Morning Must Reads: September 16

In the news: seeking a U.N. resolution on Syria; Larry Summers drops out of race for Fed Reserve Chair; and the "Terrible Candidates, Awful Campaign" for Va. Gov

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • “France, Britain and the US have agreed to seek a ‘strong and robust’ UN resolution that sets precise and binding deadlines on the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons.” [Guardian]
    • Inside White House, a Head-Spinning Reversal on Chemical Weapons [WSJ]
    • Syria’s Rebels Turn on Each Other, and That’s Not a Bad Thing [TIME]
  • “Lawrence Summers pulled out of the contest to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve after weeks of public excoriation, forcing President Barack Obama to move further down the list of contenders to head the central bank.” [WSJ]
    • “…The president’s inability to rally Congressional Democrats on Syria persuaded Mr. Summers that his most important audience — the Senate, which must confirm a Fed chairman — probably could not be won over.” [NYT]
    • The Left Won’t Be Happy Until Janet Yellen Is Federal Reserve Chair [BuzzFeed]
  • “A small but surging share of Americans consider themselves ‘lower class,’ a surprise to some researchers and activists despite the bruising economy.” [L.A. Times]
  • Poll: ObamaCare Remains Highly Unpopular As Implementation Looms [NBC/WSJ]
  • Terrible Candidates, Awful Campaign Take Virginia From Bellwether to Sideshow [National Journal]
    • Why Ken Cuccinelli is Losing the Virginia Governor’s Race [Politico]
  • Q&A with Julian Castro: Texas Politics, the GOP and Hispanics, and a Biden-Clinton Battle in 2016 [WashPost]
630 comments
ahandout
ahandout

Suthamtewakul said when Alexis was without a job, he let him work at a Thai food restaurant he owned, called Happy Bowl Thai.

What could possibly go wrong with a dead end job like this?  Thanks for the dead end 30 hour jobs.  Send more crumbs when you get back from va ca, OK Barry?  You are SO special.

PS.  Please let us know when we can go back to work and get serious? Mkay?

Sue_N
Sue_N

This is maddening on a couple of levels. On game day, Cowboys' AT&T Stadium uses more energy than the entire country of Liberia.

There are two ways to read this. One is that it takes an absurd amount of energy to power a stadium like AT&T and that we should be reining in our energy consumption at sporting events. According to one study of the English Premier League, the average soccer match in England has a carbon footprint of 5,160 metric tons, equivalent to the energy consumption of half a million gallons of gas or enough to power 772 American homes each year.

On that front, sports are trying to improve. Leagues like the National Basketball Association are holding promotions to make both their teams and fans more environmentally conscious and sustainable, and two environmental groups recently joined in an effort to make college football stadiums and the campuses on which they sit more energy efficient. Stadiums throughout sports are now touting their LEED certifications and the ways in which they reduce energy use.

The other way to read this, though, is that our outsized consumption of energy stands in stark contrast to energy access in other countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. Only 1 percent of Liberians have access to daily electricity, according to Sirleaf, while the remainder rely “on unreliable and inefficient sources of energy such as firewood, charcoal, candles, kerosene, battery-powered flashlights, palm oil, and small gasoline and diesel generators.” That’s both bad for Africans and for the environment, since they increase pollution and the adverse health effects that go along with it, especially relative to more sustainable energy delivery methods. Some African countries have recently begun upping their investments into solar energy in an attempt to both increase energy capacity and mitigate the effects of climate change on the continent.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

How Gun Laws Factor Into The Navy Yard Shooting

Twelve people died and several others were injured on Monday at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, at the hands of gunman Aaron Alexis. Originally of Fort Worth, Texas, Alexis was a military contractor. He was killed as authorities sought control of the crime scene early Monday.

While police are still on the lookout for a potential accomplice in the mass shooting, details are leaking out about Alexis and they point to a disturbing history of gun violence.

According to his hometown newspaper, The Star-Telegram, Alexis has had previous gun-related incidents:

Tarrant County court records show Alexis was arrested in September 2010 for allegedly discharging a firearm within a municipality. The records do not indicate that Alexis was ever formally charged in the case.

Later that same month, Tarrant County court records show that The Orion at Oak Hill apartments in Fort Worth began eviction efforts against Alexis.

Alexis’s former roommate told told the Star-Telegram that the gunman owned a semiautomatic weapon and a concealed handgun license.

Under federal law, it’s very likely that Alexis was still able to legally posses a firearm. Permanent bans on gun ownership are only handed out to very specific groups of people including felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill. Some states, like California (PDF), have laws that more strictly limit gun purchases for people with certain firearms charges, but Texas isn’t one of these states. In fact, in nearly half of states, officials are still able to give a handgun permit to someone with a history like Alexis’s.

If reports from the scene are right, however, Alexis’s gun possession Monday was illegal no matter his gun history. News outlets indicate that Alexis had as many as three weapons, including a semi-automatic AR15. The AR15 is banned in DC.

The AR 15 has been the focal point of much controversy over gun laws, since it qualified under the expired Assault Weapons Ban. AR15s were also used in the horrific shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last year that left 12 dead and 58 injured. It was also the weapon used in the tragic massacre of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut last year. One of the gun regulations President Obama proposed earlier this year would outlaw the sale of AR15s and other military-grade weapons.

retiredvet
retiredvet

The Syria dodge

Greg Sargent:

"People should come clean about what they really believe about all this stuff."

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

How the right blew a huge story about Obamacare and unions Normally, conservatives regard a bad day for unions as cause for celebration -- but not when it comes to Obamacare

Normally conservatives regard a bad day for unions as a cause for celebration.

But on Friday night, many of them were distraught to learn the Obama administration had dealt labor a big defeat. It’s actually a new development in a story that’s been taking shape for several months now. Unions have been complaining loudly about the Democratic party’s unwillingness to use Obamacare as a vehicle for funneling billions of dollars to member health plans. And that’s pure butter for Republicans. If the Obama administration had caved, the GOP would have rightly treated the decision as a huge scandal. Now that the administration has told unions to take a hike, Republicans can boast that “even Democrat allied union bosses who helped pass Obamacare now hate Obamacare.”

Sue_N
Sue_N

@retiredvet So no bomb bomb bomb, bombing of Iran? John McCain has a sad. :(

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@MrObvious  

Never mind of course the inherent fallacy in that argument: you can only effectively "take out the bad guy" if you see him coming.  No amount of training will prepare you for a surprise attack.

collioure
collioure

@Sue_N  

That's a lot of energy consumption for such an average team. <g>

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sue_N 

I think that once Africa gets the jump on technology, they won't have to worry about existing infrastructure like we do or archaic laws pertaining to the same. Witness SA's communications network, which doesn't make much use of landlines at all.

That said, maybe what they should do is have part of the parking lot fenced off where hundreds of coal fired generators manned by people who's job it is to start them with pull cords.  It would be a chorus of belching smoke and noise!

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mantisdragon91 weather he was buddhist,muslim or a mormon he was still a religious fanatic and most of the issues like this is due to bs religion nut cases.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet  

I agree with the opportunity part but I don't agree that Obama made a mistake.  He was undercut by the failure of Cameron to secure a vote in support of a strike. His coalition fell apart, so he sought Congress out for approval.

If he didn't get approval, it would be Congresses' fault for undercutting him, and if he did get approval, we would strike.  He found those political safe zones too, including postponing the vote until after the UN vote and implementation of the Syria plan had resolved to the point where it was clear he had a case or not.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@sacredh

The dead suspect was Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor from Texas, the Washington FBI field office told CNN’s Pamela Brown.

Yeah, kind of expected that based on the site.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet

I have no idea. This wasn't in the story I read yesterday. It's a real live tragedy that may have been driven by misconceptions.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@fitty_three @Sue_N I'm pretty sure we don't need any more coal-fired anything mucking up the works. If Africa can get into solar and another renewables, it would be a giant leap forward.

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @retiredvet  

What kind of funny cigarettes are you two smoking?

Did neither Cameron nor Obama consider how tired their constituents are of war in the Middle East?

Did neither of them think of the aftermath of one set of air strikes?

Both these guys were tone deaf.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@fitty_three @sacredh 

It's not a terrorist so now the chase boils down to figure out if he's an ungodly atheist or Democrat. Because next to a moslem turned radical - those are almost equally bad. And if it turns out he was a GOPer, well say hello to mad lone gunman. 

sacredh
sacredh

@DonQuixotic, there's another reason for doing things "iin-house" as much as is possible.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@fitty_three @retiredvet He is a muslim moron, his da was amuslim, is step dad is amuslim, his brother works for the Mb his aunt is a muslim his name is muslim, and you find it hard to fathom that he is a muslim what a moron.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet

At the very least, they will accuse Obama of being Muslim and coddling Al Queda.

