By Tom Johnson | July 20, 2014 | 10:05 PM EDT

How do you visually represent a missed opportunity? In a Sunday column for Salon, What’s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank suggests one answer: given the Obama administration’s repeated failure to deliver much-needed leftist change, the future Obama presidential library and museum should be “designed as…a mausoleum of hope.”

Obama’s salient mistake, Frank asserts, was that he “propped up” the obviously discredited “shitty consensus ideas” of the Reagan era. He expects that the museum will portray Obama “as a kind of second FDR: the man who saved the system from itself. That perhaps the system didn’t deserve saving will be left to some less-well-funded museum.”

By Tom Johnson | July 9, 2014 | 7:14 AM EDT

Much like Don Quixote mistook windmills for giants and wished to do battle with them, Republicans wrongly perceive Democrats as extreme leftists and consequently work themselves into an ideological lather.

That was, essentially, one of the main points that Salon’s Paul Rosenberg made in his Saturday piece on "Tea Party phonies" pegged to the Pew Research Center’s recent study on American political polarization. Rosenberg contended, reasonably enough, that congressional Republicans as a group are far more conservative than their counterparts of fifty years ago, but also claimed strangely that congressional Democrats are, overall, no more liberal than their mid-’60s predecessors.

July 8, 2014 | 7:53 PM EDT

Liberals have been spewing absolute nonsense since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and several other businesses that filed a suit against the HHS contraception mandate. Salon’s Paul Rosenberg is no different, except the fevered, high-pitched whine of his hysteria makes one suspect that, whatever he pays his drycleaner, it ain’t enough. 

In a July 8 piece at Salon, Rosenberg actually tried to make the case that “right-wing propaganda about “‘religious liberty’” is a smokescreen to hide the fact that conservatives are pushing for  “the advancement of theocracy,” or as Rosenberg put it “ religious dictatorship.” Yes, because SCOTUS didn’t find an absolute right to free birth control in the Constitution, we’re headed for inquisition, forced conversions and heretic burnings, and all the other theocratic nightmares of the dark days of … 2008. 

By Tim Graham | July 4, 2014 | 7:25 PM EDT

At the top of the list of Independence Day killjoys is No one is shocked. On Friday, they posted an article titled “I hate the Fourth of July: The Fourth once reminded us to ensure that all men are created equal. Here's what it's become now.” No wonder they're doing Twitter satire at @salondotcom. Just imagine a conservative site laying an "I hate Martin Luther King Day" egg on that stop of the calendar. 

As usual, the Left thinks the Founders were all about establishing the redistribution of wealth, not liberty for all. Jonathan Zimmerman began typically with how America failed to live up to its promise for so many years....and still falls far short. Then it really grew depressing about fireworks injuries:

By Tom Johnson | June 24, 2014 | 7:11 AM EDT

As you probably know, the 1980s were boom years for conservatives. Among the most prominent right-wingers back then: Ronald Reagan, Tom Clancy, Casey Kasem…

OK, Kasem, who died on June 15, actually was a staunch liberal, a supporter in that decade of Jesse Jackson and later of Dennis Kucinich. But during the ‘80s, wrote Scott Timberg in a Sunday piece for Salon, “we had a political and economic revolution, spearheaded by a one-time actor who was often massively popular, that did the same thing as” Kasem’s radio show, “American Top 40.”

By Tom Johnson | June 5, 2014 | 11:10 PM EDT

On Wednesday, Salon's Simon Maloy suggested that the Attkisson-Heritage relationship is a match made in conservative heaven given that Attkisson's Benghazi-related resignation from CBS was an "act of career martyrdom" which made her "a candidate for canonization by right-wing pundits and activists."

"Conservatives," Maloy snarked, "love [Attkisson] for her willingness to flog Obama scandals long after they’ve been debunked and/or ceased being relevant." He added that as it stands, "the Daily Signal will have to lean heavily on whatever gravitas Attkisson provides because the rest of the site is just awful."

