Welcome to Situational Awareness, a weekly roundup of news from last week that will likely be causing sleepless nights in the future.
ALAS, POOR HILLARY: Big Chief Elizabeth Warren, she of the Native American ancestry claims and former Republican registration, spoke with a forked tongue when she gave a non-response to the question of whether she would endorse a Hillary Clinton run for President in 2016. “Hillary is terrific,” is all she would muster to a question about a Hillary endorsement, when that clearly required checking the yes or no box. Apparently Warren hopes that she will be the first Native American president.
STERLING MOMENTS AHEAD: The NBA has banned 81-year-old Donald Sterling for life, and now will seek to remove his property from him by stripping him of his franchise. Meanwhile, it came out that the Donald has prostate cancer, making a lifetime ban less of a daunting prospect. This slow disease mimics the awareness levels of the NBA over the last couple decades when it comes to recognizing Sterling’s predilections and becoming shocked, shocked that there’s racism going on.
Sterling, who has been known to have a philosophy of never selling his properties, is allegedly mulling a scorched-earth legal response. What’s more interesting is whether the league’s longest-tenured owner has a few skeletons from the NBA closet to unveil. Already, there are calls from some observers for a good, old-fashioned witch hunt, with some asking to subpoena emails and other correspondence from NBA owners that might reveal homophobia, racism, or other problems. You can bet Sterling’s attorneys will ask for that material during discovery.
STERN WARNING TO UKRAINE: The US continued to speak softly and carry a big stick of gum when it comes to containing the troubles in Ukraine. Promises of financial sanctions against Russian government officials (but not Vladimir Putin, whose money remains murkily safe from prying eyes) have so far been received with a yawn by the Russians, who continue to use proxies to stir up trouble beyond Crimea. Meanwhile, the Chinese look on with interest, as plans for a so-called US pivot to Asia may prove to be just more rhetoric without proof, ie measureable action in the Ukraine. And that doesn’t mean more stern rebukes.
READY THE DUNGEON: NSA leaker Edward Snowden has allegedly retained a defense attorney, in hopes of reaching some sort of agreement that will let him come back to the US without facing significant jail time, according to the New York Times. The US will probably make the same assurances Snowden did when he signed on as an employee with the NSA — then will stick him in the cell next to Jonathan Pollard when they can get their hands on him.
LOOK OUT BELOW: President Barack Obama’s approval rating is now at 41% in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. While the polls fluctuate depending on what’s going on in the world, it’s worth noting that this figure is below the overall approval averages of George Bush and Richard Nixon.
IT’S NOT UNUSUAL: Oklahoma needs to go back for a refresher course on how to kill someone with drugs. Inmate Clayton Lockett, who was convicted of burying a girl alive after first shooting her, allegedly convulsed and writhed on the gurney after the death drugs were administrated. He later died of a heart attack. Meanwhile, a second inmate scheduled to meet his fate that night had his execution put on hold in order to avoid a similar scene. No word if he gets a second last meal. Or if making him wait on death row for the moment of truth a second time amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.