So, here’s where we are on the debt limit discussions: Democrats have agreed to large spending cuts, but are holding out for doing something about “a rule that lets businesses value their inventory at less than they bought it for in order to lower their tax burden, a loophole that lets hedge-fund managers count their income as capital gains and pay a 15 percent marginal tax rate, the tax treatment of private jets, oil and gas subsidies, and a limit on itemized deductions for the wealthy.”
And Republicans walked out.
Think about it. There’s a significant chance that failing to raise the debt limit could provoke a renewed financial crisis — and Republicans would rather take that chance than allow a reduction in tax breaks on corporate jets.
What this says to me is that Obama cannot, must not, concede here. If he does, he’s signaling that the GOP can extract even the most outrageous demands; he’s setting himself up for endless blackmail. A line has to be drawn somewhere; it should have been drawn last fall; but to concede now would effectively mean the end of the presidency.
Washington, DC - The largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets.org, today called on the Chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party to apologize to troops and military families for saying re-electing President Obama will mean those who died in war will have died “completely in vain.”
Caught on video, Chairman Jack Kimball said this week, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m looking at what has happened. All that we treasure lost: people, the loss of life, people who are psychologically and physiologically damaged for life, the sacrifices of the families that supported then. All of this. And I wonder what we did. Look at who we put in the White House. You think about that and we realize the profound responsibility that we have this time. In my view, if we reelect this man, all that all of the people fought and died for is completely in vain.”
In response, Iraq War Veteran and Interim Chairman of VoteVets.org, Ashwin Madia said, “Jack Kimball owes our troops and their families a deep apology. He has attempted to trivialize their sacrifices in order to launch a partisan attack on their commander in chief. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the military did so in service to America, fighting for our values - the most important of which is our democratic system of government, where people freely choose our leaders. Kimball’s statement displays a deep ignorance of our military and contempt for our system of government - he should immediately apologize.” […]
“If you’re one of these women, don’t worry: the (Supreme) Court says it’s still okay for you to sue Wal-Mart — just be sure you hire the best legal team an eight-dollar-an-hour cashier can buy. Because thanks to the Supreme Court, you will have to sue them as an individual — but the $420 billion corporation gets to fight you as a team.”—
1. Stop making rape jokes. These jokes are becoming really popular right now and they are not funny. The other day, I heard a really famous musician say, “This is my rape face!” while narrowing his eyes and wrinkling up his nose. Another man sitting nearby replied,…
“See the game? (According to Chris Wallace at Fox News,) I make fun of conservatives or Republicans because I’m a liberal, partisan ideologue; I make fun of liberals and Democrats because I want — as part of my brilliant yet cynical strategy — to maintain enough credibility to continue to make fun of conservatives and Republicans.
And that narrative of conservative victimization is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished: any editorial judgment in news, or schools, or movies that doesn’t favor the conservative view is elitism and is evidence of liberal bias. Whereas any editorial judgment that favors the conservative view is evidence, merely, of fairness — and done to protect them from liberal bias.
And if you criticize Fox for this game, guess what that’s evidence of? How right they are about how persecuted (conservatives are). It is airtighter than an otter’s anus.”—JON STEWART, calling out Fox “News,” on The Daily Show (via inothernews)
(Editor’s note: this is a long submission, so I’m putting it behind a cut. But it’s worth reading, especially if you live in Indiana.)
rennajenna submitted: “I am currently an intern at in the state government of Indiana. For those who do not know, Indiana is extremely conservative, a fact that tends to put me at odds with the administration. Well, something happened today that made me simply furious. I know a lot of you may not care at all, but this blog and its readers are about the only people that I can rant to who might understand.
Today, I met Governor Mitch Daniels.
His presentation was interesting enough; he discussed the different things that his administration has done to improve the business climate of Indiana. During the time in which he took questions, I was able to ask him the following questions:
No words. Well maybe a few. You know, they don’t do this in the Israeli airports and those are reportedly the safest in the world. They don’t do this in the European airports- again, safe. So why must we keep doing this in our airports? Why?!
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley issued a statement late Saturday saying that fellow Justice David Prosser choked her and disputing claims that she attacked him first.
“The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold,” she said. “Those are the facts and you can try to spin those facts and try to make it sound like I ran up to him and threw my neck into his hands, but that’s only spin.” [read more]
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A candlelight march protesting Alabama’s tough new immigration law drew enough people of different colors and faiths to fill nearly 11 city blocks Saturday evening at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham.
