TPM Cafe: Opinion

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

American politics took a Game of Thrones-worthy plot twist on Tuesday as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary by a 12-point margin to Dave Brat, an underfunded right-wing challenger.

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For the first post-primary Wednesday this year, I’m not having to poke holes in the pre-ordained MSM narrative for this campaign cycle, The Year of the Republican Establishment, wherein the Great Big Adults of the GOP were supposed to put down the unruly Tea Folk and position their “pragmatic” party perfectly for smashing victories in 2014 and maybe 2016 as well. I’d say the Republican voters of the 7th congressional district of Virginia put that meme to rest for the immediate future.

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It’s no secret that Harlem Children’s Zone founder Geoffrey Canada has earned a lot of love in the education community. On Wednesday, Canada dropped by the Capitol to discuss the past, present, and future of Promise Neighborhoods in the United States. It wasn’t exactly a One Direction concert, but to a dorky education researcher (and fellow Bowdoin College alum) like me, Canada is something of a rock star.

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Once in college, a friend and I were talking about unplanned pregnancy, and I mentioned that I knew five or six women that had had abortions. “Wow,” my friend replied, “I don’t know anyone that’s had one.”

“Or maybe you do and they just haven’t told you,” I pointed out.

I thought of our long-ago conversation the other week, after seeing Obvious Child.

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In response to the Obama administration’s announcement that it would require major reductions in carbon emissions from American power plants, supporters and opponents alike were quick to point out that without a strong international agreement to curb carbon emissions, unilateral U.S. reductions will prove inadequate in the face of what is truly a global challenge. The administration’s supporters praised the President for sending a clear signal to the world that America will lead by example. Opponents, meanwhile, feared that unilateral U.S. reductions were a sucker’s play, setting us up to be taken advantage of by China and other competitors that have no intention of following our lead.

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Pop culture loves pregnant women, pregnant celebrities, and TV shows about pregnant teens. Our news is constantly splattered with announcements of which famous person is reproducing—the latest speculation centers on Jennifer Aniston and Kourtney Kardashian—and we embrace the celebrity baby photos in magazines. And for good reason—people love babies, and having children is an important focus for many men and women.

Why then, do we fail to get our doctors’ help when planning a pregnancy?

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In late April, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its long awaited report, "Not Alone." The Task Force is to be commended for doing an excellent job in highlighting this pervasive problem on college campuses, and for providing recommendations for identifying the problem, preventing sexual assault, and increasing transparency and improving enforcement. The task force should also be commended for taking steps to ensure that survivors receive confidential care from advocates and counselors.

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Some pretty important decisions that will affect generations to come are being made right now.

The new regulations on carbon emissions announced this week are, as Brad Plumer writes, the “most sweeping policy yet to address global warming.” States and utilities will need to cut carbon emissions from power generation in order to rein in the gases that cause climate change.

As predictably as morning follows sunrise, these rules are drawing fire in a number of ways.

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After yesterday’s “Super Tuesday” (eight states holding primaries), there remain 28 states with nominating contests on tap, and another six with runoffs. But all of the closely contested Republican Senate primaries that represented most of the national excitement prior to November have come and gone — except for runoffs in Georgia and yes, improbable as it might have seemed, in Mississippi.

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The state of Wisconsin spent last week in court defending a new law requiring every doctor who performs abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. This new major limit on abortion rights — which could cause clinics to close around the state — was signed into law in July of 2013 but was blocked by a federal judge from going into effect while litigation played out in court.

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