September 6, 2013 at 8:33 am #96262
President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan speak to the press before a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. September 5, 2013.
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful daySeptember 6, 2013 at 8:34 am #96263
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 6, 2013 at 8:39 am #96264
Little Civil Rights Pioneer Reunites With US Marshal
Ruby Bridges meets with one of her school escorts, now 91
By the Associated Press
Posted Sep 5, 2013 6:37 PM CDT
Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, who as a 6-year-old helped end public school segregation in the South, was reunited today with one of the federal marshals who escorted her past angry crowds so she could attend a previously all-white school. Bridges, who in 1960 became the first black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans, met with Charles Burks at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which was filming the pair for its permanent exhibit called “The Power of Children.” Burks, now 91, is the only one of the four marshals who escorted Bridges to and from school who is still alive.
“Thank you Charlie for doing what was right at a time when it might not have been the easiest thing to do,” the 58-year-old Bridges told him. Burks said escorting Bridges to school was a highlight of his life, adding that he supported the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that struck down segregation in public schools. Bridges was in first grade when she started attending William Frantz Elementary School on Nov. 14, 1960, as the court-ordered integration of public schools began in New Orleans. “It was a privilege,” he said.September 6, 2013 at 8:43 am #96265
Private lawyers bill Va. $90,000 more to represent McDonnell, staff in chef-theft case
By Laura Vozzella, Published: September 4
RICHMOND — A private law firm has billed taxpayers $90,000 for six weeks of work representing Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his staff in the embezzlement case against the former chef at the executive mansion.
The fees come on top of the $54,000 that Richmond’s Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott charged earlier this summer for its first five weeks on the case.
The firm was hired to represent McDonnell (R) and his office in their official capacities regarding matters related to the chef’s prosecution because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), who ordinarily represents the governor and his staff, had conflicts of interest.
About $72,000 of the bill was for legal work performed for employees of the governor’s office, and about $18,000 was for services for McDonnell.
Those legal services are separate from the criminal defense work that another private legal team is providing to McDonnell, who has been engulfed in a gifts scandal that came to light because of the embezzlement case. A legal defense fund has been set up to pay those bills.September 6, 2013 at 8:44 am #96266
Whistleblower My Ass: Snowden’s Russia Connection Confirmed by Putin
Thursday, September 05, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 1:52 PM
Some time ago, I wrote about a story that Edward Snowden was in contact with Russian authorities well before his arrival in Moscow and while he was still in Hong Kong. Now, Vladimir Putin has confirmed it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that Edward Snowden contacted Russian diplomats in Hong Kong a few days before boarding a plane to Moscow but that no agreement was reached to shelter him and he decided to come to Russia on his own without warning. [...]
“Mr. Snowden first appeared in Hong Kong and met with our diplomatic representatives. It was reported to me that there was such an employee, an employee of the security services.
Putin then went on some blathering rant about how he told Snowden to lay off the US (uh huh) and how he’s not protecting Snowden but he just wants Obama to negotiate a transfer or an extradition treaty, but the most important thing remains that Putin has now publicly acknowledged that Snowden sought Russian help from the get-go, following which, he arrived in Russia, and was eventually granted asylum.
But if you ask Snowden’s worshipers, this in no way shows that Snowden willingly took Russian shelter or that he gave or sold US intelligence to Russia. Because you know, the Russian government said so – a peculiar stand for people who do not believe that evidence of meta data collection doesn’t also mean that the government is reading your emails and listening to your phone calls without a warrant. Apparently, Putin’s government is to be trusted; Obama’s, not so much.September 6, 2013 at 8:45 am #96267
As Cuccinelli and McAuliffe stump at VCU, Doug Wilder shows who’s boss
By Laura Vozzella, Friday, September 6, 7:30 AM
RICHMOND — It’s good to be ex-governor. Just ask L. Douglas Wilder, the Democrat who left the governor’s office nearly 20 years ago but still wields enormous influence.
We speak not of Wilder’s power to draw both major-party candidates for governor Thursday to the class he teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, though that was impressive.
Nor of the nakedly burning desire that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe both have for his endorsement.
No, we refer to Doug Wilder’s power to trump fire code.
More than 40 students, some from other political science classes, crowded into a fourth-floor conference room on VCU’s downtown Richmond campus to take in back-to-back appearances by Cuccinelli and McAuliffe. TV, print and radio reporters also wanted in, but a campus security officer said the room was over capacity.
As Cuccinelli began addressing the class, reporters were stuck in the hallway, straining to hear and see past the officer, who stood squarely in the open doorway. Cuccinelli campaign spokesman Richard Cullen appealed to the officer again and again to let the media in to report on his boss. The officer, invoking the fire marshal, wouldn’t budge.September 6, 2013 at 8:47 am #96268
Bernie Sanders Makes The Most Compelling Argument You’ll Ever Hear For NOT Striking Syria
By: Jason Easley
Sep. 4th, 2013
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made an argument against military action in Syria that was easily the most compelling case that anyone on either side of the debate has offered.
