May 2013 archive

Transwoman’s body found in pond near Cleveland…tied to concrete block

 photo cemia_zps984e180f.jpgThis really gets old.  On April 17 the decomposing body of transwoman Cemia Dove, 20, was found in a pond in Olmsted Township, near Cleveland.  This is the third African American transwoman found murdered since the beginning of April.

The body was found tied to a concrete block and a steel pipe.  It was also naked from the waist down.  She had been stabbed to death.

As is typical, but nonetheless contrary to AP Stylesheet guidelines, Cemia was identified by her birth name in early reports and continually misgendered.  Additionally, an old mug shot was attached to the newspaper stories and her past misdemeanor arrests became the story in some circles…rather than the fact that she was murdered.

Around the Blogosphere

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

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This is an Open Thread.

From Gaius Publius at Americablog on climate change:

Climate crisis – where we’re headed, how much time is left

At his blog Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman

Medicaid Nonsense

Jim White reports on the ricin case arrest at emptywheel

The FBI’s Evidence Against the Genius Who Framed Elvis

At Voice on the Square, JayeRaye’s

Hellraisers Journal: “Shall Americanism or Unionism Rule?”

digby at Hullabaloo points out A big silver lining for deficit hawks

At Corrente, letsgetitdone:

Make ’em Prove the Causality before They Cause Any More Suffering: Part One

and lambert continues to document the Obamacare atrocities:

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: New 3-page eligibility form may screw states that are farthest ahead on their exchange software

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: IL expected 16 insurance companies on its exchange, only 6 apply

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: SCOOP! IT Whistleblower shares systems diagram for ObamaCare “eligibility engine”

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Exchanges only expected to cover 7 million in first year

Dean Baker at his blog, Beat the Press:

The Housing Experts on the WAPO’s Rolodex Never Heard of Jumbo Mortgages

Rant of the Week: Chris Hayes

Adapted from Rant of the Week at The Stars Hollow Gazette

Congress protects air travelers alone among sequester victims

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Pastas of Spring

 photo WholeGrainPastawithMushroomsAsparagasandFava_zps6b4fc948.jpg


    The beautiful, sweet vegetables of spring ― artichokes and peas, favas and tender young asparagus, spring garlic and sweet spring onions ― come and go so quickly that I find myself impulse buying at the market and using them up in the simplest of dishes. They beg nothing more than pasta, and that’s a good thing because many of these vegetables are labor-intensive. It’s worth the time it takes to shell the peas, to free the heart of the artichoke from its leaves, to shell and skin favas. Then little more is required than a quick sauté or simmer with aromatics. You can always embellish, though, as I am doing this week with some recipes, with a pesto or, in the case of a baked orzo pastitsio with artichokes and peas, a béchamel.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Whole-Grain Pasta With Mushrooms, Asparagus and Favas

This dish has heft and depth, but still showcases the delicate flavors of spring.

Orzo With Peas and Parsley Pesto

This is like a pasta version of the classic rice and peas risotto, risi e bisi.

Baked Orzo With Artichokes and Peas

A light yet comforting Greek-inspired dish enriched with béchamel.

Farfalle With Artichokes, Peas, Favas and Onions

The vegetable ragout is a simplified version of a classic Sicilian spring stew.

Penne With Peas, Pea Greens and Parmesan

A beautiful springtime pasta that makes the most of the pea plant.

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Paper Tiger

Over at The Plum Line Jamelle Bouie is a little irrationally exhuberant about the prospects for renewed action on Gun Safety based on promises of a new talking tour by Joe Biden and reports of deteriorating public polls for Ayotte, Baucus, Begich, and Murkowsi.

Well, not so fast buckaroo.

OFA’s first foray falls short

By: Reid J. Epstein, Politico

May 3, 2013 05:02 AM EDT

President Barack Obama’s man in North Dakota couldn’t pitch in to help shame Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for her vote against gun control – he was busy with his new job selling Toyotas.

Organizing for Action’s top Montana official wouldn’t canvass the state to turn up the heat on Sen. Max Baucus because there was no reimbursement for the gas money.

Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski haven’t had to worry about running up against OFA’s influence there, since Obama’s former state director there has turned back to building up her own political consulting business – “I need to get to making money,” she said.

Even in states Obama carried handily – places like Ohio and New Hampshire – the group couldn’t hold big rallies, blanket the airwaves with TV ads or motivate enough supporters to match the volume of phone calls from pro-gun advocates. Asked for demonstrations of the strong effort they were mounting, OFA staff pointed to “tweet your senator” pushes they encouraged in the days after the vote.

What that’s added up to so far: On the weekend after the background checks vote, seven OFA volunteers protested at the Tampa office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “More than 30” came to protest Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) at his Bozeman office, according to a local TV station, though some of them were counter-protesters in support of Baucus’s no vote on background checks.

Just 20 people came to protest Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) at his Winston-Salem office. The OFA protesters were invited into the office two at a time to air their grievances to staff, a Burr spokesman told POLITICO. A few accepted the offer, but many did not.

There were no events in North Dakota or Alaska, each home to Democrats who voted no. In Arkansas, the lead state volunteer planned events in and around Little Rock, where he lives, and posted them to OFA’s website. Barely anyone showed.

