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Republicans never deliver on their promises to impeach Obama or sue him or whatever

I have to admit, I’m afraid, that Republican politicians have been pretty good at placating the angry hordes of Obama-haters with solemn promises that they’re going to sue the guy for something or other or might even impeach him one of these days. All of this rhetoric has given rise to persistent confidence on the part of the more naive wingnuts that Obama’s presidency will never last through two terms. I’ve received countless comments on my blog to the effect that America surely will rise up and send this unpatriotic...

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The NFL is a socialistic enterprise, and the Packers are the league’s most socialistic team

I’ve always wondered how politically conservative fans of the National Football League reconcile their advocacy of unbridled free enterprise with their enthusiastic support  of a blatantly socialistic enterprise. This hypocrisy is especially conspicuous among fans of the Green Bay Packers, the most socialistic of all NFL teams. As we ponder this situation, let’s stipulate at the outset that socialism is more of an economic arrangement than a political one. Let’s acknowledge that all governments, even conservative ones, are at...

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Have we lost our democracy in America?

Timothy Egan ventures an answer to the question above: How did we lose our democracy? Slowly at first, and then all at once. This fall, voters are more disgusted, more bored and more cynical about the midterm elections than at any time in at least two decades… You can trace the Great Breach to Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s words in the 2010 Citizens United case, which gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections. The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would...

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Analysis of 56 separate studies indicates link between climate change and violence

A study published earlier this year suggesting a link between climate change  and social violence was dismissed by some global-warming deniers as desperation on the part of  “people who are losing the argument,” as the conservative National Review put it. But the skeptics may not find it so easy to scoff at THIS:  In a new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Stanford researcher Marshall Burke and two colleagues present a meta-analysis — an evaluation and statistical synthesis of a large body...

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Shameless name-dropping: Karl Rove and I once did battle of sorts, and I won

Forty-four years ago, when I was a callow youth and the now-infamous Karl Rove was an even callower youth (I was 28, and he was 19), we were paid campaigners on opposite sides of the battle for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. I was working for Democratic challenger Adlai E. Stevenson III (above), and Rove was working for Republican incumbent Ralph Tyler Smith, who had been appointed to the Senate when Everett Dirksen died. Rove and I both resorted to dirty campaign tricks, but mine, I dare say, were more effective. Rove’s most...

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Former policy adviser to Reagan says Obama has governed as a moderate conservative

Bruce Bartlett, a former aide to Ronald Reagan, is not the only reasonable conservative whose views of Barack Obama’s presidency have not been tainted by the hysterical rhetoric of the Republican Party’s extreme right wing. Bartlett now recalls that other prominent conservatives supported Obama in the 2008 election. “Among the Obamacons,” he says, “were Ken Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff; Charles Fried, Reagan’s solicitor general; Ken Adelman, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for...

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