We reported earlier that Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich died today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Schweich was considered a leading candidate to run for governor.
Now the editorial page editor of the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger, has come forward to say that in the days leading up to Schweich's suicide he had confided to Messenger that he was planning to reveal that the head of the state Republican party was leading a whispering campaign suggesting that Schweich was in fact a Jew.
The House GOP backed down big time tonight in this silly fight over whether to defund DHS as a protest of Obama's immigration moves. Sahil Kapur has the details on what is looking like a very toothless shutdown threat.
Scott Walker at CPAC: Islamic State? Pfft, I already took on union protestors.
I'm going to be leading a live chat with Aurin Squire on tomorrow at 2 PM at The Hive (sub req). Aurin has written a number of pieces for us in the last few months. This piece on black and hispanic police officers in the post-Ferguson era, this piece on the hidden women of Black History of Month and just this last week this piece on the end of black respectability politics.
Get your questions in now and join us on Friday at 2 PM.
Rightwing provocateur James O'Keefe: Where's my Polk Award?
There's some important background on this new intrusion of the Iraq War into the current debate about Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli election. It's true that like a number of Senate Democrats, John Kerry voted for the Iraq War resolution in late 2002. That was due to a mix of belief in national unity, political cowardice and a credulous assumption that President Bush was actually on the level when he said he needed the authorization to wage war to avoid it, to get inspectors back into Iraq. It was or should have been clear that this was not true, that inspectors and Weapons of Mass Destruction were not the goal that made the threat of war necessary. They were cudgels and covers to help make the war a fait accompli.
Kerry: "The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush. We all know what happened with that decision."
As you can see here, Prime Minister Netanyahu has doubled down on attacking President Obama and European leaders for allegedly 'giving up' on efforts to stop Iranian from acquiring nuclear warheads. But in the course of his scorched earth campaign for reelection, he's done something as yet little noticed in the US. He's run a campaign ad which not only hugely distorts history but also managed to libel the US.
I wanted to give you a quick update on the Israeli election.
As I've noted earlier, not long after the election was called and the Labor Party announced a union with Tzipi Livni as the 'Zionist Camp', the Zionist Camp moved into a thin but durable lead over Netanyahu's Likud party. That changed last month - seemingly tied to a flare up of violence in the north, though many also pointed to a listless Labor/Zionist Camp campaign. But over the last week or so there seems to have been a shift back to the Zionist Camp.
Earlier today we posted a little item about how CPAC had apparently used a picture of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) on the bio page of Dr. Ben Carson. Both men are African-American. Not a huge thing, not a huge story - but a bit awkward and worth noting. But then things got a little weird.
Our student-indebted correspondent reports on the latest, radical step to solve the student debt crisis and finds it heart-rending but still not the answer.
Ed Kilgore takes a look at the states where GOP governors caught in fiscal crises of their own making are taking it out on higher education.
A group of Senate Democrats, led by Dianne Feinstein, asked for a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But he's rejected their invitation because he doesn't want to appear partisan.
Dori Maynard, an important voice for diversity in the world of journalism - and on a personal level just a dear person - died yesterday at the age of 56. She ran the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, which was named for her late father. The Institute "promote[s] diversity in the news media through improved coverage, hiring, business practices & training programs that equip journalists with leadership, multimedia skills and subject expertise for news organizations across platforms." In addition to being path-breaking journalist and one-time owner and publisher of The Oakland Tribune, some of you may remember Dori's father Robert Maynard as a regular guest on the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour before his death in 1993.
I can't help but note that Dori and her father both died at the very premature age of 56. A statement out late this evening from the Institute said that Dori died of lung cancer.
I did not know Dori that well. But we met for coffee on a number of occasions and she helped keep me grounded in what is really important in what we do as journalists and publishers with what I would call a gentle but persistent coaxing.
She was a dear person.
Poll: 57% of Republicans support making Christianity the national religion.