This weekend marked one year since an earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated the coast of the northeastern Japan. Here are remarkable images of recovery - 12 months on. [...]
Read The Full Article:
Tantalizing new evidence suggests that one of the constants of American politics -- namely, that Medicare costs are on an ever-steepening upward curve that threaten the fiscal solvency of the federal government -- may not be so constant after all. Sahil[...]
Read The Full Article:
Palin has only herself to blame for how horribly she came off, but as she was the most hotly sought-after interview in the world at the time, the McCain campaign could have picked and chosen and been cleverly calculating about which journalist would win the prize. Wallace was responsible for one of the great blunders in political advance work of modern media history. – Back Stab, by John Podhoretz
HBO’s “Game Change” is great fun to watch, with Sarah Palin to Julianne Moore what Margaret Thatcher was to Meryl Streep.
Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt gives an early take to what Sarah Palin says about the Queen Elizabeth II that is so priceless he deserves a mention simply for that one look.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Nicole Wallace says HBO’s film is ?true enough to make me squirm.? Only she can deliver that assessment, because she was there. As an expert on what happened in 2008, HBO’s “Game Change” covers only the 60-day period inside the bubble McCain-Palin bubble.
So watching it it’s as if the McCain campaign thought of putting a woman on the Republican ticket for the first time in history on a lark. Because they simply needed a galvanizing moment against the phenomenon that Barack Obama had become. They did and Danny Strong adapted the book as it is, with Heilemann and Halperin missing it for the same reason the women in “Game Change” fare less well than the men.
But then something happened on the way to the Republican convention in St. Paul–and, presto chango, there was Palin. – Game Change, page 353, chapter “Sarahcuda”
The telling of the 2008 story of Clinton in “Game Change” is one of the reasons I knew I had to write The Hillary Effect, even though in the era of Obama it wouldn’t be an easy road.
Clinton’s rip roaring primary finish put us in a moment in time where not only 18 million cracks in the ultimate glass ceiling had occurred, but we’d just watched the heavyweight championship political match of modern history that nominated the first African American. However, Hillary’s loss had left many of her supporters bereft, unwilling even to let go. It wasn’t “presto-chango, there was Palin.” It was the Hillary Effect, as well as the fantasy that her voters would vote for McCain-Palin in big numbers.
As historic as Clinton’s candidacy was and what she accomplished through it, McCain picking Sarah Palin was a first in Republican history, too. They certainly knew it, which is why they went searching for a woman on Google.
But the most stunning missing piece in “Game Change” is that John McCain once again is completely un-examined. He’s funny and profane, sweet and un-involved, but that’s never examined in the way Sarah Palin is.
John McCain is portrayed as a guy who just happened to be the nominee, but who had absolutely no responsibility for choosing Sarah Palin in the first place. Throughout the HBO film, John McCain, played by Ed Harris, who never gets to deliver anything but a one dimensional character because the script won’t let him, seems like a passenger to the plot.
There’s got to be a villain, so who is it?
John Podhoretz supplies it and he blames the whole thing on Nicole Wallace, but also Steve Schmidt. Perhaps if John McCain hadn’t run such a disastrous campaign no one would have talked.
Nicolle Wallace was the onetime consultant to CBS News and media aide to George W. Bush who was assigned to work with Sarah Palin after the Alaska governor was chosen as John McCain?s running mate. It was Wallace who assured the McCain campaign that her dear friend Katie Couric, a committed liberal with a history of interviewing Republicans and conservatives in a quietly nasty way, was the right journalist to conduct a major early interview with the extremely conservative vice-presidential nominee.
How is it that John McCain never has to answer for anything, not even choosing Sarah Palin?
This has been going on for years.
Tiptoeing around McCain’s political malpractice in allowing Palin to be chosen continues the kid glove treatment that he’s always gotten. He’s as Teflon, except to the Rush Limbaugh crowd, as Ronald Reagan, someone who couldn’t get nominated today.
In my book, I certainly do not give Hillary the same courtesy and no one should. In “What If” in my book, the price is paid for the disastrous campaign Hillary ran, but especially for the man she let run it, Mark Penn. But that’s on her, too, because it was her campaign.
Danny Strong’s adaptation and the stellar direction by Jay Roach focus on Palin’s catastrophic gaffes, gaps in knowledge and emotional meltdowns, because it’s where the drama lies.
