For all you political junkies, this is the type of news that will brighten up your day. Charlie Cook has finally revised his partisan rating index for House districts to reflect the new congressional districts post-redistricting. The index factors in the average vote totals for the Republican and Democrat presidential nominees during the past two election cycles in each district and compares them against the national average. (snip) The Cook Report concludes: If both parties hold all their “strong” districts, Democrats would now need to win 73 percent of all “swing” districts to achieve a majority
Comments: Good luck with that, dems.
FTA: Unfortunately for Democrats, this year's index tells a dire story of what can happen when a party suffers an ugly election cycle right before redistricting. Democrats couldn’t have picked a worse year to than 2010 to get clobbered: they lost not only 63 House seats but also more than 680 state legislative seats – empowering Republicans to draw ten-year maps in four times as many districts as Democrats.
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Playing Skyler White on the television show “Breaking Bad” for the past five seasons has been one of the most rewarding creative journeys I’ve embarked on as an actor. But the role has also taken me on another kind of journey — one I never would have imagined. My character, to judge from the popularity of Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women. As the hatred of Skyler blurred into loathing for me as a person, I saw glimpses of an anger that, at
A large banner hangs from the front of the stadium-size building that houses the world´s most powerful array of lasers: "Bringing Star Power To Earth." For the past four years, physicists at the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, in Livermore, California, have been trying to harness nuclear fusion, the same reaction that powers the sun and the stars. Supporters of the $3.5 billion facility believe that a successful outcome to the experiments could help usher in an era of nearly limitless energy. But the ambitious fusion research program at NIF now faces an uncertain future, both politically and scientifically.
A week after George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin, the backlash continues, with nationwide protests and calls to boycott Florida. President Obama spoke some undeniable truths when he noted that the African-American community’s reaction must be seen in the context of a long, terrible history of racism. But there is another context too: that of an ideology-based, media-driven false narrative that has distorted a tragedy into a racist outrage. This narrative has transformed Zimmerman, a man of racially mixed heritage that included white, Hispanic and black roots
Last night, the Obama administration announced that it would delay the “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses of 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or face a penalty. The reason for the delay, as Sarah Kliff reports for The Post, is that the administration has heard “significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.” As far as policy is concerned, this isn’t a huge blow to the ACA. “The employer mandate is both weaker and less important than most people realize,” writes Jonathan Cohn for the New Republic.
Global warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. Nate Cohn of the New Republic reports: "Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections".
It was the first time in recent memory that the Iowa GOP Lincoln Day Dinner sold out nearly two weeks in advance, and it was on the strength of its headliner, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (snip) "They say the Federal Reserve has been robbed. And we said, really?!” Paul said, his voice nearly cracking in mock disbelief. “They said, ‘Yeah, but we caught the thieves. They got in front of the safe, they had the big safe open, but they were perplexed. They were flummoxed. They didn’t know what to do with minus sixteen trillion dollars!’ ”
Just get on a bike. It works. It really does. It doesn´t matter if you´re exhausted by the bike debate, or the alleged bike debate, or whatever this supposedly acid conflict should be called, because I´m pretty sure bikes are nowhere near as divisive as they are sometimes portrayed. I don´t know anyone who would identify themselves as ´anti-bike.´ I don´t actually know what ´anti-bike´ means. It sounds more miserable than being ´anti-beer.´ Anti-bike? Really? I believe there are some worthy issues about the growing role of the bicycle in daily lives,
Keith Olbermann, the talented but difficult talk show host, has had a rather checkered resume. ESPN. Fox Sports. MSNBC. Current TV. His departures have generally been unpretty, including his last gig with Al Gore´s network (soon to become Al-Jazeera). But he has found new employment at Turner Broadcasting. And it´s not CNN. Rather, he´s joining TBS as a studio host for its baseball coverage during the post season with Hall of Famer pitcher Dennis Eckersley. In other words, he´s going back to his roots as a sports guy.
In a bizarre op-ed in The Charleston Gazette last week, journalism professor Christopher Swindell argued that the National Rifle Association “advocates armed rebellion against the duly elected government of the United States of America.” Stirring words, to be sure, but Swindell was hardly done — not even close. He also said that the NRA is guilty of “treason” “worthy of the firing squad.” “To support the new NRA president’s agenda of arming the populace for confrontation with the government is bloody treason,” Swindell charged in his wacky essay.
A Mars rock that bears a passing resemblance to a rodent is scuttling across the Internet with gusto, even inspiring some fans to set up a Twitter account in its name. UFO buffs spotted the purported "Mars rat" in a panoramic photo snapped in September 2012 by NASA´s Curiosity rover. Zooming in on a portion of the image reveals what appears to be a rodent crouching between two rocks, its nose to the ground. "It´s a cute rodent on Mars. Note its lighter-color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach,"
In an email to LAObserved.com, our erstwhile antagonist Cynthia Rawitch responded yesterday to our Friday reminiscence of our long-ago college free-speech dispute. Here are her comments in their entirety: Writing more than 7,000 words about an event that took place in college nearly 25 years ago seems to represent a level of obsession that I can´t understand. James leaves out a number of salient facts because they don´t fit the narrative he recalls.
The vice provost of California State University, Northridge, retires today. Ordinarily that would be unworthy of a national newspaper´s notice, but Cynthia Rawitch was a formative figure in your humble columnist´s professional and intellectual development. (snip) Her time as publisher was busy and marked with a lawsuit regarding free speech. Former student James Taranto, now editor of OpinionJournal.com and a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, sued for being suspended after he printed a cartoon on the paper´s opinion page.
