10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
AP Wire
Mar 6, 2014

1. THE NEXT STEP IN NEGOTIATIONS OVER UKRAINE

While Russian and Western diplomats continue to talk, Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers have yet to meet.

2. A HEALTH CARE LAW CHANGE THAT MAY HELP DEMOCRATS

The White House announces a two-year extension for some policies, avoiding possible election-year insurance cancellations.

3. CIA INVESTIGATES WHETHER OFFICERS SPIED ON SENATE

U.S. officials say the agency is looking into whether its officers improperly monitored members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

4. WHERE A SHIP LADEN WITH SYRIAN ROCKETS WAS HEADED

Israelis accuse Iran of sending the weapons to the Gaza Strip, putting Israel's biggest cities well within range.

5. WHY BIN LADEN'S SON-IN-LAW IS ON TRIAL

Prosecutors cast him as a murderous mouthpiece for al-Qaida; His attorney says they are playing on resentment from the Sept. 11 attacks, even though he wasn't involved in the plot.

6. HOW THE COLLEGE BOARD IS CHANGING THE SAT

Essays are optional, there are no penalties for wrong answers and some obscure vocabulary words will be removed in favor of more commonly used ones.

7. WHAT ONE BABY'S POSSIBLE CURE MEANS FOR AIDS TREATMENT

Medicine given to her four hours after birth has doctors worldwide rethinking how fast and hard to treat infants born with HIV.

8. COSTLY WATER POLLUTION FOR MAJOR COAL PRODUCER

Under a proposed court settlement, Alpha Natural Resources Inc. could pay a record fine for violating permits, plus $200 million more to reduce toxic discharges in five Appalachian states.

9. POPE FINDS HIMSELF ON THE DEFENSIVE

Sex abuse victims say the Vatican is slow to follow up on a commission's announcement aimed at protecting children.

10. FACEBOOK TO MONITOR AND DELETE POSTS FOR GUN SALES

Under pressure from advocates, the company has agreed to delete entries from users seeking to buy or sell weapons illegally or without a background check.

 

Comments

Vladtheimp

#2. IF WE BELIEVE THIS IS ABOUT HEALTHCARE WE DESERVE TO BE CALLED THE WORD THAT MICHIGAN POLITICIANS ARE ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE FROM THE BOOKS

Obama laughs in our faces - having taken away health care and health care choices from millions without their knowledge and lying about it, he now illegally extends part of the law for 2 years (until after he is living in Hawaii or Cape Cod) and incredibly says he is permitting people to keep their substandard and crummy insurance plans that he made illegal to:

“…provide flexibility to states and provide consumers with choices so they can decide what is best for themselves and their families.”

Since he thinks we are too DUMB to realize that he is doing this solely to protect at risk democrats in the mid-term elections who voted for Obamacare, he thanks them for consulting with him on how to break the law:

"These provisions, developed in close consultation with members of Congress, including but not limited to Senators Mark Warner, Mary Landrieu, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Udall, Mark Begich and Representatives Tim Bishop, Elizabeth Esty, Carol Shea-Porter, Gary Peters, Scott Peters, Ann Kuster, Kyrsten Sinema, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Ron Barber ...."

Finally, to ensure his union Cronies are treated better once again than any other group, he exempted certain union health plans, which are included to make the whole scheme fiscally sustainable.

Don't believe me - believe the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/0...

The new illegal changes are described here - no Executive Orders needed when you have Obama's minions in HHS to do the dirty work. http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/Medi...

Guess he thinks we're really stupid - in all likelihood he's correct. If he were running a business, he would be jailed for this brazen BAIT AND SWITCH scam!!

echo5oscar

Oh c'mon. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.....until after the next election.

Vladtheimp

11. DEFINITION OF "SOUTHERN STATES" EXPANDED BY LIBERALS

National Public Radio:

“a handful of southern Democrats joined Republicans yesterday to defeat president Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division.”

"Southern" democrats who voted No:

Chris Coons (Del.)
Bob Casey (Pa.)
Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)
Joe Manchin (W.V.)
Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
John Walsh (Mont.)

And of course Harry Reid (Nev.) who did it for procedural grounds.

Harry Kovaire

The Mason-Dixon line defines the border between the United States and Canada.

Secure in their knowledge of superior intelligence, most of the NPR listeners wouldn't bother to question the "facts."

Don't think, just believe.

Lanivan

Should you be contemplating repeating this post elsewhere in this forum, I would respectfully ask you to reconsider.

