Gaza being bombed right now

This is presumably the first response to the discovery of the dead Israeli teens earlier today. I can’t find anybody covering it on TV, but reports are coming in via Twitter, and it sounds massive and indiscriminate:

A tragedy that will only get more tragic

The Israeli army has reportedly found, near Hebron, the bodies of three Israeli teens who disappeared on June 12. This would obviously be a tragedy under any circumstances. But in these particular environs, the deaths of these three kids, and the three Palestinians who have been killed since the abduction in Israeli army raids around the West Bank, are only the beginning. The brunt of the violence that’s to come will, of course, fall on the 98%+ of the Palestinians who had nothing to do with abducting or killing these teenagers.

Tragedy upon tragedy, such is life in Israel and Palestine.

The Supreme Court’s power really might be limitless

When I was a kid, I was the kind of dweeb who said “Supreme Court Justice” instead of “astronaut” or “quarterback” when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was too young to understand that I’d have to go through law school and, worse, probably be an actual lawyer before they’d let me be on the Supreme Court, so as I got older that dream seemed less and less appealing. But what I understood, even at a pretty young age, was that if you were going to work in a branch of the government, the Supreme Court was the one to pick, because its powers were so obviously above the other two branches. I mean, lifetime appointments, the ability to pants the president or Congress whenever you got the chance, and no check apart from the appointment/confirmation process (which only happens once, so you can fake humility it until its over) and impeachment (which is a virtual impossibility)? Sign me up, you know? Who wouldn’t want to be one of the nine co-despots who really run this supposed democratic republic? Continue reading

End of Kindergarten, a guest post by EBD

Hey everybody. My daughter, the almost seven year old EBD, just finished kindergarten on Wednesday (thanks, bad winter and Fairfax County’s shocking weather cancellation policies!), and she and I both thought it would be fun for her to write about the whole thing here. Please be kind.

I  am  glad  it  is  the  last  day of  school   ’cause  over  summer  I  am  going   to    summer   S.A.C.C.   and the  beach  and  I   am  a  rising  first  grader.  it  feels  good  to  almost  be  a  first  grader.   I  am  going  to  miss  my  teacher’s   thay  taught   the  class/me  a  lot  of  thing’s  thay   taught  us  how  to  write  thay   taught  us  how  to   read  and  they  taught  us  how  to  be nise  like  not  hit  other  people           thank   you  for  reading   and    have  a  good  summer .      by; EBD

Ebola’s back, in case you thought things were going too well around the world

Actually, “back” is the wrong word, it’s more like “the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history,” per Vox:

The outbreak has now hit three countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. And the virus — which starts off with flu-like symptoms and often ends with horrific hemorrhaging — has infected about 600 people and killed an estimated 367 since this winter, according to the numbers on June 26 from the World Health Organization.

On June 23, the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders sent out a distress call. As the only aid organization treating people with Ebola, the group said it was “overwhelmed,” that the epidemic was out of control, and that it couldn’t send workers to new outbreak sites without getting more resources.

Apparently this outbreak is due to the Zaire strain of the virus, which is by far the deadliest of the five known strains and kills around 79% of those it infects. Plus this outbreak is happening in West Africa, where the population tends to travel about more than it does in Central Africa, and that’s only helping the virus to spread.

You can donate to Doctors Without Borders here, so please do if you’re able.


Peter Beinart is still real sorry about that whole Iraq War that he pushed a decade or so ago, and he gets why it’s upsetting (“infuriating” is the word he uses) to see the same gang of incompetent ideologues who caused Iraq to fall apart in the first place being invited back on TV to offer their sage and inevitably disastrous advice about What America Must Do Now. But he’s wondering why everybody wants to just blame the war for making Iraq a mess, when there’s all the not-war of the past few years that we should probably blame too, for some reason.

beinart obama iraq

OK, let’s pause here for just a sec. Assume that Obama really did ignore Iraq. He’s also ignored Myanmar for the most part. Thailand too. Togo, haven’t heard much about them. And what the hell does Nauru (a country that is facing a literal existential threat, by the way) have to do to get on Obama’s radar? I guess what I’m asking is, when did “President of the United States” become “Custodian of Every Other Country on the Planet”? And by “custodian” I don’t mean “caretaker,” I mean “the guy at your high school who cleans up puke with sawdust for a wage that conservatives on the school board insist is ‘dangerously high’ despite the fact that he can barely afford to buy groceries.”

Anyway, let’s take a look at Beinart’s argument. What could Barack Obama have done to stop Iraq’s “increasingly dictatorial prime minister” in his tracks? Continue reading