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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.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Americans Who Have Stereotypical Ideas About Race And Violence Are More Likely to Own Guns | Smart News

Washington Times ends Sen. Rand Paul column amid plagiarism allegations - Washington Times

Though Defiant, Senator Accused of Plagiarism Admits Errors -

Rewriting Rand Paul on plagiarism Sen. Rand Paul is facing accusations of multiple counts of lifting other people’s work. Lawrence O’Donnell delves into the scandal in his latest Rewrite.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc

Tough times for Rand Paul Ashley Parker and James Carroll look back at the Rand Paul’s not-so-stellar week, and how it could affect his chances as a contender in 2016.

Hardball with Chris Matthews on msnbc

The Fate of the Humanities - Room for Debate -

Calling America - Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? -

" “Few Americans are aware of how much America has lost in this recent episode of bringing the American economy to the edge of a cliff,” said Kishore Mahbubani, the dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy here, and the author of “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World.” “People always looked up to America as the best-run country, the most reasonable, the most sensible. And now people are asking: ‘Can America manage itself and what are the implications for us’ ” — if it can’t?

In talking to Asian college students, teachers, diplomats and businesspeople, here is how I’d distill what was on their minds: “Are you really going to shut down your government again? Like, who does that? And, by the way, don’t think that doesn’t affect my business over here, because I’m holding a lot of dollars and I don’t know what their value is going to be. Also, how could the people who gave us Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, I.B.M., H.P. and Google not be able to build a workable health care website? I know it had five million users, but there are 48 million Indonesians on Facebook!”

Another Obamacare 'Horror Story' Debunked; and, No, the President Didn't Lie About the Law

NYTimes: Getting Government Technology Right

NYTimes: Mr. de Blasio’s Moment

All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Scandal's toll on Rand Paul exposes weakness | MSNBC

Scandal's toll on Rand Paul exposes weakness | MSNBC

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

De Blasio Seeks Mandate as Lhota Hopes for Upset -

New York City is poised to elect it's first Democratic Party Mayor since David Dinkins who served one year term and previously the often forgotten but beloved by many John Vliet Lindsay who served from 1966-1973.

De Blasio Seeks Mandate as Lhota Hopes for Upset -

Monday, November 04, 2013

Gun Shooting in New Jersey mall, No Reports of Casualties

Another gun nut shooting in a mall in New Jersey. This is another incident which is the responsibility of the NBA and other ignorant people who oppose common sense gun control. No other country in the world has this of gun violence. When I said none I mean none. We do not know if there are casualties yet. There is still an active shooter in the mall.
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NSA chief may lose US Cyber Command role

NYTimes: Talk to Iran, It Works

Sunday, November 03, 2013

How Trains Saved the Union -

Former House Speaker denied voter ID card in Texas after voting since 1944 | FreakOutNation

Texas is a horribly run stater by people who would deny the former 90 year old Speaker of the Congressional House of Representatives.  What luck voting do you think old Hispanic and African Americans have there.  My mother was born there and left in her twenties only to return once to get her mother.  I went with her and suffered an unprovoked aggravated assault from a Houston police officer.  I want to live long enough to see Texas turn blue.

Former House Speaker denied voter ID card in Texas after voting since 1944 | FreakOutNation

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - The Healthcare Debate "Wit Happens"

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

No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A. -

"When Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, sat down with President Obama at the White House in April to discuss Syrian chemical weapons, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and climate change, it was a cordial, routine exchange.

The National Security Agency nonetheless went to work in advance and intercepted Mr. Ban’s talking points for the meeting, a feat the agency later reported as an “operational highlight” in a weekly internal brag sheet. It is hard to imagine what edge this could have given Mr. Obama in a friendly chat, if he even saw the N.S.A.’s modest scoop. (The White House won’t say.)

But it was emblematic of an agency that for decades has operated on the principle that any eavesdropping that can be done on a foreign target of any conceivable interest — now or in the future — should be done. After all, American intelligence officials reasoned, who’s going to find out?"

