Day: 2015.05.06

The Carly Fiorina Show (One Percenter Hope Pilot Episode)

Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., pauses while speaking during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The talent show that is a presidential campaign began in earnest saturday as more than 1,200 Republican activists, who probably will vote in Iowa's caucuses, packed into a historic Des Moines theater to see and hear from a parade of their party's prospective entries. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Welcome to the Carly Fiorina Show. By most accounts, it will be a short run. Then again, compared to the rest of the clowns in the GOP campaign car, one might expect Ms. Fiorina would bring some significant, serious presence to the present.

These are, of course, Republicans.

Former Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Carly Fiorina on Monday announced she is running for president, and took a shot at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who she said represents a political class that Americans are “disgusted” with.

Once one of the most powerful women in American business, Fiorina registers near the bottom of polls of the dozen or so Republican hopefuls and has never held public office.

She is positioning herself as an outsider with real-life experience earned through years in the corporate world.

As Alistair Bell and Bill Trott report for Reuters, the newly-minted Republican candidate faces the obvious consideration:

Fiorina, 60, said the former first lady and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, belong to an out-of-touch political elite.

“She reminds people that there is a huge disconnect between that political class and the hopes and concerns of hard-working Americans everywhere,” she told reporters on a conference call.

“I see that disconnect everywhere I go. I see people just disgusted, honestly, with the way the playing field is tilted against them, the disconnect between what they’re thinking about and what they perceive people in Washington are thinking about,” Fiorina said.

Previously described as the “anti-Steve Jobs”, Ms. Fiorina will likely struggle to define herself as the anti-Hillary. Reuters puts her at less than one percent in a recent poll; this is problematic, but hardly an impossible challenge. Given the early critique of Hillary Clinton’s performance, one wonders whether Fiorina will last long enough to endure the sort of scrutiny normally reserved for the former Secretary of State.

And these are, after all, Republicans. There really is nothing to be done about that.

She said on Monday that her first phone call as president would be to the prime minister of Israel to assure the Jewish state of America’s support.

The second call, she said, would be to the supreme leader of Iran to warn him of U.S. sanctions unless he allowed unfettered access for inspectors to Tehran’s nuclear program.

Boilerplate is as boilerplate does; it serves a function of some sort. But calling Hillary Clinton out of touch, or an elitist, and then pandering to Israel are not exactly compelling opening bids. If she wishes to double her support to somewhere near two percent, Carly Fiorina will need an actual pitch.

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Image note: Carly Fiorina speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, 24 January 2015. (Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bell, Alistair and Bill Trott. “Former HP CEO Fiorina enters 2016 race, takes shot at Clinton”. Reuters. 4 May 2015.

Your War on Drugs (It’s a Mistake Mix)

This is your War On Drugs:

Drug Enforcement AdministrationObama administration officials and lawmakers are calling for greater accountability and tougher disciplinary procedures at the Drug Enforcement Administration after the agency imposed only light punishments on agents who forgot a San Diego man in a holding cell, leaving him without food or water for five days and nearly killing him.

Daniel Chong, a UC San Diego student, was detained in 2012 for what he was told would be five minutes after he was swept up in a drug bust at a friend’s house, where he had been smoking marijuana. Instead, agents forgot about him. Chong, who was 23 at the time, drank his own urine to stave off dehydration until he was found, delirious and suffering from severe breathing problems, according to a report last summer by the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General.

(Phelps)

This has been going on for decades. The reason it continues is because nobody really cares. But we need to keep in mind that there are two sides to this debate. That is, to the one, there is the question of whether the administrative response to this accidental forgetfulness is sufficient, while, to the other, there are plenty who snort derisively at the proposition that this was any sort of an accident.

When they tell us that not all cops are bad, this is most likely true. However, not a single person working for the Drug Enforcement Administration is covered by that pathetic excuse. That is to say, if I knowingly go to an organized crime outfit and ask for a job, there simply isn’t any presupposition of good faith sufficient to erase that decision. Nor is there any excuse for anyone presently working for the DEA.

