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Exculpated

That appears to be what was done to the grand jury on the Darren Wilson matter. I use the word matter deliberately, and you will see why later. Based on what the ‘prosecutor’ (I use that term very loosely in this instance) said in his tedious and meandering press conference last night, the grand jury in this case were presented with a mountain of exculpatory evidence. If you’re not familiar with the term, exculpatory evidence is evidence that points to the innocence of a defendant on trial. When a defendant is on trial, the prosecutor has an obligation to turn over all exculpatory evidence that they uncover, to the defense attorney. They are literally bound by the law to turn over any evidence they come across that may prove that a defendant is innocent.

There is no such obligation when presenting a case to a grand jury. In fact, the grand jury process is actually designed to block the presentation of any exculpatory evidence. As I said in an earlier post (read it, I explain a lot about the grand jury process in it), I served on a grand jury for a month. I never heard any exculpatory evidence from a prosecutor. A grand jury is not a trial. I’ve seen a lot of comments from a lot of people who have strong opinions on what happened last night. Unfortunately, most of those opinions came from people whose desire to put forth an opinion didn’t appear to be commensurate with a desire to learn anything they should probably learn in order to form said opinion. They all seem to have confused this process with a trial. These are what I refer to as the simpletons. I like to look at facts and then form an opinion. Simpletons like to do it the other way around. They’re usually so determined to do it the other way around, that they will reject any facts that interfere with that rectally generated opinion. Sorry, I digress. I’m extra bitchy this morning, what with the mega dose of stupid I had to endure last night.

The purpose of a grand jury is not to determine if the accused is guilty. The sole purpose of a grand jury is to determine if there’s enough evidence to determine if the accused guilty. There was clearly enough evidence against Darren Wilson to indict and let a jury decide if he was guilty of anything. If the only piece of evidence presented to the jury was that the altercation began in close contact, and ended with a distance of thirty-five feet when the fatal bullet was shot, they had enough evidence. You don’t need to know anything else to know that a jury should see all of the evidence to decide his guilt or lack of guilt. Thirty-five feet is clearly not a case of self defense, and no rational person would make that assertion.

Contrary to what the simpletons think, we were not at the determining innocence or guilt stage of this process yet. I have always asserted that we need to get to that point in the judicial process in this, and all cases when a police officer shoots an unarmed person. We never get to that stage of the process. Cops who shoot unarmed people almost never (I can’t think of one in the past five years) have to face a jury, and that’s very bad for all of us. Every time a simpleton advocates for truncating the justice system for a cop who shoots someone, they encourage more cops to overreact by shooting early and often.

I cannot believe this needs to be explained.

It really does take a special breed of stupid not to realize that. But it’s also much worse than that because these morons are advocating for throwing out our entire justice system by empowering cops to administer the death penalty whenever they deem fit. None of the stupid people who made their stupid judgments last night were able to explain which of Mike Brown’s alleged actions would earn him the death penalty in court. I guess that’s just another inconvenient question that impedes the stupid, baseless opinion process they hold more dear than their own safety and security.

Stupid.

I cannot use that word enough.

Here’s how deep the stupid runs; I was accused of making a snap judgment over and over again last night. Me? Judgment? For insisting on a trial to determine if Wilson was guilty or not? I’m accused of making a snap judgment by people who, without a trial, decided that he did nothing wrong. That’s rich.

And stupid.

That’s all. I’m done.

Stupid.                

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My Fantasies About Darren Wilson

I’m hearing a rumor that Darren Wilson’s indictment decision is going to be announced on Monday, and that he’s not going to be indicted. I must say that this news makes my usually cerebral approach to situations go out the window. I have a very strong visceral reaction to this possible outcome, and it’s not good. I keep having visions of him being gunned down in the street like a rabid dog who needs putting down. I cannot accept that this man isn’t going to ever appear before a jury. I’m sorry, but I just can’t.

As I laid out in a previous post, there was ample evidence presented for an indictment by the Ferguson police spokesman, in his very first press conference. No other piece of evidence need be presented to a grand jury in order to get an indictment.

