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Si Se Puede

I go offline for the afternoon and return to see that the Rachel Dolezal story has managed to get a lot weirder in my absence. First, she resigned from the presidency of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, which can probably be put down as a predictable turn of events. Less predictable is the news that when she was white in 2002, Dolezal sued Howard University for racial discrimination (Howard is a historically black university) for denying her graduate support, a scholarship because she was white. Then there's news that Dolezal is currently supporting the alleged victim in a child sex assault case against her biological older brother, Joshua Dolezal.

With the news Jeb Bush had formally entered the presidential race I thought the GOP might be angling to top Obama with Bush/Dolezal black/brown fusion ticket. Si se puede!

The Sorrow and the Pity and the Derp

As you can see, we've now had a watershed moment in the long-running Brownback/Kansas budgetary train wreck. The Senator-turned-Governor slashed taxes, with the tax shortfall to be made up by increased revenues driven by tax-cut fueled economic growth. The economic growth didn't happen and the state tumbled in a severe budgetary crisis which Brownback has been trying to find some way out of for months.

Now most of the state's Republican lawmakers have taken the plunge and violated the "Norquist Pledge" most made never to raise taxes.

Read More →

Stressed Out In Blue

Fascinating piece at TPMCafe by an expert on policing about how all our macho notions of what it means to be a good policemen make it exceedingly difficult for cops to admit when they're under stress and to get the help they need -- and how that is a major contributor to police misconduct of the type we saw in the McKinney pool incident:

[A]n officer in a vulnerable emotional state is a liability, not an asset. An officer who is struggling to deal with the stress of the last call is much less likely to be able to effectively manage the next one. Attempting to do so endangers not only the officer themselves, but also their fellow officers and the community more broadly.

Read the rest.

Chat with Journalist and NYT Best Selling Author Guy Lawson at 3 PM Eastern

Guy Lawson, New York Times bestselling author and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, will be in The Hive chatting with Prime members at 3 PM Eastern (sub req). His work has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, and Harper's. His new book, Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, was just released on June 9.

Join him for a live chat to talk about his book (which we've excerpted here), our failed war on drugs and more. Drop questions here at or before 3 PM EST.

And remember, you can now participate in live chats via mobile! If you don't have a Prime subscription, you can sign up here.

Real Keepeth

Recent events have confirmed me in my belief that our great scientists should continue their path-breaking research deep into old age but probably stop commenting on the major social issues of the day around age 60.

Severely Black, The Rachel Dolezal Story

I read the Rachel Dolezal story before it got picked up by any national outlets in the original story in the Coeur d'Alene Press on Thursday (yes, epic aggregation fail ... what can I say I was traveling). If you've only read pick-ups or follow-ups, read the original if you get a chance. It's an amazing piece of reporting and will make you appreciate what a great thing small paper journalism is - just an amazingly detailed piece of shoe-leather reporting. Since I read it I've been trying to think what if anything there is to add beyond the peristaltic WTF that seems to be the near universal response.

So let me just go with bullet points.

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Quality Journalism Isn't Free

As we've learned in recent years, quality journalism isn't free. It requires money and resources and commitment to get the job done. So with that in mind, I've spoken to the business professionals who run TPM and they've agreed to offer a bounty for bona fide, publishable and exclusive photos of the pilates class Bloomberg News mascot Mark Halperin will host for GOP donors tomorrow morning with Ann Romney.

We had originally planned on offering a bounty of $500 for eligible photos. But the thinking here was that that's somehow not legitimate or unseemly - especially since the possible recipients are likely to have net worths of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. So we've compromised on a $500 credit toward official TPM merchandise, which you can find here at the official TPM store. So for instance, you could buy 27 TPM mugs, 18 TPM t-shirts, etc. or various combinations.