By Tom Johnson | August 23, 2015 | 12:39 PM EDT

Although the term “anchor baby” has been around for only a couple of decades, the concept is several centuries old, believes Chauncey DeVega. In a Friday article, DeVega contended that the earliest American anchor babies were born to colonists, and that the modern term “cannot possibly be separated from the nightmare of white supremacy, of a democracy where human rights and citizenship were based on a person’s melanin count and parentage.”

DeVega further argued that a much broader racial agenda is at work: “Movement conservatives’ eager deployment of the ‘anchor baby’ meme — and their solution of revoking birthright citizenship through a rewrite of the Constitution– is in keeping with the Republican Party’s assault on the won-in-blood freedom of black and brown Americans. The ‘anchor baby’ talking point is yet more proof that the GOP is a radical and destructive political force, one that actively embraces white supremacy.”

By Jeffrey Lord | August 22, 2015 | 9:53 PM EDT

The New York Times hates Donald Trump’s immigration plans. But back in the 1950s, they were solidly behind President Eisenhower's actions to deport illegal Mexican aliens.

By Tom Johnson | August 2, 2015 | 11:09 AM EDT

Arthur Chu, best known as one of the all-time biggest money-winners on Jeopardy!, is also a writer who frequently contributes to Salon. In a Thursday article, Chu saluted departing Daily Show host Jon Stewart for, among other things, keeping him sane during his college days. Unfortunately, recalled Chu, back then America as a whole had lost its mind.

Meanwhile, in the August issue of Vanity Fair, James Wolcott gave props to Stewart for “all that he’s been through on our behalf, subjecting himself to a radiation bombardment of mostly right-wing idiocy."

By Brent Baker | July 18, 2015 | 6:04 PM EDT

Watching the latest installment of CNN’s The Seventies documentary series, I learned President Gerald Ford was a “conservative” and President Jimmy Carter was a victim the misperception that he made mistakes, endured bad luck and inherited an “unmanageable” nation and world.

By Rich Noyes | July 17, 2015 | 5:03 PM EDT

Nearly 27 years before Donald Trump actually announced he was running for President, then-NBC News correspondent Chris Wallace pressed a younger, thinner Trump about his political ambitions during an interview at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Not surprisingly, Trump at that time said if he did run for President, “I’d have a very good chance....When I do something, I like to win.”

By Brent Baker | July 10, 2015 | 2:09 AM EDT

Reviewing Reagan: The Life, by historian H.W. Brands, USA Today White House reporter Gregory Korte recited tired anti-Reagan cliches favored by liberals as he complained about “some notable omissions” in the book. In his piece which appeared in the “Life” section of Thursday’s newspaper, Korte regretted that “Brands makes no mention of Reagan’s 1980 ‘states rights’ speech in Philadelphia, Miss.” and, Korte rued, “Also missing: Any mention of the apocryphal ‘welfare queens,’ the epidemic in homelessness during his presidency, or hot-microphone threats to start bombing Russia in five minutes.”

By Tom Johnson | July 6, 2015 | 10:02 PM EDT

Boldly combining the investigative techniques of David McCullough and Maury Povich, New York magazine’s  Chait has done a little historical paternity testing and determined that Andrew Jackson “is, clearly, the father of the modern Republican Party.”

Chait argued that Jackson’s status as “the progenitor of the Democratic Party” is based on “a myth.” On the other hand, Jackson “believed the Constitution prevented the government from taking an active role in managing economic affairs” and “was instinctively aggressive, poorly educated, anti-intellectual, and suspicious of bureaucrats,” all of which correspond to right-wing GOP behaviors and attitudes of today.

By Matthew Philbin | July 1, 2015 | 4:03 PM EDT

Happy Independence Day, or, as the left might call it this year, “Original Sin Saturday.” July 4th is when we celebrate the birth of The United States. But, whereas you commemorate the inception of what Lincoln called “the last best hope of earth,” liberals lament that flawed people had the audacity to create a flawed nation. Then, that flawed nation had the bad taste to prosper!

It’s that left-wing understanding of America that’s behind the push to erase or blur our history. The purge of the Confederate flag is currently the noisiest, but by no means the only, prong of the attack from activists and academics and the media who love them.

By Tim Graham | June 20, 2015 | 4:02 PM EDT

In 1968, ABC News tried to improve on its lowly third-rank status by bringing on some rock-em, sock-em commentary around the two party conventions  from two intellectual heavyweights: William F. Buckley Jr. On the right, and author Gore Vidal on the left.

A new documentary – from the left, considering it carries a tag from Independent Lens, a leftist documentary series for PBS – explores the battle, that turned personal on television. The filmmakers insisted on Wednesday night in Washington that it made them a pre-cursor to today’s talk/shout TV:

By Tom Johnson | May 27, 2015 | 8:46 PM EDT

Last Friday, author and historian Garry Wills, who blogs occasionally at the New York Review of Books site, praised Michelle Obama for challenging, in her recent Tuskegee University commencement address, conservatives’ complacency about race in America. Specifically, Wills approved of the first lady’s “breaking all of the four rules of racial discourse the right wing now wants to enforce.”

“The celebrators of rugged individualism will not allow successful blacks to reach back and help others up the ladder of achievement. That is just rewarding the ‘takers over the makers,’” wrote Wills. “But when we see or read the speech of Michelle Obama, stingy individualists melt down into their pooled little meannesses, and this tall black woman of achievement calls on us all to mount into the sky, following the Tuskegee Airmen. This is not playing the race card. It is playing the American card.”

By Brent Baker | May 16, 2015 | 10:24 PM EDT

“There’s three things I tell people that the Russians were afraid of: AIDS, Jewish people and Ronald Reagan.”Question: “In that order?” Reply: “I think Ronald Reagan took the top spot. They thought he would push the button.” One more reason to love Reagan.

By Tom Johnson | April 29, 2015 | 10:51 AM EDT

Late in the Reconstruction period and for many years thereafter, white-supremacist paramilitary groups often committed acts of terrorism in the southern United States. That much is clear. Also clear, at least to Daily Kos's Denise Oliver-Velez, is that the spirit of those groups lives today in American police departments and in the viewership of Fox News.

“They don't kill us in bunches anymore. Now they just murder us one by one,” argued Oliver-Velez in a Sunday post. “One by one, as we are murdered by red shirts in blue, the message is re-enforced by bullets in the back, and chokeholds around our necks, no different than the nooses hung from trees. The audience is now on Fox News, rather than standing around the bonfires of death.”