Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013...nti-sodomy-law http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: $1.6 Trillion http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/crs-report-war-spending-trillion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf" target="_blank">recent report</a> by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).</p> <p>The $1.6 trillion in war spending over that time span includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, weapons maintenance, base support, reconstruction, embassy maintenance, foreign aid, and veterans' medical care, as well as war-related intelligence operations not tracked by the Pentagon. The report tracks expenses through September, the end of the government's 2014 fiscal year. Here's a breakdown of where most of that money went:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/7nTPt/2/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The key factor determining the cost of war during a given period over the last 13 years has been the number of US troops deployed, according to the report. The number of troops in Afghanistan peaked in 2011, when 100,000 Americans were stationed there. The number of US armed forces in Iraq reached a high of about <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40682.pdf" target="_blank">170,000</a> in 2007.</p> <p>Although Congress enacted across-the-board spending cuts in March 2013, the Pentagon's war-making money was left untouched. The minimal cuts, known as sequestration, came from the Defense Department's regular peacetime budget. The Pentagon gets a <a href="https://www.nationalpriorities.org/blog/2014/03/06/pentagons-phony-budget-war/" target="_blank">separate</a> budget for fighting wars.</p> <p>In the spending bill that Congress approved earlier this month, lawmakers doled out $73.7 billion for war-related activities in 2015&mdash;<a href="http://crfb.org/blogs/budget-gimmicks-cromnibus-bill" target="_blank">$2.3 billion</a> more than President Barack Obama had requested. As <em>Mother Jones</em>' Dave Gilson <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/pentagon-budget-deal-charts-cuts" target="_blank">reported</a> last year, US military spending is on pace to taper far less dramatically in the wake of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than it did after the end of the Vietnam War or the Cold War.</p> <p>Other reports have estimated the cost of US wars since 9/11 to be far higher than $1.6 trillion. A <a href="http://costsofwar.org/sites/default/files/articles/20/attachments/Costs%20of%20War%20Summary%20Crawford%20June%202014.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> by Neta Crawford, a political science professor at Boston University, estimated the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan&mdash;as well as post-2001 assistance to Pakistan&mdash;to be roughly $4.4 trillion. The CRS estimate is lower because it <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-19/wars-cost-to-the-u-s-since-the-sept-11-attacks-1-6-trillion.html" target="_blank">does not include</a> additional costs including the lifetime price of health care for disabled veterans and interest on the national debt.</p> <p><em>Chart by <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/authors/aj-vicens" target="_blank">AJ Vicens</a>.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Iraq Top Stories Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:15:05 +0000 Erika Eichelberger and AJ Vicens 267141 at http://www.motherjones.com A Majority of Cop Killers Have Been White http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/attacks-against-police-officers-are-in-decline <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As officials continue to investigate Saturday's tragic killing of two NYPD officers,&nbsp;Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/nyregion/two-police-officers-shot-in-their-patrol-car-in-brooklyn.html?_r=0" target="_blank">details have surfaced</a> about the suspect, 28 year old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who allegedly shot a woman in Baltimore before traveling to New York. Anti-police posts he appears to have published on social media sites prior to the killings have lead many to connect his crime to protests that occurred in previous weeks, and some commenters have cast blame on officials including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Obama, all of whom have <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/here-president-obamas-statement-todays-tragedy-new-york" target="_blank">condemned</a> the violence. (Read my colleague Kevin Drum's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/12/lets-blame-conservatives-all-killings-theyre-responsible" target="_blank">response to that</a>.)&nbsp;</p> <p>But, while every killing of an officer is a tragedy, it is worth noting, as my colleague Shane Bauer <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/swat-warrior-cops-police-militarization-urban-shield" target="_blank">reported</a> in the context of another story, assaults and felony killings of police officers in the US are down sharply over the past two decades. Attention has also been focused on Brinsley's race, but <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2013/officers-feloniously-killed/felonious_topic_page_-2013" target="_blank">FBI data shows that</a>, though African Americans are <a href="http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet" target="_blank">arrested and incarcerated at a higher rate than whites</a>, the majority of assailants who feloniously killed police officers in the past year were white.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/urban_sheild_charts_630.png"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Mon, 22 Dec 2014 01:59:27 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 267116 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Is President Obama's Statement on Today's Tragedy In New York http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/here-president-obamas-statement-todays-tragedy-new-york <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Two NYPD officers were murdered in cold blood Saturday by a gunman who then killed himself before being apprehended. Details are still sketchy, but New York is at fever pitch right now. Some <a href="https://twitter.com/GovernorPataki/status/546489605378551808" target="_blank">people</a> are trying to blame this horrendous tragedy on Bill de Blasio, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, and the thousands of protestors who have taken to the streets over the last few weeks to protest the decisions of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand juries.</p> <p>Here's President Obama's statement from tonight making clear that he "unconditionally condemns today's murder of two police officers." The fact that he has to make that clear at all&mdash;as though there was a chance he may have been undecided on the issue&mdash;is surreal.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-12-20%20at%2011.02.27%20PM.png"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:17:14 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 267101 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch President Obama Call on Female Reporters for Every Single Question During Friday's Presser http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/obama-women-reporters%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For his final press conference of 2014, President Obama exclusively called on female reporters. The White House had planned it that way:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/PressSec">@PressSec</a> statement on questioner list: <a href="http://t.co/QA44ySvsL3">pic.twitter.com/QA44ySvsL3</a></p> &mdash; Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller/status/546040841434042369">December 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>By the eighth and final question, Obama even appeared to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2014/12/19/?entry=7679&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">ignore</a> a male reporter's attempt to participate. The result was amazing. <strong>Watch below:</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DHD8xuDvxoA" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Video Obama Sex and Gender Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:12:34 +0000 James West 267061 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren: Wall Street Just Got Another Giveaway http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/volcker-rule-extension-federal-reserve <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last week, Congress did Wall Street a solid. When lawmakers passed a giant spending bill that funds the government through September, they included a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/spending-bill-992-derivatives-citigroup-lobbyists" target="_blank">provision</a> written by Citigroup lobbyists that allows banks to make more risky trades with taxpayer-insured money. Then, on Thursday, bankers got another giveaway: The Federal Reserve <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20141218a.htm" target="_blank">announced</a> it would delay for up to two years implementation of a crucial section of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/volcker-rule-what-you-need-to-know" target="_blank">Volcker rule</a>&mdash;one of the most important regulations to come out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. The rule generally forbids the high-risk trading by commercial banks that helped cause the financial crisis. The move by the Fed pushes the deadline for banks to comply past the next presidential election and gives Wall Street lobbyists more time to weaken it.</p> <p>"Less than a week after Wall Street slipped a bailout provision written by Citigroup into the government spending bill, the Fed has given the big banks another victory," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a statement Friday.