Clements was the latest victim of increasingly active violent right-wing extremists. While American politicians and the U.S. public continue to focus on the threat from jihadist extremists, there seems to be too little awareness that this domestic form of political violence is a growing problem at home.
From 2002 to 2007, only nine right-wing extremists were indicted for their roles in politically motivated murders and other types of ideologically motivated violent assaults. But between 2008 and 2012, the number mushroomed to 53, according to data collected by the New America Foundation. (Click on chart on the left for the data.)
Fifteen right-wing extremists were indicted in 2012 — including six who were involved in a militia in Georgia that accumulated weapons, plotted attacks on the government and murdered a young U.S. Army soldier and his 17-year-old girlfriend, who they suspected were planning to rat out the group to authorities. Seven claimed membership in the anti-government Sovereign Citizens movement and allegedly murdered two policemen in Louisiana. And two had gone on a murderous rampage the previous year, killing four people before they were arrested in California, where they told police they were on their “way to Sacramento to kill more Jews.”
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on California’s Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage law today, and SCOTUS Blog’s Tom Goldstein thinks it’s likely that the court is not going to strike down the Ninth Circuit’s ruling — which would mean gay marriage would remain legal in California.
Justice Kennedy seemed very unlikely to provide either side with the fifth vote needed to prevail. He was deeply concerned with the wisdom of acting now when in his view the social science of the effects of same-sex marriage is uncertain because it is so new. He also noted the doubts about the petitioners’ standing. So his suggestion was that the case should be dismissed.
If those features of the oral argument hold up - and I think they will - then the Court’s ruling will take one of two forms. First, a majority (the Chief Justice plus the liberal members of the Court) could decide that the petitioners lack standing. That would vacate the Ninth Circuit’s decision but leave in place the district court decision invalidating Proposition 8. Another case with different petitioners (perhaps a government official who did not want to administer a same-sex marriage) could come to the Supreme Court within two to three years, if the Justices were willing to hear it.
Second, the Court may dismiss the case because of an inability to reach a majority. Justice Kennedy takes that view, and Justice Sotomayor indicated that she might join him. Others on the left may agree. That ruling would leave in place the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
Oh, for Pete’s sake. When are Republicans going to learn that when the subject of rape comes up, they should shut the front door?
This time it’s the president of the California Republican Assembly, Celeste Greig, who thinks a woman who is raped is less likely to get pregnant because “the body is traumatized.”
Before arriving at the state GOP’s spring convention here, Celeste Greig told this newspaper that pregnancies by rape are rare “because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized.”
Grieg is the president of the conservative California Republican Assembly, the state’s oldest and largest GOP volunteer organization. Ronald Reagan once called it “the conscience of the Republican Party.”
Ironically, Greig was in the midst of criticizing former Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin for saying that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” It was a remark that many believe led not only to his defeat in November but also helped tarnish the Republican brand around the country.
“That was an insensitive remark,” Greig said. “I’m sure he regretted it. He should have come back and apologized.”
Greig, however, went on to say: “Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.”
Anyone want to bet that the Republicans who keep saying these mind-bogglingly stupid things were home-schooled?
Not many details yet, but it looks like we have another school shooting: BREAKING NEWS: Reports of Shooting at Taft High School.
At least two people were shot at Taft High School Thursday morning. It happened at about 9 a.m. and as of 9:30, students had been evacuated to the football field and there were reports one person was in custody.
Details were still sketchy at 9:45 a.m. but the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed a shooter is in custody and at least two people have been wounded.
Hall Ambulance dispatched three ambulances and a medevac helicopter.
Sheriff’s officials say two people have been shot at Taft High School. We are also told someone has been taken into custody.
Kern County Fire officials say one victim received only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, the other person was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with unknown injuries.
The reports started coming in at 9:00 a.m. Deputies are now on scene at the school. Earlier, they told 17 News they were doing a room-to-room search.They say the scene is still not secured.
