There were a few points I wanted to expand on and explain about the piece, partly in answer to your questions. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/gaining-perspective-on-the-other-blue-nation

They Just Melt Away

TPM is pleased to announce the winners of the Eighth Annual Golden Dukes recognizing the year's best purveyors of public corruption, outlandish behavior, The Crazy and betrayals of the public trust. The awards are named in honor of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham , who epitomizes the iconic modern scandal. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/2014-dukes-winners

2014 Golden Duke Awards Winners Announced!

This is a really good run-down of why - despite the controversy, which goes to the heart of a lot of GOP messaging weaknesses - House Republicans have no intention of dropping Steve Scalise. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/that-explains-it--3

Of Human Bondage

If BDSM, what we used to call S&M, is going quasi-mainstream with pop books like 50 Shades of Grey, why are governments now banning it ? http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/of-human-bondage

The Unspoken Issue

If you have a moment, check out this Times article on the collapse of the Yanukovych government in Ukraine last February, the event that seemed to end one Ukraine crisis but in fact kicked the broader and continuing regional crisis into high gear. Brittle states, especially once they are held together only by bare force, can and often do come apart very rapidly. There is a strong element of game theory and crowd action in the process - a rush for the exits that can be baffling. It has always been a bit of a mystery exactly how the end came for Yanukovych and why it happened so quickly. The Times article doesn't quite solve that mystery so much as it illustrates that process of rapid government or state collapse - a chain of events that lacks any clear point of origination. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/they-just-melt-away

Gaining Perspective on the Other Blue Nation

As I mentioned earlier we are considering doing a subscription/contribution drive for a one-year project where we would hire one or two reporters and one editor to report exclusively on crime and policing. The two issues are umbilically connected to each other, which should go without saying. And through all this roiling public controversy about police community relations, the one critical factor that simply doesn't get mentioned enough is the historic drop in crimes of all kinds over the last 20 years. It is nothing less than the end of the late 20th century crime wave which began in the early 1960s and lasted between 35 and 40 years, depending on where you're talking about and just how you want to define it. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-unspoken-issue

- Michael