And it goes on…

18 Dec 2014 06:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Despite it having been decided among the Very Serious People™, which includes those august fathers of reasonable discourse otherwise known as the editorial board of the Denver Post, that this whole “war on women” is naught but a bunch of hysterical frippery:

And contrary to (Mark) Udall’s tedious refrain, (Cory) Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

A state legislator in Missouri introduced a bill requiring a woman to get signed and notarized permission from the man who impregnated her before she can have an abortion.

Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year’s legislative session. The proposed measure reads, “No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.”

The bill contains exceptions for women who become pregnant as the result of rape or incest—but there are caveats.

“Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it,” Brattin tells Mother Jones. “So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”

Good thing we were just imagining that war on us, amirite? Also, too, nice touch with the “legitimate rape”, Rick Brattin, considering how you are from Missouri, which is where Todd Akin uh, practiced his love on women across that land.

And thanks to the Very Serious People™, for declaring that the “war on women” is a joke. Thanks to you, the very real war on women has gained steam. Good job.

David Koch pretends to be a decent person, fails miserably

16 Dec 2014 12:36 pm
Posted by: Donna

Barbara Walters finds David Koch to be one of 2014′s “most fascinating” people. I find him to be an insufferable libertarian douchewaffle. I see nothing fascinating about him at all and lord knows I’ve been trapped in so many tedious conversations with his ilk for the past twenty some odd years. Decide for yourself who is right here:

More ABC News Videos | ABC World News

Koch, along with his brother Charles, spends obscene amounts of money influencing elections, which has included a boatload of cash to anti-choice and anti-LGBT groups. But David told Barbara Walters that he’s “socially liberal”.

“I’m basically a libertarian and I’m a conservative on economic matters, and I’m a social liberal,” Koch responded.

Walters then asked Koch why he uses his wealth to elect socially conservative candidates if he supports gay rights and a woman’s right to choose.

“Well, that’s their problem. I do have those views,” he said.

“What I want these candidates to do is to support a balanced budget,” he added. “I’m very worried that if the budget is not balanced that inflation could occur and the economy of our country could suffer terribly.”

It’s all a big misunderstanding, you see, this notion people have that the Koch brother are a pair of big old culture war reactionaries! Actually, that’s not quite right:

Helping to drive the right-wing offensive in the states and in Congress is a network of deep-pocketed business titans convened by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States. Like the Kochs themselves, many of the donors in the brothers’ networks signal disinterest in fighting against women’s rights or LGBTQ rights, yet anti-choice groups have seen their coffers swell with millions of the network’s dollars.

“If you want to promote a pro-corporate agenda, you’re only going to get so far,” Sue Sturgis, the Durham, North Carolina-based editorial director of the progressive website Facing South, told RH Reality Check. “But when you start weaving in these social issues like abortion and other reproductive rights issues, then you’re gonna appeal to a broader range of people, and a very motivated voting bloc. They will turn out. So it serves your larger cause.”

This approach by the Kochs reminds me of the behavior of two of our dogs toward the vacuum cleaner. Einstein the Corgi hates the vacuum cleaner and flies into a rage the second it is turned on – snarling at, circling, and even biting the machine when he can. Also pees on it any time it is out of the closet unattended. Vacuuming is never acceptable to Einstein, not even to save the life of the floor. If those were legitimate dust bunnies and furballs that floor would have ways to shut that whole thing down as far as Einstein is concerned! Einstein could definitely be said to be a true believer in the anti-vacuuming cause.

Robby the Corgi, on the other hand, joins Einstein in the barking at and biting of the vacuum cleaner. But he also wags his tail the whole time and often lets us run the hose up and down his back while clearly enjoying it. We have a sneaking suspicion that Robby is pro-vacuuming. Nevertheless, both dogs still make vacuuming a giant pain in the ass and we have come to believe that Robby is simply egging Einstein on with the expectation that both will be comforted and get treats once the vacuum cleaner is turned off. Similarly, David Koch can claim he’s pro-choice and pro-gay rights all he wants but the Kochs are still biting and pissing on those rights with bigger teeth and a much bigger bladder than the conservative activists they pander to.

