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Monday, September 28, 2015

Transcript: Pope Francis’s comments to bishops in Washington He speaks directly about immigration. - The Washington Post

"My second recommendation has to do with immigrants. I ask you to excuse me if in some way I am pleading my own case. The Church in the United States knows like few others the hopes present in the hearts of these “pilgrims”. From the beginning you have learned their languages, promoted their cause, made their contributions your own, defended their rights, helped them to prosper, and kept alive the flame of their faith. Even today, no American institution does more for immigrants than your Christian communities. Now you are facing this stream of Latin immigration which affects many of your dioceses. Not only as the Bishop of Rome, but also as a pastor from the South, I feel the need to thank and encourage you. Perhaps it will not be easy for you to look into their soul; perhaps you will be challenged by their diversity. But know that they also possess resources meant to be shared. So do not be afraid to welcome them. Offer them the warmth of the love of Christ and you will unlock the mystery of their heart. I am certain that, as so often in the past, these people will enrich America and its Church."



Transcript: Pope Francis’s comments to bishops in Washington - The Washington Post

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I'm Not Going To Censor Myself To Comfort Your Ignorance. - Jon Stewart

Christopher Columbus of Brooklyn - The Essence of "White Privilege" This is pathetic but all to common. "In it, a white male jogger yells at another white man for running into him with a stroller. The jogger goes ballistic, yells out “white trash,” and later adds: “You’re new in the neighborhood! I came to this neighborhood! The only reason white people like you are living here is because I settled this f**king neighborhood for you!” A black officer steps into break up the shouting match, but the irony doesn't end there. The jogger -- who has been hilariously nicknamed Christopher Columbus of Brooklyn -- continues to shout: "White privilege! White f**king privilege!...You pushed your stroller right into me, and all I say was 'excuse you,' and then you said, 'f**k you f**k you!' You f**king white trash!" What the 46-year-old completely missed while he was accusing another man of taking advantage of white privilege? White men “settling” into neighborhoods that were once predominantly black, to make room for other white people, is the epitome of white privilege. But despite the Internet's response, that lesson doesn't seem to sink in with the jogger, who told Gothamist, his "street cred, especially in the black community, in this city, is huge." Needless to say, it’s all pretty pathetic. Watch the shameful scene below:

Obama and Xi Must Do More Than Agree to Disagree | Jimmy Carter

The Chinese must understand that America would like to see a peaceful, prosperous, and free China and that we do not wish to undermine the rise of China. Similarly, Americans need to understand that China differs from the Soviet Union that we faced in the Cold War. China needs to be encouraged to participate in and defend the international order governed by international laws and norms.
While the current challenges that threaten to derail the U.S.-China relationship are great, I am sure that Deng Xiaoping would agree with me that none of these challenges are more daunting than the ones we worked together to conquer.
Finding ways toward peace and sustained development at home and abroad are at the core of the missions of both President Obama and President Xi. With many conflicts raging and the global economy still fragile, now is the time for each nation to defend a global order conducive to peace and development.
The two presidents must use their meeting later this month to do more than simply agree to disagree on many issues. They can forge a consensus on how to build trust through U.S.-China collaboration that acts to solve our common global challenges. Our joint commitment to take the lead on pressing environmental challenges would set an example that few other nations could not follow.


Obama and Xi Must Do More Than Agree to Disagree | Jimmy Carter

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lunch with the FT: Ta-Nehisi Coates - FT.com

"At the start of this year, Coates, who turns 40 on Wednesday, was a fairly well-known journalist. He had published a little-read memoir about growing up in Baltimore, The Beautiful Struggle (2008), but his reputation stemmed chiefly from a 2014 article for the Atlantic magazine arguing that the US should pay black Americans reparations for slavery. Then, this July, his slim book Between the World and Me was published in the US amid national furore over the #blacklivesmatter movement, protests in Baltimore and the massacre of black churchgoers by a white man in Charleston, South Carolina. The book argues that the “destruction of black bodies” is not simply a constant of American history but the very foundation stone of white American “progress”.



Lunch with the FT: Ta-Nehisi Coates - FT.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Senate Democrats to Unveil Aggressive Climate Change Bill - The New York Times


WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday plan to unveil a measure intended to signal their full-throated support of President Obama’s aggressive climate change agenda to 2016 voters and to the rest of the world.

The Democrats hope that the bill, sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell, of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee, will demonstrate a new unity for the party on energy and climate change, and define Democrats’ approach to global warming policy in the coming years.



