All The News Fit To Share: Midweek Challenge

by: jlms qkw

Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:01:53 AM EST



chinawaiting
People in China standing in line for a civil service exam.  

Welcome to your nearly-nightly news diary that we leave open throughout the weekend! JanF and I are combining forces for an open news thread we hope will please all of you.  

Please comment on any of the stories in the diary or comments, or share any news stories you like from anywhere!  I tend to share lesser-known stories, and especially look for stories from original journalists w/ byline credits.  And I frequently highlight my home state of Utah.  

News stories may be added in comments throughout the day and night, so please stop back if you are inclined.  

jlms qkw :: All The News Fit To Share: Midweek Challenge
Arab Spring at Risk: Belaïd Assassination Exposes Deep Rifts in Tunisia
Der Spiegel: Christoph Scheuermann
After the murder, one of Belaïd's brothers accused Ennahda Chairman Ghannouchi of being behind it. Ghannouchi is probably the most influential man in Tunisia. His party has plenty of money, along with hundreds of local organizations and youth groups. There is much speculation over Ghannouchi's true agenda, but until now he has managed to bring together Islamist agitators and liberal Muslims. This is one of the reasons Ennahda is considered the most moderate of the Islamist parties in the region, far more moderate than the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, for example. Ghannouchi is the animal tamer who keeps lions and zebras together in one cage.

The party leader walks with a stoop from his desk to a sofa at Ennahda headquarters. He will be 72 in June. He look as though he hadn't been getting much sleep lately. Although Belaïd was one of his biggest political foes, Ghannouchi sees the assassination as a catastrophe. "We also suffer from it," he says. "Instability harms us just as much as the others."


Behind the scenes in Tunisian politics, and possible insight into Arab spring countries.

Coal bags carbon profit
The Age; Tom Arup

AUSTRALIA'S highly emitting brown coal power generators will reap $2.3 billion to $5.4 billion in windfall profits from carbon price compensation, an analysis by a leading energy market expert has found.

While brown coal power plants based in Victoria's Latrobe Valley will get billions in compensation, the analysis suggests they have so far been able to pass on all of their extra costs of the carbon price - thus turning the compensation into pre-tax profit.

The analysis carried out by Bruce Mountain, director of consultants Carbon + Energy Markets, looked at half-hourly spot prices for electricity sold from four Victorian brown-coal fuelled power plants - Hazelwood, Yallourn, Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B - over the first six months of the carbon price.


This sounds like it needs additional context. Welcome to the brave new world of carbon markets.

Post-2014 Afghanistan: Pakistan's nightmare?
Dawn.com; Madiha Sattar

They are Pakistanis, Afghans, Arabs, Germans, Turks, Libyans, Sudanese, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz and Uighurs. They operate from Bajaur in the north to the Waziristans in the south. And the areas they target range from Pakistan and its neighbourhood, including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and China, to the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

In the event that civil war breaks out next door or the Afghan Taliban capture significant power after the Western withdrawal, will Afghanistan become a new safe haven for this motley crew of Fata-based militant groups?

"2014 and the Western withdrawal will not mean Pakistan's problems are over," says Rahimullah Yusufzai, an expert on Fata and Afghan militancy. "If the Taliban cannot capture Kabul, which is highly likely, they will be operating from the border areas. So they may still need to come to Pakistan for shelter, funds and medical treatment, and the Pakistani Taliban will find safe havens in Afghanistan."



Mentally-handicapped US man to be put to death despite outrage
Mail & Guardian, AFP;

Warren Hill (52) is reported to have an IQ of 70, putting him below the threshold for mental disability.

"There is no dispute among the experts that Mr Hill is mentally retarded," attorney Brian Kammer wrote in an appeal seeking leniency for his client.

"Because Mr Hill's execution would be a fundamental miscarriage of justice, this court must stay Mr Hill's imminent execution and vacate his death sentence," he added in another appeal.

After spending the last 21 years on death row for killing a fellow inmate, Hill was scheduled to die last July.



Here are four international stories to get you started.  So many of our state legislatures are in session right now, even in the US Congress is on holiday.  

Let's all share something from our state lawmakers.  Proposed bills, passed bills, hearings, meetings.  

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Spring primary elections here in Wisconsin (2.00 / 8)
I voted this morning.

