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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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26  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Which denomination best fits me? on: August 23, 2014, 09:20:24 pm
Judaism -- but I'm not Jewish. About the only connection that I have to Judaism is a German-sounding surname. 
27  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: PA: Any hope for Gov. Corbett? on: August 23, 2014, 08:58:04 pm
So far as I can tell he has no chance of ending up in prison.
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Scott Walker still run in 2016 if he loses in 2014? on: August 23, 2014, 12:33:07 pm
He has big problems awaiting him:

Quote
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin played a greater role than previously known in arranging for wealthy contributors to donate to a powerful conservative organization in his home state as it battled a two-year campaign to recall Mr. Walker and Republican lawmakers, according to court documents released Friday.

The documents — part of a long-running investigation into whether Mr. Walker’s campaign improperly coordinated the spending of outside groups — include emails among Mr. Walker’s top aides that suggest a frenzy of fund-raising activity, including a trip to Las Vegas, to solicit unregulated contributions for the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a nonprofit conservative group, as it helped him in the successful effort to fight back recalls in 2011 and 2012.

He encouraged national contributors to funnel money through the shadowy but deeply Wisconsin chapter of the secretive, right-wing, richly-endowed Club for Growth:

Quote
“As the governor discussed ... he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging,” Kate Doner, a fund-raising consultant for Mr. Walker, wrote to R. J. Johnson, the campaign consultant and a major adviser to the Club for Growth. “We had some past problems with multiple groups doing work on ‘behalf’ of Gov. Walker and it caused some issues.”
   
Ms. Doner also sent an email to Mr. Walker and top campaign aides in September 2011 with “quick thoughts on raising money for Walker’s possible recall efforts.” The email included this suggestion: “Take Koch’s money,” a reference to Charles G. and David H. Koch, the conservative industrialists and generous Republican donors. It also directed Mr. Walker to “get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson,” the wealthy casino magnate and the single largest Republican donor in the last presidential campaign.

Of Mr. Adelson, it said, “Ask for $1m now.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/us/politics/emails-show-bigger-fund-raising-role-for-gov-scott-walker-of-wisconsin.html?_r=1



29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could a President Hillary have a Republican Congress for her entire Presidency? on: August 23, 2014, 12:26:04 pm
There will be plenty of R Senate seats in moderate-to-liberal states up for grabs in 2016. That could include Arizona and Iowa should Senators McCain and Grassley call it quits.
30  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Walker Scandal Returns...Alleged To Be Part Of 'Criminal Scheme' on: August 23, 2014, 12:22:18 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/us/politics/emails-show-bigger-fund-raising-role-for-gov-scott-walker-of-wisconsin.html?_r=0

Quote
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin played a greater role than previously known in arranging for wealthy contributors to donate to a powerful conservative organization in his home state as it battled a two-year campaign to recall Mr. Walker and Republican lawmakers, according to court documents released Friday.

The documents — part of a long-running investigation into whether Mr. Walker’s campaign improperly coordinated the spending of outside groups — include emails among Mr. Walker’s top aides that suggest a frenzy of fund-raising activity, including a trip to Las Vegas, to solicit unregulated contributions for the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a nonprofit conservative group, as it helped him in the successful effort to fight back recalls in 2011 and 2012.

Excited to see Walker, Perry and Christie up on that debate stage.

This is really, really bad. Sneaky funding through front groups is questionable at best. When the candidate seeks such funding, things are really bad.   
31  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could Democrats be divided again at the 2016 DNC over Israel & Religion? on: August 23, 2014, 12:17:28 pm
Not likely. I expect American Jews to 100% anti-ISIS. 
32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the American Media? on: August 23, 2014, 08:42:33 am
News media now exist largely to satisfy audiences, and if such means slanting stories and adding touches of old-fashioned yellow journalism, such is what people want and get. Disinterested coverage is no longer good for attracting paying customers. Telling people that Barack Obama is the Antichrist is lucrative.
33  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: NY-Quinnipiac: Clinton & Cuomo lead Bush, Christie, & Paul by double digits on: August 23, 2014, 08:35:46 am
I have a feeling that come election day Clinton regardless of opponent will be get 70%+

HAHAHAHA...no
Huh

Gillibrand's 2012 and Schumer's 2004 numbers north of 70% were a result of little-known opponents and incumbents that were extremely popular. After a national campaign, Hillary would MAYBE hit 65%, but I doubt she would cross 70% even if she were running against Cruz.

Ted Cruz would be such a bad match for New York that he could lose New York 75-25 while losing the Boroughs altogether by 85-15. Christian fundamentalist in New York State? He would have trouble in any state with a large Catholic population.

Matchups that I have seen involving Ted Cruz against Hillary Clinton suggest an LBJ-scale blowout. 

