Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!! I’ve got a bit of a potpourri of news reads for you this morning. First, a followup to my post from Sunday night on the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.

The police officer who so enjoyed pepper spraying young women at the protest has been identified.

Saturday’s peaceful Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City were marred by what appears to be excessive use of force by several police officers, as video shows, and one officer who calmly walked up to police-fenced protesters and pepper-sprayed them, point blank, has been identified as Deputy inspector Anthony V. Bologna, of NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South, according to Common Dreams.

In response to the video (embedded in this article), the Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul Browne, said the officer used pepper spray “appropriately,” according to the New York Times. “Pepper spray was used once,” he said, adding “after individuals confronted officers and tried to prevent them from deploying a mesh barrier, something
that was edited out or otherwise not captured in the video.”

I don’t buy that argument, and I doubt if many reasonable people will. Why was the mesh barrier even necessary in the first place? The Common Dreams link above has information on where to send complaints about Bologna’s behavior.

According to the UK Guardian, Bologna was accused of civil rights violations previously:

The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.

Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.

Levine said that when he heard about the pepper spray incident “a bunch of us were wondering if any of the same guys were involved”.

You can read the details at the Guardian link.

You probably heard that the Senate has passed a “stopgap” bill that is designed to prevent a government shutdown by Republican America haters. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Senate, on a 79-12 vote, approved a bill late Monday to fund the government through Nov. 18. The vote came after the main sticking point in negotiations between the two parties was resolved.

Lawmakers had been in a standoff over Republicans’ demands for new budget cuts as a condition for sending additional money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid victims of natural disasters through the end of the fiscal year on Friday.

But that dispute vanished Monday when FEMA announced that it may not run out of money before then—giving it more breathing room than expected. FEMA’s new statement about its finances cleared the way for Congress to put in place a funding mechanism for at least the start of the fiscal year that begins Saturday….

Under the compromise struck Monday night, the Senate approved two bills. One would keep the government running through Nov. 18, which the House is expected to pass when it returns from a recess next week. But to keep the government afloat until the House returns, a second measure was approved for funding through Oct. 4. That is expected to clear the House by voice vote before week’s end.

Apparently Boehner has given the bill his blessing. So I guess we can relax now and look forward to another squabble over keeping the government going in November.

Yesterday, Gallup reported that Americans are really disgusted with the U.S. government–and in “historic” numbers.

A record-high 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years.

Majorities of Democrats (65%) and Republicans (92%) are dissatisfied with the nation’s governance. This perhaps reflects the shared political power arrangement in the nation’s capital, with Democrats controlling the White House and U.S. Senate, and Republicans controlling the House of Representatives. Partisans on both sides can thus find fault with government without necessarily blaming their own party.

There’s a lot more at the link. Obama must be delusional if he thinks he’s going to be reelected just on the basis of some “inspiring” speeches. He’d better get busy, stay off the golf course and basketball court, and actually do something about jobs pretty soon or he’s a goner.

I learned from Dakinikat yesterday that Paul Street, who has authored two books about Obama, agrees with me that it’s time for this President to do an LBJ.

What does Obama have to look forward to in the future if he insists on trying for a second term? The stalled profits system seems ready to double dip back into full technical recession (the human recession never stopped beneath the mild statistical recovery), fitting him with the same fatal yoke of economic powerlessness that deep-sixed Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and the first George (H.W) Bush’s hopes for second term. Unemployment remains sky high, contributing to a recent low in American history: the largest number U.S. citizens (46 million) ever recorded below the federal government’s notoriously inadequate poverty level. Obama’s job approval is at an all time low (43 percent), 7 points under his disapproval rating (50 percent). A preponderant majority of Americans say that the country is “on the wrong track.”

Four months after his empty, politically calculated execution and sea-dumping of Osama bin-Laden., Obama is widely perceived as weak and ineffective, as too eager to compromise with – and as incapable of standing up to – his (supposed) right-wing enemies. His party has recently lost two special House elections and one of those defeats came in a district Democrats had previously held for 88 years in a row. He has staked his future prospects on a highly flawed jobs bill – legislation that may well not pass the House and that is scaring off many conservative Democratic legislators. Most Americans think the bill won’t work.

The president is starting to look like the potential victim of a landslide in November of 2012. The Democratic base is widely disillusioned with him. Even many among his fake-progressive pseudo-liberal dead-end defenders sometimes squawk about his conservative corporatism and unwillingness to govern in accord with his idealistic campaign promises. Liberal and progressive Democratic elected officials in the House and Senate have been grumbling about his center-right proclivities for some time now. It is one thing to rightwardly triangulate on the backs of welfare mothers and declining unions in the mode of Bill Clinton; it is another thing to do so at the expense of the broadly popular programs Social Security and Medicare, all while passing on hyper-regressive Republican tax cuts for the obscenely rich and powerful.

