American Friends Service Committee issues report finding that the "liberal" media has displayed (in TruthOut writer Mike Ludwig's words) "a pervasive tendency toward painting violent extremism as an inherently Islamic problem that is only solvable with the use of force." And surprise! The right-wing news sources were little worse than the others -- which must be at least partly because the others try to ape the right-wing sources. The best trick the "liberal" media pulls off? "AFSC found that 57 percent of news items characterized extremists to be psychotic, bloodthirsty and "irrational," but 61 percent of news items described just how "rational" these actors can be." Even the overlap between the two was more than 20 percent of news items. Nice work if you can get it!
Ruth Graham, writing at Slate, wonders if the "Christian left" can become "a real political force." Short answer: it already has been, all through American history, so why not now? Slightly longer answer: zeal may be "the missing ingredient" for liberal Christians, and given all the sins the right has committed with their zeal over the last few decades, it's easy to see why. But it's not devotion's fault devotion has a bad name to so many liberals. (To be fair: many liberals, having received undergraduate training, are loath to declare evil things "evil." Yeah, I know my Saussure, too, but the time for justice is always now, and our enemies really are evil.)
Mike Konczal steps up to remind us that when corporations become monopolies, the state needs to step in. And not just to break up monopolies, either, but to regulate markets as public utilities, just as the FCC has done with telecom corporations in its net neutrality rules. "Rather than tinkering with market incentives," he writes about public-utility regulation, "the state declares that businesses must adhere to certain principles of access, innovation, and fairness." I'm old enough to remember when conservatives used to insist on government action to ensure access, innovation, and fairness, but now right-wingers call all that "socialism," because the TV told them to.
In case you thought everyone had boarded the train away from "tough on crime" law-making, here comes Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) to tell us that he thinks we're not locking up enough people. Of course, he can't advance an argument without accidentally blowing it up -- "(l)aw enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes" is just as much an argument that things like mandatory minimums don't work. And, ah, saying don't reform mandatory minimums or else crime'll go up? I call that a hostage situation, and we don't do hostage situations in America.
Finally, note well that Donald Trump has now wavered in his opposition to "free" trade agreements. "I’m a free trader, but I’m only a free trader if we make good deals" is a nonsensical statement -- "free" trade deals, by definition, override our laws and outsource our jobs, and thus, by definition, are never good for America. Saying he could support "free" trade deals if they're adequately byootiful and yuge should finish off any notion that he'll be any different from any other Republican once in office -- watch him declare the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" one of the "good" "free" trade deals come November.