Lassana Bathily risked his own life to help save others, a Muslim who protected Jews in the face of an armed terrorist.
Now the French government is helping out Bathily -- by making him a citizen.
The Malian native's citizenship application, which he filed in July, will be expedited, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Thursday. Cazeneuve will conduct Bathily's citizenship ceremony himself Tuesday.
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From New York Daily News:
Hillary Clinton hasn't even said she's running for president again, but the GOP's already on her case -- and in her old backyard.
"Listen, we're writing a Hillary Clinton book now; I mean, we have a research team that is in Little Rock, so we're not going to be shy about it," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said in a Thursday sitdown with Bloomberg Politics.
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When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.
- Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), December 5, 2002
Trent Lott, the Senate Republican Leader, was speaking at the 100th birthday of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. Not everyone gets to be 100. If I get to that age, I have the beginning of my own speech ready.
"It is sobering to think that my life may be half over."
Senator Lott wanted to be gallant. So he boasted about what a wonderful country we would be living in, had Senator Thurmond become President Thurmond when he ran in 1948.
The problem with Trent Lott's rhetorical chivalry quickly became apparent as a firestorm enveloped him. The Republican Leader of the United States Senate had publicly endorsed a virulently racist campaign from 54 years before.
In 1948, Strom Thurmond led a group of Democratic delegates as they walked out of the Democratic convention in protest. They were bitterly enraged that the party had endorsed equality for black people, including voting rights and an end to segregation. Strom Thurmond ran for President as an independent. He called his temporary party the Dixiecrats.
There's not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.
- Strom Thurmond, Governor South Carolina, May 11, 1948
Two weeks after the Birthday Speech from Hell, Republican Leader of the Senate Trent Lott became just Senator Trent Lott. He had not been hounded from his post by Democrats or by liberals. Conservative notables across the country had, in near unison, roared a mighty roar. Trent Lott had to go.
Those were the days.
Sadly, those days seem to be gone forever.
A couple of weeks ago, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise seemed to be in trouble for all of a nanosecond when history came to light. He acknowledged that he had been a close friend of a David Duke associate and had spoken in 2002 at an event for a white supremacist group hosted by the former Ku Klux Klan leader.
In 1999, Scalise had run for office against David Duke, but seemed to express basic agreement on the issues.
The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can't get elected, and that's the first and most important thing.
- Steve Scalise, 1999
So the reason Mr. Scalise should have gotten conservative votes is that he could get elected and represent the same views held by Ku Klux Klan Wizard David Duke.
The response from House Republicans has been swift. John Boehner says he has full confidence in Steve Scalise. So do other Republican leaders.
Now drops another shoe. How many feet is a Republican leader allowed?
In 1996, the Louisiana legislature voted to apologize to black citizens for slavery. Steve Scalise spoke against it. He argued that "apologize" was too strong a word. He would vote against an apology. He could be persuaded to vote for a regret. An official regret that slavery had happened to black people, as an unfortunate happenstance, might be okay. But apology? No way.
The legislature passed the apology anyway. Steve Scalise voted against it.
So a dozen years ago, conservatives would not tolerate any inadvertent implied support by Trent Lott for a segregationist campaign from over 50 years before. Even a fumbling attempt at a gallant gesture was too much. No segregation. Those days were gone forever.
But times have changed. Now slavery itself is a controversy open to balanced discussion.
To be sure, conservatives, on the whole, abhor the idea of slavery.
But the Republican party is - - - a big tent.
Job openings climbed in November to the highest level in almost 14 years as the strengthening U.S. economy fueled demand for labor.
The number of positions waiting to be filled rose by 142,000 to 4.97 million in November, the most since January 2001, a report from the Labor Department showed today. The pace of hiring cooled and fewer Americans quit their jobs.
Gains in hiring, waning dismissals and rising confidence underscore a vibrant labor market that in 2014 marked its strongest performance since 1999.
