TPM Cafe: Opinion

Who is David Brat, the out-of-nowhere college professor who beat Eric Cantor in the GOP primary?

John Judis has an interesting article in the New Republic suggesting that Brat is in the tradition of right-wing populism that is both anti-Wall Street/big business AND libertarian. Judis writes that in his campaign, "Brat and his Tea Party backers gave equal weight to denouncing Cantor as a tool of Wall Street, the big banks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable."

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The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in Myanmar that has primarily lived in Rakhine State bordering Bangladesh in western Myanmar for at least 200 years. The Myanmar government and others in the country refer to them as “Bengalis” or “illegal migrants,” a reference to the nineteenth century migration of laborers and merchants from India under British rule. Denied citizenship for decades, they have suffered from discrimination, forced labor, and campaigns of violence, which the Irish Centre for Human Rights and others have characterized as crimes against humanity.

Over 230,000 Rohingya refugees have subsisted in squalid camps in Bangladesh for over 30 years, with minimal access to jobs, services, or citizenship there. Sexual and physical attacks against refugee women and girls have also been documented. Other nations in the region have not welcomed Rohingya refugees, holding them in crowded detention centers or literally pushing their rickety boats back to sea. The Rohingya thus represent one of the world’s most protracted and desperate cases of statelessness.

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It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

American politics took a Game of Thrones-worthy plot twist on Tuesday as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary by a 12-point margin to Dave Brat, an underfunded right-wing challenger.

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For the first post-primary Wednesday this year, I’m not having to poke holes in the pre-ordained MSM narrative for this campaign cycle, The Year of the Republican Establishment, wherein the Great Big Adults of the GOP were supposed to put down the unruly Tea Folk and position their “pragmatic” party perfectly for smashing victories in 2014 and maybe 2016 as well. I’d say the Republican voters of the 7th congressional district of Virginia put that meme to rest for the immediate future.

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It’s no secret that Harlem Children’s Zone founder Geoffrey Canada has earned a lot of love in the education community. On Wednesday, Canada dropped by the Capitol to discuss the past, present, and future of Promise Neighborhoods in the United States. It wasn’t exactly a One Direction concert, but to a dorky education researcher (and fellow Bowdoin College alum) like me, Canada is something of a rock star.

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Once in college, a friend and I were talking about unplanned pregnancy, and I mentioned that I knew five or six women that had had abortions. “Wow,” my friend replied, “I don’t know anyone that’s had one.”

“Or maybe you do and they just haven’t told you,” I pointed out.

I thought of our long-ago conversation the other week, after seeing Obvious Child.

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In response to the Obama administration’s announcement that it would require major reductions in carbon emissions from American power plants, supporters and opponents alike were quick to point out that without a strong international agreement to curb carbon emissions, unilateral U.S. reductions will prove inadequate in the face of what is truly a global challenge. The administration’s supporters praised the President for sending a clear signal to the world that America will lead by example. Opponents, meanwhile, feared that unilateral U.S. reductions were a sucker’s play, setting us up to be taken advantage of by China and other competitors that have no intention of following our lead.

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Pop culture loves pregnant women, pregnant celebrities, and TV shows about pregnant teens. Our news is constantly splattered with announcements of which famous person is reproducing—the latest speculation centers on Jennifer Aniston and Kourtney Kardashian—and we embrace the celebrity baby photos in magazines. And for good reason—people love babies, and having children is an important focus for many men and women.

Why then, do we fail to get our doctors’ help when planning a pregnancy?

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In late April, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its long awaited report, "Not Alone." The Task Force is to be commended for doing an excellent job in highlighting this pervasive problem on college campuses, and for providing recommendations for identifying the problem, preventing sexual assault, and increasing transparency and improving enforcement. The task force should also be commended for taking steps to ensure that survivors receive confidential care from advocates and counselors.

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Some pretty important decisions that will affect generations to come are being made right now.

The new regulations on carbon emissions announced this week are, as Brad Plumer writes, the “most sweeping policy yet to address global warming.” States and utilities will need to cut carbon emissions from power generation in order to rein in the gases that cause climate change.

As predictably as morning follows sunrise, these rules are drawing fire in a number of ways.

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