Ernst Lies, Gardner Won’t Answer Questions, and Other Tales From This Koch-fueled Election

Every election has some strangeness to it, some quirks that make old pols like me shake our heads and say “really?” But this one could be the strangest of all. Just when you think a race is on the verge of being written off, a whole new set of polls comes out to show it is tight as can be — the Senate races in Georgia, Kentucky, and most recently, Alaska, are all cases in point. Democrats that everyone thought would be safe at the beginning of the cycle, like Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, are in real danger. Heavily Republican states like Kansas and South Dakota have become wildly unpredictable battlegrounds. What has seemed at times like a predictably Republican year has over 20 differen

Boeing: Taking Taxpayer Dollars and Breaking Promises

Seeing as how it is just three weeks prior to the elections, I very rarely would write about anything else right now, but I just have to quickly note something: Boeing has an extraordinary amount of gall. Okay, I know they are a defense contractor, and all defense contractors have a lot of gall, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. But I used to like Boeing a little more. At least they used to have a decent relationship with my old union, the International Association of Machinists, and they employed a lot of people at decent wages and working conditions. But more and more, they seem determined to act like the worst kind of special interest big business, taking money from taxpayers and then brea

Who Should the Democrats Support in South Dakota? The Democrat

There is some chatter amongst some D.C. Democrats that it really doesn’t matter in the South Dakota Senate race which of the two candidates running against Republican Mike Rounds beats him. According to this logic, Pressler has said he voted for Obama and has taken some moderate positions on a few issues, so he would probably caucus with the Democrats. Democrats, simply put: This is crazy talk. Look, I have a horse in this race — I have been helping out Rick Weiland from the beginning because he is a strong progressive in a race that I always thought was more winnable than conventional wisdom had it. But hear out my logic, and see if you don’t think I have a case. First of all, there is t

Strange Things Happening in the Plains States

In the 1880s and 1890s, a prairie wildfire swept through American politics. The generation of pioneers that had taken the risk to head out west and take advantage of Abe Lincoln’s Homestead Act, where our government literally gave away free land to any poor and working-class people, had successfully battled terrible weather and intense loneliness. They had worked their butts off to become farmers and ranchers, and made a good life for themselves. But when railroad barons, Wall Street bankers, and oil monopolists began to squeeze them and make it tougher and tougher to make a living farming and ranching, they rose up and started organizing a populist movement that changed American politics an

Four Weeks Out: What Will Be the Narrative of Election 2014?

Almost every election year has a driving narrative that determines how voters (and, just as importantly, those who choose not to vote) are thinking headed into the election. Four weeks from November 4, the narrative of this election remains muddled. There are so many issues, so many contradictory trends in play, that no one knows for sure what election day has in store for us or what the key voters will come to view as the story of this election. That is especially true in presidential election years, but it is also true even in most off-year elections. In 1994, the early missteps of Clinton and the perceived corruption of Democrats who had been a majority in the House fired up Republican

The Koch Agenda and the Republican Party: Why Won’t They Answer the Question?

It is no wonder why the Koch brothers always hold their political retreats with their fellow billionaires and multimillionaires in highly secretive sessions, the things they say and the agenda they lay out, while “inspiring” to Mitch McConnell, is repulsive to most Americans. They believe the minimum wage leads to Nazi-ism, Stalinism, Maoism, and suicide bombers. They believe the homeless should be dismissed by telling them to get off their ass. They compare Democrats to the leaders of North Korea. They say they want to decrease regulations “because we can make more profit.” But even more importantly than these absurd and offensive individual beliefs, is their absurd and offensive overall ag

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