Posts Tagged ‘st

10
Aug
14

A Word From Don

Michael Brown

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Don

It is amazing how black men can keep their sanity despite the insanity that happens to them.

I remember one time I took my wife to a medical appointment at an office building, usually I drop her off at the entrance and I wait in my car in the parking lot usually listening to music or talk radio. Anyway this one time I decided to go in the lobby to use the rest room. As I exited my car this white lady was walking towards me, the look of fear she had or her face was palpable, she clutched her purse so tight her hands turned red. As usual I smiled at her to ease her fears, see I’ve discovered that when I run into white people on a one on one situation I smile just so they will feel comfortable.

I’m tired of smiling; I’m tired of having to worry about some stranger feeling comfortable or uncomfortable in my presence. Why is it that when I’m the only black person in an elevator with a bunch of white peoples, nobody smiles to make me feel comfortable?

Why is it that when I’m anywhere and I’m the only black person there, nobody smiles at me to make me feel comfortable?

The average black man will tell you, if he’s lived long enough, that he’s discovered certain mechanisms he uses to make people feel comfortable in his presence. So now another black kid is dead under unclear circumstances, another black community is in pain, and another policeman is on paid administrative leave.

By this time tomorrow we’ll know everything this young black kid has done since he left his mother’s womb, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. I’ve got an eight year old son; I used to wonder about what college he will attend or what does he want to do when he grows up. As black men we’ve learned to focus our thinking on the present more so than on the future when it comes to our black boys.

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Nerdy

Thank you for your truthful commentary, Don.

It is a horror in our country that we always have to worry about making white people feel comfortable first before we think of ourselves. When outside, we make sure we smile to make them feel comfortable, we put our hands out so they don’t think we’re hiding something, we make sure we aren’t dressed in threatening ways (who the heck knows what that is because apparently, a hoodie is now threatening), we make sure when walking to our cars, our keys are prominently displayed so suspicious stares stop and cops aren’t called (I’ve been harassed in that manner and now whenever I’m in a predominantly white neighborhood, I make sure my car keys are prominently displayed so that they’re comfortable that I am indeed walking to my own car. I shouldn’t have to do that, but I must so that a group of white people aren’t threatened by one black person).

We make sure we don’t run in public because that looks suspicious (yeah, apparently running is suspicious), we make sure that we are 100% respectful to cops or your life may end that day. Yes sir, no sir, I’m sorry, sir. My hands are out, sir. I’m not holding anything suspicious, sir. I remember my shock and surprise when my white friend argued with a cop and I had to tell her to stop doing that because the person who’ll get shot first is me not her. I can’t even imagine the freedom that white people have to argue with cops and tell them loudly that they have rights. The thought that runs through my mind when I’ve been stopped by cops is the talk that my parents had with me. Be polite, make sure your hands are where they see them, say yes sir/yes m’am, never raise your voice, speak very softly, and it goes on and on and on. The prevailing thought being, good god, please let me be alive after this interaction. White people don’t understand that fear and pain where the cop isn’t there to serve and protect, but to shoot you first then ask questions later.

We make sure that we don’t raise our voice in public lest we seem threatening. I’ve been in coffee shops where white people raise their voices and everyone shrugs it off, but then a black person raised their voice while talking on the phone and a deathly silence filled the shop as people looked fearfully as though the black person was going to kill them. It’s insane.

We make sure that we never leave the house without any form of identification or company card to prove that we’re respectable and that still doesn’t guarantee your life will be safe.

The thought runs through your mind: Why are you as a white person not trying to make me feel comfortable in public? Why are you allowed to raise your voice in public and express your frustrations but I can’t? Why are you allowed to assert your rights with cops but I can’t? Am I not a human being too?

I’ll say it again. It is a horror in our country where a large swath of people can’t think about their lives and safety first, but have to think about others and making them feel comfortable just because of the color of our skin. We’re doctors, teachers, lawyers, business owners, parents, children, etc; but that doesn’t seem to matter when we’re out in public.

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Continue reading ‘A Word From Don’

06
Sep
13

President Obama’s Press Conference

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“Over 1400 people were gassed, over 400 of them were children ….. I was elected to end wars, not start them, but there are times we have to make hard choices if we’re going to stand up for the things we care about.”

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The complete press conference:

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06
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago today: The Obama and Biden families joined together onstage following the President’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Coming up today (all times US Eastern):

9:50: President Obama holds a press conference

White House Live

11:15: Holds a Civil Society Roundtable

12:15: Departs Saint Petersburg

9:15 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

9:30: Arrives at the White House

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Also today:

10:0 AM EDT: Vice President Biden Speaks at Farewell Ceremony for Secretary Napolitano

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The expression on PBO’s face on this Belgian front page is, well, priceless

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USA Today: President Obama wraps up a global summit Friday before heading back to Washington, D.C., to continue dealing with the challenge of Syria.

At the G-20 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, Obama will attend working sessions before hosting a news conference….

Earlier on Friday, Obama met with President Xi Jiping of China and President Francois Hollande of France.

While in St Petersburg, Obama hosts a Civil Society Roundtable that includes gays and lesbians … he returns to the White House late Friday night.

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Michael Tomasky: When Liberals Enable Tyrants

Can a liberal oppose tyranny and support military intervention at the same time? Hell yes. Six reasons why Congress must authorize an attack on Syria now.

….. What values and goals do American liberals wish to promote around the world? I’m pretty certain most would say free democratic societies; full political rights for ethnic minorities; equal rights for women and, with any luck, gay people; a free press; an independent judiciary; and so forth. And, where those cannot be achieved, at least a base-level opposition to tyranny, reaction, religious fundamentalism, and so on.

….. But, I have to say, most rank-and-file liberals don’t seem to me to be very passionate about them. What most liberals are passionate about is one thing: opposition to U.S. militarism….

I’ve described here two impulses: the desire to do good in the world, or at least to prevent the bad; and opposition to American force. Often these desires can exist in harmony. But what if they conflict? Why is opposition to any projection of force always the deciding factor? At times it can lead people into some very illiberal little corners.

…. it isn’t always immoral. This is one of those cases where, if the scale of the action is appropriate and if it works, a military incursion can actually serve liberal ends. No, that’s not for sure. But it is for sure that doing nothing helps the reactionaries.

Full post here

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See the new White House website section on the situation in Syria – here

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Keep track of how members of Congress and senators have said they are voting on Syria at TPM

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Steve Benen: The prevailing winds on Capitol Hill

There’s no shortage of congressional head counts when it comes to authorizing the use of force in Syria, but I’d caution against taking them too seriously. The briefings for lawmakers are still underway, and while many have firm opinions, there is not yet an actual, agreed upon resolution for lawmakers to read and consider.

That said, at least for now, the prevailing winds on Capitol Hill are blowing in an unmistakable direction:

Several Republican leadership aides say that there are roughly one to two dozen “yes” votes in favor of military action at this time. The stunningly low number is expected to grow a bit. But senior aides say they expect, at most, between 50 and 60 Republicans to vote with Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who support the president’s plan …. That would amount to less than one-third of the House Republican Conference.

That would mean the vast majority of the 200 House Democrats will need to vote with Obama for the resolution to pass. But Democrats privately say that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer can only round up between 115 and 130 “yes” votes.

More here

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G20 Summit members attend a working dinner for G20 Summit members in St Petersburg, September 5

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Mediaite: Rep Alan Grayson Cackles That Syrian Atrocities ‘Simply Not Our Problem’

The debate over military action in Syria has produced a landfill’s worth of stupidity, from every side of the debate, and every corner of the political media …. but on Thursday night’s All In with Chris Hayes, “Congressman with Guts™” Alan Grayson (D-FL) made a bold incursion, from stupid into contemptible.

…. Chris Hayes asked Grayson if there was anything in the interview with Secretary Kerry “that you find compelling or convincing?”

“Not at all,” Grayson replied, with a thin smirk. “Listen, most people understand this is simply not our problem. This is not our problem to solve.”

…. Whatever you think about Grayson’s logic, what the frack is he laughing about? What, exactly, is so funny about this? There doesn’t seem to be much that people agree about with regard to Syria, but can’t we at least find common ground in the notion that this is not a laughing matter?

Full post here

And in case you missed it – see ‘Alan Grayson Conspires with Far Right Lunatics to Lie and Fundraise off of Syria’ at The People’s View

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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a working dinner for G20 Summit members in St Petersburg, September 5

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ThinkProgress: Top House Republican Rewrites History, Claims Reagan Stood Up To Chemical Weapons Use

A top Republican lawmaker on Thursday invoked Ronald Reagan to say that Obama was weak for not acting more directly in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, ignoring the fact that Reagan’s White House looked the other way when chemical weapons were used in the 1980s.

….. Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): It is against the norms of international standards and to let something like this go unanswered, I think will weaken our resolve. I — I know that President Reagan would have never let this happen. He would stand up to this. And President Obama — the only reason he is consulting with Congress, he wants to blame somebody for his lack of resolve. We have to think like President Reagan would do and he would say chemical use is unacceptable.

What Ros-Lehtinen seems oddly unaware of, however, is that Ronald Reagan did exactly the opposite…

Full post here

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Steve Benen: U.S. economy created 169k jobs in August, jobless rate dips

The jobs reports are starting to get a little predictable, by virtue of the fact that over the last several months, they’re effectively the same.

The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations. After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall economy, we’re starting to see a slight turnaround – the private sector added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000 jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it’s the most in recent memory.

More here

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Amazing exchange between the Iranian foreign minister and @sfpelosi on Twitter, part of it:

Read about it here

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Brilliant:

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TPM: McConnell’s Anti-Obamacare Juggernaut Turns Against Him

Perhaps nobody was more responsible for making Obamacare a partisan bill than Mitch McConnell. During the grueling debate that began in 2009, the Senate minority leader worked harder than anyone else to ensure no Republican voted for health care reform.

…. The law was upheld by the Supreme Court and validated by the re-election of President Barack Obama. The public has grown tired of continual budget crisis brinkmanship. McConnell still fights the fight. Obamacare, he told his constituents a few weeks ago, is the “single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years in the country.” But ever the pragmatist, he knows an all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act to the exclusion of all other political considerations would be a political disaster for his party. And so, in a brutal irony reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein,” the monster McConnell created has turned against him and is threatening to end his political life.

More here

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

PS Is it just me or has everyone noticed the increase in stupid on the Twitter machine? Supposed President Obama supporters who think they are qualified to lecture him on Syria, even though most of them know as much about the situation as they do about nuclear physics? Blocked a bunch of them last night, it felt good.

Update: One of them just tweeted me: “No matter how you phrase it ‘war’ is a four-letter-word!”

I kid you not.

Happy Friday!

05
Sep
13

Keep Chattin’

President Obama walks to attend the working dinner after the session of the G20 Summit in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5

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Back in a bit with a post or three

20
Mar
13

A Brief This and That

From Henry Healy to TOD:

I got to meet with the President yesterday and I wanted to share with you this drawing that I presented him with. It’s a pencil drawing of the president in front of his ancestral home and the White House. It was by Brian Fogarty a school teacher from Co Tipperary now living in Galway.

Kind Regards,

Henry Healy

Thank you Henry – love that drawing, it’s beautiful.

(I asked Henry if his head hurt today, he said “it’s coming ’round” – so, good news!)

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Next up:

2:05 PM EDT President Obama and PM Netanyahu Hold a Press Conference

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CNN and CBS are showing a lot of live streaming from Israel today, so keep checking in

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ENORMOUS thanks to LovelyPlains for this morning’s Rise and Shine – it was just ** magnificent **

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Will be back a little later with photos and videos from Israel, just getting some work done – see ya then.




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