Browsing articles from "May, 2015"

Live Blog: Facing Midnight Deadline, The Senate Debates Parts Of The Patriot Act

May 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Live Blog: Facing Midnight Deadline, The Senate Debates Parts Of The Patriot Act

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks from the Senate Chamber after opening a special session to extend surveillance programs in Washington, on Sunday.i

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks from the Senate Chamber after opening a special session to extend surveillance programs in Washington, on Sunday.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks from the Senate Chamber after opening a special session to extend surveillance programs in Washington, on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks from the Senate Chamber after opening a special session to extend surveillance programs in Washington, on Sunday.

Cliff Owen/AP

The next few hours will be pretty dramatic on the floor of the United States Senate: The body has called a rare Sunday session, because if they don’t do something before midnight, three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act will expire.

The most controversial is Section 215, which the White House has used to scoop up Americans’ call records in bulk.

As Sen. Harry Reid, the body’s minority leader explained, the Senate can only do one thing tonight: Pass a bill authored by the House that allows the program to continue, but the phone records will now stay with the phone companies.

The big issue, here, is that Senate rules allow a single senator to significantly delay the passage of a bill.

That’s where Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul comes in. He will without a doubt be the protagonist — or antagonist depending on where your stand on the debate — of tonight, because he has promised to force those three provisions of the Patriot Act to expire.

So, expect a lot of drama in the form of parliamentary maneuvering. C-Span and the Senate are streaming the proceedings live.

We’ll update this post often as the night goes on, so make sure to refresh the page. We’ll be here through the midnight deadline.

Update at 7:42 p.m. ET. Patriot Act Will Expire:

Sen. Paul said: “The Patriot Act will expire tonight. But it will only be temporary. They will ultimately get their way.”

Update at 7:28 p.m. ET. ‘Bill Will Ultimately Pass’:

Sen. Rand Paul took to the floor shortly after the cloture vote passed. He conceded that the House bill would “ultimately pass” but “tonight begins the process of ending bulk collection.”

His issue with the House bill, he said, is that Congress may just be replacing one bulk collection program with another.

“It’s hard for me to have trust in the people who we are giving great power to,” Paul said.

The senator from Kentucky said he would offer up amendments to the bill.

Update at 7:08 p.m. ET. Procedural Vote Passes By Large Margin:

The procedural measure to move onto the House bill ultimately passed by a large margin — 77 to 17.

It means the Senate has overcome a major procedural hurdle, but any senator can still debate the measure for 30 hours.

Update at 6:42 ET. Senate Clears Procedural Hurdle:

The votes are still coming in, but the Senate has reached the 60 votes needed to limit debate and move on to the House bill.

However, Paul, or any Senator, for that matter, can force the Senate to debate the matter for another 30 hours before they can vote on the bill. That’s, of course, many hours after the midnight deadline.

The vote so far: 75 in favor of cloture; 15 opposed.

Update at 6:27 p.m. ET. Reconsidering House Bill:

With a temporary extension off the table, Sen. McConnell said he had only two options: One, let the programs expire. Two, try to pass the House bill.

The first option, he said, is “completely unacceptable.” So, he said, he would move forward with the reconsideration of the House bill.

That motion passed with a voice vote and the Senate is now voting to limit debate and move on to the House bill. That’s also known as a cloture vote.

As Fox’s Chad Pergram reports on Twitter, that doesn’t mean much because even if they get the 60 votes needed for cloture, “Paul can still require 30 hrs burn off clock before Senate can get on Hse’s NSA bill. Means pgms would lapse.”

Update at 6:16 p.m. ET. McConnell Proposes To Extend Two Sections:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor to propose a very limited bill: One that would extend sections 206 and 6001 — the so-called roving wiretaps and lone wolf provisions.

Just like that, Paul objected, and McConnell said that his objection should be “very worrying for Americans.”

“The nature of the threat is very serious,” McConnell said, therefore we should not be “disarming unilaterally.”

Update at 6:15 p.m. ET. Senate Reconvenes:

The Senate has reconvened. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on the floor.

Update at 6:05 p.m. ET. The Debate So Far:

While we wait for the Senate to reconvene here’s a little recap of what we’ve heard on the floor so far: Democratic Senators Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy made the case that the Senate should act quickly to pass the House bill.

