Content Section

Latest Updates

Haha

No Laughing Matter

Funny or Die

The Affordable Care Act depends on healthy young people signing up immediately. That’s why President Obama sat down with some ferns and Zach Galifianakis today.

Social media exploded Tuesday morning with people talking about President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s web series Between Two Ferns. The response to the video on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with people calling it: “hilarious, “great,” and “glorious.”   (Let’s be honest, if you aren’t a right-wing partisan hack, you had to find at least some of it funny.)  Some of the highlights included Galifianakis asking Obama, "What are we going to do about North Ikea" and inquiring as to whether Obama would build his presidential library in "Hawaii or in his home country of Kenya?”Of course, politics being the way it is, some on the right were outraged by the comedic video.

Education Fight

The Charter School Trap

Andrew Burton/Getty

It was his progressive agenda that got Bill de Blasio elected as mayor of New York, but going after successful charter schools may be a bridge too far even for many of his supporters.

For a man who rode into office on what seemed like a wave of popular support for his progressive political mandate, mayor Bill de Blasio is looking awfully alienated from New York voters these days. He’s spent the last week absorbing full-throated criticism from all sides for withdrawing three city agreements allowing public charter schools to operate in public school buildings.Predictably, the move infuriated public charter schools’ supporters.

Pox on Both Houses

Millennials Unfriend Democrats

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Republicans can’t win over the generation that’s liberal on most social and economic issues, but Democrats can’t seem to win them back.

The Republican Party’s struggles to win the votes of the Millennial generation are no secret, but Democrats shouldn’t break out the champagne: America’s youngest voting generation isn’t in love with either party. In both the 2008 and 2012 elections, young voters broke for President Obama by historic margins and carried their Democratic lean down-ballot. This big swing toward Democrats wasn’t just the product of young people always leaning more liberal but reflected a more monumental shift toward generational fault-lines in politics that would favor the left in the future.

Another Untrue O'care Horror Story

Health Care's Resistors and Adapters

You’ll recall that Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in delivering one of the 17 GOP State of the Union responses, spoke of “Bette,” the Spokane woman whose premiums were going up under Obamacare by $700 a month. The state’s jackboot, according to McMorris-Rodgers, was planted right on Bette’s throat, and there was nothing she could do about it. Bette would “have no choice” but to pay the extra, socialistic freight. Awful, awful, awful.

Confessions of a Putin Spin Doctor

The Daily Beast

This publicist’s firm took millions from Russia to soften its image, but “we were utterly powerless to affect the way the Kremlin news machine works.”

Since 2006, Ketchum, a New York based public relations firm, has billed millions of dollars to the Kremlin to advise and assist Moscow with improving its image in the West. Now, when Russia’s reputation is at its lowest since the cold war, one former employee says the client is probably not getting its money’s worth.If you go to the website for Ketchum, the Kremlin’s top PR firm in America, you won’t find many clues that the public relations powerhouse represents one of the more loathed regimes on the planet these days.

Pro-Pot Lesbian for Governor

Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post, via Getty

Heather Mizeur, a two-term Maryland delegate, is running for governor in an attempt to make the safely Democratic state a laboratory of liberalism.

There’s no such thing as a Maryland liberal. Terms like “California liberal” or “Massachusetts liberal” are well known (and, depending on whom you ask, pejorative) terms in the American political lexicon. But “Maryland liberal”? Not so much. It sounds clunky and sort of hilarious. This could all change if Maryland decides to veer left and elect Heather Mizeur, a wonky, pro-pot married lesbian, as governor.Heather Mizeur has just finished explaining everything, seemingly every public policy issue, in exacting detail to a group of surprisingly still-awake seniors and stray nearby supporters at the Springwell Senior Living Community in Baltimore City.

MAYDAY MAYDAY

De Blasio: Consultant or Leader?

Pool photo by Susan Watts

Just over two months in and Bill de Blasio’s approval ratings are sinking by the day, proving that running a good campaign doesn’t mean you’ve got the chops to properly run America’s biggest city.

Across New York City’s George Washington Bridge, a politician recently hailed as a “new national voice” has seen sky-high numbers crash with historic swiftness. Just a few months ago, Bloomberg News announced this politician was “planning to take his campaign….to an audience across the U.S.,” ready to assume a “national leadership” role in his party. Now his job approval has plunged to 39 and falling.Yes, Mayor Bill de Blasio is in real trouble.

SWINGERS

Florida’s Midterm Warm Up

Brian Blanco/Reuters

A special election in the Sunshine State’s District 13, otherwise known as Swingtown USA, is an important—and close–one for both parties.

Less than 18 months after the 2012 election, the fulcrum of American politics rests once again in Central Florida.Tuesday’s special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district is a big deal. It won’t just determine whether House Republicans have a majority of 17 or 18, it will be the first significant referendum on Barack Obama’s job performance and the Affordable Care Act in the president’s second term. The latest poll from PPP, a Democratic-leaning firm, shows the race within the margin of error.

CODE BLOOPER

D.C. Mayor's Dirty Money

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post, via Getty

After he denied receiving off-the-book funds from businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson, court proceedings revealed D.C. mayor Vincent Gray’s use of a code name for these secret dealings that prove otherwise. But does it even matter? The money still took him—and his city—far.

D.C. businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson is under federal and local investigation for breaking a whole host of campaign finance laws, including funneling more than $2 million to various candidates over a six year period through third parties and off-the-record activities. In particular, Thompson gave large sums of money to Vincent Gray’s successful campaign to unseat Adrian Fenty in the 2010 D.C. mayoral election.Gray has long denied any involvement with Thompson, refuting any knowledge of the businessman’s “shadow campaign” and maintaining his innocence.

No, Seriously

GOP’s Comedy Gap

Joe Mitchell/Reuters

Republican joke-writers were shocked by Ted Cruz’s smoothly comedic performance at the Gridiron Club this weekend. And yes, there is such a thing as Republican joke-writers.

Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz had the most to lose appearing before the elite group of journalists known as the Gridiron Club Saturday night. But he gamely appeared in the required dress of white tie and tails, and truth is he didn’t look all that uncomfortable. He joked about how his anti-media speech had gone over so well the previous day at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservatives, and how he made sure to hightail it out of there before they learned about his plans for the following evening.

HOT SEAT

De Blasio Enters the Lions Den

MSNBC

New York’s mayor was pummeled on everything from his plans to evict charter schools to the city’s snowstorms.

Morning Joe’s witty, highly caffeinated brand of repartee has made it a must-watch for the New York to Beltway political and media elite but it has never been mistaken for a lion’s den.Yet New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio found himself besieged on all sides at the roundtable Monday morning as the hosts questioned him sharply on everything from his plans to tax the rich for universal pre-kindergarten, to his apparent hostility towards charters school, to even the run of snow storms that have hammered Gotham.

VOTER’S CHOICE

GOP’s Whack a Mole Addiction

The Daily Beast

For the first time in decades, there’s no clear GOP candidate to compete against Clinton in the race for the White House. Who will it be, folks? Batter up and whack-a-mole.

While the Republican presidential contenders were kumbaya-ing at CPAC, evidence continued to mount over which of them gets to suffer the embarrassment of winning 180 electoral votes. A USA Today poll found that 59 percent of respondents said they will or might vote for Clinton. It showed enormous improvements in personal qualities (Is she likeable? Is she honest?, etc.) since the first time she ran for president. Respondents even thought that she was six years younger than she actually is!What the CPAC goings on tell us, combined with a burst of polls showing Clinton wiping out Chris Christie and just mopping the floor with Jeb Bush, is that as they face 2016, the Republicans are in a situation that has almost no precedent in the party’s modern history.

SWEET 2016

GOP '16: Strong Field, No Leader

AFP/Getty

Without an obvious frontrunner to represent Republicans against Hilary in 2016, one thing is guaranteed: It’s going to be an entertaining race.

Contrary to conventional media wisdom, this week’s CPAC proved Republicans are likely going to put a formidable team on the presidential field in 2016—and they’ll have at least one advantage going into the election: Their primaries are going to be much more interesting, dramatic and entertaining than the Democratic primaries. This means Republicans are going to soak up a whole lot of press coverage and attention while the media and voters largely tune-out what is likely to be a foregone conclusion on the Democratic side.

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Demographics Or Destiny in 2016

Landov

Cultural divides, from demographics to religion, will contribute to widening the gap between party lines.

Millennials are embracing big government like no prior generation, the United States is moving away from organized religion, and older white evangelicals are yearning for yesteryear. The country grows more diverse, more tribal, and more embattled.  So, prepare for continued cultural warfare in the guise of political gridlock.Faced with these changes, Democrats have aligned their rhetoric with emerging reality, while Republicans have generally clung to their vision of Arcadia—and have lost five of the last six presidential elections in the process.

How Ike Dealt With the Russians

The Daily Beast

Like Ike before him, Obama’s non-moves against Russia are the right moves.

A regime in thrall to Moscow is forced out by a popular uprising; the Kremlin promises not to intervene, and even announces a troop withdrawal. Within days, Russian forces stealthily begin to move in, then pour across the border. A whole swath of territory is reincorporated into what Ronald Reagan called "the evil empire."The place was Hungary; the year was 1956; the American president was Dwight Eisenhower, who expressed "shock and dismay" at the Soviet invasion, but refused an armed American response.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

  1. President Obama, Guided by Faith Play

    President Obama, Guided by Faith

  2. Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt Play

    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

inside the policy making machine

Washington Bureau

rolling-stone-logo

More in Politics

Ladies Love the Wage Gap

Ladies Love the Wage Gap

Equal pay would just make finding a husband so much harder, Mike Huckabee likes his chances in North Korea, and a Fox News host wants no minimum wage.

Complex History

Can HRC Count on Women This Time?

Forebearance

Rand Paul and the Welfare Rancher

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Fool Me Once…

The Fringe Sect Duping The GOP

Web

BuzzFeed