Is tragedy a campaign tactic? The Democratic front-runner is scheduled to testify on Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, set up to investigate the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Libya. Democrats, and two Republican Congressmen, have cast doubt on the inquiry’s legitimacy, and Clinton charges that “it is a partisan vehicle … to drive down my poll numbers.” But the committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, told CBS’s Face the Nation today that representatives who don’t know “the facts we have found” should keep quiet.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Them’s fightin’ words. The U.S. president, oft-criticized for not clamping down militarily, flexed his muscles this week. He responded to Russian aggression in Syria, saying it’s a sign of Putin’s weakness, not strength, and upped troop numbers in both Africa and South Asia. Obama deployed 300 military personnel to Cameroon to aid reconnaissance missions against Boko Haram and announced plans to keep troop numbers higher than expected in Afghanistan through 2017 to help stem a Taliban resurgence — all signals that he’ll be staying in the ring until the final bell.
Germany’s anti-immigrant movement, once shamed by its leader’s Hitler-like impression, is back with an intimidating new face. Authorities blame xenophobia for Saturday’s stabbing of a candidate for mayor of Cologne who’s seen as supportive of the nearly 600,000 migrants who’ve entered the E.U. in 2015. That influx has boosted Pegida, an erstwhile mainstream anti-immigration group that attracted 10,000 to a recent Dresden rally and is linked to hate- and violence-mongering extremists. But last night, thousands rallied in Berlin, lighting candles to show migrants they’ll continue to be welcomed.
Probably not. There are many narratives detailing the terrorist’s demise, from the dominant one told by Obama’s administration about a daring SEAL raid conducted without Pakistan’s knowledge — to those by folks like Seymour Hersh, who maintains that Pakistan green-lit the U.S. mission, even clearing the compound of guards beforehand. Discrepancies raise eyebrows over whether the government would lie to protect its Pakistani alliance. But “it’s not that the truth … is unknowable; it’s that we don’t know it,” Jonathan Mahler writes, noting that classified documents are likely to stay sealed for decades.
Typhoon Kills Two, Displaces 16,000 in Philippines, Trump Suggests That He Could Have Prevented 9/11
Powerful Typhoon Koppu causes death, massive evacuations in the Philippines. (NBC)
Trump says his immigration policies would have stopped 9/11. (CBS)
Pentagon says drone strike killed top al-Qaida leader. (CNN)
Shooter kills one, wounds four at zombie convention in Florida. (USA Today)
Mets beat Cubs and K.C. wins second against Toronto in MLB playoffs. (AP)
Is there a method to such madness? This mental disorder affects roughly 1 percent of Americans, but it’s rarely treated like a physical ailment — something Australia, Europe and Canada have done successfully with early diagnosis and treatment — in U.S. clinics. Cheap but debilitating doses of anti-psychotics are preferred by American health providers, even when a more effective regimen of low-dose medication plus psychotherapy has been proven more effective. Following 2012’s Sandy Hook massacre, Congress finally allocated $25 million for early intervention efforts, but experts say it’s still not nearly enough.
She’s no joke. Naomi Ekperigin, a stand-up comedian named by Essence as one of eight Black women ready for SNL, is an expert in the increasingly popular style of personal comedy. She already writes for female-led shows Broad City on Comedy Central and Hulu’s Difficult People. In today’s TV market, where platforms like Amazon and Netflix are forever seeking original content, diversity is key. Ekperigin’s got that covered, while offering high-energy comedy that’s both universal and confessional, and she wouldn’t laugh off a serious offer to do her own show.
Walden is considered a timeless celebration of soulful solitude, but folks probably didn’t care for Henry David Thoreau’s company. In his efforts to live purely, he became overly picky, eschewing coffee, salt and jam — to avoid the “ethical transgression” of enjoying food — and regarded companionship a distraction, keeping entirely to himself while romanticizing austerity. The New Yorker’s Kathryn Schulz points out the hypocrisy of extolling a simple life while living an overly complicated one, and suggests that it’s time to rethink America’s original rugged individualist.
Business is snapping. Lobster fishing is making a roaring comeback following a price collapse in 2012, with innovative marketing that has netted higher domestic sales and an explosion in exports. Lobster harvests in the Pine Tree State are near record levels — doubling in 10 years to about 125 million tons — as warming oceans and overfishing of predators make the Gulf of Maine increasingly hospitable to these bottom-dwellers. And while the industry benefits from unsustainable practices elsewhere, strict licensing limitations are helping claw out a sustainable model for Maine’s future lobster trade.
It was legendary. On paper, the Blue Jays closed out the Rangers 6-3 in a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday. But the epic 53-minute seventh inning — which has already prompted an hour-long TV special entitled The Unforgettable Inning — included two bench-clearing brawls, three back-to-back errors and some controversial umpiring. Even Jose Bautista, whose three-run homer capped the drama, says he can’t remember anything like it. His team advances, but even a World Series title would struggle to eclipse the insanity of this particular seventh-inning stretch.