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From: JohnM11/3/2012 8:03:00 PM
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My bolding.
TPM Editor’s Blog
Must Follow
Josh Marshall
November 3, 2012, 7:14 PM

If you’re going to dedicate the next three days to 72 hours of campaign watching obsession, don’t miss Jon Ralston. His blog is here and his twitter feed is here. He’s the political reporter on Nevada politics and from having watched him now for a few years seems to understand the nitty gritty political dynamics of the state at least as well anyone else out there. Not a chin-stroker mainly but someone who’s really focused on the numbers and details.

One of the most interesting things about this state is that it’s proving to be in microcosm what Democrats hope and data suggests is happening to the US at large — a growing number of minority voters, now aggressively registered and turning out at the polls with the help of early voting, have transformed the state.

He’s been tracking the numbers in early voting in the state, focusing on registration levels, compared to 2008 and 2010. And his latest read as of today is that the door has not quite but closed to closed on Romney’s hopes in the state. Read his take here.

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To: Sam who wrote (206848)11/3/2012 8:33:04 PM
From: Steve Lokness
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<<<<<Why would you lie if you bother to take the poll at all?>>>>>

because it waste their time for interrupting me at home. I'm so sick of calls from the election I'm ready to unplug the phone. I'm also noting which politician calls me and I'm voting against him.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206859)11/3/2012 9:00:51 PM
From: Sam
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a growing number of minority voters, now aggressively registered and turning out at the polls with the help of early voting, have transformed the state.

yes, but the percentage of minorities in Nevada is higher than many other states. And they are better organized.

re: Ohio-- Obama still might win, but he will have to win by at least 3%, IMHO, if Husted is to be prevented from stealing it.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206858)11/3/2012 9:06:00 PM
From: Dale Baker
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We went through the no power thing several times and then caved in for the cost of the generator. It's hard to justify for just a few days per year but the emotional toll of those days is very high, as you know, and it's a very long-lived asset for any house if outages are at all common.

As for Ohio - I am sticking to the hope that the actual vote margin will be 4-5% such that all these suppression efforts just get swamped. But we won't know until 72 hours or so from now. FWIW, if Obama loses OH and keeps NH he still gets in if the rest of the firewall holds and he takes CO, or he slips by in VA or FL. Lots of different paths for him and only a couple for Romney.

Ohio polls:

RCP Average10/23 - 11/1----49.346.4Obama +2.9
Rasmussen Reports11/1 - 11/1750 LV4.04949Tie
NBC/WSJ/Marist10/31 - 11/1971 LV3.15145Obama +6
CNN/Opinion Research10/30 - 11/1796 LV3.55047Obama +3
WeAskAmerica10/30 - 11/11649 LV2.65046Obama +4
Ohio Poll/Univ of Cin.10/25 - 10/301182 LV2.94846Obama +2
SurveyUSA10/26 - 10/29603 LV4.14845Obama +3
Gravis Marketing10/27 - 10/27730 LV3.65049Obama +1
PPP (D)10/26 - 10/28718 LV3.75147Obama +4
CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac10/23 - 10/281110 LV3.05045Obama +5
Purple Strategies10/23 - 10/25600 LV4.04644Obama +2
ARG10/23 - 10/25600 LV4.04947Obama +2

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To: T L Comiskey who wrote (206846)11/3/2012 9:08:26 PM
From: koan
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Mitt would have made a great feudal lord. He is a disgusting human being. He dumbed down and demanded obedience from his entire family and he would like to do it to all of we peasants and serfs. Which id exactly how he sees us.

I can't believe Republican workers think Mitt would help them. That takes a level of gullibility I would only expect to find in our simian relatives and I am not sure about them?

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To: Sam who wrote (206861)11/3/2012 9:09:14 PM
From: JohnM
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re: Ohio-- Obama still might win, but he will have to win by at least 3%, IMHO, if Husted is to be prevented from stealing it.

I assumed that it would need to be more given the absentee ballot issues.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206862)11/3/2012 9:13:09 PM
From: JohnM
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We went through the no power thing several times and then caved in for the cost of the generator. It's hard to justify for just a few days per year but the emotional toll of those days is very high, as you know, and it's a very long-lived asset for any house if outages are at all common.

I believe, now, that these climate events are the wave of the future and the aging electrical grid in the NE is simply multiple catastrophes waiting to happen. The best we can do as a family is have protection in the form of a fairly serious investment in a backup generator. Our house is natural gas heated and I've been told the best generator solution is a natural gas one.

So I'm going to spend a bit of time talking with folk who installed generators to get enough power into the house to keep the heat, hot water, refrigerator, and basic lighting and computer stuff running.

I also agree that it will add value to the house.

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To: Steve Lokness who wrote (206860)11/3/2012 9:37:05 PM
From: Sam
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That makes no sense at all. Just don't answer the phone. It is pretty easy to tell when it is one of "those" calls. At least, it is if you have called ID.

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From: koan11/3/2012 9:48:54 PM
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There will never be a coming together of right and left. How can people who live their lives according to myth (no facts) and primitive cultural mores and norms defend their philosophy against modern day science and logic. They can't.

And that is why the congress is now two distinct populations and will stay that way. The thinkers and the believers.

It is evident every week on the Bill Maher show when he brings in a couple of right wing intellectuals who then spend the entire show squirming in their seats embarrassed for their party as the liberals shred their antiquated thinking.

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To: epicure who wrote (206805)11/3/2012 10:02:05 PM
From: freelyhovering
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I guess I had never really watched him in concert and his physical movements, timed perfectedly with the backup musicians--particularly Keith Richards, are overstimulating and astounding.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206858)11/3/2012 10:05:44 PM
From: Sam
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p.s. welcome back to the modern world.

Playing with the EC map, if Obama loses both OH and FL, but gets VA, he could still win by taking NV and any other swing state, including NH, as long as he holds onto WI and the other midwestern states that Romney is talking about getting. If he loses FL, OH and VA, he still wins if he gets NV, NH, CO and IA. And of course, if manages to win NC, that would make the road to 270 much easier as well, as it has 15 votes to VA's 13. And while many people have been ceding NC to Romney, it is far from impossible for Obama to still win it.

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To: Steve Lokness who wrote (206847)11/3/2012 10:13:21 PM
From: Ron
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I'm not surprised. I used to see a lot of overworked folks in various personnel offices throw employment survey forms in the trash... some of them from the government. Which is why individual reports/polls/ data bloviations must be taken with a truckload of salt. Usually something closer to the truth emerges over time.
I haven't had a single call this election season. We changed phone numbers earlier and our current phone is unpublished, so now the only calls we get are from people we want to hear from.. imagine that.
We do have cellphones.. which haven't had any survey calls either. Which makes me wonder about that aspect
of polling too.

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To: Ron who wrote (206870)11/3/2012 10:22:40 PM
From: Sam
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I have gotten at least one or two calls almost every day for the past two weeks. None for surveys, all for either money (especially from the DNC) or to get out to vote or volunteer to do something. I will probably drive people who need rides to the polls on election day, at least for a few hours. I have been one of the phone callers as well. One guy was so exasperated that he said if he got one more call (no, it wasn't Steve, it was on the Right Coast), he would vote for Romney out of anger. I apologized profusely, and told him I would do my best to ensure no one else called him. But since I had no control over the voters' sheets, realistically there was nothing I could do to do that.

Personally, I am glad that so many people feel compelled to do these things, so while I have gotten annoyed at the callers, I try to make sure to tell them I am glad they are doing it, but no, I am now tapped out, have given enough money and have already committed to give some time. Now go call someone else.

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To: Sam who wrote (206871)11/3/2012 10:31:33 PM
From: Ron
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I have found volunteer work quite rewarding. Drove a number of elderly as well as homeless people to the polls during the 2004 and 2008 elections. And also defended an 84 year old nearly blind retired schoolteacher from an aggressive Republican poll worker who was trying to scare her off.
A number of homeless guys I drove to the polls were Vietnam Veterans, and I can nearly guarantee , they
were not voting for Bush.
Not volunteering this year, but I'd definitely recommend it.

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To: Sam who wrote (206869)11/3/2012 10:34:49 PM
From: JohnM
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p.s. welcome back to the modern world.

Exactly the right comment; it's the one my wife and I and our friends have been using for the past several days. It's like a trip back at least a century or longer. And one in which your focus diminishes to yourself and your family and getting through the day without getting too cold, remembering where the flashlight was, eating before it gets too dark, going to sleep as soon as its dark, the list just goes on and on. Cold and dark.

