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 epic1934@aol.com.

3:05 THE UNITED STAKES Amy Goodman in her column for the Guardian on Americans fighting Citizens United.

2:40 SHOCK IN STOCKTON Amazingly little media attention for Stockton, CA, becoming largest city to declare bankruptcy—it has over 250,000 residents. BTW, home of Chris Isaak. Bridgeport, CT, previous largest city going Chapter 9, at 141,000 more than 20 years ago.

2:30 THE MITT-HILLARY AXIS New Romney ad features Hillary Clinton atttacks on Obama—four years ago. “Shame on you,” indeed.


1:30 CURSES! SPOILED AGAIN TPM has collected politicians swearing, from LBJ to Nixon to Cheney to Obama. Ending with Perry.


11:50 WISDOM ON SOLOMON? Lengthy take at Huff Post on narrow defeat of progressive Norman Solomon in California, which we have covered in past. A more centrist Democrat won. Piece looks at some of the possiblle reasons. Solomon also cited “obstacles that genuine anti-corporate progressives face,” such as the difficulty in getting endorsements from mainstream liberal advocacy groups like labor unions and environmental organizations.

11:05 PREDICTIONS WRONG It seems that GOP governors may actually be split, not fully opposed, on rejecting Obamacare. Would be big blow to Romney exploiting issue… Howard Dean: It’s simply a fact that all Obama did was get Romneycare through on federal level.

10:30 FUND FUND FUND TIL DADDY TAKES THE T-NOTES AWAY Romney camp claims it’s raised $4 million since SCOTUS ruling. Probably not revealing that 90% came from Sheldon Adelson… Ha: video of GOP congress member celebrating false report of Obamacare defeat.

9:55 GOING FOR THE GOLD Boise will be Boise? “The Idaho Republican Party last weekend adopted a party platform that calls for the return to the gold standard, the end of the direct election of US senators and for state government to nullify federal laws.” And state has governor named Butch Otter.

Then there’s this from TPM today: “The Republican Party of Texas’ recently adopted 2012 platform contains a plank that opposes the teaching of ‘critical thinking skills’ in schools. The party says it was a mistake, but is now stuck with the plank until the next state convention in 2014. The plank in question, on “Knowledge-Based Education,” reads as follows: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.’ ”

CRUEL AND THE USUAL Paul Krugman column today: “Politics ain’t beanbag, but, even in these partisan times, the unscrupulous nature of the campaign against reform was exceptional. And, rest assured, all the old lies and probably a bunch of new ones will be rolled out again in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision. Let’s hope the Democrats are ready. But what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed.”

HOW CABLE GOT IT WRONG Daily Show mocks CNN and Fox for getting SCOTUS decision wrong. And Colbert joins him.

From funnyman Andy Borowitz: “Just minutes after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed the Court, calling the law ‘the worst idea I ever had.’ Dissenters in the 5-4 decision included Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, ‘The only medical procedures the government should pay for are forced transvaginal ultrasounds and exorcisms.’ ”…. And unintentionally funny Marco Rubio response.

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… There’s got to be a mourning after? Steven Rosenfeld at Alternet also raises alarms about hidden “radical and dangerous” precedents set in ruling… How scary far the four dissenters were willing to go. Pretty far.

MORNING SHORTS A claim that now Obama and Romney will both downplay health ruling in campaign… Subject line of fundraising e-mail from Obama campaign this morning after SCOTUS ruling: “Let’s Win the Damn Election”… Nate Silver: After a very eventful news day, our presidential forecast is essentially unchanged”… Matt Drudge responded to ruling by smearing Roberts for taking epilepsy medicine… Dems smash GOP again—in annual Congressional softball game.

From late Wednesday

THE SITUATIONAL ROOM CNN staffers said to be in “revolt” over brief blown coverage today but silent through 200 days of Casey Anthony.

GUNNING FOR DEMOCRATS Former GOP spokesman in Michigan responds to SCOTUS today by musing that “armed rebellion” might now we 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.

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?… As I predicted, Fox and friends going nuts over “tax” issue in SCOTUS decision and Obama saying he would not “raise taxes.” Fox’s line: “A fraud perpetrated on the American people…massive tax increase.” Awaiting impeachment talk.

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.

 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.

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.