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LBJ, Reagan and Bush 43 didn't. Doubtful that Nixon would have. I can't really find anything one way or the other on Ike (links?). Prez. Clinton was definitely helped by an overreaching GOP. But he also used his megaphone to shout it from the rooftops. BHO refuses to do that.

I have thought all year that we would hold on to the Senate 52-48/51-49. I still believe deep down that we will hold, but BHO's numbers are starting to worry me.

Gallup    Approve 42, Disapprove 53    Disapprove +11

CBS News/NY Times    Approve 40, Disapprove 54    Disapprove +14

Congressional Approval  CBS News/NY Times    Approve 14, Disapprove 78    Disapprove +64

2014 Generic Congressional Vote    CBS News/NY Times    Democrats 42, Republicans 39    Democrats +3

I pretty much ignored Gallup until the Times poll came out. If you look at the Congressional approval rating, why not make bogeymen out of them? What do we have to lose at this point? What else can he do to get out of this doghouse? sigh.

Watch the way he cuts her off and talks over her. I just don't get this guy. While I do agree that the Prez could definitely push infrastructure spending a lot more, Sen. Warren is one of the good ones. Why take it out on her?

You have to admire the way she kept her cool.

This fucking guy. Sheesh!!!!


Pennsylvania: Christie vs. Clinton              Quinnipiac    Clinton 45, Christie 41   
Pennsylvania: Paul vs. Clinton              Quinnipiac    Clinton 51, Paul 37   
Pennsylvania: Bush vs. Clinton              Quinnipiac    Clinton 51, Bush 35   
Pennsylvania: Ryan vs. Clinton              Quinnipiac    Clinton 50, Ryan 38
Pennsylvania: Huckabee vs. Clinton      Quinnipiac    Clinton 51, Huckabee 36

Is anyone else a little surprised how quickly Christie is bouncing back? I still say he doesn't make it out of the primary.


I am at work and can't write a proper diary, but here are the numbers that caught my eye.  

HRC 59%

Joe B. 12%

E. Warren 11%

HRC Favorable: 83%

Joe B. 74%

E. Warren 55% (name rec surely plays a role in this. And who is that 7%!!! How can you not like her?)

General Election matchups

HRC 44%

Jeb 39%

HRC 45%

C. Christie 39%

HRC 47%

T. Cruz 40%

HRC 46%

M. Huckabee 42%

HRC 46%

R. Paul 42%


Swiss voters resoundingly rejected on Sunday a proposed minimum wage that would have been the world’s highest, a move widely seen as reflecting an aversion to state intervention in the liberal economic policies that are the bedrock of Switzerland’s prosperity.

Trade unions had sought a minimum hourly wage of 22 Swiss francs, or $24.65, in what they said was an effort to ensure fair salaries for workers in the country’s lowest-paid sectors, such as retail and personal services. Switzerland currently has no national minimum wage.

The proposed rate — considerably higher than elsewhere in Europe and well above the $10.10 sought by President Obama in the United States — found little support in a national referendum, with 76.3 percent opposed, according to initial results released by the government.

Switzerland, as one of the world’s most prosperous countries and home to major international banks and hedge funds, as well as big chemical, pharmaceutical and machinery companies, might seem to be an unlikely venue for a debate on wage disparity. But unions argued that many people in the lowest-paying sectors of the economy struggle to make ends meet because their wages have not kept up with a cost of living that is one of the highest in the world.

Seeing this, I truly feel that we are following the right strategy by starting in Blue cities and states with the push to $15. It has to be incremental or it won't fly. Even here in SF, where the min wage is just shy of $11, I think a vote to push it to $15 in one fell swoop will be close.

Seattle is the one to watch. I'm hopeful.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a popular guy on this blog. But when I leave the Kos echo chamber I find that he is very popular among people who keep up with politics. I live in San Francisco, which is very blue of course, but also has a strong libertarian streak running through its newer transplants. A pol like Cuomo is speaking their language.

Pretty scary if you are a progressive.

