Here's the list:
Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
John Tierney (D-MA)
Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Mel Watt (D-NC)
John Adler (D-NJ)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
Frank Wolf (R-VA)
Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) celebrated his nomination to the top tier of 2010 Senate races by voting against the cap-and-trade bill on Friday. He voted his district, which is perfectly sensible: southern Louisiana is dependent on the energy industry for jobs. But I've decided that, as a progressive, I'm not prepared to give money in this cycle to candidates who are bound to disappoint me as soon as they get in office.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today on parents learning to text-message their kids in order to keep track of their multi-tasking kids:
A new story from the Politico accurately points out that the currently announced Republican retirements will push the party towards the right. However, it provides a platform for former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert to claim "You’ve got the Club for Growth, you’ve got MoveOn.org. What does that produce? Not much." In other words, the House is becoming more polarized between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, leading to stalemate.
Is Boehlert correct? Are MoveOn and the Club for Growth equally responsible for producing a Congress that can't get anything done?
My impression is that this is inaccurate but an easy frame for the media to adopt-- the "pox on both houses" argument that allows blame to descend on both parties. But I turned to one of my favorite websites, www.Voteview.com, to find some data to back up my suspicions.
Earlier this year, bloggers and legal experts were alarmed to discover that Vice President Cheney's office was using a unique legal theory to declare that since "the Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch," his office could somehow exempt itself from reporting its staff size and budget, among other things.
Now there are new concerns being raised about the role of such hybrid institutions in our nation's government.
The career of Dunn Lampton, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, may be an example of what a "loyal Bushie" is supposed to do with his office.
Two years ago, just after the 2004 elections, I wrote a diary
about where the Democratic Party should be looking for House districts that were most likely to swing from red to blue in 2006, spinning off of an analysis dividing the United States into 10 political regions published by an organization called MassINC. (Their original report is here
.) My main argument was that the Democratic Party was targeting districts in the wrong part of the country and ignoring much riper opportunities. I decided to revisit my analysis taking a look at where the battle for 2006 is fiercest.
Why should Congressmen be putting in the same amount of money into the Social Security system as people who make half their salaries?
This Washington Post article about a conference called "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," basically speaks for itself
The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators... Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.
Read more about death threats against a Supreme Court justice below...
Ever since a group called MassINC published a package called "Beyond Red and Blue: The 10 Regions of America" I've been obsessing over the role of geography in politics. "Beyond Red and Blue
" argued that rather than looking at the country in terms of "Blue" and "Red" it might make more sense to view the United States as encompassing ten regions of equal size (population-wise) but varying outlooks.
The regional breakdown is unconventional--for example, the "Upper Coasts" region includes not only the Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Portland, but also parts of New England.
In 2000, the study argues, the ten regions split down the middle, with Gore taking the five regions called "Upper Coasts," "Big River," "Northeast Corridor," "El Norte," and "Great Lakes," and Bush taking the others: "Sagebrush," "Farm Belt," "Appalachia," "Southern Lowlands," and "Southern Comfort." (I don't know enough about the Kerry data to say for certain, but I suspect Kerry won the same regions as Gore, though it's possible that "Big River" tipped to Bush.)
What does this have to do with winning House seats? Read on.
According to an article by Phillip Longman slated to appear
, Bush administration staffers are mulling proposals to enable privatization by raising the retirement age to 72:
FORTUNE has learned that a new reform idea is percolating within the Social Security Administration. Nothing's official, but the idea is so good that we're previewing it here to get some public discussion going.
The idea starts with the creation of Early Retirement Accounts... How would Social Security make up for the loss of revenue? Monthly Social Security benefits would remain what they are today, but the age at which future retirees qualified for them would be delayed. Today you can qualify for early, reduced benefits at age 62; that age would gradually increase to 68. The retirement age for full benefits would be pushed back from 65 to 72.
Paul Hewitt, the current head of the Social Security Administration's policy division, has been an advocate for raising retirement ages since the 1980s, when he helped start a conservative-funded organization called Americans for Generational Equity.
Juan Cole points out this article from the U.K.'s Telegraph, which features blind quotes from American intelligence officers in Iraq suggesting that al-Zarqawi (the prominent guest star in tonight's debate) may not be the terrorist kingpin everyone thinks he is:
We were basically paying up to $10,000 a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq," the agent said.
"Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable for the public to latch on to, and we got one."