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
Paul faced danger, Ani and Ray faced each other, and Frank faced some career decisions.
This is what happens when you devote two-thirds of a season to scene after scene after scene of Frank and Jordan’s Baby Problems, and Frank Shaking Guys Down, and Look How Fucked Up Ray and Ani Are, and Melancholy Singer in the Dive Bar Yet Again—and then you suddenly realize that with only a couple episodes left you haven’t offered even a rudimentary outline of the central plot.
Put simply: Climate change poses the threat of global catastrophe. The planet isn’t just getting hotter, it’s destabilizing. Entire ecosystems are at risk. The future of humanity is at stake.
Scientists warn that extreme weather will get worse and huge swaths of coastal cities will be submerged by ever-more-acidic oceans. All of which raises a question: If climate change continues at this pace, is anywhere going to be safe?
“Switzerland would be a good guess,” said James Hansen, the director of climate science at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Hansen’s latest climate study warns that climate change is actually happening faster than computer models previously predicted. He and more than a dozen co-authors found that sea levels could rise at least 10 feet in the next 50 years. Slatepoints out that although the study isn’t yet peer-reviewed, Hansen is “known for being alarmist and also right.”
Even when they’re adopted, the children of the wealthy grow up to be just as well-off as their parents.
Lately, it seems that every new study about social mobility further corrodes the story Americans tell themselves about meritocracy; each one provides more evidence that comfortable lives are reserved for the winners of what sociologists call the birth lottery. But, recently, there have been suggestions that the birth lottery’s outcomes can be manipulated even after the fluttering ping-pong balls of inequality have been drawn.
What appears to matter—a lot—is environment, and that’s something that can be controlled. For example, one study out of Harvard found that moving poor families into better neighborhoods greatly increased the chances that children would escape poverty when they grew up.
While it’s well documentedthat the children of the wealthy tend to grow up to be wealthy, researchers are still at work on how and why that happens. Perhaps they grow up to be rich because they genetically inherit certain skills and preferences, such as a tendency to tuck away money into savings. Or perhaps it’s mostly because wealthier parents invest more in their children’s education and help them get well-paid jobs. Is it more nature, or more nurture?
What if Joe Biden is going to run for the Democratic nomination after all?
Most Democrats seem ready for Hillary Clinton—or at least appear content with her candidacy. But what about the ones who who were bidin’ for Biden? There are new signs the vice president might consider running for president after all.
Biden has given little indication he was exploring a run: There’s no super PAC, no cultivation of a network of fundraisers or grassroots organizers, few visits to early-primary states. While his boss hasn’t endorsed Clinton—and says he won’t endorse in the primary—many members of the Obama administration have gone to work for Clinton, including some close to Biden.
But Biden also hasn’t given any clear indication that he isn’t running, and a column by Maureen Dowd in Saturday’s New York Times has set off new speculation. One reason Biden didn’t get into the race was that his son Beau was dying of cancer, and the vice president was focused on being with his son. But before he died in May, Dowd reported, Beau Biden tried to get his father to promise to run. Now Joe Biden is considering the idea.
Writing used to be a solitary profession. How did it become so interminably social?
Whether we’re behind the podium or awaiting our turn, numbing our bottoms on the chill of metal foldout chairs or trying to work some life into our terror-stricken tongues, we introverts feel the pain of the public performance. This is because there are requirements to being a writer. Other than being a writer, I mean. Firstly, there’s the need to become part of the writing “community”, which compels every writer who craves self respect and success to attend community events, help to organize them, buzz over them, and—despite blitzed nerves and staggering bowels—present and perform at them. We get through it. We bully ourselves into it. We dose ourselves with beta blockers. We drink. We become our own worst enemies for a night of validation and participation.
California Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has decided to come out in favor of the nuclear agreement.
Earlier this year, California Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told me he had serious doubts about Iran’s intentions as it pursued a nuclear deal with the United States and five other world powers. He also said he was somewhat worried about the scale of possible American concessions during the talks. Schiff, who I described in a post at the time as a “moderate’s moderate,” suggested to me that he wanted to see President Obama achieve an important foreign-policy success, but as a Jew, he wanted to make sure that an anti-Semitic regime—both he and Obama agree that Iran is ruled by an anti-Semite—would not be allowed to become a nuclear-weapons state. At the time, he told me he was “uncommitted” and that he would “remain uncommitted” until he had time to review a final deal, should a final deal materialize.
The Internet is awash with guides for finding success on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. A quick search yields (in numerical order):
“6 Tips From Kickstarter on How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign”
“Crowdfunding Secrets: 7 Tips For Kickstarter Success”
“8 Things I Learned From My (Failed) Kickstarter Campaign”
“Kicking Ass & Taking Donations: 9 Tips on Funding Your Kickstarter Project”
“10 Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Launched My Kickstarter Campaign”
And so on.
But the best advice to those seeking money online might sound more like this: Be thin, fair-skinned, and attractive.
It is true that in many realms, crowdfunding has delivered on its democratic promise. Take female entrepreneurship: It’s been shown that professional investors consistently view pitches from men more favorably than those from women, even when the content of those pitches was the same. Kickstarter has subverted that. On the site, projects launched by women are more likely to secure funding than those started by men.
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.
— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15
Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.
Fetal-tissue research enjoyed bipartisan support amid decades-long efforts to revoke government funding to Planned Parenthood.
Republican calls to defund Planned Parenthood over its handling of fetal tissue for research are louder than ever. But they form just the latest episode in a decades-long drive to halt federal support for the group.
This round of attacks aims squarely at the collection of fetal tissue, an issue that had been mostly settled—with broad bipartisan support—in the early 1990s. Among those who voted to allow federal funding for fetal tissue research was Senator Mitch McConnell, now the majority leader.
McConnell made no mention of his previous position on the issue when he announced that the Senate would take up a bill to cut off Planned Parenthood’s access to federal funds before leaving for its summer break. The first vote on the bill is expected as soon as Monday.
Even when a dentist kills an adored lion, and everyone is furious, there’s loftier righteousness to be had.
Now is the point in the story of Cecil the lion—amid non-stop news coverage and passionate social-media advocacy—when people get tired of hearing about Cecil the lion. Even if they hesitate to say it.
But Cecil fatigue is only going to get worse. On Friday morning, Zimbabwe’s environment minister, Oppah Muchinguri, called for the extradition of the man who killed him, the Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. Muchinguri would like Palmer to be “held accountable for his illegal action”—paying a reported $50,000 to kill Cecil with an arrow after luring him away from protected land. And she’s far from alone in demanding accountability. This week, the Internet has served as a bastion of judgment and vigilante justice—just like usual, except that this was a perfect storm directed at a single person. It might be called an outrage singularity.