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Member since: Sun Apr 26, 2015, 11:58 PM
Number of posts: 8,158

Journal Archives

Poll: Clinton leads Sanders by 9 points in Iowa


Clinton currently has the support of 51% in the three-way Democratic horse race; Sanders gets 42%. And Martin O’Malley, a former Maryland governor, has just 4%.

Three percent of Iowa likely Democratic caucusgoers remain undecided, according to the Nov. 16-22 poll.

These results are almost unchanged from the last Quinnipiac survey in Iowa, in late October, which showed Clinton at 51% and Sanders at 40%.



Bernie Sanders' Brother Gives Glimpse Into Their Childhood, the 'Real' Bernie

By Lauren Kelley November 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders' brother, Larry, recently sat down with 'Rolling Stone' to discuss his sibling's background and candidacy.

(see video at link)

In a previously published clip of Rolling Stone's interview with Bernie Sanders' big brother, Larry, the elder Sanders became emotional talking about his pride for "Bernard."

In this longer video from that interview, Larry Sanders discusses what Bernie was like as a child (a bit of a jock), how both brothers became left-leaning politicians (they grew up in working-class Brooklyn, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, motivating them to fight for justice for all), and why Bernie's had such success raising money without relying on Super PACs. "He is a very honest person....People can disagree with his ideas, but they know where he stands," Sanders says. "And the crazy length of American political campaigns has in this case actually worked out [in his favor]. People have had many months to get to know him."




Hillary and Bernie's poll numbers are starting to level off as shown in the most recent polling average chart. The state polling is also starting to curve in the direction of the national trend, what does Bernie have to do to change this trend?

Say it ain’t so: Alan Grayson endorses Hillary Clinton


Grayson’s inclusion on the Clinton Florida Leadership Council leads an observer to consider two possible scenarios.

The first is that Grayson is (finally) endorsing Hillary Clinton. But in doing so, he moves decidedly to the center, brazenly putting himself in a better political position to face Murphy in the Democratic Senate primary. However, this strategy only serves to push Grayson away from his Sanders/Daily Kos base, essentially thumbing his nose at his most fervent supporters.

The other can be summed up in two words: “my bad.”

In this instance, Grayson is not REALLY endorsing Clinton – which would not be surprising for someone known (charitably) as a “loose cannon.”




Weird article, still thought it was worth sharing.

Hillary’s Greatest Weakness. She needs to put distance between herself and Obama.

By Jamelle Bouie

Everyone indulges it, but at this stage of the game, who won? and who lost? are the least interesting questions of the presidential debates. More useful is what did you learn? After all, that’s the point of debates—to learn about candidates as they address moderators, answer questions, and interact with each other. In the GOP debates, for example, no one has cared what Jeb Bush has to say about taxes, as long as he’s in the mainstream of the party. What actually matters is how he responds to pressure and provocation, and on both scores—in the debates, at least—he has failed.

On Saturday, Democrats held their second presidential debate, this time at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Hosted by CBS News and led by John Dickerson (also a Slate colleague of mine), the topics ranged from ISIS and the attacks in Paris to immigration reform and gun control. And watching the three-way fight between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin Malley, what did we learn?

Hillary Clinton is stuck when it comes to foreign policy. As a matter of strategy, Clinton won’t critique or criticize the Obama administration. At every turn, she praises President Obama and his accomplishments. And it makes sense—she wants to endear herself to rank-and-file Democrats, including black Americans, who strongly support the president. But there are places where Obama could have done better, or had the wrong judgment. To many observers, that includes the Middle East. We know Clinton has a critique of Obama’s policy toward the Middle East, especially with regards to ISIS—she says so in her book, Hard Choices.

And so during the debate Clinton struggled to defend Obama’s record on the Middle East, and his past stance toward ISIS in particular. “Won’t the legacy of this administration, which you were a part of, won’t that legacy be that it underestimated the threat from ISIS?” Dickerson asked. Clinton didn’t have an answer. Instead, she offered the audience what she would do as president, without reckoning with the choices she made—with Obama—while secretary of state. This approach continued even as the debate turned to other subjects. When faced with problems in the Affordable Care Act, for instance, Clinton can’t make a forthright critique. Instead, she has to praise the policy, praise Obama, and find some way to move forward. It’s tough and it’s tedious, and it’s an unneeded drag on Clinton’s candidacy; the kind of problem that could spawn new problems, if she can’t deal with it. Put differently, the easiest way for Clinton to escape the trap of the status quo is to break with Obama and put real distance between his administration, and her prospective one.




This article makes me uncomfortable, because it's an issue that isn't being discussed much now, but will likely be a major issue in the GE if Hillary gets the nomination.

The Biggest Difference Between Clintons' and Sanders' Policies Isn't Their Substance

The Biggest Difference Between Clintons' and Sanders' Policies Isn't Their Substance

It's how they'd try to enact them.

—By Patrick Caldwell

The contrasts between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are largely differences of degree. He's a self-proclaimed socialist; she fashions herself a "progressive that likes to get things done." He hopes to bust up the biggest banks and offer free tuition at public colleges and universities; she wants to tamp down on risky Wall Street behavior and require students to work part-time in order to attend college without building up debt.

But these discrepancies would likely disappear if either Democratic candidate wins the presidency and attempts to push these bills through a Republican Congress that considers all of the proposals too far left for its liking.

The real difference between Sanders and Clinton might come down less to the what of their policies than to the how of implementing them. When Sanders unveils a new policy as part of his presidential campaign, he tends to pair it with legislation he introduces in the Senate. Judging from his campaign, a President Sanders would spend much of his time trying to convince Congress to pass massive legislative overhauls.

Clinton, on the other hand, often pair ideas for legislation with promises of executive action in her policy fact sheets. When she rolls out a new policy proposal, the most details are usually in descriptions of the unilateral actions she would take through the power of the executive branch.




Certainly this is going to be an issue for either candidate: how to work with a Republican House determined to thwart any and all legislation introduced by a Democratic President. Is doing what they can through executive action going to be the only way to accomplish anything while we still have a completely dysfunctional Congress?

Bernie Sanders Doesn't Have the Killer Instinct Needed to Beat Hillary Clinton

During the presidential debate, the candidate pulled back when he should have gone for the jugular.

By Jeet Heer
November 14, 2015

Bernie Sanders has set a high goal for himself. He wants to unleash nothing less than a political revolution in America that overthrows the power of big money. In pursuit of this goal, he’s launched a highly energetic and lofty grassroots movement. But it could be that as a candidate he’s a bit too lofty for his own good.

He is clearly more comfortable debating ideas than launching personal attacks. Throughout the second Democratic presidential primary debate, he performed an awkward dance where he drew a sharp contrast between himself and front-runner Hillary Clinton, but for the most part pulled back from landing a direct hit. Time and again, he tried to present his differences with Clinton in abstract terms, often refusing to name her explicitly as being at fault. For whatever reason, Sanders lacks the killer instinct you need to be a politician at the highest level.




I actually like this quality of Bernie, but I thought this was a worthy topic to put up for discussion here.

Reality takes a beating in latest Republican debate

By Steve Benen

Early on in last night’s debate, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson was asked whether he’d support an increase in the minimum wage. The retired right-wing neurosurgeon began his answer by saying, “People need to be educated on the minimum wage,” which quickly became one of the more ironic comments of the evening.

“Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It’s particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. You know, and that’s because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down.

“You know, I can remember, as a youngster – you know, my first job working in a laboratory as a lab assistant, and multiple other jobs. But I would not have gotten those jobs if someone had to pay me a large amount of money.”

The assertion that minimum wage increases are always followed by an increase in unemployment is wrong. Carson’s claim about unemployment among black teens is even further from the truth. And as for the minimum wage when Carson was younger, in 1975, when he was 24 years old, the minimum wage was $2.10 an hour – which is $9.29 when adjusted for inflation, more than two dollars above today’s wage floor.

It was, alas, that kind of event. There’s always considerable chatter about who “wins” or “loses” these debates – most pundits seem to think Marco Rubio excelled, though I’m starting to think some of them are just using a computer macro to save time – but there was one clear loser last night: reality.



How each Republican fares against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in 1 cool chart

I'm generally pretty skeptical of any polling this far out from an election. I am, however, very skeptical of the value of general election head-to-head match-ups this far out. 538's Harry Enten has a good articulation of why, in case it's not self-evident, but consider the situation. We're asking people who they'd pick before each party has settled on its candidate -- meaning while there's still internal partisan tension -- before any campaigning and before a year's worth of economic shifts happen.

There is some value though in one subset of head-to-head data, I think: Looking at how demographic groups view different candidates relative to one another.

On Tuesday, McClatchy and Marist released a new poll looking at the Republican field. Included in the results were a phalanx of head-to-head match-ups, pitting Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders against six different Republicans: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.





Analysis Of Kentucky Election Results Indicates Fraud


But the evidence that the Kentucky governor’s race was rigged doesn’t stop there. Another elections watchdog, Richard Charnin, who holds a Masters Degree in Applied Mathematics just published preliminary results of his analysis of the cumulative vote shares in the Kentucky governor’s race, finding that the “cumulative vote shares indicate likely fraud.”

In explaining the analysis process, Charnin [url=https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/]wrote[/url]:

“I downloaded precinct vote data for the largest 25 KY counties and five smaller counties (view the spreadsheet and the graphs below). Downloading all 120 counties is a time consuming process, so I expect to download about 20 more over the next few days. The objective is to view the effects of county/precinct size on the cumulative vote share trend. Since the largest counties are usually heavily Democratic, the consistent pattern of Republican Governor candidates gaining share from small to large precincts is counter-intuitive. On the other hand, there is virtually no change in vote shares in smaller, heavily GOP counties.”


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