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Phelps, Timothy M. “Officials criticize DEA’s light punishment of agents who forgot man in cell for 5 days”. Los Angeles Times. 5 May 2015.

The Mike Huckabee Experience (Christian Hatedown Remix)

In this April 18, 2015 file photo, former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, NH.  Huckabee is set to announce he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.  He has an event planned for May 5 in his hometown of Hope, Ark., where former President Bill Clinton was also born.  (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

This is a look ahead, toward some difficult times.

On Tuesday, Mike Huckabee made it official. The former Republican Arkansas governor and Fox News host launched his second bid for the White House in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas, vowing to stop the “slaughter” of abortion and calling for the protection of the “laws of nature” from the “the false God of judicial supremacy.”

Tim Murphy reports, for Mother Jones, the “Mike Huckabee you may not remember”, and it’s just as foul a history as you might imagine.

Huckabee, then a Baptist pastor who operated a small television station out of his Arkadelphia church, made sex and morality the centerpieces of his ’92 campaign—and he preached as fiery a message from the stump as he did from the pulpit. The novice politician let loose with eyebrow-raising tirades that occasionally put him to the right of the most fire-breathing conservatives. He endorsed quarantining AIDS patients, condemned efforts to shield homosexuals from discrimination, and called for the death penalty to be imposed on big-time drug dealers. He attacked Bumpers repeatedly as a libertine who supposedly supported giving condoms to 12-year-olds, sanctioned gay throuples, and voted to use taxpayer funds on “pornographic” art.

Serrano, Piss Christ (detail)Huckabee’s 1992 platform was an artifact of the Moral Majority’s high-water mark. In interviews and on the stump he explained that the nation had strayed toward “selfishness and sensuality” and had been “savaged by radical groups bent on a moral and social agenda” at odds with Judeo-Christian values. “When I was in school, they passed out Gideon Bibles—today, they pass out condoms,” he said at stop after stop on the trail. In the new liberal order, Huckabee warned his hometown paper, the Hope Star, a family would consist of “three homosexual men living together.”

The gay agenda, he believed, was influencing and restricting the nation’s response to the AIDS crisis. He endorsed quarantining AIDS patients from the rest of society—a radical view even among conservatives at the time—while arguing that the severity of the epidemic had been exaggerated because gay people wielded so much political clout. The federal government should spend less money on AIDS, he insisted, and more on diseases that the afflicted had not brought on themselves, such as cancer.

“I realize a lot of people have received AIDS through blood transfusions, but AIDS is basically a lifestyle disease, and when the lifestyle is changed, the disease risk goes significantly down,” Huckabee said in one interview. AIDS advocates themselves, not taxpayers, should pony up: “Elizabeth Taylor went before Congress and made a big pitch that we needed more federal funding for AIDS. If Elizabeth Taylor would take one of the rings off her finger and sell it, she could get more money for AIDS research than the average Arkansan will make in two years of hard work. If she’s really serious about it, she’s got assets that she could dispose of. Why should she make me take money from my children’s future, and take it right off my table when she needs to cough up some of her own coin for that.”

It is worth noting that in this time when American Christians lament that they are, in various ways, under some sort of siege―from gays, women, television, even basic reality―it probably won’t help anyone to have so many Republican candidates rushing to proclaim hatred in Jesus’ name.

(more…)

Nebraska

This is “Middle America”:

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 25 February 2015.Sylvia Driskell, 66, said in the suit that she is petitioning the U.S. District Court of Omaha to be heard “in the matter of homosexuality. Is homosexuality a sin, or not a sin?”

In a seven-page letter framed as a lawsuit, she cited Bible passages that described homosexuality as an abomination and against nature, and she said never before has the nation or the state been “besiege(d) by sin.”

“Will all the judges of this nation judge God to be a lier [sic]?” Driskell asked.

(Pilger)

Yeah. Welcome to Nebraska. This is “Middle America”, and something about “family values” goes here. For instance, when Nebraska gets some, we’ll try to remember to let you know.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 25 February 2015.

Pilger, Lori. “Auburn woman files federal case against homosexuals”. The Journal Star. 5 May 2015.