It was a big week for gay rights—and opponents came out in full force. Also, abortion should be required for population control and Bush actually told the truth about that uranium.
Homosexuality: As Hazardous to Your Health as Trans FatsThe last time we devoted precious Fringe Factor space to Bryan Fischer, he was warning gay-fearing Americans that Hillary Clinton could become our first lesbian president. Now the American Family Association spokesman is back: cleverly comparing homosexuality to trans fats, which the U.S. Food and Drug Association just announced plans to ban. “They are convinced it is a hazard to human health, even though it makes your frosting taste better, your donuts taste better; it makes your crackers taste better,” Fischer said on his Christian radio show Focal Point this week.
From Marcus Bachmann thumb wrestling to Mitt Romney’s cheesecake insult, a new film by A.J. Schnack captures all of the weirdness before Iowa Republicans’ first-in-the-nation vote.
Of all the oddities that presidential campaigns produce, there is perhaps none so strange as that after over two years of caucuses, primaries, polls, pundits screeching at each other on cable, blogs, tweets, gaffes, stump speeches, and state fairs, the whole shebang comes back again as reporters dump their notebooks and operatives ply their insider access for favorable coverage in the books that chronicle the history just past.It’s odd for three reasons: One, even political junkies are sick of the blather by the time conventions roll around in the summer; two, if you missed the whole thing, or just don’t care, why would you care to revisit it?; and three) by the time the previous cycle’s books have hit stores, the new campaign cycle is in swing.
The Obamacare website situation is bad—but it’s not a make-or-break moment for this presidency. It’s just another round of the media’s trumped-up crises.
It’s damn near end times for Barack Obama, to hear some tell it.There’s a new Pew poll that has him at 41 percent approval, 53 disapproval, which Pew notes ominously is only five percentage points better than George W. Bush’s at this point in his term. (Hurricane Katrina had happened in August of Bush’s fifth year.) Conservative columnists are chuckling and clucking and tweeting to beat the band. Centrist journalist Mark Halperin, on MSNBC yesterday, declared that Obama had lost the media, which was now cheering against the success of the Affordable Care Act and just wants to see… well, people go without insurance, I guess.
With the passage of the ENDA, Democrats are moving to the next item on their agenda—an increase in the minimum wage.
Yesterday, Democratic leaders in the Senate announced their plan to introduce a minimum wage increase before the end of the year. Under the proposal, the minimum wage would increase to $10.10 from its now-level of $7.25, a small but significant way to increase income and make the recovery work for low-income workers. The White House has also gotten behind the proposal, telling the New York Times that “The president has long supported raising the minimum wage so hardworking Americans can have a decent wage for a day’s work to support their families and make ends meet.
The governor is riding high—and it’s freaking out the Tea Party senators. Here’s what they should really fear: GOP elders don’t want a 2016 presidential nominee from Congress.
Could Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio be any more naked in their fear and envy of Chris Christie? In the wake of the New Jersey governor’s resounding reelection Tuesday, the three Tea Party senators, visions of 2016 swirling in their fevered brains, raced to take a poke at the man now lauded by many as the GOP’s last, best hope at retaking the White House before next decade.Such a response is understandable. At a time when the GOP brand has all the appeal of a crap sandwich, Christie is riding high.
For the last few years, Republicans have been cursed with bad candidates. But if there’s a problem with nominating far-right politicians, it's because of the base, not the process.
This year marks the third election cycle where right-wing extremism did damage to the Republican Party and its brand. In 2010, Tea Party Senate candidates cost Republicans a shot at winning the Senate. The same was true in 2012, and the same was true on Tuesday, when Virginia voters rejected right-wing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the governorship. All of this has more “establishment” Republicans scrambling to promote less radical candidates, and reengineer the nomination process to keep Tea Partiers away from the ballot.
‘60 Minutes’ is ‘reviewing’ its Benghazi report. But even if what the guy is saying is true, so what?
So now, CBS is reviewing that 60 Minutes report by Lara Logan on Benghazi, the one with security man Morgan Jones (real name Dylan Davies) telling the FBI one thing about the attacks and CBS another, needless to say handing the sexier (and possibly untrue) version to CBS.If you haven’t been following this, you can catch up quickly by heading over to the site of Media Matters for America, which has been on this like white on rice since the report aired and is updating it daily.
