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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stories to Watch: 2/19/14

The #WalkerDocs shows a media coverup of a death of "Cindy Anczak, the woman who starved to death in a county mental health facility" while Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive. According to The Progressive, "[Club for Growth consultant] R.J. Johnson sarcastically notes that the family chose to sue close to the election. However, the documents had not yet been officially filed, so Walker himself chimes in and says the lawsuit should not be made public. 'Keep it buried until Nov. 2nd and then hopefully they settle,' replies chief of staff Keith Gilkes." The aide the emails come from thought the death wouldn't be a problem, since "nobody cares about crazy people."

What was Team Walker's response to the death of that patient? He fired a doctor. Not because she had anything to do with it, but because she once had a gig modeling thongs. Priorities.

Also in the #WalkerDocs, what Buzzfeed calls a "highly racist email" containing a racist joke that should manage to piss off just about everyone other than straight white Anglo-Saxon protestant Republicans who aren't in wheelchairs. Seriously, it hits pretty much all of the intolerant bases. And it's not even remotely funny. It's like the whole point of the joke is to offend as many people as possible. These are terrible, terrible people.

All in all, there's a lot of pretty damning stuff in the #WalkerDocs. More than I'd expected actually. Slate blogger Dave Weigel say the whole thing could "haunt Walker into his 2014 election and beyond" and that his Democratic opponent in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race, Mary Burke, "now has ample ammunition." Weigel's headline for this piece: "This Could Be the Start of Scott Walker’s Bridgegate." So yeah, he's taking it seriously. The Wisconsin governor's race may not be in the bag quite yet, but you can definitely stop worrying about the prospect of "President Scott Walker" now.

Kansas may have balked from becoming the worst state in the union for the human rights of LGBT people, but Idaho may be willing to take up the cause.

Ukrainians may get respite from violence and unrest, as President Viktor Yanukovych agrees to a truce with opposition leaders. Whether this is a lasting peace or just a breather remains to be seen.

A Pennsylvania couple gets three and a half  to seven years in prison for praying over their 8-month-old son rather than seeking treatment for his entirely treatable pneumonia. That's not the worst part, believe it or not. The worst is that Herbert and Catherine Schaible are repeat offenders: their son Kent, then 2 years old, died exactly the same way. This is where anti-science leads, people -- a preference for witch doctor bullshit over actual, proven, working solutions. Even when the witch doctor bullshit fails.

Why does CNN keep having known racist Frank Taaffe on to defend George Zimmerman?

Only on Fox News: their whizbang legal analyst says that violent video games and legal abortion can turn women into Satanic killers. How can anyone watch this crap and think, "Yup, that sounds legit to me"?

Finally, the coal industry keeps discovering exciting new ways to pollute West Virginia's water.

[cartoon via Wisconsin State Journal]

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