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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dark New Climate Change Report Shows 'Devastating' Effects -

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

The first annual "Dumb, Dumb and Dumber Award" for 2013 goes to Michelle Bachmann for her statements in Cairo.

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

Best and worst political moves of 2013 | MSNBC

Federal Judge Upholds Majority of New York Gun Law -

"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 -

More states are coming to recognize that the death penalty is arbitrary, racially biased and prone to catastrophic error. Even those that have not abolished capital punishment are no longer carrying it out in practice.

The Slow Demise of Capital Punishment -

Surge in health insurance enrollments? A record number of people visited on the last day to buy coverage effective January 1st. Lawrence O’Donnell discusses with Howard Dean, Ezra Klein, and Carl Gibson.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

The Last Taboo - Jennifer Michael Hecht - POLITICO Magazine

"On Real Time with Bill Maher last August, Maher asked his guest, newly retired Rep. Barney Frank, if he felt liberated now that he was a private citizen. Frank said he did, since he no longer gets phone calls saying someone screwed something up and he has to “unscrew it.” Maher pressed on, saying, “You were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those congresspeople who have to worry about every little thing. You could come on this show and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist, and it wouldn’t bother you.” Frank shot back: “Which pot-smoking atheist were you talking about?” Then he pointed back and forth to Maher and himself."

Read more:

The Last Taboo - Jennifer Michael Hecht - POLITICO Magazine

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Where Poor and Uninsured Americans Live - Interactive Map -

"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"

Seeing the positive changes brought by the federal health law -

"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.",0,1425488.column#ixzz2ovE6c2mG

So… was that racist? It seems that one person’s obvious bigotry is another person’s “accidental racism.” The MHP panel brings some clarity to the confusion with a rapid fire round that asks – was that racist?

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

There’s nothing ‘post’ about our racial angst Though some claim we live in a post-racial era, the nation’s angst about race surfaced in big ways in 2013.

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Climate change by the numbers: The worst is yet to come -

A Deadly Mix in Benghazi - The New York Times

"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.

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

When the Mentally Ill Own Guns -

"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."

As the Obamas Celebrate Christmas, Rituals of Faith Become Less Visible -

NYTimes: Civilians Trying to Flee South Sudan Violence Are Caught Between Two Sides

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bill Russell: Racism in Louisiana

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.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Lawrence’s favorite segment of the year Lawrence O’Donnell revisits his favorite segment of 2013 featuring the Cub Scout Troop in Birmingham that raised more than $18,000 for the KIND Fund.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

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.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Is Chris Christie a bully? Lawrence O’Donnell talks to Hunter Walker about why it isn’t too difficult for some to believe that Chris Christie might have been involved in the bridge scandal.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas on five-finger discount for shoplifters seeking holiday high - NBC

Shoplifting incidents rise around the holidays, and experts say the culprits are often seeking an emotional boost. In this photo illustration, two women steal electronics. Editor's note: The subjects’ faces have been intentionally blurred.

Christmas on five-finger discount for shoplifters seeking holiday high - NBC

5 takeaways from Edward Snowden's Washington Post interview -

"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

Obamacare enrollments surge in Kentucky as first deadline nears | MSNBC

Obamacare enrollments surge in Kentucky as first deadline nears | MSNBC

The right is wrong about Pope Francis A MHP panel talks about Rush Limbaugh’s criticism of the pope and discuss why some conservatives are weary of his statements on wealth and poverty, saying it sounds like liberal policy.

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Congressional leaders debate NSA data collection program | MSNBC

ongressional leaders spoke Sunday about a recent report recommending major changes to the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs.

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 -

The mantra “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” reverberates throughout our society. How about “people kill less people without guns?” It’s clear that the only reason I’m alive is because my assailant didn’t have his weapon of choice. Can you imagine if we had access to guns in prison?

A Perspective on Guns, Murder, Suicide from Attica -

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

James Madison vs. the NSA | MSNBC

James Madison vs. the NSA | MSNBC

Jettison NSA phone database, panel tells Obama | Politics and Law - CNET News

Duck Dynasty Butthole Logic

HBCU's Presidents at a New Crossroad

"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."

Study: Black Teenage Pregnancy Rates Drop Dramatically | News | BET

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Racism linked to infant mortality, learning disabilities » State & National News » The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

"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:

Monday, December 16, 2013


Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records -

Article: Racial Demographic Voter Armageddon Dooms GOP | OpEdNews

"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.

NSA divided over possible amnesty deal for Snowden | Politics and Law - CNET News

"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.)"

NYTimes: Why Inequality Matters

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elizabeth Warren: Education Department Shouldn't Be A 'Lapdog'

Elizabeth Warren: Education Department Shouldn't Be A 'Lapdog'

George W. Bush Might Be Losing It, Says Jimmy Kimmel

George W. Bush Might Be Losing It, Says Jimmy Kimmel

Tim Cook receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award

SPLM leaders pull out of NLC meeting over “lack of dialogue spirit” - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

"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."

Dear President of China -

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."

Remembering Nelson Mandela and His Fight for Climate Justice | Mother Jones

Obama and the Democrats have bounced back | MSNBC

Why it’s time, author says, for journalism to raise its intellectual standards

Hard-pressed | Harvard Gazette

Obama Shakes Hands With Cuba's Raul Castro at Mandela's Memorial

What an important moment to long in coming.

Many blacks and Latinos have no retirement savings, study shows | Black Politics on the Web

Does racial discrimination cause mental illness?


Take that, Paul Ryan! Elizabeth Warren beats back Social Security plot -

Sunday, December 08, 2013

With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East - The Washington Post

With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East - The Washington Post

Passing for white and straight: How my looks hide my identity -

Passing for white and straight: How my looks hide my identity -


The Central Intelligence Agency played an important role in the arrest in 1962 of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who was jailed for nearly 28 years before his release four months ago, a news report says.

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.


48 Hours Video - CBS News explores the social, cultural and political impact of Mandela's life on the world -

48 Hours Video - CBS News explores the social, cultural and political impact of Mandela's life on the world -

Remembering the complexities of Mandela, The struggle of leadership, How movements for justice are caricatured.

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

How low-wage strikes helped change the conversation in Washington | MSNBC

How low-wage strikes helped change the conversation in Washington | MSNBC

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Dick Cheney Didn't Regret His Vote Against Freeing Nelson Mandela, Maintained He Was A 'Terrorist'

There is a special place in hell for people like Cheney.

Dick Cheney Didn't Regret His Vote Against Freeing Nelson Mandela, Maintained He Was A 'Terrorist'

There is a special place in hell for people like Cheney.

How Maddow Helped Force Clinton's Support For Mandela

The Fight To Prove Obamacare Can Overcome Deep South Resistance

The radical histories of Mandela and MLK | MSNBC

The radical histories of Mandela and MLK | MSNBC

The radical histories of Mandela and MLK | MSNBC

The radical histories of Mandela and MLK | MSNBC

South African National Anthem

Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won't Talk About | ThinkProgress

1. Mandela blasted the Iraq War and American imperialism. Mandela called Bush “a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly,” and accused him of “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” by going to war in Iraq. “All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil,” he said. Mandela even speculated that then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan was being undermined in the process because he was black. “They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” he said. He saw the Iraq War as a greater problem of American imperialism around the world. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said.

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

Elizabeth Warren's "You Didn't Build That Speech"

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mandela: ‘I am prepared to die’ Nelson Mandela outlines his principles in a famous speech before his sentencing. Lawrence O’Donnell, Michael Eric Dyson, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Chris Bishop discuss Mandela’s road to freedom.

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.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

John Boehner On 113th Congress Being Least Productive Ever: 'We've Done Our Work'


"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."

HPD responds to accusations of racial profiling with Oklahoma teen, dancers | Houston

HPD responds to accusations of racial profiling with Oklahoma teen, dancers | Houston

US students lag in international education ranking | MSNBC

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.

The troupe claims they were racially profiled by the officers, who refused to believe the teen, Landry Thompson, had permission to be in the city with her dance partner, Josiah Kelly, 22, and their instructor, Emmanuel Hurd, 29. The group, from Tulsa, Okla., had spent the day recording a dance video with local artists.

