December 19, 2014

Discussion Questions Re Sony Hack

Here are some points about the hacking that I’ve been thinking about. It’s too soon to have fully settled opinions on some of them, but let’s discuss.

1. Did North Korea do it?

That’s the consensus, which I’ll go along with for now, but there are contrary opinions. Do they have this level of sophistication? Did they have help?

2. What are the financial costs?

The Interview cost $44mil to make, I have read. That’s gone. Sony is likely to be sued over some of the revealed emails. I’m sure there are many other costs to come, some of them tough to quantify, e.g., damaged relationships with key resources.

3. What are the cyber-security ramifications for US businesses?

Whatever Sony’s total costs, it’s more than any business wants to face. And, assuming the answer to Q1 is that it’s the NorKs – if they can do it, can anybody? If so, how can businesses protect themselves? To date, the major security breaches have involved stolen credit card data, but what happens when, for example, a drug company’s research data gets published?

4. What are the cyber-security ramifications for governments?

Newt Gingrich’s comment that the US just lost its first cyberwar may be a bit of an overstatement, but it’s close enough to be unsettling. How prepared are we, and how do we know whether we are prepared? The cyber-ineptitude of the US government (even has long been a source of amusement among computer people.

5. What are the free speech/press ramifications of Sony’s surrender?

In some ways the most important question to me. George Clooney:

What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down. Sony didn’t pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.

I can’t resist noting that businesses and governments have been bowing down to Islam for a while, without any complaint that I know of from Clooney, but that doesn’t invalidate his point. Could a rogue government bring down, let’s say CBS or NYT by, let’s say, threatening to target their advertisers? Looking at businesses more broadly (back to Question 3), could someone destroy Apple by threatening retailers who sell Apple products?

6. What did we learn about Hollywood?

The schadenfreude question. Conservatives wouldn’t be human if, however serious the other aspects of this, we didn’t get a laugh at the exposure of the entertainment industry’s outrageous hypocrisy.

I’m sure there are lots of other questions, please ask and/or answer your own in the comments. This is a semi-open thread, anything related to the hacking is on-topic.

by @ 4:49 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Is Jeb Rusty?

Byron York writes:

How rusty is Jeb Bush?

Jeb Bush, who on Tuesday announced that he has “decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president,” last ran for political office in 2002. (The race was for a second term as governor of Florida, and Bush won.) If Bush runs in 2016, that will be a 14-year gap between his last run for office and his attempt to win the White House.

That’s a long time. In fact, Bush’s 14-year gap is bigger than any general-election presidential candidate in recent memory.

Campaigns need fresh candidates. Talk to political consultants and they’ll tell you that sitting out even one electoral cycle can not only make a candidate rusty but can also make him or her unfamiliar with the sometimes overwhelming ways in which campaigns change over the course of four years. Jeb Bush might be able to overcome those challenges. But it probably won’t be easy.

It’s an interesting point that Bryon brings up. It’s been well over a decade since Jeb ran any sort of a campaign. In that amount of time skills atrophy, technology evolves, tastes change.

Now throw in the fact that running for President is in an entirely different league from running for Governor. It is a long, grueling, exhausting grind that chews up and spits out a large number of worthy people. Add the fact that your opponents and the pro-Democratic news media are just waiting for the slightest slip-up that they can exploit to cripple your campaign, and it becomes a minefield where one false step could be your last.

There is no substitute for experience. The quality of the staff a candidate hires will help (and we have to assume that Bush will be able to attract the best of the best), but in the end it is the candidate that has to win out.

by @ 9:17 am. Filed under Jeb Bush

December 18, 2014

And Now the Spotlight Is On Christie

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Jeb Bush’s move to actively explore a 2016 White House bid is likely to complicate the path for fellow Republican Chris Christie and pressure the New Jersey governor to shore up donor support as he considers his own campaign.

Mr. Christie has spoken with a range of donors in recent weeks, according to people familiar with his conversations, among them billionaire backer Ken Langone. Mr. Christie has indicated in those talks that Mr. Bush’s entry alone wouldn’t keep him from the race, those people said.

The second-term governor hasn’t been as overt about hiring potential campaign staff as some other possible 2016 GOP contenders. But some political analysts said Mr. Christie should quickly move to convince senior staff and top donors that he is serious, or risk losing their support to Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor who is expected to appeal to a similar part of the electorate.

Christie had stated earlier that he would announce his 2016 intentions in early 2015. He may have to announce sooner than he wanted.

Jeb Bush’s announcement that he is seriously in the race has really put the pressure on Christie and anyone else hoping to run with “Establishment” support. Jeb Bush can now begin openly recruiting staff and lining up donors.

When it comes to quality staff and to a lesser extent the donors, the phrase, “First come, first served”, applies more often than it doesn’t. The top resources want to get in on the ground floor of the winner’s campaign as quickly as possible. This means if you hope to be a top tier candidate, you have to be one of the first to announce if you want any chance at getting the best of the best behind you. Any latecomers have to be content with fighting over the leftovers.

That is why the Bush announcement is a major “fish or cut bait” signal. Anybody sitting on their hands while Bush nails down all the key operatives and donors will enter the race greatly handicapped. This hard, cold, cruel fact of life applies even to fairy tale “white knights” who plan on showing up (as Bullwinkle J. Moose put it), “in the — Ta-da! — nick of time“, to save the day.

If that “White Knight” doesn’t have top-drawer staff and donor money to back him up (which he can’t have because the candidates who’ve been in the race for months already have them tied down and committed to them instead of him), the results will bring to mind Princess Leia’s famous exasperated comment, “This is some rescue! You came in here, but didn’t you have a plan for getting out?”

by @ 10:43 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Jeb Bush

Three Republicans Who Should Run in 2016 (But Who Probably Won’t)

With the likely candidacies of political heavyweights Jeb Bush and Chris Christie sucking up most of the big donors, and with the conservative grassroots wedded to candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who throw the most red meat, there doesn’t seem to be room in the budding presidential field for the GOP’s deep bench of what can probably best be referred to as, “governing conservatives” to garner a foothold in the presidential race. Sadly, the best hopes to move the ball forward for the GOP, such as its many reform-minded governors, don’t seem to have a natural base in a field likely to be dominated by a few big names and big voices. But while Republicans seem to utilize an almost hierarchical mechanism to select their presidential nominee, there exist at least three Republican governors who ought to try for an upset in what is probably the most open presidential field in a generation.

The first two are second-term Midwestern governors Scott Walker and John Kasich. Unlike either Bush, Christie, Paul, or Cruz, this Midwestern duo has the ability to thread the needle and appeal to grassroots conservatives, hungry for a nominee that embraces their principles, while at the same time being acceptable to the Republican establishment, which is primarily concerned with having a reality-based nominee, and one who can actually be president. Walker, youthful and earnest, is well-liked by the conservative punditocracy, but still managed to win three gubernatorial elections in the blue state of Wisconsin, at least two of which were hotly contested by Democrats. Kasich, an old Washington war horse, comes across as a truth-telling populist, and one that enjoyed a landslide victory in the all important state of Ohio.

Both Walker and Kasich offer the GOP a shot at appealing to middle class white voters who may feel that it’s time to give Republicans a try again, but who are skeptical of both the Republican establishment and the right-wing activists. These Midwestern governors have won elections in states where working class whites are a huge voting bloc, and they’ve done so while running on a conservative governing record. Lower middle class whites are largely believed to comprise the bulk of the “missing white voters” who stayed home in 2012, voting for neither Obama nor Romney. Walker and Kasich know how to communicate with these voters. They’ve won elections in states that are filled with these voters. That makes it highly possible that a GOP ticket headed by one of these two governors would not only increase the GOP ticket’s share of the working class white vote, but would actually bring out a few of those missing white voters who decided to stay at home in 2012.

In addition, neither Walker nor Kasich would hinder the GOP’s ability to win solid numbers in areas like the exurbs of Northern Virginia, where white collar professionals with college degrees make or break Republican chances. That’s because neither governor seems to be on a cultural crusade that would offend the sensibilities of exurban or suburban voters, and neither gives off a combative persona that suggests that certain types of voters aren’t “Real Americans.” Both Walker and Kasich seem to be the types of candidates who could win Ohio and Iowa while also winning Virginia and Florida.

Finally, one other Republican governor who ought to consider giving a presidential run a go is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. The recently re-elected Martinez makes all kinds of sense for Republicans, but for different reasons than Walker and Kasich do. A Martinez candidacy would end the notion that Republicans are a party run by middle aged white guys, and would do so with a candidate who wasn’t simply a vanity candidate or someone from the fringe without sufficient experience. Further, as Martinez showed in her speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention, she has the political gift of being able to relate to voters, something that is essential to winning the presidency in the modern era.

Equally importantly, though, a Martinez run would give the GOP ticket a very powerful elixir to run on: optimism. The national zeitgeist has exuded pessimism and realism for at least a decade, and possibly longer. Much like America in the mid 1970s, the America of today is one that hasn’t felt good about itself in years and is starved for leadership that can provide it with hope again. While Kasich and Walker could sufficiently connect with middle class voters, someone like Martinez might be able to go even farther by symbolically demonstrating that the American Dream is still alive.

Governors like Walker, Kasich, and Martinez are some of the GOP’s brightest stars. And that’s exactly why each of these governors ought to consider a presidential run, even though winning the GOP nomination without some sort of crown prince or heir apparent claim to the throne is a tall order when examined through the lens of history, and even though the polarized GOP primary electorate discourages and dissuades the most sensible candidates from running and winning.

by @ 3:00 am. Filed under John Kasich, Scott Walker, Susana Martinez

December 17, 2014

More Bad News for Hillary

This bombshell just went off at the New York Times, the so-called “paper of record”:

MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.

The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.

It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.

This is a very long, very detailed report describing corruption in the Obama Administration, the Hillary Clinton run State Department, and at least one Democratic Senator.

It is not Fox News that is breaking this story; it’s the New York Times, the flag-ship paper for the Left. What is the significance of that, I wonder?

by @ 12:58 pm. Filed under Hillary Clinton

Bush is “Instant Frontrunner”, says Krauthammer

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer claims that Jeb Bush is an “Instant Frontrunner”.

I think it is a big deal because those who would be on his wing of the spectrum are going to have to rethink whether they are going to go up against Jeb Bush and how good of a chance they’re going to have. I think it will clear out some of his wing. As for the others, there are a lot of people who would otherwise be on the fringe. It would look like a free for all. It would look like the most open seat in the history of the presidency, so why not throw in your hat. And I think it will, because it creates an instant frontrunner, for good or for ill, it will discourage some of the fringe candidates

Well, maybe. Take a look at these two recent polls, one from the Washington Post, the other from Fox.

Washington Post Fox Poll
w/ Romney w/o Romney
Romney 20 Romney 19
Bush 10 Bush 13 Bush 10
Paul 9 Paul 11 Christie 8
Ryan 8 Ryan 10 Paul 8
Cruz 7 Cruz 9 Huckabee 8
Carson 6 Christie 8 Don’t Know 8
Christie 6 Carson 7 Walker 7
Huckabee 6 Huckabee 7 Carson 6
No Opinion 6 No Opinion 7 Ryan 6
Walker 5 Walker 6 Cruz 5
Perry 4 Perry 5 Rubio 4
Rubio 4 Rubio 5 Kasich 2
Jindal 3 Jindal 4 Perry 2
Kasich 2 Santorum 3 Jindal 1
Santorum 2 Kasich 2 Santorum 1
Other 0 None 0 Other 0
None 2 Other 2 None 2

Bush leads nobody by more than two ppts in either poll — with or without Romney. I don’t know about you, but I have difficulty thinking of someone as a “frontrunner” whose lead is less than the Margin of Error of the poll.

One thing that jumps out at me from either of these polls is the really poor showing of Rick Santorum. These early polls tend to be mainly about name recognition; we all know that. Now remember that Santorum finished the last race solidly in second place. Name recognition should not be a problem for him. So people should know him, and yet his position still sucks.

He has been making noises about running again. Maybe he should save himself some aggravation and a whole lot of money and not bother.

Poll Watch: Fox News 2016 Presidential Survey

Fox News 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% {52%} [51%] (51%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% {39%} [42%] (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% {52%} [51%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 40% {41%} [42%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% {50%} [50%] (49%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 40% {40%} [42%] (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53% {54%}
  • John Kasich (R) 37% {35%}

National survey of 1,043 registered voters was conducted July 20-22, 2014 under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Party ID: 41% {43%} [39%] (40%) Democrat; 39% {35%} [38%] (34%) Republican; 18% {18%} [20%] (23%) Independent/Other. Results from the poll conducted July 20-22, 2014are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 13-15, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 2-4, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:09 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Herman Cain, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

  • Republicans 40% 39% 41 % 43%
  • Democrats 37% 40% 40% 39%

The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from December 8-14, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:08 am. Filed under 2016, Democrats, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:05 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 16, 2014

The Worst Selling People Magazine This Year?

The one with Hillary on the cover.

It’s been a tough year for our former First Lady media-wise. Her book flopped. Her book-tour was a disaster. And now this.

Try as they might, the Left just can’t seem to drum up much excitement about Hillary Clinton.

by @ 5:25 pm. Filed under Hillary Clinton

More On The Latest McClatchy – Marist Poll

The lastest McClatchy-Marist Poll has been posted already, yet there is still some information to be gleaned from it. For example, on the question to Republicans as to which possible 2016 GOP candidate they would favor:

w/ Romney   w/o Romney
Romney 19 Undecided 18
Bush 14 Bush 16
Undecided 13 Huckabee 12
Christie 9 Christie 10
Huckabee 9 Carson 8
Carson 8 Ryan 7
Paul 5 Paul 6
Cruz 4 Cruz 5
Perry 4 Perry 5
Ryan 3 Rubio 3
Santorum 3 Walker 3
Rubio 3 Kasich 3
Walker 3 Santorum 3
Kasich 2 Jindal 1
Jindal 1 Fiorina 1
Fiorina 1

Note that Bush comes in second whether Romney is included or not. With Romney, Romney is in first place. Without Romney, Undecided leads the pack.

Also notice that Christie is always fourth behind Undecided, Bush, and either Romney or Huckabee. I’m not seeing a real big mandate for Christie here. That’s really not much of a vote of confidence in Christie trying to run as the “Establishment” choice.

With Bush essentially throwing his hat into the ring, that pretty much slams the door on Christie, Rubio, and any other candidate wishing for the backing of the “Establishment”. Perry comes to mind. The only other candidate who would stand a chance is Romney, but Bush’s announcement pretty much closes the door on any Romney 2016 run. Why?

  • One, the “Establishment” likes to consolidate behind their candidate as quickly as possible. If Romney were to run, he’d have to announce before the year is out. He’d then appear as the spoiler, and the “Establishment” doesn’t like spoilers. He’d have to provide very good reasons why they shouldn’t back Bush, and I don’t think Mitt could do that.
  • Two, Bush could crash and burn, and the establishment would go looking for a white knight. This highly unlikely scenario only happens in the movies. Bush would really, REALLY have to screw up before that happened.

