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
It seems puzzling that Harvard University would grant tenure, let alone appoint someone to be the chairman of its economics department, who fundamentally doesn't believe in economics. But there it is, all spelled out in a much talked about new paper, "Defending the One Percent," by Harvard economics professor and former Mitt Romney advisor, N. Gregory Mankiw, in the June issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
After summarily dispensing with the arguments offered by those on "the left" for greater income equality, specifically those of Joseph Stiglitz who condemns today's yawning wage gap as not only unjust and obscene but economically inefficient as well, Mankiw concludes his 25-page apologia for the bulging portfolios of today's plutocrats by asserting that taxing the wealthy to support socially useful purposes is just plain "wrong." Read more
In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Presidential election it was nearly impossible to not hear the name Nate Silver. His projections of the election came to dominate the news cycle and he himself became the subject of the media zeitgeist. Silver was either lambasted as a charlatan by those who disagreed with his lean towards an Obama win; or he was heralded as a genius by liberals whose fear of a Romney victory he assuaged. This backdrop was the perfect setting to be reading Silver’s first book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t. The narrative in the book described a far different world of projection and probabilistic thinking then what was occurring in the media in the lead up to the election. 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
When President Obama gave his final call to volunteers Tuesday, my kids and I were of the thousands of people listening. Piped in through my laptop, the brief speech was experienced at my house in the kitchen, where I was making dinner. The part that struck me- the sentence I will always remember- was when he said “I love you.” Our president said it three times that I counted.
The leader of the United Stated felt this victory in his heart, which is exactly why he won; this is why we all won in this election. Whether you’re Republican, Independent, or Democratic, you won with the reelection of President Obama. When things are done with heart, they benefit many.
Rep. Boehner is already talking compromise, and the feeling of forward movement towards ending the stalemate in D.C. is growing in the lame duck session. This is because Republican leadership knows they were handed their asses when they tried to figure out how to maintain control, instead of put together a platform that honors the better angels of the American spirit. What the heart knew, GOP brains couldn’t guess at. Read more
Losing an election can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Some Republicans are refusing to accept their loss and instead have begun beating the war drums of vengeance, promising to fight against not only the election results, but against democracy itself and the will of the People.
Donald Trump is a good example, he tweeted a few incendiary comments after the election results gave Obama a clear win. Here is a list of those tweets Yahoo! News provided for us: Read more
Gen. David Petraeus’s sudden resignation as CIA director on Friday is shocking, but what is more shocking is how the GOP and the media is handling this issues. Not they are wondering if his resignation is apart of some sort of conspiracy to cover up for what happen in Benghazi, Libya since Gen. David Petraeus was to testify in the coming days. I find this laughable. For one while the GOP and the media was blaming the President for what happen in Benghazi. They never once put any blame on the CIA director (David Petraeus) for providing bad intelligence when the attack was classified as a protest gone violent. Where was there outrage at David Petraeus. His name was never even mentioned as a person who was part of the problem. Now, the GOP has a different angel. They think David Petraeus was forced out before he can tell the truth about Benghazi. The great White Knight. What a fantasy! Read more
I have been going back and forth on this question. And now that Taegan Goddard, author and former policy advisor has published the above screen shot of Mitt Romney's Presidential Transition Website. I think Mitt and his entire campaign did think they were winning/going to win. Now I know what you are thinking, of course they thought they were winning. What campaign thinks they are going to lose. Well John McCain recently said on Morning Joe that they knew weeks/days before the election in 2008 that they were going to lose. So yes, candidates and there campaigns are aware of their fate before the actual election. Read more
I must confess: I have not liked the New Jersey governor because of his consistent rudeness. However, he has just moved up the scale as a politician and especially as a Republican politician, thanks to his remarks made over the networks and cable TV, giving President Barack Obama praise for his response to emergency assistance after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction in New Jersey.
The governor told NBC “Today” that, “The president has been outstanding in this. The folks at FEMA … have been excellent.”
Gov. Christie later at a news conference said, “I don’t give a damn about Election Day. It doesn’t matter a lick to me at the moment,” adding “I’ve got bigger fish to fry.” Read more
With "horses and bayonets" Mitt started a weak week, spending half the final debate getting trounced and half agreeing with the man doing the trouncing.
Then Murdouck made Mitt's week much worse, saying pregnancy from rape is what God's intended forcing Romney to decide if he defended the man he told Indiana to send to the Senate.
But $5 million brought the week to its worst -- offered by Mitt's own supporter, Donald Trump, who trumped Romney by mugging the media in a bigoted, foolish crusade to steal the spotlight.
Compared to what fellow GOPers have said, being mocked by the Prez was this week's high point
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