06/02/2013 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: We Need to Support Walmart Workers’ #Ride4Respect by JayRaye



Right now as you read this, Walmart Workers are on buses and they are caravanning from various cities to Bentonville, Arkansas where Walmart will be holding its annual shareholders meeting on June 7th. They plan to make their presence known by urging Walmart to stop its retaliation against associates who dare to speak out about working conditions. The #Ride4Respect uses the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement for inspiration. Completely appropriate, in my book. The fight for our rights as workers is a struggle for civil and human rights. Workers are American Citizens, and we are human beings. We don’t stop being Human Beings and Citizens when we pass through the doors of our place of employment.

One of the rights guaranteed to working people by U.S. Labor Law, is the right to speak out about the conditions of labor, and to do so without retaliation from our employer. That retaliation is illegal! Walmart’s retaliation has not ceased, in spite of denial that it exists, and in spite of promises to stop this retaliation (which they deny exists!) This is where the Unfair Labor Practice Strike comes into the picture. Striking Walmart Workers are a big part of the #Ride4Respect. This strike is historic as it will be the first prolonged ULP strike made by Walmart Workers. They are taking OUR Walmart’s fight for respect to another level.

Lisa Lopez walks and gives notice of ULP strike.

A Woman of Courage has put on her fighting clothes!

Mother Jones would be proud!

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher

Pot is the New Gay Marriage

It is the next civil rights issue that needs to fall.

On This Day In History June 2

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.

Click on image to enlarge

June 2 is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 212 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1962, Ray Charles takes country music to the top of the pop charts.

Ray Charles was one of the founding fathers of soul music-a style he helped create and popularize with a string of early 1950s hits on Atlantic Records like “I Got A Woman” and “What’d I Say.” This fact is well known to almost anyone who has ever heard of the man they called “the Genius,” but what is less well known-to younger fans especially-is the pivotal role that Charles played in shaping the course of a seemingly very different genre of popular music. In the words of his good friend and sometime collaborator, Willie Nelson, speaking before Charles’ death in 2004, Ray Charles the R&B legend “did more for country music than any other living human being.” The landmark album that earned Ray Charles that praise was Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which gave him his third #1 hit in “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” which topped the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1962

Executives at ABC Records-the label that wooed Ray Charles from Atlantic with one of the richest deals of the era-were adamantly opposed to the idea that Charles brought to them in 1962: to re-record some of the best country songs of the previous 20 years in new arrangements that suited his style. As Charles told Rolling Stone magazine a decade later, ABC executives said, “You can’t do no country-western things….You’re gonna lose all your fans!” But Charles recognized the quality of songs like “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Don Gibson and “You Don’t Know Me,” by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker, and the fact that his version of both of those country songs landed in the Top 5 on both the pop and R&B charts was vindication of Charles’s long-held belief that “There’s only two kinds of music as far as I’m concerned: good and bad.”

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.”

Rolling Stone ranked Charles number 10 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. I don’t know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made it work?”


Sunday June 2, 2013: Up with Steve Kornacki Tweets

Today was about vacancies in the DC circuit  courts being blocked in the Senate, the filibuster for once, Harry Reid, and the Justice Department obtained access to the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen accused him of being a likely criminal “co-conspirator” in the leak of sensitive material regarding North Korea, and violating the federal Espionage Act. All this now on #Uppers.

Thank you for reading.

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: Joining Steve at 8 a.m. EST will be:

Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter/politics managing editor, Huffington Post; Norm Ornstein, columnist & author, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism; Sahil Kapur, congressional reporter, Talking Points Memo; Sarah Posner, journalist & author; Jeremy Scahill, author “Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield”; and Krystal Ball, MSNBC’s The Cycle.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Guests on “This Week are  Former Senior Adviser to President Obama David Plouffe; GOP Strategist Karl Rove; and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

On the political roundtable: Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post; Gwen Ifill, PBS; and Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal).

