Weekly Musing 5-18-14

Weekly Musing 5-18-14
Saul Anuzis

 

Reagan

A Crisis of Faith in America
I want a leader of faith. Not faith in some certain religion or political party, but a faith that is the opposite of certainty. That can sit in the doubts and still believe the truth will emerge through a process that respects all opinions. A leader who has faith and strength enough not to need quick certain answers, but can trust in a way forward however murky or uncertain it seems. I believe real confidence comes from the strength to stand in the unknown, and not have to be right.

Yes, we need more faith in politics. But not the kind of faith so many folks communicate in our discourse. I want more leaders to emerge who believe, through the doubts and uncertainties, in the faith of the American public to point the way. Leaders who can sit more quietly in the doubts of the world and with openness listen to the wisdom that comes from diverse discussion. And in that space is where our answers will come from. I am not certain about that, but I believe. I have faith.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/crisis-faith-america/story?id=23729142&singlePage=true

How Big a Wave? The big question for 2014: Will we see a GOP ripple … or a tsunami?
The calculated takeaway is this: As of now, Democrats are clear underdogs in the two states where they want to play offense. They also are probably no better than 50-50 in any of the seven red states where they are defending seats, and drowning in a couple. A big enough wave could cut into the blue states, too, although probably not as deeply as Republicans fantasize. Put it all together, and the current forecast calls for a wave that’s more than a ripple but less than a tsunami – a four to eight-seat addition for the Republicans, with the higher end of the range being a shade likelier than the lower. For Harry Reid, that would be a big-enough splash.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/2014-midterm-gop-wave-106598_full.html#.U3IJPRzD_X4

 

ObamaFrown

For Democrats, Midterm Peril Lies in the Public’s Mood
For Democrats, the 2010 midterm election was like a bad dream, one not to be repeated. So here is reason for Democrats to sleep uneasily right now: Public attitudes today are remarkably similar to those that prevailed just before that election disaster.
Public sentiment is currently similar to that which prevailed just before the 2010 mid-term elections that were disastrous for Democrats. Capital Journal columnist Jerry Seib explains what Democrats have to lose this time around. Photo: Getty Images.
On most traditional readings of the political mood—direction of the country, ratings of the incumbent president’s job performance, economic expectations and hopes for the outcome of the November vote—the feelings today are uncannily close to those that prevailed in October 2010, just before the election in which Democrats lost six Senate seats and a whopping 63 House seats, ceding House control to Republicans.

Indeed, a review of data by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling team also shows some similarities between public attitudes today and those that prevailed before elections in 1994 and 2006, in which the sitting president’s party suffered significant setbacks. At a minimum, these readings suggest Democrats have precious little hope of taking back control of the House and will be lucky if they don’t lose more ground there. More important, they show how favorable the landscape is for Republicans to seize the year’s grand prize, which is to win the six seats they need to take control of the Senate.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303851804579557700794550322

 

Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio: Yes, I’m Ready to be President
“I do … but I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run … I mean, I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize, I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years,” said Rubio. “Most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there and I think we’re very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.”
When asked if he was qualified to run, Rubio reiterated that the Republican Party has several qualified candidates.

“The question is what — who’s vision is the one that our party wants to follow?” he said.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/sen-marco-rubio-yes-im-ready-to-be-president/

The inner circle: Sally Bradshaw, Mike Murphy
For a two-term governor of a political hotbed who’s openly mulling a presidential bid in a few years, Jeb Bush is unusually reliant on his own counsel.
But to the extent Bush has a kitchen cabinet, two figures have seats at the head of the table: Sally Bradshaw, Bush’s no-nonsense ex-chief of staff, and Mike Murphy, the Republican consultant and “Meet the Press” mainstay who’s taken up residence in Hollywood. The two go back decades with Bush and have led a tight and informal political operation helping Bush navigate the public side of his 2016 deliberations, which are expected to yield a decision after the November midterms.

Here’s a look at some of the key people outside his family with whom Bush exchanges ideas about politics and policy.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/jeb-bush-sally-bradshaw-mike-murphy-2016-elections-106611.html

Republicans Pull Hillary Off The Sidelines
Republicans has forced the former secretary of state to engage in hand-to-hand combat long before she had hoped to, accelerating her reemergence as a political figure before she decides whether to run for president in 2016

Hillary Clinton wanted to spend 2014 giving speeches, hawking a new book, but otherwise staying above the political fray while she decides whether to run for president. Republicans have other plans—and they’re working.

For the better part of a year, the GOP has hewed to a two-pronged strategy built around forcing Clinton to engage in day-to-day political battles and resurrecting the drama-filled atmosphere of the late 1990s. On both fronts, it’s hard to argue the party’s efforts aren’t showing success. Republicans are increasingly forcing Clinton to defend her record as secretary of state, and GOP operative Karl Rove provoked a fierce response from Clintonland this week when he publicly questioned her health. Separately, Monica Lewinsky brought up old memories when the former White House intern whose extramarital dalliance with Bill Clinton led to his impeachment broke years of silence with a Vanity Fair tell-all.

http://time.com/102683/hillary-clinton-karl-rove-republicans-2016/

How the 2016 Election Was Rigged More Than 200 Years Ago
Ben Highton, a political scientist at the University of California-Davis, has identified a trend that hardly anybody in Washington has noticed yet. In a pair of blog posts, Highton persuasively makes the case that the Electoral College has taken on a strong pro-Democratic tilt. That is, the states in the center of the Electoral College distribution lean more strongly Democratic than the electorate as a whole. How heavily? Highton has a chart:

According to his figures, Republicans would need to win the popular vote by about 1.5 percentage points to stand an even chance of winning the presidency. Even if they win the popular vote by two percent, their odds of winning the election would not top 75 percent. That is a steep Democratic bias.

The Democratic swing-state advantage appears all over the map, but its locus is probably the quintessential swing state of Florida. Since the run-up to the 2012 election, electoral analyst Nate Cohn has been tracking Florida’s steady lurch toward the Democratic party (see here, here, and here).

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/how-the-2016-election-was-rigged-200-years-ago.html

Demographics May Be Destiny — But Not One Political Direction
Demography is destiny, we are often told, and rightly — up to a point. The American electorate is made up of multiple identifiable segments, defined in various ways, by race and ethnicity, by age cohort, by region and religiosity (or lack thereof), by economic status and interest.

Over time, some segments become larger and some smaller. Some prove to be politically crucial, given the political alignments of the time. Others become irrelevant as they lose cohesion and identity.
From the results of the 2008 presidential election, many pundits prophesied a bleak future for the Republican Party, and not implausibly.
The exit poll showed that President Obama carried by overwhelming margins two demographic segments that were bound to become a larger share of the electorate over time.

He carried Hispanics 67 to 31 percent, despite Republican opponent John McCain’s support of comprehensive immigration legislation. Obama carried voters under 30 — the so-called Millennial Generation — by 66 to 32 percent.

But over time, Democrats’ hold on these groups has weakened. In Gallup polls, Obama’s job approval among Hispanics declined from 75 percent in 2012 to 52 in 2013 and among Millennials from 61 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013.

The recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll of Millennials showed Democrats with a big party identification edge among those over 25, but ahead of Republicans by only 41 to 38 percent among those 18 to 20.

The older Millennials came of political age during the late George W. Bush years and were transfixed by the glamor of candidate Obama in 2008.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/05/13/demographics_may_be_destiny_–_but_not_one_political_direction_122604.html

The U.S. immigrant population is booming. But mostly in just a handful of states.
In 1990, there were 19.8 million foreign born people in the United States. In 2012, there were 40.7 million.

Those numbers are absolutely eye-popping and, as we have written many times of late in this space, they represent a central piece of the future political puzzle for both parties. Republicans’ inability to attract any significant number of Hispanic votes in either of the last two presidential elections — John McCain won 31 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008, Mitt Romney won a meager 27 percent in 2012 — presents them with a major challenge in future national elections as the white vote continues to shrink as a percentage of the overall electorate.

A new report from Pew — these guys rock! — suggests that while Republicans still need to be concerned about their struggles among Hispanics, the problem — at least in the near term — may be less dire than it seems. Why? Because the vast majority of the growth in the immigrant population is happening in a relative static number of states — states that, by and large, are already safely in Democratic hands.

Here’s awesome Pew chart, detailing the 15 states with the highest percentage of foreign born residents between 1990 and 2012.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/05/14/the-u-s-immigration-population-is-booming-but-mostly-in-just-a-handful-of-states/

Environmentalists Have Lost the Climate Change Debate
But really, after all these years, admitting that executive power is the only way to move (tepidly) forward on climate change policy is basically admitting defeat. Has there ever been a movement that’s spent as much time, energy and treasure and gotten so little in return? I suspect there are three reasons for this failure: 1) It’s difficult to fight basic economics. 2) On energy, Americans, despite what they say, have no desire to try (nor should they). 3) It’s getting more difficult, not less, to believe environmental doom and gloom.

