Today's Commentariat will be extremely abbreviated. I will try to update this afternoon. Please feel free to share your own links in the Comments section. -- Constant Weader
Julie Davis of the New York Times: "President Obama on Monday will ban the federal provision of some types of military-style equipment to local police departments and sharply restrict the availability of others, administration officials said."
Paul Krugman: "Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.... The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.... This was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, 'were made' by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire.... Once again: We were lied into war."
Daniel McGraw in Politico Magazine: "The GOP is dying off. Literally.... Since the average Republican is significantly older than the average Democrat, far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. To make matters worse, the GOP is attracting fewer first-time voters." ...
... Jim Fallows: "... (a) ... Fox's core viewers are factually worse-informed than people who follow other sources, and even those who don't follow news at all, and (b) ... the mode of perpetual outrage that is Fox's goal and effect has become a serious problem for the Republican party, in that it pushes its candidates to sound always-outraged themselves." This is a synopsis -- with tidbits -- of a long piece by Bruce Bartlett, which Fallows links. CW: The point that Fox "News" has contributed to the dumbing-down of the U.S. & the radicalization of confederates is worth emphasizing. Rupert & Roger-- not to mention Limbaugh, et al. -- have made the crazies crazier. Or why the FCC's long-dead Fairness Doctrine mattered. ...
... Steve M.: "It beats me how having ill-informed voters is a bad thing for the GOP if what the voters think they know keeps them voting Republican.... Fox, along with talk radio, has found a way to turn rabidly partisan politics into mass entertainment, at least for the third of the country that's conservative. Fox and talk radio keep these people thoroughly focused on politics at all times.... The conservative media keeps Republicans wanting to vote, even in off-year elections, when many of the rest of us don't bother."
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Driftglass has a funny post -- unless you're a huge Glenn Greenwald fan -- titled "Glass Housing Sales Remain Brisk, Ctd."
Anne Gearan of the Washington Post: "Hillary Rodham Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades, with positions on issues from gay marriage to immigration that would, in past elections, have put her at her party's precarious left edge. The moves are part of a strategic conclusion by Clinton's emerging campaign: that it can harness the same kind of young and diverse coalition as Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, bolstered by even stronger appeal among women."
Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "... Jeb Bush reiterated in a new interview that he doesn't believe that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. The high court is expected to rule next month on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and court observers and justices have hinted in recent weeks that the court is likely to expand marriage rights to gay men and lesbians." ...
... Amy Davidson of the New Yorker shows the five ways Jeb's first Iraq War answer show why he's such a lousy candidate.
... GOP Moneybags Picked "the Wrong Retread." Steve M.: "There was a moment when it looked as if both Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney would be running for president. Then, apparently, meetings were convened in the modern-day equivalent of smoke-filled rooms, and Romney decided to bow out, allowing Bush to be the graybeard choice of the party Establishment. More and more, it seems as if the party made a mistake. Mitt and Jeb are both sad emblems of an embarrassing past, but Jeb appears to be a worse campaigner than Mitt, and Jeb refuses to budge from positions that are anathema to the party base. What's more, the party's voters want a candidate who's an grudge-driven attack dog, which is why the first candidate to shoot to the top of the charts this year was Scott Walker.
Jonathan Karl of ABC News: "John Kasich is 'virtually certain' to jump into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, sources close to the Ohio governor tell ABC News." CW: Mr. Balanced Budget should drive Krugman mad.
Beyond the Beltway
Sarah Nir of the New York Times: "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to introduce legislation subjecting New York salons to some of the strictest health regulations in the country and expanding authority to punish those that mistreat workers."
New York Times: "A shootout among members of several rival motorcycle gangs in a busy shopping plaza in the Central Texas city of Waco on Sunday left at least nine bikers dead and 18 others injured, creating chaos in a sprawling parking lot packed with afternoon shoppers, law enforcement officials said.... No officers, shoppers or bystanders were injured." Because permissive gun laws, a/k/a freeedom, are such a good idea. ...
... The KWXT story is here.
Reuters: "The US is talking to China about imposing further sanctions against North Korea as the reclusive country is 'not even close' to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons programme, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, has said."
Washington Post: "Iranian-aligned Shiite militias headed Monday into Anbar province a day after its capital Ramadi fell to Islamic State militants and as hundreds of police personnel, soldiers and tribal fighters abandoned the Iraqi city in a chaotic exit." ...
New York Times: "The last Iraqi security forces fled Ramadi on Sunday, as the city fell completely to the militants of the Islamic State, who ransacked the provincial military headquarters, seizing a large store of weapons, and killed people loyal to the government, according to security officials and tribal leaders."