February 18, 2016


"Trying to find common ground [with Republicans] doesn't make me less of a Democrat or less of a progressive. It means I'm trying to get stuff done. Labels, such as ‘not a real progressive’ are damaging to the national discourse. So when I hear voices in either party boast of their refusal to compromise as an accomplishment in and of itself, I’m not impressed. All that does is prevent what most Americans would consider actual accomplishments, like fixing roads, educating kids, passing budgets, cleaning our environment, making our streets safe.” -- President Obama 2/10/16


"The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for the city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe. ... They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer,"Ferguson leaders "had a real opportunity here to step forward, and they've chosen to step backward," --Attorney General Loretta Lynch 2/10/16.

“Boy, this race has shown a lot can happen in a week. A week ago, Marco Rubio was the chosen one, now he’s the little broken robot boy. His Valentine’s Day card to his wife was very sweet, it said, ‘Remembering you on this special day,’ and then when you opened it, it said, ‘Remembering you on this special day.’” -- Bill Maher 2.12.16

If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen. -- Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump

“Senator Sanders has an online cadre of mostly young men… an army of keyboard warriors… who are really abusive to people they disagree with.” --  Nation columnist Joan Walsh, a Clinton sympathizer who has been victimized by Bernie Bro trolling.

“Joseph Stalin said, If you want to bring America down, you have to undermine three things: Our spiritual life, our patriotism, and our morality.” — Ben Carson, quoted by CNN during last night’s GOP debate, using a fake quote.

“Maybe a Supreme Court vacancy will remind people that presidential elections are not circuses — they really are important. The stakes just went up, and now everyone knows it.” -- Charlie Cook, a nonpartisan political analyst.

“Whether you’re in camp #ImWithHer or #FeelTheBern, once the nominee is selected, we must all become part of camp #VoteBlueNoMatterWho.”-- Allan Clifton in Forward Progressives. 2/13/16

"I absolutely believe what I said (“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other”), that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line. I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender. But I understand that I came across as condemning those who disagree with my political preferences. If heaven were open only to those who agreed on politics, I imagine it would be largely unoccupied. -- Madeleine Albright 2/13/16


"No, I say this. I say this. You can't lie and then hold up the bible, OK? He consistently lies. What he did to Ben Carson was a disgrace. What he did with the voter violation form - which is a fraud - is a disgrace. And you can't do that. You can't hold up all of these values and hold up the bible and then lie." -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 2/14/16

“Clinton has been battle-tested, and she is better prepared to be president than when she lost to Obama in the 2008 primaries. The fight for the Democratic nomination may last far longer than anticipated, but only Clinton can win in November and is prepared for the nation's highest office.” -- Tampa Bay Times Editorial. 2/12/16

“If we enshrine this precedent and declare a functioning Supreme Court optional, subordinate to the whim of the Senate majority, it is easy to envision a future where the Supreme Court is routinely crippled.” — Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), on the GOP’s stated refusal to consider any Obama nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy. 6/12/16

"No, they wouldn't." -- Ben Carson when asked if his fellow candidates would say the same thing about waiting to nominate a new justice if there was a Republican president. 2/16/16

"I think I have a responsibility to perform and I can't worry about the election. I've got to do my job as a senator, whatever it is." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Iowa reporters on Tuesday.



1. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Exit Troll in New Hampshire
3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
4. Late Night Jokes for Dems
5. Bad News From Iowa and New Hampshire Must be a Wake Up Call for Progressives 
6. GOP Insiders Still Don’t See Trump Winning
7. Marco Rubio's tax plan would increase the deficit by $8.2 trillion
8. Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie
9. The Borowitz Report: G.O.P. Warns Obama Against Doing Anything for Next 340 Days
10. Fact checking the ninth Republican debate
11. SNL Cold Open: Hillary for president 
12. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Voting
13. Alex Jones: Obama Murdered Justice Scalia And Donald Trump Is Next
14. What Trump SC supporters believe
15. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Scalia Dies, Republicans Debate 
16. Predictwise: 2016 President – Democratic Nomination 
17. Nearly 4 in 10 Trump SC supporters wish South won Civil War


1. Paul Krugman: How America Was Lost
2. Doyle McManus: Trump and Sanders are the logical result of government that doesn't deliver
3. Ezra Klein: The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics
4. John Cassidy: Why Donald Trump Is Such a Formidable Politician
5. Sady Doyle: More Than Likable Enough 
6. Froma Harrop: Democrats, Don't Blow It 
7. Jay Michaelson: GOP Cynicism on the Supreme Court Reaches a New Low


1. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Exit Troll in New Hampshire



“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” -- Mitch McConnell in a statement posted on his Facebook page.


"Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can't find a clause that says "...except when there's a year left in the term of a Democratic President." -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren saying that Republicans who don't want President Obama to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia risk threatening "our democracy itself."



“In reality, it’s not that Konczal and Krugman are stupid, or off their meds. It’s that they are the marketing arm of Wall Street in charge of corralling liberals. They are well-paid for it. But it’s their technocratic and corrupt policy outcomes that have created Trump, and if they aren’t defeated, Trump or a variant like Trump will one day take power. --Yves Smith in "Naked Capitalism," criticizing Krugman for allegedly misrepresented Sanders’ financial reform ideas . 1/28/16


“Right now I’m getting the kind of correspondence I usually get from Rush Limbaugh listeners, although this time it’s from the left — I’m a crook, I’m a Hillary crony, etc., etc.. OK, been there before — back in 2008 I was even the subject of tales about my son working for the Clintons, which was surprising because I don’t have a son. -- Paul Krugman on posts from Bernie Sanders’ supporters. 1/23/16


'So here's a promise that I make to you: Number one, at the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country.' -- Bernie Sanders 2/11/16


If Sanders wants to release more than 500,000 people by 2020, he’s going to have to break them out personally. If he has a more efficient approach in mind, he needs to share it before he makes this ridiculous promise again.  --Leon Neyfakh, Slate


"The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-TN).


“If Republicans proceed, they will ensure that this Republican majority is remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history. All other impressions will be instantly and irretrievably swept away. Pursuing their radical strategy in a quixotic quest to deny the basic fact that the American people elected President Obama — twice — would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate. And the consequences will reverberate for decades.” -- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV)


3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

Pro-Trump Alex Jones Threatens Violence Against Supporters Of "Inhuman, Parasitical Maggot," "Hitler" Bernie Sanders http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/02/11/pro-trump-alex-jones-threatens-violence-against/208537

Watch Ohio Local News Demolish False Allegations About Planned Parenthood's Fetal Tissue Disposal Practices. VIDEO http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/02/11/watch-ohio-local-news-demolish-false-allegation/208540

Things conservatiives compared to the KKK http://mediamattersforamerica.tumblr.com/post/139191737648/you-name-it-conservatives-have-wrongly-compared

CNN's Jake Tapper Repeatedly Challenges Trump Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's Evidence-Free Clinton Email Accusations http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/02/12/cnns-jake-tapper-repeatedly-challenges-trump-ad/208573

Fox's Gasparino: Bernie Sanders Is "A Freak To Look At""http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/02/12/fox-guest-bernie-sanders-is-a-freak-to-look-at/208571

Right-wing media have been smearing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, by comparing his ideology to that of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party. Experts have called the comparison "inaccurate," "outrageous," and "a trivialization of history." http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/02/12/right-wing-media-smear-sanders-with-historicall/208565

Fox Guest: "Blacks Should No More Vote For Hillary or Bernie Than They Should The Grand Wizard Of The KKK"http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/02/12/fox-guest-blacks-should-no-more-vote-for-hillar/208556

Conservative Media Run With Misleading Report That Bill Clinton Slammed Obamahttp://mediamatters.org/research/2016/02/14/conservative-media-run-with-misleading-report-t/208598

4. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish person ever to win a presidential primary. Which is why he celebrated his victory by telling the crowd, 'It could be worse!'" –Conan O'Brien

"In New Hampshire, 64 percent of Republican voters want to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. The other 36 percent are familiar with the Constitution." –Conan O'Brien

"After the New Hampshire primary it looks like Chris Christie is out, which isn't surprising — he doesn't look like the kind of guy who wins a lot of races." –James Corden

"Is it possible for a man to be sadder than Jeb Bush? We are a week away from Jeb Bush walking on stage at the debate just wearing sweat pants, eating cereal directly out of the box, and just going, 'Oh, what's the point.'" –James Corden

"The real story of the N.H. primary was John Kasich, who out of nowhere managed to take second place with Republicans. It seems like Kasich's major selling point is that he's not Trump, Cruz, or Jeb." –James Corden

"Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won their respective party primaries. It was a great night for loud men with crazy hair." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Outsiders are the insiders. Socialists are the establishment. These are now acceptable hairstyles!" –Stephen Colbert

"According to the exit polls, Trump and Sanders were the number one choice among white voters and since that's the only kind of voter they have in New Hampshire, it worked out well." –Jimmy Kimmel

"After a disappointing result in Iowa, Ben Carson is polling 8th in New Hampshire. Carson said he's looking forward to eventually campaigning in a state that has some black people." –Conan O'Brien

"Going into New Hampshire, Jeb Bush was polling at 5th place. Not among the candidates, among the members of the Bush family." –Conan O'Brien

"Bernie is very popular in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton today spent the whole day quietly googling the words 'life expectancy for old man in snowy weather.'" –Jimmy Kimmel

5. Bad News From Iowa and New Hampshire Must be a Wake Up Call for Progressives

Despite all the hype about how all it will take is for progressives to be “energized” to vote to keep the White House, in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Republicans earned more votes than Democrats.


Democrats: 171,109
Republicans: 186,874

New Hampshire:

Democrats: Around 250,000
Republicans: Around: 285,000

So far Republicans are outpacing Democrats - if that happens in November it could very well mean that the GOP wins the White House. Read more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/bad-news-from-iowa-and-new-hampshire-must-be-a-wake-up-call-for-progressives/

Almost 85 percent of Republican insiders said Trump isn’t on a glide path to become the party’s nominee, despite a 22-point win in the New Hampshire primary this week.

“Their rationale is partly about math – Trump has a solid plurality of the vote in many states, but polls suggest he is too polarizing to win over a majority of Republicans – and partly grounded in the belief that the brash, sometimes-profane real-estate mogul will wilt once the other candidates turn their fire on him.” 2/12/16 http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/insiders-no-easy-road-to-nomination-for-trump-219142#ixzz3zxSGfl00

Marco Rubio’s tax proposal would convert the federal income tax into a consumption tax by not taxing investment income of individuals and by converting the corporate income tax into a cash-flow consumption tax. It would replace most deductions and exemptions with a universal credit; eliminate estate taxes, the AMT, and all ACA taxes; and move the US to a territorial tax system. A new $2,500 child credit would aid families with children. Taxes would fall at all income levels, with high-income households benefiting the most. Revenues would decline by $6.8 trillion over a decade (assuming no change in economic growth).  2/11/16 http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=2000606

8. Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie


9. The Borowitz Report: G.O.P. Warns Obama Against Doing Anything for Next 340 Days

In a television appearance on Sunday, the leading Senate Republican warned President Obama “in no uncertain terms” against doing anything in his remaining three hundred and forty days in office.

“The President should be aware that, for all intents and purposes, his term in office is already over,” Mitch McConnell said on Fox News. “It’s not the time to start doing things when you have a mere eight thousand one hundred and sixty hours left.”

While acknowledging that the President has eleven months remaining in the White House, McConnell said that he and the President “have an honest disagreement about how long eleven months is.”

“The President believes it is almost one year,” he said. “I believe it is almost zero years. I’m not a mathematician, but I believe I am right.”

As for how Obama should spend his remaining time in office, McConnell said, “If the President has trouble doing nothing, we will be more than happy to show him how it is done.” Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/


10. Fact checking the ninth Republican debate

The ninth GOP debate featured the top six remaining candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. They repeated several false and misleading claims, and made some new ones, too.

• Sen. Ted Cruz claimed that “we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year.” That’s wrong. Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, an election year.

• Sen. Marco Rubio said that illegal immigration “is worse today than it was three years ago, which is worse than it was five years ago.” The estimated number of immigrants in the country illegally has remained stable over that time.

• Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson attributed a quote to Joseph Stalin that experts say didn’t come from the Soviet dictator.

• Trump falsely claimed that a failed eminent domain case to benefit a Trump casino project in 1998 “wasn’t for a parking lot.” It was.

• Former Florida governor Jeb Bush conflated two Trump quotes in claiming Trump called Sen. John McCain a “loser because he was a P.O.W.” Trump said he was a loser, because he lost the 2008 presidential election.

• Trump claimed that the nation’s economy “didn’t grow” in the last quarter. It did grow, by a small amount.

