Friday ReadsPosted: July 17, 2015 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: elections, Hillary Clinton, Mandatory Drug sentences, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, Poverty, President Obama, working poor 7 Comments
I’ve found a few things that make for interesting reading so let’s get started.
Why have Democratic Governors and Republican Mayors become rare? This is a great article describing which party seems to have a lock on what levels of state, local and national politics. It’s hard to imagine any one wanting to live in a state with a Republican governor given the miserable economic and civil rights performance of states that have them. Here’s the explanation for this particular office. Is one of the few offices where it’s not the economy that matters? Like many elections, it’s a matter of who tends to turn out when the election occurs.
Historically, gubernatorial elections have tended to be up for grabs between the parties. Statewide electorates are sufficiently eclectic to encourage candidates in both parties to run toward the center, expanding their bases. But the pattern of results is changing, and for an unexpected reason.
For obscure reasons, 36 states hold their gubernatorial contests during midterm cycles. This hasn’t seemed to matter much in the past. But in recent elections, the types of voters who cast ballots in midterm elections has diverged significantly from those that do in presidential cycles. Midterm electorates tend to be smaller, whiter, older and more Republican; presidential electorates tend to be larger, more demographically diverse, and more Democratic.
This pattern helped Republican gubernatorial candidates in 2010. That year, the GOP won governorships in such bluish states as Maine, Michigan, New Mexico and Wisconsin. But it proved to be an even bigger help in 2014, another GOP wave year. On the eve of the 2014 election, Governing’s final handicapping of the gubernatorial seats included an unusually large field of 12 tossup races. In a neutral environment, one would expect these races to go roughly half to one party and half to the other. Instead, Republican candidates won eight of those 12 races, plus another contest in Maryland that had been rated lean Democratic. Highly vulnerable Republican incumbents, such as Sam Brownback in Kansas, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida and Paul LePage in Maine, also won new terms, buoyed by the GOP-friendly electorate.
Currently, the breakdown of the gubernatorial ranks is 31 Republicans, 18 Democrats and one independent. Historically, the number of Republican governors has only been that high on rare occasions, so it’s likely that the GOP number will fall somewhat in the coming years, especially after the 2018 election, when a number of two-term Republican governors will be term-limited out, creating competitive open seats. Still, on balance, it’s going to be a tough challenge for Democrats to take back governorships when so many of them are contested during midterm election cycles.
I’m just going to let the headline speak for itself in this analysis piece by Hillary’s Communication’s Director Jennifer Palmieri, “Hillary Clinton’s No Good, (Record-Breaking, Poll-Winning), Very Bad Week.”
If you believe the mood and headlines from some of the press, it’s been a pretty rough week for Hillary Clinton. While there was widespread and substantive coverage of the rollout of her economic agenda, politically, it’s a different story. One poll showed so much trouble for Hillary that she only had a higher favorability number than any other candidate it tested.
Even worse, multiple polls released this week show that she leads every candidate running in head-to-head matchups. While it is widely known that the growing Hispanic electorate is critical in deciding the election, new polling shows that Hillary Clinton has a disastrous 68 percent approval rating among Hispanic voters and only leads her closest Republican competition (Bush) by 37 points, 64% to 27%.
Not only that, she raised a record amount of primary money for a candidate in their first quarter, with only $8 million (a sum larger than most Republican campaigns raised in total) in donations of less than $200. Hillary also spent too much money building her organization and was only left with more cash on hand than any other campaign raised and more in the bank than the top three Republican campaigns combined.
It’s true. Hillary is left in the terrible position of having the most resources of any candidate and being voters’ top choice to be the next President of the United States.
So, now for the news from the crazy side of the politic spectrum. You know that highly doctored video on Planned Parenthood that every low iq Republican christofascist has fallen for? Well, Republicans are going to make hay with it despite the fact that nearly no legitimate media outlet has even gone near it because it’s so obviously stupid. Republicans are after Planned Parenthood again and will be pushing more–if possible–stupid laws meant to meant to ensure our constitutionally protected right to an abortion is next to impossible to act on. Nullification any one?
Republicans on Capitol Hill are betting the secretly filmed Planned Parenthood video — depicting an executive allegedly discussing the sale of fetal organs from terminated pregnancies — will give them cover to more aggressively push abortion issues without the political ramifications that have haunted the party in the past.
In recent years, Republicans have worked to soften their tone when it comes to contentious issues such as abortion, wanting to avoid a repeat of gaffes like Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments that have turned off many female voters.
ut now, the GOP is going hard on abortion politics — and Planned Parenthood specifically — following the release of the video depicting a top official for the group casually talking about doctors collecting fetal organs for biomedical companies during abortions.
“The gravity of the situation most definitely” changes things, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told POLITICO Thursday. “This is not just Republicans. It’s independents. It’s Democrats…. Americans don’t want their tax dollars spent doing what they’re doing.”
McCarthy is already talking about defunding the organization through the appropriations process. And in the Senate, GOP leaders who have been eyeing a vote on legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks of gestation say this will give them momentum to clear the bill later this session.
“I think it really probably enhances the prospects of something like that passing right now,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said Thursday. “I think that’s such an egregious, awful, horrible example out there, which I think just elevates the importance of addressing it. So I think it probably helps the bill.”
Planned Parenthood says the video is a misconstrued smear campaign using “heavily edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.”
Of course, the drive for all of this usually comes from the same people that poor shame while ensuring no one makes a living wage. Here’s an article on How the American South Drive the Low Wage Economy from American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson.
The American South before the Civil War was the low-wage—actually, the no-wage—anchor of the first global production chain.
