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The hashtag #BoycottIndiana is now trending on Twitter due to Governor Pence's signing of a "religious freedom" law okaying discrimination in the state. In addition to helping spread the message there is another way to get people's attention: buy withholding your cash. Do you ever go the mall? Chances are it's owned by Simon Property Group which is headquartered in, you guessed it, Indiana. Do you ever eat at Steak 'n Shake? Also based in Indiana. And guess what? These outfits tend to give money to Republican candidates.

More below.

Poll

Will #BoycottIndiana make a difference?

60%84 votes
15%22 votes
15%22 votes
7%10 votes

| 138 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Feb 02, 2015 at 11:21 AM PST

2016 GOP Power Rankings

by tremayne

Who is leading the GOP field of presidential candidates right now? My ranking of candidates and rationale for each is below. Sports fans are no doubt familiar with Power Rankings. The idea is too look beyond just team records and determine which teams are the strongest right now. Some Power Rankings are entirely subjective and others are entirely driven by an algorithm and some are a mix of objective and subjective factors. My rankings will be like the latter. Full list and analysis below.

Poll

Thinking like a Republican, who is the current GOP favorite?

43%20 votes
2%1 votes
8%4 votes
0%0 votes
6%3 votes
6%3 votes
4%2 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
26%12 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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NBC News is out with new Senate polls this morning and the big news is a surprise 10-point lead for Greg Orman over incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, 48-to-38 percent among likely voters (and also a 10-point lead among registered voters). Orman is the independent candidate who says he will caucus with the majority in the Senate. Pat Roberts seems to be in big trouble with the election 4 weeks away.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER in KANSAS: Oct. 14. Advanced voting starts Oct. 15.

The NBC/Marist joint effort is also showing Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan with a 4-point lead over Thom Tillis among likely voters in North Carolina, 44-40 percent.

Finally, the race remains tight in Iowa where NBC/Marist has Joni Ernst (R) leading the Democrat Bruce Braley by two points, 44-42 percent.

Nate Silver's recent ratings of pollsters doesn't have a grade for NBC/Marist jointly. His grade for NBC/WSJ is A- (A to F scale) with a 0.5 D lean and his grade for Marist is B+ with a 1.5 D lean.

Election day is Nov. 4!

Discuss

Here's an update to yesterday's diary by mconvente regarding the social media sleuthing that revealed a group of people suspected of attacking a gay couple in downtown Philadelphia. Follow that link for background on the story.

But the update is that one suspect, an assistant coach at Archbishop Wood High School, has been fired by the school. Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, commented on the firing:

"He was terminated this evening and will not be permitted to coach in any archdiocesan school," Gavin said. "We expect all those who work with students in our schools to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times."
Other members of the attacking group were apparently also associated with Archbishop Wood High School according to another story:
“Earlier today, Archbishop Wood High School became aware that some of its former students were allegedly involved in the assault of two men in Center City last week,” the statement read. “This afternoon, administrators communicated with the entire Archbishop Wood school community to make it emphatically clear that the school does not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the violent and hateful behavior displayed by those who took part in this senseless attack.
“Administration also stressed that Catholic schools are centers of learning where students are expected to treat each other in a Christ-like manner at all times and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The actions of those who took part in the attack are reprehensible and entirely unacceptable. They are not an accurate reflection of our Catholic values or of Archbishop Wood High School.”
Here is some additional info. This high school is located in Warminster Township, PA. This community is about 90% white. Apparently if the remaining 10% is a concern for families they can send their kids to Archbishop Wood High School where "Students of color make up less than 3% of the student population." This sounds like an insulated world where everyone is expected to look and act and love the same way.

At least the school administrators are saying and doing the right things since this story came to light.

Discuss

Two days ago 25-year-old Kajieme Powell stole two cans of soda and, when St. Louis police arrived, demanded they shoot him. As ZhenRen's diary describes, they did, multiple times, until he was quite dead.

Ezra Klein believes Powell may have been mentally ill. And Powell's actions certainly seem inspired by the killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. But whatever else the Powell case is, it's also an act of Suicide By Cop. This is actually a common phenomenon. Common enough that many police departments have policies on how to deal with people who want you to kill them. Did the two St. Louis cops who encountered Powell follow these recommendations? As I detail below, they didn't do a single thing right. If they had, Powell would still be alive.

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Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM PDT

Name That Tune

by tremayne

This song hit the charts during the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency and reached number 8 on the Billboard chart.

This song's performer is popular across the political spectrum. He was invited by a Republican president to perform at a Christmas special and this song was used by a Democratic presidential during his campaign.

This song is basically an ode to immigrants who seek a home in the United States.

Figure it out yet? Maybe some lyrics will help:

Far,
We've been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free,
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again,
They're coming to America

Home
Don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home
To a new and a shiny place
Make our bed and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Ev'ry time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, Today,
Today, Today, Today

My country 'tis of thee (today)
Sweet land of liberty (today)
Of thee I sing (today)
Of thee I sing
Today, Today, Today
Today, today, today......

Huge hit. People loved it. Or they used to. It was called "America" (or "Coming to America").

Video below the thing and a bonus photo/Tweet.

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I think this is new but I haven't checked the site until now and don't see it.....

According to the NY Times, the Christie administration is the target of a new investigation being conducted in parallel by the Manhattan district attorney and the SEC. This investigation involves the Pulaski Skyway. You may recall that Christie diverted the Port Authority money that had been designated for the Hudson River tunnel toward repairs on Pulaski. The problem is, that bridge isn't one controlled by the Port Authority and therefore it's improper to use those funds on it. Even Port Authority lawyers told Christie this. What did Christie do? Just call the project: “Lincoln Tunnel Access Infrastructure Improvements.” Of course the Pulaski Skyway doesn't connect to the Lincoln Tunnel but what the hell, close enough right?