“You look like Alabama to me,” Scott Douglas, head of the interfaith antipoverty group Greater Birmingham Ministries, and one of the rally organizers, told the crowd. “This will be a peaceful, nonviolent candlelight prayer march that there may be justice in Alabama without exclusion.”
The interfaith vigil drew an estimated 2,500 people from across Alabama, and from other states, to protest what is considered the toughest immigration law in the country.
“We had an expectation of 1,000 and were praying for 1,800,” said Philip Bowling, one of the organizers. “Looks like we exceeded both those marks.”
The immigration law is set to take effect Sept. 1, although several groups have vowed to block it in court. Alabama is one of five states to recently pass laws designed to clamp down on illegal immigrants. […]
Sandy Falwell, who has worked in a neonatal intensive care unit for some 20 years, could tell plenty of stories about the impact of the Great Recession on the lives of her patients. One of the most painful: After a woman gave birth to a 2-pound baby, she told Falwell that she blamed herself for her baby’s premature birth. During her pregnancy she had been unable to afford insulin treatments for her diabetes—in part because she was taking care of her elderly parents.
Falwell is a member of National Nurses United, a union whose members come face-to-face with the fallout of the financial crisis every day. On Tuesday, they rallied on Wall Street with the message that “America has the wealth to end the despair and deprivation.”
Rose Ann DeMoro, the union’s executive director, explained: “There’s a financial transaction fee that we’re going to have Wall Street pay—they’ve paid it here in the past—it’s very American. These yo-yos who buy and sell and buy and sell our country should have to pay a tax on that.”
The United States had a transactions tax from 1914 to 1966, which levied a 0.20 percent tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help financial recovery and job creation during the Great Depression.
The push for a financial transactions tax gained traction in late 2009/ early 2010. We need to start talking about it again.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is now reportedly accused of grabbing fellow female Justice, Ann Walsh Bradley, by the neck during an argument that took place in Justice Bradley’s chambers over the recent upholding of Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation. The argument was reportedly witnessed by several other justices.
This is not the first time Justice Prosser has had negative dealings with a fellow female justice. Last year, it was reported that Justice Prosser had verbally assaulted Justice Shirley Abrahamson by screaming at her and calling her a “bitch” during an argument. When asked about the incident during the 2010 elections, Justice Prosser admitted to the name calling, but claimed that Justice Abrahamson had driven him to it. In the interview, he claimed Justices Abrahamson and Bradley were “masters at deliberately goading others into perhaps incautious statements” and that the women were “bullies”.
The claim sounds suspiciously like the “blame the victim” tactic used by serial abusers. Just making the observation.
“I’m not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four or five years, but I understand teenage-hood is complicated. I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them often, and a great incentive for running for reelection is that it means they never get in the car with a boy who had a beer, and that’s a pretty good thing.”—
President Obama discussing his daughter, Malia, turning 13 on “Good Morning America”.
Uhh…most dads threaten their daughter’s potential beaus with guns and bodily harm when they begin dating… but did he just threaten all potential dates with the Secret Service?! Hahaha!!
Today’s PSA: You will not be drinking and driving with an Obama daughter!
(CNN) — Deborah Chesson spoke through tears Wednesday as she addressed a North Carolina task force on behalf of her mother.
"I’m writing you with hopes that you will understand the pain, hurt and emptiness I still feel inside," she read.
"A social worker convinced my mom to sign for me to undergo an operation that would prevent me from getting pregnant, not knowing all the while that I was being set up to be sterilized like I was some kind of animal."
Dozens of North Carolina citizens spoke at the public hearing against the state’s five-decade forced sterilization program. The listening session, held by the governor’s task force, gave victims the opportunity to share their experiences with a state task force charged with recommending compensation for victims and their families. More here…
Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security — one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives.
In the days that followed, our nation was united as we struck at al-Qaida and routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, our focus shifted. A second war was launched in Iraq, and we spent enormous blood and treasure to support a new government there. By the time I took office, the war in Afghanistan had entered its seventh year. But al-Qaida’s leaders had escaped into Pakistan and were plotting new attacks, while the Taliban had regrouped and gone on the offensive. Without a new strategy and decisive action, our military commanders warned that we could face a resurgent al-Qaida, and a Taliban taking over large parts of Afghanistan.
For this reason, in one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as president, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan. When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on al-Qaida; reverse the Taliban’s momentum; and train Afghan security forces to defend their own country. I also made it clear that our commitment would not be open-ended, and that we would begin to drawdown our forces this July.
“There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.”—My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas comes out as an illegal immigrant in NYT Magazine. (via: infinite hope)
Members of the religious and medical community are upset over a proposed circumcision ban in San Francisco — now, they’re taking their argument to court.
Opponents say a state law forbids local governments from getting involved in deciding issues that involve medical procedures, so a variety of groups are going to take their issue to the courtroom.
“Clearly it affects physicians — the proposed ban — is suggesting physicians be jailed for performing what’s a routine, commonplace medical procedure,” said Dr. Brian McBeth. “So I think it affects us in general healthcare, it affects physicians as well as the religious community.”
A court will now decide whether or not the argument goes before voters in November.
It is the morning of September 5, 2005. The city of New Orleans has been underwater for six days and is in chaos. A group of police respond to a call that civilians are shooting and there is an officer down, but what takes place on the Danziger Bridge is anything but a restoration of law and order. The police claim the civilians were shooting at them, but witnesses paint a far different tale of people being sprayed with bullets as they ran screaming from shooting offices.
Now, after nearly six years, we will finally learn the truth in what has been called “the most explosive police corruption trial of the century”. Prosecutors maintain officers concocted an elaborate cover-up after shooting and killing two unarmed men and maiming four others. Story
“Sen. John McCain told me this morning that he’s “not sure what all this controversy is about” surrounding his claim that illegal immigrants caused some of the wildfires raging across eastern Arizona. McCain said the issue of possible immigrant involvement was first raised at a press conference over the weekend, and that his response was based on a briefing he received from a Forest Service official. Cochise Co. “Sheriff Larry Dever will tell you that the Monument Fire was started when the park, the forest was closed. So anyone who was in there is illegal,” McCain told me.”—
Oh, John McCain. We’re just so darned happy you aren’t president.
Is he trying to say he didn’t mean illegal immigrants, he just meant people whose presence in the park was illegal? Has he not caught on to the “illegals” rhetoric that his whole state is so enthusiastic about?
I was wondering how he’d try to spin that one. ”I didn’t mean those illegals, I meant trespassers. People in the park illegally, after hours.” Searching for the ring of truth…..searching……still searching…..aannnd FAIL.
“It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation. How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble? Get over it… Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”—Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Michael Barrett • Speaking to a group of Marines about the reversal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Barrett argues that, even to somebody who may harbor personal prejudice against homosexuals, is likely to strike a chord. Namely, the argument for a military free of discrimination that relies on the strength and valor of said military as the pitch. We’ve always thought this was an underplayed aspect of the DADT debate from last year — the mentality that our men and women in service couldn’t handle being around a homosexual soldier is not only an affront to our society’s standards of equality, but it seems to imply a pretty distasteful thing about the professionalism of our military forces. Having somebody in Barrett’s position say this is very important for a smooth transition to a more open military, so we thank him. source (via • follow)
The National Republican Senatorial Committee used prominent Democrats on Twitter to promote their new website DemsPlanForAmerica.com on Monday.
The NRSC ( National Republican Senatorial Committee) Twitter account sent out several fake retweets (RTs) for tweets that did not exist on the Twitter accounts of multiple Democrats, making it seem as though the Democrats were tweeting the link DemsPlanForAmerica.com.
The fake retweet from President Obama takes advantage of the campaign’s new use of “-BO” on tweets by the president himself, proving that the NRSC probably follows the president’s Twitter updates closely.
The Supreme Court put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, saying class-action status that could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of female workers was too large.
Rais Bhuiya just after the shooting which occurred ten days after 9/11 in Texas. The shooter, Mark Stroman, had been on a rampage, shooting anyone he found who looked “Muslim” or of “Middle-eastern descent ” following the September 11th attacks. Bhuiya had been working in a convenience store and believed at first he was being robbed. He offered Stroman all the money in the cash register and asked Stroman not to shoot. Stoman asked him where he was from and proceeded to shoot Bhuiya in the face.
Today, Bhuiya is fighting to save Stoman’s life, working with Amnesty international and Stoman’s defense attorney on appeals to Stroman’s death sentence. "According to my faith in Islam, there is no hate, no killing. It doesn’t allow anything like that," says Bhuiyan. "Yes, Mark Stroman did a horrible thing, and he brought a lot of pain and disaster, sufferings in my life. But in return I never hated him."
