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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   1001. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4256527)
It's always a funny situation when one finds oneself rooting for bad news for one's country.

I'm not rooting for bad news; I'm simply pointing out there wasn't good news. For Obama to run around claiming there was a big improvement in the country's unemployment rate is absurd given that U6 remained unchanged. Put aside the spike in government jobs, which will likely turn out to be one-day Election Day workers, and last month's new jobs didn't even cover population growth. It was a putrid report being spun as great news.
   1002. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4256542)
Today's BLS report is the equivalent of TBS saying that Josh Hamilton's OPS is either .930 ... or .690. Or maybe neither.


It's a survey. Surveys have sampling errors. There are approximately 150 million Americans in the labor force. A sampling margin of error of 400,000 out of 150 million is 0.27%. Election polls have margins of error of 3%. The fact that we can't say whether jobs increased by 100,000 jobs or 200,000 jobs, or that once every 20 months (5%, or slightly more than once every two years) we get numbers that are wrong by more than 400,000 is a case of trying to read too much into these numbers than is there.

Using U6 - which I think gives the best overall picture of the American labor market - U6 was 14-15% and rising rapidly when Obama took office, peaking around 17% in late 2009. It held fairly stubbornly just under 17% for 2009, sliding slightly to 16-16.5% for most of 2011, before sliding toward 15% starting in late 2011. It has since settled in the 14.5-15.0% range for most of 2012.

Trying to say anything much more detailed than that about BLS data and trying to draw too many broad conclusions about single monthly numbers is trying to read too much into things than is probably warranted.

Or, more broadly, the employment situation in the U.S. right now is broadly similar to what it was when Obama took office: U3 (the "headline" unemployment number) is the same, U6 is perhaps a bit worse (14.2% in Jan, 2009 rising to 15.1% in Feb, 2009 v. 14.7% now), total employment is a bit higher (after recent revisions). But whether it's a little better or a little worse doesn't really change the overall story, does it?

(source)
   1003. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4256543)
If only we were on the edge of financial meltdown again.
   1004. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4256548)
If only we were on the edge of financial meltdown again.


Well, yeah, trending up from 14% (or 8%) is a different thing than trending down to 14% (8%).
   1005. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4256551)
But whether it's a little better or a little worse doesn't really change the overall story, does it?

Obama didn't get that memo, nor did many of his cheerleaders in the media.
   1006. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4256581)
477. Bitter Mouse Posted:
So the D side has a terribly ineffective "bribery scheme" and the awesome power of unions on its side. How can they possibly lose?


We are talking about public sector unions which have grown along with the size of government. That's more dues, more campaign contributions. Even if they can no longer deliver the labor vote to the political party whom abandoned the Reagan Democrats for abortionists, they have millions for partisan interests.
   1007. McCoy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4256634)
Obama didn't get that memo, nor did many of his cheerleaders in the media.

Nor did many of his naysayers.
   1008. booond Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4256652)
Nor did many of his naysayers.


There's an extra "m" in that sentence.
   1009. Morty Causa Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4256656)
   1010. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4256662)
It's always a funny situation when one finds oneself rooting for bad news for one's country.


The Republicans' hatred of America has never been much of a secret.
   1011. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4256667)
Romney wins god vote in first debate

It's worth wading through the notorious librulmediabias of this Post editorial just to get to the comments section.
   1012. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4256678)
The Republicans' hatred of America has never been much of a secret.
That's not true. Republicans don't think they're America, they think they are America, and nobody else is. That's why disagreeing with President Bush in a time of crisis was traitorous, while disagreeing with President Obama during an even greater crisis is, you know, American.
   1013. Lassus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4256688)
Republicans don't think they're America, they think they are America

This sounds like something Broyles would have said when he was tripping during the Fringe LSD episode. ;-)
   1014. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4256689)
I need to re-write that:
The Republicans' hatred of America has never been much of a secret.
That's not true. Republicans don't hate America, they think they are America, and nobody else is. That's why disagreeing with President Bush in a time of crisis was traitorous, while disagreeing with President Obama during an even greater crisis is, you know, American.

Edit: Quiet, you.
   1015. Steve Treder Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4256724)
Just when you thought the creepy nutters couldn't get any creepy-nuttier:

the immigration issue, both legal and illegal ... will lead to planned wars or extermination. Although now this seems to be barbaric and uncivilized, it will at some point become as necessary as eating and breathing.


This from a sitting member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
   1016. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4256733)
the immigration issue, both legal and illegal ... will lead to planned wars or extermination. Although now this seems to be barbaric and uncivilized, it will at some point become as necessary as eating and breathing.


This from a sitting member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Who was possibly channeling the 1970's European bestselling book, The Camp of the Saints. Fortunately our rapidly changing demographics will marginalize people like that at some point in the not-so-distant-future.
   1017. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4256735)
the Arkansas House of Representatives

To be fair, he represents about 30,000 people, about 5,000 of whom actually voted for him in 2010. The Mother of Parliaments, this is not.

And to be equally fair, those 5,000 people need to take a long look, either at their representative or in the mirror.
   1018. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4256757)
With the new Rasmussen tracking poll at Romney +2, this now makes the RCP average at exactly the same point that Bush-Kerry was on this date in 2004 (1.8 in favor of the incumbent), which was also less than a week after their first debate, and also after that debate had produced a significant closing of what had previously been a big Bush lead.
   1019. tshipman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4256836)
Using U6 - which I think gives the best overall picture of the American labor market - U6 was 14-15% and rising rapidly when Obama took office, peaking around 17% in late 2009. It held fairly stubbornly just under 17% for 2009, sliding slightly to 16-16.5% for most of 2011, before sliding toward 15% starting in late 2011. It has since settled in the 14.5-15.0% range for most of 2012.


I actually don't think that U6 gives the best picture of the labor market. U6 doesn't account for part-time workers, which is an important feature of the labor force. Not all part-time workers are that by choice, but being employed part-time gives you significantly higher productivity than being unemployed.

I agree with your overall point, though.

But whether it's a little better or a little worse doesn't really change the overall story, does it?


