“Citizen Koch,” a documentary about money in politics focused on the Wisconsin uprising, was shunned by PBS for fear of offending billionaire industrialist David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television, according to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. The dispute highlights the increasing role of private money in “public” television and raises even further concerns about the Kochs potentially purchasing eight major daily newspapers.
The film from Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin documents how the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision helped pave the way for secret political spending by players like the Kochs, who contributed directly and indirectly to the election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2010 and came to his aid again when the battle broke out over his effort to limit collective bargaining.
Originally slated to appear on PBS stations nationwide as part of the “Independent Lens” series, “Citizen Koch” had its funding pulled after David Koch was offended by another PBS documentary critical of the billionaire industrialists.
“People like the Kochs have worked for decades to undermine public funding for institutions like PBS,” Deal told the Center for Media and Democracy. “When public dollars dry up, private dollars come in to make up for the shortfall.”
And that private funding can conflict with PBS’ “public” mission and its editorial integrity. The PBS distributor “backed out of the partnership because they came to fear the reaction our film would provoke,” Deal and Lessin said in a statement. “David Koch, whose political activities are featured in the film, happens to be a public-television funder and a trustee of both [New York PBS member station] WNET and [Boston member station] WGBH. This wasn’t a failed negotiation or a divergence of visions; it was censorship, pure and simple.”
Global warming isn’t happening, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) argued over the weekend, pointing to the fact that it was snowing in Alaska in May.
“Global warming my gluteus maximus,” she wrote in a post on her Facebook page, adding a small dose of politics to a picture of her youngest daughter Piper in the snow after graduation. “This is what ‘Grad Blast’ means in Alaska! We’ll move our graduation b-b-q indoors and watch the mini-blizzard from ‘round the fireplace.”
Palin has been a reliable denier of climate science in the past. She’s referred to studies supporting climate change models as “snake oil,” and as a vice presidential candidate in 2008, she argued that humans haven’t influenced changes in climate.
In her Facebook argument, Palin confuses weather with climate, a mistake frequently made by climate change deniers. Palin has made this blunder in the past, suggesting that local atmospheric conditions over short periods of time and small areas have bearing on larger trends averaged over long time periods and greater areas.
The Secret Service is following up on recent comments by right wing radio host Pete Santilli, who claimed to want to shoot former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the vagina and see President Obama tried and shot for treason.
“We are aware of Mr. Santilli’s comments and will take the appropriate follow up action,” Edwin M. Donovan, a Secret Service spokesperson, told TPM on Monday. “He certainly has a right to free speech, but the Secret Service has a right and an obligation to determine what a person’s intent is when making comments like this.”
But just when you thought it was about as bad as it could be… oh, that’s just the beginning for this wack-job.
‘Miss Hillary Clinton needs to be convicted, she needs to be tried, convicted and shot in the vagina,” he said. “I wanna pull the trigger. That ‘C U Next Tuesday’ has killed human beings that are in our ranks of our service. I want to remind you that in Benghazi, Miss Hillary ‘the fricken’ biggest vagina on the face of the planet’ told troops to stand down and to not go in and interfere with the operation that they set up because they’re moving arms; Barack Obama is moving drugs through the CIA out of Afghanistan and Barack Obama needs to be tried, convicted, and shot for crimes against the United States of America.”
Of course, he will state he is just ‘stating his opinion’ which is true, that he’s not suggesting that anybody DO it, that it be a judicial process (I’m not sure what part of the Fed Law covers “Execution by Shooting in Vagina” however). I suspect that he very carefully parsed his statements so that they could not be considered a “Call To Action”.
I’m just not sure how much lower an individual can sink, but it’s still early in the year, so I’m sure that yet further lows will be met.
If it weren’t for Ray Manzarek, the world would never know the genius of Jim Morrison.
Ray Manzarek, the founding keyboardist for the Doors, passed away this morning in Germany, according to a statement from his publicist. The cause was bile duct cancer.
As a member of the legendary rock band that formed in 1965 in Los Angeles and effectively ended with the death of frontman Jim Morrison in 1971 (though the group continued to perform and release music in other iterations for many years), Manzarek became an enduring symbol of the era — he was portrayed by Kyle McLachlan in the 1991 Oliver Stone biopic The Doors, and wrote a best-selling memoir about his experiences, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998.
And here is Ray at his finest, the organ solo from “Light My Fire.”
Louisiana’s legislators are continuing their legislative jihad to keep the theory of evolution out of the state’s public school science classrooms. On 1 May, legislators killed a bill to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law, the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA).
