Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Rep. Smith on MSNBC discussing how to eliminate sequestration" (video)

Adam Smith, video (03:03) from MSNBC.

Matt Taibbi: "Sequestration Cuts Crisis Makes Me Want to Strangle Both Sides"

Matt Taibbi:
In agreeing to this crazy deal a year and a half ago – a deal they were, admittedly, forced into – the Dems banked on the notion that the Republicans would never countenance deep cuts to the Pentagon and in that way leave themselves exposed politically to accusations of making the country less safe. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I'm not sure if I believe Taibbi's argument is False Equivalence 2.0 but it could be.

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Politics and Oscar Night"

Rick Perlstein: (The Nation):
The only thing political about last night’s ceremony, in fact, turned out to be the feminist offense you had to have taken at Seth McFarland’s charming jokes about boob shots and domestic abuse. It used to be different, of course. Before Michael Moore, there was Marlon Brando, who in solidarity with the showdown of armed activists of the American Indian Movement with federal marshals after they seized the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, sent a Native American woman named Sasheen Littlefeather to accept the best actor award on his behalf. MORE...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Governors: Looming cuts threaten economic gains"

Associated Press/Manuel Balce Ceneta - Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, center, seen with National Governors Association Chairman Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware, left, and Vice Chairman Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, speaks during the opening news conference of the NGA Winter Meeting in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. The nation's governors say their states are threatened if the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester, take effect March 1. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) 

STEVE PEOPLES and KEN THOMAS (AP):Washington's protracted budget stalemate could seriously undermine the economy and stall gains made since the recession, exasperated governors said Saturday as they tried to gauge the fallout from impending federal spending cuts. MORE...

"Political Scene: The Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Sequestered" (with audio)

Matthew McKnight (The New Yorker) with audio (22:50):
“What we have now is a government where the notion of solving the problem seems to be secondary to a lot of people in Congress,” George Packer says on this week’s Political Scene podcast. “That’s our political life these days: going from one near-death experience to the next.” MORE...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Democracy Now!: "Sequestration: What do the Automatic Spending Cuts Mean for the Poor, Unemployed and Children?" (video)

Democracy Now! with video:
The word of the month in Washington is “sequestration” or the automatic $85 billion in spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1 unless Congress reaches a deal. What will those cuts mean in real life for the poor, unemployed, sick and children? Reporter Imara Jones of joins us to discuss how the damage will stretch far beyond jobs, forcing a dramatic pullback in critical areas like health, education, housing and food security, especially in already vulnerable and marginalized communities. [Transcript to come. Check back soon.]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

'Critics' or 'haters'?: "Republicans continue to oppose Obama" (video)

MSNBC-The Last Word, video (11:32).
Steve Kornacki and Ari Melber discuss GOP "opposition" to Obama with Lawrence O'Donnell.
Howie P.S. This reminds me of the stories my mother used to tell me about GOP "opposition" to FDR.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Juan Cole: "Holding Obama’s Feet to the Fire: Protest against Climate Change Draws Thousands to Washington" (with video)

Juan Cole with video (01:59):
The ‘Forward on Climate’ protest drew some 40,000 demonstrators to Washington, DC, on Sunday. Although the press tended to cast it as mainly a rally against the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would allow export of Canadian oil produced from tar sands via the Gulf of Mexico, the rally was against policies that accelerate climate change in general. MORE...

Seattle: "The Messy Reality of Legal Pot"

The Messy Reality of Legal Pot
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT-POT STORES "The yellow zones, mostly in industrial areas south of downtown, show where retail marijuana outlets would be allowed under I-502 (the blue zones show where medical marijuana co-ops are allowed under other regulations). While the densest neighborhoods—like Belltown and Capitol Hill—have zero yellow zones, the remaining few pockets in residential areas could become tiny marijuana districts."

