Category Archives: Independents

Get the Word Out About One Nation ~ One Nation Working Together

Posted by: Audiegrl

One Nation Working Together For Jobs, Justice and Education for All

Who We Are..

We are One Nation, born from many, determined to build a more united America – with jobs, justice and education for all.

We are young people, frustrated that society seems willing to spend more locking up our bodies than educating our minds, yet still we find ways to succeed and shine.

We are students and newly-returned veterans – persevering in the face of mounting debt – determined not to be the first generation to end up worse off than our parents.

We are baby boomers and seniors – who saw hope killed in 1968 and will not let the dream of a united America be taken from us again.

We are conservatives and moderates, progressives and liberals, non-believers and people of deep faith, united by escalating assaults on our reason, our environment, and our rights.

We are workers of every age, faith, race, sex, nationality, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability – who have suffered discrimination but never stopped loving our neighbors, or our nation.

We are American Indians and Alaska Natives – citizens of Native nations – who maintain our cultures, protect our sovereignty, and strength America’s economy.

We are the new immigrants, raising our children in the torchlight of the Statue of Liberty, while confronting the shadows that are bigotry and mass deportations.

We are the native born.  We inherited the divided legacies of settlers and American Indians, black slaves and white and Asian indentured servants. And yet, in this moment of shared suffering, we rejoice in newfound friendships and new alliances.

We are people who got thrown out – thrown out of our jobs, schools, houses, farms and small businesses – while Wall Street’s wrongdoers got bailed out. We are families who pray every day – for peace and prosperity; for deliverance from foreclosures; for good jobs to come back to urban and rural America.

We are unemployed workers – forced to watch hopes for bold action dashed – because some Senators threaten filibusters, and other would-be champions fold in fear.

And yet, we are the majority – fueled by hope, not hate. We have the pride, power and determination to keep ourselves – and our country – moving up and out of the valley greed created.

And most importantly – from ensuring women are treated fairly at work, to expanding health care coverage for millions– we have been victorious whenever we worked together. We have proven the only thing we need to succeed is each other.

And so, on 10-2-10, we come back together – to march.

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Why We March…

We march for a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. We march for jobs, justice, and education. We march for an economy that works for all.  We march for a nation in which each person who wants to work can find a job that pays enough to support a family.

We march to create a million new jobs right away, because the national values that got us out of the Great Depression will get us out of the Great Recession.

We march to build a world-class public education system, from pre-school to community college and beyond – because our nation must start unleashing the greatness of every child today.

We march to end racial profiling and re-segregation– from Arizona to Atlanta. We march to defend the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.  We march to advance human rights, civil rights, equal protection, and dignity for all.

We march to fix the broken immigration system – because no child should live in fear that her parents will be deported.

We march to ensure every worker has a voice at work. We march for green jobs and safe workplaces, so no worker will have to choose between her livelihood and her life.

We march for a clean environment, so no child is ever forced to decide between drinking the water or breathing the air and staying healthy.

We march to move our nation beyond this moment when a handful of Senators can block urgently needed progress – skewing our national budget towards tax cuts for the wealthy, unjustified military spending and prisons.

We march to demand full equality for all women in all communities, indulging an end to wage discrimination.

We march for peace abroad and job creation at home. We march for energy independence, public safety, and public transportation because the nation we want to build most is our own.

We march to demand full equality for all women in all communities, indulging an end to wage discrimination.

And on 11-2-10, we will march again – into the voting booths. We will bring our families, our friends, and our neighbors. And once the ballots are counted, we will keep organizing, we will hold our leaders accountable, and we will keep making our dream real.

This movement will grow.  It will put America back to work, pull America back together, and keep us moving ever forward.

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Working together for the creation, protection, and advancement of good jobs

Create new jobs in every sector, so that everyone in our country who wants to work can find a job. There should be a job in America for everyone who wants to work.

