Archive for April 16th, 2013

16
Apr
13

Chat Away Night Owls….

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16
Apr
13

Catching Up With The Day

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Bloomberg: The Boston Marathon bombing, juxtaposed with the mass murder at Sandy Hook  …. reveals an ideological component to the way Americans assess risk. In particular, Americans’ tolerance of mayhem and death varies depending on the source of the violence.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, for example, was quick to revisit old fears about foreign terrorism in the wake of the Boston attack…

….. The emphasis on vulnerability and the “continuing need for heightened defenses” represents one side of an existential schism running through U.S. politics, with the dividing line separating mostly, but not always, liberals from conservatives. Many Americans accept the U.S.’s 30,000 gun deaths a year as a sad but inevitable price for all-but-unfettered individual rights to gun possession. A terrorist bombing, on the other hand, signals a need for “heightened defenses,” massive security and the routine compromise of liberty….

Full post here

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Stephen Marche (at Charles Pierce’s blog): As I write this, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Boston Marathon …. But this moment, before we know who did it, may be more important than when we do know.

The speculation has established three possible perpetrators: Islamic terrorists, domestic terrorists, or simple lunatics. The potential of this moment is that we can recognize that it could be any of them, that they all want the same thing, that they are, in the only way that matters, the same thing.

…. Whoever it turns out to be will incur a blame for entire groups of people — whether Muslims or American gun nuts — which are entirely accidental to their being. Let us pause, right now, and agree not to make that mistake.

Full post here

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TPM: …. Why were so many people in the media standing on pins and needles, wondering whether Obama would call what happened in Boston terrorism? …..

…. The media was listening for that word yesterday because they identified it as a potential source of a future, contrived political controversy; reporters were acting as opposition researchers for the people they cover, and identified a sin of omission….

…. most major media outlets typically distinguish terrifying violence from violent terrorism by examining motive. No political or ideological motive? Not terrorism … It’s why everyone feels comfortable calling the Unabomber a terrorist, but not the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: ….. We should commend both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis for their performance at the press conference Monday night — Patrick for slapping down that Alex Jones idiot plant, and Davis, for going out of his way, in one of the few pieces of actual information that was forthcoming at the whole press conference, to emphasize that there was no “suspect” in custody in any hospital, thereby dropping an anvil on The New York Post, which completely went to the zoo on this story yesterday afternoon. Good on both of them. And for Abdulrahman Alharbi, I hope he can still be as happy here some day as I suspect he was when Monday began.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. I’m reluctant to start talking about any single photo being the iconic image of the tragedy, but clearly this shot (see above), captured by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, is powerful and hard to forget.

….  there are three main officers seen in the foreground of this image, and the one on our right is Javier Pagan, who is Latino, gay, and the Boston Police Department’s LGBT liaison.

His husband is a retired NYPD sergeant, who helped rescue people on September 11, 2001.

Full post here

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‘Boston Patriots’

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords listens as her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks on Capitol Hill during a ceremony to honor Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. Zimmerman was Giffords’ outreach director when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson where Giffords was wounded

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Yahoo News: Vice President Joe Biden told a former congressional aide Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol building that the Senate was just two votes short of reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a gun reform bill through the chamber.

After a speech honoring Gabriel Zimmerman … Biden told former Giffords aide Pam Simon that the bill would pass and that two votes were needed.

“We will win,” Biden told Simon, who survived a gunshot wound in the shooting.

…. “We are working to get to 60, and it’s fluid,” Biden said. “I think we’re there, but it’s not unusual as you all know for people to make up their minds at the last minute.”

More here

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Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to participate in a Google+ Hangout about gun control Wednesday.

He will be joined at 2:45 p.m. by the mayors of Gary, Ind.; Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Oak Creek, Wis., according to David Agnew, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs.

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Greg Sargent: A representative for families of the Newtown shooting victims has asked Senator Mitch McConnell to hold a meeting with them, according to sources familiar with the request. McConnell’s office initially declined the request on the basis of scheduling, a source says — and now family members are set to call McConnell and reiterate the request personally.

How will McConnell respond?

The request – if granted — would allow the families to come face to face with the primary architect of the GOP’s strategy of blocking everything Dems propose to slow the tide of gun violence. If it is denied, it would be a big story…

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to discuss immigration reform, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Also attending, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Miguel Rodriguez, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Beyond belief:

The Guardian: How much unemployment did Reinhart and Rogoff’s arithmetic mistake cause? All because two famous economists whose work is used the world over to justify austerity cuts just got their sums wrong.

That’s the question millions will be asking when they see the new paper by my friends at the University of Massachusetts … They show the correct numbers tell a very different story about the relationship between debt and GDP growth than the one that Reinhart and Rogoff have been hawking.

…. This is a big deal because politicians around the world have used this finding from R&R to justify austerity measures that have slowed growth and raised unemployment….

…. If facts mattered in economic policy debates, this should be the cause for a major reassessment of the deficit reduction policies being pursued in the United States and elsewhere. It should also cause reporters to be a bit slower to accept such sweeping claims at face value.

Full article here

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Charles Pierce (on the Next New Deal story): OK, I’ve kept away from this until I’ve read enough people who know what they’re talking about to feel like I know what I’m talking about but, like, wow… I’m still not entirely sure what’s really going on, but there is nothing here to disabuse me of my long-held notion that most economists reach their conclusions by cutting up a sheep on a rock and reading the entrails.

…. And are we at all surprised that a certain zombie-eyed granny-starver of our casual acquaintance was one of the delivery mechanisms into our politics for what may be one of the great public-intellectual blunders (or worse) of the century? Why, no, we are not at all…..

More here

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ABC: First lady Michelle Obama will visit the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday before attending a bill-signing at the Maryland State House.

The first lady will be present as Gov. Martin O’Malley signs into law the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.

The legislation will enable veterans who apply for occupational and professional licenses in Maryland to get credit for their military training, education and experience.

More here

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Wednesday:

11:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

4:05: President Obama and VP Biden welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

6:30: President Obama meets with Democratic senators for dinner

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Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

16
Apr
13

Chat Away

President Barack Obama receives an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Seated, from left, are: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor; Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Attorney General Eric Holder; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; and FBI Director Robert Mueller. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

16
Apr
13

President Obama’s statement

16
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

NBC: It’s an iconic image that captures a moment when one Boston Marathon bystander became much more. With blood-soaked hands and wearing a cowboy hat, Carlos Arredondo helps rush a young man in a wheelchair to safety after explosions turned Monday’s race into a disaster scene. He appears to be pinching closed a severed artery protruding from the victim’s thigh, stanching the flow of blood from a torn and shattered leg ….

…. [Costa Rica native] Arredondo had been at the race to support a group running for fallen veterans, one of them his son, according to the Maine newspaper, which described him charging in to help the wounded after the explosions.

….. In 2004, Arredondo’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, died in battle in Najaf, Iraq. When Marines arrived in a van to deliver the news, on Arredondo’s 44th birthday, he grabbed a can of gasoline and a torch from his garage, climbed inside the van and doused it, then set fire to it, severely burning himself in the process…

…. And in December 2011, just before Christmas, Carlos’ other son, Brian, 24, took his own life as U.S. troops were withdrawing from the war that left his brother dead….

Full article here – warning: the photo above is cropped, the full version is at the link

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Morning everyone




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