Certainly not. Like in 1984, this is an important election for the in-party to win, as outsized gains will likely be accrued. Two Supremes are likely to be nominated/confirmed, and the public is about to stop caring so much about politics. There's a decent chance of robust catch-up growth (greater than 3%) in the next ten years.
   1020. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4256867)
We are talking about public sector unions which have grown along with the size of government. That's more dues, more campaign contributions. Even if they can no longer deliver the labor vote to the political party whom abandoned the Reagan Democrats for abortionists, they have millions for partisan interests.

Right. It's funny how the liberals loathe Citizens United but have no problem whatsoever with workers essentially if not explicitly being forced not only to join labor unions, but to sit by and watch as their union dues are used to advance political positions they oppose. (And remember, the Dems are the "party of choice." Funny stuff.)

***
Fortunately our rapidly changing demographics will marginalize people like that at some point in the not-so-distant-future.

You keep making this comment without ever touching on the other realities of those "changing demographics." According to La Raza, 90 percent of Latino infants were on WIC as of 2008. According to an education study, only 55 percent of Latinos in the U.S. age 23 and older have a high school diploma. I'd love for you to explain just how these "changing demographics" are so great for the future of the U.S., especially with an advanced U.S. economy that offers fewer and fewer low-skilled jobs that pay a living wage (for a single person, let alone a family).

***
I actually don't think that U6 gives the best picture of the labor market. U6 doesn't account for part-time workers, which is an important feature of the labor force. Not all part-time workers are that by choice, but being employed part-time gives you significantly higher productivity than being unemployed.

So you don't mind trumpeting a headline unemployment number that ignores millions of discouraged workers, but you don't like U6 because it doesn't reflect the number of people working part-time by choice. That's odd.
   1021. McCoy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4256879)
Amusing.
   1022. tshipman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4256884)
So you don't mind trumpeting a headline unemployment number that ignores millions of discouraged workers, but you don't like U6 because it doesn't reflect the number of people working part-time by choice. That's odd.


I haven't trumpeted a headline unemployment number over six in my life. Discussing deficit reduction in Washington while the unemployment rate is over 7.5% is a moral failure, and indicative of Washington's devotion to moneyed interests rather than the people.

In this case, U6 is not capturing important data that is relevant to the economy. You shouldn't make policy based off of underemployment. If you make policy based off unemployment, underemployment fixes itself. Remember the 2000 economy? It was truly great for everyone. Low-skill workers had a choice of jobs, businesses had plentiful demand and productivity grew by leaps and bounds because you had to make due while you tried to hire someone. That kind of economy should be the goal for everyone--no matter the political persuasion.

You keep making this comment without ever touching on the other realities of those "changing demographics." According to La Raza, 90 percent of Latino infants were on WIC as of 2008. According to an education study, only 55 percent of Latinos in the U.S. age 23 and older have a high school diploma. I'd love for you to explain just how these "changing demographics" are so great for the future of the U.S., especially with an advanced U.S. economy that offers fewer and fewer low-skilled jobs that pay a living wage (for a single person, let alone a family).


I guess I don't get why being on WIC is a bad thing? The US has always been driven by immigration, and immigrants have frequently been poor. It is the great success of our country that you can come here or grow up poor and try to make something of yourself.
   1023. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4256894)
So we're going to spend a lot of time playing games to get the employment numbers to look favorable to one side or the other? I remember that back under Bush, when the employer survey numbers looked anemic, they boasted about the household numbers. The household surveys are always better, the Joe Kehoskies of the world were saying. Now that the tables are reversed, no we can't look at the headline unemployment number, we need to look at these other numbers.

The data are the data. They all tell a similar story: things are slowly getting better, but things still aren't particularly great. Used to be we could all agree that we wanted things to get better, but now I'm not so sure. All the talk is about the horserace. I want Obama to win for a variety of reasons, and on the economy specifically I don't see any proposals by Romney that would help significantly. On the other hand, the President can't do much on his own and its likely that whomever is elected will oversee a slow but steady recovery over the next four years. Nothing we say on an internet board, no spinning of the numbers, will measurably alter the outcome, so why bother? If you want Romney to win, I assume you want him to win whether the economy is reasonably good, or depressingly poor, so why invest in arguing one state of affairs or the other?
   1024. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4256898)
I haven't trumpeted a headline unemployment number over six in my life. Discussing deficit reduction in Washington while the unemployment rate is over 7.5% is a moral failure, and indicative of Washington's devotion to moneyed interests rather than the people.

Are you also coming out against additional low-skilled immigration for as long as unemployment remains high and wages in low-skill sectors remain stagnant? If not, you're just blowing smoke about "moral failures" or trusting in some Market Fairy that doesn't exist.

I guess I don't get why being on WIC is a bad thing? The US has always been driven by immigration, and immigrants have frequently been poor. It is the great success of our country that you can come here or grow up poor and try to make something of yourself.

You don't get what's problematic about 90 percent of a demographic requiring a welfare program? U.S. immigration law explicitly says that people who are likely to need government assistance shouldn't be admitted, and yet our immigration system is yielding the exact opposite results.
   1025. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4256901)
They all tell a similar story: things are slowly getting better, but things still aren't particularly great.

Seen the GDP numbers lately? 2012 is worse than 2011 which was worse than 2010. If that's your idea of "getting better," you have strange standards. (And if you really believe Sept. 2012 was the best month for hiring in 30 years despite a slowing economy, you need an economics refresher.)
   1026. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4256902)
U6 doesn't account for part-time workers, which is an important feature of the labor force. Not all part-time workers are that by choice, but being employed part-time gives you significantly higher productivity than being unemployed.


I thought U6 counted people who were voluntarily part-time as "employed", but excluded those who were part-time "for economic reasons". Although it's true that working part-time is better than not working, even if you'd rather be working full-time.
   1027. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4256904)
I thought U6 counted people who were voluntarily part-time as "employed", but excluded those who were part-time "for economic reasons".

I believe it's the opposite: It counts people working part-time not by choice, and excludes those working part-time by choice.
   1028. McCoy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4256910)
If you want Romney to win, I assume you want him to win whether the economy is reasonably good, or depressingly poor,


Ding, ding ding.

We could be living in a republican Utopia for 80+ years but if a Democrat is the President the Joe Kehoskies of the world will want him out and will vote for anyone standing in front of a red background. The Joes of this world are not unique though, whatever is the Democrat version of Joe would do the same thing if the situation was reversed.
   1029. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4256915)
I believe it's the opposite: It counts people working part-time not by choice, and excludes those working part-time by choice.


