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Comment Preferences

  •  Again, here's my reaction to Rep. Andrews leaving (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Jacob1145, gabjoh, Taget, betelgeux

    only to have Donald Norcross quickly take up the vacuum and be the CW candidate: http://youtu.be/...

    How he became President of the South Jersey AFL-CIO and then voted to reduce union say on pension deals I can't make logical.  His father was a major SJ labor leader while his brother (George Norcross III) is the de facto leader of the South Jersey Democratic organization as well as Chairman of the Board of the Cooper University medical system and Chairman of an insurance and employee benefits brokerage firm and is currently leading a conglomerate that has bought the biggest Philadelphia newspapers.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:25:07 PM PST

  •  VA HD-100: Sucks to be a Norfolk Republican (9+ / 0-)

    So, the Republicans are having their nomination "meeting" tomorrow. The catch is that it's being held in Accomack County. So if you live in the Norfolk portion of the district (about 37% of the district by voter registration), you'd have to make a 3 hour round trip and pay $17 in tolls to attend.

  •  All of them, really (0+ / 0-)

    White, black, Asian, Native American...

    **Electing Republicans to the government is like hiring pyromaniacs as firemen. They all just want to see everything burn to the ground.**

    by CatM on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:43:29 PM PST

    •  How original! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections

      by James L on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:09:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please forgive me (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Audrid, MichaelNY, gabjoh, lordpet8

        Some of us autistics are not very creative and have an odd sense of humor.

        I am such an anti-Republican at this point and so passionate about democrats winning that I am not yet focused on individual races. I do have a few I am not interested in because the democrat is pretty lousy, but I still have to support them because we need to get the overall numbers up.

        Be happy I did not go with my first instinct, which was to say the speed skating races....

        **Electing Republicans to the government is like hiring pyromaniacs as firemen. They all just want to see everything burn to the ground.**

        by CatM on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  California Democratic party pre-endorsements (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, MichaelNY, gabjoh, lordpet8

    The California Democratic Party preendorsement conferences are this weekend (in CD-33's case, Sunday). They are a prelude to the actual state party endorsements that will happen during the state party convention to be held in Los Angeles in March. These are sort of like caucuses, but only delegates from clubs, central state and local party committees, and elected officials get to vote. There's only one ballot.

    A simple rundown: if one candidate gets at least 70%, then they go straight to the endorsement consent calendar at convention. In other words, barring last-minute shenanigans and/or a brutal convention floor fight, these candidates are effectively endorsed by the California Democratic Party.

    If one candidate gets over 50% but less than 70%, then it goes to an endorsement caucus during convention. There, only state central committee delegates get to vote. An incumbent needs a simple majority to garner an endorsement here, while a candidate in an open race or a challenger to an incumbent needs 60% to get the party endorsement.

    If no candidate gets 50%, then the state party will go no endorsement in the race.

    I'll leave out the various tricks that party leaders and power brokers use; they get complicated.

    23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

    by kurykh on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:06:34 PM PST

    •  Will this happen for all races? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Jacob1145, Alibguy

      i.e. could Sandra Fluke get the party's endorsement for SD-28?

      25, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

      by HoosierD42 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:27:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only in races with candidates that filed (4+ / 0-)

        with the state party, which is a separate process from filing with the California Secretary of State for the actual election.

        So there are actually some races with no candidate (mostly GOP strongholds), while others have candidates which filed for two races.

        Regarding Sandra Fluke, she's in the running for the endorsement. Having said that, she probably won't get it, especially if former assemblywoman Betsy Butler is gunning for it too. Butler is the establishment candidate, while Fluke has to mount an outsider campaign, an extremely hard but not impossible task to pull off in California.

        23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

        by kurykh on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:28:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  2014 elections: With Boehner's comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, James Allen, MichaelNY

    this week that immigration reform will be tough to pass because the GOP distrusts Obama, I think that about ends any chance of a bill passing this year.

    Some like, Greg Sargent, are reading Boehner's comments differently. But I think it's clear there was a conservative backlash to even the vague "statement of principles" from both inside and outside of Congress, and Boehner was looking for some explanation other than he doesnt have control of his caucus, so of course, blame Obama.

    I wonder what effect this has on Nov 2014. I worry that more pressure will come on the WH to sign some order halting all deportations, something I think they cant do. That might not happen until next year though.

    But hopefully, with the Senate passing a bill, Dems can use this as an election issue, and it can help some candidates, especially in many of the CA seats.

  •  NV-02 The DCCC has no candidates (3+ / 0-)

    listed.

    Question: How many Republican held seats are we not even running against?

    "It ain’t supposed to make sense; it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe." - Archie Bunker

    by Banach MacAmbrais on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:24 PM PST

  •  Main pagers starting to annoy me (19+ / 0-)

    "I'm voting against Michelle Nunn. We need a REAL progressive to turn out the progressive vote in Georgia! After all, Georgia has more Democratic-leaning voters than Republican-leaning."

    O_o

    And they wonder why the House is considered unwinnable for us right now. Maybe we should nominate Nancy Pelosi to run in Gene Taylor's old district, eh wot?

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:44 PM PST

  •  FL-GOV: This seems to qualify as breaking news (11+ / 0-)

    apparently, Charlie Crist just told Bill Maher he would like to end the Cuban embargo.

    Bad move politically? Seems like Cuban American vote is changing, but this quickly?

    Or is it not much of loss since most Cuban Americans still vote GOP and will vote for Scott anyway?

    link

    •  Obama.. (6+ / 0-)

      feels the same way, IIRC, and he actually carried the Cuban vote in 2012. It's a young demographic, and the young people couldn't care less about Castro.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

      by Le Champignon on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:49:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No not really (6+ / 0-)

      You'll still have those old geezers in which every sentence out of their mouth contains a  "Fidel Castro", they talk about him non-stop, in how they cant' wait for him and Raul to pass, so they can get their island back.

      And then you have Cubans who actually think the embargo is not helpful and it should end. Joe Garcia I believe has that same position. When Obama shook Raul's hand at Mandela's memorial service, it wasn't that big of a deal in South Florida, like it would have been maybe 10 years ago or so. Maybe some of the old bags who don't like him regarless were fuming mad, but overall no.

      NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

      by BKGyptian89 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:50:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever Crist is doing it's being managed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, itskevin, MichaelNY, MetroGnome

      at a very risk-calculated level. If he is saying this publicly he must have info that tells him it is not going to cost him politically. Probably so little potential support for him among those who still support the embargo that it isn't damaging and potentially could bring out more young Cuban voters who actively oppose the embargo.

    •  Feelings on the policy are mixed. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob1145, LordMike, lina, MichaelNY

      On the one hand a lot of Cubans send money back to family and want to be able to keep in touch.  So there is a lot of controversy over proposals to strengthen the embargo.  And a lot of desire to get around or even relax it.

      On the other hand there is clearly not any love for the Castro family.  And even if bad policy it has symbolic value.  I view it as a net negative.  But no longer fatal as it would've been in the past.

      Most people know the time and place for the embargo has passed.  But it'll never happen until Fidel and Raul (both in not very good health) pass away and new leaders emerge in Cuba.

      The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

      by Taget on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More on Crist's comments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      link

      He released a statement to "clarify", but it doesnt seem like he backed away from his initial comments. Good. It's certainly a valid point of view, and one that seems to be growing even in FL.

  •  Hungary (10+ / 0-)

    The elections I'm most interested in right now, however depressing they are, take place here in my adopted home country of Hungary on April 6.

    As those who follow some international news will know, the conservative-populist Fidesz party won a landslide victory four years ago. Viktor Orban's party was helped in no small part by the events of 2006, when audio recordings surfaced of Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany telling his party faithful that "we have fucked it up. ... We have obviously lied throughout the past one and a half-two years ...  I had to pretend for one and a half years that we were governing. Instead, we lied in the morning, at noon and at night. ... we did not do anything for four years. Nothing. You cannot mention any significant government measures that we can be proud of".

    Orban's government won about half of the vote and over two-thirds of the parliamentary seats, and immediately set off bulldozering record numbers of laws through that were meant to change the face of the country in Fidesz's likeness, and entrench the party's power as solidly as possible. The constitution, judiciary independence and media freedom have been prominent victims of Fidesz's single-minded determination, and liberal and leftist demonstrators started coming out in force in 2011 and 2012.

    However, as one of your politicians once said, "It's the economy stupid". And Fidesz crafted a populist mish-mash of economic policies, benefiting the wealthy through a flat tax, appeasing the poor with state-mandated cuts in utility prices, and forcing international banks to swallow a big chunk of the foreign-currency loans which many Hungarians took out in better times and are nearly bankrupted by now. The economic benefits of these "unconventional" policies are obviously questionable, but it seems to have worked out OK for the party electorally. The government brought the country's budget deficits in line with EU standards by confiscating people's private pension savings and slapping special taxes on banking and telecom industries, which annoyed the European Commission and enraged some foreign investors, but the voters seem to have forgiven the former and relished the latter.

    I've been adding every new election poll to the Wikipedia page about the elections, and created a few charts as well. This is the main one, and the trends should be pretty clear.

    The latest twist, barely reflected in that chart yet, is that the fragmented left-liberal opposition forced have joined together in a common list, called Unity. On the one hand this was a question of bare necessity, since the Fidesz majority in parliament has changed the electoral law and smaller parties are more disadvantaged than ever. On the other hand, the result is a smorgasbord of has-been politicians, and it's not just their forces that are being added up but also their flaws and questionable track records.

    Most notably, Gyurcsany managed to worm his way into the new line-up. He split off from the Socialists a few years ago to create a new party, the Democratic Coalition, which languished at the bottom of the polls for a good while only to inch up to some 5-6% support right when opposition coalition talks caught steam. Considering the smack he was talking about Socialist Party corruption, my impression is that they eventually decided that they'd rather have him inside pissing out then outside pissing in, but obviously he is still unpopular enough that having him in the new alliance's leadership is going to limit its broader appeal.

    The first two polls that have come out measuring the new common list's support have found that it's just a couple percent short of what the individual participating parties had been pooling before, which puts it at some 30% while Fidesz is back up to over 50%. Fidesz's recovery in the polls is also neatly mirrored by a steady improvement of the government's job approvals in the past 1.5-2 years and a similar recovery in polling on whether Hungary is on the right or the wrong track.

    Unfortunately, there is very little choice for a critical voter: the elections are pretty much set to become a three-horse race. There's Fidesz, there's Unity, and there's the far-right Jobbik, which is polling a little worse than what it got in 2010 but remains a potent force. A small green party which unexpectedly got into parliament four years ago with over 7% of the vote has since splintered over the question of whether to join a broader opposition coalition or remain independent, and the rump faction is bravely/stubbornly continuing on a nor-Fidesz/nor-Socialist course but down to a percentage point or two in the polls. Since there's a 5% threshold and over half the MPs will be elected in First Past The Post district races, its prospects are dim indeed.

    •  Isn't Jobbik very close to being actual Nazis? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JGibson, MichaelNY, Jacob1145, Taget

      Just curious, as I've heard them described as "Hungary's Golden Dawn".

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:41:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They pretty much are actual Nazis (5+ / 0-)

        Jobbik forced one of its members of the European Parliament to resign after they found out he had Jewish ancestry.

      •  Not quite Golden Dawn (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christopher Walker, MichaelNY, Taget

        They go through the effort of pretending not to be extremists, and they don't have thugs going around on the streets beating up leftists and immigrants. But they were quite closely connected with the Hungarian Guard, which consisted (and consists, under a new name) of a bunch of people wearing silly militaristic uniforms and prancing around in marches, including in Roma (Gypsy) villages to provoke the locals.

        They campaign as if they are a regular populist right-wing party, but then every time they mess up that attempted cleaner image when, for example, one of their MPs suddenly holds a speech in parliament bringing up the old blood libel smears against Jews.

        I would say they're not quite comparable with Golden Dawn or the German NPD, but they're definitely more in the old-fashioned "brown" corner than West-European far right parties in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Italian Lega Nord or, nowadays, the French Front National.

  •  NC-Gov: Cooper defending forced ultrasounds (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.wral.com/...

    Cooper will appeal a federal court's ruling that NC's forced ultrasound law is unconstitutional.  We got into a debate a few weeks ago about what the duties of the AG are and if/when it's appropriate for an AG not to defend the laws of the state (that is the issue here).  But I will say Cooper is being consistent.  I remember a long time ago, before he was running for governor, he appealed a similar federal court ruling that banned pro-life state license plates.

    The interesting thing is though, Pat McCrory has said he doesn't think this federal court ruling should be appealed.  McCrory likes to make statements indicating that he is pro-choice but of course he will sign crazy abortion restrictions into law if he's pressured by the legislature.

  •  Indiana Filing closed today at noon (3+ / 0-)

    and Dem recruitment for the General Assembly was pretty spotty, and yes, the Democratic numbers in the GA can get even worse. The margins are 69-31 and 37-13. One good thing is that candidates can be slated until June 30. Among the notable seats Dems left open (not all, just ones that could be in play): Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Mishawaka), Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette), Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City), Tom Washburne (R-Darmstadt), the open HD-63, Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth), Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), and Martin Carbaugh (R-Ft. Wayne). In the Senate- Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), Jim Tomes (R-Evansville), Jim Waterman (R-Sherburne), and Doug Eckerty (R-Muncie).  Republicans seem to be making plays against Rep. Kreg Battles (D-Vincennes), Terry Goodin (D-Austin), Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis), Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis), Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point), and Shelia Klinker (D-Lafayette). The first two are among the last conservative Democrats left in the House, the rest are Republicans hoping to take advantage of a mid-term drop off in turnout.

    Dems do look like they will have potentially strong challenges to Rep. Hal Slager (R-Schereville), the open HD-11, Jack Lutz (R-Anderson), Dick Hamm (R-Richmond), Wendy McNamara (R-Mt. Vernon), and Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville). In the Senate, they look to put up good challenges to Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville), Jim Smith (R-Charlestown), but they do not seem to have A-List people in the open SD-06 or SD-15. They did end up with a strong candidate to hold SD-48, which Republicans are looking to pick up, along with a strong challenge against Sen. Richard Young (D-Milltown).

    "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

    by SouthernINDem on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:11:33 PM PST

    •  Ugh, I live in Dale DeVon's seat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Jacob1145, SaoMagnifico

      Maybe I should run against him in 2016 if no one is even going to try.

      25, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

      by HoosierD42 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:28:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope the Dems in St. Joe County (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jacob1145

        start to get some of their problems worked out. I would hate to see them lose some of the big county elections this year. Hopefully the Butch Morgan stigma will go away soon.

        "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

        by SouthernINDem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:16:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WA-1 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, MichaelNY, Taget

    Even though her district is +11 Obama, Susan Delbene only won her race by 6 points against a really terrible teabagger opponent.  The fact that less conservative candidates like Reichert (who represented a lot of the current 1st under pre-2010 lines) and McKenna do better here than Romney or McCain doesn't surprise me, but some jackass who believes that abortion shouldn't be legal in cases of rape?  Hopefully Delbene has laid down enough roots since then to hold off a less terrible challenger.  

  •  This week in Judges (25+ / 0-)

    Confirmations

    • No confirmations this week.

    Movement

    • Committee hearings were held last week on 6 nominees to the bench of the District Court of Arizona, which is 43% vacant. These include 2 women, 1 Native American woman (and former U.S. Attorney) and 3 Hispanics. Sens. McCain and Flake have finally lifted their hold on one nomination in particular, Rosemary Marquéz, whose nomination has been languishing in committee since June 2011.

    Nominations

    • Cheryl Ann Krause to the 3rd Circuit. Krause is a private Philadelphia attorney who teaches courses at UPenn Law School. She has clerked in the past for Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit and Anthony Kennedy of SCOTUS, both Reagan appointees. The 3rd Cir. is currently 7-5 Democratic appointees to Republican appointees by active judges (10-14 Republican total judges). The Court has two vacancies, with Krause being the only nominee to one of those vacancies. Krause will replace Delores Korman Sloviter, a Carter nominee who took senior status.
    • Paul Byron and Carlos Mendoza to the Middle District of Florida. Both are former JAG lawyers. Byron is now a private lawyer and Mendoza is a judge on Florida's 7th Judicial Circuit. The M.D. Fla. is currently 7-7 active (15-11 Dem total) with 1 vacancy, and two nominations. Mendoza will replace John Antoon, who took senior status in June 2013, and Byron will replace James Moody, who will assume senior status in March. Both are Clinton appointees.
    • Beth Bloom and Darrin Gayles to the Southern District of Florida. They are both judges for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, which is comprised solely of Miami-Dade County. Gayles is African-American and openly gay, which would make him the first openly gay black federal judge in the country (Marco Rubio blocked a similar appointment last year). The S.D. Fla. is currently 6-9 Republican active (12-12 total). The Court has three vacancies, with two nominations. Bloom will replace Donald Graham, a G.H.W. Bush appointee and Gayles will replace Patricia Seitz, a Clinton appointee, both of whom assumed senior status.

    Let me know if you like these super-detailed entries!

    25, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

    by HoosierD42 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:55:51 AM PST

  •  Also, today is my 26th birthday (14+ / 0-)

    I don't like it.

    26, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

    by HoosierD42 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:57:14 AM PST

  •  Tunisia's new progressive constitution (16+ / 0-)

    I was just alerted to this by watchdog.net. Were any of you aware of this? It's amazing!

    “Contribution to a sound climate and the right to a sound and balanced environment shall be guaranteed,” the constitution promises.
    Tunisia shall “guarantee preventative health care and treatment for every citizen and provide the means necessary to ensure the safety and good quality of health services.”
    “The State shall guarantee equal opportunities between men and women in the bearing of all the various responsibilities in all fields.”
    Under the terms of the document, the right to form trade unions in [sic] guaranteed along with all of the powers that grants laborers — including the ability to strike.
    Islamist parties were also forced to agree to have Islam be the listed religion of the country, but to not promote sharia as the basis for future laws.
    The ironic thing is that dictators like Bourguiba and Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia for so long, claimed that if they didn't act as ostensibly benevolent dictators, Islamist extremists would take over. Instead, the Tunisian people overthrew Ben Ali and their representatives have passed a very progressive constitution.

    While the Arab Spring turned into a winter nightmare in Egypt, it looks like it may have succeeded big-time in Tunisia. Of course, the Soviet constitution was great, too, so mere words in a document don't really guarantee anything. But this sure is impressive!

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:59:49 AM PST

    •  I think it speaks volumes... (8+ / 0-)

      That Tunisians were able to come together across the political spectrum and acknowledge that their transition to democracy had gone off the rails -- and successfully initiate a new process to get it back on track. I would not have expected that from a state with such immature popular institutions (seeing as that it was ruled by dictatorship for decades before the revolution), but I think it really bodes well for the country's future. Fingers crossed, anyway.

      Meanwhile, Ukraine and now Bosnia and Herzegovina are falling apart at the seams, and Egypt is lurching toward a dystopian nightmare.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:07:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ukraine's problems are the result.... (7+ / 0-)

        ...of Russia's continued interference in their affairs.

        GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

        by LordMike on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:14:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's simply not true. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, James Allen

          Ukraine's problems are caused by longstanding west-east divides in Ukraine dating back centuries.  

          Russian is the main language in eastern Ukraine, and the region has been tied to Russia since before "Ukraine" even existed. Likewise, "Ukrainian" (so called) is the main language in the western half of Ukraine, which was under Polish domination for a long time.

          Ukraine's problems exist because its an awkward country which weds together distinct regions with very little in common historically, culturally, or economically. They've been brought to the fore somewhat with talk of joining the customs union, but they existed for a long time before that. Russia is also not the only country today meddling in Ukraine's affairs.

          (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

          by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:58:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The reason why I say (0+ / 0-)

            "So called 'Ukrainian'" is because "Ukrainian" was heavily promoted by Polish elites in Ukraine (after they failed to get people to take up Polish), who also promoted western nationalism and "western Ukraine culture" to keep the region under their influence (the equivalent was also done by Russia in the east, albeit to a lesser extent.)

            The current western-Ukrainian neo-nazi "Freedom" party is essentially a direct result of this. They see western Ukraine as being the 'real' Ukraine, and eastern Ukraine as being 'their' territory but 'polluted' by Russia (their entire platform is essentially preferential treatment for the Ukrainian language and "ethnic Ukrainians" [read: western Ukrainians, many eastern Ukrainians are ethnic Russians] mixed with fascism. They like the nazis mainly because they were against the Soviets, and so by extension evil Russia.)

            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:34:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My grandmother came from a Ukrainian village (6+ / 0-)

              that was on the River Zbruch, then the border between Austria and Russia, on the Austrian side. Her first languages were Yiddish and Ukrainian, and there was nothing "so-called" about the Ukrainian language. She spoke Polish and Russian, too, among the 12 languages she learned en route to becoming a translator for the local Austrian authorities. You have some interesting things to say, but when you use the term "so-called" to describe the Ukrainian language, you don't have credibility with me.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:51:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  my "Ukrainian" heritage (5+ / 0-)

                is actually Polish Jewish. The primary reason Jews lived there is because the Polish Empire welcomed them when everyone else in Europe was kicking them out. There were so many Jews arriving in Poland that eventually entire villages were populated by Jews and it was one of the only places around that you could find Jewish peasants.

                ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:57:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  My paternal grandmother's family came from Austria (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, Taget, bythesea

                she was the daughter of the youngest boy in the family who emigrated to America since he was not going to inherit the family's horse farm (they bred show horses).  It was a very fortuitous move on his part because when the Nazis came, most of the rest of his family died in the Holocaust except one of his brothers who was blond-haired and blue-eyed and eventually escaped to Israel.

                The Ukranians were one of the more vicious of the Nazi collaborators due to them being united in their hatred against the Russians.

                “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

                by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:01:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KingofSpades, bythesea

                  But there were also non-Jewish Ukrainians who were victims of Nazi persecution. Moreover, the story of the "Hiwis" is complicated because most of them were captured Red Army soldiers, and the fatality rate of Red Army soldiers in Nazi captivity was very high from intentional murder of, I seem to remember reading, hundreds of thousands of them at least and also from deliberate starvation and other forms of mistreatment, so when they were offered a chance to improve their conditions by being "volunteers" for the Nazis, it may in many instances have saved their lives. That in no way excuses the gratuitous cruelty of many of the Hiwis, who were used to execute all aspects of the Final Solution, but it does make judging them a bit complex. I read about a Polish man who was "volunteered" by the Nazis, and when he found out he was going to be helping murder Jews at Treblinka, he tried to escape and was murdered at Treblinka himself.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:15:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ukrainian anti-Semitism (5+ / 0-)

                    By the way, since my grandma spoke completely fluent and unaccented Ukrainian and therefore couldn't be recognized as Jewish from her speech, my father told me that whenever she met Ukrainians on the streets of New York, she would have a conversation with them, and then when she told them she was Jewish, their faces turned - every time. And there are still problems with anti-Semitism in Ukraine (as is true, to be fair, in most other countries) today.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:22:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My great-grandfather was one of the few Jews (5+ / 0-)

                      around northeastern Missouri.  I found an old historical summary written in 1925 briefly listing all of the important people in the town he lived in and when it got to his name, it talked about how he was principle of the Junior High school that he founded and how he did manual labor tasks for the military during the Great War.  The historian also wrote this disclaimer on him: "He is a Jew, but one hundred percent American."

                      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

                      by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:30:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wow, and that was meant as a compliment! n/t (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        KingofSpades

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:50:16 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY

                          It's unsettling that this historian is implying that you can't be a patriotic Jew unless you actively prove it.  Well, it was 1925 and in a region where few non-Protestants lived.

                          “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

                          by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:00:19 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Also... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            my grandfather who grew up there said that in the '30s, the KKK would have annual parades through town and were seemingly accepted.  Fortunately, they left his family alone since his father was an important civic leader (who even personally welcomed Senator Harry Truman, who was out campaigning presumably).

                            “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

                            by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:17:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  And the Russians got revenge big time (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    German POWs were put on gulags and many died.

                    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

                    by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:27:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Anecdotal (0+ / 0-)

                Russian is the main language in eastern Ukraine. Sure there are some people who speak Ukrainian, just like there are some that speak Russian in the west. "Ukrainian" is in effect one of two languages of Ukraine, and is no more a "Ukrainian" language than Russian.

                (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:06:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Just because there are two languages in Ukraine (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, Skaje, nimh, bythesea, PassionateJus

                  doesn't mean that "Ukrainian" is some sort of impostor language which deserves scare quotes. That would be the equivalent of referring to Spanish as "Spanish" just because there are prominent minority languages that are spoken in the country of Spain (Catalan, Basque etc.).

                  27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                  by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:11:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Taget

                    Because Russian was spoken in the territory eastern Ukraine for a long time before "Ukraine" existed. Ukraine was created by wedding that territory with other territory that had very little in common, and in that territory "Ukrainian" was spoken. Both languages existed before modern Ukraine. Calling it "Ukrainian" is more than a little misleading, and the idea that it was the 'real' language of Ukraine was promoted along with a roster of other western Ukraine nationalist ideas by the Poles when they were trying to keep it under their influence.

                    (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                    by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:18:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm with MichaelNY below (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY, Skaje, nimh, bythesea, PassionateJus

                      the logic of using scare quotes is not different than the logic of using scare quotes for Spanish. What we now think of as Spanish is descended from a language that was originally spoken by a small fraction of the people who then lived in the area now known as Spain. Much like Ukrainian it rose to popular use due to a long an complicated process that was supported by the government.

                      Much like Spanish, Ukrainian is now the established name for the language even though it is not the language of all the people in the country.

                      Moreover, since the language of Ukrainian is much older than the country, or even the concept, or Ukraine, it would probably make a lot more sense to rename the country rather than to rename the language.

                      27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                      by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:24:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        okiedem, nimh, bythesea

                        The official Spanish language was the regional dialect of Castilla.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:31:06 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  But (0+ / 0-)

                          for various reasons its the dominant language in Spain today. Ukrainian is not the 'dominant' language in Ukraine, its one of two major languages. Again, Ukraine was created by bringing together very different territories, with different histories and cultures, and their histories and cultures are today still very distinct. This isn't distant history.

                          (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                          by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:46:39 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  See whether you'll get agreement (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bythesea

                            on your point about Castellano in Barcelona. If you add up the land area, population, and economic productivity of areas of Spain in which something other than Castellano is official or co-official, it's a pretty large chunk.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:49:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How is that not just like Spain? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, nimh

                            Spain is certainly not the dominant language in Basque country or, arguably, in Catalonia. The country of Spain is also an artificial creation created by the Castillian crown which suppressed the culture of the Muslim, Basque, Catalonian etc. people who collectively once formed a strong majority of the people living in Spain. Even today, a strong minority of Spaniards wouldn't really consider themselves Spanish so much as Basque, Catalan etc.

                            However, just because "Spain" is an artificial creation joining many non-"Spanish" peoples, it doesn't follow that "Spanish" is somehow an illegitimate language. Similarly just because "Ukraine" is an artificial creation joining non-"Ukranian" peoples, it doesn't follow that Ukrainian is somehow an illegitimate language.

                            27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                            by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:51:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'd love to see abgin's remark on this point (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Skaje, bythesea

                            I think he'd have a lot to say about the murderous suppression of the Basque language and culture by the fascists.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:54:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Overstating the number of Russian speakers (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, PassionateJus, propjoe

                            You're creating the impression as if the country was divided roughly equally between native Russian- and Ukrainian-speakers.

                            In fact, according to the 2001 census, the country was made up of 68% native Ukrainian-speakers and 30% Russian-speakers.

                            Back when the country was still part of the USSR, in 1989, the census had shown barely different numbers: 65% vs 33%.

                          •  Footnote (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, PassionateJus

                            I should add that Wikipedia adds a couple of different recent polls about this subject, with quite varying results.

                            When the question was about what people consider to be their native language, 50% of respondents in the most recent poll answered Ukrainian and 29% Russian, whereas 20% considered both Ukrainian and Russian their mother tongue. That's still not exactly half and half.

                            Meanwhile, another poll showed that 65% considered Ukrainian as their native language and 33% Russian - roughly in line with the census.

                            When the question was which language is used most on a day-to-day basis, however, the balance was more even.

                            The second above-mentioned poll showed more respondents preferring to speak Ukrainian (46%) than Russian (38%), with 16% preferring to speak both in equal manner. A third one, conducted by a Russian-Ukrainian consortium which received favoured status on state TV when Yanukovych was elected, showed a tilt towards Russian on this question, and didn't ask about native languages.

                            So that does add some nuance. However, taking into account the census data, foremost (both from USSR times and independent Ukraine), and the balance of the polling results mentioned on Wikipedia, I still think that it's misleading to suggest that the two make up some kind of equal parts of the country/population.

                      •  But, again... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... it was not just the territories that preceded western Ukraine that identified as Ukrainians. What we call "Ukrainian" was promoted in the western territories under Polish influence, along with other western Ukrainian nationalist ideas, which broadly painted the idea that Ukrainian is the one 'real' language of Ukraine (all of Ukraine), western Ukrainian culture is the 'real' culture of Ukraine, and which broadly sought to delegitimize Russian and Russia's influence historically in the east. The reason why the Polish elites wanted to promote these ideas is obvious, but its not a rational view of the area's history.

                        (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                        by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:36:50 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not disagreeing with any of your facts (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY, nimh, bythesea, jncca, PassionateJus

                          I'm just not understanding how they lead to your conclusion. Most broadly spoken languages became that way due to "artificial" government manipulation (French, German, Italian along with many others are all descended of languages that were once spoken by a small minority in the area we now think of as France, Germany and Italy but became the dominant language due to promotion by governmental and social authorities).

                          No one is saying that the Russian-speakers aren't "real" or "legitimate" Ukrainians. By the same token there's no reason to say that the Ukrainian language is somehow illegitimate because of its history.

                          27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                          by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:45:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Some people in Ukraine are apparently saying this (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            okiedem
                            No one is saying that the Russian-speakers aren't "real" or "legitimate" Ukrainians.
                            Setsuno Mudo mentioned that there are people making such statements - just not in this thread.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:50:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree and we might be talking past each other (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, nimh

                            if Setsuna Mudo is just saying that Ukrainian nationalists are incorrect in devaluing the authenticity of Russian-speaking Ukrainians than we are most certainly in agreement.

                            27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                            by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:53:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is what I'm saying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            And I'm saying that for various historical reasons the name "Ukrainian" for the language spoken primarily in western Ukraine ties into discrimination against the Russian-influenced east, and thats why I'm not really comfortable with it.

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:00:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't agree that you can rename a language (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, CF of Aus

                            because it has artificial origins. I suppose it wouldn't be unreasonable to rename the country itself (to in some way clarify that it is a union of Ukrainian and Russian peoples).

                            27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                            by okiedem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:05:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A language could be renamed (0+ / 0-)

                            But a single individual posting to a website is an unlikely source for a movement to rename.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:12:38 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hasn't the discrimination in the past (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CF of Aus, nimh, bythesea

                            mostly been the other way, by Russian the the Soviet Union against Ukrainian peasants, the Ukrainian language, and especially Ukrainian Catholics?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:06:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It was done by both sides (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            Russia and Poland obviously both wanted to promote the idea that the west/east had more in common with them than the territories to the west/east, so as to stop Russia/Poland from encroaching on 'their' territory.

                            In this specific case however, its ties into the history of anti-Russia sentiment in the west.

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:16:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's going pretty far into history though (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, PassionateJus

                            In the times which still living people can remember - ie, the Soviet time - discrimination did not simply come from "both sides". That seems like a false equivalence in the shadow of the Holodomor.

                          •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, nimh

                            The entire platform of "Freedom" (which got 10.5% in the last parliamentary elections) is essentially preferential treatment for the Ukrainian language and "ethnic Ukrainians" (read: western Ukrainians, many eastern Ukrainians are ethnic Russian) mixed with soft-authoritarianism.

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:55:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because (0+ / 0-)

                            its not the "broadly spoken language" of Ukraine, there are two broadly spoken languages, and in effect the battle between them to become the dominant language is taking place today. Unlike modern Spain, France, Germany, or Italy, eastern and western Ukraine remain today very culturally distinct.

                            I'm also not saying there's anything "illegitimate" about the history of the Ukrainian language -- Russian was similarly promoted in the east! My only point is that its not the "Ukrainian" language, in the sense of being the broadly spoken language of Ukrainians. Its one of two dominant languages, both of which are deeply embedded in the history and culture of eastern and western Ukraine.

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:52:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right, but you can't rename the language (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nimh, bythesea

                            I think some of your examples are somewhat inapt, though. Do you seriously think that Northern and Southern Italy are not culturally distinct?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:57:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not in the way eastern and western Ukraine are (0+ / 0-)

                            At least they share a language! (and a lot more common history, for that matter.)

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:04:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's highly debatable (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nimh

                            that Southern and Northern Italy share a common language, and their history was quite distinct until the 2nd half of the 19th century.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:07:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I think we get that point (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          James Allen, PassionateJus

                          The history is also more complicated, in that borders were moved because of war. Lvov was part of Poland until after WWII, as Poland's easternmost areas were put into the Soviet Union and areas that had been part of eastern Germany were awarded to Poland.

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:46:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  All countries are artificial (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      okiedem, nimh, bythesea, PassionateJus

                      Ukraine has existed as a specific region or republic for longer than many.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:26:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  So... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      If you admit that "both languages" - Russian and Ukrainian - "existed before modern Ukraine", then what exactly do believe should have happened?

                      Your argument seems to be that Ukrainian should not be called such, or should be contained into scare quotes, because the current territory of Ukraine includes historically native-Russian speakers as well as Ukrainian speakers, and it would therefore be presumptuous for one of the two languages to carry the name of the country as a whole? Is that correct?

                      But you recognize that the Ukrainian language already existed before this new state, with its contrasting parts, emerged. And was already called the Ukrainian language. So what should have happened, then, from your view? Should the Ukrainian language have been renamed into something else? So as not to offend the non-Ukrainian speaking citizens of Ukraine?

                      That seems a bit ... impractical. I don't think a language was ever renamed for reasons of political balance. And suddenly putting the name of the language into scare quotes when you acknowledge the language already existed before doesn't make much sense either. It just creates the impression that you think it's a fake and inferior language, which is hardly helpful or insightful.

                      After all, regarding the Ukrainian language only having been forged from local dialects as a formal language in the 18th or 19th century out of partly political motivations, well, join the club. The same holds true for a whole bunch of European languages, and we don't put those in scare quotes either.

                      •  You're ignoring the thrust of my point (0+ / 0-)

                        which is the history of the Ukrainian language in the west.

                        The Polish elites (back when the territories that now make up western Ukraine were under Polish influence) originally wanted to promote the Polish language in the west, and only after that didn't work, somewhat reluctantly began promoting the language now known as Ukrainian.

                        The reason for this should obvious -- the territory that now makes up eastern Ukraine was under Russian influence. They wanted to keep Russia from encroaching on their territory -- Russia did the same with the Russian language in the east. However, the Russian language had been the dominant language in eastern Ukraine for a long time, and the area generally had been under Russia's sphere of influence a long time, and had more in common culturally with Russia as well than Poland did with the western territory.

                        So while the Polish elites did promote the idea that western Ukraine had more in common with them than with eastern Ukraine/Russia, they also promoted the idea that Ukraine was a distinct region, with a distinct language and culture, and that Ukrainian was that language and western Ukrainian culture was that culture. This was party of a broader view that basically all of what is modern Ukraine was Ukraine, but that the east was 'polluted' by Russia.

                        "Freedom", the party I was talking about above, is essentially the direct result of this, and sees Ukrainian as being the 'real' language of Ukraine, ethnic Ukrainians as the 'real' Ukrainians, and ethnic Russians as 'invaders' who should be treated as second class citizens.

                        Thus, Ukrainian as the name of the language is not simply presumptuous on the basis that its only one of two dominant languages, it ties into the history of western Ukrainian nationalism and discrimination against ethnic Russians/the Russian language in the west.

                        (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                        by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:35:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I got your point (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY, PassionateJus

                          .. about how the promotion of a formal Ukrainian language was, back in the 18th and/or 19th century, in part an effort of artifice, a politically motivated forging of a new, unitary language out of local dialects for geostrategic reasons.

                          But that point has been addressed multiple times already by other commenters. There is absolutely nothing unique about this. The same is true for almost every major European language of today. And yet nobody would put the French, Spanish, Italian or German language between scare quotes.

                          Either way, by the time Ukraine reached modern statehood, the existence of a Ukrainian language was a fact. So if you argue that it is just not right to call the Ukrainian language Ukrainian, since it implies discrimination of Russian-speakers, what should have been done? What's the alternative? Come up with a new name for the Ukrainian language? Use scare quotes forever? That seems more a tool for offense than understanding.

                          This, I feel, is a separate question from the misdeeds of the Svoboda party. One can agree that Svoboda and the ideology it harbours are harmul, and yet not see a reason to change the name of the Ukrainian language, put it between scare quotes, or otherwise imply that it is somehow a fake or less real language than others.

                          I think your seemingly one-sided emphasis on ethnic Russians/Russian speakers being discriminated also looks a little odd. It is not as if ethnic Russians/Russian speakers have been particularly at the disadvantaged end of power politics in Ukraine these past eighty or ninety years or so. The Soviet regime favoured them, and  at times subjugated anything overtly Ukrainian brutally. Even in independent Ukraine, for that matter, the power of the political and economic power elites has been rooted in the Russian-speaking East for most of the past 23 years, as one after the other of the West's candidates was defeated. See Kravchuk vs Chornovil in '91, Kuchma vs Kravchuk in '94, and Yanukovich vs Tymoshenko in '10; the only time the political forces rooted more in the Ukrainian-speaking West won elections was right after the Orange revolution (Yushchenko). And Kuchma and Yanukovych have not exactly been unkind to their Russian-speaking base. Could you be a little more specific about the discrimination Russian-speakers in Ukraine are subjected to?

