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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Random Thoughts on the 2012 Election

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 11/07/12 16:43

by Dave Mindeman

OK, here are some general thoughts.

First, Florida is an embarrassment. I don't care which Party you belong to; seeing those incredibly long lines just to vote is ridiculous. If the response of a Governor is to shorten early voting and to have his state unable to report results on election night, then that guy should be voted out at the earliest opportunity. This is America....not a banana republic.

Secondly, I hope the GOP is figuring out how far you can go with appealing only to angry white men and billionaire donors. Money fixes a lot of things but not bad candidates and bad policy.

Third, Latino voters have spoken the loudest of all. It is time to put a comprehensive immigration policy on the table and make everyone vote on it ...up or down. If Republicans want to continue their policy of obstruction, then they do so at their own peril.

Fourth, it is high time to end DOMA once and for all in Minnesota. We had a very long and intense debate on this issue this year,(thanks to the GOP legislature) and the voters gave us permission to move ahead and not backward.

Fifth, I understand the caution that the new DFL leadership may feel about an agenda. The overreach by the GOP cost them a short lived majority. But political capital needs to be used. Good policy that fixes our structural budget problems, fixes infrastructure, and promotes common sense and fair tax reform are needed and would be rewarded.

Sixth, it was good to see more women rewarded with places at the legislative table. New Hampshire now has all its Federal offices held by women (although one is a Republican - we'll forgive her for that). Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, and a new Republican from Nebraska Deb Fischer...all will join the Senate. Women will hold 19 seats in the Senate - still a long ways from suitable representation, but progress none-the-less.

Seventh, I have to give one more shoutout to Nate Silver and his fivethirtyeight blog. He correctly predicted 50 out of 50 on the state races (assuming Florida finally comes in for Obama). Silver is approaching iconic status. He held true to what his numbers told him despite a viscious backlash from a desperate Romney campaign and conservative bloggers. He never wavered. And that's because Silver believes in numbers and facts. I have little doubt that if in 2014, the numbers favor the GOP, he will say so. He is not an ideologue that slants the data, he simply states what his data and elaborate computer models tell him. He put his entire reputation on the line and was vindicated entirely.

I am sure there will be more to talk about. Next year will be another very interesting political year.

Stay tuned...............
comments (2) permalink

Frightening Words

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 11/05/12 23:57

by Alan Anderson

Sometimes people say scary things. President Reagan said the eight most frightening words were:"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." For the voting populaton John McCain said about his choice for vice president, "Sarah Palin was a better candidate than Mitt Romney." OMG.
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Mitch McConnell May Have To Get Used To Minority Status

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 11/03/12 12:17

by Dave Mindeman

A year ago, I would have given the Democrats about a 20% chance of holding onto the US Senate...and that would have been generous. The numbers were just against them....too many Dems would be up for reelection.

Republicans will still turn some seats over. Nebraska was always high on the list - Ben Nelson's retirement had the GOP salivating. North Dakota looked like a lock and in Missouri, Claire McCaskill was primed for a big loss. And in Virgina, Jim Webb's retirement opened another door. Throw in Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida and the Republicans were off to the races.

But the game plan changed. Olympia Snowe decided to step down and a popular independent, Angus King, vaulted into frontrunner status. He is going to win and probably caucus with the Democrats.

Scott Brown in Massachusetts found himself on the defensive with a strong woman candidate and strong fundraiser, Elizabeth Warren. Even Brown's Wall Street money doesn't appear to be saving him.

Then Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock happened. Backed by the Tea Party, these GOP primary winners in the reddest of states have imploded via their extreme social conservative views.

Suddenly we have 3 potential GOP turnovers and a Dem hold no one expected. And besides all that, the Democratic incumbents are all overperforming, while Virginia's Kaine and North Dakota's Heitkamp are confounding the experts with highly competitive campaigns.

The conventional wisdom now favors the Democrats with holding onto the Senate....maybe even holding the same margin they have now.

So even if Mitch McConnell would realize his "dream" of making Obama a one-term President, he would still be a minority leader and would have to watch Harry Reid possibly take on the reins of thwarting a Presidential agenda.

And so it goes.
comments (1) permalink
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