Can't win if you do, can't win if you don't. Via TP.
See that high-capacity gun magazine that David Gregory was waving under Wayne LaPierre's wingnutty nose on “Meet the Press”? He shouldn't have done that because his possession of such a piece of equipment was illegal. But Gregory's off the hook and will not be prosecuted, says D.C.’s attorney general, because he has no criminal record, so off to court he doesn't go.
Whew! That was a nail-biter! Kidding.
The AG went on to say that “our recognition that the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States.”
In other words, don't be silly, this was a news show [sic], and Gregory's
a dufus a journalist so he gets a pass. This time.
"Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23,2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust."
"...Ignorance of the law or even confusion about it is no defense. We therefore did not rely in making our judgment on the feeble and unsatisfactory efforts that NBC made to determine whether or not it was lawful to possess, display and broadcast this large capacity magazine as a means of fostering the public policy debate. Although there appears to have been some misinformation provided initially, NBC was clearly and timely advised by an MPD employee that its plans to exhibit on the broadcast a high capacity-magazine would violate D.C. law, and there was no contrary advice from any federal official."
"Repetition by NBC or any employee of any similar or other firearms violation will be prosecuted to the full extent supported by the facts and the law.
"I am confident that you will convey our deep concern and warning to your client."
Two strikes and you're out, David.
H/t: David Shuster, Special thanks to Thomas Soldan
It's budget cut time again, and the White House is preparing their allies for the worst. But he's still continuing his well-received populist, jobs jobs jobs message on the campaign trail, so that's something. But, still, once again...
In his first three years, Obama had a free hand to suggest spending levels for government programs in his annual budget blueprint. But that is not the case this year because the administration is constrained by the budget deal reached in August to raise the debt limit.
He must stick to the $1.047 trillion spending cap he agreed to with GOP leaders, which means he will call for less discretionary spending than he did last year.
Senior administration officials fear a backlash from the left and are trying to prepare their allies to expect a disappointing budget, sources say.
“A senior White House person said we weren’t going to be happy with the budget, but they’re doing the best they can” given the spending caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act," said one source.... This year, it appears the administration is giving Democrats a heads-up, which goes a long way in politics.
According to senior administration officials, union leaders can breathe a little easier knowing that the Department of Labor, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety Health Administration, won't be at the receiving end of the big cuts. The same goes for the National Labor Relations Board.
The Hill's article wasn't specific about the question of smaller cuts, only referring to the "toughest" ones.
There is one thing we can be pretty sure of: GOP obstruction to any decent Democratic plan or suggestion.
Roll Call is reporting about a letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew to leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees, and here's some of what it says:
"If the president is presented with a bill that undermines critical domestic priorities, or national security through funding levels or language restrictions, contains earmarks, or fails to make tough choices to cut where needed while maintaining what we need to spur long-term job creation and win the future, the president will veto the bill...
“Swift passage of appropriations legislation should not be jeopardized by ideological provisions that have no place in funding legislation... Accordingly, the administration urges the Congress to pass final appropriations without ideological or political provisions.”
One example is the Environmental Protection Agency, which is funded in the Interior and environment appropriations bill.
He also mentioned funding for the "agencies involved in implementing the health care overhaul law and for agencies charged with ramping up initiatives under the financial services overhaul law."
Get that veto pen out, Mr. President.
This topic should be getting more media attention. Did I say that out loud? How naive am I to believe that something as substantive as Social Security would be covered? Silly me. It doesn't contain the words "Palin" or "Bachmann". But seriously, folks...
If President Obama screws with Social Security, he's asking for a huge backlash from his base, and then some. I'd be writing a few letters of my own.
Did I mention we need more like Grijalva and Ellison?
In the letter, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison argue that Obama has a unique opportunity to frame the issue by positioning himself as the keeper of the "promise of Social Security." They ask him to place himself in opposition to "radical" Republicans who are hell-bent on dismantling the program, and request a meeting to discuss how Obama and Dems will handle the issue in the 112th Congress [...]