“There will always be people in this country who say that we’ve got to choose between clean air, clean water and growing the economy, between doing right by the environment and putting people back to work,” Obama said a couple of years ago. “I’m here to tell you that is a false choice.” Well, actually, we already have cleaner air and water, and we (typically) have a growing economy. The thing is there is consensus among economists that regulations do have a cost. Sometimes the price tag is worth it. Oftentimes it’s not.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/05/09/environmentalists_have_lost_the_climate_change_debate_122583.html

Europe’s Russian Nightmare Is Starting To Come True
As Russia covertly invaded the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March, Janusz Bugajski of the Center for Strategic and International.

Studies explained Europe’s perspective:
“There’s a palpable fear throughout Eastern Europe that the Russian government no longer respects the borders of Europe, the map of Europe, that it will unilaterally change the borders of its neighbors on the pretext whether of defending minority rights, restoring law and order, or whatever it is, in order to try to expand its influence and expand its control over parts of territories of neighboring countries,” he told PBS Newshour.

Two months later, that’s exactly what’s happening in eastern Ukraine. Two regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, used slipshod referendums on Sunday to secede from Ukraine. Now separatist leaders in both regions want to join Russia. And Russian troops remain at the border.

http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-is-redrawing-borders-of-eastern-europe-2014-5

The expansionist behind Putin
When Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian parliament in March following his annexation of Crimea — Part 1 of a “slowing-rolling conquest of Ukraine,” as one historian put it — he drew on traditionalist notions of Greater Russia, Slavic destiny and even ethnic mysticism to justify his aggressions.
But behind the self-serving rhetoric were an unspoken geopolitical theory and unacknowledged ideas of a Russian intellectual by the name of Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin.

Since the early 1990s, Dugin, the son of a KGB officer, has been promoting the concept of Eurasianism, an ideology under which Russia would dominate Western and Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia — and re-establish itself as a global power capable of challenging the geopolitical dominance and liberal ethos of the West.

According to some scholars, Putin’s Duma speech reflects the influence of Dugin’s Eurasianism and the idea of some Greater Russia configuration capable of challenging, in Dugin’s words, “North Atlantic interests.”

A statement Dugin made in 1997 sums up this ideology succinctly: “In principle, Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution,”: he said. “The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the U.S. and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.”

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/expansionist+behind+Putin/9801689/story.html?fb_action_ids=10152031120756260&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=feed_opengraph&action_object_map=%7B%2210152031120756260%22%3A293933404104205%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210152031120756260%22%3A%22og.recommends%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Bill Maher: Liberals too soft on Islam, the ‘elephant in the room’
Political talk show host Bill Maher took to his HBO show to battle liberals, arguing that Islam tends to incite acts of violence and that liberals tend to overlook the larger problem.

On his show “Real Time,” Mr. Maher and his panelists began to discuss the recent kidnappings of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

“There’s no mention here of connecting this to the religion, which is always what I am seeking to do because I think that’s the elephant in the room,” Bill Maher said. “And that in the religion at large, women are seen as property, second-class at best, often property.”

Mr. Maher went on to argue that liberals who chalk the incidences up to small groups of radical “bad apples” are not standing up for liberal principles, a major part of which is equality for women.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/10/bill-maher-liberals-too-soft-islam-elephant-room/

NEW Facebook Page…
I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there…

I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page. Join me & “like” here:

https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

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Weekly Musing 5-11-14

Weekly Musing 5-11-14

Saul Anuzis

 

Mother406126_3955047470599_1906119237_n

Happy Mother’s Day

A special thanks for the love, sacrifice and unconditional love Mother’s provide their families.  Generation after generation, moms remain the anchor of virtually every family.

 

Miss my mom, thank my kids mom…and hopefully we’re all grateful for ALL the moms in our lives!

 

R.I.P. Jerry Schostak

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Bobby Schostak’s father, Jerome “Jerry” L. Schostak.

He passed away last evening at Beaumont Hospital surrounded by his family.  Once funeral arrangements are finalized, we will be sure to pass them along to everyone.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking those who wish to honor the memory of Mr. Jerome L. Schostak to do so by making a contribution to:

Reuben Phoenix Schostak Congenital Heart Center Research Fund

http://victors.us/reubenfund

 

Please keep Bobby Schostak and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

 

 

 

 

Ronna Romney McDaniel

RNC Meeting

The RNC held its spring meeting in Memphis Tennessee this Wednesday through Saturday.  It was a great meeting and we had some very interesting speaker and networking as usual.  Our two key guests who address the Committee and friends were Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.  The major policy initiative that was undertaken was to wrestle back control of presidential debates from the media and put the RNC in charge of scheduling, process and most importantly moderators!  I attached an article below that goes into greater detail.

 

Our own National Committeewoman Ronna Romney McDaniel was officially ratified by the RNC as our newest member!  She was a natural, working the room meeting new folks, attending every meeting and will clearly represent Michigan Republicans well.

 

Some of you ask what do I do when I go to these RNC meetings now that I’m not a member…

 

 

…all I can to help build our party!

 

Reince3

RNC clamps down on 2016 primary debates

A group of 13 RNC members, essentially operating under the control of party Chairman Reince Priebus, will choose the timing, location and media partners of the 2015-2016 Republican primary debates. They will insist that conservative panelists join moderators from the mainstream media.

 

To make it stick, the plan would crack down on candidates who participate in debates that aren’t sanctioned by the party — by barring them from ones that are.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/rnc-2016-primary-debates-106513.html?hp=t1_3

 

 

10 Maps That Explain the 2014 Midterms

What the Democrats wouldn’t give to swap this year’s Senate map for the one coming up in 2016. This year’s Senate class, filled with Democratic incumbents in hostile territory, would be difficult to defend any year—it’s especially so when there’s an unpopular Democratic president in the White House. But the next Senate map, coming in 2016, is filled with Democratic targets and Republican vulnerabilities. Simply switch them—leaving all else the same—and the 2014 midterm takes on a completely different character.

 

That’s obviously impossible, but it does get at an essential truth of American politics: For all the plaudits heaped on the winners and derision dumped on the losers after an election, structural factors controlled by neither side dictate the results to a significant degree. Big gains one year lead to big losses another; races won in certain environments would be defeats in others. Due to the mix of seats up for election this year, just 2 million voters across six states—0.6 percent of the U.S. population—could end up deciding the fate of the Senate.

 

What follows is an attempt to illustrate the structure of the current state of American congressional politics through a series of maps, some explaining the Senate, some explaining the House and some explaining where certain key races will be won and lost.

 

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/10-maps-that-explain-the-2014-midterms-106347.html?hp=t1#.U2jDaxzD_X4

 

 

The Surprisingly Unrepresentative 2014 Senate Map

Republicans, as mentioned, need to net six seats to win the Senate, and there are six Democratic-held seats on this map where President Obama got less than 45% of the vote in 2012. Let’s assume the GOP nets those six seats, but everything else remains the same, which is a perfectly plausible scenario. Those states — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia — represent just 3.8% of the U.S. population.

 

Of course, the actual number of residents who are eligible to vote, who show up to vote and who cast a ballot for the GOP candidate is an even smaller share. Assuming turnout in line with the most recent midterm, control of the Senate could end up being switched by 2 million Republican voters, or less — just 0.6% of the American population. That would hardly be a national mandate, though Republicans would assuredly claim one anyway.

 

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/the-surprisingly-unrepresentative-2014-senate-map/

 

 

The Electoral College challenge facing the Republicans in 2016

Even though the Democrats would need more Electoral votes from the swing states, they would have a significant advantage.  The Democrats won 13 of the 14 states in 2012 (all except North Carolina).  Of course, they won the popular vote by 3.9 percentage points in 2012.  Had the popular vote been even, I estimate that the Republicans would have had a better than 50 percent chance in just three of the states (North Carolina, Florida and Ohio) with 62 Electoral votes.  In 2016, the Republicans’ chances would be marginally lower in all three.  The estimated probability that they’d win all three states if the popular vote was evenly split is just 48 percent.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/05/07/the-electoral-college-challenge-facing-the-republicans-in-2016/

 

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Releases Definitive List of 76 ‘Lawless’ Obama Actions Republican Sen. Ted Cruz released a definitive list Wednesday of 76 “lawless” Obama administration actions and abuses of power.

 

Cruz’s “The Legal Limit Report No. 4,” obtained by The Daily Caller, delves into little-known and little-reported details of President Obama’s executive actions. Cruz was set to discuss his report at the Federalist Society in the Promenade Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington at 2:15 PM Wednesday.

 

“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Cruz stated in the report’s introductory remarks.

http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/07/ted-cruz-releases-definitive-list-of-76-lawless-obama-actions/

 

 

Poll: For the midterms, a tilt to the GOP

The Midterm Landscape

With just less than six months to go before the 2014 elections, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll takes an in-depth look at which way voters are leaning and which issues are important to them at this point in the election cycle.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/05/usa-today-pew-poll-midterm-landscape-tilts-to-gop/8520429/

 

 

Great Analysis:  Democratic, Republican voters worlds apart in divided Wisconsin

In the acrid and escalating clash between red and blue America, there is no battleground quite like metropolitan Milwaukee.

 

Spectacularly divided, remarkably mobilized, frequently fought over, its politically lopsided communities have been veering apart for more than 40 years.

 

Democrats and Republicans aren’t just strangers to each other in their politics — they increasingly live in separate worlds. In its ultrapartisan geography, this is arguably the most polarized place in swing-state America.

 

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/democratic-republican-voters-worlds-apart-in-divided-wisconsin-b99249564z1-255883361.html

 

 

Liberal donors eye new long-term investments in states and new voters to boost Democrats

group of wealthy liberal donors who helped bankroll the Center for American Progress and other major advocacy groups on the left is developing a new big-money strategy that could boost state-level Democratic candidates and mobilize core party voters.

 

The plan, being crafted in private by a group of about 100 donors that includes billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros and San Francisco venture capitalist Rob McKay, seeks to give Democrats a stronger hand in the redrawing of district lines for state legislatures and the U.S. House.

 

he effort reflects a sense among many top donors on the left that Democrats missed opportunities in 2010 to shape the redistricting process and contain the tea party wave that helped propel Republican victories around the country.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/liberal-donors-eye-new-long-term-investments-in-states-and-new-voters-to-boost-democrats/2014/05/04/0433e53a-d20f-11e3-9e25-188ebe1fa93b_story.html

 

 

Obama Unleashes the Left How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left.

It’s obvious that the far left has decided there are no longer constraints on what it can do to anyone who disagrees with it. How did this happen? Who let the dogs out?

 

The answer is not university presidents. The answer is that the Obama administration let the dogs out.

The trigger event was an agreement signed last May between the federal government and the University of Montana to resolve a Title IX dispute over a sexual-assault case.

 

Every college administrator in the U.S. knows about this agreement. Indeed, there are three separate, detailed “Montana” documents that were signed jointly—and this is unusual—by the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education Departments. Remarked DoJ’s Joceyln Samuels, “The government is stronger when we speak with one voice.”

 

That’s real muscle. But read the agreement. It is Orwellian.

 

The agreement orders the school to retain an “Equity Consultant” (yes, there is such a thing) to advise it indefinitely on compliance. The school must, with the equity consultant, conduct “annual climate surveys.” It will submit the results “to the United States.”

 

The agreement describes compliance in mind-numbing detail, but in fact the actual definitional world it creates is vague. It says: “The term ‘sexual harassment’ means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” But there are also definitions for sexual assault and gender-based harassment. All of this detailed writ is called “guidance.” As in missile.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304431104579548052289065492?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304431104579548052289065492.html

 

 

 

Room to Pray A small victory for civilization

The vandals have lost one at the Supreme Court. The psalmist surely did not have Anthony Kennedy in mind when he proclaimed “Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of thy judgments,” but the trumpets should sound any and every time Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s grubby little cult suffers a political defeat.

 

The case was Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Susan Galloway et al., and the question was whether the town fathers of a Rochester suburb you’ve never heard of were doing violence to the Bill of Rights by allowing citizens and clergymen to lead prayers before meetings of the town board. The plaintiffs in the case were Susan Galloway, a Jewish woman who describes her history of activism as beginning with a refusal to sing Christmas carols as a junior-high student, and Linda Stevens, a retired public-school functionary and atheist who served in the august position of president of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the National Organization for Women and as vice president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Ms. Stevens complained that the overwhelmingly Christian character of the locals’ prayers made her feel like she would “stick out,” and so, naturally enough, she filed a lawsuit, apparently immune to the irony that her response to what she perceived as a situation encouraging conformity through social pressure was to seek federal action mandating conformity at gunpoint.

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377279/room-pray-kevin-d-williamson

 

 

This Is the One Thing the Right and Left Are Working Together On In Congress

Conservatives and progressives both see that America has a greater percentage of their population in prison and jail than other nations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons and county jails in 2011. There were also 4,814,200 adults on probation or parole at year-end 2011.

 

Many of these inmates deserve to be in prison, and we are safer because they are. But every prison cell costs money. Americans concerned about government overspending note that putting a person in prison for one year in California can cost $50,000. Progressives note that many are in prison for non-violent crimes—some for decades. Progressives want racial disparities in stops, arrests, convictions and sentencing to be addressed. Both conservatives and progressives have begun internal discussions of the costs of the drug war on human lives, civil liberties and taxpayer dollars.

 

http://time.com/90109/this-is-the-one-thing-the-right-and-left-are-working-together-on-in-congress/

 

 

All you need to know about business in China

Six big trends are shaping the country’s future, as investor Jeffrey Towson and McKinsey’s Jonathan Woetzel explain in this excerpt from The One Hour China Book.

 

A lot of people view China business as mysterious. Relax. Consumers behave pretty much the same everywhere. Competition is pretty much the same everywhere. You just need to ignore the hype and focus on the basic fact that in China today, there are six big trends (exhibit). That’s it. Six trends shape most of the country’s industries and drive much of China’s impact on the Western world. They are like tectonic plates moving underneath the surface. If you can understand them, the chaotic flurry of activity on the surface becomes a lot more understandable—and even predictable.

 

These trends move businesses on a daily basis. They’re revenue or cost drivers that show up in income statements. Deals, newspaper headlines, political statements, and the rising and falling wealth of companies are mostly manifestations of these six trends, which aren’t typically studied by economists and political analysts. In fact, we happen to think that Chinese politics or political economics are wildly overemphasized by some Westerners in China. So let’s tell a story about each of these megatrends, with some important caveats. They’re not necessarily good things. They’re not necessarily sustainable. For every one of them, we can argue a bull and a bear case. Most lead to profits or at least revenue. Some may be stable. Some lead to bubbles that may or may not collapse. We are only arguing that they are big, they are driving economic activity on a very large scale, and understanding them is critical to understanding China and where it’s headed.

 

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/winning_in_emerging_markets/all_you_need_to_know_about_business_in_china

 

 

A Breath-Taking Example of the Power of Our Computers

Researchers at the Havard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MIT and other institutions around the world haven’t quite built a god-like supercomputer, but they have done something that pushes us just a wee bit closer. Dubbed the Illustris Project, cosmologists have created a computer simulation of a universe, very much like our own, to study dark matter and energy and the formation of galaxies.

 

According to the project’s website, the “Illustris simulations were run on supercomputers in France, Germany, and the US. The largest was run on 8,192 compute cores, and took 19 million CPU hours (the equivalent of one computer CPU running for 19 million hours, or about 2,000 years).” It took five years.

 

You can take an journey through the different corners of the universe they created here. Or have a look at this:

 

http://www.realcleartechnology.com/articles/2014/05/09/a_breath-taking_example_of_the_power_of_our_computers_1135.html

 

 

Student Statesmanship Institute

Three Weeks to Choose From

June 8, June 22, July 6

 

Join hundreds of teenagers this summer for the Student Statesmanship Institute (SSI), an extraordinary, unscripted, and life-transforming week-long summer experience. Don’t miss out on an amazing week of action-packed and realistic legislative leadership simulation, inspiring Biblical worldview sessions, dynamic guest speakers, coaches, and mentors, and awesome times of worship. SSI will deepen your faith, transform your outlook on life and  equip you with cutting-edge tools that will prepare you for success in every aspect of your future. Learn more and register today at

 

www.ssionline.org.

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 5-4-14

Weekly Musing 5-4-14

Saul Anuzis

 

WashingtonLiberty

Reading Burke in Sydney: Tony Abbott’s Sensible Conservatism – A Great Read

Conservatives, traditionally speaking, are essentially anti-doctrinaire and opposed to programmatic laundry lists. Like Tories of old, and unlike Tea Partiers today, they prefer flexibility and adaptability to rigid consistency and purity of dogma. As Samuel Huntington observed in an important article in the American Political Science Review in 1957, the antithesis of conservatism is not simply left-liberalism or even socialism. It is radicalism, which is best defined in terms of one’s attitude toward change. For conservatives, temperament should always trump ideology, and the single best test of temperament is a person’s attitude toward change. Although conservatism accepts the need for change, the onus of proof is always on those who advocate for it.

 

“Again, in striking contrast, Tea Party Republicans and many conservatives inside and outside the Beltway place more stress on classical liberalism as a rigid political ideology, à la John Stuart Mill and the Enlightenment, and less emphasis on the more classical conservative virtues of prudence, stability and measured change, à la Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton. This perhaps also helps explain why Tea Party Republicans exhibit a far deeper hostility toward the state than, say, Australian or indeed most Western conservatives.”

 

“America needs to believe in itself the way others still believe in it.”

