In a shocking attack in Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 17 others were shot at a public event on Saturday.
A gunman shot Giffords, federal District Judge John Roll, and others outside a Safeway supermarket where the congresswoman was meeting with constituents, according to news reports. Roll is among six dead.
As the nation reacts to this shooting, it will be parsed and explained. The alleged shooter, identified by AP sources as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, was frustrated with the U.S. government, and the shooting has inevitably resonated with the dark and violent tones that have arisen in domestic politics at times over the past year and a half. Discussion is emerging over how directly this shooting is connected to politics, if at all.
See Andrew Sullivan for continuous commentary on the shooting, and the rest of The Atlantic's coverage below in reverse-chronological order (timestamps in Eastern):
The Vitriol Will Likely Return. Don't expect the Arizona shooting to change the momentum of national politics, Charlie Cook warns. 9:28 a.m. Tues. 1/11
Stop the Blame Game. The media has fallen down on the job, writes National Journal's Josh Kraushaar. 9:11 a.m. Tues. 1/11
Do We Really Need to Know Why He Did It? There will always be people like Jared Lee Loughner. The only rhetoric he seems to have been listening to came from his own head, Megan McArdle writes. 2:57 p.m. Mon. 1/10
The Tea Party Path to the Presidency Just Got Tougher. Joshua Green writes: "Whether or not it's fair to blame Jared Lee Loughner's shooting rampage against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on overheated political rhetoric and violent imagery, the episode will probably mark a turning point in how the media cover politics." 9:59 a.m. Mon. 1/10
Rancor Inevitably Returns. Politicians came together after the shooting in Arizona, offering conciliatory words and toning down the political rhetoric. Can the somber, friendly mood survive in today's political and media culture? 6:47 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Members Call for Toned Down Rhetoric. Some members of Congress are blaming the shooting on the right's heated rhetoric. Read what they had to say about the tragedy on Sunday's political talk shows. 4:26 p.m. Sun. 1/9
The Rise of Violent Rhetoric. Heated rhetoric doesn't make people kill each other, but the right seems to relish martial rhetoric more than the left. 4:31 p.m. Sun. 1/9
A Vote to Honor Giffords. Instead of voting on health care repeal as planned, the House will vote this week to honor its fallen colleague and the other victims, Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Sunday. 3:53 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Palinspeak and Violence. Andrew Sullivan recalls Sarah Palin's penchant for gun metaphors, with an example from her Facebook page. 3:44 p.m. Sun. 1/9
House Briefed on Giffords. 800 representatives, staff, and family members joined a conference call to hear from congressional leaders, security officials, and a House physician on Giffords, security precautions, and the House schedule for the coming week. 3:33 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Tea Party Group Blames 'Leftist.' "The
left is coming and will hit us hard on this. We need to push back
harder with the simple truth. The shooter was a liberal lunatic," says
the founder of Tea Party Nation. 1:49 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Don't Let Judge Roll Die in Vain. The federal judge had faced threats over an immigration case, and Saturday's tragedy shows that judges need more security. 1:28 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Is Arizona About Politics or Mental Illness? Jared
Loughner's politics are difficult to parse, and it's far easier to
categorize him in psychiatric terms, writes Jeffrey Goldberg. So far,
the shooting says more about mental illness and how the mentally ill
obtain guns. 12:25 p.m. Sun. 1/9
Members of Congress Advised to Contact Police. In e-mails from the Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms, congressional offices were advised to take precautions, contact local police, and alert the Sergeant at Arms if they plan to hold public events. 9:06 p.m. Sat. 1/8
Was Shooting of Rep. Giffords Political? The
Atlantic Wire's Max Fisher rounds up commentary, as the media begins to
interpret the tragedy in Tucson. Some see it as a result of political
vitriol, while others warn that the left is seeking to politicize the
shooting. 8:13 p.m. Sat. 1/8
The Cloudy Logic of 'Political' Shootings.
James Fallows recounts the ambiguous motives of assassins in the modern
era. "Assassinations" are political by definition--the victims are
targeted because politics made them public figures--but motives don't
always mesh with the political issues with which those figures are
associated. 7:36 p.m. Sat. 1/8
With Giffords Shooting, a Grim Milestone.
From Alexander Hamilton to John F. Kennedy, America's political leaders
have suffered assassinations and attempts that raise questions about
politics and society. National Journal's Matthew Cooper places the
Giffords shooting in historical context. 5:59 p.m. Sat. 1/8
The Suspect: Jared Lee Loughner.
The suspected gunman, now in custody, is 22 years old. A favorite book
is "Mein Kampf"; he posted YouTube videos articulating some deranged
views three weeks ago; he maintained a MySpace page, with photos. 5:08 p.m. Sat. 1/8
In an interview, the U.S. president ties his legacy to a pact with Tehran, argues ISIS is not winning, warns Saudi Arabia not to pursue a nuclear-weapons program, and anguishes about Israel.
On Tuesday afternoon, as President Obama was bringing an occasionally contentious but often illuminating hour-long conversation about the Middle East to an end, I brought up a persistent worry. “A majority of American Jews want to support the Iran deal,” I said, “but a lot of people are anxiety-ridden about this, as am I.” Like many Jews—and also, by the way, many non-Jews—I believe that it is prudent to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of anti-Semitic regimes. Obama, who earlier in the discussion had explicitly labeled the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an anti-Semite, responded with an argument I had not heard him make before.