Yet New York progressives now worry that the party's future lies not with the city's mayor — but the state's governor. Though Andrew Cuomo is frequently described as a centrist or a moderate, that's too simplistic. On social and cultural issues, the governor has fought hard for progressive priorities, and managed to win groundbreaking new laws on same-sex marriage and gun control. Indeed, he may have achieved more on those issues than any other Democratic governor in office today.
On gun control especially, it really did surprise me how forcefully he fought.
On economic issues, though, Cuomo has blazed a very different trail. Repeatedly, Cuomo has tried to cut taxes, particularly for the wealthy. He's cut the estate tax, repealed the state's bank tax, capped local property taxes, and reduced an existing tax on millionaires. He's stymied de Blasio's attempts to raise New York City's taxes on the rich and to increase the city's minimum wage. And he's consistently been skeptical about the value of government spending, and proven willing to cut billions from health and education. "He's adopted the philosophical and political posture that the problem with government is overtaxing and overspending," former assemblyman Richard Brodsky tells me. "How is that different from a Tea Party conservative?"

Many New York progressives think that Cuomo has made a bet on what Democrats truly care about — that if he gives activists what they want on social issues, he can get away with giving the wealthy what they want on economic issues. Worse, they fear the combination might be politically irresistible to the Democratic Party: as the rich get richer and the Supreme Court systematically dismantles limits on money in politics, what if a Democrat who pleases the wealthy becomes the only kind of Democrat who can win an election?

The capping of property taxes is where I really disagree with him. That is as local as it gets.
Really hurts schools. As for social issues, we have to admit at some point that we care about those as much as the GOP. We raise hell about income inequality during off years, but as soon as it is time to vote, our pols bang the abortion drum and we dance, myself included. My for support for HRC is mainly because of the courts. Sad huh? I was hoping for a Warren run up until earlier this year, when I accepted that she isn't running. Income inequality has to be the centerpiece of a campaign in order to draw attention to it. Warren can credibly do that. No one else can. So the courts and social issues are the glue that binds us, and Gov. Cuomo knows that.
Meanwhile, on social and cultural issues, Cuomo was rapidly becoming a progressive hero. During his campaign, Cuomo had pledged to enact a same-sex marriage law. As he took office, only five states in the country had extended that right — all were far smaller than New York, and most did so after a court ruling spurred action. The most recent push for a New York bill took place in 2009, when both houses of the legislature were controlled by Democrats. But the state Senate voted down a marriage bill 38 to 24, in a dispiriting defeat. Since then, the GOP had taken control of the chamber — and not a single Republican state senator backed marriage equality.

Though the challenges looked stark, Cuomo embraced the issue as a centerpiece of his first-year agenda. "We believe in justice for all — then let's pass marriage equality this year once and for all," he said in his State of the State address. Cuomo's strategy was to keep the Democrats united, and peel off a few crucial GOP moderates. He called representatives of several gay rights activist groups into a meeting, criticized them for internal rivalries and disorganization, and told them to unite under one banner — which they soon did. Richard Socarides, a former Clinton administration official and same-sex marriage activist, was in attendance. "The governor looked at me and said, 'I'm gonna fight harder for this than anything I have ever fought for,'" Socarides recounts.

Cuomo made good on his promise. He relentlessly lobbied moderate Republican senators. When they told him they feared a backlash from voters in their districts, Cuomo's solution — as in the budget fight — was money. He met with three hedge fund billionaires, and convinced them to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars for ads defending the vulnerable Republicans.

On June 24, 2011, the late-night vote came down to the wire — but four Republicans chose to cross party lines, and the bill passed 33 to 29. Cuomo walked onto the Senate floor minutes later and raised his fist to the sky, as supporters cheered. Just over an hour later, he went up to his office on the second floor of the State Capitol, and signed same-sex marriage into law. "What this state said today brings this discussion of marriage equality to a new plane," Cuomo said. "That's the power and the beauty of New York. The other states look to New York for the progressive direction. And what we said today is — you look to New York once again!"

I have to admit. pretty fucking impressive!!!!

Bill Clinton put liberals on the sidelines for eight years (maybe longer) by using many of the tactics that Gov. Cuomo is using. Just because he is unpopular here, we should take him seriously as a pol. If for some reason Hillary doesn't run, watch out. He can raise the money; has a dynastic name and is very right on social issues. Outside the Kos bubble, we are not the mainstream of the party.

