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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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   4101. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4280335)
It's amazing how quickly this has become tonight's rightwing talking point. Instant mass communication is an amazing thing.

Huh? Since when have the debates had any purpose other than moving the election needle?

If Obama loses on Nov. 6, do you think he'll take any solace whatsoever in the fact that he was scored the winner in two out of three debates?
   4102. Howie Menckel Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4280336)

Sam Feist ?@SamFeistCNN

CNN poll of debate watchers: Who did debate make you more likely to vote for? Obama 24%, Romney 25%, Neither 50%. #CNNDebate
   4103. Shredder Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4280337)
Does Romney really think Syria is Iran's route to the sea? Does he know that a) Iran and Syria don't share a border, and b) Iran has a ####-ton of coastline? LIke, on an ocean?
   4104. DA Baracus Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4280339)
Does Romney really think Syria is Iran's route to the sea? Does he know that a) Iran and Syria don't share a border, and b) Iran has a ####-ton of coastline? LIke, on an ocean?


That's why we need a massive navy. Duh.
   4105. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4280341)
And many horses to pull them across the land. Wait... I'm not sure about that. Good thing Hannity's going to fact-check that.
   4106. Shredder Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4280342)
That's why we need a massive navy. Duh.
Nah, we just need a lot of ships. See, I didn't realize until Mitt pointed it out that the combined forces of Belmont Harbor, Montrose Harbor, and Dusable Harbor could dominate the US Navy.
   4107. billyshears Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4280343)
That's just making stuff up. Halperin called the 1st debate for Romney rather decisively, the second debate a narrow Obama win, and the third debate a draw.


So wait, you mean that, in the aggregate, Mark Halperin believes that both candidates have one win, one loss and one tie in the debates? You're right, my assertion that Mark Halperin only calls draws is way, way off base.

To clear up the apparent confusion, I don't actually believe that Mark Halperin has literally called every political event since 1994 a draw. I am aware that, he did in fact call the 1994 congressional elections a minor victory for Republicans and a small repudiation of President Clinton's agenda. Do we really need a sarcasm flag here?
   4108. DA Baracus Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4280344)
From Politifact:

In recent years, the number of Navy and Air Force assets has sunk to levels not seen in decades, although the number of ships has risen slightly under Obama.
   4109. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4280346)
I've been away all night and couldn't see the debate. I hesitate to ask... but how did people here see it, as far as who did better?
   4110. The District Attorney Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4280347)
I think people will ultimately only come to the conclusion that "horses and bayonets" was rude if they think Romney was making a point undeserving of belittlement. And I don't think most people will feel that way. (Not that they'll necessarily agree with Obama's vision for the armed forces, but they'll feel that Romney was phrasing it in a simplistic, cheap-point-scoring way.)

I do tend to agree that this debate is less likely to move the needle than either of the first two -- there was a lot of sports competition, there presumably is less interest in foreign policy, and there wasn't a do-or-die storyline for either candidate. I guess we'll know quite soon how many people watched. Ratings have been very high so far, so maybe I'm making a bad bet there.
   4111. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4280348)
I do tend to agree that this debate is less likely to move the needle than either of the first two -- there was a lot of sports competition, there presumably is less interest in foreign policy, and there wasn't a do-or-die storyline for either candidate. I guess we'll know quite soon how many people watched. Ratings have been very high so far, so maybe I'm making a bad bet there.


Third debate almost always has the least impact.

Huh? Since when have the debates had any purpose other than moving the election needle?


The purpose of the debates has always been to inform the electorate. Not to "move the needle" but to better inform the electorate.
   4112. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4280352)
The purpose of the debates has always been to inform the electorate. Not to "move the needle" but to better inform the electorate.

Stop pulling my leg, Shipman.
   4113. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4280354)
I didn't see all of the debate, but here's my piece on it:

1. Surprising how often the two guys agreed on everything. And surprising how often they both admitted it.
2. Obama used more annoying debate tactics: bringing up outsourcing or the Holocaust or "when I toured Ground Zero I met a little girl named..."
3. A few of the talking heads (I was flipping between channels, including Fox News) said that Romney's goal was to appear as a confident and capable commander in chief, and that he succeeded. I think that's reasonable.

Overall it seemed like a win for Obama simply because so much of his policy was given a big Romney thumbs up. But it was close enough that I think you could also call it a draw.
   4114. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4280355)
At the risk of scaring PreservedFish, I agree with all of #4113.
   4115. Monty Posted: October 23, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4280359)
"when I toured Ground Zero I met a little girl named..."


Man, I hate that stuff. But I assume it's effective, because so many public speakers do it.
   4116. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 23, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4280362)
Last week PPP put in a question about a made up vague issue (something like "the Smith/Jones issue") just to see what would happen and 15% of respondents had an opinion on it.

Link? That's excellent.
"What's your opinion on the situation in Freedonia?"
   4117. The District Attorney Posted: October 23, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4280363)
Man, I hate that stuff. But I assume it's effective, because so many public speakers do it.
It only makes sense that personal anecdotes are used in politics to hit home how all this yibber-yabber ultimately affects the lives of real people. But you would think that, if there was one event in the past few decades that people wouldn't need to hear someone else's anecdote in order to appreciate its magnitude, that event would be 9/11. It does seem like gilding the lily.

My guess would be that it was a focus-group-shopped attempt to brag about killing bin Laden in such a way that it came off, not as machismo, but as appealing to women. (That'd be not only a general strategy, but presumably even more so in this particular debate given the assumption that a lot of the guys would be watching sports.)

Last week PPP put in a question about a made up vague issue (something like "the Smith/Jones issue") just to see what would happen and 15% of respondents had an opinion on it.
Similar to the 27% crazification factor, polls have what for lack of a better term I call the "well, you asked" factor. Any option offered on any decent-sized poll is going to get some votes, whether it's people being deliberate goofs, choosing answers randomly, or what have you. I do admit that 15% seems a little high for that factor. I guess maybe those folks ironically thought they'd sound uninformed if they didn't have some sort of opinion about this burning current issue...
   4118. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: October 23, 2012 at 04:10 AM (#4280368)
I was catching up on the thread and after seeing the wikipedia argument, I looked at Joe Kehoskie's page and found the articles for deletion page. Which poster is DwayneFromME over there? Whoever it is, I think they've set the new gold standard for poor behavior here. It's kind of creepy and pathetic to be registering an account and nominating an article for deletion on Wikipedia solely out of spite because of a BBTF off-topic thread.
   4119. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4280376)
This was NOT two people agreeing - this was Mitt Romney repeating ad nauseous "I agree with the President" and Preisdent Obama saying "Im glad to hear you agree with me now because last week/last month/earlier this year you said..."

If people want to deduct points from Obama because he didn't just graciously accept Romney's complete and full-throated endorsement, that's another matter.
   4120. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 23, 2012 at 07:18 AM (#4280377)
Last week PPP put in a question about a made up vague issue (something like "the Smith/Jones issue") just to see what would happen and 15% of respondents had an opinion on it.

Link? That's excellent.
"What's your opinion on the situation in Freedonia?"



Heck in 1993, Spy Spy magazine prank-called U.S. congressmen, asking what the administration should do about ethnic cleansing in Freedonia, several congressmen demanded immediate action.

Representative Corrine Brown, Democrat of Florida, said she approved of what the United States was doing in Freedonia, and added, "I think all of those situations are very, very sad, and I just think we need to take action to assist the people."

Representative Jay Inslee, Democrat of Washington, was candid. "I have to be honest with you, I'm not familiar with that proposal," he said. "But it's coming to the point now that a blind eye to it for the next 10 years is not the answer."

Representatative Steve Buyer, Republican of Indiana, said, "Yeah, it's a different situation than the Middle East."
The magazine also called Nick Smith (R-MI), who said that "moving through the United Nations effort has a great deal of merit."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel noted January 27, 1993, that "All 20 of them were tricked by the clever editors of Spy magazine, who concocted this little exercise in political embarrassment.....not one of the gullible freshmen caught on to the joke."
   4121. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 23, 2012 at 07:47 AM (#4280379)
I saw this from David Brooks and thought of this thread:

For the past several months I have spent inordinate amounts of time poring over election polls. A couple of times a day, I check the Web sites to see what the polling averages are. I check my Twitter feed to see the latest Gallup numbers. I’ve read countless articles dissecting the flawed methodologies of polls I don’t like.

And do you know what I’ve learned from these hours of attention? That if the election were held today (which it won’t be), then President Obama would be a bit more likely to win. At the same time, there seems to be a whiff of momentum toward Mitt Romney. That’s it. Hundreds of hours. Two banal observations.


It's sort of funny that there has been such a huge amount of mental effort thrown into something that will ultimately be somewhere between a coin flip and a somewhat weighted coin flip.
   4122. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4280382)
"What's your opinion on the situation in Freedonia?"

President Firefly went into exile in Washington, but his whereabouts now are a mystery.
   4123. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4280383)
That Brooks column is sublime, and likely describes many of us here. The full column on the link in #4121 is even better than the excerpt. Here's the last part:

Look, I went into a profession — journalism — committed to the mission of describing the present. Imagine how many corrections we’d have to publish if we tried to predict the future. Yet, despite all that, every few hours, I’m on my laptop, tablet or smartphone — sipping Gallup, chugging Rasmussen, gulping Pew, trying to figure out how it will all go down.

Come on, David, think through the poll. This is the first day of the rest of your life.

Wait a second! The 7-Eleven Coffee Cup Poll is out! Just one more look. Obama is up big!
   4124. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4280389)
Lost in the chatter - romneys Iran solution is to have the UN arrest ahmedinejad... And Eric f confirms that's the plan.
   4125. BDC Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4280390)
Meanwhile, polls be ####ed, I actually voted yesterday. Proudly showed both my non-photo voter ID card and my driver's license, and was told the photo ID wasn't needed. Strange way to implement a photo-ID law, but it's apparently the practical method of doing so here in Texas – which is to say no change in the law at all.
   4126. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4280392)
A 10-point loss isn't really a loss.


This is a keeper. And usually liberals get hit with "everyone is a winner" means everyone is a loser. Sure there are two goals in every political event leading up to an election, win the event (people like winners) and obviously win the election. In theory you can lose the event but it could still advance your cause in winning the election, it just isn't likely.
   4127. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4280393)
Edit: AT&T suuuxxxx
   4128. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4280394)
If Romney does win, we should all take comfort in the fact that Romney apparently plans to offer Obama either the SecState, SecDef, or NSA job in his cabinet...
   4129. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4280398)
"What's your opinion on the situation in Freedonia?"


Whatever it is, I'm against it.
   4130. BDC Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4280400)
I insist, we must take up the tax.
   4131. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4280402)
Does Romney really think Syria is Iran's route to the sea? Does he know that a) Iran and Syria don't share a border, and b) Iran has a ####-ton of coastline? LIke, on an ocean?


Actually, turns out you managed to spot the one, singular kernel of consistency between what Romney said at the debate and what he's been saying for years...

At an April 16 AIPAC Q&A -- and no less than 5 other documented occasions...

“Maybe one of the few bright spots in the Middle East developments in the last year has been the rising of the people in Syria against [President Bashar al-] Assad. Obviously, as you know, Syria is Iran’s only Arab ally in the region. Syria is the route that allows Iran to supply Hezbollah with weapons in Lebanon. Syria is Iran’s route to the sea.


Apparently, within Romney's binder full of women -- there was Sarah Palin as geography adviser...
   4132. BDC Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4280404)
Everybody's missing the strategic point. With a warm-water port at Latakia, the Iranians will be able to deploy dreadnoughts, caravels, and triremes – and with our navy at its weakest in capital ships since 1917, we have no way to counter them! They will form alliances with Austria-Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire, and reverse the debacle of the battle of Lepanto.
   4133. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4280406)
I'm going as an open, empty binder for Halloween.
   4134. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4280409)
"If only you had issued our consular staff bayonets and horses, Mr. President, we'd be having a different discussion today."
   4135. Chip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4280410)
Romney should have used a bayonet to wipe the flop sweat off his upper lip.
   4136. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4280413)
Everybody's missing the strategic point. With a warm-water port at Latakia, the Iranians will be able to deploy dreadnoughts, caravels, and triremes – and with our navy at its weakest in capital ships since 1917, we have no way to counter them! They will form alliances with Austria-Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire, and reverse the debacle of the battle of Lepanto.


Now you're understanding why the Russians are our greatest geopolitical threat -- they will not simply walk away from Baku... and then the Dardanelles are at risk.

We can ill afford another Gallipoli.
   4137. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4280417)
"What's your opinion on the situation in Freedonia?"


Whatever it is, I'm against it.


And when the battle is at its fiercest, and a loving cup gets stuck on your leader's head, paint a face on it.

It's the stupidest thing, but I laugh out loud every time I see Groucho with the loving cup on his head.
   4138. villageidiom Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4280419)
I think people will ultimately only come to the conclusion that "horses and bayonets" was rude if they think Romney was making a point undeserving of belittlement. And I don't think most people will feel that way. (Not that they'll necessarily agree with Obama's vision for the armed forces, but they'll feel that Romney was phrasing it in a simplistic, cheap-point-scoring way.)
This.

Romney too often tried to score points cheaply by oversimplifying an issue, then allowed Obama the opportunity to reframe it. In the second debate, Romney insisted Obama answer whether he revoked oil drilling licenses; the answer was essentially "it made no sense for companies to have the licenses and not use them, so we revoked them and redeployed them to companies that would use them". Romney's point was that Obama was restricting oil production, but he allowed Obama to respond basically that he stopped oil companies from restricting production. Similar thing with the Rose Garden speech and whether the embassy attack was called an act of terror, though that one smacks of pedantry more than anything. In the third debate, with "fewer ships!" being met with "fewer horses and bayonets, too!" Obama was able to counter a simplification with a sensible explanation.

Don't know if Romney hurt himself with the electorate on these, but he didn't help himself. If you're debating, and you try to pin your opponent down, you either have to commit to it or not pursue it at all. Consequently, you should choose your moments wisely, because if you commit to it and it doesn't work you will not help your own cause. I don't think Romney chose his moments very well.
   4139. Langer Monk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4280421)
Congressman Ryan is a little confused today.

"What we also disagree with was on the defense policy. This trillion-dollar cut in defense will devastate our defense. It will make us weak. It will project weakness abroad. And I think Mitt Romney did a great job of contrasting that."

The defense cuts Ryan refers to are part of the sequestration that Congress passed that will automatically trigger cuts in defense and non-defense spending if the House and Senate do not agree on a plan to cut the deficit . Ryan was among those who voted for the bill.
   4140. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4280424)
I wonder what Charles Krauthammer must be thinking at this point, since he thought that Romney was going to settle the election once and for all by going full court press on what he called Obama's "great gaffe" on Benghazi and watching him sweat and squirm.

Romney will be ready Monday.

You are offended by this accusation, Mr. President? The country is offended that your press secretary, your U.N. ambassador and you yourself have repeatedly misled the nation about the origin and nature of the Benghazi attack.

The problem wasn’t the video, the problem was policies for which you say you now accept responsibility. Then accept it, Mr. President. You were asked in the last debate why more security was denied our people in Libya despite the fact that they begged for it. You never answered that question, Mr. President. Or will you blame your Secretary of State?


Esprit d’escalier (“wit of the staircase”) is the French term for the devastating riposte that one should have given at dinner, but comes up with only on the way out at the bottom of the staircase. It’s Romney’s fortune that he’s invited to one more dinner. If he gets it right this time, Obama’s narrow victory in debate No. 2, salvaged by the mock umbrage that anyone could accuse him of misleading, will cost him dearly.

It was a huge gaffe. It is indelibly on the record. It will prove a very expensive expedient.



   4141. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4280425)
Don't know if Romney hurt himself with the electorate on these, but he didn't help himself. If you're debating, and you try to pin your opponent down, you either have to commit to it or not pursue it at all. Consequently, you should choose your moments wisely, because if you commit to it and it doesn't work you will not help your own cause. I don't think Romney chose his moments very well.


I suppose any persuadables probably don't know or don't care --

But I do think Romney came off as weak (even setting aside the Nixonian flopsweat that developed) by agreeing with Obama up and down the line.

Candidate Romney prior to last night: We threw Mubarak under the bus. Last night: Of course I support the deposing of Mubarak

Candidate Romney prior to last night: Iran must be confronted, militarily if necessary. Last night: Sanctions - Oh yeah, and 'World Court arrest warrant', too

Candidate Romney prior to last night: We should be sending heavy arms to Syria. Last night: No, we need to be careful so we don't arm the wrong people.

Candidate Romney prior to last night: Obama is surrendering on Afghanistan. Last night: Timelines sure are swell and I'll keep the one we have.

Ditto on Iraq, on Libya, on Pakistan, on Al Qaeda, you name it...

It wasn't just one instance -- as the LA Times Op-Ed on the debate put it: Romney endorses Obama

At minimum, I just sure hope the media makes sure to point out that this is precisely what Romney did: Full-throatedly and completely endorse Obama's foreign policy and basically wash away everything he's said on foreign policy prior to last night.... and as I said last page, if he canned about 90% of foreign policy adviser team -- or at least promised the Boltons, the Senors, etc will have no role in his WH, I might almost believe him.
   4142. villageidiom Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4280428)
Follow-up to 4138, rather than edit the above:

In this kind of debate, I don't think the moments Romney chose were good opportunities. Had he kept talking over Obama and insisting on a simple yes-or-no answer each time, he would have come across as an unreasonable bully, and still wouldn't have gotten a yes-or-no answer. And each time, his halfway attempt backfired (IMO).

On three different subjects, there were opportunities for Romney:

1. Why was Obama so slow to react to the embassy attack?

2. Has Obama done enough to encourage energy dependency?

3. Will Obama's planned defense spending cuts hurt our military?

Romney ended up turning the above good questions into these questions:

1. Is it reasonable to conclude when Obama referred generally to "acts of terror" in the Rose Garden speech that he was not including as an act of terror the specific event the speech was about?

2. Why were oil companies, with licenses to drill, not drilling?

3. Do we actually need as many ships as we used to have, especially when our military doesn't think we need them?

In these opportunities, Romney didn't provide answers about Obama or government; he raised questions about himself. The more I think about this, the more abysmal I think it was.
   4143. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4280433)
If Iran has access to the Levantine coast, they will be able to launch frigates and privateers into the Mediterranean and snatch our merchantmen as prizes! They may even threaten Gibraltar!

We could face critical shortages of ambergris!
   4144. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4280434)
At minimum, I just sure hope the media makes sure to point out that this is precisely what Romney did: Full-throatedly and completely endorse Obama's foreign policy and basically wash away everything he's said on foreign policy prior to last night....

I do, too, but if the media actually do point this out, you'll have to put yourself in a soundproof room to avoid the right wing noise machine's whining about "media bias".

I.F. Stone used to define the role of a journalist as the ability to remember the official lie of yesterday in order to compare it to the official lie of today. Izzy Stone would have loved to have watched Romney in action last night.
   4145. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4280438)
I do, too, but if the media actually do point this out, you'll have to put yourself in a soundproof room to avoid the right wing noise machine's whining about "media bias".


Well, my response to media bias would be to ask for one, single example from last night where Romney didn't endorse Obama's foreign policy... because I really could not name one single item. I could have named tons based on prior speeches, debates, and statements - but not last night. Not a single item.
   4146. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4280439)
Well done, president-elect Romney.


I think he needs some walkout music...
   4147. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4280440)
You were asked in the last debate why more security was denied our people in Libya despite the fact that they begged for it.

Serious, non-partisan question: Was this an unusual request for more security or SOP such that a sincere request would get lost in all the noise or something in between?
   4148. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4280445)
I was catching up on the thread and after seeing the wikipedia argument, I looked at Joe Kehoskie's page and found the articles for deletion page. Which poster is DwayneFromME over there? Whoever it is, I think they've set the new gold standard for poor behavior here. It's kind of creepy and pathetic to be registering an account and nominating an article for deletion on Wikipedia solely out of spite because of a BBTF off-topic thread.


If DwayneFromME is a poster here I think he should be suspended.
   4149. The District Attorney Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4280448)
Lost in the chatter - romneys Iran solution is to have the UN arrest ahmedinejad
Hey, at least it shows some interest in solving problems via the UN and international law. That beats McCain's foreign policy approach, for instance...

the Iranians will be able to deploy dreadnoughts, caravels, and triremes
How is our research into Mysticism going?
   4150. bunyon Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4280455)
I wonder what Charles Krauthammer must be thinking at this point, since he thought that Romney was going to settle the election once and for all by going full court press on what he called Obama's "great gaffe" on Benghazi and watching him sweat and squirm.

That was fascinating, I thought. It was such an obvious and talked about opening. I realize I'm given to conspiracy theories, but it makes me wonder if Romney didn't get an update on Libya in one of his regular national security briefings (they do still do those for nominees, don't they?) that settled the issue.

It seems like, all of a sudden, everyone stopped talking about Libya altogether.
   4151. CrosbyBird Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4280458)
How does buying lottery tickets benefit society in a way that's remotely comparable to investing in a business?

Not that I think we should incentify lottery tickets, but it probably benefits society more for three reasons.

1) A small portion of the NYS directly funds education. In 2011, it was about 4% of the total money coming in, which was a little short of $3 billion. That was around 15% of the total state funding for education, which is pretty substantial.

2) Lottery winnings over a certain amount are taxed as highly visible ordinary individual income. That means that people that win big prizes pretty much pay full taxes on the money. Business income can be underreported easily or used to pay for a number of individual goods and services with pre-tax dollars.

3) While lottery tickets are high-risk for the purchaser, they are guaranteed income for the state.

Right now, I'm an employee, not a small business owner, but if I struck out on my own, I would be able to play all sorts of goofy tax games by spending the business's pre-tax money instead of my personal post-tax money. I could pay a bunch of restaurant and bar bills, purchase season tickets or tickets to expensive concerts, or even fund an occasional vacation ("client recruiting"). I could buy a brand-new high-end laptop every year as a "business machine." I don't have use for one because I live in Manhattan, but I could lease an expensive "company car." None of this stuff is particularly complicated to do and so long as I'm not a terrible pig about it, there's practically no chance of getting in trouble, since most of these things are reasonably justifiable.

I know people that work in family businesses that spend thousands of dollars per month "on the business" in ways that I think of as particularly blatant. One guy redid his whole basement one year and redesigned his entire backyard two years later. Nobody in his family goes out of pocket for their cell phones, or car payments, or most restaurant checks. Since the business is a specialized electronics retailer, they can even justify purchases like HDTVs, high-end video cameras, tablets, etc.
   4152. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4280465)
Poll aggregator update (OBama-Romney):

RCP: 47.1-47.7 (Romney +.06)
538: 50.0-48.8 (Obama +1.2) ("now cast")
Pollster: 47.1-47.0 (Obama +0.1)
Unskewed: 45.0-50.1 (Romney +5.1)
Princeton Election Consortium ?-? (Obama +1.5)
Electoral Vote.com (can't find popular vote, but has Obama up in EC by 281-244-13)
Polling Report.com, collects and reports polling results but doesn't seem to aggregate



   4153. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4280468)
It seems like, all of a sudden, everyone stopped talking about Libya altogether.


Internal polling, my guess is talking about Libya wasn't doing anyone any good (vote wise)
   4154. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4280469)
How is our research into Mysticism going?


Only noobs research Mysticism. You should be rushing Bronze Working and backfilling Mysticism after you get Alphabet. Just pick it up from Ghandi right before you declare war on him.
   4155. GregD Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4280472)
Brooks' column is good though I don't fault people or myself for following polls closely since--1) it replicates the pleasures and frustrations of following a baseball or basketball game midway, the ups and downs are sort of the point and none of us would be as excited to only read the next-day articles of what happened, and 2) the presidency matters a lot, though maybe not as much as people think it does.

What I will try not to pay attention to, though, is the news coverage for the next two weeks, as they call it the silly season for a reason. Almost every persuadable person will have settled by tomorrow (if they haven't already) so the last two weeks are, publicly, pure ridiculous theater. I'm sure everyone involved--but especially Ryan and Biden--will say increasingly absurd things to either reach the last floating percentage or fire people up to vote. Most of it will be ridiculous.

What's crucial obviously is the ground game but I don't know how to get a reliable handle on that.
   4156. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4280473)
Serious, non-partisan question: Was this an unusual request for more security or SOP such that a sincere request would get lost in all the noise or something in between?


I have no idea, but I suspect that how such request is handled depends upon the personality of the "gate keeper" so to speak.

   4157. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4280478)
If DwayneFromME is a poster here I think he should be suspended.


Two things:

1) Speaking as a Wikipedia admin (albeit one who hardly does anything on the site these days), there's basically no way to determine who DwayneFromME is, unless he has another account on the site that is connected in some obvious way to his real identity. If you want to try CheckUser anyway, though, go for it.

2) Given that the [[Joe Kehoskie]] article appears to be being defended in the AFD primarily by a single-purpose account (with an interest in US politics from a right-wing perspective) created immediately after the AFD nomination and two suspicious-looking IP addresses that resolve to Russia and India respectively, it may not be in Joe's best interest to dig too deeply into this mess, either.

Stupid bullshit drama like this is the reason I'm pretty much done with Wikipedia.
   4158. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4280480)
Re: the request for more security:

It's a total red herring, as the request was for the main embassy in Tripoli. If State had granted the request, Stevens would be just as dead today.
   4159. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4280481)
What's crucial obviously is the ground game but I don't know how to get a reliable handle on that.


where I live I still have no seen a single Obama or Romney yard sign, I guy a couple blocks from me has a Ron Paul sign in his window, the car I parked behind at the Train Station yesterday had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker...

One of our secretaries lives in Brooklyn, she says there is an Obama sign near her block...

Of course, where I live is not "in play."

