Thursday, January 31, 2013

"New West Seattle surveillance cameras raising eyebrows" (with video)

Ray Lane (KOMO News) with video (02:03):
A series of surveillance cameras recently installed along the West Seattle shoreline are raising eyebrows, and concerns about who's watching what. And there are more on the way. Seattle police say the high-tech cameras are part of an expanding security project that also involves the Port of Seattle and the Coast Guard. The various agencies say the mission is to keep closer watch on the city's waterways, from Puget Sound into Elliott Bay. But there's skepticism. "I want to be able to trust at my age that what our government says is truth," said Karin Watson. "I've lived long enough to know that isn't always so." Seattle police insist scanning the waters for illegal or sinister activity is the top priority, not monitoring what people are doing on Alki Avenue, Harbor Avenue and Beach Drive. At least six cameras are mounted on city utility and light poles, right in the middle of residential neighborhoods. Seattle police say once the cameras go operational, they'll have a backing on the side that faces peoples' homes and businesses, so the cameras can't be aimed that way, and instead focus all the attention out toward the water. "As long as the police department is not using it to pick out individual people and spy on them, that's fine," said West Seattle resident Steve Epstein But others wonder if certain freedoms are being compromised, and if this is the best way to increase protection and prevent harm from happening. "Are we suspicious of surveillance in the U.S. in general?" wondered Ilyse Rathet. "Don't always believe that resources are invested for best use of the public." Even before the cameras are turned on, police say the surveillance system will soon expand to the Seattle waterfront. The money for the surveillance system is coming from a Homeland Security federal grant.

"Followup: More about city-installed Alki surveillance cameras"

Tracy Record (West Seattle Blog):
Since our first report Tuesday on the surveillance cameras that have turned up from Harbor Avenue to Beach Drive – we’ve learned more information about them, while other quetions remain.
To recap, if you missed our first story:
WSB readers started noticing the cameras last weekend. We have counted six installed on utility and streetlight poles, with wireless transmitting equipment above them: On the inland side of Harbor Avenue near Salty’s and Seacrest, on the water side at Duwamish Head, on the inland side of Alki Avenue by the Shoremont Apartments (photo above), on the water side by the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, and on the water side at the end of Constellation Park/Richey Viewpoint, at 63rd SW and Beach Drive. MORE...

USA Today: "Growing number of educators boycott standardized tests"

In this Jan. 23 photo, Garfield High School social studies teacher Jesse Hagopian, with his hand raised, and other teachers rally to protest the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test outside the Seattle School District Headquarters.

Greg Toppo (USA Today):
Since 2002, standardized tests have taken on more significance because of federal mandates.The decision by a group of Seattle teachers to boycott a standardized test this winter could spill out to other cities as a decade of frustration over testing simmers. Teachers at Garfield High School, Seattle's largest, last December said they'd pass on giving the latest Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, a diagnostic tool that also screens students for remedial or gifted classes. Given several times a year, it's also used indirectly to rate teachers, but Garfield teachers say it's not aligned to the state curriculum and produces "meaningless" results. They have until Feb. 22 to administer the test or face unpaid suspension. Since then, teachers at two more Seattle schools have said they'll sit out the test, with the approval of leading academics and both major U.S. teachers unions. MORE...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Giffords to Congress: 'The time is now; you must act' (with video)

Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog) with video (01:20) from NBC NEWS:
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) made a surprise appearance this morning at a Senate hearing on gun violence, and read a brief, emotional statement to the committee and the public. "Thank for inviting me here today," she said. "This an important conversation for our children, for our community, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you." MORE...
Howie P.S.: If you watch/listen to the next clip after Giffords, you get to hear the NRA "response."

