Contact Me By Email

Contact Me By Email

Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart -South Parked Lindsey Graham predicts the world's end, and two inches of snow brings Atlanta to a standstill.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Political Comedy - Fake News | Comedy Central

Income Inequality Hits African-American Women Particularly Hard - Jamie Chandler (usnews.com)

"
JAMIE CHANDLER

African-American Women Hit Hardest By Income Inequality

By JAMIE CHANDLERSKYLAR YOUNG

January 28, 2014 RSS Feed PrintComment ()Tweet

One theme President Obama's State of the Union Address will cover tonight is income inequality.  That widening chasm between the wealthy and middle-class: a divide that has been a boon to nation's top earners, and bust for everyone else.

Since 2007, the 1 percent captured 95 percent of the income gains. They earn a median salary of $1.2 million per year, and have an average net worth of $16.4 million. The middle class saw only a 20 percent growth in their incomes. Their 2013 median income was $53,000, but their net worth dropped from a high of $75,000 in 1983 to $55,000 today."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

De Blasio flexes progressive muscle in stop-and-frisk case | MSNBC  We finally have civilized man as NYC Mayor!  "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, sticking to a campaign promise to chip away at New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, announced on Thursday that the city has filed paperwork to drop the city’s appeal to a federal judge’s ruling that the city had violated the constitutional rights of innocent minorities.

The announcement could be the first steps in reforming the much maligned tactic.

“This is a defining moment in our history. It’s a defining moment for millions of our families, especially those with young men of color,” Mayor de Blasio said during a news conference in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the epicenter of the tactic. “And it will lay the foundation for not only keeping us the safest big city in America, but making us safer still. This will be one city, where everyone’s rights are respected, and where police and community stand together to confront violence.”

A Lesson For Georgia Government on How a Snowstorm Should be handled.   This storm occurred January 3, 2014.

This is how a competent city handles 4 - 6 inches of snow.   This occurred January 3, 2014.  This is two owners after the snow stopped.  I as able to travel by car from the Bronx over the White Stone suspension bridge through on the highway at 60mph, fully plowed and salted and reach LA Guardia airport in 30 minutes.

This is how it is done. Two hours after the storm ended my son and I crossed the Whitestone bridge and traveled by highway,  at the speed limit to LA Guardia Airport.   Travel was no different than any other day. 

U.S. Economy Grew 3.2% in Fourth Quarter - NYTimes.com

"The economy grew 3.2 percent in the final quarter of 2013, shrugging off the effects of the fall’s government shutdown and debt standoff, and raising hopes that the recovery is finally getting more robust.

The pace of expansion in October, November and December slowed a bit from the third quarter, when the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Atlanta Officials Gamble on Storm and Lose, and Others Pay the Price - NYTimes.com,  Atlanta area getting deserved national attention for it's incompetent handling of three inches of light snow.

Republicans hate government so much that they cannot run them.


The Republican run State of Georgia Government is so incompetent that it cannot handle three inches of predicted light snow stranding many people like myself on the roads over 17 hours and counting.


Three inches is considered by meteorologists to be light snow.   There is no excuse for not sanding or putting salt on major highways and thoroughfares.   This is incompetence and the blame must start at the top with Governor Deal.   This is a disgrace.

John H. Armwood

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Onondaga Leader Oren Lyons, Pete Seeger On International Day of the Worl...

Pete Seeger - L'Internationale

Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94 - NYTimes.com

The great humanitarian and folk singer Pete Seeger has passed. He came to prominence as a member of the Weavers in the early sixties. Listen to :the WEavers at Carnegie Hall. Hid legacy includes his work to clean up the polluted, Hudson River. I had the good fortune of seeing him perform many times during my teenage years. He was a role model and an American hero.









Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94 - NYTimes.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

Negro America, What Now? By James Weldon Johnson 1938




  1. I have read the first twenty-five pages of this 100 pages this pamphlet and it still speaks with pertinency to issues we still confront today.  The one constant of the African American experience in America has been our unenviable position wherein revolution, our natural moral right, means suicide,  repatriation is practically impossible, and economic independence is also impossible.   From the efforts of Paul Cuffie in 1815 to return us to Africa, the settlement of Liberia,  with American government support in 1820, to the Black Star Line of Marcus Garvey a century later repatriation failed.

