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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,299

Journal Archives

LaToya Cantrell and the knotty politics of recall (New Orleans)


In 2003, California’s voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and put the Republican bodybuilder and actor in his place. It was the second time a U.S. governor had ever been recalled. The first was in 1921 when Republican Gov. Lynn Joseph Frazier was removed in North Dakota.

The current governor of California, Democrat Gavin Newsom, faced a recall last year that he handily defeated.

Recalling Mayor LaToya Cantrell is now an issue in New Orleans. A committee has formed and petitions are being signed. The mayor’s popularity, once high, has plummeted. Voters — including some who once supported her — are increasingly angry.

Cantrell won reelection last November at a time when many voters didn’t even realize there was an election going on. There were few ads or mailers. Worse, there was a lack of debates, issue forums and tough media questioning.

The mayor was lucky that perceptions of deteriorating city conditions — from rising violent crime to collapse of the trash collection system to street repair delays — didn’t jell until after the filing period to run for mayor had ended. Cantrell’s opponents were largely unknown and had neither the money nor organization to seriously compete.

Trump claimed 'I was not watching television' on January 6, book says

Source: The Guardian

Donald Trump denied knowing at the time the January 6 attack on the US Capitol started that a mob of his supporters – whom he privately called “fucking crazy” – were rioting, the author of a forthcoming book on his chaotic presidency writes in what may stand as one of the most surprising, non-believable postscripts of his tenure in the Oval Office.

“I didn’t usually have the television on. I’d have it on if there was something. I then later turned it on and I saw what was happening,” Trump told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman for her forthcoming account Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.

“I had heard that afterward and actually on the late side. I was having meetings. I was also with [then-chief of staff] Mark Meadows and others. I was not watching television.”

Trump’s comments on what Haberman describes as one of the persistent mysteries of January 6 – what he was doing during the deadly Capitol attack – comes despite congressional testimony that he was indeed watching events that day in early 2021 when his supporters tried desperately to prevent the certification of his defeat to Joe Biden in the presidential race weeks beforehand.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/25/donald-trump-january-6-attack-book-maggie-haberman

Italy elections: Giorgia Meloni hails 'night of pride' as exit polls point to far-right coalition vi

Source: The Guardian

Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in Italy’s elections and promised to govern for all Italians, after exit polls gave her right-wing coalition a clear majority, putting her on course to create the most rightwing government since the end of the second world war.

With full results due on Monday, the Brothers of Italy leader is set to become Italy’s first female prime minister – and a model for nationalist parties across Europe as she heads one of the EU’s six original member states.

The poll, for Italian broadcaster Rai, gave the rightwing coalition 41%-45% against 25.5%-29.5% for the leftwing bloc. The populist Five Star Movement was on 13.5%-17.5%.

Meloni’s party, which has neofascist origins, is also set to scoop by far the biggest share of the votes within the coalition, which includes the far-right League, led by Matteo Salvini, and Forza Italia, headed by Silvio Berlusconi.

Read more: Link to source

Italy's far right set to win election - exit poll


Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni has won Italy's election, according to exit polls, and is on course to become the country's first female prime minister.

If they are confirmed, Ms Meloni will aim to form Italy's most right-wing government since World War Two.

A Meloni-led Italy will alarm much of Europe with Russia at war in Ukraine.

She is predicted to win between 22-26% of the vote, says a Rai exit poll, ahead of her closest rival Enrico Letta from the centre left.

In person voting has begun in WY, SD, MN, and VA...

Beginning this week in MI and IL.

Keep in mind, once those votes are banked, no new economic, political or legal developments will change them.

538: Latino Voters Shifted Right in 2020. What Does That Mean for Arizona and Nevada This Year?

One major storyline coming out of the 2020 election was the rightward shift of Latino voters, who supported former President Donald Trump at a higher rate than they had four years earlier. Although about 3 in 5 Latinos voted for President Joe Biden, this still represented a decline in Democratic support from 2016, when around 2 in 3 backed Hillary Clinton. With November fast approaching, the outcomes in a number of races in the 2022 midterms could hinge on whether Democrats continue to lose ground among Latino voters.

Nowhere is this more true than in Arizona and Nevada, two states with large Latino populations and highly competitive races for U.S. Senate and governor. Exit polls from 2020 and other survey data suggest Latinos will make up about 20 percent of the 2022 electorate in both states. It’s important to remember that Latino voters aren’t a single voting bloc, as they have diverse views and backgrounds. Still, they will help decide control of the Senate and key swing-state governorships, and recent polls provide mixed signals about how blue or red these voters might broadly go.