This call from liberals, of course, carries echoes of the public option debate, where House progressives repeatedly urged Obama to draw a sharp line on the provision, only to ultimately be ignored. [...] But the letter is a sign that the left is going to kick up a huge amount of noise if Obama flirts with any deal that would cut Social Security, which could set back efforts by the White House to repair the rift with House progressives over the tax deal, as the White House appears to want to do.
The Obama administration is considering a broad warning for U.S. citizens to avoid public places in Europe due to new al-Qaida threats, U.S. and European officials told The Associated Press on Saturday. [...]
The State Department may issue a travel warning as early as Sunday advising Americans to stay away from European tourist sites, transportation hubs and other facilities because of fresh threat information, U.S. officials told the AP.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley declined to comment on the matter. But he said the administration remains focused on al-Qaida threats to U.S. interests and will take appropriate steps to protect Americans.
Some of you have seen this information, but it's worth a second look.
The video shows the blowout from space up to and including 35 days after it happened. It's much worse now, as we know:
This short video reveals a space-based view of the burning oil rig and, later, the ensuing oil spill through May 24, 2010. The oil slick appears grayish-beige in the images and changes due to changing weather, ocean currents, and the use of oil dispersing chemicals. Images in the video time series were selected that show the spill most clearly. The full image archive is available on the MODIS Rapid Response Web site at http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/
source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, MODIS Rapid Response Project
The following is via Global Medical Research.org:
Hazardous Chemicals from Oil Spills and their Advertse Health Effects:
Table 1. Hazardous Chemicals and Their Effects
Hazardous Chemicals Adverse Health Effects Benzene (crude oils high in BTEX, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; dizziness; rapid heart rate; headaches; tremors; confusion; unconsciousness; anemia; cancer Benzo(a)pyrene (a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon reproductive [see below], formed when oil or gasoline burns) Irritation to eyes and skin, cancer, possible effects Carbon dioxide (inerting atmosphere, byproduct of combustion) Dizziness, headaches, elevated blood pressure, rapid heart rate, loss of consciousness asphyxiation, coma Carbon monoxide (byproduct of combustion) Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory Dizziness, confusion, headaches, nausea, weakness, loss of consciousness, asphyxiation, coma Ethyl benzene (high in gasoline) Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; loss of consciousness; asphyxiation; nervous system effects Hydrogen sulfide (oils high in sulfur, decaying plants and animals) Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; dizziness; drowsiness; cough; headaches; nervous system effects Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) (octane booster and clean air additive for gasoline, or pure MTBE) Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; headaches; nausea; dizziness; confusion; fatigue; weakness; nervous system, liver, and kidney Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (occur in crude oil, and formed during burning of oil) Irritation to eyes and skin, cancer, possible reproductive effects, immune system effects Sulfuric acid (byproduct of combustion of sour petroleum product) Irritation to eyes, skin, teeth, and upper respiratory system; severe tissue burns; cancer Toluene (high BTEX crude oils) Irritation to eyes, skin, respiratory system; fatigue; confusion; dizziness; headaches; memory loss; nausea; nervous system, liver, and kidney effects Xylenes (high BTEX crude oils) Irritation to eyes, skin, respiratory system; dizziness; confusion; change in sense of balance; nervous system gastrointestinal system, liver, kidney, and blood effects
United States Department of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration (2010). Training marine oil spill response workers under OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard. Retrieved June 6, 2010 from http://www.osha.gov/Publications/3172/3172.html
I wonder how many of the more apathetic and/or ignorant and/or stubborn people out there say they (generally) care deeply about their own, and their loved ones', health, and then contradict themselves by ignoring climate change, the effects of Drill Baby Drill, and the consequences of pouring more chemical dispersants into what is already a toxic stew.
It reminds me of patients who smoke yet refuse to quit after the doctor's repeated cancer/emphysema warnings. Once they're hooked up to all those tubes it finally dawns on them that their impending premature death could have been prevented.
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