Thursday, October 23, 2014

Looking into Rick Scott’s ‘unsavory’ past

Ghosts of Rick Scott’s past returns to haunt him, after Charlie Crist reminds the public of his shady financial past. Ed Schultz, Joy Reid, and Mike Papantonio discuss.


Christie takes a hard line on minimum wage

Hardball Roundtable—Jay Newton Small, David Corn and John Stanton—join Chris Matthews to discuss Chris Christie’s latest comments on not raising the minimum wage.


Monday, October 20, 2014

If Bush and Cheney didn't invade Iraq, there would be no ISIS

Big Media has run rampant with hearsay and false reports on who ISIS is, so Jesse Ventura gets to the truth of Islamic State's origins, money trail, and the real threat they pose to the United States.



As the battle against the terrorist group the Islamic State, or ISIS, continues, many wonder if the fight will turn into another Iraq war. With the American people weary of combat troops on the ground, the former governor of Minnesota looks at the root of the problem and who is really to blame for the rise of ISIS.
Jesse Ventura says that if Bush never invaded Iraq, there would be no ISIS
Jesse Ventura says that if Bush never invaded Iraq, there would be no ISIS
youtube.com

Over the last few months, ISIS has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. The U.S. trained Iraqi army has failed on multiple levels, leaving behind American military weapons and supplies that have been captured by ISIS. Since then, the Obama administration has authorized airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, which have been challenged as unconstitutional, as well as Congress authorizing a White House request of $500 million to train and arm rebels in Syria. The media often questions the actions of the White House, but during Friday's episode of "Off the Grid" on Ora.TV, host Jesse Ventura went to origins of ISIS and put the blame on the doorstep of the Bush Administration.
"If Saddam Hussein had been left in charge of Iraq and the United States had never done what they did, I don't think there would be any ISIS at this level because the border between Syria and Iraq would have still been very distinct. I'm trying to figure out why this is so very important to us, except for monetary reasons. Is that the only reason that we care? You are not going to convince me that our powerful people care about their people."
Ventura also warned about how the United States will be perceived if they continue down the same path of the previous administrations. Ventura quoted former Vice President Dick Cheney, when he claimed that the United States would be greeted as "liberators" during the Iraq war.
"Dick Cheney told us we would be greeted as liberators when we went in there. Well we were hardly treated as liberates, unless IEDs are greetings of liberation. We were greeted as invaders and we've been greeted as that every since that awful war took place."
Ventura didn't stop at his criticism of Bush and Cheney, also putting blame on the mainstream media. Highlighting the lack of depth of their reporting, the former Navy frogman accused many media outlets of either covering up or simply not doing their job.
"I watch mainstream media, when I do, and they don't say one word about the origins of all of this, which goes back to us invading Iraq, and overthrowing Saddam's stable government. We turned everything into chaos over there."
Ventura has been, if nothing else, consistent on his views when it comes to war. "This is us at perennial war, we are a war based economy now, they created that." Ventura said. "They have to keep feeding the machine and the only way you keep feeding the machine is having wars in these third world places were we can supply the weapons, the machinery and a few troops here or there, that keep the war machine going." the former governor stated, shaking his head in disgust.

President Obama has repeated that there will be no American "boots on the ground" in Iraq or Syria as the United States attempts to curb the violence and help stabilize the region. The president did note that combat troops on the ground might be necessary, but that they wont come from the U.S. military. If Obama has a change of heart, Ventura has previously stated that Bush and Cheney should be put on the front lines.

Here's What No One Is Telling You About Ebola

I'm a Hazmat-Trained Hospital Worker: Here's what everyone is failing to report.

By Abby Norman

Ebola is brilliant.

It is a superior virus that has evolved and fine-tuned its mechanism of transmission to be near-perfect. That's why we're all so terrified. We know we can't destroy it. All we can do is try to divert it, outrun it.

I've worked in health care for a few years now. One of the first things I took advantage of was training to become FEMA-certified for hazmat ops in a hospital setting. My rationale for this was that, in my home state of Maine, natural disasters are almost a given. We're also, though you may not know it, a state that has many major ports that receive hazardous liquids from ships and transport them inland. In the back of my mind, of course, I was aware that any hospital in the world could potentially find itself at the epicenter of a scene from The Hot Zone. That was several years ago.

Today I'm thinking, by God, I might actually have to use this training. Mostly, though, I'm aware of just that -- that I did receive training. Lots of it. Because you can't just expect any nurse or any doctor or any health care worker or layperson to understand the deconning procedures by way of some kind of pamphlet or 10-minute training video. Not only is it mentally rigorous, but it's physically exhausting.

PPE, or, personal protective equipment, is sort of a catch-all phrase for the suits, booties, gloves, hoods and in many cases respirators worn by individuals who are entering a hot zone. These suits are incredibly difficult to move in. You are wearing several layers of gloves, which limits your dexterity to basically nil, the hoods limit the scope of your vision -- especially your peripheral vision, which all but disappears. The suits are hot -- almost unbearably so. The respirator gives you clean air, but not cool air. These suits are for protection, not comfort. Before you even suit up, your vitals need to be taken. You can't perform in the suit for more than about a half hour at a time -- if you make it that long. Heat stroke is almost a given at that point. You have to be fully hydrated and calm before you even step into the suit. By the time you come out of it, and your vitals are taken again, you're likely to be feeling the impact -- you may not have taken more than a few steps in the suit, but you'll feel like you've run a marathon on a 90-degree day.

Getting the suit on is easy enough, but it requires team work. Your gloves, all layers of them, are taped to your suit. This provides an extra layer of protection and also limits your movement. There is a very specific way to tape all the way around so that there are no gaps or "tenting" of the tape. If you don't do this properly, there ends up being more than enough open pockets for contamination to seep in.

If you're wearing a respirator, it needs to be tested prior to donning to make sure it is in good condition and that the filter has been changed recently, so that it will do its job. Ebola is not airborne. It is not like influenza, which spreads on particles that you sneeze or cough. However, Ebola lives in vomit, diarrhea and saliva  -- and these avenues for infection can travel. Projectile vomiting is called so for a reason. Particles that are in vomit may aerosolize at the moment the patient vomits. This is why if the nurses in Dallas were in the room when the first patient, Thomas Duncan, was actively vomiting, it would be fairly easy for them to become infected. Especially if they were not utilizing their PPE correctly. 

The other consideration is this: The "doffing" procedure, that is, the removal of PPE, is the most crucial part. It is also the point at which the majority of mistakes are made, and my guess is that this is what happened in Dallas.

The PPE, if worn correctly, does an excellent job of protecting you while you are wearing it. But eventually you'll need to take it off. Before you begin, you need to decon the outside of the PPE. That's the first thing. This is often done in the field with hoses or mobile showers/tents. Once this crucial step has occurred, the removal of PPE needs to be done in pairs. You cannot safely remove it by yourself. One reason you are wearing several sets of gloves is so that you have sterile gloves beneath your exterior gloves that will help you to get out of your suit. The procedure for this is taught in FEMA courses, and you run drills with a buddy over and over again until you get it right. You remove the tape and discard it. You throw it away from you. You step out of your boots  --  careful not to let your body touch the sides. Your partner helps you to slither out of the suit, again, not touching the outside of it. This is difficult, and it cannot be rushed. The respirators need to be deconned, batteries changed, filters changed. The hoods, once deconnned, need to be stored properly. If the suits are disposable, they need to be disposed of properly. If not, they need to be thoroughly deconned and stored safely. And they always need to be checked for rips, tears, holes, punctures or any other even tiny, practically invisible openings that could make the suit vulnerable.

Can anyone tell me if this happened in Dallas?

We run at least an annual drill at my hospital each year. We are a small hospital and thus are a small emergency response team. But because we make a point to review our protocols, train our staff (actually practice donning/doffing gear), I realized this week that this puts us ahead at some much larger and more notable hospitals in the United States. Every hospital should be running these types of emergency response drills yearly, at least.

