Morning Must Reads: May 15

In the news: IRS, Eric Holder, the deficit, Boston Marathon bombings a month later, Pentagon furloughs, the blood alcohol limit, Texas gun laws, and "Space Oddity"

  • Share
  • Read Later
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • FBI launches a criminal probe of IRS for its treatment of Tea Party groups
  • Attorney General Eric Holder will face a barrage of questions Wednesday on Capitol Hill in the wake of his decision to recuse himself from a Justice Department investigation that has targeted media phone records.
  • The deficit is poised to shrink to its lowest level since 2008, and the projected growth in Medicare spending has fallen by $500 billion since August
  • Economic output contracted in the Euro zone for a sixth-straight quarter, as a slight recovery in Germany failed to offset recessions in France and Italy
  • Dana Milbank: Obama attempts to defeat AP and IRS scandals by doing nothing
  • By the Numbers: The Boston Marathon Bombings, one month later
  • Pentagon employees will be ordered to take unpaid furloughs of up to 11 days between July 8 and the end of September
  • In May the Texas House of Representatives passed twelve bills in a single day designed to soften gun laws
  • The government wants to drop the blood alcohol limit for being legally drunk to .05 BAC in order to avoid drunk driving fatalities.
  • David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” performed in space
221 comments
nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Another perfect troll tactic: Referring to a person he despises to make a point about ANOTHER person he despises...with the quixotic hope that his opponents will buy his argument! 

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Republicans and their new BFF, the AP -- 

"Conservatives continue to call them "the Associated (with terrorists) Press," as the Creeping Sharia blog (yes, that's a thing)did just last month.

And now with Eric Holder and the Justice Department going after the AP phone records over its Yemen reporting: They were doing what Republicans last summer asked them to:

Thirty-one Republican senators have signed a letter calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately appoint a special counsel to investigation national-security leaks from the executive branch. "The numerous national-security leaks reportedly originating out of the executive branch in recent months have been stunning,” they wrote to Holder.

Today, some Republicans are shocked, shocked that the Justice Department would launch such a sweeping probe of such a valuable agent of the First Amendment as the Associated Press. Please, spare us."

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Before-Obama-administration-went-after-APright-wing-bloggers.html#lVAxmQuMW0gged4x.99

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Sasha Obama Suspicious After Doing A Little Digging Around On Benghazi

Saying that none of the facts quite add up, first daughter Sasha Obama, 11, reported being “highly suspicious” today after poking around the details of the 2012 Benghazi attack. “I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t make sense—first they blame the attack on a spontaneous demonstration, but now we find out the CIA talking points were secretly revised?” said the sixth-grader, sitting in the darkened White House library intensely scrolling through pages of articles about the controversy and classified Pentagon briefings. “Obviously, someone’s hiding something: the poor security; the al-Qaeda link; the leaked emails. All I’m asking for here is a simple explanation from the State Department and the White House, and I’m not getting one. I mean, who are they protecting here? And why?” Sasha went on to tell reporters she felt even more suspicious after former defense secretary Leon Panetta failed to respond to any of her 24 voicemails.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Getting into the military is getting tougher

It's no longer enough to be a patriotic, able-bodied young person. A high-school diploma, above-average score on the military entrance exams, and a clean slate -- free from prior drug use or criminal conduct -- are practically required now. Thanks to high youth unemployment and the draw down from both Iraq and Afghanistan, Uncle Sam can afford to be a bit pickier.

"There's a lot more competition," said Herrera, who signed up himself 13 years ago. "There are not many opportunities out there, but the Army provides employment and stability, and that makes it an attractive option."

The Pentagon estimates that only one in four of today's youth are fit for military service. More than 20% of high-school students fail to graduate. Obesity and other medical conditions disqualify about 35% of candidates. Prior drug and alcohol involvement disqualify another 19%, and criminal records disqualify 5%.

It wasn't always this way. Just six years ago, during the Iraq war surge, the military had lower standards. Only about 86% of new recruits had high-school diplomas, and just 67% of recruits scored in the top 50th percentile on the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Waivers excusing health issues and prior misconduct -- even felonies -- were not uncommon.

Now is anyone actually against more rigorous standards to get into the Military?  Sounds to me like it makes total sense, especially if we want to keep out fighting force as efficient and able bodied (and of able mind) as possible.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Been out most of the day, but I kept asking yesterday - where was all the press outrage when John Yoo, Cheney, and the merry band were pushing the national security powers to the far limits. As I said, when librarians and others were warning about national security letters demanding information without even a subpoena, crickets from the press. I even remember a post on Swampland when I kept asking the writer (Michael Shearer, maybe) why the press wasn't concerned about the loss of liberties. Guess it didn't matter until it happened to them. DoJ was acting within the bad law and undertaking investigations of leaks that the Repubs were weeping crocodile tears about earlier.

MementoMori
MementoMori

Low information voters.

Of the 41 percent of Republicans who consider Benghazi to be the worst political scandal in American history, 39 percent are unaware that Benghazi is located in Libya. 10 percent said it's in Egypt, 9 percent in Iran, 6 percent in Cuba, 5 percent in Syria, 4 percent in Iraq, and 1 percent each in North Korea and Liberia, with 4 percent unwilling to venture a guess.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/05/13/Poll-Americans-angry-about-Benghazi-cant-find-it-on-a-map/7321368469022/#ixzz2TOOFtYKV

MementoMori
MementoMori

You think you could have an "intellectual debate" with this guy?

Matt Barber: Satan Is Trying to Get the Government to Approve Sin Through Gay Marriage

That's why engaging rightwingers in a debate is a waste of time. You can't argue with crazy. Especially when the crazy is a hate-fueled nutcase with a head full of conspiracy theories.

Don't argue with them. Just expose 'em, and vote 'em off the island.

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/barber-satan-trying-get-government-approve-sin-through-gay-marriage


DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

No articles on this yet guys?

Russia orders expulsion of U.S. diplomat accused of being CIA agent

Fogle was detained overnight Monday to Tuesday "during an attempt to recruit a representative of one of the Russian security services," the Foreign Ministry statement said.

He was briefly held before being handed over to the embassy, following formal protocol, Russia's counterintelligence agency, the FSB, said earlier.

"The 'spy arsenal' that was found with him -- as well as a big sum of money -- not only expose a foreign agent who was caught red-handed but also raise serious questions for the American side," the Foreign Ministry said.

"While the presidents of our countries reaffirmed their readiness to expand bilateral cooperation, including the cooperation of intelligence agencies in fighting international terrorism, such provocative actions in the spirit of the 'Cold War' does not contribute to building mutual trust."

Contrary to popular belief, the espionage of the Cold War never truly ended.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Has there ever been so many claims of major revelations that turned out to be nothings as there have from the current GOP Clown Car of a Congress?

paulejb
paulejb

Jim Treacher @jtLOL

"The only difference between this week and every other week for the last 4 years is that for once we're not the only ones paying attention"

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@nflfoghorn 

If you're going to criticize him, reply to his post.  He patrols this thread, he sees you responding to him, he gets the ego boost so if you're trying to do this as part of your "boycott", it is absolutely useless. Instead, you're just flooding this with more garbage and it doesn't even have the decency of being a clearly labelled response to him.

Sue_N
Sue_N

You white guys are the oppressed minority now.

sacredh
sacredh

"Today, some Republicans are shocked, shocked that the Justice Department would launch such a sweeping probe of such a valuable agent of the First Amendment as the Associated Press"

Wait until they discover the intertubes. All hell will break loose.

sacredh
sacredh

Of course it was shoreline homes so I'm guessing they had some money. Republicans.

paulejb
paulejb

@Ivy_B 

I have little use for the AP but they are unlikely to be setting off any bombs other than their usual fulsome praise of Barack Hussein Obama.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@SirDonQuixotic 

Well.....

I've said before, I am certain that the Pentagon has war plans sitting in some back room of the Pentagon - in fact, I know they have them because their 1970s version was declassified the other year.  I am just as certain that somewhere in Canada are war plans on how to minimize how badly we'd get whooped in the event of a US invasion.  I am just as certain that our diplomatic offices host intelligence agents spying on each other.

If two of the closest allies in the world are quietly planning how to fight each other and how to stab each other in the back just in case, are you *really* that shocked that you have intelligence agents in a rival semi-superpower?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@SirDonQuixotic The Agency is scrambling to secure experts on the Caucasus region terror groups since Boston. Who better to steal them from then the people with the most firsthand experience.

MementoMori
MementoMori

Jim Treacher, the nom de plume of Daily Caller contributor Sean Medlock, used the cartoon as a vehicle to claim that Meghan McCain's physical appearance is "the only reason anybody ever pays attention to her."

The March 28 column, titled, "Meghan McCain to host TV show that will require her to talk," featured a cartoon using a photograph of McCain with speech bubbles emerging from McCain's breasts. The cartoon, which was published at Treacher/Medlock's personal website in 2009, appears to be his creation. 

Due to the offensive nature of the cartoon, Media Matters has not republished it. The sexist content of the image, originally described by Treacher/Medlock as "a few words from Meghan McCain's funbags," speaks for itself.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/03/28/daily-caller-publishes-sexist-cartoon-attacking/193316

Sue_N
Sue_N

Don't it, though? My poor state.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@forgottenlord @nflfoghorn 

Disagree. Foggy is pointing out problems to avoid with ... , which if everyone (literally) simply ignored him, there would be no need to mention in the first place.

sacredh
sacredh

Yes. Because of all the problems surfacing, Obama won't even run in 2016.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@Sue_N The only reason the gop is still a viable party is due to their ability to pit one group against another. When people realize that there is a club (elite) and they are not welcome in it, regardless of race, there is going to be hell to pay.

Sue_N
Sue_N

It's a conference call to McCain and Romney.

Biden emails videos of himself spinning in the Veep chair to Ryan and Caribou Barbie.

sacredh
sacredh

He still calls McCain every morning and brags about how comfy his chair is in the Oval Office.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

He's so ashamed, he'll sneak out of the White House while some politician is having a parade.