Steve Benen pauses to take stock in the generational and historical scope of this day and this agreement:
At the start of the process, the smart money said these talks would fail. The hurdles were simply too great. Indeed, plenty of very credible observers feared that the attempted diplomacy itself might be a mistake – failure would leave the world in an even more precarious position than before the talks began.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recognized the challenges and risks, and they took it on anyway. Their success will likely put a stop to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, but it also marks one of the most dramatic diplomatic accomplishments in generations.
I’ve seen some suggestions about this being Obama’s “Nixon goes to China” breakthrough, but the comparison is imprecise – the Obama administration’s task was far more difficult. I’m reminded of this piece from the Washington Post’s Steven Mufson, published in March.
…Obama is not Nixon, and Iran is not China, and the comparison – made in newspaper columns and by some foreign policy experts – is illuminating largely because of important differences it exposes.
Nixon’s visit to China was a powerful symbol – a longtime anti-Communist president strolling along the Great Wall and dining with senior party leaders. Unlike Nixon, Obama lacked a political record that would shield him from criticism for reaching out to a longtime foe.
China also welcomed Nixon’s visit, whereas Iranian leaders still harbor suspicion of the United States.
[T]he nuclear agreement with Iran is arguably a greater diplomatic accomplishment than anything we’ve seen in modern American history.
As Andrew Sullivan often said… Meep Meep Motherf*ckers. Barack Obama will go down as the greatest President since Franklin Roosevelt.
For years, the 18th Representative District was represented by the Republican Speaker of the House of Representative, Terry Spence. Spence was first elected in 1980, and he was reelected over Democrat Ronald Queen with 62.5% of the vote in 1982. Spence won two other easy reelections in 1984 and 1986, and then ran unopposed in seven of his thirteen reelection campaigns. Even though his district was becoming increasingly Democratic.
Until 2006. The district, by then, was 49% registered Democratic, with only 26% registered Republican. So the Democrats finally decided to actually run a credible candidate, and they found Mike Barbieri, a behavioral health professional Mike Barbieri to run against Spence. Barbieri came close, but he lost by 12 points.
In 2008, Barbieri defeated Spence 52% to 48%. In a rematch in 2010, Barbieri won 53% to 47%. And he has been unopposed ever since, save for a quixotic primary by Christopher Piecuch. Piecuch is a young man, the owner of Owner of PQ’s Landscaping LLC. He garnered 18% of the vote against Barbieri’s 82%. In real votes, due to a low turnout primary, the votes were actually 577 to 123.
Christopher Piecuch is running again, having already announced on Twitter…
I was trying to think of what the wingnut headlines will be for this historic agreement with Iran. VIENNA (AP) — After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal Tuesday to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions […]
State Rep. Mike Barbieri has resigned from the General Assembly effective at the end of the month to take a job as the Director of the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Substance Abuse.
I normally balk at a situation where a State Representative takes a state job, because it normally looks just too damn convenient. Like the situation with Rebecca Walker and others before her. But this is a situation where it seems like Barbieri is the most qualified and experienced guy for a job.
Robert Reich views Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as the most dangerous of all GOP hopefuls. Why? Because he’s relatively young and charismatic. He’s David and Charles Koch’s favorite (which means unlimited funding by the nation’s most right-wing and irresponsible billionaires), and his positions on key issues are among the most extreme in the Republican field. […]
The Washington Post’s Robert Costa had a bizzare interview with renowned bankruptcy and divorce expert Donald Trump on his private plane following his seventy-minute rant of a speech in Phoenix during which he used the Nixonian phrase “the Silent Majority.” Costa was wondering if Trump was concerned that he had borrowed the phrase from a disgraced President. Trump replied:
Nah. Nobody remembers that. Oh, is that why people stopped using [the phrase]? Maybe. Nobody thinks of Nixon. I don’t think of Nixon when I think of the silent majority. The silent majority today, they’re going to vote for Trump. Remember, many Republicans didn’t vote for Mitt Romney. He didn’t inspire people. They’re going to vote for me.
Actually, Mr. Trump, Republicans and conservatives did come out to vote for Mr. Romney. The reason why you lost is because Democrats and Independent also showed up. And the reason you Republicans were so surprised on election night that year is because you thought the turnout would be closer to 2010 percentages, and not 2008 percentages. Yes, the turnout would be higher, but the percentage breakdown between Democrats and Republicans and Independents would be the same.
You were wrong. And then you cried. And we smiled. Some of us laughed and pointed.
According to this email, which is otherwise utterly devoid of content, for a measly $9.00 a month you can wear a pin that proves you hate Hillary Clinton as much as Charlie Copeland hates her.
This morning I dropped my daughter off for her university orientation. She’s attending school in Philadelphia – she’s a declared Mechanical Engineering major on scholarship. We are very proud of her accomplishments. So… when a study like this comes out it worries me.
For the study, researchers from Yale University asked more than 100 science faculty members at academic institutions across the country to evaluate one of two student résumés. The résumés were identical except for one small part: The candidate’s name was either John or Jennifer. Despite both candidates having the exact same qualifications and experience, science faculty members were more likely to perceive John as competent and select him for a hypothetical lab manager position.
