December 29, 2012 archive
Dec 29 2012
Dec 29 2012
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 29 is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are two days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1890, the Wounded Knee Massacre took place near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Cankpe Opi Wakpala) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
In the years prior to the Massacre, the U.S. Government continued to coerce the Lakota into signing away more of their lands. The large bison herds, as well as other staple species of the Sioux diet, had been driven nearly to extinction. Congress failed to keep its treaty promises to feed, house, clothe and protect reservation lands from encroachment by settlers and gold miners; as well as failing to properly oversee the Indian Agents. As a result there was unrest on the reservations.
On December 28, the day before the massacre, , a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk’s (Big Foot) band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee Creek where they made camp.
The rest of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived led by Colonel James Forsyth and surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss guns.
On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle claiming he had paid a lot for it. A scuffle over Black Coyote’s rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry opening firing indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking troopers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.
By the time it was over, at least 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux had been killed and 51 wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five troopers also died, and thirty-nine were wounded (6 of the wounded would also die). It is believed that many were the victims of friendly fire, as the shooting took place at close range in chaotic conditions.
More than 80 years after the massacre, beginning on February 27, 1973, Wounded Knee was the site of the Wounded Knee incident, a 71-day standoff between federal authorities and militants of the American Indian Movement.
The site has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Dec 29 2012
In a recent on air essay on his PBS program, Moyers & Company and an opinion piece at Huffington Post, Bill Moyers took a look at the revolving door of special interest groups and their lobbyists, how they win and the rest of us lose.
We’ve seen how Washington insiders write the rules of politics and the economy to protect powerful special interests but now, as we enter the holiday season, and a month or so after the election, we’re getting a refresher course in just how that inside game is played, gifts and all. In this round, Santa doesn’t come down the chimney — he simply squeezes his jolly old self through the revolving door. [..]
The last time we looked, 34 former staff members of Senator Baucus, whose finance committee has life and death power over the industry’s wish list, were registered lobbyists, more than a third of them working on health care issues in the private sector. And the revolving door spins ever faster after a big election like the one we had last month, as score of officials, elected representatives and their staffs vacate their offices after the ballots are counted. Many of them head for K Street and the highest bidder. [..]
Reforms were passed that are supposed to slow down the revolving door, increase transparency and limit the contact ex-officials and officeholders can have with their former colleagues. But those rules and regulations have loopholes big enough for Santa and his sleigh to drive through, reindeer included. The market keeps growing for insiders poised to make a killing when they leave government to help their new bosses get what they want from government. That’s the great thing about the revolving door: one good turn deserves another.
Step right up and Spin the Revolving Door – and what is your prize? Why, a nice job on Wall Street working for the people you used to regulate – you wrote in the loopholes, now you get the cash for exploiting them! [..]
Many Americans understood that the Dodd-Frank “reforms” were mostly worthless. They will not prevent another crisis or another massive TARP type bailout as the law did absolutely nothing about Too Big To Fail banks (which have actually gotten bigger).
This should not have been a surprise given one of the law’s namesakes, Senator Chris Dodd, was caught red handed getting special loans from perhaps the worst offender in irresponsible mortgage origination – Countrywide. Senator Dodd barely survived an ethics investigation from his similarly compromised colleagues.
But what critics may not have understood was that Dodd-Frank was apparently a jobs program for politically connected staffers.
The last count of lobbyists, as of October, directly involved in advising the president, a member of his cabinet or campaign staff is 55.
Dec 29 2012
On Christmas Eve, stage, film and television actor Jack Klugman, 90, died peacefully at home in California. Best know for his rolls as Oscar Madison, the sloppy roommate to Felix Unger in the TV series “The Odd Couple” and the crime-fighting coroner in “Quincy, M.E.,” Mr. Klugman left another legacy that of live saver for millions of people who suffer from rare or “orphan diseases.” Through his TV show “Quincy, M.E” and testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, he as instrumental in passage of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983.
Dec 29 2012
Nomi Michaels Devereaux had walked from the Jewel Osco grocery store in Lakeview, IL with her boyfriend. They stopped and she waited while he went into a friend’s home to pick up a game system. While she was waiting, and holding six bags of groceries, she was approached by police who removed the groceries and handcuffed her. Then they took her to a police station, where she was forced to remove her bra in front of men…who then mocked her.
Later she learned she had been arrested for solicitation.
She responded in a way that few transwomen do. She reported the incident. That report eventually resulted in a new general order for Chicago police. The order, among other things, says that transpeople should not be subjected to searches any more frequently…or more invasively…than nontransgender people. It also insists that transgender identity is not by itself evidence that a crime is occurring.
The phenomenon of police wrongly assuming that transwomen are engaged in sex work is known as walking while trans.