Midday open thread: No harassment on Fifth Avenue? GOP schedules presidential debate

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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  • Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is Gamergate wants you!:
    Cartoon by Mark Fiore -- Gamergate wants you!
  • What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …
    • The Mukasey Rule: Lame-duck Obama should get the Attorney General he wants, by Jon Perr
    • How to pick the right judge on November 4, by Susan Grigsby
    • Why we must vote, by Denise Oliver Velez
    • Channeling militia rhetoric, NRA magazine delivers conspiracy-riddled ‘Vote Your Guns’ issue, by Hunter
    • Lies, myths, and other made-up stories: Wisconsin edition, by Mark E Anderson
    • We can all GOTV for 2014 but it must be GOTV throughout the year every year, by Egberto Willies
    • Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings: The Final Countdown, by Steve Singiser
    • What, exactly, is the difference between Joni Ernst and Cliven Bundy, by Ian Reifowitz
    • An hour-by-hour guide to election night, by Jeff Singer
    • Two states going in very different directions, by David Jarman
  • Please take 30 seconds to bookmark this for election night: the Daily Kos Elections map of poll closing times for the entire country. That way, you can know when to start checking returns in each state as results roll in on Nov. 4. Note that all times are Eastern.
  • Ruth Baby Ginsberg wins Halloween, so stop trying. (h/t @NaamaHaviv) http://t.co/…
    @taffyakner

  • Joyce Carol Oates says there’s no street harassment on Fifth Ave.:

    Oates sounded, to say the least, like she had no idea what she was talking about. To investigate this, I called Emily May, Hollaback co-founder and executive director.

    Street harassment “is absolutely a pervasive problem,” said May. She was not present at the shoot, but “the video, as I understand it, was mostly shot in Midtown. They were also downtown in Washington Square Park, Long Island City, the Brooklyn bridge. The vast majority was shot in Midtown. The reason for that is that we have been mapping street harassment since 2010, and what we found after these four years mapping is that’s where most of the street harassment seems to be happening.”

  • Mark your calendar! GOP schedules first presidential debate. Gack.
  • Sign up right now to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in the toss-up states that will decide control of the Senate.

  • Wall Street climate-change protestors will use “necessity” defense. The day after, at least 300,000 protestors showed up for the People Climate March in New York City last month, several thousand showed up for a more militant but still peaceful Flood Wall Street demonstration. That target was capitalism for some, and for others the way capitalism is practiced now and how that affects climate change and the efforts to do something about it. One hundred were arrested for disorderly conduct, blocking the street and refusal to disperse. Most accepted a plea deal. But a dozen said no to that. They are pleading not guilty, so a trial will begin Dec. 8. They will be arguing the “necessity defense.” Here’s the group’s media spokesman, John Tarleton:

    “The harm being caused by Wall Street is so much greater than any harm done when people were sitting down on Broadway and Wall St.,” he told a small crowd.

    The defendants will all face up to fifteen days in jail, and up to a $500 fine.

  • On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Follow-up on EFF’s “sneak & peek” warrant report. The privatized surveillance dodge. Today in “What Could Go Wrong?”: CIA-Amazon  cloud computing deal; “personhood” amendments; FBI’s fake news page hack nab a suspect.

Nope. Skyrocketing Obamacare premiums just not happening in 2015.

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) is flanked by Senator John Thune (R-SD) (L) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) (R) as he addresses reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, February 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES

Dead wrong on Obamacare.

One more Republican lie about Obamacare can now be put fully to rest. There’s more competition for 2015 in the health insurance exchanges, and that means low rate increases.

Obamacare premiums, once predicted to skyrocket in the second year under the government’s marketplace, have risen about 6 percent for 2015, according to an analysis of preliminary state filings.

While foes of the Affordable Care Act warned of double-digit rate increases, the costs of premiums seen so far is more modest for the new year. One reason may be that insurers who came in high in 2014 found themselves beaten out for enrollments. At the same time, 77 new insurance plans will be competing for customers in 2015, U.S. officials say.

No wonder Obamacare isn’t the 2014 election horror story—it’s just not that scary anymore. And yet, you’ve still got Mitch McConnell promising repeal is going to be job #1 if he’s majority leader next year. That tells you the most extreme faction of the GOP is still running their show. That the most extreme faction of the GOP won’t just be in control of the House, but could be taking over the Senate.

Sign up right now to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in the toss-up states that will decide control of the Senate.

I’m sorry, I can’t make phone calls, but I will chip in $3 to Daily Kos to help fuel Get Out The Vote efforts.

