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This is a bit scary, especially in wake of what this Friday is the anniversary of. In the wake of the the FBI's shutdown of an anonymous online market for purchasing illegal goods, an anonymous crowdfunder is is calling for the assassination of political targets.

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 10:04 AM PDT

GMOs: What we can all agree on

by MrAnon

Over the last week, I've been engaged in the comments sections of several diaries on the subject of GM crops. Some of these have been "pro-GMO", while others have been "anti-GMO". I've seen some users being called "conspiracy theorists", and others being called "Monsanto shills". What I do not see is productive discussion emerging from this divide, and I hope to use this diary to address this.

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With the fiscal cliff, Israel's escalating war with Gaza, and looming battles over immigration reform, transportation policy may not be on the top of everybody's minds. But one of my friends, a prospective urban planner, has convinced me that we need to change the way we structure the transportation budget, and that by doing so we can address a number of important problems facing the country, including energy dependency, the economy, and the budget. Click over the fold to see how.

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Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM PDT

Anyone else from Washington?

by MrAnon

The state, of course. We have several important elections coming up. I know that DailyKos has a specific Elections section that posts major updates, but I thought it might be worthwhile to write a series of diaries focusing specifically on elections in my state. So for fellow Washingtonians, I encourage you to fill the comments section of this with insights or local perspectives.

As you probably know, we have to big statewide elections, the US Senate seat and the race for the governor. Maria Cantwell, our current Democratic Senator who is running for re-election, seems to have her seat in the bags. She's held this seat for over a decade, and her opponent does not seem nearly as capable of mounting a serious campaign.

Instead, the big statewide election is the governor. Longtime Representative Jay Inslee has been taking a beating against Attorney General Rob McKenna, but it seems he's been doing better in recent polls. The reason, I believe, is because his grassroots campaign has taken a bit of time to pick up.

Meanwhile, we've got 10 congressional races. District 10, the new district, is our big chance for a pickup. At the same time, though, we've got to hold on to all our Democratic seats, two of which (districts 1 and 6) are now open as the incumbents are resigning and retiring, respectively.

Probably the most immediate matter is settling the democratic nominee for the 1st district race (my district). We currently have 5 candidates, while the Republicans have 2. Now one thing everyone should remember is that Washington does not have conventional primaries for the conventional races. Rather, it has a two round runoff election. That means that in the first round, everybody from all parties runs, and the top two fight it off in the second round. The result is that it's possible to end up having two teabaggers on the ballot in November for some of these races. That is why it's important to get the vote out in the August primaries and make sure that at least one Democrat ends up in the November ballot. This is particularly important for the first district, as party division might make us lose the seat and end up having two teabaggers on the ballot in November.

I'll continue to post as more updates on local elections occur. Again, I encourage fellow Washingtonians (and really, anyone interested in major races across the country) to bring up things they find interesting about these races in the comments section.

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Mitt Romney has made it very clear that this election will be about the economy. The reason is that he has nothing else to run on. Oh, believe me, he'll toss a bone at these issues once or twice, but he can't run a campaign based on them.

Even if the Affordable Care Act goes down, he can't run on healthcare, for obvious reasons.

He can't run against Wall Street Reform, the President's most popular legislative accomplishment.

He can't run against gay rights, because Obama has already shifted the playing field in this area.

He can't run against immigration, because his own party is beginning to weaken on their platform here (see Marco Rubio).

He can't even run on foreign policy, which has long been the GOP's "trump card". Controversial as it is, the President's foreign policy is his most popular area in the public, and not even the Republicans can ignore his achievements here. While Romney still trumpets for war in Iran and Syria, you will not here him wanting troops to stay in Afghanistan or a return to Iraq. That is a sign that he has conceded these issues. A concession is not good in politics.

To be fair, "the economy" is a pretty wide set of issues. You'll see him stick up for Big Oil quite a bit, as well as his precious tax cuts for "job creators". You'll also see him rant about the debt and the deficit. But his main premises for these issues are very shaky: 1. Unemployment must be bad, or in some way be construed as bad, while 2. The deficit/debt must remain high, or be construed as such. The second premise has factual problems, and Obama is focusing a large amount of his campaign to counter those. The first premise, however, is out or either candidate's hands for the moment. But if the economy were to significantly improve over the next couple of months, and say, unemployment drop to 7.1, then Romney has a snowball's chance in hell.

Not that he has much more than that already. Polls may be discouraging, but make no mistake, Obama will win this election unless some major catastrophe happens during the next 5 months. This shows that based on patterns from the last 160 years, it is virtually impossible for the President to lose re-election. Even if the economy worsens, the President has Bin Laden's death to fall back on, among other things.

Poll

Am I being too optimistic here?

18%5 votes
33%9 votes
48%13 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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