Outside groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns are counting on OFA to help them pack town hall meetings to confront senators who voted against the background checks bill.

But at New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte’s town hall meetings Tuesday, there was no discernible OFA presence. While there were protesters, many of them attended on their own to voice concerns to Ayotte about gun control or were organized by the Michael Bloomberg-backed group, which distributed signs saying, “Shame on you.”

OFA has just 19 paid state coordinators.  11ty Dimensional Chess my ass.


On This Day In History May 3

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

May 3 is the 123rd day of the year (124th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 242 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1919, Pete Seeger, folk singer, activist, environmentalist was born in NYC.

On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists. Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955.

In one of Pete’s darkest moments, when his personal freedom, his career, and his safety were in jeopardy, a flash of inspiration ignited this song. The song was stirred by a passage from Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel “And Quie Flows the Don”. Around the world the song traveled and in 1962 at a UNICEF concert in Germany, Marlene Dietrich, Academy Award-nominated German-born American actress, first performed the song in French, as “Qui peut dire ou vont les fleurs?” Shortly after she sang it in German. The song’s impact in Germany just after WWII was shattering. It’s universal message, “let there be peace in the world” did not get lost in its translation. To the contrary, the combination of the language, the setting, and the great lyrics has had a profound effect on people all around the world. May it have the same effect today and bring renewed awareness to all that hear it.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Late Night Karaoke

Stop TPP: Time to Take Action

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’ve been writing about the Trans Pacific Partnership for over a year, it still flies under the radar in the news media for a number of reasons, the most obvious reason is that the corporate giants don’t want the public knowing how really bad this trade agreement is. It is so bad that Mitt Romney urged Pres. Obama to finish negotiations and ratify it. Those negotiations are slowly coming to a conclusion.

Political corruption and the ‘free trade’ racket by Dean Baker, Al Jazeera

In polite circles in the United States, support for free trade is a bit like proper bathing habits: It is taken for granted. Only the hopelessly crude and unwashed would not support free trade.

There is some ground for this attitude. Certainly, the US has benefited enormously by being able to buy a wide range of items at lower cost from other countries. However, this does not mean that most people in the country have always benefited from every opening to greater trade.

And it certainly does not mean that the country will benefit from everything that those in power label as “free trade”. That is the story we are seeing now as the Obama administration is pursuing two major “free trade” agreements that in fact have very little to do with free trade and are likely to hurt those without the money and power to be part of the game.

The deals in questions, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the US-European Union “Free Trade” Agreement are both being pushed as major openings to trade that will increase growth and create jobs. In fact, eliminating trade restrictions is a relatively small part of both agreements, since most tariffs and quotas have already been sharply reduced or eliminated.

Rather, these deals are about securing regulatory gains for major corporate interests. In some cases, such as increased patent and copyright protection, these deals are 180 degrees at odds with free trade. They are about increasing protectionist barriers.

AS part of these agreements, the worst parts of the zombie bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), are being incorporated to “police” the internet.

Foreseeing opposition and difficulty getting the 2/3rd’s majority to pass this nightmare, Sen Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has proposed amendments to a Senate budget resolution that would speed its passage and implementation:

Hatch, who has been pressing the White House to move forward with fast-track authority, intends to offer an amendment that calls for implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is expected to be completed this year, along with a U.S.-European Union trade deal, which is set to begin talks in June, and any other potential free-trade agreements to be done under trade promotion authority (TPA). [..]

Meanwhile, all of these negotiations have been held in secret. Yves Smith writes this at naked capitalism:

Congressional staffers have confirmed that the text of the TPP draft is classified. That means that only people with security clearances, which for practical matters means Congressmen and certain staffers on key committees (House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee) in theory have access. That is already a monster impediment. Congressmen almost never have the time (even where they have the ability) to read long agreements in full and parse how key sections work (which often mean going back to definitions and in some cases, existing law). So keeping most staffers and third parties with expertise away assures that (until the last minute) the discussion and “clarifications” of the provisions under negotiation will come only from parties that are already in the tank.

But practice is even worse than theory. The full draft text is being withheld. And as anyone who has been involved in legal-related drafting knows, the actual language is critical. General terms and concepts that sound innocuous can serve as Trojan horses for all sorts of clever “gotcha” provisions.

Yves also brings attention to an article from Truthout

   Under federal law, members of the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees are designated official advisers to the USTR. In addition to every Representative and Senator, those panels’ staffers – being on “committees of jurisdiction” – are made privy to the American delegation’s proposals.

   Not a single person in Congress, however – or in any legislature of any country party to the deal – is allowed to even once-over the latest version of the actual draft agreement. In an email to Truthout, USTR spokesperson Carol Guthrie confirmed that senators and Congresspeople on committees of jurisdiction, along with their staffers, are only allowed to see the USTR proposals – not the working agreement. She added that “others at the discretion of the committees’ chair and ranking member” are given access to USTR proposals.

It is time for some cleansing sunshine.

We need to start to take action by calling our Senators and Representatives to tell them to stop this bill that will give international corporations more power that our own government, laws and courts,

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