June 24, 2013 at 9:07 am #91288
Mr. Frederick Douglass now joins Ms. Rosa Parks in our Nation’s Capitol.
As you begin a new week, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate.
Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.June 24, 2013 at 9:07 am #91289
Good Morning, EveryoneJune 24, 2013 at 9:07 am #91290
Peter King Blasts Rand Paul Over Snowden: ‘What’s Happening To Our Country When This Traitor Is A Hero?’
by Evan McMurry | 3:15 pm, June 23rd, 2013
On CNN Sunday afternoon, New York Representative Peter King denounced NSA leaker-turned international fugitive Edward Snowden and those, like Rand Paul, who are defending him.
“I wish all Americans, including Senator Rand Paul, would realize that [Snowden] is no hero,” King said emphatically. “I know on CNN today Rand Paul compared Snowden to General Clapper. I don’t know what’s happening to our country when people are making this traitor and defector into some kind of hero, and at the same time castigating a true American hero.”
Earlier on Sunday, Paul told Candy Crowley, “Mr. Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security. Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy. So I think there will be a judgment because both of them broke the law, and history will have to determine.”
Like Chuck Schumer, thinks Putin had to have approved of Snowden’s arrival in Moscow. “They would not have sent him to Russia unless Putin had agreed in advance with the Chinese and with Hong Kong to allow Snowden in there and to expedite whatever’s happening Ecuador,” King said.
“We can’t allow Russia to do this without diplomatic consequences,” King continued. “The opportunity will come over the next several months or year, when Russia will need us with something involving trad,e involving diplomacy, involving finance, where the U.S. will basically say no, and we will make it difficult for Putin. He should know now not to expect any favors.”June 24, 2013 at 9:09 am #91291
Under GOP Plan, States Would Be Free To Take Money Away From Poorest Schools
By Alan Pyke on Jun 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Republicans are reintroducing a bill to allow states to redistribute federal education dollars currently targeted at the country’s poorest school districts. The A-PLUS Act, originally crafted by the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation, was first introduced in 2007, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) have revived it for 2013.
The measure represents the conservative establishment’s answer to the failures of the Bush-era education reforms known as No Child Left Behind. Proponents argue it would close achievement gaps by freeing states to spend federal money allocated to poverty-stricken schools without being bound by the conditions of current education laws. But as a ThinkProgress guest blogger wrote in 2011, the bill would “widen achievement gaps rather than close them” because states are unlikely to maintain funding levels for poor schools if given the freedom A-PLUS provides:
The sad fact is that states don’t always take actions to support their most vulnerable children. Texas officials recently battled over whether education money should be used to actually provide education services to children, a standoff that ended after nine long months. As budget cuts force increasing numbers of states to wrestle with funding challenges, federal Title I funds must remain a stable source of funding for students who have the least access to resourceJune 24, 2013 at 9:19 am #91292
Would We Still Back Barack Obama if He Were Married to a White Woman?
May 8th, 2012 – By Charing Ball –
I’m going to cut right to the chase and pose this question straight up: Would African-American support for President Barack Obama be the same if Michelle Obama were a white woman? Oh Snap! No she didn’t just go there? Oh, yes I did.
I am a firm believer that we must be upfront about race relations in this country instead of acting like it isn’t worthy of discussion. Folks think about and act on their prejudices every single day, so there should be no reason why we don’t talk openly and honestly about race.
With that disclaimer, last week, the blogosphere had its attention on an excerpt from a new biography about the President called, “Barack Obama: The Story,” by David Maraniss. The excerpt from the yet to be released book focuses on the relationship the President had with Genevieve Cook, a 25-year-old Australian-born (white) Park Slope elementary school teacher, whom he met will living in New York City. Through observations from her diary, we learn that they first met at an east village Christmas gathering and he wooed her back to his apartment with promises of grub. They small talked on an orange bean bag chair before moving the conversation to the bedroom.
They were together for a while, at one point living together. Yet almost immediately Cook said that she began to notice that while the “sexual warmth” was definitely present, Obama, at many times, was also distance and wary in their relationship. On time, he confessed to Genevieve his ideal image of the perfect woman, which he described at as strong, upright and a fighter, “a black woman I keep seeing her as,” she said.
