Wiretap: Seeing your jihad with our religion war

Peter Beinart asks in the Atlantic whether America is at war with radical Islam. But a better question, he says, is whether saying we’re at war with radical Islam changes anything? Republicans, who no longer want to put boots on the ground, keep insisting that if Barack Obama will just say it’s a war about religion, then everything else will fall into place. Does anyone really believe that?

The economy improves and suddenly top college graduates are not signing up for Teach for America. Via the New York Times.

The Republican Party’s edge in 2016? History and math. If you do the math, a party rarely wins a third consecutive election. Via Larry Sabato et al at Politico.

Do Republicans think they’re going to win in 2016? Two GOP senators want to end the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees. That should tell you something. Via Vox.

Ron Fournier writes in the National Journal on the education of Jeb Bush, who asks, “Can we shed a skin, basically, and renew ourselves?” If you understand the question, you’re on the path to understanding the latest Bush.

Virginia has a plan for lowering tensions around the death penalty. Just keep everything a secret. Via the Washington Post.

The Brian Williams (Embellished) Story: What’s clear is that journalists have to be more transparent than politicians. See: Clinton, Hillary. Via the New Yorker.


The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is pitching the state on El Paso County as a good home for a new wildfire research center. The county has weathered two catastrophic fires in the last few years. “There really is no other place that even remotely has the capability or the experience [to support the Center for Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting]” said Tony Kern, former assistant director of fire aviation and management for the U.S. Forest Service who helped the RBA put together the pitch. Via the Gazette.

“[The detective] said I did it; everyone kept telling me I was going to get life,” said Shawnnon Hale, who was released from jail on Wednesday after spending two months behind bars on a sexual assault charge. Investigators on the case just discovered that a lab technician made an error in initially matching Hale’s DNA with a DNA sample linked to the crime. “The only people who helped me were the other [inmates] in the jail,” Hale said, recalling the dismissiveness he met with from his own public defender. He plans to sue the Denver police. Via the Denver Post.

Farmers and ranchers in 21 counties in southwestern Colorado might get a reprieve from the drought that’s dragging on — not in the form of coveted rainfall, but in the form of a federal disaster designation that will allow them to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency. Via the Durango Herald

Researchers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently found traces of the chemical compounds found in pharmaceuticals and personal care products — things like coffee, bug spray or anti-bacterial soap — in two wildlife refuges in the San Luis Valley. Though the concentrations they found aren’t imminently harmful right now, the situation won’t get better on its own. Via the Pueblo Chieftain

[ Photo by Trey Ratcliff

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