07/14/2013 archive

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher’s New Rules

Bill Maher New Rules: Only Plan Republicans Have For Immigration ‘Reform’ is Military Style Surge

   MAHER: And finally, New Rule, that the only plan we have for immigration reform is a military style surge, that wastes $46 billion for weapons, walls, prison camps and forty thousand armed guards in the desert, it’s not a plan. It’s a war. A war, to replace the wars that are ending overseas.

   Because after our last soldier leaves the wildly successful experiment in democracy known as Afghanistan, we’re going to be dangerously close to not having any wars and down to a mere 660 military bases in 38 countries. Jesus, what are we Switzerland now?

   Sorry Mexicans, but war is what keeps our economy going, so you’re just going to have to step up. The war on terror just got replaced by the war-hay on Jorge. That’ll teach you to take over channels 18-27 on our cable systems.

   Now, don’t get me wrong. I think border security is important and I have no doubt that the Republican plan for turning our southern border into the Hunger Games will put a stop to the number one threat facing America today – illegal cleaning ladies.

   But let’s be clear. This immigration bill has about as much to do with immigration as Sarah Palin has to do with mapping the human genome.

   Mexican immigration to America is now at net zero. That’s the little elephant in the room fact they don’t tell you. They’re not coming any more. Which is not to say there aren’t illegals already here over the last thirty years. 12 million Mexicans did come to America, in three cars.

   But look, if we deport all 12 million people, the continent will tip over. We need to get them in the system, because sooner or later, someone’s going to want to eat some fruit. So, why are we working so hard to make them miserable?

   The immigration bill says that while in America, they have to wait 13 years to become a citizen, learn to speak perfect English, pay taxes, but don’t get to use government services and hope to hell some dumb ass in the neighborhood watch program doesn’t shoot them.

   This bill could say “Mexicans eat paint” and Republican would say “Why not lead paint?”

   Now part of this, of course, is simple prejudice, but the bigger part is that peace and brotherhood is all fine and dandy, but there’s no money in it. Ten years ago, there were 10 thousand border control agents. Now there are 21 thousand. The new bill would up it to 38 thousand.

   Why? Because Republicans hate big government – except for war – which is their version of a stimulus package. Oh, not the bad kind of stimulus that builds schools and fixes bridges. That’s Socialism.

   Building weapon systems no one needs, that’s patriotism. This is about the same folks who frittered away your money on the phoney Iraq war, and the ten years in Afghanistan and the pointless drug war deciding that what this country really needs is yet another phoney war.

h/t Heather at Crooks and Liars

Obama Explains NSA Surveillance

President Obama Address NSA Surveillance Concerns

President Obama explains why Americans should not be concerned about the NSA’s secret data collection program and that he is very different from George W. Bush.

With special thanks to Mike Masnick at Techdirt who also provided a partial transcript of his favorite lines which, as he says, is  most of the video.

Warning: Do Not Eat or Drink While Watching

On This Day In History July 14

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 images to enlarge

July 14 is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 170 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1790, the citizens of Paris celebrate the constitutional monarchy and national reconciliation in the Fête de la Fédération.

The Fête de la Fédération of the 14 July 1790 was a huge feast and official event to celebrate the establishment of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France and what people of the time considered to be the happy conclusion of the French Revolution, the outcome hoped for by the monarchiens.

The Fête de la Fédération in Paris was the most prominent event of a series of spontaneous celebrations all over France: from August 1789, Fédérations appeared in towns and countryside; on 5 June 1790, with lots of individual feasts to celebrate the new state of France, a constitutional monarchy. The National Assembly approved the suggestion by the Commune de Paris to organise a “general Federation”. Organised late, it was largely an improvisation. The idea was not to contest the legitimacy of the king Louis XVI, but to show the general will for stable institutions and a national reconciliation and unity. In the words of Jean Sylvain Bailly, astronomer and mayor of Paris: “We suggest that this meeting (…) be sworn on the next 14 July, which we shall all see as the time of liberty: this day shall be spent swearing to uphold and defend it”. Charon, President of the Commune of Paris, stated: “French, we are free! French, we are brothers!”.