Lanivan

If, on the off-chance, you had any interest in actually commenting on the actual situation that allowed for a handful of Democrats to "vote no", along with all Republicans, for Obama nominee Debo Adegbile to head the civil rights division at the Dept. of Justice, this article does a fine job of explaining the race baiting and deliberate "misunderstanding" of the law by, in many cases, fellow Congressional lawyers: http://www.salon.com/2014/03/06/...

"The issue that has stirred intense conservative opposition to Adegbile is the NAACP LDF’s successful defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black radical who was convicted of murdering white police officer Daniel Faulkner in Philadelphia in 1982. He presided over the team that successfuly persuaded a federal court not to reinstate Abu-Jamal’s death sentence. The conservative campaign against Adegbile recalls an effort during Obama’s first term to attack Justice Department officials as terrorist sympathizers because they had successfully represented Gitmo detainees. That effort fizzled when a group of conservative attorneys signed a letter defending those officials as having done their part to ensure due process".

Of course, the Republicans, like a pack of howling hyenas, have forgotten this tidbit - Chief Justice John Roberts acted for the defense pro bono in a similar case: "Three months ago, John Errol Ferguson was executed for one of the worst mass murders in Florida’s history. After tricking his way into a woman’s home, he eventually bound, blindfolded and shot eight people. Six of them died. While under indictment for those crimes, Ferguson murdered two teenagers on their way to church.

Ferguson might have been executed earlier, but his attorneys, one of whom was later rewarded with a position of unparalleled influence in the U.S. government, argued Ferguson was mentally ill and dragged out the process for years.

What kind of person would defend a butcher with the blood of eight people on his hands?

It was Chief Justice John Roberts, who devoted 25 pro bono hours to Ferguson’s case when he was working in private practice. Later, when Roberts was nominated to the nation’s highest court, his work on the Ferguson case wasn’t seen by anyone as a hinderance. “A good lawyer like John Roberts may not share the client’s priorities, they might not share the client’s worldview, what they’re committed to is the application of rights under law,” says Charles Geyh, an expert on legal ethics and professor at the Indiana University School of Law". http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama...

So, basically, all the Republicans, and a handful of Democrats who are facing re-election in strongly "white" states, if you catch my drift, feel compelled to overlook a similar "yes" vote just 8 years ago. But that one was for Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

Vladtheimp

You always need to make it a race thing - but this time I agree, as do the District Attorney of Philadelphia, where the waste of oxygen Wesley Cook murdered a police officer in cold blood and 6 major law enforcement organizations - we shouldn't have a racist in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice Division of Civil Rights - there are too many there already. >p>

You've been conned by your progressive sources yet again. In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Pennsylvania Senator Toomey and Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams, a Democrat and the first African-American District Attorney in Philadelphia and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania explained why they opposed Obama's racialist appointment:

"Let there be no mistake. Our concern is not based on the fact that Mr. Adegbile acted as an attorney for a criminal defendant. The right to counsel is a fundamental part of America's criminal justice system, and no lawyer should be faulted for the crimes of his clients.
But it is one thing to provide legal representation and quite another to seize on a case and turn it into a political platform from which to launch an extreme attack on the justice system. When a lawyer chooses that course, it is appropriate to ask whether he should be singled out for a high-level national position in, of all things, law enforcement."

"Ultimately, overwhelming evidence led to Abu-Jamal's conviction and subsequent death sentence in 1982. Three decades of appeals followed, in which Abu-Jamal's appellate lawyers echoed their client's antics in legal maneuvers that made a mockery of the justice system. These appeals primarily functioned as a stage for Abu-Jamal's hateful ideologies, painting him as the unjustly accused victim of a racist conspiracy.
Given this context—and the fact that Abu-Jamal was already well represented and had funds at his disposal—it is difficult to understand why, as acting president and director of litigation at the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, Mr. Adegbile chose in 2009 to enter the circus created by Abu-Jamal and inject his organization into the case. Under Mr. Adegbile's leadership and through rallies, protests and a media campaign, the Legal Defense Fund actively fanned the racial firestorm. In a news release issued when it took over as Abu-Jamal's counsel, the Legal Defense Fund proclaimed that Abu-Jamal was "a symbol of the racial injustices of the death penalty."
At a 2011 rally for Abu-Jamal, Mr. Adegbile's co-counsel on the case stated that "there is no question in the mind of anyone at the Legal Defense Fund" that [Abu-Jamal's conviction] "has everything to do with race and that is why the Legal Defense Fund is in the case."

http://online.wsj.com/news/artic...