Senate Democrats to Unveil Aggressive Climate Change Bill - The New York Times

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cartoon: Herr Trump

"First Donald Trump came for the Mexican immigrants, but I wasn't a Mexican immigrant, so i didn't speak up..." -said someone on the internet. Donald Trump and his supporters swear he is the hottest newest thing on the political scene since forever, but we all know that we've heard a campaign like this before. Maybe in the 1930s. In one of those countries that's better than our loser country, according to this candidate. I think we should relearn this lesson and look into those history books, before someone bans them.







Cartoon: Herr Trump

Trump and the Man in the T-Shirt - The New Yorker



But even more outrageous, this week, was Trump’s tolerance of the questioner’s premise: that Muslims in America are “a problem.” Calling Obama a Muslim is not wrong because being a Muslim is bad; it’s wrong because he is a Christian, and so “Muslim” becomes a shorthand for impostor and liar, for deceptive secret agent. Trump, though, went well beyond not defending the President: he affirmed an attack on the millions of Muslim Americans who are as much a part of the national community as anyone else. The man in the T-shirt’s actual point, after all, was about the supposed training camps “where they want to kill us.” He wanted Trump to answer his question: “When can we get rid of them?”


Trump and the Man in the T-Shirt - The New Yorker

What Exxon Knew About Climate Change - The New Yorker

"As early as 1977, Exxon (now ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies) knew that its main product would heat up the planet disastrously. This did not prevent the company from then spending decades helping to organize the campaigns of disinformation and denial that have slowed—perhaps fatally—the planet’s response to global warming."



What Exxon Knew About Climate Change - The New Yorker

In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another - The New York Times

In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another - The New York Times

Friday, September 18, 2015

How Pope Francis Came to Embrace Not Just Climate Justice but Liberation Theology | The Nation

Pope Francis confronts the environmental crisis.



"It must be a little disorienting, as a Democrat heading into primary season, to wake up one morning and find yourself to the right of the pope. And not just any pope, but a wildly popular rock-star pope, whose favorables even among non-Catholics are sky-high. Yet that is the situation in which most Democrats, and certainly presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, find themselves on the question of climate change as Francis comes to the United States in September to address Congress and the United Nations."



How Pope Francis Came to Embrace Not Just Climate Justice but Liberation Theology | The Nation

Donald Trump May Not Have a Second Act - The New Yorker

On Wednesday evening, during the Republican Presidential debate on CNN, Trump was exposed as ignorant of basic policy details (he was a bystander during the foreign-policy exchanges), boorish (he refused to apologize to Columba Bush for saying that her background influenced Jeb’s allegedly permissive views on undocumented immigrants), and he seemed—no other way to put it—“low energy” as the debate dragged on into its third hour. (As my colleague Amy Davidson put it, “he seemed to be insulting people just to stay awake.”) Political observers then spent the day after the debate ruminating on whether we may be witnessing the beginning of Trump’s decline, and whether his fate will look similar to that of the five Republican candidates—Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum—who all experienced similar polling surges in the 2012 G.O.P. Presidential contest, before Republican voters wised up and picked Mitt Romney.



Donald Trump May Not Have a Second Act - The New Yorker

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Questions on the Blake Assault - The New York Times

By The Editorial Board, www.nytimes.comView OriginalSeptember 15th, 2015



Yes, they can start by firing him.



James Frascatore, the New York City police officer who jumped and assaulted an innocent man, James Blake, in Manhattan last Wednesday, has disgraced the department. Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio should make an example of him. They should make it clear that his unprovoked aggression — caught by a security camera, so there is no doubt about what he did — reflects everything that causes people to distrust and hate the N.Y.P.D. The officer’s further transgressions — not identifying himself to Mr. Blake, not apologizing, failing to void the arrest in follow-up paperwork — speak to an appalling lack of judgment by someone unfit for the job.



The mayor and Mr. Bratton need to acknowledge all this, and they should explain a few other things.



Like: Why shouldn’t Officer Frascatore be arrested for assault? Why was he still loose on the street despite his long history of excessive-force complaints, first reported by WNYC, including punching a driver in the mouth (after stopping him for a broken taillight) and another man in the stomach (while calling him a racial slur)? That those victims were both black and Mr. Blake, is biracial deserves attention. Why is no action taken when multiple complaints are filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board?



After the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island at the hands of the police in July 2014, Mr. Bratton promised to retrain all of his officers in professional, nonlethal arrest procedures. How could Officer Frascatore not have gotten the message?



