Huckabee the snake-oil salesman

There was a time back in 2008 when I started becoming aware of Mike Huckabee that I thought that he seemed like a compassionate conservative, someone who was religious but also cared about helping the poor. He would go on shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and act all affable and avuncular and talk a good game, as if he was a reasonable person.
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The death of an extraordinary US ambassador

There is an old joke that defines an ambassador as someone who lies abroad for his country. A country’s diplomats are usually the overseas implementers of a government’s policies however corrupt and venal, and are expected to cover them up but once in a while someone comes along who transcends that role and tries to uphold the truth. Robert White, who died on January 13, 2015, is an example of that. He was a whistleblower who, as US ambassador to El Salvador, exposed the truth about that country’s regime in the face of US complicity.
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The crowded Republican field is going to result in a crazy campaign

The political world was caught flat-footed by the sudden interest expressed by Mitt Romney in running again for the presidency. The surprise was generated by two things. One is that Romney had already made two attempts and lost, once losing the nomination to John McCain in 2008 and then the presidency in 2012 and it was felt that a two-time loser should gracefully bow out. The other is that Romney and his wife had repeatedly said that they had had enough and that it was time to move on.
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Clayton Bigsby – a most unusual white supremacist

In 2003, comedian Dave Chappelle began a sketch comedy show on Comedy Central that was highly acclaimed because it took head-on all the major hot button issues of the day. But after just two seasons he abruptly quit, saying he was fed up with show business and fame. Here is one of the best known sketches from the show, the story of a KKK leader named Clayton Bigsby, told in the style of a Frontline documentary. (Language advisory)
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks about major issues

In January 1965,Playboy magazine published a lengthy interview (the longest he had ever given) that Alex Haley had with the civil rights leader soon after he won the Nobel Peace Prize. In it he expressed his views on a wide range of issues and provides a window into the mind of a remarkable man, revealing a self-assurance and lack of ego in his willingness to admit to all manner of tactical mistakes that he had made.
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Bad news for public schools

A new report says that for the first time in 50 years, a majority of public school students come from families who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. As Kevin Drum points out, those who quality for free lunch (44%) have family incomes of less than $31,000, while for the 7% who get reduced-price lunches the cut-off is $44,000.
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Why I likely will not see Selma

Today is the day that the US commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man whom I admire greatly and have written about before many times so will not repeat those views. But I will likely not be going to see the new film Selma, that deals with the civil rights struggle of which he was such a big part and uses a key event of that struggle to tell the story, even though the film has been praised.
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The latest ‘terror plot’ foiled by the FBI

Once again we have the government announcing that, thanks to the diligent work of their security services, they have foiled a terrorist plot aimed at the heart of the US government and spared us all from a Paris-style attack.

For months, 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell had been on the FBI’s radar. Authorities said he left alarming posts on social media, talking about violent jihad.

On Wednesday, agents arrested the Cincinnati man before he could put his alleged plot into action.
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