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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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   1601. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4263461)
You don't need a catastrophic event to stress a human population to the point of extinction (see the history of pre-Columbian Americas) and rapid, massive ex-Toba climate change is a perfectly good explanation for population stress, if any.


Well, we're not referring to sub-species sub-groups. But, yes, that's true. After all, what, 99% of all the species that have ever existed are extinct. But, then, what's catastrophic may vary and be particular from species to species. Most extinction may be due to an inability to adapt, but there is always that dinosaur event thing, even on a less dramatic level, which is the Toba argument: it almost happened to us, the Tobaist say.
   1602. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4263469)
Well, we're not referring to sub-species sub-groups. But, yes, that's true. After all, what, 99% of all the species that have ever existed are extinct. But, then, what's catastrophic may vary and be particular from species to species. Most extinction may be due to an inability to adapt, but there is always that dinosaur event thing, even on a less dramatic level, which is the Toba argument: it almost happened to us, the Tobaist say.


But the Tobaist has not the evidence to support his claims. As a (former) geologist whose area of research was 100ka - present, the Toba stuff is offensively narrative driven and not particularly well supported by the data. Whenever there's a geological story that plays into what people "want" a story to look like, the radar immediately should go up, because there's a 200 year+ tendency for people to wedge the geology to fit their chosen story (I'm reading a good book that touches on this now - "Written in Stone")
   1603. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4263506)
Slavery was not antithetical to capitalism.


Isn't that the claim made wrt the American South's Plantation Feudalism. Since at least the Time on the Cross book, the idea that American slave system was a moribund one has been exposed as a fiction. It took outside force to destroy. It wasn't nearly at the point where it would collapse on itself. At least that's the argument. And that system was feeding and feeding off capitalism, right?
   1604. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4263511)
Isn't that the claim made wrt the American South's Plantation Feudalism. Since at least the Time on the Cross book, the idea that American slave system was a moribund one has been exposed as a fiction. It took outside force to destroy. It wasn't nearly at the point where it would collapse on itself. At least that's the argument. And that system was feeding and feeding off capitalism, right?
Agreed with the broader point, but it wasn't even feudalism. It was capitalist slavery, through and through. You can have slavery within just about any economic system.
   1605. Gaelan Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4263552)
That toba theory is preposterous on its face. Only someone looking to provide a counterpoint to adam and eve would believe it.

And don't come talking to me about "evidence." The theory isn't falsifiable and hence on your own terms isn't even scientific. It's a narrative that fits an ideology.
   1606. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4263556)
Agreed with the broader point, but it wasn't even feudalism. It was capitalist slavery, through and through. You can have slavery within just about any economic system.


Yeah, American slavery in the south was as free market a system of commodity exchange as you'll ever see. The commodities in question just happened to be human beings kidnapped from West Africa.
   1607. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4263561)
Desperate Democrat grasps at straw that Rasmussen now has Obama +1.
   1608. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4263571)
But the Toba volcanic eruption was a truly catastropic event, with consequences deep and broad. If its effect attenuated the farther you got from the central happening, that should be reflected in the genetic makeup of the various peoples. Are our "orientals/asian" forebears more different than those of our near-east/african/euopean ones? Are those people closer to ground zero more closely related to each other than other peoples in other geographic locations. Seems to me this is, either now or in the near future, determinable. It'll be interesting to see what the revolution in genetic studies can show us.
   1609. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4263579)
It's a narrative that fits an ideology.


What's the ideology?

Kind of related:

The Neanderthal in the Woodpile
   1610. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4263580)
“He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.

‘He also told me one thing, “If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,”‘ Rivard said. ‘Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, “Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.” All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, “Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,” he said, “they rape so easy.”

‘What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, “If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.” So the way he said it was, “Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.”‘

‘So it’s been kind of taken out of context.’”


--Wisconsin state Representative Roger Rivard
   1611. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4263586)
Despite our geographic diversity, we're still closely related--although, of course, we're more related to some sub-groups than others.


One thing that's funny about human interelatedness, is that in the 19th Century, "scientists" routinely classified sub-Saharan Africans and Papuans/Negritos/Aborigines as being the same or closely related race*... See for example

In fact those two groups are the most DISTANTLY related of all human groups from eachother.




*essentially due to dark skin and tightly curled hair
   1612. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4263588)
   1613. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4263592)
It's a narrative that fits an ideology.

What's the ideology?


If we are very lucky Gaelen will let us know.
   1614. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4263601)
Desperate Democrat grasps at straw that Rasmussen now has Obama +1.

Clearly the polls can no longer be trusted.
   1615. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4263608)
But the Toba volcanic eruption was a truly catastropic event, with consequences deep and broad. If its effect attenuated the farther you got from the central happening, that should be reflected in the genetic makeup of the various peoples. Are our "orientals/asian" forebears more different than those of our near-east/african/euopean ones? Are those people closer to ground zero more closely related to each other than other peoples in other geographic locations. Seems to me this is, either now or in the near future, determinable. It'll be interesting to see what the revolution in genetic studies can show us.


Sigh. Morty, you're not a scientist, are you?

Lets take your statement, piece by piece:

the Toba volcanic eruption was a truly catastropic event, with consequences deep and broad

What does that mean? How do we know? Toba was a major volcanic event, but there are other major events in the last 100ka. Some folks think a comet hit may have helped trigger the Younger Dryas. You had the initiation of a glacial period (just before 100ka, IIRC, but close enough for these purposes). You had the deglaciation. You had the wildly varying global climate of MIS 3. You had wildly varying climate in the early holocene - totally different world down in the tropics where the monsoon is big. Toba has not been established as having a unique global impact, especially w/r/t climate.

If its effect attenuated the farther you got from the central happening, that should be reflected in the genetic makeup of the various peoples

This is not true. This is only true if the most recent "great migration" happened pre-Toba. If a post-Toba migration wiped out people who were there before, there's no way to back out the Toba effect (if any) from a genetic analysis of modern people. Plus, genetic analyses are not absolute and there's lots of room for "interpretation" with even good data. And there's lots of bad data. Look at the relationship between the Melanisians and the Polynesians in SE Asia. The history of human migration gets really ####### complicated, even if we restrict ourselves to the (relatively) recent past. The Toba story is attractive and neat - it is also almost certainly inaccurate, because geological/anthropological reality is not neat and pat.