No, I'm pretty sure the math works my way (unless we're both just saying the same thing, which is possible, I think).

Here's the most recent numbers:

Civilian Labor Force, 155,063
Marginally attached to labor force, 2,517

Employed, 142,974
Part-time for economic reasons, 8,613
Part-time for noneconomic reasons, 18,736

The "Employed" number has to include the "part-time" numbers, otherwise total employed exceeds the civilian labor force.

The "headline" number is just 1 - (Employed / Labor Force) = 1 - (142,974 / 155,063) = 7.8%

The reported value of U6 is 14.7%.
Adding "Marginally attached" to the Labor Force gives you 157,580. Excluding "part-time for economic reasons" from Employed gives you 134,361.

U6 is then equal to 1 - (134,361 / 157,580) = 14.7%

(source)
   1030. SteveF Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4256922)
No, I'm pretty sure the math works my way.


You are both saying the same thing. Kehoskie's frame of reference is employment rather than unemployment, while yours is unemployment.
   1031. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4256923)
No, I'm pretty sure the math works my way (unless we're both just saying the same thing, which is possible, I think).

Maybe I misunderstood your last comment, when you said:

I thought U6 counted people who were voluntarily part-time as "employed", but excluded those who were part-time "for economic reasons".

According to the BLS site, U6 includes people who are working part-time "for economic reasons."

(EDIT: Didn't notice Kiko had already linked to the same site.)
   1032. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4256925)
You are both saying the same thing. Kehoskie's frame of reference is employment rather than unemployment, while yours is unemployment.


I realized that was probably it as I was proof-reading #1029. Anyway, #1029 shows the actual math for anybody who's interested.
   1033. SteveF Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4256926)
Anyway, #1029 shows the actual math for anybody who's interested.


It's actually pretty helpful. Thanks.
   1034. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4256927)
Joe, not to beat this dead horse any longer, but U6 is an UNEMPLOYMENT measure, so to say that U6 "includes people who are working part-time for 'economic reasons'" is to say that it treats these people as UNEMPLOYED.
   1035. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4256936)
Joe, not to beat this dead horse any longer, but U6 is an UNEMPLOYMENT measure, so to say that U6 "includes people who are working part-time for 'economic reasons'" is to say that it treats these people as UNEMPLOYED.

Right, which is why I objected when you said "U6 ... excluded those who were part-time 'for economic reasons'" in #1026. U6 specifically counts such people as unemployed.
   1036. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4256940)
Right, which is why I objected when you said "U6 ... excluded those who were part-time 'for economic reasons'" in #1026. U6 specifically counts such people as unemployed.


I should have repeated the phrase "as employed" at the end of my first sentence in #1026. I thought it was implicit. I will now stop this tedious nitpicking. All further questions about what is or is not included in U6 and what "is not included" means can be answered by looking at the math in #1029. Sorry for my poor phrasing. (That was all sincere, by the way; my phrasing in 1026 was poor; mea culpa)
   1037. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4256943)
I will now stop this tedious nitpicking.

Come on, it's only 4:30 PM here on the East Coast. What are we going to do for the rest of the day?
   1038. tshipman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4256944)
You guys are agreeing with each other, FYI. In any case, the divergence between U6 and U3 is unimportant in the short term, as part-time jobs typically convert to full-time with more demand. In this case, U6 isn't pointing out a fatal weakness of U3, it's just demonstrating lag in the economy.

On the other hand, the President can't do much on his own and its likely that whomever is elected will oversee a slow but steady recovery over the next four years.


I think there's a significant chance of rapid growth. There is a school of thought that says that growth has been aritficially depressed by a series of exogenous factors: the earthquake/meltdown in Japan, the EuroDOOM crisis, etc. All of those factors are likely to improve and growth is likely to start. It's possible that the apparent slowdown in China will overtake those factors, of course.

A lot depends on this election, actually. The winner of the election probably has the whip hand in resolving the fiscal cliff in the lame duck. It seems like even Republicans are willing to negotiate on the Bush tax cuts if they lose this election.
   1039. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4256951)
the EuroDOOM crisis, etc. All of those factors are likely to improve and growth is likely to start.

I thought Eurodoom had only been delayed past the U.S. election, not that it was suddenly less likely to occur at all. Have Europe's financials changed substantially for the better?
   1040. tshipman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4256953)
I thought Eurodoom had only been delayed past the U.S. election, not that it was suddenly less likely to occur at all. Have Europe's financials changed substantially for the better?


Well, the Euros don't seem to believe in actual solutions, but at least it hasn't blown up YET. The risk level is significantly lower than it was a year ago.

   1041. SteveF Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4256993)
I think there's a significant chance of rapid growth.


I hope you're right. My opinion is the current debt levels, both public and private, aren't sustainable and we're in for a long period of (ideally gradual) deleveraging.
   1042. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4258081)
Obama's down to 64.7 percent at Intrade, while Nate still has him at 80.2 percent (Nov. 6) and 91.2 percent (Now-cast). I'm not a big Intrade follower; is this the biggest gap yet between Intrade and Nate?
   1043. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4258090)
I hope you're right. My opinion is the current debt levels, both public and private, aren't sustainable and we're in for a long period of (ideally gradual) deleveraging.

It's called inflation, and at some point soon, the US needs a bunch of it. A decade of 5-7% inflation would solve a lot of problems.
   1044. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4258101)
I understand how inflation helps at the personal level for people with debt, but how much would inflation really solve things at the government level? If most of the federal debt is held by or otherwise owed to the SSA rather than foreign countries or the private sector, and if seniors are statutorily entitled to COLA, it seems like an inflationary policy would simply have the government printing more money and then handing out more money, but with little or no net erosion in (government-related) debt. I can't envision any scenario in which inflation is allowed to eat at Boomers' Social Security benefits, as their political clout is growing rather than declining.
   1045. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 07, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4258302)
I understand how inflation helps at the personal level for people with debt, but how much would inflation really solve things at the government level? If most of the federal debt is held by or otherwise owed to the SSA rather than foreign countries or the private sector, and if seniors are statutorily entitled to COLA, it seems like an inflationary policy would simply have the government printing more money and then handing out more money, but with little or no net erosion in (government-related) debt. I can't envision any scenario in which inflation is allowed to eat at Boomers' Social Security benefits, as their political clout is growing rather than declining.

