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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
November 24, 2012

A Glimpse Of The Apocalypse: Walmart Customers Fight Over Phones On Black Friday (VIDEO)

On Black Friday, discounted boxed smartphones seem to be the equivalent of dry foods in a post-apocalyptic movie.

This video, first spotted by the Telegraph, shows customers of a Walmart in Moultrie, Georgia, duking it out over discounted pay-as-you-go smartphones.

Walmart has announced that the big box retailer has completed a total of 10 million transactions between the hours of 8pm and midnight on Thursday, with electronics topping the list of best sellers, according to PhoneArena.

As you may already know, Black Friday was pushed up to Thursday evening this year.


November 23, 2012

VERY detailed article on Obama's polling. I suggest you read the whole thing.

WASHINGTON -- Summing up the lessons learned from a massive investment in data and technology, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina has a blunt message for pollsters: "We spent a whole bunch of time figuring out that American polling is broken."

At a Politico forum on Monday, Messina spoke about the campaign's "three looks at the electorate" that gave him a deeper understanding of "how we were doing, where we were doing it, where we were moving -- which is why I knew that most of the public polls you were seeing were completely ridiculous."

David Simas, the Obama campaign's director of opinion research, provided The Huffington Post with more details about those three sources of polling data:


November 23, 2012

President demonstrates how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Obama was a one week voyage to Asia which culminated with a historical visit to Cambodia and Burma. Though his body was in Asia, the leader of the free world's mind was well in the Mideast.

Throughout his trip in South East Asia he was constantly on the phone with both Morsi and Netanyahu, before and after his meetings with the leaders of China and Japan. The president even made time to speak with both leaders during a dinner held as part of a summit of East Asian leaders.

His goal - creating the conditions needed for a ceasefire. Publically he praised Morsi and Netanyahu, and behind the scenes he was pressuring them to bring the conflict between Israel and Hamas to an end.


November 23, 2012

Charlie Cook: Senate Democrats Earned Every Seat They Won--Thanks to the DSCC

It’s hard to talk about the 2012 congressional elections without starting with the Senate and the remarkable election night for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Democrats scored a net gain of two seats, something that was inconceivable 90 days ago or, for that matter, on Nov. 5. They held five of their six most vulnerable seats, and no Democratic incumbent lost reelection. Of 10 toss-up races, Democrats won nine. For what was generally considered to be a non-wave election, those results are extraordinary.

The DSCC was dealt a weak hand at the start of the cycle, prompting some analysts to question the sanity of Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington, talented Executive Director Guy Cecil, and their team for taking on the challenge. They had to defend 23 seats to 10 for Republicans. Democrats had more retirements and, for much of the cycle, more vulnerable seats.
But Murray and her team decided to play offense instead of defense, and they made their own success. First, they recruited competitive challengers to every Republican incumbent who might be vulnerable. They recruited an insurance policy or two, such as getting Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana to run for the Senate. They recruited solid candidates to defend their own vulnerable open seats, even in states that were strongly Republican—for example, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Senate Democrats made sure their campaigns were well staffed, placing managers, communication directors, fundraisers, and field staff in races where their talents could be maximized. Finally, and contrary to early conventional wisdom, Democratic outside groups such as Majority PAC and Priorities USA raised enough money to blunt the impact of outside Republican groups. In the end, Democrats earned every seat they won.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee doesn’t deserve the criticism being heaped upon it for losing two seats. The committee, under the leadership of John Cornyn of Texas, includes talented professionals who did the best they could under the circumstances. Executive Director Rob Jessmer, Political Director Rich Dunn, and Communications Director Brian Walsh are as good as they come. The NRSC was dealt a good hand at the start of the cycle, but many things beyond its control eroded its position. Republicans have problems matching Democrats in recruiting candidates and managing primaries because the GOP base simply not does allow the party to anoint the strongest candidate in a race. In 2010, the NRSC got involved in primaries and faced a backlash from conservative voters that produced weak nominees who cost them three seats. This cycle, the committee stayed out of primaries but saw GOP voters pick weak candidates in Indiana and Missouri, two states they should have won. At the end of the day, the losing team always looks for a scapegoat, and the NRSC is a natural one, but the fault truly lies with a recalcitrant and inflexible base.


