The Phoenician’s prediction

Our Kiwi Kommenter wrote, at 2340 on Sunday, 20 March 2011:

My prediction is that we’re going to see yet another cycle of mission creep, with Dana and co supporting escalating force every step of the way, provided they can square it with their loathing for the ni-usurper in the White House.

It’s March. I expect American troops in Libya by the end of the year -– maybe they’ll be called “advisors” or “humanitarian peacekeepers”, but they’ll be there.

This post is being written on Monday morning, 21 March 2011, for future reference, to see just how accurate the Phoenician’s predictions are. :)

with publication scheduled for 0700 on December 21,

One last post: the Jim Thorpe 2011 Veterans’ day Parade

I’m posting this here primarily so I can post the pictures on Truth Before Dishonor without eating up too much of Mr Hitchcock’s bandwidth!

More pictures after the fold. Continue reading ‘One last post: the Jim Thorpe 2011 Veterans’ day Parade’ »

The death of CSPT

I am closing down CSPT. It has become nothing but a meat-grinder for political animosities which have turned into personal animosities. I really don’t like the idea of having to restrict commenters, but not having done so has become an experiment which is simply failing. I can understand that the Phoenician is simply an ass, but when Perry and Hube can’t get along, maybe a totally free speech site simply cannot work. The image that crosses my mind is a bar on the border between two ethnic neighborhoods where the people just don’t like each other: the clientele keeps shrinking, and fights break out constantly.

We’ve lost Sharon, we’ve lost Eric, we’ve lost the Grey Ghost, we’ve lost AOTC, we’ve lost dozens of regulars, other bloggers like Sister Toldjah have stopped visiting and linking, and the site has stopped growing. We have the same few commenters visiting all the time, but virtually no new ones, save for aphrael’s return.

I’ll continue to post on John Hitchcock’s Truth Before Dishonor, though certainly not to the extent that it would look like I’m trying to take over the site. Perry’s Bridging the Gap, which is piggy-backed onto my bandwidth, will remain open.

When I asked several people about this action, in an e-mail, Donald Douglas replied, “Close it down only if it’s not fun for you, Dana.” Well, that pretty much hits the nail on the head: it’s just not much fun anymore.

The comments section for this death notice will remain open for a couple of days, but the comments sections on the other posts will be getting closed down. As of right now, the site remains available, though I have not yet decided whether I will close down the archives as well.

The Weekly Standard missed the “nuance”

From :

Obama: ‘I Think We Are Better Off’

Obama last month: ‘Well I don’t think they are better off than they were four years ago.’

10:11 PM, Nov 1, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER

In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan encouraged voters to ask themselves, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Today, Barack Obama was asked a similar question by the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis–“If he felt that we were better off today than we were four years ago…”

“Well, you know, I think that we are better off now than we would have been if I hadn’t taken all the steps that we took,” President Obama replied.

Interestingly, the president’s answer today seems to contradict a statement he made last month:

“Well I don’t think they are better off than they were four years ago,” Obama said in reference to the American people on October 3. “They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through.”

Did you catch the nuance? President Obama didn’t retract his statement that the American people aren’t better off today than they were four years ago. Maybe even he realizes that trying to claim that we are better off now is a whopper even the biggest stoner in town couldn’t believe. But he’s trying to claim that we’re better off now than we would have been if he hadn’t been elected and put his policies in place. That, he knows, cannot be proved, but it can’t be disproved, either. Damn, he’s a great speaker, quick on his feet and clever — and nuanced — with his responses.

Too bad that has nothing to do with being President, because he’s really lousy at that job.

I disagree with what they are doing, but at least they are going about it in the right way

From Think Progress:

Senators Introduce Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United

By Zaid Jilani on Nov 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

One of the overarching themes of the 99 Percent Movement is that our democracy is too corrupted by corporate special interests. This corruption was worsened last year by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed for huge new unregulated flows of corporate political spending.

Yesterday, six Democratic senators — Tom Udall (NM), Michael Bennett (CO), Tom Harkin (IA), Dick Durbin (IL), Chuck Schumer (NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Jeff Merkeley (OR) — introduced a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the Citizens United case and restore the ability of Congress to properly regulate the campaign finance system.

The amendment as filed resolves that both Congress and individual states shall have the power to regulate both the amount of contributions made directly to candidates for elected office and “the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.”

I have no sympathy at all for the government trying to regulate people’s opinions or expression, but at least the six Democratic senators have understood the proper method of doing so.

The text of the proposed amendment:

SECTION 1. Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
SECTION 2. A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and
(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
SECTION 3. Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I have suggested before that if our friends on the left are dissatisfied with the scope of the First Amendment, they ought to press for a constitutional amendment to repeal or revise it.

Amendment XXVIII

  • Section 1: The First Amendment to this Constitution is hereby repealed.
  • Section 2: Freedom of speech, publication and broadcasting is guaranteed, save that speech which incites hatred, animosity or violence based on race, ethnicity, non-Christian religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identification may be prohibited.
  • Section 3: The free exercise of religion is guaranteed, save that no individual expression of religious faith may be professed in public. No religious belief which would discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, non-Christian religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identification is protected by this amendment, or may be protected by any statute of any level of government.
  • Section 4: Neither the United States nor any political subdivision therein may recognize, promote or protect any form of religious institution, belief or opinion. The Congress and the states shall have the power to enforce this provision through appropriate legislation.
  • Section 5: (a) The freedom of speech applies solely to individuals. No company, corporation or other organization, save those which exist as representatives of working people, or certified journalistic sources may claim the right to unrestricted speech under the provisions of Section 2, nor may any organization other than a registered campaign organization or political party, engage in any speech or spend any money in support of or opposition to any political candidate.
    (b) No individual member of any organization, save those which exist as representatives of working people, or certified journalistic sources, may claim individual status to circumvent the provisions of Section 5 (a) unless certified by the Federal Election Commission.
  • Section 6: The Congress may enact any legislation required to enforce the provisions of this Amendment.

Now, the Censorious Six did not go quite as far as what I proposed, but it is clear from what they proposed that they would give the Congress the right to regulate speech. Consider proposed Section 1:

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

This site really isn’t expensive, but it isn’t free, either. I pay my site hosting service, Blue Host, $107.40 a year for hosting my sites¹, and $10.00 per year for each sponsored url. Considering that my Monthly Bandwidth Transfer is unlimited, that’s not bad at all! Further, though my advertising is meager, I have actually realized a small² profit on this site; this site could be defined as a for-profit enterprise.

But, were the Censorious Six’s proposed amendment actually passed, the Congress would have the power to declare that my paltry expenses nevertheless constitute the “spending of money (or) in kind equivalents” and limit or even forbid “expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.”

That is, in fact, what the McCain-Feingold Restriction on Speech Act attempted to do. McCain-Feingold banned the broadcast, cable or satellite transmission of “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations in the 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election. While such would not effect CSPT the way it was worded — I use the internet, though for many people their internet service is delivered by cable — and I am not incorporated, though the proposed amendment would not require that any future limits be restricted to corporations.

We have many problems in this country, but I can think of no problem that is so great, so overarching, that the proper solution is to limit the freedom of speech and of the press. If people don’t like what I have to say, they have every right to not read what I write; if people don’t like the political commercials on television, the thing comes equipped with a selector for changing the channel or even [horrors!] turning the damned thing off.

I rather doubt that the Censorious Six will get anywhere with this. Passage of a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds super-majority in each House of Congress, followed by the ratification by three-quarters of the states. I’m sure that the Democrats will express some support for this — the Democrats just love restrictions on people’s liberties! — but the Republicans won’t buy it in the least. But, at least the senators proposing the amendment have gone about it in the constitutional manner.

¹ – This includes all of the sites I sponsor: CSPT, Bridging the Gap, a website for my church, and, as of last weekend, the Carbon County Republican Party’s website.
² –
Normally a couple hundred dollars a year, though I have received two royalty payments totaling about $1,100, in year’s past.
Cross-posted on Truth Before Dishonor

The Greeks are revolting

It looks like Greece is about to foul up:

Government in Greece Teeters After Move on Referendum

Published: November 1, 2011

ATHENS — The government of Prime Minister George Papandreou teetered on the verge of collapse on Tuesday, threatening Greece’s adherence to the terms of a new deal with its foreign lenders and plunging Europe into a fresh bout of financial turmoil.

Several lawmakers in the governing Socialist Party rejected Mr. Papandreou’s surprise plan for a popular referendum on the Greek bailout, raising the possibility that he will not survive a no-confidence vote scheduled for Friday that depends on his holding together a razor-thin parliamentary majority. Mr. Papandreou was holding an emergency cabinet meeting Tuesday evening to save his government, but the opposition and some members of his own party were calling for new elections immediately.

The impasse in Athens seemed likely to delay — and perhaps scuttle — the debt deal that European leaders reached after marathon negotiations in Brussels last week. Financial markets cratered on Tuesday for the second straight day, wiping out the gains since the Brussels deal was announced last week. Some analysts said that Greece was now coming closer to a messy default on its debt, and perhaps a departure from the zone of 17 countries that use the euro as their common currency.

