Republican Chuck Hagel appeared before a Senate confirmation committee where he deflected on issues ranging from the Iraq “surge” to his calls for reducing the United States’ nuclear arsenal.---
Top of the Alty World
“Hagel Confirmation Hearing Opens with More Deflection Than Defense”—Huffington Post
Hagel was also professor at Georgetown University where students remember a committed and passionate teacher, who also apparently enjoyed wearing costumes to class.—Buzzfeed
As the Trayvon Martin case enters week 48 a Florida lawmaker looks to “tweak” the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.—The Root
Top of Alty Utah
Attorney General John Swallow apparently has altered an election filing document in the past week in what appears to be a violation of state election law.—Utah Political Capitol
The synthetic drug “spice” plagues the homeless and the mentally ill but the Legislature is unsure how to effectively ban the drug.—Salt Lake City Weekly
Equality Utah is making another push on the hill for a statewide ban on discrimination against LGBT Utahns.—Utah Political Capitol
Truthout previews Henry Giroux’s book Youth in Revolt and looks at how political powers have sought to criminalize dissent from activist groups like the Occupy movement.
“In the United States, the state monopoly on the use of violence has intensified since the 1980s and in the process has been directed disproportionately against young people, poor minorities, immigrants, women, and the elderly. Guided by the notion that unregulated, market-driven values and relations should shape every domain of human life, a business model of governance has eviscerated any viable notion of social responsibility and conscience, thereby furthering the dismissal of social problems and expanding cutbacks in basic social services.”--Truthout
The Long View
Rolling Stone examines the NRA’s recent transformation into an industry group that profits off the proliferation of military-grade weapons.
“Today's NRA stands astride some of the ugliest currents of our politics, combining the "astroturf" activism of the Tea Party, the unlimited and undisclosed "dark money" of groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, and the sham legislating conducted on behalf of the industry through groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council. "This is not your father's NRA," says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a top gun-industry watchdog. Feldman is more succinct, calling his former employer a "cynical, mercenary political cult."—Rolling Stone