</p> <p>"It's really hard to see an excuse for this," says Marcus Stanley, the financial policy director at Americans for Financial Reform, an advocacy group.</p> <p>The Volcker rule ensures that financial institutions don't engage in something called proprietary trading, which is when a bank trades for its own benefit as opposed to for the benefit of its customers. Banks were supposed to comply with the Volcker rule by July 21, 2014. Last year, when banking watchdogs finalized the rule, the Fed granted banks a year-long extension. The Fed's Thursday announcement gives banks <em>another</em> year to get rid of certain investments&mdash;including those in private equity firms and hedge funds. The central bank also noted Thursday that it plans to push out the deadline again next year, by another 12 months. That brings the new compliance deadline to July 2017, far past the 2016 election. If the new president is a Republican, he could fill his administration with Wall Street insiders opposed to the rule, making it even easier for lobbyists to gut it.</p> <p>Before the Volcker rule was finalized last year, the financial industry fought like mad to weaken it. The regulation could slash the total annual profits of the eight largest US banks by up to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-04/will-the-volcker-rule-crimp-wall-street-profits" target="_blank">$10 billion</a>, according to an estimate by Standard &amp; Poor's. Banking reform advocates were fairly happy with way the final reg turned out. But now the financial industry has extra time to take a few more whacks at rule before banks actually have to obey it. "Wall Street&rsquo;s loophole lawyers and other hired guns will&hellip; continue to hit at the rule as if it were a pi&ntilde;ata," Dennis Kelleher, the president of the financial reform advocacy group Better Markets, <a href="http://www.bettermarkets.com/reform-news/volcker-rule%E2%80%99s-ban-proprietary-trading-direct-attack-high-risk-%E2%80%98quick-buck%E2%80%99-culture-wall#.Uqc4DY3QGQg" target="_blank">said</a> when regulators completed the rule in 2013.</p> <p>The Dodd-Frank law already contains a provision allowing banks that will have difficulty getting rid of particular investments before the initial compliance deadline to request an extension from banking regulators. The Fed's announcement yesterday amounts to an unnecessary "blanket" extension, Stanley says. "It's hogwash."</p></body></html> MoJo Economy Regulatory Affairs Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:54:29 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 267016 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama: Sony "Made a Mistake" Stopping the Release of "The Interview" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/obama-sony-mistake-the-interview-north-korea <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday, President Barack Obama called Sony's decision to cancel the release of "The Interview" a "mistake."</p> <p>"We cannot have a society in which a dictator in some place can start imposing censorship in the United States," he<a href="http://time.com/3642459/sony-hack-the-interview-barack-obama/" target="_blank"> told</a> reporters at his final press conference of the year. "Imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don&rsquo;t want to offend the sensibilities of someone who&rsquo;s sensibilities probably need to be offended."</p> <p>"I wish they'd spoken to me first," he added. "I would have told them: Do not get into the pattern in which you are intimidated."</p> <p>Earlier on Friday, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/fbi-sony-hack_n_6354450.html" target="_blank">FBI</a> officially linked the North Korean government to the cyber attack on Sony. In the press conference, Obama indicated the US government was considering how to respond.</p> <p>When asked for specifics, he said, "We've been working up a range of options. They will be presented to me and I will make a decision based on what I think is proportional and appropriate to the nature of this crime."</p> <iframe src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/nbcNewsOffsite?guid=nbc_sr_obama_141219" width="630" height="354" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe></body></html> MoJo Video Media Obama Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:40:58 +0000 Inae Oh 267046 at http://www.motherjones.com Americans Are More Concerned About Racism Than at Anytime Since Rodney King http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/race-relations-america-gallup <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/qocpg9wuae2lakl2em3ceg_0.png"><div class="caption">Gallup</div> </div> <p>A new poll conducted by Gallup found that <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/180257/major-problem-race-relations-sharply-rises.aspx" target="_blank">13 percent</a>&nbsp;of Americans believe racism is the country's most important problem,&nbsp;up from just 1 percent in November. It's the highest that number has been since the Rodney King verdict in 1992.</p> <p>The sharp rise follows national outrage and a wave of protests that swept the nation in response to the failure by two separate grand juries to indict two white officers who killed two black men, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/grand-jury-doesnt-indict-staten-island-cop-death-eric-garner" target="_blank">Eric Garner</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/6-revelations-grand-jury-documents" target="_blank">Michael Brown.</a></p> <p>According to the data published Friday, nonwhites are more than twice as likely as whites to call race relations/racism the country's most important problem:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cdwhcccrpum3jhtjnja_5a.png"><div class="caption">Gallup</div> </div> <p>The latest poll echoes recent studies revealing similar sentiments, including <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/poll-57-percent-americans-say-race-relations-u-s-are-n269491" target="_blank">worsening</a> race relations and a growing distrust of law enforcement officers among Americans.&nbsp;As for the latter, however, Gallup found in a poll published earlier this week that while trust in police by nonwhites has <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/180230/drop-among-nonwhites-drives-police-honesty-ratings-down.aspx" target="_blank">plummeted by 22 percent,</a> whites' views on the issue have barely changed.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/vozxveeicuwrc2qjvtkprg_0.png"><div class="caption">Gallup</div> </div> <p>As for the most important problem facing the nation, that's still the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/179381/americans-say-government-economy-important-problems.aspx" target="_blank">government</a>, which leads racism by 2 points.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Correction: The original version of this story misstated the last time so many Americans viewed racism as the nation's biggest problem; it was after the Rodney King verdict, not his death.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Charts Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:35:15 +0000 Inae Oh 267021 at http://www.motherjones.com 8 Weird Things You Can Buy for the Republican or Democrat In Your Life This Holiday Season http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/8-weird-things-you-can-buy-republican-or-democrat-your-life-holiday-season <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>With five shopping days left until Christmas&mdash;and four for Hanukkah, slacker&mdash;you might be feeling pressure to come through with some great gifts for friends and family. Not to worry: the Republican and Democratic parties are here to help! From decorative lapel-wear to straight-talkin' tees, the parties' respective online stores are offering a festive array of gift selections this holiday season. Here are some real winners, sure to please the partisan in your life. In no particular order:</p> <p><strong>1. Limited Edition American Eagle Brooch</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/brooch_0.jpg"><div class="caption">National Republican Congressional Committee</div> </div> <p>From the National Republican Congressional Committee comes this <a href="https://www.nrcc.org/get-your-eagle-brooch/?utm_source=store&amp;utm_medium=website&amp;utm_campaign=brooch_website_store_s" target="_blank">"exquisite piece."</a> For the low price of $72&mdash;or $200 for three!&mdash;you can show off your American pride while helping "preserve our Conservative House Majority."<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. ACTION Mugs</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/actionmugs_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Organizing for Action</div> </div> <p>Take an executive action and order these mugs. Delicious-looking hot cocoa, shortbread cookies, and cozy blanket do not appear to be included.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3. George W. Bush Quote Mousepad</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/gwb.jpg"><div class="caption">National Republican Congressional Committee</div> </div> <p>For that someone who could use a bit of W. wisdom with each click they make. <a href="https://www.nrcc.org/store/george-w-bush-mouse-pad/" target="_blank">At $15</a>, it's a steal from the NRCC&mdash;and it could appreciate in value with any additional Bush presidencies.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. I Am Organizing For Action, Long-Sleeve-T Edition</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/orgforaction_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Democrats.org</div> </div> <p>There's no better way to communicate that you're organizing for action than this handsome, olive long-sleeve tee that says, "I am organizing for action." For $20, it's a solid choice for that community organizer you know with a flair for subtlety.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5. George H.W. Bush Autograph Socks</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/bushsocks.jpg"><div class="caption">Republican National Committee</div> </div> <p>From the color combo to the presidential signature, these socks are just beautiful. They were supposedly designed for H.W. himself&mdash;widely known to be a <a href="http://time.com/2853589/george-h-w-bush-birthday-socks/" target="_blank">sock man</a>&mdash;and <a href="https://gop.com/special-edition-george-hw-bush-socks-ld/" target="_blank">for $41</a> (get it?!), this is the ideal gift for the boat-shoe-wearing College Republican in your life.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>6. Very Blue Shirt</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/democrat_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Democrats.org</div> </div> </div> <p>Great gift! Unless you have trouble distinguishing between identical shades of blue, or if you have <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/207105/democrats-new-logo-change-you-can-sell" target="_blank">issues with the Democrats' logo rebrand</a>. But it's $30, and the <a href="http://store.democrats.org/products/democrats-tshirt" target="_blank">DNC says it can "withstand sports,"</a> so it's still an OK buy. It'll really complement that sweet arm tat.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>7. Anti-Tea Party Travel Mug</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/democratthing_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Democrats.org</div> </div> <p>There's nothing quite like a good travel mug with a strong opinion. At $30, this is a <a href="http://store.democrats.org/products/i-hate-tea-parties-tumbler" target="_blank">certified "great gift."</a> The mug has even <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/02/democrats-sell-christmas-gifts-that-say-i-hate-tea-parties/" target="_blank">pissed off the Daily Caller</a>&mdash;a priceless value-add.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>8. "Official" Cheney GOP Cowboy Hat</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/dickhat.jpg"><div class="caption">Republican National Committee</div> </div> <p>The clear winner this holiday season: this limited-edition hat from the RNC, engraved with Dick's signature, and lined with a gold Republican Party seal. For a cool $72, you can <a href="https://gop.com/official-dick-cheney-cowboy-hat/" target="_blank">"help elect our next Republican president"</a> while channeling America's favorite Republican vice president. It'll be sure to add that stylish touch to your enhanced cattle-rustlin' techniques.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: Obviously, you should not buy any of these things. Nobody wants to talk politics at Christmas. Don't make <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/12/best-c-span-call-all-time" target="_blank">Mom get into this</a></em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/12/best-c-span-call-all-time" target="_blank">. </a></p></body></html> MoJo Top Stories Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Sam Brodey 266756 at http://www.motherjones.com Nebraska and Oklahoma Sue to Overturn Legal Weed in Colorado http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/nebraska-and-oklahoma-sue-overturn-legal-weed-colorado <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma petitioned the US Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn pot legalization in Colorado, arguing that its legal weed has been spilling across their borders and fueling crime.</p> <p>"The state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system," the <a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/250506006/Nebraska-Oklahoma-lawsuit" target="_blank">suit alleges</a>. "Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems."</p> <p>The Department of Justice pledged last year not to interfere with pot legalization in Colorado and Washington, but only if the states met a list of conditions, including preventing legally purchased marijuana from being diverted to states where it's illegal. Nebraska and Oklahoma are now arguing that the Supreme Court should compel the DOJ to act.</p> <p>Evidence has been mounting that Colorado can't contain all of its weed. In June, <em>USA Today</em> <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/11/colorado-marijuana-exports/9964707/" target="_blank">highlighted</a> the flow of its marijuana into small towns across Nebraska. Since 2011, the paper reported, felony drug arrests in Chappell, Nebraska, a town just seven miles north of the Colorado border, have jumped 400 percent.</p> <p>But marijuana reformers argue that governments can't contain illegally purchased weed either, and that a few growing pains on the path to a more sensible drug policy are inevitable. "These guys are on the wrong side of history," Mason Tvert, communications director for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. "They will be remembered similarly to how we think of state officials who fought to maintain alcohol prohibition years after other states ended it."</p> <p>Nebraska attorney general Jon Brunning has actually become too eager to support the alcohol industry, Tvert adds. Between 2008 and 2012, beer, wine, and alcohol interests donated $86,000 to Brunning. In 2012, he advocated for a lower tax rate for sweetened malt beverages such as hard lemonade. "It appears he is fighting to protect their turf," Tvert says. "He should explain why he thinks Colorado adults should not be able to use marijuana instead."<br> &nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties marijuana Fri, 19 Dec 2014 01:23:29 +0000 Josh Harkinson 266996 at http://www.motherjones.com The First Person Jeb Bush Followed on Twitter Was Karl Rove http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/jeb-bush-karl-rove-twitter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush is running for president. (<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/23-reasons-why-jeb-bush-shouldnt-run-president" target="_blank">Maybe</a>.) But just how much does he have in common with his brother, George W.? His Twitter page might offer a clue. The <a href="https://twitter.com/JebBush/following" target="_blank">first human</a> Jeb followed on Twitter was none other than his brother's former deputy chief of staff&mdash;Fox News analyst Karl Rove. So is the <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/11/how-rove-fought-with-fox-over-ohio.html" target="_blank">Oracle of Ohio</a> going to be back in the fold come 2016? We can only hold our breath. Or perhaps Jeb just likes Rove's engaging Twitter personality. (Full disclosure: the first person I followed on Twitter was <a href="https://twitter.com/chuckgrassley" target="_blank">Chuck Grassley</a>.)</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Jeb Bush Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:23:10 +0000 Tim Murphy 266921 at http://www.motherjones.com Young Fidel Castro Wrote FDR to Ask for 10 Bucks http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/fidel-castro-fdr-10-bucks-letter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In November 1940, a young Cuban student named Fidel Castro sent <a href="http://research.archives.gov/description/302040" target="_blank">a handwritten letter</a> to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Writing in English, Castro congratulated the president on his reelection and requested "a ten dollars bill green american&hellip;because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them." Thinking strategically, the future Cuban dictator also offered access to his country's iron to build American ships.</p> <p>He signed off with a flourish:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/castro-sig630.gif"><div class="caption">National Archives</div> </div> <p>The letter from the now 88-year-old Castro (<a href="http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/my-good-friend-roosvelt.html" target="_blank">who was 14</a> when he wrote it, not 12 as he said) now resides in the <a href="http://research.archives.gov/description/302040" target="_blank">National Archives</a>. FDR probably never saw the letter. Castro did receive a response&mdash;<a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/28940/time-fidel-castro-asked-fdr-10" target="_blank">but no cash</a>&mdash;from the US Embassy in Havana. The polite snub officially marks the first exchange between Castro and the United States&mdash;and the beginning of a long, acrimonious relationship that may be <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/obama-cuba-alan-gross" target="_blank">about to thaw</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Text of the letter (errors and all):</p> <blockquote> <p>Mr Franklin Roosvelt, President of the United States.</p> <p>My good friend Roosvelt I don't know very English, but I know as much as write to you.<br> I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy, because I heard in it, that you will be President for a new (periodo).<br> I am twelve years old.<br> I am a boy but I think very much but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.<br> If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american, in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.</p> [&hellip;]</blockquote> <blockquote> <p>I don't know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don't know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.<br> (Thank you very much) Good by. Your friend,</p> <p>Fidel Castro</p> <p>If you want iron to make your ships I will show to you the bigest (minas) of iron of the land. They are in Mayari Oriente Cuba.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/castro-letter630.gif"><div class="caption">National Archives</div> </div></body></html> MoJo Foreign Policy International Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:04:50 +0000 Dave Gilson 266826 at http://www.motherjones.com BREAKING: US to Normalize Relations With Cuba http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/breaking-us-normalize-relations-cuba <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/report-cuba-frees-american-alan-gross-after-5-years-detention-on-spy-charges/2014/12/17/a2840518-85f5-11e4-a702-fa31ff4ae98e_story.html" target="_blank">Wow</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The United States and Cuba will begin talks to normalize relations, including opening an embassy in Havana and putting to rest one most enduring Cold War standoffs, a U.S. official said Wednesday.