Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Person of the year Time magazine chose Pope Francis as their person of the year in 2013. Lawrence O’Donnell, Joy Reid, Richard Wolffe, Nia-Malika Henderson and Josh Barro make their own picks for that prestigious award in The Last Word year-ender special.
Michele Bachmann links Muslim Brotherhood to 9/11, backs Egypt's bloody crackdown
Didn’t see that coming! 2013’s biggest surprises Joy Reid, Richard Wolffe, Nia-Malika Henderson and Josh Barro join Lawrence O’Donnell to round up the biggest political surprises of 2013 in The Last Word year-ender special MSNBC
"New York was the first state to pass new gun laws after the Newtown shooting. The judge’s ruling offered a victory to gun control advocates at the end of a year when relatively few new restrictions were passed in state capitals, and efforts to pass new legislation on the federal level were driven back in Congress."
Monday, December 30, 2013
The Slow Demise of Capital Punishment - NYTimes.com
Surge in health insurance enrollments? A record number of people visited healthcare.gov on the last day to buy coverage effective January 1st. Lawrence O’Donnell discusses with Howard Dean, Ezra Klein, and Carl Gibson.
The Last Taboo - Jennifer Michael Hecht - POLITICO Magazine
Sunday, December 29, 2013
"The 26 Republican-dominated states not participating in an expansion of Medicaid are home to a disproportionate share of the nation’s poorest uninsured residents. Eight million will be stranded without insurance"
"Despite a troubled rollout, as many as 20 million people have gained access to coverage. But GOP lawmakers have blocked wider access to Medicaid, and House Republicans' hostility is making it impossible to fix flaws."
"Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam."
The state of equality in America What does the ‘Duck Dynasty’ controversy say about the state of LGBT rights and race relations in America? The MHP panel discusses if the victories for marriage equality in 2013 overshadowed the dismal year for voting rights.
"Lawmakers who refuse to support effective gun safety measures often prefer to talk about better screening of the mentally ill to identify deranged would-be perpetrators before they can carry out mass shootings. This is, of course, a political dodge. Even in the handful of states where law enforcement agencies are trying to confiscate the guns of unstable individuals, state and federal laws too often enable the mentally ill to reclaim their guns as a right under the Second Amendment."
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Duck Dynasty’s ‘teaching moment’ Phil Robertson, the star of reality TV show Duck Dynasty, is standing by his controversial comments on gay sex and the Civil Rights era. Lawrence O’Donnell talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson.
Edward Snowden’s Christmas message NSA leaker Edward Snowden released an “alternative Christmas message” to a British television station Wednesday, warning of an Orwellian future. Lawrence O’Donnell talks with Joy Reid and Steve Clemons.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
"Snowden says ...
1. His mission is 'already accomplished'
"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished. I already won," Snowden told the Washington Post's Barton Gellman in Moscow. "As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn't want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself."
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chair of House Intelligence Committee defended the NSA’s data collection programs on ABC’s “This Week.” The report, commissioned by President Obama in the wake of revelations about the way the NSA amasses and stores Americans’ data, recommended 46 changes to the government’s information collection.
Rogers dismissed a recommendation that cell phone data remain in the custody of private companies, who could then hand over information after the government obtained a court order. “I think it opens it up to more privacy violations when the company holds it,” he said. “These are business records, not private records of content, so they’re not listening to phone calls.”
The report was released two days after a federal judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk data collection program most likely violates the constitution. The ruling was the first big victory for opponents of the surveillance program since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the extent of the agency’s data gathering.
Congressional leaders debate NSA data collection program | MSNBC
A Perspective on Guns, Murder, Suicide from Attica - NYTimes.com
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
"In June of 1998 in Jasper, Tex., just about three hours southeast of where I was raised, where the Lone Star State pushes itself into the back of the boot shape of Louisiana, a black man named James Byrd Jr. was subjected to what folks called a “lynching-by-dragging."
Thursday, December 19, 2013
"Only three months into the academic year and headlines have been littered with announcements about HBCU leadership turnover. There have been a plethora of reasons, including university presidents being fired, being encouraged to leave their posts by their boards of trustees or opting for retirement. Gone are the days of decades of top-down leadership, now replaced by a need for charismatic personalities who are well-skilled at fundraising while navigating internal needs and external stakeholders, as well as politics and long-standing traditions."
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
"A pair of Emory University studies released this year have connected the large share of African-American children born before term with the biologically detectable effects of stress created in women's bodies after decades of dealing with American racism. The studies' findings don't end there.
Racism, and its ability to increase the odds that a pregnant mother will deliver her child early, can kill. There is also evidence that racism can alter the capacity for a child to learn and distorts lives in ways that can reproduce inequality, poverty and long-term disadvantage, the studies found.
