September 8, 2013 at 12:47 am #96362
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 8, 2013 at 12:47 am #96363
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 8, 2013 at 12:50 am #96364
Boehner Spirals Deeper Into Irrelevancy as He ‘Leads’ a Party That Refuses to Follow
The Washington Post’s latest whip count on the resolution to authorize force in Syria reveals just how irrelevant Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have become in the Republican dominated House. While the two men are the nominal leaders of the GOP House caucus, the word “leaders” at this point is simply a technical term to define two politically impotent figure heads, as neither man is capable of exercising any real leadership over the recalcitrant Republican party members in the House. Boehner and Cantor head one direction, the rest of the party lurches the other way.
The upcoming Syria resolution vote illustrates in stark terms how inept the supposed leaders of the GOP caucus have become. Boehner and Cantor were quick to support Obama’s call to action on Syria, putting partisan politics aside for a common national purpose. Yet, they have demonstrated that they have lost control of their own caucus, because the number of GOP representatives who have chosen to join them in support of the policy can almost be counted on one hand. Of the 232 House Republicans not named Cantor or Boehner, a grand total of six of them, have joined in expressing support for the authorization of force in Syria. Bohner and Cantor no longer preside over the House GOP Caucus, they merely preside over half a dozen Republican men- Tim Cotton (AR), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Luke Messer (IN), Mike Pompeo (KS), Mike Rogers (MI), and Peter King (NY). Boehner and Cantor lead three little known congressional back benchers, Rogers, Cotton and the rabidly Islamophobic Peter King. While 62 Republican House members are still listed as undecided, 164 of them are firm no votes or leaning no votes. So the score is Cantor and Boehner 6, the forces of party mutiny 164.
While the vote has not been held yet, it is pretty clear at this point that an overwhelming majority of the GOP House is poised to vote against their party’s House leadership on the Syria resolution. The Tea Party mutiny is underway once again. Boehner has struggled to corral his caucus on bipartisan measures time and again.September 8, 2013 at 12:55 am #96365
Where Were You When They Stole Detroit’s Democracy?
By: Black Liberal BoomerSep. 7th, 2013
If it happens here, it certainly won’t end here. The threat to Detroit’s democracy is a threat to everyone who values their right to vote, but especially to those whose vote is their only avenue toward effective representation in government. Not everyone can start a Super PAC. In fact most of us can’t. For most of us, the vote is our best way to let the powers-that-be know what we think, what we want, and to let them know that we will hold them accountable if they don’t act appropriately. Take away that vote, and you’re left with Gov. Rick Snyder’s America.
Down here on the ground in Detroit, it has never been unusual as a part of random conversation you might have with a neighbor , friend, or perhaps even somebody you met at a bar, to wind up discussing the topic of what ‘they’ had planned for our city. What’s next for Detroit, who will be determining what’s next – and who won’t – has been a constant topic that I have heard off and on throughout the city in more than a few social circles pretty much ever since I moved here nearly 20 years ago. There has always been that underlying sense that somewhere there was a plan brewing to steal Detroit back from Detroiters. It was only a matter of time before ‘they’ took our city from ‘us’ unless ‘we’ put up one hell of a fight. Not many would say out loud that they feared a conspiracy, but that feeling was there nevertheless. The feeling that someone or something is coming, and whoever/whatever it is isn’t interested in making life better for us.
“You know they want that water department.”
“They’ve been wanting back into this city for a long time.”
“”They’re about to take it back. You watch.”
Although there has never been a definitive definition for who ‘they’ are, the generally accepted understanding, especially as it relates to this particular topic of swirling conspiratorial rumors about what may be planned for Detroit’s future, is the predominantly white powers-that-be in government and business, spurred on by their predominantly white constituencies outside of the city, who (the belief is) have been angry for a long time that Detroit has become a predominantly African American city, and that it has become a broke and dysfunctional city as a direct result of that fact. All you have to do is read the comment section of either the Detroit Free Press or the Detroit News on any given day when there is a story about something broken in Detroit to view some predictably ugly reader commentary detailing how black folks are to blame for all that is happening to them in Detroit and for the rapid decline of Detroit from its perch as a once great American city.September 8, 2013 at 1:01 am #96366
John McCain Says Obama Would Be Impeached If He Put Boots On The Ground In Syria
John McCain is claiming that President Obama will be impeached if he puts American boots on the ground in Syria.
They are largely against any action in Syria, and I understand their skepticism. Their experience level is Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and 4,000 dead. Now Iraq is falling back into chaos. More deaths in Iraq since 2008, so people, we have had that experience, and understandably they’re incredibly skeptical, I understand that, and I’m skeptical too. But the fact is Bashar Assad has massacred 100,000 people. The conflict is spreading. The King of Jordan can not stand. Lebanon is evolving. Iraq is now become a haven for al-Qaeda, and the violence is greater since 2008. The Russians are all in, and the Iranians are all in, and it’s an unfair fight.
And no one wants American boots on the ground. Nor will there be American boots on the ground. Because there would be a impeachment of the president if they did that. But I understand the cynicism of the American people, but let’s look at the facts. 100,000 dead. A million children refugees. The slaughter is unbelievable. There’s a quarter of the population of Syria that are now refugees
McCain also said that Obama has bungled this whole thing.
Contrary to the the other members of his party who are calling for Obama to be impeached, McCain was saying that nobody wants American ground troops in Syria, and that if Obama took that step, he would be impeached.September 8, 2013 at 1:23 am #96367September 8, 2013 at 1:25 am #96368
Obamacare: New fight, old tactics
Opponents of the healthcare law are following in the footsteps of Southern segregationists half a century ago.
By Nelson Lichtenstein
September 8, 2013
Last month, Americans took pride in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Unfortunately, we are also revisiting a far darker episode in our history, a civil rights-era conflict that tells us much about the hurdles facing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the most ambitious piece of social legislation enacted in almost half a century.
That episode was the “massive resistance,” a policy pushed by a phalanx of Southern white politicians, journalists and local worthies who organized in the 1950s and early ’60s when the courts, the federal government and the civil rights movement pressed for desegregation of public schools and the end of Jim Crow racism in American life. Rather than consent to the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which ordered an end to segregation in public schools, Southern governors and legislatures declared that they would refuse to implement the law and, if necessary, close schools. Their policy would later extend to efforts to shut down pools, parks and other public facilities that courts had ordered integrated.
In Congress, the Southern delegation stood firm against federal action in support of civil rights. Across the South billboards went up: “Impeach Earl Warren,” the chief justice who presided over the court’s 9-0 decision in the landmark 1954 case.
Today, the Republican opponents of Obamacare, and especially those hailing from the old Confederacy, have dusted off just about every tactic and ruse once deployed by Southern segregationists. House Republicans have taken 40 votes to repeal Obamacare. But the real battle over the fate of the law will take place at the state and local level.
And, as in the 1950s in the case of civil rights, the Supreme Court has inadvertently given opponents — this time of healthcare reform — a green light. In 1955, the high court declared that desegregation should proceed with “all deliberate speed,” which integration opponents interpreted as permission to drag their feet. In 2012, when the Roberts court ruled that states could reject the large expansion of Medicaid called for in the original Affordable Care Act, virtually every Republican legislature and governor in the South did just that, spurning the chance to enroll hundreds of thousands of their residents in the new federal program.September 8, 2013 at 2:20 am #96369
The ’12 Years a Slave’ Hype Won’t Slow Down
After its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival last week, and a screening Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, the hype surrounding Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave reached a high point. It is undeniable — this is the movie you need to see. Don’t expect that hype to stop until awards season is over and the movie walks away with more than one statue.
The reviews that trickled in Friday night and Saturday morning were excited, superlative, and unanimously positive. They all had one overwhelming message: 12 Years a Slave — the third from director Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender as slave and slave owner, respectively — will be a movie to mess with come award season. Buzzfeed’s Adam Vary called it “most emotionally powerful film I have seen in a decade,” in his initial reaction. “The Oscar race has been pronounced over, six months before the ceremony itself,” writes the Guardian’s Catherine Shoard. Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman says it’s a “landmark of cruelty and transcendence.” This is not last year’s Django Unchained, then.
“So… yeah. The stuff you’re reading about 12 YEARS A SLAVE that sounds like it must be hyperbole? Kinda isn’t,” NPR’s Linda Holmes added on Twitter.
This kind of breathless praise shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who read the early reviews out of Telluride. That festival isn’t as widely attended as TIFF, but the movie’s brilliance was still on display for those in attendance. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg didn’t mince words last weekend in his report on the premiere:
Indeed, I believe that it will strongly contend for noms in the categories of best picture, best director (McQueen, for biting off more than ever before and capably chewing it), best actor (Ejiofor, for his total commitment in every scene of the film), best supporting actor (Fassbender, for playing a brutal Southern slave owner), best supporting actress (N’yongo, for portraying a slave who endures heartbreaking brutality), best adapted screenplay (for John Ridley’s take on Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography of the same title) and best original score (Hans Zimmer).September 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm #96370September 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm #96371
BREAKING: Ben Jealous Resigns as NAACP PresidentSeptember 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm #96372
Young, black and speaking out after the Trayvon Martin case
Ayinde Grimes splits the crowd on the sidewalk as he and a friend window-shop in Georgetown one afternoon. People break a wide arc around the tall teen from Anacostia, strolling on Wisconsin Avenue with his afro bouncing and his black-power medallion swinging.
Were they just giving him space? he wonders. Were they afraid? Ayinde doesn’t know. He’s walking that line that black people — especially young black men — often walk.
Maybe they did that because “I’m black,” he says later. “Maybe they did that not because I’m black but because I’m taking up space.” It’s a perpetual internal debate.
Ayinde is 17 — the same age as Travyon Martin, the black teenager who went out one night in Sanford, Fla., to buy candy and was slain by a neighborhood watch volunteer on his way home. The killing had shaken Ayinde and many of his friends. Even worse, he says, was George Zimmerman’s acquittal in July on all charges in the teen’s death, an outcome that outraged them.
In the weeks that followed the Zimmerman verdict, many people wondered what sort of impact the case would have on the lives of young African Americans like Ayinde. What would it mean for black teens navigating the journey from childhood to manhood in a world that so often defines them by stereotypes?
“I call them young black baby men,” says Gayle Danley, who taught a “Split This Rock” poetry workshop that Ayinde attended this summer. “No matter what we tell them: ‘You are beautiful. You are valuable.’ No matter what the world says, there still might be that little kernel of doubt inside, saying, ‘Really? Am I really important? Am I really valuable? Look what can happen to me on a dark, rainy night.’ ”
In Georgetown, Ayinde crosses the street and goes into the sports shoe store, where he gets sidelong glances from other customers. “It seemed like the girls were afraid to . . . walk by me,” he says. “And I’m just living my life.”
Ayinde was in the fourth grade the first time he was followed as he was shopping, at a dollar store with two friends. A clerk trailed them as they looked for Styrofoam balls for a galaxy science project.
But at the Apple Store in Georgetown, the clerks smile when they spot him and ask whether he needs any help. “They seemed genuinely friendly,” he says.September 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm #96373
LEFT WITH NOTHING
On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.
Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.
All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.
The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.
For decades, the District placed liens on properties when homeowners failed to pay their bills, then sold those liens at public auctions to mom-and-pop investors who drew a profit by charging owners interest on top of the tax debt until the money was repaid.
But under the watch of local leaders, the program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies that turned $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts — then foreclosed on homes when families couldn’t pay, a Washington Post investigation found.
In a 10-month investigation, The Post chronicled years of breakdowns and abuses in a program that puts at risk one of the most fundamental possessions in American life.
Of the nearly 200 homeowners who lost their properties in recent years, one in three had liens of less than $1,000.
More than half of the foreclosures were in the city’s two poorest wards, 7 and 8, where dozens of owners were forced to leave their homes just months before purchasers sold them. One foreclosed on a brick house near the Maryland border with a $287 lien and sold it less than eight weeks later for $129,000.