</p> <p>The landmark initiatives appeared to be set in motion by a surprise prisoner swap that freed American contractor Alan Gross after five years in custody in Cuba. In exchange, the United States would release three Cubans jailed for espionage, the Associated Press reported.</p> </blockquote> <p>President Obama&nbsp;is scheduled to speak at noon. Watch below for his press conference:&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m6MgATBZMII" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Update: </strong>The White House just released a fact sheet outlining the policy changes with Cuba:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1382402-white-house-fact-sheet-cuba">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1382402-white-house-fact-sheet-cuba.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1382402-white-house-fact-sheet-cuba" }); </script><p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:16:54 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 266806 at http://www.motherjones.com This New Report Explains Exactly How the Afghan Economy Will Fall Apart http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/us-government-has-new-report-which-explains-exactly-how-afghan-economy-will-fall-apart <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld toured a reconstruction center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2004, he was <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/12/international/asia/12rumsfeld.html" target="_blank">gushing with optimism</a>. "It is so clear that the Afghan people are winning the struggle to rebuild this nation," he said. That hope is now basically dead. Last week, the Special Investigator General for the Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a <a href="http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/spotlight/High-Risk_List.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> that explains exactly how Afghanistan's economy will fall apart in the next few years. The reasons are easy to understand: Western powers came to the country and built a lot of infrastructure. Now coalition forces are leaving, and Afghanistan has to figure out how to maintain everything the westerners built. With foreign funds drying up, that'll be a tall order.</p> <p>In 2013, the Afghan government collected $2 billion internally, but it spent $5.4 billion. "In other words," SIGAR notes, "domestic revenue covered only 37% of the total budget." The 2014 budget of $7.6 billion plans for even more spending than last year. But Afghanistan's government expects to pay for just $2.8 billion of that with its own money.</p> <p>Afghanistan, like any other debt-burdened nation in the world, can make the imbalance work as long as it has another, external source of funds. But donors are starting to temper their support, and the security, social services, and infrastructure maintenance costs are increasing rapidly. (You can read <em>Mother Jones</em>' list of Afghan infrastructure disasters from last year <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/afghanistan-withdrawal-left-behind" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p> <p>More money will be hard for Afghanistan to come by on its own. There's some mineral development in the works, but it'll be decades before it reaches its true potential, SIGAR says. Licit exports only amounted to a $376 million, or about $8.20 per person, in 2012, according to the <a href="https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html" target="_blank">CIA World Factbook</a>. (The CIA names "small-scale production of bricks" and "handwoven carpets" among the country's top industries.)</p> <p>Afghanistan's one lucrative export is illegal everywhere. Last year, Afghanistan's opium industry was worth an estimated $3 billion, despite the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/afghanistan-opium-poppy-heroin-record-levels" target="_blank">billions</a> the US has spent trying to stamp it out.</p> <p>"Without donor contributions," SIGAR argues, "the Afghan government will not be able to meet most of its operating or development expenditures." Citing an IMF report, SIGAR says the gap between domestic revenue and expenses will average $7.7 billion every year through 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p>So who's fault is this mess? SIGAR lays much of the blame at the feet of the United States and other countries that built Afghanistan's infrastructure in the first place. "Each new development project that the United States and other international donors fund increases the country's O&amp;M [operation and maintenance] costs, adding pressure to Afghanistan's operating budget," the report states, adding that the US and other other governments should have had a plan for how to pay for their projects' maintenance, knowing they'd eventually have to leave.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Much of the more than $104 billion the United States has committed to reconstruction projects and programs risks being wasted," the report adds, "because the Afghans cannot <em>sustain</em> the investment without massive continued donor support."</p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Foreign Policy Top Stories Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:16:46 +0000 Alex Park 266706 at http://www.motherjones.com Pakistani Taliban Kills At Least 145 People—Including More Than 100 Kids—in Savage School Massacre http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/peshawar-taliban-school-attack <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for a deadly attack inside a military-run school in Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan, on Tuesday,&nbsp;that has left <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/world/asia/taliban-attack-pakistani-school.html?_r=0" target="_blank">as many as 145 dead</a>, more than 100 of them students. The BBC has described the attack as the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30491435" target="_blank">deadliest</a> massacre ever carried out&nbsp;by the Taliban in Pakistan.</p> <p>Gunmen entered Army Public School and Degree College&nbsp;by <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/world/asia/taliban-attack-pakistani-school.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;gwh=B57FE7DC379EFDFFB60969F08CD5FDD7&amp;gwt=pay&amp;assetType=nyt_now" target="_blank">scaling</a> the walls of the campus' main building. The attackers held students hostage for more than eight hours, as they moved systematically&nbsp;from classroom to classroom firing at children.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 24px;">Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-pakistan-school-idUSKBN0JU0JO20141216" target="_blank">quoted</a>&nbsp;a local hospital as saying&nbsp;that the dead and injured were aged between 10 and 20 years old.</span></p> <p>Six gunmen were reportedly <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2014/dec/16/over-100-people-killed-in-pakistan-taliban-school-siege-says-provincial-chief-minister-live-updates" target="_blank">killed</a> in the gunfire. A spokesperson for the&nbsp;<span id="advenueINTEXT" name="advenueINTEXT" style="float:left;"> </span>terrorist group says the massacre was a retaliation against earlier Pakistani military activities against militants in North Waziristan.</p> <p><span id="articleText">"We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani said, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-pakistan-school-idUSKBN0JU0JO20141216" target="_blank">according to Reuters</a>. "We want them to feel the pain."&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has traveled to Peshawar, has called for <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2014/dec/16/over-100-people-killed-in-pakistan-taliban-school-siege-says-provincial-chief-minister-live-updates" target="_blank">three days </a>of national mourning.</p></body></html> MoJo International Top Stories Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:43:10 +0000 Inae Oh 266691 at http://www.motherjones.com Will Private Prisons Finally Be Subject to the Freedom of Information Act? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/will-private-prisons-ever-be-subject-open-records-laws <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Anyone can use the federal Freedom of Information Act to request records about prisons owned and operated by the government. Information about prisoner demographics, violent incidents, and prison budgets are all obtainable. But privately run facilities&mdash;even those that hold federal prisoners&mdash;are exempt from the law. Last week, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced legislation to change that. On December 10, she introduced a new bill, the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1380679-jackson-h-r-5838" target="_blank">Private Prison Information Act</a>. If passed, it would force any nonfederal prison holding federal prisoners to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.</p> <p>In 2013, 41,200 federal convicts&mdash;19 percent of the entire federal prison population&mdash;were housed in private facilities. That year, <a href="http://www.usaspending.gov/search?form_fields=%7B%22search_term%22%3A%22CORRECTIONS+CORPORATION+OF+AMERICA%22%2C%22dept%22%3A%5B%221500%22%2C%227000%22%5D%2C%22fyear%22%3A%5B%222013%22%5D%7D&amp;sort_by=dollars&amp;per_page=25" target="_blank">Corrections Corporation of America</a>, the largest prison contractor in the United States, collected more than $584 million from the federal government.