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Andrea Mitchell Listing Torture Methods At Director Brennan

andrea_mitchell_a_p_300During CIA Director John Brennan‘s address this afternoon regarding the recent torture report, Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, asked Brennan whether there was a possibility that the CIA may employ similar tactics in the future.

“If there is some unknowable value to these techniques — to waterboarding, to near drowning, slamming people against the wall, hanging them in stress positions, confining them in small boxes or coffins, threatening them with drills, waving guns around there head as they are blindfolded – what or which of these techniques could be used, if, as the director of Central Intelligence, you and another president, or this president, were faced with an imminent threat? Could there be another covert finding that would lead you and your successors to say we should do this?”

Following Mitchell’s comprehensive list of CIA torture methods, a flustered Brennan responded by leaving the door somewhat open, ”We in the CIA are not in the detention program, we are not contemplating at all getting back into the detention program, using any of those EIT’s. So, I defer to the policy makers in future times, when there is going to be the need to be able to ensure that this country stays safe, if we face a similar type of crisis.”

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Kasie Hunt To Rick Perry: ‘Are You Smart Enough To Be President?’

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.03.35 PMIn an interview with Texas governor Rick Perry, MSNBC’s political correspondent, Kasie Hunt, posed a question that many Americans are asking, “are you smart enough to be president?”

“Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual’s resolve. It’s a test of an individual’s philosophy. It’s a test of an individual’s life’s experiences,” responded the 2012 presidential candidate during the interview at the governor’s mansion. ”And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future.”

Perry, whose governorship will expire at the end of the year, is contemplating a possible 2016 run.

Watch the interview via MSNBC.

Hambycast Season One: Saying Goodbye To The ‘Mayor for Life’

Hambycast Logo.jpgCNN’s Peter Hamby wrapped up Season One of his hugely successful “Hambycast” series today by going where few DC reporters are willing to travel – DC’s Ward 8.

CNN kicked off the digital series in September tailgating with Rick Perry, and closed by reminding Washingtonians why Marion Barry is DC’s Mayor for Life. Hamby joined the Mayor’s funeral procession (aka block party) where attendees “boogied in the streets” and reminisced on their favorite memories – beyond the infamous “B*tch set me up!” incident.

Binge watch Season One on CNN.com, and keep your eyes peeled for Season Two in 2015. Between Hambycast Season Two and House of Cards, you’ll be all set for those inevitable snow days.

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Watch Live: CIA Director Brennan Reacts To Torture Report – 1:30p ET

CIA Director John Brennan will comment on and take questions regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the torture tactics implemented by the CIA at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Watch Live via NBC News.

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CNN’s Moody Mocks New Government Spending Bill

“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” -Otto von Bismarck,

When discussing the 2015 Government Spending Bill, the old adage, made famous by the Prussian statesman, seems as applicable today as it was over a century ago. CNN senior digital correspondent, Chris Moody sifted through the grotesque innards of the new bill today in a CNN Digital video.

In the clip, he points out several of the more putrid aspects slipped into the 1,600 page bill – from Congress blocking the vote to legalize marijuana in DC, to the fact that ”it lets school districts avoid nutrition guidelines that would lower the amount of sodium in children’s school lunches. Because that would be tyranny.”

Moody even trolled the bill on Twitter, comically tweeting at Senator Ted Cruz, “Hey @tedcruz, why didn’t you make sure farmers are protected from Chupacabra attacks in the spending bill?”

Watch Moody’s video via CNN Digital. Enjoy!

Dick Cheney Scheduled For Meet the Press

Meet the Press with Chuck ToddAfter describing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture as “full of crap” on Special Report with Bret Baier last evening, former VP and Emperor Palpatine impersonator, Dick Cheney, is scheduled to appear on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd this Sunday — most likely to spread some holiday cheer.

Although the former Vice President told Baier that he “hadn’t read it,” Cheney shamelessly defends the torture program, comparing it to the Iran-Contra affair (another proud moment in the history of US foreign policy…).

Discussing the imprisonment and torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Sith Lord stated, “He is in our possession, we know he’s the architect, what are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks?”

Tis the season!

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Thursday Morning Splash

What’s Happening

— Reliable Source Annual Buffet and Jazz Night at the National Press Club, 5:30 p.m.

— We Are Kuchus: Investigating the Roots of Homophobia in Uganda at the Newseum, 7 p.m.

The Revolving Door

Know someone starting or leaving a job? Let us know.

Fishbowl Fun Fact

The time between the first settlement at Jamestown and the signing of the Declaration of Independence is the same as the time between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and World War II.

Front Page of the Day

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Global Virus Network’s ‘Annual Fundraising Event’ At Cafe Milano

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Dr. Robert Gallo speaking at Cafe Milano. Courtesy of Collin Weinberger.

With the announcement of TIME Magazine‘s Person of the Year honor going to ’Ebola Fighters’ (justly beating out another global parasite, Vladimir Putin), virologists are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve.

Last night at the “Annual Fundraising Event” for the Global Virus Network (GVN), an intimate gathering of top scientists, humanitarians, lawyers, and businesspeople met to discuss current and future responses to global epidemics like ebola.

Hosted at the Georgetown landmark, Cafe Milano, by the restaurant’s owner and member of the GVN Board of Directors Franco Nuschese, the evening was lovely even with its more serious tone – filled with delicious food and superb Italian wine (per usual for Cafe Milano).

Speeches from GVN President, Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, GVN Co-Founder & Scientific Director, Dr. Robert GalloTimothy Moynahan, Chairman of GVN Board of Directors, and one of GVN’s leading Ebola scientists, Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, all highlighted the themes of the night: diligence and vigilance — by continuing the fight against epidemics at their source and maintaining a high level of preparedness.  For GVN, preparedness means making sure that great virologists are in place in every country, since no one knows where or when the next outbreak of a major viral killer will occur.

The importance of their work cannot be emphasized enough. It was an honor to attend.

For more information on the Global Virus Network, go to their website at gvn.org.

#FreeJason Update: Imprisonment Taking ‘Fearsome Toll’ On WaPo Reporter

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141 days later, The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian remains detained in Iran’s infamous Evin prison.

A troubling report today from the Post, however, claims that the conditions of his confinement have been ”taking a fearsome toll” on the health of the Tehran correspondent.

According to his employer, Rezaian has been forced to sleep on the floor of his cell, suffering back pain and chronic eye infections that his family fear will result in permanent damage to his vision. The journalist has also been suffering from groin inflammation that is “so painful that he sometimes has trouble standing.” He has yet to receive treatment for any of these ailments.

Furthermore, the psychological toll of solitary confinement have been exacerbated by Sunday’s news that the Iranian government has filed formal charges (despite any specificity).

#FreeJason

My First Big Break: Keith Olbermann

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As a kid, Keith Olbermann would daydream of being a TV broadcaster. The only question was: sports or news? After nearly 40 years in the business, Olbermann has done both, with gigs at CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, twice, and ESPN, twice. A column in the Washington Post played a big part in his early success and the guy who gave Olbermann his “First Big Break” in TV would give him another break later on.

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