The group blog of The New Republic

November 5, 2013

Nowadays, nothing looks good for the Republicans. Demographic and generational change is inexorably narrowing the GOP’s traditional path to victory, at a time when the party hasn’t shown any ability to broaden its appeal. The Republicans can’t take advantage of opportunities, either. Congressional Republicans have, somehow, managed to upstage an unpopular president presiding over mediocre economic growth and website “glitches.” Later today, Terry McAuliffe will likely be elected governor of a state.

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November 4, 2013

Here are two facts that have gotten very little attention amid all the controversy about insurance plan cancellations and “rate shock.”

Fact one: Thanks to Obamacare’ subsidies, several million people now have the opportunity to get private insurance at essentially no cost.

Fact two: Those ultra-cheap policies are pretty threadbare. They might keep people out of bankruptcy, but they still would leave beneficiaries exposed to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses a year.

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The closest and most relevant election Tuesday may turn out not to be any of those on the Eastern Seaboard that have been soaking up the media’s attention—for governor in Virginia and New Jersey, and for mayor in New York and Boston—but rather the special Republican primary for an open House seat in the deepest Deep South, in and around Mobile, Alabama.

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The New Republic's Adam Kirsch has already laid bare what is, respectively, sinister and fraudulent about Slavoj Žižek, the Slovene philosopher and campus hero. In New York magazine this week, Žižek gives some time to Joshua Cohen, who conducted an enjoyable (albeit nonlinear) interview with him.

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In an enlightening interview, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio—who in about 36 hours will be Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio—further contributed to the sense that despite his dominance among several demographics even in the Democratic primar

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Kerry Washington's versatile performance couldn’t save a show that didn't know what to do with her.

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First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Bathroom Attendants

New York's new tech era may not be so great for the local economy

 Last week, Business Insider impresario Henry Blodget wrote a blog post saying that the bathroom attendants at Balthazar, a fashionable eatery in downtown Manhattan, make him uncomfortable. “I always forget that Balthazar makes a guy stand in the tiny bathroom all day, so whenever I open the Balthazar bathroom after breakfast, I am hit by the same series of unpleasant emotions: Annoyance, guilt, pity, uncomfortable invasion of personal space, and then... extortion.”

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Terry McAuliffe is, as usual, on the vanguard of fundraising trends in the Democratic Party. The unlikely candidate for (and likely winner of) Virginia’s governorship has, according to the New York Times, been showered with an “avalanche of money.” He’s raked in $34.4 million versus the Republican, Ken Cuccinelli’s, $19.7 million.

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November 3, 2013

If you’ve followed the stories of insurance cancellations related to Obamacare, you may have heard about Dianne Barrette. She’s the 57-year-old Florida realtor who was paying $54 a month for a Blue Cross insurance plan. The plan won’t be available after December. And while FloridaBlue offered her a new plan, the company told her the premium would be $591 a month. Barrette, who makes $30,000 a year and could not pay for such a plan, was flabbergasted.

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Debates, and other political performances, don't change elections. Political reporters know it. But their work depends on not admitting it.

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