  2. David Walker tried to spark revolt with his Appeal in 1829 and Martin Delaney with his Pan African revolutionary novel Blake in 1854. These efforts in America came to life but failed with the hanging of Nat Turner in 1831 and Denmark Vesey  in 1822 after unsuccessful slave rebellions.  The Nation of Islam tried economic independence with their conservative mix of religion and Black capitalism.   I still miss their Steak and Take cheese steak sandwiches,  their Shabbaz bean pies and spicy beef sausages.  

  3. They ultimately were crushed by government infiltration, an unsustainable mythology and organizational corruption.   What are we left with, a society that loves what we create but hates us.   As Derrick Bell wrote in the 1980s America is a leaky boat that may be heading towards a waterfall.   It does not make sense for us to get in the water no matter how pessimistic our future looks.   James Weldon Johnson could look forward, as did Martin Luther King, to a dream of integration.   Like Derrick Bell,  Thurgood Marshall and that generation who struggled to tear down de jure segregation we know that the dream of an integrated America was an illusion,  a phantom that led us forward.   Johnson understood clearly the choices we face but like us, seventy-five years later we have no real answer or clearly attainable strategy for our salvation in the belly of America.

         John H. Armwood

Melissa Harris-Perry The problem with using the ‘thug’ word Richard Sherman’s post-game interview last Sunday was received by many through the prism of race. Jelani Cobb and John McWhorter join the MHP table.



Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

In South Korea, Spam Is the Stuff Gifts Are Made Of - NYTimes.com

This was always a source of humor to me, seeing large containers of spam in gift boxes. It was quite perplexing. , I was always afraid someone might give one to me but thankfully it never happened. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

US still lags on human rights, says report | MSNBC

"Even without the revelations of widespread domestic government surveillance, 2013 was hardly a banner year for human rights in the United States, according to a report released this week by Human Rights Watch.

In its World Report 2014, HRW singled out the U.S. criminal justice system as a major source of human rights violations, thanks to systemic problems that range from severe sentencing requirements to the misuse of solitary confinement. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. While the overall U.S. population has decreased over the past four years, some 1.6 million people were incarcerated in federal and state prisons at the end of 2012. An additional 700,000 were held in local jails.

The report also pointed out that the criminal justice system is filled disproportionately with men of color, a point both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have mentioned while discussing the need for sentencing reforms in drug cases. Forty-four percent of people serving time in federal prisons for drug crimes are African-American, while they comprise only 13% of the total U.S. population.

Mandatory minimum sentences played a huge part in the prison population boom of the past 30 years and in the explosion of elderly prisoner populations that will continue to increase. A report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union in November found that more than 3,200 people were serving life sentences for non-violent crimes. A December Human Rights Watch report alleged widespread pressure on defendants to plead guilty or face extreme prison terms.

Solitary confinement also drew attention in 2013 when thousands of inmates in California protested against prison conditions there. Prisoners at the Secure Housing Unit at the state’s notorious Pelican Bay State Prison played a major role in that protest. Approximately 400 inmates in the facility have been held in solitary confinement for more than a decade. Extended solitary confinement is recognized as torture by the international human rights community.

The criminal justice system was not the only institution to lock people up with little to no recourse. Immigration detention has skyrocketed during Obama’s presidency, and hundreds of thousands of non-citizens are detained and deported each year. Individuals dealing with immigration proceedings receivefewer civil liberties guarantees than people held in the criminal justice system. The Human Rights Watch report noted that Congress failed to make any meaningful progress toward comprehensive immigration reform last year.

America’s human rights issues are not only related of domestic policy. Despite revived efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 152 men remain in limbo there, and that number is unlikely to approach zero anytime soon. Last year saw a widespread hunger strike at the prison that grew to more than 100 prisoners and brought renewed scrutiny to the 12-year-old prison. Obama promised again in May to close the facility. Six detainees have been transfered since August, but even if all 82 of the remaining prisoners who have been cleared for release or transfer leave the prison, serious problems remain.

