Shorter Question Everything
• Lawrence O’Donnell: no matter what republicans who have deified Reagan may say, Reagan did in fact aid Saddam Husein in chemical weapons attacks.
• O’Donnell: Reagan let Saddam buy– and use–chemical weapons: The latest politician to misremember Reagan’s record is Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who invoked the former president Thursday on Fox News concerning the Syria debate. “We have said as a responsible nation that the use of chemical weapons is prohibited,” Ros-Lehtinen said. ”It is against the norms of international standards and to let something like this go unanswered, I think will weaken our resolve. I know that President Reagan would have never let this happen.” Except that Ronald Reagan let exactly that happen, repeatedly, when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons in the 1980s.
In other news
• New Snowden Revelations Prove the Obvious: NSA Breaks Codes, Spies on Terrorists: Surprise! NSA cracks codes! Anyone who understands the overarching mandate of NSA since it was formed in 1952 understands that NSA is tasked with cracking codes and interpreting what the encrypted data means via the detection of activity patterns, spikes in chatter and so forth. The fact that these reporters, as well as the ill-informed outrage addicts who retweeted this stuff, are treating this as alarming news shows a disturbingly limited understanding of NSA’s mission.
• The State Department ordered non-emergency personnel and their family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beirut Friday, and told Americans to avoid travel to Lebanon due to an unspecified threat to the diplomatic post. It also warned U.S. citizens in Turkey to be on alert for potential violence and issued a drawdown of employees at the U.S. Consulate General in Adana, Turkey.
• Premiums lower under Obamacare, report finds: With less than a month until the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges open, a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation says consumers will find “generally lower than expected” premiums as they begin to enroll for health insurance coverage in 2014. “While premiums will vary significantly across the country, they are generally lower than expected,” the authors of the study wrote. “For example, we estimate that the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office imply that the premium for a 40-year-old in the second lowest cost silver plan would average $320 per month nationally. Fifteen of the eighteen rating areas we examined have premiums below this level, suggesting that the cost of coverage for consumers and the federal budgetary cost for tax credits will be lower than anticipated.”
• The hypothetical illicit marijuana growers have been cleared as blame for the Yosemite Rim Fire shifts to a lone hunter. The U.S. Forest Service announced today that the unnamed individual somehow let a fire get so out of control that it became the fourth-biggest wildfire in California’s history. Although the fire was set illegally, there’s no reason to believe the hunter was involved in any way with marijuana cultivation.
• Mitt Romney Campaign Admits Fox News Was Their Home: This is an amazing story for its honesty. Most of us know that Fox News functions as the GOP’s home base of operations, but did you know that Mitt Romney used Fox as a way to hide out from the rest of the journalists that were covering the 2012 election?