SS only holds $4.8 of the $15.7B Federal debt, as per Wiki. Plus you have state and local debt.

And, a CPI COLA won't keep up with actual inflation, especially given the Feds' ability to change the basket for CPI.
   1046. tshipman Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4258324)
Obama's down to 64.7 percent at Intrade, while Nate still has him at 80.2 percent (Nov. 6) and 91.2 percent (Now-cast). I'm not a big Intrade follower; is this the biggest gap yet between Intrade and Nate?


I think the gap was quite a bit higher at other points during the year, but I don't have a specific example. A similar gap has been in place (since Nate had O as high as 86%) for the last week or so.

I understand that you're not claiming that Intrade is a great system or anything, but I did want to mention that some people (especially in the newsmedia at large) seem to treat Intrade with waaaay too much credibility. At various moments, there have been obvious arbitrage opportunities (of more than two points) between Intrade and the Iowa Political Futures market. Right now, for example, there's an over 5 point spread. This is part of the problem with Intrade--it lacks sufficient liquidity and size to be predicative.
   1047. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4258453)
NBC's Chuck Todd starting to sound a lot like a "poll truther" ...

Well, it's simply an enthusiasm gap. And we're seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one. 79% of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. [...] 73% of Democrats.

Look at four years ago. It was a 13 point gap in favor of the Democrats.
Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street Journal poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago was 81%, pretty higher. Even higher this time at 87%. And Romney's doing better among seniors than McCain did.

Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He's winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don't have this kind of enthusiasm, they're not going to show up to the polls.

And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that's Hispanics. The President's winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.

So even though he's going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it's a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It's a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.
   1048. SteveF Posted: October 07, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4258608)
And, a CPI COLA won't keep up with actual inflation, especially given the Feds' ability to change the basket for CPI.


I'm not sure that effectively reducing social security benefits by a flat percentage across the board (which is what inflating and not adjusting for CPI would be doing) is going to be a popular mechanism for balancing the budget among politicians of either party. Social security isn't the only US holder of public debt. State and local governments also have a lot of treasuries, as do people's retirement plans/pensions/401K's etc.

The US is actually in a relatively poor position to inflate away the public debt. Most of the outstanding debt, while not protected against inflation, is of relatively short duration. I think weighted by amount, the average maturity of US public debt is 8 years or so. The end result of a change in policy to a decade worth of high inflation would be massive yields on new debt issued to retire old debt and would likely be partially self-defeating.

The situation is much worse for corporate bonds, where the average maturity is much shorter term (like 6 months).

I'm sure a higher inflation rate (<2% but less than 5%) is probably in order and in fact currently mostly as a result of QE3 the market (long term outlook) has the US at roughly 2.5% inflation over the next 30 years (last I looked).

You'd also have to overcome the lingering moral sentiment -- ants vs. grasshoppers.
   1049. Gonfalon B. Posted: October 07, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4258621)
Obama's down to 64.7 percent at Intrade, while Nate still has him at 80.2 percent (Nov. 6) and 91.2 percent (Now-cast). I'm not a big Intrade follower; is this the biggest gap yet between Intrade and Nate?

Not the biggest, but it's not the first discrepancy, either.

Intrade had this year's Colorado primary at 97% Romney. Santorum won by 5 points. As noted by tshipman and this post's link, the amount of bettors and money being moved via Intrade is simply too small to be anything more than an entertaining diversion. The UK's BetFair is the largest online betting exchange, and unless I've misread it, the money has Obama as a 74.5% favorite.
   1050. Lassus Posted: October 07, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4258687)
Random things to annoy Joe as I roll through media liberal empire Gawker:

Republicans vs. Gamers!

Conservative senator in Arkansas embarrassing everyone.

I know everyone has already seen this one, but member of House Committee on Science says that science is for the hell-bound.
   1051. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4259000)
It's called inflation, and at some point soon, the US needs a bunch of it. A decade of 5-7% inflation would solve a lot of problems.


I understand how inflation helps at the personal level for people with debt


FWIW credit card defaults are down...

"you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"


The "Cross of Gold" speech was in many ways, about inflation, in response to an inflationary spiral, the Government in response to inflation* (among other things) in 1893 (the panic of 1893), ditched the hybrid gold/silver system that'd been in effect for a few years, going back solely to gold, the abrupt contraction of the money supply - pitched the country into a deep recession (then called a depression- the worst one n US history until 1929)

The US agricultural sector cycled a few time late 19th Century- farmers would take out loans and invest... and tight monetary policies lead to deflation (especially for basic commodities), repaying debts became harder for harder and farmers went under... manufacturing however did not mind such deflationary cycles...
The 1893-1896 "recession" seems to have been largely governmentaly induced- through sheer stupidity if nothing else- basically the Government in 1893 enacted policies that the nutters we have today would have wanted...


*The brief period of inflation had come after a few years of action deflation- it was more a "correction" than an inflationary spiral.
   1052. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4259011)
I know everyone has already seen this one, but member of House Committee on Science says that science is for the hell-bound.


Paul Broun is a super special kind of stupid ############.
   1053. GregD Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4259022)
Gallup tracking shows a tie and shows Romney with the widest margin of victory of any debate it has ever polled. Poll

I don't trust Intrade as an indicator for the reasons mentioned above, but it is not at all unlikely that Nate's numbers will move toward the Intrade number. Nate's numbers, by design, are meant to move slowly to give time for more polls and information to sink in and more time to pass. So it's a feature not a bug if it is a little behind; that's meant to clear away the noise. If Romney keeps moving over a few more days, it'll get baked in, as it should. 65-35 sounds plausible to me, but obviously who knows?