Or, something.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@collioure I am convinced that Jerry is the root of all our problems. If the man would just be an owner and let others take care of general managing, scouting and coaching, we might be further along in our 17-year "rebuilding" period.

collioure
collioure

Hey, Sue.

You've got Jerry Jones too.

collioure
collioure

@Sue_N @collioure  

Two of the elites met last night. 

Apparently Seattle was awesome.  They have some players - and a coach too.

ahandout
ahandout

@Sue_N @fitty_three Sure, solar makes up 1% of the US energy supply after government subsidies and billions of dollars down the toilet.  Why would you wish that on Africa?

Libyans should learn to play football.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sue_N

It was more of an exercise in graphically depicting your point. It would be an impressive display of the carbon footprint.

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @collioure  

I have no idea what argument you are trying to make, but ObL had been in Pakistan since 2002, in hiding and no longer able to command AQ.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

At least he's drawing down and closing that book.  A book that Bush should have done more than just peek inside.  He might have gotten OBL. 

One side benefit was that OBL didn't think Afghanistan was safe, otherwise he would have stayed there. Instead, Obama got Osama.

And you?

Nothing but a one-note GOP sycophant: "I hate Obama".

Grow up.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

A point:

Obama has always been concerned about WMD proliferation.  This is par for the course, and of course, since all you can bring to the table is "I hate Obama" I guarantee that had Obama not done anything, you would have been screaming about how he was a wuss.

collioure
collioure

fitty_three@collioure 

I used to favor banning handguns, but now I know that is not a solution.

So no guns is not a solution, and the USA has just too many guns in circulation.

So how does the country arrive at fewer guns, and who gets to own them ????

collioure
collioure

 @DonQuixotic @collioure 

It was clearly the best answer put forward after Sandy Hook.

Remember, I believe in results and none of the Rube Goldberg gun control schemes promised results anytime soon.

Let me make this even clearer.

If you want our kids to be safe at school in this country, you need armed guards.  It's an unfortunate fact of life.

collioure
collioure

@DonQuixotic @collioure @fitty_three @sacredh 

Let's not confuse responsible gun ownership with classification and legality of certain weapons.

The NRA preaches and teaches responsible gun ownership.  That's the good part.

Their political activities are something else.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@collioure 

And they suggested the only solution to school shootings.

Armed guards.  

Many school districts have them.

Yeah, so did Columbine.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@collioure @fitty_three @sacredh  

No they don't.  If they did, they wouldn't classify weapons like the AR-15 as "sports firearms".  That's why a cousin of mine that was in the military canceled his NRA membership out of protest.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure  

UBC = Universal Background Checks.

Keeps people from moving to another state with more lax gun laws to take advantage of them.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

Which is why I posted what I posted originally.  Read Mantis's post above about the Texas shooter.

Even if we don't do anything else, we need to close the loopholes and implement UBCs.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

No one is taking that right away.  

Regulating, which is badly needed, yes.

 

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @collioure  

I know how it reads and I know know how it has been interpreted.

The Supremes keep affirming the right to bear arms.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

If you weren't a tax expatiate 3500 miles away, maybe you'd know these things.

Oh, and BTW, have you read the 2nd Amendment?

Can you tell me what phrase has been ignored by these so called "strict constructionists"?

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collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @collioure 

????  I don't know those terms. 

I don't own a gun, and I don't want one.

I do know that the Left does not have a solution to gun violence in a country where the 2nd Amendment is settled law.

collioure
collioure

And they suggested the only solution to school shootings.

Armed guards.  

Many school districts have them.

sacredh
sacredh

@MrObvious, of course it could be a God-fearing good republican driven insane by atheists or democrats.

fitty_three
fitty_three

It's hard to say, MrO.  

If there are two shooters,I'm not sure what the motivation was or what or even could be.  If it's terrorism and I'm not sure that is ruled out, it might be inspired by the message from Al-Queda's new leader to attack American interests.

The way the number of shooters keeps changing, I'm not sure that he was or wasn't alone.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@sacredh

I think construction's more contract based because it's based upon projects - you don't need certain types of people on most days.  I don't know that for a fact.

Regardless, a LOT of project based positions are contract driven rather than employment simply because your work isn't constant but periodic.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

I think that makes a difference. If there is more than one shooter, it makes it much less likely to be a disgruntled worker(s).