TPM Cafe: Opinion

One of the emerging big stories of the 2016 elections is that we will finally see the full, lurid effect of a series of Supreme Court opinions that have largely deregulated campaign spending. Jeb Bush, flouting what remains of the old rules, is deliberately delaying his announcement of candidacy in order to coordinate with supposedly independent Super-PACs—for which his primary campaign strategists work—as they together plan a “shock-and-awe” level of fundraising that is intended to terrify rivals into submission and offset Bush’s poor polling numbers. Billionaires are lining up to provide open-ended backing for their favorite candidates, enabling a huge Republican field and raising fears of an unnaturally extended nominating process.

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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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Want to contribute to TPM Cafe? Email ideas for your pieces to us at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com

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