So Romney is about 99.9% likely NOT to run.

BREAKING: Jeb Bush announces he is exploring a run for president.

Jeb Bush announces his intentions on his Facebook page:

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Like many of you, our family was blessed with the opportunity to gather together over the recent Thanksgiving holiday.

Columba and I are so proud of the wonderful adults our children have become, and we loved spending time with our three precious grandchildren.

We shared good food and watched a whole lotof football.

We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.

In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.

In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.

Best wishes to you and your families for a happy holiday season. I’ll be in touch soon.


Jeb Bush


by @ 9:11 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush

Poll Watch: McClatchy-Marist 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

McClatchy-Marist 2016 GOP Nomination Poll

  • Jeb Bush 16% (15%) {13%} [13%] (8%) {8%} [10%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 12% [13%] (13%)
  • Chris Christie 10% (12%) {13%} [12%] (13%) {16%} [18%] (15%)
  • Ben Carson 8%
  • Paul Ryan 7% (13%) {9%} [12%] (9%) {12%} [11%] (13%)
  • Rand Paul 6% (13%) {7%} [12%] (9%) {9%} [12%] (9%)
  • Ted Cruz 5% (4%) {10%} [4%] (5%) {5%} [10%] (7%)
  • Rick Perry 5% (7%) {7%} [3%] (2%) {6%} [3%] (4%)
  • Marco Rubio 3% (6%) {9%} [7%] (12%) {7%} [7%] (12%)
  • Scott Walker 3% (3%) {4%} [5%] (7%) {4%} [4%] (2%)
  • John Kasich 3%
  • Rick Santorum 3% (3%) {3%} [3%] (2%) {5%} [4%] (2%)
  • Bobby Jindal 1% (4%) {2%} [4%] {3%} (1%)
  • Carly Fiorina 1%
  • Undecided 18% (21%) {23%} [14%] (12%) {25%} [13%] (25%)

Among Republicans

  • Jeb Bush 17% (14%) {17%} [14%] (11%) {9%} [11%]
  • Mike Huckabee 12% [13%] (15%)
  • Chris Christie 11% (14%) {10%} [14%] (13%) {17%} [17%]
  • Paul Ryan 7% (15%) {11%} [12%] (8%) {12%} [13%]
  • Ben Carson 6%
  • Rick Perry 6% (8%) {4%} [4%] (3%) {7%} [2%]
  • Ted Cruz 5% (2%) {9%} [3%] (5%) {5%} [10%]
  • Rand Paul 4% (10%) {6%} [8%] (7%) {10%} [8%]
  • Rick Santorum 3% (2%) {3%} [2%] (1%) {7%} [4%]
  • John Kasich 2%
  • Marco Rubio 2% (6%) {10%} [7%] (12%) {5%} [5%]
  • Scott Walker 2% (3%) {5%} [4%] (5%) {3%} [5%]
  • Bobby Jindal 1% (3%) {1%} [3%] {2%}
  • Carly Fiorina 0%
  • Undecided 20% (23%) {24%} [16%] (13%) {24%} [16%]

Among Independents

  • Jeb Bush 14% (17%) {8%} [11%] (4%) {6%} [9%]
  • Ben Carson 11%
  • Mike Huckabee 11% [12%] (9%)
  • Rand Paul 9% (19%) {8%} [19%] (14%) {8%} [20%]
  • Chris Christie 8% (7%) {16%} [8%] (14%) {14%} [20%]
  • Marco Rubio 7% (5%) {6%} [8%] (11%) {10%} [9%]
  • Paul Ryan 6% (9%) {7%} [12%] (11%) {13%} [8%]
  • Scott Walker 5% (2%) {2%} [7%] (8%) {5%} [3%]
  • John Kasich 4%
  • Ted Cruz 4% (8%) {12%} [5%] (5%) {6%} [11%]
  • Carly Fiorina 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 2% (6%) {5%} [4%] {4%}
  • Rick Perry 2% (5%) {11%} [0%] (0%) {4%} [3%]
  • Rick Santorum 2% (4%) {4%} [5%] (2%) {3%} [3%]
  • Undecided 12% (17%) {21%} [9%] (10%) {26%} [8%]

Among Men

  • Jeb Bush 22% (15%) {11%} [14%] (6%) {7%} [10%] (14%)
  • Mike Huckabee 10% [11%] (10%)
  • Ben Carson 8%
  • Chris Christie 7% (10%) {15%} [10%] (13%) {19%} [20%] (17%)
  • Rand Paul 7% (15%) {8%} [14%] (11%) {12%} [15%] (9%)
  • Rick Perry 7% (6%) {8%} [1%] (3%) {6%} [4%] (6%)
  • Paul Ryan 6% (17%) {11%} [11%] (10%) {11%} [9%] (12%)
  • Ted Cruz 6% (5%) {16%} [4%] (6%) {6%} [12%] (7%)
  • John Kasich 4%
  • Scott Walker 4% (2%) {4%} [6%] (10%) {5%} [4%] (2%)
  • Marco Rubio 3% (5%) {7%} [5%] (11%) {9%} [6%] (16%)
  • Carly Fiorina 2%
  • Rick Santorum 2% (3%) {3%} [4%] (2%) {6%} [1%] (1%)
  • Bobby Jindal 1% (5%) {4%} [4%] {3%} (1%)
  • Undecided 10% (17%) {14%} [13%] (10%) {16%} [11%] (15%)

Among Women

  • Chris Christie 13% (14%) {11%} [14%] (14%) {13%} [16%](13%)
  • Mike Huckabee 13% [14%] (16%)
  • Jeb Bush 11% (14%) {15%} [11%] (11%) {9%} [10%] (6%)
  • Paul Ryan 8% (8%) {7%} [12%] (7%) {13%} [13%] (14%)
  • Ben Carson 7%
  • Rand Paul 4% (11%) {6%} [10%] (7%) {7%} [9%] (8%)
  • Ted Cruz 4% (3%) {5%} [3%] (3%) {5%} [9%] (6%)
  • Marco Rubio 3% (7%) {10%} [9%] (13%) {5%} [8%] (8%)
  • Rick Santorum 3% (3%) {4%} [2%] (1%) {5%} [6%] (4%)
  • John Kasich 2%
  • Rick Perry 2% (8%) {6%} [4%] (1%) {6%} [1%] (2%)
  • Scott Walker 2% (3%) {4%} [3%] (3%) {2%} [4%] (2%)
  • Bobby Jindal 1% (3%) {1%} [4%] {3%} (1%)
  • Carly Fiorina 0%
  • Undecided 25% (26%) {30%} [14%] (14%) {33%} [15%] (34%)

Survey of 360 registered Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted December 3-9, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 5.2 percentage points. Party ID: 70% (67%) {57%} [63%] (64%) {65%} [62%] (65%) Republican; 30% (33%) {43%} [37%] (36%) {35%} [38%] (35%) Independent. Results from the poll conducted September 24-29, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted August 4-7, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted April 7-10, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 4-9, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted January 12-14, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 3-5, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 15-18, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

December 15, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Survey

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Ben Carson (R) 44%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% [45%] (42%) {44%} [42%] (44%) {46%} [43%] (44%) {45%} [43%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [43%] (46%) {45%} [45%] (45%) {47%} [47%] (46%) {46%} [47%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% [45%] (45%) {45%} [44%] (46%) {46%} [45%] (42%) {42%} [43%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% [38%] (38%) {41%} [40%] (44%) {42%} [42%] (43%) {45%} [46%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [45%] (45%) {46%} [47%] (48%) {49%} [48%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 44% [46%] (44%) {43%} [43%] (43%) {42%} [43%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 45%
  • Joe Biden (D) 40%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 47%
  • Joe Biden (D) 42%
  • Ben Carson (R) 44%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 37%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 39%