Koch’s interview with Walters has undoubtedly thrilled legions of libertarian dudebros, who will annoy people like me in perpetuity with this bogus “social liberal” claim. (Thanks a lot, Barbara.) But it also shows that even David Koch knows that pro-choice and pro-gay rights stances are popular. Koch’s insistence that he merely wants to get people elected who will “balance the budget” reveals how stupid and dangerous he truly is. Talk of “balancing the budget” from a very wealthy person is hardly an indication of economic wisdom. It is nearly always code for “gutting safety net programs while still extracting taxes and rents from poor people.”

But the deficit scolds aren’t giving up. Now yet another organization, Fix the Debt, is campaigning for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, even while making lower tax rates a “core principle.” That last part makes no sense in terms of the group’s ostensible mission, but makes perfect sense if you look at the array of big corporations, from Goldman Sachs to the UnitedHealth Group, that are involved in the effort and would benefit from tax cuts. Hey, sacrifice is for the little people.

As for the Koch brothers’ vaunted philanthropy – the museums, public TV, universities and whatnot – that just seems to be mainly aimed at indoctrination rather than anything truly helpful. Really, that which would actually improve the lives of poor Americans is anathema to the Kochs. So the next time some obnoxious libertarian pissant tries to argue that the Kochs are “socially liberal”, like that means something, remember that it means exactly nothing. They’re awful human beings because of what they do, despite whatever they say about themselves.

Tom Horne plays doctor

15 Dec 2014 03:47 pm
Posted by: Donna

Some good news for reproductive rights in Arizona, and elsewhere, from the Supreme Court:

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning rejected a bid by attorneys for the state to overturn a federal appellate court ruling which had concluded the limits illegally infringe on the constitutional right of women to terminate a pregnancy. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

The law in question was one signed by Governor Brewer in 2012, which prohibited off-label use of the abortion drug RU-486. Off-label use is common for a wide variety of medications but anti-choicers, being relentless about using dishonest tactics to make abortions hard to get, ignored that to push for a law that would make using RU-486 more inconvenient to access and limit the time it was available for use.

The 2012 law deals with RU-486, technically known as mifepristone, for medication abortions. It is given in combination with misoprostol, which is taken at home 24 to 48 hours later to ensure that the fetus is expelled. Doctors said they have determined that combination in certain doses is effective in terminating a pregnancy through the ninth week.

The law, however, says any medication used to induce abortion must be administered “in compliance with the protocol authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” And the company’s FDA-approved labeling for the drug says RU-486 can be used only for the first seven weeks – and only when given in two doses on separate days, each one administered by a physician.

Outgoing Arizona Attorney General and amateur gynecologist Tom Horne expressed disappointment in the decision because it disallows him to practice his love on women across the land.

Potentially more significant, the judges said attorneys for the state never provided any evidence to show the restrictions were necessary to protect the health of women.

Attorney General Tom Horne argued the appellate judges missed the point. He said the Legislature is legally entitled to decide that doctors have to follow FDA labeling, and that courts should defer to that decision.

“You shouldn’t be able to say that we’re being constitutionally unreasonable for following an FDA protocol,” he said.

Consistency would demand banning all off-label prescriptions if that were the case but don’t hold your breath on something like that ever happening. Tom Horne or Cathi Herrod might need, say, a blood pressure medication that works better prescribed differently than the original FDA protocol and that would be perfectly appropriate to them since that would be a legitimate health need. Once you understand that abortion, and increasingly anything having to do with women regulating their reproduction, is not considered health care to the right wing prude brigade, their actions make a weird kind of sense.

The Arizona GOP had one job in 2014, and Robert Graham muffed it

12 Dec 2014 06:00 am
Posted by: Donna

The AZ GOP sent out a strange message that looks like a cross between their Chairman Robert Graham spiking the football post election and some sage advice for the AZ Democrats.

Ten Reasons Arizona Democrats are Disenchanted
Arizona Democrats suffered crippling losses in the 2014 election, failing on an even grander scale than in their 2010 and 2012 losses. In addition to losing a congressional seat and falling short, again, in efforts to win a single statewide office, one must explore how the party that promised the world ended up delivering nothing, and then some. After repeated disasters at the polls Democrats must be pretty disenchanted. Could their demise have been prevented? Let’s take a look.

