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Longwood Gardens.  February, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.



What a Wonderful World | Playing For Change



News and Opinion


80th Anniversary of Roosevelt and The New Deal

Sequestration - Fourth Austerity Shoe Drops

Higher Wages Will End Recession

I can see it now.  Republicans come back and say okay, we give.  We'll agree to one dollar in new tax revenue.  Fervent Obama supporters declare it a WIN!  Obama says, "Deal!" and cuts Social Security.
Obama confident Republicans will cave on budget cuts

AFP – As the blame game over a stinging package of deficit-reducing spending cuts grinds on, the White House said Sunday that as voters start to feel the pain, Republicans will pivot and seek compromise.
[...]
Obama is pressing for what he calls a more balanced approach that includes concessions: changes to entitlement programs, like medical care for the elderly and poor, as sought by Republicans.
[...]
“He got his tax hikes. It’s time to cut spending. And every American knows it,” House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told ABC.

Boehner said neither Republicans nor Democrats were likely to cry uncle any time soon and eliminate the sequester.

'Drones for America!' - Op-Docs

This piece by Jim White is a must read.  Wish I could read the underlying article but I think it's behind a pay wall.  More of it might be available somewhere.  I haven't spent the time to figure that out yet.  Marcy also has two interesting pieces on Aaron Swartz and Quinn Norton. I put the links in the blog post section below.
Nasr Pierces Obama’s Diplomacy Mirage

Foreign Policy has published an excerpt from Vali Nasr’s book The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat, in which Nasr relates his experiences as a key deputy to Richard Holbrooke, who served as Barack Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The title for the piece tells virtually the entire story: “The Inside Story of How the White House Let Diplomacy Fail in Afghanistan”. The piece should be read in full (as should the book, I presume), but I want to highlight a couple of passages that fit well with points I have tried to make over the years regarding US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

First, we see an Obama tactic that has not been limited to his foreign policy actions, but is characteristic of him on the whole, where he makes a public move such as appointing Holbrooke, where the move has the appearance of a very positive step, but Obama then undercuts the move entirely by providing no further support (such as when he nominated Dawn Johnsen to head OLC and then abandoned her entirely, even when he could have forced a confirmation vote that would have been affirmative under bmaz’s whip count).

ANONYMOUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING:
AN AMERICAN ANON IN EXILE

A while back I decided to interview @AnonyOps. We chat regularly. As a result, we quickly generated a huge stack of material.
[...]
@AnonyOps: Yes. But I was naive. A day or two after I joined Twitter, I live-tweeted a forum, the Personal Democracy Forum 2010.

When I started watching it being streamed online, and seeing what topics they covered – I knew I wanted to participate. So I tweeted, and after about a minute of tweeting at them, they mentioned me in their video feed

That was an interesting moment for me. It’s when I realized that this thing – this mask of Anonymous – could have power.

Asher Wolf: How did the public respond?

@AnonyOps There was lots of retweeting going on immediately. It felt as if a light switch had been flicked on. I felt I had a platform with which to speak, possibly for the first time in my life. I broke my first 100 followers on Twitter that day.

[Note: @AnonyOps now has more than 200k followers]

It was amazing. Such a dinky number of Twitter followers in retrospect, but to have it happen so quickly was interesting.

Live-tweeting something being streamed live online is still my favorite Twitter experience. It’s a rush. It was a bigger rush than some of the hacking I did as a teenager.

And yes – I see it as hacking – hacking public dialog. Taking on the Anonymous character and costume was like hacking my way onto a panel discussion where I’d never have been invited to participate otherwise.
[...]
@AnonyOps: You hide, hope your online anonymity efforts have worked or you get the hell out of the country – which is what I did. I got the hell out.

I’ve known for quite some time that this is where things would end up. Anonymous has left the building, as it were. The idea of leaving occupied my life for about a year.

And being a refugee of sorts, it’s not all roses. I gave up so much; my home, family and friends.

But I’ve seen what my government does to outspoken people, to people who are “too effective” in their criticism.





Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest


Evening Blues
Quinn Norton’s Testimony
Who Turned over the Google Group Conversations Involving Aaron Swartz?
FBI Warns Sequestration Will Hamper All Their Hard-Hitting Wall Street Investigations
Privacy during transition
AK-Sen: The Daily Kos Should Endorse The Protecting & Preserving Social Security Act of 2013
Obama nominates Gina McCarthy to head the EPA and Ernest Moniz as chief of the Department of Energ





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