TPM Cafe: Opinion

As the “invisible primary” for 2016 gets underway, the most visible near-certain Republican candidate is the junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul. Aside from a consistent high ranking in early 2016 polls (he’s remained a steady presence near the top of all post-November-2012 surveys of Republicans, even as Marc Rubio and Chris Christie have risen and fallen), he’s received mostly favorable media attention, from his famous filibuster against CIA nominee John Brennan to his periodic “outreach” initiatives aimed at the young and minority voters among whom his party has been struggling.

He has also avoided much of the intra-party antagonism attracted by his rival Ted Cruz, in no small part because of his calm manner and good personal relationships with “Establishment Republicans” (particularly his Kentucky colleague the Senate Minority Leader, to whom he is offering valuable “constitutional conservative” cover in a potentially dangerous primary challenge). And he has a built-in national base and relatively high name ID thanks to his father’s various campaigns both as a Libertarian and as a Republican.

Read More →

When it comes to women’s health issues like contraception and abortion, why does the press so often present opinion and fact side by side? Recent pieces in Reuters,the New York Times and SCOTUSblog, to name just a few, made an attempt at “balance” by presenting what they see as “both sides of the issue” on contraception. But do facts have two sides? When reporting on medical issues, weighing a religious belief as equal to scientific and medical evidence is disingenuous and confusing to the reader. And often there is no opportunity to correct misinformation. As a women’s health care provider, this disappoints and frustrates me.

Read More →

Rhode Island has recently learned that its renewable energy standards could be ruinously expensive. But they’re in good company: more than a dozen states have “learned” the same thing, from reports from the same economists at the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI).

Housed at Boston’s Suffolk University, BHI turns out study after study for right-wing, anti-government groups. Funding for BHI’s relentless efforts has come from Charles and David Koch (leading tea party funders) and others on the same wavelength. For the Rhode Island study, BHI teamed up with the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, a member of the Koch’s State Policy Network.

Read More →

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a case that challenges the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby, the chain of craft stores, claims that providing health insurance that covers birth control would violate the religious beliefs of its owners and, therefore, the company should be exempt from the requirement. (Conestoga Wood, a small Mennonite furniture maker, has also challenged the mandate, and the Court will also hear Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius tomorrow.)

Read More →

Princeton Mom is back.

Also known as Susan Patton, Princeton Mom is the woman who proclaimed, via a letter written “To the daughters I never had” and published last year in the Daily Princetonian (and, subsequently, everywhere), that women should view college as valuable insofar as it leads to one’s “MRS” degree. A Princeton grad herself, and mother to two Princetonian sons, Patton’s thoughts have been published in book form — not because she has anything new to say, but because mothers who obsessively fret over their daughters’ shriveling eggs and hate-clickers alike were so mollified/appalled that said letter went viral faster than crabs at a cheap hotel during Spring break. Thus a book deal was born.

Read More →

A remarkable thing happened in Arizona recently. Businesses from Marriott to Apple to American Airlines urged Governor Brewer to veto SB 1062, the bill that would have granted businesses religious rights to refuse services to gays and lesbians. Public figures and politicians like Mitt Romney, Arizona’s two Republican senators, and even several state legislators who had themselves voted for the bill urged the same.

Once the NFL began making noises about moving the Super Bowl out of Arizona, it became clear: the attempt to permit for-profit corporations to use religion to discriminate based on sexual orientation or other grounds was too politically toxic to become law.

Read More →

This is part of TPM Cafe Book Club for Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do.

One of the many things I like about Jake Rosenfeld new book, What Unions No Longer Do, is all the compelling data points he brings to bear on what used to be called with much portent, “the labor question.” Though I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, reading, writing, and working in the labor movement, Rosenfeld’s research nevertheless told me many things I didn’t know.

Read More →

With immigration reform likely tabled for the rest of 2014, it’s as good time as any to take stock of what we know about how our current immigrant populations and their children are faring in today’s precarious economy.

In my book I explore how the economic incorporation of contemporary migrants and their offspring – especially those from Mexico and the rest of Latin America – mirror or diverge from those of the European immigrant populations of generations past. The successful economic incorporation of Italians, Poles, Russians, and others rested on a context of reception here in the U.S. that included a rapidly growing labor movement.

The growing labor movement provided millions of low-skill immigrants and their children with jobs that paid comparatively well, thus helping to propel whole populations into the rapidly expanding middle-class by the mid-20th Century.

Read More →

Eleven years ago today, the U.S. began a military action in Iraq – one that cost thousands of lives, American and Iraqi, and left us mired in a decade-long occupation.

There were a lot of reasons given, in those weeks leading up to the invasion, for why we had to send troops and treasure into Iraq. Over time, those reasons eroded away, as the intelligence behind the case for war proved false and we weren't greeted with rose petals. That leaves behind the saddest and most accurate explanation for why we actually did: because we had to be “tough.”

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