August 3 2013 Politics Round-Up

According to the Freakonomics guysfathers of daughters are more likely to get divorced.

MORETTI: There are three main channels. First of all, women who have daughters are more likely to have never been married than women who have boys. Second, parents who have firstborn girls are significantly more likely to be divorced. And third, divorced fathers are much more likely to obtain custody of their sons compared to their daughters.

Er, there would be a photo to go with this, but the google image search for “Lisa Homer Simpson” got some really messed up results.

Image by Chad Crowe of the Wall Street Journal

Image by Chad Crowe of the Wall Street Journal

David Weigel considers how bad 2014 can get for Democrats, ranking it from Defcon 5 to Defcon 1. Currently, the party’s at Defcon 4.

Defcon 3: This is where the recruiting fails, Sen. Mitch McConnell discredits everyone running against him, and control of the Senate comes down to saving North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu. Both of them ran ahead of Barack Obama in 2008, but both benefited from higher turnout with the black voters who made up, respectively, 29 percent and 19 percent of the electorate. In 2010, when that turnout fell, Democrats were vaporized in both states.

If things get desperate, Democratic survival will depend on getting that turnout up—maybe not to presidential levels, but 2 to 3 points higher than 2010. White conservative voters will turn out anyway. “I’m sure Republicans will suggest Barack Obama is on the ballot in 2014,” said Bennet. “He’s not on the ballot.”

Weigel also had an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. It’s a reminder of why he’s one of my favorite commentators.

xCAPEDCRUSADERx: One media or political figure from right and left who many consider to be a horrible person, but in your interactions you’ve found to be approachable and courteous?

Dave Weigel: Steve King and Rick Scott are both very warm personally—people who worked for Scott in his 2010 campaign loved the guy. You wanted someone from the left? I profiled Alan Grayson a couple weeks ago, because the online right definitely hates him, and he’s definitely raw when he talks about what he sees as political stupidity, but he’s an approachable guy who has become very good at bringing Republicans onto his team for various causes, usually libertarian causes.

Hey, here’s a good opportunity to make a point: If you wonder why Lindsey Graham or John McCain end up quoted so frequently, it’s because they are genuinely funny guys who will spar with reporters and stick around to answer your questions. The main bias of the political press is toward drama—quotes, fights, etc., made possible with access.

Lindsey Graham has a Senate primary challenger, who would make an excellent State Senator.

The 20-week abortion ban polls well with women.

Jonathan Bernstein notes the reasons Republicans keep voting to defund Obamacare.

Think Progress praises the financial benefits of slashing crack related prison sentences

Slate’s Jordan Ellenberg doesn’t buy a conservative education guy’s excuse for changing the methods to use to grade certain charter schools.

Variety considers MSNBC’s finanical woes.

JFK Conspiracy

The Daily Beast’s Joseph Finder considers why it’s so hard to believe that John F Kennedy was murdered by a lone sociopath.

The result of McMillan’s immersive reporting is a full, rounded sense of Oswald’s character. His sense of self swings wildly. At times he regards himself as a world-historical figure destined to change the course of human events; at other times, he’s a cruelly neglected victim. It was a highly volatile combination. He fancied himself a Marxist, lived in rooming houses under aliases and was a furtive, nasty man. He wrote in what he called his “Historic Diary” while singing the theme song to the Gary Cooper Western High Noon (“Although you’re grievin’, I can’t be leavin’/Until I shoot Frank Miller dead”). He was far too angry, unbalanced, and delusional to consent to be the cat’s paw of some gleaming cadre of conspirators. (Only if you haven’t read Marina and Lee can you take Oswald’s famous jailhouse remark—“I’m just a patsy!”—at face value.) He’s a liar, a manipulator, a wife-beater, an odious human being, and finally a pathetic one. We like to think that great men make history. McMillan reminds us that small men do, too.

In news from the Baltics, Gay Latvians argue against the boycott of Stoli, a vodka produced in Latvia, boycotted due to homophobic Russian policies.

McCain gave an interview to The New Republic.

Republican donors in Florida, Texas and Wisconsin may have to choose between favorite sons in 2016.

Disgraced Councilman Dan Halloran explains his religion.

The New York Times is prudish about profanity.

Uruguay may soon become the first country to legalize marijuana.

Rolling Stone‘s Boston bomber cover sold pretty well.

Fortunately, armed animal control agents were able to euthanize a baby deer before it could be released to the wild.

Hillary

John Dickerson thinks Hillary Clinton may have a fatigue problem. It is worth noting that Al Gore, John McCain and even Mitt Romney had been nationally well-known figures  for years when they lost presidential elections.

The issue lurking behind Clinton drama is really one of Clinton fatigue. Presidential campaigns, like Christmas, seem to come earlier every year. With Hillary Clinton as a possible candidate, this has exacerbated the trend. She is a popular subject and she would be the most viable female candidate ever. So CNN just announced that it has contracted a documentary of her life. NBC has a miniseries in the works. Both ventures are literally banking that Clinton will run for president. Sure, it’s 90 degrees outside, but might as well put up the lights. The problem with this trend is that by the time a candidacy actually rolls around, everyone will be thoroughly sick of the enterprise. The tree will be a collection of needles at the base of some scrawny branches.

President Obama was the most fresh-faced candidate in modern times. He was biracial, had an unfamiliar background, and said interesting things. Now Democrats are lining up to nominate the most encrusted candidate in a long time. Hillary Clinton has been at the center of two political trends: the feeding frenzy media that cares less and less about substance and the rise in partisanship that has targeted the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies with a special intensity. That can be wearying as the press obsesses over familiar ground and as new episodes like the Weiner unpleasantness allow the press and elites to indulge their Hillary obsessions.

Red State’s Myra Adams argues Hillary Clinton will be the next President.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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