To stop the president's nominee for the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department, the right-wing borrowed from an old playbook.
As governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis presided over a prison “furlough” program that gave convicts a chance to return their communities for short periods. Like all programs, it wasn’t without its problems, but state officials considered it success: Few inmates escaped, and those who participated had a lower recidivism rate, as they were better able to reintegrate into society.Unfortunately for Dukakis, one of the escaped prisoners was Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who never returned from furlough, and went on to assault a young couple, raping the woman and knifing her husband.
Republicans might want to believe otherwise, but the Affordable Care Act isn't hurting the economy—it's helping it.
The House Republican majority began its reign of dysfunction with a bill to repeal Obamacare. Creatively called the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” it formed the basis for their messaging on the law.“The Congressional Budget Office has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs,” declared Michele Bachmann during the Republican presidential primaries. “This will be the biggest job-killer ever,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott during the 2012 election season.
Steve McQueen's acclaimed film is the new target of right-wingers who hate "white guilt" and love racial resentment.
If “Best Picture” is supposed to award the film that excels in all categories, then 12 Years a Slave was a worthy choice. From its performances to its cinematography and music direction, Steve McQueen’s story of Solomon Northrup—and his journey through the antebellum South—is a tremendous accomplishment. By any measure, it deserves its award.Unless, that is, you’re a little critic named Rush Limbaugh. Then, the success of the film is just further evidence for your resentment and paranoia.
Oscar Pistorius is on trial for murder, with a defense that comes straight from the Florida of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn.
Oscar Pistorius—the “fastest man on no legs”—is on trial for murder in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.The details are straightforward. On Valentine’s Day last year, Pistorius fired four shots through a locked bathroom door and killed Steenkamp. The prosecution’s case is that this was premeditated, as evidenced by a neighbor who says she heard shouts and screams from the house, prior to the shooting.Pistorius and his lawyers, on the other hand, say that this was a mistaken case of self-defense—that Pistorius was trying to defend his home from an intruder.
In the dreams of one infamous conservative writer, the GOP is the party of white people. But the reality is that the dream has already come true.
John Derbyshire was a columnist for the National Review before he was fired for defending his racism in print. Now, the erstwhile pundit is writing for white nationalists, and denouncing Republicans for trying to expand their tent and appeal to minorities:He said “conservatives are the only people in the U.S.A. trying to ‘transcend contentious racial issues,’” but agreed with his “friend” — white nationalist Jared Taylor – that white people should stop trying to get along with black people.
The new GOP attack on the Medicaid expansion is that it's indistinguishable from the dreaded Obamacare.
Eight Republican governors have accepted the Medicaid expansion for their states—and one of them, Chris Christie, leads the Republican Governors Association. But this hasn’t stopped them from attacking Democrats for pushing it as well. To wit, in South Carolina, the RGA is running ads against State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who is challenging Governor Nikki Haley for the state’s governorship.“Remember this guy, Sheheen? Well first, Sheheen supported much of Obamacare.
An introduction to the conservatives who think efforts to ameliorate discrimination are as bad—if not worse—than actual discrimination.
For all of the fanfare around it, “My Brother’s Keeper” is the latest in a line of programs that are aimed impoverished, urban areas. If it differs from other efforts—including the “opportunity zones” of Republican anti-poverty thinking—it’s in its funding scope ($200 million over five years) and its specificity: It’s aimed at young, low-income minority men.Given the extent to which American life is stacked against them—from high unemployment and few opportunities to unequal treatment in the criminal justice system and unequal treatment in schools—a program like My Brother’s Keeper is the least we can do.
Every time the question of black teenagers comes up, someone blames 'gangsta rap' for their problems. It's nonsense.
Jay-Z is a multimedia mogul with a gift for business and the credibility of the art world. Kanye West is a hyper-talented producer and visual artist who has refined and redefined the sound of pop music several times over. And in their relentless drive for accomplishment and success, they embody the American dream.To Bill O’Reilly, however, they’re just “gangster rappers” who need to be put in their place. Or at least, that’s what he said on Thursday, when he spoke to Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett about the president’s new program to help young minority men.
It’s a worthwhile effort to reach out to young black men. But fundamental change will only happen if Americans—not just politicians—want it to happen.
On Thursday afternoon, President Obama announced his plan to help black boys beat the odds. Like he did. “I made bad choices. I got high, not always thinking about the harm it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short,” he said. But he had the advantage of good schools, good neighborhoods, and a stable home life. And to extend those resources to other young men and women of color, Obama will work with private organizations to corral resources and provide services to kids at risk.
Paula Deen likens herself to gay NFL prospect Michael Sam while defenders of Arizona’s anti-gay bill see themselves as proverbial Christians being thrown to the lions.
Paula Deen, the erstwhile maven of Southern cooking—or at least, a lard-laden caricature of it—is in trouble again, this time, for comparing her legal plight to the actual plight Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay prospective player:“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.
Ted Cruz has returned to his old tricks of undermining his colleagues and working to end their careers.
After the government shutdown, a chastened Ted Cruz promised not to work with the Senate Conservative Fund, an outside group which works to defeat incumbent Republican senators. It was the least he could do to win the good graces of his colleagues, after leading the party to a stand-off that tanked its popularity and gave Obama a victory.Since then, Cruz has been quiet, and the GOP has recovered from the debacle of October, helped—in large part—by the initial problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Where ever there's racially polarized voting, there's probably racism too.
On Tuesday, NPR aired a report from Louisiana, where Senator Mary Landrieu is running against a strong Republican challenger. The reporter, Alisa Chang, spoke to a few voters to get their views on the contest, and one of them was completely candid with his perspective:One of the men sitting under the tree one particular afternoon is Beau Broussard. He’s not Cajun, but they let him hang out here anyway. Broussard says for years, people running for political office have visited this oak tree.
The former vice president is angry that President Obama would spend less on wars and military, and more on aid for low-income Americans.
In 2003, George Bush took two huge moves. He invaded Iraq, pushing the United States into a decade-long quagmire, and he signed a $1 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. In the past, presidents chose one or the other. You either cut taxes, or you fought wars, but you didn’t fight wars while cutting taxes. It was impractical, for the simple reason that wars aren’t free.When confronted with this, Vice President Dick Cheney—who supported the wars and the tax cuts—dismissed the concern.
More than a year after saying Republicans need to not be the “stupid party,” the governor of Louisiana has given in to the dumb.
In the days after Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 election, conservative wunderkind and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stepped up with harsh criticism for his party. “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments—enough of that,” he told POLITICO. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party.“ Republicans, said Jindal, ”should stop being the stupid party“ and should ”fight for every single vote.
There are a lot of aggravating myths and narratives in politics. But the idea that of a "next in line" in Republican presidential fights is at the top.
At the New York Times today, Jonathan Martin summarizes the conventional wisdom on presidential nomination contests:For generations, the two major political parties have taken strikingly different approaches to picking their presidential candidates: Republican primaries usually amount to coronations, in which they nominate a candidate who has run before or is otherwise deemed next in line, while the Democratic contests are often messier affairs, prone to insurgencies and featuring uncertain favorites.
Jamelle Bouie joined 'The Reid Report' Tuesday to dissect the New Jersey governor's new budget and examine how the Democrats might try to fight him.
NYC’s new mayor is determined to get rid of Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages this year. The fact that the animal rights lobby savaged his campaign opponent is pure coincidence, his supporters say.