Thursday, November 30, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special Month-End Edition): As November 2017 Fades Into History (with an Update).......

November 1963 was the month 54 years ago that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.    The images that was shared over Twitter was quite a scene to be witness to.      Our team picked this up which was the telegram by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on his condolence message for Mrs. Kennedy that the Presidential Scholar Michael Bescheloss released to his Twitter Feed as the President was busy talking about something else over Twitter:

Dr. King was to fall to an assassin's bullet 5 years later along with Robert F. Kennedy shortly thereafter.    

We also picked up this from our Founders' Archives about the need to be above it all:  

Our team was also profoundly concerned about the attacks on the Press especially as we've been witness to journalists killed in Mexico, cartoonists being imprisoned throughout Africa along with the continued detention of Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Hussein in Egypt that we've done our utmost to help keep his cause for freedom alive.    The following three tweets we chose were profound as the debate over Tax Cuts and President Trump's attack on CNN ensued as the subtle changes continue onward at the Department of Justice: 

Libya, for instance, took its' cue from President Trump in criticizing CNN for saying that the reporting on the Slave Trade was #FakeNews even though it wasn't.  

We close out November with this we received courtesy of the team at the New York Times that captures the profound challenges the United States Faces as the Tax Cut Bill works its' way through Congress and other profound challenges loom--as we went to press, for instance, we reviewed a call by a commentator at Haaretz to have the US Ambassador Fired as Southern Israel again was attacked and Israel hit back at Hamas targets--We could not help  but wonder what's actually left in Gaza which is for all intent and purpose the largest prison in the World:

The New York Times
The New York Times

Thursday, November 30, 2017

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

Op-Ed Columnist
A few weeks ago, I read a short new book by the legal scholar Cass Sunstein titled, simply, “Impeachment.” The book doesn’t mention President Trump once. Sunstein started writing it, he told me, partly because he was alarmed by what he considered reckless talk of impeachment during Trump’s first weeks on the job, before he had started doing much.
Sunstein’s goal was to lay out a legal and historical framework for thinking about impeachment, independent of any specific president. I’ve been thinking about the topic a lot since finishing the book, and I want to recommend both Sunstein’s book and a Vox piece published this morning by Ezra Klein.
To be clear, I think it would be a mistake for Democrats to put much energy into impeachment right now, because it’s not going to happen: Republicans control Congress and show no interest.
But I also think it would be a mistake for Americans — regardless of party — to be in denial about the governing crisis our country is facing. Let’s admit it: Trump is behaving in ways that call for serious talk of impeachment. If you read Sunstein’s careful history of impeachment — of when the founders believed it was appropriate and necessary — I expect you will come to the same conclusion.
Trump disdains the rule of law (as I detailed in this column), and he lies constantly. Multiple high-level Republicans, including some who work in the administration, consider him unfit for the presidency.
His behavior in the last couple of days highlights the unfitness: an irresponsible provocation of the Muslim world; a lie about NBC News making up stories; a ridiculous new claim that the tape of him bragging about molestation is a hoax; an insult at a ceremony to honor Native Americans.
It’s time for Congress to take the crisis seriously. It has many options short of impeachment, starting with clear warnings from senior Republicans about Trump’s unacceptable behavior. If those measures work, I’d be thrilled (and surprised). If they don’t work, maybe Republicans will become more comfortable with considering the ultimate constitutional remedy.
Here is Klein: “Sometimes I imagine this era going catastrophically wrong — a nuclear exchange with North Korea, perhaps, or a genuine crisis in American democracy — and historians writing about it in the future. They will go back and read Trump’s tweets and his words and read what we were saying, and they will wonder what the hell was wrong with us. You knew, they’ll say. You knew everything you needed to know to stop this. And what will we say in response?”
And: “There are plenty of people who simply should not be president of a nuclear hyperpower, and Trump is one of them. This is a truth known by his staff, known by Republicans in Congress, and known by most of the country. That so few feel able to even suggest doing the obvious thing and replacing him with a Republican who is better suited to the single most important job in the world is bizarre.”
Related: Ross DouthatMichelle Goldberg and Nick Kristof on removing Trump.
The tax bill. I heard from Senator Susan Collins’s office with an objection about yesterday’s newsletter. I disagree with the objection, but it’s worth sharing.
The tax bill that Collins may help pass would do substantial damage to health insurance markets. I wrote yesterday that she had dropped her insistence on other legislation to reduce that damage. Her office points out that she still strongly supports such legislation and has pushed for it with both Trump and Senate leaders.
That’s true. But Collins has also suggested that she would vote for the tax bill in exchange for verbal promises that Congress and Trump would later pass the other legislation. To me, that’s not insistence. It’s hope. Collins has the ability to insist that her vote depends on preventing damage to Americans’ health insurance. She isn’t doing so.
Also: The bills she favors would undo only a fraction of the damage that the tax bill would do, as Aviva Aron-Dine and Edwin Park explain, here and here. Unless Collins changes course, she is on the verge of harming the quality of health care for millions of Americans.
On the same subject, Fox News is refusing to air nationally a liberal ad that describes the ways that Trump and his family stand to gain from the tax bill, Politico reported yesterday. You can watch the 30-second spot, titled “Billions,” here.
More firings for sexual misconduct. It isn’t just feminism that has brought down Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer and others; free markets have also been crucial, writes Elizabeth Nolan Brown in The Times. In the internet age, “corporations are susceptible to the moral suasion of the public,” she writes. “For better or worse, we’ve all become remarkably effective at mobilizing it to our own causes.”
Onward to December...

UPDATE:  Two Media Sources (The Washington Examiner & the New York Times are reporting that President Trump has decided apparently to replace the Secretary of State with the Director of the CIA as Senator Tom Cotton (of the Iran Letter fame) is tapped to take over as CIA Director)--both opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal).  Th ebreaking news we received courtesy of the Washington Examiner is noted below:

Breaking News Alert

White House develops plan to replace Rex Tillerson with CIA Director 

Mike Pompeo: Report

The White House has mapped out a plan in which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is
 replaced in the next few weeks with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to
a report.
Senior administration officials told the New York Times Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.,
would then take over for Pompeo as director of the CIA.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Notations On Our World (Special Mid-Week Edition): On #ClimateCrisis & The Need to Change

A New Week and a New Month is at at hand.    As we look to the end of 2017 and gear up for 2018, challenges abound.

One of the most profound challenges we have before us is the  challenge of the Climate Crisis:  It is real.   We here in Southern California, for instance, experienced a heatwave over the thanksgiving Week with records broken.     This is as we are faced with the challenge of how to feed a growing Population and how to adapt which was addressed by Raj Patel recently--one of the focus points we hope to build on during the new year as we formulate our strategic road-map here in #Outsiders: 

Our Founder shared this image with us he captured from Al Gore's Book about three questions that has helped to drive our work on Climate Change and our World in General: 

As we have reflected upon a very challenging World (underscored by the attack in Sinai over the Thanksgiving Week; the continued challenges of War and Poverty in World), our answer to the three questions is a resounding yes and our mission has been to help drive the conversation towards a sense of intelligent engagement which we hope to build upon during 2018.    A pivotal event at hand is before us which we are pleased to announce that we look forward to joining:

Join us December 4-5 for a global broadcast event to fight the climate crisis.

The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our generation. With devastating storms, dangerous floods, melting glaciers, and rising seas becoming increasingly regular facts of life, it’s more critical than ever that we face reality and get working on solutions together.
Responding to a global challenge like climate change begins with getting the problem out into the open with a global conversation.
That’s why we’re creating the largest social broadcast to spread awareness on the climate crisis and its solutions. Join us December 4-5 for 24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality.

Hosted by former US Vice President Al Gore and featuring an all-star cast of celebrities, popular artists, scientists, global leaders, and business visionaries, this live broadcast travels around the globe allowing people to witness the climate crisis unfolding on every continent. It highlights the activists fighting for solutions everywhere from city streets to City Hall. And it shows how we can all speak up and make a difference. 
Help create the largest social broadcast on the climate crisis by following the three steps below:
  1. Enter your name, email address, and phone number.
  2. Choose your social media account and follow the prompts to connect (make sure to complete the authorization in this step).
When 24 Hours of Reality begins on December 4 at 6 PM ET, the live broadcast will automatically be published on your social media account.
It’s time to be the voice of reality to create the clean energy future we need and deserve.
- Your friends at Climate Reality

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special Media Edition): @POLITICO Snapshot on the State of the Media

Around Town in our Hometown of Laguna Niguel 

The Holidays have arrived in our Hometown of Laguna Niguel.     But, our journey of service continues!!!

As we are witness to the latest chaos in Washington with the leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and continued debate over tax cuts, the state of the Media must not be discounted as we believe we have a vested interest here.   The team @Politico does a fabulous job capturing the "snapshots" of the past 24 hours and we here at the Daily Outsider, as students of Media & policy, find it a "Must Read".  For this special edition of "Notations from the Grid" we are pleased to feature it as we salute the Washington Post for having exposing James O'Keefe and of course lamenting the withering away of one of the venerable insitituions of our time, Time Inc:

