Wiretap: Obama apologizes for two Western hostages killed in drone strikes

Droning On

President Obama has relied on the clean, subtle technique of killing with drones. But independent investigations have found that his administration is underestimating the number of civilians killed. Now, two Western hostages are dead, he is sorry, and critics are grumbling. Via The New York Times.

Toxic Avenger

How do big oil companies clean up toxic spills? With toxic chemicals, of course. Can the federal government finally force these corporations to stop? asks Lisa Katzman at Mother Jones.

Private Talk

“Benghazi” long ago became Republican shorthand for “must somehow derail The Hillary.” So it just plain makes sense that now that The Hillary has declared her presidential candidacy, House Rep. Trey Gowdy has requested she make two appearances before his Eternal Benghazi Committee and maybe come for a personal interview. To make things easier, he sent her lawyer 136 questions he would like her to answer. Gowdy, the Jesse Pinkman of the lower chamber, is getting it done for South Carolina! Via The New York Times.

Power Rangers

President Obama on Earth Day pitched the EPA’s new climate-change-motivated Clean Power Plan in the Florida Everglades while Republicans on the House energy committee voted to slow any effects the plan might have on power plants — enormous carbon emitters and the main target of the EPA emissions-reduction plan. The sponsors of the pro-power-plant proposal both take a ton of campaign cash from electrical-utilities industries, naturally. Via OpenSecrets.

Sinking Ships

For over a year, a merger between Time-Warner and Comcast seemed set in stone. It was a $45 billion deal. But Thursday, it tanked. Is net neutraility the culprit here? “At the end of the day, the government’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Internet did not square with the prospect of a single company controlling as much as 40 percent of the public’s access to it,” writes Jonathan Mahler in The New York Times.

Firm Position

Louisiana governor and once-rising now-fading GOP star Bobby Jindal is “holding firm against gay marriage.” He wrote an op-ed in The New York Times Thursday about how it’s just weak to fold to “radical liberals,” “left-wing activists” and bullying corporations who don’t think religious freedom equals the right to discriminate against gay people or that even perceived discrimination is bad for business.

Gain Pain

The fits-and-starts, awkward-and-ugly tug-of-war between religious liberty and gay rights is a good thing. “This is a big illuminating moment in history,” writes David Strauss for The Washington Post. We’re at a shining moment, he says, where sincere religious objections will fall away because religious beliefs change. It’s a remarkable thing and we shouldn’t expect it to be easy.

Gender Dysphoria

As the recent defeat of the trangender birth-certificate bill in the Statehouse suggests, many lawmakers and others have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to gender identity. Have questions about what being transgender means but don’t know who to ask? Vox put together this hand resource.

Unhappy Madison

Around a dozen Native American actors and a cultural advisor ditched the set of Adam Sandler’s new Netflix movie The Ridiculous Six. Actor Loren Anthony told Indian Country Today why:

“We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche, One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s breath. One character says ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath.’ And the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?'”

Photo Credit: Hèctor Izquierdo Bartolì, Creative Commons, Flickr.
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