Good evening, all. Here’s some news just for you.
❖ Renowned for his work with rape victims, Dr. Denis Mukwege is seeking guaranteed government protection so he can return from Europe to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt at his home there last month.
❖ He had complained of ill-treatment in Evin prison, was moved to an undisclosed location, and now Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti is dead. France, the UK and Reporters Without Borders are demanding details of the events leading up to Beheshti’s death.
❖ “The Red Cross has said it ‘can’t cope’ with the worsening situation in Syria.” President Bashar al-Assad said “I am not a puppet, I wasn’t made by the West. I’m Syrian. . .and I have to live and die in Syria.” Meanwhile, opposition groups are meeting, hoping to unite “under a new leadership body.”
❖ Turns out that multi-story department store that collapsed in Accra, Ghana, killing “at least nine people” had never had a safety inspection. “President John Dramani Mahama said those responsible for the ‘negligence will pay a price.’”
❖ “Chinese President Hu Jintao opened their once-per-decade Communist Party confab, warning the 2,000 delegates that “failure to tackle” corruption “could prove fatal to the party.”
❖ Meanwhile, the Chinese government is trying most ineptly to stop Tibetan self-immolations.
Money Matters USA
❖ “Walmart moves ‘Black Friday’ to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night” with–be still my heart!–”Deals starting two hours earlier than in 2011.”
❖ Judging by their comments quoted here and here, Wall Streeters are not pleased that American voters re-elected President Obama and elected Elizabeth Warren to the Senate. Let’s hope their gloomy predictions about tougher regulations and such turn out to be correct. DDay on Wall Street and the prospect of Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee.
❖ “US Trade Deficit Narrows to $41.5 Billion”, its lowest “in nearly two years because exports rose to a record high.”
❖ Political statistician Nate Silver, who wowed them with his election predictions, has seen the sales of his latest book skyrocket “by 850% on amazon.com.” Like many prophets, he was initially spurned.
❖ Jon Stewart on “Math You Do As A Republican To Make Yourself Feel Better”.
❖ Has it really come to this? “Republicans Consider Welcoming People Who Believe in Math And Science”.
❖ An AFL-CIO graph shows that Obama voters and African-Americans and Hispanics had by far the most problems voting. President Obama thanked voters for their “participation in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that.” Absolutely.
❖ Alan Grayson is back. He responded to questions about that “grand bargain” with Republicans: “Why talk about caving at all? The Democrats won the election.”
❖ First Buddhist and Hindu to serve in the nation’s capital, both from HI: Democrat Mazie Hirono, new Senator (Buddhist), and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, new Representative (Hindu).
❖ Thoughtful David Simon on the election: “We are all–all of us, every last American, even the whitest of white guys–special interests. And now, normal isn’t white or straight or Christian. There is no normal.”
❖ A Romney FL advisor has conceded that “The numbers in Florida show this was unwinnable”, so whenever FL finally gets their count done, it should all be officially over. Jim White provides an “Update from Miami-Dadistan: Vote Counting Continues into Third Day”.
❖ A major shift in party registrations in FL’s I-4 corridor (Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia Counties) from Republican to Democrat occurred over the past 20 years. And between the 2000-2010 census cycles, the numbers of Hispanics, blacks and Asians almost doubled.
❖ Some “Romney people” promised to produce “somebody in a very sensitive position in the U.S. government” with knowledge about the Benghazi attack for interview with the WaPo’s Bob Woodward. After several no-shows, the guy finally did meet with Woodward who wasn’t impressed.
❖ IL Democrat and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin endorses filibuster reform. Jonathan Bernstein agrees, noting the logjam in trying to fill executive branch positions caused by filibustering Republicans. In addition, he urges a return to majority vote in such matters as executive branch nominations.
❖ Ashley Judd vs KY Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014? It’s been proposed.
❖ “Beyond battleships and bayonets“. Peering into the future of warfare US-style, and it is a mind-blower.
Working for A Living
❖ A Las Vegas, NV employer named “David” has 114 “mostly Hispanic” employees. He has fired 22 of them because Obama won. He gave them warning, he says, but Obama won anyway. Meanwhile, “David Siegel, Billionaire Whose Letter Promised Mass Layoffs After Obama Win, Gives Workers Raises.”
Planet Earth News
❖ Environmentalists listened to President Obama‘s victory speech and seized on his speaking of “the destructive power of a warming planet”. They intend to mobilize on those words.
❖ An Argentine judge has frozen $19 billion of Chevron assets. Last year, an Ecuadorean court ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion for environmental damage in Ecuador’s Amazon region over almost 30 years. Chevron has few assets in Ecuador, however, so the plaintiffs appealed to the Argentine court.
❖ That 7.4-magnitude earthquake right off the coast of Guatemala has resulted in 52 confirmed deaths, 155 injuries and 22 people missing. 10,000 houses “have been rendered uninhabitable.” Only the hospital has electricity. The nation is observing three days of mourning for the storm victims.
❖ The Northeast is being hit very hard–200,000+ “new power outages”, 167,000 NJ homes and businesses without power overnight, and 700,000 customers all total with no power. Wind gusts at 50 mph, record snowfalls everywhere. Two dead in CT and 2 dead in NJ. You can make donations for warm blankets here.
❖ NY Gov Cuomo “fired his $153,000-a-year emergency management director for diverting a crew to remove a tree from his Long Island home’s driveway after superstorm Sandy hit”.
❖ Gabrielle Giffords, who made a remarkable recovery after being shot by Jared Lee Loughner on that awful 2011 January day in Tucson, was in attendance as Loughner was sentenced to life in prison for the shootings which resulted in six deaths and 13 injuries. Giffords’ husband read her statement.
❖ Finally, an English translation of Pussy Riot’s ‘Punk Prayer’.
❖ Daniel Day-Lewis talks to a chair.