If you haven't been there, you don't know what it's like.

As for your electoral college maps, I'm trying to keep it simple. Just use the Huffington Post count, cut Ohio off the Obama list, and then see where Obama needs to get the remaining tossup states. He's in better shape that Romney but, without Ohio, it's definitely not a lock.

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To: Sam who wrote (206871)11/3/2012 10:37:08 PM
From: JohnM
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I've done more than my share of political calling for local elections. It's a very large pain. One of the more harried campaign jobs with zero gratitude from anyone. But the work goes on.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206873)11/3/2012 10:53:59 PM
From: Sam
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Some years ago, I used to take my daughter to piano lessons. The piano teacher's lights were out for a couple of lessons, but she, being a middle aged hippie, had several large, many stemmed candle abras on hand. They gave a surprising amount of light, way more than enough for my daughter to do her lesson and me to read.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206874)11/3/2012 10:55:58 PM
From: Sam
   of 514664
This is a very interesting article from Foreign Policy that was posted on Big Dog's thread about what is going on in Iraq vis a vis oil, Turkey, the Kurds and the private companies that the Iraqis and Kurds hope will drill them to riches.

The Backfire in Baghdad

How ExxonMobil's God Pod beat Iraq's oil chieftains at their own game.

Foreign Policy
OCTOBER 26, 2012

In 2006, an Iraqi technocrat named Tariq Shafiq was charged with crafting an oil law. A Berkeley-trained engineer, he began his career in the 1950s, rising through the consortium of foreign firms that comprised the Iraq Petroleum Company -- until the Baathists nationalized the oil sector and sentenced him to death, in 1970, for conspiring with the imperialists. Luckily, Shafiq had been out of Iraq at the time, and he didn't return for decades. But now he would again find himself at the center of controversy. In a country that receives 95 percent of its revenue from oil, his oil law would not only shape the management and regulation of the national economy but also determine the extent to which power would be centralized in Baghdad. It was the centerpiece of Iraq's own version of the Federalist Debates.

On the federalist side, Iraq's minority Kurds -- who had already gained significant political and military independence in their semi-autonomous northern region -- argued that dispersing state power could prevent the kind of oppression that had been fueled by Saddam Hussein's complete, unwavering control of oil revenues. It would be a safeguard against tyranny. The centralists, on the other hand, argued that a Balkanization of the oil sector would lead to conflict, with local governments fighting over cross-border oil fields; moreover, they said, it would be a bad value for Iraq. If different parts of the country were bidding to partner with the same top companies, they would inevitably undercut one another. Shafiq had suffered at the hands of oppressors in Baghdad, but he still took the centralist view. "Without a central unified policy there will be disharmony and competition between [Baghdad] and among the various Regions and Governorates," he wrote in 2006. "This would lead to an unhealthy oil industry ... contributing to the fragmentation of the country." But his prescient words were lost in Iraq's fractured politics.

Six years later, Shafiq's draft is languishing in a Parliament committee, and the debates over federalism still rage. On the ground, however, where both sides have signed billions of dollars' worth of contracts, the battle has been lopsided: The federalists in Kurdistan are winning, for the simple reason that their best ally is more powerful than any of Baghdad's. That ally is ExxonMobil.

It was not always so. For several years, Iraq's central government was in control and Exxon was jockeying to be one of its biggest partners. In January 2010, the company agreed to invest billions of dollars in a super-giant oil field in Basra called West Qurna 1, aiming to increase output there to more than 2.8 million barrels per day by 2017 -- a level roughly equal to Exxon's current total worldwide production. "Our long-term strategic objective in Iraq is to be there for many, many years, and to be a valued partner of the government, and to be a part of the success of their society," an Exxon executive told me in 2009.

Now everything has changed.

On Oct. 18, 2011, Exxon signed six exploration contracts in Kurdistan. The move represented a seismic shift in Iraq's balance of power: Exxon was by far the largest company to align with the Kurds, and it openly betrayed Baghdad to do so. Iraq's top oil official, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani, had warned Exxon that signing with the Kurds would be illegal, and constituted a breach of the West Qurna 1 contract. But Exxon's lawyers disagreed. Baghdad was on weak legal footing, since -- in the absence of a modern oil law to bolster its position -- the Oil Ministry's claims, of primary authority over contracting, rested on subjective interpretations of Iraqi law.

In an uncomfortable meeting with Shahristani, a senior Exxon executive explained his company's intentions in Kurdistan. The Iraqi government had made its objections known.

"Thanks to you ... Iraq's position was very clear all along," the executive said, according to Shahristani. But they would sign with Kurdistan anyway.

Several people familiar with the company's internal decision-making have told me there were a few simple reasons that Exxon was willing to risk its relationship with Baghdad. First, Kurdistan's geology looked very promising. Second, the Kurdish government's contract terms offered much greater profit potential. And third, Exxon could probably get away with it. A year later, Baghdad still has not backed up its threats to kick the company out of Basra.

Even so, Exxon is preparing to break ties with Baghdad altogether. The company is actively seeking buyers to take over West Qurna 1. Meanwhile, executives in Exxon's headquarters in Irving, Texas -- which some employees jokingly call the "God Pod" -- have decided to double down on Kurdistan. In the past year, they have spent about a quarter-billion dollars to buy equipment and mobilize rigs for exploration drilling.

Other oil giants are following Exxon's lead. France's Total and Russia's Gazprom both signed deals in Kurdistan over the summer, despite also holding contracts with Baghdad that are now in jeopardy. Chevron signedfor two Kurdish exploration blocks in July. Unlike the others, however, Chevron had never even bothered with the central government in the first place: The company's leaders thought Iraq was driving too hard a bargain.

Indeed, Shahristani's terms had been tough. At the time of his first contracting auctions, in 2009, he was balancing two competing imperatives: first, he believed that only international companies could achieve the production and revenue levels needed to rebuild the country; second, in the aftermath of a humiliating occupation, he felt enormous political pressure to avoid the appearance that Iraq was being economically re-colonized by the West. He needed to let the oilmen in, and to look strong doing it.

His solution was both technical and theatrical. In late 2009, the Oil Ministry staged two televised auctions with all the trappings of a game show. In a large auditorium lined with maroon velvet chairs, Shahristani -- who looks like an Arab version of Richard Dreyfus -- stood on a stage as bidders walked up one by one, to insert envelopes into a clear plastic box. Those bids were evaluated according to a formula that was simple enough for the television audience at home to understand: The company promising to produce the most oil for the least money would win.

The auctions were a case study in what Exxon executives privately called "the dark side of transparency." They complained that a single, reductive number could not capture the value of a bid, particularly those aspects that would favor Exxon. Iraq ought to be asking which company would best manage the long-term health of its fields, train local staff, and bring in cutting-edge technology. Instead, it was feeding a low-bid war, creating incentives for companies to cut corners.

In the first auction, Exxon was outbid by BP for the Rumaila oil field, which is even larger than West Qurna 1. In the second auction, wary of losing another chance to win a foothold in the world's third-largest conventional oil reserves, executives in the God Pod sucked it up and accepted Shahristani's thin profits. According to several people familiar with the decision, it was part of a longer-term plan. Exxon's leaders had such confidence in their company's ability to prove its value to Iraq -- executing projects on time, keeping to budgets, instilling its business practices in local staff -- that they believed Baghdad would notice the difference and expand their partnership down the road, when the political climate might allow for more reasonable contracts. Establishing a stellar track record had already helped Exxon win an enormous position in Qatar's booming gas sector. It underpinned the company's Iraq strategy, too.

Chevron had been far more skeptical. Shortly after Exxon signed for West Qurna 1, Chevron Vice President Donald MacDonald met with Ambassador Pat Haslach, who was then a top State Department official working on Iraq, at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. She asked him why his company had decided not to invest.

"The structure of the bid round prevented a competitive bid," MacDonald replied, according to a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks. The profit margins were simply too thin, especially given all that could go wrong.

Beyond the volatile political and security situation, Iraq would need billions of dollars' worth of supporting infrastructure -- new pipelines, pumping stations, storage tanks, and export terminals -- to support so much new production. All of that was outside the scope of the companies' oil field contracts, and MacDonald doubted that Iraq had the institutional capacity to execute so many large projects at once. He also doubted that Iraq would actually want to produce as much oil as its new contracts anticipated. The deals would need to be renegotiated, he said, "and I have never seen a renegotiated contract benefit an [international oil company]."