Read more:
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

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Marcia Clark on the Marissa Alexander case, American justice in Black and White

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Germany rethinks its liberal ways on sex workers"

Afghans Assail Karzai’s Disparate Views on Killings -

President Hamid Karzai was silent about the civilian casualties, although just the day before he had responded with fury to a similar attack in Helmand Province, which also killed one child and gravely wounded two women.
The attack he complained about was carried out by the American-led coalition and used a drone. The attack he ignored was by the Taliban and used a suicide bomber.
The bomber had targeted an American military patrol in the Daman district but detonated prematurely — killing only himself and the boy and wounding two American soldiers, said Javed Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor, who said no condolences had yet been received from Kabul.

Afghans Assail Karzai’s Disparate Views on Killings -

One Drug, Two Names, Many Problems -

Wal-Mart arrests could fuel “a new political movement of the disenfranchised,” Grayson tells Salon -

Friday, November 29, 2013

Watch "Chris Hayes and Paul Wolfowitz, Amazing Interview" on YouTube

Tom Watson statue removed from Georgia’s Capitol steps |

Tom Watson statue removed from Georgia’s Capitol steps |
This is a sad story because Watson started out as a biracial populist but he found it politically expedient to later on reverse his views, join the KKK and become a racist and anti-semite preying on the divide and conquer strategy that poor and poorly educated whites are still susceptible to.

United We Stand? Tom Watson on Interracial Southern Populism

Just as the question of race divided the Southern Populist movement, so has it divided historians. Some scholars point to the uniquely interracial qualities of the Populist movement, while others emphasize the ways that racial divisions limited the success of southern agrarian radicals. Part of the difficulty in resolving the dispute is the complexity and ambiguity of race relations in Southern Populism. In his famous essay on “The Negro Question in the South,” published in 1892, Tom Watson, a Southern Populist who was elected to the U.S. Congress from Georgia in 1890, made one of the strongest cases for an alliance of black and white farmers. Yet Watson was calling for a strategic political alliance, not a fully integrated society, and his commitment to interracialism did not survive the defeat of the Populist movement. After the turn of the century, Watson led efforts to disfranchise African Americans, publishing demagogic attacks on them as well as on Catholics and Jews.

Chinese Welcome 'Two-Child' Policy, But Can They Afford It?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

South Korean President Park should respond sternly to state interference, not priest’s comments : Editorial : Home

"The President’s remarks about “not tolerating” participants in the mass come across as quite belligerent. Indeed, it sounds like she was telling her cabinet to find anything in the law they could to punish the participants. At one point, she asked the secretaries for their “firm commitment not to bow to or in any way tolerate any mistakes for the sake of the public.” This seems to suggest that the authorities may be at work this very moment thinking of ways to punish the mass’s participants. It’s disturbingly reminiscent of the president’s father, Park Chung-hee, ordering “detentions and investigations” during his administration in the 1960s and 1970s. The idea of a president making what comes across as threats to the public over behavior she doesn’t like is an unfortunate legacy from the past. No matter how unpleasant Father Park’s remarks may have been to the president, it is not her place to take action on them."

This is an outright attack on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association, the core freedoms which are a prerequisite for a democracy.  Her statements directly violate Article 21 of the Constitution of Korea which reads:

Article 21
(1) All citizens shall enjoy freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of assembly and association.

(2) Licensing or censorship of speech and the press,and licensing of assembly and association shall not be permitted.

Clearly her words have demonstrated an intent to violate the Constitution.  As a result Article 65 of the Korean Constitution the National Assembly has a duty to begin an impeachment process against the President.

Article 65
(1) In case the President, the Prime Minister, members of
the State Council, heads of Executive Ministries, Justices of
the Constitutional Court, judges, members of the National Election Commission,the Chairman and members of the
Board of Audit and Inspection, and other public officials designated by Act have violated the Constitution or other Acts in the performance of official duties,the National
Assembly may pass motions for their impeachment.