"Racism is an incredibly powerful force," said Elizabeth Corwin, dean of research at Emory University's Woodruff School of Nursing,"
- See more at: http://www.thesnaponline.com/statenews/x1956132289/Racism-linked-to-infant-mortality-learning-disabilities#sthash.SwegJKvR.dpuf
Monday, December 16, 2013
"For decades, the GOP has banked on older whites voting in far bigger numbers than younger blacks and Hispanics to bag the White House and for long stretches win and retain majority control of Congress. No more. According to the Census Bureau, more blacks than whites voted in the 2012 election. More Asians and Hispanics also voted.
This is not a racial fluke spurred by a mad dash to elect and reelect an African-American president. It is part of a steady trend over the last five presidential elections."
Race, Tattoos in Advertising Affect What Consumers Buy
And some people are always trying to sell the lie to me things have changed in America. They just can't face the ugly truth.
"Whether return of that cache is worth a deal with Snowden is a contentious subject within the NSA. Rick Ledgett, who runs the NSA task force assessing the damage on the Snowden leaks, told CBS' news program "60 Minutes" during a segment aired Sunday (see below) that an amnesty deal is "worth having a conversation about. I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high. It would be more than just an assertion on his part." (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)"
Sunday, December 15, 2013
"Senior members of the SPLM highest executive organ, the Political Bureau (PB), including the party’s deputy chairman, Riek Machar Teny, as well as members of the NLC on Saturday announced that Kiir has not replicated their “good gesture for dialogue” on democracy in the party.
Earlier on Friday, the group announced the postponement of a public rally that had been due to take place on Saturday in order to inform the wider public about the party’s current affairs.
Machar said the decision came following calls from SPLM supporters to postpone both the rally and NLC meeting in order to allow more time for internal political dialogue on contentious issues affecting the party.
While the rally was subsequently postponed until 20 December, the NLC meeting went ahead as planned.
Machar and his colleagues had attended the first day of the NLC meeting on Saturday, where they participated in deliberations on the passing of the basic documents, namely the manifesto and the constitution.
However, the party deputy chairman said Kiir’s statements during the meeting had deviated from the spirit of dialogue and reconciliation which had been called for by SPLM supporters.
He said the chairman, who has previously been accused of “dictatorial tendencies”, did not heed to the voice of “wisdom” by bishops and sheikhs who graced the opening session to remind the leaders on the need for dialogue and reconciliation.
“Kiir’s statements were of hostility, [and provided] no room for political dialogue”, Machar said.
“We attended the NLC meeting despite the fact that the Political Bureau did not convene. But there was no freedom of debate. Members of the NLC, who are also members in the Political Bureau, were told that their views were already made in the Political Bureau”, he added, referring to a PB meeting in March, which has yet to be concluded."
From Thomas Freedman - "So, I wish China’s people well. Many Americans do. That is why I am writing you today. I believe you’re about to make a terrible, terrible mistake.
The Chinese-language websites of The Wall Street Journal and Reuters were recently blocked, and those of Bloomberg News and The New York Times have both been blocked for months. More important, The Times and Bloomberg together have more than 20 journalists in China whose visas are up for renewal by the end of December and, so far, your government is refusing to act on them — in apparent retaliation for both organizations exposing the enormous wealth amassed by relatives of senior Chinese leaders, including yours. The rumor is that you intend to deny both organizations the right to report from China.
China experts tell me that this unprecedented crackdown is prompted by your feeling that we’ve crossed a red line. You apparently thought the rules of the game were that the foreign press, local media and social media could write anything they wanted about corruption and social protests at the local and provincial level — indeed, it was a way for the central government to track and curb corruption — but that such focus should never be brought to the financial dealings of the top leaders of the Communist Party."
What an important moment to long in coming.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 09, 2013
Sunday, December 08, 2013
The intelligence service, using an agent inside the African National Congress, provided South African security officials with precise information about Mr. Mandela's activities that enabled the police to arrest him, said the account by the Cox News Service.
The report, scheduled for publication on Sunday, quoted an unidentified retired official who said that a senior C.I.A. officer told him shortly after Mr. Mandela's arrest: ''We have turned Mandela over to the South African Security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be.''
Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the agency, declined to comment on the news-service report. ''As a matter of policy, we do not discuss allegations of intelligence activities,'' he said.
C.I.A. TIE REPORTED IN MANDELA ARREST - New York Times
Saturday, December 07, 2013
There is a special place in hell for people like Cheney.
There is a special place in hell for people like Cheney.
2. Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
3. Mandela criticized the “War on Terror” and the labeling of individuals as terrorists, even Osama Bin Laden, without due process. On the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008 himself, Mandela was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s war on terror. He warned against rushing to label terrorists without due process. While calling for Osama bin Laden to be brought to justice, Mandela said, “The labeling of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist responsible for those acts before he had been tried and convicted could also be seen as undermining some of the basic tenets of the rule of law.”
4. Mandela called out racism in America. On a trip to New York City in 1990, Mandela made a point of visiting Harlem and praising African Americans’ struggles against “the injustices of racist discrimination and economic equality.” He reminded a larger crowd at Yankee Stadium that racism was not exclusively a South African phenomenon. “As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is intolerable, unacceptable, that the cancer of racism is still eating away at the fabric of societies in different parts of our planet,” he said. “All of us, black and white, should spare no effort in our struggle against all forms and manifestations of racism, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.”
5. Mandela embraced some of America’s biggest political enemies. Mandela incited shock and anger in many American communities for refusing to denounce Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had lent their support to Mandela against South African apartheid. “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies,” he explained to an American TV audience. “We have our own struggle.” He added that those leaders “are placing resources at our disposal to win the struggle.” He also called the controversial Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat “a comrade in arms.”
6. Mandela was a die-hard supporter of labor unions. Mandela visited the Detroit auto workers union when touring the U.S., immediately claiming kinship with them. “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here,” he said. “The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”
Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won't Talk About | ThinkProgress
Friday, December 06, 2013
Nelson Mandela and ending apartheid Former South African President Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting against apartheid and led that fight from a prison cell. Lawrence O’Donnell, Eugene Robinson, Joy Reid and Dorian Warren discuss Mandela’s incredible life
Nelson Mandela on Political Violence after the Sharpville Massacre of 1961 "The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices – submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.' Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalise and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or take over the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer with violence."
Nelson Mandela was arguably the most respected political leader in the world since WWII. The media is however creating an historical image that is a tame and non threatening image of Mandela that is quite different from the real man. Nelson Mandela was not a pacifists. He was not philosophically aligned with either Ghandi or Martin Luther King. In 1960, after the Sharpville massacre he and his law partner Oliver Tambo formed the Spear of the nation, the armed wing of his formerly non-violent African Nationalist Congress, which was formed four years after the NAACP in 1912. It was patterned after the NAACP. During his 27 year stay, incarcerated at the Robin Island prison, the South African government demanded for years that he renounce violence as a condition of his release. He refused and never relented. Mandela was a man of principle. He brought change by unrelenting determination. As a President he developed the concept of a reconciliation commission where if you admitted your apartheid era crimes you were forgiven. This practice was copied in Argentina and in other countries around the world. Remember that Ronald Reagan vetoed sanctioned on apartheid South Africa and called it's racist government a friend of the U. S.. Congress had to override his veto.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
☢ Fukushima: Beyond Urgent ☢ All three reactors melted down, this accident was six times worse Chernobyl. Some people believed the lies initially told by the Japanese government and spread by the Murdock publication the Wall Street Journal. It is sad how serious this is.
Martin Bashir quits at MSNBC over Palin slur | Fox News Why should Mr. Bashir have to resign after telling the truth about Sarah Palin life.
"Bashir had already apologized for what he called "offensive" comments about the former Alaska governor, whom he also called an "idiot" and "dunce." This woman went to four low tier colleges in four years. Listen when she opens her mouth!
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
"WASHINGTON -- As Obamacare emerges from the rubble of its first two months, local organizers, state officials and the White House see a clear path forward. With the website now quasi-functional, there are good reasons to believe that the Affordable Care Act will catch on. Quite simply, there are tens of millions of uninsured people who want health insurance, a law in place to help them obtain it, and advocates on the ground making sure they know how to do it."
This pattern of performance is not surprising. We live in a country where young people feel entitled to the good life without putting in the requisite hard work.
Houston cops cuff 13-year-old white girl, 2 black men visiting city for dance video shoot - NY Daily News American justice in Black and White.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/houston-cops-cuff-white-teen-black-men-visiting-video-shoot-article-1.1535803#ixzz2mQihy8t6
Houston cops cuff 13-year-old white girl, 2 black men visiting city for dance video shoot - NY Daily News
Rewriting Rochester teens’ arrests On Sunday, the GOP had to correct a tweet suggesting that racism had ended in America. To illustrate that point, Lawrence O’Donnell looks at the arrest of three African-American teens in Rochester, NY. American Justice in Black and White
Monday, December 02, 2013
I hope this woman wins a huge settlement. It is amazing how some people cannot take the truth.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
A last-minute rescue for healthcare.gov | MSNBC