June 27, 2013 at 9:23 am #91620
The President’s Climate Change Speech.
As you make it through the day, 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 27, 2013 at 9:38 am #91621
Good Morning, EveryoneJune 27, 2013 at 10:11 am #91624
‘White House Down’ and Black Presidents on Screen
By MEKADO MURPHY
Published: June 26, 2013
At one point in the action thriller “White House Down,” which opens June 28, the president of the United States, played by Jamie Foxx, is trying to thwart a paramilitary group that has overtaken the White House. After swapping his more presidential footwear for basketball shoes, he kicks a bad guy in the face and yells, “Get your hands off my Jordans!”
It’s not a line many Hollywood versions of the leader of the free world would utter: he (it’s usually a he) is often stuffier, a little bland maybe, and most often white. “White House Down,” directed by Roland Emmerich, doesn’t wear the race of its president on its sleeve, but it doesn’t shy away from the fact either. Before President Obama’s election, Dennis Haysbert set the standard for television presidents with his portrayal of David Palmer on “24.” But memorable black commanders in chief have been harder to come by on the big screen. And as with their real-life counterparts, they get their way only some of the time.
James Earl Jones in “The Man” (1972)
In this film, written by Rod Serling from an Irving Wallace novel, the president and the speaker of the house are killed in a building collapse and the vice president has declined to take over, citing ill health. So the job goes to Douglass Dilman (Mr. Jones), the president pro tempore of the Senate. A radio report announces that he’s “the first Negro ever to hold this office.” His decisions on the job are met with opposition, while his own cabinet tries to limit his power. At a news conference, after a black reporter berates him for relying too heavily on notes and prompts from his staff, he ditches those notes and shoots from the hip. Mr. Jones plays the character with both hesitation and hope, but of course the voice of both Darth Vader and CNN sounds presidential in and of itself.
Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact” (1998)
Though Mr. Freeman played the ultimate leader, God, in “Bruce Almighty,” he was commander in chief when fragments from a comet destroy large parts of the material world in “Deep Impact.” He’s a voice of authority and hope as he reads an address in front of the heavily damaged Capitol building, sounding very much like Mr. Obama after some actual natural disasters. Although here, the swelling strings of James Horner’s score add to the heightened emotional stakes.
Chris Rock in “Head of State.”
Philip V. Caruso/Dreamworks Pictures
Chris Rock in “Head of State.”
Earnest Man of the People
Chris Rock in “Head of State” (2003)
The tagline for this comedy directed by and starring Chris Rock tells you much of what you need to know about the film’s tone: “The only thing white is the house.” Mr. Rock’s film dives head first into issues of race related to the presidency and sends them up. Mr. Rock stars as Mays Gilliam, a Washington alderman who is chosen as the party’s presidential candidate after an accident kills the first choice and his running mate. Gilliam initially has little expectation of winning, but is encouraged by his brother (Bernie Mac) to speak his mind on the issues. That leads to sermon-style speeches on the failure of the education system and corporate greed: “You show up to get your pension. They give you a pen.” The honesty Gilliam brings to the race and the public’s interest in change results in his winning the election.June 27, 2013 at 10:17 am #91626
The WHPC stays failing….POTUS is in Africa but is asked about everything else…but Africa. SMH.June 27, 2013 at 10:36 am #91630
The Zimmerman Trial, Rachel Jeantel and You
Wednesday, the prosecution in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin presented their star witness — the last person to speak to Martin before he was killed by George Zimmerman. Her name was Rachel Jeantel. She was 19, she talked low, she was nervous and she was very raw and unpolished in her delivery of her testimony. She had no poker face. She didn’t want to be there and she was obviously still hurting over the murder of her friend.
And while some people on Twitter focused on this, some other’s spent their time calling her “Precious.
“Precious,” as you may recall is the main character from the film based on the book “Push.” She is a heavyset, poorly educated black girl who has been abused most of her life and feels unloved. Calling Jeantel “Precious” was Twitter’s way of saying they were ashamed of the girl who was the key witness for not being thin, polished and conventionally pretty. That because she is not those things, she should be unloved (and preferably invisible).
And it was a way of saying they were ashamed of themselves.
Jeantel made some uncomfortable because she was too much like how some black people are. We all have relatives or have known someone like this or perhaps have even been Rachel Jeantel ourselves. And the self-loathing that is instilled in most of us to dislike ourselves — especially those who are darker and heavyset and remind us of the stereotypes we are running from — is real and it was on display in real time on Twitter. It wasn’t surprising, but it was disappointing that those commenting, often with spelling errors and poor grammar of their own, were allowing their fear of “the white folks are going to think we’re all like this” cloud the fact that Jeantel was simply being herself.
