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Eric Holder: MLK's Dream Now Includes Latinos, Asian-Americans, Lesbians, Gays — VIDEO

Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the National Action to Realize the Dream March today on the National Mall as part of the 50th Anniversary of MLK's March on Washington, noting that King's legacy and vision have expanded to include many others, including gays and lesbians.

Said Holder, in part:

Fifty years ago, Dr. King shared his dream with the world and described his vision for a society that offered, and delivered, the promise of equal justice under law.  He assured his fellow citizens that this goal was within reach – so long as they kept faith with one another, and maintained the courage and commitment to work toward it.  And he urged them to do just that.  By calling for no more – and no less – than equal justice. By standing up for the civil rights to which everyone is entitled.  And by speaking out – in the face of hatred and violence, in defiance of those who sought to turn them back with fire hoses, bullets, and bombs – for the dignity of a promise kept; the honor of a right redeemed; and the pursuit of a sacred truth that’s been woven through our history since this country’s earliest days:  that all are created equal.

Those who marched on Washington in 1963 had taken a long and difficult road – from Montgomery, to Greensboro, to Birmingham; through Selma and Tuscaloosa.  They marched – in spite of animosity, oppression, and brutality – because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept.  Their focus, at that time, was the sacred and sadly unmet commitments of the American system as it applied to African Americans.  As we gather today, 50 years later, their march – now our march – goes on. 

And our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of Latinos, of Asian Americans, of lesbians, of gays, of people with disabilities, and of countless others across this country who still yearn for equality, opportunity, and fair treatment.

Watch his speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NEWS: Frank Ocean, WWE, Egypt, Helen Mirren, New Species

Milo Road Frank Darabont brings Milo Ventimiglia back to the small screen in a new noir style mini-series heading to AMC titled Mob City.

Road U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asks Ireland to extradite 'largest facilitator of child porn': "He is accused of using encryption technology to offer an anonymous hosting service for websites with a total of more than 1 million pornographic pictures, including images of rape and torture of pre-pubescent children."

Road Miley Cyrus poses for Terry Richardson.

Road Debate: would a Hilary Clinton administration be more pacifistic or more hawkish?

Road Kyra Sedgwick dishes to Andy Cohen about Helen Mirren's love for porn.

NewspeciesRoad The Smithsonian announced the discovery of a new species of animal that is apparently a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe): "Researchers argue that the olinguito should be considered the smallest living member of the raccoon family, which includes other animals that make us go "awww" such as cats, dogs and meerkats. This one had been seen before by humans, Helgen said, but it had been "a case of mistaken identity." You know he's going to make a cameo in the Ted sequel.

Road British stuntman who parachuted into the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics as James Bond has died in a wingsuit-jump accident in the alps.

Road Lindsay Lohan will guest star on East Bound and Down. The comeback tour continues!

Road Death toll in Egypt rises to 525 as protesters clash with government, torch government buildings. President Obama says President Morsi's government "was not inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians" but condemns the actions of the interim government: "The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government and security forces. We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest. We oppose the pursuit of martial law, which denies those rights to citizens under the principle that security trumps individual freedom or that might makes right. And today the United States extends its condolences to the families or those who were killed and those who were wounded.

WillsRoad CNN gets first interview with Prince William since the birth of his son, Prince George of Cambridge. The Duke of Cambridge also talks about his passion for conservation in Africa.

Road In case you've ever thought how you'd much rather go to your vet than a doctor, don't. No, really.

Road People are freaking the eff out over the possibility of Laura Prepon leaving Orange is the New Black.

Road "Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold" tells the stories of "transgender, gender-varient, and gender non-conforming individuals" through photos (some images NSFW).

Road Frank Ocean addresses parking lot fight with Chris Brown in new song: "He called me faggot, I was just calling his bluff ... Why his mug all bloody? That was a 3-on-1"

Road Aaron Paull and Ethan Hawke give good AMA.

Road Darren Young becomes the first WWE superstar to come out as gay: “Look at me. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy.”

Road Senator Rand Paul on the defeat of the Voter Rights Act: "I don't think there is objective evidence that we're precluding African-Americans from voting any longer."

Road Aaron Taylor-Johnson continues to look all kinds of fine. This time in GQ.


NEWS: Turner Field, Drug Sentences, The Deficit, Clinton 2016, Musicians, and Superheroes

 Road President Obama has announced the leader of its new independent committee that will be investigating potential ethics violations by the nation's surveillance programs. At the head of the committee is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who has already previously misled Congress. Turnerfield

Road A Georgia man fell to his death last night at Atlanta's Turner Field during a match-up between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Road US Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will work to cut mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, stating that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long."

Road Current peace talks taking place between Israel and Palestine are facing potential problems as 26 long-term prisoners were moved by Israeli officials shortly before their release.

 Road North Dakota's U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon addressed a crowd of hundreds during a recent joint Pride Celebration hosted by Fargo and Moorhead, MN. During his impassioned speech, he told the state's LGBT citizens point-blank: "you have an ally". 

Road The U.S. Government announced yesterday that its budget deficit through July of next year will be 37.6 percent, and that the budget starting in September 2014 is on its way to having the smallest deficit in five years. 

Road Rihanna and Katy Perry recently reunited during a restaurant opening in NYC. No word yet as to whether there were any more "quasi-bi" antics this time around. 

Road Anthony Weiner, intentionally or not, teased a 2016 bid by Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, telling Buzzfeed that he "knows his wife's role" in the upcoming campaign. 

Road Adele is currently in talks to make a cameo appearance in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming film The Secret Service. If successful, she will be appearing in the film alongside David Beckham and Elton John. 

