Tag Archives: New Orleans

Rubio Demands Cancellation Of Obamacare Advertising

Is it me, or do most GOP elected officials in Washington, DC imagine themselves to be superior to the President of the United States?

TPMLiveWire

In a letter sent Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) demanded that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cancel a planned $8.7 million television ad buy to promote Obamacare.

The planned ad buy, which Rubio said had “been brought to my attention,” covers 16 metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa, Charlotte, Harlingen (Texas), Brownsville (Texas), Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh. The ads are expected to run from Sept. 30 to Dec. 1, according to Rubio’s office. Three buys toward the $8.7 million total, worth $200,000, have already been completed for Brownsville, Tampa and Nashville, Rubio’s office said.

Rubio is one of several congressional conservatives who have argued that the Obama administration can’t and shouldn’t use federal funding to promote participation in the programs created by the health care reform law.

“This blatant misuse of federal dollars to promote a fundamentally flawed law is extremely concerning, especially considering the extensive unknowns surrounding the coming launch and implementation of ObamaCare,” Rubio wrote in the letter, addressed to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Until critical questions can be answered regarding the availability and type of health insurance to be provided by ObamaCare, it is unconscionable to spend taxpayer dollars to promote and advertise ObamaCare plans that have yet to be finalized.”

The full letter is below.

Rubio Obamacare Ad Letter by tpmdocs

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2013

Members of the United States celebrate winning the Gold Cup after defeating Panama in Chicago on Sunday.

The Week

Middle East peace talks resume in Washington, the U.S. scores a big soccer win, and more

1. 80 PERCENT OF U.S. ADULTS FACE NEAR-POVERTY OR UNEMPLOYMENT
A new Associated Press survey reveals that four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty, or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security. The survey points to an increasingly globalized economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of decent-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy. [Huffington Post]
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2. EU CHIEF ATTEMPTS NEGOTIATION AS EGYPT’S DIVIDE DEEPENS
As EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton begins a visit to Egypt, police in the country have arrested two leaders of an Islamist party, the latest to be swept up in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi are continuing their defiance of the military-backed government, marching on three key points in Cairo to call for Morsi’s reinstatement. [BBCABC News]
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3. MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS RESUME
Israeli and Palestinian officials are in Washington on Monday to end five years of diplomatic stalemate and prepare for a new round of peace talks, though optimism is in short supply after two decades of failed attempts to reach a deal. The resumption of talks was made possible by a decision by Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday to free 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners. [The Washington Post]
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4. BUS CRASH KILLS AT LEAST 38 IN ITALY
At least 38 passengers have died after a bus hit several cars and plunged 50 feet off a viaduct on a mountainous stretch of the A16 highway in the Campania region of Italy. Firefighters said at least 11 people were injured, some quite seriously, and taken to the hospital. [The New York Times]
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5. DRIVER IN DEADLY SPANISH TRAIN CRASH CHARGED WITH RECKLESS HOMICIDE
Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, the driver of a Spanish train that crashed, killing 79 people, was provisionally charged with multiple cases of reckless homicide on Sunday. He must appear before court once a week and is forbidden to leave Spain without permission. [BBC]
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6. APPLE SUPPLIER IS ACCUSED OF LABOR ABUSES
A labor rights group has accused a Taiwanese company that makes iPhones for Apple of abuses, including withholding employees’ pay and excessive working hours. China Labor Watch said it found violations of the law and of Apple’s pledges about working conditions at factories operated by Pegatron Corp. Apple said in a statement it was “committed to providing safe and fair working conditions” and would investigate the claims about Pegatron. [TIME]

