Friday, April 13, 2012

Oklahoma State Senator Justifies Need For ‘Open Carry’ Gun Law Due To Threat From Wild Turkeys

In Oklahoma, state lawmakers are poised to enact an “open carry” law which would allow residents with a permit to display their guns in grocery stores, libraries, and anywhere else in public. The measure is expected to be passed by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma law currently requires that people must generally conceal their handguns. In 2010, then-Gov. Brad Henry (D) vetoed an open carry bill because state police expressed concern that it would make it hard for them “to distinguish criminals from law-abiding citizens.” Keith Barenberg, the president of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, maintains his concern: “Law-enforcement officers will be that much more jumpy and nervous if they see a gun.” And such confrontations could lead to loss of innocent life. As Norman McNickle, president of the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs, put it: “How does the first arriving officers know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? It makes their job exponentially harder.”

Proponents of the “open carry” legislation, like Tim Gillespie, director of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, claim the measure is necessary because “we live in a dangerous world.” So dangerous, according to Republican state Senator Ralph Shortey, that people need the open display of guns to help fend off attacks from wild turkeys:

During committee discussions, Shortey argued that he shouldn’t be required to pay fees and get a license to carry a weapon. Here’s how he justified that:

“I was in oil and gas,” Shortey said. “I was out on a lease at one time and I got attacked by a turkey. Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person. And so I beat it with a club. That was all I could do.

“I wish that I had a gun with me,” he said. “And I started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn’t want to get attacked by a mountain lion. Turkeys are bad enough.”

The Tulsa World opined, “Open-carry is needed to protect us from enraged turkeys? Seriously?” The editoral joked, “Maybe Oklahoma’s stand your ground law covers turkey attacks.”

Sen. Shortey is full of “asinine” ideas. As ThinkProgress noted earlier this year, Shortey introduced a ludicrous and unnecessary bill that would prohibit the manufacturing and sale of food “which contains aborted human fetuses.” He also has proposed legislation to “abolish the state Court of Criminal Appeals and…to eliminate the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s power to review the constitutionality of laws.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rick Santorum: Single mothers are 'breeding more criminals'

For a guy who's still whining about being typecast as the social issues guy, Rick Santorum sure spews a lot of incendiary and attention-grabbing (not to mention hateful) stuff on social issues. Like the scourge of single mothers.
"Most people agree a continuation of the current [welfare] system will be the ruination of this country," Santorum told a town meeting in Clairton, Pa., in February 1994, according to transcripts of the appearance obtained by Mother Jones. "We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms." [...]

[...] One month later, at an appearance in Erie, Pa., Santorum framed welfare reform as a public safety issue. "What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals," he said.

None of which is new for Santorum, this Mother Jones article points out. Back when he was in Congress he introduced legislation that not only would have required single mothers to work 35 hours a week as a condition of receiving benefits, it would have denied benefits to women who couldn't or wouldn't identify the father of their child and to teen moms. At least he's not trying to sell himself as a compassionate conservative.

Why does he have such a laser-like focus on single mothers?

In October he told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins that single moms are "the political base of the Democratic party." He continued, "Why? Because it's so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they're going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two-parent families; you eliminate that desire for government."
There you have it. His relentless war on women is all about beating Democrats and shrinking the size of government. He wants it just big enough to fit in a uterus.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

VIDEO: The GOP’s Racial Politics

VIDEO: The GOP’s Racial Politics: pOur guest blogger is former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), president of Center for American Progress Action Fund. From the subtle to the sickening, this Republican primary season has seen a normalizing of racist and racially-coded language. It was not so long ago that the chairman of the Republican National Committee apologized for his party’s history [...]/p

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers: pThe last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the U.S. But one North Carolina Republican believes that as a country we’ve grown soft since banning public hangings and [...]/p

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santorum tells Iowans: ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives better

By Stephen C. WebsterMonday, January 2, 2012

Speaking to Republicans in Iowa on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said his administration would reform welfare to the point that it would offer no welfare at all.
After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”
“I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families,” he added. “The best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling.”
One thing he likely overlooked: white Americans account for the largest percentage of welfare payments each month, mostly because they make up the largest sector of the population.
Welfare is defined by the government as benefits funded by tax dollars, meaning that programs like Social Security, food stamps, veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment and corporate bailouts all fall under that term.
What Santorum seemed to focus on, as many conservatives do, is that black people are disproportionately represented in welfare statistics, along with Latinos, as both populations have much higher rates of poverty than whites.
According to the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were living in poverty in 2010, compared to 9.9 percent of whites. Unemployment statistics between the racial demographics are similarly skewed.
Despite the factually flawed nature of Santorum’s pitch on Monday, the underlying logic of his pitch is abundantly clear: census data shows that over 91 percent of Iowans are white, a community Santorum must desperately appeal to if he wants a win in Tuesday’s caucuses.