In 1985, Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted of spying on behalf of the Israeli government against the United States. He was sentenced to life two years later. In the last month, the Israeli government had continued to petition for a compassionate leave from prison for Pollard to visit his dying father in Israel. The U.S. government adamantly refused up until his death on Saturday. The Israeli government is now seeking leave for Pollard to return for his father’s funeral. There has been no word of response to this request.
Say what you will about his policies or his economic plan (we all have), our President is an awesome family man. With so many negative images of Black men out there I find his dedication to his wife and daughters absolutely inspiring. This is one reason I am proud to call President Obama my president.
“he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified”
This is such a powerful exercise.
This article starts on the second page when you click the link, so you can click here to be taken to the first page. It was a really good article that I enjoyed.
This is why I love The Root. It’s hard to believe they’re connected to Huffpo - in fact it kinda ticks me off that they segregated good writing like this. Just sayin’…..
The nation’s GOP elite gathered in New Orleans this weekend for the Republican Leadership Conference. In attendance were presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and potential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Prior to a speech by RNC Chair Reince Preibus, an Obama impersonator took the stage and told a series of racist jokes. A summary from Arron Blake:
• On Black History Month: “Michelle celebrates the full month. I celebrate half.”
• “My mother loved a black man,” but “she was not a Kardashian.”
So wait, how is the GOP not tacitly condoning racism again? Post-racial society my ass.
Really Huffpo?! This is why I’ve been reading less and less of you. When the RNC does this and other overtly racist crap (see anti-Saria laws, anti-Muslim commentary, anti-immigrant laws, ect), mainstream media has failed at every opportunity to call them out. Ugh!!! I say something as a Black woman and somehow I’m accused of “looking for racism”. Dude, I don’t have to look for it. IT’S RIGHT THERE!!!!
“It is instructive to compare President Obama’s actions with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush, who sought legal justification for his decision to engage in waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ which constituted torture. Bush wanted above all to be able to deny that he was violating the anti-torture statute and other laws and treaties. So he found a small group of lawyers in the OLC [Office of Legal Counsel], headed by John Yoo, and asked for their opinions. This short-circuited the usual process through which the OLC collected views from various agencies and then used them to develop legal opinions for the executive branch. That is, Bush (assisted by his Vice-President, Dick Cheney) arranged matters so that decisions about waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques would be in the hands of lawyers he knew would tell him yes; the normal process of collating opinions was short-circuited and other lawyers were effectively frozen out.
“Obama’s practice is different, but it has disturbing similarities. Normally, Obama would have asked the OLC for its opinion, and as noted above, the OLC would have polled legal expertise in various agencies, consulted its precedents, had long discussions, and then come up with a scholarly opinion that is normally binding on the executive branch. Instead, Obama routed around the OLC, asking for opinions from various lawyers, including the White House Counsel and the Attorney-Advisor for the State Department. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that from the outset Obama was prospecting for opinions that would tell him that his actions were legal, and once he found them, he felt comfortable in rejecting the opinion of the OLC.”—
If I may be excused to detour into politics briefly, let me say this: I’m a realist progressive who has rarely, if ever, been palpably disappointed by Obama administration actions. I have a clear understanding of the ins and outs of political expediency, and decisions ranging from the strong-arming of the public option to caving on civilian trials for Guantánamo detainees to kicking the repeal of don’t-ask-don’t-tell down the road have deflated me, but at the core of each is an understandable (if irksome) political rationale that factors into the general center-left success of a particular domestic and/or foreign policy agenda.
The revelation that, for whatever reason, President Obama went fishing to find a self-justifying legal rationale to continue assisting NATO operations in Libya without congressional approval has perhaps become my chief disappointment in the tenure of the administration because this is exactly the sort of decision-making process I found so disquieting in the previous administration — and I’m fundamentally unwilling to forgive it for the mere fact that “my guy” is making the call. My mind goes to James Fallows, who notes:
[A]fter three months of combat, and after several decades of drift toward unilateral Executive Branch action on matters of war and peace, Obama is doing a disservice to the nation, history, and himself by insisting that the decision should be left strictly to him … [By pursuing congressional involvement, Obama] will have helped the country if his conduct restores rather than further weakens the concept that a multi-branch Constitutional republic must share the responsibility to commit force. We can only imagine the eloquence with which a Candidate Obama would be making this exact case were he not in the White House now.
“Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness.”—Thomas Jefferson