Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Massachusetts Proposes Using GPS Chips to Tax Drivers’ Mileage

February 18, 2009
Yesterday, on Happening Now on FOX News, there was a  discussion a new idea for a way for Massachusetts to increase their revenue.  The idea was to use GPS chips to track mileage (mileage only and NOT location) of cars, and then tax drivers based on how far they go.  Some like the idea, which is being tested in Oregon.  FOX interviewed Jim Whitty from the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Meanwhile others, such as Massachusetts state Senator Scott Brown views it as Orwellian and an invasion of privacy.  Brown also said that taxes are too high already in Massachusetts.  Watch the video and I’ll discuss it below (video courtesy of  FOX News):

Now, did you catch what Whitty said?  At one point he was talking about the test that Oregon did of using the system and said, “There was no issue with tracking, because we didn’t–we didn’t do that.”  Notice, he never said that “We couldn’t do that.”  He said, “We didn’t do that.”

The whole point of GPS, Global POSITIONING System is to track where you’re at.  Now, I’m sure that the government in Oregon may only be paying attention to the distance that people travel; however, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t just one day decide, instead of just counting the miles, let’s start paying attention to where these people are going.  Originally, it may be to catch criminals, or determine traffic patterns, but that’s a violation of privacy.  And it leads down a slippery slope.

Additionally, Senator Brown is right, taxes in Massachusetts could be lowered if the government would just better manage its money.

But my main problem with the system is the fact that it is, for lack of a better word, Orwellian.  Even my liberal roommate agrees with me here!  It’s an invasion of privacy.

If you’re going to do anything, put a device that measures odometer changes.  But using GPS, Global POSITIONING System, to track people’s “distance” is in invasion of privacy.

Let me know what you think:

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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4 Days to Go: Senate Prediction: Democrats Gain 6 Seats

October 31, 2008

Here’s my Senate prediction.  I already did my Presidential election prediction as well as the Gubernatorial Elections prediction.  The colors ARE switched from what the normal media colors, so sorry about that, but that’s the way the website I use does it.  The maps are courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas, and my most current prediction can always be found here.  On to the predictions…

* = Pickup via defeat of incumbent; ^ = Pickup of an open seat

Democrats: 16 (+6)
Republicans: 19 (-6)
Light gray indicates states with no Senate races

First, a note about Wyoming and Mississippi:

  • Wyoming has 2 races, Michael Enzi (R) against Chris Rothfuss (D) and John Barasso (R) against Nick Carter (D). I expect both Republicans to win with results around 63%.
  • Mississippi has 2 races. The maps are predictions for Thad Cochran (R) against Erik Fleming (D). In the election between Roger Wicker (R) and Ronnie Musgrove (D), I expect Wicker to win with around 51%, a much closer race than the other.

Alright, so let’s look at the states where people may disagree with me:

  • Arkansas: Mark Pryor is unopposed by a Republican.  Rebekah Kennedy (Green) is the only opponent, so that’s why I have it so high.  It’s not a mistake.
  • Alaska: Last prediction, I had it going to “Uncle Ted” Stevens.  Then, the jury found him guilty.  I changed my prediction on the U.S. Election Atlas website, but didn’t repost a prediction here (although I did write a blog post saying that Mark Begich would win).  Then, I started thinking, and I think Stevens will pull it off.  I know the polls disagree (but the Research 2000 poll showing him down 22% is just wrong), but I don’t see Alaskans voting out Uncle Ted.
  • Minnesota: Again, like last time, for every poll that comes out showing Franken ahead, a poll comes out showing Coleman ahead by the same amount.  Right now, it’s just too close to call, so I’ll keep it where I had it last week.

Now, the map indicating the confidence that I have that my prediction is right:

Democrats: 16 (+5)
Republicans: 19 (-5)
Tossup: 3
Light gray indicates states with no Senate races

Alright, so what changes did I make since last time, and why?  Here they are:

State

Previous

Current

Reasoning

AK

D50L

R50T

I don’t think they’ll vote “Uncle Ted” out.

IA

D50S

D60S

It looks like Tom Harkin will reach 60% here.

KY

R50L

R50S

Mitch McConnell seems to be making a stronger comeback, back from when it was looking like a close race.  I think he’s now safe for sure.

NE

R60S

R50S

I think this an oversight the first time I did the predictions.

NM

D60S

D50S

I think Steve Pearce (R) has gained enough support that he’ll keep Tom Udall (D) from getting above 60%.

NC

R50T

D50T

Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless” attack ad against Kay Hagan was found out to be less than true.  I think there’ll be big backlash against Dole, and I think it’ll go to Hagan, but it is still a little bit too close to call in my opinion.

