Mr. Rodman Goes To North Korea…Thats Dennis Rodman.


 

By Jueseppi B.

rodman

 

 

Dennis Rodman yells at CNN’s Chris Cuomo Full Interview

 

Published on Jan 7, 2014

Dennis Rodman yells at CNN’s Chris Cuomo Full Interview.

 

 

From CNN:

 

Angry Dennis Rodman defends North Korea basketball game

 

By Laura Smith-Spark and Tom Watkins, CNN

 

(CNN) — Dennis Rodman defended his visit to North Korea with a team of fellow former NBA players in a combative exchange Tuesday, saying the trip was a “great idea for the world.”

 

In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN’s “New Day,” Rodman reacted angrily when pressed on whether the group should have traveled there, given recent events in the secretive country.

 

The trip takes place weeks after North Korea announced the purge and execution of Kim’s once-powerful uncle.

 

Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju

 

The other former NBA players are due to play Wednesday in a basketball game on the 31st birthday of Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader.

 

“I love my friend,” Rodman said in a reference to Kim during an interview carried out from Pyongyang. “This is my friend.”

 

Cuomo asked Rodman whether he was planning to ask North Korean leaders about Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen who was arrested in November 2012, convicted last spring by North Korea of “hostile acts” intended to topple the government and sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp.

 

In response, Rodman suggested the Korean-American had done something wrong, but did not specify what.

 

Kenneth Bae’s mother tells of heartbreak

 

“Do you understand what he did in this country?” Rodman asked Cuomo. “No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? … I would love to speak on this.

 

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“You know, you’ve got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, that have left their families, they’ve left their damn families, to help this country in a sports venture. That’s 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that?”

 

“We do,” responded Cuomo. “And we appreciate that and we wish them well with cultural exchange.”

 

“No, no, no, no,” Rodman continued. “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the hell you think. I’m saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them … they dared to do one thing, they came here.”

 

rodman

 

Bae, a married father of three, has reportedly suffered a series of health problems during his detention.

His mother, Myunghee Bae, who visited in October, told CNN that her son was a devout Christian who had not understood the system in North Korea. North Korea is officially an atheist state.

 

The White House reacts

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney noted that Rodman is on a private trip and that the United States has called for North Korea to release Bae. “Our views about Kenneth Bae have not changed,” he said.

 

“I did not see some of the comments that Mr. Rodman made, but I am not going to dignify that outburst with a response,” Carney added. “I am simply going to say that we remain gravely concerned about Kenneth Bae’s health and continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant his amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds.”

 

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Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN he was “disappointed” by Rodman’s performance.

 

“I think Dennis Rodman crossed a line this morning by implying that Kenneth Bae might be guilty, by suggesting that there was a crime,” the politician said. “There is no crime. Kenneth Bae is an American detainee that’s been there a year in bad health, who deserves to come home.”

 

He said Rodman “drank a little bit too much of the Kool-Aid from the North Koreans.”

 

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After Rodman’s outburst, fellow player Charles D. Smith tried to calm the discussion, but Rodman carried on.

 

“You’re the guy behind the mic right now,” he told Cuomo. “We’re the guys here doing one thing. We have to go back to America and take the abuse. Do you have to take the abuse? Well, we’re going to take it.”

 

Rodman predicted his efforts and those of his fellow athletes would “open the door” for other people to visit the country.

 

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Smith pointed out that the group comprised not only ex-players, but some 40 other people, including a number of other Americans.

 

‘He’s got a great heart

Smith defended Rodman, saying the players’ visit was about basketball, not politics. “We just hope the results are positive, and we think that they’ll be positive,” he said, noting that the Americans had interacted earlier in the day with their North Korean counterparts, talking through an interpreter.

 

Rodman-on-his-way-to-Korea

 

North Korea had invited the American players as a kind of “cultural exchange” and to “put smiles on people’s faces,” not to influence the country’s leaders, Smith said.

 

“We are here because it’s about doing great will around the world,” he said.

 

Smith outlined the charity projects he has been involved in worldwide through his sport, including visiting typhoon victims in Asia.

 

“We’re doing what we do, we play basketball and that’s what we love to do,” Smith said.

 

“We did not know that it was going to take this type of a negative spin on what we were doing because we’re not politicians, we’re not ambassadors. We’re here to do what we’ve been doing most of our lives.”

 

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Smith apologized for “the storm that has been created by our presence.” But, he added, “We’re not apologizing for doing what we do … we’re connecting people to basketball and people to people.”

 

He cautioned against “playing semantics” when discussing Rodman’s use of the word “friend” in describing his relationship with Kim.

 

“It’s an associate,” he said. “You met someone once, and it’s your friend … you can’t meet someone once or twice and take that enduring step.”

 

Smith added that the players were interested only in using basketball as a bridge to cultural exchange. “None of these guys are here to talk any sense into any politician,” he said.

 

Darren Prince, Rodman’s agent for 16 years, told CNN on Sunday that Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Smith would play against the North Korean senior national team.

 

The trip is Rodman’s fourth to the isolated nation, part of a project he has described as “basketball diplomacy.”

 

But the U.S. State Department has said that attention should be focused on the brutality of Kim’s regime.

 

The NBA distanced itself Tuesday from Rodman.

 

“The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodman’s North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement released by the league.

 

“Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them.”

 

‘Friend for life

Rodman, 52, struck up a friendship with Kim last February, when he first traveled to North Korea with a team of Harlem Globetrotters for an exhibition game that was watched by Kim, who is a basketball fan.

 

Kim met and dined with the flamboyant athlete, and Rodman — unswayed by international condemnation of the country’s human rights record — told his host he had “a friend for life.”

 

However, on his last trip — which took place last month — less than a week after North Korea announced the execution of Kim’s uncle and top aide, Jang Song Thaek — the two men did not meet.

 

The international outcry over the killing of Jang has prompted Paddy Power, the online betting company that had supported Rodman’s project, to withdraw its association with the event.

 

But Rodman has pressed on with the plan. Last month, on his previous trip, he met and coached the North Korean team.

 

Rodman, NBA old-timers arrive in North Korea

 

North Korea: Reality vs. the world according to Rodman

 

CNN’s Jethro Mullen contributed to this report

 

Thank you Laura Smith-Spark and Tom Watkins, CNN.

 

Maybe North Korea would consider keeping Mr. Dennis Rodman.

 

Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony - Red Carpet

 

Like Russia is keeping Mr. Eric Snowden.

 

Just a thought.

 

cropped-b4peace-header

infobama

enoughisenough2 (1)

Why Is It So Important To Extend Unemployment Insurance?


 

By Jueseppi B.

Unemployed single mother Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Ct., introduces U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama before he urged Congress to act and extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits, East Room Of The White House

Unemployed single mother Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Ct., introduces U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama before he urged Congress to act and extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits, East Room Of The White House

 

Why Is It So Important to Extend Unemployment Insurance? Take A Look At These Four Numbers:

 

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Unemployment insurance is a vital economic lifeline for millions of Americans who are looking for work — and because Republicans in Congress failed to act at the end of 2013, that lifeline was taken away from 1.3 million Americans. They can fix this before it affects millions more.

 

President Barack Hussein Obama: The Importance Of Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance

 

Published on Jan 7, 2014

President Obama calls on Congress to pass legislation extending emergency unemployment insurance, which as been a vital economic lifeline for millions of Americans who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President on the Importance of Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance

 

 

 

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East Room

11:55 A.M. EST

 

Unemployed single mother Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Ct., introduces U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama before he urged Congress to act and extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits, East Room Of The White House

Unemployed single mother Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Ct., introduces U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama before he urged Congress to act and extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits, East Room Of The White House

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Please, everybody, have a seat.  (Applause.)  Well, Happy New Year, everybody.

 

AUDIENCE:  Happy New Year!

 

THE PRESIDENT:  I hope you’re keeping warm.  A few weeks ago, I said that 2014 could be a breakthrough year for America.  Think about it:  Five years ago this month our economy was shedding 800,000 jobs just in one month.  But as Americans buckled down and worked hard and sacrificed, we began to come back.

 

President Barack Hussein Obama Speaks on the importance of extending unemployment insurance benefits for millions of Americans, in The East Room.

President Barack Hussein Obama Speaks on the importance of extending unemployment insurance benefits for millions of Americans, in The East Room.

 

And our businesses have created more than 8 million new jobs since we hit the bottom.  Our auto industry has gone from bust to boom.  Manufacturing is rebounding.  The housing market is rebounding.  Stock markets are restoring retirement accounts.  The promise of energy independence is actually in sight.  Health care costs eat up less of our economy; over the past four years, costs have grown at the slowest rate on record.  And since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.

 

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So America is getting stronger and we’ve made progress.  And the economy is growing, and we’ve got to do more to make sure that all Americans share in that growth.  We’ve got to help our businesses create more jobs.  We’ve got to make sure those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let families rebuild a little security.  In other words, we’ve got to make sure that this recovery leaves nobody behind.  And we’ve got a lot of work to do on that front.  The good news is I’m optimistic we can do it if we do it together.

 

Now, before the holidays, both parties compromised on a budget that lifts some of the drag that’s been on the economy from these indiscriminate cuts we call sequester.  And as a consequence, this year we may see more stability when it comes to economic growth.  And I think I’m not alone in saying that we are all grateful in the New Year that we won’t have another partisan shutdown, hopefully, going forward.  (Applause.)

 

So that was a good sign.  And we should build on that progress with what I said should be the first order of business in 2014, and that is extending insurance for the unemployed.  (Applause.)  The good news is this morning the Senate took a very important step in that direction.

 

For the Americans who have joined me at the White House today and millions like them who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance has been a vital economic lifeline.  For a lot of people, it’s the only source of income they’ve got to support their families while they look for a new job.  These aren’t folks who are just sitting back waiting for things to happen.  They’re out there actively looking for work.  They desperately want work.

 

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But although the economy has been growing and we’ve been adding new jobs, the truth of the matter is, is that the financial crisis was so devastating that there’s still a lot of people who are struggling.  And, in fact, if we don’t provide unemployment insurance it makes it harder for them to find a job.

 

You heard Katherine’s story.  And she’s far more eloquent than I could ever be.  She wrote me last month to say, “Please let those who think I am sitting at home enjoying being unemployed know that I would much rather be working.”  And I had a chance to talk to Katherine, and I think it’s pretty clear that that’s the case.  Katherine went on to say, “I have applied to everything for which I am possibly qualified to no avail.  I have worked hard all my life, paid taxes, voted, engaged in political discussion, and made the ultimate sacrifice:  My two sons serve in the U.S. military.  Job loss is devastating, and if I could fix it myself, I would.  I challenge any lawmaker to live without an income.”  That’s what Katherine said.  It’s hard.  (Applause.)

 

So when we’ve got the mom of two of our troops, who is working hard out there, but is having to wear a coat inside the house, we’ve got a problem.  And it’s one that can be fixed.  And Katherine is not alone.

 

Devlin Smith, who’s watching today from her home in California, wrote me about her hunt for a new job.  Since she was laid off 13 months ago, she has sent out hundreds of résumés, she has volunteered, she has done seasonal work.  She doesn’t want to just be sitting around the house.  She’s been taking online courses to learn new skills.  Without unemployment insurance, though, she won’t be able to pay for her car or her cellphone, which makes the job hunt that much harder.  And Devlin wrote to me and said, “I’ve wanted nothing more than to find a new full-time job and have dedicated every day to that mission.  I’m asking you to advocate for me and the millions like me who need our extended unemployment benefits to make ends meet.”

 

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So I just want everybody to understand this is not an abstraction.  These are not statistics.  These are your neighbors, your friends, your family members.  It could at some point be any of us.  That’s why we set up a system of unemployment insurance.  The notion was everybody is making a contribution because you don’t know when the business cycle or an economic crisis might make any of us vulnerable.

 

And this insurance helps keep food on the table while Dad is sending out résumés.  It helps Mom pay the rent while she’s learning new skills to earn that new job.  It provides that extra bit of security so that losing your job doesn’t mean that you have to lose your house, or everything you’ve worked so hard to build for years.  We make this promise to our fellow Americans who are working hard to get back on their feet, because when times get tough, we are not a people who say, you’re on your own.  We’re a people who believe that we’re all in it together.  And we know, “there but the grace of God go I.”  (Applause.)

 

So that’s the values case for this.  That’s the moral case for this.  But there’s an economic case for it, as well.  Independent economists have shown that extending emergency unemployment insurance actually helps the economy, actually creates new jobs.  When folks like Katherine have a little more to spend to turn up the heat in her house or buy a few extra groceries, that means more spending with businesses in her local community, which in turn may inspire that business to hire one more person — maybe Kathy.

 

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That’s why, in the past, both parties have repeatedly put partisanship and ideology aside to offer some security for job-seekers with no strings attached.  It’s been done regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans were in the White House.  It’s been done regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans controlled Congress.  And, by the way, it’s been done multiple times when the unemployment rate was significantly lower than it is today.

And what’s important to keep in mind also is that the recovery in a big country like the United States is going to be somewhat uneven.  So there are some states that have a 2.5 unemployment rate, and then there are some places that may still have a 7, 8, 9 percent unemployment rate.  The people living in those respective states may be working equally hard to find a job, but it’s going to be harder in some places than others.

 

Now, two weeks ago, Congress went home for the holidays and let this lifeline expire for 1.3 million Americans.  If this doesn’t get fixed, it will hurt about 14 million Americans over the course of this year:  5 million workers along with 9 million of their family members — their spouses, their kids.

 

Now, I’ve heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it zaps their motivation to get a new job.  I really want to go at this for a second.  (Laughter and applause.)  That really sells the American people short.  I meet a lot of people as President of the United States, and as a candidate for President of the United States, and as a U.S. senator, and as a state senator — I meet a lot of people.  And I can’t name a time where I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of having a job.  (Applause.)

 

The long-term unemployed are not lazy.  They’re not lacking in motivation.  They’re coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations.  In some cases, they may have a skills mismatch.  They may have been doing a certain job for 20 years; suddenly they lose that job.  They may be an older worker, may have to get retrained.  It’s hard — sometimes employers will discriminate if you’ve been out of work for a while; they decide, well, we’re not sure we want to hire you, we’d rather hire somebody who’s still working right now.

 

So it’s hard out there.  There are a lot of our friends, a lot of our neighbors who have lost their jobs and they’re working their tails off every single day trying to find a new job.  Now, as the job market keeps getting better, more and more of these folks will find work.  But, in the meantime, the insurance keeps them from falling off a cliff.  It makes sure they can pay their car note to go to that interview.  It makes sure they can pay their cell phone bills so that if somebody calls back for an interview, they can answer it.  (Laughter.)

 

And Katherine explained this.  Katherine, in the letter that she wrote to me, said, do folks really think that “cutting this benefit will make someone hire me?”  I mean, that’s not how employers are thinking.

 

So letting unemployment insurance expire for millions of Americans is wrong.  Congress should make things right.  I am very appreciative that they’re on their way to doing just that thanks to the bipartisan work of two senators.  You had a Democrat from Rhode Island, Senator Reed, and you had a conservative Republican from Nevada, Senator Heller.  And despite their political differences, they worked together on a plan to extend unemployment insurance at least for three months temporarily while we figure out a longer-term solution.  And this morning, a bipartisan majority of senators agreed to allow this common-sense provision to at least move forward in the process.

 

The Senate is a complicated place.  (Laughter.)  So just because they agreed on this vote, all they’ve agreed to so far is that we’re actually going to be able to have a vote on it.  They haven’t actually passed it.  So we’ve got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay, and we need the House of Representatives to be able to vote for it as well.  (Applause.)  That’s the bottom line.

 

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Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs, and voting against it does not.  Congress should pass this bipartisan plan right away, and I will sign it right away.  And more than 1 million Americans across the country will feel a little hope right away.  And hope is contagious.  (Applause.)

 

When Katherine has a little bit more confidence about her situation, when she finds a job, she is going to be able to help somebody down the line maybe who is also down on their luck.  When Congress passes a bipartisan effort starting here right at the beginning of the New Year, who knows — we might actually get some things done this year.  (Laughter.)  So after all the hard work and sacrifice of the past five years to recover and rebuild from the crisis, what I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability.  Let’s just do the common-sense thing.  Let’s do what’s right.

