TheDC Morning: Disaster in Texas
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1.) Disaster in Texas –This week has been full of tragedy and terror in the U.S. Late Wednesday night, we suffered even more tragedy. The AP reports:
“A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco on Wednesday injured dozens of people and killed an unknown number of others, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin and leveling buildings for blocks in every direction. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north. It sent flames shooting high into the night sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on shocked and frightened residents. A member of the city council, Al Vanek, said a four-block area around the explosion was “totally decimated.” Other witnesses compared the scene to that of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and authorities said the plant made materials similar to that used to fuel the bomb that tore apart that city’s Murrah Federal Building.”
Spare a prayer for the town.
2.) FBI to media: stop sucking — Many in the media mucked it up Wednesday, much to the FBI’s dismay. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:
“The FBI chided media outlets for wrongly reporting Wednesday afternoon that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing, saying ‘these stories often have unintended consequences.’ … ‘Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate,’ [Special Agent Greg] Comcowich [of the Boston division of the FBI said in a statement] said. Added the agent: ‘Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.'”
3.) When speeches fail — President Obama gave many speeches on gun control yet somehow the bill he supported failed to pass the Senate Wednesday. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“The Senate’s effective rejection of President Barack Obama’s post-Newtown gun control bill robs the Democratic Party of an important tool for trying to regain a majority in the House in November 2014. ‘Are they serious?’ a visibly angry Obama demanded of opponents of the Toomey/Manchin Senate bill. In a late-afternoon announcement outside the White House, the president added that if Congress continues not to pass a gun control bill, ‘the answer will have to come from the voters.’ But without a Senate bill, there’s little chance that vulnerable GOP House members in suburban swing-districts will face the unpleasant choice of either recording a public vote against what Obama repeatedly describes as ‘common-sense measures to reduce gun violence and save lives’ or voting against gun rights supported by the National Rifle Association and many Americans.”
It’s enough to make you think that there is more to getting legislation passed than making speeches.
4.) The Mark Sanford Soap Opera — Sometimes the Appalachian Trail takes a person to Argentina. And sometimes it takes a person to an encounter with their ex-wife outside her house with a cellphone to light the night. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:
“The National Republican Campaign Committee will not help the campaign of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the Republican nominee in South Carolina’s special congressional election, after they were taken by surprise by a report that Sanford had been charged with trespassing at his ex-wife’s house. The Associated Press reported Tuesday evening that Sanford had been charged with trespassing at the house of his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, in February, and that he had been ordered to appear in court in May, two days after the special election. The news, according to Politico, ‘blindsided’ national Republicans and prompted them to decide not to dedicate any funds to his campaign. National Review reports that Sanford said he was watching ‘the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.'”
That Mark Sanford is such a romantic.
6.) Today in North Korean News –“Foreigners, Overseas Koreans Leave”