by Lee, 01/31/2012, 4:14 PM

Florida handles its elections the way Seattle handles its snowstorms. They know that big ones happen every few years, but they never seem prepared for them. I’m still at the office, but will be leaving in the next hour for the Ale House where I plan to live blog with Darryl. I’ll also likely be getting updates from my old college roommate, Dan, a former Republican living in Miami who’s been complaining to me this week that he’s needed a Hazmat suit to open his mailbox.

This is an open thread…

[4:40] One other thing that Dan mentioned was that the Cuban community refers to Ron Paul as “El Loco”. El Loco seems to be getting about 7% of the votes counted so far.

[5:22] Finally at the Ale House only to find out that Darryl fucked up the Live blog plan. Jeez.

[5:26] No sound on the TV. It’s set to CNN, so it’s not necessary.

[5:31] Romney won this thing in a landslide, but Newt won among white evangelicals, once again demonstrating that morally repulsive infidelity can be forgiven by the religious right as long as you act like an entitled asshole whenever asked about it.

[5:34] Romney is speaking. I can’t hear it, but I’m guessing he’s firing people on his staff, just out of habit.

[5:37] In re: to Darryl. But I regret both votes equally! Consistency!

[5:52] Rick Santorum being interviewed in Las Vegas where he’s already preparing for his 4th place finish there.

[5:53] I swear to god, I’ve known Darryl for 8 years, but if he shaved his beard, I’d never recognize him.

[6:01] How Ron Paul could have a huge win in Virginia.

[6:07] Newt waddles to the podium. Every Democrat in the country quietly cheers him on.

[6:12] Yep

[6:18] For once, the most cartoonish thing happening in Orlando is not at Disney World.

[6:20] Newt just dominated the panhandle. If the rest of the south votes that way, there will be a lot of disappointed southerners when Mitt is nominated.

[6:22] Darryl is listening to NPR now on his giant headphones. I’m no longer in contention for the biggest geek in the bar. I concede.

[6:24] Carl just walked in. He’s rocking a good beard too, in about 10 years, it could look as good as Darryl’s.

[6:25] Carl: “Does this mean we’re not going to have a moon colony?”

[6:36] Ron Paul speaking in Nevada. That state could be interesting. Both Romney and Paul beat McCain there in 2008.

[6:46] Without sound, I have no idea what John King is doing. Is he predicting a Ron Paul win in Washington?

[6:49] Dan has surfaced in the comments. Hey man, this is for you.

[6:57] Dan explains why Mitt won and why one of the nation’s most notorious white collar criminals is now their governor.

[7:02] Romney did really well with Latino voters. Unfortunately for him, Florida is the only state where Latinos vote for Republicans.

[7:04] N in Seattle is here. All we need is Goldy for the full HA.

[7:05] Will Kelley-Kamp is now here too. Sweet. Live-blogging is likely to slow to a crawl here…

[7:11] Dammit Darryl!! Fix this!

[7:18] I want to send Will to Iran. He needs $3,000. Make your pledges now!

[7:31] Just chatting with Will about how insane it is that Ralph Reed still goes on TV as a representative of the religious right. If Jesus were alive today, I doubt he’d be able to turn the other cheek on that crook.

[7:47] That’s it for me. Will is doing stand-up on Monday nights at Seattle Comedy Underground. It’s $5 for two hours of comedy. Come check him out and say you’re there to see Will Kelley.

by Darryl, 01/31/2012, 3:56 PM

It’s a clusterfuck down there. But somehow you just can’t help but gawk at the carnage.

Yep…we’re talking Florida, where Mitt Romney is prepared to slam Newt Gingrich to the matt—revenge for South Carolina.

I’m at the Montlake Alehouse, and maybe Lee and Carl will show up and partake of the live-gawking.

Have at it in the comment threads.

5:00: CNN just called it for Mitt Romney, 48% to Gingrich’s 31%, Santorum’s 13%, and Paul’s 7%. 56% of the vote is in, so that pretty much seals the deal. No Iowa repeat here, folks.

5:01: That was fast.