Among Independents

  • Ben Carson (R) 42%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% [39%] (43%) {45%} [40%] (45%) {38%} [35%] (41%) {44%} [41%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [36%] (39%) {35%} [33%] (39%) {46%} [50%] (36%) {37%} [40%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 36% [36%] (37%) {36%} [36%] (38%) {39%} [47%] (33%) {31%} [31%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 33% [37%] (42%) {39%} [39%] (45%){38%} [33%] (39%) {50%} [46%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 41% [45%] (46%) {46%} [46%] (44%){34%} [36%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [38%] (39%) {37%} [39%] (38%) {48%} [52%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 43%
  • Joe Biden (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 44%
  • Joe Biden (D) 34%
  • Ben Carson (R) 41%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 29%

Among Moderates

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52%
  • Ben Carson (R) 26%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% [57%] (59%) {55%} [57%] (60%) [58%] (58%) {59%} [61%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 29% [29%] (27%) {30%} [23%] (29%) [25%] (25%) {30%} [26%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% [59%] (58%) {53%} [59%] (60%) [54%] (50%) {51%} [54%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 27% [26%] (28%) {30%} [18%] (31%) [31%] (32%) {32%} [36%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% [60%] (59%) {58%} [64%] (62%) [60%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 26% [31%] (28%) {25%} [21%] (28%) [25%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 46%
  • Ben Carson (R) 28%
  • Joe Biden (D) 55%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 28%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 41%
  • Ben Carson (R) 23%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 46%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 27%

Among Men

  • Ben Carson (R) 53%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 37%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 53% [51%] (48%) {51%} [47%] (50%) {49%} [46%] (49%) {51%} [46%] 
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% [36%] (39%) {39%} [39%] (42%) {42%} [45%] (41%) {38%} [42%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 49% [45%] (42%) {45%} [43%] (47%) {48%} [46%] (49%) {51%} [51%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [38%] (39%) {41%} [39%] (42%) {40%} [41%] (37%) {35%} [37%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 51% [53%] (50%) {48%} [49%] (47%){44%} [46%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39% [39%] (40%) {42%} [43%] (45%) {47%} [47%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 54%
  • Joe Biden (D) 35%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 52%
  • Joe Biden (D) 37%
  • Ben Carson (R) 54%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 30%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 54%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 32%

Among Women

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51%
  • Ben Carson (R) 36%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% [50%] (52%) {49%} [50%] (49%) {50%} [49%] (51%) {53%} [52%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 39% [40%] (37%) {39%} [38%] (39%) {43%} [41%] (38%) {39%} [40%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% [51%] (51%) {49%} [49%] (49%) {52%} [48%] (47%) {49%} [47%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 36% [33%] (35%) {37%} [36%] (42%) {37%} [38%] (38%) {40%} [42%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% [51%] (50%) {50%} [50%] (50%) {52%} [50%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 37% [40%] (38%) {38%} [38%] (40%) {41%} [41%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 45%
  • Ben Carson (R) 38%
  • Joe Biden (D) 46%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 44%
  • Ben Carson (R) 35%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 45%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 39%

Among Whites

  • Ben Carson (R) 56%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 57% [55%] (51%) {54%} [51%] (55%) {57%} [54%] (55%) {58%} [53%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 33% [33%] (38%) {35%} [39%] (37%) {35%} [37%] (34%) {35%} [37%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 54% [47%] (46%) {48%} [46%] (54%) {51%} [50%] (53%) {57%} [56%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32% [35%] (37%) {35%} [39%] (37%) {36%} [36%] (32%) {30%} [33%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 57% [56%] (52%) {53%} [51%] (53%) {53%} [54%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 33% [35%] (37%) {35%} [39%] (38%) {37%} [38%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 57%
  • Joe Biden (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 60%
  • Joe Biden (D) 30%
  • Ben Carson (R) 56%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 26%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 59%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 27%

Among Blacks

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 83%
  • Ben Carson (R) 9%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 83% [81%] (77%) {82%} [69%] (77%) {86%} [82%] (86%) {81%} [81%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 12% [9%] (11%) {11%} [9%] (8%) {9%} [7%] (7%) {9%} [13%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 80% [84%] (78%) {82%} [68%] (78%) {80%} [78%] (79%) {81%} [77%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 9% [9%] (12%) {12%} [11%] (13%) {14%} [11%] (11%) {9%} [17%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 82% [83%] (76%) {86%} [78%] (80%) {89%} [82%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 6% [11%] (13%) {8%} [10%] (10%) {9%} [9%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 75%
  • Ben Carson (R) 11%
  • Joe Biden (D) 75%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 10%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 68%
  • Ben Carson (R) 9%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 69%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 7%

Survey of 823 registered voters was conducted December 4-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points. Party ID: 42% [45%] (42%) {43%} [42%] (42%) {42%} [39%] (43%) {43%} [45%] (43%) Democrat; 36% [34%] (31%) {36%} [35%] (36%) {35%} [34%] (33%) {34%} [33%] (34%) Republican; 22% [21%] (27%) {22%} [23%] (22%) {23%} [27%] (23%) {23%} [21%] (24%) Independent/Other.  Gender: 53% [53%] (53%) {53%} [53%] (53%) {53%} [53%] (53%) {53%} [54%] (57%) Women; 47% [47%] (47%) {47%} [47%] (47%) {47%} [47%] (47%) {47%} [46%] (43%) Men. Race: 72% [73%] (75%) {75%} [74%] (74%) {74%} [75%] (73%) {73%} [73%] (72%) White; 22% [20%] (20%) {20%} [20%] (20%) {20%} [20%] (21%) {21%} [20%] (22%) Black; 6% [7%] (5%) {5%} [6%] (6%) {6%} [5%] (6%) {6%} [6%] (6%) Other.  Results from the poll conducted September 11-14, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 14-17, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted June 12-15, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted May 9-11, 2014 are in square brackets.Results from the poll conducted April 3-6, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted March 6-9, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 9-12, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 5-8, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 8-11, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 11-14, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 26%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 1:13 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 14, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different…

As a change of pace to help lighten the mood, I like to occasionally post things that have little or nothing to do with politics.  This comedy sketch from BYUtv’s Studio C is very funny and appropriate for this time of year. As they say, “All good humor has an element of truth in it” — very true with this sketch. Enjoy!


by @ 9:20 am. Filed under Humor

Poll Watch: PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Republican Primary Survey

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Ben Carson 19%
  • Jeb Bush 15% {17%} [15%] (18%) {12%} [15%] (14%) {15%} [16%] (9%)
  • Chris Christie 14% {12%} [9%] (12%) {15%} [11%] (17%) {19%} [20%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 14% {17%} [19%] (22%) {19%} [20%] (15%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {8%} [6%] (9%) {4%} [8%] (11%) {7%} [7%] (12%)
  • Rick Perry 7%
  • Ted Cruz 5% {12%} [17%] (12%) {14%} [8%] (11%) {12%} [12%]
  • Rand Paul 5% {12%} [15%] (9%) {12%} [14%] (14%) {13%} [12%] (6%)
  • Marco Rubio 4% {5%} [5%] (5%) {5%} [7%] (9%) {10%} [10%] (21%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 7% {11%} [9%] (6%) {12%} [9%] (13%) {11%} [13%] (8%)

Among Men

  • Ben Carson 20%
  • Chris Christie 18% {14%} [9%] (12%) {16%} [14%] (18%) {18%} [19%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 13% {18%} [13%] (19%) {15%} [15%] (14%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {7%} [7%] (8%) {3%} [5%] (10%) {5%} [6%] (12%)
  • Jeb Bush 11%{12%} [15%] {13%} [18%] (14%) {14%} [14%] (11%)
  • Rand Paul 7% {14%} [18%] (8%) {13%} [19%] (14%) {15%} [16%] (9%)
  • Ted Cruz 6% {12%} [19%] (16%) {16%} [7%] (14%) {15%} [16%]
  • Rick Perry 5%
  • Marco Rubio 2% {4%} [6%] (6%) {3%} [7%] (7%) {10%} [9%] (22%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 7% {11%} [7%] (4%) {12%} [6%] (9%) {7%} [10%] (7%)

Among Women

  • Jeb Bush 18% {23%} [15%] (21%) {11%} [13%] (13%) {16%} [18%] (8%)
  • Ben Carson 17%
  • Mike Huckabee 16% {16%} [26%] (24%) {24%} [25%] (16%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {9%} [4%] (9%) {5%} [12%] (11%) {8%} [9%] (12%)
  • Chris Christie 9% {10%} [9%] (12%) {13%} [7%] (17%) {19%}[20%] (10%)
  • Rick Perry 8%
  • Marco Rubio 6% {5%} [4%] (5%) {7%} [7%] (11%) {10%} [10%] (19%)
  • Ted Cruz 4% {11%} [13%] (7%) {11%} [9%] (9%) {10%} [9%]
  • Rand Paul 3% {9%} [11%] (11%) {10%} [9%] (14%) {11%} [8%] (4%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 8% {10%} [10%] (7%) {14%} [13%] (17%) {15%} [17%] (10%)

Survey of 390 Republican primary voters was conducted December 4-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points. Political ideology: 39% {40%} [45%] (39%) {37%} [35%] (38%) {37%} [36%] (44%) Very conservative; 38% {37%} [35%] (32%) {35%} [33%] (40%) {39%} [36%] (35%) Somewhat conservative; 18% {20%} [13%] (21%) {20%} [22%] (16%) {16%} [21%] (13%) Moderate; 5% {2%} [4%] (6%) {4%} [7%] (4%) {7%} [4%] (6%) Somewhat liberal; 1% {1%} [4%] (3%) {3%} [3%] (2%) {1%} [3%] (1%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted May 9-11, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted April 26-28, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 3-6, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted March 6-9, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 9-12, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 5-8, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 8-11, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 6-9, 2012 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

December 13, 2014

Weekend Miscellany

Add your own miscellany in the comments.


Will Dems Regret Abandoning Mary Landrieu?

This article asks whether the Democrats will pay a price for their very public abandonment of Mary Landrieu.

The decision to cut her adrift makes good business sense in the short term; the Democrats, as is normal for a party after an election, are in debt – the DSCC owes $20.4mil and could ill-afford dumping another $2-$3mil into what was clearly a lost cause.

On the other hand, potential candidates had to be watching, and they are unlikely to trust any future promises of support they hear from the Democrats. David Vitter’s seat may be vacant soon, for example (Vitter is planning to seek Bobby Jindal’s job next year, and is the early favorite). If the Democrats try to woo anybody of substance, they are likely to be spurned.


Kidnapping, UK-Style

In April 1964, the British Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home, was staying with friends in Scotland. A couple lefties from the University of Aberdeen followed him home, where he was alone. They knocked on the door, the PM answered, and they announced that they intended to kidnap him.

Douglas-Home pointed out to them that if he were kidnapped, the Tories would win the next election by hundreds of seats, foiling their intentions. He then offered them beers, and they abandoned their efforts.

Douglas-Home’s aplomb is of course astounding, but I’m also interested to see how casual security was – not even a cop to answer the door. I bet things tightened up in the later sixties.


Establishment to Primary Huelskamp?

It looks like the Republican Establishment is only opposed to trying to unseat Republican incumbents when those incumbents are part of the Establishment, but they think it’s a fine idea as applied to those who don’t take orders from Mr. Boehner.

Okay, I’m being sarcastic. Actually, I have no problem with primaries in safe districts (Huelskamp, despite being primaried this year, still won the general by thirty-five points, so I think we can call it a safe district). Anyway, it looks like they plan to try again.

Of course, they might want to stop and reflect on the panic that ensued when Pat Roberts fell behind ‘independent’ Greg Orman in what had been thought a safe race.


Speaking of Greg Orman

I don’t think too many people who follow politics were fooled by Orman’s claims of independence – but we have to remember that not that many people follow things all that closely. Openly Democratic money (e.g., Harry Reid’s PAC) stayed out of the race until after the last pre-election FEC report. In the last weeks of the campaign, Orman had lots of money to spend.

… Oct. 16 — at the very moment the pre-election disclosure blackout began — the first of Reid’s Senate Majority PAC checks arrived at the pro-Orman Committee to Elect an Independent Senate.

That check was for $450,000. The next day, Oct. 17, another $250,000 arrived. There was $500,000 on Oct. 28. And $35,000 on Oct. 30. And $75,000 on Oct. 31.

Kansans Support Problem Solvers PAC received $123,000 from Reid’s group on Nov. 3. On that same day came another check for $23,000. Then, on Nov. 4, election day, another $5,300.

Other liberal groups sent money, too, after the blackout began. On October 25, the League of Conservation Voters sent $250,000 to the Committee to Elect an Independent Senate. On October 29, the League sent another $200,000.


A Couple More Thoughts on ‘Independent’ Candidates

It darned near worked in Kansas, and had this not been a wave election, it might have worked. So expect to see it tried again. As I mentioned above, not that many people really pay attention to politics, and the label ‘Independent’ sounds good (I think that will become even more true over the next few years).

I’d suggest Republicans do the same thing in safely Dem districts/states, but I’m not sure it would work as well. I think it’s likely to work better in areas with lower media costs – Democratic seats are more likely to be in urban districts and highly-urbanized states. It would take a lot of money to run an ‘Independent’ in New York.


Grimes for Gov?

Some thoughts from a Kentucky political writer on the possibility that Allison Grimes might try to parlay her name ID into a run for Governor next year.

She has given no indication about what her future political plans might be, and people close to her and her family don’t seem to have any clear idea of what she might do.

Meanwhile, Democrats loyal to Grimes have consoled themselves by noting her youth, her name identification and her immense fundraising success.

While the first two are undeniable assets, the idea that Grimes could translate her 2014 fundraising success into a formidable gubernatorial campaign seems questionable.

Much of Grimes’ fundraising success was fueled by one fact: She was running against the most hated Republican in the country.

Fundraisers in Hollywood and Martha’s Vineyard are the norm when you’re taking on a top national target. It’s hard to imagine that those same high-dollar donors have any interest in helping Grimes take on another Democrat for governor of Kentucky, especially when their last investment yielded so little.


P. J. O’Rourke Reviews a Book on Putin’s Russia

I knew Russia was a case study in corruption, but this review just blew me away.

Just a sample:

Corrupt crony capitalism is familiar everywhere. But in Russia the corruption is so pervasive that even the cronies have to pay bribes, not just to the higher-ups but to the lower-downs.

Pomerantsev visits a TV studio owned by Kremlin-connected moguls. It’s in a shabby warehouse on the wrong side of town. There’s no sign or address on the metal door. Inside is a dirty little room with a drunk guard.

