Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 8:27 pm

Odds and ends for July 17

Greetings. Been busy.

Eight years ago, ExxonMobil pledged to shareholders that it wouldn’t spend company money to block efforts to fight climate change. Since then, it has spent at least $2.3 million trying to block efforts to fight climate change. If I were a shareholder, I’d be filing a civil suit against the officers and board for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, but I’m obnoxious like that.

After a two-year legal battle, police video was finally released that showed that the L.A.P.D. shot and killed an unarmed suspect who posed no threat. Even if you want to argue that the officers were merely doing what they were trained to do, you have to admit that when training leads to this result, it’s wrong and needs changing.

In another installment of our ongoing series, Police Behaving Badly, the police department in Bal Harbour, Fla., and the sheriff’s department in Glades County, Fla., combined to launder $55.6 million for drug cartels over three years, leaving no arrests but hundreds of thousands in cash missing.

And in yet another installment, two Georgia cops kill an unarmed woman and get away it it.

I’ve seen several good pieces criticizing Republicans for their opposition to the Iran deal. This is just one of them.

Some antiabortion yahoos released video claiming that it proves Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal organs. In point of fact, PP and its patients donate the organs for research, and PP may be reimbursed for such expenses as shipping costs related to the donation. The New York Times kinda sorta debunked the story. The mythbusting site did a much better job even though it characterized the story as “uncertain” rather than true or false — noting where the Times did not, for example, that the instigator of this stunt is tight with conservative fake journalist James O’Keefe.

Unsurprisingly, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can be an idiot even when he doesn’t open his mouth. An image of himself that he tweeted contained pictures of re-enactors dressed as Nazi-era German soldiers, not U.S. GIs. Naturally, the campaign threw an unnamed “young intern” under the bus. (And don’t even get me started on who would want to dress up as a Nazi-era German soldier as a game.)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who’s about to enter the presidential race, says it’s OK that the banksters who blew up the economy haven’t been punished in this life because they probably will be in the next. If he’s that good at seeing the future, why’s he running a race he’s going to lose? Also: Bite me.

Filmmaker Laura Poitras has the quaint notion that if she’s not a terrorist, maybe the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security shouldn’t be hassling her all the damn time, so she’s suing them for records of the six years of stops she has endured on more than 50 occasions in airports.

Are ya thirsty yet?

Here in N.C., a trial has started in the lawsuit challenging the state’s vote-suppression efforts. Good.

I’m starting to think that the only question remaining about State Board of Elections member Paul Foley here in N.C. is whether he’ll resign before or after he gets indicted. Gov. Pat McCrory wants him to resign (but can’t make him); Foley refuses.

A two-year State Board of Elections investigation into political contributions to state officials from the sweepstakes industry won’t lead to a criminal probe. But, as Michael Kinsley famously said, it’s what’s legal that’s the problem.

Former UNC star Ty Lawson, now with the Denver Nuggets, just got his fourth DUI, and his second this year. His off-court behavior led to his early exit from UNC, and if he doesn’t get help, he’ll be out of the NBA, too.

As gigabit Internet service becomes a reality in some North Carolina metros (But not mine. Grrrr.) (Edit: See comments.), Time Warner Cable announces “TWC Maxx,” which is a blinding … 300 megabits. And people think newspapers don’t get it?

And, finally, hello, Pluto! And tell me that light-colored area doesn’t look like Pluto the Disney dog’s head, complete with the darker area indicating his right ear.



  1. Regarding gigabit internet: it is here in Greensboro. It’s from North State and, while I do not now the extent of their deployment or plans, it is being installed in NW Greensboro. (Why do you think after all, TWC is upping their game?)

    Comment by Roch — Thursday, July 16, 2015 9:37 am @ 9:37 am

  2. Good point; my employer is one of its customers. I should have remembered that.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, July 16, 2015 9:39 am @ 9:39 am

  3. Ty Lawson left UNC early after leading his team to a national championship and thus affirming his value to the NBA (the other stars from that team left too). There was a minor kerfluffle during the Final Four when he went to a casino — that might have cost him the MVP award he richly deserved — but I’m pretty sure Roy would have welcomed him back.

    Comment by Ed Cone — Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:20 pm @ 12:20 pm

  4. It is not only Republicans that have serious questions about this Iran nuclear deal. And please Lex .. The Guardian !

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, July 16, 2015 11:50 pm @ 11:50 pm

  5. Fred: Why your head hurts:

    Comment by Roch — Saturday, July 18, 2015 12:15 pm @ 12:15 pm

  6. Ah yes Peter Beinart. I recall him arguing that Anthony Weiner should not resign. First you cite the Guardian now you use this flawed article by a self hating Jew.

    From the comments. Spot on !