Today, as the auto and aerospace manufacturers of Europe and East Asia open low-wage assembly plants in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi, the South has assumed a comparable role once more. Indeed, the South today shares more features with its antebellum ancestor than it has in a very long time. Now as then, white Southern elites and their powerful allies among non-Southern business interests seek to expand to the rest of the nation the South’s subjugation of workers and its suppression of the voting rights of those who might oppose their policies. In fact, now more than then, the South’s efforts to spread its values across America are advancing, as Northern Republicans adopt their Southern counterparts’ antipathy to unions and support for voter suppression, and as workers’ earnings in the North fall toward Southern levels. And now as then, a sectional backlash against Southern norms has emerged that, when combined with the Southern surge, is again creating two nations within one.
So, here’s a cute break and a picture of Baby Charlotte and her Grandad!! There are more at this like from the UK’s Daily Mail.
Bill Clinton was spotted spending some quality time with his granddaughter Charlotte on Thursday morning.
The pair were photographed in New York City’s Madison Square Park as the former president took the infant to see a kids concert.
This is not the first time Clinton has been on babysitting duty either, saying last week that he and wife Hillary were recently in charge of the tiny tyke for her parents.
President Obama continues to be on a roll that cements his legacy. Alaska’s Governor announced his will be the 30th state to take the Medicaid Expansion offered through the ACA.
Gov. Bill Walker said Thursday he would use his executive power to expand the public Medicaid health-care program to newly cover as many as 40,000 low-income residents.
The decision comes after the Alaska Legislature earlier this year rejected Walker’s efforts to expand the program through the state budget process, then adjourned without allowing a vote on a separate expansion bill.
Republicans seem to be okay with living breathing people dying, starving, and living lives with no future. Zygotes get preferential treatment while they assign folks to living hells.
Here is a good list from Robert Reich on The Three Biggest Lies republican tell about poverty.
Lie #2: Jobs reduce poverty.
Senator Marco Rubio said poverty is best addressed not by raising the minimum wage or giving the poor more assistance but with “reforms that encourage and reward work.”
This has been the standard Republican line ever since Ronald Reagan declared that the best social program is a job. A number of Democrats have adopted it as well. But it’s wrong.
Surely it’s better to be poor and working than to be poor and unemployed. Evidence suggests jobs are crucial not only to economic well-being but also to self-esteem. Long-term unemployment can even shorten life expectancy.
But simply having a job is no bulwark against poverty. In fact, across America the ranks of the working poor have been growing. Around one-fourth of all American workers are now in jobs paying below what a full-time, full-year worker needs in order to live above the federally defined poverty line for a family of four.
Why are more people working but still poor? First of all, more jobs pay lousy wages.
While low-paying industries such as retail and fast food accounted for 22 percent of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, they’ve generated 44 percent of the jobs added since then, according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.
Second, the real value of the minimum wage continues to drop. This has affected female workers more than men because more women are at the minimum wage.
Third, government assistance now typically requires recipients to be working. This hasn’t meant fewer poor people. It’s just meant more poor people have jobs.
Bill Clinton’s welfare reform of 1996 pushed the poor into jobs, but they’ve been mostly low-wage jobs without ladders into the middle class. The Earned Income Tax Credit, a wage subsidy, has been expanded, but you have to be working in order to qualify.
Work requirements haven’t reduced the number or percent of Americans in poverty. They’ve merely increased the number of working poor – a term that should be an oxymoron.
Meanwhile, the man most responsible for the mess that is Greece is now a Billionaire. All of his wealth has come from Goldman Sachs but not his salary. However, he has said this about the poor. Too bad he hasn’t acted on getting laws passed to relieve poverty.
In recent years, Blankfein has spoken about the need for public policies that promote fairer distribution of wealth while not overly crimping its creation.
“I know I’m a big fat cat, plutocrat kind of guy, but I will tell you I’ve been the beneficiary of some of these redistribution policies,” Blankfein told business school students in South Africa in April, noting he grew up in public housing and got need-based scholarships to Harvard. “Sometimes I wish I had amnesia, because there’s lots of things I’d like to forget, but that isn’t one of them.”
President Obama was met with Confederate flags while heading toward an Oklahoma prison for this speech. The president is taking on mandatory minimums for small drug “crimes”. The Confederate Flag waving was shameful. The speech was compelling.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
That bit about Hillary’s bad week was really funny.
And yet, completely true. According to the MSM, you would think she was in dire straits. Luckily Nate Silver of 538 and Nate Cohn at The Upshot have good analyses of the race thus far.
It really is getting ridiculous.
Oh, hell yeah. Because the American Federation Teachers Union endorsed her, while Bernie is gaining ground, they are out saying just how it weakens her campaign is, and how the other unions are on fire over this. What bullshit, tell me where in the hell is there a contract timeline on endorsements, and when.
You know not one woman in the entire history of unions has been the president. Well, I must retract, in 1907 the national union selected Agnes Nester. That was before women voted. Not for AFL-CIO, not for IBEW, not for APWU, not for any of them. But the woman I learned about today, and knew nothing prior till my search, is Elizabeth H. Shuler, she is the 3rd highest ranking leader in AFL-CIO. I’d like to hear her talk about Hillary, because they both seem to be on the right tract. Liz Shuler is involved in the Women’s campaign Fund, Pro-Choice Women, and the International Women’s Democracy Club. Have any of you heard about her?
No, I haven’t heard about her. She sounds like she knows what’s important.
https://youtu.be/Z07ta6f65p4 Here she is, I hope to learn more about her.