May 26, 2013 at 12:14 am #89061
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.May 26, 2013 at 12:15 am #89062
Good Morning,EveryoneMay 26, 2013 at 9:22 am #89063
The Daily Show Traps Far-Right Radio Host
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm by Bob Cesca
This rules. Just utterly rules.May 26, 2013 at 9:24 am #89064
The Civil War Was Fought Over Slavery. Period.
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Bob Cesca
David Frum wrote a nice piece about this topic in the context of commemorating the 25th anniversary of Battle Cry of Freedom. His salient points:
From time to time, we hear denials of the centrality of slavery to the Civil War. That’s apologetics, not history. Slavery was always, always there: the war’s fundamental cause, the war’s shaping reality. [...]
Whether American civilization was to treat some men as property – whether in fact the right to treat men as property was indispensable to American freedom – that was the question for which Americans fought and died a century and a half ago.
I’m contemplating a book that utterly turns over the notion of the Confederacy as this noble, gallant Lost Cause and re-casts all of the appropriate players, Lee, Davis, Jackson, and all of their apologists, as treasonous, sadistic, sociopathic villains who disguised the inherent cruelty of the South under the almost translucent banner of states’ rights and liberty, and, in the name of preserving their terrible “institution” of slavery, were responsible for 650,000-plus dead Americans. Pull no punches.
May 26, 2013 at 9:32 am #89066
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by rikyrah.
Why Rethugs aren’t squealing about the sequester…
African Americans most vulnerable to proposed federal cuts
Massive cuts in essential federal programs are being proposed by the Obama administration. The chained Consumer Price Index would affect Social Security and other benefits, while $400 billion would be taken out, over 10 years, of Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs for the poor and elderly.
These efforts are purportedly connected with the need to trim the federal budget deficit. A “sequester,” imposed earlier this year, has resulted in furloughs for government workers, health care industry layoffs and the elimination of decades-long programs for low-income people.
The chained CPI will severely reduce the limited yearly increases in Social Security payments as well as benefits received by retired government employees, veterans and Supplemental Security Income recipients.
The Center for Global Policy Solutions has placed the Obama administration’s proposals within a broader context – showing that the historic national oppression of African Americans has rendered this community lower wages and less accumulated household wealth. The continuing five-year economic crisis has also disproportionately driven down the living standards of African Americans and other peoples of color.
The CGPS says, “African Americans are among the most vulnerable when it comes to economic security. As of 2011, over half of the African-American senior population was financially insecure.” This stems from the lack of opportunity and systematic national discrimination in education and the labor market. Additionally, the decades-long restructuring of the industrial and service sectors of the U.S. economy has left whole layers of the workforce without decent jobs with adequate salaries and benefits.
After retirement, African Americans face even lower incomes due to pensions and Social Security payments based on their earnings during their last employed years. Any cuts to incremental increases in retirees’ monthly payments can only result in deeper poverty.
CGPS stresses, “The persistent income and wealth inequality seen among African Americans comes from years of disproportionately lower levels of earnings, employment, educational attainment, and ownership of family assets. … African Americans have had significantly fewer opportunities to build assets over time and often lack the savings to ensure financial security throughout their post-working years.”May 26, 2013 at 9:39 am #89067
I didn’t know…
THE BOONDOCKS IS ON NETFLIX!!!!
YES YES YES YES YES YES
Going off to have some laughs todayMay 26, 2013 at 9:46 am #89069
just a reminder
And for those Arrested Development fans out there…
the new episodes are now available on Netflix streamingMay 26, 2013 at 10:27 am #89071
Seniority and Diversity
Sat May 25th, 2013 at 11:41:42 PM EST
When it comes to assigning committee chairs in the House of Representatives, the Democrats have long adhered to a rather strict seniority system. Whoever has served longest on the committee gets the chair, unless they have some significant political liabilities. Every once in a while, a member may be passed over because they are the subject of an ethics investigation, or sometimes because of advanced age. But the Democrats don’t place ideological litmus tests on their committee chairmen. They do not skip people over in the name of diversity.
For a very long time, this seniority policy meant that minorities had little hope of becoming the chairman of a full committee. There were simply too many white members ahead of them, and there was almost no way to jump past them. There was grumbling in the Black and Hispanic Caucuses, but they went along with the system.
And then a funny thing happened late in the last decade. A host of black lawmakers and a couple of Latino ones finally outlasted all their white colleagues. John Conyers became chair of the Judiciary Committee after serving 33 years. Charlie Rangel became chair of Ways & Means Committee after serving for 27 years. Bennie Thompson took over Homeland Security. Suddenly, people of color had reached the committee promised land. And then, suddenly, people began talking about moving away from a strict seniority system. It wasn’t right.
Rangel lost his chairmanship because of some ethics issues, and then the Democrats lost control of the House. Yet, the same seniority system applies to ranking members in the minority.
The newest flareup is erupting in anticipation of Ed Markey winning the special Senate election in Massachusetts next month. That would open up the ranking member position on the Natural Resources panel. Rep. Pete DeFazio of Oregon has the seniority to win the seat and Raúl Grijalva ranks seventh. Nonetheless, Rep. Grijalva plans on challenging DeFazio. He claims as part of his rationale that he would add diversity to Democrats’ leadership. That’s the same argument that racial minorities made for years, and it has always had some merit. But scrapping seniority now, when minorities are finally benefitting from the system, would threaten their hard-won gains.
Based on the seniority system, any Democrat currently serving as ranking member stands to become the chairman if the Democrats retake control of the House.
Here’s a list of the minority ranking members whose chairs would be threatened if the Dems move away from the seniority system:
Ethics- Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
Financial Services- Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Homeland Security- Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Judiciary- John Conyers (D-MI)
Oversight & Government Reform- Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Science, Space, and Technology- Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Small Business- Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
There is a much longer list if we begin to consider subcommittee chairs, many of which are very important. However, those posts have never been as rigidly assigned as full committee chairs.
In short, Raúl Grijalva doesn’t have a very good argument. Scrapping the seniority system now would not promote diversity. Because the safest and bluest seats in the country are mainly held by minorities, they can expect to rise steadily in seniority as the less safe lawmakers are winnowed out. Moreover, a lot of minorities are already poised to take gavels, including some of the most powerful ones.
That leaves Grijalva to argue that he is more loyal than DeFazio, which is probably narrowly true. He can also argue that he better represents the party’s views on natural resources and the environment, but that is arguable. DeFazio is pretty solid on those issues.
It’s fair to have a debate about the merits of the seniority system. It’s not the only system. It’s not necessarily the best system. For a long time it suppressed diversity; now it promotes it without even trying to promote it.
But there should be a compelling reason for changing the rules in the middle of the game. And the diversity argument utterly fails.May 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm #89072
Morning Everyone!May 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm #89074
Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Why President Obama is the Most Heckled President
*Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin’s repeated and drug out heckling of President Obama during his drone policy speech is simply the latest in a disgusting and damaging repeat act that has become almost ritual. The White House announces a major policy speech by Obama. Then the predictable happens. Either at the start or midway through his speech, the shouts from the floor begin. The drone policy speech followed the act’s script.
It’s true that George W. Bush, Clinton, and Reagan were at times heckled, and in Bush’s case a shoe was tossed at him. But with Obama the pattern and sheer numbers of times he’s been heckled top anything any former president has received. Counting Benjamin’s eruption the president has been heckled at least ten times. The topper was the infamous “you lie” rant from Georgia Congressman Joe Wilson during his 2009 State of the Union address.
This pattern of public vilification and insult of Obama during his speeches was set almost from the start of his White House tenure when a small knot of black protestors verbally assailed the president at a Florida stop in 2008 for allegedly not doing enough about predatory lending. The pattern firmly took hold from there, and it virtually became open season to disrupt an Obama speech anywhere and at any time. The Tea Party didn’t help matters with its incessant marches and rallies that routinely featured the vilest, demeaning, and borderline racist depictions of Obama. The relentless public heckling of Obama also stems from the even more insidious pattern of pure hate and vilification that spews forth against Obama from a parade of websites, bloggers, talk show jocks, and more than a few GOP officials with assorted borderline racist digs and taunts. In 2011, Baylor University researchers tracked more than 20 Facebook page groups and users and found them filled with racist venom aimed at Obama. There may be even more of them today.
Obama had the dubious distinction of being the earliest presidential contender to be assigned Secret Service protection on the 2008 campaign trail. As the showdown with Republican presidential rival John McCain heated up in the general election in 2008, the flood of crank, crackpot, and screwball threats that promised murder and mayhem toward Obama continued to pour in. This prompted the Secret Service to tighten security and take even more elaborate measures to ensure his safety.
