The basics: Egypt is a large, mostly Arab, mostly Muslim country. At around 80 million people, it has the largest population in the Middle East and the third-largest in Africa. Most of Egypt is in North Africa, although the part of the country that borders Israel, the Sinai…
The filibuster lives on. The Senate voted overwhelmingly late Thursday to reject efforts to change its rules to restrict the blockades that have sown gridlock and discord in recent years on Capitol Hill.
Instead, senators settled on a more modest measure to prevent single lawmakers from anonymously holding up legislation and nominations, and the parties’ Senate leaders announced a handshake deal to conduct business in a more efficient and civilized way.
The two leaders, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, also endorsed legislation, to be drawn up later, to break the logjam of confirmations of presidential appointments by reducing by as much as a third the number of appointees subject to Senate approval…
The resolution to effectively end the practice of secret “holds,” where a single senator, without revealing his or her name or motive, can block votes on legislation or nominations, passed 92-4.
Under the proposal long pushed by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and also sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., senators would have to make public their objections within 48 hours of placing them and could no longer baton-pass their holds to other senators to avoid having to reveal themselves.
Holds, which require 60 votes to overcome, have become a common practice by senators trying either to block nominations or push some political point…
Seventy-eight-year-old Frances Piven, a City University of New York professor, has been receiving death threats. It all started when Glenn Beck decided to target her on his Fox News program for a paper she wrote in 1966, calling Piven an “enemy of the Constitution,” one of the “nine most dangerous…
Regulators, politicians and bankers were to blame for the 2008 U.S. financial meltdown, a report has claimed.
The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, tasked with establishing the causes of the crisis, said it was “avoidable”.
Its report highlighted excessive risk-taking by banks and neglect by financial regulators.
“The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not of Mother Nature or models gone haywire,” the report said.
“The captains of finance and the public stewards of our financial system ignored warnings and failed to question, understand and manage evolving risks within a system essential to the well-being of the American public.
“Theirs was a big miss, not a stumble.”
The damning report criticised the extent of the financial deregulation overseen by the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.
It concluded that the crisis was caused by a number of factors:
Failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure “to stem the tide of toxic mortgages”
A breakdown in corporate governance that led to “reckless” actions and excessive risk taking by financial institutions
Households taking on too much debt
A lack of understanding of the financial system on the part of policymakers
Fundamental breaches in accountability and ethics “at all levels”.
It added that “collapsing mortgage-lending standards” and the packaging-up of mortgage-related debt into investment vehicles “lit and spread the flame of contagion”. …
1. Republican politicians focus almost solely on economic issues, ignoring social progress made in America or even standing against it completely.
2. The social issues Republicans do rally behind are suggestive of sexism and other types of unfounded xenophobia (anti-choice, SB1070)
This is right on the money and exactly what irritated me the most about both responses to the State of the Union tonight. No mention of the immigration issue, equality for all Americans- including women and gays, or green technology and innovation. You know except to say that the government does not foster innovation- which I don’t agree. Government contracts are responsible for much of the technology that we use in our everyday lives, like, for example, the internet. And of course, there was the whining about having to use energy efficient lightbulbs.
MOSCOW — Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday ratified a landmark nuclear arms pact with the United States, virtually assuring passage of an agreement President Barack Obama has described as the most significant arms control deal in nearly two decades.
The State Duma voted 350-96 with one abstention to pass a bill to ratify the New START treaty, which was approved by the U.S. Senate late last year. The treaty will now go to the upper house for final approval.
The New START would limit each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200 and also re-establish a system for monitoring that ended in December 2009 with the expiration of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President George H.W. Bush…
With anti-abortion politicians gaining traction, women are on the verge of losing their most sacred right: the right to their own bodily integrity. If laws are passed providing legal protection for fetuses women will become incubators who lose all human rights during pregnancy, even if the…
Great post that rationally lays out the pro- choice argument. Couldn’t have said it better.
That’s what’s going to happen because states are running into budget problems. There is no way of getting out of that.
That may be true, but it begs the question: “If state governors were aware that they could not care for the health and welfare of their most vulnerable constituents in this “new” economy, why are they so hell-bent on preventing the federal government from helping?”
First, accused rapist Luis Munuzuri-Harris insisted on representing himself in a Florida court. He insisted on conducting his own two-hour cross-examination of the woman who brought the charges against him. Then, suddenly Harris decided, actually, I’m going to take that lawyer you offered me….
This is an excellent post. While there is a “confrontation clause” in the 6th Amendment, there has to be some give and take with it. It does not mean that the court must participate in the intimidation of victims of violent crimes. Didn’t we go through this when we began prosecuting mobsters in the 30s and 40s? It is possible to serve the constitutional requirement of “confrontation of one’s accusers” while still protecting the rights of the victim. In many states, while a person may, on request, represent himself, he is still assigned a lawyer as a “coach”. This person is ultimately there to answer questions and help maneuver through the judicial process, but that person could also stand in as a proxy to question the alleged victim in cases such as these.
This “birther” issue has continued to tick me off the most, because top GOP leaders and some Dems have refused for two and a half years to clearly denounce it. Finally, 2 years later, Eric Cantor (R) says he believes Pres. Obama is not only a citizen, but he in fact does not hate the US and is not out to destroy the country. A complete 180 from the “unofficial” party-line. I wonder what Limbagh is going to say….
“I want people to understand that my goal to improve the self-love of young African-American women should never be confused with advocating racial supremacy. There are a lot of young black girls who I meet in my travels who don’t have a lot of self-esteem. So if I communicate to them that they’re beautiful, no white person should find fault in that. It doesn’t mean that young white girls aren’t beautiful, because they are just as beautiful.”—Lauryn Hill (via blackfashion)
The head of a congressional subcommittee announced today that she is looking into why the Pentagon’s health plan won’t pay for veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive an intensive form of rehabilitation.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), chairman of the subcommittee on contracting oversight, said she’s starting the inquiry because of troubling questions raised by NPR and ProPublica in a December report about a contract study funded by Tricare, the Pentagon’s health plan.
The study found limited evidence of the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation programs. The rehabilitation, which has been used by major medical centers for at least 30 years, is designed to retrain patients’ brains to perform basic life functions.
Even though the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” has no chance of passing the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly said he won’t be bringing it to the floor for a vote, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) admitted on Sunday that Republicans may be able to force a vote…
“As we draw down from Iraq and as over the next several years as we draw down from Afghanistan, I see no reason why the military shouldn’t be looked at. When the Cold War ended 20 years ago, when I was chairman and Mr. Cheney was secretary of Defense, we cut the defense budget by 25 percent. And we reduced the force by 500,000 active duty soldiers, so it can be done. Now, how fast you can do it and what you have to cut out remains to be seen, but I don’t think the defense budget can be made, you know, sacrosanct and it can’t be touched.”—Colin Powell: Congress Should Look At Cutting Defense (via corruptpolitics)
“You believe in equality? That women shouldn’t be beaten up or raped? That we should be treated as autonomous human beings capable of making decisions for ourselves? Yes? Good. You’re a feminist. Deal.”—Jessica Valenti (via bibliofeminista)
Not only did this man participate (or “allegedly” facilitated and encouraged) torture of individuals arrested on false charges, but he completely undermined the criminal justice system. He sent innocent men to prison. He deserves a life sentence. Given his situation, I’ll settle for the 4 1/2 years. Call me hardhearted.
Over the last year we have seen more and more evidence that the future lies in green technology and this year, an electric car was made the 2011 North America Car of the Year. Also debuting this year, a prototype design for a "green ark"- a non- polluting settlement built on water that can house up to 10,00 people. It’s all exciting and amazing and we, the US could be a part of it. But no, one of the first acts of the Republican- lead 112 Congress was the immediate dismantlement of the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming. Good job guys. We should really get it together and foster innovation in green technology, a.k.a- the future. That’s what leaders do.
How do I know? Well, I live on a military post. That post has been becoming more and more energy efficient over the last two years, when President Obama began enforcing a more energy efficient policy for all federal agencies- including the US Armed Forces. Remolding and compliance has included tin roofs, erection of solar panels, and…wait for it.. de-icing of roads using an environmentally friendly sugar beet solvent. Not only is this stuff fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly, it works in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. And let me tell you, from what I can see, this stuff works much more efficiently than salt, plus it’s much easier to clean from the car. Much less damage to my paint job. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the green direction.
