Sunday, July 21, 2013

Marching for Trayvon Martin ~ Change the Stand Your Ground Laws

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source: @urbansoldier33 in Savannah, GA

This weekend, thousands of people in 100 cities are marching or rallying in memory of Trayvon Martin. And on Friday, President Obama made an impromptu, historic and heartfelt speech about race relations in America.

And the Children Shall Lead Them

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After the sad week we've had - with the unjust verdict of the Zimmerman Trial and grief for Trayvon Martin - this video of innocent kids without prejudice is a breath of fresh air. And it should give everyone hope for the future because the kids raised today understand the global community differently than any generation. And they are nearly colorblind and vastly more open-minded.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Snark in Pictures ~ George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty

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Senator Elizabeth Warren Explains It All ~ Updated

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Elizabeth Warren has had a great week!

Harry Reid broke the filibuster deadlock with Mitch McConnell so that Obama's nominees for various posts can finally be confirmed. One of those is Richard Cordray who will direct that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a brainchild of Warren's . She has tirelessly pushed for this vacancy to be filled and at last it is!

Next, Warren has banded together with Republican Sen. John McCain and Independent Sen. Angus King to come up with a new-improved version of the Glass-Steagall Bill which kept our banks from failing for 50 years after the Great Depression. Here she is on Morning Joe:

And last but not least, here is Senator Warren on CNBC, telling off some of the smarmy talking heads on a network famous as a mouthpiece for big business. When they ask with a cynical sneer "Why Try?" to resurrect Glass-Steagall what they are really expressing is fear that someone like Senator Warren has the guts to stand up to both them and the unfair top-heavy financial system. And she doesn't take any prisoners!

Give 'em Hell, Senator Warren!

UPDATE: MSNBC asked YouTube to remove the CNBC smackdown due to copyright - or was it? Many thought they were going after the viral video because it made the anchors of CNBC appear stupid or at least stubbornly ignorant. Jim Cramer of CNBC also tweeted about it, pointing out that clip is still available on their website, and I have replaced it below.

But the fact remains that Elizabeth Warren isn't going to play pattycake with CNBC when they try to shrug her off or say she will never get anything done. Heck, CNBC pretty much cheered when Warren dropped out of the running for Consumer Protection. They thought they had seen the last of her. Ha! Then they didn't believe she would run for Senate - wrong. And horrors! She certainly wouldn't win against Scott Brown . . . oh wait . . .

More from Policy Mic
In the video clip removed by CNBC, Warren effectively defends the merits of reviving the Glass-Steagall Act and taking steps to prevent something like the Great Recession of 2008 from happening again. Her main point was that banking regulation does in fact keep the financial system "steady and secure" and was crucial in eradicating the banking boom-and-bust cycle from 1933 to 1980s. She even went as far to professorially correct the anchors' knowledge of banking regulations since the Great Depression. In response to anchor Brian Sullivan's comment that "We should tell the American consumer that no matter what we do, there will be bank boom and bust cycles" Warren said "no, that is just wrong … look at the history."

Even though CNBC claimed to take down the video for copyright infringements, they did not take down other YouTube videos that use CNBC footage. It seems like CNBC got embarrassed because this specific video went viral and showed its anchors being schooled by Warren. And bad news for CNBC, there is a phenomenon called the Streisand effect whereby attempts to hide or remove information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, especially on the internet. Just like Beyoncé and her Super Bowl pictures, CNBC should expect even more people see Warren educate its anchors on banking regulation history.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stand With Women ~ Scenes from the Struggle

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From Texas, to North Carolina, to Ohio, to Wisconsin women must stand and fight back against the Republican attempt to control women's bodies and freedom. Sneaky Governors and Legislators are conspiring to pass draconian bills that hurt poor women and take away legal choices that are rights in this country. This isn't about being "pro-abortion" but protecting the right of women to control their own bodies. This is about the right of doctors and women to be free to discuss healthcare issues in a private way uncontrolled by the state. This is about the GOP closing down clinics for poor women and children in the name of being "Pro-life" whatever that means.

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Thanks to gerrymandering and spineless state officials we can't win every battle, but if we keep it up, we WILL win the war . . . again. This is a struggle going back to the Suffragettes and the Women's Liberation movement in the 70s, and we can't forget those who fought before and made great strides in equality. Whatever nonsense the GOP comes up with next, there will be no surrender. But we all have to vote and work and text and tweet and network and make signs and stand up for ourselves and our daughters.