                          •  Its not a one-sided emphasis (0+ / 0-)

                            Its just whats relevant to what we're talking about, which is the Ukrainian language.

                            I'm also certainly not implying its "fake" or "less real" than any other language! Not at all! I just don't feel fully comfortable calling it "Ukrainian" for the reasons I outlined (that its one of two dominant languages, and the name ties into a history of trying to delegitimize the other.)

                            Its also not "18th and/or 19th century" history; Ukraine has two dominant languages today, both are deeply embedded in the culture of their regions, and this divide has a direct impact on whats happening in Ukraine. This is contemporary.

                            (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

                            by Setsuna Mudo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:07:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  That's not actually true (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          uclabruin18, MichaelNY, wwmiv

                          And is a massive misunderstanding of how history worked. Ukraine was the center of "Rus" but Kievan Rus was the ancestor not just of Muscovy, but of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and hence the Polish-Lithunianian Commonwealth as well. In fact, the latter had a far greater claim as a successor state, as most of its magnate families were Ruerikids, whereas the Muscovian elite was half-Mongol.

                          Ancient Russian was closer to modern Lithuanian and Ukrainian than to modern Russian. The current Russian population in the Eastern Ukraine is not the result of history, but of a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, first under Peter the Great after the Great Northern War when the Cossack elite sided with Sweden, and then under Stalin when 1 in three Ukrainians were killed, and millions of Russians were moved in. Western Ukraine escaped most of that while being part of Poland, at least until 1939-41, when the Soviets moved in with a vengeance and killed 800K people in about 18 months, enough to make almost everyone view the Nazis as liberators and manys till do.

                          I don't think people fully understand here that for 90% of Eastern European, the Nazis were by far the lesser evil in the 1940s, even after everything they did.

                          •  Except that in collaborating with the Nazis (0+ / 0-)

                            Ukrainians primarily went about murdering and assisting in the murder of their Jewish neighbors, who had nothing to do with Soviet crimes against them.

                            How do you figure that ancient Russian, a Slavic language, was closer to Lithuanian, a Baltic (non-Slavic) language, than to modern Russian?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:29:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  No-one in this thread is disputing (5+ / 0-)

                  that Russian is a language of Ukrainian people, but if you want to rename the Ukrainian language, you're hundreds of years too late. It's no more "so-called" than any other language, as words are all after all arbitrary sounds to which we give meanings.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:17:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  A language is a dialect with an army. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY, Skaje

              It's the same as ethnicity.  You can make a good case that there were no "Macedonians" before Yugoslavia promoted "Macedonian" nationalism to counter Bulgarian claims to the territory.  It however does not matter.  As long as there are folks who consider themselves Macedonian, can precisely point out what they feel are the differences, and have the will and determination to make those claims.

              There are many languages with much wider divergences in their dialects than say Serbian and Russian have nevermind Russian and Ukrainian.

              Language, ethnicity, or what "nation" you feel apart of also don't necessarily correlate.  There Swedish speaking Finns who view themselves as Finns.  English speaking Welsh who view themselves as Welsh.  And if you ever want to get a militant Protestant nationalist angry in Northern Ireland try implying in any way they aren't "Irish."  Their defense of the United Kingdom and the monarchy is irrelevant to that.

              To go on to the specifics of the Ukraine.  I'll give this wikipedia article which in many ways explains the east / west divide.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Long story short.  Local free cossack confederation destroyed, turks and other muslims expelled and a lot of immigrants from different places brought in who spoke a number of languages but spoke the lingua-franca of the Russian Empire.

              Western Ukraine came under the control of Poland and Lithuania (and confederations thereof).  All of Ukraine of course came under control of various turkic and islamic rulers.  And at different times the areas north of it in Russia and Belarus.  That influenced language differences.  And so did the fact that Kiev and Moscow are just far from each other and languages tend to drift.  Especially in the days before modern communication.

              My father's father's family came from the Ukraine.  So I guess like a lot of other folks here I can claim to be a Ukrainian Jew.  Am I?  As far as I can tell the area was ruled by Russians, Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and others who could only agree on one thing.  My people was not one of them.  Pogroms were popular political policy and the one thing everyone could rally around.

              Same thing about other sides of my family.  My mother's father came from Bessarabia.  He's a "Romanian" Jews I guess because Romania had the territory at the time.  Am I Moldovan?  Romanian?  Russian?  Turkish?  Really none of those.  There was a reason my family and a lot of other families fled.  And it wasn't because Jews were beloved by the people and the governments of the territory they left.

              The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

              by Taget on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:19:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Russia and Ukraine have ages of bad blood (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, bythesea

            despite both being of similar Rus and Slavic descent.

            “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

            by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:05:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Despite or because? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bythesea

              There are so many examples of people turning on their brothers. If we go by the Bible, it goes back to Cain and Abel. But think of all the civil wars, and then consider conflicts like the one between the Israelis and Palestinians, who I would argue are really close cousins, at least.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:18:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Israelis and Palestinians (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, KingofSpades, bythesea

                have far more differences. The culture, religion, etc...it's not really comparable to Ukranians and Russians.

                21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                politicohen.com
                Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                by jncca on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:33:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  The Language issue is recent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PassionateJus, MichaelNY

            Because its not really about language because the "Russians" who have lived in the Ukraine for centuries are not the "Russians" who demand language rights and are Pro-Russia today. The main split in the Ukraine is not Language, but whether your family arrived Pre/Post 1918, and language is a proxy for legitimacy. As with the Baltic states, the Soviet period saw a mass effort at ethnic cleansing/engineering to make national majorities into minorities in their own regions in order to undermine nationalism. If you look at the Baltic states, all have 30-40% Russian populations that are recent. Recent because in 1940 the Russians moved in, deported up to 20% of the population, than brought millions of Russians in to settle in an effort to shift the population percentages. As these Russians didn't speak the local language, they were almost all state employees, which meant that they suffered the most both during the era of Soviet decline, and then when the new Nationalist governments took power and imposed language requirements for government jobs. Many have left, and those that remain are poor.

            That said, the artificial nature of almost all ethnic balances in the region raises questions that I don't think a traditional liberal approach answers fully. For instance, we are taught to believe that all individuals are the same and nationality, race et eceter don't matter - but what if those people were moved around for explicit political purposes by genocidal means? Isn't adopting a "liberal" approach ratifying genocide, but not doing so ratifying national and racial discrimination?

            The Ukraine is an extreme case because the Soviet policy was by and large successful there - it was under Soviet rule longer, Soviet policies were harsher during the 1930s, and it was much more an industrial center, attracting more "Russian" immigrants. Western Ukrainians, rightly, view this as an effort to steal their country from them, and "Russians" not as natural or rightful residents, but as a tool of a foreign government to deny them rightful determination in much the way Palestinians view Israeli settlers. "Russians" have no prospects in Russia, and have nowhere else to go.

        •  Not defending or belittling Russia's interferences (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY, Setsuna Mudo

          ... in any way, but Ukraine has plenty of problems of its own too, it's hardly all down to Russia's meddling.

          The political, geographic divisions within the country are real. They have marked almost every election since independence in 1991. They arguably go back to historical borders of a century or even several centuries ago.

          Then there are the usual problems that any post-Soviet state has grappled with and that have caused turmoil and even revolutions elsewhere too: massive corruption, the autocratic temptations of leadership when the rule of law is weakly developed, and stunted and imbalanced economic development.

          Finally, the dilemma of choosing the EU path or the Russian path would have been real enough even without Putin's leaden hand. What some people forget is that, whereas the EU accession path would be helpful for the country's political and democratic development and, in the long term, its economic development too, submitting to the EU's economic rules and standards would in the short term likely lead to the collapse of much of the industrial economy. So the people in places like the Donbass aren't reluctant without any rational reason at all, whereas people in Kiev or the West justifiably dread the Russian path.

          Putin has obviously done a lot to destabilize Ukraine, but it's naive to think that if only Moscow had stayed out of it, everything would have been resolved peacefully.

          •  The EU's economic rules and standards (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PassionateJus, MichaelNY

            are the only reason Polish and Czech industry are so buoyant today. Ukraine's industry right now is bloated, badly managed and antiquated. Reform is badly needed.

            Joining the EU (technically the whoopla is only about an association agreement) would decrease barriers to trade (further opening the doors of Ukrainian industry to a market of 510,000,000 people), would provide a quick infusion of capital, would streamline (through EU mandates) badly needed industrial reforms and would open up Ukraine to billions in EU development funds. There's a reason why Poland and Czech Republic are gauged by most economists as having benefited the most (of the 2004 admitees) by joining the EU.

            Yes, in the short term joining the EU would likely have negative consequences for Ukrainian industry. But an association agreement is nowhere close to EU accession and is wholly positive. The piecemeal approach of the European Neighborhood Policy is actually crafted for gradual convergence between the EU and candidate countries especially to minimize the shocks you cite. So in the short-term the piecemeal association agreement is less about massive economic upheavals but is actually fomented to avoid those very problems if integration does accelerate further down the line.

            Russia's problem is that it wants Ukraine to join its "Eurasian Economic Space" Customs Union, which is logistically impossible if Ukraine were to join an EU Customs Union in a few years (which an association agreement leads to in the short-to-medium term)

            22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

            by gigantomachyusa on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:25:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY
              Yes, in the short term joining the EU would likely have negative consequences for Ukrainian industry.
              That was my point. I already wrote that in the long term, the economic consequences of EU accession would likely be positive, yes. But in the short term there would be pain, and it´s no wonder that the workers in the east of the country, living in what are often company towns, which are largely dependent on government subsidies the EU would demand to be axed, as well as artificially low gas prices provided by Russia for political reasons which would doubtlessly be hiked up if Ukraine chose the EU path, are not looking forward to that.

              Their emotions in this respect, my point was, are real, not merely the byproduct of Russian meddling, and hardly irrational. Even when the economic advantages of greater EU integration would start kicking in, it would not likely be to the benefit of most of these manual workers in the heavy industries of the East.

              Saying this does not imply that the current economic system is sustainable in the long term, or that it wouldn´t be good for Ukraine to go for greater EU integration (if the EU even wants them, beyond loose association agreements, but that´s a different question: enthusiasm for further EU expansion among the European populace is at a low point). But it does imply that there are reasons one can empathize with how a lot of people, especially in the east, are hostile to the prospect, and that Russian meddling exacerbates these feelings, but is hardly solely responsible for them.

              I also think your depiction of the development of the new EU member states is a bit all too rosy. First you single out Poland and the Czech Republic, which are arguably the most successful examples along with Estonia, but not the others, like Hungary or, worse, Bulgaria, which appears to be in a state of collapse. More importantly, countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states already went through severe economic reforms along neoliberal recipes in the 1990s. Whatever positive results one can argue this had, it also led to large-scale deindustrialization, massive unemployment, painful cuts in social services and benefits, and the enduring loss of a generation of middle-aged and older, lower-educated workers to the economy. As you already indicate, Ukraine has not pushed through many of these same economic reforms yet; but should it really want to go beyond the currently proposed loose association agreement and push forward to economic integration with the EU, which is the question at issue here, it will be forced to.

              Central European countries already went through the most painful steps while they were preparing for EU membership, in the long years until 2004, so measuring the impact of EU integration only from that point on hides part of the story. And Ukraine would have to go through a lot of that still, and it will probably benefit the middle class and the trade and services sectors, but not the Donbass workers.

              None of that is to say I oppose further EU integration! It would be worth it alone for the beneficial consequences on democratic and human rights standards and the rule of law. But I feel that the narrative you sketch, which mirrors that of economic liberals here in Europe, is a little too glib. A left-wing perspective that pays greater attention to the downside of the economic liberalization processes that are forced onto EU Member States and candidate member states would shed additional light.

              I agree that the choice is very much an either/or one, though: Ukraine does need to make a choice, you can´t be part of a "Eurasian Economic Space" and an EU Customs Union at the same time. So the muddling through strategies have reached something of a dead end. Not coincidentally, however, that comes at a point when Ukraine is near bankruptcy, which would swallow the country into economic collapse. Russia is playing a geostrategic game, offering to bail out the country with billions of $ in exchange for its subjugation to Russia´s sphere of influence. The EU, with its formalized and piecemeal processes, is unlikely to offer any comparable immediate financial incentives. In a way that´s a reflection of good things: unlike autocratic Russia, the EU has no top-down leader who can shift around billions at his whim. But it is another thing to keep in mind when trying to understand why one-third or more of the Ukrainian population stubbornly clings to an anti-EU, pro-Russian line, and probably would do so even without Russian propaganda.

            •  Why couldn't they join both? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:33:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's great simplification (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          I say that as a person, who was many times in Ukraine (and Russia too). Eastern Ukraine (most industrial part BTW) is MUCH closer to Russia culturally, politically, ideologically and so on, then, say, to Poland. Only North-western part around Lvov leans West (to Poland, first of all). With few exceptions it's more rural and has much lesser population..

          Relation between Ukraine and Russia were sometimes tense, but to say that all Ukraine wants only to part with Russia and to join West is absolute absurd. Even more - Ukraine is heavily dependent on Russia's fuel and other raw materials, so Russia will always have strong economical (and political) influence there.

          •  But perhaps you might agree (0+ / 0-)

            that the present situation and state of affairs leading up to it could reasonably be dealt with by some period of partition.  

            Just where to draw the boundary and such is somewhat arbitrary.  But much of the two halves clearly want to pursue sufficiently different social and economic development paths, and association with different neighboring countries, at present.

            •  Yes and no (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              Politically - it's rather easy to split a country (even - big one by European measures, like Ukraine), but economically - VERY difficult. It always lead to at least temporary decrease in people's living standard. And Ukraine is already in difficult economic situation.

          •  Only the North-western part leans West? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I don't think we'd be seeing national protests if support for the West in Ukraine was only concentrated in Lviv. On the contrary, the West-East paradigm has shaped Ukrainian politics for a while now and the Ukrainian election results tend to show starkly where that West-East line is.

            In summary, it's not just Lviv: http://thepolitikalblog.files.wordpress.com/...

            The geographic boundary between the "Two Ukraines" per se is highly visible and shows support for the West extends much further than "Only...around Lviv". And in terms of population the pro-Western Oblasts are actually the majority of Ukraine (around 55%) according to the most recent Ukrainian census.

            22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

            by gigantomachyusa on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:39:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mostly - yes. (0+ / 0-)

              For example - Odessa is in the South-west and is strongly "Anti-Maidan". The area to the west of Carpats mountains, bordeting Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, may sympathize with protesters, but mostly quiet now. I stick to what i said - mostly North-West, and intellectuals in Kiev.

      •  B-H had a nonfunctioning government (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaoMagnifico

        and it's arguably a surprise that it has lasted as long as it has.

        Ukraine...I've argued for years that partition this decade, and refederation under the EU two or three decades down the line, is the way it's going to go there.

        Egypt is in a post-Soviet sort of place.  Rightist (military, or Islamist) and center Rightist (plutocrat) governments are going to replace each other until the economy is (re)built and group scores settled.  The problem is so hard because of the incredible population size- 80some million- which has to begin to come down.

  •  From Comment on Kentucky this weekend (10+ / 0-)

    Panel: Guest Host Bill Bryant from WKYT in Lexington, Al Cross from the Center on Rural Journalism, Jack Brammer from the Herald-Leader, and Tom Loftus from the Courier-Journal

    The Senate Race- I think this is some of the best analysis to listen to- from the journalists that live and breather KY Politics everyday, not those observing from afar. One thing in watching Comment weekly is that the journalists there have long said this is an even race. They mention the poll showing Grimes ahead 46-42. Jack Brammer mentions he can never remember seeing a poll since 1984 showing Mitch down by this much. Al Cross thinks there was one poll following the 2008 primary showing Bruce Lunsford with a small lead, but it quickly went away. Al Cross notes that 47% of people are undecided or have no opinion of Grimes, while McConnell had lower numbers than Obama. Al Cross notes that millions have been spent attacking Grimes, and her numbers have went up. Jack Brammer also notes the trouble Mitch will have in finding the right way to attack a young female opponent. Al Cross thinks they have to be very careful. Tom Loftus thinks the biggest numbers here are Mitch's horrible numbers. As far as the primary, Al Cross thinks the story is how Mitch has never had a primary challenge. He says that while most will come back and vote for him in November, "a few won't", and the question is how many of them that will be. Al Cross also thinks it would not look that bad if Bevin gets 30%. He did not elaborate on what would be a bad number, but I have always thought that if Bevin gets in the 40s, it makes Mitch look pretty weak.

    The Legislature- Gov. Beshear has introduced a tax reform plan. It has a net plus of $210 million per year. The changes are an increase in the cigarette tax, extending the sales tax to some services, and reducing the generous exclusion of pension income. But he creates a new earned income tax credit and cuts to business taxes. Jack Brammer thinks it will be tough given it is an election year. One thing that may get traction is a tax break for the bourbon industry. Al Cross notes that Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) opposes any bill that is a net increase. Al Cross notes there is a move to make pension payments public record. One reason is the lucrative pensions of legislators, but other employees feel it would violate their privacy. The State Senate passed a constitutional amendment to eliminate the office of State Treasurer. It will likely die in the House. Al Cross thinks it is a whack at Todd Hollenbach. The State House passed a $10.10 minimum wage increase bill. It was mostly along party lines, but a few Republicans voted yes, and retiring Rep. Bob Damron (D-Nicholasville) voted no. It will die in the Senate and is more of a political bill. Al Cross notes that the House Dems and Alison Grimes will run on it hard. The Senate also passed another constitutional amendment to create a special legislative committee to block regulations of the Governor. It will die in the House.

    Lobbyists in Frankfort- The 2013 session saw $16 million dollars spent on lobbying the legislature. This does not include campaign contributions. Many of them are the highest paid people in the capitol. Jack Brammer says the largest spender is Altria, the tobacco group, who is fighting a statewide smoking ban, regulation of e-cigarettes and a tobacco tax increase.

    "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

    by SouthernINDem on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:33:37 AM PST

  •  NC-02, NC-Sen, NC general assembly, (7+ / 0-)

    everything in NC.  

    Yes, I am here in NC-02.  My representative, Renee Ellmers, makes my blood boil with her constant framing of Obamacare as evil and destructive and her incessant claims that the House has passed umpteen "jobs bills," which appear to be stripping of regulations, public protection, and especially labor protection.  Now we have Clay Aiken in the race.  He's pretty appealing, which adds motivation.

    Senator Hagan, of course, is possibly the #1 target of the Koch brothers et al.  Sometimes I get frustrated with her, but I also see signs she's got guts and smarts and judgment, and I'd like to keep her for herself as well as for the numbers in the Senate.

    The current Republican-dominated general assembly is trashing our state.

    I am unable to join the Moral March on Raleigh today, but am hoping to find a way to connect with that movement.  Traditionally our state's Democratic party, I am told, has not had very good organization.  But a bunch of us got a taste of what it is like to organize and canvass thanks to OFA.  Rev. Barber and associates are said to be organizing a huge voter registration drive.  Our one hope in this state, to counter the money being spent against our candidates (and to promote tracking), is to register our sympathizers and get them to vote.

