“Gotcha” Question Double Standard?
Feb24

“Gotcha” Question Double Standard?

Kevin Drum notes conservative complaints that Republican Presidential candidate Scott Walker has been unfairly peppered with “gotcha” questions from media (about Giuliani’s questioning President Obama’s love for America, evolution, and whether Obama is a Christian) on Mother Jones. As for the other stuff Walker is being asked about—evolution, climate change, Obama’s religion, etc.—there really is a good...

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Matisyahu (not Netanyahu) “Might” Speak To Congress  by Keven Purcell
Feb22

Matisyahu (not Netanyahu) “Might” Speak To Congress by Keven Purcell

Below are some of the lyrics from Matisyahu’s song “ONE DAY”: All my life I’ve been waiting for … I’ve been praying for … For the people to say … That we don’t wanna fight no more … There will be no more wars … And our children will play … Matisyahu is the Hebrew name (“Gift of God”), for the American reggae rapper and alternative rock musician who...

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Fact-checking Obama’s DNC Speech
Feb22

Fact-checking Obama’s DNC Speech

Non-partisan fact-check website Politifact.com takes President Obama’s advice and fact-checks his claims about the economy as well as GOP predictions. Here is a summary:   The “economy kept growing.” Official data on gross domestic product from the Commerce Department shows that the economy has been growing robustly in recent months. The “stock market has more than doubled.” On Jan. 20, 2009, the day...

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Krugman on the State of the GOP
Feb21

Krugman on the State of the GOP

Paul Krugman runs down the state of his party encountered by Republican Scott Walker as he enters the 2016 Presidential field in The New York Times. So what does it say about the current state of the G.O.P. that discussion of economic policy is now monopolized by people (supply-siders Laffer, Kudlow and Moore) who have been wrong about everything, have learned nothing from the experience, and can’t even get their numbers straight?...

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An Open Letter to Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush
Feb19

An Open Letter to Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush

Saladin (1138-1193) on 25 Pound 1991 Banknote from Syria. First Sultan of Egypt and Syria. A Kurd, he led Muslim opposition against Crusaders. [SYRIA - CIRCA 1991; Georgios Kollidas/Shutterstock.com] If there is any shared value between our secular and religiously tolerant political system and the movement known as “Christianity,” it is this: redemption is always possible. Even up to the gates of Hell, Goethe tells us,...

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A Record-Breaking Snow Removal Job – The Guard Is There
Feb18

A Record-Breaking Snow Removal Job – The Guard Is There

Record-breaking snowfalls and temperatures — low ones that is — have brought about a lot of snow shoveling for hundreds of National Guardsmen in several states, from the North-East all the way down to Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia. The photos and captions say it all: Soldiers clear snow from the Ashmont/Peabody Square Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority station in Dorchester, Mass., Feb. 15, 2015. U.S. Army...

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A Sensible Approach to ISIS
Feb18

A Sensible Approach to ISIS

Part of the Bush administration’s disastrous misadventure in Iraq was due to a poor understanding of that country and al-Qaeda. Graeme Wood offers an in-depth analysis of ISIS and how to deal with them in The Atlantic. Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. (ISIS leader Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and...

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The subversive James Comey
Feb16

The subversive James Comey

WASHINGTON — In the days of the civil rights movement, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was focused not on the quest for justice but on his fear of Communists. In “Parting the Waters,” the first volume of his magisterial biography of Martin Luther King Jr., Taylor Branch tells of a 1956 Eisenhower administration meeting during which Hoover “expressed no sympathy for civil rights and painted an alarming picture of...

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President Obama  Signs the  Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act: ‘The Stigma Has to End…’
Feb12

President Obama Signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act: ‘The Stigma Has to End…’

A bill aimed at reducing military and veteran suicides and improving their access to quality mental health care and a bill that was doggedly opposed and blocked by a lone, “support-the-troops” Republican Senator was finally signed into law by President Obama today. The bill, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, or SAV Act, is named after Clay Hunt, a decorated Marine veteran who, upon his return from combat in...

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Bush Campaign Embarassed By Two Tech Problems
Feb12

Bush Campaign Embarassed By Two Tech Problems

Since Jeb Bush began unofficially running for the Republican nomination he has had a couple problems with technology. These are primarily presented as examples of how politicians must be careful, not necessarily criticism of Jeb Bush personally. First there was the problem of old tweets from a campaign aide, such as calling women sluts. The solution was fairly simple, deleting the old tweets and apologizing: Ethan Czahor’s tweets...

