08/28/2011 archive

On This Day In History August 28

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

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

August 28 is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 125 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King addressed the crowds assembled on the Washington Mall from the steps at the Lincoln Memorial. His speech, “I have a Dream”, is forever embedded in history and our memories as one of the great moments in the fight for civil rights. But there were many other speakers, and in particular one great performance by the “Queen of Gospel”, Mahalia Jackson. Right before Dr. King spoke, Ms. Jackson performed “How I Got Over”.

Indeed, if Martin Luther King, Jr., had a favorite opening act, it was Mahalia Jackson, who performed by his side many times. On August 28, 1963, as she took to the podium before an audience of 250,000 to give the last musical performance before Dr. King’s speech, Dr. King himself requested that she sing the gospel classic “I’ve Been ‘Buked, and I’ve Been Scorned.” Jackson was just as familiar with Dr. King’s repertoire as he was with hers, and just as King felt comfortable telling her what to sing as the lead-in to what would prove to be the most famous speech of his life, Jackson felt comfortable telling him in what direction to take that speech.

The story that has been told since that day has Mahalia Jackson intervening at a critical junction when she decided King’s speech needed a course-correction. Recalling a theme she had heard him use in earlier speeches, Jackson said out loud to Martin Luther King, Jr., from behind the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” And at that moment, as can be seen in films of the speech, Dr. King leaves his prepared notes behind to improvise the entire next section of his speech-the historic section that famously begins “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….”

There is no embeddable video of Ms Jackson from that day but here is the inspirational song she performed that day.

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”.

This is a very abbreviated preview. Most of the talk show are going to be concentrating on the storm that is now pounding the eastern seaboard. Since most of all of these show are based in either NYC or Washington, that shouldn’t be a surprise to our readers.

So unless you are somewhere that is not affected by Irene, haven’t lost power, are underwater or had your house blown away, good morning to stay in bed or do something else.

But just for you political junkies, here are a few pundits.

John Lewis: What would Martin Luther King Jr. say to President Obama?

Forty-eight years ago Sunday, when Martin Luther King Jr. was about to make his historic speech on the National Mall, I was huddled close to the statue of Abraham Lincoln, tapping on a portable typewriter, making last-minute changes to my own speech. As the newly elected chair of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, speaking at the March on Washington was one of my first important actions. Dr. King spoke tenth; I was sixth. Today, I am the last surviving speaker from the march.

When I think back on that day, and the hundreds of thousands of people who responded to the call to march on Washington, there is no question that many things have changed. Then, Martin Luther King Jr. was a controversial figure taking risks so that his voice might be heard. Today, the mere mention of his speech – and its powerful “I have a dream” refrain – evokes hope for the future, stirring memories of the past and mandates for change, but the context in which Dr. King delivered those words was quite different.

Dana Milbank: Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler

He declined a plate of bacon and eggs when sitting down to breakfast with a group of reporters this week because, the AFL-CIO president explained, he was concerned he might spit out a mouthful if he didn’t like a question. The stains on his Brooks Brothers necktie suggested this was more than a theoretical possibility.

So perhaps it should not be a surprise that Trumka has lost patience with the Great Nibbler in our civic life, President Obama. The president, he complained, has been doing “little nibbly things around the edge that aren’t going to make a difference and aren’t going to solve the problem” with the economy. Obama, he protested, decided to “work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle-class programs like Social Security.” And, Trumka accused, Obama has limited his proposals to “those little things that he thinks others will immediately accept.”

Without bolder action on the economy, Trumka told the gathering, organized by the Christian Science Monitor, “I think he doesn’t become a leader anymore, and he’s being a follower.”

Jesse Jackson; Martin Luther King’s Legacy: Nonviolence is Not Surrender

The memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King opened on the Mall in Washington. Dr. King will take his place with Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The monument features a 30-foot figure of Dr. King, hewn from granite, looking forward and very stern. This is the look of a man of action whose work is not done.

That is its power.

Dr. King was a man of peace, but he was not a passive man. He believed that confrontation in the face of indignation preceded reconciliation. To have healing, you must pull the glass from the wound. He was, as he said, a drum major for justice. He knew that peace was the presence of justice, not the absence of noise. And it could only be achieved through struggle, through the concerted actions of engaged citizens.

Maureen Dowd: Darth Vader Vents

WHY is it not a surprise to learn that Dick Cheney’s ancestor, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Civil War soldier who marched with Sherman to the sea?

Scorched earth runs in the family.

Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues.

Vice’s new memoir, “In My Time,” veers unpleasantly between spin, insisting he was always right, and score-settling, insisting that anyone who opposed him was wrong.

His knife-in-her-teeth daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, helped write the book. The second most famous Liz & Dick combo do such an excellent job of cherry-picking the facts, it makes the cherry-picking on the Iraq war intelligence seem picayune.

Nicholas D. Kristoff: Did We Drop the Ball on Unemployment?

WHEN I’m in New York or Washington, people talk passionately about debt and political battles. But in the living rooms or on the front porches here in Yamhill, Ore., where I grew up, a different specter wakes friends up in the middle of the night.

It’s unemployment.

I’ve spent a chunk of summer vacation visiting old friends here, and I can’t help feeling that national politicians and national journalists alike have dropped the ball on jobs. Some 25 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed – that’s more than 16 percent of the work force – but jobs haven’t been nearly high enough on the national agenda.

