Trump solid lead in Nevada, South Carolina

CNN Poll:

Nevada: Trump 38, Carson 22
SC: Trump 36, Carson 18

It looks increasingly likely that Trump will win the GOP nomination, and maybe the White House too.


Inside MSNBC’s Impending Shakeup: Cancellations, Reboots and Chief Phil Griffin

This article made a lot of sense.. MSNBC is a disaster and has become mostly unwatchable with crappy, provocative hosts and repetitive shows.. with NO news value..

Worst of them all: Melissa Harris-Perry. Get her off the air at once.
Reid: Can it. Self-absorbed and immature host.
Farrow: Nice guy but dead boring. His elaborate compliments to guests and in interviews are just too embarrassing.
Al Sharpton. The same show every night. Complete repetitiveness.
Ed: Sort of ok. A bit one-note but plays with an audience.
Hayes & partly Steve Kornacki: Way too cerebral. It’s too detailed and distracting from the real issues.

From the article it also seems like Griffin has very little understanding for when during the day different people would work well. Pushing a popular daytime show to prime-time is not necessarily a very good idea, as he apparently has done many times.
Let someone else take the helm and produce a progressive and grounded network, please…..

Over two years later, the network has fallen backwards. January ratings revealed double-digit declines compared with January, 2014 in all ratings measurements. During the day, MSNBC was down 20 percent in viewers and 37 percent in the advertising-coveted 25-54 demo. In primetime, it fell 23 percent in viewers and 39 percent in demo.

Also Read: Inside MSNBC’s Evolution: How Phil Griffin Is Tinkering With Network

Network President Phil Griffin knows MSNBC needs to turn those numbers around quickly, and multiple insiders tell TheWrap Griffin is in the process of deciding what potential changes to make, including tinkering with primetime.

(..) Last week, Farrow, 27, attracted just 26,000 viewers in the demo on Wednesday — finishing fourth behind HLN, CNN and Fox News. Reid’s program — which parted ways with executive producer Larry Epstein toward the end of last year and recently appointed Farrow’s Senior Producer Omnika Thompson to EP — has also struggled, partly because of the Farrow lead-in. On Thursday, it attracted just 36,000 demo viewers.

(..) Another insider told TheWrap Griffin has withheld moving or canceling Hayes’ show — despite ratings that have struggled since it launched — because he’s married to the idea of younger, wonky hosts in primetime over the traditionally older, bombastic anchors who’ve occupied the daypart on Fox News and MSNBC, like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, and Ed Schultz.

Douglas Schoen: An Opening for Elizabeth Warren If She Wants It

This issue continues to be important.. things can suddenly change in March/April.. and a new polling in the first primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire shows interesting things..
A change of mind from Warren would also be a lot less dramatic than Mitt Romney suddenly running again..
Warren has a very strong drive.. but she will say no no no until she says yes..

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Fortune magazine this month that she won’t run for president in 2016, deepening the sense that the Democratic nomination is Hillary Clinton’s for the asking. Yet in contemporary politics the landscape can change dramatically, seemingly overnight. Before 2008 Barack Obama said repeatedly that he wasn’t running for president.

If Elizabeth Warren doesn’t change her mind, it could be because of intimidating national polls showing Mrs. Clinton with an overwhelming lead. Most recently, a CNN/ORC poll had the former secretary of state with a 66%-9% advantage over Ms. Warren.

(..) But Mrs. Clinton’s favorables don’t appear to make her invulnerable to a populist challenge from the left, as a Warren campaign would almost certainly be. My polling shows that there is a significant opening with Democratic primary voters who are extremely liberal in ideology and populist in orientation.

I also tested Mrs. Clinton’s message, based on her public statements, of charting a new direction and standing up for working people against Ms. Warren’s more explicitly populist direction in which government addresses fundamental unfairness in American society through more oversight of Wall Street and policies to reduce income inequality. In that message comparison, Ms. Warren polled a mere four points behind Mrs. Clinton, at 31% to 35%.

Ms. Warren could find similar encouragement in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary state and neighbor of the senator’s state of Massachusetts. Among likely Democratic primary voters, Mrs. Clinton led Ms. Warren by only nine points, 51%-42%. The two had virtually identical favorable ratings at 89%-5% for Ms. Warren, 90%-5% for Mrs. Clinton.


