Morning Must Reads: April 18

In the news: massive explosion in central Texas, the 844 page immigration reform package, Senate drops gun control reform, Paul Kevin Curtis and ricin.

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KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

Cherry trees are in full bloom in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April 10, 2013.

  • A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in central Texas Wednesday night left more than 160 people wounded and killed an estimated five to 15 people
  • Senate’s Gang of Eight releases its 844 page proposal to reform immigration law in America. It expands E-Verify, speeds up visa processing to help boost tourism, provides a $100 million pilot grant program for states and local governments, creates new housing and pay standards for certain parts of the agricultural industry, impose penalties totaling into the thousands of dollars for companies found to be employing illegal immigrants, and sets up a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the country.

  • Senate balks at gun control reform.
  • Late Wednesday afternoon, the FBI arrested Paul Kevin Curtis, a Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to Barack Obama and Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi
  • Non-military domestic use of drones is expected to be $90 billion industry within the next decade and to create 100,000 high-paying jobs.
  • Washington complacency to Boston Marathon bombings.
  • CNN drops the ball
316 comments
nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Middle of night - Boston police may have caught one of the bombing suspects.  We'll see....

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

After Sarah Palin said this, for example: "The perversion over these last years of what the media has done to conservatives, I think it's appalling and it violates our freedom of the press,"  does anyone believe she really wrote that nice Rand Paul piece in the Time 100?

outsider
outsider

Bob Davis, Minnesota Radio Host: Sandy Hook Families Can 'Go To Hell' For Infringing On Gun Rights

A Minnesota radio host said he would like to tell the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims to "go to hell" for infringing on his gun rights.

Bob Davis was discussing those affected by the Newtown, Conn., tragedy during a Friday segment of his show, "Davis & Emmer," on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130, according to Minneapolis' City Pages. The topic focused on how family members of the 26 victims, 20 of whom were between the ages of 6 and 7 years old, have become advocates for gun control. In Davis' opinion, these Newtown families are infringing on his constitutional rights.

He went on a tirade against the Sandy Hook families, saying:

I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting. I don't care if it's here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn't mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I'm sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don't force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I'm sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid -- they're terrified of these victims. ... I would stand in front of them and tell them, 'Go to hell.'

On Monday, Davis offered a pseudo-apology by explaining that he has no filter when he speaks on the air. He reasoned that, although victims of tragedies have rights, so do those defending the Constitution.

"Victims should not be exploited. It does not help them grieve, it does not help us grieve and it does not advance the cause of liberty," he said. "But they are, and so they become public personalities and part of the political arena. And so be it, and we'll leave it at that."

Mediaite notes Davis is not the only pro-gun conservative to make the argument that the victims of Sandy Hook are being exploited in the national gun debate.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) blamed President Obama last week for involving the Sandy Hook families in the gun debate. Eleven families members of Newtown victims were in Washington at the time to urge lawmakers to pass a gun control package, which included stricter background checks.

"See, I think it's so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn't," Inhofe said.

On Wednesday, the background check bill failed in the Senate, 54 to 46.

The Huffington Post reached out to Bob Davis for a response, but he was not immediately available to comment. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/bob-davis-sandy-hook-go-to-hell_n_3109781.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

outsider
outsider

An outraged Joe Scarborough sounded off on the failure of gun background checks in the Senate on Thursday's "Morning Joe."

The amendment — which would have extended checks to gun shows and online purchases — was a key provision in a series of proposals to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown shooting. The bill failed 54 to 46, falling short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

Scarborough expressed his dismay with the senators who voted against the bill, which 90% of Americans support. He said that the right choice was "very simple," saying that background checks would keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, rapists and gang members.

Scarborough went on at length for nearly five minutes, blasting the senators who he said yielded to the NRA. He promised that they would "pay" a price for their vote, saying:

"I'm sick and tired of people on Capitol Hill that I've known for a long time that I've respected, I'm sick and tired of them insulting my intelligence, acting like I am stupid enough and you're stupid enough and 90% of americans are stupid enough to believe that this bill would lead to a national registry! I hear it all the time! Hey, the bill itself puts people in jail for up to 15 years. If they keep these names and start a national registry. It's offensive. It's stupid. And, Mika, you know what? In the long run, all of those people that voted for a more dangerous America are going to pay at the polls. Mark my words. This is going to come up and it's going to hit them in the face."

Co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed with Scarborough. Later, he turned to his own party, adding:

“Mark it down, this is going to be a turning point in the history of the Republican Party as well. And let those out there chattering, let them chatter away all they want to and scream like hyenas. … This party that killed this background check yesterday — this party is moving toward extinction. A new Republican Party is going to replace it. And this is going to be a vote that people will look back on and say, ‘That party, that extremism, that was unsustainable.’”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/joe-scarborough-background-checks_n_3108621.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

"What's an Assault Weapon?  Jesus, you people use those things?"
-George Washington

sacredh
sacredh

I'd say 15 years max and they rename Reagan International airport in DC the Barack Hussein Obama international airport. How the republicans ever got our capital's airport named for a fool that committed teason is a mystery.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

“This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety ... While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals.” 
--Ronald Reagan, in a May 3, 1994 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, which was also signed by Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. 


