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GOP’s Limp ‘Emasculate Obama’ Ploy

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Republicans can mock Obama for having a ‘manhood problem,’ but they’re woefully out of touch with the new masculinity.

Out and about this weekend, I saw no less than three men who appeared to be heterosexual wearing little buns on the tops of their heads.  This must drive the Republican Party crazy.  Because in a way, man-buns are the greatest threat to conservative culture and ideology.On Meet the Press this weekend, David Brooks expressed the panic of older white male conservatives nationwide when he opined, “Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a—I’ll say it crudely—but a manhood problem in the Middle East.

’90s Chaos

Blame This Drunken Bear for Putin

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Bill Clinton had to call Russia’s first president early in the day to catch him sober. But the U.S. could work with Yeltsin—though he chose a successor who would ‘repudiate his legacy.’

As the first president of the Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin’s biggest mistake was picking Vladimir Putin as his seventh or ninth prime minister. Russian expert Strobe Talbott can’t remember exactly which one, there were so many. “It was like spin the bottle, and the bottle stopped spinning at Putin,” he says.Putin was actually Yeltsin’s sixth prime minister, for those keeping count. Named in August 1999 by Yeltsin, who was deeply unpopular, in failing health, and whose heroic stand atop a tank in defiance of a communist-led coup eight years earlier had been forgotten, replaced by anger over food shortages and rampant corruption.

LESS IS MORE

Groupon Government

The Daily Beast

These days only suckers pay retail for restaurants, clothes, and massages. And tanks, medicine, retirement, border patrol, and nearly every other thing the federal government provides.

Now that Tax Day has come and gone in a ritualized haze of misery and Maalox, can we get serious about, you know, actually settling the bill for the federal government’s expenditures? For all the bitching and moaning about paying taxes, the inconvenient truth is that we’re still totally living on borrowed money—and hence borrowed time. Eventually taxes will have to be raised, outlays reduced, or national debt inflated away (or most likely, some combination of all three).

CONSPIRACY

9/11 Truther Politicians

Adrees Latif/Reuters

While September 11 conspiracy believers are fringe, they’re also bipartisan.

According to a Tea Party candidate for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, questions about 9/11 still need to be asked. Greg Brannon is a doctor endorsed by Rand Paul who is in a fiercely contested GOP primary in the Tarheel State to take on incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. In  2012, Brannon, while appearing on a conservative talk show in his capacity as leader of the tea party organization Founder’s Truth, said more questions needed to be asked about the attacks on September 11 and then dodged inquires about whether he himself was a truther.

Seriously, Folks

Stop the Baby Clinton Madness

Justin Sullivan

Chelsea’s baby will remind voters of Hillary’s age—or it’ll make her more relatable. Or it’ll make her forget politics altogether. A look at the ludicrous search for political fallout.

OK, I get it. The arrival of Baby Clinton-Mezvinsky will be a boon to Hillary Clinton’s presumed candidacy because it will humanize her, softening what remains of her Lady Macbeth image. It will prove so helpful, according to one radio flannel-mouth, that it was likely an act of strategic planning.No, wait. It will seriously, perhaps fatally, damage her prospects, because the “grandmother” label will remind people that she will be 69 in 2016; grandmothers, as everyone knows, spend their days mall-walking and playing the slots at nearby casinos.

GOP Snub

SC GOP Snubs Desegregation Judge

Bruce Smith/AP

Julius Waties Waring, a challenger of ‘separate but equal,’ finally got a statue, but Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, and Mark Sanford had better things to do than attend the dedication.

Of all the names of American heroes you probably don’t know, Julius Waties Waring has to rank near the top of the list. Waring was a judge in South Carolina in the mid-20th century. He’s famous to those who know for many courageous stands, but he’s probably best known for writing in one opinion that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” That was in 1951, three years before Brown v. Board of Education. In Charleston, South Carolina.

School Standards

The Stupid War on the Common Core

Bruce Ackerman/Landov

An unholy alliance between the Tea Party and the teachers’ unions threatens to derail the most promising education reform in decades.

Like Rocky in the early rounds, the new Common Core math and reading standards are being pummeled left and right. From the left: Education icon Diane Ravitch says the Common Core represents a “utilitarian view of education” that is too focused on testing, data, and accountability. From the right, “ObamaCore” is denounced as federal intrusion. Heritage Foundation education fellow Lindsey Burke calls it “an effort to impose a uniform, standardized curriculum across the country.

Only Contender

Why the GOP Needs Another Bush

Getty

Does anyone really believe Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Chris Christie can contend against Hillary Clinton? At least Jeb, the establishment’s establishmentarian, would put up a fight.

The GOP may have to return to the Bush leagues.Here’s why.In presidential nominating contests, the Republican establishment has always won out—from the first Bush, to the tried but tired Dole, to W., then McCain, and most recently Romney, who nonetheless had to labor mightily to emerge from the weakest field of candidates in either party, ever. Really, Rick Santorum? Although casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s millions of misspent dollars propped him up, Romney, with even greater resources from the party’s long-reigning plutocrats, ground Santorum down over time and along the way dispatched the unthinkable Newt Gingrich.

говно!

Snowden Regrets Staged Putin Q&A

David von Blohn/NurPhoto, via Corbis

Even the NSA leaker’s closest advisers now say his appearance on a Kremlin call-in show, which touched off yet another international firestorm, was a mistake.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden instantly regretted asking Russian President Vladimir Putin a softball question on live television about the Kremlin’s mass surveillance effort, two sources close to the leaker tell The Daily Beast.“It certainly didn’t go as he would’ve hoped,” one of these sources said. “I don’t think there’s any shame in saying that he made an error in judgment.”“He basically viewed the question as his first foray into criticizing Russia.

Fringe Factor

Ladies Love the Wage Gap

Brendan Smialowski/Getty

Equal pay would just make finding a husband so much harder, Mike Huckabee likes his chances in North Korea, and a Fox News host wants no minimum wage.

One prominent female Republican reveals that women actually don’t want equal pay because that would make it harder for them to find husbands. Mike Huckabee thinks he’d have more freedom if he lived in North Korea, and Fox News hosts suggest America mimic China by abandoning all labor laws.Female GOPer: Ladies Love the Wage Gap—It Helps Them Find HusbandsRepublican activist Phyllis Schlafly penned an op-ed in the Christian Post this week to set the record straight about the alleged “wage gap” debate.

Easter Sunday

The Politics of Pontius Pilate

Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis

This Easter, a closer look at the Roman governor tasked with sending Jesus to his crucifixion proves that our own leaders follow many of the same dangerous practices—with equally deadly results.

We live in an age of Pilate politics. Pontius Pilate is a familiar figure to many of us, especially on this Easter weekend. He was the Roman governor of Judea and Samaria, tasked with collecting taxes, building roads, and generally maintaining order in the region of the world we now know as the West Bank. Pilate served as a critical part of the Easter story, a vital, brutal, link between Jesus's life on this earth, and his death on the cross.

Unequal

We Need More Class Traitors

Andrew Burton/Getty

Americans tell themselves that anything is possible when it comes to self-improvement, obscuring the truth that the privileged benefit from parental investment, strategic behavior, and simple capture of the institutions, like corporate boards, that hand out the money.

This country needs some good class treason. Our meritocracy is doing more harm than good, and its members—and everyone else—need to start questioning it.I am a product of that meritocracy. Born and raised in West Virginia, way out in the country, I tested and wrote my way into elite schools, and now I teach at one. I’m surrounded by very smart people who work very hard, and get rewarded.It’s a meritocratic age. Barack Obama’s life took this kind of path, and his administration is full of the kinds of people you meet there.

Forebearance

Rand Paul and the Welfare Rancher

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The Nevada rancher’s escalating standoff with the feds raises a worrisome question: Can Americans’ relationship with their government—and each other—be saved?

When Rand Paul is the most prominent voice for peace on a polarizing issue, you know something strange is happening to America.Who would have expected a political furor to erupt around a single Nevada rancher? But Cliven Bundy is exactly the sort of weird person that today’s ideological camps struggle to understand. To vocal conservatives, he’s a folk hero, a model of civil disobedience. To Sen. Harry Reid, on the other hand, his supporters are “nothing more than domestic terrorists.

Complex History

Can HRC Count on Women This Time?

Gaston De Cardenas/Reuters

They famously supported her in 2008—until they helped Obama win Iowa. So will the grandmother-to-be inspire female voters next cycle, or will they judge her on a harsher scale?

The event where Chelsea Clinton announced her pregnancy this week was billed as “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation.” But many saw it as much more than a “conversation” about the future of girls and women around the world. Instead, it looked like the first unofficial campaign event of a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run. After all, women have been considered the key to any Clinton victory. The question now, however, seems to be: Will they be?Clinton has a notoriously complex history with women.

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Robyn Twomey/Redux

Michael Tubbs, a 23-year-old councilmember in Stockton, California, and the star of the documentary ‘True Son,’ says that now is the time for young people to engineer social change.

“What are you going to do after you graduate?” was a question I grew to loathe during my senior at Stanford University. The pressure was immense as I was fully expected to add another prestigious institution to my resume, whether a high-profile company, a top graduate school, or a renowned fellowship.  For months, I struggled with the decision and after being rejected as a finalist from a fellowship I found myself at a crossroads.  Until that point, public service was the thread that tied my extracurricular and academic pursuits in college together, but it wasn’t something that I saw as a viable full-time pursuit.

Obamacare's 2014 Midterm Effect

Are Democrats in trouble in the upcoming midterm elections? Yes, says The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky, but not because of the Affordable Care Act.

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