On the foreign policy roundtable: Christiane Amanpour, ABC News; Bobby Ghosh, TIME; and Aaron David Miller, The Wilson Center.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who is back from meeting woth Al Qaeda and kidnappers; and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).

Joining him for a roundtable discussion:  Bob Woodward, Washington Post; Jill Abramson, New York Times; David Ignatius, Washington Post; Dan Klaidman, Daily Beast; and John Dickerson, CBS News.

The Chris Matthews Show: On this Sunday’s panel: Kasie Hunt, NBS News Political Reporter; David Ignatius, The Washington Post Columnist; Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst; and Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Guests on this Sunday’s MTP:  Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

On the roundtable: Former Senior Adviser to President Obama David Axelrod; Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Author Jonathan Alter; GOP Strategist Ana Navarro; and Tom Friedman, New York Times.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Joining Ms. Crowley are Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL); Democratic Strategist Paul Begala; GOP Strategist Kevin Madden; Jackie Calmes, New York Times; and Corey Dade, TheRoot.com.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Syria conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair

2 June 2013 Last updated at 06:50 GMT


The Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid.

Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped in the town, which lies close to the border with Lebanon.

The battle for control between pro-government forces and rebel fighters has made medical supplies, food and water scarce, the Red Cross says.

Russia has also reportedly blocked a UN “declaration of alarm” on Qusair.

The draft Security Council declaration, which was circulated by Britain, voiced “grave concern about the situation in Qusair, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting”.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Frightened to return: A Fukushima father’s story

Malaysia’s election reform a ‘band-aid’ remedy: Bersih

Government crackdown on Turkey protests draws condemnation

Suspected Islamist militants attack Niger prison

Car sharing: The next big thing in traffic-clogged Mexico City?

What We Now Know

In this week’s segment of “What We Know Now,” Up host Steve Kornacki discussed what they have learned this week with panel guests: Blake Zeff, columnist & politics editor, Salon.com; Errol Louis, host “Inside City Hall” or “Road to City Hall”, NY1 News; Howard Wolfson, Deputy Mayor, NYC; and L. Joy Williams, political strategist & founder, LJW Community Strategies.

Moktar Belmoktar, Terrorist, Clashed With Al Qaeda Leaders Over Expense Reports

by Rukmini Callimachi, Huffington Post

DAKAR, Senegal – After years of trying to discipline him, the leaders of al-Qaida’s North African branch sent one final letter to their most difficult employee. In page after scathing page, they described how he didn’t answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders.

Most of all, they claimed he had failed to carry out a single spectacular operation, despite the resources at his disposal.

The employee, international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.

David Petraeus To Head Private Equity Firm KKR’s New Global Institute

by Tom Murphy, Huffington Post

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus will take a new job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. as he attempts to rebuild his reputation after an extramarital affair with a biographer triggered his resignation as CIA director last fall.

Petraeus, 60, will serve as chairman of the New York firm’s newly created KKR Global Institute. He was CIA director from September 2011 until last November. Before that, Petraeus served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of four-star general. [..]

KKR said Thursday that Petraeus will support its investment teams and portfolio companies when studying new investments, especially in new locations. The company did not detail terms of its agreement with Petraeus, but a spokeswoman said he will serve in a consultant’s role.

This is almost as good as Gomert’s “You’re casting aspersions on my asparagus.” I love the GOP. They’re at lest good for a laugh.

One giant leap for reptiles: Have alien-hunters found a lizard on Mars?

by Samuel Muston, The Independent

While studying pictures of Mars sent back to Earth by the Curiosity rover, a Japanese alien-enthusiast spotted something between the endless plain of rocks spread out on the screen in front of him. Could it really be? Is that a… lizard?

The answer is almost definitely no, the surface of Mars being on the toxic side to most fauna (decide for yourself – it’s the first image, above). But that undoubted fact hasn’t stopped there being a slew of other “sightings”.