There are 45 men the U.S. still considers to be too dangerous to ever set free, but who cannot be tried because there is not enough evidence for a trial. Human rights groups in the United States and abroad have repeatedly called on the president to close the prison at Guantanamo and to stop holding people without charging them with a crime.

Obama and his adminstration have made some strides toward addressing the prison system’s major problems. In August, Attorney General Holder announced new sentencing guidelines for drug crimes in an effort to reduce the number of prisoners serving long sentences for non-violent drug crimes. On Jan. 23, Holder also urged Congress to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act, a bill that would give judges greater discretion when making sentencing decisions.

While it is too early to know if U.S. attorneys will follow the spirit of the new guidelines when it comes to charging and sentencing, it could have a serious effect on how large a part the criminal justice system plays in next year’s human rights status report."

The Koch Party - NYTimes.com

"Democrats have been staggered by a $20 million advertising blitz produced by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group organized and financed by the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists. The ads take aim at House and Senate candidates for re-election who have supported the health law, and blame them for the hyped-up problems with the law’s rollout that now seem to be the sole plank in this year’s Republican platform."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Darrin Manning 16, Gets SEXUALLY ASSAULTED By POLICE

Europe, Facing Economic Pain, May Ease Climate Rules - NYTimes.com

LONDON — For years, Europe has tried to set the global standard for climate-change regulation, creating tough rules on emissions, mandating more use of renewable energy sources and arguably sacrificing some economic growth in the name of saving the planet.
But now even Europe seems to be hitting its environmentalist limits.
High energy costs, declining industrial competitiveness and a recognition that the economy is unlikely to rebound strongly any time soon are leading policy makers to begin easing up in their drive for more aggressive climate regulation.
On Wednesday, the European Union proposed an end to binding national targets for renewable energy production after 2020. Instead, it substituted an overall European goal that is likely to be much harder to enforce.



Europe, Facing Economic Pain, May Ease Climate Rules - NYTimes.com




Still fraught: The idea of a black president The President stirred right wing media with recent comments. Chris Hayes weighs in.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why you should care about Net neutrality (FAQ) | Mobile - CNET News

A federal appeals court has thrown out the FCC's Net neutrality rules. CNET's Maggie Reardon explains what the ruling means to the average consumer -- and why it really, really matters.

Why you should care about Net neutrality (FAQ) | Mobile - CNET News

All In with Chris Hayes Can Christie Survive? How will the George Washington Bridge scandal affect Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions? Baratunde Thurston, Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce discuss.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes Can Christie Survive? How will the George Washington Bridge scandal affect Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions? Baratunde Thurston, Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce discuss.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes Can Christie Survive? How will the George Washington Bridge scandal affect Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions? Baratunde Thurston, Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce discuss.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes Can Christie Survive? How will the George Washington Bridge scandal affect Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions? Baratunde Thurston, Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce discuss.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes Will bridge scandal take down Jersey politics Chris Hayes looks at David Samson’s involvement in the New Jersey traffic scandal with his panel



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes What does David Samson know? Chris Hayes looks at David Samson’s role in the widening George Washington bridge scandal.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

RACHEL MADDOW 01/15/14 Port Authority chairman in scandal spotlight Steve Strunsky, reporter for the NJ Star Ledger, talks with Rachel Maddow about the connection between Chris Christie and Port Authority chairman David Samson.




The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

GOP Congressional Candidate: Spousal Rape Shouldn't Be a Crime | Mother Jones Dumb, dumb and dumber!

Lawmaker Sent Early Letter To Christie Alerting Him On Closures (READ)

"New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) provided a letter to TPM on Monday showing that she attempted to alert Gov. Chris Christie (R) about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September, just six days after the lanes reopened.

The letter gets to the heart of one of the major unanswered questions in a scandal that has erupted from the closures: what did Christie know and when did he know it?"

