• Chris Keane/Reuters

    Tortured Logic

    Clinton’s Inevitability Is Not a Problem

    And how exactly is it a bad thing for her or Democrats that Hillary Clinton has the nomination all but sewn up? News flash: It’s not.

    Pundits can’t stop snatching Hillary's defeat from the jaws of victory, insisting that her commanding lead in the polls is itself a problem. A Vox piece last week is typical: “Hillary Clinton’s uncontested nomination is dangerous for her and her party,” but I’d like to give points to Politico for finding a slightly different angle, “All-too-ready for Hillary,” which argues that Clinton’s real problem is all the really talented people who want to work for her. Clinton may not win, but blaming a loss on her popularity (or overly talented staff!) exposes the weak, desperate illogic of a pundit class that is mostly just filling time and news cycle holes until anything real happens.

    An “air of inevitability” should be a good thing, right? It’s in the superhero toolbox, right next to the cloak of invisibility and hammer of invincibility. So why do journalists treat it like kryptonite?

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  • Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

    South Dakota Shenanigans

    Planned Parenthood: Not #WorsethanISIS

    And it's insane we even have to state that.

    Meet Isaac Latterell. He’s a South Dakota state legislator you’ve probably never heard of, who wants to ban abortion, so he’s pushing an extreme bill through the state legislature—and getting some attention for it by claiming that Planned Parenthood is “worse than ISIS.”

    You read that right, and it’s not a story in The Onion.

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  • Viral

    Pussy Riot Protests Eric Garner Death

    Russian protest group targets perceived injustice in the U.S.

    Pussy Riot, the all-female Russian protest group whose members have served jail time for protesting Vladimir Putin’s political tactics, have made their first foray into English-language music–and American politics.

    The group’s first song in English, titled “I Can’t Breathe,” targets the controversy surrounding the killing of unarmed black man Eric Garner by officers of the NYPD in August 2014.

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  • Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian/Landov

    First Bisexual Governor

    Bisexuality’s Watershed Political Moment

    Polls show that bisexuality is the least accepted of all sexualities. New Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who is openly bisexual and married to a man, could help change perceptions.

    On February 18, former Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (D) will become the first publicly bisexual governor in the United States. Brown’s swearing in comes on the heels of Democrat John Kitzhaber’s resignation of the governorship Friday following allegations of corruption and influence-peddling lobbied against both him and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes. But what’s bad news for Kitzhaber is great news for the future of LGBT political representation in the United States.

    And it’s even better news for bisexual Americans who are sorely lacking public visibility at a crucial moment in LGBT history.

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  • Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

    NEMESIS

    How the GOP Invented Elizabeth Warren

    The senator and would-be presidential contender just wanted to be a Washington bureaucrat. Now, thanks to Republican opposition, she’s become the de facto leader of the left.

    In 2007, a Harvard Law School professor wrote an article for the journal Democracy proposing a federal watchdog agency regulating consumer financial products. “It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house,” the professor wrote. “But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street—and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner.”

    Written in the very early days of what would become the Great Recession, the professor noted that the sub-prime mortgage market was a “stunning example” of the lack of such government oversight, pointing out that 52 percent of all sub-prime mortgages “originated with companies with no federal supervision at all.”

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  • Hillary Clinton smiles as she arrives in Dublin October 11, 2009. (©Cathal McNaughton / Reuters)

    ALLURE

    Hillary’s Unbearable Glamour

    Her husband ran on reliability and charisma, two skills she notably lacks. So can Hillary’s one-percent charm win over voters?

    It was the photo that launched a thousand memes: then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sitting aboard a military aircraft, casually reading her phone from behind dark sunglasses.  The picture, taken as Clinton flew to Libya in 2012 just a few short months before the horrific Benghazi attacks, undoubtedly exudes cool. I admit that though I’m no fan of Clinton, even I found the photo to be glamorous at the time. 

