No way to pick a president – The Washington Post.
No way to pick a president
As the breathless, panting political class turns its eager eyes to Iowa, every sane Americanneeds to step back and ask the obvious question: Is this any way to pick a president?Our country is essentially coming to a halt to watch what 120,000 idiosyncratic voters in an idiosyncratic state do.
This is like letting a single small city play a pivotal role in the selection of our next president.
All these cities have about as many residents as are expected to vote in the Iowa caucuses. The idea that any would play a special, outsize role in choosing the leader of the free world is absurd.
It’s not just that Iowa’s caucus electorate is puny. (The 120,000 figure is a prediction based on the fact that only about that many Republicans out of the state’s 3 million residents turned out in 2008.) The far-right tilt of this band of atypical Americans forces Republican candidates to disavow ideas that might make them attractive leaders to the rest of us.
On one level, the groveling is amusing to watch. But on a deeper level, it’s crazy when a handful of right-wing Iowans have the power to tilt the tenor of presidential debate.
Read the full article here: The Washington Post
The Myth of Voter Fraud – NYTimes.com.
The Myth of Voter Fraud
Published: October 9, 2011
It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.
Read the full story here: The New York Times
How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans – Magazine – The Atlantic.
How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans
An insider’s six-step plan to fix Congress
Angry and frustrated, American voters went to the polls in November 2010 to “take back” their country. Just as they had done in 2008. And 2006. And repeatedly for decades, whether it was Republicans or Democrats from whom they were taking the country back. No matter who was put in charge, things didn’t get better. They won’t this time, either; spending levels may go down, taxes may go up, budgets will change, but American government will go on the way it has, not as a collective enterprise but as a battle between warring tribes.
If we are truly a democracy—if voters get to size up candidates for a public office and choose the one they want—why don’t the elections seem to change anything? […]
Read tghe full story here: The Atlantic
Behind the Republican Resistance to Compromise – NYTimes.com.
FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver’s Political Calculus
Why the Republicans Resist Compromise
By NATE SILVER
The chart that I’m going to show you is one of the more important ones that we’ve presented at FiveThirtyEight in some time. It helps explain a lot of what’s going on in American politics today, from the negotiations over the federal debt ceiling to the Republican presidential primaries. And it’s pretty simple, really, although it took me some time to track down the data.
Here’s what the chart will show: The Republican Party is dependent, to an extent unprecedented in recent political history, on a single ideological group. That group, of course, is conservatives. It isn’t a bad thing to be in favor with conservatives: by some definitions they make up about 40 percent of voters. But the terms ‘Republican’ and ‘conservative’ are growing closer and closer to being synonyms; fewer and fewer nonconservatives vote Republican, and fewer and fewer Republican voters are not conservative.
Read the whole story here: The New York Times
With Republicans majority, House loses its resolve for symbolic legislation – The Washington Post.
Something is off in the House of Representatives: It’s already July 4, and the House still has not yet registered its opinions on bald eagles, motherhood or the American flag.By last Independence Day, the House had already voted to approve Resolution 1409, which declared the bald eagle “an inspiring symbol.” It had approved Resolution 1295, saying that American mothers “have made immeasurable contributions.” Resolution 1429 affirmed that “the United States flag is universally honored.”
Bills such as these — whose only purpose is to commemorate, congratulate or celebrate — are the legislative equivalent of empty calories. And last year, the House was on a binge.
It passed more than 250, honoring everything from the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon at Penn State University.
Read the full story here: The Washington Post
N.C. Dems brace for GOP remap – Alex Isenstadt – POLITICO.com.
North Carolina Democrats largely survived the carnage of the midterms — eluding the fate that claimed many of their Southern colleagues.
But the redistricting nightmare they now face will be harder to escape.
With North Carolina Republicans slated to unveil a new congressional map this week, Democrats are bracing for a buzzsaw. Party officials sullenly concede that as many as three Democratic incumbents could be imperiled and that there is little they can do to stop it.
“I don’t think there will be anything subtle about it,” said Mike Davis, a longtime Democratic consultant in the state. “It will be more like a bulldozer.”
Read the full story here: Politico
Who won the Republican presidential debate? – Roger Simon – POLITICO.com.
Issues? Who can run the country? The language of democracy? Hey, that’s not what we are about. We are all about who won.
Here is who won – – and lost – – the first major Republican debate, which was broadcast by CNN from Manchester, N.H., on Monday night. It is guaranteed accurate to three decimal places.
Read the full story here: Politico
Michele Bachmann zeroes in Iowa – Kasie Hunt and Maggie Haberman – POLITICO.com.
The Des Moines Register poll released Saturday confirmed what the other GOP presidential campaigns already knew: In Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann is for real.
The congresswoman’s cool, dismissive response to an unmistakeably provocative question may have provided a clue that explains her rapid ascent from cable television culture warrior to contender: Far from being a one-dimensional character who can play only at the extremes and at high volume, Bachmann is a polished politician with more adaptability than she is given credit for.
Read the full story here: Politico
Michele Bachmann, others raise millions for political campaigns with ‘money blurts’ – The Washington Post.
In the ever-evolving world of campaign fundraising, some
politicians have stumbled on yet another way to bring in buckets of
cash. Let’s call it the “money blurt.”Here’s how it works: An up-and-coming politician blurts out
something incendiary, provocative or otherwise controversial. The remark
bounces around the blogs and talk shows and becomes a sensation.
And in the midst of it all, the politician’s fundraisers are manning the phones and raking in the donations.
Read the full article here.
War Against the Weak
The brutal Republican campaign to eliminate the collective rights of individuals and increase the collective rights of corporations.
By Eliot Spitzer
Three recent Republican efforts, each one critical to the conservative agenda:
1) the attempt by Republican governors to eliminate the right of public employees to bargain collectively;
the attempt to eliminate the consumer protection bureau created in the
Dodd-Frank financial services reform law—probably the most important
part of the law for ordinary investors;
3) the recent 5-4*
Supreme Court decision to limit the right to “class-arbitration” in
many circumstances—taking away the collective power of those whose
injuries are too small to be effectively remedied individually yet who,
together, might be able to stand up to much stronger institutions.
The unifying theme is an assault on the weak. The power of individuals,
each of us feeble in isolation, to act collectively and hence stand up
to the powerful is being eviscerated. Those who already begin behind are
finding the few legal protections afforded them under attack. A
critical element of the Republican agenda has become increasing the
legal power of those who already have power, and diminishing the power
of the weak.
Posted Monday, May 9, 2011, at 1:59 PM ET
Read the full article here:� Republican war against the weak: The brutal GOP campaign to eliminate the collective rights of individuals and increase the collective rights of corporations. – By Eliot Spitzer – Slate Magazine.