Morning, news junkies. Here are my Saturday reads.
- Hillary’s profile in the 2011 Time 100 was written by dean emeritus of the Kennedy School, Joe Nye. Nye doesn’t mention Hillary’s work on behalf of women and girls, instead defining her influence in terms of how well she plays with others:
But above all, Hillary, 63, has set a model of how to be a member of a team of rivals. Unlike in many Administrations that have suffered from friction between State, Defense and the White House, Barack Obama’s strongest rival in 2008 has become one of the most effective and loyal supporters in an Administration that has been notably cohesive on foreign policy.
- On Wednesday, Hillary and Kissinger participated in the first of a new series called “Conversations on Diplomacy, Moderated by Charlie Rose”. If you missed it, Stacy has all the bases covered over at SecyClintonBlog: Photos/Video/Transcript.
RIP Madelyn Pugh Davis (1921-2011)
- I’m a huge fan of all things Desilu, and I love Christine Russell’s tribute to Madelyn over at the Atlantic: The ‘Girl Writer’ Behind ‘I Love Lucy’ Dies. It is worth the click over. Thank you Madelyn Pugh for blazing trails and for writing television that makes me laugh and smile in my times of grief and suffering. (Sisterhood, the girl gift that keeps on giving.)
- If you love Lucy too, check out: Time To Mark Lucy’s Birthplace.
- I’m not big on all the Royal wedding gossip, but William and Kate reportedly went to visit Diana’s grave together. Sounds like they were trying to do it discretely, which makes it all the more moving.
- The other two bits of royal dish that I haven’t let go right out the other ear like the rest: Kate, following in Diana’s mold-breaking footstestps, won’t “obey,” but the balcony kiss will be scripted this time.
Economics quick links
- Reich, via Huffpo: Beware the “Middle Ground” of the Great Budget Debate
- Jason Linkins reporting for Huffpo: Lawmakers Not Entirely Sure Biden Deficit Task Force Has A Point
Pastor Un-Congeniality: ‘Peaceful, armed, and accidentally firing’
- You can’t make this stuff up: After meeting with Dearborn Islamic Center imam on Detroit’s Fox affiliate, Terry Jones accidentally fires a gun in the studio parking lot. Keep in mind that Jones wanted to hold a protest rally outside of this imam’s Michigan mosque yesterday on Good Friday. He told the local ABC affiliate the following:
“We have made it very clear that we are coming there with very, very peaceful intentions,” the pastor explained to WXYZ-TV. “We will be armed. We do have concealed weapons permits.”
- A Dearborn jury deliberated on Jones’ right to rally at the mosque just hours before it was scheduled to take place yesterday. Their verdict: Terry Jones rally would breach the peace.
- Even the KKK opposes Terry Jones. It also opposes the tea party, apparently for being too liberal. Really can’t make this stuff up.
War, violence, and untruth: What is it good for?
- Glenzilla on Friday’s drone attack killing 23 people in Pakistan: Nobel peace drones. At the end Greenwald adds an important note, summing up the quagmire-esque situation in Libya in two very pithy sentences:
A new NYT/CBS poll today finds that only 39% approve of Obama’s handling of Libya, while 45% disapprove (see p. 17). That’s what happens when a President starts a new war without any pretense of democratic debate, let alone citizenry consent through the Congress.
- Meanwhile in Syria, via the BBC: ‘Bloodiest day’ as troops fire on rallies
- And, here at home, via FDL… Obama on Manning: “He Broke the Law.” So Much for that Trial? Rough transcript from the link:
OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works.
And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law.
We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.
[Q: Didn’t he release evidence of war crimes?]
OBAMA: What he did was he dumped…
[Q: Isn’t that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]
OBAMA: No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.
- Please take a moment to read this article from the Nation by Michelle Goldberg: Policing Pregnancy. This is why Pelosi allowing Stupak to come to a vote and Obama signing that executive order was an affront to our civil rights. The Democrats emboldened the Republican war against women–and that’s how our oligarchy keeps going. But, this is no game. The assault on women has very real and damaging consequences. Targeting desperate women who have had their human rights violated and prosecuting them for trying to kill or harm themselves while pregnant is no less barbaric than the Taliban’s treatment of women.
Doom and gloom break…
- Did you know that we humans share about half of our DNA with bananas? And that a chicken survived 18 months without a head? Or that the average human body contains enough iron to make a 3-inch nail?
- 2011 Underwater Photography winner: Gorgeous!
- Krugman asks, “How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as ‘consumers’?“
- Here’s “how” Paul, et al: Obama cut deals with the hospital and drug industries, openly started referring to his bill as “health insurance reform” instead of healthcare reform, and eventually after passing this Heritage Foundation hand-me-down, his WH began granting all kinds of exemptions and allowances–early on letting insurers hike up costs for insuring sick children. This “consumer” (rather than patient) -oriented mess is a Republican monstrosity that was shepherded into law and “normalized” by Democrats, using women’s rights as a bargaining chip to get the damn thing through Congress. That’s how.
