Cruz’s slippery slope
Mar24

Cruz’s slippery slope

He’s been sliding almost from the beginning. Now that Ted Cruz wants to be president, he’s alienated too many important people in his party to expect much support, and without that support, his candidacy goes nowhere. “He is the darling of conservatives in a conservative party. But he remains a long shot, at best,” according to Nate Cohn at The Upshot. Political scientists argue that the single most important...

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Why we let the Kochs get away with it
Mar22

Why we let the Kochs get away with it

Americans who remember democracy and the remnants of “fairness” in our economic system are upwards of mid-seventies now and even they don’t remember actuality. What they’re remembering is the memories that belonged to their parents and grandparents: the time when Americans actually stood up and fought the overbearing wealth of few during the Gilded Age. Those who fought then actually gained some ground against...

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Cotton candy
Mar19

Cotton candy

Honest. If you’d told me a while back there’d be a “Senator Cotton,” I’d have laughed and pointed out that we’ve been dealing with those cotton-brained senators ever since Reconstruction. So the idea of a cotton Senator (or a “Senator Cotton”) is kind of an old story. But now there’s Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. He’s for real; he’s (bottom line) anti-government; and...

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Republicans really really want to win in ’16
Mar16

Republicans really really want to win in ’16

Even though a win will require backing away from their “agenda.” Senate Republicans will not include detailed plans to overhaul entitlement programs when they unveil their first budget in nearly a decade this week, according to GOP sources. The decision would break from Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) House budgets from recent years, which Democrats used to pound Republican candidates in the 2012 and 2014 elections. Democrats...

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There are no Republicans now in Congress
Mar13

There are no Republicans now in Congress

The New York Times editorial makes a simple point that hasn’t surfaced anywhere else that I’ve seen since Republican members of Congress started to behave like boors and bullies after the 2010 midterms. Maybe Mr. McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, should have thought about the consequences before he signed the letter, which was drafted by Tom Cotton, a Republican of Arkansas, a junior senator...

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The 47 Republican Senators and the Letter to Iran: Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors?
Mar11

The 47 Republican Senators and the Letter to Iran: Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors?

Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors? And anyway, do we know treason when we see it? Call me old-fashioned, but when the advise-and-consent role of the Senate was exchanged for a casual, treacherous intrusion into the rights and duties of the executive branch, the senators involved deserved a chilly overnight in the stocks for their action. Mike Coblenz guides us through the Constitutional issues the framers discussed with respect to...

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Will Clinton turn out to have been the weakest — least desirable — candidate?
Mar10

Will Clinton turn out to have been the weakest — least desirable — candidate?

Will Clinton turn out to have been the weakest — least desirable — candidate? I think she could well be. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank cruised a meeting of the International Association of Firefighters a few days ago in the capitol, and he encountered 10 Democratic candidates, not including Hillary Clinton who was, um, busy. She “sent regrets — and that’s regrettable, because she could use some help...

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2016? Dems don’t have a candidate and the right doesn’t have a party.
Mar06

2016? Dems don’t have a candidate and the right doesn’t have a party.

Pinning all hopes on Hillary is beginning to look like a deathbed scenario for Democrats. I don’t think many of us will cave in and vote for her because she’s all we’ve got. And now, after screw-ups, glitches, clowning around, attacks on healthcare, and the Boehner-Netanyahu follies, the Republicans have pretty much lost 2016. Center-right Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker writes: I’m getting that deja vu...

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Hillary vs. you and me and the facts
Mar03

Hillary vs. you and me and the facts

Conor Friedersdorf points out that Hillary doesn’t really want the electorate to know what our government is up to. We’re learning not about her support but rather her battles with “transparency.” I think a lot of us figured Hillary out back in ’08. But the issue is even more relevant today as the latest news confirms her disregard for, well, the partnership that democracy demands of appointed and elected...

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Let’s cool relations with Israel until Netanyahu is gone
Feb26

Let’s cool relations with Israel until Netanyahu is gone

No more America v. Israel talk until we’ve dealt with the biggest issue for Americans as well as Israelis: the battle in both nations and around the globe of military-industrial interests versus the supporters of democracy and justice. At home, Bibi Netanyahu may be on his way out thanks to revelations of corruption in his personal and political life. The Israeli prime minister is evidently using public money to keep his family...