1. Democrats thought they had an advantage at the beginning of the primaries. Democrats went into the 2014 primary election confident that they could finally take a significant hold on statewide seats and even win some in the legislature. What they ended up with was a nonexistent primary process, substandard and untested candidates, heavy debt, and an inability to mobilize their party’s voters. While some liberals were clearly excited about Fred DuVal, his lifelong career as a special interest lobbyist was not something Arizona voters thought would make him a good governor.

2. Democrat Fred DuVal had little support from independent groups.
Fred DuVal was only able to rack up one-eighth of the spending independent groups used to contact voters. Apparently everyone loves a winner, and those groups seemed to know DuVal was weak from the start. Polls early and late in the game showed that reality, and of course no amount of spending can rescue a candidate widely expected to lose by double digits.

3. Democrats had an underwhelming primary. Untested candidates means an unenthusiastic electorate. Even the media had little to report during the Democrats’ process of secretly hand-picking nominees, and no publicity in a statewide election means doom. Everyone likes a good fight, even within the party. Democrats could only find one candidate for the biggest seat in the state. Republicans, in contrast, were able to watch a thoroughly competitive primary involving six candidates have a healthy discussion about the issues. In addition, Democrats handed the treasurer’s seat over to the Republicans by failing to produce a nominee.

4. The Democrat Party was in persistent debt while Robert Graham outperformed in fundraising for the AZGOP. The Arizona Democrat Party began 2014 with $7,000 in cash and $68,000 of debt. Under Graham’s leadership the AZGOP began 2014 with $193,000 cash on hand and no debt. Graham was prepared, responsible, and effective as a fundraiser well in advance of the election and was more than ready to fund voter registration, research, and party building activities to help our nominees succeed.

5. Democrats went into 2014 after stinging losses from 2012.
Though not as bad as 2014, 2012 was still a bad year for Democrats in Arizona. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won Arizona by nearly ten points against Barack Obama. That same cycle, Richard Carmona lost against Jeff Flake in the Senate election. These major losses resulted in disappointment among Arizonan Democrats, and it was too much to ask for Democrats to come into 2014 with wounds from the 2012 election still fresh.

6. Diane Douglas. When Arizona Republicans vote, they’re thorough. Every statewide GOP candidate emerged with a victory and a four-year term. Diane Douglas, our new Superintendent of Public Instruction, is proof that every vote counts in a close race. And to her credit, she won the nomination against an incumbent through her hard work, dedication, and education policies that voters connected with. Not to mention the support of voters who equated Common Core with Obama’s heavy-handed mandates.

7. Barack Obama. When you hold the White House, you’re tempted to think that means everything. But on every issue the Democrat ideology failed to capture the hearts of Americans. From Benghazi and immigration, to ObamaCare and the national debt, the Obama Administration failed to deliver upon its promise of a new, liberal nation. Democrat voters were frustrated, betrayed, and unwilling to be pawns again. Ignored by their party after losing Arizona by ten points in 2012, Arizona Democrats had nowhere to go on election day and apparently just stayed home.

8. Voter registration advantages are nearly impossible to overcome. In 2012 there were 168,000 more Republicans in Arizona than Democrats. Another two additional years under the Obama Administration, where voters saw first-hand the implementation of the tax-hiking and health-undermining ObamaCare, the spread jumped to 178,000. Republican candidates nationally clamored to win back the U.S. Senate, and in Arizona candidates readied for their push back on the unconstitutional mandates coming from Washington. Republicans gained a net increase in registration over Democrats.

9. Republicans turned out. The most important reason Republicans were able to sweep the entire state is because their voters turned out. Unfortunately for Democrats, Republicans were not plagued by indifference or malaise. GOP voters excitingly turned in their early ballots or went to the polls. Enthusiasm resonated within the party and Republican turnout was significantly higher than Democrat turnout. Maricopa County, home to more than 60 percent of Arizona’s voters, saw a turnout of 45 percent for Republicans with Democrats and Independents lagging far behind at 28 percent.

