Gardiner Harris of the New York Times: "President Obama will travel to New Orleans next week for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina...."
CW: I have been avoiding linking to any stories about Mike Huckabee, because of his remarks comparing the Iran deal to the Holocaust. But to update you a bit, Huckleberry is in Israel, demonstrating anew what an astounding, bigoted ignoramus he is.
Andrew Pollack of the New York Times: "The first prescription drug to enhance women's sexual drive won regulatory approval on Tuesday, clinching a victory for a lobbying campaign that had accused the Food and Drug Administration of gender bias for ignoring the sexual needs of women. The drug -- Addyi from Sprout Pharmaceuticals -- is actually the first drug approved to treat a flagging or absent libido for either sex." CW: Likely Rick Santorum has repaired to the nearest fainting couch.
Missed this item. Coral Davenport of the New York Times (Aug. 17): "The Obama administration on Monday issued a final permit for Shell to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean. The Interior Department gave conditional approval in May for the company's long-delayed application to drill in the untouched waters of the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast. In July, the administration issued a permit that would allow Shell to start drilling at the top of the seabed but would not allow the drill to penetrate into the oil reserves until Shell had quick access to a 'capping stack,' which is used to shut down wells in case of emergency spills." (See also Presidential Race.)
David Larter & Meghann Myers of the Navy Times: "The Navy is planning to open its elite SEAL teams to women who can pass the grueling training regimen, the service's top officer said Tuesday.... The move to integrate the military's most storied commando units comes the day after news broke that two women had passed the Army's arduous Ranger course. Nineteen women began the course, which has about a 45 percent passing rate."
If you think that nice winter coat you give to charity will soon be warming a needy American, think again.
Dana Milbank is tired of Ross Douthat, who has accused Milbank of having "bloody hands" because of Milbank's support for long-acting, reversible contraceptives: "... in 2009 launched a privately funded Family Planning Initiative that provided 30,000 IUDs and other implants at zero or little cost to low-income women at 68 family-planning clinics. The teen birth rate fell 40 percent between 2009 and 2013 -- and the teen abortion rate fell by 35 percent between 2009 and 2012 in the counties where the program was in place." But Douthat & his collaborators "tried to cast doubt" on the experiment, because they "would rather fight about abortion than reduce it."
Ben Schreckinger of Politico: Bernie Sanders' "campaign is working to whip all those energized supporters into a political machine that can deliver votes and send Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire a message that, in the words of senior adviser Tad Devine, 'there's something big happening across the country and they can be a part of it.' To that end, the campaign is adding data specialists to its staff and more racially diverse faces to its speaking rosters. And it is refining methods of gathering data on attendees and converting them into volunteers." ...
... CW: Just love the way Schreckinger characterizes a Sanders supporter at the top of his story, describing him as a "Sander-ista" who is "bearded [and] ... wore a t-shirt in the style of Shepard Fairey's iconic image of Barack Obama -- emblazoned instead with Sanders' face and the message, 'Hope is nice, but I prefer no bullsh--.'" I guess the women in this photo were not available:
... If 5,000 people showed up at a Sanders rally in formal attire, Politico would find the leftist "Sander-ista" who "obviously hadn't shaved this morning," whose "suit was rumpled" & who "used a profanity to describe Republican candidate Rick Santorum."
... Greg Sargent:"... Sanders' presence may be forcing Clinton to sharpen up her own populist message." Sargent attributes this new Clinton ad to the influence of Sanders & his supporters:
... Alan Rappeport of the New York Times: "In a rare disagreement with President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday came out against drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, one day after the White House granted approval for exploration off the coast of Alaska.... Mrs. Clinton continues to face pressure to take a position on the Keystone pipeline. She has said she will remain silent on the issue until Mr. Obama makes a decision." ...
... Maybe Hillary Really Doesn't Understand All This Technology Stuff. John Wagner & Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post: "... Hillary Rodham Clinton said repeatedly Tuesday that she did not know if her e-mail server, which was turned over to the FBI last week, had been wiped clean of data. In a testy exchange with reporters following a town hall meeting in North Las Vegas, Clinton responded, 'What, like with a cloth or something?' when asked if the server had been wiped. 'I don't know how it works at all,' she added." ...
... The reporter asking the questions is Ed Henry of Fox "News."
... Annie Karni of Politico: "As Hillary Clinton faces a new round of questions about her email use as secretary of state, some longtime allies are increasingly worried that she's learned little from past scandals, and is falling back on her tendency to mount a legalistic defense that only encourages perceptions that she has something to hide.... A source with inside knowledge of the Clinton campaign voiced concern that the candidate and her longtime attorney David Kendall are the only ones calling the shots -- and can have a tin ear when it comes to the politics, rather than simply the legal status, of the email saga." ...
