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Only Contender

Why the GOP Needs Another Bush

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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.

School Standards

The Stupid War on the Common Core

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Fool Me Once…

The Fringe Sect Duping The GOP

The Daily Beast

It’s a tiny religion featuring fembots, creationists, and a leader who says his ‘Holocaust Deception’ book was a mistake. Why are so many in the GOP appearing on its TV network?

On May 24, 2012, Senator Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, gave an innocuous interview to a visiting journalist from Turkey.  “There are a lot of good people who would love to see peace, if only the hatred that exists were to vanish,” he said.What Senator Kyl could not have known is that the “journalist” with whom he was speaking was actually part of a religious organization whose leader has spent time in jail amid accusations of extortion, forced sex, and bizarre, cult-like behavior.

Changing Times

Senior Dem's Tough Re-Election

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After 38 years in Congress, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) is facing his toughest race yet and could join a number of longtime members in leaving Congress next year.

Nick Rahall has been representing the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia since 1977 but he might not for much longer.The 19-term Democratic incumbent, who chaired the House National Resources Committee from 2007-2011 and would be in line to take over the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee if Democrats somehow manage to take back control of the House in 2014, is in the congressional race of his life.According to Politico Rahall now “trails significantly” his Republican opponent, State Senator Evan Jenkins and the incumbent wasn’t included in a long list of ad reservations announced by the Democratic superPAC, House Majority PAC, although the group has been spending heavily on his behalf.

Viral

Vote for Me, Win a Free Car

Long-shot Bob Quast will do almost anything to win the Democratic nomination.

The "blow your balls off” candidate is back with another campaign commercial, called “#winaDINO" Bob Quast, 44, is a long-shot primary candidate for the U.S. Senate from Iowa. According to LinkedIn, he is also president of Custom Limousines & Exotic Cars, Inc. where he rents out “very expensive high-end limousines.” Quast is using his experience in the car rental business to appeal to voters with his latest ad.“Iowa, if I win this election, I’m going to blow your mind and give away a free car,” Quast says, promising to give away his campaign car, a 2014 Chevy Spark.

LOW BALLIN’

Krugman Is a Steal at $225K

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The only thing hypocritical about acclaimed economist Paul Krugman’s CUNY salary is the right-wingers suddenly begrudging someone his free-market value.

When I first read those articles Wednesday about Paul Krugman’s new City University of New York salary, I didn’t even understand what the “story” was supposed to be. I don’t mind admitting that I had to have it explained to me that the $225,000 figure was supposed to mark some kind of hypocrisy on Krugman’s part. Oh, please. The only hypocrisy on display here, as usual, is that of his right-wing critics, suddenly begrudging someone his free-market value.

‘An Act of Love’

How the Pope Is Remaking the GOP

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The wildly popular Francis is offering cover for a few Republicans, including Jeb Bush, to start speaking out in favor of some deeply unpopular issues within the party.

When Jeb Bush stepped up this month to declare illegal immigration “an act of love,” he provoked precisely the conservative pile-on you’d expect. The right’s favorite crabby uncle, Charles Krauthammer, dourly pronounced the comments “bizarre.” Rep. Raul Labrador accused Jebbie of pandering.  Noted intellectual Donald Trump declared Bush’s thinking “ridiculous” and “dangerous.” And God help anyone who ventured onto sites like RedState.com. Most perfectly, fake-winger Stephen Colbert eulogized, “He will be missed.

Existential Dread

Liberal Hypocrisy on Cash and Guns

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Michael Bloomberg’s anti-NRA campaign reveals why liberals love money in politics as much as everybody else: They’re terrified.

Have you heard the depressing, outrageous news?The dreaded Koch brothers are dumping $50 million into an election-year campaign to target their political enemies and—this is a direct quote—“make them afraid of us.”Isn’t it revolting? When will the influence of money in politics ever subside?Wait, what’s that you say? I have my names wrong? That’s not the Koch brothers with the $50 million plan? That quote belongs to someone else?It’s actually Michael Bloomberg spending that sum, to strike fear into the hearts of NRA members and beat them at their own game?It’s Shannon Watts, the activist profiled with Bloomberg for the New York Times report on the effort, who tells Reuters, “I think the NRA should be very afraid”?Oh.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

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