Obama puts spotlight on women in quest for midterm votes

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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U.S. President Barack Obama joins Rhode Island candidate for Governor Gina Raimondo at Gregg's Restaurant in Providence, Rhode IslandBy Steve Holland PROVIDENCE R.I. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, hoping for a strong turnout from female voters for Democratic candidates in congressional and gubernatorial elections next week, put women in the spotlight on Friday at an economic-focused event in Rhode Island. Obama has made only a handful of appearances on the campaign trail for the mid-term elections in addition to a series of fundraising swings, but his limited public stops have been aimed at shoring up support among key Democratic constituents including African Americans. …

Democrats are a big American majority, but don’t show it at the polls

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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Check out these numbers from a newly released Elon Poll of North Carolina:

* Among likely voters, it’s close: Hagan, 44.7 percent – Tillis, 40.7 percent.

* Among registered voters, it’s wider: Hagan, 44.8 percent — Tillis, 37.5 percent.

* Among all residents, it’s wider still: Hagan, 43.5 percent; Tillis, 35.5 percent.

Among likely voters, like all other recent polling of the Tarheel State, everything is pretty tight.

Expand out to all registered voters, and you see that Democrats are over three points better. Again, that’s something seen in pretty much all polling around the country—if our registered voters all turn out, we’re in much better shape.

But we rarely get to see numbers from all adults, including those that aren’t registered. And the results of this poll—a huge eight-point lead—should be no surprise.

In short, if everyone voted, incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan would be safe in this highly polarized, highly competitive state, and the numbers would look similar in virtually every tight race around the country. Heck, some non-tight races (like TX-Gov) would look much different with universal voter participation.

Fact is, we are the majority party, but that’s no consolation when our core constituencies are the least likely to vote.

So rather than spend hundreds of millions in bullshit ads chasing the apathetic tiny fringe, why not spend it registering and activating our core constituencies? I’m talking a quarter billion dollar project to identify, register, and turn out our voters over the next several years.

And for those who think the money doesn’t exist, of course it does. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that $3.7 billion has already been spent this cycle, and Democrats are probably a little less than half of that. So as Democrats close in on $2 billion spent, you mean to tell me that they and their allies can’t scrounge up $250 million to make their lives a whole fucking easier come election time? Of course they could, if the will was there.

The DSCC’s $60 million investment on field this cycle was a great start. But it can’t just be a single-party committee, it has to be a movement-wide project. And if successful? Forget the Republicans, they’d be irrelevant, pissing away their money on ads that no one watches or pays attention to anymore.

Sign up right now to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in the toss-up states that will decide control of the Senate.

I’m sorry, I can’t make phone calls, but I will chip in $3 to Daily Kos to help fuel Get Out The Vote efforts.

Too late to register people, but not too late to help get those “unlikely voters” to the polls.

State Dept. defends balance of career vs. political posts

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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Foreign service officers vs. political appointees, round 1 million. The State Department rejects criticism that President Barack Obama’s administration has given too many diplomatic jobs to political appointees.

Want Walker out in Wisconsin? Get out the vote in this tight, tight race

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at CPAC 2013.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)

The Wisconsin governor’s race is going down to the wire. According to the latest from Public Policy Polling, Republican Gov. Scott Walker leads Democrat Mary Burke by just one point, 48 percent to 47 percent.

That’s close, and it underscores the importance of GETTING OUT THE DAMN VOTE.

There’s no shortage of issues to hold against Scott Walker: He’s attacked union workers and women workers and reproductive rights and voting rights. He’s made big promises about job creation, then sucked at job creation. He’s refused Medicaid expansion, denying health coverage to 87,000 people. He thinks $7.25 an hour is a living wage and that the minimum wage doesn’t serve a purpose anyway.

Walker has benefited from a firehose of money, but he’s still worried. And no wonder—it’s not just a second term as governor on the line for him, he’s also looking ahead to his 2016 prospects, and a loss or even a narrow win will hurt him there.

Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in Wisconsin.

I’m sorry, I can’t make phone calls, but I will chip in $3 to Daily Kos to help fuel Get Out The Vote efforts.

Seriously, one point between Walker and Burke. Get out the vote.

Yes, tea party membership is fueled by ‘racial resentment’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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Gov. Mike Pence speaking at Tea Party rally.March 31, 2011

Did the tea party come about because a bunch of old white conservatives suddenly got it into their heads that their taxes were too high, or was it a more simplistic—read, racist—reaction to the election of America’s first black president? Let’s find out, using science!

At least to some degree, the Tea Party movement is an outlet for mobilizing and expressing racialized grievances which have been symbolically magnified by the election of the nation’s first black president,” writes a research team led by Florida State University sociologist Daniel Tope.

