National

UPDATED: No political fall out from signgate anticipated

Filed in National by on October 30, 2014 16 Comments
UPDATED: No political fall out from signgate anticipated

I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks that this significantly changes the dynamics of the race. Here is a round-up of statements that pretty much put this thing to bed.

The Bethany Hall-Long apology:

“My husband is the man depicted in the video. The video shows him removing a handful of signs this morning. He turned them over to the Democratic Party and asked that they be returned to the Republican Party about six hours after they were taken up,” she said. “Sadly, this race has become tough and personal. My husband is my high school sweetheart and he loves me very much. I was not aware that he had allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him. Of course I’m disappointed and wish that it had not happened.”

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Thursday Open Thread [10.30.14]

Filed in National by on October 30, 2014 2 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [10.30.14]

Man, you get Republicans into a room with their donors and supporters and they really open up about their plans. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is inexplicably considering a presidential bid for reasons passing any human understanding, said earlier this month in such a private gathering that “white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”

I’m sure, Senator. I’m sure.

Much like my predictions yesterday for all the state races, I will also predict all of the U.S. Senate races as well. Look for that on Monday. Here are some of the latest polls, inside…

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Someone took some bullshit DEGOP signs that said “Vote Republican”

Filed in National by on October 29, 2014 48 Comments
Someone took some bullshit DEGOP signs that said “Vote Republican”

Here is the press release. Two things. 1) The sign taker in the video says something about the fact that the signs don’t include a candidate’s name. I don’t know enough about sign law to know if that is exculpatory. 2) I feel like the use of “Democrat Party” was an homage to my recent uptake of that shitty usage.

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Wednesday Open Thread [10.29.14]

Filed in National by on October 29, 2014 1 Comment
Wednesday Open Thread [10.29.14]

Some moderateish GOP Senator (who is actually a flaming conservative mouth breather but in today’s environment, he appears sane standing next to the likes of tea party), like Rob Portman, said recently that, for the GOP to win in 2016, it will have to govern between 2014 and 2016. There is just a little problem with that. Governing in a divided government means compromise with the President of the United States, unless of course your party controls enough seats to have veto-proof majorities. Even the rosiest scenario does not predict that for the GOP. And the GOP cannot impeach President Obama and Vice President Biden, for that will guarantee Democratic victory in 2016 everywhere, in every office, up and down the ballot. And yet, they are campaigning about stopping Obama if they should win the majority. You cannot stop Obama and then compromise with him.

First Read says Republicans have two big challenges to governing if they win control of both the House and Senate next week.

“One, after portraying Obama as either incompetent, ruthless, or both, how do Republicans sell any kind of deal with Obama back to their base? That’s the problem when your message, especially on the campaign trail, is entirely against the president. It makes cutting deals with him AFTER the election more difficult. Two, to pass legislation in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and Republicans will need to get 60 votes — and that means placating the GOP conservatives (including those running for president next year), the GOP moderates (Susan Collins and the folks up for re-election in 2016 like Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte, etc.), as well as centrist Democrats (Joe Manchin, Angus King, etc.). That won’t be an easy task.”

And come inside for the Governor polls I promised yesterday…

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Tuesday Open Thread [10.28.14]

Filed in National by on October 28, 2014 8 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [10.28.14]

First Read:

“How can the national polls look so bad for Democrats (see the NBC/WSJ/Annenberg and Washington Post/ABC polls), but the competitive Senate contests all be within the margin of error? Here’s an answer for you: There are two different midterm environments taking place in the country a week before Election Day. The first is the nationwide one, where there does seem to be a wave building for Republicans and where the GOP has a huge enthusiasm advantage. The second election, however, is taking place in the top Senate and gubernatorial battlegrounds, where Democrats have spent a tremendous amount of money building field organizations and getting (as best they can) their side fired up.”

“This tale of two different midterm elections — not too dissimilar from what we saw in 2012 where the national and battleground polls didn’t match up — also helps explain why House Democrats are in trouble in states not holding competitive races like in California, Minnesota and New York (after all, embattled GOP Rep. Michael Grimm could very well win).”

We have a lot of Senate polls here today, and tons of Governor polls tomorrow…

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Futures Market Handicapping the Statewide Races – October 28th

Filed in National by on October 28, 2014 5 Comments

Lots of buying and selling action in the trading markets since my last update. Who has crashed and who still has a little upside potential? Let’s take a look.

Senate: Chris Coons 0.98 (0.98) – Kevin Wade 0.01 (0.02)

House: John Carney 0.95 (0.99) – Rose Izzo 0.01 (0.01) Bernie August 0.04 (n/a)

Attorney General: Matt Denn 0.95 (0.93) – Ted Kittila 0.05 (0.07)

Treasurer: Chip Flowers 0.00 (0.39) – Sean Barney 0.48 (0.37) – Ken Simpler 0.48(0.17) – Sher Valenzuela 0.00

Auditor: Brenda Mayrack 0.48(0.43) – Tom Wagner 0.48 (0.47)

You could have made some money in the Treasurers race. Shorting Flowers at 0.40 and taking a long position in Simpler at 0.15 was the winning move.

As it stands now, other than simply guessing the Treasurer and Auditors races and winning the coin flip, I don’t see any profitable moves left. Simpler, for example, appears to be at his max trading value. Smart traders will probably be taking their Simpler profits off the table. But hey, this is politics so do “smart traders” exist? For instance, somebody placed some sentimental money on Bernie August, bidding him up to 0.04.

(Okay, it was me. There is still a week to go. Carney could still Bill Roth it.)

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Your Vote Should Be For The Party.

Filed in National by on October 27, 2014 28 Comments
Your Vote Should Be For The Party.

I argue that when you vote, your vote should be for the Party. I do not buy the concept “I vote for the candidate, not the Party”. Sorry, but it is not unsophisticated or unthinking to vote a “straight ticket” in the case of partisan elections.

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Monday Open Thread [10.27.14]

Filed in National by on October 27, 2014 10 Comments
Monday Open Thread [10.27.14]

E.J. Dionne Jr. on some underappreciated facts about the 2014 Midterms:

Underappreciated fact No. 1: The number of Democratic seats that are not in play this year.

In planning its effort to take control of the Senate, Republicans shrewdly launched challenges to Democrats in states that would not automatically be on a GOP target list. “Broadening the map” is wise when you’re in a strong position. Two of the states on that extended list, Colorado and Iowa, have paid off for Republicans. [...] Just as striking is how many Democrats seem to have nailed down races the Republicans had once hoped to make competitive. This has narrowed the GOP’s path to a majority. Among them: Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan, who is likely to retain Sen. Carl Levin’s seat. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is also polling well, though he was always favored against former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is in a tougher race with former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, but she has led most of the way.

[U]nderappreciated fact No. 2: How important economic issues have been in shoring up the party’s incumbents and in giving life to Democratic challengers in Georgia, Kentucky and (a much longer shot) South Dakota. [E]ndangered Democrats are campaigning on a different set of national concerns related to economic worries. These include equal pay for women, relief for student loan recipients and a minimum-wage increase. Several Democrats, including Shaheen and Michelle Nunn in Georgia, have made an issue of opposing the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas.

[U]nderappreciated fact No. 3: Given Obama’s low approval ratings, Republicans could have been running away with this thing. They’re not, because they look more extreme and out of touch than they did four years ago.

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Tom Wagner charging $1,200 to see his schedule

Filed in National by on October 27, 2014 20 Comments
Tom Wagner charging $1,200 to see his schedule

What do you do if you are a lazy do-nothing auditor who has been sucking on the government teet for 25 years, and someone asks to see your schedule? You try to wrap yourself in an expensive FOIA estimate and hope the request goes away. That was Wagner’s plan when Brenda Mayrack asked to see his schedule to check up on why his office has been chronically understaffed.

From Mayracks FB page:

* Is the State Auditor’s Office attending local job fairs? After not seeing the office on the list of attendees at a University of Delaware job fair for accounting students, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the State Auditor’s schedule: “For the year 2014, the public schedule of R. Thomas Wagner, Jr., including all meetings and public events.” The response from his office: “In order to construct information in response to request below and based what we have available in the Office, I estimate it will run approximately $1,191.” And that’s the cost for sending it by email so we didn’t incur any copying or mailing fees.

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Sunday Open Thread [10.26.14]

Filed in National by on October 26, 2014 1 Comment
Sunday Open Thread [10.26.14]

Pew Research:

“Voter frustration with members of Congress is currently even higher than it was 2010 or 2006. Fully 68% of registered voters say they do not want to see most members of Congress reelected – 14 points higher than in 2010 and 19 points higher than in 2006. And roughly a third (35%) say they do not want their own representative reelected, compared with 32% four years ago and 26% eight years ago.”

“Yet unlike in those elections, when a single party controlled both the House and Senate, anti-incumbent sentiment now crosses party lines. Republican and Democratic voters are about equally likely to oppose the reelection of most representatives and their own member of Congress.”

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Saturday Open Thread [10.25.14]

Filed in National by on October 25, 2014 5 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [10.25.14]

Politico reported yesterday evening that the lawsuit — which was supposed to challenge Obama’s executive orders regarding Obamacare (and appease the impeachment caucus in the lead-up to the midterm elections) — hasn’t actually been filed yet. Now isn’t that emblematic of everything the Republican Party stands. Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing of substance.

