Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings: The Governors (Back to School Edition)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks at a meeting of the Latin Builders Association in Miami, Florida January 27, 2012.    REUTERS/Joe Skipper   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

For the fourth month in a row, Florida’s Rick Scott sees his re-election near the top of the Power Rankings.

If we wanted to give an alternate title to the Power Rankings this month (“back to school”, from a calendar perspective, made the most sense), we could have selected from two worthy options.

This could have been:

Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings: The Governors (Revenge of the Primary Effect)

Or, perhaps it could have been:

Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings: The Governors (Everyone in the Pool!)

That’s because, unlike the Senate Power Rankings, the late-developing primaries did play a small amount of Hell with the gubernatorial list this month, including launching a new #1 race that, one has to believe, won’t be in the top spot come November.

Also, for the first time in the history of the Power Rankings, every single race on the gubernatorial roster scored at least single points, meaning they were either polled (which is precisely what happened) or merited a mention in our DKE daily digests.

So, with the primaries garnering attention, and everyone getting on the board, how did the monthly top ten shake out? Head past the jump to find out.

‘Stuck in the past’ on women? Play offense, say GOP strategists

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


Women make less than men in almost every field 4 years after graduation.

GOP solution? ignore this and blame the poor.

“We have to quit sitting back and taking it on the chin. I think we have to play offense on this.”
Katie Packer Gage, Republican strategist

Two conservative groups did a study about the attitudes of women voters toward the Republican Party. As reported to Politico, the results were thoroughly unsurprising: the study, which combined both focus groups and quantitative surveys, found that in general, women felt that the Republican Party lacked compassion and was “stuck in the past.” The same study showed that among women, Democrats have massive advantages in perceptions of who cares about making health care more affordable, who cares about women’s interests, and who tolerates the lifestyles of others.

It’s not a pretty picture for the Republican Party: while they may skate by in 2014 on the basis of it being a lower-turnout and more Republican-friendly midterm election, they will undoubtedly face significant trouble in 2016, especially with the possibility looming of facing off against a very popular figure in Hillary Clinton who will motivate women to vote—and not just because of her gender, but because of her actual stance on issues important to women. So while it’s conceivable that Republicans could make gains this year despite the gender gap, they will almost certainly lose the White House for a third straight time absent some sort of significant change.

And what sort of change do they think they need? According to some Republican strategists, it’s to “go on offense” on women’s issues. More below the fold.

A New Chapter for Meet the Press

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


A revealing look at Chuck Todd, the new moderator of MTP, from those who know him best.

Chuck Todd on MTP: Don’t Hate Politics, Hate Bad Politicians

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


New moderator of Meet the Press explains why politics should be everyone’s passion.

The best and worst campaign ads of 2014 (so far)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


The 2014 campaign is well under way, and the ads have been flying. Most spots are unmemorable, but there are a few that stick out. Some of them offer a compelling and memorable case to voters, either in a primary or general election. Others … don’t.

What follows is a look at 10 spots from up to this point in the 2014 cycle. Five of them are good, and five of them have a serious flaw. There are plenty of great and terrible ads that didn’t get included. These 10 spots were chosen because each offers a lesson in political messaging, and they are worth learning from.

Let’s start with the above commercial, a spot that is almost universally mocked.

MI-Sen: Terri Lynn Land (R): This may go down as the most memorable ad of the cycle, and not in a good way. Republican Terri Lynn Land decided to counter Democratic attacks that she favors policies that hurt women by … drinking coffee. Seriously. Land concludes the ad by declaring that as a woman, she may know a little more about women than her Democratic opponent Gary Peters.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz memorably called it “the worst ad of the political process,” and it’s not hard to see why. The spot is trying to use humor to point out what it thinks is an absurd idea, that a woman could be part of a war on women. Only it’s not at all absurd: Peters and his allies have attacked Land for opposing policies like equal pay for women and abortion rights. By saying nothing to counter the attacks in her spot, Land is actually giving them more credibility.

What we can learn: Don’t just assume that voters will immediately take your side when you’re being attacked, even if you think the attacks are ridiculous. Also, don’t spend two-thirds of an ad doing nothing.

Head below the fold for more.

Dianne Feinstein Extended MTP Interview

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein’s, D-Calif., full interview from Meet the Press where she discusses the threat from the terror group ISIS, Russian relations and Vladimir Putin, and more.

White man jaywalks with gun…guess what happens?

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


When I saw this video posted here recently, I had to go back and look at it again.

I saw a white man with a gun.

I heard a policeman saying, “Place the weapon down on the ground, please. … are crossing the street illegally … I need you to put the gun down before I talk to you. … You have committed a crime … you are jaywalking. … I don’t want to shoot you, I’m not here to do that. … Why are you so angry. … Why are you cursing at me?”

Watching the whole incident all I could think of were those dead (unarmed) black men and boys who never had the opportunity to be “talked down,” called “sir,” and were murdered by police.  

Or they were leaning on a toy gun in Walmart. Like John Crawford III.

a photo of John Crawford III gunned down in Walmart

John Crawford lll, gunned down by Beavercreek, Ohio police in Walmart, August 5, 2014.

I wanted to find out what happened to this white man who defied police, made obscene gestures at them and who cursed them out.

The man, Joseph Houseman, is a gun rights advocate. He got his 15 minutes (more like 40 or 50) of fame and walked.  

In the Department of Public Safety’s decision not to pursue charges, Webster said later that even though Houseman did not have the rifle in a sling and was  “fidgeting” with it, it was not evident that he was “brandishing” it.

This news got covered as a “gun rights” story.

From my perspective it’s a “white rights” story.  

Does anyone honestly believe a black man, or teen, or boy would have walked away from this alive?

Follow me below the fold for more.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2014-05-2008


I try to stick one story at the start of these things, but sometimes you have to acknowledge two.

Michael Wines looks at police, race and the lack of actual data.

If anything good has come out of this month’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., it is that the death of the black teenager shined a spotlight on the plague of shootings of black men by white police officers. And maybe now, the nation will begin to address the racism behind it. … few doubt that blacks are more likely than whites to die in police shootings; in most cities, the percentage almost certainly exceeds the African-American share of the population.

Such arguments suggest that the use of deadly force by police officers unfairly targets blacks. All that is needed are the numbers to prove it. …

Researchers have sought reliable data on shootings by police officers for years, and Congress even ordered the Justice Department to provide it, albeit somewhat vaguely, in 1994. But two decades later, there remains no comprehensive survey of police homicides. The even greater number of police shootings that do not kill, but leave suspects injured, sometimes gravely, is another statistical mystery.

The government’s inaction in collecting data on police activity, is exactly equivalent to the NRA’s action in blocking the collection of information about gun violence. Both are very uncomfortable about what the numbers would say.

Leonard Pitts on true American exceptionalism

Sometimes you read a sentence and you think to yourself: only here, only us. Here’s one such sentence.

“A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her.”

That’s from a New York Times account of the death of 39-year-old Charles Vacca, who worked for the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Arizona. He died Monday when his preteen student lost control of the Uzi. Apparently, the gun was in “repeat fire” mode, the recoil lifted the muzzle, the little girl couldn’t master it and Vacca was struck in the head. …

What kind of shooting range allows a prepubescent girl to fire an Uzi? What kind of instructor does not guard against recoil when a child is handling such a powerful weapon? What kind of parents think it’s a good idea to put a submachine gun in their 9-year-old’s hands? And what kind of idiot country does not prohibit such things by law?

It is the last question that should most concern us. There’s not much you can do about individual lack of judgment. Some people will always be idiots. Some companies will always be idiots. But a country and its laws should be an expression of a people’s collective wisdom. So for a country to be idiotic says something sweeping about national character.

Ummm… Amen?

Come in, let’s see what else is up…

Sunday Talk: If you build it (all by yourself), he will come

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-08-2014-05-2008


It’s been nearly two years since America’s sweetheart, Mitt Romney, got sk[r]ewed out of the presidency (#ThanksOsama), and Republicans are still working through the stages of grief.

First came the denial, which quickly—too quickly for some—gave way to anger; oh, teh butthurt!

Many now insist that time has proven Romney right, about everything—but you just can’t bargain with those people.

I mean, not even Romney himself believes that bullshit.

In fact, just last week he acknowledged that President Obama is much worse than he had expected.

So, you see, Mitt Romney isn’t perfect, like a robot.

He’s a human being, just like you and me—but with a car elevator.

The sooner Republicans stop acting all depressed (about their 2016 field) and accept this (have a “Come to Jesus Joseph Smithmoment, if you will), the better their chances of preventing Obama’s third term, and ensuring the survival of white privilege, will be.

Feinstein says Pres. Obama ‘Too Cautious’ on ISIS

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-08-2014-05-2008


Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein discusses the threat of ISIS in an exclusive interview with NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell to air Sunday on Meet the Press.