</p> <p>Passing Lee's bill will be difficult, if not impossible. From 2005 to 2012, Democrats (including Lee) introduced <a href="http://www.nationofchange.org/private-prisons-currently-exempt-freedom-information-act-1348581256" target="_blank">five separate bills</a> that aimed to apply&nbsp;FOIA to private prisons. All of them failed. With the GOP&mdash;which has been generally <a href="http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/key_senators_on_immigration_get_campaign_cash_from_prison_companies.php?page=all" target="_blank">friendly</a> to the prison industry&mdash;controlling both houses of Congress beginning next year, the new bill will likely meet a similar end.</p> <p>Meanwhile, increasing numbers of prisoners are locked up in facilities that are legally immune to open-records requests. From 2000 to 2009, the number of people locked up in private facilities at every level of the justice system increased 37 percent, to 129,336, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/09/26/328486/us-private-prison-population-lobbying/" target="_blank">according to</a> the Department of Justice. By the end of 2013, 133,000 inmates&mdash;<a href="http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p13.pdf" target="_blank">about 8 percent</a> of the entire US prison population&mdash;were housed in private prisons. The figure is on par with the entire California prison population at that time.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Crime and Justice Top Stories Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:45:05 +0000 Alex Park 266506 at http://www.motherjones.com The Federal War on Medical Marijuana Is Over http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/department-justice-congress-war-medical-marijuana <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Good news for medical pot smokers: The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill approved by the Senate on Saturday has effectively ended the longstanding federal war on medical marijuana. An amendment to the bill blocks the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries or patients that abide by state laws.</p> <p>"Patients will have access to the care legal in their state without fear of federal prosecution," Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), a supporter of the rider known as the Hinchey-Rohrbacher amendment, <a href="http://www.safeaccessnow.org/patients_applaud_congressional_restriction_on_federal_medical_marijuana_enforcement_in_omnibus_budget_bill" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "And our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on fighting actual crimes and not wasted going after patients."</p> <p>The Department of Justice last year <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/justice-department-memo-obama-medical-marijuana-dispensaries" target="_blank">pledged</a> not to interfere with the implementation of state pot laws, but the agency's truce left it with plenty of room to change its mind. Earlier this year, for instance, the DOJ accused the <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/05/19/marijuana-washington-kettle-falls-five/9031751/" target="_blank">Kettle Falls Five</a>, a family in Washington State, of growing 68 marijuana plants on their farm in Eastern Washington, where pot is legal. Members of the family face up to 10 years in jail&mdash;or at least, they did; the amendment may now stop their prosecution.</p> <p>More broadly, the change provides some added peace of mind for pot patients in California, where the DOJ's pledge appeared not to apply. The Golden State's 1996 medical pot law, the first in the nation, has long been criticized by the DOJ as too permissive and decentralized.</p> <p>Medical marijuana activists hailed the amendment's passage as a landmark moment for patients' rights. "By approving this measure, Congress is siding with the vast majority of Americans who are calling for change in how we enforce our federal marijuana laws," said Mike Liszewski, Government Affairs Director for Americans for Safe Access.</p> <p>The CRomnibus spending bill wasn't a universal victory of marijuana advocates, however. Another rider aims to prevent the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana; it prohibits federal funds being "used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance." But <em>Reason</em>'s Jacob Sullum <a href="http://reason.com/archives/2014/12/15/did-congress-stop-marijuana-legalization" target="_blank">notes</a> that the rider may be moot because DC's pot law has already been "enacted" by voters&mdash;it passed at the polls in November by a 2-to-1 margin.</p> <p>Whatever the outcome in DC, the appropriations bill is an undisputed win for pot smokers. As <em>Slate</em>'s Josh Voorhes <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/12/cromnibus_pot_laws_washington_has_quietly_become_much_more_pro_pot_that.html" target="_blank">points out</a>, "the District is home to roughly 640,000 people; California, one of 23 states were medical pot is legal, is home to more than 38 million." In short, Congress has done a bit of temporary weed whacking in its backyard, but it's acknowledging that stopping the repeal of pot prohibitions by the states is all but impossible.</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Top Stories marijuana Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:00:08 +0000 Josh Harkinson 266666 at http://www.motherjones.com Cheney on Torture: Lying or Ignorant? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/cheney-torture-report-lying <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Sunday, days after the release of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/senate-torture-report-cia-lying-crisis-oversight" target="_blank">Senate torture report</a>, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on <em>Meet the Press</em> to defend the Bush-Cheney administration's use of harsh interrogation practices and to deny that these methods were torture. It was a typical no-retreat/no-surrender performance by Cheney. Asked by host Chuck Todd to define torture, Cheney repeatedly said torture was what happened on 9/11: "What the Al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans." That is, he defined torture as an act of mass violence that targets civilians.</p> <p>This was a confusing, nonlogical talking point that Cheney gripped tightly. Yet on the specific matter of waterboarding&mdash;which he defended&mdash;Cheney simply resorted to false statements. He insisted that waterboarding "was not torture." Todd asked him, "When you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?"</p> <p>Cheney replied:</p> <blockquote> <p>For a lot of stuff. Not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff&hellip;To draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding judged by our Justice Department not to be torture and what the Japanese did with the Bataan Death March and the slaughter of thousands of Americans, with the rape of Nanking and all of the other crimes they committed, that's an outrage. It's a really cheap shot, Chuck, to even try to draw a parallel between the Japanese who were prosecuted for war crimes after World War II and what we did with waterboarding three individuals&mdash;</p> </blockquote> <p>See what he did there? He denied the basis of Todd's question and then tried to make it seem silly: <em>You can't equate what our guys did to the worst mass war crimes of World War II!</em></p> <p>But Cheney was wrong. In 1947, the United States did <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100402005.html" target="_blank">charge</a> a Japanese interrogator named Yukio Asano with war crimes, including waterboarding. In fact, waterboarding was one of the key crimes of which he was accused. Here's a portion of the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=4&amp;ved=0CDQQFjAD&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.public-access-project.org%2Fasano_case.pdf&amp;ei=AR2PVMLpEsz8sASdz4GoCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNGjPnGKwCTJN9i7vWBRWZdu2K3z8Q&amp;bvm=bv.81828268,d.cWc&amp;cad=rja" target="_blank">indictment</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Charge: That between 1 April, 1943 and 31 August, 1944, at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asano, then a civilian serving as an interpreter with the Armed Forces of Japan, a nation then at war with the United States of America and its Allies, did violate the Laws and Customs of War.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Specification 1: That in or about July or August, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Morris O. Killough, an American Prisoner of War, by beating and kicking him; by fastening him on a stretcher and pouring water up his nostrils.</p> </blockquote> <p>Other parts of the indictment also refer to other times Asano engaged in waterboarding. He was not indicted for the Bataan Death March. He was accused of a specific war crime: waterboarding.</p> <p>Does Cheney know this? If he did, it probably wouldn't matter. During his interview, the ever-unrepentant Cheney refused to acknowledge any problems with the CIA detention and interrogation program that he and George W. Bush approved. He showed no concern when Todd noted that up to 25 percent of the detainees&mdash;some of whom were tortured&mdash;were wrongly held. Cheney insisted the extreme interrogation practices "absolutely did work," though the Senate report offers numerous examples of instances when torture did not yield pivotal information and did not contribute to thwarting attacks. Cheney asserted that waterboarding in the defense of the United States is no vice. And he kept thrashing at a straw man, accusing naive torture critics of equating these interrogation methods with the bloody deeds of Al Qaeda.</p> <p>Asked about a passage of the report that clearly notes that the CIA provided Cheney with false information&mdash;that the use of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques helped the CIA stop a dirty bomb attack planned for Washington, DC&mdash;Cheney insisted that the implication that the CIA misled him "is just wrong." But he didn't say how he knew that. After all, did Cheney review the intelligence himself? (He didn't even read the full torture report&mdash;or the 528-page executive summary that was released.) And if the CIA had provided him inaccurate information touting the use of these interrogation techniques, how would he know that?</p> <p>Given that the CIA screwed up regarding WMD in Iraq, Todd asked Cheney, why are you so confident that CIA officials were telling you the truth? Cheney had only this to say: I trusted them. Who's being naive now?</p> <p>Finally, Todd asked if Cheney had any regrets about the Iraq War, noting that the invasion has led to chaos in the region. Big surprise: Cheney said no. He repeated the canard that Saddam Hussein "had a 10-year relationship with Al Qaeda." <a href="http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/dec/14/dick-cheney/cheney-torture-report-saddam-hussein-had-10-year-r/" target="_blank">Once again,</a> the 9/11 Commission found that there was no "collaborative operational relationship" between the Iraqi dictator and Al Qaeda, and the Institute for Defense Analyses, a research arm of the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command, studied a half million Iraqi documents and concluded there had been no direct connection between Osama bin Laden's gang and Baghdad.</p> <p>"We did the right thing," Cheney told Todd. But for more than a decade now, Cheney has been peddling false information to the American public: Saddam was amassing WMD to use against the United States, Iraq had obtained aluminum tubes so it could create a nuclear weapon, a 9/11 ringleader met with an Iraqi intelligence officer. And now: Torture wasn't torture, and it worked. After all that&mdash;though he's still afforded elder statesman status by much of the media&mdash;he probably deserves derision more than rebuttal.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Foreign Policy International Top Stories Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:28:18 +0000 David Corn 266626 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren Says Gay Men Should Be Able To Donate Blood http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/gay-blood-ban-senators-letter-elizabeth-warren <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Elizabeth Warren and a host of Democratic lawmakers are demanding the Obama administration stand up for gay rights.</p> <p>A coalition of 80 senators and House members&nbsp;spearheaded by the Massachusetts senator&mdash;alongside Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)&mdash;sent a letter Monday to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, protesting the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/fda-repeal-ban-allow-celibate-gay-men-donate-blood" target="_blank">long-standing prohibition</a> that bars men who have had sex with men from donating blood in the United States.</p> <p>In 1983, the federal government instituted a lifetime ban for any man who has had sex with another man&mdash;even once&mdash;at any time after 1977. That rule went into effect during the early days of AIDS panic when the disease was largely unknown. Now, technology exists that can detect HIV within a few weeks of infection.</p> <p>Last month, an HHS panel that handles blood policy advocated tossing out the lifetime ban&mdash;but argued for replacing it with a measure that would keep any sexually active gay man from contributing to the blood supply: a ban on donations from any man who had sex with another man within the past year.</p> <p>To the Democrats in Congress, that slight improvement isn't nearly enough. The letter calls both the lifetime ban and the one-year deferral policies "discriminatory" and "unacceptable." The lawmakers urged an end to the lifetime ban by the "end of 2014," while also pushing for a less-stringent restriction than the one-year celibacy requirement.</p> <p>"The recommendation to move to a one-year deferral policy is a step forward relative to current policies; however, such a policy still prevents many low-risk individuals from donating blood," the letter says. "If we are serious about protecting and enhancing our nation's blood supply, we must embrace science and reject outdated stereotypes."</p> <p>The letter may have been better directed at the Food and Drug Administration. That agency's Blood Products Advisory Panel met earlier this month to consider the one-year deferral proposed by HHS, but the panel of experts <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/fda-panel-gay-blood-donation-ban" target="_blank">seemed more inclined</a> to let the current policy stand rather than loosen the restrictions.</p> <p>Here's the full letter:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1380657-letter-to-hhs-on-blood-donation-ban">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1380657-letter-to-hhs-on-blood-donation-ban.js", { width: 630, height: 800, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1380657-letter-to-hhs-on-blood-donation-ban" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1380657/letter-to-hhs-on-blood-donation-ban.pdf">Letter to HHS on blood donation ban (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1380657/letter-to-hhs-on-blood-donation-ban.txt">Letter to HHS on blood donation ban (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Congress Gay Rights Health Health Care Top Stories Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:39:50 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 266596 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for December 15, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/were-still-war-photo-day-december-15-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines conduct a static-line jump to prepare for upcoming deployment. (<span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1418653995553_1584">US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht</span>)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:39:03 +0000 266586 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's a List of People to Follow on Twitter for the Latest on the Australian Hostage Crisis http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/twitter-list-australian-hostage-crisis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>An armed assailant is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/breaking-sydney-lockdown-hostage-situation-unfolds" target="_blank">holding an unconfirmed number of hostages</a> in a cafe in downtown Sydney. Police have evacuated the area and are locking down a pedestrian thoroughfare, Martin Place. Here is a partial list of people and organizations you can follow on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the ongoing hostage crisis:</p> <ul><li><em>Buzzfeed Australia</em>'s breaking news reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/MarkDiStef" target="_blank">Mark Di Stefano</a> is on the scene.</li> <li>Channel 9 journalist&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/carolinemarcus" target="_blank">Caroline Marcus</a> is doing a great job covering the unfolding events.</li> <li><em>Guardian Australia</em>'s <a href="https://twitter.com/bkjabour" target="_blank">Bridie Jabour</a> has been running that site's live blog and beta-testing the facts as they emerge.</li> <li>Sydney police reporter for <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helevetica, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,</span> <a href="http://www.twitter.com/lucethoughts" target="_blank">Lucy Carter</a>, is also on the scene and tweeting.</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/jessradio" target="_blank">Jess Hill</a> is also doing a great job fact-checking the news as it breaks.</li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/turnerscope" target="_blank">Cath Turner</a>, a reporter for Seven News, a television company with studios within walking distance of the cafe.</li> <li>You should already be following the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's <a href="https://twitter.com/Colvinius" target="_blank">Mark Colvin</a> for everything Australia-related.</li> <li>For political ramifications, Fairfax reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/latikambourke" target="_blank">Latika Bourke</a> is a great go-to.</li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/smh" target="_blank">The Sydney Morning Herald</a></li> <li>The <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCNews24" target="_blank">ABC</a></li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/australian" target="_blank">The Australian Newspaper</a></li> <li>The <a href="https://twitter.com/nswpolice" target="_blank">New South Wales police</a>, who are taking the lead on operations</li> </ul></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice International Top Stories Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:06:12 +0000 James West 266571 at http://www.motherjones.com I Was There When an Undercover Cop Pulled a Gun on Unarmed Protesters in Oakland. Here's How It Happened. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/undercover-officer-gun-berkeley-oakland-protest <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Over the past 24 hours, photos showing a plainclothes police officer pulling a gun on unarmed protesters in Oakland have gone viral. Tens of thousands of people, and news outlets like <em>Gawker, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, </em>and <em>NBC</em> have shared them, often including outraged comments. But there have been few accounts of what exactly happened, and how the incident came to pass.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet rtecenter" lang="en">&mdash; Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) <a href="https://twitter.com/nickbilton/status/543166264315637760">December 11, 2014</a></blockquote> <p class="rtecenter"><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet rtecenter" lang="en">&mdash; Citizen Radio (@CitizenRadio) <a href="https://twitter.com/CitizenRadio/status/543425698632073216">December 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>I was one of the few reporters with the protesters at that point, around 11:30 p.m., and what I saw may add some useful context.</p> <p>The protest was the latest in a series that have filled the streets of Berkeley and Oakland in the past couple of weeks in response to the lack of indictments for the officers who had killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner. (I covered most of them <a href="https://twitter.com/gabriellecanon" target="_blank">via Twitter.</a>) Marchers generally remained peaceful. Sometimes they overtook highways and blocked intersections. Parents pushed strollers, students kept stride with older marchers, and people from all across the Bay Area joined in. But there was also infighting among the crowds, and breakaway factions looted stores, smashed windows, and burned trash cans. Police officers responded with tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and fired non-lethal bullets<a href="#correction">*</a>, and their actions were often met with outrage.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/fuckpolice.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Protesters run after police set off flashbang grenades in Oakland, Calif. </strong>Gabrielle Canon</div> </div> <p>Wednesday night seemed as if it was going to end differently. Organizers with hoarse voices rallied the crowd of some 150 with updates on the movement that they said was building across the country. They presented a petition listing demands, including for Darren Wilson to be indicted and protesters who'd been arrested to be released without charges. Starting at the Berkeley campus, the group marched peacefully toward Oakland as a rainstorm approached.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/IMG_3647.JPG"><div class="caption"><strong>A little girl rides along on her stroller, chanting in a march last week. </strong>Gabrielle Canon</div> <p>About 10:30 p.m., a small group from within the march broke windows at a T-Mobile store and smashed Bank Of America ATMs. Protesters blocked photographers documenting the violence, pushing us and putting their hands in front of lenses.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/IMG_4312.JPG"><div class="caption"><strong>Marching floods into the streets in Berkeley, CA early on Wednesday night </strong>Gabrielle Canon</div> </div> <p>Shortly after this, police presence increased. Squad cars and white vans full of officers followed the march slowly as announcements rang out over a police intercom informing protesters that police were there for their protection and that their right to demonstrate was being respected<strong>.</strong> They also warned that any vandalism or violence would lead to citation or arrest.</p> <p>According to reporter David DeBolt, <a href="http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_27120646/oakland-protests-plainclothes-chp-officers-gun-use-draws" target="_blank">writing for <em>Inside Bay Area</em></a>, officials say it was then that two undercover officers joined the march, both wearing dark handkerchiefs and hoods that covered their faces. I had not seen them earlier, and they did not appear in any of the photos I took.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/IMG_3679.JPG"><div class="caption"><strong>A marcher does a different take on "Hands up don't shoot" </strong>Gabrielle Canon</div> </div> <p>Suddenly, behind me, someone started to yell. A protester had discovered the undercover cops and shouted an alarm. Others began to join in, calling them pigs and telling them to go home. The two men passed me in silence, at a hurried pace. Suddenly, a scuffle erupted as one protester attempted to pull off one of the officer's hoods. The officer tackled someone involved, and was quickly surrounded by a small crowd and kicked from several directions while on the ground. (That officer, who was African American, is who you see in the ground in the photo above.) The other officer stepped in front of his partner and brandished a baton. When the crowd did not back up he drew his gun, pointing at protesters and photographers. Moments later, police flooded the area, scattering marchers and blocking others, as the undercover officers arrested the man who had been tackled in the skirmish.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/IMG_41760.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Protester in Oakland, CA </strong>Gabrielle Canon</div> </div> <p>DeBolt reports the undercover officers were later identified as members of California Highway Patrol, assigned to follow the march on foot. They had been following in a vehicle providing information to stop protesters from blocking highways. Officials said in a press conference that the agency is investigating the incident, but believes the officers did what was necessary to protect themselves. They said that undercover cops had been deployed in prior protests and would be again, and that Twitter accounts had also been used to gather information.</p> <p>The incident and photo have sparked anger and questions about police tactics in crowd control. Protesters are expected to resume marching over the weekend throughout the Bay Area and I will <a href="https://twitter.com/GabrielleCanon" target="_blank">send out updates on Twitter</a> as events unfold.</p> </div> <p id="correction"><em>Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated the location from which nonlethal bullets were fired. The language has been changed to fix the error.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Top Stories Sat, 13 Dec 2014 00:12:25 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 266476 at http://www.motherjones.com Dozens of Staffers Just Walked Out of Congress. This Powerful Picture Shows Why. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/black-congressional-staffers-eric-garner-michael-brown <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday afternoon, dozens of congressional staffers walked out in protest of the recent grand jury decisions failing to indict the two officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The result was an incredible display of solidarity, with staffers raising their hands in the air to invoke Brown's "hands up, don't shoot" image. See the photos below:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Congressional staffers walk out to protest the grand jury decisions in the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner <a href="http://t.co/aZoDA22tFK">pic.twitter.com/aZoDA22tFK</a></p> &mdash; Jess Conner (@Jecon) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jecon/status/543143609466634242">December 11, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Walkout. <a href="http://t.co/zg1guvKmtD">pic.twitter.com/zg1guvKmtD</a></p> &mdash; Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) <a href="https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/543143287927091200">December 11, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Today on the Capitol steps, congressional staff reminded us that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash">#BlackLivesMatter</a>. Proud to lend my support. <a href="http://t.co/J5uuJgXNKj">pic.twitter.com/J5uuJgXNKj</a></p> &mdash; Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) <a href="https://twitter.com/NancyPelosi/status/543169886680539136">December 11, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Race and Ethnicity Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:55:38 +0000 Inae Oh 266441 at http://www.motherjones.com Rick Perry: Running for President Is "Not an IQ Test" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/rick-perry-dumb <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.mrctv.org/embed/131394" title="MRC TV video player" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>A lot of people think Texas Governor Rick Perry might be <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62214.html" target="_blank">dumb</a>. Perry does not think that should&nbsp;stop him from running for president.</p> <p>"Running for the presidency&rsquo;s not an IQ test," Perry <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/rick-perry-presidency-not-iq-test" target="_blank">told</a><em> MSNBC</em> this morning. "It is a test of an individual&rsquo;s resolve. It&rsquo;s a test of an individual&rsquo;s philosophy. It&rsquo;s a test of an individual&rsquo;s life experiences. And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future."</p> <p>Here are some clips of Rick Perry being dumb:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D-ts2KU0h58" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I4tWZNxnABk" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Video 2016 Elections Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:59:00 +0000 Inae Oh 266406 at http://www.motherjones.com Back From the Dead: Soft Money Makes a Comeback in Congress http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/spending-bill-soft-money-congress-harry-reid <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em><strong>Update: Friday, December 12, 2014:</strong> On Thursday night, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/us/congress-spending-bill.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0">House passed</a> the so-called Cromnibus government spending bill with the soft money provision intact. The bill moves to the Senate where it's expected to pass.