Trending In Our News Feeds – Obama steps up D.C. damage control. President Obama requested funding from Congress to increase diplomatic security yesterday, in an effort to turn the tables in the Benghazi scandal. Obama requested $1.4 billion to pay for additional security agents and safety upgrades at U.S. embassies. A White House source says the move is part of Obama’s strategy to respond to the recent scandals by “pivoting from the politics to the substance.”
Meanwhile, in a first step towards solving the IRS scandal, the President named Daniel Werfel – a senior official with bipartisan appeal – as acting commissioner of the IRS. The Washington Post says Werfel has a good relationship with Senate Republicans, and George Bush’s former Chief of Staff approves of the choice. However, an inspector general’s audit identified further failures within the Justice Department, revealing the agency allowed two terrorists into the Witness Protection Program and then lost track of their whereabouts.
Washington analysts are conflicted on the seriousness of the recent Washington scandals. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer says the scandals demonstrate a pattern of lying from the White House. He slams the administration for failing to acknowledge the faults of the IRS. As for information on the attack in Benghazi, Krauthammer writes, “…The administration was assiduously trying to control and suppress it.” Wonkblog’s Ezra Klein counters the more we learn about the scandals, the less serious they appear. Klein writes, “…the scandals that could reach high [into the White House] don’t seem to include any real wrongdoing, whereas the ones that include real wrongdoing don’t reach high enough.”
Toronto mayor smokes crack, says Gawker. Reporter John Cook claims he has watched a video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, in a post on Gawker last night. Cook says a tipster contacted him last week offering to sell a video of Ford getting high. Intrigued, Cook jumped on a plane to connect with the tipster and the owner of the video. He says the video shows Rob Ford smoking something out of a pipe. Reporters from The Star also claim to have seen the video. They say Ford calls former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau a “fag” and says of the high school football team he coaches, “they are just f-ing minorities.” A lawyer with a hotmail account and questionable typing skills who represents Ford contacted Cook: “Mayor Ford denies such took place,and if such posting occurs,it is false and defamatory,and you will be held legally accountable.” Gawker rounds up the most ridiculous quotes from Toronto’s conservative mayor.
New Star Trek movie hits theaters. J.J. Abrams’ newest blockbuster, Star Trek Into Darkness, opens today. If the reviews are anything to go by, this is one for the action fans. The L.A. Times says the newest installment isn’t quite as good as Abrams’ first Star Trek movie, but the action is impressive. Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder agrees. He says the film falls short when it comes to what made the original series great: sci-fi geekery. Don’t get this whole Star Trek thing? Slate’s Matt Yglesias watched the entire series to tell you why it’s so great.
Must Reads From PolicyMic – 25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know By Age 25 (Danny Rubin, @NewsToLiveBy) – A few years into the workforce, we should have this checklist covered.
[17 Mics, 5 Comments, 56 Shares]
5 Women Who Should Host the White House Correspondents' Dinner (Nathan Nye, @nathan_nye) – These women may not be in the exclusive White House boys’ club, but they sure can make fun of it.
[11 Mics, 0 Comments, 3 Shares]
Yes, Guys, Graduate School in the Humanities is Still a Worthwhile Investment (Spencer Lenfield) – Graduate school leads to hard careers. But this difficulty should not deter you from pursuing an advanced degree.
[10 Mics, 10 Comments, 12 Share]
Who Are the Syrian Rebels? A Basic Intelligence Briefing On the Assad Resistance (Alex Bennett) – Syria is a very dangerous place right now, with multiple opposition groups jockeying for power against Assad’s Ba’athist government. But rebel factionalism may be keeping Assad in power.
[8 Mics, 5 Comments, 13 Shares]
Obama Wants to Wiretap Your Facebook Feed — Seriously, You Can't Make This Up (Pierce Stanley, @piercestanley) – Obama is backing a plan to make online wiretaps as easy as they are in China. The AP and IRS scandals are chump change compared to this.
[5 Mics, 5 Comments, 4 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – Drone strikes: an interview with a top U.S. drone pilot (Huffington Post).
Hat tip: Adam Hudson
Where German politics falter, soccer succeeds (Goal).
Hat tip: H.J. Mai
Is Obama a victim of the second term curse? (538)
Looks like the tech gender gap might be growing (Fast Co.)
The history of the computer industry, in one chart (Atlantic).
Electric shocks make students do math 27% faster (Guardian).
This map shows the world’s most and least racist countries (WorldViews).
Netflix adultery afflicts half of American relationships (The Cut).
Hat tip: Brenda Salinas
Scientists are making art out of deadly diseases (BBC).
22 workplace tips we learned from The Office (The Week).
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