If this blog is a little too light today, it's because the universe decided to unlease thousands of pages of fascinating indictments or studies on the political press corps. I took far too long to read the criminal complaint that brought down California state Sen. Leland Yee—it's among the most baffling, thrilling tales of political corruption in recent memory. The FBI investigators tracking Yee (the ones referred to as "UCE," etc.) were brought in on a gun-smuggling operation for the apparent benefit of all parties, especially Yee, as he stretched his finances for a secretary of state campaign. It was Yee who brought up the arms dealer.
The meetings continued, and Yee was conversant about the guns he could offer.
He also knew exactly how to grease the wheels with his contact.
He was good on his word about setting up the meeting.
And all of this, we learn, was for a four-figure campaign donation.
This is a fantastic story, and gun rights groups are adapting the film rights. Hunter Schwarz was, I think, the first to point out Yee's long and proud record of advocacy for gun control. The NRA happily gave a quote to the LA Times, calling "this poster boy for gun control" a "scumbag." On conservative news sites, the Yee story is being almost exclusively covered as a farce of gun-grabber hypocrisy.
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor
Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy
It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.