5:04: Is the race over? Is Romney the nominee? My inclination is to say, “yes”. I’ve been saying that for awhile. But then some ground truth emerges….

5:05: New polls released today:

  • Missouri Primary poll: Gingrich 30, Santorum 28, Romney 24, Paul 11. Missouri hates Romney!!!
  • Ohio Primary poll:Gingrich 26, Romney 25, Santorum 22, Paul 11. Ohio likes Gingrich a little better than Romney.
  • National GOP Primary poll:Gingrich 28, Romney 27, Santorum 17, Paul 13. America seems to prefer Gingrich a little over Romeny

It ain’t over yet!

5:11: Don’t forget about the Oregon special election tonight. We’ll be anxiously awaiting those results.

5:22: Okay…so Lee is here and he started a competing thread to liveblog the results. This has now become an HA primary contest. Who will get the most comments? Just to be a good sport, I put his post on top. See what a great guy and good sport I am? Please leave a comment HERE if you agree.

5:32: Lee writes, “Finally at the Ale House only to find out that Darryl fucked up the Live blog plan.” Oh, man, after all Lee and I have been through. I feel just like Dominic.

5:35: As long as we are engaging in negative campaigning here, I though I would point out that in 2004, Lee voted for Dino Rossi. But voted for Gregoire in 2008. What a flip-flopper!

5:59: The next primary event is the Nevada caucus. Most of last year, Romney has led Gingrich by double digits in Nevada. That was through last October. The only more recent poll is this poll taken in mid-December. That poll has Romney leading Gingrich by +4%. Nevada may end up being more interesting than Florida!

6:04: As my opponent (Lee) mentions, the sound is off on CNN here at the Montlake Alehouse. We just had about 30 minutes of Santorum on the screen. What the fuck, CNN? That’s just disgusting!

6:06: Even though I am watching CNN, I am listening to NPR. Reporter in Florida just points out what a big win this is, “It’s the first state where [Romney] doesn’t have a house in the state or where he governed the neighboring state.”

6:08: Lee responds to the previous comment: “He doesn’t have a house in Florida?!?

6:10: Newt takes the stage, but more importantly, I see three comments on this thread and two on Lee’s thread. You LIKE ME! You REALLY LIKE ME!!!

6:11: There are two great things about Newt being in the race. First, he is one nasty motherfucker. Second, he has tons of baggage. When Newt first started boasting about running (in Dec 2010), I wrote:

But mostly it [a Gingrich run] would be fun for the memories: Contract with America, government shutdown, impeachment over a blow job. And there is, of course, that scarcely explored aspect of Newt life: his marriages:

Gingrich has been married three times. In 1962, he married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26. They had two daughters. In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left Battley after having an affair with Marianne Ginther. According to Battley, Gingrich visited her while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery to discuss the details of their divorce. Six months after it was final, Gingrich wed Ginther in 1981.

In the mid-1990s, Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior; they continued their affair during the Lewinsky scandal. In 2000, Gingrich married Bisek shortly after his divorce from second wife Ginther.

The blogosphere really hasn’t had the opportunity to explore this side of Gingrich’s life. It’s fucking gold!

6:31: What I REALLY want to know is what Roger Rabbit thinks of tonight’s events. And yesterday’s. And maybe the entire week before. Roger?

6:34: Carl Ballard is here. He notices that at the Ron Paul speech there are three guys on stage…one with a bow tie, one with a regular tie, and one with no tie whatsoever. And they say there is no diversity amongst Republicans.

6:38: At least Ron Paul isn’t wearing a fucking sweater vest. (Carl is.)

6:46: The TeeVee tells me that “there are eight Santorum delegates.” Word to the wise: Be careful if you use the words “eight Santorum” in a conversation.

7:08: Damn! Lee is kicking my ass. But somehow his post got pushed back…. Clearly WE’VE BEEN HACKED!

7:12: Let’s see…we have me, Lee, N In Seattle, Carl Ballard, and Will showed up recently…Goldy is supposed to show up soon. The Montlake Alehouse has become a freakin’ HA class reunion!