Jeantel didn’t purposefully set out to not be a model black teen. She’s a human being with flaws, flaws that make some people uncomfortable, but rather than deal with WHY they feel so strongly about her low talking and thick accent and her appearance, they took it out on her. Murders don’t happen with perfect victims and perfect witnesses, they happen in the real world with real, everyday people.
Jeantel is one of those people. Trayvon Martin was one of those people. So are Trayvon’s parents. These are not actors in a Lifetime film about the killing of Trayvon Martin. These are the ordinary people thrown into extraordinary events, placed on a national stage they never knew they’d be on and had not spent their lives preparing for. They were forced into this spotlight when George Zimmerman shot their friend and son.
They did not choose it, so don’t treat them like they did.June 27, 2013 at 10:54 am #91634
At about the moment that New York City marks the five millionth
recorded time that its police have stopped and frisked someone — most likely an innocent person of color — the City Council passed a policy to severely curtail the practice. In a dramatic 2 a.m. vote Thursday morning, the Council approved measures to create independent oversight of the police force and to give those affected by the practice legal recourse. The police commissioner and Mayor Bloomberg are not happy.June 27, 2013 at 11:04 am #91636
“There’s something happening here…”
As regular readers here know, I’ve been talking for awhile now about how what we’re witnessing is the white male patriarchy in its death throes. Yesterday 5 Justices on the Supreme Court were the latest to lash out when they basically issued a ruling that guts the Voting Rights Act.
What I’ve also been suggesting is that we are in the midst of a third wave of a movement to remedy this country’s original sin of slavery and racism. Of course the first was the Civil War that ended slavery and the second was the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950′s and 60′s that ended Jim Crow. In both of those movements white people gave African Americans legal standing. Over the course of the last 50 years, they’ve used those legal rights to raise themselves up. The challenge white people are facing today is that it is finally time to look African Americans (and other people of color) in the eye – face to face as equals. And even occasionally see them as our leaders. That’s not going down real well. And so the dying beast is lashing out.
All of that came together in this fascinating video by Dr. William Barber II, President of the NC NAACP. I know most people won’t take the time to listen to a 7 1/2 minute video. But you need to watch this and learn how what is happening RIGHT NOW is informed by our history.June 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #91637
Worth a RT on more good Obamacare news for consumers. Oregon slashes ’14 health insurance premiums by as much as 35%. http://www.oregonlive.com/heal… …June 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm #91640
President Obama looking out the door of no return at Goree Island in Senegal.June 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm #91641
Six States Already Moving Forward With Voting Restrictions After Supreme Court Decision
By Joseph Diebold, Guest Blogger on Jun 27, 2013 at 10:30 am
Less than 48 hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, six of the nine states that had been covered in their entirety under the law’s “preclearance” formula have already taken steps toward restricting voting.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court’s five conservative justices ruled Tuesday that the formula, which required states with a history of racial discrimination to “preclear” changes to their voting laws with the Department of Justice or a federal judge before enforcing them, was unconstitutional. Since then, these six states have already started moving on restrictions, many of which have adverse effects on the abilities of minorities, young people, and the poor to exercise their right to vote:June 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm #91642
How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today
By Ian Millhiser on Jun 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Monday was a great day for sexual harassers and for bosses who retaliate against workers claiming discrimination. The rest of us did not fare so well in the Supreme Court. While most Court watchers will likely focus on the narrower-than-expected decision in the Fisher affirmative action case, the most lasting impact of today’s decisions likely will be the twin blows struck against women and minorities in the workplace. Taking advantage of employees just became a whole lot easier.
The first case, which we previously labeled the “scariest pending Supreme Court case that you’ve probably never heard of” made it significantly easier for many people’s bosses to racially or sexually harass them and get away with it. Though the law provides fairly robust protection to workers harassed by their supervisor, the Court’s 5-4 decision in Vance v. Ball State University defined the term “supervisor” very narrowly. Under today’s decision, your boss is only your “supervisor” if they have the power to make a “significant change in [your] employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits.”
