TPM Cafe: Opinion

Yesterday’s runoff primaries in Georgia offered some unexpected drama, with David Perdue narrowly upsetting favored Senate opponent Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). But the big picture is that the two “Establishment” candidates in this long contest wound up fighting to the finish in a competition characterized by heavy spending aimed at tarring each other as unacceptably moderate. No matter who won or lost, it would be a “true conservative” representing this state’s very conservative GOP “base” in the general election.

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There was a time that keeping Iran from getting a nuclear bomb would have been considered a worthy goal, even a unifying principle. And even though the recent round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran did not result in a big diplomatic deal, Iran is further away from having the bomb now than they were when Barack Obama took office. As shocking as it may be to Americans used to a steady diet of bad international news about ISIL, Gaza, Ukraine, and Boko Haram, an extension of our nuclear deal with Iran is good news.

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The reproductive rights movement hasn’t had a lot of victories to be able to point to over the last few years, thanks to the onslaught of anti-abortion, anti-birth control bills slammed through state legislatures since 2011. One success it has been able to tout, however, has been their public awareness campaign against crisis pregnancy centers [CPCs].

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The agreement between the P5+1 and Iran to extend the period of negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program is good news for those who support a peaceful resolution to the dispute. While it would have been remarkable if such a complex issue had been resolved in only six months, with a continued freeze on the development of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for modest sanctions relief, negotiators on both sides will now have the breathing room to hammer out the technical details necessary for a final deal.

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Sen. Rand Paul and I don’t agree on many things, but we both recognize the crisis faced by our nation’s broken criminal justice system. Last week, we joined together to answer an urgent call to advance bipartisan solutions that will save taxpayer dollars, boost our economy, make our streets safer, and help fix the deeply damaging racial and socio-economic disparities that have multiplied in our system over recent decades.

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The sharp exchange last weekend between Rick Perry and Rand Paul over Iraq — and more broadly, its relationship to the “Reagan legacy” in foreign policy — may have seemed like mid-summer entertainment to many observers, or perhaps just a food fight between two men thinking about running against each other for president in 2016. But from a broader perspective, we may be witnessing the first really serious division in the Republican Party over international affairs since the 1950s.

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In modern-day America, the red and blue divide is such a common way to describe the increasing polarization in politics that it is taken as gospel. These distinctions, however, don’t get to the core of the deep, cultural issues that divide the nation and fail to help us understand how and why circumstances in states vary across the U.S.

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Did Tom Junod have any idea of the shit storm he’d provoke when he wrote his love letter to the slightly older female? He delivered it like roses, like a knight rescuing the formerly middle-aged woman from ignominy. He even gave a nod to feminism for empowering the object of his lust. Somewhere, there is a 42-year-old woman who read those words and felt the embrace of acceptance fall over her sculpted shoulders like a fresh blowout. Maybe it helped push her through her hundredth Pilates Hundred. Maybe there are thousands of these women clinking glasses of rosé in triumph. But I have not seen them sharing this article on Facebook with smiley emojis. What I’ve seen has been the entire internet rolling its eyes in unison.

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