7:18: Carl here. I’m not endorsing in this thread, but I’m opposed to typing on Darryl’s tiny computer. I guess I won’t get my passport stamped “Moon” any time soon.

7:24: Carl still. Rick Santorum is on CNN, and like Ron Paul, he’s also not wearing a tie. What the fuck? You’re on TV guys!

7:46: Darryl here…I’ve wrestled my computer (with its tiny little keyboard) back from Carl Ballard. Right now Seattle Jew is pontificating about Mormon church ownership of The Media. I notice that he speaks with as many typos as he writes with.

7:51: Goldy finally arrives. I guess the folks at The Stranger are done wringing whatever use they can get out him tonight to increase their page views.

8:15: Oregon Special Election: OR-1:

  • Rob Cornilles (R) 53,215 37.52%
  • Suzanne Bonamici (D) 79,386 55.97%
by Darryl, 01/31/2012, 3:00 PM

DLBottlePlease join us Tuesday for another evening of Politics under the influence at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

This Tuesday we’ll be rubbernecking the G.O.P. Florida presidential primary clusterfuck returns—I’ll be helping to live blog the mayhem.

The other election of interest is the special election in OR-1, the seat formerly held by Rep. David Wu (D). Former state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D) is likely to defeat her Republican opponent Rob Cornilles.

DL meets every Tuesday at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Our normal starting time is 8:00 pm, but this week some of us will be there early for the Florida presidential primary polls results that should begin at 5:00 pm.

Can’t make it to Seattle? There’s also a meeting Tuesday night of the Tri-Cities chapter of Drinking Liberally. The Tacoma chapter meets this Thursday. And next Monday, there are meetings of the Olympia chapter, the Yakima chapter, and the South Bellevue chapter.

With 225 chapters of Living Liberally, including twelve in Washington state and six more in Oregon, chances are excellent there’s one near you.

by Carl, 01/31/2012, 8:01 AM

- The Florida Primary is today, and in an effort to continuously provide a counterweight to the insightful political prognostication on this website, here’s my prediction:

Mittenz: 39
Ging-rich: 35
Ricky S 14

These are pretty much just pulled outa my ass.

- The most shocking thing to me is the Starbucks.

- accommodating and promoting bicycling isn’t an urban or rural thing, an eastside or westside thing, a red state or blue state thing

- HA alum Goldy truth needles the Truth Needle

- Obama fist bumps.

- General Sherman

by Darryl, 01/30/2012, 10:55 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, I love collecting and analyzing polls—they tell me the score in the game of politics. Like I did in 2008, this year I’ll collect polls and do analyses for the presidential races, the Senate races, and the gubernatorial races.

What I won’t do (with a few exceptions) is analyze races from the House of Representatives.

Why ignore House polls? Because there are too damn many House races and too few polls released for them. That’s why.

Seriously, this is a hobby, and I can hardly keep track of the relatively small number of Senate and gubernatorial races without having to keep track of an additional 435 House races. Instead, I follow a few races of interest, mostly from Washington state. And I follow the “generic congressional polls.”

Generic congressional polls ask something like, “If the election for the U.S. House was today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate.”

Empirically, subtle swings in the results of these polls seem to be amplified into larger electoral swings. They somehow capture the mood of the electorate.

For the past year there have been over 80 generic congressional polls taken on a national sample. Here is what they look like in aggregate over the past year:

GenericCongress30Dec11-30Jan12Congress

The trend is encouraging for Democrats, who have gone from a deep deficit in late 2010 to what looks like a tie in early 2012.

Notice anything funny about the graph?

Yeah…it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it. The “green” pollster seems to have a (roughly) 5% bias in favor of Republicans.

Wanna guess who that pollster is? If you guessed Rasmussen, you’re right. Here are the Rasmussen polls shown alone:

GenericCongress30Dec11-30Jan12CongressOnlyRasmussen

If you are a Republican, perhaps this is the only pollster you watch. If so, then things looked okay until today, when Rasmussen reported for the first time in a year a net advantage for the generic Democratic candidate. But don’t panic, my Republican friend…I mean, it could just be a fluke.

