Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to Ashland police, restaurant outreach; down to new birther craziness

Cheers — to the Ashland Police Department, which is drawing attention from America's military for its innovative approach to sexual assault cases.

APD Deputy Chief Corey Falls traveled to Texas recently to tell a federal panel how the department handles sexual assault complaints. Congress appointed the panel to explore highly regarded civilian methods of investigation with the goal of improving the military's much-criticized response to sexual assaults within its ranks.

APD's "You Have Options" campaign is one of those. It starts with the presumption that victims should be believed, and goes further by allowing victims to take time to decide whether to press criminal charges. Bravo. Ashland residents should be proud of their police force.

Cheers — to local restaurants that reached out to suddenly jobless employees of Marie Callender's, the restaurant that burned in a catastrophic fire early Saturday. In all, 30 people lost their incomes less than two weeks before Christmas. Marie Callender's will rebuild, but that will take time. Meanwhile, several local restaurants have offered jobs to the displaced workers — and state Employment Department officials urged those still without jobs to apply for benefits right away.

Cheers — to House Speaker John Boehner for finally growing enough of a spinal column to tell off the reactionary tea party critics in his own party who couldn't wait for the ink to dry on the budget deal hammered out last week.

Some of the loudest howls were heard before details of the deal were even announced, prompting Boehner to bite back. "When groups come out and criticize an agreement they've never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those actions are," the speaker said. "Frankly I think they're misleading their followers. I think they're pushing our members in places where they don't want to be. And frankly I just think they've lost all credibility."

Jeers — To the "birther" movement that will not die. We're speaking of the latest wrinkle from the wingnuts who still insist Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

A plane crash last week killed Hawaii's public health director, the official who verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate — but everyone else aboard the plane lived.

The birthers' reaction was immediate and unsurprising: Obviously, she knew too much.

Talk about losing all credibility.

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