Sanders is doing well enough to concern the Clinton team, and that creates its own challenges. Garrison Nelson said of Clinton, “She’s not worried about Bernie. But she is worried about the Bernie effect—which is to demonstrate her relative weaknesses as a candidate. He hits at her Achilles’ heel, which is authenticity.”
On the trail, Clinton has avoided mention of him; Sanders, for his part, emphasizes their policy differences. He voted against the war in Iraq; she voted for it. He has opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership; she has voiced support for those pacts. But he has rebuked reporters for pressing him to say more about Clinton herself. In a video made backstage at a rally in Iowa, he complained, “Time after time, I’m being asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That’s the sport that you guys like. . . . I’ve known Hillary Clinton for twenty-five years. I like her. I respect her. I disagree with her on a number of issues. No great secret.” ...MargaretTalbot,NewYorker
Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he wants to challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the post of House speaker, saying he's a better communicator and has more credibility with the party's conservative base. ...NPR
If they're going to implode eventually, why not now?! I'd just as soon the tea party representation on the Hill goes out with one great, smelly explosion,rather than our having to watch them in slow motion, disappearing into the past. Chaffetz seems to be a guy whose working up to explosion in plain view. The bigger drama, the better.
Unfortunately, Rep. Chaffetz doesn't seem all that interested...
It lingers on. There were some really bad moments during the most recent Bush presidency that keep resonating -- whether we're talking Katrina anniversary or "Mission Accomplished" or a hundred other pieces of sleaze like the thpecial treatment of Saudis in the US in the immediate wake of 9/11. Huggy kissy, White House protection and discreet flights out. All as toxic as the remains of Saudi oil coming out of your tail pipe.
The favoritism and engagement with a shady, oppressive regime is still in place. Nothing new here:
Overshadowed by its relative smallness and obscured by its relative complexity, the six-month-old civil war in Yemen is the middle child of Middle East conflict. Recently, its most prominent mentions in the U.S. have been in the Republican debates as candidates have placed the rebellion by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government on the list of Iran’s regional evildoings.
This is true, but it also overlooks the fact that great devastation is being wrought at least in part with the tacit blessing of the United States, which has aligned itself with the Saudis. This past week has been particularly tragic, not only on the ground in Yemen, but in the diplomatic realm outside where efforts to contain and reckon with the human suffering in Yemen have fallen short.
On Monday, an airstrike by Saudi-led, American-supported coalition mistakenly hit a wedding party that killed more than 130 people. According to reports, the death toll was exacerbated by a supply shortage, which kept some victims from receiving critical medical treatment. ...AdamChandler,TheAtlantic
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you say. But it was the Saudis: Americans weren't really involved...
“This is warfare,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir explained to CBS News, in describing the efforts to defeat the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. He added: “We are very careful in picking targets. We have very precise weapons. We work with our allies including the United States on these targets.”...AdamChandler,TheAtlantic
The US is trying to keep the eyes of the world away from the slaughter. The Dutch have led a European effort to investigate human rights abuses by Americans and Saudis but have run into a stone wall.
I mean, for crying loud, is it really better to kill kids than to impose limits on carrying weapons? If someone's gotta go, better the sicko blowhards with character defects and lethal weapons.
That is a familiar trope, of course: it’s not the guns that are the problem, it’s the shooters. There was no suggestion from anybody on the Republican side that what had happened might justify a reconsideration of gun laws, let alone a significant recasting of them. Even those G.O.P. candidates who have previously expressed support for some forms of gun control, such as Chris Christie and George Pataki, didn’t have anything to say on that subject.
The Democratic candidates, by contrast, were united in calling for action. Speaking to reporters in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton said, “We have got to get the political will to do everything we can to keep people safe.” She suggested that it wasn’t a hopeless task: “I know there is a way to have sensible gun-control measures that help prevent violence, prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, and save lives. And I am committed to doing everything I can to achieve that.” Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, said in a tweet, “Tweets won’t stop this. Thoughts and prayers won’t either. Only real gun reforms will stop mass shootings from occurring nearly every day.” Bernie Sanders, who has been accused by Clinton allies of shifting his positions on gun control, called for “sensible gun-control legislation which prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them.”...JohnCassidy,NewYorker
Of course, Democrats are hardly uniform in their stance. They, too, have been cowards -- albeit not often as weak and self-serving as their Republican counterparts. But at least the left knows the ironic truth: the ability and desire to live in a peaceful world without weapons shows respect -- not disdain -- for freedom.
The right always seem scared of genuine freedom -- in much the same way that they come off as scornful of the sense of obligation to and respect for others.
No really. The guy is beyond the pale, dragging a tired America with him. Jeffrey Frank makes a good point about where all this radical Republican outrage is taking us. Maybe to a place that's so down you don't know where to look for 'up'?
