Quote
"Although every statewide elected official in Kansas is a Republican and President Obama lost the state by more than 20 points in the last election, Mr. Brownback’s proudly conservative policies have turned out to be so divisive and his tax cuts have generated such a drop in state revenue that they have caused even many Republicans to revolt."

Conservative Experiment Faces Revolt in Reliably Red Kansas - NYTimes.com (via squashed)

I’ve been wondering for some time now when Republicans’ headlong rush to the right - conservatives displace moderates, radicals displace conservatives, tea baggers displace radicals etc - would finally make them too right-wing even for red-staters. There’s got to be a limit, right?

Mr Brownback et al may have finally discovered that point. And not a moment too soon.

(via squashed)

Quote
"Poll after poll shows President Obama is unpopular and the Democratic Party is a little more unpopular. Neither, though, can touch the GOP, whose congressional contingent has a whopping 72 percent disapproval rating in the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. Nearly half of Americans — 47 percent — say they ‘strongly’ disapprove of the GOP. …
The same WaPo-ABC poll shows strikingly few people are scared off by the idea of a GOP-controlled Senate. While 72 percent of Americans disapprove of the GOP, just 25 percent say it would be a “bad thing” if the GOP controlled the Senate. Significantly more (32 percent) say it would be a “good thing,” while half (51 percent) say it would make no difference."

WaPo “The Fix”.


If Democrats are smart they’ll see this as an opportunity.

Quote
"“One of the things that came up is that these drop-off voters [ie those that vote in presidential years but not midterms] had no idea that control of the Senate was even up for grabs and were even very confused about who controlled it. These voters are very representative of drop-off voters in a lot of states.”

[Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster] says the focus groups — and follow-up polling Lake conducted — determined that one message that motivates these voters is that the outcome of the Senate election in their state could decide Senate control. However, that alone isn’t enough to motivate these voters. They also need to be told why it should matter to them which party controls the Senate, Lake adds."

Greg Sargent in WaPo, The Plum Line 

Again, Democrats need to ask themselves: is this a problem or an opportunity?

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(Source: popsonnet)

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georgetakei:

There’s always someone, isn’t there.
Source: http://po.st/Atwivh

georgetakei:

There’s always someone, isn’t there.

Source: http://po.st/Atwivh

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"Just taught my kids about the current U.S. Congress by taking their ball, going home, and crying."

— Conan (via teamcoco)

Photoset

collegehumor:

Artist Paul Ribera is ruining even MORE of our favorite childhood memories with the reimagining of Christopher Robin’s Hundred Acre Woods. Oh Winnie, WHY! WHY!

Finish reading Winnie the Pooh Gone DARK

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timeshaiku:

A haiku from the article:  How to Talk to Strangers on the Subway
Text

Senate update

OK, Senate update time. Sources here and methodology (and previous update) here.

Safe D: DE, IL, MA, NJ, NM, RI, HI
Likely D: MN, VA, NH, OR
Lean D:MI, CO
Tossup: AK (D), LA (D), NC (D), AR (D), IA (D)
Lean R: GA, KY
Likely R: SD (D), WV (D), MT (D)
Safe R: AL, ID, ME, NE, OK (X2), SC (X2), TN, TX, WY, KS, MS

So two changes in the past two months, both in the same direction: IA from Lean D to Tossup, and MT from Lean R to Likely R. If each party takes the states that are safe, likely or leaning, and if the two independents continue to caucus with the Democrats, the Republicans will need to win three of the five tossups to take control of the Senate.

I’ll admit I’m finding all this baffling. Going into this cycle we were told that Republicans would run on opposition to healthcare reform. Healthcare reform is increasingly successful, and Republicans are either ignoring it or abandoning their opposition. We were told that the weak economy would be a problem for the incumbent president’s party. The economy is strong, and the deficit is steadily shrinking. And we were told that the Republican party establishment would defeat the tea-partiers and make sure that candidates present a more friendly image, especially towards Latinos and women. Nope, nope, and nope.

