September 15, 2013 at 12:19 am #96650
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 15, 2013 at 12:20 am #96651
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 15, 2013 at 12:24 am #96652
Sharpton hosts de Blasio in Harlem, and declares a new ‘identity politics of policy’
By Azi Paybarah
12:17 pm Sep. 14, 2013
On Saturday morning, the Rev. Al Sharpton welcomed Bill de Blasio to his weekly rally in Harlem, and did his best to explain de Blasio’s strong showing among black voters in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
“What the election showed the other night is that a lot of identity politics of 20 years ago, 30 years ago has now become the identity politics of policy,” said Sharpton.
“Bill Thompson did very well in some white areas,” he continued. “Bill de Blasio did well in some black areas. You can no longer take yesterday’s map for today’s politics.”
According to exit polls, de Blasio tied Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, among black voters, with each receiving 42 percent support.September 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm #96655
POTUS on Armchair Quarterbacks: says D.C. likes to grade on style points even if the results are disastrous. Uses Iraq as a perfect exampleSeptember 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm #96656
Arrogant Demon is on twitter making excellent points: PBO’s detractors are furiously spinning an alternate reality and trying to dismiss his admin’s foreign policy coup re: Syria by claiming that PBO is “lucky.” Yet how many of those detractors are mediocre, privileged people who only have their high blog and media perches due to racial inequality in this country, nepotism, and/or having relationships with people in the incestuous beltway press? Up is down. Down is up. PBO is just “lucky.” His detractors are superlative minds despite being consistently unable to display strategic thinking and non-shallow analysis…September 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm #96657
Obama Obliterates The Republican Myth That Putin Saved Him on Syria
By: Jason Easley
Sep. 15th, 2013
On ABC’s This Week, President Obama destroyed the Republican created myth that Putin saved him on Syria, and obliterated the GOP talking points on the issue.
Transcript via This Week:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:Yeah.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: -in this. And, you know, even in this op-ed, which has stirred up a lot of controversy here in United States, he said, “There’s every reason to believe that the rebels are the ones who used the chemical weapons.” So does that tell you he’s willing to lie to protect Assad?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, nobody around the world takes seriously the idea that the rebels- were the perpetrators of this—
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: He wrote it in The New York Times.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, I understand. What I said is nobody around the world takes seriously the idea that the rebels perpetrated this attack. Now what is true is that there are radical elements in the opposition- including folks who are affiliated with al-Qaeda, who, if they got their hands on chemical weapons, would have no compunction using them in Syria or outside of Syria.
And part of the reason why we’ve been so concerned about this chemical weapons- issue is because we don’t want- those folks gettin’ chemical weapons, anymore than we want Assad to have chemical weapons. And so the best solution is for us to get them out of there.
But- with respect to Mr. Putin- I have said consistently that where the interest of the United States and Russia converge, we need to work together. And I had talked to Mr. Putin a year ago- saying to him- the United States and Russia should work together to deal with these chemical weapons stockpiles, and to work to try to bring about a political transition-
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you trust-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: -inside of Syria.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: -he has the same goal? Do you really trust that?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Oh, I don’t think that- Mr. Putin has the same- values that we do. And I think- obviously, by- protecting Mr. Assad- he has a different attitude about- the Assad regime. But what I’ve also said to him directly- is that we both have an interest in preventing chaos, we both have an interest in preventing terrorism, the situation in Syria right now is untenable, as long as Mr. Assad’s in power, there is gonna be some sort of conflict there, and that we should work together to try to find a way in which the interests of all the parties inside of Syria, the Alawites, the Sunnis, the Christians, that everybody is represented and that there is a way of bringing the temperature down so that- that horrible things that are happening inside the country-
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: -are continuing to happen.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And I think there’s a way for- Mr. Putin, despite- me and him having a whole lot of differences, to play an important role in that. And so I welcome him being involved. I welcome him saying, “I will take responsibility for pushing my client, the Assad regime- to deal with these chemical weapons.”
