TPM Cafe: Opinion

Lack of “maternal instincts.” That is what local Ravalli County deputy attorney Thorin Geist dubbed it when he spoke about Casey Gloria Allen, a 21-year-old Montana woman being charged with criminal endangerment of a child.

The “child,” in this case, was a 12-week fetus, and the “endangerment” was that Allen tested positive for narcotics.

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On the surface, the lyrics of our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” seem very clear —that Georgetown lawyer and part-time poet and songwriter Francis Scott Key saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore harbor during the British Royal Navy’s bombardment of September 13–14, 1814. Because the lyrics say that, it must be the truth. Right?

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The backlash is already here.

As an academic who studies domestic violence, I was surprised by the Ray Rice episode. Not because of the gruesome nature of the video allegedly depicting the former Baltimore Ravens star punching his then-fiancee out cold—24 percent of women will experience “severe physical violence” from an intimate partner sometime in their lifetime. I was surprised because it provoked universal condemnation.

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This weekend, Hillary Clinton will make her first trip to Iowa of the election cycle. I’m a Liberal Political Strategist who associates with a circle of mostly Liberal Political Strategist friends. I can tell you, many (most) of us are rolling our eyes at the prospect of a Clinton nomination.

Like a Good Liberal Political Strategist, I'm a big fan of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). I rooted for her appointment to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, cursed Senate Republicans when it become clear that appointment wouldn't happen, celebrated her victory over Scott Brown, and have watched Upworthy videos of her grilling bankers in committee hearings countless times. I've also never been a fan of Hilary Clinton's foreign policy hawkishness, her default to corporate interests over the well-being of marginalized communities, or her coziness with Rupert Murdoch.

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Dark money groups have already poured more than $5 million into Arizona’s elections this cycle. These organizations, carefully constructed to protect the identities of their contributors, play a heavy hand in influencing election outcomes.

This is because Arizona places no restrictions on the dark money groups, and there is no legal obligation to reveal contributors. As a result, Arizona is quickly becoming the Cayman Islands for moving dark money.

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In an early scene from 1993’s Aladdin, the title character is running from the palace guards after stealing a loaf of bread, frenetically weaving to avoid their pursuit. A neighbor remarks, “Getting in trouble a little early, aren’t we, Aladdin?” He retorts: “Trouble? No way. You’re only in trouble if you get caught...”

Less than a second later, he is grabbed by the vest, pulled face to face with the snarling captain. “GOTCHA!” Aladdin’s response? A yelping, “I’m in trouble!”

After reports revealed late on Wednesday that the NFL had the video of Ray Rice allegedly punching his then-fiancee out cold in April — but it was not revealed to the public until this week — this exchange continued to come to mind. For an incident that happened so long ago, and that the NFL seems to have known about, why is it only now affecting his playing status?

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So last night marked the final primary night of 2014 (not counting Louisiana’s “Jungle Primary” that coincides with general Election Day), ending a cycle that began in Texas on March 4. Despite many efforts to impose a national “narrative” on the primaries, none really stuck. Some observers have insisted on a “Republican Establishment Defeats Tea Party” meme. But Eric Cantor’s loss, some ideologically ambiguous Senate winners, and a notable lurch to the Right by many “Establishment” candidates, make this claim questionable, and perhaps if true rather meaningless.

There were, however, plenty of mini-dramas throughout the year, not least on this final night. You could classify these as stories of a rebuke, a rebirth, a rematch and a rejection.

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In the wake of Ferguson protests, there's been an effort from some commentators to defend increasingly militarized police tactics in response to public backlash after Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed teen Michael Brown.

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