In a stunning and sensational development that had political correspondents from Maine to Chesapeake Bay abandoning their families on the beach and rummaging through their luggage for their laptops, Mitt Romney told Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host, that he might yet be persuaded to run for President again in 2016. After echoing previous statements that he’s already decided not to be a candidate, Romney appeared to equivocate, saying, “circumstances can change, but I’m not going to let my head go there.” ...JohnCassidy,NewYorker
The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.
According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes. ...Politico
Mark Follman's account of police behaviors following the death of Michael Brown is an indictment in itself -- and describes all-too-familiar behaviors of police forces across the country.
I'm beginning to think we should be ashamed not of our crime rates but of who we hire to deal with them. The police -- from NY to LA and in urban areas in between -- have been for a long time a steady, pounding wave of deliquency that's far more destructive than a couple of teenagers walking down the middle of the road.
Here's Follman's opener:
As darkness fell on Canfield Drive on August 9, a makeshift memorial sprang up in the middle of the street where Michael Brown's body had been sprawled in plain view for more than four hours. Flowers and candles were scattered over the bloodstains on the pavement. Someone had affixed a stuffed animal to a streetlight pole a few yards away. Neighborhood residents and others were gathering, many of them upset and angry.
Soon, police vehicles reappeared, including from the St. Louis County Police Department, which had taken control of the investigation. Several officers emerged with dogs. What happened next, according to several sources, was emblematic of what has inflamed the city of Ferguson, Missouri, ever since the unarmed 18-year-old was gunned down: An officer on the street let the dog he was controlling urinate on the memorial site.
The incident was related to me separately by three state and local officials who worked with the community in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. One confirmed that he interviewed an eyewitness, a young woman, and pressed her on what exactly she saw. "She said that the officer just let the dog pee on it," that official told me. "She was very distraught about it." The identity of the officer who handled the dog and the agency he was with remain unclear.
Candles and flowers marking the spot where Brown died were soon run over by police vehicles.
The day brought other indignities for Brown's family, and the community. Missouri state Rep. Sharon Pace, whose district includes the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, told me she went to the scene that afternoon to comfort the parents, who were blocked by police from approaching their son's body. Pace purchased some tea lights for the family, and around 7 p.m. she joined Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, and others as they placed the candles and sprinkled flowers on the ground where Brown had died. "They spelled out his initials with rose petals over the bloodstains," Pace recalled.
By then, police had prohibited all vehicles from entering Canfield Drive except for their own. Soon the candles and flowers had been smashed, after police drove over them. ...Follman,MoJo
Still haven't figured out that it's using you? Costing you?
Each time we use Facebook, we perform labor, which is to say that we create value. There is no material product, but what we do produces cultural knowledge, shapes opinion and ultimately directs the flow of capital. Facebook has taken our relationships with one another and monetized it, turning our interactions into advertising opportunities. It relies on us to provide content, in the form of videos we shoot, articles we like, screeds we write, places where we check in and comments we post. Without our labor, it has no value; nor would it make any money (hence why Facebook includes the number of new and active users in each quarterly report). Which leads to the great deception of Web 2.0: We aren’t Facebook’s clients; corporations are. ...Jung,AlJazeera
“[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu looks much more shaky today than he did 50 days ago,” said former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, now at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Hamas looks stronger today than it did 50 days ago. Hamas may have been hit harder physically, but Israel has been hit harder strategically.” ...AlJazeera
Indeed, the move away from Israel by former supporters feels like a game changer, at least in the US. In Israel, Netanyahu's standing has slid downhill to a new low.
Quite a few observers think Hamas got the better end of this deal. "The Egyptian cease-fire proposal that Israel accepted on Tuesday did not deliver a single achievement [for Israel]," Ha'aretz's Barak Ravid, a well-respected Israeli reporter, writes.
Hamas, meanwhile, got a number of its pre-war demands. It wanted Israel to start letting more goods in through the above-ground crossings between Israel and Gaza; Israel, according to Ravid, agreed to let construction materials through the crossings. That's a big deal, as construction materials were previously heavily restricted for fear that Hamas would use them for military aims rather than civilian reconstruction projects.
Hamas also got Egypt to agree to ease restrictions on the Rafah crossing between eastern Egypt and Gaza, a major pre-war objective. And partway through the war, it looked like Hamas's military struggle with Israel was boosting its popularity among Palestinians, at the expense of the rival Fatah party that controls the Palestinian Authority.
Beauchamp consults Brent Sasley, a political scientist at UTArlington. Sasley lists the setbacks for Hamas.
"...The war [closed] the tunnels, which were a source of revenue for Hamas, it [degraded] Hamas' military capability [by] destroying rockets and launchers ... everything Hamas did, including attacks through the tunnels, efforts to capture a live soldier, and cause mass civilian death, Israel shut down."
"I can't see any metric by which Hamas wins the war," he concluded. ...AlJazeera
I think EJ Dionne has a point. There are plenty of signs that "righteous" rage is dragging America backward, not setting us straight. The right have blown themselves out.
... The tea party has opened opportunities for Democrats elsewhere to frame this year’s choice as being between right-wing ideology and problem-solving. In Kansas, a poll released this week showed Democrat Paul Davis with an eight-point lead over Gov. Sam Brownback (R). A Brownback loss would be a devastating blow to the tea party’s approach to policy. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, another hero to the right, is in a dead heat with Democratic businesswoman Mary Burke. ...
... In 2010, an electorate heavily populated with tea party supporters expressed rage against government at all levels. In 2014, voters may decide that rage has its limits and that government has work to do. ...EJDionneWaPo
In fact, this is a choice we all face almost daily: whether to get mad or just get to work. Getting mad just seems to make us angrier and less effective. Getting to work, oddly enough, would feel like relief.