Another classic for our Teabonics file, courtesy of @michaelcoleman on Twitter.
- "IRA" Scandal - check
- Benghazi misspelled - check
- Comic Sans font - check
Another classic for our Teabonics file, courtesy of @michaelcoleman on Twitter.
Remember my post about New Mexico GOP Rep. Steve Pearce hiring a completely whacked-out insane right wing blogger as his press secretary? Only yesterday Pearce was pretending he would stick by Rebekah Stevens despite the voluminous evidence of her extremism, racism and hate speech — which he knew about before hiring her.
Well, looks like things were getting a little too hot for Steve to handle: Rep. Steve Pearce’s New Press Secretary Resigns Amid Controversy.
Just four days after announcing Rebekah Stevens as his new press secretary, Rep. Steve Pearce has accepted her resignation. Stevens was affiliated with the PolitixFireball website that had made inflammatory remarks about Jews, Muslims and others - including many journalists in New Mexico.
“I am proud to hire passionate, hardworking, and dedicated congressional staff out of New Mexico,” Pearce said in a statement this morning. “When I hired Miss Stevens, I hoped she could transition from activist to become an asset to the people of New Mexico. It is now clear that major obstacles will prevent this. I asked for and accepted her resignation this morning. I hold myself and my staff to the highest level of accountability, and any distractions that hinder my service to New Mexicans must always be addressed.”
Oh man, the Tea Partiers are going to be very upset with our Steve.
If you’ve ever expressed a liberal political opinion on Twitter, you’ve seen them — the rabid right wingers who feverishly tweet insults and long-debunked talking points at you, with no attempt at all to really debate anything. The worst ones are blatantly racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim religious fanatics whose online lives are absolutely defined by their obsessive hatreds.
And now, New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce has hired one of these raving nut sandwiches as his press secretary — proving once again that in the GOP, the most despicable, bigoted, abusive people rise to the top and get rewarded.
This crackpot was known as @politixfireball on Twitter, and I blocked and muted her years ago after being targeted for abuse by her and her crazed followers: Rep. Steve Pearce Hires Racist Blogger, Prevaricator @PolitixFireball as Press Secretary.
Republican congressman Steve Pearce announced today that the newest addition to his official staff is the previously anonymous firebrand blogger Rebekah Stevens, the woman behind the PolitixFireball blog and Twitter account whose anonymous online attacks against journalists, Republicans and progressives alike have been so extreme she has been banned from Twitter on multiple occasions.
Stevens is also the elected Vice Chair of the Grant County Republican Party, making her not only a Congressional staffer but a high-profile elected party official in the state.
Taxpayer dollars will now be used to fund the salary of Ms. Stevens who, while running a far-right Twitter account and accompanying blog, was well known for her myriad racist, xenophobic, and defamatory tirades against everyone from public school teachers to respected journalists to political campaign consultants to President Obama himself.
In her tweets, she also makes light of the holocaust (“Jews went up in smoke”), says all Muslims are “blood-lust” conquerors, equates slavery to abortion, compares political reporters to war criminals and compares President Obama to Hitler.
Stevens’ posts such as “Time to be racist” are reminiscent (and more extreme) than those of former Rand Paul staffer Jack Hunter whose anonymous personality, the “Confederate Avenger,” was outed in 2013 leading him to apologize for his racist postings and masked public appearances. Hunter and Paul later came to a “mutually agreed” resignation.
Ms Stevens has now protected her Twitter account to try to keep people from seeing how deranged and extreme she was — but of course, nothing ever disappears from the Internet. Here’s a Google link at which you can view cached versions of her posts on Twitter (click the little triangle next to the search result to see the cached version).
Another lawsuit has been filed over a body cavity search by a New Mexico law enforcement agency along the Mexico border, the latest in a handful of similar cases.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque alleges police illegally took a New Mexico woman’s car in Lordsburg, a town in Hidalgo County. When she tried to retrieve it four days later, officers made her strip naked and searched her body cavities, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit comes after Hidalgo County and the city of Deming recently agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man taken to two hospitals and subjected to anal probes over suspicion of hiding drugs.
The officers then forced Ford into a degrading position and searched her “anal and vaginal” cavities, the lawsuit alleges.
“This was an illegal and unreasonable search,” Ford’s attorney, Shannon Kennedy, told The Associated Press. “It’s disgusting. It’s a sexual assault.”
Ford was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia — items police said were found in the car — but those charges were later dropped after officers failed to produce the evidence.
Kennedy said her law firm is getting a number of calls about similar cases along the New Mexico-Mexico border. She believes law enforcement agencies are under pressure to spend federal drug-fighting money but are overstepping their authority.
The $1.6 million settlement is for a case that isn’t done yet. One city and one county settled. One hospital and two doctors are still being sued. The second guy’s case hasn’t been heard yet. The woman in the El Paso incident has a case pending. This is the fourth similar case I’ve read about, and the lawyer in three of them says she’s getting more calls.
New Mexico sheriffs say they want more resources to battle human smuggling and drug trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association has scheduled a press conference Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Roundhouse to demand more equipment and funding for deputies aimed at tackling border issues.
Jack LeVick, the group’s executive director, says sheriffs feel that the border “is not secure” and still face problems ranging for Mexican drug cartel activity to finding immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.
To repeat one line from attorney Shannon Kennedy:
She believes law enforcement agencies are under pressure to spend federal drug-fighting money but are overstepping their authority.
Note: The links are to the Albuquerque Journal, which may ask you to answer a question or two in lieu of registering at their site.
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, legalizing it throughout the state.
The ruling was handed down Thursday, capping off a whirlwhind few months that catapulted New Mexico into the national discussion on same-sex marriage. This makes New Mexico the 17th state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.
The ruling denied an argument that same-sex marriage would be detrimental to children and said that saying they could not procreate is not a valid argument.
Read the rest of the article here: State Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal in New Mexico
Here’s the full decision:
A second lawsuit was filed Friday against southern New Mexico authorities accused of illegally subjecting drug suspects to invasive body cavity searches. And the attorney who filed the cases says she has been getting calls from others saying they were detained after the uncertified drug-sniffing dog at the heart of both cases raised suspicions.
Albuquerque civil rights attorney Shannon Kennedy filed the new lawsuit against the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of Timothy Young, who says he was strip-searched in a gas station parking lot, then taken to the hospital for a cavity search. The lawsuit claims the searches were unreasonable, and that the body cavity search was in violation of the search warrant issued. Kennedy says the warrant was issued to search his body but not body cavities.
The sheriff of the border county could not immediately be reached for comment.
Kennedy has also filed suit against the sheriff’s office and police in Deming on behalf of a southern New Mexico man who was taken to two hospitals and forced to have anal probes, three enemas, two body X-rays and a colonoscopy following a traffic stop.
The lawsuits have raised questions about drug searches along the border. In addition to the two cases filed by Kennedy, the American Civil Liberties Union says it is preparing to sue U.S. Customs and Border Protection on behalf of a woman who was crossing into El Paso in December and subjected to invasive searches after a drug dog alerted agents.
Attorney Laura Schauer Ives says the woman was strip-searched, vaginally probed then taken to the hospital for more invasive tests, a forced bowel movement, X-rays and scans. No drugs were found, the ACLU said. Schauer Ives said the woman’s medical records refer to her being brought in both by Border Patrol and customs agents. The group has had a Freedom of Information Request pending since April to identify the officers and which departments of CBP were involved.
Every immigration reform proposal offered by anyone includes measures for increased border security. Mexicans are not the only victims of ‘border security’, although they are more frequently fatal victims, and more frequently abused than US citizens.
From Joseph Sorrentino at the Santa Fe Reporter: Hard Harvest - Picking New Mexico’s Green Chile Is No Picnic.
The first workers start getting up a little past midnight to prepare for another day in “el field.” About 100 men sleep on the floor of the rooms and hallways in the Sin Fronteras Organizing Project shelter in El Paso.
The place is crowded and smells of stale sweat and onions, one of the crops they’ve been harvesting. Two or three women sleep in a small alcove off the reception area, sharing their cramped space with a water fountain. Most people sleep on a thin mat or a blanket spread out on the linoleum, spending the night in the clothes they worked in the day before.
All through the early morning, workers awaken, quietly stow their bedding and possessions, and get ready to go again. They fill their water bottles, stuff some food in their backpacks and head out. Then they walk the six blocks to El Paso Street and wait for a ride to the chile fields of New Mexico.
Last season, just under 78,000 tons of chile were harvested in New Mexico, with about three quarters of that coming from Luna and Doña Ana counties near the southwestern bootheel. While the annual pepper harvest is worth $65 million, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the real economic impact is much greater.
Guillermo, the fastest of the workers, managed to fill 90 buckets that day, for a gross pay of $72. It’s not a bad day’s wage for him, but most workers picked far less. Most were like Raúl, who picked 52 buckets, netting $38.42 for a little over six hours of work, or just over $6.40 an hour.
Certainly, no one’s earning a living wage, especially when other expenses are accounted for. “If you can pick 70, 80 buckets, that’s good,” Mancha says. “I can pick about 70 in a seven-hour shift. Let’s say you pay $6, $7 for a ride. You take a burrito from [the shelter] or you buy some burritos, that’s another $3; Coke is $1. After all that, you might come home with $20, $30.”
There’s surprisingly little anger and resentment among the workers, even though they’re aware just how little they’re valued by the people who consume the food they harvest. One worker sums it up best. I sit in front of the shelter when he approaches me. He stands silently next to me for several minutes, a tall, good-looking man who appears to be in his mid-40s. Finally, I ask his name. He turns slightly from me, and in accented English he says, “My name is Nobody.”
Some names have been changed at the worker’s request.
Read the whole thing, and see more beautiful photos, here: Hard Harvest - Picking New Mexico’s Green Chile Is No Picnic. It’s compassionate, honest, yet not (too) depressing.
Soldiers looked up to Ernie Pyle, who stood 5-feet-7 and may have weighed 140 pounds.
Politicians almost never complained about what he wrote. Companies wanted him to endorse their products. Readers not only trusted Pyle, they rooted for him.
An adopted son of New Mexico, Pyle was the perfect war correspondent for his time.
Armed with nothing more than a pencil and a notebook, he went into battle with soldiers during World War II. From chilling, dark combat zones, Pyle fended off fear and wrote six newspaper columns a week that were distributed by the Scripps-Howard chain.
Nobody with so much skill in covering battles did it with so much heart.
Even so, Pyle was tormented by self-doubt. He worried that redundancy was crippling his coverage. For all his star power, Pyle was unimpressed with himself.
New Mexico disagreed with that assessment.
Recognizing his prolific writing, his sacrifice and his humility, the state Legislature in 1945 approved a law designating Aug. 3 as Ernie Pyle Day in New Mexico. Aug. 3 was Pyle’s birthday, and New Mexico was the place this native of Indiana planned to live after the war.
Pyle was just 44 when he died on April 18, 1945. He looked older. Battles are not easy, not the way he covered them.
Pyle’s plan had been to return to the only home he ever owned. It was at 900 Girard Blvd. SE in Albuquerque.
That house is now a branch library. A trip there allows one to request Pyle’s wartime books. The titles include two that are especially fitting — “Brave Men” and “Last Chapter.”
Read the rest of the article here: Ernie Pyle Has a Day of Honor in New Mexico - Alamogordo Daily News
In case you’re not familiar with Ernie Pyle, here’s the Wikipedia article on him.
…He was buried with his helmet on, in a long row of graves among other soldiers, with an infantry private on one side and a combat engineer on the other. At the ten-minute service, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps were all represented. Americans erected a monument to him at the site. When Okinawa was returned to Japanese control after the war, the Ernie Pyle monument was one of three American memorials they allowed to remain in place….
And here are his D-Day columns, collected at the Indiana University School of Journalism’s online home for information and history about Ernie Pyle.
Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all. For some of our units it was easy, but in this special sector where I am now our troops faced such odds that our getting ashore was like my whipping Joe Louis down to a pulp.
In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.
Ashore, facing us, were more enemy troops than we had in our assault waves. The advantages were all theirs, the disadvantages all ours. The Germans were dug into positions that they had been working on for months, although these were not yet all complete. A one-hundred-foot bluff a couple of hundred yards back from the beach had great concrete gun emplacements built right into the hilltop. These opened to the sides instead of to the front, thus making it very hard for naval fire from the sea to reach them. They could shoot parallel with the beach and cover every foot of it for miles with artillery fire.
May he serve as an inspiration to journalists always and everywhere.
Last week we saw a flurry of news articles about Republicans being taught how to talk about rape, because the victim-blaming thing just wasn’t working out as they’d hoped.
Well, they’ve still got a lot of work to do if they plan to hide their sickness; case in point, New Mexico Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown (yes, a woman), who is introducing a bill that would send women to jail if they get an abortion after being raped.
And the rationale for this insane bill is even worse. The same Republicans who preach about the “sanctity of life” are calling terminating a rape-caused pregnancy “tampering with evidence.”
These people are really not right in the head.
House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”
“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” the bill says.
Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Rep. Brown explained further that her only intention — really, honest — is to “protect” women.
Brown said in a statement Thursday that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.
“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders,” said Brown. “By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
There’s some new information in this report. There are some excerpts below. The whole thing is here.
For at least a week, 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego had been planning the attack, authorities said.
After shooting his mother and three siblings in their beds, he ambushed his father as the pastor returned home from an overnight shift at a homeless shelter.
Then the teen reloaded the family’s rifles.
His plan was to randomly shoot people at a Wal-Mart on Saturday, which happened to be “Guns Across America” day, until he could be killed in a shootout with law enforcement, according to authorities.
He also contemplated killing his 12-year-old girlfriend’s parents, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said Tuesday.
And while Griego loaded guns and ammunition into the family’s van, Houston said, it was unclear whether the teen did go to a Wal-Mart or how seriously he contemplated continuing his rampage on the same day that thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully at state capitals around the country to rally against stricter limits on firearms.
The “Guns Across America” events were held after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of federal gun-control proposals.
The boy’s uncle, Eric Griego [a former New Mexico state Senator], said in an emailed statement on behalf of the family that the teen is “bright, curious and incredibly talented” with a love of music and sports.
“It is clear to those of us who know and love him that something went terribly wrong. Whether it was a mental breakdown or some deeper undiagnosed psychological issue, we can’t be sure yet,” the statement said.
Eric Griego’s statement said the family had “differing views on gun rights and gun control” and asked the media “to not use Nehemiah as a pawn for ratings or to score political points.
“He is a troubled young man who made a terrible decision that will haunt him and his family forever.”
OK, we shouldn’t use the shooter to “score political points.” Can we use the family’s practice of storing weapons in a bedroom closet to make a point about gun control? I don’t see it as a bad thing if some progress on that front can be encouraged by this horrible event.
There’s another new report here.
The 12-year-old girlfriend of Nehemiah Griego who allegedly killed five members of his family was interviewed by police today and cleared of possible complicity in the rampage.
Another version by the same AP reporter as the one at the top has this included:
In addition to the two rifles, there were two 12-gauge pistol-grip shotguns in the home, Houston said. Griego’s father had taught him to use guns, and they shot together on a regular basis, Houston said.
The house had a security-style sign outside saying: “Protected by Smith & Wesson Security Services.”
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Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST
Gail has said in interviews that one of the things that makes our relationship work is the fact that we hardly ever get to talk to each other.