Morning Must Reads: January 14

In the news: Iran sanctions, Syrian rebel infighting, an appropriations bill, new Obamacare enrollment figures, West Virginia's water supply, unemployment insurance, and the Weather Channel

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • “President Obama’s struggle to prevent Senate Democrats from backing strict new sanctions that could upend his diplomatic efforts is casting a long shadow over talks with Iran.” [NYT]
  • “The Assad regime is gaining ground as it takes advantage of infighting between Syrian opposition groups, in a sign of how the rise of extremists could tip the balance in the three-year-old civil war.” [WSJ]
  • “One month after Congress passed a two-year budget deal, leaders have struck a compromise allocating over $1 trillion to fund the government for the next year.” [TIME]
  • “About 1.8 million people enrolled in new individual health plans through the law in December, bringing new enrollments through Dec. 28 to about 2.2 million…The figures released Monday indicate that the pace of enrollment among young people needs to accelerate…” [TIME]
  • “The coal-processing chemical that cut off the water supply to 300,000 West Virginians is one of tens of thousands of potentially hazardous substances that have fallen through a decades-old loophole in federal regulations, leaving authorities with little information on what dangers it poses.” [Politico]
  • “Votes are set for Tuesday in the Senate on the jobless aid package as a small group of key Republican senators emerged as a potential voting block that could form a coalition for compromise with Democrats…The GOP package Monday would extend jobless aid for three months, meeting their party’s insistence that costs be fully paid for with cuts elsewhere in the budget.” [L.A. Times]
  • If You Want Obama to Rein In the NSA, You’re About to Be Disappointed [National Journal]
  • Foundations Aim to Save Pensions in Detroit Crisis [NYT]
  • “The Weather Channel just got rained on by DirecTV. The satellite broadcaster, one of the nation’s biggest pay-TV distributors with over 20 million subscribers. stopped carrying the Weather Channel as of midnight eastern standard time.” [Chicago Tribune]
  • Hillary Clinton’s Unapologetically Hawkish Record Faces 2016 Test [TIME]
418 comments
MementoMori
MementoMori

 The end of the internet.

Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was "even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality.

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission's latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites--awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates.




roknsteve
roknsteve

Another bear story.  The town of Sierra City in the mountains of California bought bear-proof dumpsters.  But they didn't tell the bears.  It was the joke of the town for months. The Forest Service said, "The bears are used to the people.  The people have to get used to the bears."   

sacredh
sacredh

I hate to rag on anybody, but hasn't Miss Lindsey been going through the change for about a quarter century now?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Note to wingers, this is what a real scandal looks like:

AZ Governor Uses ‘State Of State’ Address To Get Rid Of Child Protective Services
With the scandal of over 6000 uninvestigated child abuse cases hanging over her head, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer dissolved Child Protective Services (CPS) by executive order. She made the unexpected announcement on Monday during her State of the State address to the legislature. Child advocacy groups and politically progressive groups have been calling on her to take action over the scandal. They especially wanted her to dismiss the Department of Economic Security director, Clarence Carter. Carter, who was appointed to his position by Brewer, was responsible for the oversight of CPS. He still has not been fired but, if Brewer has her way, CPS itself will disappear right out from under him.

MementoMori
MementoMori

 West Virginia Chemical-Spill Site Avoided Broad Regulatory Scrutiny

The company complied with one of the few mandates that applies to its operation: Nearly a year ago, it gave the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management a list of chemicals with "immediate (acute) hazards," which is required annually under federal law. MCHM was among them.

It was unclear what was done with that information. Laura Jordan, a spokeswoman for West Virginia American Water Co., which operates the complex distribution system with 1,700 miles of pipes, said officials there weren't aware of the document, known as a Tier Two Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory. Mr. Blackwood of the local emergency group said he wasn't aware a list existed.

"This was not a chemical we were familiar with," Ms. Jordan said Saturday.

Ms. Jordan said each of the company's facilities keeps a source water protection plan. The most recent plan was prepared by the state Department of Health and Human Resources in 2002 as required in an earlier federal law. It identified the Freedom site—then a Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. terminal—as a potential threat to the water supply and said there needed to be more protection against potential contamination. The company hasn't sought more study from the state, according to a person familiar with the matter.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Under Florida's stand your ground statute—an expansive cover-all advanced by the state's top NRA lobbyist in 2005—anyone can shoot to kill, assuming they reasonably feared for their physical well-being. And the definition of "reasonably" is quite elastic, law professor Charles Rose told Vander Velde:

Many factors could come into play, he said.

For one, when Oulson threw popcorn, that was technically assault under state law. Was it reasonable to respond with deadly force simply because of the popcorn? No, Rose said.

However, if Reeves considered the popcorn throwing to be one step in an escalating response from Oulson — and if the 71-year-old man feared that Oulson would come over the movie theater seats and physically attack him next — and if Reeves felt he wouldn't be able to handle such an attack from a younger man, then jurors might consider deadly force reasonable, the attorney said.

