September 24, 2013 at 8:49 am #97034
At the UN General Assembly, President Obama meets with heads of state and leaders of civil society, multilateral organizations, and the philanthropic community to discuss growing restrictions being placed on civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide. The event marks the beginning of a year-long effort to further intensify our work to support and defend civil society from a rising tide of restrictions. September 23, 2013.
As you go through your 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.September 24, 2013 at 8:49 am #97035
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #97036
September 23, 2013 11:48 PM
Now, That’s Conceited
By Martin Longman
I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey where “Yale Sucks” t-shirts were ubiquitous precisely because there was no argument that Harvard was the country’s premier university and the only debate was over which institution deserved the position of number two. Sometimes people would acknowledge that Stanford deserved a place in the debate, but I am familiar with the conceit that there are “minor Ivies.” Still, I was a little shocked to learn that Ted Cruz refused to study the law at Harvard with anyone whose undergraduate degree was from Brown or Penn.
Princeton turned out to be as alien to Cruz as Austin had been to his father some thirty years earlier: “I did not know anybody there; I didn’t know anybody who had gone there.” Like his father, he needed to earn tuition money. Unlike his father, he didn’t do it by washing dishes. He got a job with the Princeton Review, teaching test-prep classes.
The elite academic circles that Cruz was now traveling in began to rub off. As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.”
My hat’s off to Ted Cruz for gaining admittance to Princeton and excelling in the debating club. I’ll give him credit for excelling at an institution where he didn’t initially know anyone and where he never quite fit in. It’s the same kind of credit I give to Michelle Obama and Sonia Sotomayor. I mean, good for them. Congratulations.
But, to be so conceited about your accomplishment that you won’t study with someone from Cornell or Dartmouth or Brown or Penn? Growing up where I did, I’ve known more than my fair share of arrogant self-entitled jerks who were born on third base and thought that they hit a triple. But Ted Cruz takes the cake.September 24, 2013 at 8:53 am #97037
Are Women of Color Only Allowed to Have White Love Interests On Network TV?
September 20, 2013 by Britni Danielle
A recent article on The Wrap about Mindy Kaling’s FOX sitcom The Mindy Project got me thinking. In the piece, Jethro Nededog wondered why the show’s title character, an Indian-American doctor, seemed obsessed with White guys.
In his essay, Nededog asks why Kaling’s character exclusively dates White men and what it actually means to the rest of us. He writes:
What’s the message being sent when minority female characters on television exclusively date and regularly lose themselves with white men? And, does it really matter if viewers aren’t even noticing or seem unaffected by the leading lady’s dating choices?
I would venture to say that it does matter and that the message being sent to young minority women who watch “The Mindy Project” – whether they realize it or not — is that the measure of success is not just working your way to the top of your profession but that the ideal signifier for that success is a white partner.
And as for non-white men watching the show, it only reinforces the prevailing standard of attraction that ranks them lower on the desirability scale in our culture.
The Mindy Project isn’t the only show that pairs a woman of color with almost exclusively White love interests. NBC’s now canceled drama Deception, depicted Megan Good’s character involved in a hot romance with her childhood (White) beau, and TV’s most popular drama, Scandal, is fueled by Olivia Pope’s steamy affair with President Fitzgerald Grant. Although Pope has dated non-White men, the only other guy to give the president a run for his money is Jake Ballard, Fitz’s naval pal.September 24, 2013 at 8:59 am #97038
American mainstream balks at GOP shutdown scheme
By Steve Benen
Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:37 PM EDT
If polls showed overwhelming support for the Republican plan to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act, it’d be easier to understand the motivation. But it’s hard to miss the disconnect between the American mainstream and GOP lawmakers.
A solid majority of Americans oppose defunding the new health care law if it means shutting down the government and defaulting on debt.
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey of 800 people across the country conducted by Hart-McInturff, finds that, in general, Americans oppose defunding Obamacare by a plurality of 44 percent to 38 percent.
Opposition to defunding increases sharply when the issue of shutting down the government and defaulting is included. In that case, Americans oppose defunding 59 percent to 19 percent, with 18 percent of respondents unsure.