The "Cross of Gold" speech was in many ways, about inflation, in response to an inflationary spiral, the Government in response to inflation* (among other things) in 1893 (the panic of 1893), ditched the hybrid gold/silver system that'd been in effect for a few years, going back solely to gold, the abrupt contraction of the money supply - pitched the country into a deep recession (then called a depression- the worst one n US history until 1929)

The US agricultural sector cycled a few time late 19th Century- farmers would take out loans and invest... and tight monetary policies lead to deflation (especially for basic commodities), repaying debts became harder for harder and farmers went under... manufacturing however did not mind such deflationary cycles...
The 1893-1896 "recession" seems to have been largely governmentaly induced- through sheer stupidity if nothing else- basically the Government in 1893 enacted policies that the nutters we have today would have wanted...
I would take it back a bit, since this makes it sounds like it's primarily a short-term response. From the end of the Civil War, there had been a conflict over how to respond to the government's expansive currency policies in the war (though in reality the currency policies weren't that expansive since most of the debt was handled by bonds.) Immediately after the war Western politicians began pushing to keep the currency floating, arguing that retracting the currency would crush farming economies, especially since there was relatively little credit to be had in much of the West, on any terms. In this period lots of different ideas float, especially of just printing Greenbacks. Right after the war, the new Secretary of the Treasury moves more quickly than anybody expected (though not as quickly as the NY bondholders wanted) and that causes a quick shock that hardens opposition. Moderates in both parties negotiate compromises through the 1870s and 1880s in which the government uses silver to keep the currency from depreciating too quickly but the government never runs a silver standard; it uses silver purchasing to inflate a gold standard. But the main opposition is from greenbackers, not silver backers. But both parties are committed to avoiding printing greenbacks. It's like anti-immigration now or protectionism, where you could poll a decent number in support but neither party will come out in favor.

During this period agricultural prices are in a fall, and cotton in a long-term free fall, because of increased global competition.

At first the panic creates openings for Greenbackers and subtreasury plans and more extreme plans. This spooks the Democratic Party who fears being replaced by Populists, and the combination of the discovery of new silver mines in Colorado (and the flood of money from mine operators) and of the Panic shifts the discussion to silver and thus to Bryan, as a way of staving off more extreme currency reform.

But while gold itself may have had its simplest base among anti-inflation bondholders, the Republicans had a powerful argument for protectionism as the basis of combined prosperity for North and Northwestern workers and owners, and dominated the election in part because currency reform wasn't seen as the most-important issue, compared to tariffs.

It is interesting to see that inflation itself is rarely invoked in the arguments; both sides are arguing that they are trying to reflect, not change, reality, so inflation is not something they're prepared to think about. Of course expanding the currency would have to affect inflation.
   1054. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4259030)
Gallup tracking shows a tie and shows Romney with the widest margin of victory of any debate it has ever polled. Poll


Latest Ras Presidential approval poll shows Obama at 51-49
Romney really NEEDS Obama under 50.

OTOH Romney does seem to have a bounce from the debates (a bounce he didn't get from the GOP convention)...

LEFTY wishful thinking department: some on the left are claiming that O's strategy was to let Romney talk essentially unopposed- to see how far he'd go- then post-debate their strategy would be to to Romney to that...

I dunno about that, I think that is the Dem's best strategy now going forward, but as a strategy going in? I have no idea what O and his people were thinking- what Romney did last week was essentially what he did in Primary debates- especially when he focused on Newt...
   1055. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4259036)
OTOH Romney does seem to have a bounce from the debates (a bounce he didn't get from the GOP convention)...


The debate did what the GOP failed to do at their convention, yes. Of course, there are two more debates at which Obama can right that ship.
   1056. Lassus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4259037)
...and shows Romney with the widest margin of victory of any debate it has ever polled.

This kind of dumbass oversell actually makes me feel better.
   1057. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4259039)
LEFTY wishful thinking department: some on the left are claiming that O's strategy was to let Romney talk essentially unopposed- to see how far he'd go- then post-debate their strategy would be to to Romney to that...


That's some pretty high-grade stupid right there.
   1058. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4259047)
I keep saying it. The debates aren't about destroying the other candidate or their message and that is especially true for an incumbent leading in the polls. Debates are about getting 45 minutes or so of unedited national coverage for you to get your message out.

   1059. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4259053)
LEFTY wishful thinking department: some on the left are claiming that O's strategy was to let Romney talk essentially unopposed- to see how far he'd go- then post-debate their strategy would be to to Romney to that...


That is some mighty strong wishful thinking. I think the President is trying to make lemonade out of lemons in the aftermath. Romeny was the aggressor and Obama was passive (not even defensive, in that he jsut seemed to take it). I would be shocked if that was his stategy going into the debate.
   1060. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4259058)
I keep saying it. The debates aren't about destroying the other candidate or their message and that is especially true for an incumbent leading in the polls. Debates are about getting 45 minutes or so of unedited national coverage for you to get your message out.


While I don't disagree with this, I do think it is incomplete. Part of the debates is presenting themselves to the public and showing how they react. Rightly or wrongly, people judge the candidates in how they interact in these types of debates. A lot of people have an image of how a president should "look and feel" in these situations. In the last debate Romney had it and Obama did not.
   1061. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4259064)
But the "look and feel" is part of the getting out your message. Romney didn't really attack the president in the debates either. He defended himself from some mild sound bites by presenting his message and his own sound bites.

I don't see how Obama wins a debate by going hard on the attack and trying to destroy Romney's message. I don't see how that would line up with what people's wants when it comes to "look and feel". I know the hard core partisans on each side want their candidates to do that and wish and hope that somehow the other side is going to be exposed as a fraud but that simply doesn't happen. This isn't a movie.
   1062. The Good Face Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4259083)
LEFTY wishful thinking department: some on the left are claiming that O's strategy was to let Romney talk essentially unopposed- to see how far he'd go- then post-debate their strategy would be to to Romney to that...


That's some pretty high-grade stupid right there.


It's plenty stupid, but sorta kinda plausible. A lot of lefties are convinced that Republicans are, by definition, incredibly evil and/or incredibly stupid. Just let 'em talk and their inherent evilness/stupidity will shine through and all non-Republicans will be repelled!

   1063. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4259086)
Part of the debates is presenting themselves to the public and showing how they react. Rightly or wrongly, people judge the candidates in how they interact in these types of debates. A lot of people have an image of how a president should "look and feel" in these situations. In the last debate Romney had it and Obama did not.


Obama does quite often seem to put too much faith in the American people's ability to discern truth from politics.
   1064. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4259088)
But the "look and feel" is part of the getting out your message. Romney didn't really attack the president in the debates either. He defended himself from some mild sound bites by presenting his message and his own sound bites.