 

 
34  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: PPP-Kansas: Hillary trails by 1-5% against GOP gang of five on: August 23, 2014, 08:28:08 am
To give some idea of how badly a Democrat can lose Kansas and get elected nationwide:


1944: Kansas -- Dewey 60.25%, Roosevelt 39.18%
Nationwide:  Roosevelt 53.39% Dewey 45.89%


2008: Kansas -- McCain 56.48%, Obama 41.55%
Nationwide -- Obama 52.86%, McCain 45.60%

Political realities changed dramatically over 64 years, but Kansas remains one of the most R-leaning states. 
35  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: War is the business on: August 23, 2014, 08:14:11 am
Military procurement has often become the definitive example of pork-barrel spending. It has nothing to do with winning a conceivable war, and it is more likely to commit America to military disasters than to ensure success. This pork-barrel spending is likely to fail to achieve any military objectives.

We need remember that the US had practically no war machine in 1940, but successfully improvised its way to having the most fearsome war machine that the world ever knew.  As Hermann Goering said of America, "they make good refrigerators and razor blades, but what can they do for military equipment?"

Goering would eventually end up in American military custody on trial for his life as a war criminal and would be convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes.
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: August 23, 2014, 08:07:31 am
What polls (if any) are asking about the degree of approval/disapproval?

I bet most of the approvals are from people who approve from mostly approve to strongly approve, while a large segment of disapprovals come from "somewhat disapprove" (who voted for Obama in 2008 with great enthusiasm, but also voted for him in 2012 as simply a vote for the lesser of two bad options).

I think Obama's job approval is like Obamacare's approvals, in the sense that many disapprove, but for different reasons when asked further.

Obamacare will be his most obvious legacy.

What has gone wrong?

Scandals? This administration is squeaky clean. I can't see anyone lining his pockets because of closeness to the Presidency. People may be seeing their investments gain value, but that is not because of the President choosing winners and losers.

Military disasters? Diplomatic debacles? No. Some things will spiral out of control. The US does not own Iraq or Syria.

Poor economic stewardship? One can blame slow growth in pay to decisions of the GOP and related organizations. Of course the Right wants people to work longer and harder for less for greater profits for elites.   

So he is unable to get Congress to do anything. Such was no problem in his first two years of office, and we well know what the ethos of the GOP is -- enrich the right people and all is wonderful, fail to put enriching extant elites above all else and you will regret being born. Nobody ever makes progress arguing against "My Way or the Highway".  Moses was never going to succeed in softening the heart of the Pharaoh. Moses took "the highway".
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 22, 2014, 05:10:34 pm
PPP, Kansas

Quote
-PPP's newest Kansas poll finds Hillary Clinton trailing all of her potential Republican foes in the state, but by much closer margins than Barack Obama lost by there. Clinton trails Jeb Bush
45/39, Mike Huckabee 46/41, Rand Paul 45/41, Chris Christie 42/38, and Ted Cruz 43/42. It's
not likely Clinton could win Kansas, but she would at least come closer than Democrats usually do.
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2014/PPP_Release_KS_822424.pdf

(Democratic nominees have lost Kansas in every Presidential election since 1964).


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more


38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mitch McConnell has a plan for the last 2 years of Obama's Presidency... on: August 22, 2014, 03:47:20 pm
Basically, if I don't get my way, nothing gets done in Congress.

I don't know if Mitch McConnell has health problems, but one thing that I have noticed about people approaching the end of life -- they get infantile.

I visited a cousin dying of lupus at age 50 in the hospital, and I wanted to get him something to comfort him. I suggested (1) a copy of Playboy magazine, (2) a beer, and (3) a stuffed toy animal. He asked for and got the stuffed toy animal. I would have sneaked in a beer if he had so asked.

39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If Kerry had won Ohio, would the world economy have crashed in 2008? on: August 22, 2014, 03:35:50 pm
"That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built"

- Abraham Lincoln

Fake quote. Just so you know.

40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If Kerry had won Ohio, would the world economy have crashed in 2008? on: August 22, 2014, 12:34:12 am
By 2005 there was no way to prevent the economic meltdown of late 2007- early 2009. The corrupt practices were already entrenched, and nobody was going to undo them. 

Kerry would have been a one-term President. Whether the following Republican would also be a one-term President depends upon how long the meltdown lasted, and how quickly the recovery would happen.   
41  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 21, 2014, 12:27:01 pm
56-37 looks solid enough, but if it is down from 75-22 or so, then the Republicans have a problem in Florida.   

When was it 75-22?  Do you have a citation for this?  The exit polls don't usually break it down between "Cuban" and "other Hispanic".


Probably until about 1990.
42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the St. Louis County Police Department on: August 21, 2014, 12:25:25 pm
In need of pervasive reform.