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc



The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christie, Official Who Arranged Bridge Closures Were Together During Fiasco - Metropolis - WSJ

County GOP Auctions Rifle In MLK's Honor

There are a lot of deranged people in America.

"Portland, OR January 13, 2014: Multnomah Country Republicans recognize the incredible time of year we are in. In successive months to start the year, we celebrate the legacy of two great Republicans who demonstrated leadership and courage that all of us still lean on today: Martin Luther King, Jr and Abraham Lincoln. In celebrating these two men, and the denial of the rights they fought so hard against, the Multnomah County Republican Party announces that we have started our third raffle for an AR-15 rifle (or handgun of the winner’s choice). The drawing will be held at our Lincoln Day Dinner on February 15th, 2014. Tickets are once again $10 apiece, or 12 for $100, and there is a hard cap of 500 tickets in the raffle."

Cops who beat homeless man to death walk free - Salon.com

"Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who suffered from schizophrenia, died in hospital in 2011. He had beaten, tasered and kicked to death by cops from the Fullerton County Police Department while begging for mercy. The sickening incident of police brutality was caught by a surveillance camera."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful : NPR



Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful : NPR

Amiri Baraka was a complex brilliant but somewhat bitter man.  Was he an anti-semite.  Yes, many of his poems clearly demonstrate this.  Did he believe he was one?  No, I know this from personal conversations with him.  His talent was matched by his bitterness over oppression.  We shared a love for jazz.   My politics were far too conservative for him.  I rejected communism in high school after reading Richard Wright's the Outsider.  Black Cultural Nationalism, which he exposed when I first encountered his writings had some attractions but clearly was nihilistic at it's core.  It was a pseudo religious cult birthed out of a justified anger but limited by it's tribalism.  Barack never lost his love for Alan Ginsburg, the great beat poet.

Baraka's love for Ginsburg, who was born Jewish and adopted Buddhism proves the truism that an anti-semite, a racist, a homophobe or any other bigot can still have friends and care about people from the group they despise.  In this sense despite his obvious talent Amiri Baraka's life is a cautionary lesson in human frailty.

John H. Armwood

Saturday, January 11, 2014

5 reasons Chris Christie might be lying - Salon.com

“I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said during his press conference on Jan. 9 regarding the George Washington Bridge scandal. “I am who I am, but I am not a bully.” While he worked hard in the nearly two-hour press conference to dispel any rumors of his involvement, many have already noted that Christie’s speech was more remarkable for the questions it didn’t answer than for the ones it did.
Left looming is: How could a man like Christie not know that his deputy chief of staff ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge? And how does a former U.S. Attorney, with his eye on a 2016 presidential campaign, not ask follow-up questions when told the closures were a result of a traffic test?
How indeed?
Most people feel it’s relatively easy to spot a liar, and judging by the media coverage on this scandal, many people feel that Christie is lying, but without a smoking gun, i.e. damning emails or personal testimony from his staff or the Port Authority, it’s hard to prove.
But his press conference itself may offer some insights. In “Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception,” author Pamela Meyer asserts that only when we step back from someone’s words to view the whole picture can we begin to see the combination of indicators that will help us successfully identify a liar.

5 reasons Chris Christie might be lying - Salon.com

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014): Poet-Playwright-Activist Who Shaped Revolutionary Politics, Black Culture | Democracy Now!



Amiri Baraka (1934-2014): Poet-Playwright-Activist Who Shaped Revolutionary Politics, Black Culture | Democracy Now!

Amiri Baraka on his poetry and breaking rules - Unfortunately Amiri Baraka, a great poet and writer also debased himself with poems that were offensively anti semitic. We cannot omit this sad part of his legacy. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/amiri-barakas-most-anti-semitic-poems/

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc Where science and faith collide The MHP panel discusses why recent polls are showing a seeming change in public opinion on evolution.



Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Scathing bridge complaint reached Christie's staff | MSNBC

"And a top New Jersey lawmaker issued a warning to the embattled governor on Saturday. New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democrat who chairs the legislative panel that is investigating the lane closures, told NBC News that Christie could face impeachment if it is revealed the governor had knowledge of the alleged plot to get political revenge against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.
“Having people use their official position to have a political game is a crime. So if those tie back to the governor in any way, it clearly becomes an impeachable offense,” Wisniewski said in an interview. He also said he finds it “implausible” that Christie really didn’t know what his close aides were up to.
Newly released documents show that a top Christie aide received an angry warning about the closures, which started on Sept. 9 and caused massive gridlock for four days."

Scathing bridge complaint reached Christie's staff | MSNBC

Thunder Road Governor Christie by Maureen Dowd - NYTimes.com

"Christie’s two-hour “I am not a bully” news conference was operatic about an act of malice so petty it did not merit being called “authentic Jersey corruption,” as New Jersey native Jon Stewart said, adding that it was unworthy of a state with a severed horse head on its flag."

Thunder Road - NYTimes.com

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Slumdogs vs. Millionaires Conservatives argue that income inequality isn't systemic enough.


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Political Comedy - Fake News | Comedy Central

Friday, January 10, 2014

Aero-Justices Take Case on Free TV Streaming - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to resolve a dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo, an Internet start-up that the networks say threatens the economic viability of their businesses.

The case has far-reaching implications for the big broadcasters, jeopardizing an increasingly vital stream of income known as retransmission fees, the money paid to networks and local stations for the right to retransmit their programming. At least two of the networks, CBS and Fox, have already said they would consider abandoning broadcasting over public airwaves altogether and becoming pay cable channels if the Supreme Court were to decide in favor of Aereo.

There are huge revenue streams at risk for the broadcasters. The research firm SNL Kagan has estimated that together they will take in more than $4 billion in retransmission fees from cable and satellite companies in 2014, a total that Kagan estimates will grow to more than $7 billion within the next four years.

Aereo uses an array of small antennas to stream over-the-air television signals to subscribers, allowing them to watch programs on their smartphones, tablets and computers. The broadcasters say this amounts to theft of their content and violates copyright laws. Aereo responds that it is merely helping its subscribers do what they could lawfully do since the era of rabbit-ear antennas: watch free broadcast television delivered over public airwaves.


Justices Take Case on Free TV Streaming - NYTimes.com

Chris Christie’s ‘willful ignorance’ Michael Isikoff and Steve Kornacki discuss the newly released GWB documents and whether Gov. Christie made it his business not to know about the lane closures.




Hardball with Chris Matthews on msnbc

Christie appointee watched bridge closure in person, documents show - U.S. News


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

An appointee of Gov. Chris Christie personally showed up to observe the closure of lanes at the George Washington Bridge that triggered an epic traffic jam in New Jersey in September, according to documents made public Friday.
The appointee, David Wildstein, emailed the general manager of the bridge on the day before the lanes were closed to say, “Will be at bridge early Monday am to view new lane test,” the documents show. Other emails show that he arrived by 7 a.m. on Sept. 9, the first of four days of nightmare traffic in the city of Fort Lee.
The documents also show that Wildstein and Bill Baroni, another Christie appointee, were directly told on the first day that the backups were causing problems for police and paramedics. Lane closures at the bridge continued for four days, until the irate head of the Port Authority, which controls the bridge, ordered them reopened.

Christie appointee watched bridge closure in person, documents show - U.S. News

Job growth weakest in 3 years; unemployment rate falls - NBC News.com

ob creation stumbled in December, with the U.S. economy adding just 74,000 positions even as the Federal Reserve voted to take the first steps in eliminating its stimulus program.
The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent, below economists' estimates and due primarily to continued shrinkage in the labor force. 
It was the weakest job creation in almost three years. Economists said the frigid weather might have had an impact.
"I describe this as a weather-related clunker," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist at LPL Financial. He pointed to a 16,000 drop on construction jobs, which are mostly outdoors, versus a drop of 1,000 in transportation and warehousing. 

