Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Several violent clashes in Israel today ahead of what Palestinians call the “nakba.”

* Categorical: “White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that he could rule out any involvement by President Obama or West Wing staff in the IRS decision to target conservative organizations. Pressed during his daily press briefing if he could be certain, Carney replied ‘yes,’ and added that White House lawyers were first ‘notified about this activity, very broadly, just a few weeks ago.’”

* The right pushback: “The White House on Tuesday accused congressional Republicans of fabricating emails leaked to two different media organizations that suggested interest in scrubbing the Benghazi, Libya, talking points.”

* Kermit Gosnell: “A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive in his grimy clinic agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal and faces life in prison but will be spared a death sentence.”

* NTSB: “The National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend to states that they lower the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunken driving.”

* Unexpected good news on retail sales: “Lower-priced gas allowed Americans to step up their spending at retailers in April, from cars and clothes to electronics and appliances. The rebound from a weak March suggests consumers remain resilient in the face of higher taxes and could continue to drive economic growth this spring.”

* Good point: “The Monica Lewinsky scandal may have helped save Social Security in the late 1990s. Now the scandal fever currently gripping Washington – IRS, Benghazi, Associated Press phone records – may save Social Security and Medicare two decades later.”

* The sequester remains a deeply stupid policy: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that he decided to furlough Pentagon civilians for 11 days this year because deeper cuts to other parts of the budget could have jeopardized national security.”

* James Fallows is one of my favorites for a number of reasons, including the fact that no one’s better at calling out the media’s bad habits when it comes to false equivalences.

* Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) occasionally does his best Steve King imitation.

* Age of the Geek, baby: “On May 16th, the White House is kicking off ‘We the Geeks,’ a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Topics such as commercial space exploration, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, turning science fiction to science fact, and others will be discussed with Administration officials and key private sector contributors.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Tuesday's Mini-Report

Updated