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From The Atlantic:
On Friday, President Obama traveled to Tennessee to propose that community college be free for all Americans willing to work hard—just as elementary and secondary schooling has long been universally free to students. In today's economy, a high school degree no longer guarantees a middle-class income, so Obama properly wants to update the country's social contract to make two years of college, not just high school, something students receive at public expense. "This proposal would make two years of college the norm in the way that high school was the norm in the last century," White House domestic policy advisor Cecilia Munoz explained.
Most commentators have focused on scrutinizing the plan’s strategy, questioning its feasibility and its failure to address the root problems plaguing higher education. But they’re overlooking the truly revolutionary possibility that it would make two-year institutions more economically and racially integrated—something that should be applauded.
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I did not much care for President George W. Bush. I was not at all bashful about opposing his policies. But I confessed early on that, for me, it too often went from policy to petty. I didn't like his mannerisms. His chest out stride struck me as juvenile. His folksiness seemed phony. I thought his denigration of intelligence itself to be insincere at best and culturally destructive at worst.
I was not at all proud of the petty, so I tried to focus exclusively on policy.
But I couldn't have been more proud of a President when, in the wake of the September 11 attack on New York and Washington, President Bush took a stand against bigotry.
...our war is against evil, not against Islam. There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know -- that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion. The exact opposite of the teachings of the al Qaeda organization, which is based upon evil and hate and destruction.
- President George W. Bush, September 28, 2001
Americans across the political spectrum responded to President Bush with full throated support.
George W. Bush is my Commander-In-Chief
- Al Gore, Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, September 29, 2001
Eventually, the temptation to use the support of Americans in attacks on political enemies became stronger than Republicans could resist.
In their warped way of thinking, America is the problem, not the solution. They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself...
- Zell Miller, speaking for the Bush/Cheney campaign at the Republican Convention, September 1, 2004
Still, President Bush did remain consistent in making a strong distinction between Islam and the evil of terrorism. For that, I will remain grateful.
As President Bush left office, the partisanship morphed into a more inclusive attack. Bigotry against all Muslims became the conservative norm.
The attacks in Paris, first on the satiric publication Charlie Hebdo, then on a Jewish bakery, have provoked the largest popular demonstration in the history of the city. Nearly 4 million people marched for freedom of expression. Conservatives in the United States reacted against Muslims.
Laura Ingraham, on her radio program, was the active voice for many conservatives.
I think we have to come to grips with the fact that if most Muslims were against what was happening, we wouldn't have so much of this happening.
- Laura Ingraham, January 8, 2015
Fox News spoke to, and for, even more conservatives in a series of attacks on Muslims as an undifferentiated group. Jeanine Pirro was only one of dozens of voices. She warned that American Muslims were about to impose Sharia Law on all Americans, complete with death sentences for criticisms of Islam.
Muslims were even invited to worship at the national cathedral in Washington, DC.
We're directed by a political correctness so bizarre so disconnected from reality that it does nothing but assist our enemy in our own destruction.
- Jeanine Pirro, FoxNews January 10, 2015
I couldn't help but think of the reaction of those closest to the attacks, the millions in the streets of Paris. Political leaders in France put aside their differences in a show of unity. The crowds welcomed Muslims who joined the movement against terrorists.
They honored the satirists who had died for nothing more than the exercise of freedom.
Many in the massive crowds acknowledged the courage of the young Muslim employee of the Jewish pastry shop, who had guided patrons to hide in a darkened freezer, then ran to notify authorities, guiding police in points of attack against the terrorists still inside.
The crowds in Paris also honored the first police officer killed while defending those journalists. He was a Muslim who died for the freedom of others to mock his own beliefs, to ridicule his religion.
Had he been in this country, we know from their public statements that some would have despised him, that they would have regarded him as the enemy.
Muslims were even invited to worship at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
I like to think that, had he been in America, he would have put himself in harms way to defend those who would have gladly restricted his right to pray as he chose.
House Republicans rolled out an aggressive response to President Barack Obama’s immigration policies on Friday, rallying conservatives hungry for a confrontation between the GOP-led Congress and the White House.
But a big hurdle stands in their way: the United States Senate.