All of those worries turned out to be prescient. At West Qurna 1, for example, the original production schedule is now in shambles because Iraq is so far behind with key infrastructure. The government has also failed to make prompt payments for the output that has been achieved. As a result, the cost of financing the project has eroded Exxon's profit margin. To cap it off, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's top oil adviser, Thamer Ghadhban, recently announced that Iraq is cutting its production ambitions by one-third -- an implicit admission that its original goals were too optimistic. Such a reduction would likely hurt several companies, including Exxon, whose profits are essentially proportionate to their production increases. The contracts seem destined for renegotiation.

Kurdistan, on the other hand, has done everything it can to woo the oil companies. The regional capital of Erbil has the feel of an oil boom town, where luxury hotels are opening up one after another, and real-estate speculators are flipping cookie-cutter houses for ballooning prices. At the heart of this exuberance is Kurdistan's minister of natural resources, Ashti Hawrami, whose development strategy has centered on oil contracts that promise generous rates of return, padded to offset the political risk that comes with the territory.

That risk is substantial. Not only does Baghdad consider the Kurdish deals illegal, but it also controls the country's network of export pipelines. As of now, Kurdistan's oil producers have made most of their money by selling crude at roughly half price to domestic refiners within the region. They have intermittently exported through Baghdad's pipelines, but have only been paid for a fraction of that output. Nobody is quite sure how -- or whether -- the central and regional governments will create a durable enough arrangement to support the kind of large-scale exports that Exxon and Chevron will need.

For the moment, Hawrami's promises are enough to reassure investors. He speaks of raising Kurdistan's production capacity by a factor of 10 this decade, to more than 2 million barrels per day. On its face, the proposition is absurd: What company would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to drill for oil without a plan for how to sell it? But in the magical thinking that sometimes animates bullish capitalists, the traditional logic has been reversed.

"The scale of the opportunity for Kurdistan and for Iraq is so large that there will be a resolution," said Tony Hayward, the former CEO of BP, who is now running a small Anglo-Turkish company invested in Kurdistan called Genel Energy, in an interview with Reuters.Hayward has often contended that oil and money, if gathered in sufficient quantities, are subject to a kind of natural law of international financial osmosis: "Over the next year or two, Kurdistan production capacity will grow towards 1 million barrels a day -- that's too much oil to be shut in as a consequence of a political dispute. So one way or another, it's going to get resolved."

Call it the Field of Dreams theory of oil dispute resolution -- "if you drill it, they will come around" -- yet the premise gained mainstream credibility the moment Exxon signed with Kurdistan. Initially, only no-name companies had bought Hawrami's pitch. Now, the world's most profitable company had gone in. With Exxon's imprimatur, Hawrami kicked off what he triumphantly dubbed "a season of mergers and acquisitions." Total, Gazprom, and Chevron all signed deals in a span of two weeks in July.

Kurdistan's investment bonanza stood in flattering contrast to Baghdad's anemic attempt to attract similar enthusiasm. In May 2012, the Oil Ministry again gathered international oil executives in its auditorium for another game show-style auction. This time, Iraq was offering 12 new exploration blocks. Some of the same companies that had attended the earlier auctions were there, but many of the largest were absent. After each block was opened for bidding, a period of awkward silence ensued. The participants had 15 minutes to drop their envelopes into the clear plastic box, but two thirds of the blocks didn't receive any bids. The silence was filled mainly by the theme song from "The Godfather," which the ministry had inexplicably chosen for the soundtrack of the proceedings. At the end of the event, they played a nationalist song called "A Victory to Baghdad," but the lyrics rang hollow.

"I believe the Iraqis have to reconsider the terms in order to attract other people," said Sara Akbar, the CEO of Kuwait Energy, in an interviewwith Iraq Oil Report. "For these terms, [many blocks] cannot be developed."

As the oil companies migrate north, political clout is moving with them. The British government just announced it is closing its consulate in Basra, partially to shift resources to Erbil. More importantly, Kurdistan is enjoying a renaissance in its relations with Turkey. Historically the Turkish government has been wary of supporting Kurdish autonomy in Iraq, for fear of emboldening its own Kurdish minority to expect similar levels of independence. Yet a series of regional dynamics has been pushing the two sides closer together: the civil war in Syria, Maliki's worrisome alignment with Iran, and Turkey's booming economy, which is ever more hungry for energy. On all three counts, the Iraqi Kurds could be valuable allies.

Against this backdrop, the Turkish government has provisionally approved the construction of oil and gas pipelines to the Kurdish border. Such infrastructure would be transformational for Iraq and the region. It would bring Kurdistan to the brink of economic self-sufficiency; that, in turn, would threaten to sever the ties of financial reliance on Baghdad that have kept Kurdistan from declaring itself an independent state.

All of this has made Maliki both angry and anxious. Kurdistan's potential secession is only part of the problem. The larger issue is the federalist precedent that Kurdistan is setting. Other provinces have enviously noticed the Kurds' success, and want to emulate it. Populist politicians in provincial governments around Iraq -- even many whose parties are formally aligned with Maliki -- have taken to advocating for greater autonomy within a loose, federal system. If such a movement were to gain traction in a key province like Basra, the source of 70 percent of Iraq's oil production, it could undermine the power of the central government.

The push for regional autonomy has been relatively mild so far outside of Kurdistan, largely because Maliki retains so much power as the commander of the armed forces. Yet the federalist movement also reflects the fears expressed by Tariq Shafiq in 2006: Iraq is a country competing with itself to win foreign investment, haunted by the prospect that its internal conflicts will combust into violence and even war. Many of Baghdad's critics in Kurdistan and within oil companies blame the government for being too stingy and controlling. They may be right -- but those are only symptoms of a deeper political dysfunction in which the Kurds and the companies are fully complicit.

From the Kurdish point of view, of course, the picture is quite different. A long-oppressed minority group has used the competitive dynamics of global capitalism to win an unprecedented level of control over its own fate. They have leveraged the full might of the private sector. Or, as the Kurdistan region's President Massoud Barzani once put it: "If ExxonMobil came, it would be equivalent to 10 American military divisions.... They will defend the area if their interests are there."

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From: Sam11/3/2012 11:25:01 PM
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Well, FWIW, the Des Moines Register's final poll gives Obama 5 point lead in Iowa. Their polling is done by Selzer, which has a pretty good track record, if memory serves correctly. My bolding below.

If Obama wins Nevada and Iowa, then winning any other swing state plus the states he is "supposed" to win (esp of course WI, PA, MN and MI, the ones romney's people claims are in play) will lead to 270.

Iowa Poll: Final stretch in Iowa gives edge to Obama
6:59 PM, Nov 3, 2012 | by |
Categories: Iowa Politics Insider

© 2012 Des Moines Register and Tribune Company

Iowans are feeling more optimistic about where the nation is headed, and they’re giving President Barack Obama the credit.

Obama is up 5 percentage points in Iowa, leading Republican Mitt Romney 47 percent to 42 percent, according to a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, although the results also contain signs of hope for Romney, political strategists said.

Obama barely edges Romney on the question of which candidate would do the best job of fixing the economy, the primary argument of Romney’s campaign, the poll shows.

Romney has gained an edge with his frequent claims in the campaign’s final weeks that he can best quell the country’s snarling partisanship by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. But he’s having trouble getting Iowa voters to trust him.

In what continues to shape up as an ultra-tight race nationally, losing Iowa, with its small cache of six Electoral College votes, would complicate Romney’s chances for winning the presidency.

Democratic pollster Margie Omero said: “If Romney can’t catch up here, he probably can’t catch up elsewhere. Without Iowa and Ohio, Romney’s path to victory is incredibly narrow.”

GOP strategist David Polyansky countered that Romney can and will win the White House, with or without Iowa.

“There is no doubt winning Iowa would be a fantastic plus for Governor Romney,” he said. “However, more than one pathway exists for the governor that does not necessarily include Iowa.”

The poll of 800 Iowa likely voters was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines from Tuesday through Friday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

“There are things that could happen today and Monday that would shape the final outcome,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer. “Nobody need be over-confident.”

Romney now seen as better ‘uniter’

Republicans voiced optimism over one glaring difference in voters’ opinions since the Register’s late September poll: Romney is now seen as more likely than President Barack Obama to unite people despite political differences, said GOP strategist Alex Castellanos.

“Being a ‘uniter not a divider’ is a prerequisite for a president getting things done in Washington, which is what voters are looking for,” Castellanos said. “Romney may be winning the ‘delivering results’ battle.”

But the poll bears mostly rays of sunshine for Obama. Not only does he lead in the horse race, he inspires more confidence than Romney in handling relations with other countries, and he bests Romney considerably in four of five character traits tested.