 

http://nationalinterest.org/article/reading-burke-sydney-tony-abbotts-sensible-conservatism-10302?page=show

 

HillaryObama

A big Electoral College advantage for the Democrats is looming

If the 2016 presidential vote is evenly split between the parties, which one is more likely to win the Electoral College and therefore the presidency?  I estimate that the Democrats’ chances of winning the Electoral College vote are between 83 and 89 percent, giving them a significant advantage.  This argument contrasts with those who are cautious of a Democratic advantage, such as Jonathan Bernstein and Harry Enten.  The reason I predict such a significant advantage is because of ongoing, long-term trends altering the electoral outlook in a number of key swing states.

 

To make predictions for 2016, I analyzed how the popular vote margin (the Democratic minus the Republican percentage of the vote) compared to the national vote in every state from 1992 through 2012.  I examined the states individually to detect any long-term trends.  For example, while Oklahoma was already significantly more Republican than the nation in 1992, it steadily became even more Republican over time.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/28/a-big-electoral-college-advantage-for-the-democrats-is-looming/?wprss=rss_national&wp_login_redirect=0

 

 

Why Democrats Shouldn’t Be Celebrating

There seemed to be a pop-the-champagne mood among Democrats after the Obama administration’s announcement that 8 million Americans had signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats, desperate for good news, became euphoric at the suggestion that perhaps they had turned the corner on Obamacare, moving from it being a likely political liability to an asset, and that maybe the 2014 midterm elections might not be so bad. The fact that 8 million is less than 3 percent of the 313.9 million people in the United States seemed lost in the shuffle.

 

My impression at the time was that this sounded a bit too much like whistling past the graveyard. Now an array of new polling from a variety of sources suggests that Democrats have no reason to be encouraged at this point. Things still look pretty awful for the party. Especially meaningful to consider is that—no matter how bad the national poll numbers appear for Democrats—eight of their nine most vulnerable Senate seats this year are in states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. Further, nine of the most competitive 11 Senate seats in both parties are in Romney states; the numbers in these states will likely be considerably worse than the national numbers.

An April 24-27 national poll for ABC News and The Washington Post gave Democrats a single-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test, 45 percent to 44 percent. But given the lower turnout numbers in midterm elections, the likely-voter screen is far more relevant. And there, Republicans led by 5 points, 49 percent to 44 percent. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken at virtually the same time put the two parties dead even at 45 percent among all registered voters; presumably among likely voters, Republicans would have pulled ahead by a similar lead. This would suggest a very difficult environment for Democratic House and Senate candidates, particularly those in states and districts that lean heavily Republican to begin with.

 

http://www.nationaljournal.com/the-cook-report/why-democrats-shouldn-t-be-celebrating-20140501

 

 

The Minimal Class Divide in American Politics

How deep is the class divide in American politics today? According to some scholars and pundits, it is very deep indeed. In a recent post on the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog, Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University, the author of Unequal Democracy and a highly regarded public opinion scholar, presented evidence from a multi-nation public opinion survey that showed the relationship between income and support for cuts in government spending was considerably stronger in the U.S. than in other industrial democracies. Because of the disproportionate political influence wielded by upper-income citizens in the U.S., Bartels argued that their strong support for spending cuts has had a powerful influence on elite attitudes and ultimately on government policies.

 

Bartels’ findings were cited by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, one of the nation’s most influential liberal pundits, as evidence that the United States has become a “class-ridden” society in which income has a powerful influence on political attitudes and behavior. But is this really true? Before accepting results from one study as authoritative, we should examine evidence from other recent national surveys on the impact of social class on political attitudes and behavior in the U.S. to see if they show a similar pattern.

 

For this article, I analyzed data from the 2012 American National Election Study, the most recent edition of one of the most widely used and respected academic surveys of the American electorate. The 2012 ANES surveyed a representative national sample of more than 4,000 voters in person and via the Internet before and after the November general election. Respondents were questioned about their social characteristics and opinions on a wide range of policy issues as well as their voting decisions.

 

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/the-minimal-class-divide-in-american-politics/

 

 

Why Democrats Should Avoid the ‘R’ Word

From time to time, we all read something where suddenly words jump out from the page, grabbing our attention. This happened to me the other day while reading a memo from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville, along with two of their colleagues who work for the Democracy Corps, Erica Seifert and Fredrica Mayer.

 

This piece was based on a bipartisan poll conducted last month by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for National Public Radio with the Democracy Corps, Resurgent Republic, and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund. Democracy Corps is a 15-year-old organization, started by Greenberg and Carville, and it has effectively become the survey research and message development arm of the House Democratic leaders, providing high-quality research in the form of national polls, surveys of competitive congressional districts, and focus groups among key groups. For tax reasons, all results have to be publicly released, thus giving outsiders a look over the shoulder at some of the highest quality research out there. Resurgent Republic is a new GOP version of the Democracy Corps, started by Republican pollster Whit Ayres.

One of the most useful things that the Democracy Corps does in its polling, like other high-quality pollsters for both sides, is to test various messages for each party, ascertaining which ones are more salient than others. Sometimes messages may sound good, particularly to folks inside the Beltway, but when actually tested with real voters, the response isn’t always as anticipated.

 

The key phrase in the Greenberg/Carville memo was, “As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of ‘the recovery.’ ” The full paragraph went like this:

Democrats have to be hard-hitting and focused on the economy. As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of “the recovery.” That message was tested in the bipartisan poll we conducted for NPR, and it lost to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove. The Democratic message missed how much trouble people are in, and doesn’t convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face. That framework gets in the way of a direct economic message.

 

Technically speaking, the recession lasted 18 months, starting in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of when business cycles and recessions begin and end. That 18-month duration is not quite twice as long as the 11.1-month average length of economic retraction in the 11 business cycles since 1945. From a political perspective, what a cross section of American voters think of the economy matters more than a panel of the top economists. Last month’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 57 percent of Americans believe we are still in a recession; just 41 percent say we are not, with pessimism just gradually diminishing over the last few years. It is what average people think that’s important, not what economists say.

But back to the Greenberg/Carville memo. If voters flip out at the mere suggestion that a recovery is underway, that reaction is very telling. In fact, it may help explain why nonconservative voters are so down on President Obama and, inferentially, his party. Sure, the Affordable Care Act is an element, but maybe it isn’t all of the equation.

 

All of this came up in the context of framing an economic-policy debate question, putting forward the case from each side of the aisle.

 

The Democratic candidate says: The economy is recovering, but not for regular hardworking people. Incomes of CEOs and the top 1 percent are soaring, but in the real economy, people are working harder at jobs that don’t pay enough to live on. We have got to do something. We must raise the minimum wage, help people afford job training and college, build a 21st-century infrastructure, and stop unfair trade agreements that wipe out American jobs.

The Republican candidate says: The Obama administration has had six years to get this economy going and its policies haven’t worked. Monthly wages are going down, and there are not enough good-paying jobs to create opportunities for struggling families. We need to start making things in America again, and stop excessive regulations that are hurting the economy. It’s time to produce more energy here at home, and educate people for the jobs of the 21st century.

 

Each paragraph sums up rather nicely the argument that each side makes, with the Republican argument edging out the Democratic by 2 points, 48 percent to 46 percent (which is within the 3.18 percentage point margin of error for the survey of 950 voters).

 

My thought has long been that back in 2009 and 2010, even though many Americans may have been sympathetic to the idea that changes should be made in our health care system, the public wanted the focus at that time to be on job creation and the economy, which polling at the time indicated was absolutely the case. To the extent that Washington seemed obsessed with health care, voters wanted the government’s focus on jobs, and this rubbed them raw. To this day, Americans don’t think the economy has been effectively dealt with. Thus, maybe Democrats should avoid the “R” word.

 

http://www.nationaljournal.com/off-to-the-races/why-democrats-should-avoid-the-r-word-20140428

 

ChinaUSflags

Obamanomics at work:  China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power this year

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.

 

The world’s rich countries still account for 50 per cent of global GDP while containing only 17 per cent of the world’s population.

 

Having compared the actual cost of living in different countries, the report also found that the four most expensive countries to live in are Switzerland, Norway, Bermuda and Australia, with the cheapest being Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and Ethiopia.

 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30MsUHjtN

 

 

The Unhappy Truth About Ukraine

For now, there’s nothing that can or will be done to stop Russia from playing ugly games with its non-NATO neighbors. But in the long term, Moscow can be made to regret its folly.

 

The reality that no one in the West can bear to face is that there is nothing that can be done to stop the growing control of Russia and Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine. President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and a few half-hearted Europeans can threaten and bloviate, but President Putin is obviously untroubled by this noise. All Obama and his minions are doing is underlining who holds the cards, and it isn’t Washington.

 

In the short run, Russia has the power to do as it pleases on its borders. But, and here’s the good news, the United States and the West have the real power over the long run—if only Western nations would unite strategically and take the decisions that could reverse the tide over time. Russia is counting on continued Western lack of resolve and banking on avoiding the pain of its “conquests.” It will not be easy for Putin to absorb the poverty-stricken and indigestible eastern Ukraine, even if Russian-speakers make up a majority of inhabitants. These Russian-speakers likely will discover a future unhappier than their past.

