Monday, February 11, 2013

Port of Embarkation


Over a million soldiers passed through Fort Mason on their way to WWII. The buildings now host a theatre company, art stores, and other service/civic oriented businesses. The views, of course, are stunning, given the strategic location.

So much WWII history around here, you tend to forget until you stumble upon it... but back to the Cold War already in progress...

If you've ever wondered what these notes are, they are a combination of  items gathered between 8-9 EST on any given day that I send to our Senior Producer, and, stories I want to keep for myself. Not all-inclusive by any means.

Politico: Obama’s State of the Union: Aggressive
Obama now hopes to use his post-election popularity to force new tax increases and fewer budget cuts on Republicans as part of any deal to avert a $1.2 trillion menu of automatic cuts increasingly likely to kick in on March 1. “There are a surprising number of Republicans who seem to think that elections don’t matter, who are ready to block widely popular agenda items that the American people voted for in November,” former Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt said, underscoring the elections-have-consequences attitude of the president’s brain trust.

WaPo: Obama weighing executive actions on housing, gays and other issues
President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues.

Bloomberg: Obama Poised to Skirt Congress to Seal Legacy in New Term Agenda
On climate change, gun control, gay rights, and even immigration, the White House has signaled a willingness to circumvent lawmakers through the use of presidential power. Already, plans are being laid to unleash new executive orders, regulations, signing statements and memorandums designed to push Obama’s programs forward and cement his legacy, according to administration aides and allies. “The big things that we need to get done, we can’t wait on,” said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer. “If we can take action, we will take action.”

TPM: Graham Threatens Holds On Hagel, Brennan Nominations
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday threatened to place holds on the nominations of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and John Brennan for director of the CIA until the White House details President Obama's actions on the night of the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Sam Stein@samsteinhp
Why didn't Graham threaten to put a hold on Kerry in exchange for Benghazi info? why Hagel and Brennan? #askinghonestly

The Hill: Murkowski mulls ‘hold’ on Interior nominee over road's rejection
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) might hold up Senate confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for Interior secretary because the Interior Department won’t approve construction of a road that Alaskan lawmakers call vital to healthcare access for a remote Aleutian village.

Krugman: The Ignorance Caucus
But while Democrats, being human, often read evidence selectively and choose to believe things that make them comfortable, there really isn’t anything equivalent to Republicans’ active hostility to collecting evidence in the first place. The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.

The Hill: Five reasons Marco Rubio might not enter the race for president in 2016
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been everywhere the last few weeks, leads in early polls of the 2016 GOP field, and conventional wisdom is that he's a lock to run for president. But here are five reasons why he might not enter the race.

NYT: It’s Not Easy Being Green
The stronger argument for a major government response to climate change is the more obvious argument: climate change. The continental United States endured its hottest year on record in 2012, and the planet’s 13 hottest years have all occurred since 1998. Major storms and wildfires are increasing in many regions. The air in much of China resembles soup. The seas are rising faster than forecast only a few years ago, and the costs of extreme weather are rising, too.

HuffPo: January 2013 Temperatures Make It Second-Warmest In 35 Years
Globally, January had an average temperature that was 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit (0.51 degrees Celsius) above a 30-year baseline average, said John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. This January takes a back seat only to January 2010, with January 1998 coming in as the third warmest during this period.

Alternet: A Presidential Decision That Could Change the World
Ever since the president postponed the decision on whether to proceed, powerful forces in the energy industry and government have been mobilizing to press ever harder for its approval. Its supporters argue vociferously that the pipeline will bring jobs to America and enhance the nation’s “energy security” by lessening its reliance on Middle Eastern oil suppliers. Their true aim, however, is far simpler: to save the tar-sands industry (and many billions of dollars in U.S. investments) from possible disaster.

Denver Post: Climate change: What can Obama do without Congress?
President Barack Obama has pledged to make addressing climate change a major priority in his second term. But House Republicans remain skeptical about both the problem and potential legislative solutions. That's led many environmentalists to urge Obama to go it alone and take actions to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions on his own. Here are five major things he could do without congressional approval.

Mother Jones: Why The Gun Lobby Is Terrified Of California
California would ban the sale of all semi-automatic rifles that accept removable magazines, slap a hefty tax on ammo, and require every gun owner to take a yearly safety course under a new package of firearms laws that would give the Golden State the nation's strongest gun controls. These and many other proposed firearms laws were announced late last week by leading state Democrats and the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Many of the laws are expected to pass, in part because the Democratic Party in California now controls the Governor's mansion and a super-majority in the state legislature.