Likely no updates today; I'm on the road again -- with no assurance I'll get where I want to go. -- Constant Wader
Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times: "Congress is largely responsible for the incomplete recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, writes in a memoir published on Monday. Mr. Bernanke, who left in January 2014 after eight years as chairman, says the Fed’s response to the crisis was bold and effective but insufficient."
Cristina Marcos of the Hill: "Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is postponing House GOP elections for majority leader and whip at the behest of conservatives. House Republicans had been scheduled to vote behind closed doors Thursday for the two positions, but will now just vote on electing a Speaker to replace Boehner at that time."
Michael Schmidt of the New York Times: "The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security said on Monday that he had reopened an investigation into whether the Secret Service played a role in disclosing embarrassing information about a House committee chairman who had been critical of the agency. The inquiry will examine statements that the ’s director, Joseph P. Clancy, had made about when he knew that Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had once applied to be a Secret Service agent but had been rejected, according to the inspector general, John Roth." ...
... CW: Good. Let's keep be reminded that Jason Chaffetz, who now aspires to be third in line to the presidency, could not get a job guarding the president or his pets. (In fairness, people get turned down for jobs all the time for reasons, quixotic or otherwise. Maybe the Secret Service thought Chaffetz was too smart to be a bodyguard. Or too old.)
Benghaaazi, Declassified. Paul Waldman: "Democrats on the Benghazi select committee are apparently fed up with the Republicans on the committee deciding that testimony is too sensitive to release, then leaking selective parts of it to journalists. So they took it upon themselves to release the testimony of former Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, with more presumably to come." Here's the letter from committee Democrats to Trey Gowdy, via Waldman, & it's a doozy.
Michael Shear of the New York Times: "President Obama will travel to Roseburg, Ore., on Friday to meet privately with the families of the people shot at a community college last week, the White House announced Monday." ...
... Suzy Khimm of the New Republic explains why individual state gun control laws cannot go far enough to ensure gun safety without federal laws to back up & coordinate them. ...
... AND then, There Are the Local Sheriffs. Here is "Sheriff Glenn Palmer, of Grant County, Oregon, tell[ing] the Oregon Senate judiciary committee that he will refuse to enforce new gun laws, namely the 'universal background check'/gun registry bill, SB941." Video. Palmer also called the gun control bill "borderline treasonous."
Adam Liptak of the New York Times: "The did not seem inclined on Monday to let a California woman injured in an Austrian train accident sue in American court." ...
... Paul Waldman: "The Supreme Court ... is poised to deliver conservatives a string of sweeping, consequential victories on issues covering a wide swath of American life.... While a couple of [the cases the Court will hear] may be in doubt, it’s entirely possible that by the time this term ends next June, the Court will have driven the final stake into affirmative action, struck a fatal blow against public-sector unions, enhanced Republican power in legislatures by reducing the representation of areas with large Hispanic populations, given a green light for Republican-run states to make abortions all but impossible to obtain, and undermined the ACA."
Jeff Spross of the Week: "A dark and unpleasant truth is that many economic elites actually have a vested interest in anemic job growth and a slack labor market.... [With] full employment..., workers [have] much more leverage to demand wage increases, so they claim a bigger share of all the income generated in the economy. Which means, by definition, the elite's share must shrink.... Full employment also takes power over the business away from owners and management and gives more of it to workers instead.... The rising 'servant economy' rests on a wide relative gap between high and low incomes.... Elites obviously don't want to completely tank the economy. But it certainly works for them if it stays modestly stagnant, maximizing the growth of the pie while minimizing worker bargaining power."
The Longest War. Greg Jaffe & Missy Ryan of the Washington Post: "President Obama is seriously weighing a proposal to keep as many as 5,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, according to senior U.S. officials, a move that would end his plans to bring U.S. troops home before he leaves office. The proposal presented in August by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would focus the remaining American force primarily on counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other direct threats to the United States."
Liz Sly & Brian Murphy of the Washington Post: "NATO warned Russia to stay away from Turkey on Monday after the Turkish Air Force intercepted Russian warplanes that strayed into its airspace from Syria, underscoring the heightened risk of a wider conflagration as Russia escalates its intervention in the Syrian conflict."
Matthew Rosenberg & Alissa Rubin of the New York Times: "The American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, on Monday responded publicly to criticism over the American airstrike that destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the city of Kunduz, claiming that Afghan forces had requested the strike while under fire and conceding that the military had incorrectly reported at first that American troops were under direct threat. But General Campbell’s comments, in a sudden and brief news conference at the Pentagon, did not clarify the military’s initial claims that the strike, which killed 22 people, had been an accident to begin with. Doctors Without Borders has repeatedly said that there had been no fighting around the hospital, and that the building was hit over and over by airstrikes on Saturday morning, even though the group had sent the American military the precise coordinates of its hospital so it could be avoided." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Thomas Gibbons-Neff of the Washington Post: "The airstrike that killed 22 people at a Doctor’s without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan Saturday was requested by Afghan forces, not U.S. troops, according to the top U.S. general in Afghanistan." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... New Lede: "A heavily-armed U.S. gunship designed to provide added firepower to special operations forces was responsible for shooting and killing 22 people at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend, Pentagon officials said Monday. The attack occurred in the middle of the night Saturday, when Afghan troops — together with a U.S. special forces team training and advising them — were on the ground near the hospital in Kunduz, the first major Afghan city to fall to the Taliban since the war began in 2001. The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said Monday the airstrike was requested by Afghan troops who had come under fire, contradicting earlier statements from Pentagon officials that the strike was ordered to protect U.S. forces on the ground."
Vicki Needham of the Hill: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) labeled a new trade deal finalized by the Obama administration on Monday as 'disastrous,' and said he would work to defeat it. Sanders ... said the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead to the loss of U.S. jobs, adding he was 'disappointed but not surprised' by the decision to complete it."
Hamlet on the Potomac. Dana Milbank: "Joe Biden is running for president, unless he isn’t. He will announce his decision this weekend, unless he doesn’t. Furthermore, Biden is approaching important deadlines for declaring his candidacy, unless those deadlines don’t matter. His advisers really want him to run, except those who don’t, and he has been sounding out potential staffers, or perhaps not. He finds the opportunity irresistible, except when he lacks the passion for it."
Anne Gearan of the Washington Post: Ahead of her testimony before the Benghaaazi! committee next week, Hillary Clinton's campaign is running a new cable TV ad highlighting House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's boast that Republicans set up the commmitte as a political ploy to undermine Clinton's candidacy & that the scheme had worked. ...
... Don't have time to look further for the ad, but here at least is part of it:
Occasionally, I’d call and tell her she should pay them. She just wouldn’t. -- Martin Wilson, Carly Fiorina’s 2010 campaign manager
If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don’t succeed in business, you shouldn’t be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid. -- Jon Cross, Fiorina’s operations director for her Senate campaign
Right. Because a guy who fills a print order for mailers is responsible for a candidate's loss. -- Constant Weader
... Robert Samuels of the Washington Post: "In more than two dozen interviews, staff members, friends, contractors and operatives who worked on [Carly] Fiorina’s 2010 campaign singled out one big problem: how the team managed its cash. Many said Fiorina spent too much on television ads with narrow appeal, while others said she was an anemic fundraiser who did not keep close enough tabs on her coffers. There also were concerns that some events were too lavish.... [Early on,] Fiorina reimbursed herself nearly $1.3 million she lent the campaign.... Those who waited the longest to be paid were small businesses with a few dozen employees who did the grunt work of the campaign...."
... CW: Fiorina responded to Samuels' article by saying that "I don’t think the Washington Post has much credibility anymore. They also said I wasn’t a secretary.” Fiorina also claimed her 2010 campaign had paid all its debts, which according to some of her creditors -- as Samuels reported -- is not true. As I recall, it also is not true that the Post reported Fiorina "wasn't a secretary." Various reporters, including some at the Post, have written that she worked as a secretary during a college break but that she didn't work her way up from the secretarial pool to the board room, as she likes to pretend. It's always rich when Fiorina questions someone else's credibility, espe"cially when she does so while telling more fibs.
... CW: To be fair, Hillary Clinton didn't fully settle her 2008 campaign debts till 2013, & she had a guy to help her. However, it appears that the main person who didn't get payment for all his billed hours till years later was Mark Penn, whom Hillary had no doubt previously paid much more than he was worth.
Beyond the Beltway
Tim Ghianni of Reuters: "An 11-year-old eastern Tennessee boy was in custody for murder on Monday for shooting and killing an 8-year-old neighbor girl with a shotgun because she would not show him her puppies, authorities said."