Reporter Dan Friedman reveals that he accidentally inspired the Friends of Hamas rumor by mentioning the fake group to a Republican as a hypothetical, and seeing it repeated elsewhere:
Doing my job, I erred in counting on confidentiality and the understanding that my example was farcical — and by assuming no one would print an unchecked rumor. If anyone didn’t know already: Partisan agendas, Internet reporting and old-fashioned carelessness can move complete crocks fast.
John Avlon finds a Powerpoint from House Republicans, dated July 31, 2011, that "proves" their culpability in sequestration:
It’s essentially an internal sales document from the old dealmaker Boehner to his unruly and often unreasonable Tea Party cohort. But it’s clear as day in the presentation that “sequestration” was considered a cudgel to guarantee a reduction in federal spending—the conservatives’ necessary condition for not having America default on its obligations.
The problem? The White House pitched sequestration to Harry Reid four days earlier. This remains a silly fight to have.
Sahil Kapur walks us through the challenge to the Voting Rights Act.
Presidential debate bosses are ashamed of the moderator who probably did the best job moderating.
Dana Milbank mourns the lost grand bargain.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.