November 21, 2012

"I won't say who they are."

"I won't mention their names, but they're talking about Romney like he's Reagan. You know, 'The debate performances were the best debate performances of any Republican nominee in presidential history. This guy–he's iconic.' They were talking about him because they believed he was going to win in four or five days," Senor said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"In fact, some of them were already talking to our transition to position themselves for a Romney cabinet," he added.

Still not naming names, Senor said the tone dramatically changed in the days following Romney's loss, as many top GOP leaders conducted post-mortem analysis of the campaign.

"I won't say who they are. They know who they are. They were on television. I mean, it was unbelievable. It was five, six days later, (they were) absolutely eviscerating him," he said.


November 21, 2012

FBI raids Detroit Public Library in fraud case

DETROIT (Det. Free Press) -- This time, it's about scamming the Detroit Public Library.

The federal government's ongoing probes into public corruption landed today on the doorsteps of the city's main library branch, where FBI agents raided the historic landmark over allegations of contract fraud.

"There may be an individual who awarded contracts for personal gain. And if that is the case, it is a total violation of the public trust," Jonathan Kinloch, president of the Detroit Library Commission, told the Free Press.

According to Kinloch, the contracts involve two technology firms that were hired for at least $2 million to update the library's computer systems. A library official allegedly had ties to at least one of the contractors, and benefited personally from the million-dollar deals, he said.


November 21, 2012

Politco: Murphy was probably a little green to be going up against a POWERHOUSE like West

It wasn’t supposed to end this way for Allen West.

The tea party House freshman had an astonishing $17 million war chest, sky-high name ID and a Republican-leaning district. His opponent, Patrick Murphy, was a 29-year-old construction company executive who had never sought office before. Even Democrats privately acknowledged late in the campaign that Murphy was probably a little green to be going up against a powerhouse like West.

But on Tuesday morning, it was West, not Murphy, issuing a lengthy concession statement after a two-week recount that confirmed he had fallen a painful 2,000 or so votes short. The congressman’s unexpected loss left his advisers, donors and legion of tea party fans searching for answers.

His tight-knit circle of top campaign aides was “shocked,” said one Republican close to the incumbent. On the eve of the election, a private survey conducted by West’s veteran pollster, Gene Ulm, had the congressman leading by 5 percentage points.


November 21, 2012

Democrats push to redeploy Obama’s voter database

If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.

And although the election is over, Obama’s database is just getting started.

Democrats are pressing to expand and redeploy the most sophisticated voter list in history, beginning with next year’s gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and extending to campaigns for years to come. The prospect already has some Republicans worried.

“It’s always hard to play catch-up,” said Peter Pasi, a Republican direct marketer who worked on Rick Santorum’s presidential primary campaign. “It can be done by 2016. I’m much more doubtful it can happen by 2014.”


November 21, 2012

Sen. Mark Warner Opts Against 2013 Gubernatorial Run In Virginia

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) on Tuesday announced that he will not run for his old job as governor of the Commonwealth in 2013, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The decision keeps Warner in the Senate, where he has served since 2009. He was governor of Virginia from 2002 until 2006.

"I loved being governor, but I have a different job now -- and it's here in the United States Senate," Warner said in a statement. "At times, it's been frustrating, but I believe this work is important for Virginia and for our country, and I intend to see it through,"


November 21, 2012

Iowa Governor: Ames Straw Poll ‘Outlived Its Usefulness’

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said on Tuesday that the Ames Straw Poll, which has been conducted in Iowa for Republican presidential nominees since 1979, needs to come to an end. Branstad pointed to the failed primary run of the 2011 Ames winner Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), as an example that the poll may not be the best measure of Republican nominees.

“I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Branstad told the Wall Street Journal. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over.”


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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