CW: Haven't had a chance to read this Frank Rich piece -- "Why the Future We Imagined in 1964 Was Wrong in Pretty Much Every Way" -- which MAG recommends, but I will read it.
** Jeff Toobin of the New Yorker interviews President Obama on the subject of his judicial legacy. A consequential essay & a pleasure to read.
Jamie Dettmer of the Daily Beast: "While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists.... The aid — mainly food and medical equipment — is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European [sic.]. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship."
Alan Pyke of Think Progress: "Indiana will cut tens of thousands of its poorest people off of the food stamps roles beginning next spring, the state announced. Gov. Mike Pence (R) has decided to join seven other states in reinstating work requirements for food stamps despite being eligible for a federal waiver from those rules for the coming fiscal year.... Gov. John Kasich ...(R-Ohio) retained the SNAP work waivers for 16 of the state’s 88 counties but reinstated work rules in the counties that house the majority of the state’s minority population. Food stamps recipients in the counties that continue to enjoy waivers are 94 percent white...." Read the whole post. ...
... CW Note: Kasich has reinvented himself as a "compassionate conservati[ve], with strong religious overtones." Apparently strongly-religious conservatives have compassion only for white people. BTW, when Dan Balz of the Washington Post wrote about Kasich's compassionate conservatism, in a highly favorable article published last week, he neglected to mention anything about Kasich's racially-biased food-stamp move even though news of Kasich's controversial food-stamp maneuver -- which he pulled more than a year ago -- has been well-publicized & is the subject of a civil rights lawsuit. Kasich is a shoo-in for re-election in November. His Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald is the Worst Democratic Candidate Ever. ...
... Gaffe. Greg Sargent highlights Kasich's accidental endorsement of ObamaCare:
The opposition to it [ObamaCare] was really either political or ideological. I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives. -- Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) ...
... Sargent: "Now, perhaps recognizing how lethal this is to his hopes in upcoming GOP presidential primaries, Kasich has rushed to clean up the mess.... The truly revealing thing about Kasich’s comments was ... that he admitted the law has made 'real improvements in people’s lives.' And even in his effort to clean up his comments, he again implicitly admitted this to be the case, claiming he supports Obamacare’s general goals but not the ACA itself."
Digby notes that Jim Crow will be returning to the Supreme Court this term, in the form of a challenge to the Fair Housing Act. There's a good chance Jim will win an important round in his never-ending quest to subjugate black Americans. ...
... ** Read Jamelle Bouie's full column on "the next assault on civil rights," which digby cites. Bouie really nails the conservative Supremes. ...
... CW: George W. Bush usually gets a pass on race -- including from me -- because he isn't a Jeff Sessions kind of racist. I believe Bush has actual black friends, not the Tom Corbett-Photoshopped kind. But Bush put two nasty boys on the Supreme Court -- and the same type of fellows on many lower-courts, too -- who, even as the ideological balance of the courts tip left, will put the stamp of racial discrimination on our judicial system for decades to come. Conservatism itself has turned out to be a petulant, subversive form of racism & promoter of economic inequality, whose "free-market values" are a pretense for prejudice & oppression. Conservatives may dress their shibboleth respectably, but it is wearing filthy underwear.
Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times: "Republican leaders, conceding the futility of a flight ban from Ebola-afflicted West Africa, are refining their response to the outbreak, pressing to suspend visas for travelers and create 'no boarding' lists." ...
... But What about Marco? Jesse Byrnes of the Hill: "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) plans to introduce legislation banning travel between the U.S. and three West African countries hardest hit by the deadly Ebola virus, his office announced Monday." CW: If there's a bad idea out there, if there's a knee-jerk crazy reaction to a crisis, if there's a chance to knock the president, if there's an opportunity to capitalize on Americans' fears -- count on Marco to milk it for all it's worth. ...
... The Times' Weisman sort of implies Marco's folly is a feint: "In reality, Republicans are not planning a legislative response, at least for now, Republican leadership aides said Monday. They merely want their voices heard." ...
... Our elected Republican representatives explain why you should expect to contract Ebola. The already-disembodied guy warning of "liquified internal organs" is Rep. Mike Kelly (RTP-Pa.), & the zombie fella there is Rep. Blake "Pajama Boy" Farenthold (RTP-Texas):
Anna Palmer & Rachel Bade of Politico: "Federal law enforcement officials are taking an ISIL threat against Michele Bachmann so seriously that Capitol Police have given the Minnesota Republican her own security detail. An online threat against Bachmann emerged recently, according to multiple law enforcement officials...."
Reuters: "Monica Lewinsky, the one-time White House intern whose affair with Bill Clinton in the 1990s nearly brought down his presidency, has described herself as one of the first victims of cyberbullying and vowed to help others survive the 'shame game' of public humiliation. In a rare public appearance Lewinsky spoke at Forbes’ inaugural 30 Under 30 summit in Philadelphia, saying her depiction in the media – as a constant punchline for late-night comedians and fuel for internet gossip – destroyed her sense of self." CW: Affair? I don't think the honor of giving the prez a few blow jobs constitutes an "affair."
CW: The next couple of weeks will be gruesome for progressives. So I'll be ignoring some of the bad-news polls -- there will be plenty -- and concentrating on less depressing stuff.