 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/02/the-unhappy-truth-about-ukraine.html

 

 

Former GOP party chair Saul Anuzis pondered Congressional run

Saul Anuzis and his bride sat around the kitchen table. It was not a pretty sight. On one hand the former state GOP chair knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to run for Congress.

 

But the data was irrefutable: 4 kids in college, a hefty home mortgage, and the normal costs of staying alive.

 

The math did not add up. They could not afford it.

So he did what any self-respecting Michigander would do. He bought three daily lottery tickets for a dollar apiece. If he hit the jackpot, he’d run. If not, he’d be left to ponder what might have been.

 

Nowadays the former Michigan Republican Party chair ponders.

 

Mr. Anuzis, had he run for the 8th Congressional seat, might have made it interesting in that some of his views would most certainly have angered the far right of his beloved party.

 

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/05/tim_skubick_former_gop_party_c.html

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

26 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Switzerland

There’s just something about stunning images in a far away land that just make you want to pack your bags, book a ticket, and see in person. With Switzerland and these shots, it’s going to be hard to do anything but just that.

 

http://airows.com/26-photos-that-will-make-you-want-to-visit-switzerland/#zVpVlWpbaqogpDof.01

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Why National Popular Vote Makes Sense

Here is a memo I wrote to Republican leaders and activists in 2010 that describes why I think the National Popular Vote makes sense.

With an open mind…read it…I think you’ll be surprised.

gop-elephant

TO:            Michigan Republicans & Conservative Activists

FROM:      Saul Anuzis, Former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party

RE:            National Popular Vote

DATE:       March 29, 2010

I support the National Popular Vote Bill, which would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states—and I’m asking you to seriously consider this proposal.

As the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, I am asking you to consider a bipartisan, truly representative and fairer process to elect the President of the United States—OUR President.

Currently, the Michigan Senate is considering SB 598. The same bill passed the Michigan House earlier with strong bipartisan support.

The National Popular Vote does not abolish the Electoral College. Instead, it uses the state’s existing authority to change how the Electoral College is chosen, namely from the current state-by-state count to the popular vote of the people in all 50 states.

This would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

The shortcomings of the current system stem from the winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state).

Because of the winner-take-all rule, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 56 presidential elections. As an example of a near miss, a shift of fewer than 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush, despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

This is a state rights issue. We the people—in every state—have the right to decide how and who is elected President.

The U.S. Constitution gives the states exclusive and plenary control over the manner of awarding their electoral votes. The winner-take-all rule is not in the Constitution. It was not the Founders’ choice and was used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789.

Under the National Popular Vote, all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). The bill would replace the current state-by-state system of awarding electoral votes with a system guaranteeing the Presidency to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states.

As of today, 29 legislative chambers in 19 states have passed the National Popular Vote Bill. The most recent poll of Michigan voters found that 73% or our citizens supported this concept. A 2007 national poll showed 72% support nationwide for a national popular vote for the President.

The National Popular Vote Bill has passed in states having almost a quarter (23%) of the electoral votes necessary to bring this into effect. Those states include Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington.

This proposal would guarantee that every vote matters, every state is relevant, every town and community would have the same value to each candidate for President in every presidential election.

More importantly, this bill would insure that every Michigan vote matters, that every effort is relevant and that Michigan and issues important to Michigan stay in the forefront. Candidates would battle for every vote in Michigan!

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, John McCain determined that Michigan’s 17 Electoral votes were out of reach. Senator McCain’s staff announced to the world that campaign activities would cease in Michigan, so resources could be targeted to the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Candidate McCain abandoned conservatives in Michigan and made it difficult to win seats for U.S. Congress and the Michigan Legislature. With National Popular Vote, the McCain campaign would have fought for every Republican vote in Michigan right up until Election Day. Republicans—up and down our ticket—would have benefited from National Popular Vote in 2008, just as they would in 2012.

As a conservative and a Republican, there are several other political aspects that I think are important to consider.

I believe we are a ‘center-right’ nation. A national vote system would give our center-right coalition a greater voice in electing the President. Rather than having to campaign in battleground states only, every one of our coalition’s members would matter. Nationwide turnout, regardless of the impact on individual states, would matter. Our voices and issues move and affect voters nationally and candidates would have to take them into greater consideration.

Moving away from the current system also helps reduce the incentive and value of voter fraud. Today, small changes in a particular state could have determinative effects on the Electoral College vote. By moving away from the state-by-state system, we diminish the role any one group, city or ‘machine’ could play to swing a state’s Electoral College votes. We insure that the will of the people is heard.

In The Federalist Papers No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, in arguing for an Electoral College that reflected a ‘national perspective, said: “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

Today, conservatives in many states have little voice. Presidential campaigns concentrate their efforts in the 12-18 battleground states, depending on the year. Under a National Popular Vote, conservative turnout in California, New York and small states like Vermont would matter. This would provide for a great incentive to organize our ‘natural’ and often times ‘silent’ majority in EVERY state.

Obviously, the left has a similar scenario and perspective about the national electorate. They believe that they have a better organizational base, a broader appeal and would/should be the majority party and movement in America. I am confident that the conservatives across this country are under-represented and under-counted election after election.

The bottom line is that the National Popular Vote Bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. I believe that is both right and fair.

For more information go to:

http://nationalpopularvote.com/

Or e-mail me at:

sanuzis@gmail.com

Thank you for your time and consideration. Keep the faith!

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 4-27-14

 

Weekly Musing 4-27-14

Saul Anuzis

 

ObamaWaveBye

Time left until Obama leaves office

Less than 1,000 days…998!

 

It can’t come fast enough!  Follow it here.

 

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?p0=263&iso=20170120T00&msg=Time%20left%20until%20Obama%20leaves%20office

 

 

PopeSaints

A Double Canonization for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis on Sunday will preside over a pomp-filled ceremony to declare Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII saints—an event that commemorates the legacies of two of the Catholic Church’s most popular popes, both instrumental in shaping the current pontiff’s groundbreaking reign.

The rite in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, canonizing two of the Catholic Church’s most popular popes, is likely to be a history-making event, given the strong possibility that Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last year, will also be in attendance. That would mark the first time in the church’s 2,000-year history that two popes would honor the memory of two previous ones.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304788404579523802070217962?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304788404579523802070217962.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_hp_RightTopStories

 

 

The High Cost of Liberalism

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

 

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land (“open space”) on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

 

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

 

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

 

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was “visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another.”

 

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of “open space,” and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/22/_the_high_cost_of_liberalism_122363.html

 

 

U.S. Senate:  Poll Shows Tight Senate Races in Four Southern States

Four Senate races in the South that will most likely determine control of Congress appear very close, with Republicans benefiting from more partisan intensity but a Democratic incumbent, once seen as highly vulnerable, holding a surprising edge, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

 

The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas — states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/upshot/poll-shows-tight-senate-races-in-four-southern-states.html

 

 

Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote

For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. And he’s been showing up in some unexpected — for a Republican — venues, including historically black colleges.

 

It’s stirred an unusual degree of curiosity about the freshman Kentucky senator — and 2016 GOP presidential prospect — among the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting bloc.

 

“He’s a different voice in the arena that we don’t traditionally hear,” says Lorraine Miller, acting head of the NAACP, who expects to invite Paul to speak at the organization’s July national conference in Las Vegas.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/04/21/304545422/rand-paul-bids-to-loosen-democratic-hold-on-african-american-vote?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews

 

 

The Republican demographic problem is just going to keep getting worse

The math isn’t complicated.  Winning 27 percent of the Hispanic vote and six percent of the African American vote — as Romney did in 2012 — makes it hard to win a majority of the overall vote when those groups represent 10 percent and 13 percent of the electorate, respectively. If Hispanics grow to 20 percent of the electorate by 2024 or 2028 and the Republican presidential nominee performs roughly equivalent to Romney’s 2012 showing, it will be impossible — or damn close to impossible — for that GOP nominee to win a national majority.

 

And, it’s not just the raw numbers that should concern Republicans. It’s where the under 20 minority populations live that could prove politically problematic going forward….

 

…The concentration of young minority population in the Southwest and South means that states like Texas and Arizona as well as Georgia and South Carolina — all of which have been conservative redoubts at the presidential level for decades could be in real jeopardy for the party in the medium and long term.

 

Republicans have a demographic problem. And it is going to get way, way worse unless they find a way to improve their numbers among Hispanics.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/22/the-republican-demographic-problem-is-just-going-to-keep-getting-worse/

 

DemSix

The left’s secret club plans for 2014, 2016 Some of the country’s biggest Democratic donors — including Tom Steyer and Jonathan Soros — are huddling behind closed doors next week in Chicago with union bigwigs and progressive superstars like Bill de Blasio to plan how to pull their party — and the country — to the left.

