September 21, 2013 at 12:04 am #96940
This week, the President responded to the shootings at the Navy Yard in DC, invited small business owners to the White House as he spoke on the 5 year anniversary of the financial crisis, addressed the Business Roundtable and the Export Council, sat down for interviews with ABC & Telemundo, welcomed the Amir of Kuwait, newly appointed Foreign Ambassadors, and Youth of the Year winners, and the First Lady spoke on marketing healthier food to children.
As you spend this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.September 21, 2013 at 12:05 am #96941
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 21, 2013 at 12:19 am #96942
Shonda Rhimes Welcomes a New Daughter
By Charlene Cooper
It’s a girl!
Shonda Rhimes welcomed her third adopted daugther to her family, reports E! Online.
Announcing the good news on Twitter, the Scandal creator said, “Been AWOL from Twitter. I totally have a good reason: TINY HUMAN #3 is here and she’s perfect! Babies are good. Life is good. #2shows#3kids.”
In 2002, Rhimes adopted her first daughter, Harper. In 2012, Rhimes added to her family and adopted Emerson. The famous showrunner has yet to reveal her new daughter’s name.September 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm #96943
Syria meets deadline for chemical weapons disclosure
By Thomas Escritt
AMSTERDAM | Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:43am EDT
(Reuters) – Syria has handed over information about its chemical arsenal to a U.N.-backed weapons watchdog, meeting the first deadline of an ambitious disarmament operation that averted the threat of Western air strikes.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Saturday it had “received the expected disclosure” from Damascus, 24 hours after saying it had been given a partial document from Syrian authorities.
It said it was reviewing the information, handed over after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons in the wake of a sarin gas strike in Damascus’s suburbs last month – the world’s deadliest chemical attack in 25 years.September 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm #96944
Obama to make case at UN on Syria
By Julian Pecquet – 09/20/13 05:13 PM ET
President Obama will use Tuesday’s address to the United Nations to press for quick action on Syria, the White House said Friday.
President Obama will use Tuesday’s address to the United Nations to press for quick action on Syria, the White House said Friday.
Obama’s speech will focus on the need for a tough resolution demanding Syria turn over its chemical weapons or face a threat of force, White House spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters. The president will also reiterate his demand that Bashar Assad step down.
The speech will focus on the “need for the international community to stand up to the use of chemical weapons,” Rhodes said. But that is only “one part of a broader challenge in Syria,” which also includes the “need for a political solution that removes Assad from power.”September 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm #96945
Here’s My Offer: Nothing
Sat Sep 21st, 2013 at 12:25:15 PM EST
Speaker Boehner has been experiencing a lot of disappointment lately:
President Obama phoned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday to tell him he will not negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling, according to a readout provided by the Speaker’s office.
Boehner told the president he was “disappointed” to hear his position, an aide said.
“Given the long history of using debt limit increases to achieve bipartisan deficit reduction and economic reforms, the Speaker was disappointed but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead. It was a brief call,” the aide said.
in case you don’t know to what the title of this post is referring to…here’s a refresher:September 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm #96946
Secret Society Dips Toe in City Politics, Prompting Lawsuit
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Published: September 14, 2013
The college students began arriving a little before lunch at Calvary Baptist Church, far more than usual for a local election. The poll workers knew immediately: the Machine was here.
The school year at the University of Alabama has barely gotten started, and already the campus has found itself in a charged self-examination on issues of politics, power and race, with the exposure of tenacious segregation among fraternities and sororities drawing national attention.
But the turmoil began some weeks earlier. It raised the specter of the Machine, a secret society representing a league of select and almost exclusively white fraternities and sororities, which has been around for a century or more. Once a breeding ground for state political leaders, the Machine (it has long been known by that nickname) today maintains a solid hold on student government through an effective, and critics say coercive, brand of old-fashioned organization politics.
But the Machine’s apparent involvement in an August school board election, a rare appearance in municipal politics, has prompted a lawsuit, accusations of voter fraud and an outcry that in many ways primed the campus for the larger storm over inclusion and tradition that is now taking place.
