Terrance Heath recounts some of the victories we earned on Election Day. Maine's Clean Elections law expansion you probably already know about, but Seattle voters passed the famous "Democracy Voucher" program, Elizabeth, NJ voters passed a paid sick leave law, Tacoma, WA voters hiked their minimum wage, and Jefferson County, CO voters recalled three school board members who had thrown a right-wing hissy fit about AP history exams. I'm not sure whether to count Ohio's redistricting reforms as a win, though -- the end result could be hyperpartisan maps that have to be redone every four years, versus every 10.
The Obama Administration rejects the notorious Keystone XL pipeline. This move fits in with his modus operandi of taking tough decisions only when he's in no danger of suffering politically from them, but we should still celebrate, because it couldn't have happened without us. Note to pro-Keystone PR flaks: rejecting the Keystone pipeline is not "thumbing your nose" at folks who want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil if there are other ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which there are. And question for Sen. Barrasso (R-WY): if people who want to reduce pollution are a "special interest," then what are banksters?
Comcast plans to institute data caps for cities in several Southern states in December. These will be extraordinarily unpopular, but as long as Comcast has monopoly status in these cities, they'll be hard for ordinary people like ourselves to dislodge, unless we go to the FCC. Kudos to Consumerist writer Kate Cox for referring to David Cohen as a Comcast "mouthpiece." "Lobbyist" is too good for the man who slammed the entire anti-consolidation movement.
In a surprising development by non-Louisiana standards, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, the fourth-place finisher in Louisiana's gubernatorial runoff last month, has endorsed the Democratic candidate still standing, John Bel Edwards, for Governor, rather than endorse Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter. That doesn't mean Dardenne's voters will automatically flock to Edwards, though; though polling thus far suggests they are flocking to Mr. Edwards, the runoff election is still two weeks away, and those voters are still more likely to vote for Mr. Vitter in the end.
The Washington Post chronicles "The Astonishing Decline of the American Swing Voter." But voters perceiving "sharp differences" between the two parties isn't evidence of actual sharp differences between two parties lurching further right. And I'd volunteer a different cause for the swing voter's decline: the ongoing Republican witch-hunt, first against President Clinton, then against liberal "traitors" under Mr. Bush, then against President Obama, has hardened everyone against each other, almost like that was the idea or something. My thesis might be more difficult to test scientifically.
Finally, noted non-liberal Jesse Ventura, in a lucid analysis that won't surprise anyone who's paid attention to him over the last 20 years, says Donald Trump "is using words he doesn't understand" when he refers to Bernie Sanders as a "Communist." And I'd say Mr. Trump isn't the only one! Virtually no one who brandishes "Communist" as a scare word these days can conceive of one-party elections, the abolition of capital ownership, complete central planning of the economy, citizens living in one-bedroom apartments assigned by the state, or the fear of being literally followed around by police at any moment. But that's what Communism is, and calling Bernie Sanders a Communist insults all the billions of good people who suffered under real Communist oppression.