CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 1, 2013

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Good evening.

International Developments

? “Don’t mention the Iraq war, [UK’s] William Hague tells cabinet . . . [sparking] anger from Liberal Democrats”.

? Uh-oh.  “The [UK] government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds–two of whom have been subsequently killed by US drone attacks.”  Emptywheel has more.

? “Syria Rebels Seek Premier-In-Waiting as U.S. Steps Up Help”.

? “When the Jihad Came to Mali“.  Informative article on the major players and movements involved in the Malian conflict.

? “Mali locals say al Qaeda commander dead, France cautious”. Abdelhamid About Zeid,   described as one of the “most feared”, “most ruthless”.

? Many mysteries swirling around the death of Hessam Khoshnevis/Hasan Shateri, the senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard who was killed, “apparently” inside Syria, or possibly Lebanon, in February, or possibly January, by Israeli agents, or possibly Syrian rebels, etc.

? Bangladesh rioting continues–37 now reported dead–over “a controversial death sentence handed down against the head  of an Islamic party for war crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war of independence.”

International Finance

? Every 3 years in India, in “less than three months. . .  a tent city [is built] for 2m residents complete with hard roads, toilets, running water, electricity, food shops, garbage collection and well-manned police stations”.  Why not erect such “pop-up megacities” for the millions living in poverty throughout India every day?

Money Matters USA

? “Hospitals across the country will face significant job losses, service reductions and other belt-tightening measures . . .” as the $85 billion in cuts looms, thanks to that Washington, DC creation,  The Sequester.

?  David Dayen on Lanny Breuer’s lonnnnng goodbye.

? Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA)–both serving on the Senate Banking Committee–are going to “push legislation to break up the ‘megabanks.'”

? “Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Strongest Pace Since 2011″.

? In 2012, the “U.S. jobless rate declined by 0.8 percentage points . . ., to 8.1 percent.”

? Consumer spending rose 0.2% in January, “partly reflecting higher heating bills.”  Meanwhile, US “incomes slumped by the most in 20 years“.

? “Chrysler To Invest $400 Million In Indiana Plants, Create Over 1000 Jobs”.

? As the horsemeat scandal continues in Europe, the US Dept. of Agriculture “is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico in the next two months”.  Meanwhile, “Tobacco Firms Save $1 Billion With Kitty Litter in Cigars“.

Politics USA

? The revolving door:  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)’s “long-time senior adviser”, Barry Jackson, is joining a lobbying firm as a “strategic adviser”.  Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ)’s legislative director, Elizabeth Maier, went to work for the same firm Feb 25th.  The firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, has some interesting specialties (water, environment, real estate, gaming, mergers and acquisitions, etc.). Have fun.

? Republicans are unhappy with Secretary of Defense John Kerry.

? Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KY) on President Obama’s wanting to close the tax loophole on corporate jets:  “The President’s fixation on corporate jets stands in direct contrast with his supposed desire to help the aviation industry and create jobs.”  Say what?

? Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano said the announcement that immigration officials were releasing several hundred detainees ahead of sequester cuts could have been better timed.

? Cool analysis of the Bob Woordward-White House “threat” memos. Video.

? IL 2nd Congressional District Republicans seem to have “nominated ex-[20-year]convict Paul McKinley to run for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)’s old seat.

? Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) condemns Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover which is being “slammed as racist”.

MI Gov. Rick Snyder (R)  to announce today he will declare a state of emergency for Detroit and appoint an emergency manager to take over the city “handle the dire finances”.  Update:  Announcement made.

? Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio fell down and broke his arm.  Video.

? “Dr. Gary Brechin, project scholar for the Living New Deal at the University of California, Berkeley . . . is engaged in the effort to save the U.S. Post Office as a public trust, as well as the people’s art commissioned as a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.”  Much more.

Justice USA

? BP’s trial got underway this week, “the most significant trial ever brought under environmental laws.”  Did BP put “profits before safety”?  Should the blame be “spread around”?  Did BP ignore a “‘kick’ in the well”?  Why were there two sets of data?  Etc.

? Rachel Maddow & Jon Stewart on Antonin Scalia, the Troll. Video.

? “In the first trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest, Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges after his lawyers presented video evidence directly contradicting the version of events offered by police and prosecutors.”

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Stan Druckenmiller, “one of the best-performing hedge fund managers of the past three decades” is fomenting war between the elderly and the youth.

? “On Purposely Getting Arrested, to Get Life-Saving Surgery”.  Factual, moving account written by a physician who specializes in organ transplant, including for the poor.

Women & Children

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America in his race for John Kerry’s old Senate seat.

? Republicans in the House who voted against the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization who may be running for the Senate in 2014.  Look at that GA line-up!

? AR legislature just overturned Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks.

Planet Earth News

? E-mail and mail addresses for submitting Keystone XL Pipeline comments to the US State Dept. are contained here.  Official State Dept. updates are to be posted here.

? “Public concern in environmental issues including global warming, the loss of species and air pollution [is] at its lowest level in two decades.”

? “Size of Wales”  collects donations to save the rainforest–beginning with a part of it equivalent to the size of Wales.  More than £1m was collected, then matched.  Next: “Size of Europe”!

Mixed Bag

? 3D printers?  Pffffft.  Scientists at MIT are working on 4D ones.

Break Time

? Route 66

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