Monthly Archives: May 2012

Illinois Rep Mad As Hell, Not Gonna Take It Anymore

Rest easy, fellow Illoiniansians, for Representative Mike Bost is here to stand up for you and the fleeting Democracy you deserve. After the Speaker of the Illinois House called a bill on teachers’ pensions for debate just hours after it had passed out of committee, and before Bost and others had a chance to read it—dick move, to be sure—Bost went on to reenact the climactic speech from every political / courtroom drama ever, all at once: Watch the video at PoliticOlogy

 

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Walker Leads Barrett By 7 In Latest Poll

Scott Walker appears to be maintaining his lead over challenger Tom Barrett, despite Democrat-friendly polls that were purporting to show the two in a dead heat.

Despite numerous polls showing Walker pulling away with the lead, Democrats had been adamant that internal polling told a different story, with a poll coming out this morning from Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, that had the two split at 49% apiece. Democrats and labor groups said the previous polls had been taken before Barrett and a slew of DNC money were able to run ads to counter the onslaught of ads from Walker, who has $30 million and a head start in his favor… Read more.

Related: Is Scott Walker Manipulating Wisconsin Job Data?

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Drone Strikes, Civilian Casualties and “The Kill List”

The New York Times ruined everybody’s Tuesday with the thorough evolution of Obama’s counterterrorism measures, in an article that ranged over Obama’s bungled non-closing of Guatanamo Bay to his legal maneuverings around the ending of rendition to his personal approval process over what’s being called a “kill list,” a collection of names of terrorists (we think/hope) for elimination via drone strikes.

The portrait that emerges is one of a fast-learning, hands-on President, who rapidly changed course from his detached mismanagement of the Guantanamo Bay fiasco to preside personally over the details of counterterrorism decisions. It also shows Obama the cold pragmatist, using his legal skills to widen the scope of rendition even as he appeared publicly to prohibit the practice, and negotiating harsher practices for terrorists overseas to shore up civil rights for terrorists caught stateside. And last, it shows a president comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United States, one who understands the moral weight of assassination but who nonetheless employs the practice with little regret… Read more.

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Assange Loses Extradition Case as Anonymous Vows Revenge

In a majority verdict today, the British Supreme court dismissed Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden on rape charges, sending Assange’s legal battles into a second round, and potentially provoking a disruptive response from Anonymous that threatens to instigate even more vitriolic debates about internet censorship.

Let’s sum up what has happened so far. Sometime in 2010, Assange, a former computer hacker, waltzed into the media spotlight when his brainchild online organization, Wikileaks, released confidential video footage and U.S. diplomatic cables relating to Iraq and Afghanistan. The information WikiLeaks released marked the largest leak of classified information the U.S. had ever seen, and revealed the identities of a number of sources used by diplomats and intelligence agents, putting the sources’ lives in danger… Read more.

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New DNC Ad Bashes Romney’s Massachusetts Tenure

Less than 12 hours after Romney clinched the GOP nomination, the DNC is out with “Little to Like,” a cutesy, if effective, ad mocking Mitt Romney on the Facebook page of the world. The ad links his savage success at Bain Capital to his general incompetence as governor of Massachusetts, attempting to corrupt both sides of Romney’s argument that his private secotr success makes him uniquely qualified for public office.

The conceit is clever—a stroll through Mitt Romney’s Facebook page if it were set up not by him but reality. There’s his GOP primary opponents talking about his record as 47th in job creation in MA, and there’s a newscaster talking about his hidden wealth. When we come to a headline about his tax policies, clicking the like button shows “Millionaires like this.” And finally, we get a tour through Romney’s most embarrassing statements—I like to the fire people, corporations are people, and all your favorite hits—as if they were statuses Romney posted drunk outside the bar and now can’t delete… Read more.

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The Difference Between Obama’s Drug Use and Romney’s Bullying

An excerpt from a new Obama biograpy claims that Obama smoked weed in high school. And you know what else? 

Nothing, actually, that’s it. Because this is the Internet Age, this little factoid trended from about 10:00-2:00 today, though not that much because it’s just a guy doing what five out of every four Reed College students do on a Friday after Hum lecture. This reputable blog didn’t even cover the nothingburger of a story… Read more.

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Related: Bad News, Guys: Barack Obama “May” Be Stupid, According To Totally Reputable Website

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John Edwards Flirting With One of His Jurors, Cuz Why Not?

From the This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Good Hair Edition: J-Ed has been openly flirting with an alternate juror in the criminal case of his misappropriating campaign donations.

The alternate jurors have been required to show up for the past four days while the real jury deliberates, and have nothing to do but sit around and not talk about the case. They’re taken to wearing matching outfits, cuz apparently they’re a fun bunch. And you know how J-Ed feels about fun. (HE’S FOR IT)… Read More

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Democratic Candidates Distance Themselves From Obama

In the past two days, two Democratic candidates have distanced themselves from Obama. In a debate on Wednesday, Ron Barber, the candidate hoping to take Gabrielle Giffords’s vacated seat, skirted a question about supporting President Obama. And Heidi Keitkamp, a North Dakota Senate candidate, recently said that Obama had failed to “unite the country.”

Both Barber and Keitkamp are running in conservative districts, and are engaging in a strategy of political distancing. It might prove successful for their own election chances, but it certainly will not help Barack Obama, whose lead in the polls is narrowing, and fast… Read More.

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Mourdock and Donnelly Still Tied for Lugar’s Old Senate Seat

Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly are tied at 42% in Friday’s Rasmussen poll, a sign that Republicans have their work cut out for them to maintain Dick Lugar’s Indiana Senate seat.

Mourdock, a rabid right winger who likes to sue the federal government for sport, defeated longtime Senate sorta-moderate Dick Lugar in an historic upset two weeks ago. The victory marked a bit of a return for the tea party strategy of “primarying” an establishment Republican candidate and replacing them with a more hardline conservative. The strategy was thought to have been put to rest in 2010, when political novices like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller proved embarrassments in the general election and potentially cost the GOP the Senate… Read More

 

Related: Dick Lugar Loses, But The GOP May Be The Biggest Loser Of All

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Who Wants To Fight Over Bush Tax Cuts

While Congress ordinarily boots every piece of difficult legislation to the last possible moment, the November election is speeding up one extremely issue: the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

The New York Times reports that both sides are eager, even “giddy,” to have this debate before the election, as both see it playing well for their side: Republicans crave a debate about what they call the “biggest tax increase in history” in the midst of a sluggish economy, while Democrats would love to make every GOP legislator defend massive tax breaks for the wealthy at the cost of the lower and middle classes… Read More.

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