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Open thread for night owls: Oil tax may spark needed conversation, but no way will Congress pass it

John H. Cushman Jr. at the Pulitzer-winning InsideClimate News writes—Obama’s Oil Tax: A Conversation Starter About Climate and Transportation, but a Non-Starter in Congress: President Obama’s proposal to impose a $10 tax on every barrel of oil and spend the money on advances in tr [...]

The machines that improve our lives can also ruin them

Once upon a time, a long time ago, we feared that computers would take over. We’d been conditioned, you see, by everything from the slightly obscure, like Colossus: The Forbin Project, to blockbusters like The Terminator. With the clarity of hindsight in 2016, considering where humans are [...]

Halftime Superbowl Show

I caught the last two songs of the Superbowl halftime show. The last song was my favorite, with Coldplay flashing photos of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston and others, and later being joined by… [[ This is a content summary only. Visi [...]

Incrementalism has outlived its usefulness

I’m not hostile to incrementalism. As an engineer I know that large gradients can lead to catastrophic failures. And President Obama has been as transformational a president as incrementalism, or a belief in gradual change, allowed. That’s not a knock on the president—it’s just a fact. Pr [...]

Bernie and a Political Revolution

From Woodstock in 1969 to New Hampshire today… calls for revolution are always popular with the young. But as those of us who are no longer young can attest, we are still waiting for that revolution. And we’ll still be waiting in 2020. I’d… [[ This is a content sum [...]

Cruz, still pitching for libertarian votes, has a lot to say about eminent domain and sound money

KEENE, N.H. — Less than two days before the polls opened, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was still working to land the libertarian-minded GOP presidential primary voters who were prodded into politics by Ron Paul and who are deeply unsure about what to do next. At Cruz’s first post-chur [...]

The New Jason Bourne Trailer Just Premiered During the Super Bowl. Here It Is.

The new Jason Bourne movie stars Matt Damon again. Will Hunting took a break from the series a few years ago and the last one starred Jeremy Renner, but he’s back now because money can be exchanged for goods and services. This one looks pretty good! It comes out this summer. Go to  [...]

Clinton’s margin of victory in Iowa narrows after state Democratic party revises results

Hillary Clinton’s remarkably narrow win over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses is now even narrower. Nearly a week after the contest, the Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday announced revised results after finding “reporting errors” in several precincts. The Sanders campaign is continui [...]

Essential reading: Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’

Indian Wells is a posh desert town in the Coachella Valley, neighbor to Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, and known as much for its tennis stadium and golf courses as for its multimillion dollar homes. As Jane Mayer tells us in the introduction to her masterful and disturbing new book, Dark [...]

We asked N.H. voters: A win for your candidate or seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl?

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — It’s an exciting time to be in New Hampshire, with two days until the first-in-the-nation primary here and all of the major presidential candidates blanketing the state in an effort to win over voters. It’s almost enough to distract from one major disappointment: T [...]

Appetite for destruction: Biology, psychology, socialization, and the Republican mind

Many of us live in the same country, but inhabit different worlds. I have struggled to watch the GOP presidential debates. Mocked their candidates’ positions as necessary. Tried to restrain my glee at the human freak show in Iowa that produced what was basically a three-way tie between a  [...]

Bernie Sanders Says He’s Being "Lectured" by Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy

Bernie Sanders was defensive when he was asked at Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate why he doesn’t talk more about how he’d approach being commander-in-chief. So does he plan on changing course anytime soon? Not a chance. On Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth, New Ha [...]

The importance of fighting with someone on something

In 1954, social psychologist Muzafer Sherif ran an experiment that could not be repeated today. Sherif was investigating prejudice and contesting Freud’s model of prejudice as an acting out of unresolved childhood conflicts. At the Robbers Cave Boy Scout camp, Sherif wanted to test whethe [...]

Ted Cruz Slams Idea of Women In Combat

Ted Cruz told a crowd of supporters in Peterborough, New Hampshire this afternoon that he was dumbstruck during last night’s debate that three of his Republican colleagues—Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie—voiced their support for drafting women into the military [...]

Rubio’s N.H. supporters willing to give him a pass on bad debate

BEDFORD, N.H.—Charlie Dancause, 63, a retired postal worker and Navy veteran, backed Bob Dole and John McCain in past New Hampshire primaries, only to see them lose the general election. He decided to support Marco Rubio in 2016, he said, because he believes “the presidency now requir [...]

Cruz: ‘Nuts’ to draft women into the military

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) told a town hall meeting here that he completely rejected the idea of women registering for Selective Service, weighing in on a late-burning issue that only a few of his rivals were asked about in Saturday night’s debate. “It was [...]

The Conservative Enemy

Having dispensed with the nonsense that “establishment Democrats” will panic if Bernie Sanders wins in New Hampshire this Tuesday and continues to gain momentum in the Democratic primary, let us now debunk another myth: that “Bernie bros” will stay home if Sanders  [...]

After debate stumble, Rubio’s foes on the right see hope

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Until approximately 8:33 p.m. Saturday, the rivals of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had a problem. The media seemed to be against them. One or many fingers were being placed on the scale for Rubio, turning his every step into a triple axel. “I have known for [...]

Democrats once resisted ‘liberal’ label, now fight to claim ‘progressive’ mantle: That’s progress

Remember when “liberal” was a dirty word? Democrats used to run from it faster than Marco Rubio runs from his support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In 1988, when George Bush characterized Michael Dukakis as a liberal, the Democrat accepted his party’s nomination b [...]

New Hampshire Realities

Let’s level-set the state of the race going into, and beyond New Hampshire tomorrow night. On the GOP side, and contrary to the expectations of the punditocracy, there may not be an exodus of several GOP governors or ex-governors from the race if they don’t finish in the top  [...]