10. Republicans take nothing for granted. Time will tell whether a series of increasingly harsh losses will affect Democrats’ future performances in Arizona politics. For now, Arizona Republicans led by Chairman Robert Graham will take nothing for granted and will work as hard and as long as they ever have to restore and maintain conservative leadership in this state.

Some of those things are simply observations that I or any other engaged Democrat would agree with while others are Robert Graham desperately flailing to take credit for Republican successes in which he had little to no part, in advance of next month’s reorganization where he faces opposition for State Chair.

Graham’s bragging about fundraising by the AZ GOP is especially laughable since the party raised a pittance for the 2014 election in comparison to the actual amount of money that flowed in from outside groups (over $27 million, most of which went to help Republicans). GOP statewide candidates needed no help from the state party and most of the legislative ones were safely positioned for election or reelection. Which leads me to the major failure that Robert Graham really does not want you, and by “you” I mean “members of the Arizona Republican State Committee” to pay attention to.

Election night was basically a bloodbath for Democrats in Arizona but I managed to find one silver lining on that dreadful night. As I noted to Mark as we morosely drove home from the Renaissance, “You know, it’s really gotta suck to be Shawnna Bolick tonight.”

Bolick was the Republican candidate for LD28 House, in a district with a not-insignificant Republican registration advantage, challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Eric Meyer, who ended up winning his fourth term for that seat by the best margin he ever had; it was the first time he was elected outright on election night without having to wait days for ballots to be counted. It’s puzzling that in what was looking to be such a rout of the Democrats that the AZ GOP didn’t devote more of the resources Graham claims credit for toward that race, considering how Dr. Meyer is now going to be the House Minority Leader. Oops.

I could also say that Graham choked on Ethan Orr (R-Tucson), who lost his reelection race for the House to Dr. Randall Friese (D), but I’ll sport him that one since it ended up being so close. But there’s no excuse for the LD28 loss. Graham had one job in 2014, and he sucked at it. I hope he gets reelected as Chair next month.

The need for rape victims to be “perfect” hurts all survivors

11 Dec 2014 06:00 am
Posted by: Donna

By now you’ve probably read or heard about the roundly excoriated Rolling Stone article examining the problem of rape on college campuses. They focused on the University of Virginia and on one victim in particular, Jackie, who told a shocking story of being gang-raped after accompanying a man on a date to a frat party. Unfortunately, writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely made some serious errors in her reporting, chief among them failing to vet some of the details of Jackie’s claims, such as the fraternity where she alleges her attack took place and the employment of the young man at the center of the account at the pool where Jackie was a lifeguard.

I will not be joining the chorus of voices declaring it to be a settled matter that Jackie fabricated the entire thing since she continues to maintain that she was assaulted and her roommate at the time also insists that she was. Human memory is notoriously faulty about mundane things and a traumatic experience can cause a person to be more, not less, likely to have a poor recollection of events.

I know that from first-hand experience. I was a lawyer before becoming a journalist, and I worked with refugees and other trauma victims. That taught me that it is incredibly difficult for traumatized people to tell an accurate story, even if they are trying to do so. There are many reasons for this. In severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder can cause memory loss, or make the true details of stories too painful to recount. One client of mine would shut down physically when asked to recount certain events, falling into a narcoleptic sleep mid-sentence. Another time, a woman I was interviewing about her sexual assault suffered a mental break and regressed to childhood, begging me to bring her to her long-dead mother.

Even in less severe cases, people’s stories often contained errors or omissions. Dates would be wrong. Sometimes people would mistakenly name the wrong group as being responsible for persecuting them. Clients would focus on some facts and leave out others. All of that could easily have been reason to doubt the entire story, but when I checked the fundamental facts involved against other evidence — medical records, news stories, sometimes even the accounts of the perpetrators themselves — they would turn out to be true.

Clearly, the fault lies with Rolling Stone for not doing their due diligence and not with Jackie for being unable to recall, perfectly, an event she alleges to have happened two years ago after which she did not press charges and then became severely depressed. And because I don’t think the staff of RS are a bunch of terrible people spinning lies to get eyeballs, I’m going to offer my own theory on why they were so enamored of Jackie’s story as opposed to the many other accounts from UVa students claiming they were assaulted. It emerges in the very first paragraph of the article:

Sipping from a plastic cup, Jackie grimaced, then discreetly spilled her spiked punch onto the sludgy fraternity-house floor. The University of Virginia freshman wasn’t a drinker, but she didn’t want to seem like a goody-goody at her very first frat party – and she especially wanted to impress her date, the handsome Phi Kappa Psi brother who’d brought her here. Jackie was sober but giddy with discovery as she looked around the room crammed with rowdy strangers guzzling beer and dancing to loud music.

Jackie claimed to be sober. It’s not hard to see why the writer would latch onto that aspect of her story since it is probably difficult to find campus rape victims (or those in any environment teeming with unchaperoned teens and young adults) who had not consumed alcohol or drugs, willingly or not. Drunk or drugged victims are assumed to be unreliable witnesses at best, and often culpable in their own assaults if they voluntarily indulged.

If you don’t believe that consider Megan Carpentier’s gobsmacking account of being sexually assaulted by a man who broke into her home.

At least, I am not a victim of sexual assault according to the commonwealth of Virginia. Jesus Rivera, aka Vladamir Marroquin-Rivera, pleaded guilty to just two charges on 29 July 2008: one count of misdemeanor unlawful entry and one count of felony cocaine possession. He was released from the state’s custody four months to the day after the police rushed into my apartment and found this man as he masturbated into my underwear while I stood there, sobbing.

Do I have to tell you what preceded that injustice for you believe that I was sexually assaulted? Should I have to tell you about hearing something go bump –bump bump thump – in the night, about this man holding me up by my armpits and marching me around like a Raggedy Ann doll into my own bedroom until I cracked my shins on the bed frame? About saying no – no no no, over and over again – as I tried to squirm away, about trying to reason with my attacker to stop, or about how he looked right through me, like I wasn’t making any noise at all?

Do you need me to show you where the bad man touched me for you to believe my story?

I know – like most victims of sexual assault know – that it might not matter, that you still wouldn’t believe, even if I did tell you all of those terrible, terribly private and violating things and more (and maybe especially if I told you more). I told all of the things to the cops at my apartment and, heaving, wrote them down for two more cops in a dark, quiet room at Inova Fairfax Hospital while waiting for the nurse to come to perform my rape kit. I told them to a detective the following week at a long table in a bright conference room at the police department. I told the terrible things to two female prosecutors later that spring when I was 30 years old and, when I finished, they asked me, “How do you know you didn’t invite him in?”

The prosecutors explained to me that I wasn’t a very good victim: I had been drunk, I had been out with a group of male friends the night before, I had a “complicated” social life, I didn’t remember everything clearly enough. Rivera’s lawyer, they told me, would argue that I’d invited him in, even though the cops found his fingerprints on the screen pried off my kitchen window and on the windowsill inside my home. His lawyer, they said, would try to convince the jury that he’d just been a good Samaritan, helping a drunk woman get to bed.

So, ladies, if you’ve been drinking and aren’t a virgin you can be raped in your own damn home by a stranger who broke in and left evidence of having done that and won’t be considered enough of a “good victim” for the prosecutors to pursue justice for you. (I’m generally loath to give advice to rape victims but Carpentier’s piece makes me break from that: If you have been sexually assaulted, get your own lawyer if you possibly can. Do not count on the state prosecutor to look out for your interests.)

Because everything is so heavily weighted against rape victims to begin with, it might be tempting to seek out the most “perfect” victim you can find to call attention to the problem of rape but that does not make it a good idea to do that. Survivors tend to be imperfect people who do perfectly normal things, like drink and have sex lives. Sex workers, who generally don’t find much sympathy in the general public, experience the highest rates of sexual assault. So when the story of the “perfect” sober victim has discrepancies, what does that mean for her less-than-perfect counterparts?

Jackie says that she wanted to be taken out of the RS story. If that is true, then they should have taken her out of it then and there. There was no point in pressing her when there were so many other victims who had their own stories to tell.