To hear that the nurses in Dallas reported that there were no protocols at their hospital broke my heart. Their health care system failed them. In the United States we always talk about how the health care system is failing patients, but the truth is, it has failed its employees too. Not just doctors and nurses, but allied health professionals as well. The presence of Ebola on American soil has drawn out the true vulnerabilities in the health care system, and they are not fiscally based. We spend trillions of dollars on health care in this country -- yet the allocation of those funds are grossly disproportionate to how other countries spend their health care expenditures. We aren't focused on population health.

Now, with Ebola threatening our population, the truth is out.

The truth is, in terms of virology, Ebola should not be a threat to American citizens. We have clean water. We have information. We have the means to educate ourselves, practice proper hand-washing procedures, protect ourselves with hazmat suits. The CDC Disease Detectives were dispatched to Dallas almost immediately to work on the front lines to identify those who might be at risk, who could have been exposed. We have the technology, and we certainly have the money to keep Ebola at bay. What we don't have is communication.

What we don't have is a health care system that values preventative care. What we don't have is an equal playing field between nurses and physicians and allied health professionals and patients. What we don't have is a culture of health where we work symbiotically with one another and with the technology that was created specifically to bridge communication gaps, but has in so many ways failed. What we don't have is the social culture of transparency, what we don't have is a stopgap against mounting hysteria and hypochondria, what we don't have is nation of health literate individuals. We don't even have health-literate professionals.

Most doctors are specialists and are well versed only in their field. Ask your orthopedist a general question about your health -- see if they can comfortably answer it.

Health care operates in silos -- we can't properly isolate our patients, but we sure as hell can isolate ourselves as health care workers.

As we slide into flu season, a time of year when we are normally braced for winter diseases, colds, flus, sick days and canceled plans, the American people have been exposed to another disease entirely: the excruciating truth about our healthcare system's dysfunction -- and the prognosis doesn't look good.

Note: In response to some comments, I would like to clarify that I am FEMA-trained in level 3 hazmat in a hospital setting. I am a student, health guide and writer, but I am not a nurse.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

PA Governor Tom Corbett Gets Black Support - Via PhotoShop

By kpete

It's no secret that things haven't always gone smoothly for Gov. Corbett in his effort to woo minority voters in Pennsylvania. Most famously, the one-term GOP governor - who's in the fight of his life for re-election - last year told editors of Philadelphia-based Al Dia at a roundtable that he didn't have any Latinos in his cabinet, adding: "If you can find us one, please let us know."

Now, according to a report going viral tonight on social media, Corbett's re-election campaign found an African-American woman to stand next to the governor on his website photos.

Not an actual woman. According to Buzzfeed, the black woman who gazes at Corbett was Photoshopped from a stock picture.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Report-Smiling-black-woman-next-to-Corbett-on-his-website-was-Photoshopped.html#cGjSqHU6cz52lZCW.99

Here’s a closer look:



And here’s the Shutterstock page for the the stock image “Financial Advisor Talking To Senior Couple At Home.”


Put next to each other you can clearly see it’s the same woman, with the color of her shirt slightly altered:


MORE:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/black-woman-photoshopped-into-group-photo-with-gop-governor?utm_term=1akf4m2#3xauh8n

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tim Hauser, Manhattan Transfer Founder And Singer, Dies At 72



Tim Hauser, right, performs with Alan Paul and Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer, a vocal group that took its name from the John Dos Passos novel. (Evening Standard, Getty Images)

Track Listing
1. Four Brothers
2. Rambo
3. Meet Benny Bailey
4. Airegin
5. To You
6. Sing Joy Spring
7. Move
8. That's Killer Joe
9. The Duke Of Dubuque
10. Gloria
11. Heat's Desire
12. Birdland
13. On The Boulevard
14. Shaker Song
15. Java Jive
16. Blue Champagne
17. How High The Moon
18. Boy From New York City
19. Ray's Rockhouse





Singer Tim Hauser, the founder of the Grammy-winning vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer, a group he established in 1969, has died. He was 72.

Hauser, a Los Angeles resident, died Thursday of a heart attack in Pennsylvania, according to the group's publicist, JoAnn Geffen.

"Tim was the visionary behind The Manhattan Transfer," the remaining members of the ensemble — Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel — said in a statement posted on Facebook. "It's incomprehensible to think of this world without him."

Hauser was drawn to vocal ensemble music from his youth, fascinated initially by the doo-wop styles of the early rock era and later by folk and country music before discovering jazz. And, from the founding of the first installment of The Manhattan Transfer to the present day, the ensemble's music has embraced those elements and more.

"The whole key," Hauser explained in Irwin Stambler's "Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul," "was to sing four-part harmony. Nobody was doing it then, and nobody is doing it now. When you do four-part harmony, you get into jazz."

Hauser was correct in his forecast of the future of The Manhattan Transfer. Despite their extraordinary versatility, the group, under Hauser's guidance, has long reigned as the jazz world's principal vocal ensemble, while often demonstrating their capabilities with pop, rock and country styles.

"Our original goal," Hauser told The Times in 1997, "was to sound like the Count Basie saxophone section. And I think we came pretty close here. But we also wanted to have other sounds too — that George Shearing vibes, guitar and piano combination is one, but we modified it a bit by using Buddy Emmons on steel guitar."

The quartet's first album, released in 1975 and self-titled, produced the hit remake of the gospel classic "Operator." The group's visibility increased dramatically in the mid-1970's when The Manhattan Transfer headlined a 1975 summer replacement show on CBS-TV. Many jazz listeners saw the group's vocal skills as the logical successors to the vocalese mastery of the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross trio.

Dozens of other accomplishments followed — more hit records, international tours and Grammy Awards.

Even that wasn't enough for the musically active mind of Hauser. Applying the production skills that generated such extraordinary results for The Manhattan Transfer albums, he achieved similar results with other artists.

Among them: Richie Cole's "Pop Bop" album and Eddie Jefferson's final recording session. And when he was booked to produce the soundtrack for the film "The Marrying Man," he also made his acting debut as Woody the bandleader. In one of his rare departures from the Manhattan Transfer, he recorded a 2007 solo album, "Love Stories."

Hauser was born Dec. 12, 1941, in Troy, N.Y., and as a child moved with his family to Asbury Park, N.J. Drawn to vocal music at an early age, he told the Asbury Park Press about hearing Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers in 1956.

"They sang 'I Promise to Remember' a cappella," Hauser recalled, "and … I swear that was my turning point. That was God's way of saying, 'Here's your gig, son, and if you don't get it, it's not my fault.' "

Shortly thereafter, Hauser assembled a vocal quintet he called The Criterions, who recorded a pair of singles and performed on Alan Freed's early rock music television show, "The Big Beat." He was only 17 when the first song he produced, "Harlem Nocturne" for the Viscounts, reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

At Villanova University, Hauser sang with the Villanova Singers and a folk music trio, the Troubadour Three, who toured the U.S. on a bill of the Hootenanny Stars of 1963. After graduating that year with a degree in economics, he served briefly in the Air Force and the National Guard.

After his discharge, Hauser worked in marketing and advertising before founding the original installment of The Manhattan Transfer with Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Gene Pistilli and Pat Rosalia in 1969. The name traced to John Dos Passos' 1925 novel about New York City, "Manhattan Transfer." The initial incarnation recorded one album, "Jukin,' " on Capitol Records before creative differences separated the group.

Although his fascination with vocal music and his desire to form another ensemble were undiminished, Hauser began driving a cab to make a living. And it was while he was behind the wheel that he met a singer named Laurel Masse. Then another passenger introduced him to Janis Siegel.

Deciding that the ideal grouping would require another male singer, they found Alan Paul, who was working on Broadway in "Grease" and, in 1972, the second installment of the Manhattan Transfer was created.

