Yesterday evening, two young men, suspected for committing the bombings at the Boston Marathon, robbed a 7–11 and carjacked an SUV. After a gunfight at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in which a police officer was killed, one of the two suspects, a 26-year-old man, was shot and killed. The other is at large. Boston is now completely shut down as police search for his 19-year-old brother.
This thread is is for comment and discussion. More as we learn more. (more…)
At this writing, there is no reliable information as to whether the explosions were intentional or accidental (a gas main, etc.).
At leat two people died, and at least nineteen have been admitted to hospitals as of 4:00 PM Eastern time.
This thread is a holder for news and conversation about the event. More as more comes in. (more…)
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.
The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.
What do you think is the most likely proposal that the NRA will put forward?
In the spirit of Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise, it’s also time for a Bayesian prediction.
What are the chances that the NRA’s proposal, unveiled Friday, will be adopted essentially unmodified by the 113th Congress? Give your prior probability, either as a percentage or a number between 0.0 and 1.0.
And then, imagine you’re the chief information officer for the NRA, and you don’t care if you get fired or not. What should you say?
- NRA Deactivates Facebook Page (fastcompany.com)
- NRA ‘Shocked, Saddened and Heartbroken’ by Newtown School Shooting, Will Hold News Conference Friday (patdollard.com)
- The Side-Eye: NRA Finally Breaks Their Silence With A Shady Azz Statement (bossip.com)
- NRA breaks silence, releases statement about Newtown shooting (wtvr.com)
- NRA Back on Facebook, Gives Statement on Newtown Shooting (webpronews.com)
- NRA promises to help prevent school shootings (kfwbam.com)
Editor’s Note: This article was originally scheduled to run on the morning of September 13. Because of the increased interest in the topic, its publication has been moved forward to the evening of September 12. As a result, we will not be running our usual Thursday morning article.
Politics stops at the water’s edge.
— Senator Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg
Arthur Vandenberg was the Republican Senator from Michigan from 1935 until his death in 1951. Senator Vandenberg was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and worked with President Harry S Truman to create the United Nations. After World War II, when Vandenberg publicly changed his stance from isolationism to internationalism, he coined the famous maxim above.
Mitt Romney was born in Detroit in 1947 to a Michigan Republican political family. Romney’s father was the Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969 and his mother made a failed run at the Class 1 Senate seat once held by Vandenberg and now held by Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Republicans used to actively participate in a muscular foreign policy in collaboration with Democratic Presidents and Congressmen. There were giants in the earth in those days. In a time before small-minded Republicans trumpeted small-minded ideas like the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory or the supposed imposition of Sharia law on U.S. communities, Republicans actually worked side-by-side with Democrats to bring to life Vandenberg’s maxim. Whatever differences we might have across the aisle in the halls of Congress were set aside so the United States could present a united foreign policy front.
No more. (more…)
Ever since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, “Obamacare”) individual mandate, pundits have been predicting that the mandate is dead. The remaining question would then be: will the Supreme Court find the law severable, that is, can the mandate be ruled unconstitutional but the rest of the law stands? Or does the whole thing go down because of an unacceptable mandate?
The Supreme Court finally answered today. By a five-to-four vote (Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor dissenting), the individual mandate was technically struck down as a violation of the Commerce Clause, but by a different five-to-four vote (Justices Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas dissenting) the fine for being uninsured was not. In that regard, the Court threaded the needle, objecting to the “illegality” of being uninsured, while leaving the relevant penalty in the Act unchanged.
This decision is certainly a huge win for the Obama administration at first blush. But it may prove to be less of a win for Obama himself.
Today, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced that it’s shuttering the group working on pro-gun and voter identification laws (“Public Safety and Elections Task Force”). This comes in response to several companies terminating their relationships with ALEC, after the Trayvon Martin killing, when attention was called to the organization’s backing of “stand your ground” laws.
Here’s the irony: the task force was already mostly dead. They hadn’t met since the end of February, and have been a relatively minor part of ALEC’s efforts this year. In keeping with the primary Republican goal of ousting President Obama, ALEC’s legislative focus in 2012 is economic policy, such as busting the Wisconsin’s public employee union.
So ALEC gets to tell the companies that it’s being responsive — albeit after having told them that they shouldn’t be trying to influence them in the first place. And, by doing so, they’re able to protect their revenue stream, which overwhelmingly consists of corporate donations.
After all, let’s face it — what corporation is going to deny funding to an organization devoted to reducing union influence?
- ALEC eliminates task force on social issues (rawstory.com)
- PROGRESSIVE VICTORY: ALEC Ends Its Guns And Voter Suppression Task Force (thinkprogress.org)
- ALEC to ‘sharpen focus’ on economic issues, end work on voter suppression, gun rights (dailykos.com)
- ALEC Switches Focus Amid Martin Backlash (myfoxphoenix.com)
- ALEC Announces It Will No Longer Focus on Social Issues (skydancingblog.com)
- Georgia lawmaker quits ALEC, calls it ‘radical’ group with ‘dangerous agenda’ (rawstory.com)
- Study: ALEC has ‘secretive influence’ in Missouri statehouse (kansascity.com)
- ALEC-American Legislative Exchange Council is losing members due to writing of rotten laws that aid killers Like George Zimmerman (bonjupatten.com)