So, the front-runner to be the next Republican nominee for Governor, Al Melvin, State Senator-AZ, has gone on the record that he's against Algebra. Yes you heard that right. The best (actually the worst) part is he is on the committee to determine educational standards in Arizona. Hey, you can't spell crazy without a R-AZ.
Apparently his logic starts with his duel love of Reagan and his hatred for any standard from the evil US Dept of Education. Quoting GOP Senator Al Melvin:
“It got hijacked by Washington, by the federal government,” said Melvin, a candidate for governor, and “as a conservative Reagan Republican I’m suspect about the U.S. Department of Education in general, but also any standards that are coming out of that department.”
So this above comment was based on his thoughts about Common Core Standard's in the state's secondary education system. But then Mr Melvin was blind-sided by a rigorous follow-up question from a mean old Democrat colleague:
David Bradley, D-Tucson, ask him whether he’s actually read the Common Core standards, which have been adopted by 45 states.
“I’ve been exposed to them,” Melvin responded.
Pressed by Bradley for specifics, Melvin said he understands “some of the reading material is borderline pornographic.” And he said the program uses “fuzzy math,” substituting letters for numbers in some examples
Wait, I need a moment....bwa-ha-ha-ha....a-ha-ha-ha...breathe....bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Maybe solving for the unknown letter X, somehow offends his religious beliefs??
Ran across an blog written by a Caltech Physics Professor (Sean Carroll) which is an interesting take on the current Republican mindset. Highly recommend visiting his blog, which includes a word cloud and bullet point findings based on some polling he found.
Here are a few snippets from his blog entry:
The rest of the world is looking at the United States and wondering, with good reason, why we have gone crazy. Not the entire country has gone crazy, of course. But we have a system of government in which a medium-sized minority can bring things crashing down if they so choose, and exactly such a group is rending one of the major parties apart. The minority group is roughly “the Republican base,” an uneasy alliance of Evangelical Christians and the Tea Party.
So it’s interesting and important to understand what these folks really think — something the media, with its valorization of drama, isn’t very good at conveying. The polling organization run by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg has recently tackled the issue, and presents a fascinating summary of what the concerns of the Republican base really are. (Carville and Greenberg are committed Democrats, of course, but I got the link from The American Conservative, where Ron Dreher completely agrees and expresses his horror and dismay.)
It always seems to me one differential in strategy between Democrats and Republicans is commitment to simple sticky marketing. In fact, I kind of picture the Republicans as a company with no other department in the organization, but slogan/bullet point marketing. The Democrats seem like a company with every possible department, but marketing.
The assumption here is the Republican “company” doesn’t produce a widget or have a research department or have customer service trying to deal with a live customer. The entire staff of their company is marketing-based. Their strategy is to go strong with layer on top of layer of consumable simply slogans ideas that stick in the customer’s head. Reagan set the model. The whole basis of the company is building a customer base of faith-based magic pill commandments, but also staying clear of the reality of owning a real live widget or program.
They are not constructed to fix or address real problems that customer service or engineers might concern themselves with (they almost reject the idea of those departments). Life is faith based rooting based, not pesky problem filled reality based When problems arise, because they are only equipped with marketing, they really are rendered helpless on a “fixing it front”. The key for a pure talker, all marketing group is to constantly blame the other company which stupidly got in the muck and attempted to make things, improve things and brainstorm new ideas. Keep it simple. Even if something by any logical standard was caused by the Republican company, you claim the other side was involved and was the lynchpin of the problem. After all they make things, we are just innocently talking over here.
It’s what marketing is at its core…making people physiologically fully buy in to a certain spin and move them away from snippets of logic that might undercut the myth. Plus lay all the blame some fundamental evil-doer character.
Some interesting trends in the generic congressional polls and specifically Rasmussen. The RCP avg has the D's edging in front on the R's very slightly (46.2 vs 46.0). The big driver is ironically Rasmussen with a huge sample size. Rasmussen had it 43D-46R for Oct22-28 (sample size 3500). Now it has it 46D-46D for Oct29-Nov4 (sample size 3500). It looks like old Rasmussen is seeing some serious momentum towards the blue team in the house. Come on 218!
Unfortunately, 538 does not currently have a House Congressional projection. I have never followed how closely the generic D and R congressional polls translate to results on election day.