Here it is in a nutshell. Going into reelection in November 2013, Chris Christie was riding high in the polls, and a virtual shoe-in to be the GOP nominee to run in 2016. Then his office ordered the closure of the George Washington Bridge in order to fuck with Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for […]
Dana Milbank says that when you want to know who’s responsible for the Republican follies over that ugly red flag, look to the man permanently wearing orange.
The Confederates launched a surprise attack, under cover of darkness.
It was 8:30 Wednesday night, and the House was plodding toward its 20th hour of debate on a little-watched appropriations bill, when Rep. Ken Calvert (Calif.), who had been leading the Republican side of the debate, rose. “I have an amendment at the desk,” he said.
Yes he did: A proposal to protect the sale and display of the Confederate battle flag at national parks and cemeteries. …
In the Speaker’s Lobby off the House floor, Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.) … told reporters, including Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times, that the Confederate battle flag isn’t racist and that he didn’t think Confederate soldiers had “any thoughts about slavery.” …
Republican leaders, trying to end the humiliation they brought on themselves, pulled the appropriations bill from the floor. But how could such a fiasco occur in the first place? It’s not as if there’s a huge groundswell within Republican ranks to fly the Confederate flag — particularly after its association with the alleged killer in last month’s South Carolina black-church massacre.
Damon Linker at The Week says the GOP should be less worried about Donald Trump himself and more worried about why he appeals so much to the Republician base:
The GOP’s Trump problem goes all the way down to the roots of the party — the grassroots.[...] that faction’s roots go back much further than 2012 — all the way back to the origins of the modern conservative movement in the right-wing populism of the postwar John Birch Society and similar groups. They were a ragtag conglomeration of ideological radicals animated by rage against various actors, forces, trends, and policies in mid-20th-century American life: the New Deal, Big Government, communists, negroes, elites, decadent city folk, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, feminists, homosexuals, and secularists. Some feared them all, others focused on one or a few. All of them saw the world through a fog of paranoia and conspiracy.
The populists are the now base of the party — its most loyal and devoted members, surpassed only by super-rich donors for influence among the party’s leading politicians and strategists. Candidates for president have no choice but to woo this base, to legitimize its obsessions and flatter its prejudices. And the underdog candidates, meanwhile, pin their entire campaigns on these voters, hoping that the flattery will pay off in a surge of support, catapulting them to prominence.
That’s how we’ve ended up with a vulgar blowhard like Donald Trump riding high (almost certainly for a brief time) in the polls. Trump’s policy positions (to the extent that he’s bothered to articulate them) place him on the far-right flank of American political culture.
The President discusses a new rule announced by his Administration to make it easier for communities to implement the Fair Housing Act.
Governor Markell discusses statewide efforts to educate Delawareans on how to be financially stable. “When people are financially secure, they can buy a home, pay for college, start a business, or save for retirement,” said Governor Markell.
The future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites. It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize. It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change. I am with you. Let […]
There are some stories that you just can’t get out of your head. This is one of them. Here’s the brief synopsis:
Three Oakland County children who refused to go to lunch with their father, as part of a bitter divorce and custody battle between their parents, are spending their summer in the county’s juvenile detention center, according to court records.
“We’ll review it when school starts, and you may be going to school there,” Oakland County Family Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca told the children during a June 24 hearing, referring to the center in Waterford Township called Children’s Village, where authorities house as many as 200 juvenile offenders.
Gorcyca, who blamed their mother for poisoning the children’s attitude toward their father, ordered the children be sent to the center for defying her orders — while in court — that they go to lunch with their father.
The children — ranging in age from 9 to 15 — were deemed in contempt of court last month by Gorcyca for disobeying her orders to “have a healthy relationship with your father.”
A new Reuters poll finds that 63% of Republicans oppose the Supreme Court’s backing of gay marriage, which gives hope for conservative presidential candidates who have come out strongly against marriage equality.
“When asked in general whether they support allowing same-sex couples to marry, 51% of Americans say they do, while 35 percent oppose it. Forty-eight percent of independent voters back gay marriage, making it difficult for a conservative Republican to win general election votes on the issue.”
Indeed. These two issues.. gay marriage and immigration… will prevent the GOP from winning a presidential election until the party changes their stance on the issue.
To every self righteous sanctimonious hypocritical county or court clerk that refuses to do their job and issue marriage licenses, pursuant to the Constitution, to gay and lesbian couples, that should be the message.
You either do your job, or you’re fired.
That is finally what Democratic Governor Steve Beshear did in Kentucky.
I think we have to include Selander in any list of Democrats who could/should run for some office. He is currently in the world of private industry, but her continues to have a strong public service focus. Based all of his previous jobs, I doubt he will be content to stay away from government and […]
The subtitle of the post could be – Yes, politics matter.
A mere 40 years ago women’s soccer wasn’t a thing. Women’s sports in general were an oddity. Girls and women were discouraged from taking part in sports because some people thought that their uterus might fall out.
“Sorry Jane. You are way more experienced, but we are hiring Bill for this job because he is a man.” was a thing people could, and did, legally say. It seems crazy now, but I’m old enough to remember the bad old days.
But by the the late 1960’s and early 1970’s women were pressing…