TPM Cafe: Opinion

His name is Gabriel, and according to the press conferences, he’s not supposed to be here. His mother, Andrea Minichini, said she was at a clinic and told the provider she wanted an abortion, but changed her mind as she held the first dose of the medication abortion regime in her hand. Allegedly feeling pressured by staff, she took the pill anyway, then took herself to a hospital where she was told she would need to take the rest of the protocol or put the fetus at risk of deformities. Rather than follow their advice, she Googled until she found a website with a number to call, and after that call received the name of a doctor who would “reverse” her abortion.

Read More →

President Obama's proposal to fight ISIS on battlegrounds beyond Iraq and Syria seems to be going nowhere. But given his effort, it is a good time to recall the expensive price tag that accompanied the U.S. war in Iraq: $1.7 trillion dollars, with additional billions owed for war veterans’ benefits. Billions of that went toward “Democratic nation-building,” such as a $750 million dollar U.S. Embassy building in Baghdad; $500 million for an Iraq police training program; and $17.1 million toward fostering political competition in Iraq in 2011, though there were “no results reported,” according to United States Agency of International Development.

Read More →

Earlier this month, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office announced it would indict NYPD Officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, with the most serious charge leveled against him being second degree manslaughter.

This indictment comes after the non-indictments of Officers Dan Pantaleo in the killing of Eric Garner and Darren Wilson in the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, and has touched off a firestorm of outrage, with many in the Chinese American community saying that Officer Liang is being unfairly scapegoated for being Asian. Let’s put this indictment in some perspective: During the past 15 years, NYPD officers have killed at least 179 people, and only three officers before Liang was indicted.

Read More →

At the White House summit on countering violent extremism this week, President Obama challenged the American Muslim community to counter the “Islam versus the West” narrative that helps ISIS recruit young Muslims in America. The president is right in that this is a responsibility of the American Muslim community, and leaders are working to advance this message every day. Nonetheless, counternarratives from the American Muslim community alone will not stanch the appeal of ISIS’ propaganda. We, as a nation, must do more.

Read More →

The last time we had anything like the recent wave of Republican takeovers of state governments was in 1994, when the GOP picked up ten net governorships and took control of fifteen new state legislative chambers. The officeholders who benefited from this shift were for the most part very lucky people, assuming their positions just as the Long Boom of the mid-to-late 1990s began to gain momentum. The resulting revenue bonanza made it easy for Republicans at the state level to keep tax cut promises without unpopular spending reductions. Remember that large group of GOP governors who backed George W. Bush when he ran for president in 2000 as a “reformer with results?” They all, including Bush, owed a big debt of thanks to the drivers of the national economy, including Bill Clinton.

Read More →

Asking colleges how they feel about federal higher education regulation is a bit like asking six-year-olds what they think about broccoli—of course they don't like it. The difference is Congress would never call children to testify as part of political theater.

Today the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing on a recently released report it commissioned on the burden of federal regulations. The report does not paint a pretty picture of the Department of Education, sayings colleges are “enmeshed in a jungle of red tape,” and playing right into a narrative advanced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the HELP committee chair, that the burden of regulations are responsible for college costs increasing.

Read More →

In accepting her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on Sunday night, Patricia Arquette made an impassioned plea for women’s rights and equal pay. She did so, somewhat strangely, by pitting the women’s movement again others: “We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have our wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” And in her subsequent backstage remarks, according to the official transcript, Arquette took that contrast one step further: “It’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

Read More →

Yitzhak Rabin made his most important pleading in 1992 to the Israeli parliament: “Israel is no longer a people that dwells alone,” he said in his inaugural speech to the Knesset in his second term as prime minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu says his most important pleading will be to the American parliament, and when he addresses Congress on March 3, his message will be as clear as Rabin’s was, if also its polar opposite in tone: Israel faces extinction.

“I'm going to Washington because as Prime Minister of Israel, it's my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel,” he said February 16, addressing American Jewish leaders and referring to the Iran nuclear talks backed by the Obama administration.

The differences in style, in outlook, indeed, in Zionisms, are well known: Rabin was the cautious optimist who embraced Yasser Arafat, reviled for decades in Israel as a terrorist. Netanyahu is the pessimist who abides by a certainty that the neighborhood he lives in is not ready for peace.

Equally as telling, however, is the venue each man chose for what they hoped would be pronouncements that would shift the gears of history: Rabin, his beloved home turf, the cradle of Zionism; Netanyahu, the Washington whose language and customs he has embraced with preternatural fluency.

Read More →

It appears that Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin believes he can shrug his way into being the Republican nominee for president. Journalists are quickly learning that if you ask Walker to comment on any of the issues that are riling up the fundamentalists, birthers or other right wingnuts these days, Walker will be respond with his impression of a popular emoticon: ¯\(ツ)/¯.

Read More →

Last night at the Oscars, Jennifer Lopez, the Latina singer and actress from the Bronx reportedly worth $300 million dollars, cheered enthusiastically for women’s wage equality (women still make around 77 cents on the dollar). J. Lo has never been considered a feminist by the media; indeed, she’s never even been subject to the obligatory “Are you a feminist?” question every reporter asks female stars nowadays. But even though this may have been Lopez’s only public moment as an arbiter of women’s equality, it certainly wasn’t her first foray into gender equality. J. Lo has been a stealth feminist all along.

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

LiveWire