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What we’re going to do about ISIS
Feb18

What we’re going to do about ISIS

John Cassidy gets into the weeds and explains how the President and Congress are working (together, sort of) to get in there and “take out” ISIS. In the coming weeks, Republicans and Democrats will be forced to approve, strike down, or modify the Administration’s request, which is what is supposed to happen. (The would-be Presidential candidates in 2016, by virtue of their ambitions, will also have to adopt a public...

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Why we do it
Feb16

Why we do it

Take a look — even if it’s just a quick glance –at Graeme Wood’s article on “What Isis really wants.” Not so much difference between Isis and Christian fundamentalists there within. Ages ago, before blogs and at a time when many of us hung out with fellow commenters in chat rooms, I’d read the earnest efforts of fundies to justify their beliefs and found I’d formed a picture in my mind...

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Is this the end for John Boehner?
Feb08

Is this the end for John Boehner?

Is this the end for John Boehner? Kevin Drum almost feels sorry for the guy. Even Israel has turned against Boehner, thanks to Boehner’s nutty, politically suicidal, unilateral invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu. And now even Netanyahu is turning on him with a statement from Israel’s foreign minister that Boehner had more or less lied to the Prime Minister about the extent of partisanship in the original invitation to...

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When murder is the end, not the means
Feb04

When murder is the end, not the means

ISIS is no longer defined largely as militant group whose goal is to establish a caliphate — using whatever means including cruelty, murder, and violence. The means are the end. Cruelty, murder and widespread violence are the end. Slaughter is the goal, George Packer writes. The very name of the self-proclaimed caliphate strikes most people, not least other Muslims, as ridiculous, if not delusional. But it’s the vaulting...

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Again, hypocrisy
Feb03

Again, hypocrisy

State taxpayers paid for Mr. Christie, his wife and two aides to travel to the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, as New Jersey prepared to host the 2014 game. Airfare for four passengers came to $8,146; Mr. Christie’s hotel for three nights cost $3,371. He has fought to shield the cost of his travel. The Super Bowl expenses were revealed only after a judge’s order in a lawsuit brought by The Record, a newspaper in northern New Jersey....

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Boehner’s big boo-boo
Jan30

Boehner’s big boo-boo

Well, the latest Boehner boo-boo, anyway. The guy is loaded with ‘em. John Boehner, thanks to the split in his caucus, is having to rely on House Democrats for some key votes. That’s just the way it’s worked out for the Republicans: their party has a major as well as a bunch of minor fractures which tend to annihilate their win in November. So the last thing Boehner should be looking for is trouble with Democrats....

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It looks like Obama’s trip up the polls is likely to last
Jan24

It looks like Obama’s trip up the polls is likely to last

Dana Milbank makes a good point. Obama was a teensy bit overmuch at one point in his State of the Union address to Congress when he ragged on about his two big wins. But he wins. Like, get used to it: His cocky, colloquial cadence was a bit much, but it’s hard to deny Obama a victory lap now that Americans are optimistic about the economy after six years of misery. This isn’t necessarily the result of his policies — but neither were...

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Achieving Republican goals
Jan22

Achieving Republican goals

Take a fresh look at what Obama has achieved during the past six years. “We’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health-care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.” Maybe a Republican politician would put it slightly differently — maybe with a sneer and some added self-congratulation. But there it is. The smart guy at the...

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Scariest stats, so far, on global warming
Jan18

Scariest stats, so far, on global warming

Here’s one way to look at it: If you’re around 50 now, the rest of your life will be much tougher thanks to the changing weather patterns. But you’ve got it easy compared to your children who will have some truly scary years thanks to the rapidly changing climate. In the annals of climatology, 2014 now surpasses 2010 as the warmest year in a global temperature record that stretches back to 1880. The 10 warmest years...

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Suddenly the American right feels sorry for France
Jan13

Suddenly the American right feels sorry for France

Suddenly the American right feels sorry for France: The conservatives are guilty of a bit of inconsistency, if not hypocrisy, in criticizing the Obama administration for snubbing a people they not long ago called cheese-eating surrender monkeys. But, ça ne fait rien. It’s très bien that Francophobia has waned on the American right, and that the land of Lafayette, socialist government and all, is again in conservatives’ good graces....

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