I was happy to see that the reading was a bipartisan effort, with Republicans and Democrats alternatively reading each passage. But it couldn’t possibly have gone without incident. We did have the predictable birther raving about the “natural born citizen” requirement for presidents. Grr….I’m soo sick of birthers!
I’m a little disturbed by the frequency of John Boehner’s crying fits. I mean he is third in line for the presidency now. What if (GOD forbid) he lands in the seat and he has to go negotiate with Iran or China? I’m not suggesting he might cry in front of them, but word is out and it may prompt them to bring along a cute puppy. He already looks much weaker than Pelosi. Aren’t we women supposed to by the criers? Even worse: that absurd gavel. Have you seen that thing? REALLY!?!?
This is exactly what happens in our history. We are a “feel good” nation. We want to forget the “bad stuff”. So we trumpet the great triumphs of American society (democracy, the Industrial Revolution, capitalism) and gloss over, or in some cases, just leave out all together (Japanese internment camps during WWII) those parts that aren’t quite as shining.
Removing “nigger” from Huckleberry Finn is not the answer; teaching about the historical context is. Literary teachers should be able to do this. These words should not be avoided, they should be explained so that our children understand our nation’s history and why the election of a Black president is such an amazing achievement. Kids need to understand where we have been, to appreciate where we are now and to fight and push for further equality for all Americans. Teaching about offensive words or phrases in on our history is just as important as teaching kids about the War of Independence and the Civil Rights Movement. We need to stop hiding the truth. It’s the only way to move forward.
In case you missed it, a few weeks ago, Gov. Haley Barbour (MS-R) made an inexplicable statement that the Civil Rights movement in MS was “not that bad” and praised Citizens Councils as an “organization of town leaders”, denouncing the (appropriate) analogies to the KKK. Instantly, news organizations jumped on the statement for its astounding inaccuracy in light of our knowledge of history and that this denial was coming from the governor of the state that became synonymous with violent resistance to integration in the South through the 1960s and 1970s. (My mother’s high school, in Jackson, MS, was not integrated until 1972- 18 years after the Brown decision.) For Gov. Barbour not to even acknowledge the horrors suffered by Blacks at the hands of such “councils” in this day and age was not only amazing, it was completely ill-advised for a potential presidential hopeful. But what does he do to show he’s not a complete racist? He releases two black women. Not just any black women. Sisters convicted of an armed robbery and sentenced to life, for stealing a grand total of…wait for it… $11. And no, no one was shot or killed or even truly injured. Now, one is dying of kidney failure and the other has offered to donate her kidney. Like all state prisoners, both are currently on state funded Medicare. The governor is releasing them, on the condition of the healthy sister donating her kidney. He get’s two points for this one: He’s proving he’s not a racist AND he’s saving MS some money by getting the sister in kidney failure off state funded medical assistance, saving money for his state. He is also scouring the prison roles for other prisoners in kidney failure so he can also grant them early release, there-by saving the state more money.
So, to recap: Barbour made another racially insensitive remark (remember Confederate History Month in VA?) then proves he’s ok with black folks by releasing two women whose sentence is the epitome of extreme sentencing AND he still gets to stay cool with the Tea Party group by getting the “sickies” of the “government teat”. Score!
Two and a half years ago, the world looked on in anticipation as the leaders of our government scrambled like chickens with their heads cut-off as the stock market plummeted. We listened as they told us we as a nation were facing a new harsh crisis one that would effect each and every American and would change life as we knew it…again. The only way to soften the blow, would be to bailout the Big Banks and Wall Street, the very people who got us into this mess. And so the Bank Bailout was born. But it wasn’t passed alone. It was closely followed by a credit card consumer protection bill. Why was this little detail significant? Because Congress knew just how sneaky those Wall Street fat cats are.
I couldn't submit this using the submission link, so here is a link I ran across in my twitter travels:
About the Facebooking student case.