In early September, Emerson College looked at the Senate and governor races in both states, finding extremely tight races across the board among likely voters. In Arizona, Emerson found Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly ahead of Republican Blake Masters by only 2 percentage points, 47 percent to 45 percent, while Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake were tied at 46 percent in the governor’s contest. In Nevada, the pollster’s survey, sponsored by KLAS-TV and The Hill, found Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto trailing former Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt by 1 point, 42 percent to 41 percent, while Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo were knotted up at 40 percent.

In all races, however, the Democratic nominee led among Latino voters: Kelly held an 11-point edge and Hobbs a 12-point advantage, while Cortez Masto led by 19 points and Sisolak by 16 points. Now, like most surveys, the sample sizes for Latinos in Emerson’s polls weren’t very big, meaning those data points have a larger margin of error. Nevertheless, they do provide some much-needed information about what’s going on among Latino voters in these two key states. And considering the tight overall margins, the data also shows how reduced Democratic support among Latinos could make or break their chances.


The critical thing to remember is 1) Latino voters are not a monolithic voting bloc and 2) they are not especially driven by immigration policy.

Target Venus not Mars for first crewed mission to another planet, experts say

The Guardian

With a surface hot enough to melt lead, crushing atmospheric pressure and clouds of sulphuric acid, Venus might not sound like the most enticing destination for human exploration.

But a group of experts are advocating that our other nearest neighbour, rather than Mars, should be the initial target for a crewed mission to another planet.

There are notable downsides. Walking on the surface would be an unsurvivable experience, so astronauts would have to gaze down at the planet from the safety of their spacecraft in a flyby mission.

In its favour, however, Venus is significantly closer, making a return mission doable in a year, compared with a potentially three-year roundtrip to Mars. A flyby would be scientifically valuable and could provide crucial experience of a lengthy deep-space mission as a precursor to visiting Mars, according to a report presented at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris last week.

The Hill: Projected Republican House majority narrows: CBS model

CBS News on Sunday lowered its projection of a Republican House majority after the midterms as Democrats see glimmers of hope to salvage their standing in November’s elections.

The network’s model, managed alongside YouGov, continues to predict Republicans will flip Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the House, but CBS now estimates Republicans will win 223 seats, down from 226 in August and 230 in July.

The sitting president’s party typically loses seats in the midterm elections, a stark reality for Democrats, who barely hold a majority with 221 seats. Either party needs to win a total of 218 seats to take the House majority.

Republicans have long been predicted to retake the House in the midterms, an expectation that grew as inflation rose to a 40-year high and President Biden’s approval rating ticked down.


The Hill: Arizona outlook turns bleak for Masters, GOP

The hourglass is running low on Blake Masters and his chances to reverse course in the Arizona Senate race as Sen. Mark Kelly (D) keeps up his offensive on the airwaves, leaving Republicans pessimistic and turning their attention elsewhere on the 2022 map.

Masters, the Peter Thiel protégé-turned-politician, found himself on the wrong side of the multiple developments last week, headlined by the cancellation of $9.6 million worth of ads by the Senate Leadership Fund — a group backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). In addition, a new poll on Thursday commissioned by AARP showed Kelly leading by 8 percentage points.

The news, coupled with an endless stream of pro-Kelly or anti-Masters ads that are only now starting to be responded to by pro-Masters messages, also left a sour taste in the mouths of Arizona Republicans as a number of key strategists see the race slipping away quickly.

“He’s just getting massacred,” one Arizona-based GOP operative told The Hill. “You can’t watch a YouTube clip about how to cook a roast chicken without seeing an ad about how he’s the crazy dad at the football game and shows him saying all these crazy things.”


Harry Enten: Why Stacey Abrams is a clear underdog in Georgia

The problem for Abrams isn't that she lacks devoted followers. About as many voters in Monmouth's poll said they were definitely voting for Abrams (33%) as did for Kemp (34%). A higher percentage of Abrams supporters said they were very enthusiastically backing their candidate (74%) than Kemp supporters (58%) in the CBS News poll.

Abrams' issue is that the candidate well known for her efforts to drive up voter turnout seems to be lagging among swing voters. Kemp leads by 10 points among independents in the average of recent polls.

Perhaps by going against then-President Donald Trump and certifying the 2020 presidential vote in the state, Kemp has managed to pull in a portion of 2020 Biden voters -- 11% of them, per the Marist poll. Abrams is winning 5% of Trump voters, the survey found. In a state where the presidential election was determined by 0.24 points in 2020, this makes all the difference.

And while Kemp does best among voters most likely to turn out, he leads among all registered voters too. In other words, his edge over Abrams is not merely about turnout.


Before you complain about CNN, remember that Harry Enten has been a respected political data analyst for years.
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