Rand Paul: The fizzling of a Republican firecracker
Jul30

Rand Paul: The fizzling of a Republican firecracker

Rand Paul is fading …and fast. Jonathan Chait presents a catalog of Rand’s faux pas. Paul, incredibly, turned down a chance to attend a retreat with the Koch Brothers, who are kind of a big deal in the Republican Party. Staff morale is abysmal. The candidate hates fund-raising. …JonathanChait,DailyIntel Well, that could just indicate a degree of integrity not lately found in Paul’s party. But yes, the guy is...

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Trump going after Scott Walker
Jul28

Trump going after Scott Walker

Jeb Bush is malingering at a mere 14% support and Scott Walker even less than that and most of the rest in that clown car are floundering in the single digits. What does this mean? Nothing. Unless you have the creepy sensation that Americans have dumped democracy in favor of entertainment. ___ Molly Ball, writing in The Atlantic, watches Donald Trump in action down on the border — in Laredo. The pundits love to talk about what...

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Don’t shrug off Scott Walker
Jul24

Don’t shrug off Scott Walker

You think the ’50′s are long gone? Think again. Comparing Scott Walker with fellow Wisconsinite, Joe McCarthy, isn’t a stretch. The same dangerous DNA is at work. … He is not as outrageous as Donald Trump and Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), but his technique of scapegoating unions for the nation’s ills is no less demagogic. Sixty-five years ago, another man from Wisconsin made himself a national reputation by...

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Achtung! Merkel, Germany, Greece and the EU
Jul19

Achtung! Merkel, Germany, Greece and the EU

Looks like Merkel (does not rhyme with “miracle”) may be in trouble. … With its handling of Greece’s bailout package, Germany is at risk of losing that trust, some European analysts say. By taking what sounded to many as an aggressive, punishing, contemptuous tone toward Greece, the German leadership may have undercut its moral authority, they say. And by floating the notion that Greece might be better off leaving...

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Repercussions of Europe v. Greece
Jul17

Repercussions of Europe v. Greece

Two views of the “unconditional surrender” of Greece signal a murky (at best) future — not just for Greece but for all of us. From James Galbraith, writing at Harper’s: The full brutality of the European position on Greece emerged last weekend, when Europe’s leaders rejected the Greek surrender document of June 9, and insisted instead on unconditional surrender plus reparations. The new diktat—formally accepted...

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GOP begins to panic
Jul14

GOP begins to panic

The steady, boring, always-get-it-right political analysts are now predicting Republican failure in 2016 — a year that should belong to the GOP. As Greg Sargent reports in the Washington Post, 2016 is shaping up as “brutal” for the right. It’s all about the major change in demographics: America is no longer majority “white.” In 1980, when nonwhite voters were just 12 percent of the electorate,...

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Supreme Court may leave Republicans with some nasty numbers
Jun17

Supreme Court may leave Republicans with some nasty numbers

If the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell “upends” Obamacare, the Times reports, Republicans face a rough election. They have no viable “plan B.” They dominate in the states that rely on Obamacare and federal subsidies. The numbers: “Doing nothing is not an option,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, who last week introduced a bill that would provide money to help people buy insurance...

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What Dolezal was really up to…
Jun16

What Dolezal was really up to…

Jelani Cobb, writing in the New Yorker, has the smartest take I’ve seen so far on what Rachel Dolezal was doing. The easy presumption about Dolezal, who has two white parents and light skin and eyes—and hair that has ranged from blond to brown, though she has worn it in ways that are culturally associated with black women—is that this is an instance in which someone finally pointed out the obvious: the emperor is naked. But, in...

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Rachel Dolezal’s conversion: Ticked off
Jun12

Rachel Dolezal’s conversion: Ticked off

Boy! There’s a bunch of people there expressing their opinions about Rachel Dolezal’s conversion from white to black. Maybe they have good reasons for agitation but I don’t see it. What I’m looking for is the ending of that Kevin Kline movie about a teacher who “comes out” and gets downgraded and thrown out by the school board. The protest of the kids he taught (he was evidently a great teacher)...

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When you know what’s going to happen next
Jun10

When you know what’s going to happen next

When you know what’s going to happen next For example: If I tell you (and it’s true) that Kalief Browder was black and 17 when this started, you pretty much know the ending, right? In the picture he’s cute, scrubbed, clipped, neat and crisp. Then the story begins and in a sentence or two, despite all the hope and good looks you can see in the photo, you’re well aware of the high level of risk Kalief runs...

