Morning Must Reads: May 23

In the news: drone strikes against Americans, Gitmo, Japan's stocks, the Fifth Amendment, NJ shore, leakers, and Luxembourg

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • Attorney General Eric Holder admits that the US had killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Obama will hold his first major counterterroism speech of his second term today. He will announce that his administration is set to restart transfers of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Michael Crowley will cover the speech for TIME later today.
  • Japan’s stocks tank.
  • Seven months after Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey shore’s boardwalk is open.
  • Rep. Darrell Issa said that the official at the center of the uproar over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, Lois Lerner, effectively has waived her Fifth Amendment right, strongly suggesting the staffer could be hauled back before the House.
  • A Chechen man linked to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was fatally shot early Wednesday in an unusual encounter with the FBI and other law enforcement officers.
  • Soldier brutally murdered in London.
  • The issue of just how far the Obama Administration is willing to go to pursue leakers gets murkier and murkier.
    • The House may hold hearings into the Department of Justice’s spying campaign against multiple news organizations.
  • Sen Ted Cruz has changed on immigration from his time as a George W. Bush adviser.
  • Luxembourg pushes to shed image of tax haven.
396 comments
sacredh
sacredh

OT, but IronMan3 was good. Not great, just good.

Sue_N
Sue_N

This was posted down thread, but there's an interesting point in it that shows just how dishonest this whole thing is.

GOP lifts subpoena after BENGHAZI!!!!11!! auditor agrees to be deposed: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/terrorism/301371-gop-lifts-subpoena-after-benghazi-auditor-agrees-to-be-deposed

"Issa subpoenaed Pickering after he refused to appear for a closed-door, recorded deposition with Issa's staff. Pickering said he preferring to testify at an open hearing."

Pickering, as he's stated several times, has always been willing to talk. He just wanted to do it in public. I wonder what Issa is so afraid he'll say?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Watchdog groups agree, saying it would have been inappropriate for Treasury’s lawyers to tell the White house, and even more so for the White House to do something about it.

And you don’t have to their word for it. As it turns out, Republicans in Congress, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, knew about the Inspector General’s report last year, but said nothing publicly at the time. Why not? “You don’t accuse the IRS until you’ve had a nonpartisan, deep look. That’s what the IG has done. That’s why the IGs in fact exist within government,” Issa told Bloomberg News last week.

So some Republicans, like Eric Cantor, are attacking the White House for letting the IG investigation run its course while others, like Darrell Issa, are defending their own decisions to let the investigation run its course. One has to wonder if Cantor is really arguing from good faith, or if this just another desperate attempt to find some way to implicate the White House in a midlevel bureaucratic disciplinary action.

And what would happen if the White House did actually take action before the IG’s report was complete? It’s pretty safe to say the very same people attacking him now would be up in arms about improper political meddling in a independent investigation.

ahandout
ahandout

@Sue_N  Lerner has a big problem she testified, and then she tried to take the 5th.  Will be interesting to see if she changes her mind once she is threatened with contempt.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@Sue_N For you Sue_N:

"Never Mind"

"On Monday night, Republican National Chairman, and obvious anagram, Reince Priebusgot up in front of a bunchof well-fed New Hampshire Republicans and pledged his undying fealty to the Bill of Rights, and made the point quite clearly that he would cast himself athwart any efforts by the president to do it harm.

"A president that touts ego, power, and a hatred for dissent above everything else, that's Barack Obama, that's the leader of this country. I don't think this administration realizes that the First Amendment wasn't a suggestion. The Bill of Rights is not a wish list, it's a set of non-negotiable limits on the federal government." 

Yay, Reince! Whadda guy! Except, you know, two days later.

Sometimes, the fish is very big and the barrel is oh-so-small."

Be sure to click on the two days later link.



deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@Sue_N

An innocent person testifying can still fall into other traps or risk prosecution. The wiki article on the 5th A. notes this...

The Supreme Court has held that "a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances." [39] Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17 (2001).

sacredh
sacredh

GOP to think about it.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh I thought it was the best of the three, really, and I loved the first one. But this one was much more about what makes Tony Stark who and what he is.