The “establishment” should have been more careful about what they wished, and worked, for

09 Dec 2014 07:07 pm
Posted by: Donna

All In With Chris Hayes on the bind that traditional GOP big donors are in due to new campaign finance rules:

As Hayes and a later panel with guests explained, the post-Citizens United reality means that “bundlers”, the wealthy, connected lawyers, lobbyists, and business types who have wielded electoral power for decades by shaking down multiple contributions, are penny ante compared to billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers, who have the ability to funnel piles of money directly wherever they want.

The Republican “establishment” is worried about that now, as they rightly should be. But if they weren’t exactly eager to open the floodgates to the kind of unlimited campaign contributions with no transparency we have now, didn’t they still do their utmost put the conditions in place for that to happen? Getting George W. Bush installed so he could nominate business-friendly Supreme Court Justices. Check. Gutting public financing of elections. Check. Relentlessly pushing for tax cuts and derugulation. Check, and check.

Then, of course, there is Citizens United, which many country club Republicans in Arizona supported, as well as substantially increasing campaign contribution limits. Those things were supposed to increase the “free speech” of sensible business leaders and enable them to have even more control over elections, which (having Clean Elections mostly out of the way) would lead to moderate, business-focused Republicans getting elected in primaries. While it’s debatable that did happen in a few legislative districts, it takes an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance to believe that the exorbitant sums of money spent on our statewide races (mostly for Republican candidates) have ushered in a utopia of temperate governance.

Some have made valiant efforts to persuade themselves that Doug Ducey et al won’t be a nightmare. On the TV election night coverage I heard several pundits repeat Ducey’s mantra of his business expertise and desire to bring “broad coalitions” together. Which is looking to be the horseshit I’ve always believed it to be, judging from Ducey’s picks to run his administration, such as Koch’d up Kirk Adams as Chief of Staff. Seriously, I don’t think Ducey could communicate better to the world that he will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kochs than that. Bob Robb of the Republic thinks Ducey is preparing to “do some unpopular things” but pretends that it will be about carefully and shrewdly balancing the budget. Robb dares not let on that there’s a strong possibility that Ducey will either immediately or incrementally inject shock doctrine economics into Arizona, as Sam Brownback did in Kansas.

And should that happen, I predict that the establishment types will continue to flail about helplessly, whining about Clean Elections and primaries a) because they’ll never admit that they helped bring this on themselves and b) because they’ll have to suck up to the new Governor in the hope that he’ll care about their piddly problems.

Some people cling to the belief that Eric Garner was killed by everything but the cops who killed him

05 Dec 2014 08:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Rep. Steve King (R-NY) told CNN that Eric Garner’s death was caused by his obesity and not by the choke hold administered by five Staten Island cops.

“You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible,” King said in an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died from this. The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition.”

The confrontation between Pantaleo and Garner was also caught on video that showed Garner repeatedly telling the officer he couldn’t breathe. King said police hear that kind of thing all the time.

“But if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk,” he argued.

Wow, one hopes that if someone in Rep. King’s vicinity tells him they can’t breathe that he doesn’t respond by calmly informing them that they are, in fact, breathing since they can talk so stop whining. A person saying “I can’t breathe!” is in a state of medical distress. And it’s worth noting that Eric Garner did, in fact, die from, you know, not being able to breathe from the choke hold the five cops who held him down put him in. The New York City medical examiner agrees:

It was a homicide — and the chokehold killed him.

Eric Garner, the Staten Island dad who complained that he couldn’t breathe as he was subdued by cops, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner said Friday.

The autopsy also found that compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide.

You’d think that would be the end of that but there is nothing (aside from war crimes or military hazing) that brings out the inner Colonel Jessup of some people quite like the killing of unarmed black and brown people by police officers. When I put the Peter King piece up on Facebook and commented about the absurdity of his “obesity” claim, most commenters agreed with me (because I proudly shout into an echo chamber most of the time) but I did have one Facebook friend who wanted to play Devil’s Advocate.

I’m going to list the excuses he made, which may seem unfair since I and others argued with him but, fuck it, it’s my blog and it really doesn’t matter how we responded to him. If you’re Facebook friends with me, you can go to my wall and see the discussion for yourself. If not, I promise that his remarks stand on their own. So here we go:

On Garner’s 32nd arrest on the same sidewalk by the same police department he has an asthma attack, and nobody used his breathalizer to revive him? C’mon, cops did not know about his health risk.

