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Sunday, March 29, 2015

America’s not a force for good: The truth about our most enduring — and harmful — national myth -

"... the Vietnam War compelled millions of citizens to question the once widely held faith that their country is the greatest force for good in the world, that it always acts to advance democracy and human rights, that it is superior in both its power and its virtue. "

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sean Hannity And Bill O'Reilly Lie About Fox News

Hidden secrets of the right-wing brain: Do you like Scott Walker or Elizabeth Warren? New research explains why -

"More than half a century of empirical research has documented a range of psychological factors underpinning ideological differences, including correlations between conservatism and authoritarianism, dogmatism, prejudice, and justification of inequality, among other things."

9 basic concepts Americans fail to grasp -

"Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S.’ economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves. And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over the reality."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Obama Details His Disappointment With Netanyahu In First Post-Election Comments

"We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn't happen during his prime ministership, and so that's why we've got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don't see a chaotic situation in the region," the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday."

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mighty Morphin Position Changers - The Hypocracy Of Fox News - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Mighty Morphin Position Changers - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Trillion Dollar Fraudsters -

"Meanwhile, both budgets call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the taxes that pay for the insurance subsidies. That’s $1 trillion of revenue. Yet both claim to have no effect on tax receipts; somehow, the federal government is supposed to make up for the lost Obamacare revenue. How, exactly? We are, again, given no hint.

And there’s more: The budgets also claim large reductions in spending on other programs. How would these be achieved? You know the answer."

If Not Loretta Lynch, Then Who? - The New Yorker

"The Senate’s treatment of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, suggests, though, that Ginsburg may have actually underestimated the pathology at work. On November 8, 2014, the President sent her name to the Senate as a replacement for Eric Holder, and she has yet to be confirmed—the Republican leadership has simply failed to put her nomination up for a vote by the full Senate. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, made vague, wiggly gestures about getting it done this week, but he didn’t, and unless something remarkable happens over the weekend his next opportunity will be three weeks from now. The Senate is talking about the budget next week, and will take all its time to pretend that it is making a serious effort to do something about the nation’s finances; after that comes one of those mysterious two-week congressional recesses."

Do the Democrats and Israel Have a Future Together? -

While a deepening polarization among American Jews about Netanyahu puts Obama’s potential successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a politically uncomfortable position, it is the transformation of Israel into a partisan issue that fills Democratic Jewish officials with dread. Clinton’s advisers can always take solace knowing that the Democratic base will vote for a Democratic candidate no matter what. But Jewish Democrats worry about the prospect of keeping liberal support for Israel a viable long-term position for a party base that is overwhelmingly non-Jewish and increasingly critical of the country.

Do the Democrats and Israel Have a Future Together? -

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for Palestine -

For Israelis, there’s currently little cost to maintaining the occupation and re-electing leaders like Mr. Netanyahu. Raising the price of occupation is therefore the only hope of changing Israeli decision making. Economic sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s increased its international isolation and put pressure on the apartheid regime to negotiate. Once Israelis are forced to decide between perpetual occupation and being accepted in the international community, they may choose a more moderate leader who dismantles settlements and pursues peace, or they may choose to annex rather than relinquish land — provoking a confrontation with America and Europe. Either way, change will have to come from the outside.
The boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (B.D.S.) has thrived while Mr. Netanyahu has led Israel. He has become the internationally recognized face of Israeli intransigence, settlement building and brazen disregard for Palestinian human rights. But while Mr. Netanyahu has become synonymous with the occupation, he is in many ways a product of it. There are also entrenched political and economic interests that benefit from maintaining the status quo.

Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for Palestine -

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Starbucks’ Flawed But Wonderful Plan To Tackle Race | TIME

I'm in shock and awe — in awe that the company is trying it, shocked they think it will work

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s bold decision to encourage his baristas to discuss race relations with willing customers has filled me with shock and awe. I’m in awe of his courageous and good-hearted attempt to do something to bring about better awareness of racism. I’m in awe that he’s willing to put morality above profits. I’m in awe that he’s willing to endure the snarky ridicule and lame coffee jokes from pundits as well as the inevitable death threats from clueless trolls. All with nothing personally or corporately to gain — and a lot to lose.
But while in awe of his chutzpah, I’m also in shock that he thinks this will actually work.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Starbucks’ Flawed But Wonderful Plan To Tackle Race | TIME

Monday, March 16, 2015

Will the real Israel please stand up? - Israel Elections - Jerusalem Post

"If the polls are to be even remotely believed, the coalition to emerge in a few weeks time will be as – if not more – unwieldy than the one we happily said goodbye to a few months ago. We’ll most likely be going back to the polls in another two to three years.

Each time, Israel goes to elections hoping that this time it will wake up the next morning to a headline that reads, “Israel has conclusively decided.” But we never do, because we never have conclusively decided.

Instead of that fantasy headline, our reality was best summed up in a sign someone saw fluttering from a balcony a week ago: “I am disappointed in the results of the coming elections.”

The results, much more than the election campaign, will reflect who we are. The message will be muddled because we are a variegated, divided and factious people who can’t agree on what policy should be.

And, yes, we are also one that comes together in times of pain and trauma."

Hidden secrets of the right-wing brain: Do you like Scott Walker or Elizabeth Warren? New research explains why -


Alcohol or Marijuana? A Pediatrician Faces the Question -

"Marijuana, on the other hand, kills almost no one. The number of deaths attributed to marijuana use is pretty much zero. A study that tracked more than 45,000 Swedes for 15 years found no increase in mortality in those who used marijuana, after controlling for other factors. Another study published in the American Journal of Public Health followed more than 65,000 people in the United States and found that marijuana use had no effect at all on mortality in healthy men and women."

Alcohol or Marijuana? A Pediatrician Faces the Question -

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How the Supreme Court is about to explode America’s racial wealth gap -

"Conservatives believe that if blacks and Latinos simply work hard, get a good education and earn a good income, historical racial wealth gaps will disappear. The problem is that this sentiment ignores the ways that race continues to affect Americans today. A new report from Demos and Brandeis University, “The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters,” makes this point strongly. The report shows that focusing on education alone will do little to reduce racial wealth gaps for households at the median, and that the Supreme Court, through upcoming decisions, could soon make the wealth gap explode.

Wealth is the whole of an individual’s accumulated assets, not the amount of money they make each year. As such, in his recent book, “The Son Also Rises,” Gregory Clark finds that the residual benefits of wealth remain for 10 to 15 generations."

Friday, March 13, 2015

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Accuses GOP Of Keeping Jim Crow Alive In 21st Century

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Accuses GOP Of Keeping Jim Crow Alive In 21st Century

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Accuses GOP Of Keeping Jim Crow Alive In 21st Century

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Accuses GOP Of Keeping Jim Crow Alive In 21st Century

Racist e-mails at work a rare aberration, except... Rachel Maddow reports on racist emails cited in the Department of Justice report on the Ferguson police department, and wonders at the assertion by Fox News' Megan Kelly that racist emails in the workplace are common.

  1. The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

Jon Stewart Mocks Republican Senators' Open Letter To Iran

Jon Stewart Mocks Republican Senators' Open Letter To Iran

Beheadings By Israel Wanted By Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman

Monday, March 09, 2015

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Daylight Saving Time - How Is This S...

Recommended read from Elizabeth Warren causes DC freakout: Why the liberal hero has elite Washington in hysterics

By way of illustration, take a look at the new profile of Warren published this week in Politico Magazine, which is hardly a hotbed of doctrinaire liberalism. Written by Glenn Thrush and Manu Raju, the piece bears most of the hallmarks of the Politico style, for better and worse. At no point during its thousands of words do Warren’s policy views get any more than the most cursory attention, and the only new information it provides is essentially gossip. (Former President Bill Clinton refused to campaign for Warren during her 2012 Senate bid because she has been mean to his banker buddies, for example.) But what’s most interesting about the piece is that even here, in the unofficial flagship magazine of elite Washington, the fundamentally non-radical approach Warren takes to politics is crystal clear.

Indeed, what we see Warren doing in the piece more than anything else is playing politics by the traditional means. Before her star-making performance as an overseer of the Wall Street bailouts, she spends years quietly but consistently building contacts in Washington and making powerful friends. When the White House decides it won’t go to bat for her to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she largely created, she doesn’t rail against them in the press or demand it appoint a radical in her stead. When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid offers her a spot on the leadership team, she happily takes it, hoping to prove to anybody watching that she’s a “team player.” Hell, according to Politico, she’s even trying to find ways to compromise with Republicans in the Senate!"

Recommended read from Bill O'Reilly's sick pathology: Why his systematic lying is even worse than reported

"In fact, one of O'Reilly's favorite tricks is the editing of videotape to create a half-truth that amounts to a big lie. After O'Reilly had interviewed President Obama in February of 2014, he played a clip of the interview on his show, saying that it revealed a president refusing to call the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Malignantly, the clip ended immediately before the President said this: “Understand, by definition, Bill, when somebody is attacking our compound, that's an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened.”

Race, History, a President, a Bridge -

"About an hour north of where the president spoke was Shelby County, whose suit against the Department of Justice the Supreme Court had used togut the same Voting Rights Act that Bloody Sunday helped to pass.

His speech also came after several shootings of unarmed black men, whose deaths caused national protests and racial soul-searching.