Provide immediate relief for those who are currently unemployed

  • Extend the federal unemployment program, COBRA, mortgage assistance, and other targeted initiatives helping those who are currently without a job
  • Target help for populations and communities in the greatest need, including youth summer jobs and training initiatives

Provide immediate action to stimulate job growth and retention; and consumer demand

  • Provide aid to states and cities—including direct job creation at local levels—especially in education, health care, social services and first responder workforces
  • Increase the ability of small businesses to obtain assistance and support, including short term loans, grants and other forms of assistance
  • Fund infrastructure investment that spurs higher economic growth, clean energy enterprises, and green jobs

Provide a fair chance for every worker in our country to succeed and advance in the workplace

  • Everyone who works in America should have the right to join with their co-workers to have a voice on the job
  • Pay all workers a living family wage
  • Increase and index the minimum wage
  • Close the race-, gender-, and all other unjust pay gaps
  • End all forms of workplace discrimination and expand anti-discrimination law to be inclusive of everyone
  • Protect, honor, fully apply, and expand equal opportunity and diverse business inclusion practices
  • Create employment pathways and training opportunities for workers who want to advance their careers
  • Make every job a safe job
  • Provide paid sick days and paid family leave for all workers

Rebuild the U.S. economy for the 21st Century

  • Reorient our country’s trade and tax policies to tackle job loss and currency manipulation, and promote the creation of good jobs at home
  • Create a national industrial policy to transform our economy into a sustainable one that provides good jobs and a good quality of life for America’s families
  • Provide greater national investment in new jobs, improved infrastructure, and public education instead of escalating military spending
  • Prevent the repeat of the economic crisis by addressing the problem of financial institutions, including those deemed “too big to fail”
  • Put an end to the exploitative practices that contributed to the economic crisis; increase watchdog powers of institutions such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and prohibit and punish predatory lending and mortgage scams

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Working together for justice and equal opportunity for all

Advance and implement policy principles and practices that prohibit and prevent discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or ability.

Enhance, strengthen and preserve voting rights for all Americans

  • Enact policies that expand access to the polls for everyone, including former felons
  • Preserve policies that established to address systematic voter disenfranchisement, including the elimination of deceptive practices
  • Secure voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the residents of the District of Columbia, so that our pledge of “liberty and justice for all” will apply equally to all who live in our nation’s capital

End discriminatory practices within the criminal justice system

  • End racial profiling by law enforcement officials
  • Eliminate statutes, such as mandatory minimums, which have had a disparately devastating impact on the poor as well as racial and ethnic minorities
  • Restore trust between police officers and the communities they serve by establishing competent civilian review boards with real authority to identify and address misconduct
  • Establish policies to help ex-felony offenders reintegrate into society, including job training, educational opportunities, and voting rights that reducing recidivism rates

Preserve and honor our history as a nation that is inclusive of immigrants and maintain respect for the rule of law

  • Fix our broken immigration system in a way that provides for due process; protects workers and our national security; quickly reunites families, holds employers accountable, and provides a fair path to citizenship.
  • Avoid or end ineffective, costly, and dangerous proposals or provisions that seek to round up, detain, and deport 12 million unauthorized workers, split families, encourage racial profiling, and divert scarce resources away from crime fighting.
  • Provide for a path to citizenship for individuals who are completing an education and/or serve in their community, or in the military

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Working together to protect and strengthen the safety net, and create opportunity for all

  • End the foreclosure epidemic and save the homes of America’s families
  • Require principal write downs in exchange for government aid for mortgage lenders or services
  • Reform bankruptcy laws to protect families, working people, seniors, and students
  • Prioritize safe, secure and affordable housing for all
  • Provide adequate resources to end all forms of discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing
  • Protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare
  • Repair private pension systems
  • Complete the promise of accessible and affordable health care for all people, including the public option and other effective means to provide coverage for all; and implementation of anti-discrimination provisions

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Working together for quality public education for all

  • Ensure that all people have equal access to affordable, adequately resourced, high quality public education throughout their lives, from preschool through college
  • Provide for quality teaching jobs with training, and support necessary to continuously improve classroom practice and safety, and serve students better
  • Increase federal support to institutions of higher education that provide opportunities for underserved communities, including women’s institutions, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions
  • Increase access to higher education by increasing affordability and decreasing dependency on student loans
  • End the school-to-prison pipeline by investing in public education systems not prisons, and provide more education opportunities for incarcerated youth
  • Create systems and structures which maximize diverse community input to assist in ending all policies and actions that directly or indirectly lead to re-segregation by race or ethnicity of our public schools

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Conclusion

As One Nation Working Together we will work for policy principles that restore the inclusion of all communities striving to achieve the American Dream. One Nation Working Together will push for an economy that works for everyone by advocating for policy principles that result in good jobs, and well trained work forces. We will work for quality public education and training for our children, who are tomorrow’s work force. We will work for principles and laws that provide for equal opportunity for everyone, so that all have a chance to achieve the American Dream. Finally, we will support policy principles that create a path toward economic and environmental sustainability for today and for generations to come.

