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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Bloomberg, Michael C. Bender reports on what may be a crack the the GOP’s wall of voter suppression. GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner criticizes the high court decision gutting the Voting Rights Act, arguing that the majority ignored the Act’s provision exempting state and local jurisdictions from oversight if they comply with anti-discrimination rules. The fact that jurisdictions covered by the Act failed to qualify for that provision “is evidence that the VRA’s extraordinary measures are still necessary,” said Sensenbrenner, 70, who was House Judiciary Committee chairman in 2006, when Congress reauthorized the law.
Michael Tomasky has the skinny on the tanking of the phony I.R.S. “scandal,” which got bumped off the headlines by the Trayvon Martin verdict. But the really big implosion of the GOP’s manufactured scandal starts today, when Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general who produced the original report at Darrell Issa’s request returns for a proper grilling by Rep. Elijah Cummings, who has new evidence. Expect evasive sputtering.
The Fix’s Chris Cillizza notes that “the 112th Congress passed just 561 bills, the lowest number since they began keeping these stats way back in 1947,” with the usual false equivalency explanation for gridlock. How about an comparison showing which party’s members vote with the other party more in the house and senate votes? Don’t hold your breath waiting for those numbers.
It’s not just the Liz Cheney thing, notes John Whitesides in his Reuters.com post “Analysis: Republicans could see more bruising Senate primaries.”
Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley have a fun post up at The Crystal Ball, “Rinse and Repeat: 10 classic political ads that 2014 candidates should (or shouldn’t) copy.”
Also at The Crystal Ball, Sean Trende, Senior Elections Analyst for RealClearPolitics, responds to a post by TDS co-founding editor Ruy Teixeira and Crystal Ball senior columnist Alan Abramowitz criticizing Trende’s argument that Republicans can offset demographic trends favoring Democrats by appealing to white voters who are increasingly disenchanted with Dems.
The presidents of three unions, the Teamsters, UFCW and UNITE-HERE have written to Senate Majority Leaders Reid and House Minority Leader Pelosi calling for specific fixes to the Affordable Care Act. They want to eliminate the provision that “creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week” and the provision that makes employees enrolled in non-profit health care plans ineligible for the subsidies grated those in for-profit company health plans. Of course the Republicans are spinning the letter to suggest unions want to repeal Obamacare. But the letter calls for “common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute.”
Don’t miss Wonkblog’s Ezra klein and Sarah Kliff excellent report on “Obama’s last campaign: Inside the White House plan to sell Obamacare.” Among the observations: “…the effort will have to go far beyond engineering turnout among key demographics. The administration needs to build more insurance marketplaces than they ever expected, and create an unprecedented IT infrastructure that lets the federal government’s computers seamlessly talk to the (often ancient) systems used in state Medicaid offices. They need to fend off repeal efforts from congressional Republicans — like Wednesday’s vote to delay the individual mandate — and somehow work with red-state bureaucracies that want to see Obamacare fail…”
Meanwhile, David Callahan writes at Demos ‘Policy Shop’ that “Freedom From 9-to-5: Obamacare a Boon to Entrepreneurs.”
Just what the U.S. Senate needs another arrogant theocrat.

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