I don't see how Obama wins a debate by going hard on the attack and trying to destroy Romney's message. I don't see how that would line up with what people's wants when it comes to "look and feel". I know the hard core partisans on each side want their candidates to do that and wish and hope that somehow the other side is going to be exposed as a fraud but that simply doesn't happen. This isn't a movie.


It's not an easy task, since Obama's going to have to walk a fine line between forcefulness and "looking presidential". Romney managed to do both in the first debate, regardless of the factual fantasy world in which he was dwelling.

And though I hate to say it, a lot of it is going to turn on the quality of the questions from the studio audience, and the degree to which the candidates are allowed to get away with playing murder with the facts. It's a painful thing to contemplate, but those amateur questioners are going to have to do a lot better job in that respect than either Jim Lehrer or Obama did in the first debate. Unfortunately since they're apparently going to be drawn from the pool of "undecided" voters, they're likely to be even more deferential.

I'm also glad that the next presidential debate isn't for another week, so that we can see how the polls are settling. Rasmussen's final day of his 3-day post-debate cycle is now in, and already Romney's lost four points from his post-debate bump. It'll be interesting to see how the more long range polls will come out, since at this point only the tracking polls are counting any post-debate interviews.
   1065. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4259089)
But there are alternatives between going hard on attack and sitting back and taking it. It is not a binary approach. Obama, for whatever reason, took the later approach. He was passive and lacked passion in conveying his message. He can show that passion and defend himself without going to full attack mode. That Obama did not do that makes some wonder about him, from questioning his belief in his message to wondering if he really wants it to fearing that this reveals his personality when dealing with foreign leaders.

I am not talking about the gotcha attack that wins it all in the movies - I am talking about some of the passion that shows you want to be there. To me, that is different than the message, but I think that is a minor point.
   1066. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4259135)

At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture, as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products.

Under the doctrine, which the Supreme Court has recognized since 1908, you can resell your stuff without worry because the copyright holder only had control over the first sale.

Put simply, though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen has it on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.

That’s being challenged now for products that are made abroad, and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling, it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.

“It means that it’s harder for consumers to buy used products and harder for them to sell them,” said Jonathan Band, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association for Research Libraries. “This has huge consumer impact on all consumer groups.”

Another likely result is that it would hit you financially because the copyright holder would now want a piece of that sale.

It could be your personal electronic devices or the family jewels that have been passed down from your great-grandparents who immigrated from Spain. It could be a book that was written by an American writer but printed and bound overseas, or an Italian painter’s artwork.

There are implications for a variety of wide-ranging U.S. entities, including libraries, musicians, museums and even resale juggernauts eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Craigslist. U.S. libraries, for example, carry some 200 million books from foreign publishers.

“It would be absurd to say anything manufactured abroad can’t be bought or sold here,” said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation who specializes in technology issues.

The case stems from Supap Kirtsaeng’s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to America in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the United States.

He then sold them on eBay, making upward of $1.2 million, according to court documents.

Wiley, which admitted that it charged less for books sold abroad than it did in the United States, sued him for copyright infringement. Kirtsaeng countered with the first-sale doctrine.

In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that anything that was manufactured overseas is not subject to the first-sale principle. Only American-made products or “copies manufactured domestically” were.


“That’s a non-free-market capitalistic idea for something that’s pretty fundamental to our modern economy,” Ammori commented.


WTF?
   1067. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4259146)
Geez, if this goes through it will basically kill the production of almost all non-perishable goods in America. Companies will have absolutely no incentive to produce anything in America and billions of reasons to produce them in foreign countries.
   1068. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4259150)
Monday brings new updates to Ohio absentee and early vote tallies.

Democrats now at 283,000 and Republicans now at 246,000
   1069. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4259201)
   1070. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4259212)
Obama gaining ground again in Ras and Gallup.
   1071. BDC Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4259220)
#1066 describes an interesting case, for sure. Part of the value of books has always been that you can resell them. Publishers have never worried about it too much before because (a) the resale potential is factored into the initial price; people will pay a premium for something they can possibly resell; and (b) book pricing is very complicated, with all kinds of discounts at different stages of a book's career, meaning that publishers often have new stock that they can remainder for less than used copies are going for, a calculation also factored in at the start.

If you truly could not resell a book (a hideously difficult market to police unless the sellers are doing $1.2M worth on eBay), then what would happen to the market for new books? The intersection of a resale ban with the growth of the e-book market makes the future hard to envision.

That's just for books, obviously. If people can no longer sell Taiwanese ciabatta ovens or Mexican home-fitness-center systems at yard sales, civilization will come to a halt.
   1072. tshipman Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4259226)
That article was dumb. Romney isn't running his campaign on an implicit or explicit racist theme. Romney is running a structurally dishonest campaign, but not a racist one.
   1073. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4259228)
You apparently misread the entire article.
   1074. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4259233)
You apparently misread the entire article.

Right. In particular, the author's citation of studies regarding race-neutralized southern white voting preferences get to the heart of his case. You have to read the whole thing carefully before jumping to conclusions about it.
   1075. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 08, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4259239)

According to a new report in The Washington Post, the median net worth of the current Congress rose 5% during the recession while it fell 39% for the average American. The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers saw their net worth rise 14%.

The Washington Post disclosed these statistics in a recent story on the wealth gap between Congressional members and the American public.

"These are supposed to be our representatives," says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task. "If they're not living the same lives or understanding the lives that the average American is living, how can they really represent our interests?"

The Post analyzed the financial disclosure forms and public records for all Congressional members from 2004 to 2010. Some key findings of the report are:
•By 2010, the median estimated wealth for members of the House of Representatives was $746,000; for senators it was $2.6 million.
•There was virtually no difference between the wealth of Republicans and Democrats in 2010. Just six years earlier, the net worth of Republicans was 44% higher than the net worth of Democrats.
•28% of Congress, or 150 members, reported earning more income from outside jobs and investments than from their Congressional salary of $174,000.
•27% of Congressional members saw a decline in their net worth between 2004 and 2010.
   1076. tshipman Posted: October 08, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4259266)
Right. In particular, the author's citation of studies regarding race-neutralized southern white voting preferences get to the heart of his case. You have to read the whole thing carefully before jumping to conclusions about it.


I read the whole thing. It was a dumb article that meandered around pointlessly. The Republican party is a regional party.

