Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Tinfoil Rand

Rand Paul, like Ted Cruz, will never be president. It is highly, highly unlikely either will be nominated. No, I will not say this about each candidate who announces. But it is notable that these two - who are essentially media creations - are the first two in. The alleged coalition Paul is striving to create is deeply improbable, if not downright impossible. But quite apart from that, and many other profound liabilities, there's just one that will inevitably sink him: a long, long history of conspiracy theories which are uniformly whacky and often veer into the rantings of the militia, white supremacist and neo-confederate right. Here's one that is simply whacky that came to mind as I was reading the Paul coverage this morning.

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19th Century Laissez Faire, Homes ...

Not sure you need more than this sentence ...

But while fellow “constitutional conservatives” like Ted Cruz imagine a winning coalition composed of GOP “base” voters psyched out of their skulls along with nonvoters who have been secretly pining for a rightwing savior, Paul’s electability argument is that his eccentric path back to the policies of the distant past will attract key elements of the other party’s base.

Read the rest here.

Why We Need Cameras

A white police officer has been charged with murder after video emerged showing him shooting a black motorists as he ran away. The video is shocking.

The camera was not a dash or body cam. It appears to have been shot by a bystander. But in almost every case cameras are the friend or whoever is telling the truth. And just as important, they shape behavior, probably actually preventing some tragedies from happening in the first place.

Scrutiny and Empathy

We just published this piece by Kirsten Schofield who recounts how she herself was the victim of an attempted rape at UVA and cannot forgive or accept the apology of Sabrina Erdely, the reporter on the now-notorious Rolling Stone story. You should simply read the piece rather rely on my gloss. But there is one thing that stood out to me in this piece: Schofield's description of the very different responsibilities—radical empathy and belief and scrutiny and distance of rape crisis counselors and advocates on the one hand, and journalists (and though she doesn't mention it explicitly, investigators) on the other. Here is the piece.

Live Chat with Mark Schmitt at 2 p.m.

Mark Schmitt joins The Hive today to chat about the early reform rhetoric we are already hearing regarding 2016 (sub req), his recent paper on a new framework for democratic reform and any other topics you are interested in. Schmitt is the director of the program on political reform at the New America Foundation -- in this capacity he develops new approaches to understanding and reforming the market for political power.

A prominent writer on politics and public policy, with experience in government, philanthropy and journalism, he is also a columnist for The New Republic and a leading voice on political reform, budget and tax policy, and social policy.

Please feel free to drop in your questions at or before 2 p.m.! This chat will be moderated by TPM.

The Curious Indifference to an Iranian Bomb

There is no shortage of hyperbolic commentary about the framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. But one strain of the conversation is particularly odd and deserves more attention. In what can only taken as a tacit admission that the proposed restrictions on Iran's program are quite strong, we are now hearing that the agreement needs to include restrictions on Iranian ballistic missile development, support for Hezbollah and Hamas, support for the Assad regime in Syria, support for terrorism and even more amorphously an end to destabilizing the Middle East. Perhaps most preposterously, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that Iranian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

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Go Forth and Troll No More

It seems like we are well into the concern-troll phase of the cake-pizza-flower wars/freedom movement, which one might call either an organized retreat or a fall back to guerrilla insurgency in the all but lost battle against gay marriage. Because really, a lot of this is not that complicated. If you ask a baker to bake a cake that says "God hates gays" and they refuse, that's not an imposition on your religion - unless you're a complete moron.

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