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in Delaware, National by on October 25, 2014 3 Comments

President Obama:

Governor Markell:

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Doug Campbell – The 9th District’s Consitution Candidate

Filed in National by on October 24, 2014 9 Comments
Doug Campbell – The 9th District’s Consitution Candidate

You’ve seen his hand-painted signs along 13. He appearently wants the 9th to have its own currency or something. I don’t know, the font gets pretty small toward the bottom.

Anyway, for what it is worth, here is Campbell talking….

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Some Asshole Fascist Bigot of a Republican Congressman…

Filed in National by on October 24, 2014 4 Comments
Some Asshole Fascist Bigot of a Republican Congressman…

doesn’t expect to meet gays in Heaven.

In an interview with the Jefferson Herald, King discussed a preliminary document produced during Catholic bishops’ recent synod that stated gays had “gifts” to offer the Christian community. [...] King was asked specifically whether he thought divorce or cohabitation were sins. The synod’s preliminary document had called for the church to respect divorced Catholics and stated that in regard to homosexual unions, “it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”

“I think that I’ll not comment on that part,” King told the newspaper. “I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to heaven. So let’s stick with that principle.”

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Friday Open Thread [10.24.14]

Filed in National by on October 24, 2014 5 Comments
Friday Open Thread [10.24.14]

With less than two weeks to go, the polling is coming fast and furious. But some pollsters are jumping ahead to get a preview of the 2016 Presidential. So before we dive into the pile of 2014 polls… from the The Fix:

“[A] new Washington Post-ABC News polling on the 2016 Republican presidential race makes one thing very clear: Every GOPer who has even a hint of ambition for national office is likely to run in two years time. Why? Because the field is remarkably frontrunner-less, meaning that every Ted, John and Rob can make a plausible case to activists and donors that they are going to eventually be the guy.”

And for that reason, Mitt Romney, the retread from 2008 and 2012, is the frontrunner. The Devil you know…

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Thursday Open Thread [10.23.14]

Filed in National by on October 23, 2014 26 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [10.23.14]

The difference between a responsible and ethical media, interested in journalistic integrity and facts, and a hyperbolic entertainment first enterprise, interesting only in ratings and thus profit, and facts and ethics must never interfere with that pursuit. CNN and Fox do not want to inform you. They want you only as a daily consumer of their content. They don’t care to inform you. In fact, they will misinform you if that is what makes you a daily consumer of their content. They will do anything and everything to scare you. It is why there are people in this country, many many many people, that are convinced ISIS is now invading the US. That Ebola is currently killing millions of Americans.

Driving home yesterday, I have CNN on my Sirius XM, and heard Wolf Blitzer breathlessly shout that OTTAWA IS ONLY AN HOUR’S DRIVE TO THE AMERICAN BORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck Wolf Blitzer.

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KWS Goes to Bat For Mega Insurance Company

Filed in Delaware, National by on October 23, 2014 35 Comments
KWS Goes to Bat For Mega Insurance Company

Our purported insurance regulator, Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart, is instead trying to run interference for Met Life.  Check out this article from the state government website: fer cryin’ out loud:

DOVER, DE  – In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and other federal regulators, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has urged them to reconsider their vote to propose that MetLife be labeled as a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) and therefore subject to tougher federal regulation. “Based on my experience as an insurance regulator (insert joke here), and a regulator of one of MetLife’s larger insurance subsidiaries, I do not believe that MetLife’s businesses and corporate structure create the kind of systemic risk that Dodd-Frank’s SIFI designation process was designed to address,” she said. Stewart argues explicitly against the designation of MetLife and said state regulators are capable and competent to continue the oversight of the company (insert joke here).

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Another Opinion on Barney-Simpler

Filed in National by on October 22, 2014 18 Comments
Another Opinion on Barney-Simpler

I received another possible theory on how the Treasurer’s race is developing from a source who wants to remain anonymous. I think it is interesting and plausible enough to post and get everyone else’s opinion on it.

Simpler could totally win this, in part because of Dem overconfidence and lack of financial engagement.

He’s spent his independent money very smartly. He let the rich R’s attack Sher from the right so he could immediately claim the moderate ground.

Dems had been so focused on the the primary on their side, that they never forced Ken to stake out positions on divisive issues during the primary. So he can say whatever he wants now.

The belief that Dems can’t lose statewide mean nobody’s pinning him down now, either. And he’s got his own money and the relationship with WBOC to get up on TV, which really moves #s.

The counterbalancing financial forces on the D side like AFSCME and Labor don’t seem to take the Simpler threat seriously.

People will regret it.

