August 18, 2012 archive

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On This Day In History August 18

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-50-mg-italia-pagamento-online-a-Napoli Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=purchase-levitra-in-canada “On This Day in History” here.

August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 135 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified when the Tennessee General Assembly, by a one-vote margin became the thirty-sixth state legislature to ratify the proposed amendment. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the amendment’s adoption.

It took 70 years of struggle by women of the Suffrage Movement headed by Susan B. Anthony to get this amendment passed. Gail Collins’ NYT Op-Ed recount of the story puts it in great perspective:

That great suffragist and excellent counter, Carrie Chapman Catt, estimated that the struggle had involved 56 referendum campaigns directed at male voters, plus “480 campaigns to get Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters, 47 campaigns to get constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into state constitutions; 277 campaigns to get State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks, 30 campaigns to get presidential party campaigns to include woman suffrage planks in party platforms and 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses.”

As Ms. Catt tells it and to no one’s surprise the Senate was the biggest obstacle, so the Suffragettes decided to take it to the states and amend all the state constitutions, one by one.

The constitutional amendment that finally did pass Congress bore Anthony’s name. It came up before the House of Representatives in 1918 with the two-thirds votes needed for passage barely within reach. One congressman who had been in the hospital for six months had himself carted to the floor so he could support suffrage. Another, who had just broken his shoulder, refused to have it set for fear he’d be too late to be counted. Representative Frederick Hicks of New York had been at the bedside of his dying wife but left at her urging to support the cause. He provided the final, crucial vote, and then returned home for her funeral.

The ratification stalled short of one state when it came to a vote in the Tennessee Legislature on August 18, 1920 and was short one vote to ratify when a young state legislator got a note from his mother:

Ninety years ago this month, all eyes turned to Tennessee, the only state yet to ratify with its Legislature still in session. The resolution sailed through the Tennessee Senate. As it moved on to the House, the most vigorous opposition came from the liquor industry, which was pretty sure that if women got the vote, they’d use it to pass Prohibition. Distillery lobbyists came to fight, bearing samples.

“Both suffrage and anti-suffrage men were reeling through the hall in an advanced state of intoxication,” Carrie Catt reported.

The women and their allies knew they had a one-vote margin of support in the House. Then the speaker, whom they had counted on as a “yes,” changed his mind.

(I love this moment. Women’s suffrage is tied to the railroad track and the train is bearing down fast when suddenly. …)

Suddenly, Harry Burn, the youngest member of the House, a 24-year-old “no” vote from East Tennessee, got up and announced that he had received a letter from his mother telling him to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt.”

“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides.

We celebrate Women’s Suffrage Day on Aug. 26, which is when the amendment officially became part of the Constitution. But I like Aug. 18, which is the day that Harry Burn jumped up in the Tennessee Legislature, waving his mom’s note from home. I told the story once in Atlanta, and a woman in the audience said that when she was visiting her relatives in East Tennessee, she had gone to put a yellow rose on Harry Burn’s grave.

I got a little teary.

“Well, actually,” she added, “it was because I couldn’t find his mother.”

The War Over Wikileaks

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

As most know by now Ecuador has granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asylum from extradition to Sweden for questioning in alleged sexual abuse. The asylum was granted based on the fear that if Mr. Assange was extradited to Sweden there was no guarantee that the Swedish government would not then turn extradite him to the US where he would face serious charges and possibly execution.

Mr. Assange had exhausted his appeals through British courts in June then fled to the Ecuadoran Embassy requesting asylum. Yesterday that request was granted setting up a diplomatic stand off that could lead to a violation of international law with the British threatening to strip Ecuador of its diplomatic status and storm the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange. The British are claiming that they have the right to do so under a law passed in 1987 and do not recognize the right of asylum, which is, to put it politely, a load of bull pucks. In 1999, the British refused to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain where he was wanted under an international warrant for crimes against humanity. Ian Welsh noted that Pinochet had women raped by dogs so Britain’s concern about the importance of extradition and rape allegations are just untrue. Besides, Mr. Assange has not been charged and his fears about extradition to the US are legitimate.

As Kevin Gosztola at FDL points out that there is a “grand jury empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia in the Eastern District that is investigating anyone who can be connected to the WikiLeaks organization”:

Now, The Saturday Age, based in Australia, has published a report that features some critical details on the United States government’s plans for Assange. It describes Australian Foreign Aaffairs Department documents that were obtained under freedom of information laws and show the Australian diplomatic service “takes seriously the likelihood that Assange will eventually be extradited to the US on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.” Australia’s ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, sought “high-level US advice on ‘the direction and likely outcome of the investigation’ and “reiterated’ an Australian government request for “early advice of any decision to indict or seek extradition” of Assange.