    “Ah, yes, the new height of liberal intellectualism, or what passes for it among liberals. VA hospital scandal, IRS scandal, 20 million personal records of government employees hacked, Secret Service a mess, economy barely above water almost 7 years into a recovery, world falling apart, American power and influence as weak as its ever been, red lines that become green lights, a decisive political climate as we haven’t seen in 50 years, lowest level of workforce participation in 4 decades, allies that no longer trust us. . .The liberal answer: Well anything and everything gone wrong or seen to have gone wrong, every mistake, mismanaged program, effort and policy, every sign of continuous incompetence is all the fault of FoxNews. Sure makes it easy to be a liberal when you’ve figured things out so easily and accepted that being deaf, dumb and blind is really the best way to exist.”

    I rather go with Charlie Hill

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, July 18, 2015 6:31 pm @ 6:31 pm

  7. Fred, you don’t get to decide who’s a self-hating Jew, there’s no guarantee that government IT would have been any more secure under a Republican administration than under a Democratic one, and the Republicans have fiercely resisted any and every effort needed to get the economy REALLY going again. You know damn good and well that most economists were saying that the stimulus package was only 40% to 50% of what was needed to replace GDP lost to the crash … oh, and who was it that caused that crash again?

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, July 18, 2015 7:24 pm @ 7:24 pm

  8. Oh Gee. Blame Bush is all you have got. Afraid Obama owns this deal

    <a href=""Obama's Age of Nuclear Chaos<Obama's Age of Nuclear Chaos

    “Here is the place to mention that Israel still may have the ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. If it does, then it should attack them as quickly and effectively as possible.

    No, a successful Israeli attack cannot turn back the clock. Israel cannot replace the US as a regional superpower, dictating policy to our neighbors. But a successful attack on Iran’s nuclear program along with the adoption of a vigilantly upheld strategy of active nuclear defense can form the basis of a successful Israeli nuclear defense system.

    And no, Israel shouldn’t be overly concerned with how Obama will respond to such actions.

    Just as Obama’s nuclear capitulation to Iran has destroyed his influence among our Arab neighbors, so his ability to force Israel to sit on the sidelines as he gives Iran a nuclear arsenal is severely constrained.

    How will he punish Israel for defying him? By signing a nuclear deal with Iran that destroys 70 years of US nonproliferation strategy, allows the Iranian regime to grow rich on sanctions relief, become a regional hegemon while expanding its support for terrorism and develop nuclear weapons? Years from now, perhaps historians will point out the irony that Obama, who loudly proclaims his goal of making the world free of nuclear weapons, has ushered in an era of mass nuclear proliferation and chaos.

    Israel can ill afford the luxury of pondering irony.

    One day the nuclear Furies Obama has unleashed may find their way to New York City.

    But their path to America runs through Israel. We need to ready ourselves to destroy them before they cross our border. “

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, July 19, 2015 1:09 am @ 1:09 am

  9. Correcting link

    Obama’s Age of Nuclear Chaos

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, July 19, 2015 1:14 am @ 1:14 am

  10. The Iran Deal’s Collapsing Rationale: Blowing up the Middle East in order to save it—that’s the logic at work.

    ” Iran gets $150 billion in mostly upfront sanctions relief. Susan Rice insists that “for the most part” the money will be spent on “the Iranian people and their economy,” an insight the national security adviser must have from the same people who briefed her on Benghazi and Bowe Bergdahl. But she also admits that some of the money might be spent on Iran’s “bad behavior in the region”—but that’s OK because the nuclear deal “was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behavior.”

    Let it be entered into the record that the United States government has agreed to release monies that it believes will be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies. It has done so on the intriguing rationale that, in order to prevent the Middle East from becoming a very dangerous place in the future, it is necessary to allow it to become a very dangerous place now. To adapt a phrase, the administration believes that it has to destroy a region in order to save it. “

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, July 21, 2015 6:13 pm @ 6:13 pm

  11. On Iran, Congress should just say no

    “At this late date, the only way that the agreement can be reopened and amended is for Congress to first reject it. At that time, the Obama administration or its successor can return to the table and confess that given the absence of a bipartisan foundation of support in the United States, key provisions of the agreement have to be reconsidered. At the end of such a process, the United States may yet be able to obtain a viable accord that reliably alters Iran’s nuclear trajectory.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, July 21, 2015 7:03 pm @ 7:03 pm

  12. I think we both know at this poinit that anyone on the R side complaining that Obama hasn’t been sufficiently bipartisan is just trolling.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 8:05 am @ 8:05 am

  13. Lex, that is pure gibberish. Really you have your head in the sand. As I said earlier a significant number of Ds are seriously unhappy with this bad deal.

    IAEA Tells Congressmen of Two Secret Side Deals to Iran Agreement That Won’t Be Shared with Congress

    Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) issued a press release yesterday on a startling discovery they made during a July 17 meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Vienna: There are two secret side deals to the nuclear agreement with Iran that will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the U.S. public.

