Good morning — and a happy Simón Bolívar Day to everyone down in Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia!
Stat of the day: 26 percent — the share of African-American men without high school diplomas who were behind bars in 2010. Only 19 percent were in the labor market that year, according to a Pew report on trends in black/white incarceration.
No evidence required –> Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux report for The Intercept that people can be placed on the government’s no-fly list “without any evidence they are actually connected to [terrorist] organizations.”
Too late –> The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reports that Ukrainian officials had requested technology that might have allowed them to jam the missile system that brought down Malaysia Airways flight 17, but adds that even if the request had been processed immediately the equipment wouldn’t have been operational in time to save the plane.
Cruel and unusual? –> The Associated Press reports that “a condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona.”
Ebbing –> AJ Vicens reports for Mother Jones that the flow of refugee children is slowing down, but as for the reason, he’s told, “it’s simply too early to tell exactly what’s going on.” Summer heat may be the main reason.
Bloody –> The UN relief agency working in Gaza said that three of its teachers were killed by Israeli strikes, according to the Reuters. AND: The death toll among Palestinians reached 718 on Thursday morning; 32 Israeli soldiers have died in the fighting. ALSO: In the WaPo, Yael Even Or offers the perspective of 50 Israeli “refuseniks” who oppose the “militarization of Israeli society” and refuse to serve in the IDF. ALSO, TOO: TAP’s Gershom Gorenberg explains why “both sides in the Gaza conflict saw irrational decisions as reasonable.”
Related –> The FAA’s brief suspension of flights to Israel after a missile landed near the Ben Gurion Airport has been lifted, but not before it spurred a bizarre attack on the White House — led by Sen. Ted Cruz — for supposedly “boycotting Israel.” A Democratic aide told Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray: “To suggest that… anything other than safety was the reason for FAA’s decision, indulges in the worst sort of conspiracies about this president.”
“Milking the money machine” –> Thomas Edsall writes for the NYT that up until 2004, the GOP tended to do well with small donors while the Dems chased big fat cats, but that dynamic has since reversed. He also traces the explosive growth of overall campaign spending over the past decade.
Preliminary findings –> The GAO says that it was able to procure subsidies for nonexistent people in the health-care exchanges, but cautions that its findings are preliminary and the agency’s sample is too small to draw any conclusions about the program. As you might imagine, that hasn’t prevented pundits from jumping the gun and decrying wide-scale fraud. Mackenzie Weinger has the details at Politico.
Plagiarism –> Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) is facing allegations that he lifted large portions of his master’s thesis from other writers. Alex Rogers has the story for Time.
Post-Hobby Lobby –> An editor of an Iowa newspaper who was fired for writing a post on his personal blog decrying the “gaystapo” filed a suit alleging that he was discriminated against for his “religious views.”
Classy –> The Raw Story’s David Edwards on the Texas open-carry movement’s latest demonstration: “Rifle-toting birthers at JFK murder site rebuke ‘foreigners’ and ‘sexually-charged’ women.”