07/16/2015 archive

Yup, couldn’t see this coming.

A Fury Rising as Greek Parliament Votes to Accept Eurozone Agreement

Protests Erupt in Athens As Greece Approves Eurozone Bailout

Protests Erupt Outside of Greek Parliament as It Approves Harsh Austerity Measures in Bailout Deal

Sucky Blogging

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Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is 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”.

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Trevor Timm: Republicans hate the Iran nuclear deal because it means we won’t bomb Iran

As soon as President Obama announced the historic nuclear agreement between the US and Iran on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidates raced to see who could get out the most hyperbolic, foaming-at-the-mouth condemnation of the potential for peace. [..]

For Republicans, the Iran nuclear negotiations have never been about getting “a good deal” for the US. They’ve simply wanted to preserve their ability to kill people in the Middle East whenever they want, and continue to indulge their fetish of American superpower. It doesn’t matter to Republicans whether bombing Iran virtually guarantees that actually will pursue a nuclear bomb (which, again, right now they’re not), or that a deal will hurt the hardliners in Iran that Republicans profess to hate. It only matters that they continue to have an enemy to bomb in the Middle East, and a President to criticize here at home.

Robert Reich: Hillary Clinton’s Glass-Steagall

Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act — at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton’s campaign. “You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall,” Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.

This is a big mistake.

It’s a mistake politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street banks.

It’s a big mistake economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we’re in danger of another one.

Kira Goldenberg: The Planned Parenthood ‘sting’ video’s first casualty? Women with breast cancer

epublican lawmakers never pass up the opportunity to preempt access to abortion, even if that means hurting breast cancer sufferers. Thus, a vote on a bipartisan House bill that would have greenlit commemorative coins for breast cancer research – through donations to Susan G Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – was shelved Tuesday and amended on Wednesday to exclude Komen entirely, because GOP members opposed the fact that Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood.

Let’s go over that again: a potential $8m fundraiser for the nation’s second-most fatal cancer in women was sidelined and then completely altered because one of the two proposed beneficiaries has given relatively small grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, and Planned Parenthood spends about 3% of its resources on abortions. Apparently, some lawmakers aren’t above also penalizing breasts in the anti-abortion movement’s ongoing attempt to control the nation’s uteruses.

Jason Nichols: Latinos and black Americans have an enemy – and it is not each other

The need for political unity between African-Americans and Latinos is compelling, not least because the futures of African-Americas and Latinos are inextricably linked. We often live in close proximity to one another and both struggle with issues like mass incarceration, racial profiling, police brutality, educational achievement gaps, health disparities, poverty, food deserts and housing discrimination.

There are examples of where political unity between the two groups has yielded desired results, from the election of Harold Washington in Chicago, Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, and most recently, Barack Obama. Dr King knew and supported the work of Cesar Chavez, and met with many other leaders in the Chicano Movement. We cannot afford to allow trumped up (pun intended) scare tactics to divide us.

Michael Brenner: The Iran Big Deal

For more than a decade, Iran’s nuclear program has been near the top of the United States’ Middle East agenda. To be more accurate, Iran has been near the top of the United States’ Middle East agenda. That is to say, the nuclear issue has been vastly inflated — in part as a logical extension of the prevailing view of the IRI as a rogue state driven by demonic impulse; in part, because it was crucial to an all-out campaign to crimp Iran, to deny it the normal prerogatives of a sovereign state, and ideally to topple the current regime. This view prevails to this day — indeed, the representation of Tehran by Washington as the source of disorder in the region has intensified over time. The nuclear accord has changed nothing in the rhetoric of President Obama and his senior officials. In fact, he has taken several steps to align the United States with the Sunni cause against a purportedly Iranian-organized and directed Shi’ite bloc in Islam’s incipient sectarian war. The most extreme, and logically unsupportable, example is participation in the Saudi-led air campaign against the Houthis (and civilians) in Yemen.

On This Day In History June 16

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 16 is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 168 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Bhagavad Gita

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt supporting the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as a basis for a weapon of mass destruction. In February 1940, the federal government granted a total of $6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.

Brigadier-General Leslie R. Groves, himself an engineer, was now in complete charge of a project to assemble the greatest minds in science and discover how to harness the power of the atom as a means of bringing the war to a decisive end. The Manhattan Project (so-called because of where the research began) would wind its way through many locations during the early period of theoretical exploration, most importantly, the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi successfully set off the first fission chain reaction. But the Project took final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began directing Project Y at a laboratory at Los Alamos, along with such minds as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and Fermi. Here theory and practice came together, as the problems of achieving critical mass-a nuclear explosion-and the construction of a deliverable bomb were worked out.

The Breakfast Club (Fly Me To The Moon)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: “Fly Me To The Moon” Eddy Davis Tenor Banjo

Uploaded on Oct 24, 2009

Eddy Davis plays FLY ME TO THE MOON, Sept. 25, 2009 in NYC, on a Gibson Mastertone TB5, which originally belonged to Jim Robinson, who purchased it new in 1931. Jim played it until 2005, when he died at the age of 92.

Today in History

(July 16)[Notes:ANCHOR VOICE] July 16th, 1945: (AP Archive Video / AP Photos)The world’s first test of a nuclear weapon — as the United States explodes an atomic bomb in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.Weeks later, the U.S. drops atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — bringing World War Two to an end.1973: (AP Photos)(NAT of Nixon tape)On Capitol Hill, former White House aide Alexander Butterfield reveals President Richard Nixon’s secret taping system.The disclosure during Senate hearings probing the Watergate scandal plays a pivotal role in Nixon’s resignation the following year.1999: (AP Photos)(SOT of JFK, Junior)John F. Kennedy, Junior — son of America’s 35th President — dies when the plane he is piloting plunges into the Atlantic Ocean.Kennedy’s wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren Bessette are also on board and killed in the crash off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.2004: Martha Stewart is sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement by a federal judge in New York for lying about a stock sale. And, 1969: (AP Archive Video)(NAT of Apollo 11 liftoff)Apollo 11 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida — on the first manned mission to the surface of the Moon.

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