Greece has two, and only two, choices: severe austerity measures, to enable them to get the money they need from the “eurozone” currency countries to avoid a default on its external loans, or to default. The people are up in arms about the austerity measures, and absolutely hate them, but if this referendum goes forward and the voters reject it, then Greece defaults. Once that happens, a lot of other people in Europe will suffer for having lent Greece money so the Greeks could live well beyond their means, but it also means that Greece won’t be able to borrow more money — except from absolute idiots — to finance the Greeks living beyond their means.

Either way, the Greeks are going to have to live only at the level that their productivity justifies. They can have austerity on a regularized, organized basis, or they can have austerity forced upon them chaotically. Greece is a democratic country, and it looks like the voters will get to choose between those two options, but a third option, continuing to live beyond what their productivity justifies, is not available.

(The governing) party, known as Pasok, is deeply divided. A more reform-minded wing is upset that Mr. Papandreou has not acted decisively enough to carry out the structural changes needed to revive the economy, while a more traditional wing is opposed to some of the changes that inevitably cut into the heart of the social welfare state the party was elected to promote.

Sorry, but “the social welfare state the party was elected to promote” simply isn’t sustainable. Eventually, a society must live within its means, and Greece does not produce enough for export — Greece has a sustained balance of trade deficit — which means that Greece’s standard of living, over the long haul, has been greater than its productivity justified. If Greece stays in the eurozone currency alliance, maybe they can restructure some of their loans, and maybe they can take advantages of the free trade within Europe to reduce their trade deficit. If Greece returns to its own currency, the drachma, as some are pushing, they can look forward to rapid inflation, and see even more of their productivity exported to buy the essentials that Greece imports: industrial and capital goods, food and petroleum.

Akis Tsirogiannis, a 42-year-old father who recently lost his job at a furniture workshop in Athens, said:

This deal, like all the others, is a life sentence of austerity for Greeks. The country is being run from the outside — by bankers and the European Union government. We need to reclaim our country, whatever that entails.

Actually, a life sentence of austerity is inevitable: it’s simply a matter of how living within their means is going to be achieved. But if the country is being run from the outside, that’s because for too long it was run from the inside, and bad, bad, bad decisions were taken. Now Greece paying the penalty. They may well get out of paying back their loans, through simply defaulting, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have to pay for their former lifestyle in other ways. If they return to the drachma, they’ll experience rapid inflation, and foreign sellers aren’t going to give them any breaks: it will take more and more drachmas to buy oil, because oil is sold in dollars, not drachmas. If they stay with the euro, they’ll see rapid deflation of wages and prices, which might help their exports some, but which would leave them with far fewer euros with which to buy imported goods.

There is a lesson in this for the United States. Greece’s economy is small, and Greece lacks a national currency that they both control and is in demand. The United States is fortunate to have the world’s reserve currency in the dollar, but eventually we, too, will have to start living within our means, have to start living only as well as our productivity justifies.

If you are going to run for President, you had better not have this in your background

I sure don’t like to see this, but if it’s true, it’s the death knell for the candidacy of Herman Cain:

    Exclusive: Two women accused Cain of inappropriate behavior

    By: Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman and Anna Palmer and Kenneth P. Vogel
    October 30, 2011 08:00 PM EDT

    During Herman Cain’stenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

    POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.

    Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told POLITICO the candidate indicated to campaign officials that he was “vaguely familiar” with the charges and that the restaurant association’s general counsel had resolved the matter.

More at the link; I found the story through a link on Hot Air.

I like Herman Cain, even though he isn’t my first choice as our nominee. He has been successful in whatever he has attempted, and a role model for success through hard work. But being (mostly) right on the issues does not mean he’s a perfect human being — the last perfect human having died on the cross almost 2000 years ago — and these allegations are absolute killers.

If they are true, of course. Politico asserts that there are “signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association,” so the allegations, if true, are simple enough to prove: simply produce the signed agreements. My question is: if the signed agreements cannot be produced, will the allegations alone still kill his candidacy?

One thing that politicians do is try to dig up any potential dirt on their opponents; rumors that Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) is homosexual or has been cheating on his wife were brought out in 2004 and then again in 2009, the latter time by the gubernatorial campaign of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), while the despicable Wonkette tried to spread rumors that Michelle Bachmann was an adultress.

Of course, with the record on which President Obama has to run, it’s only natural that the Democrats would try to dig up, or fabricate if they could not find, evidence that the President’s Republican opponents are Bad People; President Obama can’t win on his record. And that means that, if a candidate has a problem like this in his past, he had better either disclose it right away, and get it over and done with, or expect to see his candidacy shattered when it’s revealed by others, or simply not run at all. The option that it might stay covered up is not a realistic one, at least not anymore.