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The Very Trees Cry Out: NO NO NO– Three Muslim Students Murdered
Feb11

The Very Trees Cry Out: NO NO NO– Three Muslim Students Murdered

DATELINE: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 3 Muslim students shot dead by middle-aged shooter. This should be at top of cable news and top of every newspaper in the USA. Two of the dead were married just 1.5 months ago in joyful celebration. The other dead young person is a sister.”Each of the victims, Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, were just embarking on the first stage of their...

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Prayer Breakfast Kerfuffle is about Fundamentalism
Feb11

Prayer Breakfast Kerfuffle is about Fundamentalism

Ed Kilgore digs into the intra-Christian conflict behind the controversy over President Obama’s prayer breakfast remarks on Talking Points Memo. But beyond the context of Christian-Islamic rivalry and comparative assessments of religious violence, Obama was also quietly but forcefully continuing an intra-Christian argument over clarity of God’s Will and whether those who assert they know it in detail are exhibiting faithful...

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The Death of  Kayla Jean Mueller – An Update
Feb10

The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller – An Update

More details of the tragic death of American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller are emerging. I will not include them in the initial post announcing her death and containing tributes to her life. Here is a separate update. While the parents of Kayla Mueller did not specify what proof they had received of their daughter’s death, the New York Times reports, “two people who had been briefed on the proof said it consisted of at least three...

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Equal Rights in Greece
Feb10

Equal Rights in Greece

With the new Greek government and leftist Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, it appears that Greece is poised to start the process of allowing for new policies regarding LGBT individuals and same-sex couples. Some questions had risen last month following statements made by Tsipras when asked about adoption by same-sex couples, seeming to have moderated his tone by encouraging caution and dialogue on the issue. Although same-sex marriage...

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The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller
Feb10

The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller

Update: Statements by other officials at end of post. ~~ NBC reports that American ISIL hostage Kayla Mueller is dead. Her death has been confirmed by Kayla’s family. The family made the following statement, but did not elaborate on how it had learned of her death or the circumstances surrounding it, according to NBC: We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her...

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UPDATED – Royal Jordanian Air Force: ‘Message Delivered’
Feb06

UPDATED – Royal Jordanian Air Force: ‘Message Delivered’

Below is a video of Jordanian air strikes against ISIL storage and staging facilities near Al Hasakah, Syria, on February 5. ISIL claims that a Jordanian air strike against the city of Raqqa, where ISIL alleges American Kayla Mueller was being held, killed her. Jordan has denied that Mueller was killed in one of the country’s air strikes: TheDailyBeast.com: A Jordanian official denied ISIS’ claims that Mueller was killed in one...

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The Consequences of Your Vaccination Decision (Guest Voice)
Feb06

The Consequences of Your Vaccination Decision (Guest Voice)

The Consequences of Your Vaccination Decision Making Sense by Michael Reagan California is experiencing an entirely new disturbance in the Force. The Magic Kingdom has become the Measles Kingdom. Disneyland is ground zero for the largest outbreak of measles in the last 15 years. So far more than 100 cases have been reported since the initial exposure, some from as far away as Boston. (Rest assured, Mickey and Goofy are still fine.)...

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King v. Burwell
Feb05

King v. Burwell

Linda Greenhouse comments on the significance of the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act in The New York Times. So will the Affordable Care Act survive its second encounter with the Roberts court? I said earlier that this case is as profound in its implications as the earlier constitutional one. The fate of the statute hung in the balance then and hangs in the balance today, but I mean more than that. This time, so does...

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MSNBC Falls on Hard Times
Feb04

MSNBC Falls on Hard Times

I talked about this in my very last blog post, November 5′s “The End of the Trail.” Inside MSNBC’s Impending Shakeup: Cancellations, Reboots and Chief Phil Griffin Jordan Chariton / The Wrap Amid the cable news network’s declining ratings, insiders tell TheWrap changes are coming soon and “everything is on the table”  —  When President Obama was reelected in 2012, MSNBC was “leaning forward” … Yes. After...

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Important Update: The Vaccines Issue: Satire, or Politics Imitating Satire?
Feb04

Important Update: The Vaccines Issue: Satire, or Politics Imitating Satire?

Important Update: While the statements (below) by Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Christie and Dr. Paul on vaccinations are an important public service, perhaps the most authoritative word on this critical issue comes from none other than Senator Joni Ernst (R.-Iowa). Today at the New Yorker, Andy Borowitz released the text of a letter by the good Senator giving the American people invaluable advice on how to protect our children during the...

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