* Andrew Rosenthal asks a good question: “What’s the difference between Timothy McVeigh and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?” As he notes, the case for treating Tsarnaev as an “enemy combatant” is rooted in ethnicity and religion.
* Key Dzhokhar Tsarnaev quote from the criminal complaint against him, according to the man he allegedly carjacked:
“Did you hear about the Boston explosion?…I did that…I’m serious.”
* An interesting nugget from CNN’s reporting:
Authorities believe the brothers bought bomb components locally but think that their guns came from elsewhere, another federal law enforcement official said. The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case, said authorities are trying to trace the guns.
The question is what is meant by “elsewhere” — whether it means outside the Boston area but inside Massachusetts, or whether it means out of state.
* Rachel Weiner talks to experts who politely point out that the case for trying Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant is nothing but legal gibberish from top to bottom.
* Spencer Ackerman explains why Tsarnaev was charged with using “weapons of mass destruction,” and why the rationale has little in common with the commonly understood (thanks to Bush and the Iraq War) meaning of the term.
* Goldman Sachs economists predict the deficit will shrink by more than previously thought over the next three years, plummeting to $475 billion at the end of 2015. Cool, so can we talk about investing in jobs now?
* Sam Stein unravels GOP efforts to pin those sequestration-created FAA delays on Obama. How soon until Republicans again start claiming that the sequester is a victory for them?
* Ed Kilgore on the problems being created by the crisis of widespread and long term unemployment, which is a social catastrophe:
At some point, if this status produces anti-social behavior, I’m sure a lot of comfortably situated people will share some additional self-righteousness with these folk, and find it in their hearts to support even more public expenditures for incarcerating them than anyone proposed for helping them get back into the mainstream economy. But I guess this way of looking at it just confirms I’m one of those ninny-faced liberals who identifies with perpetrators rather than victims.
* David Karol has a deep dive into what constitutes the gun ownership base. Simply put: Male, white, and old.
* Dylan Matthews offers a dozen ways to reduce gun violence without provoking opposition from the NRA, though I’d be reluctant to predict that the NRA wouldn’t find some way of objecting to these, too.
* A good rundown on how Marco Rubio has set up a whole campaign-style rapid-response operation designed to knock down falsehoods from the right about immigration reform.
As noted here the other day, it’s interesting to watch Rubio cope with being the one on the receiving end of Tea Party delusions and lies.
* Keep an eye on this: It looks as if Senate Dems plan to reintroduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would be another step towards securing equal rights for gays beyond the question of marriage.
* And Anthony Weiner is back on Twitter.