More than 40 houses were taken by companies whose representatives were caught breaking laws in other states to win liens.
Instead of stepping in, the D.C. tax office created more problems by selling nearly 1,900 liens by mistake in the past six years — even after owners paid their taxes — forcing unsuspecting families into legal battles that have lasted for years. One 64-year-old woman spent two years fighting to save her home in Northwest after the tax office erroneously charged her $8.61 in interest.September 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm #96374
27 other things the North Carolina voting law changes
By Reid Wilson, Published: September 8 at 6:00 amE-mail the writer
When North Carolina Republicans passed a package of election law reforms this year, Democrats cried foul. As in other states, the new reforms required voters to show identification at the polls, and cut the number of early voting days when polling stations would be open before an election.
But the package also contained several revisions to state election laws that go well beyond requiring an identification and cutting voting days — including some that will likely have a bigger impact on the future of the state’s election results than either of the best-known provisions.
Together, the early voting and voter identification provisions take up fewer than four and a half pages of text. The bill is 49 pages long. Here are 27 other provisions you can find in the other 44 and a half pages:September 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm #96375
Alongside His Family, Bill de Blasio Denounces Bloomberg Comments
De Blasio responds to the mayor’s interview in New York Magazine. “Twenty years ago, my dad did not know he was running for mayor and did not seek to marry a black woman to put on display,” says the frontrunner’s daughter, Chiara.
At a rally in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood, Bill de Blasio responded to a recent interview with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the man he hopes to succeed in City Hall, calling his charges of racism “very unfortunate and inappropriate.”
Just days before Tuesday’s New York City primary, Bloomberg told New York Magazine, in an interview published Saturday morning, that de Blasio has run a “class-warfare and racist” campaign because of the way in which he has used “his family to gain support,” the outgoing three-term mayor said.
De Blasio, the late-breaking frontrunner in this year’s crowded primary contest, stood alongside his wife, longtime activist Chirlane McCray, who is black, and his daughter, 18-year-old Chiara, at a packed get-out-the-vote rally Saturday afternoon, where he denounced Bloomberg’s comments.
“I think we have run a campaign about the ideas, about the issues, about how to move this city forward,” said de Blasio, who led a recent Quinnipiac poll with 43 percent of the Democratic vote. “I’m very proud of that. I’m exceedingly proud of my family, and as you’ll know meeting every member of my family, they are each and every one strong and independent and make their own decisions.”
“We all have proceeded as a family together,” he said. “It’s been an extraordinarily positive experience.”
De Blasio, calling the interview “very unfortunate and inappropriate,” said he hoped Bloomberg would “reconsider what he said.”
After the rally, where de Blasio appeared with Ken Thompson, a candidate for Brooklyn District attorney, his daughter Chiara told reporters she and her mother and brother, 16-year-old Dante, participated in the campaign on their own terms. “My mom, my brother, and I are all capable of making our own decisions,” she said. “Twenty years ago, my dad did not know he was running for mayor and did not seek to marry a black woman to put on display.”
The de Blasios have appeared on the campaign trail with the candidate often, and Dante filmed an effective, much-talked-about direct-to-camera television ad earlier this year. When a reporter asked whether de Blasio has used his family as “a prop” during the campaign, McCray responded sharply. “Do I look like an inanimate object? I walk, I talk, I make my own decisions,” she said.September 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm #96376
More Than Half Of Teachers Report Buying Hungry Students Food With Their Own Money
Posted: 03/18/2010 5:12 am EDT | Updated: 08/15/2013 6:24 pm EDT
We often hear about U.S. teachers being paid poorly for all the work they do to educate children. But did you know that 63 percent of teachers report buying food for the classroom each month with their own money? That’s just one statistic from a report put out by Share Our Strength, which surveyed teachers across the country about hunger in America’s classrooms.
You can download the full Teachers report and learn more surprising facts about hungry kids and the teachers trying to help them at the Share Our Strength site.
Share Our Strength also interviewed two teachers in New York City about their personal experiences with students who have come to depend on them for enough food to get them through the day.
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