- And, for what? Open season on women’s health and a Dem brand so weakened that it *needs* the Republicans’ mindboggling overreach on Medicare to distract from the Dems’ own blunders on healthcare? Via Mother Jones, Dems Warn Constituents About the Evils of RyanCare:
Back in their home districts for the Easter recess, some House Democrats have put the GOP overhaul of Medicare front and center with their constituents. On Wednesday night, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) asked all the callers participating in a telephone town hall to vote on whether they supported the GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare “with a voucher system to help seniors defray the cost of health insurance.” Of some 1,300 callers who responded, the choice seemed overwhelming: 73 percent wanted to keep Medicare as is, while only 27 supported the GOP overhaul.
The informal telephone poll falls in line with a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that found that 65 percent of Americans oppose the Ryan plan for Medicare. That number that jumped to 84 percent when respondents were told that the cost of private insurance is supposed to outpace the cost of Medicare insurance, weakening the value of the “premium support” that recipients would receive under Ryan’s plan.
Kabuki for American oil junkies
- WaPo PostPartisan blogger Stephen Stromberg offers this take on Obama’s oil price and fraud task force, criticizing both the president and Republicans: Obama, GOP’s empty war on gas prices.
- Zach Carter, reporting for the Huffington Post, looks at the political theatre from a broader perspective: Obama’s Oil Market Fraud Squad May Miss Wall Street Abuses. From the link:
On Thursday, President Obama unveiled a new working group to combat any fraud or manipulation in the oil and energy markets that may be contributing to near-record gas prices. But some economists and market experts worry that by focusing on criminal activity, Obama is shrugging off a much bigger problem: rampant Wall Street speculation in commodities markets that has helped drive up food and energy prices in the past.
Birthers come in all shapes of idiot; 2012 looks bleak.
- Salon’s Justin Elliott eviscerates Andrew Sullivan and the Trig Truthers. Sarah Palin is a shallow politician with a horrid platform. She would make a horrible president. But, her pregnancy history is irrelevant, and the “investigation” of any woman politician’s hoo ha and the aspersions cast upon her teenage daughter and disabled son in the process of said investigation is a sickening and sad commentary on our zombie fourth estate and what it considers worthy of investigative journalism (especially in light of all the critical issues it does not investigate). And, on a purely pragmatic note: Sarah Palin is desperate to be the infotainment flavor of the week again. Why are Palin-haters so hellbent on giving her the attention she wants?
- This week in birther circus review (video clips at the link): Trump doubles down on birther rhetoric, Palin defends Trump, Bachmann wants to move on from the birther issue, and Jindal says Obama is a US citizen even though Jindal’s spokesman said the governor would sign a birther bill if it made it to his desk.
- Is it any wonder that Nikki Haley says no one in the 2012 GOP field excites her right now? She also says Trump has contacted her and that he is serious about a 2012 run.
- Beltway alternate reality enthusiast Charles Krauthammer (yesterday on Krauthammer Day no less) declared a Republican plan for 2012 – run a platform, not a candidate. It’s a hoot. After pretty much confirming that the GOP has got nuttin’ for 2012 , Krauthammer asks if a “posse” can be “rustled up” to “draft Paul Ryan.”
- Franklin Graham tells Christiane Amanpour that Trump may be his candidate of choice and says he doesn’t see Sarah Palin running.
- Dartmouth poll: Romney beats Obama in NH by 8 points. Incidentally, Colin Powell beats O by 20 whopping points in the same poll. Colin Powell–the guy who held up that vial of anthrax for Bush-Cheney Co. at the UN and is not going to run for president, especially not against Obama. That’s how politically bankrupt both Obama and the GOP are. They can’t even compete with a hypothetical Colin Powell candidacy.
This Day in History (April 23rd)
- 1872: Charlotte E. Ray, the first female African American lawyer and first practicing woman attorney in DC, was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. She was only the third American woman of any race to complete law school. From the last link:
Ray achieved another first when on April 23, 1872 she was admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia which had recently removed the word “male” from its requirements.
The first ever African-American woman lawyer, Charlotte Ray was a woman far ahead of her time. Pictured in the sketch [to the right], Ray was born in New York City on January 13, 1850, the daughter of one of the conductors on the Underground Railroad.
- From browngirlnextdoor.com:
Shortly after graduating from Howard University in 1872, Ray became one of the first women admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. She also was the first woman permitted to argue cases in front of the Supreme Court in the capital. Ray opened her own law office that same year, specializing in commercial law. Unfortunately, Ray only practiced for a few years because of the widespread prejudices of the time. It was too difficult for her, as an African-American woman, to attract enough clients to keep her practice going.
In 1879, Ray moved to New York where she worked as a teacher in the Brooklyn public schools. She married soon after, taking her husband’s last name, Fraim. Ray championed a number of social causes outside of her classroom, becoming involved in the women’s suffrage movement and joining the National Association of Colored Women. She died on January 4, 1911, in Woodside, New York.
If you made it all the way through, don’t forget to chime in with your reads in the comments!
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