Join us. We are One Nation Working Together: For Jobs, For Justice, For Education, For All.

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For Me, the Party Is Over

Posted by: Audiegrl

Op-ed by Michael Smerconish

Michael Smerconish, Columnist, Radio Host

Michael Smerconish, Columnist, Radio Host

It took only the single tap of a computer key, and just like that I’d exited the Republican Party after 30 years of active membership. The context might sound impulsive, but I’d been thinking of becoming an independent for a long time. I just hadn’t expected that a trip to renew my driver’s license would mark the end.

Just before my photo was snapped, I was asked if I wanted to register to vote. For me, the question was borderline offensive. I first registered after turning 18 in the spring of 1980 and haven’t missed an election since. And I’m not just talking presidential races. I mean all elections. Congress, town council, school board, whatever.

I’m already registered,” I offered. Next came the unexpected question of whether I wished to change my political affiliation. I’m not sure why that is asked of someone renewing a driver’s license, and I question whether it is even appropriate for most. But in my case, it was the only impetus I needed.

Years ago, I grew tired of having my television or radio introduction accompanied by a label, with some implied expectation that what would then come from my mouth were the party talking points. That was me 26 years ago, when I was the youngest elected member of the state delegation to the Republican National Convention, but not today. I’m not sure if I left the Republican Party or the party left me. All I know is that I no longer feel comfortable.

The national GOP is a party of exclusion and litmus tests, dominated on social issues by the religious right, with zero discernible outreach by the national party to anyone who doesn’t fit neatly within its parameters. Instead, the GOP has extended itself to its fringe while throwing under the bus long-standing members like New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, a McCain-Palin supporter in 2008 who told me she voted with her Republican leadership 90 percent of the time before running for Congress last fall.

Which is not to say I feel comfortable in the Democratic Party, either. Weeks before Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh’s announcement that he will not seek reelection, I noted the centrist former governor’s words to the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib. Too many Democrats, Bayh said in that interview, are “tone-deaf” to Americans’ belief that the party had “overreached rather than looking for consensus with moderates and independents.

Where political parties once existed to create coalitions and win elections, now they seek to advance strict ideological agendas. In today’s terms, it’s hard to imagine the GOP tent once housing such disparate figures as conservative Barry Goldwater and liberal New Yorker Jacob Javits, while John Stennis of Mississippi and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts coexisted as Democratic contemporaries.

Collegiality is nonexistent today, and any outreach across an aisle is castigated as weakness by the talking heads who constantly stir a pot of discontent. So vicious is the political climate that within two years, Sen. John McCain has gone from GOP standard-bearer to its endangered-species list. All of which leaves homeless those of us with views that don’t stack up neatly in any ideological box the way we’re told they should.

Consider that I’ve long insisted on the need to profile in the war against terrorists. I believe that if someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has actionable intelligence on future terrorism, you try the least coercive methods to extract it but ultimately stop at damn near nothing to get what you need to save American lives. I want the U.S. military out of Iraq, but into Pakistan. I’m for capital punishment. I think our porous borders need to be secured before we determine how to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already within them. Sounds pretty conservative. But wait.

I think that in 2008, the GOP was wrong to adopt a party platform that maintained a strict opposition to abortion without at least carving out exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. I was appalled that legislators tried to decide Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life plan. I don’t care if two guys hook up any more than they should care about my heterosexual lifestyle. And I still don’t know what to think about climate change.

I think President Obama is earnest, smart, and much more centrist than his tea party caricature suggests. He has never been given a fair chance to succeed by those who openly crow about their desire to see him fail (while somehow congratulating one another on their relative patriotism). I know he was born in America, isn’t a socialist, and doesn’t worship in a mosque. I get that he inherited a minefield. Still, the level of federal spending concerns me. And he never closed the deal with me that health insurance is a right, not a privilege. But I’m not folding the tent on him. Not now. Not with the nation fighting two wars while its economy still teeters on the brink of collapse.

All of which leaves me in a partisan no-man’s-land, albeit surrounded by many others, especially my neighbors. By quitting the GOP, I have actually joined the largest group of American voters. According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 39 percent of Americans identify themselves as independents — compared with 32 percent who say they are Democrats and 26 percent who are self-described members of the GOP. Nowhere is this more pronounced than locally, where a shift away from the Republican Party has taken place in the four bellwether counties surrounding Philadelphia.

