January 11, 2015

U.S. High-Level Absence From Paris March Controversial — Except at AP

Thus far, the nation’s de facto news gatekeepers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, have utterly failed to address the growing worldwide controvery over the absence of U.S. representation above the ambassador level at Sunday’s solidarity march in Paris in the wake of Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo massacre. Crowd estimates for the Paris march range from “hundreds of thousands” to over 1.5 million.

The New York Daily News is calling the absence of a top U.S. leader “a glaring exception,” and devoting its entire front page to telling our government that “You Let the World Down.” The UK Daily Mail is treating the situation as a snub, also observing that Attorney General Eric Holder “was in Paris for a terrorism summit held on the march’s sidelines, but he slipped away and made appearances on four American morning television talk shows just as the incredible rally was starting.” But Angela Charlton and Thomas Adamson at the AP, in report carrying a 7:07 p.m. ET time stamp (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), apparently found nothing unusual in the U.S. non-presence:

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Code Pink Gets Reuters Coverage — For a Protest Group of 20

The ability of tiny numbers of far-left fringe group demonstrators to get undue press attention virtually any time they want continues to be intensely annoying.

In mid-2007, Barack Obama made closing the prison at Guantanmo Bay a core promise of his 2008 campaign. That was 7-1/2 years ago. Obama has been in office six years. Gitmo is still open. So naturally, the aggrieved professional protesters at Code Pink organized a demonstration against Gitmo remaining active on yesterday’s 13th anniversary of the prison’s opening — at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s house. They got far more ink and bandwidth than they deserved from the press, including Reuters — i.e., far more than nothing.

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011115)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Birmingham Chick-fil-A owner’s generosity earns national spotlight – again

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Birmingham, Alabama:

January 08, 2015 at 4:20 PM, updated January 09, 2015 at 7:24 AM

The owner of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant is once again garnering national attention for his actions.

When Wednesday’s frigid temperatures sent what appeared to be a homeless man scurrying for warmth inside the Chick-fil-A at 4620 Highway 280, owner/operator Mark Meadows stepped up to the plate–much like he did during the 2014 “snowpocalypse.”

Andrea Stoker, who was enjoying a meal with her son at the restaurant about 3 p.m. Wednesday, shared what she witnessed through a Facebook post on the Chick-fil-A corporate page. At the time of this writing, Stoker’s account of what transpired has garnered nearly 100,000 Facebook “likes.” Chick-fil-A has since shared the image and message as well.

“My son and I were at the location on Highway 280 in Birmingham, AL,” wrote Stoker, “when a man came in to escape the 35 degree temps and strong winds with all of his earthly possessions strapped to his back.”

Rather than ask him to leave, Stoker went on, Meadows walked up to the man and had a conversation.

In an interview with AL.com today, Meadows shared what occurred next.

“Sometimes,” said Meadows, “we have individuals walk in the store that it’s obvious need some help. Yesterday at around 3:30 p.m. a gentleman walked in–I don’t know if he is homeless or not–but he walked up to me and asked if there was anything he could do to earn a little food.”

Meadows said he answered with a question of his own.

“I asked him if he had a pair of gloves,” said Meadows, “because he kept rubbing his hands together.”

According to Stoker’s account, Meadows not only arranged to feed the man, but also provided him with a little bit of extra comfort.

“Most businesses would force him out,” wrote Stoker, “but I watched as the manager walked up to him and asked if he could do anything for him. Before the man could even answer, the manager asked if he had a pair of gloves and walked to the table at which he’d been sitting and picked up his own. As he handed the man his gloves, he asked another employee to get him something to eat.”

Meadows is the same owner/operator who in January of last year helped distribute hundreds of chicken sandwiches and thousands of chicken biscuits to stranded Highway 280 motorists when a freak snow and ice storm paralyzed much of Birmingham. …

Go here for the rest of the story, particularly the sampling of comments from Facebook users.