The poll shows that 42 percent of likely voters have already cast ballots, including more than half of all seniors who plan to participate in this election. That’s a striking difference from four years ago, when the Iowa Poll showed only 28 percent had mailed in an absentee ballot or voted at a local elections office or satellite station at this point.

Said Omero, the Democratic pollster: “With so many Iowans already having voted, and with reports showing more early voting Democrats than Republicans, it will be very difficult for Romney to catch up.”

But GOP strategists expect Election Day voters will be substantially higher in Iowa than this poll forecasts. Historically in Iowa, a higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans participates in early voting, but a higher percentage of Republicans turns out on Election Day. Republican nominee John McCain won more votes than Obama on Election Day in 2008. In his 2004 re-election bid, President George W. Bush also won more votes in Iowa on Election Day and won the state, overcoming Democrat John Kerry’s lead in early voting.

Obama is up 22 points among early voters. Among those planning to vote on Tuesday, Romney wins by 8 points. The poll shows early voting has been heaviest in the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts, which include Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport and Council Bluffs, and lighter in steadfastly Republican northwest Iowa.

Better economy benefits Obama

A hurdle for Romney: Iowa’s economic outlook is brightening, and that weakens Romney’s argument for change, Castellanos said.

Likely Iowa voters are less pessimistic and more confident that the nation is on the right track than they have been since May 2003, in the days of a healthier economy and “mission accomplished.”

Fully 48 percent of likely voters think things are going well right now. About the same proportion, 49 percent, think the nation is on the wrong track, an improvement from a month ago when 54 percent said “wrong track.”

As the national economy has brightened slowly but steadily, Iowa’s outlook has been even better. Job growth here outpaces the nation as a whole. Unemployment in Iowa is 5.2 percent — 2.7 points lower than the national rate. Some Iowa counties are approaching full employment and even facing labor shortages. Other bright spots have been the farm economy, on a years-long upswing, and a harvest this year that beat drought-rattled expectations.

Poll respondent Donyale Crutcher, 43, a forklift operator from Cedar Rapids and independent voter, said that he sees lots of once laid-off Iowans going back to work: “I’m working. People that I know who got laid off are working.”

Asked about feeling inspired and optimistic or angry and pessimistic, 65 percent of likely Iowa voters said optimistic.

Obama’s supporters are slightly more likely than Romney supporters to describe their mood as inspired and optimistic (76 percent to 62 percent of Romney supporters).

Obama gets higher marks than Romney for being the candidate that “cares the most about people like you” and for being the stronger leader.

More Iowa voters think Romney than Obama would be better at reducing the federal budget than Obama.

Poll respondent Gerry Mullane, 69, a Republican from Des Moines who works as a professional recruiter, thinks Romney has the ideal business skills the country needs.

“I think that we definitely need a change, and I just don’t think that our country is going in the right direction at all,” she said.

Negative ads seen as hurting Romney

Romney’s personal attributes are suffering: He is seen as less trustworthy by a margin of 10 points, less honest by 10 points and less caring than the president by 15 points.

“Mitt Romney goes into the final few days of this general election bearing the bruises of two hard-fought campaigns,” Castellanos said. “He is still suffering the scars of the tough negative campaign run against him by his own party in the GOP primary and those inflicted upon him in the general by Barack Obama.”

Obama has roundly attacked Romney in negative TV ads and at rallies in Iowa, attempting to undermine voters’ opinions of Romney’s character, his business career at Bain Capital and his record governing in Massachusetts. Obama also has sought to label Romney as someone whose positions shift depending on his audience.

Joe Trippi, a longtime Democratic campaign strategist, said those attacks, in combination with policy positions that many middle-class voters see as favoring the wealthy, have thwarted Romney’s progress in Iowa.

The president has run 51 different TV ads here, spending $20.6 million in Iowa alone.

Poll respondent Rhonda Hammonds, 50, an independent voter and housewife from Knoxville, said she thinks Romney cares only about the rich. “What about us poor folk?” she said.

“Since he started talking, I haven’t believed a word out of his mouth,” Hammonds said.

Just 2 percent remain undecided, and 5 percent declined to share their choice.

Seven percent say they could still change their minds. Among that small group, a plurality of 48 percent describe themselves as angry and pessimistic, double the overall average.

A majority of Iowa voters (53 percent) say the outcome of the election will affect them a lot. It’s higher with women (59 percent) than men (47 percent), and higher with tea party supporters (59 percent) and union households (70 percent).

Both candidates have locked in their support: 95 percent for Obama and 96 percent for Romney say their minds are made up.

Obama has a more limited chance of attracting crossover voters like he did four years ago: 6 percent of Republicans are with Obama, and 3 percent of Democrats are voting for Romney. Independents tilt to Romney, 41 percent to 37 percent.

Altogether, these results show a race mostly unchanged since the Register’s Sept. 23-26 poll, Omero said.

“Voters have improved economic optimism, benefiting Obama,” Omero said. “Romney lags in personality traits, and can’t make up that deficit through his positions on issues. Early voting and enthusiasm seem to further benefit Obama. And so once again we might see, as Iowa goes, so goes the country.”

Register columnist Kathie Obradovich and pollster J. Ann Selzer discuss the results:


President Barack Obama does best with union households (31 points better than Mitt Romney), unmarried voters (up 28 points), younger voters (up 17), those with no more than a high school education (up 16), seniors (up 12), in the 1st Congressional District in eastern and southeastern Iowa (up 12) and with women (up 11 points).

Obama, a Democrat, also does well with Iowans who did not participate in the 2010 election, winning 53 percent to 31 percent among this group.

Romney, a Republican, does best with evangelicals (26 points better than Obama), voters in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in northwest Iowa (up 19 points), married moms (up 18), affluent voters (up 17), married voters (up 10), middle-age voters (up 9), people with minor children (up 5), and with men (up 3).

The Iowa Poll, conducted Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 for The Des Moines Register by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on interviews with 925 Iowans ages 18 or older. Interviewers contacted households with randomly selected landline and cell phone numbers. Responses were adjusted by age and sex to reflect the general population based on recent Census data.

Questions based on a subsample of 800 likely voters have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the percentages shown here by more than plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Results based on smaller samples of respondents, such as by gender or age, have a larger margin of error.

To qualify as likely Iowa voters, respondents had to say they live in Iowa and will definitely vote or have already voted in the November 2012 general election. Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register is prohibited.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (206831)11/3/2012 11:35:58 PM
From: Sam
   of 514664
The rush to judgment about Benghazi is completely in character for the RW, waxing indignant over rumors that prove to be false several days later. It is repulsive.

Nov 2, 7:07 PM EDT
US officials counter reports on Benghazi attacks
Associated Press

AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri
Politics Video

Inside Libya
US officials counter reports on Benghazi attacks Benghazi questions fuel fierce partisan debate

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Tunisia: Suspect in US consulate attack held

Dempsey: Africa Command change not tied to Libya

Libyans disillusioned with government amid chaos

Timeline of comments on attack on US Consulate

Libyan witnesses recount organized Benghazi attack

Admin. rejects new claim about Libya attack

Egypt says US Consulate attack suspect was Libyan

Tunisia: Reported consulate suspect arrested

Clinton: 'cherry picked' Libya emails prove little

Buy AP Photo Reprints

Libya Opening Doors to Tourists
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon provided more details Friday of the military response to the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as questions continue to swirl ahead of the presidential election about the government's response to the attack, detailing the troops that were dispatched to the region, even though most arrived after the fighting was over.

Although two teams of special operations forces were deployed from central Europe and the United States, the attack, which began after 9 p.m. local time and ended by about 6 a.m., was over before they arrived at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily, Italy, across the Mediterranean from Libya.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said that after the attack began, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta quickly met with his senior military advisers, including the top U.S. commander for Africa Command who was in Washington for meetings. Little said that within a few hours Panetta had ordered units to move to Libya.

"The entire U.S. government was operating from a cold start," Little said.

He said the military units were prepared to respond to any number of contingencies, including a potential hostage situation.

The military also immediately moved an unarmed Predator surveillance drone to Benghazi airspace to provide real-time intelligence on the situation for the CIA officers on the ground who were fighting the militants.

The Pentagon comments came a day after senior U.S. intelligence officials detailed the CIA's rescue efforts, striking back at allegations they failed to respond quickly or efficiently against the deadly attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Two of those Americans were ex-Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty, who initially were identified publicly as State Department contractors. But on Thursday, the intelligence officials said they were CIA contractors. Previously the agency had asked The Associated Press and other news organizations to avoid linking the men to the CIA because the officials claimed that doing so would endanger the lives of other security contractors working for other agencies around the world.

U.S. officials are using the details to rebut some news reports that said the CIA told its personnel to "stand down" rather than go to the consulate to help repel the attackers. Fox News reported that when CIA officers at the annex called higher-ups to tell them the consulate was under fire, they were twice told to "stand down." The CIA publicly denied the report, laying out a timeline that showed CIA security officers left their annex and headed to the consulate less than 25 minutes after receiving the first call for help.

The consulate attack has become a political issue in Washington, with Republicans questioning the security at the consulate, the intelligence on militant groups in North Africa and the Obama administration's response in the days after the attack. Republicans also have questioned whether enough military and other support was requested and received.

The issue popped up during President Barack Obama's campaign swing through Ohio on Friday, as a small group of protesters holding signs about Libya greeted him at Springfield High School. One sign read "We won't stand down. Tell us the truth about Benghazi"

The intelligence officials told reporters Thursday that when the CIA annex received a call about the assault, about a half dozen members of a CIA security team tried to get heavy weapons and other assistance from the Libyans. But when the Libyans failed to respond, the security team, which routinely carries small arms, went ahead with the rescue attempt. At no point was the team told to wait, the officials said.

Instead, they said the often outmanned and outgunned team members made all the key decisions on the ground, with no second-guessing from senior officials monitoring the situation from afar.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss a CIA operation, as they routinely do. The anonymity was a condition of discussion even on a topic that has become highly politicized days before the presidential election.

On Thursday, intelligence officials said they had early information that the attackers had ties to al-Qaida-linked groups but did not make it public immediately because it was based on classified intelligence. And they said the early public comments about the attack and its genesis were cautious and limited, as they routinely are in such incidents.

They added that while intelligence officials indicated early on that extremists were involved in the assault, only later were officials able to confirm that the attack was not generated by a protest over the film.

Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans insist that if the Obama administration didn't know enough about the attack to discuss it clearly in the days that followed, it should have. They also say the response to the attack has been too muted to send a deterrent message to terrorists.

The officials' description Thursday of the attack provided details about a second CIA security team in Tripoli that quickly chartered a plane and flew to Benghazi but got stuck at the airport. By then, however, the first team had gotten the State Department staff out of the consulate and back to the CIA annex.

While the U.S. military was at a heightened state of alert because of 9/11, there were no American forces poised and ready to move immediately into Benghazi when the attack began.

The Pentagon would not send forces or aircraft into Libya - a sovereign nation - without a request from the State Department and the knowledge or consent of the host country. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the information coming in was too jumbled to risk U.S. troops.


AP National Security writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.

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To: Sam who wrote (206877)11/3/2012 11:43:18 PM
From: Sam
   of 514664
I wrote, "If Obama wins Nevada and Iowa, then winning any other swing state plus the states he is "supposed" to win (esp of course WI, PA, MN and MI, the ones romney's people claims are in play) will lead to 270."

I take that back. If he only wins CO or NH in addition to the above, then Romney would eke out a win. He would need both CO and NH, or any one of the four "big" swing state prizes, OH, VA, NC or FL.

One more note before heading off to sleep: some people have been writing that this election will either be Romney by a lot, or Obama in a squeaker, or, occasionally, Romney in a squeaker. But I think Obama's ceiling is higher than Romney's. He has a chance to nearly sweep the swing states, IMHO--a sweep would give him 347 EC votes. NC is the least likely of them, losing that one would still give him 332 votes. And if he also loses FL and CO, the final tally would be 309-221. I am cautiously optimistic that those numbers will be the floor for Obama.

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To: Sam who wrote (206861)11/4/2012 12:22:44 AM
From: Win Smith
   of 514664
Yeah, you don't understand about Ohio. In the parallel universe of stupid people that Fox News caters to, it's poor Mittens who's endangered by Husted's machinations and all those dubious voting machines . Including, presumably, the ones provided by Mittens Jr.

Claims increase of machines switching votes in Ohio, other battlegrounds
Imagine going to vote for your presidential candidate and pushing the button on a touch-screen voting machine -- but the "X" marks his opponent instead.

That is what some voters in Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio have reported.

Fox News has received several complaints from voters who say they voted on touch-screen voting machines -- only when they tried to select Mitt Romney, the machine indicated they had chosen President Obama. The voters in question realized the error and were able to cast ballots for their actual choice.

Read more:
I got that story from James Fallows in . I'm sort of wondering if predelegitimization is related to antidisestablishmentarianism , but I take his point. Since Clinton, Republicans seem to find it impossible to acknowledge that a Democrat could legitimately be elected President.

Sadly, I imagine this means that if Obama is reelected, the GOP will just double down on Obama hatred as a way of life. Personally, I sort of wish that, in honor of the bastardized neo-Randism that seems to be gradually supplanting voodoo economics as official dogma in the GOP, they'd all go Galt and get the Koch Brothers to build that secret redoubt in the Colorado mountains, where they could all gather together and celebrate their special separate reality, and leave the rest of us alone.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (206880)11/4/2012 12:44:04 AM
From: Win Smith
   of 514664
And If the GOP Doesn't Win, What Then?

[ A followup of sorts from Fallows on the predelegitimization front. I have my own little personal fantasy about what ought to happen to the professionally apoplectic right and their mindless teabagger brethren, thanks to the Brothers Grimm:

"The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that," cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.

But being a reality-based community kind of guy, I imagine we'll just have to live with another 2 years at least of idiotic obstructionism and lunatic conspiracy ranting about Obama bringing in the black helicopters and blue helmets to round up all Real Americans . A guy can hope, though. Anyway, here's Fallows: ]

Nobody knows what's going to happen on Tuesday. (11pm Saturday update: But watching a completely-losing-his-voice Bill Clinton do a barnburner in his intro for Barack Obama in Virginia, I'm seeing an episode of Democratic "momentum.") (And nice line in return from Obama just now: "The only Clinton workin' harder than him is our Secretary of State.")

But let's do a thought experiment and assume that current probabilities hold. That would mean that Barack Obama is re-elected; the Romney-Ryan ticket is defeated; and even as the Republicans begin assessing their promising next tier of Christie-Rubio-Jindal-maybe Ryan-maybe Jeb-Bush candidates for 2016, they confront two discouraging realities. One is not having been able to beat a marginally popular president during a time of widespread economic distress. The other is seeing several big demographic blocs -- Latinos, blacks, women -- moving away from them.

What then? We're getting ahead of ourselves, but as a distraction here are several messages from readers. First, from someone in the aviation world:
Presuming Mr. Obama does indeed win, I think the more interesting question is what will the Republican party do to regroup?...

The question in my mind is "is this the end of the Karl Rove Party?" He pioneered the strategy of shifting the party right to get an energized "base," also shifting it toward the new Know-Nothings they've become. [JF note: Rove and GWB also were careful to try to include Latinos as part of a new GOP big tent. That worked for them in Texas but has not lasted with their Tea Party-era, Tancredo-toned successors, which could prove one of the party's lasting vulnerabilities.]

It hasn't won. Laura Ingraham's "if the GOP can't beat Obama with this economy, shut it down" strikes me as unintentionally prophetic. The economy is now improving, Obama will never run again, and demographic trends are certainly against the current Republican message. What will the Republicans do?

The existence of the Tea Party faction makes this a nasty problem -- any attempt by Republicans to pivot toward the mainstream will cost them factional challenges, perhaps third-party rightist candidates on the ballot.
Extending the last argument, a reader in Pennsylvania writes:
I can't pretend to know what motivates folks like Karl Rove, but I can say with certainty, as a Democratic committeeperson here in suburban Philly, that one thing that does motivate the Democratic ground game here in Pennsylvania is the sense that an Obama victory and some key US Senate victories for Democrats could lead to the splitting apart of the Republican Party, with a possible 3rd Party movement on the right getting legs.

As Democrats we see that possible development as an obvious opening for us to pick up more Democratic victories down ballot in the next two or three elections here in PA and also in some red states. This "long term" perspective is a very tangible motivator as we all participate in GOTV efforts here in PA over the next 3 days.

On a final note, in the midst of all the challenges facing America right now, any long drawn out effort to delegitimize Obama victory through Congress, in particular, will, in my humble opinion, only benefit Democrats in the mid-terms.
And from a reader in California:
As we come down to the wire, I sticking with my premise/intuition that 1972 will repeat in 2012.

