MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/files/images/nasa-project-orion-600px.jpg http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en The New Jason Bourne Trailer Just Premiered During the Super Bowl. Here It Is. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/02/new-jason-bourne-trailer-super-bowl <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The new Jason Bourne movie stars Matt Damon again. Will Hunting took a break from the series a few years ago and the last one starred Jeremy Renner, but he's back now because money can be exchanged for goods and services. This one looks pretty good! It comes out this summer.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l4jjKfLoOPE" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:35:52 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 296216 at http://www.motherjones.com Bernie Sanders Says He's Being "Lectured" by Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/bernie-sanders-portsmouth-rally-foreign-policy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Bernie Sanders was defensive when he was asked at Thursday's Democratic presidential debate why he doesn't talk more about how he'd approach being commander-in-chief. So does he plan on changing course anytime soon? Not a chance.</p> <p>On Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, speaking at the same community college that hosted Hillary Clinton on Saturday, Sanders did not mention foreign policy until the 50th minute of a 54-minute speech. Even then, he kept it short, telling supporters (and a few undecided voters) he was tired of being "lectured" by his opponent on the issue. "And by the way," he said, as he wrapped up his remarks, "as somebody who voted against the war in Iraq&mdash;who led the <em>opposition</em> to the war in Iraq, lately I have been lectured on foreign policy. The most important foreign policy in the modern history of this country was the war in Iraq. I was right on that issue. Hillary Clinton was wrong on that issue."</p> <p>And then he moved on. In one of his final get-out-the-vote events before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, Sanders showed a willingness to continue taking the fight to Clinton on his own terms. The speech he gave on Sunday, still hoarse from his appearance on <em>Saturday Night Live</em> with Larry David, was much the same speech he delivered in Boston in October, and in Burlington in May. He excoriated the oligarchs who he believes corrupt the political system and outlined a theory of change, from the suffrage movement to civil rights to gay rights, that he believes shows that grassroots movements like his own can overturn the system. The routine is so familiar that when he asked his audience who the biggest recipient of federal welfare is, about half of those in attendance were able to answer&mdash;"Walmart."</p> <p>What's changed is the crowd. When I saw him in Boston in October, the crowd booed 17 different times during his speech, prompted by references to Jeb Bush or the Koch brothers. On Sunday, that number was was halved in a speech of equal length. (Targets of booing included the black and Latino unemployment rate, speaker fees from Goldman Sachs, and companies that exploit loopholes in the tax code to avoid "paying a nickel in federal income taxes.") Clinton refers to the animating ethos of Sanders' supporters as "anger," and there's certainly that, but increasingly, there's the optimism of a organization that truly thinks it can win.</p> <p>That's typified by one of the few tweaks he's made to his speech over the last few months: He now talks about the poll numbers. "We started this campaign at 3 percent in the polls," he told the crowd early on. "We were 30, 40 points down in New Hampshire. Well, a lot has changed." Except for all the stuff that hasn't.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections bernie sanders Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:37:26 +0000 Tim Murphy 296206 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz Slams Idea of Women In Combat http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/ted-cruz-slams-idea-women-combat <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ted Cruz told a crowd of supporters in Peterborough, New Hampshire this afternoon that he was dumbstruck during last night's debate that three of his Republican colleagues&mdash;Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie&mdash;voiced their support for drafting women into the military.</p> <p>"My reaction was, 'Are you guys nuts?'" Cruz told the crowd, before launching a tirade against political correctness.</p> <p>"We have had <em>enough</em> with political correctness especially in the military," Cruz said. "Political correctness is dangerous and the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong. And if I am president, we ain't doing it!"</p> <p>Cruz then spoke about his own daughters and began to sound almost like draft protester from the Vietnam War era.</p> <p>"I'm the father of two little girls, and I love those little girls with all my heart," he said. "They are capable of doing anything in their heart's desire. But the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn't make any sense at all. It's yet one more sign of this politically correct world where we forget common sense. We gotta get back to a president who just says, 'No, that doesn't make any sense.'"