By Tom Johnson | June 4, 2014 | 10:56 PM EDT

Two of the leading lights of the lefty blogosphere weighed in Tuesday on the Bowe Bergdahl matter. Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas, who served a three-year stint in the Army just after graduating from high school, blasted the anti-Bergdahl rhetoric of bloodyhanded neoconservative "chickenhawks" who aren't ashamed to opine despite being "wrong about everything in the last decade."

Kos claimed that since the Afghan war "is now over," the five Taliban exchanged for Bergdahl had to be released anyway "under international law." From Moulitsas's post (emphasis added):

By Katie Yoder | June 2, 2014 | 3:09 PM EDT

Here’s a new oxymoron, even for the liberal media: abortion comedy. 

Opening this Friday, writer-director Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” tells the story of an aspiring young comedian, Donna Stern, who has an abortion after a one-night stand. The film, which focuses on “self-discovery and empowerment” and the “realities of independent womanhood,” garnered endorsements not only from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, but also the media as an “abortion romantic comedy.” The film starring Jenny Slate (“SNL,” “Parks and Recreation”) caught the attention of distributor A24 after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. 

By Tom Johnson | May 12, 2014 | 9:59 PM EDT

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus wants more of a say in choosing the party's 2016 presidential nominee. Makes sense, right? Actually, it doesn't, according to Salon's Jim Newell, who argued in a Monday piece that greater RNC control over pre-primary and primary-season debates will make them boring, thereby causing the many viewers who want to see the candidates snarling and sniping at each other to turn off their televisions or maybe not tune in at all. On the other hand, Newell gives the RNC credit for understanding after 2012 that "[t]he more [GOP] candidates are on public display with each other, the worse it is for the party."

Newell was especially disdainful of the RNC's plan to include conservative pundits on debate panels alongside journalists from so-called mainstream outlets. He alleged that when Republicans identify "the 'mainstream media' as the force behind any sort of intra-party problem, they’re using a reliable scapegoat."

By Tom Johnson | May 9, 2014 | 2:40 PM EDT

One of the Indiana University professors who recently found that almost four times as many journalists self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans doesn't believe that that imbalance causes biased reporting.

IU's Lars Willnat remarked to Salon magazine that "we don’t think that our findings reflect a ‘liberal media bias’...Journalists’ political preferences don’t usually translate into political bias in news coverage unless they are working for openly partisan news media. Their professional norms and values, as well as market pressures, prevent most of them from being biased politically.”

By Tom Johnson | May 2, 2014 | 1:35 PM EDT

Liberals seeking examples of conservative craziness often look for the wrong thing. That's the word from California writer Paul Rosenberg, who in a Thursday piece for Salon stated that "the wild-eyed kind of crazy we’ve all been led to expect" is much less common than "the button-down, conservative kind we heard in the Donald Sterling tape — or that we can hear on [Rush] Limbaugh’s radio show, or see on Fox News any day of the week."
It gets worse. Rosenberg notes that "conservatives as a group routinely score significantly higher" for a personality trait that's linked to psychopathy, and reports that some in academia "are beginning to ask, in effect, if [right-wingers are] actually defending, even promoting, evil."

By Matthew Balan | April 29, 2014 | 4:01 PM EDT

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw lamented how the movie depictions of Spider-Man and other superheroes are all "straight, white men" in a Tuesday item on titled "America deserves better superheroes: Why a straight, white Spider-Man is no longer a real underdog." Baker-Whitelaw, a "fandom and Internet culture" reporter for the website The Daily Dot, zeroed in on the supposed "ramifications of having eternal underdog Peter Parker remain a straight, white man."

The writer also complimented Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays the title character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for wondering why the superhero "can' into boys," and contended that Sony, the studio releasing the upcoming movie, "might benefit from listening to...Garfield's comments on the potential hypocrisy of portraying Peter Parker as being marginalized by society." She later hoped that superhero movies would catch up with the "reasonably progressive and diverse representation of real-life America" in present-day comic books: