Wiretap: Infinite sadness from Gaza

The story in Gaza keeps getting sadder by the day. A school where the United Nations was sheltering 3,300 people was rocked three times by explosions. The U.N. said Israel had the precise location of the school. Israel said Hamas had been firing mortar rounds from behind the school. In any case, 20 people died, many more were injured and photos from the scene showed the horror of bloodied children. Israel says schools are not being targeted. As Amy Davidson writes in the New Yorker, “But schools are getting hit and, when they are, children and adults are killed; granting that avoiding civilian deaths is, with all good will, part of Israel’s plan, the plan is not working.”

Ezra Klein writes in Vox that he has long wished for Israel’s success, but that the Gaza situation makes him increasingly pessimistic.

Looking at all the crises in the world today, is it possible that World War III could happen? Roger Cohen says we shouldn’t be too sure it couldn’t. Via the Atlantic.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is out to destroy Republican Speaker John Boehner’s House bill on the border crisis. And, strangely, he just might pull it off. Via the Washington Post.

The Republican Attorneys General Association — OK, you probably never heard of it either — is back in Colorado, and in a big way. Ace reporter Lynn Bartels has the story again, reporting that RAGA is contributing $2.6 million to Cynthia Coffman’s run for attorney general. According to Democratic candidate Don Quick, that’s four times more than the amount spent by anyone who has ever run for the AG’s office in Colorado. RAGA had just made big news when it was learned it had quietly given money for attack ads used against Tom Tancredo in the gubernatorial primary. Via the Denver Post.

He’s Harvard law Professor Lawrence Lessig, the digital-age copyright-reform champion who became a lead warrior in the battle against policy-corrupting Big Money politics. He’s also now the head of Mayday PAC, “the Super PAC to end all Super PACs,” and he has $12 million in grassroots donations at his disposal to try and get reform-minded candidates elected to Congress. News this week is that Lessig has found a Republican to back: Jim Rubens, a New Hampshire US Senate candidate. Rubens is a long shot, but his candidacy comes with a bonus: He’s running against Scott Brown. Vox explains: “beating Brown would have symbolic importance for campaign finance reformers. When Brown was a Senator from Massachusetts in 2010, they lobbied him aggressively to support the DISCLOSE Act. The legislation failed to clear a filibuster by one vote, after Brown decided to vote no along with his Republican colleagues.

Related: A roundup from the Brad Blog on the partisan, mixed up, dysfunctional Federal Election Commission, whose members hold opposing views on the campaign finance laws they are charged to enforce. An historic struggle between the commissioners is unfolding in a landmark case, where Republican commissioners are determined to free Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS from penalties associated with the fact that it illegally shielded the identity of its donors by mischaracterizing itself as a “social welfare group” when it spent $20 million, more than half of its budget, on federal campaign activity in 2010.

It’s the former governor of Virginia and his wife on trial, along with the free trips, the Rolex, the wedding, the golf clubs, the shopping spree, the spa, the use of the Ferrari, the yacht, the story that is a tabloid dream. Via the Washington Post.

After watching King Lear, Ira Glass tweets that Shakespeare sucks. Is it him, is it Shakespeare, or is it Twitter? Via the New Republic.

And back to worldwide crisis. What is the U.S. doing in South Sudan? Nick Turse, managing editor at TomDispatch, is in Jaba, where people are seeing what looks to them like a proxy battle in a new cold war pitting the U.S. against China — evidence of “the Africa-wide contest between the globe’s ‘sole superpower’ and its preeminent rising economic power over which will benefit most from the exploitation of that continent.”

[Photo by Giles of Jabalya girl, 2006, via Flickr/Creative Commons.]

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