Edward Snowden can call himself a patriot, but he ran away on his own to be a man without a country. Meanwhile, real men and Women are standing and fighting for their states and their lives, willing to go to jail for what they believe. That is REAL civil disobedience as it was lived by Thoreau, Gandhi, and Mandela.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Obama in Africa ~ Cape Town to Tanzania

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ABC News ~ Tutu Welcomes Obama
Tutu greeted Obama with a "welcome home" to the continent where his father was born, and pleaded with the U.S. president to be a leader for peace, especially in the Middle East, who can make all Africans proud.

Obama was visiting the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre, an after-school program in a community where many young people are infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Obama praised Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped bring an end to South Africa's racist apartheid rule, as "an unrelenting champion of justice and human dignity."

Tutu then spoke of Obama's re-election last fall as America's first African-American president. "You don't know what you did for our psyche," Tutu said. "You won, and we won."

"Your success is our success. Your failure, whether you like it or not, is our failure," Tutu said, reaching out to touch Obama's arm. Obama chuckled and threw up his arms as if acknowledging his fate.

"We want you to be known as having brought peace to the world, especially to have brought an end to the anguish of all in the Middle East," Tutu said. "We pray that you will be known as having brought peace in all of these places where there is strife. You have brought peace and no need for the Guantanamo Bay detention center" in Cuba, where the U.S. has detained dozens of suspected terrorists.

CBS News ~ Cape Town
In an address before an enthusiastic audience of students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the oldest university in the continent's largest economy, President Obama saluted the progress that has "rippled across the African continent" in recent decades and encouraged Africa's young people to continue pushing forward in pursuit of a brighter future.

. . . "I believe that my own nation will benefit enormously if you reach your full potential," he said. "I'm calling on America to up its game when it comes to Africa."
He cited the pursuit of new trade relationships with African countries and a new initiative to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa as evidence of America's deepening engagement.

. . . At the outset, the president's remarks took a somber turn as he recognized the ailing former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who remains in critical care in a South African hospital, saying Mandela's health "weighs heavily on our hearts."
"Like billions all over the world, I and the American people have drawn strength from the example of this extraordinary leader and the nation that he changed," he said. "Mandela showed us that one man's courage can move the world."

From USA Today ~ Tanzania
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Welcomed by troupes of traditional dancers, President Obama arrived here Monday to say that he hoped Tanzania would benefit from a regional trade partnership that would improve lives in ways that foreign aid cannot.

"We are looking at a new model that's based not just on aid and assistance, but on trade and partnership," he said, giving as an example ways to help Tanzanians grow their own food and export goods.
"Ultimately, the goal here is for Africa to build Africa for Africans," Obama said. "And our job is to be a partner in that process."

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete praised Obama and his predecessor, George W, Bush, who provided the country with millions of dollars in aid to prevent the spread of HIV, spending that Obama has cut in Africa.

Monday, July 1, 2013

High Noon for Texas Women

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From Raw Story
Thousands of Texans on both sides of the abortion divide will descend on the state capitol in Austin on Monday, at the start of a special legislative session designed to pass a bill that would sharply restrict abortion services in the state.

More than 5,000 people have signed up to a “Stand With Texas Women” rally, to be staged at noon on the steps of the Capitol. The rally is being billed as a continuation of the dramatic scenes last week, when 400 pro-choice advocates staged a loud protest in the state senate chamber following Wendy Davis’s epic 10-hour filibuster that blocked the controversial bill, SB 5.

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Anti-abortionists will stage their own rally in support of the new legislative session that the Texas governor, Rick Perry, called shortly after Davis’s filibuster ended. Some 700 pro-life campaigners have signed up to the rally called by Texas Alliance for Life.

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. . . In the course of almost 11 hours of filibuster, Davis was required to speak in the chamber without pause, standing and without leaning on anything. Her extraordinary endurance propelled her into the national political limelight, and sent the pair of training shoes she wore rocketing up the sales charts.

Read More at Snark Amendment:
Wendy Davis and Texas Democrats Filibuster SB5 Abortion Bill
Governor Rick Perry Attacks Wendy Davis

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