The more things change…

The past couple haven’t really talked about the news very much, so here’s some catch up on those big stories I didn’t get to cover recently.

Baltimore

Civil unrest came to a halt recently after days of peaceful protest, then of rioting. Unlike in other situations involving young black men dying at the hands of other police, 6 police officers were indicted this time, meaning that there is hope yet for some sort of justice. The debates over Baltimore have also indicated a seeming shift in the national discussion. While many conservatives stuck to their same guns, notably the breakdown of the family structure, parental authority, personal responsibility, and, of course, the evils of welfare, all of which miss the mark by quite a bit and have been staple of racial progress opponents for over 50 years at this point, both Hillary and President Obama discussed other, larger societal factors in their responses to Baltimore. Their mentions of the need for criminal justice reform in particular are promising, and might help to assuage both the amount of deaths by police and the larger problems of inequality and opportunity in some black communities.

Bernie

Well, Elizabeth Warren fans, we had a good run. If the senator herself denied that she was running time and time again, we could hope for the unlikely until Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy. With the Vermont independent taking the role of hard-line liberal firebrand who will push Hillary to the left, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see Warren running, if we ever were going to. While Sanders himself stands little chance of winning the primary, let alone the election, he will serve as an important ideological guide for the party. By mobilizing people based on being unafraid to take on the financial system that runs the Congress, Sanders is bringing to the forefront important issues that other politicians are afraid to talk about. It;ll be interesting to chart how his rhetoric influences a Clinton campaign that is already hitting some key populist notes.

Huckabee

Mike Huckabee, or, as I like to call him, the dad from Footloose, announced his second presidential campaign. With his speeches so far hitting just the right balance of “the gays are converting people into MOAR GAYS” and “I talked to Jesus about America the other day, he says that shit’s pretty fucking dope” to really connect with the average Republican base voter/Old Testament deity, take your pick.

Ben Carson

Being gay is not a choice. Hoping that your campaign crashes and burns is, and a pretty deliberate one at that.

Carly Fiorina

I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know very much about her, except that she’s making all those Republicans who said that we don’t need another demographically symbolic president look pretty fucking stupid.

TPP

President Obama has continued to push his Pacific trade deal, challenging opponents of it to point out specifics that they take issue with. That task would be made a lot easier if it were actually legal for a Congress member to divulge specifics, or for the average American to read it, which is half the problem right there.

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