Public Policy Polling has new poll out for North Carolina's Amendment One. The proposed constitutional amendment, which goes before voters on May 8, would amend the state consitution to include:
?Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.?The news is encouraging for Amendment One opponents. PPP's Tom Jensen says, "The amendment is still favored for passage, but it's looking like less and less of a sure thing."
"There is some reason to think a huge upset in two weeks is within the realm of possibility."The polls show support dropping 4 points since the last time PPP polled it, and opposition rising 2 points.
The current breakdown is 54 percent for, 40 percent against. This is a big movement from 61 percent support, 34 percent opposition from PPP's first poll six months ago.
Full cross-tabs can be found here (pdf). Unsurprising is the finding that only 31 percent of voters under 30 now say they support the amendment. Early voting started on Thursday (more info here) and will continue through May 8. Reports are that university campus sites have been very busy. A third of the registered voters on the Duke University campus have already voted.
Meteor Blades explained on March 30, "North Carolina voters approve anti-marriage equality amendment, until they learn what it does." This continues to be true. Jensen explains:
When voters are informed that the proposed amendment would preclude both marriage and civil unions for gay couples only 38% continue to support it with 46% in opposition.NC Policy Watch sees shades of Missippi's personhood amendment:
Given that numerous polls have also shown that support for the substance of the amendment collapses once people actually understand what it would do, it?s enough to make an observer think that the amendment could be headed for a defeat reminiscent of the one that befell the so-called ?personhood amendment? rejected by Mississippi voters last fall. That amendment was way ahead in the polls just a few weeks before the November election and then lost decisively once people figured out how radical it really was.The sinking polling is remarkable given that these numbers pre-date all paid media, and are almost entirely to the credit of grassroots activism. This includes the official opposition campaign, Protect ALL NC Families, and multiple other pop-up groups such as Race to the Ballot, Raise Your Voice Against Amendment One and the Vote Against Project, to just single out a few.
With two weeks to go, Protect ALL NC Families hit the air with pair of ads on Monday explaining some of the collateral damage that may occur if the amendment is passed. One, Melissa, highlights a mother whose same-sex partner provides health insurance for the daughter they share through a benefits package provided by the city of Durham, North Carolina. If the amendment passes, Durham will no long be able to provide health insurance benefits to Melissa's daughter.
The second ad, above, Consequences, explores the very real possibility that it will invalidate domestic violence protection orders between unmarried men and women.
The assistant district attorney of Wake County, North Carolina put a very stark point regarding this:
Amily McCool, Asst DA of Wake Co: #Amendment1 would mean victims of domestic violence would have to marry their attacker for protection? Protect ALL Families (@protectNC) April 23, 2012
Both ads feature real life North Carolinians, not actors.
Protect ALL NC Families has forged unprecedented relationships with the state NAACP, Planned Parenthood, leaders of the faith community, and the Democratic Party of North Carolina to coordinate GOTV operations. Opportunities to work with the coalition can be found here.
What you can do to help defeat Amendment One:
No, Social Security is not running out of money; it will be in the black for another 75 years just as soon as rich motherfuckers pay back the money they've been borrowing from Social Security since 1983.
The deal was that the rich would get massive tax cuts for 30 years in return for repaying the loan starting - NOW. But the motherfucking greedheads are reneging. I say we break all their legs.
Today's important factoid, from Dean Baker:In an article on the release of the 2012 Social Security trustees report the Washington Post told readers that:"Social Security's bleak outlook is primarily driven by the ever-larger numbers of people in the baby boom generation entering retirement."
Actually the fact that baby boomers would enter retirement is not news. Back in 1983, the Greenspan Commission knew that the baby boomers would retire, yet they still projected that the program would be able to pay all promised benefits into the 2050s.
The main reason that the program's finances have deteriorated relative to the projected path is that wage growth has not kept pace with the path projected. This is in part due to the fact that productivity growth slowed in the 80s, before accelerating again in the mid-90s and in part due to the fact that much more wage income now goes to people earning above the taxable cap.
In 1983 only 10 percent of wage income fell above the cap and escaped taxation. Now more than 18 percent of wage income is above the cap.
This demographic "time bomb" the financial industry pushes is industry propaganda. We've known about the demographics for decades and prepared for it. The problem is our stagnant economy and a perfidious 1%, not the "math problem" they say it is.
Someone reminded me of this post by Kevin Drum from a couple of years ago that explains the fundamental issue:In 1983, when we last reformed Social Security, we made an implicit deal between two groups of American taxpayers. Call them Groups A and B. For about 30 years, Group A would pay higher taxes than necessary, thus allowing Group B to reduce their tax rates. Then, for about 30 years after that, Group A would pay lower taxes than necessary and Group B would make up for this with higher tax rates.
This might have been a squirrelly deal to make. But it doesn't matter. It's the deal we made. And it's obviously unfair to change it halfway through.
