September 11, 2013 at 8:43 am #96486
As you make it through Hump Day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful daySeptember 11, 2013 at 8:53 am #96487
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 11, 2013 at 8:53 am #96488
De Blasio First in Mayoral Primary; Unclear if He Avoids a Runoff
By DAVID M. HALBFINGER and DAVID W. CHEN
Published: September 10, 2013 218 Comments
Bill de Blasio, whose campaign for mayor of New York tapped into a city’s deepening unease with income inequality and aggressive police practices, captured far more votes than any of his rivals in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
But as Mr. de Blasio, an activist-turned-operative and now the city’s public advocate, celebrated a remarkable come-from-behind surge, it was not clear if he had won the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff election on Oct. 1 with William C. Thompson Jr., who finished second. At night’s end, he had won just over 40 percent of the ballots counted; thousands of paper ballots had yet to be tallied, which could take days.September 11, 2013 at 8:58 am #96489
Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Vote Over Gun Law
COLORADO SPRINGS — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.
The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. It also gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.
The recall elections ousted two Democratic state senators, John Morse and Angela Giron, and replaced them with Republicans. Both defeats were painful for Democrats – Mr. Morse’s because he had been Senate president, and Ms. Giron’s because she represented a heavily Democratic, working-class slice of southern Colorado.
In an emotional concession speech, Mr. Morse called the loss of his seat “purely symbolic” and defended the record of the last legislative session as “phenomenal.”September 11, 2013 at 9:00 am #96490
Turning the exceptionalism debate on its ear
By Steve Benen
Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
For much of President Obama’s first term, when conservatives weren’t questioning President Obama’s citizenship, patriotism, or affinity for capitalism, they complained loudly and frequently about the president’s commitment to “American exceptionalism.”
After last night, the criticisms look pretty silly. Obama has not only embraced the principle, he’s now begun using it as a key part of his rationale in confronting Syria.
The right’s rhetoric on this has never really made any sense, but it was a Republican staple for years. Throughout the 2012 campaign, in nearly every stump speech he delivered, Mitt Romney insisted that Obama thinks “America’s just another nation with a flag.”
I wonder if conservatives noticed the not-so-subtle theme in the president’s remarks to the nation on Syria.
“My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements — it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them. [...]
“America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.”September 11, 2013 at 11:56 am #96497
Found this in the comments at another blog. I agree completely with this statement.
The GOP won’t realize that POTUS has flipped the script on them until it’s all said and done.
I’m so glad you have calmed down about Obama on Syria. He is on the verge of accomplishing, without firing a shot, what Bush launched an invasion to do. Congress is going to get him out of bombing Syria, and yet Obama is going to be able to point to the Republicans and call them the ones who blinked as a dictator massacred his people. He is re-establishing the precedent that going to war requires congressional approval. He will have enhanced internationalism.
Republicans are loving this right now because they think Obama looks incompetent. They are blindly stumbling into an outcome that gives Obama everything he has ever said he wants, ever. And they’re not going to realize it until it’s too late. It’s such a perfect outcome, how could this have not been planned? Is Obama on the verge of pulling off the greatest rope-a-dope in the history of US politics?September 11, 2013 at 11:59 am #96498
CNN: 61 Percent Now Support the President’s Strategy on Syria
Posted on September 11, 2013 at 9:18 am by Bob Cesca
When this came down last night, I was kind of shocked.
A majority of Americans who watched President Barack Obama’s prime time address to the nation on Tuesday said they favor the approach to Syria that the president spelled out in his speech, according to an instant poll.
But an exclusive CNN/ORC International survey of speech-watchers conducted immediately after the conclusion of Obama’s address also indicates that those who tuned into the address were split on whether the president made the case for military action against Syria.
Sixty percent of those questioned said it was not in the national interests of the U.S. to be involved in the bloody two year old Syrian civil war, and more than half said the speech did not change their confidence in the president’s leadership on military and international issues.
According to the poll, 61% said they support the president’s position on Syria, with 37% saying they oppose his response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.
I’m sure there will be more numbers dropping throughout the day. But if they’re anything like CNN’s numbers, the speech was a huge success.September 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm #96499
Black Enterprise lists the most powerful African-American corporate board members in US
by Derek T. Dingle, Black Enterprise | September 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM
When Starbucks decided to continue its global expansion by opening 1,500 coffee shops in China, CEO Howard Schultz consulted Ariel Investments L.L.C. President Mellody Hobson and former PepsiCo executive Olden Lee, along with its other nine board members. As CBS Corp. locked horns with Time Warner Cable over broadcast fees, retired senior executive Bruce Gordon was among the corporate directors briefed by top management. Verizon Communications’ proposed acquisition of Canadian telecoms requires input from board members such as Darden Restaurants CEO Clarence Otis Jr.
Hobson, Lee, Gordon, and Otis represent the business elite responsible for oversight of some of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies. These corporate directors are charged with the fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder value by making decisions—from acquisitions and divestitures to executive compensation and layoffs—that will maximize earnings, dividends, and the stock price. As such, these corporate watchdogs ensure the continued viability of American industry, including trillions in assets and millions of managers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
These days, corporations that don’t have black directors on their boards are operating in the Stone Age of business. Shifting demographics and the burgeoning black consumer and business markets mean corporations cannot afford to be governed without the presence of African Americans in their boardrooms. “There are a lot of gifted, diverse directors who have been shut out over the years,” asserts John W. Rogers, Jr., chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments L.L.C. (No. 7 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $4.9 billion in assets under management), who joined forces with Hobson and Charles Tribbett III, a senior partner with executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, 11 years ago to create the Black Corporate Directors Conference. “If you have diverse perspectives and diverse points of view, you’re going to get better decisions made. If you have better decision making, it will ultimately increase the value of the common stock.”September 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm #96500
Another letter to the editor about Syria:
I don’t think Obama gives two shits how he gets there; he’s just concerned with the final destination. Does anyone remember all the ups and downs and sausage-making over the ACA? Nope. They just know it’s Obamacare.
The way I see it, we have a president confident enough and secure enough in his authority to let others take the credit, to let the Russians lead. Because in the end, who cares how we get there? What matters is that the weapons are gone.
But of course the Washington class will frame this as a huge loss for the president, because. Can you imagine George W. Bush or Dick Cheney taking this route? Not a chance. They would’ve bombed the shit out of Syria just to show they could.
The current solution doesn’t have the drama of dropping bombs or sending sorties over Damascus, so Obama comes off as a bit of a dull president. And in this case, that’s fantastic, because he’s getting shit done. He always does.September 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm #96501
Ok, prepare to be absolutely horrified and disgusted.
IT’S A FIVE PART SERIES
The Child Exchange
Inside America’s Underground Market for ADOPTED CHILDREN
Orphaned in Russia, brought to America, and then abandoned time and again
A mother decides she adopted ‘a pig in a poke’ and sends her daughter away. Inga: ‘My parents didn’t want me. Russia didn’t want me. I didn’t want to live.’
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains language that some readers may find offensive.
BATTLE CREEK, Michigan – Inga spent most of her childhood in a Russian orphanage, longing for parents who would protect her.
Her biological mother, a prostitute, had abandoned her when she was a baby. She never knew her father.
At the age of 12, her life was about to change. It was 1997, and an American couple was adopting her.
“My picture was, I’m gonna have family, I’m gonna go to school, I’m gonna have friends,” Inga says today.
Less than a year after bringing Inga home, her new parents, Priscilla and Neal Whatcott, gave up trying to raise her. They say the adoption agency never told them that Inga struggled to read or write, that she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, that she smoked.
The Whatcotts say they tried therapy and support groups. They even reached out to a Russian judge to undo the adoption.
When nothing worked, they turned to what Priscilla now calls “the underground network.” In an early example of adoptive parents using the Internet to seek a new home for an unwanted child, Inga was orphaned repeatedly.
In the next six months, the Whatcotts sent her to three different families. None wanted to keep her. In one home, Inga says she had sex with a sibling who then urinated on her. In another, she says the father molested her.
Sent to a Michigan psychiatric facility at the age of 13, Inga says she had sex again – this time with her therapist. Michael Patterson, the therapist, was acquitted of first degree criminal sexual conduct and remains a licensed social worker in Michigan. He says he “did not cross the line” physically with Inga and remembers her as “a very troubled child.”
On Patterson’s last point, no one disagrees. When Michigan institutionalized her, officials characterized Inga’s troubles this way: “substance abuse, domestic violence, separation from parents, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, attachment issue and mental health issues.”September 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm #96502
Ex-addict Gives Apology and $400 Cash to Shop He’d Once Robbed
Owners of an Asian market in Nashville were stunned last week when a man came into their shop insisting they take an envelope. When they finally opened it they found $400 cash and a letter of apology from a thief who had once robbed their store.[....] The letter, which he posted on Twitter and Instagram, explained that the man was once a drug addict and now that he is sober, he wants to make amends with those he’s hurt.
Wu told WSMV News, “We just want to let him know if he’s watching, wherever life takes you, we forgive you for what you did.”[....]September 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm #96503
Fraud Stealing $100 Million Shows Flaws in U.S. Crop Insurance
By David J. Lynch – Sep 11, 2013 12:01 AM ET
Harry Dean Canady will learn next month whether he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison for cheating taxpayers of more than $1 million and threatening to kill the U.S. agents who brought him to justice.
A convicted felon with an alcohol-fueled temper, Canady, 64, pleaded guilty in December to defrauding the federal crop insurance system and is behind bars pending sentencing.
