Not just in danger but being the danger
Aug31

Not just in danger but being the danger

Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker writer who has been spending some time in Ferguson, writes: Linda Chavez wondered on Fox News whether “the ‘unarmed teen’ mantra” really fit Brown, who was six feet four and nearly three hundred pounds and had been caught on video shoplifting—and, it perhaps bears repeating, was a teen, and was unarmed. Chavez was roundly criticized, but she was really only guilty of saying aloud what many others have...

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Quick! Where’s the waiter with the recording device?
Aug28

Quick! Where’s the waiter with the recording device?

Quick! Where’s the waiter with the recording device? In a stunning and sensational development that had political correspondents from Maine to Chesapeake Bay abandoning their families on the beach and rummaging through their luggage for their laptops, Mitt Romney told Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host, that he might yet be persuaded to run for President again in 2016. After echoing previous statements that he’s already...

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Is this gruesome enough for you?
Aug24

Is this gruesome enough for you?

Having trouble making up your mind about Ferguson? Julie Bosman, who reported for the Times from Ferguson during the protests, opens a report on the Ferguson shooting with this: Just after noon on Saturday, Aug. 9, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer on Canfield Drive. For about four hours, in the unrelenting summer sun, his body remained where he fell. Neighbors were horrified by the gruesome scene: Mr. Brown, 18, face...

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Feeling sorry for the Texas governor?
Aug18

Feeling sorry for the Texas governor?

Feeling sorry for the Texas governor? No. But Amy Davidson makes a solid case for some pity. Governor Rick Perry of Texas was indicted Friday on charges of abuse of his office and coercing a public official—that does not sound good, for a man positioning himself to run for President in 2016. Both of those charges are felonies; in Texas, that means that, if convicted, Perry would lose his right to vote during any time in prison, which,...

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From the start, the police were behaving like they might be nuts. Then they went nuts.
Aug14

From the start, the police were behaving like they might be nuts. Then they went nuts.

There appears to be no justification for the police behaviors in Ferguson last night. First it was bad; then it got worse. Then it got positively insane, thanks to police behaviors. There something nutty about the police when, “at 8:22 P.M. the police began demanding that the crowd stay twenty-five feet away from them and their vehicles,” as Jelani Cobb reports in the New Yorker. A voice in the crowd shouted, “Michael...

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Failure isn’t Obama’s problem
Aug13

Failure isn’t Obama’s problem

Failure isn’t Obama’s problem Turns out it’s John Boehner who faces defeat. Mitch McConnell is hanging in there, but doesn’t seem to have a strong grip on reality or, perhaps, his own Kentucky constitutency. The tea party is back, relishing its primary successes, and ready for action. A legislative year in which Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio set out to publicly marginalize the more vocal right-wing members of...

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Can Americans actually learn to accept reality?
Aug11

Can Americans actually learn to accept reality?

Can Americans actually learn to accept reality? I think we know the answer to that. Many Americans want life to resemble a movie. Tell us a story! We want bombs bursting in air (preferably on Fox), winners, losers, heroes, villains, great endings, satisfactory solutions. So what’s with this Obumble business of political and military coitus interruptus? Just airstrikes? Saving some civilians’ lives but not standing on the...

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Obama’s New Rules
Aug09

Obama’s New Rules

Obama offers a formula for grownup behavior in and by the US. Whether this will deal effectively with Muslim and Republican extremists remains an open question. Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi...

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And now the bad news about the tea party
Aug07

And now the bad news about the tea party

And now the bad news about the tea party: They don’t lose when they lose. They bounce back and make even more trouble. They’ve become the common cold of our politics, the relentless pain in once-healthy joints, the anomalies found in our blood tests. The Tea Party wins when it wins, and it wins when it loses. Five years after it began and long after many people (myself included) thought it would fade away, it continues to...

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Dems leave the right in the dust on social issues
Aug06

Dems leave the right in the dust on social issues

Facing re-election, Gov. Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, no longer talks about stopping same-sex marriage. “It’s those on the left that are pushing” the issue, he says. …NYT The New York Times’ John Harwood catalogues the vast changes in social attitudes — brought about by the left in America — and sometimes very rapidly. In fact, the left is leaving the right in the dust in that respect, as Republican...

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Sorry, but democracy is frustrating. If it’s not, it’s not democracy.
Aug03

Sorry, but democracy is frustrating. If it’s not, it’s not democracy.

