Daily Archive: 10/13/2013

Oct 13 2013

AC Meet-Up: Hellraisers Journal, The Labor Martyrs Project, and WE NEVER FORGET by JayRaye

Back of Envelope Containing

Joe Hill’s Ashes

WE NEVER FORGET

At Joe Hill’s funeral, sashes were worn by many in attendance with “WE NEVER FORGET” written on them in big bold capital letters. This slogan was also written on the program for the day’s events. A year later, the ashes were handed out to IWW delegates from every state of the USA (except Utah) and from countries all around the world. The envelopes also carried this slogan. The Labor Martyrs Project uses this slogan to honor all of our Labor Martyrs, quite certain that Fellow Worker Joe Hill would not mind.

Oct 13 2013

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart: Medican’t

Medican’t

Health-challenged states like Texas and Mississippi refuse to take advantage of a federally subsidized Medicaid expansion.

If statehood was health care, moocher states like Mississippi and Missouri would be rejected as having a preexisting condition.

Oct 13 2013

Citizens United: Part Deux

This week the Supreme Court heard arguments for the ending of limits on campaign contributions for individuals, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The argument for lifting the limits is the same that were used to argue Citizens United that opened the flood gates of money from corporations, money is free speech.

Next Citizens United? McCutcheon Supreme Court Case Targets Campaign Contribution Limits

by Paul Blumenthal, Huffington Post

Alabama electrical engineer and budding political donor Shaun McCutcheon broached a problem in conversation with conservative election lawyer Dan Backer, who one day earlier had led a CPAC panel on rolling back campaign finance laws in which he predicted that campaign contribution limits would soon rise.

McCutcheon had recently learned there were overall federal campaign contribution limits on what a single donor could give during a two-year election cycle. He voiced his annoyance to Backer and wondered if he could just ignore the aggregate limits — something that a few dozen donors wound up doing], whether deliberately or inadvertently, in the 2012 election. [..]

A little more than a year later, McCutcheon, now joined by the Republican National Committee, is bringing the biggest campaign finance case before the Supreme Court since the controversial 2010 Citizens United decision. If the justices rule in their next term to toss the overall limits, it would mark the first time the Supreme Court had found a federal contribution limit unconstitutional and would open the door for even more money to flood the political system.

It would also be a major victory for counter-reformers, who have racked up a string of wins rolling back campaign finance regulation ever since Justice Samuel Alito replaced the more campaign regs-friendly Sandra Day O’Connor. And it would be a major blow to the campaign finance regime crafted in the 1970s following a string of corruption scandals culminating in the abuses revealed in the Watergate investigation.

One other small point, McCutcheon is a climate denier.

This week’s guest on Moyers & Company, Yale Law School election and constitutional law professor Heather Gerken discussed the how a ruling in favor of McCutcheon will further erode campaign finance regulations and allow more cash and influence to slosh around in the system.

McCutcheon challenges aggregate caps on how much individual donors can give to candidates and political parties. The current overall cap stands at $123,200 per donor for a two-year election cycle, but McCutcheon could raise that amount to more than $3.5 million.

Gerken says if the court rules in favor of McCutcheon, one donor could write a check that might cover a politician’s entire election campaign. “We’re going to start to worry about the bad old days when politicians were beholden to an incredibly small group of wealthy donors … Right now when politicians want to raise money they have to talk to at least middle class voters. They have to talk to a pretty big number of voters to raise money for their campaigns.”

Gerken fears that a small, rich group would not only influence the outcome of elections, but policy decisions as well. “It’s not just a seat at the table on election day, it’s a seat at the table for the next four-to-six years when they’re governing,” Gerken says. “Wall Street is going to be controlling the congressional agenda, Main Street is not.”



Transcript can be read here

As suggested by Karin Kamp, at Moyers’ & Company web site, here is a list of recommended articles that explain the case.

Chief Justice Roberts: A Campaign Finance Moderate Who Gets It?

by Rick Hasen, Election Law Blog

Poor Little Rich Guys

by Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Conservative Justices Signal Dismantling Of Campaign Donation Limits

by Sahil Kapur, TPM

Mitch McConnell’s Moneyocracy

by Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post

Meet Shaun McCutcheon

by Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast

There is also a very informative video from the Washington Post that is worth watching.

