MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/sites/all/modules/patched/service_links/images/www.knightarmco.com/blog http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en "Veep" Just Aired Its Best Episode Yet http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/veep-season-three-hbo-best-episode-alicia-armando-iannucci-interview <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><em>This post contains some spoilers.</em></p> <p>When I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/armando-iannucci-interview-veep-hbo-joe-biden" target="_blank">spoke with <em>Veep </em>creator Armando Iannucci</a> last year, we had some fun discussing (among other topics) how he does his research for the HBO satire and why he would <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/armando-iannucci-interview-veep-hbo-joe-biden" target="_blank">never, ever, ever</a> allow Joe Biden on the show. But what really stood out to me was when Iannucci talked about his characters' professional and personal frustrations&mdash;and how those frustrations reflect his view of Washington's effect <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/armando-iannucci-interview-veep-hbo-joe-biden" target="_blank">on the soul</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>I don't want [the characters in <em>Veep</em>] to seem like caricatures&mdash;I want them to be viewed as <em>real</em> people, with their own problems, and hopes, and dreams, and frustrations...And it's that frustration and exasperation that I look for in comedy...What I want to do is show what the system can do to you, and to have [the audience] sympathize with the terrible set of circumstances these characters have to deal with every single day.</p> </blockquote> <p>Iannucci is a brilliant satirist and a clever political observer. His brand of comedy and commentary (also seen in British TV series <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8m3dFcNuAQ" target="_blank"><em>The Day Today</em></a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-pnGFbwMQ" target="_blank"><em>The Thick of It</em></a>, and the latter's brilliant 2009 spin-off <a href="http://prospect.org/article/loops-and-parallels" target="_blank">film</a> <em><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2KPUt01NKE" target="_blank">In the Loop</a></em>) is a mischievous deromanticization of political and media elites. It's smart, wildly funny stuff that's full of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20309441" target="_blank">carefully</a> constructed, linguistically acrobatic <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/04/tv-review-veep-hbo-season-2-julia-louis-dreyfus" target="_blank">profanity</a>.</p> <p>But with many of <em>Veep</em>'s episodes, that sympathy he mentions in the above quote doesn't always come through. Your average viewer might watch a random episode and come away with the impression that it was written by someone who despised Washington, DC, and all its inhabitants. (Iannucci is actually a self-described "politics geek" who finds DC "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/armando-iannucci-interview-veep-hbo-joe-biden" target="_blank">fascinating</a>.") However, in this Sunday's episode, "Alicia" (directed by&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Morris_%28satirist%29" target="_blank">Chris Morris</a>&nbsp;and guest-starring <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1139632/" target="_blank">Tracie Thoms</a>), Iannucci's humanist outlook is more apparent than it ever has been before in the series. This is the reason why "Alicia" is perhaps the finest episode <em>Veep </em>has yet to pull off.</p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/04/veep-season-three-hbo-best-episode-alicia-armando-iannucci-interview"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Elections Film and TV Mon, 21 Apr 2014 03:00:06 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 250206 at http://www.motherjones.com 15 Years After Columbine, How "Never Again" Became "Oh Well" http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/columbine-15-years-later <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On April 20, 1999, two teenagers walked into a suburban high school outside of Denver and shot 13 people to death. The massacre at Columbine was not the first mass shooting in America. It was not the first mass shooting at an American school. Indeed, Peter Jennings began <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/april-20-1999-columbine-shooting-9541833" target="_blank">the news that night</a>, "The reaction of so many people today was 'oh no, not again.'" But Columbine was different. It became a national trauma in a way the others hadn't.&nbsp; Yes, it was the deadliest American school shooting on record at the time&mdash;though it is no longer&mdash;but what really amplified its significance was the fact it was the first mass shooting that played out in real time on television. The shootings began at <a href="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/NARRATIVE.Time.Line.htm" target="_blank">11:19am</a>. By noon, local television stations had broken into regular programming with <a href="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/NARRATIVE.Time.Line2.htm" target="_blank">uninterrupted media coverage</a>. Millions of people across the country turned on CNN and watched the story develop.