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Breaking: Van plows into crowd in Barcelona, reports of gunshots heard; Update: Attackers holed up in bar? Update: 13 dead?

Two people are dead, claims the Sun, and many more injured. The gunshot reports are unconfirmed right now but it’s worth noting that the crash happened right outside a kosher restaurant in the city’s Las Ramblas district. The incident – confirmed by police as a terror attack – took place shortly after 5pm local time (3pm GMT) outside the Maccabi restaurant on La Rambla … [Read more...]

Hmmmm: “Major staff shakeup” in Mueller probe

The addition of Peter Strzok to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the election caused enough of a stir for CNN to note it a month ago. Strzok had overseen the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s infamous secret e-mail system, and had a reputation for excellence in his law-enforcement and counterintelligence work. Mueller reportedly brought in Strzok to run … [Read more...]

No, really, what was Steve Bannon up to with that interview yesterday?

Jazz and Ed have written about the substance of it but I’m more interested in motive. Why is Steve Bannon dialing up a progressive magazine, of all things, and chattering to them about the alt-right and North Korea? Jazz’s point earlier about Bannon undermining NorK strategy is right on target: It’s bizarre for a White House political advisor to be out there in the middle of a … [Read more...]

Why is Richard Cordray still at CFPB?

After the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece on the subject earlier this week, increasing attention is being focused on Richard Cordray who, for some reason, is still in charge at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). There are a couple of different issues with this Obama holdover, and one of them is the newly arisen question of whether or not he violated the Hatch act. Word on … [Read more...]

More Bannon: White nationalists “losers,” “fringe element”; Update: Interview “drew fire away” from Trump?

Of course they are, but it’s an extraordinary statement considering the source and the timing. Jazz wondered earlier why Steve Bannon is giving interviews at all, but one has to wonder why he reached out to the hard-Left magazine The American Prospect as the venue. While Jazz focused on Bannon’s curious comments about North Korea, his thoughts and his contempt for the white … [Read more...]

Somebody screwed up in estimating ATC privatization costs

So will Bill Shuster’s air traffic control (ATC) privatization plan get a vote when Congress gets back to work for the fall session? If it does, they’d better be sure to find somebody who can do basic math first and take a fresh look at the numbers. We already saw a decided lack of enthusiasm (if not outright opposition) from some members of the GOP, but now the Democrats are getting … [Read more...]

Bipartisan agreement on Charlottesville attack? Update: Poll pulled?

Americans largely agree on at least two points on the Charlottesville riot and response, according to a new CBS poll taken Monday through Wednesday. First, 63% of respondents agree that the car attack on the crowd that took the life of one woman and injured 19 others qualifies as domestic terrorism, a finding that has majority support among all three partisan demographics. Second, majorities in … [Read more...]

Bannon needs to have a chat with the Joint Chiefs

There were obviously going to be questions after Steve Bannon broke out of the cone of silence and did an interview with The American Prospect. The first and most glaring one is probably… what is Steve Bannon doing giving interviews? He is, perhaps, the one person who has been demonized even more than the President in the liberal media while simultaneously becoming a hated figure among the … [Read more...]

Report: Kasich increasingly sees “moral imperative” to primary Trump in 2020

His term as governor is up in 2018 and he can’t run again. He’s got nothing better to do. NEW: Sources close to @JohnKasich tell me, after Charlottesville, there is growing sense of "moral imperative" to primary Trump in 2020. — Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) August 16, 2017 Why this guy is so hot to run an even more futile campaign three years from now than the one he … [Read more...]

Chicago pastor: It’s time to take George Washington’s name off of public parks

If you want to put the brakes on the public’s willingness to tear down Confederate monuments there’s no faster way than this, expanding the scope of “problematic” figures from secessionists who fought against the United States to the Founding Fathers who created it. If Robert E. Lee and George farking Washington are a package deal, guess how most Americans are going to feel … [Read more...]

NY Times editorial writer: ‘I didn’t mean to suggest that Loughner wasn’t responsible.’

We now know who wrote the NY Times editorial that led Sarah Palin to sue the paper for defamation. A first draft was written by editorial writer Elizabeth Williamson. However, the offensive part connecting Palin to the 2011 Tucson shooting was added in a rewrite by editorial page editor James Bennet. Bennet testified Tuesday in a hearing the judge ordered to help him decide whether or not to … [Read more...]

Piers Morgan: C’mon, let’s change the First Amendment and ban Nazis

The man’s a tool but I admire his immodesty in taking on all comers in a debate on a subject about which he’s obviously ignorant. He’s the guy at the bar who’s too drunk to stand up but proclaims himself ready to kick the ass of every man within earshot. You may think him sad and annoyingly belligerent. But he’s got moxie. We should not change the First Amendment to … [Read more...]

Poll: Guess who’s winning the Trump-McConnell war?

This one’s an easy call, or at least it was during the four days that Morning Consult polled nearly 2,000 respondents. Despite the handwringing among Republican insiders over the war of words between Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell this month, GOP voters are more concerned about the lack of progress in Congress, especially when it comes to the ObamaCare repeal flop. Half of Republican … [Read more...]

NBC and the BBC: There were violent left-wing protesters in Charlottesville

Both NBC News and the BBC have put out videos offering fact-checks on some of President Trump’s claims about what took place in Charlottesville. Both agree there were violent anti-fascist protesters who came to the protest looking for a fight. First, here’s NBC’s report. “Since the weekend, witnesses have told us that in fact, both sides were antagonizing for a … [Read more...]

Federal managers have some bad news for government workers

The Office of Personnel Management has been fielding some unusual and uncomfortable questions from federal departmental managers this summer according to Government Executive. It seems that a terrible bit of reality is dawning on them at last and they need some professional assistance in figuring out how to perform a management function which most of them have never experienced … [Read more...]

Pence: “I stand with the President” on Charlottesville

“The president has been clear on this tragedy,” Mike Pence said at a presser in Chile earlier today, “and so have I.” But with which version of Donald Trump’s comments does the Vice President stand? Pence employs the time-honored political maneuver of answering the question a politician wants to answer, rather than specifically what he was asked: “What happened in … [Read more...]

House Dems offer resolution to censure Trump over Charlottesville remarks

A clever play to exploit the tensions between Trump and the congressional GOP as the media floods the zone about Trump’s press conference. Reporters will descend on House Republicans to ask them if they think a censure is in order. If they say yes, the pro-Trump Republican base will go berserk. If they say no, Democrats will cite it as “proof” that Republicans agree with him … [Read more...]

Boston approves permit for ‘Free Speech’ rally

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department has approved a permit for a “Free Speech” rally to take place this Saturday. From Mass Live: Organizers of the rally are part of a group called “Boston Free Speech.” Newton native John Medlar, 23, said the event aims to advocate for free speech, and should not be compared to the “Unite the Right” rally that took place … [Read more...]