Monday, July 6, 2015

Last Call For The Man We Thought He Was

So yes, turns out Bill Cosby is an admitted sex criminal after all, and really is the person the dozens of women who have come forward to say he's awful say he is.

Comedian Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he had obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving the sedatives to young women in order to have sex with them, according to court documents unsealed on Monday.

Cosby, 77, made the admission during testimony in a civil case brought by a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, who alleged that Cosby tricked her into taking drugs before he sexually assaulted her.

The case was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006 but the documents in the case were unsealed on Monday after the Associated Press went to court.

Cosby's lawyers had argued that the documents would cause severe embarrassment to the comedian-actor, who is best known for playing lovable father figure Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hit TV comedy series "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and 1990s.

A representative for Cosby did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

More than 40 women have come forward in the past year alleging Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back decades. His attorneys have consistently denied the allegations.

Can  we stop with the defense of the guy now?  He was, frankly, completely indefensible before, but now under his own admission he's a criminal and a rapist.  Eventually he'll get justice, I'm thinking, but at this point the damage has been done time and time again.

It's infuriating, and yet we know that he's far from the only one.

Darth Nader Strikes Back

It wouldn't be a Democratic presidential primary season without Ralph Nader showing up to depress the vote at best and at worst commit outright sabotage the Democrats in favor of the GOP like he did in 2000.  It seems 2016 will be no different

"I have always preferred the ink-and-paper, written letter method of communicating with elected officials,” writes Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, who has been writing letters to American politicians, with some success, for more than 50 years.

But he’s been disappointed with the last two administrations. “Rhetoric by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama would have you think that these presidents encourage and support citizens sharing their opinions with their commander in chief,” he writes in a new collection of his correspondences, Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015. But “once delivered to the White House, my letters could not penetrate the multi-layered White House bubble.” Perhaps, Nader says, if presidents these days didn’t spending so much time raising money, waging unnecessary wars and taking photo ops with sports stars, they might find more time to engage with a concerned citizenry.

Perhaps if Nader hadn't screwed the country in 2000 and cost Al Gore the state of Florida and the White House, we wouldn't need to have this conversation at all.  Here's just a taste of how much of a condescending asshole Nader has been to President Obama in particular:

Dear President Obama,

Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii know, watching you race up and down the basketball court, how prescient they were when they nicknamed you “Barry O’Bomber.”

Little did your fellow Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush regime.

Nor would many of the voters who elected you in 2008 have conceived that your foreign policy would rely so much on brute military force at the expense of systemically waging peace. Certainly, voters who knew your background as a child of Third World countries, a community organizer, a scholar of constitutional law and a critic of the Bush/Cheney years, never would have expected you to favor the giant warfare state so pleasing to the military-industrial complex.

Now, as if having learned nothing from the devastating and costly aftermaths of the military invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, you’re beating the combustible drums to attack Syria—a country that is no threat to the U.S. and is embroiled in complex civil wars under a brutal regime.

This time, however, you may have pushed for too many acts of war. Public opinion and sizable numbers of members of both parties in Congress are opposed. These lawmakers oppose bombing Syria in spite of your corralling the cowardly leaders of both parties in the Congress.

Never forget that Nader's 97,000 votes in Florida, most taken from Gore, when George W. Bush won the state by just over 500 votes is the reason George W. Bush was elected we ended up in Iraq, Afghanistan, and oh yeah the worst recession in 80 years.

So when this asshole starts running off at the mouth, remember he's why we got Dubya in the first place.

Tyranny Of The Majority Update

A pretty disturbing poll from Rasmussen: in the wake of June's Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage, a third of Americans now believe that judicial branch should be able to be ignored

Following last week’s controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage, voters believe more strongly that individual states should have the right to turn their backs on the federal courts.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 33% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe that states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if their elected officials agree with them. That’s up nine points from 24% when we first asked this question in February. Just over half (52%) disagree, down from 58% in the earlier survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Perhaps even more disturbing is that the voters who feel strongest about overriding the federal courts – Republicans and conservatives - are those who traditionally have been the most supportive of the Constitution and separation of powers. During the Obama years, however, these voters have become increasingly suspicious and even hostile toward the federal government.

Fifty percent (50%) of GOP voters now believe states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings, compared to just 22% of Democrats and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Interestingly, this represents a noticeable rise in support among all three groups.

Fifty percent (50%) of conservative voters share this view, but just 27% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.

Half of Republicans and half of conservatives no longer believe in the federal judicial branch as a check or balance to the other two branches.  I'm betting you'd find even higher numbers among these same groups that the executive branch should be ignored if the mob of WE THE PEOPLE is large enough.

This line of thinking should be terrifying, because we went through it 150 years ago at the cost of hundreds of thousands dead and a war that split the nation.

But we're at the point where tens of millions of Americans no longer believe their government is legitimate simply because they disagree with it.  That's not how a representative democracy is supposed to work. It is however a recipe for another disastrous period in American history and one of our two major political parties is now openly advocating for such conflict.

Increasingly I think we're heading for some dark days ahead.


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