Contributors

Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Flippers

Take a look at these charts from NPR. They show the people that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then flipped to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. The contrast is staggering. How could this happen? At first glance, it appears confusing and beyond explanation. Obama and Trump are two vastly different people. I'd go as far to state that one is good and one is bad.

Yet they do have a common thread that they also share with Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. The losers in past elections (Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole and George HW Bush) also have something in common. It's pretty simple when you think about it. The winners all have a populist appeal and seem to care more about common folk. The losers come off as elitist and unsympathetic to your average Joe.

All either party has to do in each presidential election cycle is nominate someone that is populist and is down with regular people. That's it. It really has nothing to do with Ds or Rs.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

When Did Optimism Become Uncool?

Good question. Given reality, it makes no sense.

Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the “good old days.” The American economy is No. 1 by a huge margin, larger than Nos. 2 and 3 (China and Japan) combined. Americans are seven times as productive, per capita, as Chinese citizens. The dollar is the currency the world craves — which means other countries perceive America’s long-term prospects as very good.

Pollution, discrimination, crime and most diseases are in an extended decline; living standards, longevity and education levels continue to rise. The American military is not only the world’s strongest, it is the strongest ever. The United States leads the world in science and engineering, in business innovation, in every aspect of creativity, including the arts. Terrorism is a serious concern, but in the last 15 years, even taking into account Sept. 11, an American is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist.

Even with all of my concern about gun violence, I still think we, as a planet, are in a far better place than we have EVER been. The rest of the article speaks to many of the reasons why and also delves into the specific facts about behind the pessimism. Very much worth the read.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Good Words

What I didn’t fully appreciate, and nobody can appreciate until they’re in the position, is how decentralized power is in this system. When you’re in the seat and you’re seeing the housing market collapse and you are seeing unemployment skyrocketing and you have a sense of what the right thing to do is, then you realize, "Okay, not only do I have to persuade my own party, not only do I have to prevent the other party from blocking what the right thing to do is, but now I can anticipate this lawsuit, this lobbying taking place, and this federal agency that technically is independent, so I can’t tell them what to do. 

I’ve got the Federal Reserve, and I’m hoping that they do the right thing—and by the way, since the economy now is global, I’ve got to make sure that the Europeans, the Asians, the Chinese, everybody is on board." A lot of the work is not just identifying the right policy but now constantly building these ever shifting coalitions to be able to actually implement and execute and get it done.

---Barack Obama, November 17, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Change is Gonna Come

Regular readers will note that as of today Markadelphia is no more. In keeping with the changes already in place with the comments section, this site has been renamed in order to move away from a personality based site to a general political discussion forum where ideas are at the forefront, not the people who write about them.

Nikto has been contributing a great deal to this site and gets more hits than me anyway so it's way past time that a change was made to truly make it a site for both of us (as well as John Waxey if he ever stops digging for artifacts long enough to share his wisdom). We have a few other people in mind that may end up being contributors as well in the future.

This won't be the the only change. We're planning on implementing some design changes as well as different types of content in addition to the regular posts that 300-600 of you enjoy every day. We got close to 1,000 hits in a 24 hour period after the two big SCOTUS decisions this week and I think that's pretty amazing. Thank you very much!!

So, what is "Zombie Politics?" Well, we clearly have been having the same political discussions in this country from day one. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes that's a bad thing. Either way, we here at Zombie Politics will be talking about it!!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Same Number of Liberals As Conservatives

Gallup has been seeing some interesting polling numbers lately. First there was the abortion poll and now they have one that says, for the first time in their polling history, there are just as many people who identify as liberal as there are who identify as conservative.

“The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency,” Gallup noted. “Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.” It also seems to be affecting people who identify as Republican: only 53% of respondents said their views were socially conservative, “the lowest in Gallup’s trend”, and correlates with a rise in self-identified socially moderate Republicans (34%).

Hmm...I wonder why:)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Demographics of 2016

From a recent Real Clear Politics piece...

Among voters 18 to 34 years old — men and women who will be an important force in American politics for another half-century — Republicans are in serious trouble. By a factor of more than two to one, according to the latest NBC News/​Wall Street Journal poll, those voters take a negative view of the GOP. Indeed, Republicans find the most support among voters 65 and over, and even this group is split between those who have a positive view of the party and those who view it negatively.