Last exceprt:

Ten years ago, Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter with Kansas? was published. In it, Frank argued that the Republican Party appealed to rural, white, low-income voters with social issues — God, guns, and gays — so they'd accept economic policies that go against their own self-interest and benefit the wealthy. Since then, Frank tells me, "The table has really been turned on a lot of those social issues. On gay marriage, public opinion has shifted so dramatically that it's actually Democrats who are bringing it up whenever they can, and using it as their own successful wedge issue." Meanwhile, economic issues have come increasingly to the forefront among Republican voters and activists.

Could the Kansas strategy now be adopted by the Democratic Party? "I think that's probably true to a certain degree," Frank says. "There are a certain number of Democrats who don't really understand why people are upset over the fate of working class America, but gay marriage and other culture war issues are very resonant to them." And, importantly, that's the group that has the money. "Democrats are supposed to be the party of the workers and the poor, but they're also the party of the professional class, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the universities," Frank continues. "And until 2008, they thought of themselves as the party of Wall Street — they used to celebrate it as where innovation was happening. The Democratic Party that exists today isn't interested in doing anything substantive about inequality, because it would be costly to all those Democratic donors."

Take the time to read the article. It gives a perspective of this guy that you will never see here.

HRC is a very smart pol. A few months ago I noted that she would only comment on issues of the day once the dust had settled. This is a perfect example of that. This sort of position/comment is as down the middle as you can get.

"If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been. But it struck me as—I just have to be honest with you—as sort of odd that he would flee to China, because Hong Kong is controlled by China, and that he would then go to Russia, two countries with which we have very difficult cyber-relationships, to put it mildly."

Clinton also suggested that Snowden had inadvertently helped terrorists. "I think turning over a lot of that material—intentionally or unintentionally, because of the way it can be drained—gave all kinds of information, not only to big countries, but to networks and terrorist groups and the like," she said.

Not many people can disagree with this comment. Her ability to go to the heart of an argument and sound reasonable explaining it will cut through a lot of the noise that is going to surround her in 2016. Bill has this ability in spades, as does Sen. Warren (did you see her on Rachel?). Whether you agree with them or not, they just sound reasonable.

By the way, the RCP average of polls has her at 65.8%; Biden 12.3%; Warren 5.7%. Simply amazing that a sitting VP is that far behind. She never had lead like that in polling leading up to 2008.

With smart comments like this one to Mother Jones, I don't see her making the mistakes of 2007-08. Other than Warren, who else can come from her left flank?


Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM PDT

Mayor Bloomberg is not helping.

by AlexDrew

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.

The strategy will focus not on sweeping federal restrictions to ban certain weapons, but instead will seek to expand the background check system for gun buyers both at the state and national levels.

The $50 million could be significant: In recent years, the N.R.A. has spent only $20 million annually on political activities. The political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, who are seeking to help Republicans take over the Senate, have spent about $30 million in the last six months.

The group will zero in on 15 target states, from places like Colorado and Washington State, where gun control initiatives have advanced recently, to territory that is likely to be more hostile like Texas, Montana and Indiana. They have set a goal of signing up one million new supporters this year on top of the 1.5 million they already have.

Previous efforts by Mr. Bloomberg to push gun control have touched off tensions with national Democratic leaders, because he has run negative ads against incumbent Democrats whom he views as insufficiently supportive of gun control. The Democratic leaders argue that Mr. Bloomberg threatens to hand control of the Senate to Republicans, which they say would doom any hope of passing gun control legislation.

In fact, depending on the intensity of the campaign, this could cost us Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina and Arkansas. I know many of you are saying that the GOP can't be anymore motivated. I agree, but there a lot of gun loving Dems in these states. Ask Bill Clinton and the late Tom Foley! Some of our fellow Democrats will temporarily leave us over this issue. Especially coming from the former Mayor of NYC.

You know how we like to make fun of the Kochs? Well Bloomberg could easily be made their equivalent on an issue that is much easier to understand. On policy, he is on the right side. But his timing and history on this issue is horrible.

As of now, I think we hold the Senate 51-49. Why stir the hornets nest over an issue that does not bring Dems to the polls?


Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:20 PM PDT

PPP (TX Gov.): Abbott 51%; Davis 37%

by AlexDrew

I always thought this race would be a heavy lift, but damn!!!