I will miss casting a ballot in the spring, as current state election law prohibits unaffiliated voters from voting in GOP or Democratic primary elections. Instead, I’ll join the others who bide their time until fall, when we can temper the extremes of both parties.

My decision should not be interpreted for more than it is: a very difficult, deeply personal one. . . . I value my independence. I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology.”

Those are Bayh’s words, not mine. But he was speaking for both of us.

Cross-posted with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

President Barack Obama (L) speaks as he is interviewed by radio show host Michael Smerconish (R) during a live broadcast from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House August 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Other than being interviewed by Smerconish, Obama also took questions from a few call-in audience members.

President Barack Obama (L) speaks as he is interviewed by radio show host Michael Smerconish (R) during a live broadcast from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House August 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Other than being interviewed by Smerconish, Obama also took questions from a few call-in audience members.

Michael Smerconish is the Philadelphia radio market’s premier talk host who is heard daily on Infinity Radio’s 50,000-watt WPHT, found at 1210 AM. The program reaches Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Smerconish is also a frequent guest host for Bill O’Reilly on the nationally syndicated Radio Factor. For several years, Smerconish has been a popular columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. In 2003, author Bernard Goldberg re-published one of Smerconish’s Daily News columns in his book Arrogance, a follow-up to his bestseller Bias. Smerconish is a familiar face on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN where he provides commentary on current events. Contact Michael Smerconish via www.smerconish.com

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First Lady Michelle Obama To Governors: ‘Let’s Act‘ On Obesity

Posted by: Audiegrl

First lady Michelle Obama applauds the spouses of the nation's governors as she begins her address on childhood obesity at the at the start of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

First Lady Michelle Obama applauds the spouses of the nation's governors as she begins her address on childhood obesity at the at the start of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(AP)~~First lady Michelle Obama appealed to governors on Saturday for help in reducing child obesity and said they had a moral and financial imperative to act.

She praised states for their steps already and assured state leaders that the federal government had no interest in taking over their efforts.

Let’s stop wringing our hands and talking about it and citing statistics,” she told governors at their winter meeting. “Let’s act. Let’s move. Let’s give our kids the future they deserve.”

The first lady found a high-powered audience to make the case for her new campaign on obesity. One in three American children is overweight or obese, a condition that raises their risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other illnesses.

Obama sought support from leaders of both parties and made sure to respect the influence of the states.

The way I see this, there is nothing Democratic or Republican, there is nothing liberal or conservative about wanting our kids to lead active, healthy lives,” she said. “There’s no place for politics when it comes to fighting childhood obesity. And I know all of you agree.”

The first lady’s campaign has four parts: helping parents make better food choices, serving healthier food in school vending machines and lunch lines, making healthy food more available and affordable, and encouraging children to exercise more.

In talking to the governors, she emphasized the importance of empowering parents who feel helpless because they don’t feel they have the time, money or information to provide healthy meals or safe places to exercise.

First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, as she is introduced to speak at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, as she is introduced to speak at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Mindful that the governors face economic crises in their states, Obama said the obesity solutions need not be expensive. She encouraged them to take steps such as providing access at school ball fields to the community at nights, or requiring the construction of sidewalks when new roads are being built.

Comprehensive and coordinated doesn’t mean centralized,” she added. “I’ve spoken to so many experts on this issue and not a single one of them has said that the solution is for the federal government to tell people what to do. That doesn’t work.”

The governors are trying to find political solutions to soaring health care costs as President Barack Obama seeks to do the same. Michelle Obama said the money crunch cannot be solved without addressing child obesity.

If we think our health care costs are high now, just wait until 10 years from now and think about the many billions we’re going to be spending then,” she said. “Think about how high those premiums are going to be when our kids are old enough to have families of their own and businesses of their own.”


Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Republicans — Not Obama — More Often on Wrong Side of Public Opinion

Posted by: BuellBoy

Nate SilverFiveThirtyEight/Nate Silver~One of the more commonplace assertions among pundits on the center-right — made rather carelessly by Victor Davis Hanson and more thoughtfully by Jay Cost, is that agenda put forward by Obama and the Democrats is overwhelmingly unpopular and that Democrats are simply getting their comeuppance for having pushed such a liberal set of reforms forward. These claims, however, rely on selective evidence, invariably citing policies like health care and the GM bailouts which are indeed unpopular (strongly so, in some cases), while ignoring many other issues on which Obama has been on the right side of public opinion.

In fact, a more objective and equivocal evaluation of public opinion on more than two dozen specific issues finds that the Republican Congress has far more often been on the wrong side of it. Attempting to be as comprehensive as possible, I’ve identified 25 issues that Obama and the Democrats have made an affirmative effort to push forward since taking office a year ago, and summarized public opinion on each of them. Most of the numbers that I’ve cited come from PollingReport.com.

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Why Do People Often Vote Against Their Own Interests?

Posted by: Buellboy

Americans voicing their anger at the healthcare proposals at a town hall meeting


The Republicans’ shock victory in the election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts meant the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate. This makes it even harder for the Obama administration to get healthcare reform passed in the US.

Political scientist Dr David Runciman looks at why is there often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters.

Last year, in a series of “town-hall meetings” across the country, Americans got the chance to debate President Obama’s proposed healthcare reforms.

What happened was an explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence.

Polling evidence suggests that the numbers who think the reforms go too far are nearly matched by those who think they do not go far enough.

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

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The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

“It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

“Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

Who would have thought?

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Tuesday’s Election Results: What Happened and Why? by Nate Silver

Posted by Audiegrl

natesilver

Nate Silver, the Nostradamus of Statistics and Polls

538/Nate Silver—The outcome of all seven contests that we were tracking tonight appears settled, or very nearly so:

Virginia Governor: Republican Bob McDonnell wins by 17 points, toward the upper end of the range predicted by the pollsters, although not to anybody’s great surprise. Democrats had major turnout problems here; exit polls show that the electorate which turned out in Virginia supported McCain in last year’s election 51-43, almost exactly the opposite of the actual margin.

Creigh Deeds (left) and Bob McDonnell (right)

Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell

But Deeds also appears to have been the weaker candidate. The electorate was roughly spit on approval of Obama, but 20 percent of those who approved Obama nevertheless voted for McDonnell, while just 5 percent of those who disapproved Obama voted for Deeds.

New Jersey Governor: Republican Chris Christie wins 49-45. We had (somewhat tentatively) characterized the race as leaning Christie on the basis of superior enthusiasm and the incumbent rule. Corzine never polled at better than 44 percent in any individual poll of the race. It looked for a time like 44 or 45 percent might nevertheless have been enough to win him the election, but support for the third party candidate Chris Daggett collapsed, leaving him exposed.

Corzine_Christie_Daggett3

Candidates for governor, from left,: Incumbent Jon Corzine, Chris Christie and Chris Daggett

Obama approval was actually pretty strong in New Jersey, at 57 percent, but 27 percent of those who approved of Obama nevertheless voted for someone other than Corzine. This one really does appear to be mostly about Corzine being an unappealing candidate, as the Democrats look like they’ll lose just one or two seats in the state legislature in Trenton. Corzine compounded his problems by staying negative until the bitter end of the campaign rather than rounding out his portfolio after having closed the margin with Christie.

NY-23: Democrat Bill Owens prevails in a result that will be regarded as surprising; the final tally isn’t in yet but it appears as though it will be something on the

hoffmanowensscozzafava

Doug Hoffman (C), Bill Owens (D) and Dede Scozzafava (R) battled for upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional District

order of 50-45 over Conservative Doug Hoffman. I don’t think I’ve ever hedged more on predicting the outcome of a race; the main issue is that there was a rather large discrepancy between the polling, which heavily favored Hoffman, and what I perceived to be the facts on the ground. NY-23 is solidly Republican but not especially conservative (it voted for Barack Obama last year), and Hoffman was a relatively uncharismatic candidate with poor command of the local issues.

If New Jersey was a win for the incumbent rule, then NY-23 may have ben a win for the Median voter theorem, as Owens — a conservative Democrat — was actually much closer to the average ideology of the district than the capital-C Conservative Hoffman. It was also a reminder that all politics is local (sometimes). More than 95 percent of Hoffman’s contributions came from out-of-district, and the conservative activists who tried to brand him as a modern-day Jefferson Smith never bothered to check whether he resonated particularly well with the zeitgeist of the district. In any event, this is a Democratic takeover of a GOP-held seat and they expand by one their majority in the House.

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