Moderate Senate Democrats and a handful of GOP senators are balking at a House plan that would block Obama’s new policy of deferring deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants, along with the administration’s earlier protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally at a young age. While those senators oppose the president’s unilateral moves on immigration, they are wary of linking the issue with a must-pass bill to fund domestic security programs, worried that a stalemate could shut down the Department of Homeland Security.
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From Religion News Service:
(RNS) As Florida became the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage this week, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski sent a memo to all church employees reiterating that any expressions of support for gay marriage — even if it’s only a tweet or Facebook post — could cost them their jobs.
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Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot looks to the new year with 14 (or 15) pithy observations, technological, political, sports, and personal. He also demonstrates that there are three kinds of people. Those who can count and those who can't.
Conservative James Wigderson is really upset about President Obama's goal of making available a two year education at Community College for pretty much everyone. Sadly, he includes this quote from another conservative, "If President Obama changes his mind and wants to have an adult conversation..." thereby implicitly carrying on a Rush-centered conservative tradition of suggesting the President is, by nature, less than fully grown.
Mitch McConnell tries to make the case that the Obama economic renaissance is actually caused by widespread encouragement at McConnell's election as Senate Leader. Tommy Christopher, at the Daily Banter, reviews the evidence and pushes back - hard.
Max's Dad reacts against the exploitation by Fox news types of the Paris terrorist killings as they campaign against everything from Islam to immigration to all things liberal. Max's dad throws in a few digs of his own on all religions.
tengrain at Mock Paper Scissors watches a Fox News personality who seems to suggest that the reason French authorities were not able to stop recent acts of terrorism sooner was that ski-masks kept police from seeing skin color.
Ryan has semi-retired from Secular Ethics, so it's great to see him back for a week. He's been engaged on our pages, defending an ethic regarding torture. Sadly for us, he's making the right move, sharing his analysis with his own site. I love it when Ryan writes for us. Maybe I feel a touch guilty about it, because his work is so good you would expect to see it on Secular Ethics.
Green Eagle thanks the New York City Police Department for the ongoing slowdown in protest against the Mayor's acknowledgement that racism exists. Crime rates have been unaffected. It seems the slowdown is a secretly unselfish experiment that demonstrates that petty targeting of minorities does not make the city safer.
Mad Mike's America remembers talking animals in fiction and reality, ending up with a great clip of Mr. Ed. Horses are smarter than people. You never hear of a horse losing everything betting on a person. Mad Mike didn't say that. And I didn't originate it. It was Will Rogers.
George Zimmerman's slow decline seems to continue. The Moderate Voice watches as the one who shot and killed an unarmed teenager carrying candy, was found not guilty by a sympathetic jury, then became a bit of a hero among conservatives, is now arrested on domestic violence charges.
How Did a 40 Year Old Napkin Cost Kansas Its Economy? (5:29) - Click for Podcast
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Republican Supply Side Economics looked great on Arthur Laffer's napkin. Kansas would be the grand experimental model.
Why the Press Should Have Stopped Laughing in 2010 (3:43) - Click for Podcast
For Original Text
Sharron Angle showed the goofy side of conservatism. Mainstream press reaction showed why Democrats were about to lose.
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Following the murder of two NYPD officers in New York City, much of the political right moved to blame Mayor de Blasio and other progressive critics of police brutality for inciting the violence, claiming that the mentally ill man who was behind the attack was motivated by left-wing rhetoric.
That narrative doesn't fit very well with a terror case brought this week by the FBI against three Georgia men, all members of a right-wing militia that plotted to attack police and others. Yesterday, Terry Peace, Brian Cannon and Cory Williamson pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, as well as charges of conspiring to defraud the government.
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From The Guardian:
It was a Muslim policeman from a local police station who was “slaughtered like a dog” after heroically trying to stop two heavily armed killers from fleeing the Charlie Hebdo offices following the massacre.
Tributes to Ahmed Merabet poured in on Thursday after images of his murder at point blank range by a Kalashnikov-wielding masked terrorist circulated around the world.
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