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What Does 2015 Hold?

What will define 2015 in politics and more importantly our national and political culture in general? 2014 I'd call a year of general malaise, disenchantment with Obama, a return to Iraq and a polarizing but irrepressible public argument about race and policing. What does 2015 hold? I've just opened this thread to discuss it in The Hive (sub req). If you're not a Prime member, shoot me an email at our main site email address up at the top of the site.

They Just Melt Away

If you have a moment, check out this Times article on the collapse of the Yanukovych government in Ukraine last February, the event that seemed to end one Ukraine crisis but in fact kicked the broader and continuing regional crisis into high gear.

Brittle states, especially once they are held together only by bare force, can and often do come apart very rapidly. There is a strong element of game theory and crowd action in the process - a rush for the exits that can be baffling. It has always been a bit of a mystery exactly how the end came for Yanukovych and why it happened so quickly. The Times article doesn't quite solve that mystery so much as it illustrates that process of rapid government or state collapse - a chain of events that lacks any clear point of origination.

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The Unspoken Issue

As I mentioned earlier we are considering doing a subscription/contribution drive for a one-year project where we would hire one or two reporters and one editor to report exclusively on crime and policing. The two issues are umbilically connected to each other, which should go without saying. And through all this roiling public controversy about police community relations, the one critical factor that simply doesn't get mentioned enough is the historic drop in crimes of all kinds over the last 20 years. It is nothing less than the end of the late 20th century crime wave which began in the early 1960s and lasted between 35 and 40 years, depending on where you're talking about and just how you want to define it.

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Gaining Perspective on the Other Blue Nation

We got a huge response to the piece I posted yesterday morning from TPM Reader LC, a police officer from the suburban New York City area who describes himself as a progressive Democrat. There were a few points I wanted to expand on and explain about the piece, partly in answer to your questions.

First, a number of you asked why LC didn't address this or that question or issue in his email. In part this is just a matter of no one email being able to address every issue tied either to recent news or the general issue of police-community relations. But more specifically, I wanted to make clear that the email you read was one LC wrote in response to a specific request: to give me his reaction to my post on NYPD union leader Pat Lynch's recent comments and the war between the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio in general.

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Mighty White of You

Incoming House GOP Whip Steven Scalise (R) says it's "ludicrous" to think he was involved with white nationalists. And along those lines, I confess, I bet it was a pretty awkward moment when Scalise was giving his speech at that convention and started talking about the civil rights challenges facing the country. In fairness, who would assume that a group called the National Organization for European-American Rights might be a race thing? I continue to think this is the most trenchant piece of analysis on the on-going issue of right-wing Republicans accidentally speaking to white nationalist organizations.