The diplomatic cables identify “a wide range of criminal charges the US could bring against Assange, including espionage, conspiracy, unlawful access to classified information and computer fraud.” They indicate, “Australian diplomats expect that any charges against Assange would be carefully drawn in an effort to avoid conflict with the First Amendment free speech provisions of the US constitution.”

Additionally, Australian diplomats have apparently been informed of “several connections between Manning and WikiLeaks,” which prosecutors have uncovered that would form the “basis of a conspiracy charge.” The diplomats have found any investigation would “target” the “founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks” for espionage.

At emptywheel, Marcy Wheeler pointed out that the cause this current overreaction stems from the embarrassment Mr. Assange caused the US by releasing diplomatic cables revealing details on the targeted assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki and some breaches of diplomatic guidelines by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

If the Brits enter the embassy it will only expose publicly what has become true but remains largely unacknowledged: the US and its allies find international law and protocols to be quaint. That was obviously true under Bush, with the illegal Iraq war and his disdain for the Geneva Conventions. But Obama, too, continues to do things legally authorized only by the most acrobatic of legal interpretations.

Which is why I consider it so apt that one of the most embarrassing-albeit frankly rather minor-details that WikiLeaks published about the Obama Administration is that Hillary ordered her staff to help intelligence officers collect intelligence on their counterparts, including credit card data and biometrics. [..]

While other cables exposed the Obama Administration to far more legal trouble-such as the one apparently showing that we were targeting Anwar al-Awlaki before we believed him to be operational-it was the exposure of diplomatic spying that seemed to piss the Obama Administration off. Exposure as cynical power brokers, not idealistic world citizens.

The Young Turks Cenk Uygur summed up this tempest in a teapot with this rant:

Not a single person has been hurt by Wikileaks, zero, but the US would like to prosecute and possibly execute a man because he embarrassed the government by revealing violations of human rights and international law.  

Late Night Karaoke

Corzine Off the Hook For MF Global

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Surprise, surprise. As reported in the New York Times Dealbook, John Corzine, former New Jersey Senator, Governor and CEO of the now defunct MF Global, has been given a pass by Attorney General Eric “It’s too hard” Holder for defrauding investors of about $1 billion.

After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm’s demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case.

go to link The hurdles to building a criminal case were always high with MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy in October after a huge bet on European debt unnerved the market. But a lack of charges in the largest Wall Street blowup since 2008 is likely to fuel frustration with the government’s struggle to charge financial executives. Just a few individuals – none of them top Wall Street players – have been prosecuted for the risky acts that led to recent failures and billions of dollars in losses. [..]

Over at FDL, here is masacchio‘s take on those damned “high hurdles” that the “jury” of Justice Department Wall St. cronies can’t seem to leap:

And by jury, I mean the candy ass prosecutors at the Department of Justice, who have made an in-house decision that it’s just too hard to indict anyone at MF Global, including friend of Barack Jon Corzine, for stealing billions of customer dollars. It’s just impossible that a friend of Eric Holder’s could be found to be criminally responsible for allowing a company to steal money from its customers to give to its bank, especially when the bank is the much-loved JPMorgan Chase. After all, the Department of Eric Holder is made up of peers of the MF Global crowd, so it’s just like a real trial.

These chicken-shits have been telling reporters from the beginning that there were really high hurdles to prosecution, as if this were some sort of Olympic event. They tell the reporters that “chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear”. The billions in losses were beyond human control, and nothing can be done, a phrasing which perfectly mirrors DOJ’s passivity in the face of one of the biggest heists in history.

It’s just too hard to investigate fraud. Investors are so screwed.

Pirates And Emperors Are The Same Thing

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Noam Chomsky and Schoolhouse Rock.

Noam Chomsky – In Depth – Pirates and Emperors Part 1

06/01/2003 C-span – Noam Chomsky, professor of Linguistics at MIT University in Cambridge, MA, talked about his life and career as a political activist and critic of U.S. foreign policy. Among the topics he addressed were efforts to combat terrorism, war with Iraq, and Bush administration economic and foreign policy. He also responded to questions from viewers on the telephone and submitted by fax and electronic mail.

This video from our friend David Waldman at Daily Kos lead to the Chomsky video.

Privateers of the Caribbean

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Correspondents in Training

I can’t believe it’s only another week to this farce.

Trans News Dump

Every so often I find there is a series of stories which just aren’t likely to get their own diary…even though they very well may deserve one.  Time is a limited quantity after all and it’s about to become a much more limited quantity quickly, what with the new semester about to run us over.  Syllabi are due next Thursday and classes start the following week.

So you can think of this as a Friday trans news dump…stories with not enough lurid interest to grab bigger headlines given short shrift on a Friday evening…or you can think of it as the news from the transgender community on a reel.