GOP Chairman forced to resign after comparing moderate Republican challenger to incumbent as “streetwalker”

A county Republican Party chairman in central Illinois called a black female congressional candidate the “love child” of the Democratic party; a “street walker” whose “pimps” are party leaders; and suggested that after the election, she will be “working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.”

And it’s a Republican candidate he’s talking about.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R) already represents Illinois’ 13th congressional district, which is generally pretty friendly to Republicans. That said, Davis won the election by the skin of his teeth — he won by literally just 1,002 votes — and Democrats see this district as a key 2014 pick-up opportunity.

Enter Erika Harold, a former Miss America and Harvard Law grad, who hopes to challenge Davis for the Republican nod next year.

To be sure, these kinds of intra-party disputes often get contentious, but Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen has taken this to an unfortunate level. Consider exactly what he said in print about the likely candidate: “Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in S—cago [Expletive deleted] by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires…. Miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS.”

I can appreciate why some ugly rant from an obscure country GOP official may seem forgettable, but there’s something about this tirade that summarizes a larger problem for some elements of the right. What Allen said is racist and misogynistic and deliberately alienating towards moderates, all at the same time.

Just one more straw on the Republican camel’s back. This one got so much publicity the National Republican Party stepped in and told the dude to resign – which he did.

He also apologized. What I generally characterize as the papier-mâché variety of CYA apology that happens on the way out the door.

“I felt about Edward Snowden the way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg”

The Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has backed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and admitted he feels “a little bit guilty” that new technologies had introduced new ways for governments to monitor people.

“I felt about Edward Snowden the same way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my life, who taught me a lot,” he said.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN he said…”Read the facts: it’s government of, by and for the people. We own the government; we are the ones who pay for it and then we discover something that our money is being used for – that just can’t be, that level of crime.”

When Morgan suggested the government would not be able to keep such a close eye on citizens without the work of innovators like him, Wozniak acknowledged: “I actually feel a little guilty about that – but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world; any thought you had, you could share freely. That it was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.

“We didn’t realise that in the digital world there were a lot of ways to use the digital technology to control us, to snoop on us, to make things possible that weren’t. In the old days of mailing letters, you licked it, and when you got an envelope that was still sealed, nobody had seen it; you had private communication. Now they say, because it’s email, it cannot be private; anyone can listen.”

Asked about US surveillance programmes in an earlier interview with a Spanish technology news site, FayerWayer, Wozniak said: “All these things about the constitution, that made us so good as people – they are kind of nothing.

They are all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are all these laws that just say ‘we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want, without the rights of courts to get in and say you are doing wrong things’. There’s not even a free open court any more. Read the constitution. I don’t know how this stuff happened. It’s so clear what the constitution says.”

Good for you, Woz. It’s worth remembering the politics of the 60’s and 70’s compared to today – is like comparing the music of both periods. Fighting for freedom, resisting war, leads to a lot of talent in every field.

What is persistent is the people who stand in the way of fighting back. Sophistry is the same in 2013 as it was in 1963. The cowards who pray the middle ground is the safe way to take back constitutional rights. I have news for you. No one ever won anything by trying to hide in the middle of the pack.

Kitchen Safe protects your treats from yourself

We all have our weaknesses, whether it’s sweets, cigarettes, or just our own cell phones. The trick is to not indulge too much, but sometimes sheer willpower just isn’t enough. That’s why a team of inventors built the Kitchen Safe, a plastic container with a tamper-proof lock rigged to a timer.

It’s a simple concept, but one that many people could use. The Kitchen Safe…is large enough to fit a variety of items. The time-lock can be set for any amount of time between one minute and 10 days, so you can specify exactly when something will be released.

Once an item is locked inside, there is no way of opening the Kitchen Safe until the timer reaches zero. Even if the batteries are drained or taken out, the lock will stay sealed and the countdown will resume once they’re replaced. Other than cracking the container open with a hammer, there’s almost no chance of cheating.

The Kitchen Safe works fine in a refrigerator as well, but not a freezer, so you’ll have to find another way to keep people out of the ice cream and Popsicles. The timer also requires two AA batteries, which should last about six months with regular use.

Most of you can probably think of an item or two you should stash like this.

Normally, I don’t even dare pick up a nice little ball of fresh mozzarella on our grocery shopping trip to town. I can space out consumption of the usual packaged stuff; but, for really fresh and delicate, I rarely survive that first serving without finishing the critter off the same day.

This is probably just what I need.

Fox market analyst paid $50,000 to hustle investors

tobinsmithpos

Most investors can’t tell the difference between “sponsored investment research” and independent analysis, and that’s exactly what the “sponsors” — typically small companies paying for a marketing campaign that will inflate their stock activity and value — are counting on.

The difference gets even tougher to figure out when the sponsor hires someone who is known for giving independent commentary colored only by his own feelings and research.

Think of it as a big, honking commercial, with a celebrity endorser.

Last week, that bought-and-paid-for stock endorsement was a 20-page mailer about Petrosonic Energy PSON…supported by an email campaign, featuring Tobin Smith, a money manager who has been a fixture on the television news shows for 15 years and who is a regular on the Fox networks, describing himself on Twitter as a “guest anchor.” According to Fox, he is “a contributing market analyst for Fox News Channel and a regular panelist on ‘Bulls & Bears.’ ”…

The people who contacted me considered buying the stock entirely based on Smith’s say-so, and the credibility he exudes in his Fox appearances. They didn’t appear to read the disclaimers of the campaign; had they bothered, they would have quickly found it was paid advertising for which Smith’s company pocketed $50,000.

This is a unique case because of how recognizable Smith is, and it brings into focus credibility questions that I’ve found most investors fail to answer even as they are deciding who they can trust. Fox’s official policy is that “no Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities,” a spokesman says. However, the network, which was unaware of Smith’s efforts on Petrosonic’s behalf until I contacted them, would not comment on the matter.

On Tuesday afternoon, though, Fox terminated Smith’s contract on the basis of its contributor policy, according to a spokesman. Smith, by text message, confirmed the news.

Asked earlier whether he had violated Fox’s rules, Smith said, via text message, “that policy was added late last year … my contract was not subject to that clause …”

I guess questions of ethics and legitimacy never entered discussions when the decision was made to take the money and run.