David Corn: "Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party"
Corn captures the dilemmas faced by a president assailed by disappointed progressives and defiantly obstructionist Republicans determined to see his defeat. Here is a chief executive trying to balance the cross-cutting demands of governance and politics while handling unending challenges at home and abroad. The book reveals a thoughtful leader with a cool head who is unafraid to take risks and make tough choices, a steely battler who successfully turned his enemies' obstinacy to his advantage. Obama has often frustrated supporters, but Corn shows how the president, who often puts pragmatism ahead of partisan demands, has craftily operated within a hostile conservative political climate, looking to win the long game, achieve progressive goals, and, ultimately, win reelection. MORE...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Seattle’s Teacher Uprising: High School Faculty Faces Censure for Boycotting Standardized MAP Tests" (with video)

Democracy Now! with video:
Earlier this month, teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, voted unanimously to stop administering a widely used standardized test, calling them wasteful and unfairly used to grade their performance. They are now facing threats of 10-day suspension without pay if they continue their boycott. We go to Seattle to speak with two guests: Jesse Hagopian, a high school history teacher and union representative at Garfield High School who has refused to administer the MAP standardized test; and Wayne Au, a former high school teacher, assistant professor at the University of Washington, and author of "Unequal by Design: High-Stakes Testing and the Standardization of Inequality." [Transcript to come. Check back soon.]

"As Interest Fades: Will the Media Keep the Gun Debate Alive?"

"Joe Biden and Barack Obama announce gun control proposals earlier this month." (Reuters/Larry Downing.)
Greg Mitchell (The Nation):
Not so sure it's that simple, but a piece yesterday at the Washington Post site makes case that the post-Sandy Hook national "debate" over gun violence, proliferation and culture has not faded as quickly as in previous cases because the press has kept it alive, with an assist from the White House. MORE...

ED Show: "Organized Labor on Immigration Reform" (video)

ED Show, MSNBC video (06:05):
What would comprehensive immigration reform mean for the organized labor movement? International Steelworkers President Leo Gerard joins Ed to discuss it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Hundreds pack Seattle City Hall to talk legal marijuana" (with video)

Jon Humbert ( with video (02:39) from KOMOtv4:
Voters thought checking "yes" on Initiative 502 would quickly legalize marijuana, but more than two months after it passed, plenty of red tape stands between the public and easy access to their green. The state wants to have stores licensed and ready for business by Dec. 1. But to get there, they are opening up bidding for consultants to show them how the pot business is done. State officials also announced plans to hire a "pot czar" with a minimum salary of $80,000. The swords have become plowshares.  MORE... 

Joe Conason: "Benghazi Hearings: Capitol Hill’s Angry Little Men Keep Making Hillary Bigger"

Joe Conason (TheNationalMemo):
As Joan Walsh observed in Salon, those irate and ignorant inquisitors on Capitol Hill appeared small and peevish in their confrontation with Clinton, a woman whose serious, diligent, tireless approach to public service has armed her with an enduring popularity at least three times greater than her Republican adversaries in Congress. Their feeble attempts to cut her down, echoed by the usual loudmouths on radio and cable television, only make her bigger. If they persist, she probably will be president someday. MORE....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Colbert: Beyonce-Gate...Ayn Rand admirers...Sally Field describes her character in "Lincoln" and more (video), with video (21:31)
Beyonce-Gate riles the media, Ayn Rand admirers find love, Virginia Republicans surprise Democrats with new districts, and Sally Field describes her character in "Lincoln."

A "rare glimpse": "Exploring Technology, Effectiveness, Consequences of Drone Warfare" (with video)

PBSNEWSHOUR with video (11:41):
PBS's NOVA explores the pros, cons and controversies of drone warfare, as well as the technology behind drone strikes. Jeffrey Brown discusses with Seth Jones of RAND Corporation and Chris Anders from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Howie P.S.: They say this is a "rare glimpse" into the drone program and it certainly is that.

Papantonio on The ED Show: "Government Help Needed To Curb Climate Change" (video)

golefttv, with video (04:33):
Mike Papantonio and Ed Schultz discuss what is needed from the federal government in order to help combat global climate change, and why they must act quickly before it is too late.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bill Moyers on Wall Street fraud: "The Untouchables" (video)

PBS, Frontline, with video (53:41):
FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages. MORE...

