Priorities, Missouri style

In that border state there is now a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can proceed with an abortion, and there’s only one clinic left in the state to which she can go to get that.

In contrast, Missouri does not require a waiting period before one can acquire a gun.

It would be ironic if a lunatic had an urge to shoot up the clinic and got a gun without having to wait, then got to the clinic to find no one there because all the clients and doctors were observing the waiting period.

Yay! Democrats won! Except . . .

Read Pierce. He has some choice words for two winning candidates who call themselves Democrats but behave like plutocrats: Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

Raimondo is the state treasurer who cut the hell out of government employees’ pensions while at the same time turning a billion bucks of those funds over to hedge funds to manage, thus obligating the state to pay them millions and millions of dollars every year in fees. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call that standard Democratic public policy.

Cuomo has some questionable behavior of his own. He apparently made a deal with some center-right Democrats in the state Senate which kept that body under Republican control despite there being nominally more Democrats in it than Republicans. His goal was apparently to keep the Dems from passing liberal legislation he’d either have to sign or veto, either of which he thinks would hurt his potential run for President down the road a piece. Then he disbanded a commission he’d formed himself to hunt for corruption in state government, despite its progress in finding some 15 legislators it wanted to investigate. The reason he formed the commission was seemingly just to force the legislature to pass some ethics legislation; once it had done so he promptly fired the commissioners. I don’t think Andrew’s even a pale imitation of his old man Mario.

Somebody lied about the Ray Rice tape

What did the NFL know and when did it know it?

Who all saw this video before today? When did they see it? Did the NFL use it to determine Rice’s two-game suspension?


Privately, top reporters were told in no uncertain terms that the video existed, that the NFL had seen it, that it showed Janay Palmer acting violently toward Rice, and that, if released, it would go some way toward mitigating the anger against him.

But today the NFL has said no one in the league office has ever seen the video which surfaced today.

So who’s lying? All those reporters who said the NFL saw the tape back in July? The NFL at the time, in order to make Ms. Palmer look bad? Or the NFL now, when it says no one ever saw it? Only by saying that can it possibly excuse its obvious failure to punish Rice and its attempt to damage Ms. Palmer’s reputation (see above: “it showed Janay Palmer acting violently toward Rice”).

Read the rest and see the supporting evidence at the link above.

Niners whomp Cowboys

I’m not usually one to say “I told you so,” but about the Dallas Cowboys I’ll make an exception. As I said two weeks ago, they’re not a good football team. They were beaten by the 49ers today 28-17, and it wasn’t as close as the score makes it appear. I heard part of the first half of the game on the radio. At one point the 49ers led 21-3 in the first quarter and the Cowboys had run something like 23 offensive plays to three by the 49ers. The Niners had 1:34 minutes of possession and were up by 18 points before the 2nd quarter even began.

Dallas’s Tony Romo threw three interceptions in the first half.

Close is not good enough

When you dig yourself a 38-7 hole by the end of the 3rd quarter you don’t really have much right to expect a win. Reeling off 23 unanswered points in the 4th quarter looks impressive, but you still lost 38-30.

This team was sluggish in the first half tonight and on fire in the 4th quarter. In its first game it scored ten points in the 1st quarter and only two field goals the rest of the game. It needs to figure out how to put together a sustained effort for 60 minutes.

Small towns: they ain’t all Mayberry

This is appalling. It’s a blatant misuse of the criminal justice system designed to keep small towns afloat and paying their public employees. Radley Balko of the Post has done yeoman’s work outlining just how poorly governed the citizens in St. Louis County are and have been. Moreover, he’s explained the history behind it, describing the various moves of whites and blacks over the last century.

Drive along an approximately 10-mile stretch along the east-west Route 115 (also known as the Natural Bridge Road), and you’ll cross through sixteen different municipalities. At some points along the route, you’ll find one town the right side of the road, and a separate town on the left. There are similar stretches along St. Charles Rock Road (also known as Route 180) to the south, along I-70, and along the I-170 bypass. The town boundaries are drawn in such a way that each municipality in the area gets a stretch of highway, which can be a lucrative source of revenue. “Theoretically, you could be driving home from work on this road, and if you have expired tags or no inspection sticker, you could get pulled over 16 different times in 16 different towns, and written up for the same violations each time,” Harvey says.

Written up and liable for not-insignificant fines from each municipality. It’s almost unbelievable. The obvious solution is for St. Louis (the city) to absorb a lot of these itsy-bitsy places, but each one has a mayor or manager, a council or committee and an ability to appoint people to jobs including judge, prosecutor and sheriff.

There are too many towns, and not enough taxpayers to sustain them. How to fix that problem is another matter. There has long been a movement in St. Louis to merge the county with the city. That movement has picked up steam recent years as advocacy groups like Better Together have pushed proposals to merge a number of public services. But real change would require a good portion of these towns to merge with other towns, or to dissolve themselves entirely. That would require the town councils or boards of aldermen to vote themselves out of a job.

Yeah, lots of puffed-up small-town pols who like the authority they’ve got, small as it is.

The headline for this article is “How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty.” It’s long but well worth your time to read.

Beware the “militia”

Lovely. Idiot “militia” members from out of state confronted scientists studying bat populations in Southern Arizona recently.

It happened Aug. 23 in the Gardner Canyon area near Sonoita where the small group of conservationists was out in the middle of the night conducting a wildlife population survey, in this case, counting bats.

Nobody was hurt during the confrontation, but the incident has law enforcement taking notice.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada say the militiamen were on ATVs. They were carrying weapons and were wearing camouflage.

“Obviously, they mistook them for smugglers or illegal entrants,” says Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. “They were armed. They put a spotlight on them.”

Good thing the scientists didn’t have a passel of rabid bats to set on these stupid clowns. It would have served them right. And doesn’t Arizona have enough loony armed right-wingers who want to hunt border crossers? It certainly doesn’t need visitors from Colorado coming down to help.

The local sheriff wasn’t amused.

Sheriff Estrada says Santa Cruz County does not welcome border militia groups.

“These people that are completely out of their environment. They really don’t know the area. They don’t know the terrain. They have little knowledge of the dynamics of the border. So it can be a real problem,” Estrada says. “We really don’t want them here.”

“It can be a problem for them. It can be a problem for the people, just like in this particular case. Things could have gone terribly wrong,” Estrada says. “They really don’t accomplish anything. They really don’t. With about 1,000 Border Patrol Agents here in Santa Cruz County, a little group of any militiamen are not going to make any difference at all. As a matter of fact, they’re going to get in the way and they could get hurt. Or they could hurt somebody else.”

Oh boy

Headline, Hindustan Times:

Al Qaeda announces India wing, race against ISIS for jihadi supremacy

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and “raise the flag of jihad” across the subcontinent.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist militancy.

Zawahri described the formation of “Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” as a glad tidings for Muslims “in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir” and said the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

Glad tidings, huh? Well, there’s no denying that there are some Buddhists in Burma/Myanmar who are persecuting Muslim minorities. The other locations I don’t know about.

I suppose it would be too foolish to say “Yo, Zawahri, if you want to challenge IS, do it in Syria and Iraq and leave those poor other countries alone.”