TPM Cafe: Opinion

One of the questions the early 2016 presidential campaign is raising is simple enough: Who is Martin O’Malley? Is the former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor a true-blue progressive appealing to the same constituency as Bernie Sanders? Or is he really a centrist, triangulating DLC Democrat whose main legacy in Baltimore is a policing strategy based on arresting everything that walks?

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It’s a new week, and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie isn’t in New Jersey but New Hampshire. Unfortunately for him, he’s also in the New York Times facing new allegations.

On Sunday night the Times reported that David Wildstein, who was once Gov. Chris Christie’s No. 2 appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and who pled guilty in early May to two federal felonies in connection to Bridgegate, filed a sworn statement in a federal civil suit alleging that Christie disclosed secret grand jury information to him and other political aides dating back to Christie’s time as the top federal prosecutor in the state.

Ordinarily, Wildstein’s charge would be easy to miss. It was buried in a sworn statement he signed on Friday before his attorney forwarded it to lawyers representing Gerald Speziale, a former Port Authority deputy police superintendent who in 2014 filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Port alleging that he was intimidated and harassed after reporting corruption at the agency.
Wildstein is a co-defendant in that case.

Confused? Well, that's New Jersey politics for you. And Chris Christie seems to have more legal headaches by the day. But here's how it all fits together.

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An officer in McKinney, Texas, dashes down a sidewalk, losing his flashlight as he runs past a teenage videographer toward an emergency. Seconds later, the teen with the camera walks up to another officer, one who is standing with a group of kids. “I’m just saying,” the officer is saying in a calm, corrective tone that parents and school teachers everywhere will recognize. “Don’t take off running when the cops get here.”

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Toward the end of many days last summer, with my boys home from camp and still needing to expend their youthful energy, they would run outside and play war games with their remarkably authentic-looking squirt guns. As they roamed the nearby yards and streets in my Waltham, MA apartment complex, I never for a moment feared that someone would call 911 and report them as threatening men with guns, never worried that an arriving police officer might shoot first and ask questions later (if at all).

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Are you an Amazon Mom or an Amazon Family? The answer depends on where you live. While Amazon offers special perks to families who register for “Amazon Mom” prime memberships in the U.S., they offer the same perks of membership under the title “Amazon family” in the UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, France and Japan. Nearly 13,000 people have signed the Change.org petition to Amazon, requesting that they change Amazon Mom to Amazon Family in the U.S. And yet, the issue has failed to gain consumer traction.

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This piece originally appeared on TheNation.com.

John Davis remembers a meeting in 1986 when Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, confronted the owners of the city’s largest affordable-housing complex. The federal program that had subsidized the Northgate Apartments for 20 years had a loophole that allowed the landlords to convert the buildings into market rentals or luxury condos.

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Chris Christie is in South Carolina this week, his first trip there in the 2016 cycle. On Tuesday he spent seventy minutes answering questions from GOP activists, road testing pro-gun, anti-Common Core, and anti-teachers’ union messages as he lays groundwork to enter an ever-widening pool of contenders for the GOP nomination.

It would seem that, for now, the postponement to mid-November of the Bridgegate trials of former Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni and Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly works in Christie’s favor. The summer could allow him to regain national footing, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising if we see something of a Christie bounce.

But there is something going on in the pre-trial maneuvering that could turn into a real headache for the governor.

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In his first inaugural address, President Barack Obama pledged a departure from divisive politics and a movement towards unity to solve the nation’s problems, which included the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, two wars and unaffordable healthcare. These solutions would be grounded in traditional American values:

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism—these things are old.

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“Lord, protect me from my friends, I can take care of my enemies,” Lil Wayne raps on his song “Scarface.” It’s a quote that comes to mind watching the Laura Kipnis debacle at Northwestern unfold in a big, public way. Watching it go down, it’s becoming clear that a handful of overwrought feminists may do what a million Wall Street Journal editorials could not, which is destroy all the good work that is being done using Title IX to combat rape and sexual abuse on campus

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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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