Posts Tagged: Politics

Countdown to the Last-Ever October Surprise

It's election season. It's October. According to the political-astrological calendar, this is very important: It's time for an October surprise. Juan Williams thinks the surprise will be war: To be clear, Republicans remain a slight favorite to win enough seats to claim the majority of the U.S. Senate. But the twists and turns of war have the capacity to create one legendary October political surprise.

He is using the conspiratorial definition of "October Surprise," as opposed to the literal surprise definition. War for votes. Bob Beckel, conspiracy theorist, agrees: "I think I know what it is, but it is going to shake things up…it’s going to have to [...]


"It’s Uber, but for Golden Parachutes"

The two-way path between government, politics, and private industry, densely shaded by lush money trees, is so well-worn it seems to have been carved by the finger of God, a well-known capitalist, long ago. And yet, fresh trade routes establish themselves all the time. David Plouffe, the man who successfully convinced a majority of the United States in 2008 that Barack Obama would change the country for the better, is now going to make the same argument for Uber, a service that seeks to deeply weave itself into the infrastructure of cities in order to make as much money as possible. Meanwhile, Kara Swisher notes, former Obama press [...]


Pity the Incoherent Youngs

Young people, it seems, "have totally incoherent political views" that "don't make any sense." How very Millennial.

For instance, "something interesting happens when Millennials start making serious dough. They start getting much more squeamish about giving it away." Like "69 percent think the government should guarantee health insurance… 55 percent are 'unwilling to pay more for health insurance in order to help provide coverage to the uninsured.'" Not at all like other, presumably older people.


Ladies Can Pretend To Be Outraged Too

You had to figure that when gender equality finally started to play itself out in the field of politics this is what it was gonna look like.


Our State Of The Union

The State of the Union is tonight, and so here are The Guardian's Ana Marie Cox and Huffington Post political writer Jason Linkins to judge America through the lens of the White House's Flickr feed and its tireless photographer, Pete Souza.

Ana Marie: FLICKR…so much to catch up on

Jason: A whole year of the second term! Plus, Pete Souza is now the guy all the White House correspondents hate! They are like "PROPAGANDA"! And I'm kind of like, "Scoop, if true! Not very good propaganda, if scoop."

Ana Marie: Except did you see in all the interviews, people are like, "Well, I've worked [...]


Do You Know Nina Turner?

Nina Turner is an Ohio state senator who is running for Ohio Secretary of State, because every state deserves a secretary who believes all eligible voters should be able to vote. Because, yes, in many states they are trying to whittle away non-Republican voters. She comes on at two minutes into this clip and she is on it.


Old White Man Sneaky

You would be forgiven for knowing or caring nothing about the race for Brooklyn District Attorney. However, surely you care about brutal, vicious takedowns, right? The short version is that a young challenger at last unseated the old white man who has been DA since 1989, who admitted defeat and agreed to stumble off. Until he apparently did an about-face, vowing to run as a Republican against his challenger. Here is a truly vicious fact-check on the campaign and it is hilarious. Also you know what goes over so big in Brooklyn? Old white men who are on the ballot as Republicans. Enjoy throwing that money down a well!


The Mathematics of Re-Calibration

An electorate reshaped by a growing presence of liberal millennials, minorities, and a secular, unmarried and educated white voting bloc will most likely force Republicans to recalibrate. … When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, white voters without a college degree made up 65 percent of the electorate; by 2012, that number had dropped to 36 percent.

The latter statistic is more complicated than it seems, in large part because more people than ever are getting college degrees—33.5 percent of people between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-nine had a bachelor's degree in 2012, versus 24.7 percent in 1995 versus 21.9 percent in 1975, according to [...]


Media Horrified By Mirror

On "fake" fly-by-night news sites as campaign tools: The NRCC's single-page sites are designed to appear to be a local news portal, with logos like "North County Update" or "Central Valley Update." The articles begin in the impartial voice of a political fact-checking site, hoping to lure in readers. "We'll take a look at her record and let you decide," starts one. Then they gradually morph into more biting language. At the very bottom, in a box, is the disclaimer that the NRCC paid for the site.

A perfect plan! And unassailable within its horrible context: The intent is to mislead, obviously, but that is true of literally every [...]


What Time Is 2016?

The science of eras in an imperfect one, but it is not an art: It is simply hard to practice, because its defining quality—time—is superior to all others. The beginning of a historical period can rarely be pinpointed until it has passed; the end is often forgotten before it is ever determined.

For example! Political experts have been struggling with a particularly difficult question since at least 2011: When is 2016? Irrelevant old-timers insist that 2016 cannot start until 2015, but nobody has paid much credence to such stubborn contrarianism since 1992, which began in 1989. Eager young hotshots, using a mixture of traditional and theoretical methods, have suggested that [...]