Job growth weakest in 3 years; unemployment rate falls - NBC News.com

Did Christie get bamboozled by inner circle? Chris Hayes talks to his panel about latest developments in the New Jersey traffic scandal.




All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Chris Christie and the endless presser As more light is shed on the GW bridge lane closures, public scrutiny of Christie and his administration only intensifies.




The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

​NYPD retirees claimed 9/11 trauma to defraud disability program of millions - prosecutor — RT USA

Over 100 retirees, most of them former New York City Police Department employees, were charged Tuesday with defrauding a federal disability program of tens of millions of dollars in a wide-ranging swindle that officials say implicates hundreds more.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said an indictment was filed Tuesday against 106 defendants, including 80 police and fire department retirees and four individuals alleged to have masterminded plans for others to improperly access benefits.
Prosecutors revealed the results of a decades-long investigation that had turned up hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently-paid benefits through the federal Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) program.
Many defendants lied about having post-traumatic stress disorder or depression from the attacks of September 11, 2001, authorities said.


NYPD retirees claimed 9/11 trauma to defraud disability program of millions - prosecutor — RT USA

Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered - NYTimes.com


The mystery of who closed two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge — turning the borough of Fort Lee, N.J., into a parking lot for four days in September — exploded into a full-bore political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday. Emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the governor for re-election.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.

Later text messages mocked concerns that school buses filled with students were stuck in gridlock: “They are the children of Buono voters,” Mr. Wildstein wrote, referring to Mr. Christie’s opponent Barbara Buono.

Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered - NYTimes.com

"What Was Really Great About The Great Society" by Joseph A. Califano Jr.

If there is a prize for the political scam of the 20th century, it should go to the conservatives for propagating as conventional wisdom that the Great Society programs of the 1960s were a misguided and failed social experiment that wasted taxpayers' money.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, from 1963 when Lyndon Johnson took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent, the most dramatic decline over such a brief period in this century. Since then, the poverty rate has hovered at about the 13 percent level and sits at 13.3 percent today, still a disgraceful level in the context of the greatest economic boom in our history. But if the Great Society had not achieved that dramatic reduction in poverty, and the nation had not maintained it, 24 million more Americans would today be living below the poverty level.


"What Was Really Great About The Great Society" by Joseph A. Califano Jr.

Republicans Respond to the Pope - NYTimes.com

Besides, the pope says the problem today is not government involvement, but lack thereof. Growing inequality, he says:
“… is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.”
In case that’s not clear, he adds:
“In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”
That’s not an easy message for anyone to absorb. But apparently it’s especially difficult for Republicans.


Republicans Respond to the Pope - NYTimes.com

Bridging the Compassion Gap - NYTimes.com

Boehner, who has primary responsibility for retaining the Republican majority in the House, is less cowed by the Tea Party forces both within his caucus and out in the states.David Brady, a political scientist at Stanford and deputy director of the Hoover Institution, said in an email: “Tea Party threats to run their candidates against incumbents voting against them have lost credibility.”
In close contests, the long-term unemployed, along with their families and their friends, have the power to determine the outcome in those 2014 elections in which a percentage point gained or lost can be decisive. On Dec. 28 Congress allowed unemployment benefits to expire for an estimated 1.3 million out of work men and women. A vote against restoring the benefits would create “a political vulnerability,” said John Feehery, a public relations executive who was once a top aide to Dennis Hastert, the former House speaker. “A lot of those folks on unemployment are swing voters. They dislike Obama but will vote their economic interests if they have to.”
Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory, agreed:
“I have to assume that if they are willing to consider extending unemployment benefits, it’s because they don’t want to hand Democrats a potentially damaging issue in the midterm elections. They certainly know that this has the support of a large majority of voters including a lot of Republican voters. And Democrats are going to try to use this issue along with raising the minimum wage to try to offset the political fallout from the rollout of Obamacare.”


Bridging the Compassion Gap - NYTimes.com

Ideological war brews within the GOP Congressman Peter King goes after Senator Rand Paul over NSA revelations and a truly substantive debate emerges.





