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Republican lawmaker wants Google investigated for its liberal bias

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, a California Republican,  is not widely known as the sharpest knife in the drawer — and with good reason. For example, Rohrbacher seems to think that Congress has nothing better to do than investigate why his Google search for information on a certain right-wing was somehow unsatisfactory. The story is...

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Two years ago this week, solar storms nearly caused a catastrophe here on Earth

I’m guessing that millions of people would have freaked out if there had been advance notice of THIS POTENTIAL DISASTER: On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. “If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA. Fortunately, the...

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Some right-wingers love to cite the role of Democrats in the segregationist South of yore

Every once in a while, I get a comment on my blog from some conservative who thinks a clever point is made by recalling the days when the Democratic Party was dominated to a certain extent by Southern segregationists. Such comments seem oblivious to the fact that the Democrats long ago cut their ties with segregationists. When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he privately said to an aide: “We have lost the South for a generation.” LBJ’s prediction was borne out in part by the extent to which the Democratic and Republican...

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Go for it, Michele! Please! Please! Pretty please!

An even better picker-upper than my first cup of coffee this morning was my discovery of THIS NEWS STORY: Though set to retire from the U.S. House after her term expires at the end of this year, Michele Bachmann may not be done with electoral politics. The Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate told RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that she is considering a second White House run…. “The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running,” she replied. “They haven’t...

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Will today’s court ruling against Obamacare backfire on Republicans?

At this writing, the big political story of the day is a federal appeals court ruling that says insurance subsidies granted to certain states under terms of the Affordable Care Act are invalid. The decision is widely viewed as potentially fatal to Obamacare, depending on what the Supreme Court says about the matter. But a question arises: Is this all of this good news for Republicans? Brian Beutler has his doubts, as we see HERE: An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like...

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A scientific theory on what makes conservatives different from the rest of us

The journal Behavorial and Brain Sciences has been sorting through various studies on why political conservatives are the way they are and has reached THIS CONCLUSION, among others: A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics. That’s a big deal. It challenges everything that we thought we knew about politics—upending the...

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Just last year, Republican leaders warned that an anti-immigration stance is suicidal

It’s becoming increasingly clear to anyone who’s paying attention that the far-right wing of the Republican Party — the tail that wags the dog, as it were — is the biggest threat to the GOP’s prospects for electoral success in the long term. Exhibit A is the extent to which the party’s establishment is cravenly cowering in the face of wingnut opposition to immigration reform. So much for the short-lived hopes that the GOP had learned an important lesson from its loss in the presidential election of 2012....

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Remember what Ronald Reagan did when the Russkies shot down a passenger plane?

The current generation of American political conservatives is not well-known for its firm grasp of history. Accordingly, it strikes me as a good idea to warn these right-wing partisans against making any snarky suggestions that Ronald Reagan would have done better than Barack Obama in dealing with yesterday’s missile attack on a civilian passenger plane in the skies over Ukraine. HERE‘s a history lesson worth taking to heart: On Sept. 1, 1983, the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Airlines passenger airliner traveling from New York...

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The world is NOT in as big a mess as you’ve been led to believe

In the 21st century, we live in a world where the 24-hour news cycle makes it seem that everything is happening at once. A concomitant of this condition is a widespread and fearful sense that things are coming apart at warp speed. But they aren’t, as Fareed Zakaria EXPLAINS: The world seems very messy these days, which might be an occasion to examine the broad forces producing the turmoil. But in Washington, of course, it becomes one more opportunity for partisanship. “I do believe that the things we’re seeing in the world today, [which...

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GOP lawmaker says he’s an Eagle Scout and therefore an expert on legal matters

Dana Milbank is deliciously snarky HERE: Rep. Pete Sessions, the House Rules Committee chairman who led Wednesday’s hearing on Republicans’ plans to sue President Obama, presented the legal credentials that have put him in this position of responsibility. “I’m an Eagle Scout,” the Texas Republican told his colleagues. “I studied the merit badges that we took about governance, about cities, states, the national government.” (Snip) See? The GOP lawsuit isn’t just a stunt to appease conservatives who would rather impeach Obama. It’s a serious...

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Boiling the so-called IRS scandal down to its essence

Paul Waldman NAILS IT: Not to let facts intrude on their paranoid fantasies, but let’s not forget what the IRS scandalette actually involved. There’s never been any credible allegation that anyone was audited because of their political beliefs. There’s never been any allegation that the IRS “targeted” donors to Republican super PACs. The worst thing that happened was that some Tea Party groups that had applied for 501(c)(4) status—claiming, utterly falsely, that they were charitable, non-political organizations,...

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Globally, the second quarter of this year was the hottest on record

Here in America’s heartland, we had a fairly cool spring season this year — but the world as a whole decidedly did not. The story is HERE: You may recall that the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported last month that March-May was the hottest in more than 120 years of record-keeping. Well, the JMA reported Monday that last month was the hottest June in more than 120 years of record-keeping. That makes 3 straight record-breaking months for JMA — the hottest second quarter on record. It also means we had the hottest March-June...

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