GOP leaders have on only the rarest of rare occasions issued any public rebuke of the street side abusive depictions and the torrent of verbal broadsides against Obama.
But then again why would they. The GOP has far superseded any insult that a lone heckler could achieve in its self-designated role as official heckler of Obama. There has not been a moment that has gone by that top GOP congressional leaders have not called Obama out on some issue. The framing of their criticism has not been polite, gentlemanly, or exhibited the traditional courtesy and respect for the office of the presidency. This has done much to create a climate of distrust, and vilification that has made it near legitimate even expected that Obama be heckled. The GOP’s official heckling has taken many forms, all mean spirited and petty, rather than purely the customary expression of opposition to policies that clashing political parties and their leaders show toward each other. For instance, House Speaker John Boehner, brashly told Obama in 2011 that he could not deliver his State of the Union speech on the date that he chose. This was quickly followed by other GOP leaders who loudly said that they would not even bother to attend Obama’s speech. Obama changed the date.
The subtle and overt interplay of race, Obama’s popularity, and the temptation to some of getting fifteen seconds of fame, has become an irresistible and combustible mix. A heckler (s) know that a well-timed shout at Obama is a sure fire guarantee to get massive media attention.May 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm #89075
Lynn Whitfield’s Daughter Grace Gibson to Debut in ‘Black Nativity’
May 25, 2013 by Brittney M. Walker
Black Nativity” is in production right now with an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese, Nas and so many more.
But we recently learned via Wilson Morales’ BlackFilm.com that Grace Gibson, the daughter of actress Lynn Whitfield and director Brian Gibson, was added to the cast for her feature debut.
The film is a modern re-telling of Langston Hughes’ version of the Bible’s nativity story.
A street-wise teen from Baltimore, raised by a single mother, takes off to New York to spend Christmas with relatives.
During his stay, he learns a few things, stretches his comfort zone and discovers the true meaning of faith, healing and family.
Written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film will include music from Raphael Saadiq.May 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm #89076
Moral Ambiguity Should Be Our Lodestar
Sun May 26th, 2013 at 12:41:19 PM EST
Perhaps we need a psychologist to take a look at Rep. Peter King’s reaction to President Obama’s counterterrorism speech. Rep. King says he was offended by the tone of the speech and that the president should stop moralizing and “apologizing for America.” The president defended our counterterrorism policies as legal and effective, but he went on to say, “To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance.”
“Es impossible,” responds Rep. King, “America can do no wrong.”
KING: “Listen, every soldier, every cop who is faced with a decision to make, life or death, does the best he or she can and I think our country has done more than any country in the history of the world to limit civilian casualties so that just offended me, that whole tone of it. […]
As far as the policy …. I think this policy basically has worked … and perhaps we can fine tune it, we can put more emphasis on clandestine activity of actually gathering intelligence rather than relying so much on drones but for me i don’t think the president really addressed that in the speech. I think he was coming at it from a more from this moral tone which I just think was misplaced. I don’t think it’s called for.[…]”
In fact, [King] said “we should be proud” of U.S. counterterror policy and “defend what we’re doing and stop apologizing for America.”
If the president apologized, it was with considerable nuance.May 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm #89077
He Dislikes You Right Back
Sun May 26th, 2013 at 10:21:14 AM EST
Sometimes, I wonder why I so frequently see disparaging remarks in the press about the president’s disposition or mien. He’s aloof, arrogant, detached, above-it-all, distant, dismissive. The thing is, he doesn’t strike me as any of those things. Maybe every once in a while I get a brief hint that he’s impatient or frustrated with the stupidity that surrounds him. But, to me, it seems like he hides it well. Watch him console grieving parents or enter into a little child’s world or work a rope line, and he’s compassionate, intimate, wholly-there.
The problem seems to be that he keeps his guard up around reporters. And reporters do the reporting on the president’s personality. Consider the observation that Robert Draper made while visiting the new Bush library with Maureen Dowd:
Robert Draper, the author of “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush,” perused the library with me and observed: “So 43 grew up entitled but could display a commoner’s touch, while 44 grew up hardscrabble yet developed this imperial mien. The former is defined by incuriosity, the latter by self-absorption. One is a late-blooming artist, the other a precocious writer. They can each make you kind of miss the other.”
In other words, there is something about Barack Obama that Robert Draper simply doesn’t like. Maureen Dowd obviously feels the same way. He has an “imperial mien.” In their mouths, descriptions like “precocious” and [using a] “lapidary logic” sound like insults. They hate the smart kid. Obama projects a sense of superiority to these reporters. He makes them feel small and excluded and less than. And they resent him for it.
But the same things that these reporters dislike are what draw me to the president. Incisiveness, reason, cool-headedness, dispassion, intelligence, compassion, strategic thinking, an eye on the long game.
How often have we seen someone in a crowd shout out “we love you” at the president and watched him say “I love you back”? The stuck-in-the-24/7-news-cycle Beltway press has no feel for a man who lives as much in the future and the past as he does in the present. What I see as thoughtfulness, they see as dismissiveness. They scream “we don’t like you,” and he intimates “right back atcha.”
The day-to-day clutter of manufactured controversy and faux-scandal is ultimately unimportant to the president. What does he care of critics who want to know why gay rights have not yet been addressed, when he knows he will have laid down the most progress in history on that front by the end of his first term? He’s working from a vision. When a Code Pink protester rails against him for the situation as it stands, he can afford to be magnanimous because he’s in the process of laying out where we’re going.
This is what the press sees as being detached and above-it-all. But, in the context of effective governance, those attributes are virtues. How could he not feel at least some disdain for those who are so absorbed in the now that they can do nothing but quibble and nitpick, attacking him with a million pinpricks while never sensing that his vision is too big to be stymied by such trivialities?May 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm #89078
Posted by mistermix at 11:51 am
President Barack Obama today followed through with his intent to nominate former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to a commissioner’s seat on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that pays $155,000 per year.
By law, Obama has to nominate two Republicans to the CPSC, and Buerkle is, above all things, a Republican. In fact, she’s a foaming-at-the-mouth full-on teatard who beat Dan Maffei in a squeaker for NY-25 in 2010. After redistricting, Maffei pushed her out in 2012. If she takes this nomination, the next time she runs for Congress she’s going to have to explain how starving the beast is consistent with a $155K suckle at the government sugar teat. That’s how you solve a problem like Ann Marie.
(BTW, the outraged teahadi comments on that article are priceless.)May 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm #89081
Sergio Garcia; We Fried Chicken Eatin’ Black People Thank You
Thank you Sergio Garcia, thank you, from the bottom of my deep-fryer . . . thank you.
I know you want the Chickens to go-away, but not yet.
It’s always entertaining when a White person “slips” and falls out-of that ridiculously concocted and contrived “color-blind” character camouflage suit most slip into and out-of on a whim . . . and say what they truly believe in terms of race, sexuality, religion and/or economics.
Sergio, being an emotionally high-strung spaniard decided to employ a 100 year-old stereotype to backhand and belittle Tiger Woods. And yes, for those millions of White folks who’re either have the CCA syndrome (Convenient Caucasian Amnesia) or happen to be deliberately ignorant of History – US and Western Civilization, i.e., their own story . . . the depiction of Black folks as luving themselves some Fried Chicken n’ Watermelon is akin to telling a Mexican to “shut up Pedro and go eat some Tacos n’ beans, get drunk on Tequila . . .”
Akin to depicting Russians as drunks strung out on Vodka or Japanese people eating only raw fish, bowing incessantly to one-another or Chinese as barbarians who cannibalize the family dog.
No wait, for those White folks who don’t understand this is a jab, a shot, an insult . . . compare n’ contrast it to telling a American Indian to hey, stop-bye for dinner, we’ve got plenty of firewater . . .!”
See, I’m disgusted by the unbelievable notion being furthered by Conservative White people regarding Sergio’s remark – “How is Fried Chicken an insult? ”So now we can’t say Blacks n’ fried chicken in the same sentence because its not PC?” Those type statements, which are littered all-over cyberspace just drives me crazy. The idea that the “most privileged” people on the planet, the self-proclaimed most-developed and advanced brand of mankind . . . tries to “play dumb” when these “slips” come up.
It is the personification of “don’t piss down my back . . n’ then try to tell me it’s raining . . .!”
My willingness to get down in the mud with duplicitous chumps like Garcia is because I know, for a fact Jack, White men can dish it out all day . . . but they can’t take one- second of it.
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