Sick and tired of the usual, grueling day-to-day coverage of the US presidential election? Yeah, me too. Yet there are still 10 days to go until the watershed election day..

 Besides the repetitive email scandals on one side and gross sexist, racist rambling on the other side, there are still challenging issues and fascinating stories. 7Days2Vote is a project that aims to tell those stories and document what individual voters care about. 2 friends are road tripping through the Eastern and Southeastern states and taping interviews with voters. The videos will be released successively during the 7 days leading up to the election (hence the name) and I’m really excited about the project. The project is mainly German, but the twitter feed and the videos will be bilingual.

Full disclosure: I run the twitter account @7days2vote and Daniel is my younger brother 🙂

Shutting It Down

Now that the House GOP/the tea party actually did force a US government shutdown, Ezra Klein breaks it down again why this actually happened. There is a longer informative news report on NYTimes.com as well as a handy graphic sketching what parts of the government will be sent into furlough and who has to continue working without pay. To prove how ridiculously ideological this whole thing is, the House did pass a  quick bill to insure that the military will continue to be funded.

Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center. That’s a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections. The new restrictions, the study found, “fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election

Restrictions Could Keep Five Million Traditionally Democratic Voters From The Polls In 2012 | TPMMuckraker

What the heck has to be wrong with you to make voting MORE restrictive in 2011/12? (Aside from obvious party allegiances, which do not make this any less messed up.)

To put it even more precisely, the Democrats agreed to agree with the Republicans. Make no mistake: the two parties did not meet halfway. One of them travelled all the way over to the other one’s house and knocked on the door. The Republicans barely made it down to the hall. From a Democratic or merely centrist point of view this is, as the New York Times puts it in an unusually unequivocal editorial, “a terrible deal”.
[…]
It’s odd: Obama only gets worked up about means, not ends. He seems more interested in process, than the outcome of the process. His major interventions, like his televised speech on Monday night, contain pleas for the parties to come together, and schoolmasterly admonishments to Washington politicians. But his political mission is still as vague and unformed as it was in 2008. He is content to preach, rather than lead. The nadir of this approach was reached over the weekend, when he asked his followers to Tweet the word “compromise” to their Republican representatives. Is this what he meant, back then, by audacity? A plaintive plea for compromise with hardline conservatives?