“I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

--Ronald Reagan, in a speech at his 78th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on February 6, 1989. 

“Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.”
--Ronald Reagan, in an August 28, 1986 signing statement on a bill that banned the production and importation of armor-piercing bullets. 

“With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.”
--Ronald Reagan, speech at George Washington University in a on March 29, 1991. 

“Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns. This level of violence must be stopped.”
--Ronald Reagan, in a March 29, 1991 New York Times op-ed in support of the Brady Bill. 

“I think maybe there could be some restrictions that there had to be a certain amount of training taken.”
--Ronald Reagan, in a press conference in Toronto on June 21, 1988, suggesting that prospective gun owners should have to receive training before purchasing a firearm. 

“Well, I think there has to be some (gun) control.”
--Ronald Reagan, during a question-and-answer session with high-school students on November 14, 1988.

paulejb
paulejb

 "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."

Thomas Jefferson

paulejb
paulejb

Try as he might, Barack Hussein Obama can not overturn the 2nd Amendment. It was a win for the founders who distrusted the power of government.

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
George Washington

outsider
outsider

Tomasky on yesterday's embarrassment. 

Every strong political movement, besotted with the fragrance of its own power, hits the point of overreach, and the pro-gun movement hit that point yesterday in the morally repulsive Senate vote on the background-checks bill. We all know the old cliché that the National Rifle Association has power because its members vote on the guns issue, while gun-control people aren’t zealots. Well, Wayne LaPierre and 46 craven senators, that “majority” of the Senate, have just created millions of zealots, and as furious as I am, I’m also strangely at peace, because I’m more confident than ever that the NRA will never, ever be stronger in Washington than it was yesterday.

Historians will see this recent debate, culminating in yesterday’s vote, as the time when the gun-control lobby grew and coalesced. The gun issue, since the 1970s a blunt instrument used mainly to bully rural-state Democrats, is going to start turning into the opposite: pressure on blue- and purple-state Republicans to vote at least for modest measures. And make no mistake, what the Senate voted on yesterday was modest; far too modest, in that we can’t even discuss banning the online sale of limitless amounts of ammunition. The NRA won this one, but as President Obama said in some of the most passionate remarks of his public life yesterday evening, this is just “round one.” More rounds are coming, and the balance of power is going to change.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/18/a-shameful-day-in-the-senate.html


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

BuzzFlash has been around for 12 years, and we remember quite well that when Condi Rice was George W. Bush's National Security Advisor, both she and Bush ignored warnings of possible impending Al Qaeda hijackings in the US.  This, we remind you, was prior to the fateful day of 9/11, as a result of which more than 3000 people have died due to the attacks on the Twin Towers.

For a while after 9/11, Bush and Rice denied receiving any alerts.  Then, after months passed and a pre-September 11th CIA intelligence briefing was disclosed that warned Al Qaeda was determined to strike in the US, Bush and Rice changed their tune by parsing their responses to indicate that they were never informed of hijackings that would be flown into buildings.  This became the so-called rationale for their not doing anything to prevent the attacks -- nothing at all.

The unearthed memo, which was the most sensational made public (while other warnings were revealed even in the relatively whitewashed 9/11 hearings), was dated August 6, 2001.  It was the daily presidential intelligence briefing and was seen by both Bush (who blew off the CIA liaison who presented it to him at Bush's ranch in Texas) and Rice.  

Journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote an op-ed in the September 10, 2012 New York Times that reveals how the White House was virtually defiant in not taking any preventive action against Al Qaeda prior to 9/11. Eichenwald received access to written warnings in the hands of the White House that preceded the August 6 memo:

While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster….

“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack….

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

Condi Rice, as National Security Advisor, was generally the funnel through which such intelligence alarms went through before getting to Bush.  She also had separate meetings with George Tenet, head of the CIA, who reportedly told her of the agency's concern about Al Qaeda launching attacks in the US, including hijackings.  In fact, at one point during a public inquiry about the 9/11 attacks, Rice was forced to read the headline of the infamous August 6th CIA memo:  “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

Yet, despite all the signs pointing to willful negligence – which included not even taking the minimal step of heightening security against hijackings at airports – Condi Rice was confirmed as Secretary of State by an 85-13 vote of the United States Senate on January 26, 2005, with the full support of the Republican caucus.  Dissenting votes included Democrats such as Barbara Boxer and the late Robert Byrd who felt that Rice was not being held accountable for her role in ignoring the 9/11 warnings and her support of the Iraq War.

So when Reuters headlines its article about Susan Rice's meeting with GOP senators this morning, "Rice meeting with senators fails to dampen criticism," you know that the Republican double standard of hypocrisy is in full swing.  Whatever the explanations that occurred after the killings in Benghazi were, Susan Rice is UN Ambassador, not the National Security Advisor.  The Republican pummeling of Rice -- given its historical support of the Bush administration/Condi Rice failure to even try and prevent 9/11 coupled with its bloody war policies – is more than just partisan politics.  

