12/08/2013 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Left Unity – The New Party that Could by NY Brit Expat

LEFT UNITY HAS BEEN CREATED! Yes, this is the new political party, not necessarily the reality of “Left Unity” itself. Like all births, it is never easy. But it has the possibility of actually changing electoral politics in Britain. And like all births, it should be recorded.

Tonight’s piece covers a piece of news, some coverage of the student occupations in Britain including two petitions in response to the actions of the universities to these occupations, and a short homage to Nelson Mandela and the endless hypocrisy of our mainstream politicians.

While, of course, the justifications for permanent austerity under the Tories and the pensionable age being shifted to 70 and tax breaks for married people whose earnings were over a certain level, while somehow continuing impoverishment of the majority were sort of glossed over (really if impoverishment of the majority is required for your system, wouldn’t you start to raise the obvious point that the system is NOT worth it?) were found all over the BBC following the Autumn Statement of Minister of the Exchequer, George Osborne, many things that should have been said never quite made it to the news of the BBC. Given that they have a 24-7 news channel; surely a few moments could have been spared from their extensive scheduling.

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Rant of the Week: John Hodgeman: Bill de Blasio & Billionaire Flight

Bill de Blasio & Billionaire Flight

Deranged millionaire John Hodgman describes the dilapidated liberal wasteland New York City will become under Mayor Bill de Blasio.

On This Day In History December 8

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.

December 8 is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 23 days remaining until the end of the year.

John Lennon, October 9. 1940 – December 8, 1980

The Tea Maker

Yoko Ono

John and I are in our Dakota kitchen in the middle of the night. Three cats – Sasha, Micha and Charo – are looking up at John, who is making tea for us two.

Sasha is all white, Micha is all black. They are both gorgeous, classy Persian cats. Charo, on the other hand, is a mutt. John used to have a special love for Charo. “You’ve got a funny face, Charo!” he would say, and pat her.

“Yoko, Yoko, you’re supposed to first put the tea bags in, and then the hot water.” John took the role of the tea maker, for being English. So I gave up doing it.

It was nice to be up in the middle of the night, when there was no sound in the house, and sip the tea John would make. One night, however, John said: “I was talking to Aunt Mimi this afternoon and she says you are supposed to put the hot water in first. Then the tea bag. I could swear she taught me to put the tea bag in first, but …”

“So all this time, we were doing it wrong?”

“Yeah …”

We both cracked up. That was in 1980. Neither of us knew that it was to be the last year of our life together.

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: Steve’s guests list for this Sunday was not published.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Guests are U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Jendayi Frazer; former pollster for Nelson Mandela Stan Greenberg; Mandela biographer and former New York Times Johannesburg Bureau Chief Bill Keller; and Dr. Gay McDougall; former member of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa. Also, Sen. Dick Durbin {D-IL) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) debate the budget battle.

At “This Week“‘s roundtable are ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; author and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson; and political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou; Former Secretary of State James Baker; and Randall Robinson founder of TransAfrica discuss Nelson Mandela’s life and times.

Joining him at the roundtable are host of “PBS News Hour” Gwen Ifill; Lorraine Miller, interim president of the NAACP; Michelle Norris, NPR host and special correspondent; former editor of Time Magazone and author, Richard Stengel; and Gayle King, co-host of “CBS This Morning“.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Guests were not listed for this Sunday’s MTP. It appears it will be dedicated to a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul; House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff; economist Mark Zandi; Annie Lowrey of the New York Times; and the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett.

Joining her panel discussion are DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee; former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell; and USA Today‘s Susan Page.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Mandela death: ‘Day of prayer’ in South Africa

 8 December 2013 Last updated at 07:24 GMT


People in South Africa are taking part in a day of “prayer and reflection” for late President Nelson Mandela.

President Jacob Zuma will attend a service in a Methodist church in Johannesburg, with other multi-faith services planned throughout the day.

A national memorial service will be held on Tuesday, ahead of a state funeral on 15 December.

South Africans have been holding vigils since Mr Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.

President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to go to stadiums, halls, churches, and other places of worship on Sunday to remember their former leader.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Without the Observer, and David Astor, Mandela would have hanged

Slaughter of elephants on a huge scale

Terrorist attack on Israel-Syria border heightens tensions

Chile’s Pinochet-era dictatorship: Were soldiers victims, too

Ukraine Demonstrators Say They Won’t Relent on Demands for Change

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. These are their finds for December 6, 2013.

1. Christmas cats relaxin’ by the fire.

2. Democratic Rep. Polis gives a spirited speech on reforming immigration law.

3. German dudes prance around behind weather woman as crazy storm whips through Germany.