The only doubt is whether the Dems can regain enough seats to take the house. [JF note: I am chary of predictions, but this seems very unlikely to me.] Otherwise, Obama wins well and the Senate holds, and gains a few, like Elizabeth Warren. [JF: pickups, like Warren over Brown, seem plausible at this point; net Democratic gains in the Senate a much longer shot.]

From all that I've read, the moderate middle (i.e. that which is not counted as the base) will mostly go to Obama. That may not include older white men, but women and minorities will more than make up for them. This despite Republican efforts to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible by jiggering state voting rules.

It's not that I have some special knowledge that others don't. But I've voted in every election but one since 1968, and what stands out strongly in my memory are what I call, for lack of better term, the extremist years, when one party leaned far much in one direction, which for the moderate middle was too far away from them.
Obviously, and unendurably, the "who looks good for the 2016 race???" speculation will rev up before we have even recovered from this cycle. I am explicitly not trying to get into next-candidate thinking on either side. But the next identity of the Republican party is what a lot of people will be wrestling with, no matter how things go in three days. (And now, back to checking out that Virginia rally.)

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To: JohnM who wrote (206858)11/4/2012 1:28:50 AM
From: epicure
   of 514664
Congratulations John! I'm so glad you're back.

I heard someone say that there had been no murders in NY during the first few days of Sandy. That's one upside of what was a pretty horrible situation. We saw the same thing here in Ca during Loma Prieta. Gang members in Oakland came out to help people in trouble on the freeways. Somehow the natural death and destruction made people quit inflicting death and destruction on each other.

I hope you're wrong about Ohio. But I fear you might be right.

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To: koan who wrote (206844)11/4/2012 1:40:40 AM
From: bentway
   of 514664
"After Obama wins and appoints one new supreme court person expect a strong turn to the left for the supreme court."

I don't think so. He'll probably be replacing Ginsburg.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206862)11/4/2012 1:48:15 AM
From: bentway
   of 514664
The ideal thing would be for Obama to win in Ohio, AND have the Republicans caught cheating!

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To: bentway who wrote (206883)11/4/2012 1:55:17 AM
From: koan
   of 514664
Yeah, I meant a righty. That will be a sight to see.

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To: koan who wrote (206867)11/4/2012 1:58:34 AM
From: koan
   of 514664
I was getting very drunk and stoned watching this great movie "tonight you are mine" about a Scottish folk festival and they sang my favorite song "Tainted Love". And then pulled this out of my ass. Why when one is drunk and stoned does this shit come to them? I think it makes snese-lol?

Koan: Thinkers and believers.

There will never be a coming together of right and left as they are composed of thinkers and believers. How can people who live their lives according to myth (no facts) and primitive cultural mores and norms, defend their philosophy against modern day science and logic. They can't.

And that is why the congress is now two distinct populations (tails on the bell curve don't touch) and will stay that way.

The thinkers and the believers.

The thinkers wonder about things, the believers believe things.

What is all this global warming about, the thinkers ask? Won't it be dangerous if the earth gets real hot? What will happen if man is causing it by all their pollution? Are melting glaciers and pack ice, all these storms and flooding, being caused by it the thinkers ask?

The believers just parrot their tribe---ah, it is nothing. Happens all the time in history. And the 97% of scientists who say it is real are just lying because they are paid off by government grants. All 97%, easy to believe the believer says. The truth they say. Those guys are not to be trusted. Elitists. And whatever the carbon industry or their tribe, tells them to believe, they believe it with all their might, and say it. No matter what.

What are these bones we have found of other simians that are millions of years old, and look like us, the thinkers ask? And look at this DNA evidence showing we have the same DNA that they do with only slight differences.

Ah, they are nothing, just rocks, the believers say, as the earth is only 6 to 9,000 years old.

Why did that guy murder that person the thinkers ask? Was he crazy, abused as a child, in a fit of rage? And what if he is innocent, we do make mistakes, and is it right for society to kill people, the thinker asks? Maybe we should outlaw the death penalty?

Doesn't matter say the believers, he is just a bad person and we need to kill him. Serves him right the believers say. An eye for an eye they say.

What makes a person gay and if they are born that way, why shouldn't they be able to get married like everyone else the thinker asks?

Gays are people doing bad things, the believers say, and we don't want them to destroy our society, so we need to pass a defense of marriage act denying them marriage for ever. They are just perverted, the believers say.

This difference is evident every week on the Bill Maher show when he brings in thinkers, and believers, who then spend the entire show squirming in their seats embarrassed for their tribe as the thinkers shred the believers antiquated thinking with their questions of facts and logic.

And so the ancient Greeks, the first big thinkers, asked the believers of the day?

What, they ask, if?

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To: koan who wrote (206886)11/4/2012 2:06:54 AM
From: koan
   of 514664
I was thinking how seldom we talk about one of the most important gifts a person can give to their children and society.

Humor. Laughing is so good for people and society.

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To: koan who wrote (206887)11/4/2012 2:22:52 AM
From: epicure
   of 514664
Or humor can be just like anything else- something that divides people. Back in the old days when I was watching unmoderated threads (and probably to this day though I can't tell you for sure), and even on moderated threads, people would say things they thought were "funny"- but it was at the expense of one political side or the other. I don't think it was particularly good for "society". It just pissed people off.

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To: Sam who wrote (206878)11/4/2012 7:18:00 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
I am glad to see the administration getting all the facts out, to defuse the rumors and the lies. The poor wingers can't figure out why that has defused Libya as a campaign issue, because they don't want to admit that reality doesn't match the story they invented instead.


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To: JohnM who wrote (206865)11/4/2012 7:19:26 AM
From: Metacomet
   of 514664
Our house is natural gas heated and I've been told the best generator solution is a natural gas one.
Problem is that you remain dependent on the grid

Pretty sure gas is shut off as the threat of fire, like Rockaway, is high

Seems to me that you want your generator solution totally independent

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To: Sam who wrote (206879)11/4/2012 7:21:15 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
Nate Silver's numbers keep moving up in Obama's favor with more than 300 electoral votes and an 85% chance of winning. The individual states are interesting - CO is a 68% chance for Obama now, FL a tossup, IA heavily Obama, NH 79% Obama, NC clearly to Romney, OH 85% Obama and VA at 70% Obama.

Unless hundreds of polls are collectively wrong, Romney needs a miracle in the next 48 hours.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206891)11/4/2012 7:23:41 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
Obama Readies Ground Game

The Obama campaign is out with a memo detailing how it will execute its long planned ground game:

"This morning, as our volunteer Neighborhood Team Leaders opened 5,117 get-out-the-vote (GOTV) staging locations in the battleground states that will decide this election, they began to execute the final phase of a ground game unlike any American politics has ever seen. These staging locations are even more localized versions of our field offices - set up in supporters' homes, businesses or any area that can serve as a central hub for a team's GOTV activities in the final days."

"From these hyper-local Obama hubs, volunteers have signed up for 698,799 shifts to get out the vote over the final four days of this campaign, a number that grows by the minute as organizers continue assigning supporters who have expressed an interest in volunteering. These volunteerled GOTV staging locations embody what this campaign has been all about since we started organizing for change in 2007. The Neighborhood Team Leaders who are running our get-outthe-vote operation have been working in these neighborhoods for months, if not years."

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206892)11/4/2012 7:24:14 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
The Sandy bounce appears:

Obama Pulls Ahead Nationally

The latest Public Policy Polling tracking poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by three points nationally among likely voters, 50% to 47%.

Key finding: "This is the first time either candidate has led by more than 2 points in the three weeks we've been doing this survey. Obama has led in 4 individual days of polling in a row since Wednesday, suggesting that he may be getting a bounce based on his leadership during Hurricane Sandy."

Form comparison, the Rasmussen tracking poll shows a race tied at 48% each.

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To: epicure who wrote (206882)11/4/2012 7:33:44 AM
From: JohnM
   of 514664
Great to have a full night's sleep in a warmish house. And cut on the lights in the bathroom in the middle of the night. And not have our cat wrapped around us in bed. And so on.

Only, to repeat myself, folk who've lived through the cold and dark and uncertainty of power outages know what it's all about.

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To: Metacomet who wrote (206890)11/4/2012 7:39:50 AM
From: T L Comiskey
   of 514664
natural gas...and radioactivity

a well kept secret.........

'Theres something in the air...............................................'

The shale deposits that have the US gas industry so excited
were studied after WWII by the Atomic Energy Commission
and declared to be the largest uranium resource in the US.