Are those people closer to ground zero more closely related to each other than other peoples in other geographic locations. Seems to me this is, either now or in the near future, determinable. It'll be interesting to see what the revolution in genetic studies can show us.


It's not surprising that someone with a fetish for scientific panaceas would be tempted by the Toba hypothesis. Don't get your hopes up for the genetic studies.
   1616. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4263609)
The funny thing is that Rasmussen's party-weighting corner-cutting led them to underestimate Obama's lead earlier, and is now leading them to miss the extent of Romney's bounce. They party-weight in order to produce a race between D+2 and R+2, and now it's back in that range, so their polls look good.
   1617. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4263611)
Desperate Democrat grasps at straw that Rasmussen now has Obama +1.


RCP average now at Romney plus 1.1, down from +1.5, seems the debate wave has crested, but as Nate Silver notes at about +4 - the needle has moved about as far as any debate has moved it.

   1618. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4263613)
Ohio numbers updated through yesterday:

Democrats-302,500
Republicans-257,700

The gap was at about 38,000 and it is now at about 45,000.
   1619. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4263618)
The funny thing is that Rasmussen's party-weighting corner-cutting led them to underestimate Obama's lead earlier, and is now leading them to miss the extent of Romney's bounce.


Unskewed has Romney losing half his lead from BEFORE the debate

Unskewed has also been "adjusting" Ras' numbers to help Romney, despite having an article up on his site saying that he does not unskew Ras because Ras is the only unbiased/unskewed poll out there...
   1620. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4263629)
While I am not convinced that another bad performance will cost Obama the election, I do agree with bunyon that this debate is pretty important, as debates and perceptions go.
   1621. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4263634)
Desperate Democrat grasps at straw that Rasmussen now has Obama +1.

RCP average now at Romney plus 1.1, down from +1.5, seems the debate wave has crested, but as Nate Silver notes at about +4 - the needle has moved about as far as any debate has moved it.


No question about that, which is why I'm praying that the Dems bring their A game to the next three. If they do (emphasis added), then in hindsight the first debate might even be seen as a necessary and welcomed wake-up call.
   1622. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4263636)
Debates are not really my thing (which perhaps leads me to underestimate their importance), so I am not planning to watch tonight. But I think others here should watch and talk about it. So, who's watching?
   1623. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4263641)
Debates are not really my thing (which perhaps leads me to underestimate their importance), so I am not planning to watch tonight. But I think others here should watch and talk about it. So, who's watching?
Baseball, man. Baseball.
   1624. rr Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4263669)
Baseball, man. Baseball.


Indeed.
   1625. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4263681)
Ah all this talk about debates is poppycock when Newsweek has proof that there is a Heaven based on the personal journey of a doctor who was in a coma. That's good reportin!
   1626. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4263688)
If the Yanks game is close at 9:00, I'll listen to the debate while watching the game with the sound off.

If the game is a blowout, I'll watch the debate on TV, and then catch the last 3 or 4 innings when the debate is over at 10:30. (/sarcasm)
   1627. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4263690)
If there was no baseball tonight, I'd either have my scope out (it's clear!) or watch old Firefly episodes. Barring those options, I would extract my own teeth with dirty nail clippers before I'd watch Joe Biden and Paul Ryan "debate".
   1628. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4263716)
Oooo bunyon what kind of scope do you have? I have a trusty old ETX-90, but since I live in Manhattan it's pretty much perfect for what I can do (schlep it up to my roof deck and do planetary.
   1629. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4263734)
If there was no baseball tonight, I'd either have my scope out (it's clear!) or watch old Firefly episodes. Barring those options, I would extract my own teeth with dirty nail clippers before I'd watch Joe Biden and Paul Ryan "debate".


Biden may or may not do something breathtakingly stupid
Ryan will lie a lot, but will do it far more blandly than Romney

really any entertainment value will depend upon Biden
   1630. GregD Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4263735)
Isn't that the claim made wrt the American South's Plantation Feudalism. Since at least the Time on the Cross book, the idea that American slave system was a moribund one has been exposed as a fiction. It took outside force to destroy. It wasn't nearly at the point where it would collapse on itself. At least that's the argument. And that system was feeding and feeding off capitalism, right?
Agreed with the broader point, but it wasn't even feudalism. It was capitalist slavery, through and through. You can have slavery within just about any economic system.

Agree with MCA that it wasn't feudalism. The recently deceased Gene Genovese had taken up the idea of an organic society posited by pro-slavery authors like Ruffin, Calhoun, and Fitzhugh to create in the 60s and 70s a sense that the South was a precapitalist, maybe even premodern society. He never used the word feudal but it was used by people who read him. But that's pretty much entirely discredited; no one argues that anymore, even if the vestiges remain.

But you're exactly right that the interaction of slavery and capitalism speaks immediately to the question of whether it was dying. Here, many scholars continue to write as if it were on a path to extinction, but the best recent work has emphasized how hard it was to kill slavery, how much more resilient it was than anyone imagined, and how unlikely it was to die a natural death. Hammering out relative profits is still a challenge, and figuring out how to think about the profitability of slavery in a region that largely defined wealth through land and the asset of slaves is tricky, too.

This also reverberates in the arguments about the coming of the Civil War. Arguments that the war was avoidable have largely emphasized slavery's inevitable demise. But if slavery was thriving, even becoming more efficient and more profitable, then the counterfactual to war is not peaceful, negotiated emancipation but a thriving slave society that endures for decades, perhaps longer.

And, MCA, your work on classical slavery sounds amazing. Whenever I talk with friends who do Greece and Rome, or look back at Moses Finley, I am struck by how different--not better necessarily just different--slavery looked then. Reckoning the impact of slavery on capitalism is tricky, but it's absolutely clear that capitalism had a big impact on slavery.
   1631. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4263742)
Obsession 15, Celestron 8, and Coronado PST. I've had the 15 for a few years and the C8 since I was 12.

I've gotten to where I mostly do planetary, lunar and solar imaging since I tire easier than I used to and hauling it all up on the parkway is more and more a pain in the butt. My eyes also aren't as good as they used to be, so observing isn't quite as rewarding.

Sorry to gripe about that, seeing as how you're in Manhattan. My driveway (now that the streetlight mysteriously stopped working) isn't too bad and I'm on the outskirts of town. Had a nice view of M42 this morning before I started playing with the camera and Jupiter.

How are planetary views from your rooftop? Sounds pretty awesome - I know urban areas aren't ideal for astronomy but there is something romantic sounding about looking at planets from a Manhattan rooftop. You might like a solar scope - the PST is very nice and would suit your situation pretty well, I'd think.
   1632. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4263747)
Historically, sitting presidents have usually done poorly in the first debate. President hasn't debated in a while, the challenger can attack on specifics while being vague about his own ideas. Challenger has also debated more recently, many times in the primaries. The only one I don't remember struggling was Clinton, and Bill Clinton's favorite thing to do is talk for two minutes about any political issue.

This is true, but incumbents have generally only been able to reduce the damage rather than reverse it. As Karl Rove has been saying on TV and as Nate's numbers have said all along, the average challenger makes net gains from right before the first debate until after the third. If Romney has indeed jumped out to a ~1-point lead, at least in the national polling, and Obama claws back a point of Romney's 4-point bounce, this would be one of the closest elections in history heading into Election Day.

***

In other news, jobless claims dropped to their lowest in four years! But — oops! — the numbers didn't include some or all of California's jobless claims. (Processing delay, they say.)
   1633. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4263758)
In other news, jobless claims dropped to their lowest in four years! But — oops! — the numbers didn't include some or all of California's jobless claims. (Processing delay, they say.)

So they are cooking the numbers, but then telling everyone they are cooking them. That is pretty bold of those Chicago pols.
   1634. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4263772)
So they are cooking the numbers, but then telling everyone they are cooking them. That is pretty bold of those Chicago pols.

Look at Google News: The headlines are "Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest in Four Years," despite admissions that the number is junk. (And it was only admitted to be junk after the number was released, reported, and questioned.)
   1635. zenbitz Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4263781)
Wow, Toba hypothesis, never heard of it! I don't really have time to break down the genetics for y'all, but from my perspective - any humans genetics analysis PRE 2008 or is suspect until confirmed by more modern thorough sequencing methods.
   1636. Monty Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4263787)
When I go to Google News, the top headline is "Swing state polls echo national trend: Mitt Romney on the rise". When I look for articles on jobs, the top headline is "Why Jobless Claims May Not Be as Good as Market Thinks".
   1637. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4263795)
When I go to Google News, the top headline is "Swing state polls echo national trend: Mitt Romney on the rise". When I look for articles on jobs, the top headline is "Why Jobless Claims May Not Be as Good as Market Thinks".

Here's another headline for you: Barry Trails Off ...

After you lectured me about referring to Obama as "Barry" last week, I'm sure you'll want to do the same with Maureen Dowd and the NYT.
   1638. Monty Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4263804)
It's just as cheap when the Times does it, yes. That headline is especially odd since the piece itself never calls him "Barry". Or even "Barack".

Actually, it's odd that it calls him "Obama" (and Mitt Romney "Romney") since NYT style is to call them "Mr. Obama" and "Mr. Romney". They're usually very formal with people's names.
   1639. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4263809)
How are planetary views from your rooftop? Sounds pretty awesome - I know urban areas aren't ideal for astronomy but there is something romantic sounding about looking at planets from a Manhattan rooftop. You might like a solar scope - the PST is very nice and would suit your situation pretty well, I'd think.


Well, the seeing generally is brutal. The UHI causes tons of turbulence in the lower atmosphere which means the seeing is almost always a smidge worse than in the burbs. Then you have vents and such pumping heat out of every roof . . . even though my roof is reasonably high up so I have a nice clean horizon, my effective "clear" sky is pretty small.

I'd love a PST. I have a visible-spectrum solar filter for my ETX but that's not nearly as fun as an H-alpha would be. But I think my next purchase will be one of those Celestron 5s with the one-arm mounts that are supposedly pretty good for planetary, light enough to carry up 2 flights of stairs and a real upgrade on my current setup. My favorite toy, to be honest, is my Canon 10x30 IS, which I can't recommend enough. Every time I get out of town I throw it in my bag and can spend 30 minutes doing basic bino stuff. The optics are amazingly good for something so cheap - much less CA than any other binoculars in the price range that I tried, and the image stabilization is, of course, amazing.
   1640. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4263813)
After you lectured me about referring to Obama as "Barry" last week, I'm sure you'll want to do the same with Maureen Dowd and the NYT.
Your implied belief that liberals consider Maureen Dowd beyond criticism is adorable.
   1641. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4263829)
Pro-life Republican candidate pushed for an abortion for his mistress


A freshman congressman running for re-election on a pro-life platform urged his pregnant mistress to get an abortion a decade ago, according to a transcript of the recorded conversation.

The undated phone recording appears to have been made before Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais' divorce from his wife, Susan, was finalized in 2001. According to the transcript, DesJarlais tells the unidentified woman that he is concerned that she hadn't taken steps toward terminating the pregnancy

The DesJarlais campaign did not dispute the contents of the transcript first reported by the Huffington Post, but condemned the circulation of "desperate personal attacks."

"This is old news from the last election cycle that Tennesseans have already widely rejected," spokesman Robert Jameson said in an email.

Stewart said at a press conference Wednesday that DesJarlais "doesn't deny that as a medical doctor he had an affair with a patient, got that patient pregnant and then begged and pleaded with her to terminate the pregnancy."



