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Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir
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Daily Kos Elections is pleased to introduce a brand-new approach to mapping America's congressional districts. Months in the making, and inspired in part by the Guardian's U.K. election results map, our map aims to provide a much clearer way to visualize election results, demographic data, congressional roll calls, and much more for the entire House of Representatives.

Our map's key feature is that all 435 congressional districts are shown in equal size, represented by five hexagons each. That allows us to preserve each state's shape in rough but identifiable form, and to also place each state in its approximate geographic location, relative to its neighbors.

You can expect to see this map regularly on Daily Kos Elections, so head below the fold to learn more about why we created it, and how everyone can use it.

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Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee uncaps his pen as he signs the Marriage Equality Act into law at the State House in Providence, Rhode Island, May 2, 2013. Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. REUTERS/
The Democratic side of 2016's run for the presidency has a new official entree—I mean, entrant. Say hello (again) to former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican turned Democrat, and whatever else you might think of him he at least is promising to add a bit of what the hell were you all thinking to the would-be presidential landscape.
He has said he would focus a presidential campaign on growing the middle class by raising the minimum wage and supporting social programs such as Head Start. He has also indicated he will target primary frontrunner Hillary Clinton on her vote to authorize the Iraq War when they both served in the Senate. The vote, which hurt Clinton in her 2008 bid, raises questions about her judgment, Chafee has said.

“I don't think anybody should be president of the United States that made that mistake,” Chafee told the Washington Post in April. “It's a huge mistake, and we live with broad, broad ramifications today—of instability not only in the Middle East but far beyond and the loss of American credibility. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Chafee was the only then-Republican senator to vote against authorizing the Iraq War, so he has bona fides there. Otherwise, he has his work cut out for him in a Democratic primary. He's currently polling at about one percent.
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Republican presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) waits to speak at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire April 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX19U83
There's trouble ahead for Rubio back home.
Here's a bit of irony—the place in the country that has the most Obamacare enrollees and stands to lose the most if the Supreme Court rules against subsidies is the stomping grounds of two Republican candidates for president. Both of those candidates, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, want to repeal Obamacare. The place is Hialeah, Florida, a primarily Cuban-American town just 10 miles from Miami, where more than "52,000 people signed up in the five zip codes that make up most of Hialeah—15,000 in one zip code alone, the top enrollment zip code in the country."

Florida has the highest Obamacare enrollments of any state—1.4 million, and an amazing 93 percent of them have tax subsidies to help pay for it. For them, health insurance is a great thing and not a political issue.

Ariel Quintana, a 22-year-old Cuban-American, is one of the Hialeah residents who was happy to sign up. He likes the financial and health security. Plus the price was right—$83 for him, with an approximately $150 subsidy, per month.

But Quintana, who said he didn't know anything about the Supreme Court case that could end his subsidy as soon as this summer, said he would likely drop his coverage if he had to pay for it all himself. ...

Maria Azqueta, a 52-year-old Miami resident who works at Citrus Health Network in Hialeah, said most people have separated the politics of the law from the insurance it provides.

"I hope, I think, that outside of the political side of things, this idea of health care for everyone is a good idea. ... It seems to me like a good idea for people who work as well as people who don't work, because we all have the right in a country this free with rights [that] everyone has a right to access to health care."

Azqueta's representatives—state and federal—don't agree. That's why the state hasn't expanded Medicaid under the law, and politics is why the health insurance of these 1.4 million state residents is under threat. Thus far, Rubio and Bush and Gov. Rick Scott and all those Republican legislators in Florida have been able to ignore the Quintanas and Azquetas and all the others who now have health insurance because of this law. They've insisted on making this is a purely ideological issue. Consider Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, the Republican who represents part of Hialeah, but still calls Obamacare a "disastrous" law and wants it to fall. Here he is representing the congressional district with the most enrollees of all, and he calls it a disaster.

Disaster is what he's going to see if the Supreme Court takes insurance away from so many of his constituents. Because his House colleagues don't have a plan to fix it, and the ideas they do have so far would just make the problem worse.

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Last known photo of Tamir Rice before he was killed by Cleveland PD. Taken just a few weeks before his murder.
Last known photo of Tamir Rice, taken just a month before he was killed
Shot and killed nearly seven months ago by Officer Timothy Loehmann of the Cleveland Police Department, the case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice may be turned over for review to the Cuyahoga county prosecutor as soon as today, according to Fox 8 in Cleveland.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office, Joe Frolic, stated, "When we get it, we will review the evidence. We may ask for additional investigation, we may bring in experts. We did both with the stop and shoot case. Then we will present the evidence to the grand jury."