The problem with this definition of the word “supervisor” is that it cuts out many individuals who exercise significant power to direct fellow employees — potentially including the power to intimidate those employees against reporting their actions to their employer — just so long as those individuals don’t actually have the power to fire or demote anyone. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion lists several examples of now-no-longer-supervisors under Vance. One of them is a senior truck driver who coerced a female subordinate into unwanted sex with him. At oral argument, Justice Elena Kagan gave the example of a secretary whose boss “subjects that secretary to living hell, complete hostile work environment on the basis of sex.” Under today’s decision, the secretary’s boss is not her “supervisor” if the power to fire her rests with the “Head of Secretarial Services.” Don Draper can proposition his secretary with near impunity, so long as Joan Harris is the only one empowered to fire her.June 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm #91643
Totally rocks!!! => Pelosi mulling ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Act’ to overturn Supreme Court decision | The Raw Story http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/27/pelosi-mulling-john-lewis-voting-rights-act-to-overturn-supreme-court-decision/ …June 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm #91644
DOMA, Voting Rights and the Bigot’s Last Gasp
By Oliver Willis · June 26,2013
Bigotry is dying in America. Unfortunately, it isn’t a quick death. But bigotry, at least as far as institutionalized bigotry enshrined by American law in the most shameful manner, is dying.
Even as the conservatives on the Supreme Court did their best to defang the Voting Rights Act, the same court came to the logical conclusion that gay Americans cannot be denied humanity at the federal level. The Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton, was a vicious piece of legislation that in retrospect will mark the high water mark of bigotry against Americans at the federal level for some time to come. Any effort to resuscitate it will be defeated, and even conservatives know this.
The real way you know that bigotry is in its last throes is the rush from southern conservative states to usher in new, restrictive voting laws after the court ruled on the Voting Rights Act. This is last gasp stuff, a kneejerk move made when you’ve got the losing hand but don’t want to admit it.
We saw this in 2012, when Republicans and conservatives did their best George Wallace impressions, attempting to do their best to limit Democratic-leaning youth and minority votes in key swing states. They did this because they know that their base is dying. It isn’t growing, and the only way to win is to have less people voting. The side effect of this frankly un-American strategy was to motivate the Democratic base vote.
One of the best cures for voter apathy is a concerted effort to deny access to the ballot box. Many of those voters were motivated by President Obama’s leadership, but it didn’t help that the right’s message to them was “we don’t want you in our America, and we never really did.”June 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm #91645
Somebody Wants To Be President
By Charles P. Pierce
Chris Christie, reasonable conservative Republican, would like the hayshakers in the Iowa megachurches that he has their backs.
“It’s just another example of judicial supremacy rather than having the government run by the people we actually vote for,” Christie said on his monthly radio show, as quoted by The Star-Ledger. “I thought it was a bad decision.” The Republican said the majority opinion in the case – written by Justice Anthony Kennedy – was an affront to the lawmakers, and former President Bill Clinton, who helped make DOMA the law of the land nearly two decades ago. “I thought that Justice (Anthony) Kennedy’s opinion in many respects was incredibly insulting to those people, 340-some members of Congress who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and Bill Clinton,” Christie said. “They basically said the only reason to pass that bill was to demean people.”
Well, no. Clinton signed the bill out of utterly cynical political calculation. As for the rest of them, well, there are some choice nuggets to be mined when one looks back at the tone of the debate over DOMA back in 1996.
In the 1996 House Judiciary Committee report on DOMA, lawmakers affirmed that “civil laws that permit only heterosexual marriage reflect and honor a collective moral judgment about human sexuality. This judgment entails both moral disapproval of homosexuality and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.”
Why would anyone think any of this was demeaning?
Chris Christie is a reasonable alternative only on those rare occasions when half his state is being washed out to sea.June 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm #91646
Pelosi mulling ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Act’ to overturn Supreme Court decision
By David Ferguson
Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:14 EDT
Former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday that Congressional Democrats are planning new legislation to render ineffective Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the historic 1965 legislation that guaranteed equal access to the vote for all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity. According to The Hill, Pelosi is already considering naming the prospective bill after civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D).
“It’s really a step backward, and it’s not a reflection of what’s really happening in our country in some of these places,” Pelosi said of Tuesday’s decision, in which a 5-to-4 majority ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Section 4 established a metric for states that have discriminated racially in the past, qualifying them for Section 5, which mandates that these states receive clearance from the federal government before making changes to election law.
“I would like to see something…called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” she continued, saying that Congress could follow Chief Justice Roberts’ recommendation and re-write Section 4′s criteria.
Democrats would be joined in that effort by at least three Republican congressman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI), who was instrumental to the push to get the VRA renewed in 2006, has pledged to push back against the decision.
“The Voting Rights Act is vital to America’s commitment to never again permit racial prejudices in the electoral process,” Senenbrenner said to The Hill. “This is going to take time, and will require members from both sides of the aisle to put partisan politics aside and ensure Americans’ most sacred right is protected.”
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