Oct 222014

There is only ONE way Democrats lose: We don’t vote. Get OUT. Go Vote. Make others vote.

All that the quoted poll proves is that the “predictions” have been accepted. Who made these predictions and why? Prove them wrong.

Most likely voters expect GOP to control Senate | Albuquerque Journal News

Among all adults, 38 percent say they’d like the Democrats to wind up in control of Congress, to 36 percent for the Republicans. But the GOP holds a significant lead among those most likely to cast ballots: 47 percent of these voters favor a Republican controlled-Congress, 39 percent a Democratic one. That’s a shift in the GOP’s favor since an AP-GfK poll in late September, when the two parties ran about evenly among likely voters.

Women have moved in the GOP’s direction since September. In last month’s AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress and 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

In all, the poll finds that 55 percent of likely voters now expect Republicans to win control of the Senate, up from 47 percent last month. Democrats have grown slightly more pessimistic on this count since September, with 25 percent expecting the GOP to take control now, compared with 18 percent earlier.

Most likely voters expect GOP to control Senate | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 7:32 am on Wed 10/22/14
Oct 212014

Deb Haaland for Lt. Governor of NM


I believe every aspect of life is improved by diversity. Specifically, as women gain more power and authority, our political system achieves a better balance. I’m voting for Deb Haaland for Lt. Governor. That means I’m also voting for Gary King. peace, mjh

The following is a letter from Karen Meyers, a New Mexican attorney and a progressive, in support of Gary King:

Dear Friend,

You and I share a commitment to improving the lives of people living in poverty, protecting the environment, improving educational opportunities for children and fighting on behalf of victims of consumer fraud.  

Recently, many of you have praised the work of the attorney general’s consumer division, which I head, in our efforts against predatory lending, unfair and deceptive sales practices, mortgage abuses, and unrelenting scams. The praise is appreciated, but it is important for you to know that the person who has encouraged this litigation, supported me professionally and personally, and made sure that politics has not interfered with the  enforcement of the Unfair Practices Act, is Gary King, the Democratic candidate for governor.  

I am making this personal appeal to you because I think it is essential for progressive New Mexicans to actively work for and support Gary in this election.

We all have seen how the politics and policies of the current administration harm New Mexicans.  We cannot afford another four years of these policies.  

I have worked closely with Gary for more than seven years.  I know him and respect him.  He is committed to fairness, integrity and access to justice.  He has worked to protect children and families, victims of human trafficking, and immigrants. He supports aggressive consumer protection efforts.    He will work with teachers to improve educational opportunities throughout New Mexico.  He cares about the environment.   He believes that the role of government is to help and protect people, not to abandon them to corporate greed.  

I recognize that many of you are critical of Gary for a variety of reasons and intend to “sit this one out.”  If you are satisfied with the job that Susana Martinez has done, go right ahead and sit.  I have not necessarily agreed with every decision Gary has made as AG.  However, I can tell you I have confidence that as governor he will demonstrate a commitment to justice, fairness, and integrity.  None of us can say that about Susana Martinez.  

Please join me in working to elect Gary and Deb.  Thanks.

Karen Meyers

 Posted by at 9:32 am on Tue 10/21/14
Oct 202014

Warren is a true progressive. We need her in the Senate as long as we can keep her there.

Elizabeth Warren makes a powerful case – The Washington Post

If Democrats are to keep their majority in the Senate, the party’s base must break with form and turn out in large numbers for a midterm election. Voters won’t do this unless somebody gives them a reason.

Warren may be that somebody. Her grand theme is economic inequality and her critique, both populist and progressive, includes a searing indictment of Wall Street. Liberals eat it up. …

The centerpiece, though, is her progressive analysis of how bad decisions in Washington have allowed powerful interests to re-engineer the financial system so that it serves the wealthy and well-connected, not the middle class. …

There once was consensus on the need for government investment in areas such as education and infrastructure that produced long-term dividends, she said. “Here’s the amazing thing: It worked. It absolutely, positively worked.”

But starting in the 1980s, she said, Republicans took the country in a different direction, beginning with the decision to “fire the cops on Wall Street.”

“They called it deregulation,” Warren said, “but what it really meant was: Have at ’em, boys. They were saying, in effect, to the biggest financial institutions, any way you can trick or trap or fool anybody into signing anything, man, you can just rake in the profits.” …

The core issue in all the Senate races, she said, is this: “Who does the government work for? Does it work just for millionaires, just for the billionaires, just for those who have armies of lobbyists and lawyers, or does it work for the people?” …

She has emerged as her party’s go-to speaker for connecting with young voters. She has honed a stump speech with a clear and focused message, a host of applause lines and a stirring call to action.

She’s not running for president apparently because everyone assumes the nomination is Clinton’s. But everyone was making that same assumption eight years ago, and we know what happened. If the choice is between inspiration and inevitability, Warren may be forced to change her plans.

Elizabeth Warren makes a powerful case – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:12 pm on Mon 10/20/14
Oct 192014

Vote for Romney? Really? Is this the Onion? Republicans truly have gone insane.

Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race – ABC News

By Ryan Struyk Oct 19, 2014 12:01am

GTY romney clinton jef 141017 16x9 608 Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race

Getty Images

Hillary Clinton continues to hold a commanding lead in the potential Democratic field for president in 2016, while the GOP frontrunner in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is a familiar figure – but one not favored by eight in 10 potential Republican voters.

That would be Mitt Romney, supported for the GOP nomination by 21 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That’s double the support of his closest potential rival, but it also leaves 79 percent who prefer one of 13 other possible candidates tested, or none of them.

See PDF with full results and tables here.

When Romney is excluded from the race, his supporters scatter, adding no clarity to the GOP free-for-all. In that scenario former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have 12 or 13 percent support from leaned Republicans who are registered to vote. All others have support in the single digits.

Were Romney to run again, he’d likely face some of the same challenges that dragged out the 2012 GOP contest. He’s supported by only half as many “strong” conservatives as those who are “somewhat” conservative, 15 vs. 30 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race – ABC News

 Posted by at 8:26 pm on Sun 10/19/14
Oct 122014

Hat tip to Merri Rudd.

In Defense of Obama | Rolling Stone By Paul Krugman | October 8, 2014

president obama

As you can see, there’s a theme running through each of the areas of domestic policy I’ve covered. In each case, Obama delivered less than his supporters wanted, less than the country arguably deserved, but more than his current detractors acknowledge. The extent of his partial success ranges from the pretty good to the not-so-bad to the ugly. Health reform looks pretty good, especially in historical perspective – remember, even Social Security, in its original FDR version, only covered around half the workforce. Financial reform is, I’d argue, not so bad – it’s not the second coming of Glass-Steagall, but there’s a lot more protection against runaway finance than anyone except angry Wall Streeters seems to realize. Economic policy wasn’t enough to avoid a very ugly period of high unemployment, but Obama did at least mitigate the worst.

And as far as climate policy goes, there’s reason for hope, but we’ll have to see. … [A]s with financial reform, acknowledging the inadequacy of what has been done doesn’t mean that nothing has been achieved. Saying that Obama has been the best environmental president in a long time is actually faint praise, since George W. Bush was terrible and Bill Clinton didn’t get much done. Still, it’s true, and there’s reason to hope for a lot more over the next two years.

Am I damning with faint praise? Not at all. This is what a successful presidency looks like. No president gets to do everything his supporters expected him to. FDR left behind a reformed nation, but one in which the wealthy retained a lot of power and privilege. On the other side, for all his anti-government rhetoric, Reagan left the core institutions of the New Deal and the Great Society in place. I don’t care about the fact that Obama hasn’t lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating. I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot. That is, as Joe Biden didn’t quite say, a big deal.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty

In Defense of Obama | Rolling Stone By Paul Krugman | October 8, 2014

 Posted by at 3:04 pm on Sun 10/12/14
Oct 122014

Seizures of cash from Americans fuel police spending nationwide

The Washington Post

Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly steps down from the department's Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. © Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly steps down from the department’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents offer a sweeping look at how police departments and drug task forces across the country are benefiting from laws that allow them to take cash and property without proving a crime has occurred. The law was meant to decimate drug organizations, but The Post found that it has been used as a routine source of funding for law enforcement at every level.

“In tight budget periods, and even in times of budget surpluses, using asset forfeiture dollars to purchase equipment and training to stay current with the ever-changing trends in crime fighting helps serve and protect the citizens,” said Prince George’s County, Md., police spokeswoman Julie Parker.

Brad Cates, a former director of asset forfeiture programs at the Justice Department, said the spending identified by The Post suggests police are using Equitable Sharing as “a free floating slush fund.” Cates, who oversaw the program while at Justice from 1985 to 1989, said it has enabled police to sidestep the traditional budget process, in which elected leaders create law enforcement spending priorities.

“All of this is fundamentally at odds with the U.S. Constitution,” said Cates, who recently co-wrote an article calling for the program’s abolition on The Post’s editorial page. “All of this is at odds with the rights that Americans have.”

Of the nearly $2.5 billion in spending reported in the forms, 81 percent came from cash and property seizures in which no indictment was filed, according to an analysis by The Post. Owners must prove that their money or property was acquired legally in order to get it back.

Seizures of cash from Americans fuel police spending nationwide

 Posted by at 1:58 pm on Sun 10/12/14
Oct 092014

Republicans should fear winning the Senate almost as much as Dems do. A Republican victory makes Obama the underdog, raises his popularity, and increases the odds that the Dem will win in 2016. (Gotta go throw up now.)

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, which turned the academic discipline of computer models into a media game, gives Republicans a 57.6 percent chance of taking the Senate. (Decimal points are particularly compelling.) The New York Times’s model goes with 61 percent, DailyKos 66 percent, Huffington Post 54 percent and PredictWise 73 percent. The Princeton Election Consortium gives a 54 percent advantage to Democrats . Apparently they forgot to add the toe of frog.

Predicting the Senate election down to the decimal point – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:06 pm on Thu 10/09/14