A House Republican is seeking a hearing into the Marine Corps’ decision to move the Marine Corps Times off prominent newstands at the front of base commissaries and exchanges, calling it “a blatant attempt to punish” the publication for articles critical of Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos.
Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina sent a letter Monday blasting the Corps’ action as a “reprehensible” effort to make the independent publication more difficult to find. Jones sent the letter to House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson and ranking member Susan Davis.
On Wednesday, two days after Jones’s letter was sent, the Marine Corps announced it is placing the Gannett publication back on its usual newstands — at least temporarily.
But Jones, himself a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said later on Wednesday he still wants a hearing to look into the matter.
“In America, a free and open press is critical to democracy,” Jones wrote in Monday’s letter. “If you start to control what our service members read, then we, as a nation, have a critical problem.”
A statement on the service’s official Facebook page explained the reversal Wednesday: “Reaction to the Marine Corps Times’ relocation demonstrated a clear misunderstanding of intent; therefore, the product will return to its original location pending the outcome and communication of a more comprehensive, purposeful plan based on our Commandant’s intent as it relates to an emphasis on professionalism within our Corps.”
But a statement from Jones’s office says that “While Congressman Jones welcomes this decision, he remains troubled that Marine Corps leadership has implied an intent to again remove the publication from its prominent store location in the future to create room for ‘healthier food and beverage choices’ and ‘military literature from the Commandant’s Reading List.’ “
“This attempt by the Marine Corps leadership to stand in the way of a free and open press is unacceptable,” Jones said in a statement Wednesday. “The Marine Corps Times is a widely read publication among members of our armed forces, as it provides them with critical information related to various aspects of their employment and service to our country.”
Jones has written a letter to the Corps’ deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, Lt. Gen. Robert E. Milstead, requesting further details regarding the initial decision to relocate publication within the service’s stores.
In its own story about the decision to relocate its place with base stores and commissaries, the Marine Corps Times on Sunday included a comment from Peter Lundquist, the Military Times’ vice president and general manager.
“For any retailer to hide one of its best-selling products is just bad business. It obviously will hurt our newsstand sales, but it also hurts revenues to the Exchange,” Lundquist said. “But I’m told this isn’t about business. Marine Corps Times helps Marines and their families stay informed about their service and their livelihood. We believe our independence is an asset to Marines.”
“By what standard is Marine Corps Times not professionally oriented reading material, and who is setting that standard for Marines?” Lundquist asked.
The paper also noted that throughout much of the past year, it has published dozens of articles as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that the service’s commandant, Amos, abused his authority to ensure Marines were punished for an embarrassing war-zone scandal.
“Numerous reports have captured the attention of mainstream media outlets, including NPR, CNN, and Time magazine, among several others,” the paper noted.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”