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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Comey should resign - The Washington Post

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"In light of the news that the Justice Department’s inspector general is opening an investigation into how FBI Director James B. Comey “handled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices,” it’s probably best for Comey to resign.  The investigation is going to span from Comey’s actions in July 2016, when he first announced that no charges would be filed against Clinton, to November 2016, which covers when Comey sent one letter informing Congress that the FBI was re-opening the case to examine emails found on Anthony Wiener’s laptop and then a second letter days before the election again saying that no charges would be filed. When you also add in the inspector general’s investigation into whether Anthony McCabe, the FBI deputy director whose wife previously took money from Hillary Clinton ally Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) PAC when she ran for a Virginia Senate seat, should have recused himself from the case entirely, we are left with a cloudy set of circumstances and events. And now, with suspicions about who leaked scurrilous, unverified, non-intelligence information about Donald Trump, the plot is clearly thickening, not settling down.
Comey has been criticized both by Republicans and Democrats for his actions at various points throughout the 2016 campaign. No matter what the inspector general report shows — after what will undoubtedly be a very lengthy investigation — there will always be a lingering suspicion that something went wrong with the FBI’s involvement. There will always be a sense that something wasn’t quite right at the top.
I wrote back at the end of October that Comey was in a difficult situation, boxed in by Clinton partisans and heading an agency that allegedly was expressing distrust of the Obama Justice Department.  By all accounts, Comey is a decent man and a straight shooter, and it’s unfortunate that the Clinton scandals landed him in such an untenable position. But too much toothpaste has left the tube. The FBI won’t be thought of as being at its best, and the agency’s investigations and actions won’t be met with complete trust, unless there is a change at the very top."

Comey should resign - The Washington Post

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NAACP | NAACP Statement on Appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

‘Senator Sessions’ record suggests that he will carry on an old, ugly legacy in this country’s history when civil rights for African-Americans, women and minorities were not regarded as core American values. While Lady Justice may be said to be blind, we need an Attorney General with 20-20 vision in seeing racial injustice. Whether Senator Sessions, with decades of failing grades on the NAACP’s report card, possesses a racial vision and commitment to justice is in serious question.

‘We need to move forward, not backward. Our nation needs federal action to protect basic voting rights, to reform outrageous abuses and racial profiling by police departments in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and across the country, and to protect rights for LGBT Americans and other vulnerable populations in an era of rising hate and in the face of an administration threatening to wage war on basic civil liberties.

‘Through Congress, our membership and by every means available, the NAACP will continue to stand against the regressive and intolerant views that Senator Sessions espouses.’

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six ‘Game Changer’ issue areas here.

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(Via.)  NAACP | NAACP Statement on Appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: “

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Read the letter Coretta Scott King wrote opposing Sessions’s 1986 federal nomination - The Washington Post

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‘Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,’ King wrote in the cover page of her 9-page letter opposing Sessions’s nomination, which failed at the time.

‘Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.’"

(Via.)  Read the letter Coretta Scott King wrote opposing Sessions’s 1986 federal nomination - The Washington Post:

Monday, January 09, 2017

What Are You Hiding, Jeff Sessions? - The New York Times

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"If anyone requires a thorough vetting, it’s Mr. Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama who trails behind him a toxic cloud of hostility to racial equality, voting rights, women’s rights, criminal justice reform and other issues at the heart of the Justice Department’s mandate. Yet in their eagerness to act on his nomination, Senate Republicans seem unconcerned that Mr. Sessions, who has made appropriate financial disclosures, has failed to turn over dozens — possibly hundreds — of documents that the committee specifically requests in its standard questionnaire, including transcripts of speeches, interviews, opinion pieces and other public remarks.
Mr. Sessions, who has suggested that judicial nominees may be committing crimes when they withhold relevant information from the Senate, now gives laughable explanations for the truck-size holes in his own résumé. He has said that there is no record of the vast majority of interviews he has given over the years, but a quick Google search disproves that..."

 

What Are You Hiding, Jeff Sessions? - The New York Times: ""

Sunday, January 08, 2017

No Closure on the ‘Comfort Women’ - The New York Times

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"The tension between two countries that should be jointly confronting North Korea’s nuclear threat and China’s spreading influence prompted Washington to mediate an agreement in December 2015 in which Japan apologized and promised $8.3 million to care for the surviving women. The deal was meant to be a “final and irreversible resolution” to the matter.
But many Koreans, including some of the surviving women, felt the deal fell far short of their demand that Japan accept legal responsibility and offer formal reparations. On Dec. 28, the first anniversary of the agreement, Korean activists installed another statue, this one in front of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. The local government immediately removed it, but then relented under acute public pressure.
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On Friday, Japan recalled its ambassador to South Korea and suspended negotiations over an arrangement to help Seoul stabilize its currency, along with other high-level economic talks.

No Closure on the ‘Comfort Women’ - The New York Times: ""

Friday, January 06, 2017

Republicans Are Planning to Rush Through Jeff Sessions’s Confirmation Hearing | The Nation

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" Despite his controversial record, Democrats will only get to call four witnesses during the course of a two-day hearing. By Joan WalshTwitter"

(Via.)   Republicans Are Planning to Rush Through Jeff Sessions’s Confirmation Hearing | The Nation:

Monday, January 02, 2017

News Today - The Atlantic

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"Police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem Monday over allegations he and members of his family received illegal gifts from business owners. Netanyahu, who has denied any wrongdoing, told his critics ‘not to celebrate.’ Ron Lauder, a U.S. businessman and longtime friend of Netanyahu’s, reportedly told investigators he gave the prime minister various gifts and had paid for a trip for Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli leader’s son. Authorities say they believe the gifts were given in hopes of gaining influence. Haaretz adds: ‘Police are hoping their interrogation of Netanyahu will also shed additional light on a second more serious case whose full details have not yet been made public, sources privy to the investigation say. Details of this case were presented to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit a few months ago.’"