So who is Group A? It's people who pay Social Security payroll taxes, which mostly means working and middle class taxpayers. And who is Group B? It's people who pay federal income taxes, which mostly means the well-off and the rich. For nearly 30 years, Group A has been overpaying payroll taxes, and that's allowed the government to lower income tax rates. The implicit promise of the 1983 deal is that sometime in the next few years, this is going to flip. Group A will begin underpaying payroll taxes, and the rich, who have reaped the benefits of their overpayment for 30 years, will make good on their half of the deal by paying higher income tax rates to make up the difference.
The physical embodiment of this deal is the Social Security trust fund. Group A overpaid and built up a pile of bonds in the trust fund. Those bonds are a promise by Group B to repay the money. That promise is going to start coming due in a few years, and it's hardly surprising that Group B isn't as excited about the deal now as it was in 1983. It's never as much fun paying off a loan as it is to spend the money in the first place.
But pay it off they must. The rich have been getting a loan from the middle class for decades, and the loan papers are the Social Security trust fund bonds that George W. Bush is admiring in the photograph above. Anybody who claims the trust fund is a myth is basically saying it's OK for the rich to renege on that loan.
But surely no one would ever say such a thing. Right?
As Gaius Publius from Americablog (with whom I had the pleasure of spending time with this past week-end) told me: "they just don't want to pay the money back."
It's not much more complicated than that. Between an unwillingness to properly raise the cap to keep up with the change in wage distribution and wealthy bondholders telling the rest of us "thanks very much for the nice loan but they won't be paying it back," we have a projected social security shortfall in a couple of decades right in elder years of the baby boom --- which is allowing these greedheads to argue for reducing the program even more. Sa-weeet.
The leading pseudo-Christian hate groups in this country host the ?Values Voters Summit,? This convention is sponsored by many organizations characterized as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This year's invited feature speaker is Mitt[...]
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Below is the weekly newsletter of Occupy Wall Street: Houston. OWSH is an effort to give another try at the Occupy Wall Street effort here in Houston. There is also an OWSH Facebook page. If you’d like to take part, the information you need is in the newsletter. There is always reason to keep at [...]
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More trouble for Uncle Rupert and his son James as the inquiry into the hacking scandal continues.
The long-running tabloid newspaper scandal that has shaken Rupert Murdoch?s global media empire delivered a new jolt on Tuesday as its powerful and lucrative television operations moved to the center of a British judicial inquiry with disclosures that a senior cabinet minister, or at least an aide claiming to speak for him, worked covertly to help win approval for a $12 billion takeover of the BSkyB network.
A trove of newly released e-mails pointed to hand-in-glove collaboration between a lobbyist for Mr. Murdoch?s News Corporation and the office of Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt, the official designated to pass judgment on the BSkyB bid. That deal, which would have crowned Mr. Murdoch?s 60-year media career, was scuttled last year as the scandal over illicit phone hacking exploded, and now appears out of his reach for years, if not permanently. Read on...
James Murdoch came to the Leveson inquiry to defend his reputation, and ended up spending much of the remaining six and half hours on the stand in effect defending the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
But his robust defence of News Corporation's insider lobbying tactics was not matched by such a sure touch elsewhere, as his evidence revealed him to be incurious about phone hacking and uninterested in newspapers.
The media mogul said that his chief lobbyist, Frédéric Michel, was simply "doing his job" in his briefings again and again on titbits obtained from ministers and their special advisers with regard to the BSkyB bid. For all the information he received, Murdoch remained sceptical.
Rather than seeing the information that came out of Jeremy Hunt's team as particularly useful, he told the inquiry that he took all ministerial communications with a "grain of salt" and that, if anything, he was as sceptical about politicians.
Under questioning from Robert Jay QC, Murdoch argued that Hunt simply wanted political cover from News Corp during the critical time of January 2011 when the company was negotiating with the culture secretary over how to get the Sky deal through. He said he took Hunt's decision to co-operate with him as a reflection of the fact that "he didn't want to take any heat alone" because he had "never met a politician who did".
Murdoch said he had expected Hunt, and Cable before him, to take into account appropriate evidence when determining the outcome of News Corp's £8bn bid for BSkyB.
The sometimes fissile 39-year-old showed only one flash of anger. It was reserved for the business secretary, Vince Cable, for having shown "acute bias" once it emerged that he had told two undercover Telegraph reporters that he had "declared war on Murdoch". [...]
On 24 January, at 3.21pm while the stock market was still open, Michel managed to get information about the timetable next day for Hunt's parliamentary announcement at which he could consider concessions from News Corp to help get the bid through: the lobbyist added for colour that this was "absolutely illegal..>!"
Amid laughter around the courtroom Murdoch said simply that he "thought it was a joke", noting the unusual punctuation, which he described as "a wink".
Jay wondered why, Cable excepted, Murdoch was getting such help.
It was obvious why Hunt was being so helpful; it was because the Sun had backed the Conservatives before the election, the barrister said.
Murdoch argued differently, saying: "I simply wouldn't make that trade. It would be inappropriate to do so and I simply don't do business that way." It was a sentiment that had his wife, Kathryn, strongly agreeing from the public gallery. Read on...
In a move that's going to cause some trouble in the federal courts, Rep. Bill Denny (R - Jackson) has proposed a map that would decrease by one the number of majority black House districts. A review of the Denny plan summary shows that his plan provides for 43 majority black districts. The current map has 44.
Denny plan summary
Current map summary
Let there be dancing.
Two conservative Democrats lost their seats in Pennsylvania tonight thanks to the state?s new congressional map.
Rep. Mark Critz beat Rep. Jason Altmire in a highly competitive member-vs-member Democratic primary for the 12th district, while Rep. Tim Holden (D) was defeated in a primary by lawyer Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania?s new 17th district.
Critz beat K Street man Tim Holden, who voted against Obama’s health care bill. It’s one thing to be against it, as Critz is, though he has said he won’t vote to repeal it. He wasn’t in office when the vote on ACA was held.
Blue America, part of the hero pack of progressives who targeted the Blue Dog Democrats who lossed, released a statement (h/t Crooks & Liars):
Blue America Treasurer Howie Klein said, “Blue America congratulates Matt Cartwright on his hard fought win and we pledge to continue that fight across the country wherever progressive candidates are working hard to free our political system from the entrenched interests on behalf of ordinary Americans. Our next stop is Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district where progressive businessman Rob Zerban is battling to defeat Republican poster boy Paul Ryan in a swing district. The establishment doesn’t think that’s possible, either. We think Rob can prove them all wrong once again.”
Cartwright evidently does a legal segment on the evening news, proving the Fox News model can pay if you want to jump from expert talking head to political candidate.
I’d like to see Sen. Bob Casey taken out, too, but he’s up against one-percenter, self-funded coal-mining rich man Tom Smith, so you have to ask what’s to be gained? You could say the same thing about Sen. Claire McCaskill’s brutal battle in Missouri. Republicans out of that crowd are nothing short of depressing, which often applies to Casey and McCaskill, too.
Critiques of Rasmussen polling from the left have become something of a time-honored tradition, particularly here at Daily Kos. Today, though, it is not just a matter of them being on an island. It is a matter of them showing two politicians at equal strength in a state where, perhaps unsurprisingly, no other pollster has found them garnering the same level of support since early February.
More on that later. For now, the numbers:
(GOP) PRIMARY PRESIDENTIAL POLLING (It ... won't ... die!):
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP): Romney 48, Gingrich 30, Paul 12PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Fox News): Obama tied with Romney (46-46)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (49-43)
NATIONAL (Princeton Survey Research/National Journal): Obama d. Romney (47-39)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (49-44)
ARIZONA (Behavior Research Center): Obama d. Romney (42-40)
COLORADO (Purple Strategies): Obama tied with Romney (47-47)
FLORIDA (Purple Strategies): Romney d. Obama (47-45)
NEW MEXICO (PPP): Obama d. Romney (54-40)
OHIO (Purple Strategies): Obama d. Romney (49-44)
VIRGINIA (Purple Strategies): Obama d. Romney (48-46)
VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (45-44)
AZ-SEN (Anzalone Liszt for Carmona): Jeff Flake (R) 43, Richard Carmona (D) 39A few thoughts, as always, await you after the jump...
FL-16 (Public Opinion Strategies for Buchanan): Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) 58, Keith Fitzgerald (D) 36
FL-16 (SEA Polling for Fitzgerald): Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) 49, Keith Fitzgerald (D) 38
NC-GOV?R (PPP): Pat McCrory 67, Jim Harney 3, Jim Mahan 2, Paul Wright 2, Scott Jones 1, Charles Kenneth Moss 1
TX-SEN (PPP): David Dewhurst (R) 49, Paul Sadler (D) 35; Dewhurst 50, Sean Hubbard (D) 35; Ted Cruz (R) d. Sadler (44-34); Cruz d. Hubbard (43-33); Ted Leppert (R) d. Sadler (44-33); Leppert d. Hubbard (44-34); Craig James (R) d. Sadler (40-36); James d. Hubbard (41-35)
TX-SEN--R (PPP): David Dewhurst 38, Ted Cruz 26, Tom Leppert 8, Craig James 7
WI-GOV--D (Paul Maslin for Falk): Tom Barrett 40, Kathleen Falk 32
There have been several housing-related reports this week, some better than others, so analysts have been reading the entrails to determine whether the housing market is finally starting to hit bottom and turn around. The answers are mixed -- some[...]
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