Because- I think that if, in fact- not only Russia gets involved, but if- potentially Iran gets involved- as well in recognizing that what’s happening there is a train wreck that hurts not just Syrians but destabilizing the entire region-September 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm #96658
Against A World Arrayed for War
Sat Sep 14th, 2013 at 11:04:12 PM EST
Back when all this began, when the Bush administration decided that the Shiite power they had unleashed by invading Iraq was a bigger threat to American interests in the Middle East than the Sunni-led insurgency they were facing in Mesopotamia, a cast of characters arose to question the administration. When Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware got word that we were sending commandos into Iran to pursue insurgents, he asked Condoleeza Rice for assurances.
In 2011, after the WikiLeaks disclosures, the U.S. was forced to admit that it had been funding anti-Assad regime efforts, too, going back to 2006.
When Barack Obama became president, he inherited this neo-conservative policy which was based in very sectarian thinking: Sunnis good, Shiites bad. The people who had been speaking against and raising questions about the policy would become high-ranking members of his cabinet. But Obama proved repeatedly that he wasn’t going to accept the dissenters’ advice either. He doesn’t seem to have accepted any part of the paradigm.
Bradley Klapper may think that the administration’s Syria policy is in disarray, but his own timeline of events proves otherwise. While Obama did not pull up every anti-regime effort in the pipeline root and branch, he made clear upon taking office that he wanted to pursue improved relations with Syria and coax them out of their alliance with Iran and Hizbollah with a variety of diplomatic and economic incentives. He assigned an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in years. At this point, any ongoing mischief was either going on at the direction of Prince Bandar in Saudi Arabia or was intended to gently prod Assad toward the West.
The effort was not successful, and it was undercut by the Arab Spring. When Assad responded to protests with brutality, the administration tried to pursue sanctions at the United Nations but was rebuffed by the Chinese and the Russians. Eventually, Obama said that Assad needed to leave power, but his next step was to have Secretary of State Clinton work with the Russians on finding a way to end the civil war. The Russians wouldn’t agree that Assad had to go, but it was implied by the fact that the Assad regime was given a veto over any possible future government. In other words, they wouldn’t agree to go unless they felt that they and the Alawites would be protected. Obama went along with this, but it didn’t lead anywhere.
As the civil war grew worse, Obama refused to send weapons. But, in August 2012, he grew worried enough about the potential use of chemical weapons that he issued his now-famous “red line” warning against their use. By February 2013, we were sending medical kits and MRE’s, but still no weapons, and Obama refused to create a no-fly zone despite considerable pressure to do so.
Then, in June, our intelligence community concluded that the regime had probably used some chemical weapons in a few scattered attacks. Again, he was pressured to create a no-fly zone, but he settled on the lesser alternative of finally acceding to sending lethal aid to the rebels. But none of it was sent.
The lesson on the eve of the 8/21 attacks was clear. Despite inheriting a policy that saw the Middle East as a battle between Sunnis and Shiites, the president was using every stalling tactic he could think of to avoid joining the fight on the Sunni’s side. First, he tried diplomacy. Then he tried sanctions. Then he issued a warning. Then he allowed non-lethal aid. Then he offered lethal aid. At every point, he did less than what he was being asked to by the neo-cons, the Israelis, and the Sunni powers. In many cases, he was doing less than his own cabinet advised.
Then, when the 8/21 attacks occurred, he threatened to use a limited amount of force and sandbagged even that effort by giving up his right to act unilaterally and throwing the rotting mess to Congress. Finally, he struck an agreement with Russia that will take the pressure off to use military strikes so long as Syria is complying with the terms of disarmament.
His policy has been to reject the view that American interests are tied up in a regional sectarian war in which we want to see the Sunnis prevail. His policy has been to resist constant and powerful forces that keep insisting that we accept the paradigm the neo-cons set in motion back in 2006-7. His policy has been to keep us out of Syria, no matter the political cost to himself, his reelection efforts, or his posterity.
At the same time, his policy has been consistently that there is no military solution to Syria. The Sunnis cannot prevail there and we wouldn’t want them to anyway considering what they would do to the religious minorities. He tried to coax Syria out of the Shiite paradigm. Then he tried to get Russia to help him kill the sectarian paradigm. And now he has Russia on board to see this through to an end that isn’t settled by one sect prevailing against the other.
He has never seen Syria as a proxy war against Iran or Russia or as a war that we need settled in the Sunni’s favor.
His policy is not in disarray. It’s actually on its first solid footing since his presidency began.September 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm #96659
Serious certain white folks just to admit it the black man in the white house is smarter than you. If you had spent time being genuine friends of black folk instead of living through the prism of stereotypes and research of black folk, you would know most black folk smart as heck. They know the ways of the world and know how white folk think better than white folks. You would learn we are careful people and suspicious. Obama got all y’all number including your black agenda bros.September 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm #96660
Obama Turns The Tables and Tells Republicans Debt Ceiling Demands Are Unconstitutional
By: Jason Easley
Sep. 15th, 2013
President Obama took one of the Republican Party’s favorite lines of attack, and turned it around on them by telling the House GOP that their debt ceiling demands are unconstitutional.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The- George- I think it’s fair to say- you- that never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they’re talking about. It’s never happened before. There’ve been negotiations around the corners, because nobody had ever presumed that you’d actually threaten the United States to default.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But how does this end, then? You know- they say they need changes in Obamacare. You say you’re not gonna negotiate. Are you just betting they’re gonna cave?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No, no- George, here’s the problem. The- the- if we set- if we continue to set a precedent in which a president, any president, a Republican president- a Democratic president- where the opposing party controls the House of Representatives- if- if that president is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills- the other party can simply sit there and say, “Well, we’re not gonna put- pay the bills unless you give us what our- what we want,” that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely.September 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm #96661
The coming Obamacare fight holds real peril for Republicans, too
By Greg Sargent, Published: September 13 at 2:12 pm
If you want to get a sense of the hardships the coming battle over Obamacare implementation could present for Republicans, check out this compelling local newscast out of Virginia that was flagged for me by a Democrat.
It reports that at least 200,000 Virginia residents could be in danger of falling into the “Medicaid gap,” i.e., they are too poor to qualify for the law’s subsidies, but also will not enjoy the benefits of the law because Virginia has opted out of the Medicaid expansion:
What you see here is another way in which we may be heading into new political territory in the battle over Obamacare, now that its benefits are set to kick in this fall. The media and political discussion is heavily focused on the problems implementation may bring. There’s no denying that there will likely be glitches. Those are likely to be hyped in the press — egged on by Obamacare foes — into proof that the law is a uniform disaster. But as more and more people have their own concrete experience of the law and its benefits, the Republican arguments about it could get harder to make.
In recent days some Republican governors have broken with the conservative demand that they must swear off the Medicaid expansion entirely. Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, who previously opted out of the expansion, is now set to roll out some sort of Medicaid expansion plan of his own that would expand coverage to poor Pennsylvanians. While it’s unclear what it will look like, it might require new recipients to purchase private insurance with the help of federal expansion money, which looks like an expansion of the safety net.
Meanwhile, Ohio governor John Kasich, who has announced the state will opt in to the expansion but is running into resistance, is now aggressively battling GOP lawmakers in his own state who oppose opting in, arguing that it’s folly for the state to reject federal money that can be used to treat their own constituents.September 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm #96662September 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm #96663
MHP: Why Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye should not be bannedSeptember 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm #96664
Despite delays, Obamacare ‘navigators’ anxious to hit the streets
BY MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporter September 13, 2013 11:06PM
Some of the organizations that received federal funding to recruit navigators or in-person counselors — those charged with helping others understand the Affordable Care Act — admit they’re still waiting to hire them.
