samedi 31 mars 2012
"He was a healer, a provider of universal health care, a man of compassion who treated those with preexisting medical conditions.
We don’t know what Jesus thought about the individual mandate or buying broccoli. But we do know how the New Testament describes him. The Gospels are filled with stories of Jesus physically healing the most vulnerable and despised people in his society.
References to Jesus, of course, didn’t make into the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s hearings on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Yet there is a moral dimension to this epic legal debate:
How should the nation help its “least of these,” an estimated 50 million Americans who can’t afford health insurance, as well as those who could go broke or die because they can’t afford medical care?"
"The killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has reopened old racial wounds and ignited calls for justice from across the nation. But as often happens when a local case captures national attention, the hard facts of the killing seem to have been drowned out amid the rumors, shouts and political rhetoric. The debate has its place, no doubt. But to try to more clearly present what actually happened on the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., TPM has put together a guide to the events that reportedly took place before, during and immediately after the killing."
La suite: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/trayvon_martin_george_zimmerman_basics.php?ref=fpa
vendredi 30 mars 2012
"Our obsession with sincerity is understandable. It’s clearly a virtue we want in our friends and family, and one that the world would be much worse off without. We want to be able to trust people to do what they say and to stick to what they promised.
But is sincerity in our politicians always the best barometer of their worth as leaders? Probably not. In the realm of politics, in fact, the demand for sincerity is relatively new, a legacy of Reformation-era religion that only in recent decades has come to seem as important, or even more important than, qualities like leadership, managerial skill, or knowledge. For varying reasons, sincerity is uniquely prized by both right and left. But by fixating on candidates’ sincerity, we risk ignoring their more significant political traits, and we’re rejecting qualities -- like the ability to compromise -- that might, in the complex world of democratic politics, be considerably more useful virtues."
Dans une entrevue télévisée le frère du tireur affirme que Trayvon Martin a brutalement attaqué George Zimmerman avant que celui-ci n'ouvre le feu...
"Authorities have said Zimmerman has not been charged because there are no grounds to disprove his account that he acted in self defense. Critics say Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, racially profiled Martin, who was black. The shooting of Martin, an unarmed 17-year old, has sparked an intense national debate about race, birthed protests and was addressed by President Barack Obama who called the incident a "tragedy." Robert Zimmerman Jr. also called the shooting a tragedy but warned that some of the responses have not been healthy. "This is a tragedy. Her son was lost," he said trying to send a message to Martin's mother. "I feel very badly about that and I want, in the end, not for her son's memory to be seen as how we degraded our system and turned it into mob rule and went into a hate speech. Ultimately, we all wish that this was a different situation." George Zimmerman has told police he shot Martin in self defense on February 26 in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman's father said on Wednesday that Martin threatened to kill Zimmerman, broke his nose and beat him so badly that Zimmerman was forced to shoot the teen. Robert Zimmerman Jr., on Thursday, told the same story. "You return force with force when somebody assaults you. George was out of breath, he was barely conscious," the brother said. "There would have been George dead if he had not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed." Martin's family and legal experts have questioned the Zimmerman's family version after the recent release of surveillance videos from the Sanford police headquarters the night of the incident.
Une organisation qui fait preuve d'un laxisme incroyable. "Pandering to the locals is a time-honored tradition in politics. Cave politicians probably got misty-eyed over how the village rocks were the right size. Mitt Romney, respectful of this practice, has done his best to win over primary voters by invoking a personal connection to various states. But many of the stories and anecdotes Romney tells to endear him to local constituencies often fall flat — or worse, earn him mockery on the national stage. On Wednesday, Romney led off a conference call with Wisconsin voters by saying he has “a few connections with the state.” He offered up as an example a “humorous” memory from his childhood in neighboring Michigan — but his story centered on a factory closure ordered by his auto executive father, who then tried to keep the mass layoffs from wrecking his gubernatorial election. Not exactly the most relatable tale outside the narrow subset of “children of CEOs-turned-governors.” Democrats quickly pounced on the remarks in order to further their preferred narrative, that Romney is wildly out of touch."
Reagan est le premier Président en fonction à survivre à une tentative d'assassinat. Le tireur sera déclaré innocent pour cause d'aliénation mentale. Il bénéficie toujours des soins d'une institution psychiatrique.
