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Archive for June 15th, 2014

Obama Gets the Trains to Run on Time

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama Gets the Trains to Run on Time
After President Barack Obama on intervened Saturday in SEPTA’s strike, the union announced that as long as their workers show up for their shifts, Regional Rail service will be restored fully on Sunday. The strike began after negotiations between SEPTA and its engineers and electricians unions failed to reach a new contract deal Friday. Obama on Saturday granted Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s request to create a presidential emergency board to mediate the contract dispute, forcing the 400 union workers to go back. Obama ordered the establishment of the three-member board effective at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and called for “a swift and smooth resolution.”

Skydiver Damages Plane, Pilot Jumps
Although Shawn Kinmartin flies planes for a skydiving service, he hadn’t done any skydiving himself — that is until he had to make an emergency jump on Saturday. On his fourth flight of the day taking jumpers up, Kinmartin was cruising at 11,500 feet over eastern Missouri and southern Illinois when he realized that his final skydiving client had damaged a key piece of gear while jumping out of the plane. During the jump, the skydiver struck the elevator of the aircraft, a part of a plane’s tail that controls its ability to climb and descent. “When I jumped out of the aircraft it was at 2,000 feet, so I only had 1,500 feet left till the ground,” Kinmartin said. “And when I hit the ground the plane spiraled and crashed into the field.”


Egypt sends 13 to trial for sexual violence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Egypt sends 13 to trial for sexual violence
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s top prosecutor referred Saturday 13 men to trial for attempted rape and assault of women during public rallies in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir square, the first implementation of tough new penalties against rampant sexual violence, the state news agency reported.


CBS News Special Report: Obama calls Iraq a “wake up call”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

CBS News Special Report: Obama calls Iraq a “wake up call”
President Obama commits the U.S. to help Iraq halt the advance of Islamist extremists but says an ultimate resolution must come from the country’s political leaders. Major Garrett reports.


Sunday Shows Turn To Discredited Iraq War Architects For Iraq Analysis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Sunday Shows Turn To Discredited Iraq War Architects For Iraq Analysis

NBC and ABC’s Sunday news shows turned to discredited architects of the Iraq War to opine on the appropriate U.S. response to growing violence in Iraq, without acknowledging their history of deceit and faulty predictions.

This week a Sunni Iraqi militant group (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) seized control of several Iraqi cities and is focusing their sights on taking control of Baghdad and the rest of the country. The United States is still debating a response to the escalating violence, and has reportedly moved an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.

To discuss the growing unrest and potential threat of terrorism that could emerge, NBC’s Meet The Press turned to Paul Wolfowitz, the former Deputy Secretary of Defense under the Bush administration.

Wolfowitz, who served in the Bush administration from 2001 — 2005 as Deputy Secretary of Defense, is universally recognized as one of the original architects of the Iraq invasion. He infamously predicted the war reconstruction effort could pay for itself from Iraqi oil revenue (for reference, the cost of the Iraq War is now estimated to be more than $2 trillion), and publicly accused Saddam Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction long after the intelligence community informed the Pentagon that he did not. Later, Wolfowitz claimed that the conflict was primarily about liberating the Iraqi people rather than confronting the WMD threat, while also making the assertion — without evidence — that without the invasion, “we would have had a growing development of Saddam’s support for terrorism.”

Ten years after the start of the war, Wolfowitz admitted that the Bush administration bungled the conflict and should never have taken control of the country away from Iraqi leadership, despite having been the first senior Bush official after September 11, 2001 to call for Hussein’s overthrow.  

And on June 15 from his NBC platform, Wolfowitz opined that the current Iraqi violence could be traced to the absence of U.S. troops, suggesting that we should have stayed in Iraq just as we “stuck with South Korea for 60 years.” When Meet The Press host David Gregory asked the former Bush official for advice on how to mitigate the potential terrorist threat merging from ISIS, saying “what do you do then, as a policy matter, to stop this,” Wolfowitz responded that the Obama administration must convince the Middle East that the U.S. “is serious,” arguing, “I would do something in Syria.”

That same day ABC’s This Week invited network contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to discuss how the U.S. should handle the growing violence in Iraq, a notable decision given Kristol’s poor record on Iraq War predictions.   