(Via.)  News Today - The Atlantic:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Significant Resolution on Israel - The New Yorker

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"Last Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2334, with a dramatic abstention by the Obama Administration. The resolution called on Palestinian leaders to take ‘immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror,’ and refrain from ‘incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.’ Its real target, though, was Israel’s settlement project, which, the resolution sharply claimed, has ‘no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.’

Later in the day on Friday, I spoke to Robert Malley, the special assistant to the President on the National Security Council, the senior adviser for the campaign against isis, and the White House coördinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf. In February, 2011, the Obama Administration vetoed a similar U.N. condemnation of settlements—opposing fourteen other members of the Security Council and a hundred and twenty co-sponsors from the General Assembly. Why abstain now, I asked Malley, and not then? ‘A real difference is that efforts to advance negotiations were ongoing in 2011,’ Malley told me. ‘We were concerned not to interfere with a process that had some prospect of progressing. That’s not the case since Secretary Kerry’s efforts in 2014. We are at an impasse. There is no prospect of resumption of serious meaningful talks between the sides, so the argument that a U.N. resolution would interfere with negotiations doesn’t hold much water.’

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(Via.)   A Significant Resolution on Israel - The New Yorker:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Aleppo’s “Evacuation” Is a Crime Against Humanity - The New Yorker

"Last Thursday, as forces loyal to the Syrian government advanced through eastern Aleppo and despondent civilians there wondered whether they would be massacred, Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, stood in a sunlit courtyard in Damascus, dressed in a crisp blue suit, and compared his victory to the births of Jesus Christ and the prophet Muhammad. Just as our calendars count the years before and after those events, he explained, “I believe that we will talk about history—and not just the history of Syria but of the entire world—as before and after the liberation of Aleppo.” He rocked back and forth on his heels, waving his arms and raising his eyebrows, unable to conceal his excitement.



So, characteristically, an autocrat inflates his place in history. But, in this case, it’s worth acknowledging that Assad has a point: the significance of Aleppo’s collapse is far greater than its physical territory, its ancient history, and its former splendor. For more than four years, Western governments and the United Nations stood by, watching, as Assad and his backers ostentatiously ignored the laws of war, and residents of eastern Aleppo live-streamed their own extermination. Now, along with tens of thousands of civilians, the credibility of the powerful countries and institutions that could have helped them, but didn’t, lies in Aleppo’s rubble and blood."





Aleppo’s “Evacuation” Is a Crime Against Humanity - The New Yorker

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters | World news | The Guardian

A Chinese navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest and demand for its return from the United States, a US defense official told Reuters on Friday.

The incident – the first of its kind in recent memory – took place on Thursday north-west of Subic Bay just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve the unmanned, underwater vehicle (UUV), the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea,” the official said.

“It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was US property.”

The Chinese seizure will add to concerns about China’s growing military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.


Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters | World news | The Guardian

Sunday, December 04, 2016

At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

We must understand what happened here. Native peoples were shot with rubber bullets, tear gas and violence until White veterans arrived. This confirms the analysis that minority rights are not protected in America unless it effects a significant group of Whites. The victory was won and the government violence stopped only when famous Whites arrived. Non White lives still do not matter in America. "The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force today to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.
They are joining the months-long demonstration at a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor has issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5."


At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

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We must understand what happened here. Native peoples were shot with rubber bullets, tear gas and violence until White veterans arrived. This confirms the analysis that minority rights are not protected in America unless it effects a significant group of Whites. The victory was won and the government violence stopped only when famous Whites arrived. Non White lives still do not matter in America. "The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force today to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.

They are joining the months-long demonstration at a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor has issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5."

(Via.)  At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News:

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation

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“On the Tuesday after the election, two dozen pastors gathered in the back room of a Lower Manhattan church to begin plotting the resistance. Most of the faith leaders were immigrants, and all of them members of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and activists. Since its founding in 2007, the coalition has worked on the front lines in the fight to protect undocumented New Yorkers from detention and deportation.

The meeting began with a prayer—‘We pray you will give us all the right to remain in justice, in solidarity and in truth’—delivered by a soft-spoken Mexican priest, first in Spanish, then in English. Updates from the past week followed—reports of congregations in crisis, sleepless nights spent consoling worried parents, tearful children afraid to go to school. The mood was tense but focused, and before long they’d arrived at the main item on the agenda."

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation (Via.)

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation

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“On the Tuesday after the election, two dozen pastors gathered in the back room of a Lower Manhattan church to begin plotting the resistance. Most of the faith leaders were immigrants, and all of them members of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and activists. Since its founding in 2007, the coalition has worked on the front lines in the fight to protect undocumented New Yorkers from detention and deportation.

The meeting began with a prayer—‘We pray you will give us all the right to remain in justice, in solidarity and in truth’—delivered by a soft-spoken Mexican priest, first in Spanish, then in English. Updates from the past week followed—reports of congregations in crisis, sleepless nights spent consoling worried parents, tearful children afraid to go to school. The mood was tense but focused, and before long they’d arrived at the main item on the agenda."

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation (Via.)