So, how does the GOP appeal to that younger demographic? And what happens when those older voters pass away?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 242 Dilemma

A recent question on Quora echoed what I have been writing about here for quite some time. How exactly do Republicans overcome the "242" dilemma? The solid blue states add up to 242 which means the Democrats are always 28 EVs away from winning the presidential election. What that means for 2016 is that even without a Hillary Clinton campaign, all the Democrats have to do is set up camp in Florida and Ohio and win ONE of them. They could send surrogates to Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico. and New Hampshire and erode the numbers for the GOP further.

For the past six presidential elections, the Democrats have won 370, 379, 266, 251, 365, and 332 votes. That's an average of 327 EVs. The Republicans have won 168, 159, 271, 286, 173, 206. That's an average of 210 electoral votes for the GOP. What lesson should conservatives learn from this math?

Time to change. You are a dying party.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Eric Cantor Pooping

My oh my has there been one massive shitting of the bed over the loss Eric Cantor experienced on Tuesday night to Tea Party Challenger David Brat. Some of the diarrhea..

"It's about amnesty in immigration!"

"The Tea Party is back"

"He was too much of a Washington insider so the conservative masses voted him out!"

And my personal favorite...

"This signifies a conservative tsunami this fall!"

Well, here are my thoughts in order of the pooping. First, we already have amnesty in terms of illegal immigration. That's the result of doing nothing. We're aren't going to deport 11 million people and be the cause of one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. Further, the poster child for "evil amnesty" is Lindsey Graham who handily won his primary so this comment makes no sense.

Second, the Tea Party never left. Their ideology is now the ideology of the "mainstream" candidates. No conservative today can win without being far right because of the nature of their base which basically means they are digging themselves into a deeper hole for national elections. 2014 may end up being bad for Democrats but 2016 is going to be a fucking disaster for Republicans. Imagine, Hillary Clinton and both houses of Congress controlled by the Democrats.

And we haven't seen David Brat yet on the national stage. I doubt the Democratic challenger can beat him in VA-7 but if he goes Akin or Murdock, say goodbye to that seat.

Third, conservative masses...yes, all 36,000 to 28,000 people at 10 percent voter turnout...8,000 votes...some mass indeed! All this says to me is that a lot of people couldn't be arsed to show up. There's also the fact that this was an open primary which means there could have been some Democrats in their voting as well:)

Finally, it warms my heart when the right gets over eager and shit. We've seen this before only to have it followed by stubborn disbelief (Karl Rove, Ohio, 2012 Election). I realize this is the last chance for the 12 year old boys to "beat" Barack Obama but they are going to put themselves right out of business jumping the gun with this kind of talk. Don't they realize how hard organizations like the OFA and other Democratic groups are going to be working to get the vote out? They vastly underestimated the president and his election operation before and look what happened.

Honestly, I am very happy to see Eric Cantor being shown the door. He's an asshole and a giant metaphor for all of the bullshit the president and the Democrats have to put up with every day. And I want far right candidates running in all elections this year. It just helps out the moderate Democrats. Perhaps all of this is over analysis, though. Don't both men look the same?









Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Just who is Anti-Keystone?

The Wall Street Journal has a piece up about the opposition to the Keystone pipeline and how it really isn't as left-right as you would think. Politico echoed this as well.

Ranchers and native tribes that oppose the pipeline formed the Cowboys and Indians Alliance, putting a non-traditional face on the anti-Keystone movement that has spanned the president’s time in office. Their goal — like that of their environmentalist counterparts — is to persuade Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to determine that the pipeline from Canada would go against the national interest.

The ranchers — or “cowboys” — are concerned not just about protecting sensitive aquifers near the pipeline, but also about their land rights, several said at the protest. “I’m here to support the neighbors to the north that don’t want the pipeline across their land,” said Julia Trigg Crawford, a Texas rancher who rode in on horseback. She didn’t have so much luck with her own land. 

Part of the Oklahoma-to-Texas southern leg of Keystone XL, which has already been built, runs through Crawford’s ranch land on the Red River. “Basically they came in and said a foreign corporation building a for-profit pipeline had more of a right to my land than I did,” Crawford said. The land can be used for grazing, but she can’t build a house or drive across it, she said. Crawford received a check for $10,395 two years ago but has never cashed it, she said.