Or not. Here are all the other pollsters except Rasmussen:GenericCongress30Dec11-30Jan12Congress-Rasmussen

If we are to take the collective findings of eight other pollsters over Rasmussen, the generic Democratic House candidate has led the generic Republican House candidate since sometime in August 2011.

In fact, you might say that, without the Rasmussen results, Republicans might have been in a state of panic for the past six months—instead of just the past 12 hours.

by Carl, 01/30/2012, 7:14 PM

I’m not sure if this editorial in the Yakima Herald is pro or anti gay marriage. But the editorial is pro-having Reagan Dunn talk about the issue. Um, fine, I guess. That’s a pretty bold stance that candidates be allowed to express their opinion. But what the hell, this intro?

Reagan Dunn is a Republican trueblood. His first name comes directly from the president whose legacy still dominates the GOP almost a quarter-century after he left office. His mother, the late Jennifer Dunn, was a state party chair in the 1980s and in the 1990s represented the eastern Seattle suburbs as 8th District congresswoman.

Dunn, a King County councilman, would seem the natural party nominee in his bid to succeed fellow Republican Rob McKenna as state attorney general.

Why do things his mother did (including naming him!) count as political bona fides? The only thing that they mention about his time in office is his vote, eventually, for a pro-gay marriage resolution. A non binding resolution. Not the actual policies he’s advanced on the King County Council that might make him a worthwhile potential nominee. Not how he might shape the AG’s office if he got elected. His mother. Wow.

by Carl, 01/30/2012, 8:32 AM
by Lee, 01/29/2012, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by Liberal Scientist. It was the Costa Concordia docked in Palermo, Italy.

This week’s contest is a random location somewhere on earth. Good luck!

by Goldy, 01/29/2012, 7:00 AM

1 Chronicles 1:25
Eber, Peleg, Reu,

Discuss.

by Darryl, 01/28/2012, 11:11 PM

[Update: An analysis using some newer polls can be found here.]

Since the previous analysis in this race, five new state head-to-head polls representing four states have been released.

start end sample % % %
st poll date date size MOE O R diff
FL Mason-Dixon 24-Jan 26-Jan 800 3.5 44 48 R+4
FL Quinnipiac 19-Jan 23-Jan 1518 2.5 45 45 tie
MI EPIC/MRA 21-Jan 25-Jan 600 4.0 48 40 O+8
MN PPP 21-Jan 22-Jan 1236 2.8 51 41 O+10
PA Keystone Poll 17-Jan 22-Jan 614 4.0 41 30 O+11

Two new polls come from Florida, where the media markets are currently flooded with Republican primary ads. The newest poll from Mason-Dixon gives Romney a small +4% lead over Obama. The slightly older Quinnipiac poll has the race all tied up at 45% a piece.

In Pennsylvania, Obama leads Romney by an impressive +11%. That’s even better than Michigan, where Obama leads Romney by +8% in the new poll. The Pennsylvania poll is more favorable to Obama than the newest Minnesota poll that has Obama up by +10%

In the previous analysis, Obama would have won with a 71.9% probability, and his average electoral vote total was 284 to Romney’s 254.

Now, a Monte Carlo analysis using 100,000 simulated elections gives Obama an expected electoral vote total of 306 to Romney’s 232 for an election held now. Obama is at a 95.1% probability of winning that hypothetical election to Romney’s 4.9%. By traditional statistical inference, we would say Obama’s lead is “significant”—that is, it’s unlikely to be due to sampling error.

Obama Romney
95.1% probability of winning 4.9% probability of winning
Mean of 306 electoral votes Mean of 232 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 01/28/2012, 8:48 PM

Here at HA, we’ve been pretty (and deservedly) tough on Rick Santorum. But there’s no animus, no political disagreement, no division that can bring any thing but sadness from this story (h/t).

The three-year-old daughter of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the candidate has cancelled his Sunday morning campaign events to be at her side.

Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said Saturday night that the former Pennsylvania senator and his wife, Karen, were with Bella at CHOP. Gidley said Santorum planned to return to campaigning as soon as possible in Florida, where the Republican primary is Tuesday.