    I will start making calls on Monday to find out how I can join in.  Maybe the NC NAACP, maybe the Aiken campaign.  I don't know if we have a prayer of unseating Renee Ellmers, but long ago I played sports and found that going for the ones that seem out of reach pays off more often than you might expect.

  •  Bridgegate = Obama Fundraising Traffic Closures (6+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure whether to be amused or horrified that a scholar, Stephen Bainbridge, at one of our nation's leading law schools, UCLA, can't see the distinction between ordering traffic closures for political retribution and having them closed as any president would, whether it's due to meeting with a world leader or taking the wife and kids to the local Burger King for the 2 for $5 special. Much to my mother's chagrin, I didn't go to law school, so perhaps there's a finer concept that I just don't understand.

    But seriously now, WTF? Really, WTFFFFFFFFFFMFMFFGDGF? Is this really that difficult to understand for these guys?

    I only highlight this because the next time we get angry with the President over something, realize that the people he's dealing with are somehow worse than this.

    There's plenty of other interesting comments at this link.

    "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

    by bjssp on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:29:58 AM PST

  •  Im interested to see a new GA-Gov poll (6+ / 0-)

    after that disaster they had in Georgia lastweek, and Deal's weak sauce response and excuse. I wonder how much it took a hit to his numbers.

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:34:50 AM PST

  •  New Voter Fraud Scandal (7+ / 0-)

    This time, it directly involves Okay, that's taking the next, um, logical step in these accusations. As you can see in this video, all of 4 minutes, 23 seconds, where Rep. Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma claims we have an open border and that legalizing drugs wouldn't work, because Colorado is now the number one spot for legalized crime, a woman claims Obama is shipping Muslims into this country, on commercials jets no less, and that he should be tried as enemy combatant--all of this, in the first 45 seconds! I figure the only reasonable expectation of this is that these Muslims that are being shipped into the country will be registered to vote, possibly multiple times, by ACORN^2, most likely to steal the vote in the upcoming election to replace Coburn--all the while receiving free government health care. (No word yet on if they are prepared to make it into rural Maine to bring down LePage.) There's also some stuff about an international background check for guns involving the U.N.

    The most serious statement in this clip is the suggestion that they need to retake the Senate so they can impeach President Obama. So, yeah.

    http://politicalwire.com/...

    "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

    by bjssp on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:33:22 AM PST

    •  *directly involves the Obama administration (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, bythesea

      and *organized crime, not legalized crime.

      Editing could be my friend.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:35:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's so embarrasing that he's my Rep (3+ / 0-)

      And in person he also comes off as full of himself and doesn't take criticism well.

      I sent him a long message today about this so if anything comes from this whole scandal, it's at least that some poor staffer or intern in his office will be miserable for a few hours responding to my message :D

      22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

      by gigantomachyusa on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:48:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's really starting to piss me off. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Skaje

        I know it's a big country and there are some reality-challenged opinions and beliefs out there. I recently talked to one of my bosses, who is by most accounts a nice lady, and found out she  believes 9/11 was an inside job, the tsunami in Japan was made on purpose, and that if you found the cure for cancer, the government would kill you, among other things--in other words, a huge heaping of crazy talk, enough to convince me to smile and nod the next time she says anything at all. Because, really, there's really only so much one can do about the nutty shit some people say.

        Still, this guy is a sitting member of congress. It's fine to absolutely loathe the president and want to do the exact opposite of what he's been doing. But if you really find it that damn hard to tell the conspiracy theorist to take a few deep breaths and think about what she's saying, you need to find a new line of work. Let the adults handle this stuff, you know?

        I'd really like to see some examples of someone besides, say, Cynthia McKinney participating in a spectacle like this. Not same random city councilman or something, but at the level at least county executive or a state legislator. My guess is, you'll come up empty handed if you look.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:10:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is quite pathetic from Alabama Democrats (7+ / 0-)

    while GradyDem mentioned they aren't contesting a bunch of statewide offices beyond the typical gov/ag/tres/sos, etc, they're more importantly not fielding a challenger to:
    Senator Jeff Sessions
    AL-01 Bradley Byrne
    AL-04 Robert Aderholt
    AL-05 Mo Brooks
    AL-06 whoever wins the GOP primary

    While all of those are unwinnable, it speaks volumes about how dysfunctional the state party is that they couldn't shell out the ~$3.5k filing fee to put a name on the ballot and in doing so depriving the majority of voters in the state the mere opportunity to choose between the two parties. In 2012 both parties at least had a name on the ballot for all 33 senate seats.

    •  Why is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Jacob1145

      it impossible for the national party to step in and prevent this sort of spiral from happening? You don't want (too much) micromanaging, but if we are ever to be able to compete, even at the state level, in areas where we don't naturally excel, this can't happen.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sad how we used to hold AL-05 (6+ / 0-)

      just a few years ago.

      Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

      by WisJohn on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:12:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It takes state parties quite a while (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Jacob1145

      to crap out fully and recover.  The old guard of conservaDems and people who think conservaDem is the route of success takes quite a while to fall away.

    •  NPR actually had a good piece (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8, MichaelNY

      A few weeks ago about how the Alabama Democratic Party collapsed and the state Republican Party soared at the local level since the 2010 elections.  Basically the AL Dems had controlled the state legislature for so long the big dollar donors hedged their bets or supported conservadems for a long time for fear of angering long-time Dems in the legislature.  Finally heading into 2010 some GOP strategists used right-wing shadow groups, many out of state to funnel money through multiple sources to the AL GOP.  We saw the results full force in the great 2010 bloodbath.  The AL GOP gained 23 seats in the State House and 7 in the House to take solid majorities for the first time since I believe Reconstruction.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:56:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not surprised sadly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      The first major blow came in the 1986 Governor's race. The GOP won after a bitter and divisive Dem primary.

      Governor Hunt then was able to hang on for reelection and thus prevented the Democrats in the legislature from redrawing the lines (costing us Ben Erdreich). We lost even more after longtime D congressman retired.

      2008 may have been the last gasp of the D-coalition that had long controlled the state government. We managed to hold onto Bud Crammer's seat narrowly.

      Much of the residual Democratic strength was in the aging conservadem class that was fading each year. So even though the Democrats managed to be potent opposition party against GOP governors, there was little being done to build a party apparatus. Democratic majorities were only due to popular long-term incumbents, representing districts that haven't voted for the Democratic president in decades.

      The last Dem stronghold (Northern Alabama) that had stayed loyal to the Democrats since the new deal fell crashing down in 2010.

      “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

      by lordpet8 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:33:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you sure about that on Hunt in 1991/1992? (0+ / 0-)

        Alabama currently has a simple majority veto-override so the governor is irrelevant for redistricting. I don't know how recently of a development that is, but with Hunt being the first Republican elected since reconstruction it might have been instituted subsequent to that. However I would be highly surprised if Democrats didn't have a 2/3rds majority during his tenure anyway.

        My understanding was the 1992 congressional map came about after the Bush I DoJ aggressively pushed max-black VRA districts and in nearly all the southern states it was the first time any VRA districts were required.

        •  From what can remember (0+ / 0-)

          there was a problem garnering support for a proper map to protect the Dems. Thus the courts stepped in and drew the maps instead.

          “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

          by lordpet8 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:55:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  wrt Parker Griffith (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, James L

      Will he lose respectably or will he be completely steamrolled? I'd imagine he'll get steamrolled.

      Gay suburbanite in NJ-11

      by interstate73 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:34:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a minor note (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, MichaelNY, kleinburger

      - ALL Democratic candidates for Congress (in 2nd, 3rd, and 7th districts) are Black. So, at least in this state, Democratic party is really, essentially, "party of minorities". Realignment, which began somewhere about Barry Goldwater campaign, is finished....

  •  FL-Gov: Crist on Maher last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:00:19 AM PST

    •  What might cause Crist the most problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY, bythesea
      Mahrer asked Crist about the Cuban vote and said "I don't see a lot of politicians from Florida having the courage to stand up to that small Cuban community."

      Crist responded: "Well, I think they need to. The embargo's been going on what, 50-years now, and I don't think it worked. It is obvious to me we need to move forward and get the embargo taken away,'' he said to applause.

      Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/...

      Scott has already got a bit of faux outrage about this, talking about how we need someone who will stand up FOR the Cuban community.

      But I dont think it's a big deal, Crist can say he doesnt disrespect anyone else's view, just that he feels the policy hasnt worked the last 5+ decades.

      •  The US has had much worse trade partners than Cuba (6+ / 0-)

        and the US will do more to encourage them to change to a more capitalistic system with open trade.

        I mean, we had good relationships with Suharto, the Indonesian president responsible for genocide in East Timor.  And we forgave Vietnam and are now trading partners with them as well.

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:07:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think the number of Cuban Americans (7+ / 0-)

        who stubbornly cling to a policy that hasn't been relevant for decades is declining over time.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:25:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's declining fast (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          And the GOP anti-immigration hardliners are damaging their party with what's left of them.  Just look at how well Obama did in 2012 with the Cuban-American vote and it's obvious.

          Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

          by ChadmanFL on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:46:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How well did Obama do with Cuban-Americans (0+ / 0-)

            in 2012?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:59:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Romney won them 52-48 (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, James Allen, aamail6

              From estimates I've seen.  That's a BIG drop from just about any prior Presidential I've seen for the GOP candidate.  Here's the Florida Cuban-American vote in prior Presidential elections for the GOP candidate.  I believe in the 1980's it was solidly 80-90% for Reagan.  The trend lines are very clear.

              2012: Romney 52%
              2008: McCain 65%
              2004: Bush 71%
              2000: Bush 74%

              http://www.npr.org/...

              Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

              by ChadmanFL on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:00:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You could argue making Florida (6+ / 0-)

                Lean Democratic is easier, more likely and more important than Texas becoming competitive.

                "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

                by conspiracy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:13:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, definitely easier (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  For one thing whites are more Democratic in Florida than Texas.  In 2008 they went 42% for Obama in Florida compared to just 26% in Texas.  And Latinos are quite a bit more favorable to Dems in FL than TX.  Unless a Floridian like Rubio or Jeb is the GOP nominee in 2016 I think the Dem Presidential candidate will be favored.  Texas is a much longer-term process.  In fact as others have said, even Georgia is more likely to turn blue before Texas does.

                  Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

                  by ChadmanFL on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:05:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Young adult Cuban-Americans (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, askew

            are also simply more assimilated/Modern, liberal, and larger in numbers than their parents and grandparents.

            •  This isn't exactly why (9+ / 0-)

              Really the best and most complete argument about Cuban American change is by Susana Eva Eckstein, The Immigrant Divide

              Basically, voting habits among Cubans differ most markedly not on the basis of generation, but rather on the basis of emigre wave because of the racial, social, and economic characteristics of each successive wave.

              First wave emigres and their descendants (mostly rich and white) are more conservative than the second wave and their descendants (poor and white), who are in turn more conservative than the current wave (this wave is mostly mulatto and black and very poor).

              Ofcourse, the attendant fact here is that turnout rates are much higher the further you go up the income ladder. Because first wave emigres and their descendants are much wealthier and more politically connected, their votes predominate.

              This doesn't mean that Cubans aren't more liberal the younger they are. They are, but this is mostly a function of the fact that among young Cubans the conservative descendants of first wave emigres are a very small percentage.

              This also doesn't mean that successive generations aren't more liberal. Descendants of first wave emigres are more liberal than their parents, but they aren't liberal strictly speaking.

              Much of the shift in the Cuban vote has to do with later emigres becoming more active and asserting themselves in politics. Furthermore, much more of the shift in Cuban areas has to do with other Latinos integrated into their midst: Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and others, who are incredibly Democratic and who are also beginning to vote in larger numbers.

              24 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

              by wwmiv on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:23:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  US wants peace between Israel and Palestine... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Jacob1145, ChadmanFL, askew

        Between Sunni and Shia, and yet still keeps up this stupid embargo - how about leading by example instead of looking like epic hypocrites.  

        Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

        by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:44:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It wouldn't be the United States if we weren't (5+ / 0-)

          massive hypocrites when it comes to foreign policy. Do what we say, not what we do!

          •  US foreign policy (0+ / 0-)

            is pretty bad, but at least it tries to be ethical sometimes, which is better than most countries' foreign policies.

            •  Not really (4+ / 0-)

              Think Chile's Pinochet, El Salvador, South Africa until the late 1980s, South Korea's Park Chung-hee, Saudi Arabia, etc.

              Then again, foreign policies of any country have rarely been consistent or principled. The world just simply doesn't work that way.

              23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

              by kurykh on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:20:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Also Iran, Vietnam/Cambodia, Iraq, etc. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen, MichaelNY, Skaje

                Sure there's been some good like Kosovo, but even in the same period you have major fails like Rwanda. Obama's at least a big improvement over Bush and massively better than the shit that went on during the Cold War even if he's far from ideal. One could also say our policy regarding Israel/Palestine is unethical too, not that I particularly care to bring up that debate here.

                •  I think Obama has done more good (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, Stephen Wolf, ChadmanFL, askew

                  foreign policy-wise than almost any president at improving relations with other countries or at least keeping them steady. There seems to have been some hardening of things with the Russians but other than that we seem to be doing pretty damn well in Iran (where Obama seems to be doing everything he can to keep relations improving while Congress is making it hard for him) and others, and he's had a lot of upheaval in the Mideast/North Africa and Latin America to deal with.

                  Whether we've had moral foreign policies is another matter.

                  ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                  by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:37:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama is a terrible match for Putin (4+ / 0-)

                    For all that Bush did wrong, reading Rice's memoirs it becomes quite clear that Bush actually had something of a personal connection with Putin, and that Rice herself, who spoke fluent Russian, got on really well with Sergei Ivanov and Putin's inner circle.

                    Obama by contrast is an intellectual, cosmopolitan, comfortable with people unlike himself, in effect everything the KGB was trained to root out and who Putin has spent his whole life hating.

                    There is a funny story in one set of CIA memoirs I read(the title escapes me) in which a CIA agent was sent along with a group of American Professors and Peace activists on their tour of the Soviet union. He is on deck for a smoke when the KGB minder comes up and asks to join him. The KGB officer cannot understand how anyone can stand the sort of people in the tour group, because they are obnoxious politically. In effect the KGB officer feels he has more in common with a right-wing, American Mormon who works for the government than with American radicals. Putin is living out that political philosophy without the need to maintain the Soviet era fiction that he is in anyway Progressive or left-wing.

                    If anyone wants to know who the Bill Ayers/Reverend Wright nonsense reached, its probably Putin. There is a reason he sounds a lot like Sarah Palin/the Tea Party. Because the overwhelming evidence is that he actually sees the world in much the same way.

                •  Kosovo is debatable, too. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Allen, Stephen Wolf

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:37:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  True, but we at least attempted to do (4+ / 0-)

                    something positive, which is not even remotely true in cases like Iran or Guatemala in the 50s.

                    And prior to the world wars our foreign policy was nakedly imperialist rather than subtly.

                    •  I won't concede the point on Kosovo (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      James Allen, Stephen Wolf

                      What I will say, though, is that it is certainly more debatable than the overthrow of democratic socialist governments in Iran, Guatemala and Chile.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:01:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Iran was a poorly conceived effort to do something (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lordpet8, KingofSpades

                      Positive. The Shah gave women the vote, passed land-reform, made university education free - in effect took a biography of Louis XVI and tried to do the reverse. The problem was he did it alone and without any concern for the views or feelings of his people.

                      Mossedeq was not a liberal. He was a Qajar prince who opposed the Pahalavi modernization efforts, and his opposition to the oil industry was based on it bringing in foreigners and corrupting Iran - hence his initial alliance with the Clerics.

                      On Mossedeq the CIA was probably right - not in that Mossedeq was a communist, but in that he wouldn't have survived more than a year or two. His government was in collapse before US involvement came in, as he had broken with the religious establishment in early 1953, and thereby lost control of the Majlis. The only way he could maintain control was by illegally dissolving the Majlis, then staging a rigged referendum in which 99.6% supported him. That was a message to every faction in the country - military, clerical, landholder, what have you, that the new elections were going to be rigged.

                      The choice in July 1953 was between the entire political spectrum in Iran - or Mossedeq who had no political base, had never won an election(He cancelled the 1951 elections when it was clear he was going to lose). If Mossedeq was allowed to destroy the military, smash the clerics, and elect a puppet parliament the only remaining force in the country would be the Tudah. And given the way things worked in countries like Iran in the 50s, they would have infiltrated the army and launched a coup, killing him and setting up a communist/baath style regime.

                      Mossedeq was basically Daoud(the President of Afghanistan 1973-78), a old-line conservative whose opposition to royalism was of the 18th century Whig variety, namely an opposition to the modernism being pushed by that royal power, and who without a political base except among the backwards aristocracy. He was doomed to the same fate.

                      Furthermore, the Shah would be seen as a model for the developed world had he been lucky enough to die in 1976. His greatest fault was living too long.

                      •  There seems to be disagreement (3+ / 0-)

                        about why the elections were cancelled. I realize Wikipedia is not the ideal source, but it does quote from other sources:

                        Still enormously popular in late 1951, Mosaddegh called elections. His base of support was in urban areas and not in the provinces.[33] This fact was reflected in the rejection of Mosaddegh's bill for electoral reform (which no longer disqualified illiterates from electoral participation) by the conservative bloc, on the grounds that it would "unjustly discriminate patriots who had been voting for the last forty years".[34]

                        According to Ervand Abrahamian: "Realizing that the opposition would take the vast majority of the provincial seats, Mosaddegh stopped the voting as soon as 79 deputies – just enough to form a parliamentary quorum — had been elected."[35] An alternative account is offered by Stephen Kinzer. Beginning in the early 1950s under the guidance of C.M. Woodhouse, chief of the British intelligence station in Tehran, Britain's covert operations network had funneled roughly £10,000 per month to the Rashidian brothers (two of Iran's most influential royalists) in the hope of buying off, according to CIA estimates, "the armed forces, the Majlis (Iranian parliament), religious leaders, the press, street gangs, politicians and other influential figures".[36] Thus, in his statement asserting electoral manipulation by "foreign agents", Mosaddegh suspended the elections.

                        You are right to point out that he ruled by decree for a while. The circumstances were really difficult, as he was not only facing undemocratic opposition from conservative deputies in the Majlis (as mentioned above) but also sabotage by foreign intelligence services. He might have been tempted to maintain dictatorial power if he had not been overthrown, but it's really hard to know what he might have done. Here's some more background:
                        Mosaddegh became aware of the plots against him and grew increasingly wary of conspirators acting within his government.[55] According to Dr. Donald N. Wilber, who was involved in the plot to remove Mossadegh from power, in early August, Iranian CIA operatives pretending to be socialists and nationalists threatened Muslim leaders with "savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh," thereby giving the impression that Mossadegh was cracking down on dissent, and stirring anti-Mossadegh sentiments within the religious community.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:01:35 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Kinzler takes an overly conspiratorial approach (0+ / 0-)

                          The CIA does not create opposition groups, at least not generally. Artificial groups are next to impossible to form, and are invariably ineffective. What the CIA(and the KGB also) does is that it supports groups that are already inclined to oppose who the United States opposes, or support who it supports, or individuals within those groups who can rise to prominence.