Clearly the President's attack on the aforementioned priest warrant action under Article 65

President should respond sternly to state interference, not priest’s comments : Editorial : Home

A Woman's Health Care Decisions Should Be in Her Own Hands, Not Her Boss's | Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council


A Woman's Health Care Decisions Should Be in Her Own Hands, Not

Ensuring the full freedom of women as health care consumers to access essential preventative health services is a vital component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And nowhere are health decisions more personal or essential to keep in their hands, than those regarding reproductive health. The ACA was designed to ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor, and not by her boss, or Washington politicians.

Today, there are people trying to take this right away from women, by letting private, for-profit corporations and employers make medical decisions for their employees, based on their personal beliefs.

A group of for-profit companies are currently suing to gain the right to deny employees access to coverage for birth control and contraceptive care, which are used by the overwhelming majority of American women in their lifetimes. Among the first cases to reach the Supreme Court is one filed by Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain whose owners want to be able to take the option for birth control benefits away from their employees.

We are confident the Supreme Court will agree that health decisions in this country should remain with individuals, in consultation with their doctors, families, faiths, and whomever else they personally trust. No corporate entity should be in position to limit women's legal access to care, or to seize a controlling interest over the health care choices of women. To take that type of power away from individuals, and to let the personal beliefs of a woman's boss dictate her health care choices would constitute a major step backward for women's health, and self-determination.

Cobb Commissioners approve partial funding for future Braves... |

No money for educational and. The poor but you can use my tax dollars for a sports complex?   This is unjust.

Global Warming's Villains Are Finally Identified

" 90 companies have produced two-thirds of all the global-warming gases that are currently in our atmosphere and dooming our planet, and they've produced half of that since just 1986, according to the first-ever scientific analysis of the sources of the planet's global-warming gases.

Virtually all 90 of these firms are oil, gas, and coal producers. Starting with #1, the top 20 are: ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Aramco (Saudi Arabia), BP, Gazprom (Russia), Shell (Netherlands), National Iranian Oil Co., Pemex (Mexico), ConocoPhillips, Petroleos de Venezuela, Coal India, Peabody Coal USA, Total (France), PetroChina, Kuwait Petroleum, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (UAE), Sonatrach (Algeria), Consol Energy USA, BHP-Billiton (Australia), and Anglo-American (UK, the company that got America's CIA to install the Shah in Iran)."

Bernie Sanders Reveals Why He Might Run For President In 2016

" In an interview with Salon, Sanders said he worries that there are "serious crises" not being discussed, like income inequality, global warming and unemployment, among other things:

And lastly, I would say that while the American people feel very strongly — and this is, by the way, across the board, Democrats, Republicans and independents — in opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, inside the Beltway, the political establishments, there is support for cuts to those terribly important programs.

So those are some of the issues that are out there that need discussing. We have a middle class that is disappearing, and somebody has got to be speaking strongly to defend our middle class.

Sanders has said before he'd consider a 2016 run, telling the Burlington Free Press in November he felt there should be a progressive presence in the race."

Disturbing Details Revealed About Zimmerman Arrest

"SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman had five guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition with him when deputies arrested him earlier this month on domestic violence charges, according to court documents released Tuesday.

A search warrant made public by the Seminole County court clerk shows that Zimmerman had a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle and three handguns when he was arrested Nov. 18 at his girlfriend's house. The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, told deputies that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her during an argument and also used it to smash her coffee table.

Zimmerman is free on $9,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief. He has entered a written plea of not guilty."

NYTimes: Another Challenge to the Health Care Law

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

U.S. Likely to Drop Espionage Charges Against Julian Assange

As I said from the beginning their was no legal basis for such charges.

Iran Dissidents Split on Nuclear Deal - The Daily Beast

"Sanctions relief—but hardly any political prisoners released? The country’s fractured democratic opposition is divided on whether the Geneva agreement will bode well for its struggle"

Florida school threatens to expel student over 'natural hair' | MSNBC

This type of backwards racism demands the firing of all teachers and/or administrators involved in this action plus a formal apology to the student and to all African American students and faculty. The South remains a cultural wasteland. Unbelievable.