By Michael Calderone | 11/28/2017 05:34 AM EDT
THE WASHINGTON POST HAS AN AGENDA when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore: It's to get at the truth. Just as the paper has recently reported on women's accusations against now-former CBS host Charlie Rose and now-former top NPR editor Michael Oreskes, Post reporters are carefully and methodically vetting stories from Moore's accusers before publishing them.
- The Post's rigorous process was inadvertently highlighted in a bungled sting attempt from conservative activist James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, an organization that appears to have a very different agenda: to discredit journalism and thereby damage a vital mechanism that enables ordinary people to speak truth to power. A woman working for O'Keefe's outfit told a Post reporter that she had been impregnated by Moore at age 15, a bogus claim that, if published, could have ultimately undermined the stories of several women who have alleged Moore pursued them as teenagers while he was in his 30's. But the Post uncovered her real motivation and turned the tables.
- The Post stunt isn't the first time O'Keefe has tried to embarrass and discredit journalists. In 2010, O'Keefe attempted to get a CNN correspondent "onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session." He tried the following year to portray a political reporter as unethical for taking out sources for drinks. Last month, O'Keefe targeted a low-level Times staffer in an undercover operation, prompting executive editor Dean Baquet to call O'Keefe a "despicable person who runs a despicable operation." After the Post revealed O'Keefe's latest stunt Monday, he posted an undercover video of national security reporter Dan Lamothe explaining the difference between the paper's news and the editorial sides, benign remarks nonetheless framed in an ominous light.
- O'Keefe's botched, and at times bizarre, undercover operations haven't appeared to hurt his reputation with fans, who respond online to his undercover videos as if they're evidence of deep, dark newsroom conspiracies. He also continues to bring in money from conservative donors, with Project Veritas raising $4.8 million last year and O'Keefe personally making more than $300,000. Among the group's past donors is President Trump'scharitable foundation. And on Monday night, O'Keefe portrayed the Post debacle as a victory in a fundraising email asking for more money to finish his group's "investigation" of the paper.
Good morning and welcome to Morning Media. Please send tips to and @mlcalderone. Jason Schwartz (@JasonSchwartz) and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) contributed to the newsletter. ArchivesSubscribe.
KEITH OLBERMANN IS DONE with his "Resistance" commentaries for GQ's website, telling viewers Monday night that he is confident "this nightmare presidency of Donald John Trump will end prematurely and end soon." Olbermann said he felt the commentaries, of which he'd done 187 since last year's presidential election, were getting repetitive as Trump recycles outrages that set off the news cycle yet again. "I've said what I had to say," Olbermann said, who added that he is "retiring from political commentary in all media venues."
TRUMP ALLY EYEING TIME? The Financial Times reports that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker has expressed interest in Time assets if Meredith Corporation puts them up for sale. The FT's Shannon and James Fontanella-Khan reported that Meredith plans "significant job cuts" at Time Inc. since Sunday's announced takeover, a strategy in which the Koch brothers, who financially backed the deal, are said to agree. "If Pecker takes over my baby, Entertainment Weekly, I will go stage a sit-in," tweeted Jeff Jarvis, CUNY journalism professor who was creator and founding editor of the magazine.
KOCHS TO MEET QUARTERLY WITH MEREDITH: Alex Weprin, no stranger to this newsletter, caught in a filing tied to the deal that Kochs will get to meet four times a year with Meredith executives to discuss "current business, financial and strategic matters." Though the Kochs won't get a Meredith board seat, they may get an observer at board meetings. Meredith's announcement that the Kochs would have "no influence" in editorial or management decisions has been met with skepticism by journalists and longtime Koch chroniclers, as Jason Schwartz and I reported.
- But even if the Kochs don't take any active role trying to shape coverage at magazines like Time and Fortune, Daniel Schulman, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones and author of Koch family biography "Sons of Wichita," suggested their influence may be baked into such a large investment. "Influence works in a lot of different ways. They could influence coverage without lifting a finger, basically. If the staff of these publications are aware that the Kochs are significant financial backers of Time Inc, they may not go out of their way to be critical of the brothers or the company," Schulman said. "That would be the way I think it would work."
INSIDE TIME INC: The New York Times' Sydney Ember describes the "funereal" atmosphere as staffers met with executives on the morning after the sale. "During two meetings held in an auditorium named for Time Inc.'s illustrious co-founder Henry R. Luce, the mood grew somewhat contentious, according to people who attended," she wrote. "Employees demanded to know if the Kochs, the multibillionaire brothers known for throwing their weight behind conservative causes, would compromise their editorial integrity."
"HOW FAR WILL SEAN HANNITY GO?" That's the question the New York Times Magazine sets out to answer in this weekend's cover story, which goes online this morning. Bonus: Here's the print cover.
"Woman with anti-'liberal media' group reached out to me -- posing as Roy Moore accuser. Instead of publishing fake story, @WashingtonPost busted her." [Beth Reinhard]
"Political activist prankster caught faking a sexual assault in an attempt to undermine real victims. Other than being an actual sexual predator, [I'm] not sure how much more ethically lost someone could be than that -- but the night is still young." [Jake Tapper]
"Impossible to overstate the idiocy of latest O'Keefe Roy Moore 'sting,' directed at WaPo. Beyond boneheaded. O'Keefe really ought to hang it up. Stupidity + maliciousness a bad combination." [Byron York]
"A thing to know about @DanLamothe & countless of his peers at @washingtonpost is they venture out to examine and interrogate the world where it is most dangerous, at risk of life and limb, and simple hardship, unlike these clowns who stalk them, who we never see where lead flies." [C.J. Chivers]
GUARDIAN REPORTER SENDS CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN: An attorney for Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter who was assaulted by Greg Gianforte on the night before his election victory, has demanded the Montana congressman and his staff stop making "false and defamatory statements" about the May incident. The letter was prompted by Gianforte spokesman Travis Hall saying "no one was misled" by the congressman's initial comments. The Associated Press reported last week that Gianforte "misled investigators" and made claims that were contradicted by "multiple witnesses."
CNN HITS BACK AT TRUMP: Jason Schwartz reports on the network's pushback to the president's latest swipes, along with the broader threat to global press freedom. "Fighting a free and independent press from the land of the free itself, turns the world on its head," Christiane Amanpour told POLITICO. "Without a free press there is no democracy. A cursory Google glance around our world will demonstrate that. This skirmish between the President and the Press is not a joke, this is fundamental."
- "I think this reinforces a point that [Trump's] made over and over, which is that he doesn't really care about press freedom or the rights of journalists," said Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon. "It doesn't really concern him that journalists around the world are being murdered or imprisoned in record numbers. I think that it's clear that if you're a press-freedom violator, a press-freedom abuser, you're not going to get any pushback from President Trump, and I think that undermines that ability of journalists all over the world to work safely and independently."
REPLACING CHARLIE ROSE: Page Six reports that CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers has emerged as the front-runner to be co-anchor of "CBS This Morning." A source told Page Six that "Vlad is a front-runner at this point. ... Like Charlie, Vlad's strength is as an interviewer."
WATCH: MSNBC host Katy Tur grilled lawyer Lisa Bloom - who is now representing Congressman John Conyers' accuser - about her reported role in helping disgraced film mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein try to discredit women making allegations against him. (via Mediaite)
MEANWHILE, VICE TURNED DOWN A BLOOM INTERVIEW: Vice News chief Josh Tyrangiel tweeted: "Just fyi, @vicenews had an interview scheduled with former Weinstein rep Lisa Bloom today. We were set up in her office. She delayed. Then her reps demanded our questions in advance. When we refused, they wanted to know what percentage of questions would be about Weinstein. We did not comply, and she cancelled the interview. We made no advance promises - we never do- but think it's worth noting when public figures accept interviews then try to change the conditions to suit their needs."
TODAY: News Match is launching an effort to raise money and awareness for nonprofit newsrooms. Details here on #GivingNewsDay.
TONIGHTSen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will debate Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a CNN town hall on taxes. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute debate that kicks off at 9 p.m.
COMING SOON: "THE VAN JONES SHOW": CNN announced that progressive commentator Van Jones will host a one-hour, primetime show, airing twice each month, beginning in January 2018.
- Trump has long sent journalists handwritten notes on their stories. He's still doing so as president, most recently to National Review's Rich Lowry.
- Splinter finds some notable details the New York Times missed in its widely criticized "Nazi next door" profile.
- Breitbart editor Joel Pollak defends Roy Moore against allegations of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old by citing a 1973 Ringo Starr song. Mark Cuban responds that Pollak and stunned CNN anchor Chris Cuomo should have their own show.
KICKER: Jann "Wenner's narcissistic and violent temperament, on high boil since early youth and on full display in this survey of his life, has made him impervious to outside judgment. He's one part Sammy Glick, using and discarding people on his race to the top. He's a shot of Richard III, cruel and controlling. And he's a lot like Mr. Toad, singing self-praise at every available turn. But don't worry: The book's cutting assessment won't cause him any more pain than a brisk, full-body dermabrasion." - from Jack Shafer's New York Times review of Joe Hagan's biography on the Rolling Stone founder.