For some conservatives, it's about property rights and federal government intrusion which I find interesting because they do have an argument. I wonder why so many conservatives who champion private property and rights love the Pipeline as much as they do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Words of Wisdom

I've discovered recently that arguing politics with someone who is unhappy with themselves and their life is not a good idea. It doesn't matter where they lie on the political spectrum. If they are angry, they blame the government for their problems rather than looking inward.

Usually these folks have a lot of spare time on their hands (for one reason or another) and so is born the Cottage Industry of hating the president...

Friday, February 21, 2014

No Pendulum and No Coming Out of Nowhere

Last Saturday I had the honor and pleasure of catching a film with former commenter and all around great guy, Last in Line. We went out for meat loaf afterwards and, as is usually the case, the discussion turned to politics. He wondered if I had any complaints about the president other than my main one (military assaults up on his watch). I told him I really didn't. Considering the choices that he has made, what better ones were there? I remained convinced that presidents have to choose the best worst choice because the problems they have to deal with are so awful and convoluted that no human can actually fix them. The president has done his best considering what he was handed 5 years ago.

Our conversation turned to 2016 and the election. Last gave his usual line, seen many times in comments, about the pendulum going back and forth and that some candidate, likely a conservative governor, would come out of nowhere, be the nominee for the GOP, and win because everyone hates Obama. I tried to explain to him that Republicans haven't gotten over 300 electoral votes since 1988 but he was having none of it. We moved on to talk about other topics but something stuck in my mind about his mindset that was inherently flawed and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. After some reflection, I figured it out.

Aside from the obvious fact that the pendulum has not really been moving much in the GOP's direction for quite some time, the advent of social media and how we get our political news (via the internet) makes it virtually impossible for a candidate to "come out of nowhere." This technology has led us to elections that run year round as opposed to every four years. There are no unknowns in politics any longer. All of the names being bandied about for the 2016 nomination likely contain the eventual nominee. Each one has massive flaws and can't win a national election if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. She will win all the states Barack Obama won in 2008 and at least two red states. Period. If she decides not to run, the GOP might have a shot but if they nominate Ted Cruz or another hard right candidate, forget it. The GOP is a dying party. Gerrymandering will keep them alive for the next couple elections in Congress but unless they change, that's it.

And I wouldn't be too sure about the "everyone hates Obama" meme. Yesterday, conservative polling outfit Rasmussen had him at a 50-49 approval rating. It could be just statistical noise but they have had him above 45 for quite some time now. Perhaps we need to stop listening to "the experts in the liberal media" and realize that a good chuck of those who disapprove of the president are liberal and will never vote for a conservative. This simple fact should guide Democrats in 2014, 2016 and beyond.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Imperial President?

The Christian Science Monitor had the following cover story last week.

Is Barack Obama an imperial president? 

As is usually the case with their reporting, it is very balanced and offers some very interesting critiques of the president. It's a lengthy piece but worth of a serious read as we, once again, debate the limits of presidential power.

My take on this issue is this. If Republican leaders in Congress are going to bitch about the limits of presidential power, then they should offer alternatives to what the president wants to do. It's easy to be a critic (which is essentially all the Right does these days...take a look at my comments section) but let's see some serious policy proposals to tackle the major issues of the day. Saying the government should just stay out of it isn't the answer either.

The president and the Democrats also need to bear in mind that Republicans are going to loathe to the core anyone who is the leader of this country and not a member of their tribe. They did it with Bill Clinton, they are doing it with Barack Obama, and they will do it with Hillary Clinton, if she runs and wins. They may bitch about government authority but when it's their guy, they love it and can't get enough of it. They want their Reagan-esque, father figure to tuck them in at night and say that it's all going to be OK.

So, whatever they do, the Right is going to irrational motivated by fear, anger, and hatred leading to bitching without any viable solutions of their own. They've essentially become like pop stars in which they sing the hits for their fans and then exit stage left. What they don't realize, though, is that most stars are famous for only 15 minutes. If they want to stay relevant, they are going to have to produce. That means that if the president produces (and this is mentioned at the end of the article), the debate about whether or not he is imperial will fade away. 

Monday, January 13, 2014


Thursday, January 02, 2014

What Will 2014 Bring?

It's always fun at the beginning of a new year to predict what may happen. I've enjoyed reading all the partisan predictions for 2014 over the last few days that have ranged from the likely to the absurd so I figured I should throw out a few of my own.

