Alabama

Understanding a Mad, Mad Primary Season
September 15, 2010

Christine O’Donnell is not someone you’d expect to be a Republican nominee for a competitive U.S. Senate contest, particularly in the staid state of Delaware, and particularly as the choice of primary voters over Congressman Mike Castle, who up until yesterday had won twelve consecutive statewide races. O’Donnell is a recent newcomer to Delaware and, since arriving, has managed to get into trouble with her student loans, her taxes, her mortgage, and her job. She also unsuccessfully sued a conservative organization for gender discrimination.

Populist Mama as Media Maven
July 13, 2010

Michelle Cottle’s piece on Sarah Palin’s media strategy (“Media Maven,” July 22) is a fine dissection of p.r. craftswomanship, one any magazine or website would be proud to run. But like too much reporting about the media, it scants the message that attracts so many people to a particular messenger. Palin is the most dangerous politician in America today. Her stated views are on the wildest fringe of conservative thinking. She opposes even the mildest forms of corporate regulation, thinks the New Deal made the Depression worse, believes the U.S.

Alabama Shake
July 13, 2010

So far this year, the script for Republican primaries has been easy to follow. There’s usually been a fight between the Tea Party movement and the Republican establishment; between “true conservatives” and those dismissed as RINOs; between fierce opponents of any cooperation with “socialist” Democrats and the occasional, hunted-to-extinction statesman interested in bipartisanship. You often don't need to have a program to know the players. But in today's Alabama runoff, you can forgive true conservatives for being a bit confused.

Austerity Nuts
June 24, 2010

“American families have done their level best to stay afloat—spending less and working more while trying to map out a financially sound future. They deserve that same degree of discipline and vigilance from their government.” That’s what House Minority Leader John Boehner had to say this past weekend, after President Obama proposed a new economic stimulus package. And precisely because the statement came from a Republican leader, it was difficult to take seriously. After all, Republicans have no compunction about running up deficits when they’re in charge by pushing tax cuts for the wealthy.

BP And Our Kick-Ass President
June 21, 2010

My hunch is that the hemorrhaging of oil in the Gulf of Mexico won't end until...well, until it ends. By which I mean until the last drop rises to the surface and there is no more below. No, I don't know when that will be, and neither apparently do the hot shot execs at what President Obama (in another swipe at London) called British Petroleum or. for that matter, the president himself. Of course, no one really does.

Paleo Wacko
June 10, 2010

In 1984, Ron Paul ran for the United States Senate. It was an audacious gamble. Paul, who represented Texas’s twenty-second congressional district, had to give up his safe House seat to compete in the state’s Republican Senate primary.

A Sociologist Covers The News
June 07, 2010

Chris Beam's well-received piece imagining a news article written by political scientists has inspired Conor Friedersdorf to imagine a news article written by sociologists: NEW ORLEANS — Absent from the dialogue surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began on April 20, 2010 following an explosion that killed eleven workers, are the roles of class, race and especially gender.

The Tea Party Movement Isn’t Racist
June 02, 2010

“Very well-written … but dead screaming wrong,” my critic wrote in an email that a friend forwarded to me. “Judis has managed to write about the Tea Party movement without referring to its profound racism.” This sums up the chief complaint that I received about the article I wrote on the Tea Party movement. It is also a common interpretation of the Tea Parties, especially on the political left.

Toward an Accurate Portrayal of American Poverty
May 14, 2010

There’s been a lot of talk lately on the ins and outs of a new supplemental poverty measure being developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. As named, this new measure will not replace the official measure, but will supplement it by offering more information on people’s economic wellbeing. Nancy Folbre’s recent Economix post gives a good round up of why this new measure matters, but here’s the upshot.

Who Pays For The Oil Cleanup?
May 03, 2010

So who pays for an oil-spill disaster like this one? Matthew Wald offers some context. Big, wealthy oil companies like BP are usually expected to pay to the cleanup costs themselves. But that still leaves the cost of all the indirect damage to fisheries and wildlife habitats in the area. In that case, under current law, an offshore rig operator is liable for up to $75 million in damages.

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