Pomerantsev goes down a dark corridor and up two flights of dingy stairs to another unmarked metal door. Behind that is a modern, well-lit, busy Western-style production facility. But there’s an inconspicuous door here as well, with a secret code pad. And behind that is a more modern, better-lit, even busier production facility with an even less conspicuous door with an even more secret code leading to the real offices of the moguls, where the real business accounts are kept.

All this is to foil the tax police. Who come anyway. One of the moguls tells Pomerantsev that “the tax police were much happier taking bribes than going to the trouble of stealing money that had been paid in the orthodox fashion.”

Or this:

It’s an interesting moral atmosphere in Russia.

In Russia, small town girls go to the big city and get ruined, but that’s what they’re trying to do. Really trying. They go to school for it.

“The students take notes in neat writing. They have paid a thousand dollars for each week of the course. There are dozens of such “academies” in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with names such as “Geisha School” or “How To Be a Real Woman.””

If a girl with potential studies hard, “she earns the basic Moscow mistress rate: the apartment, $4,000 a month, a car, and a weeklong holiday in Turkey or Egypt twice a year.”

In return, she’s available to her “sponsor,” as he’s called, any time, any day.


by @ 11:07 am. Filed under Uncategorized

Is Bush Finally Getting Off His Duff?

The Washington Post seems to think so:

Jeb Bush and his emissaries are sending increasingly strong signals that the former Florida governor is gearing up for a 2016 presidential campaign, with associates saying he could announce his intentions within a month.

Bush recently e-mailed major Republican donors asking them to, as several of them put it, “keep your powder dry.” His allies are urging would-be bundlers not to commit to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or other potential rivals. Bush’s top strategist, Mike Murphy, has also been telling potential campaign staffers not to sign up to work for another candidate and to expect Bush’s announcement soon.

Out of public office for eight years, Bush has a thicket of business interests — including massive overseas investment funds — that he is working to untangle himself from before a campaign begins. As one confidant said, “He says he knows he has to wrap it up.”

This NYTimes story only adds to the increasing speculation:

WASHINGTON — When former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida quietly visited Senator John McCain in his Capitol Hill office this fall, discussion turned to a subject of increasing interest to Mr. Bush: how to run for president without pandering to the party’s conservative base.

“I just said to him, ‘I think if you look back, despite the far right’s complaints, it is the centrist that wins the nomination,’ ” Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, said he told Mr. Bush.

In the past few weeks, Mr. Bush has moved toward a run for the White House. His family’s resistance has receded. His advisers are seeking staff. And the former governor is even slimming down, shedding about 15 pounds thanks to frequent swimming and personal training sessions after a knee operation last year.

But before pursuing the presidency, Mr. Bush, 61, is grappling with the central question of whether he can prevail in a grueling primary battle without shifting his positions or altering his persona to satisfy his party’s hard-liners. In conversations with donors, friends and advisers, he is discussing whether he can navigate, and avoid being tripped up by, the conservative Republican base.

Question? If Jeb is such a “Conservative”, why does he have to seek out John McCain for advice on how “stay true to his principles” in the primary in order to sneak by the Conservative base?

by @ 10:52 am. Filed under Jeb Bush

December 12, 2014

In Which I Say Something Nice about Sarah Palin

It hasn’t happened often since 2008 (I was, at first, a supporter of her selection by Sen. McCain as his running mate), but Mark’s post below (pun intended) about Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Warren being on the same page in regard to the spending authorization (and the angry response by a Palin enthusiast, Ohio Joe) brought to mind this throwaway point that I made in a post a few days ago:

(As an aside: I think there are grounds for an alliance between libertarians and some populists, based on shared opposition to the corporatism – aka crony capitalism – that is the reigning ideology of the elites of both parties).

In the comments on that post, I was asked to expound on this point, but had to demur on the grounds that I had not yet developed the idea. I mentioned, though, that I recalled a Venn Diagram I had seen, illustrating that distrust of the Big Business/Big Government nexus was the unifying point between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

I still haven’t fleshed out my thinking on this, but Mark’s post spurred me to track down that Venn Diagram from The Atlantic three years ago.

venn - occupy-teaparty

Sarah Palin has good political instincts (there, I’ve said it). She has been on to this mood among the right sector of the populace from her earliest days on the national stage (as I look back on it, I think it’s part of what attracted me to her in the beginning). Unfortunately, she is damaged goods at this point and also lacks the political sophistication to articulate the message (as do I, obviously).

I think there is something going on here, though, and there is an opportunity; I also think that Sen. Warren has grabbed a piece of it, from the opposite side, and it could make her a formidable opponent in 2016, unless the Republicans find a leader who can also tap into it (or perhaps blunt it).

The only thing I’ve made clear here, I guess, is that there’s an opportunity. I’m not sure how to express it, nor who the messenger might be. Perhaps if there’s anything behind this, it can be discovered in the comments.

by @ 12:21 pm. Filed under Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Warren Are On the Same Page

They both hate the recently passed Omnibus bill. The Hill reports on Warren’s opposition:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday sought to rally opposition to the $1.1 trillion government funding bill, spearheading a revolt on the left that has put her influence in the Democratic Party to the test.

The Massachusetts liberal pleaded for House Democrats to withhold support for a government funding package due to a provision she said would change the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to let “Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money.”

Her call gave voice to opposition among liberals to provisions tucked in the “cromnibus” deal that they argue would let big banks engage in the same risky trading that toppled the economy in 2008.

BreitBart reports on Sarah Palin:

1. What do you think of Speaker Boehner having President Obama ‘whip votes’ from the White House in order to pass this bill?

It stinks to high heaven. Did arrogant politicians not get the memo that Obama’s agenda was decisively defeated in last month’s historic midterm landslide? Good Lord, America said loud and clear not just “no” but “hell no” to Obama’s failed policies. Americans who pay attention said absolutely no to Obama’s amnesty for illegal aliens.

We also said no to the mother-of-all unfunded mandates, Obamacare, and voters believed promises that they would ratchet down the $18 trillion debt. Well, our bad for apathetically trusting politicians. No, on second thought, it’s not “our bad.” Some of us warned and worked hard to elect candidates who would buck the status quo. Many conscientious Americans did all they could to open the eyes of low-information voters. It was tough going up against Obama’s lapdogs in the media and the power liberals have to play their politics of personal destruction against commonsense conservatives.

This is is extraordinary. How often do we see the Left and the Right unite over something the Center is trying to do?

The Omnibus bill now moves on to the Senate where Senator Warren and Senator Cruz are attempting to rally enough votes against it. Bloomberg reports:

(Bloomberg) — The Senate is poised to take up a $1.1 trillion U.S. government spending bill opposed by two senators who agree on almost nothing — Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Ted Cruz.

That leaves prospects for quickly clearing the measure today uncertain, even as both parties insist they will act to avoid a government shutdown.

The House passed the proposal 219-206 late yesterday, just hours before government funding was set to lapse, after a day of discord over the measure. Reid said he hopes the Senate will finish the measure today, though it would take cooperation from all senators. That includes Warren and Cruz.

Massachusetts’s Warren is leading Senate Democrats’ opposition to a provision in the bill, demanded by Republicans, that would ease rules enacted to protect taxpayers against bank losses after souring derivatives trades helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.

Cruz of Texas has said he will use all possible procedural tactics to add language to the spending measure blocking implementation of President Barack Obama’s immigration order. The president said Nov. 20 that he would temporarily halt deportations for about 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., a move Republicans including Cruz describe as amnesty.

