Look At The 512 Paths To The White House As America Votes

This is just most amazing to see broken down and presented this way.

Take an interactive trip with Nate Silver to getting the needed 270 electorial votes.  It should be noted that President Obama has 512 routes to the needed electoral college votes, and Mitt Romney has 76 ways to win.

For instance, if Mr. Romney loses Florida, he has only one way to victory: through all the other battleground states. He has led most polls there, however, and is the favorite. If Mr. Romney wins Florida, he has 75 paths open to him.

But consider this, of the three largest battleground states, Mr. Obama has the largest lead in Ohio – partly because of a strong local economy and the auto industry bailout. If he loses here, it’s likely he will trail in Florida and North Carolina too. Losing all three leaves him with only 14 ways to win.

Scott Walker “Cringed” As He Watched Clint Eastwood At GOP Convention

Would not the Clint Eastwood episode at the Republican Convention have been the proper place for Scott Walker to shed a tear?

Today The New York Times reported the reaction as Walker watched the aging actor make an ass of himself, and place the convention in an embarrassing position.

Ann Romney, who made the rounds of the three network morning shows, hardly pretended that she was happy as she was repeatedly asked about the speech. “I was thrilled for his support,” she said on NBC, trying to be positive. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said on MSNBC that he “cringed” as he sat in the hall during Mr. Eastwood’s performance.

Wisconsin Scott Walker Had Tears Running Down Face As Paul Ryan Spoke At GOP Convention

C-SPAN and MSNBC both showed the tears.

With Paul Ryan rising politically, and Scott Walker seeing his route to national fame being reduced one has to wonder what the tears may have been about.

Paul Ryan may become vice-president, but all that Walker can look forward to is a John Doe probe that most likely has his name all over it.

Isaac Weather Satellite Radar Loop-Color Imagery Of The Storm That Stalled Republican National Convention

For weather buffs here is the radar loop for Isaac.

Republicans Play Politics As Usual….Though They Promised A Change

During elections I do not heed any of the promises made when it comes to the process of governing.  I know that the simple act of campaigning is to make certain voting demographics moved to the point of voting.  But once the elections are over….well……

Candidates can make promises about this or that issue , but they should not promise that the actual levers of power will be manipulated any more or less than the party they are hoping to replace.  Governing and the use of power are not like a light switch that can be turned on or off.  The art of using power is far more complicated, and for candidates to make promises that if elected they will produce a better set of rules for governing is laughable.

Too often politicians talk more in an election season than they stop to ponder and think. Too many use the electorate for their own ends.  Those are just the facts.

Such is the case with the Republicans and the promise they made that if elected the House of Representatives would be more open and ‘democratic’.

I smirked when the fall elections were underway….and the reason I did became reality this week.

Just hours after taking control of the House, Republicans passed a sweeping set of rules promising transparency and reform.

But the new majority is already showing these promises aren’t exactly set in stone.

After calling for bills to go through a regular committee process, the bill that would repeal the health care law will not go through a single committee. Despite promising a more open amendment process for bills, amendments for the health care repeal will be all but shut down. After calling for a strict committee attendance list to be posted online, Republicans backpedaled and ditched that from the rules. They promised constitutional citations for every bill but have yet to add that language to early bills.

Republicans say there are subtle reasons for these moves and that they certainly will follow their own rules throughout the 112th Congress. But the hedging on some promises shows just how hard it will be to always match the sharp rhetoric of the campaign with the ugly and complex work of running the House.

The promise of full debate in committees, for example, was inspired by Republican complaints that Democrats abused their power in bypassing regular debate. Republicans such as Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Rules Chairman David Dreier of California all have complained that Democrats in the last Congress didn’t bring a single bill under a process called the open rule — a mechanism that allows for nearly unlimited amendments and debate. None of the bills that will be brought to the floor this week will be brought under open rules. When asked directly whether he would bring the repeal bill to the floor under an open rule, Cantor dodged the question.

Iowa: The Role Of Judges vs. Uninformed Citizens

Civics is no longer a course that demands the same attention in our schools as when I was a youngster.  I am reminded of that fact over and over as news stories pile high of how my fellow citizens just do not understand how the system we live in is supposed to work.

My differences with others is often not in how policy should be constructed.  Rather it is how the process should work before we get to any outcome, be it left, right, or down the middle.  So I was not surprised when the news was reported Election Night from Iowa about the votes that were cast against three members of their supreme court.

I was not shocked to see that 54% of Iowans voted “No” to retaining the three judges. In fact, I expected that outcome. I might add in spite of my lack of shock it still was unheard of for such a thing to happen in this small rural state.

No, I was not shocked, but I was sad.

