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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 85,477

Journal Archives

Biden's center pivot.

Wake Up To Politics

“Three’s a trend,” journalists like to say. Well, Monday made four notable moves by President Joe Biden towards the ideological center, so it’s officially a pattern worth taking note of. They are:

1. His recent budget request, which proposed nearly $3 trillion in deficit reduction, not traditionally a liberal priority.
2. His endorsement of a Republican bill blocking a new D.C. criminal code, which blindsided congressional Democrats.
3. His “Trump-esque” changes to the immigration system, which will severely curtail access to asylum, and his consideration of restarting migrant family detention.
5. His approval on Monday of the Willow Project, a major oil drilling project in Alaska opposed by environmentalists.

Together, these moves suggest Biden is moving towards a re-election campaign — and preparing to target moderate and independent voters, seeking to remind them of his centrist roots.

AND....we're off

Trump lashes out at DeSantis, says he regrets his endorsement of him

Former President Donald Trump is intensifying his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling him disloyal and saying that his political career would have been over had he not endorsed his ultimately successful 2018 campaign.

“He was dead as a dog, he was a dead politician. He would have been working perhaps for a law firm or doing something else,” Trump told a small group of reporters aboard his plane on Monday afternoon en route to Iowa, where he was to make an appearance that evening.

Asked if he regretted endorsing DeSantis for governor in 2018, Trump responded: “Yeah maybe, this guy was dead. He was dead as a doornail. … I might say that.”

Trump spent nearly 10 minutes going after DeSantis, who is widely viewed as his most formidable challenger for the Republican nomination. The Florida governor, who is expected to launch his campaign following the end of the state’s legislative session in May, has been embarking on a swing of early primary states to promote his newly released memoir — including in Iowa, where he appeared on Friday.


Biden says Carter asked him to do his eulogy

Source: The Hill

President Biden said Monday that former President Carter, who is in hospice care, has asked him to deliver his eulogy when he dies.

“I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him, but they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough,” Biden said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

“He asked me to do his eulogy,” he added.

The president then appeared to catch himself for sharing the information, saying, “Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3898934-biden-says-carter-asked-him-to-do-his-eulogy/

Let's welcome former Republican Congressman David Jolly to the fold...

Had dinner with him tonight. He's working on a new group with David Brock (American Bridge) to provide responses to the crackpot Republican House Committee "investigations" in order to protect President Biden going in to the 2024 election (his view is that Republicans will attempt to Impeach Biden next year).

TikTok Ban Could Hurt Dems More Than Republicans

Political Wire

Wall Street Journal: “A major unspoken problem for the president, according to political strategists, is that trying to force an outright ban on TikTok—as many Republicans are seeking—would sacrifice what is emerging as a vital campaign asset for Democrats with the 2024 election season looming.”

“TikTok’s audience is predominantly younger people, who typically favor Democrats by wide margins.”

“Turnout among younger voters surged in 2018, 2020 and 2022, helping the party deliver Republicans political setbacks. Unusually high turnout among younger voters in the 2022 midterm elections was credited with helping the party maintain control of the Senate and also limit its losses in the House.”

“For Democrats, a key to reaching those younger voters has been TikTok, according to consultants in both parties. That advantage has been sharpened by many Republicans’ refusal to use the platform because of its perceived security risks, Democratic strategists say.”

Precisely what Jaime Harrison told me last month.

Voting opens to select new SNP leader and Scottish first minister

The Guardian

Tens of thousands of Scottish National party members will cast their votes from Monday to select their party leader and Scotland’s next first minister, after a snap election forced by Nicola Sturgeon’s shock resignation.

Polling began at noon on Monday with Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s health secretary, vying to become the country’s first minority ethnic first minister, against Kate Forbes, the finance secretary, and Ash Regan, a former community safety minister and the outlier candidate.

Yousaf, 37, is regarded as Sturgeon’s preferred candidate after winning endorsements from the party’s most senior figures, including John Swinney, the outgoing deputy first minister; Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader; and roughly half of Sturgeon’s cabinet.

The SNP’s first open leadership contest for nearly 20 years has been marked by an unprecedented level of infighting over the party’s track record and attacks on several of Sturgeon’s most cherished policies, particularly from Forbes and Regan.

Pritzker Signs Bill Mandating Paid Leave For Nearly All Workers in Illinois

WMAQ Chicago

Nearly all workers in the state of Illinois will soon officially be guaranteed at least one week of paid leave, under legislation signed Monday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

"Working families face so many challenges, and it's been my mission to alleviate all those burdens in every way that I can," Pritzker said at a bill signing ceremony. "Too many people can't afford to miss even a day's pay. But then crises arise, sometimes seemingly small, sometimes catastrophic, and they live in fear of losing income vital to their family's survival or other repercussions at work..."

The “Paid Leave for All Workers Act” states that employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked up to 40 hours total, although the employer may offer more. Employees can start using the time once they have worked for 90 days, the legislation says.

And, unlike similar bills in other states, the expansive paid leave legislation would require Illinois employers to give workers time off based on hours worked, to be used for any reason -- not just for health reasons.

Verdict reached in penalty phase of trial of NYC bike path terrorist

Source: CNN

The jury in the penalty phase of the trial of a terrorist convicted of committing a 2017 attack for ISIS that killed eight on a New York City bike path has told the judge it was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

A unanimous decision would be required to sentence Sayfullo Saipov to death in the first death penalty trial under the Biden administration.

A verdict that is not unanimous means Saipov will be sentenced to life in prison.

Saipov was convicted in January of all counts against him for the fatal terror attack he committed on Halloween in 2017, driving a rental truck down a New York City bike path killing eight and injuring several more.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/13/us/verdict-trial-saipov-bike-path-attacker/index.html

Market is UP today after futures showed a drop.

I wonder why......

538: The Polls Were Historically Accurate In 2022

Let’s give a big round of applause to the pollsters. Measuring public opinion is, in many ways, harder than ever — and yet, the polling industry just had one of its most successful election cycles in U.S. history. Despite a loud chorus of naysayers claiming that the polls were either underestimating Democratic support or biased yet again against Republicans, the polls were more accurate in 2022 than in any cycle since at least 1998, with almost no bias toward either party.

Of course, some pollsters were more accurate than others. And today, we’ve updated the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings to account for each pollster’s performance in the 2022 cycle. Our ratings are letter grades that we assign to each pollster based on historical accuracy and transparency. (You can read exactly how we calculate pollster ratings here.) They’re one of many tools you should use when deciding how much stock to place in a poll.

Before we reveal the best- and worst-rated pollsters, let’s start with our regular review of polling accuracy overall. We analyzed virtually all polls conducted in the final 21 days1 before every presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial general election, and every presidential primary, since 1998,2 using three lenses — error, “calls” and statistical bias — to conclude that 2022 was a banner year for polling.

In our opinion, the best way to measure a poll’s accuracy is to look at its absolute error — i.e., the difference between a poll’s margin and the actual margin of the election (between the top two finishers in the election, not the poll). For example, if a poll gave the Democratic candidate a lead of 2 percentage points, but the Republican won the election by 1 point, that poll had a 3-point error.


A lot of people here claim that the POLLS predicted a "Red Wave". They didn't. They mostly predicted close races. ANALYSTS took that data and predicted that, in aggregate, the close races would break for the Republicans, because that's what traditionally happens in the first election after a Democrat wins the Presidency.
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