President Obama announced Friday that the United States will withdraw nearly all troops from Iraq by the end of the year, effectively bringing the long and polarizing war in Iraq to an end.
“After nearly 9 years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” said Mr. Obama.
He said the last American troops will depart the country by January 1 “with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.”
“The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home,” he added, saying in the White House briefing room that U.S. troops “will definitely be home for the holidays.”
A bit of meorabilia from the “Great War”. James Cagney as George M. Cohen in the Movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and the hit song “Over There”. Another time…
Well – at least MSNBC is taking their role as the anti-Faux Network seriously.
More and more people are stating the obvious about the Tea Party dominated Republican Party of today…
It’s about time. Here, Thomas Roberts hits the Republican field about their desire to go back in time to when “Slavery was cool”.
The video begins with the issue surrounding Republicans booing a US Service member who had served in Iraq, because he is gay. Roberts points out that not one of the 8 candidates bothered to thank the Veteran for his service.
The crowd at Thursday’s debate provided yet another controversial moment when some people booed a video of a soldier asking about the candidates’ policy on the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law. Roberts called the moment “strange,” and noted that none of the candidates or anyone in the audience praised the soldier for his service.
He also criticized the GOP hopefuls for not denouncing the boos. One of the candidates, Rick Santorum, later claimed not to have heard them. But Roberts did not like Santorum referring to the lifting of the ban on openly gay soldiers as “social experimentation.”
“I get out of all of these things that many of these candidates would rather take legislation to build a time machine and go back in time to where we had no women voting, slavery was cool,” he said.
Roberts has previously said that Michele Bachmann would “extinguish” gay people.
As confirmation hearings opened Monday afternoon, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the unusual approach of attacking Kagan because she admired the late justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she clerked more than two decades ago.
“Justice Marshall’s judicial philosophy,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, “is not what I would consider to be mainstream.” Kyl — the lone member of the panel in shirtsleeves for the big event — was ready for a scrap. Marshall “might be the epitome of a results-oriented judge,” he said.
It was, to say the least, a curious strategy to go after Marshall, the iconic civil rights lawyer who successfully argued Brown vs. Board of Education. Did Republicans think it would help their cause to criticize the first African American on the Supreme Court, a revered figure who has been celebrated with an airport, a postage stamp and a Broadway show? The guy is a saint — literally. Marshall this spring was added to the Episcopal Church’s list of “Holy Women and Holy Men,” which the Episcopal Diocese of New York says “is akin to being granted sainthood.” Read the rest of this entry »
One of the reasons the right wing despises Obama so much is his focus on small business. Which is the same reason they despised Bill Clinton. Follow my logic here –
After the Civil War, the majority of skilled artisans in the South were black. The people who built wagons, coopers, dressmakers, furniture makers – and many of the skilled labor jobs prior to the industrial revolution were done by either slave, or free black labor. By 1860, there were more free blacks in Virginia than black folks slave or free in most of the northern states.
What Jim Crow really was about was stopping these people’s economic progress, such as to preserve white supremacy. Ergo though the destruction of the black artisan class businesses, Southern whites prevented the emergence of a new, black merchant class – who by nature of existing skills was in position to dominate certain industries when freed from the “Black Codes”. A merchant class, who would have followed the logical progression of gaining a piece of political power through wealth.
In America today, according to Forbes Magazine and numerous other sources, black folks a 3 times more likely to start a business than their white counterparts. And despite receiving only .3% of the Venture Investment in this country, are – according to the same studies 8 times more likely to succeed when they do get Venture financing. Only in America does that not translate into quickly shifting 30% of the investment money into more successful enterprise.
Indeed, the Bushit Administration was quite possibly the most hostile administration in history to small business, and was especially toxic to Minority owned business, as I have documented in previous articles, in reducing the quantity of SBA Loan Grantees to black owned business by 60% over 8 years, while holding it the same or increasing it to non-Minorities. The Bushit administration was also adamantly pro BIG business. So much so as to flat-line R&D and emerging technologies in a number of previously competitive industries like Telecom and Energy.
So why don’t Republicans want small business to succeed? Because the wrong color folks just might make a success at it, and in doing so threaten the old-boy power structure.
The New Jim Crow… Not much different from the old.
President Barack Obama turned the spotlight to his small business agenda Friday, urging congressional passage of legislation meant to boost federal assistance to a key segment of the economy.
Among the proposals highlighted by the administration is a $30 billion government lending program offering capital to community banks that boost their small-business lending. Banks with assets worth less than $10 billion would be able to borrow money from the Treasury at a dividend rate as low as 1 percent provided they use the cash to make more small-business loans this year than they did in 2009.
Other proposals being pushed by the president include an elimination of capital gains taxes on certain small business investments.
“Ensuring that small businesses can thrive is about more than our economic success,” Obama said at the White House after a meeting with small business leaders. “It’s about who we are as a people. It’s about a nation where anybody with a good idea and a willingness to work can succeed. That’s the promise of America.”
Legislation enacted in March included new business tax credits for hiring additional workers, as well as a measure allowing companies to write off, instead of depreciate, new equipment.
Many small businesses, however, are still struggling to regain their footing in the wake of the recent recession. The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales fell for the first time in eight months in May, widely missing analyst expectations.
Total retail sales fell 1.2 percent to $362.5 billion last month, compared with April’s upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase. It was first decline since last September, when retail sales fell 2.3 percent.
Data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that small companies have generated 64 percent of the net new jobs every year over the past 15 years. Those businesses, however, were particularly hard hit by the economic downturn. A Senate report last year found that American businesses with fewer than 20 employees have suffered steeper job losses than larger companies.
They have virtually no black folks in Arizona – so Hispanics are just going to have to do.
HB 2281 outlaws curriculum that is anti-American and that advocates the violent overthrow of the U.S. government (I imagine there is a Tea Bagger exemption?).
The bill creates a mechanism by which books will be judged to be in compliance. American Indian and African American classes are exempted. The clear target is the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program. The Arizona Department of Education has “has begun telling principals to remove teachers who speak English with an accent from classes with students who are still learning English.”
Arizona’s Superintendent for Public Instruction, Tom Horne is on record claiming that only things from Western Civilization (Greco-Roman) should be taught in Arizona schools. Pre- Colombian Indigenous knowledge from this continent – the foundation for the highly successful MAS program – is considered outside of Western Civilization.
Well, this should quiet down all the racial tension in Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill designed to outlaw the Tucson school district’s ethnic studies program—just hours after UN human rights experts issued a report condemning that very law. The measure is the brainchild of Arizona schools chief Tom Horne, who believes that the Mexican-American studies classes taught in Tucson high schools teach Latino students to resent white people. “It’s just like the old South, and it’s long past time we prohibited it,” Horne, a Republican running for Attorney General, tells the AP.
He’s pushed for the law since 2006, when he heard that a Hispanic activist had told a class that “Republicans hate Latinos.” The law bans any classes designed to promote solidarity among a particular ethnic group. Tucson’s schools offer Mexican-American, African-American and Native-American studies programs, but district officials say they think all are in compliance with the law.
The Republican Party’s lurch right to kowtow to the Tea Baggers is having the obvious consequences – the Party is ripping itself to shreds. A lot of people are predicting a Republican resurgence in the mid-terms – but if you look at what the Tea Baggers are doing…
This could well be a major loss like 2008 for the Republicans as Moderates desert in droves. That “Big Tent” keeps on getting smaller and smaller every day. This one smacks of Hitler’s pogroms to eliminate from the Nazi Party anyone who wasn’t Aryan, a true believer, or was “defective”.
This strikes to the heart of Tea Bagger “white is right”, plastic patriotism, jingoistic, homophobic, and racist – hate politics.
Really, only a gay person (or maybe a Muslim) would be enough of a deviant to disagree with these folks, right?
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has had an uneasy relationship with his party’s purists for years. Even in his own home base of South Carolina, the right wing has long thought of Graham as a squish on an array of crucial issues, including campaign finance, immigration and environmental regulation.
There’s also, however, always been a nastier undercurrent. For years, unsubstantiated but persistent rumors have swirled about the sexuality of the unmarried Graham. What’s unsettling is how some on the right seem eager to connect one complaint about Graham to the other.
At a Tea Party rally in Greenville, S.C., last week, a speaker tried to figure out just what, exactly, is wrong with Graham. “Barney Frank has been more honest and brave than you. At least we know about Barney Frank, nobody’s going to hold it over his head.”
He continued, “Look, I’m a tolerant person. I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey. But as our U.S. senator, I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen, I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.“
What’s interesting here is the thought obviously running through the speaker’s head: that something about the personal features of a politician like Barney Frank or Lindsey Graham explains their otherwise disagreeable behavior. The argument isn’t that Frank and, supposedly, Graham, are horrible liberal traitors, and gay to boot. It’s that they are, or might be, horrible liberal traitors because they’re gay.
