The Republican Clown Bus Rides Again

Next week, Fox News will decide on the initial GOP presidential field. Further on, the Koch Brothers will make their selection. Super PACs and Dark Money will weigh in also. It should not really be surprising that the least important decision-makers are the actual voters.

Think about it: the first candidate introduction to most voters will be next Thursday’s debate, and it is a media outlet making the decision about who shows up on stage. Not voters. Not the party. Fox News. It says a lot that the party itself has absolved itself from picking candidates. And as for the voters who will eventually make the decision? The ones who get polled? The database that is used to track them is owned by the Koch brothers via a data mining company called i360. Their data is far more detailed and complete than that of the RNC. (Source). After the jump – how the candidates ended up where they are. Continue reading »

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Polling freak, Statistics and Trends “prodigal son” has come home!!!

Hi, everyone.

I was on DCW under a different name for quite a while, but because I live in Germany,  the old system didn’t want to let me in. Booh! Hiss!

The new system does! Hallelujah!

So, with the Republican short-bus turned 18-wheeler once Crispie-Creme-Christie added his heft to this wonderful attraction – heading right for a nice, jagged cliff, I will be posting up lots of polling data and then, when things quiet down after the 2016 GE, lots of post-mortum stuff.

And yes, mention percentages and margins and then I’m really fun at parties!!

Doc, it’s good to be back. You’ve got a great team, here.

-Stat

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Supreme Court by the Numbers and the 2016 Election

Wrapping up the 2014-15 Supreme Court Term, the most significant number is four.  That is the number of Justices who are over 75.  Justice Ginsburg is 82; Justices Scalia and Kennedy are 79; and Justice Breyer will turn 77 in August.  While Justice Stevens did not retire until he was 90, it is more likely than not that these four Justices will retire soon.  Given that this group of four is split 2-2 between the conservative wing of the Supreme Court and the liberal wing of the Supreme Court (and Justice Thomas, the next oldest Justice is ten years younger than Justice Breyer), control of the Supreme Court for the next decade may depend upon what happens in the 2016 election.

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Republican Convention one year away

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Supreme Court and Free Speech

One of the broad themes of the Roberts Court has been an expansive interpretation of free speech rights (best exemplified by its campaign finance cases).  Over the past seven terms, the Supreme Court has heard twenty-four cases with some free speech aspect.  Despite the public perception, the Supreme Court has not uniformly held in favor of free speech (free speech only having clear wins in 14 of the twenty-four cases and partial wins in 2 of the twenty-four cases).  This term, however, was the roughest term for free speech advocates since at least 2009.

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Civil Rights and the Supreme Court

Depending on how you define a civil rights case, this past term was, at least, on the surface a very good year for civil rights groups.  I say on the surface because some of the “wins” were only partial wins.  Of the cases most viewed as “civil rights” cases, the side seeking to protect/expand civil rights won 4-6 cases and the only loss was on a procedural issue.

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Discrimination and Affirmative Action: SCOTUS Takes Another Case

The Supremes have agreed to rehear Fisher v Texas in the upcoming term. The  version you’ll hear is that Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas, Austin on the grounds that she was refused entry because she was white, thus a reverse-discrimination claim. The larger issue is race-based admissions, or affirmative action.

Actually, that’s not what this case is about, not even close. Abigail Fisher is a cute, young white woman chosen to be the face of a suit paid for by Edward Blum, who’d been looking for someone like Fisher for a number of years.

Abigail Fisher didn’t get into UT-Austin NOT because of the colour of her skin, but because her grades weren’t good enough. She ended up at the University of Louisiana, graduated, is gainfully employed and all she really wants is the hundred dollars she spent on application fees. Full story after the jump.
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Self-Evident Truths: 1776 and 2015

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  To paraphrase the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., despite this strong affirmation of basic principles of government in the Declaration of Independence, the practice of these basis principles by the United States has been somewhat schizophrenic.

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Happy July 4th

fireworks

First and foremost, Happy Independence Day from the crew at DCW to you and yours. Play safe and enjoy.

May your day be filled with relaxation, good friends and cool fireworks. Or however you celebrate!

But it’s important to think about some things that may have slipped your mind in considering the historical elements of our country’s formation. For example, this week California passed and signed into law the most stringent vaccination law in the land. Do you know the relationship of that to Boston in July of 1776?

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Green Light for Redistricting Commissions

In several states, voters (not trusting their legislators to be able to resist “stacking the deck” when drawing congressional district boundaries) have opted to take that power away from their legislators and place it with a non-partisan commission.  Today, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court found that the U.S. Constitution gave the voters of the states the right to choose this method for drawing congressional district lines.

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