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From: Dale Baker11/4/2012 8:34:36 AM
   of 514664
Excellent summary of how the Libya issue played out:

'Swift-Boating' of Obama fails
By: Roger Simon
November 2, 2012 02:39 PM EST

Obama should have been destroyed by now. That was the plan.

He was going to be “Swift Boated” in this election, just like John Kerry was in 2004.

It would be about Benghazi, where on Sept. 11 of this year, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. This would be the spear point that would fatally wound the Obama campaign.

It would be a classic smear: The Obama administration had delivered a “stand down” order to potential rescuers, and so the four Americans had died.

Why would any agency or anybody in the administration do such a thing? It didn’t matter. Wingnuts can always find motives. There are still people who say Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster. Whole books have been written about that one.

There are legitimate questions to be answered about what happened at Benghazi. There always are questions after such tragedies. Warnings were ignored by the George W. Bush administration before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, after all. Were warnings ignored in Libya? Hindsight will probably find some.

But Ambassador Stevens would hardly have ventured to Benghazi with inadequate protection if he thought there were legitimate warnings not to do so.

So a different narrative, a different point of attack, would have to be found for Benghazi. On Oct. 26, Fox News reported that urgent requests for military backup during the attacks in Benghazi “was denied by officials in the CIA chain of command - - who also told the CIA operators twice to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”

The CIA and State Department denied it, but “stand down” would become the rallying cry for the far right.

It not only appears everywhere on social media, but on Friday Obama was on his way to a rally at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, when, according to the White House press pool report, it “passed small groups of onlookers, including a slightly larger cluster holding signs related to Benghazi such as: ‘We won’t stand down … Benghazi’ and ‘What are you hiding?’ ”

But Benghazi has proven to be not dynamite, but a firecracker. The October surprise has not turned into a bombshell. Instead, it has bombed.

Romney might have made it an issue, but he blew two chances. In the second presidential debate, Romney delivered a muddled attack as to whether the administration had called the killings a terrorist act quickly enough. Then Romney finally managed to remember his talking point.

“But I find more troubling than this, that on - - on the day following the assassination of the United States ambassador … when we have four Americans killed there, when apparently we didn’t know what happened, that the president, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for a political fundraiser, then the next day to Colorado for another event, other political event,” Romney said.

But Obama was ready. He had rehearsed, too. “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.”

Romney then eagerly leapt into a parsing battle (which he lost) as to whether Obama actually had called it “an act of terror.” But who cares what Obama called it? It is far more important if Obama failed to protect American lives. Why didn’t Romney pursue that?

It was a mistake and one he failed to correct in the final debate when moderator Bob Schieffer raised it in his very first question. But Romney muddled about again: “We see in — in — in Libya an attack apparently by — well, I think we know now by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead. Our hearts and minds go to them.”

So Romney blew it. And the Obama administration responded yesterday with an extensive tick-tock of events stating that help was rushed to Benghazi and there was no stand-down order.

David Ignatius, the highly respected columnist and associate editor of the Washington Post, who had been vigorous in demanding more information about Benghazi, wrote online Thursday: “While there were multiple errors that led to the final tragedy, there’s no evidence that the White House or CIA leadership deliberately delayed or impeded rescue efforts.”

Not that the Romney campaign couldn’t find diehard conspiracy advocates. John McCain, who has been determined for the past four years to stamp out any admiration he once earned for being a principled “maverick,” told Fox News Thursday that the Obama administration was engaged in “a classic scandal and cover-up” that “could be as bad as Watergate.” Worse, actually, since “nobody died in Watergate.”

“I think it can have an impact [on the election] because we’ve still got five more days,” McCain said hopefully.

But it won’t. There have been enough domestic smears, slurs and lies in this election that we don’t have to go looking for them in Benghazi.

Roger Simon is POLITICO’s chief political columnist.

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From: Metacomet11/4/2012 8:37:11 AM
   of 514664
Romney was asked whether he thinks waterboarding is torture. Here was his extremely matter-of-fact answer:

I don't, but I don't....I'm not going to lay out the list of what is and what is not torture....We will have a policy of doing what we think is in our best interest. We'll use enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now.

Obama's track record on civil liberties is poor. At the same time, Obama at least tried to close Guantanamo; Romney wants to double it. Obama and Eric Holder at least made an effort to hold civilian trials for terrorist suspects; Romney is contemptuous of them. Obama banned torture; Romney wants to bring it back. And Obama has been restrained on intervention in Syria and Iran; Romney is eager to set red lines and begin directly arming rebels.

Anyone whose vote is based on civil liberties and national security issues ought to be aware of what it means to do anything that makes a Romney victory more likely. As bad as you think things are now, it means implicitly supporting the election of someone who would make them appreciably worse. It's sophistry to pretend otherwise.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (206880)11/4/2012 8:53:13 AM
From: Sam
   of 514664
Sadly, I imagine this means that if Obama is reelected, the GOP will just double down on Obama hatred as a way of life.

Unhappily, it may come to that. The wingers are already talking about impeachment--Banghazi has become in their minds an impeachable offense, "choosing to let four American heroes die" without defending them. For, allegedly, political reasons. Of course, they were also waxing indignant over the fact that General Ham, commander of the African Command, resigned over the fact that he was told to stand down instead of sending help to the Benghazi heroes; unfortunately for them, Ham never actually resigned and hasn't confirmed their story in any way, but that, they say, is because he is a true soldier who won't speak ill of his superiors, they "know" that their story about Obama's cowardice and political calculations is correct. They know all this because-- they know him, they know his motivations, they know "he lies," they know everything. They don't need for General Ham to speak up, they see his body language. They don't need any more facts themselves, they only need confirmation in order to prove it all to the zombies who have been mesmerized by Obama or who hate America or who are envious of the rich.

If they can impeach a guy over a blow job and then lying about it in a kangaroo court, they can impeach a guy over Benghazi, and feel all virtuous and righteous inside.

They are unhinged.

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To: JohnM who wrote (206874)11/4/2012 9:04:48 AM
From: Steve Lokness
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<<<One of the more harried campaign jobs with zero gratitude from anyone.>>>>>

Not only that but if my feelings are represented by many people your calling will backfire. Do you really think your calls will change a vote at this time? For me they make me want to vote for the other guy. Same with negative advertising.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206896)11/4/2012 9:06:15 AM
From: Sam
   of 514664

Romney then eagerly leapt into a parsing battle (which he lost) as to whether Obama actually had called it “an act of terror.” But who cares what Obama called it? It is far more important if Obama failed to protect American lives. Why didn’t Romney pursue that?

It was a mistake and one he failed to correct in the final debate when moderator Bob Schieffer raised it in his very first question. But Romney muddled about again: “We see in — in — in Libya an attack apparently by — well, I think we know now by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead. Our hearts and minds go to them.”

The problem the RW conspiracy folk have is that Romney is now being briefed on foreign affairs and everything else that serious candidates get briefed on, and he knows that there is no "there" there, so he can't just lie about it to Obama's face. That "stare" that Obama was giving him during the FP debate was saying, "You know that what people are saying isn't true, are you really going to shamelessly repeat those ridiculous lies here in public when we both know that that is what they are, and we both know that we both know that?"

What is surprising and comforting about that piece is that Roger Simon wrote it. Simon is part of the RW. If I am recalling this correctly, he was even one of the people in favor of Clinton's impeachment back in the day. It is nice to see someone like that writing more sensibly about this.

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To: Ron who wrote (206872)11/4/2012 9:06:58 AM
From: Steve Lokness
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<<<<<<I have found volunteer work quite rewarding>>>>>>

Taking someone to the polls is admirable and I respect your efforts at that. Wish to hell the volunteers that are calling would use their time to do something equally as good.

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To: Sam who wrote (206900)11/4/2012 9:27:06 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
I'm glad you confirmed that about Simon because I had a notion that he was far from a liberal pundit but didn't remember for sure.

The winger echo chamber is getting weirder and weirder. Imagine what Wednesday will look like if/when they lose. I can imagine the level of insanity reaching new highs.

And Obama is even or ahead in the national polls, with the state firewalls looking good too.

News Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney enter the final sprint before Election Day essentially deadlocked nationally in what looks set to be one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of likely voters finds Mr. Obama leading his rival by 48% to 47% as the two men crisscross the country to rally supporters in the states most likely to decide the outcome.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206891)11/4/2012 9:42:44 AM
From: neolib
   of 514664
He seems to be doubling down. Either he is going to do a face-plant or get more famous, take your pick.

How is he getting CO at 68% chance for Obama? I thought most the polls are showing the opposite: going for Romney.

