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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

Journal Archives

The Intercept debunks a Yahoo "study" that claims "big donors don't matter"

The Intercept article lists "four reasons" Yahoo's study is bogus on it's face, and I'll add another:
* Big donors typically 'hedge their bets', giving to candidates on BOTH sides of the isle to insure that they buy the support they are seeking for their particular corporate special interest.

Yahoo Finance Drops in From Mars to Explain Big Money Hasn’t Bought U.S. Politics

A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 84 percent of Americans think money has too much influence in U.S. politics, and 85 percent want the campaign financing system completely rebuilt or at least fundamentally changed. Even politicians themselves will tell you that big money controls most of what they do.

Yahoo Finance, however, has done a study on money in politics, and determined that everyone else in America is wrong:

With so much concern about democracy for sale, Yahoo Finance set out to ask a basic question: Are rich donors buying election results? We scrutinized thousands of federal records on campaign donations in presidential and congressional campaigns in 2012 and 2014, and came up with this simple answer: no.

What Yahoo did was simple and straightforward: Look at the top 10 individual donors to campaigns and Super PACs, as well as the top 10 biggest Super PACs, and then check to see how often the candidates the donors and Super PACs supported won.

And it turned out that big money’s candidates didn’t win every time! For instance, the candidates of the top individual donor, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, won only 56 percent of the time. The candidates of the biggest-spending Super PAC, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, only won 51 percent of their races.

So case closed, according to Yahoo: “The return on investment to big donors appears to be less than the fretting over the health of democracy suggests.”

Of course, the flaws in Yahoo’s study are as painfully glaring as the lens flare in a J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot. Here are the top four, from least important to most:
• Yahoo doesn’t know who the top individual donors were and how much they gave — because nobody does.
• Giving lots of your money to losers isn’t a sign of failure.
• There’s a political spectrum beyond the one between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats.
• There’s much, much more to money and politics than elections.

All in all, Yahoo clearly fell victim to what scientists call the “streetlight effect”: that is, drawing conclusions just from what’s easy to measure, rather than everything about reality. The streetlight effect is named after this old joke.

Late at night a policeman finds a drunk man crawling around on his hands and knees under a streetlight. The drunk man tells the policeman he’s looking for his wallet. When the officer asks if he’s sure this is where he dropped the wallet, the man replies that he thinks he probably dropped it across the street. The confused policeman asks, “Then why are you looking over here?” The drunk man explains: “Because this is where the light is.”

Yahoo is the drunk guy.


Toon visual of 2016 Election

Pelosi: 'We should have more debates'

How can Clinton Democrats continue supporting this DNC mockery of democracy?

Can I get an a-men from any Clintonistas for more debates, for the sake of the party,
regardless of who wins primary?

Pelosi: 'We should have more debates'
By Mark Hensch * September 18, 2015 * The Hill

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Friday the Democratic National Committee (DNC) should increase its number of 2016 presidential debates.

“I would,” she said when asked if she would appreciate a larger number of contests this election cycle, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Hillary does well — I think they all do well on them — and we should have more debates,” Pelosi added, referring to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), the DNC chairwoman, has repeatedly vowed her organization is not conducting more than six presidential debates in the 2016 cycle.

Her stance has drawn criticism from White House hopefuls worried they won’t receive as much attention as Clinton will before primary elections begin next year.

Both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) have argued that the current calendar of events is slanted in Clinton’s favor.


Does an OP about Trump & his post-debate bump in the polls, go in GD-P or GD?

Is GD-P only about Dem Primary, or both?

I haven't posted before about GOP much at all, so want to make sure to get it right first time.

Is Hillary doubling down on Keystone pipeline?

Clinton says Obama administration decision on Keystone pipeline overdue
Thursday, September 17, 2015 * Reuters

Video here: http://www.reuters.com/video/2015/09/18/clinton-says-obama-administration-decisi?videoId=365636799&videoChannel=1003

'Justice Is Not For Sale': Sanders Leads Charge Against For-Profit Prisons

'Justice Is Not For Sale': Sanders Leads Charge Against For-Profit Prisons
'It is morally repugnant and a natcommonional tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America.'
by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer * Common Dreams * September 17, 2015

With a call to "end the private prison racket in America," a group of progressive lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that seeks to subvert the reigning "pro-incarceration agenda" by banning private prisons, reinstating the federal parole system, and eliminating quotas for the number of immigrants held in detention.

"We cannot fix our criminal justice system if corporations are allowed to profit from mass incarceration."
—Senator Bernie Sanders

"It is morally repugnant and a national tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America," said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the legislation's lead sponsors along with Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.). "We cannot fix our criminal justice system if corporations are allowed to profit from mass incarceration. Keeping human beings in jail for long periods of time must no longer be an acceptable business model in America."

With the ultimate goal of reducing the inmate population in federal, state, and local facilities, the Justice Is Not For Sale Act would, according to a fact sheet:

* Bar federal, state, and local governments from contracting with private companies starting two years after the bill is passed;
* Reinstate the federal parole system to allow "individualized, risk-based determinations regarding each prisoner and restore fairness in the system;"
* Increase oversight to prevent companies from overcharging inmates and their families for services like banking and telephone calls;
* End the requirement that Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintain a level of 34,000 detention beds; and
* End immigrant family detention.