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Wednesday Open Thread [10.22.14]

Filed in National by on October 22, 2014 0 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [10.22.14]

A Federal District Judge upheld Puerto Rico’s marriage equality ban, saying that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1971 decision in Baker v. Nelson, which banned same sex marriage, or more accurately says such bans do not violate the Constitution, has not been explicitly overturned. That argument has never worked before in the Circuit Courts or before the Supreme Court itself in the DOMA or Prop 8 Cases, but now, if the corresponding Circuit Court upholds this decision (which is unlikely but possible), then we will finally have a ruling from the Supreme Court.

Ian Millhiser expects the Puerto Rico decision will be reversed:

[W]hile Pérez-Giménez clearly holds very passionate views on the question of whether same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as everyone else, his views are unlikely to persuade many of his fellow judges. It’s even possible that his opinion could ultimately wind up bolstering the case for marriage equality. That’s because his decision will appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, a court dominated by Democratic appointees (although, it is worth noting that Pérez-Giménez was appointed to the bench by President Jimmy Carter). All four of the states that comprise the First Circuit — Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island — are already marriage equality states, so a decision out of a federal court in Puerto Rico is the only path to bring a marriage equality case before this circuit.

Given the makeup of the First Circuit, the overwhelming consensus among federal judges in favor of marriage equality, and the belligerent tone of Pérez-Giménez’s opinion, it is unlikely that his decision will be upheld on appeal.

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I am confused by Jason’s Poll….

Filed in National by on October 22, 2014 32 Comments
I am confused by Jason’s Poll….

I am voting for Barney, because I will never vote for any living or dead Republican to handle the state’s finances. Indeed, if you want to prove to me you are fiscally responsible, you cannot be a Republican. But I digress.

I guess his question is measuring my enthusiasm in voting for Barney, where 10 is voting for Obama in 2008 and 1 is voting for Carper/Carney at any time. I am at a 5.

Anyway, here is something humorous that Trey Paradee posted on Facebook….

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The GOP’s coherent brand saves another suck-ass Republican candidate

Filed in National by on October 22, 2014 2 Comments
The GOP’s coherent brand saves another suck-ass Republican candidate

When we lose in Kansas, beltway campaign gurus and Democrat Party (sic) insiders will say, “Kansas was always going to elect a Republican.” They will not look at the fact that it was Republicans relentlessly promoting their core values and sticking to their coherent brand message that brought their candidate back from the dead.

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Burn…

Filed in National by on October 21, 2014 8 Comments
Burn…

NEWARK, DE – The Executive Director of the Delaware Republican Party, John Fluharty, just p—ed a b—r over this tid-bit.

Mayrack’s LinkedIn profile summary states that the candidate has “extensive experience in all aspects of unclaimed property advising.” However auditing itself—the primary job of the State Auditor—is not mentioned a single time.

Tom Wager has the word auditor on his linked in page, but it is enclosed in quotation marks.

I’m Delaware’s “auditor”

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Tuesday Open Thread [10.21.14]

Filed in National by on October 21, 2014 1 Comment
Tuesday Open Thread [10.21.14]

Here is our massive, and I do mean massive, polling dump from the last 10 days.

ALASKA—GOVERNOR
Rasmussen: Bill Walker (I) 50, Gov. Sean Parnell (R) 41
Hickman Analytics–R: Gov. Sean Parnell (R) 46, Bill Walker (I) 38
CBS/YouGov: Bill Walker (I) 45, Gov. Sean Parnell (R) 40

ALASKA—SENATOR
Hickman Analytics–R: Dan Sullivan (R) 46, Sen. Mark Begich (D) 41
Rasmussen: Dan Sullivan (R) 48, Sen. Mark Begich (D) 45

Come inside for more…….

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Thank the utter suckitude of the Democrat Party (sic) for the Republican Senate

Filed in National by on October 20, 2014 22 Comments
Thank the utter suckitude of the Democrat Party (sic) for the Republican Senate

Check this out…

The New Hampshire Senate race … is closer than you might think. The three most recent nonpartisan polls — by New England College, SurveyUSA and WMUR — put Shaheen up by an average of 3 points. Her lead, which has tightened since the summer, is steady but it’s narrow, and most polls have her below the 50 percent threshold. That’s hardly safe territory.

She is running against a total douche bag in Scott Brown. And yet…

…Cook Political Report shifted its rating of the race from “lean Democratic” to “tossup,” deeming it one of 10 contests poised to determine Senate control.

How could that be?

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Monday Open Thread [10.20.14]

Filed in National by on October 20, 2014 17 Comments
Monday Open Thread [10.20.14]

Conservative columnist and climate change skeptic George F. Will baffled his fellow Fox News on Sunday panelists by insisting that scientists had not come to a consensus about whether Ebola could go airborne. Uh, Georgie poo, if Ebola was airborne, by now, the population of Dallas, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio, not to mention the whole continent of Africa, would be showing symptoms by now. I really am amazed at the conservative brain, or lack thereof. I mean, George Will is suppose to be one of their smart ones.

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