A new daily blog, covering the latest news and controversies across a wide range of races and issues. As the author of three books about influential political campaigns, I also bring a certain historical perspective to this very topical task. You can bookmark the blog by clicking my name at the top or by going here. Send me tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4:30 SITUATIONAL ROOM CNN staffers said to be in “revolt” over brief blown coverage today but were silent through 200 days of Casey Anthony.
3:20 DEMS WIN BATTLE, LOSE WAR? Ezra Klein on how Justice Roberts was actually brilliant as politician and strategist, looking at the long term, as he upheld conservative goals on every point, while giving Dems temporary win “on a technicality.” Sustains right-wing legal agenda while making it harder to paint as purely partisan when rules more radically in future.
2:30 GUNNING FOR DEMOCRATS Former GOP spokesman in Michigan responds to SCOTUS today by musing that “armed rebellion” might now be necessary—and he’s in a heavily armed state, to be sure. (And Michael Moore better duck.) He wrote, “here’s my response. And yes, I mean it. There are times government has to do things to get what it wants and holds a gun to your head. I’m saying at some point, we have to ask the question when do we turn that gun around and say no and resist.” He also cited the American Revolution.
1:45 START SCRUBBING Romney’s web site still calls for appointing judges “in the mold” of John Roberts… Dave Weigel on scene outside after Court rulling, including GOP’s Representative Gohmert call to impeach Kagan. Not Roberts?
1:35 WIELDING A TAX As I predicted, Fox and Friends going nuts over “tax” issue in SCOTUS decision and Obama’s saying he would not “raise taxes.” Fox’s line: “A fraud perpetrated on the American people…massive tax increase.” Awaiting impeachment talk.
12:20 pm CANDIDATES SPEAK Romney, as expected, argued: now people must kick out Obama and put him in. Obama then explains (again) what’s in the bill that’s good, that he’s proud of it, and now let’s talk about jobs… Love this tweet from @Berberich: “Upset about today’s SCOTUS decision? Want to leave the U.S.? Here’s a list of other industrialized countries without universal healthcare…”
11:45 am TAXING PROBLEM As predicted earlier, GOP focusing on “tax” issue. Just one example, Representative Louis Gohmert just now: “The president said the mandate is not a tax. He promised Congress that this is not a tax. But the Supreme Court made clear today it is a tax, they made clear that everyone who works for this president and believes this president are fools.” Representative Michele Bachmann then chimed in with much the same. Newt Gingrich tweeting this line.
11:15 ROMNEY RESPONSE I disagree w/ Chris Matthews & others saying Mitt will drop healthcare & focus on jobs—because he’s getting killed now on his jobs record. More votes in promising to repeal Obamacare, I think… Romney speaking in half an hour and they already have poster up there, “Obamacare: Repeal and Replace”… Expect GOP labeling this as giant “tax” issues for Dems and use that for next five months. Make that TAX… Matthews suggests Justice Roberts simply didn’t want “three strikes” against his side—after giving Bush the White House and corporations the Citizens United ruling…
11:00 OUTFOXED Smoke came out of Megyn Kelly’s ears after SCOTUS decision—proving there was something in her head after all. BTW, both Fox and CNN got decision wrong at the start. Enjoy the videos and screen shots out there.
10:10 SCOTUS WIN FOR OBAMA, APPARENTLY As you know by now, court rules 5-4, with Roberts leading way, that individual mandate upheld under tax power though not commerce power. Confusing but overall upholds Obamacare, although much media conflicting info. Fox already pushing for repeal via Congress.
9:30 GOP SONG OF THE DAY “I Bought the Law.” Also: “The worst pre-existing condition: Justices Scalia and Thomas bringing shame to highest court.”
NEW HIT ON ROMNEY Bill Burton and the folks at PrioritiesUSA Action with thirty-second spot highlighting Mitt’s allegedly making $92 million every time he put a company out of business.
HIGH STAKES RACE The NYT with major piece on what’s perhaps most important about the current race for the White House: an “aging” Supreme Court with four justices perhaps nearing retirement. “The winner of the race for president will inherit a group of justices who frequently split 5 to 4 along ideological lines. That suggests that the next president could have a powerful impact if he gets to replace a justice of the opposing side. ‘This election could shape the court for decades to come,’ said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group.”
COLBERT TRUTH Stephen covers Romney’s gathering of rich donors and mocks Democrats for financial deficit and early convention woes. Perhaps Obama will need a tip jar for change he can believe in. Plus The Daily Show looks at Obama’s “Choom Gang” days and stoners today.
SCOTUS DECISION PREDICTIONS Here’s Lizz Winstead: “I have a feeling I will be holding the Supreme Court in contempt tomorrow.” Our own Katrina: “Whatever decided Thur am, this is a One Percent SCOTUS—with a Gang of 3 or 4, committed to comforting Robber Barons of our new Gilded Age.” David Corn: 5-4, Supreme Court rules “justice is not blind.” But, Roberts notes in majority opinion, “it may be deaf.” Jake Tapper: “Scalia admits he’s the one who keeps mugging Breyer.” Andy Borowitz: “Call me a dreamer, but I think it would be great if getting medical attention were as easy as getting a gun”…
WISDOM ON SOLOMON? Dave Weigel at Slate cites this blog and our updates on Norman Solomon race (see below) then adds his analysis, quotes Kos and more.
TEST OF LEADERSHIP Nick Kristof column today offers a pop quiz on IDing quotes, concludes: “So, Governor Romney, a simple question: Who are you? Which of these quotations above reflect the real you? If you’re elected, will we get Moderate Romney or Hard-liner Romney? And the quiz? It illustrates the problem: Every single statement was made by Romney.”
POLL WATCH Quinnipiac: U.S. Senate Ohio: Sherrod Brown (D) 50% / Josh Mandel (R) 34%. U.S. Senate Florida: Bill Nelson (D) 41% / Connie Mack (R) 40%. White House: Obama 47% / Romney 38%. Florida: Obama 45% / Romney 41%. Meanwhile, 65 percent believe Obama better able to handle “alien” question—that is, invasion from space… WSJ/NBC poll finds Obama now 40 percent ahead with Latinos. Also, nearly half of GOPers back him on no-deportation move—why Romney remains quiet.
NEW BOOK My book Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady on the notorious Richard Nixon–Helen Gahagan Douglas race for the US Senate in 1950, appeared in a new print edition this past weekend—and for the first time as an ebook. Also, see my piece from Saturday here at The Nation on Helen Douglas’s paving the way for the (still too small number of ) female candidates for Congress ever since. The book also probes 1950 as a high point of the Red Scare in America in all its forms—and, of course, as launch pad for Nixon (and his dirty tricks) in his rise to the White House.
From late Wednesday
MY BAIN IS TRUE Wash Post says it will not retract its recent article that probed Romney and Bain and outsourcing and caused his campaign to complain heartily—and meet with Post editors today. “We are very confident in our reporting.” the Post now says. But Romney camp still has not said what is inaccurate.
GET YOUR MITT OFF ME Buzzfeed collects seventeen photos of Romney “looking longingly” at politicians and other folks (plus Trump). He actually seems sMITTen with Chris Christie. Likes them big.
SUPREMELY INDIFFERENT Thursday’s the big day for SCOTUS ruling and Andy Borowitz tweets: “Tomorrow, nine people who get free government healthcare will let us know what the rest of us get”… Wash Post: If Obamacare falls, some in California vowing to push for single payer… Tom Gloldstein at SCOTUSblog expresses minority opinion: “I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow. Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected.”
SOLOMON ADMITS DEFEAT We’ve chronicled the effort by progressive writer Norman Solomon to count all the votes in his California race for the House—he finished a close third in contest where top two compete in November. Just now, however, e-mail from Jeff Cohen announces he has fallen a few votes short: “It’s a virtual tie (25,624 vs. 25,451 votes), but Norman Solomon will not make it into 2nd place (out of 12 candidates). We won’t get our hoped-for November runoff against the well-funded candidate of the Democratic establishment (and Walmart, Chevron, PG&E, AT&T, Gallo). Norman was ready to run a powerful campaign in a progressive district against the Dem establishment and its corporatism…. Despite the heart-breaking result, I feel all the work was worth it.… more like a social movement than a campaign.”
THE LEFT’S FINAL STAGE OF GRIEF? Politico documents all of the alleged stages re Obama, now landing on “acceptance.” Video below with comments by Van Jones, Markos Moulitsas, Lizz Winstead, Representative Keith Ellison, more. (h/t Zoë Schlanger) And then there’s this, also from Politico: Why have the Dems “gone AWOL” in the “class war” and abandoned “populism”?
AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Activists break with Dems, target Obama’s “kill list”… Federal judge refuses DOJ request to halt Florida vote surge—but state claims it has stopped anyway… More evidence that Obama ad attack linking Romney to Bain and outsourcing is really working…
TEDDY BARED Ever wonder what famed politicians of the distant past actually sounded like? Well, surprise, here’s an audio of none other than Teddy Roosevelt on the stump—exactly 100 years ago in his third-party “Bull Moose” progressive campaign. A rousing speech. I’ll be posting others over the next few days.