“Look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this,” he said, referring to the apparently almost-finished nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of world powers led by the United States. “I think it’s fair to say that in addition to our profound national-security interests, I have a personal interest in locking this down.”
New research confirms what they say about nice guys.
Smile at the customer. Bake cookies for your colleagues. Sing your subordinates’ praises. Share credit. Listen. Empathize. Don’t drive the last dollar out of a deal. Leave the last doughnut for someone else.
Sneer at the customer. Keep your colleagues on edge. Claim credit. Speak first. Put your feet on the table. Withhold approval. Instill fear. Interrupt. Ask for more. And by all means, take that last doughnut. You deserve it.
Follow one of those paths, the success literature tells us, and you’ll go far. Follow the other, and you’ll die powerless and broke. The only question is, which is which?
Of all the issues that preoccupy the modern mind—Nature or nurture? Is there life in outer space? Why can’t America field a decent soccer team?—it’s hard to think of one that has attracted so much water-cooler philosophizing yet so little scientific inquiry. Does it pay to be nice? Or is there an advantage to being a jerk?
A scholar’s analysis of American culture presumes too much.
Last week, Gawkerinterviewed Robin DiAngelo, a professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University. She discussed aspects of her thinking on whiteness, which are set forth at length in her book, What Does it Mean to be White? I’ve ordered the book.
Meanwhile, her remarks on police brutality piqued my interest. Some of what Professor DiAngelo said is grounded in solid empirical evidence: blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately victimized by misbehaving police officers; there are neighborhoods where police help maintain racial and class boundaries. And if our culture, which she calls “the water we swim in,” contained fewer parts racism per million, I suspect that police brutality would be less common.
The former secretary of state jettisons sweeping rhetoric, and focuses on specific policies.
Hillary Clinton has been an official candidate for president for five weeks, and she still hasn’t done the thing most candidates do on day one: given a speech laying out her vision for America. Nor is she planning on doing so anytime soon. Politicoreports that Hillary’s “why I’m running for president,” speech, initially scheduled for May, has now been delayed until June, or even later.
There’s a reason for that: The speech is unlikely to be very good. Soaring rhetoric and grand themes have never been Hillary’s strengths. That’s one reason so many liberals found her so much less inspirational than Barack Obama in 2008. And it’s a problem with deep roots. In his biography, A Woman in Charge, Carl Bernstein describes Hillary, then in law school, struggling to articulate her generation’s perspective in an address to the League of Women Voters. “If she was speaking about a clearly defined subject,” Bernstein writes, “her thoughts would be well organized, finely articulated, and delivered in almost perfect outline form. But before the League audience, she again and again lapsed into sweeping abstractions.”
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
What is the Islamic State?
Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
The common theme is the harassment of people without probable cause to think that they are doing anything illegal.
Two recent articles about the Drug Enforcement Administration harassing Amtrak passengers have elicited like responses from a number of Atlantic readers. “Hey,” they’ve more or less written, “I’ve been harassed aboard Amtrak, too!”
The DEA is mentioned again in what follows, though other stories concern different law-enforcement organizations. The common theme is the harassment of innocent people without probable cause to think that they are doing anything illegal. As Brian Doherty noted at Reason, the gendarme bothering innocent travelers on trains was a stock trope of movies and books about malign European regimes. And now it is a regular feature of train travel in the United States of America.
In September 2009, the second platoon of Charlie Company arrived in Afghanistan with 42 men. Ten months later, nearly half had been killed or wounded, mostly in the Arghandab Valley—a key to controlling southern Afghanistan. Now these 82nd Airborne troops were getting ready to leave the Arghandab behind. They had one more dangerous job to do: a joint mission with the untried artillery unit that would replace them patrolling the fields, orchards, and villages they called the Devil’s Playground.
July 11, 2010, 11:09 a.m.
Staff Sergeant Christopher Gerhart’s stomach rolled, queasy. He stood alone under a trellis heavy with fat bunches of white grapes, planted his hands against a mud wall, and stared at the ground, head rocking as “Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire,” by the heavy-metal band Bleeding Through, blasted from his headphones. Gerhart had already deployed three times to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. Promoted 10 days earlier, he was 22, brash and outgoing. “You grow up quick out here,” he’d told me. “You’ve got to. You can’t be a little kid when your buddy gets blown up next to you.”
In any case, people have probably heard the phrase in reference to something gone awry at work or in life. In either setting, when the shit does hit the fan, people will tend to look to the most competent person in the room to take over.
And too bad for that person. A new paper by a team of researchers from Duke University, University of Georgia, and University of Colorado looks at not only how extremely competent people are treated by their co-workers and peers, but how those people feel when, at crucial moments, everyone turns to them. They find that responsible employees are not terribly pleased about this dynamic either.
Advocates say that a guaranteed basic income can lead to more creative, fulfilling work. The question is how to fund it.
Scott Santens has been thinking a lot about fish lately. Specifically, he’s been reflecting on the aphorism, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life.” What Santens wants to know is this: “If you build a robot to fish, do all men starve, or do all men eat?”
Santens is 37 years old, and he’s a leader in the basic income movement—a worldwide network of thousands of advocates (26,000 on Reddit alone) who believe that governments should provide every citizen with a monthly stipend big enough to cover life’s basic necessities. The idea of a basic income has been around for decades, and it once drew support from leaders as different as Martin Luther King Jr. and Richard Nixon. But rather than waiting for governments to act, Santens has started crowdfunding his own basic income of $1,000 per month. He’s nearly halfway to his his goal.