Overall, I thought the piece interesting in that we get to see a more intimate side of a young Obama, which by most accounts is considered to be calm, deliberate and hard to read by most in the press. But besides the tawdry stuff about his relationship with this particular woman, we also get to see a black man of mixed backgrounds trying to find his place in both culture and society. The reference to him carrying around and rereading a tattered copy of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, a story all about black identity, I found very endearing.June 24, 2013 at 9:30 am #91293
White House asks Russia to expel NSA leaker Snowden
By Justin Sink – 06/24/13 09:02 AM ET
The White House on Monday called on Russian authorities to expel former defense contractor Edward Snowden, who is responsible for leaking information about top secret National Security Agency surveillance programs, after he fled to Moscow from Hong Kong to avoid extradition.
“We now understand Mr. Snowden is on Russian soil,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.
“Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters — including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government — we expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged.June 24, 2013 at 9:33 am #91294
Random fact: 10 members on board of Snowden fan club @FreedomofPress, including @ggreenwald. How many are white? 10. https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/about/staff
10:45 PM – 23 Jun 2013June 24, 2013 at 10:09 am #91296
‘The party has to be bigger than Utah and South Carolina’
By Steve Benen
Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:15 AM EDT.
To listen to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and many of his allies, the Republican Party does not need to fear political fallout from killing comprehensive immigration reform — they’ll just blame Democrats for including measures like a pathway to citizenship, which drove GOP lawmakers away.
On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pointed in a very different direction.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Graham delivered this nice little mini-speech on the air:
“As to the Republican Party, here is my firm belief: America is not divided on this, Mike. Seventy percent of Americans including Republicans support an earned-pathway to citizenship over a 13 year period where you get in the back of the line, learn the language and pay a fine. So to the Republican Party: this is a chance to improve our economy, reduce the deficit by $890 billion to get border security you will never see in your lifetime, to regain our sovereignty.
“And if it fails and we are blamed for its failure our party is in trouble with Hispanics, not because we are conservative, but because of the rhetoric and the way we’ve handled this issue. I want to get reattached to the Hispanic community, to sell conservatism, pass comprehensive immigration reform and grow this party. The party has to be bigger than Utah and South Carolina. The Hispanic community is very close to our values but we have driven them away over this issue. Let’s fix this problem for the good of the country and the good of the party. And this bill does that, my friend.”
I don’t agree with Graham on much, but in this case, the Gang of Eight member’s assessment sounds pretty persuasive. There can be no doubt that if Republicans kill immigration reform — again — efforts to blame Democrats will be dismissed as ridiculous.June 24, 2013 at 10:22 am #91298
These words of beauty and wisdom were dropped last night by Camille at POU
“–Would Black People Have Still Backed Obama if was married to a white woman, or in the case with the Dark Girls doc, if he had been married to a mixed race woman?—”
This goes well beyond colour and race — in my opinion–
Let’s just say that there wouldn’t have been a viable candidate Obama without this particular woman, Michelle Obama, by his side—
And contrary to contemptuous bellyaching and envious musings in some quarters, Michelle Obama is simply not and will never be interchangeable with “Jane any woman will do/could have been/done Doe”–
Five years later and after his historic ascent to the presidency, it’s far too easy to begin to forget just what it really took —
There’s been this rather bizarre, but quite amusing tendency and corrupt instinct by some – and even a few on the president’s team, to begin to try to revise stuff — to downplay the singular importance of this very unassuming but fiercely intelligent, wise, strong, warm, witty, grounded, principled, passionate, astute, dignified, elegant, unspoiled, unaffected, sensible, insightful, dedicated, loyal, disciplined, genuine, sincere, family-oriented and all around amazing woman with whom he has taken this journey together–
I’m not just talking the incredible sacrifices she made for him to live out his dreams and ambitions while she practically gave up all of hers to support his noble aspirations–
She was after all the one who even though 3 years younger than he, was already for all intents and purposes, on the fast track –practicing law at one of the most prestigious Law firms in the country after having made her way against far too many odds, and in what is still very much a story of triumph, from the SouthSide of Chicago to Princeton and then on to Harvard Law school–
He very lovingly and respectfully courted her; and she married him.