My uninformed hunch is that pundits are overestimating Republican chances. Sam Wang, looking just at polls and ignoring “fundamentals” (like the red state/blue state thing), gives the edge to Democrats. But even the fundamentals don’t break as clearly for Republicans as you might think. In IA, AR and NC, the nominees are quite extremist right-wingers; they’ve managed to hide this fact so far (casual voters have no idea what “Agenda 21” is or why there’s a fuss about it), but sooner or later, as we start having debates and candidates get called on the carpet on certain issues and votes, it will start to become obvious. In NC there’s the additional baggage that Tillis carries as speaker of one of the most right-wing state legislatures in history, and specifically as a champion of voter suppression. I’m guessing this will not play well among African Americans post-Ferguson. Similar factors may also help Pryor and Landrieu. Then there’s the recent advocacy by McConnell - who was already widely disliked - of government shutdowns, money-dominated politics and a low minimum wage.

As the economy keeps improving and the unemployed get jobs and the healthcare system does not melt down, the anger and resentment will start to ebb. People will go back to voting for candidates whom they like and trust  - this favors incumbents. I still think the Dems will hang on.

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newyorker:

A cartoon by Carolita Johnson. For more cartoons from the magazine this week: http://nyr.kr/1pAm6nz

newyorker:

A cartoon by Carolita Johnson. For more cartoons from the magazine this week: http://nyr.kr/1pAm6nz

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think-progress:

Last month was the fourth hottest July on record.

So isn’t that just like Gaia. Global warming is happening everywhere, but let’s toss an unusually cold winter and cool summer at the eastern half of the US because that’s the only place that’s not yet convinced (and not willing to be convinced unless it hits them square in the face) that global warming is happening everywhere.

think-progress:

Last month was the fourth hottest July on record.

So isn’t that just like Gaia. Global warming is happening everywhere, but let’s toss an unusually cold winter and cool summer at the eastern half of the US because that’s the only place that’s not yet convinced (and not willing to be convinced unless it hits them square in the face) that global warming is happening everywhere.

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georgetakei:

Because math.

Source: That’s What She Said
Quote
"

The Republicans Tom Corbett, of Pennsylvania, and Paul LePage, of Maine, are both unlikely to win their races, and Nathan Deal, of Georgia, is locked in a tight contest with the Democrat Jason Carter. Corbett, LePage, Deal, and Walker have all governed according to their party’s most strongly held beliefs. They stalled or blocked implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including its Medicaid expansion. And all have sharply cut state budgets, imposing austerity measures during a recession. …

The Republicans Susana Martinez, of New Mexico, John Kasich, of Ohio, and Rick Snyder, of Michigan, look as strong as they did when they were first elected. All three accepted the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion. Evidently, Obamacare is not the political liability it was once thought to be.

"

Sam Wang examining governor races in the New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/swing-states-is-obamacare-asset

Reap what you sow, motherfkers.

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"Hobgood noted that the private schools receiving the scholarships are not subject to any requirements or standards regarding the curriculum that they teach, have no requirements for student achievement, are not obligated to demonstrate any growth in student performance and are not even obligated to provide a minimum amount of instructional time."

From an account (via Pierce and Kilgore) of a recent ruling by a North Carolina Superior Court judge that stopped a state program that would have provided vouchers to parents that they could use to enroll their children in private (i.e., in the Southern context,  religiously fundamentalist) schools. 

I sometimes wonder why Americans elect legislators who devote so much time and taxpayer money to ensuring that their children grow up unemployable and stupid.

Then I remember that most of the people who vote are the elderly who don’t  have children of school age. And the rest of the people who vote are religious fundamentalists who want their kids to grow up unemployable and stupid, and want the state to pay for it.

Then I get really, really depressed.

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politicalprof:

This is pretty much right …
Ht: affably-evil

politicalprof:

This is pretty much right …

Ht: affably-evil