Leahy said it had been passed by the House in bipartisan fashion and makes significant changes to the government’s surveillance programs.

Reid said that this is an important national security program. He said that CIA Chief John Brennan and even Senate Republicans agree that allowing parts of this law to expire would “threaten our national security.” In his words, this is “big time stuff.”

In his five minutes, Sen. Paul essentially scoffed at that notion.

“How will we protect ourselves?” he asked. “What about using the Constitution? What about getting a warrant?”

Update at 5:56 p.m. ET. What To Expect:

Right now the Senate is in recess. Both parties are meeting to discuss how to go forward. When the Senate returns, we expect a series of votes to reconsider HR 2048 — or the House’s USA Freedom Act.

The Senate had already failed to move that measure forward earlier this month.

Update at 5:48 p.m. ET. Early Drama:

It did not take long for the drama to get started. About an hour into the session, Sen. Rand Paul asked to speak for five minutes. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a fellow Republican, shot down him and Sen. John McCain, another fellow Republican, suggested Paul should learn the rules of the Senate.

That’s when Paul called for a live quorum — a roll call that determines whether a majority of the Senate is in the chamber to continue doing business. To speed things, the live quorum was called off and Paul was given his five minutes.

“This in important debate,” Paul said. “This is a debate over the bill of rights, over the fourth amendment… It is a debate over your right to be left alone.”

Paul said that the surveillance programs put in place by Section 215 were illegal. Then he issued a warning: “I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Bringing Music And A Message Of Hope To Native American Youth

May 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Bringing Music And A Message Of Hope To Native American Youth

After years as punk rockers, Jeneda (right) and Clayson Benally formed the band Sihasin, which means hope in Navajo. We have every possibility to make positive change, says Jeneda.i

After years as punk rockers, Jeneda (right) and Clayson Benally formed the band Sihasin, which means “hope” in Navajo. “We have every possibility to make positive change,” says Jeneda.

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After years as punk rockers, Jeneda (right) and Clayson Benally formed the band Sihasin, which means hope in Navajo. We have every possibility to make positive change, says Jeneda.

After years as punk rockers, Jeneda (right) and Clayson Benally formed the band Sihasin, which means “hope” in Navajo. “We have every possibility to make positive change,” says Jeneda.

Courtesy of Sihasin

Native American youth living on reservations can often face an overwhelming array of challenges, including poverty, addiction and abuse. Partly because of hurdles, high school dropout rates and suicides are far higher on reservations than the national average.

At a time when native teens are desperate for guidance, siblings from one Navajo family are mentoring them, helping them find their own way in traditional culture, contemporary music and — eventually — careers on and off the reservation.

Clayson, Jeneda and Klee Benally grew up on Black Mesa in northern Arizona, a place at the center of a land dispute between a coal mining company and the Navajo and Hopi tribes. The children of a traditional healer, they grew up protesting the coal mine and couldn’t ignore what they saw as oppression and abuse of power. So they formed a punk rock group in the early ’90s called Blackfire.

“There was a lot of anger,” Clayson recalls. Starting the band and performing was a way of “channeling that anger and frustration and putting it into something positive, as well.”

Now, about two decades later, Klee Benally has become an activist, and Jeneda and Clayson have formed a new band called Sihasin, which means “hope” in the Navajo language.

“With Sihasin, everything is kind of reversed, the energy,” says Clayson. Unlike Blackfire’s aim, he says, the goal with Sihasin is to “make people dance. Let’s make people move and feel good, you know — not just smash stuff.”

Parenthood made Jeneda stop and think about the message she wanted to send her kids. “I want my children to have hope,” she says. “I see the world as a different place. And I recognize that we have every possibility to make positive change.”

She and Clayson are bringing that hopeful message to schools all over Indian Country, where they teach Native American youth how to write their own songs. Jeneda says that she’s helped teens in times of desperation find the right words in a song.

As Crystal Puhuyesva, 19, graduates from high school, she says family, friends and the Benallys have inspired her to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.i

As Crystal Puhuyesva, 19, graduates from high school, she says family, friends and the Benallys have inspired her to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.

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As Crystal Puhuyesva, 19, graduates from high school, she says family, friends and the Benallys have inspired her to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.

As Crystal Puhuyesva, 19, graduates from high school, she says family, friends and the Benallys have inspired her to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.

