The Conversation

Culture

Reporter Who Quit On Air Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Push for Legalization

Sep 22, 2014 3:37 PM PT

Charlo Greene, the reporter who quit her job on air Sunday night, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to make marijuana use legal in Alaska.

Sunday night, in the midst of a report about marijuana, Greene announced that she was the owner of the Alaskan Cannabis Club and said she was quitting her job in order to devote her attention to "legalizing marijuana here in Alaska." She then added, "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but, f--k it, I quit."

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IRS Scandal

Issa Calls On Lois Lerner To Testify Before Congress Under Oath

Sep 22, 2014 3:29 PM PT
House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa renewed his call Monday for ex-IRS official Lois Lerner to testify before Congress, following her Politico interview in which she reasserted her innocence, and said she’s “not sorry for anything.” 

In the first media interview since the scandal broke in May of 2013, the former head of the tax-exempt unit claimed she “didn’t do anything wrong,” and was "never partisan." 

“I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country,” the 63-year-old Lerner, who also is a lawyer, said in the roughly two-hour interview.

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Hipsters

Hatred is a renewable resource

Sep 22, 2014 2:19 PM PT

In response to The Grotesque Consumerism of People's Climate March Attendees:

I love the sheer block-headed stupidity and soaring hypocrisy of a big eco-march.  Green activists leaving mountains of stinking trash for other people to clean up?  Check.  Socialists selling magazines and mementos for cash money?  Bingo.  Featured speakers who emerge from carbon-blasting private planes and gigantic yachts to lecture everyone else on the need to reduce their lifestyles?  Absolutely.  Activists eagerly pumping out anti-capitalist messages on billion-dollar social-media sites with smart phones they bought from big corporations?  You betcha!

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Culture

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam: Short-Sighted Capitalists Should Be Shot

Sep 22, 2014 1:00 PM PT

Terry Gilliam is the writer and director behind some of the most creative and darkly humorous films of the last 30 years including Time Bandits, Brazil and 12 Monkeys. In a recent interview with Collider to promote his new film, The Zero Theorem, Gilliam gets sidetracked into a discussion about U.S. politics. He winds up suggesting there are certain people he'd like to have shot, sounding a bit like a villain from one of his own dystopian fantasies:

It’s interesting that we look to that as sort of permission to go with that philosophy since I doubt any human being will be around anyway at that point.  We should maybe be looking at our own mortality as the signpost for that.  

GILLIAM: Your Republican will do that, yes.  Your Republican thinks like that.  I remember when Reagan was president, the secretary of the interior was a guy who was an Armageddonist who actually believed the end of days were not too far in the distant future.  He was put in charge of the environment and his approach was of course, not to protect it, but let’s get as much money as we can before Jesus comes back.  And I despise that.  We’re here and we’ve got to do whatever we can to keep the place running.  We think in terms of quarterly statements and we should be thinking a little bit further in advance of that.  At least the communists had ten year plans.  We don’t have that anymore.

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Crime

White House fence-jumper unarmed. Except for his knife. Oh, and 800 rounds of ammo in his car

Sep 22, 2014 12:19 PM PT

The story of White House fence-jumper Omar J. Gonzalez continues to grow more... involved, as the original reports that he was completely unarmed were amended to reveal that he had a knife, and then... well, I'll let Reuters tell the tale:

The man who scaled the fence and ran into the White House on Friday night had more than 800 rounds of ammunition in his car and had been arrested in July with a sniper rifle and a map marking the executive mansion, a federal prosecutor said on Monday.

Omar Gonzalez, 42, was also stopped, but not arrested in August walking by the White House with a hatchet, the U.S. Attorney's office said in Washington.

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Politics

Hillary Clinton, the 'Snapchat' Candidate

Sep 22, 2014 11:07 AM PT

If Barack Obama was the candidate of Facebook, and has governed as the President of Selfie, then Hillary Clinton is the "Snapchat" candidate--i.e. one who is eager to erase the past from collective memory.

Tony Lee reminded me today that I made that comparison in conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about my forthcoming new book, Wacko Birds. And the analogy has gained new relevance with revelations about Clinton's youthful correspondence and meetings with Saul Alinksy, whom Obama only studied secondhand.

"Hillary Clinton Wants to be the Snapchat candidate because she wants to make her past disappear," Pollak told Palin. 

Palin observed that the Clintons have the "luxury of reinventing themselves as much as they want" because they have a compliant media that is more than willing and able to help them. That is a luxury, as Palin discovered, conservatives--and outsiders of all stripes in general--do not have.

After observing that today's kids probably think Facebook and Instagram are passé, Palin, whose personal emails were once infamously hacked (the hacker eventually received a one-year jail sentence.), asked Pollak, "And do [Snapchat users] think it really disappears forever." Palin's right--the "snaps" don't really completely disappear.

Politics

Democrats Miscalculated on National Security in Mid-Terms

Sep 22, 2014 10:59 AM PT

With the rise of ISIS and videos of beheadings making front page news, Democrats who thought the hawkish credentials of Republicans like Tom Cotton in Arkansas would be a liability are now finding themselves on the short-end of any national security Big Stick.

The shifting politics of foreign policy has scrambled the calculations for both parties ahead of the November elections. It has put some Senate candidates, unaccustomed to talking about national security issues, in an uncomfortable position, while elevating others with military experience and foreign policy bona fides.

Candidates' past votes, comments, and even their biographies are emerging as huge opportunities in key Senate races—and glaring vulnerabilities in others. And in Arkansas, where Democrats hoped to exploit war-weariness among the public against hawkish GOP Senate nominee Tom Cotton, the Islamic State terrorism has suddenly changed the mood in the state and given the military veteran a clear political advantage.

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Politics

Pro-Iranian Rebels On Verge Of Taking Over In Yemen

Sep 22, 2014 10:51 AM PT

Pro-Iranian Shia rebels in Yemen, who have overrun the American-friendly Yemeni government, has announced  a ceasefire with government forces. The group has already sacked both the Defense and Finance ministries in the capitol of Sanaa.

 If Yemen falls to the pro-Iranian rebels (probably will), Iran will then have a strategic footfold in that region, and could pose a major problem for the United States, as they could restrict shipping lanes between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

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Politics

Democrats: Holding the Senate Is Women's Work

Sep 22, 2014 10:38 AM PT

Al Hunt writing at Bloomberg News claims, "Democrats know that keeping control of the Senate this election year isn't a man's job. Success will depend on the votes of women. A gender gap has long been evident in U.S. politics: Men more often vote Republican and women are more likely to back Democrats. Both of these trends have accelerated in recent years".

Hunt goes on to point out that most if not all vulnerable Democrats will need a double digit margin among female voters to win ... "Democrats need a big margin -- at least in the double digits -- with female voters."

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