Political Strategy Notes
Romney's tax return could be a game-changer, and not in a good way for Republicans. Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler explains why Mitt is extremely reluctant to release it.
Liz Novak sounds the call at In These Times: "Occupy the Electoral Process." Yes, it's important to have a non-electoral protest track to push forward a progressive agenda. But now the tea party is mobilizing its resources to elect right-wingers from the white house to the court house, and the Occupy Movement can make the difference that prevents a reactionary takeover.
The Occupy Movement will find lots of useful data for the campaign against inequality in a study, flagged by Jim Hightower, of social justice records of all 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The survey ranks "each nation in such categories as health care, income inequality, pre-school education, and child poverty rate. The overall performance by the U.S. - which boasts of being an egalitarian society - outranks only Greece, Chile, Mexico, and Turkey. Actually, even three of those countries performed better than ours in the education of pre-schoolers, and Greece did better than the U.S. on the prevention of poverty."
Dems interested in upgrading their campaign blogs should have a gander at Andrew Clark's "The five best campaign blogs of 2011" at Campaigns & Elections.
The Forum has a special issue out on "Governing through the Senate," which ought to be of interest to U.S. Senate candidates and campaign workers. Abstracts and guest passes are free. "...Charles O. Jones considers its inherent peculiarities as the institution meant to 'go second' in a separated system; Sarah Binder argues that the modern Senate is moving away from its constitutional role; Frances Lee considers the role of party competition in shaping senatorial behavior; Barry Burden asks about the influence of senatorial polarization and party balance within the bicameral context; and Daniel DiSalvo contrasts partisan polarization with divided government as influences on senatorial behavior. Randall Strahan observes one particular senator negotiating this complicated framework; Wendy Schiller and Jennifer Cassidy consider the dynamics of cooperation (or not) among same-state senators; and Andrea Hatcher contrasts a majority leader who lost re-election with another who won. Ryan Black, Anthony Madonna, and Ryan Owens examine a very private form of senatorial obstruction, 'blue slip behavior'; Gregory Koger examines what is surely the best-known form of obstruction, the filibuster; Eric Schickler and Gregory Wawro argue that, whatever its collective impact, senators have multiple reasons to protect this filibuster; and James Wallner closes with a substantive realm, budgeting, where the absence of policy action by the Senate is critical. In book reviews, Joseph Cooper uses Matthew N. Green, The Speaker of the House: A Study in Leadership, to think about the study of Congress more generally, and Matthew Green responds; Amnon Cavari reviews B. Dan Wood, The Myth of Presidential Representation; and Philip Brenner reviews Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us."
The Monkey Cage has a revealing chart that displays the racial demographics of New Hampshire in stark contrast to that of the United States.
Get up to speed on "Racial Profiling, Republican Candidates, and Rights Violations: the Immigration Debate at Year's End" by Kari Lydersen, from In These Times via Alternet.
Nick R. Martin has a post at TPM Muckraker on "Report Says ALEC Wields Disturbing Level of Influence' In Virginia." Martin explains "The Virginia General Assembly introduced at least 50 bills since 2007 that appear to be near carbon copies of legislation first imagined by the American Legislative Exchange Council, more widely known as ALEC, the report found...The report also said taxpayers spent more than $230,000 to send state lawmakers to ALEC conferences, where they then met with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors. Of the bills apparently drafted by ALEC, three became law, the report said."
Brad Reed has a good Alternet post, "8 GOP Primary Moments That Would Make Jesus Weep" that Christian voters should find of considerable interest.
Please sign The Democratic Governor's Association petition to stop voter suppression in the state of Florida. "Now that they control a majority of statehouses across the nation, Republicans are attempting a bold power grab to disenfranchise voters and repeat the Florida election debacle of 2000...Right now, states with Republican governors or new GOP majorities are ramming through bills designed to make it harder for people to vote. They'll stop at nothing to steal the Presidency. We have to act now to stop these bills from becoming law. The Democratic Governors Association is the only organization devoted solely to electing Democratic governors who will veto any and all attempts to limit voter rights...Stand with the DGA and demand that Republicans stop their politically-motivated attempts to suppress votes."
In a saner nation, Ta-Nehisi Coates's post on "Saviorism" at The Atlantic would be the last word anyone would need to read about the warped credo of Rep. Ron Paul.