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November 28, 2015
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Gambit: Newer African Writing

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Tag: Democrats

Terrorism, Immigration and Islam: Fear Is the GOP’s Trump Card

The importance of who gets to set the agenda in the presidential race was brought home by a new poll released this week. Concerns related to race, immigration and attitudes toward Islam divide the country deeply. That’s the agenda the Republicans want to be paramount.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE

Carl Glover (CC BY 2.0)

How Did Our Presidential Election Process Become a Circus?

We’re going to need an especially wise and able leader in the coming years, yet our process for choosing that person is a circus, and several leading candidates are clowns.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

What Would President Obama’s Critics Do About Islamic State?

As Paris mourns its dead, critics of President Obama’s caution in the fight against Islamic State are full of sound and fury. But those who throw around such words as “weak” and “feckless” should tell us if they support the logical alternative: sending in tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE

Viewers Tune Out, Voters Lose Out as Democratic National Committee Buries Second Debate

The record low viewership of Saturday’s Democratic debate has voters, particularly Bernie Sanders supporters, once again castigating the Democratic National Committee for what many believe is a blatant attempt to shield establishment candidate Hillary Clinton and, in turn, relinquish important political ground to the Republican candidates.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE

A Paris Moment for American Politics?

The 2016 presidential campaign has been peculiarly disconnected from the real world of problems, crises and governing. It took the catastrophe in Paris to narrow the gap—and even a monstrous terrorist attack may not shake the trajectory of a contest that operates within a logic of its own.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE

Democratic Candidates Reject War Talk and Islamophobia in the Wake of the Paris Attacks (Video)

At the CBS Democratic debate on Saturday night, the Paris attacks dominated as a concern. Unlike the Republican field, which is somewhat divided on a response, the Democrats agree that all-out war is undesirable.

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 READ MORE

The Second Democratic Debate: Foreign Policy, Guns, Wall Street and Campaign Finance (Updated)

The three major Democratic candidates found solid footing in the second half of Saturday’s debate, with Sanders and O’Malley challenging Clinton over Wall Street, campaign finance and gun deaths in the United States. Updated

Posted on Nov 14, 2015 READ MORE

The Hidden and Deadly Bias of Class

White working-class voters have been a key building block of the Republican coalition since the rise of the Reagan Democrats 35 years ago. You would think that the party’s presidential candidates would want to respond to the heartbreaking crisis these Americans are facing.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

The Dog Ate My Vote: How Members of Congress Explain Their Absences

It’s customary for members of the House of Representatives to file an explanation when they miss a vote. These personal explanations are a glimpse into the pace and trade-offs inherent in modern government.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader on the Complicity of Bernie Sanders

“If he doesn’t go electorally in a serious way to win, then [Bernie Sanders] is setting up millions of Americans, and young Americans, for a huge morale collapse,” Nader explains.

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEOS: These Bad Lip-Readings of the Parties’ First Two Debates Are Too Funny Not to Watch

Who knew listening to nonsense the presidential candidates didn’t actually say could be so entertaining?

Posted on Nov 8, 2015 READ MORE

What Socialism Means to Bernie Sanders—and You

Once upon a time, socialists running for president in the United States had to explain that while they had no chance of actually winning an election, their campaigns were aimed at “educating” voters—about socialism.

Posted on Nov 6, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader on Corporate Control, Faux Liberals and Hillary Clinton

“All you gotta do in politics is say the right thing, even though your whole record is contrary, and you’re on your way,” Nader says.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Real GOP Divide

The Republican presidential contest is often cast, accurately enough, as a choice between “outsiders” and “insiders.” But another party division may be more profound: between Republicans who still view the country’s future hopefully, and those deeply gloomy about its prospects.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE


Posted on Oct 31, 2015 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton Hasn’t Learned a Thing From the Iraq Experience

The former secretary of state could shatter the presidential glass ceiling for women, but as U.S. leader she’d leave the old boys’ military-industrial complex intact.

Posted on Oct 29, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Bids Adieu to Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee in ‘Hungry for Power Games’ Bit

The comedian has not shied away from politics in his version of “The Late Show,” but has rather often opted for political commentary presented through a Hollywoodesque lens.

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 READ MORE

Benghazi Hearing Was a Self-Defeating Travesty

Hillary Clinton must have been mindful of the old adage that you never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake. She sat in the witness chair with the patience of Job, hour after endless hour, while the House Select Committee on Benghazi did all it could to make her our next president.

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE

Sanders Warns Voters Against Clinton: ‘I Will Govern Based on Principle, Not Poll Numbers’

The Vermont senator reminded Democrats at an Iowa fundraiser Saturday night of his opponent’s shifting stances on gay marriage, the environment and pernicious trade deals.

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE

Joe Biden

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE

House Benghazi Committee

Posted on Oct 21, 2015 READ MORE

Anderson Cooper Is in the 1 Percent—So Why Did Democrats Let Him Run the Debate?

When discussing the Oct. 13 debate, perhaps it’s worth noting that CNN’s Anderson Cooper is richer than all of the top five Democratic candidates combined; scientists are still trying to figure out where dogs come from; meanwhile, a writer suggests different ways Bernie Sanders could do a better job of answering questions about democratic socialism. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 READ MORE

Sept. 11, Beirut, Benghazi: It’s the Terrorists’ Fault

Bad things happen on every president’s watch—also every secretary of state’s—and the proper place to lay blame is on the perpetrators.

Posted on Oct 19, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Larry David Plays Bernie Sanders in SNL’s Mock Democratic Debate—and It’s Glorious

Turns out the comedian did such a good job with his Bernie Sanders impersonation on “Saturday Night Live” that he may have scored a gig on the campaign trail.