Sen. Sanders said:
I’m keeping an open mind, and I want to hear everything the administration has to say, but I would be less than honest with you if I didn’t say I have very, very deep concerns about this proposal.
Here are my concerns Ed, and there are a number of them. Number one, the Congress as everybody knows is significantly dysfunctional today, and in the midst of a collapsing middle class, high unemployment, low wages, global warming, and all of the other major problems our country faces, We’re not dealing with them today, and what do you think happens if we get involved in a war in Syria where all the attention will be? How are we going to address the major problems facing our people?
Issue number two. The president talks about a surgical strike, limited engagement. But listen carefully to what people like Sen. McCain are talking about. That’s not what they’re talking about. They’re talking about regime change. They’re talking about overthrowing Assad. And that means billions and billions of dollars, and if the effort does not go well sometime in the future, it could, it could mean troops on the ground.
Third point, you know, we talk about a world of law. I have real concerns about the United States acting unilaterally without the United Nations, without NATO, without the international community. I think that sets a terrible precedent in the years to come for other countries to take similar action, and what are we going to say if Russia or China goes to war.September 6, 2013 at 8:49 am #96269
Racism is unfortunately – global
Fake blood-covered mannequins: Italy’s 1st black minister is targeted again
by Steve Scherer, Reuters | September 5, 2013 at 5:04 PM
BC News – Italy’s far-right Forza Nuova party left three mannequins covered in fake blood at the front door of an administrative office in Rome on Wednesday in the latest attack on Italy’s first black minister.
Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, who was born in Democratic Republic of Congo, has been the target of repeated racist attacks since taking office in April.
Forza Nuova posted pictures of the mannequins on its Facebook page, along with comments by a spokesman saying the protest was aimed at stopping the minister’s campaign to make it easier for immigrants to acquire Italian citizenship.
“Immigration is the genocide of peoples. Kyenge resign!” read fliers bearing the Forza Nuova symbol that were scattered around the mannequinsSeptember 6, 2013 at 8:50 am #96270
Plies honors Trayvon Martin with memorial gold chain
by Kyle Harvey | September 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM
We all have our own ways of grieving when someone passes away.
The death of Trayvon Martin has had a huge impact on the African-American community and while some honored the teen by blacking out their profile pictures on social media and wearing hoodies, rapper Plies went an entirely different route.
In a video message to his fans, the Florida rapper reveals his new gold Trayvon Martin chain. While unorthodox, Plies appears to be sincere with his gesture.
“I wanted to make sure the little homie was with me at all times,” he said. “He impacted my life just that much.”
Plies went on to pay his respects to the Martin family for the loss of their child and promised that Trayvon will never be forgotten.
“Trayvon, I’m gonna keep you around my neck at all times…It’s just that important to me.”September 6, 2013 at 8:51 am #96272
GOP Legislator Brings Fried Chicken To Capitol As Protest For Race Free Speech
In a show of solidarity with a colleague who was rebuked last month for bringing up fried chicken during a discussion about the poverty rate among African-Americans, a Colorado lawmaker brought a box of chicken to the state capitol in Denver on Wednesday.
During an Aug. 21 legislative task force meeting, state Sen. Vicki Marble (R) mentioned both barbeque and fried chicken as she addressed racial disparities in the poverty rate.
“When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it,” Marble said. “Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbeque and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it.”
The remarks were swiftly denounced by state Democrats while Republicans distanced themselves. Marble, for her part, insisted she did not not intend “to be disparaging to any community.”
But on Wednesday, with the task force meeting for the first time since the flap, state Rep. Lori Saine (R) staged what she called a “silent protest” against the uproar generated by Marble’s remarks by placing a box of Popeye’s fried chicken on her desk.September 6, 2013 at 8:54 am #96273
The prevailing winds on Capitol Hill
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 6, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.
There’s no shortage of congressional head counts when it comes to authorizing the use of force in Syria, but I’d caution against taking them too seriously. The briefings for lawmakers are still underway, and while many have firm opinions, there is not yet an actual, agreed upon resolution for lawmakers to read and consider.
That said, at least for now, the prevailing winds on Capitol Hill are blowing in an unmistakable direction.
Several Republican leadership aides, who are counting votes but not encouraging a position, say that there are roughly one to two dozen “yes” votes in favor of military action at this time. The stunningly low number is expected to grow a bit.
But senior aides say they expect, at most, between 50 and 60 Republicans to vote with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who support the president’s plan to bomb Syria to stop Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons on his people. That would amount to less than one-third of the House Republican Conference.
That would mean the vast majority of the 200 House Democrats will need to vote with Obama for the resolution to pass. But Democrats privately say that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) can only round up between 115 and 130 “yes” votes.
