Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 6,131
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 6,131
Husband, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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The state of Gov. Rick Scott’s poll numbers is . . . sorry.
On Tuesday, as Scott kicked off the Legislature’s 60-day lawmaking session, he gave the annual state of the state speech, a campaign-like preview filled with job-creation statistics.
But many of Scott’s fellow Republicans were paying attention to a different set of numbers: a raft of poll data-points that make the GOP queasy because it shows Democrat Charlie Crist has broad support across Florida right now. The highlights:
• 34 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to one business interest’s statewide survey. This margin is 12 points greater than Democrat Alex Sink’s in the 2010 governor’s race. If she had earned Crist’s poll numbers in just these two counties, Sink would have won.
• 10 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in another business interest’s statewide poll.
• 8 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in two other business interests’ statewide polls.
• 7 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in a fourth business interest’s statewide poll.
• 6 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in a poll of Republican-controlled state House districts across Florida.
• 4 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in North Florida, a Republican stronghold. The number is well within the poll’s error margin. But it’s a cumulative 17-point shift in favor of Democrats compared to 2010, and Sink would have won the governor’s race with this North Florida margin.
• 2 percentage points — the margin Scott beats Crist by in a poll of Republican-controlled state Senate districts in North Florida. Again, it’s within the error margin. But again: If Sink had had this margin, she probably would have won the governor’s race.
• 1 percentage point — the margin Crist beats Scott by overall in that poll of Republican-controlled state Senate districts. The poll was paid for by the Republican Party of Florida.
That last number — compared to the others — might initially look like a spot of good news for Scott.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:25 PM (12 replies)
Is Mitt Romney getting the band back together?
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee has invited his debate prep advisers and senior campaign aides to his mountaintop chalet in Park City, Utah, for a weekend of skiing later this month, according to two people close to Romney.
The reunion of Romney's political brain trust comes amid a burst of positive buzz about the former Massachusetts governor -- from favorable reviews of "MITT," the Netflix documentary about his campaigns, to chatter among some powerful GOP donors about another Romney presidential campaign in 2016.
But Romney has been adamant in saying he will not run for president a third time. And his aides insisted this month's reunion in Park City is not a 2016 strategy session.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 06:42 PM (44 replies)
For Democrats, gaining seats in Congress this year is a tall order. But their outlook is rosier at the state level, where party members in gubernatorial races are on the offensive in states where the president has twice been victorious.
Democrats are hoping to take out some of the governors in the class of 2010 -- a midterm year in which the GOP swept up statehouses and legislatures that gave them the upper hand in redistricting -- including some potential 2016 presidential candidates. For their part, Republicans hope to hold serve in 2014 while laying the groundwork for the presidential contest to follow and helping GOP governors eyeing the White House.
One anomaly for both parties is that Republicans hope to gain Senate seats in states the president lost, while Democrats hope to gain governors' seats in states Mitt Romney lost.
For Democrats, their road to governors' mansions runs through Rust Belt states President Obama won in 2008 and 2012, while their path for retaining the Senate majority travels through the South and Northwest in states he lost. Republicans have to protect 22 of the 36 governors' seats up in 2014, while Democrats have to protect just 14.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 03:52 PM (9 replies)
Anti-vaxxar refers to anti-vaccination, a group of people who believe, despite all recent studies and evidence, that vaccines don't work and/or are a lethal threat. In the modern form it started about 20 years, borne of the concern that childhood vaccines were responsible for the onset of autism. It was worth looking into as the two were correlated: the first signs of autism often appear right around the same time children are first innoculated.
That link has since been well investigated. From time to time some suggestive evidence would appear, but it could never be independently verified, while studies showing no link were confirmed over and over. The evidence quickly mounted that vaccines were safe. The final nail in the coffin came about 10 years ago, when it was discovered that one of the few credible researchers purporting a link had cooked the data. But pseudoscience can gain a life of its own, divorced from facts or evidence. An entire anti-vax profession had developed, it now depended on hyping the danger to sell books and generate page views. This professional class of anti-vaxxars spun ever more elaborate conspiracies and ominous consequences to explain away the growing body of evidence against them and short circuit skepticism in the minds of frightened parents, and they haven't stopped since.
One of the most pernicious and more recent lies is that not only are vaccines useless or dangerous for the recipient, it is the vaccine that's causing the disease! The government is in cahoots with the drug companies, intentionally tailoring vaccines to keep the disease active, because it's good for business! The evidence for this whopper usually consists of claims that an outbreak of one disease or another disproportionately includes patients who were vaccinated—even though simple arithmetic shows the attack rate in unvaccinated populations is much higher—therefore it must be caused by the vaccine.
To put that gem of ignorance in terms even the average wingnut can grasp, it's like saying gun owners get shot by bad guys all the time, so having a gun offers zero protection. For the rest of us, it's like arguing you might as well leave your car keys in the ignition and the doors wide open, because locked cars get stolen every day.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 03:50 PM (1 replies)
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Their frustration had been mounting for weeks. But by late January national Republicans had had it with David Jolly, their candidate in Tuesday’s nationally watched Florida congressional special election.
The candidate had just told the state’s top political reporter that he disagreed with an ad the party was airing against his Democratic opponent — a spot paid for with the nearly $500,000 the GOP had already spent on Jolly’s behalf.
“Are you f—-ing kidding me?” a senior National Republican Congressional Committee official told a Jolly staffer over the phone, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. Would the Jolly campaign prefer that the NRCC stop spending money in the race altogether? the official asked.
Over the past week, a half-dozen Washington Republicans have described Jolly’s campaign against Democrat Alex Sink as a Keystone Cops operation, marked by inept fundraising, top advisers stationed hundreds of miles away from the district in the state capital and the poor optics of a just-divorced, 41-year-old candidate accompanied on the campaign trail by a girlfriend 14 years his junior. The sources would speak only on condition of anonymity.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:27 AM (5 replies)
There are about 100,000 outstanding absentee ballots, which the election supervisor has mailed out but not received and/or been voted yet. The current 100,245 voted ballots (including absentee and a small number of early in-person ballots) account for about 22 percent of the district’s registered voters or 44 percent of the likely voter electorate if there’s 50 percent turnout.
Right now, the data tell us The Democratic Party is doing a slightly better job than it did in 2012 in the district, when registered Republicans outvoted registered Democrats by 5 percentage points.
As of last night, that 5 point turnout edge by Republicans has been cut by Democrats to 2.5 percentage points – the exact registration lead that the GOP has over Democrats in the district.
About 41.8 percent of absentee and early in-person ballots have been cast by Republicans and 39.3 percent by Democrats, as of election data posted last night.
In 2012, Republicans’ early/absentee vote total was almost 3.9 percentage points higher than Democrats. They then blew away Democrats on Election Day voting, by about 7 points. But Obama won the district anyway, by about 1 point, likely in large part because of the large number of third- and non-party voters in the moderate district.
This time around, the Libertarian Overby is poised to get a chunk of those independents, especially if the campaign remains this negative. The poll averages indicate he draws slightly more Republican votes than Democratic votes. And if the race is tight, this could make a difference that haunts the GOP.
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:21 AM (1 replies)
Personal Note: When it comes to school lunches, I am a full-blown socialist who believes the program should be available to every kid free of charge, regardless of income.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) fired up the audience Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference with an anecdote about what he called the heartlessness of giving out free school lunches -- but it turns out that "moving" story never really happened.
Ryan used a story about a young boy choosing a lovingly made brown bag lunch over a free school meal, relayed to him by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, to illustrate that Democrats offer Americans a "full stomach and an empty soul."
But a shrewd TPM commenter observed that the anecdote closely resembled a book. From there, Wonkette picked up on the fishy tale, followed by Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler.
Kessler gave the story "four pinocchios" because Anderson presented it out of context.
H found Anderson told the story at a 2013 congressional hearing that Ryan chaired, and claimed she had spoken to the boy herself. Kessler notes the story closely paralleled an exchange from a book called "An Invisible Thread," in which an executive offers to either give a young, homeless panhandler money to eat for the week or else make lunch for him each day. The boy insists on having his lunch made for him in a brown-paper bag, because that means "somebody cares" about him.
