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Category Archive: Politics

Nov 07 2013

Sometimes Extremism is a Good Thing

Michael Kazin has an article in Dissent doing something that is rarely done, praising extremism. Yes, extremism is often very dangerous and very unhealthy for society. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes what seems radical and unthinkable at one point in time is the overwhelming consensus in later years. An example:

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Nov 06 2013

The Skeletons in Christie’s Closet

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have a new book out called Double Down: Game Change 2012 about the 2012 election and it includes some interesting details about the vetting of potential vice-presidential candidates by the Romney campaign. But let’s start with this fascinating little tidbit from Time’s excerpt from the book:

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Oct 29 2013

More Republican Hypocrisy on Obamacare Computer Problems

Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo follows up on Rachel Maddow’s report on the many glitches and difficulties in the rollout of the Medicare Part D program in 2006. Turns out Rep. Joe Barton wasn’t the only Republicans who just wanted to cooperate to fix the glitches rather than railing against the Bush administration or …

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Oct 28 2013

Maddow Puts Healthcare Glitches in Perspective

Rachel Maddow did an excellent job of putting the problems with the healthcare.gov website into perspective. She noted that the rollout of Social Security was a massive boondoggle because of the difficulty of signing up 26 million people for the program in a year without the help of computers. Same with Medicare in 1965.

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Oct 28 2013

The GOP Civil War: Mathematicians vs Priests

As the civil war within the Republican party has become absolutely obvious to everyone, mainstre Republican strategist Mike Murphy explains the split perfectly as one between mathematicians, who recognize demographic reality, and priests, who care only about doctrinal purity.

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Oct 17 2013

The Convenient Fiscal Restraint of Conservatism

Steger - balanced budget

A study from Depaul University political science professor Wayne Steger shows what has been obvious to anyone paying attention all along, that conservative Republicans only seem interested in fiscal responsibility when a Democrat is in office.

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Oct 16 2013

Trump for New York Governor?

The Republican Party in New York is so desperate to defeat Gov. Andrew Cuomo that they’re trying to convince Donald Trump to run against him in 2014. So far Trump hasn’t said yes or no, but they’re actively courting him according to the New York Post.

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Oct 13 2013

I Hope Erickson is Right

It’s not very often that I hope the loathsome Erick Erickson is right about something, but I really do hope that his prediction about where the budget standoff is heading proves to be correct. He thinks Boehner and Cantor are about to cave in and says that will prompt the far right to leave the …

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Oct 13 2013

Ornstein’s Futile Suggestion for Ending the Standoff

Norm Ornstein is a very, very smart man, one of the smartest policy wonks in Washington. But I’m afraid his suggestion for a way out of the budget and debt ceiling impasse, as reasonable as it may seem to reasonable people, is destined for failure even if President Obama were to offer it.

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Oct 03 2013

I’m Jealous of Charles Pierce

I only recently discovered the writing of Charles Pierce, who blogs for Esquire, and I’m rapidly becoming jealous of him. I’m a good writer, I know, but he is such a brilliant wordsmith that I envy him. Just take a look at this passage about the shutdown, which is as on-target as it is eloquent.

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Sep 28 2013

Newt’s Useless PAC

Mother Jones reports on the American Legacy Political Action Committee, set up by Newt and Callista Gingrich, which is now trying to fundraise based on opposition to Obama’s Syria policy. The problem is that the PAC is taking in large amounts of money and distributing almost none of it.

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Sep 27 2013

Could Cruz’ Posturing Hurt Him in the Primary?

I’ve been saying over the last week or so that Ted Cruz’ ranting and raving over Obamacare was about nothing more than bringing in campaign contributions and positioning himself as the One True Conservative in the 2016 presidential race. Two Buzzfeed reporters say it could actually do the opposite:

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Sep 26 2013

Food Stamps vs Crop Insurance

Here’s a surprisingly rational column by Henry Olsen in the conservative magazine National Review about the House Republicans and their obsession with cutting food stamps. He points out that those same Republicans ignore more expensive programs in the same bill (food stamps are part of the annual farm bill) that primarily benefit those who don’t …

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Sep 19 2013

Rand Paul Wants to Restore Felon Voting Rights

I’ve hammered Rand Paul many times for taking unconscionable positions on a number of issues and pandering to the most extreme wing of his party, but I’ve also given him credit when he’s been right. And I have to applaud him for speaking out in favor of restoring the voting rights of felons who complete …

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Sep 19 2013

Would a Govt. Shutdown Sway the Tea Party Types?

With a showdown over the budget looming in the House and a government shutdown looking all but inevitable, many people are arguing that this is exactly what we need, that the blowback against the Republicans will be so powerful that it will bring the Tea Party Republicans in the House back to their senses and …

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