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Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST
GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory
A GOP strategist, columnist at the Houston Chronicle who goes by the handle GOPLifer, Chris Ladd, has declared that the week of the Midterm Elections “was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.” What the HELL! Where was he?
In a careful analysis, Ladd builds a case: The Midterms of 2014 demonstrate the continuation of a 20 year old trend. Republicans are disappearing from the competitive landscape at the national level where the population is the largest utilizing a declining electoral base of waging, white, and rural voters. As a result no GOP candidate on the horizon has a chance at the White House in 2016 and the chance of holding the Senate beyond 2016 is vanishingly small.
The author points to the Blue Wall.
The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. On Election Day that block added New Hampshire to its number and Virginia is shifting At the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win. If Virginia joins New Hampshire that number will be 270 out of 270.
To win a GOP candidate has to win all nine “tossup” state and one solidly Blue state.
Thus, in the next, and into the foreseeable future, Presidential elections will be decided in the Democratic Primary. What are the chances that a Republican candidate capable of appealing to the increasingly right wing GOP will appeal to enough Democrats to win in tossup and Blue states?
But what about that RED Map….well it accounts for 149 electoral votes. The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. What was Red before in electoral politics is still Red (and maybe less Red considering NH and VA).
Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.
Some other observations
a) Republican Senate candidates lost every single race in the Blue Wall.
b) There were some GOP victories in Governor’s races, but in each case there were no coat tails. None of these candidates ran on social issues, Obama, or opposition to the ACA. Look at Rauner who took out Quinn in Illinois, but Democrats in Illinois retained their supermajority in the State Assembly having not lost a single seat.
c) Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote).
d) Good news for the Democrats: They have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.
e) Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. Eventually Democrats will top whining and will help people get the documentation they need to meet confusing new requirements and obstructions. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races, but the message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.
f) Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.
g) Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP.
h) Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats with at least 18 of them very competitive based on geography and demographics. Democrats will be one seat looks competitive.
i) McConnell’s conciliatory statements were encouraging, but he cannot persuade Republican Senators and Congressmen to cooperate on anything constructive.
j) This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. Ladd say that the GOP could address a this with heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues, he claims, should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.
k) Instead, he predicts, what the GOP will spend its time on is: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.
He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”
GOPLifer and What the GOP is Missing from the 2014 Midterm Victory
Posted by FourScore | Fri Nov 21, 2014, 01:17 AM (40 replies)
Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 08:31 PM PST
BREAKING VIDEO: Police Lied. Mike Brown was killed 148 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV
by Shaun King
For 104 days, the police have lied and said Mike Brown was killed 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. It was actually 148 feet.
This distance is essential to the defense and how Darren Wilson must demonstrate that he "reasonably feared for his safety." At the point in which Mike Brown ran half a football field away, how reasonable is it for an armed officer to fear anyone?
Below is the first video filmed from Canfield Drive showing the exact measurement between where Darren Wilson's SUV was parked and Mike Brown died. After that we methodically debunk the lie that Mike Brown was killed in close proximity to Darren Wilson's SUV.
Our starting point, which is 17 feet behind the driver's side window of Darren Wilson's SUV is this yellow fire hydrant next to the storm drain.
Our end point is 2943 Canfield. Notice the building number in the back of this photo below where Mike Brown's father and family members are standing over the exact location where Mike Brown was murdered. Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death
Watch us measure the distance below.
131 feet, 1 inch (Distance between the fire hydrant and where Mike Brown died)
+ 17 feet (distance between the fire hydrant and the driver's side door of Darren Wilson's SUV)
= 148 feet.
The St. Louis-area police have continued to advance this lie for over 104 days since Mike Brown was killed on Canfield Drive on the afternoon of August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Here we will methodically expose this lie and examine just why it's so important.
On this past Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri in anticipation for some level of unrest regarding a decision from the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case. Covering this decision, and the case in general, CNN authoritatively states that the Mike Brown was found 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. Watch just the first 20 seconds of this video to see how Erin Burnett frames the case,
Where the Lie Began
On August 10, 2014, St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar held his first press conference on the shooting of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the nearby Ferguson Police Department. His force had been called in to take over the investigation for the much smaller local department. The shooting had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, and the tensions on the ground in Ferguson were already red hot and boiling over.