    In Virginia Postrel’s phenomenal book The Power of Glamour, she notes that glamour has the power to persuade us to make purchases—and cast votes—by tapping into our longings for something better and the hope we can reach there. President Obama ran his campaign fueled by the three elements she identifies as the pillars of glamour: a bit of mystery, a sense of ease, and the promise of escape to an aspirational future. We weren’t 100 percent sure where he stood, but he made running for president look easy and promised us hope and change.

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  • Astrid Riecken/MCT

    Ouch

    Anti-Vaxxers Are Ready for Hillary

    Albert and Claire Dwoskin are liberal heavyweights and important Hillary donors, but now their vaccination skepticism is bringing them unwanted notice.

    Albert Dwoskin and his wife, Claire, have been heavy hitters in Democratic politics for decades, boasting fundraisers with access to top Democratic leaders—even the Clintons.

    Bill Clinton has spoken at their mansion in McLean, Virginia twice.

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  • Counselor to President Barack Obama John Podesta (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attend the National Clean Energy Summit 7.0 at the the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on September 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty)

    Glass Ceilings

    Will Hillary ’16 Be a ‘White Dude Fest’?

    Hillary Clinton’s pre-presidential campaign has made some high-profile hires recently—but all of them, so far, are white males. And Democrats have noticed.

    Does Hillary Clinton need binders full of women?

    Some Democrats, particularly women and people of color, think so.

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  • Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

    DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

    The Media Is Making Rape Culture Worse

    College sexual assault is a very real problem—but news organizations and government bureaucrats do victims no favors when they exaggerate its prevalence.

    The frenzy over college sexual assault now sweeping the nation was triggered by a specific event.

    In 2010, a small team of investigative journalists published a report revealing, so they claimed, an epidemic of college rape. The report was a jumble of highly selective reporting and dubious statistics, as we shall see. But the reporters spread the news far and wide and no one thought to question their accuracy.

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  • Pro-choice demonstrators rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Thousands of abortion opponents are facing wind chills in the single digits to rally and march on Capitol Hill to protest legalized abortion, with a signal of support from Pope Francis. (Susan Walsh/AP)

    ROE V. WADE

    America’s Craziest Abortion Bills

    Republican state legislatures are getting an early start on draconian bills that would make it harder than ever for women to get an abortion.

    Lawmaking officially began last week in most states, and it should surprise no one that abortion is again high on the list of priorities for a number of legislatures going into 2015.

    Since the 2010 election tipped statehouses Republican, states adopted 231 new abortion restrictions. Last year alone, 15 states enacted 26 new abortion controls, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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  • Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

    Taylor Swift Boat

    Taylor Swift: Conservative or Liberal?

    Speaker John Boehner’s office sent out 12 Taylor Swift GIFs to make a point about college tuition. And to get us to write about it. It worked.

    Where does Tay-Tay stand on the issue of tuition-free community college?

    Hard to say. But House Speaker John Boehner will use her image for political jabs regardless.

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  • Gary Waters/Getty

    UP FROM MISOGYNY

    Men Need A Better Men’s Rights Movement

    The world is changing, and men really could use a movement—just not the misogynistic, conspiracy-minded one they have now.

    The first time I heard the phrase “men’s rights movement,” I think I rolled my eyes. And I probably rolled them pretty hard, because come on: Men have all of the rights. They control all of the things: The U.S. Congress, corporations, banks, Hollywood, governments, all of the money and power and launch codes in the world.

    Men, particularly white, heterosexual men, are undeniably in charge.

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  • Eva Longoria addresses delegates during the final session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

    Actress-Activist

    Eva: The Democrats’ Secret Power Player

    From working behind the scenes in the midterms to making a new farm labor documentary, actress Eva Longoria has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in liberal politics.

    These days, if you’re a rising star in Democratic politics, it is downright weird if you don’t have Eva Longoria in your corner.

    The 39-year-old actress starred on the long-running ABC satire Desperate Housewives and in more lackluster theatrical fare such as Harsh Times and Over Her Dead Body. She’s done commercials for L’Oréal, and hosted Saturday Night Live. But her work as an entertainer isn’t what’s earning her the biggest headlines these days—it’s her role as a serious political activist and powerhouse in Democratic politics.

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