The Cleveland Police Department initially led the investigation for months, then passed it on to the Cuyahoga Sheriff's Office in January.

This family deserves justice, not further delays.

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George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, 2006.
The Hawkeye State isn't afraid of either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton taking a significant role in advising Jeb or Hillary, apparently. From a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll:
Fifty-seven percent of likely Republican caucus-goers in a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll said that it would be “mostly good” for Jeb Bush's presidency if he were to tap his older brother, George, as a close adviser. Thirty-three percent said such an arrangement would be “mostly bad” for Jeb Bush's presidency.

As for Hillary Clinton, a whopping 83 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers approved of the idea of her using her husband, Bill, as a close adviser, while just 9 percent said doing so was a “mostly bad” suggestion for her presidency. 

Um, yeah, the 83 percent isn't entirely surprising—Bill Clinton wasn't perfect but the country mostly thrived under his leadership even if some of his policies (particularly the economic ones) had consequences down the road.

But 57 percent for W. is startling. Like some sort of total amnesia.

Poll respondent Sarah Rynearson, an independent who plans to caucus with Republicans, is similarly at ease with the idea of Bush being advised by his brother.  

“I think it would be a great idea, because I think his brother was a great president,” said Rynearson, 36, who delivers meals to the elderly in Waterloo, Iowa.

 

Goodness, Iowa.

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A demonstrator in favor of the Affordable Care Act walks with a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington March 4, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh a second major case, King v. Burwell, targeting President Barack Obama's healthcare law on We
Texas stands to lose $205,586,498 in tax credits to its citizens with Obamacare policies, if the Supreme Court rules that the law doesn't authorize those subsidies, because Texas uses the federal insurance exchange. That's 832,334 people, by the way, at risk at losing their subsidies in Texas. In Florida, it's $389,407,704 going to a whopping 1,324,516 people. Those two states represent nearly a third of the nation's population that's at risk of losing subsidies, according to new state-by-state analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kaiser predicts a lower total number of people at risk in the nation—6,387,789—than an estimate from the Urban Institute that puts the total at over 8 million. The Urban Institute says that the total loss would be "$28.8 billion in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions in 2016 ($340 billion over 10 years) for 9.3 million people." Kaiser says that the amount lost in one year would be $1,737,476,989, and that premiums would increase by an average of 287 percent. If you live in Mississippi, your premiums would increase by 650 percent—the highest increase—and if you're in Arizona, you're in luck because your increase will only be 132 percent.

But when all this hits—if it hits because the court might very well rule for the government—will all those millions of people know what happened? Another survey from Kaiser suggests not.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Policy News Index, which tracks how closely the public follows health stories in the news, found that 59% of Americans have not been paying much or any attention to news stories about the case, and only 16% have been following very closely. That means that when the verdict comes the media's first job will be to explain what the case was about.
If we're counting on the traditional media to handle all that, I think we're out of luck. If we're counting on the traditional media to explain how the case came about and who's really to blame—well, they'll be a lot more interested in that story, but don't count on them to get that one right, either. So we'll have at least 6.4 million people in 34 states who will all of the sudden be in jeopardy of losing their health insurance and more than half of them will have no idea why. But they'll be mad as hell.
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Reposted from Comics by Barbara Morrill

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Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer
West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole
West Virginia Senate President and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole
Leading Off:

WV-Gov: On Tuesday, state Senate President Bill Cole became the first credible Republican to enter the race to succeed termed-out Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin. Cole may not have the field to himself though. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has been flirting with a bid for months, and he reaffirmed that he's still interested even if he'll need to get past Cole.

Things are also unsettled on the Democratic side. Billionaire Jim Justice currently has the primary to himself but state Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler has filed pre-candidacy papers, while U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin hasn't ruled anything out. Neither party can take anything for granted next year: West Virginia is a conservative state where the GOP is on the upswing, but Team Blue is still strong in state-level contests.

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Teamsters join other foes of fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty in presenting a petition to Sen. Ron Wyden, who is a key backer of TPP.
Congress is back from Memorial Day recess—and will vote very shortly on whether to pass fast-track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade deals. Speaker Boehner & Paul Ryan are whipping House Republicans to get behind it, while the White House is hoping to lure just enough Democratic votes to eke it through. But railroading a corporate trade deal that we aren’t allowed to read is bad politics and terrible policy, and Daily Kos is determined to help defeat it.

