New York Times: Mark Carson did not hide that he was gay, and when he went out on the town he would often head to Greenwich Village, where years before he was born, much of the struggle for gay liberation unfolded. Yet late Friday night, just blocks from the Stonewall Inn, among the most important landmarks of that struggle, he was confronted with a man screaming antigay slurs, who then stalked him before pulling out a silver revolver and fatally shooting him, police said. "This clearly looks to be a hate crime," Police Commissioner Kelly said. read more
Microsoft is going to reverse course and alter key elements of Windows 8, which Financial Times calls one of the biggest admissions of failure for a mass-market product since New Coke. The company has not detailed the changes, but many users have clamored for the desktop interface to display automatically at bootup and for the Start button to return. Company chief executive Steve Ballmer called the October launch of Windows 8 a "bet-the-company" moment as Microsoft sought to respond to the success of Apple's iPad. read more
Patrick Buchanan: [I]f Barack Obama plunges into Syria's civil war, it could consume his presidency, even as Iraq consumed the presidency of George W. Bush. ... Even if elements of Assad's army did use sarin, we ought not plunge in. And, fortunately, that seems to be Obama's thinking. Why stay out? Because it is not our war. There is no vital U.S. interest in who rules Syria. Hafez Assad and Bashar have ruled Syria for 40 years. How has that ever threatened us? Moreover, U.S. intervention would signal to Assad that the end is near, making his use of every weapon in his arsenal, including chemical weapons, more -- not less -- likely. read more
According to advance reports, the administration's budget will propose a cap limiting the amount of annual return a retirement account can create to $205,000. If that proposal were enacted today, that would mean retirement accounts would be limited to $3 million in assets. The White House estimates that caps on the tax-preferred accounts would generate $9 billion over 10 years. "Under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving," the White House [said]. read more
John Wasik: As gun violence legislation sputters in Congress, the idea of requiring mandatory gun liability insurance seems to be gaining more traction. ... To date, California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Connecticut have considered mandatory insurance legislation. Now comes Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), with a new bill entitled "The Firearm Risk Protection Act." It would require that gun owners purchase liability insurance.