Who can stop Scott Brown?

I don't expect that Scott Brown will be running for re-election to the Senate in 2012.  More likely, he'll be running for President.  And he could be darn hard to stop.

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Who is John Roos (and why that's important)

As the second largest economy in the world and one of the U.S.'s most important allies, Japan has graditionally been treated with utmost respect diplomatically.  Almost every U.S. ambassador to Japan in the last few decades has been a real political heavyweight, including influential politicians (e.g., Walter Mondale) or prominent international relations scholars (e.g., Michael Armacost).

Who then is John Roos, and why does that matter?

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Plan to retrieve bonuses from non-U.S. citizens at AIG

One of the issues that has been raised in regards to 100% taxing of bonuses paid to AIG employees is that many of them are not U.S. citizens and do not live in the U.S. They thus do not pay U.S. taxes.

I have a very simple suggestion for how to retrieve these bonuses.  Such employees should be instructed that they should return their bonuses immediately, or (a) they will be immediately fired and (b) any visas they or any of their dependents have to the U.S. will be immediately revoked, and (c) neither they nor any of their dependents will ever again be granted visas to the United States.

Sorry for such a short diary.  I just thought this was an important idea to float because I hadn't seen any plan yet on how to retrieve bonuses paid out to those who don't pay U.S. taxes.

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Will Gregg run a scientific (or partisan) census?

It was good to see Judd Gregg come out and strongly praise the stimulus package.  I think that will make it more likely that a strong progressive package will eventually be adopted and implemented.

I have one particular concern about Gregg, and that has to do with the 2010 census.  Demographers and statisticians typically use sophisticated sampling procedures to make sure that they have the most accurate representation of a given population.  That helps ensure that hard-to-find groups, like the undocumented, the homeless, and non-English speakers are accurately represented in census data, even if they are hard to locate and count.

Republicans, on the other hand, have always preferred a "what you count is what you get" approach, that essentially guarantees that minorities and immigrants will be undercounted -- with negative concomitants for funding and other issues.

I hope that the Obama administration, in spite of having a Republican in charge of the census, insists on a scientific approach to carrying it out.

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Why Hamas must be defeated

All those who love peace feel a heavy heart at the current situation in Palestine and Israel.  In particular, Israel's most recent decision to send its troops into Gaza will mean much more death and destruction in a territory that has already suffered too much.

Yet, I support that decision and I believe that it is unfortunately necessary for the long-term good of the people of Palestine, Israel, the Mideast, and the world.

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Nate Silver Profiled in NYT

Like many people on this site, I started following Nate Silver's postings when he was writing diaries as "Poblano" on DailyKos.  Though I supported a different primary candidate than him, I greatly appreciated his analyses and writings.

I was therefore quite pleased when he started FiveThirtyEight.com and, like many of you, followed that multiple times a day during the presidential campaign.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with people there is a great article on Nate in the New York Times today.

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Palin as President :-)

Sorry for such a short diary, but you will want to check this out.  Be sure to roam a bit with your mouse and roll-over and click in interesting places:

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3 events that could put Obama over the top

If the election were held today, there's a good chance that Barack Obama would narrowly lose the popular vote but win the electoral college.  Three events that took place during the nominating contest could help put him over the topic.

First is the prolonged campaigning in Iowa.  Iowans throughout the state got to know Obama up close for months and they like him.  Chalk up Iowa in the likely Obama column.

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Palin more libertarian than social conservative? (new evidence)

Evangelicals are going crazy for Sarah Palin.  Could they be wrong?

In spite of her supposed support for creationism in schools, she was quoted as actively opposing any attempt to force it into the curriculum, only saying that it should be discussed if brought up.  Likewise, though opposing gay marriage (like every politician, Republican and Democratic), she vetoed legislation that would have taken benefits away from gays.  Yes, she gave a comment that it was because of a technicality, but perhaps that was just an excuse.

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Palin and the exurban west

In recent years, Markos Moulitsas and other netroots activists have been pushing a Western strategy.  They believe that if the Democratic party makes a serious play for more Western states -- and adopts the gun-lenient, pro-libertarian policies that puts these states in play -- we can forego having to win over states in the South.

Interestingly, and perhaps unintentionally, John McCain may be the one who has adopted this strategy.

There is a fascinating article by  Howard Fineman on Sarah Palin's connection to the exurban communities of the western states.  As described by Fineman (and others), the "exurbs" are the just settled fringes of places like Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, and Anchorage, where the streets end in desert or forest or mountain foothills.  Due to the low-price homes and the distance from inner cities, it as close to "Leave it to Beaver" as American these days.

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