   1642. GregD Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4263840)
I will give long odds to anyone who wants to take the under-50 on DesJarlais' final tally. Tennessee Republicans are not going to vote against a pro-life guy who pushed for his mistress to have an abortion. I don't even blame them for it; they think abortion is murderer and they'll choose a one-time murderer over a mass murderer. Obviously not what I believe, but why I believe they won't suddenly be shocked into voting D.
   1643. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4263852)
Look at Google News: The headlines are "Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest in Four Years," despite admissions that the number is junk. (And it was only admitted to be junk after the number was released, reported, and questioned.)

So what was the alternative, not release the numbers? There would be no conspiracy theories there, would there. The reporting seems pretty even about this.

As far as only "admitting" it after questioning, is that unusual? Are these statistics normally released with comment, while here they did not, or is this just the SOP?
   1644. DA Baracus Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4263865)
   1645. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4263876)
I will give long odds to anyone who wants to take the under-50 on DesJarlais' final tally. Tennessee Republicans are not going to vote against a pro-life guy who pushed for his mistress to have an abortion. I don't even blame them for it; they think abortion is murderer and they'll choose a one-time murderer over a mass murderer. Obviously not what I believe, but why I believe they won't suddenly be shocked into voting D.

I'm sure he'll get re-elected again since the voters supposedly already this all happened when they elected him the first time. I'm just always amused by what voters state they care about and yet they keep on voting for people who actually do what they preach against.

Here we got a married doctor who slept with his patient and then pushed for and got an abortion from his pregnant mistress.
   1646. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4264011)
I will give long odds to anyone who wants to take the under-50 on DesJarlais' final tally. Tennessee Republicans are not going to vote against a pro-life guy who pushed for his mistress to have an abortion. I don't even blame them for it; they think abortion is murderer and they'll choose a one-time murderer over a mass murderer. Obviously not what I believe, but why I believe they won't suddenly be shocked into voting D.


Abortions for me but not for thee.
   1647. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4264017)
So what was the alternative, not release the numbers? There would be no conspiracy theories there, would there. The reporting seems pretty even about this.

How about releasing the report, but with a big, bold disclaimer at the top that the numbers don't include California, rather than waiting for people to question the number and then having a spokesman confirm that something is amiss?
   1648. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4264031)
It's just as cheap when the Times does it, yes. That headline is especially odd since the piece itself never calls him "Barry". Or even "Barack".

Actually, it's odd that it calls him "Obama" (and Mitt Romney "Romney") since NYT style is to call them "Mr. Obama" and "Mr. Romney". They're usually very formal with people's names.
But (part of) Maureen Dowd's shtick is (what she thinks are) cutesy nicknames. They can't insist on her being formal, or her columns would be blank. (Come to think of it...)
   1649. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4264049)
How about releasing the report, but with a big, bold disclaimer at the top that the numbers don't include California, rather than waiting for people to question the number and then having a spokesman confirm that something is amiss?

Since you conveniently ignored my other question in that post, I will ask it again:

As far as only "admitting" it after questioning, is that unusual? Are these statistics normally released with comment, while here they did not, or is this just the SOP?

If releasing the bare numbers is what they always do (even when they have issues like this one), then adding that disclaimer has too much potential to be political in nature. That is not their job.
   1650. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4264072)
As far as only "admitting" it after questioning, is that unusual? Are these statistics normally released with comment, while here they did not, or is this just the SOP?

I don't know what the SOP is, but any statistic whose methodology changes from week to week or month to month isn't much of a benchmark and isn't trustworthy. Would you trust Baseball Reference's numbers for OBP if it included walks last week but not this week?

If releasing the bare numbers is what they always do (even when they have issues like this one), then adding that disclaimer has too much potential to be political in nature. That is not their job.

Their job is to be accurate, and releasing a vital economic statistic that they know to be false is the opposite of accurate.
   1651. Amit Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4264083)
I don't know what the SOP is, but any statistic whose methodology changes from week to week or month to month isn't much of a benchmark.
That's why they recommend looking at 4-week or longer averages instead of the weekly numbers. It happens sometimes that a state is late in submitting data, but then it catches up in a subsequent report.
   1652. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4264168)
I don't know what the SOP is, but any statistic whose methodology changes from week to week or month to month isn't much of a benchmark and isn't trustworthy. Would you trust Baseball Reference's numbers for OBP if it included walks last week but not this week?

Again, what is the alternative? They rely on the states to report the numbers. They actually have complained about California and their problems with reporting. Everyone knows these issues, which is probably why they have Q&A after the release. I don't say trust them, but then again I am not accusing anyone of cooking the numbers.


Their job is to be accurate, and releasing a vital economic statistic that they know to be false is the opposite of accurate.

They released the numbers that they have. I suspect that they are required to by either statute or regulation to avoid the appearance of gaming the system. Because if they had been allowed to use discretion and not released them, I have no doubt that you and Jack Welch would have had a complaint about that.
   1653. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4264194)
Again, what is the alternative? They rely on the states to report the numbers. They actually have complained about California and their problems with reporting. Everyone knows these issues, which is probably why they have Q&A after the release. I don't say trust them, but then again I am not accusing anyone of cooking the numbers.

I already pointed out the alternative in #1647, but you (oddly) seem to believe that a simple act of transparency would be "political in nature."

They released the numbers that they have. I suspect that they are required to by either statute or regulation to avoid the appearance of gaming the system. Because if they had been allowed to use discretion and not released them, I have no doubt that you and Jack Welch would have had a complaint about that.

Why do you keep pretending that a simple notation — "NOTE: This report does not include California" — is entirely unavailable as a solution? If they knew the numbers didn't include California, why the hell wouldn't they disclose that upfront with a one-sentence disclaimer? It's ludicrous we're even debating this.

If a glitch prevents Baseball Reference from counting walks for purposes of OBP, should they disclose that or should they wait for someone to notice and then say, "Oh, yeah, there was a problem"?
   1654. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4264213)
1615:

Just as a matter of curiosity, can you envisage any evidence which you would then feel justified as sufficient to draw inferences that would support the Toba hypothesis?

Did you read the wikipedia article? Are the people cited in that article scientists?

Have you goggled this? Do you see everyone who supports the Toba theory as non-scientists?

