Good morning! At a congressional hearing held 60 years ago today, Joseph Welch, a lawyer representing the US Army, was stunned when Senator Joe McCarthy claimed that an attorney at his firm was a Communist. “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness,” said Welch. He then delivered what would become one of the most famous lines in history: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” It was the beginning of the end of McCarthy’s career.
On a much lighter note, it’s also Donald Duck’s 80th birthday…
“Brazen” –> The Pakistani Taliban say that last night’s attack on the country’s busiest international airport in Karachi — which lasted six hours and left about 30 dead — was an act of retaliation for the killing of a former leader in a US drone strike. Jon Boone reports for The Guardian that “the attack leaves the government’s year-long effort to use the prospect of peace talks to avoid confrontation [with the group] in tatters.”
Quite the statesman –> The Virginia GOP has “persuaded” state Sen. Phillip Puckett, a Democrat, to resign his seat, handing control of the chamber to the Republicans and possibly dooming Gov. Terry MacAuliffe’s effort to expand Medicaid. Laura Vozzella reports for WaPo that the resignation paves the way for Republicans “to appoint his [Puckett’s] daughter to a judgeship and Puckett to the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission.”
Dangerous ideologies –> Patrik Jonsson reports for the Christian Science Monitor that Friday’s attack on a Georgia courthouse was carried out by a member of the “sovereign citizens movement,” who “believe that most of the US government is illegitimate.” Fortunately, only the shooter died in that incident. Another attack in Las Vegas yesterday was worse. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that two police officers were killed “in what appears to be a politically motivated ambush in a pizza restaurant that spilled over to a nearby Wal-Mart, where the two shooters committed suicide after killing a woman in the store.” The shooters reportedly shouted something about starting a revolution, and draped a Gadsden flag (“Don’t Tread on Me”) over their first victims’ bodies. Investigators also “found paraphernalia associated with white supremacists,” according to the report.
Lawsuit –> The same lawyer who took the tobacco industry to court and won in a massive class action 20 years ago is now suing US stock exchanges for permitting high-frequency trading that allows traders to “make quick profits at the expense of savers and investors in pension funds,” according to The Guardian’s Jill Treanor.
More to the story –> Shashank Bengali and Hashmat Baktash report for the LAT that only one of the five Taliban detainees released in the swap for Bowe Bergdahl was a violent extremist. Three were moderates, and one was a mid-level police official. ALSO: The NYT’s Richard Oppel, Jr., and Eric Schmitt write that while Bergdahl’s unit had disciplinary and security problems, those problems “in many ways reflected those of the Pentagon’s strategy writ large across Afghanistan at that moment of the war.” AND: MoJo’s Kevin Drum considers how unhealthy it is that Americans “just bounce from one outrage to the next, mostly ginned up by the right, but sometimes by the left too.”
College tuition is up 1,200 percent in 30 years –> Salon’s Thomas Frank on “the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media.”
No patience for cranks –> NYT columnist Thomas Friedman asked Barack Obama, “Do you ever want to just go off on the climate deniers in Congress?” Obama’s answer: “Yeah, absolutely.” ALSO: Ryan Koronowski at ThinkProgress: “Three Ways Climate Change Is Going To Ruin Your Beer.”
A painful recession, in charts –> At FiveThirtyEight, Ben Casselman offers 10 charts that paint a picture of the job market’s five-year recovery.
Almost became a US Senator –> Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock “compared the nation’s direction to Hitler’s Nazi Germany during a farewell speech at the Indiana Republican Convention on Saturday.” Tony Cook reports for the Indiana Star that attendees gave Mourdock a standing ovation at the end of the speech, but some Republican officials later distanced themselves from the comments.
“Trying to make the robot brain more like human brain” –> Eric Niiler reports for Discovery News that researchers are “experimenting with building neurotic robots that exhibit signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, just like humans, or are afraid of open spaces.”