</p> <p>Cruz's opposition to the idea of women being drafted into combat roles did not appeal to the entire crowd of about two-hundred who attended the rally. About half applauded loudly during those lines, while the others sat with their hands folded, suggesting support for women in combat is strong from certain parts of Cruz's base, but not all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Ted Cruz Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:02:39 +0000 Russ Choma 296211 at http://www.motherjones.com Sunday French Fry Blogging http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/sunday-french-fry-blogging <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A few weeks ago I had lunch at my favorite diner and I asked what kind of oil they cooked their fries in. Corn oil, it turns out. But the owner of the place happened to be standing right there, and with no prompting he immediately grokked why I was asking:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nobody makes fries the old way anymore. They used to be so good. These days&mdash;phhht. There's no taste at all. But everybody got afraid of the health <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_fries.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">stuff, so it's all vegetable oil now.</p> </blockquote> <p>The fries at this place range from good to spectacular depending on the whims of the deep fryer, so it's not impossible to get tasty fries from corn oil. Still, fries made in beef tallow&mdash;or a mixed oil that includes animal fat of some kind&mdash;are unquestionably better. So why hasn't anyone picked up on this? There's plenty of evidence suggesting that fries cooked in animal fat might be no worse for you than fries cooked in vegetable oil, and even if this is wrong there should still be a market for an "artisanal fries" menu item or some such. Upscale burger places are forever looking for ways to differentiate themselves for the foodie crowd, so why not this? I'd buy them.</p> <p>It's a mystery. Nobody should be afraid of some occasional fries cooked in animal fat. And if you are, nobody is going to take away your bland canola oil fries anyway. Someone needs to get on this bandwagon. Who will do it first?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 18:45:07 +0000 Kevin Drum 296201 at http://www.motherjones.com How Tom Brady and Deflategate Explain Donald Trump's New Hampshire Appeal http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/tom-brady-deflategate-donald-trump-new-hampshire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>New Hampshire voters are angry. They believe a corrupt and power-hungry band of millionaire and billionaire families are running America into the ground, led by a coddled, vindictive, and dictatorial leader who doesn't share their values and won't help them win again.</p> <p>Which is why they think NFL commissioner Roger Goodell needs to go.</p> <p>"I'd like to moon him," said Roberto Cassotto of Hampton, New Hampshire, as he waited in line for a Donald Trump rally on Thursday in Portsmouth.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2016/02/tom-brady-deflategate-donald-trump-new-hampshire"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Sun, 07 Feb 2016 18:38:29 +0000 Tim Murphy 296166 at http://www.motherjones.com Is Academic Science Hopelessly Corrupt? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/academic-science-hopelessly-corrupt <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech scientist who uncovered the lead poisoning in Flint, is absolutely brutal about the way funding priorities <a href="http://chronicle.com/article/The-Water-Next-Time-Professor/235136" target="_blank">have corrupted academic science:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>We&rsquo;re all on this hedonistic treadmill &mdash; pursuing funding, pursuing fame, pursuing h-index &mdash; and the idea of science as a public good is being lost. This is something that I&rsquo;m upset about deeply. I&rsquo;ve kind of dedicated my career to <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_marc_edwards.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">try to raise awareness about this. I&rsquo;m losing a lot of friends.</p> <p><strong>....Q. Do you have any sense that perverse incentive structures prevented scientists from exposing the problem in Flint sooner?</strong></p> <p><strong>A.</strong> Yes, I do. In Flint the agencies paid to protect these people weren&rsquo;t solving the problem. They <em>were</em> the problem....I don&rsquo;t blame anyone, because I know the culture of academia. You are your funding network as a professor. You can destroy that network that took you 25 years to build with one word. I&rsquo;ve done it.</p> <p><strong>....Q. Now that your hypothesis has been vindicated, and the government has its tail between its legs, a lot of researchers are interested.</strong></p> <p><strong>A.</strong> And I hope that they&rsquo;re interested for the right reasons. But there&rsquo;s now money &mdash; a lot of money &mdash; on the table....The expectation is that there&rsquo;s tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars that are going to be made available by these agencies....I hate to sound cynical about it. I know these folks have good intentions. But it doesn&rsquo;t change the fact that, Where were we as academics for all this time before it became financially in our interest to help? Where were we?</p> <p><strong>....Q. When is it appropriate for academics to be skeptical of an official narrative when that narrative is coming from scientific authorities? Surely the answer can&rsquo;t be "all of the time."</strong></p> <p>I grew up worshiping at the altar of science, and in my wildest dreams I never thought scientists would behave this way....Science should be about pursuing the truth and helping people. If you&rsquo;re doing it for any other reason, you really ought to question your motives.</p> <p>Unfortunately, in general, academic research and scientists in this country are no longer deserving of the public trust. We&rsquo;re not.</p> </blockquote> <p>In academia these day&mdash;and especially in the hard sciences, which are expensive to support&mdash;funding is everything. To a large extent, at big research universities faculty members basically work on commission: they have to bring in enough money to pay their own salaries and bankroll their own labs. And when was the last time a salesman on commission badmouthed his own product?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:56:54 +0000 Kevin Drum 296196 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's How You Know Marco Rubio's Robot Gaffe Is Serious http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/can-marco-rubio-reboot-after-robot-gaffe <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Not long after the conclusion of the GOP debate in New Hampshire, Michael Steele, a former chair of the Republican Party, was sitting in a booth at JD's Tavern in Manchester, a favorite watering hole for journalists, pundits, and political tourists, and he was shaking his head. A reporter had told him that she had just heard from Marco Rubio's camp. The once-surging presidential candidate had two hours earlier become the goat of the night, after he <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/last-nights-marcobot-moment-may-have-ruined-political-career" target="_blank">robotically repeated talking points</a> in response to Chris Christie's fierce attack that junior senator from Florida was nothing but an inexperienced empty-suit legislator whose best asset was his ability to deliver memorized rhetorical flourishes&mdash;that is, to robotically repeat talking points.</p> <p>Responding to Christie&mdash;and proving his assailant's point&mdash;Rubio had multiple times <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/best-moments-gop-debate-abc-new-hampshire" target="_blank">recited a prepared line</a> in which he slammed President Barack Obama for purposefully ruining the United States. This was Rubio's emperor-has-no-clothes moment. And after the debate, he dared not enter the spin room to explain his broken-record impersonation. But his advisers, up until now one of the most savvy teams on the GOP side, quickly developed their post-debate spin. They were telling reporters that the debate demonstrated that Rubio was so committed to criticizing Obama that he would seize every opportunity to do so. At the bar, when Steele heard this, he laughed sadly. "No, no, no," he said. "It was a major blunder."</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2016/02/can-marco-rubio-reboot-after-robot-gaffe"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:45:28 +0000 David Corn 296181 at http://www.motherjones.com Maybe Twitter Isn't Planning to Ruin Your Life After All http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/maybe-twitter-isnt-planning-ruin-your-life-after-all <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Twitter, the big outrage over the past few days has been the news that the corporate suits are planning to change the way your Twitter feed works. Instead of simply listing every tweet from your followers in real time, <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexkantrowitz/twitter-to-introduce-algorithmic-timeline-as-soon-as-next-we#.lf8rQlJDP" target="_blank">they'll be rolling out an algorithm</a> that reorders tweets "based on what Twitter&rsquo;s algorithm <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_twitter_crash.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">thinks people most want to see." This is something Facebook has been doing for year.</p> <p>Power users are outraged, despite the fact that it's not clear what's really going on. A developer at Twitter hit back <a href="https://twitter.com/bhcarpenter/status/695811814244773892" target="_blank">with this:</a> "Seriously people. We aren't idiots. Quit speculating about how we're going to 'ruin Twitter.'" Nor is it clear when this really going to roll out. And the rumors suggest that it will be an opt-in feature anyway. Chronological timelines will still be around for everyone who wants them.</p> <p>In any case, I'd suggest everyone give this a chance. Computer users, ironically, are notoriously change averse, which might be blinding a lot of us to the fact that chronological timelines aren't exactly the greatest invention since the yellow first down line. Maybe we really do need something better. More generally, here are a few arguments in favor of waiting to see how this all plays out:</p> <ul><li>I'm a semi-power user. I don't write a lot on Twitter,<sup>1</sup> but I read it a lot. Still, I have a job and a life, and I don't check it obsessively. And even though I follow a mere 200 people, all it takes is 15 minutes to make it nearly impossible to catch up with what's going on. Being on the West Coast makes this an especial problem in the morning. A smart robot that helped solve this problem could be pretty handy, even for those of who are experts and generally prefer a real-time feed.