Morning Read

MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

The bogus Obama administration "low-level" employees argument
Town Hall's Katie Pavlich says the Obama Administration blames low-level government employees for each scandal that occurs under its watch.



Understanding the politics of the IRS scandal
Talking Points Memo's John Marshall says that the recent IRS scandal will rile up the base of the Republican Party just in time for next year's congressional elections.



Obama's leak hypocrisy
Commentary's Jonathan Tobin says the Obama administration is politicizing both sides of the argument when it comes to security leaks.

CIA's Russian spy flap: dumb and dumber
The Nation's Bob Dreyfuss notes that the capture of an American spy in Moscow couldn't come at a worse time for the Obama administration.



OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

White House: GOP fabricated leaked Benghazi email
White House press secretary Jay Carney blamed Republicans for falsifying emails to two media organizations that attempted to further frame the Obama Administration in a negative light for its handling of the terrorist attack at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, The Hill's Justin Sink reports.



Hagel announces Pentagon furloughs
The Defense Secretary says that the furloughs replace other cuts that could have jeopardized national security, The Hill's Jeremy Herb reports.




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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Karl Rove targets Hillary Clinton with new Benghazi video
The Daily Beast's John Avlon says the video is a preemptive strike against the potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Conservatives aren't the only ones having an existential crisis
Z Magazine's Edward S. Herman asks if Democrats are advancing enough 'positive values' in this quickly changing political landscape.

The IRS: the internal retaliation service
Town Hall's Tony Katz says that since the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups during the 2012 election, it was, by every standard, electioneering.

Graduation season raises new questions about gender on campus
The American's Mark J. Perry questions why there are numerous women's centers on college campuses even though men are now the 'second sex' in higher education. 

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Obama calls IRS's targeting of conservative groups 'outrageous'
President Obama said Monday that he would 'not tolerate' political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service, report The Hill's Justin Sink and Bernie Becker.

Benghazi review chief defends decision to not interview Clinton
Retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering said his probe was aimed at finding out who made the decisions on Benghazi, Libya, and that Clinton was not involved, reports The Hill's Jonathan Easley.

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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

The Federal Government is the nation's biggest creator of low wage jobs: time for Obama to act

Mike Lux of Crooks and Liars finds it troubling that the president has not used his executive powers to help those 2,000,000 low wage workers working for government contractors.

Can you see us now?

Geoffrey Norman, of The Weekly Standard, comments on The Washington Post's story about the excessive amount of money the military spends on camouflage.

Why we should mistrust the government

Fox News's Judge Andrew P. Napolitano says America was born out of mistrust of government.

House GOP owes Benghazi victims and their families the respect and urgency they did not get from Hillary or the President

At townhall.com Hugh Hewitt  says if House Republicans do not establish a select committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the GOP majority will be complicit in the very cover-up they are supposed to be investigating.

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Boehner under new pressure for special committee on Benghazi

Speaker Boehner is under pressure to create a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, according to The Hill's Julian Pecquet.

Rep. Steve King: Obama 'lowering American values'

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Thursday accused President Obama and other Democrats of hurting American values, reports The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz.

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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Senate Democrats filibuster Coburn amendment to expand gun rights
Senate Democrats blocked an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to expand gun rights, according to Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo. 

Stephen Hawking, useful idiot
Aaron Goldstein at The American Spectator's The Spectacle Blog criticizes comments made by Stephen Hawking on Palestinian-Israeli relations.

Elizabeth Warren: Students "deserve the same break that big banks get"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) explained to David Dayen new legislation she introduced Wednesday to reduce student loan debt. Read Dayen's write up at Salon.com.

Nobody has any idea what's going on in our health care system

Walter Russell Mead at The American Interest calls details in a new report on Medicare reimbursement rates "alarming."

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Obama, House Democrats talk jobs, deficit reduction

At President Obama's dinner with House Democrats on Wednesday, the discussion was mainly about job creation and deficit reduction, reports The Hill's Mike Lillis.

Lawmakers to TSA: Stop wasting money on unused scanners and equipment

A number of legislators on the House Homeland Security Committee accused the Transportation Security Administration of wasting money on unused equipment. The Hill's Keith Laing has more.

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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Red lines, Syria and rhetoric
Julia Knight of Foreign Policy breaks down the vagaries of the White House's "red line" with Syria.

Yes, health insurance saves lives

Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo dares Medicaid critics to shrug off the 10,000 to 20,000 preventable deaths a year.



Move forward on Syria
Jennifer Rubin of Right Turn says the White House needs a coherent Syrian policy.



Time to deliver
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) lays out the House Republican plan to balance the budget.



OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

White House defends Obama’s Syrian 'red line' as ‘deliberate’
White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama deliberately signaled the 'red line' in relation to Syria but is still working on a specific response, reports The Hill's Jeremy Herb and Justin Sink.

UN walks back claim chemical weapons used by Syrian rebels
The U.N. panel investigating claims of human rights abuses in Syria sought to dampen reports that rebel forces have used sarin gas, reports The Hill's Julian Pecquet.


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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Obama, 'leadership' and magical thinking
Daily Intel's Jonathan Chait believes that, while a divided Congress is the biggest impediment to President Obama's success, there's still more he could be doing.

Ethics problems could end Bachmann's career
Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald interviews experts who believe the questions swirling around the Minnesota congresswoman's presidential campaign could quickly become a major problem.

The stakes of being too late
The Washington Post's Michael Gerson says Syria has undermined President Obama's foreign policy doctrine of tactical timidity.

We're not all Keynesians now
The Corner's Veronique de Rugy disputes Paul Krugman's declaration that Keynesians have won the economic debate.


OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Battle rages over 'slaughtered in the USA' meat labels
Consumer advocates believe the White House should press forward with the labels despite the threat of trade sanctions, The Hill's Ben Goad reports.

Public hands in 371 tons of prescription drugs
The Drug Enforcement Administration collected the unused, expired and unwanted pharmaceuticals, The Hill's Julian Hattem reports.

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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Now the hard part: Implementing ObamaCare
Joan McCarter of the Daily Kos says that the Affordable Care Act should be implemented efficiently and effectively so as not to allow Republican fears about the bill to become a reality.



Immigration reform being deformed
Cal Thomas writes in the Washington Examiner that the current immigration bill proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight has some major loopholes that must be closed before it sees a vote.



Ted Cruz will never be president
Salon's Joan Walsh
says Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is so far outside the mainstream that it would be difficult for him to win a Republican primary.



The al Qaeda franchise threat
The Editors at The Wall Street Journal
note that despite the recent killing of high-profile terrorists, al Qaeda still has a strong presence.

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

RNC ad with Obama and Newtown mother infuriates DNC
The DNC is upset that a RNC ad used a photo of President Obama consoling a Newtown, Conn., mother to point out that a bill on background checks failed in the Senate, The Hill's Jonathan Easley reports.

Carney won't rule out arming Syria rebels
The question arose again just days after reports that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on its citizens, which the White House previously said would be its "red line," The Hill's Jeremy Herb reports.



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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Gohmert: Holder sympathetic to terrorists
Rep Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) displayed 'crazed paranoia' in suggesting Attorney General Eric Holder was sympathetic to terrorists, argues blogger Doktor Zoom of Wonkette.

L.A. Times faces mass staff exodus if Koch brothers buy paper
The Los Angeles Times staff are not thrilled about the prospect of working for the conservative brothers, says blogger Blue Texan of Crooks and Liars.

Pinocchio Obama and his ongoing sequester dissembling
David Limbaugh of Right Wing News accuses Obama of exploiting the sequester.


Food stamp credit card
John Hayward of Red State says the electronic processing of food stamp benefits should have provided a data-processing defense against abuse.


OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Rand Paul endorses Mark Sanford
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is endorsing former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's (R) House campaign in a move that could help be mutually beneficial, reports The Hill's Cameron Joseph.

Obama cautions against 'rushing to judgment' on Syria
President Obama cautioned against "rushing to judgment" because the United States still does not know who used chemical weapons in Syria, reports The Hill's Jeremy Herb.


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MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Here's how to dump UN official who smeared US after Boston attacks

Anne Bayefsky explains on FoxNews.com what steps, if taken, would get Richard Falk removed as a United Nations special rapporteur.

House GOP plans even deeper food stamp cuts

The Nation's George Zornick says that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would end up negatively affecting as many as 13 million people.

Gay athletes should come out of the closet already

Bloomberg's Josh Barro thinks that more closeted athletes should follow the lead of NBA basketball player Jason Collins, who announced Monday that he is gay.

Cuomo wouldn't even try to challenge Hillary

FireDogLake's Jon Walker discusses a recent New York Post article in which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) apparently told associates he would not enter the 2016 presidential race if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did.


OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Poll: Public blames Obama, GOP equally for sequester flight delays

A Pew Research Center survey shows that 34 percent of respondents blamed congressional Republicans for the flight delays, whereas 32 percent blamed President Obama, according to The Hill's Erik Wasson.

Sources: Gary Peters to announce Michigan Senate bid Wednesday

The Democratic congressman is vying to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), The Hill's Cameron Joseph reports.

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MORNING READ


FROM THE BLOGS:

Keep fighting the good fight, Rand Paul
Malou Innocent of Cato at Liberty urges the Tea Party senator to keep the pressure on the Obama administration over transparency.

Congress conspires to exempt itself from Obamacare
Erick Erickson of Red State says members of both parties plan on "sneaking" through legislation that would exempt them from the president's healthcare law.

No, Congress isn't trying to exempt itself from Obamacare
Not true, counters Ezra Klein at Wonkblog.

How drone strikes strengthen al-Qaeda


The American Conservative reports on a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on drone strikes.


OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

Lawmakers push for labeling of genetically engineered foods
Lawmakers want the Food and Drug Administration to make sure consumers can tell which foods have been genetically engineered, reports The Hill's Julian Hattem

.

Republican questions whether Tsarnaevs had ‘Obama phone’ benefits
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) wants to know whether the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were the recipients of a federal phone subsidy for the poor, reports Jennifer Martinez of The Hill.

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