Here’s some news for your Sunday evening perusal.
❖ A stray mortar from Syria hit an Israeli military post. However, an Israeli army spokeswoman said: “We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation.”
❖ That was quick, since they expected to fail yesterday. Syrian opposition groups meeting in Qatar have agreed to form a new coalition to oppose President Basha al-Assad’s government. “The fractious opposition has been under pressure from the US and other backers in the region to clinch a deal.” They’ve chosen a leader, a Sunni Muslim cleric.
❖ Saying they are “appalled” by reports that Sattar Beheshti, Iranian blogger arrested and dead within a week, may have been “tortured and killed”, Iran’s parliament has announced an investigation.
❖ Obama, Donilon, Drones, Diplomacy, Iran and more: What’s next?
❖ Polish Independence Day in Warsaw with 20,000 nationalists on the march, fighting with police. “A smaller march is being held by anti-fascist groups.” Heaven help us!
❖ “Hundreds evacuated in Tuscany as Venice floods”. 70% of Venice is underwater. Heavy rains.
❖ A bit of information out of Burma. 12 people are dead, dozens injured, bridge down due to the 6.8 quake.
❖ People are being evicted for lack of mortgage payments in Spain, leading to a recent suicide by a 53-year-old female in Baracaldo as bank representatives arrived to evict her and her husband. This so touched Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, that he announced a moratorium on evictions of the “most vulnerable families” while some kind of remedy can be devised.
Money Matters USA
❖ In August a record 47.1 million Americans were on food stamps, with July’s increase “the biggest monthly increase in one year.” From December, 2007 (“the official start of the depression”) to August 2012, 4.6 millions jobs have been lost while 21.2 million Americans have qualified for food stamps or disability.
❖ First Petraus, now Kubasik. Christopher Kubasik was to be president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, but he, too, had a zipper problem that was “inconsistent with [Lockheed Martin's] values and standards”, so someone else will be CEO in January. BTW, DiFi, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says Petraus’ resignation is “‘tragic for this human being’ and for the country.”
❖ Is the Petraeus resignation causing grief or relief in the White House?
❖ Why did the Republicans lose? Don’t miss this video that Digby has posted. David Frum nails it–with nary a dissenting voice from Morning Joe & Co.
❖ And the ‘winger post-election stuff keeps rolling in. Here are a few: 1) Peter Morrison, Treasurer of Hardin County, TX Republicans and public-school textbook screener, says “We must contest . . . the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity”, calling people who re-elected Obama “maggots”; 2) Haley Barbour, former MS governor: “We had some sh*tty candidates. We pissed away two seats.”; 3) FL’s Republican Secretary of State on the long waits in line for voting: “people liked the voting hours”; and 4) Gun and ammunition sales have spiked.
❖ With all the FL votes finally counted, the Electoral Vote total is: Obama 332, Romney 206.
❖ Election night at the Romney household. Scroll down.
❖ Will the Supreme Court strike Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act? In light of all the attempts at voter suppression this past election, will a majority think there is no longer any need to ensure that the US Dept of Justice determine if changes in voting rules in the states harm the ability of minorities to vote? Will they go after the entire Act?
❖ 34 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas were arrested Friday on murder, kidnapping, racketeering and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Nice bunch. 43-page US Dept of Justice indictment.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ 4-Star General Eric Shinseki, who told Congress–correctly–that many more troops than Rumsfeld was proposing would be needed in Iraq, has been in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs for four years now. One of his main objectives is to end homelessness among veterans through “health treatment, substance abuse and job training.” He’s also making a dent in the VA’s notorious backlog of paperwork. “You don’t get many do-overs in life. This is a do-over. I get to take care of the kids I fought with in Vietnam and the kids I sent off to war. . . I just wasn’t going to walk away from them.” Hear, hear!
Women & Children
❖ Those Chicago teachers! In this latest round, they successfully engaged Rahm Emanuel and his corporate reformers. As Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said, “This fight is for the very soul of public education, not only in Chicago, but everywhere…our children are not numbers on a spreadsheet. When you come after our children, you come after us and we will protect them.”
❖ OH misogynists are doubling-down, seeing if they can pass the “most restrictive abortion ban in the nation”–even worse than AZ’s.
Working for A Living
❖ US map showing the “Hours at Minimum Wage Needed to Afford Rent” for a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent.
❖ More news of employers taking Obama’s re-election out on workers. Papa John’s Pizza’s CEO John Schnatter says he’s going to cut workers’ hours. Applebee’s has said it just won’t hire any new workers, and Darden restaurants (Olive Garden and Red Lobster) is “experimenting” with cutting workers’ hours.
❖ Splashy article in the NYTimes about the great job Occupy Sandy is doing.
❖ 12/12/12 is the date of a huge benefit concert in Madison Square Gardens for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Planet Earth News
❖ Seems the US Interior Department has “issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.” The catch? Although “the plan would curtail what was originally sought for oil shale development, it still opens up a significant amount of land that was previously unavailable for the energy production method.”
❖ It’s Remembrance Sunday in England, commemorating Armistice Day. WWI , that devastating blood-letting that took so much from an entire generation, is specifically remembered here. Very powerful.
❖ “The Wright Brothers’ Famous 1903 Flying Machine Patent is Missing”, and has been since 1980. The FBI is on the case.