At this point I have to let you know that I’ve served on a grand jury so I’m going to share some observations I made over the course of the month that I served (it was two days a week for three hours per day). The district attorney has complete control over what is presented to a grand jury. Defendants can appear if they choose to do so and they can bring an attorney, but their attorney can’t say anything. If the defendant chooses to appear, the district attorney can ask them questions. I learned that, as a defendant, presenting your case before a grand jury is a giant mistake. Defendants aren’t allowed to present evidence, so all they can really do is to deny what the district attorney has just told the grand jury. Defendants really come off looking like they’re lying, whether they are or not. Over the course of the month that I served, we heard approximately 15 – 20 cases. Of those, only two defendants came to testify. Any decent attorney won’t let their client to that, and it’s abundantly clear why letting them do it is a bad idea.

Since the deck is so thoroughly stacked in favor of the prosecutor, they almost always get an indictment. I think that my grand jury indicted all but two or three cases that we heard. And frankly, the people sitting on the grand jury are predisposed to indicting. I wasn’t, but more people in that room were inclined to indict than weren’t. I mean, a prosecutor wouldn’t be presenting a case against someone that did nothing wrong, right?

My point in sharing all of that with you is to let you know that I earnestly don’t know how it’s possible for a district attorney to fail to get an indictment. I live in New York City. We have over 500 district attorneys so I saw between 13 – 18 different district attorneys present cases. It became clear which ones were good and which ones weren’t because we had so many to compare. It almost didn’t matter if the DA was good. As I said, we indicted on all but two or three cases.

I cannot conceive of a DA failing to get an indictment against Darren Wilson on just the basis of the fact that the he and Mike Brown started the altercation with physical contact and that, by the time the last bullet was fired, there was thirty-five feet between them. This is not a fact that is in dispute, since the Ferguson PD spokesman gave us that information in his very first press conference. As I said in my earlier post, that distance opening up between the shooter and Mike Brown negates the validity of any claim of self defense. The greater the distance between them became, the lower the plausibility of self defense became. Remember, an indictment isn’t a guilty verdict, it’s merely a judgment that there is sufficient evidence against the defendant to go to court. An indictment is actually very far from a guilty verdict given the disparity of opportunity to present a case, between the defendant and the district attorney.   

If Darren Wilson isn’t indicted, it will most definitely be because the DA didn’t want to indict him. I cannot accept that we live in a country where police officers routinely kill unarmed citizens and never face a jury for doing it. I simply can’t accept this. I can accept a bad verdict, but I cannot accept a system where a verdict is never allowed to be handed down. No rational person with a modicum of intelligence will see this as a good outcome.

There has literally been no case made by Darren Wilson, wherein he demonstrates his innocence. That motherfucker ran and hid like a feckless thug. In a million years, I don’t go into hiding if I’m being accused of something I didn’t do. I face the public and make my case, with the conviction of an innocent person. When it comes to shooting at an unarmed kid, he’s a tough guy but when it’s time to face the public and tell them his story, he becomes officer micro-testicles. He hasn’t given anyone any reason to believe he’s not a murderer, so anyone who does believe in his innocence is making a baseless choice. It’s an increasingly stupid choice.

Police officers used to reserve this type of behavior for minorities in poor neighborhoods who don’t have the means to seek justice, but that’s not the case anymore. They’re expanding their parameters of "dangerous looking people" to include white people. I don’t just mean homeless white people, they’ve always been disposable. I mean white people who look like this:

Mary Hawkes

Okay, she was actually homeless after her parents died when she was a child and a series of other unfortunate events occurred in her life. But look at her. More and more white people who look like her are going to join the "shootable" class. And as their murderers join the "free from consequences" club, the tide will eventually turn in terms of the level of support these murdering cops get from the public. Mary’s murder, Jeremy Dear, killed her back in April. We’re still waiting for the completion of an investigation into what happened because these things take time, but mostly just when the shooter is a cop. This is one of the cases that prompted the Justice Department to look at Albuquerque PD. Jeremy, or officer motherfucker as I like to call him, had a little body camera malfunction at the very moment he was murdering Mary. This malfunction seems to have flummoxed even the manufacturer of the camera. They can’t explain why it wasn’t working when Mary was being murdered. Even more curious though, is the fact that officer motherfucker’s camera malfunctioned on three separate occasions when he happened to be accused of police brutality. Each time investigators went to look at the camera footage, there wasn’t any to be found. Huh. Poor officer motherfucker, his camera actually malfunctioned more than sixty times over the course of his time with Albuquerque PD. I guess some people just don’t have much luck with technology. Lucky for him though, that  Albuquerque PD found nothing suspicious about those malfunctions (not even the three that coincided with excessive force complaints against him), so he got to keep his job and subsequently murder Mary.