A spokesman for Anderson told Kessler that the secretary "misspoke" and was actually describing a television interview she had seen with Maurice Mazcyk, the boy described in the book. Kessler further noted that school lunch is not brought up in the book, which means Anderson inserted the program into the anecdote.
Ryan wrote Thursday on his Facebook page that he thanked Anderson for sharing her insights but regretted "failing to verify the original source of the story."
The author of "An Invisible Thread," Laurie Schroff, spoke with the Huffington Post about Ryan's CPAC remarks and the origins of Anderson's anecdote. She asserted that her book was not "political" and disagreed with Ryan's "full stomach and an empty soul" comment.
"I want people to think about what they can do to make the world a kinder world," Schroff said. "I don't care about Republicans and Democrats. But we are talking about children that need to be fed. Cutting school lunch programs doesn't accomplish that."
Posted by RandySF | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:14 AM (3 replies)
Citing budget concerns, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a $25-billion budget that eliminates almost $900,000 in state funding for its libraries. In a statement, the governor’s chief budget aide, Paul Rainwater, said, “In tight budget times, we prioritized funding for healthcare and education. Operations such as local libraries can be supported with local, not state dollars.”
On Thursday, Library Journal took a look at that assertion. What they found was that while some local parishes may be able to cover the funding gap, others will feel the loss. Rural parishes will face a particularly daunting challenge.
One of those parishes is Concordia, located on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. Library Journal spoke to the Concordia Parish Library's director, Amanda Taylor.
“There’s no longer a food stamp office; there’s no longer a social security office. In our rural parish, a lot of our people have low literacy skills and very few computer skills. They come to the library because all of that has to be done online. There are some offices in some bigger areas but there’s no mass transportation and a lot of our people do not have transportation to a place that’s two hours away. A lot of our people have children in the military and they come to email their children that are all over the world on these bases. And almost all of the companies require you to do a job application online, even if it’s just for a truck driver who doesn’t need to be great at computer skills, so it is very important that we offer this service."
Libraries have drawn the attention of lawmakers faced with continually diminishing budgets. Pomona recently saw its public library threatened with closure. In New York City, $96 million in library cuts were proposed -- after a strong showing of public support, $90 million was restored.
Posted by RandySF | Sat Mar 8, 2014, 04:37 PM (12 replies)
During my period of unemployment, I was Mr. Mom. In between job interviews I took the kid to school and picked him up, Cleaned and straightened up the house, washed the dishes, did the laundry, pretty much everything. I didn't mind because. Now, it seems to be my turn to be working and hers to be unemployed. And on the those days when she's home all days, the place looks like a disaster. Like everyone else, I'm working harder for less than the job I had before, so I barely have the energy to help the kid with homework, much less all the chores I see not being done. I feel too timid to bring it up because A) I give her all the credit for working while I was unemployed and B) I don't want to sound sexist. But at the same time, I want to be abler to work at a desk that is not cluttered with food and coffee mugs. How would you handle this?
Posted by RandySF | Sat Mar 8, 2014, 04:35 PM (45 replies)
CARTHAGE, Texas — Investigators say an East Texas teenager has been charged with killing his stepfather to stop an attack on the youth's mother.
Panola (puh-NOH'-luh) County jail records show 17-year-old Koby Yoder of Carthage was booked Thursday on a murder charge and freed on $25,000 bond.
Sheriff's Chief Deputy John DePresca on Friday said 43-year-old Leonard Digiliormo (dee-juh-LOR'-moh) was punching and beating his wife when her son intervened. DePresca says Yoder retrieved a handgun and fatally shot Digiliormo Wednesday night at the family's home near Carthage.
The woman's 13-year-old daughter was also present. DePresca says the mother and both teens told investigators that the woman was being attacked. She was treated and released from a hospital.
Jail records do not list an attorney for Yoder.
Posted by RandySF | Sat Mar 8, 2014, 12:57 PM (3 replies)