Shh, Nobody Move: The Republicans Are Sane Again!

The one surprise left to us in American politics is the rare appearance of good news—that really is a shock, the jewel at the bottom of Pandora's box (ἐλπίς, the spirit of Hope, ha ha). And a certain amount of good news has been wandering over the transom in recent weeks, courtesy of the Sanity Wing of the Republican party, of all places, which until late last year I had assumed to be an entirely theoretical phenomenon, like phlogiston.

Back in October, Daily Beast "conservative pundit" David Frum spoke out against the Tea Party in no uncertain terms, calling for "the rational caucus" of Republican congressional leaders to [...]


Party Urged To Focus On People With Active Pulses

"Advice for GOP: Look Beyond The 'Pre-Dead,' Remember Asian Voters"


Man Terrible

Isn't it a little weird that no one on either side of the aisle apologized for, you know, shutting down the government for 16 days?

— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) October 17, 2013

Hah, just saw @chucktodd made essentially same point I just did 3 hours before. Angry liberals ENGAGE

— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) October 17, 2013

I hereby retract my earlier tweet. Democrats were nothing short of heroic throughout this entire episode.

— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) October 17, 2013

The political bloggering class spent the night making sense of the shutdown, with mixed results for its dignity. Particularly in this instance.


From "Times," An Icy Shiv In The Heart Of Cruel, Racist Republican Policy

Did you read it yet? Did you? Go read it. It's one of those bold, declarative stories that needed to be lodged in both the consciousness right now and also in the longer historical record, so that we all know exactly what's going on.

"A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance…. Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, [...]


Local Ballet Enthusiast Explains Patronage

"One reason is that the left-wing Democrats highly enjoy calling me an evil Koch brother, and the contributions I make in these many areas are tremendously worthy. It sends a message to the political groups in this country that don't like the conservative Republican businessman."


Invisible Hand Left In Invisible Pocket

“Let’s say Ron Paul is Nirvana,” begins the first paragraph of a piece that wonders if the "Libertarian Moment" has finally arrived. "Our libertarian moment, in other words, might very well pass unexploited," begins the last paragraph of the same piece.


History Will Forgive Kim Kardashian

Death jostled our usual holiday traditions, so my family spent last Thanksgiving with friends in Hastings-on-Hudson. I was seated at the kids’ table, millennials edition, which naturally meant an hour-long tangle of a conversation about Kanye West. I announced that I think of Kanye as a musical genius, but added that he struck me as something of a megalomaniac, given his remark to the Times, “I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus." The young man sitting beside me, lanky and exquisite and recently out of Middlebury, took umbrage. Kanye, he insisted, spoke publicly about feeling barred from the highest level of our cultural [...]


That Guy From That Thing Running For A Seat In That Place

"Representative Renee Ellmers, who ran as a Tea Party candidate in 2010 and barely squeaked into office, has dismissed [Clay] Aiken as unable to win “Idol” and thus ill-equipped to unseat her. Mr. Aiken suggests that his humble beginnings and time working with children with autism best qualifies him for a seat in the House." —Sick burn, Clay Aiken! Also, Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina's Second District. Let's all try to live our lives as normally as possible for as long as we have left.


Guess Which Homo Is Going To See "Ender's Game" Tomorrow?

Spoiler, it's me. I am going.

The Ender's Game boycott movement has chugged along in its way. God bless! Yes, author Orson Scott Card is a hilariously foolish man, it's really quite ridiculous his views on the gays. (And other things!)

But you don't have to come out in favor of blacklists and HUAC to skip this boycott, which, somehow, this Cato Institute creepo David Bernstein fellow did, with all sorts of sneaky rhetorical tricks, like by equating a boycott with a blacklist. Apparently a boycott is like unconstitutional or something because it injures people, which, LOL, then what is capitalism? (He then prattles on about the oppression [...]


Eat It, Portland! New York City's Going Far Left—Starting With Immigrant Voting Rights

New Yorkers, you might have surprised yourselves. This fall you've voted in one of the most liberal governments to City Hall of… maybe ever. Along with Bill de Blasio, primary voters also put forward a city council far more liberal than it already is. Every sitting member of City Hall’s Progressive Caucus (formed just three years ago) got re-elected, including Letitia James, who won the nomination for Public Advocate. Six out of the seven new candidates endorsed by the caucus won their primaries: Costa Constantinides in Astoria, Ben Kallos in the Upper East Side, Mark Levine in Upper Manhattan, Daneek Miller in Southeast Queens, former ACORN organizer Antonio Reynoso in [...]