Bella Santorum has Trisomy 18, a genetic condition in which a child has a third copy of material from chromosome 18, instead of the usual two, causing a wide array of physical and mental problems.

Bella was not expected to survive until her first birthday – half of infants with Trisomy 18 do not survive their first week, according the National Institutes of Health. Some children have lived to their teenage years, but with significant medical and developmental issues.

I can’t imagine how difficult this is for his family. Here’s hoping Bella gets well enough soon enough that we can go back to making fun of her father’s horrible political positions shortly.

by Darryl, 01/27/2012, 11:58 PM

Young Turks: Barney Frank to marry his partner.

Darcy Burner: Never Give Up:

Young Turks: Conservative’s more likely low IQ and racist.

White House: West Wing Week.

Countdown with Dan Savage: Same-sex marriage equality.

The GOP Gladiatorial Games:
Read the rest of this entry »

by Darryl, 01/27/2012, 9:10 PM

UPDATE: An analysis using newer polls can be found here.

As promised, here is my first analysis of a 2012 match-up, using state head-to-head polls, between Pres. Barack Obama (D) and former congressman Newt Gingrich (R).

The Monte Carlo analysis gives Obama an average of 416 electoral votes to Gingrich’s 122. Obama won all 100,000 of the simulated elections, suggesting he would certainly win an election held now.

Now you can see why the Republican Establishment cannot let Newt get the nomination. He loses badly against Obama.

Obama Gingrich
100.0% probability of winning 0.0% probability of winning
Mean of 416 electoral votes Mean of 122 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations:
Read the rest of this entry »

by N in Seattle, 01/27/2012, 4:34 PM

Last night, the Bertha Knight Landes Room in Seattle’s City Hall was the venue for the first big forum of candidates for Washington’s open First Congressional District. It may seem odd that the event was held in a location that is not within WA-01′s new boundaries (in fact, none of Seattle is in the reconfigured CD). The reason is that the forum was sponsored by the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle, which does have some influence beyond the city and the county.

The great majority of the numerous candidates for the House seat attended the confab. In alphabetical order, the participants were:

  • Darcy Burner (D, Ames Lake), the 2006 and 2008 candidate in WA-08, former head of ProgressiveCongress.org, and a director of the Netroots Foundation
  • Suzan DelBene (D, Medina), the 2010 candidate in WA-08, former Microsoft exec, recent head of the state’s Department of Revenue
  • Roger Goodman (D, Kirkland), three-term State Representative in LD-45, environmental lawyer, former Congressional staffer
  • Darshan Rauniyar (D, Bothell), engineer, entrepreneur, immigrant from Nepal
  • Laura Ruderman (D, Kirkland), nonprofit executive, former three-term State Rep from LD-45, 2004 candidate for Secretary of State
  • James Watkins (R, Redmond), 2010 candidate in WA-01, businessman, former FDIC staffer

Yes, that’s right … a Republican spoke before the MDC in bluer-than-blue Seattle!

The other three candidates were absent. One Democrat (Steve Hobbs, Lake Stevens, State Senator from LD-44) cancelled at the last minute. Neither Republican John Koster (Arlington, candidate in WA-02 in 2000 and 2010, former State Rep from LD-39, Snohomish County Councilmember) nor Republican-turned-independent Larry Ishmael (Issaquah, 2006 and 2008 candidate in WA-01, environmental economist) ever intended to attend the forum. I would characterize those three individuals as, respectively, Conservadem, Teahadist, and Inconsequential.

Former Governor and Congressman Mike Lowry was the moderator. Each candidate got to respond to six questions, as well as make closing remarks. From the audience, I took notes on the event, which are displayed below (I’m being kind to those who don’t care about this stuff, hiding the rest behind that “more” link). For the record, I took no photos during the event (my cellphone doesn’t sport a camera). Also, I didn’t start detailed notes until nearly the end of answers to Question 1.
Read the rest of this entry »

by Darryl, 01/27/2012, 12:37 PM

One of the things we “learned” this week is that gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna is against same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday, McKenna told KCPQ-TV (3:47):

I will vote to maintain the current law and the current definition of marriage.

I guess he has given up on the line, “I hold the same views as President Obama.”