</p> <p>Here's how America watched the chaos of Columbine: There were reports of a shooting and it was at a school and the body count began going up and witnesses said they were two shooters with shotguns and rifles and pistols and there had been an explosion across town and it had been a diversion maybe and pipe bombs, something about pipe bombs, and the body count kept rising, and booby traps, and then Clinton gave a speech and then the shooters were in a mafia that wore trench coats and maybe there were more than two and then no there were only two and they were dead and the bomb squad finished the initial sweep of the building at <a href="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/SAFE_SCENE_TEXT.htm" target="_blank">4:45pm</a> and it was over, but not really because then there was the CCTV footage, the witness interviews, the search for motive, they had been bowling, they had been bullied, they had said something about Hitler and they listened to Marilyn Manson and they wanted to one up Timothy McViegh and What Does It All Mean?</p> <p>Studies show that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/study-media-coverage-boston-marathon-sandy-hook-newtown-trauma" target="_blank">following breaking news events can itself be traumatic.</a> Following Columbine certainly was. Parents hugged their kids a little tighter that night.</p> <p>After Columbine there was a general sense that something had to be done. That kids getting killed at school was a thing we weren't going to be ok with.&nbsp; "Never again," the saying goes. It wasn't some fanciful impossibility. The British did it after <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre" target="_blank">Dunblane</a>. And so we did that. Everyone got together and passed sweeping gun control legislation and there was never another mass shooting in America.</p> <p>Except not really. Because the "never again" response&mdash;though shared by many&mdash;was not shared by all.</p> <p>On May 1, Charlton Heston came to Denver and made a <a href="http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4496147/charlton-hesons-1999-nra-convention-speech" target="_blank">much-discussed speech</a> where he said, "We have work to do, hearts to heal, evil to defeat, and a country to unite. We may have differences, yes, and we will again suffer tragedy almost beyond description. But when the sun sets on Denver tonight, and forever more, let it always set on we the people, secure in our land of the free and the home of the brave." Say what you will about that speech, but as far as predictions go it was spot on. It's a fait accompli. There were more shootings. We mourned and then did nothing because we seem to have accepted that occasional mass murder is the cost of America.</p> <p>Both responses, "never again" and "don't bother trying," offer statements about the USA. The former says "America is the greatest country on Earth. We went to the moon. Surely, we can stop kids from getting shot to death at school! If the Brits can do it, so can we. " The latter says, "No, we can't. We're America. The greatest country on Earth and the cost of the liberty that makes us so is that our kids may get shot to death at school." It goes further, "Kids in other countries may get shot to death at their schools too, but we know that after kids get shot to death in our schools that there will be no significant reforms to prevent more of our kids from getting shot to death at more of our schools. Their death will, in a very real sense, be utterly meaningless."</p> <p>Every time there is another mass shooting and nothing happens it becomes a little easier to believe that the "don't bother" crowd is right.</p> <p>Nothing changed after 13 people were killed at Columbine, or 33 at Virginia Tech, or 26 at Sandy hook. Each of those tragedies came with the same breaking news coverage as Columbine, but none generated the same sense of action because fewer and fewer people actually believed things could change.&nbsp; The last 15 years have been a lesson in how "never again" can be cowed into "I need a drink."</p> <p>And that's insane. It's an insane thing to have to accept that problem as an inevitability. It's an insane reality to have to shrug off.</p> <p>So, 15 years after Columbine rattled America to its core, people still get shot while they're at school. People get shot while they're at work. People get shot eating. People get shot drinking. People get shot watching movies, shopping, driving, swimming, skipping and playing baseball.&nbsp; It's 2014 and in America <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data" target="_blank">people get shot doing basically any goddamn thing you can think of.</a></p> <p>They don't have to.</p> </body></html> Politics Guns Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:31:09 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 250196 at http://www.motherjones.com Housekeeping Notes http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/04/housekeeping-notes <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>These are <em>real</em> housekeeping notes. That is, notes about stuff around my house. First topic: LED light bulbs.</p> <p>I've purchased several LED floods that are can-mounted in my ceiling. They're great. The quality of the light is good; they turn on instantly; they don't flicker; and they use hardly any electricity. There's only one problem: they seem to last less than a year. The LEDs themselves last for decades, of course, but the circuitry that drives the bulb doesn't. As <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_led_flood.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 20px 15px 30px;">near as I can tell, there's eventually enough heat buildup in the can to burn out the chip that controls the whole thing, and when the chip burns out, no more bulb.</p> <p>I'm just guessing here, but this has now happened three times out of five bulbs I've purchased, and in all three cases the case of the bulb was hot to the touch when I unscrewed it from the base. So here's my question: Does anyone know for sure what's going on here? Is my guess that a chip is burning out probably correct? Am I just buying cheap bulbs? Can anyone recommend a can-mounted flood that's reliable and will actually last for the 25 years that manufacturers so cheerfully promise?