If she were looking for easy street or seeking an already made man – which he certainly wasn’t — or an immediately guaranteed future and someone with already actualized “potential” , I think she could have very easily focused on nabbing herself an already established man of which there were many in her newly emerged world– Because we all know too well that they as a couple, had to struggle and together stretch their scant resources in the early days–
She’d effectively put her own ambitions on ice, bore and terrifically raised their beautiful daughters – even while he was often away pursuing his ambitions—and together they made a humanly perfect family of which she was the principal architect — with her strength of character, strong values and deep respect and appreciation for the various levels and role of family and its many players – nuclear and extended; order, structure and a great sense of the importance of deeply assured security and love for the children they’d brought into the world together–
When they finally emerged as a couple and family on the national political stage, they thrilled not just Americans of all stripes — even those who wanted desperately to hate them couldn’t help the smiles that came to their faces when the saw this family— and the whole world fell completely and utterly in love with them as a unit–
The world watched as Michelle Obama — a very private woman widely known to be averse to politics for all its many awful, corrupt, cutthroat, ignoble and dehumanizing forms —stepped out — put herself out there to support and vouch for her husband in the most powerfully moving and compelling of ways — and as only she could possibly ever have–
Their connection is powerful and their synergy incredible— They compliment each other in the most powerful and wonderful of ways—
And when he soared, she stepped back to let him shine –never resentful of his success and only proudly cheering him on, fiercely protective of him and intent on guarding his conscience, focus and brilliance and the motivating dreams for a greater good that’d they’d sacrificed so much of themselves and their family for—
So no, it was never really about the colour of Michelle Obama’s skin as much as it was about the content of her character–
And Barack Obama rose even more in the estimation of many when people met his wife—
There are a ton of black politicians out there — always has been–
And they’ve been married, unmarried, divorced—
Their wives have been black, white and other– and none of that has ever really made much of a difference–
They’ve run the gamut from Alma Powell to Michele Patterson–
But Michelle Obama is that incredibly rare political wife—
Let’s just say that had Cory Booker nabbed him a woman like Michelle Obama, he’d be much farther along in his political career now — and certainly on firmer footing–
That wonderful wife (Danny?) would have cautioned him against prematurely declaring for a seat already occupied by a man who clearly only had so many days left in his political and other life anyway—
Much in the same way Michelle Obama, just a few years earlier, had asked her husband not to run against Bobby Rush — knowing much better than her husband’s political handlers at the time that even as much as Rush was not quite the political representative she and her husband had dreamed of, there were unique and peculiar circumstances in that particular instance that made it an unwise move — Michelle Obama understood too well the politics – and culture of her hometown—
She also understood the value of surrounding her husband with stable and wise friends — many of whom were her connections — brother’s friends and her friends —
Let it never be said that this spectacular woman did not help make the equally spectacular man we have in the oval office leading the world today—
And let it be clear that he is indeed there for having the good sense to marry this gloriously unique and rare kind of woman– The rare time I’ll ever probably agree wholeheartedly with Bill Clinton—
For this amazing couple, they are and will always be infinitely greater together than they’ll ever be apart—
And we can categorically declare that without question, there are very few women who could even begin to put up with even half of what Michelle Obama has had to put up with in her unyielding support of her husband— And certainly not with half the grace, dignity and discipline with which she has —
I know I definitely couldn’t–
And it is indeed that rare woman who when asked, would only make her husband promise to quit smoking — in exchange for getting her blessing to run for political office–
Extracting a promise to stop smoking–?!
Whoever heard of any woman having complete veto power over the next big move in her family, and only briefly exercising it to ask that her guy do better for his health–
That was incredibly telling and pretty much sums up the heart and mind of this spectacular wife, mother, woman–June 24, 2013 at 10:35 am #91299
The Morning Plum: Will John Boehner really kill historic opportunity to reform immigration?
By Greg Sargent, Published: June 24, 2013 at 9:17 amE-mail the writer
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By all indications, the emerging immigration reform bill may get as many as 70 votes in the Senate this week, as Chuck Schumer predicted on CNN yesterday. And so attention is turning to the question of whether comprehensive reform has a prayer of passing the House. National Journal has a piece this morning capturing the emerging sense among many observers that House Republicans may kill reform on behalf of a GOP base that can’t accept it.
