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Inside the Mighty Wurlitzer

So how did the rightwing media apparatus turned Jon Gruber into the Lord High King of Obamacare? This is really an amazing look into contemporary media culture on the right. How a policy wonk whose ideas did play a key role in the formulation of Obamacare (and Romneycare) became a world-altering scandal for things he said at policy conferences years later.

Yes, Pardon Mark Wahlberg and Lots of Others Too

You may have seen the news that Mark Wahlberg is petitioning the Governor of Massachusetts for a pardon for crimes he committed as a teen in Boston in the 1980s. These were a bit more than your typical bad seed childhood run-ins with the law. At least two incidents could possibly qualify today as hate crimes. Though I've increasingly admired Wahlberg's acting work and his ability to transition from a music act/novelty actor to the real thing, I can't say I've given him a great deal of thoughts one way or another.

But there's more to this story than celebrity news.

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A TPM Reader takes stock of the week and what it means ...

As someone who defended "Jackie" and the story all week, I felt let down, and then realized with some disgust I was disappointed that she had not been raped. In thinking further about my reaction, it seems what this really is about - and Ferguson and the countless other deaths of young Black teens - is balance of power. And the reason I, and others, are quick to defend the victims in these cases is because it confirms a version of the world we already believe: that young women and African-Americans are often disenfranchised in our culture, specifically with regard to large and traditional bastions of power where the loudest, richest, highest-status voices tend to drown out minority perspectives.

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Who Do You Hate?

I wanted to flag your attention to this piece we published today by Laura Kipnis on Hillary Clinton and the men who hate her. It might not be exactly what you'd expect from the title. It's a fascinating piece and I highly recommend it. One point of interest of mine is this issue of hating more generally and how it applies to iconic figures in our political culture. I've twice come close to writing a book - got an agent engaged, started doing research and more - and then pulled back. The first time was in the late 90s and the subject was Clinton-hating.

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