Six different witnesses on the scene claimed that Mike Brown was shot at repeatedly from behind before he turned around, faced Darren Wilson, verbally surrendered, and put his hands in the air. Wilson, having already shot at Mike Brown at least six times while he fled, then fired off a barrage of four quick shots at the surrendered Brown he was looking at face to face, killing him on the spot. With his lifeless body face down on the road, Mike Brown’s blood literally flowed down Canfield Drive for more than four hours. The shooting and the aftermath that evening, which included bringing police dogs to the scene, infuriated residents as never before, and the anger was spreading rapidly across St. Louis and into the nation.
When Chief Belmar sat down the next day to brief the press on his summary of the facts, he stated at 1:13 (and then even more emphatically at 6:01) in the video below, "The entire scene, from approximately the car door (of Officer Wilson) to the shooting, is, uh, about 35 feet."
See his video below.
At that time, when the chief said the "entire scene" was just 35 feet in distance from the "car door to the shooting," every observer accepted it as a negligible fact and thought little about it, instead zeroing in on why Darren Wilson stopped Mike Brown in the first place and why a police officer would shoot a young man who was surrendering with his hands up.
It turns, out, though, that the distance Mike Brown fled was not 35 feet, as was stated in the press conference and cited in hundreds of articles since. Nor was it 45 feet, or 75 feet, or even 95 feet, but approximately 108 feet away from Darren Wilson’s SUV. Below, you will find photos from the day of the murder, maps, infographics, and more to confirm for you that the distance was nearly 300 percent farther away than originally claimed by Chief Belmar and subsequently quoted as fact in almost every narrative of the case.
While the initial reporting of this distance from the chief could have been an error, albeit an egregious one, it seems clear now, after over 100 days of requests for the police to clarify this discrepancy have only produced silence, that it wasn’t an oversight, but a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.
What reason would the chief have for so seriously understating the distance by more than 70 feet? Well, how far Mike Brown fled matters greatly, and the St. Louis County Police Department could have many reasons for purposely understating it. One doubts, though, that they expected to be caught telling this lie. When it was first told, while matters were tense in St. Louis and spreading on social media, nobody had any idea that this case would grip the nation and the world.
Without even using this space to dive into the actual shooting of Mike Brown, it appears that some base level misconduct can be suspected when the St. Louis County Police Department has repeatedly refused to address the discrepancy in distance.
When the police came out the morning after Mike Brown was killed and deliberately included the distance between the SUV and the shooting, it successfully created a very particular narrative. The arc of their initial story, magnified in importance by the absence of even one official report, is that Darren Wilson shot and killed a young man who, in a short distance from the SUV, posed him grave harm. How far Mike Brown actually fled, how far Darren Wilson chased him, and where each of them were in relation to each other and to the SUV, are facts of paramount importance. If Mike Brown fled over 100 feet away from Darren Wilson, it clearly suggests it Brown—unarmed, shot, missing a shoe, in lounge clothes—feared for his life and not the other way around.
Furthermore, police, in many cases, use the distance in which a suspect flees and the distance between them in an encounter, as evidence to prove they were reasonably afraid for their safety—which is required by law.
What follows is evidence to the contrary. Mike Brown fled at least 108 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. If the police will lie about this fact, what else have they openly lied about? Did they present this false distance to the grand jury? Why does the media continue to advance this lie? Here are the facts.
Here is a rarely seen panorama of Canfield Drive moments after Mike Brown was killed. Few images better display that the distance was not a very short 35 feet than this one.
This is Darren Wilson's SUV. Where you see it here is exactly where he parked it to confront Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson for jaywalking. Out of sight in this image, to the left of the driver's side door, is Mike Brown's hat (shown in a later image below). Approximately 16 feet behind the SUV is Mike Brown's black sandal, which came off while he was running. Please notice the fire hydrant to the right of the SUV.
On the center left is Darren Wilson's SUV from the opposite angle. Notice the two orange cones next to the driver's side door. That's Mike Brown's red St. Louis Cardinals hat next to it.
Using this image, let's create starting line A. As effective landmarks, please notice the fire hydrant on the right and the sloping entrance into the apartments.
From the back of Darren Wilson's SUV, Brown fled over 100 feet down Canfield Drive. The exact location where Brown died is today marked by a memorial in the middle of the street.
This is ending line B. Mike Brown is the blurred figure on the ground. That is Darren Wilson, visibly uninjured in every image of him from that day, standing to the right. According to eyewitnesses Dorian Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, and Piaget Crenshaw, Mike Brown turned around, faced Darren Wilson and his SUV, and put his hands in the air.
Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death
This map shows the exact location of 2943, the exact spot where Mike Brown was killed.
Using Google Maps, the approximate distance from the front of Darren Wilson's SUV to where Mike Brown was shot before falling down is actually 148 feet.
Posted by FourScore | Fri Nov 21, 2014, 12:10 AM (11 replies)
Florida State University officials issued an emergency alert on Wednesday night about a "dangerous situation" unfolding on campus.
On the FSU website, students and staff were urged to "seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows."
HuffPost reached out to the Florida State University Police Department for more information, and was told that a statement would be issued soon. However, police reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that there was a gunman on the Tallahassee campus and the situation was unfolding.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/florida-state-university_n_6189810.html
This is a developing situation.
Posted by FourScore | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 01:36 AM (11 replies)
Generally, I am against all things Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This time, however, I am going to ignore that personal rule. Please enjoy.
A Christmas ad for Sainsbury's is taking the internet by storm:
According to Wikipedia:
"The Christmas truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another, in one of the truce's most enduring images..."
Posted by FourScore | Wed Nov 19, 2014, 11:54 AM (7 replies)
Open Letter to Democrats From a Disillusioned Young Voter
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
07 November 14
Are you listening? President Obama says he hears us. He says that people don’t have a reason to show up to vote if the politicians they have to choose from don’t motivate them. He’s partially right. But that’s only part of a much larger problem. To all you would-be elected officials looking for my generation’s support at the polls, listen closely – get populist or get ready to lose bad.
2014’s low voter turnout was historic. Voter turnout actually hasn’t been this low since the 1940s. As Mother Jones pointed out, voter turnout for people under 30 was dismal. In this election, people like me only made up 12 percent of those who voted, while people aged 60 and older made up almost 40 percent of total voters. In 2012, when President Obama was re-elected and Congressional Democrats made gains in the House and Senate, millennials made up almost one-fifth of all voters, and voters 60 and older made up just 25 percent of the electorate, bringing us a little closer to a tie. It isn’t hard to see the difference – this year, Republicans steamrolled you, Democrats, because most of us stayed home and let our Fox-watching uncles and grandparents decide on who was going to represent everyone else.
So how do older people pick who runs Congress? Like every other voting bloc, they pick the ones who run on issues most important to them. And as Vox reported, data consistently shows that younger people want their tax dollars spent on education and job creation. Older voters want their money spent on Social Security and war. The Republicans who swept the U.S. Senate ran largely on fear campaigns over ISIS, promising to be more hawkish than their opponents in an eagerness to pour money and troops into Iraq and Syria to snuff out America’s newest boogeyman.
Contrast the unified Republican message with the profound silence from you Democrats on addressing the trillion-dollar student debt crisis, rampant inequality and underemployment, and your collective fear of openly embracing economic populism, and you cook up what we saw on Tuesday night. Older people showed up, highly motivated to elect war hawks. Younger people mostly stayed home, disillusioned with the only alternative on the ballot who didn’t even talk about the issues affecting our lives every day.
The few of us who did show up to vote largely did it to support state ballot initiatives that actually mattered in our daily lives. We still voted to raise the minimum wage in 4 states to a slightly more respectable amount, and to $15 an hour in San Francisco. We voted for a week of paid sick days in Massachusetts, and for marijuana legalization in three more states (okay, well, DC isn’t a state yet, but it definitely will be by the time we’re grandparents). We voted to turn nonviolent drug offenses from felonies into misdemeanors in California. We even boosted high voter turnout in Michigan for Gary Peters, a Democrat who made climate change – something we’ll have to confront long after the boomers are gone – his top issue. We just didn’t vote for Democrats who haven’t done anything for us since we voted for them in 2012, and who brazenly took our votes for granted this year.
Even though the Republicans have made it clear they won’t raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, or address climate change as long as they’re in power, they at least have a unified message that appeals to enough people who share their values. They can also communicate that message in a confident way. The Republican platform comes in easy-to-remember, tweet-sized sentences. We all know their buzzwords – “national security,” “family values,” “free markets.” That may translate to endless war, homophobia, and corporate feudalism for the better-informed, but for most people, those are catch phrases they can get behind.
