Bisimwa, the rebel movement’s political leader, and René Abandi, who is in charge of its external affairs.
“We deplore the civilian losses and destruction resulting from the resumption of hostilities and we are particularly worried about journalists, who are being prevented from working freely,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“In territory controlled by the M23, the media are subject to threats, censorship, control of their editorial policies, occupation and sometimes abduction of their personnel. Journalism is threatened with extinction in this region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”