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the contest could turn ugly, expensive, and politically costly

"The GOP Has Finally Found a Way to Defeat the Tea Party"
Electability was trumping ideological purity—just as the establishment had planned.
posted by davidstandaford on May 4, 2014 - 93 comments

"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

"Used to be that the idea was 'once every two years voters elected their representatives.' And now instead it's 'every ten years the representatives choose their constituents.'"

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 be next. (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 - 137 comments

A living document?

The incoming Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is right now reading the text of the Constitution on the House floor. Representatives chose to omit superceed portions of the text including The Three-Fifth Compromise and Prohibition
posted by T.D. Strange on Jan 6, 2011 - 139 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

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

America the Godly

One nation under God. The "bold conservative" GOP Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia is intent upon removing a vexing comma from that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was amended in 1954 when President Eisenhower was moved by a sermon by one Reverend George M. Docherty on the need to defend America from the "militantly atheistic communism that has already enslaved 800 million of the peoples of the earth, and now menaces the rest of the free world."
posted by digaman on Apr 15, 2008 - 147 comments

Still The One

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 - 30 comments

Well, it's an unusual campaign ad...

Vernon Robinson is a Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina's 13th District. This is his campaign ad. (Links to 2MB Quicktime movie). Both bitterly racist and homophobic, it's straight out of, err... The Twilight Zone. (Via WFMU)
posted by huskerdont on Mar 9, 2006 - 101 comments

Bye Bye Funding.

CNN reports that the House passed HR 4241 this morning by a narrow vote almost entirely along party lines. This is part of the Republican Party's Operation Offset (previously discussed here) designed to cut spending to counter the deficit, growing by leaps and bounds because of Iraq & Katrina (among other things). Now they'll have to work to reconcile it with the Senate version, SR 1932 (voting record here). You may want to Write your representative to let them know how you feel. You might also want to express your displeasure to the two Dems who didn't vote, considering the bill passed by a margin of 2. [Budget Filter]
posted by papakwanz on Nov 18, 2005 - 48 comments

DeLay Gets QueerEyed in Time for the Pen

[Mugshot filter] The Hammer is tanned, rested, and ready... to kick some partisan-hack a**! But seriously folks, has Tom DeLay ever looked better in his life? Book 'im, Danno -- and don't muss that fabulous hair!
posted by digaman on Oct 20, 2005 - 61 comments

"Operation Offset"

"Operation Offset" is what the Republicans are calling their budget cut plan to pay for Hurricane Katrina. Will there be tax cuts for the rich? Nope. The great majority of the proposed cuts target the elderly and the poor, heavily targeting Medicare. They eliminate all federal funding for energy conservation, the "Energy Star" program, energy efficient vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, high-speed rail, light rail, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, AmeriCorps, the "Even Start" program, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, security/anti-drug funding for innercity schools, and all federal loans to grad students. Also facing cuts are the Global AIDS Initiative, the EPA, the Center for Disease Control, pensions and healthcare plans for retired federal workers, job programs and revitalization funds for poor neighborhoods, the school lunch program, community health centers, and health care for soldiers.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 27, 2005 - 120 comments

Don't even tinkaboutit...

"Just consider what you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life...If you step off this cliff, gravity never goes up, it goes down." Those were the words of, Larry Telford, of the National Republican Congressional Committee threatening a Texas citizen who dared to run in the Republican primary for the US House of Representatives.
posted by EmoChild on Mar 9, 2004 - 23 comments

Pissing match

House Democrats Storm Out of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Calls Capitol Police to Restore Order - ARRRGGGGH! This government is so frustrating. No side is right they are all wrong. Is anything being done for the good of the nation anymore or do they all just do what they want? Poor impulse control all around.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey on Jul 18, 2003 - 66 comments

Republican Insider Hint #1: Apply foot to mouth and win. America ain't no democracy.

Republican Insider Hint #1: Apply foot to mouth and win. America ain't no democracy. Trent Lott on McDermott: "For him to be in Baghdad, the center of one of the most dangerous dictators in the world, with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, to be questioning the veracity of our own American president, is the height of irresponsible," said Lott, R-Mississippi. "He needs to come home and keep his mouth shut." Yes, yes, we have three traitorous democratic congressmen in Baghdad presently, who are lobbying that government to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors.
posted by crasspastor on Sep 29, 2002 - 94 comments

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