Not to take this too far, but am just curious about your view of the people who propose this. Do you see them as sort of creationist types--that is, they are ignoring the best scientific evidence to a deplorable degree, or basing their views on a a very non-scientific basis (what Gaelan had in mind maybe with his comment about it serving an ideology).

Such as these people?

Or, is yours more of a best evidence approach to the matter. A respectable argument could be made on both sides, you agree, but your side is the better. IOWs, is this a creationism v. science thing or a selfish gene v. a group evolutionary view.

I ask because a google review shows me that scientists are the ones espousing this, but I am not pretending to have made in-depth first-hand studies here.
   1655. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4264224)
The hits keep coming. It turns out Gallup changed its polling methodology after David Axelrod complained, bumping its sample from 27 percent non-white (matching 2008's exit polls) all the way up to 32 percent non-white, despite almost no one believing the 2012 electorate will be 32 percent non-white:

Alan Abramowitz of Huffington Post and The Democratic Strategist noticed that Gallup has increased its share of nonwhites from 27 percent the week of the convention to 32 percent last week, a nearly 20 percent boost. In other words, Gallup seemed to have tweaked its methodology with just weeks to go until Election Day to reflect the criticism that has come from the left.

Thus, Obama's sudden 4-point jump in approval rating at Gallup was due to the methodology changing and not an actual change in public opinion. Unreal.
   1656. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4264229)
Why do you keep pretending that a simple notation — "NOTE: This report does not include California" — is entirely unavailable as a solution? If they knew the numbers didn't include California, why the hell wouldn't they disclose that upfront with a one-sentence disclaimer? It's ludicrous we're even debating this.

Perhaps because that is not the procedure? Because once they provide comments, it opens the door to all types of potential mischief, so their procedure is to release the numebrs and then take Q&A. Why is that not enough?
   1657. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4264234)
I'm sure he'll get re-elected again since the voters supposedly already this all happened when they elected him the first time.


actually it seems that the stuff about the abortion didn't come out until now... and some other stuff wasn't actually confirmed until now, and his opponent in 2010 really didn't make use of it, whereas his 2012 opponent seems more than willing to unload

This was actually a "Swing" district, so if not for re-districting He'd probably be really unsafe, but apparently his district was just radically re-drawn- allegedly it was re-drawn primarily to allow a Republican Sate Senator make a primary run at DesJarlais (the state senator didn't run though), so apparently he wasn't well liked by local Repubs either.

He's also been refusing to debate his Dem opponent...
   1658. GregD Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4264239)
What the article actually says:
Axelrod complained months ago. And here's a liberal columnist from weeks ago!

Gallup's claim is that they upped their cell phone proportion, not anything else. That led to changes in the demographic breakdown.

Could be right; could be wrong.
   1659. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4264245)
Perhaps because that is not the procedure? Because once they provide comments, it opens the door to all types of potential mischief, so their procedure is to release the numebrs and then take Q&A. Why is that not enough?

This is bizarre. If it's "political" to issue the disclaimer in the report, then why is it OK for some spokesman to deliver the same disclaimer verbally an hour later?
   1660. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4264250)
What the article actually says:
Axelrod complained months ago. And here's a liberal columnist from weeks ago!

Gallup's claim is that they upped their cell phone proportion, not anything else. That led to changes in the demographic breakdown.

Could be right; could be wrong.


The article also does not define "non-whites." If that included hispanics (whether or not they self identify as white), then that would seem to bring the demographics closer in line to those of the country as a whole. If not, then the 27% figure seems more in-line.
   1661. Morty Causa Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4264252)
1604 and 1630:

Point taken. I was using it in an expansive sense, even with some poetic license, but, still, the system in place in the South wasn't only about slavery. However, I'll take heed:

The term feudalism has also been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail.[10] Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society.


Feudalism
   1662. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4264257)
The article also does not define "non-whites." If that included hispanics (whether or not they self identify as white), then that would seem to bring the demographics closer in line to those of the country as a whole. If not, then the 28% figure seems more in-line.

The "non-white" number already included Latinos. Otherwise, the non-white number plus Latinos would be well over 40 percent.
   1663. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4264275)
Why do you keep pretending that a simple notation — "NOTE: This report does not include California" — is entirely unavailable as a solution?
From the LA Times:
The state's labor market slowed in August as California employers added only 12,000 nonfarm jobs last month, the 13th straight month of net job gains.

The unemployment rate dipped slightly, to 10.6% from 10.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers across six industries added jobs, with education and health services posting the largest over-the-month increase with 8,900 jobs. The leisure and hospitality industry added 4,400 jobs.
Adding California doesn't move the national numbers.
   1664. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4264281)
In other words, Obama's sudden 4-point jump in approval rating at Gallup was due to the methodology changing and not an actual change in public opinion. Unreal.


Gallup has been leaning Republican for 2+ years (further even than Ras) Nate had them as having the highest Pro_R house effect of all the major pollsters, so obviously THEY should be tweaking their sampling...

Anyway your complaint's are BS:

1: There has been no bump in Gallup's Obama v. Romney numbers, just in Gallup's Obama Job Approval numbers

2: The specific methodology "tweak" was not racial composition weighting, they changed from 60/40 landline/cellphone to 50/50 landline/cellphone

3:
bumping its sample from 27 percent non-white (matching 2008's exit polls) all the way up to 32 percent non-white

not accurate

Gallups'
racial sampling has apparently been varying
last 4 job approval polls, non-whites:

27.0
27.8
27.8
25.7
31.6

4: Gallup's job approval poll is NOT among voters, not registered voters, not likely voters, but among ADULTs- and non-Whites are in fact some 32% of the adult population- therefore 31.6 is in fact far more representative of the population than what Gallup was doing before - for this particular poll
   1665. JL Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4264282)
This is bizarre. If it's "political" to issue the disclaimer in the report, then why is it OK for some spokesman to deliver the same disclaimer verbally an hour later?

Because they want to be consistent on how they release the data, because to do otherwise can send signals, intended or otherwise. If they always just release the data and then do Q&A, adding a disclaimer or comment can send a message. I also suspect that rules, regulations or internal policies prevent what you want.

Of course, why providing the disclaimer at the Q&A is insufficient still has not been answered.
   1666. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4264289)
What the article actually says:


who cares what the article actually says, take any random news article- and I mean any, and Joek can (and will) spin it as Good for Romney or bad for Obama or both.

He does it even when he doesn't HAVE to (like this past week)
   1667. bobm Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4264306)
[1655] don't forget the whistleblower lawsuit joined by the feds against Gallup in late August.
   1668. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4264317)
Of course, why providing the disclaimer at the Q&A is insufficient still has not been answered.


Because JoeK says it isn't, because as far as JoeK is concerned the Obama admin fully intended to put one over on the public until called on it- and that intent is further evidence of the Obama admin's perfidious nature- and how does he know about the Obama's admin's perfidious nature? Because they intend to do stuff like this.

It's called circular reasoning.

1 Obama is bad

2 Because Obama is bad he meant to did a bad thing

3 How do we know Obama is Bad? Because he meant to do that bad thing.

   1669. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4264318)


Just as a matter of curiosity, can you envisage any evidence which you would then feel justified as sufficient to draw inferences that would support the Toba hypothesis?


Sure. I'll give you an example, a study I did myself way back in the day. I looked in a core where I had access to a proxy for SSTs and volcanics in an ocean core in the Southern Hemisphere, but some distance from Toba. No correlation showed up. If you wanted a holy grail for the Toba-bottleneck theory, what you'd really like is some cave in africa with evidence of human activity mixed in with pollen showing a certain climate existed, then a sudden absence of human activity in a new layer of sediment with pollen from a cooler climate. That would be beautiful - and is, of course, how you prove the impact theory for the dinosaur exinction.

Did you read the wikipedia article? Are the people cited in that article scientists?
Have you goggled this? Do you see everyone who supports the Toba theory as non-scientists?



Not all scientists are created equal, and just because scientists say something - even if its published in a big journal - doesn't make it true.


Not to take this too far, but am just curious about your view of the people who propose this. Do you see them as sort of creationist types--that is, they are ignoring the best scientific evidence to a deplorable degree, or basing their views on a a very non-scientific basis (what Gaelan had in mind maybe with his comment about it serving an ideology).


You have to understand how scientific publication works. You might have a dozen folks looking at Toba correlations with various climate or anthropological events. 11 of those folks might find nothing. But Nature or Science isn't interested in your paper finding nothing. For example, my old research group got a letter in Nature and an article in Science describing their exciting results about ocean circulation in the last 100ky; the woman who proved that our results were at least partially an artifact of something other than ocean circulation, and thus not really a good proxy at all; not showing what we claimed they were showing, got published in G^3 or Paleoceanography or some other journal you've never heard of. Such is the way of the world. There are powerful incentives to tell a compelling story and, from the layman's point of view, you only hear about the sexy theories and not about the guys who think the sexy theory is wrong.


Or, is yours more of a best evidence approach to the matter. A respectable argument could be made on both sides, you agree, but your side is the better. IOWs, is this a creationism v. science thing or a selfish gene v. a group evolutionary view.


Reasonable people can disagree re: Toba. This just happens to be an area where I have specific knowledge, and I've looked at the papers, and the evidence is uncompelling. The evidence for a bottleneck is compelling; the evidence for Toba occurring is overwhelming; the evidence that Toba caused the bottleneck is speculative at best.
   1670. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4264320)
[1655] don't forget the whistleblower lawsuit joined by the feds against Gallup in late August.
You guys live in a weird little world.
   1671. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4264342)
Adding California doesn't move the national numbers.

The BLS has already admitted that the omission of some or all of California's numbers does move the numbers.

***
Anyway your complaint's are BS:

1: There has been no bump in Gallup's Obama v. Romney numbers, just in Gallup's Obama Job Approval numbers

Did I claim otherwise? No.

not accurate

Gallups'
racial sampling has apparently been varying
last 4 job approval polls, non-whites:

27.0
27.8
27.8
25.7
31.6

I said the non-white sample was bumped up from 27 percent to 32 percent and you just posted data confirming that. How is that a "gotcha"?

4: Gallup's job approval poll is NOT among voters, not registered voters, not likely voters, but among ADULTs- and non-Whites are in fact some 32% of the adult population- therefore 31.6 is in fact far more representative of the population than what Gallup was doing before - for this particular poll

Non-whites make up 27 percent of the population, which is the exact number Gallup was using before it inexplicably "tweaked" its methodology. (And using non-citizens for purposes of presidential job approval is dumb since they can't vote.)
   1672. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4264349)
Adding California doesn't move the national numbers.

The BLS has already admitted that the omission of some or all of California's numbers does move the numbers.
Really? Because California's numbers came out today, and according to the LA Times, CA added some trickle of jobs. (And yes, the numbers in the article come from the BLS.) If it moved the unemployment numbers in any direction, it moved them down.
   1673. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4264364)
Because they want to be consistent on how they release the data, because to do otherwise can send signals, intended or otherwise. If they always just release the data and then do Q&A, adding a disclaimer or comment can send a message. I also suspect that rules, regulations or internal policies prevent what you want.

Ah, right. I forgot that it's far more important to follow the internal policies of a bureaucracy than to provide accurate information to the public.

Of course, why providing the disclaimer at the Q&A is insufficient still has not been answered.

Maybe because allowing misinformation to propagate for an hour is stupid, especially when it's entirely preventable?
   1674. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4264371)
Really? Because California's numbers came out today, and according to the LA Times, CA added some trickle of jobs. (And yes, the numbers in the article come from the BLS.) If it moved the unemployment numbers in any direction, it moved them down.

Well, then, the BLS is even more incompetent than I've claimed, since they've admitted/claimed otherwise (which, incidentally, was the entire basis for this discussion).
   1675. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4264390)
You're just making things up and claiming it's a rebuttal.


No, I'm countering your bullshit with facts. There's a line where spin or puffing becomes pure bullsh!t and you've crossed it awhile back, you've been teetering on the brink for awhile now so you probably had no clue where the edge was.

Per the 2010 US census 31% of the US is non-"non-hispanic white"

As far as electorate goes, yes 32% non-white is waaay too high, hell 27% is likely too high
but Gallup's approval poll is not and has not been a voter poll, a fact they do not hide.

Go look at RCP, look at those little initials they have after polls, LV= "likely voter," RV = "registered voter"
those initials do not appear after the Gallup poll (which also means that averaging the Gallup poll in with the others probably shouldn't be done- but take that up with RCP)

And BTW Romney is down to +0.7- the latest Ras tracking poll has Obama back up +1


   1676. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4264402)
Of course, why providing the disclaimer at the Q&A is insufficient still has not been answered.

Maybe because allowing misinformation to propagate for an hour is stupid, especially when it's entirely preventable?


I assumed they did it to give you something to complain about
   1677. GregD Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4264410)
The proportion of the population depends on the category of Hispanic whites, people who mark that on the census but may well reply Hispanic if given fewer choices in a phone survey. This is a reasonably large group, more than 26 million. Without them, Non-Hispanic Whites are 63% of the population. Obviously numbers will differ based upon adults, registered voters, etc., but one question to ask in things like this is if Hispanic Whites are being counted as Hispanic or as White or as something else.
   1678. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4264435)
What happen to Gaelen? I was really hoping he'd explain why he thinks the Toba theory is nuts.
I mean we have Zop's explanation but his all too rational and grounded in evidence and reason...
   1679. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4264442)
but one question to ask in things like this is if Hispanic Whites are being counted as Hispanic or as White or as something else.


It's much easier to just assume the poll is being rigged against your side
   1680. GregD Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4264461)
My father-in-law will 100% of the time mark White Hispanic on the census, but when asked the more common white or black or Hispanic or Asian, he always says Hispanic. In different national/ethnic groups, that's common, though in others less common.
   1681. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4264490)
No, I'm countering your ######## with facts. There's a line where spin or puffing becomes pure bullsh!t and you've crossed it awhile back, you've been teetering on the brink for awhile now so you probably had no clue where the edge was.

LOL. No mirrors in the Sycophant household, huh? It's not my fault your big rebuttals tend to lack the "rebuttal" part.

It's much easier to just assume the poll is being rigged against your side

Daily polls that quietly change their methodology a month before an election deserve any questioning they receive.
   1682. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4264504)
The proportion of the population depends on the category of Hispanic whites, people who mark that on the census but may well reply Hispanic if given fewer choices in a phone survey. This is a reasonably large group, more than 26 million. Without them, Non-Hispanic Whites are 63% of the population.


Non-Hispanic Whites tend to comprise 74 to 78% of the electorate

Non-Hispanic Whites comprise some 62-68% of the population (depending upon the poll)
Non-Hispanic whites comprise some 68-72% of the citizen population (i.e, people who could vote)

Black voting %s have generally been very stable- except for 2008 (percent of blacks who vote, and percent of blacks as a portion of the populace)

Hispanic voting %s have been increasing- not only has the Hispanic population been increasing but the % of Hispanics who vote has been increasing - of course that's starting from a very low level- Hispanics as a portion of the ELECTORATE could very well start increasing dramatically in coming years. For example, in Arizona Whites are only 50-55% of the population, but are 65% of the citizen population and 75% of the electorate- However, whites are LESS than 50% of the under 18 CITIZEN population - so even if whites continue to vote in higher percentages their share of the electorate is gonna drop- if Hispanic voter participation rises Arizona could tip very fast...
   1683. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4264511)
Well, then, the BLS is even more incompetent than I've claimed, since they've admitted/claimed otherwise (which, incidentally, was the entire basis for this discussion).
As always, you're looking for conspiracies where none exist. BLS — and I've looked everywhere now — didn't admit or claim anything of the sort that you're claiming they did, they only said they didn't have the numbers because California didn't report them, and as far as I can tell BLS made no claim whatsoever as to whether or not California would have moved the needle, and if it did in which direction.

The core issue, however, remains the same: The national unemployment numbers ARE under 8%.
   1684. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4264515)
It's not my fault your big rebuttals tend to lack the "rebuttal" part.


the problem with responding to something like this is I'm not sure whether the issue is:

A: Your overall lack of reading comprehension
B: You don't know what the word "rebuttal" means
C: Both of the above
D: You are blinded by partisanship

I'm going to go with "D" but I am open to being convinced that you are in fact a moron.


Edit, since I seem perilously close to turning into Sam here, I'm going to take a break from countering JoeK's nonsense, please don't take my silence to any of his forthcoming posts to indicate that I agree (or disagree) with them.
   1685. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4264529)
As always, you're looking for conspiracies where none exist. BLS — and I've looked everywhere now — didn't admit or claim anything of the sort that you're claiming they did, they only said hey didn't have the numbers because California didn't report them, and as far as I can tell BLS made no claim whatsoever as to whether or not California would have moved the needle, and if it did in which direction.

You need to look harder. The articles are hiding in plain sight. I might have linked one already.

The core issue, however, remains the same: The national unemployment numbers ARE under 8%.

HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Nothing is funnier than watching "liberals" pretend that millions of discouraged workers don't exist, along with millions of workers who are involuntarily underemployed.

***
the problem with responding to something like this is I'm not sure whether the issue is:

A: Your overall lack of reading comprehension
B: You don't know what the word "rebuttal" means
C: Both of the above
D: You are blinded by partisanship

I'm going to go with "D" but I am open to being convinced that you are in fact a moron.

You presented #1664 as if it was a big rebuttal. You opened it by saying, "[Y]our complaint's are BS" and then followed with a list of points. Are you now claiming it wasn't meant as a rebuttal? Otherwise, what the hell are you talking about?
   1686. Amit Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4264534)
Daily polls that quietly change their methodology a month before an election deserve any questioning they receive.
The only change in methodology was going from a 60/40 landline-cell split to a 50/50 split. All of the data about non-white percentages are just estimates, since Gallup does not release the composition of its poll sample.
   1687. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4264552)
Edit, since I seem perilously close to turning into Sam here, I'm going to take a break from countering JoeK's nonsense, please don't take my silence to any of his forthcoming posts to indicate that I agree (or disagree) with them.


Everyone becomes me eventually.
   1688. Jay Z Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4264567)
If Romney wins, I am predicting a declaration of a debt "crisis" as cover for what they want to do. Not that sunsetting Medicare in 10 years or shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle class have anything to do with the debt, but crisis! We don't want to do any of this stuff, but crisis!
   1689. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4264581)
Not that sunsetting Medicare in 10 years or shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle class have anything to do with the debt, but crisis!

"The rich" simply don't have enough money to pay for all of the things people seem to want from government. If people want to argue that taxes on the rich should be raised, that's fine, but let's not kid ourselves here and claim the middle class doesn't need to pay a whole lot more, too.*


(* Unless, of course, the size and scope of government are slashed.)
   1690. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4264591)
Nothing is funnier than watching "liberals" pretend that millions of discouraged workers don't exist, along with millions of workers who are involuntarily underemployed.
Why's that funny? We pretended that discouraged workers didn't exist in 2008, too.

But I was wrong; the core issue isn't the employment numbers, it's that Joek and his GOP masters are seeing boogiemen again.
   1691. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4264598)
"The rich" simply don't have enough money to pay for all of the things people seem to want from government. If people want to argue that taxes on the rich should be raised, that's fine, but let's not kid ourselves here and claim the middle class doesn't need to pay a whole lot more, too.*


The top 20% in the US own 93% of the country's financial assets. How much do you expect to get from the remaining 7%? If you taxed the bottom 80% at a 100% rate, you still wouldn't come close to balancing the books.

If you want them to pay a little more as some sort of symbolic "share the burden" ploy, fine. But don't pretend it has anything to do with balancing the budget.
   1692. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4264600)
Nothing is funnier than watching "liberals" pretend that millions of discouraged workers don't exist, along with millions of workers who are involuntarily underemployed.

The weather is affecting your sense of humor. There really are a lot of things funnier, trust me.


Everyone becomes me eventually.

Lovecraft thought he knew horror.
   1693. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4264670)
The top 20% in the US own 93% of the country's financial assets. How much do you expect to get from the remaining 7%? If you taxed the bottom 80% at a 100% rate, you still wouldn't come close to balancing the books.

If you want them to pay a little more as some sort of symbolic "share the burden" ploy, fine. But don't pretend it has anything to do with balancing the budget.

It seems like you're starting to see the problem, but it hasn't completely come into focus for you yet. (This probably sounds snarkier than I meant it; none was intended.)

As we've been hearing for years now, "the rich" make up a very small percentage of the population. Since raising taxes on the rich is generally politically popular, it would have been done by now if that was the easiest, best, and/or only way to pay for all of the things government is currently providing. The reality is, even the most demagogic liberal politicians understand that "the rich" don't have enough money to pay for the current government extravaganza.

***
The weather is affecting your sense of humor. There really are a lot of things funnier, trust me.

You're probably right about that. It's supposed to be 27 tomorrow in Syracuse, which has caused my concern for global warming to increase — i.e., I'm concerned it's not happening fast enough!
   1694. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4264736)
As we've been hearing for years now, "the rich" make up a very small percentage of the population. Since raising taxes on the rich is generally politically popular, it would have been done by now if that was the easiest, best, and/or only way to pay for all of the things government is currently providing. The reality is, even the most demagogic liberal politicians understand that "the rich" don't have enough money to pay for the current government extravaganza.


How the hell do you get that from what I wrote? By "them", I mean the bottom 80%.
   1695. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4264754)
As we've been hearing for years now, "the rich" make up a very small percentage of the population. Since raising taxes on the rich is generally politically popular, it would have been done by now if that was the easiest, best, and/or only way to pay for all of the things government is currently providing.

How did you get that from 1691? It's like you're reading, but the words on the screen aren't the same words that end up in your head.

EDIT: Coke to Misirlou
   1696. Greg K Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4264760)
Bitter Mouse and company:

Fascinating stuff. What I always liked about the Black Death was the boost it gave to lawyering as people had to work overtime figuring out who was inheriting what.

In other history news...had a meeting about my first draft today and it wasn't tossed out the nearest window! I'm starting to suspect this thing may get finished after all.
   1697. Monty Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4264772)
If people want to argue that taxes on the rich should be raised, that's fine, but let's not kid ourselves here and claim the middle class doesn't need to pay a whole lot more, too.*


Not that I disagree, but I don't think that's a winning campaign slogan.
   1698. SteveF Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4264776)
The deficit could be closed tomorrow by raising taxes by 9% of GDP. I'm not sure what would happen going forward with medicare and the oncoming demographic changes, but presumably you could raise taxes as a percentage of GDP by another 5-10% beyond that and still have a functioning economy.

The question really is never about whether such a thing is possible. We know it is possible. There are economies functioning now where the tax burden is over 40% of GDP. The question is whether such a tax system is in the economic interest of the country as a whole.

Of course, there's basically nobody in power who would argue that raising taxes by 9% of GDP is a good way to balance the budget.
   1699. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4264785)
I had forgotten I was thinking this, but thanks to Greg UK, I remembered while waiting for the AL game to start:
...of why I think the Black Death is a critical (perhaps necessary but not sufficient) part in the formation of the modern world.
This is not meant to be picking on Bitter Mouse, who is one of my favorite members of the liberal cabal and favorite posters on the site, but do any of you true historians think that this sentiment is - even more, recently - in danger of being oversold? I feel like I hear it quite a bit about everything, and it might be a fault of a recent publishing trend with everything from pencils to rats to the color mauve and such. Do any of you who traffic in true historical scholarship (Fernigal, MCoA, Greg, etc.) think that it gets carried to far, and fear that it might be as well in your own work if you aren't careful?
   1700. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4264801)
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