Laurel Morales/KJZZ

“Music is powerful,” she says. “Music can absolutely save lives.”

At Leupp High School, on the western edge of the Navajo reservation and about 45 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Ariz., only 9 of 19 seniors are graduating this year. The class asked the Benallys to speak and perform at graduation.

“You carry our hope, you carry our future within you,” Jeneda told them during the speech. “I don’t want you to feel burdened by that. I want you to feel empowered by that.”

Crystal Puhuyesva, 19, heard the message. “I wish I had gotten this speech a long time ago,” she says. She’d been held back and pulled in and out of schools on both the Navajo and Hopi reservations. But an uncle believed in her, and then she met the Benallys, who have inspired her to graduate and achieve her goals.

“With all their encouragement, their words, it just — it woke me up,” says Puhuyesva. “I do want to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse.”

The message that motivated her is essentially this: As Navajo and Hopi, you have a strong native foundation and culture. Embrace it. Then make it your own.

For the Benallys, that means blending the Navajo language — or the voice of their father, Jones Benally, singing a traditional Navajo song — with an electric bass and modern drumbeat. Clayson says native people must take from what surrounds them in this contemporary world and join it with the past.

“For us to find a positive solution and to understand our own identity,” he says, “it’s this synthesis that has to occur.”

Examining Gang Enhanced Sentences In California’s Legal System

May 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Examining Gang Enhanced Sentences In California’s Legal System

NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates talks to Daniel Alarcon about his reporting on gang enhanced charges and sentencing. California law gives the prosecution the chance to increase the penalty in gang cases.

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s Son, Dies After Cancer Battle

May 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s Son, Dies After Cancer Battle

Beau Biden (left) and his father Joe Biden at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.i

Beau Biden (left) and his father Joe Biden at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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Beau Biden (left) and his father Joe Biden at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Beau Biden (left) and his father Joe Biden at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s older son, has died after battling brain cancer, the vice president announced Saturday. Beau Biden, a former attorney general of Delaware, was 46.

“It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” Joe Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. Hallie Biden is Beau Biden’s wife; Hunter and Ashley are his brother and half-sister.

Beau Biden was being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the vice president’s office said earlier this month. He had announced he would be running next year to be Delaware’s governor.

He was a major in the Delaware National Guard, and served a yearlong tour in Iraq.

In 2010, Beau Biden suffered a mild stroke. Three years later, he underwent surgery after being diagnosed with a brain lesion.

“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us — especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter,” Joe Biden’s statement said.

In a separate statement, President Obama said, “Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched — and he lives on in their hearts.”

In 1972, a car accident killed Joe Biden’s first wife, Neilia, and infant daughter, Naomi. Beau and Hunter Biden, 4 and 3 at the time, were injured in the crash. For five years, before he married his second wife, Jill, Joe Biden raised the boys as a single father.

At the time of that fatal accident, Joe Biden was newly elected to the U.S. Senate. He was sworn in at the hospital, at his sons’ bedside, and began to commute daily from D.C. to Delaware to spend more time with his children.

When Nora Jane Struthers’ Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

May 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on When Nora Jane Struthers’ Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.i

Nora Jane Struthers’ new album is titled Wake.

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Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.

Nora Jane Struthers’ new album is titled Wake.

Courtesy of the artist

Nora Jane Struthers may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn’t been stolen. Rebuilding her life allowed her to take a risk and do something she’d wanted to for years. It paid off: She has a new album out titled Wake.

Her story begins at a charter school in Brooklyn where Struthers worked as an English teacher.

“I started teaching sophomores and moved to teaching seniors in my last year,” Struthers says. “I loved it.”

Then, she got into a relationship.

“I started dating the art teacher,” she says. “We both started talking about the possibility of moving out of the city and he could do art and I could do music and we could move somewhere together and sort of start a new creative life.”

Nora Jane Struthers And The Party Line.

Nora Jane Struthers

Just as they started to plan their future, Struthers received a letter in the mail. It was from a bank about a check that had been deposited in an account that she didn’t know about.

“The check was actually a check that was made out to me that I was expecting and had never received,” Struthers says. “I was obviously distressed because someone had stolen my identity.”

A month later, a credit bureau called with new information. There was a name that kept appearing on the new accounts.

It was her boyfriend.

“She also told me that he had opened an account on my credit card and charged a new computer to it,” she says. “And so I just totally lost it.”

When she returned to her classroom, the principal at the charter school pulled her aside to inform her that her boyfriend had also forged his teaching certificate.

“It was just such an incredible shock,” she says. “I was just ready for a brand new start. I was kind of over New York but I had a friend who was living in Nashville and he invited me to come down. I just thought, ‘Why not? It’s Music City, after all.’ “

As soon as the school year ended, she packed her bags, hopped in her parents’ minivan, and drove down to Tennessee.

“I just remember feeling like I escaped,” she says. “I escaped a life that I was building for myself and thought was going to make me happy. … My boyfriend stole my identity and the poetic irony is that it allowed me to create a new one in which I’m both incredibly fulfilled and have found true love.”

Hear the full piece at the audio link.

‘Like An Avalanche’: Otis Redding’s Unstoppable Crossover

May 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on ‘Like An Avalanche’: Otis Redding’s Unstoppable Crossover

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history.i

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as “bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history.”

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Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history.

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as “bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history.”

Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons


Dreams to Remember

Otis Redding really only had about five years in the spotlight before his untimely death at the age of 26, but in that time he left a body of work adored around the world. Author Mark Ribowsky puts it this way: “In the end, [he] was bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history. And, given how little soul has survived him, Lord how we could use him now.”

In a new book called Dreams To Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul, Ribowsky traces that line all the way back to Redding’s upbringing in segregated Georgia. The author joined NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates to discuss how the singer caught the attention of Stax Records founders Al Bell and Jim Stewart, pivoting from small-time fame on the chitlin’ circuit into a brief-but-brilliant period of national stardom and promise. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and read an edited version below.

Karen Grigsby Bates: Tell me about how Otis Redding got into popular music. His dad was a sharecropper and also devoutly religious, and not so crazy about the music his son was interested in.

Mark Ribowsky: No, his father would just as soon shut out any music beyond the church organ when he was growing up. They always had that ambivalent relationship, the father never really being on his side, so Otis really had to do it on his own. And what he did was troll downtown Macon — go to the clubs, see Little Richard, The Upsetters, all these great local bands, James Brown — and try to infiltrate the scene, which he did very easily.

He was so emboldened to try to get his career started that he went to L.A. on his own and tried to make it there in 1959, and was a total bust. I dug up a few of the guys who he recorded for in L.A. — they knew he had talent, but he didn’t have the right material, because he was trying to be another Little Richard or sound like another Jackie Wilson. When Otis started doing Otis is when it all started happening, and that happened when he had his audition in Memphis for Stax. He sang “These Arms of Mine,” and the earth moved when he did that.

1967 was a huge year for Otis Redding: He performed at the Monterey Pop festival, during the Summer of Love. He shared the stage with Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, all totally different music than the kind he usually sang. How was his performance received?

I still think it was the peak of the festival. He was able to command the closing spot, even without having a crossover hit to that audience. You know, Janis Joplin called him God before the festival — she said, “This is God that’s coming on stage here.”

Basically he’s singing to a bunch of high white kids.

Rich white kids on their summer break. He had to convince people who were not necessarily in the soul audience, the soul market, that he was a great entertainer. He played the Fillmore for Bill Graham, and Bill Graham called him the biggest talent he ever saw; this is Bill Graham saying this, who saw everybody. And you had people like Jerry Garcia and Joplin and Grace Slick begging Bill Graham to let them open for Otis. So he was conquering all these markets. It was astonishing what he was doing without a crossover hit. He had an underground kind of appeal that built on itself, grew like an avalanche.

Yet for all of that, a year after having sort of blazed this trail through the music world, Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash on the way to a performance; he was 26 years old. He had one of the biggest hits of his career posthumously, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” and you write about how he had to fight to get Stax to even consider releasing it. He recorded it at the very last minute, right?

He recorded that two days before he died. He was about the only one who believed in it. Otis had had a throat operation in the fall that year, and it was very touchy because nobody knew if he would be able to sing the way he needed to sing again. He was contemplating, “How do we broaden this?” Because it was after Monterey, so he can’t just go back to the chitlin’ circuit now: He’s gotta compete with Hendrix, Joplin, Jim Morrison. So he was wondering what he could do, and he came up with this song — which he wrote while sitting on the dock of a bay in San Francisco. He was staying on a houseboat in the marina out there, under the Golden Gate Bridge, watching the ships come in and roll away again, so he did a very literal exposition of what he was thinking and what he was doing. But with Otis it was sort of the ultimate paean to loneliness: almost like he was begging for relief, for a few solitary moments to pull back and breathe a little.