Garner did not ask for his breathalizer like someone with asthma does when they can’t breathe. So how were the cops suppose to know what was wrong with him?

His heart attack happened minutes later, in the ambulance. He was unconscience but breathing at the scene, CPR wasn’t needed there.

32nd arrest at the same location for the same crime? Three hundred+ calls to the police by local businesses and customers. Someone felt threatened/harassed by this guy.

He had an asthma attack during the arrest. Same choking hold on non asthmatic person would not have killed that person.

Officer never had more than one second hold around Garner’s neck at any time on the video. He kept changing his arm positions. Had Garner by the jaw, then his throat, then hi shoulder.

MMA and WWE fighting has more dangerous choke holds than the officer had on Garner, see anyone die from those?

If you do not believe Garner’s asthma attack was the main reason he died, then you are out of touch with reality.

Sure, happens all the time! What causes an asthma attack is high blood pressure/ stressful physical activity. XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX, a classmate of ours nearly died twice from asthma attacks without anybody touching him, just scaring him in normal horsing around, scared the crap out of us, but both times he screamed for his breathilizer.

XXXX XXXXXXXX another of our classmates died from an asthma attack and followup heart attack when he was being chased by some kids at Marivue Park, remember?

So, if Garner was not breaking the law, the cops would not have been called, and he would be alive today, Monica

At one point I did ask if my Facebook friend thought that the coroner, who declared Eric Garner’s death to be a homicide after examining his body, was full of shit.

No, Donna, my education and experience in law enforcement, with Red Cross Safety training, Workshops in restraining suspect training says the coroner in this case is full of shit.

Okey dokey.

And who can speak when they can’t breathe? Try it out, hear how you sound, then compare that with the video. Garner way too clearly speaking, made it hard for the officers to believe him.

Coroner also said asthma attack and obesity contributed to Garner’s death. When a Coroner cannot place an exact time of occurance, like if Garner’s asthma attack happened before, during, or after the arrest, it is standard practice to list as contributing factor instead of main cause, which the grand jury received a full detailed explanation of.

Did the officers take down Garner Like they thought he was healthy or a health risk? Obviously the officers thought Garner was an able bodied, healthy person. So much for intent to murder him. Accidental, negligent maybe, but not murder.

Well, here in Arizona, cops are trained to ask the suspect if they need/have any medications/breathers in these types of situations, so you all can take it easy in our police. I have no idea why none of Garner’s arresting officers asked if he needed his meds/breather. Guess why the NYC Police Departments are getting a three day retraining workshop.

I can’t believe Garner did not ask for his breather. Standard asthma patient training.

I can’t believe Garner sold his cigarettes on the sidewalk in front of the store he bought them from.

I can’t believe Garner survived eight previous chokehold arrests but not this one.

I can’t believe Garner had just broke up a fight.

I can’t believe Garner did not have an asthma attack while breaking up a fight between teenagers, but couldn’t breathe when under arrest. Starting to smell fishy.

Note that he was talking about someone who died there.

Here he is, scolding us for using the phrase “death penalty” to describe Eric Garner’s death.

Since the death penalty was not administered, a take down was, there is no validity to indict any of the officers. Prove intent to kill for officer indictment. That did not happen during grand jury testimony, so no indictment. Deal with it!

Why didn’t the Officers or EMT’s perform a tracheotomy if they knew Garner had an asthma attack?

Because Garner was breathing the entire seven minutes til the ambulance arrived.

Which of the four videos are you basing your entire opinion on? CNN has shown two so far, grand jury saw four, FYI. Second video has witnesses asking cops why they didn’t administer CPR, oxygen, and they replied “He’s breathing, been breathing the whole time.”

Well at least Obama, Holder, and Sharpton are with you guys.

My Facebook interlocutor had an abundance of reasons why Garner deserved to die, none of which make any sense, considering what the coroner said.


Eric Garner, the Staten Island dad who complained that he couldn’t breathe as he was subdued by cops, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner said Friday.

The autopsy also found that compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide

But hey, Al Sharpton.