OR

R40T

D50S

Like I said last week, if Gordon Smith (R) didn’t pull ahead (as he was looking like he might), I was going to slide it over to Jeff Merkley, and that’s what I did.

By Monday, when I do my final update, I should be able to take North Carolina out of the toss-up category, and if more polls come out with Begich leading by a huge margin in Alaska, I’ll switch it back to Begich.  I don’t think I’ll be able to take Minnesota out of the toss-up category, but Al Franken’s latest campaign ad controversy may help Coleman, and I may be able to slide it to the “Lean” category.

Come back here on Monday for my final prediction.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican

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2 Weeks Away: Senate Prediction: Democrats Gain 4 Seats

October 21, 2008

Well, just like the Presidential prediction, here are my predictions for the Senate races (percentages is the first map, with confidence being the second map).  The colors ARE switched from what the normal media colors, so sorry about that, but that’s the way the website I use does it.  The maps are courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas, and my most current prediction can always be found here.  On to the predictions…

* = Pickup via defeat of incumbent; ^ = Pickup of an open seat

Democrats: 16 (+4)
Republicans: 19 (-4)
Light gray indicates states with no Senate races

First, a note about Wyoming and Mississippi:

  • Wyoming has 2 races, Michael Enzi (R) against Chris Rothfuss (D) and John Barasso (R) against Nick Carter (D).  I expect both Republicans to win with results around 63%.
  • Mississippi has 2 races.  The maps are predictions for Thad Cochran (R) against Erik Fleming (D).  In the election between Roger Wicker (R) and Ronnie Musgrove (D), I expect Wicker to win with around 51%, a much closer race than the other.

So, let’s have a little discussion about the states that some people might disagree with me over:

  • Arkansas: Mark Pryor is unopposed by a Republican.  Rebekah Kennedy (Green) is the only opponent.
  • Alaska: As much as I dislike him, and as much as he’s done wrong, I don’t see Alaskans voting “Uncle Ted” out of office.
  • Minnesota: Had it not been for recent polls showing Norm Coleman ahead again, I would’ve given this to Al Franken.  It could easily go back before the election though.
  • North Carolina: I don’t see voters voting Elizabeth Dole out.  They may say so in the polls now, but I think she’ll win.
  • Oregon: Probably the toughest call I had to make.  I only gave it to Gordon Smith because he’s been trending upward in the polls, but by next week, if he’s not ahead, I’ll be switching this over to Jeff Merkley.

Now, my confidence map:

So, again, like my Presidential prediction, I’ll be updating this one next Tuesday, if not before.

The Democrats could win as many as 8 new seats, but I don’t see them winning any more than maybe 6.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Oregon and Kentucky Primary Predictions: McCain, Obama, and Clinton to Win

May 19, 2008

Tomorrow, Kentucky and Oregon will hold their primaries.  Here are my predictions:

Kentucky:

Democrats:

  1. Clinton 67% 32 delegates
  2. Obama 32% 19 delegates
  3. Edwards 1% 0 delegates

Republicans:

  1. McCain 77% 42 delegates
  2. Huckabee 14% 0 delegates
  3. Paul 6% 0 delegates
  4. Romney 2% 0 delegates
  5. Giuliani <1% 0 delegates
  6. Keyes <1% 0 delegates

I have Paul as so low because it’s a closed primary and a lot of his supporters are independents.

Oregon:

Democrats:

  1. Obama 56% 29 delegates
  2. Clinton 43% 23 delegates
  3. Gravel 1% 0 delegates

Republicans:

  1. McCain 94% 28 delegates
  2. Paul 6% 2 delegates

Again, I have Paul so low because it’s a closed primary.

I may or may not have time to live blog tomorrows primaries, but I will post results some time.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Associated Press Releases Comments from Undecided Superdelegates

April 20, 2008

Today, the Associated Press released comments from 10 Superdelegates who have said that they do not yet know who they’ll cast their vote for at the convention.  Here they are with my analysis of them, comment-by-comment.

“The pitches are surprisingly similar, although the Obama people tout their successes in terms of pledged delegates, states won and popular vote. The Clinton people tout her alleged electability.” — Keith Roark of Idaho [Roark is the Idaho Democratic Party Chairman].

I pretty much agree with this one.  Although, I don’t think that Clinton’s electability is better than Obama’s, and I find it funny that Roark adds the word “alleged” when describing her electability.

“Obama supporters want me to declare right now, Clinton supporters want me to wait. A month ago it was the opposite.” — Wayne Kinney of Oregon.