This should be an interesting fight.

by @ 10:40 am. Filed under Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz

Warren Receives More Encouragement To Run

Another group has called upon Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run for President in 2016. They consist of more than 300 former Obama campaign workers who call themselves, “Ready for Warren”.

We helped elect Barack Obama — now we’re calling on Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016

We believed in an unlikely candidate who no one thought had a chance.

We worked for him — and against all odds, we won in Iowa.

We organized like no campaign had organized before — and won the Democratic primary.

We built a movement — and the country elected the first-ever African American president.

We know that the improbable is far from impossible.

Now, former staffers from President Obama’s campaigns, along with former staffers from OFA, are joining with the thousands of Americans who are calling on Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016.

Rising income inequality is the challenge of our times, and we want someone who will stand up for working families and take on the Wall Street banks and special interests that took down our economy.

We urge Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016.

These are the guys that eight years ago helped Opama take on the presumptive favorite Hillary Clinton. They won, and they are eager to try it again.

This could be a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton. If you add these experienced, seasoned campaign workers into a mix that already includes  MoveOn.Org and others, Warren could have a real shot at winning the Iowa Democratic Caucus. Caucus states reward the candidates who have the most dedicated and energetic group of supporters. I have yet to hear of anybody who is all that excited about Hillary running. It has primarily been, “Hoo, hum. Hillary is going to be the next nominee. Now where did you say you put the remote?”

If Warren got in with all this enthusiastic grassroots support, Iowa would become a do-or-die effort for Clinton because if Hillary lost, it would be déjà vu all over again. It would be very difficult to fight the ensuing sense of panic.

by @ 8:57 am. Filed under Elizabeth Warren

December 11, 2014

Jeb as Mini-Mitt?

Joshua Green over on Bloomberg reports a potential problem with a Jeb Bush Presidential run: (emphasis added)

Over the last several months, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been giving speeches, campaigning for candidates, appearing at public forums, and meeting with wealthy donors, which has led many people to believe that he may soon enter the race to become the next Republican presidential nominee. On Dec.1, Bush told a gathering of business leaders at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington that he would make a decision about his political future “in short order.” But Bush’s recent business ventures reveal that he shares a number of liabilities with the last nominee, Mitt Romney, whose career in private equity proved so politically damaging that it sunk his candidacy.

Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 27 list Bush as chairman and manager of a new offshore private equity fund, BH Global Aviation, which raised $61 million in September, largely from foreign ­investors. In November the fund ­incorporated in the United Kingdom and Wales­—a ­structure, several independent finance lawyers say, that operates like a tax haven by allowing overseas investors to avoid U.S. taxes and regulations.

BH Global Aviation is one of at least three such funds Bush has launched in less than two years through his Coral Gables, Fla., company, Britton Hill Holdings. He’s also chairman of a $26 million fund, BH Logistics, established in April with backing from a Chinese conglomerate, and a $40 million fund involved in shale oil exploration, according to documents filed in June and first ­reported on by Bloomberg News. His flurry of ventures doesn’t suggest someone preparing to run for president, according to a dozen fund managers, lawyers, and ­private-placement agents who were ­apprised of his recent activities by Bloomberg Businessweek. Most private equity funds have a life span of 10 years. While it isn’t impossible that Bush could bail on his investors so soon after taking their money, “that would be unusual,” says Steven Kaplan, a private equity expert at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. One fundraiser for private equity adds that normally you’d be winding down such businesses, rather than expanding them, if you were going to run.

“Running as the second coming of Mitt Romney is not a credential that’s going to play anywhere, with Republicans or Democrats,” says John Brabender, a Republican consultant and veteran of presidential campaigns. “Not only would this be problematic on the campaign trail, I think it also signals someone who isn’t seriously looking at the presidency or he wouldn’t have gone down this path.”

I would not go so far as to say Mitt’s “…career in private equity proved so politically damaging that it sunk his candidacy.” It didn’t help it, that is for certain, but to ascribe his 2012 defeat entirely to his private equity career is pushing it, in my opinion.

Be that as it may, I do find it interesting that several people in the equity business suggest that Bush’s recent actions are not those of a man who has been seriously giving thought to running for President.

by @ 1:51 pm. Filed under Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

MoveOn To Mount a Draft Warren Campaign.

We reported yesterday that MoveOn.Org was holding a vote of their members as to whether or not mount a “Draft Warren” campaign. As outlined in the previous post, if the vote was positive they were prepared to:

  • [provide] offices and staff in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire,
  • assemble a national volunteer army ready to go to work if Sen. Warren enters the race,
  • recruit small-dollar donors who pledge their support,
  • run ads and media products that call attention to how Sen. Warren has stood up and fought for the middle class and her powerful vision for our country’s future.

The organization would invest at least $1 million in the first phase of the launch.

Well the votes are in. MoveOn has issued the following news release:

The results are in—and MoveOn members overwhelmingly agree that it’s time to encourage Senator Elizabeth Warren to enter the race for president.

With 81.3% of all votes cast in favor of this effort, we are hitting the launch button on MoveOn’s “Run Warren Run” campaign today!

MoveOn members vote to encourage Warren to run

Elizabeth Warren is a fighter for working people and a champion for the middle class. And at this time of historic inequality, we need her to run for president.

We’ve heard from tons of MoveOn members who want to see Sen. Warren in the race for president. Like Eric A., from Pennsylvania, who said, “Senator Warren is a true progressive, who can run as the People’s Candidate,” and, Brad G. from Texas, who said she’s “a non-establishment candidate with the charisma to run, win, and change the nation!”

Four out of five MO voters voted to go forward. As reported in the previous post, it isn’t just MO that is involve. Potentially Howard Dean’s group, Democracy For America, could join them as well.

This could end up having a major impact on a race that nobody on the Democrat side appears to be all that excited about. Remember the first contest of the cycle is the Iowa Caucus. Caucuses are very susceptible to these sorts of intense, highly-motivated grass-roots campaigns.

As an aside, it would appear that not many of the 18.7% who voted against the proposal are all that happy about it. Here are the first three comments on the release:

No! Absolutely not! I’m trusting her word that she will not and doesn’t want to run. She’s precious in the Senate. This is a waste of resources and outright disrespect to Elizabeth.

Why expend resources on someone who has declared no desire to run? Let’s recruit a formidable progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton who is willing to be a candidate.

How’s about this time around, you don’t use your power to attempt to split the party?

by @ 11:59 am. Filed under Elizabeth Warren

Webb: The Democrats Have Lost Their Way

The Washington Post reports on a speech Jim Webb gave. Jim is the only Democrat that I know of that has formed an exploratory committee.

Former senator and potential presidential candidate Jim Webb told an audience in Richmond on Tuesday that the Democratic Party has lost white working-class voters by becoming “a party of interest groups.”

“The Democratic Party has lost the message that made it such a great party for so many years, and that message was: Take care of working people, take care of the people who have no voice in the corridors of power, no matter their race, ethnicity or any other reason,” Webb said. “The Democratic Party has basically turned into a party of interest groups.”

Webb is polling in the very low single digits.

by @ 11:32 am. Filed under Jim Webb

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Survey

Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {50%} [50%] (49%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 39% {40%} [42%] (45%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53% {53%} [54%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 31% {32%} [34%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {55%} [55%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 31% {31%} [35%]

Among Independents

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% {46%} [48%] (44%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 41% {40%} [42%] (48%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% {53%} [54%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 33% {32%} [32%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {52%} [52%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 32% {32%} [34%]

Among Men

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% {43%} [44%] (35%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 41% {46%} [47%] (58%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% {46%} [49%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 33% {39%} [37%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% {47%} [49%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 34% {39%} [40%]

Among Women

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {56%} [54%] (60%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 38% {36%} [38%] (34%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {60%} [59%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 28% {26%} [32%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 57% {62%} [61%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 28% {25%} [31%]

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Hillary Clinton 58% [60%] (67%) / 35% [38%] (29%) {+23%}
  • Chris Christie 45% [47%] (69%) / 47% [47%] (22%) {-2%}
  • Rand Paul 25% [31%] / 32% [33%] {-7%}
  • Jeb Bush 25% [32%] / 35% [33%] {-10%}

Do you think Chris Christie would make a good President or not?

