August 26

* Here’s the latest in the investigation into Michael Brown’s death:

A newly surfaced audio recording allegedly captures the exact moment that unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

According to an attorney for an unidentified man who lives in an apartment building near the site of the shooting, the recording captures as many as 11 shots fired in the Aug. 9 incident.

The audio, which was played on CNN Monday night, could not immediately be verified by The Washington Post. But a burst of gunfire can be heard (six shots), followed by a pause, and then several more shots (at least four).

This probably won’t change anyone’s opinion about the case, but that’s a lot of bullets to hurl at a person.

* Jamelle Bouie explains why Barack Obama has said so little about Ferguson:

With two years left in his presidency, Obama is thoroughly racialized. There’s nothing he can say on race that won’t lead to rancor, fractured on racial lines. And so, he avoids the subject. For many supporters, it’s frustrating. But there’s a silver lining. The same president who doesn’t want to talk about race has taken genuine action to combat racism. Under Obama, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is more active than it’s been in a generation, fighting voter suppression and tackling lending discrimination. And most notably, it’s led by an attorney general who — unlike his boss — is eager to take the stage with blunt talk on race.

I’ve heard some of the President’s defenders make a related argument — don’t look at the words, look at the actions. It may take a while to fully assess what kind of effect those actions have.

* Ugly: A right wing group is up with a really lurid spot throwing all sorts of charges of shady dealings at New Hampshire Senator Jeane Shaheen. The charges are false, according to a detailed fact-check from her campaign.

Now that the world has decided, based on one poll, that this race is close, will more outside money flood in for Scott Brown? — gs

* A new Pew poll shows Dems leading the generic ballot by 5 points, though GOP voters expect their party to do well. While the polling average has the match-up much closer, this again raises the question: Where’s that GOP wave?

* Joni Ernst is arguing she’s not an extremist, by backpedalling from her most outrageous comments. But Steve Benen notes that the problem is her policy positions, and that she can’t run away from them:

Ernst has said she would ban abortions and many forms of birth control; she would privatize Social Security; she would back an anti-gay amendment to the Constitution; she’s open to impeaching President Obama for unknown reasons…Ernst has also suggested…the war in Iraq shouldn’t have ended; people on Medicaid “have no personal responsibility for their health”; and now the federal minimum wage is “ridiculous.”

Unfortunately, in some circles that makes Ernst a mainstream Republican.

* But the latest PPP poll shows her and Bruce Braley essentially tied, which suggests Dem efforts to introduce her actual views and positions to voters aren’t bearing fruit yet.

* Now that Marco Rubio is running to the right on immigration, Ed Kilgore nicely recaps his journey on this issue and what it really means for the GOP:

Once he became identified with the Senate reform bill, Rubio’s support among Republicans in 2016 trial heats just simply collapsed overnight, dropping by more than half in much of the country. So he started scampering away from his own handiwork. Having once viewed his immigration reform advocacy as part and parcel of his appeal to Republicans, he realized he was on the horns of a dilemma. So how he’s grabbed onto the let’s-deport ‘em all horn, which isn’t easy because the bull is still in the midst of a rage-filled charge to the Right.

It would be fascinating to see how Rubio would try to undo that if he actually became the GOP nominee.

* Peter Suderman demonstrates how Karl Rove’s attacks on Senate Dems from the left on entitlements say a good deal about the GOP’s political predicament and policy confusion.

* Kevin Drum argues persuasively that President Obama’s Iraq policy has actually been pretty damn good.

* Jonathan Cohn with a nice policy dive that reminds us why covering birth control without cost sharing is so important.

* Alaska GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan wanted to make a point about outside ads, so he’s now running his own ad showing him whipping out his gun and shooting a television. But he shoots some crappy 19-inch cathode ray tube set. Put a round through a Samsung UN110S9V Frameless 110-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz LED TV, which retails for $150,000, and we’ll know you really mean business.

* Remember how the Supreme Court allowed prayers before official meetings in Greece, N.Y.? Now the town has a policy barring atheists and representatives of any religion without an “established presence” in the town from delivering the invocation. More to come?

* At the American Prospect, I detailed how negative political advertising can be perfectly accurate but still unfair.

* Sherrod Brown on how people should respond if Burger King buys Tim Hortons to avoid American taxes: Start going to Wendy’s or White Castle instead. Now I learn that there’s no apostrophe in “Tim Hortons,” which is weird. Were there two guys named Tim Horton?

* And today in Constitutional conservatism: Georgia Congressional candidate Jody Hice likes sending out quotes from the Founding Fathers about their hatred of government. But it turns out one quote after another is fake. That’s what happens when you get your political philosophy from chain emails.

What else?