</p> <p>Second: a cell phone update. In last weekend's thread, the Google Nexus 5 got a lot of love, but so did the Motorola Moto X. I had actually made up my mind on the Nexus 5, but the T-Mobile store only sold it in a 16GB version, so I decided to go home and buy one online. But then I started dithering because of all the nice things people had said about the Moto X. Eventually, after far more dithering than makes sense for someone who doesn't use a cell phone much, I decided the slightly smaller Moto X was the better choice. So: thanks, folks! I don't think this would have come across my radar otherwise.</p> </body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:50:28 +0000 Kevin Drum 250191 at http://www.motherjones.com The US Government Really Isn't Worried About "Transcendence" Happening in Real Life http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/transcendence-film-johnny-depp-government-plan-real-life <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><em>This post contains spoilers, but the movie <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/everything-there-know-about-transcendence-film" target="_blank">is bad</a> so I don't think you'll care.</em></p> <p><em>Transcendence </em>is an <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/transcendence_2014/" target="_blank">awful</a> movie&mdash;two hours of squandered potential. (You can read my colleague Ben Dreyfuss' review <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/everything-there-know-about-transcendence-film" target="_blank">here</a>.) The film stars <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/07/disney-johnny-depp-lone-ranger-native-americans-racism" target="_blank">Johnny Depp</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ9w1WmTXDE" target="_blank">Rebecca Hall</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/lego-movie-political-corporate-satire" target="_blank">Morgan Freeman</a>, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/house-of-cards-season-2-molly-parker-jacqueline-sharp-war-crimes" target="_blank">Kate Mara</a>. It was&nbsp;executive-produced by <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/07/film-review-dark-knight-rises-christian-bale-christopher-nolan" target="_blank">Christopher Nolan</a>, and marks the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister (the guy who made <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/07/the-reason-christopher-nolan-films-look-like-christopher-nolan-films/260087/" target="_blank">Christopher Nolan movies look like Christopher Nolan movies</a>). The plot goes something like this: Depp plays a renowned artificial-intelligence researcher named Will Caster. He gets assassinated by a terrorist group that fears super-intelligent, sentient machines will one day rule the world. Will's wife Evelyn (played by Hall) has the bright idea to upload his consciousness to a big computer thing, hoping he'll live on in cyberspace or something. It works, and this achieves technological singularity (when A.I. becomes greater than the human mind), which Will calls "transcendence."</p> <p>Things get really creepy and it starts to look like Johnny Depp The Omniscient Computer really is trying to take over the world. The US government begins to wage a secret war on him/it, and gets into bed with some shady, gun-toting characters in doing so.</p> <p>Anyway, that may sound like a cool premise, but the movie is really, very boring&mdash;but it did get me and my buddy thinking: What would our government do if this happened in real life? Does the government have a contingency plan <em>if </em>(as some believe is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity#Implications_for_human_society" target="_blank">possible</a>) sentient machines began outdoing mankind? What if the machines <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Jo8QoOTQ4" target="_blank">went to war</a> against us? <em>What would Barack Obama do???</em></p> <p>Okay, this is stupid. But if America once drew up legit <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/29/AR2005122901412.html" target="_blank">plans to invade Canada</a>, maybe there's a chance we have a plan for this. I called up the Department of Defense, and was transferred to spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart. I asked him these questions, and if anyone working in cyber warfare had anything to say about this. His response:</p> <blockquote> <p>I'm gonna be frank with you. There is nobody here who is going to talk about that...There are currently no plans for this. It's just a completely unrealistic scenario. We have a lot of people working on this team on serious stuff, but this just isn't a real threat.</p> </blockquote> <p>"Well," he concluded, "at least not for now."</p> <p><em>For now.</em></p> <p>Obama's America.