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To: neolib who wrote (206903)11/4/2012 9:45:52 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
The CO polls are a grab bag slightly in Obama's favor. Silver includes some other factors about each state and mixes those in too, so his numbers may differ from simply averaging the polls.

The unknown out West is if Hispanics really have been undercounted. That can only go to Obama's favor.

Pollster Dates Pop. Obama Romney Undecided Margin
Ipsos/Reuters (Web) NEW! 11/1 - 11/3 973 LV 45 47 4 Romney +2
PPP (D-LCV) 10/31 - 11/1 825 LV 50 46 4 Obama +4
Denver Post/SurveyUSA 10/28 - 10/31 695 LV 47 45 - Obama +2
Ipsos/Reuters (Web) 10/27 - 10/31 744 LV 45 46 6 Romney +1
CNN 10/26 - 10/31 764 LV 50 48 2 Obama +2
We Ask America 10/30 - 10/30 1,246 LV 50 47 - Obama +3
Rasmussen 10/29 - 10/29 750 LV 47 50 1 Romney +3
Grove Insight (D-Project New America/USAction) 10/28 - 10/29 500 LV 48 45 6 Obama +3
ARG 10/25 - 10/28 600 LV 47 48 4 Romney +1
PPP (D) 10/23 - 10/25 904 LV 51 47 2 Obama +4

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To: neolib who wrote (206903)11/4/2012 9:46:04 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
How Romney Would Treat Women

IN this year’s campaign furor over a supposed “war on women,” involving birth control and abortion, the assumption is that the audience worrying about these issues is just women.

Give us a little credit. We men aren’t mercenaries caring only for Y chromosomes. We have wives and daughters, mothers and sisters, and we have a pretty intimate stake in contraception as well.

This isn’t like a tampon commercial on television, leaving men awkwardly examining their fingernails. When it comes to women’s health, men as well as women need to pay attention. Just as civil rights wasn’t just a “black issue,” women’s rights and reproductive health shouldn’t be reduced to a “women’s issue.”

To me, actually, talk about a “war on women” in the United States seems a bit hyperbolic: in Congo or Darfur or Afghanistan, I’ve seen brutal wars on women, involving policies of rape or denial of girls’ education. But whatever we call it, something real is going on here at home that would mark a major setback for American women — and the men who love them.

On these issues, Mitt Romney is no moderate. On the contrary, he is considerably more extreme than President George W. Bush was. He insists, for example, on cutting off money for cancer screenings conducted by Planned Parenthood.

The most toxic issue is abortion, and what matters most for that is Supreme Court appointments. The oldest justice is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a 79-year-old liberal, and if she were replaced by a younger Antonin Scalia, the balance might shift on many issues, including abortion.

One result might be the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which for nearly four decades has guaranteed abortion rights. If it is overturned, abortion will be left to the states — and in Mississippi or Kansas, women might end up being arrested for obtaining abortions.

Frankly, I respect politicians like Paul Ryan who are consistently anti-abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. I disagree with them, but their position is unpopular and will cost them votes, so it’s probably heartfelt as well as courageous. I have less respect for Romney, whose positions seem based only on political calculations.

Romney’s campaign Web site takes a hard line. It says that life begins at conception, and it gives no hint of exceptions in which he would permit abortion. The Republican Party platform likewise offers no exceptions. Romney says now that his policy is to oppose abortion with three exceptions: rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at stake.

If you can figure out Romney’s position on abortion with confidence, tell him: at times it seems he can’t remember it. In August, he abruptly added an exception for the health of the mother as well as her life, and then he backed away again.

Romney has also endorsed a “ personhood” initiative treating a fertilized egg as a legal person. That could lead to murder charges for an abortion, even to save the life of a mother.

In effect, Romney seems to have jumped on board a Republican bandwagon to tighten access to abortion across the board. States passed a record number of restrictions on abortion in the last two years. In four states, even a woman who is seeking an abortion after a rape may be legally required to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound.

If politicians want to reduce the number of abortions, they should promote family planning and comprehensive sex education. After all, about half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts research on reproductive health.

Yet Romney seems determined to curb access to contraceptives. His campaign Web site says he would “eliminate Title X family planning funding,” a program created in large part by two Republicans, George H. W. Bush and Richard Nixon.

Romney has boasted that he would cut off all money for Planned Parenthood — even though federal assistance for the organization has nothing to do with abortions. It pays for such things as screenings to reduce breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Romney’s suspicion of contraception goes way back. As governor of Massachusetts, he vetoed a bill that would have given women who were raped access to emergency contraception.

Romney also wants to reinstate the “ global gag rule,” which barred family planning money from going to aid organizations that even provided information about abortion. He would cut off money for the United Nations Population Fund, whose work I’ve seen in many countries — supporting contraception, repairing obstetric fistulas, and fighting to save the lives of women dying in childbirth.

So when you hear people scoff that there’s no real difference between Obama and Romney, don’t believe them.

And it’s not just women who should be offended at the prospect of a major step backward. It’s all of us.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206905)11/4/2012 9:48:42 AM
From: Sam
   of 514664
from WaPo: Outlook's 16th Crystal Ball contest

For our biennial competition, the Outlook section decided to mix it up a bit. We invited several pundits and strategists, as usual, but also people who specialize in forecasting that is decidedly not political. Can the pros hold off the amateurs? We'll announce the winner next week.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (206904)11/4/2012 9:50:49 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 514664
Kyle Leighton
November 3, 2012, 9:12 PM 26744

President Obama has seen a boost in his job approval ratings in the past week as the nation has dealt with Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. Meanwhile, Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s favorability has hit a rough patch following almost a month of gains.

The shifts come with the the election just days away and could mark a late turn in a campaign that has drawn on for two years.

Since Oct. 28, a national tracking poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling has shown Obama’s job approval making a net gain of 6 percentage points. PPP is also the only national poll tracking a similar metric for Romney, his favorability rating, on a daily basis. During the same period, Romney’s favorability has dropped by a net 7 points.

Other daily tracking polls have also shown Obama making similar gains. Republican-leaning Rasmussen showed a 5-point net boost since its Monday poll. A daily ABC News/Washington Post poll has put Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent or above in nine of the 12 editions through Friday, and at 49 percent on the three other days.

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To: Sam who wrote (206906)11/4/2012 9:52:26 AM
From: Sam
   of 514664
I've said this before, but-- I really really hope that Nebraskans send Bob Kerrey back to the Senate. Even Alan Simpson hopes so. My bolding below.

Republican Simpson backs Democrat Kerrey in Neb. Senate race

By DAVID ROGERS | 10/29/12 5:34 PM EDT

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson endorsed the uphill Senate campaign of Democrat Bob Kerrey in Nebraska Monday, describing his former colleague as a friend and someone willing to “place the national interest ahead of the howling special interests” in addressing the federal debt and entitlement reforms.

Recent polls show Kerrey closing in on Republican Deb Fischer, and the Simpson endorsement appears timed to give the Democrat an added boost in reaching out to independent and GOP voters in this last week before the election.

“We’ve had a long friendship going back to legislation we worked on together and the Danforth Commission,” Simpson told POLITICO, speaking of a 1990’s entitlement reform panel co-chaired by then Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and Kerrey. “I said `Can I help?’ and I did.”

Simpson, a former Senate Republican whip in the 80’s and 90’s, represented Wyoming for three terms in Senate but is best known today as an activist promoting bipartisan efforts to address future deficits through a combination of spending cuts and added tax revenues. Together with Erskine Bowles — Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — Simpson co-chaired a presidential debt commission in 2010 and has remained at the forefront with Bowles in trying to break the logjam in Congress.

Among Senate campaigns this year, the two men have backed Angus King, running as an independent in Maine. But to come out publicly for Kerrey — whom Bowles already endorsed — is striking for even a maverick like Simpson given his substantial Republican credentials.

“The point is to keep pissing people off and at 81 I’ve reached the apex of my career,” Simpson joked, but he has proven passionate about pushing ahead on the deficit issue.

“Erskine and I are supporting Bob Kerrey because he has told Nebraskans the honest truth about the critical necessity of assuring the 75-year solvency of the Social Security system, and stabilizing Medicare and Medicaid in a way that preserves and strengthens the needed protections for seniors and the most vulnerable in our society,” Simpson said in his statement released Monday.

“Bob and I often worked together in the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan way…He will place the national interest ahead of the howling special interests and be ready to make the hard, tough choices so needed today to rein in the destructive national debt and deficit and craft thoughtful solutions for these precious Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs in such a manner as to assure that they will “be there” for our children and grandchildren – and do it now - Before it’s too late.”

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