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Why Veterans are Underrepresented in Congress

For well-on 30 years military veterans have been a decreasing presence in Congress. Any reversal of the declining trend will probably begin with the one tried-and-true way to gain legislative experience, build name recognition, and increase access to a fundraising network: election to a state legislature.

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Active citizenship and the presidential race

Writing at The Huffington Post, Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning (CIRCLE), makes the case for presidential candidates and political pundits to take citizenship seriously.

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More Military Vets Enter Congress

Pete Hegseth of Vets for Freedom notes that six Iraq and Afghanistan veterans won House seats last Tuesday. The new members are:

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2010 midterm election round-up

By Alec Weltzien

The midterm elections have now come and gone.  Although they’ll be counting Senate votes in Alaska for some time, we thought you might want to understand what it all meant.  Here are some useful blogs and postings on the election and its significance.

  • Who won and why?
    • What were the campaigns’ political missteps and masterstrokes? Election Watch at the American Enterprise Institute will offer incisive answers to these questions via live video feed from 12 PM to 2PM EST tomorrow, November 4th.
    • Aside from the ill-fated Charlie Crist, third-party candidates played havoc with Republicans in several elections.  Read James Joyner’s analysis of their disruptive role here.
  • Who voted?
    • Some good news: Voter turnout looks to be higher than in the 2006 midterm elections.
    • Exit polls by the Associated Press show how particular issues and opinions drove voters to the Democrats and Republicans.  It also offers an overview of Senate, House, Gubernatorial, and ballot measure votes by state.
    • Why did Independents shift right?  Richard Sieb at the Wall Street Journal explains.
    • Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin: These states can make a president. But the Midwest states that voted for Obama in 2008 turned Republican this election.  Find out why at CBS News.
    • By and large, American youth did not participate in the elections.  The Student Free Press Association and CBS News offer reasons why.
  • Make your voice heard.
    • At the New York Times, describe your state of mind about the elections in one word. You can even see how American attitudes about the midterms compare with the 2008 presidential election.
    • Is Facebook the new polling place?  Over 11 million people announced on the social networking site that they had done their civic duty.
  • What’s next?
    • To the lame duck session and beyond:  What lies ahead for a jointly controlled Congress?  What are potential areas for bipartisan agreement? Donny Shaw at Open Congress offers some answers.
    • Find out what the sharpest pundits are saying about the Democrats’ defeat and the GOP agenda at Real Clear Politics.

Thanks for voting!

Alec Weltzien is an intern with the AEI Program on American Citizenship.

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“You hatchet-faced nutmeg dealer”

The crew at Reason.com looks at a political campaign which has, in the words of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, taken “dirty to a whole new level.” (Hint: Sarah Palin is not involved.)

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AEI