The statewide race is for Supreme Court with the top two vote getters advancing to the April election. The incumbent is a Republican. This race will not have the excitement of the Supreme Court election 2 years ago when David "ChokeHer" Prosser, the incumbent, was challenged by JoAnn Kloppenberg. Virtual unknown Kloppenberg lost by only 7,500 votes statewide in a contest that most incumbents win handily. Last year, Kloppenberg won a seat on one of our appeals courts and, with her name recognition, I would not be surprised to see her run again some day.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


those wisconsin names (2.00 / 5)
are still familiar.  on wisconsin!  

[ Parent ]
Two articles from Crosscut...... (2.00 / 6)

Inslee proclaims no tolerance for Hanford leaks
The waste tanks continue to leak highly radioactive waste at The Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The tanks are old....RonK earned college money driving a crane doing testing for leaks in the 1960's.....so the need for ongoing maintenance and cleanup is urgent.

Meanwhile, the Tri-City Herald recently reported that Hanford could put 1,000 of its 9,000 workers on six weeks unpaid leave if automatic federal budgets cuts go into effect on March 1 because Democrats and Republicans cannot resolve their budget battles in Congress.

Inslee called the multiple threats" the perfect radioactive storm. ... I don't see a better exampe why (the automatic and arbitrary federal budget cuts) is a bad idea."

Inslee is worried about DOE playing the fears about the new leak against the glalssification complex's problems with the federal budget woes thrown in. "Money cannot be allowed to be used as an excuse for no action," Inslee said. "We cannot allow ourselves to be trapped in a dead end, arguing over prioritization of these challenges."

Why the whole country should vote like us (by mail)

Oregon and Washington are the only two states to conduct elections entirely by mail, which means that no one has to worry about access to a voting booth. Our kitchen tables are our voting booths, and we can take as long as we like to fill out a ballot without worrying about holding up a huge line of frustrated fellow voters snaking out the door of our local polling place.

Just two states exceeded a 70 percent turnout in the 2010 mid-term elections (final figures for 2012 are not yet available for all states). Guess which ones? Yes! Oregon and Washington.



Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

70 percent turnout in the 2010 election would have been a big huge deal. (2.00 / 5)
So much was lost and may never be recovered after the damage done by the teaparty governors and state legislatures. We would not be completely impotent to stop the sequester cuts if we had won back the House ... and we could not win the house back because we lost 2010 and we were gerrymandered out of power.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
I was skeptical re voting my mail.... (2.00 / 6)
And while I continue to feel nostalgic about voting with my neighbors at the church up the street, I'll take a 70% turnout over nostalgia! Fortunately the Secretary of State's office is doing a stellar job overseeing the elections in our state.

Have you been reading Sam Wang's site? It's slow now that the election is over, but the discussion re Slaying the gerrymander is interesting. I like his response to a comment....

Sam Wang // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Thank you for these thoughtful points.

I see what you mean about proportional representation. I agree that it needs to be kept alive. However, I don't see that as the way to move the needle on representative government in the coming 10 years. So I do not advocate working on the more idealistic solution.

This is the same reasoning that leads me to encourage people, every chance I get, to contribute and work on races where the probability of a win is between 20 and 80%.



Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
Today's Republicans Gone Wild stories apparently are about pre-school. (2.00 / 7)
ThinkProgress makes the case for expanding pre-school access:
Expanded childhood education would have substantial benefits for children who receive it. Chicago's preschool program generates "$11 of economic benefits over a child's lifetime for every dollar spent initially on the program," according to one study, and at-risk youth who receive early childhood education are more likely to go to college and less likely to drop out of school, become teen parents, or commit violent crimes.

A study from the NHSA (National Head Start Association) showed savings achieved by "reducing societal and economic costs later in the child's life".

Some of the RGW headlines:
Fox Host Calls Universal Preschool 'Immoral Crazy Talk'
Congresswoman Opposes Obama's Universal Preschool Plan Because It Would Require 'More Paperwork'


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


the republicans have such lame-ass responses (2.00 / 7)
because their argument is so weak.

what i used to hear here in utah is that required preschool interferes with the parents' rights.  (same argument for not having sex ed).  

i think utah is going to go for this.  but today they're busy working on fradulent adoption (lies on the part of the birth mom) and moving the state prison so the governor's buddies can develop the land.  


