TPM Cafe: Opinion

In my last TPM column, I suggested that ad hominem attacks on Campbell Brown were inappropriate and part of a rhetorical pattern for the opponents of education reform. The response was, frankly, scathing. The vast majority of responses were via anonymous emails and tweets accusing me of a variety of things: being a crypto-corporatist, a “basterd” [sic] whose column was a “tongue bath” for Brown and Michelle Rhee, and so on. One guy longed for Brown to be violently beaten for her views. I’m from the Midwest. I have neither the inclination nor the rhetorical juice to go blow for blow with those folks.

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The brave Colorado high school students who are protesting their school board's attempt to rewrite their American history curriculum are doing all Americans a favor. They are reminding us of the importance of dissent and protest in our nation's history.

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I never for one moment thought I would feel envy at a 40 Days for Life rally.

I’ve been to a number of clinics, marches and other events in my time covering anti-abortion groups and clinic access. I’ve seen Good Friday protests with close to 500 people all marching silently and somberly in an endless loop in front of a clinic, and I’ve watched countless self-proclaimed sidewalk counselors chase patients through doors, yelling at them not to kill their babies.

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Dear Mr. Bolling and Mr. Gutfeld,

We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for.

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When Google announced its withdrawal from the American Legislative Exchange Council over the conservative group’s denial of climate change, it tried to establish its environmental bona fides. We should be careful before praising the tech company for trying to make green the new black, though — it funds organizations and candidates that question the science of global warming and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has personally donated thousands of dollars in the 2014 election cycle to legislators who deny climate change.

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While the nation has its eyes on ISIS and the newly opened front in Syria, there has been a critical development in a place where the U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars, seen over 2,300 American troops lose their lives, and fought the longest war of our history.

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On Saturday, I was horrified to see a segment of the Fox News program, "Cashin’ In," in which host Eric Bolling and several of his panelists made remarks calling for racial profiling, stigmatization, and, ultimately, violence against Muslims. While I have seen and heard irresponsible, xenophobic, and even racist rhetoric in the American media and on cable news shows, Monday’s segment went far beyond anything I had witnessed in a long time.

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Friday’s press conference surrounding the League’s poor handling of domestic abuse is rife with examples of how not to lead an influential organization.

As a college leadership educator, I am charged with providing opportunities to students that are often very close in age to some of the newest members of the National Football League. I like to find examples in current events of how leadership should look- and how it shouldn’t look. In Friday’s press conference, I had an unfortunate chance to draw from Roger Goodell’s “performance” to address the latter. But through my own personal disappointment and occasional anger, I was able to distill a few things about the commissioner's leadership style. As controversy continues to unfold, America now regretfully knows more of the man overseeing this process...and has reason to be concerned.

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A political party with close ties to religious conservatives wins a national election thanks to unhappiness with the ruling center-left party’s economic and financial performance. Challenged to redeem its platform promising a major reversal of landmark laws making abortion generally legal, the conservative party promulgates a law banning the procedure, with exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the physical and mental health of the mother. Protests appear and spread as women object to the turning back of the clock. Public opinion surveys show 70 to 80 percent opposition to the new law. And finally, the conservative party’s prime minister relents, puts off implementation of the abortion ban on grounds that it would be reversed at the next change of party control, and instead proposes a face-saving measure providing for parental approval of abortions by minors. Anti-choicers and religious officials are very, very displeased and the governing party could be heading toward disarray.

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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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