Christian Caryl cracks the mystery of "Misha," the Islamist credited with molding a disappointed and confused Tamerlan Tsarnaev into a successful terrorist. His name is Mikhail Allakhverdov, and he says he's innocent.
He confirmed he was a convert to Islam and that he had known Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he flatly denied any part in the bombings. “I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.
Frank Lautenberg's lesson: It's tougher to ride out a Senate career while ailing when you're from a major media market. (Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond never had this problem.)
On his way out of the Capitol that day, Lautenberg, his speech slowed, delivered a muddled verdict on the results, which most saw as a crushing defeat for Democrats: "On a couple of them, they were the way I voted, but we lost some, and that was not as good as I like."
Jonathan Weisman talks to Republicans about why they're willing to enforce Internet sales taxes.
“It’s obviously an issue that can be divisive for Republicans because a lot of the antitax groups are weighing in against it,” Senator Thune said. “But in states like mine where you’ve got a lot of smaller retailers trying to compete in smaller communities, people are going to do their business online, and that has grown dramatically over the last few years.”
Nancy Cook asks which sequestration-struck program will be the next to benefit from a last-minute panicky restoration of funds.
Pennsylvania continues to look like the state most ripe for a Democratic gubernatorial takeover in 2014, in which case I'd expect Republicans to find a way to tie the Gosnell trial to Allyson Schwartz. (She was once head of a family planning clinic. The ads write themselves! Disgusting ads, possibly, but ads all the same.)
The Houston Chronicle finds out just how lax chemical plant security has become.
And Will Bunch asks whether blogs are dead. I choose not to take it personally.
TODAY IN SLATE
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.