Brutal cops create anarchy and disorder. 
43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 21, 2014, 08:53:57 am
I misread it (dirty glasses!), inverting the approval. Glasses cleaned, I take back some of what I said as simply wrong.  But even so, Cuban-Americans in Florida used to vote something like 75-25 for Republicans.

Any erosion of support from any once-solid constituency hurts the Party that used to rely upon that constituency. So if the vote of unionized workers or Jews for a Democratic pol goes from 80% to 60%, then the Democrat has a problem -- most likely one that goes beyond unionized workers or Jews. Likewise, if the small-business-ownership vote for Republicans goes from 80% to 60%, then Republicans have a problem, one that may go beyond the specific vote. Erosion of the base is still one way to lose the next election.

Perhaps something can be changing in a constituency that once seemed natural. Maybe unionized workers are no longer the struggling "Norma Rae" and are now well-paid skilled workers who have developed some concern for a tax bite that they can rarely avoid. Maybe  the Republicans are better addressing dangers to Israel than the Democrats do at the time. On the other hand, small business may be seeing Republicans siding with Big Business to squeeze out competition from small business and Democrats less likely to do so. Go figure. Parties figure such out or must seek new constituencies.

Maybe Cuban-Americans are beginning to become less concerned with Communism as the younger ones have no personal link to the controversies about what to do with Fidel Castro. Remember: any Cuban-American who fled Cuba before 1964 is now at least 50. Maybe Cuban-Americans are beginning to assimilate into non-Cuban-American populations. Maybe the Cuban-American population in 2014 isn't as 'white' as the refugees of the early 1960s (Mariel boatlift).
   
56-37 looks solid enough, but if it is down from 75-22 or so, then the Republicans have a problem in Florida.   
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Hillary is the Democrat nominee, who might her VP be? Does it really matter? on: August 21, 2014, 08:33:02 am
VP doesn't matter that much unless the VP (to the political positive) fends off a possible rift or (to the negative)

(1) has no experience in high public office (US Senate, state governor strongly preferred. Does "mayor of a large city" count?) Congressional representatives do badly as political assets (William Miller, Geraldine Ferraro, Jack Kemp, Paul Ryan)

(2) has a problem -- see Thomas Eagleton, 1972.

(3) is grossly unqualified  -- Sarah Palin.

(4) is an incompetent campaigner

The VP nominee rarely swings a state. Ideological consistency has far greater significance. Bill Clinton could have chosen some Northern pol as his running  mate in 1992, but he selected a Senator from a neighboring state (Tennessee) with demographics and political heritage similar to that of Arkansas. He still won a raft of states that no Democratic nominee had won after the LBJ blowout of 1964.  

Here I discuss Julian Castro because he would bring an unusual experience and new political characteristics to national politics:

If Hillary Clinton selects some Democratic Rep from Florida just to win Florida -- such will either be irrelevant or fail. Selecting a big-city mayor (Julian Castro) would be daring because it just has not been done. The strengths of a big-city mayor (San Antonio) are obvious -- top official of a populous entity. Mayors have administrative experience that legislators do not have. Mayors must deal with local issues.

He would be the first Hispanic nominee of any major Party, and even if he does not swing Texas he might help in Colorado and Nevada  by encouraging the large Mexican-American populations in both states to vote. Who knows -- he could conceivably swing Arizona, a state with some affinities to Texas. The GOP nominee really must win at least one of Colorado and Nevada to get elected President. Such could solidify the Obama coalition, and the Obama coalition is enough for winning the Presidency.

The negatives? First, the city is San Antonio, a city with big problems. It's a nice place to visit but statistically an awful place in which to live. San Antonio has below-average economic conditions, poor statistical measures of educational achievement, and a high crime rate. Count on Republicans using that against him. (Democrats would have probably used that against former Cleveland Mayor, Governor of Ohio, and Senator Voinovich -- who I concede might have been a fine President had he been elected). Just about any big city has much the same problems.

Second, San Antonio is no microcosm of America. Like most other giant cities in Texas it has incorporated land that might have formed suburbs, so it has some sections with suburban qualities.  But it is not at all rural. Its ethnic mix is uncharacteristic of America. What works in San Antonio might not be so attractive in Wisconsin.  Julian Castro has never shown any ability to appeal to rural voters. Rural voters did not decide elections of 2006, 2008, or 2012, but they did decide the election of 2010.

Third -- the surname. It will be terribly unpopular in Florida even if he is no relation to someone  infamous to many Floridians.  If he must spend much time distinguishing himself from Fidel, then the adage "if you are explaining you are losing" applies.  

 

    
45  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 21, 2014, 07:16:43 am
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

In what way does this poll suggest that their voting patterns are converging?  They look pretty different in this poll.


From the poll:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

Cuban-Americans in Florida used to be a reliably-Republican voting bloc. Republicans can no longer rely upon the appeal that "Democrats are tools of Fidel Castro".

Huh

What are you talking about?  Romney has a huge lead among Cubans in that poll, according to the very numbers that you're quoting, while Clinton has a huge lead among non-Cuban Hispanics.


I discuss a change from the past in which most Cuban-Americans, at least in Florida, were reliable voters for Republicans in Presidential elections. Not all Hispanics in Florida are Cuban-Americans, and non-Cuban were never as amenable to GOP appeals that "Democrats are buddies of Fidel Castro". If one is a Mexican-American, is "Fidel Castro" as visceral a set of syllables as they were to someone who had fled Fidel Castro?

From the poll:

Quote
Whites
Romney 46%
Clinton 44%

This is very different from:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

I think that we are seeing Republicans show that they have become incompetent at making successful and relevant appeals to Hispanics of any kind, and the execrable performance of Republicans among Cuban-Americans shows that such a failure comes from a difference in culture. To be sure, "Cuban Hispanics" are no longer as lily-white as they were in the 1960s due to a large number of Afro-Cubans in the Mariel boat-lift.

But even without the racial angle, younger Cuban-Americans are peeling away from the GOP on economic and cultural issues that have nothing to do with opposition to Communism.  Democrats have learned to say nothing flattering about Fidel Castro. Culture matters, and Cuban-Americans are heavily Catholic. Catholics on the whole have little use for GOP pandering to Protestant fundamentalists on such superstition and pseudoscience as creationism.

 
46  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power on: August 21, 2014, 06:57:05 am
I don't live in Texas, so I have my own filter. Texas has some strange politics.

Elected officials have no right to interfere in the judicial process for partisan ends. A state governor may use pardons and commutations as permitted by the State constitution, but that is as far as it goes. The governor cannot fire a judge or diminish his pay (which is a constructive firing) for political purposes.

An indictment has been made, and that does not itself imply guilt -- just that a case for prosecution exists. That is all.

It's good to see that someone gets it. I keep seeing this really, really nasty meme that it's okay to blatantly break the law if you're doing to to "punish" a wrong-doer (alleged or otherwise). Does anyone think that what Perry did would have been just dandy if he'd done it because the person he was targeting was hispanic? Or gay? Or Muslim? The ends DO NOT justify the means - if a civilization start ignoring its own laws because it think that is true, then its doomed.
There are two aspects here. How bad does it look for Perry? Did he break the law?

The DA's drunk driving arrest/ behavior fits both discussions. Primarily we've talked about the former, but it's still relevant for the latter.

As Governor, Perry has veto powers. And he is also able to say that he will use the veto powers under certain circumstances.

He wouldn't be able to use the veto powers to remove someone for being gay, Muslim or Hispanic. However, a prosecutor serving three weeks in jail for drunk driving, who is videotaped trying to pull rank on the officers around her, is not the moral equivalent of someone who is a victim of discrimination. She did something that's clearly wrong.

She was not removed for DWI. She was allowed to remain in office. Even if such is a mistake, it is not the prerogative of the Governor to deny the due payment for her work; such is not within his power.  That the attempt to deny payment for her office is done for what looks like a protection of the economic interest of the Governor's cronies makes the veto look like an abuse of power severe enough to allow an indictment. The Governor has veto powers, but if he uses them for corrupt purposes he may commit a crime.

Judges are not personally responsible to elected officials. Remember: an independent judiciary is a cornerstone of liberal democracy (in the classical sense). It does not allow judicial misconduct or grossly-incompetent performance... or blatant non-performance of duties.       

47  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 21, 2014, 06:34:48 am
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

In what way does this poll suggest that their voting patterns are converging?  They look pretty different in this poll.


From the poll:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

Cuban-Americans in Florida used to be a reliably-Republican voting bloc. Republicans can no longer rely upon the appeal that "Democrats are tools of Fidel Castro".
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 21, 2014, 06:23:46 am
Quinnipiac, New York State:

Clinton 60%
Bush 29%

Clinton 61%
Paul 30%

Clinton 54%
Christie 34%

Cuomo 53%
Bush 30%

Cuomo 55%
Paul 31%

Cuomo 47%
Christie 37%

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/new-york-state/release-detail?ReleaseID=2072


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more

49  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 20, 2014, 10:25:28 pm
If things remain as they are with no Republican making gains against Hillary Clinton, then she wins a minimum of 330 electoral votes and a maximum of 410 electoral votes. 
50  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 20, 2014, 10:17:14 pm
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

It could be that Mitt Romney lost Florida in 2012 with the infamous Spanish-language ad that tried to connect President Obama to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez... but a 7% lead is much bigger than the margin of either Obama victory in Florida.  

(Sorry -- I misread the stats due to dirty glasses).
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