 

We’re going to have to see action, though, on the part of Congress.  And I’ll be willing to work with them every step of the way — action to help our businesses create more of the good jobs that a growing middle class requires; action to restore economic mobility and reduce inequality; action to open more doors of opportunity for everybody who is willing to work hard and walk through those doors.

 

When I was listening to Katherine, I was just so struck by her strength and dignity.  And I think people when they bump into some tough times, like Katherine, they’re not looking for pity.  They just want a shot.  (Applause.)  And they just want to feel as if — as a part of this country, as a part of their communities, that if misfortune strikes, all the things that they’ve done in the past, all the hard work they’ve done raising children and paying taxes and working hard, that that counts for something, and that folks aren’t suddenly just going to dismiss their concerns, but we’re going to rally behind them.  That’s not too much to ask.  That’s who we are as Americans.  That’s what built this country.  That’s what I want to promote.  (Applause.)

 

So thank you very much, everybody.  Let’s get to work.  Let’s get this done.  (Applause.)

 

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END
12:11 P.M. EST

 

#AskCEA: Betsey Stevenson Discusses Extending Unemployment Insurance

 

Erin Lindsay
Erin Lindsay 

January 07, 2014
10:45 AM EST

 

Today at 11:40 a.m. ET, President Obama will deliver remarksfrom the White House urging Congress to extend emergency unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans who have lost that vital lifeline while looking for a job. Letting emergency unemployment insurance expire not only harms American families; it’s also a drag on the overall economy (to the tune of 240,000 jobs lost in 2014).

 

Immediately following the remarks, Betsey Stevenson, @CEABetsey, member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, will host a session of White House Office Hours on Twitter to answer answer your questions about the economic benefits of extending unemployment insurance.

Here are the details:

 

 

cropped-b4peace-header 1welovetheobamacrat

TOO Many Guns


Originally posted on :

09In the last few weeks, I’ve heard some of the most ridiculous statements on the issue of gun control from the right-wing nuts and some I thought were reasonable people. The police chief of Detroit said, “We need more guns in the hands of responsible people”. This simply boggles my mind. Dude, we can’t even trust the police, who are suppose to be responsible and trained in the use of guns. Actually, it should not bother me because remarks such as this are more of the same – more guns less common sense. I am unaware of any statistic that suggests more guns – less crime!

I want to go out on a lamb and say that is exactly the problem; too many guns. We all know that urban communities have been crying out for help concerning the easy access to guns as long as I can remember. It seemed unrealistic for…

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Why Didn’t Former FBI Director Mueller Conduct Internal Investigation In IRP6 Case, Questions Advocacy Group, A Just Cause


Originally posted on Social Action:

 

A Just Cause Discovers Letters Written by IRP Executive to Former FBI Director Robert Mueller Were Apparently Disregarded

Denver, CO (PRWEB) December 26, 2013

A Just Cause continues to investigate what it says is the wrongful prosecution and conviction of six executives of a Colorado-based company, IRP Solutions Corporation. The advocacy organization believes that the currently imprisoned executives [(IRP6) were selectively prosecuted and their debts criminalized. A Just Cause further questions why requests for an internal FBI inquiry/investigation were not acted upon.

IRP Solutions Corporation developed the Case Investigative Life Cycle (CILC) criminal investigations software for federal, state, and local law enforcement.

The IRP executives (Gary Walker, David Banks, Kendrick Barnes, Demetrius Harper, Clinton Stewart and David Zirpolo) are currently serving prison time at a Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado. (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). The executives have maintained their innocence; never denying the debt they had accumulated and vowing…

View original 619 more words

“Helllllp! Get Me Out of Here!”


Originally posted on Zeebra Designs & Destinations:

P1900883 PAINTING U BANANAS

Preparing to leave his home in the cloud forest of Ecuador, Huma Diablo aka Inti Raymi Mask (acrylic painting)  parts with his daily breakfast diet of bananas!

P1900996 INTI RAYMI DIABLO HUMO

Inti Raymi – Huma Diablo – Acrylic by Lisa Brunetti 38″ x 54″

As the magic carpet prepares food and flowers for its airlift of cabin-fever-struct friends, I put out an APB via DHL in search of the Inti Raymi Mask Painting!

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