                          The US/British did not bribe Ayatollah Kashani to turn on Mossedeq and most certainly did not have the reach to rig elections in rural constituencies which were controlled by landlords. Rather, Ayatollah Kashani supported Mossedeq on the oil issue for two years when their goals - nationalism and eliminating foreign influence, coincided. As time went on, and Mossedeq gained an increasingly secular and communist group of friends, Kashani grew concerned, went into opposition, and then faced repression from Mossedeq. At this point it made sense for Kashani to seek out assistance from the Americans to maintain his position, and for the Americans to provide it to help him maintain or increase his influence. He sought out American support for his own reasons, and the United States supported him for its own reasons just as his earlier relations with Mossedeq were driven by self-interest.

                          I have no doubt the British used their influence in the elections as well - I suspect hat the results of "fair" elections in which Mossedeq lacked control of the Interior Ministry and no foreign money was spent probably would have still resulted in a similar result.

                          Mossedeq himself acknowledges this in his memoirs, where he blames the Iranian elite, and largely frees the United States of responsibility. His main judgement is that "Universal suffrage is the scourge of democracy in the third world" since what it means is giving power to the landlords and religious leaders who control the votes of the illiterate.

                          •  Wait, he opposed universal suffrage? (0+ / 0-)

                            I guess that was a change of heart? Once again:

                            This fact was reflected in the rejection of Mosaddegh's bill for electoral reform (which no longer disqualified illiterates from electoral participation) by the conservative bloc
                            Anyway, I think your claim that foreign intelligence services can't manufacture or at least foment and attempt to control opposition or rig elections is pretty thin. There are many instances of just that happening, to different degrees. For example, the leader of the Malayan Communist Party at the end of World War II is known to have been a British intelligence agent, and in the few months between the Japanese surrender and the regular British colonial administration retaking control of Malaya, the Communists, under the foreign agent's leadership, did things that made them very unpopular with Malays. Sometimes it backfires, as in the ill-advised efforts by Israeli agents to build up Hamas as an alternative to Fatah.

                            As for rigging elections, I thought the CIA was involved in that in Italy after WWII, to prevent the Communists from beating the Christian Democrats, but I can't find a link right now.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:35:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rigging (0+ / 0-)

                            No one rigs elections, at least from outside. Outside groups like the CIA provided money for newspapers and advertising campaigns in Italy in 1945, as well as organizational help, but so did the KGB, just as happened most places(Allende's COS was, knowingly or not to him, a KGB asset). There is also a difference between assets and agents - the former existed before the aid came, would have promoted the exact same positions anyway, and only had their reach within or without of their organization enhanced. The latter actually were trained abroad and in many cases hold office there. The KGB was much more likely to use the latter, because Stalin purged most foreign communist parties during the 1930s, leaving almost the entire leadership cadre in the 1940s to be NKVD agents who had informed on the rest of the leadership during the purges - which is one reason we come to the next point.

                            In the case of Italy, the Communists lost by 17 points - why? Not because of the CIA - because the Communists proved in Czechoslovakia that if the democratic parties were Pro-Russian, if they backed the Communists in everything, Communist parties would still refuse to participate in a democratic system and that Communism was a one-vote one-time thing.

                            There was nor moral equivalency in the Cold War - there was not a single Communist regime anywhere in the world at any point whoever intended to hold by their own admission a free election in which they would give up power, or ever did without being under the gun(Nicaragua in 1990 being an example of the latter). Allende used intimidation, his supporters broke up rallies, beat up opposition figures, and his government sought to shut down newspapers in the lead-up to the 1973 congressional midterms.

                            For the CIA not to have matched the money the KGB was providing around the world, or to have helped keep liberal forces afloat - 90% or more of CIA money went to independent labor unions, the US as a general matter did not back conservatives but non-communist leftists on the assumption they were more effective(See the Christian Democrats in Chile and El Salvador, Karmenlis in Greece - Guatemala was an oddity that was already viewed as a mistake in the 1950s, in which Allan Dulles endangered his creation by using it for mercenary ends ).

                            I understand that some people have ethical issues, but this strange view that the CIA was part of a plot against liberalism around the world is nonsense. The US would have been overjoyed to have liberal non-Communist governments. But the Communists conclusively proved on 100% of occasions up until the 1980s that they could not and would not be part of democratic systems.

                            In the case of Iran, the game was not about illiterate votes - it was about who voted for them. Mossedeq wanted staff of the Interior Ministry to read out the ballots to them which would have had a predictable impact on their voting decisions in practice while in the status quo it was the landlords in clergy. In neither case would they actually be "enfranchised", unless of course one believes that some people are actually indifferent to the outcome and only care about process. And thats a luxury most men of integrity leave to the future.

                          •  Your viewpoint is interesting (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sapelcovits

                            and you certainly are eloquent, I'll say that.

                            I think your remarks on the Sandinistas, for one, are bizarre, though - the elections they held were certainly fairer than any Mexico held for decades, for example, if you want to talk about systems that even pretended to hold elections, as the US supported a lot of outright dictators - and the list of right-wing extremist murderers, death squads, and terrorists funded, trained, and armed by the CIA is a very long one, so you'll pardon me if I disbelieve the idea that the CIA would have loved for the entire world to have turned social democratic. US policy was to consider social democrats fine in Europe, but no good in any developing country where they might want to nationalize anything.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:58:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Sandinistas held elections (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            Due to outside pressure. Look at their behavior in 1979 when the US gave them full support - they repressed the opposition, broke their promises regarding elections(they had promised them within a year, then announced in July they would be delayed until 1985 and passed a law banning political activity, and hence opposition parties until 1984). It was only when they were under pressure that they made concessions.

                            And 1985 was not free - the opposition withdrew because Arturo Cruz was nearly killed at a rally in August by a mob of Sandinista supporters. Cruz was not a right-winger - he was a member of the Sandinista Junta in 1979-81, and announced a lot of their initial land reform and nationalization plans.

                            That said the United States also had to be willing to accept a loss - the US position should always be for free elections and that means we need to accept that sometimes we lose. The reason 1990 went as well as it did is because the Bush Administration was pretty clear, unlike the Reagan Administration, that it actually would pull-out if the Sandinistas won free elections. That made them willing to risk them.

                            But its a carrot and stick approach - you make not holding elections and behaving dictatorially expensive - but you also make clear that if people play by the rules you will respect them as well.

                            As to how acceptable Social Democracy is - well different people have different views. I have always been in a strange position as being the most left-wing person at work and the most right-wing person in my social circle which probably makes me fairly unrepresentative of anything. But most American policy-makers accepted the need for reform, if not for reasons of justice, then to head off Communism. The Christian Democrats' land reform and partial mining nationalization in the 1960s was an effort to head off Allende, but was nonetheless real, as was support for the Christian Democrats and Jose Napoleon Duarte in El Salvador during the 1980s.

                            Chile is a sign of the limitations of assets rather than agents. The US supported a coup - as did majorities of both houses of the Chilean Congress and the Chilean Supreme Court. But their coup, the one supported by a majority of the military and probably a majority of the population was a constitutional intervention to break a deadlock, let Eduardo Frei, the president of the senate takeover, and to allow new elections. Pinochet, who was an Allende crony, screwed that up by making unreasonable demands, and then seizing power for himself. The US had limited options in terms of pressuring him, but by 1978 were backing civic opposition groups(and probably had some involvement with the Air Force Coup attempt that year), but we had limited options as cutting off aid might either topple him or encourage him to cut his own deal with the Soviets, which neither was above(and which he flirted with during the Carter years).

                            I will say that today our policies are more of a mess - Zimababwe was subordinated to GWB's horse trading with Blair over Iraq and has been nothing short of a disaster, Kenya has suffered from erratic leadership and domestic interference, and no one knows what US policy actually is in Syria. Generally though US policy is to keep options open which means keeping opposition newspapers and unions afloat in places like Venezuela in the event they can win on their own at a later date.

                            (I do a lot of intelligence history, its something of an interest area, though I definitely am biased.)

                          •  I'm tipping you because I appreciate your (0+ / 0-)

                            continued and highly substantive replies. However, in El Salvador, were D'Aubuisson and his band of death squads not trained at the School of the Americas and acting in cooperation with the CIA?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 10:33:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  I live under the US security umbrella, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gigantomachyusa

                a fact for which I am really grateful.

  •  this is already the most snow we've had in at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bjssp, KyleinWA, CF of Aus

    least 5 years and the news station I follow just changed their forecast for today from another 1-3 inches to another 4-8, then freezing rain starts. Fun. I live on a highway where there's usually traffic at all hours and right now there are more people walking than driving. When I went out to get some coffee I didn't bother looking to see if there were cars coming when I crossed the street, when usually there's so much traffic I have to wait a few minutes to cross. This city is already shut down.

    On the bright side I have had some time to work on my next update for legislative races.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:12:36 AM PST

  •  IL: Christie in Chicago to raise money (12+ / 0-)

    but none of the four GOP contenders for governor will be there.

    link

  •  I just got an email from Pete Domina... (12+ / 0-)

    Declaring "I'm in!" for the Senate race in Nebraska.

    Good luck, Pete Domina.

    Now, if only we could line up sacrificial lambs for SC-Sen-A and KS-Sen -- just in case...

    Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:57:07 AM PST

  •  Site function question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    Every week or so the comments allow me to "hide" a comment (although I have never used it) and then it disappears for a week before coming back again. For example it showed the option last night but not today?

    I don't use it so I'm not missing out on anything but it does make me wonder if anyone else has this issue?

    Age 26, conservative Republican, Washington State's Third District.

    by KyleinWA on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:01:36 PM PST

  •  What could AZ Rs do without the VRA or fair (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf, Skaje, ChadmanFL

    redistricting law?

    This is a quick, mild attempt at redrawing the current map in a way that significantly benefits Republicans, using only political considerations.

     photo aznovra_zpsd2826006.jpg

    AZ-01: Obama 43.6%, average 41.7
    AZ-02: both 46.4
    AZ-03: Obama 48.6, ave. 48.4 (VAP 43.5% Hispanic)
    AZ-04: 41.7 Obama, ave 40.4
    AZ-05: 42.4 Obama, ave 40.9
    AZ-06: 40.1 Obama, ave 37.5
    AZ-07: 66.6 Obama, ave 68.1 (VAP 52.7% Hispanic)
    AZ-08: 43.4 Obama, ave 41
    AZ-09: 45.1 Obama, ave 43.5

    With no requirement for Hispanic majority districts there is still one because its the most effective vote sink. AZ-07 is actually less than a quarter white by total population. With no requirement for competitive districts there are some by near necessity, as its hard not to draw some that are competitive south of Maricopa.

    AZ-01 I think got a bit worse than it was the last decade, but Kirkpatrick still may've won it in 2008 given she won in 2008 by low double digits, but she would've lost in 2012, if she'd even bothered running again. AZ-02 loses some of Tucson and picks up some Pinto Dem territory, leaving a district that a strong Blue Dog like Giffords could've probably won but not a weaker one like Barber. AZ-03 I think would still be likely to elect a conservative Democrat, but would give Republicans a real chance to win it. AZ-07 is the obvious vote sink and that's the only definite district for Dems.

    If I put more time into it I could definitely make it better, but I think this is a good demonstration of how easy it is to draw AZ more Republican without even radically redrawing it.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:17:17 PM PST

  •  Iran to institute "Rouhanicare" (6+ / 0-)

    this is interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/...

    Not to start a policy discussion, just pointing out the intrigue that this is seemingly inspired by American HMOs and Obamacare: "Our people face a number of difficulties in their health protection and when they enter a state-run hospital they usually have to obtain their medicine, tests and medical equipment from other places," Rouhani said in the interview. "We have to make sure our hospitals can give people all the services they need so that they are not left confused."

    Also, 5 million people will be eligible for something that sounds like medicaid.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:10:37 PM PST

  •  Heh what do you know, there's a Steve Southerland (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, MichaelNY, Jacob1145

    representing TN-SD-01 and of course he's also a Republican.

    There are a disturbing number of elected Republicans named Steve, though nowhere is as bad as Ohio.

  •  VICTORY* (9+ / 0-)

    *Well he hasnt conceded yet, but for ehstronghold and those others who are interested...

    Terri Butler has defeated Dr Bill Glasson to retain Kevin Rudd's seat.

    I have to admit I was very worried about this seat, as Bill Glasson is clearly a moderate, upstanding individual (you know the sort of person they dont run in a conservative seat).

    Seem the other side of politics are claiming the swing towards them as a sign that the ALP are in trouble, but in reality it was a swing based on an unusually good candidate.

    The funny thing about this election is that while I dont live in the district they basically drowned the approaches to it in signs... so not just in the district but every conceivable place the electorate might drive by. While Terri Butler did a lot more than Kevin Rudd sign wise, I would say that Glasson won the sign war 70-30 at least. Yard signs fail again as a polling indicator.

    http://vtr.aec.gov.au/...

    Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

    by CF of Aus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:58:58 PM PST

    •  Labor tried to frame this (6+ / 0-)

      as a referendum on the government, and the government managed a swing in its favour. Quite impressive.
      Labor should try a new line next time.

      •  A little embarrasing but Shorten is looking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        to attack Abbott - he is fully intent on winning government next term. He is going all in, and not worried about lowering expectaitons.

        But yeah having such a good candidate who had a higher profile than most MPs on either side of politics running in the special election throws the numbers, I wouldnt read too much into it.

        But I think the next special election (for the Qld State seat of Redcliffe) is a more classic Special Election contest that will be a much better indicator.

        Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

        by CF of Aus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:22:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was a lot of expectation management (6+ / 0-)

        from both sides.

        Labor would have liked to win big, the LNP would have liked to win at all.

        Griffith isn't really a safe Labor seat. Kevin Rudd just made it look safe (indeed my modelling suggests Labor would have lost Griffith last year without Rudd's incumbent strength.) It's the exact sort of seat the Coalition actually could have won at a by-election if they had been performing better nationally.  

        That said I consider the result pretty much a draw. And I see both sides are claiming they over-performed and the other side under-performed today.

  •  Has anyone watched Boardwalk Empire through s04? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CF of Aus, lordpet8

    I really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2 but thought season 3 was a fairly big letdown (though nothing like the terrible Homeland season 3) with a seeming lack of direction and I'm wondering if season 4 is even worth starting.

    •  I would also be interested in knowing ! (0+ / 0-)

      I am at the same point as you are.

      I will watch it either way, but if it hasnt improved I will leave it to the off season to watch.

      Loving the Vikings, midway through Season 1, and cant wait for Season 2...

      Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

      by CF of Aus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:25:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If there was ONE Virginia (13+ / 0-)

    Basically if West Virginia had never seceded from Virginia.  We'll try to ignore the fact that the Union probably would have lost the Civil War because that really complicates things.

    This is like a mini-diary but I don't feel like writing that much so I'm just gonna post some charts and maps in this comment:

     photo ScreenShot2014-02-08at42127PM_zps09d0a598.png

    Current statewide officials:

    Governor Ken Cuccinelli (R) - defeats McAuliffe 48-46
    Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) - defeats Jackson 53-47
    Atty. Gen. Mark Obenshain (R) - defeats Herring 52-48
    Senator Tim Kaine (D) - defeats Allen 51-49
    Senator Mark Warner (D) - defeats Gilmore 64-35

    The legislature would probably be Democratic up until at least 2013 so this is a map they might produce.  Of course, Gov. Bill Bolling (R) might have vetoed it in 2011, but here it is:

     photo ScreenShot2014-02-07at91416PM_zpsf6b8ddd4.png
     photo ScreenShot2014-02-08at42051PM_zpscab9ea49.png

    The dark green district is basically a strengthened version of the current WV-03 - by dropping hostile areas around Beckley and Bluefield and picking up the heart of Virginia's coal country, it should be more favorable to Democrats at least downballot.  Of course, it would probably be close to 70% Romney in 2012, but it should still elect someone like Nick Rahall pretty comfortably.

    Because Virginia's redistricting rules don't ban county splits like WV's do, that district straddling the Ohio River also reaches into the most Democratic part of Charleston making it winnable for Democrats.  Joe Manchin, Natalie Tennant, Glen Gainer, and Mark Oliviero all live here.

    Although he probably wouldn't run now because of his family tragedy, the yellow district would be a good one for Creigh Deeds.

    Democrats would have probably narrowly defeated Scott Rigell in that Norfolk/VA Beach district in 2012 but it would be competitive in midterm years.  Or if someone like Scott Rigell became more entrenched.  Also not too confident that Bobby Scott or Lynwood Lewis could hold the Chesapeake Bay district.

  •  OR state senate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CF of Aus, bythesea, Darth Jeff, abgin

    Kari Chisolm at BlueOregon posted about DKE releasing the legislative data for the state, and he noted some things that I was going to talk about:

    The Secretary of State race between Kate Brown and Knute Buehler might tell us a bit more about which districts are competitive downballot. Two House Republicans, Berger and Johnson, are in Brown districts, while zero Democrats are in Buehler districts. (Note: Buehler won in the Conger seat 48.9% to 46.2% -- so it's close. A local Bend Democrat like Craig Wilhelm should have strong shot at it.) In the Senate, Brown won in 20 districts -- picking up the Salem-area seat of Jackie Winters, in addition to the Close, Starr, and Thomsen districts.

    One little bit of interesting trivia that turns up in these charts: How did Senator Bruce Starr do in his race against Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian in his own Senate district? Well, he won -- but it was close, just 53.3% to 47.7%. Meanwhile, Brown beat Buehler there 52-42. It'd be tough, but Starr is beatable.

    Actually I think 2-party it was just under 7 points, but still not a terribly impressive performance in a nonpartisan race in a D+6 district. Starr won re-election in 2010 by I think less than 5 points against a challenge from a sitting state rep, but one who wasn't getting whole-hearted support from the party because they didn't have confidence in him, so I see that as another big sign of weakness. This is the only Dem-leaning potential pick-up in the senate, though, where I haven't heard anything about a challenge yet. Both our freshmen state reps there have filed to run for re-election, which I think is good, but leaves us without a candidate yet there. In both Starr's district and Close's district in Corvallis/Albany, the Democratic average across SOS, AG, and Treasurer races was higher than the statewide average (not to mention Obama did better than he did statewide), so they should be prime targets for us. I already have Close as a likely goner, but we need a decent candidate against Starr.

    Meanwhile despite Starr doing better than any other Republican who ran statewide, he lost both of the open Republican state house seats that Obama won (what Kari calls the Berger and Conger seats). And Kate Brown really overperformed in the Salem area, even winning the R+2ish senate district that Jackie Winters easily holds.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:32:22 PM PST

    •  and in the US senate R primary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, MichaelNY

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:49:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which Republican do you think is stronger? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        My guess is Wehby, but Conger is already an elected official and has a compelling life story.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:29:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  on the other hand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benjso99

          Republicans haven't had a competitive female candidate in a statewide race since forever (Norma Paulus?), and given she's pro-choice and has stated some other somewhat moderate positions, she could run as a fairly legit moderate and win over some folks that Conger can't, as he's running as a more mainstream conservative. She could run differently than most Repubs here. So I think I agree that Wehby could be stronger. And she's definitely proven a better fundraiser so far.

          But while the Republicans haven't had a competitive female candidate in a long time, they have had female statewide candidates. I don't think Wehby is that impressive. You're tied to the biggest Republican donor in the state and you still don't raise more than half a mil in a US Senate race? Please. Republicans need to seriously outspend Dems here just to be competitive. Conger's total on the other hand was embarrassing.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:57:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think I'm going to take a break from DKE (16+ / 0-)

    for a few weeks. I'm getting a bit tired of constantly following electoral news, and I want to focus on writing a novel/short story for a little while.

    So see y'all in a couple of weeks.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:15:04 PM PST

  •  Open thread question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy, CF of Aus, WisJohn, slacks

    Suppose you were given ample funds and campaign volunteers to dispatch to help out and incumbent politician or challenger who would they be? Choose one politician from each level (governor, senator, congressman, state senator, state assembly/house).

    Here are mine
    Incumbents
    Senate: Mark Begich (D-AK)
    Governor: Pat Quinn, he seems to be the most endangered D governor
    Congressman: Scott Peters (CA-52) - I'm the most nervous about him in the CA delegation.
    State Senate: Joe Radinovich (MN -10B) I really loved how he came out in support of marriage equality despite only narrowly winning this swing seat. He's going to need all the help he can get to hold on.
    State Assembly:Sharon Quirk-Silva (CA-AD65) - we need to do what we can to start a decent bench in Orange County. Steve Fox would be close second.

    and for Challengers:

    Senate: Grimes (KY)
    Governor: Mike Ross (AR) - Arkansas may have just enough residual strength to elect a Democrat one more time to the governor's mansion
    Congressman: Andrew Romanoff (CO-6)
    State Senate: Jose Solorio (CA-SD34)- this is one of the few possible seats Democrats need to win if they want to keep 2/3rds in the chamber. It will be tough as this OC district has more Republican sectors than in its previous form. The region is still trending our way slowly.
    State Assembly: Russ Warner? CA-AD40. The Republicans were caught napping here as Incumbent Mike Morrell won here by only 50.4%. Morrell may vacate his and seat jump into a state senate race. I'm hopeful the Dems can run a decent candidate who can make use of the Brown's landslide.

    “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

    by lordpet8 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:29:43 PM PST

    •  Radinovich. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8

      He's a member of the MN House, not the MN Senate. MN Senate is not up until 2016.

      http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/...

      Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

      by WisJohn on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:16:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  whoops thanks for the catch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CF of Aus

        This is what I get for running on 3 hours of sleep today.

        I guess for state senate I'll go with Terry Gipson (NY SD-41). Gipson only won here thanks to a split in the conservative and GOP ballot lines. As a result he only won here with 43% plurality. He'll need everything he can get hold this GOP leaning seat. Despite holding a conservative leaning seat it is refreshing to know that Gipson does not caucus with the IDC.

        “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

        by lordpet8 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:27:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Okay gots to go do some chores but here is mine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, lordpet8, madmojo

      Incumbents
      Senate: Mark Begich (D-AK)

      I also think Begich. I just think if he wins this time, he will basically be unbeatable going forward as he gains seniority. I also think it is easier for Begich to survive as a loyal dem because of Alaska's libertarian streak.

      Governor: Dan Molloy
      Molloy may need help given that he will have a top tier challenger and doesn't seem entrenched. This is based on current info... Hick would be the one I would really want to protect, but I just dont think much of his opponents.

      Congressman: Dr Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
      Ruiz, the hero doctor just needs to win the next election and keep this seat getting bluer. Once supported this cycle, if he wins he will be fine for the next cycle.

      Challengers:

      Senate: Grimes (KY not Simpsons)
      Yeah I love the Georgia races but I think this is the race for me.

      Governor: Mark Schauer
      I just think winning Michigan is essential to stopping the GOP legislature there, and help turn the tide our way prior to redistricting. Schauer seems stronger than our OH and WI challengers at this stage.

      This assume ME/FL/PA we are still favourites and that we are behind in all the other races.
      I love the Georgia races but I think this is the race for me. Would be great if we go great guns in Arkansas but would probably triage the Senate / Governor races there if need be.

      Congressman: Andrew Romanoff (CO-6)
      If it is a completely neutral election or if the Dems were in the dumps then I would triage and just look for the easy win, although Romanoff is well financed and well connected already.

      Congressman: Martha Robertson (NY-23)
      If there is a neutral election but with the GOP house in the dumps for debt ceiling type shenanigans then I would look to back Martha for an upset against Reed, through a GOTV campaign in Ithaca.

      Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

      by CF of Aus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:22:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mine: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8, BlueSasha, madmojo

      Incumbents:
      Senate: Begich, he could become entrenched, whereas my second choice, Pryor, if he wins this year, will probably retire in 2020, and Dems can kiss the seat goodbye.

      House:
      Ron Barber, I don't want Dems to loose Gaby's seat.

      Governor:
      Quinn, I agree with lordpet8, he's the most endangered Dem governor.

      State Senate:
      I don't really know, so some endangered Dem in West Virginia, I guess.

      State Assembly: Amy Sue Vruwink (WI-70). The GOP went after her in redistricting, and made her district much redder and gave her a lot of new territory. She managed to hold on in 2012 by 144 votes, while Romney was winning it 50-48. I worry about off-year turnout, and the effect of Walker on the top of the ticket. A close second would be Rep. Steven Smith of AD-75. He narrowly beat Rep. Roger "some girls rape easy" Rivard in a 51-47 Romney district.

      Challengers:
      Senate: Grimes. Kentucky is red at the federal level, and getting redder, but Grimes is a really good candidate. I would like to hold this seat even for just a term, so that we can retire Mitch McConnell. I considered Nunn, but, Georgia is getting bluer, and bound to elect a Dem to the Senate, if not this year, by the end of the decade. maybe Isackson retires next time he's up.

      House: Ann Callis(?) in IL-13. I fear is Rodney Davis is re-elected, he will become entrenched, and this seat was drawn for a Democrat to win it, and I want to win it.

      Governor: As much as I want to say Mary Burke, my official pick would be Mark Schauer in Michigan because his odds are better.

      State Senate:
      Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (WI-19). She is running against semi-sane Senate President Mike Ellis in the Appleton area. We need to start somewhere in rebuilding a Democratic majority in the WI Senate. Thsi swingy district where Obama won by 12 votes is a good place to start. My second choice would be SD-17m but I have more confidence that we will pick up Dale Schultz's seat than I do with beating Mike Ellis.

      State Assembly: Too many good choices here in WI to pick from, so I'd draw from a hat one of these districts: 93 (my own), 68, 49, 50, 51, 42, 72, 35, 96, 67, 88.

      Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

      by WisJohn on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:56:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mine: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8

      Incumbents
      Senate: Begich. I'm going with the consensus, he's the most valuable Democrat of the vulnerable incumbents, and Alaska's cheap.
      House: Probably Ron Barber, I think he's probably the most in danger.
      Governor: Quinn, I think he's the only one in danger
      State Senate: Richard Young (IN SD-47)
      State Rep: Ummmm someone in Indiana or Kentucky.

      Challengers
      Senate: Grimes, no question. But since everyone is going for her, I'll go outside the box and say Gary Peters
      Congress: I'll be selfish and say Joe Bock
      Governor: Mark Schauer
      State Senate: Sandra Fluke, I really like her
      State Rep: If anyone was running against my Rep, I'd say him/her, buuuut...

      26, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

      by HoosierD42 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:09:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My selections (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp, CF of Aus, madmojo, lordpet8

      Incumbents:

      Senate: Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. My old senator and one of the MVPs on the Democratic side, together with retiring Sens. Tim Johnson and Jay Rockefeller. If he is reelected this year, he'll probably be a lot less vulnerable by 2020, thanks to seniority more than to Alaska's tentative blue shift.

      Governor: Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. I don't seriously think he will lose, but we simply cannot risk losing ground in Colorado, which has been trending toward us but where we have seen some recent erosion. Four more years of Hick in a decisive victory could put an exclamation point on Colorado as a D+ state.

      House of Representatives: Rep. Raul Ruiz of California. He gutted out a narrow win in 2012 and will be hurting from lack of Latino turnout this year, but it's still a winnable race. If Ruiz or his allies could go up on the airwaves early and negatively define Brian Nestande, that would be helpful.

      Challengers:

      Senate: Michelle Nunn of Georgia. I'm upbeat about our chances in both Kentucky and Georgia, but the latter is definitely the less media-friendly race, and thus has flown a bit more under the radar -- and I think it might be the more winnable of the two races. All Nunn needs is to overperform President Obama by just a few percentage points. She could use some support.

      Governor: Mary Burke of Wisconsin. (She just edges Jason Carter of Georgia.) If Burke can build a coalition that gets beyond the pointless failed recall and focuses on the fact that Gov. Scott Walker is a terrible cretin of a governor who just wants to springboard to the presidency or vice presidency, she has a shot at this.

      House of Representatives: John Foust of Virginia. We cannot let Barbara Comstock get entrenched in this open Republican seat. This is the Democrats' opportunity to pick up a seat that has been moving toward us on the presidential and statewide level, but which has had a very bad case of LaTourette's Syndrome.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:58:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Walker (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, MichaelNY, lordpet8, Jacob1145

        Some here disagree about the threat that Walker poses for 2016, but I'd rather not take any chances. Beyond that, even if he would simply do little more than help them lose with dignity, unlike someone such as Cruz might, we can prevent him from even getting to that point by taking him down. That's to say nothing of having a little less rightward influence in Wisconsin.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:01:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ok (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp, lordpet8

      Not doing my state legislature, but otherwise:

      incumbents
      senate: Begich, AK is cheaper than LA
      gov: Quinn, the others are safe
      US rep: Ron Barber, his race is 50-50

      challengers
      senate: Nunn if Broun or Gingrey wins the primary, otherwise Grimes
      gov: Schauer maybe? Snyder is one of the least offensive GOP governors, but that race seems closer to 50-50 than any other big state.
      US rep: whoever runs in NY21. That's a tossup seat in a cheap media market. Runner-up is Appel in IA3, same reason.

      SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:14:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  PA-GOV: Drama at state committee meeting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin

    It looks like McCord fell just short of a the needed votes for a full endorsement from the state party but he had significantly more votes than any other candidate with 154 and was very close to the 50% threshold needed for an endorsement. I could understand why the other candidates didn't want the vote to happen anyways endorsement or not it shows a lot of people in the state committee are confident in McCord if he's getting more votes than all of them. The question is if the party is feeling more comfortable with McCord as the candidate where does that leave Schwartz the supposed frontrunner?

    •  2/3 were needed for an endorsement (3+ / 0-)

      so it was pretty expected going in that there would be no endorsement.  Even if there had been, it only reflects the sentiments of party insiders, not voters.  In fact, Bob Casey won the party's endorsement for Governor in 2002.  In 2010, Arlen Specter won the PDP's endorsement for Senate, and while there was no endorsement for Governor Jack Wagner received around 50% of the votes.  

      My point is this: nothing against McCord, but this whole state committee process is meaningless political theatre that doesn't reflect anything about how the election will go and it's a mistake to try to read too much into it.

    •  Surprised McCord was that strong. (0+ / 0-)

      His support was geographically diverse than Schwartz's, but it doesn't mean much.

      In the lieutenant governor's race, I was surprised that Harrisburg Councilman Brad Koplinski got around 50% of the vote against former Congressman Mark Critz, a state senator, a state representative, and a couple others. I think he's actually the right choice. All the other candidates are pretty conservative.

      Impractical progressive Democrat.

      by redrelic17 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:42:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think McCord is a bit underrated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      He's got a strong fundraising base and he's run statewide before and won. He should be taken more seriously.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:00:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They probable believe McCord is more electable (0+ / 0-)

      And stronger for the downballot races.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:27:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey I have a new diary up on NY-23 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, aamail6, abgin

    Please read it here.

    Basically looking at how we all missed what was in the end a very close race, and what we can do going forward.

    Am thinking of doing similar ones for the other upstate seats of interest... eg. NY19 offence and NY18 and NY21 on defence.

    Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

    by CF of Aus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:02:52 PM PST

  •  FL-13: Tampa Bay Times endorses Sink (13+ / 0-)

    Not a surprise. I still won't be at ease until Sink actually wins.

    http://www.tampabay.com/...

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:12:50 PM PST

  •  TN Gov (7+ / 0-)

    Apparently Haslam is pushing for a free community college program. Call me a bit surprised that he would even make this move.

    http://www.npr.org/...

    “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

    by lordpet8 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:39:15 PM PST

  •  FL-GOV: The Third Way is whining about Crist. (14+ / 0-)

    I don't normally source from the Huffington Post, but:

    When former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist announced he'd run as a Democrat for his old job in 2014, Democratic leaders rejoiced at the prospect of a pragmatic candidate who could win back centrist Republicans and independent voters who had soured on incumbent Rick Scott.

    But Crist is taking a hard turn left as his campaign begins to take shape.

    He has embraced President Barack Obama's health care law even as many Democrats distancing themselves from it. He supports efforts to legalize medical marijuana and to overturn the gay marriage ban he initially backed. He has called for an increase in the minimum wage, something he once voted against.

    "Tallahassee is out of control," he told hundreds of supporters in declaring his candidacy. "The voice of the people has been silenced by the financial bullies and the special interests."

    Reality check: PPP recently came out with a poll that address literally every single component of the whining, so let's use the statistics of a battle-tested pollster to evaluate whether this is legitimate whining or not.

    Obamacare: 40% of voters in favor, 49% opposed. This is, conceivably, the only thing that could potentially harm Crist, but I'm of the opinion that as the year progresses and more people see the benefits, public opinion will shift. Still, -9% is not terrible in Florida by any means.

    Medical marijuana: I don't understand why so many people think that marijuana legalization or decriminalization of any kind is vastly unpopular with voters. Support for medical marijuana in Florida is solid, with 65% of voters in favor and only 23% opposed. Crist's support for this will help him, not hurt him.

    Minimum wage: It's electorally smart to be in favor of raising the minimum wage. I don't know if Crist is in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10/hour, but PPP finds that 62% of voters are in favor of it while only 29% are opposed. Like marijuana, this will help him, not hurt him. Plus, Rick Scott recently indicated that he was disappointed that Florida's minimum wage went up on January 1 of this year--it's indexed to inflation. Crist will have an easy time making this into a key voting issue for Floridians.

    Gay marriage: Up until recently, this might have been a political career-killer in Florida. In 2008, even as Barack Obama was winning the state's electoral votes over John McCain, 62% of voters voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and all other legally-recognized partnerships. Things have changed dramatically over the past few years; PPP now finds that 47% of voters are in favor of gay marriage while 44% are opposed. This isn't an overwhelming consensus, but it's the first time that PPP has found any level of support (majority or plurality) for marriage equality in Florida.

    But, regardless, the Third Way is concerned about this:

    Still, Crist's approach concerns some Democrats.

    Matt Bennett, a co-founder of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, warned that "us-versus-them, people-versus-powerful rhetoric" could hurt Democrats in the most contested states.

    "That will work with a slice of the base, but that will not resonate with the kind of swing voters you need to prevail in places like Florida," he said. Democrats "need to talk about a much broader set of ideas to create opportunity."

    I certainly hope that we can put to bed the notion that taking progressive positions is an act of political suicide and that adopting Third Way positions is an act of political genius.

    And hey, who thought that Democrats would be having problems with Crist because he was running too progressive of a campaign?

    20, FL-07. UCF student pursuing a B.A. in Political Science, future teacher/politician. Wes Neuman for Congress! "The Republican vision is clear: I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own." -Elizabeth Warren

    by Tyler Yeargain on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:19:08 PM PST

    •  Just a sec there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, MichaelNY
      I certainly hope that we can put to bed the notion that taking progressive positions is an act of political suicide and that adopting Third Way positions is an act of political genius.
      Sometimes it is. You take progressive positions in Arkansas or Alaska and watch yourself get creamed. In a state like Florida, though, or Virginia, it can be pretty helpful to move leftward to some degree. And of course in places like Massachusetts, feel free to be as much of a flaming liberal as ya wanna be. It all depends on the political circumstances of the state/district/era in which you're running.

      To expand on "era" just a tad, if Clinton hadn't gone Third Way in 1992, we'd probably have had an uninterrupted string of right wing presidents since Reagan up to Obama.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

      by Le Champignon on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:50:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  1992 assertion holds no water (0+ / 0-)

        Any Dem would have been positioned to slaughter Bush, with a progressive who would have appeased Perot being the ideal choice.

        Clinton's victory was a forgone conclusion for months, even with his less than trustworthy personal nature holding him back.  Bush was DOA, just like Carter was in 1980 (when everybody from everywhere on the spectrum ran against him).

        Bob Kerrey and Tom Harkin could have won even more convincingly than Clinton did.

        All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

        by tommypaine on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:59:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps I could've phrased it better. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, MichaelNY

        I don't dispute at all the notion that moderate positions are electorally smart in swing states. What I dispute is that Third Way positions are electorally smart. Austerity, cutting of entitlement programs, and a continuation of massive inequality are not electorally smart at all. And Crist is being attacked by Third Way for not adopting those positions:

        Matt Bennett, a co-founder of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, warned that "us-versus-them, people-versus-powerful rhetoric" could hurt Democrats in the most contested states.
        And that's the kind of campaign that Crist is running: a "people-versus-powerful" campaign--he's running as "the People's Governor."

        But I'm not at all suggesting that he--or anyone else in a swing, red, or light blue state--run as a flaming progressive at all, just that some progressive policies, like some of the ones he's running on, are smart politics.

        20, FL-07. UCF student pursuing a B.A. in Political Science, future teacher/politician. Wes Neuman for Congress! "The Republican vision is clear: I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own." -Elizabeth Warren

        by Tyler Yeargain on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:35:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quote (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, MichaelNY, londonlabour

          That "us-versus-them, people-versus-powerful rhetoric" is exactly what Republicans do in all contested states. But the powerful are characterized as the unions, the educated, the media and the government.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:24:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Midterm election demo tacks older turnout... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I bet all those poll differently with the projected turnout demo.

      Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

      by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:55:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  now that the debate is about legalization (6+ / 0-)

      supporting medical marijuana is not controversial, sort of like once the debate shifted entirely to marriage, civil unions became uncontroversial.

      The only things here that Crist is doing that are at all controversial are supporting Obamacare and gay marriage and both of those are now expected from mainstream Democrats.

      They really just don't like his rhetoric because its too populistic. Well they can go suck an egg.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:07:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Big Data: RNC still struggling (5+ / 0-)

    Here is the latest story on the RNC's efforts to build out its data operation:  http://www.nytimes.com/...