[ Parent ]
Reinterpreting JFK's Inaugural Address...... (2.00 / 5)
This was a very moving moment on Lawrence O'Donnell's show last night.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

Wednesday morning newsfeed (2.00 / 4)
Congressman Considers Gabby Giffords A 'Prop' For Gun Regulations
Jon Ralston of Ralston Reports, uncovered the audio of [Nevada Rep. Joe] Heck, speaking with conservative radio talk show host Alan Stock, agreed that Giffords was nothing more than a "prop" at the State of the Union:

   STOCK: At the end of the president's State of the Union when he said have a vote for Gabby Giffords, have a vote for this and that. I found that to be nauseating and you know what else is nauseating too is putting Gabby Giffords up there, who can't even clap her hands, as a figure of somebody being - having shot her. I think it's a shameful act putting her up there as a prop. I'm sorry. I really do.
HECK: Yeah, no I agree. I think again in the cloud of emotion surrounding Connecticut those who are anti-gun want to use that to limit their Second Amendment rights.

Yes. A "figure" of someone who has been shot. Because she is someone who has been shot, dweeb. Sigh.


McCain Jeered At Town Hall After Opposing Mass Deportation

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) got an earful from his constituents in his home state while defending his bipartisan immigration plan at a town hall.

According to the Associated Press, an "angry crowd" reacted negatively as McCain described his proposal to grant a path to citizenship for many of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

You can't just embrace nativism when it is convenient for getting nominated by your nativist party to the presidency.


Panetta To Boehner: Sequester Will Cause Furloughs, Harm National Security

Panetta is saying that 800,000 civilian workers will be furloughed. Boehner responds that it will be "President Obama's fault". Who will get blamed? History shows that Congress will but will Congress channel their inner Dick Cheney and say "So?"? The American people are not much in sync with the Republican House of Representatives these days on many issues but that has not really made much difference.


Voting Rights Act In The Supreme Court's Crosshairs

The votes of down-the-line conservative justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are not in question. And Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likelier swing votes, both laid the groundwork to strike down Section 5 in a 2009 case when the Supreme Court held that a Texas jurisdiction was eligible to apply for a exemption to Section 5 but refrained from ruling on the constitutionality of the law.

"Things have changed in the South," Roberts famously wrote in the majority decision - a quote that has made proponents of the Voting Rights Act nervous ever since. "Voter turnout and registration rates now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels."


Watchdog Group Sues IRS Over Dark Money Rules

David Gill, an emergency room physician, ran for Congress as a Democrat in Illinois' 13th District last year. Gill's platform included ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, eliminating subsidies for oil companies, defending gun rights in Congress, and reining in "profiteering" in health care. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, a dark money group called the American Action Network spent more than $1 million on negative ads opposing Gill. On Election Day, Gill lost to his opponent, Republican Rodney Davis, by .3 percent of the vote.

Now, Gill has joined with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to sue the IRS, accusing the agency of creating a loophole that has allowed groups like the American Action Network to flourish. The civil suit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that Gill suffered economic harm and harm to his reputation as a result of "false and misleading" ads financed by the American Action Network.




Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


One more SCOTUS story. This one has lots of people worried. (2.00 / 3)
Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit
The court decided Tuesday to hear arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, challenging the overall cap on how much a donor can give to candidates and party committees per two-year election cycle.

For the upcoming midterm elections, that overall cap is $123,200.

The hard-money limits are at the heart of the campaign finance laws. They were enacted in 1974, and the Supreme Court has always upheld them. The key ruling was in 1976; the justices ruled that political spending is free speech, but political contributions, less so.

The Supreme Court upheld the power of Congress to restrict direct contributions, in the interest of preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption. The court reiterated this most recently in Citizens United.

At issue is whether limits "impairs" the free-speech of millionaires and billionaires.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
From the Bellingham Herald...... (2.00 / 3)
Budget gridlock could cost Washington state 41,000 jobs, $3 billion
WASHINGTON - Federal spending cuts planned for March 1 could hit Washington state hard, costing 41,700 jobs and removing $3.4 billion from its economy, according to state estimates.

And that possibility has members of the state's congressional delegation fretting big-time on Capitol Hill.

Unless Congress reverses them, big cuts are in store for the military, schools, law enforcement, health care, food and workplace safety programs, nutritional assistance for the elderly, programs that help the homeless and small businesses and Indian tribes, and many more.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.co...

In Bellingham visit, DelBene hopes for immigration overhaul soon

At an afternoon meeting with farm workers and immigrant rights advocates at SuperMario's Restaurant, 3008 Northwest Ave., she heard stories of some local people whose families have been split by deportations.

Farm worker Nelida Moreno recalled how her husband had been deported to Mexico about two years ago, leaving her in this country to raise their children alone. She said she didn't understand how it could be considered right for the government to break up her family.

"We're not causing crimes," Moreno told DelBene. "We're working here with our children. ... Without us there would be no harvest."

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.co...



Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


I have been reading about the sequester cuts. (2.00 / 4)
Passing that law was legislative malpractice. Was there any human who truly believed that the Super Committee would somehow craft a bi-partisan solution or that Republicans would come to their senses before those cuts kicked in? Did Democrats put all their chips on getting the House back?

We have two immovable objects:
- Democrats, rightly so, will not stand by and see any more social programs cut.
- Republicans refuse to accept any revenue increases, even those generated by closing loopholes ... something they were "for" during the general election.

I really don't see how this is reconciled. And I do not want President Obama to give in to the hostage-taking. The problem is that he gave in so many times in his first two years in office (starting with a too small stimulus package) that the Republicans think they can just dig in their heels and he will step in to bail their sorry asses out.

We are heading into the unknown, princesspat. I don't think we are going to like it.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
since the sequester was passed (2.00 / 4)
the right moved right and the left leaned leftier, i think.  instead of gathering to the middle.  

it is scary.  very scary.  


[ Parent ]
I think you're right. (2.00 / 4)
And I'm afraid things will have to get worse before anything like sanity makes a comeback.

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
It is a false middle, jlms qkw. (2.00 / 4)
The mainstream media, as they salivate over Bowles-Simpson NOTNEW, likes that it supposedly is right in the middle. Not that it splits the revenues and cuts but that it is in the middle of the no-revenue position of the Republicans and the cuts that Obama was willing to give last year.

The cuts will have to come because the two sides have been dancing around this thing for 3 years. The only way it gets fixed is for all hell to break loose and for the Wall Street patrons of the Republican party to grab congress by the collar and scream "what the HELL are you doing?" in their faces.

The Dow and Nasdaq are at all time highs and the sequester will bring all economic activity to a screeching halt. And it will be self-inflicted. Not caused by Greece or the weather ... a gunshot to the foot.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
From "Lincoln"....Thaddeus Stevens speaking to The House.... (2.00 / 3)
I can't embedd the clip, so here's the link   http://youtu.be/V7Brh9iWajc

Positions and party names have changed.....but the difficulties of governing in spite committed ideologues certainly hasn't.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


[ Parent ]
I would like to see someone say that to Eric Cantor or Paul Ryan. (2.00 / 3)
Lower than a reptile, indeed.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
The unknown indeed...... (2.00 / 3)
I hope communities across America have similar headlines.....the cuts are real, local, and will impact all of us.

Memo to Media: GOP Debt Ceiling Hostage Taking Responsible for Sequester

But lost in the media's focus on the paternity of the sequester, draconian spending cuts which could cost 750,000 jobs and slash almost a point from economic growth in 2013, is one inescapable fact. There would be no sequester at all without the unprecedented Republican threat to block the once routine debt ceiling increase and so trigger an economic catastrophe. To put it simply: no GOP debt ceiling hostage-taking, no sequester.
~snip~
But the sequester, like the "Grand Bargain" and Congressional debt "super committee" before it, came about only because the Republican Party engaged in what can only be termed economic terrorism. As former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill fretted two years ago:

"The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really. They're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk."

Never before has the threat to block a debt limit increase been coupled with one party's intent and ability to actually do it. The BCA's sequester process is the price America paid to the Republican extortionists.



Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
willard could have served! (2.00 / 3)
Can LDS Church, Utahns find photos of state's Vietnam fallen?
By Kristen Moulton;The Salt Lake Tribune
He hopes to enlist the help of Gov. Gary Herbert and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a Wednesday afternoon event at the Capitol.

The fund has photos of 210 lost Utah service members, but lacks photos of the other 154. Scruggs hopes the LDS Church will also help track down photos for 289 of the 589 fallen service members from throughout the country who identified themselves as LDS.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is raising $85 million for The Education Center at the Wall, where photos and stories will be displayed using both state-of-the-art technology and memorabilia that has been left behind at the Wall.



Yikes!! Rick Scott accepts Medicaid expansion for Florida (2.00 / 3)
Tampa Bay Times
TALLAHASSEE - Saying his mother's death last year provided "new perspective" on one of the biggest decisions he's faced as Florida's governor, Rick Scott announced Tuesday that he will urge the Legislature to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

"While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care," Scott said at a hastily arranged press conference at the Governor's Mansion.

I wonder how the other teaparty governors are going to feel seeing that their ideology-bound hides have probably cost them a lot of federal dollars. My sense is that they will be begging for help when the hospitals in their states scream that their emergency rooms are inundated with poor people who got kicked off Medicaid.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Thursday morning news on Immigration Reform (2.00 / 2)
Meet The Virginian Shaping The House GOP's Immigration Plan
"People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It's to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship," [Viriginia Republican Rep. Bob] Goodlatte says. "But simply, someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, 'I'll give you citizenship now,' that I don't think is going to happen."

It annoys Goodlatte that President Obama has been weighing in on the immigration debate.

"I think the president should calm down, back off and let the Congress do its work," he says.

HAHAHAHA!! Let the Do Nothing Congress "do" its work? Puhlease!

How Obama's Path To Citizenship Actually Works

Any undocumented immigrant who was in the country before the bill was introduced is eligible to become a Legal Prospective Immigrant, a class that bars them from federal benefits but lets them reside and work in the country.

Obama's draft bill does not require applicants to leave the country as part of the legalization process and then reenter legally.

According to the Obama draft, the legal prospective immigrants (or "LPI"s) created by the bill would have to wait for everyone who's already applied legally to get through the process before they can apply themselves. But in some cases, the line for green card applicants is decades long. Obama has talked about speeding up the process somehow, but that part is still not in a bill. Wary of keeping immigrants stuck in provisional status indefinitely, the White House's draft would let LPIs apply for green cards after eight years regardless of the backlog.

The key point is that workers do not have to leave the country and somehow get in line from there. That is simply unworkable.

The GOP "guest worker" program is a big sloppy kiss to the businessmen who need cheap labor but it would create a permanent underclass.

And about that "butting out"? Ponder this, Congressman.

Fifty percent of those surveyed said they prefer Obama on immigration, while just 33 percent said the congressional GOP has a better approach to the issue.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Labor and Business issue immigration statement (2.00 / 2)
Labor, Business Groups Release Common Principles For Immigration Reform
The AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce, currently in the process of negotiating a plan to let in future immigrant workers as part of an immigration reform bill, announced they'd agreed on a set of broad common principles on Thursday. But they cautioned that they still haven't reached a final agreement on a more detailed framework. [...]

According to a joint statement by Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, the two groups agreed that American workers "should have a first crack at available jobs" before employers can import foreign labor.[...]

"We are now in the middle - not the end - of this process, and we pledge to continue to work together and with our allies and our representatives on Capitol Hill to finalize a solution that is in the interest of this country we all love," the statement concluded.



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
i heard that interview - goodlatte on npr (2.00 / 2)
this morning.  he's a mfsob.  doesn't want to give the immigrants too many "rights" or they might not stay in those chicken processing jobs, they might go work somewhere else!  oh noes!  

[ Parent ]
Exactly, Jenn. (2.00 / 2)
They want to create a permanent underclass, like indentured servants in the 18th century, who they control the economic well-being of. If they can de-sponsor a guest worker who is not toeing the line, it is little more than slavery.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Proving that 20-25% of Americans are probably too stoopid to be allowed to vote: (2.00 / 2)
Poll: Booker Crushes Geraldo In Hypothetical N.J. Senate Matchup
23 percent said they would prefer Rivera


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Normally... (2.00 / 2)
...I'd dismiss this news with the thought that maybe no one's heard of the other guy. But surely people in NJ know of Cory Booker.

Even so, I'm willing to bet that at least some of it is because Geraldo is a bigger celebrity. O tempora! O mores!

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)


[ Parent ]
I suspect it is people reflexively voting for the Republican. (2.00 / 2)
At some point, however, avoiding bat-guano crazy should override partisan sentiments.

Non censea ad gustum or perhaps estis vos nuces?.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Intriguing, if true. (2.00 / 2)
Harvey Milk 'Marriage License' Found? San Francisco Man Claims A Historic Find

With mere weeks until the California Supreme Court reviews the constitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, a new document could show that one of the leaders of the gay rights movement played by his own rules from the beginning.

Reader Thomas Ostly reached out to The Huffington Post with photos of a document he believes to be Harvey Milk's unofficial "marriage license."



There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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