Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Young Turks: "Video Captures EXACTLY How Cops Treat Black People"

Michael Shure and John Iadarola of The Young Turks watch a wrenching video in which a black man, Chris Lollie, waiting to pick up his kids, is harassed by the police in St. Paul, MN. Despite his attempt to deal rationally with the hostile officers, the situation escalates.  Lollie assesses it accurately: "The problem is I'm black." After reviewing the video, the two hosts refer to Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who insists that there's no such thing as white privilege. Watch the following video and consider whether the two officers would have treated a white dad this way:

You can watch more of the video, a news report and an interview with Chris Lollie.

Fox & Friends: What's Been Toughest For Michael Brown's Killer?

What did Fox & Friends focus on regarding Officer Darren Wilson, who killed a young black man, said he'd do it again and faced no charges after the prosecuting attorney acted as his defense lawyer? Why, they focused on his "ordeal." Here it is, in a Tweet:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lisa Bloom: McCulloch Rigged the System for Wilson

NBC News legal analyst Lisa Bloom criticized St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch for his handling of the case involving the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. McCullogh, Bloom argues, actually acted as a defense attorney for Wilson, applied invalid reasoning for not wanting to file charges and never explained discrepancies in the case. She concludes that McCulloch "rigged the system to get the result he wanted." Watch:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"What Should We Think About Death?" by Stephen Fry

Last month, we listened to Stephen Fry, English comedian, actor, writer and activist, provide the humanist perspective to finding happiness and discovering the truth. In the following animated video, Fry expresses his doubts about an afterlife and encourages us to accept death as a natural part of life and make the most of the one life we know we have. Watch:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Night at The Liberal Curmudgeon: Remembering Jimmy Ruffin

Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin, who had a string of hits in the 1960s, passed away on Monday at age 78. Above, Ruffin performed his most enduring song, "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," on the British music show "Later...With Jools Holland," October 2009.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mitch McConnell Suddenly Believes In Science

Prior to the midterm elections, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed questions about climate change by stating, "I'm not a scientist." It's unclear how pleading ignorance reassures us of his policy judgment on this critical issue. When it comes, though, to the Keystone XL Pipeline, the project to carry corrosive tar sands from Canada through the U.S., McConnell suddenly believes in science:

In remarks on the Senate floor, hours before a vote on a bill that fast-tracks construction of the pipeline, McConnell pointed to the “science” supporting the legislation.

“Those who took a serious look at the science and the potential benefits reached the conclusion long ago,” he said Tuesday. “They understand that the whole drama over Keystone has been as protracted as it is unnecessary. We hope to turn the page on all of that today."

The same thing can be said of Republican obstinacy on climate change: It's been protracted and unnecessary. Too bad Congress is nowhere near turning that particular page.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Republican Immigration Foe Has No Alternative Plan

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), adamantly opposed to immigration reform, must be apoplectic following President Obama's speech tonight. So what is his alternative plan? Interviewed on Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect," Huelskamp danced around host Mark Halperin's repeated questions about what he would do about millions of undocumented immigrants. When it was clear that Huelskamp had no solution, co-host John Heilemann concluded, "Don't ever say we didn't give you a chance to put forward a positive idea about what your policy is to actually deal with the problem. We gave you a bunch of chances, but you decided not to go for it." Huelskamp reflects his fellow House Republicans, who refused to act after the Senate passed an immigration reform bill. Whether the issue is immigration or health care, the Republicans rail against reform but offer no alternative. Watch Huelskamp refuse to "go for it":

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Two GOP Presidents Extended Amnesty For Immigrants

Republicans are criticizing President Obama for his imminent plan to take unilateral action on immigration and, as always, considering ways to obstruct him. They seem to forget that House Republicans under Speaker John Boehner did nothing after the Senate passed immigration legislation. They also forget that two Republican Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, extended amnesty to protect immigrants. Somehow, though, it's different when Obama does it:

President Barack Obama's anticipated order that would shield millions of immigrants now living illegally in the U.S. from deportation is not without precedent.

Two of the last three Republican presidents — Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — did the same thing in extending amnesty to family members who were not covered by the last major overhaul of immigration law in 1986.

There was no political explosion then comparable to the one Republicans are threatening now.

A tea party-influenced GOP is poised to erupt if and when Obama follows through on his promise. He wants to extend protection from deportation to millions of immigrant parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and expand his 2-year-old program that shields immigrants brought illegally to this country as children.

"The audacity of this president to think he can completely destroy the rule of law with the stroke of a pen is unfathomable to me," said GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an outspoken opponent of relaxing U.S. immigration law. "It is unconstitutional, it is cynical, and it violates the will of the American people."

Such strong feelings are common among congressional Republicans. GOP leaders warn that an executive order from Obama would "poison the well" and severely damage Republicans' willingness to work with the president during his final two years in office.

Some Republicans have even raised the possibility of impeachment.

Nearly three decades ago, there was barely a peep when Reagan and Bush used their authority to extend amnesty to the spouses and minor children of immigrants covered by the 1986 law.

..."It's clear that it's fully within [Obama's] legal authority to issue these orders," said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas. He said Republicans "didn't raise any objections in the past when Republican presidents issued similar orders. This is pure political theater."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gallup: Newly Insured Like Their Obamacare

Gallup reports that a strong majority of Americans like the health insurance coverage they have received through the new government exchanges brought about by the Affordable Care Act:

Over seven in 10 Americans who bought new health insurance policies through the government exchanges earlier this year rate the quality of their healthcare and their healthcare coverage as "excellent" or "good." These positive evaluations are generally similar to the reviews that all insured Americans give to their health insurance.

Among those who bought new health insurance policies through the exchanges, the majority are about as satisfied with their coverage and healthcare as are other Americans -- suggesting that the end result of the exchange enrollment process is a generally positive one for those who take advantage of it. Americans who still lack health insurance will have the opportunity to buy coverage when the national insurance marketplace exchanges open again on Nov. 15.

...In addition to newly insured Americans rating their coverage and the quality of their healthcare positively, they are more satisfied than the average insured American with the cost of their health coverage. Three in four of the newly insured say they are satisfied with this aspect of their healthcare experience, compared with 61% among the general population of those with insurance. To some degree, this could reflect the fact that many who get insurance through the exchanges receive government subsidies to help reduce the overall cost of their health insurance.

Newly insured Americans' positive attitudes toward their health coverage are manifested in their coverage intentions going forward. Among those who bought a new policy through a government exchange this year, 68% say they will renew their current policy, while 7% say they plan to get a different policy through a state or federal exchange. Meanwhile, 15% say they will get a different policy from another source, and 2% say they will drop their health insurance altogether.

Fox's Ebola Panic Ends Right After Elections

Isn't it an amazing coincidence that, right after the midterm elections, we no longer heard the constant media drumbeat of panic over Ebola–which was linked at times to the panic over ISIS? This coverage, particularly in the case of one network–Fox, naturally–has severely tapered off. It was based on a cynical, failed attempt to boost ratings–and to fear monger for the Republicans and blame Obama for the crises. Watch this compilation of pre-election coverage: