Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I've been flooded out.

My home sits relatively high to the street and all, but the access roads are definitely rivers by now.  May not get back in until Friday.

Meanwhile I'm reporting in from temporary shelter.  Will let you know what happens.

I blame Romney.

UPDATE: A bit late as this is July 4th I'm reporting back in.  The flooding in my area didn't last too long - was out only a day - but other surrounding neighborhoods had it worse (one mobile home area near Anclote River was underwater for two more days that I know of).  It wasn't so much a powerful storm (Debbie Downer was merely a tropical storm) but a slow-moving one that used the geography to its advantage.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This is something that I've wanted to post for awhile, decided to get around to it today.  I'm not sure if anyone else has ever thought up this observation, but:

A first-term President who's popular with the general voting public tends to get re-elected to a second term.

I mean, when you look back on the history of one-term Presidents, the consistent pattern between most of them is that they were unpopular, at least unpopular enough within their own party to be snubbed by the power-brokers in the backrooms when the next election rolled around.

John Adams?  Wasn't as well-liked as Thomas Jefferson.  John Quincy Adams?  He actually lost the popular vote, but won in the runoff in the House of Representatives... essentially riling up Andrew Jackson and his supporters to turn out in droves the next election.  Van Buren?  First sitting President to suffer a major economic panic, so yeah pretty much unpopular.  The Whigs are especially screwy one-termers: each Whig winner - Harrison and Taylor - DIED in office, leaving their unpopular Veeps - Tyler and Fillmore - serving out those terms.  Both Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan were one-termers due to the ongoing slavery issue that made any Democrat sitting in the White House hugely unpopular in the North.  Lincoln won re-election even in a divisive war because he stood on a more popular platform - Finish the War - than his opponent.

The next one-termer was Chester A. Arthur - fitting in for the assassinated James Garfield - who actually was well-liked (and not too bad a President) but wasn't the guy the party bosses wanted anymore.  Grover Cleveland is an interesting case.  He won the popular vote on his re-election effort but lost the Electoral vote, which almost makes his violate this hypothesis: except that he ran again and won a separate second term, the only President to do so.  So he still fits.

Teddy Roosevelt really does prove my case (twice).  Before him, Veeps who assumed the Presidency on the death of the President - poor McKinley, who was popular enough to win two terms - tended to be unpopular with either their party bosses or the electorate.  Roosevelt became so popular with the voters - and so effective in shutting down his bosses - that he won his own term, the first to do so.  The second time he proves my case is with Taft, his successor: not too happy with his administration, Roosevelt ran on a third ticket, effectively splitting the Republican vote... while Taft finished third.

Coolidge was popular enough to win his own term of office replacing Harding.  Herbert Hoover was a one-termer for a very obvious reason: the Great Depression.  FDR basically ran against Hoover three of the four times he ran for office, which should tell you how unpopular poor Herbert was.  FDR's successor Truman ran a surprisingly effective campaign against an unpopular Congress and reticent Dewey, leading to the biggest electoral upset in American politics.  When Truman's own popularity tanked during the Korean War, he quickly figured out he couldn't run for re-election and opted not to.

Eisenhower was the inverse of Hoover: incredibly well-liked, incredibly popular.  Even having Nixon on his ticket didn't put a damper on things.  Kennedy was more likeable than Nixon in 1960.  Johnson was more likeable (believe it or not) than Goldwater and was running off of JFK's legacy.  By 1968, Nixon was more likeable (I know, scary) than LBJ's replacement Humphrey (if the Dems stuck with Eugene McCarthy, they could have eked out a win) and Wallace.  By 1972 it didn't matter who was running as the more popular candidate because Nixon's crew was sabotaging the Democratic primaries (hello, Watergate).

Carter was more likeable than Ford.  Carter's unfavorables by 1980 hurt him compared to the well-liked Reagan.  Reagan was still well-liked in 1984 when Mondale ran against him (which is one of the reasons Mondale only won Minnesota and DC in the Electoral votes).  Bush the Elder's re-election efforts in 1992 were hurt by a hard recession, making him vulnerable to the smooth styling of Clinton (and Perot's third party vote losses).  Bush the Lesser was still riding off of his huge popularity boost after 9/11 to eke out a win in 2004 over the stiff Kerry.

So where is this going?

Well, we're in a re-election year for Obama, coming off a rough first term.  How do his re-election chances stack up?

Pretty good, actually.  More people are hopeful about the economy now than they were in 2008.  A current poll shows Obama with a 13 point lead over Romney, even as that poll shows Obama getting low marks for handling the economy.  One thing to note in that article: Look at Romney's favorable-to-unfavorable numbers.  Romney is 39 percent favorable to 48 percent UNfavorable.  Being that un-liked a candidate bodes ill.

As long as Obama keeps his favorable numbers above Romney's, Obama has a good chance of winning re-election.  Which is probably why we should expect a hurricane Category 5-level amount of mudslinging negative ads from now until DECEMBER 2016 for God's sake by the Republicans in order to drag Obama's favorables down.

So remember, Stay Sane and Vote Obama...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012

My Vote My Power

Following up from the last post about Rick Scott and his underlings breaking voter rights' laws, the papers are saying the voter purge is all but over because the county elections supervisors - the ones who have to do the heavy lifting - are united in saying the lists are flawed and illegal:

The 67 county elections supervisors — who have final say over voter purges — are not moving forward with the purge for now because nearly all of them don't trust the accuracy of a list of nearly 2,700 potential noncitizens identified by the state's elections office.
"We're just not going to do this," said Leon County's election supervisor, Ion Sancho, one of the most outspoken of his peers. "I've talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal."
So far, more than 500 have been identified as citizens and lawful voters on the voter rolls. About 40 people statewide have been identified as noncitizens. At least four might have voted and could be guilty of a third-degree felony.
The eligibility of about 2,000 have not been identified one way or the other..

Just take a look at the numbers: so far 500 that were kicked off the polls didn't deserve to be kicked.  Only 40 were identified as non-citizens.  At least four (!) out of the 2,700 on the original list may have broken the law.

Only 4 possible violators.  Compared to 500 citizens who didn't break the law who still suffered.  And compared to the 11 MILLION registered voters out of 18 MILLION state residents.

If Rick Scott and his buddies think they are fighting some massive criminal conspiracy... THEY ARE CLEARLY NOT.  Four out of 18 Million is... do the math people... my Windows calculator says 2.2222E-007, thanks Rick Scott you BROKE MY CALCULATOR TOO.  (seriously, it's less than a percentage of a percentage of 1 percent!)  This is not worth denying the honest-to-God rights of 500 honest citizens (and even more if those 2000 voters ever check their mailboxes).  If this is crime-fighting, it's akin to stopping drunk drivers by blowing up all the roads!

And despite the optimism of the Tampa Bay Times reporting, I guarantee you Rick Scott and his Sec. of State Ken Detzner are going to figure out a way to press on with their purge.  They have an ideological belief that "voter fraud" is real (it's not: most evidence points to such fraud as basic record errors!  And it's miniscule: less than a percent of a percent of a percent for God's sake!), and that belief cannot be stopped or denied.  They've already tried flipping the argument about by accusing the Dept. of Justice of failing to help them access federal databases - especially Homeland Security's illegal immigrant databases - they need to use to push their purge further.  This is even though the original Sec. of State Browning discovered the purge list is hugely flawed and resigned rather than implement it.  This is even with Attorney General Holder stating publicly that Scott is breaking the law by pushing this voter purge.

Scott and Detzner and the Republican Party as a whole will keep pushing this non-scandal until and unless the handcuffs are clapped on their wrists and they get dragged off for violating voters' rights under both state (Florida Statutes 104, specifically 104.0515 and 104.0616) and federal laws (1965 Voting Rights Act and 2003 Voter Registration Act).

Those 500 Florida residents who got booted off the rolls and had to press to get their rights back - rights that SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN THE FIRST PLACE - have a legitimate legal grievance against Rick Scott.  Charge him.  Even just one of you has a case against this bastard.  Protect your rights, people.  MY VOTE is MY POWER.  It's yours too.

Now Available

UPDATE: I realize that trying to figure out the numbers - 4 divided by 18 million - for determining the percentage of people committing actual voter fraud is a bit tricky since every calculator I've tried using can't reduce the decimal count that low.  So I decided on the opposite route: figure out the percentages of people who are honestly voting out of the 11 million registered in Florida.  So basically 11 million minus 4 is 10,999,996 honest voters.  Now THAT I can divide by the total voter count of 11,000,000 and that gives me .99999963 roughly speaking.  Converting that to percentage and that is 99.999963 percent of honest voters out there.  Meaning the amount of fraud is .000037 percent, give or take.  It's nowhere near even a percent of 1 percent (which would be .001 percent).  Basically, it means actual voter fraud is close to ZERO when compared to honest voting.  So why the obsession with voter fraud?  There are ten thousand more serious crimes taking place in Florida and/or the nation on any given day: why voter fraud, when there's practically NO FRAUD taking place?