** Chris Spannos, editor of the New York Times eXaminer, discusses the mainstream media's coverage of Occupy Wall Street with Kalle Lasn, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Adbusters magazine, and author of "Culture Jam." Lasn's Adbusters first proposed Occupy Wall Street. Includes audio. ...
... My column in today's New York Times eXaminer is on David Brooks' comparison of Mitt Romney & Newt Gingrich. I incorporate remarks on Krugman's column, linked below. ...
... Paul Krugman compares the real Willard Romney with the fictional Gordon Gekko of "Wall Street." Main difference: the SEC gave the fictional character his comeuppance; Romney's still around bragging about his "business expertise," an expertise that meant more money for him and his wealthy partners, fewer jobs for Americans. ...
CW: AND the views of A Brain-Dead Simpleton (that would be me) on today's Off Times Square. Plus, I'm interested in hearing your own views on HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' decision not to allow OTC sale of the morning-after Plan B pill. (See also today's Ledes & yesterday's Commentariat & OTS.) ...
... More "Science Takes a Holiday" from Bryan Walsh of Time on the Obama Administration's Plan B politics.
If you think Jon Stewart is just a comedian, you have another think coming:
Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast: "Already under fire from Catholics, the Obama administration clearly caved to conservative pressure when it overruled an FDA decision to expand the accessibility of a morning-after pill.... What’s confusing, though, is why the White House thinks it’s a smart strategy to try and appease its foes while infuriating its friends." CW: Obviously, what is needed and which just as obviously won't happen, is for Obama to overrule HHS Secretary Sebelius. It would be a smart, dramatic move. It would also be, you know, the ethical, humane and scientifically-supported thing to do. But this is politics. Some little girls will just have to have babies. BTW, all other arguments aside, does anybody think pregnancy is not a health risk for young girls? This is stupid and cruel any way you look at it.
Bob Reich on President Obama's Osawatomie speech: "Here, finally, is the Barack Obama many of us thought we had elected in 2008. Since then we’ve had a president who has only reluctantly stood up to the moneyed interests Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin Franklin stood up to." ...
... Here is a very fine post from Charles Pierce titled "President Obama Does Not Fully Understand the 99 Percent." With great irreverence, Pierce often gets to the heart of the political dynamic, and this is one of those times.
Jonathan Bernstein of the Washington Post: Senate Republicans' successful filibuster of Richard Cordray, President Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is yet another instance of "a radical tactic that defies Senate and Constitutional norms as they were understood from the dawn of the republic up through 2008." Here's the President on the filibuster:
Oops! Matt Yglesias of Salon: while whining that his tax rate was too high, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who is also president of the One Percenters Whiners' Club (a hotly-contested position with fellow 1%ers constantly jockeying to topple Dimon), accidentally said he'd be fine with the tax increase President Obama has proposed for millionaires & billionaires.
Adam Sorensen of Time: having flamed out in its attempt to turn Elizabeth Warren into an Occupy Wall Street anarchist, Crossroads GPS, a/k/a Karl Rove & Friends, has done a 180, putting out an ad claiming Warren is Wall Street's BFF. Pretty soon, Karl, even the disengaged voter may notice your ads are stunning, contradictory lies. With video I won't run. ...
... Lawrence O'Donnell speaks to Prof. Warren, where they discuss this ad & the Senate Republicans' refusal to allow a confirmation vote for Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
Prof. Eric Segall, writing in Slate, makes the case that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from hearing the Affordable Care Act challenge coming before the court. Segall says he is a liberal Democrat who supports the law.
Andrew Grossman of the Wall Street Journal: "New York University plans to offer two classes next semester on [Occupy Wall Street], whose participants frequently marched and rallied around the school’s Greenwich Village campus this fall. The for-credit undergraduate class, offered through the university’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, examines economy and culture."
Right Wing World
Vicki Needham of The Hill: "GOP leaders hope to build momentum for an end-of-year tax package with sweeping reforms to federal unemployment benefits. The Republican proposal is expected to reduce the total number of weeks unemployed workers are eligible for aid by as much as 40 weeks and tighten rules for eligibility." See also today's Ledes. ...
... Digby on "the next step in our Randian dystopia: stigmatize the unemployed."
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry is out with a new television ad in Iowa that accuses President Obama of engaging in a 'war on religion' and criticizes his decision to overturn the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy for gays in the military. 'I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,' the Texas governor says in the spot. 'But you don’t have to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion, and I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.'” Includes embedded ad.
Rick Perry Comes out of the Closet. Matt Ortega of AmericaBlog: "Rick Perry launched an anti-gay ad called, 'Strong.' In the ad, he attacks gays openly serving in the armed forces. As it turns out, the gays get their revenge... the jacket Rick Perry wore in the ad? Heath Ledger wore it in 'Brokeback Mountain.'" CW: I won't run the original ad, but this follow-up is pretty sweet:
... And here's another F/U from Andy Cobb of Second City:
... Jon Bershad of Mediaite has a post on the Perry ad titled "The Internet Really Hates Rick Perry and His 'Gay Soldiers Are Killing Christmas' Ad" that includes another spoof too yucky for me to post.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "The nation's highest court late Friday temporarily blocked the interim court-drawn boundaries that form state legislative and congressional districts for next year's election. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an emergency challenge by Texas Republicans to determine which maps should be used in next year's elections in Texas, setting Jan. 9 as the date they will hear arguments."
New York Times: "European leaders, meeting until the early hours of Friday, agreed to sign an intergovernmental treaty that would require them to enforce stricter fiscal and financial discipline in their future budgets. But efforts to get unanimity among the 27 members of the , as desired by Germany, failed as Britain and Hungary refused to go along for now. Importantly, all 17 members of the European Union that use agreed to the new treaty, along with six other countries who wish to join the currency union one day." ...
... Guardian: "Britain is facing isolation in Europe after David Cameron vetoed a revision of the Lisbon treaty, prompting a majority of EU members to agree to draw up their own deal outside the architecture of the union. In one of the most significant developments in Britain's 38-year membership of the EU, the British prime minister said early on Friday morning he could not allow a "treaty within a treaty" that would undermine the UK's position in the single market."
BBC: "Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border. Images show Iranian military officials inspecting the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which appears to be undamaged." ...
... Fox "News": "U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News that images aired by Iranian state television do in fact show the secret U.S. drone that went down last week in eastern Iran."
New York Times: "President Obama, who took office pledging to put science ahead of politics, averted a skirmish with conservatives in the nation’s culture wars on Thursday by endorsing his health secretary’s decision to block over-the-counter sales of an after-sex contraceptive pill to girls under age 17."
The Hill: "Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama's jobs plan — a bill to extend the payroll tax cut — for the second week in a row on Thursday. The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48. It would have cut the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent from the current 4.2 percent while funding itself by imposing a surtax on millionaires." ...
... New York Times: "Pivoting to challenge President Obama and Senate Democrats, House Republicans said Thursday that they would forge ahead with a payroll tax holiday bill that includes an oil pipeline opposed by the president and that looks to changes in social programs to pay for the tax cut and added unemployment benefits."
ABC News: "The Supreme Court will meet behind closed doors on Friday to take a first look at a challenge to Arizona's strict immigration law and decide whether or not to take up the case. The law, passed in April 2010, is one of several recent attempts by various states to play a more aggressive role in immigration-related matters. The Obama administration challenged the Arizona law as soon as it passed, arguing that it interferes with existing federal law."
New York Times: "Jon S. Corzine, who came to Washington in 2001 as a Democratic senator from New Jersey, made a humbling return on Thursday, defending his tenure as MF Global’s top executive and sounding a note of contrition about the brokerage firm’s startling collapse. Mr. Corzine told the House Agriculture Committee that he was 'stunned' when he learned late on Oct. 30 that about $1 billion of customer money could not be located, a discovery that thwarted a sale of the firm and led to its filing for bankruptcy."
Guardian: "Vladimir Putin has accused Hillary Clinton ... of fomenting an increasingly vociferous opposition movement in Russia, threatening to derail the two countries' fragile resetting of relations."
Washington Post: "The leaders of a congressional committee investigating the Dover Air Force Base mortuary said Thursday that they would broaden their probe to include all military burial practices over the past decade, including reports that partial remains of hundreds of war dead were incinerated and dumped in a Virginia landfill."
AP: "The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished years ago in Iran, issued a plea to his kidnappers Friday and, for the first time, released a hostage video they received from his unidentified captors. The video message released on the Levinson family’s website publicly transformed the mysterious disappearance into an international hostage standoff. Despite a lengthy investigation, however, the U.S. government has no evidence of who is holding the 63-year-old father of seven."
The Apprentices Decline. ABC News: "Michele Bachmann has officially said 'no' to the Donald Trump-moderated Newsmax debate scheduled for later this month.... So, this leaves just two candidates — Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — who plan to show up at the Dec. 27 event in Des Moines. Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Ron Paul have all declined to attend. Perry became the latest to decline Trump’s invitation on Thursday."