Good morning! There’s an 80-95 percent chance that today is National Weatherperson Day — they could probably use some appreciation right now.
And on this date in 1994, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted for the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers outside Evers’ home in Jackson, Mississippi. De La Beckwith had been tried twice in 1964 by all-male, all-white juries, and each had failed to reach a verdict. He would remain in prison until shortly before his death in 2001.
“Systematic” –> Iraqi children are becoming the victims of “systematic sexual abuse, including sexual slavery” in areas controlled by the Islamic State, according to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. AFP reports that they also are being forced to serve as child soldiers. AND: Fox News stirred up some controversy by posting on its website unedited footage of Islamic State forces burning alive captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh. The network’s explanation for the unusual editorial decision — that “the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video” — doesn’t make much sense. has that story at TPM.
Kinda repeal, sorta replace –> Three influential Republicans have introduced a plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. It would scale back subsidies, and cover fewer people, but retains some of the insurance regulations from the Affordable Care Act. Robert Pear reports for the NYT. AND: UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong notes that this “new” plan is very, very similar to a Republican “alternative” offered last year — one that didn’t achieve widespread consensus within the party.
“This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality” –> FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler penned this op-ed for Wired explaining his proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility. BillMoyers.com’s Michael Winship has more.
Preventing the next outbreak –> reports for the LAT that two California state lawmakers are proposing a bill that would restrict parents’ ability to opt out of vaccinating their kids. Details haven’t yet been released, and certain religious exemptions may still be allowed.
Big money –> A granddaughter of the founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian network, has filed a lawsuit charging “that top bosses in the organization threatened her life with a gun and fired her and her husband, Michael, after she refused to illegally funnel some $100 million of charitable assets to their personal accounts,” according to Leonardo Blair at The Christian Post.
Busted –> NBC News anchor Brian Williams has often told the story that in 2003 he flew into Iraq on a military helicopter that was forced to the ground after being hit with an RPG. Now, after soldiers on the scene disputed his account, he’s acknowledging that his helicopter actually arrived an hour after the rocket-propelled grenade attack. An apologetic Williams says his memory played tricks. Stars and Stripes has more.
Laboratories of democracy –> reports for the Omaha World-Herald that conservative lawmakers in Nebraska may have accidentally recognized same-sex marriage when they passed an amendment to a bill loosening restrictions on gun ownership.
One wish –> Ruth Bader Ginsburg told graduating Georgetown law students that if she could overturn one decision from her tenure on the nation’s highest court, it would be Citizens United. Amanda Holpuch has the story for The Guardian.
Released –> CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, the only person to serve time related to the CIA’s torture program, was released from federal prison on Tuesday, and offered a final letter from behind bars. Kevin Gosztola has the details at Firedoglake.
A nightmare headline for conservatives… –> It appeared at The Huffington Post this week, over a story first published by Reuters: “Experts Say Birth Control Access Key To Curbing Climate Change.”
Devil’s in the details –> Laura Barron-Lopez reports for The Hill that “Rep. Joe Barton (Texas) isn’t about to have his prized legislation get tagged with a 666 — the number of the beast.” On Wednesday, Barton “successfully changed the bill number for his legislation repealing a decades-old ban on crude oil exports from 666… to the more anodyne 702.” In 2005, researchers deciphered some fragments of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, and discovered that the “number of the beast” is really 616.
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