TPM Cafe: Opinion

The NY Times reports:

[Conservative] groups will deploy observers in areas where Mr. Cochran is recruiting Democrats, Mr. Cuccinelli said. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official and conservative commentator who said he was advising the effort, described the watchers as “election observers,” mostly Mississippi residents, who will be trained to “observe whether the law is being followed.”

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Last week, the United States Senate convened hearings on amending the Constitution to “better regulate” political spending. With a two-thirds vote needed in both Houses of Congress, no one expects any amendment to pass. Yet, fundamental reform is absolutely needed — and possible.

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Until today, the sectarian conflict in Iraq has put the mess into messaging. For an administration already in love with nuance, explaining how the United States should engage in Iraq presents the worst on-the-one-hand-on-the-other challenge in the world. But sometimes it’s better to be lucky in communications than good, and for that Obama has Dick Cheney to thank. The more the former vice president talks, the better Obama seems.

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George Will continues with his assertion that it is mathematically impossible for 1 in 5 women to have been sexually assaulted while in college. He calls the statistics “insupportable” and when he replied to Senators Blumenthal, Feinstein, Baldwin, and Casey he chided them to temper their “rhetoric” about the “scourge of sexual assault.” But it’s not just the statistics that appear to bother Mr. Will as he also expresses concern about definitions:

“I think I take sexual assault more serious that you do. Which is why I worry about definitions of that category of crime that might, by their breadth, tend to trivialize it.”

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It seems as if every week we read another “The worst anti-abortion bill to be signed into law” story, yet each law truly does top the last in scope and impact on limiting abortion access to near non-existence. That is once again the case for Louisiana’s HB 388, the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” which essentially argues that the only way to be completely certain you have protected someone from an “unsafe” abortion is to cut off her access to the procedure all together.

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The economist Tyler Cowen wrote a piece in the New York Times's Week In Review section entitled "The Lack of Major Wars May be Hurting Economic Growth." He raises a serious point that requires two questions to be answered. First, does modern capitalism rely on military and other "wasteful" expenditures to grow? Second, is growth of 4 percent per year necessary for the American economy to succeed?

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Want to contribute to TPM Cafe? Email ideas for your pieces to us at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com

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