Think back to the 2000 campaign. Governor George Bush (R-TX) was leading Vice President Al Gore by four percentage points in the polls five days before the election. Then a New Hampshire reporter dug up the old story of Mr Bush’s driving under the influence of alcohol arrest.

Five days before the election, at a routine campaign stop in Wisconsin, Karen Hughes pulled me aside. We walked into a quiet room and she said, “A reporter in New Hampshire called to ask about the DUI.” My heart sank. Such negative news at the end of a campaign would be explosive.

I had seriously considered disclosing the DUI four years earlier, when I was called for jury duty. the case happened to involve drunk driving. I was excused from the jury because, as governor, I might later have to rule on the defendant’s case as a part of the pardon process. As I walked out of the Austin courthouse, a reporter shouted, “Have you ever been arrested for DUI?” I answered, “I do not have a perfect record as a youth. When I was young, I did a lot of foolish things. But I will tell you this, I urge people not to drink and drive.”

Politically, it would not have been a problem to reveal the DUI that day. The next election was two years away, and I had quit drinking.1

Former President Bush continued to note that Karl Rove estimated that he had lost two million votes due to that late disclosure, from people who either changed their votes or simply stayed home, and that his four point lead evaporated, turning into a dead heat. That dead heat in the opinion polls manifested itself in a very close race for the total popular vote, which Mr Gore won, and in the electoral college, which Mr Bush won by the barest of margins. While no one can know for certain what the results would have been had the disclosure not been made when it was, my guess is that Mr Bush would have won both the popular and electoral votes rather easily, and there’d have been no Florida recount mess.

Had Governor Bush simply revealed the bad news four years earlier, it would have all been taken care of early, as part of the wastrel youth description to which he had already admitted; by not disclosing it on his terms, when it would not have been a problem, he turned it into a far more serious problem.

As for Mr Cain, early revelations of sexual harassment accusations wouldn’t have helped; you don’t get over those through a wastrel youth claim, especially when the alleged incidents date from the late 1990s, when Mr Cain was in his fifties. Those allegations are a campaign death sentence . . . if they are true. Such accusations, when proved, cost Carl Greene, Philadelphia’s director of public housing, his job, and former representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) can tell you all about waving his weiner on camera. If these allegations are accurate, Mr Cain should have just stayed out of the race, period.

As I said earlier, the allegations are easy enough to prove, if they are genuine: just produce the signed agreements. But even if Politico can never do that, my guess is that Mr Cain has still been too badly hurt to survive this one.

1George W Bush: Decision Points, (New York: Crown Publishers, c 2010) p. 75-76.

Freedom of speech and our friends on the left

From Donald Douglas:

The Hate Speech Bugaboo

This is an unbelievably ridiculous piece, from Erna Paris, at Toronto’s Globe and Mail, “There *are* limits to free expression.”

And from the comments:

Hate speech is less prevalent in Canada today because Canadians don’t like it and don’t want it, not because of any law. Canada is not a more fragile place than in 1990; it’s a much, much stronger and more tolerant place. The bizarre fear-mongering in this opinion piece is not only logically incoherent, it’s completely unjustifiable.

Via Scaramouche.

Dr Douglas’ piece was fairly brief — I quoted the entire post here, because I know I can get away with it with Dr D :) — but the article he referenced is longer, and I’d like to look at it in a bit more depth. The author, Erna Paris, begins:

The right to free speech is one of the most important democratic freedoms. It enables the flow of information and encourages diversity of opinion in the public sphere, as well as criticism of political leadership, all of which are in the public interest. But like most freedoms, it is not absolute, nor should it be.

If freedom of speech does the things the author has claimed are in the public interest, would it not be against the public interest to restrict the flow of information, diversity of opinion and criticism of the political leadership? That, after all, would be some of the effects of limiting the freedom of speech.

Of course, limiting the diversity of opinion is exactly what Miss Paris wishes. While I’m certain she would not wish to put it precisely that way, what she wishes to do is limit the diversity of opinion to exclude what she would see as animosity toward various groups of people, based on race or religion or ethnicity or sexual preference or whatever new group discrimination might come to our thoughts as time passes. The government cannot control what people think — though if it could, one wonders if Miss Paris would advocate employing such controls — but if it can restrict the communication of disfavored ideas, perhaps it can eventually eliminate those ideas themselves.

European countries without our (Canadian) tradition of upholding anti-hate laws, and without a history of ethnic pluralism, have had a much harder time coping with growing diversity. Only the United States allows almost unmitigated speech, but some legal scholars, such as Jeremy Waldron of New York University, are beginning to believe that America should align itself with the rest of the world’s liberal democracies -– countries that, in his words, “take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.”

Perhaps it is because of our “history of ethnic pluralism,” but it is in the United States, with our “almost unmitigated speech,” in which we have a black President, and almost certainly would have had a woman President if the black candidate had not defeated the female candidate in their party’s primaries. It is in the United States where we have black representatives representing majority white districts, where we have a state governor of Indian descent elected in a state with very few ethnic Indians¹, and a black governor elected in a state with just 6.6% of the population being black.² Yet somehow, some way, these things happened despite our constitutional protections which allow what Miss Paris called “almost unmitigated speech.”

One of the things I find curious is how our friends on the left — and Miss Paris, though a Canadian, not an American, certainly comes from the political left; you can peruse her articles on her website — have moved from the position they held in the 1970s of being very much in support of absolute freedom of speech, connected with the protests against American involvement in the war in Vietnam, to one in which the freedom of speech must be restricted, for the common good. Freedom of speech, some of our friends on the left tell us, should not include corporations, even though the First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The First Amendment does not allow for exceptions, nor does it somehow state that the freedoms guaranteed therein apply only to living persons.  I’d note here that the police actions against the fleabagger “Occupy” demonstrators are all occurring in cities politically controlled by the Democrats.³

And now we have the curious phenomenon of our friends on the left telling us that criticism of President Obama is really an expression of subtle racism, and concomitantly telling us that support for Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who is black, is a “token black guy,” and is really an attempt to hide Republican racism; Pam Spaulding even referred to Mr Cain as “shamelessly tap dancing for conservative white voters,” and “Steppin Fetchit,” though she used the literary device of attributing the latter description to a cousin writing on her Facebook page.  We have, in effect, the attempts of our friends on the left to stifle criticism of President Obama, by stigmatizing it as racism, while making attacks on Mr Cain that are racist in nature.  One wonders if, had Miss Paris her wish and our Constitution barred “hate speech,” whether criticism of President Obama would be barred as hate speech, while that of Mr Cain would be allowable debate.

If that seems like a strange construction to you, remember: if the freedom of speech is restricted in the manner Miss Paris advocated, such restrictions would still be subject to the definitions and determinations of politicians as to what was allowable and what qualified as hate speech.

The real problem for Barack Obama and our friends on the left is that they have gotten their wish: he is being judged not on the color of his skin but on his job performance as President of the United States. In 2008, he received an absolute majority of the votes cast, 52.92%, 69,456,897 votes,4 and his post-inaugural job approval ratings started out much higher than that.5 The vast majority of Americans were willing to give him a chance, to see how good a job he’d do. He lost their support not because he’s (half) black, but because he simply hasn’t done a good job. Even President Obama himself admitted that, “I don’t think [Americans are] better off than they were four years ago.

And now a majority of Americans say that President Obama bears responsibility for the state of the U.S. economy. That’s not a judgement based on race; that’s a judgement based on job performance. For our friends on the left, the terms of the debate simply have to be changed; if it stays on job performance, Mr Obama is a one-term President. They want to change it to blaming it on race, where they think/ hope/ pray that they might do better, hoping for a discussion in which only one side can participate, while the other is shamed into silence. And thus we thank God for the wisdom of the Framers and the Bill of Rights.

The simple genius of the Framers of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights becomes more apparent with virtually every passing day. We can read almost daily about some new proposal from our friends on the left to restrict our freedoms, for the good of all, for the benefit of society, yet the simple use of the words “shall” or “shall not,” the imperative forms, in the first nine amendments to our Constitution protect our rights from all sorts of well-meaning (?) mischief by our friends on the left.

¹ – Governor Bobby Jindal, R-LA, who won re-election just a few days ago by winning a majority of the votes in Louisiana’s open-primary electoral system. “Indian” refers to India, from where his parents emigrated, not American Indians native Americans.
² – Governor Deval Patrick, D-MA
³ – Oakland, California, is simply the most obvious example; that’s where demonstrator Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull from a tear gas canister fired by the police. Demonstrators were also arrested in Portland and Denver, both of which are governed by liberals; Portland’s mayor is a Democrat, while the Denver city government is officially non-partisan, but primarily Democratic.
4Federal Election Commission, 2008 Official General Election Results.
5The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll showed President Obama having a 68% Job Approval Rating, with only 12% disapproving, on January 21-23, 2009. Use the cursor on the graph to get any specific date’s results.