An interesting and neutral discussion on the polling is here:

To Hit Back at Kochs, Democrats Revive Tactic That Hurt Romney

One could add that this is not only a symbolic attack on private wealth buying democracy, but it is also a very real attack on the main corrupting force in politics at the moment.. which feeds into the larger dynamic of concentration of wealth in industrial countries…
A presidential campaign costs $1 bn, the Koch brothers made $12 bn just last year..
And all the limits to campaign funding are slowly being dismantled…
The US in the hands of a couple of businessmen would yield enormous profits for their companies and huge losses of freedom for the rest…
This looks very much like the defining issue in this era of US history.. and the right time to scale it back… like TR did a 115 years ago…

To Hit Back at Kochs, Democrats Revive Tactic That Hurt Romney

WASHINGTON — After months of wincing in the face of negative ads funded by the industrialists David and Charles Koch, Democrats believe they have finally found a way to fight back: attacking the brothers’ sprawling business conglomerate as callous and indifferent to the lives of ordinary people while pursuing profit and power.

By drawing public attention to layoffs by subsidiaries of Koch Industries across the country — a chemical plant in North Carolina, an oil refinery in Alaska, a lumber operation in Arkansas — Democrats are seeking to make villains of the reclusive billionaires, whose political organizations have spent more than $30 million on ads so far to help Republicans win control of the Senate.

Berlusconi expelled from Italian parliament over tax fraud | Reuters

At long last.. Berlusconi is one step further out of politics..
A funny thing though.. being here in Florence, Italy for six months.. is how Rome and national Italian politics seems so faaaaar away..

It’s a very regional country…or at times even more centered around your own city or neighborhood.. which usually has two thousand years of history or more..

(Reuters) – The Italian Senate expelled former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi over his tax fraud conviction on Wednesday, humiliating the veteran center-right leader who vowed to continue leading his party from outside parliament.

The Senate vote, after months of wrangling and delay, opens an uncertain phase for Italy, with the 77-year-old media billionaire now apparently in the twilight of his political career but prepared to use all his resources to disrupt Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition government.

“We are here on a bitter day, a day of mourning for democracy,” Berlusconi told supporters from his Forza Italia party in front of his central Rome residence as the Senate voted a short distance away.

Chris Hughes on Jeff Bezos’ Purchase of the Washington Post | New Republic

People weigh in on the sell of the Post… this one from one of the Facebook founders who bought the New Republic.. being a twenty-something and a multi-millionaire..

But the thinking is simplistic and flawed… based around “value of brands”… even with a grand history.. things change.. and businesses die.. betting a future income on a dying brand is bad economics..

And Jonathan Alter’s comment yesterday might be closer to the truth.. newspapers returning as playthings of the rich.. but now like yachts and “estate of yore”…. not “core biz”..


It turns out Silicon Valley does give a damn about Washington. With Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post and the efforts of Mark Zuckerberg’s, the Internet’s enormous riches are showing up on the doorstep of Washington’s elites.

For most beltway insiders, the new arrivals are perplexing. The logic of Silicon Valley couldn’t be more different than Washington’s: start small, think big, and above all, don’t be afraid to break things.

All of which begs the question of Bezos: Why bother? Is he acting out of simple vanity or is there some business insight that he has that others don’t? (The same questions have been asked of me since I bought The New Republic.)

While no one has found the formula that will bring old media into a profitable future, I’m guessing that Bezos understands an old truism: brands matter. The wonder and magic of institutions like the Post or The New Republic is their history–their stories track the American story. In many cases, they have made that very history through their reporting. No owner can brush aside these powerful legacies, regardless of his or her start-up bona fides. In fact, brands matter more now than when Don Graham’s grandfather bought the Post nearly a hundred years ago, particularly when they have established themselves so securely as the Post has.

Rand Paul: ‘Old guard’ losing elections – James Arkin –

Paul is right on the money.. not everybody is supporting this losing strategy of all-or-nothing and sabotage by the Repubs fringe.. at some point the donors have to realize that demographics have changed.. America’s population has changed… and thus politics has to change too…

Rand Paul is shown. | AP Photo

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he agrees with those that say there is pushback from the Republican establishment when the party faces heat from factions such as the libertarian wing.

Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he thinks the establishment is growing “more hysterical” as Paul and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz rise in prominence. Paul said Friday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that he thinks the establishment needs to welcome new ideas.

“I think there’s some truth to that and I think the other thing about it is that the old guard needs to realize they’re the ones that have been losing the last couple of elections,” Paul said. “If we want to win for presidency we have to compete in the states where we’re not competing. Precisely, up in the northeast and on the west coast where Republicans are basically on life support. We need to reach out with issues that may attract new people to the party.”