Nation writer John Nichols reports it’s “not a formal announcement.”
Obama: ‘16 presidential race not as important right now as midterms.
Reuters: President Barack Obama gently chided Democratic donors on Wednesday for paying too much attention to the next presidential race in 2016 and not enough attention to the upcoming midterm elections in 2014.
Reminding Democrats at a fundraiser in Boston that “we got whalloped” in the 2010 midterms, when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Obama warned that “it could happen again if we don’t fight on behalf of the things we care about in this election.”
“No one could be more invested than me in having a Democrat succeed me,” Obama told about 70 supporters at a dinner where tickets cost $5,000 to $20,000. But he stressed to Democrats they need to invest time, money and energy on the November midterms.
“In the midterms, Democrats too often don’t vote. Too often, when there’s not a presidential election, we don’t think it’s sexy, we don’t think it’s interesting, people tune out,” Obama said.
Of course, he’s right. Democrats’ biggest problem is turnout. The way things go right now, if there’s a Winter Olympics that year, Republicans do well; if there’s Summer Olympics, Democrats do well. For some reason, Democratic voters are much more likely to show up for the “big game” on leap year than at any other time.
If Democrats could convince voters that every game is the big game, Republicans would be wrecked in election after election. Republicans turn out much more consistently than Democrats; meaning that off-year elections go to Republicans by default, not by effort. Americans haven’t elected (as opposed to reelected) a Republican President since Bush senior (Bush junior lost the 2000 popular vote) — and even then, Bush the Elder was a quasi-incumbent as Reagan’s Vice President. Without the power of incumbency, Republicans are screwed in Presidential election years, because America as a whole is a blue state — that is, when the voters that make it a blue state bother to show up.
Democrats and liberals would be a lot better off letting 2016 take care of itself — they’re all but guaranteed a win, anyway — and take all that energy and put it into 2014. If Democrats could figure out how to replicate presidential year voting turn out, eventually there would be no Republican Party to speak of. They’d be a permanent minority in both houses of congress, in much the same way that they’re currently all but shut out of the White House.
Stories to Watch: 3/5/14.
New Jersey Democrat Rep. Rush Holt opposes the Keystone XL pipeline. Not because he’s a Democract or a liberal, but because he’s a scientist. The “sludge” for the Canadian tar sands is “climate poison,” he says.
Michele Bachmann says that the veto of Arizona’s gay discrimination bill is a sign of “terrible intolerance afoot" against Christians. See, in Shelly’s world, people who fight back against intolerance are themselves intolerant — which, if you take it to it’s logical conclusion, means that civil rights marchers were the bad guys against the segregationist good guys. Don’t try to make sense of it. It’s Michele Bachmann. She’s President of the Ridiculous Nonsense Division of Republican StupidCo. there’s no sense to be found here. Victim card declined. (See also, James O’Keefe)
Just a reminder: Paul Ryan has terrible ideas. This has been a public service announcement.
House Republicans have now tried to repeal Obamacare 50 times. Because really, every problem the nation faces has been solved, freeing up congress to pass partisan bills that have no hope of ever going anywhere and would only make everything worse if it did.
The CIA spied on Senate staffers who were investigating the CIA. And that’s why liberals distrust domestic spying and surveillance — it will always be abused.
It’s no surprise that Republicans don’t get how the criminal justice system is supposed to work. But it took an additional 7 clueless Democrats to kill a Civil Rights Division nominee because he dared to defend a prisoner’s civil rights. You read that correctly. ThinkProgress names names here. Not only is this the result of political cowardice, but also of naked racism.
One lousy court decision: the Massachusetts Supreme Court finds that “upskirt” pics — photos of women’s panties taken without their permission or knowledge — are totally legal and above board.
Finally, that’s a real nice Statue of Liberty y’got there. Be a shame if some global warming was to happen to it…
[cartoon via Truthdig]
On Wednesday, the campaign of U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, sent out a plea to supporters via email.
'A Tea Party Republican has challenged Mark in November and all eyes are on our campaign for the next 72 hours to prove that he has what it takes to win on Election Day,' it warned. 'This is Mark’s first end-of-month deadline since the big news and we cannot let him be outraised.'
The guy who allegedly represents a threat to Pocan is Peter Theron, a math instructor at Madison College who reported $653 in his campaign account in the most recent reporting period, or roughly 1/345th of the $225,251 that Pocan had on hand.
Long story short, Rep. Pocan’s seat in Wisconsin 2 is safe as Nerf.
America’s longest serving congress member, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), to retire.
New York Times: …As he announced his retirement, Mr. Dingell talked about the failings of current lawmakers. “This Congress has been a great disappointment to everyone, members, media, citizens and our country,” he said. “Little has been done in this Congress, with 57 bills passed into law.”
He added, “There will be much blaming and finger pointing back and forth, but the members share fault, much fault; the people share much fault, for encouraging a disregard of our country, our Congress and our governmental system.”
Then he asked Americans to work together. “What unites us is far greater than what divides us,” he said. “No president should have to tell a Congress that if that august body cannot do its task he will do it by executive order.”
Dems propose Darwin Day bill.
The Hill: Three House Democrats have proposed a resolution that criticizes the teaching of creationism and the denial of man-made global warming as anti-science.
The resolution from Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.), H.Res. 467, proposes the designation of Feb. 12 as “Darwin Day” to recognize Charles Darwin’s contributions to science.The resolution says Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.” It also says teachings to the contrary go against established science."[T]he teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems," it reads. It adds that the validity of Darwin’s theory of natural selection is "strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics."
The resolution also takes a shot at global warming skeptics, by saying the advancement of science “must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.”
Bottom line, evolutionary biology is an applied science. Arguing against it is like standing next to a nuclear power plant and saying, “Oh yeah? Well if this so-called ‘nuclear power’ is so real, then why is it called the ‘theory of special relativity’?”
Of course, this bill is never going anywhere and it’s really just a way to tweak Republican anti-science, but if you can’t troll flatearthers on Darwin Day, where are you going to get your fun?