And their view reflected the views of law enforcement, represented in the letter the Fraterfnal Order of Police sent to the Senate:

"As world of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity. Under this nominee's leadership, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People volunteered their services to represent Wesley Cook, better known to the world as Mumia Abu-Jamal --- our country's most notorious cop-killer. There is no disputing that Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered by this thug. His just sentence - death - was undone by your nominee and others like him who turned the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism. We are aware of the tried and true shield behind which activists of Adegbile's ilk are wont to hide - that everyone is entitled to a defense; but surely you would agree that a defense should not be based on falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer. Certainly any legal scholar can see the injustice and absence of ethics in this cynical race-baiting approach to our legal system." http://townhall.com/tipsheet/kat...

Well, you can take heart that your views are shared by former Obama adviser and Communist Van Jones . . . .

Lanivan

In regards to the racist thing, the right-wing media jumped in feet first on this several days ago. Just one example: Washington Times Runs Charged Caricature To Smear Obama's Civil Rights Nominee http://mediamatters.org/blog/201....

But let's set aside the obvious racial elements. MediaMatters also states that..."accompanied by "race-baiting and dog whistle politics," right-wing media like York have attacked Adegbile for supporting voting rights, diversity programs in higher education, and constitutional death sentencing. These smears have been denounced by legal experts, the American Bar Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and multiple editorial boards for disregarding the law at the root of the cases in question.

In large part, the pushback against this misinformation has been so significant because it is based on the simple truth that the right-wing media noise machine has completely distorted the validity of Adegbile's civil rights record".

And if it was his NAACP connection that is so offensive and alarming, the New York times says, "To Mr. Adegbile’s defenders, the defeat was the result of demagogy. Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the organization did not become involved in the Abu-Jamal case until it filed a friend of the court brief on the removal of African-Americans from the jury in 2006. Mr. Adegbile’s name did not appear on a brief until 2008, and the fund did not become directly involved in the Abu-Jamal defense until 2011. Even then, Mr. Adegbile was not on the legal team". http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/0...

Oh - and that opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal - Pat Toomey was found to have "misstated" when he said the Obama administration had abruptly withdrawn Adegbile's nomination for another post in 2011. Guess that additional attempt to impugn the record of a man considered to be one the preeminent civil right's attorneys of his generation didn't quite pass muster - this time.

And from what I'm reading, my views also happen to be shared by the American Bar Association. You remember that group, don't you?

Vladtheimp

1. The Black Philadelphia democrat D.A.'s article with Toomey is more persuasive to me than the self-serving NAACP, especially since the cop killing happened in his jurisdiction;

2. The deceased police officer's wife's statement, and those of the law enforcement organizations, especially the FOP, are more persuasive to me than the other apologists for racialism you cited; >p>

3. Of course I've heard of the American Bar Association - they tried to get me to join for years, much like AARP when I was older, and like AARP they went leftist long ago, most recently supporting:

State sanction of same sex marriages

Abolition of Arizona's enforcement of immigration laws (actually filed a brief);

Racialist laws and positions

passed a resolution denouncing Bush’s authorization of warrantless wiretapping in the war on terror. (Crickets on Obama's more expansive internal spying)

Pro-abortion

Pro Gun Control

Bias in rating judicial nominees

So Lanivan, in response to your last snark, like well over 1/2 of the lawyers in the United States, I have resisted joining the ABA for over 30 years, just like I resisted joining the ACLU. Fortunately, unlike many non right-to-work states, I do not have to join and pay dues to the ABA to work, and I have exercised my freedom of choice. Had I not been very aware of the MOVE Movement, so-called cop killer Abu Jamal (I did go to school in Philadelphia) and had not followed the disgraceful actions of the NAACP and Adegbile, the very fact that the ABA promoted his nomination confirmed that he was not the right person for the job.

Lanivan

This nomination has all the elements necessary to send the right-wingers into their bunkers of selectively and carefully crafted justifications, lofty absolution, and mitigating circumstances. Your argument, in it's crystallization, is disappointing, but certainly not unexpected.

My comment wasn't meant to be snark, but if you insist on viewing it in that context, I suppose snark does indeed beget snark, at least with me. Guess it's that Welsh thing.

Vladtheimp

"my views also happen to be shared by the American Bar Association. You remember that group, don't you?"

You sell yourself short, unless you don't understand the meaning of "snark."

Lanivan

I dunno - does one (you) calling someone (me) a communist apply? Your comment inspired my comment, which was a pointed inducement that produced the desired result. So, thank you, at the very least, for being honest about your justifications!

Vladtheimp

Trust me, I'm facile enough with the English language that had I wanted to call you a communist I would have communicated that clearly and unequivocally. I said your views are shared by a Communist (and former Obama White House adviser and "civil rights activist" who resigned from his position when it became known he was also a 9/11 "Truther.)" Let's try to focus here. I know Progressives think they own the language, and can change it to mean whatever they want, but I did not call you a Communist; however you are, of course, welcome to claim the title if you wish.

Some are not so good at language without electronic assistance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C...

Lanivan

Ha Ha! Divert from the topic of a(nother) 1/2 black, 1/2 Irish highly qualified lawyer with a strong social justice pedigree and years of sterling law experience getting skewered by right-wingers, to another black man who has received dozens of awards to honor his passion for social justice and environmental issues, with a Yale law degree, for Pete's sake, having gotten skewered by right-wingers, in particular Glenn Beck, for the love of God, and called a communist. And then distort the diversion by equating the views of the non-communist to my non-communist views, clearly and unequivocally, by making comparisons based on our shared "communist" views.

Then admonish authoritatively, "Let's try to focus here!"

One of your most amusingly endearing traits. No sirrreee - you don't trip over no darn vowels!!

Actually, I am in agreement with Van's "truther" opinions. They are far more valid than the silly, irrelevant "birther" issue. The consequences of the former - irrevocable damage to the country; the latter - irrevocable damage to right-wingers.

Vladtheimp

1. You made the topic of this particular thread that I called you a communist. I denied it, and unable to defend your position, you revert to the race card.

2. You apparently believe that being bi-racial gives one an elevated status in this country - I don't. I judge people by their actions and the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

3. Here is your black man who has received dozens of awards for social justice with a Yale law degree (big whoop) in his own words:

http://youtu.be/LE4n5EakGjI

http://youtu.be/yt66eWnjoTo

"I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th [1992], and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I WAS A COMMUNIST. (...)" (emphasis supplied)

"I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."

The communist organization Van Jones went on to lead was called
Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM).
According to the leftist blog Machete 48 (now scrubbed and revised here http://machete408.wordpress.com/...)

Returning to Van Jones, with all the shimmer associated with a rising star,many forget that a man now advising the president was a member of a revolutionary organization in the SF Bay Area called STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement). Throughout the group’s history, Van Jones was seen as a public figure within the Bay Area left and a leading member of STORM.

STORM had its roots in a grouping of people of color organizing against the Gulf War in the early 1990’s and was formally founded in 1994. The group’s politics had a number of influences, but evolved towards what could be best characterized as third worldist Marxism (and an often vulgar Maoism). The group grew in influence until its disbanding in 2002 amid problems of internal dynamics and especially controversy around the leadership roles
that members played in the youth movement (such as the fight against Proposition 21). Nearly the entire membership of the organization was staff members for various social movement non-profits in the Bay Area, many linked to the Ella Baker Center, which Van Jones steered.

Van Jones was, and most likely is, a communist and a Maoist, not a gentle, refined, Yale Law graduate. If he has had no problem with this description of his political philosophy, why do you?

Lanivan

1. Race card? I was merely pointing out the coincidental(?) fact that both men under intense scrutiny and controversy are black men. I wish it weren't so; I find no special joy in pointing this out, but think this fact is indeed relevant.

2. Don't be disingenuous; of course I have no special notions regarding bi-racial people. That's a silly assumption. We certainly can agree that a person's character is all important. In the case of Debo Adgebile and Van Jones, from everything I've read, they seem to be highly-credentialed (a Yale law degree is a big whoop to me), high-achieving, ambitious, bright, passionate, family men who may have entered into politically controversial positions in the past (especially Van Jones), but are now attacked for what amounts to having done their jobs, and, apparently, doing them with a level of commitment that should be admired, regardless of whether we agree with their politics or not.

3. Reading about STORM, I found this in a PolitiFact article: "He took an objective look at the movement's effectiveness and decided that the changes he was seeking were actually getting farther away. Not only did the left need to be more unified, he decided, it might also benefit from a fundamental shift in tactics. 'I realized that there are a lot of people who are capitalists — shudder, shudder — who are really committed to fairly significant change in the economy, and were having bigger impacts than me and a lot of my friends with our protest signs,' he said." But check out these two statements and see if this sounds like a communist.

This, from his book, The Green Collar Economy , released in October 2008:

"There will surely be an important role for nonprofit voluntary, cooperative, and community-based solutions," Jones writes on page 86. "But the reality is that we are entering an era during which our very survival will demand invention and innovation on a scale never before seen in the history of human civilization. Only the business community has the requisite skills, experience, and capital to meet that need. On that score, neither the government nor the nonprofit and voluntary sectors can compete, not even remotely.