Supreme Court expected to take up birth control cases | MSNBC

Pope Francis 'Evangelii Gaudium' Calls For Renewal Of Roman Catholic Church, Attacks 'Idolatry Of Money'

" (Reuters) - Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the "idolatry of money" and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare"

Hayden: Iran deal doesn’t kill nuke program, it buys us time | MSNBC

U.S. and Saudis in Growing Rift as Power Shifts -

“We still share many of the same goals, but our priorities are increasingly different from the Saudis,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a professor of Middle East studies at the University of Vermont. “When you look at our differing views of the Arab Spring, on how to deal with Iran, on changing energy markets that make gulf oil less central — these things have altered the basis of U.S.-Saudi relations.”

The United States always had important differences with the Saudis, including on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the spread of fundamentalist strains of Islam, Mr. Gause added. But the Obama administration’s determination to ease the long estrangement with Iran’s theocratic leaders has touched an especially raw nerve: Saudi Arabia’s deep-rooted hostility to its Shiite rival for leadership of the Islamic world."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Guess What? The ‘Knockout Game’ Is America’s Latest Phony Panic - The Daily Beast

HBCU woes divert financial problem-solving | Black Politics on the Web

"Last month, Grambling’s football team — citing atrocious training facilities and inferior athletic equipment — stopped practicing and refused to travel to Jackson State to play a Southwestern Athletic Conference game. That game was supposed to be Homecoming for Jackson State.

Last week at Delaware State Univrsity, all band activity was suspended indefinitely amid allegations of hazing. An investigation is currently underway, this just two years after a Florida A&M University band member was killed during a hazing incident.

On Friday, the HBCU football community took another shot — literally — when the CIAA championship game between Virginia State University and homestanding Winston-Salem University was canceled after several VSU players allegedly assaulted WSSU quarterback Rudy Johnson in a bathroom while a luncheon was being held honoring both teams. (Philadelphia Tribune)"

NAACP seeks harsher charges in San Jose racial hazing case -

Obama: I’m ‘not a particularly ideological person’

"The biggest barrier and impediment we have right now is the Congress, and in particular the House of Representatives, that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people and is a lot more focused on trying to position themselves for the next election,” Obama told about 60 wealthy supporters at a fundraising dinner outside of Seattle."

Melissa Harris-Perry Wielding legislative power: Nov. 1963 & 2013 As Kennedy’s Camelot continues to capture public imagination, it is LBJ’s political legacy Americans profoundly feel today. The MHP panel discusses whether Harry Reid going nuclear is channeling his LBJ – or whether he is revealing weakness.

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

No Prison Time For Alabama Rapist Victim Speaks Out

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Melissa Harris-Perry on msnbc

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recommended read from Noam Chomsky: America is a terrified country

"The United States is a very frightened country. And there are all kinds of things concocted for you to be frightened about. So that should have been the filter, and [there were] a few other things, but I think it’s basically the same."

Recommended read from Millennials, rise up! College is a scam -- you have nothing to lose but student debt

"What has been insufficiently recognized is that the inflationary spiral in schooling has brought increasing alienation and perfunctory performance among students who are not at the top of the competition, those who are forced to stay in school more years but get no closer to elite jobs. Grade inflation and low standards of promotion are symptoms of this process. There is considerable evidence, from ethnographies of teenagers, of youth culture, and especially youth gangs, that the expansion of schooling has brought increasing alienation from official adult standards. The first youth gangs appeared in the early 1950s when working-class youth were first being pressured into staying in school instead of going into the labor force; and their ideology was explicitly anti-school."

In Prison for 25 Years, Man Says NYPD Set Him Up -- Daily Intelligencer

"Valance Cole has at least two key facts on his side in his long struggle to overturn a manslaughter conviction for a 1985 Brooklyn killing that has kept him in prison for more than a quarter century. The first is that the homicide detective who built the case against him is closely connected to an evidence-faking scandal that has prosecutors — and now a New York State Supreme Court judge — reexamining dozens of old convictions. The second is that another man has been trying for years to confess to the killing in question."

