AP: "Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day, officials said." ...
... Juan Cole: "On Memorial Day, it is as well to remember that US troops are still at war. Afghanistan is our nation’s longest such military engagement. But although there are only about 3,000 troops in Iraq and just a couple hundred in Syria, they are at the front lines in confronting the most dangerous terrorist groups...A former US military officer has said that US troops are actively engaged in fighting at both major remaining fronts against Daesh, al-Raqqa an Mosul." --safari...
... "Era Endless War/Era of Chickenhawks." Ben Fountain of the Guardian: "Just two of this season’s presidential candidates – Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul – seriously questioned the the hard-military tactics of the past 15 years. Everybody else seems to be running around in a 2002 time warp, back when deploying the world’s most powerful military was supposed to bring peace and democracy to a maddeningly conflicted region. Gas on the fire. It failed, and a lot of people died. In this, the fourth presidential election of the Era of the AUMF [Authorization to Use MIlitary Force], the debate hasn’t been about war per se – whether it’s necessary, whether it’s an effective means to an end – but rather, a difference of degree: will we have more of the same, or much, much more of the same? The times are such that fantasy war-mongering is solidly mainstream." -- CW ...
... E.J. Dionne: President "Obama is constantly being criticized for 'apologizing' for the United States when he is in fact attempting to hold us to the very standards that make the United States the 'exceptional' nation his critics extol. Judging ourselves by our own standards is the best way to prove that our commitment to them is real." -- CW
David Savage of the Los Angeles Times: "The Supreme Court is being asked to take up a bankruptcy dispute involving the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and to decide whether to restore the health and pension benefits of more than 1,000 casino workers. At issue is a conflict between labor laws that call for preserving collective bargaining agreements and bankruptcy laws that allow a judge to reorganize a business to keep it in operation. 'This is about how a bankruptcy was used to transfer value from working people to the super-rich,' said Richard G. McCracken, general counsel for Unite Here, the hotel and casino workers’ union that appealed to the high court. Billionaire Carl Icahn stepped in to buy the casino – founded by Donald Trump – after it filed for bankruptcy in 2014. As the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said in January, Trump’s 'plan of reorganization was contingent on the rejection of the collective bargaining agreement,'... with the union." The Court ruled for the Trump & Icahn. -- CW
Adam Liptak of the New York Times: "The Supreme Court is trying hard to reach common ground in the wake of the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. But some justices are trying harder than others.... The recent run of rulings, accounting for more than a quarter of all decisions in argued cases so far this term, tells the story. The court’s most conservative members — Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — wrote eight concurrences or dissents. Its two most liberal members — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — wrote four." -- CW
Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times: "A number of companies in the United States are training foreign law enforcement and intelligence officials to code their own surveillance tools. In many cases these tools are able to circumvent security measures like encryption. Some countries are using them to watch dissidents. Others are using them to aggressively silence and punish their critics, inside and outside their borders." -- CW
Annals of Journalism, Ctd. Margaret Sullivan, now with the Washington Post: "... when a vindictive billionaire [Peter Thiel] can muscle his way into a lawsuit with the intention of putting a media company [Gawker] out of business, there’s reason to worry.... Ken Paulson, director of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, told me that congressional meddling in Facebook’s editorial practices would be 'dangerous, frightening and wrong.' He sees this as a case of government trying to police ideas." -- CW
CW: Excellent discussion in yesterday's Comments thread.
Julie Dolan, in a Washington Post interview by Janell Ross: Hillary "Clinton is the most experienced candidate in the field, but campaign rivals Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are leveling attacks against her that she’s not qualified for the job. In doing so, they're playing into a long-standing narrative that women lack what it takes to succeed in the male-dominated world of politics. The fact that two less-experienced male candidates are leveling this attack against her is telling. Neither Trump nor Sanders feels compelled to shore up their own credentials or justify their own relative lack of experience because they don’t need to; they benefit from a gendered double standard where men are automatically presumed qualified for public office and women are not.: -- CW
What about Bill? Amy Davidson of the New Yorker on Hillary Clinton's "Bill problem," which Donald Trump so enjoys raising & which actually concerns many voters. -- CW
Paul Krugman: "So far, election commentary has been even worse than I imagined it would be. It’s not just the focus on the horse race at the expense of substance; much of the horse-race coverage has been bang-your-head-on-the-desk awful, too.... Mrs. Clinton is clearly ahead, both in general election polls and in Electoral College projections based on state polls." -- CW ...
... Jonathan Martin, et al., of the New York Times: "With has become at least plausible. But if he is to be elected the 45th president, he must compete on a political map that, for now, looks forbidding." -- CWpulling even or ahead of in a series of recent national polls, the once unthinkable
Biker Boy. Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times: "Donald Trump addressed "a gathering at the 29th annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle run, a vast event over Memorial Day weekend that is dedicated to accounting for military members taken as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action." -- CW ...
