President Barack Obama has yet to officially name a Commerce Secretary nominee for his second term, but rumor has it that he’s already made up his mind: According to The Washington Post, “there’s chatter” that Hyatt hotels scion and board member Penny Pritzker is the president’s choice.
If the buzz turns out to be true, then Pritzker’s ascension to the national stage could further strain Obama’s tense relationship with the labor movement. That’s because the Hyatt Hotel chain—co-founded by Pritzker’s father, Donald N. Pritzker—is currently engaged in a lengthy and acrimonious dispute with the hospitality workers union UNITE HERE (more…)
An unexpected glitch almost caused one central Pennsylvania voter to cast his ballot for the wrong candidate, highlighting concerns about voter fraud in a number of states on an already tense Election Day. The Election Protection coalition, for instance, has reported ballot scanning problems in Ohio in Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo. “I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted,” writes Centralpavote on YouTube, of the glitch in central Pennsylvania. “I assumed it was being picky so I de-selected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney.”
The man, a software developer, tried troubleshooting the screen, selecting different names. But “the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney.” A few more taps, and he discovered that the only way to select Obama was to click on a small sliver of the screen. All of the buttons for the other candidates seemed to work fine. (more…)
President Obama as a runaway slave?
Pro-Romney cartoon in New York Post might as well have been signed by the KKK Imperial Wizard
By DENNIS KING and GERALDINE PAULING
Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid published a cartoon last Wednesday that more appropriately belongs in a Ku Klux Klan rag or as a poster for Lyndon LaRouche’s street-corner agitators. Sean Delonas, the longtime cartoonist for the Post, depicts an angry white man on horseback (Mitt Romney) chasing down a terrified skinny black man fleeing on foot (President Obama)—and the Romney figure is aiming an assault rifle and attached bayonet at the Obama figure’s backside.
NY Post Dogwhistle Racism on Display
Think for a second: the target of the Romney figure and his weapon is the President of the United States, our President, our Commander in Chief. The Post apparently sees nothing wrong with displaying racial contempt and fantasies of violence against President Obama, but we suspect that if a white President—even Jimmy Carter—had been depicted in a cartoon as the target of an assault rifle/bayonet attack by his election rival, the Post’s editors would have failed to see any humor in it and would have declined to publish it. The Post will laugh this off by claiming it’s all just a metaphor for Romney surging (supposedly) in the polls, that the gun is shooting polling charts rather than bullets, and that the bayonet and horse are intended merely to satirize Obama’s comment about horses and bayonets in the final Presidential debate between Obama and Governor Romney on Oct. 22.
A former U.S. president is accusing the current president of sanctioning the “widespread abuse of human rights” by authorizing drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists. Jimmy Carter, America’s 39 th president, denounced the Obama administration for “clearly violating” 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, writing in a New York Times op-ed on Monday that the “United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.”
“Instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends,” Carter wrote.
While the total number of attacks from unmanned aircraft, or drones, and the resulting casualties are murky, the New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan alone 265 drone strikes have been executed since January 2009 . Those strikes have killed at least 1,488 people, at least 1,343 of them considered militants, the foundation estimates based on news reports and other sources. (more…)
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging defense bill into law Saturday despite having “serious reservations” about provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. The bill also applies penalties against Iran’s central bank in an effort to hamper Tehran’s ability to fund its nuclear enrichment program. The Obama administration is looking to soften the impact of those penalties because of concerns that they could lead to a spike in global oil prices or cause economic hardship on U.S. allies that import petroleum from Iran.
In a statement accompanying his signature, the president chastised some lawmakers for what he contended was their attempts to use the bill to restrict the ability of counterterrorism officials to protect the country.
Administration officials said Obama was only signing the measure because Congress made minimally acceptable changes that no longer challenged the president’s terrorism-fighting ability. “Moving forward, my administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded,” Obama said in the signing statement. (more…)
The infection rate here has been holding steady for over a decade. There are communities in this country being devastated by this disease. When new infections among young, black, gay men increase by nearly fifty percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter. When Latinos are dying sooner than other groups; when black women feel forgotten even though they account for most of the new cases among women, we need to do more. This fight isn’t over. Not for the 1.2 million Americans who are living with HIV right now. [...]
Now, I want to be clear about something else – since taking office, we’ve increased overall funding to combat HIV/AIDS to record levels. With bipartisan support, we reauthorized the Ryan White CARE Act. And, as I signed that bill, I was so proud to also announce that my Administration was ending the ban that prohibited people with HIV from entering America. Because of that step, next year, for the first time in two decades, we will host the International AIDS conference. So we’ve done a lot over the past three years. But we can do more.
WASHINGTON — Former pizza king Herman Cain can pile it on when talking about what he likes on his slice — but when asked for his opinion on Libya, he seemed to have forgotten the recipe. The GOP presidential hopeful looked hungry for a cheat sheet when the editorial board of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel asked him if he supported Obama’s backing of the revolution that toppled Moammar Khadafy.
“Okay … Libya,” Cain responded haltingly, according to a video of the interview.
He stared at the ceiling, fiddled with his blazer, blinked a bunch of times and pushed his water bottle away from him on the table.
Eleven seconds later, he spoke:
“President Obama supported the uprising, correct?” said the normally chatty former head of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.
“President Obama called for the removal of Khadafy — just wanted to make sure we are talking about the same thing,” he added, as if trying to goad his interviewers into confirming what he said was true. (more…)
A power play is underway in the foreclosure arena, according to the New York Times. On the one side is Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, who is conducting his own investigation into the era of securitizations – the practice of chopping up assets like mortgages and converting them into saleable securities – that led up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
On the other side is the Obama administration, the banks, and all the other state attorneys general. This second camp has cooked up a deal that would allow the banks to walk away with just a seriously discounted fine from a generation of fraud that led to millions of people losing their homes. The idea behind this federally-guided “settlement” is to concentrate and centralize all the legal exposure accrued by this generation of grotesque banker corruption in one place, put one single price tag on it that everyone can live with, and then stuff the details into a titanium canister before shooting it into deep space.
This is all about protecting the banks from future enforcement actions on both the civil and criminal sides. The plan is to provide year-after-year, (more…)
A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.
The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since (more…)
Ed Schultz sparred with Prof. Cornel West about President Obama after a day after the high-profile scholar and leading black intellectual gave a scathing interview condemning Obama’s term in office.
On Monday, an interview with West appeared on the website Truthdig. In it, West called Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”
Schultz did not agree with this critique, and on his Tuesday show, he asked West to explain what he meant. West had also said that Obama didn’t have “backbone.” Schultz mentioned the killing of Osama bin Laden and said, “what are you talking about?” West said he was referring to having “backbone for poor children, misabused workers, those unfairly incarcerated, those middle-class folks who are experiencing downward mobility.” (more…)
Good Riddance, Not That We Believed You Were Seriously Running Anyway
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – It seems like Donald Trump won’t be adding presidential candidate to his list of achievements after all. After months of flirting with running for office, Trump said Monday he won’t run for president, choosing to stick with hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” over a bid for the Republican nomination.
Trump’s office released an official statement outlining The Donald’s reasons for bowing out of the 2012 presidential race . The news came as a surprise to some, especially considering the ground Trump was gaining among 2012 Republican hopefuls.
In the past few months, he delivered speeches to national GOP groups and traveled to early primary states like New Hampshire and Nevada. During that time, he reignited the so-called “birther” controversy by perpetuating falsehoods about Obama’s birth place, insisting that questions were unanswered about whether the president was born in Hawaii. (more…)