The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was at the time far outside Paris. The place had been transformed on a voluntary basis by the population of Paris itself, in what was recalled as the Journée des brouettes (“Wheelbarrow Day”).

Official Celebration

The feast began as early as four in the morning, under a strong rain which would last the whole day (the Journal de Paris had predicted “frequent downpours”).

14 000 Federated (Fédérés) came from the province, every single National Guard unit having sent two men out of every hundred. They were ranged according to their département under 83 banners. They were brought to the place were the Bastille once stood, and went through Saint-Antoine, Saint-Denis and Saint-Honoré streets before crossing the temporary bridge and arriving at the Champ de Mars. Deputies from other nations, “Swedes, Spaniards, Polacks, Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, and dwellers in Mesopotamia,” representatives of the human race, “with three hundred drummers, twelve hundred wind-musicians, and artillery planted on height after height to boom the tidings all over France, the highest recorded triumph of the Thespian art.”

A mass was celebrated by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, bishop of Autun under the Ancien Régime. The very popular General marquis de La Fayette, as both captain of the National Guard of Paris and confident of the king, took his oath to the Constitution:

” We swear forever to be faithful to the Nation, to the Law and to the King, to uphold with all our might the Constitution as decided by the National Assembly and accepted by the King, and to protect according to the laws the safety of people and properties, transit of grains and food within the kingdom, the public contributions under whatever forms they might exist, and to stay united with all the French with the indestructible bounds of brotherhood[ ”

It is noticeable that at this time, the French Constitution of 1791 was not yet written; it would only take effect in September 1791. La Fayette was followed by the President of the National Assembly. Eventually, Louis XVI took his oath

” I, King of the French, I swear to use the power given to me by the constitutional law of the State, to maintain the Constitution as decided by the National Assembly and accepted by myself, and to enforce the laws. ”

The style “King of the French”, used for the first time instead of “King of France (and Navarre)”, was an innovation intended to inaugurate a “popular monarchy” which linked the monarch’s title to the people, not to the territory of France.

The Queen rose and showed the Dauphin, future Louis XVII, saying :

” This is my son, who, like me, joins in the same sentiments.[5] ”

With the permission of the National Assembly, a delegation of the United States of America, led by John Paul Jones, founder of the US Navy, joined the feast. It also included Thomas Paine, James Swan, Georges Howell, Benjamin Jarvis, Samuel Blackden, Joel Barlow and William Henry Vernon. The delegation arrived at the Champ de Mars with its flag, the first instance ever of a US flag flown outside of the USA, and was cheered by the people.

Anti Capitalist Meetup: The Tolpuddle Martyrs: Why them, why now

     The Tolpuddle Martyrs, condemned and harshly punished by the biased justice system of 19th century England, were very lucky. They not only lived through their ordeal, but also became enduring symbols of resistance whose story is celebrated even now.  Next weekend, union members and their families from all over the UK will gather at the little museum on the outskirts of Tolpuddle on July 19th – 21st for a festival of music picnics, and rallies. The magnificent union banners often seen on the streets of London during the recent protests will be paraded in a far different setting: the rolling agricultural land of Dorset. Though the Martyrs didn’t pay with their lives, their fate was dire enough, and the circumstances that caused them to be sent, first to the prison hulks of the Southwest coast and then across the world, were universal enough that they became a rallying point for resistance throughout the country.

What makes their story relevant, not only to British union history, but to the present circumstances that many working people find themselves in worldwide, is that their story, like ours, arose from a time of social and technological change, dislocation, changing class allegiances, long term conflict, and scarcity. English history has not been part of the American educational canon since before WWII, when my mother struggled with the intricacies of the Corn Laws in high school; so follow me below the fold to find out a little of what is not shown in the costume dramas that pass for our understanding of 19th century England.  

