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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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Gomer Gohmert calls for war against invading army of pre-teen children, most of whom are girls

The competition is stiff, but Rep. Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican, is still ahead in the race for the title of Dumbest Member of Congress. HERE‘s his latest offensive: In a floor speech that was almost entirely overlooked somehow, Gohmert went full Buck Turgidson, suggesting that Texas use the authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to engage in a shooting war to fight off the undocumented immigrant children entering Texas. “Even with $3.7 billion that’s requested, there’s no way for what’s being called for is going to...

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Report: Thanks to Obamacare, federal spending on health care is declining

Don’t tell your right-wing friends about THIS. It will only confuse them. The growth of federal spending on health care will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy in the coming decades, in part because of cost controls mandated by President Obama’s health care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. The budget office said in its annual 25-year forecast that federal spending on major health care programs would amount to 8 percent of gross domestic product by 2039, one-tenth of a percentage...

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Public support for impeaching Obama is no higher than it was for Bush seven years ago

Every once in a while, I come across a public-opinion survey that should have, but didn’t,  ask respondents whether they think most Americans agree with them on the matter at issue. You see, there’s a tendency among some folks to think that most people agree with them on political issues. I would love to see a poll, for example, in which respondents are asked a two-pronged question: 1. Should President Obama be impeached? 2. Do you think most Americans agree with you on this matter? It’s my guess that many, if not most,...

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Here’s how to get reluctant voters off their lazy, apathetic butts

Political scientists will tell you that people of certain demographic groups — the young and the poor, to cite two examples — vote less frequently than folks in certain other groups. Which raises a question posed HERE by Melissa Michelson: Is it possible to mobilize people who are otherwise uninterested in voting or reluctant to vote?   We now have good answers to these questions.  People who have not participated much before can indeed be moved to go to the polls. What really mobilizes these voters is repeated personal...

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