• Trump repeated his claim that he is a self-funded candidate. Not entirely. His money makes up 66% of his campaign’s money through the end of 2015. The rest comes from individual donors. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/02/14/fact-check-republican-debate-south-carolina/80363366/

11. SNL Cold Open: Hillary for president


12. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Voting


13. Obama Murdered Justice Scalia And Donald Trump Is Next, According to Alex Jones

In an “emergency transmission” to his Facebook fans today, conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones floated his suspicions that the late Justice Antonin Scalia was “murdered,” just like conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.

While accusing Obama of a litany crimes, including secretly funding ISIS and blackmailing Supreme Court justices, Jones said that “this is the season of treason, this is the time of betrayal and we would be fools not to ask the question” if Scalia was assassinated, suggesting that bad actors may have slipped something into the justice’s drink to trigger a heart attack.

Jones then said a civil war is coming if the Senate confirms Obama’s choice to replace Scalia. “The Republicans better block this nomination,” he said, “because if they get one more Supreme Court person in there, they’re going to trump every piece of Bill of Rights and Constitution and they’re going to get that physical civil war they want.” 2/14/16 More at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/alex-jones-obama-murdered-justice-scalia-and-donald-trump-next


14. What Trump SC supporters believe

Trump's support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades. Among the beliefs of his supporters: 70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital, to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren't sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump's the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.” -- Public Policy Polling survey http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/02/trump-clinton-still-have-big-sc-leads.html


16. Predictwise: 2016 President – Democratic Nomination


17. Nearly 4 in 10 Trump SC supporters wish South won Civil War

A new poll shows 38 percent of Donald Trump's supporters in South Carolina wish the South had won the Civil War.

Eighty percent say they support Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country. Less than half — 44 percent — think that practicing Islam should even be allowed in the United States, while a third say it should be illegal.

Furthermore, 40 percent say they support shutting down all mosques in the country, compared to 36 percent who oppose the idea. Sixty-two percent want to create a national database of Muslim citizens. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/269510-poll-38-percent-of-sc-trump-supporters-wish-south-had-won-the-civil-war


1. Paul Krugman: How America Was Lost

Once upon a time, the death of a Supreme Court justice wouldn’t have brought America to the edge of constitutional crisis. But that was a different country, with a very different Republican Party. In today’s America, with today’s G.O.P., the passing of Antonin Scalia has opened the doors to chaos.
In principle, losing a justice should cause at most a mild disturbance in the national scene. After all, the court is supposed to be above politics. So when a vacancy appears, the president should simply nominate, and the Senate approve, someone highly qualified and respected by all.

In reality, of course, things were never that pure. Justices have always had known political leanings, and the process of nomination and approval has often been contentious. Still, there was nothing like the situation we face now, in which Republicans have more or less unanimously declared that President Obama has no right even to nominate a replacement for Mr. Scalia — and no, the fact that Mr. Obama will leave soon doesn’t make it O.K. (Justice Kennedy was appointed during Ronald Reagan’s last year in office.)

Nor were the consequences of a court vacancy as troubling in the past as they are now. As everyone is pointing out, without Mr. Scalia the justices are evenly divided between Republican and Democratic appointees — which probably means a hung court on many issues.

And there’s no telling how long that situation may last. If a Democrat wins the White House but the G.O.P. holds the Senate, when if ever do you think Republicans would be willing to confirm anyone the new president nominates?

How did we get into this mess? 2/14/16 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/15/opinion/how-america-was-lost.html

2. Doyle McManus: Trump and Sanders are the logical result of government that doesn't deliver

Of all the candidates on offer, Sanders and Trump are the ones speaking most directly to voters' economic anxieties and their anger at a failing political system. They offer very different policies, of course, but they start from many of the same premises. Both say traditional politics has failed. Both say political insiders and their wealthy donors have hijacked the process. Both promise to take the government back for the people.

Could a Sanders or Trump administration turn the economy around in short order? That's hard to imagine. A Sanders program of stimulus spending, income redistribution and government-run healthcare would need a liberal Democratic Congress to pass, and that's not on the horizon. Most of Trump's policies are too vague to assess, but even a President Trump would have to contend with a measure of gridlock on Capitol Hill.

And so would all the other candidates — unless, like Barack Obama in 2008, the next president wins in a landslide that ensures control of Congress. Even then, the problem of economic growth would still be there.

