Getting to the why
: They left no manifesto. The hard drive on their computer was gone. Their new phones were smashed. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife did their best to get away after the massacre at Inland Regional Center. The big question is still why did they do it? Part of it may have been Farook's apparent radicalization; part of may have stemmed from workplace tensions. (Here's a breakdown of the various theories
). There's so much up in the air that one FBI official says it would be "irresponsible and premature" to call it terrorism.
-- The names of the 14 dead
have been released and we're slowly learning more about them. One was a dad whose six kids will now spend the holidays without him. Another was a woman who fled religious persecution in Iran.
-- The townhouse Farook rented was a bomb lab
. Inside the garage, cops found 12 pipe-bomb like devices, tools which could be used to make improvised explosives and thousands of rounds of ammo.
Tilting at windmills?
: You've seen this episode of The Hill before. The GOP-led Congress votes to repeal Obamacare
; the President threatens a veto. What's different this time is that it actually got through the Senate (thanks to a little thing called "budget reconciliation"
). The lawmakers threw in another little gift: a provision to cut fed funding for Planned Parenthood. Obama will most definitely veto it and the chances of overriding that are slim to none. What happens then? The GOP will rinse and repeat.
WOMEN IN THE MILITARY
This is my fight song
: If you're a woman and want to join the infantry, go for it. All military combat positions are now open
. Of course, there are some Danny Downers, like the Joint Chiefs chairman who thinks some roles should remain just for men. Pshaw. All together now: "Take back my life song/ Prove I'm alright song."
PARIS TERROR ATTACKS
: Where is Salah Abdeslam, the only known assailant in the Paris attacks who survived? Who knows?
European security agencies sure don't; they lost track of him after a friend dropped him off in Brussels the day after the attacks. Meanwhile ISIS is reportedly working on a sequel to the carnage in Paris -- this time in the United Kingdom.
When you're trying a little too hard
: The GOP candidates spoke at a Republican Jewish Coalition forum. It went well except for a couple of, how shall we put it, 'inelegant'quips
. Donald Trump said 'I'm a negotiator like you folks." The Anti-Defamation League later said he wasn't evoking anti-Semitic stereotypes. (Um, OK). Ben Carson spoke of the evils of hummus when he meant Hamas. And Jim Gilmore (is he still running?) reminded everyone he watched "Schindler's List" the night before. Oy.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Quote of the day: "Thank you for letting me crash your family reunion."
Vice President Joe Biden, always with the jokes, to the mostly GOP crowd at former VP Dick Cheney's bust unveiling
Coldplay will be your halftime entertainment at the next Super Bowl
. Depending on how you feel about the lads, the news either made you "Shiver" or "God put a smile upon your face." See what we did there?
Fall to pieces
Early this morning, we learned Scott Weiland has died
. He had so much promise. And when he delivered, he really delivered. But his unending battle with drugs kept getting in the way of his success with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.
Does not compute
Charlie Sheen's former fiancee is suing him for $1 million
saying he didn't disclose his HIV status, forced her to have an abortion, threw a fit when she wouldn't eat a fry and called it quits via a text message. Why? Hey, he said it: "You can't process me with a normal brain."
WHAT'S FOR LUNCH
Here's what's coming up later.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
The monthly jobs report comes out this morning. Should be decent, but will it be good enough for the Feds to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade?
German MPs vote today
to expand the country's role in the fight against the scourge of the earth. The result is a foregone conclusion (Yes)
Number of the day: 61
The number of yards Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw a Hail Mary
to beat the Detroit Lions last night.
AND FINALLY ...
Japan builds cute little tunnels to help turtles cross railroad tracks Because have you seen a turtle crawl? Ain't nobody got time for that. (Click to view)