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"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, 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). "Continuing resolutions" 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 - 2207 comments

Fiscal-Cliff-Diving

There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."
Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 1, 2012 - 214 comments

Pencils down.

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 - 858 comments

Ladies & Gentlemen. Mr. Al Green!

Vic Rawl has filed a protest against the man who beat him in the South Carolina Democratic primary for the US Senate. The official reason is election irregularities, however at the core of the protest is the fact that the winner Alvin Greene is a complete unknown with no prior experience. He won the primary despite the fact that he has no campaign headquarters or material and in fact did not seem to campaign at all. Also curious is the pending criminal case in which he is accused of showing a pornographic website to a college student. Mr. Greene does not come across particularly well in interviews and CNN interviewer Don Lemon even went so far as to question his mental health and called it one of the most bizarre interviews he's ever had. So is this Republican tampering as many observers are accusing? (FiveThirtyEight weighs in) Did South Carolina voters give him the (59%-41%) victory because they thought he was Al Green, soul music's most insinuating singer? Or perhaps these are the wrong questions and we should be focusing on Alvin Greene's platform: jobs, better education for children and justice.
posted by jeremias on Jun 15, 2010 - 115 comments

What's the difference between Democratic and Republican congressmen? $55,000.

Want to live it up at the U.S. party conventions and get access to Senators and Congressmen? USA Today has posted the campaign committee price lists:
Democratic Senate and Congress
Republican Senate and Congress

If you've got the dough, you may conveniently request a convention package online from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the NRSC have other price lists on their sites, but it seems like the DSCC and DCCC sites keep theirs under wraps.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 1, 2008 - 10 comments

Primary in Connecticut

Have the netroots finally hit solid ground? There's been a lot of debate about how effective left-wing blogs have been in the political process, but tonight a huge factor has just been added to that debate. Fueled by net support from big-name blogs, Ned Lamont has secured the vote of nearly twice the necessary 15% of delegates in Connecticut's state Democratic convention to force a Senate primary against Joe Lieberman.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 19, 2006 - 78 comments

Censuring Domestic Surveillance

"Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans." Invoking "high crimes and misdemeanors," Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold introduces a motion to censure [PDF link] President Bush for his controversial, legally dubious NSA wiretapping program. Feingold declares: "The President must be held accountable for authorizing a program that clearly violates the law." Republican leader Frist retorts: "It's a crazy political move" that sends a "terrible" signal to Iran. Democratic bloggers say: Call your senator. [More legal fallout from the NSA program recently discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Mar 13, 2006 - 259 comments

Tell 'em Uncle Alberto Says It's Cool

'The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House," said Jay Rockefeller, vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after the committee quashed a broad inquiry into the legality of the NSA spying on Americans -- despite an increasing number of legal scholars coming forward and declaring that the program is "blatantly illegal," in the words of Yale Law School dean Harold Koh. Meanwhile, the GOP proposes giving spying on Americans the "force of law" while subjecting it to "rigorous oversight."
posted by digaman on Mar 8, 2006 - 175 comments

Media Blacklists Net-based Filibuster Push

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 and Kennedy 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 - 236 comments

Democracy in Action

Bush to Senate: Go to Hell. As expected, President Bush bypassed the confirmation process and made a recess appointment to elevate John Bolton to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, brushing off what he calls "partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators." Bolton was previously discussed on MeFi here.
posted by digaman on Aug 1, 2005 - 213 comments

memogate

memogate
first the plame affair - now stolen confidential memos from democratic senators servers ... business as usual on capitol hill?
posted by specialk420 on Nov 28, 2003 - 30 comments

Hearings for court nominees restored.

Hearings for court nominees restored. "It was not until the Democrats regained control of the Senate last summer and Leahy assumed the chair that hearings and confirmations resumed. As of this writing, the Democratic-led Senate Committee had held hearings on 82 Bush nominees, approving 80 of them -- including 16 women. The full Senate had already confirmed 73. This is normal -- traditional. It was not that way from 1994 to 2001."

It's enough to make a Shrub hugger angry, isn't it?
posted by nofundy on Sep 17, 2002 - 41 comments

On Iraq, Where Are The Democrats?

On Iraq, Where Are The Democrats? "Oh, the party's leaders speak: They appear on talk shows; they write op-eds; they convene congressional hearings. But most of what they say is best understood as highly articulate evasiveness. They have devised a series of formulations designed to make the party appear to be offering a clear response to the president's proposed war, when it is actually doing the opposite.". But now some are willing to outright question the timing of our newfound desire to eliminate Hussein: "It's hard not to notice that the sudden urgency of war with Iraq has coincided precisely with the emergence of the corporate scandal story, with the flip in the congressional [poll] numbers and with the decline in the Republicans' prospects for retaking the Senate majority"
posted by owillis on Sep 15, 2002 - 18 comments

Well, we might as well get right to it:

Well, we might as well get right to it:
"Democrats moved to take control of the U.S. Senate on Thursday after Sen. James Jeffords announced he would leave the Republican Party, throwing President Bush's conservative agenda into jeopardy."

Isn't that interesting?


posted by Hackworth on May 25, 2001 - 44 comments

Will he or won't he switch

Will he or won't he switch is the question for Vermont Sen. Jeffords. If he does, the Democrats gain control of the Senate. But this Washington Times article seems to be pleading Sen. Jeffords to remain within the GOP. If he is such a stalwart conservative, why the all propaganda from the Times?
posted by Rastafari on May 21, 2001 - 14 comments

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