"Here's the problem: We're trying to look into the mind of the defendant and posit what the thought was happening," Rose said.

Looking into the mind of an elderly man who comes armed to a matinee showing of "Lone Survivor" shouldn't take long, really. But then again, this is Florida, where George Zimmerman was found not guilty, and where lawmakers are currently considering adding warning shots and the brandishing of weapons to the list of acts that could be protected under the stand your ground law. Until it all shakes out, residents are probably best served by a Redbox. Or kevlar.

sacredh
sacredh

@Sue_N, at what point does the right recognize that they've lost this issue? It's going to happen. The only thing they're accomplishing is showing how far out of touch they are with public opinion.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

But they didn't blame it on a Youtube video   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@MementoMori Apparently from an NPR report this morning, the company had put #1 million in escrow to strengthen the tank containment system but didn't spend the money. I doubt that $1 million will cover all of the lawsuits that they are about to see.  Interesting that the corporation has been in the location along a major river in the state for 70 years and no one put together the possible a leak would contaminate the river without redundant containment systems, regardless of the water system being there.  Then the water company didn't apparently know about the company or take it into account and no one in the state government actually asked the "what if" question.


And, of course, the new budget bill from the US House says screw West Virginia as they cut EPA funding back to 2009 levels, further reducing their monitoring because Republicans love dirty air, contaminated water, and people dying from easily preventable causes.  I suggest that a nation-wide solvent storage location for leaking drums be set right outside the Koch's Kansas estates since they are leading the charge to get rid of all environmental regulations as they love their burning rivers.  


I suggest the US charter a really big planer and fly the entire US House and Senate to any major Chinese city and drive them around in open air buses for 8 hours before returning the corpses to the plane for delivery to Dover.

outsider
outsider

@MementoMori 


I've been screaming about this all day - instead we get pieces like Crowley's - is Hillary too Hawkish to win 2016. 


Oy 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic 

When you have to use words like 'it was technically' you can pretty much scrap the excuse. Unless you can state that it IS an assault it has no validity.

But then we're talking about a state that has embraced the idea that any conflict of any scale can and should result in a mortal response. 

And I fear that this human dreck will go free. That's what we've become.

Tero
Tero

@MementoMori 


What?!?!? How are they going to honour the victims of 9-11? Raffle some box cutters?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@DonQuixotic 

All three of those videos had a great moment.  The first one had the girl jump to his rescue before he'd hit the floor. The second one had the guy look around concerned but realize before he'd really hit the floor that it was a youngster being an idiot, and the third one had him side step a good foot to the right just to make the shot.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic 

I don't even want to know what it is. I refuse to read links with anything LeBroning. Sounds like another idiotic trend.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@mantisdragon91 The religious right has a grip on us, that is a fact and it is coming for your state too. Beware!

MementoMori
MementoMori

(but thankfully the edit trick worked)

Tero
Tero

@La_Randy @mantisdragon91 


I blame the French. The British drove them out of Nova Scotia in the 18th century and many of them fled to Louisiana. They are your problem now, just like Ted Cruz.

sacredh
sacredh

@MrObvious, carry a can of salmon spray. It's a nasty trick, but we're talking survival here. Apologize as you're running.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@forgottenlord @MrObvious  

Right, I'm talking to an American.  Why take the solution where nobody gets hurt when you can take the solution that guarantees someone will get hurt as long as it's not you
That's no an American solution.  We make sure everyone gets hurt.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@forgottenlord @MrObvious 

The bear started it; just because I wanted to find out if they truly shiat in the woods. Call it ignorant curiosity. And what kind of American would I be if I didn't end up on the path of someone getting hurt? 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious

Right, I'm talking to an American.  Why take the solution where nobody gets hurt when you can take the solution that guarantees someone will get hurt as long as it's not you

MrObvious
MrObvious

@forgottenlord @MrObvious 

Simple wisdom - always travel in pairs - and always with someone slower than you. Sure - I'll feel bad but it beats getting mauled.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious

I know.  You still don't do that.  The only way better to guarantee your death is to go with the other three options.  Either lie down to suggest you aren't a threat or make a lot of noise.  Running just encourages it to chase you and it WILL outrun you

MrObvious
MrObvious

@forgottenlord @MrObvious 

I'm completely oblivious to anything sportslike. Just the way nature made me.


If I need to run, jump, tackle or kick something it better be from a bear, over a snake, stopping someone from stealing my sammich or doing some disco dancing.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious

Admit it

It was less stupid than Washington.

Or their Football owner

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

Fool me once, and I'll poff you. Fool me twice and you can call me Colli


Edited for making sense

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@outsider

Hey, we might've turned it into a wonderful socialist paradise by not polluting it with American insanity