You Democrats, on the other hand, looked pitiful in the year leading up to the midterms. You didn’t seem to stand for anything in particular, you just pointed the finger at the other guy, told us they were bad, and that you weren’t like them. That’s not enough. Take a risk, be bold. Get behind Elizabeth Warren’s 0.75 percent interest rate for student loans. Allow student debt to be abolished with bankruptcy. Push for single-payer healthcare, or at the very least a public health insurance option. Need some catchy buzzwords? Try “affordable education,” “good jobs,” and “healthy families.”
President Obama hit the nail on the head – we won’t show up and vote for you if you aren’t offering us anything real. If Democrats want to stay relevant, they’ll have to learn to stop taking us for granted and actually make an effort to get our votes. Simply banking on being the lesser evil and having that be enough won’t cut it any longer.
Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at email@example.com, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Nov 8, 2014, 09:34 PM (8 replies)
November 6, 2014
30 Years of Conservative Nonsense, An Explainer
If those calls to close the borders over Ebola are giving you déjà vu, you might not be wrong.
By Kurt Eichenwald
Are conservatives ever right?
The question isn’t meant to suggest that liberals are never wrong. But reviewing the last few decades of conservative policy initiatives—or their objections over that timespan to policies they hate—shows a consistent pattern of failure: predictions never pan out, and intended results turn to catastrophic flops.
Given the G.O.P.’s midterm victories this week, the question is of particular import. Come January, conservatives will have control of both houses of Congress, and hold a considerable legislative advantage in the last two years of the Obama presidency. Yet not a week ago, conservative politicians and commentators were screaming out batty ideas as they demanded that President Obama close the borders over Ebola, ignoring the advice of infectious disease specialists who know that shutting borders against a disease leads people to make travel by means that aren’t easily tracked, escalates danger, and harms the ability to stop the infection at its source. Conservative know-nothings dismiss the professionals as know-nothings themselves, despite their training and expertise.
And that could be the problem. Too often, it seems, conservatives have scorned experts as incompetent, biased, or otherwise worth ignoring because they came up with answers that didn’t fit their politically desired answer. Often, they proclaim experts have a liberal bias. Of course, plenty of Democrats have voted for conservative ideas, but that is beside the point. The question is whether policies proposed by conservatives failed, not whether they were passed into law. And this question is all the more important now, with the Republicans having re-captured control of the Senate. Will they govern based on a knowledge of history and the analysis of experts? Or will they resort to faith-based, sure-we’re-right policies—like trying to impose a border ban to stop Ebola—that may lead the ignorant to cheer but will leave turn the experts’ hair white with fear.
Before venturing through the rogues’ gallery of past disasters, an exception that proves the rule: the 1983 decision by the Reagan Administration to deploy missiles in Europe to counter Russian SS-20s was a success, ultimately contributing to the Soviet collapse. But otherwise, there is not a lot in the last three decades to give conservatives bragging rights, and with almost every fiasco, they blame someone else. So let’s look at the record of the last 30-some years:
Tax cuts pay for themselves.
The fantasy: In 1981, as he championed massive tax cuts, President Ronald Reagan promised there would be no growth in the federal budget deficit because the economic boom that would follow would lead to higher revenues.
Posted by FourScore | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 06:46 PM (28 replies)
Found on facebook. Can't find the name of the artist.
h/t Octafish - Here's the artist's link: http://jonikcartoons.blogspot.com/ Thanks, Octafish!
Posted by FourScore | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 08:28 AM (7 replies)
Exit polls used to be a very precise method to ensure that elections weren't stolen. Not anymore. That stopped when electronic voting was implemented.
This race was stolen.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Nov 4, 2014, 11:41 PM (30 replies)
October 25, 2014
Poll: Majority of Americans Favor Quarantining Wolf Blitzer
By Andy Borowitz
Credit photograph by Chris Pizzello/invision/AP
WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Borowitz Report) — Amid concerns that the spreading fear of Ebola has become a greater threat than the virus itself, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans favor a quarantine of the CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
While poll respondents supported quarantining more than a dozen cable-news personalities, including the entire cast of “Fox & Friends,” a full seventy-two per cent gave the nod to a quarantine of Blitzer.
At the Centers for Disease Control, a spokesman said that a Blitzer quarantine was “very much on the table,” and that the C.D.C. had come up with a workable plan.
“Essentially, we would do a lockdown of ‘The Situation Room’ and provide Wolf with food and water until the crisis passes,” he said.
Posted by FourScore | Sun Oct 26, 2014, 04:19 PM (1 replies)