This highlights the problem with spy agencies which also plagues police organizations. The internal cultures of these organizations,  like any bureaucracy, seek to expand their power through internal competitive pressure and the natural desire for the organization to grow. This concept was described by Max Weber in his seminal 19th Century work "The Theory of Socio-economic organization.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Stop and frisk is probably dead anyway | MSNBC

“There’s no basis; this was not only a fundamentally flawed decision but an outrageous decision and an attack on the independence of judges,” says Darius Charney, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the group that sued the city over stop and frisk. “To accuse a judge of violating judicial ethics on such a non-existent record is just outrageous.”

Yet in the long term, stop and frisk as practiced by the New York City police has likely already lost, even with Scheindlin gone.

The Center for Constitutional Rights had charged that the city’s stop and frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of New Yorkers by discriminating against them on the basis of race. Judge Sheindlin had agreed, ordering the city to submit to a federal monitor to oversee the changes to the city’s policing practices. The three judges who removed Sheindlin blocked her August ruling finding that the city’s application of stop and frisk was unconstitutional. The judges wrote that Scheindlin “ran afoul” of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges with statements to the media and her suggestion to a future plaintiff that they file the lawsuit that eventually became the stop and frisk case.

Up to 80% of those stopped in New York City under stop and frisk were black and Latino. Responding to criticism that the policy amounted to racial profiling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg countered that 80% was not nearly enough, saying that “we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.” City officials claimed the policy was necessary to stop crime, but the crime rate in New York is low and was on a modest decline even before stops increased exponentially in recent years.

It is very unusual for a judge to be removed in this fashion, particularly without a request from either party to the case. “A removal at this stage is astoundingly rare,” says Steven Lubet, a professor at Northwestern Law and an expert in legal ethics. Having handled related cases for years, Charney says, Scheindlin knows the facts of the stop and frisk case at a level that any new judge will struggle to reach.

Though the city had not requested Scheindlin be removed for bias, Bloomberg had publicly attacked Scheindlin for failing to be impartial after the city lost its case. ”Given the judge’s public comments and media interviews throughout the case, this decision was certainly not a surprise,” Bloomberg said at a press conference following the ruling.

Bill Maher 11/01/13 NEW RULES + Closing Statement - REPUBLICANS, HUNTING...

Low-Wage Workers Are Robbed More Than Banks, Gas Stations And Convenience Stores Combined

Walmart Is One Of The Biggest Beneficiaries Of Food Stamps

Zimmerman Juror: 'We All Know Who's Guilty'

Jon Stewart Says 'Go F*ck Yourselves' To Media Who Use His Jokes As Evidence Of ACA's Failure

"Watch above as Stewart tells anyone who would use his comedy show as evidence of Obamacare's failure exactly where they can shove it.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, there's a choir and yes, they say f*ck a lot."

How The Obama Campaign Pushed A Bombshell Scoop To The NY Times

Depressing Percentage Of Americans Believe This About Jews

This myth is being spread by Bible thumping, evangelical Christian bigotry.   Anti-Semitism is live and well.

Friday, November 01, 2013

One thing that often gets lost in the moment-to-moment measurements of a president’s efficacy and his legacy is one of the most enduring and resilient effects he can have on American life: court
This week we were reminded once again of how much sway federal judges hold as they dealt several setbacks to liberal causes.
The conservative Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which required employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees.
The conservative Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reinstated most of Texas’ new abortion restrictions that a federal district judge, Lee Yeakel, had struck down as imposing an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

And the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit halted sweeping changes to New York City’s outrageous stop-and-frisk policy, changes called for by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan who found, “The city acted with deliberate indifference toward the N.Y.P.D.’s practice of making unconstitutional stops and conducting unconstitutional frisks.

‘Shop and Frisk’ Stokes Black Middle-Class Rage |  Damn Skipper!

Racial Inequality Costs U.S. Trillions | The Afro-American Newspapers | Your Community. Your History. Your News.

Families brace as billions in food stamp cuts set in - NBC

Barbaric behavior in the richest country in the world.

Rand Paul pledges caution amid more borrowed language - Alexander Burns -

When will your favorite airline take advantage of the FAA's rule change? | Mobile - CNET News

Libertarians: The Great White Hope - The Daily Beast