Oct 13 2013

On This Day In History October 13

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 79 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day on 1792, the cornerstone for the White House in laid in Washington, DC.

In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the “White House” because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted strikingly with the red brick of nearby buildings.

Architectural competition

The President’s house was a major feature of Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant’s’s plan for the newly established federal city, Washington, D.C. The architect of the White House was chosen in a design competition, which received nine proposals, including one submitted anonymously by Thomas Jefferson. The nation’s first president, George Washington, traveled to the site of the federal city on July 16, 1792, to make his judgment. His review is recorded as being brief, and he quickly selected the submission of James Hoban, an Irishman living in Charleston, South Carolina. Washington was not entirely pleased with the original Hoban submission, however; he found it too small, lacking ornament, and not fitting the nation’s president. On Washington’s recommendation, the house was enlarged by thirty percent; the present East Room, likely inspired by the large reception room at Mount Vernon, was added.

Construction

Construction of the White House began with the laying of the cornerstone on October 13, 1792, although there was no formal ceremony. The main residence, as well as foundations of the house, were built largely by enslaved and free African-American laborers, as well as employed Europeans. Much of the other work on the house was performed by immigrants, many not yet with citizenship. The sandstone walls were erected by Scottish immigrants, employed by Hoban, as were the high relief rose and garland decorations above the north entrance and the “fish scale” pattern beneath the pediments of the window hoods. The initial construction took place over a period of eight years, at a reported cost of $232,371.83 ($2.8 million in 2007 dollars). Although not yet completed, the White House was ready for occupancy on or circa November 1, 1800.

Shortages, including material and labor, forced alterations to the earlier plan developed by French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant for a “palace” that was five times larger than the house that was eventually built.] The finished structure contained only two main floors instead of the planned three, and a less costly brick served as a lining for the stone facades. When construction was finished the porous sandstone walls were coated with a mixture of lime, rice glue, casein, and lead, giving the house its familiar color and name.

As it is a famed structure in America, many replicas of the White House have been constructed.

Oct 13 2013

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Steve Kornacki: Guests had not yet been posted.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guest list has not been announced

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS).

Joining him for a panel discussion are Dee Dee Myers, the press secretary during the Clinton administration, Newt Gingrinch, former speaker of the house, Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel, and Washington Post‘s Dan Balz.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The guests on this Sunday’s MTP are Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Assistant Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; and an exclusive interview with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

The roundtable guests are  Co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS Newshour, Judy Woodruff; Washington Post Columnist Kathleen Parker; former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN); and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director Chuck Todd.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are Senator Rand Paul (R-KY); Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Joining her for a panel discussion are Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, Crossfire co-host Newt Gingrich and Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.

Oct 13 2013

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Family Man One Day, Rebel Fighter the Next

 By NORIMITSU ONISHI

Published: October 12, 2013

RAMTHA, Jordan – The Syrian rebel leader was sitting comfortably on a cushion at his home here recently, his wife and children filling the rooms with conversation and laughter. Then one day he shaved off his beard and slipped back into Syria, where he leads a rebel brigade.

“I cried,” said his mother-in-law, Wesal al-Aweer. “I pleaded with him not to leave.”

“We were used to having him around the house,” said his wife, Montaha Zoubi, 34, “so now we feel there is an emptiness in the house.”

A hardware store owner in Syria before the civil war, Hussein Zoubi, 40, took up arms against the government almost two years ago. Since then, like thousands of Syrian men in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, he has been leading the life of a commuter rebel, a fighter inside Syria and a family man across the border.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Her film about an ‘honour’ killing won an Emmy. Now it’s being used to train police

The fleet of bikers changing health care in Africa

AU to ICC: Kenyatta stays until demands are met

Vietnam’s New Battle for the Legacy of a War Hero

Starbucks to take on Juan Valdez in Colombia

Oct 13 2013

Three Things On The Internet

The team of All In with Chris Hayes puts out a daily request on Twitter asking their followers to send them the things they find most interesting on the internet. This is their finds for October 7, 2013.

1 ) The government may be shut down but lucky for us, America’s sarcasm and wit is in full force.

2)  Resident bad boy of astrophysics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, took to Twitter this weekend to fact check the blockbuster “Gravity”. It was amazing.

3) Cat sees balloon, reacts: