The Walt Disney Co. has nearly tripled the amount of profit it is keeping in offshore subsidiaries, saving the company $315 million in U.S. income taxes, new regulatory filings show.
Things got pretty weird on “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning between co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, and to be honest, no one really quite knew what was going on.
It all started with Scarborough accusing Brzezinski of “liking Dick Cheney” more than just a friend.
“I think you kind of have a crush on him,” he said. “I think you kind of like him.” And he just kept going on about it.
“Should I punch him?” Brzezinski asked the rest of the roundtable guests. Luckily, Willie Geist was on board.
We wish we could tell you what exactly happened next– it involved Scarborough talking about a Rolls Royce and Grey Poupon — but we really couldn’t follow and apparently, neither could Brzezinski.
“Oh my god, that just went off the rails,” she said, turning again to Geist. “What just happened, Willie?”
Geist, like the rest of us, felt more lost than ever.
“I’m not sure where we just went there.”
Watch the video for the full clip.
Chuck Todd accused the White House of a certain kind of “propaganda” in its attempt to deny photographers access to photograph the President.
“It is a version of propaganda,” Todd said on Monday. “People hate that word and I’m not trying to say — but that is what this can come across if taken too far.”
Todd debated the option currently faced by news organizations to “stop using White House photographs” altogether, which he noted was an “internal debate” that MSNBC has reportedly had. There have been several protests in recent weeks by both photojournalists and news outlets like USA Today acting against the limited press access.
“What the press photographers that cover the White House regularly have noticed is that we have significantly less access to this president than previous presidents,” Time magazine reporter and White House photographer Brooks Kraft told Todd. “And at the same time, there’s been a very large increase in the number of photographs that they are releasing.”
While independent photographers are increasingly barred from covering presidential events, only White House photographers who are “hired by the administration to make the President look good” have been allowed to take photographs, Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak said.
Watch the video for the full clip on “Daily Rundown.”
The mass had been said.
And now it was time for Tommy Brewer and me, attired in the vestments of altar boys, to lead the funeral procession out of the front door of the Holy Rosary Indian Mission church on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and up the hill to the cemetery.
As we started up the hill in front of the procession we listened to the elderly Lakota women mourners walking directly behind us. When a Lakota man, woman or child dies, the entire community turns out for the wake and the funeral. The women weep in unison and their cries of mourning can cut to your heart like a knife.
The first time I witnessed death and heard the Lakota women mourn was before I started school. I lived at the reservation community of Pejuta Haka (Medicine Root), or Kyle, as it is listed on the reservation map.
One of our neighbors at Three-Mile-Creek, where my family had its allotted land, was the Hernandez family. One of the children, a girl about my age, was my playmate. One beautiful summer day we were sitting on the top of a flat-bed trailer used to haul hay. Mary Hernandez l was looking at the fluffy white clouds floating against the deep blue sky when she saw a sleigh with Santa Claus on board holding the reins and guiding his reindeer. She pointed it out and I looked to the skies and saw it just as she described it.
A month or two later she died. I could never get the Santa in the skies out of my mind and always related that sight to her dying. I know that wasn’t the case now, but back then I was even afraid for a little while to look up at the cloud formations for fear of seeing Santa and his reindeer.
My mom took me to the Hernandez home for the wake of my friend. The room was filled with people and my little friend was lying on a table dressed all in white. I kept waiting for her to sit up, call my name, so we could go outside and play. The image of her in that white dress lying on that table stayed with me my entire life. The small room where her body lay smelled of the food that had been prepared for the wake and in the confined space the weeping and mourning of the Lakota women was nearly overwhelming and as my mother joined the cacophony of weeping, the tears immediately came to my eyes.
A Lakota Wicasa Wakan (Holy Man) stood by the table with the body of my friend. He held an Eagle feather in his hand and prayed aloud in the Lakota language. He did so even though back in those days the Lakota religion or spirituality had been outlawed by the U. S. Government. Yes my friends that did happen in America, the supposed land of religious freedom. What man does not understand man fears.
I have been to many funerals since that day many years ago. It seems that I lose a friend or acquaintance nearly every week. Oftentimes the image of a long ago friend or school mate pops into my head and I have to pause and wonder if they are still alive because they would have to be in their 70s or 80s if they were still alive. When we left school at the Holy Rosary Mission we scattered to the four directions. After all, we are Oglala, and Oglala means to “scatter their own.”
