Critics warned that Citizens United would bring about a new era of corporate influence in politics, with companies and businesspeople buying elections to promote their financial interests. So far, that hasn’t happened much… Instead, a small group of billionaires has flooded races with ideologically tinged contributions. Zachary Mider profiles the enigmatic Bob Mercer, the single biggest donor of the current campaign, for Bloomberg: “What Kind of Man Spends Millions to Elect Ted Cruz?” [more inside]
Tonight at 9 EST Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley will come together for a debate in Iowa at Drake University. [more inside]
California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth [New York Times]
A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.California Water Use [New York Times] Are you affected? [New York Times] The Drought, explained. [New York Times Video] [more inside]
Anatomy of a Stump Speech. The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..."
Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
FiveThirtyEight.com is no more! Long Live Five Thirty Eight! Independent political statistics blog FiveThirtyEight.com has been absorbed by the New York Times. Nate Silver, the stats genius, baseball freak and predictor of 49 of 50 states in the last presidential election began his blog on DailyKos. As of this morning, the blog has moved to the New York Times. [more inside]
ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
New York Times 2006 interactive elections map. A really impressive guide to the current House, Senate, and governor races with all of the poll data and analysis a political junky could ask for; plus the ability to modify the maps by population, ethnicity, and income levels. It also allows you to play out scenarios. [registration may be required]
Recent neuroscience research suggests that Democrats and Republicans are not nearly as far apart as they seem (NYT). Will an awareness that we are conning ourselves to feel alienated from each other help to close the political gap? Or, are we conned by science and the media?
Why this election is so disappointing... Opposite today's New York Times' 30-column-inch endorsement of John Kerry, Thomas Friedman makes a good case that several of the most important issues are not being talked about by either candidate in any serious way.
Is The New York Times biased? Dan Okrent, the NYT public editor, has gone through reams of campaign coverage and delivered his opinion. Make sure you read to the very end. Previously discussed here.
Electoral slight of hand is suggested by NYT columnist Bruce Ackerman in his opinion piece for May 5th, where he suggest that Nader choose Kerry's electoral slate when filing for the November election. It's a clever idea, and I'd be interested in seeing if it has any traction.
«A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.» Henry A. Wallace’s article, titled «The Danger of American Fascism», ran in the New York Times in 1944. Veeery interesting reading.
DRIVING A SUV HELPS TEH TERRORISTS! NYT Reg. required. (-3 Troll) o<
"Broken Promises and Political Deception" by Al Gore in the NY Times: " For well over a year, the Bush administration has used its power in the wrong way. In 2000, I argued that the Bush-Cheney ticket was being bankrolled by "a new generation of special interests, power brokers who would want nothing better than a pliant president who would bend public policy to suit their purposes and profits." Some considered this warning anti-business. It was nothing of the sort. I believe now, as I said then, that "when powerful interests try to take advantage of the American people, it's often other businesses that are hurt in the process" — most of all, smaller companies that play by the rules." (I think it's safe to say Al is running)
Seeing as Camp David has now taken on new importance for President Bush [NYTimes link], now might be a fun time to take a tour (sort-of) of the highly secretive compound. Or perhaps you would like a more detailed history of the Presidential retreat, or even some personal stories as told by people "in the know." (Though for the life of me I can't find more info on the person who developed these sites.)
Bush Winning Gore Backers' High Praises I never thought I would see this in the New York Times; praise for President Bush. "Many Democrats who once dismissed Mr. Bush as too naïve and too dependent on advisers to steer the United States through an international crisis are now praising his and his advisers' performance. Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs expertise an issue in the campaign, did not win." I cannot agree more!
NY Times report on voting problems in Palm Beach "...some precinct workers said that they were under strict instructions to turn away people asking for voting assistance — mainly out of fear that it would slow down the voting. Louise Austin, a precinct worker in Boynton Beach, said she and other workers at her precinct turned away voters who besieged them with questions. "People were coming up to me," Ms. Austin said, "and I had to follow the directive — `Don't help anyone. Don't talk to anyone.' "
NYTimes.com reports (or does it?) Bush winning KY and IN
I think this is some kind of mistake, rather than an off-sides. Explanations?
I think this is some kind of mistake, rather than an off-sides. Explanations?