Dems Leading in NC

 Posted by at 1:16 pm  Politics
Sep 232016
 

Let me begin with the caveat that I consider it too early to be predicting outcomes, and with that said, Rachel Maddow has brought us a very small sample of raw data from early voting in NC.  I’m certainly not going to call it definitive, but it does give some cause for hope.

0923NC-early-vote

Rachel Maddow broke some huge good news for Hillary Clinton, as Democrats have an eight-point lead in the early balloting in North Carolina…

…It is a small sample, but this is why Republicans are freaking in North Carolina and nationally:

Maddow said, “Democrats always expect to do better in the early vote. Republicans expect to do better in terms of votes cast on election day, but even given that, that margin, that eight-point margin for the Democrats is really good. According to the Associated Press, Republicans were on this measure at this point in the race four years ago, not Democrats. They had a 43%-38% lead on early ballots at this point in 2012.”

Mitt Romney went on to win North Carolina in 2012.

If Donald Trump loses North Carolina, he loses the election. It doesn’t matter what happens in Ohio or Florida or any of the other swing states. If Clinton flips a red state and maintains her “blue wall,” she will win the election…

From <PoliticusUSA>

Here’s the video from the Rachel Maddow Show:

If Democrats flip NC, that could mean a landslide, but we can’t bank on it.  As I said, it gives some cause for hope.

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Sep 172016
 

Here are the results of our “What will Democrats Win?” poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are usually factually accurate, and more often than not, they reflect thinking or will of the national majority.

0917Poll

Since our polling site no longer enables us to copy and paste your poll comments, you may read them here.

I voted that I expect Democrats to win the Presidency and the Senate, but not the House.  I’d love to be wrong on the House, as long as I’m right on the other two.

The new poll is up, so please get out your deplorability meters and vote.

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On Election Day Projections

 Posted by at 1:19 pm  Politics
Sep 122016
 

I have thought to myself, more than once, "Wouldn’t it be neat to have election vote counts on election day in real time?"  As a blogger I could post them, and we could discuss them in comments.  That possibility is here.  Do you think that is a good idea?

0912projections

For decades, news organizations have refrained from releasing early results in presidential battleground states on Election Day, adhering to a strict, time-honored embargo until a majority of polls there have closed.

Now, a group of data scientists, journalists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is seeking to upend that reporting tradition, providing detailed projections of who is winning at any given time on Election Day in key swing states, and updating the information in real time from dawn to dusk.

The plan is likely to cause a stir among those involved in reporting election results and in political circles, who worry about both accuracy and an adverse effect on how people vote. Previous early calls in presidential races have prompted congressional inquiries.

The company spearheading the effort, VoteCastr, plans real-time projections of presidential and Senate races in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It plans to publish a map and tables of its projected results on Slate, the online newsmagazine… [emphasis added]

From <NY Times>

Now that it’s real, I oppose it and think it would be very bad for liberals in downballot races and for progressive outcomes on ballot measures.  Lefties tend to get lazy.  I can see thousands of voters staying home in western states, if the presidential race was already settled. Sadly, all it tales is one ballot measure that would effect whether or not Republicans can deny others’ Constitutional rights, or that helps make Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity (the opposite of authentic Christianity) the de facto state religion, and goose-stepping sheeple will infest the polls like a plague.  I think this would make presidential election years more like midterms.

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Aug 262016
 
nwed

Actually, I'll mention two days you probably didn't know about – with a tip of the hat to Lona the Napster.

First – August 26 was designated by Congress as Women's Equality Day by Congress in 1971 at the behest of Bella Abzug (remember her?)  The date was chosen because it was the day in 1920 that Congress certified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote (and incidentally to hold public office).

Second – August 26 is also National Dog Day.  National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, who chose August 26 because it was the date that her family adopted her first dog "Sheltie" when she was ten.  Colleen is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Cat Day, and other national days to bring attention to, and encourage adoption of, animals.  I hadn't planned to include this, but when I learned that more Americans are aware of National Dog Day than are aware of Women's Equality Day,  I thought I had better mention it, before someone else did, and get it out of the way.

Back to Women's Equality Day, which is what the column is really about, it was, as I said, created in 1971, by a joint resolution of Congress:

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

The responsibility for keeping it going seems to have (appropriately) fallen to/been adopted by the National Women's History Project, a non-profit educational organization, which, among other achievements, got March designated as National Women's History month.  They produce and provide resources for educators, speakers for groups, guides for historic site tours, and – well, you name it.  They offer an on-line trifold brochure in color about the Day and detailed instructions on how to print it.

Mrs. Abzug spearheaded the Day as a celebration of women getting the right to vote, but it has become more general in focus, and, while you may notice the brochure has a voting quiz, they also pick a different theme each year to highlight, connected to women's history in general rather than just voting.  This year the theme is "Working To Form A More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Servide and Government."  A very appropriate theme for 2016.  Last year, Time magazine developed and published the graphic on the right for National Women's Day, which is, alas, still pretty accurate.

But I also want to mention two other organizations who work every day to make it easier for women to vote.

We probably know each major party has a GOTV effort in place this very important year.  But the American Association of University Women, along with their other projects, is providing non-partisan GOTV skill training free through webinars, specifically aimed at registering women in the milliennial generation, through their "It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard" initiative.  This program also includes providing voter guides, and goes beyond that to training participants how to create their own voter guides if none are available which are specific to their area.  Yes, they have "University" in their name, but they are far from an elitist group.  They are envisioning holding these drives on campuses, but that's because they are timing this set of webinars with back-to-school.  I can't imagine them being upset if someone wanted to hold a drive in, say, a mall, nor if someone signed up a male or two while registering women.

Then of course, probably the grandmamma of all organizations which pair women and votes – it was founded, by Carrie Chapman Catt, six months before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified – is the League of Women Voters.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.

To this day the League concentrates on educating voters on issues rather than on candidates.  It is committed to being grassroots and non-partisan.  And it does register voters.  Last spring, League volunteers registered nearly 15,000 high school and community college students throough 350 registration drives.  They are looking to repeat or expand on this on National Voter Registration Day, which will be Tuesday, September 27.

However, the league does not stop at educating and registering.  It does get involved in fighting on issues.  Money in politics and defending the environment are the biggest, but there are some others as well.  You might be surprised how many others.  Click thrugh to the site and scroll down for a look.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4007182

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Aug 232016
 

I’ll be as brief as I can, as I have a meeting this evening and need to rest today.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:59 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, and legislature have happily joined in on the War on Women and the war on Planned Parenthood, attempting to state funding to reproductive health clinics and diverting resources away from clinics that provide abortion. What does that mean when it comes to fighting a disease that kills and deforms unborn babies? A looming disaster.

"We haven’t heard about any kits," says Laura Goodhue, a vice president at Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida. Planned Parenthood hasn’t received any Zika kits from the Florida Department of Health, nor has it received any guidance from the department about how to serve pregnant women during a possible outbreak. […]

A big part of the defense against infection for women in Florida appears to be the Zika prevention kits and OB-GYN outreach, but the Scott administration’s strategy is unclear. The Planned Parenthood affiliate operates three clinics in Miami-Dade County, which has the fourth-highest uninsured rate in the country, and another just over the border in Broward County. The women’s health care organization serves tens of thousands of people per year, many of whom are low-income and without insurance—and more likely to get pregnant by accident. As Laura Goodhue notes, they have not received a single kit.

This Republican is intentionally withholding life-saving services to the women who need them most. When his victims start dying, he will undoubtedly blame Planned Parenthood for the blood on his own hands.

From NY Times: Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution.

The groups are an amalgam of free-market, low-tax and small-government proponents,

I urge you to click through to read this entire article to better understand how critically important it is to win down-ballot races. Then vote blue.

From Alternet: Donald Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton badly in Colorado, which despite being a "swing state" went for President Obama twice. And despite boasting that he’ll change the electoral map, Trump is running a ground game in the Centennial State that can only be described as embarrassing, even for him.

According to St. Louis-based news station KMOV 4, Weston Imer runs the GOP nominee’s campaign office in Jefferson County, Colorado, which is "part of the Denver metro area" and "one of the most populous counties in Colorado," KMOV notes. But Weston is just 12 years old.

I consider it horrid that one so young is so corrupted. On the plus side, it appears that Rump Dump has all but given up in CO.

Cartoon: (Yesterday at the Podiatrist’s office, I heard a "trigger"word!)

0823CartoonTCPodiatrist

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Aug 142016
 

It is Saturday night, the end of a very hot and miserable day as far as I am concerned — 31 C (88 F) late this afternoon.  It is 0100 and 20 C (68 F) with  humidity at 78%.  Days like this just sap my energy and affect my breathing (asthma).  So I have been drinking like a fish and staying quiet.  Later Sunday, I will going to visit my mother so at least I'll have the benefit of AC in the car.  I hope everybody is surviving the heat wherever you are.

Here it is, Sunday afternoon and the temperature is back up to 30 C (86 F) 60% humidity.

Short Takes

Common Dreams — Bernie Sanders bore down on Donald Trump's economic agenda in a series of tweets on Friday morning, calling him "the poster child of failed trade policies."

Photo published for Donald Trump’s new tax plan could have a big winner: Donald Trump’s companies

The social media take-down began with Sanders posting a link to a Washington Post story from earlier this week, which revealed how a "little-noticed provision in Donald Trump's tax reform plan has the potential to deliver a large tax cut to companies in the Republican presidential nominee's vast business empire."

Click through to see a string of Bernie's tweets.  Go Bernie!  I'd also suggest reading the Washington Post story (click on "revealed") because it certainly does outline how Drumpf and other high income earners would disproportionately benefit from Drumpf's plan.  And to the point of these business entities taking those tax "savings" and reinvesting them in the business, according to Forbes, corporations are still sitting on large cash piles on their balance sheets, much of it sitting offshore.  The figures used are from 2013-14.

Raw Story — Mr. Speaker,

When Donald Trump suggested on August 9 that Hillary Clinton could only be stopped from nominating judges by “Second Amendment people,” most of the world gasped, realizing he was inciting violence against his opponent for the presidency. It was unprecedented, beneath contempt. But he didn’t apologize. Given my long experiences with Trump, I knew he would soon string together a babble of words in hopes of twisting his statement beyond recognition. And so he did, with an assist from sycophants like Sean Hannity of Fox News, who nodded like a bobblehead doll as Trump told him he didn’t mean that gun lovers should assassinate Clinton. He only meant they should be voting for him to keep her out of the White House.

That makes no sense, and here’s a crucial thing to know about Trump: He never tries to make his lies or delusions or fantasies make sense. He just spews to explain away the inexplicable.

Call for Assassination

Let’s examine the words that got him into so much trouble: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”

Trump’s post hoc interpretation: He doesn’t know if gun lovers will vote to keep Clinton out of office. Or he hopes gun owners will vote for him. Or only Trump voters with guns could keep Clinton out of office. None of that makes sense.

Read the original statement again. Did he mean it will be a horrible day when Second Amendment people stop her from picking judges? That’s a call for assassination. Or did he mean it will be a horrible day when a President Clinton picks judges and only Second Amendment people might be able to stop it? Another call for assassination.

Trump then blamed the media for applying the rules of grammar and sentence structure to him, instead of being like his acolytes, for whom words and sentences no longer have agreed-upon meanings.

This, Mr. Speaker, is what you would be dealing with in a Trump presidency, and this flagrant disregard for the facts, for the truth, is why I am writing this, my second open letter to you. Trump must be stopped. Let the GOP lose this election. It is the only way to save the Republican Party, and the nation. Even some of his most deranged supporters recognize the danger he poses—one caller into C-SPAN last week said he knew his candidate might start a nuclear war but at least America would win.

Click through for the rest of this fairly long piece.  Author  Kurt Eichenwald goes on to lay out many of Drump's inconsistencies and lies, some of them sworn under oath in depositions or in Congressional hearings.  This is, IMO, the kind of information that needs to get broad exposure, especially with likely Drumpf supporters and voters.  Drumpf is a menace to a civilised society.

Alternet — Nearly 100% of likely voters are set on their November 8 presidential pick and the debates won't even start for another month. So, who really is the media fanfare for at this point? After all, as Noam Chomsky points out, the voting decision is really a lot simpler than the pundits have built it up to be.  …

Chomsky has consistently declared Donald Trump would be a disaster, and urges voters in swing states to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. 

There is another video at the end of the article which shows Chomsky giving the same advice to Clinton supporters in 2008.  As Chomsky says in 2016 "… I would vote against Trump … you hold your nose and vote Democrat … I don't think there is any other rational choice.  Abstaining from voting or say voting for a candidate you prefer, a minority candidate, just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump … "  Wise words.

Politico — Republican insiders are more convinced than Democrats that Donald Trump is so far behind Hillary Clinton that he can't win in November.

Roughly half of Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states — believe that Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is basically shut off after another week in which the GOP nominee appears to have ceded ground in national and most battleground state polls.

Democrats, however, aren’t breaking out the champagne just yet. Seventy-two percent of Democratic insiders said despite Clinton’s clear advantage at this stage of the race, the presidential election isn’t effectively over.

Democrats cited the unpredictability of the 2016 campaign, along with some of Clinton’s own weaknesses, for their bridled optimism. It’s a message that fits neatly with what party leaders are saying publicly and behind closed doors: Don’t get too cocky, even with Clinton well ahead of Trump in the polls.  …

“Trump is underperforming so comprehensively across states and demographics it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America!’ But in 2016, stranger things have happened.”

Democrats are much less confident about the outcome of the presidential race than Republicans, thankfully.  This is not the time to sit back.  And it is VERY important to get out the vote.
 

My Universe

No way

… in my own time!

Proof that cats take a message and get back to you, later if you're lucky!

 

Fifty shades of love

Friends! … not dinner.

vicious treadmill

Dinner on the go!

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