More On Stax Records

The Stax Records recording studio in Memphis, Tenn.

Donald Duck Dunn onstage about 1990.

Dedicated: A Salute to the 5 Royales is a tribute to the soul group, helmed by guitarist Steve Cropper.

When he left to go to Cleveland on that ill-fated last journey, Steve Cropper — who wrote it with him and produced it, great guitar player — told Jim Stewart, “Let’s release this song.” [But] nobody knows what it is. Duck Dunn says, “It’s not RB, it’s not soul, it’s not rock ‘n’ roll.” And Al Bell, who had said, “Let’s broaden up, let’s do some folk-rock,” heard it being recorded that day and said, “I don’t know if we could ever release this song.” Jerry Wexler up in New York at Atlantic, the overlords of Stax, said, “I can’t release this. His vocal is too recessed; it needs to be remixed.” He sent it back to Cropper. Cropper said, “OK, I’ll change it, I’ll do this, I’ll do that” — didn’t change it whatsoever. Sent it back to Wexler, who said, “Oh yeah, this sounds a lot better now!”

He was conned, and they released the song. And it was the best decision they ever made, because that was a tidal wave of a song. And when the ’70s started, of course you had all these folk-rock songs now — the James Taylor, Southern California, soft-rock, country-rock era began, so it foretold that era. But it was a tremendous song, and I only wish we could have heard more in the same vein.

CBS’ Bob Schieffer Retires Sunday As Last Of The Old-School TV Anchors

May 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on CBS’ Bob Schieffer Retires Sunday As Last Of The Old-School TV Anchors

Bob Schieffer on the set of Face the Nation in September.i

Bob Schieffer on the set of Face the Nation in September.

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Bob Schieffer on the set of Face the Nation in September.

Bob Schieffer on the set of Face the Nation in September.

Chris Usher/CBS

No one can ask a tough question quite like Bob Schieffer.

For example, when he asked then-presidential candidate John Edwards: “It appears that the White House strategy will be to picture you as a pretty boy….A lightweight…Does that bother you?”

Cue nervous laughter from a candidate who became known for paying $400 to get a haircut.

Bob Schieffer, shown here in 2013 on the set of Face the Nation, a show he hosted for 24 years.i

Bob Schieffer, shown here in 2013 on the set of Face the Nation, a show he hosted for 24 years.

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Bob Schieffer, shown here in 2013 on the set of Face the Nation, a show he hosted for 24 years.

Bob Schieffer, shown here in 2013 on the set of Face the Nation, a show he hosted for 24 years.

Chris Usher/CBS

Or when Schieffer queried U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz about the 2013 government shutdown, asking: “You became a celebrity when you led the drive to shut down the government over Obamacare. But afterward, your fellow Republicans said you’d led them over a cliff.”

When Cruz responded by insisting he hadn’t shut down the government, the Obama administration did, Schieffer answered with a knowing laugh that spoke volumes.

Schieffer’s unique style — equal parts folksy inquisitor and experienced political insider — has become a signature of CBS’ Face the Nation. Which makes his departure Sunday after 24 years a pivotal event.

In fact, his retirement means one of the most experienced voices in Washington journalism will soon leave the airwaves (CBS News political director John Dickerson will take his place as host).

Schieffer also retires as a lynchpin at CBS News, where he has worked for 46 years — the last of the old school anchors from the heyday of network TV news.

Now age 78, Schieffer has promised to retire many times before; he told me back in 2006 that he would retire at age 70. But, as he recently told WAMU’s Diane Rehm, now that CBS News seems to be in a stable place, he’s really ready to leave.

“I wanted to go when people thought I could still do the job,” he said, drawing a laugh from Rehm. “You know, I’ve seen too many of these people on Capitol Hill, they sort of have to be led out by the hand. And I just didn’t want to be one of those.”

Schieffer leaves CBS with impressive stats. He’s one of the few reporters to have covered the White House, Congress, the State Department and the Pentagon. He’s interviewed every president since Richard Nixon and moderated three presidential debates.

But his reporting career began at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in the mid-1960s.

