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  1. politicalprof:

    Party id over time. Romney and the Republicans have a problem.

    ht: Andrew Hacker, New York Review of Books

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  2. azmatzahra:

    I dug into the numbers for some shocking perspective: More civilians died in Syria in August than the bloodiest months for civilians in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain. 

    But these numbers, as stark as they are, can’t fully illustrate the escalating war playing out on the ground. Learn more here, and please watch FRONTLINE’s two-part special, The Battle for Syria, this Tuesday.

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  3. Michelle Obama is Queen. (x)

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  5. yobitalek:

    I’m just going to leave this up.

    (via jacksimbroglio)

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  7. If the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida, the assassination attempt on former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, the massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, and a shooting spree outside an Alabama bar earlier this week haven’t punctured the legislative arena, it’s hard to imagine that the Colorado incident will be received any differently.
  8. shortformblog:

    And things get complicated further. We wish authorities luck as they try to defuse what sounds like a serious explosive device at Holmes’ apartment. (via AP, Reuters; read more here)


    EDIT: Via MSNBC (ht Matt), apparently the explosives are dangerous enough that they’ve evacuated FIVE nearby buildings.

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  10. “Mr. President: Rarely do I come to the floor of this institution to discuss particular individuals. But I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person’s character, reputation, and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for that reason that I rise today to speak in defense of Huma Abedin.

    “Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of coming to know Huma during her long and dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the United States Senate and now in the Department of State. I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That she has done so while maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.

    “Put simply, Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully. I am proud to know Huma, and to call her my friend.

    “Recently, it has been alleged that Huma, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, ‘The Muslim Brotherhood in America,’ produced by the Center for Security Policy.

    “To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.

    “The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are ‘connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.’ Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father, passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government. Nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on one of the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find fault. These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.

    “Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.

    “Our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.

    “Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator from South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our colleague, then-Senator Hillary Clinton. By her side, as always, was Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York – a service that continues to this day at the Department of State, and bears with it significant personal sacrifice for Huma.

    “I have every confidence in Huma’s loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country.”

  11. ftalphaville:

    More at Lisa’s post.

    (Cardiff)

  12. The Vice Presidential Candidates

    for more information

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  13. reuters:

    Two members of the Free Syrian Army hold their weapons as they take defense positions in a house in El Moalimin neighborhood in Homs July 14, 2012.

    The Red Cross now views fighting in Syria as an internal armed conflict - a civil war in layman’s terms - crossing a threshold experts say can help lay the ground for future prosecutions for war crimes. 

    The independent humanitarian agency had previously classed the violence in Syria as localised civil wars between government forces and armed opposition groups in three flashpoints - Homs, Hama and Idlib. Picture taken July 14, 2012. REUTERS/Yazen Homsy

    PHOTOS: The best Reuters images from the past 24 hours

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  14. futurejournalismproject:

    Americans’ Confidence in Television News

    Gallup has a new poll showing that American’s confidence in television news is at an all time low. However, they can’t quite put their finger on why that might be so:

    It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last. Americans’ negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general.

    FJP — We’ll hazard a guess: US television news is positively craptastic.

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