 

The setting is the annual spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive club of wealthy liberals that’s the closest thing the left has to the vaunted Koch brothers’ political network.

 

The DA, as the liberal group is known to insiders, is increasing its ranks of rich donors for the first time in years and is gearing up to spend huge sums on political data, voter registration, ground organizing and advertising to influence the 2014 midterms and 2016 presidential elections. Potentially more significant, the groups’ donors also could play an important role in determining whether the post-Barack Obama Democratic Party embraces the rising tide of progressive populism or hews to a more cautious, centrist course — in other words, whether the Hillary Clinton wing or Elizabeth Warren wing will seize the reins.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/democrats-democracy-alliance-liberal-donors-105972.html?hp=t1

 

 

Why Democrats Are the Party of Inequality

The Democratic Party is the party of inequality. They are the political faction that has a vested interest in inequality, because they depend on appeals to guilt and envy. To upper-middle-class elites, they promise to alleviate any spiritual discomfort caused by contemplating their relative good fortune, by the easy expedient of voting to spend a little extra money on welfare handouts—preferably the money of somebody just a little bit richer than them—rather than doing anything that would actually help the city’s poor find jobs and housing and transportation. For the poor, they promise to take the rich down a notch and distribute some of the loot.

 

This is the Democratic agenda across the board. It’s no coincidence that the division of the big northern cities into class societies coincides exactly with the War on Poverty, which has merely ameliorated the effects of poverty, at the cost of making it a permanent way of life. If “our American answer to poverty is not to make the poor more secure in their poverty but to reach down and to help them lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty and move with the large majority along the high road of hope and prosperity,” as Lyndon Johnson declared 50 years ago, then his War on Poverty has proven itself an indisputable failure.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/21/why-democrats-are-the-party-of-inequality/

 

 

DeROCHE: Not just clemency, but smarter sentencing

Over the past several decades, Congress has passed disproportionate mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses that infringe upon the moral and constitutional duties of judges to ensure fair and equitable justice. As the head of a faith-based organization guided by the Christian values of redemption and transformation, I am called to advocate for a system that values compassion and mercy as necessary policy counterweights to justice.

Justice is giving someone what they deserve, based on the harm they have caused, whereas mercy is extending leniency that is undeserved. Clemency was designed to be an instrument of mercy, while lawmaking is an exercise of justice.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/24/deroche-not-just-clemency-but-smarter-sentencing/?page=all#pagebreak

 

AnuzisOTR

Anuzis on “Off the Record” – Off the Record | April 18, 2014 | #4343 Watch Off The Record this week to see my interview on various challenges within the Republican Party and a discussion of some of the technology advances we have made going into the 2014 and 2016 elections.  There’s a short “after the show” clip that some will find interesting:)

 

http://wkar.org/post/record-april-18-2014-4343

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

The Top 25 Best Cities In The World According To Travelers. How Many Have You Visited?

The expert travelers at Trip Advisor came together to compile their list of the best rated cities in the world to visit. I suddenly have a lot of plane tickets to purchase.

 

http://news.distractify.com/culture/trip-advisor-top-cities/?v=1

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Weekly Musing 4-19-14 Wishing You and Your Family a Happy & Blessed Easter

Weekly Musing 4-19-14 (a day early:)

Saul Anuzis

 

 

Happy Easter!

Cross

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'” (John 11:25-26)

 

AnuzisOTR

Anuzis on “Off the Record” – Off the Record | April 18, 2014 | #4343 Watch Off The Record this week to see my interview on various challenges within the Republican Party and a discussion of some of the technology advances we have made going into the 2014 and 2016 elections.  There’s a short “after the show” clip that some will find interesting:)

 

http://wkar.org/post/record-april-18-2014-4343

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

8 Infuriating Facts To Remember On Tax Day – If you’re a Democrat…

Ignore this – You Voted For It.

Happy Tax Day, America! It’s not every day that you either get to write a big fat check to Uncle Sam or discover that you’d been loaning him money interest-free for the last year. But have no fear: at least your hard-earned money has been spent on vital projects essential to America’s well-being. Projects like studying shrimp running on treadmills (seriously, you paid for that), or Bridges to Nowhere. Super important stuff like that.

 

In honor of tax day, here are 8 facts that will make you even angrier than you already are about the state of the U.S. tax system.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/15/8-infuriating-facts-to-remember-on-tax-day/

 

ObamaFrown

Coalition of the Disappointed  Obama fires up racial and gender resentments to get out the vote

You can tell it’s an election year because so many non-crises are suddenly urgent priorities. Real median household income is still lower than it was in 2007, the smallest share of Americans is working since 1978, and the Russians are marching west, but Democrats are training fire on race, gender and the grievances of identity politics.

 

“We have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don’t vote at the same rates,” President Obama said at a Houston fundraiser the other day. He means that the Obama Democrats are now what they call the “coalition of the ascendent,” made up of minorities, young people, single women and affluent, college-educated cultural liberals. The problem is that this year they may be a coalition of the disappointed, so Democrats are trying to scare them to the polls with pseudo-controversies…

 

…Transparent cynicism is the lifeblood of politics, but it’s nonetheless notable that the only way Democrats think they can win is by dividing the electorate into blocs and inflaming racial and other tensions. Governing so far to the left has polarized U.S. politics, and now the party of the government status quo is deliberately deepening the national divide because they think that is the only way to save the at-risk population that is the Senate Democratic majority.

All this is more than a country mile away from the era of political comity that Mr. Obama promised in 2008. America’s largest problems don’t have an ethnicity or gender, and most of them could be ameliorated with faster economic growth that would benefit everyone. Sadly, the liberal strategy of cultivating resentment will only get worse as the year drags on.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579501572356272540?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303663604579501572356272540.html

 

 

New Hampshire Republicans Get a Preview of 2016

Here in a state where presidential politics are never far from anyone’s mind, three Republicans who are considering a run for the White House — Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor — pitched their views on Saturday for how conservatives can retake power in Washington.

It was an unusually early event for such an overt discussion of 2016, even by today’s accelerated electoral calendar. Not only is the next presidential election still more than two and a half years away, most states have not even held their primary elections for the midterm elections this year.

 

The event was the Freedom Summit, a gathering of several hundred put together by two of the most influential groups on the right, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Citizens United. And what unfolded on stage in a conference center next to the regional airport was a display of today’s Republican Party in all its dynamism, division and sometimes strange spectacle.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/us/politics/new-hampshire-republicans-get-a-preview-of-2016.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

 

 

Why Republicans feel so good about the 2014 midterms, in 1 chart

Talk to any Republican strategist these days about the November midterm elections and you will get a response very much like this: “It’s still early, but I like where we are. A lot.” That semi-guarded, we’re-not-spiking-the-football-but-we-think-we-will-be-spiking-it-in-November mentality is based on one simple calculation: That midterm elections are almost always a battle between the two parties’ bases — and while the GOP is super-activated heading into the fall, the Democratic base is most decidedly not.

 

Here’s that argument made in a single chart created by Neil Newhouse, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, a prominent Republican polling firm.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/14/why-republicans-feel-so-good-about-the-2014-midterms-in-1-chart/

 

Is the Republican Presidential Vote Inefficiently Distributed? – A great discussion.

Even if whites are, in fact, moving toward Republicans, they are primarily moving toward Republicans in already-red Southern states and in Greater Appalachia — states like West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas, which were largely settled by Scots-Irish immigrants and their descendants. Cohn looked at competitive states’ Partisan Voting Index (how a state votes relative to the national popular vote) in 2000 and again in 2012 and concluded that almost all of the movement in competitive states has been toward Democrats. You can see the basis for Cohn’s argument in the table below from his article.

 

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/is-the-republican-presidential-vote-inefficiently-distributed/

 

ObamaHandOverMouth

Why Aren’t Public Officials Held to Account for Lying? If a private citizen can be sentenced to 10 years in prison for making false and misleading statements on broadcast television, why, Mr. Humphries asks, can government officials lie with impunity?

 

No one was forced to buy Mr. Trudeau’s book, he notes. When “shipping and handling” are added in, people who bought it were only out about $30.

People who don’t buy an Obamacare policy could be fined hundreds, in some cases thousands of dollars.

Chiefly because of Obamacare, health insurance premiums for policies bought outside the Obamacare exchanges this year are 39 percent higher, on average, for individuals, and 56 percent higher for families, according to a study by eHealthinsurance, a private online insurance exchange.

 

“The court said Mr. Trudeau owes $37 million in damages,” Mr. Humphries said. “That’s nothing compared to Obamacare. The (Healthcare.gov) website cost almost a billion dollars, and it’s a complete disaster.”

 

It was chiefly the concept of equal protection of the laws — the idea that the rules should apply to the rulers as well as the ruled — that made our government different from most others in the history of the world.

 

The laws which protect us from con men like Kevin Trudeau should be applied as well to government officials who abuse their authority.