NYTimes: In Defense of a Loaded Word,  an interesting view from my oldest son's generation.

Alabama Man Won't Serve Prison Time for Raping 14-Year-Old | Mother Jones

An Alabama man convicted of raping a teenage girl will serve no prison time. On Wednesday, a judge in Athens, Alabama, ruled that the rapist will be punished by serving two years in a program aimed at nonviolent criminals and three years of probation.

Alabama Man Won't Serve Prison Time for Raping 14-Year-Old | Mother Jones

NYTimes: Are Kids Too Coddled?

NYTimes: Deals at Climate Meeting Advance Global Effort

NYTimes: A Step, if Modest, Toward Slowing Iran’s Weapons Capability

NYTimes: Accord Reached With Iran to Halt Nuclear Program

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hong Kong's ethnic minorities complain of racial profiling by police | South China Morning Post

Let’s Make a Deal -

"ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The Middle East once again proves that if you eat right, exercise regularly and don’t smoke, you’ll live long enough to see everything, including a day when the Jews controlling Jerusalem and the Sunni Saudi Custodians of the Great Mosques of Mecca and Medina would form a tacit alliance against the Shiite Persians of Iran and the Protestants of America — with the Hindus of India and the Confucians of China also supporting America, sort of, while the secularist French play all sides.

I’ve now seen everything."

Bill Nye Slams Board Members For Anti-Evolution Stance

"This textbook business is, to my way of thinking, a very serious matter, because of the economic impact," Nye said in an email to HuffPost. "Everyone should take a moment and think what it will mean to raise a generation of students who might believe that it is reasonable to think for a moment that the Earth might be 10,000 years old."

A Growing Chill Between South Korea and Japan Creates Problems for the U.S. -

"Mr. Hagel was in the region to try to revitalize America’s faltering “pivot” to Asia and had one especially pressing request for Ms. Park: to try to get along better with Japan. The steely Ms. Park instead delivered a lecture about Japan’s “total absence of sincerity” over the suffering that imperial Japan caused Korea in the last century and finished with a request of her own: that Washington force Tokyo to behave.

“If Germany had continued to say things that inflicted pain, while acting as if all was well, would European integration have been possible?” she asked Mr. Hagel. “I think the answer is no.”

Court Won’t Vacate Stop-and-Frisk Ruling -- Daily Intelligencer

"New York City's lawyers are currently scheduled to argue against Scheindlin's verdict in an appeals court this March, but Bill de Blasio has said he will tell them to abandon the effort once he becomes mayor. So, earlier this month, the city's Michael Bloomberg–ruled legal team filed a motion to have Scheindlin's stop-and-frisk decision tossed out now. Today, that request was rejected by the same judges who blocked Scheindlin's ruling, effectively eliminating the possibility that the verdict will be overturned. Somewhere in this city, Bloomberg and Ray Kelly are using swear words."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recommended read from GOP is literally killing its base

"Slashing food stamps will decrease the life expectancy of poor rural whites, many of whom put Republicans in office"

Store owner installs surveillance cameras to spy on police | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

"A Miami convenience store owner is fed up with his employees and customers being allegedly harassed by police. So he installs surveillance video to get evidence against the local cops"

With the filibuster nuked, bring on the liberal judges | MSNBC

Michel Gondry Goes Between the Lines With Noam Chomsky -

Yes, America Has Gotten Better About Racism, but It Really Doesn’t Matter | The Nation

" Because I write about race and racism in the United States, I’m often asked some variation of this question: are things better now?

I don’t mean to be condescending when I answer, but usually my response is frustrated laughter followed by a firm “no.” It’s the most polite thing I can think to do in the moment. At least, it’s more polite than saying, “That’s a stupid fucking question.”

But that’s how I actually feel. It sounds harsh, but I truly believe “Are things better?” is one of the most useless questions in a discussion about racism. It’s another in a repertoire of rhetorical tricks we use in this country to avoid the hard work of addressing racism in its modern form. By reframing the conversation around how much progress has been made, we further the false narrative that racism is a problem that belongs to history. While we pat ourselves on the back for not being as horrible as we once were, we allow racism to become further entrenched in every aspect of American life."