</em></p> <p>Soft money&mdash;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/campfin/stories/cf090597a.htm" target="_blank">limitless donations</a> pouring into the Democratic and Republican parties from labor unions, big corporations, and Hollywood moguls&mdash;was once all the rage in Washington. When the trickle of soft money began in the late 1980s, it was intended to fund building additions, TV studios, and other infrastructure for Team Blue and Team Red. But by the mid-'90s, soft money had exploded&mdash;the DNC and RNC <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/history-money-american-elections?page=2" target="_blank">raised $263 million of it</a> during the '96 election cycle, up from $45 million in 1988. And by the time of Bill Clinton's reelection, soft money wasn't just funding brick-and-mortar projects&mdash;it was supporting campaign activities to elect candidates to office. And the parties went to great lengths to pocket more. Remember those <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/04/us/campaign-finance-raising-money-party-officials-orchestrated-white-house.html" target="_blank">infamous sleepovers in the Clinton White House</a> for donors and fundraisers? All in the name of raising soft money. Soft money was at the core of the <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/21/nation/na-fec21" target="_blank">campaign finance scandal</a> triggered by Clinton's '96 campaign, the brouhaha that spurred the 2002 McCain-Feingold law banning soft money.</p> <p>Now, soft money is making a comeback of sorts. A <a href="http://electionlawblog.org/?p=68995">provision</a> added to the $1 trillion spending bill cobbled together by Congress this week to avert a government shutdown would increase by tenfold the amount of money wealthy donors could give to the national political parties. Those dollars would go to fund presidential conventions, physical building activities, and legal work by the parties&mdash;an echo of the old soft-money days.</p> <p>Here's how the new math breaks down. Right now,&nbsp;donations to the DNC, the RNC, and their campaign affiliates&nbsp;(the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and so on)&nbsp;are limited to $32,400&nbsp;per person per committee&nbsp;each year. If the provision becomes law, donors could give $324,000 a year&mdash;a tenfold increase&mdash;to the DNC or RNC, while also donating $453,600 a year to the other party committees. All told, that means a wealthy donor could give $777,600 a year to all these outfits, or more than $1.5 million across an entire election cycle. "This is a law for millionaires and billionaires, period," says Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a good-government group that backs limits on money in politics.</p> <p>As the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/12/10/fundraising-expansion-slipped-into-spending-deal-could-power-financial-bonzana-for-parties/?postshare=6991418227228054"><em>Washington Post</em> notes</a>, this move could nudge the center of gravity in the political-money world back toward the national parties, which have found themselves strapped for cash while independent super-PACs rake in seven-figure checks:</p> <blockquote> <p>While there would be some restrictions on how parties could use those donations, the creation of new, wider lanes for money to travel into the parties would be a major boon, campaign finance experts said. The expanded avenues for giving would dramatically undercut some of the last remaining provisions of the landmark McCain-Feingold Act, which curtailed the ability of parties to raise huge, unregulated sums.</p> <p>"It's always hard to predict how much more money will actually be raised when contribution limits are modified like this," said Michael Toner, a Republican election law attorney and former Federal Election Commission member. "But the opportunity is there for the national political parties to raise significantly more money. I think this could be a real shot in the arm for the national parties and it would be a further chipping away of the McCain-Feingold law."</p> <p>"Money is fungible in American politics," Toner added. "Any change in the campaign finance law that allows additional funds to be raised by parties for specified purposes necessarily frees up funds to be spent electing candidates."</p> <p>The ability of parties to raise huge sums could help them retake power back from super PACs and politically active nonprofits, which have emerged as major players in national politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010.</p> </blockquote> <p>Critics of the provision say it will transport national politics back to the scandal-ridden '90s when soft money flowed freely. "This provision would open a door to a new avenue of corruption, and is one more indication that selling American democracy is a bipartisan affair," says Josh Orton, political director of Progressives United, the advocacy group founded by former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).</p> <p>It's unclear who inserted the provision into the spending bill. The office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), an avid foe of campaign finance regulations, denied involvement. But the provision appears to stand a good chance of surviving. Despite <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/harry-reid-mitch-mcconnell-budget-bill-rider-campaign-finance" target="_blank">vowing</a> to block an earlier attempt by McConnell to cut down campaign money limits, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told <em>Politico</em> that he will not block the current provision. "If President Obama signs this law into effect, assuming it passes, he will be joining with Sen. Reid in owning this legislation and the national scandals that are bound to follow," Wertheimer says.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Congress Money in Politics Regulatory Affairs Top Stories Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:35:12 +0000 Andy Kroll 266331 at http://www.motherjones.com LA’s Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Instagram http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/eric-garcetti-los-angeles-instagram-mayor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is a busy guy. But even the mayor of America's second-largest city&mdash;and <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/california-quake-113380.html" target="_blank">potential Senate candidate</a>&mdash;is not immune to the relaxing, time-wasting powers of social media: he's a <a href="http://instagram.com/ericgarcetti" target="_blank">prolific Instagrammer</a>.</p> <p>Unlike the social media accounts of most politicians, Garcetti's Instagram clearly belongs to a real human being&mdash;one with a hobby interest in photography. Compare that to the Instagram of <a href="http://instagram.com/billdeblasio" target="_blank">New York City's Bill de Blasio,</a> whose feed is clogged with press conferences&mdash;no filters to be found. No wonder, then, that Garcetti boasts nearly 12,000 followers, easily topping de Blasio's 7,800. With artsy shots like these, it's not hard to see why:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/wRLzeuwS9A/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-12-06T14:24:11+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Dec 12, 2014 at 6:24am PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/ur0o_oQSwQ/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-10-28T05:38:28+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Oct 10, 2014 at 10:38pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Really, though. This is just great composition:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/sG8-MfwS4W/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-08-25T04:56:35+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Aug 8, 2014 at 9:56pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond showcasing his artistic eye, Garcetti's not afraid to broadcast himself hobnobbing in Hollywood:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/wNQXL-QS0A/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">#MerryGrinchmas #HappyWhoYear #MayorAugustusMaywho</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) on <time datetime="2014-12-05T01:47:02+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Dec 12, 2014 at 5:47pm PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Like many LA residents, he admires an appealing coffee menu:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/tyL0Q6wS5g/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">@primerataza great stop during @ciclavia</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) on <time datetime="2014-10-05T20:25:02+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Oct 10, 2014 at 1:25pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He can't resist the appeal of a photogenic dog. (The dog in question belongs to California Governor Jerry Brown.)</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/o3_7wWwS7u/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">California's First Dog, @SutterBrown</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) on <time datetime="2014-06-05T19:59:41+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Jun 6, 2014 at 12:59pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He puts his frequent helicopter and plane rides to good use:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/u6PnpCQS0T/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-11-02T20:03:35+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Nov 11, 2014 at 12:03pm PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/vPrKBUwS9B/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-11-11T03:48:16+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Nov 11, 2014 at 7:48pm PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dude knows how to use some borders.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/pZvQ4PwS5y/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_top">A photo posted by Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti)</a> on <time datetime="2014-06-18T22:28:11+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Jun 6, 2014 at 3:28pm PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While some take to Garcetti's posts to complain (mostly about helicopter use), the comments on his posts are overwhelmingly positive. Representing most, one user wrote, "Mr. Mayor, I've been increasingly surprised by your photographic eye. You have a great perspective for light and color. Respect." Respect, indeed.</p></body></html> MoJo Media Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:38:05 +0000 Sam Brodey 266191 at http://www.motherjones.com