After all, we are talking about national security here – and the only security that the McCain/Graham Republican Party appears to be protecting is their own jobs.  More than 3000 people from all nations died in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and in the other hijacked planes.  Thousands upon thousands more perished in two wars launched by the Bush administration.

Given the comparatively positive national security record under President Obama in terms of terrorism – and given Susan Rice's peripheral role as a script reader in the Benghazi affair – McCain, Graham and their self-serving colleagues are vilifying the wrong Rice.

But they know that. It's all part of the same shameful bullying that we have seen for years, one that puts the national security interests of the United States in partisan peril.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Hollywooddeed  

<yawn> More outrage </yawn>

Please wake me up when these "conservatives" begin to make some sense.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Hollywooddeed You had me at Sarah Palin said. I've seen parrots at zoo that formed more meaningful sentences than she has.

Sue_N
Sue_N

If the words were all in their proper order and meant what they were intended to mean, then, no, she didn't write it. But if it was done in stick figures...

paulejb
paulejb

@Hollywooddeed 

Sarah is just describing the Barack Obama Ministry of Propaganda masquerading as the mainstream media. These latter day apparatchiks would make the old Soviet Pravda and Tass envious.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@Hollywooddeed My fav: 

"I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people."

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @Hollywooddeed> ...does anyone believe she really wrote that nice Rand Paul piece in the Time 100?

The first draft, at least. Printed in block lettering with crayon.

Sue_N
Sue_N

"See, I think it's so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn't," Inhofe said.

Right. What could an effort to control gun violence possibly have to do with victims of gun violence?

paulejb
paulejb

@outsider2011 

The problem with emotional blackmail is that people get emotional about it. It was unseemly to watch a president of the United States waving the bloody shirt to make a political point. Nevertheless, Mr Davis should have controlled his emotions and kept is disdain for the shameless Barack Obama rather than take it out on Obama's helpless pawns.

sacredh
sacredh

It's hard not to cheer the right wing on. They parody themselves.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@outsider2011 I swear I heard opera music playing in the background. This is intense. I wonder if the Dinosaur Party has realized it yet...

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@sacredh 

They say when you're on defense, you're not on offense, but Republicans find ways to be as offensive as possible.

paulejb
paulejb

@sacredh 

And they will rename Washington DC Obamaville. It's most prominent feature will be a giant replica of a food stamp.

paulejb
paulejb

@DonQuixotic 

How odd. Liberals now must rely on Ronald Reagan to make their points. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Ronald Reagan was a Communist out to destroy the Constitution.

Sue_N
Sue_N

There's going to come a time, and hopefully in the not too distant future, when we do finally have that one-mass-shooting-too-many, when this country finally reaches the limit of its tolerance for bloodshed. And when that happens, the gun rights nuts will lose, and in a big way. The longer they fight against common-sense reforms, the more surely they guarantee radical reforms. And when that happens, they will have only themselves and this moment to blame.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 

We've seen so many turning points these past years. Women, minorities (immigration), same sex marriages, DADT and now gun control.

People see who doesn't want to legislate and who are using every single procedure to filibuster any type of progress.

They have the fanatics, but they lost the majority.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@mantisdragon91  How easily 9/11 could've been mitigated, if not outright stopped.  Worst.  Presidency.  Ever.  Hope Condo enjoys Augusta National.

paulejb
paulejb

@mantisdragon91 

Susan Rice was a sacrificial lamb for the Obama regime. She was sent out to lie on all the Sunday Morning shows and she did her job well. Despite all the Obama regime lies, Ambassador Stevens and his three colleagues were not slaughtered because of a You Tube video.

WolfBard
WolfBard

@Sue_N

If it was done in stick figures... she's related to Abe Slaney?

retiredvet
retiredvet

When I try to imagine Palin's "thought processes" I give up too.

sacredh
sacredh

OK. Barack gets his face on Mount Rushmore then.

sacredh
sacredh

That's not what Nancy's Tarot cards said.

outsider
outsider

@Sue_N  

Just as Hippo said; they keep fighting against evolution; whether it's health care, or gun regulations; they think they can keep fighting forever - or just to be different from the rest of the civilized world. 


They're gonna keep getting smacked in the face. 


As sacred said - it's hard not to feel satisfaction out of seeing them sputter. They're destroying themselves with their stupidity, and the backlash is going to be very hard. 


Harder than it was in Nov, that's for sure

sacredh
sacredh

I want him feeling up the Staue of Liberty's boobs too. Lol.

sacredh
sacredh

They worship Ron like he was the Second Coming. He couldn't even make it through one of their primary races today. They worship the IDEA of Reagan. His actual policies would look socialist to the baggers now.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@sacredh 

Reagan must have said these things before he traveled back in time, changed his name to George Washington and founded the Republic.