The race for the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education was already atypical. Business interests had announced a desire to remake the board, saying the rate of progress had been insufficient in a system of 10,000 students, most of them low-income. Fueled by business-financed political action committees, the challengers outraised the incumbents 10 to 1, reporting by far the most money raised in a Tuscaloosa school board race. Most of the challengers nonetheless lost.
Accounts of intimidation tactics attributed to the Machine over the decades include cross burnings, threats and boycotts, although students these days speak mostly of social pressure, both implicit and overt and at times intense. Despite changes that the university has made to student government — like expanding polling days and switching to online voting — and despite the fact that Machine-affiliated organizations account for less than one-third of Alabama’s student population, its candidates have continued to win, if not as decisively as in the past.
“There is a lot of apathy,” said Kendra Key, who in 2009 came within a few hundred votes of being the first black woman to be student government president. Students, she said, “feel the Greek system is going to dominate the elections, so why even waste the effort?”
When the Machine has faltered, it has adjusted. Cleophus Thomas Jr. beat a Machine candidate to become Alabama’s first black student government president in 1976, in large part because of the votes of sorority members. Not long after, sororities were allowed into the Machine for the first time. There have been few non-Machine presidents, and no black presidents, since.
The intersection between the Machine and race is complicated. Ms. Key suggested that the marginalization of black student representation was largely a byproduct; the Machine represents a white bloc in a historically segregated Greek system, so its success inevitably means white control. But others say race is more central to the Machine and have tied the election controversy to the storm that arose last week when The Crimson White, the student newspaper, reported that a superbly qualified black woman had failed to receive a single bid from Alabama’s traditionally white sororities.
“They all seem of a piece to me,” said Stacy Morgan, an American studies professor who has begun pushing, with other faculty members, for comprehensive changes to address campus-election procedures and the segregation of student organizations. “It’s a kind of exclusiveness, a kind of insularity.”September 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm #96947
Hoist On Their Own Petard
Sat Sep 21st, 2013 at 08:50:00 AM EST
Does anyone remember when Mitch McConnell filibustered his own bill? It happened last December. He offered a bill that would have given the president the authority to raise the debt ceiling, subject only to a two-thirds majority override in Congress. McConnell was trying to make the Democrats filibuster, but they didn’t. Harry Reid offered to have an immediate vote on the idea.
And then we had the delicious spectacle of McConnell objecting to a vote on the bill that he had just proposed. That’s exactly what the House of Representatives is doing with the bill they just passed to keep the government open until December 15th. They passed it and sent it to Harry Reid. And now they expect Republican senators to filibuster it.
It’s not uncommon to ask for a vote that you know will not pass just to put some lawmakers on the spot and make them cast a vote that can be used against them later. It’s annoying trollish behavior, but both parties do it and it is a staple of American politics. What’s different is proposing or passing legislation and then objecting to that legislation getting consideration in the Senate. That takes annoying trollish behavior to a new unprecedented level.
I doubt the Republican senators will go along with it, but you never know with these folks. If they do prevent Harry Reid from considering their bill, they’ll have to explain why they passed it in the first place. It would result in a government shutdown and when people started pointing the finger of blame, it wouldn’t stick to the Democrats. The House would argue that they passed something and the Senate didn’t. But that’s just one more reason why Senate Republicans don’t have an incentive to go along with the plan.
At this point, what we’re watching is the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans having a fight where they each want the other to get the blame for either funding ObamaCare or shutting down the government, or both. And Ted Cruz is basically taking the House’s side even though he is a senator, and even though the House hates him for it.
The Insane has truly arrived.September 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm #96948
For the Bible Tells Me So
Posted by mistermix at 10:24 am
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) defends his vote against SNAP with this bible verse:
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Kevin’s about my age and we grew up in similar circumstances. Probably, like me, at least one set of his grandparents were hard-working farmers in North Dakota. And it is almost certain that they were beneficiaries of one of the biggest government handouts in the history of government handouts: the Homestead Acts. The value of land given away to one person by that Act is now more than $300K in most parts of his state. He’s also probably two generations removed from relatives who came over on a boat, and one generation removed from relatives who had first-hand experience of the Depression, and the hunger and poverty experienced by people with no social safety net.
Let’s contrast Rep. Cramer with another Republican, Bob Dole. Like most other prairie state legislators of his generation, (including North Dakotans Quintin Burdick and Milton Young) Dole was part of the effort to feed our country and the world. Dole and George McGovern wrote the modern SNAP act and got it through Congress. His and McGovern’s name are on the legislation that authorizes spending on food for millions of children around the world.
Bob Dole just turned 90, so his obituary is already written, and none of the honest efforts are going to make him sound like Mr. Congeniality. Still, the one thing that won’t be said in any of them is that he wanted to take the food out of mouths of children. Kevin Cramer, at a mere 52 years old, has already cemented that part of his legacy, and he’s an ungrateful, god-bothering asshole to boot.September 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm #96949
Republicans Link One-Year Debt-Cap Suspension With Cuts
By Roxana Tiron – Sep 21, 2013 6:20 AM CT
House Republicans will consider a measure in the coming week that would suspend the U.S. borrowing limit for one year instead of raising it by a specific amount, said Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the Budget Committee.
Republican leaders will seek to attach several provisions to the measure that would reduce the U.S. budget deficit in the long run, Ryan said. If Congress passes the Republican plan, the government would continue borrowing.
The measure will look “at debt over the long term, and that is what matters the most,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters in Washington yesterday.
President Barack Obama has urged Congress to increase U.S. borrowing authority without conditions, and said he won’t negotiate on the issue.
The House Republican plan would suspend the debt cap until Dec. 31, 2014, according to a proposal distributed by party leaders to Republican members and obtained by Bloomberg News. House Republicans said it is a plan that would save at least $256 billion from budget revisions and changes to entitlement programs.
Republicans plan to add to the measure a one-year delay of Obama’s health-care law, instructions for revamping the U.S. tax code, an authorization to build the Keystone XL pipeline and reductions in government regulations.
Republicans will seek to increase means-testing for Medicare, reduce the Medicaid provider tax, revise medical malpractice law and eliminate a public-health fund as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.September 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm #96950
- – — ☺@Smith83K
@NerdyWonka @Alllwftopic @AngryBlackLady Thanks to Obamacare, my insurance company couldn’t deny me once I got cancer. And now no limits.
Retweeted by Nerdy Wonka –
- — ☺@NerdyWonka
@AngryBlackLady I have a friend who’s had a heart condition from birth and insurance was a problem. No more since #ObamaCare became law. – -
– – - – -☺ @NerdyWonka
@AngryBlackLady Thanks for this. This is what #ObamaCare is and does. It is there for people, some between life and death. It’s not abstract
- —MORE L8R :>) – - —-Woo! Hoo! :>)September 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm #96951
WHO KNEW…that there was so much crime in HONEY?
The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History
By Susan Berfield September 19, 2013
Magnus von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach arrived in Chicago in 2006 full of hope. He was 30, she was 28, and they had both won their first overseas assignments at ALW Food Group, a family-owned food-trading company based in Hamburg. Von Buddenbrock had joined ALW—the initials stand for its founder, Alfred L. Wolff—four years earlier after earning a degree in marketing and international business, and he was expert in the buying and selling of gum arabic, a key ingredient in candy and soft drinks. Giesselbach had started at ALW as a 19-year-old apprentice. She worked hard, learned quickly, spoke five languages, and within three years had become the company’s first female product manager. Her specialty was honey. When the two colleagues began their new jobs in a small fourth-floor office a few blocks from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, ALW’s business was growing, and all they saw was opportunity.
On March 24, 2008, von Buddenbrock came to the office around 8:30 a.m., as usual. He was expecting a quiet day: It was a holiday in Germany, and his bosses there had the day off. Giesselbach was on holiday, too; she had returned to Germany to visit her family and boyfriend. Sometime around 10 a.m., von Buddenbrock heard a commotion in the reception area and went to have a look. A half-dozen armed federal agents, all wearing bulletproof vests, had stormed in. “They made a good show, coming in with full force,” he recalls. “It was pretty scary.”
The agents asked if anybody was hiding anywhere, then separated von Buddenbrock and his assistant, the only two employees there. Agents brought von Buddenbrock into a conference room, where they questioned him about ALW’s honey business. After a couple of hours they left, taking with them stacks of paper files, copies of computer hard drives, and samples of honey.
The agents, from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security, had begun to uncover a plot by ALW to import millions of pounds of cheap honey from China by disguising its origins.September 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm #96952
Saturday, September 21, 2013
TED CRUZ WAS DISRESPECTED, SO OF COURSE HE CAN’T WALK AWAY FROM THE FIGHT
What’s going on in the GOP reminds me of the way a lot of people talk about gang violence. It’s often said that in recent years it’s been more common for kids in gangs to shoot other kids in gangs (and shoot innocent bystanders) because they just can’t walk away from a dispute; if they’ve been disrespected, the fight inevitably escalates, until somebody gets shot.
That’s how the GOP seems right now. Look at the Obamacare fight. John Boehner was disrespected when he was accused of offering a fake vote on defunding of the health care law, and so he gave in to Senator Ted Cruz’s demand for a House vote on a provision that would really defund Obamacare, after which Boehner and other House Republicans attacked Cruz for saying that he and his allies couldn’t really block Obamacare in the Senate.
People who looked at the likely course of the Obamacare-defunding proposal in the Senate agreed that, for complicated reasons, Cruz was correct and there was no real opportunity to stage a true filibuster of a bill with full funding of Obamacare. The only filibuster opportunity requires Cruz and his allies to block a bill that includes the defunding proposal they favor. Smart people like Kevin Drum said that was absurd, and therefore unlikely:September 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm #96953
THIS IS CRAZY
Librarian Fired for Actually Getting Kid to Read
Eric Levenson 5,032 Views Sep 19, 2013
A library aide has been fired for successfully doing her most basic job — getting a kid to read more. And so, too, has the library’s director, who started the reading controversy in the first place.
Lita Casey was dismissed on Monday after working for 28 years at the Hudson Falls Free Library in upstate New York. Her offense? Defending a nine-year-old child whose voracious reading appetite and abundant (and free!) library books makes him read too much. So much, in fact, that Weaver dominates the library’s annual reading competition, having won his 5th straight reading title by absorbing 63 books in the 40 day competition.
That should be good news, right?
Not in the eyes of library director Marie Gandron, who said the soon-to-be fifth grader Tyler Weaver “hogs” the contest with his no-good-dirty-rotten-book-stealing reading habits. Gandron had hoped to change the structure of prizes awarded in the contest to encourage other kids to get involved in the reading contest, as “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said. Instead, Gandron wanted to award prizes for the reading “contest” by picking names out of a hat. Why that would actually encourage reading, we can’t say. It’s not as if those prizes were the main reason Weaver — the self-described “the king of the reading club” — was picking up those books in the first place. All little Weaver has won in his five year reign is an atlas, a T-shirt, a water bottle and certificates of achievement. That’s nothing special.
Casey stood up for this injustice back in late August, calling the idea of changing the prizes “ridiculous.” Well, she has since paid the price for standing up for her beliefs. “I could not believe it, and I still cannot believe it,” she said after she heard she had been let go in a phone conversation. Gandron, too, has paid the same price herself, as she was also fired from her job last week after 41 years at the library.September 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm #96954
ObamaCare foes taking hostages: Our view
The Editorial Board, USA TODAY 12:19 p.m. EDT September 20, 2013
epublicans’ obsession with overturning ObamaCare is getting sillier and more dangerous at the same time. Now that they’ve failed to kill the law every way the rules allow — in Congress, the Supreme Court and in a presidential election — the opponents are taking hostages and, in effect, threatening to shoot them if they don’t get their way.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the hostages are the federal government and the U.S. economy.
The first hostage was taken Friday, when the House’s GOP majority passed a bill that would keep the government running after Sept. 30, but only if ObamaCare is defunded.
That’s not going to happen.
President Obama isn’t about to let his signature legislative achievement be gutted. And leaders of the Senate’s Democratic majority have already declared that they’ll strip out the ObamaCare language and return the funding bill to the House. At that point, the House will face a choice: Pass the Senate plan and keep the government running, or reject it and trigger a partial shutdown.
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