Here's a great example:
Let me put it this way. Is it just an accident, a coincidence, that in presidential elections ever since 1964, the core states of the Confederacy—Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina—and their hundred or so electoral votes have been solidly Republican?


Is it just an accident, just a coincidence that New England has been mostly democratic with the exception of one landslide election?

Here's his thesis:
Let’s face it. If you ask me, there’s no he said/she said here. The Republican Party is only a viable entity because of Southern racism.


There are plenty of valid reasons for Southerners to vote Republican in 2012. Nixon has been dead a long time. Some regional Republicans make racist dogwhistles, but the national party does not.
   1077. BDC Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4259294)
Rosenbaum's piece is far more nuanced than that. The question is why the GOP has its regional base, and how it can be that it often keeps that base without explicitly racist campaigning. After all, neither Franklin D. Roosevelt nor Adlai Stevenson was a racist dogwhistler either, and both won the electoral votes of the solid south. (Truman, who was effectively more integrationist than even FDR, and didn't have wartime as an "excuse," lost most of the South to Thurmond.)

I've long been intrigued by the fact that parties like the current GOP, or the post-CW/thru-mid-20th Democratic Party, (nationally, or in Texas, where I live) can keep together people who are indeed racist and those who are either fairly race-neutral or actually anti-racist in most aspects of their lives. The research in Rosenbaum's piece goes a way toward explaining some of the factors. One of them is that racists (like the old Yellow Dog Democrats) vote with a party that they identify racially, almost instinctively. To paraphrase John Prine, they voted against Eisenhower because Lincoln won the war. In 1964, the party identification simply reversed – nearly overnight, in historical terms.

EDIT: And I should say that Romney is far more prone to the dogwhistle than McCain or 43. He's reviving a tradition in campaigning that goes back to 41, Reagan, and early southern-strategy Republicans.
   1078. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4259297)
In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that anything that was manufactured overseas is not subject to the first-sale principle. Only American-made products or “copies manufactured domestically” were.
Geez, if this goes through it will basically kill the production of almost all non-perishable goods in America. Companies will have absolutely no incentive to produce anything in America and billions of reasons to produce them in foreign countries.

All three judges were Clinton appointees, although one dissented.

Monday brings new updates to Ohio absentee and early vote tallies.

Democrats now at 283,000 and Republicans now at 246,000

The split finished at Dem+13 in 2008, and it's Dem+8 now. Still four weeks to go, but it's looking like there's been a drop-off in enthusiasm among Dems in the Buckeye State.
   1079. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4259300)
All three judges were Clinton appointees, although one dissented.


And your point is?
   1080. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4259307)
I've long been intrigued by the fact that parties like the current GOP, or the post-CW/thru-mid-20th Democratic Party, (nationally, or in Texas, where I live) can keep together people who are indeed racist and those who are either fairly race-neutral or actually anti-racist in most aspects of their lives.

The modern Dem party is much more coalitional than the GOP ever was. Blacks and Latinos increasingly dislike each other and they both loathe gay marriage, and yet Obama is projected to get 98 percent of the black vote and 70 percent of the Latino vote.

As for the South and the GOP, the idea that the Bible Belt going for Republicans is some sort of mystery (or due to racism) is really comical. The Dems booed God at their convention, for Pete's sake.
   1081. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4259312)
And your point is?

The point is obvious: It's now up to those dreaded right-wingers on the Supreme Court to stop the offshoring of millions of American jobs due to a ruling by two lefty judges.
   1082. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4259316)
The point is obvious: It's now up to those dreaded right-wingers on the Supreme Court to stop the offshoring of millions of American jobs due to a ruling by two lefty judges.


So you have read the decision and the statute that was interpreted and concluded that it was liberal judicial activism?
   1083. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4259322)
Aren't the real racists those attacking actress Stacey Dash for endorsing Romney? Indeed.
   1084. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4259323)
So you have read the decision and the statute that was interpreted and concluded that it was liberal judicial activism?

More like liberal judicial stupidity. But I repeat myself.
   1085. BDC Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4259324)
The Dems booed God

Heck, in Arlington last week, Rangers fans booed Superman. They're still good Americans!
   1086. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4259326)
More like liberal judicial stupidity. But I repeat myself.


Why was it "liberal judical stupidity"? Not talking points but actual analysis of the case.
   1087. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4259330)
Aren't the real racists those attacking actress Stacey Dash for endorsing Romney? Indeed.


If they expect her to vote for Obama due to the color of her skin, then very likely yes. If they disagree because they think Obama is a better choice, then no.

The twitter response in the article are awful. You can disagree with someone without getting personal like that. Completely uncalled for.
   1088. Tilden Katz Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4259337)
The twitter feeds of no name people should be given as much time and analysis as the comments on Fox Nation. None.
   1089. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4259340)
Pew poll: Romney up 4 among LV.
   1090. CrosbyBird Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4259344)
I have never understood the attraction of most "slippery slope" arguments. It is very (small c) Conservative in that it claims at its base that a change (pretty much any change) can lead and in fact will lead to other related changes in a never ending cycle - extrapolate to the end and look how terrible it is.

The whole thing is so fallacious. Change happens all the time. It is part of life. We must (and do) evaluate every change independently (but in context). And then decide what to do. Bleating about every change leading to people marrying their vibrator (or whatever) is odd, but I guess emotionally fulfilling for some.


The slippery slope argument is a logical construct that is sometimes reasonable and sometimes fallacious. The issue is rarely the "slope" part so much as the "slippery" part.

Having a broader definition of marriage is indeed movement along a slope. I highly doubt a country that did not come to, generally speaking, accept interracial marriage would even be debating gay marriage. In that respect, interracial marriage was movement down the slope that led/will lead to acceptance of gay marriage. There may indeed come a time when we sort out how to allow larger marriages, and I do think that acceptance of one sort of so-called "alternate lifestyle" does indeed lead to a general tolerance of others. It happens that this is a slope that I think we should take pretty much all the way to the bottom: consenting adults should be entitled to enter into whatever sort of contracts they choose, within the boundaries of contract law. I do think polygamy and incest are on the slope, but you're still in the same place, making an argument based on "this makes me uncomfortable" or "this isn't normal" or "this isn't customary."

