The Fix: Master Archives


QUIZ: TED talk or congressional hearing?

Congressional hearing titles usually do a good job of conveying how long and boring they will be. Like, "The State of Small Business Lending: Identifying Obstacles and Exploring Solutions." Or, "Hearing to Examine the Issue of Feed Availability and its Effect on the Livestock and Poultry Industries."

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A rare sign of real economic confidence

A rare sign of real economic confidence

The economy has shown some signs of improvement, and Americans have taken notice of those signs -- at least to some extent.

But most of the economic indicators we see today have only gotten modestly better over the past several months -- i.e. Americans don't exactly see the economy back in a safe place. And politically, the economy is hardly a success story for President Obama and his party (which will generally get credit/take blame for it).

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Forty-three Republican Senate candidates got more votes than Dan Sullivan. And he won.

Forty-three Republican Senate candidates got more votes than Dan Sullivan. And he won.

Former Alaska attorney general Dan Sullivan won that state's primary on Tuesday night by an 8-percentage-point margin -- a more-than-comfortable victory that sets him up to face incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D) in November.

Sullivan's vote total? Just over 36,000 -- enough for him to have won just one other Senate primary: Hawaii's. Sullivan, in fact, received fewer votes than 20 Republicans who lost their Senate races.

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Holder in Ferguson: ‘So let’s start here. Let’s do the work today.’

During the first day of his confirmation hearings in January 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee, "The Civil Rights Division is unique. It is in some ways the conscience of the Justice Department. And I think in some ways you can measure the success of an attorney general's tenure by how the Civil Rights Division has done."

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Gun sales are up near Ferguson

Gun sales are up near Ferguson

Metro Shooting Supplies is about 10 miles west of the spot in Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. And since then, sales have been booming.

"Historically in August, it's very slow," owner Steve King told The Washington Post by phone, "because people are getting ready to go back to school." Not this August. "We have made the same amount of money since Monday the 11th -- almost as much money as we did the entire month of July. It's unbelievable. It's four times, five times the volume." He compared the volumes favorably with sales during the "Obamascare" -- the fear of new gun controls after the Sandy Hook shooting -- that prompted big sales in 2013. "When you're posed with losing your firearms, you buy guns," King said. "When you're posed with losing your life, you buy more guns."

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The “Participation Trophy” generation

A new study from the libertarian magazine Reason this week carried with it a pretty striking headline:

"65% of Americans Say Millennials Are 'Entitled,' 58% of Millennials Agree"

It seems that we have an entitlement issue with out young adults -- an issue even those young adults wholly admit to.

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Environmentalists are trading purity for pragmatism in 2014

Environmentalists are trading purity for pragmatism in 2014

NextGen Climate Action, the outside group run by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, took a new tack in its attempts to bolster Democrats' chances in the Iowa Senate race this week. Its first ad, you migh recall, was a mini-play suggesting that Republican Joni Ernst had sold her soul to some shadowy cabal of dudes worried about tax breaks or something. The new ad is more to the point.

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For political fundraising e-mails, ‘Hey’ is out. :D is in.

Hey.

There are probably a few people out in the wild, yet to be found for the oral history that will be written 20 years from now on the last presidential election, who consumed the 2012 race solely on Gmail. For them, a simple "hey," painstakingly typed, probably exemplifies that year more than being "fired up" or whether you did or did not "build that."

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Is the swing voter a myth? Not quite.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner/File)

Four political science professors are out with a new study that makes a rather novel and thought-provoking case: Swing voters are largely a “myth.”

You can find the link to this report co-authored by Andrew Gelman over on Monkey Cage, but here are the operative points:

We find that reported swings in public opinion polls are generally not due to actual shifts in vote intention, but rather are the result of temporary periods of relatively low response rates by supporters of the reportedly slumping candidate. After correcting for this bias, we show there were nearly constant levels of support for the candidates during what appeared, based on traditional polling, to be the most volatile stretches of the campaign. Our results raise the possibility that decades of large, reported swings in public opinion -- including the perennial convention bounce” -- are largely artifacts of sampling bias.

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How to take a good political mugshot, should you need to

How to take a good political mugshot, should you need to

Did you hear that Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.) got indicted by a grand jury? It was in the news.

The problem with getting indicted for an elected official is that such things can have a deleterious effect on your political career. While voters sometimes don't mind voting for accused criminals (or convicted criminals), it's not generally seen as an asset.

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