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Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:12 AM PST

Why the GOP lost big.

by Candide08

Why the media thinks the GOP lost

The media reporting about why the GOP lost the presidency and many down-ballot contests shows no sign of decreasing.  Below is my two cents.

Since Nov 6, 2012 there have been many different explanations and analyses about the election results. New theories appear almost daily. Here are just a few: Women voted democratic in large percentages. Gay voters heavily favored Obama.  Latinos, blacks, young people and other minorities also voted Democratic in big percentages.  New theories posit that libertarians took votes away from the GOP.  Add in too long of a campaign, too much pac money generating negative ads for nearly two years and people became numb to the message.  Of course the WSJ thinks that the GOP didn't have ENOUGH money.

Then there is Citizens United. Rove, and his band of miscreants, gladly took bazillions of dollars from lots of really rich guys, and apparently guaranteed the rich guys that the GOP would win.  But Adelson, Friess and others stepped in with their millions AND their own candidates and presto! the GOP national committees no longer had rigid central control of the primaries or the message.  The ensuing primary circus has also been floated as a reason for the loss.  On and on and on this will go.

Why the GOP thinks it lost

This is the really far-out part. Some on the right think that the GOP was not conservative enough.  A "real" conservative would have done better.  Romney wasn't severe enough so people voted for the "socialist-muslim-kenyan" instead?  I'm still working on trying to understand the logic there.  

A few Republicans think that Romney went too far to the right, that a more centrist campaign platform may have done better.  At least I can understand and somewhat agree with that.

Paul Ryan has a theory too.  He thinks "Urban Voters" (dog whistle for black) are responsible. Then there is Romney's "gifts" theory.  Yeah Mitt, it couldn't possibly be you. The list goes on and on.

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Rick Santorum wants to bring America back in time - to when it was controlled by rich, white, male land owners.  His attitudes towards women are clear and now it appears that Santorum, in a very public venue, while being filmed, may have started to call President Obama the n-word.  To be sure he caught himself and changed course, but the damage may be done.

Please judge for yourself, it sure sounds like it to me:



Was Santorum starting to call Obama a racial slur?

73%189 votes
14%38 votes
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| 257 votes | Vote | Results


Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:00 AM PDT

How poor are you? (diary - poll)

by Candide08

Recently there have been many reports on the rising US poverty rates.  The US poverty level for 2011 was set at $22,350, total yearly income for a family of four - though the actual number varies from state to state.  The sites linked below have charts and more details on the actual poverty specification for different family sizes.

HHS Government site
NY Times 2011 Article on Poverty
Wikipedia Poverty article
Poverty in America is almost exclusively classified by income.  Below $22,350 is poor, $25K to $40K working class, above $1M is wealthy or rich, etc. This scale is limited and does not count many factors, including the need to adjust by state, family size and other factors. Below is a new scale to measure people's poorness or wealth.  This scale uses time as the determining factor.

How poor are you?

3%6 votes
4%8 votes
22%38 votes
14%24 votes
21%36 votes
20%34 votes
11%19 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes

| 168 votes | Vote | Results

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The Virginia "Super Tuesday" primary is undeniably super important.  To not compete in that primary probably deals a knockout blow to any campaign.

Perry not qualifying is understandable as his campaign is low on cash and momentum.  At best he is angling for a VP nomination.

RICHMOND, Va. — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have failed to qualify for Virginia's March 6 Republican primary.

The Republican Party of Virginia announced late Friday and early Saturday that Gingrich and Perry fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate's name to be on the ballot.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul met the threshold and will be on the ballot.

Failure to compete in Virginia, which is among the "Super Tuesday" primaries, would deal a huge blow to any contender who had not locked up the nomination by then.

MSN Article

Gingrich lives in Virginia and fails to qualify for the primary?  This has to be a huge millstone around his campaign.  Gingrich, ever creative, has an interesting excuse:

Gingrich said Wednesday he had enough ballot signatures, but he wanted to come to Virginia to deliver them personally.

MSN Article

What is that, a new version of the "dog ate my homework?"

I have to admit, the GOP campaign has provided plenty of entertainment.

Is this the end of the campaign for Gingrich and Perry, or will the GOP weasel out of it and modify their own rules after the fact?


There is, in many people's opinion, at the very least some reasonable doubt about the conviction of a Texas man, Hank Skinner, for killing his girlfriend.  But the state of Texas seems intent on killing him, before the whole truth can be revealed.

From a email:

Hank Skinner is scheduled to die on November 9. But the state of Texas may execute him without even conducting DNA tests on all of the evidence from his trial, despite a decade of requests from Hank and his lawyers.

Hank has been on death row since 1995 for the murders of his girlfriend and her two adult sons, and has steadfastly professed his innocence. Since his conviction, the star witness against Hank has recanted her testimony, and others have implicated another man as the killer.

Hank has just 8 days to live. His family created an organization called "Justice 4 Hank," and they're fighting for a DNA test for Hank. They started a petition on asking the Gray County District Attorney and the courts to order full DNA tests to determine if Hank is actually guilty -- and to prevent Texas from possibly executing an innocent man. Click here to add your name to the petition.

At the time of his trial, the prosecution conducted DNA tests on the clothes Hank was wearing -- but declined to test the rest of the physical evidence, including a rape kit, the murder weapons, several hairs clutched in the victim's hand, and a bloody windbreaker that strongly resembles that of the man accused by others of being the true murderer.

Since the year 2000, Hank has been requesting that the office of the District Attorney that prosecuted him order DNA tests on the remaining evidence. But the DA's office has continuously denied those requests, saying Hank should have requested the tests before his trial.

Why would Texas not test ALL the evidence?  Is the prosecutor so concerned about possibly being proven wrong?  Is blood lust more powerful than justice in Texas?

The supreme court has once stayed Mr. Skinners execution:

...only thirty five minutes before his scheduled execution (second execution date), the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution to consider the question of whether Skinner could request testing of DNA his attorney chose not to have tested at his original trial in 1994.

It is true that Hank Skinner is no boy scout, not even particularly sympathetic, but being a drunk and a poor husband does not make one a murderer.

After having drunk all evening, poisoned by a near lethal dose of codeine, which Hank is severely allergic to, (it is believed that he was either accidentally or intentionally poisoned by the addition of the pills to his drinks), Hank was comatose during the commission of the murders, as the testimony/evidence clearly shows. Sometime after the attacks, it is believed that Scooter revived Hank and led him out of the house in an effort to find help.

What Texas seems to fail to realize is that by executing the wrong person the real killer has a get-out-of-jail free card for life, at least until they commit another crime.

Something is seriously  wrong with the "justice" system in Texas, where more prople are killed and quite a few of them under suspicious circumstances.  This passion for executions flies in the face of what the founding fathers of this country had in mind, yet Mr. Perry sleeps just fine.  I don't know about you but that alone makes me wonder what type of person Mr. Perry is.

Sign the petition to try to make Texas delay the execution and  perform DNA tests.

This is not setting Mr. Skinner free, it is about not executing him before all the facts are known.


Now that Herman Cain is having his first real scandal he is becoming apparent as the GOP's real heir to Reagan.  If Cain was to use Reagans own words, he would be saying "I can't recall..." a lot these days.

We have all heard about Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, which would bebefit the top 1% very much.

The Charts You Must See, Now, About GOP Tax Plans

But what is Cain really for?
That is hard to say, it is far easier to say what Herman Cain is against.

In his role as chairman of the National Restaurant Association he certainly was against a lot of issues, mostly on the wrong side:

"Cain Denies Sexual Harassment of Woman Paid ‘Settlement’

In that role, he lobbied against a ban on indoor smoking, increases in the minimum wage, stricter workplace safety standards and lower blood alcohol limits for drunken driving. He also worked in favor of welfare overhaul and bigger tax deductions for business meals

Nice, Cain worked for: indoor smoking, lower minimum wages, less safe workplaces, and higher blood alcohol levels for drunk driving.