"“I wish that you would speak more to a lot of the things that I think you should speak about — the fact that you were pastor at your church, the fact that you were a missionary, the fact that you do speak about helping with the Olympics,” Mary Toepfer, 40, of Warren, Ohio, said at a recent event. Without these kinds of stories, she added, “it’s hard for us, who are trying to support you, to address them when trying to explain to them why you would be the better candidate.” Another voter, another day, spoke up in Bexley, Ohio, beseeching Mr. Romney to open up. “I’d like you to share with all the American citizens that are watching right now,” the man said, “to show the American people that you have a lot of heart.” On the campaign trail these days, voters often talk frankly of their yearning to get more from Mr. Romney. Some Republicans seem so eager for a leader who can rouse the passions of the party faithful that they are offering advice directly to Mr. Romney, suggesting that if he revealed more of himself and made more of a human connection, he could better harness the enthusiasm of the conservative grass roots for defeating President Obama."
"The testimony of Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, Bin Laden’s 30-year-old wife, offers the most detailed account yet of life on the run for the Bin Laden family in the years preceding the American commando raid in May 2011 that killed the leader of Al Qaeda at the age of 54.
Her account is contained in a police report dated Jan. 19 that, as an account of that frantic period, contains manifest flaws: Ms. Fateh’s words are paraphrased by a police officer, and there is noticeably little detail about the Pakistanis who helped her husband evade his American pursuers. Nevertheless, it raises more questions about how the world’s most wanted man managed to shunt his family between cities that span the breadth of Pakistan, apparently undetected and unmolested by the otherwise formidable security services.
Bin Laden’s three widows are of great interest because they hold the answers to some of the questions that frustrated Western intelligence in the years after 2001. They are currently under house arrest in Islamabad, and their lawyer says he expects them and two adult children — Bin Laden’s daughters Maryam, 21, and Sumaya, 20 — to be charged on Monday with breaking Pakistani immigration laws, which carries a possible five-year jail sentence.
The wives have cooperated with the authorities to varying degrees. Investigators say the older women, named in court documents as Kharia Hussain Sabir and Siham Sharif, both citizens of Saudi Arabia, have largely refused to cooperate with investigators. However, Ms. Fateh, who was wounded in the raid that killed her husband, has spoken out."
Le roman auquel on fait allusion est celui de la canadienne Margaret Atwood (1985). Il a été traduit en français avec le titre La serveuse écarlate.
jeudi 29 mars 2012
"President Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead over GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in hypothetical general election matchups, according to a new poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday also indicates that the president's approval rating has inched over the 50% mark in CNN surveys for the first time since last May, when the polls were still registering the after effects of the death of Osama bin Laden. The number of Americans who say the economy's in good shape has jumped 13 points since January, though the survey shows a majority still think it is in poor shape.
If the general election were held today instead of in early November, 54% of registered voters say they would back Obama, with 43% supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the GOP nomination battle. That's up from a five-point 51%-46% advantage the president held over Romney in February.
And Obama would have a 55%-42% lead over Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who's Romney's main rival right now for the nomination. The president led Santorum by a seven-point 52%-45% margin last month.
"President Obama currently wins majority support among groups that have been problematic for him in the past, including men, older voters, and suburbanites," says CNN Poling Director Keating Holland. "He has a solid lead among independents as well."
"Nearly everyone in Sanford agrees on one thing: The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a tragedy.%% But his death has taken on a whole new meaning here, where media outlets from around the world have descended, to figure out just what happened more than a month ago when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
This once-quiet and quaint town is now the center of a controversy that has put residents in the position of examining just what the racial undertones of the case say about their hometown. And it makes them wonder whether they will forever be known as the place where an unarmed black kid heading home from the store with Skittles and tea was killed by a Hispanic man claiming self-defense.
For some, the case has become a rallying cry, a chance to air what they believe are years of grievances and cases of injustice between the police, the courts and the black community. For others, it has forced them to defend their town as a place that is not an inherently racist, a place where a young black man cannot be killed without consequence.
Spike Lee s'est excusé depuis, mais l'histoire est vraie... Il pensait dévoiler sur tweeter l'adresse de celui qui a tué Trayvon Martin en Floride. Cinéaste noir très engagé, Lee a déjà été un peu plus avisé...
"Appearing in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, one of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Amit P. Mehta, told Justice Douglas E. McKeon that “Mr. Strauss-Kahn enjoyed the same kind of diplomatic immunity” given the secretary general of the United Nations, a member of the Russian consulate or a Chinese diplomat. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said in court papers that his status as the head of an international organization with a special relationship with the United Nations protected him from lawsuits, even those based upon “acts done in the executive’s personal capacity.”
But Douglas H. Wigdor, a lawyer for the housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, countered that immunity provisions in international law were meant not to protect individuals from wrongdoing, but only to allow diplomatic missions to function smoothly.
Amid questions from the justice, Mr. Mehta contended that protections included in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, should be extended to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, even though the United States did not sign that accord.
The provisions of the special agencies convention, which are accepted by more than 100 nations, have the status of “customary international law,” Mr. Mehta argued, adding that the United States Supreme Court and the New York State Court of Appeals had recognized such laws even without a specific treaty signed by American authorities.
Although Mr. Strauss-Kahn had resigned his position of managing director at the International Monetary Fund by the time the civil lawsuit was filed, Mr. Mehta said immunity still applied.
At times, Judge McKeon seemed skeptical of the line of logic that Mr. Mehta was advancing. At one point he wondered why Mr. Strauss-Kahn had not made similar arguments while facing a criminal case."
"Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed and widely taught, Ms. Rich was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose; the poetry alone has sold nearly 800,000 copies, according to W. W. Norton & Company, her publisher since the mid-1960s.
Triply marginalized — as a woman, a lesbian and a Jew — Ms. Rich was concerned in her poetry, and in her many essays, with identity politics long before the term was coined.
She accomplished in verse what Betty Friedan, author of “The Feminine Mystique,” did in prose. In describing the stifling minutiae that had defined women’s lives for generations, both argued persuasively that women’s disenfranchisement at the hands of men must end.
For Ms. Rich, the personal, the political and the poetical were indissolubly linked; her body of work can be read as a series of urgent dispatches from the front. While some critics called her poetry polemical, she remained celebrated for the unflagging intensity of her vision, and for the constant formal reinvention that kept her verse — often jagged and colloquial, sometimes purposefully shocking, always controlled in tone, diction and pacing — sounding like that of few other poets.
All this helped ensure Ms. Rich’s continued relevance long after she burst genteelly onto the scene as a Radcliffe senior in the early 1950s.
Her constellation of honors includes a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 1994 and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for “Diving Into the Wreck.” That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork.
In the title poem, Ms. Rich uses the metaphor of a dive into dark, unfathomable waters to plumb the depths of women’s experience:
I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. ... We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to the scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
mercredi 28 mars 2012
"Newt Gingrich has made questions about President Barack Obama and the president’s “attacks” on the Roman Catholic Church a central theme of his campaign. So has Rick Santorum. Both turned up the burner on the rhetoric last week — Gingrich by asking why Obama does things that make voters question his religion, and Santorum by unveiling an ad — that spliced images of the president with Iranian strongman and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Santorum’s team says the visual juxtaposition was unintentional.
Of the four remaining prominent hopefuls who have won states in the GOP primary, Mitt Romney is the one who has steered clear of stoking the embers within the Republican Party that insist Obama is a Muslim. It’s an untruth about the Christian president that never totally disappeared after 2008 and is back for a second airing. Beyond a survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, which provocatively asked GOP primary voters in Mississippi and Alabama whether they think Obama is a Muslim — about half of the Republicans in each state said they do — there is no quantifiable data indicating whether this view is widespread.
Un représentant noir de l'Illinois, Bobby Rush, tentait de manifester son soutien à la défense de Trayvon Martin. "During one-minute speeches, when House members can talk on the floor on a topic of their choosing, Rush wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses and spoke about Martin’s death.
“I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the real hoodlums in this nation,” said Rush, whose son was gunned down in 1999. “Racial profiling has to stop … just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”
Hats are banned in the House chamber. The presiding lawmaker, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), interrupted Rush to ask the House Sergeant-At-Arms to enforce those rules and said “members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.” Rush said he was escorted off the floor by someone from the Sergeant-At-Arms office.
Several lawmakers in recent days have called for the arrest of George Zimmerman, who says he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in a suburban Orlando neighborhood. Martin’s parents appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday to participate in a forum on racial profiling, hate crimes and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” gun laws in connection with the shooting.
In a later interview with CNN, Rush said he was “appalled” that Zimmerman has not been arrested.
“The assailant has not been charged. Something’s wrong with that. The police let him go … something’s wrong with that,” Rush said. “This is just a mere example, indication, protest about the failure of the judicial system as it relates to African-American males and the clothing that they wear.”"
"When the FBI wanted to highlight its work against extremist milita movements in September, they singled out their case against members of the Michigan-based Christian group known as the Hutaree as an “example of the dangers posed by so-called militia extremists.” In the largest and highest profile bust of an extremist milita group in recent memory, nine members of the Hutaree were arrested in March 2010 and accused of being involved in a conspiracy to kill cops and start a battle with federal authorities. But on Tuesday, the four year ordeal came to a dramatic end when the vast majority of the case was tossed out. So how does fact that a judge tossed the conspiracy charges against members of the Hutaree reflect on the FBI’s larger battle against extremist militias?