"So in the end, our success and survival as a species are largely and directly tied to the new eco-entrepreneurs — and the success and survival of their enterprises. Since almost all of the needed eco-technologies are likely to come from the private sector, civic leaders and voters should do all that can be done to help green business leaders succeed. That means, in large part, electing leaders who will pass bills to aid them. We cannot realistically proceed without a strong alliance between the best of the business world — and everyone else."

http://www.politifact.com/truth-...

Van Jones sounds pretty reasonable to me. Both men would have more than likely done a fine job in their respective positions, despite the McCarthyistic hysteria surrounding their past. Attacking well-qualified people because of bias, when there is no question of their ability to get the job done, although hardly unexpected, sounds like an infringement of their civil rights to me.

TooMuch

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Barry Soetoro

Off topic? That's weak. I mean allegedly weak.

Lanivan

I thought so too. They got me last week for saying the word "----". But off-topic? If that were the case, it would seem there would be a moderation epidemic on this site....

TooMuch

It's all that clean living of mine. My luck was bound to run out! Tribune is probably "enquiring" about me on a "national" level...oops they don't like those two words in a sentence together. Moderation, round two, lol!

Lanivan

TooMuch - I like reading your comments, despite your, or occasional lack of, clean living. I'm sorry we were denied the opportunity to read this particular comment. Maybe you will be moved to re-send it, with necessary modifications, of course!

Barry Soetoro

Sorry I missed that. Care to give me a hint as to "----"??

Helpful tip: Use the word "alleged" before labeling someone a semi-functional drunk or Grimace look-alike.

Lanivan

It was just part of another baseless, snarky, delusional, gin-induced reply to Vlad, as usual. I guess it's time to ditch this scene and return to the more lady-like means of expression, such as naughty t-shirts, Republicans for Obama pins, and the Blues.

Barry Soetoro

Gin induced? Here I thought you were so much better than that...

Lanivan

Gotta do something for those leg cramps. (I know - I could spend less time at the computer, but the remedy isn't near as effective). Just to show how wrong you were about me....I favor DOUBLE lime!

Barry Soetoro

I figured you'd need it for carpal tunnel syndrome not leg cramps.

Lanivan

Just for the record, tonic water (quinine) is good for leg cramps....that's ok....don't beat yourself up too much.......

Vladtheimp

Since you love and trust big gubmint so much, I want to ensure that you have the latest information:

"Quinine should not be used to treat or prevent nighttime leg cramps. Quinine has not been shown to be effective for this purpose, and may cause serious or life-threatening side effects, including severe bleeding problems, kidney damage, irregular heartbeat, and severe allergic reactions." http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlinepl...

I trust the National Institutes of Health more than I trust that Van Jones has changed his spots, but at least his latest scam is bringing him money and influence commensurate with what many believe the holder of a Yale Law degree is entitled.

Iechyd da

Lanivan

Bore da! Your concern for my up-to-the-minute education regarding quinine is much appreciated. Wouldn't you know it, the cause and treatment of my particular situation is of course more complex and rigorous which requires a greater amount of money than the very occasional celebratory, simple, and delicious glass of quinine with lime I imbibe. A diagnosis of any severe allergic reactions could probably trace back to comments on this forum. But, at any rate, lady-like manners dictates I extend to you - "diolch i chi"!

But public leaders such as Van Jones and Debo Adegbile inspire me to embrace life and the common good with intelligence and passion, attainable even with my measly credentials. If Sarah Palin can do it, so can I, right?

Vladtheimp

Croeso!

Lanivan and Sarah Palin - what a combo! Of course you can, and I'm sure do, "embrace life and the common good with intelligence and passion, just like Ms. Palin. In fact, if you decided to ensure your political beliefs had an impact, like Ms. Palin you could run for an win a seat on your local municipal Council, then run in your local Mayoral election and win, then cast your hat in the ring for Governor of Michigan, and win. Your successes locally could propel you to national office, like candidacy for Vice President or President. But, too bad, your political future would be side - tracked by an inexperienced man who had never held an office like Mayor or Governor, where executive decision making is required and by a biased media who treated you like an ignoramus, who convinced people that you, instead of a comedienne, said "I can see Russia from my House."

But, good news - you would never run as a Republican today, since the party has been taken over by knuckle-dragging conservatives with credentials, so you would receive the full-throated support of the media; bad news - you would lose to another woman whose only real credentials for the job are that she married the President. Too Bad, but I would fully support your right to follow the footsteps of the light (academic) credentials of Governor Palin.

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