And once you notice this type of argument here, you realize that it’s everywhere. This is the basic case against President Obama as well. It’s not just that his policies are bad. It’s that he is somehow not one of us, doesn’t understand our country and its traditions, and so is in fact working for the other side. The “he’s a foreigner” line of attack also featured at the rally, when former GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo asked, “If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don’t we just send him back?”
You’d think that the argument that Obama is a scary outsider Muslim would be about fighting terrorism — the president is too soft on terrorists, because he’s a secret double-agent. But the “foreigner” rap on the president doesn’t even seem to be about international issues. Instead, it’s somehow about healthcare and taxes and domestic policy in general.
This is the language of a political movement that sees itself defending a peculiar, limited version of democratic politics. Academics have a term for this idea: herrenvolk democracy. The basic idea is that there is supposed to be equality, and even unanimity on crucial matters, among qualified citizens. And if someone breaks the consensus, it’s not so much a sign that there needs to be an argument about this or that issue. It just casts doubt on whether that person was a legitimate member of the group in the first place. (Note that Graham himself has criticized the use of “racial epithets” on the right.)
This is all over the comments about Frank and Graham, as well as the standard attack on Obama-as-Kenyan-Muslim. As the Greenville Tea Party guy put it, “I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen.”
Goodwin Liu has been nominated by President Obama to the 9th Appeals Court, resulting in the typical Republican meltdown. He’s one of two Asian Americans nominated by Obama to the nation’s appeals courts, which now have no one of Asian descent among nearly 175 full-time judges. In 2005, Goodwin Liu testified against the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, concluding after a 19 page review of Alito’s decisions –
“Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse … where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man,” Liu wrote. “I humbly submit that this is not the America we know. Nor is it the America we aspire to be.”
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Liu supports charter schools and government-funded vouchers for private schools if they’re tailored to promote racial diversity, putting him at odds with teachers unions. He helped to start the California College Preparatory Academy, a West Oakland charter for mostly low-income minority students, in 2005, and volunteered at the school for two years.
However, most of his published work leans liberal. He has written articles or signed briefs favoring affirmative action, the right to same-sex marriage and consideration of students’ race in voluntary integration programs – which are the key positions giving conservatives, in their efforts to reestablish Jim Crow in America, heartburn.
LOS ANGELES — Immigrant rights groups Wednesday slammed Arizona lawmakers after they approved a bill which will allow police officers to determine whether suspects are in the United States legally.
Arizona’s House of Representatives passed the bill by a margin of 35 votes to 21 during a session on Tuesday, the legislature’s website showed, mirroring a similar measure passed by the border state’s Senate earlier this year.
The bill will now proceed to Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer to be signed into law.
The bill makes it a misdemeanor offense for an individual to lack proper immigration paperwork and also allows police officers to determine someone’s immigration status if they believe he or she could be an illegal immigrant.
Currently police can only ask about an individual’s immigration status if they are suspected of involvement in another crime.
However critics say the bill will transform Arizona into a “police state” and even sections of law enforcement have voiced fears it could harm relations between police and the immigrant community.
Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which campaigns on behalf of day laborers in the United States, called on Governor Brewer to veto the bill, which he described as “odious” and “unwise.”
“Arizona is on the verge of enacting the most anti-immigrant legislation the country has seen in a generation,” Newman said in a statement.
“We are hopeful Governor Brewer will consult with her legal counsel, issue a veto, and spare Arizona the expense of defending an unconstitutional, unwise, and odious bill in federal courts.
“Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heros for white supremacists throughout the United States, but this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King.”
The folks over at MSNBC were certainly fired up last night. Olbermann, who hasn’t really lit off a good stemwinder of an indictment for a while – hits a grand slam with this one.
Olbermann makes some key points here –
The despicable acts by the Tea Baggers and Republicans can hardly be considered “isolated incidents”…When they are happening bi-weekly.
The Republican Party has imploded – based on their own hubris.
And of course – despite profuse and impassioned pronouncements to the contrary by the usual conservative suspects – America isn’t going to collapse due to joining other civilized nations who have “socialized” medicine for the betterment of their citizens…
But the Republican Party may well collapse because they have radicalized themselves out of relevance.
The announcement came a day after the board of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now met and approved the steps required “to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months,” an ACORN statement read.
The group’s remaining state affiliates and field offices will close by April 1, and a plan will be developed to pay its debts, the statement said.
“ACORN’s members have a great deal to be proud of — from promoting homeownership to helping rebuild New Orleans, from raising wages to winning safer streets, from training community leaders to promoting voter participation — ACORN members have worked hard to create stronger communities, a more inclusive democracy and a more just nation,” it said.
