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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 14,831

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Another Montanan abroad wonders, as I did, where Nate got Montana wrong.

If nothing else, this is a fun read.

Simply put: Montana is weird. An anti-Gay marriage Democrat against an anti-Paul Ryan Republican. And that goes for all of our elected officials. Our last Governor (a Democrat) had a Republican running mate. That same Governor, if I remember correctly, admitted to enjoying a beer or two, while driving, around his farm – yet still finally, in 2005, made drinking while driving illegal in Montana.


Wow! Montana - the "Big Sky" state - turns blue in most top statewide races!

Most of the counting is done, including votes from the top population centers. Despite the votes that are still out, these results should stand.


Except for Attorney General, Montana is reliably blue. Here are the profiles of the AG candidates:

Tim Fox (R) - the winner: http://www.ktvq.com/news/montana-attorney-general-candidate-profile-tim-fox/

Pam Bucy (D): http://www.ktvq.com/news/montana-attorney-general-candidate-profile-pam-bucy/

This was Fox's second run for the office and name recognition may have helped.

Here are the federal results - not nearly as blue. http://electionresults.sos.mt.gov/resultsSW.aspx?type=FED&map=CTY

President Obama didn't visit the state at all this cycle, likely at Tester's request.

One view from abroad

After intermittent spurts of working abroad in my early and middle years, for the last 14 years of my full-time professional career, I was based in central Europe. It was from here that I watched appalled, as the heartbreaking election of 2000 was stolen, and even more appalled as Bush II & Co let 9-11 happen despite many quite specific warnings, lied my country into illegal war in Iraq, let NOLA die and nearly toppled not only the financial and economic situation of the US but that of the entire world. That is but a brief overview of the damage they caused, including incredible damage to US goodwill and reputation abroad.

The sheer vitriol of the RW GOP attacks against President Clinton in the 90s were, up to then, the worst that I had seen in my lifetime - which extends from the last couple years of FDR to date. The continuing viciousness of the attacks against Presidential candidates Gore and Kerry, indeed against anyone who would not fall in line with a RW Talibanesque agenda, made me wonder if the country where I had been born, reared and educated had literally gone insane. In fact, until I discovered DFA in late 2003 and thereafter, sites like DU - where I lurked for years before finally signing up - I believed that only those I knew well - family and friends - felt anything like I did. The view that I received from US MSM, and even from the BBC, was that the majority of Americans were in lockstep behind the Bush Administration with extremely narrow, mostly incorrect, views and knowledge of the world outside the USA.

I decided that I had to be able to offer an alternative POV, at least to my grandchildren, other family members and friends. So, when I retired, I exercised my option to retire abroad. This has meant that I still have to work part-time to support my comparatively expensive lifestyle. Pension, SS and savings, etc. alone just won't cut it. But so long as I am physically, mentally and financially able to do it, I will continue. And yes, the young ones have come. Some have even stayed with me while pursuing classes in French and having the kind of international experiences that I literally would have died for at their ages. Other family members and friends have also come to see for themselves that life on the international scene is not something to be feared, but to be savored and enjoyed, and that we can all learn a lot from each other.

In 2008, I was very proud when we elected Barack Obama as our President. Like so many liberals, I was disappointed when he did not stand up to GOP obstructionism otherwise act in ways I would have preferred. But given the incredible mess that he had inherited, both foreign and domestic, I realized that he was, in fact, doing pretty well at getting the country back on an even keel - and this in spite of unprecedented GOP opposition. So there was never any question that I would not, once again, back him wholeheartedly. The Dems Abroad group here is quite active and I have been proud to be part of it.

US MSM media coverage of this election has been appalling. Unfortunately, the "horse-race" theme has carried over to European coverage. I don't get Faux Noise here in my cable package. But in addition to local language news coverage, I do receive English-speaking Euronews, BBC World, as well as BBC channels 1-4, ITV, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera English. So I have a fairly decent selection. Until this morning, all outlets endlessly repeated the "horse-race" theme.

So, it was with great relief that this morning, one of those channels, ironically Al Jazeera English, actually sidestepped the hors-erace theme being reported - nearly hysterically - on all other channels, to cover the predictions of Nate Silver, Sam Wang and others who are focusing on the EV counts, where a truer picture of this election emerges. After hearing this comparatively sane coverage, I checked the respective websites of these so-called "news" gatherers for Nate Silver.

Here is AJE's article: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/11/201211471425526624.html

I could not find even a mention of Nate Silver on the Beeb, CNBC or Bloomberg websites. (Perhaps that is due to my deficient search powers.) There was a short article in CNN, ironically in the "belief" blog (which also features a photo of Nate, for those who have never seen the guru in person): http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/02/my-take-ive-got-my-money-on-the-church-of-nate-silver/?iref=allsearch

Two of my "standard" non-US news sources, the Guardian and the Independent, also mention Nate, just enough to hedge their bets, IMO. The majority of their coverage also reflects the "horserace" meme.

Here's the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/04/storm-sandy-us-elections-speculation?INTCMP=SRCH

Here's the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/nate-silver-says-state-polling-points-to-victory-for-obama-8273566.html?origin=internalSearch

So this is primarily to say, once again, a heartfelt "Thank you!" to DU - just for being you and for helping me to remain halfway sane during this seemingly everlasting election! Without you, I literally would not have survived.

Cheers! May we all savor a sweet victory for President Obama on Tuesday!

Rethinking the closing of mental health facilities ...

this is yet another issue for which I believe that the Reagan era is largely to blame.

While it is true that the closing of public mental health facilities began under the Carter Administration and perhaps with laudable aims, the fact that dumping mentally ill patients into public schools and community facilities that were ill-prepared to receive them, and then ignored - never thereafter to receive proper funding or training for this onerous responsibility - has exacerbated the problem. I firmly believe that had Carter been re-elected, we would have seen some tweaks. But that was not to be.


Critical misjudgements

But we legislators in Connecticut and many other states made a series of critical misjudgments.

First, we didn’t understand how poorly prepared the public schools were to educate children with serious mental illnesses.

Second, we didn’t adequately fund community agencies to meet new demands for community mental health services — ultimately forcing our county jails to fill the void.

And third, we didn’t realize how important it would be to create collaborations among educators, primary-care clinicians, mental-health professionals, social-services providers, even members of the criminal justice system, to give people with serious mental illnesses a reasonable chance of living successfully in the community.

During the 25 years since, I’ve experienced firsthand the devastating consequences of these mistakes.

Mr. Gionfriddo finally speaks out. He's very late to the party, but welcome, if he and those like him truly want to ameliorate the situation for the future. But there will be NO improvement under Romney/Ryan and that's for sure.

Mitt Romney's Most Dishonest Speech

It seems that with every day that passes, the Mittster sets news markers in outright brazen lying.

Yesterday's so-called speech on foreign policy at VMI was no exception. In fact, Slate's Fred Kaplan touts this speech as the "most dishonest" and thoroughly dissects it.

One takeaway:

It was expected that he would distort President Obama into a caricature of Jimmy Carter. But it was astonishing to watch Romney spin a daydream of himself as some latter-day George Marshall, bringing peace, prosperity, and hope to a chaotic world—this from a man who couldn’t drop in on the London Olympics without alienating our closest ally and turning himself into a transcontinental laughingstock.

After describing Romney's leading with with the attacks on the Libyan consulate (which some might think that Romney would do well to avoid bringing up at all ) and stating that the "threats have grown so much worse ..." while President Obama does nothing, Kaplan notes:

Let’s pause here. First, these threats are not worsening; in fact, the number of attacks on U.S. embassies is near an all-time low. Second, the spate of attacks, riots, and American flag-burnings, which followed the attacks in Libya and Egypt, ended almost immediately. Romney himself, after recounting the grim events, noted that we’re now seeing “something hopeful”—protests by “tens of thousands of Libyans” against the militants and in support of the American ambassador.

Yet Romney ignored the reasons why the riots subsided and why the Libyan people went after the militants.

This is only the beginning. More at the link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/10/mitt_romney_foreign_policy_speech_at_the_virginia_military_institute_was_the_most_dishonest_one_he_has_delivered_yet_.single.html

It's a good read and Kaplan is an example of one journalist who is actually doing his job. Good show!
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