Faces of Evil - that was the headline of the Australian Herald Sun when reporting the depraved murder of Aussie Christopher Lane. It is instructive to carry that theme further with a few more faces. (snip)There is an explosion of black mob violence. If you doubt that, read "White Girl Bleed A Lot" by Colin Flaherty. Across the country, degenerate people are violently attacking strangers in "the knockout game" ... just for ´fun´. Flash mobs swarm stores to plunder and pillage. They are eliminating the government middle-man and taking what they want directly.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Thousands of sick and dying Syrians had flooded the hospitals in the Damascus suburbs before dawn, hours after the first rockets landed, their bodies convulsing and mouths foaming. Their vision was blurry and many could not breathe. Overwhelmed doctors worked frantically, jabbing their patients with injections of their only antidote, atropine, hoping to beat back the assault on the nervous system waged by suspected chemical agents. In just a few hours, as the patients poured in, the atropine ran out. To avoid contamination, medics stripped new arrivals down to their underwear and doused them with water before taking
On This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning, Cokie Roberts attacked the GOP’s recent slew of legislation increasing voting restrictions as “downright evil,” and argued that it threatened to undue the progress made since the civil rights movement. “Having grown up in the deep south in the era of Jim Crow, the difference is dramatic,” Roberts said. “The fact that Andy Young was Mayor of Atlanta and John Lewis is a member of Congress from Georgia, is a great testament to the fact that when you do something like pass a voting rights bill, that it makes a difference.
"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." — President Obama, Aug. 11, 2009 So said President Obama again and again through 2009 and 2010 as he sold Obamacare to the country. He promised. He put his personal integrity on the line. His word. How many UPS employees voted for the president in 2008 and again in 2012? Because on Friday, UPS announced it was dumping 15,000 spouses of UPS employees from their UPS health plans despite the president´s many, many promises to the contrary.
After years of U.S. ?inaction and denial, Secretary of State John Kerry is now leading the Obama administration’s charge against Syria but faces a ?political minefield, including opposition from voters and potential GOP presidential contenders. Kerry’s ominous words could mean a military strike soon against Syria, a risky gamble because most Americans appear opposed to another U.S. intervention, while many Republicans are likely to seize on the issue to portray Kerry and Obama as weak and slow-footed in dealing with President Bashar Assad. Whatever the president decides to do, he will be pilloried by his opponents and even some liberal
There they crouch. The words "cat" and "courage" lurking in the same sentence. As an American man, I understand how I´m supposed to react. "Cats?" I should object. "Give me a good mud-loving hound any day." Despising felines—or pretending to—is a sex-role rule for us males as powerful as pulling on pants. Buddies of mine complain on and on about the fact that cats don´t "come when called." Some friends insist that they´re arrogant—measurably more so than we men. Above all, there is the threatening realization that women obviously seem to enjoy cats to emotional and cerebral depths that we guys don´t
The 88-year-old World War II veteran who was randomly beaten to death Wednesday likely died because he tried to fend off his attackers. Two teenage boys are charged in the bloody beating of Delbert Belton outside a Spokane, Washington ice skating rink and investigators are now suggesting the soldier—who took a bullet in the Battle of Okinawa—tried to stop the apparent robbery. Police say that enraged the teens and turned their petty theft into full-blown murder as they continued to beat him into submission with ‘big, heavy flashlights.’ ‘Our information is that the individual fought back and that may have made this, you
ANDERSON - Anderson Police have made an arrest in the rape of a 93-year-old woman in July. Police held a news conference Monday afternoon to announce charges against the 17-year-old. Joel Sandefur with Anderson Police confirmed Friday that a juvenile was in custody at the Madison County Juvenile Center on an unrelated charge. Iquise Vernell Taylor, 17, will be charged as an adult in the crime. The victim´s family says they hope they can be an inspiration to other victims and their families. They also praised the police department for their work. "I didn´t think it would be this soon,"
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Monday night she wants the minimum wage increased to $10, a nearly $3 boost from its current level of $7.25. “I think about $10. I think that would be right,” Boxer said in an appearance on MSNBC´s "The Ed Show." Boxer said that a boost to the minimum wage would “make a huge difference.” “People are struggling,” she said. “The difference between the very wealthy and the working poor has grown.” Boxer also said an increase in the minimum wage would advance the core causes of the Obama presidency. “We raise that minimum wage, and
Many years ago, I was a member of a committee that was recommending to whom grant money should be awarded. Since I knew one of the applicants, I asked if this meant that I should recuse myself from voting on his application. "No," the chairman said. "I know him too -- and he is one of the truly great phonies of our time." The man was indeed a very talented phony. He could convince almost anybody of almost anything -- provided that they were not already knowledgeable about the subject. He had once spoken to me very authoritatively about Marxian economics,
A South Carolina man and several of his friends say they were refused service at a Wild Wing Cafe in Charleston last month and asked to leave. The reason: Michael Brown and his group of 24 friends and family members are African-American, and a another customer--a white woman--complained that she felt threatened by the group. That´s according to Brown, who was celebrating his cousin´s last day in Charleston with a night out at the Wild Wing Cafe. Brown took his beef to social media, and the story went viral. The apparent race-based snub came after Brown and his group waited
The much ballyhooed efforts to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in Florida have suffered an ignominious and well-deserved death. An enormous and bi-partisan majority of Florida legislators —72%– this week overwhelmingly declined to hold a special session for the purpose of even debating the repeal of SYG. In the aftermath of the Zimmerman acquittal (Zimmerman Verdict Reached: NOT GUILTY) there was an inevitable outcry from certain quarters for the repeal of Stand-Your-Ground laws, as well as threats to boycott Florida unless the state repeals SYG (ironically, and tellingly, such boycott threats often come from out-of-state politicians seemingly unaware that their