Seven years later, Masse left the group after a near-fatal car accident, and Hauser searched for a replacement.

"We wanted somebody who could blend with our sound, who could cut it as a soloist, and someone we could get along with," he told Down Beat. "And then Cheryl Bentyne walked in. She sang 'Candy,' and it was the sound."

With that decision, the final version of The Manhattan Transfer was established. The group said Friday that it plans to continue its current tour.

Hauser's survivors include his wife, Barb Sennet Hauser; a son, Basie, and a daughter, Lily.

news.obits@latimes.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Teen Over Loud Music


Posted:
Michael Dunn, the Florida man found guilty earlier this month of first-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teen Jordan Davis over loud music, has been sentenced to life without parole, according to NBC News.

Dunn, 47, had previously been convicted on three counts of second-degree attempted murder after he shot into a vehicle carrying four teens in November 2012. In January that jury found Dunn guilty of attempted murder and he was sentenced to 90 years in prison plus another 15 years for firing into an occupied vehicle, NBC reports. The jury however, declared a mistrial on the first-degree-murder charges he faced in the shooting death of Jordan, 17.

According to NBC News, Jordan's father read a statement during the testimony portion of the sentencing, which lasted about an hour. In total, Dunn will serve life plus 105 years in prison.

"Our justice system works," Judge Russell Healey said at the hearing, according to NBC News. "This case demonstrates that our justice system does work."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Voting against their own interests?

Many Republican Candidates have run their campaigns as a referendum against Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. Ed Schultz, Brad Woodhouse and Harold Cook discuss the feelings of many Americans, especially those in Iowa.

Bill Maher Destroyed Again And Again By Reza Aslan

"Religious scholar Reza Aslan took some serious issue on CNN Monday night with Bill Maher‘s commentary about Islamic violence and oppression. Maher ended his show last Friday by going after liberals for being silent about the violence and oppression that goes on in Muslim nations. Aslan said on CNN that Maher’s arguments are just very unsophisticated.

He said these “facile arguments” might sound good, but not all Muslim nations are the same. Aslan explained that female mutilation is an African problem, not a Muslim one, and there are Muslim-majority nations where women are treated better and there are even female leaders."*

The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.




*Read more here from Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/reza-aslan...

Courting Corruption: The Auctioning of the Judicial System

Don't believe the Citizens United pollyannas. Watching money flooding into elections for judges' seat shows how dangerous unregulated campaigns can be.
By

Justice is blind, but not free. (Russell Boyce/Reuters)

Every once in a while, David Brooks writes a column in The New York Times that makes one just cringe. That was the case with his "Don't Worry, Be Happy" treatment last week of the impact of Citizens United on our politics. By defining the impact narrowly—does either party gain from the Supreme Court ruling and the new Wild West of campaign financing?—and by cherry-picking the research on campaign finance, Brooks comes up with a benign conclusion: Citizens United will actually reduce the influence of money in elections, and, I quote, "The upshot is that we should all relax about campaign spending."

Without mentioning his good friend's name, E.J. Dionne destroyed that case in his own Washington Post column. But a broader critique is necessary. First, Citizens United—and its progeny, SpeechNow and McCutcheon—are not really about whether Republicans get a leg up on election outcomes. They are about a new regime of campaign spending that dramatically enhances corruption in politics and government by forcing lawmakers to spend more and more of their precious time making fundraising calls, raising money for their own campaigns and their parties, and getting insurance against a last-minute blitz of "independent" spending that trashes them when they have no time to raise money to defend themselves. It also gives added traction to extreme groups threatening lawmakers with primary devastation unless they toe the ideological line.

I have told this story before, but it bears repeating. Many legislators have had an experience something like this: A lobbyist visits and says, "I am working with Americans for a Better America. They have more money than God. $10 million in the last two weeks of a campaign to trash somebody's reputation would be nothing to them. They really, really want this amendment. I don't know what they would do if someone opposed them, but …" The result will be more amendments, or more amendments blocked, without the money being spent and without anyone even knowing what is going on. And every time the money is spent, and someone loses, the lesson will not be lost on those still in office.

At the same time, the desperation to raise money means lawmakers pandering to big donors or shaking them down—trading access for favors, or threatening retribution. And it means more vicious ads, done by anonymous groups, which only enhance the corrosive cynicism voters have toward all politicians. And it means more sham independence and blockage of disclosure, without any enforcement of existing laws by the outrageously lawless Federal Election Commission, led by Caroline Hunter and Lee Goodman. And we should relax?

But that is not the worst of the new world of campaign finance post-Citizens United. The worst comes with judicial elections—and that worst could be worsened by a pending Supreme Court case that may allow sitting judges actively to solicit campaign funds for their own elections.

Here is what we know. Loads of money—mostly conservative—went into judicial-retention elections in the last cycle in Florida, following a similar experience in 2010 in Iowa and Illinois. We saw similar efforts on a smaller scale in other states, including Wisconsin and Michigan. All had a ton of attack ads. Those efforts have exploded in the 2014 elections. In North Carolina, where repeal of the state's Judicial Campaign Reform Act by the right-wing legislature opened the door to a further explosion of campaign spending, and where the GOP sees retaining a majority on the court (ostensibly, but risibly, nonpartisan) as a key to their continued hegemony in politics, the Republican State Leadership Committee spent $900,000 on an unsuccessful primary campaign to unseat Justice Robin Hudson, and will target Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV in his second attempt to move to the Supreme Court (the first one, in 2012, cost $4.5 million or more). Much of the spending will come in the next month, and will total many millions, most of it from outside groups. The Republican State Leadership Committee is targeting judges in Ohio, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Texas.

In Tennessee, Republican Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, working hand in glove with the RSLC, led a conservative effort to unseat three justices up for retention. If they had lost, Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark, and Sharon Lee—all endorsed by a bipartisan evaluation panel—would be replaced by Republican Governor Bill Haslam. Once again, millions were spent to defeat them. Thanks to a counter-campaign, led by lawyers who practice in front of them, all three eked out bare victories in the August retention elections. Lew Conner, a Republican who served as a judge appointed by then-Governor Lamar Alexander, has said about Ramsey, "What he's doing, I think, is just terrible. It's an attack on the independence of the judicial system."

It is true that the politicization and increasing partisanship of the courts has paralleled, or followed, the tribalism in the political process. And it is true that a sharper tone in judicial elections preceded Citizens United. But the concerted efforts by activist James Bopp to go state by state and remove all restrictions on how judicial elections are run—making them just like political campaigns—combined with the effective elimination of boundaries on funding and the blockage of disclosure, have dramatically changed judicial elections. Vicious attacks on the integrity of judges themselves undermine confidence in the judiciary, but that is not the major problem.

Here is the reality: If judges fear multimillion-dollar campaigns against them, they will have to raise millions themselves, or quietly engineer campaigns by others to do so. Who will contribute, or lead those efforts? Of course, those who practice in front of the judges will, creating an unhealthy dynamic of gratitude and dependency. Worse, imagine what happens when judges are deciding cases in which the stakes are high, and well-heeled individuals or corporations will be helped or damaged by the rulings. The judges know that an adverse decision now will trigger a multimillion-dollar campaign against them the next time, both for retribution and to replace them with more friendly judges. Will that affect some rulings? Of course.

I agree with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor that judicial elections in general are an abomination. They are no way to select impartial and high-quality jurists. But judicial elections in the age of Citizens United make it so much worse. This will ultimately undermine the whole idea of an independent judiciary, which is the single most significant bedrock of a functioning democratic political system. So, David, I do not relax about campaign spending. And neither should you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Do Democrats Run From President Obama?

On Tuesday’s Podcast Ed is joined by Chair of the Democratic National Committee Con. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-FL, to discuss the get out the vote efforts for the midterm elections. We are also joined by Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum to discuss candidates running from President Obama.