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Paul Krugman at The New York Times writes several paragraphs of eyerolls over the Republican Ignorance Caucus:

To be sure, [House majority leader Eric] Cantor tried to sound interested in serious policy discussion. But he didn’t succeed — and that was no accident. For these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
The Editorial Board of The New York Times states in Quietly Killing a Consumer Watchdog:
The consumer bureau has taken seriously its mandate to protect the public from the kinds of abuses that helped lead to the 2009 recession, and it has not been intimidated by the financial industry’s army of lobbyists. That’s what worries Republicans. They can’t prevent the bureau from regulating their financial supporters. Having failed to block the creation of the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, they are now trying to take away its power by filibuster, and they may well succeed.[...]

The consumer bureau was enacted by law, and now Republicans are using backdoor methods to destroy it. There is no greater argument for Senate Democrats to ban filibusters of presidential nominees, particularly when the future of an entire agency is at stake.

Larry Summers at the Washington Post gives us some more of his spectacularly lame economic advice in The growth agenda we need in which he argues for accelerating growth of the natural gas industry to replace coal-fired plants while tossing in a clueless sneer about "fashionable efforts to promote renewables."

Check out other punditry on the bottom side of the orange Kosagon.

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison at Patriot Post unfurl another round of the Obama-is-a-commie canard in Frozen.

James Thindwa at The Nation writes Time for Democrats to Pay Their Dues :

It’s time for organized labor to get tough with the Democratic Party and seriously threaten to withdraw its support if Democrats fail to take decisive action to strengthen workers’ rights, such as reintroducing the EFCA and calling for a national living wage.

Democratic leaders who believe the party can survive without labor’s support are grossly mistaken. Without labor, who will turn out the base—MoveOn.org? Electronic voter engagement has its place, but it is well known that door-to-door canvassing and phone banking—what unions do best—are the most reliable ways to get out the vote. Not just that, unions educate and mobilize their own members to vote.

George Zornick at The Nation wonders Does Mitch McConnell’s Pro-Gun Stance Threaten His 2014 Chances?:
You may have heard that there’s a tough pro–gun control ad up in Kentucky this week targeting Senator Mitch McConnell, who faces re-election in 2014. The powerful spot features a veteran speaking to camera with his grandson on his lap. The man, a Kentucky resident named Rodney, calls for an assault weapons ban and background checks—but the thrust of the ad is to depict McConnell’s anti–gun law stance as a direct byproduct of his gun industry funding. Says Rodney: “Senator Mitch McConnell is funded by the gun industry, and he opposes common-sense reforms. Senator McConnell, whose side are you on?”

Now, in more PPP polling results released first to The Nation, we see that hitting McConnell for his gun-industry backing is indeed fertile territory in Kentucky:

Who do you think Mitch McConnell represents more in Congress: his big campaign contributors or regular Kentucky voters?

His big campaign contributors: 53%

Regular Kentucky voters: 36%

Not sure: 11%

Leonard Pitts at the Miami Herald fantasizes a hopeful answer to Can GOP end the ‘carnival of the crazy’? and then pokes holes in it:
Because you know what you call a pig with lipstick on? A pig with lipstick on.
Morris Davis at The Guardian writes in The law of war does not shield the CIA and John Brennan's drone kill list:
Stated another way, Brennan says that President Obama needs to have a paramilitary force at his disposal to carry out operations the military is prohibited from conducting by the law of war.

Jack Goldsmith, former assistant attorney general in the George W Bush administration and now a professor at Harvard Law School, argues the past decade shows that the United States needs a new statutory framework governing how it conducts secret warfare. Perhaps that would be a positive step, but a new domestic statutory scheme would not make a civilian working for a civilian agency a lawful combatant entitled to immunity under the law of war for acts committed outside the United States.

Patrick Cockburn at The Independent writess that Saddam and the US failed, so why should Maliki think he can control Iraq by force?:
The civil war in Syria is destabilising Iraq as it changes the balance of power between the country's communities. The Sunni minority in Iraq, which two years ago appeared defeated, has long been embittered and angry at discrimination against it by a hostile state. Today, it is emboldened by the uprising of the Syrian Sunni, as well as a growing sense that the political tide in the Middle East is turning against the Shia and in favour of the Sunni.
Amitabh Pal The Progressive writes in A Financial Transaction Tax is Necessary and Feasible:
As Ron Suskind reported in “Confidence Men,” his must-read account of economic policymaking under Obama, the President was sabotaged by his own underlings like Lawrence Summers and Tim Geithner.

“ A financial transactions tax on banks and financial institutions, to try to tame the trading emphasis that has swept those industries and along the way, raise money: Obama said, in one meeting, ‘We are going to do this!’ ” Suskind wrote. “Summers disagreed; it never materialized.”

Ann Russo at In These Times writes Of Rape and Roe—What the war on women means for teen mothers.:
Each day, it seems, brings another effort to undermine and attack women’s life choices, one of the most recent being a bill introduced in New Mexico to jail rape survivors who choose abortions. The bill follows months of Republican legislators' trotting out recycled rape myths, undermining rape survivors to bolster anti-abortion policies. These disembodied debates over rape and abortion dangerously overlook the complex contexts in which young women struggle to make choices that will impact the rest of their lives. I know this, because I once was one.[...]

I can only hope my now-10-month-old daughter will one day inhabit a world where the sexual assault of young women is not dismissed, where young women’s sexual identities and activities are not stigmatized and punished, and where healthy, non-abusive relationships are the norm, rather than the exception. We have a long, long way to go.

Connie Rice at the Los Angeles Times takes the optimistic path in Dorner's LAPD is on the way out:
There won't be a happy ending to Christopher Dorner's quest for vengeance against the Los Angeles Police Department. Nothing justifies his murder of innocents or his threats against LAPD personnel and their families. The only positive thing that can possibly be said at the moment is that today's LAPD is in the hands of new leaders who are slowly but surely ending the old subculture that Dorner describes in his online manifesto.

I am talking about the department's former tradition of systematically mistreating black officers.

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