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The Great Evasion

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.

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House GOP Debates Fundraising Off Benghazi

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.

With Moral Certainty

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.

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One Trick Pony

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.


Perhaps Kevin McCarthy is clumsy enough to be a Speaker Democrats can really get behind.

After McCarthy's candid admission that the House Benghazi committee only exists to beat up Hillary Clinton, House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is rebuking McCarthy for saying something so totally outrageous as what everybody knows to be obviously true. But let's go a little further in stating the painfully obvious. The "Benghazi" story, issue, whatever you want to call it, has always been about and solely about exploiting the death of four Americans for partisan political gain.


From day one.

Full stop.

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More on the Disintegration of Syria

From longtime TPM Reader JG ....

With regard to Russia's military intervention in Syria and what it means for U.S. policy there, a few points that have been on the outskirts of the discussion deserve more attention.

First, the actual deployment is very small. In terms of the airwing, it is roughly the equivalent of what the non-U.S. coalition members have flying over Iraq and Syria, keeping in mind that the U.S. is still flying the majority of sorties now. The Russians are armed with non-precision munitions, meaning the likelihood of civilian casualties is high. The small size and lack of precision mean that it will have limited strategic impact in terms of bombing runs (although it will be able to provide the Assad regime with air support for ground operations).

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