Friday at last. Have a good weekend.
The latest from France –> As we write, the two gunmen believed responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris are dead. They were cornered by police at a printing plant outside the capital. A hostage was freed. Meanwhile, police also raided a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris where reportedly four hostages were killed and several hurt. The main suspect is the same believed to have shot and killed a policewoman yesterday. He now is dead, too, but a female accomplice may have escaped capture. Track continuing developments at the BBC. AND: Jonathan Laurence reports for Slate that the shootings may bolster the French ultra-right. ALSO: Brian Beutler writes at TNR that there is no tension between defending the absolute right to insult religion while also condemning the insult when directed at a marginalized minority group.
Job numbers –> Unemployment fell to 5.6 in December, the lowest since June 2008. The US economy added 252,000 job. But as Steve Greenhouse of the NYT tweeted, “Big weak spot in todays’ jobs report: Average hourly earnings for all workers fell by 5 cents last month. Wages up just 1.7% past 12 months.”
The “most destructive attack yet” –> MoJo’s Erika Eichelberger details the latest Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act — and explains why it’s based on a giant bait-and-switch.
Balancing act — Democrats have condemned their opponents for an exponential growth in the use of filibusters that has made legislating all but impossible in the US Senate. Daniel Strauss reports for TPM that they are now trying to figure out how to mount a vigorous opposition to the Republican agenda without replicating the GOP’s historic obstructionism.
Good idea –> On Thursday, Barack Obama proposed giving college students “who work hard” two years of tuition-free education at America’s community colleges. The proposal was light on details, and would require Congressional action. USA Today has that story.
A break from broken windows –> Writing at TNR, Aurin Squire says that for black New Yorkers like himself, the two weeks of the NYPD’s alleged work slowdown “have amounted to a vacation from fear, surveillance and punishment.” AND: Gawker’s J.K. Trotter notes that persistent rumors that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio smokes marijuana at Gracie Mansion are coming from the police. ALSO: Alex Isenstadt and Edward-Isaac Dovere report for Politico that national GOP leaders are worried about the likely nomination of Daniel Donovan to take the House seat of ex-Congressman Michael Grimm. Donovan is the Staten Island prosecutor who oversaw the Eric Garner grand jury and his candidacy could “thrust the contest into the heated debate over race and police tactics.”
Exit, stage left –> California Sen. Barbara Boxer announced on Wednesday that she would not seek re-election in 2016. At Daily Kos, Jeff Singer looks at a crowded field of potential candidates for her seat — many of whom aren’t as progressive as the retiring Boxer.
Wrong again –> WaPo columnist George Will, whose past claims about global warming have earned widespread condemnation from the scientific community, is out with a new one. At ThinkProgress, Joe Romm writes that Will has managed to “actually manage to get things exactly backwards.”
Internet –> Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is re-introducing a controversial bill called CISPA, which would give the government broad authority to monitor cyber communications under the guise of controlling cyberterrorism. Critics say the new bill is worse than the one defeated by civil liberties activists in 2012. Cory Bennett has the story at The Hill. YET: Also in The Hill, Mario Trujillo reports that The Internet Group — “a trade group representing major technology companies” — has endorsed the idea of reclassifying the Internet as a utility in order to guarantee Net neutrality. AND: FT’s David Crow reports that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is signaling that he will back Obama’s call for Net neutrality when the commission votes on new rules late next month.
“Asian-Americans are the new Florida” –> At The Daily Beast, Tim Mak writes that one of the fastest-growing segments of the American electorate hasn’t yet aligned itself with either of the two major parties, and in the coming years will represent a key swing vote.
Martians! –> HuffPo’s Jacqueline Howard reports that “evidence that Mars once harbored alien life continues to mount.” The latest is a new study that finds similarities between structures created by micro-organisms on Earth and those seen in images taken by the Mars Rover.
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