Letter from a Hong Kong hotel suite

Cross-posted on The People’s View.

America’s history is written in blood and sacrifice. We have two holidays—Memorial Day and Veterans Day—which commemorate the sacrifices made by our military. But, we have only two national martyrs whom we acknowledge with holidays: Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both of our great martyrs died trying to expiate the sins of slavery and racism. Without their work, the America in which we live would be unrecognizable. In fact, there might very well be no America, as it would have split along the fissures caused by one of its two original sins, that of slavery.

Which is why it’s quite curious that Chris Hayes, on his show last night, brought up the memories of Dr. King and Rosa Parks when speaking of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The pushback on Twitter was immediate and furious. And Hayes didn’t walk back his comments, but repeated them two hours later on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show.

That Chris Hayes would invoke MLK’s memory in defense of Edward Snowden is beyond blinkered. It’s reprehensible.

The title of this essay is a rueful response to Snowden’s actions—and his reaction to what he did.

Dr. King lived with the threat of death every day of his public ministry. The fact that he finally was assassinated is merely proof of that. But he faced that life with courage, with magnanimity, with forcefulness. He didn’t write his letter in exile from Havana; he wrote it right there in a Birmingham jail, one of many times he was in jail for acts of conscience. He didn’t abandon the people and country he purported to care about; he lived their lives, shared their fears and hopes, tried to bring justice to a country which had lacked it for so long.

Mrs. Parks didn’t hightail it to Rio to rail against how evil the US government was. After her act on the bus, she accepted the mantle of civil rights symbol, which came with its own dangers. Her home was here, her people were here, and she faced any dangers with the same bravery and grace that Dr. King did.

What both Dr. King and Mrs. Parks knew was what Glenn Greenwald and Snowden refuse to acknowledge: the US, for all its many faults, is perfectable. It can change. It can grow. It can evolve. President Lincoln knew the same thing, which is why he fought to save the Union, rather than have the Great Experiment splinter into its constituent parts. When you send yourself into exile, and yet continue to speak about the country as if you have any actual care for it, then you’ve lost all right to criticize.

I’m not sure what it was that Snowden feared. An open trial before a jury of his peers? He and Greenwald want to be seen as heroes, exposing US perfidy—or, more specifically, Obama’s perfidy. But they’re not willing to accept the consequences of their actions. The do it from safe perches, where they think they’ll be beyond the reach of the US.

But assuming the mantle of Dr. King and Mrs. Parks is most illuminating.

It’s no surprise that they’re holding themselves as successors to African American civil rights heroes. By doing so, they’re hoping to deligitimize the country’s first black president. They are the true heirs to the civil rights struggles, not Barack Obama. They know what it’s like to fight for freedom; Obama is merely a stooge of the Establishment, or even worse.

However, mostly white emo-progressives do not have the right to invoke martyrs in scoring political points. They know nothing of the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s—of struggles which are ongoing in New York City with “stop and frisk”, in the border states with xenophobia aimed at Latinos. They are curiously absent from the debate around those issues. But even hint that their Instagram accounts might be monitored, and suddenly they’re civil liberties warriors.

They’re not standing on the shoulders of giants; they’re dancing on their graves, understanding not a single thing that they did. Saying that Snowden is like Rosa Parks insults the thousands who struggled, were beaten, and died to bring freedom. Saying that Snowden is like Dr. King denigrates every true activist who didn’t ponce off to foreign shores when things got tough.

Africans came to these shores with nothing, and even that was taken away from them. Until recent years—yes, as a result of the struggles of the 50s and 60s—all they had were their stories and their humanity. Yes, Dr. King and Mrs. Parks are part of the greater American story; but one has to view their history through the prism of the African American experience. And appropriating their memories for a cheap political stunt is not only an insult to the dead, but an insult to the living, the ones who form one of the legs of the Obama coalition.

I would hope that the likes of Chris Hayes would learn from their mistakes. But it’s not a great hope. The bubble in which they live is too well-insulated, too comfortable. If they ever get into the field and engage in the great political battles of the day, then I might listen to them with one ear. But they won’t. It’s much easier to opine from Rio, Skype from Hong Kong, or host an 8 pm chat show. But we won’t let them appropriate history for their own ends. Let them justify their own heroes; ours are already taken.

226 Responses to “Letter from a Hong Kong hotel suite”

  1. 1 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hello Good Afternoon TODers. 🙂

    • 2 hopefruit2
      June 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Congrats Nena on #1!

      Thanks for another excellent piece, LL. Chris Hayes still continues to push his “Snowden=MLK” narrative, despite being made aware of how offensive it was to many people.

      As you stated LL, unless Hayes goes thru some life-changing (NEGATIVE) experience, he will not change his perspective. He’s just too damned arrogant.

  2. 6 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Chris Hayes says idiotic wicked nonsense time and time again. Months ago, he said Troops who were awarded medals were Not Heroes. Here is an idiot who has never served. Yet he felt the need to inform those who earned their medals that they were Not Worthy, basically.

  3. 7 Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate)
    June 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    From the bottom of the previous thread …

    Well done, LL.


  4. 10 debz
    June 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Snowjob just publicly announce himself to be a traitor working for China. and Chris Hayes is supporting him.

    • 11 57andfemale
      June 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Let me get this straight, msnbc: Phil Donohue was fired for even suggesting that the war with Iraq might be a bad idea (newsflash: Phil was right). But you are happily complicit in Chris Hayes making a hero out of a traitor who thinks poor, widdle China is being hurt by big, bad Obama.

      I would like to hear one show on msnbc today question what other national security secrets he has divulged to the Chinese.

      At least ask the effing question.

      The media has gone batshit crazy.

      • 12 debz
        June 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        While I don’t watch msnbc most of the time, I see that Bennen, who I used to think was sane, on maddow blog hasn’t even touched on this latest interview with this traitor. It’s unlikely that anyone at msnbc is going to stop making him into some hero.

  5. 13 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Those tarnishing the legends of the Civil Rights are doing it willfully and they are trying to decimate that period, hence their quick reference by fools like Glenn Beck in 2010 DC Teabagger March. Glenn Greenwald. Chris Hayes. Etc. They know exactly what they are doing. Tainting History.

    • 14 COS
      June 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks very much LL for writing this. You eloquently expressed what I am thinking.

    • 15 jackiegrumbacher
      June 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Nena, they are too small to tarnish the legacy of giants. These twisted people do not understand the deep waters they’ve waded into. If they want to create a massive and permanent anti-Republican majority and a major get-out-the vote effort, they’re creating one. People like MLK and Rosa Parks or Medgar Evans can’t be ‘tarnished” by anyone, especially by people of this little stature. Not only are the civil rights leaders in our history out of their league and beyond their reach, but our current president and Attorney general are 99 steps ahead of this trash. Be patient, ponder everything that’s is now going on in your heart and act like a force on fire to deliver votes against all of these guys and their ugly party in 2014 and 2016.

      • 16 Nena20409
        June 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        I hear you…..But fight we must for Reagan’s has been changed for the force who wanted to, made it happen. Our history in USA is not complete for many aspects of history were distorted, ignored or inaccurately portrayed. That is how they tarnish history. Those who have the megaphones, pens, power, etc…….time and time again.

        I am so impressed that many are pushing back and Fast.

        • 17 jackiegrumbacher
          June 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

          Nena, we all have the megaphones, pens and more power than you think. Absolute nonsense was spewed at us daily during 2011 and 2012 by just about every media outlet. But it didn’t put a dent in the massive force of people making phone calls, going door to door, holding neighborhood meetings and spreading the word from grocery lines to beauty salons. This isn’t the old days when the network news held sway over public opinion. We can shape public opinion on foot, on the phone and with our wallets. We’ve had enough of the nonsense. Let’s get moving and get fighting. Join your area OFA. Sign up for a Democratic event. Actively support a local candidate. Get out the vote for this November. Be visible and be loud. And never let them get you down.

      • 18 carolyn
        June 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        I agree Jackie. These wimps cannot tarnish the giants. What they have done, actually, is bring these people to the forefront and given a chance to explain exactly what they did, and to point out the difference. They are diminishing themselves…..once again, maybe not in the heat of the 24/7 media bubble, but in the not very long term.
        Comparison just makes the real heroes look more heroic.
        Hiding in Hong Kong!!!!! what a coward.
        Last night our local NBC affiliate asked for opinions on whether Snowden was a traitor or a hero. I wrote an email, and mine got on the air. I said he was a “cowardly traitor” If he had any courage of his convictions he would have taken his little laptop to Capitol Hill and confronted the people who made these laws.”

  6. June 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Well said, Liberal Librarian.

  7. 21 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Kaffee: *I want the truth!*

    Col. Jessep: *You can’t handle the truth!*

    Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives.

    And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a da** what you think you are entitled to.

    Kaffee: *Did you order the Code Red?*

    Col. Jessep: *You’re God**** right I did!*

    • 24 yardarm756
      June 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      On point Linda. Right on!

    • 26 57andfemale
      June 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Sorry, Linda, Col. Jessep used his patriotism for some nefarious actions, as I recall from the play from which this speech comes. great dialogue from the great Aaron Sorkin, though – without question.

      • 27 Linda
        June 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        I understand…..but the words still ring true ( other than the code Red part )

        • 28 57andfemale
          June 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm

          Sorkin’s such a great writer. And the words are apropros to this current situation. The likes of a do-nothing Chris Hayes would never be anywhere close to TV camera 40 years ago – he would have had to prove himself on the beat, learning how real people live. Instead he takes his Ivy League education and gets himself a gig for nothing more than uninformed noise.

          • 29 Linda
            June 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

            He made a comment about his ” family ” being upset with him last night…..

            I think he brother works for the Administration.

            I turned him off after that

            • 30 57andfemale
              June 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm

              Everything’s a cold, intellectual exercise to him. Things ‘interest’ him without any context as to their consequences. And he feels the need to ‘share’ his cold interest without any filter of how that might affect real lives. The entire punditry is full of people who literally only flap their mouths and do no reading, no fact-checking, no context. When was the last time Joan Walsh actually picked up a phone and did some journalism? Yet we’re supposed to listen to her as if she knows anything. It’s disgusting.

  8. 36 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I noticed that Hayes has been wearing a tie and combing his hair this week.

    It won’t help

    • 37 Layla
      June 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      His comb and his ties are probably in his suitcase as he readies to fly to China!

    • 38 Nena20409
      June 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Trying so desperately……..the head Honchos think that would make a difference 😆 😆 🙄 😆 😆 Clothes…..OK….Tie… in this case, doesn’t make a Show.

      On Tuesday, Rev Al Sharpton’s show had higher total numbers than Chris Hayes. Now, that was Karma delivering a much needed Ratings Justice.

      • 39 debz
        June 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        After seeing that Chris is going out of his way to insult African Americans in the past 2 days, I am convinced that neither he, or msnbc cares about his ratings or if they all lose viewers. These entitled mofos just don’t care.

        • 40 57andfemale
          June 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

          I’ll be interested to see what his ratings are this week.

        • 41 Virginia
          June 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm

          Last ratings period MSNBC was even lower than CNN. I think Hayes has dragged the entire prime time slot down–even Maddow was lower in her spot than she’d ever been. Hayes took over the lead in from Shultz and Maddow crashed.
          Yet Hayes soldiers on blathering his far left wing nonsense tonight leading in with Glenn Greenwald!!! I literally LEPT from my chair to grab the remote before I had to listen to that.
          I for one will NEVER watch Hayes again. In fact, I’m watching less MSNBC every day.

          They soared in the ratings during the campaign season. But after the election for some UNKNOWN reason half of the commentators thought they had to turn AGAINST the administration that had kept them on top last year. I DO NOT understand their “strategy” Are they TRYING to be Number 4???

  9. 42 Allison
    June 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Excellent post LL. Thank you very much!

  10. June 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    The thing I find most annoying about the NSA flair-up is that everyone is behaving as if it is all so new. We learned about the same type of programs under Bush. Then I think it was a telephone technician that called it to our attention. The ACLU and other groups filed legal challenges then too and they were all thrown out.

    The comparisons to Bush tactics is insane. Bush/Cheney had a program with no oversight and warrantless wiretaps. The program they enacted was, in fact illegal. Congress passed laws to legalize their actions, gave the telephone company retroactive immunity and now they pretend they are so surprised. When are people going to get it…the real culprit here is Congress. They passed the law, they can amend it or repeal it. This feigning ignorance gives me a headache.

    • 44 jackiegrumbacher
      June 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Faypax, I believe that everyone knows the truth of what you’re saying. It’s nothing new and is perfectly legal under current law. They are faking the outrage in order to diminish the president and demoralize his supporters, especially the AA community. They don’t understand the steel of his supporters or the depth of our commitment.

      • June 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        I’d feel better if the spineless Dems would stop chiming in.

      • 46 Virginia
        June 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        I am stunned that people are CLAIMING they didn’t know that these programs were going on. They’ve been “going on” since the invention of the telephone. The only difference was, for 100 years the government had to look up our numbers in the phone book, and it was very difficult, but NOT impossible to trace or track calls. In Hoover’s time he did the best he could with what he had, and he was FAR MORE ruthless than anybody today.

        There was a strong push to take away some of that power after Hoover died, and after the resignation of Nixon who took wiretapping, taping and eavesdropping to a whole new level. (The very notion that Pres. Obama is anywhere near as paranoid and vicious as Nixon is ridiculous. Dick Cheney, maybe, but not Pres. Obama.)

        We have technology today that is far beyond the hopes or dreams of a villain like Hoover. Noone is arguing that we shouldn’t consider how to use this new, powerful technology so that it is used within the bounds of the law, but it is LAUGHABLE that people who put ALL their business out on social media, and send dozens of e-mails a day KNOWING that once they are out there, they are OUT there, are now PRETENDING they didn’t know what was going on.

        I do not believe it. Snowden didn’t reveal ANYTHING that everybody in Washington, and most of the people in America didn’t already know.

  11. 47 hopefruit2
    June 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

  12. 48 Allison
    June 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  13. June 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Another powerful essay LL! You were eloquent in expressing your anger…as well as ours.

    “When you send yourself into exile, and yet continue to speak about the country as if you have any actual care for it, then you’ve lost all right to criticize.”

    I so agree with that statement. Not only is he not the hero he and others want to think he is, he is a COWARD and — as we see more and more through Snowden’s disclosures — a traitor. It is becoming harder and harder for his supporters to deny that. Like a cowardly child, Snowden is giving his licks/throwing his barbs and then running to hide behind someone he thinks will protect him.

  14. 52 anniebella
    June 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    So why don’t the traitor Edward Snowden help al Qaeda? This man didn’t do what he did because he was concern about the over reach of this government. Please tell me what does he think of China government?

    • June 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I suspect everything was arranged before he made his big reveal. If the truth is ever told, I think we’ll find a tidy little network. He is probably being paid megabucks. The question is, what is the “real” purpose? I don’t believe it was because he was so overcome with the patriotic need to “save America from itself”.

  15. June 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    first time tweet to GG, instantly blocked. Shorter Greenwald: YOU MUST RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH. ( He would make a good Cartman, no?)


  16. 55 japa21
    June 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    • 56 Nena20409
      June 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      And discard their newly Found Media Love? Hmm? Ask Darrell Issa: Fast and Furious. Benghazi, Libya. IRS Transcripts of the OH IRS Manager. Chris Hayes and his wicked Comparisons. Etc.

    • 57 japa21
      June 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      As with the AP situation and the Rosen situation, as more and more details come out, the initial reports have been proven to be overblown. We know the US is not monitoring phone calls or reading our emails. We know the NSA programs have multiple levels of safeguards in them. We know that anything that is done with the data needs a court approved warrant. We know that data and info from Google, et al, can only be provided through a specific court order.

      Yet I have not heard any of those who were screaming at the top of their lungs about the intrusiveness of the program admit that it isn’t what they said it was originally. I admit, I do have concerns about the program, mainly about the opportunities for it to be abused. But I also understand why the program is set up the way it is.

      Ironically, some defending the program also misconstrue just what it does and think it does more than it does, which also doesn’t help the discussion.

