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.@frankrichny I'm in WY this week. Last 6 people I asked about Liz Cheney said, 'You kidding? What does she have to do with Wyoming?' etc
EJ Dionne:
The things we forget about the March on Washington are the things we most need to remember 50 years on.

We forget that the majestically peaceful assemblage that moved a nation came in the wake of brutal resistance to civil rights and equality. And that there would be more to come.

Someone asked me how long Newtowners would act like they had some kind of moral authority on gun issues. I don't know the answer. Does the moral authority of John Lewis or MLK have an expiration date?
Spoiler RT @NKingofDC: In final batch of secret Nixon tapes, Reagan says of Watergate:"This too will pass."It didn't.
Michael Tomasky:
If you thought the GOP would adopt more moderate positions after its 2012 debacle, you were wrong. From debate threats to defunding Obamacare and even more purges, Michael Tomasky on how the insanity’s only increasing.
More politics and policy below the fold.


Just like that, Cruz summed up his first seven months as a U.S. senator and exposed the conundrum he represents for the Republican Party: a hero to the conservative base and a worry for the establishment.

Cruz, 42, is a full-bore conservative from Texas whose certitude and combativeness in defense of his positions have made him a rock star to the GOP’s far-right-leaning activists. The comment that brought the crowd to it feet was about shredding Obamacare at all costs.

But that certitude and combativeness also have made him one of the most controversial figures in the Senate, a lightning rod for public and private criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. The question many are left to ponder as Cruz travels the country targeting President Obama’s health-care law is: What can he realistically hope to achieve in a Senate steeped in tradition and hierarchy as an eloquent yet sharply polarizing figure?

NY Times:
Health officials confirmed Wednesday that bats in Saudi Arabia were the source of the mysterious virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle East, killing 47 of them.

The outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, has been going on for 15 months, with most victims falling ill in Saudi Arabia and others growing sick after having traveled to the Middle East. In a study released Wednesday, an international team of doctors blamed coronavirus in bats for the human outbreak, but said that many questions remained, in part because a perfect match for the virus was found in only a single insect-eating bat out of about 100 Saudi bats tested. And since such bats do not normally bite people, drool on fruit or do other things that might transmit the disease to people, it was still unclear how the virus leapt to humans.

Dana Milbank:
Manning’s dignity is a good model for Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker now hiding from American justice in Russia. Manning admitted what he had done, and he used his trial and its conclusion to argue for the righteousness of his cause. That cause was artfully described by [Manning's lawyer Lt. Col. David] Coombs, who with the shaved head of a military man and the business suit of a civilian lawyer, stood before 20 TV cameras and took as many questions as reporters could ask.

“Under the current administration, an unauthorized leak to the media of classified information is viewed as being tantamount to aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, Coombs said. “The government-wide crackdown on whistleblowers and the extension of this crackdown to journalists threatens to stifle the flow of information that is vital to our public.” A country in which “you are faced with a death-penalty offense” for the simple act of disclosing information to a journalist, Coombs added, “is not the America that I would hope that we live in.”

Adam Frank, scientist, on the Age of Denial:
The triumph of Western science led most of my professors to believe that progress was inevitable. While the bargain between science and political culture was at times challenged — the nuclear power debate of the 1970s, for example — the battles were fought using scientific evidence. Manufacturing doubt remained firmly off-limits.

Today, however, it is politically effective, and socially acceptable, to deny scientific fact. Narrowly defined, “creationism” was a minor current in American thinking for much of the 20th century. But in the years since I was a student, a well-funded effort has skillfully rebranded that ideology as “creation science” and pushed it into classrooms across the country. Though transparently unscientific, denying evolution has become a litmus test for some conservative politicians, even at the highest levels.

Meanwhile, climate deniers, taking pages from the creationists’ PR playbook, have manufactured doubt about fundamental issues in climate science that were decided scientifically decades ago. And anti-vaccine campaigners brandish a few long-discredited studies to make unproven claims about links between autism and vaccination.

The list goes on.

Tom Edsall:
The essential political question emerging from this debate is whether the forces driving down labor’s share of income, exacerbating inequality and vastly increasing the wealth of those at the top can be redirected to produce more equitable and beneficial results while fostering continued growth.

“What do we do,” Noah Smith, an economist at Stony Brook University, asks in the Atlantic, “if the ‘endowment of human capital’ with which people are born gets less and less valuable?”

Has the train left the station? Has the momentum behind the hollowing out of middle class jobs and the increasing replacement of human beings by machines gained so much strength that it cannot be reversed? Obama has put the goal of a revived middle class at the top of his agenda, but he has not publicly voiced an understanding of the size and scope of the problem he seeks to address.

Aaron Carroll:
People think that you get care because you have insurance. But I can swear to you that no one in this process cared one whit who our carrier was. People think you get care like this because you have more money. Believe me when I tell you that we are far from the richest people in this community. We get care like this because of who we are and what we do. We’re in the system.

The first doctor I mentioned had no sick visits available. But they squeezed in one of our children because they know I’m a pediatrician and they know my wife’s a nurse practitioner. They also know us personally. You have to remember that about a fifth of Americans can’t get an appointment when they’re sick within a week, let alone that day. The dermatologist appointment (for a splinter!) was arranged with a close friend at the practice. When our child was referred to the ED, I’m sure a call was placed to the urologist telling him who my son’s dad was and that I worked in the health care system, precipitating a level of service that few will see.

I’m so grateful for what everyone did. Please understand that I’m not saying one bit of this was fake. Every doctor we saw was unbelievable fantastic and ridiculously skilled. I’m not saying that these providers aren’t just as kind and caring with every other patient. I’m sure they are. We received no scans, no procedures, and no medications that someone else wouldn’t get. We just got them served to us in an ideal fashion.

That’s access. It has nothing to do with insurance or wealth.

I loved this piece. Carroll's not bragging or unaware, he's wanting that kind of access for everyone. "Health reform" is actually access+quality+affordability. Obama tries to deal with all three. The non-existent GOP plan? Nada.
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