 

Because prosecutors have too much discretion, which too many abuse because they have “sovereign immunity,” our criminal justice system has become a “crime,” said University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds. At a minimum, prosecutors should be subject to civil damages for misconduct, he said.

So should all other government officials — especially at the IRS, where politically motivated misconduct can ruin lives and swing elections, as we’ve seen in the targeting of Tea Party groups.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/13/why_arent_public_officials_held_to_account_for_lying_122266.html

 

 

‘The Next America’ presents challenges, opportunities for politicians

The America of today bears little resemblance to the country of 50 years ago. It is older. It is less white. And those two demographic trends will only accelerate over the next 50 years.

 

“Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era,” writes Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center.”The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.”

 

Taylor’s conclusions come in an essay titled “The Next America” that details the massive shifts currently roiling the county — and what they will mean for its politics going forward. (Taylor has also authored a book by the same name.)

 

While neither of Taylor’s broadest conclusions — we are getting older and less white — are ground-breaking, he explores the depth, rate and impact of these changes in a way that truly drives home a single basic point: We are through the demographic looking glass.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-next-america-is-already-having-an-impact-on-politics-but-its-effects-will-grow-over-time/2014/04/13/66d72e3e-c311-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html?hpid=z3

 

 

Cynical Race-Baiting Will Fail to Save the Democrats

Rather than champion issues of genuine concern to ethnic minorities in this country, many Democrat leaders in Washington D.C. today are content to treat those they claim to be fighting for as nothing more than ignorant, hapless and incapable of surviving in our society without the help of the federal government.

 

What makes the comments of Pelosi and Israel particularly reprehensible is that they offer no evidence of such scurrilous accusations. Such scare tactics have worked in the past to mobilize voters to support Democrats against Republicans allegedly waging a “war on women” or “disenfranchising the vote” by requiring all legally eligible voters to produce identification to prevent fraud.

This November I predict the American voters will render judgment on Democrat attempts to divide the country on racial lines in a cynical attempt to cling to power. We were promised by Democrats years ago that they would heal old wounds and bring us closer together. By seeking to exploit our ugly past with racial bigotry for political advantage, Democrats should be prepared to have their proverbial chickens come home to roost—the American people are tired of craven political leaders who seek to divide us and will elect new ones who will lead the country celebrating the strength of our ethnic diversity rather than seek to exploit it for their own personal benefit.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/14/cynical-race-baiting-will-fail-to-save-the-democrats.html

 

Putin Fist

Playing Putin’s Game – A very good and interesting analysis.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of Vladimir Putin’s Crimean Gambit, now threatening to become a Donbas Gambit, it reminds us that the United States still has some unfinished business in Europe. Putin’s dramatic move into Crimea, and his subsequent sporting with Ukraine like a cat playing with a wounded mouse, is devastating to liberal aspirations about the kind of Europe, and world, we would like to live in. It affronts our moral and political sensibilities, and it raises the specter of a serious and unfavorable shift in the regional balance of power. But so far, Western leaders have signally failed to develop an effective response to this, to them, an utterly unexpected and shocking challenge.

 

Since the end of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union, successor state to the old Tsarist empire, fell apart, the former Russian empire has been divided into eleven separate republics. The closest parallel, an ominous one to many of these states, would be to what happened the last time the Russian state collapsed, in 1917-1919. Then as in 1990, the former empire splintered into a collection of separate republics. Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Central Asian states and the Baltic republics set out on an independent existence. Then, as Lenin and his heirs consolidated power in Moscow, the various breakaway republics returned (in some cases more willingly than others) to the fold. By 1939, when Soviet troops invaded the Baltic Republics, from Central Asia to the Baltic Sea, almost all of the far-flung dominions of the Romanovs were once more under a single flag. Only Poland and Finland were able to resist incorporation into the Soviet Union, and the Poles were forced into the Warsaw Pact.

 

Lenin and Stalin were able to rebuild the tsarist empire first because they succeeded in creating a strong state in Russia, second because many of the breakaway states were divided and weak, and finally because a permissive international environment posed few effective barriers to the reassertion of Moscow’s power.

 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/04/15/playing-putins-game/

 

 

A Thoughtful Discussion:  Can National Popular Vote end the voting wars?

One of the most pernicious outcomes of the intense political struggle between Democrats and Republicans is the parties’ breathtaking capacity to game our voting rules. Nothing makes voters more cynical than seeing political leaders seemingly supporting or opposing election laws based solely on their partisan impact — from redistricting reform to fights over whether to allow early voting. ­

 

But a reform win in New York could foreshadow a cease-fire in the voting wars. On April 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making New York the 10th state to pass the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact for president. Overwhelming majorities of both Republicans and Democrats approved the bill, which seeks to guarantee election of the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

 

We don’t need a constitutional amendment to achieve this goal. The Constitution gives each state power over how to allocate its electoral votes and the ability to enter into binding interstate compacts. The Founding Fathers gave states freedom to structure how to select the president — and national popular vote embodies that tradition.

 

It can only go into effect after adoption in jurisdictions that collectively hold a majority of electoral votes. Right now, the supporting states together have 165 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate the national popular vote. Once states with at least 105 more electoral votes pass it, we will hold a presidential election in which, for the first time in U.S. history, every vote in every state will count equally. The candidate with the most votes will always win.

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/04/17/can-national-popular-vote-end-the-voting-wars/

 

 

Attention Michigan Republicans

The Michigan GOP has launched their new Team Dashboard that allows activists and volunteers to help from the privacy of your homes.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re only willing to identify your closest friends and families…and/or add a few neighbors…EVERY id you make HELPS!!!

 

Anyone can sign up and help…do as little or as much as works for you…again, just id the 10 closest people to you…those you know best here in Michigan and the conservative movement and Republicans win!

 

Please check out the MIGOP Team Dashboard, it’s easy, it’s of GREAT value and EVERY single id helps make a difference for our state…and our country.

 

Thanks for your help and consideration on this project.

 

www.migop.org/2014

 

 

Michigan Precinct Delegate -MaximizeYourVoice.org

For those of you who care…and want to help make a difference should consider filing for precinct delegate.

 

Citizen’s For Traditional Values is one of the leading conservative voices in Michigan helping good folks to get involved in politics…I hope you’ll take a look.

 

http://youtu.be/zvmrHb4t92c

 

 

The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience

This incredible collection of moments represents the joy, innocence, despair, curiosity, and undying perseverance within all of us. No matter where we’re from, these are the emotions that unite us – it’s what makes us human. We set out to capture this spirit in 60 incredible photographs, and I truly hope you enjoy.

 

http://news.distractify.com/people/complex-humans/?v=1&utm_content=buffereb48b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

*****************************************

Just for fun…

 

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Democrat in 2014 Written by Allen West on April 18, 2014          Read more at:  http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/top-10-reasons-vote-democrat-2014%e2%80%a8%e2%80%a8/

 

I can only take credit for #10, but thought you’d get a kick out of this.

10. I’ll vote Democrat because I can’t wait for college football season to be delayed or cancelled because the student athletes are union employees.

 

9. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe oil company’s profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

 

8. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

 

7. I’ll vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

 

6. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that get police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

 

5. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.

 

4. I’ll vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the Social Security from those who paid into it.

 

3. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe that businesses should NOT be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

 

2. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

And the Number One reason I’ll vote Democrat is:

 

1. I’ll vote Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, fish or frog.

 

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 4-13-14

Weekly Musing 4-13-14

Saul Anuzis

 

ObamaFrown

Much has been said about what Obama should do to destroy the Russian economy. To me the plan for Russia is simple: 1) Ban their use of coal 2) Mandate that Russia goes on Obamacare 3) Don’t allow any drilling on Russian public land 4) Have the EPA pass rulings on Russian business 5) R-define the full time Russian work week to 30 hours 6) Raise the Russian minimum wage 7) Mandate overtime pay for government employees 8) Demand the Russian Government pay free Welfare benefits to un-qualified Citizens and Illegal immigrants I could go on but I guarantee these measures would bring the Russia economy to its knees.

 

What makes me think I heard of this before?

 

Ranny

RIP Ranny Riecker

A class act who did much for our Republican Party, Michigan and our country.  Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

 

http://www.mackinac.org/19953

 

Land

Michigan may be the GOP’s best answer to the ‘war on women’

Land is delighted to have Democrats raising the subject of “preventive” or other health care. It is one topic of about $5 million of Michigan ads by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. In one, a woman addresses Land’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters:

 

“My name is Julie Boonstra and five years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia. I found out that I only have a 20 percent chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor and a great health-care plan. I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received the letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare.”

 

Another ad features a woman who believes Obamacare is waging a war on her: “We have five kids. . . . Our health insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare. . . . This new plan is not affordable at all. My husband is working a lot more hours just to pay for these new increases. I’m frustrated that government has caused this huge problem for our family.”