Posted on Oct 18, 2015 READ MORE

Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton

In Tuesday’s debate, the Vermont senator fell into the trap of mainstream politics when he failed to face down the front-runner on her policy positions and record.

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 READ MORE

Whose Lives Matter?

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 READ MORE

The GOP Was Right to Fear Hillary Clinton

Before all the craziness—before Donald Trump and Ben Carson and the need for two-tiered debates—Republicans’ biggest fear about next year’s election was having to run against Hillary Clinton. As we saw Tuesday night, they were right to worry.

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Missed the First Democratic Debate? Watch the Highlights Here

For those of you who didn’t have a chance to watch the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential race on CNN on Tuesday night, here’s an 18-minute clip that can get you caught up.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE

Citizens United Is Headed for the California Ballot: Here’s What You Need to Know

All eyes will be on a state advisory referendum that’s expected to galvanize protests against a broken political process.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Makes Fun of CNN for Trying to Lure Viewers With Absurd Joe Biden Ploy

By now word’s gotten out that CNN has prepared a lectern for the vice president, in case he decides to show up to the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night. It’s almost certain Biden won’t actually show up, but at least the “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert got a few laughs out of CNN’s ridiculous publicity stunt.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

CNN Has a Debate Lectern Ready for Biden ... Just in Case

Joe Biden, who is expected to announce his final decision sometime this month, does not plan to participate in the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night, but the invitation remains open to the vice president should he make an eleventh-hour decision to jump into the race and join Democratic rivals on the debate stage.

Posted on Oct 12, 2015 READ MORE

Chaos Is the GOP’s New Normal

At this point, I worry we’re going to start finding members of the Republican establishment curled up in their beds, eyes clenched shut and ears covered with trembling hands, moaning “make it stop, make it stop, make it stop.”

Posted on Oct 9, 2015 READ MORE

Why The Washington Post’s Attack on Bernie Sanders Is Bunk

The Washington Post recently ran an attack on Bernie Sanders that distorts not only what he’s saying and seeking but also the basic choices confronting the nation.

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

Bernie Sanders’ Money Haul Should Make Hillary Clinton Nervous

Sanders’ presidential campaign announced that it raised an eye-bugging $26 million in the third quarter—essentially matching the $28 million raised during those three months by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 READ MORE

What Kevin McCarthy’s Benghazi Gaffe Tells Us About the GOP

Rep. McCarthy, the likely successor to House Speaker John Boehner, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity explicitly on Tuesday night that the Hillary Clinton investigation was part of a “strategy to fight and win.” But why?

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE

Supreme Court Preview: The Pope Casts a Long Shadow Over the New Term

Francis’ full-throated opposition to the death penalty puts him at the opposite end of the moral universe from Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

Posted on Sep 29, 2015 READ MORE

Bernie Sanders Gets a Foreign Policy

After 25,000 people asked, Sen. Bernie Sanders added a few words to his presidential campaign website about the 96 percent of humanity he’d been ignoring.

Posted on Sep 27, 2015 READ MORE

Finally Acknowledging the Obvious, Los Angeles Moves to Declare a State of Emergency on Homelessness

Whether a Truthdig series had anything to do with it or not, the mayor has committed to finding $100 million to get 10,000 people off the streets and into programs to help them.

Posted on Sep 23, 2015 READ MORE

4 Reasons Why The Wall Street Journal’s Attack on Bernie Sanders Is Totally Bogus

I’ve had so many calls about an article appearing early last week in The Wall Street Journal—contending that Sanders’ proposals would carry a “price tag” of $18 trillion over a 10-year period—that it’s necessary to respond.

Posted on Sep 20, 2015 READ MORE

Helping the Homeless in the Face of GOP’s Brutal Funding Cuts

The task is labor-intensive, beginning with interviewing one person at a time, and it requires perseverance, patience and a willingness to work against all odds. It is made no easier by a callous, Republican-controlled Congress.

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 READ MORE

The Smear

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 READ MORE

Clinton’s Biggest Obstacle Is Herself

The headlines screaming “Clinton’s Support Erodes” are true, but only in a relative sense. In the contest for the Democratic nomination, according to the polls she has slid all the way from “prohibitive favorite” to something like “strong favorite”—not bad, given the way she has hobbled herself with the email scandal. 

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 READ MORE

Mea Culpa

Posted on Sep 13, 2015 READ MORE

Go Directly to Jail: Punishing the Homeless for Being Homeless

Although falling asleep, standing still and sitting down are all necessary for survival, more and more communities are treating these behaviors as crimes when done in public places by people with nowhere else to go.

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 READ MORE

The Tackle

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Obama 1, Netanyahu 0, as Democrats and Public Rally on Iran Deal

The Israel lobbies don’t win every fight on Capitol Hill, but they have tended to win the big ones in recent decades. This time, they are going down.

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 READ MORE

Scott Walker Says Building a Wall Between the U.S. and Canada Is a ‘Legitimate Issue’

Walker’s folly was only the second-craziest notion on immigration that we heard from a flailing GOP hopeful over the weekend.

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 READ MORE

Are Police Constitutional?

A new book argues that American cops are actually “at war with people” instead of protecting citizens; a Nation piece questions whether Hillary Clinton will ever be able to win over progressives; meanwhile, there’s a reason why it’s become increasingly difficult to figure out what food is healthful. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Aug 27, 2015 READ MORE

Hillary’s Server

Posted on Aug 26, 2015 READ MORE

Chaos in the Market: How Might It Affect the 2016 Presidential Race?

If the global swoon in stock prices were to turn into something more serious, which candidates would benefit?

Posted on Aug 24, 2015 READ MORE

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