I'm not sure if you can find any reliable info on numbers of offices/volunteers whatever- during primaries the candidates have to open their offices- during the general they don't have to do that, they can use local pre-existing party offices, and have ready access to the local field workers and such.
   4160. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4280482)
1) Speaking as a Wikipedia admin (albeit one who hardly does anything on the site these days),



I could write something nice about Littlefield on his page for you to clean up :-)
   4161. JL Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4280485)
Re: the request for more security:

It's a total red herring, as the request was for the main embassy in Tripoli. If State had granted the request, Stevens would be just as dead today.


Do you have a cite for this? This statement is contrary to the reporting I have seen.
   4162. GregD Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4280486)
where I live I still have no seen a single Obama or Romney yard sign, I guy a couple blocks from me has a Ron Paul sign in his window, the car I parked behind at the Train Station yesterday had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker...

One of our secretaries lives in Brooklyn, she says there is an Obama sign near her block...

Of course, where I live is not "in play."

I'm not sure if you can find any reliable info on numbers of offices/volunteers whatever- during primaries the candidates have to open their offices- during the general they don't have to do that, they can use local pre-existing party offices, and have ready access to the local field workers and such.
I am on the Upper West Side and they recently opened a storefront on Columbus, which surprised me, and have been reasonably visible the last week or two. I can't really imagine why; before that, the ancient Dem clubs farther uptown would sometimes come out but this is a different level of effort. The only thing I can think is that it's an effort to drive up the popular vote in case somehow that seems useful.
   4163. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4280495)
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Paul Ryan has some chutzpah - "This trillion dollar cut in defense will make us weak"...THAT I VOTED FOR.
   4164. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4280497)
Edit: AT&T suuuxxxx

They certainly do. I recently fired them as my wireless carrier (and dumped my landline). The US Cellular wireless internet is ostensibly the same (3G) as the AT&T service I replaced. The only difference I notice is that the former works really well and really fast, and the latter was virtually non-functional.

Also, AT&T's website, billing procedures, and customer "service" lines are incomprehensible and unhelpful.

/rant mode
   4165. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4280498)
Do you have a cite for this? This statement is contrary to the reporting I have seen.


From the Paper of Record:

In a stream of diplomatic cables, embassy security officers warned their superiors at the State Department of a worsening threat from Islamic extremists, and requested that the teams of military personnel and State Department security guards who were already on duty be kept in service.

The requests were denied, but they were largely focused on extending the tours of security guards at the American Embassy in Tripoli — not at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, 400 miles away. And State Department officials testified this week during a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that extending the tour of additional guards — a 16-member military security team — through mid-September would not have changed the bloody outcome because they were based in Tripoli, not Benghazi.


Edit: one additional quote from that article:
“An attack of that kind of lethality, we’re never going to have enough guns,” Patrick F. Kennedy, under secretary of state for management, said at Wednesday’s hearing. “We are not an armed camp ready to fight it out.”

   4166. JL Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4280502)
#4165 - Thanks for the information.
   4167. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4280506)
Poll aggregator update (OBama-Romney):

RCP: 47.1-47.7 (Romney +.06)
538: 50.0-48.8 (Obama +1.2) ("now cast")
Pollster: 47.1-47.0 (Obama +0.1)
Unskewed: 45.0-50.1 (Romney +5.1)
Princeton Election Consortium ?-? (Obama +1.5)
Electoral Vote.com (can't find popular vote, but has Obama up in EC by 281-244-13)
Polling Report.com, collects and reports polling results but doesn't seem to aggregate


Nate seems to be out on a limb to some degree. He has Obama at 70% to win as of this morning; recently it's been as low as 67%, but a couple months ago it was as high as 81%.

Nate has a chance to come off looking very good... or very bad.

And this is not exactly like a horse race or a basketball game, because we know with absolute certainty who is winning the horse race or basketball game at each point. We don't know that with the election, so calculating in August that Obama's chance to win is "81%" can't really be checked in any way.


   4168. JL Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4280507)
where I live I still have no seen a single Obama or Romney yard sign, I guy a couple blocks from me has a Ron Paul sign in his window, the car I parked behind at the Train Station yesterday had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker...


To follow up on my posts from a few dozen pages back -

Previously, a house three doors down had an Obama sign in the front yard and Women for Romney signs in the window. The Romney signs are now gone. I could ominously note I have not seen the wife since then, but that would be overstating it because I rarely see eithe of them.

There is also a house that had a Ron Paul for President sign. That sign was taken down and replaced with an Obama sign. The Paul sign is back up. I talked to the wife, who told me that hers is the Obama sign (she had taken down Paul sign without telling her husband).

Still slightly more Obama signs than Romney signs in front of people's houses, but very signs for either.
   4169. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4280509)
#4165 - Thanks for the information.


I should point out in all fairness that Stevens requested five security personnel in Benghazi in July and only had three plus the two he brought with him from Tripoli. In the best case scenario, he has 7 guards rather than 5. If you think that would have done anything but kill two more people, then you can be upset about it, I guess.
   4170. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4280511)
He has Obama at 70% because the closer to the election, the less volatility in the electorate, according to his model. If most folks position has hardened, then a 2% lead is as formidable as a 10% one.
   4171. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4280515)
Nate seems to be out on a limb to some degree. He has Obama at 70% to win as of this morning; recently it's been as low as 67%, but a couple months ago it was as high as 81%.

Actually, it's been more volatile than that; it was around 86% before the first debate, and a week or so after it dropped to ~61%.