Sarah Palin’s candidacy fell apart because she was completely unready for the role. But Palin’s talent as a political performer was real as we saw in 2010 when she helped lead the Tea Party to prowess that opened out on a colossal midterm for the right. It’s the historic losses Democrats suffered in the midterm that began the Republican war on women.
Though it’s not a part of “Game Change” history and doesn’t belong in HBO’s film, it’s important to note that Sarah Palin ended up coming to the aid of Sen. McCain’s and helped get him re-elected. Who knows, maybe she’ll one day hold his Senate seat.
“Iron Lady” didn’t get Margaret Thatcher right, though Meryl Streep did and got an Oscar for it.
HBO’s “Game Change” gets Sarah Palin right and so did Julianne Moore. But like in the book, it’s Sarah Palin’s fault or maybe it’s all Nicole Wallace’s fault, with the men never blamed or even examined much, except for someone vetting her in 5 short days.
In “Game Change,” whatever version you’re considering, it’s always the woman’s fault.
It’s why I have a chapter in my book of the same title “It’s Always the Woman’s Fault.” Because when men write the story it is.
That’s the way it was in 2008, but it’s not anymore.
Click here to view this media
This is just bizarre.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Graham, let me ask you about Afghanistan, some news breaking this morning. An American soldier reports that he went -- went rogue and essentially killed at least 15 Afghan civilians. Everyone is bracing now for another backlash, similar to what we saw after the burning of the Korans.
You've raised some serious questions about the mission, even though you do support it. Are you getting worried that it's not sustainable?
GRAHAM: No, I believe, one, this is tragic and will be investigated, and that soldier will be held accountable for his actions under the military justice system. Unfortunately, these things happen in war. You had an Israeli soldier kill worshippers by the Dome of the Rock mosque. You just have to push through these things.
Yeah, I'm sure if an Afghan national walked into a shopping mall and slaughtered 16 Americans -- including 9 children -- Graham's response would be, "Well, sh*t happens. Onward."
So what should we do, Lindsey?
GRAHAM: My recommendation to the public is, listen to General Allen, who comes back in two weeks. The surge of forces has really put the Taliban on the defensive. The Afghan army is better trained and better equipped than ever. The goal is to withdraw our forces by 2014, put Afghans in the lead, and I hope a strategic partnership agreement, George, between the United States and Afghanistan will stop the narrative we're leaving, that there will be a follow-on force post-2014 with air bases and special forces units to make sure the Taliban never come back, and at NATO we'll stay past 2014.
We can win this thing. We can get it right.
So, let's stay at least another two years, kill a bunch more people, and then -- we win!
First things first, I’m not Irish. I have some Scottish blood mixed with my all-American mutt lineage, which may make me a stone’s throw from it. But when St Paddy’s Day rolls around, we can all be Irish for a day. The idea of a simple, rustic cuisine based on local, peasant ingredients appeals to everyone. For vegetarians, well, we skip the corned beef and go straight to the cabbage. The story of the potato famine is well-known, a lesson we have been learning over and over since pre-history. A population …Some food ideas for the big Irish day coming up.
If you haven’t eaten your last hamburger yet, this video should do it. I know I’m done.
Because, you know, that's how all prosecutions work in the U.S. ? no smoking gun and the murderer / drug dealer / black driver in the "differently-hued" neighborhood skates. Because we, a forgiving people, have such high standards for who goes to jail in America.
Sorry, I forget myself. I was thinking of a country with Rule of Law. Our own murderers / drugsters / wrongly-hued will never get off. The whiff of a possibility of a crime, and you could even end up in solitary for years on end.
Only the 0.01% always escape justice. It's the old old story: "Rule of Law for thee; skatage for me and my friends." The wicked prize itself buys out the law; after all, it's why that money exists.
NY Times (h/t Masaccio; my emphases):
When the money first went missing, prosecutors in New York and Chicago scrambled to stake a claim. Now, four months later, both Preet S. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, his counterpart in Chicago, are shying away from leading the case, one of those people involved in the case said.That's the Patrick Fitzgerald, hero of the aggressively-cautious failed Cheney prosecution. And Preet Bharara? He's this upstanding fellow.
Indeed, a number of federal prosecutors have expressed doubts to others involved in the case that anyone at MF Global ? including the firm?s chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, and back-office employees in Chicago ? intentionally misused customer money, said people involved in the case who were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.
[Jon Corzine is] a Top 0.1% in spades: a Goldman CEO, a senator, a governor, and a major Dem fundraiser in an election year. If he does see a jail or a courtroom, it will be revolutionary.Now if the anonymous source had said, "Corzine's headed for the slammer" ahead of the official announcement ? that's a candidate for unauthorized leaker (also a candidate for unemployed prosecutor).
$1.2 billion disappears, but that isn?t a smoking gun[?] What?s the matter with these people? ... See, if it was Just One of those Things, then it wasn?t a crime. If you accidentally dip into my bank account and use it to pay your debts ... that just isn?t a crime. Circumstantial evidence isn?t enough to prove a crime any more [for the elite perpetrators]. You have to have an e-mail from someone saying: ?I?m going to use customer funds to pay counterparties of MF Global.?Masaccio wants to let a jury of their peers decide the case. A former prosecutor himself, he lays out the prosecution and defenses deftly. Do read; it's fascinating.
Investigators are closing in on the money. Within a week of bankruptcy, MF Global sent $165 million to an account at JPMorgan from an account that held segregated customer funds. Someone at MF Global instructed the back office to do it, and someone authorized the transaction. But we can?t expect a US Attorney, say Preet Bharara in New York, or Pat Fitzgerald in Chicago, to go to a Grand Jury and say something like this.The payment was authorized by these defendants. Those defendants knew how much cash MF Global had, and they did nothing to stop the first defendants from paying more than that to counterparties. Here are the records.
Source: ForexYard Robust US Jobs Report Boosts Greenback
A better than expected US Non-Farm Payrolls figure boosted the USD against its main currency rivals to close out last week's trading session. In yet another sign that the economic recovery is moving forward, the US added 227K jobs in February. The news led to significant dollar gains against the euro, Japanese yen and Swiss franc. This week, traders will want to focus on a batch of data out of the US, including retail sales figures on Tuesday and a speech from Fed Chairman Bernanke on Wednesday. Positive data could lead to additional dollar gains.Economic News USD – Non-Farm Report Leads to Major USD Gains
Positive US employment . . . → Read More: Robust US Jobs Report Boosts Greenback
Read The Full Article:
Gary Randall of Protect Marriage Washington, the group trying to overturn marriage equality in Washington state with Referendum 74, is not pleased that activist Paul Thomasson is reaching out to individuals who signed Referendum 71 in 2009. In a rant at the Faith & Freedom Network, Randall calls Thomasson a “hard core homosexual activist” and threatens equality opponents not to respond because Thomasson will reveal their identities:
He is posting every response on his website and now with KOMO reporting on it, more people will be directed to the site. I would suggest you not respond to him, however if you do, please know that your comments and probably your name will be further publicized to his readers. KOMO proudly reports, “Thomasson ‘s campaign may actually be working.” From what I’m seeing on the I-1192 petition reports, his efforts don’t seem to be working at all. The response is terrific. I am certain it will be on R-74 as well.
A quick visit to Thomasson’s site, where he has published the 66 responses he has so far received, reveals that he is only publishing first names, intentionally protecting the anonymity of the individuals who reply. Further, while Randall is generally correct that most of the responses maintain an opposition to marriage equality, Thomasson’s project already boasts two important achievements: 1) The fact that any of the petitioners have rethought their position and may decline to sign Referendum 74 represents successful progress. 2) The responses cast a sincere glimpse into the religious motivations and anti-gay animus behind those who would try to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry. These responses arguably reflect quite negatively on a campaign that claims to be “protecting” marriage, as opposed to depriving couples of it, and they could prove useful both in Washington and other states fighting ballot campaigns related to same-sex marriage.
Sixty percent of Americans see the war in Afghanistan as not worth the costs and only 35 percent say the ten-year effort has been worth the monetary and human costs according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Majorities of Democrats and independents think the war is not worth the costs and, for the first time in five years of polling, Republicans are evenly split on whether the war has been worth the price. Overall, 54 percent of Americans want to see a withdrawal from Afghanistan even if the Afghan Army is not prepared to carry on the fight.