Confirmed. Taft High School does have a uniform deputy sheriff monitoring campus “before, during and after school”
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) January 10, 2013
I just posted an open thread a few days ago and mentioned Huell Howser, so the news of his death today was kind of a shock. He left a legacy of truly unique work, with a special ability to let all sorts of people tell their own stories in their own ways, without artifice, straight from the heart, loving every minute of it. You couldn’t be cranky while Huell Howser’s show was on.
He’ll be missed.
Big Supreme Court news today, as SCOTUS decides to take on the issue of gay marriage. And they’re going after the big fish — California’s Proposition 8 ban and the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.
The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.
The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples.
The cases probably will be argued in March, with decisions expected by late June.
I don’t know what’s keeping it awake in the rest of the country, but here in California the Republican Party is just about ready for a long, long nap: GOP Might Never Again Hold Power in California.
Let’s count the election day wounds:
Mitt Romney lost to President Obama by a landslide 21 percentage points in a state that used to consistently side with the Republican nominee.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein drew only token Republican opposition and won by 23 points.
Democrats, at last count, were gaining four congressional seats in California.
The stunner was the state Assembly, where Democrats apparently achieved a historic supermajority to match the party’s similar feat in the Senate. This means there’s virtually nothing that Democrats can’t pass on their own in Sacramento, relegating Republicans to mathematical irrelevancy.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The Republican slice of registered voters in California slipped below 30%. Only eight years ago it was nearly 35%. Democrats are 44%.
And about that loud anti-tax mantra, the Republicans’ favorite rallying cry: Most voters aren’t listening.
Scott Walker may have survived the recall in Wisconsin, but in California’s first-ever open primary election, loony Birther lady Orly Taitz’s challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein went down in flames.
The scary part, though, is that despite being a certified Grade A crackpot, Taitz convinced at least 113,000 California right wingers (yes, we have them) to vote for her.
(Remember, though: according to Breitbart.com’s Dana Loesch, there are no Birthers on the right.)
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calls out the ideological extremists who dominate today’s Republican Party: California’s GOP Should Take Down Its Small Tent.
I’ve been writing my memoirs recently, and looking back at how I came to my political identity has reminded me that this election cycle marks my 44th year as a Republican. I can’t imagine being anything else.
That’s why I am so bothered by the party’s recent loss of two up-and-coming Republicans: San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, currently a state assemblyman, and former assemblyman and current Congressional candidate Anthony Adams, both of whom left the party to become independents. On the one hand, I respect their standing up for principle. On the other, I hate to see them go.
I’m sure they would have preferred to remain Republicans, but in the current climate, the extreme right wing of the party is targeting anyone who doesn’t meet its strict criteria. Its new and narrow litmus test for party membership doesn’t allow compromise.
I bumped up against that rigidity many times as governor. Not surprisingly, the party wasn’t always too happy with me. But I had taken an oath to serve the people, not my party. Some advisors whose opinions I respect urged me to consider leaving the party and instead identify myself as a “decline to state” voter. But I’m too stubborn to leave a party I believe in.
NASA has posted this amazing photo of a minivan-sized meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere last Sunday morning, visible from central/northern California to Nevada: NASA - Fireball Over California/Nevada: How Big Was It?
Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., estimates the object was about the size of a minivan, weighed in at around 154,300 pounds (70 metric tons) and at the time of disintegration released energy equivalent to a 5-kiloton explosion.
“Most meteors you see in the night’s sky are the size of tiny stones or even grains of sand and their trail lasts all of a second or two,” said Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Fireballs you can see relatively easily in the daytime and are many times that size – anywhere from a baseball-sized object to something as big as a minivan.”
Elizabeth Silber of the Meteor Group at the Western University of Canada, Ontario, estimates the location of its explosion in the upper atmosphere above California’s Central Valley.
Eyewitnesses of this fireball join a relatively exclusive club. “An event of this size might happen about once a year,” said Yeomans. “But most of them occur over the ocean or an uninhabited area, so getting to see one is something special.”