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 Kornacki at the table will be: Kasie Hunt, political producer, NBC News; Former Rep. Tom Perriello, (D) Virginia, president & CEO of Center for American Progress Action Fund; Former Gov. Jane Swift, (R) Massachusetts; Michael Brendan Dougherty, editor, TheSlurve.com; Former Gov. Douglas Wilder (D) Virginia; Liz Kennedy, counsel, Demos.org; Ken Gross, attorney, Skadden Arps; and Nick Acocella, writer, editor, publisher PolitiFax.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Sunday on “This Week” the guests are former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer; Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA); Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK); Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT); and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Sitting at the roundtable are Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot; Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman; New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich, author of the new book “This Town“; and television and radio host Tavis Smiley.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Reps. Pete King (R-NY) and Mike Kelly (R-PA); and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

The Chris Matthews Show: This Sunday’s panel guests are Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent; Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent; Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent; and David Ignatius, The Washington Post columnist.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: This week’s MTP guests are : Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV); Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); and Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The guests at the roundtable are Rich Lowry, editor of National Review; Former Democratic Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson; President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden; and Republican Strategist as well as former senior strategist to the McCain-Palin campaign Steve Schmidt.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests this Sunday are Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX); Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL); Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CA); Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA); and NAACP President Ben Jealous.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Syrian business owners who fled to Egypt give up on going back

Many Syrian industrialists and factory owners have relocated their businesses to Egypt, part of the economic and brain drain Syria’s civil war is causing.

By Raja Abdulrahim

REHAB, Egypt – As fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo intensified last fall, Khalid Sabbagh decided it was time to move his business abroad.

He and his family had already fled months earlier to the safety of this palm-tree-lined Cairo suburb. But as Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial hub, descended further into the warfare that has ravaged much of his nation, Sabbagh finally decided to move his upholstery factory to Egypt and start anew.

Since antigovernment activists began their struggle to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011, more than 1.6 million Syrians have fled the fighting, many to neighboring countries where they wait to return to their homes.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Army’s role in fall of Mohamed Morsi stirs fears among Egyptian protesters

Models point to rapid sea-level rise from climate change

Seven peacekeepers killed in Darfur

Thailand has a new popular sensation – Hitler

Bomber boys of Balochistan: Kids as young as 11 held over insurgent attacks in Pakistan

What We Now Know

On this week’s segment of “What We Now Know,” Up host Steve Kornacki discusses what they have learned with guests Ana Marie Cox, political columnist, The Guardian; Blake Zeff, columnist & politics editor, Salon.com; Michelle Bernard, The Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy; and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL).

Rare film depicts Franklin Roosevelt in wheelchair

Published on Jul 10, 2013

Footage courtesy of the US National Archives.

A professor at an Indiana college says he has found film footage showing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt being pushed in his wheelchair, depicting a secret that was hidden from the public until after his death.

Ray Begovich, a journalism professor at Franklin College south of Indianapolis, said on Tuesday he found the eight-second clip while doing unrelated research in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The National Archives and the FDR Presidential Museum and Library could not say for certain if other such footage exists, but both said it is at least rare.

Florida Accidentally Banned All Computers, Smart Phones In The State Through Internet Cafe Ban: Lawsuit

When Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes, they worded the bill so poorly that they effectively outlawed every computer in the state, according to a recent lawsuit.

In April Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on slot machines and Internet cafes after a charity tied to Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was shut down on suspicion of being an Internet gambling front] — forcing Carroll, who had consulted with the charity, to resign.

Florida’s 1,000 Internet cafes were shut down immediately, including Miami-Dade’s Incredible Investments, LLC, a café that provides online services to migrant workers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Sarah Palin Senate Poll Finds Few Want Her To Hold Office Again

The former Alaska governor said Tuesday on “The Sean Hannity Show” that she has “considered” a 2014 run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska). [..]

But the chair of Alaska’s Republican Party has said that he has not spoken to Palin about a possible Senate run or any other topic.

Although many may not want her to win, poll respondents were evenly divided, 39 percent to 39 percent, on the specific question of whether Palin should run for the Senate next year.