Schieffer told NPR’s Bob Edwards back in 2003 about his first big story; when he spoke to Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother not long after President Kennedy was killed.

“I had literally walked into the office, picked up a phone and a woman said, ‘Is there anybody there who can give me a ride to Dallas?'” he noted. “I said, ‘Lady, the president has been shot.’ And she says, ‘Yes I heard it on the radio. My son is the one that they have arrested.'” Schieffer took her to Dallas and got the scoop for his paper.

Schieffer began working at CBS News in 1969, anchoring the weekend newscasts from the mid-70s to the mid-90s. He took over Face the Nation in 1991.

But it wasn’t until years later that the anchor got what may have been his most important assignment for CBS News: succeeding Dan Rather at the CBS Evening News.

In 1980, Schieffer lost out to Rather for the top anchor job at CBS after Walter Cronkite retired. But he was pressed into service in 2005, when a controversial story about President George W. Bush’s National Guard service led to Rather’s ouster at the network.

The resulting controversy rocked CBS News, but Schieffer became a steadying hand at the Evening News, focusing the broadcast on hard news and its experienced correspondents. His style increased ratings while reinforcing CBS’ legacy as a traditional news network; an approach the news department continues today.

Now Schieffer leaves the anchor chair as one of the last links to the days of CBS stars like Cronkite — an influential anchor distinguished by his roots in traditional reporting and old school journalism.

Episode 628: This Ad’s For You

May 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Episode 628: This Ad’s For You

Tom Burrell, ad man.i

Tom Burrell, ad man.

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Tom Burrell, ad man.

Tom Burrell, ad man.

Courtesy of Tom Burrell

In the early 1960s, the ad world had a one-size-fits-all philosophy. Now marketing is precisely targeted. Tom Burrell, the first black man in Chicago advertising, started that shift.

Today on the show, the story of the man who changed the way people think about advertising and how advertising thinks about us.

Sonari Glinton and NPR librarian Robert Goldstein came up with a playlist called “The Chicago Renaissance” to go along with this episode.

Music: Silence Is Sexy’s “Holiday (Instrumental)” and Young-Holt Unlimited’s “Wack Wack.” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.

The Bernie Sanders ‘Rape Fantasy’ Essay, Explained

May 29, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Bernie Sanders ‘Rape Fantasy’ Essay, Explained

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church May 27, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.i

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church May 27, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church May 27, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church May 27, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Mother Jones dug up a 1972 essay that Bernie Sanders wrote for the Vermont Freeman, an alternative newspaper. The article, called, “Man-and-Woman,” is a commentary on gender roles. But it’s also caused a stir, as is bound to happen anytime a candidate mentions rape.

If you haven’t been following the hubbub, read on for a rundown of what the controversy is all about.

So what did Bernie Sanders write and what did he say about rape?
The essay by the Vermont senator, who officially kicked off his presidential campaign this week, isn’t long — only a page. Warning: The bit about rape comes at the very beginning, as does some not-totally-safe-for-work language:

“A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.

“A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.

“The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their ‘revolutionary’ political meeting.

“Have you ever looked at the Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspaper with the articles like ‘Girl 12 raped by 14 men’ sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?”

Sanders then goes on to explain his ideas about gender roles and eventually gets at a sharper point — that traditional gender roles help create troubling dynamics in men’s and women’s sex lives.

“Many women seem to be walking a tightrope,” he writes, as their “qualities of love, openness, and gentleness were too deeply enmeshed with qualities of dependency, subservience, and masochism.”

He adds that men, likewise, are confused:

“What is it they want from a woman? Are they at fault? Are they perpetrating this man-woman situation? Are they oppressors?”

One way to read the essay is that Sanders was doing (in a supremely ham-handed way) what journalists do every day: draw the reader in with an attention-getting lede, then get to the meat of the article in the middle. Though he only sticks to his larger point for three paragraphs before getting back to his fictional couple, ending the essay with an imagined conversation:

“And she said, ‘You wanted me not as a woman, or a lover, or a friend, but as a submissive woman, or submissive friend, or submissive lover…’

“And he said, ‘You’re full of ______.’

“And they never again made love together (which they had each liked to do more than anything) or never saw each other one more time.”

What has the Sanders campaign said?
The Sanders campaign quickly tried to distance itself — and the candidate — from the 43-year-old essay. Campaign spokesman Michael Briggs called the essay a “dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication” in an interview with CNN, adding that it “in no way reflects his views or record on women.” He added, “It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then.”