    My favorite quotes are these juxtaposed ones, first this:

    Mr. Ginn struck up a conversation, leading with a sympathetic joke about an experience he had with government inefficiency while doing consulting work with a municipality south of San Francisco. Mr. Vyas followed suit by remarking how the government was wasting its time spying on people through the National Security Agency.

    Bashing the N.S.A.’s activities under the Obama administration is a rallying cry for certain conservative libertarians. But concern about N.S.A. spying isn’t limited to Republicans, so Mr. Ginn proceeded cautiously. “Can you believe that?” he said...

    Then this:
    To Mr. Barkett, these far-from-extraordinary capabilities are merely the baseline. He has more ambitious goals, including adding data sources like property values and property tax information from real estate websites like Zillow or Trulia. Volunteers could then walk the precinct and ask: Are you happy paying this much property tax?
    So the RNC's data dudes want to attract voters who don't want the NSC spying on them by revealing to them the RNC is spying on them.

    Also, Sasha Issenberg quoted mockingly on Twitter this line:  

    Mr. Barkett added: “We get 20 or 30 of those people and, watch out. The Democrats will have a hard time keeping up with that.”

    45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:33:20 PM PST

    •  That would strike a lot of people the wrong way. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob1145, DCCyclone

      Most people probably have some conceptual understanding of what is possible because of the Internet, but my guess is that the vast majority of the population, especially those most likely to be affected by a high property tax, aren't necessarily okay with how much information is out there and/or, even if they are more aware, would likely be turned off if approached with someone wielding it so casually. In other words, their methods might be highly ineffective, if not completely backfire.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:38:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I feel like it's hard to build a tech program (0+ / 0-)

      through the party. For Democrats or Republicans. The Dem advantage on this is not because of the party, but because of the Obama campaign.

      People will support a candidate a like, but not necessarily that candidate's part. The RNC probably has the bigger problem here, given how unpopular the GOP is.

      I could see tech geeks working for a moderate candidate(like Christie, pre-Bridgegate), but it's much harder getting them to work directly for the RNC.

      •  I will say, I worry that GOP could get (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        some mileage out of the NSA surveillance. It does seem t have hurt Obama with Silicon Valley a bit. A candidate like Paul could get some traction out of it.

        Then again, besides Paul and a few other, it's not like many other GOP politicians are in favor of major reforms.

        And it's telling how the recruiters here cant really mentioning anything except the NSA. Cant even mention that they are conservatives.

        •  I doubt it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, askew, DCCyclone

          I don't see that issue gaining traction. I think a lot of people care, but not enough to vote for someone different than who they think will help the economy. If Paul was seen as running an anti-military campaign, he would struggle in Virginia, NC, and Florida.

          •  Yup, it's NOT A VOTING ISSUE (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, KingofSpades

            It's actually not something hardly anyone really cares about.  It's a topic of frequent conversation and jokes because it's easy to follow as an issue, but it's not a serious concern for hardly any voters.

            Most things in the news don't matter at the ballot box.  Teasing out which ones do is very hard, and even most public polling fails to do it.  And, I suspect even private polling and campaign and party focus groups don't tease out quite as well as political professionals want to believe...and I bet some of them know it but accept it merely as the best we can realistically do.  Big Data gets us much further that way, since it's granular.

            45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 04:31:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I feel sorry for that kid (4+ / 0-)
      His political awakening came in the 10th grade. “I read two books that changed my life,” he said. “The Bible, and ‘The Terrible Truth About Liberals,’ but the Bible much more, obviously.”
      My political awakening came in 11th grade, reading a US history book.

      “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

      by lordpet8 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:05:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine came when I was 6 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        I watched the Nixon impeachment House committee vote.

        Not good for the GOP for anyone to be introduced to politics that way!

        45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:04:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  unhappy news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Massachusetts State Senate president Therese Murray is not running for reelection this fall.

    http://www.boston.com/...

    There's little mention of reasons other than that she's term limited as State Senate president (i.e. majority leader) and she's not available for comment this weekend.

    She's been the steadying and responsible, never losing her head, force in Massachusetts politics during a period of almost complete turnover in the top offices in the state and upper ranks of the state legislature.  Archetypical Massachusetts.

    She'll be missed.

    •  A bit of a tricky district, too (0+ / 0-)

      Murray's Senate district is the "Plymouth and Barnstable" district (for whatever obscene reason, MA state legislative districts don't use a simple numbering system), which Obama won by less than 2% in 2012. Murray herself had a close call in 2010 (the district barely changed, if it did at all, in redistricting), winning by only 5%. Not that it matters too much, given Democrats have such an overwhelming majority in the MA Senate. This district wouldn't be a good launchpad for a Republican for higher office, either, since it's contained in the 9th congressional district, which was made safe in redistricting by adding New Bedford and parts of Fall River.

    •  One of the (0+ / 0-)

      more conservative districts in Massachusetts (not the MOST conservative, but still), and able to elect even conservative (not absolutely right-wing, but old-style conservative) Republican. Almost did it in 2010, despite great financial adavantage by Murray. One of the few districts in state where republican bench may be even better then democratic. At least - they have as potential candidate rather popular state representative in person of "Vinny" deMacedo...

  •  CA-17: CA Democratic Party Pre-endorsements Day 1 (7+ / 0-)

    As I mentioned above, today was the first day of statewide pre-endorsement meetings. The one for CA-17 was held today in Hayward. Several congressional, state senate, and assembly pre-endorsements were also made at this meeting.

    There were three candidates running in CA-17: Mike Honda, Ro Khanna, and a Some Dude named Philip Bralich. All the candidates for every single race showed up at this meeting, even those running unopposed, except for one: Ro Khanna.

    The snub was obvious and the result was brutal:

    https://twitter.com/...

    Bralich: 0 (0%)
    Honda: 122 (92%)
    Khanna: 11 (8%)
    No endorsement: 0 (0%)

    70% was the threshold to clinch the endorsement at this meeting.

    Granted, almost all delegates have made up their minds before the meeting and Honda had the state party endorsement in the bag. But not even bothering to show up to make a two-minute speech and network with other electeds and activists is a completely different story.

    In the same meeting, Eric Swalwell's vulnerability surfaced when he couldn't clinch the endorsement for CA-15 against state senator Ellen Corbett. Swalwell got 61% while Corbett garnered 35%. The endorsement process now goes to the state party convention in March in an endorsement caucus meeting off the floor. While Swalwell is all but assured the party endorsement at convention unless Corbett can pull off a miracle, his hold on his seat is still somewhat tenuous.

    23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

    by kurykh on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:43:03 PM PST

    •  I will be incensed if Eric Swalwell loses. (6+ / 0-)

      I know I've posted this before, but when someone has the courage to kick dead weight out of congress in a primary, even as others wait for the dead weight to retire, that person deserves at least 2-3 terms to prove themselves. You want that seat, Ellen Corbett? TOO EFFING BAD. You didn't have the moxie to go for it when it was there for the taking, and now you'll just have to wait. I get so annoyed by these people who think they deserve a seat a congress. It really makes my blood boil.

      Okay. End of rant.

      20, Male, MD-8. Fan of University of Virginia athletics.

      by Danny Ricci on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:20:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone know who the first Muslim (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    to be elected to office in the US was?  Legislator, governor, statewide office?

    •  I don't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, JacobNC, bythesea

      But, maybe we can narrow it down.  I know the first person elected to the legislator here in Michigan who identified as a Muslim was attorney James "Jim" Karoub, who served in the Michigan House from 1962 to 1966, I believe.  Like most politician, he went on to found a lobbying firm almost immediately (1968) after being redistricted out of his district, and it practices to this day. lol

      So, maybe this will narrow it down.

  •  Thanks for the music (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommypaine, James L, bythesea, itskevin

    I really liked that funky Dusty Springfield song.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:11:36 AM PST

    •  Dusty is one of my all time favorites, but... (7+ / 0-)

      C'mon, fifty years ago today, the world changed:

      What the clueless thought:
      http://www.latimes.com/...

      The Beatles are not merely awful; I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are god awful. They are so unbelievably horribly, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music... -- William F Buckley

      All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

      by tommypaine on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:37:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, Buckley (5+ / 0-)

        What a damned twit! You know, I never watched this footage before. Even with all the shrieking, you can still hear them pretty well, and it was damn good music-making, all of it, and every one of the songs they sang on that tour was really good. Of course, I've heard the recordings before ("I wanna hold your hand," "Please please me," etc.), but it must have been an amazing experience to hear them perform live on nationwide TV.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:32:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Establishment men don't like anything that makes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          women happy.  The male establishment reacted like abusive husbands trying to stifle their women for acting out.

          All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

          by tommypaine on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:54:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  One shudders to think what Buckley would have (6+ / 0-)

        said about jazz had he been around in the 1920s...

        Oh no, the change... it burns!

      •  Heh, Buckley reminds me of my maternal grandma (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, PassionateJus, MichaelNY

        she said she was offended by the early rock music and thought it was all just vapid novelty music for the kids who didn't have any refined tastes.

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:48:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Buckley Might Have a Point (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure if he came at it from a conservative or from an intellectual point of view, and that makes all the difference in the world, at least to me.

        Does anyone know? I'm too busy to look it up.

        But seriously, as an art, pop music has mostly been awful. And, at least in my opinion, the early Beatles and their music were pretty silly and mostly intellectually meaningless. I mostly dislike their early music. Their music from 1966 onwards is what I like.

        •  Yeah, it began as teenybopper music (0+ / 0-)

          but evolved to a more psychodelic and diverse style.

          “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

          by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:57:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  all pop music is silly and meaningless (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY

          but theirs was quite a bit better than the crap out today.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:05:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's a huge divide in the Beatles music (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, PassionateJus

          with Rubber Soul in 1965 marking that divergence and being very ahead of its time. I don't particularly care for their early British invasion records either, but then again pretty much all rock and roll (in contrast to rock or "classic rock") from that period was quite undeveloped with perhaps the Who and the Rolling Stones standing out. 1966/1967 was a massive change for the better in popular rock music which had quickly become more mainstream at least among young people.

          But really compared to the great jazz of that time (John Coltrane's A Love Supreme anyone?) the Beatles pre-Rubber Soul output did kind of pale in comparison in terms of lasting quality, but compared to the other pop music of the time they were a big step up.

          •  I'm somewhat the opposite (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I like plenty of their songs from both eras, and Revolve which is kind of in the middle is my favorite, but a lot of my favorite Beatles songs are underrated British Invasion ones (It Won't Be Long, Tell Me Why, The Night Before, A Hard Day's Night, Can't Buy Me Love, And I Love Her, Eight Days a Week) while many later ones are overrated (Let It Be is a terrible song)

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:23:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I definitely disagree on "Let it be" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lordpet8

              But that's OK. We all have my preferences. "Eleanor Rigby" is probably my all-time favorite Beatles song - really a profound, extremely imaginative song.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:32:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think Let It Be is not a very good one overall (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              the only tracks I like from it are "Get Back" and "I've Got a Feeling" and the latter could have been performed much better. The White Album is also somewhat overrated because there's no reason for it to be a double album with all the dud tracks on the 2nd disc, but it does have some great ones. Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, and Revolver are probably my favorites as albums overall, but they have some essential tracks on all the other post-65 ones and a few non-album singles (Paperback Writer, Revolution, etc).

              I used to listen to the Beatles a lot in high school but have moved on to progressive rock, jazz, and (mostly 1990s) alternative rock so I don't really listen to late 60s psychedelic music anymore. I did however just this week download all their albums from Rubber Soul onward in remastered losses and listened to them on my new super high quality headphones and it sounded fantastic.

              There is sadly just a massive divide in recording quality between the mid-ate 60s and early 70s and it really shows with an HD headphones. That's what always gets me watching old Beatles clips on youtube, particularly if there were girls screaming, is that the sound quality sucks and doesn't give you a good idea of what it actually was like to be there.

        •  It's OK to have that point of view (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, lina

          I don't agree with it, in regard to the Beatles (their later music is definitely greater, but the early stuff is good, and as an instrumentalist, I don't mind some relatively uninteresting lyrics if I like the music), though I do agree with it in regard to the bulk of pop music. But that's not the same thing Buckley said:

          They are so unbelievably horribly, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music
          That is just such an amazingly ridiculous remark. The Beatles, heads of "anti-music"? Wow, just wow. My appraisal is that these were good performers who wrote songs that at their very least were tuneful and well-crafted (and as you allude to, many of them after 1966 were truly great, though no-one in 1964 could have known what was to come). If I had been around then, I wouldn't have been one of the shrieking teens, but that doesn't make me remotely a hater! But there's no point in arguing with someone who has the kind of reaction Buckley had.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:14:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing silly about Eight Days a Week (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Stephen Wolf, lordpet8

          or Hard Days Night or Twist and Shout or Ticket to Ride.

          There's just people with soul and those without it.

          All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

          by tommypaine on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:22:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I recommend reading that LA Times link (0+ / 0-)

        The whole bunch of quotes of critical pans of the Beatles is pretty hilarious.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:25:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  KY-Senate: ALG's Jobs Plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, LordMike, MichaelNY

    Has anyone read it? She's really striking an economic populist tone. She's pro-coal, which isn't surprising, given that she's running a campaign to appeal to Demosaurs in eastern KY. She's very much in favor of the $10.10 minimum wage. She wants to punish China for its currency manipulation. She wants to incentivize on-the-job daycare facilities. She favors equal pay for equal work for women. So on and so forth.

    Y'all can read it here: http://www.scribd.com/...

    And her campaign has come out with an absolutely devastating line: ALG is the only one with a jobs plan. For people in KY, I imagine that will resonate strongly. It's a brilliant line, succinct, to the point, and encapsulates everything that people hate about the Republicans these days. They're too busy focusing on magic vaginas and Obamacare to bother with what people really care about: Jobs.

    I think I'd rate this race as toss-up/tilt D at this point. It's ALG's race to lose. McConnell has hit his ceiling as far as support for him personally. Any further votes he receives in November will be a vote against a Democrat, not for him. ALG's job will be to minimize that protest vote.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:06:23 AM PST

    •  I really think Democrats are missing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, MichaelNY

      an opportunity here. They should settle on a simple plan that all Democrats can get behind--it might not need to be anything more than a payroll tax cut, infrastructure, and/or state aid--and then loudly accuse the Republicans of doing nothing and standing in the way of progress. It happens to be largely true, and it would highlight the fact that they are doing little besides focusing on other things, as you said.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:17:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Matt Bevin is a wildcard here (6+ / 0-)

      It is clear that McConnell is pretty much hated in the state and the race is basically a tossup.  Teabaggers are starting to realize that as well, and even the more pragmatic ones probably recognize that McConnell's electability is questionable.  If that is so, they will conclude fairly soon that the solution is to see that he is defeated in the primary.

      If Bevin runs a strong campaign in April through June, I see a realistic possibility that McConnell will lose the primary. The best scenario would be for Bevin to drain McConnell's warchest, but for McConnell to win the primary 50-48.

      A Bevin primary win would be terrible for ALG.  In a race against McConnell, the main issue will be McConnell's Washington failures against what ever loose ties ALG has to Obama.  That's a race that Grimes can win.  Against Bevin, both candidates would be anti-Washington, and so the contest would be ideology.  And between two anti-Washington candidates, Kentucky would likely prefer the teabagger over the moderate Dem.

      Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

      by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:18:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't the primary in May though? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, MichaelNY, gabjoh

        I think McConnell lucks out in the primary fight because it's pretty early.   And then it gives him a lot of time to play nice with Senate Dems and pretend he's always been bi-partisany.  Voters have very short memories and no attention spans.  

        Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

        by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:26:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bi-partisany? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, LordMike, Jacob1145

          Nobody in Kentucky, not even Mitch actually believes that.  McConnell has always won races by tearing apart his opponents, not by selling himself and his accomplishments (which he has one, expanding NSA surveillance in 2007.   And I'm sure that Harry Reid is going to go out of his way to help Mitch here.)   The idea that he is bipartisan sounds like an RNC press release to me rather than anything grounded in reality.

          And his job numbers are so bad that I doubt voters have as short memories as you think.  He'll try to win the general the only way he knows how, to attack Obama over and over again, and tie Grimes to him.  And it may work again.  But it may not.

          The Bevin campaign, if they are smart, needs to push the "it's time for a change","30 year Washington failure" and electability issues hard.  If he can convince enough Rs that McConnell's main problems are his failure of leadership and electability rather than simply that he hasn't been conservative enough, Bevin has a legit shot.

          Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

          by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:13:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  of course, that's what you gotta do there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, MichaelNY

      that's the reason most of the swing voters might vote Dem. She's not going to get them because she's pro-coal, she can't out-Republican a Republican on that, that's just to give them less incentive to go with Mitch. Republicans cannot compete with Democrats on helping working people. They can try to convince them that taxes are more important (and then promptly give 98% of the tax cuts to the rich) but they won't actually do anything for regular folks. Given that at Fancy Farm Conway was going super-populist and the state house passed the $10.10 minimum wage, I am not surprised by this but am pleased.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:22:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More importantly. (7+ / 0-)

      While she was in Louisville, she brought up an interstate bridge project. She criticized McConnell for not getting federal funds for the project and forcing the burden on to local communities. His inaction on getting funds will force the project to become a toll road. That could be a great line of attack for her in the Louisville metro.

    •  It's not at all ALG's to lose (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Any objective rating would put a thumb on the scale for McConnell, not Grimes.  The GOP has a slight edge in the political environment now, and that's going to drive center-right voters who Grimes needs to the GOP.  Grimes would lose for sure today, she won't reach 50%+1 until the environment gets a teeny bit better.  It's not a wave environment, but it looks right now like the GOP has the kind slight edge that the results showed in 2002 and 2004.

      Too easy to get overconfident on this out of giddy excitement.

      45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:33:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the election were today she'd win (0+ / 0-)

        At 46% with a 4% lead is a done deal against Mitch's pitiful 42%.

        But the election isn't today.  Grimes has to make herself likeable over the next nine months.  That's her challenge.  Mitch is a totally known, and disliked, entity.  He's attacked her, and raised her favorability.  

        It is at least plainly obvious that Grimes can do more to lose the race than Mitch, who has basically done everything douchey already.  But the flip side of that is Grimes has the ability to make herself liked by people who don't know her, while Mitch has no option.

        All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

        by tommypaine on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:06:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's nonsense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          That was just one poll and it's an outlier.  There is no reporting or other polling to corroborate that Grimes has staked out a lead, and nothing has happened in the news in recent months that crates an advantage to her personally or to Democrats broadly.

          If the election were today she'd lose, she wouldn't reach 50.  Those undecideds hate Obama and federal Democrats.  They're also conservative, and would pull the lever for McConnell even if holding noses while doing so.  But they can sit on their hands as "undecided" for now because the election is still a long ways away.

          Grimes needs more help to pull this out.

          45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:02:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Alaska Gov. Parnell puts his foot in it... (7+ / 0-)

    By appearing to threaten retaliation against Ketchikan, normally a Republican stronghold, over a lawsuit the borough has filed against the state. Story here.

