I was going to flip a coin to decide whether or not to write about the Supreme Court RATS – an acronym a progressive blogger from Daily Kos invented for the veritable barbershop quartet Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia have become since the four of them almost always singing in harmony – until I read this account of Fast and Furious by FORTUNE magazine writer Katherine Eban, who reviewed over 200 documents and interviewed 39 people involved in the botched ATF operation.

Ordinarily, I would see this as another one of those tit-for-tat efforts that was meant to take the sting out of the assertions of Justice Department malfeasance. Since the House Oversight Committee and Congressional Republicans have all but convicted Holder and the Obama Administration of wrongdoing, even though they, by their own admission, have not seen all of the evidence, many on the left have been trying desperately to bring some sense of proportion to the charges being leveled against the attorney general and the president.

Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.


Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal


FORTUNE Magazine Questions GOP Fast and Furious Narrative | Resurgence | Big Think



I will be on the radio tonight at 8:00 pm EST with Sean Yoes, senior reporter at The Afro American, sharing my opinions on the unofficial kickoff of the presidential election season. Yoes is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

Normally, I can give a preview of the conversation when I post these announcements, but today is going to be potluck - Sean and I talked so fast about so many things it is hard to remember where one topic began and another ended. We started out talking about the recall election in Wisconsin and how much impact the victory by Scott Walker and his Republican allies might have on the presidential election and the conversation developed from there.

In any case, it will be an entertaining half an hour.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

Enjoy!

Sean Yoes And Kris Broughton Talk Politics Tonight At 8 On WEAA | Resurgence | Big Think

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Mr. President, yesterday I told WEAA radio host Sean Yoes that I would write you an open letter challenging you to cut a re-election promo where you look directly into the camera say “I go hard in the paint.”

I know this may sound like an unseemingly request, Mr. President, but you do special promotional ads for Latino voters, don’t you? If you’re still skeptical, maybe you should consider the viral effect of such a statement. Think about it – the reality is, more people watch ESPN than CNN.

Mr. President, many of your loyal supporters out here in the public are feeling neglected. We read the papers. We know you have a lot on your plate. But for a lot of us, we need to hear it from your lips that you are ready to “go hard in the paint” for the next five months.

Because the guys and girls at your campaign headquarters in Chicago, despite their stellar ability to come up with niche market campaign ideas for your rainbow coalition of supporters, aren’t adequately conveying this picture. Getting ten emails a day from your wife Michelle and Joe Biden and your various campaign managers may be informative, but it is not inspiring.

Intellectually, I can understand the argument your brain trust is trying to make – that there are really only eight states (North Carolina will revert to red) that will be in play this fall, so why waste your manpower on needless rallies and flag waving exercises – but what your campaign advisors are missing is the need for your umpteen millions of volunteers to have a visceral level of involvement in some kind of campaign activity.   

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BIG THINK

Will President Obama Go Hard In The Paint Until November? | Resurgence | Big Think

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