Loretta Lynch To Appear Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Image: CBS New York

Under pressure from Republicans, Loretta Lynch promised a fresh relationship with law enforcement and with Congress on Wednesday at confirmation hearings to become the nation’s first female black attorney general.

“I pledge to all of you and to the American people that I will fulfill my responsibilities with integrity and independence,” she said in remarks prepared for the panel, led by Republicans who say Attorney General Eric Holder has been too willing to follow President Barack Obama’s political agenda.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the committee, said as much in the opening moments of the hearing, the Senate’s first confirmation proceedings since the GOP took control this month.

He said the department is “deeply politicized.” But that’s what happens when the attorney general of the United States views himself, in his own words, as the president’s “wingman.”

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Russia’s Credit Rating Downgraded to Junk Status

The Confirmation Files:

Posted by Libergirl

Originally posted on TIME:

Standard & Poor’s rating agency on Monday downgraded Russia’s credit grade by one notch to junk status, citing a weakened economic outlook.

The agency dropped the rating to BB+ from BBB- as it sees the country’s financial buffers at risk amid a slide in the country’s currency and weakening revenue from oil exports.

“In our view, the Russian Federation’s monetary policy flexibility has weakened, as have its economic growth prospects,” it said.

Russia’s economy has been hit hard by the double impact of weaker prices for its energy exports as well as Western sanctions.

The Russian currency tumbled on the downgrade, dropping nearly 7 percent to 68.5 rubles to the dollar.

Standard & Poor’s said that Russia’s financial system is weakening, limiting room for maneuver for Russia’s Central Bank. It said the bank “faces increasingly difficult monetary policy decisions,” while also trying to preserve incentives for growth.

The Russian economy…

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Fed judge issues 14-day stay in Ala. same-sex marriages

A federal judge on Sunday put a two-week hold on her decision that overturned Alabama’s gay marriage ban, but said same-sex couples should not be kept in lengthy legal limbo.

alabama gay marriage

Image: Rob Carr, AP

U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade refused the Alabama attorney general’s request to put her ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the decision of gay marriage later this year. But she did issue a 14-day stay to give the state time to appeal her decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Granade said it was inappropriate, in her view, to put the decision on lengthy hold.

“As long as a stay is in place, same-sex couples and their families remain in a state of limbo with respect to adoption, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance and many other rights associated with marriage,” she wrote.

Some hoping to get married swiftly expressed disappointment over the two-week hold.

“It’s aggravating. The judge ruled and everybody got so excited and now, this,” said Tori Sisson, who had camped outside the Montgomery courthouse Sunday night with Shante Wolfe in hopes of securing a marriage license first thing Monday.

The stay will expire Feb. 9 unless the court extends it.

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Answering the BLACK Enigma

An enigma is something that is hard to understand and explain. Understanding the black question in so few words proves my point all the more. I, as a black person, can shed light on the situation far better than someone from a different race or culture that only looks at the question from the outside without the experience of being black. A piece written by Michael Brown, “Who is Killing Black Americans? Could It Be Other Black Americans? got me to thinking.  I’m sure his heart was in the right place but his piece was one-sided. Before I continue, let me add, I’ve listened to his radio program Line of Fire off and on for many years as well as listening to him speak on black issues many times. Each time I was left confused.

Many who call into his show seem to agree with his narrative. In saying that, I see no problem with that per se. People think differently based on their experiences. I once thought differently as a believer, I was going through a different way of looking at the world through a different lens. I understand this might be picked apart, but it must be said: Blacks who become believers seem to alienate their blackness to coincide with the beliefs of white believers and to not be seen as trouble makers. I had a buddy who thought like this and I told him, it doesn’t matter how much Christian fervor you possess, people are still looking at what is in front of them; which is a black face!  I once was part of an Ecclesia and when voting season came around people would say don’t vote for your pockets, vote for your morals. This phrase was always funny to me as it usually came from white women who stayed home while the husbands worked their six figure jobs. Nothing wrong with that, only making a specific point! Culturally we saw things differently.

I reread Brown’s piece and again I was left confused. What bothered me mostly are that people are going to read it and believe what he wrote is the truth, when it’s only a truth that he brings. I’m sure many others will follow his line of reasoning for whatever reason. He says “the percentage of blacks killed by police is higher than the percentage of whites, per capita, this is hardly the biggest problem faced by African Americans”. This isn’t the biggest problem but it is a huge problem. Blacks make up 13 percent of the population but are 50 percent of homicide victims.

He then averted back to the myth of black on black violence (crime). He mentioned more white killings, saying 89 percent of white victims are harmed by white offenders. Mr. Brown says “for the record, black on white crime is astronomically higher than white on black crime”. Whites are six times as likely to be murdered by another white person as by a black person according to FBI and Bureau of Justice statistics. The percentage of white Americans who will be murdered by a black offender in a given year is 0.0002. To my earlier point, black on black crime is a myth.  It’s simple, you kill where you live. When a white kills another white, is it called white on white crime?

Michael Brown makes great points, I don’t argue that. I argue why focus on this in relation to Michael Brown who was murdered. Michael Brown wasn’t fatherless. Why didn’t he deal with the main issue? Why not rip apart Darren Wilson’s story of how he said he angled his car so the youths couldn’t escape. Escape what? Wilson didn’t know anything about a robbery and it’s unclear whether there was even a robbery. What about the released picture of his face which looked like blush was applied to it? Yet Michael Brown felt no need to bring up these issues. I can speak from my experiences, I’ve done some dumb stuff in my life but of all the people I know they take care of their children and are married to the mother of their childen. Sure, I know some who aren’t but those numbers are minute; I’m speaking a 40 to 1 ratio.

The other issues: violence, drug abuse, the incarceration rate, and education can all be answered. Why is it that blacks make up 40 percent of the prison population? There is a problem, but blacks aren’t the real issue; they are the scapegoat. Our prison system is a for- profit system. Private prisons are suing states for millions if they don’t stay full. We also must understand that crime is down and has been steadily declining. This speaks also to the false outrage about illegal immigration; corporations and companies need this to keep up their exploitation. Illegal immigrants and blacks make up the largest block of the prison system. America has a problem, and yes it’s a race problem. How is it that other countries are closing down jails for lack of people to fill them? Read my article about this. Another question that goes unanswered: Why does the music biz have so much stock in private prisons? Let’s speak on the drug war briefly; we know it’s a farce. How did drugs get in the black community? This isn’t a conspiracy, thanks to Reagan, Oliver North and the CIA, as a cover-up to providing guns to the America’s support of the Contras. All this is well documented, nothing conspiratorial about it. Gary Webb a real investigative reporter brought this story to the light of day only to be murdered, disguised as suicide. Privatizing also hurts education, another informative piece of work, The Choice by Samuel F. Yette.

I could go on and I’m not making excuses for what takes place; I’m only offering that there is more to it than meets the eye. America is a country with a long history of white supremacy.  How is it that after slavery blacks had skills but couldn’t sell their labor? After being quasi-free, they were unable to compete. During Reconstruction, the so called free market with its falsity of competition, Jim Crow was created, which stopped us from sharing in American society. Things were so bad blacks sold themselves back into slavery. As for education, we were unable to read or learn and very few of us were able to go to white universities whose endowments were slave monies, and still are today.  Books such as, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder, a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Black Labor White Wealth by Claud Anderson lay bare the inequalities blacks have suffered. Blacks never benefited from the Treaty of 1866; where Native Americans received land and monies, just as the Japanese did after Pearl Harbor.  Even though Blacks fought in the wars we could not receive the same benefits as white soldiers e.g., G.I. Bill. Blacks have done well in spite of everything we’ve had to face. We didn’t crumble and give up, and we shouldn’t. There is a system of white supremacy that has always dominated our society and will continue. We have some groups that are doing good, but mostly bad. Churches have become political to buy off votes. It’s been split into a left (liberal) and right (conservative/Christian) dynamic, which is totally stupid. We all play a part, but the biggest part is telling the truth. History will be our biggest teacher, and we must also be taught by people who look like us. Take Texas for instance, they want to change the history books to make positive the delusion of American Exceptionalism. They want to take the Transatlantic Slave Trade out the textbooks, as if to say it never existed.

Again, is there a problem in Black America, Yes! It’s one that is completely white- washed. We can look to whomever, we can pray to them too but we have to fix us, the system is broken and the cycle will continue. Don’t misunderstand; the larger parts will continue to remain broken. The smaller parts of the system, such as voting or recalling corrupt DA’s, can be fixed. As you can see, the world is dominated by the few. Balance will never be fully achieved. That’s not how this country makes money, it’s about controlled chaos.

Written by The NON-Conformist

Paris Mayor Plans to Sue Fox News Over Inaccurate Reports

The Confirmation Files:

Posted by Libergirl

Originally posted on TIME:

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in an interview Tuesday that she plans to sue the American network Fox News after it broadcast inaccurate reports on Muslim “no-go zones” in the French capital, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.

Her comments, which aired on CNN, come in the wake of multiple Fox News reports that describe areas of Paris as off-limits to non-Muslims and governed by Sharia law, reports that were untrue and which the network later apologized for.

“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo told Amanpour in an interview. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

Fox’s coverage of no-go zones was widely mocked by Parisian comedy programs. The network has…

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New police radars can ‘see’ inside homes

Image:  Frank Pompa, USA Today

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

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