Nyhan: Politicians' So-Called Authenticity Is Just Performance Skill

Dartmouth political science professor Brendan Nyhan writing in the NY Times Upshot column suggests that media hubbub about politicans' "authenticity" has the issue backwards.

"In reality, all politicians are strategic about the image and behaviors they present to voters," Nyhan writes. "Some just hide the artifice better than others."

Joe Trippi: Clinton Isn't Collapsing

In an op-ed piece for the LA Times that is sharply critical of the punditocracy, Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi writes:

In a year in which every other supposed front-runner and establishment candidate has collapsed to single digits or has already withdrawn from the race — yes, I am talking about you, Jeb Bush, and you, Scott Walker — Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field with more than 40% of the vote.

Republican-led attempt to block Iran deal fails in Senate

In the words of the Guardian (UK) Republican opposition to the Obama administration's nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran in the end was nothing but "scathing words." Somewhat atypically, but in keeping with the current political climate, conservatives were quick to blame the GOP establishment and leadership.

Obama Administration Asserts ACA Provision Prohibits Bias Against Transgender Patients

As reported in the September 3 NY Times, the Obama administration proposed a rule "that would forbid most health insurers and medical providers to discriminate against transgender patients, including by prohibiting insurers from categorically denying coverage of care related to gender transition."

The proposal expands on an anti-discrimination provision of the ACA to clarify that it includes discrimination on the basis of gender identification. Violators would risk losing federal funding.

Read Health Care Rules Proposed to Shield Transgender Patients From Bias on NYTimes.com.

Madeleine Albright on Iran Agreement

Writing on CNN's web site on August 31, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action "a bold stroke of diplomacy, and an opportunity we must not waste."

The agreement "gives the United States new tools to shape Iranian behavior," Albright wrote, suggesting that that the US focus on:

  • The strongest possible oversight of the agreement
  • Maintaining a robust deterrent in the region
  • A calibrated engagement with Iran

Read Madeleine Albright: Iran deal is a win-win on CNN.com.

Bush Propagandist Repeats Meme that Democrats Are 'Too Far' to the Left

As Digby reminds us in her recent Salon.com piece, it's become a meme of corporate media that, although it's now widely acknowledged that the political right has moved farther in that direction in recent years, the left — already far out on the fringe — has moved equally leftward. This despite analyses by Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, among others, that suggest "Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem".

Carly Fiorina: Law School Dropout, Fired CEO, and GOP Presidential Candidate

Probably, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina touts her business experience in the hope that she will appeal to the financialist wing of the Republican party. The irony is that CBS, USA Today, and Portfolio.com all listed her among the worst American or tech CEOs of all time.

Jonathan Chait: Clinton Is Non-Crazy America's Choice

On April 12, NY Mag's Jonathan Chait wrote:
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history. Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. She is non-crazy America’s choice by default.

Rand Paul Starts Campaign By Squabbling With Reporters

Rand Paul's quixotic presidential campaign launched this week, but the dominant narrative was not his association with conspiracy theorists, or his amorphous positions on issues, but rather his apparent inability to tolerate interviews with reporters. The creatively coiffed, self-certified opthamologist capped off a week of "Randsplaining" by walking out of an interview with The Guardian

Watch this space for the launch of IsItaRug.com, a site devoted to Rand Paul's tonsorial novelty.


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