July 20, 2015

Top Stories

The Violent, Vile Facebook Rants Of The ‘Counter Jade Helm’ Leader

The Gist: The former Marine who organized a citizen surveillance group to monitor a routine U.S. military training exercise is prone to Facebook rants railing against “commies” and African Americans.

Trump Refuses To Back Down From McCain Comments

The Gist: Though he was excoriated by both Democrats and Republicans for criticizing the war record of Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran, Donald Trump insists he has no reason to apologize.

KKK, Black Group Hold Separate Rallies At South Carolina Statehouse

The Gist: KKK members clashed with a black civil rights group over legislators' decision to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.

From The Reporter's Notebook

Pete Lanteri, the organizer of the citizen surveillance group "Counter Jade Helm," has been portraying himself in interviews as someone who doesn't tolerate the tin foil hat set. Yet on his own Facebook page he posted what he said was a friend's intel about suspicious activity outside a Texas Wal-Mart, playing right into one of the wildest "Jade Helm 15" conspiracy theories.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall believes that we’ve entered a golden age of the Obama presidency, in which he is pushing for his own policy agenda and no longer feels obligated to cater to obstructionist Republicans. He’s finally become the Obama his supporters always wanted.

Say What?!

"In fact, Forrest was one of the South’s first civil rights leaders — a fact lost on many politicians looking to capitalize off the South Carolina tragedy."

- A GOP representative from Tennessee said that Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was actually a civil rights leader. 

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "Analysts have been warning that the military and policy elite in Russia have been lowering the threshold for the use of nucs. The Soviet Union was a strong state with nuclear weapons; Russia is a weak state with nuclear weapons. From Moscow's perspective, the payoff matrix has changed. Ukraine serves as a warning to others: NATO can't save you. By chewing on the margins of Western Europe, Russia is getting closer to interfering with NATO member states, and potentially creating a serious crisis within the alliance (a crisis that could also arise on the eastern edge, thanks to Greece and Turkey). The scary thing is that Putin isn't part of the extreme hardline. There are scarier people even in his own government."

Related: Josh Marshall on the Soviet Union and revisionist history.

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What We're Reading

Prozac in America's wastewater is making birds fat and shrimp reckless. (Quartz)

Greece's other crisis: refugees. (Al Jazeera)

The black comedy of India's justice system. (The New Republic)