With Congress back in town—and the GOP leadership prepared to bring it to the floor once they have the votes—it is on us to make sure enough members hold the line and oppose it. On June 3, Daily Kos is teaming up with CREDO, MoveOn, Democracy for America, PCCC, SumOfUs and Fight for the Future to generate a wave of constituent phone calls—regardless of party.

What’s really exciting is how many more House Democrats are coming out against Fast Track as the day progresses. Less than two hours after we sent initial versions of our e-mails, The Hill reported that six more Democrats had come out against it. We hope to keep this going.

Please check here to see if your House member has taken a position on Fast Track. Then, call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and leave a message with their office.

If your House Democrat is a confirmed “no,” please keep in mind that they are under a lot of pressure right now from the White House to buckle and could use some positive vibes:

As one of your constituents, thank you for your opposition to fast-track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I am counting on you to vote “no” when it gets to the floor.
If your House Democrat is planning to vote for Fast Track, is openly undecided or we simply lack information, we really need you to call them and leave them the following message:
As a constituent, I expect you to represent me—and as a Democrat, I am counting on you to to do the right thing. Please vote “no” on fast track as it comes to the House floor. It is wrong to ram through a secret corporate trade deal that will undermine basic worker protections.
And if your member of Congress is a Republican, we can really use our help too. Please call them, remind them that you vote in their district, and leave a message like this:
I live in your district, and expect you to do the right thing and vote “no” on fast track. I will remember how you vote on this come election time.
It’s been fun keeping track of how many House members are moving into the “no” column, and it’s because of concerted efforts from people like you. So, please keep the calls coming!
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Loretta Lynch testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2015
My To-Do List

Check messages
Pilates
Breakfast
Read papers
Meetings

Launch probe of Baltimore PD civil rights abuses
Indict former House Speaker for banking fraud, lying to FBI
Indict FIFA underlings
Force FIFA President Sepp Blatter to resign

Lunch

Indict George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes

Meetings

Indict Wall Street banksters for destroying the economy

Home for dinner

Well…I can dream, can't I?

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Poll

If Lindsey Graham becomes president, will he get us all killed in a fiery nuclear conflict that sends giant chunks of the planet hurtling off on a collision course with other planets and ends up destroying our galaxy?

56%1971 votes
32%1125 votes
2%81 votes
3%128 votes
4%168 votes

| 3473 votes | Vote | Results

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Greg Dworkin gets us caught up with all the latest 2016 polling, from the tricky Iowa caucuses to the national picture. What people say they want versus who they'll vote for. The latest polling averages and CrowdPAC scores. Armando joins the discussion of the many, many issues wrapped up in the FBI's use of surveillance aircraft, and puts us on King v. Burwell watch. What will the decision be? When will it come? How will Congress and/or the presidential candidates react? And are we ready?

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

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Elias Isquith:

For the Republican Party in general, politically speaking, [the improving economy] was inconvenient — but not a disaster. Just as nature seeks to fill a vacuum, whichever party is not in control of the White House seeks to attack the president where he’s weakest. For Obama’s first term, that area was the economy; for his second term, it’s been foreign affairs. And since the GOP of the post-9/11 years has been much more effective at coming up with reasons to kill Muslim people than it has at fiscal stewardship, moving back to attacking Dems for being soft on terror was in many regards more comfortable, anyway.

For Paul, though, the story has been different. Because if a Rand Paul presidential campaign was going to be a real thing in a way his dad’s campaigns never were, it would require a political environment with “small government” issues front-and-center and “national security” issues pushed-off to the side. It’d require a GOP primary environment in which the name John Galt was much more resonant than, say, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Paul was never going to persuade the entire GOP caucus to become non-interventionist, of course. But he needed at least some of them to feel like domestic policy was so much more important that some foreign policy heresy could be accepted.

Well, that didn't happen. And it's not going to happen. So forget those "Rand comes closest to Clinton" polls. Rand won't be the nominee. And, btw, his supporters are the ones that don't always turn up to vote.

ABC:

The latest Republican presidential candidate to enter the race, war hawk Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recently had harsh words for fellow senator and GOP primary opponent Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., over the NSA domestic surveillance program.

Still, if it came down to it, Graham says he would pick Paul over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the two faced off in the general election come 2016.

“Well, when I came out of my coma, I would support Rand Paul,“ Graham told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “GMA” this morning. “I mean, it would be devastating, I think, for our party to nominate Rand Paul as our nominee on national security, in particular. But if he wins the primary process, I will support him.”

Graham represents a segment of the Republican party that (despite the noise they make) is more comfortable with Hillary than Rand in the WH. Fancy that.
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