A recent great pull from White House photographer Pete Souza shows Bush and Obama seeming to not just tolerate but actually enjoy each other's company. This is nothing new, however. Not only have Presidents always still been just as human as anyone else, but they occasionally cross the aisle to have close relationships that can be not only shocking, but endearing - including Barbara Bush referring to Bill Clinton as their "adopted son." Ridiculous conspiracy theories abound, but a simpler explanation may serve: that even the most partisan of politicans have more in common with each other than they would like us to believe - a common background, and often, common professions.
Years after the first hints of "harsh interrogation practices" in the US war on terror, years after Obama's decision to "look forward, not back" and not investigate or pursue official torture by the CIA and other agencies, the 577-page Report of the Task Force on Detainee Treatment that was released today is, "[i]n many respects, . . . the examination of the treatment of suspected terrorists that official Washington has been reluctant to conduct." The New York Times' Scott Shane reports. [more inside]
The original point of the sequester was that it would be terrible and “inflexible,” which would force Congress to choose a less terrible path, but obviously trusting Congress to not pick the most terrible of all available options was something of a gamble. So yes, sure, “flexibility,” but also maybe just “let’s not do this.” Unfortunately, “let’s just not do this” never comes up as an option on any of the shows, which all presented the argument as, on one side, “flexibility,” and on the other side, “a balanced approach,” which means a shitload of unnecessary cuts plus a bit more tax revenue, which sound nice but is still pointless contractionary policy.Alex Pareene watched the sunday morning shows so you don't have to.
President Obama called on Congress, in a speech today in Las Vegas, to advance an immigration overhaul that includes a plan “that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country right now.” [more inside]
Wall Street's leaders have utterly escaped jail. "There have been no arrests of senior Wall Street executives." Frontline examines why the United States federal government didn't go after the financial titans. (via)
Demand Question Time is a cross-partisan attempt in the US to make sessions like the remarkable give and take between President Obama and House Republicans of January 29th, which DQT calls "riveting and educational... substantive, civil and candid" a regular feature of American political discourse, like its parliamentary counterpart. As the petition's profile grows, signer David Corn explains "Why Question Time Is Right for Obama, House GOPers and Washington," and Peggy Noonan counters that "Question Time Isn't the Answer."
Ampd customer support responds to Michael Pusateri's complaint over their advertising on Ann Coulter's site. They are a-political [sic] and try to reach "as many segments of the market as possible" - Homo, bisexual, and Republican.
Perverse Polarity: Bipartisanship is another name for date rape? An examination of all of the talk about how polarized we are as a people, and what the facts actually are. Yet even when journalists' own evidence plainly shows that one party has become more moderate and the other more ideologically extreme, they can't bring themselves to say so.