The emergence of the Republican Class of ’16 may be changing the shape of historic Republicanism once and for all. Part of it stems from the “outsiders”—Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, who have never held elective office and probably never will. But no one better embodies this change than the freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz, who seems unable to stop talking ...Frank,NewYorker
But this isn't just another group of clown-car passengers four years later. The latest crop of radical Republicans falls outside the bounds of sanity, threatening to take the nation with them. No wonder America is dispirited and sounding desperate.
Cruz’s thoughts and language bring to mind the 1993 American Scholar essay “Defining Deviancy Down,” by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (though not Moynihan himself). In it, Moynihan writes, “I proffer the thesis that, over the past generation … the amount of deviant behavior in American society has increased beyond the levels the community can ‘afford to recognize’ and that, accordingly, we have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.” ...With more than a year to go before the next Presidential election, Cruz may be posing the essential question: “How far down?”...Frank,NewYorker
He lied. He didn't tell a little fib; he ducked the truth in a very insulting way.
On Tuesday night, her lawyer, Mathew D. Staver, said in a telephone interview that Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong,” the lawyer said. The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security guards, aides and photographers. Mr. Staver said he expected to receive photographs of the meeting from the Vatican soon. ...NYT
This may not have been the pope's personal decision; it may have been a Vatican ploy. What's wrong is not the visit with Kim Davis, a minor Kentucky bigot. What's wrong is that it was hidden and he effectively lied about it, playing both ends against the middle, ducking responsibility.
Well, put it this way: Bullies and cowards are the same thing. One breeds the other. A bunch of us have harped on the current makeup of the Republican party -- 1994, that date is generally cited as the jumping off place for Republican bullying or perhaps the triumph of "me" over "us" -- and good sense tells us that it can't go on forever.
Twenty years is plenty. The bullies/cowards may finally be fading into the background or beyond. The right wing's bête noir -- compromise, governing -- should return. We'll see. That self-important weepster, John Boehner, has taken the first step. And on his political tombstone, are these words:
When Boehner announced his impending departure, he expressed pride that he had kept the government open (after a sixteen-day shutdown in 2013) and raised the debt limit. This, to paraphrase a famous Republican, reflects the soft bigotry of low expectations. Keeping the government open and paying its debts are the minimal undertakings of an elected body, not legislative triumphs. But Boehner could point to almost nothing else that happened on his watch, because the Tea Party would tolerate nothing else.
And what did Boehner’s cowardice in the face of the Tea Party stalwarts get him? They forced him out anyway. Boehner built his career around keeping his job, and he still failed. ...JeffreyToobin,NewYorker
Toobin calls Boehner's cowardice "pointless." And that may extend to the two decades of Republican cost and waste -- of resources and of human lives. Pointless, and unforgivable is how history will see the bad manners, cruel wars, dangerous corporatism, and savagery of 1995 to present. A big chunk of those were Boehner years. Gee he must be proud...
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, once thought to be an effective if dangerous, mover and shaker, is now the most ineffectual member the Senate -- or so it seems. Rand Paul is all over him.
"Ted has chosen to make this really personal and called people dishonest in leadership and call them names, which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively," he told Fox News Radio.
"He is pretty much done for and stifled, and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem."
Paul's comments come after Cruz was unable to garner enough support among his colleagues to get a roll call vote on an amendment Monday, with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) the only senator to back him. It's the second time since late July that his Republican colleagues have helped deny the Texas Republican a "sufficient second."...TheHill
Though it seems unlikely, it's possible the Republicans could put a end to Planned Parenthood, I guess. But pretty damn quick it would be replaced by another group providing the same services. You can pretty much take that to the bank.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that Americans have a more favorable view of Planned Parenthood than of any other entity tested, including the Republican Party and presidential candidates. The group’s favorable/unfavorable impression, 47 percent to 31 percent, is actually up slightly from July. What’s more, 61 percent oppose eliminating federal funding of Planned Parenthood. ...DanaMilbank,WaPo
So go on. Worry. Shorten your life with increased anxiety. The radicals -- like that embarrassing GOPer from the proudly antediluvian right wing in Utah -- would love to see libruls dying from apoplexy.
That very same member of Congress was knocked to his knees at the hearing after presenting false evidence of Planned Parenthood's misdeeds. One by one the allegations were tossed out.
But these aren't men who are looking for the truth. When time came for a vote, they voted in lockstep once again to impose governmental controls on women who, of course, need guidance from a group that has no experience of conception, pregnancy and childbirth and from a political party that is openly suspicious of empathy.
Volkswagen’s blatant cheating on auto emissions is only the latest example of dishonesty by corporations and others, many of whom have gone unpunished. Banks have admitted to massive fraud with no executive going to jail. And even some of the most powerful officials in some of the wealthiest states have been charged with or convicted of corruption.
Has the pervasiveness of cheating made moral behavior passé? Is honesty for suckers? ...NYT
Among the debaters is one, an economist, who wobbles and then defines the damage in economic, rather than moral, terms...