Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

South Carolina: Bush and Carson Territory

You heard it here first. And before you laugh see that I pretty much nailed New Hampshire in the post and comments Christie is Done. But Wow! What a Parting Shot! where I only made two real mistakes. I overestimated Carson’s numbers and slightly underestimated Bush’s. So this is a corrective of sorts.

Carson never had a chance in New Hampshire. And so didn’t try. His hope was always to hit South Carolina with the God Botherer lane cleared out. And he has got that, Huckabee and Santorum are gone and of the main contenders only Cruz is competing for Evangelicals as such. I mean a lot of Fundies might like Trump but nobody with a lick of sense believes he is really Saved. Or even thinking he needs to be Saved. Whereas Carson is a full fledged member of the tribe. I may think him a Whack-a-Doodle but don’t underestimate his appeal to the Born Again. Sleeping Gentle Ben has a clear track into a top four result that propels him right into the South dominated March contests.

Which brings us to Bush. If it hadn’t of been for the Christie-Rubio murder-suicide I would have put paid to his candidacy. And even I thought Rubio would limp into fourth in New Hampshire. But Bush did pull down fourth and all he needs to do to get at least a fourth in South Carolina is to finish ahead of Rubio and Kasich. And Kasich has a lot of ground game to make up.

So here is my order of finish in South Carolina: Trump, Bush, Cruz, Carson. With Rubio and Kasich battling for fifth but both clinging on until March 15th when both Florida and Ohio vote.

Obviously I may have this wrong. A perfectly plausible order is Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, Carson, Bush. I just see structural advantages for Carson and Bush that are not reflected in their surface campaigning. Which frankly has sucked. Your Views not only MAY Vary but almost cetainly WILL Vary. So treat this as an Open Elections Thread

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Dead Men Walking: a Handy Post Republican Debate Metric

I didn’t watch the debate but still managed to develop a resulting measure to divide the live and the dead. Take if for what it is worth or treat this as an Open Thread on all things Political.

If after last night you are still polling behind Hibernating Ben Carson you are more the Limping Dead than Walking Dead. Meaning Kasich, Bush and maybe Christie need to get out of this before their decaying flesh starts stinking out the joint.

As to the JV Table. Huckabee and Santorum need at least a third place in Iowa to avoid being laughed out of anything but a future Fox Gig. Fiorina needs at least a fourth place somewhere to avoid immediate relegation to the Veepstakes. I don’t see any of that happening. There are maybe four tickets out of New Hampshire with the fourth one being for a seat in the Second Class coach. And Bush, Kasich and Christie will be scrapping for that one.

What does all this mean for Dozing Dr. Carson? Who knows? Don’t wake him up and spoil the dream.

Did I say Open Thread? Meant to.

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Martin O’Malley was Mayor of Baltimore 1999-2007

Then Governor of Maryland from 2007-2015,i.e. less than 90 days ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_O%27Malley

Until a week ago most politically connected Americans knew Maryland as being a deep-blue State and Martin O’Malley as the only Progressive Democrat alternative to Hillary Clinton (Bernie S not being a Democrat, at least not yet). At what point, if ever does what seems to be some long-standing disfunctions in Baltimore policing begin to reflect back on O’Malley?

Baltimore is a literally Hot Topic tonight in a way that it wasn’t before. Does Martin need to fear the coals? Open Political Thread.

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Nope! Was the response when Senator Warren was asked about Harry Reid’s job.

By happenstance I heard today, Senator Warren’s interview on Here and Now.

I just wonder, was the answer to the question about running for the Democratic Senate top position adamant enough for those who keep pushing to have her run for a leadership position?  How is it that some of the leadership in the progressing/liberal genre not get that she is already a leader?  She’s leading already!  Now, let’s get a few more please.

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Clinton-Becerra 2016

I am not going to say nobody ever thought of this pairing, but a quick trip around the Google-sphere got me a paucity of results. So I am going to stake my claim here.

Why Becerra? (Or for some Becerra who?)

Chicano. California. Ambitious. Young. CPC (Congressional Progressive Caucus). The guy ticks off so many boxes that it is ridiculous. Particularly the CPC piece. Clinton needs the support of the Warren Wing of the Democratic Party. And once you go down that list you just don’t find many leaders who can step up AND provide the needed electoral balance. Love me some Raul Grijalva (CPC co-chair). But he is not even going to deliver Arizona. Also admire Keith Ellison (CPC co-chair). But in the immediate wake of Obama the possibility of actual installing a person who is actually a Muslim as well as being black from a State that Hillary would win hands-down anyway (Minnesota) is not happening. And you can go down the list of CPC’ers and not find anyone who is enough opposite to Hillary to make for balance.

My second prediction would be Martin O’Malley. But face it, the guy is not about to whip up excitement in places where you need the votes. Of course I am not only probably wrong, I am almost certainly wrong, and for reasons AB readers will be happy to point out in Comments all of an idiot, a loon, and a fecklessly idiotic loon.

Okay. But you heard it here first. (Unless you are WAY deep in the fever swamps of the polit-Toobz)

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Bill Clinton thinks corps will put people first, profits second…all on their own.

So, Bill baby thinks the corps are going to see the light and return to the good old days of having a social conscience.  Heck, they will even see the light regarding their role as a member of society in the US.   And, here is the best part.  This is all going to happen without the government!

“I think the government can have incentives that will encourage it, but I think by and large it will happen, if it does, because of proof that markets work better that way,” Clinton said…

Right out of the Milton et al, Republican, conservative free market text book.  (Hope you are all reading Beverly’s post.)

He quantified it with:  “This corporate change, Clinton said, will be one of the most important keys to building a better future.”   Well he sure has that correct.  It is important as a key to building a better future.

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Health Care Thoughts: More Complexity Grumbling

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

Health Care Thoughts: More Complexity Grumbling

I have made the point many times that if anything stops Obamacare it will be the inability to implement an extremely complicated program. Call it “Rusty’s Theory of Complexity.”

The feds have now published (link below) the draft application for financial assistance in health care exchanges and low income plans. Oh boy.

With attachments this could easily run 30 + pages, and of course someone is going to have to process this (there will be an online version). Having helped people with paperwork for nearly 40 years I can guarantee this will be intimidating and confusing to many people.

Complication is the enemy of implementation. Count on it.

http://cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing-Items/CMS-10440.html

PS: HR Block has already positioned itself as a likely fee-for-service form fill-in service. Somebody is going to profit here.

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Thus Spake the Rube

For the hundredth time the foreign-born Muslim commie Nazi extends an olive branch across the aisle, and for the hundredth time it’s dashed to the floor, stomped on and set ablaze – along with the latest spokes-liars trousers.   It became a conflagration that the infamous water-stop could not staunch.

Early in Marco Rubio’s alleged rebuttal to B. Hoover Obama’s latest exercise in political theater it became painfully obvious that his pants were on fire.  This was even before it became obvious that his diatribe was utterly incoherent.  Steve Benen explains.

By any sensible measure, Rubio’s entire pitch was incoherent gibberish. He thinks President Obama is hostile to free enterprise and wants to increase the deficit, neither of which makes any sense. Rubio thinks the housing crisis was caused by big government, which is simply idiotic. Rubio celebrates his family’s history of dependence on government social programs like student loans and Medicare, while articulating a policy agenda that guts government social programs like student loans and Medicare.
Forget ideology, subjectivity, and areas of opinion — the fact is Marco Rubio’s speech was filled with a series of claims with no meaningful connection to reality. The senator even thinks combating the climate crisis means asking government to “control the weather,” which is just genuinely dumb.

Part way through I started taking notes, and discovered an unappetizing platter of rewarmed left-overs [or more accurately: right-overs] of Romney’s failed presidential campaign, where lying and incoherence were the norm.  It was deja vu all over again. Viz:

Obama’s obsession with raising taxes
Solyndra [God help us – I am not making this up]
We should open Federal lands to energy exploration
Grow Energy industry [but not renewables]
Lower Corp tax rate [Highest in the world, don’t cha know]
Incentivise school districts
Schools of choice
Solve the debt problem [As if BHO ignored it – or, more importantly – as if it were a real problem]
Obama created the debt with excessive spending  [my personal favorite]
Need a balanced budget amendment  [the ignorance – it burns, too]
Obama’s in favor of leaving Medicare just the way it is [though he clearly stated otherwise]
He also wants to unconstitutionally undermine 2nd amendment rights
The President’s devastating cuts to our military [Seriously — WTH?!?]
Moral breakdown in society – need more faith
Economic liberty

That’s what I was able to capture as Rubio’s litany of [mostly] decades old Republican clap-trap spewed forth almost faster than I could record it.

One of the MSNBC commentators pointed out that this nonsense wasn’t directed to the American public, who I hope are beginning to see through the smoke screen, but to the hard-core right-wing base.  As such, it’s Rubio’s first gambit in his run for the 2016 presidential nomination.

I don’t know if I should laugh, cry, or drink myself into a stupor.

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