Statement from the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden:
Yesterday our son Beau underwent a successful procedure. He is in great shape and is going to be discharged tomorrow and heading home to Delaware. He will follow up with his local physicians in the coming weeks.
FACT: In the 250 days since Newtown, more than 7,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence. #WhatWillItTake for Congress to act?
— OFA (@OFA) August 21, 2013
Steve Benen: The registry the NRA warned against
A few months ago, conservative senators felt the need to kill a popular, bipartisan proposal on firearm background checks, and relied primarily on a single talking point: the proposal might lead to a firearm database. The very idea of some kind of national gun registry was so offensive to the right that the legislation had to die at the hands of a Republican filibuster.
It didn’t matter that the bipartisan bill had no such database. It didn’t matter that the bipartisan bill explicitly made the creation of such a registry a felony. All that mattered was that conservatives had a lie they liked, and which they used to great effect.
Four months later, Steve Friess reports that a massive, secret database of gun owners exists after all. But it wasn’t built by the Justice Department or the Department of Homeland Security; it was compiled without gun owners’ consent by the National Rifle Association.
— NAACP (@NAACP) August 20, 2013
ThinkProgress: The Worst Thing In That Maureen Dowd Column Isn’t Actually Her Misquote Of Bill DeBlasio’s Wife
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is taking a lot of very justified heat for a column about New York City mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray, in which she appears to have distorted a quotation of McCray’s to imply that McCray is impugning rival Democratic candidate Christine Quinn for being a lesbian.
…. Dowd is now suggesting that a noisy coffee shop obscured her audio recording, and she ended up relying on what turn out to have been bad-quality notes for the quotation….
…. as bad as Dowd’s quoting malpractice is, and as frivolous as the overall column is, these problems aren’t actually the worst part of the column. That would be the way Dowd describes McCray’s sexual orientation, and places it in a context of Sexuality and the New York Mayoral Race….
Economic Report: Home sales climb in July to nearly four-year peak http://t.co/7RbCezlepX
— MarketWatch Economy (@MKTWeconomics) August 21, 2013
Matt Miller: The GOP’s Obamacare youth hoax
It’s rare for a political party to trumpet a position that unintentionally reveals its myopia, incoherence and expediency. Yet such is the trifecta with the Republican campaign to call attention to Obamacare’s young “victims.”
Republicans are obsessed with the supposed injustice being done to some healthy young people who will effectively subsidize their sicker elders when Obamacare’s individual mandate takes effect.
…. Conservatives are therefore urging young Americans to resist. “I’m burning my Obamacare draft card,” runs one theatrical riff from a group called Young Americans for Liberty…
Sounds like a sexy argument, except for one thing. Republicans seem to have forgotten where most people aged 19 to 34 get health coverage: from their employer. And at virtually every company, young people pay the same premiums as employees who are much older than they are …
— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) August 21, 2013
President Obama participates in an Affordable Care Act videoconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 21 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Greg Sargent: Paying no price whatsoever for climate science denialism
You really should be paying close attention to the ongoing battle between the League of Conservation Voters and Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. In addition to being highly entertaining, there’s a great deal at stake here — whether it’s possible to hold public officials accountable for climate science denialism.
Just to catch you up, LCV recently announced plans to launch a $2 million campaign attacking Republicans in Congress for climate change denialism, including a TV ad attacking Johnson. The Senator responded with a fundraising appeal calling for cash to fight against an “environmental jihad.”
Now LCV is back with a second ad responding to the “environmental jihad” barb and reiterating the case that Johnson is ignoring the consensus of civilian and NASA scientists on climate….
Smartypants: An adversarial approach vs the aikido way
In my line of work, I occasionally deal with lawyers – often the type who spend a lot of time in a court room. When we have trouble working together on tackling community issues, its often because they approach things in the way they’ve been trained to practice law in a system that is designed to be adversarial. Too often the goal of our legal system is “winning” (or at least not losing) rather than finding the truth. And so facts that could hurt one’s chance of winning are left out or distorted in order to go for the win.
It should come as no surprise then that Glenn Greenwald (a former lawyer) describes himself as an adversarial journalist. His job is to present information in such a way that he wins the argument. If you understand that about him, you’ve basically got his MO.
And so, when President Obama says that, despite the fact that what Edward Snowden did was illegal, he welcomes the conversation about US surveillance, that presents some real cognitive dissonance for folks like Greenwald. The response is often to declare a win and say this vindicates Snowden as a whistleblower with prosecution being nothing more than intimidation.
Jeffrey Toobin has a wonderful response to that argument….
The clown show that is The Guardian’s surveillance coverage: http://t.co/yy6kQjkMk0
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) August 21, 2013
Oooooops, they’re eating each other alive:
Wow. Wikileaks: “Why did the Guardian cover up their distruction of Edward Snowden’s hard drives for a month?” https://t.co/ou4Z6ByJVH
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) August 21, 2013
If you love someone, set them free. Or have them unknowingly mule stolen intel across international boundaries for you. Either or really.
— Ethan Peretz (@MperiousRex) August 21, 2013
…. The focus of the “emoprog/O-bot” conflict right now is Greenwald’s “reporting” on Snowden’s NSA “revelations”.
To people who accept all of Greenwald/Snowden’s claims at face value, the O-bots are defending the indefensible. They believe the O-bots are supporting a massively oppressive surveillance state solely because Obama is in charge.
To the people who are labeled “O-bots”,
1) Greenwald’s reporting has been shoddy, grossly inaccurate, and full of alarmist exaggeration;
2) when you strip out the hysterical overstatement, what you get are potential (not actual) violations;
3) while these potential violations are worthy of concern, they are vastly less important than a host of other, actual, consequential civil liberties violations happening right now (voter suppression, restriction of reproductive rights, unequal treatment of LGBT people, stop-and-frisk, etc.);
4) the politician Snowden & Greenwald have aligned themselves with (Snowden explicitly; Greenwald more ambiguously, maintaining a certain level of deniability) is terrible on almost every civil liberties issue except the narrow set of issues Greenwald cares about; and
5) Snowden seeking “asylum” in Putin’s Russia is free PR for a state whose civil liberties record is far worse in every way than ours is likely to be anytime soon even in the worst-case scenario.
That’s what all the fighting is about right now. I leave it to the reader to decide who has the better of the argument.
Michael Tomasky: Who Inspects the Inspector?
More documents have been released showing that there’s nothing to the IRS scandal. Yeah, yeah, I know; Washington has “moved on.” But Washington has a strange definition of moving on, which is, if there’s no longer a foul odor lingering in the air around what people very excitedly once thought was a scandal, they just mostly ignore it and write nothing.
I suppose you could call that moving on, but I think actual moving on involves settling accounts and setting things right. If there was no scandal, then why did everyone initially believe there was? And if the press got something wrong, isn’t there a responsibility to go back and get it right?
… This case is by now settled. No partisan scandal here. But it seems to me that now another question deserves a hearing, and its own share of media attention: who inspects the inspector?
Full post here
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) August 21, 2013