Cain also apparently is supporting the banning of Mosques.  If Tim McVeigh is also a terrorist will Cain extend his anit-terrorism beliefs to banning churches?

Cain's anti-Muslim bigotry echoes Jim Crow

It is time to stop giving Herman Cain's unapologetic bigotry a free pass. The man and his poison need to be seen clearly and taken seriously.

Imagine the reaction if a major-party presidential candidate said he "wouldn't be comfortable" appointing a Jew to a Cabinet position. Imagine the outrage if this candidate supported a community's efforts to block Mormons from building a house of worship.

But Cain's prejudice isn't against Mormons or Jews: It's against Muslims. Open religious prejudice is usually enough to disqualify a candidate for national office - but not, apparently, when the religion in question is Islam.

Said Cain: "I'm willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists."

So is Cain a flash-in-the-pan or is he the next Willkie?


Is Herman Cain:

66%4 votes
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| 6 votes | Vote | Results


It seems that more and more of Rick Perry's "questionable" activities are coming to the surface.

Perry aides told different stories in lawsuit

By Murray Waas
and Peter HendersonPosted 2011/09/29 at 8:21 am EDT

Sep. 29, 2011 (Reuters) — Contradictions in sworn statements about Rick Perry's fundraising for his 2006 reelection bid raise questions about whether aides to the Texas governor, who is now running for president, gave false or misleading testimony under oath.

Bell's lawsuit alleged that Perry and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) violated the state's campaign finance laws.

News Daily

This certainly raises questions about whether Perry aides gave false or misleading testimony under oath.  If Perry knew he could be hurt directly, if he didn't know he should have.

On October 4, 2006, Carney and Delisi met with RGA chairman Mitt Romney in Washington about the need for campaign cash, according to the Perry campaign statement.
* On October 6 of that year Bob Perry made a $1 million contribution to the RGA.

* On October 27 the RGA cut the first of two $500,000 checks to Texans for Perry.

* On October 30 Bob Perry donated another $500,000 to the RGA, and another $50,000 the next day.

* On November 1 Phil Musser, executive director of the RGA, personally handed over a second $500,000 check to Rick Perry in the RGA's Washington offices.

* On Nov 2, Rick Perry defeated Bell and two independent candidates, winning reelection with 39 percent of the vote.


There seems to be at least reasonable suspicion about the case.  Where many politicians get caught is when they try to cover up one "indiscretion" with another.

Prior to the case being settled, only a few pages of the aides' testimony had been entered into the trial court record. The complete depositions have since been seen by Reuters.

Chicago Tribune


It seems that Rep Paul Ryan has taken a page from Adolph Hitler's playbook -- tell the BIG LIE  in the hope that it will be easily believed by simple minded masses.  

It is a very sad state of affairs when an elected federal representative engages in outright propaganda when the country desperately needs our officials to actually govern.

Rep. Ryan Accuses Obama of Waging 'Class Warfare' With Millionaire Tax Plan

A top House Republican accused President Obama of appealing to Americans' "fear, envy and anxiety" by pushing a new tax rate on people making more than $1 million annually, saying the "class warfare path" will only hurt the economy.

"Class warfare ... may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, told "Fox News Sunday."

Warren Buffett has famously agreed that there IS a class war going on - but his point of view is diametrically opposed to that of Mr Ryan.

In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning
Published: November 26, 2006

NOT long ago, I had the pleasure of a lengthy meeting with one of the smartest men on the planet, Warren E. Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, in his unpretentious offices in Omaha. We talked of many things that, I hope, will inspire me for years to come. But one of the main subjects was taxes. Mr. Buffett, who probably does not feel sick when he sees his MasterCard bill in his mailbox the way I do, is at least as exercised about the tax system as I am.

Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

Where were the corresponding cries of class warfare when the rich were handed the largest tax cuts in history under Bush?  The 400 wealthiest families in the USA control as much wealth as the bottom fifty percent but apparently that is not good enough, they want more and eager Republicans are willing to do their bidding.

