Philip Bump on Muck Rack

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Politics Reporter, The Fix — Washington Post

Writer for The Washington Post's politics blog, The Fix.

Why watching grass grow might actually be a good investment of federal money — No. 11 in Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) 2014 "Wastebook" - a catalog of 100 ways in which the government squandered taxpayer money - does an effective job of demonstrating why the exercise on the whole is worthy of skepticism. And, perhaps, illustrates its hidden dangers. What is No. 11?

How demographics can (basically) predict what will happen in November — To cut to the chase: Polling in Senate and gubernatorial races this year seems to indicate that the demographic political party preferences we've seen for several years are largely intact. Republicans are doing well with men and white people; Democrats are doing better with women and African-Americans.

Democrats rebound in early vote count — When we first looked at how early voting was evolving in states that allow the practice, we included an important caveat: these things shift quickly for a variety of reasons, including that we're often talking about fairly small numbers of votes.

Bloomberg Group Called Tsarnaev a Gun Victim on a List It Copied from Slate — A Mayors Against Illegal Guns event in Concord, New Hampshire, yesterday involved reading the names of victims of gun violence since Newtown. Included among those names: Tamerlan Tsarnaev. But the group suggests it's not their fault - Tsarnaev's name came from a list posted at, as Bloomberg's group told The Atlantic Wire on Wednesday afternoon.

Ranking Senate candidates on a key metric: How terrible they make opponents look in their ads — Politics is an elegant art, filled with plenty of low-bid pizza and people paid to follow other people around in the hopes of catching them doing anything remotely humiliating. But there is no component of the political campaign more strictly adherent to the principles of beauty and psychology than the attack ad.

Popularity is overrated when it comes to winning Senate seats this year — MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin makes an interesting point: In several key races this year, voters will be picking between two candidates who, overall, are viewed more negatively than positively. There are a few obvious reasons for this, as Sarlin points out: increased political polarization leads to less of a middle ground of opinion, the ceaseless flood of ads meant to make candidates look as horrendous as possible.

No, Don Young, “government largesse” doesn’t lead to more suicide — On Wednesday Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) expanded on his controversial comments about suicide earlier this week. Speaking at a senior center (versus the high school audience that heard him suggest that families were to blame for suicides), Young said that "this suicide problem didn't exist until we got largesse from the government."

This map shows you all the ‘toss-up’ House districts since 2000. There are more than you think. — Every two years, the Cook Political Report does yeoman's work of evaluating each of the 435 House races to determine which is most in jeopardy of actually being interesting. And they do a good job of it, too: races deemed "toss-ups" by Cook provide a good picture of the evolution of the House since 2000.

Chris Christie versus Rand Paul, part 19: Ebola — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) don't like each other. This isn't "news," as such; the two got into a feud in July 2013 over foreign policy and government spending and who was better, Springsteen or Rush (probably). Now, a new front has been opened: How scared we should be about Ebola.

So, just how rich is Congress? Richer than you. — We use that headline not because we have some sort of advanced tracking system that tells us who you are and what you're worth. We say that because we are playing the odds. On average, members of the 113th Congress are worth over a million dollars. If you are, too: Congratulations!
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Oct 25, 2014

Forced confinement of people that show no indicators of danger solely to pacify others is a slippery cliff.

Oct 25, 2014

This is so grotesquely brazen and repulsive that it's almost amazing.

Oct 25, 2014

I can never watch the "how am I funny" scene from Goodfellas without being distracted by Joe Pesci's shirt collar.

Oct 25, 2014

Weird local pop-up Halloween costume shop is blaring "Like a Surgeon," presumably because Weird Al is how songs get into costume.

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