Barring some outlying incident, the economy will continue to improve and unemployment will drop to below 6 percent. GDP will be steady at 3-4 percent for each of the four quarters. This will be the number one factor in the 2014 elections. For those of you inside the right wing bubble, our country is facing imminent economic collapse because of the liberals so nothing really new here.

The Affordable Care Act will be a 2014 campaign issue but not in the way the GOP would like it to be. The hundreds of thousands of Americans who will be benefiting from this law will dwarf those who are complaining about it and turn out to vote. The nervous and hyperventilating Democrats will suddenly become calm and happily stamp the ACA to their foreheads:)

After primary season is over in the Spring, GOP House members will pass comprehensive immigration reform. The new law will largely be the same one that was authored by Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida. Political reality will become quite stark for Republicans this year in terms of the Latino vote and they will have no choice.

Failing to extend unemployment insurance for the long term unemployed will erase the political capital gained from the poor rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Right's failure to address the issue of inequality with anything other than failed economic ideas and bloviating platitudes will take larger chunks out of the electorate for them.

There will be another school shooting and the Gun Cult will scream about Hitler coming to take their guns away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

The settled science of climate change will continue to be on display throughout the year. The Right will scream about Stalin coming to take their freedoms away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

President Obama's approval ratings will come back up again (they are already) and his 89th political death will quickly be forgotten.

For the 2014 election, the House will largely remain unchanged with either party picking up or losing a few seats. In the Senate, we can say goodbye to Mitch McConnell, Mary Landrieu, the Democratic seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That's a net loss of three seats which would put the Dems at 50 + Bernie Sanders and Angus King who caucus with them. Of course, that's how it looks now without the possible surprise retirement of Susan Collins or the GOP deciding to run far right candidates in the states they should easily pick up. Throw in some more Todd Akins and Richard Murdocks into the mix and nothing in the Senate really changes with the Democrats still holding the majority.

The most interesting races of the 2014 will be the governor's races. Governors Brewer, Heineman and Perry are all retiring. Rick Scott, Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, and Scott Walker are going to have tough reelection fights. I see the Democrats taking most of these seats and holding on to the very blue states where they are running for reelection. The only one I really see holding on is Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I could be wrong because the state where I grew up really hasn't improved since he took office but I just don't see Kathy Burke beating him. He has moderated his language and criticized the crazies in his own party just enough to win the middle and set himself up for a presidential run.

Well, those are my predictions. What are yours?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Election Day

I've had a few emails with requests to talk about today's election. I had planned on putting something anyway to encourage people to vote in off years like this so that's up first.

GO VOTE.

Turnout is so low in the odd years but these elections are where local issues (see: things that really affect your life) are of paramount importance. School Boards, City Council, Mayoral races...all of these matter so your vote counts and more so than usual because of the low turnout.

As far as Virginia and New Jersey goes, it looks like Terry McAuliffe will beat Ken Cuccinelli and Chris Christie will beat Barbara Buono so no surprises really in either of those states. If McAullife does win, the GOP can say goodbye to Virginia which pretty much puts national elections out of reach. Unless, of course, they nominate Christie which would make 2016 more competitive. What to do...what to do...pick a guy who can win a national election (and who would be good president, in my view) but isn't "pure" or pick someone like Cruz, who fulfills their porn fantasies and will win exactly five states and maybe not even his home state if Hilary runs.

Decisions decisions...

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Seven Years

I wonder if Republicans will look back on this week and note that this was the beginning of the end of their party. It is truly something to behold as one of the two major parties in this country commits ritual suicide. They haven't gotten over the fact that the Affordable Care Act is law. They haven't gotten over the fact that they lost the election of 2012. They haven't gotten over the fact that Barack Obama is the president. In short, they are whiny babies throwing an all out temper tantrum.

The reaction has been swift.

Andrew Sullivan...

How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections - think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.

An attack? Well, it is amusing that Republicans are behaving in a more obstinate fashion than the Iranian president. American Taliban indeed.

Thomas Friedman

“Give me the money and nobody gets hurt.” How did we get here? First, by taking gerrymandering to a new level. The political analyst Charlie Cook, writing in The National Journal on March 16, noted that the 2010 election gave Republican state legislatures around the country unprecedented power to redraw political boundaries, which they used to create even more “safe, lily-white” Republican strongholds that are, in effect, an “alternative universe” to the country’s diverse reality.

