The group blog of The New Republic

November 1, 2013

Thursday night, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decreed that one of the most consequential measures in Texas’s notorious anti-abortion bill can take immediate effect, reversing a district court ruling that the provision was likely unconstitutional.

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October 31, 2013

Hillary Clinton is a bigger favorite to be the next president than any non-incumbent in history at a comparable time in the election cycle. But she still faces several challenges, from concerns about her health and age, to a sense among some commentators that she is not in step with the Democratic Party's activist base. The challenge for her, at least in the 2016 primary, will be to prevent an opponent from filling the space on her left flank that Barack Obama captured five years ago.

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What do Americans think about dressing in blackface or as a racial stereotype for halloween? A YouGov survey shows that a plurality of Americans narrowly believe it's acceptable to dress in blackface by a 43-37 margin, and are split on dressing as a racial stereotype. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the racial and partisan divides are stark.

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President Obama on Friday acknowledged that some people are losing their current health plans because those plans don't live up to the Obamacare's standards for benefits and pricing. The acknowledgement is true and overdue, given the president's frequent promise that "you can keep your plan" if you like it. But how many people? 

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Solo cups are usually the domain of college kids at keg parties, but they’ve been in the news lately thanks to a very different demographic: politicians. As TNR senior editor Alec MacGillis pointed out on Twitter yesterday, it’s been a few politically newsworthy days for the iconic red plastic cup:

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Where to begin? Should I lead with my morning commute during which, while waiting to cross the street, I saw a grown-ass man in a full-body Gumby costume with no immediately apparent breathing holes but with his Cole Haans still visible saunter casually out of an office building? Or the party invitations stipulating that a costume is "mandatory"? Or the requisite "I don't hate Halloween, but..." because, in this city, you have to say you don't hate Halloween, when in fact, that gnawing feeling that can only be relieved with a hearty eye-roll can only be described as hate, pure and hot?

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On the Internet, there are no average photographs, judging by headlines and tweets. Every single gallery is "fantastic," "stunning," and most frequently of all: "amazing." But is amazing always the most amazing adjective to use? Below, more accurate headlines for web photo collections. 

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The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier has already taken a satisfying whack at T.M. Luhrmann, the occasional New York Times columnist who writes about spirituality and religion. But Luhrmann's Thursday column, written in honor of Halloween, begs several questions, none of which she attempts to answer.

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A couple of hours after the Boston Red Sox, who finished last in their division in 2012, beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series on Wednesday night, BuzzFeed's sports verticle predictably posted a photo listicle titled "Boston’s World Series Run In 43 Photographs." I found it incredibly boring—and that's coming from someone who grew up in Massachusetts.

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President Obama was in Boston on Wednesday—not to watch a baseball game, but to send a message about health care reform: The idea really works. Given all the news about Obamacare lately, it’s a message the country very much needs to hear. The template for the Affordable Care Act is the reforms that Massachusetts officials enacted in 2006.

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