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WilliamPitt

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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,467

Journal Archives

RELEASED: State Dept. Keystone XL assessment

It's here: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/03/205548.htm

WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/keystone-xl-pipeline-will-not-have-huge-impact-on-climate-draft-analysis-says/2013/03/01/715491b0-82a5-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html

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(previous post)

...in the mother of all Friday news dumps, it seems. Doesn't bode well.

US State Dept. to issue assessment of Keystone XL on Friday

The U.S. State Department will release on Friday a long-awaited draft environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would link Canada's oil sands to Texas refineries, several government sources said.

The State Department will release the assessment of TransCanada Corp's pipeline, which will examine a new route in Nebraska as well as emissions associated with the pipeline, the sources said.

The department declined an official comment.

The rest: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/usa-keystone-idUSL1N0BTD8120130301

Battling Feminist Burnout

Battling Feminist Burnout
By Jessica Valenti
The Nation

March 1, 2013

Feminists got two great pieces of news on the violence against women front this week. First, the Violence Against Women Act was passed—and not the watered-down Republican one either! This version of VAWA contained protections for the LGBT community and allows Native American courts to prosecute non-Native perpetrators on tribal land.

Then we learned that Girls Gone Wild—the exploitative porn empire that targets young intoxicated women—filed for bankruptcy. As I said on Twitter, I’m pretty sure a feminist angel got her wings as proprietor Joe Francis signed on the dotted line.

But in the same week we got this great news, a rape survivor at the University of North Carolina was threatened with expulsion for “intimidating” her rapist by becoming an anti-rape activist, there was another attack on Planned Parenthood, a Kansas bill moved forward that would allow doctors to lie to pregnant women in an effort to prevent them for getting abortions and a 9 year old girl of color—a child—was called a “c*nt.” One step forward, twenty steps back.

It reminds me of a question I get asked a lot when I speak to younger feminists: How do you continue to do this work when it’s just so depressing?

The rest: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173150/battling-feminist-burnout

More than ten years later, still the best cat meme of all time.

...and the GOP civil war widens yet again:

"Being from New York we're not supposed to be suckers. It's bad enough that these guys voted against it, that's inexcusable enough. But to have the balls to come in and say, 'We screwed you now make us president?'"

-- Rep. Peter King (R-NY), quoted by Politicker, urging donors to cut off Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others who "threw a knife in the back in New York" by voting "no" on the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/02/28/extra_bonus_quote_of_the_day.html

Conservatives Regret Taking Woodward’s ‘Threat’ Story Seriously

Now that the correspondence between Bob Woodward and the White House has been revealed as tame and cordial, conservative commentators are reacting with disappointment to the veteran journalist's claim that he was threatened over his sequestration reporting.

Politico on Thursday posted the emails between Woodward and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling, who told Woodward, "as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim."

"Looks like we were played," The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis wrote Thursday morning.

The rest: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/conservatives-regret-taking-woodwards-threat-story-seriously?ref=fpa

In the immortal words of Darth Vader, "Now his failure is complete."



Radical Reading: The Progressive Dr. Seuss

Radical Reading: The Progressive Dr. Seuss
By Peter Dreier
Truthout | Historical Analysis

Thursday 28 February 2013

"Generations of progressive activists may not trace their political views to their early exposure to Dr. Seuss, but without doubt this shy, brilliant genius played a role in sensitizing them to abuses of power."

On Friday, March 1, tens of millions of children and their parents will be reading Dr. Seuss books as part of Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Educational Association (NEA) in partnership with local school districts and some businesses. The NEA, which started the program 16 years ago to encourage reading, was smart to tie the program to Dr. Seuss, who remains - more than two decades after his death - the world's most popular writer of modern children's books. Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904–1991) - Dr. Seuss' real name - wrote and illustrated 44 children's books, characterized by memorable rhymes, whimsical characters and exuberant drawings that have encouraged generations of children to love reading and expand their vocabularies. His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and have sold more than 200 million copies. They have been adapted into feature films, TV specials and a Broadway musical. He earned two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

What few Americans know is that, despite his popular image as a kindly cartoonist for kids, Dr. Seuss was also a moralist and political progressive whose views suffuse his stories. Some of his books use ridicule, satire, wordplay, nonsense words and wild drawings to take aim at bullies, hypocrites and demagogues. He believed that children's books should be both entertaining and educational. His most popular children's books included parables about racism, anti-Semitism, the arms race, and the environment.

His books consistently reveal his sympathy with the weak and the powerless and his fury against tyrants and oppressors. Many Dr. Seuss books are about the misuse of power - by despots, kings, or other rulers, including parents who arbitrarily wield authority. His books teach children to think about how to deal with an unfair world. Rather than telling them what to do, Geisel invites his young readers to consider what they should do when faced with injustice. Generations of progressive activists may not trace their political views to their early exposure to Dr. Seuss, but without doubt this shy, brilliant genius played a role in sensitizing them to abuses of power.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/news/item/14765-radical-reading-the-progressive-dr-seuss

"I don't tip."



http://ifyoucantaffordtotip.com/

The "Fix" Is In: Laying Bare Some Sequester Lies



Chris Cillizza, writer of "The Fix" for The Washington Post,
speaking at the Miller Center, May 18, 2012.
(Photo: Miller Center)


The "Fix" Is In: Laying Bare Some Sequester Lies
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 26 February 2013

With the sequester ax trembling over the neck of the nation, everyone in the "news" media seems desperate to toss their two cents into the well...including, apparently, some who would be wise to remain in the children's pool, lest they drown trying to stroke out to deeper waters. Enter Chris Cillizza, keeper of "The Fix," perhaps the most useless corner of the Washington Post next to the ink that publication sadly donates to the incoherencies of Jennifer Rubin.