</p> <p>Here's the trailer for the Johnny Depp movie:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VCTen3-B8GU" width="630"></iframe></p> </body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Military Tech Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:34:03 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 250181 at http://www.motherjones.com Review: "Transcendence" (2014) http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/everything-there-know-about-transcendence-film <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><strong>"Transcendence"</strong></p> <p><strong>Released by: </strong>Warner Brothers Pictures</p> <p><strong>Starring:</strong> Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall</p> <p><strong>Directed by: </strong>Wally Pfister</p> <p><strong>Screenplay by: </strong>Jack Paglen</p> <p><strong>Release Date: </strong>April 18, 2014</p> <p><strong>Rating:</strong> PG-13</p> <p><strong>Runtime:</strong> 119 minutes</p> <p><strong>Review: </strong>Wow awful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:29:15 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 250186 at http://www.motherjones.com Beloved Author Gabriel García Márquez Was Also a Go-Between for Colombian Guerrillas and the Government http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/gabriel-garcia-marquez-dead-87-go-between-colombian-rebels-government-shakira <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Gabriel Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/books/gabriel-garcia-marquez-literary-pioneer-dies-at-87.html?_r=0" target="_blank">passed away</a> on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. The Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist was celebrated for such works as <em>One Hundred Years of Solitude</em> and <em>Love in the Time of Cholera</em>. "The world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers&mdash;one of my favorites from the time I was young," President Obama <a href="https://twitter.com/lacasablanca/status/456918961272410112" target="_blank">said</a> on Thursday.</p> <p>When a literary figure as towering as Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez dies, there are too many fascinating things to write about&mdash;his writing, his political history, his <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/25210/gabos-wild-ride-incredible-adventures-gabriel-garc%C3%ADa-m%C3%A1rquez" target="_blank">wild ride</a> of a life. (Hell, I could see myself writing an entire term paper on his friendly relationship with <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2002/jun/08/shopping.colombia" target="_blank">Colombian pop star Shakira</a>!) I'm not going to attempt anything close to a definitive obituary of a man who gave the world so much through his art. I'll leave that <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=gabriel+garcia+marquez+obituary&amp;ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;channel=fflb" target="_blank">to others</a>.</p> <p>But I'd like to highlight one politically significant part of <a href="http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-gabriel-garcia-marquez-nobel-prize-winning-author-dies-20140405,0,3445782.story" target="_blank">Gabo</a>'s life: Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez wasn't just an acclaimed writer and passionate supporter of left-wing causes&mdash;for a time, he was an intermediary between Colombian leftist guerrillas and the government.</p> <p>Here's an excerpt from a 1999 <em>New Yorker </em><a href="http://www.themodernword.com/gabo/gabo_power.html" target="_blank">profile</a> written by Jon Lee Anderson:</p> <blockquote> <p>Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez who has often referred to himself as "the last optimist in Colombia," has been closely involved in the peace negotiations. He introduced [Colombian president&nbsp;Andr&eacute;s] Pastrana to his old friend Fidel Castro, who could facilitate talks with the guerrillas, and he helped restore good relations between Washington and Bogot&aacute;. "I won't say that it was Gabo who brought all this about," <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/11/why-cant-bill-richardson-catch-fire" target="_blank">Bill Richardson</a>, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, said early this summer, "but he was a catalyst." Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez was invited by the Clintons to the White House several times, and friends say he believed that he was going to not only carry off the immediate goal of getting some sort of negotiated settlement between the guerrillas and the government but also finally help bring about an improvement in relations between the United States and Cuba. "The U.S. needs Cuba's involvement in the Colombian peace talks, because the Cuban government has the best contacts with the guerrillas," he explained to me. "And Cuba is perfectly situated, only two hours away, so Pastrana can go there overnight and have meetings and come back without anyone knowing anything about it. And the U.S. wants this to happen." Then he smiled in a way that indicated he knew much more than he was telling me, as usual.</p> </blockquote> <p>The whole profile, which you can <a href="http://www.themodernword.com/gabo/gabo_power.html" target="_blank">check out here</a>, is definitely worth a read.</p> <p>I now leave you with this footage of Garc&iacute;a M&aacute;rquez visiting Shakira and <a href="http://jezebel.com/5716069/gabriel-garcia-marquez-shakes-it-to-shakira" target="_blank">dancing</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-3zIxuQlWeo" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>R.I.P.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Books Human Rights International Music Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:41:47 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 250156 at http://www.motherjones.com This Climate Scientist Just Won Another Victory in Court http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/04/michael-mann-foia-uva <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Michael Mann, the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/michael-mann-climategate-court-victory" target="_blank">perennially</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/04/history-of-climategate" target="_blank">embattled</a> climate scientist best known for his "hockey-stick" temperature graph, came out victorious yesterday in a court battle against a Virginia legislator and a conservative think tank that had sought to obtain thousands of Mann's emails and research documents from his time as a University of Virginia professor.