Remember when we could say "at least he got us out of that awful Trans-Pacific 'Partnership'"? Well, now our President is contemplating re-entering talks on the hated "free" trade deal. And by the looks of this article our "liberal" media is all set to enable him -- we don't even hear a substantive word about "free" trade opponents (a group which includes, like, everybody) until paragraph 18. The good news? A President Hillary Clinton would have already rejoined TPP by now, and thus sent her party on the road to massive losses in the House and Senate in November.
Chauncey DeVega at Salon reminds us how Republicans manage to keep their votaries and hurt them at the same time: by redirecting their rage at "individuals and groups they view as the Other." That's why the fever ain't breaking, Mr. Obama! The sad part about all of this is that we could just have easily said "Republicans leave the vast majority of their voters' bellies empty" but "fill their voters' hearts and minds with rage, hate and resentment" when Mr. Bush was President.
In a truly revolting development, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) guts HB 722 -- which would have created an independent commission to handle redistricting -- with an amendment that puts power back in the hands of politicians. This he did, apparently, without showing his amendment to anyone first -- which is what folks always do when they've got the superior argument! -- and naturally his rewrite also cuts the state Supreme Court out of the process entirely, because waaaaaaaah! Could the good citizens of Butler County please turn this monster out this year? A shrub could do a better job.
Ho hum, Republicans who helped write the recent tax "reform" bill just so happen to be getting, on average, over $300,000 from "pass-through" business tax cuts. If I were Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), I'd use that information to absolutely savage probable Republican opponent Rep. Jim Renacci, who's one of the 15. If I were Rep. Jacky Rosen, the probable Democratic nominee in this year's U.S. Senate race in Nevada, I'd use that information to savage incumbent Sen. Dean Heller. And they both might be game for that! I just hope the consultants don't get in their ear first.
Our President apparently plans to pardon former Bush Mobb crony Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the only person convicted of anything over the Valerie Plame scandal back in the day. But how much good is this really going to do for Republicans in the short term? Scooter Libby isn't some martyr whose framed visage hangs on every rage-filled voter's wall, and even if the President's votaries care about nothing except "pissing off the liberals" (which is quite possible!), I still don't see them doing victory laps around the voting booths on Election Day because of it.
Finally, on the occasion of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement that he'll retire from the House at the end of this term, Sam Fullwood III at ThinkProgress examines Mr. Ryan's legacy of "Cruelty Toward the Poor." But I doubt we're seeing the "curtain come() down" on his career of evil, because now he can earn millions of dollars spewing the same filth by becoming a lobbyist, a think tank fellow, or (God forbid!) a cable news commentator. In other words, Mr. Ryan's reward for quitting will be a promotion and a significant pay hike. Nice work if you can get it!