POLITICS AS [UN]USUAL: This Week in Politics

  • Early this morning, one of the alleged terrorists in the twin Boston Marathon bombings was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts. Another suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of the Russian region near Chechnya, is still at large.  Coverage of the bombings this week has been shameful as mainstream outlets CNN, Fox News and the AP all wrongly reported that a suspect had been identified and arrested earlier in the week. CNN's      John King even went as far as to release a premature description of the alleged suspect as a "dark skinned male," which brought on a stern rebuke from Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP.  All had to perform the embarrassing walk back once they realized their sources were wrong. 
  • Another embarrassing screw-up occurred this week when the Senate failed to pass any new gun safety legislation.  The bill, which would have required all potential gun owners to undergo a background check, failed to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster.  President Obama delivered his most forceful comments to date, blasting Senate Republicans and the gun lobby for the failure, saying, “This is a pretty shameful day in Washington.” As a reminder: 90% of Americans support background checks for gun purchasers.
  • A Mississippi man has been arrested for sending letters contaminated with the poison ricin to President Obama and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).
  • The trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began in Philadelphia this week.  Gosnell is charged with horrific crimes, including infanticide, making his case a flashpoint in the abortion debate.
  • In the global fight for marriage equality, New Zealand became the 14th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.