  • Yes 40% [39%]
  • No 53% [55%]

Would you like to see Chris Christie run for President in 2016 or not?

  • Yes 44% [46%]
  • No 50% [49%]

Survey of 1,340 registered voters was conducted December 3-8, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points.  Party ID: 34% {33%} [34%] (33%) Democrat; 23% {23%} [24%] (25%) Republican; 37% {37%} [35%] (36%) Independent; 7% {7%} [7%] (7%) Other/Don’t know. Results from the poll conducted September 25-29, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 31 – August 4,2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 13-17, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:10 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 24%
  • Somewhat approve 23%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:08 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 10, 2014

WaPo: Santorum Is In

The Washington Post reports that Santorum is definitely in this cycle:

Rick Santorum is running for president again — and says this time will be different

Rick Santorum won primaries and caucuses in 11 states in 2012, coming in a respectable second in the GOP presidential primary season. And Republicans have a history of bestowing their nomination on the next guy in line, usually an also-ran from the last contest.

Yet the former senator from Pennsylvania is rarely mentioned in the already feverish pre-game 2016 chatter among the political commentariat and the donor class.

That’s just the way he likes it. Or so he says.

“America loves an underdog. We’re definitely the underdog in this race,” he said in an interview Tuesday. Santorum added that being underestimated — again — “has given me a lot of latitude.”

“America loves an underdog”. True, very true, Rick, but it depends upon the dog. Every single poll that has his name on it has him at or near the bottom, even in Iowa, the state that gave him his big leg up last time. He won the state, but now he ranks 11thELEVENTH!! — in pre-primary polls.

by @ 6:20 pm. Filed under Rick Santorum

Re: “Clearing the Field”

An ongoing theme of my postings here will be that the current (and, I think, ongoing, until they figure it out) problems of the Democratic Party are based in the party’s arrogant, elitist attitude, which is based on a contempt for the American middle-class, which they are finding it increasingly difficult to hide. Expect to see more on this subject (probably to the point that you’ll get thoroughly tired of it).

But it’s worth noting, before we start casting stones from our glass house, that the Republicans also have an arrogant elite. We are reminded of this often, but most recently a few days ago when we were told that our party’s ruling class had decided to clear the field early so their designated nominee – Romney, Bush, or Christie — could coast to victory uncontested.

Really? You guys honestly think you’re going to get away with that?

They do, of course, but that’s what arrogance can do to you. I was pleased to see them being called on it in this item in National Journal (and elsewhere, no doubt):

This week’s New York Times report that leading Republican fundraisers want to settle the Republican nomination fight early, and are hoping to clear the field for Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, or Chris Christie, is a case study in how often wealthy, influential donors misread politics. Betting on a two-time losing presidential candidate, another Bush who hasn’t run a campaign in 12 years, and an intemperate governor with declining popularity in his home state as the strongest nominees for the party would be comical if it weren’t true.

But this episode underscores one of the bigger challenges facing the Republican Party for 2016—the fact that top GOP donors are often at odds with many of their own voters. They often conflate brand-name identification with general-election strength, which helps explain the recent Mitt Romney boomlet. They’ll mistakenly assume that a candidate’s fundraising prowess automatically translates into political viability, which is why a Wall Street-connected Christie is on their short list. And their interest in issues like immigration, trade, and tax reform aligns with Bush, even though they’re of secondary importance for the working-class voters that make up the majority of the party’s base.

The article is totally right, in my opinion, up to this point. But Josh Kraushaar (the writer) undersells his argument in the next paragraph, when he says that this approach is offensive to the group Pew calls ‘socially conservative populists’. It’s offensive to me as well, and I’m much closer to being a libertarian (I prefer to label myself a Goldwater Republican) than either a social conservative or a populist.

(As an aside: I think there are grounds for an alliance between libertarians and some populists, based on shared opposition to the corporatism – aka crony capitalism – that is the reigning ideology of the elites of both parties).

Kraushaar goes on to say that he considers this approach counter-productive, since it might assure the nomination of a relatively weak candidate (e.g., one of the three potential anointees) before the elite have had a chance to look over the rest of the field. I agree that it’s counter-productive, but I also think it’s likely to fail.

Perhaps I’m making the mistake, common among those of us who follow politics and easy to spot when others do it, of thinking that my own views are more widely held than in fact they are. But I believe that there are a lot of people – libertarians, populists, social conservatives, and others – who are fed up with being treated with contempt by the ruling class.

Kraushaar sees this wave as well, and says it would be a mistake for the Republican elite to miss it by nominating one of their own. I’ll go a step further and say that enough of the fed-up may be voting in the Republican primaries and caucuses that the anointed one may not become the nominee.

by @ 4:12 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

A Possible Draft Warren Movement? had this to say in a news release dated yesterday:

MoveOn Kicks Off Member Vote on Campaign to Encourage Elizabeth Warren to Run for President

For the first time in its 16-year history, the 8-million-member group is holding a nationwide membership vote on a presidential draft campaign. If the vote succeeds, the group will focus on persuading the Massachusetts senator, who has become known as a tireless, passionate advocate for middle-class and working families, to seek the presidency.

Voting is open to MoveOn’s full membership across the country until 10 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday morning. The result will be announced at 11 a.m. Eastern.

The campaign, if ratified by MoveOn’s members, will include:

  • offices and staff in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire,
  • the assembly of a national volunteer army ready to go to work if Sen. Warren enters the race,
  • recruiting small-dollar donors who pledge their support,
  • and ads and media products that call attention to how Sen. Warren has stood up and fought for the middle class and her powerful vision for our country’s future.

The organization will invest at least $1 million in the first phase of the launch.

And just to make things interesting, MSNBC is reporting that Democracy for America is also getting in on the act:

“Washington consultants can spout off a dozen reasons why Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t run, but none of that beltway blather means a thing next to this one, simple truth: The Democratic Party and our country desperately need Warren’s voice in the 2016 presidential debate,” DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement. “Pending the results of MoveOn’s vote, we will ask DFA members to support our plans to join the emerging Draft Warren effort.”

ABCnews reports Warren’s reply:

Warren’s press secretary Lacey Rose said today, “As Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president.” Warren has said the same repeatedly herself, but she’s always been careful to phrase it in the present tense.

(Why am I reminded of those poor O4P (Organize for Palin) people slaving away in Iowa and other states trying to prepare the way for Sarah Palin in the hopes that all their efforts and sacrifices would convince her to run? In the end, she never did.)

Be that as it may, if the MoveOn members do vote to go through with it, it will create a headache for the Democratic Party. How big of a headache remains to be seen. O4P never was much more than a small seat-of-the-pants group of people who paid their expenses out of their own pocket with little to no help from anyone else. and Democracy for America, on the other hand, are large organizations with the resources to match, and their operatives promise to be volunteers. That makes their budget go even further.

Depending upon the vote tally announced tomorrow, the 2016 Democratic race for Presidential nominee just might get a little more interesting than the previously projected “mere formality” primary process for Hillary Clinton.

Stay tuned.

by @ 12:59 pm. Filed under Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin

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