Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We have a good idea what the results of the Iowa Caucus will be on January 3rd. In 2008, Real Clear Politics one week before the Caucus, had Mike Huckabee ahead in their average of polls with 33%. He won the election with 34.4 percent. In second place, Mitt Romney, had 25.2 percent. His RCP poll numbers had him at 27.3 on December 28th, 2007.
The average difference between the poll numbers and the actual result of the Caucus was 2.8 percent. Additionally, the correlation between the 12/28 poll and the January 4th 2008, Caucus was 96. Almost perfect. Using this number we can predict what the candidates will get on January 3rd:
Romney: 19.2 to 24.8
Paul: 19.7 to 25.3
Gingrich: 11.5 to 17.1
Perry: 9 to 14.6
Santorum: 7 to 12.6
Bachmann: 6.2 to 11.8
Huntsman: .5 to 6.1
This means either Romney or Paul will win. Even if Romney does not win he will essentially lock up the nomination by winning New Hampshire. No candidate can win the nomination without either winning Iowa or New Hampshire. Ron Paul is a fluke candidate who presents no threat to Romney even if he wins Iowa.
A major victory? We'll have to wait and see if this is a strategy to divide and conquer. Don't trust the authorities:
The protesters who've pitched tents in Freedom Plaza in the nation's capital since October have a permit to extend their stay through the end of February.
National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson says the group originally known as Stop the Machine filed an application for a new permit that runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, and the application was granted.
The group now calls itself Occupy Washington D.C. They are protesting corporate greed and the continued presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and their current permit expires Dec. 30. There's a similar, larger protest encampment a few blocks away in McPherson Square called Occupy D.C.
Johnson says a permit has also been issued to the National Center for Public Policy Research for a counter-protest from Feb. 12-March 15.
The two-party system will do whatever it takes to destroy OWS. This story points to an overall trend in this country of the government attacking liberties we take for granted:
Twitter has been subpoenaed for information related to Occupy supporters' accounts, proving that law enforcement agencies have been monitoring OWS supporters' activity on social media. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts is fed up with being mocked, ridiculed, and criticized by faceless Tweeters, so it's taking matters into its own hands.Full article
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Benjamin A. Goldberger sent a subpoena on Dec. 14 to Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco requesting information on a number of accounts and hashtags associated with the Occupy Boston protest movement to assist authorities with an "official criminal investigation."
[...]Goldberger's move is just one more step in the lengthy tarring and feathering of the Occupy Wall Street movement's supporters sure to come now that winter has arrived and the media are focused on other matters.
[...]One of the most critical aspects of the brief subpoena is the fact that the #BostonPD hashtag was listed. If the D.A.'s office actually wants the subscription information, IP address and more of every single person who tweeted that hashtag out during the Dewey Square raid, it is asking for information on a vast number of users, thereby infringing on the rights to privacy of at least hundreds of people who were simply exercising their free speech rights. Either that, or the authorities simply don't understand how hashtags work.
Very frightening news on the economy described on Dylan Ratigan program. The so-called recovery from 1997 recession is one of the weakest on record. The economy is still very weak. And not enough jobs are being created; we need to have 30 million. In addition, the European debt crisis is threatening our and the world's economy. It certainly doesn't help that major retailers, K-Mart and Sears are laying off large numbers of employees.
The analyses was given by the a fomer Presidenti advisor, Alan Blinder.
From the Jeff Smith, The Daily Beast:
It’s always been about the money. Occupy Wall Street chose to set up its 24-hour outpost of political dissent on the doorstep of the finance industry primarily to underscore the simple fact that money has corrupted our political process so completely that the seat of power in the U.S. isn’t even in Washington, D.C. any more. That said, the Capitol continues collecting its cut, as evidenced in this week’s double-barreled dispatches, in the Washington Post and the New York Times, on the exploding wealth gap between our ever-more affluent representatives in Congress and the financially flat-lined citizens they represent.Full article
From its inception, OWS has focused on the concept of legalized bribery, as the continually rising cost of a political campaign—an average of $1.4 million for a successful House run, up fourfold in real dollars since 1976, and nearly $10 million for a Senate seat—has been largely subsidized by wealthy donors, corporations and special interests, in return for legislation that favors their interests. It’s a form of regulatory capture that most first-world democracies outlaw as corruption, but that Americans know as “the way things are,” along with “ask your doctor” pharmaceutical ads and campaigns pitching products directly to young children. The result is an almost total lack of confidence in our elected officials, as reflected by Congress’ almost impossibly low 9 percent approval rating.
