Editors' Blog

Sepp Blatter Escapes ... For Now

If there's anything amusing about this morning's FIFA raid and indictments, it's that most of the stories hasten to point out -- often in the headline -- that FIFA president Sepp Blatter was not himself indicted. Because any story about FIFA corruption usually begins and ends with Blatter. The New York Times, for example: FIFA Officials Are Arrested on Corruption Charges; Sepp Blatter Isn't Among Them. For a point of reference, here's that remarkable Sepp Blatter takedown from John Oliver last summer.

No Controling Authority

It is increasingly difficult to find any unifying theory or rationale behind the Supreme Court's election and election financing decisions other than the goal of securing the electoral interests of the Republican party. That sounds harsh. But a simple process of elimination leaves little other conclusion. States rights, originalism, deference to legislatures, various constructions of democratic theory and a lot else are controlling except when they're not controlling. Most of the decisions line up with the conservative jurisprudence espoused by the Court's conservative semi-majority. Except when they don't. Cases are plucked out of the lower courts long before the high court has any obligation or need to intervene. The new case which will review the 'one person, one vote' rule which has been reining law for half a century would likely diminish the voting power of cities vs rural areas, minorities vs whites and Democrats vs Republicans, if decided on behalf of the plaintiffs. In other words, why not? It's a big deal. Here's our 5 Points run-down about what you need to know about this case.

Echoes of the 1930s (Dingbat Edition)

We treat it as a given today that denying the scientific consensus on climate change is something close to an orthodoxy in the Republican party. Meanwhile a major faction of the party is similarly opposed to teaching evolutionary theory and the science of natural selection. But this squabbling around the GOP's new Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare captures a similar but even more striking dimension to the same phenomenon: A comically willful rewriting of history that seems so eagerly, perhaps slavishly embraced that it is not even clear whether the people arguing the latest zig or zag in the party line know it's nonsense or whether ideological commitment and peer pressure has convinced them that the new marching orders are really the truth.

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Bringing The Hate Straight To DC

You may remember that long before Pamela Geller's Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas which came under armed attack this month, she and her fringey anti-Muslim group had been placing controversial ads in big city transit systems. Now they're upping their game considerably, preparing to launch a new ad campaign in the DC transit system but unlike the others this ad includes the winning cartoon from the contest, which of course is a depiction of Muhammad. Fun times all around.

"Hitch Hiking Story that Involves a Gun"

In the second installment of our series of TPM Reader emails on 'your hitchhiking story', TPM Reader RCE shares the story that ended his days as a hitchhiker ...

Here is the story that cured me of Hitch Hiking.

I hitch hiked throughout the 1960s and 1970s as a kid and teen in Pittsburgh. It was a necessity for jobs or getting up to the river where we jumped off the bridge......[yes, my friends jumped off the bridge so I did too]

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Your Hitchhiking Story

A couple weeks ago, as apart of our End of the Road series on the American car and the open road, we published 'The End of the Open Road: The Inside Story of How Hitchhiking Died'. If you're over 40 you probably remember during your own lifetime that there was a time when hitchhiking was a normal thing people did. Not everybody did it. But it wasn't something that seemed crazy or marginal. And then over a few years, probably less than a decade, it was something almost nobody did. At least it was something no one did without other people thinking they were reckless or crazy.

Here's a letter TPM Reader DP sent this weekend. It is simply marvelous: a big trove of stories about America ...

I'm sorry this letter is so late but this is my story.

I was born in 1959, hitch-hiking was a big part of the first half my life. When I was in the 8th grade growing up in a nice little upper-middle class suburb south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, my mother actually wrote a letter to the principal of my school giving me permission to hitch-hike the three miles home every day as I didn't care for riding the bus. Did it every day, I was in 8th grade! A safe community, I never once felt in danger. Throughout my teen years in the mid-1970s I hitch-hiked all around the area; to school, the pool, my friends' houses, the mall, into Pittsburgh, eventually expanding to see one friend at college 120 miles away and another in Columbus Ohio. Did it all the time, never thought twice about it.

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