Alex Roarty of the National Journal: "... in several key races, a national political climate driven by the president's unpopularity has been eclipsed locally by a less-Republican friendly attitude. It's turning once-predicable contests into some of the country's most competitive battles, and it's a key difference between this midterm election and many of its recent predecessors."
Michael Gerson of the Washington Post knocks his fellow Republicans' hubris: "Republicans are susceptible to the myth of the midterm mandate. Midterm elections generally express unhappiness, not aspiration. But some conservatives took the 2010 result as an ideological turning point. They concluded that Obama’s 2008 victory was an anomaly — that the country, deep down, was really on the Republican side. It was a false dawn.... At the presidential level, the GOP brand is offensive to many rising demographic groups. Republicans are often perceived as indifferent to working-class struggles (because they sometimes are). The GOP appeal seems designed for a vanishing electorate."
Florida. Mark Caputo of the Miami Herald: "Rick Scott ad: Obama backs Crist. Next Scott ad: water is wet."
Georgia. Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: Former President George H. W. Bush, who supports David Perdue (R) in Georgia's Senate race, doesn't like this rebuttal ad by the former CEO of Bush's Points of Light Foundation, Michelle Nunn:
... CW: Ya know, Mr. President, if you're going to support a scummy candidate who runs scummy ads, you have to expect his opponent to push back with this perfectly respectable, respectful -- and truthful -- rebuttal.
** Iowa. Michael Barbaro of the New York Times: "Iowa ... is undergoing an economic transformation that is challenging its rural character — and, inevitably, its political order. As Iowans prepare to elect a new United States senator for the first time in three decades, the scale at which people and power have shifted from its rural towns to its urban areas is emerging as a potent but unpredictable undercurrent in the excruciatingly close race, offering opportunity and risk for both sides."
Maryland. Dana Milbank offers an explanation for why some people left an Obama rally while the President was still speaking: "This exodus wasn’t intended as a protest. Long lines for shuttles taking attendees to remote parking sites induced participants to leave early so they could beat the rush.... [But] Even among the faithful, Obama’s magic can’t match the urge to get a jump on traffic." This jibes with a remark made by one commenter to the OFA site who attended the rally. See yesterday's Commentariat for context.
** Massachusetts. Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe: "... Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq..., chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe." ...
... "The Best Candidate Anywhere." Charles Pierce, who has known Walter Robinson for a long time: "... Moulton got on Robinson's radar because Moulton treated his service in Iraq very obliquely in his campaign. Because he [Robinson] had run down so many people who'd phonied up their war records, Robinson got intrigued, so he went to work combing through Moulton's service record.... What Robinson found was enough to warm even the most cynical heart. Including his own. Including mine." ...
... Here's Rachel Maddow on Robinson & Moulton:
South Carolina. Alexandra Jaffe of the Hill: "Rep. James Clyburn's (D-S.C.) Republican challenger [Anthony Culler] referred to same-sex couples as 'gremlins' and 'bullies' in a Facebook post urging supporters to oppose gay marriage at the polls this fall.... Culler ... wrote a Facebook post on Oct. 14 decrying same-sex marriage as 'a pestilence that has descended on our society, against our will, by those in the courts and government that do not value the traditional family. Same sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life."..." ...
... CW: South Carolina's 6th Congressional district has a majority-black population. Luckily, Republicans were able to find a white guy who is a confirmed bigot to challenge Clyburn, a member of the House Democratic leadership.
Wisconsin. "Get a Real Job." Alice Ollstein of Think Progress: "Brad Schimel, the Republican candidate for Attorney General [of Wisconsin], told supporters at a Milwaukee County Republicans party that he’s tired of the contentious statewide debate over the minimum wage. 'I want every one of our neighbors to have a job again, a well-paid job, so we don’t have to argue about minimum wage for someone working at Burger King,' he said. 'Let’s get them a real job.'”
Sam Levine of the Huffington Post: "In the November issue of Harper’s magazine, Doug Henwood argues that Hillary Clinton, if elected president, would do little to assuage liberals' disappointment in President Barack Obama. This is how Henwood sums up the case for Hillary’s candidacy in 2016: 'She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.' But, he says, 'it’s hard to find any political substance in her favor.'” Harper's has firewalled Henwood's piece, so Levine summarizes his arguments.
David Corn: "Rand Paul [is] the most interesting conspiracy theorist in Washington. Bilderbergers, the Iraq invasion, Alex Jones — the GOP senator has routinely flirted with America's paranoid fringe." ...
... Brian Beutler: "Dr. Rand Paul Should Be Held Accountable for Whipping Up a Frenzy About 'Incredibly Contagious' Ebola."
Beyond the Beltway
Mike Cason of AL.com: "Mike Hubbard, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with 23 counts, including using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value. Late Monday afternoon, Hubbard reported to the Lee County Jail where he was booked.... According to the indictment, Hubbard solicited favors from some of Alabama's rich and powerful. They include former Alabama Governor Bob Riley.... Earlier this year, the [grand jury] investigation resulted in charges against two other [Republican] state lawmakers."
Home-Grown "Terrorists": Chris Hayes has a nice follow-up of the Pumpkin Festival riots in Keene, New Hampshire.