House Democrats pass historical health-care legislation

This great sortable database makes it easy to figure out who in the House managed to take the most money from the health industry while voting against healthcare reform. As a bonus, there’s a column noting the percentage of uninsured in their district. The most obvious story I see in this data: Pete Sessions sold out TX-32.

House Democrats pass historical health-care legislation

November Carnival of Journalism: What would the Obama campaign do?

Pretty much every single industry that involves convincing consumers that your product, or idea, or business is a great idea has been strafed with a raft of “What [Your Industry Here] Can Learn From Barack Obama” blog posts lately, and journalism is no exception.

This month’s Carnival of Journalism, which I’m late for due to an incredibly busy everything right now, asks the question.

I’m going to cede my space to ruminate on that one to Sean Blanda’s excellent post on how to design like Barack Obama:

“Originally created for GQ by Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, the Gotham font was meant to be masculine and fresh, which aren’t bad adjectives for a political campaign.  If you are interested, the makers of Helvetica interviewed the creators about their thought process when setting the typeface.  But what regular designers can learn from Obama is not only his font selection, but the discipline to create a design and stick to it, much like good politicians stay on message.”

Read the whole thing…

Why I’m voting for Barack Obama

[Let’s get the usual disclaimer out of the way, first things first.]

For those of you who haven’t noticed that I have a political point of view, forgive the intrusion, but this is my Election Day editorial, and for that matter, it’s my name on the masthead, so I pretty much get to say what I want here, right?

Don’t worry, this won’t take long.

I’m voting for Barack Obama because it changes the world.

Not because he will be the first African-American U.S. President, or because I agree with every single plank in this cycle’s Democratic platform (I don’t), or because I think he is my new bicycle, but because at this time in history, the strongest, most positive, most important message we can send the rest of the planet is this:

The American Dream is still alive. And so is democracy.  Because if Obama can grow up to be President of the United States, so can my daughter, and your son, and their friends, and their children, none of whom happen to be descended from the hale and hearty folks who came over on the Mayflower, puking and praying and putting up with the likes of John Winthrop all the way across.

So yeah, Winthrop was right.  America does have a chance to be that city on a hill, but the message isn’t some Reagan-era crap about how we’re right and everyone else is wrong; the message is that we know what’s right, and we’ll do our best to make it right for everyone.

And we’ll start in the voting booth around the corner, standing in line with our friends and families and neighbors, trying to make things right.  If things go well, maybe we won’t wake up Wednesday morning mumbling about leaving this country for good.

Hope

On IdeaLab: Can the political press grow a spine with a little help from you?

I interviewed Jay Rosen today on IM about his spinewatch project, which encourages journalists, bloggers, and citizens in general to point out moments when the political press on the campaign trail shows evidence of needing to grow one, or of having grown one.

Jay:

“But the rules and assumptions underlying the fact checking regime are vulnerable to challenge from any campaign that a) doesn’t care if it’s called out, b) is willing to deny in a flat, affectless way realities as plain as the nose on Jay Carney’s shellshocked face, and c) has incorporated attacks on the news media into the heart of its appeal to voters.

In response to this extraordinary challenge to one of the most legitimate “checking” functions they have, journalists need a stronger spine; they have to call out the strategic use of deception and the amazing retreat from empiricism that we have seen from the McCain camp. And if Obama starts doing the same thing, they need a stiff spine for that too.”

Read the whole thing, which includes details on how and why Jay is encouraging the use of Twitter, Publish2, and other tools to monitor the status of the backbone of the press.