Mr. Cillizza's "Fix" is the Post's failed-hipster answer to those who enjoy the vacuity of horse-race politics. For reasons passing understanding, the powers-that-be at the Post gave Cillizza an outlet to explain - ever without basis beyond his own dubious lights - who's up, who's down, who won, or lost, in any particular political situation. "The Fix" is a triumph of flash over substance, written with wanna-be-clever insider snark for those in DC who still think the internet isn't a real thing yet. Plainly put, Cillizza, as a journalist, is taken about as seriously as the vapid quislings who wait around red carpets to make fun of celebrities' outfits.

This is why Cillizza's article on Monday morning was so remarkable. The guy tasked to make obnoxious judgments on the surface of politics somehow won the chance to dabble in the depths and the details, and came off exactly as one would expect: like someone living in a bubble who would not get the point if it was nailed to his forehead.

For the record: the sequester, slated to take place on Friday, is a series of massive cuts to both the defense industry and the social contract, created as a hard deadline by a pack of Washington politicians who decided they could not get anything done unless they put calamity on their doorstep...but now that calamity is here, eager idiots like Cillizza have been stepping up to argue that the evisceration of the Federal budget is not actually a big deal. Hence, the article titled "Why We Need the Sequester" made its odious debut.

In it, Cillizza takes on the apparently-offensive poll numbers stating that Americans - gasp - enjoy the goods and services provided to them by the government they've been funding with tax revenues, and in nearly every instance want those services expanded. His take:

What those numbers make clear is that most people live in a fantasy world where overall federal spending decreases even as spending on virtually every federal program increases. Given that "reality", it's uniquely possible that only through crisis - manufactured or not - will people come to grips with the fundamental paradox at the center of their thinking of what the federal government should or shouldn't do.


Ermahgerd, what do we do? According to Cillizza, the American people are a pack of indolent, greedy layabouts living in a "fantasy" world where the social services they've paid for are not affordable.

Hm.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which costs around $400 billion, was recently globally grounded due to a crack in an engine fin, a new reason among many others why no one wants this plane to begin with, yet it keeps getting built. The V-22 Osprey has been killing Marines for years now, yet it also keeps getting built, to the tune of $35 billion.

Cancel these two "defense" programs that don't work and are not wanted by the service branches expected to use them, and...gosh. That's $435 billion we just saved, along with the lives of any number of servicemembers.

Two programs.

$435,000,000,000.00

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14793-the-fix-is-in-laying-bare-some-sequester-lies

10 Things Every Bartender Absolutely Hates About You

I remember the first day I stepped foot in my bar. I had just gotten laid off from the job that made me pray for a subway crash every morning, and was drinking free on the dime of a family friend who was a bartender there. It was Halloween. I was dressed like a Victoria Secret Angel. I was 22. I had never so much as made a martini or poured a beer from a tap. When I was offered a job hostessing one day a week that day, I didn’t think I would ever parlay it into a four-year stint that has given me more opportunities and money than I could have ever imagined.

But here I am, four years later, possibly on the verge of leaving and finally putting my English degree to use writing TV shows in L.A. And the bar/restaurant that I call second home in New York City has taught me a lot of life lessons. I’d like to pass those lessons on to others because I genuinely feel like I owe it to all my other bartender friends to try to educate the masses as I go.

10. I am a bartender, not an escort.

Funny how a lot of guys in suits seem to mistake the two, but just because I get you a beer and have a vagina while doing so, it does not give you the right to grab my ass or say inappropriate shit to me. That’s assault, brotha. If you think grabbing a girl you don't know's ass is a good icebreaker, maybe you should reevaluate your life. I am not being paid to flirt with you or your friends. I do not get paid nearly enough to pretend I am remotely interested in 98 percent of the bankers, traders, stock brokers and other finance guys who roll through my little bar during the week. And for the guys in my bar who already crossed that line, if you think I haven’t thought about messaging your wife on LinkedIn about how I had to have her husband thrown out because he put his hand up my skirt, you’re greatly mistaken. It’s always on the backburner as an option. Treat me with respect, and you will not be forcibly evicted from my bar. Or ratted out to your wife for being a groper.

9. Anything less than 20 percent is blasphemy.

Sorry, kids. This isn’t an ego thing; this is a New York thing. Most service industry workers make about $2.13 an hour, far below minimum wage. My livelihood is my tip. And I know without a doubt, I never give service that is worth less than 20 percent. I always find it funny to hear these guys who work for Morgan Stanley or Barclays or UBS or Bank of America talk about throwing money around, but when a $153 bill is dropped, everyone gets real quiet. I was an English major who was terrible at math, and somehow even I know that $20 on anything more than $120 is an insult. It’s ironic that those who deal with money on a daily basis are the ones who seem the most confused when it comes to adding a tip. You aren’t curing cancer or solving the debt crisis here, bro. You’re leaving a 20 percent tip on a check, and I’m pretty sure your phone even has a calculator. Maybe that explains the financial crisis of the last four years. If you can’t figure out 20 percent of 173, you probably shouldn’t be handling millions of dollars a day for other people. Or if you’re just too cheap to leave an adequate tip, maybe you should just stay home. Do you work for free? No? Okay cool because neither do I.

The rest: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/bartender-confessions-10-things-they-hate_n_2719789.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

33 years ago today: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"



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