    One of these side deals concerns inspection of the Parchin military base, where Iran reportedly has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear-warhead development. The Iranian government has refused to allow the IAEA to visit this site. Over the last several years, Iran has taken steps to clean up evidence of weapons-related activity at Parchin.

    The other secret side deal concerns how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. In late 2013, Iran agreed to resolve IAEA questions about nuclear weapons-related work in twelve areas. Iran only answered questions in one of these areas and rejected the rest as based on forgeries and fabrications.

    Former Department of Energy official William Tobey explained in a July 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed why it is crucial that Iran resolve the PMD issue. According to Tobey, “for inspections to be meaningful, Iran would have to completely and correctly declare all its relevant nuclear activities and procurement, past and present.”


    As a pundit recently said ” No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of a reason why it would be in the interest of the United States to confer legitimacy on Iran’s radical theocratic regime, to enrich the mullahs and enhance their ability to make war, and to entrench them in power.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 6:53 pm @ 6:53 pm

  14. And if it were gonna do that, I’d be concerned, too. But the experts seem to think it won’t. And you have nothing but a gut feeling and a bunch of anti-Obama and pro-Likud op-ed writers to counter with. Also, while it might be entirely possible that these secret agreements exist (and how nice it would be if the GOP were as concerned with the secret provisions of the TPP), Cotton and Pompeo need to show some proof.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 6:56 pm @ 6:56 pm

  15. You think Cotton is lying or that the IEAE is making up stuff just to break the crust on the turd. Thomas said show me your hands .. There is a line from “A Few Good Men ” that seems appropriate right now………

    Iran Deal-The Return of Doctor Strangelove

    “Two articles concerning the Iran deal that appeared in the Wall Street Journal recently should be mandatory reading for all 2016 candidates and all media covering them, because they raise so many difficult questions. And I include in this Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders because every plausible candidate from either side should be questioned in detail directly on the specifics because they concern nuclear war. What, pray tell, is more important?

    The first article is “Iran Inspections in 24 Days? Not Even Close,” by Hillel Fradkin and Lewis Libby (yes, the unfairly-incarcerated ”Scooter” is back). They demonstrate how the already-excessive 24-day window for the Iranians to respond to accusations against the Islamic Republic is not even close to the real window actually being given the Iranians. That is several months or more.

    Is this surprising? Not to anyone paying the slightest attention to how this deal was negotiated. But Fradkin and Libby have done a superb job in laying it out.

    Yet more disturbing, if that’s possible, is this report by Jay Solomon in the Wall Street Journal – “Sanctions to be Lifted on Iranians Suspected of Nuclear Weapons Work”:

    The Obama administration and European Union agreed as part of the accord last week to lift sanctions over eight years on a network of Iranian scientists, military officers and companies long suspected by the U.S. and United Nations as central players in a covert nuclear weapons program.

    The U.S. also agreed to remove a German engineer from its financial blacklist by late 2023 after he was targeted by sanctions for his alleged role in a global black market in nuclear weapons technology run by the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    The decision to roll back sanctions on these individuals and organizations is detailed in more than 100 pages of documents released last week as part of the landmark nuclear accord reached between Iran and six world powers.’


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 10:58 pm @ 10:58 pm

  16. Sorry, Fred, but when you invoke Scooter Libby as an expert on Iran — a convicted felon who helped lead us into Iraq — we really are done here.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 11:01 pm @ 11:01 pm

  17. Hey readers.. Lex has a long list ( maybe a hundred or more } of bright, intelligent, syndicated columnists, best selling authors, articulate, patriotic individuals who when their names are associated with any debate he immediately closes his mind and says end of discussion. Yet he has no trouble trusting completely the Soros and Alliance For America funded Media Matters founded by David Brock a left wing journalist and political activist ( who at one point in his sleazy career was a Clinton critic )

    For the record the Alliance for America does not itself raise and spend a great deal of money. Rather, being a partner in the Alliance requires one to contribute large amounts to other left-wing groups. The Alliance evaluates left-wing organizations on various criteria, and makes recommendations to its members as to where they should put their money. Currently, the Alliance lists 21 groups in its “Aligned Network”: America Votes, American Constitution Society, Black Civic Engagement Fund, Brennan Center, Catalist, Center for American Progress, Center for Community Change, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Common Purpose Project, Fund for the Republic, Latino Engagement Fund, Media Matters for America, New Media Ventures, New Organizing Institute, Organizing For Action, Progressive Majority, Progress Now, State Engagement Initiative, State Voices, Women’s Equality Center and Youth Engagement Fund.

    Yeah, we are done here.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, July 23, 2015 6:25 pm @ 6:25 pm

  18. UPDATE: Kerry got fleeced

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, July 24, 2015 2:18 pm @ 2:18 pm

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