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April 17th, 2014
thesmithian

Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, didn’t start out Republican. She and her husband…had always been Democrats. But she’d long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney’s seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn’t talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

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Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, didn’t start out Republican. She and her husband…had always been Democrats. But she’d long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney’s seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn’t talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

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March 27th, 2014
thesmithian

…feverish speculation that [New York Governor Andrew] Cuomo is now the leading Democratic presidential contender in 2016.

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February 12th, 2014
thesmithian
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday declared a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in his Pacific Northwest state, citing concerns about unequal application of justice in determining who is executed.
Reblogged from sex, art, and politics
January 20th, 2014
thesmithian
In the emails that went public…the tone of Chris Christie’s aides and appointees display the thuggery and overweening arrogance that were characteristic of Nixon’s men when the President was at the height of his popularity—utter contempt for opponents, not the slightest anxiety about getting caught. In both cases, whether or not the boss sanctioned these actions, the tone came from the top. It’s the way officials talk when they feel they have nothing to fear, when there’s a kind of competition to sound toughest, because that’s what the boss wants and rewards. Once all hell broke loose, Christie insisted, in a compelling and self-indulgent press conference that, like his keynote speech, was all about himself, that he was the scandal’s biggest victim. ‘I am not a bully,’ he said, in an echo of one of Nixon’s most famous remarks.
George Packer, at the New Yorker
January 4th, 2014
thesmithian

Four decades before Obama’s ACA, Hawaii enacted its own health-care mandate…the state has poured billions…into rebuilding highways and infrastructure, bringing the unemployment rate down to an enviable 4.4 percent. Gay marriage is legal, immigrants are welcomed, labor unions are strong and—if the governor gets his way this year—universal pre-kindergarten will be the law of the land…there are no tea party stars to bicker with and no Congress to stand in the way. There’s hardly a viable GOP…The Aloha State, with its liberal governor and overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, has succeeded in achieving much of the vision Obama has yet to accomplish on the mainland.

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art: watercolor map by Irina March

December 15th, 2013
thesmithian

…a major metropolitan area run by armed teenagers with no access to jobs or healthy food, and…while the rest of America was ranting about debt ceilings and Obamacares, Camden quietly got pushed off the map. That was three years ago, when new governor and presumptive future presidential candidate Chris Christie abruptly cut back on the state subsidies that kept Camden on life support. The move left the city almost completely ungoverned—a graphic preview of what might lie ahead for communities that don’t generate enough of their own tax revenue to keep their lights on. Over three years, fires raged, violent crime spiked and the murder rate soared so high that on a per-capita basis, it “put us somewhere between Honduras and Somalia,” says Police Chief J. Scott Thomson.

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October 13th, 2013
thesmithian

Republican leaders in Virginia fear that their nominee…is on his way to losing the governor’s race and that the party will squander command of a state that is key to their quest to dominate next year’s midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race. Distressed over a flurry of recent polls showing Democrat Terry McAuliffe (above, with President Clinton) with a solid lead, Virginia Republicans are talking about rebuilding their organization, which is suffering from deep internal rifts similar to those roiling the national party.

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August 15th, 2013
thesmithian

What if Nikki Haley decides to run for president? In the lead-up to 2012, the name of the…conservative daughter of Sikh immigrants from India graced many a vice-presidential short list.

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July 25th, 2013
thesmithian
I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines…is a very dangerous thought…You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this…I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in…what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don’t…And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who

on Thursday offered a clear broadside against Republicans drifting toward a more libertarian view of foreign policy…suggesting they explain their position to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The House earlier this week narrowly voted against a reduction in funding for the National Security Agency, as libertarian-leaning members from both sides joined together to vote for the amendment.

July 24th, 2013
thesmithian

Former New York Gov. David Paterson…said yesterday…he might be open to running for Charlie Rangel’s Congressional seat in Harlem if Rangel, 83, decides not to run again…“I’m definitely looking at it,” Paterson said Monday about the idea.

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art: illustration by Morgan Schweitzer

July 15th, 2013
thesmithian

Women in Ohio didn’t see this coming. The state’s new two-year budget, approved by Governor John Kasich on June 30, includes several…restrictions on abortion and reproductive health clinics, and stands to strip funding from many rape crisis centers…it passed so quickly that many Ohioans only found out about the anti-choice measures after they had taken effect.

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June 26th, 2013
thesmithian
Taking a stand can be dangerous…In recent years, climatologists in four states have lost their positions because of what they said publicly about climate change—Oregon, Virginia, Delaware, and Georgia. Democratic governors got rid of climatologists who didn’t embrace climate change, and a Republican fired two who did.
May 12th, 2013
thesmithian

[Martin] O’Malley, who is fifty and handsome in a Kennedy sort of way, has made a career out of all the politician stuff, chomping his way up the political food chain like a man hungry for more than a deli sandwich. After serving as a Baltimore city councilman in the 1990s, he was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1999 and then governor of Maryland seven years later, where he’ll remain until 2015. Because of term limits, he can’t run again. Every pundit in America has predicted he’s going to run for president in 2016, and O’Malley has done everything he can to encourage that speculation, short of outright admitting it’s true.

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May 7th, 2013
thesmithian

“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense…It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives…The big issue (is) how do we adapt…because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”

California Governor Jerry Brown

…in an airplane hangar filled with trucks, airplanes and helicopters used by the state to fight fires.

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