 

“We,” says Land, her Michigan chauvinism undiminished by this city’s collapse, “are the state that created the middle class.” High wages for autoworkers — higher than the companies could sustain — and employee discounts for cars enabled people to buy homes, then cottages and boats at nearby lakes. Now Obamacare — many Michiganders have had health plans canceled — is fueling middle-class insecurity.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-michigan-may-offer-the-gops-best-answer-to-the-so-called-war-on-women/2014/04/11/59817de0-c0d0-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html

 

 

Newt: Sebelius’ term was a disaster

Sadly her term as secretary of Health and Human Services was a disaster.

 

Americans should be able to expect that people who enter high public office will see their job as a public duty and will view faithfully serving the public and administering the laws as their solemn obligation.

Sebelius ran her office in a secretive and extraordinarily partisan manner that frequently ignored, violated and changed the law at whim.

 

Perhaps her approach merely mirrored the attitude of the Obama White House, but as the Senate-confirmed head of a major department of the American government, Sebelius must be held to a different standard than White House staff.

 

The White House staff is there to serve the President. Their positions are inherently personal and political. If the Obama White House is often arrogant, aloof, secretive and largely isolated from the Congress, it is because that is the President’s style. And that is his right.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/11/opinion/gingrich-sebelius-right-to-resign/index.html

 

Kemp

Note to Republicans: Channel Jack Kemp

It might seem a curious moment for a Jack Kemp revival. Many remember him as an evangelist for supply-side economics and its drastic tax cutting — exactly the approach some Republicans say needs to be replaced with a fresh agenda that grapples with joblessness and stagnant wages.

 

But there was another side to Kemp, a self-described “bleeding-heart conservative” who preached the gospel of upward mobility, economic opportunity, cultural diversity and racial justice. This Kemp personified the big-tent Republicanism that has gone into hibernation in the Obama years and that some Republicans think is crucial to the party’s success in the 2016 presidential election, when voters will want to hear a more positive message.

 

It is one thing, of course, to emphasize reaching beyond the Republican base, and quite another to connect with other voters, which Kemp was successful in doing. “I watched him interact in poor communities with so clearly a love of people, and a fierce idea of equality,” said Senator Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, a Democratic protégé of Kemp’s, in an interview last week, recalling how Kemp’s “compassion, engagement and comfort” shone through when he talked to African-Americans and Latinos.

 

That ease was partly the consequence of Kemp’s years as a professional quarterback — the tense fourth-quarter huddles and locker-room camaraderie, not to mention his role as one of the few white leaders of a boycott of the American Football League’s All-Star game in 1965, when it was scheduled in New Orleans, a segregated city at the time.

 

Those experiences gave Kemp a street-level credibility rare for politicians in either party, though Mr. Ryan, for one, has been visiting inner cities, accompanied by Bob Woodson, a civil rights activist who worked closely with Kemp.

 

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/sunday-review/note-to-republicans-channel-jack-kemp.html?referrer

 

 

The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus

As the illuminating timeline accompanying the Camp letter shows, Ms. Lerner’s focus on shutting down Crossroads GPS came only after Obama adviser David Axelrod listed Crossroads among “front groups for foreign-controlled companies”; only after Senate Democrats Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer and others demanded the IRS investigate Crossroads; only after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a website to “expose donors” of Crossroads; and only after Obama’s campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about Crossroads.

 

The information in Mr. Camp’s letter shows that Ms. Lerner sprang to action following a January 2013 meeting with Democracy 21, a campaign-finance outfit petitioning for a crackdown on Crossroads and the liberal big-dollar Priorities USA. (She never touched Priorities, run by former Obama aides.) The Camp outline suggests cause and effect, and that’s new.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303603904579493831524666494?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303603904579493831524666494.html

 

 

Can Clever Campaigns Save the Democrats in 2014?

Recently I attended a briefing at the Democratic National Committee intended to impress reporters with the newfangled technology the party plans to use to change the midterm-election landscape. Staffers pulled up a slide cheekily showing the file the party’s voter database has archived of one Reinhold R. Priebus of Wisconsin—the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Despite the entry listing his “likely party” as Republican, with 100 percent certainty, Priebus had thrice been contacted by Democratic campaigns, it said.

 

Files like these, and the databases into which they could be compiled, would be Democrats’ edge in upcoming elections, the officials hosting the briefing insisted. Through precision targeting and data, campaigns from the local to the congressional to the state level could figure out which voters to talk to and deploy volunteers and staff to cajole them from their homes to vote. State-of-the-art technology would tap into people’s Facebook networks or point them to the correct polling place. Modeling would predict within a narrow range how the election would turn out and dispatch monitors for a possible recount. The tools all had code names: Explorer, Airwolf, Project Ivy.

 

The briefing inspired a spate of coverage about all the fancy new ways Democrats hoped to engineer their way to electoral victory. For proof, the party pointed to the narrow victory of Terry McAuliffe, elected governor of Virginia in November 2013. (As for the Democratic candidate who fell to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by a 22-point margin that same day, the DNC said her campaign was not “structured to take advantage of” the tools.) And yet, a few weeks later, the shoe was on the other foot. Last month, it was Republicans who were doing a victory lap after their candidate triumphed in a closely watched Florida special congressional election. The newly minted congressman owed his win, Republicans announced afterward, to a shiny new data-and-voter-file integration system—codename: Honeybadger.

 

In short, claims that one party or the other has built up a tactical advantage based on the latest in campaign science are always to be taken with a grain of salt. Political scientists have trouble detecting major effects on elections from even the most intensive campaign efforts. Party committees’ boasts about their tactical arsenals are probably largely for the benefit of their donors, who must be reassured their money is going somewhere useful. (Why else would they reveal techniques that surely would be all the more effective if they caught opponents unawares?) As it happens, the DNC is more than $10 million in debt.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/can-clever-campaigns-save-the-democrats-in-2014/360414/

 

Putin Fist

Can Putin’s Ukrainian Strategy Be Countered?

Putin is in a far better position than many Western policymakers and pundits seem to realize. And turning the tables on him won’t be easy.

 

The dust has settled a bit following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the seizure of the Crimea, and it’s now possible to discern the new landscape and to start thinking seriously about what the US and the EU should do next. The next steps won’t be easy; from a Western point of view the options are not great. The usual cheerleaders and White House boosters have been banging on about Putin falling into a trap, but it’s the West that was caught. Whether by design or by luck, Vladimir Putin has American and European leaders in an uncomfortable spot.

 

This is partly because in one sense, the West “won” the lion’s share of Ukraine. This was the point that the administration’s press acolytes were quick to point to as proof that our “smart diplomacy” still had the upper hand, but the cost of this “success” will be high. Russia sliced off Crimea, but has so far refrained from any more land grabs; that leaves the EU and the US holding the bag for the rest of the country. The weak and corrupt Ukrainian state, its inexperienced revolutionary leaders, its failing economy and its deeply divided population now turn to the West with hopes high and hands out. The West has two choices and neither one is particularly pleasant. Option one: it can turn its back on Ukraine while the country flounders further, turns bitter at western failure and inevitably slips into orbit around Moscow.  Option two: it can embark on an expensive, difficult and quite possibly doomed exercise in nation-building, with Putin able to deploy a formidable array of policy tools against us whenever and however he chooses. Quite possibly, option two will turn out to be a longer, more humiliating, more painful and more expensive way of getting the same ultimate result as option one.

 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/04/06/can-putins-ukrainian-strategy-be-countered/

 

 

So You Think You’re Smarter Than A CIA Agent

For the past three years, Rich and 3,000 other average people have been quietly making probability estimates about everything from Venezuelan gas subsidies to North Korean politics as part of the Good Judgment Project, an experiment put together by three well-known psychologists and some people inside the intelligence community.

 

According to one report, the predictions made by the Good Judgment Project are often better even than intelligence analysts with access to classified information, and many of the people involved in the project have been astonished by its success at making accurate predictions.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/04/02/297839429/-so-you-think-youre-smarter-than-a-cia-agent

 

 

Did readers actually read a story about reading?

The story in question — about how scanning and skimming our way through the Internet appears to be messing with how we read deeper, longer works — went viral earlier this week, with insane numbers of page views, a gazillion tweets, and even a starring role in Craig Ferguson’s late-night TV monologue.

Though there were many chants of “me, too” about the story on Twitter, there were also many jokes that took this form: “I skimmed it.”

 

So we decided to actually test this. The good folks at Chartbeat, which tracks how people read digital content, performed an analysis and found that 25 percent of readers stopped reading this story before they even reached the article text. A smaller percentage of other readers dropped off somewhere toward the middle. And 31 percent made it all the way through. I have a lollipop for all of them.

 

As the writer, should I be happy about those numbers or deeply, deeply sad? I asked Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s chief data scientist. Then I held my breath.

“Anytime I talk to journalists they always ask that question,” Schwartz said.

 

Not an answer. This felt not good.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/04/11/did-readers-actually-read-a-story-about-reading/

 

 

Awesome!!!  Ukraine – via Sand Art

This is really worth watching…a powerful story & performance.

 

http://youtu.be/518XP8prwZo

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

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http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

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