Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)
In one corner: the first federal government shutdown
, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's
crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that
have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda
). National parks are closed
, contractors are hamstrung
, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed
until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule"
and passes a bill the other branches can agree to.
In the other corner, heedless of the chaos
(though not without glitches
of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges
. The portal at Healthcare.gov
is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage
with premium rebates
, guaranteed coverage
, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states)
. A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2013 -
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010
: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority
, undermined Obama's mandate
, set the terms of the sequestration fight
, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade
. It's not a new problem
. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
, it could get a whole lot worse
. And the electoral college may
. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 14, 2012 -
And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support. [more inside]
posted by memebake
on Nov 7, 2012 -
is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland
, and the Boston Globe
, paneled on more than a few games
of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
, and fished diapers out of trees
as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog
ever since a caustic article
on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job
, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary
on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 5, 2012 -
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law.
The product of a strict party line vote following a
of debate, disinformation
, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act
would (among other popular reforms
) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool
for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives
(including presidential contender Mitt Romney
) is the central question facing the justices today
. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step
of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured
, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state
But despite the pessimism of bettors
, some believe
the Court will demur, wary of damaging
its already-fragile reputation
with another partisan 5-4 decision
. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know
. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog
for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 28, 2012 -
"You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil's water in Washington? Go for it. But just don't tell me how to fucking talk" - Jon Lovett responds
to Lanny Davis
, in the aftermath of the Corey Booker's comments defending private equity
posted by crayz
on May 27, 2012 -
...Many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
John Heilemann in New York Magazine
on "The Lost Party"
, part one of a series on the modern Republican party in light of the 2012 presidential election. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Feb 28, 2012 -
Red money, blue money: The making of the 2012 campaign.
"More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011." This Salon piece details who the (surprisingly small) number of large donors are, and the SuperPACs they donate to.
posted by jaduncan
on Dec 14, 2011 -
Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate.
Texas’ conservative voters aren’t about to send just any Democrat to the Senate in 2012. Hell, it’s been seventeen years since a Democrat has won any statewide race here. That’s quite a record and one we’d like to see broken
. To do that, whoever the Democratic nominee is in 2012 better bring something awfully special to the race. Tommy Lee Jones is the only Democrat (or potential Democrat) who does. His name ID, near-universal popularity, fundraising ability, residence in and love for this state, his success as a cattle rancher, Spanish fluency, his image as a western tough guy
and his impressive academic credentials
would instantly make him the frontrunner, regardless of who the Republicans nominate.
posted by valkane
on Mar 25, 2011 -
What if the egyptian protesters were democrats?
"In short, if the Egyptian protesters were Democrats, they would have undertaken no revolution. The Democratic Party represents the pervasiveness of elite corporate power; its liberal supporters represent the appropriation of oppositional politics into the neoliberal economies of electoral hegemony; the Egyptian protesters represent a determined, collective will to social justice and legitimate freedom. If those protesters were American liberals, they would have sided with the state while professing support for the people."
posted by Duug
on Feb 21, 2011 -
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 2, 2010 -
Do you feel disappointed in government? Does Obama seem a little too meek for the Presidency? Do you wish he'd make larger structural reforms? Maybe, suggests Matt Taibbi, there's an answer
. [more inside]
posted by jock@law
on Oct 23, 2009 -
Make your own attack ad.
The Democratic party is uploading all its "tracker" videos of the top Republican candidates out on the campaign trail, for use by anyone for anything. "The party hopes that thousands of eyes might find something the mainstream media has missed, or that a new way of juxtaposing the video with something else will be revealing about the candidates," says the NYT
. Gimmick or political sea change?
posted by CunningLinguist
on Nov 28, 2007 -
Yesterday, Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party for conspiring to prevent him from running for president in 2004. The lawsuit alleges that defendants used “groundless and abusive litigation” to bankrupt Ralph Nader’s campaign and force him off the ballot in 18 states, and names as co-defendants the Kerry-Edwards campaign, the Service Employees International Union, private law firms, and organizations like the Ballot Project and America Coming Together that were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket. According to attorney Carl Mayer from the team that filed the suit, interviewed this morning by Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman
, "what this lawsuit will do, and the importance of it is, is to set a precedent so that the two-party monopoly system that shuts out minor parties in a way that other Western democracies never do, that this will set a precedent to prevent this type of intimidation and harassment."
posted by finite
on Oct 31, 2007 -
On Thursday, August 9th, at 9PM EST, the LOGO television network
along with the Human Rights Campaign
are going to host a televised forum with some of the leading Democratic presidential candidates for the discussion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trangendered issues. According to the network, if you are unable to see the program on cable, it will be available to you live via the special website. And as of August 2nd, surfers are invited to submit questions to be asked of the candidates live.
posted by FunkyHelix
on Aug 1, 2007 -
"George Soros initiated holdings in Oil Equipment & Services company Halliburton Co.. His purchase prices were between $27.62 and $33.53, with an estimated average price of $31.3. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 2.02%. His holdings was 1,999,450 shares as of 12/31/2006. Halliburton Co. closed today at $30.05." Maybe he's 'culture jamming
'? Might raise some amusing ethical conundra
in any case.
posted by waxbanks
on Mar 1, 2007 -
The Democrats' Sonny Bono?
