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We need a second season of Cosmos — it’s the antidote to the GOP primary

Last week Ted Cruz showed us why we need another season of Cosmos.

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, he was presented with a chance to explain why the world is on fire but it isn’t getting hotter — and he took it. It was as if the world’s greatest internet commenter had crawled into the news and started spraying the sewage of denial everywhere.

Cruz has all the moves down. His toxic pap sounded perfectly sensible — even if it was clear Meyers wasn’t buying it — and required hundreds of words to debunk it by pointing out that it’s almost nonsensical cherry-picked data, cited from a researcher who disagrees with Cruz’s interpretation.…

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Will Republicans defend the right to deny services to interracial couples?

The opponents of interracial marriage must be kicking themselves. If they’d been as ruthlessly creative as today’s anti-gay movement, they could have denied “mixed” couples services and legitimacy for decades.

Acceptance of same-sex marriage has reached new highs in recent polls, with 59 percent in favor of marriage equality in a recent poll. But the idea that people should be able to discriminate against people for deeply held religious views is just as popular with 57 percent agreeing that people “should be allowed to refuse service if they have an objection rooted in their religion.”

Religious discrimination based on “deeply held beliefs” is now so mainstream that Jeb Bush — who is portraying himself as gay friendly even after hiring an aide who works to criminalize homosexuality around the globe — said “people have a right” to deny gay people services.…

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LoveObamacare

Republicans pick preventable death and debt over expanding health insurance

If there were actually a liberal Fox News, America would be messing itself over the GOP’s new budget proposal.

Relying on savage cuts to those who have been most brutalized by the Bush Recession, the new blueprint from House Republicans claims to make a huge dent in our long-term debt. But the proposal is so much less believable than Harry Potter fan fiction or the dialogue in 50 Shades of Grey that even a Republican “wonk” — who was certain that Mitt Romney was going to win with more than 300 electoral votes — is calling BS.

“It’s hard to see how the math works,” Jim Pethokoukis writes in The Week.…

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5 reasons you can call the 2016 election the most important election of our lifetime

Republicans are so supportive these days!

Matt Drudge is thrilled about the presidential candidacy of Martin O’Malley. William Kristol and Karl Rove want to see Elizabeth Warren get into the 2016 Democratic primary. Reihan Salam has five progressives he’d like to see oppose Hillary.

Either our conservative friends want a candidate who would be tougher on corporate greed or they don’t seem thrilled about facing the the “strongest non-incumbent” since at least Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, a strong Democratic primary is always good for the party for multiple reasons. It builds consensus.…

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It’s hard to put down Our Kids

Robert D. Putnam wants to have a debate without starting an argument. And he may succeed.

His new book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis succeeds in displaying the kind of canniness that makes the Harvard professor a favorite of both President Obama and Jeb Bush. To maintain the kind of equanimity that keeps your work at the heart of American political power, Putnam takes on the greatest and contentious economic challenge of our time — income inequality — using the widest and least controversial entry point imaginable.

We may dispute the motives of our fellow adults. “But to hold kids responsible for their parents’ failings,” Putnam writes, “violates most Americans’ moral sensibility.”

He further lowers the temperature of the debate by separating the issue into two: equality of income and wealth and equality of opportunity and social mobility.…

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GOP hopes to solve a crisis of inequality by cutting Mitt Romney’s taxes

Recently economists and commentators have been debating how much richer the rich have gotten since the Great Recession. Republicans have decided shouldn’t be just sitting around yapping about it — we should get busy trying to make the richest richest-er.

New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait took a look at the new proposal from Marco Rubio and Mike Lee and found “a gigantic tax-cut plan that would reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over a decade, a larger tax cut than George W. Bush passed in 2001. What’s more, the Lee-Rubio plan lavished far more benefits on the rich.”

Rubio and Lee aren’t alone:

Jeb Bush is wooing the fanatically anti-tax Club for Growth.…
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‘I didn’t leave the Republican Party; the Republican Party left Alex P. Keaton’ by Alex P. Keaton

Help me out with this.

Why are we still arguing about Obamacare — in 2015? Why haven’t conservatives even voted on a replacement? Could it be that the plan inspired by the guy we nominated for president in 2012 isn’t exactly pure, distilled communism?

As I read the coverage of the Supreme Court arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, I had to ask myself, “What exactly are we cheering for here?”

The best case scenario is millions of Americans will lose their tax credits and won’t be able to afford health insurance.

If you believe in the free market, you know that lack of demand will send up the cost for everyone else but Obamacare will still be there.…

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5 disasters to expect if the Supreme Court guts the Affordable Care Act

If Republicans are trying to show people how crucial Obamacare is, King v. Burwell could be the perfect way to do it.

The lawsuit that could end subsidies to the millions of Americans in 34 states who purchased insurance through the federal health care exchange will be argued on March 4. But we already have hints of what the impact will be if Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court gut President Obama’s signature health care law over complete nonsense.

1. $340 billion in tax credits and cost sharing reductions over the next 10 years will be revoked.
Obamacare has even turned Republicans against the thing they love the most — tax breaks.…

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Scott Walker reveals the real Republican agenda — deficit, division and lower wages

Jeb Bush has gotten an early start on his path to being 2016’s Mitt Romney. And the first non-Jeb to pull ahead of him is Scott Walker (and possibly Ben Carson, too).

It’s the perfect time for Walker to have his moment in the spotlight because no Republican politician better reveals the GOP’s true agenda better than the governor of Wisconsin.

Scott Walker is the master of what I call “The Supreme Con” — where the middle class votes itself out of existence by endorsing policies that give the rich a hand up while everyone else gets backhanded.

Here’s how it works:

Increase the deficit
Like his fellow Republicans Sam Brownback and Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker has had to endorse budget tricks to keep his tax cuts from sending his state into default.…

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Republicans love America — and they want to show it by taking insurance from 8.2 million working Americans

This week a somewhat abstruse debate about whether America should purposely try to antagonize 1.6 billion Muslims morphed into an impossibly stupid debate about whether the President of the United States really loves the United States.

Meanwhile, in actual news, there’s an absurd lawsuit that threatens to wreak havoc on our health care system.

The Urban Institute projects a victory in the plaintiff’s in the case of King v. Burwell that would result in 8.2 million Americans losing insurance as $340 billion in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are eliminated over the ten years. Premiums for those buying individual coverage in the 34 affected states would rise up to 35 percent.…

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