The 40-year-old liberal group was crippled by scandal six months ago when a pair of conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute secretly videotaped two ACORN employees appearing to give them advice about setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.
A Texas Republican acknowledged on Monday that he was the person who yelled “baby killer” during Sunday’s House debate on health care reform.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer said he shouted out “‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership” on compromise language that emphasized federal funds would not be used to pay for abortions.
Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak was on the House floor talking about the issue at the time of Neugebauer’s outburst. Stupak was the leader of a group of anti-abortion rights Democrats who refused to back health care reform unless their concerns were addressed.
Washington – Black and Hispanic men are more likely to receive longer prison sentences than their white counterparts since the Supreme Court loosened federal sentencing rules, a government study has concluded.
The study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission reignited a long-running debate about whether federal judges need to be held to mandatory guidelines in order to stamp out what might appear to be inherent biases and dramatically disparate sentences.
The report analyzed sentences meted out since the January 2005 U.S. v. Booker decision gave federal judges much more sentencing discretion.
For years, legal experts have argued over the disparity in sentencing between black and white men. The commission found that the difference peaked in 1999 with blacks receiving 14 percent longer sentences. By 2002, however, the commission found no statistical difference. Read the rest of this entry »
The American Dr. Mengele in the form of the Republican Party is quite proud of killing American babies as part of resisting any move to come up with a Health Care System that actually works in America, In particular, that portion of the racist right fully supports, and promotes the genocide of minority children. This isn’t about Health Care…
Child Victims of Nazi Health Care Under Dr. Mengele
Amnesty International may be best known to American audiences for bringing to light horror stories overseas such as the disappearance of political activists in Argentina or the abysmal conditions inside South African prisons under apartheid. But in a new report on pregnancy and childbirth care in the U.S., Amnesty details the maternal health care crisis in this country as part of a systemic violation of women’s rights.
The report, titled “Deadly Delivery,” notes that the likelihood of a woman dying in childbirth in the U.S. is ﬁve times greater than in Greece, four times greater than in Germany, and three times greater than in Spain. Every day in the U.S., more than two women die of pregnancy-related causes, with the maternal mortality ratio doubling from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in 1987 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006. (And as shocking as these figures are, Amnesty notes that the actual number of maternal deaths in the U.S. may be a lot higher since there are no federal requirements to report these outcomes and since data collection at the state and local levels needs to be improved.) “In the U.S., we spend more than any country on health care, yet American women are at greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than in 40 other countries,” says Nan Strauss, the report’s co-author, who spent two years investigating the issue of maternal mortality worldwide. “We thought that was scandalous.”
According to Amnesty, which gathered data from many sources including the CDC, approximately half of the pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, the result of systemic failures including barriers to accessing care; inadequate, neglectful, or discriminatory care; and overuse of risky interventions like inducing labor and delivering via cesarean section. “Women are not dying from complex, mysterious causes that we don’t know how to treat,” says Strauss. “Women are dying because it’s a fragmented system, and they are not getting the comprehensive services that they need.”
The report notes that black women in the U.S. are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, although they are no more likely to suffer certain complications like hemorrhage.
The Amnesty report comes on the heels of an investigation in California that found maternal deaths have tripled there in recent years as well as a maternal-mortality alert issued in January by the Joint Commission, a group that accredits hospitals and other medical organizations, which noted that common preventable errors included failure to control blood pressure in hypertensive women and failure to pay attention to vital signs following c-sections. And just this week, a panel of medical experts at a conference held by the National Institutes of Health recommended that physicians’ organizations revisit policies that prevent women from having vaginal births after having had a cesarean. Such policies, designed in part to protect against litigation, have contributed to the U.S. cesarean rate rising to nearly 32% in 2007, the most recent year for which data is available.
Geez Jon – You even ranked on our flag. Which I have to admit is a bit on the wishey washy side with that dude looking up the other dude’s dress.
The important issue here of course is McDonnell misrepresented himself to get into office. At some point there is going to be some serious push-back on this – as this dude continues running off the right edge.
Virginia has a new Republican Governor, last seen making a fool of himself in responding to president Obama’s State of the Union Address in January. Now, this guy Bob McDonnell campaigned as a moderate Republican, but since taking office has lurched over to the far right. I have a feeling, there is going to be a pushback.
Now, this clown – State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas, is about par for the course for the ignorance level of Virginia’s redneck Republican faction .
State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.
He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.
“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.
“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”
Marshall was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy, who gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building.
They called on Virginia officials to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions