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Member since: Mon Jul 11, 2005, 11:05 AM
Number of posts: 858

About Me

White, male, expatriate living in the mountains of central Taiwan, Oregon permanent address, 34 years of age. Born in St. Louis. Army brat lived all over. Veteran of the Korean War (sieved in Libya and Austin, Texas). Ph.D. in anthropology and linguistics, Indiana University. Career in linguistics and ESL at numerous US and foreign institutions. Spent most of my career as a director of English as a Second Language programs. Taught at National Chi Nan Unversity, Puli, Taiwan over the years 1995-2016. Retired as an orchard keeper with my life partner Judy Wu of the Bunun Austronesian tribe in our mountain hideaway cabin, High Mountain Orchards.

Journal Archives

Bidens defends his Vision of how to get things done against Warrens indirect attacks



“The vision I have for this country, there’s nothing small about it. It is like going to the moon,” Biden told supporters in Des Moines, as he hit the high points of a policy slate that would increase the federal government’s spending and scope on everything from health care to the climate crisis.

Without naming Warren, the former vice president said his ideas — such as a “public option” to compete alongside private health insurance, as opposed to Warren’s “Medicare-for-All” plan run altogether by the government — actually set the progressive standard in 2020 for a simple reason: They’re more achievable.

“I’m not promising anything crazy,” Biden said. “But it’s a vision — a vision of how we can get things done.”

With reporters afterward, Biden zeroed in on Warren’s estimated $20 trillion price tag for the first decade of single-payer insurance. “Getting that plan through, even in a Democratic Congress,” Biden predicted, “would be difficult.”

Biden’s latest volleys came barely 12 hours after Warren used Iowa Democrats’ annual fundraising gala to draw sharp distinctions in the Democratic field, though she, like Biden, avoided naming opponents.

“Anyone who comes on this stage and tells you to dream small and give up early is not going to lead our party to victory,” the Massachusetts senator told thousands of voters sporting t-shirts and waving signs as their preferred candidates took turns on center stage at a downtown Des Moines arena Friday night.

Even if “some people in our party don’t want to admit it,” Warren argued, the nation is in “a time of crisis” not just because of Trump’s divisiveness but more so because of an economic and political system rigged against the working class. “If the most we can promise is ‘business as usual’ after Donald Trump,” Warren said, “then Democrats will lose.”

The senator doubled-down Saturday, insisting in Vinson, Iowa, that sweeping plans are good politics and perhaps necessary to upend Trump. “We need big ideas to inspire people, to get them to turn out for the caucuses, to turn out and vote,” Warren said.

Asked hours later, after an event in Dubuque, if she was suggesting candidates like Biden weren’t being ambitious enough, Warren responded: “Nope. I’m just out here talking about what I’m running on.”

“I’m talking about my vision for what it means to build an America going forward that doesn’t just work for a thin slice at the top, but an America that works for everyone,” she said.

Still, at the very least, Biden’s reaction suggests frustration over Warren’s apparent momentum, even as he and his aides maintain that his philosophical approach will be successful among both Democratic primary voters and the general electorate.

Biden’s proposals, to be clear, put him to the left of recent Democratic nominees, including Hillary Clinton in 2016. But on most points, he falls short of the proposals on the left flank that Warren and her fellow progressive, Sen. Bernie Sanders, have set.

Rather than obliterate private insurance, Biden touts a government plan to compete alongside private firms. Rather than government covering all four-year college tuition, Biden pushes two years a taxpayer-paid tuition. On climate, he backs most long-term goals of the left’s “Green New Deal,” but on a longer timeline and with an initially less aggressive crackdown on the fossil fuel industry.

“It’s made to look like ‘Well, Biden is coming off with some moderate proposal,’” Biden said Saturday. “There’s nothing moderate about making sure everyone has health care. There’s nothing moderate about getting to net-zero emissions. There’s nothing moderate about fundamentally changing the school system in America so we can effectively complete in the 20th century.”

The difference in his proposals, Biden argued: “I tell you straight up how we’re going to pay for it and how much it’s going to cost and how it’s going to get done.”

The dynamics Biden faces were crystallized as young climate activists interrupted him and chided him for not doing enough to take on the oil and gas industry. “Let her speak,” the candidate said as his supporters tried to drown out one of the activists.

Yet as the small group chanted, sang and ultimately departed, Biden grew more frustrated.

“If you’ll notice, they left before I answered her question,” he said. “This is what is going on that’s wrong with our party right now. Everything is taken in contexts that are not accurate.”

As his voice calmed, he sought again to widen his appeal.

“The way we win is we unify, we come together as Democrats,” he said. “We all have basically the same hopes and dreams. The question is, practically, how we get there. But it’s not a lack of vision.”

Biden Hits Back At Criticism of Age: 'See If I Have The Energy'


Subhead: The former vice president, 76, dismissed concerns over his series of campaign trail gaffes and jumbled statements.

Former Vice President Joe Biden dismissed questions over his age following a New York Times report that called out his “uneven performances,” “gaffe-prone tendencies” and “verbal miscues.”

“They went out and found people who said that,” he told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview that aired Friday. “I don’t doubt people said that... The overwhelming number of people haven’t worried about any miscue or not.”

Anther recent article I saw has a speech pathologist relating his s-called gaffes and mus-speaking as related to his stuttering problem.

Hits on his age and gaffe-proneness are not going to work.

Faux News relishing Sanders and Biden camps trading barbs


CONCORD, N.H. – Minutes after filing for his second New Hampshire presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim Thursday at former Vice President Joe Biden and suggested he's losing support among crucial working-class voters considered the core of his political base.

Sanders hit at the new super PAC supporting Biden, and the Biden camp hit at the cost of M4A.

Sanders as felt rud abut his small donor donations, noting the following:

And taking a shot at the former vice president, whose fundraising has lagged far behind both Sanders and Warren, Sanders said: “Joe, as I understand it, has not done particularly well in getting a lot of donations from working-class people.”

This, of course, has been reversed as Biden collected over 5 million dollars in online contributions in October.

At least FOX got the polls right.


The latest poll in the Granite State, from the University of New Hampshire and CNN, indicated Sanders with a slight 21-18 percent edge over Warren among likely Democratic presidential primary voters, with Biden at 15 percent.

So the gloves are coming off as the primaary race heats up.

Trump repeatedly lashed out at Joe Biden at campaign rally

From Axelrod and the Hill 11/01

Trump knows who his worst rival would be--the one who will "beat him like a drum!"

This is the most telling art of the article.

President Trump during a campaign rally Friday repeatedly singled out former Vice President Joe Biden as he continues to rail against one of his top political rivals.

Some observers have hinted that Trump’s repeated bashing of Biden could indicate a concern from the his campaign that the former vice president could pose a serious challenge next year, particularly among white working class workers who traditionally vote Democrat but backed Trump in 2016.
While polls show a competitive race in the Democratic primary contest, several national and swing state surveys show Biden besting the president in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.

The Hill is not very Biden friendly. In another article they mentioned that Biden was "slipping" in the polls. Huh?

Steady as she goes, Joe.

HarrisX Poll (C+) sneaks in Hillary.

It is a Biden and Sanders friendly poll and Biden beats Hillary out by 1%. Hope she sees that in her deliberations! The also, however, had another poll sans Hillary. Here they are but they wont be included in my upcoming poll tracker for Oct 15 (post-debate) to 11/1 (the Iowa Dem dinner)

Both polls 10/29-31 (RV)

1.The Sneaky Hillary Poll
Biden 19
H.Clinton 18
Warren 13
Sanders 12
Etc (singe digits)

2.The sans Hillary Poll
Biden 33
Warren 15
Sanders 18

Warren's Exception to the Top-dollar Fundraisers Pledge

In the political climate in which the 2020 election is taking place with Trump raking in millions in campaign funds, I have no problem with Democratic Presidential candidates raising money in high-end fundraisers.

That being said, Biden received a great deal of criticism for his giving the nod for super PAC support. Therefore, it is fair to mention that other candidates, including Warren, have done what they needed to do to raise the dollars they need. The following artice brings this to our attention.

Warren’s No Top-Dollar Fundraiser Pledge Includes Big Caveat
By Brian Slodysko & Will Weissert
October 30, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of donors enjoyed a white-tablecloth dinner, an open bar and sweeping views of the U.S. Capitol this month when Elizabeth Warren strode on stage to headline a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. The setting was similarly swanky in August, when Warren addressed party contributors at the ornate Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. And it’s likely to be much the same in December, when Warren is slated to headline another party fundraiser in Boston.
The Massachusetts senator has become a leading Democratic presidential candidate in part because she has pledged to forgo events with high-dollar donors, which has resonated with progressives who believe wealthy donors have outsized political influence. But Warren has a notable exception for fundraisers that take in big money for her party, a practice she plans to continue if she becomes the Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump.
Warren is already under scrutiny for seeding her presidential campaign with money she raised while running for the Senate, when she spent millions of dollars on fundraisers and took money from large donors. While that’s common practice, the money transfers and the fundraisers for the national party committee could undermine Warren’s image as a relentless fighter for the middle class who would rather spend hours taking selfies with supporters than schmoozing with elite donors.
“She’s a great candidate,” said Don Fowler, who ran the DNC for two years under President Bill Clinton and hasn’t endorsed any of his party’s White House hopefuls. “She’s just off-step on this particular point.”
Fowler and other Democratic leaders say Warren isn’t being honest about her fundraising plans if she were to become the party’s nominee. They say she can’t tell voters she is personally shunning big-dollar fundraisers while simultaneously headlining state and national party events at which she would raise millions of dollars from major donors supporting her bid for the White House.

