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Sep
14

The Week in Toons

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Aug
14

Ferguson: The Week in Toons

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August 15, 2014

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August 21, 2014

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14
Aug
14

Chat away

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This will surely make MTP relevant in the interim

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All kind of crazy things going on regrarding Russia/Ukraine today:

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CBC NEWS: While Stephen Harper is still receptive to the tweets of Homer Simpson, he has stopped following the Russian prime minister on Twitter. Earlier this month, CBC News pointed out that the Simpson family’s patriarch and Dmitri Medvedev were among the noteworthy people and organizations that Harper followed on his Twitter account @pmharper. What made Medvedev’s inclusion particularly noteworthy was that he was the only foreign leader followed by Harper and that Medvedev’s tweets continued to be followed by Harper despite the tough criticism coming from the Conservative government about Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Asked about the sudden unfollowing, Carl Vallée, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said in an email: “The Putin regime’s aggressive behaviour in illegally occupying Ukraine speaks for itself. We have no interest in following Russian propaganda.”

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MASHABLE: DONETSK, Ukraine – Strelkov is out. The military commander of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, who ordered the executions of at least three men by firing squad and boasted on social media about shooting Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky, resigned on Thursday, according to the news agency of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s republic (DNR). Igor Girkin, a Russian nationalist and former security service agent better known by his nom de guerre “Strelkov,” or “Shooter,” stepped down after conflicting reports on Thursday that he had been severely wounded in battle near the city of Torez, Donetsk region..continued

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Foreign Policy: Since the White House announced plans to bomb Iraq on Aug. 7, a predictable set of Washington players has taken the opportunity to blame the Obama administration’s missteps for the capture of broad swaths of Iraq by radical jihadists. But while U.S. jets pound the Islamic State’s positions in northern Iraq, President Barack Obama has been firing back at critics at home. When a reporter asked Obama last Saturday if withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq had caused the current situation there, the president pointed the finger back at the Bush administration and its supporters. “So that entire analysis is bogus and is wrong. But it is frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made,” the president said. Meanwhile, the president’s critics, including notably Sen. John McCain, have accused Obama of not just doing too little in Syria or Iraq, but having “lost” a war in Iraq that George W. Bush had “won.”…

The task for anyone concerned about the parlous developments in the Middle East is to persuade Americans that the previous administration’s blunders over Saddam Hussein’s illusory weapons of mass destruction should not prejudice the current administration’s efforts to deal with the very real threat of a brutal, highly capable extremist group attempting to take over the heart of the Middle East. That change in American public opinion won’t happen as long as proponents of greater U.S. intervention in Iraq run away from the reality of the Bush intervention. Indeed, the charge of having “lost” the Iraq War only prompts critics of that war, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to issue pointed reminders of the litany of Bush-era Iraq mistakes. “We’re stuck listening to the very same neocons who pushed us into the Iraq War in the first place, as they try to plunge our military into another foreign misadventure,” Reid said on the Senate floor…..

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R.I.P

02
Aug
14

The Week in Toons

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23
Jul
14

Being Biden Volume 12-16

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Vice President Biden calls Phyllis Gould, one of the original “Rosie the Riveters” at Kaiser Shipyard during WWII. The Vice President invites Phyllis to visit him at the White House and recalls a story from 1994 on the 50th anniversary of Normandy. Nov. 11, 2013 Photo Credit: US Senate Photo

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Continue reading ‘Being Biden Volume 12-16′

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May
14

The Week In Toons

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28
May
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama is reflected in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall as he delivers remarks during the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War commemoration ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today

7:50 AM: President Obama departs the White House

9:15: Arrives Stewart Air Base, Newburgh, New York

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10:0: Delivers commencement address, West Point

Streaming has started

Also at White House Live

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12:0: Vice President Biden Delivers the Commencement Address at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

1:05: President Obama Departs Newburgh

2:20: Arrives White House

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Thursday

The President will host a summit at the White House on youth sports safety and concussions, where he will be joined by stakeholders, including young athletes, parents, coaches, experts, professional athletes, and military service members. At the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, the President will announce new commitments by both the public and private sectors to raise awareness about how to identify, treat and prevent concussions, and conduct additional research in the field of sports-related concussions that will help us better address these problems

Friday

The President will attend a hurricane preparedness meeting at FEMA Headquarters

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Time: Why Obama Is Leaving 10,000 Troops in Afghanistan

By choosing to leave almost 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the formal end of American combat operations later this year, President Barack Obama made a choice between two imperatives.

One was to make a clean break with a war that has lasted more than 12 years, costing hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives, with inconclusive results. Obama was happy to take that path in Iraq, from which he pulled out the last U.S. soldier in December 2011. (There’s some dispute as to whether Obama preferred to leave a small residual force but was denied by the Iraqi government; suffice to say Obama wasn’t hell-bent on staying.)

The other imperative was to ensure that Afghanistan doesn’t become like a horror movie killer who springs up the moment the you think he’s dead and turn your back. Afghanistan’s security forces probably aren’t yet ready to defend their government against the Taliban, a weakened but hardly defeated enemy. A residual American force can aid the Afghans with everything from intelligence to logistics to medical assistance. (The Afghans have paltry Medevac capabilities, for instance—hardly a morale booster for their troops.) Obama may rightfully doubt that maintaining tens of thousands of U.S. forces can remake Afghanistan into a tidy success story. But neither does he want to preside over a slide back into a 1990s-style civil war.

More here

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Wall Street Journal: Learning From the California Shootings

At the vigil in Isla Vista, Calif., on Saturday, I realized how stupid I had been about the Boston Marathon bombings. I remember thinking on that awful day how glad I was that my son lived in Santa Barbara, away from places targeted by such evil. But after Friday’s shootings in Santa Barbara, in which six people were killed and 13 injured, I saw the terrible pain around me. About 5,000 gathered to mourn the senseless deaths and a generation of college students ripped from adolescence. The searing pain of another dad, Richard Martinez, got the attention of a nation this weekend when he declared:

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The Atlantic: A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

I’ve heard it said that, if you take a walk around Waikiki, it’s only a matter of time until someone hands you a flyer of scantily clad women clutching handguns, overlaid with English and maybe Japanese text advertising one of the many local shooting ranges. The city’s largest, the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club, advertises instructors fluent in Japanese, which is also the default language of its website. For years, this peculiar Hawaiian industry has explicitly targeted Japanese tourists, drawing them away from beaches and resorts into shopping malls, to do things that are forbidden in their own country.

Waikiki’s Japanese-filled ranges are the sort of quirk you might find in any major tourist town, but they’re also an intersection of two societies with wildly different approaches to guns and their role in society. Friday’s horrific shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has been a reminder that America’s gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America’s.

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Homicides by gun in region (PDF):

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NYT: What Did the Framers Really Mean?

Three days after the publication of Michael Waldman’s new book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a killing spree, stabbing three people and then shooting another eight, killing four of them, including himself. This was only the latest mass shooting in recent memory, going back to Columbine. In his rigorous, scholarly, but accessible book, Waldman notes such horrific events but doesn’t dwell on them. He is after something else. He wants to understand how it came to be that the Second Amendment, long assumed to mean one thing, has come to mean something else entirely. To put it another way: Why are we, as a society, willing to put up with mass shootings as the price we must pay for the right to carry a gun?

The Second Amendment begins, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and that’s where Waldman, the president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, begins, too. He has gone back into the framers’ original arguments and made two essential discoveries, one surprising and the other not surprising at all. More:

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