Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Wednesday Oh’s and Woes

port: Arizona is one of ‘worst’ states for gun violence

By Nathan O’Neal

Surrounded by reminders of those who were lost at a Tucson Safeway back in January 2011, survivors of the Tucson shooting gathered to push for tougher gun laws and universal background checks.

“Why are we even discussing this?” said Pam Simon, who was shot at an event for former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, adding: “Frankly it makes me angry… Why should congress be debating this? It is absolutely common sense.”

Survivors were joined by city and state leaders to introduce a report released by the Center for American Progress. The comprehensive state-by-state report analyzes gun violence nationwide.

Feinstein: NRA intimidation weakens weapons reform

By Lisa Leff

The National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers are to blame for the “disconnect” between the broad public support for gun control and the reluctance in Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday.

Speaking to a hometown audience of about 500 people in San Francisco, the California Democrat said the NRA has intimidated senators with threats that the gun lobby would spend heavily to unseat them if they support the restrictions Feinstein championed in response to the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“A fear has set in that if they vote for the bill they won’t be re-elected. It’s that plain, it’s that simple,” Feinstein said during an appearance before the Commonwealth Club. “My view is they shouldn’t go up to the Senate if they are unwilling to stand up and vote.”

Federal judge who sent racist Obama email says he will retire

By Kim Murphy

The former chief federal judge in Montana has decided to retire at the conclusion of a misconduct investigation into a racist email about President Obama he forwarded to friends from his work computer last year.

U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, who had taken less-active senior status on the bench after the incident, will retire in May, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ chief judge, Alex Kozinski, said in a statement.

The decision follows an appeals court inquiry into the email controversy that involved interviews with Cebull and others and a review of “voluminous” documentation, including emails, Kozinski said.

New prosecutors named to Texas Aryan Brotherhood prison gang probe

By Chris Francescani

Authorities named a new lead prosecutor on Wednesday in the 2012 indictment of 34 suspected members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang after the previous head of the case abruptly quit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman stepped aside on Tuesday in the wake of the second killing of a Texas prosecutor in two months. While investigators have not named a suspect or person of interest in the twin killings, crime experts identified the Aryan Brotherhood as a group that would come under suspicion.

Defense attorneys notified about Hileman’s withdrawal cited unspecified security concerns, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hyundai, Kia recall 1.7 million vehicles for electronic defects

By Ronald D. White

The Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are conducting a recall of more than 1.7 million vehicles – including the bestselling Elantra – to correct electronic defects.

Hyundai said that one of the problems involved 1.1 million vehicles with brake light switches that may malfunction.

The potential problem could also result in cruise control not disengaging and other potential risks that might increase the risk of a crash, the automaker said Wednesday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Australia’s example in healing the sexually abused

Christian Science Monitor

On Wednesday, Australia set an example for the world by opening an official inquiry that will allow people who were sexually abused as children in institutions to finally tell their stories.

At least 5,000 Australians are expected to be heard by the commission, many of them able to recount their experiences in private before the six-member panel. They will shed light on a half century of abuse in orphanages, churches, schools, detention centers, and child-care centers, and groups such as the military, Scouts, and organized sports.

Up until now, many were too ashamed to speak out. Or their stories were neglected by authorities. As children, they suffered for years in silence

Can you hear me now? Cellphone turns 40

By Nidhi Subbaraman

Forty years ago, Martin Cooper, a VP at Motorola, made history by placing the very first cellphone call. Appropriately enough, he called his rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs.

Thirty-three years later, a slightly more theatrical Steve Jobs dialed a Starbucks cafe in San Francisco to order 4,000 lattes, making the first public phone call from the very first iPhone while a hushed auditorium filled with journalists watched.

In between those prank calls, the cellphone morphed from a chunky plastic giant to a slender glass slab that doubles up as a computer and camera.

Hint of Dark Matter Found

By Gautam Naik

A space experiment may have identified a new particle that is the building block of dark matter, the mysterious stuff said to pervade a quarter of the universe that neither emits nor absorbs light.

The results are based on a small amount of data and are far from definitive, scientists said Wednesday. Yet, they provide a provocative hint that the puzzle of dark matter-a cosmic prize as eagerly sought as the now-discovered Higgs boson-may also be on its way to being solved.

The results are the first obtained by a $2 billion particle detector, known as Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, that is mounted on the exterior of the international space station. It collects and identifies charged cosmic rays arriving from the far reaches of space.


  1. Nurse Kelley

    In fact, I have a distinct memory of the first time I saw one. I was with a realtor friend in Houston, looking at houses, when she stopped to make a call. She had to get out of the car on top of a hill to get a signal.

    Forty years later, my cell service is equally bad. 🙂

  2. jlms qkw

    as recently as 8 years ago, i was in verizon territory w/ an at&t phone and couldn’t get reception . . .

    thanks ms. laura fall!  

  3. America Under the Gun – A 50-State Analysis of Gun Violence and Its Link to Weak State Gun Laws

    Any study into the causes of gun violence is necessarily complicated, however, as there are innumerable factors that contribute to the nature and prevalence of gun-related violence in any community.

    Despite this complex web of factors that influence the rate of gun violence, this report finds a clear link between high levels of gun violence and weak state gun laws. Across the key indicators of gun violence that we analyzed, the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have an aggregate level of gun violence that is more than twice as high-104 percent higher, in fact-than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.

  4. slksfca

    …from a progressive point of view, she has been steadfast on this issue. I saw her interviewed on local TV last night and she made me proud.

  5. princesspat

    Quietly and behind the scenes, gun research and regulation has been stymied

    Read more here:

    WASHINGTON – Each year, lawmakers quietly tuck language into spending bills that restricts the ability of the federal government to regulate the firearms industry and combat gun crime.

    It’s the reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can’t research gun violence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation can’t use data to detect firearms traffickers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can’t require background checks on older guns.

    Since the late 1970s, more than a dozen provisions have been added to must-pass spending bills with no hearings, no debate and no vote in a way that’s designed to circumvent the usual legislative process.

    As more information re how the pro gun lobby actually works in Congress becomes available I hope votes awareness will also increase.

  6. Georgia Students Want To Hold The First Integrated Prom In Their High School’s History

    Four students at Wilcox County High School in Georgia want to attend prom together – but under the current setup, they won’t be allowed to unless they throw their own. Wilcox County High School’s proms are still segregated by race. […]

    There will still be two proms this year. Neither proms are financed by or allowed to take place at Wilcox County High School. The students said that when they pushed for one prom, the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom that would allow all students to attend but not stop segregated proms.

  7. Hannity On Rutgers Coach: ‘I Kind Of Like Old-Fashioned Discipline’ (VIDEO)

    I can understand, stop hitting them, maybe,” Hannity said. “But I like the intensity, I like the drive. I like that he’s pushing those kids and that he runs a tight ship. Maybe, maybe we need a little more discipline in society, and maybe we don’t have to be a bunch of wimps for the rest of our lives. My father hit me with a belt, I turned out okay.

    Because athletes should be motivated by their coach cursing at them, throwing things at them and, I suppose, questioning their manhood. Although being gay does not mean being physically weak … I have known gay guys who can lift cars.

    I read an editorial yesterday that suggests that the problem for Rutgers was not that their coach did this but that people found out that he had done it. That universities have not learned from the Penn State “protect the program at all costs” fiasco is a sad commentary.  

  8. These Women Were Murdered After Their Stalkers Acquired A Gun

    Every year, thousands of domestic abusers fall through the cracks of our current background check system, often with tragic consequences for the women they terrorize. The “gun show loophole,” which the Senate is considering closing as part of a gun reform package, allows violent individuals who are banned from buying or owning a gun to easily skip background checks through private sales.

    Technically, under the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, people who have committed a misdemeanor of domestic violence or are the subject of a restraining order are prohibited from buying or owning a gun. Yet it is all too easy for convicted abusers looking to punish or kill their targets to get their hands on weapons. Over 90 percent of female homicide victims are killed by someone they know, and 76 percent of these victims were stalked before their deaths. Guns are the most common weapon used in these murders.

  9. Students Join First Lady Michelle Obama to Plant the White House Kitchen Garden

    First Lady Michelle Obama invited students from across the country to join her today on the South Lawn for what has become a favorite tradition: planting the White House Kitchen Garden. For the fifth year in a row, Mrs. Obama and Let’s Move Executive Director Sam Kass got their hands dirty as they planted the vegetables that will be harvested this summer and enjoyed by the First Family and White House guests, and donated to local charities.

  10. Bob Woodward Describes Dinner With Al Gore As Unpleasant

    … [Woodward said] being with [Al Gore] was “taxing,” and added, “To be really honest, it’s unpleasant.”

    Who the HELL cares what Bob Woodward thinks? He is Celebrity Former Journalist and he and his ilk are exactly what is wrong with journalism. After cashing in on his Watergate creds, he has always cherished his in-group status more than uncovering the truth.

    You know what Al Gore was asking him that made him seem so “taxing” to Mr. “I Know People in Washington” Woodward? He wanted to know why Woodward did not go after Bush for the lies leading up to the Iraq War. I want to know why also.

  11. Texas A&M Student Body President Vetoes Bill That Would Have Taken Funding From Campus LGBT Center

    Texas A&M’s student body president John Claybrook vetoed a bill Wednesday that was originally designed to allow students with religious objections to opt out of funding the university’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Center.

    There was a similar fight over student fees at the UW-Madison where people objected to their fee money going to LGBT groups (and womens groups and Latino groups and left-leaning groups). It went to the Supreme Court which decided that the student fee system was not an affront to the First Amendment. From the Q&A:

    Q: Why did the students file the case?

    A: The students argue that the mandatory segregated fee system forced them to support political and ideological organizations with which they disagree, thus violating their First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association. The students specifically named 18 campus-related organizations to which they objected on political, ideological or religious grounds.

    Q: What is the position of UW-Madison and the Board of Regents?

    A: The use of student fees enables the university to create a public forum for student speech, an essential part of the education process. Since no one is forced to participate in any of the activities, there is no compelled speech issue in violation of First Amendment rights of free speech. The university’s funding facilitates the speech of many groups through a system that even the plaintiffs agree distributes monies on a viewpoint-neutral basis.

    The court ruled in favor of the regents. Here are the groups that the student group did not want to fund:

    Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group, or WISPIRG; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Campus Center; Campus Women’s Center; UW Greens; Madison AIDS Support Network; International Socialist Organization; Ten Percent Society; Progressive Student Network; Amnesty International; United States Student Association; Community Action on Latin America; La Colectiva Cultural de Aztlan; Militant Student Union of the University of Wisconsin; Student Labor Action Coalition; Student Solidarity; Students of National Organization for Women; MADPAC; and Madison Treaty Rights Support Group.

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