      I just wish at least one person on the screaming side would step abck and say something like, “Well, now that I have learned more about it, I realize it was overblown originally and it isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I still object to it though because…” and provide reasons based upon fact.

      But I think we no longer live in a society where facts matter.

    • 60 yardarm756
      June 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      I really think the public is being pimped on this. It reminds me of the ACORN bullshit only on a grander scale. 😦

  17. June 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

  18. 66 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    MSNBFOX is sprinting to the bottom by showing the Zimmerman trial…

    What next, blondes and Nasty Disgrace ? ( Nancy Grace )

    • June 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      They’re doing so because HLN stole all the viewers during the Jodi Arias trial. I think they forgot, the Zimmerman trial has no sex. 🙂

  19. 68 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Sen Session on the senate Floor called pres Obama a Radical Machiavellian. Hmm? During Machiavelli’s time, wasn’t that term, a term of Political Smartness enshrined in political leadership…..perhaps, Genius? It was never meant as a Slur……..which was what Session was trying to imply.

    What did I miss or did I read the book incorrectly? It has been over 25 yrs.

  20. June 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    “It’s no surprise that they’re holding themselves as successors to African American civil rights heroes. By doing so, they’re hoping to deligitimize the country’s first black president. They are the true heirs to the civil rights struggles, not Barack Obama. They know what it’s like to fight for freedom; Obama is merely a stooge of the Establishment, or even worse.”

    LL, have I told you lately that I love you?

    You capture exactly what is in these people’s hearts, your eloquent anger is a thing of beauty.

    Thank you.

    • June 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      As last night wore on, I became more incensed. I grew up revering MLK and Rosa, and I’m a white Cuban kid from Manhattan. That Snowden would even be mentioned anywhere near those two, or the others who struggled, is disgusting.

  21. 71 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    OMG…Carl Levin just came out against the Gillibrand legislation on sexual assaults ….

    • June 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Surprised? When the President returned the NDAA to Congress and said he would not sign it if they did not remove wording that jeopardized American citizens, it was Carl Levin who argued to keep it in.

    • 73 yardarm756
      June 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      THEY will resist ALL efforts to relinquish any power(real or perceived). Without it they are nothing but a suit with very tight underwear!

    • 74 COS
      June 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      What’s happening to Carl Levin? Has he reached his expiration date?

  22. 77 GGAIL
    June 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    LL, that is so beautiful it makes me want to shout YES!!!

  23. June 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I come from the social justice wing of the Catholic Church. Growing up, we were taught to revere those who struggled in the 50s and 60s—many of them Catholic priests and nuns. That Snowden and Greenwald are even being mentioned in the same breath as those heroes is what gores me.

    • 79 57andfemale
      June 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      The first march for civil rights that I took part in was with a great social justice priest in Milwaukee. And I’m a nice Jewish girl. That was the idealism of the day and our efforts to be heard. Oh, and we wouldn’t have dreamed of not voting. In fact, included in those marches and the anti-war marches was the fact that 18 year olds were being sent to war but weren’t allowed to vote, which got changed for the ’72 election.

      Ah, the days when we recognized progress and celebrated it, even if it didn’t deliver Utopia on a cracker.

  24. 81 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Soledad O’Brien Joining HBO’s ‘Real Sports’

  25. 84 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    The Young lady who introduced Pres Obama at the WH before his speech yesterday on Immigration Reform Bill. She wrote a piece at HP.

    She wrote:

    I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and came to the U.S. when I was 14. From a very young age I dreamed of becoming an engineer. Once I got to America I worked hard to fulfill that dream. I graduated in the top five percent of my class and was admitted to one of the country’s top universities. In 2002, I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

    I quickly learned, however, that while my undocumented status didn’t hamper my ambition and drive, it did prevent me from finding my dream job and working in my field of expertise. Like my diploma, my skills as an engineer have been shelved for now. In the meantime, rather than sit and wait for change, I have dedicated my time to working to pass fair and humane immigration reform and to ensuring people like me, who qualify for temporary relief like deferred action, which allows me to work legally in the U.S., have access to it.


  26. June 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    And don’t forget *this* assault on white supremacy:

    For context: A quarter of a century ago, the top-two were two white man arguing over a wall …

  27. June 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm



    Thank you so much for this. They have been getting me angry as hell with their fundamental disrespect of TRUE American Heroes.

  28. June 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    STANDING O!!!!

    THANK YOU for your words of compassion for the lives and example of MLK and Rosa Parks and for your righteous anger about how they have so wrongfully and egregiously been misappropriated.

    • June 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      my favorite line from LLs great piece is this…

      What both Dr. King and Mrs. Parks knew was what Glenn Greenwald and Snowden refuse to acknowledge: the US, for all its many faults, is perfectable.

      The reason why is because this debunks all the hype…PBO talks about this all the time…he says that we have to be about perfecting our union…Things have changed…and yes there is much much more to do…but it will take us, the citizens to continue to bend that arc towards JUSTICE….

  29. 91 arapaho415
    June 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Don’t see DF on this thread, and I don’t usually draw children into the debate, but *Tanner* Flake is one.

    • 92 arapaho415
      June 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Cynic Jeff Flake deserves this. He’s the poster boy for “entitled 6-year-term Senator.”

      Arizona, withhold forgiveness until Flake changes votes on gun safety legislation.

    • 93 Nena20409
      June 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      An Apple doesn’t fall too far from a tree? Hmm?

  30. 94 Linda
    June 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Trent Franks: ‘The Incidence Of Rape Resulting In Pregnancy Are Very Low’.

    I think the 3 women in Cleveland can prove otherwise, Representative Franks. ( who is trying to pass a National anti-abortion law )

  31. 95 arapaho415
    June 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    • 96 Nena20409
      June 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Great question. I asked a similar question…..but I used the information on the raid to eliminate Osama Bin Laden. I was accused of being an Obama sheep, follower and I had drank the Kool-aid. I confessed: Yes, I have.

  32. 98 utaustinliberal
    June 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Liberal Librarian, this is beyond brilliant. Thank you so much for honoring the legacy of heroes like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and a host of others. The trotting out of civil rights heroes by white pundits, white progressives, and white libertarians to shame African-Americans is beyond despicable. I don’t see them honoring civil rights heroes everyday, but now that some coward leaks national security secrets and flees to a cushy hotel suite in Hong Kong, they want to appropriate the struggles of Black people and bestow the mantle of hero on him. What utter nonsense.

    Civil rights activists talked, walked, fought for others, bled, and died on American soil. No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to besmirch and taint their name or use them as props for cowards.

  33. 102 utaustinliberal
    June 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

  34. 104 hopefruit2
    June 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Oh…Chris Hayes is getting a thrill up his leg at the “ballsiness” of hero Snowden….

  35. 105 utaustinliberal
    June 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    • 106 carolyn
      June 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      And why do so many who say they hate the “government” meaning all of us according to Abraham Lincoln, spend so much money trying to “get in to government”? That always disturbs me. Is their ultimate goal to bring down the country by destroying “the government”?

      • June 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        Short answer: Yes. The Civil War never ended, it just went into abeyance.

      • 108 nathkatun7
        June 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        I’ve also wondered about their glaring disconnect. Moreover, if the founders that they revere did not believe in government why did they bother to write the Constitution? I personally get amused at the idiots who love the Constitution but hate the government that the Constitution set up.

  36. 109 utaustinliberal
    June 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

  37. 110 utaustinliberal
    June 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

  38. 113 arapaho415
    June 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Wow, LibLib, this is so good, it really puts MSM pundits, who lack self-awareness, to shame.

    Very powerful, perhaps the most compelling essay you’ve written, and your essays are amazing.

    It’s interesting that my Twitterfeed, which was literally clogged with outraged MSM when the AP published its self-serving scandalbra piece and last week when Barton “Cheney Biographer” Gellman and the odious GG’s published their NSA PRISM scoops is eerily quiet today.

    MSM needs to expose Greenwald for the narcissistic lying CATO-backed fraud that he is. Politico has a piece today that cites “libertarian left” as Greenwald supporters.

    What does a person who claims the mantle of the “libertarian left” believe in? Libertarian anarchy? Do they want to dismantle government so that the country is ensured of strip-mined landscapes, lakes and rivers so polluted the spontaneously combust, all for the benefit of those like the Kochs who “earned money the old-fashioned way, they inherited it?”

  39. 116 57andfemale
    June 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    • 117 jackiegrumbacher
      June 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      57, the Chris Hayes type reminds me of the old days during the Vietnam war when over privileged, self important college (white) guys sneered at the brave men who died in Vietnam battlefields, while they sat back in dorm rooms in elitist colleges sipping chardonnay and snacking on Brie cheese and crackers. Put them in a grunt uniform and set them in the jungles of Vietnam and they would have falling to pieces, sniveling in fear. IOW, Hayes is as phony as they come and is no more qualified to define a hero than the snobs of my youth.

      • 118 57andfemale
        June 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm


        • June 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

          Chris Hayes is a pretty little boy who talks too fast for his brain to keep ahead of his tongue.

          My God the “Opinion Makers” we have behind the mics today!

          Some time I feel I have lived too long. But soon I’ll be walking again …

          • 120 57andfemale
            June 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

            Did you ever think this is the world we’d see at our age? I just turned 63 and I cannot fathom what this world and particularly our country has become.

            I try to find solace in the fact that every generation as it gets older says, “what has become of the world I knew?”. But although the ‘older’ generation was horrified at the protests of the 60’s and early 70’s, those protests were in advocacy of a better world – civil rights, the end of Vietnam and a more careful country when it comes to war.

            What are we horrified at? Forces that destroy: the tea party; a Congress that cannot do the basics of government to recover from a terrible recession; a media awash in lies and innuendo instead of actual journalism. Jingoism, a large faction of Americans who fight to destroy the New Deal.

            But as HZ just reminded me, be gentle with your spirit. We cannot fight always from a place of anger. We have to replenish and fight from a place of good.

  40. 121 Nena20409
    June 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Now Hayes Apologizes for Assigning “R” to Wallace, the AL Gov who was not only a racist, but a segregationist in the 1960s and beyond.

    • 122 Linda
      June 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      “This was a stupid, inexcusable, historically illiterate mistake.I should have caught it and apologize for failing to,” Hayes tweeted.

      That is not the only thing he is ” historically illiterate ” about ……..

      Keep digging Chris.

      ( Peter Welch-D VT ) was just on bad mouthing the program and saying what the Admin is saying is bogus….about this leak hurting the programs operations.

      • 123 jackiegrumbacher
        June 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        What an ass. Of all the dumb things to apologize for. Wallace would have fit comfortably into today’s Republican Party. As a racist Southern governor, he just anticipated the transfer of the confederate states from the D column to the R. Hayes has got a long list of things to apologize for, but this isn’t one of them.

        • 124 arapaho415
          June 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Agree 100%.

          Hayes is so clueless; he comes across as completely helpless, yet can talk faster and louder than others. Not an endearing host at all.

          • June 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

            Hayes is of the presumption that if he talks fast, loud, with his hands, and repeats, then what he says will be accepted to be correct.

        • 126 nathkatun7
          June 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm

          The vast majority of white Democrats who supported George Wallace became Republicans because of their opposition to Civil Rights laws. Conversely, African Americans, who initially were Republicans , became Democrats, again mainly because the National Democratic party supported Civil Rights.

  41. 127 57andfemale
    June 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Meanwhile, while the debate as to whether hacking China is bad while China is hacking us is, I guess, the sign of an American patriot, this is what we’re NOT talking about:

    • 128 jackiegrumbacher
      June 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      And THIS, 57, is what the Republicans need to fear, along with the righteous rage of AA voters—a huge, angry backlash from women, who represent 51 percent of the damned vote.

  42. June 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Brilliant commentary, LL. Simply brilliant.

  43. June 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    LL, you NAILED IT! Lots of love and respect from 3 Chics. THANK YOU!

  44. June 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I’m watching the a Congressional hearing on cybersecurity and I am so happy that those giving testimony keep reminding the Senators of Congress’ role.

    General Keith Alexander, Cyber Commander NSA very nicely said: “Keep in mind, we’ve been doing this for ten years. Congress passed the legislation, approved the court and has oversight. ”

    There are 250,000 cyber attacks every hour.

  45. 133 Jovie
    June 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    And Obama reminded Massachusetts Democrats of their failure in the last Senate special election – when Attorney General Martha Coakley lost to Scott Brown in January 2010.

    “There are a whole lot of Democrats in this state and a whole lot of Obama voters,” Obama said. “You can’t just turn out during a presidential election. You’ve got to turn out in this election. You can’t think, ‘Oh, I did my work in 2012.’ You’ve got some work to do in 2013.”


  46. 134 hopefruit2
    June 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    LOL – too cute! 🙂

  47. 137 Jovie
    June 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  48. 139 Jovie
    June 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    But but but the NSA and Snowden and the Emo Pricks and GG sez and…

    • 140 Nena20409
      June 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      The news The 4th estate is refusing to tell. Thanks Jovie.

      Snowden Flakes is the sinning object for the week.

  49. 141 Allison
    June 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  50. 143 desertflower
    June 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm


    And thanks, Arapaho for the head’s up about Flake’s son. I’m thinking about the wording of my email to him….and as for the asswipe known as Trent Franks, I think I may call his office, ask for Dr. Franks, and tell the receptionist that I need to know if there are preop plans I should follow before my colonoscopy and if I should stop taking my blood thinners ( I got this idea from a comment on TP who called the OTHER Gov Ultrasounds office…that would be Scott Walker) before this procedure? I presume that they would then refer me to my Dr…which is precisely MY POINT! At which point I will tell HER to tell HIM to stay the fuck outta decisions he has no idea about!!

    I’m not good company today. Just lurking. You can figure that the stupid is just getting to me….I will be better, but it’s too early for the gin and tonic just yet.

    • June 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Trent Franks is one who said African American babies were better off during slavery than they are today.

      • 145 desertflower
        June 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        He’s said MANY MANY MANY awful things over the years. I detest this man with the heat of a million suns. And as with ALL REPUBLICAN MEN, he seems to have an unhealthy preoccupation with women and the choices they make, and he thinks that HE knows better than women….We should bear 100% of the responsibility though we are only 50% of the sex act. He can kiss my ass.

        • June 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

          🙂 I get the distinct impression you really don’t like him. I don’t understand what’s up with the Republican women in Congress, or their wives, mothers, sisters. You know what I say…any man who has so little regard for women could not possibly love and respect his mother.

        • June 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

          By the way, I tried to tell you…you were absolutely right about this big old baby daughter. Yesterday she let out a couple of sighs of exasperation, so I know the eye-rolling is around the corner. My bag is packed. 🙂

          • 149 desertflower
            June 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

            🙂 🙂 ! I knew it! I’ll tell you, I speak from experience on this one…. ( secret confession. I actually LIKE that she wants me near:) Doesn’t matter how big they get, they’re always your baby. Glad to hear that she’s on the mend and you can get about your business soon, though. You’re a good mom:)

    • 150 arapaho415
      June 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      See above for how Flake is making the news again (not in a good way).

  51. 151 JER
    June 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

  52. 152 Jovie
    June 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  53. June 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Can you believe this bullshit?

  54. 161 japa21
    June 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    PArt of all the fuss about the AP and the Rosen issue is that the DOJ got a warrant for phone records and emails. Now, if this NSA thing was as pervasive as they think, why go through the trouble when they supposedly already have access and are collecting that information. The Rosen and AP case basically debunk the whole spying claims.

  55. 167 Claire
    June 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Chris Hayes = msnbc’s new Pat Buchanan

    • June 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      The Media, as usual is the center of the news attraction. They want to create the news and report the fabrication of what they created. Chris Hayes, GG, Woodward, Rosen, who else. But this is the state of American “journalism” or Media in the current 21st century. The American people, not the rest of the world is going into the “Dark Ages” of misinformation, with both sides do it reporting, false equivalancy, outright lies and distortion and ommittance reporting, cherry picked polls reporting. With so much tools of communication such as facebook, twitter, emails, text, etc., the people are not getting the information to make intelligent choices, the rest of the world shakes their collective heads and wonders “what is wrong with Kansas, I mean USA.

  56. 169 japa21
    June 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    • 170 dotster3
      June 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      japa, anything happening in the weather dept. in your area? I see we are under a tornado watch now—-don’t know if they’re just scaring us with the possibility of “baseball-sized” hail. That’s some big hail. And the possibility of a weather phenomenon I’ve never heard of in all my years—-a derecho—–a straight line wind storm with possibility of 100mph winds. What??? Just wondering if you’ve seen anything yet in your neck of the woods?

      • 171 japa21
        June 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        Just looked out the window and sun is shining. In Downers Grove at work and have to drive out past Woodfield, so hope whatever is coming stays away.

        • 172 dotster3
          June 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

          OK thanks—-didn’t know you were in Downers Grove. Thought you were more out my way. Tornado warning now for Rockford—-tornado just west of there now. Be careful driving home. Just called mr. dotster and told him to come home early from his office. He thought that was so sweet of me, that I must still like him. 🙂

      • 174 57andfemale
        June 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        I just heard that a tornado touched down near Rockford, IL.

      • 175 hopefruit2
        June 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        I’ve been seeing this derecho warnings for certain parts of Iowa, Il, MI, and OH in the next 12-24 hrs….If I can give you any advice, it’s to take the derecho warnings seriously – VERY seriously. These are not ordinary thunderstorms.

        We had a severe derecho in the Maryland/DC/VA area last summer. In fact, we were left without power during the weekend before July 4th. The storm was sudden and very severe with tropical storm/hurricane force wind gusts, and there was widespread damage with uprooted trees and downed power lines.

    • 180 desertflower
      June 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Kind of ties in to my rants about corporations and lack of accountability. Whether it be corporate media working for the almighty dollar with no accountability, or private intel and defense contractors that hand out clearances like candy and then we all seemed “surprised” when things that are happening now, happen. Digital Blackwater as someone called it. I call it Fascism.

    • 181 nathkatun7
      June 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Actually, I’ve noticed a pattern: they tend to admit wrong if they offend Republicans.

  57. 182 arapaho415
    June 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    DF, in case you missed this (linked to a different story upthread). Agree with Josh, I ignore stories about teenage sons/daughters of politicians, especially when their actions aren’t involved, e.g., Chelsea Clinton in the 1990s, Mark Sanford’s sons, etc.), but Tanner Flake has crossed the line.

    “I’ve got a really high threshold when it comes to things said by politician’s teenage children. But when they’re going by the online handle ‘n1ggerkiller’ and spouting anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs I think that passes the threshold.”

  58. 184 hopefruit2
    June 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm

  59. 185 jacquelineoboomer
    June 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Anne Frank would have been 84 years old today. Here’s an interesting peek at her short life:


    • 186 jacquelineoboomer
      June 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      • June 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        Yep, you can clearly see why the English Wikipedia nails her as a “chatterbox” (Dutch: “Kletskous”). My grandparents lived about a mile from the Merwedeplein in Amssterdam-Zuid. My father was a year-and-a-half younger than Anne.

        • 188 jacquelineoboomer
          June 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

          Wow. I remember talking to my granddaughter, when she was 12, about Anne and she was amazed that something like that could have happened. Anne and her family were a small but meaningful and representative part of the sadness we still must feel about that awful period in history.

          • June 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

            I am starting to find out how “people” can “forget” these tragedies – persons just living a few blocks away from you disappearing.

            Exactly as you write: It is hard to explain. When I was ten years old (in 1965) remembrance of the war (WW II) was just “natural” – at school we got a new milk beaker “Rising Netherlands” – and that was it. The Jews ? just an afterthought ….

            • 190 jacquelineoboomer
              June 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm

              When I was in elementary school in the 1950s, I recall (and can still see it in my mind’s eye) finally being old enough to walk across the big wide street from our church school to see for myself what the letters on the facade of the neighborhood synagogue said:

              “To the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust … We vow to remember it all. To remember and never to forget.”

              I don’t recall what I had learned about Hitler or WWII before that, or exactly how young I was, but I know seeing those words shocked me and I will never put aside their meaning.

              We vow to remember it all. To remember and never to forget.

              It’s up to all of us to do that, individually, no matter how young we are or how old we get.

    • 191 anniebella
      June 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Is the Libertarians comparing Edward Snowden to Anne Frank too?

      • 192 jacquelineoboomer
        June 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        In their minds, why not?

        But, no, I just happened to see that today would have been her birthday, and dropped this as a note of interest.

  60. 195 nospin
    June 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    brilliant post LL

  61. 196 Dakota
    June 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    You continue to amaze me with your brilliant writing. Would you please give me permission to post this on my FB page? Thanks.

  62. June 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Sen. Mikulski Calls Out Reporter’s Tweet During Senate Hearing

    At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on cybersecurity threats Wednesday afternoon, committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) responded to Buzzfeed reporter Rosie Gray’s tweet that appeared to be criticizing the way she was conducting the hearing…Mikulski held up a phone in the middle of the hearing and countered that she was not “stifling” anyone’s questions and that “any senator can ask any question at this hearing that they want to.” She concluded her brief divergence with a “Hi Rosie. Look forward to keeping in touch.”

  63. 201 jacquelineoboomer
    June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    LL – No words could express how deeply I felt your post. But I’m still feeling it many minutes later, and will continue. Thank you for writing this piece of perfection.

  64. 202 Vicki
    June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Sick of Bill Clinton, already. Sick of him for opposing Ashley Judd. Sick of him for opposing Eric Garcetti. Sick of his Father of the Year award. Wonder how much he paid for that one?
    And sick of his announcement to support Ed Markey on the day POTUS filled the streets of Boston.
    Remember the Clinton’s press conference from the airport when GWB was being sworn in? Camera hogs, always into the juice.