When Americans are polled about the issue they care most about, the answer by a two-to-one margin is jobs. The Boston Globe found that during President Obama’s Twitter “town hall” last month, the issue that the public most wanted to ask about was, by far, jobs. Yet during the previous two weeks of White House news briefings, reporters were far more likely to ask about political warfare with Republicans.

John Nichols: The Democrats’ Rural Rebellions

Democrats looking to Washington during the long, hot summer for signs of their party’s renewal got little in the way of relief. President Obama’s approval ratings tanked after he compromised away historic Democratic positions in the debt-ceiling fight. The party’s Congressional leaders, who in the spring had seemed prepared to fight off Republican attempts to erode Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, sent so many mixed signals that it was difficult to tell whether the party wanted to fight austerity or embrace it.

Yet beyond the Beltway, a different story has been unfolding. And it holds out promise for a party that needs not just hope but a coherent strategy for the 2012 election season. Dramatic overreach by newly elected Republican governors, who sought to curtail labor rights, undermine local democracy and slash spending for education and local services, has provoked a backlash that draws stark ideological and political lines on fundamental economic questions. And that is winning substantial Democratic victories in unexpected territory, including rural areas where the party suffered its greatest setbacks in 2010.

F1: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

As usual, you got the good stuff yesterday.  Today I’ll just ramble.

Overall Qualifying was more entertaining than it usually is.  Conditions were wet with rain in fits and a drying line at the end when they brought out the Softs.  If it rains again today many teams will be in trouble since you only get 3 sets of Inters for the weekend and you had to use them all during Practice and most of Qualifying.

Schumacher lost his wheel nut, no deeper explanation given yet.  Button walked back his rather harsh criticism of McLaren, he felt he had been called in too early but later said he lost track of the lap count and didn’t give it all he might have.  Senna did much better than expected despite a faulty KERS which is a big problem for Heidfeld, but also for Romain Grosjean who clinched his GP 2 title yesterday.  Hamilton’s contact with Maldonado after the end of Qualifying was resolved in favor of Hamilton with Maldonado suffering a 5 position penalty and Hamilton a mere reprimand.  All 4 drivers who failed the 107% rule were given passes to race.  So much for that rule.

As an aside, has anyone besides me noticed that there is much more media attention now that the season is almost finished?  Yesterday’s Evening Edition coverage came from all 3 wire services- AFP (11), Reuters (28), and AP (44).

What will we see today?  Well it kind of depends on the weather.  If Irene knocks out my power, internet, or cable I won’t see much, you’ll have to make your own fun.  It has rained all weekend at Spa and if it’s not dry enough for Softs I don’t know what the stewards will do (my Dad says they’d be idiots not to issue another set of Inters and Wets).  I note that as I write this during the start of the GP 2 preliminary you can see shadows, but there are clouds in the sky.

Other than that there are some fast guys at the back of the grid so there will be some off lead racing as people move up.  There have been no substantial changes to the cars except Renault who has been falling farther and farther behind Mercedes in the second tier group.

Scuderia Marlboro UPC has taken it’s engineering group off this year’s car and put it on next year’s machine.  ‘We must get off to a fast start!’ says Maranello.  They said that last year and the year before too.  The truth is that only 2 teams are strong enough to continue development for this year AND develop for next- McLaren and Red Bull (which is strong enough to support 2 teams).

The Driver’s Championship is all but decided.  Heidfeld’s mathematical chances were that he had to finish first and Vettel DNF for all the remaining races and everyone else is in pretty much the same boat.  The Constructor’s Championship would be closer if McLaren made better decisions and could ever finish 2 cars in the same race.

This is race 12 of 19, not halfway, and who knows, lightning could stri

Enjoy the rest of the season.  Speed coverage starts at 7:30 am.  Pretty tables below.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic

 Winds begin to blast Northeast; storm downs trees, leaves millions without power

NBC, msnbc.com and news services  

A weakened but still dangerous Hurricane Irene shut down New York and menaced other cities more accustomed to snowstorms than tropical storms as it steamed up the East Coast, unloading a foot of rain on North Carolina and Virginia and knocking out power to 2 million homes and businesses. At least 10 people were dead early Sunday.

By early Sunday, the storm had sustained winds of 80 mph, down from 100 mph on Friday. That made it a Category 1, the least threatening on a 1-to-5 scale, and barely stronger than a tropical storm.

Nevertheless, it was still considered highly dangerous, capable of causing ruinous flooding across much of the East Coast with a combination of storm surge, high tides and six inches to a foot of rain.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Goldman Sachs targeted as ‘Jaws’ joins battle over banking crash

Tripoli runs out of food and fuel

Anna Hazare: India campaigner ends hunger strike

Secret river discovered under the Amazon

From Zeros to heroes… the rise and rise of a superband

DocuDharma Digest

Our Regular Features-

Featured Essays-


Libya: I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock & Roll

This was written by Ellen Brown back on April 14. We shall see a few years from now whether Libyans will still be cheering and throwing flowers like Iraqis and Afghanis and Bahraini’s are now…

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

Alex Newman wrote in the New American:

In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 China may legalise secret detentions

By Allison Jackson, AFP

10 hrs ago

China is considering changes to its criminal law that human rights activists said Saturday would effectively legalise the forced disappearance of dissidents.

Proposed amendments to “residential surveillance” laws would allow police to hold suspects in secret locations in cases involving national security, terrorism or major corruption, the official Legal Daily said this week.

Residential surveillance is a form of house arrest.