No. The repairs should have been funded entirely by NJ and not by Port Authority funds. Here's the problem for Christie:

Under a New York State law known as the Martin Act, prosecutors can bring felony charges for intentionally deceiving bond holders, without having to prove any intent to defraud or even establish that any fraud occurred.
So where is the investigation at this point?
Among those who have received subpoenas from Mr. Vance’s office is Jeffrey Chiesa, a close friend of Mr. Christie’s for more than two decades who has served as New Jersey’s attorney general and as a United States senator. He was the governor’s chief counsel in 2011 when the authority’s lawyers amended the funding resolution with what critics have said was a questionable legal justification. A person familiar with that subpoena said Mr. Chiesa was not a target of the investigation.
Chiesa may not be the target of the investigation but I think I have an idea who is.
Discuss

Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:48 PM PDT

Roads are socialism

by tremayne

President Obama called today for spending to improve the nation's transportation infrastructure. This is another example of Obama's big government thinking. He doesn't understand what most Americans instinctively do: roads are socialism.

In real America, if you want to get from point A to point B you either hack your way through the brush using good old-fashioned hard work or you build a private road and charge other people to drive on it. If you can't afford the private road option then it's brush hacking for you. It's called independence. And freedom.

The President made his push for renewed infrastructure spending in an outdoor speech in front of a dilapidated bridge. Obama said many bridges are in dire need of repair or replacement and he wants me to pay for it. You know what I say to that?: Bridges are socialism.

In a free country if you want to cross a river you do something we used to call "swimming." That is, before the country got too lazy for that kind of effort. Now people just drive over bridges and think nothing of it. And why should they? Most of them are freeloaders, crossing raging rivers for free on the hard work of us freedom lovers.

And as usual, President Obama is circumventing the will of the people and just making some of his socialism happen by dictatorial decree. Here's an example:

"We're releasing a new plan for 11 more projects to accelerate from Boston South Station to Pensacola Bay Bridge, to new light rail projects north and south of Seattle," he said, adding that his order would cut "bureaucratic red tape that stalls good projects from breaking ground."
That's right, there he goes again with his light rail projects. All this guy knows how to do is spend my money on trains. And you know what? Trains are socialism. Hell, trains are communist! We know they're communist because the Chinese love 'em.

And think about it: when you drive a car you're by yourself. An independent freedom loving American! But when you take the train you're surrounded by sweaty characters of questionable heritage. It's obvious socialism and not at all surprising someone like Obama would be all for it. Wake up America!

Also, Benghazi!

Poll

Which thing is the most socialist?

10%5 votes
2%1 votes
6%3 votes
4%2 votes
8%4 votes
0%0 votes
32%15 votes
2%1 votes
32%15 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:50 PM PST

GOP's Obamacare Evolution in 44 words

by tremayne

2008: Death panels!

2009: Socialized medicine!

2010: Obamacare will destroy America!

2011: Repeal Obamacare!

2012: Repeal and replace!

2014: Fix Obamacare!

2016: Benghazi!

2017: We were the ones that named it "Obamacare"

2018: We created Obamacare!

2020: Keep your government hands off my Obamacare!

Discuss

Psst. Keep it quiet, but just between you and me, some things are getting better. Apparently, unemployment has fallen to it's lowest level in 5 years: 7 percent. The realists at Calculated Risk are impressed:

This was another solid employment report.  Many of the negatives in the October report were related to the government shutdown and were mostly reversed in the November report.
Please don't alert the media.

Also, and keep this very quiet, Healthcare.gov is currently not lagging.

Meanwhile, the annual budget deficit continues to fall rapidly. There are downsides to that but it deflates the GOP talking points about Democrats as big spenders. But don't even think of sharing this news. Let's keep it between you and me.

Some other hush hush news on the morals front:

The teenage pregnancy rate has fallen to historic lows.

The numbers of states with legal gay marriage keeps rising.

Oh, and here's one last story to keep to yourself, the Senate is now pushing through nominations to fill important government positions. Nothing Republicans can do to stop it.

Please, don't let this news get out.

Poll

Which?

56%9 votes
25%4 votes
18%3 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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The squeals are loud from certain corners of the political webs. They're calling for John McCain's head, they're calling for a new party, and mostly they're just howling at the moon.

Poll

This amount of schadenfreude was:

3%13 votes
17%63 votes
71%259 votes
7%27 votes

| 362 votes | Vote | Results

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Two days before election day Dick Morris said Mitt Romney would win in a landslide:

That embarrassing prediction proved even too much for Fox on which Morris hasn't appeared for months. Now, they have formally cut ties:

Morris has been a Fox News mainstay since 1998 - 15 years! If Dick Morris isn't good enough for Fox News then his days as a serious TV pundit must be over, right? Not so fast! CNN wants him back. He'll appear there for the first time in more than a decade:

Morris announced the appearance -- his first on CNN since 2002, according to a search of the Nexis database -- on his website, writing, "You read it right! I will be a guest on The Piers Morgan Show on CNN, yes CNN, this Wednesday night at 9 PM EST."
Let me offer a preview of what he might predict tonight:

 - 49ers will beat the Ravens
 - Scott Brown will win the special Senate election in MA
 - Hillary Clinton will lose in a landslide in 2016

Come on CNN, really?

Poll

Best Prognosticator

17%10 votes
3%2 votes
79%46 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
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