Two weeks before a key launch date for the nation’s health care law, other agencies say they’re still waiting to get more information before they start sending their navigators out to the public.
Navigators and in-person counselors — who basically do the same thing — are important because they are the ones who will have direct contact with uninsured Illinois residents trying to make sense of the ACA as they choose a health plan.
The federal and state governments have insisted that many of the questions will get resolved in time for their Oct. 1 deadlines. That’s when Illinois and other states are supposed to start offering affordable plans on newly-created online marketplaces for people who lack health insurance, a key part of the Affordable Care Act — or, as it is informally known, Obamacare.
One of the unknowns is how much insurance plans on this new Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will cost. In addition, neither the federal nor the state government has finished work on the complex websites most consumers are supposed to use to help them compare and buy health coverage.
The longer they wait, the less time that gives navigators to do their job, some experts have said.September 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm #96665
Is Stony Island the right honor for Bishop Brazier?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is undoubtedly trying to score points with black Chicagoans.
Hard to imagine that isn’t the case.
Is it still a good idea to honor Bishop Arthur Brazier, a civil rights and spiritual leader, community activist and overall force for good in a world that doesn’t have enough of them?
Emanuel this week proposed renaming Stony Island, from 56th to 130th streets, after Bishop Brazier, who died in 2010 at age 89. Brazier certainly deserves an honor.
Over a long life, Brazier never stopped fighting the good fight — his work covered it all: economic development, housing, education and spiritual uplift. As his son, who took over the mega church his father built at 63rd and Dorchester, explained to the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman, “He provided insight and development in housing, education, public safety, health and human services. His comprehensiveness is what the mayor and our community understood. He wasn’t just a person who ran a program, but understood the development and self-determination of a community.”
Brazier helped bring the Rev. Martin Luther King to Chicago in 1966, helped found the Woodlawn Organization in the ’60s to battle slumlords and beat back an encroaching University of Chicago, helped organize a boycott of the public schools over the concentration of black students in mobile classrooms, leading to the early resignation of school Supt. Ben Willis, and became a powerful, enduring voice that politicians all the way up to President Barack Obama relied on.
Over 48 years, he built a congregation at the Apostolic Church of God of more than 20,000 members and helped rebuild the section of Woodlawn near the church. He also developed affordable housing and consulted with community groups across the country on housing and commercial redevelopment and, in recent years, instrumental in starting the Woodlawn Children’s Promise Community.September 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm #96666
Stony Island renaming plan looks like sad political ploy: Mitchell
By MARY MITCHELL September 13, 2013 6:00PM
Just about everyone on the South Side has a Stony Island story.
But if Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way, those stories will soon give way to ones about “Bishop Brazier Avenue.”
This week, the full City Council is expected to pass a measure that would change the iconic thoroughfare’s name to that of the late Bishop Arthur Brazier, the longtime pastor of the Apostolic Church of God.
Brazier left his footprints in the redevelopment of the Woodlawn community, and played key roles in the fight for equality in education.
Still, this is Stony Island we are talking about.
No alderman would dare challenge Brazier’s worthiness, and I predict this proposal will sail through City Council as if it were a resolution for an honorary street sign.
Still, I remember that all hell broke loose in 2006 when then Ald. Madeline Haithcock (2nd) tried to get one city block named for Fred Hampton pursuant to his son’s request.
Hampton, the charismatic leader of the Chicago Black Panthers, was killed in an infamous police raid in 1969. To black people, Hampton was a martyr in the struggle for equality. Thousands lined up to view his body and to attend his funeral.
The Fraternal Order of Police protested the honorary street sign designation, and successfully lobbied white aldermen to vote against it.
I don’t expect Byron Brazier, who was on Emanuel’s transition team, will run into any City Council opposition in an attempt to get Stony Island renamed for his father.
Still, coming at a time when a lot of black people have soured on the mayor, what is supposed to be a tribute just looks like cheap political posturing.
Unfortunately, the renaming of Stony Island could end up as one of those stories we would be too ashamed to tell.
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