Archive | March 2016

Favorite Headlines from the Campaign Trail


“John Kasich Came in Fourth In A Three-Man Race Last Night” [RedState]

“Kasich Lost to Rubio’s Ghost in Arizona” [CNN]

Explanation: Many votes in the Arizona primary were cast early, before the Florida primary concluded and before Rubio suspended his campaign.

“At Least Two of Five Women Deny National Enquirer Claims” [Ted Cruz News]

Yes, the Cruz campaign actually sent out a news release with this headline. One must suppose that if three of the five women had definitively denied the claims, the headline would have been followed by an exclamation point.

“Mexicans Burn Donald Trump Effigies in Easter Ritual” [Business Insider]

This is how religions are born.

Trump Burned in Effigy 1Trump Burned in Effigy 2

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The Art of Avoiding Prosecution


Donald Trump keeps floating the fantasy that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will be derailed by her prosecution and possibly her imprisonment for using a private e-mail server while serving as Secretary of State. This fantasy is the current obsession on the Far Right, succeeding the one that dominated the first eight months or so of 2015—namely, President Obama’s impending impeachment. Hucksters generated millions of dollars selling bumper stickers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other memorabilia of the “liberation from the tyranny of Obama” that never materialized—not even at the level of a holograph.

Well, not surprisingly, it turns out that someone in the Trump organization may have far greater legal liabilities than Hillary Clinton has ever had. What follows are the opening paragraphs of an article written by Andrew Emett for Nation of Change:

“While Florida’s Attorney General was reviewing whether to investigate fraud allegations at Trump University, The Donald…

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Was Hillary the Original “Birther”? (Take a Guess.)


This afternoon, MSNBC is broadcasting a town hall meeting with John Kasich that is being held in Lima (named after the city in Peru but pronounced like the bean), a small city in west-central Ohio where I live.

Because my political views are apparently not as masochistic as they are ardent, I have been switching between that town hall, the men’s basketball conference tournament games, and CNN, where I happened to catch Poppy Harlow interviewing Matt Borgas, the executive director of the Republican party in Ohio.

When Harlow asked him why the other candidates, including John Kasich, had not focused on and challenged Donald Trump’s extremism until this past week, Borgas non-answered that some of Trump’s most extreme positions have their source in Democratic, not Republican, politics. Specifically, Borgas claimed that Birtherism originated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Obama in 2008.

To her credit, Harlow very pointedly challenged him to…

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International Women’s Day


March 8 was International Women’s Day, and here is a review of a bunch of items of interest.

The daily newsletter from the Brookings Institute was devoted to topics related to women’s issues:

Julia Gillard address the question “What Does International Women’s Day Mean for the Future of Gender Equality? []

Richard V. Reeves and Nathan Joo address the question “What’s really driving the gender wage gap?” in an article titled “Occupational Hazard? The Future of the Gender Wage Gap.” []

And Carol Graham reports on some recent research that represents “Good News for Ineternational Women’s Day: Women Are (Usually) Happier than Men.” []

Over several days, Business Insider distributed the following items:

Rachel Gillett identifies “15 Important Jobs Women Have Never Held.” []

Andy Kiersz explains why “The Gender Pay Gap Is Bad in Some States and Worse in Others.” [

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Refocusing on the “Pure, Sober” Rapes


Myra Crownover, R-Denton, said during a House Committee on Higher Education discussion on college sexual assault: “I was listening for mention of drug or alcohol abuse and, you know, I think those two conversations are so intertwined. I would be curious to see how many times a pure, sober sexual assault happened. And I think that’s something we need to talk about. The two are so intertwined, I don’t see talking about one without talking about the other.”

Myra Crownover then defended her remarks by stating: “My statements this morning in the Higher Education hearing were taken out of context.”

The context was a discussion of what can be done to encourage more victims of campus rape to report the crimes. As an article on the hearings in the Dallas Morning News explains:

“Experts urge those handling college sexual assault cases—like campus police, administrators and other students—to consider how alcohol…

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In an election cycle marked by unprecedented offensiveness, crassness, and obtuseness, this tweet from opponents of Tammy Duckworth’s senatorial candidacy in Illinois manages to descend to a new low point on all three counts:

Tweet about Tammy Duckworth

During her military service as a helicopter pilot in Iraq, Tammy Duckworth lost both of her legs.

This is what happens when the campaign for the presidency is reduced to a reality show and when any pretense of statesmanship is replaced by compulsive obnoxiousness. In an anything-goes environment, there is no longer any real respect for enduring values. Instead, there is only an increasingly rabid desperation for sensation.

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Two Satiric Takes on Trumpism


The first is not so much a parody as a political re-adaptation of The Producers featuring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick:

The second is the new film by Sacha Baron Cohen, The Brothers Grimsby. Here is a thoughtful commentary by Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim on the film’s strange pre-release buzz:

“Audiences at screenings around the world, and some even in the United States, have been cheering and applauding a macabre scene in a new film by Sacha Baron Cohen in which ‘Donald Trump’ accidentally contracts HIV.

The Brothers Grimsby opens March 11 in the U.S., though chances are you’re learning that for the first time here, given a decision by Sony Pictures to limit its marketing of the satiric comedy. The studio is concerned about the reaction from the real Donald Trump, according to industry sources familiar with the situation.

“At the film’s world premiere in London last week…

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