White House: "Expanding opportunity -- it's time for Republicans to do their part":
... Worth noting: the gloves are off.
"Taxpayer-Funded Bigotry." New York Times Editors: "President Obama should resist a pressure campaign by some religious groups to weaken a promised executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against gay men, lesbians and transgender people in their hiring practices.... The Civil Rights Act gives religious groups some leeway to favor members of their own faith in hiring. In 2002, President George W. Bush extended that leeway to faith-based service organizations receiving federal money, and Mr. Obama has failed to keep a campaign promise to rescind Mr. Bush's order." The Cheneys' Weekly Standard piece is here. It is titled, ironically, "The Truth about Iraq."
Warren Bass of the Wall Street Journal & a former 9/11 Commission staff member: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz, a former U.S. Senate candidate, have written a piece on Iraq in the Weekly Standard that resuscitates an old argument about Saddam Hussein's links to al Qaeda.... The Cheneys write: 'It is undisputed, and has been confirmed repeatedly in Iraqi government documents captured after the invasion, that Saddam had deep, longstanding, far-reaching relationships with terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda and its affiliates.' In fact, the 9/11 Commission disputed it 10 years ago." ...
... CW: Isn't it rich that Cheney tries to rehabilitate himself with an essay in which he claims to be imparting the "truth" & which is based on at lease one obvious lie. Even if you think Saddam & bin Ladin were BFFs, to claim that the supposed Saddam-al Qaeda relationship is "undisputed" is an undisputed lie:
... Paige Lavender of the Huffington Post documents a few others: "In 2002, the New York Times claimed the Bush administration was 'sowing a dangerous confusion' by saying al Qaeda had a relationship with Hussein's regime.... And a 2008 military report released by the Pentagon also showed no connection between the two." ...
... Ed Kilgore: "The Cheneys have seen nothing, heard nothing, and learned nothing since 2002. And they don't even seem to understand they are undermining the credibility of Obama's legion of Republican critics. The word 'incorrigible' comes to mind. Gaze in awe."
Gail Collins has some advice for political candidates, based on the stupid tricks & remarks by politicians around the country. For instance, take your own photos for your campaign ads instead of using various European people (or pigs) to illustrate how great the locals are.
Annals of "Journalism," Megyn Kelly Edition
Megyn Kelly of Fox "News" booked Breitbart's radical winger columnist Ben Shapiro to talk about the Obama administration's response to the violence between Israel & Palestine & specifically the murder of three Jewish teens -- after Shapiro had written a post titled "The Jew-Hating Obama Administration" in which he opined on Obama's response to the murder of the teens, one of whom, Naftali Frenkel, was an American. Here's an excerpt from Shapiro's post:
Presumably Frenkel did not look enough like Barack Obama's imaginary son [a reference to Trevon Martin] for him to give a damn.... Jewish blood is cheap to this administration.... Jew hatred is as old as the Jewish people. It's just found a new home in the White House.
... During the Kelly segment, Shapiro said, "It's borderline a Jew-hating administration," to which Kelly responded, "Wow! That's strong," as if she had no idea Shapiro might say something like that. Then her staff tweeted out Shapiro's remark on Kelly's Twitter feed. Oddly enough, some criticized the tweet, & Kelly responded, via Twitter, "Critics have point-@benshapiro quote tweeted by staff during show; not a cmt I wish 2 recirc which is why I challenged on air& deleted tweet." Tom Kludt of TPM has the story. Here's the thing, Megyn. When you book a guy like that who's written crap like that, you invite him to go there on the air, then publicize his remarks, IT'S ALL YOU FUCKING FAULT. You can't "distance yourself" (Kludt's characterization) from sentiments you did everything to encourage & air.
Kendall Breitman of Politico: "Fox News host Megyn Kelly is charging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with being 'guilty' of sexism after her comments on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. 'The latest installment of misleading hysteria comes from the House minority leader,' Kelly said Thursday.... Kelly's comments came after Pelosi called the ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby 'a frightening one.... We should be afraid of this court, that five guys are determining which contraceptions are legal or not,' Pelosi said Thursday." ...
... CW: Yo, Megyn, to claim a woman suffers from "hysteria" is way sexist, too. You could look it up.