And so on. If you haven’t read the whole thing yet, please do. Especially this part:

If he cared about his party, Obama would step down and give the nomination to Hillary Clinton, determined by a recent Bloomberg poll to be “the most popular national political figure in America today.” Ms. Clinton has distinct advantages over Obama in running against Perry or Mitt Romney in 2012. She is not a member of Congress, which has even lower popular approval than Obama. She is associated with economic prosperity thanks to the long neoliberal Clinton boom of the 1990s. And she carries a reputation for toughness, quite different from Obama’s emerging legacy as a 98-pound weakling who gets kicked around on the policy beach by bullies like John Boehner, Sean Hannity, and Eric Cantor. (For those of us on the radical left, a Hillary Clinton presidency might have the benefit of inducing at least some less confusion and tepidness among progressives than “the first black president.”)

Of course Obama doesn’t care about his party, but maybe he’ll care about his own reputation after a few more humiliating defeats by the Republicans. One can only hope.

In other news, Arch West, the inventor of Doritos, has died.

When Arch West, the man credited with inventing Doritos, is buried on Oct. 1, he will be joined by a sprinkling of the bright orange chips that have become a cheesy, tangy, American institution.

His daughter, Jana Hacker of Allen, Texas, told the Dallas Morning News that the family plans on “tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn.”

West, who was 97 when he died of natural causes last week, was a former Frito-Lay executive. He reportedly came up with the idea of Doritos when he was on vacation with his family in Mexico and came upon a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Frito-Lay officials were not too impressed with the idea, but they rolled out the chips after consumer testing proved positive. Doritos were first introduced in Southern California in 1964, according to a Frito-Lay spokesperson; Doritos Toasted Corn launched nationally in 1967.

Finally, I was very excited to learn that the Dead Sea Scrolls can now be viewed on line.

High-quality digitized images of five of the 950 manuscripts were posted for free online for the first time this week by Google and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the scrolls are housed. The post includes an English translation and a search feature to one of the texts, the Great Isaiah Scroll.

The scroll, one of seven animal skin parchments discovered in 1947 a cave in Wadi Qumran in the West Bqnk, is the largest and best preserved in the collection.

“Some of these images are appearing for the first time in Google — what no one has seen for 2,000 years and no scholar since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found,” says James Charlesworth, director and editor of the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project, who is one of the few who has handled the ancient pieces of parchment. “Now images and letters that were never found are appearing in Google.”

Charlesworth said the new images allow him to decipher in 30 minutes fragments of documents that once took 14 hours to analyze. The digital project will preserve documents that were eaten by worms and so fragile they’re turning to dust or rotting away.

Here’s some more information on the project from the Google blog.

That’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?

21 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. paper doll says:

    Great round up ! Thanks!

    something that was edited out or otherwise not captured in the video…

    I’m gonna replace my worn out excuse ” the dog ate my homework” excuse with that beatuy

    Democrats agree to no additional disaster aid in US budget dispute


    The Democratic Party-controlled Senate passed a spending measure on Monday night that includes no additional emergency aid to victims of natural disasters. The move was a complete capitulation to Republican demands that additional spending be tied to cuts in other government programs….

    I have to admit, even old cynical me , gasped.

    I can’t keep up with the sink holes and the caves in.Shortly the Dems will say the Lipton crowd made them capitual /snark.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    BB, what a good find regarding the previous civil rights abuse from the police officer that pepper sprayed the woman protester…

    I saw this on NYT and I bet if Obama saw any of the posters, he would take it so personally…you know in that narcissistic way. On Obama Turf, A Plea for Clinton Intervention – NYTimes.com

    As the president’s motorcade whisks him from Los Angeles International Airport to West Hollywood for the first of two fund-raisers on Monday night, he may notice signs of dissatisfaction: Posters of Mr. Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, have been plastered around the city, with the caption “Save Us Hillary.”

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    POTUS testy in BET interview | POLITICO 44

    President Obama, slipping in the polls among black supporters and under fire from black Democratic leaders for policies they say fail to address black poverty and unemployment, said Monday that targeting programs to help one community “is not how America works.”
    Miller asked Obama to consider the plight of a hypothetical young, African-American in Chicago’s South Side: Father gone, mother working 10 hours a day for “peanuts,” there are no jobs and, “You won’t even say, ‘Look, I am going to help you,'” Miller said.