Chris Christie’s inner circle is trying to avoid repeating the presidential flameout of Rudy Giuliani, 2008’s unconventional GOP frontrunner. And Hizzoner hopes the governor can, too.
Is Chris Christie just a Jersey Giuliani?That’s what top Democrats told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday, one day after Christie cruised to reelection as governor of New Jersey. That victory, over State Senator Barbara Buono, immediately set off a Christie-for-president boomlet as his backers touted him as someone whose 22-percentage-point victory in a blue state meant that he was the kind of candidate who could appeal to the independents and moderates necessary for a Republican to win the White House.
Mitt Romney’s chief strategist looks at ‘The Gamble,’ the other new book about the 2012 presidential race, and the cold, hard data on why President Obama won.
There are two new books out about the 2012 presidential election that are wonderfully different but complementary. You’ve probably heard of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Double Down, a sequel to their 2008 campaign book, Game Change. But there’s another book that must be read if you are interested in what happened in 2012: The Gamble by John Sides and Lynn Vavreck, two youngish political scientists at George Washington University and UCLA.
Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate in the Virginia governor’s race, did surprisingly well for a third party contender by drawing votes from both mainstream candidates.
For the guy who finished third in the Virginia governor’s race, Robert Sarvis had a pretty good night on Tuesday. Sarvis was the Libertarian candidate in the election who pulled in just over 6.5% of the vote. This wasn’t just a landmark achievement for a third party candidate in Virginia but in the entire American South. As Richard Winger of Ballot Access News told the Daily Beast, no third party gubernatorial candidate in the South has performed this well in over forty years.
The 2012 election may not have had Sarah Palin, but as John Heilemann and Mark Helperin discovered in Double Down, there was still plenty to talk about.
There’s been a lot of coverage of Jon Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Double Down follow-up to their gangbusters hit Game Change. From the red flags raised by vetters of Chris Christie, to the Obama team thinking about swapping Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, to the relationship between Obama and Bill Clinton—these anecdotes have been everywhere. In addition to those stories, here are some more of the juiciest bits from the dishy new book.Just tell me you love me.
Both business conservatives and Tea Partiers walked away from Tuesday’s vote feeling emboldened. How the divide could shape the 2016 presidential race.
For Republicans, Tuesday settled nothing.Business conservatives, social moderates, and pragmatists will seize on Chris Christie’s decisive re-election in New Jersey as proof that the right kind of Republican can win even in a deep blue state. Doesn’t that prove that the right kind of Republican—notably Chris Christie himself—could win nationwide in 2016?Tea Party activists and social conservatives can, however, claim something they enjoy even better than a victory: a betrayal.
For the New Jersey governor's message of electability to have any hope in the presidential race, he needs Republicans to do poorly in next year's midterms.
I wouldn’t say that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the presumptive frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016—though, like Ross Douthat, I’m not sure who could beat him—but it is true that he is the official candidate of the GOP establishment. And, with a reelection coalition of Republicans, Democrats, young people, Latinos, and African Americans, Christie stands as the only potential presidential nominee that can claim a credible path to victory.
Despite significantly outspending Ken Cuccinelli and enjoying a big early lead in the Virginia governor’s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe won only narrowly—and it came down to the wire.
The surprise in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election isn’t that Terry McAuliffe badly underperformed polls in achieving a slim win of 48 percent to 46 percent over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. It’s that McAuliffe won at all. Disappointed Cuccinelli supporters can point to a number of reasons why their candidate lost, but relieved McAuliffe backers don’t have easy answers for how a six- to eight-point lead going in ended up in a nail-biter that wasn’t called for hours after the polls closed.
After his landslide win, the N.J. governor’s being called the next Dubya. But Christie lacks Bush’s connection with the base—and the demographics have shifted dramatically since 2000.
In the wake of Chris Christie’s reelection romp on Tuesday, the press is filled with comparisons between the New Jersey governor and a pre-presidency George W. Bush. They’re both Republican governors who appear moderate and bipartisan compared to their party’s zealots in Washington. They’re both beloved by big donors. Each has made inroads among the Democratic-leaning constituencies with whom Republicans must do better. But there’s a problem with the analogy.
Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.
The Senate’s youngest member, Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, held his fellow lawmakers’ feet to the fire on gun control. A year after Newtown, he says he’s not giving up the fight.