One thing you can say about Texas, their nutty Tea-baggers can always surprise the hell out of you. Just when you thought it would be impossible for a Texas Governor to come along and make Rick Perry and George Bush look smart, along comes Governor Gregg Abbot.
I'm filing this story from NPR in my "you gotta be f*$&%ng kidding me!" file.
More below the fold.
I just got off the phone with my Senator's office in DC to express my opposition to his planned vote to give away the Keystone pipeline. Many here have rightly expressed their opposition to the pipeline for the damage they see it could do to our struggling atmosphere. Let me offer a reason for others to call now to have their senators oppose the vote tomorrow.
This has got to be one of the damn STUPIDEST strategic moves I've ever seen the Democrats do, and lately there's been a lot of damn stupid things they've been doing to choose from.
From an article in the Washington Post comes word of the huge subsidies the world continues to give to fossil fuels, while Alt-energy, not so much.
The report does note, however, that governments around the world are still subsidizing dirty fossil energy much more than they're subsidizing renewables. As of 2013, reports IEA, world fossil fuel subsidies totaled $550 billion, four times the amount devoted to clean energy.
Yep, this is what we're up against. To paraphrase the great philosopher Kyle Reese:
Listen, and understand. That Republican is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever until you can't vote!
Their entire campaigns and public personas are built on deception and lies. But in the back rooms, when they're talking to their Oligarch masters, what it is they truly are comes out in the open.
Take it away Orrin:
I think there are WAY to many people who truly underestimate the serious trouble our democracy is in. So many people had so many Bull Shit excuses for not voting; they're all the same, I don't like all the negativity, I'm too busy, I'm too good to vote AGAINST evil I only want to vote for the perfect...
The Grand Oligarch Party is one move away from checkmate! They're pretty hesitant about making the last move of the game, but I'm not sure why. Do they think the Tea Party will actually rise up and protect the principles of the constitution? Or maybe they think the 1% who cheered Mitt Romney when he warned the 47% are trying to take their home in the Hamptoms and car elevators away, will stop signing the checks that fund the massive propaganda machine? Or maybe they think the 2/3 of Americans who think voting is uncool, or it takes too much time away from Facebook or think there's nobody I found interesting enough by watching the TV ads to get off the couch and actually vote for, might actually turn out and vote.
We don't need to get panicky and finger pointy, but we've got one hell of a serious problem facing us and we shouldn't blow it off as a new normal midterm/presidential cycle. When a party captures the most state legislatures in 100 years, there's something fundamental going on.
I think Obama nailed it when he kept saying 2/3 of the country didn't vote. The nonvoter is the true enemy of democracy, and our freaken democracy is in real trouble.
Our democracy is in a death spiral. The more the Republicans break government and sew confusion with their propaganda machine, the more their base gets fired up, and the more normal people and our base get discouraged. FAR too many people threw up their hands and said "whats the use" and didn't vote. The youth showed up in terrible numbers, and they are our future base, so what does that say for our future.
I always say, the day after an election where you just got your ass kicked and you're feeling disgusted and bitter is the best time to write a diary you'll probably regret later.
There is no doubt Democrats have a real problem with winning elections. When you ask them, people overwhelmingly agree with us on issues and yet when they walk into the voting booth, they vote for the people who disagree with them on the issues. So it's obvious they're not voting on issues.
It seems we Democrats have 2 big obstacles to overcome before we can start winning elections as if the vast majority of people agreed with us, which they do.
1) About 10% of Democratic supporters, simply won't show up for midterm elections.
2) About 10% of the people who do show up for an election, are irrational due to stupidity or ignorance.
The Democratic ground game in Colorado has not only kicked into high gear, it's kicked into overdrive! The Colorado Republicans came out of the gate running like a horde of Central American ISIL kids with Ebola had just crossed the boarder and was right on their tails! The big question since the start of early voting has been, can the Democrats catch them?
It was obvious from the beginning that the Republicans couldn't keep up the pace of voting they started out with, and the Democrats slowly chipped away at that huge lead. But it's also been obvious the Democrats were going to have to make some big gains in the final days of early voting to have any chance at winning.
Well it looks like those big gains are happening. Here's the last numbers for early voting from the Secretary of State.
For just over the last week I've been following the Colorado Secretary of States reports on early voting. What has really struck me is how well the Republicans have been doing at getting their people to vote early. In fact, it's been so good, I've commented that the pace was impossible to keep up. For the past week, the Democrats have been slowly making progress at cutting into the Republican turnout advantage. But with today's report, we're seeing the Democrats really turn the corner.
Yesterday I wrote I diary about how impressed I am with the highly efficient GOTV operation the Dems have put together in Colorado. Well today is the day we're starting to see that operation pay off.
I either work phones or knock on doors for every general election. I made a 150 mile round trip yesterday to knock on Fort Collins CO doors for the Democrats in CO.
Of course they give you a little 10 minute training session, then they give you a packet full of the voter lists and some other stuff, then send you on your way.
When I opened up that packet, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. I worked on CO Senator Bennet's (the father of the Bannock street project) campaign in 2010, and the operation they had this year was FAR more sophisticated.
I've been reading several papers later, written by political scientists, on how to improve turnout. They use techniques like calling people "voters", using phrases like "voters like you", talking about other voters in your neighborhood, asking them about when they plan on voting... The script in the packet covered ALL of these techniques!
The Dems continue to knock down the early Advantage that Republicans had at the beginning of early voting.
In the 2010 early vote, R's beat the D's by 6.1%. Since there's a delay in reporting, the final Secretary of State report on Monday will probably show a number slightly higher than this.
The D's gained 1% on the R's on Wed. Here's the Wed. early vote results.
And here's today's report.
Yesterday, I presented a case that the Republicans in Colorado are doing a remarkable job at banking early votes. In fact, they have been so good at it, that it's mathematically impossible for them to keep up this pace through election day.
I also suggested that you really need to look at the county by county returns and extrapolate to what is sure to be a much bigger turnout than 2010, to get a good idea of how well the Democrats are doing in Colorado. When you look at those numbers, the Democrats are behind by about 2% from where they need to be.
But if the Republicans are really just banking votes early, without adding new voters, we should start seeing the Democrats close the early vote gap pretty soon.