Beyond the Beltway
Fernanda Santos of the New York Times: Arizona Attorney Gen. Tom Horne (R), who has a Koch-backed primary challenger in his bid for re-election, "has been caught by F.B.I. agents leaving the scene of a parking-garage fender-bender after a lunchtime tryst, a mishap that exposed not only the affair, but also a federal investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, which ended unceremoniously and without any charges.... The Arizona secretary of state's office said this week that there was enough evidence to support a full investigation of accusations that Mr. Horne used his staff in his re-election campaign." But he can play the piano (begins about 4 min. into the video)!
McDaniel Wins Mississippi Primary! Daniel Strauss of TPM: "Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said Friday that his campaign and his supporters have found 'over 8,300 questionable ballots cast' in the runoff election for U.S. Senate, which Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) won.... Cochran won the runoff by 7,667 votes.... McDaniel, in the Friday statement, also called on the Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) to allow McDaniel's campaign access to voting records which McDaniel said they have not had access to yet." CW: Uh, how do you know the ballots are "questionable" if you haven't seen the voting records? ...
Presidential Election 2016
Nicole Lafond of TPM: "The Republican Party of Virginia denied on Friday that it was behind a bumper sticker that appeared to take a shot at Hillary Clinton by describing her as 'Monica Lewinsky's X-Boyfriend's Wife.' The bumper sticker was discovered by Reuters political correspondent Gabriel Debenedetti, who tweeted a photo of it on Friday morning and said he found it in Fairfax County, Va. In fine print beneath the Lewinsky line were the words 'Authorized By Republican Party Of Virginia.'" ...
... Update. Nicole Lafond: "A Virginia woman told TPM on Friday that she recently discovered a stack of anti-Hillary Clinton bumper stickers at a local GOP office, despite denials from the state party that it had anything to do with the stickers. Carole Donoghue, a retired journalist, said she found the bumper stickers at Fairfax County Republican Committee headquarters in Fairfax, Va. The bumper stickers read 'Monica Lewinsky's X-Boyfriend's Wife for President.'" Donoghue said that last Sunday she came upon a GOP campaign worker who was ill, so she drove him to the campaign office, where she saw the stack of bumper stickers. "Donoghue said she wanted to speak out about her discovery after the state party denied being involved. 'They are just cheap and stupid, and if you are going to be cheap and stupid at least be honest about it,' Donoghue told TPM. 'The denial was dishonest.'"
Marie's Sports Report
Chris Fedor in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "LeBron James stunned the NBA on Friday around noon when he announced his long-awaited free agency decision, choosing to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and leaving the Miami Heat. According to reports, he will sign a four-year, $88 million max contract." ...
... James explains why he's "coming home" in a Sports Illustrated "as told to" sports writer Lee Jenkins. ...
... Michael Powell of the New York Times: "... even taking into account that he was working with the skilled and guiding hand of the Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins, James offered a rather stunning display of soul-baring from a man who should, by reasonable expectation, possess a dirigible-size ego."
AP: "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan's presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the 'largest, most comprehensive audit' of the election runoff ballots possible."
Los Angeles Times: "Israel and Palestinians continued to trade airstrikes and rocket fire Saturday with the death toll in the Gaza Strip climbing to 121 on the fifth day of Israel's military offensive targeting Palestinian militants." (CW: As far as I can tell, & I may be wrong, all of those killed were Palestinians.) ...
... New York Times: "As Israel's air war against Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters in Gaza entered its sixth day on Saturday, a pair of bombings threw the difficulties of the campaign into painful relief: Israel bombed a mosque, which its aerial photos indicated was harboring a weapons cache, and a center for the handicapped, killing two handicapped patients and wounding three, as well as a caretaker."
New York Times: "After potentially serious back-to-back laboratory accidents, federal health officials announced Friday that they had temporarily closed the flu and anthrax laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and halted shipments of all infectious agents from the agency's highest-security labs."
Guardian: "US authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of companies with large defence contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects including some of the latest fighter jets, according to officials. Su Bin worked with two unnamed Chinese hackers to get the data between 2009 and 2013, then attempted to sell some of the information to state-owned Chinese companies, prosecutors said."
AP: "Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart over last month's highway crash that seriously injured him and killed a fellow comedian. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Wal-Mart was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan's limousine van."
Guardian: "Germany is determined to extract a public commitment from the US over future spying activity during talks with John Kerry this weekend, despite a White House preference to try to mend their battered diplomatic relationship behind closed doors."