</p> <p>The Virginia Supreme Court <a href="http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1130934.pdf" target="_blank">ruled</a> that unpublished scientific research can be exempted from the state's Freedom of Information Act requirements, because disclosing such information would cut into the university's competitive advantage over other universities. As a result, some 12,000 of Mann's emails and papers won't be released to the <a href="http://eelegal.org/" target="_blank">Energy &amp; Environment Legal Institute</a> (formerly known as the American Tradition Institute) and Virginia Delegate Robert Marshall (R-Prince William), who had requested the documents in 2011.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist/posts/688569971199208?stream_ref=10" target="_blank">statement</a> on his Facebook page, Mann called the decision "a victory for science, public university faculty, and academic freedom."</p> <p>Back in 2012, a lower Virginia court <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/uva-wins-key-ruling-in-prince-william-global-warming-foia-case-involving-michael-mann/2012/09/18/6c422d98-0133-11e2-b257-e1c2b3548a4a_blog.html" target="_blank">ruled</a> that the documents in question were considered "proprietary," and thus shielded from FOIA requests. ATI appealed the decision, and the case <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2013/10/09/prince-william-foia-case-on-global-warming-headed-for-virginia-supreme-court/" target="_blank">landed</a> with the state's Supreme Court last October. The main question was whether research-related documents should get the same kind of protection as trade secrets and other information that could cause financial harm if released. ATI argued that Mann's emails didn't merit such protection, while Mann and U-Va. maintained that scientists should be able to hammer out their work behind closed doors before presenting a finished product to the public.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>In a <a href="http://www.rcfp.org/sites/default/files/2013-11-12-ATI-v-UVA.PDF" target="_blank">brief</a> filed with the Supreme Court late last year, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argued that in protecting Mann's research, the lower court had actually set the scope too wide, leaving open the possibility that a university could claim virtually <em>any</em> document to be proprietary. But yesterday's Supreme Court ruling revised the exemption criteria so that non-research-related documents&mdash;things like budgets and communications between administrators&mdash;could still be accessed with a FOIA, said Emily Grannis, the Reporters Committee staffer who authored the brief.</p> <p>Of course, Grannis said, the ruling is only binding in the state of Virginia, but it could serve as a model for how other states set limits for what qualifies as proprietary if similar cases arise elsewhere.</p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/blue-marble/2014/04/michael-mann-foia-uva"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Blue Marble Civil Liberties Climate Change Climate Desk Courts Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:15:07 +0000 Tim McDonnell 250116 at http://www.motherjones.com Newly Released Clinton Doc: White House Aide Blasts Bill Clinton and Al Gore for "F***ing Stupid" Move http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/bill-clinton-white-house-carl-albert-funeral-email <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Among the trove of Clinton-era documents <a href="http://clintonlibrary.gov/previouslyrestricteddocs.html" target="_blank">released Friday afternoon</a> by the former president's library is an email from an angry White House aide who blasts President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for not attending the funeral of Oklahoma Democrat Carl Albert. Known as the "Little Giant from Little Dixie," Albert, who stood five feet four-and-a-half inches tall, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/06/us/carl-bert-albert-a-powerful-democrat-in-congress-for-three-decades-is-dead-at-91.html">served as speaker</a> of the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1976.</p> <p>Albert died on February 4, 2000, and many Democratic politicians attended his funeral five days later. But Clinton and&nbsp;Gore skipped the event. In an email, Tim Emrich, who worked on the White House's scheduling team, said "it's fucking stupid" that Clinton and Gore didn't attend. Emrich elaborated: "It's stupid that neither BC nor AG is attending this funeral. ESPECIALLY AG, it's such an easy home run in the largest democratic part of the state."</p> <p>Here's the email:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/fucking-stupid-clinton-oklahoma-email.jpg"></div> </body></html> MoJo Elections Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:58:21 +0000 Andy Kroll 250171 at http://www.motherjones.com READ: The Clinton Administration's Internal Memo on the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/hillary-clinton-white-house-conspiracy-report <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>In a 1995 internal memo, President Bill Clinton's White House Counsel's Office offered an in-depth analysis of the right-wing media mill that Hillary Clinton had dubbed the "vast right-wing conspiracy." Portions of the report, which was reported on by the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> and other outlets at the time, were included in a new trove of documents released to the public by the Clinton presidential library on Friday.</p> <p>The report traced the evolution of various Clinton scandals, such as Whitewater and the Gennifer Flowers affair allegations, from their origins at conservative&nbsp;think tanks&nbsp;or in British tabloids, until the point in which they entered the mainstream news ecosystem. Making matters even more complicated was new technology, the report explained:&nbsp;"[E]vidence exists that Republican staffers surf the internet, interacting with extremists in order to exchange the ideas and information." The administration even had a name for the process: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce."</p> <p>Per the document:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media. This is how the stream works. Well funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the <em>Western Journalism Center</em>, the <em>American Spectator</em> and the <em>Pittsburgh Tribune Review</em>. Next, the stories are re-printed on the internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, <em>Washington Times</em> and <em>New York Post</em>) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center media covers the story, Congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a "real" story.</p> </blockquote> <p>Chief among the White House's frustrations was conservative reaction to the death of Vince Foster, the president's former chief of staff. Right-wing outlets alleged that the Clintons had murdered Foster (or hired someone to do it) and covered it up as a suicide. According to the report:</p> <blockquote> <p>The controversy surrounding the death of Vince Foster has been, in large part, the product of a well-financed right-wing conspiracy industry operation. The "Wizard of Oz" figure orchestrating the machinations of the conspiracy industry is a little-known recluse, Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife uses his $800 million dollar inherited Mellon fortune to underwrite the Foster conspiracy industry. Scaife promotes the industry through his ownership of a small Pittsburgh newspaper, the<em> Tribune-Review</em>. Scaife's paper, under the direction of reporter Chris Ruddy, continually publishes stories regarding Foster's death. The stories are then reprinted in major newspapers all over the country in the form of paid advertisements. The Western Journalism Center (WJC), a non-profit conservative think tank, places the ads in these newspapers. The WJC receives much of its financial backing from Scaife.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Ruddy went on to found <em>Newsmax</em>, a conservative media outlet now <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/steve-malzberg-says-chelsea-clintons-pregnancy-was-deliberately-timed-benefit-hillarys-presi" target="_blank">promoting the theory</a> that Chelsea Clinton decided to have a baby in order to help her mother's 2016 presidential bid.)</p> <p>Read the document in all of its glory:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.pdf">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.txt">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>&nbsp;</p> <noscript> &Acirc;&nbsp;<a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.pdf">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (PDF)</a> &Acirc;&nbsp;<br> &Acirc;&nbsp;<a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.txt">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (Text)</a> </noscript> </body></html> MoJo Elections Hillary Clinton Media Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:43:43 +0000 Tim Murphy 250146 at http://www.motherjones.com Lawsuit: Texas Hospital Caved to Anti-Abortion Activists' Demands http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/texas-hospital-abortion-doctor-lawsuit <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Two abortion providers sued a Dallas hospital on Thursday, after the hospital revoked their admitting privileges. Because Texas law now <a href="http://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB2/id/871872" target="_blank">requires</a> doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, the revocation would mean that these doctors could no longer legally perform abortions. In a letter to the doctors, Chuck Schuetz, CEO of University General Hospital&ndash;Dallas, said they were disrupting the hospital's "business and the reputation" by providing abortions at their own facilities miles away. The lawsuit filed by the doctors, Lamar Robinson and Jasbir Ahluwalia, contends that the hospital discriminated against them because they perform abortions.</p> <p>Last month, anti-abortion rights activists <a href="https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/help-shut-down-an-abortion-mill-next-tuesday/" target="_blank">announced</a> plans to hold a demonstration outside the hospital to protest its association with Robinson. But on March 31, the day before the protest was to take place, Schuetz canceled the doctors' admitting privileges. "Your practice of voluntary interruption of pregnancies...creates significant exposure and damages to UGHD's reputation within the community," Schuetz wrote to Robinson and and Ahluwalia. In the letter, Schuetz characterized providing abortions as "disruptive behavior." He claimed that the hospital was not equipped to treat complications related to abortion and that the doctors were increasing "the probability of malpractice." Robinson and Ahluwalia allege that Schuetz yielded to pressure from anti-abortion rights activists, promising them the hospital would be "pro-life" and not associate with abortion doctors.</p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/04/texas-hospital-abortion-doctor-lawsuit"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Reproductive Rights Top Stories Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:23:03 +0000 Dana Liebelson 250071 at http://www.motherjones.com