These cops are a menace to society and eventually, even supporters of Darren Wilson will see that.

In the meantime, I’m probably going to continue having my fantasies about Darren Wilson being put down. I don’t anticipate ever feeling bad about those fantasies since they may well be the only times I feel a sense of justice regarding Mike Brown’s shooting.               

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Operation FDR

My dirty hippie mayor, who won his election by a nearly 50 point spread by running as a socialist, has some wise words for our pathetic democratic party political machine.

I live in New York City so my mayor is Bill de Blasio.  I started volunteering with de Blasio’s campaign when he was polling in 4th place. Not because I routinely get involved in political campaigns. I don’t. I’m seldom motivated to. De Blasio motivated me. I knew he was going to be the next mayor of New York City because of his populist message. I knew the message was the right one.

Raising taxes was part of his platform. No really, it was. I knew that he was going to win because of it. He wanted to raise taxes on the filthiest of the rich in New York City by a tiny amount so that he could provide universal pre-k to every child in the city. Who wins an election in America by promising to raise taxes? Bill de Blasio. Jerry Brown. Twenty seven districts in Wisconsin voted to raise their own taxes. New Orleans voted to amend their freaking constitution to raise taxes. Clayton County in bright red Georgia voted to raise their own taxes. That’s what I could find in a ten minute Google search. One single search string, five pages into those hits. There are definitely more, but you get my point. Some Americans are starting to realize that if you want nice things, you have to pay for them.

Americans are becoming more and more liberal. All across the country, Americans voted to raise the minimum wage. The majority of us have embraced marriage equality. Americans are becoming increasingly less interested in throwing people in prison for smoking pot, so they’re taking the matter in their own hands. That "tough on crime" mantra that gave us those "three strikes" laws in some states is starting to be recognized for the disaster that it is and is slowly being undone by the voters. 

We are becoming more liberal every year, and Bill de Blasio knew it. The democratic party did not. They ran a shit show of an election effort all across the country. Some democratic voters are attributing the blood bath of 2014 to voter suppression. I agree that this was a contributing factor, but the margins shouldn’t have been close enough for that to be true. Others are saying that democrats were wildly outspent. That’s only true in a few races where republicans had to polish their biggest turds: Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, Sam Brownback, and a few others. But generally speaking, the spending was fairly even. The problem was that democrats didn’t have a platform. They ran as "republican lite", and it was absurd. Who the hell is going to vote for republican lite? Democrats? Republicans? Democrats put on a shit show this time around. Alison Grimes can’t say she voted for Obama, yet she’s campaigning with Elizabeth Warren who is the face of socialism? WTF kind of disjointed message was that? How hard is this, "Yes I voted for President Obama and that’s why nearly 500,000 Kentuckians have health insurance for the first time in lord knows how long"? See, that was the perfect answer because it’s true, it sounds genuine, and the word ‘lord" made it in there for good measure! Mark Pryor ran a commercial in which he was thumping his bible so hard, that I swear I lost approximately 10% of my hearing.

To summarize: liberalism won, but "republican lite" lost to "the real deal republican". Any regrouping or strategizing democrats do that ignores this fact is going to be useless.

Enter my socialist mayor. He had a little advice for the party. I agree with everything he said, but I want to go over the parts I found particularly prescient.

As a Democrat, I’m disappointed in last Tuesday’s results. But as a progressive, I know my party need not search for its soul — but rather, its backbone.

We are so off to a good start here.

The truth is that the Democratic Party has core values that are very much in sync with most Americans.

We believe in taking dead aim at the income inequality that infects our communities — from big cities like New York, to small towns and rural areas across the United States.

We believe that the wealthy should pay their fair share so we can lift people out of poverty and grow our middle class.

And we believe in rules that prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from unraveling workers’ pensions, suppressing employees’ wages and benefits, and rigging the system to reward wealth instead of work.

Hellooo, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, and Bill de Blasio and your incredibly high approval ratings. There’s a reason why they’re so popular, and that was it.