Why is it that the rich (top 1 or 2 percent in America) do not want to contribute to the  welfare of the country?  Do these top 400 families not care about the USA, or are they just so insulated that they do not even see it as a "let them eat cake" moment?

Are the top 400 wealthiest families so internationalized that they really do not care what happens to the bottom 98% of the US population?


Is there a Class War going on in America?

64%25 votes
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| 39 votes | Vote | Results


This incident shows yet another example of how Republicans hypocritically abuse whatever power/information they have at their disposal.  Arizona may be giving Texas a run for the  money on overall right-wing weirdness.

PHOENIX, AZ -- More misconduct has been alleged against Arizona Republican Party executive director Brett Mecum, who is now the subject of a criminal complaint alleging he used the Republican's voter database to stalk a young female graduate student.

The affidavit, filed last month with the local sheriff's office, alleges that Mecum "is using Voter Vault to stalk." Voter Vault is used by the Republican Party to micro-target the party's message and to canvas specific demographics. The complainant was celebrating her acceptance into an East Coast graduate school on August 29 at her home when Mecum showed up uninvited. She reveals details about Voter Volt in her sworn affidavit:

   I did not invite Brett Mecum. He is rather creepy and intimidating around women. I did not want to expose my guests to that kind of individual. I was shocked to see him show up at my party. He had never been to my house, and I had never told him where I lived. I asked him how he found my address, and he responded "I looked it up on Voter Vault, I called a staffer to look it up for me there."

Other local women are alleging that Mecum's behavior from the night described above fits an ugly pattern. According to the sworn affidavit, the young woman whose doorstep Mecum showed up on felt threatened:

   [Mecum] alluded to power, connections, and authority as a result of his position as Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party. I have also seen what malicious things he has done to others and do not want to be subjected to similar retaliatory actions.

Top Arizona Republican Accused of Using Voter Database to Stalk Woman    


Anyone and everyone can easily see that Washington has been in near constant gridlock since Newt Gingrich became speaker.  Civility, time honored methods and precedent have given way to a cynical strategy to attain power at any cost.

From the New York Times - "The Last Moderate"

To Cooper, the true villain is not the Tea Party; it’s Newt Gingrich. In the 1980s, when Tip O’Neill was speaker of the House, "Congress was functional," Cooper told me. "Committees worked. Tip saw his role as speaker of the whole House, not just the Democrats."

Gingrich was a new kind of speaker: deeply partisan and startlingly power-hungry. "His first move was to get rid of the Democratic Study Group, which analyzed bills, and which was so trusted that Republicans as well as Democrats relied on it," Cooper recalled. "This was his way of preventing us from knowing what we were voting on. Today," he added, "the ignorance around here is staggering. Nobody has any idea what they’re voting on."

The Last Moderate, NY Times

Many people think the current hostilities and disagreements in Washington and state capitols are over honest differences of opinion.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Republicans have a cynical strategy to deliberately make congress, the Senate and government in general look bad.   The idea being that if Republicans are "against government" and they frame Democrats as being "for government" when government has a bad Reputation it will hurt Republicans less.

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

Good Bye to All That,

Of course having informed and representative voters going to the polls can't be allowed if Republicans have their way:

Undermining Americans' belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove's dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer's New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.

This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don't want those people voting.

Good Bye to All That,

The Tea Party is the Republicans rabid pit-bull.  The only problem is that a rabid pit-bull can be uncomtrollable.  Many current Republicans have said that the Tea Party is going too far or that candidates can "go too far to the right."  Of course the objection is not because of the political leanings, but because even Karl Rove can see that a "far right" candidate could not win a general election.

You don't want these candidates moving so Right in the Republican primary that it becomes impossible for them to win the general election, because it will become a self-defeating message in the primary.
People want to win. They don't want somebody who goes so far to the extremes of either party that they lack a chance to carry a victory off in November."

Rove warns GOP about electability

This leads to an interesting question: are US political parties close to a schism?

As I see it the current Republican party can easily be split into three new political parties:  The Tea Party, Mainstream Republicans (most of the current party) and Social Republicans (most moderate Republicans, like Ms. Snow and Ms. Collins).  There is already evidence of instability in the Republican party, so a complete split is not much of a stretch.

