• 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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  • Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

    It’s Complicated

    The Christian Case for Abortion

    Wendy Davis’ abortion revelations raise the question: Can abortion be the most compassionate choice? Some religious leaders say yes.

    When news broke that Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had previously terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons, she received words of compassion from a surprising source. A spokesperson for Texas Right to Life called “the value of life precious” but nevertheless also stated, “Our heart goes out for the decision she had to make.” Part of what has struck a chord about Davis’ story is that it serves as a potent reminder that the factors that go into the decision of whether to have an abortion are rarely as black and white as public political debates pretend they are.

    Her story highlights the moral, ethical, and spiritual uncertainty that many Americans feel on the issue of abortion, particularly when confronted with the harrowing details of real women’s stories. In Davis’ case, one pregnancy was a danger to her own health, thus necessitating termination. But in another her fetus, if she survived birth, would have emerged deaf, blind, with a deformed brain, and in a permanent vegetative state.

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  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    Female Troubles

    What Do Women Want? Not the GOP

    It may be a good November for Republicans, but it could have been a lot better if the party had any idea how to talk to women voters.

    Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican governor, and David Perdue, the GOP nominee for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat, are locked in tight races. If they lose, women will have played decisive and outsized roles in their defeats. Walker is facing a challenge from Democrat Mary Burke, and trails by 4 points according to the latest polls. In the Peach State, Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, appears to have scratched out a tentative lead.  

    It’s not that Burke and Nunn are across-the-board favorites; far from it. Rather, both candidates have built up double-digit margins among distaff voters, and in the case of Walker, he has also managed to engender more than just a modicum of disdain. According to a WeAskAmerica poll released last week, Walker is suffering from a 15-point deficit among women, while holding only a 6-point edge among men. An earlier Marquette Law School poll showed a tighter race, but with Burke again easily beating Walker by 18 points among women. To put things into perspective, Barack Obama won the women’s vote in 2012 by 11 percent.

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  • Married American actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall attend a cocktail party at the Calvados cabaret club on the Champs Elysees, Paris, 1951. (FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    She Knew the Score

    Lauren Bacall Was a Great Liberal

    Of course we know Bacall, who died Tuesday at 89, for her wonderful acting. But we should remember her also as a smart and sharp liberal and anti-communist.

    Lauren Bacall was an amazing actress. The great black-and-white films are fading now from our collective memory now that the video stores are gone, and with Netflix keeping just a fraction of them available to us. But Robert Osborne, the godhead of TCM, will certainly ensure that Bacall’s great films take up most of the channel’s next two days, and rightly so.

    You should know all that. But here’s something else you should know about Bacall. She was a great liberal. And Bogey, too, in fact. They were, in those days when things like this really mattered, deeply liberal and deeply anti-communist. Which was the right thing to be, after all, because communism is as illiberal as fascism. Bogart reportedly once said: “We’re about as in favor of communism as J. Edgar Hoover.”

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  • Frank Polich/Getty Images

    SOFT BIGOTRY

    Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less

    Campaign staffers who are people of color routinely get paid less than their white counterparts, and are often given less glamorous jobs. How an antiquated understanding of race relations results in minority staffers getting the short shrift.

    If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all. 

    On both sides of the aisle, there is a racial pay gap in campaign politics. Asian, Black and Latino staffers are paid less than their white counterparts, according to an analysis by the New Organizing Institute. 

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  • Reuters, AP

    INDEFENSIBLE

    The Death Penalty Is a Disaster

    The recent botched executions are just the tip of the iceberg. The death penalty is and always has been a financial and moral disaster.

    Another week, another botched killing under the legal euphemism of capital punishment. After macabre screw-ups in Oklahoma and Ohio, it was Arizona's turn last week, when double-murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood III took about two hours to die. The specific problem this time around was an apparently unreliable “cocktail” of the drugs used in the lethal injection process.

    But let’s face it: There’s no good way to kill a person, even one as completely unsympathetic as Wood (he killed his ex-girlfriend and her father, shooting them at point-blank range). As a libertarian, I’m not surprised that the state is so incompetent that it can’t even kill people efficiently. But I’m far more outraged by the idea that anyone anywhere seriously thinks the death penalty passes for good politics or sane policy. It’s expensive, ineffective, and most of all, deeply offensive to ideals of truly limited government.

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  • Chip Somodevilla/Getty

    Bipartisan

    Congress Finally Moves on Sex Assault

    One in five women who attend college are sexually assaulted—and a bipartisan group of senators is launching a new bill to change that.

    Senators are rushing to pass campus sexual assault reforms, introducing a landmark bill designed to provide resources to victims and enforce accountability at institutions of higher learning.

    But the machinery of government will be slow to move. Even if the law were passed and signed into law today, it would take some time for colleges and universities to implement its required changes.

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  • Elizabeth Warren waves to the crowd after her acceptance speech after beating incumbent U.S. Senator Scott Bown at the Copley Fairmont November 6, 2012 Boston, Massachusetts. (Darren McCollester/Getty)

    Donors Warn Warren: Do Not Run in ‘16

    As speculation about the Massachusetts senator’s presidential ambitions swells, her biggest donors have one thing to say: There’s no way on earth they’re backing her over Hillary.

    She “lit up” a gathering of liberal activists earlier this month with a barn-burner of a speech calling on Democrats to push back hard as thousands of attendees waved signs and chanted “Run, Liz, Run!” Her every denial that she will not run for president is parsed down to the verb tense for evidence that the door is open even a crack. She embarked on the kind of nationwide book tour that candidates-in-waiting always do as they drum up interest for a potential bid, and a “Ready for Elizabeth” draft movement is preparing to launch satellite chapters in states and cities around the country.

    But if Elizabeth Warren does in fact reverse her repeated denials of interest and decides to run for president, she will have to do so virtually alone. That’s because almost to a person, her earliest and most devoted backers do not want her to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

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