Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What Just Happened to the House GOP?

    As you have all seen by now, Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has dramatically withdrawn from the race for Speaker of the House. As every news story has made clear, McCarthy was undone by the opposition of a group of hard-liners (probably about forty of them). What the news stories don't make clear is that those hard-liners could not have come close to beating McCarthy at the caucus election where McCarthy resigned.

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    Ramona's picture

    What If The Second Amendment Didn't Exist?

    Once upon a time, long before The National Rifle Association stopped being a reasonable, responsible hunter's association and became the NRA, the Second Amendment was looked on, if at all, as a remnant of the olden days, when the writers of the Constitution saw fit to assuage the fears of the states by assuring them they could form their own state militias in case the federal government got too bossy, thinking they owned the place.

    These days, even though nothing about it has changed, the Second Amendment is the one and only part of the Constitution actually seen as constitutional by the Right Wing. (Causing certain politicians who don't know what's going on to keep repeating the magic words, "Second Amendment". It gets them votes, so what the hell?)

    Read more at Crooks & Liars.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    A Gun Truth Movement for Gun Truthers

    I admit, as a smoker in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I found those "Truth" anti-smoking ads to be pretty obnoxious and I expected that they would be no more effective than the "Just Say No," anti-drug ads of the 1980s.  But I was actually a little older than "The Truth" was aiming for, and a little too set in my ways. I had to find my own path away from nicotine. The Truth ads, meanwhile, were effective enough that a whole lot of people who were 5-15 years younger than me never had to waste any time or money on tobacco, much less endure the trial of quitting.  Good for The Truth.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Welcome To #Amurdica

    When it comes mass shootings, the gun is the tool of the coward. Their individual weaknesses are over compensated for by hatred and semiautomatic weapons. A profound lack of courage is at the center of these attacks. For some, it's easier to shoot innocent people than it is to address the unfulfilled areas of their lives. They often leave manifestos behind detailing their desire for cultural relevance. These perpetrators are products of a culture obsessed with fame and instant gratification. The socioeconomic factors facing our youth must be addressed, but we have to accept the fact that some people don't value life. There's not an economic metric that can make life more valuable to someone who has decided their life is worthless. Once we accept this fact we have to (collectively) keep an eye on the loners around us.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The Watchdog's Watchdog

    BrockThe front page of Friday's Washington Post includes reporter David Farenthold's hit piece on Bernie Sanders. Much closer in tone and content to Charles Krauthammer on a bad day than legitimate journalism, Farenthold's commentary is expertly debunked by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich at Huffington Post and macroeconomist Dean Baker of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

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    Ramona's picture

    Obama Says He'll Politicize Guns. NRA, Fox, GOP Say No Way, That's Our Job.

    . . .And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
    trkingmomoe's picture

    Watching the Outhouse Implode

    Since D Day is on a sabbatical, It is time for some of his type of political wisdom. I will try to fill in for him.

    Trump came along and has exposed the GOP base for what it is.  It is not Benghazi, or anything else like "no taxes" holds the GOP voter base together.  It is hate wrapped up in a pretty package called social issues. He throws nothing but hateful sound bites at the voter base and they lap it up. Lacking real ideas he say "Everything is going to be just great or Yuuge." He has not one policy in his campaign.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Cadillacs All Around

    In the U.S., most people get their health insurance through their employers because... well, because the government wants it that way. 

    During World War II, American industry needed workers to meet the industrial needs caused by a gigantic war.  That demand for workers resulted in enormous wage inflation and the government decided to stop that by putting compensation caps into place.  Remember that next time somebody tells you that the government can't interfere with the markets by, say, regulating drug prices.  When it came to wages for ordinary people, the government interfered in the markets without much regret.

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    Planned Parenthood

    Okay, here's what I want to know.

    In all the kerfuffle over Planned Parenthood, the grilling of Cecile Richards, the shout your abortion hashtag, why doesn't anyone EVER talk about the guys ffs?

    Speaking as a white, middle-class, professional female, I would like to address the innocence/experience divide. Innocence is when you believe the guy when he tells you he'll pull out before orgasm, experience is when you know he's lying.

    Ramona's picture

    The Pope's Parting Gift to Bigotry

    While much of the country was still coming off of the Papal Visit high last week (it was a trip, wasn't it?), that parade was not only rained on yesterday, it was deluged.

    Less than a week after Pope Francis the Terrific thrilled the country with a visit that filled our very souls with joy (Right?), the Papal love-fest is threatening to become a veritable wash-out. How did this happen? How could it happen?

    (Posting at Crooks and Liars.  Read more here.)

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Religious Leaders Want Theocracies

    A common answer to a liberal who objects that Pope Francis decided to meet privately with Kentucky County Clerk and homophobic bigot Kim Davis is that, hey, he's a Catholic and he doesn't support same sex marriage anyway, so what's the problem?

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Elizabeth Warren's History Lesson

    warrenThis past Sunday Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a justly lauded speech at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. Warren focused on the interplay between racial and economic injustice in America over the past 80 years. “Prominent [Black Lives Matter] activist DeRay McKesson,” according to Salon, “praised Warren as better than any other politician on her understanding 'that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence[.]'” (Emphasis supplied.) I fear McKesson got Warren's message precisely wrong.

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    Ramona's picture

    Okay Meanies, You Can Come Out Now. The Pope Is Gone.

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet the resident meanies were while the Pope was here? Even Donald Trump gave it a rest for a few days.  Or am I wrong?  Did I just not notice because, to their credit (and my relief), the press took to covering the Pope every day in every way and kept it nice?
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    We Brought Over-Policing On Ourselves

    Interesting piece in The New York Times about the origins of the Rockefeller drug laws and the tough on crime stance of Harlem social activists in the 1960s.  It seems a classic case of a community giving up power for safety and being abused for it.  I only take issue here with the total focus on black communities within the city -- over-policing is now a problem throughout America.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Ask Me About Shakespeare, Round Two

    So, last year I had an Ask Me About Shakespeare thread that people seemed to enjoy. (Answers to the first round of questions are at the link.) Let's try it again.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Winnowing the GOP Field with Jane Austen

    Scott Walker has left the Republican presidential primaries: the first dropout who was once considered a major contender for the nomination. That, and the departure of Rick Perry, leaves us with only fourteen or fifteen candidates left. In fact, the real number is much smaller than that, because of an economic concept called the Pareto principle; there have never been sixteen choices, because the Pareto principle cuts the number down to a smaller number of practical options.

    barefooted's picture

    Danger In Donald's Name

    Donald Trump is becoming a dangerous leader of an ignorant, angry base of people who don't give a damn about politics. They aren't looking for ways to improve our economy, policies to help the middle class or the wealthy, taxes up or down, nor do they care about wars in general - their focus is clearly on nationalism with a very white bent. "Immigration" means keeping non-whites out, "unemployment" means a Mexican took your job. "Poor" equals black and dangerous, "religion" means Christian.

    Ramona's picture

    How Do You Shame The Shameless?

    Every now and then I get to thinking about shame; about its legitimacy as a teaching tool ("Kids are starving in China and you won't eat your peas?"), about its necessity in a civilized society ("Shut the door! Were you born in a barn?"), and about its mean-spirited use as a weapon ("What kind of #$&*% are you, anyway?").

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Trump, Evangelicals and Showbiz Politics

    The great thing about Donald Trump is how he totally freaks out The New York Times while making CNN salivate.  The day after the debate, we get Frank Bruni bemoaning the blurred lines between politics and entertainment, an objection that makes me wonder where Bruni has been since the 1980s, when Trump ascended into the popular culture, Yes, CNN salivates at the prospect of a president that it can probably cover through sitcom, but let's not give into Bruni's yearning for a serious politics of yore that never was.

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