...Ben Jacobs of the Guardian: "Speaking to a crowd that spilled down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, [Donald Trump] was received as a conquering hero...Trump repeatedly claimed – falsely – that hundreds of thousands were trying to attend the event, at one point claiming there were '600,000 people trying to get in'...'I thought this would be like Dr Martin Luther King,' he said, in a reference to the 1963 March on Washington, a key event in the civil rights movement." --safari
Whiner-in-Chief, Ctd. Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post: "Donald Trump could have taken a victory lap last week. Instead, he went on a grudge tour.... Trump went after an odd and seemingly random group of people — Democrats and Republicans, famous and obscure. There seemed little to gain politically from the attacks, and his targets were linked by just one thing: Trump felt they had all done him wrong. So he blasted Republicans who have yet to endorse him, including Jeb Bush, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Mitt Romney. He declared that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton doesn’t look presidential, and he went after her allies, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom Trump continues to call 'Pocahontas' even after being told the nickname is offensive. He mocked those protesting him and slammed reporters covering his candidacy.... Trump also went after people who were probably unknown to his supporters until he brought them up: Barbara Res, a former employee quoted in an article about his treatment of women, and U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is assigned to hear a fraud case against now-defunct Trump University." -- CW
Ignoramus-in-Chief, Ctd. Washington Post Editors: "LAST WEEK’S Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that voters think Donald Trump would handle the economy better than would Hillary Clinton. But from his destructive tax proposals to the illogical energy plan he detailed on Thursday, there is little basis for that belief.... Mr. Trump’s plan is dangerous as well as incoherent. Mr. Trump’s plan would lead to dirtier air and water — and to a massive blow to the global fight against climate change." -- CW
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite: Marco Rubio revealed "on Sunday morning’s State of the Union that he would be releasing his delegates to the Republican convention, casting his tepid support for Donald Trump as a lesser evil than voting for Hillary Clinton, and reflecting on his own failed campaign." Also, too, Marco is not too upset about Trump's overt racism. -- CW ...
... digby: "It's not a game and it isn't about ideology. It's about the fact that this loon is unfit. There are a few Republicans who are willing to say this out loud. But most are like Lil' Marco --- selling out whatever is left of their integrity for a favor from The Donald. This is the litmus test of litmus tests. Did you speak up when the party nominates someone who is manifestly unqualified or not?" -- CW...
...Tom Boggioni of RawStory: "Appearing on CNN, an opinion page editor from the Wall Street Journal [Bret Stevens] left no doubt how he feels about presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying not only will he not vote for him, but that Trump needs to be crushed in the November election as a lesson to Republicans." --safari...
...We could use some more of this on mainstream media: --safari
...Tim Wise, an antiracism educator, and journalist W. Kalau Bell on Trump and racism: --safari
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Brian Beutler of the New Republic: "What Trump and his allies really hope is that they can hoodwink first-time voters or people who weren’t paying close attention back in the 1990s into believing known lies. Only the media can prevent this — but with Trump as GOP nominee, and party leaders rallying behind him, the media suddenly faces fresh incentives not to intervene, and they will become harder to resist over time.... Unless a critical mass of media figures agrees to treat the things Trump exhumes from the fever swamps of the 1990s with the appropriate contempt, Trump will enjoy the benefit of the doubt most major-party nominees expect." -- CW
Martin Pengelly of the Guardian: "The Libertarian party on Sunday selected Gary Johnson as its nominee for president, on a second ballot.... The selection of a vice-presidential candidate, in which Johnson is hoping to be joined by the former Massachusetts governor William Weld, was not so swiftly concluded. Weld, seen by many Libertarians as 'Republican-lite', struggled for support before sealing the nomination early on Sunday evening." -- CW
James Hohmann of the Washington Post: Tim Canova, "a little-known law professor" who is challenging Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in the primary, "finds himself in the right place at the right time. Wasserman Schultz, 49, has become increasingly unpopular within the liberal base of the party — and among [Sen. Bernie] Sanders’s supporters in particular. Though she claims to be neutral in the presidential nominating contest, many Berniecrats believe that she has tipped the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor." Sanders has endorsed Canova. -- CW
Louis Gohmert (he's so special, sometimes he deserves his own section)
Judd Legum of ThinkProgress: "There have been a lot of justifications for continued discrimination against LGBT people...But in a speech on the House floor this week, Congressman Louis Gohmert took things to the next level. Gohmert argued that we need to discriminate against LGBT people now or the future of humanity is in danger... At some point, a giant asteroid may start barreling toward earth, putting the future of humanity in doubt. We will then need to prepare a special spaceship and send a group of people to colonize Mars...If we can’t discriminate against LGBT people, Gohmert reminds us, all of the people on the special spaceship might end up being same-sex couples." --safari
Way Beyond the Beltway
Jim Yardley & Gaia Pianigiani of the New York Times: "Three days and three sunken ships are again confronting Europe with the horrors of its refugee crisis, as desperate people trying to reach the Continent keep dying at sea. At least 700 people from the three boats are believed to have drowned, the United Nations refugee agency announced on Sunday, in one of the deadliest weeks in the Mediterranean in recent memory." -- CW
Emma Graham-Harrison of the Guardian: "Iraqi army-led units have started an operation to storm the Isis-held city of Falluja, the latest phase in the week-long operation to capture the militant’s stronghold near Baghdad...A spokesman for Iraq’s elite counter-terrorisn service said troops entered the city from three directions. Explosions and gunfire could be heard in the southern Naimiya district as a military unit advanced." --safari