All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Deep freeze heats up climate change-deniers The deep freeze is bad news for most Americans, but it’s a sunny day for the climate-change deniers.




All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Monday, January 06, 2014

Zero Tolerance, Reconsidered - NYTimes.com

Schools across the country are rethinking “zero tolerance” discipline policies under which children have been suspended, even arrested, for minor offenses like cursing, getting into shoving matches and other garden-variety misbehavior that in years past would have been resolved with detention or meetings with a child’s parents.

Zero Tolerance, Reconsidered - NYTimes.com

Rachel Maddow To Koch Brothers: 'I Do Not Play Requests'

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Economist | Corruption in Turkey: The Arab road

Most of U.S. Poor and Very Ill Cared For By Minority Doctors | Atlanta Daily World

"Currently, African-Americans and Hispanics are substantially underrepresented in the physician workforce. Despite making up over 25 percent of the U.S. population, African-Americans and Hispanics make up less than 15 percent of the physicians.
“Patients from disadvantaged groups have substantial problems accessing care,” said the lead author, Dr. Lyndonna Marrast, a physician at Cambridge Health Alliance. “The fact that minority physicians are much more likely to care for disadvantaged patients suggests that expanding the racial diversity of the physician workforce in the U.S. could be key to improving access to care.”

Friday, January 03, 2014

33 percent of Americans reject evolution | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

"I hesitate to draw conclusions from the utterances of these 1,983 supposed adults. Being sure of anything in this life is hard enough. Being sure of what happened millions and billions of years ago is beyond the mortal soul.
But if the pro-evolutionists would like a touch of hope, it lies in the fact that younger generations -- especially those with more education -- are more likely to believe that we've changed for the better and more interesting."

New York Mayors Can't Woo the Nation - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

"The last time a New York City mayor sought and got a higher office was in 1913 when the Republican acting mayor, Ardolph Loges Kline, successfully ran for Congress. In 1971, John V. Lindsay switched parties and made a short bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 2008, Rudolph Giuliani made a bid for the Republican nomination. He lost, and although he’s toyed with running for governor or senator, hasn’t."

NYTimes: Unemployed in Europe Hobbled by Lack of Technology Skills

NYTimes: Women Losing Access to Abortion as Opponents Gain Ground in State Legislatures

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ask a Billionaire: Eric Schmidt's 2014 Predictions

Bratton Takes Helm of Police Force He Pledged to Change - NYTimes.com

"During his address, Mr. Bratton promised “a collaboration unlike any that we have ever seen in this city” between the police and the people they serve.

He said he would seek to understand the “disconnect” that had prevented the department from being celebrated for its accomplishments in delivering a safe city in recent years and instead was met with distrust in many communities. “That’s why I came back,” he said."

Rand Paul's Marshall McLuhan Moment | MSNBC

"This week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had a McLuhan Moment of his own. The Republican senator continues to argue that extending federal unemployment benefits to jobless Americans would be bad for those already struggling, and cited economist Rand Ghayad to bolster his claim.

Ghayad didn’t literally say, “You know nothing of my work,” but he came awfully close.
So why does [the senator] want to end unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for 6 months or longer? Well, Paul cites my work on long-term unemployment as a justification – which surprised me, because it implies **the opposite** of what he says it does."

Now, we clearly have a long-term unemployment problem. The question is why. Paul says it’s all about incentives. He thinks extending unemployment benefits does a “disservice” to the unemployed by encouraging them to stay unemployed for too long. And as a “big-hearted” member of a party that cares about the jobless, he wants to protect them from making such mistakes – by cutting their benefits, of course.

But Paul misreads my work to try to back up his argument.
Ghayad’s piece in The Atlantic fleshes out the details nicely, but the bottom line remains the same: what Rand Paul considers proof that backs up his argument on the merits is actually evidence of how wrong he is. Ghayad added that good policy “requires more than a cursory or selective reading of the research.”

Nightly News: Who Is Bill de Blasio?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nightly News: Who Is Bill de Blasio?

De Blasio's NYC Mayoral Inauguration Highlights