So what does this say about Sanders’ attitude toward women?
You can draw divergent conclusions from the article itself. On the one hand, he’s talking about liberating people from harmful gender norms. On the other, with his nameless hypothetical “man-and-woman” characters, he also seems to imply that men fantasize about raping women or that women fantasize about being raped.

The 2016 presidential field has been quiet about it, but conservative Erick Erickson jeered at Sanders supporters on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Bill Kristol and Town Hall’s Katie Pavlich turned the essay on Bill Clinton, using it as an opening to mention past allegations of sexual misconduct on his part.

National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke, though, dismissed the essay as insignificant:

“Nobody honestly believes that Bernie Sanders is a sexual pervert or that he is a misogynist or that he intends to do women any harm. Nobody suspects that he harbors a secret desire to pass intrusive legislation or to cut gang rapists a break. Really, there is only one reason that anyone would make hay of this story, and that is to damage the man politically.”

Rather than criticize Sanders for something he wrote long ago, Cooke added, “until I see any sign of actual wrongdoing I’d much prefer to slam Sanders for his dangerous and ridiculous politics than to delve back into his past and embarrass him with a long-forgotten opinion.”

Looking at his political life, it’s true that Sanders’ record shows an ongoing concern for women’s rights. Katie McDonough at left-leaning Salon.com compiled a list of measures Sanders has supported or sponsored to protect women from violence and sexual assault.

Are there any lessons to draw from this?
Absolutely: if you’re a politician — especially on the national level — everything you’ve ever written, said, or done can, and likely will, be dredged up for all the world to inspect and critique.

It’s not the first time writings from long ago have resurfaced to be used against a candidate. Republican Bob McDonnell’s 20-year-old thesis about his views on women was also used as a cudgel against him in his bid for governor of Virginia in 2009.

When Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s name began to surface as a potential vice-presidential candidate in 2012, the political world began writing about his 1994 essay about an exorcism he says he witnessed. (See here and here.) That, by the way, is sure to come up again if he runs in 2016 or any time in the future.

Many candidates have also faced plagiarism charges, like Democratic Sen. John Walsh of Montana, who dropped out of his reelection race last year after the New York Times reported he had lifted portions of the final paper he wrote to get his master’s degree.

Vice President Joe Biden admitted in 1987 to cribbing a speech from a British politician, but said it wasn’t “malevolent.” In 2008, the Clinton campaign accused Barack Obama of lifting lines from his friend, then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

And then there are the countless officials who have been embarrassed in the media for sexual impropriety, including the aforementioned Bill Clinton. Eliot Spitzer. Anthony Weiner. David Vitter. John Ensign. Chris Lee. Vito Fossella. Mark Foley. Dennis Hastert.

It’s not just elected officials — consider the flap over past comments in which now-Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor described herself as a “wise Latina.” It’s not plagiarism or an affair, but it created a headache for her during confirmation hearings.

The scrutiny is part of why so many people want nothing to do with the white hot spotlight that comes with running for office.

Anthrax Was Accidentally Sent To 11 States, 2 Countries, Pentagon Now Says

May 29, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Anthrax Was Accidentally Sent To 11 States, 2 Countries, Pentagon Now Says

The Pentagon says 24 laboratories in 11 states and two foreign countries received samples of live anthrax that were accidentally shipped by the Defense Department.

The numbers that were revealed today are more than the Pentagon’s Thursday estimate that nine U.S. states and a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea received the samples. News organizations cited an unnamed U.S. defense official as saying Australia was the second country to which the samples were sent.

In today’s statement, the Pentagon said Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work ordered a comprehensive review of the Defense Department’s “laboratory procedures, processes, and protocols associated with inactivating spore-forming anthrax. There is no known risk to the general public and an extremely low risk to lab workers from the department’s inadvertent shipments of inactivated samples containing small numbers of live anthrax to several laboratories.”

As Bill reported Thursday, more than 20 military personnel are being monitored. He added: “The spores were supposed to have been killed by being irradiated. But at least one lab, in Maryland, reported receiving spores that were still alive.”

The Defense Department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is leading the investigation.

“The department takes this matter very seriously and is acting with urgency to address this matter and Work expects review findings within 30 days,” the statement said.

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