Gardiner Harris of the New York Times: "President Obama came to ... [New Orleans] on Thursday to make a case for his entire presidency: that when disaster strikes, the federal government should help not only to rescue the stranded but also to rebuild better and fairer than before. 'The project of rebuilding here wasn’t just to restore the city as it had been,' Mr. Obama said to several hundred people at a new community center in the once-devastated Lower Ninth Ward. 'It was to build a city as it should be — a city where everyone, no matter what they look like, how much money they’ve got, where they come from, where they’re born, has a chance to make it.' The president explicitly linked New Orleans’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which struck 10 years ago this month, to the nation’s recovery from the 2008 recession":
Lydia DePillis of the Washington Post: "the National Labor Relations Board ... voted Thursday to redefine the employee-employer relationship granting new bargaining powers to workers caught up in an economy increasingly reliant on subcontractors, franchisees and temporary staffing agencies.... In a case that drew intense lobbying by both business and union groups, Democratic appointees on the panel split 3-2 with Republicans to adopt a more expansive definition of what it means to be an 'joint employer,' making it more difficult for companies to avoid responsibility through various forms of outsourcing."
Timothy Cama of the Hill: "A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn't act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided. The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways like streams and wetlands."
mounted an aggressive defense in a letter to Congress on Thursday, offering evidence from an outside investigator that undercover videos targeting the women’s health organization were heavily edited and should be considered unreliable. The letter, written by the organization’s president, Cecile Richards, comes as four congressional committees are pursuing investigations into allegations that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit, which is prohibited by law, and that it has changed its abortion procedures to extract better specimens. The accusations stem from an elaborate undercover investigation by antiabortion activists, who recorded Planned Parenthood employees while posing as representatives of a tissue procurement company." ...Officials at Planned Parenthood
... Joan McCarter of Daily Kos: "The investigators looked at the first four of the videos released ... and concluded that 'the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries' unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered.' Their analysis suggests that even the long, supposedly unedited versions of the video also show signs of manipulation, as do the transcripts. In one case, the transcript provided by CMP omits as many as 4,000 words.... That should be enough to stop congressional investigations. It won't be." ...
... digby: "The Planned Parenthood jihad is underway and fact[s] don't matter to the Republicans.... Here are the facts as they see them. Women are the worst mass murderers in the history of the world":
Supreme Plagiarist. "A Supreme Court Justice of Few Words, Some Not His Own." Adam Liptak of the New York Times: "Justice Clarence Thomas has not asked a question from the Supreme Court bench since 2006. His majority opinions tend to be brisk, efficient and dutiful. Now, studies using linguistic software have discovered another Thomas trait: Those opinions contain language from briefs submitted to the court at unusually high rates.... In the last decade, nine majority opinions shared 25 percent or more of their language with one party’s brief. Justice Thomas signed five of them. Taking account of both parties’ briefs in those cases, four opinions overlapped more than 30 percent of the time. Justice Thomas signed all four." CW: Let's face it; this guy hasn't even been phoning it in for the last decade.
Amy Tsang & Peter Eavis of the New York Times: "Every major stock market in the world surged higher on Thursday, helped by an unexpectedly strong economic report in the United States and a late rally in Chinese stocks." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Julie Davis of the New York Times: "to defend the nuclear containment deal with and try to reassure a government and public deeply opposed to the accord that the United States is still prepared to inflict severe financial penalties on Tehran for its sponsorship of terrorism and support for military proxies. The Obama aide, Adam J. Szubin, the top Department official who helped negotiate the accord between Iran and six world powers, will meet with Israeli government officials and foreign policy experts to make his case during a three-day trip...."’s sanctions chief will arrive in on Friday
they don’t wear Polish military uniforms. Until Thursday, the Democratic National Committee’s 'Veterans and Military Families' website had as its only picture a shot from White House photographers during President Obama’s visit to Warsaw in 2011."Democrats’ election outreach efforts to veterans may need to start with a refresher course on what U.S. troops look like. For starters,
is reported as bad news for Hillary." ...Matthew Yglesias of Vox: "New poll showing Clinton beating everyone
would oppose the White House moving forward with the nuclear deal with Iran without the support of Congress, according to a new survey released by an organization critical of the deal. The poll, released by Secure America Now, found that 82 percent of Americans — including large majorities in both parties — oppose the White House granting billions of dollars in sanctions relief 'without the approval of Congress.' The survey also showed that, when informed about 'secret side deals between Iran and the U.N. monitoring agency,' 61 percent of people thought that Congress should vote to kill the deal. Just 16 percent said it should be approved, despite the existence of the side deals. The results could be troubling for supporters of the agreement.... Secure America Now has run television ads urging Congress to oppose the deal." ...A vast majority of the public
... The pollsters, BTW, were McLaughlin & Associates (a bit on their track record here) & Caddell Associates, with too many mentions to mention, but here's one. Anyhoo, congrats, Julian. Now go back to journalism school.
only 39 of those studies' results could be replicated. That could mean that the studies were wrong in the first place, but researchers say that the findings tell more about the difficulty of designing a reproducible study than the accuracy of the studies themselves. Studies need to be reproducible so that scientists can confirm their effects.... In part, that's to catch scientific fraud, but it's also simply to make scientific findings more trustworthy."of the Verge: "A huge, collaborative research project attempted to recreate 100 studies that were recently published in major psychology journals, and it found that
Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker: "All of the Democratic Vice-Presidents that Biden grew up watching eventually became Democratic nominees for President: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Al Gore. If Biden decides to forego a run for the Oval Office, he will be the first Democratic Vice-President unable to secure his party’s nomination in sixty-three years." Lizza goes on to explain numerous reasons that Biden would fare poorly against Clinton in a primary race. "It’s much more likely that the Vice-President is not actually preparing a campaign against Clinton, but rather readying himself as a replacement if something wildly unexpected destroys her candidacy. In that sense, Biden is being shrewd. He can’t beat Clinton, but he can set himself up as the Party’s insurance policy in case of her collapse."
Betty Cracker of Balloon Juice: "Hillary Clinton talked about women’s issues, comparing the views of backwards, Bible-humping, god-bothering, patriarchal fanatics in the GOP race with the views of anti-modern, Koran-thumping, god-bothering, patriarchal fanatics in terrorist groups.... She specifically name-checked Bush, Rubio and Kasich." ...
Extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.... They espouse out of date and out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st Century America. -- Hillary Clinton, Thursday
CW: Jonathan Martin, et al., of the New York Times have a big story currently on the NYT's front page about how "Democratic leaders are increasingly frustrated by ’s failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices and ease growing doubts among voters about her honesty and trustworthiness." Blah-blah. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) But a version of the AP story I linked yesterday, which demonstrates that Clinton was treating classified documents the same way everyone at State did and had done in past administration, doesn't get a front-page link (I had to find it in a search) & doesn't appear to have made the print editions of the paper. ...
... David Ignatius of the Washington Post: "Does Hillary Clinton have a serious legal problem because she may have transmitted classified information on her private e-mail server? After talking with a half-dozen knowledgeable lawyers, I think this 'scandal' is overstated. Using the server was a self-inflicted wound by Clinton, but it’s not something a prosecutor would take to court.... 'It’s common knowledge that the classified communications system is impossible and isn’t used,' said one former high-level Justice Department official.... There’s no legal difference whether Clinton and her aides passed sensitive information using her private server or the official 'state.gov' account that many now argue should have been used. Neither system is authorized for transmitting classified information."
GOP Candidates = "Crash Test Dummies." Paul Krugman: "Nowhere is there a hint that any of the G.O.P. candidates understand [sic!] the problem [causing global market swings], or the steps that might be needed if the world economy hits another pothole.... Scare stories involving Chinese ownership of U.S. debt have been a Republican staple for years.... And you can see why. 'Obama is endangering America by borrowing from China' is a perfect political line, playing into deficit fetishism, xenophobia and the perennial claim that Democrats don’t stand up for America! America! America! It’s also complete nonsense, but that doesn’t seem to matter.... One side of the political aisle has been utterly determined to learn nothing from the economic experiences of recent years."
Tierney Sneed of TPM: "Attendees at a Republican fundraiser in Colorado Wednesday say that House Speaker John Boehner called Sen. Ted Cruz a 'jackass,' the Daily Caller reported.... Boehner said that the 2016 presidential race kept 'that jackass' away from Washington....Cruz has long had a reputation for being a thorn in Boehner's side, having led a government shutdown over Obamacare for 2013 and publicly causing leadership headaches on various occasions." CW: See, even the Orange Man can be right once in awhile. ...
... Jackass Returns to Washington, Brings Jackass Buddy, Plans Huge Jackass Rally. James Hohmann of the Washington Post: "Donald Trump revealed Thursday that he’s been coordinating with Ted Cruz for a joint appearance at an event opposing the Iran deal in Washington. 'We are talking to Ted Cruz, who is a friend of mine and a good guy, about doing something very big over the next two weeks in Washington,' the billionaire businessman said after a rally in South Carolina. 'It’s essentially a protest against the totally incompetent deal that we’re making with Iran.'” ...
... Not to worry, the Anti-Trump is coming to town, too. Tim Egan contrasts Trump with Pope Francis.
Hunter Walker of Bloomberg: "Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump recently called the Bible his 'favorite book' while on the campaign trail, but he apparently doesn't want to discuss it in interviews. Trump was asked to name 'one or two of your most favorite Bible verses' during an interview on Bloomberg's television show 'With All Due Respect' Wednesday.... 'I wouldn't want to get into it because to me that's very personal. You know, when I talk about the Bible, it's very personal, so I don't want to get into verses,' Trump said.... Later in the interview, host John Heilemann asked Trump if he was 'an Old Testament guy or a New Testament guy.' 'Probably equal,' Trump said."
... CW: Okay, let's assume Trump has never actually read his "favorite book." It's still stupid to ask a presidential candidate to pick a "most favorite" Bible verse. If you're not sure it's stupid, let me just add that the questioner was Mark Halperin. Case closed.
Beyond the Beltway
Finally, an L.A. car chase with a happy ending, I guess: