The award for the best campaign story of the day goes to a reporter who isn’t even on the election beat. Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times, has a must-read about America’s shrinking electoral battleground, and the toxic effects of a system where the vast majority of states are ignored during presidential campaigns. (snip) The scene Liptak leads the story with, Nixon campaigning in all 50 states, is all but unthinkable today. One reason, of course, is that many believe Nixon’s pledge to visit every state might have cost him the 1960 election
Depressing? I found it pointless. The overlooked fact is that states like California, New York, even Texas have made themselves irrelevant as campaign stops thru their lopsidedness. The Electoral College is working as designed, pushing the candidates to those unheralded places that matter, like Iowa, Ohio and Colorado...and Wisconsin, New Hampshire, even Florida. Those Founders were pretty bright guys.
While Washington, and the press, have been in an uproar over the government shutdown and the debt-limit negotiations, the debt itself has continued to climb. (Snip) The big lesson of the shutdown is that -- in a time when so-called "draconian cuts" usually refer to mere decreases in the rate of growth of spending on programs -- America was able to do without all the "non-essential" government workers just fine. (The same AP poll cited above says that 80% have felt no impact from the shutdown; a majority also oppose increasing the debt limit.) Turns out that most of those
Sir Elton John has honoured Hillary Clinton for her work to help those affected by HIV/AIDS, at an annual event for his foundation. She was excited as she accepted the first founders award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation last night in New York City. The former secretary of state told the crowd at Cipriani´s restaurant that "we still have so far to go" when it comes to helping those affected by HIV/AIDS. Billy Joel, Alec Baldwin and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also attended the black tie event. Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart performed a dozen
A sharp public backlash against the political logjam in Washington has pushed Republicans to moderate their hardline stance on the budget, raising hopes of a deal with the White House ahead next week’s deadline to approve new government borrowings. Senior Republicans were galvanised by an NBC/Wall St Journal poll showing the lowest ratings for the party since the survey started in 1989, prompting them to submit plans to jumpstart talks with Barack Obama and the Democrats. (Snip) Republican demands that Barack Obama cut funding for or delay his healthcare law – a deal-breaker for Democrats – now appear to be off
A Chicago restaurant has cooked up a controversial burger of the month for October, garnishing it with an unconsecrated communion wafer and a red wine reduction sauce. Kuma´s Corner, a foodie destination with just a few tables, names its hamburgers after heavy metal bands. For October, the restaurant chose to name the burger after the Swedish band Ghost. Members of the band dress in religious robes and wear skeleton face makeup. It´s in poor taste, said Jeff Young of New Orleans who runs the blog Catholic Foodie. (Snip) Luke Tobias, Kuma´s Corner director of operations,
A year ago, the post–Labor Day period was marked with rising prices at the pump thanks to a brutal hurricane season, among other factors. This year things are different, with prices remaining subdued even when concerns about strife in the Middle East dominate the news. (Snip) In fact, something unusual is happening that could cause gas prices to drop at a faster pace than normal for October and beyond. Among the many expected effects of the federal-government shutdown that began on Tuesday are a general slowdown in the economy and diminished demand for oil and gas. The price of oil
Q. I want to see if you can clear up a little confusion about your position on something. You’ve said you’re not going to negotiate the destruction of your healthcare plan, you’re not going to negotiate on the debt limit. Exactly what are you prepared to negotiate on,and when? A. I’m prepared to negotiate on anything. (snip) During the course of my presidency, I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican party. And have purposely kept my rhetoric down. I think I’m pretty well known for being a calm guy. Sometimes people think I’m too calm. And am I
If only we could find a couch big enough to fit the entire human species, we could talk through what within our minds is preventing us from acting more aggressively on global warming. Buried within fights over the science, economy, environment, extreme weather, politics, and lobbying is a debate about how psychological traits ingrained in the basic human condition are preventing people from supporting more action on global warming, despite the fact that most scientists agree it’s only going to get worse unless humankind makes a concerted effort to take major action soon. Indeed, a United Nations report released Friday confirms
They spent Sunday checking their bank balances. They talked with loved ones about which bills could be paid late. And they wondered whether working for the government was still a stable job. For federal workers across the country, it was an anxiety-ridden weekend as the government came closer to a partial shutdown at midnight Monday. The threat of an extended loss of pay is hitting a workforce already battered by a three-year wage freeze, months of furloughs forced by the budget cuts known as sequestration and a dimmed perception of government work among many Americans.
After a week or so of political whiplash, the country heard directly from President Obama as he tried to explain his policy. The speech was exceptionally revealing in the logical disconnect that plagues his policy: Chemical weapons use is beyond the pale and different than any weapon. We cannot let it go on. We have a national interest in acting. But I would ask Congress to hold off on voting for me to do anything. We’ll consider a deal to have Assad turn over his weapons. But remain in power. Several other disturbing inconsistencies were noteworthy. First, he talked about
Colorado Springs — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school. The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. (snip) Both defeats were painful for Democrats – Mr. Morse’s because he had been Senate president, and Ms. Giron’s because she represented a heavily Democratic, working-class
Well, well, well! Just look at who has been charged with money laundering, mail fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and other crimes involving Federal and Illinois grant money for health charities, job training and other programs. A few friends of our president, Barack Obama, that´s who. One of those charged is the daughter of Reverend "godamn America" Jeremiah Wright. Wright is the minister who united Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson in matrimony; the happy couple then attended his church for many years listening to Wright´s anti American sermons. (Snip) Oh, and all the accused are...Democrats. Coincidence? Not that this is
Fed up with having to pay $7,143 in school taxes for a district his children don’t attend, a Forks Township man paid that portion of his tax bill last week in single dollar bills. And it´s all on YouTube. Robert Fernandes, a father of three, moved to Forks Township a year ago from Warren County, seeking lower property taxes for a larger home that could also house his elderly parents. Fernandes commutes to work as an IT manager for a company in Bedminster Township, N.J., while his wife home-schools the children, ages 7, 4 and 1.
WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith. But away from the public eye, advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable. Every year on Aug. 4, the president´s birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the
The Affordable Care Act´s botched rollout has stunned its media cheering section, and it even seems to have surprised the law´s architects. The problems run much deeper than even critics expected, and whatever federal officials, White House aides and outside contractors are doing to fix them isn´t working. But who knows? Omerta is the word of the day as the Obama Administration withholds information from the public. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is even refusing to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a hearing this coming Thursday. HHS claims she has scheduling conflicts, but we hope
An unnamed Obama administration official claimed that the White House feared GOP subpoenas would slow their work on the Obamacare website, leading to keeping its design in-house with "trusted campaign tech experts" that seemed to have spectacularly failed at creating a successful commerce website. In a Politico article lamenting the second week of failed performance of Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare insurance website, the unnamed official attempts to explain why the whole thing has been such a dismal failure: it´s the Republican´s fault. "Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans," Politico wrote, "the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he might not be good at calculus, but he knows how to legislate. Reid told The Huffington Post that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is smart, but he can’t outmaneuver the 26-year veteran in the halls of Congress. “He might be able to work a calculus problem better than I can,” Reid said Thursday. “But he can´t legislate better than I can." Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are credited with brokering the deal that ended the government shutdown. Reid said the House’s decision to go along with a deal to end
Of all the bitter fruit of the Barack Obama disaster, the most bitter may be the sense of hopelessness that has descended on Americans, especially the young. Has there ever been anything like it in our history? Even on the eve of the Civil War, was there this much pessimism about our future? Gallup wasn’t around in those days, but I wonder. For a simple measure of how the Obama administration has crushed any sense of hopefulness in the American people, take a look at the survey that Rasmussen Reports does periodically on whether America’s best days are behind her,
Here’s a question for conservatives and Republicans: Going into the 2012 Election Day, or even in the last few days before Election Day, did you think Mitt Romney was going to win? A couple of months ago, did you think the strategy of threatening to shut down the government or prevent raising the debt ceiling, to force the outright repeal or defunding of Obamacare, would really work? Romney lost by 4,967,508 votes, 126 Electoral College votes, and 3.85 percentage points. That’s not very close. Obamacare isn’t going to be repealed this year, and it’s not going to be defunded. So the
In a statement delivered from the White House this morning, President Barack Obama said that now that Congress has enacted a continuing resolution to fund the government--that includes funding to implement Obamacare--he would like to negotiate with the House with the aim of enacting the immigration bill passed by the Senate earlier this year. The key provision in that Senate bill would allow illegal aliens currently in the United States to become legal residents here and get on a "path to citizenship." Critics of the "path to citizenship" call it an "amnesty" because it lets foreign nationals breaking U.S. law--including U.S. immigration
Watch out, Alan Grayson: you´ve got competition when it comes to uttering the ugliest slur on Tea Party Republicans . . . Sure, you´ve compared them to the Klan. But fellow Dem Steve Cohen has upped the ante. On Steve Kornacki´s MSNBC show this morning, Cohen called Tea Party congressmen: "domestic enemies" that he took an oath to defend the country against. Did Kornacki challenge Cohen´s libel? Hah! He merely observed that Cohen sounded "very pessimistic." View the video after the jump.Was Cohen´s calumny what President Obama had in mind when this past week he proclaimed that "there is no
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy doesn’t think the GOP’s “defund Obamacare” strategy turned out to be such a smart plan. “What did Republicans get for 16 days of a government shutdown with people being hurt? We have absolutely nothing to show for it, other than a damaged brand,” the tea party favorite told The Greenville News, noting that Republicans were ultimately forced to capitulate to the president. Gowdy said that the GOP ended up worse off after the 16-day shutdown than the party had been beforehand. “We had a government shutdown, we were at the precipice of hitting the debt ceiling and
The British multinational in charge of processing Obamacare paper applications received a hefty contract boost just days before Healthcare.gov’s disastrous roll-out, a sign that the Obama administration may have expected serious problems with the website.The Business of Federal Technology (FCW) reports that on Sept. 26, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increased their planned payout to Serco’s U.S. subsidiary by 75 percent, adding an extra $87 million to the $114 million promised for processing initial Obamacare enrollment applications.The contract documents do not explain the last-minute infusion of federal dollars, and neither Serco nor CMS would disclose why the
New York-Her body weak, her voice rich and strong, Maya Angelou sang, lectured and reminisced as she accepted a lifetime achievement award Thursday night from the Norman Mailer Center. The 85-year-old author, poet, dancer and actress was honored during a benefit gala at the New York Public Library, the annual gathering organized by the Mailer Center and writers colony . Seated in a wheelchair, she was a vivid presence in dark glasses and a sparkling black dress as she marveled that a girl from a segregated Arkansas village could grow up to become a literary star. "Imagine it," she said, "a
In early October 1969, during my first year as a grad student at Purdue, I attended an outdoor rally featuring prominent Weatherman Mark Rudd, the Beach Boy look-alike who achieved notoriety a year earlier during the takeover of Columbia University. Rudd was on his way to Chicago, two hours north on I-65, there to help guerrilla hottie Bernardine Dohrn and the then obscure Bill Ayers lead the Weather troops on a rampage through Chicago streets soon to be known as the "Days of Rage." That rampage would leave scores of police injured and one attorney paralyzed. Rudd was looking for recruits.