Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last Call For Grimm Tidings

So Mikey Suits is out, and the GOP need somebody to run to fill his House seat.  So naturally, Republicans look to the obvious choice: Daniel Donovan.

You know, the Staten Island prosecutor who completely failed to indict the cop who murdered Eric Garner.

Daniel Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney who most recently failed to secure an indictment in the Eric Garner case, is lining up support behind-the-scenes for a bid to replace Mr. Grimm. And Mr. Donovan, well-liked by the borough’s Republican machine, is a front-runner to win the backing of the Staten Island Republican Party in a special election that will likely be held sometime next year, sources say.

“Dan is almost certainly in and is lining up his support,” a source close to the Staten Island Republican Party told the Observer. “He will probably emerge as the clear front-runner for the party’s support.”

Of course he will.

Another Staten Island Republican source confirmed that Mr. Donovan has emerged as the strongest candidate. The source cited his career as district attorney, particularly his work battling a prescription drug epidemic and strengthening DWI prosecutions while keeping a balanced office budget.

A special election to replace Mr. Grimm will mean no Democratic or Republican primaries. Instead, the Staten Island Republican and Democratic organizations will each select a candidate to face-off after Gov. Andrew Cuomo selects a date for the election.

Despite the controversy Mr. Donovan courted in December when a grand jury voted not to indict a white police officer in the death of Garner, a black man, the district attorney is still relatively popular in the borough and with party insiders, sources say. Voters in the 11th Congressional District, far more conservative than in many in other parts of the city, did not view Mr. Donovan as unfavorably after the decision in the racially-charged case.

And he'd be a giant SCREW YOU to de Blasio, Eric Holder, President Obama, and oh yeah, every person of color in NYC.

He'll win by 20 points.

Zandar's 2014 Prediction Scorecard

Time to see how I did with my 2014 predictions ahead of any 2015 prognostication, and I'm glad to say this year I did a lot better than in 2013.

1)  The Dems will keep the Senate, the GOP will keep the House in November.

Blew it.  This was a long shot, but I didn't know just how long it was. The Dems failed miserably here for a variety of reasons:  terrible candidates who tied themselves in knots running away from Obama,  garbled messaging, lousy campaigns, and a Democratic base that doesn't vote in midterms.  In fact, Dems bailed so hard on voting that the polls were off by six to eight points in most races, and that turned close races into easy wins, and easy GOP wins into complete routs.  It's as much our fault as it is the Democrats', and I won't make that mistake in predicting we'll vote in 2018, should ZVTS get that far.

We just don't care anymore as an electorate in midterm years, it seems.

2)  Google Glass will be delayed until 2015, or later.

Nailed it.  At best this tech is a niche application for niche users in niche fields.  It'll be a long time before something like Glass is widespread among consumers.

3)  Alison Lundergan Grimes would beat Mitch McConnell to be the next Senator from KY.

Blew it.  In fact, no Dem ran a worse 2014 campaign than Grimes, who bungled things so badly she lost to a guy with a 35% approval rating by sixteen points.  Her absolute refusal to say she voted for Obama cost her everything, she refused to run on Kynect as a national model for Obamacare success, and it's important to note that even the Clintons coming out to rally for her did absolutely nothing...and may have actually hurt her even more.

4)  And speaking of the Clintons, Hillary won't announce any run for 2016...at least not in 2014.

Nailed it.  As I said, too cagey to tip her hand in 2014.  I expect this to continue for as long as she can get away with it in 2015, because as Jeb Bush is finding out, there's nowhere to go as front-runner except down.

5)  Marvel will continue their movie hot streak in 2014

Nailed it. Not only was I right about all three Marvel films I predicted would make $200 million domestically (Amazing Spider-Man 2 barely did it, but did it) but if I had remembered X-Men: Days of Future Past in my prediction, it would have been the fourth Marvel franchise film to break the $200 million mark in 2014.  Big Hero 6 is the movie I left out of that $200 million club for a reason, but it squeaked over the $200 million line by the end of the year anyway. That's five $200 million plus films just domestically, guys.  Marvel is the biggest player in Hollywood right now.

And yes, this means I was right about Guardians of the Galaxy.  Going to enjoy that for a bit.  I'm going to enjoy Marvel in 2015 too.  More about that tomorrow...

6)  The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage later in 2014, but the decision won't come until 2015.

Jury's still out.  Like a lot of people, I might add, nobody expected SCOTUS to punt on same-sex marriage, but punt they did.  Since then, Michigan and Louisiana are asking for direct rulings from the Supreme Court on this issue, and the Sixth Circuit has upheld state bans with several other circuits striking them down.  There's still a chance that the Supreme Court could take up these cases in January and have a decision by June, or take up the case next fall.

7)  No impeachment measures in 2014, but 2015 will be a different story.

Nailed it.  If the GOP is going to impeach, 2015 will be the year.  The GOP is trying to do everything they can short of it, but eventually somebody's going to bring up articles for a vote.

8)  Obamacare will be around through 2014 and beyond.

Nailed it.  But 2015 will be a radically different story if SCOTUS kills subsidies in federal exchange states.  It will make insurance pretty unaffordable for millions and could even put families on the hook for billions in back payments, which will be an utter disaster.

Of course, that's the point.

9) The Sochi Winter Olympics will be a disaster.

Nailed it.  Sochi was, by any conceivable metric, only the start of the worst year of Vladimir Putin's life.  The Sochi Games were rightfully mocked and the venues were a joke.  We got a close look at how rotten the Russian economy was, and falling oil prices have all but wrecked Moscow.

10) ZVTS will make it to 2015.

Nailed it.  I'm glad to still be here, and I'm back over at Balloon Juice to boot.

So my final score for the year, 7 right, 2 wrong (albeit BIG wrongs) and one big SCOTUS question mark.  Much better than 2013's numbers, for sure.

I'll have my predictions for 2015 out tomorrow, as usual.

Stopped Clock Is Right Alert

Today's contestant on "Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice A Day": Huckleberry Graham on the GOP and immigration.

If Republicans don't wield their congressional majority next year to pass immigration reform legislation, a GOP takeover of the White House in 2016 will be "difficult, if not impossible," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said during a CNN interview released on Sunday. 
Graham, a Republican who has long-favored comprehensive immigration reform, said he believes the GOP has hurt itself with Hispanic voters due to its resistance to reforming the current system. And without a major change, Democrats will get another four years in the Oval Office, Graham told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." 
"If we don't at least make a down payment on solving the problem and rationally dealing with the 11 million [illegal immigrants believed to be in the U.S.], if we become the party of self-deportation in 2015 and 2016, then the chance of winning the White House I think is almost non-existent," he said.

Yep.  And that's exactly what's going to happen, and why I'm not terribly worried about 2016. Republicans won't be able to help themselves.  (It's also the reason that Jeb Bush will never win the GOP nomination, by the way.)

Graham supports giving a pathway to citizenship to the so-called DREAMers -- undocumented immigrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally as children and have lived in the U.S. since. And in 2014, Graham showed the political viability of his position by successfully beating back a tough primary challenge in his conservative state by reaffirming -- rather than running away from -- his stance on immigration. 
"If the Republican Party cannot muster the political courage to deal with the DREAM Act children in a fair and balanced way after we secure our border, that says a a lot about the Republican Party's future regarding the Hispanic community," Graham said. "I don't believe most Americans would fault the Republican Party if we allowed children who have been here since they're babies to assimilate into society with a pathway to citizenship after we secure our borders." 
Graham was one of the most ardent supporters of a bipartisan immigration bill he helped negotiate in 2013 that passed the Senate but did not get a vote in the House. The bill would have bolstered border security and created a path to citizenship for millions -- many of whom are now getting temporary relief under Obama's executive action.

I doubt that Graham, if he proposed the exact same legislation again, would even get a vote.  The one thing I can guarantee you that won't happen in the next two years is the GOP passing comprehensive immigration legislation, and it'll cost them the White House in 2016.

Of course, they're okay with that as long as they continue to hold Congress, an overwhelming majority of state legislatures, and an overwhelming majority of Governor's mansions.  I don't see that changing much in 2016 either.


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