Michael Stinnett - 9/03/2013: Legal rulings such as Citizens United and lax campaign financing laws have undermined the democratic process allowing wealthy donors to buy elections; so-called Super PACs are a pernicious influence on society and should be abolished. A Super PAC, or independent expenditure-only committee, “may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis – the Super PAC's choice – as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates” (Super PACs). The recent ruling protects political spending by corporations in candidate elections, citing the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. In justifying the ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote that “'If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech'” (The New York Times). Read more
Yes. I busted my ass for Obama the first time around.
Opened my checkbook, campaigned, knocked on doors. Did everything I could to see that he carried Florida in the Presidential election.
Not easy in a place where Fred Thompson signs were as common as plastic pink flamingos at the time during the primary and right wing nuts carried Soviet flags outside of local Obama campaign headquarters. Where women thought Palin was the essence of true feminism. I had the lone Obama sign on my lawn in a sea of McCain - Palin cardboard.
But I got the last laugh. At least I thought so at the time.
We had elected a Democratic President and controlled the two Houses of Congress. And we carried Florida.
Maybe something would get done.
Maybe universal healthcare. Maybe peace would come. Maybe a society which would leave behind racism. Maybe repeal of the Bush tax giveaways to billionaires. Maybe we would spend money on people rather than aircraft carriers. Maybe we would stop torturing people. Maybe Gitmo would close.
Maybe. Read more
The New York Times front page on 7 March 1930, the day following the march for Unemployment Insurance.
Does it boggle your mind to see working class people using their time to demonstrate for less government involvement, while living off of unemployment or social security checks? What exactly are these people thinking? How can people work so directly against their own best interests?
It's an insanity that Thomas Frank noted in his book "Whatﾒs the matter with Kansas?":
"the country we have inhabited for the last three decades seems more like a panorama of madness and delusion worthy of Hieronymous Bosch: of sturdy patriots reciting the Pledge while they resolutely strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of hardened blue-collar workers in mid-western burgs cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life, will transform their region into a "rust belt," will strike people like them blows from which they will never recover." Read more
It’s February 18th; do you know where your podcast is? On this date in 1856 the American Party held a convention to nominate a candidate for president - electing Millard Fillmore as the nominee for the Know-Nothings. This moniker reflected the early nativists’ tight lips when asked about their political platform, as members would respond to questions by saying the knew nothing. Two secretive nativist organizations, the “Order of United Americans” and the “Order of the Star Spangled Banner” (sound like great folks), merged to form the American Party in order to protect America from insidious immigrant influences. Ironically, every tribe of “nativists” on the continent prior to the arrival of the European deluge most certainly had a kindred faction the Know-Nothings would really have related to. History was, alas, not on the side of these patriotic souls. The nomination of Fillmore officially ended the party’s demure disposition as they “came out” to the public. This act also signified the beginning of the end of the party itself, as the public responded with a resounding “you suck” and the Know-Nothings won only Maryland, eventually disbanding shortly after. Read more
With President Barack Obama currently in the process of filling vacancies in his cabinet—already one current United States Senator has gotten the nod—and with the retirement of Senators Rockefeller, Harkin, and Chambliss, there has been a good amount of chatter about the ramifications of opening up a U.S. Senate seat. While every state is a unique case, we started wondering what the actual numerical advantage is when it comes to incumbency.
The answer is 7 or 10, or 9 or 16, depending on the situation. While this is a little less prophetic than the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life (42 for all the non-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans out there), there is an interesting pattern that has developed over the past six years or so. Read more
As many might remember in July of this year we released the results of our presidential electoral model to predict the results of the 2012 election. As opposed to many predictive models out there (Nate Silver’s 538 blog being the best known) that rely on publicly available data up to the day of the election, our model is based mainly on past results and demographic changes in the country. We do not use any polling or factor in who the candidates are.
The model not only performed exceptionally well at predicting the national support Obama would receive, but we also predicted the state that would put Obama over the 270 threshold (Colorado). Read more
We supporters of Barack Obama just won a major election and we are all feeling confident. We should, Obama definitely won a mandate when it comes to raising taxes on the rich, along with passing a comprehensive immigration policy. Then we managed to hold our majority in the Senate and we added two seats, with two Independents caucusing with the Democrats.
However, let us not get too comfortable because 2014 is just around the corner, as far as elections go. Some Republicans from the far right are not going to give up. Some even believe that this last election had to be fixed in some way, and that we Democrats were the ones who suppressed voters, not they.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who lost the election to Barack Obama by a clear margin, discounts his loss in the election, to the president giving gifts to certain minorities. Read more
As many might remember in July of this year we released the results of our presidential electoral model to predict the results of the 2012 election. As opposed to many predictive models out there (Nate Silver's 538 blog being the best known) that rely on publicly available data up to the day of the election, our model is based mainly on past results and demographic changes in the country. We do not use any polling or factor in who the candidates are.
The model not only performed exceptionally well in predicting the national support Obama would receive (only 1/10 of a point off), but we also predicted the state that would put Obama over the 270 threshold (Colorado). Additionally, when looking at the state by state results, the model was only off by an average of 2.3 percent across all 50 states. However, in the 10 swing states it was only off by .8 percent. 538 was off by .7 percent in the same 10 states. Additionally we were closer to predicting the results in 5 of the 10 states, while 538 was closer on 4 and we tied on one. Read more
According to a report by Phoenix, Arizona’s NBC affiliate, Rep. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) U.S. Senate campaign called Democratic voters telling them to vote in the wrong precinct — in some cases as much as 11 miles away from their actual polling place. After telling the Democratic voters to vote in the wrong place, the calls also encourage the voter to “vote Flake for U.S. Senate.” Watch the report:
The latest far right slander against women’s rights came Tuesday when Indiana senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock said pregnancies resulting from rape should not be aborted because they are God’s will. Gov. Romney is a Mourdock supporter, and even made a campaign ad for him. Though the vast majority of Americans support abortion rights for rape victims, our government could be overtaken by extremist who don’t.
The presidential ticket and down-ballot candidates from the Republican Party have said they want to strip women of even the barest of reproductive rights. Women, are we going to stand for this? Women-loving men, are you?
Again and again, social conservatism has swung to new and dangerous extremes in the rhetoric of the 2012 campaign season. Repeatedly, Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul have had to back step from candidates they support, and from their own women’s rights records, in an attempt to calm voters down about their misogyny. Voters must not buy in to the latest flip flops: we already know who Romney and his cohorts are, and how they feel about women. Read more
I for one am glad that debate season is over and we can move on to the Election. We partisans, from both sides were hoping for a big win for our candidate but neither side got what they wanted. I am sure that some of my fellow Democrats will say otherwise, but former Governor Mitt Romney I think did fairly well. Still, he did that by riding the coattails of President Obama on several issues, such as our exit timeline in Afghanistan and dealing with Iran, as far as that country obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Mitt Romney repeated what has been a Republican talking point for a while now that President Obama went on an apology tour, shortly after taking office. This is not true in the least since the president never said he was sorry nor did he apologize. President Obama cleared that up when he said: Read more
About four or so months I attended a progressive town hall meeting hosted by my Rep. Eddie B. Johnson, with Rep. Barbara Lee from California. An old-aged attendent asked about the healthcare ruling (this was about two weeks before the final ruling) and Rep. Johnson answered, but I don’t remember the question or answer. That’s not important. What’s important is what happened afterwards.
The next attendant, a middle aged woman, assumedly Rep. Johnson’s supporter, asked what difference is the Obamacare tax mandate from other programs like Social Security. Both are “mandatory” she says, why aren’t the other programs, Social Security specifically, being challenged. How are they in law, she asked in confusion. After Rep. Johnson gave her an “answer,” (to be fair, she said we’ll see if it’s constitutional when the court rules) I whispered to her about FDR’s “court packing” controversy in the 40′s and how America copied the same socialist countries policies whom we had tension with. Read more