News PM Punch — ‘Hero’

November 21, 2013

newsmanCrystal clear with bit of a chilled breeze this Thursday afternoon on California’s north coast — not a wisp of a cloud in sight. Typical day for these parts, bright sunshine with a little bite to the air.

Politics seems the front-burner news item — President Obama dashed again upon the rocks of public disfavor, and apparently Harry Reid pulled a nuclear in the US Senate.
And journalism politics, or an example of unclear on the concept was upchucked at the Washington Post.

Obama appears to slowly being sucked down the rabbit hole: According to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, 41 percent of Americans approve of the job the President’s doing in the White House, the lowest level for that crucial indicator in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent questioned say they disapprove of Obama’s performance, an all-time high in CNN surveys.
Despite, or maybe because of it, Obama’s tenure in the White House being ragged by the most-obstinate asshole obstructionists in US history, the first year of his second term has been the shits on his own accord — from FBI snooping, the NSA snooping, the Obamacare blow-out, amongst a shit list he’s looking incompetent and bewildered.

As the president slides away, today in the Senate, Harry Reid apparently grew a pair and popped the GOP in the nuts. Republicans in reality are no more than a screaming, flaming mob of half-crazies and full-blown assholes whose only aim in political life it seems is to mess with Obama — they failed as Mitch McConnell once boasted, and Obama made a second term.
Reid led a charge to strip the GOP’s use of the “filibuster” to block whatever — Republicans have obstructed the nomination of three recent Obama picks for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, one just this past Monday, and now supposedly much-easier sailing.

Emily Bazelon at Slate says the move is long overdue:

The filibuster is anti-democratic.
It gives a minority of representatives from a minority of states a stranglehold over the country and in particular over the president’s power of appointment.
The filibuster is not in the Constitution, barely existed before 1917, and didn’t take on anything like its current form until the middle of the 20th century.
Only very recently has it become the monster it is now.
It is past time for the filibuster to go, and damn the conventional wisdom about the consequences.

This could turn into a shit-storm, but finally a bowel-blockage removed.

And meanwhile, the little limelight too dim for famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward — seems he would have played Eddie Snowden differently.
Via Poynter:

In an interview with Larry King scheduled to run Thursday night, Bob Woodward talked about NSA leaker Edward Snowden. “I wish he’d come to me instead of others, particularly The Guardian, and I would have said to him ‘let’s not reveal who you are. Let’s make you a protected source and give me time with this data and let’s sort it out and present it in a coherent way,’ ” Woodward tells King.

And continues:

I think people are confused about whether it’s illegal, whether it’s bad, whether it’s bad policy.
So, what he did, and it’s pretty clear he’s held some things back, and he has said he didn’t want to do anything that he deemed harmful.
Now, you know, clearly broke the law, like Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers broke the law.
And we’re going to see.
I wouldn’t…I certainly wouldn’t call him a hero.

And the twist of the nutmeg. Of course, Bob. And what’s the ‘coherent‘ format?
Woodward is a rich, smug asshole who’s now a DC Village scribe. And super rich.

Barton Gellman, the main Post journalist involved with reporting on the antics of the NSA, wasn’t too pleased with Bob — WTF would be a better sense of the episode.
HuffPost has the whole story — some money snips:

Gellman has led The Washington Post’s recent coverage of the National Security Agency, with Snowden as his source.
“I can’t explain why Bob would insult the source who brought us this extraordinary story or the exemplary work of his colleagues in pursuing it,” Gellman said in an email to HuffPost Thursday.
“The ‘others’ he dismissed include [The Washington Post’s] Greg Miller, Julie Tate, Carol Leonnig, Ellen Nakashima, Craig Whitlock, Craig Timberg, Steven Rich and Ashkan Soltani — all of whom are building on the Snowden archive with me to land scoop after scoop,” Gellman continued.
“I won’t get into why Snowden came to me or didn’t come to Bob.
But the idea of keeping Snowden anonymous, or of waiting for one ‘coherent’ story, suggests that Bob does not understand my source or the world he lived in.”

I don’t believe Bob thinks/understands outside the DC bubble.
This another story with legs.

And as we tramp our way into the holiday season, a new, modern version of “welfare queen.”
Barry Ritholtz at Bloomberg:

No, the new welfare queens are even bigger, richer and less deserving of taxpayer support.
The two biggest welfare queens in America today are Wal-Mart and McDonald’s.
This issue has become more known as we learn just how far some companies have gone in putting their employees on public assistance.
According to one study, American fast food workers receive more than $7 billion dollars in public assistance.
As it turns out, McDonald’s has a “McResource” line that helps employees and their families enroll in various state and local assistance programs.
It exploded into the public when a recording of the McResource line advocated that full-time employees sign up for food stamps and welfare.
Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private sector employer, is also the biggest consumer of taxpayer supported aid.
According to Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Wal-Mart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients.
They are also the single biggest group of food stamp recipients.
Wal-mart’s “associates” are paid so little, according to Grayson, that they receive $1,000 on average in public assistance.
These amount to massive taxpayer subsidies for private companies.

What a crock.

And this makes me feel better (via USAToday): Those who drank a cup of caffeinated coffee had a 30 percent increase in vascular function in the index finger over a 75-minute period, compared with those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
Time to finish the day — won’t be too long before morning coffee and that hyped-up index finger.

(Illustration above found here).

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