Road Those wishing to partake of fried food without the sting of racism can breathe a little easier

Road The Wanted released a new music video. Apparently, they also own the night. Who knew? Batman Wedding

Road Lady Gaga committed another possible fashion faux-pas in her quest to obtain even more "Applause". 

Road Meanwhile, Madonna was possibly channelling her uber-butch self a little too much during a recent paintball game. 

Road Breaking Bad continues with its ultra-violent final season.

Road Robert Downey, Jr continues to roll in it after new endorsement deals follow him after his successes with The Avengers and Iron Man 3

Road Torn between you love for your hubby and your love for Batman? Can't decide how to properly honor them both. Just do what these two guys did!


Pres. Obama: "Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago": VIDEO

Obama

In a broad-ranging statement given to reporters on Friday, President Obama spoke about Trayvon Martin and reactions to George Zimmerman's acquittal for the first time since the jury in the high-profile case reached its verdict last weekend, The Washington Post reports. Recalling his own reaction to first hearing of Trayvon's death, the President remarked:

"When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is that Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. When you think about in the African-American community, there’s a lot of pain around this. It’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away. And I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.”

Drawing further comparison between himself and Travyon, the President stated, ”There are very few African-African men who haven’t had the experience of being followed in a department store. That includes me.”

Throughout his remarks, the President remained focused on "where do we take this." He mentioned that Eric Holder was reviewing the case but brought the attention back to potential policy initiatives and called for an examination of local and state laws such as the "stand your ground" laws:

“And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like the stand your ground laws I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?  And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”

The President also mentioned that he and First Lady Michelle Obama have spent a lot of time, "thinking about how to bolster and reinforce African-American kids. There are a lot of kids out there that need help, that are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.”

Hitting a hopeful note the President reflected on his belief that race relations in this country continue to improve with each generation:

"Looking at his daughters Sasha and Malia with their friends, Obama remarked, 'They’re better than we are, they’re better than we were, on these issues. And that’s true at every community I’ve visited across this country.'

'We should also have confidence that kids these days I think have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did. And along this long journey, we’re becoming a more perfect union, not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.'"

Watch two clips of the President's remarks, from CNN and ABC respectively, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Attorney General Eric Holder 'Shares Concern' About Zimmerman Case, MLK Image Goes Viral: VIDEO

Holder

In a speech given today in Washington, D.C. to a gathering of the predominantly African-American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out about the George Zimmerman case for the first time since Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges:

“The Deltas are deeply and rightly concerned about this case. The Justice Department shares your concern. I share your concern. And as we first acknowledged last spring we have opened an investigation into this matter. Independent of the legal determination that will be made I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised. We must not, as we have too often in the past, let this opportunity pass.”

The Washington Post reports that Holder will speak about the Zimmerman case in further detail tomorrow when he addresses the NAACP in Florida. 

In his statement, Holder also pledged, "We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion — and also with truth."

MLK Over the weekend, an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a black hoodie, created by concept artist and Disney imagineer Nikkolas Smith back in 2011 in the wake of Trayvon Martin's shooting, went viral after former Obama administration adviser and soon-to-be co-host of CNN's re-vamped political debate show Crossfire, Van Jones, re-introduced the image into circulation on Twitter, asking others to re-tweet and share the image. Rapper Common also shared a version of the image on Facebook and it quickly began to trend on Instagram under the hashtag, "MLK."

As BuzzFeed notes:

"[Smith] titled the image April 4, 1968, the date MLK Jr. was killed, and coincidentally, also Smith’s birthday. One of his captions for the image is 'Suspect or Saint?'

'I write that because you don’t know who these people are,' he says. 'You don’t know if you shot the next Martin Luther King.'"

Watch a short clip of Holder's speech AFTER THE JUMP...

(image: Nikkolas Smith via Facebok)

Continue reading "Attorney General Eric Holder 'Shares Concern' About Zimmerman Case, MLK Image Goes Viral: VIDEO " »


The Logical Problem with the '8 State Solution' in President Obama's Prop 8 Brief

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Obama-ABC_ScreenshotPresident Obama's decision to file an amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry calling on the Supreme Court to strike down California's Prop 8 has been met with the kind of media coverage and commentary due an historic event. Media outlets are focusing mostly on the historic nature of the brief: A President of the United States is actively supporting the freedom to marry in the courts. Commentators are generally talking about the political impact of the brief: It keeps the President at the vanguard of the gay rights movement while giving some of the Supreme Court's conservative or cautious justices a path that recognizes the right of committed gay couples to marry without doing too much too fast.

As I discussed here last week, the President's brief is a most welcome product of his deeply held personal belief that all Americans are entitled to be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation. It is also a product of the pro-gay political winds of the day -- namely, after more than 100 Republicans signed on to a brief in support of striking down Prop 8, a progressive Democratic president that made support for gay equality a central part of his campaign and his inaugural address could not stand on the sidelines. The brief also reflects the President's cautious nature: he helped devise a middle ground position between accepting the freedom to marry in California alone and striking down every state marriage ban with one stroke of the pen. His so-called "8 State Solution" would delegitimize the gay marriage bans in those states that, like California, accord gay persons every possible right -- second parent adoption, domestic partnerships, benefits, and so forth -- but simply deny them the word "marriage." I wrote about this in more detail here.

The problem is that, when read in the context of the entire brief, the 8 State Solution makes no sense. If the Court takes the President's argument seriously, the justices need not stop at just 8 states. The President's theory could invalidate all marriage discrimination against gays.

AFTER THE JUMP, I bring some complex legal concepts down to earth and argue that President Obama's 8 State Solution is just a political proposal. His purely legal argument would go much further.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Logical Problem with the '8 State Solution' in President Obama's Prop 8 Brief" »


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