... Jeff Toobin: "Hillary Clinton's problem: the government classifies everything.... The relevant agencies are now reviewing the documents in order to determine whether they contain classified information; if they find that to be the case (and they will), Clinton will not have the right to make those documents public; the public will never know whether she was discussing newspaper stories or the identity of covert assets. With many agencies reviewing thousands of documents, this process is guaranteed to take months rather than weeks. Thus, the process — and the attention to the issue -- will drag on."
So Much for Crazy Glue. Brian Beutler of the New Republic: "The battle line runs between the factions in the conservative movement that care about winning, and the ones that specialize in entertainment and charlatanism, with Fox News caught appropriately in the middle.... The left is engaged simultaneously in its own heated factional fight.... Wherever you fall on the question of the Black Lives Matter movement's tactics and goals, or of the way progressives have treated BLM activists, the fact that their disruptions are meant to elevate issues, and that Democrats have responded by accommodating their ideals, is undeniable.The fight among conservatives, by contrast, is marked almost entirely by nastiness and self-interest. The fact that it is over a character like Donald Trump is fitting."
The Conversation: "We'll Build a Wall." Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg: "... Marco Rubio told a conservative audience earlier this year that 'you can't even have a conversation' about legalization or citizenship until the nation's border is secure. Avoiding a real conversation on immigration is exactly what created the opening for Trump, whose new leadership role seems unlikely to go well for the party. Instead, the two sides of the Republican immigration war should confront the issue directly." Wilkinson imagines the conversation. ...
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. -- Fourteen Amendment
Donald Trump, Constitutional Expert. Nick Gass of Politico: "Donald Trump clashed with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday night over the part of his immigration plan that would take away citizenship from the children who were born in the United States but whose parents came to the country illegally. Under the 14th Amendment, O'Reilly told Trump on 'The O'Reilly Factor,' mass deportations of so-called birthright citizens cannot happen. Trump disagreed, and said that 'many lawyers are saying that's not the way it is in terms of this.'... Trump also said that he would not pursue an amendment to the Constitution to remedy the situation." CW: It's a sad day when Bill O'Reilly is wiser than a leading presidential candidate. ...
... Philip Bump of the Washington Post: "Shortly after Donald Trump released his immigration policy proposal on Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker assured reporters that he agreed with Trump's opposition to 'birthright citizenship.' The Huffington Post did a quick count and figured that at least five other 2016 Republican candidates did, too." To implement the GOP plan, anti-immigration advocates [CW: Trump's "many lawyers"] would have to "somehow persuade the Supreme Court to overturn the 1898 ruling, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which established how the 14th Amendment would be enforced" or amend the Constitution. "The only thing a politician could promise that would be harder would be, say, promising to build a giant, hundreds-of-miles-long wall and getting another country to pay for it." ...
... Andrew McCarthy of the winger National Review illuminates the Constitutional argument that Trump's "many lawyers" would make. ...
... Rebecca Kaplan of CBS News has more on legal interpretations of the jurisdictional phrase. ...
... "Make American Cruel Again." Jamelle Bouie of Slate: "... together with Trump as its spokesman, the [Trump anti-immigration] plan is poised to move the GOP conversation on immigration from simple restrictionism to something more punitive and cruel."
... Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post: "The longer he floats atop the polls, the more Trump has started to make people [in Mexico City] feel a bit queasy, forcing them to contemplate whether his candidacy is really something they need to worry about. As Trump published his immigration proposals this week, Mexicans expressed growing concern about his bid for the Republican nomination.... The Mexican government has tried mostly to stay above the fray. Over the past few months, Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade and other top officials have gone on record with their displeasure about Trump's comments. But they've also chosen not to engage Trump's near-daily anti-Mexico barrages, in part because the candidate's proposals change so often and also because officials don't expect that he’ll be president."
Jonathan Chait: "[Tuesday], Scott Walker and Marco Rubio have published plans -- really, not so much plans as skeletal descriptions of planlike concepts -- to replace Obamacare.... They will not finance real insurance for the people who have gotten it under Obamacare, nor will they face up to the actual costs they're willing to impose on people. The party is doctrinally opposed to every available method to make insurance available to people who can't afford it. They have spent six years promising to come up with an alternative plan, and they haven't done it, because they can't." CW: Thus, IMO, every "planlike concept" these scoundrels proffer constitutes a Big Fat Lie to the American people. ...
... Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times: "The Walker and Rubio proposals call for a much less regulated insurance market, where the federal government exercises little oversight over the products in the market.... Their plans are also much less concerned about ensuring health care access for the poor. In addition to rolling back Obamacare, both would also reduce future federal spending on state-administered Medicaid programs.... [Walker's plan] would give federal money to old people instead [of poor people].... any of these plans, however meritorious, can only be accomplished through enormous disruption. Millions of people who have obtained insurance through the law's expansion of the Medicaid program would lose it. Millions more would most likely lose the coverage they bought through new insurance marketplaces." CW: Fine as far as it goes. I wish the NYT had Chait's honesty & also remarked that Walker's & Rubio's "plan-like concepts" don't even pay for their crappy "replacements."
Jenna Johnson & Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post: "Scott Walker has sought to reassure jittery donors and other supporters this week that he can turn around a swift decline in the polls in Iowa and elsewhere by going on the attack and emphasizing his conservatism on key issues. In a conference call, one-on-one conversations and at a Tuesday lunch, the Wisconsin governor ... told backers that his campaign is shifting to a more aggressive posture and will seek to tap into the anti-establishment fervor fueling the rise of Donald Trump and other outsider candidates.... At the same time, Walker has veered to the right on abortion and other social issues, worrying some top backers."
The Legacy Candidate. Julie Bykowicz of the AP: "About half of the roughly $120 million raised to help [Jeb!] win the Republican presidential nomination comes from donors who previously gave to his brother or father, both former presidents, according to a new analysis of Federal Election Commission records by Crowdpac.com, a nonpartisan political research company.
Beyond the Beltway
Emma Margolin of NBC News: "After he was sued for declaring his gun shop a 'Muslim-free zone' last month, a Florida man [-- Andrew Hallinan, owner of Florida Gun Supply --] has decided to launch an online fundraiser selling artwork that features the Confederate flag to help pay for his legal fees. And the artist? George Zimmerman, the man who was acquitted two years ago in the high-profile shooting death of unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.... Hallinan says that Zimmerman reached out to him because he knew what it felt like to be treated unfairly by the media." CW: Anyone who harbored the notion that Zimmerman was just a murdering asshole & not a racist, murdering asshole should now make a penitential contribution to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Jonathan Katz of the New York Times: "The lawyer for a white Charlotte[, N.C.,] police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter concluded his defense on Tuesday by shifting accusations onto the black former college football player who died in the 2013 shooting, portraying the unarmed victim as a would-be burglar who dared the police to kill him. The officer, Randall Kerrick, faces up to 11 years in prison if he is found guilty of using excessive force in the death of the former football player, Jonathan Ferrell, in the early hours of Sept. 14, 2013."
Russell Contreras of the AP: "A New Mexico judge ruled Tuesday that two police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the on-duty shooting of a homeless man whose killing was caught on video and sparked national outrage while fueling reforms at the Albuquerque Police Department. Pro Tem Judge Neil Candelaria said after a nearly two-week preliminary hearing that there was probable cause for the murder case against Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy to go to trial."
Alan Blinder of the New York Times: "Two former police officers in East Point, Ga., have been charged with felony murder in connection with the 2014 death of a man who was repeatedly shocked with Taser devices while he was handcuffed. The indictment, returned on Monday by a county grand jury here, charged former Sgt. Marcus Eberhart and former Cpl. Howard J. Weems Jr. with seven counts each, including felony murder, aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter, for their alleged roles in the death of Gregory L. Towns Jr., 24.... Mr. Towns was black, as are the former officers."
Neely Tucker of the Washington Post: In Mississippi, white folks are still loving that Confederate flag, including the one that is part of the state flag.
New York Times: "Louis Stokes, who as the first African-American congressman from Ohio helped focus federal attention on the nation's poor and led a special House investigation into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., died on Tuesday at his home in a Cleveland suburb. He was 90."
New York Times: ISIS jihadists have beheaded 83-year-old Khalid al-Asaad, the retired director of antiquities for Palmyra.
AP: "Germany's Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a third bailout package for Greece despite misgivings by some conservative lawmakers of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic party. Lawmakers voted 454-113 in favor of the deal on Wednesday, with 18 abstentions."
AP: "Police in Thailand released a sketch Wednesday of the man they believe carried out this week's deadly Bangkok bombing, and offered a 1 million baht ($28,000) reward for help leading to his arrest. But apart from a rough portrait, authorities have few solid leads...."
AP: "Longtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to child-pornography charges, an Indiana television station reported."
Washington Post: "Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday on four disciplinary charges and given 21 days of recreational restrictions for breaking military prison rules -- keeping expired toothpaste and Vanity Fair's Caitlin Jenner cover, among other things, in her cell, her attorney said." ...
... Guardian: "A petition of more than 100,000 signatures was delivered to the US army liaison office in Congress on Tuesday asking that the charges against Manning be dropped."