    If Hillary is to have a chance maybe she should separate herself from her narcisistic blowhard of a husband.

  65. June 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    You’ll need a box of tissues by the time you finish the video:


  66. June 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Sorry if this has been posted already, but I’ve been down and out with a migraine today and haven’t been able to keep up with comments. Here’s a link to the Facebook page for the Markey/Obama event in Boston; people have posted their pictures and I thought everyone might like to see them:


    By the way, the event “sold out” two days ago and even some people who had tickets were turned away. It must have been packed to the gills! In the meantime, Gomez’s campaign kept claiming that there was so little enthusiasm there’s no way the arena would be filled. Gomez is such a creep! He reminds me of a love child between Scott Brown and Mitt Romney. 😛

  67. 209 JER
    June 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    The President has arrived in Miami.

  68. June 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Should 2016 Democrats Break with Obama?

    Walter Shapiro makes the case that 2016 Democratic White House hopefuls — Hillary Clitnon and Joe Biden aside — should speak out against flawed Obama policies like NSA spying and the terribly mishandled sequester.

    “Yes, it’s counter-intuitive to break–however gently–with a popular president of your own party. But, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s also counter-intuitive for you to think about going up in 2016 against someone like Hillary Clinton or Biden.”

    “Running for president is not for the fainthearted. But there is a void in the Democratic Party waiting to be filled by a credible figure on Obama’s left flank. And if you don’t have the courage to fill it in 2016, trust me, someone else will.”

    The Dem base is comprised of minorites, woman and yes liberals, but I’m sorry, but the members of the left that compromise the types who would be to the left of Obama (i,e. white liberals), are not as large a number as they seem to think on the liberal blogosphere. Relying on that group might work for midterms, but during Presidential elections, that would be a real dumb strategy in my opinion.

    Obama won on the strength of that coalition and any Dem who wants to win needs to keep that coalition together period. Any Dem who thinks they can win without that coalition will be sadly mistaken. It might work in the primaries against Hilary or Biden, but in the general I’m betting it won’t.

  69. 212 hopefruit2
    June 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

  70. 213 Jeff
    June 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Rep King believes that Glen Greenwald should be prosecuted.

  71. June 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm


    What both Dr. King and Mrs. Parks knew was what Glenn Greenwald and Snowden refuse to acknowledge: the US, for all its many faults, is perfectable…..

  72. June 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm


  73. 220 Judith Fardig
    June 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Brilliant post, LL. Meanwhile, I’m compelled to take action on CIR by tweeting all 15 Republican Senators who voted against starting debate on this critical bill.

    • 221 HZ
      June 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      LL, your brilliant and elegant post moved me to tears of appreciation. Thanks so much for giving pure brilliance to the appropriateness of these two great citizens of courage, struggle, and their serious determination to lift up a nation and its people to a better place, rather than try to take a nation down for generations and generations to come.

      Your pronouncement in your writing is elegant, truth, and so beautifully appropriate for our history. Thank you so much, LL from the depth of my heart for this. HZ

  74. 222 sherijr
    June 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I just want to thank you for this LL ~ its so beautiful and on point, you really touched me.

  75. 223 sjterrid
    June 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks, Ll. This essay was a masterpiece! You should put a book together with all your wonderful essays written during President Obama’s two terms in office. I am pretty sure most of us here on TOD would buy it.

    • June 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Also cross posted at The People’s View:

      It is painful to read your description of Chris Hayes’ remarks. Though I don’t often say it, I knew Dr. King well enough that he knew me by name. We spent time together over two weeks during the Meredith March Against Fear and met on a few other occasions. Though I never met Ms. Parks, I did get to meet and share time with a number of other heroic women, many of whom faced even greater threats, Fannie Lou Hamer, Amelia Boynton, and many others who toiled day after day to secure basic civil and human rights. Their steadfastness and bravery were astoundingly inspirational.

      One of the many reasons I decided to leave the orange cesspool was the fact that it was populated by far too many people whose bona fides were in their minds. During my personal involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, I experienced being run over by a mounted posse, chased by a mini-mob when we tried to talk to a laundramat owner about removing the whites only signs from the place, tear gassed numerous timed, arrested a number of times, jailed for a while, fired from a few jobs because of my Movement work. But most of my work was in the north. So knowing what I saw during the time I spent in the south, the bravery of the people who faced persecution, injury and death every minute of every day was even more cause to “keep your eyes on the prize”.

      So all that introductory stuff is there to provide some background for my saying that Chris Hayes has no damn idea what people went through when they fought for Civil and Human Rights. Edward Snowden is no fighter. He is a coward, egged on by an egomaniacal, self-deluded jackass who cares about nothing other than screwing over President Barack Obama. He is an opportunistic fool who cares only about his self serving agenda. Principles? Glen Greenwald has no concept of what principles are, unless you count building one’s own ego as one. But it is clear that there is nothing “noble” about anything Glen Greenwald has done, is doing, or will do.

      And now the Mr. Snowden is apparently passing classified information on the the Chinese, what will Glen have to say?

      • June 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        This post above was supposed to be a comment, not a reply. So if it didn’t read as if it belonged where posted, it didn’t. Sorry.

  76. 226 No Child Left Behind
    June 13, 2013 at 1:35 am

    What a great post, LL. Thank you for your mature reflection.

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