This year, too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles — opting instead to clip their progressive wings in deference to a conventional wisdom that says bold ideas aren’t politically practical.

To working people, it showed Democratic weakness — a weak commitment to the change desperately sought by struggling families, and a weak alternative to a Republican philosophy that has held America back.

Yep. When Alison Grimes refused to say that she voted for president Obama, she looked like a little weasel. Nobody likes an oily politician who can’t even pretend to be sincere for as long as they’re campaigning.

Bold, progressive ideas win elections.

Just ask Senator Al Franken, who has fought fearlessly to rein in Wall Street, and won by a larger margin on Tuesday than President Obama did in Minnesota in 2012.

Or Senator Jeff Merkley, who never backed away from his support for Obamacare — a federal program that is already working to reduce income inequality, and promises to do more to address the inequality crisis than anything out of Washington in generations. Merkley won re-election in Oregon by six points more than Obama won that state in 2012.

Then there’s Governor Jerry Brown, who cruised to re-election after championing — and winning — a millionaire’s tax that dedicated funding to California’s public schools.

And don’t forget Governor Dan Malloy — who was written off by so many in his re-election bid in Connecticut. Malloy raised taxes so he could invest more in education each year (at a time when other Governors were slashing education to close yawning budget gaps). Malloy passed earned sick time and a minimum wage hike. And in his re-election bid, he proudly stood alongside President Obama.

Malloy not only lived to tell about it on Tuesday, he increased his margin of victory in a rematch with his 2010 Republican opponent.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I have nothing more to add to that.

Critics will point to competitive Senate races in Kentucky, Arkansas, and North Carolina as places where such progressive policies would all but ensure Democrats’ defeat.

Our question is: how would they know?

In those states, Democratic candidates didn’t say much about progressive taxation, expanding health and retirement benefits, or implementing anti-poverty efforts like universal pre-k or affordable housing.

In Kentucky, more than 413,000 residents have signed up for Obamacare — making it one of the program’s most notable success stories. Arkansas had the nation’s fourth highest poverty rate last year, at 19.7%. In North Carolina — nearly 60% of three-and-four-year olds are not enrolled in pre-k. What were the Democratic candidates offering voters there?

Exactly right. If the progressive ideas are popular, why is running progressive candidates never an option? That was some crappy strategery (my little homage to Bush) on the part of Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who just plain suck at politics.

We saw photo-ops with candidates firing their rifles of choice; witnessed rhetorical gymnastics about how different they were from Obama; and watched televised debates dominated by empty attacks on the Koch Brothers’ influence on campaigns, rather than policies requiring billionaires like the Kochs to pay their fair share in taxes to fund programs benefiting working people.

I’m not blaming the individual candidates here. The strategies they employed are largely the making of Washington insiders who force-feed message points on candidates under threat of being written off by their national party infrastructure.

Yep. That’s his non-Bitchy way of describing the shit show I’ve been referring to for the past week and a half. And he’s referring to the incompetence of Israel and Wasserman-Schultz without naming names.

Acknowledging the need to address income inequality helps win elections. Want proof? Look at the Republicans. In several contests where the GOP prevailed last Tuesday, candidates spoke directly to voters’ concerns on issues like poverty, wage equality, and underemployment.

And tackling inequality is not only good politics; it’s good government.

Yes! The core of the republican base, that 30% that stuck with Bush to the bitter end, the ones who loved Sarah Palin have twisted themselves up so far that they don’t realize this. They think that working hard and not getting jack shit for it is the American way. They have themselves so twisted up into a pretzel, that they literally can’t tell you what they’re advocating for anymore, other than punching down. But they are only 30% of the country. Another twenty percent, who were temporarily caught up in that "tax cuts for the rich will create a utopia for you, in which even cancer is cured" bullshit are coming out of that fog.

You and your government are partners with a vested interest. You work hard, and put forth your best efforts to increase GDP, and your government makes sure that in exchange for that hard work, you’re not starving in the streets. If you work, your basic needs should be met. And since any rational person knows that Comcast won’t do that for you, it has to be your government.

And the fight against inequality isn’t limited to blue states. Right now, there’s a fierce battle being waged on behalf of pre-k in dark-red Indiana. In Kentucky, Governor Beshear maintains wide support and popularity after publicly championing the benefits of Obamacare to the state. Last week, voters in Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota approved ballot measures to increase the minimum wage.