The Democratic party has never been a really cohesive political party.   The "Blue Dog" (fiscal conservative) Democrats can easily split to form their own party, leaving traditional or "Social Democrats."
Add in a new Progressive party and a Green party and the US can have SEVEN active political parties.

Of course this would be massive political change.  This is not completely unprecedented.  The US has gone through many political party changes - remember the Whigs, Bull Moose parties/

If change like this happened the US could really have more representative government, as smaller parties could align more closely with people's beliefs.   As it is now the choice between "two sides of the same coin" does very little towards true representation and the majority of people in each party do not identify with  much that either one stands for.

The multi-trillion dollar question is: how would this help US politics?

To start with, no single party could dominate unless the people of the USA actually chose to elect a super majority of that party to congress.  As it is now one party gets elected, more or less in reaction to kicking out the other party. This is repeated in the opposite direction 4 or 8 years later.  

With multiple parties the US would have to start the process of having coalition governments like much of the rest of the world.   The Greens, Progressives and Social Republicans could form a coalition,  Blue Dog Democrats, Mainstream Republicans  could align together.  Maybe there could be three or four serious candidates for President.  


Do you think the US would be better off with more political parties?

50%8 votes
18%3 votes
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| 16 votes | Vote | Results


With the massive shift of wealth in the USA to the top 2% the bottom 50% now share only 2.5% of total wealth.  Those at the bottom 25% (half of the bottom 50%) are basically destitute.  More Americans need food-stamps now just to survive than just about any time in our history.

Yet, no politician running for President mentions any of this. It is not a "plank" on any major (or minor) political parties agenda.  None of the self proclaimed religious candidates mention poverty.   It is a dirty big secret that we do not talk about in public.

In fact, with nearly all attention being focused on cutting spending, only social spending not military spending, poverty is certainly going to increase even more.

Why are these facts not an extreme embarrassment to the USA?

How has poverty changed over time?
In the late 1950s, the poverty rate for all Americans was 22.4 percent, or 39.5 million individuals. These numbers declined steadily throughout the 1960s, reaching a low of 11.1 percent, or 22.9 million individuals, in 1973. Over the next decade, the poverty rate fluctuated between 11.1 and 12.6 percent, but it began to rise steadily again in 1980. By 1983, the number of poor individuals had risen to 35.3 million individuals, or 15.2 percent.

For the next ten years, the poverty rate remained above 12.8 percent, increasing to 15.1 percent, or 39.3 million individuals, by 1993. The rate declined for the remainder of the decade, to 11.3 percent by 2000. From 2000 to 2004 it rose each year to 12.7 in 2004.

Hunger in America
In 2008, 17 million households, 14.6 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. Four million households became food insecure in 2008, the largest increase ever recorded (p. iii, USDA 2008). (To get population figures from family size figures, multiply family size numbers by 2.58, the average family size.)

Study: 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty
Researchers find 14.7 million children were poor in 2009, 2.5 million more than in 2000

Recession Raises Poverty Rate to a 15-Year High
Published: September 16, 2010
The percentage of Americans struggling below the poverty line in 2009 was the highest it has been in 15 years, the Census Bureau reported Thursday, and interviews with poverty experts and aid groups said the increase appeared to be continuing this year.

Census Bureau says 15.7 percent in poverty
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6,2011 (UPI) -- Using an expanded definition of poverty, the U.S. Census Bureau said it determined that 15.7 percent of Americans -- 47.8 million -- live in poverty.

Some 43 Million Use Food Stamps
February 2, 2011
More than 14% of the population drew food stamps in November to purchase groceries as high unemployment and muted wage growth crimped budgets. The number of recipients was up 0.9% from October, according to the new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Compared to a year ago, the number of people receiving food stamps was up 14.2%.

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Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:05 AM PDT

If America was a person

by Candide08

Hello. I am America.

I'm part of a rich and powerful family that has done some great things in the past.
I have not done anything great, but being a part of that family makes me feel like I have.

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