By any fair measure, 19% is pretty abysmal. Proponents of this scheme have been working to build public support for their idea for months, and they have yet cracked the one-in-five plateau.
And yet, while 19% of Americans are on board, 98% of House Republicans voted Friday for a spending bill that would shut down the government unless Democrats agree to “defund Obamacare.”
Why, pray tell, would such an unpopular idea enjoy near-unanimous support among the House GOP?
Consider this tidbit from a new Pew Research survey: “[T]he dominant view among Tea Party Republicans is that lawmakers should stick to their principles, even if that results in a government shutdown.”September 24, 2013 at 9:32 am #97039
Pelosi, House Dems still hope to revive immigration reform
By Steve Benen
Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:34 AM EDT
At the start of this Congress, comprehensive immigration reform looked like the one major issue that might actually garner enough bipartisan support to become law. And when a legislative package sailed through the Senate with relative ease in June, reform proponents were right to be optimistic.
Progress, however, has come to a halt. The bipartisan House group working on a proposal has effectively collapsed, with two Republican members abandoning the “gang,” claiming they can’t trust President Obama to enforce the law.
Options are clearly dwindling. As we discussed on Friday, there’s not much the Senate can do, since it’s already passed a good bill. There’s not much the White House can do, either. Rank-and-file House Republicans seem unlikely to step up, since they oppose many of the underlying provisions of any comprehensive solution on ideological grounds.
Maybe House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can figure something out? Greg Sargent reported yesterday that the former Speaker is working on a measure intended to keep the pressure on the House GOP majority.September 24, 2013 at 9:34 am #97040
How not to argue against Obamacare
By Steve Benen
Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:08 AM EDT.
One of the more talked about pieces in conservative media yesterday came by way of Forbes, and it caused quite a stir. If you missed it, the article, based on American Enterprise Institute research, said the typical American family of four should expect $7,450 in additional health care costs, all because of the Affordable Care Act.
If true, that certainly sounds problematic. With a weak economy and stagnant wages, an average household would struggle to afford those increased costs.
The problem, as Igor Volsky explained, is that the Forbes piece is entirely wrong.
To translate that number to a “typical American family,” [the AEI's Chris Conover] took “the latest year-by-year projections, divided by the projected U.S. population to determine the added amount per person,” multiplied that result by four and voila: Obamacare will add $7,450 to average health spending for a family of four between 2014 and 2022!
One economist interviewed by ThinkProgress, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ Paul Van de Water, described this calculation as one of the stupidest things he’s read in a long time and likened it to arguing that college costs will increase for a “typical” family if the federal government adopts policies that help lower-income Americans afford college educations. Yes, the nation will spend more on education if more students enroll in colleges and universities, but the “typical” student already attending college won’t; she or he will continuing paying tuition at more or less the same rate, while the newly-enrolled student will presumably benefit from some sort of subsidized tuition rate.
The same is true here. The so-called “typical” family that Conover describes already receives health care insurance through their employer. The existence of 30 million newly-insured people — many of whom will receive tax credits if they purchase insurance in the law’s exchanges — won’t do much to move their premiums in one way or another.
MIT’s Jonathan Gruber went on to Volsky, “This is a typically misleading use of data by opponents of Obamacare.”September 24, 2013 at 9:48 am #97041
Cruz’s crusade cracks, starts to crumble
By Steve Benen
Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.
Cruz stands alone.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) government-shutdown scheme relies on several elements, but chief among them is Republican unanimity. The far-right Texan, if he’s going to have any chance at all, will need just about all of his fellow GOP senators to link arms and rally around his destructive, unpopular scheme.
As yesterday unfolded, it became clear this isn’t going to happen.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his rank and file are poised to cast votes this week that will effectively rebuke Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to filibuster a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30.
Cruz has been calling on fellow Republicans to block the House-passed stopgap spending bill that defunds the president’s 2010 health care law because he sees the vote as a way to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., from stripping out the Obamacare funding blockade. But a GOP-led filibuster puts many Republicans in the tough spot of opposing a bill they actually support while also likely causing a government shutdown.September 24, 2013 at 9:50 am #97042
Harry Reid Vows, ‘We’re not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists.’
