Cardinal Timothy Dolan is still bitter that marriage equality passed in New York last year, telling the New York Daily News that Catholic leaders “got burned” by Senate Republicans they were convinced would oppose the law:
DOLAN: We got burned last year when we were told the redefinition of marriage didn’t have much of a chance ? and of course it did. Our Senate leaders, we highly appreciated them being with us all along. When they kind of assured us it didn’t have much of a chance ? not that we let up, but we probably would have been much more vigorous and even more physically present if we knew there was a chance. We got a little stung, and it could be as much our fault as anyone else’s.
This is an incredibly smug attitude for Dolan to have, but it reflects the amount of influence the Catholic Church hierarchy expects to have over political discourse. Even though a majority of New York Catholics supported the marriage equality bill months before it came to a vote and continued to afterward, Dolan believes that the bishops could still have changed the outcome if they’d just applied more pressure. But this is a blatant rewriting of history, because Dolan admitted after the law passed that he saw it coming and was “not surprised” that it was successful. Considering the number of anti-gay screeds he published while the legislature was still debating the bill, one wonders what more he would have done had he been “much more vigorous.”
Fortunately, the New York legislature chose to represent all constituents when it decided to expand LGBT equality instead of catering to a select group of Church leaders who refuse to exist in the same universe as married same-sex couples.
A report released last week by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that the total balance of student loans in the U.S. has reached $870 billion, while 27 percent of student loan borrowers are at least 30 days behind on their payments. Since 1985, the cost of college tuition and fees has sextupled.
Average college debt now exceeds $25,000, spurring fear of a “student debt bubble.” And a recent survey of bankruptcy lawyers seems to confirm those fears, as a vast majority of them have seen an increase in clients seeking relief from student loan debt:
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, more than 80 percent of bankruptcy lawyers have seen a substantial increase in the number of clients seeking relief from student loans in recent years.
In most cases, those clients could not meet the federal hardship standards that are necessary to discharge a student loan through bankruptcy proceedings. Instead, many of these parents or guardians who co-signed the student loans face the prospect of losing their life savings, cars or homes to collection agencies for aggressive private lenders.
William Brewer, head of NACBA, has said, ?This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy” (though it won’t reach the level of the mortgage bubble, due to the sheer size of the U.S. mortgage market).
Student loans are one of the few debts that are not easily discharged in bankruptcy, and restrictions on discharging loans from for-profit colleges have coincided with that industry’s rapid growth (and the student debt that comes along with it). The Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal has suggested undoing some of the restrictions on discharging student loans that were instituted in the 80s and 90s, since “it is hard to see these as anything other than a giant subsidy to private agents.”
Show me the prison, show me the jail
Show me the prisoner whose face is growin' pale
And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
Show me the alley, show me the train
Show me the hobo who sleeps out in the rain
And I'll show you a young man with many reasons why
there but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
Show me the famine, show me the frail
Eyes with no future, that show how we've failed
And I'll show you the children with so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
Show me the country where bombs had to fall
Show me the ruins of buildings once so tall
And I'll show you a young land with many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
You and I.
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of the latest bank stress tests this Thursday, which are expected to signal healthy balance sheets?a marked difference from the 2009 round of stress tests, and another indicator that our slowly recovering economy has been on an even sunnier upswing the past few months. The previous round of stress tests?which ended last March?weren't released to the public.
The purpose of the stress tests is to see how well financial institutions could survive an economic downturn worse than the one that followed the Lehman collapse, with 13 percent unemployment and 50 percent stock market decline. If banks don't fare well under the stress test, they might have to raise billions of dollars in order to get on safer ground. ?Everybody wants to avoid headlines,?Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski told The New York Times. ?People are angry at the banks, and both the banks and the regulators just want to do something to show we?re working our way back towards normalcy. That?s what everyone is craving.?
Being nominated for and winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards helped give a boost to The Artist'sbox-office draw?67 percent of the movie's revenue has come post-nomination. The post-Oscars bump isn't a new trend, though?last year's Best Picture winner The King's Speech reaped 57 percent of its profits post-nomination.
Despite the spike in anti-union rhetoric on the right, public opinion seems largely to side with unions. Seventy-two percent of the public has a positive image of public employees?who make up the majority of union members?according to a new Bloomberg poll. About half think the government is targeting unions unfairly.
Welcome back, Rick!
From the "I'm still a candidate!" files:
Newt Gingrich's spokesman on Sunday dismissed speculation about a potential Gingrich-Rick Perry ticket being announced before the Republican National Convention in August, saying the two camps have not discussed the idea "at any level."I really hope the denials aren't true, because it could mean that Newt Gingrich is actually the secret Republican nominee. On other hand, it could also mean that he was merely finally answering the question Brett Baier asked during the September 22 GOP debate about who he would pick if he were to the nomination.
