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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
August 31, 2015

Boehner 'Deeply Disappointed' That Obama Just Renamed Mt. McKinley

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Monday morning he was "deeply disappointed" by President Barack Obama's decision to rename North America's tallest peak.

Here's his statement in full:

There is a reason President McKinley’s name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy. McKinley served our country with distinction during the Civil War as a member of the Army. He made a difference for his constituents and his state as a member of the House of Representatives and as Governor of the great state of Ohio. And he led this nation to prosperity and victory in the Spanish-American War as the 25th President of the United States. I’m deeply disappointed in this decision.

Obama announced Sunday ahead of a historic visit to Alaska that the mountain's name will revert back to Denali, its traditional Alaska Native name.

August 31, 2015

Legendary Horror Director Wes Craven Dead At 76

Wes Craven, the director of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream," has died at 76. The influential horror master battled with brain cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Craven is one of the past few decades' most recognizable filmmakers, having transformed the slasher movie with the aforementioned box-office triumphs, both of which spawned numerous sequels. "Scream," in particular, is credited with reinvigorating the teen horror film thanks to a tongue-in-cheek script that both parodied and praised the genre.

But long before "Scream" became one of 1996's highest-grossing releases, Craven cemented his status as the influential writer and director of exploitation films like "The Last House on the Left" (1972), "The Hills Have Eyes" (1977) "Swamp Thing" (1982) and "The People Under the Stairs" (1991). He broke from his signature genre with the 1999 drama "Music of the Heart," for which Meryl Streep earned an Oscar nomination, and one of the shorts within the acclaimed 2006 anthology film "Paris, je t'aime." He returned to form with the thriller "Red Eye" (2005), the supernatural box-office dud "My Soul To Take" (2010) and the long-anticipated fourth installment in the "Scream" franchise (2011). At the time of his death, the Craven-produced MTV series based on "Scream" was days away from airing its Season 1 finale.

Craven was born in 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in a strict Baptist family. He earned a Master's degree in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins University. He taught college briefly before abandoning academia for the world of cinema, rapidly establishing himself as an auteur who imbued his chilling films with questions about the nature of everyday existence. But Craven said in a 2009 interview that his horror legacy was pure "coincidence," as his debut film, "The Last House on the Left," came about after he and producer Sean S. Cunningham were approached by financiers to make a scary drive-in feature. The rest of his career channeled a singular vision that can be defined by Skeet Ulrich's quote in "Scream": "Movies don't create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative."


August 31, 2015

Liz Cheney: The ‘gratitude’ Americans feel for my dad ‘is matched only by our love for him’

Former Vice President Dick Cheney embraced his Darth Vader persona in a recent interview with CBS, arguing that politicians with “warmth and friendliness and so forth” could not protect the country.

CBS Sunday Morning took a break from its special coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Sunday to give Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, a chance to promote their new book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, which is being published by a division of CBS.

“First of all, it wasn’t torture,” Dick Cheney said of waterboarding. “It was the most significant source of intelligence for us that we absolutely had to have, and that was on al Qaeda, how big they were, where they were, who their leaders were, what their plans were, and so forth.”

According to the former vice president, he has no reason to apologize because he had not “sacrificed our values” by approving so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.


August 31, 2015

President Obama Renames North America's Tallest Mountain

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's changing the name of the tallest mountain in North America from Mount McKinley to Denali.

He's giving the mountain its traditional Alaska Native name on the eve of a historic presidential visit to Alaska.

Denali is an Athabascan word meaning "the high one." The name has long been a sore spot for Alaskans, who have informally called the 20,320-foot mountain Denali for years.

The mountain was named after former President William McKinley. There have been several efforts by Alaska politicians change it to Denali. But politicians from McKinley's home state of Ohio have opposed changing the name.

Obama is citing the Interior Department's authority to change the name.


August 31, 2015

Larry Kudlow may run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

Conservative economist and media figure Larry Kudlow says he’s talked to national Republicans about running for Senate in Connecticut.

During an interview on his radio program with Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., over the weekend, Kudlow said he would mount a challenge to incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal if the Democrat supports the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

“Maybe I’m speaking out of school Peter but … if Senator Richard Blumenthal votes with Obama on Iran, I’m going to run against him. I’m going to run against him for the Senate,” Kudlow said. “The national Senate campaign committee has come to me and talked to me about it. They polled. I’m not a political guy, I’m an economist. I’m a broadcaster by profession, but I am so angry at this issue, among others.

“Blumenthal’s a big taxer to begin with. He along with [Connecticut Gov. Dannel] Malloy have destroyed the state of Connecticut’s economy because of their tax and spend and regulate, but you know what, Peter, to some extent this Iranian thing is more important.”

National Review reported earlier this summer that Kudlow and the National Republican Senatorial Committee had discussions about a Senate bid in either New York or Connecticut, but neither side confirmed it on the record in that report. Since then, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has announced that he is against the Iran deal.


August 29, 2015

California Man's Rattlesnake Selfie Goes Predictably Wrong

A Lake Elsinore, California, man is recovering from a snake bite on his hand after a photo op gone wrong.

Alex Gomez, 36, found a 4-foot rattlesnake in a lot near his home Monday and decided to pick it up and take photos with it. He managed to snap a picture with the rattler around his neck, but when he tried to adjust it for a different pose it bit him on the thumb.

"I was going to take it off my neck and do something else with it, but it turned sideways, and it sunk its one tooth into my hand," Gomez told Los Angeles TV station KTLA in an interview from his sickbed.

Gomez dropped the snake and ran to a neighbor's house. He was rushed to a local hospital and received anti-venom treatment en route.

His mother said her son could have died over a "stupid" stunt.


August 28, 2015

Little Girl Banned From Bringing Wonder Woman Lunch Box To School Because It's 2015

Apparently, Wonder Woman and the rest of her superhero kind have no place in school — or, at the very least, not in one particular school. One little girl had no idea what was to come in simply using a fun Wonder Woman lunch box to carry her PB&J. But alas, it's 2015, and well, the girl's school quickly banned her lunch box from the premises for the most ridiculous reason.

An Imgur user posted a series of pics to the photo-sharing platform revealing that the daughter of a friend was banned from bringing her Wonder Woman lunch box into school. Though the user wouldn’t name the school in question, photos of the offending lunch box and the letter from the school were posted. The lunch box, which you can see here, has a old-school image of Wonder Woman’s face on the front, while the back has her full body holding a lasso with the caption, "As lovely as Aphrodite. As wise as Athena." Despite the imagery, the school considered this a "violent character," and is therefore not allowed to be shown on any student’s clothes, backpacks and lunch boxes.

According to the letter from this particular school, the dress code in the School Handbook labels superheroes as "violent characters," which they define as "those who solve problems using violence." It’s, perhaps, a good thing that the user did not reveal the name of the school that sent this letter because, knowing how the Internet operates nowadays, it might spark a witch hunt. Still, it’d be interesting to note whether this mandate came from a public or private school.

As The Mary Sue points out, this action seems to imply that the administration who passed such an action knows very little about the comic book heroes they are banning. Wonder Woman, for instance, is a symbol of female empowerment and often only uses violence as a last resort or to protect lives when danger approaches. The same goes for Superman, who is famous for his unwillingness to take a life. That’s, at least, in the case of the comics and animated series — sorry, Man of Steel. That said, oversensitivity has been a talking point as of late. However, this particular action seems to be, as The Mary Sue put it, a blanket ban on violence instead of an informed mandate. Hopefully this will help launch a conversation in this community.


August 27, 2015

Jeb Bush: Planned Parenthood isn't involved in women's health

Planned Parenthood is not involved in women’s health issues, said Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

At a town hall in Englewood, Colo., Aug. 25, an audience member asked Bush about his record on women’s health, as well as what he would do for women’s health, particularly for veterans, as president.

"When I was governor, we expanded those programs through community-based organizations, and that’s something I think the federal government needs to continue to do," Bush said. "I, for one, don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny, though. And that’s the difference because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues. They're involved in something way different than that."

Bush, who cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood as governor, then pivoted to talk about veterans affairs.


August 26, 2015

This man asks us not to give in to 'political correctness'. Can you guess who?

White supremacist F. Glenn Miller Jr. took responsibility on Tuesday for shooting and killing three people during shooting attacks at two Jewish-run faciities, Courthouse News reported.

“Let your conscience be your guide,” Miller told the jury. “I’m confident you will find me innocent.”

Miller, who is representing himself, is on trial in Kansas City for the deaths of 53-year-old Terri LaManno, 69-year-old William Corporon, and Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood last April in Overland Park, Kansas. He asked jurors not to give in to “political correctness” and instead be “brave, courageous and patriotic.”

According to the Kansas City Star, Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris McMullin said during his opening statement on Monday that Miller was on a mission “to find and kill as many Jewish people as he could” when he made his way to the Jewish Community Center, where he shot and killed Corporon and Runderwood, before killing LaManno outside the Village Shalom care center.

McMullin also recounted how Miller turned his car into a “mobile arsenal” and immediately admitted to committing the shootings, asking authorities, “I’m an anti-Semitic. I hate goddamn Jews. How many did I get?”


August 26, 2015

2008: Conservatives Blast Biden for Role in Bork and Thomas Hearings

In the Thomas hearings, meanwhile, Biden allowed another “smear campaign” – one which “went from partisanship to being very personal,” Calabresi said.

“The Thomas hearings were, if anything, even worse, because they descended into the personal, and became really, almost a circus because of Sen. Biden’s inability to control the hearings,” he added.

Hausknecht said Biden allowed the Thomas hearings “to degenerate” into “a personal show trial” by letting University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill make accusations about alleged improper remarks and actions she attributed to Thomas.

Levin said Biden’s handling of the case had reduced the Senate confirmation hearing to the discussion of “pubic hairs on Coke cans” – a reference to the most notorious allegation Hill made of a “sexually harassing” comment, supposedly from Thomas.

Thomas’s recent autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir,” accuses Biden of unfair treatment, noting that Biden had promised Thomas “would be considered on the basis of his qualifications alone.”


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

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