Archive for the “Electoral” Category

David Brooks, throughout his long history as a pundit, consistently seems to love drawing sweeping generalizations from just a handful of anecdotal examples. Sometimes even just one. In his latest column, he’s resorted to using an imaginary one. Brooks retells the fable of the ant and the grasshopper through an imaginary middle-American voter he calls Continue reading →

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Finally. After six months of tedious delay, Al Franken will be sworn in to the U.S. Senate seat once held by Paul Wellstone. The fact that he beat incumbent Norm Coleman (albeit by the slenderest of margins, roughly 0.01%) was confirmed unanimously by the Minnesota Supreme Court, Coleman finally conceded the inevitable, and Gov. Tim Continue reading →

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Here’s a man-bites-dog story for you:  on Tuesday in Springfield, capital of our fair state, over 5,000 people rallied in support of a tax increase.  There’s good reason for this. The state income tax is flat (i.e., regressive) and one of the lowest in the country, at only three percent… and has been kept that way Continue reading →

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My immediate reaction yesterday when I heard the news report that Sen. Arlen Specter had changed his party affiliation from (R) to (D):  a shouted “Yes!” and a fist pump.  Beyond that, almost everything has already been said in the media whirlwind of the last 24 hours, but I thought I’d share a little personal Continue reading →

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New Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele looks like he’s going to be a fertile source of embarrassing quotes; the “don’t trust us” thing the other day was not just an anomaly. Today’s latest:  according to The Washington Times, Steele wants the GOP to be the hip-hop party. No, seriously. 😀 To wit:

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It’s been far longer than I intended since my last post. Sometimes time just runs away from you. So let me just toss off a few ideas that have crossed my mind in recent days, and get caught up… — First off:  the wrangling in Washington over the new “economic stimulus package” has been interesting Continue reading →

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The question of who will fill Obama’s Senate seat has gotten the lion’s share of media coverage, but meanwhile things are heating up around another question, the one of who will replace Obama’s Chief of Staff—Rahm Emanuel—in the seat from Illinois’ fifth Congressional district, here in Chicago. I went to a meeting tonight of the Continue reading →

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Well, despite some optimistic tea-leaf reading earlier in the day about turnout, the voters of Georgia have returned Republican Saxby Chambliss to the Senate in today’s run-off election, defeating challenger Jim Martin by a wide margin. Disappointing, but I guess even in a remarkable year, you really can’t win them all.

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Here’s a question. After years of complaints from politicians, journalists, and pretty much everyone about Americans’ waning interest in politics, and concern about dropping levels of voter participation… why were we so poorly prepared in so many places when that trend finally reversed itself?

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For a long time now, the words “Grant Park” had only negative political associations. They evoked 1968, police attacking protesters, civil society crumbling before our eyes. After 40 years, Tuesday’s election finally relegated that to the back burner. Grant Park in 2008 was about the culmination of a political process that brought people together, and Continue reading →

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