There's a lot of news going on this week (no, we're not complaining). So let's take a moment to observe a pretty embarrassing series of developments in the House GOP leadership transition. Last week, out-going Speaker Boehner scheduled a vote to succeed him for this Thursday, Oct. 8. In case you're just waking up and need this emphasized, that's really, really soon - just three days away. Meanwhile, heir apparent Kevin McCarthy chose last week to kick off an embarrassing gaffe saga which not only raised serious questions about whether he's ready to be, effectively, one of the party's key national spokesmen, but also threatened a critical GOP asset: the ability to use the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi in 2012 to raise money and lower the poll numbers of Hillary Clinton. In other words, a big deal. The story was pushed out of the headlines in part by the horrific massacre in Oregon. But the story seems to still be escalating. So McCarthy's march to his coronation is likely to continue to proceed in parallel with a chorus of calls for him to apologize, recant, prove he's not a doofus and even drop out of the run for Speaker. And those are all coming not from Democrats or the media but from Republicans!
In a heated post late Friday, I argued that we've made our choice about guns as a society. Some people called this defeatist. But it's not. I'm not saying the choice can't change at some point in the future. I'm just stating the obvious, which is that the choice is settled and un-conflicted: no amount of massacres or scales of body counts or simply annual numbers of people killed by firearms matter. The ability to have unfettered access to guns is an absolute. This is confirmed by a substantial amount of public opinion research that shows not only that pro-gun sentiment has increased since the Newton Massacre in 2012 but that by many measures it has crossed a historic threshold where 'gun rights' has become the dominant US position.
Jeb weighs bringing in W to save dying campaign.
On eve of mega storm, Christie cans transportation chief over ties to ever expanding Bridgegate scandal.
On eve of Vatican synod on the family, Vatican priest comes out as gay, introduces his boyfriend and is promptly fired from his job.
Our latest gun massacre raises the troubling effectiveness of the possible use of profiling to limit access to fire arms ...
1. Are you a man?
2. Are you white?
3. Are you between the ages of 15 and 30?
4. Are you currently in a mutually satisfying romantic relationship?
5. Do you feel alone?
6. Do you feel angry?
7. Do you frequently visit 4chan?
8. Do you spend a substantial part of every day thinking about firearms?
With all you've learned about Prime in the last two weeks, probably the only question left is: how much more dignity does Josh have left to expend on this drive? Well, a lot. Because Prime is important and if you're a daily reader of TPM we think you think TPM is important. Prime improves your TPM experience and makes you part of keeping TPM vital and focused on what it does best.
We are just 11 subscribers shy of 800 new signups in our Prime sign up drive so far. So now is the moment. Go directly to this link, pull out your credit card and join TPM! I know it's easier to do it later. That's the biggest hurdle for most folks. I'd probably do it later. But I'm hardly the standard you want to aspire to, people. So really, can you take a moment and do it now? Seize the moment and sign up for Prime.
The level of hysteria and Putin-worship in the Beltway foreign policy bubble is getting intense and comical.
Over the course of the day we've had a handful of readers write in to ask or demand that we not report the name of the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, in the Oregon school massacre. As the massacres continue, an increasing number of people think that we should expunge the names of the offenders both to obliterate their memory and deny them whatever infamy or perverted glory they hoped to gain by their crimes. I respect this viewpoint. I simply do not agree with it as something a news organization can or should do. There are various specifics of the argument. But for me it comes down to this: news organizations should report all relevant news. Criminals, of all people, should not directly or indirectly affect that. Except in very specific cases, when grave and overriding equities are at stake, that's the rule we should follow. You can agree or disagree. If it's the latter, I respect your disagreement. But that's not the real point I want to discuss here. Over the course of yesterday and today I've noticed a new phenomenon that seems to have come into its own with this latest tragedy. The refusal to name these offenders' names is now transforming into a purported symbol of action and defiance.
It looks like the Sheriff overseeing the Oregon massacre probe, John Hanlin, isn't just a pro-gun extremist. He's also a Sandy Hook Massacre Truther.
House Republicans now battling over whether or not it's okay to fundraise off Benghazi. Benghazi committee chair Gowdy asks Republicans not to fundraise off Benghazi. House GOP campaign committee already has. Boehner won't ask them to stop.
Late Update: And ... House GOP leader booed for defending (crooked) Benghazi committee at Washington Ideas Forum. "I do believe that the work that we're doing in the Benghazi committee is very important," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) amid a rising chorus of boos and hisses. "We've not yet had important questions answered."
And ... House GOP campaign committee takes down Benghazi fundraising web page.
I'm embarrassed to say I get more numb to these shooting tragedies and I think it is because at this point we know with a moral certainty that absolutely nothing will be done to keep guns out of the hands of the rageful, narcissistic, delusional or psychopathic individuals who commit these atrocities.
As a society, we've made our choice.
I send my prayers and best wishes to the victims and their loved ones.
I've been telling you that the best reason to sign up for Prime is to support TPM and become part of our community. And it is. But it's not the only one. What keeps the most of our subscribers coming back for more Prime is that the Prime version of the website you're looking at now has dramatically fewer ads than the public version of the site - never more than two display ads on a Prime page compared to seven on the public site. It's a big difference. On your smartphone, the Prime version of the website has no ads at all. Even bigger difference.
How and why? Simple dollars and cents. Your subscription makes it possible for us to dramatically reduce the number of ads and get rid of the most troublesome ones entirely. You'll see a big difference right away. And it's risk free. We have a free three day trial. Sign up here.
I started listening to the Netanyahu speech a few minutes into it. It was painful to listen to - but painful in a different way than it was last year or the year before that. His voice simply sounds irrelevant. Who is he talking to? He sounds out of time and irrelevant.