Dominic Holden (The Stranger):
The Mayor Courts Pot Entrepreneurs, the Governor Fends Off the Feds, and There's Still Almost Nowhere to Open a Pot Shop in Seattle---Last November, 1.7 million people in Washington State opened their ballots and voted yes on Initiative 502, effectively legalizing marijuana. In the past month, all those individual votes have snowballed into big money, logistical puzzles, and laudable official action as Governor Jay Inslee, state attorney general Bob Ferguson, and the state liquor control board are barreling ahead to create America's first fully regulated pot market.MORE...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Norm Stamper on the Christopher Dorner Fire (with video)

Democracy Now! with video:
Medical examiners in California say they have positively identified the body of former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, the man authorities say killed four people over the past two weeks in a campaign of terror against the LAPD. Dorner’s body was found in the burned-out ruins of a California mountain cabin ending the most extensive manhunt in California’s history. Questions are being raised over whether police intentionally set his hideout on fire after police officials confirmed the use of incendiary tear gas. An audio recording from a police scanner appears to show officials from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department planning to deploy "burners." In another recording that was aired live on the television station KCAL, a police officer can be heard in the background shouting, "We’re going to burn him out," and "Burn it down!” We are joined by former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, who says, "Whether it was intentional or not, a very predictable outcome of deploying seven burners in what appears to have been a wooden cabin would predictably leave it in rubble." [includes rush transcript]

Greetings from Olympia: "A Lack of Clarity" (Morning Fizz with video)

Morning Fizz (PUBLICOLA) with video from tvw:
All in all, the hearing seemed like a clever political move for the Republican-controlled Majority Coalition Caucus; they gave the opposition a hearing—but by lumping all the proposals together they were able to spin the Democrats' as tax fiends: The total hit to taxpayers by lumping all six proposals together (which no one is recommending)? $7.9 billion. "My pen ran out of ink," Republican committee member Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane) said, referring to his attempt to add up the dollars. Another Democratic revenue proposal—one that's estimated to bring in $1.4 billion a biennium (exactly what the state needs to meet its K-12 obligation this cycle)—was MIA at the hearing: Democratic minority leader Sen. Ed Murray's (D-43, Capitol Hill) five percent capital gains tax proposal. Murray reportedly didn't get his proposal on the calendar in time. MORE...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ari Melber: "The Terrible, True Insight of 'House of Cards': Bad People Run D.C."

Ari Melber (The Atlantic):
Money and partisanship matter less in politics than the thirst for power. Netflix's new drama gets that, even if Hollywood often doesn't.
Los Angeles only has three stories to tell about Washington, and House of Cards has picked the most intriguing one. The first story is about money. It's the classic story of Washington as a city for sale. The premise is not only true, but superlatively so, after the most expensive election cycle in history. Yet a financial critique is also convenient for the studios, because it drains politics of most ideological baggage. Take The Campaign, an election-year comedy that grossed $103 million without saying anything about either political party. Its criticisms were confined to campaign spending in the Citizens United era; every other 2012 controversy was so carefully spared, Warner Bros. could have run a disclaimer stating no sacred cows were harmed in the production. MORE...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Seattle: "How high is too high? KIRO tests pot-smoking drivers to find out" (with video)

KIRO 7 with video (07:01):
In a test that’s never before been done in Washington, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News had volunteers smoke marijuana and then put them behind the wheel to show what stoned driving looks like and the danger on the road.

To find out how much marijuana is too much to get behind to wheel, KIRO set up a driving course.

KIRO also recruited drug recognition expert Casey Lee and had marijuana for the volunteers.

“This strain is actually called blueberry train wreck,” said Lee.

As a consultant prepared the marijuana smoking lab, three volunteers each took a practice run on a course set up by the Thurston County Sheriff's Office that was designed to test their basic driving skills.

 In the car with them was Cascade Driving School instructor Mike Jackson, who had a brake on his side of the vehicle for safety.

“I can either grab the wheel or touch the brake and bring them to a safe stop,” said Jackson.

The first volunteer, Addy Norton, is a 27-year-old medical marijuana patient and heavy daily marijuana user who smoked pot before arriving at the test site.

Want to see more of this story than what was in our newscast?  Watch this video with additional footage.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Bruno Mars, Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Sting and Rihanna performing a Bob Marley tribute" (video)

Gossip Cop with video (02:38).  

Howie P.S.: I would have preferred More Damian and Much Less Bruno.

"Obama’s Turn in Bush’s Bind"

 The site of an American drone attack in 2008 in Tappi, a Pakistani village near the Afghan border. President Obama has expanded such strikes (Photo: Haji Mujtaba/Reuters).

 Peter Baker (New York Times):
“I’d argue the shift to more targeted action against A. Q. has been a hallmark of Obama’s approach against terrorism, whereas Iraq was Bush’s signature decision in his global war on terror,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to Mr. Obama, using the initials for Al Qaeda. MORE...