He’s got a point here.  As soon as Obama reaches the magical number, I think Dean will push for Clinton to drop out.  What Clinton would want to do at that point is try to convince some Obama delegates to vote for her at the convention.  His statement about “A month ago it was the opposite” reminds me a lot about what Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) said when discussing his Obama endorsement.

“I just say firmly I am tired of being spun. My advice is go out and win delegates.” — Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington.

Again, this reminds me a lot of what Richardson said when discussing his endorsement.

“I’m going to look at the popular vote, the electoral vote and the number of states that each candidate has won. After that (intelligence), I’m going to look at what the climate is of the party.” — Inola Henry of California.

This one seems like there’s going to be a LOT of factors in making a decision.  It reminds me of a question that Wolf Blitzer asked Howard Dean in his recent interview.

“It’s very important, who has the most delegates. The superdelegates should not be the ones making the decision.” — Linda Chavez-Thompson of Texas [She is the Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair].

She’ll be for Obama then – because I DOUBT Clinton can take the lead without Superdelegate help.

“I’m in a Clinton state. Obama seems to be ahead. I’m not going to move to vote for anybody until Clinton has a chance to do everything that she can do.” — Don Bivens of Arizona [He is the Arizona Democratic Party Chairman].

It sounds like he’s a Clinton supporter, but he doesn’t want to vote for Clinton if it would hurt the party too much.  I think he’ll go for Clinton.

“I think it’s critical that we not be perceived as a group of party elites coming in at the end of the process overturning the will of the people.” — Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania.

Obama vote.

“The single most important criterion is backing the candidate who represents the will of the people, but we won’t know who that is until the nominating cycle has concluded.” — Ed Espinoza of California.

You’d better vote for Obama then, because if he loses, you’ll lose more voters come November than you will if Clinton loses.

“The party created superdelegates to keep the process on track, moving toward the selection of a nominee who will be a good candidate and a good president. I have a job when the process starts to get off track, and so far it hasn’t.” — Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey.

Sounds like an Obama vote to me.

“I hope we don’t get to a point where the superdelegates are deciding the election.” _ Rep. Harry Mitchell of Arizona.

I’m not sure if this was included as one of the undecided quotes or not, since it was in italics.  But, according to the Wikipedia list, he’s undecided.  This sounds like another Obama vote to me.

So, there you have it.  A look into the mind of undecided Superdelegates of the Democratic Party (scary, I know).

I still think it’ll be Obama as the nominee, but I’ll keep hoping it’s Clinton.  Keep up the infighting you 2!

Done Quoting,

Ranting Republican
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What Roll Will the VP Candidate Play in 2008? Greatest for McCain

March 27, 2008

Here’s the summary of some recent Survey USA polls done (click to enlarge) that look at the significance of the Vice Presidential candidates:

Now – let’s look at some key states:

  • Massachusetts:
    • 40% say they may vote for McCain based on his VP.
    • 27% say that for Obama (and 20% for Clinton).
    • With how closely MA has been lately, the VP candidate could swing this race to McCain, especially if he picks Romney (like I think he will).
  • Iowa and Wisconsin
    • Both are at 33% for the VP influencing support for McCain, but it’s much lower for Obama and Clinton – but it still could be enough to swing the race – and these are 2 states that will be quite heated races.
    • 50% in in WI and 49% in IA are already opposed to Clinton – YIKES for her!
    • 42% in IA and 40% in WI against Obama is pretty bad for him as well.
  • Missouri
    • 52% opposed to Obama and 47% to Clinton.
    • It’s an essential win for McCain in a state which has been previously classified as a toss-up state.
    • It could affect the heated Governor’s race if people vote straight-party-ticket.
  • Ohio
    • 46% against Clinton and 47% against Obama – another bad sign for Dems. in a large and heated-race state. 

I know that these aren’t all 50 states, but look at the range that people oppose Clinton and Obama: 38-61% for both.  Now look at McCain: 28%-48%.  And this includes the 2 most liberal states (New York and California), and doesn’t include states like Texas.

This polls is a bad sign for Democrats – a sign that a lot of infighting is happening.

But it’s also a sign that McCain has to pick a good VP.  Look at the range for the VP making the difference.  For Obama it’s 12%-28%, Clinton it’s 17%-25%, but McCain it’s 29%-40%.  And this is because of his age.  People are going to ask, “If McCain dies, do I want _________ to become my President?”  We’re going to see a LOT of Vice Presidential debates – more than we’ve seen in a while anyway.

I hope he picks a good VP candidate, but either way, I think we’ve got this election all but in the bag.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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