"A Game of Drones"

Paul Constant (The Stranger);
"That inauguration has been on my mind a lot lately. On the one hand, it's the celebration of a resounding victory over the Paleolithic conservative movement that has erupted in this country like a bad case of thrush. On the other hand, it's a national confirmation of a president who has done a lot of things in his first term that I find morally repugnant." MORE...

(Updated) "Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s New Film Exposes Hidden Truths of Covert U.S. Warfare"

UPDATE: I have now watched/listened to this for the third time.
 Democracy Now! (with video):
Premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the new documentary "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield" follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen as he chases down the hidden truths behind America’s expanding covert wars. We’re joined by Scahill and the film’s director, Rick Rowley, an independent journalist with Big Noise Films. "We’re looking right now at a reality that President Obama has essentially extended the very policies that many of his supporters once opposed under President Bush," says Scahill, author of the bestseller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army" and a forthcoming book named after his film. "One of the things that humbles both of us is that when you arrive in a village in Afghanistan and knock on someone’s door, you’re the first American they’ve seen since the Americans that kicked that door in and killed half their family," Rowley says. "We promised them that we would do everything we could to make their stories be heard in the U.S. ... Finally we’re able to keep those promises." [includes rush transcript]

Thursday, January 17, 2013

(Updated) FLOTUS GOT BANGS (with photo)


UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has
"David Hall, seen above, was on track to receive his pilot license from the Air Force until he dis-enrolled for “homosexual conduct” in 2002 after one of his fellow cadets outed him for being gay, per the PIC. Since then, Hall fought for Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, which President Obama completed in July of 2011.

The First Lady just met with Inaugural citizen co-chair David Hall ahead of #MLKDay of Service.

ED Show: "President Obama ready to match NRA" (video)

MSNBC-ED Show, video (05:44).

Howard Dean: "Here's my take on the latest NRA ad" (video)

MSNBC-The Last Word, video (05:28).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Movement to End High-Stakes Testing Steps Up in Seattle"

Students walk out of the lunchroom past a poster urging preparing for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessments System (MCAS) tests, in this March 1999 file photo. Massachusetts students who don't pass the test don't graduate.John Nordell/Staff/File

Dean Paton (The Christian Science Monitor)):
Resistance to standardized tests has been simmering for years, but now a group of Seattle teachers is in open revolt. No longer will they administer the tests, they say, citing a waste of public resources. MORE...

(Updated) "Obama’s Gun Plan: Sense or Sensibility?" (with video)

UPDATE: Scott Sunde (SeattlePI):
The National Rifle Association has a new ad in the coming gun-control wars. In it, the NRA mans up and takes on President Obama’s children. The ad calls the president an “elitist hypocrite” because he hasn’t come out for armed guards at schools — an NRA proposal — while his daughters are protected by armed guards. The difference — the children of the leader of the Free World, potential terrorism target and on and on — isn’t noted. But then subtle the ad isn’t. MORE...
Amy Davidson (The New Yorker) with video from NRANews (00:36):
Madness in one’s opponents is no excuse for abandoning good sense; it makes it even more imperative to hold onto it as hard as one can. But if it is all one comes with, one risks slipping into a state of defeated self-satisfaction. If the gun conversation is not taking place in the realm of sense, Obama has to figure out how to actively drag it back there. Sense needs to be joined with a sensibility that approaches the passion of the days after the Newtown shooting, when we couldn’t banish the pictures of children running out of the school, who were told to keep their eyes shut so they wouldn’t see the dead. MORE...

Monday, January 14, 2013

"President Obama Signals He Will Push Assault Weapons Ban" (with video)

Tommy Christopher, MEDIAite with video (03:30):
At the final press conference of President Obama‘s first term, one month to the date after the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the first question asked of the President was whether he would push for an assault weapons ban. Despite reports to the contrary, the President’s carefully-worded and expansive response indicated that he will propose “an assault weapons ban that is meaningful,” among other things, and expects Congress to “set politics aside” and vote their conscience. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Another hot topic at the presser, Obama: GOP ‘Will Not Collect A Ransom In Exchange For Not Crashing The American Economy’(MEDIAite, with video).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

MOVE OVER, POLITICS: "Seahawks '12th Man' fever grips Seattle ahead of playoff game" (with video)

KOMONEWS.COM with video (01:34)
If you're anywhere in Western Washington, you simply can't escape the excitement heading into Sunday's playoff game pitting the Seahawks against the Atlanta Falcons. The team's secret weapon - the 12th Man - has shown up everywhere from the Seattle Art Museum's Hammering Man to the Governor's Mansion in Olympia. MORE...