The funeral I described at the beginning is still with me because on this mournful occasion Tommy Brewer and I nearly experienced a calamity. As our procession proceeded up the hill to the cemetery I glanced over at Tommy to make sure we were walking evenly and in step. At that very moment Tommy looked at me and tried to stifle a snicker. His actions hit me immediately and I had to bite down on my lip so hard to keep from laughing that I drew blood. Now wouldn’t that have been a disaster if two altar boys broke out laughing in a funeral procession?
The last time I saw Tommy was at the funeral of his brother “Budger” Brewer and we stood outside of the church and had a good laugh over the time we nearly cracked up at a funeral. Tommy died a couple of years ago and when I attended his funeral my thoughts went back to the day we nearly broke up at a funeral. Diabetes, the scourge of the Indian Nations, claimed his life.
But even at his funeral, the reminder of Tommy choking back a chuckle as we led the funeral procession at Holy Rosary Mission brought a smile to my face.
Tim Giago is the Publisher of Native Sun News and can be reached at email@example.com; he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1991.
Bart Baker has made several of the most popular music video parodies on YouTube, but if you want to check out his take on Lorde’s smash hit “Royals,” you’re out of luck. That’s because YouTube has taken the video down after receiving a complaint from SONGS Music Publishing, the company behind “Royals.” Here’s Bart’s recent vlog with an update on the latest, and his reaction to having his video pulled (and a strike added to his YouTube account.)
It’s certainly not the first time YouTube has pulled a video after receiving a copyright complaint. It happens all day, every day. But typically, these are cases of overt song theft – either simply reposting someone else’s music to a YouTube channel, or using a previously-recorded song as background music without permission. By virtue of being a parody, using similar music but changing the words in an attempt to humorously mock the original song and video, Bart’s video (which we included in our round-up of YouTube’s Best Royals Parodies) would usually be considered “fair use.” In other words: It’s not legal to take someone else’s song and just re-use it, but it is legal to use elements of someone’s work in order to comment on that work.
Obviously, there are First Amendment issues at play here, and as Bart mentions in the video, the outcome of this situation could have a huge impact on the freedom of speech of content creators. If nothing else, the “chilling effect” of making YouTubers worried about having videos pulled will, over time, mean less of these videos get made and released. In his vlog, Bart suggests some action fans can take to support his “Royals” video and the right of YouTubers to make these kinds of pop culture parodies. He’s asking everyone to send a tweet to @bartbaker and @lordemusic with the hashtag #SaveBartsLordeParody.
The hope is that, if the Bart-heads make enough noise, Lorde and Songs will have no choice but to reinstate the video. (He also invites Lorde to come out to LA and star in one of his future parodies. You stay classy, Bart Baker!)
Lon Harris wrote and contributed to this post.
If there was ever a newspaper one could consider a friend all over the world, it was the International Herald Tribune.
As an Anglophone traveling around the globe, every time I saw it on a newsstand in some strange and unfamiliar place, I always felt closer to home. It conveyed a sense of warmth and familiarity that is often missing when one is living and working abroad.
In July 2001, my first newspaper article was published in the International Herald Tribune, and what an indescribable joy it was to open the paper and see my words in print for the very first time in my life. Such an incredible feeling — and one that can only be understood by others if they have experienced exactly the same thing.
Later, a friend of mine told me her father, an American diplomat, had said now I could consider myself belonging to a group of people who had been published in this highly regarded paper. It certainly felt like that for me too.
At the time, I was working for the United Nations in Kosovo as a political affairs officer. I would stop by the only international newsstand in town and pick up my copy to read when I got home. It was something I looked forward to on a daily basis, and the owner, a local Kosovar, would always greet me with a smile and hand it to me.
He was the one who witnessed my reaction when I opened the paper and saw my article on the op-ed page — and the first person with whom I shared my sense of elation, pride and accomplishment.
If you read that article today, you will realize it is a timeless piece and just as relevant over a decade later as it was back then. It questions whether the “best and brightest” in this world always know best, and whether good judgment goes hand-in-hand with impressive educational credentials and professional qualifications.
I will always be grateful to the International Herald Tribune editors for giving a highly visible, prestigious and worldwide platform to a young and unknown writer whose article was only 389 words long, but who thought she had something important worth conveying to and sharing with others.
Many of these editors are now long gone, as if they belonged to a different time and era. Those who are still around are now trying to downplay the recent changes as a minor and relatively trivial development — which it isn’t.
According to Serge Schmemann, who was the International Herald Tribune‘s editorial page editor, when the paper became the International New York Times on 14 October 2013, it was merely another name change in its long genealogy. He states it was popularly known as the “Paris Herald” in its early days. Its original parent, the New York Herald founded a European edition in 1887, which became the European Edition of the New York Herald Tribune in 1924.
He adds that the International Herald Tribune was born under the joint ownership of the Herald Tribune, the New York Times and the Washington Post in 1967. This troika was then reduced to the Washington Post and the New York Times in 1991, and finally to only the Times in 2003.
Now we are left with what is ostensibly the same paper, but it certainly doesn’t look the same or feel the same either — at least not to me. Not only has the print version disappeared, but the www.iht.com website has been erased from the Internet as if it never existed and replaced with international.nytimes.com.
As a friend of mine recently remarked when she was in Paris searching for the old version and realizing it no longer existed: “I was a bit distressed. It is the same paper, but I like the name International Herald Tribune better.”
So do I — and I’m sure there are many more of you out there who feel the same way as we do.
Not only did we lose a great paper, but we lost a good friend too.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked President Barack Obama what he had to say about growing skepticism on the part of the American people during a Thursday interview airing on “Hardball,” noting that trust in the executive branch has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last 50 years.
Obama explained that far more attention is drawn to “screw-ups” than successes when it comes to the performance of the executive branch.
“So let’s take the example of Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. We got a guy who’s been in charge — Craig Fugate, who has managed as many natural disasters over the last five years as just about anybody and has done a flawless job,” Obama said.
“Not like his predecessor,” Matthews said, taking a stab at former FEMA director Michael Brown.
Brown resigned only days after being praised by former President George W. Bush for doing a “heckuva job” responding to Hurricane Katrina. He’s since been remembered for his failed response to the devastating storm in 2005.
“He is doing a heck of a job,” Obama said of Fugate, referencing Bush’s infamous praise. “And that’s not just my opinion. That’s the opinion of every governor and mayor that works with him, including Republicans. And if, in fact, we go in after Sandy or after the tornadoes in Oklahoma or Missouri and we’re helping a lot of people effectively and quickly, and they’re getting what they need, nobody hears about that.”
Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, says the party is narrowing in on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, a potential candidate and threat in the 2016 presidential election.
Priebus told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Wednesday that the Republican Party, with the help of the America Rising PAC, has “begun focusing in” on Clinton, but there’s more to be done.
“I think that there’s a lot of rough stuff coming out on Hillary,” Priebus said. “But I think you’re right, I think that we have to be very aggressive on what she’s done and what she hasn’t done, and the things that she is famous for, like a botched health care roll out in the ’90s and Benghazi and the things that she is involved with that went obviously pretty badly.”
Hewitt referred to Clinton as the “de facto” nominee for the Democratic Party in 2016. But Priebus said the party could not lose sight of the 2014 elections just yet.
“I agree with you that there needs to be more of a focus,” Priebus said. “But obviously we’re trying to get to the midterms and we’re trying to make sure that we set ourselves up properly in these governors and Senate races.”
Of course, the former secretary of state has not yet announced her intent to run in 2016.
During a November event in Beijing, former President Bill Clinton said he hoped to see a woman president serve the nation in his lifetime, but he couldn’t be sure whether that woman would be his wife.
“I do not know if she’s going to run, and there is no such thing as a sure thing in politics,” he said in Beijing.
On this December 3rd day in 1831, freewheeling author Anne Royall launched the nation’s first muckraking newspaper in Washington, DC, forever changing the state of journalism.
“We shall advocate the liberty of the press, the liberty of speech, and the liberty of conscience,” Royall declared in the debut issue of Paul Pry, her singular tabloid. “The enemies of these bulwarks of our common safety, as they have shown none, shall receive no mercy at our hands.”
We need Anne Royall’s journalistic chutzpah today, more than ever.
One of the most notorious writers of her times, Royall shattered the ceiling of participation for politicized women a generation before the Suffrage ranks of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and issued the “voice of woman” into the backroom male bastions of banking and politics nearly two centuries before politicians like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.
And she paid dearly for her groundbreaking role as a satirist and muckraker.
Nearly a half century after Royall’s death in 1854, the Washington Post stretched a headline across its pages with a reminder of her still haunting and relevant legacy: “She was a Holy Terror: Her Pen was an Venomous as a Rattlesnakes’ Fangs; Former Washington Editress: How Ann Royall Made Life a Burden to the Public Men of Her Day.”
The Post‘s backhanded compliment of Royall as the nation’s “grandmother of the muckrakers,” however, missed her defining element in the art of exposé almost 200 years before journalists like Molly Ivins, Rachel Maddow, Soledad O’Brien and Amy Goodman: Her take-no-prisoners humor in defense of the freedom of the press–at any cost.
“She could always say something,” declared a New England editor, “which would set the ungodly in a roar of laughter.”
Anne Royall knew how to make her readers laugh–a dangerous talent, especially for a freethinking woman who rattled the bones of Capitol Hill as the whistleblower of political corruption, fraudulent land schemes and banking scandals, and served as the thorn in the side of a powerful evangelical movement sweeping across the country.
While Royall’s extraordinary life story as trailblazing muckraker defied the times, today’s journalists and writers would do well to examine the importance of her wit as much as her wrath in making Congress “bow down in fear of her,” according to one contemporary editor.
The lesson of that unrelenting humor underscores the muckraker’s resiliency. Anne Royall didn’t simply have a second act in life; she had three or four. Born in Maryland in 1769, Royall’s mixed brew of politics had been shaped in the woods of Appalachia and in the great libraries of her Free Mason and Revolutionary war hero husband, with whom she had openly cohabitated.
The role of religion in daily life affected all of her views; the separation of church and state remained a graph in nearly every column. She was anti-slavery, but supported states rights and opposed the Christian rhetoric of abolitionists. While a fair-weather supporter of Andrew Jackson’s administration, Royall railed against his treatment of Native Americans. The “aborigines,” she declared, were the most virtuous people on the globe, until they were “contaminated” by the missionaries. Thoroughly nationalistic in spirit, Royall detested the “America for Americans” anti-immigrant movement of the period, and called it a “despotic” plot by Protestants.
When the Royall estate was finally adjudicated in the courts in 1823, Anne was stunned to learn that the final will had been struck down, and the judge had granted her a small settlement.
In debt but defiant as ever, Royall announced her intentions to publish a book on her recent travels to Alabama and reinvented herself as a “serpent-tongued” traveling writer in the 1820s, introducing the “redneck” term to our American lexicon and a freethinking Southern view to an emerging national identity, and challenged the prevailing mores of “respectable” Christian women through one avenue suddenly available: The printing press.
When Sketches of History, Life and Manners in the United States, by a Traveller, rolled off the presses of a New Haven newspaper in 1826, Royall had launched her pioneering literary career–at the age of 57. Traipsing across the rough country as a single woman sojourner, she quickly published a series of “Black Books” that provided informative but sardonic portraits of the elite and their denizens from Mississippi to Maine.
She announced: “I resolve to note everything during my journey worthy of remark, and commit it to writing, and to draw amusement and instruction from every source. I shall not imitate most journalists in such remarks as ‘cloudy or fair morning,’ and where we stop dates.”
The Boston Commercial Gazette praised the nuances of Royall’s satirical observations: “A little incident which happened to herself, makes in her pages as great a figure as an epoch in history, not from egotism, but from a wish to tell the whole truth … She marches on speaking her mind freely, and unpacking her heart in words of censure or praise, as she feels.” The Hampden Journal responded that the work had emerged from “a poor, crazy vagrant,” who should be committed to a “Home of Correction.”
Her Black Books became prize possessions, if only for the delight of devastatingly funny descriptions of her “pen portraits.” Power brokers sought out her company or locked their doors. John Quincy Adams called her the “virago errant in enchanted armor.”
The anti-Mason religious fervor sweeping the Atlantic Coast and across the frontier infuriated Royall and prodded her to sharpen her witty pen in a self-appointed role as journalist and judge. The Second Great Awakening’s had provided the nation with one of its most critical opponents: Royall took on the dour and reactionary forces of Presbyterians intent on establishing a Christian Party and entering American politics. “The missionaries have thrown off the mask,” she warned. “Their object and their interest is to plunge mankind into ignorance, to make him a bigot, a fanatic, a hypocrite, a heathen, to hate every sect but his own, to shut his eyes against the truth, harden his heart against the distress of his fellowman and purchase heaven with money.”
In one of the most bizarre trials over freedom of the press in Washington history, the “troublesome” woman writer–make that the “vituperative powers of this giantess of literature,” according to the New York Observer–was indicted in 1829 as “a common scold,” an offense of inappropriate public behavior for women plucked from old English laws.
The Jacksonian era’s defining trial underscored a thinly veiled witch-hunt singling out Royall’s “unruly” boldness as a funny, foul-mouthed, politically charged and outspoken woman in a volatile period of religious fervor. Tossed to the heap pile of “hysterical” women, the federal court and subsequent historians brandished Royall with the shame of drunkards and prostitutes.
Under her bonnet and fraying shawl, an amused grin emerged from Royall’s aging figure as the prosecutor told the courtroom of men that “some of the young ladies were actually afraid to pass” in her presence on Capitol Hill. “Nor could they come within hearing, without having themselves outraged by language, to which no delicate female could listen.”
Royall had already been thrown down a flight of stairs in New England, publicly whipped in Pennsylvania, and chased out of taverns on the Atlantic Coast. She relished the attention in the nation’s capital. Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of War testified on her behalf. In the aftermath of the bitter 1828 election, her “Black Book” travelogues had scandalized the nation and struck fear into politicians, bankers, clergymen and the “respectable” citizens with their “opprobrious and indecent language.”
Translation: The power brokers didn’t know how to handle a woman who dared to mock their “gospel” as a self-deprecating “poor ignorant heathen.”
“It required no ordinary share of animal, as well as moral courage,” the Morning Courier opined, “in any three and twenty men to make so daring an attack upon the rights of this belligerent authoress.”
Royall dismissed the carnivalesque proceedings as an inquisition; that it had less to do with her “respectable” behavior than her journalistic right to free speech. Why had no man, among many other equally abrasive journalists, ever been put on trial? She also understood her infamous toast to the emerging power of the Presbyterian “blueskins–may all their throats be cut,” still resonated in the naves and the legislative chambers.
In the meantime, Royall noted the “complete stage effect” of the trial, “nothing wanting but the rack,” and couldn’t resist satirizing the courtroom in her own book: “Judge Thruston is about the same age as Judge Cranch but harder featured. He is laugh-proof. He looks as if he had sat upon the rack all his life and lived on crab-apples.”
Royall’s “wicked sayings” brought an archaic conviction as a public nuisance that entertained the nation and outraged the press corps and First Amendment advocates. Despite the “common scold” conviction–the penalty of “dunking” reduced to a fine, which fellow Washington journalists paid–Royall went on to carry out two decades of investigative reporting and often hilarious commentary in an increasingly divided nation as a pioneering woman editor and publisher.
In launching her own newspaper in Washington in 1831, which continued in various incarnations until her death in 1854, Royall issued a prophetic reminder for today’s writers: “Let no man sleep at his post. Remember the office holders are desperate, wakeful and urgent.”
And then added with a smile:
“Let all pious Generals, Colonels and Commanders of our army and navy who make war upon old women beware.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) knocked the Obama administration’s integrity during a Google Hangout with constituents on Monday.
Cornyn expressed his disapproval of the way the White House has handled the muddled Obamacare rollout, likening their “willingness to mislead people” on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to, as he said, concealing information on the Benghazi attacks from the public.
“I think the current administration has taken lying to a new level,” he said. “To me, that’s the one thing I find most aggravating about what’s happening in Washington these days, particularly about this administration. Which is a lack of accountability and the willingness to mislead people or provide them just demonstrably false information and expect to be able to move on.”
Cornyn has scrutinized President Barack Obama and his health care program since its debut, saying in an October interview that the president went “AWOL” during government shutdown negotiations, and expressing “concern about what Obamacare is doing to our economy.”
Last week, the senator posited that the Obama administration was engaging in a nuclear deal with Iran to “distract attention” from Obamacare.