In the history of America there have been 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations Have have occurred during the Obama presidency.

Georgia GOP dusts off Jim Crow tactic: Changing election date | MSNBC

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Racism in the Age of Obama - Room for Debate -

If You're a Millennial, Black, or Latino, Good Luck Voting Quickly in 2016 | Mother Jones

DBALL 11/20/13 GOP vs. Obama: A ‘strange, unbalanced battle’ Howard Fineman and Jonathan Capehart talk about voting rights and if Republicans have an agenda to derail President Obama’s proposals.

Hardball with Chris Matthews on msnbc

Trayvon Martin Juror -- George Zimmerman Belongs in Prison |

How's this for irony ... George Zimmerman belongs in prison ... this, coming from one of the jurors in the Trayvon Martin case who kept him OUT of prison.

Juror B29 -- who identifies herself as Maddy -- tells TMZ, she always had a bad feeling about Zimmerman, despite finding him not guilty of murdering Trayvon ... a verdict she begrudgingly reached through a strict interpretation of the law.

Now, she says Zimmerman's domestic violence arrest is proof he's not freedom-worthy ... "God is showing George's true side ... [George] is continuing to dig himself a bigger grave."

The juror believes Zimmerman will continue to commit violent acts until someone lays down the law  ... telling us, "He NEEDS to do some type of time ... He thinks he is invincible."

Yet Again, George Zimmerman Proves He’s Violent, Aggressive, and Confrontational - The Daily Beast

Zimmerman's recent arrest for domestic violence, and attempt to pin the blame on his girlfriend, should put an end to the debate over Trayvon Martin's killing.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

" Another fact that jumps out when looking at the map: While Republicans have led the call to slash the SNAP program in the House, many of the states whose residents are most reliant on food stamps are reliably Republican and located in the GOP's Southern heartland. About 20 percent of the population in Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and South Carolina, for instance, receive benefits from the federal food assistance program."

NYTimes: Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis

NYTimes: With Braves Set to Move, a Broader Look at Atlanta

Friday, November 15, 2013

A more defiant Obama in Ohio: 'I am going to see this through'

When Will Americans Grow Up And Accept Diversity As Our Greatest Strength?

Sometimes I think that progress is an illusion inspite of obvious social improvements in our country.

I was confronted with the most blatant outburst of antisemitism that I have seen in many a year. I had commented on a conversation about religious diversity that most of my elementary and junior high school classmates were Jewish. She responded by saying how horrible. I was shocked and instantly angry. I told Her how thankful I was they were not narrow-minded bigoted southerners. She then went through a litany of false and time worn antisemitic stereotypes. I said to her obviously you have not known many Jewish people.

This woman saw nothing wrong with her bigotry. She is an adjunct professor at my school. She at least has a master's degree.

The ironic part is this woman is an androgynous David Bowie type figure who could easily be the target of the same type of ignorance she peddles.

John H. Armwood

NYTimes: British Press Freedom Under Threat

Thursday, November 14, 2013

PolitiFact | Did Medicare Part D have the same rollout problems as the Obamacare online marketplaces?

" Strangely similar

Let’s play a quick game: who made this statement?

"This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches."

A Democrat in 2013? Wrong! Actually, it was Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who chaired the House Energy and Commerce Committee, about Medicare Part D in 2006.

The similarities between the two health care programs, both heralded as the signature domestic achievements of the presidents who signed them into law, are at times eerie. Supporters of the laws asked for time and promised a quick fix. Critics did not mince their words. Even the lingo -- words like "glitches" -- has been recycled."

Elizabeth Warren Speech on GOP Filibusters of Judicial Nominees

▶ Speech on GOP Filibusters of Judicial Nominees - YouTube

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lindsey Graham Responds To 60 Minutes Benghazi Retraction

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday defended his use of a "60 Minutes" report on the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attack that was retracted this week due to questions about the report's truth.

Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he would not approach his investigation into Benghazi differently even though the British contractor cited in the report gave a different account of the night of the attack to FBI officials.