Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

25 May 2010 10:40


Politics: The White House has lots of non-answer answers on Joe Sestak

  • I don’t think any questions will be left unanswered on this.
  • Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod • Not really answering the questions about the job the administration reportedly offered Joe Sestak to not run against Arlen Specter. While the administration has said the situation was legal and vetted by a lawyer, they’ve declined to give any further details. It’s a situation that’s giving Congress fits. They want an investigation of the situation, not assurances that it’s legal. source

25 Apr 2010 11:36


U.S.: Is the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court as “liberal” as they say it is?

  • Short answer: kinda. Longer answer: It used to be very liberal. With the controversy around Obama appointee Goodwin Liu taking shape, much of the bad-talking has been around the court he was recommended for. The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has a rep driven in part by its decision against using the phrase “under god,” and the Supreme Court’s consistent rulings against its decisions. But let’s throw some numbers at you guys and let you decide.
  • 88% the rate the Supreme Court has reversed its recent decisions between 2008 and 2009
  • 12k the number of cases the court heard last year – far higher than any of the other appeals courts
  • 58% of the court’s appointees came from Democratic presidencies, the highest rate of any appeals court
  • » Why does it lean liberal? Simply put, Jimmy Carter was in office during a period when this circuit court was expanded, and it allowed him to throw in 15 liberal-leaning judges. The geographic area is more liberal, too. But this has eased in recent years, due to the fact that those judges got old and Bush appointed seven of the 27 judges currently on the court. source

16 Nov 2009 10:23


World: U.S. to Pakistan: Increase your efforts against the Taliban

  • The U.S. says Afghan troop increase useless without more Pakistan help. Question: If you’re trying to smoke out a group like the Taliban, do you focus on one country when they’re clearly seeping into another one? Of course not. Which is why the U.S. is trying to increase pressure on Pakistan, sending Gen. James L. Jones (along with a sternly-written letter) to make a case for an expanded effort. In fact, some officials advocating minimal troop increases suggest that it’s merely a matter of keeping the Taliban smoked out near Pakistan. We’ll see. source

19 Oct 2009 10:37


U.S.: Daily Poll: Toking on Obama’s lax medical marijuana policy

  • The Obama administration does not plan to go after medical marijuana users not breaking state laws. This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Tommy Chong could probably restart his mail-order bong business. It’s a big reversal from the Bush administration. But is it what the country needed? Vote above. source

12 Sep 2009 13:01


16 Jul 2009 16:43


U.S.: Hilary sez she’s still doing her job OK even with a ganked elbow

  • Her words: “I broke my elbow, not my larynx.” Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has been out of the spotlight for a few weeks because of a broken elbow, but she still has a full role in the Obama administration, trashing on critics who say otherwise. Her only problem? The vetting process is so tough that administration officials are still not in their positions six months after the inauguration – they want to guarantee clean politics, apparently. source

10 Jun 2009 20:49


Politics, Tech: Google: You mean the DOJ is investigating us? Pssh, whatever!

  • They wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t taking a look at all the industries people are telling them to take a look at.
  • Dana Wagner • Google’s competition counsel, on the Obama administration’s investigation of the search engine giant. To explain how much the government’s all over Google, we’re going to pretend to be like The Count here. One government inquiries. Ah-TWO government inquiries. NO! THREE government inquiries! • source

01 Jun 2009 21:12


Biz, U.S.: Currently on Obama’s plate: Financial industry regulation

  • How do we make sure this never happens again? Re-invent FDIC? Kill the Office of Thrift Supervision? Throw out the rule book? The Obama administration is considering all sorts of MacGyver-like techniques to prevent future financial industry screw-ups. Don’t expect them to combine a bunch of organizations together like a puzzle, though. Obama doesn’t think he’ll get enough political support for that, and even some of his closest colleagues in Congress think it’s a bad idea. source

26 May 2009 19:03


Culture, U.S.: Why we love the White House’s official Flickr page

Obama with Joe Biden and Sonia Sotomayor
  • Seriously, the photos they run are arguably better than the ones the Associated Press or any other wire service come up with. It’s yet another example of how the Obama administration is the best-designed administration ever. And, BTW, the photos are all public domain. :) source

14 May 2009 08:01


Biz, U.S.: Former treasury secretary Paulson strong-armed the banks

  • If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware that your regulator will require it in any circumstance. We don’t believe it is tenable to opt out because doing so would leave you vulnerable and exposed.
  • Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson • In a one-page memo of talking points prepared for a meeting last October, when he essentially forced the hand of nine banks the Bush administration felt were “central to any solution” to the credit crisis. The situation already sucked enough; did they really need to be strongarmed? • source