Today is May 24, 2013 and TGIF! Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash and Tommy Chong!
Your morning open thread begins below...
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Today is May 24, 2013 and TGIF! Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash and Tommy Chong!
Your morning open thread begins below...
Before Occupy Wall Street, I had followed livestream news - you likely did, as well - except it was usually big breaking news on CNN, or MSNBC and a headline would say "Watch live here." Now there are at least as many livestreamers are there are occupy movements in the nation, and since I've been here at Crooksand Liars' OccupyAmerica site, there have been times when I've been keeping my eyes on up to six different streams simultaneously. The livestreamers are worlds apart from our msm's livestreamed news, there are no edits, no scripts, and you always see the truth in their news.
As our own Tina Dupuy writes in a new article at Alternet, "You can sum up livestreamers as those who came to protest and stayed to tell the story. They’re armed with a smart phone, an app and an audience of people at home watching every frame."
Dupuy points out that as Occupy has evolved, that caught in the middle of the debate over peaceful protests vs. diversity of tactics are the livestreamers. What you see on their livestreams are events exactly as they happen. You can't control what everyone is doing while you're filming. If police throw tear gas at protesters, you'll see it live, and by the same token if an occupier throws a bottle or a brick at police that's what you'll see as well. “People are tired of being lied to by the media,” Tim Pool tells Dupuy, and adds, “Transparency is paramount.”
The important moments - and they are countless - of the occupy movement that are captured by the livestreamers are what their new-found profession are all about. The moments that will become part of history, and re-told for generations to come. Events that might not even be believed if it weren't for the citizen journalists.
[Note from the Editor: Update at the end of this post.]
Still trying to figure out what happened on Thursday night in Oakland? It isn't any wonder if you follow mainly the msm, like the above local ABC affiliate above. Here is the "report" that went along with this video:
A window at President Barack Obama's Oakland campaign office was smashed Friday night as a group of protesters marched through downtown.
A group of 100-200 Occupy Oakland protesters began marching down Telegraph Avenue after being denied a permit to protest near the First Friday event at Art Murmur.
A few Obama campaign volunteers were working inside the office when the window was smashed in with a brick. No one was hurt.
Police made no arrests.
An error in this report states Friday, when it was actually Thursday.
An exclusive early release just for CrooksandLiars - Occupy America: JENNIE ARNAU’s “Better Luck Next Time” is featured on Occupy This Album scheduled for a 5/15 release through Sony Music with all proceeds from the album going directly to the Occupy Wall Street movement. “Better Luck Next Time” is the follow-up single to Jennie’s 2010 release Chasing Giants (MRI) which was praised by Rolling Stone’s Joe Levy as “her most fully realized set of songs yet. If you care about the struggle for love and happiness - and who among us doesn't? -- This one's for you.”
After being inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and other worldwide protests and upheavals including those in Egypt, Syria, Greece and Italy to name a few, Jennie approached this track with a sense of urgency. “I immersed myself in listening to protest and folk singers of the past and present including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle and they emboldened me to write ‘Better Luck Next Time’. I was actually nervous as I didn’t want to compare myself to such important names but I think I’ve written a song that is uniquely my own and contemporary”.
“I’m really so proud of this song,” says Jennie “I’ve tried a lyrical style that’s out-of-the box for me and really hope I can make a small difference with the song somewhere around the world”.
The Occupy This Album is available for pre-order now for just $9.99.
PBS dropped a documentary called "Citizen Koch" because they feared the reaction of billionaire sponsor David Koch.
That news hasn’t sat too well with many, including Stephen Colbert, who takes PBS to task for cancelling the documentary. Noting that government contributions constitute only 12 percent of PBS’ funds, Colbert explained that public television is now “more and more dependent on viewers nothing like you.”
"I guess for a donation of $75 you get the PBS tote bag. And for $23 million, you get PBS's nut sack."
At least there are some Republicans in the House who actually want to get some work done...
The inquiry led by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the slaying of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year has been attention-grabbing, but some senior GOP aides are worried that the partisan overtones are diverting Congress from identifying and addressing the real lessons learned from the attack.
In particular, these aides say key staffers have been overly consumed with chasing down or addressing inaccurate or unfounded accusations emerging from the inquiry.
“We have got to get past that and figure out what are we going to do going forward,” a GOP aide stressed. “Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn’t believe some of this stuff. It’s just — I mean, you’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.”
Senior GOP aides pointed out that many of the accusations involving security and military forces turned out to be unfounded. One recent example involved a supposed whistle-blower who reported that an armed Predator drone was operating in the area, but was not called upon to respond to the Benghazi attack, an assertion labeled erroneous by Pentagon officials and Hill staffers.
“There are some real issues there and then there is just some crazy stuff,” the senior House GOP aide said. “The crazy stuff is, you know, the airman in Ramstein [Air Base, Germany,] that knew that the Predator [drone] was armed. There are no armed Predators in the region there. The [status of forces agreement] does not allow us to fly them armed, and everybody knows it.”
GOP aides described another criticism aired at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing that there were four security officers at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli who were ordered to remain in the capital for several hours after the first reports of an attack, rather than being scrambled to assist the consulate in Benghazi.
“The stand-down order was for four guys,” the GOP aide said. “When you step back and say how were the people killed at the annex, they were killed by an indirect fire mortar round. Four more M-4s [rifles] inside the annex doesn’t change that outcome. In fact, they might have just created more casualties. We have got to get down to what really happened on the DoD side and for us the DoD side was not properly postured, why?”
Join the March Against Monsanto to shut down the one corporation that controls every morsel of food from our cradles to our graves.
At the moment over two million people have planned over 400 global marches in 52 countries, 200 cities, and simultaneously in 47 states in the United States.
Monsanto is the corporation behind the chemically created GMO foods that threaten our lives. The company has taken over the government agencies formed to protect us, taken over the seed market, and they are the beneficiary of corporate subsidies and political favoritism, while jeopardizing the safety of the worldwide food supply.
What can we do? What can you do? Organize! Insist that GMO foods are labeled. Repeal the "Monsanto Protection Act" inform your friends and take to the streets!!!
The Obama administration has admitted for the first time to killing four U.S. citizens in drone strikes overseas. Three died in Yemen: the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. A fourth, Jude Kenan Mohammad — whose death was not previously reported — was killed in Pakistan. In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that all but the attack on the elder al-Awlaki were accidental, saying the other three "were not specifically targeted." The admission came on the eve of a major address on counter-terrorism by President Obama, who defended the use of drones and announced modified guidelines for carrying out secret targeted killings.
Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield," and co-producer of the upcoming documentary film by the same name, joins Juan Gonzales and Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! to discuss the targeted killing of Americans with drones.
On the issue of the other Americans that were killed, you know, Jude Mohammad was a suspect who had been indicted, and his family was contesting those charges. And we don’t know the circumstances over how he was killed. Samir Khan, who was a Pakistani American from North Carolina, was killed alongside Anwar Awlaki. My understanding is that there was a grand jury convened, and they’d failed to return an indictment against him, so he was actually someone where they looked at trying to charge him with a crime and failed to get an indictment against him. His family, in fact, was told by the FBI before his death that there were no criminal charges pending against him. So he was another American killed. And perhaps the most disturbing is the killing of Abdulrahman Awlaki’s, Anwar Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, who was killed two weeks after his father while he was sitting having dinner with his teenage cousins.
And in the letter, Eric Holder says that besides Anwar al-Awlaki, the other three Americans were—and he used an interesting phrase—"not specifically targeted." You know, what does that phrase mean? It’s almost like an Orwellian statement, "not specifically targeted." Well, it could mean that these individuals were killed in the signature strikes that you mentioned, which is a sort of form of precrime, where the U.S. determines that any military-aged males in a targeted area are in fact terrorists, and their deaths will be registered as having killed terrorists or militants. So, it’s possible that the other Americans that were killed were killed were killed in these so-called signature strikes.
But in the case of this 16-year-old boy, it’s almost impossible to believe that it’s a coincidence that two weeks after his father is killed, he just happens to be killed in a U.S. drone strike. And there were leaks at the time from U.S. officials telling journalists that, oh, he actually was 21 years old, he was at an al-Qaeda meeting. But they’ve never been able to identify who they killed in that strike. And the Obama administration has never publicly taken on the fact that they killed one of their own citizens who was a teenage boy. There are no answers to that question. So, I think that there has to be a far more intense scrutiny of the statements of the attorney general and also what we understand the president is going to say later.
Full transcript of the discussion available here.
According to an analysis from the Los Angeles Times, the states with the greatest need to expand Medicaid also, unfortunately, have Republican leaders who are refusing to participate. This opposition could leave millions of the nation's poorest residents without insurance coverage, and will likely widen the divide between the nation's healthiest and sickest states.
Colon cancer deaths in states opposing Medicaid expansion, for example, are an average of 16% higher than in pro-expansion states, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of state health data.
Deaths from breast cancer are 8% higher on average in anti-expansion states. And adults under 65 are 40% more likely on average to have lost six or more teeth from decay, infection or gum disease.
Medicaid by itself may not close those gaps, which also reflect income and education disparities. And the program's conservative critics, who contend it could ultimately sap state budgets, say poor Americans would be better helped by alternative strategies, including limits on government medical aid to encourage people to take responsibility for their own healthcare.
"Government assistance should not be an entitlement. Government assistance should not be a lifestyle," said Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, a Republican who has called for a complete overhaul of the state's Medicaid program, including a four-year limit on benefits for nondisabled adults. "Government assistance should be a temporary hand up. It should be a way to improve people's lives, not trap them in dependency."
Yet most state leaders who are fighting the Medicaid expansion have advanced few alternative plans to tackle their states' health shortfalls. That means that, at least in the short term, America's unhealthiest states could fall even further behind as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.
"Many states may be missing a real opportunity to reduce some of the big differences we see across the country in health," said Cathy Schoen, a health economist at the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund who has studied variations between states.
Residents of many of those states, those in the Deep South, would really love to see Medicaid expansion, a new survey suggests. Families USA polled in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina -- places where the Medicaid expansion would cover millions of uninsured people -- and found that 62 percent of respondents support Medicaid expansion.
Not all Republican led states will be left behind; several high-profile conservative Republican governors, including John Kasich (Ohio), Rick Scott (Fla.), Jan Brewer (Ariz.) and Chris Christie (N.J.) have supported the expansion.
The Young Turks: Cenk, Ben Mankiewicz and Brett Erlich discuss troubling reports that the Department of Justice tapped Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone line – and his parents’. Cenk says the journalist wiretapping is the only actual scandal going on right now (as opposed to the IRS audits and Benghazi). But because Fox News flips out over everything, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff on the rare occasion that they’re right about something.
“Part of the problem is that Fox News cries wolf so much that once they have a legitimate argument… you’ve lost a little credibility,” Cenk says.
I'm not sure when, or if, Fox News ever had a legitimate argument -- or credibility -- but they do cry wolf rather often.