Shorter Question Everything
Trayvon Martin wasn’t the guy on trial. That’s a good place to start.
• Killing Trayvon’s Memory: A metaphoric murder. On Monday, July 15th, it hit me. A disturbing and destructive story line was building about George Zimmerman’s acquittal. It goes like this: The jury did not just acquit George Zimmerman of murder and manslaughter on Saturday night. The jury convicted Trayvon Martin. I said as much that night on All In. In retrospect, it started Saturday night. George Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, said that Trayvon Martin “lashed out violently” at George Zimmerman. Then defense attorney Don West made one of the two most offensive comments of the press conference (second only to O’Mara’s statement that if Zimmerman was Black, he never would have been charged). West said that the state’s decision to prosecute George Zimmerman for gunning down the skittle toting teen, was “disgraceful.” Then there is Zimmerman’s brother Robert, the self-appointed George Zimmerman PR firm. The night of the verdict, Robert Zimmerman told CNN’s Don Lemon: “I want to know what makes people angry enough to attack someone the way that Trayvon Martin did. I want to know if it is true, and I don’t know if it’s true, that Trayvon Martin was looking to procure firearms, was growing marijuana plants.” Then came the tweet. It read: “You attack someone bad things are going to happen. Remember, Trayvon Martin was found guilty. Zimmerman was innocent.”
• Daily Caller Sends 16-Year-Old to Troll Jay Carney During Press Briefing. Just when you think there aren’t any new lows to sink to for Tucker Carlson and his rag, The Daily Caller, well… think again. This Wednesday they sent a 16-year-old intern to question the White House about whether the President of the United States was providing protection to George Zimmerman and his family: Gabe Finger, a 16-year-old intern at The Daily Caller, asked White House spokesman Jay Carney if President Barack Obama was providing protection to George Zimmerman and his family. Carney informed the boy that such protection was the duty of Florida authorities and that Obama had spoken out against violence. “So they’re on their own?” the intern responded. “You can editorialize all you want, and I have no doubt that you will, but that is a ridiculous statement,” Carney said.
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday told a group of protesters that he will not call for changes in the state’s self-defense laws following George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.
• New Texas ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill would outlaw nearly all abortions. Just hours after Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial anti-abortion bill into law, Republicans in the state legislature introduced yet another bill intended to prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion. The new legislation would ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
• House Republicans Drop DOMA Defense. Lawyers for House Republicans have withdrawn their legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Citing the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal ban on same-sex marriage, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group said it would no longer press the Obama administration to enforce DOMA, withdrawing its defense in McLaughlin v. Panetta, a case regarding spousal benefits for gay members of the military.
In other news
• O’Donnell: IRS hearing uncovers no evidence of Washington scandal…again: New hearings on the so-called IRS scandal resembled a high-school cafeteria fight Thursday, when House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa called Rep. Elijah Cummings “a little boy,” after Cummings accused Issa of contriving “unsubstantial nonsense” about the scandal’s roots in a recent op-ed. In the op-ed, Issa refused to rule out Washington’s involvement in the Cincinnati IRS’s unequal scrutiny of Tea Party-related groups applying for tax-exempt status. ”As our investigation is ongoing,” he writes, “the responsible answer is that judgment should be withheld until all relevant witnesses are interviewed and all documents reviewed.” This is despite the fact that the manager responsible for the IRS team in question has said there was no such influence. Issa’s claims are contradicted again by recently released documents showing that the Cincinnati IRS targeted progressive groups as well as conservative ones.
• Rand Paul’s neo-Confederate staffer sought mass deletion of his own columns. Jack Hunter, a top aide to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), allegedly tried to have dozens of his own columns removed from the Internet. According to an editor at the Charleston City Paper, Hunter asked for his own columns to be deleted because they “no longer reflected his current worldview.” Editor Chris Haire said he would have considered removing a few questionable columns, but Hunter was seeking to have a “cowardly” amount of his writing removed.
• Patrick J. Murphy: ‘State’s rights’ shouldn’t trump the individual right to vote. Ten years ago, I fought in 138 degree heat to give Iraqis the right to vote. I never thought I’d come home to see some people celebrating efforts to make it harder for Americans to vote.
• Former CIA station chief arrested over abduction of an Egyptian imam. A former CIA station chief in Milan, sentenced to nine years in jail for the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian imam, has been arrested in Panama, the Italian justice ministry said on Thursday. The minister, Anna Maria Cancellieri, asked for the former CIA agent — Bob Seldon Lady or “Mister Bob” — to be held in Panama and now has two months to request his extradition.
• Nice little rally you’re having here. Be a shame if anything happened to it … This is nice: A gun-rights group denies it’s being insensitive by scheduling a rally in the same park where another group plans to the read names of gun violence victims on the anniversary of the Colorado theater shootings. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners scheduled a rally for Friday to coincide with a remembrance ceremony planned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both will gather at noon at a Denver-area park.
• Lac-Mégantic toll rises to 42. Remains of 4 more victims recovered from red-zone.