The study, just published in the journal Social Science Research, finds this acrimony appears to be aimed specifically at blacks rather than also targeting Latinos. While that’s somewhat surprising, “The findings suggest that, among conservatives, racial resentment may be a more important determinate of membership in the Tea Party movement than hard-right political values.”

Your membership in the tea party may have stronger ties to anti-black racial resentments than any declared political values? How shocking! How unexpected! And so on, and so forth!

[T]he researchers found racial resentment was a “distinct factor” driving membership, one which was “largely independent” from ideological concerns. “Conservatives who were more racially resentful were substantially more likely to claim Tea Party movement membership,” they write.

The caveat to all of this is that it is dastardly science, and the people who are out there wearing triangular hats complaining that Barack Obama is clearly the most tyrannical and out of control president ever insist that they have not suddenly discovered how oppressed they are and how mistrustful of presidential authority they should be because their president is now A Black Guy. That they just happen to also answer a series of questions about race in a manner that clearly demonstrates their hostility to black Americans is, they will insist, purely a coincidence.

We could extend this further and theorize that the tea party movement as embraced by the wider Republican party, and I don’t think you can make any serious argument that it hasn’t been embraced, is itself just an extension of the well-worn Southern Strategy. The election time concern over Obama’s suspicious black preacher; the deep suspicions as to whether Obama was even an “American” or whether his citizenship itself was a fraud; his supposed secret Muslimness; the sudden alarm over government czars; the ongoing and ever-fruitless investigations into take-your-pick. The dominant theme of Republicanism over the last six years has been first and foremost that Obama must not be allowed to be successful, and that his mere existence in the office has brought about all sorts of intolerable “government tyrannies” that were not “government tyrannies” when the last president did them.

It’s not just the theme of the tea partiers, but of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and the rest of party leadership, and Fox News, and the usual conservative publications that promise they’ve finally gotten over that whole business with segregation now so it would be wrong to hold that against them. Don’t trust that guy, they say. He may be doing the same thing that all the other presidents have done, what with appointing people to positions and signing executive orders and giving speeches and the like, but when that guy does it he can’t be trusted. He’s not American “in his heart.” He doesn’t have America’s best interests in mind. His “affinities” are more with Africa than with us, say the “conservative” pundits.

Where was I? Ah, yes. It turns out the movement that started as an old southern conservative white guy revolt immediately after the election of America’s first non-white president sports racial resentment as a more important determinate of membership than any specific conservative issue or policy. Yes, yes, we’re all shocked.

How a tech-savvy grandma is trying to lead Kansas Democrats out of the wilderness

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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In 2010, a historic Election Day sweep in Kansas saw Democrats lose every statewide office. Many people wrote them off for dead, but Joan Wagnon reused to believe it. Now the 74-year-old state chair is using technology to rebuild and modernize the party.

‘Not voting is a vote for Mitch McConnell’—How to make phone calls

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3UAWO

Not voting in Kentucky Senate race is a vote for McConnell

At the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jennifer Epps-Addison says this about the Wisconsin governor’s race—where Republican Scott Walker’s re-election is too close to call.

Scott Walker is counting on you to stay home. That’s because when you don’t vote, you’re saying that you approve of the way he’s running our state. Not voting means that you approve of more low-wage jobs, drastic cuts to public education and BadgerCare, and taking away women’s and workers’ rights.

Along with 5,000 Daily Kos members, I’ve been making get-out-the-vote phone calls to states with crucial Senate races—and every once in a while, I talk to a voter who’s not sure about voting for the Democrat. But they clearly understand that the Republican is bad news.

Not voting in Kentucky is a vote for Mitch McConnell, letting him stay in the Senate as obstructor-in-chief. Not voting in Iowa is a vote for Joni Ernst, and her deeply disturbing right-wing views. Not voting in Colorado is a vote for Cory Gardner, and not voting in North Carolina is a vote for Thom Tillis.

So when you’re on the phone talking to voters, and you can’t convince the person to support the Democrat—please remind them that not voting is really just a vote for the Republican.

Epps-Addison goes on to explain that Republicans benefit when our people don’t vote:

Republicans admit that their chances of winning are better when fewer people vote.  That’s why Scott Walker pushed his unconstitutional voter ID law.  That’s why he cut back early voting hours and eliminated weekends. If you don’t vote, you’re voicing your approval of these attempts to rig the election.

Sign up right now to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in the toss-up states that will decide control of the Senate.

I’m sorry, I can’t make phone calls, but I will chip in $3 to Daily Kos to help fuel Get Out The Vote efforts.

Chuck Todd: Takeaways From ‘Meet the Voters’ – Louisiana Edition

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-10-2014-05-2008

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We spoke with voters to better understand what issues will decide this unusual “jungle primary” — and its possible runoff in December.