But not sad over the issue that made so many voters upset.  That being equal rights for gay people.  In and of itself that issue is a no-brainer for those who understand the constitution.   All seven members of the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that an Iowa law restricting marriage to between a man and a woman violated the constitutional right of equal protection. 

Instead my sadness had to do with the process of governing and reasoning in this nation that seems to have found a huge divide, and slips ever further and deeper into the darkness of unreasonableness.

 Three judges lost their seats for doing their jobs!  They lost their seats for interpreting the constitution fairly by declaring equal rights to gays and lesbians.

That the court decision was seen by some Iowans as not the outcome they wanted should be understood to be how the process in this country at times works.  But to then retaliate against the judiciary for doing its job was truly maddening.  Judicial reasoning and decision-making should not be made into a political football.  Judicial outcomes should not need to be created to make the most simple in a society calm.

In Iowa a large conservative organization moved into the state,  and marshalled large sums of money to defeat those justices up for election who had ruled, as the constitution dictated, for equal rights.  That we even elect justices is just bizarre to me.  I have long been opposed to this madness.  But then to crucify them for doing their jobs is nothing short of obscene.

Courtrooms should be places where constitutions, both the state and federal ones, should be the focus.  That way all the legal rights of everyone has the dignity and protections that they deserve.  The special interests that smear the system, discredit fine jurists for doing their jobs, and warp judicial outcomes was not a part of my civics course as a youngster.

Let me put this in terms that angry white men….and they are the ones I hold accountable for most of the damage that was inflicted on the nation this fall…..can understand.

If a call was made unfairly and repeatedly by a referee during a Sunday football game there is a good chance that the man in white and black would be replaced.  If the referee was knowingly being biased and unfair in his calls he would be ousted.

BUT if a referee made a fair call that the beer-drinking couch potato did not like that would be just too bad.  The game was being played fairly and the informed and trained referee who understands the game would keep his job.  The couch-potato would just have to learn more about why the play was fair.

So I ask my readers why it is that when it comes to the big issues of the day (as in Iowa) we allow the least informed to have the final say?   How many other parts of your life do you want the couch potato to make the big call for?

How many pages of the court decision did the average white male in Iowa read of the case they were challenging the justices over”

Huh, how many?

In my part of the country what happened in Iowa is called the tail wagging the dog.

I think it is about time the educated ones in America started raising a little hell.

AP Calls Alaska Senate Race: Lisa Murkowski Wins, Makes History

Joe Miller is defeated.  That is a very important thing to make clear.  Miller’s brand of Tea Party far right-wing, off the deep-end style of politics that was pushed and promoted by Sarah Palin was defeated in ALASKA.  That is no small victory for the forces of sanity in the nation who gave small amounts of cash to Lisa Murkowski.  Palin was smacked in her face by the people who know her best.  There is a message in that political statement for the lower 48.

I predicted the Murkowski outcome on October 30th. 

Lisa Murkowski defeats ‘Hindenberg “Miller and McAdams.  Murkowski wins with high name ID, and the support of the deceased and well-liked Ted Stevens, along with her proven track record.  This race will likely not be called for some time as legal challenges are sure to be raised over the write-in campaign of Murkowski.

Tonight AP made it official.

The Associated Press is calling the Alaska Senate race for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent Republican who ran a long shot, write-in re-election campaign. 

With just about 700 ballots left to tally, Murkowski has emerged with a large lead over her Republican challenger Joe Miller and is poised to make history by becoming the first victorious write-in candidate in more than 50 years. Murkowski now has 92,715 undisputed votes, according to the Anchorage Daily News, while Miller has 90,468. The state has awarded Murkowski many of the votes challenged by the Miller campaign, giving her a total of 100,868 votes.

Ron Johnson Voters Must Love Kool-Aid

Many angry white men in Wisconsin were duped in November 2010.

But it was not like they were not told in advance that they were about to make a huge mistake.

So many of those Wisconsin guys who carry a lunch box to work, struggle to make ends meet with paying the mortgage, feeding the kids, and putting gas in the car voted for Ron Johnson. 

Republican Ron  Johnson.

Millionaire Republican Ron Johnson.

Today it was noted that in this Congress nearly half of the 535 members– 261 of them — are millionaires.  For those keeping track that is a bit of an increase from the previous year.  To make the number more easy to reflect on there are only about 1%  of all Americans who can call themselves millionaires.

So while the Wisconsin male voter is wondering if he can afford a new bowling ball this season, millionaire Ron Johnson and his pals are going to make sure that tax breaks for the most wealthy in this nation are kept in place.

Meanwhile Russ Feingold….who is not a millionaira….and nowhere close to being one….can only wonder how so many voters drank the kool-aid.

After Ron Johnson gets done in Washington  kool-aid is just about all the angry white men in Wisconsin will be able to afford!