New Miss America talks about gun violence (with video)

Anjali Sareen MEDIAite with video (00:57):
“I don’t think the proper way to fight violence is with violence,” she explained. “I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: We have now arrived at the place where a beauty pageant contestant "gets it" better than many political leaders.

Michael Tomasky: "Guns, Slavery, and the Holocaust" (with video)

Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast) with video (05:23):
Michael Tomasky on the nonsensical, unbelievably offensive argument that gun rights help protect minorities from oppression. MORE...
Howie P.S.: My favorite part of this is the proposal that gun owners be required to purchase liability insurance to compensate those damaged by these owners of these weapons.

Damian Marley: "In too Deep" (video and lyrics) with video (06:11) from jazzeffc:

[Verse 1]
Want to commit suicide
Cause you've been denied your 9 to 5
You're in 2 deep
If you're over 10
And watch CNN and believe everything
You're in 2 deep
And your 35
And you still survive, idle pon corner side
You're in 2 deep
And your 55
And don't have a child, for your joy & your pride
You're in 2 deep
And yuh riding a freak
And she love how you do it, and your condom deplete
You're in 2 deep
And she seh, "Baby please."
And you're weak in the knees and kick off and release
You're in 2 deep
Then you hear from the streets
Seh she full of disease, and you start to sneeze
You're in 2 deep
All months and fi weeks
All food yuh nuh eat, and you weight start decrease
Youre in 2 deep

So don't be in 2 deep
For you wi' incomplete
When you drop in the streets
You wi' drop in 2 deep

And don't be in 2 deep
For you wi' incomplete
When you drop in the streets
You wi' drop in 2 deep


Friday, January 11, 2013

"Mike McGinn Is Running for Reelection"

Dominic Holden (The Stranger):
But for Ben Schiendelman, who runs the advocacy group Seattle Subway, there's no one else speaking to those transportation interests better than the current mayor. "Basically, he's been effective in quiet ways, and he's getting more effective as time goes on," Schiendelman explained. "I think if we want more sidewalks, more bicycle lanes, and more Sound Transit in 2016, rather than 2020 or later, he's the best person to keep us on track." MORE...
Howie P.S.: Long story short: The Stranger loved him madly last time. This time it's the devil we know is better than the one(s) we don't. But don't take it personally Ed, or Tim, or that real estate guy, even though you may think we think you are chopped liver. Personally, I'll take some of the chopped liver, Dominic (and Mr. Savage). My favorite line:
"effective in quiet ways."
I recommend it for his campaign slogan. We need a little more humor in our local politics! I may have to buy some bumper stickers for Mike: "effective in quiet ways---so quiet you can't hear him when he is!"

Charlie Rose: "An hour with David Axelrod" (video)

Charlie, video (51:45):
An hour with David Axelrod, political strategist who led Barack Obama’s two successful Presidential campaigns and the first director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

ED Show: "Everyone agrees on guns...almost" (video)

MSNBC-ED Show, video (08:50).

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

From Michelle Obama: "Will you commit to serve with me?‏"

Four years ago, during his first inauguration, Barack and I were thrilled when thousands of Americans from every corner of the country took part in the National Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We were so excited because we knew that the celebrations weren't just about a new president, but about everything that we can accomplish together. And that starts with service.

So this year, as we prepare for another celebration, we're hoping to renew that spirit of service and citizenship -- we're calling on all Americans, including you, to volunteer in your community on Saturday, January 19th, for this year's Day of Service.

Please join us, and commit to serve on January 19th.

Throughout our lives, Barack and I have seen that building a full life isn't about what you can get for yourself -- but what you can give to those around you. It's a value that's been central to our lives together. And as parents, it's something we're trying every day to pass down to our girls.

This inauguration is only possible because of you and all your hard work. Barack and I are so grateful for you, and for everything you've done for us and for our country.

Pledge to join us for the Day of Service at an event near you:



P.S. -- When you commit to serve, you'll be automatically entered for the chance to come out to Washington, D.C. for Barack's inauguration -- flight and hotel covered.

Howie P.S.: Every time I see something from FLOTUS I am struck by my willingness to respond to "the ask." They don't call her "The Closer" for nothin'.

"Sen. Pam Roach faces new report saying she mistreated a staffer"

Seattle Times via AP:
State Sen. Pam Roach violated a Senate policy on treatment of staff shortly after she was allowed back into the GOP caucus last year, according to a committee created to investigate incidents involving the senator. MORE...
Howie P.S.: If you have ever witnessed The Senator in action, it's hard to forget, even if you would like to. The photos come from the story.

"Sandy victims still wait for relief after 72 days" (video)

The LAST WORD (MSNBC), video (05:00):
Ari Melber discusses the "handouts" meme and other lies.

"The best of last night's late-night TV" (POLITICO'S Video Playback: 1/9/13)

POLITICO, videos:
The NRA gets involved in the gun control debate and President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

"FDR Mocks, Ridicules Republicans...Smooth Evasion" (video)

incitebytes, video (02:22).  

Howie P.S.: "The more things change, the more they remain the same."


In 2005, the 12th MAN made a difference in helping the Seahawks win their first-ever NFC Championship. The Seahawks were undefeated at Qwest Field and set a single-season attendance record. On November 27th, the Seahawks defeated the New York Giants in a dramatic overtime win. The 12th MAN’s vocal support helped contribute to the victory by causing 11 false start penalties and three missed field goals. Coach Mike Holmgren dedicated the game ball to the 12th MAN the following day. The ball, now known as the 12th MAN Ball, resides in the Wells Fargo Club.
Howie P.S.: You know the city is buzzing when an extremely poor fan like me is getting "the message."

UPDATED-FRACK THIS: "Promised Land" (video)

MovieclipsCOMINGSOON, video (02:29):
A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.
Howie P.S.: Alison Hallett has a nice review in The Stranger:
There are a lot of good intentions muddled up in Promised Land, and a lot of talent, too—the frustrating, almost-great new film is directed by Gus Van Sant, with a story by Dave Eggers and a screenplay from John Krasinski and Matt Damon, who also costar. Promised Land is a film with an agenda disguised as a film with no agenda, and if that sort of thing doesn’t make you a little bit mad, well… then you should go see it! ’Cause otherwise it’s really good. MORE...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Robin Williams - "Weapons Of Self Destruction" (video)

mslokater, video (01:28:41).

 Howie P.S.: Some politics, even more comedy.

"What They Really Think of Us Subjects of The Stranger's News Coverage Regret the Things We've Said About Them"

Image: LISA DANK “Potstar.”

 The Stranger:
They say that good, fair journalists can have no friends. At least, we think that's why we have no friends. All year long at The Stranger, we build bridges with our sources and then burn them to a cinder. The cops, backers of charter schools, candidates... we've angered them all. For instance, take that time we broke a story about Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna staffer Kathlyn Ehl, who had tweeted "shut up and drive #asians." That embarrassing story went national and she resigned, and now neither McKenna nor Ehl want to be our friends. Or take local anti-gay Catholic archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who we repeatedly called a "bigot"—because he is a bigot. He won't be our friend, either (the asshole bigot). The least we can do is give something back by offering the subjects of our coverage a chance to take swings at us for a change. And who would have guessed? Many of the people we've written about this year were excited to do so (but not McKenna, Ehl, or Archbishop Sartain—who is and always will be remembered as a hateful bigot). MORE...
Howie P.S.: Read "MORE" if you want to hear about the likes of Conlin, Hanauer, Sinderman and Urquhart. I still believe this periodical is the most influential vote-creator around Seattle.

