Boston Brave:

President Obama offered words of comfort and praise to residents of Boston on Thursday during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the marathon bombings. “You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion,” the president said. He added: “Every one of us has been touched by the attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you.” Three people were killed and more than 170 were wounded when a pair of bombs exploded near the marathon’s finish line. (Read more)

Goodbye Privacy? The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (better known as CISPA), a controversial bill that would allow Internet companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook to share your personal data with the government (all in the guise of “cybersecurity,” of course) has cleared its first hurdle, passing the Republican-controlled House by a 288-127 vote Thursday. Still, it’s possible the legislation may not become law in the end. First, it needs to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, where a previous version of CISPA failed and where it’s expected to face tougher opposition. And even if it does clear the Senate, the White House has already issued a statement saying the measure as it is now will more than likely be vetoed by President Obama. (Read more)

Truth and Consequences: Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, herself a famous victim of gun violence, penned an op-ed for The New York Times on Wednesday in which she made it clear she was “furious” at the Senate for failing to pass the Joe Manchin/Pat Toomey amendment to expand background checks to gun shows and online sales. Blasting senators who “gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation” on gun reform, she wrote: “These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.” Giffords offered this advice to people who feel powerless in the wake of lawmakers who caved in to the National Rifle Association: “I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.” (Read more)

Jailhouse Rock: The man arrested on suspicion of sending letters that tested positive for ricin to President Obama and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker has an unusual connection to the latter. The suspect, identified as Paul Kevin Curtis, is an entertainer and Elvis Presley impersonator who was hired by Wicker about a decade ago for a gathering. “He entertained at a party my wife and I helped give for a young couple that were getting married,” Wicker said, adding that he was “quite entertaining.” Wicker continued: “My impression is that since that time he’s had mental issues and perhaps is not as stable as he was back then.” The letters Curtis is alleged to have sent were intercepted before they met their intended targets. The envelopes were reportedly postmarked in Tennessee and were signed “KC,” the stage name Curtis uses when he performs as Elvis. (Read more)

Video of the Day: “Bullshit mountain?” Pfft. The unflattering nickname Jon Stewart gave to Fox News in November pales in comparison with the one he bestowed Wednesday upon CNN after John King’s erroneous report about a suspect being apprehended in the Boston Marathon bombings. As any ardent “Daily Show” fan would expect, Stewart mocked CNN’s latest shenanigans, going so far as to dub the network the “Human Centipede of news.” “They have figured out a way to shit in their own mouths,” he joked.

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