We know that history tends to repeat itself.
Today is the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, which brought us Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech.
It's the 46th anniversary of the infamous police riot that broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when police brutalized thousands of anti-war protesters on nationwide television as the demonstrators chanted, “The whole world is watching.”
57 years ago today, North Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond began an (unsuccessful) attempt to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes, setting a record for the longest filibuster by a single senator.
Today, though, it seems that not much has changed. Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Ferguson, MO is ground zero in the summer of 2014 civil rights struggle. Police are regarded as the oppressors rather than the protectors. And Mitt Romney, while denying he'll run again, told a radio host that "circumstances can change." The reason people are even asking him the question are more puzzling than the idea that he'd even consider it: recent polls show Romney as the front runner, by huge margins, in both Iowa and New Hampshire, should he decide to throw his hat in the presidential ring again!
Not only does history repeat, but Americans have very short memories. I thought I'd do a public service and refresh those memories about Menacious Mitt. Feel free to share it liberally...
After hearing that, all I can hope for is that Mitt Romney will, indeed, run again!
Today on the Show
I first had Steven Thrasher on my show a few years back when he was writing for the Village Voice, and we spoke about the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Today, he's embarking on a few new journeys - including attending NYU as a Henry M. MacCracken Doctoral Fellow in American Studies, and writing a new weekly column for The Guardian.
It was in the latter capacity that he went to Ferguson to cover the aftermath of the shooting death of Mike Brown. One piece in particular stood out to me in its sad truth, "Wisdom from Ferguson's kids: 'They shouldn't shoot people for protesting'."
BradBlog's Brad Friedman agreed to wake up early to join in the show today, so I took advantage of his presence! We spoke about the latest scandal to hit the McConnell campaign, the police falsifying and cover-up of the Michael Brown shooting incident report, the latest twist - and the twist on the twist - to the Don Siegelman political persecution, and a whole lot more.
I'll be back again tomorrow to wrap up the week, the month and the summer with Vice News' Jason Leopold. And for Flashback Friday and in honor of the ALS challenge that's taken the world by storm, Dan Navarro will join me live before we reach into my music radio archives for a session with Lowen & Navarro ... radio or not!
No one ever handed the 8-12 year old me an Uzi to play with at summer camp in Maine. Target shooting and archery, yes … but nary an assault rifle to be seen. Blue ribbons and some face-rubbing if you had brothers.
That was plenty of excitement for kiddos.
What broke my heart in the footage first of the horrific tragedy -- at the shooting range/bar/burger shop -- was of that young girl's courage a wonder about what kind of parent sets this up as a Fine American Family with Christian values yadda yadda yadda. Plus the parents culpability in the macro picture.
And crickets from the NRA. They must be pulling in legal globally- try as we follow to fluff and fold this, they should be back to bullhorns.
Had this happened in Israel, where everyone serves their nation for a year, the American and UK/continental press would be spinning like a Sufi after the last batch of whirling dervishes went through like a damned hurricane and quite baldly left the cleanup to a lesser students.
We have an increasing propensity for plain old 'dumb'. In thinking, in Grossly Inappropriate Hill Style.
UPDATE: On a personal note, I am appalled at the tweets I'm getting mocking Joan Rivers' condition and wishing her dead because they were offended by her humor re: Gaza. Or because of her serial cosmetic surgery.
If you disagree with someone, no problem. Hate them even. But to respond to her health crisis with tasteless jokes and vicious comments? Grow up and show some respect and common decency. She's a human being who is suffering right now. Her family is going through a real scare.
I'm being called an "apologist" for feeling this way. Show me where I apologized for anything or anyone. I am calling for civility, not agreement. That's pretty obvious to anyone with the ability to read my words and process them.
Nothing justifies responding to a comedian's jokes, even tasteless ones-- or her physical appearance-- with insensitive, nasty, infantile bile that celebrate her pain and even possible demise. Nothing.
UPDATE: MSNBC calls her condition "stable but critical," mainly due to her age. They're still calling her "stable," and sound very optimistic.
