Bernie Sanders gains on Hillary Clinton

While Donald Trump has riveted people’s attention to the Republican race for the nomination, let us not forget that the Democrats also have a race. It has not drawn much attention since the pundits initially assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win in a walk but recent events have suggested that Bernie Sanders is not merely a sideshow. He has succeeded to some extent in beating back the fringe candidate label and is thus getting some of the valuable free publicity that comes with reporters for national publications covering his campaign.
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Once again, Fox News takes on Jon Stewart and it does not end well

This time it was about the two sinister, secret meetings between Jon Stewart and president Obama where it was insinuated that they had coordinated a policy agenda. It never seems to dawn on Fox News that trying to attack Stewart and The Daily Show never fails to boomerang on them. They seem to be really slow learners. And as Stewart says, just because you don’t know something does not mean it is a secret.
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Why evangelicals and neoconservatives are trying to stop the Iran deal

It is a cliché that politics makes for strange bedfellows but surely one of the strangest is that between the hardline pro-Israel evangelicals in the US on the one hand and the extreme right-wing politicians in Israel and their neoconservative allies and the Israel lobby in the US on the other. The strong bonds between them are not based on any fondness for each other but purely due to each side seeing the other as serving its own interests.
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The killing of Cecil the lion

I have not written anything about the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion. What is there to say? Pretty much everyone has felt and expressed their revulsion at such a senseless and cruel act and have wondered what psychological need it satisfies in some people that they go to all that trouble and expense to kill just for the fun of it a magnificent, and in this case beloved, animal of which there are precious few left. And then decapitate it and mount the head on their wall. It would creep me out to see it forever looking down at me in silent reproof for subjecting it to a painful and extended period of dying but clearly trophy hunters don’t see things the same way.
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And another routine traffic stop ends in death

As if Sandra Bland’s death in the jail where she ended up following a traffic stop for not signaling while changing lanes was not bad enough, now a police officer in Cincinnati Ray Tensing has been indicted for murder following the death of an unarmed black man Samuel DuBose at another routine traffic stop, this time for lacking a front license plate, something that the state of Ohio requires but not all states do. It turned out that DuBose was not carrying a driving license either but he claimed that he had it. What is clear that neither of these facts should have ever resulted in a shooting, even if DuBose was trying to leave the scene without Tensing’s permission. There is no excuse for shooting someone who is not posing a threat to the police or is a potential threat to others.
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The history and futility of car alarms

For pretty much all of us, our first reaction when he hear a car alarm go off is to think “Oh, hell, I hope someone shuts it off soon”. Almost no one thinks about calling the police to tell them that a car is being stolen. I had thought that these were a new invention, within the last two decades or so, but Zachary Crockett writes that they were first developed as far back as 1913.
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The only form of bigotry still allowed in America?

Former Texas senator Phil Gramm and one-time Republican candidate for president says that there is only one form of bigotry that is still tolerated in America. Can you guess what it might be? Your first guess might be that it is the bigotry against transsexuals. Or against Mexicans. But that is because you are a bleeding heart liberal. Since Gramm is a conservative Republican, you might think that he is referring to Christians because they never stop claiming victimhood.
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The continuing struggle over vaccinations

The efforts to fight polio vaccination in some Muslim-majority countries has been a scandal, fueled by a mixture of wrong-headed beliefs by some Muslim clerics about the effect of vaccines and by fears that it is part of some kind of plot by the CIA and other western spy agencies. The latter charge gained credibility because of the shameful use by the US of a fake vaccination scheme to try and find Osama bin Laden but even then there is absolutely no excuse for harassing or murdering workers administering vaccines or preventing children from receiving one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that has eradicated a deadly disease from almost the entire world.
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Immigration and the Republican primary

The issue of undocumented immigrants is turning into a big issue in the Republican primary race and you can be certain that it will feature in a big way in the debates and that any crime committed by such a person is going to get huge amounts of attention and be promoted by Fox News and other conservative media as proof positive that these people are a serious menace and will kill us all in our beds if we don’t immediately round them up and throw them out.
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