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Must Read: "The Life and Afterlife of Aaron Swartz"

"Swartz speaks against the Stop Online Piracy Act during a New York rally in January 2012." (Photo: Daniel J. Sieradski/DPA/Corbis)

Wesley Yang (New York Magazine):
The precocious coder, hacker visionary, and “pirate” was already a tech legend by the time he’d turned 17. But in the weeks since his suicide last month, at 26, his friends and comrades have tried to turn him into something else—a martyr. MORE....

Friday, February 08, 2013

"‘Left, Right & Center’: Drones and the Saturday Mail Shocker" (with audio) with audio (28:500):
Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the panelists discuss the war over drones that has erupted during confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA director. Should the president be allowed to use unmanned drones to execute a U.S. citizen overseas without due process or judicial review? Will this question become President Obama’s Guantánamo? What should the international norms of behavior be as more countries acquire this technology? Also, the Republican Party tries to redefine itself amid deepening effects of the recession, and the U.S. Postal Service announces it will drop Saturday delivery. Will Obama talk about unemployment in Tuesday’s State of the Union? He skipped the topic altogether in his Inaugural Address. Finally, thoughts on how to make higher education more accessible. Is going online the answer? Joining Scheer and host Matt Miller this week are Byron York and Chrystia Freeland. —Adapted from KCRW by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Jim Hightower on Papantonio: "Drones -- Coming To A Backyard Near You" (video)

golefttv, video (09:06).

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

"Decade After Iraq WMD Speech at UN, Ex-Powell Aide Lawrence Wilkerson Debates Author Norman Solomon" (MUST WATCH with video)

Democracy Now! video (42:00):
Ten years ago this week, a defining moment occurred in the Bush administration’s push to invade Iraq. On Feb. 5, 2003, then-Secretary of State General Colin Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council. His message was clear: Iraq possessed extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein was systematically trying to deceive U.N. inspectors by hiding prohibited weapons. A decade later, we host a debate between Powell’s former aide, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson — who prepared the U.N. speech, only to later renounce it — and media critic Norman Solomon, author of "War Made Easy." "I don’t believe the hype about that presentation having been the ultimate presentation ... that led us to war with Iraq," Wilkerson says of Powell’s speech. "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and others had decided to go to war with Iraq long before Colin Powell gave that presentation. ... It added to the momentum of the war. ... Frankly, we were all wrong. Was the intelligence politicized in addition to being wrong at its roots? Absolutely." In response, Solomon says, "We were not all wrong. As a matter of fact, many experts and activists and researchers, from the get-go, in 2002, were saying that the administration case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was full of holes. ... So, now to say, 'Well, it wasn't just us at the administration; other people believed it,’ people believed it because they were propagandized by the administration, with massive assistance from the mass media."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Michael Isikoff To Rachel Maddow: DOJ Drone Memo Shows Obama Has 'More Elastic' Concept Of Imminent Threats" (with video)

Jack Mirkinson (HuffPo) with video (18:50) from MSNBC-Rachel Maddow:
Maddow noted that the details of the paper, as well as other questions surrounding the Obama administration's policy, are certain to come up when his counterterrorism czar John Brennan faces Congress during his confirmation hearing for CIA director on Thursday. She wondered, in particular, whether the administration thought its rights to kill Americans extended to people inside the United States. MORE...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

"Obama Skeet Shooting Photo Released By White House" (with photo)

Molly Reilly (HuffPo):
The White House released a photo of President Obama skeet shooting on Saturday, following a wave of skepticism about Obama's claim that he participates in the sport "all the time."
The photo, taken on August 4, 2012, shows Obama shooting clay targets at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
The "skeeter" flap began when Obama told The New Republic about his Camp David hobby, raising some eyebrows.
"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos?" Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said earlier this week. "I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him. And I bet I'll beat him."

Friday, February 01, 2013

Timothy Egan: "Right Flight"

Timothy Egan (New York Times):
In early January, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin made another scary appearance in Drudge Report, the Internet aggregator known for recasting all things ho-hum into something breathless and apocalyptic. Pictures of the two worst mass murderers ever were used above a headline: “White House Threatens ‘Executive Orders’ on Guns.” Oh, my. And the executive orders? Well, the president called for a safe and responsible gun owner campaign, better coordination and tracking of sales, and research into the causes and prevention of firearms violence, among other small steps. The Hitler hit was so over-the-top that it prompted the Anti-Defamation League to issue a plea to stop comparisons that are “historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: I am always seeking to promote "local talent" like Mr. Egan. And he is good.