An alternate universe...hmm...like in a bubble? Well, they are going to have to learn the hard way, I guess. I don't think they realize what's going to happen in 2014 now that they have shut down the government. It might be even worse if they let the government default in a few weeks. Speaking of which, Henry Aaron has a great solution for that problem.

Obama should ignore the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose. It is one law too many. Once Congress has set tax rates and spending levels, it has effectively said what it wants the debt to be. If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.

Indeed. Our country functioned just fine without it up until 1917. If the moonbats want to fuck around over the debt ceiling again, I say the president should just ignore it and pay our bills. That's his job and Congress has already given him parameters with which to work. Further, the Constitution guarantees that "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Not surprising that the Right has trouble remembering that there is a Fourteenth Amendment.

I'm setting the clock for today and predicitng that the GOP has seven years of life left in it. They are going to lose more seats in 2014, lose in a big way in 2016, lose more seats in 2018, and, when the new census is taken in 2020 and we get out of the gerrymandering boondoggle, it will all be over.

Unless, of course, they grow up and change. How likely is that?

Oh, and how many hits did healthcare.gov get yesterday?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

York Channels Moi

Byron York has a piece up that could have well been written by me. When a Fox News contributor and author of the The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy writes something like this...

Behind the scenes — in whispered asides, not for public consumption — some Republicans are now worried that keeping the House is not such a done deal after all. They look back to two elections, 1998 and 2006, in which Republicans seriously underperformed expectations, and they wonder if 2014 might be a little like those two unhappy years.

...it's time to for the Right to start shitting themselves. Why?

GOP strategists look at the president’s job approval rating on the economy and see an opportunity. A recent Quinnipiac poll, for example, found that 54 percent of those surveyed do not approve of Obama’s handling of the economy. Yet when the pollsters asked who respondents trusted to do a better job with economic issues — Obama or Republicans in Congress — respondents chose Obama, 45 percent to 39 percent. Lots of other polls have shown similar results. Voters don’t approve of the way Obama is handling the economy. Yet they prefer him over Republicans.

Even with lower ratings these days, the American people like the Republicans even less. That's because their party is made up of far right paranoids who have no plan to improve the country and would rather behave like juveniles. One need only read the comments section of this blog to see exactly what I am talking about.

So what should the Right do?

What that should tell the GOP is that Republican candidates don’t need to tell voters what a bad job the president is doing. They already know that, and besides, Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2014. What GOP candidates need to do is convince voters that they would do a better job than Democrats.

And if they don't?

If they don’t — if Republicans stick to being an opposition party on the attack rather than the alternative party offering an agenda — then Obama’s much-discussed dream of retaking the House in 2014 might come true, despite all the odds. And that would be a nightmare for Republicans.

What I like about this scenario is that it is a win-win for Democrats. If the Republicans continue with their adolescent behavior, they lose more seats in the House, if not the chamber itself all together. You can pretty much kiss any hopes of retaking the Senate either. If they actually change and compromise on issues like immigration and the budget, then our country is better off for it. They will likely win more elections but it will be because they came to their senses.

I'm hoping it's the latter. We have very serious problems in this country and really no time for temper tantrums from little boys.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

You Are Not That Conservative (or liberal for that matter)

Tom Jacobs has a great piece over at Pacific Standard that analyzes a recent study on just how conservative and liberal people are these days.

In three experiments described in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, researchers found “a systematic bias among young adults to perceive themselves as somewhat more conservative than they actually are.”

And the reasoning behind this is simply that the word "conservative" brands better than the world liberal. I've often thought this because when you really start asking people, who self-identify as conservative, where they stand on issues, they really aren't that far right at all. They just don't like the word liberal and are embarrassed to label themselves as such. This is largely due to the immensely successful job the Right has done at negatively marketing that word.

In the first group, “liberal Democrats significantly overestimated their liberalism,” the researchers report. “However, moderate Democrats, Independents, and Republicans significantly underestimated their liberalism.” A very similar pattern was found in the other groups, with an underestimation of one’s liberalism “more pronounced” among self-described conservatives.

Here is the quiz that was taken. How did you do?


Friday, March 01, 2013

Good Question

Will Wall Street spurn GOP in 2014?

I say they will and it's because the Republican Party draws a good chunk of its numbers from people who are certifiably insane. When they money goes away, so will the crazy.