It was a pretty lousy day, though we take some solace in the absence of Marriott tragedy muffins. President Obama went ahead with a press event on the economy while the Navy Yard was on lockdown, because in times of loss and uncertainty, people deserve to know how robust the latest recovery summer was. And Jay Carney said now is not the time to discuss gun policy, so we guess we'll just stick with discussing the propriety of delivering a staged economic address in the wake of a mass shooting. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, September 16th, 2013:
THIRTEEN DEAD IN NAVY YARD SHOOTING - Reuters: "A 34-year-old gunman opened fire at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington on Monday in a shooting that left 13 people dead at the busy military installation not far from the U.S. Capitol and the White House, officials said. The suspect, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, was among the dead and authorities said they were searching for another possible gunman wearing military-style clothing. Earlier, officials said they were looking for two men, but then said police had established one of them was not a suspect in the shooting, which began at about 8.30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). The Washington D.C. mayor and the police chief reported 12 fatalities and an unknown number of wounded at the Naval Sea Systems Command, one of five such commands where civilians, military personnel and contractors build, buys and maintain Navy ships and submarines. About 3,000 people work there...The Federal Aviation Administration said it briefly suspended departures at Reagan National Airport. The District of Columbia Public Schools put six schools and an administration building on lockdown as a precaution. The Washington Nationals baseball team postponed their game against the Atlanta Braves scheduled for Monday night at nearby Nationals Park." [Reuters]
The president commented on the shooting this morning during an event focused on the economy -- an event that wasn't postponed, for some reason: "Speaking hours after a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, President Barack Obama called the incident a 'cowardly act' that would be swiftly and 'thoroughly' investigated. 'We still don't know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot and some have been killed,' he said. 'So we are confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital.'..The president's comments came during a ceremony meant to mark the fifth anniversary of the collapse of U.S. financial markets." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis on the alleged shooter: "Aaron Alexis, the suspect in the shooting deaths of at least 12 individuals at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, was a relative recluse in the Internet age...The 34-year-old left a scant social media footprint, though that could have been by design. Facebook does not appear to have an account for him, nor does Twitter or YouTube. Alexis' LinkedIn page was erased sometime before the shooting...There were some hints that Alexis had a bit of a violent streak. A mugshot of him was among the first images to surface, taken as a result of a 2010 brush with the law over discharging a firearm...The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that Alexis was kicked out of the Navy following that incident. On Sept. 4, 2010, Alexis was charged in connection with a shooting at his apartment complex on Oak Hill Circle. According to Fort Worth police records, a resident reported that Alexis, who lived below, had shot at her through the floor." [HuffPost]
Jay Carney will get back to you: "Carney was asked why the administration hasn't pushed any new legislation to reduce gun violence since the Senate failed to pass a measure expanding background checks in April. 'These are unfolding facts on an unfolding and ongoing situation and investigation with regards to this particular shooting, which is tragic,' Carney said again. 'As the president said, since this is taking place on a military installation, the fact that men and women who understand the risks that they're taking when they work for the military and potentially get assigned overseas in dangerous places certainly did not imagine they were taking those kinds of risks when they showed up for work this morning on a domestic military installation. But it is far too early to say anything about who did this and the broader meaning of it,' he added." [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]
Dateline: RED PORCH "@michaelhayes: This is how the postponed Nats vs. Braves game is listed on MLB.com pic.twitter.com/dxKVSNzE5d"
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Poverty rate's coming out tomorrow. Brookings: "We predict that it will tick down just a bit. Based on recent and forecast poverty rates and unemployment rates, our projections suggest an overall 2012 poverty rate of 14.8% and 21.4% for children, very similar to the 2011 rates of 15.0 and 21.9, respectively. This translates to roughly 46.5 million people in the US in poverty in 2012, of whom 16 million are children. For a single mother with two children, this means living with an annual cash income under $18,500." [Brookings]
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HOW SUMMERS TANKED - The committee math just wasn't there, and seeing as how two of our male reporters calculated that math, Summers will definitely believe it. With Mike McAuliff: "A progressive-populist coalition fueled by women's groups and high-end donors was responsible for undoing President Barack Obama's bid to install Larry Summers as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. On Friday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the Senate Banking Committee chairman that at least five Democrats would vote against Summers in committee, according to a Democratic aide who was involved in the intra-party brawl...Merkley, according to another aide, spoke to Democratic senators on the committee during caucus meetings on Tuesday and Thursday, and made Summers' closeness to Wall Street and prior support for deregulation the key element of his pitch. He homed in on Summers' backing for the Glass-Steagall repeal... He also highlighted Summers' opposition to regulating derivatives in a battle with then-Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Brooksley Born...Summers had also opposed naming [Elizabeth] Warren to permanently head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a decision that came back to haunt him, as Warren instead ran for the Senate and won a spot on the Banking Committee, where she has now helped tank Summers' shot at the Fed chairmanship. " [HuffPost]
HOT FARM BILL ACTION THIS WEEK - Here comes the new bill to cut food stamps. David Rogers: "With an eye toward the 2014 elections -- and beyond -- Cantor's proposal is billed as Welfare Reform 2.0 with the goal of toughening work requirements while maintaining a core safety net for the very poor. But single mothers with preschool children are swept into the mix. Innovative training programs in states like Washington and New York could be put at risk. And the bill reinstates a flawed asset test on the poor that any farmer who has bought seed or a tractor in the past 20 years knows is hopelessly out of date. At a sugar lobby symposium at a Napa resort, of all places, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) chose to champion the cuts last month, preaching of 'certain moral hazards we've built into most social safety net programs' -- like food stamps. This from a commodity chairman who had just voted to make the sugar program permanent law and begin a new 80 percent taxpayer-financed insurance premium subsidy for cotton. Who writes this stuff: Jonathan Swift?" [Politico]
NO ONE UNDERSTANDS OBAMACARE: POLL - Except for the death panels, and most polling suggests people tilt anti-death, particularly independents. Pew: "With health insurance exchanges set to open on Oct. 1, the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Sept. 4-8 among 1,506 adults, finds that 53% of Americans disapprove of the law while 42% approve. Overall approval of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ticked up last July in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the law (47% approved, 43% disapproved), but opinions are now as negative as they have been any point since the bill's passage. The 53% of the public who disapprove of the law are divided over what they would like elected officials who oppose the law to do now that the law has begun to take effect. About half of disapprovers (27% of the public overall) say these lawmakers 'should do what they can to make the law work as well as possible,' but nearly as many (23% of the public) say these officials "should do what they can to make the law fail.'...Just a quarter (25%) say they understand the law's impact very well while another 39% say they understand it somewhat well; roughly a third (34%) say they have little or no understanding of how the law will affect them." [Pew]
@ezraklein Obamacare hits a tipping point: Most governors now want to expand Medicaid wapo.st/19Y3kQ3
KOCH GROUPS TARGETING ENERGY REGULATOR - America's last remaining industrial magnates -- no, they didn't all die out in the Progressive Era -- are trying to keep the government off their turf. Kate Sheppard: "More than a dozen conservative groups are taking aim at President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ron Binz. In a letter sent to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Monday morning, the groups called his nomination "very troubling" and urged senators to vote against confirmation. The Koch-backed American Energy Alliance, which has been a vocal critic of Binz, is leading the effort. The letter was also signed by Americans for Prosperity, another group funded by billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch; the Competitive Enterprise Institute; the National Taxpayers Union; and 10 other groups. They argue that Binz as FERC chairman would seek to disadvantage coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels and would promote the Obama administration's efforts on climate change and renewable energy." [HuffPost]
VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS GETTING THEIR VERY OWN MARTHA COAKLEY - Amazing that a guy best-known for his efforts to outlaw sodomy would be trailing in state with a rapidly growing number of people who've ordered Warby Parker glasses. Politico: "Republicans can't believe this is happening: Democrat Terry McAuliffe -- whose controversial business dealings and past life as a party moneyman make him a walking negative ad -- has taken command of the Virginia governor's race. More than a dozen interviews last week with longtime Republican insiders around the Commonwealth yielded near-unanimous consensus that their candidate, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, lost significant ground over the summer and would lose if the election were held today. The only real point of disagreement is how wide a margin it would be. 'It's going to be a bath,' one prominent state Republican who wants Cuccinelli to win went so far as to say. Like several others, the person sought anonymity to speak candidly about the state of the race.'" [Politico]
Wah wah waaaaaaaaaah: "The Republican mayor of Virginia Beach is set to endorse Democrat Terry McAuliffe for governor.
Continue reading It marks the first time Mayor Will Sessoms has crossed party boundaries to make an endorsement in his 20 years in politics in Virginia's oceanfront haven, which is the state's largest city. Sessoms is to make the announcement official Tuesday while touring the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center with McAuliffe and Norfolk's mayor, Paul Fraim." [AP]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog can't stop playing with his iPad.
THOMPSON CONCEDES IN NYC MAYORAL RACE - AP: "New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson conceded the Democratic primary race to front-runner Bill de Blasio on Monday, averting a potential runoff and clearing the way for de Blasio to campaign for the general election. Thompson endorsed de Blasio at City Hall, saying he was proud to support him as the party's nominee. The potential runoff had loomed as another act in the Democratic drama over choosing a successor to three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg - a fight that would keep Democrats tilting at each other while Republicans and independents looked ahead to the general election. With Thompson, the Democrats' 2009 mayoral nominee, out of the race, de Blasio will face Republican nominee Joe Lhota on Nov. 5. Gov. Andrew Cuomo played a role in brokering the deal, according to two people familiar with Thompson's decision who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. In unofficial returns with 99 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had had 40.3 percent of the vote - slightly more than the 40 percent threshold needed to win outright. Thompson was second with 26.2 percent." [AP]
- Child extorts her dad for a new My Little Pony. [http://bit.ly/1aO7bUb]
- Animals seem much friendlier when their misdeeds are played in reverse. [http://bit.ly/1645l9W]
- Ben Affleck as Batman in "Good Will Hunting." [http://bit.ly/15XUIeU]
- Meet the Willy Wonka of weed. [http://bit.ly/150Nwby]
- Man's worst friend: Dogs socialize with robots just as eagerly as they do with humans. [http://bit.ly/1eIBFWJ]
- Japanese vending machines are better than ours, naturally. [http://bit.ly/15sTyFI]
- Pro tip: Don't stick a knife in a toaster. [http://bit.ly/17Yr5Id]
@pourmecoffee: And the Pulitzer Prize for first to tweet the perpetrator goes to... no one because it's not a prize why are you even in this business?
@SenileDonDraper: Guns don't kill people. Nothing kills people. People don't die. Stop saying words. #BuyGuns @NRA
@jasoncherkis: Trying to confirm facts, Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson says simply: "follow us on Twitter."
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