Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Daniel

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) walked a fine line in laying out his opinion on Democrats using the "nuclear option" to remove the threat of a filibuster from executive and judicial appointments before the Senate.

During a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Friday Walker said that, in general, "deference should be given" to executives seeking to put people in their administration "be it a governor, be it a county executive or be it the president" as long as those nominees are "competent and ethical."

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In the end, Jon Stewart apologized on Wednesday for slandering Chicago-style deep dish pizza as nothing more than a "casserole" and said was "very tasty."

"I may have implied that deep dish pizza tastes like a string cheese that's been baked for two hours inside Mike Ditka's ass," Stewart said.

"We accept Jon's truce and will continue to stand up for our city against any sort of uncalled-for insult, culinary or otherwise," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's (D) communications director, Sarah Hamilton, told TPM on Thursday.

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Tea Partier Matt Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the GOP primary for McConnell's Senate seat, said the Kentucky Republican failed to stop Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) from changing the filibuster.

Bevin released a statement slamming both Reid and McConnell shortly after Reid moved forward with the "nuclear option" that would eliminate filibusters for executive and judicial nominations (save the Supreme Court). The statement, sent out to supporters, said that "Mitch McConnell failed as a leader in this fight to stop the blatant disregard for the rules."

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Among historians, the knee-jerk reaction to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's successful push on Thursday to execute the "nuclear option" to clear the path for all executive and most judicial nominees went like this: it's the result of longstanding frustration with legislative gridlock.

The change, which alters the rules to require only a simple majority to proceed on judicial and executive branch nominees save those for the Supreme Court, historians say, is a big marker in the history of the Senate.

"We've only had a few times when the filibuster has been reformed. When they create the cloture rule in 1917. And the other big reform is in 1975 when they lowered the number needed to end a filibuster," Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University told TPM on Thursday. "Since then, the use of the filibuster got worse, not better."

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leads current Gov. Rick Rick Scott (R) in the 2014 Florida gubernatorial race by 7 percentage points according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday found Crist leading Scott 47 percent to 40 percent. The silver lining for Scott is that a previous Quinnipiac poll in June found Crist leading the current governor 47 percent to 37 percent. In March a Quinnipiac poll had Crist leading Scott 50 percent to 34 percent.

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Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has an unlikely but potentially potent weapon in her Senate campaign to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Kentucky's successful online health insurance marketplace.

While the federal government's Healthcare.gov website has been plagued with problems providing ammo to Republicans, Kentucky's online health insurance website, called Kynect, has been hailed as the model for how state marketplaces should work. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) himself has said the marketplace's success has exceeded "far beyond our wildest dreams."

But Grimes has been hesitant to be as vocal as Beshear about Kynect or the broader health care reforms. So far, she has followed the playbook of most red state Democratic candidates.

"She has called for an extension of the grandfathering period to allow the people of called for an extension of the grandfathering period to allow the people of Kentucky to keep their current plans, as well as an extension of the enrollment period and mandate delay for all Americans until the federal website is fixed," Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said in an email to TPM.

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Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) has just a single-digit lead over possible Republican challengers in the 2014 Senate race, according to a new poll. 

 The Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that Udall leads  Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a who previously ran unsuccessfully for Sen.  Michael Bennett's (D-CO) seat in 2010 45 percent to 42 percent. Buck has compared being gay to being an alcoholic and also argued that voters should support him over his primary opponent because unlike her he doesn't "wear high heels."

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An Americans for Prosperity attack ad directed at Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) over Obamacare purports to feature a voter for Alaska, but the woman is actually an actress who lives in the state of Maryland, according to The New York Times.

In the ad, a woman criticizes Begich, who is up for re-election in 2014, and President Barack Obama for the "promises they made to pass Obamacare."

"They knew the real truth,"  the woman said in the ad. "Some are even losing their jobs. For too many of us costs are going way up. Senator Begich didn't listen. How can I ever trust him again? It just isn't fair. Alaska deserves better."

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The Club for Growth is hitting both Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Idaho's largest business lobby over a push to expand Medicaid in the state. 

The Club for Growth, which backed tea partier Bryan Smith in the race for Simpson's House seat, sent out an email Wednesday to supporters noting that "the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, which has already announced the creation of a Super-PAC to support Mike Simpson’s re-election, has also endorsed ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in Idaho."

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