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No Controling Authority

It is increasingly difficult to find any unifying theory or rationale behind the Supreme Court's election and election financing decisions other than the goal of securing the electoral interests of the Republican party. That sounds harsh. But a simple process of elimination leaves little other conclusion. States rights, originalism, deference to legislatures, various constructions of democratic theory and a lot else are controlling except when they're not controlling. Most of the decisions line up with the conservative jurisprudence espoused by the Court's conservative semi-majority. Except when they don't. Cases are plucked out of the lower courts long before the high court has any obligation or need to intervene. The new case which will review the 'one person, one vote' rule which has been reining law for half a century would likely diminish the voting power of cities vs rural areas, minorities vs whites and Democrats vs Republicans, if decided on behalf of the plaintiffs. In other words, why not? It's a big deal. Here's our 5 Points run-down about what you need to know about this case.

Echoes of the 1930s (Dingbat Edition)

We treat it as a given today that denying the scientific consensus on climate change is something close to an orthodoxy in the Republican party. Meanwhile a major faction of the party is similarly opposed to teaching evolutionary theory and the science of natural selection. But this squabbling around the GOP's new Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare captures a similar but even more striking dimension to the same phenomenon: A comically willful rewriting of history that seems so eagerly, perhaps slavishly embraced that it is not even clear whether the people arguing the latest zig or zag in the party line know it's nonsense or whether ideological commitment and peer pressure has convinced them that the new marching orders are really the truth.

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Bringing The Hate Straight To DC

You may remember that long before Pamela Geller's Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas which came under armed attack this month, she and her fringey anti-Muslim group had been placing controversial ads in big city transit systems. Now they're upping their game considerably, preparing to launch a new ad campaign in the DC transit system but unlike the others this ad includes the winning cartoon from the contest, which of course is a depiction of Muhammad. Fun times all around.

"Hitch Hiking Story that Involves a Gun"

In the second installment of our series of TPM Reader emails on 'your hitchhiking story', TPM Reader RCE shares the story that ended his days as a hitchhiker ...

Here is the story that cured me of Hitch Hiking.

I hitch hiked throughout the 1960s and 1970s as a kid and teen in Pittsburgh. It was a necessity for jobs or getting up to the river where we jumped off the bridge......[yes, my friends jumped off the bridge so I did too]

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