By: Jason Easley
Sep. 23rd, 2013
Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor and issued a battle cry for all Democrats, ‘We’re not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law.’
Sen. Reid (D-NV) gave John Boehner and his House Republicans two choices. Republicans can accept a funding bill that doesn’t defund Obamacare, or they can shutdown the government. Reid said, “We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional.” Almost on cue, Sen. Ted Cruz ambled down to the Senate floor and began his game of obstruction and delay by objecting to unanimous consent on moving forward with 4 non-controversial nominations.
Sen. Cruz’s master plan is to delay the Senate vote on stripping the defunding of Obamacare out of the House CR for as long as possible. Cruz doesn’t have a plan, or an endgame. His whole purpose is to get more media attention for himself. Cruz is convinced that if he turns himself into an anti-Obamacare martyr the rest of the country will rise up and a popular rebellion will break out against res state Senate Democrats, and force all Republicans to oppose funding the government without defunding Obamacare.September 24, 2013 at 11:00 am #97043
The long game of Obamacare
Many of you will remember the great debate that happened on the left as Obamacare worked its way through the Senate. Far too many people prioritized only one thing…the public option. Today I’m convinced that many of them never really knew what the public option was – the requirement that all state health care exchanges include at least one public insurance option – and instead equated it with a single payer system. President Obama has consistently been criticized on the left for failing to support single payer and that critique got equated with the simple idea of a public option on the exchanges.
But lets go back to 2008 and listen to what then-Senator Barack Obama said about single payer.
In addition to worrying about job losses during the great recession, President Obama talked about the fact that so many people rely on their employer for health insurance. Any move towards single payer would have to de-couple health insurance from employment.
As we move towards the unveiling of the state health care exchanges on October 1st, it is with that in mind that I read stories like this.
Home Depot Inc. said today that it would drop medical plans for part-time workers and direct them to the government-sponsored insurance websites scheduled to open next year as part of the health law…
Detroit and Chicago have proposed ending health plans for current or retired municipal workers, since they’ll be able to buy subsidized coverage through the health-care law…
Last week, Trader Joe’s Co., the closely held supermarket chain, said it would end health benefits next year for part-time workers. Employees will get a $500 payment and be sent to the public exchanges. With federal tax credits available there, most workers will get a better deal than the company could offer, Trader Joe’s said in a statement.
By offering other insurance options, “Obamacare has taken the moral imperative away for employers to continue offering coverage,” said Laszewski, the industry consultant. “The days of your father’s health insurance are over.”
Republicans will use this as an example of the havoc they envision coming from Obamacare and I’ve already seen too many liberals light their hair on fire about it as well. Whether or not employers will provide a subsidy in pay that is the equivalent of what they have been spending to purchase insurance is – of course – a concern.
But what I see in all of this is the extremely effective long game that is so typical of President Obama. He knew at the outset that if he championed the cause of single payer, he would never get it through Congress. And so instead he put in place a system that not only addresses significant immediate concerns, it will slowly but surely move us in the direction of decoupling health insurance from employment – opening up a whole range of possibilities.September 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm #97044
Cornell West + “Crossfire” = One Hell Of A GIF Factory
Thank goodness for split screen reaction shots on cable news.
THESE ARE HILARIOUS!!September 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm #97045
Rubio kills nomination of gay African-American judge to appease the far right
By David Ferguson
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 12:28 EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has withdrawn his support of a gay African-American judge from Miami who was poised to make the leap to the federal bench, and possibly savaged the nominee’s professional reputation in the process. According to the New York Times, critics of the decision are crying foul, saying that Rubio is playing politics with the nomination to win back the support of the far right.
Rubio was in favor of Judge William Thomas’ nomination before he was against it. The junior Senator supported President Barack Obama’s choice to appoint Thomas to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida 10 months ago, but that was before Rubio saw his credibility with far-right conservatives wither over his support of comprehensive immigration reform.
Now, suddenly, Rubio’s office is citing Thomas’ handling of two criminal cases as the Senator’s reason for suddenly turning cold on the nomination, officially dooming its chances of going through. Thomas — who grew up living on food stamps in a Philadelphia family of 10 children — would have been the first African-American openly gay man to sit on the federal bench.September 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm #97046
Columbus Upset Over Kerry’s Emmy Loss; Also, is ‘Scandal’ Star Preggers?
September 24, 2013 by PJ
*Many of us watched the Emmys Sunday night in hopes of seeing actress Kerry Washington take home the win for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in “Scandal.”
Unfortunately we were disappointed when Claire Danes’ name was called instead for her role in “Homeland.”
Gladiators around the world announced their disappointment for Kerry’s loss, with her co-star, Columbus Short, taking to Twitter as the unofficial spokesman for every “Scandal” fan.
“Robbed. Robbed I tell you. ROBBED. @kerrywashington is without question the MOST OUTSTANDING. Well see you next year Emmys,” Columbus tweeted before issuing some instructions to “Scandal” fans everywhere. “@ScandalABC…See you #Gladiators Oct. 3rd lets show them who we are. #GladiatorsWontBeDenied @ScandalABC love you all…I wish I could of ran on stage and pulled a Kanye.#OkImDoneVenting #EmmyRobbery”September 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm #97047
because they couldn’t pick out one line from the speech and throw the Blackeratti on tv screaming,
SEE…THIS IS HOW OBAMA DISRESPECTS BLACK PEOPLE.
you all thought I was kidding, asking where the Blackeratti was..
as you can see, NONE of them mofos have written about the President’s speech at the CBC either…
because their PREPARED COLUMNS criticizing POTUS were worthless.
Scant Live Coverage of Obama at Black Caucus Affair
President Obama’s keynote appearance before the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference usually warrants live coverage on at least one network, but viewers searched in vain for the Phoenix Awards Dinner Saturday night.
NBC cameras provided pool coverage, but only MSNBC broadcast the
speech live — for about six minutes before technical problems aborted
the effort. “We had every intention of running the full speech but the
live feed quality was poor – we started it but [it] did dip out before
the end of the speech,” spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski told Journal-isms by email.
C-SPAN showed the speech [video] on Sunday at 12:09 a.m., 3:45 a.m., 6:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. “C-SPAN aired the speech soon as the scheduling allowed for the entire speech to be shown on the network,” spokesman Howard Mortman said.
“CNN did not take the President’s speech live, but did run parts of
the speech during Sunday morning programming,” spokeswoman Christal Jones said.September 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm #97048
For Black Caucus, African-American politics in an age of austerity
by Joy-Ann Reid | September 21, 2013 at 12:38 PM
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation held its annual legislative conference this week — four days of conferences, panels, receptions and parties that mark the unofficial start of the fall political season
Congress is back in session after its late summer recess, so members dart back and forth between their forums and receptions to the House floor, where on Thursday and Friday, various members including Rep. John Lewis took turns denouncing the GOP vote to slash $40 billion from the SNAP program — a move that would cut 3.8 million people, half of them children and one in ten of them seniors, off food assistance — if the bill wasn’t dead on arrival in the Senate.
That’s part of the ritual futility of the Washington in which the 43 black caucus members (including two non-voting members from the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. South Carolina’s African-American Senator, Tim Scott, is not a member) operate. The body in which they serve as a distinct but unified minority, is often in high theater, but rarely in a position to actually make law.
Much of what comes out of the House is ideological whimsy from the belly of America’s far right wing, accompanied by Democratic head shaking and palm-to-forehead exhortations by veteran staffers that they’ve never seen a Washington this bizarre and broken.
In a city gripped by austerity — from the ongoing drag of the sequester to the tea party’s fixation on cutting even more spending and their impossible, obsessive dream of defunding the Affordable Care Act — the CBC remains focused on bread and butter issues. Their forums (including one I moderated, put on by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings on transportation and infrastructure) focus on how to get more minority firms access to lucrative federal contracting, and on how to unwind the implacable puzzle of black unemployment, which has remained at double white unemployment in good times and bad — but especially in bad.
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