Goldy wrote about this under the headline, “McKenna Finally Admits He Opposes Gay Marriage”. But is McKenna only now admitting he opposes same-sex marriage?

I mentioned last June that McKenna has previously taken a stand on the subject:

In 2004, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing issued a controversial ruling that same-sex couples could marry. The Seattle Times, sprung to action to find out where candidates in state-wide races stood:

…King County Councilman Rob McKenna, criticized the ruling’s wording as too broad and said its argument that there is no compelling state interest to deny marriage to two people in a committed relationship could leave marriage open to blood relatives or those practicing polygamy.

“It threatens to destroy all standards we apply to the right of marriage,” he said.

One might argue that McKenna was only criticizing the wording of a ruling, rather than the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Closer scrutiny reveals that as bullshit. I encourage you to read the ruling for yourself—it’s well-written, and includes some amusing word play. Judge Downing:

…concludes that the exclusion of same-sex partners from civil marriage and the privileges attendant thereto is not rationally related to any legitimate or compelling state interest and is certainly not narrowly tailored toward such an interest.

The ruling doesn’t “open up” incestuous or polygamous marriages. To do so, it would have addressed an additional set of state laws that are narrowly targeted to toward protecting compelling state interests in prohibition of incestuous or polygamous marriages. It didn’t touch on those at all.

No…what McKenna was doing was using a bullshit “legal-like” argument to express his opposition to same-sex marriage, while not quite saying so.

by Carl, 01/27/2012, 8:00 AM

So, I know this is old news, but Rick Santorum is trying to ruin sweater vests. Oh sure, he’d say he’s just wearing them, sometimes. I’m sure he thinks he’s conveying a certain downhomieness, and campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire in winter, it makes sense to wear them. And who knows, he may genuinely like wearing them. But since they’re still fairly uncommon, if he goes far in the presidential nominating process, sweater vests may be associated with him. And that’s pretty terrible for those of us who wear them but don’t share his dipshit politics.

I am wearing one right now. I wear either a sweater vest or a sweater to work for most of the winter here in Seattle. Whoever the GOP nominates will be horrible on policy, but hopefully whoever they nominate doesn’t do to the sweater vest what Tucker Carlson did to bow ties.

by Darryl, 01/26/2012, 5:12 PM

That’s right. It is another Republican debate.

They say, debate is what catches de-fish, and what a stinkin’ mess we have here.

So go grab some tartar sauce if you prefer, or a bag of Cheetos and play along.

The live stream can be found on CNN or here.

5:15: The topic has been on illegal immigration. Romney parses classes of illegals and who he is concerned about and who not.

5:16: Newt says he doesn’t want to grab a grandmother in a church. He goes for young women now. (Older women while in high school).

5:17: Mitt yells at Romney about calling him “anti-immigrant”. Apparent “anti-immigrant” is a “highly charge epithet”. I can think of worse.

5:21: The debate has turned in to a bickering match between Mitt and Newt.

5:24: Paul is pro-Cuba. Santorum is TOTALLY OUTRAGED by Obama’s policy in Central and South America. Nothing he says connects with anyone.

5:25: Santorum again sounds the alarm bells about Iran and al Qaeda in Cuba.

5:29: Mitt was saying something about unemployment and housing, but I was fading out….

5:31: It back to Mitt and Newt are airing dirty laundry. It is very personal and awkward!

5:33: Newt seems to be losing this Fannie-Freddie argument, but it is hard to tell. Ron Paul: the topic doesn’t interest me at all.

5:36: Santorum wants to shrink Fannie and Freddie until it can be drowned in a bathtub.

5:37: Santorum: “If these guys (Mitt, Newt) don’t quit bickering, I’m going to sent them to their rooms without dinner.”

Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 01/26/2012, 6:59 AM
by Darryl, 01/26/2012, 12:34 AM

In the previous installation, President Barack Obama was leading Mitt Romney by 290 to 248 electoral votes on average, with a 77.5% probability of winning. Today there were four new polls released, and Obama slips a little bit:

start end sample % % %
st poll date date size MOE O R diff
FL Suffolk 22-Jan 24-Jan 600 4.0 42.2 46.8 R+4.7
NY Marist 18-Jan 19-Jan 554 4.5 58 35 O+23
NC Civitas 09-Jan 11-Jan 300 4.0 39 48 R+9
WI Marquette Law School 19-Jan 22-Jan 701 3.8 47.9 39.9 O+8.0

Obama and Romney alternate wins in the four Florida polls taken since early December. In this one, Romney leads Obama by +4.7%.

In North Carolina, Romney currently leads Obama by +9% (48% to 39%), but Obama lead by +1 in the previous poll and they were tied in the poll before that. Romney is at a slight advantage, although I am a little suspicious of the Civitas polls—they come from a conservative think-tank. But their polling track record isn’t horrible.

In Wisconsin, Obama is up by +8.0% over Romney, 47.9% to 39.9%. In fact, Obama has led in all eight polls taken in Wisconsin since December 2010 (i.e. over a year). Finally, no surprise, New York has Obama up by a solid +23% over Romney.

After 100,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 71,946 times and Romney wins 28,054 times (including the 1,246 ties). Obama receives (on average) 284 to Romney’s 254 electoral votes. Obama has a 71.9% probability of winning and Romney has a 28.1% probability of winning.

Obama Romney
71.9% probability of winning 28.1% probability of winning
Mean of 284 electoral votes Mean of 254 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 01/25/2012, 7:50 PM

The Seattle Times has an editorial decrying the political ploys involved in Rob McKenna adding his name to the anti-health care reform lawsuit. Not McKenna signing up for a lawsuit that would overturn the entire law and claiming he’s only opposed to one part. Not McKenna going against the specific wishes of Governor Gregoire. No, the people who are writing a law that says the AG’s office has to have a client are the people engaging in a political ploy.

FOUR liberal Democrats in the state Senate have introduced a bill to strip the state attorney general’s power to challenge a law. Their proposal is blatantly political and would damage the balance of power in Olympia.

The senators are Adam Kline and Jeanne Kohl-Welles, both of Seattle, Karen Keiser of Kent and Karen Fraser of Olympia. Senate Bill 6286 would allow the attorney general to challenge the constitutionality of a law only at the request of “the state officer with authority over the subject matter” — most likely the governor.

You know, the other day when Mike McGinn called The Seattle Times conservative, some of their reporters had their feefees hurt.* Might I suggest if you don’t want people pointing out how conservative your paper is, your paper might not want to take so many conservative positions (although in fairness, they’re much more pro-status quo and corporate power than they are pro one party over the other, that just generally coincides with conservatives). If you don’t want to be considered conservative, you might not want to have your editorial board use liberal as an insult. You might not want to have it go to the mattresses for a conservative attorney general.

Anyway, to the substance: Yes, this is a response to an out of control AG acting against the wishes of the governor. They’re responding to a blatantly political act by McKenna. Why doesn’t The Seattle Times condemn that?

Clearly this bill targets Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, who joined a lawsuit against the Obama health-insurance law despite the opposition of Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat. McKenna is running for her job, and these four senators don’t want him to have it.

Maybe he should have thought of that before he decided to try to use his office to unilaterally overturn a law that will benefit large numbers of Washingtonians for political reasons. In any event, some day The Seattle Times Ed. Board can explore how attempting to have 5 conservative justices overturn one of Obama’s signature issues has nothing to do with politics. But here’s the part that really got me:

They are free to campaign against him and to make issue of him putting the state’s name to a lawsuit led by the attorney general of Florida. But it is wrong to take away McKenna’s power and the power of future attorneys general, Republican or Democrat.

Wrong? Wrong! It’s wrong for legislators? To try to legislate?!??!

The Seattle Times doesn’t seem to understand the basics of our separation of powers. If members of the legislature feel the law could be improved, they are quite free to change the law (even for political reasons, they are politicians). If they feel a member of the executive branch is getting too powerful or is abusing the power given it by past legislatures, they have a duty to try to reign them in. Disagree with them if you like, but don’t pretend that legislators legislating is somehow underhanded.

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