How Chuck Hagel’s Resignation Might Affect ISIS Fight

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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How Chuck Hagel's Resignation Might Affect ISIS FightChuck Hagel’s departure as Defense Secretary will probably have a minimal impact on the administration’s three part strategy to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria that is expected to take years. Hagel had raised questions about the strategy’s lack of focus on the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, but not about the president’s decision that American troops sent to Iraq will not serve as combat troops.Online supporters of the Islamic terror group ISIS have taken to Twitter to cheer the resignation of Chuck Hagel, claiming it was ISIS that forced him out. …

Flournoy withdraws from consideration as U.S. defense secretary: sources

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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Former Defense Undersecretary for Policy Michele Flournoy participates in a panel discussionWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michele Flournoy, a former top U.S. Defense Department official widely tipped as a possible replacement for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, has taken herself out of consideration for the job, according to multiple sources familiar with the circumstances. Flournoy, co-founder and chief executive of the Center for a New American Security wrote to the think tank's board of directors saying she would remain in her post and had asked President Barack Obama to remove her from consideration to head the Pentagon, the sources told Reuters on Tuesday. …

Flournoy Withdraws From Defense Sec. Consideration

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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Michele Flournoy has told the White House that she is not a candidate for Secretary of Defense, officials confirm to NBC News.



U.S. House to hold hearing on oil export ban

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance. The House subcommittee on energy and power, chaired by Representative Ed Whitfield, will hone in on the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, drafted in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The law prohibited the export of most crude oil, created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules for cars and trucks, also known as CAFE standards. …

‘Burn this b—- down!’ Michael Brown’s stepfather criticized for reaction to grand jury decision

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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FergusonMichael Brown's stepfather is being criticized for inflammatory comments he made to a crowd of protesters shortly after learning of the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of his unarmed stepson.

Prioritizing healthcare overhaul was a mistake: Senate Democrat

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Senator Schumer casts his vote at a polling station in the Brooklyn Borough of New YorkBy Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The No. 3 Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday the Democratic Party had made a political mistake by pushing for Obamacare. New York Senator Charles Schumer, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said that after passing a stimulus package to jumpstart the economy during the economic downturn, Democrats "put all of our focus on the wrong problem" by turning to President Barack Obama's healthcare reform effort, which passed in 2010. …

Harry Reid preps deal to lock in big business tax cuts and screw over middle class

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pauses during his news conference after the weekly Republican caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR45KSC

Would Harry Reid’s last big act as majority leader for the next two years be to screw over the middle class to help out business? If ThinkProgress’s sources are right, that’s what could be happening. Igor Volksy writes that sources tell TP that Reid has negotiated an agreement with House Republicans that would end some tax breaks for the middle class and make some tax breaks for corporations permanent.

Under the terms of the $444 billion agreement, lawmakers would phase out all tax breaks for clean energy and wind energy but would maintain fossil fuel subsidies. Expanded eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit would also end in 2017, even though the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that allowing the provisions to expire would push “16 million people in low-income working families, including 8 million children into—or deeper into—poverty.” The proposal would help students pay for college by making permanent the American Permanent Opportunity Tax Credit, a Democratic priority.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the package would make permanent tax provisions that are intended to help businesses, including a research and development credit, small business expensing, and a reduction in the S-Corp recognition period for built-in gains tax.

To top it all off? “The costs of the package will not be offset.” Disaster relief? Has to be offset. Tax breaks to corporations and war? Don’t need to be offset.

Lending credence to this story is the fact that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has “expressed concern about the direction of the discussions,” saying “[a]ny deal on tax extenders must ensure that the economic benefits are broadly shared,” and that any agreement “is fiscally responsible and extends critical tax benefits for working families.”

Presumbably, Reid would be getting something in return for making this deal, but it’s hard to see any advantage he might be getting. Averting a government shutdown? Why? Let them do it and let them face the consequences. House Speaker John Boehner and Mitch McConnell both want to avoid that at all costs. Make them work for it. Does he think maybe he can negotiate for another priority like judicial appointments? Not with House Republicans—they have no say and probably don’t give a damn about nominations. Are they going to tell Ted Cruz to stop obstructing? Not likely.

1:57 PM PT: Well, this sure helps. The White House has issued a veto threat on this proposed deal.

“The President would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,” said Jen Friedman, deputy White House press secretary.

Back to the drawing board, Sen. Reid.

Darren Wilson, perfect and sweet vs. the big black demonic super monster

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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It’s not often that someone who is being prosecuted gets to testify openly before a grand jury to prevent their own arrest. While legally binding and under oath, grand jury witnesses are not cross-examined and are given great space to meander and opine with their thoughts. Because the primary purpose of a prosecution-led grand jury is to secure a conviction, it’s the standard to typically only present any damning evidence available toward that goal and nothing more.