You want final, satisfactory resolution in which you are shown to have been right all along? Here? In a democracy? Isn’t gonna happen. National Review columnist, Andrew McCarthy, makes his case for impeaching Obama because “Obama has continued to attempt to govern the country even though Republicans won a majority of House seats in 2010.” In other words, in 2010 the Republicans were handed the right to decide...

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Does Brennan know too much about Obama?
Aug02

Does Brennan know too much about Obama?

Does Brennan know too much about Obama? Very possibly, says Conor Friedersdorf. President Obama could surprise the country by axing his former counterterrorism adviser, explaining that under Brennan’s management, employees broke laws and undermined the separation of powers core to our democracy. Obama may well make a good-faith effort to act in the national interest. But it’s impossible to believe that he won’t be...

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Balls
Jul31

Balls

I can speak only about home territory, the state of Texas. But there may be a variation on the theme in every state of the union. One can only hope. Here in the Lone Star State, the first thing you say about the new doggy or kitty your neighbor has adopted, after the “so cute!” comments is, “Has s/he been spayed/neutered?” A local vet here has a sign up reading “Balls! Who needs ‘em!” Towns...

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The impeachment thing
Jul30

The impeachment thing

There is no impeachment thing. Both sides are using it as a vote-catching threat. All this impeachment bluster also may be laying down the terms of engagement for another battle, should Obama soon — as many expect — take executive action to protect millions of illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation. Republicans are saying that such a move would far exceed the president’s constitutional authority. But whether they will go so...

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Arizona criminal Joseph R. Wood III “…repeatedly gasped for one hour and 40 minutes before dying” in execution
Jul24

Arizona criminal Joseph R. Wood III “…repeatedly gasped for one hour and 40 minutes before dying” in execution

“…repeatedly gasped for one hour and 40 minutes before dying,,,, If that doesn’t stop America’s barbaric executions, I don’t know what will. Certainly the Supreme Court is pushing to enter the hall of shame. At 1:52 p.m. Wednesday, one day after the United States Supreme Court overturned a stay of execution granted by a federal appeals court last Saturday, the execution of Joseph R. Wood III commenced....

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Renisha McBride: Trayvon Again
Jul23

Renisha McBride: Trayvon Again

The jury is being chosen in Detroit for what some think of as a repeat of the Trayvon Martin case. This time it’s about a 19-year-old woman — Renisha McBride — who, after a car accident likely caused by drinking, knocked on the door of a 55-year-old white man and was shot as a prospective “burglar.” In Detroit, you understand, burglars commonly knock first. [Theodore] Wafer shot McBride on his front porch...

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Maybe this is the real story behind the downed Malaysia airliner
Jul19

Maybe this is the real story behind the downed Malaysia airliner

Geography, motive, communications intercepts, and all manner of circumstantial evidence suggest that the likeliest suspect in the horrific deaths of two hundred and ninety-eight people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was the curiously well-armed and well-coördinated military outfit loyal to Moscow in eastern Ukraine. Various government and intelligence officials in Kiev say that they have evidence, including a series of damning...

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Want to know how they can take your home away from you… easily?
Jul18

Want to know how they can take your home away from you… easily?

Al- Jazeera has a notably clear report and analysis on how oil and gas interests can simply toss you out of your property and move in. It all goes back to — but you’ve guessed this already — a Bush era Supreme Court decision that extends eminent domain way beyond its intended meaning. For more than a decade, the country around Ronald and Sallie Cox’s home, 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, has been an unchanging...

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Not enough people like Republicans to assure them a win
Jul15

Not enough people like Republicans to assure them a win

Whether we’re talking 2014 or 2016, the landscape doesn’t seem to look very welcoming to Republicans. Chris Cillizza, in an update, sees no clear wins except in the bought-’n’-paid for districts. Obama no longer offers any boost for Dems, nor any hope for a deal with Congressional Republicans, but it’s the Republicans who are taking the blame for not dealing with immigration issues and general mayhem....

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Could a Democratic Congress ruin a Republican president’s tenure?
Jul13

Could a Democratic Congress ruin a Republican president’s tenure?

Could a Democratic Congress ruin a Republican president’s tenure? Sure, if the Republican Congress “sues” our current Democratic president. Turnabout is fair play. But the kind of childishness Republicans have been engaged in damages the country, not just a few misguided politicians. Vox analyzes the possibility of Boehner’s suit against Obama succeeding and what the outcome could be. Some emphasis added. The...

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