Trouble in Iraq; Cantor postmortems; Lewis and Clark’s helpful guides

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Trouble in Iraq; Cantor postmortems; Lewis and Clark’s helpful guides
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning. It’s Friday, June 13, 2014. Some people consider the combination of a Friday and the 13th day of the month to be unlucky. Not me; my mother was born on a Friday the 13th, so I consider such days to be talismans of the calendar connoting good luck. President Obama is en route to California today where he will raise a little money for his fellow Democrats, play a little golf (I assume), and deliver tomorrow’s commencement address at one of the best state colleges you might not know: the University of California at Irvine. On his way to the West Coast, the president and…


Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’
Western inaction over Syria is behind the current insurgency in Iraq, says Tony Blair, but critics accuse the ex-PM of “washing his hands” over the crisis.

Carmichael backs English devolution
The Scottish Secretary says he backs devolved powers for England, describing it as the “unfinished business” of setting up the Holyrood Parliament in the 1990s.


Clinton’s bumpy road to the White House

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Clinton’s bumpy road to the White House
The first week of Clinton’s book tour had some missteps that could follow her to 2016.


Militants Claim Mass Execution of Iraqi Forces

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Militants Claim Mass Execution of Iraqi Forces
Insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria boasted on Twitter that they had executed 1,700 people, posting gruesome photos to support their claim.



Sinosphere Blog: Outrage After Pencil-Chewing Is Blamed for Lead Poisoning
Parents of children who showed high levels of lead in their blood believe that a local chemical plant is to blame, but a government official caused an uproar by suggesting that chewing pencils was the cause.



France 3, Honduras 0: France Leaves Scoring Struggles Behind in Its Opener
Scoring twice and creating a third goal that was confirmed by goal-line technology, Karim Benzema provided a dominant win that was a relief for France.


The Shocking Lack Of Diversity On This Week’s Sunday Shows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Shocking Lack Of Diversity On This Week’s Sunday Shows

The lack of diversity is simultaneously most and least surprising on a week in which foreign policy has dominated the news cycle.

The post The Shocking Lack Of Diversity On This Week’s Sunday Shows appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Host David Gregory on the set of Meet The Press

Host David Gregory on the set of Meet The Press

CREDIT: AP Photo/NBC, William B. Plowman

The Sunday political talk shows have drawn repeated criticism for filling their lineups with disproportionately white, male guests. But if this week’s lineup is any indication, the shows aren’t working too hard to fix the disparity.

Between CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC this Sunday, there were no women or people of color featured as the main, solo interviews of the show. Even in the roundtable discussions that follow the featured interviews, the participants were unrepresentative: Eight women joined the roundtables, while 15 men were part of the conversation.

Of the 38 total guests between the one-on-one interviews and the roundtables, there were five people of color. None of the shows had on more than two women, or more than two non-white guests.

The lack of diversity is simultaneously most and least surprising on a week in which foreign policy has dominated the news cycle. All of the shows featured discussion of the ongoing unrest in Iraq. And while international news may seem like an area ripe for diverse perspectives, the U.S. foreign policy establishment is overwhelmingly male.

On gender, NBC’s “Meet The Press” was the worst offender this week. Its lineup featured only one woman — Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who joined the political roundtable — while 10 men came on as guests. And when it comes to race, “Fox News Sunday” took the award for least diverse; none of its guests were not white.

Part of the problem is systemic. These Sunday shows seek to have on the key decision-makers who influence policy inside the beltway, and those people are largely white, male, and not reflective of the demographics of the country.

But it’s not impossible to seek out and feature people of color and women who also hold an important place in policy debates. Two alternative Sunday shows on MSNBC — “Up With Steve Kornacki” and the “Melissa Harris Perry Show” — regularly feature diverse guests and panel discussions. This week, for example, Melissa Harris Perry’s show had 10 guests, 4 of whom were women and 5 of whom were people of color. It was also the only show to feature an Iraq war veteran.

The post The Shocking Lack Of Diversity On This Week’s Sunday Shows appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Students Storm Christie-Corbett Fundraiser, Sideline Westboro Baptists and #RiseNGrind

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Students Storm Christie-Corbett Fundraiser, Sideline Westboro Baptists and #RiseNGrind
From: StudentNation

As the school year ends—and fall elections heat up—students walk out, tape up and unionize for justice.

Dispatches From Brazil’s World Cup: ‘No One Lives Here Anymore’
From: Dave Zirin

At a favela five minutes from Brazil’s most famous stadium, every family has been removed by force.