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Midday open thread: FBI war crimes unit may be axed; GOP ads attack two Democrats on Green New Deal

Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is Medicare for all: threat or menace?

What you may have missed on Sunday Kos

Republicans target two Democrats with attack on Green New Deal: The Congressional Leadership Fund launched ads targeting Democratic Reps. Antonio Delgado of New York and Colin Allred of Texas by tying them to the Green New Deal introduced last week as a House resolution by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts:

The Delgado ad quotes him as saying on the campaign trail, “Why aren’t we thinking of a Green New Deal?” With Allred, the spot focuses on his support for pricing carbon.

“His carbon tax and her ‘Green New Deal’ means skyrocketing prices, higher taxes for Texas families,” the video says.

Former Justice Kennedy bemoans the loss of “social decency”: Democracy and social decency are in trouble in the “cyber age” former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy told law students on Friday at the UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. “Rational, enlightening dialogue … is what’s missing in our society. We have a social framework of decency that we’re very quickly losing.” He didn’t name any public officials or political fights to back up his claims, but he did slam a whole generation (or two) in his critique: “I am so concerned with the egocentrism that the cyber age has brought us. Our young people in the cyber age don’t think the past is important. … If it’s not on your screen, it’s not important.”

MIDDAY TWEET

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Rep. Walter Jones, a real Republican maverick, dead at 76:

He was a Republican and a staunch conservative, but he often worked with Democrats, and won their affection. He supported the Iraq War in 2003, but was troubled by the human cost. He was one of President Donald Trump’s most outspoken critics within the GOP, and his death after a long illness leaves an unfillable hole in Congress.

That sounds a lot like a certain senator from Arizona who died recently, but it’s not John McCain—it’s Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina. Jones died Sunday, on his 76th birthday. (Jones’s illness had kept him from Congress since September, though he was easily reelected in November.) Although the late Arizona senator became identified with bucking his party, Jones, far more than McCain, epitomized the “maverick” sobriquet. 

FBI’s war crimes unit headed for the ax:

A special unit within the Federal Bureau of Investigation that handles war crimes may be shut down imminently, according to officials familiar with the administration’s decision-making process. The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit takes the lead on investigating individuals within the United States who have been accused of committing international crimes, including war crimes, torture, genocide, female genital mutilation, and the recruitment of child soldiers. It also investigates international crimes committed against or by U.S. citizens abroad and enforces immigration statutes that can be invoked against abusers who cannot be prosecuted for their underlying crimes for whatever reason.

The rationale for suddenly scaling back the United States’ commitment to investigating and prosecuting war criminals is unclear. 

Pennsylvania’s Butler Eagle newspaper—circulation 20,000—kills syndicated cartoon over hidden anti-Trump message:

A syndicated comic strip has been discontinued by a Pennsylvania newspaper after an obscene anti-Trump message was found hidden in one of its panels.

The offending cartoon showed a bear called Leonardo Bear-Vinci assembling a flying machine, with sketches similar to Leonardo da Vinci’s. The drawings include mostly illegible scrawled notes, but in the corner one of the scrawls reads: “We fondly say go fuck yourself to Trump.” […]

The strip was an edition of Non Sequitur, a comic created by cartoonist Wiley Miller, which is printed in more than 700 newspapers. It has been running since 1992 and is better known for genteel political satire.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin rounds up campaign launches, wall-slash-shutdown scenarios, and various Gop freakouts. Paula Writer shares thoughts on “centrism.” Bezos news. Counterpoint on filibuster reform. The RNC is still paying Trump bodyguard Schiller a ton.


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