His thieving was just a sliver of the largest fraud in the program’s 75-year history, a case that so far has ensnared 41 North Carolina tobacco farmers, insurance agents and claims adjusters whose law breaking cost taxpayers close to $100 million, federal prosecutors say.
“The system has checks and balances in place,” says Banu Rangarajan, 45, the assistant U.S. attorney who led the prosecution. “The problem is all the checks and balances here were involved in the fraud. The adjusters were paid off. The agents were paid off. Everybody was paid off.”September 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm #96506
The President Makes The Case
Sep 10 2013 @ 9:38pm
That was one of the clearest, simplest and most moving presidential speeches to the nation I can imagine. It explained and it argued, point after point. Everything the president said extemporaneously at the post-G20 presser was touched on, made terser, more elegant and more persuasive.
The key points: it is an abdication of America’s exceptional role in the world to look away from the horrific use of poison gas to wipe out civilian populations and kill rebels in a civil war. Given that the world would have ignored August 21 or engaged in meaningless blather about it, Obama took the decision to say he would strike. Since such a strike was not in response to an imminent threat to our national security, Obama felt he should go to the Congress, and reverse some of the strong currents toward the imperial presidency that took hold under Dick Cheney.
As that moment of truth loomed, the Russians gave way on defending or denying Assad’s use and possession of chemical weapons. Putin only did so if it could be seen as his initiative and if he could take the credit for it. Kerry’s gaffe provided the opening. And we now have a diplomatic process that could avert war if it succeeds. And of course, Obama is prepared to give such a proposal a chance. Any president would be deeply foolish not to. There is no urgency as long as Assad has formally agreed to give the weapons up, doesn’t use them again, and the process can be practically managed as well as verified at every stage.
I’m tired of the eye-rolling and the easy nit-picking of the president’s leadership on this over the last few weeks. The truth is: his threat of war galvanized the world and America, raised the profile of the issue of chemical weapons more powerfully than ever before, ensured that this atrocity would not be easily ignored and fostered a diplomatic initiative to resolve the issue without use of arms. All the objectives he has said he wanted from the get-go are now within reach, and the threat of military force – even if implicit – remains.
Yes, it’s been messy. A more cautious president would have ducked it. Knowing full well it could scramble his presidency, Obama nonetheless believed that stopping chemical weapons use is worth it – for the long run, and for Americans as well as Syrians. Putin understands this as well. Those chemical weapons, if uncontrolled, could easily slip into the hands of rebels whose second target, after Assad and the Alawites and the Christians, would be Russia.
This emphatically does not solve the Syria implosion. But Obama has never promised to.
What it does offer is a nonviolent way toward taking the chemical weapons issue off the table. Just because we cannot solve everything does not mean we cannot solve something. And the core truth is that without Obama’s willingness to go out on a precarious limb, we would not have that opportunity.
The money quote for me, apart from the deeply moving passage about poison gas use at the end, was his description of a letter from a service-member who told him, “We should not be the world’s policeman.” President Obama said, quite simply: “I agree.” And those on the far right who are accusing him of ceding the Middle East to Russia are half-right and yet completely wrong. What this remarkable breakthrough has brought about is a possible end to the dynamic in which America is both blamed for all the evils in the world and then also blamed for not stopping all of them. We desperately need to rebuild international cooperation to relieve us of that impossible burden in a cycle that can only hurt us and the West again and again.
If the Russians can more effectively enforce what the US wants, it is a huge step forward to give them that global responsibility, and credit. That inclination – deep in Obama’s bones in domestic and foreign policy – is at the root of his community organizing background. Stake your ground, flush out your partner’s cards, take a step back and see what would make a desired result more likely without you, and seize it if it emerges. The result is one less dependent on US might or presidential power, and thereby more easily entrenched in the habits and institutions of the world.
Yes, he’s still a community organizer. It’s just that now, the community he is so effectively organizing is the world.September 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm #96510
The Best Cab Ride of My Life
By Jim Higley Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The story is short. But the picture is worth – well – everything.
I was in a cab heading home from O’hare airport – a journey I make with regularity. The cab driver was polite. His car was clean. And I was settling in for my 25 minute ride home.
It was then that I noticed it. The sign. There were actually two of them. Identical. Laminated. And posted perfectly on the back side of the driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat:
I think I read it three or four times. The cynic in me was looking for something missing. There had to have been a catch.
But there wasn’t.
I snapped a photograph and posted it on my Facebook profile with a note, “Nominating my cab driver for today’s ‘act of kindness’ award.”September 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm #96514
Warning, you will be crying from laughter by the end of this post:
Whose Mighty Mouse Swag Brother is This? Featuring Roast From My Readers
[ 30 ] September 10, 2013 | Luvvie
Yesterday, I was perusing Tumblr when I came across the picture of a strapping young lad, captured by someone on public transportation. I posted the picture on my Awesomely Luvvie Facebook page and the comments my readers replied with were better than anything I could come up with
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.