Matt Welch on MSNBC

Exactly right: MSNBC, on whose shows I have happily participated* (see update below), engages daily in the othering business, of making conservatism itself (and sometimes libertarianism, and other non-Progressive ideological strains) a disreputable condition, explicable in terms of pathology. That this is done in the name of tolerance and sensitivity to punitive stereotypes is one of the ironies …

MSNBC: The Shock-Jock Network

MSNBC sees it as its mission in life to rile conservatives and outrage people. We have seen this tendency play itself out in Martin Bashir's comments about Sarah Palin, in Melissa Harris-Perry's--and friends'--comments about one of Mitt Romney's grandchildren, and now we see it anew in a tweet that all but outright states that all …

Being Against Genetically Modified Crops Means Being Anti-Science

And notwithstanding its boasts to the contrary, the port side of the partisan divide can be just as anti-science as it accuses the starboard side of being: From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced in May 2013, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council …

Why Populism Fails

Noting a recent speech by President Obama that had populist overtones--and the near-unqualified endorsement of that speech by Paul Krugman--Clive Crook reminds us that there are limits to the political power of populism: To be more exact, the difficulty lies with an excess of populism -- which is what Krugman and others recommend for the Democrats …

Once Again: GMOs Do Not Threaten Public Health

And the major study purporting to prove the contrary argument has been discredited: As the Genetic Literacy Project reports, the GMO wars are escalateing after the discrediting of a central pillar of the anti-crop biotechnology movement and the stumbling by a prominent science journal. Gilles-Éric Séralini, author of the controversial rat study that claimed to show that genetically modified …

An Absolute Coincidence, I’m Sure

There is no way--none whatsoever--that there could be any kind of low political cunning behind this: The new U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service rules aimed at clarifying what constitutes political activity for tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations are likely to give more heartburn to conservative groups than their liberal counterparts. In 2012, conservatives pumped nearly eight times …

Obamacare Is Bringing Down the Obama Administration

With each passing day, the president's signature legislative achievement is becoming more and more of a liability for him and for his administration, politically. (We leave aside for the moment the policy liability that it is and always has been for the country.) Josh Kraushaar invites us to contemplate the previously unthinkable scenario of Democrats (yes, …

On Obamacare, When Will the Dishonesty Stop?

Today, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi took to the airwaves in order to defend the increasingly indefensible Affordable (ha!) Care Act, and to claim that she never misled anyone about the effects of the law back when she was speaker, and trying to pass it: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday neither she nor …

Warren v. Clinton Would Be a Republican Dream Come True

A lot can happen in between now and 2016, but should she choose to run for president, Hillary Clinton would be the prohibitive favorite to win. So naturally, political junkies who would like to see something resembling an exciting contest in 2016 are casting about for candidates to derail the potential Clinton juggernaut. On the …