When George Bush used the 1970s Orleans
hit, Still the One
, as a campaign song in 2004, John Hall
issued Bush a cease and desist order
for using his song without permission. A founder of the antinuclear group, Musicians United for Safe Energy
(best known for the 1979 concert film, No Nukes
), Hall decided to run for Congress
in upstate New York, winning upset victories this year in both the Democratic primary
and the general election
against GOP incumbent, Sue Kelly
. Before his Congressional victory, Editor & Publisher posted From Soundchecks to Soundbites
, an interesting discussion with Hall about music journalism vs. political journalism.
posted by jonp72
on Nov 10, 2006 -
Democrats of Faith.
Jesse Lava, co-founder, says
the site is attempting "to help reframe the values debate to be beyond wedge-issue politics, beyond fear and division and more focused on justice and the common good."
posted by footballrabi
on Sep 6, 2006 -
Advice for weary, wandering Democrats
Note to Democrats: "Barack Obama put it exquisitely in his victory speech: "Government can help provide us with the basic tools we need to live out the American dream."
Here's a dirty little secret. The Republicans know this. Nothing scares them more than us returning to our simple answers. ..."
posted by Postroad
on Apr 11, 2006 -
A Letter to the American Left
By Bernard-Henri Lévy.
"Nothing made a more lasting impression during my journey through America than the semi-comatose state in which I found the American left.
I know, of course, that the term "left" does not have the same meaning and ramifications here that it does in France.
And I cannot count how many times I was told there has never been an authentic "left" in the United States, in the European sense.
But at the end of the day, my progressive friends, you may coin ideas in whichever way you like. The fact is: You do have a right. This right, in large part thanks to its neoconservative battalion, has brought about an ideological transformation that is both substantial and striking. "
posted by mountainmambo
on Feb 11, 2006 -
Media outraced by Bloggers, Kerry appeal to netroots galvanizes suprise drive against Alito
On Google News
, you'll read how US Democratic Senators Obama and Biden are against a filibuster. Old news. They've agreed to support it. Encouraged by direct appeals by Senators. Kerry
to internet activists, a blizzard of calls, emails, and faxes
, organized via the Daily Kos
and other blogs - with tactical direction from Kennedy
- have helped flip the positions of several Democratic senators, and as of Saturday some claimed the push was already within 2 votes
of forcing continued Senate debate on the Alito nomination. In fact, the pro-filibuster bloc might have started
with 37 votes
Meanwhile, today, Morning Edition
, which declined to run the filibuster push as a top story and failed to mention the internet effort, asked Senator Kennedy on Senator Hillary Clinton's opposition to the filibuster: actually, she joined the effort last Friday [ see main link ] : D'oh !
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 30, 2006 -
in Slate urges Democrats to grow a spine, and use the Alito hearings to provide the American public with some liberal talking points for a change.
"If the Scalias, Thomases, Alitos, and Borks of the world had their way ... there would be no meaningful gun control. States could have official churches. Hard-fought federal worker, environmental, and civil rights protections would disintegrate. What you currently think of as the right to privacy would disappear. These are the questions Senate Democrats need to ask of Sam Alito: Should property rights trump individual rights? Should the right to privacy be interpreted as narrowly as the framers might have intended? Do you believe that a return to the morals and mores of two centuries ago is in the best interest of this nation?"
posted by snoktruix
on Nov 7, 2005 -
Party like it's 1892! "Executive power and patronage have been used to corrupt our legislatures and defeat the will of the people, and plutocracy has thereby been enthroned upon the ruins of democracy."*
In the late 1800s, the Populist Party
, or People's Party, formed to merge the Farmers Alliance message of economic empowerment for growers with the Knights of Labor's movement to check the growing power and corrupt practices of big business (along with the Greenbacks Party critiques of monetary policy)
. With a strong base in the midwest and south, the party earned 9% of the 1892 popular vote, won the presidential electoral votes of four states (not to mention electing 10 congressmen, 5 senators, 3 governors, and 1,500 state legislators)
. However the party's power quickly faded as the Democratic Party co-opted much of the Populist platform
while internal disputes
culminated in the Populists placing the Dems' 1896 nominee at the head of their own ticket. Nevertheless, the populist movement's influence continued to be felt through various 20th century reforms including direct election of senators
, presidential term limits
, and abandonment of the gold standard
posted by nakedcodemonkey
on Jan 5, 2005 -