Abbott and Davis are the respective Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates. The poll found that 49 percent of women said they preferred Abbott over Davis while 41 percent said they preferred Davis to Abbott. Meanwhile 53 percent of men said they prefer Abbott while 32 percent said they prefer Davis.

Over all, the poll found Abbott leading Davis, 51 percent to 37 percent, virtually unchanged from PPP's findings in November which had Abbot leading Davis, 50 percent to 35 percent.

Despite this news, Texas Dems should use her popularity within the party to build a foundation for 2018 and 2020 State races, which will determine reapportionment. That matters more than anything else. I still think the race will be closer in the end, with her getting 44-46% on heavy Latino turnout. This is where the Castro brothers can shine. No one will blame them or the state party leadership if she loses, but if she is north of 45%, that is something to build on and brag about.

But I have to say I am shocked that she losing among women voters.  Damn!!!


With Elizabeth Warren declining to run, it is very clear to anyone paying attention that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016.

Sen. Sanders, in an interview with the Boston Globe, said that if he ran as an independent, he would drop out if it became clear he was playing the role of spoiler.

Sanders also did not rule out running as an independent, although he pledged he would not play the spoiler in the 2016 election if the election were close. Many Democrats still fume at consumer activist Ralph Nader, whose 3 percent support in the 2000 election may have helped George W. Bush defeat Al Gore.

“I will not play a role of electing a right-winger,” Sanders said. “If, if, if you run as an independent, if the campaign is not going well, there comes a point where you can say ‘Well, you know what, I’m not going to elect a right-wing Republican.’ ”

This guy is the ultimate team player. His goal is to move HRC to the left, not crush her or make her unelectable. To those Kossacks threatening to not vote for Sen/Sec. Clinton, why not try to move her torward you instead of pushing her away?

Sanders does have some following among a niche of voters who could be influential in a Democratic primary. In an online survey of more than 100,000 members taken earlier this year, Sanders was the third-most popular choice among named candidates, with 6 percent support, following Clinton, with 32 percent, and Warren, with 15 percent. (The most popular response was “it’s too early,” with 39 percent.)
As you can see, outside of Kos, non-emotional progressives support HRC. Do you really want to spend the next 2 1/2 years bitching and moaning or do you want to protect the courts and expand ACA etc...

If Bernie can tell the difference between HRC and a GOP prez, so can you.

"Hillary is the neocon's neocon. It's going to be fascinating if she decides to run and she gets the nomination, that she will be more of a sabre-rattler and more of a neocon that the Republican nominee. Is that not the case? There's hardly been a military engagement that Hillary hasn't been for in the past 20 years."
Once I reluctantly accepted that Sen. Warren isn't running for Prez, Hillary became the obvious choice. The GOP will have at least eight legit (for them) candidates to choose from. We will have one. If it keeps us in the White House, I am okay with that. I love primaries, but it appears she will escape a serious challenge from the left.

Joe Scar knows this. Part of me feels like he is just trying to stir up shit. Along with a lot of other Dems, then Sen. Clinton voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. A mistake in hindsight? Sure. But that hardly makes her a Neocon. Is he seriously saying that she is the same as Rummy, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Rice and Cheney? If so, what does that make President Obama and Sec. Kerry?

It is moments like this that I'm glad MCNBC's ratings are so low. This definitely feeds into the "Hillary is evil" meme some on the "no wars for any reason" left like to push. As of now, she will be our standard-bearer and we owe it to her and the party to make sure shit like this doesn't go unanswered once the campaign is under way. She has to keep somewhat of a low profile until maybe spring of 2015 to avoid over shadowing BHO. But after that, imagine how long her coattails will be in 2016 if we support her 110%.

JoeScar can go f**k himself. HRC a Neocon? Not even close.


For all of the Hillary haters, would you rather have a GOP president than vote for Sec/Sen Clinton?

I was having a back and forth with a Hillary hater in Kos' Cuomo diary. They clearly stated they would not vote for her under any circumstances. It is my belief that at the end of the day, everyone will come around once they can compare/contrast with a GOP nominee.

Am I underestimating the hate? Is there a small dose of Hillary Derangement Syndrome on this blog?

If nothing else, consider the courts. Bush/Gore; Citizens etc...

I have accepted Warren isn't running. Time to be a team. Don't treat this long time public servant like she is the enemy.


At the end of the day, I will support Sec/Sen Clinton

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