Since then, it's been mostly pretty stable between 66 and 71 percent, for the reasons spike notes.
   4172. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4280523)
Brooks' column is good though I don't fault people or myself for following polls closely since--1) it replicates the pleasures and frustrations of following a baseball or basketball game midway, the ups and downs are sort of the point and none of us would be as excited to only read the next-day articles of what happened, and 2) the presidency matters a lot, though maybe not as much as people think it does.

I don't think Brooks was faulting pollwatching maniacs like us (and himself) so much as he was just pointing out the degree of our obsessiveness.

What I will try not to pay attention to, though, is the news coverage for the next two weeks, as they call it the silly season for a reason. Almost every persuadable person will have settled by tomorrow (if they haven't already) so the last two weeks are, publicly, pure ridiculous theater. I'm sure everyone involved--but especially Ryan and Biden--will say increasingly absurd things to either reach the last floating percentage or fire people up to vote. Most of it will be ridiculous.

What's crucial obviously is the ground game but I don't know how to get a reliable handle on that.


I'll be watching to see any indications of unusually large or small early voting numbers in strategically placed states, districts, and precincts, since unless last night's debate changed things---doubtful---this is all going to be about which party can get the greatest percentage of its likely supporters to the polls.
   4173. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4280524)
We don't know that with the election, so calculating in August that Obama's chance to win is "81%" can't really be checked in any way.


Well it can sort of.
After several thousand elections you can look at every one where Nate said that someone had an 80% chance of winning in August- if those leaders go on to win 80% of the time, then Nate's model is right :-)

In theory it's testable, in practice? Not so much.
   4174. Howie Menckel Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4280532)

can't decide if this surprises me:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/10/23/the_cnn_post_debate_poll_that_romney_won.html

"Second-to-last question: Do you think Mitt Romney can or cannot handle the responsibilities of Commander-in Chief?

All voters: Yes, by a 60-38 margin. Independents: Yes, by a 62-36 margin.

Next question: Did tonight's debate make you more likely to vote for Barack Obama or more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, or did tonight's debate not affect how you are likely to vote?

Among all voters: Romney, 25-24. Among independents, it's Romney by a 32-20 margin."



   4175. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4280537)
Everyone, Trump has big news. Brace yourselves.

My guess is that he finally reveals which animal crawled onto his head and died there some years ago.
   4176. Randy Jones Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4280540)
My guess is that he finally reveals which animal crawled onto his head and died there some years ago.


I refuse to believe any animal would willingly go anywhere near Trump. Even if it was just looking for a place to die.
   4177. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4280541)
where I live I still have no seen a single Obama or Romney yard sign


It's probably because both campaigns know that yard signs are the biggest waste of money.
They provided the smallest boost for the most amount of money. I think it was in "Game Change" (or maybe in a post by Nate Silver during the 2008 campaign) where they laid out how they only do it because people ask for them.
If the campaigns had their way, they wouldn't print a single one.
   4178. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4280542)
Everyone, Trump has big news. Brace yourselves.


Please let it be more birther nonsense! The further he can sink himself with that, the better.
   4179. The Good Face Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4280544)
My guess is that he finally reveals which animal crawled onto his head and died there some years ago.


My money's on one of these adorable lil critters.
   4180. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4280554)
BOMBSHELL: Donald Trump and Gloria Allred are soulmates. They have been living together for the last six years in secret. They cannot hide this love any longer.
   4181. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4280555)
Re: Trump...

I have this Simpsons episode in my head now when Ned had an announcement and Homer silently wishes to himself... not that there's anything wrong with that.
   4182. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4280557)
Everyone, Trump has big news. Brace yourselves.


He's starting another football league with Vince MacMahon and Don King!
   4183. The District Attorney Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4280563)
I do think that the question of what happens to Silver if Obama loses is an interesting one. I mean, I don't think Silver would be fired the next day or anything, but it'd be real tough to explain to Joe Lunchpail that the liberal prognosticator happened to incorrectly predict with a great deal of confidence that the liberal would win, but it was a weird thing that probably wouldn't happen again. It'd essentially be the same pushback that statheads get when we discuss "luck" in baseball.

In another baseball analogy, when one of Bill James' "Major League Equivalents" came up with the rookie Jeff Bagwell having a higher BA than anyone else in the NL,¹ James talked about how he worried that if Bagwell was a flop, James' reputation would be destroyed. And this was after James had stopped doing the Abstracts altogether. Silver may be the closest politicometrics equivalent to James, but he still isn't that established yet. I certainly hope that people would understand what had happened -- and I think Silver is a good enough writer to explain himself as well as anyone could -- but I worry that they would not.

¹ Not that those are actually meant to be predictions.
   4184. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4280568)
So the Romney campaign has clarified Romney's remarks last night with regards to Iran. The official Romney position with respect to Iran, for today anyway, is that he's going to rely on the UN to go into Iran and arrest Ahmadinejad for his speeches against Israel. Problem solved.