Summers thinks the chances of a recession are roughly even in the next few years (about one in three this year) – no matter who the next president turns out to be. If he's right, the challenge to democracies – in both Europe and the United States – will only grow steeper. 2/14/16 http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-economic-threat-to-democracy-20160214-column.html



3. Ezra Klein: The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics

It is undeniably enjoyable to watch Trump. He's red-faced, discursive, funny, angry, strange, unpredictable, and real. He speaks without filter and tweets with reckless abandon. The Donald Trump phenomenon is a riotous union of candidate ego and voter id. America's most skilled political entertainer is putting on the greatest show we've ever seen.

It's so fun to watch that it's easy to lose sight of how terrifying it really is.

Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he's a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he's also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it's hard to know if he even realizes he's lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.

Trump is in serious contention to win the Republican presidential nomination. His triumph in a general election is unlikely, but it is far from impossible. He's not a joke and he's not a clown. He's a man who could soon be making decisions of war and peace, who would decide which regulations are enforced and which are lifted, who would be responsible for nominating Supreme Court justices and representing America in the community of nations. This is not political entertainment. This is politics. 2/10/16 http://www.vox.com/2016/2/10/10956978/donald-trump-terrifying

4. John Cassidy: Why Donald Trump Is Such a Formidable Politician

To ascribe Trump’s rise entirely to his independent status and his political incorrectness would be a mistake, however. The message that he is delivering—a mélange of American nativism, conservative politics, and populist economics—is also falling on receptive ears. When Trump says that Washington has failed the country, he is merely restating a central tenet of modern conservatism. When he claims that free trade with China and other countries has undermined American prosperity and cost countless American jobs, many blue-collar workers think that sounds right. When he says that the influx of illegal immigrants, many of whom have crossed the Mexican border, is having a similar impact on American living standards, that strikes a chord, too. And when he says that something drastic has to be done to prevent the threat of further terrorist attacks by Islamist radicals, he is preaching to the converted.

According to the New Hampshire exit poll, nearly half of the voters in the Republican primary said that they were angry at the federal government, and seventy per cent said that they were worried about the economy. Four in ten said that they were in favor of deporting undocumented immigrants en masse. Six in ten said that they were “very” worried about terrorism. And fully two-thirds expressed support for Trump’s proposal to institute a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Figures like these, if they were to extend across the country, would have the makings of a winning coalition for Trump, because no other Republican candidate can match him for breadth. An establishment figure like Jeb Bush or John Kasich can’t hope to compete with him on incendiary issues like immigration and preventing Muslims from entering the country. A social conservative like Ted Cruz may match Trump’s rhetoric in these areas, or come close, but Cruz hasn’t got much of an economic message for embattled Reagan Democrats.

For now, at least, that leaves Trump in a strong position. He still has to demonstrate that he can extend his support beyond roughly a third of the G.O.P. electorate, but as long as his opposition remains divided, getting thirty or thirty-five per cent of the vote can take him a long way. On Wednesday evening, Predictwise, a Web site that combines information from the betting markets and the polls, was estimating the probability of Trump getting the G.O.P. nomination at forty-three per cent. With the polls showing him well ahead in Nevada and South Carolina, the next two states to vote, some would say that this estimate looks a bit low. http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/why-donald-trump-is-such-a-formidable-politician


5. Sady Doyle: More Than Likable Enough

Hillary Clinton is the impossible woman. The pressures she lives under, every moment of her life, are all-encompassing. She doesn’t have an inch of leeway, a single safe option; there is no version of Hillary Clinton that won’t be attacked. So the version of Hillary Clinton we get—this conflicted, conflict-inspiring candidate, the woman who has a genius-level recall of global politics but has to assure the world she’ll spend her presidency picking out flowers and china, the lady who books a guest spot on Broad City but can’t pronounce “Beyoncé,” the woman who was decades ahead of the curve on women’s rights but somehow thinks it’s a good idea to throw in a Bush-esque 9/11 reference at a debate—is the inevitable product of these pressures. 

And so is the fact that I like her. Honestly, ask yourself: How long would you make it, if people treated you the way you treat Hillary Clinton? Would you not just be furious by now? Would you not have reached levels of blood-vessel-popping rage and despair? She’s been dealing with it for decades, and keeps voluntarily subjecting herself to it, and knows exactly how bad it will get and exactly what we’ll do to her, and yet she is running for president again, and—here’s the part I love, the part that I find hard to wrap my head around—she might actually win. That is awe-inspiring.

Her story moves me as an example of a woman who got every misogynist trick in the world thrown at her and didn’t let it slow her down. On that level, she’s become a personal role model: If people dislike me, I will no longer think Oh, how horrible this is for me. I will think, Well, if Hillary can do it … Seriously, if Hillary Clinton can be called an evil hag by major media outlets for much of her adult life and run for president, I can deal with blocking 10 or 20 guys on Twitter. Read more at http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/12/saying_nice_things_about_hillary_ clinton_has_become_a_subversive_act.html


6. Froma Harrop: Democrats, Don't Blow It

Sanders is an honorable man running a straightforward campaign for the Democratic nomination. One can't imagine his playing the third-party spoiler.

But what makes today similar to 2000 is how many on the left are so demanding of ideological purity that they'd blow the opportunity to keep the White House in Democratic hands. Of course, they don't see it that way. This may reflect their closed circle of like-minded friends -- or an illusion that others need only see the light, and their hero will sweep into the Oval Office.

The other similarity to 2000 is the scorn the believers heap on the experienced liberal alternative. They can't accept the compromises, contradictions and occasional bad calls that attach to any politician who's fought in the trenches.

The next president will almost certainly be either Clinton or a Republican. Democrats must ask themselves: Whom would you prefer to name future Supreme Court judges? 2/16/16 http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/02/16/democrats_dont_blow_it_129676.html


7. Jay Michaelson: GOP Cynicism on the Supreme Court Reaches a New Low

For 166 years, Supreme Court confirmations used to be a matter of course, with rare exceptions.  In the 19th century, they usually took only a few days.  The current process of Judiciary committee hearings began only in 1955, in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education, with segregationists and other conservatives outraged at the “activist” Warren Court.

The custom of not confirming judges in a presidential election year began with the avowed segregationist Strom Thurmond, who opposed LBJ’s appointment of Abe Fortas as Chief Justice back in 1968.  (Notice, by the way, the “Thurmond Rule” wasn’t even about filling a vacancy – it was about moving Fortas from Associate to Chief Justice.)

Prior to that time, Supreme Court nominations in election years were par for the course.  Justice Frank Murphy was nominated in 1940, Cardozo in 1932, Clarke and Brandeis in 1916, and Pitney in 1912.

According to a detailed study by the Brookings Institute, the Senate has already slowed down the pace of judicial confirmations to record levels.  In the case of Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, confirmations didn’t slow down until the second half of the presidents’ eighth year in office.  In their seventh years, the Senate confirmed 23, 17, and 29 judges, respectively.  In Obama’s seventh year?

In other words, the two-term Republican presidents fared almost twice as well as the two-term Democrat presidents, with Obama faring the worst by far.

In short, until this one, an opposing-party Senate has never observed the Thurmond Rule.  Not in 1980, not in 1988, not in 1992, not in 2000.  There are typically slowdowns in confirmations, but never a standstill.  And the rule has never been invoked before the summer, let alone before the cherry blossoms bloom.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, we’re in new territory this year, and at new heights of hypocrisy. 2/15/16 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/15/gop-cynicism-on-the-supreme-court-reaches-a-new-low.html


8. Catherine Rampell: Republican obstructionism is nothing new

In elementary school, I was taught that presidents serve four-year terms.

Apparently that number is off by three — or so I’ve learned recently from listening to Republican politicians.

See, according to former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), the first year of a president’s term doesn’t really count. After all, both have argued that George W. Bush “kept us safe,” suggesting that 9/11 didn’t stain W’s otherwise spotless safety record because it occurred too early in his presidency.

Also, according to Republican Senate leadership, the last year of a president’s term doesn’t count either; that’s why President Obama shouldn’t get to nominate a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Finally, it turns out the second-to-last year of a president’s term also doesn’t count. How can you tell? Because Republican senators obstructed nearly all of Obama’s judicial picks last year, too. And obviously — per their recent rhetoric about Scalia’s successor — they would have only done that in a year when the president was already a lame duck. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republican-obstructionism-is-nothing-new/2016/02/15/2d856c12-d42c-11e5-b195-2e29a4e13425_story.html