Could this be related to Bernie starting to draw larger crowds in southern states?

Am I the only one who thinks this bodes well for Bernie's chances in Southern states?

Winds Of Change Blow Through South As Democrats Are Winning Special Elections On GOP Turf
By Keith Brekhus * Thursday, September, 10th, 2015 * Politicus

For the second time in less than a month, a Democrat has pulled off a stunning victory over a Republican candidate, by flipping a State House race in an almost hopelessly red legislative district. On Tuesday night, Democrat Cyndi Munson scored an improbable 54-46 victory in Oklahoma’s House District 85, a suburban district Northwest of Oklahoma City. Since 1965, when the district was first created, it had never been won by a Democrat. That changed on Tuesday night.

The 85th District went 61-39 for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. Yet, on Tuesday night, in a traditionally low turnout special election, the district turned a surprisingly solid shade of blue. Speaking to supporters after she’d won, Munson acknowledged the magnitude of her achievement, proclaiming:

"Each time I heard it was an uphill battle I got more strength. This is amazing!"

Munson lost her race for the same seat in 2014 by 13 points, but she battled back and emerged on Tuesday night a winner. She ran on a platform supporting education and women’s health, while opposing income tax cuts for top earners. In a deep red district her message resonated with voters, weary of the GOP’s extremist stranglehold on Oklahoma politics.

As astonishing as Munson’s victory was, it was not the first Democratic upset of its kind this summer. In August, Democrat Taylor Bennett pulled off a similar surprise in Georgia’s 80th House District. Despite being outspent 2 to 1 in a district Mitt Romney carried by a 56-43 margin over Barack Obama in 2012, Bennett coasted to a 55-45 surprise victory over his Republican opponent, Max Davis.

More: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/09/10/winds-change-blow-south-democrats-winning-special-elections-gop-turf.html

Vicious Conservative Bashing of Black Lives Matter Is a Dangerous Proposition

Vicious Conservative Bashing of Black Lives Matter Is a Dangerous Proposition
Police brutality is real. It happens. When it happens, it's wrong.
By Shaun King * Daily Kos * September 12, 2015

Over the past few weeks, conservative opinion toward the Black Lives Matter movement has taken a harsh and ugly turn. It has never been supportive, but now it has taken a decidedly strong bent toward dehumanization, dishonesty, and dangerous accusations that run the risk of getting one of us killed.

By defaming, discrediting, and dehumanizing us with lies, memes, and false accusations, it makes us out to be something more akin to an enemy—when we aren't. We fight for what we fight for because we want to see a fair and just America. We fight because we care for this country and our people. We fight because we've seen seismic changes happen in this nation before and we believe they can happen again.

Police brutality is real. It happens. When it happens, it's wrong.

This is not a partisan idea. This is not liberal or conservative idea. This is a human rights issue. In fact, if a Muslim country somewhere else in the world had thousands of people killed by police, and the officers regularly called the people they killed the ugliest, most inhumane names imaginable, the United States would call that place a repressive regime.

Yet those of us who are calling for serious reforms on the issue of police brutality are being treated like we are a real physical threat to police. Not only that, but the issue has jumped the fence from conservative media outlets calling us a threat to actual police departments and prosecutors calling us a threat.

This is extremely dangerous and reckless. Keep reading to examine the reasons why.

MORE: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/vicious-conservative-bashing-black-lives-matter-dangerous-proposition

TruthOut: Clinton Pitches Campaign Finance Reform While Raking in Million$ From Wall St Since 2008

Clinton Proposes Campaign Finance Reform While Raking in Millions From Wall Street Since 2008
Friday, 11 September 2015 * By Candice Bernd * Truthout

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced a campaign finance reform plan Tuesday, in a post-Labor Day effort to boost her support after her closest competitor, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, took a nine-point lead over her in New Hampshire polls, and continues to gain ground in Iowa among Democratic voters.

Clinton called for overturning the infamous 2010 Citizens United decision that paved the way for dark money groups to mete out millions from corporate donors into federal elections. In addition, the plan proposes using executive authority to require government contractors to disclose their campaign contributions. She would also press for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to mandate that publicly traded companies disclose their political spending. Lastly, Clinton's plan would create a publicly funded pool that would match small donations to presidential and congressional campaigns.


The timing shows she's keeping a cautious eye on Sanders, who has eschewed support from super PACs (outside spending groups that are allowed to take unlimited contributions from donors, but cannot explicitly coordinate their activities with candidates), and has drawn tens of thousands of people at his campaign stops across the nation.

Sanders has made campaign finance reform central to his campaign, and was the first member of Congress to introduce a constitutional amendment that would reverse the Citizens United decision in 2011. Clinton has also previously supported such an amendment.

But unlike Sanders, Clinton has accepted support from super PACs and outside spending groups - the types of groups that she now says she wants to rein in with her new plan.~snip~

The July FEC filing showed big banks and investment firms continue to be among Clinton's top donors this year, with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase reappearing on her FEC filing this cycle. According to a MapLight analysis the FEC data, employees of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have already contributed about $290,000 to her campaign committee through June 30.


Bernie's up next on Chris Hayes msnbc -nt-

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