Alabama

The Arizona Epidemic Hits Alabama
May 02, 2010

In Alabama, it's about "English only." The Associated Press reports that Tim James, Republican candidate for governor, has launched an ad in which he proclaims that, if elected, he would drop the practice of giving the state driver's-license exam in eleven languages other than English. And why? "This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it."

Street Fight
April 04, 2010

Last week, Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, floated a compromise on the consumer financial protection agency that’s currently stalled in the Senate. Under the bill Chairman Chris Dodd moved through the committee in March, the consumer agency would effectively have its own budget and an independent, White House-appointed director. It would also have significant (but not unchecked) authority to write and enforce rules protecting consumers from abusive bank practices, like deceptive mortgages.

Judging for Dollars
April 03, 2010

Illinois is home to the nation’s costliest judicial election ever: the 2004 contest between Lloyd Karmeier and Gordon Maag. The two candidates in Illinois's fifth judicial district together raised almost $9.4 million, nearly double the previous national record. It topped the money raised in 18 of 34 U.S. Senate races decided that year.

The Zeitgeist Shifts
March 25, 2010

The psychology of victory and defeat is a remarkable thing. A week ago, the Democrats were perceived to have an enormous political problem. Their agenda was stalled in Congress. There was a mass groundswell of public anger they had to contend with. Suddenly those problems have been flipped on their head. Now Democrats don't have a problem because they can't pass anything, Republicans have a problem because they're obstructing everything. Whereas right-wing grassroots activism represented a public backlash against the Democrats, it's now seen as an extremist element that discredits the GOP.

Man of Letters
March 16, 2010

This is the way it happens. They sit in your class poring over Dante’s Inferno or grousing good-naturedly about the silent film you’ve insisted they admire. They graduate to crawling through the mud at Ranger School or learning how to fly a Chinook in Alabama. They write to let you know about the milestones and about the weirdness; they ask what’s new on your end and tell you not to work “too hard.” They stop by the office whenever they’re back in town for a classmate’s wedding or some other event.

Win Dixie
March 09, 2010

As we all understand, Republicans are about to have a pretty good election in November. Much of the GOP excitement revolves around congressional races that could unseat “red-state” Democrats who won during the 2006 or 2008 cycles, along with a number of incumbents (some of whom have decided to retire) who have been around much longer. Ground zero for the Republican tsunami is, of course, the Deep South, where in some areas John McCain did better in 2008 than George W.

Win Dixie
March 09, 2010

As we all understand, Republicans are about to have a pretty good election in November. Much of the GOP excitement revolves around congressional races that could unseat “red-state” Democrats who won during the 2006 or 2008 cycles, along with a number of incumbents (some of whom have decided to retire) who have been around much longer. Ground zero for the Republican tsunami is, of course, the Deep South, where in some areas John McCain did better in 2008 than George W.

Congressman Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts: Pompous, Pretentious, Ineffective. Going The Way Of Martha Coakley. Or Worse.
March 01, 2010

Republican Scott Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley by five points in the senatorial contest to succeed Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. But, in William Delahunt’s congressional district, Brown beat the lady by 20 points. This was not good news for Delahunt, not good news at all. He’s serving his seventh House term in a state delegation that is all Democratic (which, alas, it won’t be come Election Day 2010). The tenth C.D. has been Democratic since Gerry Studds won it in the seventies, and Studds held the seat for nearly a quarter-century.

This Won't Make You Smile
February 23, 2010

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Special Correspondent for The Treatment. A great NPR story by Sarah Varney highlights the growing and sometimes dire consequences of state budget cuts to medical and social services. It also highlights the systematic neglect of dental care in health reform and public policy. Varney describes the deep cuts in California's Medicaid program brought about by recession and by the state's self-immolating budget process.

Change The Voters, Or Change The Rules?
February 16, 2010

As I've been saying, the procedural critique of the Senate that some of us have been making for years is starting, but only starting to make headway into the conventional wisdom.

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