TPM Cafe: Opinion

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.”

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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?

Read More →

Dear Mr. Will,

I read your recent column on the “supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. sexual assault” and am somewhat taken aback by your claim that forcing colleges to take a tougher stand on sexual assault somehow translates into a modern version of The Crucible that replaces witchcraft with rape hysteria.

Read More →

A terrorist organization once expelled from al Qaeda for excessive brutality is now a rapidly advancing army, whose forward lines carve out a territory roughly the size of Maryland. In less than a week, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has routed elements of the American-trained and -equipped Iraqi Army, seized control of Iraq’s second largest city, and advanced to within a hundred miles of the capital. The hallmarks of Mosul’s new masters, established during their bloody rise in Syria’s civil war, include summary executions, public crucifixions, and the imposition of a medieval religious code upon every facet of human life.

Like many who served there, I have long suspected that Iraq’s fate would turn out to be darker than the one we fought and hoped for. We watched Maliki’s tragic failure to make use of the political and military space we bought him, at such cost, to reach across sectarian boundaries and unify his nation. We watched as violence returned to the streets, and as Anbar returned to insurgency. We watched as extremist groups across the border in Syria latched onto the rebellion against Assad, twisting it for their own purposes and gathering strength. My fears for the Iraqi people have been dark indeed, but none were dark enough to anticipate what has befallen many of them this week.

Read More →

The 2 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) is about to make history in the Middle East, yet again. In the coming days, local delegates from the Church will travel to Detroit to attend the 221st Presbyterian General Assembly to consider a set of eight overtures that ask church leaders to review support of two states for Palestine and Israel in light of unfolding facts on the ground. Other issues to be considered are backing of equal rights and unblocked economic development for all inhabitants of Israel, and divesting from the likes of Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions. The Church is clearly stepping up to the plate and realigning its policies with its values.

Read More →

This time, 20 women are missing, forcibly kidnapped at gunpoint and driven away the nether regions of Nigeria’s Borno State, while the world awaits the fate of 200 missing schoolgirls taken from Chibok weeks ago. Tuareg rebels continue to hold off the Malian government in the Sahara. Diplomats, from Washington to Brussels, have praised a new openness in Naypyidaw but remain largely silent about Myanmar’s unwillingness to reign in violence targeting the Muslim Rohingya. And election observers bruited free, fair elections in Kiev this week, as the Ukrainian army opened fire on Russian-backed militias in the east.

Read More →

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."

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

TPMLivewire