Wiretap: Tea Party conservatives taking their war left, right, overseas, everywhere

Tea Party conservatives, who were elected to battle Barack Obama, have spent most of their time battling GOP leadership – and losing. Sen. Tom Cotton took a different path. He took the fight outside the halls of Congress and into wherever he wrote the Iranian open letter that he convinced 46 other Republican senators to sign. Is that the way for the conservative wing of the conservative Republican Party to win?

Meanwhile, John McCain’s defense for signing the Iran letter: “I sign lots of letters.” Not many of them, presumably, undermine the ability for this president and future presidents to negotiate agreements with foreign countries. Via Vox.

The expulsion of the two Oklahoma fraternity members for leading a racist chant has now turned into a free-speech case. Via the New York Times.

The Air Force Academy can’t get its sexual assault-response act right. Lawyers for former cadet Stephan Claxton now say his 2012 conviction must be overturned because the government’s star witness in the case was a confidential informant for military investigators and that that fact was never revealed. The case is now before an appellate court.

In the how-out-of-it-can-you-be-in-2015 story of the week, the Morning Joe gang and Bill Kristol blame the racist Oklahoma fraternity video on, yes, rap music. No, really. Via Mediate.

E.J. Dionne on Hillary Clinton’s well-earned paranoia and the faulty lessons she has learned in dealing with it. Via the Washington Post.

Frank Rich says that Clinton’s email press conference shows that she is not yet ready for a hard-hitting presidential campaign. Via New York magazine.

Now the Ferguson police chief has resigned, which brings to four the number of top officials who have resigned/been fired. But David Graham writes in the Atlantic that four firings won’t change the systemic problems in St. Louis County.

The state of Alabama has now entered into the controversy over whether Harper Lee is sufficiently competent to have approved the publication of a rediscovered novel. Via the New York Times.

The strange allure of Robert Durst and HBO’s “The Jinx.” Via Emily Nussbaum at the New Yorker.

[ Photo via the White House.]

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.