DAYLEE PICTURE: A rare Blue-Eared Kingfisher in Thailand. From the Daily Mail of the UK.
The Ball's In Your Court, Mr. President (Bruce Riedel) from the Daily Beast
"It is clear Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people. And Obama must now take action. By Bruce Riedel."
What Would a Fighter Jet Buy 60 Years After Eisenhower’s Speech? from the New York Times
"With some idea that the speechwriters might have been using reliable data, it is worth seeing what a modern heavy bomber, a fighter jet and a destroyer would buy 60 years later."
The Jobless Trap (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"...while debt fears were and are misguided, there’s a real danger we’ve ignored: the corrosive effect, social and economic, of persistent high unemployment. And even as the case for debt hysteria is collapsing, our worst fears about the damage from long-term unemployment are being confirmed."
Lawmaker Unemployment Hearing Attended By Single Member of Congress At Opening from the Huffington Post
"More than five years since the start of the Great Recession, unemployment remains a major economic problem in the United States, with long-term unemployment among its most stubborn aspects. Nobody told Congress. A hearing Thursday on long-term unemployment held before the 19-member Joint Economic Committee began with just a single lawmaker in attendance. Panelists testifying on the problem and its potential solutions spoke only to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the committee's vice-chair, for the beginning of the roughly 90-minute session."
Obama Political Arm Strikes Fear in GOP from Politico
"As if President Barack Obama’s political machine hasn’t left them battered and bruised enough, Republicans are fretting that it could help Democrats win the House next year. The president’s deep-pocketed political arm, Organizing for Action, can’t by law spend most of its money on elections, and officials insist it won’t play directly in the 2014 midterm. But Republicans aren’t buying it: They’re convinced OFA will find other, indirect ways to help Democrats capture the House and allow Obama to finish his presidency unchecked by Congress."
After Boston: Don't Get Fooled Again by the 'War on Terror' Hawks (Conor Friedersdorf) from the Atlantic
Yes, of course terrorism is real. But that doesn't mean the hawkish approach to counterterrorism hasn't been discredited."
Judge Made Call to Advise Suspect of Rights from the Wall Street Journal [partial subscription wall]
"A federal judge decided to advise Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of his Miranda rights, even though investigators apparently still wanted to question him further under a public-safety exception. The judge's move, made on Monday in the hospital where Mr. Tsarnaev was recovering, has prompted some Republican lawmakers to press the Justice Department as to why it didn't make a stronger bid to resist the judge's plans."
Ah -- HERE it comes! They're not going to blame the judge ... ultimately, they're not even going to blame the DOJ folks on the scene. It's Attorney General Holder and President Obama's fault -- that Tsarnaev wasn't denied his constitutional rights! SHAME on them!
FUTURE OF GUN CONTROL? NUGGET
GE Capital Cuts Off Lending to Gun Shops from the Wall Street Journal [subscription wall]
"General Electric Co. is quietly cutting off lending to gun shops, as the company rethinks its relationship to firearms amid the fallout from the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. "
Ok -- then let's get after insurance companies. People who own semi-automatic rifles (or other made-to-kill humans weapons): no health insurance for you. No homeowners insurance for you. No life insurance for you. If you keep x type of weapons in your house, the answer is "no."
Fight Club on the Hill (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"House conservatives met Wednesday for the latest installment of their “Conversations with Conservatives” luncheon series, but they took their places on the dais without sampling the Chick-fil-A sandwiches and nuggets on offer. These days, House conservatives prefer to eat their own. ... Cantor can forget warm and fuzzy for now; he has enough trouble just making his colleagues sound humane."
Riding Along With a Towson University Student’s ‘White Patrol’ (Caitlin Dickson) from the Daily Beast
"After torpedoing a CPAC panel on race relations with comments about ‘his people,’ a young white supremacist is conducting patrols ‘to protect’ white classmates at Baltimore’s Towson University. Caitlin Dickson rode along with the man the Southern Poverty Law Center calls ‘the future of organized hate.’"
Ah, George Zimmermans of the world UNITE!!
George W. Bush's Reluctant Re-Emergence on the Political Scene (Tom DeFrank) from National Journal
"The ex-president is preparing to dedicate his library this week, but these days he's more interested in painting, golfing, and enjoying time away from politics."
Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn’t Smart (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"The opening of the Bush museum today has opened up a flood of pent-up Bush revisionism. ... the main question hanging over Bush is his record itself. The most useful defense of the Bush record is probably Jennifer Rubin’s — useful because it is so slavish and so crude it inadvertently exposes all the catastrophic weaknesses in the Bush record that more clever defenders have usually learned to tiptoe around."
The Ron Paul Institute: Be Afraid, Very Afraid (James Kirchick) from the Daily Beast
"The former presidential contender is back, this time as head of a new ‘institute’ for ‘peace’ comprised of anti-Semites, 9/11 truthers, and dictator-lovers. James Kirchick reports."
Where Ron is, can Rand be far behind?