A report by Fox News cited "sources close to the Gingrich campaign" saying preliminary conversations about such a ticket have begun with the hopes that pairing the former Speaker of the House and the Texas governor might unite evangelical, tea party and other conservative voters.
Whatever the case may be, let us not forget what Rick Perry's response to Baier's query:
I don't know how you would do this, but if you could take Herman Cain and mate him up with Newt Gingrich, I think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with.Really interesting indeed.
It’s making many Americans so angry they’re ready to bite chunks out of their steering wheels. As a nation, we’re driving fewer miles. We’re using less gasoline. So why, WHY is the price of gasoline going so darn high?
Well, here are some facts that should set your teeth on edge …
Fact #1: Americans are driving a LOT less. According to the Department of Transportation, vehicle miles driven dropped 1.3 percent year-over-year in December, and miles driven are down a big 6.3 percent since the peak in June 2005. What’s more, since the U.S. population is going up, that makes this drop more telling than many people realize.
Fact #2: Gasoline Use Has Plummeted. In fact, U.S. . . . → Read More: Why Am I Paying So Much for Gasoline?
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To: Mike Biundo
From: John Patrick Yob
Date: March 10th, 2012
Re: Santorum Path to Delegate Victory
Rick Santorum is very well positioned to earn the delegates necessary to win the national
convention despite what the Romney campaign and their official/unofficial
surrogates’ fuzzy math may claim.
As a result of their inability to inspire the GOP based on message, the Romney campaign made the curious decision to lead their post-Super Tuesday campaign with the argument that the race is over, rather than touting his positive qualities as a candidate.
The effort to talk about the math was a defensive smokescreen intended to distract from the major problems the Romney campaign faces in county, district, and state conventions across the country when national convention delegates are actually elected.
The reality is simple: the Romney math doesn’t add up and he will have a very difficult time ever getting to a majority of the delegates.
The situation is only going to get worse for them and better for Rick Santorum as time passes. Simply put, time is on our side.
Strength of Candidacy
Romney has been forced to outspend the field dramatically in order to barely win in states he should have won handily (Michigan and Ohio), and losing other states by
wide margins (Tennessee and Oklahoma).
Rick Santorum continues to win contests and gain national convention delegates because he has emerged as the favorite of the conservative grassroots base of the Republican Party. As a result he has wins in most caucuses. He also has won the majority of counties even in Romney states excluding moderate urban areas.
Support from Conservative Base
Romney has proven incapable of inspiring grassroots conservative support in caucuses as he has lost lost every caucus contest despite outspending the other candidates by many multiples.
Similarly, there are serious cracks in the Romney finance operation as the campaign finance reports show that he is incapable of inspiring grassroots donors across the
country to donate to his campaign. Instead his campaigns are funded by contributors who have already maxed out and are incapable of donating again in the primary. This explains why the SuperPAC is forced to pay for such a large proportion of their paid media.
The lack of grassroots support that plagued his caucus states operation, and plagued his small donor operation, will now plague his national delegate election operation.
Rick Santorum has excelled in caucuses and small dollar contributions and therefore will also excel at state conventions where activists are more conservative than the average primary voter.
Longer Proportional Process Favors More Conservative Candidates
I served in a similar role for John McCain 2008. At this point of the process there was a very real concern about the possibility of a more conservative candidate
staying in the race and fighting us at state conventions across the country where more conservative activists determine the election of National Convention
Delegates. Although John McCain was winning primaries in a fractured conservative field, he was not the favorite of grassroots conservative activists in the party. Similarly, in this race, a drawn out process favors conservative candidates such as Rick Santorum. This is a major problem for Mitt Romney, the moderate in this race.
Even more importantly, the proportional process that Romney supporters pushed through the Republican National Committee has turned out to be a major problem for the campaign. Suddenly the election of the actual delegates at county, state, and district caucuses is now more important than the primaries—regardless of what the media covers as determinative. It is difficult for any candidate to clinch the nomination in a proportional calendar without over-performing in the state conventions that elect the delegates. As a result, the state conventions will ultimately determine the outcome of this race.
Romney Frontloaded Friendly States
Romney supporters on the Republican National Committee manipulated the calendar to front-load several of the states that were favorable towards him. That was beneficial to his early lead in the delegate count, however it is problematic for him as the race continues and moves towards less friendly states. This is one of the reasons that they emphasized fuzzy math after Super Tuesday.
Race Moves towards Santorum’s Strength
The race for the nomination will soon start to move towards primaries and caucuses that are more favorable terrain for Rick Santorum. More importantly, the race will
eventually move from primaries and caucuses that are often beauty contests to real county and state convention contests where actual delegates to the national convention are elected.