This electionprojection.com web site seems to be predicting the Republicans will continue to hold a painful +50 (242R-193D) seat led:
Here is some rough sketch data I collected from RealClearPolitics, showing the aggreivate generic congressional poll margins and then what happened a few days later in the election (in percentage, not seats):
2004: AVG Polls=Tied Election=+3 R
2006: AVG Polls=+11 D Election=+8 D
2008: AVG Polls=+8 D Election=+9 D
2010: AVG Polls=+9 R Election=+7 R
2012: AVG Polls=Tied Election= ???
So it's 45.3R-45.0D right now with most polls tied. The exceptions are the CBS poll with the D’s up 2 points and Rasmussen with R’s up 3, which gives the average generic congressional poll edge to the Republicans by 0.3%.
Maybe I’m cherry picking, but it seems to me the key elections to look at are 2004 and 2008.
The 2004 polls were damn close to what they look like now both for generic congressional and incumbent/challenger for the Presidency. So from the 2004 data, I’m convincing myself we can edge ahead by 1 to 3 percentage points playing the incumbent party re-play of 2004. Then 2008 shows a bit of an Obama coattail thing.
Nancy meet gavel, again.....Poll after the fold.
This is my attempt to make sense of the current Republican Party. I think they have slowly morphed into a cross between a religious/cult-like group and an infomercial style marketing machine.
The religious element being that they largely do not see the world as complex or needing proportional solutions, but rather, a black and white fantasy story of good and evil. Jesus and the saints are replaced with Ronald Reagan and Grover Norquest & Fox News. The devil is inside all Democrats, government workers, and academia people who challenge the talking points of the saints. By definition, we should never question and always have faith in the decreed FoxNews commentary. They have no process of self-analysis of their own ideas (ie, just have faith in the initial brainstorming thought from the saints). It’s a simple world to process if you believe in set of easy to consume commandments (trickle down always works, lower taxes on super-rich , traditional family appearances, etc).
Just taking taxes as an example, if the tax rate for $1M+ income was 32%...they’d want it to be 20%.....if it was 2%, they’d want it to be 0%. The amounts don’t matter in their minds. There’s no interest in the details or the baseline or whether the number is a real world optimal or went too far…only that it should always be lower as the prophets have explained.
Democrats have constant hope they will act as a strong second party with a counter-balance of thoughts that add to the discussion. Instead they are like David Karesh followers that focus all mental energy on a perfect Heavenly or Armageddon end game of pure good and evil high level solutions. Their “good” solutions are auto-pilot in nature, meaning trickle down needs no self-checks, etc. Problems at the detail level are magically overwhelmed with their grand efficient and robust system based on the thought that all business is pure good and all government is pure evil. They spent 15 seconds to come up with this grand idea and repeat to themselves 5 times a day…how could it fail?
I was struck by the recent picture with the 5 living past, present , and future PofUSA. I was trying to remember the last time there were more demis the repebers.....cause Johnson and Kennedy obviously did not have long ex-president tenures. The club has been packed with Nixon, Ford, and Reagon for a while. By the way, if I need someone who has my back I'll take Carter, Clinton, and Obama over Bush squared every time.
I did a diary after Ohio and Texas about how the future contests from March-June would not allow an obvious exit point for Clinton. I jotted down some quick back-of-the-napkin predictions for the remaining contests with very little in mind other then she does well in Appalachia. I sort of forgot about it, but when I revisited the blog again and realized how easy it is to project proportional elections within a fairly small margin, because most baseline estimate will only be off by a few here and there. For example, I had cumulative totals from 3/8 to now as 258(O) to 267(C), but the actual was 256(O) to 269(C).
I curious about how this thing will play out. Hillary is clearly determined and boosted by yesterday's results, but without divine intervention the numbers just look impossible for her. On the other hand, the next big news worthing contest looks like a great opportunity for her to score another big win, given she has always done well in Appalachia. Also, West Virginia and Kentucky will probably be big wins for the same reason. As far as delegate count, he can sort of run out the clock, but where will his signature moment in the remaining contests. Below is a rough look, with ballpark estimates of how the delegates might fall. To me the delegate count difference between the 2 will probably be less then 10 for the remaining contests.