Mr. Bratton fiercely defends his department’s aggressive policing of small infractions, so that “quality of life” in the city is preserved. But “quality of life” should also mean the freedom to stand on the sidewalk without worrying that a plainclothes officer will attack you.



There is a public job, too, for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which said in a statement that Officer Frascatore’s assignment to desk duty had been “premature and unwarranted.” What will it take for the union boss Patrick Lynch to stop reflexively defending excessive force and admit that Officer Frascatore and Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who led the group tackle that smothered the life out of Mr. Garner, reflect a larger problem?



Mr. Blake, a big name in pro tennis, has lots of media attention and is willing to use it, for which the city should be grateful. Too many people who should know better have been trying to derail the debate over police misconduct.



Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Raymond Kelly, a former police commissioner, have lately been making self-serving attacks on Mr. de Blasio and his Constitution-based approach to law enforcement. Mr. Kelly, flacking his new memoir, has argued for a return to the lawless “stop and frisk” tactic that flourished on his watch, on the grounds that violating the rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent people is smart policing.



New Yorkers deserve policing carried out with “Courtesy, professionalism, respect,” painted on the sides of patrol cars. Officers Frascatore and Pantaleo make those words a farce.



Correction: September 16, 2015

An editorial about the police attack on James Blake misidentified Raymond Kelly, the former New York City police commissioner. He served under Mayors David Dinkins and Michael Bloomberg, not Rudolph Giuliani.





Questions on the Blake Assault - The New York Times

All In Exclusive with Ahmed Mohamed | MSNBC



All In Exclusive with Ahmed Mohamed | MSNBC

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Donald Trump Is Target of Conservative Ad Campaign - The New York Times

"The group, Club for Growth, is focusing its considerable firepower first on Iowa, where Mr. Trump has leapt to a significant lead over more conventionally credentialed Republican candidates, panicking Republican leaders. The group will spend $1 million on advertising in the state starting on Thursday, with plans for further spending in the weeks ahead, the club’s president, David M. McIntosh, announced at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.





Donald Trump Is Target of Conservative Ad Campaign - The New York Times

How Segregation Destroys Black Wealth - The New York Times

"The complaint, and the investigations that led to it, shows how real estate agents promote segregation — and deny African-Americans the opportunity to buy into high-value areas that would provide better educations for children and a greater return on their investments.



Over the course of nearly a year, the alliance reports, black and white testers posing as home buyers had drastically different experiences when they contacted a real estate company near Jackson, Miss. Agents often declined to show properties to black customers who were better qualified than whites, with higher incomes, better credit scores and more savings for down payments. Meanwhile, white testers who had expressed interest in properties in the majority-black city of Jackson were steered into majority-white communities elsewhere.



These problems are not limited to the South. Indeed, another alliance investigation covering a dozen metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Chicago, Dayton, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, San Antonio and the District of Columbia, suggests that housing market discrimination is universal.



Despite being better qualified financially, black and Latino testers were shown fewer homes than their white peers, were often denied information about special incentives that would have made the purchase easier, and were required to produce loan pre-approval letters and other documents when whites were not."



How Segregation Destroys Black Wealth - The New York Times

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Donald Trump’s glory days as the butt of Spy’s jokes: How the “short-fingered vulgarian” rose to the occasion and became a break-out national star - Salon.com

The thing that amazed me about the ’80s and ’90s Trump – I’d never seen anyone who so manifestly and desperately thrived on media attention. He couldn’t have enough – as close to a literal addiction as I’ve ever seen. So now, with this summer and this campaign, he’s getting more attention than ever. And it’s like some X-Man thing or The Hulk – he’s just getting bigger and bigger. You can see him just vibrating with the pleasure of people paying attention to him every day.
There’s nothing about him that indicates that he’s a happy person – so it’s an interesting combination of “I’m rich, I’ve got this beautiful wife,” and yet, “Why don’t you seem happy? Warren Buffett seems happy.”



Donald Trump’s glory days as the butt of Spy’s jokes: How the “short-fingered vulgarian” rose to the occasion and became a break-out national star - Salon.com

Megyn Kelly trips up patently unprepared Ben Carson with softball question about Kim Davis and slippery slopes - Dumb, dumb and dumber - Dr Carson is clueless concerning American Constitutional law as well as American history. He is well out of his depth. You do not have Constitutional rights when you take a job government or private. You waive those rights when you take the oath. This is elementary. How sad. Salon.com






Megyn Kelly trips up patently unprepared Ben Carson with softball question about Kim Davis and slippery slopes - Salon.com

Emasculated white men love Donald Trump: The real reason a billionaire bozo rules the GOP - Salon.com

Emasculated white men love Donald Trump: The real reason a billionaire bozo rules the GOP



Trump, as a phenomenon (rather than as a mere presidential candidate), is a direct reflection of a profound nationwide fear among white men. The rise of Trump shows just how elemental the worries about seeing Hillary in the White House are among that set. Hillary Clinton symbolizes just about everything that has “old-school” American men – and there are many of those – afraid.



Emasculated white men love Donald Trump: The real reason a billionaire bozo rules the GOP - Salon.com

Even Fox News Can't Defend 'Ridiculously Stupid' Argument From Kim Davis' Lawyer Though Fox Commentator Misconstrues Article III Of The Constitution

Wow, Fox News gets the answer right though the got Article III of the Constitution wrong.   The Constitution does not give the Supreme Court the last word on interpreting the Constitution.  In the case of Marbury vs Madison 1803 the Supreme Court asserted the right to be the last word in Constitutional interpretation.  This set a precedent which has lasted until today.  Fox News is pretty poor.



John H Armwood



Even Fox News Can't Defend 'Ridiculously Stupid' Argument From Kim Davis' Lawyer

How Chinese and Americans Are Misreading Each Other -- And Why It Matters | Fu Ying

OBAMA CHINESE

BEIJING -- While speaking at a dinner forum in Beijing, I was asked by an American participant what the Chinese disliked about the United States. Being among friends, I spoke my mind: it is Americans condescendingly lecturing others. What astounded me somewhat, though, was that many Americans present were actually surprised by this comment. What seems obvious to one group can be seen as surprising to another.
Later, I posed the question to a number of my WeChat (a Chinese mobile service combining the function of Facebook and Twitter) groups to seek views from others. I received many messages back. For example, Peggy, a mother, wrote that the Americans are too sloppy with their diet and the restaurants are stuffed with greasy and salty food. Shu, a grade school kid: American parents give their children freedom, letting them do whatever they want. Hui, a businessman from western China: I like the toll-free American highways.


How Chinese and Americans Are Misreading Each Other -- And Why It Matters | Fu Ying

Travis Kalanick Interview Uber Chief

Poll shows Clinton holds majority Dem support | MSNBC



Poll shows Clinton holds majority Dem support | MSNBC

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Instant Karma gets lady after anti-immigrant/racist rant over kebab order







Instant Karma gets lady after anti-immigrant/racist rant over kebab order

The Solution to Drug Prices - The New York Times

"Almost all developed countries — including those run by very conservative governments — have an effective solution for drug prices, which is why these countries often pay less than half of what people in the United States pay for drugs. For instance, Australia’s more than 60-year-old Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has been the single purchaser of drugs for the country, making drugs available at fixed prices that are now listed online.



If the United States were to consider such an approach, drug companies would immediately raise two objections: the high risks associated with drug development and, related, the high cost of research and development. But both of these arguments are fatuous. It is true that a vast majority of drugs fail. On average, only one in every 5,000 compounds that drug companies discover and put through preclinical testing becomes an approved drug. Of the drugs started in clinical trials on humans, only 10 percent secure F.D.A. approval.



Regardless of the risks, many drug companies are making huge profits. Gilead, maker of Sovaldi, has profits of around 50 percent. Biogen, Amgen and other biotech firms have profits of around 30 percent. Merck and Pfizer are seeing profits of 18 percent or more. Even if profits were cut by a third or a half, there would be sufficient incentive to assume the risks of drug development.



What should be done? The United States government has created myriad special pricing arrangements that pervert incentives. For instance, Medicaid generally gets the lowest prices in the market. This discourages drug companies from experimenting with other payers on lower price arrangements, knowing that they will most likely have to give the same deal to Medicaid. Similarly, through the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 the United States created many incentives for developing drugs for orphan diseases — those with fewer than 200,000 patients nationwide. Through special tax credits and better deals on marketing exclusivity, the federal government is encouraging the companies to benefit thousands instead of millions. The result has been the development of more than 400 drugs and biologics. While it is important to find effective treatments for rare diseases, it is more important to target serious, common diseases such as stroke and antibiotic-resistant infections.