The law allows non-science to be snuck into science classrooms by teachers who use supplemental materials to “critique” politically controversial (but not scientifically controversial) theories, including evolution and climate science. Despite this loophole for creationism created by the LSEA, educators are still required to teach “material presented in the standard textbook”, which includes the theory of evolution.
It’s not easy to be a socially responsible consumer. Even if you buy mostly local products and diligently keep track of corporate environmental footprints, you may still be leaving a trail of slaves in your wake. After all, who do you think is digging up the minerals in your smartphone or picking the cotton for your T-shirts? Slavery Footprint, a new website and mobile app that launched today (the 149th anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation) can tell you approximately how many slaves have pitched in to make the goods you enjoy on a daily basis.
The top Republican and Democrat on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs are demanding more information from defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about lost Army field records from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the subject of a ProPublica investigation last year.
In an unusually detailed letter sent Friday to Hagel, Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Michael Michaud, D-Maine, said the Defense Department’s response to an earlier request about why records are missing — and what the military is doing about it — didn’t go far enough.
“Congress must have a clear understanding of the extent of the lost records in order to safeguard the best interests of our service members and veterans,” the letter says.
The 12 questions posed to Hagel in the letter focus largely on the Army because it has the largest records deficit. Among other things, the congressmen want to know what happened to operational records for the 1st Armored Division and the 82nd Airborne Division and what is being done to reconstruct them.
In November, ProPublica and the Seattle Times reported that they were among numerous Army units that had lost or failed to keep battlefield records as required, making it harder for some veterans to obtain benefits and for historians to recount what actually happened.
Three Chicago teens accused of gang-raping a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint and posting the video to Facebook will face charges as adults, Cook County prosecutors announced Friday.
A judge ordered Justin Applewhite, 16, Kenneth Brown, 15, and Scandale Fritz, 16, each held on $900,000 bond. The teens each face one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault.
The alleged sexual assaults took place at Fritz’s house Dec. 15, 2012. Fritz had the girl meet him at home, and then took her into the basement and allegedly raped her. According to court documents, Fritz threatened the girl, who had pleaded him to stop, by showing her a gun, and is alleged to have later filmed Applewhite and Brown raping her.
Kaitlyn Hunt’s parents knew their 18-year-old daughter was dating a 15-year-old girl whom she met through classes and varsity sports at the Florida high school the two attended. But when the younger girl’s parents learned about the relationship, they had Kaitlyn arrested on two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child ages 12 to 16. Kaitlyn must now choose whether to go to trial — if found guilty, she’d have to register as a sex offender and could serve up to 15 years in prison — or accept a plea deal of two years’ house arrest and one year of probation. The Hunts hope growing publicity will pressure the state to drop her case and focus on protecting and educating teenagers instead of prosecuting them for falling in consensual love.
Steven Hunt told Jezebel in a phone interview that his daughter Kaitlyn, whom friends and family call “Kate,” grew close with her 15-year-old former girlfriend through classes and the varsity basketball team the two played on at Sebastian River High School in Sebastian, Fla; the younger girl was a freshman student enrolled in International Baccalaureate courses with upperclassmen, so they were peers in the same social circle. Kate’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, wrote on Facebook that the two girls hung out with the family at their home and before basketball games. Since Kelley had seen the girl’s father at sporting events, she assumed her family knew about and accepted the relationship. Kate had always dated boys, but when she told her mother she was dating a girl, Kelley “didn’t want to make it a big deal,” she wrote. “I talked to her about it, and figured it was just a social thing, times have changed and a lot of kids are experimenting, so I didn’t make much of it.”
(The Root) — Ethel and Eugene Arms have three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Now, after 49 years of marriage, the Birmingham, Ala., couple have something they’ve waited on for 50 years: prom memories.
The Ullman High School sweethearts didn’t go to the prom in 1963, because for students who attended black high schools in Birmingham, there wasn’t one. In May 1963, hundreds of these students had protested for civil rights as part of the Children’s March — facing fire hoses, dogs and police with clubs. Many went to jail, and several were kicked out of school.
Officials at the time canceled senior proms and several other school activities, for safety reasons, they said. Students said the cancellations were punishment aimed at those who dared to stand up to protest segregation laws.
Neither Ethel nor Eugene Arms marched in the Children’s March, but they were supportive, Eugene said. “I attended rallies. I worked, and I contributed money, but I yielded to my mother’s wishes and didn’t march,” he said. “But just because you didn’t march doesn’t mean you didn’t face discrimination or experience the denial of rights and privileges.”
The year 1963 was a turning point in the South, but the changes did not come without sacrifice. People were beaten. Churches and residences were bombed. Images from Birmingham were shown around the world, raising awareness of the intense grip of segregation on blacks and forcing the courts and the government to yield to the call for human and civil rights.