I have nothing to add to that, except to say that Americans are moving left while our government is moving right.

The 2016 presidential election is two years off, but will have a huge impact on the lives of America’s middle-class and poor. Democrats simply cannot rely on shifting demographics and a badly damaged Republican brand to hold the White House and help countless Americans who are struggling.

We must demonstrate, from coast to coast, that we are a party dedicated to lifting people out of poverty; one committed to building a bigger and more durable middle-class; one that is unafraid to ask a little more from those at the very top — the wealthy individuals and big corporations who have not only rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, but who’ve accumulated record new wealth.

Yup. "We suck slightly less than republicans isn’t going to cut it. Liberals aren’t going to accept that. We’re not republicans. We don’t have Stockholm syndrome, and we’re not lemmings with a team mentality about politics. We expect our candidates to uphold their half of the partnership. Independents and younger voters aren’t going to accept that either. They’re just going to stop showing up. And the "we suck slightly less" perpetuates and actualizes the (for now) false notion that both sides are the same.

I understand that democrats need to raise money. I understand that because of Citizen’s United, no politician stands a chance of being elected to any position higher than dog catcher without making nice with a few industries whose self interest are at odds with their constituencies. I get it. I get that we need to fix the money in politics problem, which is why I’m constantly advocating for joining Mayday or (preferably and) Wolf PAC. We need national democrats to get on board in a vocal way. Bernie Sanders can’t be the only politician in the country talking about it. Cenk (Uygur, who started Wolf PAC) seems to think that we can amend the constitution without congress’ help. I don’t agree. We need as many allies in congress as we can get. Democrats need to start talking about this all the time. An overwhelming majority of Americans (72% – 91%, depending on which poll you look at) want to get money out of politics. This is a winning issue. Republican lite is not a viable platform. It’s time to deploy a new strategy. I call it, "Operation FDR". Everywhere we see an FDR or his ideology, we win. It’s time for democrats to go back to their roots and listen to my socialist mayor.

To be clear, I use the term ‘socialism’ in a tongue and cheek way to mock what republicans have done to our dialogue. Regulated capitalism isn’t socialist. Leveling the distribution of wealth so that the game isn’t rigged from the top isn’t socialism. It’s healthy capitalism. And anyone who uses the term ‘socialism’ in any way other than how I use it, should be ignored. That person is batshit crazy, and not worth your time. Spend your time talking to somebody else who has a brain, an open mind, and a heart that isn’t filled with hate.    

 

 

 

 

 

       

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The Veto Tsunami

I’ve been seeing variations on this meme for a couple of days now:

Veto Bitches

 

I like the sunny optimism, but that’s not what’s going to happen. This meme assumes that Obama isn’t aligned with a lot of the republican agenda. Remember, he extended the Bush tax cuts. He was dying to make the grand bargain. We do not have the dirty hippie socialist president that some seem to believe we have. I’m sorry, but that’s just a fact.

The thing everyone points to when proclaiming that President Obama is a socialist, is the thing that republicans created twenty years ago. Obamacare is not socialism. It’s a giant gift to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and it puts a band aid on the failing business model that is for profit health insurance. It gave insurance companies that coveted and rare demographic known as the millennials. Yes, twentysomethings have to have insurance now, and that’s a hail Mary for Aetna because as a nation, we’re getting older and more expensive to maintain. For profit health insurance is going to cave in on itself. Obamacare just bought them more time. Don’t get me wrong, twentysomethings should have coverage. They won’t get insurance if they’re not forced to get it. They don’t need it because they’re young and healthy, and they don’t want to pay for it. Since they traditionally haven’t participated in the health insurance market, we all pay more than we should in our thirties and forties. See, you pay for the insurance you should have had in your twenties one way or another. Since the young and healthy ones aren’t contributing to the risk pool while they’re young and healthy, the risk pool becomes riskier than it should be. More risk = higher premiums. If you’re one of the people who have always had insurance, you paid for your twenties twice. That’s not going to happen anymore, so we got some relief out of this plan too. But it’s not even in the ballpark of socialism. It just happened to be an elusive middle ground when both corporate profits and people get a win.

Obama is not a socialist. He’s not even a liberal. When it comes to all things corporate-profit related, there’s no daylight between what republicans want and what Obama wants. He’s never attempted to regulate Monsanto, stop oil companies from destroying our water supply by fracking the fuck out of our country, hold Wall Street accountable for their malfeasance, or even raise taxes on corporations, who have never paid less than they pay now.

No, there won’t copious vetos in our future.    

Oh, and the hope of the veto also ignores how non confrontational this president is. Remember, he got Shirley Sherrod’s resignation as fast as he did because he was worried about what Glenn Beck was going to say on his show that night. This is not a bold president who stands up to anyone that he isn’t running against in an election. We’ve never seen candidate Obama in the White House, and we’re not going to see him now. 

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The Rise Of The Despised

That’s what the 2014 election was. The year of crappy legislators with low approval ratings floating to the top, despite the fact that their constituents hate them. When I say hate, I mean really hate. Let’s review.

I want to start with the one whose approval ratings made it seem inconceivable that he could get reelected; Rick Scott. Six months into his term, in June 2011, his approval rating was 33% with a disapproval rating of 59%. Less than 12 months into his term, Rick Scott’s approval rating was 26%. He was, by far the most despised governor in the US. By August of 2012, his approvals went up to an unimpressive 39% with a mere 51% unapproving. By October 2013, his approvals were back down to 33% and his disapprovals were at 55%. Two freaking weeks ago, Scott had an approval rating of 44% with a disapproval of 49%.

Next up, Georgia’s Nathan Deal. I couldn’t get as much polling data on Deal as I could on Voldemort, but I got enough. In April 2013, Deal was at a net -4 with an approval of 37%, disapproval of 41%. Six months later in August, it got worse with an approval of 34% with a disapproval of 41%. To put that into context, Obama has been riding high compared to Deal.

And now we move to Sam "bankrupted Kansas" Brownback. This asshole went into the governorship with a proud proclamation that Kansas was going to be a "real, live experiment" for right wing policies. And that’s exactly what he did. He eliminated taxes for businesses in Kansas, causing nearly a billion dollars to evaporate. But have no fear, Kansas public schools can just get by with less. This has the added bonus of ensuring that Kansans stay stupid, thereby increasing the odds that they would continue to vote republican. By February 2013, Brownback’s approval ratings were at 33% with disapprovals at 51%. Here’s the really interesting part of those numbers; the disparity among democrats, independents, and republicans. Independents were at 22% approve, 66% disapprove. Democrats were at 14% approve, 81% disapprove. The fiscally responsible, family values republicans of Kansas approved of his budget blowing, family screwing performance to the tune of 55%, with a mere 30% actually sticking to the principles they espouse by disapproving of this shit show.

Do not ever, EVER allow a republican tell you that they give a flying fuck about deficits OR their families. That’s clearly not the basis upon which they cast their votes. Sorry, I’m a little bitchy today. But Kansas gets what Kansas deserves.

Our next shining example of a not-at-all-dysfunctional democracy is the re-election of Rick "I’m going to replace democracy with emergency managers" Snyder of Michigan. One short year into his term, Snyder’s approvals were at 40% with 47% disapprovals. By December of 2012, thanks to his cheer leading for "right to work for less", he was at a 38% approval, 56% disapproval. A month and a half ago, he had an approval rating of 37% with a disapproval of 54%.

This truly was the year when the poop floated to the top of our government. Why did this happen? Money. I don’t have exact figures right now because of all of the last minute "dark" (otherwise known as Citizen’s United) money that went into all of these races, but it looks like the usual pattern of the biggest spender winning the election held true last night. Snyder spend roughly three times more than his opponent. Nathan Deal spend about twice as much as his opponent. I can’t get numbers that are remotely accurate on the Kansas and Florida races. It will be a while before the dust settles on all of the cash that came in just during the last two weeks. I do know that Florida’s grand total on the 2014 election cycle was about $350 million dollars. Of course, $85 million of that was from Sheldon Adelson making sure that no one could legally smoke pot in Florida, so that had nothing to do with the governor’s race. There were too many sources of cash swirling around all four candidates for me to calculate where it all landed. I will write a follow up to this post when I have those numbers.

So what’s the point of this post? I actually have two. Number one is that every election moving forward will produce the same results; poop floating to the top. We will never get good government until we fix the system. We need to amend the constitution to get money out of politics. We have no other viable options left. That voting third party horseshit that got us Bush in 2000, got Florida four more years of Rick Scott. That is clearly not the way to go. If you’re fed up with this shit (literally), you need to join us at Wolf PAC. Volunteer, donate, do what you can do. You literally have no other options. Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, you’re not going to get the government you want any other way. My second point in writing this post is so that you would have these approval ratings on hand the next time some batshit crazy republican brings up how much Obama sucks. Let them know that his approvals are well within the range of likely re-election if he ran for a third term.        

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Definitely Not The Most Imortant Election In Your Lifetime

I have said virtually nothing about this election. Weird, right? Why is a political junkie silent about an upcoming election? I have two reasons. First and foremost, there are too many senate races that are too close to call. Nate Silver says that republicans have a 76.2% chance of taking the senate. That sounds crazy to me. Not because I don’t like what he’s saying, but because those six races are so close that it’s really going to come down to a factor that hasn’t been taken into account; ground game. Sam Wang, who was even more accurate than Nate Silver in 2012 (not in 2010) has republicans odds of taking the senate at 53%. Wang and Silver are actually in a math geek pissing contest. It’s kind of amusing to watch if you’re as geeky, but not as mathy.

53% makes more sense to me even though Wang only uses polling data to come up with his odds. Nate Silver takes some other factors (generic ballot polls, approval ratings, cash raised, etc) into account. So even though Silver incorporates data that I personally believe is important into his model, I think that Wang’s odds are better this time around. Neither of them factor in ground game. Ground game is going to be the deciding factor in six senate races.

I’m not going to go through them. This is not a horse race piece. I’m not going into it because it doesn’t matter. Control of the senate is as close to irrelevant as control of the senate has ever been in our history. The gridlock situation isn’t going to change. Republicans aren’t going to pass anything too insane through both houses because they’re working very hard to make sure they have no platform that can be attributed to them.

The most relevant thing about control of the senate this time around is the impact it will have on 2016. The first status update I posted in Facebook for 2014 was a promise that I wasn’t going to talk about 2016 until 2015. I’m going to break that promise a tiny bit (hey, 11 out of 12 months ain’t bad!). Republicans can’t pass too many bills because anything they’re erroneously blaming on Obama now can easily be turned around on them if they control two out of the three branches. So the river of bullshit blaming that has flowed in one direction for the past six years, will now flow in two directions. Republicans won’t risk that. They also won’t risk creating a platform for the first time in six years because any platform they put forward hurts their odds of taking the White House in 2016.

As an aside, that lack of a platform thing is what democrats are doing now, and it’s a huge mistake. They didn’t have a platform for the midterms. Elizabeth Warren tried to guide them, but they didn’t follow her. Offering absolutely nothing works well on conservative constituents, but it most definitely doesn’t work on liberals. Like any other public page on the internet, I get a decent number of trolls (I was so proud of myself when I finally got noticed enough to attract my first troll!) The one and only post I put up that is 100% troll proof, is the one in which I ask conservatives to tell me one single thing that republicans have done to improve their lives. That post leaves the trolls mute. They know the answer and they don’t care. They’re not interested in results or a promise to deliver results. They’re happy making less and less money every year, seeing their kids opportunities shrink, and losing liberties as long as their hate is fueled. I say this earnestly and with no hyperbole; the GOP motto should be, "I hate, therefore I am". 

Liberals are inherently different. They need ideas and something in the way of a result to cling onto. There are a significant number of liberals that hare having none of the Hillary-is-the-inevitable-nominee talk. We’re not happy with the, "I’m married to Bill" platform. We’re not republicans, who were happy to vote for Poppy Bush’s dumbest son for no reason other than he was Poppy’s son.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is to day that this election is fairly insignificant. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I will make one prediction about one too-close-to-call election that is actually really relevant. Get ready to say buh bye to Rick Scott. His approval ratings have been in the 30s for the past two years. It’s inconceivable to me that he isn’t going to lose tonight. Florida democrats despise Rick Scott more than Florida republicans like him. He’s gonzo. This is important because once Christ wins the seat, he’s going to keep it for a few terms. We need Florida in democratic hands in 2020 so that we can undo the redistricting damage.

That said, GO VOTE! Just because the national seats don’t matter much, doesn’t mean that your local races aren’t important.       

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