The Solution to Drug Prices - The New York Times

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Zuckerberg’s Expensive Lesson



It’s just hitting bookstores, but Dale Russakoff’s new book, “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?,”
has already become a source of enormous contention, both in Newark,
where the story takes place, and among education advocates of various
stripes.
The
plotline revolves around what happened to the Newark school system
after Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder and chief executive of
Facebook, donated $100 million in 2010 to transform the city’s schools, a
sum that was matched by the prodigious fund-raising of Cory Booker,
Newark’s former mayor (now the state’s junior senator). The stated goal
of the grant, according to Zuckerberg at the time, was to turn Newark’s
schools into a “symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.”
Five years later, with the money basically gone, I think it is fair to
say that hasn’t happened.

Russakoff’s
story, in brief, is that Zuckerberg, knowing little about education
reform, naïvely put his faith in the charismatic Booker, a champion of
the reform movement. Booker advocated the usual things: more teacher
accountability, more charter schools and new agreements with the
teachers’ union that would allow for the best teachers to be rewarded —
and the worst to be fired.




Zuckerberg’s Expensive Lesson

Monday, September 07, 2015

MSNBC Demotes Al Sharpton

Donald Trump's Long History of Racism - The Fight to Save Atlantic City - The New Yorker

"I met a bus driver named Kip Brown, who worked the Port Authority route, up and back each morning, for Academy Bus Lines. He had been at Academy for fifteen years and was No. 3 in seniority, out of seventy drivers in the region. As ridership has fallen, Academy has been cutting back on its schedule. The number of visitors arriving by bus is an eighth of what it was a quarter century ago. In the spring, Brown, just forty-seven, retired."



Now he was looking for work as a livery driver. Brown also used to work in the casinos, at the Showboat, bussing tables, and at Trump’s Castle, stripping and waxing floors. “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” he said. “It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.”



He lives in the Northside, on Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard, in a house that, like many in town, was inundated during Hurricane Sandy. “Sandy: that was the beginning of the fall of Atlantic City,” he said. Because of the rise in property taxes, the value of the house is well below the value of the mortgage, so he is stuck with it. “If I could get out of my house, I would. I don’t want to live in Atlantic City, to be honest with you.” Recently, one of the employees at his cousin’s corner store had been killed in an armed robbery.



The Fight to Save Atlantic City - The New Yorker

Black Employees at a Trump Casino Were Reportedly Removed Whenever the Donald Arrived | Mother Jones





It was only recently that Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump said he'd be willing to physically fight Black Lives Matter activists if they interrupted him on stage. Now, a new report from the New Yorker relays an alarming account of how black employees at one of Donald Trump's Atlantic City properties were routinely kept from view when the real estate magnate came to town. From writer Nick Paumgarten:
I met a bus driver named Kip Brown, who worked the Port Authority route, up and back each morning, for Academy Bus Lines. He had been at Academy for fifteen years and was No. 3 in seniority, out of seventy drivers in the region. As ridership has fallen, Academy has been cutting back on its schedule. The number of visitors arriving by bus is an eighth of what it was a quarter century ago. In the spring, Brown, just forty-seven, retired.
Now he was looking for work as a livery driver. Brown also used to work in the casinos, at the Showboat, bussing tables, and at Trump’s Castle, stripping and waxing floors. "When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor," he said. "It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back."
Black Employees at a Trump Casino Were Reportedly Removed Whenever the Donald Arrived | Mother Jones

Friday, September 04, 2015

Migrants Can Enter Austria and Germany, Official Says - The New York Times

BUDAPEST — Thousands of migrants who have been bottled up in Hungary, demanding passage to the West, will be allowed into Austria and Germany, the Austrian chancellor said late Friday.



After several days of chaos and civil disobedience by the migrants, Hungarian officials threw in the towel and allowed the people living in a squalid encampment in a below-ground plaza outside the city’s main train station onto more than 40 buses headed for the Austrian border, as they had been demanding.

Migrants Can Enter Austria and Germany, Official Says - The New York Times

Here’s how Donald Trump responded to my essay about him - The Washington Post





Here’s how Donald Trump responded to my essay about him - The Washington Post

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: This is the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders - The Washington Post

Ernest Hemingway once said that courage was “grace under pressure.” Two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, have recently tested this proposition. And how each man responded revealed the type of person he is and the type of president he would make: Trump authored his own doom, and Sanders opened immense new possibilities as a compassionate person and serious candidate for president.

Here’s where it went fatally wrong for Trump. During the GOP debate on Fox, when Megyn Kelly famously queried him about his attitude toward women (whom he has called “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “animals”) he hit back by threatening the questioner: “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: This is the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders - The Washington Post

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes on Donald Trump | MSNBC



Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes on Donald Trump | MSNBC