Truckin’ to Treason: The Hot Air of Secession

By: Saturday November 24, 2012 6:40 pm

A white Ford F-250 pick-up rumbled through town, a Confederate rebel flag on a pole behind the cab; on the rear bumper were a pro-life and three Anti-Obama stickers, two of which could not be revealed in a family newspaper.

It wasn’t a lone wolf protest; several cars, trucks, and homes in the area sport similar flags and messages.

 

The Theft of Voting Rights in Arizona

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 2:53 pm

What’s happening in Arizona right now, relatively under the radar in the traditional media (with a few notable exceptions), approaches the kind of thing you’d expect out of a banana republic. The short version is that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio didn’t want to lose re-election, so he and his colleagues tried to make sure that nobody of the Latino persuasion would be allowed to vote. And they used a variety of tactics to ensure that result. That’s pretty much what’s going on.

The Electoral-Industrial Complex: Fortunes Made by Consultants on Campaign Spending

By: Monday November 12, 2012 1:35 pm

When the information on just how lucrative our elections are for the ad placement agents and strategists who manage them, I suspect this anger will go through the roof. And it should, on both sides. If the arms race continues to bulk up, we may have to add “electoral” to the familiar line about the military-industrial complex.

Schumer, Graham Restart Immigration Reform Talks

By: Monday November 12, 2012 6:50 am

Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham have restarted talks on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Schumer and Graham first teamed up on the matter in 2009, but Graham split off shortly thereafter, when Harry Reid wanted to prioritize the bill. He thought this undermined a separate piece of bipartisan legislation on climate change, and so he dropped his support of both efforts. This bit of history shows how tenuous working with Graham can be.

But it’s a new year, and the hissy fits have been subdued, and Graham is on the case.

Under-the-Radar State, County, and City Races That Produced Surprising Results

By: Saturday November 10, 2012 1:00 pm

On Tuesday, high-profile political coverage in the national media was mainly focused on the US presidential election, some Senate and House races, and a few state ballot measures. Yet there were a seemingly endless number of smaller, less-publicized elections for city- and state-level positions, votes on state initiatives that flew under the radar, and city and county decisions that were only covered in local news.

In Candid Moment of Acceptance Speech, Obama Vows Voting Reform

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 7:00 pm

When people can vote, liberals win. I think that’s one of the major takeaways of the night. Take a look at the historic victories for marijuana legalization, a blow against thirty years of the war on drugs. The measure passed in Washington and Colorado. What’s the unifying thread? Washington is 100% vote-by-mail, and Colorado has enough vote-by-mail and early voting options that 80% of the electorate voted before Election Day. Marriage equality and LGBT rights got validated at the ballot box for the first time ever in four states. What’s the unifying thread? Maine and Minnesota have Election Day registration. Washington, as noted before, is 100% vote by mail. Maryland has ample early voting. Expanding the voter universe with online voter registration completely changed the political landscape in California.

The House in 2012: Dark Money Still Works at the District Level

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 12:50 pm

The more important point is that dark money does work. It works in the House. SuperPACs and independent expenditure groups wasted historic amounts of money running into a demographic brick wall at the national level. Even at the statewide level, Democrats could withstand the attacks. But in the House, late money that poured into a discrete number of seats had a real impact. Winnable seats turned sour, even in places where Democrats did well.

The Electorate is Diverse; We Need a Policy Framework to Match That

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 11:35 am

It’s pretty obvious that what set President Obama to a re-election victory begins and ends with a new electorate. Obama won less of the white vote than Michael Dukakis. He still won the election, because America looks different than it did in 1988.

Senate Dems Can Wait for Stronger Caucus to Deal With Fiscal Issues

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 6:55 am

President Obama’s re-election win last night was so scrutinized and double-scrutinized, I doubt I have anything to say about it that’s new. But the Senate races, where if the current standings hold Democrats will have won 25 of the 33 seats up for grabs last night, and expanded their majority to 55 (on the assumption that Angus King caucuses with them), deserves to be looked at more. Because it’s not just a partisan victory for Democrats, but an ideological one.

Was All That Campaign Money Ineffective?

By: Tuesday November 6, 2012 12:30 pm

One big question in the aftermath of this election will be whether the power of big money will be seen as impotent. We’ve heard these stories of SuperPAC money migrating into safe red and blue states at the end of the election because there was literally no time left on the air in the swing states. Billions – yes, billions – of dollars were spent on TV advertising, with no discernible impact.

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