    “Emmett, that is not — first of all, that is not what people are saying,” Obama said, bristling. “What people are saying all across the country is we are hurting and we’ve been hurting for a long time. And the question is how can we make sure the economy is working for every single person.”

    Obama added, “The other thing I want to make sure you don’t just kind of slip in there is this notion that African-American leaders of late have been critical. There have been a handful of African-Americans who have been critical. They were critical when I was running for president. There’s always going to be somebody who is critical of the president of the United States.”

    “What has always made this country great is the belief that everybody has got a chance,” Obama said. “Regardless of race, regardless of creed.”


    • bostonboomer says:

      How would Obama know what “people” are saying? He always gets “testy” when he’s questioned, doesn’t he? And it sounds like Waters and Rangel had better watch their backs. Sheila Jackson Lee has been praising him, but he probably still hates her for supporting Hillary.

      • mjames says:

        Remember, Obama already fired some warning shots against both Rangel and Waters with charges of ethical violations. (Isn’t Waters’ still pending?) That was supposed to quell dissension. Problem is, their constituencies are quite savvy and expect their elected officials to deliver help. So, Rangel and Waters are in a tough spot. They’re actually being called upon to be representatives of their voters. Is the WH position “trickle down” voodoo economics? Sure sounds like it to me. But that was only one day and only one audience, so who knows.

    • Gregory says:

      I honestly thought that Obama would be a disappointment to the AA community but I thought people like me would be pleasantly surprised. However, he has been a huge disappointment for everyone. Between him and the Cowardly Congressional Dems nobody ever sticks up for what is right anymore. All they do is capitulate to the Republicans which serves to embolden them further.

      Our country has been a train wreck since Gore got hosed by the Supreme court and in an election that should have been a landslide victory. Mellencamp has that lyric that goes something like this “they say that people get what they deserve but Lord it is much worse than that.” Well, I think people are really catching the “much worse” thing especially AA’s.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    The GOP rank and file has studied their present slate of presidential contenders and have found them as unpalatable as the rest of us.

    So now we are being barraged with commentary surrounding the possibility of Chris Christie. Give me a break!

    This arrogant thug in a suit is on record for hating the teachers union in NJ and has been quietly being “courted” by the Koch Brothers not to mention his confrontational, in your face response for any one who questions his “authority”.

    Just what the nation needs: Tony Soprano incarnate threatening his opponents on the national stage.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s all that was on MSNBC this morning–Christie talk. He’s unpopular in NJ and doesn’t have the experience to be President. Another loser.

      • mjames says:

        He’s too fat. And I am being serious. Forget every other horrid thing about the man. He’s gluttony personified.

      • mjames says:

        Oh, I forgot. My guess has always been Jeb Bush. Compared to these losers, he comes off well, which is a horribly sad commentary on the Repub slate.

      • Beata says:

        I can’t see Christie playing well in Peoria or other areas of the Midwest or the South. He’s an obese loud-mouth bully who always looks like he’s ready to punch someone out. Tony Soprano, indeed.

        “Christie in 2012: He Knows Where You Live”

  5. Fannie says:

    Here it is 40 years later, on the anniversary of “Ourbodies, Ourselves” and USA has a good read “Ourbodies, Ourselves still revolutionary after 40 years.” I still have my copy of the book, how about you?


    • bostonboomer says:

      I don’t think I still have the original copy, but I sure remember using it! I bought some updated editions over the years.

  6. Minkoff Minx says:

    Just a heads up, today’s evening reads may be a bit late…

  7. Woman Voter says:


    What do you make of this video that is making the rounds of the interwebs at lightening speed?

    BBC Speechless As Trader Tells Truth: “The Collapse Is Coming…And Goldman Rules The World”

  8. dakinikat says:

    This is so wrong that I don’t even know where to start. It sounds like the Koch brothers are raiding the national treasures again.

    Woody Guthrie put it best when he sang, “This land is your land.” Until, that is, someone steals it from you. And from the redwood forests to the New York island, that’s exactly what could happen if we don’t stop an extreme bill in Congress that would essentially turn over 50 million acres of publicly owned wildlands to oil, gas, and mining companies for drilling, mining, logging, road construction, and other destructive development.

    Wilderness that represents the historical, geological, and ecological diversity of the United States, from iconic red rock canyons in Utah to ancient temperate rainforests in Alaska to scenic mountains in New Mexico, could be lost forever. Here’s a slideshow of just some of the places at risk.