</li> <li>One of my most common frustrations is coming back to the computer after a break and seeing lots of cryptic references to some new outrage or other. What I'd really like is a "WTF is <em>this</em> all about?" button. An algorithmic feed could be a useful version of this.</li> <li>As plenty of people have noted, Twitter is a sexist, racist, misogynistic cesspool. There are things Twitter could do about this, but I suspect they're limited as long as we rely on an unfiltered chronological timeline. Once an algorithm is introduced, it might well be possible to personalize your timeline in ways that clean up Twitter immensely. (Or that allow Twitter clean it up centrally&mdash;though this obviously needs to be done with a lot of care.)</li> <li>One of the most persuasive complaints about the algorithm is that it's likely to favor the interests of advertisers more than users. Maybe so. Unfortunately, Twitter famously doesn't seem able to find a profitable business model. But if we like Twitter, the first order of business is for it to stay in existence&mdash;and that means it needs to make money. This is almost certain to be annoying no matter how Twitter manages to do it. A good algorithm might actually be the least annoying way of accomplishing this.</li> <li>Needless to say, all of this depends on how good the algorithm is. It better be pretty good, and it better improve over time.</li> </ul><p>So....stay cool, everyone. Maybe this will be an epic, New Coke style disaster that will end up as a case study in business texts for years. It wouldn't be the first time. Then again, maybe the algorithm will be subtle, useful, and optional. I'll be curious to try it out, myself.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>Arguments on Twitter are possibly the stupidest waste of time ever invented. Everything that's bad about arguments in the first place is magnified tenfold by the 140-character limit. It's hard to imagine that anyone other than a psychopath has ever emerged from a Twitter war thinking "That was great! I really learned something today."</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:13:36 +0000 Kevin Drum 296191 at http://www.motherjones.com Democrats Have Wasted No Time Trolling Marco Rubio for His Debate Malfunction http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/democrats-troll-marco-rubio-debate-malfunction-robot <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Following last night's debate, when Marco Rubio seemed to experience a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/best-moments-gop-debate-abc-new-hampshire" target="_blank">malfunction </a>as he uttered the same line four times, Democratic activists were gleefully awaiting Florida's junior senator this morning to say "Domo origato Marco Roboto!"<strong> </strong></p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/marco-roboto-small.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></div> </div> <p>Dressed in cardboard and tinfoil robot costumes, two reps from Democratic super-PAC American Bridge greeted Rubio fans at his first rally of the day, a pancake breakfast in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The two Rubio-bots handed out broken gaskets and mechanically repeated barbs about Rubio's repetition of the line, "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing." As Rubio sparred with Chris Christie during last night's debate, the New Jersey governor finally called him out for reciting the same talking point. "There it is," Christie bellowed. "The memorized 25-second speech." By night's end, the Rubio-as-robot-meme was born.</p> <p>"We weren't planning to do any stunts, but Chris Christie gave us a good idea," said one of the bots, Kevin McAllister, deputy communications director for the super-PAC. "We could all see last night that Marco Roboto has lots of talking points but there's not a lot of substance."</p> <p>Rubio's staff eventually shooed the robots off, but as they left an angry Rubio fan stomped past with his own repetitious message: "Why don't you do something positive? You're a loser. A loser."</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Top Stories Sun, 07 Feb 2016 15:48:57 +0000 Russ Choma 296186 at http://www.motherjones.com Last Night's "Marcobot Moment" May Have Ruined a Political Career http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/last-nights-marcobot-moment-may-have-ruined-political-career <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_marco_rubio_covers.jpg" style="margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">I was out to dinner last night&mdash;the duck at Il Fornaio was great!&mdash;so I missed the Republican debate. That was too bad, because apparently the highlight of the night was Chris Christie's brutal beatdown of Marco Rubio over precisely the point I made a few days ago. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/let-us-all-take-random-walk-through-new-hampshire" target="_blank">Here's my version:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>To me he seems like a robot: he's memorized a whole bunch of virtual index cards, and whenever you ask a question he performs a database search and recites whatever comes up. The index cards aren't bad, mind you, and I suppose they allow him to emulate a dumb person's notion what a smart person sounds like. This is despite the fact that he normally talks with the same kind of hurried clip employed by nervous eighth graders reading off actual index cards.</p> </blockquote> <p>This has always been my basic take on Rubio, and it makes me a little puzzled by his appeal among the conservative intelligentsia. But maybe they don't really care? Maybe they agree with Grover Norquist's take on the presidency <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/13/grover-norquist-speech-cpac.html" target="_blank">from four years ago:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go....We just need a president to sign this stuff....Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.</p> </blockquote> <p>Well, Rubio has the requisite number of working digits, and he's reliably conservative even if he's not one of the great thinkers of our age. So maybe it doesn't matter if he's a callow empty suit. As long as he signs the stuff that Ryan and McConnell send him, and can give a good speech now and then defending it, he's aces. At a minimum, though, this requires Rubio to effectively hide his inability to think outside of sound bites. Christie shattered that illusion for good last night when he bluntly pointed out Rubio's robotic repetition of the exact same puerile talking point within the space of a couple of minutes. <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430906/marco-rubio-and-chris-christies-brutal-exchange" target="_blank">Here's conservative Rubio fan David French:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Marco Rubio&rsquo;s already-famous exchange with Chris Christie was indeed a brutal moment. I still can&rsquo;t believe that Rubio went back to the same talking point right after Christie called him on it. Watching it real-time, I honestly wondered if Rubio forgot what he just said. <strong>When he started to do the same thing<iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="258" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HNRNHgi1RzU?start=0" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;" width="400"></iframe> a third time, I couldn&rsquo;t believe my ears.</strong> Christie wasn&rsquo;t masterful &mdash; not by any means &mdash; Rubio just served him the worst kind of hanging curve.</p> </blockquote> <p>French compared this to Rick Perry's famous "Oops" gaffe from 2012. <a href="https://twitter.com/JamesFallows/status/696176435854229504" target="_blank">James Fallows</a> called it the "most self-destructive debate performance since Quayle &rsquo;88." Social media immediately branded it the "Marcobot" moment, and mashups of the Rubio/Christie exchange showed up everywhere. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/06/transcript-of-the-feb-6-gop-debate-annotated/" target="_blank">Here's the edited transcript:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. <strong>Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country,</strong> to make America more like the rest of the world....</p> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> But I would add this. Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. <strong>He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world....</strong></p> <p><em>CHRISTIE:</em> That's what Washington, D.C. Does. The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and <strong>then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.</strong> See Marco, the thing is this. When you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person.</p> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. <strong>He knows exactly what he's doing.</strong></p> <p><em>CHRISTIE:</em> There it is. There it is. <strong>The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody....</strong>It gets very unruly when he gets off his talking points....</p> <p><em>RUBIO [an hour later]:</em> I think anyone who believes that Barack Obama isn't doing what he's doing on purpose doesn't understand what we're dealing with here, OK? <strong>This is a president who is trying to change this country.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So there you have it: the exact same canned line three times in a row. And then, even after being called on it in humiliating fashion, he repeats it yet again for a fourth time an hour later.</p> <p>Will this hurt Rubio? If he's smart, he'll own it. He'll make it the centerpiece of his campaign going forward, sort of like "Make America great again." Unfortunately, now that Christie has pointed out Rubio's index-card habit, everyone is going to be looking for it on every other subject too. Reporters will be combing through his debates and stump speeches looking for canned talking points, and then doing side-by-side comparisons as if he's an author being accused of plagiarism.</p> <p>We'll see how this plays out. But it sure can't be good news for ol' Marcobot. He might need to think about getting an upgrade to his programming.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:26:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 296176 at http://www.motherjones.com