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Politico's Mike Allen & Jim Vandehei 11/04/2012:

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

Whose coalition of voters looks more 'broad' to you?

(2012 presidential election result by race, from exit poll data)



Do we really need a poll to answer this question?

0%0 votes
100%14 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results


In the aftermath of the 2010 midterms, little attention was paid to some Governors race outcomes that opened new avenues for state by state progress on marriage equality. I drafted a diary on this subject back in November with the idea of providing a bit of silver lining to an otherwise dismal election, but never got around to publishing it.

Here was my November ranking of states, which all elected pro-marriage or civil union Governors, where I thought we'd most likely see action in 2011:

States Electing Pro Marriage / Civil Union Governors
1. Hawaii (84%* 96%*)
2. Rhode Island (87% 76%)
3. Maryland (70% 70%)
4. New York (68%* 48%)
5. Illinois (54% 59%)
6. Minnesota (46% 45%)

() post-election Democratic % in each legislative chamber
* chamber has previously passed a marriage / civil union bill

Now, just a few months later, we've already seen not just movement but results in some of those states. An update on where things stand is after the break.


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The basic narrative being reported right now about Joe Miller's personnel records from Fairbanks North Star Borough includes these basic points:
-- misused computers for political activities.
-- lied about it initially.
-- admitted it later and was disciplined.

I don't know what Alaska voters are making of this, but it wouldn't be very difficult for them to rationalize these events. After all, Miller says he used the computers on his lunch hour, so maybe he was guilty of nothing more than a technicality. And while lying about it was definitely bad, he did ultimately admit his mistake and take the consequences. Not exactly what we'd like to see on the resume of a US Senator, but hey, nobody's perfect.

However, when you read the detailed account of the affair given by Miller's co-worker Jill Dolan, a much more indefensible and downright disturbing (pathological?) picture emerges.



Last time you left an office job, did your former employer...

56%52 votes
7%7 votes
35%33 votes

| 92 votes | Vote | Results

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Mitt Romney, 8/10/2010 (via spokesperson):

The wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda compel rejection of this site.

Mitt Romney, 5/15/2006:

One particularly blunt affront has left Romney still visibly enraged months after it occurred. His jaw clenches as he tells how he was approached by a local woman after a public meeting between church members and their critics. "One lady, who I'm sure considers herself quite tolerant, came over to me and wanted to know why we just didn't go on back to Utah and build our temple out there," he recalls.

Can you guess which two religious building sites are referred to by the above statements?


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No? Well there's a good reason for that. There wasn't any.

Or rather his response was to continue his Christmas vacation for another 2 weeks before returning to Washington DC and, as far as I can tell, never publicly addressing the matter in any form whatsoever (CORRECTION: see UPDATES 2 and 4).

Far be it from me to criticize Bush's response, but in light of recent events and statements by prominent GOP politicians I think it's worth revisiting that episode.


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On 4/15/2009 the NH State Senate held its first hearing on HB 436  (Marriage Equality).

The vote count at this point is still unpredictable and should be close. In this diary I will attempt to group the potential Yes votes in order of likelihood based on factors including past votes and floor speeches, media reports, recent election margins, and personal background.



How many votes will marriage equality get in the NH senate?

29%5 votes
11%2 votes
23%4 votes
35%6 votes
0%0 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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After weeks in which Gov. Palin's confidentiality waiver in the Personnel Board investigation into Troopergate seemed to go down the memory hole, a proud citizen has finally stood up to demand the openness the law requires.


A legal fight is ... brewing over the secrecy of the personnel board investigation. Anchorage white collar attorney Margaret Simonian wants the board's independent counsel, Tim Petumenos, to conduct his probe in public and says she's planning a lawsuit to force him to do so.


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Few inside the beltway noticed this week when Joe Biden made a point in his 9/24/2008 speech in Cincinnati which has thus far been entirely absent from the establishment media narrative but which may surface tonight at the debate in Oxford, given current events.

And unlike John McCain — who opposed Barack Obama's call to take out the high-level terrorist targets in Pakistan and called it 'bombing our ally' — we will not tolerate a terrorist sanctuary in Pakistan.

I hope this is a sign the Obama campaign has been prepping on this point for the debate, so that should the pitch come Obama can jerk it into the upper deck rather than settle for a ground rule double.

Batting practice follows in the body.


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A wire story posted today by Matt Volz carries the maddening headline, "Palin's preferred inquiry requires utmost secrecy." The article is referring to the often dismissed Personnel Board investigation.

Of the two Alaska investigations into abuse-of-power allegations against Sarah Palin, the governor has chosen to cooperate with just one: the one that guarantees secrecy.

There's just one problem: Gov. Palin has already expressly waived confidentiality (see footnote 1, page 1) in the Personnel Board investigation!

A timeline of the confidentiality waiver's trip down the memory hole, including the McCain campaign's recent efforts, is found in the body.


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Gov. Palin's initial ethics disclosure of 9/1/2008 was focused primarily on sliming Mike Wooten, whereas it praised Walt Monegan as a "distinguished law enforcement officer" with whom Palin merely had a series of "good-faith disagreements." So seeing that he still "had talents" Gov. Palin did not even fire him but instead offered him a "new position" in the administration, which he turned down.

But now that Monegan has made a series of unhelpful statements in the media, Gov. Palin has suddenly discovered that - guess what? - Monegan was actually let go for much more egregious reasons.


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As Troopergate watchers are aware, Palin has improperly asked for the Republican-dominated Legislative Council's investigation to be shut down, and asked instead that the matter be referred to the Personnel Board. So it's understandable that the left blogs (mostly prominently TPM) have taken a dismissive view of a potential Personnel Board investigation.

But in doing so they have misread the history and disposition of the Personnel Board, overlooked actions the Board has already undertaken towards a Troopergate investigation, and failed to appreciate this might be the only Troopergate investigation with potential to damage Gov. Palin before the election.

In this diary I will cover all these points in a roundabout way while examining the question of why Palin and her lawyer called for a Personnel Board investigation to begin with.


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In Alaska, the Personnel Board is responsible for retaining independent counsel in cases of an ethics complaint involving the Governor.

Yesterday the Board posted notice of an upcoming meeting. The reason: "To contract for legal services for the board in a matter and for consideration of ethics matters"

9/11/2008, starting at 12 p.m.
Frontier Building (Room 880)
3601 C Street
Anchorage, AK

The notice says the meeting will be held in "executive" or closed session.

However, if this meeting is related to Troopergate - and there's reason to believe it is - then Gov. Palin has already expressly waived confidentiality (see footnote 1, page 1) and so by law this meeting should be open to the public (AS 39.52.340).


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