Anyone who knows anything about state conventions knows that the most conservative candidate has a big advantage over a moderate candidate. In many cases, this advantage is overwhelming.
Romney’s Delegate Problem
Romney has a delegate problem in that he will have a very hard time getting his moderate supporters elected as delegates in these convention systems. This was
evident in Iowa this weekend where the Romney operation collapsed, and Santorum and Paul gained.
The Real Calendar
The Real Calendar (TRC) officially kicked off this weekend in Iowa where activists gathered to begin the process of electing national convention delegates. It is clear to anyone who understands this process that a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney is going to have a difficult time winning as many delegates to the national convention
in an Iowa County and State Convention system as the media calculated based on the Open Caucus system that took place in January. This system will play out in
state after state, and although there will be hiccups in certain states, on average Rick Santorum
will gain far more delegates than Mitt Romney through this delegate election process.
The Real Count
The count largely depends on how you calculate the delegates in states such as Iowa that have not yet elected their National Convention Delegates. For example, the RNC
currently gives Santorum 0 delegates for Iowa, the media gives him 7. We believe he will end up with more than 7 delegates as the process plays out. We also believe
that Romney will receive less. (See the Delegate Counts on the top left - Oreo)
Most of the publicly available delegate counts are fundamentally flawed because none of them have taken into account that conservative grassroots activists at county and state conventions will elect more Santorum delegates than a primary or even caucus beauty contest in the same respective state would allocate. Therefore, the Real Counts are far better than the projected counts and will continue to improve as the National Convention approaches and states elect their actual convention delegates. The Santorum campaign will keep a tally called the Real Count moving forward. It will be based on the results of both the Real Calendar and the Traditional Calendar.
There is unlikely to be very much change in the delegate totals based on the results
of Tuesday’s contests. Regardless of the results, we anticipate this finally becoming an election between the moderate establishment candidate and the conservative
grassroots candidate as we move towards Missouri and beyond.
March 17th – Missouri
Rick Santorum will do very well in Missouri, win a number of delegates, and have momentum heading into Illinois.
March 20th – Illinois
Mitt Romney might have an edge in Illinois but we feel very good about our ability to once again win the more conservative areas of the state, earn a considerable
number of delegates, and maintain momentum heading into Louisiana.
March 24th – Louisiana Primary
Louisiana is going to allocate approximately half of its delegates in the Primary on
March 24th and half of them later in a caucus process. It is likely that Santorum picks up
considerable delegates in both of these contests.
We assume that Newt Gingrich will become less of a factor in terms of vote totals in races after the Louisiana Primary, if not before.
April 3rd – Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC
These primaries are winner take all. They could be the first contests that are a one- on-one between a conservative and a moderate. The emphasis that day is likely to be on Wisconsin. Most recent polling has shown Santorum to be doing quite well in
the state and it is expected to be a very close contest. Not being on the ballot was not a problem or us in DC because DC Republicans would almost surely vote for the most moderate candidate anyway.
April 24th – New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware
Rick Santorum will win a very large number of delegates on April 24th including his home state of Pennsylvania. Some analysts in the media have argued that Romney will do well in the Northeast because he is the moderate in the race – however that is not necessarily consistent with recent history in contested primaries in these five states. April 24th could be a good day for Rick Santorum.
May 8th – North Carolina, Indiana, and West Virginia
We believe that May 8th is the beginning of the end for Mitt Romney and the date that puts Rick Santorum on a path to the nomination. Rick Santorum will have the momentum coming out of these contests. Our research shows us that even the uncommitted delegates in West Virginia favor Santorum.
May 15th - Nebraska and Oregon
Rick Santorum will do well on May 15th in Nebraska and hold his own in Oregon.
May 22nd – Kentucky and Arkansas
Rick Santorum will likely win a majority of the delegates on May 22nd and gain significant momentum leading into Texas.
May 29th – Texas
Rick Santorum will win the Texas Primary and dramatically close the public delegate gap with Mitt Romney on May 29th.
June 5th – California, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico
The candidate who wins the most delegates on June 5th will lead the public delegate count going into the national convention. Rick Santorum will also lead the Real Count by this point.
June 26th – Utah
We will go out on a limb and predict that Romney will win Utah.
Conservative Majority of Delegates: Public vs. Actual Delegate Counts
There is a “Conservative Majority” of delegates emerging as county and state conventions elect their actual National Convention delegates. This “Conservative Majority” will support Rick Santorum over a moderate-establishment Romney.
There are three reasons why the counts that are put out by the RNC and media organizations are not reflective of the real numbers:
1. Unbound and Uncommitted Delegates elected by grassroots activists are more likely to favor Santorum than those elected by direct primary election. This represents a movement of delegates into Santorum’s tally.
2. Bound delegates elected by grassroots activists will favor Santorum as rules allow.
Gingrich delegates are more likely to favor Santorum.
3. Rule Breaking states such as Florida and Arizona.
As has been described previously, unbound delegates are much more likely to favor Rick Santorum than Mitt Romney because they are largely elected by more conservative caucus and convention systems. Therefore, this race is much, much closer than what the current media and RNC counts portray.
Bound delegates are largely elected at state conventions across the country and therefore are more conservative than an average primary voter. If the convention goes multiple ballots, it is likely that a conservative candidate like Rick Santorum will gain votes on the 2nd and 3rd ballots whereas a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney will lose votes.
(See a list of when each state allows their delegates to vote for someone othere than their candidate here - Oreo)
We obviously do not know how Newt Gingrich will move forward with his campaign but we are confident that whether before the convention or on the convention floor that when the time comes Newt Gingrich delegates are far more likely to vote for Rick Santorum than they are for Mitt Romney.
Majority Needed for Romney, Not for Santorum
Mitt Romney must have a majority on the first ballot in order to win the nomination because he will perform worse on subsequent ballots as grassroots conservative
delegates decide to back the more conservative candidate. Subsequently, Santorum
only needs to be relatively close on the initial ballot in order to win on a later ballot
as Romney’s support erodes.
Romney Difficulty in getting 50% of Remaining Delegates
Even Romney’s own counters admit that he needs to earn almost 50% of the
remaining delegates in order to win the nomination. We believe this number is higher than 50% for the reasons described in this memo. Regardless, this is going to
be very difficult in a three or four person race, especially as he loses delegates at
state conventions such as Iowa.
Florida and Arizona
Florida and Arizona broke RNC rules both when they moved forward and also when they chose to allocate delegates. Their delegations will be challenged if seated as winner-take-all.
Time is on Rick Santorum's side. He will gain delegates as this process plays out and conservatives are elected as National Convention Delegates. Despite the Romney campaign’s smokescreen, they cannot change the fact that he can’t inspire the base
of the party, has a delegate problem, and has a very difficult time getting to a majority.
The delegate race is currently much closer than some would like people to believe. It will get even closer as actual national convention delegates are elected at county, district, and state conventions across the country. They represent the Conservative Majority of the Republican Party, and that is a huge problem for a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney.
Furthermore, Rick Santorum will gain the momentum in late May by winning Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas and head into California and New Jersey with significant momentum.
At that point there will be a Conservative Majority of the delegates to the National Convention and Rick Santorum will become the presumed Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Please also read:
Romney’s Fuzzy Math for a Fuzzy Campaign
Romney’s Curious Claim of Mathematical Inevitability
Two in the Bush: Is Romney Counting His Iowa Delegates Too Soon?
It looks like it could be a late night tomorrow with Republican primaries taking place in Mississippi, Alabama, and Hawaii. The latest polling from PPP shows both Mississippi and Alabama extremely close. In Mississippi Newt Gingrich leads Mitt Romney by[...]
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By the way -- kudos to the @KCStar for not being gutless and cowardly. Kansas City is blue, but we're an island in a sea of red and ignorance, so I'm certain that it took more than a little courage to decide to face the storm and weather it instead of precapitulating to the misogynistic freaks and the cacophony that I have no doubt has already started.
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Ohio state Sen. Nina TurnerOhio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) isn't happy with bills that seek to control women's access to contraception and abortion. She has joined a trend across the nation by introducing a bill that would require men seeking a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and "get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency." Sex therapists would be required to present the option of "celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.?
"The men in our lives, including members of the General Assembly, generously devote time to fundamental female reproductive issues?the least we can do is return the favor," Senator Turner said. "It is crucial that we take the appropriate steps to shelter vulnerable men from the potential side effects of these drugs.Sen. Turner isn't the only legislator to introduce a "Viagra bill" or amendments in response to what mostly male legislators have been proposing around the nation.
"When a man makes a crucial decision about his health and his body, he should be fully aware of the alternative options and the lifetime repercussions of that decision," Senator Turner said today. Men will be more easily guided through the process of obtaining treatment for impotence so they can better understand and more effectively address their condition.
In Illinois, for instance, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) introduced an amendment to a bill requiring ultrasounds before a woman can get an abortion that would require men to watch an explicit video about the side-effects of erectile dysfunction drugs. And, Missouri state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) introduced a bill that would allow a man to obtain a vasectomy only when not doing so would protect him from serious injury or death.
Some people may take these proposals as jokes. But the problem they spotlight, the war on women's reproductive rights and privacy, isn't funny at all.