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Will Hastert wind up in prison? Why?
May30

Will Hastert wind up in prison? Why?

As we’re all straining our eyes and ears to get the details of the case against former House Speaker Hastert, having moved on from the disgrace of our treatment of Mexican migrants in crowded buildings in Arizona and across the southern border –as distinct from how we deal with serious crime in our financial sector — we’re also trying not to think too much about our criminal justice system as a lucrative...

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For Republicans, a candidate with signs of good sense just doesn’t make sense
May27

For Republicans, a candidate with signs of good sense just doesn’t make sense

View image | gettyimages.com For Republicans, a candidate with signs of good sense just doesn’t make sense So you can forget about Rand Paul. Anyone who asserts that he recycles, composts and believes things like “the face of the Republican Party should not be about suppressing the vote but about enhancing the vote” (oh, horrors!) is simply unacceptable. On the environment: “You’ll find I’m a tree hugger, literally...

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Hillary: friends vs. politics
May24

Hillary: friends vs. politics

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty has interesting insights into Hillary Clinton’s propensity to muddle friendship with politics — loyalty with discretion. Her work as Secretary of State was “an archetype of crisp managerial efficiency.” As distinct, the Post notes, from how her presidential campaign was managed. It was a mess. But her time at State does show ongoing problems, lapses in judgment …...

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Is Iraq winning?
May22

Is Iraq winning?

Is Iraq winning? Believe someone who works for peace? Frankly, he should shut up about war, right? I’m just saying even Americans can be tolerant of the peaceniks polluting our robustitude. Here’s a guy who says ISIS isn’t winning. He believes Iraq is doing okay and Obama’s policy is wise… Go figure. Even after the loss of Palmyra. America should help Mr. Abadi mobilize the Sunni tribes by mediating...

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Hillary. Rock. Hard place.
May21

Hillary. Rock. Hard place.

Even as she denounces super PACs, she’s counting on two of them, Priorities USA Action and Correct the Record, to support her candidacy — a necessary evil, her campaign says. She’s also chin-deep in questionable financial activities, ranging from the soft-money scandals of her husband’s presidency to the current flap over contributions by foreigners and favor-seekers to the Clinton Foundation. Then there’s the matter of her plans to...

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Newt Gingrich and the Philadelphia train crash
May16

Newt Gingrich and the Philadelphia train crash

The crash appears to have had more complicated causes than, say, a sleepy or incompetent engineer. In fact, the engineer has been questioned about the crash and has earned the respect of FBI investigators for being “extremely cooperative” according to the New York Times. And now it seems that the train may have been hit by something just before it derailed. Investigators asked the engineer, Brandon Bostian, whether he...

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Several words of approbation for Hil
May08

Several words of approbation for Hil

Clinton appears to be getting the immigration issue right. More or less. Meanwhile, the New York Times figures out why the Republicans embrace an impossible reform: they don’t really want it. There is a pressing need to lift the burden of fear and separation from families, to unshackle workers who are chained to exploitive jobs by fear of deportation. Mrs. Clinton has shown that she understands this. But meanwhile, the...

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Surveillance from up there
May06

Surveillance from up there

Surveillance from up there And, it would seem, sponsored by all levels of government. You’ll remember the issue of media overflights during the Michael Brown protests in Ferguson. Overflights involving the FBI have been seen during the protests in Baltimore and are now the subject of inquiry… Discovery of the flights — which involved at least two airplanes and the assistance of the FBI — has prompted the American Civil...

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2016 already bought and paid for
May05

2016 already bought and paid for

Greg Sargent is pretty sure the Republicans have wrapped up the 2016 election …in dollar bills. The Federal Election Commission has all but given up. Over the weekend, the New York Times published a sobering interview with the head of the Federal Election Commission, who confirmed that she had largely given up on the agency playing a meaningful role in restraining fundraising and spending abuses in the 2016 campaign. The...

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Republicans worried about their ever-growing crowd of dodos
Apr30

Republicans worried about their ever-growing crowd of dodos

Let’s face it: if you blunder into Republican political territory, you’ll find yourself tripping over third- and fourth-rate candidates. As of today, The Hill reports, the crowd is growing to almost twenty. Oh, wait a minute… more! “You’ve got to prevent it from becoming a ‘WWE SmackDown’ event on national television,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “You don’t want to bump everybody off the stage, but you have...

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