Senate support appears more likely, but is by no means a sure thing.September 6, 2013 at 8:55 am #96274
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7:31 AM – 3 Sep 2013September 6, 2013 at 8:57 am #96275
Alan Grayson Conspires with Far Right Lunatics to Lie and Fundraise off of Syria
Thursday, September 05, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:36 PM
You know Alan Grayson, everyone’s favorite emoprog Congressman. It’s not a surprise that he’s against military intervention in Syria, or that his position on this, however ironically, is militant. But what is appalling is that Grayson is using blatant lies and an undercover alliance with Republicans to try to have his way. For all his talk about his being a vote of conscience, he doesn’t show any, nor seems to have respect for the conscience of others.
Speaking to The Atlantic and US News, Grayson basically called President Obama a liar in the face of overwhelming evidence against the Assad regime regarding the use of chemical weapons. US News reports:
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is aggressively lobbying against a military strike on Syria, says the Obama administration has manipulated intelligence to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
Grayson made the accusation in an interview published Wednesday by The Atlantic and offered more detail in a Thursday discussion with U.S. News. He says members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s troops used chemical weapons.
This is a flat out lie. Not only has the administration publicly declassified an intelligence report making the case, members of Congress from John Boehner to Barbara Lee have said that they are satisfied with the Administration’s case that Assad used chemical weapons, whether or not they believe it makes the case for military action on that merit alone. As I reported earlier, Barbara Lee – who’s been a champion of the anti-war cause long before Grayson found time to get his billionaire privileged behind to Congress, made clear the position of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, saying the administration has “been very persuasive about the intelligence.”September 6, 2013 at 8:58 am #96277
U.S. economy created 169k jobs in August, jobless rate dips
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 6, 2013 8:47 AM EDT
The jobs reports are starting to get a little predictable, by virtue of the fact that over the last several months, they’re effectively the same.
The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations. After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall economy, we’re starting to see a slight turnaround — the private sector added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000 jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it’s the most in recent memory.
The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%, which is the lowest it’s been in nearly five years, but it’s not evidence of good news — it ticked down largely because of people leaving the workforce.
Indeed, while the 169,000 jobs added in August isn’t an awful preliminary report, on the whole, this morning’s figures are quite discouraging. The key is the revisions — June totals were revised down from 188,000 to 172,000, while July’s totals were revised down from 162,000 to 104,000. Combined, that’s a whopping 74,000 jobs we thought were created, but weren’t.
This should, in theory, send some key signals to policymakers in Washington. The Federal Reserve really shouldn’t be too eager to scale back its intervention, and Congress would ideally be looking for ways to give the job market a boost in order to strengthen a larger economic recovery. The latter appears highly unlikely — Republican lawmakers continue to back job-killing sequestration budget cuts and are now threatening another debt-ceiling crisis that would destroy the job market (again).September 6, 2013 at 9:05 am #96279
Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for the 99 Percent Enjoys Broad Support in NYC Race
By: Keith Brekhus
Sep. 5th, 2013
When New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio began his mayoral campaign he was a dark horse candidate who was given little chance of winning. In a field that included Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and Anthony Weiner, Mr. de Blasio was little more than a foot note. In June, he was running in a distant fourth place, polling just 10 percent of the vote to 25 percent for Weiner, 20 percent for Quinn and 13 percent for Thompson. However, by expressing concern about the racially discriminatory way in which the “stop and frisk” policy is being used, and by running an unabashed economically progressive campaign, voicing the concerns of the 99 percent, de Blasio has surged to a commanding lead in the mayoral race.
A Quinnipiac poll released on September 3rd, finds de Blasio polling 43 percent to 20 percent for Thompson, 18 percent for Quinn and 7 percent for Weiner. His polling numbers are particularly significant because if de Blasio clears 40 percent on Tuesday night’s primary, he will avoid a runoff election and become the Democratic nominee for mayor in New York City. The poll also reveals that de Blasio is receiving especially strong support from black voters (47 percent) and women voters (44 percent), despite facing an African-American (Thompson) and female (Quinn) candidate in the primary. The race is not being defined by identity politics as much as it is by ideas, and de Blasio is running a campaign that is populist, progressive and speaks to the concern of ordinary workers and residents of New York City.
In some respects, de Blasio is the quintessential anti-Bloomberg. Not a Manhattan billionaire, but a Brooklyn-based public advocate, de Blasio proposes a tax increase on the wealthy to better fund New York City schools. He is the only major candidate in the race whose children attend New York City public schools. Furthermore, he has been harshly critical of the New York Police Department’s racially discriminatory “stop and frisk” policy as it has operated under Bloomberg’s leadership. In so doing, de Blasio has aligned himself with the residents who have either been harassed or forgotten in Bloomberg’s version of Gotham City.
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