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Diary of a Bad Year

Diary of a Bad Year

By J. M. Coetzee
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Tag: Midterms

Tom Perriello’s Political Experiment

Rep. Tom Perriello is this election’s test case of whether casting tough votes is better than ducking them, and whether a progressive who fashions an intelligent populism can survive in deeply conservative territory.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 READ MORE


The Cash Cow of Anonymity

How sweet and innocent they seem, these mysterious organizations with names like Americans for Job Security. Who could argue with that? Who wants job insecurity?

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 READ MORE


Health Care’s Second Wind

Despite the conventional wisdom, more and more Democrats are proudly campaigning on what the health care bill has achieved—and they should.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE


Democrats to Employ Man Who Played Obama During 2008 Campaign

According to preliminary plans, the guy who played Obama in 2008 will be used to fire up huge crowds in key races, while the actual President Obama will remain behind in Washington giving boring speeches about electronic medical records.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Real Democratic Whiners

“Democrats, just congenitally, tend to [see] the glass as half empty,” President Obama said last month during a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Connecticut home of a donor named (no joke) Rich Richman.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 READ MORE


Obama and the Progressive Paradox

A couple of hours before President Obama offered a boffo revival of his 2008 campaign persona during a boisterous rally at the University of Wisconsin, Sen. Bernie Sanders was analyzing why the president was in a political pickle in the first place.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 READ MORE


Ass

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Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Finds Lack of Enthusiasm ‘Irresponsible’

Rolling Stone has a fascinating, sprawling interview with President Obama, who sees the tea party as an amalgam, says Gen. Stanley McChrystal didn’t meet his standards, and defends his administration as “the most successful ... in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.” (continued)

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE


The GOP’s Achilles’ Region

It will be very hard for Republicans to take the House if they don’t break the Democrats’ power in the Northeast—and they still have to prove they can do that.

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE


Promises, Promises

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Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE


Return of the ‘Contract With America’

Why do John Boehner and his colleagues want to remind voters of their political descent from the likes of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, and the legacy of misconduct, fakery and error that they represent?

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE


The Party of Nonsense

The Republicans were doing pretty well for themselves as the Party of No. So why did they decide to rebrand themselves as the Party of Nonsense?

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE


Bewitched

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Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Michael Mulvey (CC-BY)

Democrats Celebrate Small Business Victory

After much fuss, congressional Democrats managed to push through a modest jobs bill that will have to do in the place of anything grander with which to campaign. The package of tax breaks and cash is directed toward small businesses, with the hope of creating employment.

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Tambako the Jaguar (CC-BY-ND)

‘A Pledge to America’

Republicans may not have any ideas, as the Democrats are fond of saying, but they do have plenty of momentum and, now, a pledge. Instead of a “Contract With America” it’s “A Pledge to America,” and, because we’re still taking baby steps here, the Republican leadership is not urging any Republicans to actually make the pledge. (continued)

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE


Sloppy Seconds

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Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE    


Tough Love for Obama

The Wal-Mart moms were pessimistic, bordering on despondent, about the state of the country, but they were also surprisingly understanding about the president’s plight.

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE



Gallup.com

Gonna Party Like It’s 1994

A new Gallup poll shows that American attitudes about the Republicans and Democrats are similar to attitudes in 1994, when the Democrats lost Congress. More Americans, Gallup claims, say they share Republican values and a Republican view of government. Americans feel that neither party, however, really understands their problems.

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

President Obama to the Whiny Left: ‘Wake Up’

President Obama apparently blames the enthusiasm gap—the lack of support from his dispirited base—on the unenthused. Speaking at a fundraiser, Obama said Democrats who are displeased with his watered down legislation need to “wake up.”

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 READ MORE


Let’s Party

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Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE


Master of the Palin Affect

Not to spoil the fun, but Democrats shouldn’t take the Republican Party’s bitter internal warfare—and the inexperienced, flaky candidates who’ve emerged from the fray—as any kind of reassurance about November.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Keith Allison (CC-BY-SA)

Will Big Tobacco’s Former Bagman Really Be the Next Speaker?

There is nothing fresh or surprising about Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the would-be speaker, a figure so closely associated with corporate special interests that he looks, sounds and behaves exactly like a lobbyist.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE


The Strange Death of Moderate Republicanism

After two decades in which moderates fled a party increasingly dominated by its right wing, the Republican primary electorate has been reduced to nothing but its right wing.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


Scary Primary Results

Partisan Democrats are delighted about Christine O’Donnell’s Republican primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle in the race for the open Delaware Senate seat. I’m despondent.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


Enthusiasm

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Posted on Sep 13, 2010 READ MORE


Axelrod on ‘Politically Toxic’ Health Care Reform

The president’s political guru defends health care reform, which appears to be the redheaded stepchild of American politics, and Obama’s handling of the economy.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Elise Amendola

Do Not Pity the Democrats

Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Jim Champion (CC-BY-SA)

Democrats Afraid of the D-Word

Judging by their television commercials, the Democrats aren’t too thrilled with their legislative accomplishments. A New York Times analysis of ads finds that Republican candidates bring up health care, for instance, more often than the opposition and some Democrats don’t even identify themselves by party.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Why Barack Is Behind

Among the very puzzling aspects of the midterm election—and the Democratic debacle that appears to be looming in November—is why voters would return the opposition to power only two years after the multiple disasters of the Bush administration.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

President Obama decided this week to raise the stakes in this fall’s election by making the choice about something instead of nothing but anger.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 READ MORE


The Primary Differences

Republicans are in the midst of an insurrection. Democrats are not. This vast gulf between the situations of the two parties explains the year’s primary results.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

What the House’s Top Republican and Progressive Bloggers Have in Common

House Minority Leader John Boehner is pinning the lackluster economy on a couple of easy targets: “President Obama should ask for—and accept—the resignations of the remaining members of his economic team, starting with Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council.”

Posted on Aug 24, 2010 READ MORE


Forget the ‘Party of No,’ Dems Need to Run Against Extremism

In an election, a solid “no” usually beats an uneasy “yes, but.” That’s the heart of the problem Democrats and President Obama face this fall.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 READ MORE


Empire’s New Clothes

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Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE    



reid.senate.gov

Harry Reid Opposes ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, under pressure from his tea party rival in Nevada’s Senate race, has released a statement saying he thinks “the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 READ MORE


Memorons

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Posted on Aug 11, 2010 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Grinches Who Stole Summer

Thanks to the defection of the two relatively enlightened Republican senators from Maine and the quick replacement of the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, unemployment checks that had been stalled for millions of American families since early June will soon resume. But for Republicans, it has been a defining issue that will haunt the party.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Socialist Who Coddles Business?

The titans of the private sector say President Obama is anti-business. Many progressives say he coddles business. How does the administration manage to pull that off?

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 READ MORE


Needing a Playbook, Not a Funk

The Democrats have shifted from sour lassitude into something resembling a sour frenzy, but that’s an improvement. They may still have time to stave off electoral disaster.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 READ MORE


A Change Election—in the Wrong Direction

The furious and frustrated electorate should be careful when they demand change in the upcoming midterm elections—because what they get may well be very different from what they actually want.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 READ MORE


Political Math and Political Passion

If the midterm elections were held now, Republicans would likely take control of the House of the Representatives. Democrats have to figure out a way to appeal to independent voters while simultaneously winning back their disenchanted base.

Posted on Jul 11, 2010 READ MORE


Democraps

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Posted on Jul 2, 2010 READ MORE    



World Economic Forum / Remy Steinegger

The Passionless Party

You know the Democrats have a problem when party insiders think John Kerry is too intense.

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE


How Obama Changed the Right

Barack Obama’s campaign promise of change did not include a pledge to transform American conservatism. But one of his presidency’s major legacies may be a revolution on the American right in which older, more secular forms of politics displace religious activism.

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Elephant at the Health Care Summit

This week will determine the shape of American politics for the next three years. No, that’s not one of those journalistic exaggerations intended to catch your attention, although I hope it did.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


Sweat Time for Hill Democrats

It’s not time for presidential panic, but lawmakers up for re-election could be in a different boat if Obama’s ratings stay in this slump.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE


Bush Breaks Bread With NAACP

Bush spoke to the NAACP?s annual convention for the first time during his presidency.  His speech drew both applause and silence as he addressed the group he has avoided for five years.

Posted on Jul 20, 2006 READ MORE


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