Can you imagine the reaction from the press if a Democratic candidate had taken that position?
   4185. GregD Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4280570)
James also talked about his World Series predictor, which he was asked to unveil on the Today show or something and which he had a sickening feeling about since he knew the teams in the playoffs that year were bad fits. But he went on anyway, got the whole thing wrong, and the idea died. In one of his mid-80s abstracts and about one of the early 80s years, I think.
   4186. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4280572)
Well, as every other pollster gets to update their projected outcome based on the most recent data they receive, I don't think we can parse Nate's position as "predicting an Obama win" until much closer to the actual event, as in the day before.
   4187. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4280573)
So the Romney campaign has clarified Romney's remarks last night with regards to Iran. The official Romney position with respect to Iran, for today anyway, is that he's going to rely on the UN to go into Iran and arrest Ahmadinejad for his speeches against Israel. Problem solved.


Have they clarified what the hell he was talking about with regards to Syria being Iran's path to the sea?
   4188. Danny Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4280576)
Nate seems to be out on a limb to some degree. He has Obama at 70% to win as of this morning; recently it's been as low as 67%, but a couple months ago it was as high as 81%.

Silver tweeted yesterday: "If you ran RCP state poll averages through the 538 simulation model, it would come out in the same range (65-70% Obama EC win)."

He's not out on a limb, as every aggregator (except the unskewed guy) has Obama slightly ahead in the electoral college.
   4189. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4280577)
Well, as every other pollster gets to update their projected outcome based on the most recent data they receive, I don't think we can parse Nate's position as "predicting an Obama win" until much closer to the actual event, as in the day before.


I think Nate provides two numbers precisely for this purpose -- the "now cast", which correlates to "if the election were today" and the trend/big data analysis which changes based on the new input.
   4190. DA Baracus Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4280579)
Link? That's excellent.


The Panetta-Burns plan.
   4191. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4280580)
If Iran has access to the Levantine coast, they will be able to launch frigates and privateers into the Mediterranean and snatch our merchantmen as prizes! They may even threaten Gibraltar!


Jokes aside, the "Syria is Iran's path to the sea" bit isn't Mitt Romney failing geography. It's Mitt Romney sopping AIPAC and the neocon nutters on the right. "The sea" in question is the Mediterranean, and it's the really super duper important sea to have access to _because you go through Israel to get there._
   4192. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4280583)

Jokes aside, the "Syria is Iran's path to the sea" bit isn't Mitt Romney failing geography. It's Mitt Romney sopping AIPAC and the neocon nutters on the right. "The sea" in question is the Mediterranean, and it's the really super duper important sea to have access to _because you go through Israel to get there._


Oh sure - I just want the nutters to admit the code language... I don't like the 'shadow foreign policy discussions' -- I'm in a SKOS discussion at the moment, and if we're going to debate foreign policy, I just want to define the SKOS: exactMatch across the two schemes.
   4193. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4280584)
Silver tweeted yesterday: "If you ran RCP state poll averages through the 538 simulation model, it would come out in the same range (65-70% Obama EC win)."


Does this mean he's not offering anything that RCP isn't?

He's not out on a limb, as every aggregator (except the unskewed guy) has Obama slightly ahead in the electoral college.


Again, what is he offering, then, if his model comes out the same as everyone else's?

But "70% chance of an Obama win" doesn't sound like he's not out on a limb to me.
   4194. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4280589)
In another baseball analogy, when one of Bill James' "Major League Equivalents" came up with the rookie Jeff Bagwell having a higher BA than anyone else in the NL,¹


Hell, it wasn't even an NL projection- it was a Fenway projection (not even a "projection," but a 1 year MLE)- all Redsox minor leaguers were projected for Fenway- James paid it no attention at the time - he said that if he had been paying attention he would have re-run Bagwell for the Astrodome- which would have knocked a good 15-20 points off the batting average projection,and taken him out of the lead- he also said that even if his system actually projected a rookie to win the batting title - if he'd noticed that fact he'd taken a few points off...

The real funny part was what James noticed- Bagwell's 1991 looked nothing like James' "projection"- Bagwell had hit .333/.422/.457 and basically James' MLE had Bagwell as the 2nd coming of Wade Boggs, the "projection" was a pretty good match on QUALITY of production, but a bad miss on the form of that production, as Bagwell hit a very un-Boggslike .294/.387/.437, but he was ROY and the MSM seemingly never noticed how far off the MLE was
   4195. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4280591)
Again, what is he offering, then, if his model comes out the same as everyone else's?

I don't know much about RCP's secret sauce, but I know Silver's projection model includes stuff other than polls (i.e., various economic indices) that he assumes will have effects one way or the other on voting. However, those get gradually phased out as election day draws nearer, because it's assumed that any effect of those indices on voting behavior becomes increasingly baked into the poll results as people make up their minds. I don't know if RCP does that, and I don't know that one method's more accurate than the other at the end of the day.
   4196. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4280592)
Have they clarified what the hell he was talking about with regards to Syria being Iran's path to the sea?


Sea = Mediterranean

:-)


   4197. GregD Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4280593)
The Panetta-Burns plan.
The question might be better with a different name--doesn't surprise me that 15-19% of the people recognize Leon Panetta's name and adjust their view accordingly.
   4198. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4280596)
Does this mean he's not offering anything that RCP isn't?

I think you missed a part -

If you ran RCP state poll averages through the 538 simulation model
   4199. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4280597)
Why not? He's basically predicting that Romney has as good a chance of winning as Derek Jeter has of getting a hit. If it happens, how is it an embarrassment for Nate? I mean, I know how it will look, of course....
   4200. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4280598)
Rasmussen, one of the most accurate pollsters in 2008, has Romney up 50-46.
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