23
Jul

Cuomo’s Office Hobbled Ethics Inquiries by Moreland Commission

Amazing article detailing how Andrew Cuomo and his allies incessantly interfered with a supposedly “independent” commission tasked with rooting out corruption in New York. The damning Cuomo quotes:

Aug. 29, 2013: "Anything they want to look at, they can look at — me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman."

April 23, 2014: "It’s my commission. I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it’s mine. It is controlled by me."

Cuomo passed a toothless set of ethics reforms that were far less aggressive than what the commission had recommended. He declared victory and the commission was dissolved after nine months of infighting. Meanwhile, corruption in the state endures and Cuomo is about to win a second term as governor. 
23
Jul
pewresearch:

As violence and chaos spreads in Iraq, the public is wary of U.S. involvement in the country. A 55% majority says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq; 39% do see a responsibility to act.
What do you think?

I hate the “responsibility” argument. Unfortunately, the U.S. has inserted itself into Iraqi affairs for decades. So long as we continue to do so, interventionists can always argue that our past actions justify further involvement. At some point, enough has to be enough.

pewresearch:

As violence and chaos spreads in Iraq, the public is wary of U.S. involvement in the country. A 55% majority says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq; 39% do see a responsibility to act.

What do you think?

I hate the “responsibility” argument. Unfortunately, the U.S. has inserted itself into Iraqi affairs for decades. So long as we continue to do so, interventionists can always argue that our past actions justify further involvement. At some point, enough has to be enough.

22
Jul

Doing the Right Thing for Eric Garner

newyorker:

image

Jelani Cobb on Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and the cinematic sense of déjà vu: http://nyr.kr/1nb8qkR

“The images remain familiar twenty-five years later because time has passed but in crucial ways our context has scarcely changed at all.”

Above: A memorial for Eric Garner at the site where he died. Photograph by Mark Peterson/Redux

Great article. The first thing I thought of when I read about Garner’s death was the scene with Radio Raheem from “Do the Right Thing.” Spike Lee’s work is invaluable for those who want to understand racial/political issues. 

22
Jul
Dumbo.

Dumbo.

22
Jul
kohenari:

The fact that a law profesor wrote this editorial and that the Wall Street Journal published it is astounding. The gist of the piece is that civilians in Gazans are actually legitimate military targets because they elected Hamas and allow (?) Hamas militants to embed weapons in their homes, schools, hospitals and the like.
The fact that he apparently doesn’t know a single person who might have been able to convince him that this was a shockingly bad argument, both morally and legally, is also very, very sad.

The arguments made in this editorial are nearly identical to the rationalizations terrorists use to justify murdering civilians. Here is how Osama bin Laden rationalized killing civilians (h/t Jamelle Bouie):

[T]he American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.
(b) The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq. These tax dollars are given to Israel for it to continue to attack us and penetrate our lands. So the American people are the ones who fund the attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure of these monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.
[…]
(d) The American people are the ones who employ both their men and their women in the American Forces which attack us.

(e) This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.

Or, stated more simply: “We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.”
So, I think it’s safe to conclude that Rosenbaum’s editorial ranks among the most outrageous, insane, and immoral things ever published in the Journal.

kohenari:

The fact that a law profesor wrote this editorial and that the Wall Street Journal published it is astounding. The gist of the piece is that civilians in Gazans are actually legitimate military targets because they elected Hamas and allow (?) Hamas militants to embed weapons in their homes, schools, hospitals and the like.

The fact that he apparently doesn’t know a single person who might have been able to convince him that this was a shockingly bad argument, both morally and legally, is also very, very sad.

The arguments made in this editorial are nearly identical to the rationalizations terrorists use to justify murdering civilians. Here is how Osama bin Laden rationalized killing civilians (h/t Jamelle Bouie):

[T]he American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want.

(b) The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq. These tax dollars are given to Israel for it to continue to attack us and penetrate our lands. So the American people are the ones who fund the attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure of these monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.

[…]

(d) The American people are the ones who employ both their men and their women in the American Forces which attack us.

(e) This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.

Or, stated more simply: “We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.”

So, I think it’s safe to conclude that Rosenbaum’s editorial ranks among the most outrageous, insane, and immoral things ever published in the Journal.

21
Jul
Historian Walter Stahr can answer this one better than I can:

The Democrats of the late 1830s and early 1840s favored small government with a limited role. The United States Democratic Review declared itself in favor of “as little government as possible; that little emanating from, and controlled by, the people; and uniform in its application to all.” The Whigs, in the words of the leading historian of their party, “believed government must promote prosperity. Especially in hard times, the government must take positive action to stimulate economic recovery.” Whigs favored a national bank and state support for internal improvement projects, such as roads and canals, that would not only provide jobs but also lay the groundwork for future growth.

As you might know, many Whigs (including Lincoln) became Republicans after the Whig Party broke apart due to disagreements over the issue of slavery expansion. So, in sum, Abraham Lincoln ≠ George W. Bush.

Historian Walter Stahr can answer this one better than I can:

The Democrats of the late 1830s and early 1840s favored small government with a limited role. The United States Democratic Review declared itself in favor of “as little government as possible; that little emanating from, and controlled by, the people; and uniform in its application to all.” The Whigs, in the words of the leading historian of their party, “believed government must promote prosperity. Especially in hard times, the government must take positive action to stimulate economic recovery.” Whigs favored a national bank and state support for internal improvement projects, such as roads and canals, that would not only provide jobs but also lay the groundwork for future growth.

As you might know, many Whigs (including Lincoln) became Republicans after the Whig Party broke apart due to disagreements over the issue of slavery expansion. So, in sum, Abraham Lincoln ≠ George W. Bush.

21
Jul

[Nine-year-old Buffalo area girl] Anna Conte died Thursday due to complications from a seizure she suffered more than a week ago…

She suffered from Dravet syndrome, and her mother said they were considering moving to Colorado to get a liquid strain of marijuana that could help with the seizures.

New York passed a medical marijuana law last month that will make the drug available on a limited basis and not in smokeable form. It won’t be on the market for 18 months.

-

Politics on the Hudson

It took Andrew Cuomo more than three years to legalize medical marijuana (via a bill riddled with serious flaws) and it’ll take another year and a half before patients can actually get it. It’s important to keep in mind that seriously ill people are living in a constant state of emergency. Their needs must be met immediately and cannot be subject to the squabbles and inner-workings of state governments. Maybe in the future politicians can concern themselves with the health of their constituents and not with their antiquated fear of the devil’s weed?

21
Jul
Former President George W. Bush was supposed to give a speech to Ameriprise Financial conference in Boston next week but had to bow out because he’s recovering from surgery on a bum knee. But the financial services firm was able to secure a prominent substitute speaker: Hillary Clinton.
-

Politico

This convention serves as a nice microcosm of American politics. If you can’t get a lousy Republican to peddle nonsense, there’s always a lousy Democrat on standby. 

21
Jul
nickurb:

New York, I’ve missed you. So beautiful.

nickurb:

New York, I’ve missed you. So beautiful.

20
Jul
The [three-fifths compromise] richly rewarded the southern states, artificially inflating their House seats and electoral votes and helping to explain why four of the first five presidents hailed from Virginia. This gross inequity was to play no small part in the eventual triumph of Jeffersonian Republicans over Hamiltonian Federalists.
-

Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton

Kidnap people, separate them from their families, murder and rape some of them, then use them to preserve your own political power. This is the Jeffersonian way. 

19
Jul
This is going to be a real test to see where policies are in the city now and whether the change that we feel has occurred, has occurred.
-

Al Sharpton, at a Harlem rally demanding justice for Eric Garner, who was strangled to death while being placed in police custody.

Mayor de Blasio needs to bring the hammer down and control his errant police force, which is constantly being accused of misconduct and unnecessary arrests. One expects out-of-control cops under a conservative “law and order” administration led by mayors like Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, but de Blasio specifically campaigned on reforming the horrid stop-and-frisk policy. Hopefully he has sense enough to understand that stop-and-frisk was not simply one bad policy but rather the symptom of a disease. 

18
Jul

Alexander Hamilton’s house “The Grange,” located in Harlem

18
Jul

This is courageous liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren literally running away when asked to comment on Israel’s invasion of Gaza. I suppose it’s a better response than cheering on the deaths of civilians. It’s definitely funnier.

17
Jul

and somehow I get the feeling that no one’s going to have a problem voting for a government pledging tons of military aid with absolutely no strings to Israel in the next couple years

jakke:

Remember, without the overt and enthusiastic support of our governments, there would be no way for the Israeli government to pay for such a massive military nor inflict violence on Palestinian civilians at any time with zero repercussions. How does your preferred candidate feel about no-strings support for the Israeli government? And what can you do to make sure you see future viable candiates who don’t feel the same way?

17
Jul

At sunset, the Israeli military begins to pound Gaza from the air, land and sea. Flares illuminate the northern and eastern parts of the Strip. The bombardment is continuous, the most intense of the 10 day assault. The Wafaa hospital in the east—that houses disabled patients—comes under heavy attack and is partially evacuated.

Then the news breaks. Israel has launched a ground invasion. They are coming in. The first time since the brutal 2008-2009 assault that left over 1,300 dead. The power goes out and Gaza is plunged into darkness as 1.8 million Palestinians brace for more violence.

- Sharif Abdel Kouddous, doing some spectacular reporting for The Nation 

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