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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About Dick Cheney’s decline
Apr22

About Dick Cheney’s decline

About Dick Cheney’s decline: Some observers believe the former vice-president is showing signs of mental illness. Others bark back, “You mean you’ve only just noticed?” Jonathan Chait slogs through the poisonous weeds of Cheneyland and takes a hard look at Cheney’s pronouncements on Iran, Obama, American decline, etc. etc. Like all Republican officeholders and some Democratic ones, Cheney thinks Obama has...

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When are we conservative and when are we liberal?
Apr20

When are we conservative and when are we liberal?

When are we conservative and when are we liberal? Easy! Or pretty easy… We are culturally pretty liberal (albeit with some mama’s boys on the sidelines reserving their right to tell everyone else how to live). We are economically pretty conservative (with the mama’s boys active in the movement “MoreForMe,LessForYou” that works both sides of the issue. And “Less for you” turns out to be as...

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Jeb’s ambition? Be like W. …only more so.
Apr18

Jeb’s ambition? Be like W. …only more so.

Lots more war along with more strong-arming — what this Republican candidate calls “American leadership.” If Jeb Bush is elected president, the United States won’t be on speaking terms with Cuba and will partner more closely with Israel. He’ll tighten sanctions on Iran and urge NATO to deploy more troops in Eastern Europe to counter Vladimir Putin. And he’ll order the U.S. military to root out “barbarians” and...

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Hillary’s Odds
Apr16

Hillary’s Odds

Republicans shouldn’t count on an anti-Obama/anti-Dem sweep in 2016. They’re not in such great shape — for sure — but there’s something else that drives them crazy: too many people don’t actually associate Obama with what political analyst Greg Sargent calls the “smoking hellscape” vision of the Obama presidency. Maybe some on the right embrace the hellscape view when they’re in...

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Undermining the Republicans where it counts
Apr13

Undermining the Republicans where it counts

Most of the left sat back and watched — if that — as the Republicans worked at ground level during the 1990′s, strengthening their party’s roots. State by state, they created a strong base for national wins. Now the Democrats are invading their territory. A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left’s political might in the states, racing to catch up with a...

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The Jeb myth, destroyed
Apr04

The Jeb myth, destroyed

Oh, that nice guy is running. Not like his brother George, Jeb is (isn’t he?) smarter and milder and seems to have decent friends. No Cheney on the horizon. Jeb is not an inarticulate crum-bum. Not surrounded by crum-bums. Not with a history of heavy drinking and mistreating dames. Nice, middle-of-the-road Republican with lower-key religious practices. Too bad: turns out this guy is no better than (say) Rick or Michelle or Rudy...

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Poll on Iran: Majority now side with Obama
Mar31

Poll on Iran: Majority now side with Obama

Is this (maybe) a breakthrough in American attitudes towards using the military to settle diplomatic disputes? By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds. …WaPo It goes without saying that the support for a deal depends on the deal being effective. Support outpaces...

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The worst kind of leader vs. “the invented people”
Mar28

The worst kind of leader vs. “the invented people”

Sheldon Adelson, puppetmaster for rightwing politicians, is Mr. Moneybags for extremists in Israel. He believes Palestinians are “an invented people.” Netanyahu’s survival instincts are impressive. While he was arousing fear of Arabs and Scandinavians, he was relying on the support of an actual foreign patron, Sheldon Adelson, the American billionaire and casino operator. Adelson owns and publishes Israel Hayom (Israel...

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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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