Complacency and the November Elections 2014

Copyright Forbes

I have not been keeping up with politics as I used to. My friends are not talking politics with me anymore. My guess is that it is because things are good. Not perfect but good enough that we can ignore it. And that is the problem. Many people are being complacent. This Forbes article came out a month ago, proving that Obama has done a better job with the economy than Reagan did, and I did not see it nor did I hear about it. Forbes! They support Republicans! And as we know Republicans' main goal is to undo or obstruct what the president is doing (we are just collateral damage to them).

Elections are coming up and I wonder… what if only the obstructionists go out and vote?

Copyright Forbes














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Democracy is hard

Morsi sphinx

Once upon a time there was a dictator in Egypt:

The people in Egypt found a weapon or more to defeat the dictator:

Then came the elections:

Mohammed Morsi was elected president of Egypt.

Happy Ending? Not yet:


"Democracy is hard," Hillary Clinton said when she met with President Mohammed Morsi in July 2012. "It requires dialogue and compromise and real politics.

Some people in the US may not be happy that Obama won and may want to secede from the US. Perhaps they fear that Obama may attempt a power grab, but someone should tell them to relax. Someone should tell them to be proud that in the US, with the exception of Republican vote suppression, SuperPACs, Fox News propaganda and big corporations meddling in the elections, we have a healthy democracy [...]

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Meet the new minority members in Congress

new minority reps in congress

The National Journal has an excellent interactive feature that introduces all the new members of the 113th congress. It allows sorting by a variety of criteria including the amount of money spent on the campaign and filtering by gender, by party affiliation, etc.  As strives to share and promote its multinational, multiracial, and multicultural views, we are interested in getting to know the new “minority” members of congress. The image below shows the 21 new minority members sorted in ascending order by the percentage of the vote they received. Pete Gallego received 50%, while Hakeem Jeffries received 90%.

A majority, or 19 of the 21 new minority members are Democrats, 2 are Republicans. Of the 2 Republicans, one is a Cherokee Native American, but Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who has a Native American ancestry, was not included in this list.

The Democratic [...]

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How ORCA was defeated by Narwhal & Dreamcatcher



Reported as early as Feb, 2012 in a Slate article titled “Obama’s White Whale”, project Narwhal, Obama’s top-secret campaign project until then, featuring high tech data integration and data mining techniques, promised to change the ways in which campaigns are fought and won.  

It started off as part of the 2008 campaign, when early on, during the first initial steps of the campaign in 2007, each Obama campaign department started creating their own data repositories for the election and voter data they collected. They realized, albeit too late for the 2008 elections, that they were collecting unprecedented volumes of political information, but had no way of studying the data together to yield the maximum benefit, which in this case meant, targeting voters in the most effective way and getting them to cast their vote. In 2008:

Even as the outside [...]

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Rachel Maddow at her best: What the Obama win means to us

Rachel had an excellent introduction to her show yesterday and she was spirited, obviously enjoying herself and simply at her best. Her celebratory mood and her words remind us why we have reason to celebrate the outcome of this election.



We are not going to have a supreme court that will overturn Roe versus Wade.
We are not going to repeal health care reform.
Nobody is going to kill medicare and make old people fight it out in the open market to get health insurance.
We are not going to give 20% tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and children’s insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.
We will not need to consult our boss if [...]

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Barack Obama: Four More Years!!!

Obama smiling...

We won!!! We are moving forward!

Obamacare is here to stay!

The Senate stays in Democratic hands! But let’s write to our Senators and ask for filibuster reform!

Elizabeth Warren beats ex nude model Scott Brown and is elected first female senator of Massachusetts!

Tammy Baldwin wins in Wisconsin. She becomes the first openly gay senator ever!

Millionaires and billionaires will have to help pay down the debt by paying taxes at a fair rate!

And The Losers

The Tea Party lost big! Tea Party candidates who made outrageous claims about rape and God lost big.

Karl Rove lost big! When everyone else had called the presidency for Obama, Rove at Fox News was still doing his sums, arguing a Romney victory in Ohio is possible. As Sam Wang so aptly put it:

Wow. Just wow. (1) Anger, (2) Denial, (3) Bargaining… Read More

The last stretch: Nate Silver, Sam Wang and Tom predict an Obama win!

What do these three individuals have in common? They use an aggregation of poll results to estimate the probability that Obama will win the election in November. They all focus on the electoral vote because in the US the states decide who wins the election, the popular vote, i.e. the percentage of people from the whole country who vote for one or the other candidate does not matter.

Tom uses straight-forward arithmetic and poll results including those from the right-leaning Real Clear Politics web site for his prediction. As of Nov 3rd, he predicts that Obama will win at least 303 electoral votes which are 33 more than he needs to win the election.

Nate Silver, who started as a blogger in Daily Kos and later established his own web site, uses a statistical model, to obtain his predictions. Silver’s latest [...]

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A Republican nostalgic for the Nixon era of regulations will vote for Obama

One of my moderate Republican friends made the very anti-GOP claim that the role of the government is to regulate.

He finds it ridiculous that the House Republicans signed a pledge never to raise taxes and are not willing to give up their stance even when the debt continues to grow.

He says it is best if the Republican Party loses big so that they realize they are going in the wrong direction and hopefully go back to the good old days (from 40+ years ago).

He mentioned that the Republicans from the generation of his parents used to support and sign into law many regulations. He told me, and this surprised me, as I was not aware of it (I came to the US in 1996), that Nixon signed into law many environmental regulations. But he forgot to tell me that it was the [...]

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Paul Ryan’s pick has energized both sides: two examples


This morning I found in my inbox both at home and at work an email with the title "Mitt Romney for President". I don't subscribe to any Republican sites or message services, so I was surprised. The email was sent at the request of the only Tea Party person I know, let's call her TP.

Your friend, TP, has invited you to be a part of Mitt Romney's 2012 online community.

This effort is not about more rhetoric, it's not about a person, or politicians giving speeches — it is about the cause of restoring American greatness.

TP has committed to this, will you? Take the first step by becoming a member of the team!

While it may not have been the first time she sent me something political, I cannot remember the last time she did. She knows I am a die-hard Democrat. I [...]

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Florida Voter Purge


I hate cheating and that’s what Republicans do every election cycle by purging voters they don’t like.

When it comes to preventing American citizens to exercise their right to vote, it is always the Republicans who have their hands in the jar. Why not the Democrats? Because the Republicans know that the less people vote, the better their chances at winning, especially if they can prevent Democratic voters from going to the polls. For Democrats it is the opposite, they need more voter turnout, especially among those that support the Democratic party, such as blacks and nowadays Latinos (and nowadays also women and LGTB members). That is why the voter purge always disproportionately target low income and minority citizens. And thanks to Bush and the Republicans trickle-down economics, the proportion of low income Americans is as large as it has ever been [...]

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