Today's must-reads from TPMMuckraker, William Gibson and more.
Some of today’s must reads:
Justin Rood at TPMMuckraker has an item about a report, due later this week from House Judiciary Democrats, concluding that “the Bush administration may have broken over two dozen federal laws and regulations — some of them multiple times.” The committee’s Democratic minority could end up in the majority come November, Rood reminds us — which means that the report’s several hundred pages and thousand footnotes might serve as more than just cries in the wilderness.
The science fiction writer William Gibson finds a reason for “the apparently literal impossibility of explaining the fundamentally counterproductive nature of the United State’s invasion of Iraq, or of what’s currently going on in Lebanon, to those who disagree.” It all goes back to Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” and the blindness that changing paradigms induces.
At the Post, Dan Froomkin pulls together the threads of the Mideast crisis and finds that “President Bush’s ‘moment of opportunity’ in the Middle East is increasingly looking like an opportunity for disaster”:
In the best of circumstances, Bush would be running the risk of being considered callous. But in the current circumstances, he runs the risk of being considered both callous and delusional….
You don’t get much more Washington Establishment than Richard N. Haass, who was Bush’s first-term State Department policy planning director and now leads the Council on Foreign Relations. And he apparently finds Bush’s position laughable. Literally.
Peter Baker writes in the Washington Post that Haass “laughed at the president’s public optimism. ‘An opportunity?’ Haass said with an incredulous tone. ‘Lord, spare me. I don’t laugh a lot. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. If this is an opportunity, what’s Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?’ ”
Atrios has the full text of a letter the Democratic congressional leadership has sent to President Bush:
The open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained. Rather, we continue to believe that it is time for Iraqis to step forward and take the lead for securing and governing their own country…We believe that a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq should begin before the end of 2006. U.S. forces in Iraq should transition to a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, training and logistical support of Iraqi security forces, and force protection of U.S. personnel… Mr. President, simply staying the course in Iraq is not working. We need to take a new direction.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
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