Monday, November 27, 2017

On @POTUS watch w/ @realDonaldTrump Christmas Gift to the Poor: Tax Hikes: The Daily Show

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition) : Saudi Arabia Working to Assert Itself....

Our team has been on the prowl as the struggle in the Middle East is continuing and as we witness to to change in Zimbabwe as our World always fascinates as we work to live up to our mantra of Intelligent Engagement. 

The New York Times' Thomas Friedman sat down with Mohammad Bin Salman on Thanksgiving 2017.   Mr. Friedman's Column is available in full by clicking here.   Our team wanted to feature his column with the image it captured above that is quite telling in terms of what he said as he deemed Khameini, Iran's Supreme Leader   the new Hitler of the Middle East.   This is as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have increased the pressure on Qatar.    What was interesting (and amusing in our team's View) was what someone deemed this: A Press release by #MBS (that he's known for) sent forth through Thomas Friedman.     Mr. Friedman has done some interesting work and we have been a fan of his writings including The World Is Flat & Thank You for Being Late.  However, this praise of what #MBS is doing as Yemen continues to rage on , Freedoms continue to be problematic and of course the cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia rages on--as Iran called #MBS "Weak-Minded" in response to his comments.   .    One of the victims is Lebanon as the Prime Minister returned to Lebanon and rescinded his resignation.  .   As Saad Hariri tries to figure out a path forward, we have seen reports that his family's construction business built on the largesse of the Saudi Royal Family is collapsing.

Truly interesting times.....