mercredi 29 février 2012
"Last August, the Associated Press launched a series detailing how the New York Police Department has extensively investigated Muslims in New York and other states, including preparing reports on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses, apparently without any suspicion of crimes being committed. The propriety and legality of the NYPD’s activities is under dispute. Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who claimed last year that the NYPD does not focus on religion and only follows threats or leads - is now arguing that, as he said last week, “Everything the NYPD has done is legal, it is appropriate, it is constitutional.” Others disagree. In fact, Bloomberg himself signed a law in 2004 prohibiting profiling by law enforcement based on religion. This week, Attorney General Eric Holder told a congressional committee the Justice Department is reviewing whether to investigate potential civil rights violations by the NYPD."
La suite: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/did_the_nypds_spying_on_muslims_violate_the_law.php?ref=fpnewsfeed
mardi 28 février 2012
"His win in Arizona was not without its potential costs in the general election. Romney further tacked right on immigration, calling Arizona’s tough law a “model” for the nation in an Arizona debate and accepting an endorsement from the governor who signed it, Jan Brewer. Democrats are hoping that Romney’s continued embrace of a crackdown on undocumented immigrants will help motivate Hispanic voters to turn out in droves for President Obama, potentially putting Arizona in play as a swing state."
"Jason Varitek, one of the cornerstone players in Red Sox history, will announce his retirement Thursday and is expected to take a position with the organization. The rugged catcher spent 15 seasons with the Sox, the last seven as captain, and was a key member of two World Series champions.
Only Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski (23 seasons), Ted Williams (19), and Jim Rice (16) had longer tenures with the Red Sox without playing for another team. Varitek’s retirement announcement will be at JetBlue Park. It will come 12 days after righthander Tim Wakefield retired from the Red Sox, ending his 17-year career.
Like Wakefield, Varitek was offered a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training. But without any guarantees of making the team, he elected to retire. Varitek, who turns 40 in April, will leave behind a legacy few can match. He hit .256 with 193 home runs and 757 RBIs in his career, was a three-time All-Star, and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2005. Varitek was ninth in team history with 1,546 games."
L'article du Boston Globe au complet:
"There are 59 delegates up for grabs in Michigan and Arizona Tuesday, but the delegate count is being overshadowed by the nail-biter race in Michigan where Romney could lose the state he grew up in. The outcome in Michigan has taken on an outsized, symbolic importance that will dictate the mood heading into Super Tuesday next week.
In a way, no matter the outcome in Michigan, the damage to Mitt Romney’s campaign is already done. No one knows who will win Michigan tonight, but the fact that it will be incredibly close has weakened Romney’s campaign by underscoring his enduring problems connecting with working class and evangelical voters. This was supposed to be an easy state for Romney, who took it by ten points in 2008’s primary and has outspent Santorum there this time by 2 to 1. Even headlines like Romney barely wins home state will not be doing him any favors. In the same way, as both Republicans and Democrats have commented, Rick Santorum may lose Michigan, but in a sense he’s already won by coming this close."
"The investigation by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a new private policy organization, offers one of the most vivid accounts yet of how Japan teetered on the edge of an even larger nuclear crisis than the one that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A team of 30 university professors, lawyers and journalists spent more than six months on the inquiry into Japan’s response to the triple meltdown at the plant, which followed a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that shut down the plant’s cooling systems.
The team interviewed more than 300 people, including top nuclear regulators and government officials, as well as the prime minister during the crisis, Naoto Kan. They were granted extraordinary access, in part because of a strong public demand for greater accountability and because the organization’s founder, Yoichi Funabashi, a former editor in chief of the daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun, is one of Japan’s most respected public intellectuals."
"$4 billion liens against police officers. Bankruptcy proceedings against the United States government. Claims of grammar-based conspiracies or “backwards-correct-syntaxing-modification fraud.” Sovereign citizens have found bizarre and creative ways to use court filings and liens to harass public officials throughout the country — and legislators in Georgia have had enough. Sovereign citizens, though disparate and disorganized, generally all operate under the theory that for one reason or another, the U.S. government and its court system is illegitimate. In practice, this usually involves avoiding taxes or driving without a driver’s license or license plates. The problems begin when sovereign citizens are confronted with law enforcement officials, typically at a traffic stop. Once they have been arrested, sovereign citizens will often file false liens or frivolous lawsuits against the officers and other public officials — known as “paper terrorism” — which can ruin their credit or tie them up in costly legal battles."
lundi 27 février 2012
"The whole night looked like an AARP pep rally, starting with an introduction by Morgan Freeman, who was followed by Billy Crystal, returning to host his ninth Oscar ceremony. And age was his theme of the night. He did his usual comic medley of movie moments, including a sketch with George Clooney in “The Descendants,” urging Mr. Crystal to host the show. He promised “the youngest, hippest writers in town” and the camera panned to a group of drooping, old white men from the film “Moneyball.”
And those may well have been the writers. When Octavia Spencer won a best supporting actress Oscar for playing a maid in “The Help,” Mr. Crystal joked that after he saw the movie, he was so moved he wanted to hug the first black woman he saw, adding, “which in Beverly Hills is about a 45-minute drive.” It was a line that could have been used back when Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to be honored with an Academy Award, won for playing a maid in “Gone With the Wind.”
It all looked very familiar, which is perhaps necessary when so few of the nominated films are. The Academy Awards are about competition, but it’s less about winners and losers than it is about the ceremony’s struggle to stay on top in a television landscape cluttered with award shows, notably ones that ignore tedious technical awards and combine television and movies, like the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (People still watch a lot of television; movie attendance in 2011 was at a 16-year low.)"
dimanche 26 février 2012
"Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the notion of religion not playing role in politics “makes me want to throw up." "To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up. What kind of country do we live in where only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up. And that should make every American [throw up]," Santorum said on ABC's "This Week." The former Pennsylvania senator was referring to John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech that argued religion should be separate from politics. "I don't believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute," he said."
"Politicians everywhere are forming encounter groups to commemorate the great Detroit rescue of 2008-2009, and given the selection of recent economic policies to feel good about, maybe the auto bailout is the best they can do. Still, amid Michigan's GOP primary and President Obama's re-election victory lap, this $81.8 billion-odd adventure in industrial policy could stand more scrutiny. The bailouts worked, the story goes, because General Motors and Chrysler still exist and their stocks are trading above $0. Yet existence is a lousy measure of success, given that the car makers were able to shed billions of dollars of debt and labor obligations in their government-managed and -financed bankruptcies. And while GM, Chrysler and Ford may be out of financial danger, for now, their political liabilities continue to multiply. The Bush-Obama bailout isn't over because its terms increase the chances that one or more of the Big Three end up in trouble again. To adapt Clint Eastwood, it's halftime in Detroit."
"The American economy was terrifyingly close to the brink in 2008 and 2009, and the impending collapse of General Motors and Chrysler threatened to be the final push. When the companies begged the federal government to save them from financial catastrophe, President George W. Bush and later President Obama ignored strong Republican objections, saving a signature American industry and the whole country from an even deeper crash.
Four years later, there are 1.45 million people who are working as a direct result of the $80 billion bailout, according to the nonpartisan Center for Automotive Research, both at the carmakers and associated businesses downstream in the economy. Michigan’s unemployment level is at its lowest level in three years. G.M. is again the world’s biggest automaker, and both companies are reporting substantial profits.
And yet Mitt Romney, along with the other Republican presidential candidates, has spent the days before the Michigan primary denouncing the bailout that has rescued his native state. Mr. Romney has been especially vociferous in his insistence that he would have allowed the carmakers to go bankrupt, and said he believes they could somehow have clawed their way back to profitability without a dollar of federal assistance.
“The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse,” he wrote recently in The Detroit News. “I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.”
samedi 25 février 2012
Une situation complexe qui explique qu'Assad puisse encore jouir d'un certain support. Même si parfois on le fait sans enthousiasme...
“I think one of the major mistakes that many of us have made is that we have underestimated the power base of Assad,” Gerges said. “I think he has at least 30 percent solid support.”
Among members of the president’s minority Alawite Muslim sect, Assad’s influence remains strong, Gerges noted, in many cases because of a fear of violent retribution at the hands of the largely Sunni opposition if the president were to be ousted. A report by a U.N.-appointed commission last week documented instances of the armed opposition groups known as the Free Syrian Army torturing and executing members of the mostly Alawite pro-government “shabiha” gangs and killing their relatives in revenge for shabiha attacks.
Assad has cultivated good relationships with some tribal leaders within the Kurdish ethnic minority, Gerges added, as well as with leaders of the Druze religious group, who despite influential Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s support for the opposition, fear they, too, could be victimized under a new and more religious regime.
And Christians, having watched the targeting of churches and worshipers by Islamic extremists in neighboring Iraq, have expressed fears that the uprising in Syria will take a fundamentalist turn, usually siding with Assad because they have been safe under his rule."
“In addition to Rick’s support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education,” the site reads. “Rick Santorum has supported legislative solutions that provide loans, grants, and tax incentives to make higher education more accessible and affordable.”
"Turns out they quite liked it. “I thought that was brilliant,” said Angie Clement of Commerce, Mich. “Not everybody has to go to college. We need garbagemen, we need welders, carpenters.” “Everybody can’t be equal,” agreed Paul Murrow of Milford, MI seated nearby. “Somebody needs to do the manual labor.” Clement’s husband, Stephen, said Santorum was right on the mark when he said that Obama wants to send kids to get college degrees so as to produce more liberals. “It starts down at the elementary school level with all this bullshit about diversity, pardon my French,” he said. “Diversity and sensitivity and all that crap. That’s the stuff that needs to be taught at home not by my teachers. My teachers need to be academic: Math, science, history, social studies, that sort of thing and keep political opinions out of it, bottom line.” Like most of the crowd in Troy, Stephen and Angie are middle-aged. Stephen said his two step kids are grown and one, his stepson, went to the University of Michigan and got an engineering degree, “but now he’s not using it. And that’s his choice.” “I think he’s saying, ‘Do you think that that’s the only way you can be a successful person? To go to college?’” said another attendee, Elizabeth, who didn’t want her last name used. “That is snobbery. In this entrepreneurial country that we have, where fortunes are made in a lot of ways — they’re not only made by college-educated people.” They all agreed that college can help some people — but they also agreed that universities are basically socialism factories. “They try and disguise it with, you know, ‘equal opportunity’…” Stephen Clement began. “It’s communism,” Murrow said, cutting him off. “The professors are all teaching the kids…” “Where does the social engineering stop?” Clement jumped back in, fired up. “Does it stop after we send everybody to college, or does it stop after we set their curriculum and said, ‘these are the things you’re allowed to study?’ Does it become the Soviet Union?”"
"Rick Santorum is working hard in Michigan to try and cast himself as the candidate of the working class. At a speech before a tea party audience here Saturday, he made his case by accusing President Obama of trying to turn America's youth into liberal drones by sending them to college. The idea was pretty well received by the crowd here at a rally hosted by the Michigan branch of Americans For Prosperity. "Not all folks are gifted the same way. Some people have incredible gifts with their hands," Santorum began. "Some people have incredible gifts and want to work out there making things." Then he went after the president's call for making college easier for Americans to attend. President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob," Santorum said as the crowd howled with laughter and applause. "There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor." Santorum said he knows the real reason Obama wants more Americans on college campuses. "That's why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image," Santorum said to more applause. "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his." "