TPM Cafe: Opinion

The White House burned. So did the U.S. Capitol, and most of the public buildings in Washington, D.C. Invading British troops burned the city in this most humiliating episode in American history 200 years ago today. Some are tempted to call the War of 1812 “the forgotten war,” but that is absurd. Out of it came the national anthem, a daring act of bravery to save the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the most lopsided defeat of the British military in all of their conflicts.

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There is a moment in Richard Linklater’s subtle and unique Boyhood (2014, IFC Films) where your breath catches in your chest, and you’re aware of the reality of what you’re watching. Mason (played beautifully by reserved newcomer Ellar Coltrane) and his girlfriend Sheena are headed to Austin to visit his sister at college and explore what could be their hometown in a year’s time. Seeing him behind the wheel, you’re struck by that same feeling of awe that hits when you see a neighbor’s son or family friend’s daughter after many years- feelings of awe and shock at how the years pass. The only difference is, by that point in the film, we’ve been watching Mason’s transformation unfold in relative real time.

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It’s always mushroom clouds with these guys. Secure America Now, a 501c4, has released a sequel of sorts to Lyndon Johnson’s infamous Daisy ad that equated electing Barry Goldwater with nuclear Armageddon. Daisy 2 accuses Barack Obama of “failing” to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, a humdinger of a lie that overlays the original ad’s message of peace with the drumbeats of war.

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With last night’s Alaska primary, the much-heralded Republican Senate primary cycle came to a close (unless someone to Bill Cassidy’s right upsets him in Louisiana’s “jungle primary” on November 4). And with the victory of every Beltway Republican’s favorite to take on Mark Begich, former Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (pictured), the GOP can congratulate itself on failing to nominate any blatantly self-destructive yahoos for competitive seats, and for not making any safe seats suddenly vulnerable — though that very nearly happened in Mississippi.

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And just like that, she's gone. Michelle Rhee is stepping down as head of Students First, a group that she started to aggressively lobby for and back candidates who support an education reform agenda. The apogee of her influence had already been waning by the time the organization got started — soon after she lost her post as the chancellor of Washington, D.C.'s schools. But now she's pretty definitively leaving the front lines of the fights plaguing American education.

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The outrage in #Ferguson was brought to the attention of the nation in part through the power of “Black Twitter,” the powerful online community of African-American users of the social media platform. But what is it about the microblogging platform that makes it the gathering place of choice for the African-American community?

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You can read the eight-page complaint at this link. The complaint essentially incorporates McDaniel’s 243-page complaint filed with the MS Republican Party into the complaint. He asks for votes from Hinds County and elsewhere to be thrown out, and for him to be declared the winner of the election. In the alternative, he asks for a new election [corrected]. The complaint puts great emphasis on his argument that any voters (i.e., (Black) Democrats) who voted in the Republican runoff should have their votes thrown out, because they violated Mississippi law by voting without having the intent to support the ultimate Republican nominee in the election.

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There is an odd recognition in Rich Lowry’s pearl-clutching POLITICO Magazine piece, “The Callow President.” Lowry, who only ends up on the high road when he takes the wrong exit, accuses Barack Obama of recently striking a “characteristically — and tellingly — juvenile and plaintive note,” but by making an argument with all the staying power of the bar napkin he wrote it on, Lowry’s insult comes back on its author.

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