After a thorough examination of Darren Wilson’s four-hour long open testimony before the grand jury, it’s clear that he was well-prepared to paint the narrative of a cordial, helpless, respectable community servant who shockingly found himself up against the biggest, blackest, strongest, demonic super monster he’s ever seen in his life.

Below is an analysis and destruction of that racist narrative which has a deep history known as the big black buck or big black brute.

Obama the tyrant? Not so much.

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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Infographic comparing number of executive orders per year by presidents from Carter to Obama. Obama is lowest number.

Republicans are outraged over President Obama’s executive action on immigration … even though Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush both issued executive orders shielding immigrants from deportation.

Republicans are outraged that Obama is behaving as a monarch … even though, as seen above, he’s issued executive orders at a lower rate than his recent—and many of his not-so-recent—predecessors.

Republicans are outraged that Obama is “poisoning the well” … as they have been more than a dozen times before. And even though Obama has not whined that Republicans have poisoned the well with their dozens of Obamacare repeal votes.

Gee, it’s almost like Republicans are just looking for excuses to be outraged.

Midday open thread: 3Q GDP growth revised upward, diversifying emoji, ‘Black Code’ anniversary

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-11-2014-05-2008

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  • Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Grandpa Perkins’ Thanksgiving tirade:
    Comic teaser panel
  • GDP growth for third quarter revised upward to 3.9%: The Commerce Department issues three reports for each quarter’s growth in gross domestic product, the broad but flawed gauge of the economy’s production of goods and services. Each is a bit more fine-tuned because better data are available as time goes on. Last month, the first report for the third quarter estimated seasonally- and inflation-adjusted GDP at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent. The second report released Tuesday raised that estimate to 3.9 percent. That makes the combined growth for second and third quarter 4.25 percent, the best six-month showing since 2003. Year over year, GDP growth was 2.4 percent. Stronger consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of the economy, and business investment were up. Exports were not quite as strong as previously estimated.
  • On this date 149 years ago, the first Black Codes were imposed in Mississippi:

    On November 25, 1865, Mississippi created the first of the Black Codes. Designed to recreate slavery in all but name, this signified the white South’s massive resistance to the freeing of their labor force and the lengths to which it would go to tie workers to a place under white control. [...]

    The plantation elite’s top goal immediately upon emancipation was to corral black labor, whose core goal was to avoid the plantation labor system, preferably replacing it with small farms they owned. The Black Codes intended to prevent this. Building upon the slave codes regulating black behavior, and especially black movement, before the war, the Black Codes was the South’s statement to the North that the end of the war did not mean the end of white supremacy. Blacks would have to show a written contract of employment at the start of each year, ensuring they were laboring for a white employer. At the core of the Mississippi code and copied around the South was the vagrancy provision. “Vagrancy” was a term long used in the United States to crack down on workers not doing what employers or the police wanted them to do. In this case, it meant not working for a white person.

  • Only Words:

    President Obama also had words. He appeared on national television and urged protestors to remain peaceful, while on a split screen, Ferguson was awash in blue and red and smoke and a militarized police department displaying their force. Obama told us we need to peacefully accept this grand jury decision. We accept so much already. I suppose he thought it wouldn’t cost us much to accept this one thing more.

    The president looked exhausted, defeated. He didn’t even sound like the man we have come to know. Perhaps he couldn’t muster the energy to pretend that this system can be fixed. He would know better than most.

  • Newspaper: Cosby leaked daughter’s drug abuse to kill sex scandal:

    If a report by Page Six is to be believed, the perceived insidiousness of Bill Cosby has been given a new layer. A source tells Richard Johnson that Cosby, desperate to kill a National Enquirer story about his alleged “swinging with Sammy Davis Jr. and some showgirls in Las Vegas,” gave the tabloid information on his daughter Erinn’s drug problems.

  • Study shows that babies remember the good times.
  • Emoji diversity politics. The the first 58 emoji on the Apple emoji keyboard is made up of eight rows of yellow circles, raceless and genderless, each of them with a different facial expression. Then comes a boy wearing a Chinese cap and a man wearing a turban. From then on, ​every human emoji is white. Not for much longer:

    Earlier this month the Unicode Consortium, the company that enables emoji to appear across different devices, released a draft report that ​includes a proposal for diversifying their emoji provision. While most emoji fans have been celebrating the news, others have reservations. Bernie Hogan, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, recognises that current provisions are inadequate but fears that diversification will lead to a new set of problems. “When emoji become personally representative, they become politicised,” he told me.​

  • Some photos to put Ferguson into perspective: White people rioting over stupid shit.
  • On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Ferguson fallout. Armando on the grand jury, the awful timing & more. New detail in the toddler GunFAIL case. House lawsuit may be an own goal. Vox wonders what Gop presidents might do with expanded power. But do we have to guess?