Friday, January 04, 2013

"Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December"

Kevin Drum (Mother Jones):
I'd say we're now living in the worst of all possible worlds: growth isn't high enough to really kick the economy into high gear, but it's not low enough to scare Congress into doing something serious about it. Instead, they just obsess over the deficit. That might be appropriate if we were consistently adding 200,000 net new jobs a month, but it's just plain dumb right now. MORE...
Howie P.S.:I don't know if I would call it "the worst of all possible worlds" but it is certainly not good. It could, however, be worse.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

"Progressive Senators Were Split On Supporting Debt Deal" (with video)

Susie Madrak (CROOKSANDLIARS) with video (08:13):
Sen. Harkin was one of the senators who voted against the fiscal cliff deal, and took to the floor to denounce it Monday night. Which is nice and all, but for once, I'd like to see one of these progressive senators pull the procedural emergency brake and, you know, actually stop these things. There are several of them who get all kinds of favorable press (mostly because we're so starved for anything resembling a progressive hero), but they never actually stop the things we wish they would. MORE...

"The Good and Bad of the Fiscal Cliff Deal"

George Zornick (The Nation):
Many liberals are bashing the deal passed last night by Congress, and not without reason. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly thought this was a bad deal, though he did buck up and support it. There are some key ways this deal falls short. But let’s first credit what’s good about it: MORE...

The Grey Lady Opines on the "wimpy last-minute resolution that solves little and leaves our federal financial state in peril."

New York Times (editorial):
For the first time since President George W. Bush began the country’s long slide into debt by cutting taxes in 2001, an agreement was reached late Monday in the Senate to raise income taxes on the rich. That’s what makes the deal significant: assuming it is approved by the House, it begins to reverse the ruinous pattern of dealing with Washington’s fiscal problems only through spending cuts. Nonetheless, this deal is a weak brew that remains far too generous to the rich and fails to bring in enough revenue to deal with the nation’s deep need for public investments. MORE...

"Dem lawmaker (Adam Smith) laughs at ‘Fox & Friends’ spin on Obama’s fiscal cliff negotiating" (with video)

David Edwards (THE RAW STORY) with video (04:48):
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) couldn’t help but laugh on Monday as he corrected the hosts of Fox & Friends for repeating incorrect Republican talking points about how President Barack Obama handled fiscal cliff negotiations. In an interview following the passage of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” Smith told the Fox News hosts that he had voted no because the bill made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent and did not address sequestration cuts to the military and other programs. MORE...

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

"Obama: There ‘wasn’t support or time’ to negotiate better ‘fiscal cliff’ deal" (with video)

Roxanne Cooper (THE RAW STORY):
Following the U.S. House’s passage of a bill to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” President Barrack Obama addressed the nation. As Raw Story reported earlier: The bill, which will now go to President Obama, will allow tax rates to revert to their pre-Bush levels for Americans with annual incomes over $450,000. That amounts to an estimate $600 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. Despite a Republican demand for budget cuts to be a part of any deal, there are no net spending cuts in the final deal. While he praised the House’s passage of the bill, Obama offered that additional deficit reduction was needed and that he “will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills for laws they have already racked up,” –alluding to yet another debt ceiling showdown due two months from now.

Ezra Klein: "Wonkbook: Everything you need to know about the fiscal cliff deal"

"No Biden, no deal." (ERIC THAYER/REUTERS)

Howie P.S.: Ezra Klein (WaPo) provides us with a round-up of the "deal" and a range of reactions across the political landscape.

Krugman: "Perspective on the Deal"

AP Photo/Alex Brandon-Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican from Nebraska, left, walks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky to the Senate floor for a vote on the fiscal cliff early this morning.

 Paul Krugman (New York Times):
And on the principle of the thing, you could say that Democrats held their ground on the essentials — no cuts in benefits — while Republicans have just voted for a tax increase for the first time in decades. So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling. If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him. MORE...