Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Mentor Says "I Hope I Didn't Contribute" to Boston Bombing

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2013 8:31 AM

Opening Act: Literally Biden

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Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a dedication ceremony naming a Capitol Visitor Center conference room in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' slain aide Gabe Zimmerman at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 16, 2013.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The vice president's Rolling Stone interview (with Doug Brinkley) is, like you'd expect, goofy and newsy. On the gun bill:

A lot of our colleagues – a few Democrats and a lot of Republicans who know better – thought, "The public hasn't changed, if I vote with you, I get beat up. . . ." The 17 or 18 people I called and spoke to thought they would get in trouble supporting any additional, quote, "burden on gun ownership." The ones who still said no, the four Democrats and remaining nine or 10 Republicans, they didn't offer any substantive reasoning to be against it. In one form or another, they all said the same thing: "Joe, don't ask me to walk the plank, because the House isn't going to do anything, anyway." The other one was, "Joe, I know it's 85-15, 80-20, 90-10 in my state. You know how it works: The 10 percent that are against, they're all going to be energized; they're going to organize against me. And the 90 percent who are for it, it's not going to be a determining vote for them." My argument was, "You've got it wrong. The public has changed."

Mark Ames asks whether the Boston bombings were "blowback from a very dark and savage game being played out by America's leading hawks, Cold Warriors and oil imperialists."

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In the Massachusetts Senate race, Ed Markey's campaign keeps up its flurry of punches against Gabriel Gomez, and generates headlines like this: "Gabriel Gomez Defends $280,000 Tax Break On Cohasset Home." In 2010, Democrats sat and slept while Scott Brown built the indelible image of a likeable truck-driving bro in a barn coat. (Only after the campaign did voters realize he'd bought the truck to transport his daughter's horse.) Markey's job: Do whatever damage it takes to Gomez's image so he becomes a generic Republican, and thus easy to roll over.

Zack Beauchamp muses on why conservatives link race and IQ, a topic I've done some reporting on for a story that'll appear later today.

Gosnell-mentum continues as Republicans ask all 50 state health departments to prove they're inspecting abortion clinics.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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