TPM Cafe: Opinion

The reaction to the takeover of Ramadi by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has ranged from panicked to defensive and furious to painful, demonstrating just how sensitive the memory of the Iraq war still is for Americans. Twelve years later, politicians and pundits still use the war that would alter the fate of individuals and nations alike to prove they were right or that someone else was wrong.

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“They’re going to walk right up and shoot you in the head.” Six years after the murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church in Wichita, Kansas, this is what one abortion provider believes every day as she watches extremists stalk her at work, at home and in her community.

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Last week, the ACLU released a video of two Barstow Police Department officers wrestling Charlena Michelle Cook, stomach-down, to the ground. She was eight months pregnant. According to CBS Los Angeles, police were called following an argument between Cook and another woman on January 26, 2015. The arrest took place after Cook refused to identify herself to the officers.

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Earlier this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was supposed to start accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents program, otherwise known as DAPA. Instead, the DAPA program, along with an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, remains blocked since February by a forum-shopped judge, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. This week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency stay request filed by the U.S. Department of Justice to lift the injunction currently blocking the implementation of deferred action programs DACA and DAPA.

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Last week, I spent lunch discussing sex with total strangers.

It’s not as titillating as it sounds. The stories I heard were about frustration and sadness, not orgasms and lubricant. The frustration came from medical professionals who want an FDA-regulated product to help the women and partners they treat every day. The sadness came from women who wanted a normal sex life again.

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If you need convincing that this entire country could use a remedial course on the difference between “consent” and “non-consent,” look no further than this sexting story coming out of New Jersey, where 20 middle and high school aged boys have been accused of participating in an electronic “trading card” ring involving nude photos of female students. Reading the coverage of it, it becomes immediately clear how these boys got their overblown sense of entitlement: Their parents and community have rushed forward to support the boys for their invasion of privacy —and have demanded, instead, that the girls be criminalized for being such alluring little temptresses.

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Virtually no one in the international diplomatic community wants an Israeli government that openly opposes the two-state solution—but the time has come to face the uncomfortable truth. While it has been clear for years that Netanyahu is stalling talks, building settlements and strengthening the hard right in Israel, the world has continued to hope that Netanyahu’s overt ambiguity over the two-state solution means he is willing to go there at the end of the day.

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With Rick Santorum and George Pataki set to announce candidacies this week, and with the ranks of proto-candidates rapidly converging on those who haven’t made it official strictly for fundraising purposes or day-job responsibilities, we are very likely looking at a field of 15 candidates or so, not counting those beyond the pale of party or media respectability. Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Jindal, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Santorum, Walker: all are currently running. Add Donald Trump, former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and we’ve got 18 candidates. For a point of comparison, there were nine candidates in 2012 (or ten if you count former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who announced late and was not invited to appear in the televised debates).

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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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