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 -
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 -
"I do not recall"
--meet Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA
(Our mission is to help other agencies better serve the public by meeting – at best value – their needs for products and services, and to simplify citizen access to government information and services.
), and hear about the powerpoint presentation from Rove's office all about electing Republicans in 08 and how her agency should help. Her office supplied it to Congress--but it was just a (GOP) "team-building exercise" and "brown-bag lunch". (YouTube) Read up on the Hatch Act
posted by amberglow
on Mar 28, 2007 -
is a site that aggregates data about the United States Senate and House. Keep track of your senators or representatives through rss feeds, read bills on topics that are important to you, and find out what industries are behind the scenes providing money to your politicians in Washington among many other uses of this new resource.
posted by rfbjames
on Feb 27, 2007 -
"I would have your wife right in front of you.
I would smoke the last of your glaucoma medication. Then I will surely drink your liquor cabinet dry. However, know this my friend. I will never break an oath to uphold the public trust. My affidavit will be signed in my own blood. A Pirates crimson mark, with real binding effects into my after life. Laugh if you will then ask yourself if you could do it."
is running for congress in Iowa's first district. He accepts no money from anybody.
posted by Navelgazer
on Aug 25, 2006 -
What your Congress is doing while you sleep...
Tacking riders on to military spending bills is nothing new and an easy way to get legislation passed. With the recently passed Real ID Act, however, post-9/11 America takes a decidely fascist left turn:
§102(c) "No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision."
This new legislation dramatically — if quietly — usurps the separation of powers established over 200 years ago, and the consequences
are absolutely chilling, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to commit any criminal behavior it sees fit, without having to answer to existing state and federal laws. All the way from checking IDs on request, to detaining political undesirables, to South American-style "disappearances". And where are our so-called liberal media
outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?
posted by AlexReynolds
on May 12, 2005 -
John Dean's analysis of the administrations case for War.
"What I found, in critically examining Bush's evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony."
posted by thedailygrowl
on Jul 18, 2003 -
"We decided not to run it..." In the surreal world that is today's media, Colin Powell has no opposition. None. There is no alternative view. None. In this Kafkaesque place, Reps. DeFazio and Paul didn't conduct a press conference yesterday. Nor did they introduce legislation that counters George Bush and Colin Powell's world view...a world view, mind you, that the world doesn't share.
Does corporate media serve the interests of the people and democracy or the elites and profit? Did you hear about this bill? Do you think this is an important story that deserved media coverage?
posted by nofundy
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Homeland Security "Goodies".
"The bill the president supported was 35 pages long. The bill that I've been asked to vote on on Monday or Tuesday is 484 pages long, filled with special-interest legislation, loaded up by the House Republicans in the last few days," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
The most egregious, Democrats say, is language to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits over the vaccines they create and their side effects, including wiping out lawsuits already in court.
posted by Espoo2
on Nov 18, 2002 -
Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval
Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc
on Aug 26, 2002 -
The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.
"In addition to the inappropriate purchases, the GAO said more than 1,200 Army employees wrote bad checks to pay their government credit card bills. Last year alone, that cost taxpayers $3.8 million in higher fees and lost rebates." You mean, the government practices bad accounting? Ron Paul
points out that the Congress commits the worst accounting fraud of all
. But the most important issue of all is, with the government paying for Strip Club tips, gambling, and wine, does this mean that God will no longer bless America?
posted by insomnyuk
on Jul 18, 2002 -
A 401(k) is not a Pension!
In a pension plan, your employer invests some money and gives you some of it when you retire. In a 401(k), they, um, don't. Congress seems a little confused
on this issue, however. It turns out that the 401k might be more boondoggle than boon to average people planning to retire before they die.
posted by ilsa
on Apr 11, 2002 -
allows you to look up, and even link to
, any bill that's been before any congress.
For example, I could link to H.R. 1304
, the Quality Health-Care Coalition Act of 2000. I could also mention that Tom Coburn (R-OK) added Section 2h to the bill, which says Doctors have no collective bargaining rights when it comes to ensuring women have access to abortion services.
posted by alan
on Jul 2, 2000 -