- Occupy Wall Street, MLK Memorial and the top stories of 2011
- Occupy the Caucuses Meets to Plan A Week of Protests
- Fighting back against the 1% will take some real organizing
- @OccupyWallStNYC #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
Call 2 #boycott these businesses that support #SOPA: http://t.co/3sknl43q
- Tweet: @neontommy Neon Tommy
SPECIAL REPORT| Why a Somalian woman who went to school for accounting is homeless and why @OccupyLA was a relief: bit.ly/tVxLXP
@OccupyTulsa Occupy Tulsa
#Occupy Tulsa Help make it happen for Occupy Billboards on #indiegogo igg.me/p/58506?a=3601… Please RT everyone!
Looks promising for a revolution in Yemen:
Labor strikes spread through Yemen Wednesday as workers demanded reforms and dismissal of managers over alleged corruption linked to the country’s outgoing president.This is why we shouldn't allow the "President" of Yemen into the U.S. It would create all kinds of ill will. The government made that mistake with the Shah of Iran. Look at what that led to:
Corruption was one of the grievances that ignited mass protests against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February. After months of stalling, Saleh last month signed an agreement to transfer power.
The deal includes immunity for prosecution for the longtime leader, but protesters reject that. They are also demanding that his relatives and associates, also suspected of corruption, be removed from their posts in the government and military and put on trial.
The White House has not yet formally decided whether to admit Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the U.S. for medical treatment, but Obama administration officials as recently as last week considered granting Saleh a visa, in part to "get him out of the region," a senior administration official said Tuesday.Full article
One advantage the administration sees in letting Saleh come to the U.S. is that it would remove from Yemen a symbol of the country's repression of its citizens and perhaps smooth the transition to new leadership, the official said.
Government cutbacks a major factor but so are the increase in the number of guns in our society:
Craig Floyd, the group's chairman, blamed the rise on budget cuts to public safety departments. He cited surveys by police groups that showed many cut back on training and delay upgrading equipment, and referenced a Department of Justice report issued in October that said an estimated 10,000 police officers and sheriff's deputies have been laid off within the past year.Full article
"I'm very troubled that these drastic budget cuts have put our officers at a grave risks," he said. "Our officers are facing a more brazen cold-blooded element and fighting a war on terror, and we're giving them less training and less equipment they need to do their jobs safely."
[...]The number of firearms-related fatalities, which have risen 70 percent since 2008, was particularly alarming to analysts. Of the 68 deaths, 14 took place while the officer was attempting an arrest, nine occurred during a domestic disturbance call and five were ambushes, according to the data.
Relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated to dangerous levels. Eventhough Putin is helping move Russia towards dictatorship we need to have good relations with whomever is ruling that country. We don't want to push them into the hands of the Chinese. So it's in our strategic interest to get along with the Russians. This does not mean we remain silent when they violate human rights. But we can't rub Putin's nose in it either. It is foolish U.S. foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union that have contributed to pushing Russia away from the West and democracy and towards oppression. The Obama administration seems intent on making things worse:
Russia sought to undermine the authority of the United States as a global judge of human rights on Wednesday with Moscow's first report to detail allegations of torture, phone tapping and abuse by the U.S. government.Full article
Criticising the United States for double standards, Russia said President Barack Obama had failed to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and accused the White House of sheltering officials and CIA operatives from prosecution.
The Foreign Ministry's report "On the situation with human rights in a host of world states," follows China's example in highlighting U.S. failings in an attempt to counter U.S. State Department criticism of domestic human rights abuses.
Sounds like a desperate candidate. Gingrich will do anything to get his way. Any Republican would have to question a candidate who will call a fellow Conservative worse than the hated Obama:
Newt Gingrich has finally found a politician he considers even worse than the president he calls socialist, anti-colonialist and radical. That would be his fellow Republican Ron Paul.Full article
"I think Barack Obama is very destructive to the future of the United States. I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," Gingrich said Tuesday in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer.
Could he vote for Paul? "No." If it came down to Paul vs. Obama? "You'd have a very hard choice at that point."
The American people are sick of both parties. We need choice. Let's start by voting third party. And let's create a people's platform:
Voters are a tough bunch to satisfy these days. The number of people who are registered to vote as Democrat or Republican has plunged by 2.5 million since 2008, according to a new tally. Independent ranks have grown. Still, studies show, most independents still vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other, even if they don't want to admit that in public.Full article
Both parties have been losing members to the independent column since at least the 1960s. Among other reasons, television and suburbanization increasingly have liberated voters from reliance on precinct captains and other party favors.
[...]Yet, I suspect that there's another reason that more people are calling themselves independents these days. They're hoping that someday if there are enough independents, they might create a third party. Maybe. But considering the wide diversity of views held by independents now, their wishes won't be easy for a third party to satisfy either.