Joan Rivers, 81, was reported to be in critical condition.But now HollywoodLife.com is updating:
UPDATE: E!’s Ken Baker announced on Live From E! that Joan is in stable condition.
Joan Rivers has been rushed to the hospital after she stopped breathing during surgery on Thursday.
Rivers, 81, was at a New York City clinic for a throat procedure on her vocal cords when the complications occurred, reports TMZ.
NBC adds more, including an overview of her amazing career. She works constantly, including a reality show and regular stints on the Emmys and QVC.
In interviews throughout the last decade, Rivers said she had no intention of slowing down.
"I'll only stop the day I die," she told the Las Vegas Sun in 2007
Not yet, please. Thinking all good thoughts.
This is getting tedious, but a blog's gotta do what a blogs's gotta do. Republicans, you're wrong again. Wrongier than wrong. Wrong wrong wrong:
— Steve Benen (@stevebenen) August 27, 2014
The federal deficit continues to decline thanks to budget cuts and slower growth in Medicare costs, but lower than expected corporate tax revenues dimmed some of the improved outlook, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office.
This remains a basic budgetary truism that Republicans continue to resist. Indeed, last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit.
And we now know they were wrong – again – though this will probably do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party.
Let’s also note that the shrinking deficit – we’re seeing the fastest reduction since the end of World War II – is also one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. [...] [T]he reality is, we’re witnessing deficit reduction at a truly remarkable clip. Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is completely divorced from reality.
Per the most reliable news source in the whole wide world, Fox Biz, comes this upbeat news via a couple of email alerts:
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 300,000 from an initially reported 298,000.
The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at an annualized pace of 4.2% in the second quarter, higher than an original estimate of 4%, also beating expectations of 3.9%.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has released a book revealing some of The Old Boys Club peccadillos, and they are legion. Near-legendary, as sexism goes.
"Please don't lose too much weight now, I like my girls chubby,' was supposed to be a Senate collee compliment … and the kicker was, he had his hand on the Lady Senator's stomach while he gave her the 'compliment', then proceeded to clearly want to take her measurements.
The Washington Post minced no words to publicly reprimand the behavior, or cycle of behavior as I like to think of it because this is a situation that needs to be temporary, reformed and shaken down for corruption as well as a conscience and a few residual morals.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has a new book coming out, "Off the Sidelines," and has been making the media rounds to promote it. The New York Post highlighted parts of the book today, in an article titled, "Gillibrand: Male colleagues called me ‘porky’ after baby."
As awful as that headline is, things get worse in the book, according to the story. One quote in particular stands out. Gillibrand reveals that one male Senator, after she lost about 50 pounds, came up behind her and gave her waist a squeeze. “Don’t lose too much weight now," he told her. "I like my girls chubby.” She says that he was one of her favorite senators(!).
As Gillibrand's title infers, the book goes into detail about the things that women in politics still have to deal with that their male counterparts, well, don't.
It's high freaking time this book was written, and may it encourage other professional and non-professional truths to sort through about just where the proverbial buck stops on this issue.
Some told of senators ogling women on the Senate floor or watching porn on iPads and on state-owned computers, of legislators hitting on female staffers or using them to help them meet women, and of hundreds of little comments in public and private that women had to brush off to go about their day. Some said they often felt marginalized and not listened to—that the sexism in the Legislature made their jobs harder and, at times, produced public policy hostile to women.
Yet, despite their strong feelings, women in the Capitol rarely talk about, except in the most private discussions, the misogyny they see all the time. It’s just the way the Legislature has always been.
Gillibrand surely isn't alone in having to deal with such comments with her male colleagues at the Capitol, although some of her encounters are jaw-droppingly bad/offensive. When she was still in the House, a Southern representative told her, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat."
Morning Joe Schmoe and Morning Mika et al gave that a look-see -- let's hope the media does grab on with four hands to get this information out there, and that women and men sit up and see the regressive elephant hogging all the space and oxygen in the room.
This goes deeper than reflexive Hillary-type bashing, after the stats we have heard about sexual assault on both sexes in the military, and now have a sitting Senator's word for the attitude in the highest legislative body in the land.
Once again, humiliated a bit by fellow Americans.
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