There is little ambiguity regarding Maine governor Paul LePage’s opinion of people of color. He thinks they’re the “enemy.” The man who once blamed men with names such as “Smoothie, D-Money, and Shifty” for selling drugs and impregnating white girls in his state, said last month that “90-plus percent” of the people arrested for selling drugs in Maine are black or Latino. He even has the three-ring binder of news clippings and mugshots to prove it, he said.
It’s come to be a tired, sad refrain: Congressional Republican leaders say they are committed to the enactment of criminal-justice-reform legislation, but — but — the timing’s not right, the planets are not aligned, other stuff is happening, and somehow America’s least-productive Congress ever cannot make it happen.
Now that he has belatedly joined Team Trump, Senator Ted Cruz was quick to offer his rather counterintuitive take on the first Clinton-Trump debate on his Facebook page. It is a long litany of terrible, terrible things “we know” Hillary Clinton would do to America now that we’ve watched her debate Trump. She’ll continue the godless tyranny of Obamacare; wage war on our precious, life-giving fossils fuels; welcome Islamic terrorists to pour across our unguarded borders; toss aside the immigration laws via a vast expansion of executive powers; and reshape the Supreme Court into a liberal majority eager to take away guns and persecute Christians.
Before the first presidential debate, the defining confrontation of the general election was an inspiring speech by Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American Gold Star father. Khan’s speech was delivered before prime time, and its unexpected power might have been wasted had Donald Trump not taken the bait by repeatedly attacking Khan and his wife for days afterward. During the closing moments of Monday night’s debate, Clinton provided another Khan moment, and Trump, once again, could not help but reveal his own ugliness.
During this campaign Donald Trump has joked about his penis size during a debate, suggested a rival’s wife is ugly, and threatened to force another opponent to confront her husband’s former mistress. But, according to Donald Trump, he showed tremendous restraint on Monday night when he opted not to attack Hillary Clinton for her husband’s infidelities.
So, after immense anticipation and much back-and-forth argument over the standards for judging the candidates’ performance, the winner of the first presidential debate of the general election was not — well, debatable. Hillary Clinton exceeded the very high bar the news media set for her and won on style (smooth versus incoherent), on substance (on stop-and-frisk, on ISIS, on birtherism, on tax returns, on tax policy, on NATO, on Trump’s business record), on endurance, and on visuals. It’s hard to find a topic on which Trump scored a clean point.
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon