TPM Cafe: Opinion

The movement to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day has taken on renewed steam this year, with a number of cities across the country adopting the new name for the controversial October holiday. The shift makes sense, not just because of the horrors that Columbus helped usher into the Americas (and that he personally supported in many cases), but also because of the thorough absence of Native Americans from our roster of national holidays. If it takes renaming an existing federal holiday to bring Native Americans into those collective American conversations (where, inarguably, they have played a more central role than an Italian explorer sailing for Spain who never set foot on what would become the United States), that seems a more-than-worthwhile step.

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With Republicans, it's not Black Lives Matter, it's All Lives Matter. And even though more preschoolers are killed with guns than cops are, it's really Blue Lives Matter, because it's those black protestors who are killing cops.

It's not global warming. It's climate change. Don’t you believe coal miners deserve a chance to earn a living?

It's not equal opportunity in education. It's accountability for all and leaving no child behind. You don't share in the soft bigotry of low expectations, do you?

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During a Republican debate last month, Carly Fiorina claimed that one of the Planned Parenthood sting videos contained footage of “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’” Fiorina has refused to back down from her statement, even in the face of evidence that solidly refutes her assertion.

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“Sorry, I can’t bring my kids to your place if there are unsecured guns in the house.”

“Thanks for coming over. Do you mind leaving your shoes in the hallways and your pistol off my property?”

“I can’t stay over if you keep a gun in the bedroom, especially if we’ve been drinking. Guns make things less safe when the lights go out.”

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Even as he deplored the depressing regularity of gun massacres in the United States, President Obama struck an entirely new tone for progressives in reaction to the Oregon murders:

I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. And that will require a change of politics on this issue. And it will require that the American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision.

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When we first met, at the start of 2014, Donald Trump was already quite sure he would seek the presidency of the United States. He offered two reasons. First was his antipathy toward President Obama, whom he had spent years trying to delegitimize with absurd questions about his citizenship. (“There’s so much about him that’s a lie,” Trump later told me.) Second was his confidence in the encouragement he received from social media. He noted that every day he heard from Twitter followers who were encouraging him to run and this support represented, in his mind, the pulse of the people.

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When most people think of the great civil right achievements of the 1960s, two famous laws come to mind: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But there was a third great civil rights law that is far too often forgotten—and could not be more relevant to today’s presidential debate.

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Late this afternoon, on the eve of a storm that is set to bring high tides and heavy winds to the New Jersey coastline, Gov. Chris Christie announced the sudden dismissal of the head of his transportation cabinet agency.

Jamie Fox, a veteran Democratic powerbroker, was chosen by Christie to lead the state’s Department of Transportation in late 2014. It was a surprising appointment at the time, and interpreted as a way for Christie to deploy Fox’s considerable political capital in the state legislature, which is led by the same Democrats who sanctioned the Bridgegate investigation.

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Today Arne Duncan announced that he’s stepping down as U.S. Secretary of Education in December of this year. His replacement, John E. King, better have more game than Duncan displayed in pick-up basketball with the president. King has to help Democrats get elected into office in the 2016 elections.

But can King make education reform more progressive during the ten months that he has the position?

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Tzipi Hotovely might not be a great diplomat, but her blunt communication style can be a great help in clarifying matters. This was certainly the case with her interview with the Times of Israel, which was published on September 27. In it, Hotovely, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, openly declares that Israel has no intention of handing any of the West Bank over to Palestinian control.

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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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