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7. HUDSON’S BAY CO. BUYS SAKS
Luxury retailer Saks is being purchased by the parent of Lord & Taylor for approximately $2.4 billion, plus another $500 million or so in assumed debt. The news comes a little over a month after reports surfaced that Hudson’s Bay Co. was interested in buying Saks Inc. [The New York Times]
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8. CANNES ROBBER STEALS $53 MILLION WORTH OF JEWELS
A jewelry exhibit at the posh Carlton Hotel in Cannes was held up on Sunday and an estimated $53 million worth of goods was swiped. It was the third such heist in the French Riviera resort in as many months. The lone robber reportedly made off with the jewels in a briefcase. The hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit of the Leviev diamond house, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. [NPR]
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9. U.S. BEATS PANAMA TO NAB GOLD CUP WIN
The United States Men’s National Team captured the Gold Cup title in soccer and earned its record 11th consecutive international victory with a 1-0 win over Panama Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was the first Gold Cup win for the U.S. since 2007. [CBS Sports]
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10. RADIO HOST KIDD KRADDICK DIES
David “Kidd” Kraddick, the radio and TV host of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show heard on dozens of U.S. radio stations, died at a charity golf event near New Orleans, a publicist said late Saturday. Kraddick was 53. [People]

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Louisiana Attorney General Says Angola 3 “Have Never Been Held in Solitary Confinement”

Angola 3 prisoner ordered free for third time

The backstory:

Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, one of the “Angola 3,” has been in solitary confinement in Angola Prison for the murder of a guard, despite the fact that evidence strongly suggests his innocence. Although a federal judge this week overturned his conviction, Louisiana are likely to keep Woodfox locked up. He has been ordered free by a judge twice before, after all.

Earlier this week the same federal judge that ordered Woodfox’s release in 2008 again ruled Woodfox should be set free on the basis of racial discrimination in his retrial. - Salon

Mother Jones

Actually, they’ve been in solitary for 41 years.

James “Buddy” Caldwell, attorney general of the state of Louisiana, has released a statement saying unequivocally that Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, the two still-imprisoned members of the Angola 3, “have never been held in solitary confinement while in the Louisiana penal system.”

In fact, Wallace, now 71, and Woodfox, 66, have been in solitary for nearly 41 years, quite possibly longer than any other human beings on the planet. They were placed in solitary following the 1972 killing of a young corrections officer at Angola, and except for a few brief periods, they have remained in isolation ever since.

The statement from Caldwell follows on the heels of a ruling by a federal district court judge in New Orleans, overturning Albert Woodfox’s conviction for the third time—in this instance, on the grounds that there had been racial bias in the selection of grand jury forepersons in Louisiana at the time of his indictment. Subsequently, Amnesty International, along with other activists, mounted a campaign urging the state of Louisiana not to appeal the federal court’s ruling. In the absence of an appeal, Woodfox would have to be given a new trial or released.

Caldwell’s statement—which was rather mysteriously sent out to an email list that included numerous prisoners’ rights advocates who have supported the Angola 3—begins: “Thank you for your interest in the ambush, savage attack and brutal murder of Officer Brent Miller at Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) on April 17, 1972. Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace committed this murder, stabbing and slicing Miller over 35 times.”

Continue reading here…

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Another day in the (gun crazy) U.S.A.

Gun Crazy Nation

Daily Kos is running a daily list on gun violence in America.  Following, is the latest installment…

Daily Kos

February 7, 2013 edition

Forest Meadows, Calif. — A 54-year-old man shot and killed his 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter with a Glock 9mm handgun before turning the weapon on himself late last week.

Plymouth, Wis. — A 59-year-old woman found dead in a barn about 8:30 a.m. yesterday was apparently shot by a male neighbor who later shot and wounded himself. He was listed in critical condition.

Los Angeles, Calif. — A former Los Angeles police officer wanted for the murder of a man and woman last Sunday has allegedly shot and killed a Riverside, Calif. police officer and wounded police officers from Riverside and Los Angeles. A manhunt is underway.

O’Fallon, Mo. — A 55-year-old woman was found dead at a home about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. She had been shot multiple times in the head. Police are looking for her 63-year-old ex-boyfriend.

Jacksonville, Fla. — A 46-year-old man was fatally shot while driving on a city street in what might have been a case of road rage. He was found in the driver’s seat of a crashed pickup about 7:50 p.m. Police are looking for a vehicle seen following the man.

Sandpoint, Idaho — A confrontation of some sort about 6 p.m. Wednesday has left a 36-year-old man fatally shot and a 35-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his arm. No word on the condition of the wounded man.

Granite Falls, N.C. — A shooting about 6:30 p.m. today has left one person dead. Police are questioning a person of interest.

Houston, Tex. — A man found shot and lying on the ground outside an apartment complex about midnight last night later died at a hospital. He had been shot several times.

Cleveland, Oh. — A 22-year-old man was shot and killed about 8:40 p.m. yesterday. He had been shot several times

Philadelphia, Penn. — A 23-year-old man is dead after he was shot at least once in the chest in a second-floor apartment Wednesday night.

Washington, D.C. — A security guard was shot when a 28-year-old man armed with a 9 mm handgun entered the headquarters of a lobbying group and began verbally expressing opposition to the organization’s policies. The guard and others nearby managed to subdue the intruder until police arrived. He was listed in stable condition.

Plainfield, Ind. — A man was shot at an apartment complex Wednesday night. Police later pulled over a car matching the description of a vehicle spotted leaving the scene. No word on the victim’s condition.

New Orleans, La. — A man was shot multiple times around 11 a.m. yesterday.
No report on the man’s condition.

Buena Vista Township, Mich. — A 5-year-old boy and his 46-year-old grandfather were shot during a robbery about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. A man approached the grandfather and his wife in the driveway of a home and demanded money before opening fire, striking the grandfather. One of the bullets went through a wall of the house and struck the boy in the leg. The boy was hospitalized. The grandfather was treated at a hospital and released.

Camarillo, Calif. — A 22-year-old male was injured by gunfire. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Little Rock, Ark. — One person was reported shot at an apartment complex today. Police are searching for a suspect. No other details are available.

Miami, Fla. — A robber yanked a gold chain off the neck of an 82-year-old man sitting in his front yard yesterday morning before shooting him in the leg and fleeing. No word on the victim’s condition.

Chicago, Ill. — A 23-year-old man was shot in the back of his thigh about 6:55 p.m. yesterday. He had exchanged words with three others when one of the three opened fire with a handgun. The victim was in stable condition.

Chicago, Ill. — A 22-year-old man was shot in the arm about 1:30 p.m. yesterday. No word on his condition.

Orlando, Fla. — Two people were shot and wounded after someone opened fire and sprayed their vehicle as they drove away from a nightclub about 4:50 a.m. this morning. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Tempe, Ariz. — Five schools were put on lockdown while police searched for a suspect who fired shots at a car on the freeway in an apparent road-rage incident about 1:20 p.m. today. Police have one person in custody and are looking for another.

Charlotte, N.C. — A 15-year-old high school student was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to school in his backpack.

Today’s sources: Chicago Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press, Florida Times-Union, Houston Chronicle, KABC – TV Los Angeles, KNXV-TV Phoenix, Orlando Sentinel, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Times- Picayune, Washington Post, WISH-TV Indianapolis, WSVN-TV Miami

Addendum for February 7, 2013If you want to reduce this daily slaughter, please call, write, email, or FAX your representatives in Washington, D.C. and tell them to support common sense gun controls.

You can get contact information here:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org

 

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Conservatives Try To Blame Super Bowl Blackout On Green Energy

images

Oh, give me a break Drudge…

Alan Colmes’ Liberaland

Never mind that energy-efficient lighting had nothing to do with it.

The Drudge Report snarkily linked to an Energy Department article published Saturday that praised New Orleans for being at the “Energy Efficient Forefront” and noted that the Superdome “features more than 26,000 LED lights” that conserve energy. However, others quickly pointed out that those are exterior lights, not the lights that went dark inside the dome.

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GOP Congressman’s Restaurant Accused Of Turning Away Muslim Couple

Yet another GOP faux pas.  Assuming the Muslim couple’s version of events are true, how will they ever win another election again with this sort of behavior?

Think Progress

New Orleans residents Mohammed and Talat Husain claim they were refused service at Rep. John Fleming’s (R-LA) Subway franchise in Shreveport, Louisiana. According to Husain, an employee of the chain told them to leave because they are Muslim and threw them out after an altercation. Though Husain called the police, a report was never filed. He recounted the experience to TPM:

“She asked me point blank ‘Are you Muslim?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’m Muslim,’ She said ‘We can’t serve you’ and locked the door from inside when my wife was still inside the store,” Husain said.

The situation quickly escalated and Husain ended up calling 911. So did a Subway employee. At some point before police arrived, however Husain said the employee unlocked the door and let his wife leave but also made it clear they should take their business elsewhere.

An officer with the Shreveport Police Department arrived after that. Both Husain and a department spokesman said the officer initially patted Husain down to check for weapons. But spokesman Cpl. Marcus Hines said the officer eventually determined the situation was much ado about nothing. Department records show the officer didn’t even file a report.

Fleming’s employees deny Husain’s version of events, and claim that security tapes prove that there was no discrimination against the couple. Still, the Shreveport police are ignoring a request for an investigation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Fleming, a devout Christian, warned in August that the election was a choice between “competing world views” of “a godless society” or “a Christian nation.”

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Limbaugh Makes Racist Suggestion About New Orleans

 

The author of the following article thinks Rush Limbaugh’s “shocking and cynical” comments were beyond the pale, even by Rush Limbaugh standards.  I say it’s par for the course.  Limbaugh is simply a racist pig and has always been a racist pig.  End of story.

Crooks & Liars

Talking about showing his true colors!  Does Rush have any advertisers left?  Because I have to wonder if they want their products associated with this racist, disgusting excuse for a human being.  Via Raw Story:

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday proposed putting “bags of money” around the levees in New Orleans so that “Republicans can get rid of even more Democrats” when poor people drowned because they tried to make off with the cash.

“We are mere hours away from Tropical Storm Isaac, which everybody’s desperately hoping becomes a hurricane,” the conservative icon pointed out during his Tuesday morning broadcast. “It’s the Democrats’ wet dream that this thing hits New Orleans!”

Recalling the way that President George W. Bush’s administration bungled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, Limbaugh decided to offer the Republicans a few tip on dealing with the current storm.

The first idea seemed reasonable enough: “First thing we do is offer to send 500 bus drivers to New Orleans, paid for by us, to make sure that the buses that were not used by the Democrat mayor during Hurricane Katrina will be used to evacuate people should it become necessary.”

But the next proposal was shocking and cynical, even by Limbaugh standards.

“The second thing that I think the Republicans ought to do is send bags of money instead of sand,” he said. “Bags full of money to shore up the levees in New Orleans.”

“So, we have Romney’s five sons deliver the bags of money to shore up the levees,” he added. “Now this will accomplish much. It will show our compassion.”

“And it will do something else: Once we publicize that we have sent 500 bags of money — well, whatever number of bags — bags filled with money to shore up the levees, what will happen?  The poor of New Orleans will storm the levees and steal the bags, thereby putting themselves at risk for the eventual flooding that will happen once they remove the bags of money. And that way, Republicans can get rid of even more Democrats in Louisiana and shore up the state for themselves.

 

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West Wing Week – 7-27-12 or “A Brighter Day Is Going To Come”

 

The White House

This week, the President addressed the nation on the tragedy in Colorado and made Aurora his first stop on a four day trip out West, then continued to Reno to address the VFW, and to New Orleans to speak at the National Urban League.

Back in Washington DC, Dr. Biden announced a major Joining Forces initiative for social workers, the President signed an Executive Order on Education, and hosted a reception at the White House to honor the International AIDS Conference taking place in Washington DC.

 

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Melissa Harris-Perry: U.S. Has Yet To Learn Lessons Of Hurricane Katrina (VIDEO)

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a searing monologue about what she saw as the country’s failure to learn from the disaster on Monday’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”

Harris-Perry was in New Orleans filling in for Maddow, who was on vacation. Hurricane Irene had made it impossible for her to fly to New York, but the Tulane professor called the arrangement “strangely apropos,” seeing as it was the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

She criticized the country’s lack of progress on the vulnerabilities that Katrina exposed, namely the inadequacies in public infrastructure and the racial and economic disparities that made the hurricane so devastating. She recalled, “We watched as Americans were abandoned on the rooftops of their homes, and we realized that our system could not even get water to the people of a major American city for days.”

“Whatever momentum our renewed sense of responsibility brought has been halted by this recession,” Harris-Perry said. She cited cuts to the social safety net, and opposition to environmental regulation and infrastructure as examples of the government actively working against that progress.

Harris-Perry said that while Hurricane Irene showed that people have learned to prepare for short-term disasters, the long-term lessons of Hurricane Katrina have fallen by the wayside. “Six years later, the long-term lessons about public policy, mutual investment is what we as a people are still refusing to learn,” she concluded.

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Filed under Hurricane Katrina, Melissa Harris-Perry

Five Cops Guilty in Post-Katrina Shootings

Time Magazine

A federal jury on Friday convicted five current or former police officers in the deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

All five officers were convicted of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. The four who had been charged with civil rights violations in the shootings were convicted on all counts.

However, the jury didn’t find that Brisette or Faulcon’s shootings amounted to murder.     (See pictures of New Orleans.)

Prosecutors contended during the five-week federal trial that officers shot unarmed people without justification and without warning, killing two and wounding four others on Sept. 4, 2005, then embarked on a cover-up involving made-up witnesses, falsified reports and a planted gun.

Defense attorneys countered that the officers were returning fire and reasonably believed their lives were in danger as they rushed to respond to another officer’s distress call less than a week after Katrina struck.

Convicted were former officer Robert Faulcon, Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, Officer Anthony Villavaso and retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman. Faulcon, Gisevius, Bowen and Villavaso were convicted in the shootings and with taking part in the alleged cover-up. Kaufman, who investigated the shootings, was charged only in the alleged cover-up.    (See pictures of America’s gun culture.)

The trial was a high-profile test of the Justice Department’s effort to clean up a police department marred by a reputation for corruption and brutality. A total of 20 current or former New Orleans police officers were charged last year in a series of federal probes. Most of the cases center on actions during the aftermath of the Aug. 29, 2005, storm, which plunged the flooded city into a state of lawlessness and desperation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Carter said in closing arguments Tuesday that police had no justification for shooting unarmed, defenseless people trying to cross the bridge in search of food and help mere days after Katrina struck.

“It was unreasonable for these officers to fire even one shot, let alone dozens,” he had said.

Defense attorneys argued, however, that police were shot at on the bridge before they returned fire.

“None of these people intentionally decided to go out there and cause people harm,” said Timothy Meche, Villavaso’s lawyer. He said they did their best, operating under “terrible, horrible circumstances” after Katrina.(See pictures of a New Orleans neighborhood.)

Faulcon, the only defendant to testify, said he was “paralyzed with fear” when he shot and killed a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, Ronald Madison, as he chased him and his brother, Lance Madison. Faulcon didn’t dispute that he shot an unarmed man in the back, but he testified that he had believed Ronald Madison was armed and posed a threat.

Prosecutors contended at trial that Kaufman retrieved a gun from his home weeks after the shootings and turned it in as evidence, trying to pass it off as a gun belonging to Lance Madison. He also is accused of fabricating two nonexistent witnesses to the shootings.

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