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Friday, August 16, 2013

Stories to Watch: 8/16/13

The International Olympic Committee is getting incoherent in regards to Russia's anti-gay law. In this episode, the IOC condemns the law as "inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements," but asks everyone to obey the law anyway. The good news is that the IOC is obviously starting to feel some heat here and the future selection of host countries may well give more weight to human rights records, in order to avoid future fiascos. This is especially true if the Olympics generate some sort of international incident -- which is something that's looking a lot like it may be unavoidable.

Jon Oliver ended his tenure as guest host of The Daily Show last night and the consensus among critics is that he did an excellent job.

Another day, another boneheaded rightwing conspiracy theory.

No, Republicans will not be able to repeal Obamacare. They will not be able to defund it. They won't be able to delay it. They don't have the leverage. People who argue otherwise are either con artists or fools.

As promised, Bloomberg files his appeal to the stop-and-frisk ruling.

Related: Check out this startling stop-and-frisk statistic from columnist Bob Herbert, "More than 4.4 million stops were recorded between January 2004 and June 2012. You get a sense of the maniacal scale of the policy when you consider that the city’s population is just a shade over 8 million." There's no way that's the result of reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Anyone who would overturn the ruling would be a terrible judge.

Further related: Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton will be on Meet the Press this weekend to discuss stop-and-frisk. The judge who ordered reforms cited Martin's death and Fulton will be on to talk about whether her son has "become a catalyst for change in the justice system." You certainly hope so.

Yet another story about the GOP's trouble getting a candidate to run for the Michigan Senate seat vacated by Carl Levin. Rep. David Camp rules out a run, "despite pleas from fellow Republicans that he would be the strongest candidate for the party." Greg Sargent sees this story as a facet of a larger problem for the Republican Party, "Everyone talks about Senate seats lost to Republicans by awful candidates foisted on the GOP by the Tea Party, such as Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell. But perhaps even more important is another Tea Party effect: the prospect of Tea Party upsets convincing strong candidates that primary elections are a hurdle they can’t surmount — leading them to decide not to run."

Finally, a new poll finds broad bipartisan agreement among voters that NSA data collection intrudes on Americans' rights.

[cartoon via USA Today]

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