Have you seen Star Trek yet?

paulejb
paulejb

@Sue_N 

The suspect does not get to dictate the terms of the interrogation, Sue. Why did Pickering not question Hillary Clinton? As I wrote earlier, that is the same as not questioning the chef in a case of food poisoning.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Sue_N Hopefully they will let the man speak fully so everyone can see Issa for the attention seeking weasel that he is.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@mantisdragon91 

Which would immediately lead to discussions of cover up.  So he does nothing....cover up.  He does something, cover up.

Sue_N
Sue_N

I have to disagree. I don't think ignorance is a new GOP tactic at all.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@nflfoghorn 

I'm trying to think of a possible way that this isn't corruption.  The state is choosing to move a boatload of plans onto a company that's existed for less than a year and has no track record and who's CEO has worse than no track record.  The only way that happens is if it is so heavily based upon cost that there is no possible way he's able to provide those numbers....which admittedly sounds more plausible when you consider that we're talking about Rick Scott.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@nflfoghorn Good Lord, Foggy, my governor is a piker compared to yours!

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

GOP worried that coo ties might be contagious.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

GOP worried that cooties might be contagious.

sacredh
sacredh

Tea Party members beg to be teabagged.

sacredh
sacredh

Sue_N, I liked the first one better but I liked 3 better than 2.  I haven't had a chance to see Star Trek yet. I like to wait a couple of weeks for the crowds to thin out before I go see a movie. There were only 20 people or so in the theater yesterday.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Sue_N

Absolutely agreed.  Some people complained he spent too much time out of his suit but I thought that was part of the genius of it - suit stripped away, who is Tony Stark?  (Which puts that one line in Avengers in a very ironic light).  It also contrasts very nicely with the first half of Iron Man 1 and how much Tony has grown.

Plus Ben Kingsley gives such a great performance.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @Sue_N That's it MD!  Issa set up Benghazi so that he could have a scandal to investigate.  Talk about sneaky.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

IRS agent taking the Fifth: EEEEVILLLLL

Auditor willing to spill the beans in public: EEEEVILLLLL

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb @mantisdragon91 Not exactly. Read the link you provided. They hoped it would be ready in September. Hoped would be ready and complete aren't quite the same now are they?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

And 4 years later, they still don't get that joke

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Sue_N

I think IM2 is supposed to be about Legacy - the legacy of the two fathers and what it created in their respective sons and how that impacts the legacy of said sons and a side element of how Tony's probably about to die and is taking that part of his life very seriously (in Tony's unique way) and then Venko ends up in prison and Tony invents a new element and pretty explosions later...what were we talking about?

IM1 is holding up a mirror to your life and going "are you really who you think you are?"  And it didn't forget that.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@forgottenlord @Sue_N I loved it because I'm a character junkie. It's so easy for these movies to fall into the trap of letting the suit become the character (one of the flaws of IM2, which I've seen several times and still can't quite remember what it was about), but this one avoided that beautifully. Take away his suit, and Tony is still Iron Man.

I also loved his relationship with the kid, which, again, avoided every "hero-kid sidekick" trope out there.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 @Sue_N Documentation please? And how does that change the fact that Obama has used it once to date. Bush used it for times in one month tpo cover up what was done at the Justice Department?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout@Sue_NPresident Bush's most notable executive privilege claim was in August 2007. In what was his fourth claim in approximately a month, Bush rejected a subpoena that would have required White House adviser Karl Rove to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning U.S. attorneys fired by the administration.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

MD - cool it man.  He doesn't give a rip about the truth and he'll never admit that he's wrong.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb@mantisdragon91“You mentioned your report would be ready in September. Any update for us?” a committee staff member wrote a TITGA employee on September 24, 2012. The employee responded that same day, explaining that “field work for this audit is still on going.”

paulejb
paulejb

@mantisdragon91 @paulejb

Where did you come up with "hope," Bugs. It said scheduled, not hoped.

"E-mails between staff members of the House Oversight Committee and the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) suggest that the findings of a report on IRS targeting of conservative groups were initially scheduled to be released in September 2012, before the election. It was not formally released until May 14, 2013."

Nothing about hope in there, Bugs.