Bestiality is off the wall, though, because animals can't consent.
   1091. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4259347)
Jake Tapper found an interesting nuggeet in the new Pew Poll:
Pew from Sept had Obama up 51-43 with likely voters. Now Romney 49-45. Then: Obama +18 with women. Now: tied.
(emphasis mine)
   1092. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4259348)
There are plenty of valid reasons for Southerners to vote Republican in 2012. Nixon has been dead a long time. Some regional Republicans make racist dogwhistles, but the national party does not.

Here are the key paragraphs around which the author's point is centered:

That doesn’t mean that all Southern whites vote GOP only because of race. But when I checked in with the careful historian of Nixon’s Southern Strategy, Rick Perlstein, author of books on the Goldwater and Nixon phenomena, he suggested that recent research has demonstrated that racial attitudes—as opposed to mere conservatism on other policy issues—determine Republican votes in the South.

He referred me to a book by Thomas Schaller, called Whistling Past Dixie, in which Schaller cites sophisticated polling studies of Southern voters. Perlstein has explained his regard for Schaller’s book:

Schaller builds this conclusion on one of the most impressive papers in recent political science, "Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South," by Nicholas Valentino and David Sears. Running regressions on a massive data set of ideological opinions, Sears and Valentino demonstrate with precision that for example, a white Southern man who calls himself a "conservative," controlling for racial attitudes, is no less likely to chance a vote for a Democratic presidential candidate than a Northerner who calls himself a conservative. Likewise, a pro-life or hawkish Southern white man is no less likely—again controlling for racial attitudes—than a pro-life or hawkish Northerner to vote for the Democrat. But, on the other hand, when the relevant identifier is anti-black answers to survey questions (such as whether one agrees "If blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites," or choosing whether blacks are "lazy" or "hardworking"), an untoward result jumps out: white Southerners are twice as likely than white Northerners to refuse to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. Schaller writes: "Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters … the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past."


Obviously just pointing this out does the Democrats no good whatever. It's like complaining about the weather or any other unalterable fact of life. But it's beyond historical amnesia to pretend that it's not a fact, regardless of the spin that's put on in by the GOP / libertarian peanut gallery around here.

   1093. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4259349)
Why was it "liberal judical stupidity"? Not talking points but actual analysis of the case.

Murtha's dissent seems a lot more reasonable than the tenuous rationale of the majority.

We're living in strange times when liberals are both fighting against proposals targeting online piracy while also claiming that the buyers of non-pirated works need the permission of the copyright holder before reselling such works.
   1094. Tilden Katz Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4259353)
I think This is the foreign-donor "bombshell". Horrible stuff!
   1095. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4259354)
But, on the other hand, when the relevant identifier is anti-black answers to survey questions (such as whether one agrees "If blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites,"

So there are absolutely no scenarios under which a person could agree with the above statement and not be a racist? That seems rather dubious, since there are black people known to hold that position.
   1096. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4259356)
The slippery slope argument is a logical construct that is sometimes reasonable and sometimes fallacious. The issue is rarely the "slope" part so much as the "slippery" part.

Having a broader definition of marriage is indeed movement along a slope. I highly doubt a country that did not come to, generally speaking, accept interracial marriage would even be debating gay marriage. In that respect, interracial marriage was movement down the slope that led/will lead to acceptance of gay marriage.


Except the Slippery Slope argument is always put as A will lead to B, and acceptance of interracial marriage did not lead to acceptance of gay marriage in any direct sense (a couple generations have passed from one to the other). Anyone who argued we can't let blacks and whites marry because it would lead to men marrying men would have been just wrong. Even though the two issues are perhaps on the "continuum of tolerance" one does not directly lead to the other.

The slipper slope argument usually claims one will lead to another, when in fact the issues of the two "marriages" shows that both are independantly argued on their own merits and decided on those merits. While I have heard some mention interracial marriage in the context of the historic (socialogical) inevitability of gay marriage I have never heard anyone say we allowed interracial marriage, now we have to allow gay marriage as a matter of sliding down the slope of marriage.

Saying that would be silly, because even though we allowed one it has not real bearing on whether we are to allow the other. And that is why slipper slope arguments are silly. Each decision is made in the context of the times (interracial marriage was - in some places - illegal and now it is legal), but there is not some decision inertia where now we have done A so we have to do B.
   1097. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4259358)
There may indeed come a time when we sort out how to allow larger marriages, and I do think that acceptance of one sort of so-called "alternate lifestyle" does indeed lead to a general tolerance of others. It happens that this is a slope that I think we should take pretty much all the way to the bottom: consenting adults should be entitled to enter into whatever sort of contracts they choose, within the boundaries of contract law. I do think polygamy and incest are on the slope, but you're still in the same place, making an argument based on "this makes me uncomfortable" or "this isn't normal" or "this isn't customary."


Well, with polygamy and incest, there are issues beyond "this makes me uncomfortable" such as increased probability of birth defects WRT the latter (though we don't prohibit marriage of non-siblings who would have the same issues, like if both partners carry the Tay-Sachs gene), and survivorship and custodial issues with the former.
   1098. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4259365)
We're living in strange times when liberals are both fighting against proposals targeting online piracy while also claiming that the buyers of non-pirated works need the permission of the copyright holder before reselling such works.


I love how three judges appointed by a Democratic president become "liberals". Very silly Joe. Just find three people, get their opinion and apply that to an entire ideology/political movement. Sigh.
   1099. JL Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4259366)
Murtha's dissent seems a lot more reasonable than the tenuous rationale of the majority.


I agree, though I don't read the majority to be out of bounds or activism run rampant. A decision can be wrong without it being unreasonable.

We're living in strange times when liberals are both fighting against proposals targeting online piracy while also claiming that the buyers of non-pirated works need the permission of the copyright holder before reselling such works.

Must be nice to just group "liberals" together without really analyzing anything. That two Clinton apponted judges came to a decision does not make them speak for "liberals" anymore that Stevens and Brennan spoke for conservatives.
   1100. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4259370)
the panic of 1893), ditched the hybrid gold/silver system that'd been in effect for a few years, going back solely to gold, the abrupt contraction of the money supply - pitched the country into a deep recession (then called a depression- the worst one n US history until 1929

Not being an economic historian, was the recession/depression of 1893 much worse than the one of 1873?
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