    "I do want to address this issue of how the lawsuit is viewed by legislators and by me because it does shade or color the reaction to Ketchikan requests," Parnell told the Ketchikan Daily News on Thursday. "It's an inevitable consequence that if Ketchikan is the driving force behind a lawsuit that could result in more financial exposure to the state, legislators and I view requests from Ketchikan through that lens."

    The borough has sued the state, seeking to strike the required local contributions to school districts. The district has said incorporated areas of the state are being punished for incorporating, while unincorporated areas do not have to contribute money to their local schools.

    Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, has filed a bill that would repeal the required local contribution. Critics have claimed it would cost the state $200 million to make up the difference.

    "With that uncertainty out there of the lawsuit, it's a pretty tough sell to legislators to go ask for hydro projects and to go ask for - it may seem unconnected because it's a school district thing and it's a local property tax thing, but it all comes from the same pocket: the state's pocket," Parnell told the newspaper. "It just really made it easy for legislators to say no to Ketchikan's projects."

    Local officials are outraged; the Ketchikan Gateway Borough manager claimed Parnell's threat could violate state and federal law; Parnell is now trying to walk back his comments but hasn't apologized.

    It's a pity it looks like Bill Walker and Byron Mallott are going to split the anti-Parnell vote, because if there were ever an Alaska governor in bad shape to win a majority of the vote at reelection, it's the hapless Sean Parnell.

    Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:11:38 AM PST

  •  SD-Mayor: Final SUSA poll has race very close (15+ / 0-)

    Faulconer-47
    Alvarez-46

    It was 49-44 Faulconer last time.

    Not sure what to think, given that it is SUSA. But it does seem like this race has tightened. I hope I'm wrong, but I will give a slight edge to Faulconer. An Alvarez win would be another setback for the CA GOP; I think they should have won this race easily.

    link.

    •  I think it's very possible Alvarez could pull it (7+ / 0-)

      off. He has a really compelling story that the media has been showcasing. If he can keep turnout (but specifically Hispanic turnout) high, I can see him winning.

    •  There is some sense of momentum (9+ / 0-)

      for Alvarez here.  Let's hope it's enough in the final stretch.

    •  SurveyUSA do this many times (0+ / 0-)

      Narrative when the polls are far of the election day, and a better poll close to the elections.

      Today's result is the same result that they published in the begin of December.

      I would bet something that this race never moved from a Toss-Up, and they tried to demovilizate the Democratic side with pure narrative in between.

      For me the victory of Alvarez in this race would be the natural development, and a Republican victory would be a coup for the Democratic side.

      •  Are you saying SurveyUSA faked the results? (7+ / 0-)

        That's a very grave charge. SurveyUSA is a media pollster, not a partisan group. Do you have any evidence that they have their hand on the scales?

        Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

        by Jeff Singer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:16:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obviously it is not more than an impression (0+ / 0-)

          my impression.

          Would you tell that a pollster with a consistent Republican bias faked their results? How do them to have this Republican bias?

          My impression is that the pro-Republican bias of SurveyUSA polls increases when the election day is far, and they pressent better results (with still a pro-Republican bias) when the election day is close.

          This kind of evolution is not trustable for me.

          •  SurveyUSA just released that poll in KY (6+ / 0-)

            Showing Grimes up.

            In any case, I'd really like to avoid suggesting that they fake their numbers without any proof. That gets a bit too far into conspiracy theories.

            Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

            by Jeff Singer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:31:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry but you introduzed the faked word (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CF of Aus

              I only tell that SurveyUSA does the same that other pollsters with a Republican bias, but that they control their bias in the polls that are near the election day.

              These are the data from the last cycle that support my comment.

              SURVEYUSA POLLS CLOSE TO THE ELECTION DAY (less than 15 days):
              MO-Pres: +7R (final result +10R) -3R
              MN-Pres: +11D (final result +8D) -3R
              WA-Pres: +17D (final result +15D) -2R
              NY-Pres: +29D (final result +28D) -1R
              OH-Pres: +5D (final result +4D) -1R
              GA-Pres: +8R (final result +8R) =0R
              OH-Pres: +3D (final result +3D) =0R
              WA-Gov: +3D (final result +3D) =0R
              OH-Pres: +3D (final result +4D) +1R
              MO-Sen: +15D (final result +16D) +1R
              WA-Pres: +14D (final result +15D) +1R
              OH-Sen: +5D (final result +6D) +1R
              MN-Pres: +7D (final result +8D) +1R
              NY-Sen: +42D (final result +43D) +1R
              FL-Pres: =0D (final result +2D) +2R
              WA-Gov: +1D (final result +3D) +2R
              CA-52: =0D (final result +2D) +2R
              NV-Pres: +4D (final result +6D) +2R
              NV-03: +10R (final result +7R) +3R
              NC-Pres: +5R (final result +2R) +3R
              CO-Pres: +2D (final result +5D) +3R
              OH-Sen: +3D (final result +6D) +3R
              MN-Sen: +31D (final result +34D) +3R
              MO-Gov: +9D (final result +12D) +3R
              CT-Pres: +13D (final result +17D) +4R
              MN-Sen: +30D (final result +34D) +4R
              NV-Sen: +6R (final result +1R) +5R
              OH-Sen: +1D (final result +6D) +5R
              FL-Sen: +8D (final result +13D) +5R
              MN-08: +2D (final result +9D) +7R
              CT-Sen: +4D (final result +12D) +8R
              WA-01: +3D (final result +12D) +9R
              NV-04: +5R (final result +8D) +13R

              SURVEYUSA POLLS FAR OF THE ELECTION DAY (more than 1 mounth)
              MO-Pres: +1R (final result +10R) -9R
              KY-Pres: +14R (final result +22R) -8R
              CA-Pres: +31D (final result +23D) -8R
              NC-Gov: +5R (final result +12R) -7R
              CA-Pres: +29D (final result +23D) -6R
              NC-Pres: +4D (final result +2R) -6R
              MN-Pres: +14D (final result +8D) -6R
              NC-Pres: +2D (final result +2R) -4R
              FL-Pres: +5D (final result +1D) -4R
              FL-Pres: +4D (final result +1D) -3R
              WA-Gov: +6D (final result +3D) -3R
              NY-Pres: +30D (final result +28D) -2R
              MO-Gov: +12D (final result +14D) -2R
              NC-Pres: =0R (final result +2R) -2R
              WA-Gov: +5D (final result +3D) -2R
              MN-Pres: +10D (final result +8D) -2R
              MN-Pres: +10D (final result +8D) -2R
              GA-Pres: +7R (final result +8R) -1R
              NC-Pres: +1R (final result +2R) -1R
              CA-Sen: +15D (final result +16D) -1R
              GA-Pres: +8R (final result +8R) =0R
              MN-02: +8R (final result +8R) =0R
              FL-Pres: +3D (final result +3D) =0R
              OH-Pres: +3D (final result +3D) =0R
              WA-Gov: +3D (final result +3D) =0R
              NJ-Sen: +20D (final result +20D) =0R
              NC-Pres: +3R (final result +2R) +1R
              OH-Sen: +5D (final result +6D) +1R
              OR-Pres: +11D (final result +12D) +1R
              WA-Pres: +14D (final result +15D) +1R
              WA-Pres: +14D (final result +15D) +1R
              CA-Pres: +22D (final result +23D) +1R
              OH-Pres: +1D (final result +3D) +2R
              OH-Sen: +4D (final result +6D) +2R
              MN-Pres: +6D (final result +8D) +2R
              FL-Sen: +11D (final result +13D) +2R
              CA-Pres: +21D (final result +23D) +2R
              NC-Pres: +5R (final result +2R) +3R
              OR-Pres: +9D (final result +12D) +3R
              NJ-Pres: +14D (final result +17D) +3R
              NJ-Pres: +14D (final result +17D) +3R
              WA-06: +15D (final result +18D) +3R
              NV-Sen: +5R (final result +1R) +4R
              NV-Pres: +2D (final result +6D) +4R
              NV-Pres: +2D (final result +6D) +4R
              WA-Pres: +11D (final result +15R) +4R
              WA-Gov: +1R (final result +3D) +4R
              CO-Pres: +1D (final result +5D) +4R
              WA-Sen: +16D (final result +20D) +4R
              NV-Sen: +6R (final result +1R) +5R
              NV-Pres: +1D (final result +6D) +5R
              OR-Pres: +7D (final result +12D) +5R
              FL-Sen: +8D (final result +13D) +5R
              NJ-Sen: +15D (final result +20D) +5R
              NV-03: +13R (final result +7R) +6R
              CO-Pres: +1R (final result +5D) +6R
              WA-Pres: +9D (final result +15D) +6R
              CA-Sen: +19D (final result +25D) +6R
              MN-Sen: +28D (final result +34D) +6R
              NV-Sen: +8R (final result +1R) +7R
              WA-Sen: +13D (final result +20D) +7R
              NC-Pres: +10R (final result +2R) +8R
              MN-06: +9R (final result +1R) +8R
              MN-08: +1D (final result +9D) +8R
              OR-Pres: +4D (final result +12D) +8R
              WA-Sen: +11D (final result +20D) +9R
              CA-Pres: +14D (final result +23D) +9R
              MN-Sen: +24D (final result +34D) +10R
              NV-04: +3D (final result +8D) +11R
              WA-01: +4R (final result +8D) +12R
              MN-Sen: +21D (final result +34D) +13R
              NY-Sen: +30D (final result +43D) +13R
              WA-Gov: +10R (final result +3D) +13R
              WA-Gov: +12R (final result +3D) +15R
              FL-Sen: +6R (final result +13D) +19R
              MO-01: +39D (final result +61D) +22R
              WA-01: +17R (final result +8D) +25R
              MO-Sen: +11R (final result +16D) +27R

              We see in both cases a Republican bias (looking at the average error) with higher cuadratic errors for the polls that are far of the election day.

              To see similar evolutions to this about San Diego, with drastic changes in the polling results from very pro-Republican numbers to a competitive polling result near the election day, I recommend to analyze the SurveyUSA polls of the last cycle for WA-Gov (taking into account the primary data and system in this state).

      •  Huh!? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Possible Liberal, MichaelNY, lordpet8
        and a Republican victory would be a coup for the Democratic side.
        huh? This makes no sense. Why would a Republican victory be great for Democrats? The idiom "__ would be a coup for __" is always construed as meaning something positive for the latter blank. In this instance, "coup for Democratic side" means something positive for Democrats. So... why would a Republican win be awesome for Democrats?

        Advocacy for a Republican win is against site-rules.

        24 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:39:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Politico (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, KingofSpades

      had a story about this race a couple of days ago. The key points were that spending by pro-Alvarez groups has matched spending by pro-Faulconer groups dollar by dollar.

      Also Alvarez hasn't tacked towards the center since his primary win, if anything he's running on a Bill de Blasio like platform in a city that politically is more like Indianapolis than NYC.

      Alvarez also has had Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Julian Castro not to mention a whole boat load of state Democrats campaign on his behalf while Faulconer has distanced himself from the national GOP. Plus the Romney's apparently couldn't find the time to drive up from La Jolla to campaign for Faulconer and Chris Christie is too busy shutting down bridges and calling in political favors to help.

      I still expect Faulconer to win though mainly because the early vote broke towards him and this is an off year election. Plus Obama is probably not held in high esteem by a lot of swing voters in the city these days.

      The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

      by ehstronghold on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:17:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DCCyclone said this on twitter too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, DCCyclone

        that Faulconer got a head start after round 1 and Alvarez is catching up now.  Also, don't Republicans in California usually dominate early/absentee voting?  In 2010, that was the case.

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:31:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Star-Ledger withdraws its Christie endorsement (17+ / 0-)

    although they spend a lot of the article making excuses for endorsing him in the first place: blog.nj.com/njv_tom_moran/2014/02/chris_christie_endorsement_is.html

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:03:18 AM PST

  •  My collarbone has completely healed, btw. (18+ / 0-)

    Some of you remember that I broke my collarbone in a bike accident in early October.  A few weeks ago, I saw the doctor and got more x-rays.  The bone has successfully knitted together.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 04:01:23 PM PST

  •  NC-Sen: Tillis not showing up at any GOP events (8+ / 0-)

    Tillis has skipped several Republican Party forums, debates, and events, refusing to engage with his primary challengers like Mark Harris and Greg Brannon. Interesting strategy.

    The Republican’s strategy of avoiding his lesser-known opponents is one front-runners often employ, with mixed results. By seemingly bypassing his primary challengers and focusing exclusively on Hagan — as his first TV ad did — Tillis is seeking to cement his image as the inevitable nominee and avoid risking any gaffes in front of Tea Party audiences with the cameras rolling.

    But some in the Tar Heel State say that strategy, coupled with a growing field and increasingly splintered primary, could backfire on Tillis. He is trying to win over enough of the GOP base to lock down the primary without alienating the independents and centrist Republicans he’d need to defeat Hagan.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/...
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    Yeah, except Tillis is hardly a frontrunner.  The latest PPP poll had him at 19% in a Republican primary.  It's not like he's John Cornyn, or something.
  •  Europe shifts further (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, okiedem

    to the right on Immigration:

    Eurosceptic anti-immigrant movements across Europe received a boost on Sunday when Switzerland voted by the slimmest of margins to impose quotas on newcomers to the country, thrusting its relations with the EU into uncertainty.

    In a referendum mobilised by far-right populists demanding caps on immigration in a country where almost one in four of the population are immigrants, 50.4% of voters supported the measure, in a relatively high turnout of 56%.

    The vote split Switzerland east to west, with the francophone west voting against the quotas and the German-speaking east backing the clampdown.

    The European commission said it regretted the outcome of the Swiss vote and would need to review the impact on overall relations between Switzerland and the EU.

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    As the BBC noted, Switzerland while not a part of the EU, it participates in the Schengen agreement which requires open borders with other members of the EU in exchange the country was given access to the EU's open market which has helped the country economically.

    At the same time since Switzerland's unemployment rate is at a 4% it has naturally become a destination for those fleeing the effects of the economic malaise sweeping through the continent.

    The Swiss People's Party was behind this referendum. The party was also behind the successful referendum to ban the construction of minarets in 2009.

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:37:16 PM PST

    •  Switzerland may do better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ehstronghold, askew

      outside the Schengen zone. As long as a lot of crooks bank there, they'll do fine.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:58:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting that Italian Switzerland was the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY, ehstronghold

      difference. The No vote won in Zurich and won heavily in French speaking Switzerland. The referendum actually would have lost (despite winning overall in the German cantons outside of Zurich) if not for the thumping 70-30 45k vote margin in got in Ticino (the Italian speaking canton).

      In summary

      Suisse was a strong no
      Schweiz was a moderate yes and
      Svizzera was an overwhelming yes

      http://www.admin.ch/...

      27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:13:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems like Italians... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sacman701

        Are more prone to xenophobia in their politics than many other European countries. Dunno if that crosses national lines, but from the results of this, I'd guess yes. Not sure why that is. At a guess, maybe because the Italians' colonial empire was extremely short-lived relative to the likes of France, Spain, Portugal, England, the Netherlands, etc., and non-European ethnicities were thus never a common sight in Italy, or integral to Italian culture, until more recently?

        I'm thinking of the relatively recent racist remarks by some Italian politicians about Africans, including Silvio Berlusconi about the Obamas and the Italian senator who compared a black Italian politician to an ape last year...

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:44:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's interesting.. (0+ / 0-)

          but I think you're onto something. But if I may, Flanders (aka northern Belgium) and the Netherlands have some incredibly prolific racists/xenophobes in their political sphere as well. I'm not sure what it is about Dutch speakers, but their racism is off the charts compared to places like Wallonia or even France (home of LePen the Evil Witch).

          Mind you, this isn't meant to generalize all Dutch-speakers - I'm good friends with two people from Flanders, and I know they're quite the opposite. But I think the older crowd is definitely a lot like southern whites in America.

          TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

          by Le Champignon on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:23:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ahhhh! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, sulthernao, Setsuna Mudo

        Vivez les locuteurs du français! I'm glad that they were the least racist of all of Switzerland.

        TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

        by Le Champignon on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:19:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  MI Politics: Peters and Schauer run with Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, askew, aamail6, sulthernao

    An interesting read.  I was talking about this a few days ago, but not every Dem is running away from the president:

    Gary Peters and Mark Schauer choose not to run away from Obama

    EAST LANSING — President Barack Obama’s approval numbers are down following the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act, but two Democrats with important statewide elections weren’t running from the president during his visit to Michigan State University on Friday.

    Before signing a massive $500-billion farm bill, Obama gave shout-outs to both U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, who is in a close race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Carl Levin, and former Congressman Mark Schauer, a Battle Creek Democrat, who is hoping to topple Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

    Peters didn’t fly to Lansing with Obama aboard Air Force One — as Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and some other members of Congress did. But he got up on the stage and had his photo taken with Obama at the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center, where the bill signing took place.

    Peters told reporters Friday the Affordable Care Act is imperfect and needs to be fixed, but he expects perceptions of it to improve as more people are enrolled.

    “I always welcome the president of the United States to Michigan,” Peters said at MSU.

    Schauer attended the event but wasn’t a part of the photo op because he didn’t sign the farm bill. But his press office quickly sent out a release with a transcript and video of Obama praising Schauer for believing that “rescuing America’s most iconic industry” — the auto sector — “was the right thing to do.”

    Schauer said he can’t predict how much Obama will campaign in Michigan, but “I would welcome that.”

    ...

    Republican operatives had suggested in advance of Friday’s presidential visit that both Peters and Schauer would give Obama the cold shoulder.

    That didn’t happen. Political consultants said Friday it remains to be seen how active a role Obama will play in either campaign, but the president could be important in firing up the Democratic base for the Nov. 4 vote, particularly in Detroit.

    I hope he comes back as often as possible.
    •  why not? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, aamail6, sulthernao

      even with midterm turnout it'll still be an electorate that elected him.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:10:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know, right? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, James Allen, sulthernao

        I really do hope he's more involved than he was in 2010.  The least you can do as a president is to go to the places where you are both wanted and needed.  There are actually places (contrary to annoying media conventional wisdom/narrrative) where he is still liked where he could make a difference, so I expect to see more of him.

        In Michigan, I'd send him to Eaton County (home of one of GM's auto plants and numerous suppliers) to help Pam Byrne, back up to Marquette in the UP (boost turnout at Northern Michigan University to oust Benishek), and basically anywhere in Detroit (to boost tunrout to help with the state-wide offices).  Had we been able to turnout just a bit more of Detroit in 2010, we would at least have had a Democratic SoS (and maybe AG).

  •  CA-33: Ted Lieu clinches party endorsement (5+ / 0-)

    In today's California Democratic Party pre-endorsement meeting for CA-33, Ted Lieu dominated the delegate vote. Unless something really out of the blue comes up, Lieu is virtually guaranteed the state party endorsement.

    Ted Lieu: 59 (73%)
    Wendy Greuel: 7 (8%)

    70% was the required threshold.

    23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

    by kurykh on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:02:52 PM PST

  •  Gotta say (5+ / 0-)

    all of you trying to talk some sense into the mainpagers in the Senate elections thread deserve a medal.  Going through their comments, it was like a greatest hits of election fallacies...

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