But make no mistake: If the base does succeed in killing immigration reform, it’s only because House GOP leaders allowed it to.
To be sure, the possibility that House Republicans may catch an earful from constituents during the coming August recess — dimming hopes for reform — is very real. As National Journal puts it: “The last time the Senate passed a major immigration bill in 2006, House Republicans used the August recess to kill it by staging a series of hearings around the country that did nothing but rile up conservatives against it.”
That sounds scary. And look, it’s all but certain that in the end, a majority of House Republicans won’t support anything that includes a path to citizenship, which will cast real doubt on reform’s prospects. But what folks aren’t quite reckoning with yet is the amount of intense pressure John Boehner and other House GOP leaders are going to feel to let comprehensive reform come to a vote, even if it must pass the House with mostly Dems.
Boehner has vowed this won’t happen. But if reform passes the Senate with 70 votes, leading GOP Senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and top members of the consultant/strategist establishment, such as Karl Rove, will fan across the airwaves and pummel away at the House GOP leadership to allow it to come to a vote, arguing that failure to do so will constitute demographic suicide. The Wall Street Journal editorial page and other GOP-aligned opinion leaders such as Sean Hannity will likely join the chorus.June 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #91300
If you would like to follow the George Zimmerman Trial:June 24, 2013 at 11:18 am #91301
High court largely sidesteps affirmative action case in 7-1 ruling
By Steve Benen
Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:17 AM EDT
One of the four biggest cases of the current Supreme Court term deals with the constitutionality of affirmative action in a case called Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The ruling came down this morning, and in a 7-1 decision, the high court majority sent the case back to the lower court to be heard again. More soon.
First Update: Here’s Scotusblog’s plain-English summary of what the Fischer case was all about.
Second Update: The entirely of the ruling is online here (pdf). Note, as Supreme Court decisions go, this one is pretty short.
Third Update: The lone dissent was written by Justice Ginsburg, and there were concurring opinions from Justices Scalia and Thomas. There are only eight justices in total because Kagan recused herself from the case.
Fourth Update: For those who’ve followed this case closely, the key was seeing whether the high court was prepared to overturn its previous rulings defending the legality of affirmative action. This morning, they did not — the precedent remains intact. However, it appears the court majority supports “narrow tailoring,” which would restrict the existing law on affirmative action, and these justices have clearly left the door open for future challenges.June 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm #91307
Supreme Court sets stage for fights over buffer zones, recess appointments
By Steve Benen
Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:16 AM EDT.
While high court rulings are always noteworthy, this morning the Supreme Court also announced some cases it will hear in its next term, two of which are going to be doozies.
For example, the justices will consider a challenge to a 2007 Massachusetts law that bars protests in 35-foot “buffer zones” around abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways.
The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from abortion opponents, who wanted the law thrown out. The law allows individuals to enter the buffer zone only to enter or leave the clinic or reach a destination other than the clinic.
Abortion opponents who regularly stand outside clinics in Boston, Worcester and Springfield claimed the law unfairly keeps them from engaging patients in conversations at a closer distance.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, saying it protects rights of prospective patients and clinic employees “without offending the First Amendment rights of others.”
And in a case that will have major implications in Washington, recess appointments will have their day in court, too.
The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will decide next term whether President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making appointments while the Senate was on break last year.
The case at hand involves Obama’s appointment of three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), but the broader issue concerns the power that presidents throughout history have used to fill their administrations in the face of Senate opposition and inaction.
The justices will review a broad ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that upset decades of understanding about the president’s recess appointment power. The court ruled that presidents may make recess appointments only between enumerated sessions of the Senate, not when senators take an intra-session break.June 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm #91308
God is using me, because how in the world am I able to listen to all of this ….by God’s Grace. There is power in the Blood!!June 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm #91311
folks been saying this all along.
he didn’t ‘discover’ shyt that made him ‘ reveal’ because of his ‘ conscience’.
MUTHAFUCKA WENT LOOKING FOR A JOB SO THAT HE COULD BETRAY THIS COUNTRY.
EXCLUSIVE: Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance
Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone – to obtain evidence on Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.
For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz
Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security
Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to…
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