“Whatever the particular merits of this case, the reality is that things of this nature are going on across the country whether or not prosecutors are able to make a case that actually sticks. What I don’t think this means is ‘there’s no threat.’ There clearly is a threat from the radical right,” Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told TPM.
“It’s always very difficult to make a conspiracy case, American juries are known for their reluctance to convict on conspiracy cases, but of course this wasn’t a jury question,” Potok said.
“These cases are often close calls and its often impossible to judge them without being in the courtroom. It really is a question for the judge and jurors,” Potok said. “That said, the fact that so many of these people were acquitted does not mean there’s not an active and a dangerous right out there, there really is. Whatever becomes of this case, the fact remains we’ve seen an an enormous expansion of the radical right in recent years.”"
"Shaima Alawadi’s family says they found the first note taped to the front door of their house on a quiet suburban street here. It said: “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist,” according to her 15-year-old son, Mohammed.
Ms. Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi, says he wanted to call the police. But his wife said no, insisting the note was only a child’s prank. Like many others in the neighborhood, the couple were immigrants from Iraq. In 17 years in the United States, they had been called terrorists before, he said.
But last Wednesday, Ms. Alawadi was found in the family’s dining room by her 17-year-daughter, lying unconscious in a puddle of blood with a severe head wound. Nearby lay another threatening note, similar to the one the family found a week earlier.
Ms. Alawadi, 32, died three days later. The police caution against jumping to conclusions, saying they are still trying to determine whether she was targeted because of her religion or ethnicity, calling that just one possibility.%% “At this point, we are not calling it a hate crime,” said Lt. Mark Coit of the El Cajon police. “We haven’t made that determination. We are calling it an isolated incident, because we don’t have any evidence of anything similar going on at this point.”
Whatever the police eventually determine, the crime has shattered the sense of security for Iraqi immigrants in El Cajon, exposing cultural tensions and distrust that have often simmered just below the surface since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
"Before he temporarily stepped down from his position last week as chief of the Sanford, Fla., police department, Bill Lee Jr., gave an explanation of his decision not to arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. Lee said he had no reason to doubt Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Though Lee is no longer in the spotlight, his words linger for at least one compelling reason: his explanation bears an eerie resemblance to cases brought under the Fugitive Slave Law during the Antebellum period. Today, a legal standard that allowed the police chief to take Zimmerman at his word recalls the dark past of slave-owners claiming their property. The writings of Martin Delany, the African American political philosopher and activist, shed light on the uncanny resemblance.
During his trip through the free states west of New York to solicit subscriptions for the North Star, the newspaper that he and Frederick Douglass published, Martin Delany regularly corresponded with Douglass. One of his letters to Douglass, dated July 14, 1848 (Bastille Day), details the events of the so-called “Crosswhite affair,” which involved a court case brought under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793. The presiding judge for the case was John McClean, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Delany’s philosophical analysis of McClean’s charge to the jury is enlightening. A little background may be helpful.
mardi 27 mars 2012
"The Obama administration’s top legal advocate was pilloried Tuesday for offering a less-than-eloquent constitutional defense of the health care reform law’s individual mandate — the provision at the heart of the challenge to “Obamacare.” Thankfully for supporters of the law, some of the sharpest legal minds in the country unintentionally articulated his case better than he did — the justices themselves. Liberal-leaning justices on the court each stepped in at various points to suggest arguments for the mandate’s legitimacy. Here are the four best arguments they made — or at least hinted at — that could sway their skeptical colleagues."
Lien pour les arguments:
"Defense budgets will contract for two other reasons. First, the sense of external threat that the country felt throughout the Cold War and after 9/11 has ebbed. Americans’ support for defense spending depends on how threatened they feel. For the moment, at least, the world does not seem particularly threatening. Second, the politics of the federal budget do not favor the Department of Defense, which cannot count on either political party to protect its share of federal spending. No major part of the Democratic coalition makes foreign and security policy a high priority. The Republican coalition does include national security hawks, who are committed to a large military and a robust foreign policy. But there are two other parts of the Republican coalition. Social conservatives are indifferent in these matters, and proponents of small government and low taxes -- now the most influential members of the coalition because they express the views of the Tea Party movement -- are willing to sacrifice defense spending for the sake of their principal goals."