We need to cut some slack for candidates to do what must be done to bring down Trump. Election reform is at the top of the list of needed reforms and it can be implemented when it is fairly applied to all candidates whatever their party affiliation. In the meantime, more power to our candidates in bringing in big bucks.

538's take on the Disparity between polls like CNN/SSRS and Quinnipiac.

This issue has cropped up here a number of time vis-à-vis Biden Friendly and Warren friendly polls.

Oct. 31, 2019, at 5:58 AM
Biden Up 15. Warren Up 7. Are Primary Polls Too Far Apart?
By Laura Bronner

Last week, two polls painted two very different pictures of the state of the primary race. A CNN/SSRS poll put former Vice President Joe Biden 15 points ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 34 percent to 19 percent, while a Quinnipiac University poll released a day later found Biden trailing Warren by 7 points, 21 to 28 percent.

As both The New York Times and The Washington Post pointed out, these are pretty large discrepancies for two polls in the field at roughly the same time (the CNN poll was in the field from Oct. 17-20, the Quinnipiac poll from Oct. 17-21). But trying to figure out which poll is more accurate is kind of beside the point. After all, these are only two polls of a primary that has been polled hundreds of times, and it isn’t necessarily a problem that two pollsters arrived at different conclusions.

In analyzing October polls, it was found that the random sampling variability and found by analyzing all national Democratic primary polls for October that "the spread between all the October polls is way outside the range of standard deviations for what we would expect — for both Biden and Warren." (See link for chart).

That suggests that it isn’t just sampling error that’s driving the differences we’re seeing — it implies there are some real methodological differences between the polls. Pollsters regularly use different approaches to polling, sampling and weighting, which can often lead to different outcomes. This is actually a good thing, since there’s a lot of uncertainty about the electorate in 2020 and it’s important that different pollsters make independent decisions about how to analyze it. This is why it’s important to control for variations in pollsters’ techniques when analyzing individual polls. Each pollster’s preferred methodology tends to make its results lean a little toward one party or to certain candidates — these leans are commonly known as “house effects,” and they can help explain some of the variation we’re seeing.

Adjusting fr "house effects" they found that
...this tell us about those CNN and Quinnipiac polls? In short, the fact that they found such different outcomes isn’t that big a deal. As you can see in the chart below, once we control for house effects, the overall spread between polls since May isn’t actually all that large. In fact, the spread of values for both Biden and Warren fall within a range we might expect. So don’t read too much into those two polls. Turns out they’re just the kind of outliers we’d expect to see in this range of polls.

Very interesting. And to conclude on a high note, they provided a char"t to put thee two polls in perspective in ration to of all national polls for Biden and Harris since May 2019 "adjusted for House effects" and taking sample size into consideration..

I find this to be a very intriguing chart of Biden's and Warren's trajectories. Aside from the issue of the two mentioned polls, all the poll averages show Biden showing a long pretty steady course and Warren surging and then slipping a bit near the end of October. Pretty much like my Corps d'Elite poll showed (new version up when the last of the October polls show up).

SC Poll (Change Research, C+): Biden 30, Warren 19, Sanders 13

The Post and Courier/Change Research

Was this posted? Anyway, here it is
South Carolina Poll: October 15-21, 2019

Biden, Warren, and Sanders Lead the Democratic Primary in South Carolina

Joe Biden leads the Democratic primary with 30%. He is followed by Elizabeth Warren (19%), Bernie Sanders (13%), Kamala Harris (11%), Pete Buttigieg (9%), Tom Steyer (5%), Andrew Yang (4%), Tulsi Gabbard (3%), Cory Booker (3%), and Amy Klobuchar (3%). All other candidates poll at 1% or less.

Key Takeaways: ​​

Joe Biden (30%), Elizabeth Warren (19%), and Bernie Sanders (13%) lead among Democratic primary voters in South Carolina after the October Democratic primary debate.
Sanders leads among 18-34 year-old voters; Biden leads among voters 35 years and older.
Among black voters, Biden (38%) has a 21-point lead over Harris (17%), followed by Warren (12%). Warren (26%) leads Biden (20%) among white voters, followed by Sanders (17%).

Change Research surveyed 1,683 likely general election voters in South Carolina, including 731 likely Democratic primary voters, after the fourth Democratic primary debates. The poll produced thousands of data points powering actionable insights for campaigns and organizations following the race to 2020. This page contains a preview of the survey’s findings - inquire about purchasing the full poll.

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