It came on the heels of the Justice Department’s report on Ferguson, Mo., which found pervasive racial bias and an oppressive use of fines primarily against African-Americans.

It came as a CNN/ORC poll found that four out of 10 Americans thought race relations during the Obama presidency had gotten worse, while only 15 percent thought they had gotten better."

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Ferguson Became Symbol, but Bias Knows No Border -

"Had the shooting occurred three and a half miles to the north, the world’s attention might have turned to the city of Florissant, where in 2013, the police stopped black motorists at a rate nearly three times their share of the population. Less than four miles to the northwest, in Calverton Park, court fines and fees accounted for over 40 percent of the city’s general operating revenue last year.

But it was Ferguson and its government that came under federal scrutiny almost unprecedented for a city of its size, culminating ina Justice Department report last week that described explicit racism among city officials, abusive policing and a system that seemed to view people “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.” And it is Ferguson that will almost certainly be forced to make wholesale changes."

Friday, March 06, 2015

Show: Jon Stewart destroys Netanyahu over speech to Congress (March 4, 2...

City of Ferguson names two police officers who resigned Thursday over racist emails.

Job Growth Was Fantastic Last Month. So Why Aren’t Wages Rising More? -

irst the good news. The American job market has truly, really, finally, unquestionably shifted into a higher gear.
The 295,000 jobs the nation added in February was comfortably above expectations, drove the unemployment rate down two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.5 percent, and completed the best stretch for job creation in nearly 15 years. Over the last six months, the nation has added just shy of 300,000 jobs a month, the strongest number since the six months ended in March 2000.
This time a year ago, the economy was locked in a yearslong tepid recovery that involved adding 2 to 2.5 million jobs a year. That has now hit 3.3 million, and will soon hit 3.5 million if this pace of job growth keeps up. This is pretty terrific news by any standard.

Job Growth Was Fantastic Last Month. So Why Aren’t Wages Rising More? -

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Did John Roberts Tip His Hand? - The New Yorker

"Roberts’s one question may turn out to be extremely important. The issue in the case is whether the Obama Administration, in implementing the Affordable Care Act, violated the terms of that law. The plaintiffs assert that the A.C.A. only authorizes subsidies for individuals who buy health insurance on the fourteen state-run exchanges, or marketplaces. Under their reading of the law, the eight million or so people in the other thirty-six states who currently buy their insurance from the federal marketplace should be denied their subsidies."

Did John Roberts Tip His Hand? - The New Yorker

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mr. Netanyahu’s Unconvincing Speech to Congress -

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel could not have hoped for a more rapturous welcome in Congress. With Republicans and most Democrats as his props, he entered the House of Representatives to thunderous applause on Tuesday, waving his hand like a conquering hero and being mobbed by fawning lawmakers as he made his way to the lectern.
Even Washington doesn’t often see this level of exploitative political theater; it was made worse because it was so obviously intended to challenge President Obama’s foreign policy.
Mr. Netanyahu’s speech offered nothing of substance that was new, making it clear that this performance was all about proving his toughness on security issues ahead of the parliamentary election he faces on March 17. He offered no new insight on Iran and no new reasons to reject the agreement being negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other major powers to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.
His demand that Mr. Obama push for a better deal is hollow. He clearly doesn’t want negotiations and failed to suggest any reasonable alternative approach that could halt Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Mr. Netanyahu’s Unconvincing Speech to Congress -

Reality Check: It’s 2015, not 1938. And Netanyahu’s no Churchill - Opinion - Jerusalem Post

ot the day of the week or the month, because Netanyahu is fully aware that his cynical participation in Republican attempts to undermine US President Barack Obama is taking place two weeks before polling day here in order to ensure the Israeli electorate’s attention is diverted from his colossal failings as prime minister over the past six years.

No, the date Netanyahu needs to check is the year. To quote our prime minister from a speech he made some time ago: “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs... preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state.”

Reality Check: It’s 2015, not 1938. And Netanyahu’s no Churchill - Opinion - Jerusalem Post

A series of victories for President Obama? | MSNBC

A series of victories for President Obama? | MSNBC

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Eric Holder on Malcolm X legacy

South Korean President Urges Japan to Admit Past Wrongs -

"SEOUL, South Korea — President Park Geun-hye of South Korea urgedJapan on Sunday to have the “courage and honesty” to admit to its historical wrongdoings against Koreans and other Asians, including its enslavement of Korean women in military brothels during World War II.

“As Germany and France overcame conflict and mutual enmity and became leaders in building a new Europe, it is time for South Korea and Japan to write a new history together,” Ms. Park said in a nationally televised speech. “But despite their geographical proximity, the two nations could not get close in heart because of tensions surrounding historical issues.”

South Korean President Urges Japan to Admit Past Wrongs -